Church-going Christians know Sunday is a day of worship; but it was a day of "work-ship" for about 200 people who descended on downtown Lancaster, Pa., recently; and indeed, it was a Sunday they will likely never forget.

Labor for Lancaster was the rallying call that summoned to the heart of the city a legion of volunteers with the city at heart. They came August 31 to toil with gladness on the day before Labor Day. They picked up trash and cleaned neighborhoods, weeded and mulched withered park grounds, repaired a baseball diamond, painted, fixed beds and cleaned rooms at a transitional living center, taught healthy cooking for hospital patients, donated blood to the Red Cross, and helped children and families enjoy games, music and making crafts.

Adapted from an article by Linda Bloom (UMNS)
NEW YORK---Gabriel, who is “almost 5,” was trying to stand patiently with his father, Tim Emmett-Rardin, from Calvary UMC University City in Philadelphia, until the signal finally came for them to sweep into the throng that became the People’s Climate March in New York City, Sept. 21.  It had been a long wait where pennants held aloft on poles announced the presence of United Methodists, Lutherans, Hindus, Episcopalians and numerous other faith groups stationed there by march organizers.

Emilie UMC in Levittown, Pa., recently cashed in on a popular fundraising fad, using it to bolster the congregation 's finances and its fellowship.

The ice bucket challenge, an online viral sensation, has pumped millions of donated dollars this past summer into efforts to find a cure for ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. But Emilie's leaders found another use for it.

"The church has struggled to pay its apportionments in full the past few years, and it's a problem we've been trying to address," said the Rev. Andrew Krpata, pastor. "We truly believe this is our responsibility, and we've always been pretty successful in meeting it."

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.  

A Liberian district superintendent said two United Methodist pastors and nearly 20 church members have died of what is believed to be Ebola, and others are have been quarantined because of concerns about the fast-spreading, deadly virus. The deaths are suspected but not confirmed to be from Ebola. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization’s says more than 2,200 people in West Africa have died from the worst outbreak of the disease in history.

See more at: http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/church-members-in-liberia-afflicted-with-the-ebola-virus

Read more coverage of Ebola and the United Methodist response at www.umc.org/ebola.

Expressions of thanks were heard and received all across the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) as a group of bishops and general secretaries from the United States made its way to the eastern part of the country to discover the hopeful realities of the newest area of the UMC connection, the East Congo Episcopal Area. “Aksanti sana” in Swahili, “merci beaucoup” in French, “losaka efula,” in Otetella, and “thank you so very much,” expressed the underlying theme of the visit for the travelers and for their hosts. In this region of the DRC, still recovering from two decades of war, there is today much to be thankful for and to celebrate. A story by Christie R. House of GBGM

See more at: http://www.umcmission.org/learn-about-us/news-and-stories/2014/september/0915aksantisana#sthash.1r3lf67M.dpuf

Attendees at the "Leading from the Heart" Worship Conference, Sept. 6, at Paoli UMC, learn a new style to an old hymn, taught by Mark Miller, who co-led the conference with Dr. Tonia Bennett, both of whom teach worship at Drew University.

The Central District's "Leading from the Heart" Worship Conference, held Sept. 6 at Paoli UMC, was rich with discourse, demonstration and discovery about creativity, sensitivity and spirituality in worship. It spanned the spectrum from traditional to post-modern modes and methods of glorifying God and edifying God's people. Look for a Web site feature article on that event in the coming week.

monthly finance report

Conference Budget – Schedules A&B

Please reference Schedule A and Schedule B for a summary of the conference budget through August 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 eight months of 2014 giving from local churches to CMF was $1,937,632. This was $329,035 less than budget and $121,890 less than the amount received from August 2013. An analysis after eight months shows that the majority of churches are “on budget”. However, there are 148 churches or 35% that have paid less than 50%.   Fifty-Six (56) churches have paid zero through eight months toward CMF.  The district offices and CCFA are kept abreast of this and will follow up. 

Click here for a schedule of the Missionaries' visits.

Click here to read a recent mission report (May-August 2014) and view photos of progress and concerns of the UMC of Tanzania, dated September 6.

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.

The EPA Conference's new Safe Sanctuaries Committee wants to be sure every church knows that new changes in state law will require them to modify their church policies and practices. Churches need to be sure they have leaders or teams present at the Safe Sanctuaries district trainings, on Oct. 25, to ensure they comply with new laws.

There has been a great deal of child abuse prevention legislation working its way through the state legislature and the governor’s office this year, reports the Rev. James H. Wilkin, Safe Sanctuaries Committee chair and pastor of Holmesburg and St. Philip's UM churches in Philadelphia. Some bills have already been passed and signed into law, while others are at various stages in the process.

Most of the changes go into effect at the end of 2014.

Registration is now open for the 2015 Midwinter Retreat for Clergy (elders, deacons, local pastors) and their Spouses, to gather Jan. 13-15, 2015. Once again the retreat will convene at the Holiday Inn Oceanfront, 6600 Coastal Highway, Ocean City, Md.

Retreat planners have received requests over the years to address the needs of not only clergy but also their spouses and families. The 2015 retreat promises to do just that. "We are excited to host M. Garlinda Burton, a popular and dynamic speaker, a former journalist and denominational leader, who will inform, inspire and challenge us with insightful keynote presentations on the topic Ministering to our Id-entity as a Clergyperson and/or Clergy Spouse," said Bishop Peggy Johnson.

United Methodist Day at the Philadelphia Zoo, Aug. 16, was a great success as hundreds of conference members and guests flocked to the nation's oldest zoo amid thousands of other visitors on a temperate, sunny day. There they marveled at, learned about and maybe even conversed with captive members of the animal kingdom, including perhaps descendants of Noah's ark.

"I think this was pretty good for the first time," said United Methodist Men's president Ross, who organized this event and others like it. The 289 people who printed and brought the online "UM Coupon" saw their admission price reduced from $20 to $12, although the zoo offered no rebate to the UM Men as other local destinations have done. 

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.

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Bishop's Blog

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