“There never was any mischief but had a priest or a woman at the bottom.”
(Alexander Hamilton in a letter dated September 11, 1779)
An anecdote from a local history book I paged through recently revealed a provocative episode about priests and women and appointment-changes. In a Slovak patch town outside of Hazleton in the 1880’s, “…when a bishop appointed a priest against the wishes of the parishioners, a hundred of the parish women marched on the rectory, broke down the door, chased the unfortunate reverend into the attic, and ransacked the house.” (The Kingdom of Coal, Miller & Sharpless, p. 188). You’ll find NONE of that permitted in our Moving Rules in the back of the Conference Journal, by the way! “The local newspaper deplored the action but called upon the bishop to ‘be more responsive to the needs of the people.'”
‘Such mischief and mystery and misadventure associated – sometimes! – with the changing of a pastor…
In our own Methodist history, I am amused by Martin Boehm’s recollection of the regular practice of Bishop Francis Asbury, who always made a fast getaway on the last day of annual conference. Asbury read “…the appointments slowly and carefully, folding his paper, uttering a closing prayer, and then striding – as quickly as his sore feet would allow – to his horse at the door, as the room erupted into a dozen conversations. He thus avoided importunity, and no one could have his appointment changed if he desired to, for no one knew where to find the bishop.” (American Saint, John Wigger, p. 381)
‘Good times, good times! It’s appointment season in the Eastern PA Conference, and our great North District (the largest in geography and number of congregations) once again leads the way with thirty (30) new appointment announcements already…and a few more still to come. My “horse” and I have covered amazing distances over the past four months; actually, in the current environment of shelter-at-home, ZOOM has helped!
Truth be told: God has blessed us with some terrific, exciting incoming pastors…even as we bid farewell, with much gratitude, to those who prepare to depart. Our appointment system in Methodism is an almost-unique program for the deployment of clergy. It may not last forever, but it has served our church pretty well for two hundred years and it is the law of the land today.
In this season, I pray for little mischief…for no parsonage ransacking… and for humble appreciation of a bishop (and cabinet) truly responsive to the needs of the people.
District and Annual Conferences are rescheduled for the fall.
Details are still forthcoming, but here’s what we know…
Annual Conference 2020 will be October 13-14
The 2020 Eastern PA Annual Conference will happen October 13-14, a Tuesday and Wednesday, at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks. Originally scheduled for June 18-20, the session was postponed because of restrictions against public gatherings due to the
spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
The now two-day schedule means a reduced agenda from the usual
The annual Clergy and Laity sessions will meet in the morning, October 13, just prior to the Annual Conference opening worship. Staff will begin event preparations onsite October 12.
The Commission on Annual Conference Sessions met March 30 to plan a modified agenda, while the final dates were being negotiated with the Expo Center. Fall dates are hard to acquire now, with so many spring events being rescheduled.
Annual Conference registration fees already paid for June will be refunded, although with conference staff working from home, that process may require weeks to complete. A new fee and registration period for the fall session will be announced soon.
Northeastern Pastor’s Meeting Postponed
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 email@example.com or 360 298 8327.
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:
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