Bishop Gregory Palmer with his father, the Rev. Herbert Palmer

The Eastern PA Conference's long-awaited celebration of the former Delaware Annual Conference will commence this Saturday, May 30, at 9:45 AM, with the upbeat processional anthem "We're Marching to Zion" and the traditional annual conference opening hymn, "And Are We Yet Alive," played by Theodore Thomas on Tindley Temple UMC's majestic organ and sung by a congregation of hundreds.

What follows will animate the theme “A Century of Commitment, A Legacy of Love,” as celebration and worship leader Dr. Mary White leads us through a two-hour program of music, dance, poetry, powerful oratory, and historical remembrances and videos. Three bishops will address the congregation, two of them once youth in the old Delaware Conference.
[See parking access information below.]

32nd Annual Laity Academy Theme -- Planting Seeds; Rooted in God's Word

Register now for the 32nd Laity Academy, set for August 14-16, once again at The Inn at Reading, 1040 North Park Road, Wyomissing, PA. The theme is "Planting Seeds: Rooted in God's Word." The online registration is now live, and you can get plenty of information about this annual education and fellowship event--the largest gathering for laity each year--on our Website.

"It's your opportunity to learn about your church, your God, and your place in God's Kingdom from seminary-level instructors!  It's a joyful weekend of fellowship with like-minded others. A chance to become a Christ Servant Minister or to take advanced courses if you are already a CSM. A time to begin the journey toward Certified Lay Speaker or even Certified Lay Minister." 

Delaware Annual Conference, Final Session, 1965

Organized officially in 1784, the Methodist Episcopal Church flourished in the early 1800s, as small societies and full churches emerged, even among black U.S. populations. Black local preachers were recruited to serve their congregations, supervised by white elders and annual conferences. Eventually, an ongoing Conference of Colored Local Preachers was organized at Zoar M.E. Church in Philadelphia in 1857 under Bishop Levi Scott. They met annually until 1863, drawing growing numbers of African American clergy members from New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland's Eastern Shore and the northern tip of Virginia.1

AWAKE Young Adult retreat Logo

The Eastern PA Conference Council on Young Adult Ministry will welcome peers from across the conference for a "night and day" retreat this weekend, from Friday evening, May 29, through Saturday, May 30. They will gather at a popular, scenic getaway spot with lots to see and do, Gretna Glen Camp and Retreat Center near Lebanon.

"Awake: A Time of Renewal to Eagerly Build Awareness" is their theme. Join them as they dialogue and learn together, awakening to realities and dreaming of possibilities. They will explore various topics of interest to young adults, including pursuing a Career vs. a Vocation, finding and forging Healthy Relationships, and creatively engaging in Spiritual Centering, led by David Piltz, Coordinator for Young People's Ministries. 

"We can still accept last-minute registrations," says Piltz. Download the full flyer, with schedule.

By the Rev. David Glen Ryan,
Pastor of Kensington (Old Brick) and Bridesburg UMCs, Philadelphia (Part-time Local Pastor)

Every year as Memorial Day approaches, I find myself thinking about the words of Jesus to his disciples, recorded in John 15:13: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” Those are haunting words. They are words that some soldiers who have seen combat can deeply appreciate, in a way that we who have been spared that often grisly experience cannot.

The Eastern PA Annual Conference considered 23 of 25 submitted resolutions during its 2015 session, May 14-16, and a handful of them generated heavy debate on controversial concerns. But despite some expressions of pain and insistence on loyalty to Scripture and covenant, the desired peaceful, collegial spirit of Holy Conferencing seemed to prevail.

Five resolutions proposed that the Annual Conference petition the 2016 General Conference to amend the United Methodist Book of Discipline by changing church law that rejects homosexuality as illicit in lifestyle, matrimony and ordained ministry. While several resolutions received a majority of votes, all five--submitted by various churches--failed to receive the required three-fourths proportion of votes needed to send a conference-endorsed petition to General Conference.

The 2015 Eastern PA Annual Conference elected as 2016 General and Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference Delegates--Clergy members: Dawn Taylor-Storm, Jeffrey Raffauf, Robert Wilt, and Lydia Munoz.  Lay members elected were: Judith Ehninger; Mary White; Aaron Joseph Smith; and Clarita Krall.  Additionally elected as NE Jurisdictional Conference Delegates were: Laity--Krystl Johnson, Ann Jacob, Jordan Harris and Lenora Thompson.; and Clergy: Joseph DiPaolo, Tracy Bass, Christopher Kurien and Robin Hynicka. Elected as Alternate Delegates were: Clergy--Irving Cotto, Melinda McKonly and Sutja Bang; and Laity--Ross Brightwell, Jane Bonner and David Koch.

Our three year-round camp and retreat sites have been busy all spring (and winter too) with retreats and other events, offering delightful days, magical moments and unforgettable experiences for attendees of all ages.

Following several winter retreats for children, youth and adults, Innabah's Easter Egg Hunt, Golf Outing and 5K race put bodies in motion, raising spirits and dollars to support the camp and its ministries.

Welcome to the Eastern PA 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.