North District News

Advent Dreams

A video-based bible study curriculum developed by DS Steve Morton back in 2015 explores the unique and instructive dream sequence in Matthew 1 & 2. 
‘A perfect four-lesson study for the season of Advent,using video presentation, small group Q-and-A, and a fun exploration of various paintings which depict these dreams in disparate ways. Plan now for your November-December classes. 
Be in touch with DRA Deb Boyd for copies of the curriculum.

“It will be said on that day: Lo, this is our God;We have waited for him, so that he might save us.”(Isaiah 25:9a)

I’ve never had any desire to be President of the United States, until I needed to take a test for Covid-19! Last week, after exhibiting symptoms of a bad cold – which can also be symptoms of Covid – my wife, a registered nurse who cannot work if she has had a known exposure, insisted that I see my doctor. A wonderful nurse practitioner on the staff assessed me and agreed to administer a Covid test, explaining that about 5% of the tests she’s doing right now reveal a positive result – “positive” in this case, being bad! A little bit tongue in cheek, but against the well-known backdrop of the President’s recent stay at the Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C., I said, “And if I am positive, we do….nothing?” ‘To which she smiled and replied, “For you, that’s basically correct.” 
     We face a mountain of challenges in this nation right now. Equal access to extraordinary medical care is not a sure thing for all Americans, and is at risk for many. Social tensions and flagrant violence based on horrid race relations continue. Public education is fairly chaotic in many settings. Wild fires destroy our forests, and a record number of tropical storms ravage our coasts. Unemployment remains high and businesses are in jeopardy everywhere. Due to the backed-up supply lines in our economy, Joan and I had to wait TEN WEEKS for a new dishwasher this summer (ok, that’s a champagne problem….) But, if that’s not enough, according to NASA, a small asteroid (dubbed 2018VP) has been spotted on a collision course with Earth and is projected to come very close to the planet on November 2! Of course, given the tensions in the nation right now, that might not be the worst news….  
     The prophecy of first Isaiah also spoke to a nation in the midst of multiple crises. Verse four of chapter twenty-five reveals deep concern about “the poor,” about “rainstorms and [record] heat,” about “ruthless” leadership putting everyone under stress. And yet: a promise is made that the God of Israel is bigger than this mountain of distress! Despite their current ills, “strong peoples” (v. 3) will emerge and a faithful God “will swallow up death.” (v. 8a). The “blast of the ruthless” will end (v. 4), as will the storms. In the midst of tumultuous political events in an eighth-century BC world, you see, Isaiah has hope: “Let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation!” (v. 9b)  
     My Covid test, of course, was negative. God is good! But I was nervous for a while…  
Who’s NOT nervous today? Just remember: our God has been through worse, and has seen his people through. We may be in a heap of mess right now, but Isaiah promises it….and I believe it: “The hand of the Lord will rest on this mountain.” (v. 10) May it be so, and soon. 

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Pandemic Re-opening Best Practices for Churches

Coronavirus Quick Links
Looking for the latest information about church re-openings and the related Covid-19 information?
Click HERE to go to the Conference Coronavirus web-page

Do you know someone in need of food assistance during COVID-19?
Here is a complete list of EPAUMC food pantries

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

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

Christian Dreamers Storysharing
EPA & Pen-Del

 “The Tour is effective, timely, and begins the conversation to strategic planning and fruitful ministry (…) in providing education and awareness on both ends of thespectrum”. Rev. Earnestine Campbell – Associate Director Connectional Ministries – South Georgia Conference UMC “The intimacy of sharing such personal experiences helped me to gain an even better understanding (…) This type of conversation was helpful and transformative”. Ray Yarnall – Laity Wesley UMC – Peninsula-Delaware Conference “I gained a better understanding of what Dreamers go through living in the states yet being excluded. The stories were an eye-opener and I can appreciate why they took the chance to come to the United States.”David Arroyo – Laity Gracia Divinia UMC – Peninsula-Delaware Conference 

Storysharing Tour 2020 in EPA & Pen-Del on Saturday Oct. 31, 10:00 am ETThe General Board of Church and Society in partnership with DREAMERS -current students at Delaware State University-, Eastern Pennsylvania and Peninsula-Delaware Annual Conferences are engaging with congregations to educate, connect, and build relationships that transform our communities by sharing and listening stories that open our understanding of the immigration experience in the US. Different from what we hear in the media or have known before, these stories invite us to challenge our preconceived ideas while motivating us to live out our faith in Christ through active steps. We invite you to be part of this sacred space -through a community type forum- allowing for conversation, questions and exposure to a dialogue that brings the country’s immigration challenges to a personal level. 

Click Here For Printable Flyer
Click Here to Register

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By Water & the Spirit: Theology & Practice of Baptism
a Zoom-based study offered by the Board of Ordained Ministry

Saturday November 7, 9:00-11:30 AMSaturday November 21, 9:00-11:30 AM

Baptism is at the core of who we are as Christians — but how well do we truly understand this sacrament? Those of us who serve in church leadership often face practical questions with deep theological roots. 
By getting to the theological heart of baptism, we as church leaders can offer better and more meaningful answers to these questions that so often arise from the pews. 
This Zoom-based study is designed to help all church leaders — and in particular, our licensed local pastors and lay-supply pastors — to wrestle with this theological foundation of baptism. 
To participate, individuals should readGayle Carlton Felton’s By Water and the Spirit (download here, or find at Cokesbury) and share any questions with the study leaders via email (links below).   
0.5 CEUs will be offered to those who complete this course.  
Study leaders: Rev. Gary Knerr and  Rev. Candy LaBar 
This event is free and recommended to all persons with church leadership roles.Learn more and register here.

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

October 2020:

  • 10/31 – Christian Dreamers Storysharing Tour – EPA & Penn-Del @10am (Details Below)

November 2020 and beyond:

  • 11/7 AND 11/21 – Baptism Study for ALL church leaders. Details below.
  • 11/8/20 – THIS HOLY MYSTERY – Eucharist Seminar for LLP’s; Gordon: Simpson UMC. Details Below.
  • 11/8/20 @ 4pm – CONAM offers education on “Raced-Based Mascots.” Details Below.
  • 11/14/20- Evangelism workshop featuring Lisa Greenwood, from TMF (Texas Methodist Foundation) – Details Below – this event has been moved to Zoom.
  • 12/13/20 – Celebrating our Cultures at Christmas; Online @ 3pm.


  • 1/30/20 – Basic Sexual Ethics (details to come)
  • 3/6/21 – Ministry with Sex Offenders (This counts toward the Advanced Sexual Ethics course requirements of Pastors) (See below).