As challenging as 2016 has been, 2017 may prove to be even more so, as we embark on new, unpredictable four-year journeys for both our church and our nation. The United Methodist Council of Bishops’ Commission on the Way Forward has asked each annual conference to take turns praying vigilantly for one week. The Eastern Pennsylvania Conference will pray together during the week of January 8-14, 2017.
We are a people in conflict encountering doubt, discord, disruption and division. But we are also a people of faith, who lean heavily on the steadfast promises of God. So it is in our constant prayers and our confident praise that together we can seek and find unity, loving harmony and the blessed assurance of all things hoped for in God.
Throughout 2017 our conference will present opportunities for God’s people to gather in inspirational prayer and praise. We will teach and learn and celebrate these and other grace disciplines that are the mighty works of our faith.
Five events so far, for youth and adults, are planned for the Winter season, with more to come in the Spring. So come, gather in prayer and praise, in the presence of the Holy, to humbly seek God’s face, to repent for wrongs and to seek paths of righteousness and transformation, wherever God leads us.
January 26-28 (Thursday to Saturday). The Restoration 2017 Retreat is Bishop Peggy Johnson’s invitation to clergy and lay members of the Eastern PA and Peninsula-Delaware conferences, to gather in retreat January 26-28, at the Sands Hotel in Rehoboth Beach, Del. The theme is “Prayer, Praise and Presence.” The purpose: “Finding new life in the spiritual disciplines to bring strength to our Christian journey.” This event replaces the former Mid-Winter Retreat for Clergy and Spouses that had drawn fewer participants over the past several years.
The focus of this Restoration retreat is to bring to light aspects of ministry, life, and community that need to be restored within us on our journey of making disciples. Our guest speaker will be the Rev. Junius Dotson, the new General Secretary of UM Discipleship Ministries.
All are invited to join in this gathering to pray, praise and worship God in the presence of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Worship will begin the retreat Thursday evening and end it Saturday morning. In-between there will be ample time for prayer and personal reflection, workshops, fellowship and meals together, and even laughter inspired by a guest comedian. Two (2) CEUs will be granted for attendance.
Online registration will be available once all the program details are finalized. With October being Clergy Appreciation Month, Bishop Johnson is asking churches to consider showing appreciation and care for pastors and their families by gifting the cost of their registration for Restoration.
February 28 (One on each district. More information to come.)
March 18, 8:30 AM to 2 PM at New Hanover UMC. Faith-Sharing Training Event
Our 2017 annual Faith-Sharing Training Event will happen March 18, from 8:30 AM to 2 PM, at New Hanover UMC. Our guest presenter is the Rev. Terry Teykl, a leading “prayer evangelist” and popular speaker and author. He travels the world encouraging churches to develop and strengthen prayer ministries as a means of revival and transformation.
Teykl, the founder of Renewal Ministries and Prayer Point Press, has authored several books, including The Presence-Based Church, My Most Wanted: 40 Days to Pray for the Lost, and Pray the Price: United Methodists United in Prayer. He has spent his life teaching churches how to develop a heartfelt, meaningful relationship with the Lord. His warm, humorous style makes him a much-sought after speaker and seminar leader.
“We believe that when prayer and evangelism are reunited the Church will emerge as a powerful force for reclaiming the land and setting the captives free.” —Terry Teykl. Learn more about this passionate, powerful speaker and man of God.
January 6-8 (Friday to Sunday). An annual youth rally and retreat offering praise and worship, learning and laughter, fellowship and fun at the Ocean City (Md.) Convention Center. Register online by Nov.15 for $67 or by Dec. 15 for $77 at umyoungpeople.org/youthrally
Theme: “This Is Love” from 1 John 4:10. Featuring motivational speaker Steve Fitzhugh, a “champion for youth,” along with Rend Collective, Zealand Worship Band, Dave & Brian, and a full concert by gospel singer Tasha Cobbs.
Friday, January 20, at 7 PM, at New Birth (Nuevo Nacimiento) UMC. Calling all talented youth! Don’t miss the next FOHS gathering. Come for a fun-filled, praise-packed night of talent through inspiring music and spoken Word. Dinner served afterward.
This is a Christian youth event, but you do not need to belong to a church to attend. All youth (and adults) are welcome. Come share your talents with the Lord, or just come and enjoy this spirit-filled celebration of young life and faith. Let us know if you want to share a talent or have any questions. Spread the word. Pass it on!
April 22: Eastern PA Conference Youth Rally. 9 AM to 4 PM at Hopewell UMC, Downington, PA. Theme: “Wake Up, God’s People! God’s People, Wake Up!”
April 23-25 – Local Pastors and Associate Members Retreat. At Black Rock Retreat Center, Quarryville, PA. Theme: “The Authority of Scripture.”
April 29: Tools for Ministry (possibly including classes on prayer, worship and other spiritual disciplines). Times and locations determined by districts.