Aug 08, 2023 | John W. Coleman

Bishop John Schol will hold video-conference listening sessions, as promised, with EPA lay and clergy conference members via Zoom on August 29, at 11 a.m., and August 31 at 6:30 p.m.*

He will discuss and answer questions about the proposed 2024 budget legislation and plans for the Sept. 9 Special Session at Lititz United Methodist Church. 

East District clergy met with Bishop Schol July 26 to discuss proposed 2024 budget legislation, plans for the Sept. 9 Special Session and other matters. Rev. Steward Warner photo

The bishop recently met in-person with EPA clergy in all four districts: East District on July 26; West District on August 1; North District on August 2; and South District on August 8. Those meetings followed earlier meetings via Zoom in July with Eastern PA Conference members and Connectional Table members to discuss and respond to questions about the May Annual Session and important challenges the conference is facing. Read FAQ Conversation on EPA Challenges.

South District clergy engage in small-group dialogue during their meeting with Bishop Schol August 8. Rev. Kevin Rutledge photo

Also promised were periodic reports on progress being made to address those challenges, among other concerns, and on plans for the upcoming Special Session. Here is the first report.

EPA Special Session Registration  

Members can register for the Special Session until August 30. The registration fee is $25, to help defray costs. Members should register by this deadline and bring their registration credentials with them. 

The session will be viewable via livestream video on EPA’s website. For the agenda and more information, visit our 2023 Special Session web page.

2024 Budget Interpretation Videos

A three-part video series, “Mission in Motion,” is available to help members learn more about the 2024 budget legislation that will be proposed to the Special Session. Watch the three videos—which total about 5 minutes—on EPA’s YouTube channel.

In the videos, CFA President Irene Dickinson and Chief Financial Officer/Treasurer Jo Fielding present overviews and rationales for the new, more comprehensive Consolidated Budget and the proposed new Fund Management Policy.  

Fielding defines designated and restricted funds. She also explains the process and stewardship responsibility for managing a diverse array of funds on behalf of the annual conference. And she interprets why a more accountable Fund Management Policy is needed as both a best practice and a disciplinary mandate.

Wildwoods Convention Center in Wildwood, N.J.

2024 Annual Conference Dates and Location

The Rev. Jim Anderman, chair of EPA’s Commission on Sessions, has announced the location and dates for the 2024 Annual Conference. The session will be held May 21-23, 2024, at the Wildwoods Convention Center in Wildwood, N.J. In a letter to members, he explains the rationale for scheduling the EPA and Greater New Jersey conferences “back-to-back” in the same location as a significant convenience and cost-saving measure. Learn more.

Church (Charge) Conference Forms Updates  

  1. Sixty-three (63) percent of EPA churches and clergy have completed Church (Charge) Conference forms. “We express gratitude for the faithfulness, perseverance and diligence of our clergy and congregational leadership who have completed their charge conference paperwork” said conference leaders.
  2. The banner for the Arena database forms has been updated to identify both conferences. 
  3. Clergy have access to all forms except the Staff-Parish Relations Committee (SPRC) pastoral assessment form. All forms will be available in PDF, accessible from the Church (Charge) Conference page of the website
  1. The forms are printable. That convenience will be further improved soon.  
  2. The space in the forms to provide narrative information is being expanded, as requested.
  3. Instructional videos for Church (Charge) Conference forms are available here: Instructional Videos for Church Conference Forms

EPA Staffing Update  

The conference filled two key support staff positions in August. Wendy Cabe is the new North-West Regional Administrator. And Leah Zuckerman, EPA’s Hospitality Services Administrator, now also serves part-time as the Connectional Ministries Team’s Administrator.

We still have two open positions in EPA: 

All open positions are posted on our website and Facebook page and on public platforms like ZipRecruiter. Our Human Resources Director also works closely with recruiters. 

Chief Financial Officer/Treasurer Jo Fielding in “Mission in Motion” video series

Moreover, in the third Mission in Motion video, Jo Fielding discusses collaborative staffing as part of EPA’s “affiliation experiment” with the Greater New Jersey Conference, initiated in late 2022. She explains the need to address staff shortages and the mutual benefit to both conferences of creating more administrative and program efficiency through collaboration.  

Learn More, Ask More

To learn more visit our 2023 Post-Annual Conference FAQs page and FAQ Conversation on EPA Challenges page. To submit additional questions or concerns, use our  EPA Challenges Questions page.

*Connect to both listening sessions:

August 29, at 11 a.m., and August 31, at 6:30 p.m.—via Zoom at: