Academies, workshops, training events, convocations, retreats. The Eastern PA Conference is a vibrant, living organism that survives and indeed, thrives in community as we gather and grow together. Our connectional life is enhanced by these types of learning events and by other gatherings as well: worship and prayer services; concerts, theater, film viewings and other performances; celebrations; picnics; sports and recreation events–the list is endless.

We also provide access to a list of upcoming Conference meetings of boards, teams and committees, and to a list of recent and upcoming Local Church events. Please send us your complete information about meetings and events right away by using our Submit News page.


March 2019

View and share the bishop’s PowerPoint slides for her presentation. Also, this event will be broadcast as it happens via livestream video. Watch it live on the West Lawn UMC website’s livestreaming page. It may also be archived for later viewing.

March 30: ERT (Early Response Team) Training
ERT-only training event open to all, at Asbury UMC in Allentown, North District

The Eastern PA Conference Disaster Response ministry team will sponsor in partnership with Asbury UMC an ERT training event . The event is scheduled for March 30, from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, at Allentown: Asbury UMC 1533 Springhouse Rd. Allentown, PA 18104.

Early Response Team (ERT), whose mission is to provide skilled support to disaster survivors as soon as communities allow response teams into disaster-impacted areas

    • Robert Simcox, the conference’s  Disaster Response Coordinator, will lead the ERT training.

The  training costs $45 per person, which also provides the book Mission Journey (UMVIM participants will also get the updated VIM Team Leader Resource Toolkit) a light breakfast, and lunch. Learn more… 

March 30: Four Stations of the Holy Spirit

Last Day to Register is Wednesday, March 27th!

The Conference Congregational Development Team will host FOUR STATIONS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT TRAINING EVENT on Saturday March 30th from 8:30am to 12:30 pm at ELAMUMC, 1073 SMITHBRIDGE RD. GLEN MILLS, PA. 19342. This Eastern Pa. Conference Congregational Development Team event is designed to reach lay people to:

  1. pray one-on one with others
  2. anoint others with oil
  3. serve Communion wherever and whenever people need it
  4. help those in search of “newness of life” in Christ to affirm their baptism.

There is a $15.00 fee which covers the cost of a book and other sacramental elements for training purposes. Refreshments will be served as well. To attend, please email the Rev. Gordon Hendrickson, coordinator, at or call him at 267 258-9507 by March 27th.

Bishop’s schedule of Spring town hall meetings

Bishop Peggy Johnson will hold special town hall meetings on the four districts in March 2019, to address legislation enacted at the 2019 Special Called General Conference in February. Please save these dates now:

  • East District: Mon. March 25, 6:30 pm, at Doylestown UMC
  • North District: Tue. March 26, 5 pm, at Tamaqua: First UMC.
  • South District: Wed. March 27, 6:30 pm, at Valley Forge: St. Matthew’s
  • West District: Thu. March 28, 6:30 pm, at Manheim: Ruhl’s UMC. Register Now!

April 2019

April 9: Seminar profs to teach “The Art of Preaching”

The Eastern PA Conference Cabinet will offer a half-day seminar titled The Art of Preaching on Tuesday, April 9, 8:30 AM to 1 PM, at West Lawn UMC, 5 Woodside Avenue, Reading.

The Rev. Thomas Long, Bandy Professor Emeritus of Preaching at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, will keynote the seminar’s opening plenary. The celebrated Presbyterian clergyman has studied, taught and written extensively about contemporary-style preaching and homiletics for many years. His book, The Witness of Preaching , was named “one of the 25 most influential books on preaching for the last 25 years” by Preaching Magazine in 2010. It is widely used in theological schools around the globe in multiple languages.

Other noteworthy preachers will teach morning workshops on the art and craft of proclaiming God’s word and Christ’s gospel in a new age and in diverse communities. They include:

  • the Rev. Catherine Williams, Professor of Preaching and Worship at Lancaster Seminary, and
  • Bishop (retired) Alfred Johnson, formerly of the Eastern PA Conference and now a research professor and Director of the Urban Research Center at New York Theological Seminary.

Registration is $20 per person will open in February. All pastors are encouraged to attend. Look for more details in February. Contact: East District Office: or 215-878-4607.

8:30– Gathering and breakfast
9:15– Plenary presentation
10:45– Breakout workshops
12:00– lunch

Learn more… 

May 2019

May 4: “Rekindle the Flame” Children’s Ministry Conference
Saturday, May 4, 2019
9:30 AM until 3:30 PM
Cedarville UMC
1092 Laureltown Road
Pottstown, PA
Mentoring Sessions focused on:
  • Creating discipleship pathways for children and families with Kathy Pittenger
  • Pursuing racial unity with Melanie Gordon
  • Creating and maintaining inclusive children’s and family ministries with Elizabeth Christie

May 5-7: 2019 FAMLP retreat

The Fellowship of Associate Members and Licensed Local Pastors (FAMLP) will hold its 2019 annual retreat May 5-7 at the Peninsula-Delaware Conference’s Camp Pecometh, 136 Bookers Wharf Road, Centreville, Md.

The Rev. Jack Shitama, executive director of Pecometh Camp & Retreat Ministries, will be the featured presenter. He serves on the Peninsula-Delaware Conference Vision Team and formerly chaired the United Methodist Camp & Retreat Ministries Association Board. Shitama, a former pastor in Maryland, authored the book Anxious Church, Anxious People: How to Lead Change in an Age of Anxiety, which is the theme for the retreat and his presentation. The book is available at, and other booksellers for under $13.

For more information, contact the Rev. Mark Beideman, Eastern PA Conference FAMLP Chairperson, at 610-585-0575 or

View and download the brochure:

May 11: Churches as First Responders to the Military and Veteran Population

Saturday, May 11, 2019
9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

FUMC Phoenixville
865 Main St., Phoenixville, PA

Registration Cost: $10 per person
Register by May 4, 2019!

Training for Clergy and Laity. Includes:

  • Training in recognizing military or Veteran congregant families facing problems
  • Understanding military culture and its impact on families
  • Identifying pastoral roles in ministering to congregants with Moral Injury.

Sponsored by: EPAUMC Connectional Ministries, Committee on Disabilities Concerns

Download the flyer!

May 18-19: Advocacy Weekend Conference

United Methodist Advocacy in Pennsylvania will conduct a conference, May 18-20, on the subject of faith and politics. The conference is entitled “Change the World.” It will take place in the state capital, Harrisburg. This conference is designed for United Methodists—and others—who believe that a life of faith extends into the community and as far as the halls of government.

  • Saturday, May 18, is “Change the World through Knowledge.” It will take place at Paxton UMC, Harrisburg. This conference-style gathering will consist of opportunities to learn more about current issues, such as: How Laws are Made, Climate Change, Human Trafficking, The Meaning of Justice, Legislative Redistricting Reform, Criminal Justice in PA, and more.
  • Sunday, May 19, is “Change the World through Service.” It will take place in downtown Harrisburg. There will be opportunities to tour the Capitol building, join in environmental service projects, participate in an ecumenical environmental-based worship experience, and learn how to communicate with lawmakers.
  • Monday, May 20, is “Change the World through Your Voice.” We will make legislative visits in the morning. Participants with interest in special topics will be guided to appropriate contacts. We will conclude at 1:00 with a news conference in the Capitol.

More detailed information and registration materials will be released soon. Registration for the conference does not require participation on all three days.


July 19-20: UMW’s 2019 Annual Mission u

Celebrating 150 Years in Mission

The Inn at Reading
1040 North Park Road Wyomissing, PA 19610

The purpose of Mission u is to help church members (lay and clergy, men, women and youth) understand and interpret the global mission of the church and the responsibility of Christians within that mission; to provide information about the work of United Methodist Women; and to offer an integrated program of Mission Education, Christian Social Action, and Program Planning. Learn more…

For more information, contact the Dean of the school:
Jean Twardzik, 570-345-5061,


2019 EPA Laity Academy

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch… “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” –Luke 5:4,10b

Are you prepared to navigate the deep waters? Our lives and ministries are constantly bombarded by the waves that distract us from our commitment to Christ.  When you are asked to Cast Your Net and fish for Disciples, do you know where to start? Do you know what to say?

Come join us at the 2019 EPA Laity Academy for an exciting weekend of classes, fellowship, worship, entertainment, food and service. Learn how you can Gather Disciples and Grow your Ministries.

There are many more new classes this year including topics in Ministering to an Aging Congregation, Working With Conflict: Making the Most of Diversity, and more to be announced.

Watch this space for registration details.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact Rick Wrisley, Laity Academy Dean, at

Other Events

April 4: Wesley Forum to explore ‘Beyond A Way Forward’

The annual Wesley Forum, presented by the Center for Methodist Studies at Evangelical Seminary, will welcome two bishops and a church historian on April 4 to explore “Beyond A Way Forward: Leadership for the Future [Methodist] Church.” The forum, will take place at two Lancaster locations that day: from 8:30 AM to 3:00 PM at Hemphill UMC (3050 Marietta Ave.) and from 7:30 to 9:00 PM at Lancaster First UMC (29 E Walnut St.).

Bishop Peggy Johnson and Bishop Mark Webb, of the Upper New York Episcopal Area, will join Scott Kisker, Ph.D., Professor of the History of Christianity & Associate Dean at United Theological Seminary, for the forum. Bishop Johnson will talk about “Ministry in the Margins.” Bishop Webb will discuss “A call for consistency in the midst of uncertainty.” And Dr. Kisker will conclude with “Hope for the Future.”

The three will then join in two panel discussions, one at 2 PM and another at the evening session, where they will review and comment on the recent 2019 Special Called General Conference in St. Louis.

The cost for the daytime main session is $35 per person, or $25 for Evangelical Seminary Alumni. The evening session is free to all.

Each year, the Wesley Forum “invites unique and interesting people to share their insights into how Wesleyan theology contributes to a vibrant, intelligent, and authentic faith.”

Learn More and Register Today!

Eastern PA Conference Local Church Events


  • April 5-7: Changing Racism Workshop
  • April 9: The Art of Preaching, West Lawn UMC, $20 registration.
  • May 4: UMW Conference / Spiritual Life Retreat
  • May 5: District Conferences
    • East District at Glenside: Lighthouse Fellowship
  • June 1: Cross-Racial/Cross-Cultural Ministry Workshop
  • June 13-15: 2019 Annual Conference
  • July 19-20: “Mission u” at The Inn at Reading
  • October 19: UMW’s 46th Annual Celebration