North District News

Beginning July – Sheri Kentner, North District DRA, will be working from home on Monday and Tuesday and back in the Conference office on Wednesday and Thursday for the balance of the summer.  Hours continue to be 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.  You can reach her every day at 610-666-9090 x1025 or by email skentner@epaumc.org.

District and Annual Conference Update:

Please ensure these dates and times are on your calendar:

NORTH DISTRICT CONFERENCE – Thursday, September 17th @ 6:30 pm Bishop Peggy Johnson will be joining this night as we do the business of District Conference and to review the necessary adjustment for Annual Conference due to the pandemic. We will use this time for voting on replacement Equalizing Lay Delegates, nominees for annual conference leadership, celebrate leadership transitions and thank churches that have paid 100% apportionments. (virtual/live streaming)

BISHOP’S INFORMATION SESSION – Sunday, October 4th @ 3:00 pm This will be an opportunity to learn and practice the procedures for Annual Conference. (virtual/live streaming)

All Clergy and voting Lay members of Annual Conference should participate in these meetings. 

As is always with the times we are in, we will continue to send you updates as we know them. Contact the District office if you have any questions skentner@epaumc.org

2020 Charge Conference Forms are ready!

The Charge Conference schedule is being finalized and will be available soon.  We are planning to offer similar group meetings to last year as well as some ZOOM options beginning in early September (please start on this soon). This may evolve as we move closer to the dates and see where the pandemic stands.

In the meantime . . .  the 2020 Charge Conference forms are available for your completion.  All the forms are downloadable Word or Excel documents and can be saved while completing.  Once completed, print and secure the needed signatures.  The forms can be submitted one of the following ways below.  The forms will be due 2 weeks prior to your Charge Conference date.  I’ve also attached a handy checklist as not all of the reports to submit have pre-made forms.

Call Sheri in the District Office if you have any questions – skentner@epaumc.org

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE 2020 CHARGE CONFERENCE FORMS

CLICK HERE FOR THE 2020 NORTH DISTRICT CHECKLIST

NEW THIS YEAR – Let’s give this a try!

Submission using Google Drive (Preferred Method):

  1. An email invitation sharing your Church folder will come in a separate email beginning July 6th.  All of the following will be able to access the folder to add completed forms:
    1. Your Conference email (a g-mail account)
    2. The Church Pastor
    3. The Church Administrator/Secretary
    4. The SPRC Chair
  2. In the email, click the blue “Open” button. You will be taken to a submission folder specifically created for your church.  The folder will also be added to your google drive.
  3. Click “New” in the top right and then choose “file upload” to select the (finished!) charge conference forms on your computer.
  4. You will see your files appear in the folder as they finish uploading.

ADDITIONAL NOTES

  • If you would like to remove a file, click it once (the file will be highlighted in blue) and then click the “trash can” icon in the top right.
  • You may return to this link at any time to add or remove charge conference files as they are completed and updated up to 2 weeks prior to your Charge Conference meeting.

Or, Submission by email to skentner@epaumc.org

  1. Scan completed, signed forms and email them as PDF documents (when possible).
  2. Please submit all the completed forms at the same time.

Submission by Mail – (please use this option only if one of the others cannot work for your setting.)

  • Mail a copy of the completed, signed forms to:

The North District office
PO Box 820
Valley Forge, PA 19482

“I am leaving you with a gift: peace of mind and heart.” (John 14:27a, NLT)

 “Complaints are heard everywhere from our most considerate and virtuous citizens: …that our governments are too unstable, that the public good is disregarded in the conflict of rival parties.” 

This is not from a recent headline in the NY Times, or a post on the Washington Times website! This was a suspicion articulated in 1787 by James Madison, before our American constitution was ratified – a fear of political and religious rivalries becoming so polarized that decisions regarding the public good are based on “unwarranted partiality” rather than wisdom, compassion, and justice for all.

Can you imagine – in this nation? In our denomination? In your office, family, or local church? It’s hard even just to talk to each other when our allegiance to “rival parties” is more evident than our commitment to compromise and our humility about learning anything new.

These are tense, anxious days in the culture and in the Church. Conflict and worry abound due to Covid-19, an impending presidential election, economic distress, turbulent racial tensions, on-going United Methodist squabbling, and a host of other demons plaguing our homes and our congregations – not to mention an entire summer with no real baseball. Frankly many of us prefer just to avoid these ubiquitous global “issues” in our search for some personal tranquility and calm.

I walked into my home in Chester County one evening last month, having been away for several days. Rather than watching the nightly cable news shows, my wife was enjoying a Christmas movie on the Hallmark channel. ‘In July! There’s a new social phenomena in America called “comfort TV:” people are only watching programs they know won’t upset them. We feel so torn apart by rival parties, by arrogance in high places, by competing world views which seem to demand dominance rather than promoting diversity. Will our trusted institutions be refined & redeemed by these anxieties, or crushed?

After five nights of tent-camping on my in-laws’ waterfront property in northern Michigan last week, I discovered how much easier it is to de-construct a huge tent than it is to set one up. Six people, admittedly working in a wind storm, took about an hour on Night One to unfurl canvas and set pegs and prop poles. A few mornings later, Joan and I collapsed it by ourselves in about fifteen minutes.

Think about our public conversation these days! Do we build up or tear down?


Two years ago when I started this job as DS, I posted a New Testament quotation in my Valley Forge office (as a reminder to ME): “Let your kindness and compassion be known to all….” (Ephesians 4:32)

The times, they are unstable! Let’s try to leave each other, in each encounter, with a gift of peace. 

Wondering how you can serve yourlocal church more fully?
Curious about options for education and servicein the UMC – either in or beyond your local church?
Feeling Called into Ministry?
Orientation to MinistrySeptember 12, 202010:00 amPresenter – Rev. Dr. Michael RobertsMeeting through ZOOM.
“Orientation to Ministry” is an overview of the diverse ways in which one can enter into professional ministry in the United Methodist Church. It is designed to guide individuals in the process of answering a call to ministry. Those who take this class will gain an understanding of different categories of professional ministry as well as a practical step by step understanding of the candidacy process. This is a required course for all candidates for professional ministry in the Eastern PA Conference. 
Click here to register A ZOOM link for the meeting is included in the confirmation email.*This will meet the Book of Discipline requirement for candidacy.

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Pandemic Re-opening Best Practices for Churches

Gradual reopening of PA social, economic life to begin soon

Click here to view the Best Practices document as a PDF.

Northeastern Pastor’s Meeting Postponed
(Quakertown UMC)

POSTPONED TO FALL

Guest Speaker: Dr. Len Wilson (St. Andrews UMC, Plano, TX)

Thursday, September 24 , 2020 (9 AM to 4 PM)

All can continue to sign up and send in pmts for the fall date.
$35 per person includes full day seminar, book signing and books for purchase, continental breakfast, lunch, and snacks.

Open to all denominational and non-denominational clergy, staff, and laity.

Description of Seminar: In today’s environment, each congregation needs its own brand –a clear, concise, creative, and compelling message to effectively communicate who they are. In this oneday seminar led by Dr. Len Wilson, storyteller and expert strategist in communications and creativity, and Creative Director at St. Andrew UMC, a large church in Plano, TX,  participants will learn and practice a comprehensive process to develop and implement their own unique brand, including messaging strategy, sensing the pulse of  community, and improving all phases of communication and creativity in their own church ministry.

SIGN UP FOR THE SEMINAR: Send check for $35 per person along with names, church or ministry affiliations, addresses, phones, and emails of all attendees to Rev Dr Lori Wagner, Quakertown UMC, 1875 Freier Road, Quakertown, PA 18951.  Attn: Northeastern PA Pastor Seminar. Please write NPPS in the notation part of your check.

IMPORTANT: Please indicate if you and your participants will be requesting CEU credits.  FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact loribethwagner@gmail.com or 360 298 8327.

Use our interactive Google Map below to locate a church. You can click on one of the pegs for information on the church.

NORTH DISTRICT EPAUMC CALENDAR

New and Updated Events are in BOLD. All of these dates are updated based on the most current information. 

  • 8/15/20 – Intercultural Competency Workshop
  • 8/18/20 – Zoom Conversations with the DS and Clergy and Pastors Resume (10am)
  • 8/20/20 – Celibacy, Sexual Ethics and Boundaries (Meets the Advanced Sexual Ethics quadrennium requirement of Pastors) at St. Mathew’s UMC –
  • 9/12/20 – Orientation to Ministry ZOOM meeting @ 10:00am
  • 9/17/20 – North District Conference with Bishop Johnson @ 6:30pm  (online)
  • 9/24/20 – Len Wilson Conference at Quakertown UMC
  • 9/26/20 – Basic Sexual Ethics at Conshohocken UMC – Details Below
  • 10/4/20 – Bishop’s Information Session @ 3:00 pm  (Now Online)
  • 10/13-14/20 – Annual Conference – Mostly Online 
  • 10/17/20 – Racism, Post-Traumatic Stress, & Transformation for People of Color
  • 11/14/20-  Evangelism workshop featuring Lisa Greenwood, from TMF (Texas Methodist Foundation) – this event has been moved to Zoom.
  • 3/6/21 – Ministry with Sex Offenders (This counts toward the Advanced Sexual Ethics course requirements of Pastors)