March 2, 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

Rev. Andrea Brown (Provisional Elder) from Co-Senior Pastor at Lancaster: Grandview to Senior Pastor at Lancaster: Grandview, effective July 1, 2015

Rev. Timothy Patterson (Elder) from Strasburg: Wesley to Extension Ministry, Clinical Pastoral Education Residency Program,Lancaster General Hospital, Lancaster, PA 

 

Central District

Willis Ray Voran, Jr. (FTLP) from Evangelical and New Holland (SW) to Honey Brook (CE) (Half Time) and New Holland (SW) (Half Time).

 

Annual Conference 2015


 
It is time now to register for the 2015 Annual Conference, May 14-16. The deadline is April 27. Registrations received after that date will be considered walk-ins with no guaranteed meals. Click here for 2015 AC ONLINE REGISTRATION or  download and print this paper registration form and submit it to: Annual Conference Registrar, Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, P.O. Box 820, Valley Forge, PA, 19482. Clergy, Lay and Equalizing Delegates are encouraged to register on-line. If you mail your registration (with payment), it must be postmarked by April 27. Contact Gloria Knoeller at 800-828-9093 ext. 7002, or at gknoeller@epaumc.org with any questions regarding registration.

 

We will elect delegates at this Annual Conference to the UMC's next General Conference, May 10-20, 2016, in Portland, Ore., and to the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference in July 2016. We will use electronic voting devices for the first time.To submit delegate nominations, read the information on our Website and send your completed nomination forms in an e-mail attachment to the EPA Conference Secretary, the Rev. Lloyd Speer, at conferencesecretary@epaumc.orgNominating petitions must be received by March 10, 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 conferencesecretary@epaumc.org. 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 exhibitcoordinator@epaumc.org 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.

Advance Special applications for fundraising due March 10

The EPA Conference Missions Team is now receiving applications for ministries that want to raise funds through the Conference Advance Specials program in 2015. The deadline is March 10, and the applications must be vetted by the team and presented for approval to the 2015 Annual Conference in May. Once approved, the church and community ministries may seek funding through conference-wide appeals, which requires Advance Special status. Applications and more information can be found on our Website at www.epaumc.org/finance/2015-2016-advanced-special-projects-application . A descriptive list of 2014 Advance Special projects is also available on our Website at www.epaumc.org/ministry/advance-special-projects.

 

 

National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is March 10. Please help spread the word, urges the Rev. Deborah Tanksley-Brown, head of H.U.B. of Hope. And please share this link for those who want more information: http://www.womenshealth.gov/NWGHAAD/. Your support and assistance is appreciated.

 

 

New Home-page Highlights

Have you checked out the news stories on our home page? Read about

 

Lives are being saved and changed every day in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) thanks to the ministry of the Peter D. Weaver Congo Partnership, which includes the Eastern PA Conference. But more support is needed to expand vital mission efforts there. That is the praise report of a mission team that traveled there Feb. 10 and has been posting updates on the Partnership's Website. Learn more...

 

Pen-Del Youth Rally renders a vivid 'Masterpiece'
Like so many artistic masterpieces, there was a lot happening across the sweeping, kinetic canvas of the Peninsula-Delaware Conference's 2015 Youth Rally that occurred Jan. 9-11, in Ocean City, Md.'s convention center.  The stage, bathed in iridescent lights, pulsated with the loud, lyrical music of several, impassioned Christian rock bands. Gifted speakers also captivated the young crowd with heartfelt wit and wisdom. Learn more...


Money has a deep and profound effect on how pastors do the work Christ calls them to do, the Rev. Phil Jamieson told 62 pastors embarking on a two-year learning experience through the Financial Leadership Academy. Two dozen of the pastors were from the Eastern PA Conference, their participation funded by the Mid-Atlantic United Methodist Foundation, sponsors of the Academy. "This is a unique approach to get to change within the church," said Foundation director Jack Books. Learn more...

 

Videos honor MLK, Tindley, Zoar for Black History Month
As the U.S. marks the 50th anniversary of many landmarks in the civil rights movement, www.UMC.org featured stories about heroic people and historic events during February, Black History Month. You can still see these dynamic video stories on the denomination's Website, including a series about prominent United Methodists who shared the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s timeless dream for America, and also the stories of two historic Philadelphia UM churches, Mother African Zoar and Tindley Temple.
Learn more...

 

KYW Radio honors Thompson for Boys Book Club
Former Eastern PA Conference Lay Leader Lenora Thompson was honored last week by Philadelphia's KYW Newsradio as one its local Gamechangers, a program that celebrates Black History Month in February by recognizing local community heroes. Thompson, a member of Wharton-Wesley UMC in Philadelphia, received an award Feb. 25 and appeared the next day on KYW TV to discuss her development of the Boys Book Club.  Learn more...

 

 

 

 

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.

 

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 rossbrightwell@verizon.net.

 

REMINDERS         REMINDERS        REMINDERS

The Winter 2015 issue of NEWSpirit is here. Read it online a www.epaumc.org/news/newspirit.

Read all about our exciting plans for the 2015 Annual Conference. Enjoy colorful images and insights from the Pen-Del Conference's annual Youth Rally in Ocean City, where nearly 500 youth from our conference attended.  See the listing of key conference events through May. Delve into Bishop Peggy Johnson's inspiring tribute to the historic Delaware Conference.  And check out our coverage of the Financial Leadership Academy, new happenings at our Camp & Retreat Centers, our mission endeavors from the Congo to Carolina, and compelling insights on creating vital congregations and clergy. Relax, sit back--or rather, lean forward--and read all about us on the Web.

 

Church van for sale by Mount Hope UMC, Ashton. 
2005 Ford, 12-passenger church van, in excellent condition, kept in a garage. For about $8500. Contact Jack Mitch, Church Transportation Committee Chair, at 484-410-0465 or jackvva165@yahoo.com.

Keep up with this and other listings on our Classifieds page at epaumc.org.

A Prayer for the Cold and Homeless

God of compassion, your love for humanity was revealed in Jesus, whose earthly life began in the poverty of a stable, and ended in the pain and isolation of the cross. We hold before you those who are homeless and cold, especially in this bitter weather. Draw near and comfort them in spirit and bless those who work to provide them with shelter, food and friendship. We ask this in Jesus' name. Amen.    From www.churchofengland.org  

Thanks to The First Edition eNews, First UMC Phoenixville, Feb. 13, 2015\

DS promotes Lenten study series
The Rev. Dawn Taylor-Storm, Southeast District Superintendent, recently recorded a one-minute promotional announcement for the district's new Lenten Bible Study curriculum, "It Is Necessary." The series curriculum is available FREE to anyone who contacts Hopewell UMC, which produced the multi-media Lenten resource.  Just visit the Webpage at http://www.hopewellumc.org/lent-2015, read more about the Lenten study series and click on the Vimeo video link to view to Dawn's message. Share it with friends and members of your small group or congregation.
New site for SE District Intercultural Communication event
If you plan to attend the Southeast District Conversations on Intercultural Communication Workshop April 25, the location had been changed from St. Mark's UMC in Broomall to Elam UMC in Glen Mills.
Conference Domestic Violence training for districts set for June 6

Leadership teams from all six districts will attend the conference-wide Faith Community Response to Domestic Violence training Saturday, June 6, at West Lawn UMC. The Seattle-based Faith Trust Institute, recognized experts in this field, will come to our conference that day to conduct a free training, an opportunity provided by United Methodist Women. District teams will be expected to train local church teams in their districts to develop effective, collaborative solutions to domestic violence in their communities. More information and a training application will be available on our conference Website in the coming week. "We would love to see teams at this training that represent each of our districts," said Sharon Hachtman, Deaconess, who applied to the denomination's UMW agency for this conference training opportunity. You may contact her at 570-460-7301 or shhooma@live.com. 

New Lenten Bible Study: Transformation through the Word

Feb. 22 is the first Sunday of Lent, and Hopewell UMC in Downingtown is guiding the development of a new adult Bible Study series for what some might call our yearly season of sacrifice and self-denial. The series is titled It is Necessary: When God Says "You Must." This seven-week study will track a formulaic saying used repeatedly in the biblical writings of Luke and Acts to describe the nature of Jesus' ministry and the mission of the Christian Church.   

 

Following a weekly introduction by the Rev. Steve Morton, Hopewell's Lead Pastor, seven clergy elders from around the Southeast District offer a 10-12 minute presentation based on one of the "It is Necessary" passages in the Gospel of Luke.  The curriculum is free and will be ready for distribution the first week of FebruaryFor information or to place an order, contact Deb Boyd, Director of Lay Ministries at Hopewell UMC (boyd@hopewellumc.org  

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.

Need a ministry makeover?  

Tools for Ministry happens March 7 
All six districts will host informative, insightful Tools for Ministry training events Saturday, March 7, in six church locations. District e-newsletters are reporting locations, schedules and course topics as information becomes available. We hope to report on them conference-wide in early February. 

 

Girls on the Go at Gretna Glen 
The Annual United Methodist Women's Girls on the Go retreat will occur March 7-8 at Gretna Glen Camp & Retreat Center. This year's theme is Extreme Makeover 139: Beautiful and Biblical. Retreat leader Margaret Keefer will share her wit and wisdom through speaking, drama, song, Scripture and lots of laughter. The $55 early registration fee ends Jan. 31, but the cost only increases to $60 per person for the entire event. Download the brochure for complete information. 

Clergywomen to unite in prayer on retreat
EPA Conference clergywomen will gather for their annual retreat
Tuesday, March 10, at Gretna Glen Camp & Retreat Center to life up their hearts in prayer, witness and fellowship, with the theme "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10). ! All Eastern PA Clergy Women of every status are invited. To register, please send name, contact information, and info about dietary needs, with a check (payable to Newtown UMC Pastor's Fund) by March 1 to Rev. Dorry Newcomer, 35 Liberty Street, Newtown PA 18940. The cost is $25 for the day retreat, with an option to stay overnight Monday for an additional $40. Get more details online , or contact Dorry at 267-795-8153 (dorry.newcomer@yahoo.com) or Cyndi at 215-316-1431 (cyndi.skripak@gmail.com)

UMCOR: 75 Years of Hope, One Great Hour of Sharing

The Rev. Greg Ellis, new Conference Disaster Response Ministries Coordinator, calls us to join in celebrating the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), which  turns 75 this year What started as a relief effort to help a war ravaged China in 1940 has grown and transformed into a well known, highly respected, global humanitarian and relief organization of The United Methodist Church. UMCOR has transformed countless lives and communities with a small organization and budget accomplish How? Because in all the ways and places we help people recover and rebuild after disasters, we are UMCOR! Ellis urges us to also give to the One Great Hour of Sharing churchwide Special Sunday offering March 15 to continue undergirding UMCOR's vital ministries of restoration near and far. Learn more...  

 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 shepherd2842@comcast.net.

 

UMCOR to offer disaster response training nearby

When you leave your comfort zone to go help victims of disaster anywhere, it almost inevitably becomes a life-changing--and often life-saving--experience for both you and them. Yet, the most positive outcomes require not only a leap of faith but also the gifts of training and team coordination. Our own, esteemed
United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), will offer those invaluable gifts to current and future volunteers from across the church's Northeastern Jurisdiction (NEJ) on March 18-21 at West River Camp and Retreat Center, near Annapolis, Md. UMCOR personnel will help trainees learn and prepare together for the extraordinary mission adventure of responding to crises and disasters of all types by providing relief and recovery services while often touching the emotional and spiritual needs of survivors.

Whether you're a pastor, church member or non-member, if you've never had disaster response training or only had a basic orientation, this NEJ UM Volunteers in Mission
UMCOR Training Academy--the first one here in a decade--is ideal for you. Participation will be capped at 140 people. So get more information and register now!   By the way, the Rev. Nick Nicholas, NEJ Coordinator for UMCOR and Volunteers in Mission, has his office in the EPA Conference, located at Arch Street UMC in Philadelphia. Contact Nick at deaconnick23@gmail.com or 630-291-1380.

 

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.

News In Brief 

Saturday, March 7: Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC, will sponsor its "Doing Good Well" Conference,  from 9:30 AM to 1 PM. Vital congregations are increasingly committed to serving others through mission. "Doing Good Well," this year's Serve Your Neighbor conference, explores the fruitfulness of mission efforts and provides practical strategies to make sure your mission hits the mark. Register before Feb. 9 for early-bird discounts. $40. Details 

Register now for March 21 Faith Sharing Event
The EPA Conference will welcome Thom and Joani Schultz, co-authors of the provocative book Why Nobody Wants to Go to Church Anymore: And How 4 Acts of Love Will Make Your Church Irresistible, as keynote presenters at its 2015 conference-wide faith sharing event Saturday, March 21, 9 AM to 3:30 PM, at New Hanover UMC. Come, bring a team from your church, and learn some eye-opening research findings, compelling, real-life stories, and effective approaches to welcoming visitors and making disciples the way Jesus would. You'll be stretched to redefine the way you do church. Read our Website article, visit our online registration page, and  find full details for the event and how to register.

 

Note: Registering in advance will ensure that you receive a seat, event materials and your chosen meal selection. Those who register onsite may not be assured of getting a seat or receiving materials and may find a very limited meal selection for lunch.

 

Order your 2014 Conference Journal in print before we run out!

A limited number of 2014 EPA Conference Journals in print are still available. Order yours today for only $25. You can pay online or send a check by postal mail to EPA UMC, P.O. Box 820, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0820.  What's in the Journal? Contact information for Conference staff, Camp and Retreat Centers, Districts, and United Methodist Church boards, agencies and resources. Also clergy appointments, committee assignments and service records. Plus, all about the 2014 Annual Conference, the 2015 conference budget, conference statistics for 2013, historical highlights, and conference policies and procedures for clergy, staff and others. 

Time to nominate delegates to General Conference
Eastern PA Conference members will vote during Annual Conference, May 14-16, to send delegates to the 2016 UMC General Conference. The next gathering of this quadrennial, worldwide church lawmaking body will be May 10-20, 2016, in Portland, Oregon. The procedures governing the election of delegates are in the 2014 Conference Rules of Order.

 

Download and complete the "Nominating Petition" and send it to Lloyd Speer, Conference Secretary, to arrive by March 10.

 

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...
Be sure to complete, update your 'Find-A-Church' profile
The UMC's  Rethink Church campaign features a Website that includes a key component titled Find-A-Church. There church seekers can enter many "doors" through which they may find a congregation that matches their interests and preferences. However, if you don't update your information on Find-A-Church, seekers may not find you and discover their new church home. It's simple, welcoming online hospitality. So open the doors of your church and let potential visitors see what's going on inside. Some resources that may help you:
  1. Why Find-a-Church is Important"
  2. Updating Your Church Profile

Over 300,000 people per month visit Find-a-Church. More visitors are on the way. Is your church ready to welcome them?

 

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.

Associate Members, Local Pastors to retreat
in April 2015

The Fellowship of Associate Members and Local Pastors (FAMLP) of the Eastern Pennsylvania and Peninsula-Delaware conferences will gather April 26-28, 2015, for their annual retreat at the Black Rock Retreat Center. Associate Members, Local Pastors, Student Pastors, and Certified Lay Ministers of both conferences are welcome to attend. They will explore the theme "Church Growth and the Local Pastor," led by the Rev. Thomas Haugh, pastor of Mount Hope UMC.Participants will receive 2.5 CEUs. The registration fee, $50/person, is nonrefundable.  A deposit is due Dec. 15; the balance is due Jan. 19, 2015. Contact Cheryl Snyder, Treasurer and Registrar, at 443-553-2263 for questions. "We hope to meet you at Black Rock Retreat Center for a restful break," said the Rev. Mark Beideman, Retreat Chairperson, "so we can grow and be renewed together in Christ."

 

See the brochure and registration form at www.wilmingtondistrict.org/famlp2015retreat.pdfQuestions? Call Beideman at 610-585-0575.

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.

 

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 7, 2015: Tools for Ministry-All 6 Districts

March 10, 2015: Clergywomen Retreat, Gretna Glen Camp & Retreat Center

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