Annual Conference 2012


The Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference 2012 will be held May 17-19, 2012 at the Philadelphia Expo Center, Oaks, PA.


Eric H. F. Law will lead learning sessions on Friday, May 18.  Ray Buckley, noted Native American storyteller, will preach for Opening Worship.  Bishop Alfred Johnson (a son of the EPA Conference) will preach for the Memorial Service.  And our own bishop, Peggy Johnson will be preacher for the Service of Ordination.  Read more below!

Noted Native American storyteller, author/illustrator, and United Methodist leader, Ray Buckley, will preach for Opening Worship on May 17.  Ray is the interim Director of the Center for Native American Spirituality and Christian Study.   Buckley has served The United Methodist Church as a staff member of The United Methodist Publishing House, Director of the Native People’s Communication Office (UMCom) for nine years, and Director of Connectional Ministries for the Alaska Missionary Conference.  Buckley is the author /illustrator of five books:  God’s Love is Like…(1998,Abingdon Press), The Give-Away:  A Christmas Story in the Native American Tradition (1999, Abingdon Press), The Wing (2002, Abingdon Press), Christmas Moccasins (2003, Abingdon Press),  andDancing with Words:  Storytelling as Legacy, Culture, and Faith(Discipleship Resources, 2003).  He is also the author of Creator Sang a Welcoming Song (2007), and Walking in These White Man Shoes (2007), children and youth resources for the Women’s Dvision School of Missions.  The Give-Away was selected to appear on the CBS Christmas Eve special, An American Christmas, produced by the National Council of Churches.  His stories, poetry, and art have appeared in numerous journals, periodicals, books, and museums.  Buckley has taught in Nigeria, and Ghana, and served as a lecturer in Native American studies for several universities.  Ray Buckley is one of several Native leaders profiled in As Long As the Waters Flow: Native Americans in the South and East, by Frye Gillard, and The Power of Eagles:  Natures Way to Individual Accomplishment, by Twyman L. Towery.
Eric H. F. Law will lead learning sessions on Friday, May 18.  Law, an ordained Episcopalian priest, is founder and director of the Kaleidoscope institute (, established to develop competent leadership in a diverse, changing world. He is an internationally known consultant and trainer in multicultural ministry and the building of inclusive communities. He is also a photographer, playwright, and composer of church music.



Bishop Alfred JohnsonBishop Alfred Johnson will preach for the Memorial Service.  Bishop Johnson was ordained deacon and elder in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference. He served as Pastor-Director of the Chester Missionary Project of Chester, PA; at Tioga United Methodist Church in North Philadelphia; in a cross-racial appointment as pastor of  Leola UMC in Leola, [Lancaster County] PA; as Conference Consultant to local churches and conference agencies; and as Executive Director of the United Methodist Metro Ministries, Inc., and as district superintendent in Philadelphia.   Alfred Johnson was elected to the episcopacy in July, 1996, and assigned the New Jersey Area. As a bishop he was assigned to the General Council of Ministries, NEJ Urban Steering Committee and the Multi-Ethnic Center. He has been a frequent presenter and workshop leader in the areas of human relations, urban ministries, race relations, leadership and church planning.   He retired from the active episcopacy on September 1, 2004, and served as interim pastor of the Huntington-Cold Spring Harbor Church on Long Island, NY, from November 2004 – June 30, 2005. In July 2005, Bishop Jeremiah Park asked him to work to strengthen the congregational ministries of the three United Methodist Churches of the Village section of New York City.  He graduated from South Philadelphia High School and received an A.A.S. from Community College of Philadelphia. He went on to receive a B.A. from Albright College, Reading, PA, his Th.M. from Boston University School of Theology and a D.Min. in Urban Ministry from Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, DC. Albright and Centenary Colleges granted him honorary doctorates in Divinity and Humane Letters, respectively.

Bishop Peggy Johnson

Bishop Peggy A. Johnson will preach for the Service of Ordination.  The Rev. Peggy A. Johnson was elected a bishop of The United Methodist Church at the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference in Harrisburg, PA, on July 17, 2008. On the following day, prior to a Service of Consecration, she learned that she was assigned to The Philadelphia Area.  On September 1, 2008, she began her assignment to lead nearly 900 churches in The Philadelphia Area, comprised of the Eastern Pennsylvania and Peninsula-Delaware Annual Conferences. She is one of nine active bishops in the Northeastern Jurisdiction, which includes thirteen annual conferences in the northeastern U.S.  She pursued a degree in Music Education at Lebanon Valley, a United Methodist-related college in Eastern Pennsylvania, and graduated in 1975.   She taught elementary vocal music in Baltimore County Public Schools for two years.  During this time she felt a call to ministry, specifically with deaf people and people with disabilities.  She left teaching and began to pursue a Master of Divinity degree at Asbury Theological Seminary.  Bishop Johnson met her husband, Rev. Michael C. Johnson at seminary and the Johnsons graduated in 1980.  Upon graduation they were offered appointments in the Baltimore Annual Conference.  Bishop Johnson was ordained a Deacon (transitional) in 1979 and an elder in 1981.  In her early ministry, she has served a four-point country charge in Frederick MD, as campus minister for Gallaudet University (a leader in higher education for deaf persons located in Washington, DC), and as co–pastor (with her husband, Mike) of Lansdowne United Methodist Church, in Baltimore, MD.  In 1988 she was appointed to pastor the historic Christ UMC of the Deaf in Baltimore, where she served for 20 years.  She earned her Doctor of Ministry degree from Wesley Theological Seminary in 1993 and taught deaf and disability courses at the seminary on a regular basis as adjunct faculty.

Bishop Johnson believes in the inclusion of persons with disabilities, “not just to welcome them, but to be co-ministers in the priesthood of all believers! Often we think we’re going to help people with disabilities – but no – they help us see things with wonderful new perspective and add to the giftedness of the Body of Christ.  Without them we’re not fully complete; we need their gifts for being the fully functional Body of Christ.”  Bishop Johnson believes that the most important role as a bishop is to pastorally empower and encourage the church to make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.  The role also includes the presiding duties of ordering the life of the annual conference and the denomination and also to be a prophetic voice for justice in the church and the world.