North District News

2019 Charge Conference
“Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.” (Revelation 2:7a)    
Starting on September 18, 2019 and over the next 10 weeks our DS will be meeting with each of the North District churches in a series of Fourteen (14) Charge Conferences to in both group and individual settings.  Steve is looking forward to meeting with the Pastors and at least 2 to 3 key leaders from each church (more are always welcome)  One of the seven letters to the churches found in Revelation will be the basis for our Bible study portion of the Conference.
CLM’s, CSM’s, and clergy candidates, please remember to bring your forms for reaffirmation!
2019 Charge Conference forms and instructions are online!
If you have any questions, please contact Sheri Kentner in the 
District Office.  
The Conference has heard of the frustration many of the churches are having when using the electronic SignNow program to complete the Charge Conference forms and is working diligently on a different submission process.


As you know the North District offered both the SignNow program or using Word versions of the report.  Many of you have already alerted me of your desire to use the Word versions and I have sent you the reports.  For the remainder of you:


If you have started the SignNow program and want to continue that process –  it is fine.  The system is still in place and usable.
If you have not started working on you Charge Conference reports or would like to change to the Word versions, please contact your pastor, they received an email with all of the forms in them. 
Until we receive information on the new submission process, please use the following method for submitting your Word version Charge Conference reports (especially for those churches with September Charge Conference dates)
    1. Ensure that all the reports are signed
    2. Please send reports all at once
    3. Scan the signed reports and email them to  The reports can be scanned as individual reports or in a group, which ever works best for your scanner.
    4. Reports that do not need signatures – State of the Church, Leadership list, Membership Audit, etc. can be attached to the email- no need for the extra step to print and scan  
    5. Should you not be able to scan, make a copy of the reports and mail them to North District Office – Attention Sheri Kentner PO Box 820 Valley Forge, PA 19482-0820
if you haven’t already, PLEASE LET ME KNOW THE WAY YOUR CHURCH WILL BE SUBMITTING THE CHARGE CONFERENCE REPORTS – WORD OR SignNow. This will help me tremendously in knowing where to look as I prepare for your particular Charge Conference.


Stay tuned for more . . .

The Eastern PA Conference of the United Methodist Church Licensing School
Register now if you are interested in Pastoral Ministry as:
A certified and licensed Local Pastor  
A Growing Church Licensing School Pastor
Come to a Licensing School sponsored by the Eastern PA Conference Board of Ordained Ministry and held at the teaching pastor’s church or at the Eastern PA Conference Center. Course instructors are clergy in the Eastern PA Conference and/or from PATH 1, a church growth initiative of Discipleship Ministries, UMC.
Cost: $1,100 for all five segments toward licensing or $250 per segment.
Five Major Areas of Study:
  • Preaching, Worship & Sacraments: Suzanne Wenonah Duchesne and Tim Duchsene, Sept. 14,28, Oct. 12, 2019 at First UMC of Conshohoken, PA
  • Christian Education: Michael Roberts, Dec. 7, 2019 Jan. 11, and 25, 2020 EPA Conference Center
  • Church Administration–Leading a Congregation: Larry Leister, March 7,21 April 4, 2020Lititz, UMC, PA
  • Pastoral Care: Truman Brooks, June 6, 27, July 11,2020, West Chester UMC, PA
  • Congregational Development at EPA Conference Center, Norristown, PA
  • One day event-July 25, 2020 from 8:30 to 3 – Growing Church/SLI, Four Stations of the Holy Spirit, UM Polity : Gordon Hendrickson; Mission & Outreach/Tom Bandy: Peter Wernett & Gordon Hendrickson
For more information contact Gordon Hendrickson 
at   or  or by phone: 267-258-9507

A Message from D. S. Morton . . .

“I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that lived first in your grandmother Lois…”
(II Timothy 1:5a)
Ralph and Alice (Clarke) Morton.  Charles and Sara (Thomas) McCullough.  These were my grandparents.  The men each passed away before I was ten.  My fraternal grandmother died when I was in graduate school; my grandmother McCullough lived until my son (who’s now 28) was two.  Memories of them linger in me now, for which I have great affection and appreciation…and a better understanding of why I am the way I am.
Grandparents matter.
In recent years, our culture has advanced a holiday on the first Sunday in September known as Grandparents Day.  As I visit the churches of the North District, I notice a fair number of folks who look like they may be grandparents…. What a great time to honor this particular role they play in Life, and to exploit those relationships for the mission of your church!
In the early ’80’s when I was in seminary at Duke, a professor of Christian Education named John Westerhoff challenged the wider church in America with a book called Will Our Children Have Faith? –  an announcement (two decades ahead of time) of the severe decline of our Sunday School programs and a call for new methods in child evangelism.
Have we asked the grandparents in our pews, “How are the grandkids?”  Have we intentionally resourced them to be spiritual mentors – like Lois – for those young lives?  Have we considered how the grandparents’ invitation (where geography allows) may be the best conduit to getting children and youth to come inside our doors? 
Recall how Jacob (Israel) mandated that his son Joseph brings the grandchildren before him so that Jacob might bless them (Genesis 48:9).
I’m a grandfather myself.  I’m quite sure that all the grandparents in our pews on Sunday want to be a blessing to their children’s children.  I pray that our churches will nurture that instinct throughout the year.


Join DS Morton for a North District Luncheon at:
Faith Sharing Event for 2019
Planting Seeds for Ministry Growth
Saturday, September 21
Hopewell UMC on the South District (Downingtown) will be the site for author Jen Hatmaker’s presentation as she challenges us about new ways to engage this contemporary American culture in the life of the Church and in the service of Jesus.
Prior to the 1:00 PM keynote presentation at Hopewell (852 Hopewell Road), a special opportunity awaits visitors from the North District as DS Steve Morton offers a tour of Hopewell’s new community center in the borough of Downingtown: a site called the Well which is being renovated for affordable housing for several households and already hosts programs such as Celebrate Recovery, tutoring for school children, and the community Senior Center.
Serving among God’s people “in the city” has been a major source of Hopewell’s vitality and vibrancy in recent years. A 10:30 AM tour of the former funeral home property will give you a sense of how mission drives local church transformation. Lunch will be provided on-site prior to departing for the Hopewell church building (ten minutes away). Please register for this bonus feature of the Planting Seeds event by letting Sheri know soon of your interest to attend (while spaces last).


New and Updated Events are in BOLD
September 2019 –  
  • Sept. 9 & 12 – Pension Meetings (Details Below)
  • Sept 14 – Racism, Post-Tramatic Stress, & Transformation for People of Color (Details Below)
  • Sept. 15th – Remembering the Lattimer Mines Massacre; 3pm in Lattimer Mines
  • Sept 18 – Sports Memorabilia Auction; St. Paul’s in Drums; 6pm 
  • Sept 21 – Planting Seeds at Hopewell (Faith Sharing Workshop) w/ Jen Hatmaker and Tony Campollo.  Click for details ; Optional North District Tour and Lunch  (Spots are filling, please do not wait to register!)
  • Sept. 21 – Claiming Sabbath for Clergy Spouses; Franciscan Retreat Center in Aston, PA; 9am-5pm. Click here for details and to register!
  • Sept 23rd –  Bishop’s Day on the District. Pen Argyl: Grace – 6:30pm
  • Sept 24th – Bishop’s Day on the District. Frackville: First – 6:30pm
  • Sept 28th – Breaking Out of the Man Box (Simpson House) – 9am-3pm 
  • Sept 28th – North District UMC Ingathering; 9-1:30; Covenant UMC, Moore Township 
Other 2019 Dates – 
  • Oct. 5th – Annual Leadership Conference (Quakertown UMC) – 9am – 3pm 
  • October 12, 2019 – Basic Sexual Ethics Workshop; 9:30-3:00
  • Oct. 11th-14th – North District Mission Trip to Crisfield, MD (Please Note the date change)
  • Oct. 18th-20th – Changing Racism; Desmond Hotel, Malvern 
  • Oct. 19th – HOPE Talks 2.0: ReBoot! Inspiration for Small Congregations
  • Nov. 13th – Churches as First Responders to the Veteran and Military Population; 9am-Noon; Phoenixville UMC
2020 Dates to Save – 
  • 3/7/20 – Tools for Ministry
  • 4/25/20- Evangelism workshop at Wesley UMC
  • **5/17/20 – North District Conference (afternoon)
  • **6/18-6/20 – EPA Annual Conference