North District News
A Message from D. S. Morton . . .
“O, how the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle!”(II Samuel 1:25)
The decorations from Halloween are not completely removed in some places, so let me linger with you in the hallowed ground of the cemetery myself!
One of the newer “community outreach” programs at my former congregation was our participation in the Wreaths Across America event – a novel but quickly growing tradition (initiated in the State of Maine) which not only beautifies our cemeteries but also creates a very moving tribute to those who have provided military service to our country.
On the second Saturday in December, evergreen wreaths with bright red bows are placed at the gravestones of veterans…in our case at Hopewell UMC, along with handwritten notes from us (to be read by family and friends visiting the grave at Christmastime) expressing appreciation for that soldier’s past service.
I first suggested this new program about five years ago, when we were just the second church in the whole County to participate; within a couple of years, we’d welcome more than 200 people to our property on a Saturday morning (mostly non-members) for a brief time of worship with wonderful Advent themes of “a new heaven and a new earth” (Isaiah 65:17a)…and a delightful intergenerational, outdoor activity of sprucing up the cemetery while honoring our veterans.
In 2019, the Wreaths Across America event will involve 1,700 cemeteries around the United States and two million volunteers who will place an estimated 2.1 million evergreen wreaths on veterans’ graves. Names will be read aloud, and traditional resting places for the dead will speak of life and everlasting life for all who pass by during the Christmas season. The mission of Wreaths Across America is to remember the fallen, honor those who serve, and teach children the value of freedom. (Downeast magazine, November 2019).
For those churches which operate Christian cemeteries, of course, we have an even larger mission to promote: “Behold, I am making all things new!” (Revelation 21:5a)
The month of November brought us All Saints Day (Nov 1) and Veterans Day (Nov 11). If you have a church-owned cemetery, keep the movement growing on December 14 as you participate in Wreaths Across America.
The community around your property will deeply appreciate the gesture, the kids will love it, and our hallowed cemeteries gain a chance to scream, “LIFE!” (For more information, visit wreathsacrossamerica.org
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:
- 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
~Recommended by Pastor Lori Wagner, Quakertown UMC
“Ministry can be exhausting, fragmenting, and unpredictable. Who knows when our people will stop by the office in hopes of an unappointed chat? Or when the meetings stack up on top of each other because people need our attention? Or when we finally get the chance to focus on our responsibilities, only to be interrupted by the trivial, inane, and common frustrations of church-work?
Our ambition is for you to come stay at the Chapter House and finally get to work on all that God has placed within your heart. Write. Think. Dream. Create. And do it all among a community of contributors, feeling the magic and the wonder of the House fill your spirit. You can book time alone at the House or secure the House for a group of you and your friends or participate in our Second Saturdays or sign up for a Retreat. There are so many options for you to join us, and so many ways you can be refreshed and renewed.”
Chapter House has many upcoming events/retreats. To learn more, visit:
Conference Leadership Opportunities for All
The Conference Leadership Committee asks all clergy and lay members to use the
to indicate how and where they are willing to serve,
or to indicate interest in knowing more about areas of leadership service.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR GIFTS-BASED DISCIPLESHIP!
NORTH DISTRICT EPAUMC CALENDAR
New and Updated Events are in BOLD
November 2019 –
- Nov. 13th – Churches as First Responders to the Veteran and Military Population; 9am-Noon; Phoenixville UMC
- Nov. 20th – Order of Elders Day with Gil Rendle; 8:30-12noon; Camp Innabah
December 2019 –
- Dec. 4th – Breakfast with the DS in Broadheadsville, 8:30-10am (Details above)
- Dec. 6th – Lunch with the DS in Mt. Carmel, 1-2:30pm (Details above)
2020 Dates to Save –
- 1/10-12/20 – Youth Rally in Ocean City, MD (Details Below)
- 3/7/20 – Tools for Ministry
- 3/28/19 – Racism, Post-Tramatic Stress, & Transformation for People of Color
- 4/20/20 – General Conference Listening Session by members of the delegation at Epworth UMC in Bethlehem (7-8:30)
- 4/25/20- Evangelism workshop at Wesley UMC featuring Lisa Greenwood, from TMF (Texas Methodist Foundation)
- **5/17/20 – North District Conference (afternoon)
- **6/18-6/20 – EPA Annual Conference