Members and supporters of Mid-Town Parish UMC, Philadelphia, gathered Dec. 6 to celebrate the groundbreaking for construction of the church's new worship facility. The Rev. Anita Powell, Central District Superintendent, did the honors, along with the Rev. Joe DiPaolo, who chairs the project's Vision Table, State Representative W. Curtis Thomas and Church Historian Mr. Raymond Mungro. A blessing of the ground was given by the previous pastor, the Rev. Reginald Monte, who shepherded the congregation for 10 years as they struggled to raise needed funds. On Sunday, Feb. 1, 2015, the members, who have worshipped in a small, nearby community center activity room for more than a decade, will open new doors for their first worship service in the new edifice. A morning and afternoon service will be held on that day in celebration! Praise the Lord!  

For many children, Christmas is the highlight of their year. But, there are many families who lack the abilities or resources to provide the ideal Christmas celebration.

Recently, the EPA Conference Cabinet came together at the Methodist Services Children’s Home in Philadelphia to share the love and blessings of the season. Each year the Cabinet chooses a different location to spend a day in service. The Children's Home was chosen this year by the Rev. Anita Powell, Dean of the Cabinet. Bishop Peggy Johnson and the superintendents spent a day making cookies and making friends, as they wrapped gifts and read to the children.

About 40 of "those singing Methodists" formed a musical "flash mob" that brought much-needed cheer to a Philadelphia street corner last Thursday night, Dec. 11. They sang Christmas carols and holiday songs to the delight of rush-hour commuters, neighbors and passers-by.

First UMC of Germantown (FUMCOG) led the effort with plenty of help from other churches and friends who gathered and sang together at Germantown and Chelten avenues for nearly 35 minutes. They offered listeners holiday classics like "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" and "Joy to the World," while their youngest members handed out candy canes and small Christmas ornaments. 

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.

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.

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.

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".

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 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.