By John W. ColemanDownload: Eastern PA Conference Events List, August to November 2019
When summer begins to cool down in September, the Eastern PA Conference calendar will heat up with potentially life- and church-changing special events that many leaders and members should find valuable for their ministries.
Following a leisurely lull from August through Labor Day, our weekends and some weekdays will get busy with important learning and sharing events from September through November, proving the conference’s eagerness to invest in and live out its vision statement to become more “United in Christ, Committed to Transformation.”*
An assortment of serious learning events will focus on:
- Hopewell UMC’s annual leadership development and transformation seminar, featuring Jen Hatmaker, a popular Christian author, speaker, blogger and television presenter. (Planting Seeds for Ministry Growth, Sept. 21)
- How churches can address the damaging causes and consequences of domestic violence, especially the errant socialization of boys and men that causes toxic masculine attitudes and behaviors. (Domestic Violence, the Church Responds II, Sept. 28)
- How churches can form and mobilize vital, visionary leadership teams to launch into bold, life-changing and church-changing ministries. (Leadership Launch Workshop, Oct. 5).
And there are more dynamic events scheduled that will focus on:
- Understanding appropriate and inappropriate behaviors and boundaries for persons in ministry. (Basic Sexual Ethics, Oct. 12)
- Understanding and dismantling individual and institutional racism. (Changing Racism, Oct. 19-20)
- An encore of dynamic ministry stories and strategies to inspire small-membership churches. (HOPE! Talks 2.0: ReBoot!, Oct. 19)
And yes, there are more serious, informative and innovative events planned well into November.
But first, we will start this busy season with two fitting events after Labor Day that promise some good, old-fashioned—and maybe some new-fashioned—fun and fellowship.
The first event, Camping at the Crossroads, Sept. 6-7, will be “part festival, part rally, part retreat, all rolled into one event to reach youth and young adults for Christ.” All Eastern PA Conference youth and young adults are invited! Covenant UMC of Moore Township (2715 Mountain View Drive, Bath, PA) is the host and site. The Conference Young People’s Ministries department is a cosponsor.
Participants can camp out Friday night, starting at 3 PM, or come Saturday and spend the day enjoying insightful and uplifting messages and music from a full menu of speakers and performers. The event starts Friday at 7 PM and will end at 7 PM Saturday; but campers are invited to stay over to Sunday and join Covenant’s congregation in worship. Learn more…
Simultaneously, people of all ages and races—but especially people of color—are invited to join in Celebrating Our Cultures on Saturday, Sept. 7, from 11 AM to 2 PM, at Innabah Camp & Retreat Center. The 3-hour family cookout, picnic and cultural celebration, sponsored by the conference Commission on Religion and Race, will be an enjoyable time for fellowship, networking, sharing, learning and play.
All are invited, but racial-ethnic members of our conference and churches are especially encouraged to attend and share with one another gifts of their respective ethnic cultures—foods, songs, dances, stories, poetry, prayers, visual art and artifacts, etc. The requested donation is $10 per adult, but free for children under 16.
The cultural celebration will feature personal reflections highlighting cultural concerns and also popular conference musical performers, including the Philadelphia UMC Mass Choir and the Rev. Lydia Munoz. Innabah’s playground, fields, Gaga and basketball courts will also be available for play. Learn more…
NEWSpirit Communications will feature these and other conference events in our various media over the coming months. That includes the Bishop’s Days on the Districts, which will happen in early fall.
Bishop Peggy Johnson will climax each district visit (including two separate visits to the expansive North District) by meeting with clergy and lay members at 6:30 PM. She will speak about General Conference 2020 and the Annual Conference 2020 theme of Evangelism, among other topics of interest. Her visits will be:
- Sept. 23 – North District (East side), at Pen Argyl UMC
- Sept. 24 – North District (West side) at Frackville: First UMC
- Sept. 25 – West District at Manheim: Ruhl’s UMC
- Oct. 1 – East District at Simpson House, in Constitution Hall.
- Oct. 2 – South District at Valley Forge: St. Matthew’s UMC
Other fall (and pre-fall) conference events scheduled include:
- September 9: The 9th Annual North District Laity Academy, Fall 2019 Session
- Mondays—September 9, 16, 23 and 30: The 9th Annual North District Laity Academy, sponsored by Methodists United (the Shamokin Area EPA Conference Mission Link comprising 11 North District congregations).
- September 14: Racism, Post-Traumatic Stress, & Transformation
- September 21: Hopewell UMC’s “Planting Seeds for Ministry Growth”
- September 21: Claiming Sabbath for Clergy Spouses
- September 28: Domestic Violence: The Church Responds II
- October 5: “Leadership Launch” Conference & Retreat from 9 AM to 3 PM at Quakertown UMC
- October 12: Basic Sexual Ethics Workshop at Bethel UMC
- October 18-20: Changing Racism Workshop at The Desmond Hotel, Malvern
- October 19: HOPE! Talks 2.0: ReBoot!, 9 AM – 12 Noon. Download the flyer!
- October 19: UMW’s 46th Annual Celebration
- October 20: Laity Sunday
- November 13: “Churches as First Responders to the Military and Veteran Population”
- November 16: CORR Emotional Intelligence and Diversity Training, 9:30 AM to 2 PM
- November 20: Elders Day Apart with Bishop Johnson, 9 AM – 12 PM
*Conference Vision Statement: United in Christ, Committed to Transformation
*Conference Mission Statement: Creating Disciples; Celebrating Diversity; Connecting Communities; Committing to Love and Justice.