North District News

A Message from D. S. Morton . . .

 “I am about to do a new thing” (Isaiah 43:19a)

    “See, I am making all things new!” (Revelation 21:5a)

              In my travels throughout the North District across these initial six months (92 pastoral interviews in seven different sites, plus visits to worship in twenty-eight various worship services), I’ve discovered pockets of wonderful vitality, on the one hand…and heard from many of you where you are deeply concerned about the future of the church in other settings.  Such is the reality all across the Annual Conference and all across the country.  In situations of extended decline –  i.e., when the future viability of [a] congregation is in question –  the Book of Discipline (paragraph 213) challenges the District Superintendent to appoint a task force of clergy and lay to study the legitimate potential for ministry in that setting, and to make recommendation about resourcing the congregation’s future ministry….or to recommend closing.   We have numerous posts on the North District which cry out for this attention (what the Bishop calls:  Doing a 213 with them.)  In this New year, is this an area in which YOU might help?   I wish I could say “viability” were not in jeopardy anywhere, but you know better.  Let me know if you or discrete members of your congregation could lend aid to this task.

              ‘And as we begin a New Year, one more very practical request.  While I have very-much enjoyed the various worship styles across the District, I have been amazed at how rarely the host pastor (1) introduces him/herself at the start of the hour, or (2) presents the overall, singular theme of that service.  If we’re truly trying to create a culture of hospitality, if we really expect to Welcome visitors when they come, we need to make introductions…starting with the very first voice of Greeting (usually the host pastor).  Consider how a newcomer or someone with a shortened memory feels when a pastor says, “Well, I think we all already know everyone here.”  If that’s the case in our worship hour, we need to work to change it!  And (secondly), if I don’t know what the sermon is going to be about prior to the start of the sermon, I’d invite you to re-think the value of the liturgy (the music, the readings, and the prayers) which surround that message.  Divine worship is a rare and precious opportunity, of which we need to be the most faithful stewards.  Consider a personal resolution in 2019 to promote hospitality and holy effectiveness in these two simple ways.

              I say it all the time, but I can’t say it enough:  Thanks for all you do!   I am looking forward to seeing all the new things our God will do among us in 2019.

North District Tools for Ministry

Therefore encourage one another and build up each other, as indeed you are doing.     -1 Thessalonians 5:11
Saturday, March 2, 2019
8:15 am to 12:30 pm
(Optional Tour of Asbury UMC facilities at 12:30 pm!)
Allentown: Asbury UMC
1533 Springhouse Rd.
Allentown, PA 18104


Cost:     $8.00 – until February 23; $10.00 – Walk-in
Fee includes continental breakfast, snacks, and materials
(Scholarships available upon request. Contact Sheri Kentner)
8:15-8:45: Registration
8:45-9:30: Plenary
9:45-12:30: Workshop Sessions
12:30-1:00: Optional Tour of Asbury UMC

Many of you have expressed a sense of call toward Pastoral Ministry… 

Often, one of the many steps in this process is Licensing School (often called License to Preach School). One benefit of our United Methodist Connection is that you can Licensing Schools in other UMC Conferences. Here are a variety of offerings with good, solid teaching that we found and thought might be of interest to y’all:
EPA (“Our”) Licensing School:
Meets Various Saturdays from March-December around the EPA Conference
Peninsula-Delaware Licensing School:
May 19th-26th at Pecometh.
No further information is available right now, but if you are interested, please let us know  and we will put you in contact with the right person!
Susquehanna Licensing School:
February 8th-10th, March 29th-31st, and April 26-28th, 2019 in Weikert, PA
Baltimore-Washington License to Preach School:
Meets April 30 to May 8, 2019 at the Manidokan Retreat Center
Candler School of Theology, Emory University Licensing School:
Meets May 19-27, 2019 at Candler School of Theology (Atlanta)


New and Updated Events are in BOLD
January 2019 –
  • January 24-26 – Restoration 2019 – Ocean City (CEUs AVAILABLE)

February 2019-

March 2019 – 
  • Tools for Ministry 2019 – Saturday, March 2, 2019; Allentown: Asbury UMC
  • Statistical Reports Due – Friday, March 15, 2019
  • EPAUMC Youth Rally – March 16, 2019, 1-5pm; Bethlehem: Wesley UMC.
  • Basic Sexual Ethics – Saturday, March 23, 2019; 9:30-3:00; Conshohocken UMC
  • Bishop’s Day on the District (Follow up to General Conference)- Tuesday, March 26th, 2019; 5:30; Tamaqua Area??? 
  • April 6th – VIM Puerto Rico Mission Trip Departs
  • Deacon Gathering with Bishop Johnson – April 13, 2019.
  • Certified Lay Ministries Courses – Begin in April, 2019 (More information about CLM program and dates).
  • Dare to Care, An Advanced Sexual Ethics Workshop, April 30th, 2019; Allentown: Asbury UMC.
Other 2019 Events – 
  • Local Pastor, Associate Member, CLM Retreat – May 5-7, 2019  – (Registration Deadline in January)
  • Annual Conference 2019 – Thursday, June 13 – Saturday, June 15, 2019