Join our mailing list

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Find us on Pinterest View our videos on YouTube Visit our blog
October 3, 2014
NEW INFO                 NEW INFO                  NEW INFO

EPA Conference Happenings this weekend:

Camp Innabah rejoices in 85 years

Camp Innabah will highlight its 85th anniversary with a free, fun-filled fall festival Saturday, Oct. 4 from 11 am to 5 pm. Everyone is invited to come and bring family, friends and neighbors. Innabah promises exciting new and traditional activities, including Scarecrow making, pumpkin painting and decorating, and a children's hay maze. Also, a campfire with s'mores, hayrides, canoeing on French Creek, a fall photo booth, live music and Brewsters Ice cream in everyone's favorite fall flavors. At 4 pm they invite everyone to assemble in Knobler Hall  for an anniversary slideshow presentation and a ceremony led by Bishop Peggy Johnson. See you there!


Tindley Temple to host We Shall Overcome!

The elegant voices of singers and speakers will fill Tindley Temple UMC's awesome sanctuary all day Saturday, Oct. 4, to honor the life, legacy and music of founding pastor, prolific hymn composer and iconic leader the Rev. Charles Albert Tindley (1851-1933). Several speakers and numerous outstanding soloists and choirs will perform, including choirs from Camphor Memorial, Wharton-Wesley and Tindley Temple UMCs. There will be food trucks be on site to serve hungry attendees. The event, scheduled for 10 am to 5 pm, is sponsored by the church's partner agency, Partners for Sacred Places, and presented by PECO. Tindley Temple UMC is at 750 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia.


Liberian doctor to speak on Ebola crisis
Dr. Chris Hena has been a long-time mission partner of Asbury UMC Allentown, serving through the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. Dr. Hena has returned to her native Liberia where she founded Healthy Women-Healthy Liberia to care for women in and around Kakata, Margibi County, Liberia. Due to the Ebola outbreak she had to close her clinic and travel from village to village educating Liberians on disease prevention. Asbury will host Dr. Hena a the church on Saturday, Oct. 4, at 2 pm and invite all to come hear her account of the Ebola crisis in Liberia and how we might help the people of that country. Asbury is at 1533 Springhouse Rd., Allentown, PA. Telephone: 610-398-2577. Website: View video about Healthy Women-Healthy Liberia at


Just Resolution concludes same-gender wedding complaint


Bishop Peggy A. Johnson announced today achievement of a Just Resolution to a complaint against the same-gender wedding ceremony conducted by clergy members of the EPA Conference Nov. 9, 2013, at Arch Street UMC. The complaint was received May 30 and processed through her office. The Just Resolution negotiated by complainants and the respondents was completed Sept. 30 and ratified by all parties today. "I am grateful for the hard work and prayerful discernment that was evidenced in this Just Resolution process," said the bishop. "I look forward to continued conversations to foster greater understanding and engagement in love and respect around this issue."  Learn more...

2 camps seek new lead staff

Two of the EPA Conference's Camp and Retreat Centers are seeking talented new hires for lead staff positions.

Camp Innabah is searching for a new Director as of Jan. 1, 2015, to succeed current director the Rev. Daniel Lebo. Application should be sent by Oct. 31 online to, or by mail to the Rev. Christopher J. Kurien, Director of Connectional Ministries, at EPA Conference P.O. Box 820, Valley Forge, PA 19482. 


Gretna Glen seeks a new Program Manager who is energetic, highly motivated and skilled in program planning and management. Applications for this full-time position will be accepted until Oct. 15 and the start date is also Jan. 1, 2015. Send resumes with references and cover letters to Apryl Miller, Director, at or Gretna Glen Camp & Retreat Center, 87 Old Mine Road, Lebanon, PA 17042. Phone:  717-273-6525. More information about both these job openings is on our

Pocono Plateau to host Seniors Adults Fall Retreat, Oct. 7-10

Pocono Plateau Camp & Retreat Center will hold its annual Senior Adult Fall Retreat (for adults age 55+) from Tuesday, Oct. 7, at 10 am to Friday, Oct. 10, at 10 am. Come join them for three days and nights of fun and fellowship. Renew old friendships and create new ones during your time at the Plateau. Activities include crafts, games, archery, a nature walk, singing, Bible studies led by Rev. Mike Murphy (Doylestown UMC), trips to the House of Candles and Ross & Ross Nursery, an evening of entertainment with Debi Irene Wahl and a campfire with smores! The cost is $169 each. Learn more and register online, or call the office at 570-676-3665.


Also, because of the many reports about the prolonged police search for alleged gunman Eric Frein in Monroe County, Pocono Plateau provides helpful information in its e-newsletter to families, friends, guests and supporters. The camp is some distance from the site where two Pa. state troopers were ambushed and one was killed and also distant from the current manhunt search area. Local police have said that events and activities at the camp should not be affected by the search. Guest safety is their top priority and staff are vigilant in staying informed of all police activity related to the search. Yet, reportedly, this is a stressful time for some, and the usually busy retreat season has been affected. Please continue to pray for the camp and its staff, the families of the attacked troopers, the local communities, police and others involved in the search. And pray for a safe and rapid conclusion to this dangerous situation.

UMCom videos spotlight St. George's

The oldest Methodist church in the U.S. in continuous use, a Philadelphia landmark, gets a close-up in two new online videos produced by UM Communications (UMCom). Historic St. George's, built before the Revolutionary War and today the site of a museum and annual conference archives, welcomed two video production crews in April and August this year.


The first crew, from the EPA Conference, came in April to video record scenes from a unique historical dramatization hosted periodically by St. George's, titled The Time Traveler. They also featured a youth tour group that came to view it and then gathered in a classroom to learn more about the racial oppression that led early black members of St. George's to leave and form their own churches.


The second crew came from UMCom in August to showcase the venerable church as one of the many significant sites every United Methodist should try to visit. The unusual result of the two visits is two separate but related and compelling short videos, both viewable on the UMC's official Web site, Learn more...

Clergy, we need your 'selfies'

We are asking all clergy to please send us a recent facial headshot photo for use in a new online photo directory. Your photos will be uploaded to your record in our conference database; so we ask that your face be clearly visible and that there are no other people in the shot. If you do not have an appropriate facial photo handy, you can take and e-mail us a "selfie" with your smart phone. Please e-mail .jpg files to


Celebrate Children's Sabbath in Oct.

The Children's Defense Fund invites churches and all faith groups to observe the annual celebration of Children's Sabbath over one of two consecutive weekends, Oct. 10-12 or Oct. 17-19.  


The Children's Sabbath, according to organizers, is "a weekend that aims to unite religious congregations of all faiths across the nation in shared concern for children and common commitment to improving their lives and working for justice on their behalf." This year's theme is "Precious in God's Sight: Answering the Call to Cherish and Protect Every Child." Several ways to celebrate and focus concern on the lives of children include child-focused worship services and Sunday school lessons, co-sponsoring weekend activities for children, exploring child advocacy issues in your community or state, or inviting local children-serving agencies or organizations to join in your celebration. Find more ideas and resources visit: and and
World Communion Sunday is October 5
You can commune with Christian churches around the globe when you celebrate the Lord's Supper on World Communion Sunday, Oct. 5. Your observance would be especially timely when our war-weary world is gripped in global turmoil and divided in chaotic conflict. As we yearn for new, capable, conscientious leaders who can guide us toward peace with justice, your church can help bring about that "future with hope" by giving generously to the World Communion Sunday offering. Your gifts provide opportunities particularly for racial-ethnic students in the U.S. and students in many other countries to attend colleges and pursue diverse careers of vital service to their churches, communities and nations. You can find more information about
this Special Sunday with offering and even donate online at


Keep your Find-a-Church info updated, informative
Please update your congregation's Find-a-Church info now or as soon as possible and add important information about your church's life and ministries. On our Web site when you roll your mouse over the "About Us" tab and you see a drop-down menu, select "Find a Church." It will take you to the Church Locator page. Click on "Find a United Methodist Church in your community.


Look at the bottom right side of the page and you will see: "UPDATE YOUR CHURCH INFORMATION. Welcome new visitors to your church by updating your Find-A-Church Information. Update Your Page Now." Follow instructions from there, or use the provided Help feature. Find-a-Church is a great search feature provided by our ministry partner, UM Communications to help potential visitors find and learn about your church.


A special week to promote mental health

Mental Illness Awareness Week is Oct. 5-11. And National Depression Screening Day is Oct. 10. In 1990, the U.S. Congress established the first week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW).  It is a time when mental health advocates across the country join with their communities to sponsor activities to provide education about mental illness.  You can do something to raise awareness about mental illness in your church or partner with community groups in your area for an event. For more information andresources visit


Adam Hamilton to speak at First UMC Lancaster

In partnership with Lancaster Theological Seminary, First UMC Lancaster will host a presentation by the Rev. Adam Hamilton on Thursday evening, Oct. 23. Hamilton is senior pastor of the 20,000-member United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas.  It is the largest United Methodist congregation in the United States, measured by weekend attendance. A popular and prolific writer, speaker and lecturer, Hamilton is a leading visionary and voice in various aspects of church leadership, evangelism and preaching. First UMC will also host a by-invitation-only reception and dinner for Hamilton, after which he will deliver a public address, answer questions and sign copies of his books. More information to come.

Arch Street UMC to focus on Native Americans Oct. 19

United Methodist churches are encouraged by the 2012 General Conference to foster understanding and support for Native American concerns, past and present, including reconciliation for our denomination's troubled history with Native people. The EPA Annual  Conferences highlighted the churchwide call for "Acts of Repentance" that recognize where we have committed, or conformed with, or not challenged historical oppression of Native Americans in the U.S.  The Rev. Suzanne Duchesne, a non-Native member of our conference's Committee on Native American Ministries (CONAM), will speak at Arch Street UMC's 8:30 and 11 a.m. worship services Oct. 19. She will address how "Acts of Repentance" call us as non-Natives to recognize that injustices and other problems still exist today, and that we can begin to remedy them together through compassionate awareness and respectful relationships. Barbara Christy and Barry Lee, leaders of the popular music group Spirit Wing, will enrich both services with their Native songs and witness. Arch Street UMC is at 55 North Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA. Phone: 215.568.6250. 

Bethany UMC to host Illuminate Youth Nov. 14-16

A huge youth conference is coming to Bethany UMC in Wescosville on the weekend of Nov. 14-16. Church students and leaders are invited to be a part of it. The Illuminate Youth Conference is an annual evangelical conference designed to challenge and mobilize students to dive deeper into their faith in Jesus Christ. This year's theme, "Chosen," which will explore the truth that God created each of us on purpose, for a purpose. Students will be challenged to use their unique gifts and presented with local and national service opportunities. 


This conference can absolutely change students' lives and give them a better understanding of their identity in Christ!   Learn more details, and watch and share a short promotional video about the event. Also consider getting a group of students together to attend the conferenceRegistration is $20 and can be done online at For more information call Adam Kern, Youth Director at Bethany UMC, 610-395-3613 or 484.951.6494.

Advent Dreams Bible Study

A brand new Bible Study for the 2014 Advent season is being developed by the pastors of Hopewell UMC. Advent Dreams is a four-week long, video-based study series exploring the four dream sequences in Matthew 1:18 to 2:23 that comprise the entirety of Jesus' infancy in Matthew's Gospel. Production should be complete by Nov. 15.  If this resource would be helpful to your Advent planning, e-mail Deb Boyd at or call Sheri Kentner at 610.269.1545. More information to come.

Mid-Atlantic Foundation to launch academy in 2015

The Mid Atlantic United Methodist Foundation's new Financial Leadership Academy (FLA)isscheduled to begin Jan. 13-15, 2015. The academy will offer seminars, facilitated peer groups and coaching to participants, who will meet together six times over two years to learn about managing the financial health and wellbeing of churches and pastors.


By special request, the Academy will be opened to participants from other annual conferences by mid-October to fill any available seats. Get more information from the Academy Brochure or from the Mid-Atlantic Foundation website ( The application is available online, or by emailing You may also contact the Rev. Karin Walker at 410-557-9726.

A chance to visit Israel, West Bank 

To inquire about a trip to visit Israel and the West Bank for eight days, and to add three days in Jordan, beginning Jan. 16, 2015, contact the Rev. Bob and Peggy Hannum, former UMC liaisons in Jerusalem, at, or call 717-299-3798. Maximum tour number: 20 persons. Clergy and lay persons welcome.

Safe Sanctuary Trainings, Oct. 25 

Locations and Times for District Safe Sanctuary Trainings, Oct. 25: 

  • Northwest District:  First UMC, Schuylkill Haven 9:00 - 12:00
  • Southwest District: Lititz UMC, 201 E Market Street, Lititz  9:30- 12:30
  • Northeast District:  Effort UMC 9-12:30
  • Central District: Cedarville UMC 9AM-12PM
  • Southeast District: Thorndale UMC, 9 AM to 12 PM
  • East District: Langhorne UMC, 9:30 am to 1 pm.

Camp & Retreat Centers Events  

And Gretna Glen will sponsor its own Autumn Leaves Senior Adults Retreat, Oct. 14; a weekend Confirmation Camp retreat for church confirmands, Oct. 10-12; and free Sunday night Church Youth Group Gatherings each month, except in December, with fun activities and worship. 

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.

Need a Stewardship prescription for your church?

Popular stewardship expert Dr. Clif Christopher, author of Not Your Parents' Offering Plate and Rich Church, Poor Church, among other books, will teach two full-day workshops in October on How to Change Stewardship in Your Church for church finance leaders and teams. He will teach at Bethany UMC, Wescosville (Northeast District), on Oct. 21  and  again at Mt. Hope UMC, Aston (Southeast District) on Oct. 22.


Many churches have benefited from this highly regarded guru of giving, growing and managing church funds. Read about lessons churches learned from Christopher during his most recent visit to our area. These workshops are sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic UM Foundation for Stewardship and Investment Management, based at the EPA Conference Center. For more info and to register, go to 

Missionaries to visit EPA Conference in October

The Rev. Mutwale Ntambo Wa Mushidi and Kabaka Ndala Alphonsine, United Methodist missionaries in Tanzania, East Africa. will itinerate in the EPA Conference for nearly three weeks in October, visiting churches, sharing their stories and meeting new friends and supporters. In Dar es Salaam, Tanzania's largest city, they 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  conference and will visit congregations and attend events here Oct. 1-19. If you want to invite them to your church, contact the Rev. David J. Davis. Conference Secretary for Global Ministries. Learn more... 

YES: Youth Call to Ministry
Retreat, Nov. 22

Invite and schedule promising young people you know now to attend the YES: Youth Call to Ministry Retreat, for students in grades 9 through 12, on Nov. 22, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, at New Life UMC, 2600 Bond Ave., Drexel Hill, Delaware County.  This event gives older teens the opportunity to ask and discover where God may be calling them to serve in the body of Christ. The day will include powerful worship, fun games and activities, an opportunity to meet people who work in many different ministries, and a time to reflect and listen for God's voice. The retreat will close with our own Bishop Peggy Johnson sharing her call to ministry.  Please share this information with your youth leaders and senior high youth. Registration information will be released soon.

Hopewell UMC's next Planting Seeds for Growth set for Nov. 15

Hopewell UMC will host its annual Planting Seeds for Ministry Growth event Saturday, Nov. 15, from 2 p.m. to 5:25 p.m., followed by a closing worship service. The  keynote speaker will be Clint Jenkins, PhD, Vice President of Research for the Barna Group in Ventura, CA.  Barna is the leading voice in America on issues and trends among young people and their interest and involvement in religion. Jenkins' presentation and workshop at Planting Seeds will address how we can make our churches increasingly "young adult-friendly."

The Planting Seeds event will also provide advanced training for Christ Servant Ministers.

2015 Evangelism Event: 'Why Nobody Wants to Go to 

Church Anymore'

March 21: Save the date.
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 evangelism event on Saturday, March 21, at New Hanover UMC.  The annual, full-day gathering follows two years of well-attended Faith Sharing events that featured the Rev. Eddie Fox, who retired recently as Director of the World Methodist Evangelism Institute. 


Thom and Joani Schultz have spent their lives serving the church and challenging the status quo. They create and publish innovative ministry resources through their 39-year-old company, Group Publishing, and oversee Group Cares, a nonprofit organization that's helped nearly 400,000 people serve others around the world. They have written and published numerous popular books for church leaders, including Why No One Learns Much of Anything in Church and How to Fix It and other volumes on creative youth and adult ministries. Why Nobody Wants to Go to Church Anymore
, was selected by the editors of Leadership Journal, a publication of Christianity Today, as one of 2013's Best Books for Church Leaders.

Learn more...

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:

- Preaching/Worship/Sacraments, taught by the Rev. Tom Haugh on Oct. 4, 25, and Nov. 8 at Mt. Hope UMC.

- Christian Education, taught by the Rev. Michael Roberts on Dec. 6 and Jan.10 and Feb.7, 2015, at Eastwick UMC in Phila.
-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!   

Oct. 1-23:  Bishop's Days on the Districts

(Meetings with Clergy & Laity)
Central District: Thur. October 9

           9:30 am - Clergy: North Wales: Sanctuary UMC

            6:30 pm - Laity: Valley Forge: St. Matthews UMC
 Northwest District:
Wed. October 15

            8:30 am - Clergy: Cleona: Immanuel UMC

           12:30 pm - Clergy: Shamokin: First UMC

             7:00 pm - Laity: Schuylkill Haven: First  

Southwest District: Tues. October 21

            8:30 am - Clergy: Lancaster: Hempfield UMC

            1:00 pm - Clergy: Willow Street: Boehm's UMC

            7:00 pm - Laity: Lancaster: Hempfield UMC
 East District: Wed. October 22

            9:00 am - Clergy: Bensalem UMC

            7:00 pm - Laity: Bensalem UMC
 Southeast District: Thu. October 23

            8:30 am - Clergy: Elam UMC  

            7:00 pm - Laity: Willistown UMC  

The fall clergy gatherings will include conversation about the meaning of covenant. Clergy are asked to read the book Finding Our Way: Love and Law in the United Methodist Church, edited by Bishop Reuben P. Job and Neil M. Alexander.  


Oct. 17-18: Training in Latino Ministries for Non-Latino Churches,
Sponsored by the EPA Conference Latino Commission.

When:    Saturday Oct 18, 2014

Where:   National Christian Conference Center 

1485 Valley Forge Rd,  Phoenixville, PA 19460

Time:      9:00 to 3 p.m.

Other: Cost is $20 per person and if you were not able to make it to the first one, no worries! We will catch you up. For more information, please call. Rev. Lydia Mu�oz. Please RSVP with your attendance confirmation: 215-687-1368 or


Oct. 21-22: Change Stewardship in Your Church, with Clif Christopher,  renowned stewardship expert and author of Not Your Parents' Offering Plate and Rich Church, Poor Church. Full-day workshops for individuals and teams from all EPA churches. Oct. 21 at Bethany UMC, Wescosville (Northeast District); and Oct. 22 at Mt. Hope UMC, Aston (Southeast District). Sponsored by the Mid-Atlantic United Methodist Foundation for Stewardship and Investment Management (based at the EPA Conference Center).

Oct. 25: Safe Sanctuaries training
for church leaders held simultaneously on each district. More information to come. Check with your district office.

NEW! Nov. 22: "YES" Call to Ministry Retreat  

This annual retreat will be held 9 am to 5 pm at New Life UMC, Drexel Hill. Pastors please start thinking about youth from your congregation who may be thinking about future ministry. Information will be announced later with details for registering, etc.

April 12, 2015   District Conferences, 3-5 pm, Locations to be determined.


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

Copyright � 2014. All Rights Reserved.