May 13, 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 cler gy appointments and retirements.
(Some individuals may continue serving at their current appointments in retired status.)

Northwest District

Rev. Nelson Alleman to Lebanon: Bethany from 3/4 time to full time

Rev. Susan Wollyung (Part-time Local Pastor) from Landingville: Welcome, 1/4 time, to Ringtown: Aurand Memorial, 1/2 time

Rev. Jonathan Hall from Tobyhanna to Frackville: First

Rev. John Wallace from Barry: Salem, 1/2 time, and Gordon: Simpson, 1/2 time, to Pottsville: First, 3/4 time.

Rev. Steward Warner from Perkasie to Orwigsburg: Salem

East District

Rev. Timothy Stewart (Part-time Local Pastor) from Pottstown: Salem to Phila.: Wissinoming, 1/4-time.

Ms. Margaret Trice, Lay Supply Pastor, to Phila. Servants of Christ,1/2-time.

Follow Annual Conference via streaming, news coverage, Twitter

View our three-day 2015 Annual Conference session, May 14-16, in real-time through Live-video streaming. Also keep updated on conference highlights through special daily editions of our e-mailed newsletter NEWSpirit Digest, as well as our Website and  Facebook page. Also join us on Twitter. Use the hashtag #EPAUMC2015 to tweet your thoughts to the 2015 Eastern PA Annual Conference. Share your experiences and reactions, and don't miss a moment of what others are saying. You can post and keep up with everyone else's tweets in real-time at



Two historic Phila. churches honored again by 
Last fall the official UMC Website,, offered short online videos produced by UM Communications to provide a virtual pilgrimage to Seven Sites  "every United Methodist should see." Among them was historic St. George's UMC in Philadelphia. Many visitors suggested other favorite "Wesleyan wonders of the world," including two other historic Philadelphia churches that are progeny of St. George's. The denomination's Website features Mother African Zoar and Tindley Temple UMCs again this week through videos also produced by UMCom with the help of our Eastern PA Conference Communications office. Learn more...


These two mother-and-daughter churches are located just a few miles apart in Philadelphia. Mother Zoar’s congregation birthed five churches over time, including Tindley Temple, best known for its namesake, the iconic Rev. Charles Albert Tindley, one of the founding fathers of Gospel music. The sprawling 1920s megachurch, which once had 10,000 members, hosted many sessions of the former, all-African American Delaware Annual Conference over its 100-year history (1864-1965). Tindley Temple, located in downtown Philadelphia, will host an historic anniversary celebration of the Delaware Annual Conference on May 30, from 9 AM to 2 PM. Learn more...

Blackfeet UM Parish pastor visits Eastern PA

The Rev. Calvin Hill, Navajo, is the first Native American pastor of three Native churches in the Blackfeet United Methodist Parish in Montana, located on a 3,000-square-mile reservation at the foot of Glacier National Park, land once owned by the Blackfeet Nation. Like many tribal reservations, it is impoverished. On a visit to our region last week Hill and his wife, Sheri,spoke at churches, a school and other venues in the Lancaster area. They were invited by and stayed with Mike Shifflet, a member of Oregon UMC in Lititz, who visited the parish with a mission work team last summer and met the new pastor and his family on their first day there.

The Hills ended their busy week-long visit at Camp Innabah Sunday evening at the conference Committee on Native American Ministry (CONAM)'s quarterly worship and fellowship gathering. Rev. Hill preached there after preaching earlier at Oregon UMC. An online news publication reported on his visit to the area and his remarks to another local church. Read Earle Cornelius' story in Lancaster Online.
We will publish our own story and photos from the Hills' visit to Innabah later this week.
REPEAT: Annual Conference

No free coffee or breakfast, no Saturday dinner served

Due to the very high cost, budget constraints and stewardship considerations, there will be no free coffee or breakfast served at Annual Conference this year. Both are available for purchase at the Expo Center concession stand. Also, while the Saturday session may run as late as 9 PM (when we must vacate the facility), there will be no dinner served that evening. Lunch will be the final meal served. While we are not allowed to bring personal meals to consume inside the Expo Center, we do suggest that members bring personal snacks for nourishment in case the session runs late.


'Youth Contingent' can house and hang together at Conference

Conference Youth Ministries Coordinator David Piltz says if you have youth coming to Annual Conference they can be part of the Youth Contingent. Youth will be able to eat and fellowship together, take turns at the youth table, participate in the Friday and Saturday youth presentations, and lodge together Thursday and Friday nights---all for free!  Important! Please let David know asap how many youth will be coming from your church so he can arrange for their lodging. Contact him at or by texting/calling him at 814-883-0118. See the flyer!

'Evening with Clif Christopher' open to all

Stewardship expert Clif Christopher will dispense some of his invaluable wisdom about church finances and stewardship to anyone who comes to learn on Wednesday evening, May 13, 6:30 to 8:30 PM, at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, in Oaks, Pa.  Christopher will deliver the keynote address to registered members of the Eastern PA Annual Conference Thursday evening; but his appearance on the eve of the Conference is open and free to all, thanks to the Mid-Atlantic UM Foundation. Financial leadership roles for clergy and laity, managing capital campaigns in tough times, creating endowment funds, stimulating planned giving--these are some of the topics the popular speaker, author and successful stewardship consultant may discuss before answering audience questions. Bishop Peggy Johnson encourages churches to send teams to this pre-Annual Conference learning opportunity.

Academy of Faith and Money to train new clergy in finances 

Registration is open for the Aug. 17-20 "The Academy of Faith and Money," a four-day training for provisional and "younger" clergy members. Led by Clif Christopher's Horizons Stewardship firm and hosted in by the United Methodist Higher Education and Ministry, the event will offer training in personal and church financial management, as well as consultation on student debt and educational loans repayment. 1.8 CEUs are available.   Learn more or register

Bakers to return to Congo as new UM missionaries
The new class of UM missionaries is undergoing three weeks of Global Ministries training and will be consecrated today in a blessing service at Belmont UMC, Nashville, Tenn. Among them are Donna and Jonathan Baker, who are assigned to the
Democratic Republic of Congo, from where they recently returned after a mission tour as part of the Congo Partnership. Eastern PA Conference is a member of the mission partnership that also includes the Peninsula-Delaware, Western North Carolina and Central Congo conferences. Donna Baker will serve as a Nurse in Mission and Jonathan Baker as Central Congo Partnership Coordinator. Both will be commissioned by their conference, Peninsula-Delaware, June 5. The Eastern PA Conference will receive an offering for the Congo Partnership at Saturday's session of the Annual Conference.

Four to visit Thailand 'In Mission Together'
Four members of our conference--Adrienne and Wes Newcomer of Newtown UMC, Clare Sautter of Ardmore UMC and Linda Drake of Stroudsburg UMC--will leave next week on a mission tour of Thailand, May 19-29, led by Karen Weiss, a staff member of Global Ministries' In Mission Together unit. Their mission is to build relationships with three UM churches in Thailand: Prasiri in Bangkok, Prametta in Chiang Rai, and Chiang Mai in Chiang Mai. The tour includes a visit to a rural elementary school near Chiang Mai that has community and agricultural development programs for its students. "This is very exciting," said Weiss, a member of the Susquehanna Conference, "and I pray we can continue to develop relationships between Thailand and the EPA Conference." She participated in our conference's Celebration of Mission in March 2014 at Olivet UMC in Coatesville.

Mission Central responds to Baltimore unrest

Mission Central, 5 Pleasant View Drive Mechanicsburg, PA 17050 (Telephone: 717-766-1533), was activated for response to the recent civil unrest in Baltimore, Md. UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) Health Kits, Layette Kits, and School Kits are being sent to Baltimore to assist residents who suffered losses in the fires and destruction. You can contribute kits to replenish supplies depleted for this effort by bringing them to Berwyn UMC's HUB. You can find the ingredient list for health, school and layette kits on Mission Central's website

Seeking children's prayers for Peace with Justice Sunday

The UM General Board of Church and Society is inviting all children to submit original prayers for peace as part of the denomination's Peace with Justice Sunday observance May 31. The multi-faceted initiative, "Hate Hurts, Peace Heals," includes a reading list on peace at home and abroad for children and Sunday school classes and opportunities to gather offerings for peace and submit prayers for peace. Prayers should be presented during each local church's Peace with Justice Sunday observance. GBCS's chief executive, the Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe, who proposed the idea, will preach at our Annual Conference's opening worship service Thursday at 1 PM. Original prayers should be mailed to the General Board of Church & Society, 100 Maryland Ave., NE, Washington, D.C. 20002, or e-mailed to  Learn more and get resources for this initiative.

New Safe Sanctuaries resources
We have posted links to our Website's Safe Sanctuaries Resources page new resource documents in pdf provided by the Rev. James Wilkin, chairman of the conference Safe Sanctuaries Committee. One contains FAQs about requirements for volunteers working with children. Another contains legal definitions of child abuse. And the third contains the list of crimes and offenses that disqualify someone from being able to work with children. Resolutions for new conference policies, based on new Pennsylvania child protection laws, will be voted on at this week's Annual Conference.

Churches to welcome popular musical guests


Hopewell UMC in Downingtown will welcome back popular musician, composer and professor Mark A. Miller this Sunday, May 17, at 7 PM, to present a dedication concert on the newly rebuilt organ in the historic Donald J. Bower Chapel. Miller directed music for our 2014 Annual Conference and has led worship convocations here. He is Associate Professor of Church Music and Composer in Residence at Drew Theological School. He will be joined by the Hopewell UMC chancel choir to present some of his own choral compositions.


Covenant UMC, Springfield, will host internationally renowned choral composer and arranger Craig Courtney during the May 31 worship service at 10:30 AM. The Chancel Choir will sing ten of his anthems, interspersed with scripture readings, hymns and comments by the composer. Courtney has written over 300 anthems and is in constant demand as a choral clinician and featured composer. A reception will follow with an opportunity to meet the composer.


St. Daniels UMC, Chester, will host the Watoto Children's Choir, a family of orphans from Uganda, East Africa, during their American concert tour, on Thursday, June 18 at 7 PM. Each of the children in the choir has suffered the loss of parents through war or disease. They live in Watoto children's villages but touring exposes them to other cultures and broadens their worldview. It also gives them confidence and boldness and helps them rise up out of their own situations of sadness and despair. Don't miss this uplifting, energetic concert and the chance to support these talented children.


Come to UM Day at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom, June 27
United Methodist Day at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom, Allentown, Pa., Saturday, June 27, Park opens at 10 AM. Use the Discount Coupons to enjoy this year's United Methodist Day As a bonus we will have a "Youth and Family Gathering" at Dorney's Center Stage, open to all ages from 11 AM to 12 PM. There will be music and inspirational speakers. "This is a great way for your members to reach out to their friends and neighbors and invite them to a fun day of fellowship with your United Methodist family," says Ross Brightwell, event organizer. "The same goes for your churches' youth groups. And they don't have to be United Methodists."


Here's how it works:  After you receive your coupons distribute them to your parishioners by e-mail.  You can also download them and distribute them by hand.  Put them in the narthex or in the bulletin.  As you see, with these coupons the holders can enter the Park for $33, a $21 discount off of the regular price of $54.  The beauty of this coupon system is that there is no requirement to order tickets in advance. If it is a rainy day or something comes up you just don't go. You don't lose any money.  On June 27 your folks just take the coupon to the ticket window when you arrive at the Park to buy your ticket.  We do ask that you do not distribute the coupons in the DORNEY parking lot. On June 27 we will have a small tent set up at the Haunted Mansion House Hotel where we can meet and greet all of we great United Methodists. Remember, these coupons are only good for June 27. (Note: This is a Jarrettown UMC church fundraiser; but you don't have to be United Methodist.) If you have any questions call or email Ross Brightwell at 215/643-1269 or

New Clergy Sexual Ethics workshops coming in the fall

Two Advanced Sexual Ethics workshops will occur in the fall. "Shame-Less Lives, Grace-Full Congregations" will be a joint venture between the Board of Ordained Ministry's Pastoral Care team and the conference's iCare team. The Sexual Ethics workshop will occur Friday, Sept. 25, 9 AM to 3:30 PM, at West Lawn UMC. The Rev. Dr. Karen A. McClintock, presenter, is a psychologist, author and congregational consultant who served as a pastor for nearly two decades in the California-Nevada Annual Conference. She invites clergy to bring lay employees to the Friday workshop, which could be helpful for youth leaders, Christian education directors, and others. Register online. A second, closed workshop for only the conference ICARE team will occur Saturday, Sept. 26.


"Sexual Infidelity Among Clergy Members:  Understanding Risk Factors and Prevention from an Attachment Framework" is another Advance Sexual Ethics workshop, scheduled for Nov. 17 at West Lawn UMC. For more information and registration visit our Sexual Ethics workshops Webpage. Also, the Rev. David Woolverton will leave his role as chairperson of Pastoral Care for BOOM June 30. The Rev. Andrea Brown will succeed him and will coordinate future sexual ethics workshops.


Used book sale to return to Annual Conference


Used books will be back on sale at Annual Conference in May; so bring your backpacks and load up, fellow bibliophiles. Bring books you wish to donate. too. We also accept clergy robes, communion sets and other appropriate items that could be of use to buyers. Don't forget. Bring your checkbook so you can make other people's treasures your own. We will have general sales tables, as well as a bid table full of antique and rare treasures.  We also typically receive unique book volumes and sets to make available for best offers. Look for our 2015 edition of the  Annals of Eastern Pennsylvania , which has fascinating articles chronicling the history of United Methodism in our region. All proceeds support the work of your conference Historical Society to preserve and disseminate our rich historical legacy. If you have questions, contact Joe DiPaolo at (610) 688-5650 or

Peace with Justice Sunday is May 31
Everywhere we look these days, we see conflict. We hear cries for justice. We yearn for peace. Our United Methodist Church family is in the middle of all of it, pursuing Christ's ministry of reconciliation. The Peace with Justice Sunday churchwide offering, received on May 31, helps makes that pursuit possible in many places, near and far. That includes a peace ministry uniting Arizona border communities, UMs in Liberia learning to implement the denomination's Social Principles, and Pennsylvania students educating their community about sex trafficking at home and abroad. A simple toolkit for this special observance and offering is available to help pastors and leaders to engage their congregations in helping to bring healing to a broken world. 
Access your Pastor and Leader's Kit now!   



Pastoral Transition Workshop June 6

The Transition Workshop on June 6, from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM., is 

 for all clergy and lay leadership in churches that will experience a change in pastoral leadership this July. The workshop will take place at Holy Cross UMC, 329 N. Fifth Street, Reading, PA, and will be led by the Rev. David Woolverton. Please RSVP to your District Resource Assistant. There is no fee for this event, and carpooling is encouraged, due to limited parking.


Wanted: Scenes of Stewardship in Action

Since a picture is worth a thousand words, we want to depict our 2015 Annual Conference theme of Stewardship in action, but we need your help. We want to display images of stewardship of various types, in various settings, in churches and communities. How and where are you or your church being "good stewards of God's manifold grace"? (1 Peter 4:10) How are you caring for and sharing precious gifts of time, treasure, talent, relationships and the Earth's environment? Please show us, and let us show others, by sending us pictures and/or video to post on our Eastern PA Conference Website, Facebook, Pinterest and YouTube pages. We may even publish your images in the NEWSpirit newspaper.  Learn more...


Interest in Domestic Violence response training grows

Interest in the  Faith-based Response to Domestic Violence  training event , scheduled for  June 6 , from 8 AM to 5 PM at West Lawn UMC in Reading, is growing as districts prepare to submit participant teams for consideration. The conference-wide training opportunity represents a partnership between the Eastern PA Conference and the national offices of United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men and FaithTrust Institute, which will facilitate the training. "There is much we can learn, and this will be a huge opportunity for us to support one another in this ministry of justice," said
Sharon Hachtman , coordinator of the training event.  
Learn more , and read Hachtman's related article about domestic violence's damaging impact on women and families, and the urgent responsibility of churches and faith groups to respond.



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

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


May 29-30, 2015:  "Awake" EPA Conference Young Adult Retreat, Gretna Glen  


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,, for more information. Click here for more information on the Deaconess/Home Missioner Ministry.  


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 for further info. Sponsored by UMW of EPA Conference

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