March 11, 2015
NEW INFO              NEW INFO               NEW INFO

Bishop Peggy Johnson announces new 

clergy appointment changes, effective July 1 
See complete lists of new clergy appointments and retirements.
(Some individuals may continue serving at their current appointments in retired status.)


SW District

Mr. Jeff Miller (Lay Supply Pastor) is assigned to Highville UMC, 25% time.  

Rev. Joseph DiPaolo (Elder) from Wayne UMC to Lancaster: First UMC


East District

The Rev. Tracy A. Duncan (Elder) from Trevose: St. Matthew to 50% Cornwells Heights: Cornwells UMC and 50% Trevose: St. Matthew UMC

The Rev. Coryn E. Pe�a (Elder) from Willistown UMC to 50% Phila.: FGM: Frankford Memorial UMC and 50% Phila.: Holmesburg UMC. 

The Rev. Robert G. Coombe (Elder) from Yardley UMC to Phila.: Germantown, First UMC, effective July 1, 2015.

The Rev. Lorelei K. Toombs (Elder) from Phila.: Germantown, First UMC to Willow Grove UMC.

The Rev. Cynthia E. Skripak (Elder) from Willow Grove UMC to Yardley UMC. 


Eastern PA Conference Events 

Register by Friday for Faith Sharing Event

The 2015 Faith Sharing Training Event is Saturday, March 21. But the pre-registration deadline is this Friday, March 13th. Register now, if you haven't yet, so you'll be sure to have a delicious lunch, the presenters' course book and other materials waiting for you there. Discover the four major reasons people are leaving church...maybe even your church. And learn how to win them back. Come learn Why Nobody Wants to Go to Church Anymore. And also learn "Four Acts of Love and How to Implement them to Grow your Congregation."

Registration and gathering is at 8:30 AM. The workshop is from 9:00 AM to 3:30 PM.  L ocation:  New Hanover UMC , 2211 Swamp Pike, Gilbertsville, PA 19525.  Cost: $10 per person  including all materials & meals.  Full payment due at registration.  0.5 CEU's will be issued to participants.  Discounted materials will be available for purchase.  You can register here: 


Bethany UMC to dedicate new campus Sunday

Bethany UMC in Wescosville (Allentown) will dedicate its new $8 million Macungie Campus church facility Sunday, March 15, at 3 PM, at 3801 Brookside Road, Macungie, Pa. The Rev. Jim Brashear, senior pastor, will welcome members and guestsSunday services there are at 8 AM (Blended), 9:15 AM (Contemporary) and 11 AM (Contemporary). Bethany also has a Saturday 5 PM contemporary service at its spacious new edifice. The four-campus church offers worship and ministries at its Catasauqua and Emmanuel (Allentown) campuses and hosts a Sunday evening (5 PM) coffeehouse at its original Wescosville Campus.


The congregation first worshipped in its new home Feb. 28 and March 1, "after ten years of praying, planning and preparing," wrote Brashear in the church newsletter. Their first Sunday there drew over 2,000 people despite plenty of snow and ice. Bethany, formerly an Evangelical United Brethren church, has the largest United Methodist congregation in the Northeastern Jurisdiction. 

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 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 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 


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... 

Celebrate the Delaware Annual Conference, May 30

"A Century of Commitment, A Legacy of Love." That reverent theme will mark a joyous celebration of the former Delaware Annual Conference, the segregated but beloved conference of black Methodists in our region from 1864 until it merged in 1965. Philadelphia-born Bishop Gregory Palmer, Bishop Ernest Lyght of New Jersey, the Rev. David Briddell and the Rev. Herbert Palmer, all sons of the old Delaware Conference, will remember highlights, honor heroes and challenge attendees to continue building the "beloved community" and making disciples of Jesus Christ. Bishop Peggy Johnson will greet hundreds of members and guests for an uplifting morning of music, dance, spoken word, and inspiring testimonies, followed by a fellowship reception.


The  Saturday, May 30, event at Tindley Temple UMC (750 S. Broad St, Philadelphia) begins with a gathering at 9 AM, the celebration at 9:45 AM, and the reception from 12:00 to 2 PM. Visit our Website for  more information and promotional flyersOrder tickets for the reception for only a $10 donation. Or mail checks or money orders to: Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Treasurer, P.O. Box 820, Valley Forge, PA 19482 (Memo: Delaware Conference Reception).  A limited number of tickets are available. Contacts: John Coleman at or 484-762-8227; and Dr. Mary White at  


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


Great Day of Signing

Bishop Peggy Johnson preached and celebrated "A Great Day of Signing: Worshiping God with Sign Language!" March 1 with pastors and members of Christ the King Lutheran Church of the Deaf (ELCA) in West Chester and host church Christ UMC in Lansdale. Despite the abundance of winter's snow, the three churches no doubt felt their hearts "strangely warmed" as they celebrated Holy Communion together. The Rev Beth Lockard, Deaf ELCA pastor of Christ the King, presided over the table. "There was wonderful special music signed by two choirs, led by Deb Knerr (wife of Christ UMC's pastor, the Rev. Gary Knerr) and several other professional American Sign Language interpreters," reported Bishop Johnson. "It was a glorious day!" 


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.

Other Events

Black Preaching forum features dynamic young pastor

Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia will host "Preaching with Power: a Forum on Black Preaching and Theology," March 15-19The Rev. Olujimi (Olu) Brown, a popular speaker and the innovative founding pastor of the Impact Church in Metro Atlanta, Ga., will preach for United Methodist/Lutheran Night Thursday, March 19, at 7 PM. The service will be at Reformation Lutheran Church, 1215 E. Vernon Road, Philadelphia. Impact, a vibrant new church, has grown from 25 to more than 1,800 attendees each Sunday, many of them young people, making it the fastest growing UM church in the nation. On Friday, March 20, there will be a breakfast meeting with Rev. Brown at 8:30 AM at Lutheran Theological Seminary, at a cost of $15. Persons interested in attending should contact the Rev. Lillian Smith (St. Matthew's UMC of Valley Forge) at 610-688-7055 or  Learn more about Brown and about the weeklong activities and other speakers. 


Give to One Great Hour of Sharing this Sunday

Our church-wide offering on this Special Sunday, March 15, supports the administrative costs and relief work of the United Methodist Committee on Relief, the denomination's humanitarian response organization. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the agency now known as UMCOR. Resources for the day.


Simpson House offers Senior Living Options seminar

Simpson House in Philadelphia, celebrating 150 years of service as the oldest United Methodist-related  retirement community, will host an important seminar, Navigating Senior Living Options, March 18, starting at 10 AM (or at 9:30 AM for continental breakfast). Medical experts will discuss many ways for adults of all ages to stay active as they grow older and to access needed health care options. Download the Invitation Letter  Download the event announcement.

Brain scientist explores reducing conflict

The Center for Clergy and Congregational Health and Wholeness at Drew Theological School will host the Rev. Dr. Wesley Wildman as keynoter on Clergy Health Day, April 9, from 8:30 AM to 3 PM. Discussing his findings in brain research, he will explain not only the thinking differences between liberals and conservatives, but why the two need each other. "Conflict and the Brain" is based on his work in neuroscience that offers ideas about reducing emotional responses that escalate conflict. Using principles of "Empathy through Understanding," Dr. Wildman examines how the workings of people's brains relate to their strongly held views and how they can become better listeners and more compassionate responders. His presentation will be live-streamed. Registration is $10, and CEU credit is available for an additional $17.50. Learn more about registration, watching the live stream or viewing an archived copy of the presentation.

Certified Lay Minister graduation
You are cordially invited to a service to honor new Certified Lay Ministers graduating in the EPA Conference's Spring 2015 Class on Sunday, June 7, 3 PM, at Royersford UMC (380 Church Street, Royersford). Bishop Peggy Johnson will preach. 

EPA Conference Job OpeningsConference 


Treasurer/Director of Administrative Ministries
Serves as the principal financial advisor to the Bishop and Council of Finance and Administration. Manages all fiscal and administrative affairs relating to the Conference operating budget, trusts, memorials, legacies, investments, insurance, and property. Monitors the use of all funds which flow through the Conference Office.  Provides financial support to all Boards, Agencies and Committees related to the Conference.  Supervises the Conference staff.  Is a member of the Bishop's extended cabinet.  Additional information is available on the Conference website.


Food Service Manager/Head Cook: Camp Innabah  

Provides food service to retreat guests from September through May and to the summer campers June through August. This position requires menu planning, food ordering, cooking and overseeing staff. The hourly position pays $13 to $15 per hour, based on experience, and averages 20 to 40 hours a week based on the season. Weekends are required based on guest bookings. Applications can be found at   ( use the summer staff application) or by calling 1-610-469-6111 . Please send your application/resume to 712 Pughtown Rd Spring City, PA 19475.



Annual Conference 2015

The deadline for Annual Conference resolutions to be received is also March 10. Follow the specific guidelines provided on our Website to submit your resolution successfully to the Conference Secretary, the Rev. Lloyd Speer, by e-mail at If you have questions call him at (O) (215) 943-2343.


Exhibit tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Contact Lori Henning at (610) 544-1400 or to reserve tables. The Conference Center Office will not take reservations for tables.


You can find other information on the Annual Conference page of our Website about reserving exhibit tables and helping us to facilitate media requirements for those making presentations to the conference.


Come for UM Night at the L.V. Phantoms game, April 14

We have a new United Methodist Night and a new sports arena where we can gather from across the conference and fellowship as faithful fans. It's the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, a professional ice hockey team in the American Hockey League (AHL). The game is Tuesday, April 14, 7 PM, at the PPL Center in Allentown, Pa.  They will play their big rivals, the Hershey Bears.So it should be an exciting, competitive game. "Our UMC tickets are only $20, and parking is only $6 in surrounding garages," says Ross Brightwell, Conference United Methodist Men's president. Download the flyer to order tickets and share it with others.


Deadline for purchasing discount tickets for UM Night is March 20.  


This is the Phantoms' inaugural season in Allentown, after moving here from Glens Falls, NY. But as the Philadelphia Phantoms, they have been the top minor-league affiliate of the NHL's popular Philadelphia Flyers since their 1996-97 season. The new PPL Center arena covers a full block in downtown Allentown, between 7th and 8th Streets, and Hamilton Blvd. and Linden St.


The EPA Conference United Methodist Men have added Lehigh Valley Pro Hockey to our extraordinary annual menu of United Methodist special gatherings. Many will come together again this summer for a Phillies baseball game (July 18), a fun-filled day at Dorney Park (June 27) and another visit to the Philadelphia Zoo (August 15). So save these UM dates, spread the news, invite others, get your promotional-discount tickets, and join your EPA Conference family for fun and fellowship. Questions? Contact Ross Brightwell at 215/643-1269 or

Sexual Ethics workshops coming soon

Basic and Advanced Sexual Ethics workshops will be held throughout 2015, providing helpful, approved, mandatory training to clergy. See the schedule of workshops under Conference Events on the Website, and register online. Two Advanced Level Workshops have been scheduled so far: "Leading Between The Lines" on March 31; and "A Preacher and a Shrink Talk about Sexual Ethics" on April 24. A third, "Sexual Infidelity Among Clergy Members:  Understanding Risk Factors and Prevention from an Attachment Framework,"will take place on a fall date to be determined. Additional workshops may be added, said the Rev. David Woolverton, coordinator.

 Curing conflict in the church


The EPA Conference will sponsor on March 24 a much-needed workshop titled "When There's Conflict In the Church:  Knowing What To Do When It Comes Your Way." Up to 60 participants will gather from 8:30 AM to 3 PM at Hopewell UMC, 852 Hopewell Road, Downingtown, PA 19335 to explore what is widely acknowledged as a normal but troublesome part of church life: conflict. How we handle it determines how healthy conflict can be for a church's growth in disciple-making. The Rev. David Woolverton, of St. Mark's UMC in Mount Joy, will equip attendees with tools and tactics to assess and intervene in conflict situations and to disengage from "conflict paralysis."The workshop fee is $35.Learn more and then Register on-line. For questions, contact David Woolverton at


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: 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.

Tri-Conference Disability Ministry Conference, March 28, 2015

Disability Ministry Committees in the Eastern PA, Peninsula-Delaware and Greater New Jersey conferences in co-sponsoring the 5th Annual Tri-Conference Disability Ministry Conference with the theme "Yes WE Can." The full-day conference will happen March 28, 2015, 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM, at Cornerstown UMC, 3135 Summit Bridge Rd, Bear, DE. Keynote speaker, Travis Freeman, author of "Lights Out," says, "Disability does not equal inability. Disabled people can do anything they want to do in life." When illness completely stole Freeman's sight at 12 years old-a year after he accepted Christ in his life--his passion and desire to play football seemed to fall dead. However, the unshakable kid found a way to overcome and become a champion football player. He earned a degree in Business Administration and Master of Divinity and Ph.D seminary degrees. Learn more...
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 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.


Five Major Areas of Study:

  • Church Administration: Leading a Congregation,taught by the Rev. Larry Leister on March 14, 28 and April 18, 2015, at Lititz UMC.
  • 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!   

March 21, 2015: Faith Sharing Event with Thom & Joani Schultz

March 28, 2015: 5th Annual Tri-Conference Disability Ministry Conference

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


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.


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