Clergy and lay members to the Eastern PA Annual Conference will get to hear church financial stewardship expert Clif Christopher when he delivers the conference's keynote address Thursday, May 14. But the popular speaker, author and stewardship consultant--with a proven track record of raising millions for capital campaigns and endowment funds--has much more than a day's worth of wisdom to share.

So he will speak twice that week at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, in Oaks, Pa., including Wednesday, May 13, from 6:30 to 8:30 PM, on the eve of Annual Conference. "An Evening with Clif Christopher" will be open to anyone at no cost, and it will be much different than Thursday's presentation, said Jack Brooks, executive director of the sponsoring Mid-Atlantic United Methodist Foundation.

“A riot is the language of the unheard,” said the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He was addressing a growing trend of urban violence that challenged his own non-violent civil rights movement in the late 1960s. He cited worsening poverty and unmet promises of freedom and justice for far too many African Americans.

“Certain conditions continue to exist in our society which must be condemned as vigorously as we condemn riots,” said King in a 1968 speech. “As long as America postpones justice, we stand in the position of having these recurrences of violence and riots over and over again. Social justice and progress are the absolute guarantors of riot prevention.”

Note: Dr. Mark and Deirdre Zimmerman receive direct missionary support from the Eastern PA Conference.

From UMCOR--April 27, 2015----The General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, through its disaster-relief arm and in conjunction with longtime local and international partners and Nepal-based Global Ministries missionaries, is responding to the devastating earthquake that rocked Nepal April 25.

Today, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), Global Ministries’ relief and development unit, approved a grant of $90,000 for international partner GlobalMedic to bring sorely needed clean water to survivors through provision of household and public water-filtration units.

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.

The selection committee will try to ensure diversity in gender, racial-ethnicity, church size and other demographics among teams consisting of up to 6 members each. Organizers want to attract participants who have genuine interest in helping churches to learn about domestic violence and to engage in collaborative, compassionate, multi-dimensional responses to a persistent but too-often ignored social and spiritual crisis.

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.

The Rev. Greg Ellis will begin serving as the new UM Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) Coordinator for the Eastern PA Conference July 1. He succeeds Ben Botti, who has served faithfully in that role for 12 years.

Ellis was commissioned a Deacon in May 2014 and is on track to be ordained in 2016. In addition to the UMVIM Coordinator role, he has served as the conference Disaster Response Coordinator since last November, succeeding Debra DePrinzio.

"We did it!" wrote Superintendent Dawn Taylor-Storm, proclaiming the Southeast District's success in raising funds to build a pediatrics medical facility in Mpasa, an impoverished community in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. "We exceeded our goal of $50,000!" In fact, the district raised a remarkable ​$58,649.88.

"What can 66 churches do when we work together?" she asked. "We can bring life and hope to God's beloved children.... The Congo-Partnership rejoices with us today."  

Pennsylvania's three United Methodist bishops are calling upon the state's legislature to pass the Pennsylvania Non-Discrimination Act (SB/HB 300) during the current session. A joint letter from Bishops Peggy Johnson of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, Jeremiah Park of the Susquehanna Conference and Thomas Bickerton of the Western Pennsylvania Conference was presented at a press conference today, April 22, at Grace United Methodist Church near the state capitol in Harrisburg.

All youth are invited to the inaugural Eastern PA Conference Youth Rally, May 3, from 4 to 7 PM, at West Lawn UMC in Reading, Pa. Onsite registration begins at 3:30; so come early. Featured will be live music by DJ Randy P (right) & Da'FLOCK (FLOCK means "For the Love Of Christ's Kingdom") and also #JesusTrending, the Hopewell UMC Youth Praise Band. Guest speakers  David Burke (left), Ann Jacob (center), both inspirational leaders, will dialogue with young participants about the rally theme "Reclaiming Identity."

Thirty-three members--18 laity and 15 clergy--have been nominated to represent the Eastern PA Conference at the UMC's 2016 General Conference and Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference. Brief profiles of each--including biographical information, employment, participation in connectional ministries and personal statements--appear on the conference Website (in the Annual Conference section under the Events tab).

Two dozen resolutions to be considered and voted on at the 2015 Annual Conference, May 14-16, have been posted on the conference Website. They range from extensive revised Safe Sanctuary policies to advocacy positions on solitary confinement in prison, racial justice, fair wages, equitable state funding of schools and anti-Semitism. Included are resolutions to modify the UMC's regard for and treatment of LGBTQ persons, and others affirming current policies and principles in the denomination's Book of Discipline

The agenda and schedule for our 2015 Annual Conference is set...well, not in stone, but close enough. The roughly 3-day annual session, from Thursday to Saturday, May 14-16, will convene at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, Pa.

Online and mail-in advance registration for all members are starting to pick up with a deadline of April 27. Clergy and Laity will gather for their separate annual sessions Thursday morning at 10 AM. The opening worship will follow at 1:15 PM, with the Rev. Susan Henry Crowe, General Secretary of the Board of Church and Society, preaching perspectives on environmental stewardship.

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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