Rev. John Bletsch
Submit news and events for consideration on the Eastern PA Conference website or the weekly NEWSpirit Digest to firstname.lastname@example.org
Local Church Communicators, please download, complete and return our short questionnaire, so that we can better communicate, serve and share resources with you and your church. Thanks!
In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. — Matthew 5:16
In the Eastern PA Conference, Communications is a powerful resource to help members and churches keep informed and connected, and to help them shine their lights and tell their stories of faithful ministry to the world.
We produce and publish a robust menu of multi-media resources that includes: NEWSpirit, our quarterly newspaper offered in print and online; NEWSpirit Digest, our weekly online newsletter; Jobs Digest, the monthly online bulletin of employment openings; E-blasts, occasional bulk e-mails transmitting news alerts, clergy death notices, and official letters and statements from the Bishop’s Office; Our conference Website, which covers a wide range of activities across the conference, offering news, event listings, resources, contacts and other information; and Our several social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram. And finally we produce occasional videos to inform, interpret and promote a variety of ministries and the people who make them happen.
The Office of Communications works closely with an elected Communications Ministry Team and with other conference offices, ministries and leadership. Most of all, however, we depend on the districts, pastors, leaders and members of our many churches to keep us informed about their ministries and concerns, so that we can inform and indeed, enlighten the world.
One of our key goals is to do more to resource and help local church communicators do their work more effectively by offering information and training, both online and face-to-face. In doing so, we will use and pass on valuable information and resources from United Methodist Communications and other helpful sources.
A Local Church Crisis Communications Plan produced by UM Communications. This document is a template that local churches can adapt to meet their own specific circumstances and needs. Review the template closely and determine where the plan may need to be modified.
The final version should be printed in an easy-to-read format, placed in a binder with divider sheets and distributed to church staff and everyone on the crisis team. Keep a copy handy in the office. Use it frequently to practice your responses.
Email Spoofing Alert. Caution advised
Bishop Peggy Johnson recently learned that she is a victim of e-mail spoofing, a fraudulent practice of impersonating someone by sending e-mail messages with their name falsely placed in the “From” field. She cautions e-mail recipients to always check the e-mail address, not just the name, in the “From” field, and be suspicious of messages that contain misspellings and unusual statements, questions or requests that you are not accustomed to receiving from Bishop Johnson or anyone else with whom you correspond.
Also, never click on strange web links or attachments, especially where there is no accompanying information explaining where the link goes or what the attachment is. If you think it might be legitimate, roll your mouse over the link without clicking on it, and see what URL appears during the rollover action.
Also, here is some more helpful advice: “10+ best practices for e-mail use to be safe, not sorry” [PDF]
A quarterly publication (Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall issues) offered in print and online. NEWSpirit reports up-to-date news and views of the conference, including important concerns, events, resources, ministries and personnel. Featured are insightful, inspiring opinion columns written by Bishop Peggy Johnson (Faithfully Yours) and our Director of Connectional Ministries, the Rev. Christopher J. Kurien. Also included are recent clergy death notices and lots of colorful, revealing photos, including vivid photo displays of major events like Annual Conference. Subscriptions are only $12 a year, which may be sent to the EPA Conference Treasurer at the conference center. Subscribe here.
A weekly, pictorial online newsletter reporting the latest in conference news and announcements, including new clergy appointments, key events, resources, ministries and personnel. Most stories are brief, but introductions to longer stories link to our Website or other media sources for more information. A great publication to forward to others. Better yet, encourage them to subscribe. It’s free. Subscribe here.
Social media is a crucial communication outlet for reaching diverse audiences, within and beyond the membership ranks of our churches and conference. So we eagerly share information, insights and colorful images about our ministries and concerns through our Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube pages, while also welcoming feedback from our followers. Please visit our various social media sites regularly. Follow us, “like” us, respond to and retweet our content, and tell us what you think and also what you care about.