Exterior photo of Lewistown Valley: Calvary Evangelical Church 2014 Annual Back-to-School Backpacks giveaway at Wesley UMC, Bethlehem 2014 Bishop's Day on the Northeast District

North District e-News

2336 S. 9th Street, Unit 3, Allentown, PA 18103
Office: 610-395-6661
Fax: 610-395-5117

Latest Issue in PDF: North-eNews-01.15.18.pdf

calendar page

SAVE-THE-DATES:

Sat 28

[North Dist.] Day of Dialogue & Discovery

April 28 @ 9:00 am - 12:00 pm
May 06

North District Conference

May 6 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Jul 06

NORTH DISTRICT MISSIONS UPDATE


Camperships Projects
 
The local mission project for the North District continues with the raising of funds to send children to UM summer camps.
So far we have received $1917 of a $5000 goal.
Please send checks also to the District Office with
Camperships in the memo line.

 SHINE THE LIGHT!
(John 1: 6-14 CEB)
It is the Epiphany Season, the third stage of the cycle of light (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany). With the visit of the Magi from the Orient, according to the gospel, the birth of Jesus takes on a global dimension. Just as it was forecasted, this new born child has come as Savior of the whole world. Jesus, the light of the world has come to pull humanity out of darkness into a new day of hope and joyful expectation. “Arise! Shine! Your light has come; the Lord’s glory has shone upon you.” (Isaiah 60:1, CEB) Humanity can now meet God in Jesus. Because of this, in many countries Christmas celebrations continue past the 25th of December. For example, children look under their beds and find a humble gift in a shoe box. 
Epiphany means “manifestation.” In Jesus, God’s face is revealed to us. The gospel of John says, “The Word became flesh and made his home among us” (John 1:14, CEB). Thus, we are surrounded by divine glory, and with the assurance that God lives in our neighborhood.  May this Epiphany Season be a time to witness to the light, and share with others the light of Christ through our respective ministries.  As we follow the scriptures from the lectionary, we are invited to increasingly experience God’s nearness by way of the Messiah.  As the magi from afar, let us also prostrate before King Jesus and render unto Him homage, praise, and service.   
Thank you all for ministry and all that this involves: caring for others, building the body of Christ, shedding the light of Christ in your surrounding community, manifesting the unconditional love of God through ministries of mercy, justice, and compassion. Thank you in particular for supporting our District Hurricane Relief initiative. This is an extraordinary time to offer them Christ, the Light of the World.   
Happy Epiphany!
Irving Cotto

Welcome to the North District!
Acts. 1:8
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
DS Irving Cotto
    We are on the move! With the creation of the newNorth District our office has already experienced great challenges. Putting together pastoral interviews and charge conference schedules has been a huge task for both DRA’s Sheila Milz and Christine Eddy (who worked for the former Northwest District).
    So far I have met 43 pastors both individually and in groups. The stories they have shared with me remind me of the multi-form grace of God. Through a variety of gifts and life experiences of our pastoral colleagues, it is evident that we are all working hard to move forward in furthering God’s kingdom.
    Thank you for your patience and understanding as you wait for further details on every district activity before us.   The Cabinet’s commitment to conduct cluster charge conference through our Mission ConneXions system has required careful and detailed and planning so that they are carried out in the most productive way.
    I am learning how to be more effective with the number of churches we now have, 113. Thanks to Rev. Joe Tyson, former NW district superintendent and a seasoned leader, who is available to help me strategize and meet the needs of our area as my District Assisting Elder.
    Before us is a vast mission field filled with many opportunities to raise the name of Jesus, touch people’s lives with the gospel message, and tend to the flock through love, compassion, justice and peace. I look forward to seeing many of you at the Clergy Family Picnic in August and the District Celebration with Bishop Johnson in September (see details below)!
    In Christ’s fellowship and service,
    Rev. Dr. Irving Cotto

Conference News

Safe Sanctuaries
Latest Documents Available Online

The latest Safe Sanctuaries materials are now available on the conference website, which include the latest resources based on the changes to PA State Law as well as the slides projected at the Safe Sanctuaries training at Effort UMC in October.
The new laws broaden the definition of who is a “mandated reporter” to include anyone who supervises children or youth. The mandated reporter will be required to make reports of suspected abuse directly, rather than report it to a supervisor. Mandated reporters will be required to receive additional training on recognizing and reporting child abuse. The law that went into effect on June 15, 2014 states that willful failure to report suspected child abuse can result in misdemeanor or felony charges, depending on the severity of the alleged abuse.

All EPA UM churches including those on the NE District must update their Safe Sanctuaries practices to reflect these changes in the law. If your church is not in compliance, very serious legal consequences could occur. When the Safe Sanctuaries team receives final word on future legal changes, they will be posted on the Conference website as well. If you have any questions, please contact Kathy Dries, our NE District Safe Sanctuaries representative.

COPYRIGHT ALERT

Recently there have been a number of claims of copyright infringement involving Eastern Pennsylvania churches and organizations. The explosion of the internet makes it easier to create copyright infringements and also to find them. Some companies make it a business to search the internet for possible violation. Please read the attached copyright letter from Rob Shoemaker that conveys some brief information on the copyright rules.