This E-Alert and Recent E-Alerts Are Available on the SW District Page of the Conference

SW District E-alert, March 23, 2016

For our Calendar of Events and the Fine Print about this publication, please scroll to the end of this email.

This e-alert and recent e-alerts are available on the SW District page of the Conference website.

In the spirit of both Easter and Annual Conference, I hereby invoke a DRA Point of Privilege. This week’s quote is from one of my all-time favorite hymns. Ever. Happy Easter!

“Up from the grave he arose;

with a mighty triumph o'er his foes;

he arose a victor from the dark domain,

and he lives forever, with his saints to reign.

He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!”

The United Methodist Hymnal Number 322

Text: Robert Lowry, 1826-1899

Music: Robert Lowry, 1826-1899

Tune: CHRIST AROSE, Meter: 65.64 with Refrain

New! Office News. The District Office will be closed on Friday, March 25. The DRA will return to the office on Wednesday, March 30. If you have an emergency during that time, please call the office (717-569-9673) and listen for the DS’s cell phone number. The next e-alert will be sent on April 13.

Today! Today is the UMW Day of Giving. Celebrate the 150th anniversary of United Methodist Women and help to make the world a better place!

One Week from Today! March 30, Prayer Service for General Conference, 6:30 pm at Ruhl’s UMC, 4810 Elizabethtown Road, Manheim. All SW clergy and laity are encouraged to attend our district’s prayer service for General Conference. The quadrennial legislative meeting of 864 United Methodists from around the world will convene in Portland, Ore., May 10-20, to grapple with what may be some of the most conflictual debates and challenging decisions in the denomination’s 232-year history. Please hold all those who will attend this meeting in your personal prayers and also come to the March 30 event to pray together with your brothers and sisters in Christ for the will of God to be done in and through the United Methodist Church.

More Info and On-Line Registration! May 14, Mandated Reporter and Safe Sanctuary Training, 9:00 am to Noon, First UMC, 29 E Walnut Street, Lancaster. A representative from the YWCA Lancaster will be present to offer information on the new state laws that require all volunteers to be mandated reporters of known or suspected child abuse. Everyone attending will receive a certificate of completion for the mandated reporter training. This certification can be given to your church’s volunteer coordinator or other organizations for which you volunteer. We strongly encourage everyone to come to this training because it will help you recognize signs of abuse, know how to further protect children, understand your legal responsibilities, and give you instructions on how to report accurate information to the proper authorities. Rev. Eddie Cameron, the SW District Safe Sanctuary Resource Member, will conclude the training with a discussion on how the new laws affect our EPA Safe Sanctuary Policy. This event is free but on-line registration is required. This event is open to all UMC churches and leaders of groups that meet in UMC churches (Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, etc.) on the Southwest District.

Registration Still Open! April 16, YES Youth Retreat, 10:00 am – 4:30 pm, Cedarville UMC, 1092 Laurelwood Road, Pottstown. At the YES Retreat youth will be exposed to a wide range of ministry options from pastoral to chaplaincy, youth work to prison ministry, a foreign mission field to teaching in a college or seminary, yes, and even business, factory, office and farm.They will have the opportunity to interact with other young people and enjoy indoor and outdoor games. Students will get to meet the Bishop, District Superintendents, members of the District Committee of Ordained Ministry and the Board of Ordained Ministry. It will be a great day with food and lots of fun. This is for youth in grades 9-12. Individual youth or your whole senior high group or class are welcome. Register on line. Please contact DS Gary Nicholson at215-738-7752or Pastor Matt Heckman at717-679-8346with your questions.

Updated! April 24, Eastern PA Conference Youth Rally. “Who Cares? He Cares!” The Second Annual Eastern PA Conference Youth Rally will take place from 3:00 to 7:00 pm at Hopewell UMC, 852 Hopewell Rd, Downingtown, PA 19335. Questions? Contact David Piltz, ; 814-883-0118. RSVP: Encouraged!

Updated! Annual Conference Registration Is Open. Online registration is underway for the 2016 Eastern PA Annual Conference, June 16-18, at the Lancaster Marriott Hotel and Convention Center.All clergy and lay members to annual conference are urged to please register online now orwell before the May 13 deadline. The registration cost is $225 for all members (laity, active clergy, and retirees). Registering after May 13 will incur a $50 late fee, with no exceptions. The deadline to receive Annual Conference Resolutions and Reports is May 13, with no extensions. Click here for the PDF containing the instructions for writing and submitting resolutions. You mayregister for display space onlineor e-mailLori Henningor call her at610-544-1400.

Please note: All districts will hold Pre-Annual Conference Meetings June 5, from 3 to 5:30 pm. The Southwest District’s meeting will take place at Leola UMC, 7 W Main Street, Leola, PA. To learn more visit the Annual Conference 2016 Webpageand read the news storyabout plans for this historic 230th annual conference session.

New! July 10 to July 14, “Why You? My Calling! : A Middle School Mission Experience,” Yardley, UMC, Yardley, PA (Bucks County). Are you looking for a mission opportunity to help your youth experience service and growth in Christ? Yardley UMC is excited to invite you to their 3rd summer of Mission! Join us for 4 days of service, worship, games, and growth. For complete information contact Denise Harris at or visit their website.


Mission Central's HUB in Elizabethtown is located in St. Paul’s UMC, 398 North Locust Street, Elizabethtown, PA 17022. The HUB will be able to receive cleaning bucket donations through Monday, April 4, during church office hours, 9 am to 5 pm. It is recommended that you call before making a delivery - 717-367-1889 (this is the corrected phone number). The HUB is accepting items that fill cleaning buckets or completed cleaning buckets. Questions? Please contact Liz Helm at the above phone number or email her at .

April 13, SW District Retired Clergy and Spouse Breakfast, 9:00 am, Oregon Dairy Restaurant. No reservations necessary. Order from the menu. All retirees and spouses welcome.

A Time for Listening and Discernment: General Conference Listening Sessions. Every four years in preparation for General Conference, the elected General – Jurisdictional Conference Delegation schedulesListeningSessions, to hear from the members of the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference the concerns and understanding regarding proposed legislation coming before the General Conference for action. For complete info and all the dates, please click here.

Possible Changes Ahead in our Districts and Conference. Click here to read the letter from Bishop Peggy Johnson. Bishop Johnson will be on the SW District on April 25 at Hope UMC, 3474 Rothsville Rd, Ephrata, at 7:00 pm. All clergy and laity are invited to this meeting. If you cannot attend, you are invited to attend a meeting on another district (the full schedule can be found by clicking the link above). This event is mandatory for all appointed clergy.

NEJ Souvenir Program Book. Space is still available for your greeting or advertisement, For complete details, please click here and scroll down.

Gmail accounts created in 2015 for each church by the Eastern PA Conference must be checked regularly (preferably daily). All email from the Conference to churches is sent to that email address, and multiple persons must have access to it…at the very least the pastor and the remittance contact person. It is possible to forward the emails to your preferred email account, but you cannot eliminate the account from the Conference. If you do not know how to access this account please contact Gloria Knoeller at the EPA Conference Office: .

Denman Evangelism Award Nominations. Nominations are open for the Harry Denman Evangelism Awards, which honor United Methodists in each conference "whose exceptional evangelism brings people into a life-transforming relationships with Jesus Christ." Learn more and download the nomination form. Please send your nomination form, byApril 30,to Suzette James, Eastern PA Conference Congregational Development Team, "Denman Award Nomination"in the subject line. You may also mail the form to the Eastern PA Conference Office, P.O. Box 820, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0820, to the attention of Rev.Dr. Christopher Kurien.

Experience the New Connectional Giving Training Course. United Methodist Communications has revised its training course, “Creating a Culture of Generosity,” which offers church leaders a chance to learn about holistic, meaningful giving experiences. “Connectional giving is vital to the church’s work around the world,” said Dan Krause, chief executive of United Methodist Communications. “It begins with local church members understanding the scope of church ministries that are made possible locally and globally because of their support.” The training is free and is available online. For more info, please contact Laura Buchanan, , 615-742-5413.

Calendar of Events

For a schedule of Sexual Ethics Workshop, click here

For information about the Changing Racism training, click here

March 30 Prayer Service for General Conference, 6:30 pm

Ruhl’s UMC, 4810 Elizabethtown Road, Manheim

April 1-3 Changing Racism Workshop

April 10 4:00 pm (Corrected Time). LUMINA’s “Night of Light,”

Columbia UMC, 510 Walnut Street, Columbia

April 16 YES! Youth Retreat, Cedarville UMC

1092 Laurelwood Road, Pottstown

April 16 UMW InGathering/Day Apart, 9:30 am

Covenant UMC, 110 N Mulberry Street, Lancaster


April 17 Certified Lay Minister Graduation, 3:00 pm

West Lawn UMC, 15 Woodside Ave., Reading

April 23 Cross Racial Cross Cultural Appointment Part 2 Training

Royersford UMC, 380 Church St, Royersford, PA

April 24 EPA Youth Rally, 3:00 to about 7:00 pm

Hopewell UMC, 852 Hopewell Rd, Downingtown, PA 19335

Contact David Piltz, (814) 883-0118;

April 25 Bishop on SW District, 7:00 pm, Hope UMC

3474 Rothsville Road, Ephrata

April 26 SW District Women in Professional Ministry

11:30 am, Brickerville Restuarant

Contact Cheryl Zegers at

May 3 Clergy Workshop and Luncheon, 8:30 am

DoubleTree Resort, Lancaster

$15; Register on-line (deadline: April 12)

May 14 Mandated Reporter & Safe Sanctuary Training

May 10-20 General Conference, Portland, Oregon

June 5 District Conference, Leola UMC. 3:00 pm

June 16-18, 2016 Annual Conference, The Marriott, Lancaster City

July 7-10, 2016 NEJ Youth Rally, Lancaster

More details to come

July 10-15, 2016 Northeast Jurisdictional Conference

The Marriott, Lancaster City

October 1 Adjourned Session of Annual Conference

Bethany UMC’s Macungie Campus

The Fine Print

Editorial Policy of the Southwest District E-Alert.The Southwest District E-alert is published on an as-needed basis on Wednesdays. Articles will appear once as New information; thereafter, they will be Reminders or Calendar Items. Spaghetti dinners, fundraisers, concerts, VBSs, bazaars, etc. are included only on the Local Church and ConneXion Events page.

The E-Alert is sent to Pastors and Church Offices on the Southwest District and to lay people who have requested having their names added to the distribution list. Please feel free to copy any article for your church’s bulletin or newsletter. To unsubscribe, please send an email to ith the word “Unsubscribe” in the subject line. Appointed clergy may not unsubscribe.

All articles and announcements should be sent to District Resource Assistant Chris McLaughlin y 3:00 Tuesday afternoon for consideration. Articles should be in the body of an email or an attached Word document (please no PDFs). Submissions made by telephone willnotbe accepted. Articles may be edited for clarity and space. All decisions regarding publication are made by the District Office.