Around the Indian Ocean – in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, India, Myanmar, Malaysia, the Maldives and even far-away Somalia – the Dec. 26, 2004, earthquake and tsunami left more than 200,000 dead or missing, caused massive property damage and homelessness and even changed the landscape. Over the last decade, The United Methodist Church has  responded by sponsoring major rebuilding, community development and livelihood projects in Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Grants for tsunami recovery also were distributed to partners in other areas. The work was funded by what was then a record-breaking $41.5 million donated to the United Methodist Committee on Relief.  Learn more... 

After traveling millions of miles to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ on every inhabited continent in the world, the Rev. H. Eddie Fox has retired after 25 years as head of World Methodist Evangelism, a program of the World Methodist Council. “Eddie Fox has preached to more people and taught faith sharing to more people than anyone on earth,”  said one United Methodist bishop,  Indeed, the widely esteemed evangelist visited the Eastern PA Conference twice to teach faith sharing at Bethany UMC in Allentown/Wescosville in March of 2014 and 2013. Communications will post video highlights from his compelling 2014 presentation in January 2015. Meanwhile, read about Fox's life and ministry.

 

For many United Methodists, evangelism is an uneasy word. It conjures images of someone on a busy street corner handing out Bible tracts or perhaps a missionary on the doorstep interrupting an already-hectic Saturday morning. 

Neither situation is necessarily Wesleyan, explained the Rev. Heather Heinzman Lear, the director of evangelism ministries for the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. Lear has made it her mission to give United Methodists a new vantage point on evangelism — as an essential part of Christian discipleship.

“Jesus came to teach us how to live and to announce the Kingdom of God is at hand,” she said. And to truly share and live out that good news requires developing relationships with people. Read UMNS reporter Heather Hahn's story.

MONROVIA, Liberia (UMNS)---A $15,000 Ebola response grant from the United Methodist Committee on Relief has made Christmas a lot brighter for 350 families in the Topoe Village, outside of Monrovia, with the distribution of much needed food.

“This is going to make my Christmas better,” said Soko Kanneh, one of the recipients of a month’s ration of rice, fish, beans, salt and vegetable oil. Mammie Myers, a pregnant woman, walked away with a 25-kilogram (55-pound) bag of rice on her head. “It came on time, thanks to the church,” she said of the food. Read the UM News Service story by Julu Swen.

U.S. President Barack Obama and United Methodist Bishop Minerva Carcaño have cited the Christmas story as the best example of how to welcome the undocumented “strangers among us.” 

Both were in Nashville Dec. 9. Obama was at Casa Azafrán, a community center which offers a wide variety of services for Nashville’s diverse immigrant population. He came there to talk about the executive action he issued in November. The center houses Tennessee Justice for Our Neighbors, a United Methodist program that offers free legal service to immigrants. 

Church of the Village, a multiracial United Methodist congregation in New York City, has been trying to find ways to witness to justice. On Sunday, Nov. 30, congregants after worship took a photo to show solidarity with nonviolent protesters in Ferguson. Church members showed the “Hands up, don’t shoot” gesture.

Retired Bishop Alfred Johnson, pastor, said he understands his frustrated members' desire to respond to recent grand jury decisions to not indict police officers who have killed unarmed black citizens. As an African-American male, he noted, he was stopped and frisked by police more times than he could count when he lived in Philadelphia.

monthly finance report

Conference Budget – Schedules A & B

Please reference Schedule A and Schedule B for a summary of the conference budget through October 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 November 2014 giving from local churches to CMF was $2,810,134. This was $306,532 less than budget and $49,802 less than the amount received from November 2013. An analysis after eleven months (Schedule E) shows that 231 churches, 55% are "on budget".

Praise God for the peaceful resolution to the manhunt!  We are thankful to all of law enforcement for their courage and perseverance in the search.

Since the capture of Eric Frein, many people have commented that things at camp must be getting back to normal. Sadly, the answer is no! Many groups cancelled their retreats and events out of fear from the manhunt. The camp lost nearly $30,000 in revenue from cancellations. In addition, the camp also lost an unknown amount of income from groups that didn't book during the manhunt and sales from the camp store (no guests, no sales). Since the capture was so late in the year, there wasn't time for groups to plan and schedule retreats before Thanksgiving and the start of the Christmas season which is typically our slow period.

The EPA Conference Council on Young Adult Ministries (CCYAM) recently released a video-based Bible study series produced by and primarily for young adults.

Waging War, a high energy, video-based Bible study, offers a curriculum built around six hard-hitting and passionate video messages. Those messages are designed to lead young adults through seemingly insurmountable battles that can deter or distract them from their service to and relationship with God.


The season of Advent this year is from Nov. 30 to Dec. 24, beginning four Sundays before Christmas and ending on Christmas Eve.  The word Advent comes from the Latin adventus, meaning  “coming” or “visit." It is the beginning of the liturgical year for Christians. (Liturgical or liturgy means the forms and functions of public worship.]

During Advent, we prepare for and anticipate the coming of Christ. We remember the longing of Jews for a Messiah and our own longing and need for forgiveness, salvation and a new beginning.  Even as we look back and celebrate the birth of Jesus in a humble stable in Bethlehem, we also look forward anticipating the second coming of Christ as the fulfillment of all that was promised by his first coming.

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

Bishop's Blog

Read thoughts on faith and life from Bishop Peggy Johnson.