June 10, 2015
NEW INFO              NEW INFO               NEW INFO

Bishop Peggy Johnson announces new clergy appointment changes, effective July 1 unless otherwise indicated.

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


Northwest District

Rev. Jeffrey Kapp, Licensed Local Pastor (part time), to Lebanon: Ebenezer, 3/4 time.
Rev. John Wallace, Local Pastor, to Pottsville: Evangelical, 1/4 time, in addition to Pottsville: First, 3/4 time.
Rev. Ed Bean, Retired Elder, to Lewistown Valley: Calvary Evangelical, 1/2 time interim.

Central District

Rev. Frank Johnston, Licensed Local Pastor (part-time), to Sanctuary UMC.
Southwest District

Rev. Sharon Barley, Local Pastor, is appointed to Neffsville: Long Memorial as a half-time interim pastor, effective August 15.

Rev. Leonard Calhoun, Elder, Leaving Neffsville: Long Memorial and Brownstown: Emmanuel. He will move with his family to Perth, Australia, effective Aug. 15, to pursue full-time ministry there.

Rev. Larry Kipp, Local Pastor (part-time), from 1/4-time to 1/2-time at Brownstown: Emmanuel, effective Aug. 15.

Church Choir Festival at the Kimmel Center Tonight!
First UMC of Germantown will join three other church choirs in performance--

up to 140 voices in all--Wednesday, June 10, at 8 PM, in a Choir Festival at The Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St., Philadelphia. They will sing works by Verdi, Franck, Mendelssohn and other composers, along with Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, First Presbyterian and Saint Paul's Episcopal of Chestnut Hill. FUMCOG's choir will also sing a song by Samuel Wesley, great-nephew of John. There will also be audience hymns with organ and brass. Tickets are $20, $30, and $40. The Kimmel Center is offering 20% off tickets for using the discount code of PRAISEUNITED. The code is active now through the show and can be used online, over the phone, or at the Kimmel Center Box Office! The code is good for up to 8 tickets per transaction. The tickets are available at the box office and by purchasing in person on the day of, there is no "online" fee.

Resources for Father's Day

The third Sunday in June, is Father's Day, a special day to honor, celebrate and remember loving dads across the U.S. UM Discipleship Ministries offers prayers, litanies, devotions and even a remembrance to help churches honor fathers. Get resources.


New Vision UMC honored as it celebrates 2nd anniversary
New Vision UMC in Philadelphia marks its second year with special worship services and events throughout June. It also celebrates being named Church of the Month in May by the Philadelphia Tribune community newspaper, which featured the church in an inspiring article with photos in its May 9 issue. Recounting its challenging birth in 2013 from the merger of two declining churches, Tioga and Mt. Carmel UMCs, the article reports that New Vision "has since experienced growth, inwardly and outwardly." It cites growth from about 30 members originally to nearly 300 now, along with "two services and dozens of ministries." The Rev. Gregory Holston, pastor, attributes much of that growth to the resurgent church's focus on dynamic worship. But New Vision also shows its commitment to outreach ministries that include feeding its neighbors, advocating for justice and engaging youth and young adults in creative ministries of self-expression. Learn more by reading New Vision United Methodist celebrates second anniversary

Editor's Note: Has your local newspaper or another media outlet recognized your church, its members or its ministries? Please let us know about it, so we can share the good news with our readers. We encourage all churches to let their local media know what they're doing in ministry with their communities. That includes members, groups or the entire congregation. Then let us know when the media shares your story so we can do likewise. Thanks! 
Correction: The June 4 NEWSpirit Digest report on the Prepare-Enrich Premarital/Marital Counseling training workshops (July 23 and Oct. 29), to be led by the Rev. Lloyd Speer, identified the site incorrectly. Rather than Fairless Hills UMC, it will be held at Christ UMC in Fairless Hills, where Speer is pastor. 


UM chaplain to address Men's Prayer Breakfast July 18 
The Eastern PA Conference UM Men will sponsor a prayer breakfast Saturday, July 18, at Tindley Temple UMC, 750 S. Broad St, Philadelphia, from 9 to 11 AM. Guest Speaker will be Lt. Col., Chaplain, Sherrol James, U.S. Air Force. (Please see the attached Bio. for Chaplain James.) James will also throw out the "first pitch" at the United Methodist Night at the Phillies game later that evening.  And on Sunday she will preach at New Hanover UMC,  2211 Swamp Pike, Gilbertsville, PA.  "Here is a great opportunity for United Methodist Men to come together for fellowship," says Ross Brightwell, UMM president, "to show our support for our military and to be inspired by one of our great United Methodist military chaplains. Reserve seats for your men's group by e-mailing Delno Moyer at: drm3@zoominternet.net, or call him at (484) 886-0950 by 13 July. Learn more...  
Discipleship resources for children & youth ministries 
features four events and one new publication to help equip vital congregations. There's the SOULfeast spiritual renewal retreat July 12-16 at Lake Junaluska, N.C.; the Launchpad training event for church leaders planting new faith communities, Oct. 1-3, at Claremont (CA) School of Theology; and the Children's Ministry Forum for children's ministry leaders in large United Methodist churches Nov. 17-19 in Little Rock, Ark. Here are two more "new ideas" featured:

YOUTH 2015 
a quadrennial, transformational convocation expected to draw over 4,000 youth and youth leaders to Orlando, Fla., June 24 -28. You can follow their activities through social media at  #y15umc and subscribe to their prayer service,  Devos 2 Go On , by texting SUB to  615-724-9047 . To learn about the event, go to:  www.Youth2015.org .

What Every Child Should Experience is  a newly updated guide for teachers and leaders of children now available from Discipleship Ministries. It outlines stages of faith development and helps with choosing and studying scriptures, selecting and writing curriculum, understanding child development, and addressing issues facing today's children as they learn and grow in their faith. Download a free copy of the guide at http://bit.ly/1F9tmS0 .

Zimmermans report on Nepal earthquake recovery

Deirdre Zimmerman serves with her husband Mark as UMC Global Ministries missionaries in Kathmandu, Nepal, along with and their sons, Zachary and Benjamin. She wrote recently to supporters in the U.S., including Eastern PA Conference churches, updating us on the recovery from "the great earthquake" that struck that country in April, followed by aftershocks and another destructive earthquake on May 12.  Please share this letter with your congregation and keep the Zimmermans, their mission and the people of Nepal in your thoughts and prayers. You can contribute to the ongoing earthquake relief and recovery effort directly, including online payments, or through your local church. Please indicate UMCOR  Advance # 982450 in the memo line on your check. You can also donate to Deirdre Zimmerman's or Dr. Mark Zimmerman's   mission work in providing nutritional and medical services to the people of Nepal.  Learn more...

New missionaries report progress in Congo Partnership

Newly commissioned Global Ministries missionaries the Rev. Jonathan and Donna Baker will leave June 29 f or the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to spend six months there. Then they will return to spend six months in the U.S. itinerating to share stories and raise funds for the Congo Partnership projects. Read Donna's latest update on the well-digging project that is yielding direly needed clean water for villages, plus the Mpasa  Medical Clinic and Nutrition Center that received generous donations from our conference's Southeast District. Also learn about all the Bakers will be doing in their DRC mission post led by area Bishop David Yemba.  Learn more...

Volunteer aides needed for General Conference
Volunteers can
apply online to serve as marshals or pages during the UMC's 2016 General Conference. The denomination's top legislative assembly will meet in Portland, Ore, May 10-20, 2016. Approximately 150 volunteers are needed to serve as marshals and pages. Preference will be given to applicants who can serve throughout the entire conference. Marshals assist visitors and special guests in their seating galleries, check credentials to admit persons to the bar of the conference and perform other duties. Pages assist delegates, secretarial staff, bishops, members of the Judicial Council and official visitors. They distribute materials and deliver printed information. Volunteers are responsible for their own travel and expenses. Those interested should submit an online application before the deadline of July 31. If you have additional questions, contact Dick Hooton at revshoot@gmail.com. To read the full announcement online visit umc.org.
Learn about concerts, etc.,
on our Local Church Events page
Check out our Local Church Events Webpage for more events happening in churches around our conference in weeks to come. For example, Hopewell UMC in Downingtown will host its first-ever "Chapel Jam" in its historic Bower Chapel Sunday June 6, at 6 PM. It will feature Willis Hickerson, Jr., and the Musicians of Praise, in addition to the Hopewell Praise Team. See our Local Church Events page or visit www.hopewellumc.org for details.

Seminar program offers `In Focus' introductory events

WASHINGTON (UMNS) - Deadlines are approaching for "In Focus" introductory events for youth groups and young-adult leaders of ethnic minority local churches and campus ministries on the United Methodist Seminars on National and International Affairs. The deadline for the June 24-26 "In Focus" is June 5; deadline for the July 7-9 "In Focus" is June 26. Learn more 

Fred Day to keynote Boehm's Chapel Heritage Sunday June 28
The Rev. Alfred T. Day, III, former pastor of St. George's UMC in Philadelphia and now General Secretary of the UMC's General Commission on Archives and History will speak at he 34 th   annual Boehm's Chapel Heritage Celebration June 28  at 4 PM. Historic Boehm's Chapel is located at 13 West Boehm Road, Willow Street, PA. Day will speak during worship after an abbreviated business meeting. He became the denomination's chief historian last July after leading 245-year-old St. George's, the oldest Methodist Church in America. Boehm's UMC will host a light meal after the service. The program is free and open to the public.  For more information e-mail boehmschapel@gmail.com  or phone 717-872-4133.

32nd Laity Academy set for August 14-16

Register now for the 32nd Laity Academy, set for August 14-16, once again at The Inn at Reading, 1040 North Park Road, Wyomissing, PA. The theme is "Planting Seeds: Rooted in God's Word." The online registration is now live, and you can get plenty of information about this annual education and fellowship event--the largest gathering for laity each year--on our Website.

"It's your opportunity to learn about your church, your God, and your place in God's Kingdom from seminary-level instructors. It's a joyful weekend of fellowship with like-minded others. A chance to become a Christ Servant Minister or to take advanced courses if you are already a CSM. A time to begin the journey toward Certified Lay Speaker or even Certified Lay Minister."


You can find access to the: Paper Registration Form and Course Selection Brochure; 2015 Academy for Laity Course Descriptions; and the 2015 Academy for Laity FAQs all on the event information page. We will highlight some of the courses to help promote the academy over the next few months. For more information contact Aubrey Bates or Anne Taylor. Hotel reservations must be made directly with the hotel: Reservations@InnAtReading.com. Mention "Lay Academy."


June is AIDS Education Month. Get educated!

June is National HIV/AIDS Awareness Month and also AIDS Education Month. The H.U.B. (Help Us Be) of Hope, a multi-faith HIV/AIDS resource ministry endorsed by the Eastern PA Conference, will co-sponsor a multi-faith event, June 23, from 5 to 7 PM, at the Lincoln University Coatesville Campus, 351  Kersey St., Coatesville. RSVP by June 19. All faith leaders are invited to join them for dinner, entertainment, fellowship and learning about HIV/AIDS. Please download and share the event flyer. "Awareness and Education are key to HIV/AIDS prevention and effective treatment," says  the Rev. Deborah Tanksley-Brown, who heads H.U.B. of Hope. "We hope to see everyone there."


Christian film Beyond the Mask coming to theaters


An exciting new Christian-based theatrical film, Beyond the Mask, will hit theaters Friday, June 5; but it's already viewable on-demand now. "Beyond the Mask is a revolutionary, new family film that brings history to life in a faith-filled adventure celebrating grace, liberty, and the true freedom that can only be found in Christ," reads the film's Website.  

Its producers hope to impact many lives through the film's message of sacrifice, forgiveness, and redemption. They also offer a  Beyond the Mask discussion guide designed to help children and youth explore their identity in Christ, Facebook memes, information for pastors to pass on   and newsletter and Website ads, graphics and other media materials at  beyondthemaskmovie.com/downloads .
And they offer a  private screening invitation to view the full length film per individual request. Script co-writer  Stephen Kendrick has produced and co-written the hit Christian films Fireproof, Courageous and Facing the Giants. Find out more on the Website


Mission u happens July 24-26. Enroll now 

Mission u 2015 will return to The Inn at Reading (1040 North Park Road, Wyomissing, PA) July 24-26. The purpose of Mission u is to help church members (lay and clergy, men, women and youth) understand and interpret the local, national and global mission of the church and the responsibility of all Christians to help fulfill that mission. It also interprets and supports the Mission Education, Christian Social Action and program planning efforts of United Methodist Women. But again, Mission u is for everyone. Download and print the  brochure and registration form .

It's Wet. It's Wild! It's Wonderful!

United Methodist Day at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom , June 27 , is just a month away. Get your tickets, invite your friends and family, and make your plans now. "This will be a great day of fellowship and fun for all," says organizer Ross Brightwell. The park opens at 10 AM and from
11 AM to 12 noon we will have our first-ever "
UM Youth and Family Gathering" at the park's Center Stage Outdoor Theatre. We'll have a serious praise party with inspiration to music by DJ Mike, All One Body and Jesus Trending (Hopewell UMC's youth praise band that performed this month at Annual Conference and at the Youth Retreat).


This is event is sponsored by United Methodist Men as a fundraiser for ministries. You don't have to be United Methodist to participate.  Just print and pass the attached  UM/Dorney Coupons out to all In your community. With the attached coupons   you can enter Dorney Park for just $33 , a $21 discount off of the regular price of $54.  You don't have to order tickets in advance.  On June 27 just take the coupon to the ticket window when you arrive at the Park and buy your discounted ticket.  And at 11 AM make sure you join us at Center Stage for our exciting "Gathering."  

Play ball at UMM Softball Tournament July 25

The United Methodist Men  will hold their 23rd annual Eastern PA Conference  Softball Tournament  Saturday, July 25 , at Mondauk Commons Park, 1451 Dillon Rd., Ambler, Pa.  This is a day for fun, fellowship and faith-sharing, along with healthy competition and even worship, all revolving around great team softball. We begin with worship on the field for all teams at 9 AM. Eight teams will play on this one-day, double-elimination tournament.  Registration is $135 plus $20 per team per game for the umpire.  Get all the details and come play ball at our annual tournament.  Women are welcome to play. This is sports ministry at its best, a strong attraction to young and middle-aged adults especially because softball is the number one participatory sport in the U.S., according to Sports Illustrated. Because this is a UM Men's tournament each participating church must have a chartered UMM Chapter. If you don't, we can fix that. Visit our UMM Web page to find out more or download and use this charter application      --  Ross Brightwell

Trio to visit Tanzania mission in July

A trio of Eastern PA Conference clergy leaders will visit our missionary friends, the Mushidis, in Tanzania, East Africa, for a week in late July to see their mission efforts up close and explore a future partnership. The Rev. Christopher Kurien, Connectional Ministries Director, the Rev. Robert Wilt, Connectional Table Chairman, and the Rev. David Davis, Conference Global Ministries Secretary, will visit and work with the Rev. Mutwale Ntambo Wa Mushidi and Kabaka Ndala Alphonsine in Dar es Salaam,Tanzania's capital city. The husband and wife missionary team are involved in evangelization and church growth, Christian education, women's activities and training, community development, health education and refugee ministries. They are supported by our  churches in conference and have visited here several times in recent years, including October 2014. Kurien invites all Eastern PA Conference churches to send financial gifts for the mission to the Conference Treasurer's office by July 1 so the team can deliver a major conference donation to the Mushidis when they arrive there. The Tanzania Provisional Conference has about 60 local churches so far and will ask the 2016 General Conference to elevate it to full Annual Conference status. 

  United Methodist Night at the Phillies, Saturday, July 18 

Come catch a great ballgame, but come early to hear the New Hanover UMC choir sing before the game and to cheer U.S. Air Force Chaplain Lt. Col. Sherrol James (a United Methodist) when she throws out the ceremonial first pitch. More info to come, but get your discounted tickets now. Questions? Contact Ross Brightwell at 215-643-1269, rossbrightwell@verizon.net. Sponsored by United Methodist Men.   Download the flyer!

Missed any past issues of NEWSpirit Digest?

You can still read or share informative, colorful back issues of our weekly e-newsletter on the Eastern PA Conference Website at


Share this link with others who might want to stay informed about our news, events, resources and concerns. And please encourage them to subscribe by e-mailing communications@epaumc.org. Thanks!

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.

Please Save These Dates!   

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.


July 24-26: Mission U 
Inn at Reading, 1040 North Park Road, Wyomissing, PA. This event is for women, men, youth and pastors.  Contact the registrar at rep164@frontiernet.net for further info. Sponsored by UMW of EPA Conference

Aug. 14-16, 2015: Laity Academy,

The Inn at Reading (PA)


Sept. 9-12, 2015: Laity Retreat

Oct. 2-4: Northeastern Jurisdiction Lay Leadership Event, Hershey, PA

Oct. 8-28: Bishop's Days on the Districts

  • Oct. 8: Southeast District

  • Oct. 13: Central District

  • Oct. 14: East District

  • Oct. 20: Northeast District

  • Oct. 22: Northwest District

  • Oct. 28: Southwest District

Nov. 14, 2015: Adjourned Session of Annual Conference, Hempfield UMC, Lancaster, PA

May 10-20, 2016: UMC General Conference, Portland, OR

June 16-18, 2016: Eastern PA Annual Conference, Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square, Lancaster, PA

July 10-16, 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