April 2, 2015
Hallelujah, Christ is Risen!

Risen Christ, the Resurrection and the Life, turn our mourning and grief into a morning of solidarity and a brand new hope. May your abundant love spring forth from our hearts, as a budding flower or tropical rain that heals.

Hallelujah, Christ is Risen!
God of Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James and accompanying women who witnessed the empty tomb of Jesus, we praise Your name. We believe in the good news of Your saving, healing, comforting and renewing love. (Luke 24:10). May hope and healing, reconciliation, justice and peace, take root and bloom everywhere.   

Hallelujah, Christ is Risen!
Divine Spirit, may the stones in our lives roll away, so that with the beloved Easter community sent by the resurrected Christ, we too can rise to live authentically, serve humbly and relate joyfully.  Amen.  

-- An Easter prayer by The Rev. Elizabeth S. Tapia, Director of Mission Theology for Global Ministries, from  connectNmission Global Ministries Newsletter, April 2015
NEW INFO              NEW INFO               NEW INFO

Bishop Peggy Johnson announces new clergy appointment changes,   

See complete lists of new clergy appointments and retirements.
(Some individuals may continue serving at their current appointments in retired status.)

Northwest District

Bradley Schutt, (Provisional Elder) from Pottsville: First UMC, 3/4 time, to Millville UMC, Pen-Del Conference, full time.

Bonnie Yeager (Part-time Local Pastor) from Ringtown UMC, 1/2 time, to Ash Grove UMC, 1/2 time.


Southwest District
Rev. David T. Ryan from Hopeland UMC to First UMC and Christ UMC in Chestertown, Maryland (On loan to the Easton District of the Pen-Del Conference)


Holy Week Highlights: Churches inspire with worship, outreach 

Holy Week may well be the most celebrated and worship-filled week of the year in Christian churches. Many EPA Conference churches are bustling with activities from Palm/Passion  Sunday through Easter, including worship, final Lenten Bible study classes and community outreach and fellowship events, Easter egg hunts included.  


Nearly a dozen churches kindly responded to our appeal to send us their Holy Week highlights, and we thank each and every one that did. Some of those highlights, gathered from e-mail and e-newsletters, include plans for dramatic events showing remarkable creativity--everything from Taize and tenebrae services to full-week revivals and New Orleans funeral-style Dixieland Jazz.  

BK Chung attends Korean mission celebration

Southwest District Superintendent Bumkoo Chung journeys to South Korea April 2-11 to attend the 130th anniversary celebration of missionary Henry Appenzeller's historic arrival there. Appenzeller, a member of First Methodist Church (now UMC) of Lancaster, arrived in Korea on Easter Sunday in 1885 to introduce Christianity to the people there. He founded what is today Chung Dong First Methodist Church in Seoul, the largest Methodist church in South Korea. Rev. Chung is taking with him a quilt made by the women of First UMC Lancaster and will present it as a gift during the celebration. When he was installed as a superintendent last September he focused much of his sermon on Appenzeller's pioneering mission to bring the message of Christ to Korea. Learn more about the celebration.  


Lay Ministry annual Lunch & Listen

Information and insights about Christ Servant Ministry and Certified Lay Ministry will be on the discussion menu at a "lunch and listen" session titled "Is This a Calling for You?"Saturday, April 11, from 12 to 3 PM, at Arch Street UMC, 55 N. Broad Street Philadelphia PA. A love offering of $10 will be received. Please RSVP by April 6th to: Wilhelmina Young at thecatalyst212@yahoolcom or 215-227-4034.


6 District Conferences to convene April 12th

Central District (3-5 PM): First UMC Phoenixville

Southwest District (3-5 PM): Grandview UMC, Lancaster

Southeast District (3-5 PM): Grove UMC, West Chester

East District (4-6 PM): Huntingdon Valley UMC, Huntingdon Valley

Northeast District (3-5:30 PM): Faith Alive, Bowmanstown

Northwest District (3-5 PM): Kochenderfer's UMC, Lebanon

Denman Evangelism Award nominations due April 15

Celebrate the legacy of renowned evangelist Harry Denman in the life and ministry of someone you know who strives to share their encouraging faith in Christ with others. This award honors the outstanding layman who took faith-sharing seriously and founded the Foundation on Evangelism in 1949. It also annually honors a United Methodist  lay member, clergy member and youth member whose lives and activities exemplify Christ's Great Commission to spread  the gospel through words and deeds. Please nominate eligible persons you feel deserve this award, which will be presented at Annual Conference in May.


Download nomination forms
, complete and e-mail them by April 15 to the EPAUMC Congregational Development Team c/o Suzette James at sjd624@ymail.com, or mail them to the Rev. Christopher Kurien (Conference Director of Connectional Ministries) at EPA UMC, P.O. Box 820, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0820. Indicate: ATTN: Denman Award Nomination


Native American Ministries Sunday is April 19
Prepare now to celebrate Native American Ministries Sunday April 19. The special Pastor and Leader's Kit makes it easy for congregations to promote this churchwide Special Sunday. When we give to the Native American Ministries Sunday special offering, we help equip Native American seminary students to serve Native churches and aid ministries that serve struggling Native American communities. Your gifts provide scholarships and other support to address these needs with the love of Christ. The
Pastor and Leader's Kit  provides social media images, videos, an eBook and other great resources to help make your church's Native American Ministries Sunday a success.
CONAM to host Navajo pastor at Innabah May 10
The Conference Committee on Native American Ministry (CONAM) will host the Rev. Calvin Hill, pastor of the Blackfeet UM Parish in Montana, at its next worship and fellowship gathering at Camp Innabah, 
May 10.   This full-blooded Navajo minister will share his remarkable life-story and family history.


His father was a minister and Navajo Code Talker who used his language to help U.S. forces win World War II in the South Pacific. But Hill was removed from his reservation and sent to a boarding school to learn America's dominant language and culture in place of his own. He shares that experience and relates to many Native Americans' struggles with Christianity. He also speaks seven languages and is learning the Blackfeet language since his appointment there in 2014.


Rev. Calvin Y. Hill has been a UM pastor since 1997. In 2010 he earned a Masters of Divinity degree from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Illinois, where he also learned Hebrew and Greek. His wife, Sheri Ann Hill, an Ojibwe, will join him at Camp Innabah when they come to speak. Learn more about the Blackfeet UM Parish (Advance Project #910092) from their Website and on Global Ministries' Website


Training for VIM Team Leaders May 2

Volunteers in Mission team leaders can get valuable training Saturday, May 2, from 10 AM to 4 PM at Simpson House in Philadelphia.  The comprehensive training session will focus on traditional VIM teams, for both national and international assignments, but will also be useful for leaders of Early Response Teams (ERTs). Registration is limited to 25 people and reservations should be made by April 25. Learn more...


Sign up now to review your pension at Annual Conference

Josie Martinez, Conference Liaison from The General Board of Pension and Health Benefits, will be on hand for 30-minute personal Pension Projection Meetings during the 2015 Annual Conference in May. If you are within five years of retirement or have questions about your retirement benefits, please schedule an appointment.  Meetings are scheduled on a first come, first served basis, and are by appointment only. Schedule an appointment now!


Petition submission begins for General Conference 2016

Petitions for consideration by the 2016 General Conference may be submitted to the Petitions Secretary from April 1 through October 13, 2015. According to church law, "Any organization, clergy member, or lay member of The United Methodist Church may petition the General Conference..." Detailed instructions are available on the General Conference website at gc2016.umc.org. Typed petitions may be submitted through the General Conference website, by postal mail, or via e-mail to petitions@umpublishing.org. All other correspondence should be directed to petitionsquestions@umpublishing.orgLearn more...


Racial-ethnic scholarships available for event
For the past four years, Global Ministries has provided racial ethnic scholarships to more than 330 clergy, lay and seminarian students across the continental United States to attend the annual School of Congregational Development in Indianapolis. The goal is to assist as many clergy, laity and/or seminarians as possible. The application is online and can be accessed 24/7. Please note that scholarship awards will be made on a "first come" basis. So apply early.


New map shows UMC in mission
Interested in discovering what missionaries are doing around the world? Take a look at the new United Methodist Mission Map. This digital map allows you to explore the diverse work of the more than 300 United Methodist missionaries who are serving as pastors, teachers, doctors, nurses, social workers, church planters, and more. The map includes stories of individuals, projects, and partners that represent the changing world of mission.  Explore the map now to learn more. 


Churches get live-streaming discount till April 30

MyUMClive.com offers live streaming services for UM churches nationally, providing them with another way to reach unchurched persons and those in their congregations who are unable to attend on Sunday mornings. Through April 30, MyUMClive.com is offering a free equipment consultation ($295 value) to any church that would like their live-streaming services. "Among our watchers are home bound people, and some of the congregation who travel to Florida in the winter," said Wayne Topper, media specialist at First UMC, Hanover, Pa. His church uses live-streaming services by myUMClive.com. "We have some family members who are in the military," explained Topper, "and our live streaming is being watched worldwide." You can sign up for live-streaming services at www.myUMClive.com. Use discount code, EQUIP, on the Contact Us form. But hurry...this offer ends April 30! 


Don't miss the historic Delaware Conference Celebration, May 30

Plans are coming together for the Delaware Annual Conference Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, May 30, from 9:30 AM to 2 PM, at historic Tindley Temple UMC in Philadelphia. We will commemorate the first all-African American Methodist annual conference that began just over 150 years ago and ended in merger 50 years ago (1864-1965). We'll have prominent guest speakers, including Bishops Gregory Palmer and Ernest Lyght, a dynamic young spoken-word artist, youth dancers, melodious musicians and choirs, special tributes and inspiring reminiscences. 


"A Century of Commitment, A Legacy of Love" is the theme for this special occasion. It all begins with worship led by a grand procession of celebrants bearing banners and singing "Marching to Zion." It ends with a reception where attendees can share food, fellowship and fond remembrances. There will be a love offering but no admission cost for the main program and worship service. But order your tickets for the reception now, for a small donation of $10, either online or by mail. Only 400 tickets are available, due to room capacity in the fellowship hall. 


Please download and print the two promotional flyers  --one in letter size (8½" x 11") and one in legal size (8½" x 14"). Display them in your church and share them with others who may be interested. This may be the last time we celebrate the old Delaware Conference with many of its former members. Please help us make this historic gathering a well-attended success. Learn more... 


Volunteers needed for General Conference

Volunteers are needed for a variety of roles during the 2016 General Conference, The United Methodist Church's top legislative assembly, which will meet in Portland, Oregon from May 10-20, 2016.  At this time, volunteers are needed to recorders, identifiers and verbatim transcribers/copy editors. for the following positions. All volunteers are responsible for their own travel and expenses. Those interested can apply now through July 1, 2015.  Learn more... 



In the story "Annual Conference will spotlight stewardship and 2016," we made an error in the number of General and Jurisdictional conference  reserve  delegates to be elected at Annual Conference in May. Rather than four laity and four clergy, we will elect three of each as reserve delegates, a total of six, not eight as stated. We apologize for the error.

Annual Conference to spotlight stewardship and 2016

T he agenda and schedule for our 2015 Annual Conference is set...well, not in stone, but close enough. The May 14-16 annual session will convene at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pa. Much of the focus will be on stewardship; but we'll also look toward 2016 in resolutions, proposals and voting for General Conference delegates. Here is an up-to-date rundown of daily highlights, including worship, speeches, reports, ordination, ministry awards, offerings, acts of repentance and of course, plenty of Holy Conferencing.  Learn more...


Youth, young adult leaders to learn about UM Seminars

Youth group and young-adult leaders of ethnic minority local churches and campus ministries are invited to attend a three-day "In Focus" familiarization event about United Methodist Seminars on National & International Affairs. The General Board of Church & Society (GBCS)  program will introduce the custom-designed seminars and explain how to organize and lead seminar groups in the nation's capital.


Dates for the two events are:  June 24-26
for pastors/directors of youth and young-adult ministries in ethnic-minority local church settings, and  July 7-9 for pastors/directors of Wesley Foundation and other campus ministry groups.  

The first 15 persons to register can do so at no onsite cost, a savings of $75. The UM Seminars program is about experiential learning and engaging with others around social issues affecting communities.  Learn more...

Deacons Day at Drew Theological School, April 11

Are you-or do you know-an exploring ministry candidate considering theological education? Someone interested in doing ministry beyond the pulpit or even outside the local church? Then ordination as a UMC Deacon may be the best career path. Drew Theological School in nearby Madison, NJ, invites exploring candidates and persons interested in the study and practice of theology to come learn about this promising career path of Deacons on Saturday, April 11. On Deacons Day, you'll learn about Drew's Master of Arts in Ministry program, the benefits and challenges of earning Deacon's orders or leading ministries in communities beyond the local church. Hear from the Drew admissions staff, the Rev. Victoria Rebeck of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and other deacons serving in diverse appointments.


Register online at http://www.drew.edu/calendar/event/deacon-day-drew/. Questions? Contact Amy Jones, Interim Director of Lifelong Learning, Drew Theological School, ajones1@drew.edu, phone: 973-408-3084.


George Dennehy returns to Jillian's Café, April 11
Phenomenal musician George Dennehy returns to Jillian's Café at Conshohocken UMC, April 11, at 7:30 PM. A gifted performer George sings and plays guitar skillfully with his feet because he has no arms. This is his second concert at Jillian's Café, which is Conshohocken UMC's celebrated fellowship hall/café, next to its sanctuary, offering great acoustics, a coffee and snack bar, and outstanding monthly performances. There are reserved and open seating prices for this performance, from $10 to $30. Learn more on the café's Facebook page, and download the flyer!


Contact Anna Hoffman at amhoffman507@gmail.com for more information or for reserved tickets. Or order by mail at CUMC, 20 W. 6th Avenue, Conshohocken, PA 19428 (ATTN: Jillian's Café). Also, a pre-concert pasta dinner will be served from 5:30 to 7 PM.  Seating is limited; so make dinner reservations in advance for donations of $10 per person or $20 per family. A nursery is also available, where the concert will be televised.  

Vocational Intern Program: Inside look at ministry careers
The Vocational Intern Programoffers an ideal way for people to explore where a serious call to ministry may lead them. Being embedded for 10 weeks in various types of ministry vocations will expose interns first-hand to many situations they may face and to inner gifts they may possess. The intern receives a $3000 stipend. Apply by the May 15 deadline. For more information, contact Pastor Matt Heckman of the sponsoring Board of Ordained Ministry at 717-273-0525 or  coastermatt@kochenderfer.org or 1109 Kochenderfer Road, Lebanon PA, 17046.

Encore mission trip for middle school students
Yardley UMC, in Bucks County, will again host a three-day, four-night summer mission trip for middle school students, July 13-17. Last year's experience was an adventure; so again they are inviting youth from other churches to join them. Reports Yardley UMC youth coordinator Denise Harris: "During the day we will work on construction projects like building a ramp, painting a home, leading a VBS and more! We also have ministry projects like organizing a food pantry and organizing a donation center. We have skilled adults leading each project. Each day the students would go to a different site to experience a full range of missions. In the evening we will have dinner, worship, games and free time."  The cost is $150, but there are scholarships available. To find out more visit their Website: yumycalling.com. Watch their video from last year. Youth groups with a mixture of high school and middle school members are welcome. Contact Denise Harris at yumcsm@gmail.com.

Youth, Young Adults to rally and retreat in May
All youth are invited to the  Eastern PA Conference Youth Rally May 3 , from  4 to 7 PM, at Westlawn UMC in Reading, Pa.  Featured will be live music by D. A. Flock, engaging speakers, fellowship and dialogue about "Reclaiming Identity."  Download the Save-the-date!  card. Sponsored by the Conference Council on Youth Ministries. Contact David Piltz for more info at dpiltz@epaumc.org or 814-883-0118.


Eastern PA Conference Young Adults will retreat overnight Friday to Saturday, May 29 - 30, at Gretna Glen Camp and Retreat Center. Their theme:  "Awake:A Time of Renewal to Eagerly Build Awareness."  Join them as they enjoy fellowship and share wisdom on the topics of Career versus Vocation, Healthy Relationships and Spiritual Centering. Coordinator for Young Adult Ministries, David Piltz, will facilitate discussions.  Contact him at dpiltz@epaumc.org or 814-883-0118. 


UMW to examine fundraising, racial justice  
United Methodist Women of the EPA Conference will gather Saturday, May 2, at Quakertown UMC (1875 Freier Road, Quakertown), from 9:30 AM to 12 noon, for their 150th Legacy Fund workshop. The fund is a permanent endowment designed to support the mission endeavors of future generations of UMW in their global response to the needs of women, children and youth. For information contact Ethel Malone at 215-247-0572 or ethelm8@verizon.net. 


In addition, UMW members from 10 Northeastern Jurisdiction conferences, including EPA, will attend the Charter for Racial Justice Seminar, May 15-17, at the Blackstone (Va.) UM Conference Center. They will to "Making Racial Justice Happen" with the aid of Bible studies, workshops, worship and expert speakers. Clergy and laity, men and women of all ages are invited to attend the national and international issues seminar so they can learn how to emulate the charter's principles. Use the attached brochure to register and learn more

Healing Communities Training Event, May 9

There are many ways groups and congregations can engage in creative prison and restorative justice ministry, not only inside prison but in churches and communities, too. With scores of inmates being released and returning as citizens every day, the need is urgent for churches to reach out to them--and also to victims--to offer help, hope and restorative healing. A valuable ministry that has seen success nationally is now coming to the EPA Conference to help churches respond to this need.


Our first Healing Communities Training Event will take place Saturday, May 9, from 9 AM to 4 PM at St. Matthews UMC of Valley Forge. "This is a great opportunity for people to learn how to offer restoration and healing to everyone impacted by the criminal justice system," said Marilyn Schneider, chairwoman of the conference Prison Ministry and Restorative Justice Committee, which will cosponsor the training with the Board of Church and Society and Healing and Wholeness Teams. Learn more... 

Churches to learn responses to domestic violence 

EPA Conference church teams chosen from each district will receive training on"Faith Community Responses to Domestic Violence" Saturday, June 6,from 8:30 AM to 5 PM, at West Lawn UMC in Reading. The training will partner local churches with the national offices of United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men, and FaithTrust Institute.  A selection committee will choose teams from two churches per district or region for training, with consideration given to achieving diversity in ethnicity, church size and other criteria. Teams will represent churches that passionately desire to become informed sources of aid to victims and perpetrators of domestic violence and to train other teams in their districts. See the event page to download the information flyer and the paper registration formor the fillable PDF application.

Education Society college grants available
The EPA Conference Education Society will offer grants to help deserving students defray the costs of higher education during the 2015-2016 school year.
The attached pages describe the opportunity and method of application. All grant applications received in the Conference Office May 1-16 will be considered. Qualified applicants will be randomly selected. Please be sure to share this information with church members who may plan to attend institutions of higher learning this coming fall. Questions? Contact Al Adey, Education Society Chairperson, at ahadey@verizon.net

Adjourned Session of Annual Conference

Save the Date! Nov. 14, at Hempfield UMC in Lancaster.An official announcement with more details will follow in April.

Get your UM News Daily Digest

Keep up with United Methodist news from around the connection with a free subscription to the online UM News Service Daily Digest. Subscribe at: http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/umns-subscription-form As the official news agency of the church, UMNS keeps you informed with breaking news coverage, features and commentaries from around the world. Their staff of professional journalists provides stories, images and other content, while also bringing you news from annual conferences, including ours, and other sources.
Transformational Leadership event coming to Hershey
On  Oct. 2-4 the UMC's Northeastern Jurisdiction Vision Table will sponsor the
Conference on Transformational Leadership, a ground-breaking learning adventure for emerging leaders at the Hershey Inn in Hershey, Pa. The theme: "See. Know. Love." Speakers include: " a spirit-filled corporate executive" who can relate hospitality-excellence to church life; a "visionary, boundary-breaking Lutheran pastor"; and leaders of a UM church that is "revolutionizing discipleship."

Along with Christian conferencing and vibrant conversations, participants will choose from two dozen courses to learn innovative strategies for transformational ministry. Registration opens in February. Save the dates now. Costs will include: $25 for the symposium and $140 for meals during the conference. Rooms are $159 a night. Check out the flyer to learn more .

Check out our Local church Events page 

We have lots of great local church events listed for you on our Web site at www.epaumc.org/events/localchurchevents. Please take time to peruse them and try to attend events of interest to you. It's part of being a connectional church. So check out our listings, and send us your special church events too, so we can add them to the page.

Local Pastor Licensing School

Interested in Pastoral Ministry as a certified and licensed Local Pastor? Come to a Licensing School sponsored by the EPA Conference Board of Ordained Ministry and held at each teaching pastor's church or the EPA Conference Center in Valley Forge, PA. Course instructors are clergy in the EPA Conference and from the Path1 UMC Initiative. The cost is $1000 for all five segments or $250 per segment.

Areas of Study:  

  • Pastoral Care, taught by the Rev. Truman Brooks on June 13, 27 and July 11, 2015 at West Chester UMC.
  • Growing Church/Multiplication July/August/Sept. 2015 taught at the EPA Conference Center. 
Please Save These Dates!   

April 12, 2015: District Conferences


April 26-28, 2015: Annual Retreat Fellowship of Associate Members and Local Pastors

(2.5 CEUs) Location: Black Rock Retreat Center. More details to be announced later. Retreat Chairperson is Rev. Mark Beideman 610-585-0575

May 14-16, 2015: EPA Annual Conference,  
Philadelphia Expo Center, Oaks PA.

May 30, 2015: Celebration of Former Delaware Conference and 1965 Merger 


July 11, 2015: Deaconess/Home Missioner Discernment Event at Lancaster Theological Seminary, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. More details to come. Contact Deaconess Darlene DiDomineck, ddidomineck@epaumc.org, for more information. Click here for more information on the Deaconess/Home Missioner Ministry


Aug. 14-16, 2015: Laity Academy


Sept. 9-12, 2015: Laity Retreat


July 10-15, 2016: EPA Conference to host the 2016 UMC Northeastern  

Jurisdictional Conference Lancaster County Convention Center and the Penn Square Marriott Hotel. Each district will serve as the Hospitality Team for one day.

Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of The United Methodist Church
980 Madison Avenue, Norristown, PA 19403