2012 Annual Conference

More than 1,000 clergy and lay members of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of The United Methodist Church will gather at the Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA, beginning with Clergy and Laity Sessions on the morning of Thursday, May 17, 2012.

The theme for the conference is “Leadership: Making a Way for All.”  Leadership development is one of the four areas of focus for the United Methodist denomination.

Watch live video streaming of the entire conference.  See below for agenda.
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Opening Worship will begin at 2:00 pm on the afternoon of Thursday, May 17.  Noted Native American storyteller, author/illustrator, and United Methodist leader, Ray Buckley, will preach for Opening Worship.  Ray is the interim Director of the Center for Native American Spirituality and Christian Study.   He 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.

Two offerings will be received at Opening Worship.  Members of annual conference are encouraged to receive offerings in their congregations for these two initiatives: Imagine No Malaria, the global health initiative of the United Methodist Church, and undergraduate scholarships to help develop young Eastern Pennsylvania Conference leaders.  An additional offering will be received at Ordination for seminary student scholarships.

On Thursday evening, the conference will hear and vote on a number of resolutions, and the General Conference delegation will report on its participation in the denomination’s quadrennial meeting.  The annual conference will also vote on an episcopal nominee to the Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference, scheduled for July 18-20 in Charleston, WV, when three bishops will be elected.

Annual Conference members will have an opportunity to participate in hands-on mission and ministry, 12:00-2:00 pm, each day of Annual Conference, with Stop Hunger Now, an international hunger relief organization that coordinates the distribution of food and other life-saving aid around the world.   Stop Hunger Now’s meal packaging program provides volunteers the opportunity to package dehydrated, high protein, and highly nutritious meals that are used in crisis situations and in school feeding programs for schools and orphanages in developing countries around the world.

United Methodist Men will host a potato drop in conjunction with the Society of St. Andrew, offering 50 lb. bags of potatoes that Conference attendees can take back for distribution to the needy in their communities.

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.  Read more about Eric Law: www.ladiocese.org/ki.

The ministry of retirees will be celebrated on the afternoon of Friday, May 18, followed by the Celebration of Ministries, and both the Denman and Kim Jefferson Awards.

Bishop Peggy Johnson

The Service of Ordination will take place at 7:00 pm on the evening of Friday, May 18 (clergy will robe beginning at 6:00 pm).  Bishop Peggy A. Johnson will preach for the service.  Bishop Johnson has led nearly 900 churches in The Philadelphia Area, comprised of the Eastern Pennsylvania and Peninsula-Delaware Annual Conferences, since September 1, 2008. She is one of nine active bishops in the Northeastern Jurisdiction, which includes ten annual conferences in the northeastern U.S.   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.  During the Service of Ordination, persons will be ordained as Elders and Deacons, and will be commissioned towards Elders and Deacons orders.  An offering will be received for seminary scholarships.

Bishop Alfred Johnson

A Memorial Service will honor deceased bishops, clergy, and spouses on the morning of Saturday, May 19.  Bishop Alfred Johnson, a son of The Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, will preach.  Bishop Johnson was ordained deacon and elder in

the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, 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; 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.

Scouts will help lead the praise time on Saturday afternoon and will participate in the Stop Hunger Now food packaging.

The Order of St. Luke will lead early morning Communion at 7:30 am on both Friday and Saturday.

The Cokesbury Bookstore will feature selections by selected conference speakers as well as Bishop Peggy Johnson’s recommended bundle of books.

Conference members should register by the April 30 deadline.  Churches are invited to share with their members that the entire annual conference meeting can be seen online via video streaming.  Closed captioning and American Sign Language translation will be available for the entire conference.

For more information: www.epaumc.org/events/annualconference.

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

Annual Conference Information: http://www.epaumc.org/news/stories
Including news stories and photos.
Watch live video streaming of the entire conference.
Twitter: #epaumc

Thursday, May 17
7:45 am: Prayer Walk with Bishop Johnson and Eastern PA Renewal Fellowship, gathering time is 7:45 am, walk begins at 8:00 am
8:30 am: Registration opens
9:30 am: Clergy Session and Laity Session
1:45 pm: Gathering music
2:00 pm: Opening Worship with Ray Buckley preaching:please bring your offerings for both Imagine No Malaria and Higher Education Scholarships
7:00 pm: Holy Conferencing

Friday, May 18
7:30 am: Communion with Order of St. Luke
8:45 am: Praise
9:00 am: Session One with Eric Law, Kaleidescope Institute
10:00 am to 6:00 pm: Health Fair with Health Screening, also pension meetings with Josie Martinez
10:40 am: Session Two with Eric Law
12:15 – 1:45 Lunch in Hall A
Stop Hunger Now – mission project packaging food for low income persons around the world
2:00 pm: Holy Conferencing and Lay Leader Report
3:00 pm: Historic Questions and Retiree Recognition
4:00 pm: Celebration of Ministries and Awards
7:00 pm: Service of Ordination with Bishop Peggy Johnson preaching

Saturday, May 19
7:30 am: Communion with Order of St. Luke
9:00 am: Holy Conferencing
10:30 am: Memorial Service with Bishop Alfred Johnson preaching
12:00 noon: Lunch in Hall A
Stop Hunger Now – mission project packaging food for low income persons around the world
1:45 pm: Scout-led praise time
2:00 pm: Holy Conferencing

Read about Resolutions, Used Book Sale, speakers & preachers, guidelines for Holy Conferencing: