Bishop Johnson announces 2014 clergy appointments, retirements

Bishop Peggy A. Johnson announces the following 2014 appointments and retirements, effective July 1, 2014, unless otherwise noted:

New appointments announced:

Southwest District

2014 Lenten Study: Suffering Servant: Who Has Believed?

Suffering Servant: Who Has Believed is a new Lenten Bible study developed by the Rev. Steve Morton of Hopewell UMC, Downingtown, Pa.  This dynamic seven-week series is based on the powerful text of Isaiah 53. It is configured to begin the week of Ash Wednesday, March 5, and conclude the week following Easter Sunday. Each 90-minute session consists of a presentation on DVD and a study guide to help participants gain a deep understanding of the scripture by integrating group discussion with personal reflection.  Each session features an Elder from the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.

Our prayer is that over 1,000 United Methodists will participate in this Lenten Bible study and grow deeper in their faith as they learn more about Jesus Christ.The DVD presentation is available at no cost.  To order your copy or for additional information please contact Deb Boyd at

Laity Retreats to offer leaders spiritual renewal

Come and bathe yourself in worship with other United Methodists on our district, drink in God’s word, learn from one another, and refresh yourself to continue in the ministry to which God has called you.”

That enticing invitation is how one EPA district aptly described its upcoming Laity Retreat on Saturday, March 1, when laity will gather in retreat at three locations.

EPA continues recovery from ice storm disaster

Update-- Ice Storm Damages:
You may be able to deduct losses on your tax return:

“You generally must deduct a casualty loss in the year it occurred. However, if the property was damaged as a result of a federally declared disaster you can choose to deduct that loss on your return for the tax year immediately preceding the year in which the disaster happened. A federally declared disaster is a disaster that took place in an area declared by the President to be eligible for federal assistance under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act. If you have already filed your return for the preceding year, you may claim the loss by filing an amended return, Form 1040X.“ - IRS Publication - Disaster Resource Guide.

If you had a loss, you may be able to deduct when you file your 2013 return instead of waiting until next year. Read the IRS publication for further details.

Martin Luther King, Jr.: Looking Back, Looking Forward

Martin Luther King, Jr.


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 15, 1929. He became a great American whose birthday we officially observe each year on January 20th. Although he died the death of a martyr, he became somewhat of a legend during his own time. I am proud to join with my fellow citizens in celebrating his life and legacy.

NEJ youth stretch their horizons on Mission of Peace

Mission of Peace

Bishop Peggy Johnson returned home Jan. 15 with 18 youth and other adult guides from a fascinating three-week Mission of Peace in and around Johannesburg and Capetown, South Africa. The young people from across the UMC Northeastern Jurisdiction, including three EPA youth, learned much about the country's complex history, politics and mixture of faiths and cultures, as well as its challenges and hopeful outlook for the future.

Bishop Johnson announces new Cabinet appointments


new DSs

Bishop Peggy Johnson is pleased to announce the following appointments, effective July 1, 2014:

The Rev. Dawn Taylor-Storm will become Superintendent of the Southeast District; the Rev. Tracy Bass will become Superintendent of the East District; and the Rev. BumKoo Chung will become Superintendent of the Southwest District.  Please be in prayer for them and their families.  Their biographical information follows.

Latino churches to celebrate Holy Convocation April 19

Clergy leaders of the EPA Conference Latino Commission--the Revs. Lydia Munoz, Brunilda Martinez, Esdras Seda, Irving Cotto, Luky Cotto and Alicia Julia-Stanley--pose with the Rev. Christopher Kurien, Connectional Ministries Director, after a recent meeting.  John Coleman photo

Latino members of the EPA Conference will consider and vote on a proposed new structure and strategy for the Latino Commission when they celebrate their fourth annual Holy Convocation Saturday, April 19, from 9:30 to 3 p.m., at Westchester UMC.  El Buen Samaritano UMC, which has worshiped at Westchester since 1999, will serve as host, led by its pastor, the Rev. Evodia Villalva. Bishop Peggy Johnson will preach at 11 a.m.

Maundy Thursday: ‘A new commandment to love one another’

An article at defines Maundy Thursday as “an alternate name for Holy Thursday, the first of the three days of solemn remembrance of the events leading up to and immediately following the crucifixion of Jesus. The English word "Maundy" comes from the Latin mandatum, which means "commandment."

As recorded in John's gospel, on his last night before his betrayal and arrest, Jesus washed the feet of his disciples and then gave them a new commandment to love one another as he had loved them (John 13:34).” This is why church services on this night generally include the washing of feet or other acts of caring as an integral part of celebration.

While John's gospel does not record the institution of the Lord's Supper among the events of this night, the other Gospels do. Many Christians therefore celebrate this night in fellowship at the basin (footwashing) and at the Lord's Table (Holy Communion). 

EPA Youth Retreat at Gretna Glen Camp, May 3

Six months after their initial Ember retreat at Pocono Plateau last November (David Pilz photo), the Conference Council on Youth Ministries (CCYM) now invites all youth--grades 6 to 12--to gather again for the Flame/Ablaze Youth Retreat on Saturday, May 3, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. This retreat, at Gretna Glen Camp & Retreat Center, will again explore one's faith journey and relationship with God, and include games, entertainment, recreation, savory meals and a communal fire. Register online now.


Read the latest news of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.


View photo galleries of Conference events and news stories.


See the latest videos by the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.


Bishop's Blog

Bishop's Blog

Read thoughts on faith and life from Bishop Peggy Johnson.