August 24, 2018 E-News
Pastor Lorraine Heckman describes for DS Steve Morton the flood damage right in front of the Port Carbon: First UMC on Wednesday, August 14.
NEW DRA TO START TUESDAY, SEPT. 3
On Tuesday, September 3, Sheri Kentner begins her new role as District Resource Assistant for the North District. Sheri is a longtime member of Hopewell UMC in Downingtown and is a Certified Lay Minister in the Eastern PA Conference. She will be working primarily from the Conference Office, one of the new administrative posts for the North District. She may be reached at 610-666-9090 ext. 1025. Let's welcome Sheri to the team!

As of August 31, 2018, Kristin Reifsnyder (West District DRA) will no longer be covering for the North District. Thank you Kristin for your support during this transition!
UPDATE FROM REV. STEVE MORTON, DS
Highlights in the DS’s upcoming schedule

  • August 25 - District picnic at Knoebel’s
  • August 26 - preaching at Bethlehem: Epworth UMC
  • August 29 - clergy interviews at Mount Pocono UMC
  • August 30 - clergy interviews at Frackville UMC
  • September 2 - worship at East Stroudsburg UMC
  • September 4-6 - Eastern PA and Pen-DE combined cabinet retreat (Malvern, PA)

Bishop Peggy Johnson will be on the District Sunday morning, August 26 attending 10 AM worship at Port Carbon UMC and the annual church-wide picnic which follows!

What have you been reading over the summer? My own Reading list has included some titles you may know:

  • The Anatomy of Peace, produced by the Arbinger Institute

  • Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory, by Tod Bolsinger

  • Billy Graham: An American Pilgrim, edited by Grant Wacker and others


Please run in your weekly worship bulletin!
Installation Weekend for the North District Superintendent
Saturday, September 8 - 6:00 pm
Prayer Service at Shamokin: St. John’s UMC
 
Sunday, September 9
2:30 pm - Neola UMC --OR--
6:30 pm - Shoemakersville: Salem UMC
Special music by the site churches, message by Pastor Morton,
Installation liturgy led by Bishop Peggy Johnson, remarks by one of our former DS’s!
BISHOP'S DAYS ON THE DISTRICT
Bishop's Johnson will be coming to our district on Monday, October 1 at 7pm at Effort UMC, 178 Merwinsburg Rd, Effort, PA 18330, and on Wednesday, October 3 at 7pm at Pottsville: First UMC, 330 West Market St., Pottsville, PA 17901, for her annual Bishop's Day on the District. Please plan on attending one of these vital meetings!
CHARGE CONFERENCE DATES FINALIZED
Dates for Charge Conferences have been secured. Click here for the completed schedule.

Please  do not  procrastinate on submitting forms this year. You will have ample time to complete them.

Charge Conference forms are NOW AVAILABLE FOR DOWNLOAD.
Clergy Compensation forms are now available as well.

In an effort maximize our time together in worship, prayer, and celebration at Charge Conferences this year, we are expecting each church to come with business items that need a vote pre-approved by their Church Council/ Ad Board/ Lead Team (or other approved governing body). We are attaching a form to this email that will need to be completed along with the forms available on the Conference website. As we shift to Charge Conferences in Connexions, this procedural change respects the business of each church by giving individual churches the proper time to discern and discuss their decisions instead of rushing through business and it brings us in line with the practice with other districts in the Conference. This means that WE WILL NOT BE DOING ANY break-out meetings at Charge Conferences unless there is a special need that has been pre-arranged with the District Office. 
NORTH DISTRICT OPEN ENROLLMENT MEETINGS
All Laity and Clergy participating in conference insurance should plan on attending the meeting.

Meeting #1:
Where: Pocono Plateau
When: Wednesday, October 10, 10am to 12pm

Meeting #2:
Where:  Allentown: Emmanuel
When:  Wednesday, October 10, 2 to 4pm

Meeting #3: TBD

If you are retired and participating in the Retiree Insurance Plan are not required to attend this meeting as it does not apply to you.

The Eastern PA Conference elected at their June Annual Conference to move to the HealthFlex plan offered through Wespath in January 2019. ControlHealthFlex Exchange is a private exchange model that maximizes participants’ flexibility to choose HealthFlex plans that best fit their needs, while helping UMC conferences/employers manage volatility in the cost of providing health benefits.

In late August, eligible members will begin to receive information from Wespth in preparation for our open enrollment meetings in September and October. It is very important to take time to register for one of the offered meetings to hear about the choices and cost sharings that are available to you in 2019 and the open enrollment process itself.

ALL eligible members need to participate and complete an open enrollment form online. Those who have waived in the past need to waive again with a new HealthFlex waiver form. Any eligible member who does not sign up for a plan, or waive coverage, will be AUTOMATICALLY enrolled in the default plan (Bronze) with no eligibility for HSA contributions.

Open Enrollment is October 31 – November 15, 2018 . At the meetings held throughout the conference, you will be introduced to the ALEX system that assists you in making the right benefit choice for you and your family. You will be able to work with ALEX up to and including the open enrollment window.

For the first time this year, we are offering interpretive services if requested for both Spanish and Korean languages. We also have some literature in Spanish and 800 numbers for interpretive services to assist with open enrollment choices. You must register and request this service if needed.

More information will be coming as we move closer to the open enrollment window.








     
INTERESTED IN BECOMING A CERTIFIED LAY MINISTER?
Register now for Orientation/Admission Sessions for the Certified Lay Ministry Class of 2019, which begins in April 2019. All prospective candidates must attend one of the Orientation/Admission sessions, which are held from September to December at locations in the four districts of the Eastern PA Conference, see dates and locations on the website    ChristServantMinistries.net    Certified Lay Minister page
and contact Judy Ehninger, CLM Program Coordinator at, 610-442-3140 or by e-mail at  judy.ehninger@gmail.com  
METHODISTS UNITED MISSION CONNEXION - LAITY ACADEMY 2018
Save the following dates: September 10, 17, 24 and October 1 from 6pm to 8:30pm
Location: Elysburg UMC, 171 West Center Street, Elysburg, PA 17824.

To better serve the local churches, Methodist United partnered with the EPC to bring back the Lay Academy in 2011. It has been successful! In fact, MU hosted an event in February, 2016 celebrating Christ Servant Ministers and we are planning another celebration! Methodists United looks forward to continuing this opportunity in 2018. Course descriptions and registration forms will be available in the very near future. Mark your calendars NOW for this year's academy!

In response to exit surveys, we have elected to hold the 2018 Academy in Elysburg (think Knoebels). There is plenty of parking around the church itself as well as an adjacent auxiliary lot and several classrooms on one level. We remain grateful for St. John's hospitality hosting the Academy for several years.

For more information, contact Patty Korbich at pbkorb@verizon.net .
UNLEARNING RACISM: CONTINUING THE CONVERSATIONS
When:  Saturday, September 15, 2018 from 9:00 am – 3:30 pm  
Where:  Conference Office, 980 Madison Avenue, Norristown, PA 19403 
Fee:  $18  
Registration deadline:  September 1, 2018
Earn 0.5 CEU’s

Workshop is open to all who have completed the Changing Racism or Healing the Wounds of Racism Workshop at any time.
THE VITAL CHURCH (FORMERLY VITAL CHURCH MERGERS AND MORE)
When:    September 15, 2018
Time:  8:30 arrival to 12:00
Where:  Christ Church Lansdale, 1020 S. Valley Forge Rd., Lansdale, PA 19446

Who Should Come:  Churches identified by Your DS or if you feel the Holy Spirit is moving you to take a serious look at your future.
Why: How can our church fulfill the Great Commission and of our mission as a United Methodist Church—make disciples for the transformation of the world? What are some radical changes we need to look at in order to do our mission.

Cost:  $10 per church—make checks payable to Eastern Pa. Conference of the UMC. You can bring the check to the workshop.

Homework:
1.          Each church should read and discus the following attachments which will be sent to you upon registering: Summary Presentation of a Redevelopment Model, Eight Quality Characteristics of a Healthy Church, Revision Congregational Development,  See, Know, Serve, and The Four Stations of the Holy Spirit.
2.      Prayer: please begin to daily pray for vision from the Holy Spirit to help you see where God is leading your church.
Registration: Please email me your desire to come and I will send you the attachments for your homework.

Questions?  Contact Gordon Hendrickson - 267-258-9507

See attachments for more information:
CLAIMING SABBATH FOR CLERGY SPOUSES RETREAT
September 29, 2018 - 9am-5pm
Lunch included
Black Rock Retreat Center
Quarryville, PA

A retreat about wholeness, more than holiness.
"Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28
"I didn't know how much I needed this until I went!" Rachelle Impink (clergy spouse)

Meet Retreat Leader, Julie Anderman:  https://youtu.be/_pONlyeeQOY

A $50 value - now only $15  if you register by Sept. 10 and ask for a partial scholarship online. Regular registration deadline Sept. 22.

Register online:

Questions: Contact  Julie@ArtosRetreats.org
NOCHE DE GALA HISPANA
La Trinidad UMC will be hosting a "Noche de Gala Hispana" Event on Saturday, September 29 from 5-8pm . This gala event will take place at Asbury United Methodist Church in Allentown. There will be authentic Latin American food, music, and entertainment! With the love of Jesus, we want to celebrate the richness and beauty of Hispanic culture, and we would love for you to join us!

The tickets cost $20 right now - it's our Early Bird Special!------- After August 31st, tickets will cost $25. FREE CHILD ENTRY with paying adult- ages 10 and under.
Children under 3 yrs old FREE.

There are two ways to purchase tickets: (1) in person at our church office  starting July 27th ; Fridays 6:00-6:30pm and Sundays 11:00-11:30am (2) through our online ticket link; there is a $2.00 online booking fee

Below is the online link for the tickets. You will find all the details for the event there. You will also find a link to the event and event information at our church website and through our Facebook page.





We encourage you to share this event!! We hope to see you there!

Please contact us if you have any questions!   610-351-4804
UPCOMING CONNECTIONAL TABLE EVENTS
October 6, 2018   8:30am-3:00pm - Leadership Conference & Retreat
Location:  Cedarville UMC, 1092 Laurelwood Rd., Pottstown PA 19465
Open to everyone - Target groups - are all those people chairing and serving on Conference commissions, committees, boards, and workteams
Objectives  : Learn about Roles, Missional Expectations how to work as a team, Prayer Strategy, Learning what support is needed?  
Presenter:  Rev. Dr. Jacqui King, Director of Leadership for Congregational Vitality
Disciples Ministries

November 10, 2018   8:30am - 3:00pm - Faith Sharing Event
Location:  Hopewell UMC, 852 Hopewell Rd, Downington, PA 19335
Open to everyone
Presenter:  Rev. Jasmine Smother, Pastor of Atlanta First UMC,
& Associate Director for Congregational Vitality, Office of Connectional Ministries, North Georgia Conference
Registration will open on September 1, 2018
ENERGIZE YOUR WORSHIP: A WORKSHOP WITH AD LIB MUSIC, SPONSORED BY THE WEST DISTRICT RESOURCE TEAM
Date:  Saturday, October 27, 8am to 12:30pm (light continental breakfast included)
Location:  Cornwall UMC, 50 Freeman Drive, Lebanon, PA (GPS address)
Target Audience:  Pastors, Choir/worship team, instrumentalists, and those who design liturgy, audio visual and artistic aspects of the service

Will include ideas for ANY church size and worship styles.

Are there ways that you would like to enhance and energize your worship services? Are you struggling to make rehearsals effective, efficient and more spiritually focused?
This interactive workshop will allow worship teams, pastors and tech support crews to develop new skills and approaches to the planning, rehearsing and leading of worship services. The experts from  adLIB Music  ( https://adlibmusic.com ) will provide training that is experiential, interactive and allows for discussion in small and large groups. At the end of the day, you will have materials and plans that you can take back and use in your home church.

There is a limited number of seats available so think about who you'd like to bring and register early so you don't miss your chance. We cannot take walk-ins at this event.
This event is open to the conference.
SAVE THE DATE
  • Installation of North District Superintendent - Saturday, September 8 - Neola UMC, 2:30pm [Directions]
  • Installation of North District Superintendent - Sunday, September 9 - Shoemakersville: Salem UMC, 6:30pm [Directions]
  • Vital Church Merger Workshop Saturday, September 15 - Christ Church, Lansdale, PA [Directions]
  • UnLearning Racism: Continuing the Conversations - Saturday, September 15- Conference Office, Norristown, PA [Directions]
  • Claiming Sabbath for Clergy Spouses - Saturday, September 29 - Black Rock Retreat Center, Quarryville, PA, 9am - 5pm [Directions]
  • Church & Society: Building Connections for Social Justice Saturday, September 29 - West Lawn UMC [Directions]
  • North District Town Hall Meeting (Bishop's Day - eastern side) - Monday, October 1 - TBD
  • North District Town Hall Meeting (Bishop's Day - western side) - Wednesday, October 3 - TBD
  • Laity Sunday Sunday, October 21 - YOUR CHURCH!
  • Energizing Your Worship Workshop with Ad Lib Music - Saturday, October 27 - Cornwall UMC, 8am - 12:30pm [Directions]
  • Domestic Violence Workshop - Saturday, November 17 - West Lawn UMC [Directions]
2019 Events
  • Tools for Ministry 2019 Saturday, March 2, 2019
  • Annual Conference 2019 - Thursday, June 13 - Saturday, June 15, 2019