North District News

A Message from D. S. Morton . . .

              “Therefore encourage one another and build up each other…”                     (I Thessalonians 5:11)
The cartoon in the Richmond morning paper depicted a happy-looking group of folks in their exercise gear, cooperatively raising a giggling friend high above their heads – while the trainer explains to a gym visitor, “Here we work out only by lifting each other up.” (Richmond Times Dispatch, 5/10/19)  Army doctor Frank Burns, of M*A*S*H fame, once blurted out, “It’s nice to be nice to the nice.”  
Perhaps that sentiment describes your daily world…or maybe not.  But it’s a hopeful vision, right?
While standing in a long book-signing line in Williamsburg last week, me getting a little grouchy –  Joan and I were pleasantly interrupted by a woman, who introduced herself as a United Methodist from EPA (not our North District) and shared how much she and her congregation enjoyed using our Great Things He Has Done curriculum for the Season of Lent.  ‘Two hundred miles away from home, on an “off” day –  delightfully refreshed by an uplifting comment from a stranger-turned-friend.
How nice! 
Fifty years ago when the four of us Mortons were kids, my mother regularly cajoled us:  “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”  (Imagine how that’s working out, in my new role as DS…) But it is a hopeful vision, right?
We live in a time when acerbic tongues seems to be acceptable, even accommodated, in the realm of public conversation. I pray not the church!
As you move through your day, consciously attempt to offer three (3) statements intended for the sole purpose of lifting someone up. The exercise is good for us all.

June 13-15, 2019
Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks, PA
Exploring the Psalms
Wednesdays 10:00 – 11:30 am, 
May 22 to June 19

The popularity of the Psalms endures even today – and with good
reason.  No other book of the Bible speaks to us – and for us! – quite
like this one.  Together we will explore the language, poetry,
categories, structures, themes and uses of the Psalms for our day.

Booklet: $5 payable at first class.  Presenter: Pastor Paul Crikelair.


This class is being offered through The Older Adult Learning Center
(formerly in conjunction with East Stroudsburg University), at the
East Stroudsburg Presbyterian Church, 55 Smith St., East Stroudsburg,
PA 18301.  The registration fee of $45 entitles you to take any of the
50+ courses being offered for the Summer 2019 term.  Visit to see the catalog and registration information.
Contact Pastor Paul at for course information.

Many of you have expressed a sense of call toward Pastoral Ministry… 

Often, one of the many steps in this process is Licensing School (often called License to Preach School). One benefit of our United Methodist Connection is that you can Licensing Schools in other UMC Conferences. Here are a variety of offerings with good, solid teaching that we found and thought might be of interest to y’all:
EPA (“Our”) Licensing School:
Meets Various Saturdays from March-December around the EPA Conference
Peninsula-Delaware Licensing School:
May 19th-26th at Pecometh.
No further information is available right now, but if you are interested, please let us know  and we will put you in contact with the right person!
Candler School of Theology, Emory University Licensing School:
Meets May 19-27, 2019 at Candler School of Theology (Atlanta)


New and Updated Events are in BOLD
May 2019 – 
  • May 4th – Children’s Ministry Conference; Cedarville UMC; 9:30-3:30 
  • May 5th – District Conference; Faith Alive UMC, Palmerton; 2:30pm 
  • Local Pastor, Associate Member, CLM Retreat – May 5-7, 2019  
  • May 14th – Re-imagine Charity Dinner; Lebanon Valley College; 5pm
  • May 18th – Virtual Dementia Experience; White Haven UMC; 8:30am
  • May 18th-20th – Change the World: Faith and Politics; Harrisburg, PA 
Other 2019 Events – 
  • June 10th – Len Sweet at Quakertown UMC; 9-4 –
  • Annual Conference 2019 – Thursday, June 13 – Saturday, June 15, 2019 (Details Above)
  • July 27th – Clergy Picnic at Knoebels
  • August 23rd – District Night at Iron Pigs
  • Nov. 2nd- Churches as First Responders; Phoenixville UMC; 9am-Noon