Photo: The Bethany UMC Wescosville team in yellow and the Jarrettown UMC team in red pose together with the tournament trophy and the Champions plaque showing first-place winners from past years. 

Jarrettown UMC, of Dresher, PA, hosted the 21st Annual EPA Conference United Methodist Men’s Softball Tournament at Mondauk Commons Park on a beautiful Saturday morning, July 19.  Eight church teams competed, and Bethany UMC of Wescosville won the tournament championship. 

Jarrettown UMC took second place. Other churches participating playing were Grove UMC, Hopewell UMC, Kenton UMC of the Pen-Del Conf., New Hanover UMC, El Redentor & St. Paul’s UMC, and Calvary Assembly of God.

David Koch thanks the Laity Session at Annual Conference for electing him Conference Lay Leader on May 15, as George Hollich, who chairs the Board of Laity Nominations Committee, looks on.  --Sabrina Daluisio photo

David L. Koch (pronounced "Koke"), of Exton, PA, is the new EPA Conference Lay Leader as of July 1, elected at the 2014 Annual Conference in May. He succeeds Dr. Mary White, who served in that role for the past eight years.

The Rev. Greg Ellis awaits an answer during legislative debate at Annual Conference in May. Of 25 resolutions before the body six were referred to the Cabinet and will be discussed during clergy dialogues on covenant and sexuality with Bishop Peggy Johnson in October. To aid in the dialogues, to occur on all six districts, clergy at annual conference received and were asked to read the new book Finding Our Way: Love and Law in the United Methodist Church. The referred resolutions may also be addressed in laity meetings with the bishop during her October Days on the Districts.    --Sabrina Daluisio photo

'May we not be of one heart, though we are not of one opinion?'   --John Wesley

During an Annual Conference  lunchtime dialogue in May, the Rev. Dave Lewis of New Hanover UMC (center) shares church-growth insights, along with the Rev. Elena Ortiz (left) of New Birth UMC Lebanon and the Rev. Blake Deibler (right) of Wesley UMC, Quarryville, as the Rev. Gordon Hendrickson, EPA Conference Congregational Development Coordinator, listens.
John Coleman photo

Church growth guru the Rev. Michael Slaughter of Ginghamsburg Church was the headliner at the 2014 EPA Annual Conference. But there was also some homegrown clergy talent there dispensing empirical church-growth wisdom at a lunchtime gathering.

A panel of three pastors of growing EPA churches shared their learnings, including successes, strategies and  challenges, with about 25 pastors, including a few just appointed to their first charges.

monthly finance report

 
Conference Budget – Schedules A & B
 
Please reference Schedule A and Schedule B for a summary of the conference budget through June 2014.

As a result of the faithful giving of EPA local churches to the connectional ministries fund or CMF we ended 2013 with a very strong result of $3,279,179. While this was short of the budget goal of $3.4 million by $120,821 or 3%, it was a reasonable variance. Given the ongoing struggles of many churches we are pleased and grateful for the commitment made by many to support this vital ministry.

Through six months of 2014 giving from local churches to CMF was $1,473,941. This was $226,059 less than budget and $74,323 less than the amount received from June 2013. An analysis after six months shows that 221 churches, 53% are on budget. However, there are 131 churches or 31% that are more than three months behind. Sixty-Five(65) churches have paid zero through six months toward CMF. The district offices and CCFA are kept abreast of this and will follow up.

Bishop Peggy A. Johnson announces the following 2014 appointments and retirements, effective July 1, 2014, unless otherwise noted:

The recent journey of about 25 EPA Conference members to the site of the historic Carlisle Indian Industrial School took them a distance of only about a hundred miles. But their daylong tour also took them back more than a hundred years into the difficult history of that institution.

Carlisle was the first of 26 off-reservation industrial schools created by the U.S. government to acculturate Native American children and youth by teaching them acceptable customs of mainstream American society in place of their own.  It opened in 1879 with 82 boys and girls. By the time it closed in 1918, more than 10,600 students, ages 6-25, had passed through its gates, their lives and even their families back home forever changed, and for many, changed for the worse.

The visitors who boarded a yellow school bus to journey there on June 24 were treated to the adventure by the EPA Conference Committee on Native American Ministries (CoNAM).

As college and university students return to their campuses, Sunday, August 24, may be an ideal time to celebrate the vital importance of campus ministry to them and to congregations that are, or can be, involved in their lives and their formative faith journeys. The EPA Annual Conference and Cabinet heard recently from the Rev. Christopher Kurien, Director of Connectional Ministries, about the growing interest in resurrecting the Conference Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry to support and play a greater role in ministries among students at higher education institutions in our area.  

Churches are asked to receive a second-mile offering on Campus Ministry Sunday, August 24, to support the development of campus ministries conference-wide.

Whether your church's community is urban, suburban or rural, you can get valuable demographic info about it for free from MissionInSite—free because your conference's Congregational Development Office pays for it, thanks to your apportionment giving.  

We will sponsor two MissionInSite workshops, led by Peter Wernett (shown here) to show you how to acquire and use the info. A Webinar is scheduled for Aug. 20 from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m.  Also, West Chester UMC will host an onsite workshop on Sept. 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m..  

The Aug. 20 Webinar is limited to 20 online participating locations. The Rev. Gordon Hendrickson, Congregational Development Coordinator, will need the names and e-mail addresses for all who plan to participate by Monday Aug. 18.

 

'It takes a village' 

Ronald G. Neal Jr. (seated left) and Brandon Mangum (seated right) received scholarships from BMCR and BUMP, along with words of wisdom from the Rev. Anita Powell and Bishop Peggy Johnson (seated between them). Also there to support them were their families, pastors and presidents of the two sponsoring organizations: Lawrence Lee (far right) of BMCR and the Rev. Herbert Coe (center) of BUMP. Standing to Coe's left is new EPA Conference Lay Leader David Koch.   John Coleman photo

Black Methodists for Church Renewal and Black United Methodist Preachers together gave two promising young men much needed help in paying for college recently by awarding them each $1,000 scholarships. Brandon Mangum of Janes Memorial UMC, Philadelphia, and Ronald G. Neal Jr. of Eastwick UMC received their awards at a June 28 luncheon in the company of their family members, pastors and leaders of the two organizations. 

Two young women from the EPA Conference will journey to the Philippines, enduring 22 hours in flight, to gather with nearly 400 other United Methodists from 34 countries at the Global Young People’s Convocation and Legislative Assembly July 16-20. They will worship, pray and serve in ministry together, as they also explore and help create the future of their church.

Lauren Lomas (left), 20, of Lima UMC, and Ashley Thompson, 17, of Wharton-Wesley UMC, will join other youth, young adults and adults who work with youth at the Center for Community Transformation, a retreat center in Tagaytay, Philippines.

Lomas is a junior at Penn State University's Brandywine Campus. Thompson is a senior at Upper Darby High School. Both are longtime active members of their churches, and the two just met weeks ago for the first time.

 

Moving Forward in Faith, Hope, and Knowledge

 

We are moving forward in faith, hope and knowledge at the thirty-first Academy for Laity, sponsored by the Board of Lay Ministry of the EPA Conference

 

Click here to REGISTER!

 

This year’s Academy features twelve courses taught by some of the best instructors in our denomination. The Basic Course is the first step to becoming a Christ Servant Minister or a Certified Lay Minister. All other courses qualify attendees for advanced credit as a Christ Servant Minister, but are open to anyone wishing to extend one’s knowledge of our Lord and His teaching. These are full-length courses that are ten hours long, so there is only time to take one course.

The Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of The United Methodist Church

Welcome!  The Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church is made up of about 465 churches, which serve nearly 125,000 members in 16 counties.   Led by Bishop Peggy A. Johnson, the Conference's mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Today, this mission is the focus of the conference’s 465 churches, congregations which speak to diverse and multi-generational populations in the many cities, towns, and rural areas throughout our area.  The Eastern Pennsylvania Conference and its sister Peninsula/Delaware Conference together compose the Philadelphia Area, with nearly 1,000 churches served by Bishop Peggy Johnson.

If you are a clergy person or member of one of our 465 churches, we invite you to explore this website for resources and information to support you in your effort to make disciples of Jesus Christ.

If you are looking for a welcoming faith family, we invite you to visit a United Methodist Church in your community: www.find-a-church.org.

Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Office: 980 Madison Ave., Norristown, PA 19403; telephone 610-666-9090; fax 610-666-9093.

News

Read the latest news of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.

Photos

View photo galleries of Conference events and news stories.

Videos

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Bishop's Blog

Bishop's Blog

Read thoughts on faith and life from Bishop Peggy Johnson.