East District

CROSS_AND_FLAME_colorThe East District is one of 4 districts in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of The United Methodist Church. The East District Superintendent is The Rev. Tracy Bass. The District Lay Leader is Mrs. Karen Fisher.

The East District’s 96 churches are engaged in their mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world both in their own communities and around the globe.

Communities in the new East District include: Ambler, Bensalem, Bristol, Conshohocken, Doylestown, Fallsington, Glenside, Hatboro, Huntingdon Valley, Ivyland, Jarrettown, Jenkintown, Lafayette Hill, Langhorne, Lansdale, Levittown, Morrisville, New Berlinville, New Hanover, Newtown, Norristown, Penns Park, Perkasie, Philadelphia, Springtown, Telford, Trevose, Warminster, Warrington, Willow Grove, Woxall, Yardley, and Zionsville.


CHRIST SERVANT MINISTER FORMS

Following charge conference, a copy of completed and signed Christ Servant Minister (CSM) forms should be provided to the District Superintendent, one is to be retained at the church by the Church/Charge Conference Secretary (at the local church), and one is to be retained by the CSM for his/her own records. After the charge conference, a copy is to be mailed to the East District CSM Director, Ms. Ruth Portzline, 216 Eagle Court, Jamison PA 18929 and one to the Conference CSM Director, Mr. George Hollich, 212 Orchard Drive, Palmyra PA 17078. Please do not send the form to the Rev. Lloyd Speer, the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Secretary.

EAST DISTRICT RELIEF EFFORT FOR PUERTO RICO

District Superintendent Tracy Bass announces the beginning of an East District Relief Effort for Puerto Rico in collaboration with the North District, the Rev. Dr. Irving Cotto, Superintendent. Plans are also underway for some Eastern Pennsylvania Cabinet members to travel to Puerto Rico on a mission trip early next year.

Meanwhile, Dr. Cotto’s family members in Puerto Rico report that the biggest obstacle the island faces at this time is that being without power has a domino effect on other issues. The greatest immediate needs for island residents are:

  • Batteries (For the next few months until electricity is restored).
  • Cash (The banking system is down without electricity and purchasing goods can only be done with cash. Gasoline, for example is scarce and people are waiting in line for 12 hours every other day to get gas for whatever generators they may have.).
  • Clothing (Much has been lost, even in department stores).
  • Nonperishables
  • Over-the-Counter items of hygiene, etc. (Toothpaste, toothbrushes, soaps, shampoos)

Quakertown UMC is serving as a collection site for such items. Plans are in the works for delivery to Puerto Rico for some time next week. Quakertown UMC, where the Rev. Dr. Thomas S. Robinson III is pastor, is located at 1875 Freier Rd., Quakertown 18951. The church phone number is (215) 536-4992.

REQUEST FROM BISHOP JOHNSON

Dear Members of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference,

As United Methodists, our social principles (162.H – Right of Immigrants), state that “We recognize, embrace, and affirm all persons, regardless of country of origin, as members of the family of God.”

We now have an opportunity to take a stand on behalf of the nearly 800,000 Dreamers in the United States that have benefited from DACA (the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). The attached information is provided for you to advocate on their behalf.

We, the Rapid Response Team and I, ask that you participate individually and as a church in this advocacy by getting signatures and submitting them to your senators and representatives, making phone calls and keeping all those affected in your prayers. The attachment contains a suggested letter and signature page.

Churches, please let your DS know once you have contacted your legislators. I would like to have 100% participation from all churches.

Bishop Peggy A. Johnson
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NATIVE AMERICAN REPRESENTATIVE

The Eastern Pennsylvania Committee on Native American Ministries (CoNAM) appreciates the support of Bishop Johnson and the District Superintendents for “Continuing the Journey Toward Healing and Wholeness with Indigenous Peoples” established by the Act of Repentance. However, the Committee looks for intentional and specific actions to follow the guidelines in the Discipline and in the EPA Resolution to the 2017 Annual Conference.

Resources for following through on the resolution have been posted on the Conference website (www.epaumc.org) and can be found at the links below:

Promotion video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oR-ekvO3rfs&t=20s
CoNAM brochure:  https://www.epaumc.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/conam-brochure.pdf

These resources will help your churches see the purpose and importance of planning a Native American Sunday worship service and to become part of the process of healing with our Native American brothers and sisters.

The primary responsibility of the local church representative is to plan a Native American Sunday service once a year. The EPAUMC website has all the information needed – liturgy, songs, prayers – and CONAM can help provide a speaker as well as field any questions. Click here for a document called “Role and Responsibility of the Native American Ministries Representative in the Local Church.” At the charge conference, each local church should elect a representative for Native American Ministries and include the name on the Nominations and Leadership Development Report. Where this is not possible, a representative may be elected to serve a group/cluster of churches or a Mission Connexion. These names, with contact information, may be sent, as soon as possible after the charge conference, to epaconam@gmail.com.

CHURCH PROPERTY AND LIABILITY INSURANCE

It has come to our attention that some of our churches have received a letter from United Methodist Insurance offering property and casualty coverage. Please discard this letter! All churches in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference have property and liability insurance through Church Mutual Insurance Company. To access church insurance coverage contact information, click Journal and scroll down to page 712.

NEW CONNECTIONAL GIVING TRAINING COURSE

United Methodist Communications has revised its training course, “Creating a Culture of Generosity,” which offers church leaders a chance to learn about holistic, meaningful giving experiences. “Connectional giving is vital to the church’s work around the world,” said Dan Krause, chief executive of United Methodist Communications. “It begins with local church members understanding the scope of church ministries that are made possible locally and globally because of their support.” The course empowers training participants to become storytellers who can inspire others to give generously by sharing honest, compelling accounts of ministry opportunities.

The training is composed of three parts:

  1. Why we give: explore the biblical and theological basis for giving
  2. The United Methodist connection: understand more about how The United Methodist Church is a connectional church
  3. Creating a culture of generosity: learn how missional storytelling impacts giving and how to ask others to contribute gifts as well as prayers, time, talents and witness

Sessions begin with a centering moment of inspiration and prayer, and include videos and interactive exercises.
The training is free and is available online.


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