Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Equip, Empower, Engage

“Unity [in the United Methodist Church] is worth keeping at all costs and a goal to pursue until the end,” said Bishop Jeremiah J. Park in his opening address to the 2015 Susquehanna Annual Conference. “Disagreement is an opportunity to grow in maturity … to overcome disagreement with a bond of love and peace. God is larger than the disagreements we have ... I am committed to doing whatever I can to keep the vision of unity in our church alive … I urge you to do the same.”
By Ryan Krauss

Bishop Jeremiah Park addressed the 2015 Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church with these words of hope, “Praise be to God for the journey we’ve been taking together…we’ve come this far by grace and faith.” He stood framed by the quadrennial theme “Alive in Christ Together,” speaking passionately before lay and clergy delegates during Thursday’s opening celebration in worship.

Moments before Bishop Park began, Reverends Dr. Gary Weaver, Judi Herrold, Michelle Whitlock, Randall Bennett, Jr. initiated an antiphonal Call to Worship. “If you have a heartbeat, you are alive…The heartbeat signifies life” pulsed over the Conference projection system, reminding those present of Christ’s indescribable importance as the heartbeat, the foundation, of the community of faith. Rev. Marian Hartman read from Ephesians 4:1-7 and 11-13, the Apostle Paul’s first century encouragement that the church would “reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13).

With his opening remarks, Bishop Park spoke of the only foundation, heartbeat, and lifeblood of the church; he led with hopeful words that God remains in charge, no matter what happens. Park’s words recall the particular struggles, divisions, and disagreements facing the denomination with regard to same-gender issues. Making reference to Ephesians 4:13, Bishop Park stated: “Unity [in the United Methodist Church] is worth keeping at all costs and a goal to pursue until the end.” For this reason, he continued “Disagreement is an opportunity to grow in maturity…to overcome disagreement with a bond of love and peace. God is larger than the disagreements we have.” To overwhelming applause, Bishop Park concluded this call to unity by stating “I am committed to doing whatever I can to keep the vision of unity in our church alive…I urge you to do the same!”

In the second portion of his address, Bishop Park focused on the reality of church decline within the United States, both in our own denomination and cross-denominationally. Pew Research Studies indicate that between the years of 2007 and 2014, the percentage of individuals claiming Christian affiliation dropped from 78.4% to 70.6%. Conversely, individuals claiming no religious affiliation or “other” religious affiliation rose from 16% to 23%. This trend represents the essence of “crisis” – the crossroads of danger and opportunity. Many churches without our conference operate in a “neutral zone” with respect to church vitality. Bishop Park urges that the hope of denominational vitality emerges by minimizing “danger” and maximizing the “opportunity” in as many of our local congregations as possible.

Bishop Park highlighted three alliterative areas of focus in the work of vitalizing congregations: EQUIP, EMPOWER, and ENGAGE.

First, the purpose of the hierarchy and structures of both conference and denomination is to EQUIP local congregations for ministry. Whereas the mission of the United Methodist Church is to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world,” Bishop Park reminded the Susquehanna Conference that the Book of Discipline likewise claims that “local churches provide the most significant arena through which discipleship-making occurs.” The church, local and denominational, must be “all-in” to this task.

Secondly, the vital congregation must be EMPOWERED by the Holy Spirit. Without spiritual vitality, there is no congregational vitality. Said Bishop Park: “Now is the time to build and reconnect with the Holy Spirit.”

Third, vital congregations must ENGAGE communities and culture. All over the conference there is no shortage of people and mission. The shortage that exists in the church is one of courage to overcome boundaries.

Bishop Park shared an apocryphal story in which the angels asked Jesus if he had a backup plan for the Good News if the disciples should fail to reach the world with the Gospel. In this story, Jesus said “No.”

Bishop Park concluded with these words: “We are Jesus’ Plan for such a time as this. Our God is a missionary God, we are a missionary people, here I serve you as a missionary Bishop. Everyone is qualified.” Everyone. Is. Qualified.

The video and full transcript of Bishop Park’s address can be found at equip-empower-and-engage 

Called to follow, called to find

In the Saturday, June 13, Service of Commissioning and Ordination, Bishop Neil L. Irons spoke of the transformative power of God and the working of the Spirit, as we together try to determine where God is leading us.
By Bethany Wood 

The family of the Susquehanna Annual Conference gathered to celebrate in a service of commissioning and ordination. Following the anthem presented by the Chi Rho Singers, the triumphant hymn “All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name” announced the procession of clergy as the congregation rose to sing. After a greeting and prayer led by Bishop Jeremiah Park, our common ministry was recognized. Candidates for commissioning and ordination were then presented by members of the Board of the Ordained Ministry and the Conference Lay Leader. After the assembly sang “Spirit Song” as a hymn of blessing, the candidates were examined by Bishop Park, confirming their calling and intent to serve as servants of Christ through the work of ministry.

After the proclamation of the word found in the Old Testament Lesson (Jeremiah 29:1- 7) and the Gospel Lesson (Matthew 28:1-10), Bishop Park introduced retired Bishop Neil L. Irons, who was greeted with much love. His sermon was entitled “Called to Follow, Called to Find.” Bishop Irons began by thanking Bishop Park for the invitation to preach at this service, and warmly spoke of their friendship and life together as colleagues. Bishop Irons led in the Celtic Prayer. He spoke of the transformative power of God, and the working of the Spirit was we together try to determine where God is leading us. He illustrated this by telling of a conversation between his wife and their two year old granddaughter, Isabelle. “Gigi” had an idea in solving a problem, but little Isabelle piped up “I have a better idea!” We often pray the Lord’s Prayer, emphasizing “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” This is not just pie in the sky words but genuine hope for those who are broken. The better idea is that we are not to lead lives of comfort. But to go to the places where God leads us.

Irons recounted how a District Superintendent in West Virginia was about to introduce a congregation’s first woman pastor. After carefully laying out all of the excellent qualifications of the pastor, he let the staff-parish committee know that we about to receive a woman. After a long silence, one old gentleman spoke up “Well, if it was good enough that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was announced through a woman, I guess that’s good enough for us!” Jesus leads us to places we might not otherwise go, Bishop Irons said. The Bishop then spoke of the time when Jesus gathered his disciples in the time after the resurrection in Gailliee. The disciples were happy about that, for Galiliee was where it all began, and they were happy to be going back. Jesus had other things in mind other than a wonderful reunion. The disciples were going out from that place of discovery to a place of ministry, and they would never see each other again – some even giving their lives for their faith. Bur Jesus would be with them, going before to the locations they would be.

So it is with us. Irons talked about the days when pastors would go to Annual Conference, not knowing where they would be assigned. As a young, newly-married pastor, Irons had a congregation (kind of, hopefully) picked out which would be perfect for his personal situation. He was not assigned there. Instead, the Bishop announced an appointment which left Irons stunned. Six churches in a location he had never imagined he would be placed. But, Irons fondly remembered, the people and congregations were a gift, and he learned so much about the live of ministry. His second appointment was to a church that had the reputation as being the “meanest church in the conference.” True, it was a tough assignment But Jesus was already there, and Irons learned in that place that situations where there are hurting people, suffering people, and people experiencing hard times, will lead to joy and life when Jesus gets involved. Christ our savior never waited for an invitation to a comfortable setting, and if it good enough for Jesus, it is good enough for us.

Irons went on to explain that in the Jeremiah passages the people of Israel are in exile, and just wanted to get out of there. Ever feel that way? God tells the people that they need to pray for their captors, make peace with their situation, and there they too will find salvation. Renewal, he explained, is not a matter of making peace with our comfort, but going out from where we are, to places we never thought we’d be, and be engaged in ministry. We need to trust God in the process, he said.

There are those who say they are spiritual but not religious and they really have no idea what they mean. We need to learn to live respectfully in a world of great diversity. Don’t think that we will ever, or can expect to, agree on everything. Bur we do need to have our hearts together. We leave things behind when we answer the call to ministry. There are dreams that become unfulfilled so that God’s call is realized. God walks in the middle of our flock, not beside or behind. That’s what leadership in the church is: living in the middle of the people for a while and giving heart to the places they are and the struggles they share. Referring to Mission Central, Bishop Irons reminded us that we are mission-hearted. Let us not be afraid to follow because Christ never leads us astray.

The congregation witnessed with tremendous joy the commissioning of six and the ordination of five who have answered God’s call upon their hearts to serve in ministry. Bishop Parks invited who may be experiencing their own call to come forward to the altar as “Here I Am” was sung. The service ended with the hymn “Go, Make All Disciples.”

The video and full transcript of Bishop Iron’s address can be found at called-to-follow-called-to-find

Vital Congregations - a dialogue to inspire churches with ideas for ministries of vitality

The following begins a five-part series based on a dialogue begun at the 2015 Susquehanna Annual Conference around stories and experiences of congregational vitality. The team who presented included Pastor Janet Durrwachter, Rev. Rich Morris, Rev. Dr. Randy Willis, and Jaime Carpenter. The video of this session (held Friday morning, June 12) and a full transcript can be found at tinyurl.com/susumcAC2015.

Pastor Janet Durrwachter, First UMC, Williamsport
edited transcript

This dialogue is very much a team effort. It is not my presentation, but is our presentation.

Each one of us is kind of surprised to be here. We are not people accustomed to being on the stage at Annual Conference, and we are not experts in church growth. We also didn’t even know each other before this adventure began. When we first got together we had to introduce ourselves.

When we got together we discovered we are really, really different. Some of us are extreme introverts. We do not enjoy being on this stage; you scare us! Others of us are bubbly extroverts, and we just want to jump right off and hug every single one of you. Some of us are laid back, and some of us could be a poster child for type A. Some of us are clergy and some of us are laity. But all of us are committed to leading congregations to be more vital. And we were selected as a team because we are proof that God can use anyone who is willing to do that.
I want to begin by reminding you of the words that Paul wrote to the Corinthians: “Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards. Not many were influential. Not many of you were noble by birth, but God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of the world, and the despised things, and the things that are not, to nullify the things that are so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us the wisdom of God. That is our righteousness, holiness, and redemption. Therefore, as it is written, let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”

It has been our prayer for the last few months that what you hear from us is not boasting about what we have been a part of, but boasting in the Lord. We do not have it all together. Our churches are not perfect. We are just leaders who are working to help people take the next step.

Bill Hybels, the pastor of Willow Creek Church, talks about getting from here to there. From here, in the desert, where people are broken and living lives that are not full and abundant, to there, where the kingdom of God is flourishing, and people are becoming all that God desires for them to be.

We don’t fully understand how that movement happens. There is a sense in which God does something beyond us, sometimes even is spite of us. And in some ways, we certainly know that we have not arrived from here to there. So we don’t have a magic bullet. In fact, one of the things that I’ve been worried about is that you’ll come to this session, and you’ll leave, and you’ll say, I didn’t hear anything that I don’t already know. But if you leave this session with renewed confidence that your congregation can become more vital, we will give thanks to God. If you walk away with just one concrete step that you can take to move from here to there, we will boast in the Lord.

This morning we are like the little boys who offered his lunch to Jesus. We know that we don’t have anything extraordinary to share. I’ll tell you what we have. We have four main points and some stories. Some of which we’re going to tell you using homemade videos. And we pray that God will take our meager loaves and fishes and all that we have to offer and will multiply it so that everyone will receive something of significance, and we will be satisfied with that.

Will you join me in prayer?

Lord, we pray that you would be our teacher... That you would open our eyes and ears so that we might catch a glimpse of what is possible in our church. For those who are weary, we pray for inspiration and renewed strength. For those who are at a loss for what to do next, we pray for direction and for willing servants to come along side them. For those who have battle scars because they have tried to change things, God, we pray for your healing. And God, for those who are satisfied with the status quo, for those who just want things to go back to being the way they used to be, God, we pray for compassion for the many who are not being reached because we are not able to change. Help us to see ourselves as leaders of your church. Help us to believe that the best years are not behind us. We offer to you, God, all that we are and all that we have. And I pray that you will be pleased with what [we] share. God, I pray that you will speak through Randy, through Rich, through Jaime, and myself. Amen.

Go to equipping-vital-congregations for the video and full transcript of this session.

Editorial: The Oregon Trail

The Oregon Trail is a 2,200-mile historic east-west large-wheeled wagon route and emigrant trail that connected the Missouri River to valleys in Oregon.

The very mention of The Oregon Trial conjures up stories of settlers moving West enduring the ravages of travel in the early 1800s toward their hope of a better life. Diaries held notes: “Wagon caught fire today,” “Uncle died of dysentery this morning,” “Six oxen drowned in the river,” and on and on.

In 2016 many persons who identify themselves as United Methodists will traverse their own versions of the Oregon Trail to Portland from all parts of the world with comparative ease.

In earlier days of desktop computers a game called “The Oregon Trail” appeared. While it was conceived as a game to pass the time away, it was used by schools to teach life-lessons. Authors like Morgan Moore have offered some assumed instructions for wagon trains headed west:

  • “The better prepared you are for the journey, the more likely you’ll succeed.”
  • “Only take what you need.” 
  • “When you get to a deep river, don’t try to ford it by yourself.” 
  • “Don’t go too slow, but don’t go too fast either.”

When you reach important crossroads, you should get out and look around.”
As United Methodists we consider ourselves to be a journeying people. We might find value in imagining ourselves a wagon train on the Oregon Trail to extract some grains of thought that have ponder-value as we continue to order our corporate life.

Five tag words for the five instructions to the wagon trains may be of help:

Preparation: The success of conferencing and decision-making hinges on adequate preparation by those on every level of the enterprise. Will we all arrive in Portland...ready?

Capacity: Can we do everything that we see could, or should, be done. The Oregon Trail was strewn with the likes of Grandma’s valuable china, too heavy to allow the wagon to make it to the dreamed destination.

Connection: Deep corporate rivers may be looming in our future. In light of our metaphor, every “muscle and ox” must be engaged. Our route will be God-breathed conjecture, but we will travel into our future together. It’s how we United Methodists do things best.

Pace: Are we called to a more contracted patience? Change is important and studied timing may be crucial. And sometimes the path to change is best made in long turns rather than sharp turns. Fewer things “fall off the wagon.”

Discernment: Might a more extended effort in planning be to our advantage? Larger planning efforts make for smaller efforts of execution. Small planning efforts make for large execution efforts with frequent returns to the planning table. Might the best product of our planning extend to a Plan B, C, and even D?


The Journey

By Rev. Mike Bealla, Director of Connectional Ministries, SUSUMC

I love Annual Conference! For some it’s a time for the church to do its business, for others it’s a time to learn, debate, and try to make a difference in the world by making the world a different place. Still for others it is a time of amazing worship and powerful preaching. I love Annual Conference because it’s a time for the church to be the church in a way that can only be experienced when the connection gathers together. It’s a time for the church to proclaim its faith in the midst of the negativity of the world. It’s a time when for a few days we realize that the presence of the Holy Spirit is real and that when God’s spirit moves, wonderful things happen.

I praise God for the graciousness of our pastors and laity who attended and passionately participated through the long hours of plenary sessions that lasted into the nighttime hours … for the spirit of patience and grace expressed as we experienced our first electronic voting marathon despite the technical difficulties that tried to dampen our spirits. I praise God for the marvelous reports celebrating churches of vitality as well as churches that moved from zero growth toward new lives changed and professions of faith made. I thank God for the times of singing and worship that are seldom experienced except when almost 1,600 gather together in one place.

I love the generosity of our people who answer the call to serve on important Boards and committees to make possible the work of the conference. I thank God for the gifts received for Mission Central, UMCOR, and the Bishop’s Partners in Mission. Amazing! For the news that we have contributed over $6 Million to UMCOR over the past ten years. I want to believe that the Connectional Ministries resource packs and the learning opportunities will have been helpful for your church’s disciple-making mission.

I celebrate the wisdom of Bishop Park and the calming presence of our conference secretary, Larry Leland, who together moved us through a daunting agenda with much grace. I give thanks for our conference staff, talented musicians, technical crews, and tellers. And, of course, I give thanks for the staff at Messiah who welcome us so warmly and do their best to make us comfortable. And the list of thank-yous could go on and on. I love Annual Conference because I love being among you all as we travel the journey together in Christ. Nothing more profound than that I offer you these heartfelt words.

And finally, after years of attempting to share an annual chicken joke and often being told no one really wanted to hear one, we voted on it. I am vindicated! While testing the voting devices the question was asked, “Should Mike tell a chicken joke this year?” The results were shown upon the big screen … 54 percent said yes, 44 percent said no.

Unfortunately, the agenda time ran out and many of you (at least 54 percent) were disappointed I was unable to offer the joke … So …

If you are part of those voting no, please do not go on to read the following. If you voted yes, here it is …

Why did the chicken cross the playground? To get to the other slide.

Another successful Annual Conference. Thanks be to God!

It’s how you finish

“It’s not how you start; it’s how you finish!” was the catchphrase of Rev. Dr. Dennis Keller’s message to those gathered for the Memorial Service at the 2015 Susquehanna Annual Conference. His message was centered around Hebrews 12:1-2.

By Deb Steransky

Last evening’s Service of Celebration of Death and Resurrection remembered those who have gone on to glory with a somber, but meaningful, celebration.
Members from all around our conference have joined together to form The Susquehanna Conference Mass Choir under the direction of Matthew Wensel. Their beautiful performances of “Without His Cross,” by Joseph Martin, and “Praise His Holy Name,” by Keith Hampton, added special moments to the service.

In his message to the Conference, Rev. Dr. Dennis Keller stated that the end is the key. “It is not how you start,” he said, “it is how you finish.” He continued, “Abraham was a liar to start, yet God blessed him as the father of the faithful.” He then recalled the lives of Sarah, Moses, Rahab, Peter, Matthew, and Paul. All started on rocky soil and ended up on solid ground!

Rev. Dr. Keller then called on the Conference to remember that great cloud of witnesses who surrounds us. “They are not spectators,” he said, “they are cheering witnesses. A spectator sits on the sidelines and watches you go through something. A witness is someone who has been down on the field where you are and knows the trials and temptations we face.”

In further remarks, Keller urged the Conference to remove what is on us. Quoting the call to, “lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely.” Keller said, “I don’t know what baggage you may have carried into this gathering. My prayer, brothers and sisters, is that during this Annual Conference you will remember the witness of those who have gone before us, and you will be able to lay it aside, whatever it is.”

Dr. Keller concluded his remarks by calling on the Conference to finish by looking to Jesus, who both began and finished the race we are in. He concluded with the story of Kayla, a teen who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, who was an elite 14-year-old athlete who set a goal of winning three state titles by her senior year. She worked and struggled, practiced and became the best on the female track team. She even started practicing with the boys’ team, pushing the males to do their best, as she was doing. She discovered that she could not feel her legs as she ran. She could not come to a controlled stop at the finish line, because she had no feeling in her legs. So her coach was there at every race to catch her as she crossed the finish line.

She polished off the state cross-country race with a first place win. She next won the winter indoor track 3600-meter race for the state. Her final race was the two mile at the state outdoor track and field championship. Dr. Keller then turned to a video of Kayla - it showed her falling during the race, getting back up, pushing on, and ... yep, she won the race!

Keller likened her story to those who have “finished the race” in Christ and have run into His arms. It’s How You Finish.

The evening’s offering will be given to the on-going ministry of Mission Central. The service further honored the lives of those who have finished the race with a celebration of Holy Communion.

The video of the Rev. Dr. Dennis Keller’s message and a full transcript can be found at http://susumc.org/index.php/component/content/article/51-media/susumc-videos/1364-2015-ac-memorial-service-sermon-finishing-the-race

2015 Annual Conference Report - Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church

By Jerry Wolgemuth, Director of Communications

Bishop Jeremiah Park opened the 2015 Susquehanna Conference, The United Methodist Church, with these words, “Praise be to God for the journey we’ve been taking together; we’ve come this far by grace and faith.” Acknowledging the challenges within the United Methodist Church, the bishop said, “Unity is worth keeping at all costs and the goal to pursue. Disagreement is an opportunity to grow in maturity, to overcome disagreement with a bond of love and peace. God is larger than any disagreements we have.”

The annual gathering of 1,500 persons for celebration, holy conferencing, and worship was held at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania, on June 12-14, 2015. The theme “Equipping Vital Congregations” was the third under a quadrennial theme: “Alive in Christ, Together.”

Bishop Park highlighted three areas of focus in the work of vitalizing congregations: equip, empower, and engage:

  • EQUIP: The purpose of the hierarchy and structures of both conference and denomination is to equip local congregations for ministry. 
  • EMPOWER: Without spiritual vitality, there is no congregational vitality. Now is the time to build and reconnect with the Holy Spirit.
  • ENGAGE: Vital congregations must engage communities and culture. There is no shortage of people and mission. 

“We are Jesus’ plan for such a time as this,” the bishop concluded. “Our God is a missionary God. We are a missionary people. Here I serve you as a missionary bishop. Everyone is qualified. Everyone ... is ... qualified.”

Reflecting the “Equipping Vital Congregations” theme the leadership report focused on the on-ramps that will lead to vitality. Discipleship is the on-ramp that is measurable through baptisms and affirmations of faith. Each of these celebrations represents a life transformed.

Ordination sermon was given by Bishop Neil L. Irons. “God walks in the middle of the flock, not beside or behind. Leadership in the church is living in the middle of the people for awhile and giving heart to the places where they are.” Rev. Arun Andrews was the Saturday morning Bible Study speaker. “We need to break away from past failures to fresh obedience,” he said. “Simon Peter did that when he cast his net on the other side of the boat.”

The Conference celebrated the ministries of twenty-two retiring clergy and the lives of forty clergy or spouses who passed to their eternal reward during the year.

Rev. Dr. Dennis Keller, speaking in the Service of Celebration of Death and Resurrection, remembered “the great cloud of witnesses” who have gone on to glory. “They are not spectators; they are cheering witnesses. They’ve been down on the field where you and I are; they know the trials and temptations we face.”

Legislative action addressed:

  • Mental wellness – Adopted
  • Support of positive investment – not divestment – Not adopted
  • Shares of ministry – Adopted, as amended
  • Welcoming of LGBTQ people – Adopted
  • A change in the guidelines for the chairperson of Administrative Council – Forwarded to General Conference with no comment
  • A change in the guidelines for the lay leader in the local church - Forwarded to General Conference with no comment
  • Eating habits - Forwarded to General Conference with no comment
  • Styrofoam containers - Forwarded to General Conference with no comment
  • Extractive industries - Forwarded to General Conference with no comment 
  • Fossil fuel investment screens - Forwarded to General Conference with no comment
  • Transfer of the Fishing Creek and Riverside United Methodist Churches – Approved by 2/3 vote

Five persons were commissioned as provisional elders, one was commissioned as a provisional deacon, and five persons were ordained as elders. Also commissioned were twenty-eight licensed local pastors.


Rev. Larry Leland
Rev. Matthew Lake
Rev. Beth Jones
Rev. Dr. Thomas Salsgiver
Rev. Anna Layman Knox

Lisa Bender
Eileen Vizthum
Warren Heil Jr.
Milton Loyer
Layne Miller

Rev. Dr. Dennis Keller*
Rev. Dr. Kathleen Kind*
Rev. L. Fitzgerald Reist
Rev. Catherine Boileau
Rev. Mark Reisinger

Anne Horton*
Kirby Hickey*
Paul Ilyes Jr.
Toni Oplinger
Eleanor Loomis

*Alternates to General Conference

Jon Konieczny
Lucy Obrzut
Rev. Charles Sprenkle
Rev. Paul Amara

Special offering totals to date were:  Bishop’s Partners in Mission, $57,042.71; UMCOR, $20,772.86; Mission Central, $23,857.60; Youth Activities, $7,060.70.

Membership: 2013: 152,413 - 2014: 150,436,  down 1.2%.
Worship attendance: 2013: 62,369 - 2014: 61,015, down 2.4%.
Professions of faith: 2013: 2,501 - 2014: 2,096, down 16.2%.
Young adults in small groups: 2013: 3,386 - 2014: 3,215, down 2.2%.
Other adults in small groups: 27,018 - 2014: 26,509, down 1.9%.
Amount given to mission: 2013: $9,305,262 - 2014: $9,717,931, up 4.3%.

Ordained Elders and Commissioned

 2015 Ordained Elders 

Back row, left to right:
Stephen P. Salisbury, L. Jean Felty, Terrence J. Brosius

Front row, left to right:
Elizabeth R. Taylor, Janice “Jan” F. Hughes

2015 Commissioned Elders and
Commissioned Deacon (CD)

Back row, left to right:
Ronald E. Baker, Richard P. Hanlon Jr., Rachel E. Keller

Front row, left to right:
Miguel H. Arrenas-Herrera, Ruth L. Myers (CD), Mindi E. Ferguson

Youth: vital today

By Morgan Robinette, Daily LINK Junior Writer

Energy was in the air at Annual Conference as the Young People’s Ministry took to the stage. Tyler Tuck, of Shavertown UMC, and Devon Clark, of Lake Winola UMC, kicked off the presentation. They showed a video pertaining to NEXT, a leadership event for college-age students. Both had attended a NEXT rally, and both were inspired to take the NEXT step at home, Clark described his music ministry at his church, and Tuck proposed his campaign to end hunger, which he has put into action near his home, and desires to continue his ministry while at King’s College.

YPM director, Audrey Wilder, showed an exciting video of Grow On district youth rallies. Hannah Carter, of Christ Community UMC in Hummels Wharf, expanded on the topic, delineating the impacts inflicted by Grow On to her personally and on the conference as a whole.

Abby Watson, a member of Oval UMC in Jersey Shore, also spent time in the spotlight, speaking of her first year serving on the Young People’s Ministry Council. Watson addressed the fact that her involvement in YPMC allowed her to visit several churches across the state, meet many new people, and develop a stronger faith in God.

Rachel Heckman, of Wayne UMC in McVeytown, and sporting the honorable title of Dance Queen of the State College Grow On Youth Rally, announced that Bishop Park had been chosen as the all-around Dance King of the Grow On rallies. Sporting his crown, the bishop graciously accepted his title. Then, to project the same level of vigor as the youth, the bishop completed one hundred push-ups! As the crowd cheered, the bishop proceeded to pull dumbbells from his bag. Two hundred arm curls later, everyone was on their feet. The bishop then proudly acknowledged YPM as his Partner in Mission, and declared the fact that together, they would glorify the name of the Lord.

Elizabeth Staley, a member of Wesley UMC in Bloomsburg, along with Daniel McClure of Twelfth Street UMC in Huntingdon, described several conference youth events scheduled for the upcoming year. Taking place in camps, churches, and retreats across the conference, the events will equip and educate youth in the fields of faith, leadership, and mission work.

William Holtz, a member of Immanuel UMC in Glen Rock, educated the audience on the Youth Service Fund, money raised by youth, administered by youth, for youth ministry. At Annual Conference, the YSF hosted several fundraisers, including table bussing, luggage delivery, basket auctions, and a popcorn sale.

Julia Briselli, a thirteen-year-old from Grace UMC in Hummelstown, informed the Conference of the YPM’s activity on various social media sites. Such activities include posting Bible verses on Facebook, trending #SUSYPM on Twitter, and posing selfies (including one with Bishop Park) on Instagram. While many United Methodists enjoy traditional worship services, YPM makes known the fact that being a disciple of Christ can mean using social media and modern technology to practice faith.

The Young People’s Ministry proved that they have a substantial impact on the United Methodist Church. They bring an abundant amount of energy into the church, and continue to remain devoted to Christ in an increasingly antagonistic society. YPM and the youth of the United Methodist churches are passionate, dedicated, vibrant and enthusiastic Disciples of Christ. They are not the future of the church; they are a growing, contributing, vital part of the church today.

On-ramps to vitality

“Life is a journey, but where does the highway lead? Whatever way you map the course, one thing remains the same: You need to know the destination. Vitality is the destination to which faith communities are called,” said Rev. Marian Hartman as part of the Leadership Report.

By Ed Preston

In her introduction of the report on church vitality, Rev. Marian Hartman said, “Life is a journey, but where does the highway lead? Whatever way you map the course, one thing remains the same: You need to know the destination. Vitality is the destination to which faith communities are called.”

But how do we get there? We need to acknowledge that the journey is often fraught with detours and potholes. Sometimes the roads we have always used simply won’t get us to that destination anymore.

Knowing this, the Cabinet of the Susquehanna Conference is working in various ways to assist churches in finding the ‘on-ramps to vitality’ that will take them to the destination.

Discipleship is an on-ramp that is measurable through baptisms and affirmations of faith. Each one of these celebrations represents a life transformed. Seven churches around the annual conference have been recognized for their extraordinary achievements in discipleship. These are Bethany, Red Lion; Centre Grove, Clearfield; Cross Point, Harrisburg; Firwood, Wilkes-Barre; Lightstreet, Bloomsburg; McVeytown; and St Paul’s, Nauvoo.

Several paths to vitality were shared in the report. Matthew 28 opens new strategies and reminds congregations that willingness to risk is critical to achieving vitality. Pastoral Leadership Development offers clergy fresh approaches and tools for their work as leaders in the church. Equipping God’s People trains laity in effective local church leadership in a wide variety of ways. All of these can help churches not only begin the journey to vitality, but sustain them through the long haul.

Rev. Mike Bealla offered route options from the Connectional Ministries roadmap. E-Tours train clergy and laity alike in ways to point our churches outward and away from our often inward-focused view. Mission Insite offers high-quality demographic information to local churches that many could not afford to acquire on their own. Visioning processes for local church leadership can help congregations find that on-ramp to vitality which God has laid out for them.

The journey to vitality is never easy, but it is one that will glorify God, inspire our local churches, and propel them out into the world to bring transformational ministries to all of God’s precious children of all ages, nations, and races.

Far more

In her message to those gathered to celebrate the ministry of our retirees, Rev. Jennifer Deutsch Thomas suggested we could become a Susquehanna Conference super hero group called “The Evangels.” being the church was and is made up of those who believe in the power of God. 

By Bethany Wood

With vibrant music bounding through Hitchcock auditorium, Messiah College, on Friday evening June 11, the congregation of the Susquehanna Annual Conference was invited to worship and share in a celebration of ministry. Ordered in themes depicting the journey (word, sacraments, order and service, and the often overlooked journey), the service began with praise, and with a hug.
Rev. Jennifer Deutsch Thomas offered a word of encouragement. Powerfully, she proclaimed the message of hope found in the third chapter of Paul’s epistle to the Ephesians. “Now to him who through the power within us is able to do more that we can ask or imagine ….” Come with joyful hearts for what God has done in ministry, and hopeful hearts for what God will do. God is the celebration!

Rev. Thomas spoke of the hopeful ways the church is revitalizing the life of communities where our congregations are poised for ministry. From the north and south, east and west, she lifted up the outreach, the blitz, of holy power that has gone beyond worship and into true transformation.

Are these churches making a difference? They sure are. But she was clear that this does not happen without turning to the source, which is, hands down, God. Only through God’s power working through us can we experience the depth of God’s love through Jesus Christ.

Paul’s words in Ephesians draw us back to the source. There are times when we think that we can get through the “far more” on our own. There are times when we do forget and yet we’re drawn back to the source. Looking at our day planners, we sometimes gaze on the all the great things we’ve done. However, it is God’s power within us that gets the work done. Not by ourselves, but together in God’s Spirit. As the good guys, the super heroes, are we so focused on our own skill sets that we dismiss the gifts of others? We have to get together, honoring that great power of ministry, because the need is now. The urgency of the gospel is now. Maybe, Thomas suggested, we could become a Susquehanna Conference super hero group: let’s call it “The Evangels.” The church was and is made up of those who believe in the power of God. We are to transform the world through Christ, period. There are those in our midst who are considering the call to ministry. The message is: Be encouraged that God is calling you. God is always calling forth those to serve God’s purposes. May the church be welcoming and innovative in receiving the gifts of those he calls to ministry, in whatever generation they respond.

Addressing the retirees, Thomas reminded them that each one can testify to the way God has used them in ministry. “You’ve been here and have been faithful in sharing your life with the people of the annual conference. We thank you for your gifts.” She acknowledged those from many other places of ministry, thanked them, and welcomed them home. She went on to caution the temptation to become a “lone ranger” in ministry, relying on ourselves rather than embracing the input and support of our colleagues. We are better together.

Rev. Thomas then stepped from behind the pulpit to share her personal testimony of growing up in a loving, faithful Christian home, and the legacy that her dad, a pastor, passed to her. She spoke movingly of how the laity of the churches he served were instrumental in also drawing her to the source of God’s power. They helped keep her connected to that source. Concluding, she blessed the assembly by calling on the name of the One who saves us, the One who can do and accomplish abundantly far more.

Those retiring were called to the stage where they were greeted by Bishop Jeremiah J. Park, and acclaimed by the congregation in gratitude for their service in ministry.

Representatives of the retiring and ordination classes passed and received the mantel of ministry. Park then posed the “historic examination for admission into full connection” to the five candidates for ordination. The service ended with the benediction given by retiree Rev. Thomas Maurer.

To view the video and full transcript of Rev. Thomas' presentation go to http://susumc.org/index.php/component/content/article/51-media/susumc-videos/1373-2015-ac-celebration-of-ministry-service-sermon-far-more

The ministries and service of the 2015 Class of Retirees (pictured, with some spouses) were celebrated on Friday evening, June 12 at the Susquehanna Annual Conference. 

One day at a time

In the Saturday morning Bible Study at the 2015 Susquehanna Annual Conference Rev. Arun Andrews reminded us that great things happen through faith and obedience, referencing the story found in Luke chapter 5.

The Saturday morning Bible Study at Annual Conference was led by Rev. Arun Andrews, Trinity UMC, New Cumberland.

As Andrews began he repeated the theme of the conference, “Alive in Christ Together,” but added, “one day at a time.” So often in the Gospels we are told that Jesus would go off alone to pray. Jesus sought out God’s face before he met the multitudes of people who sought him out. We need to follow that example to be effective.

He read the story of Jesus reaching out to Simon Peter as he was fishing. They had fished all night and caught nothing. Jesus instructed them to put their nets out on the other side. And Simon, instead of pulling out his credentials to show his expertise as a fisherman, simply obeyed.

Andrews asked the question, “Did you ever wonder why Jesus went from teaching in the synagogues in Chapter 4 in Luke to being at the sea at the beginning of the next chapter?” That’s where he found Simon Peter fishing. Was it by chance or on purpose? Of course it was on purpose, and Andrews reminded us that the Author of Life continues to plan and wants to change our destiny. We need to listen as we pray and obey.

Andrews told a story about Mother Teresa, who was once asked if she prayed every day and what did she say in her prayers. Mother Teresa answered that she didn’t say anything, that she simply listened. The interviewer wanted to know what God said, and Mother Teresa answered that God listened, too.

We need to break away from past failures to fresh obedience. Simon Peter did that when he cast his net on the other side of the boat. He just believed and obeyed. The result was success. The nets were full to the point of nearly breaking. And Simon called his partners in the other boats to come and help and share in the bounty. Simon knew that Jesus wasn’t just a carpenter. He was a master worth following.

Andrews told the story of little Jeremy, who suffered from some handicapping conditions. He was assigned to a special class in school. One Holy Week, the teacher gave the students an empty plastic egg and instructed the students to go home and fill it with something that reminded them of new life. The next day the students excitedly returned with a variety of items contained in the eggs. The teacher had the students explain why they choose what they did to put in the egg. Things like little plastic butterflies were in the eggs. Jeremy’s was empty. He explained that it was just like the empty tomb. Jeremy understood his faith. He died three months later, and his classmates placed an empty plastic egg beside him at his funeral.

Great things happen through faith and obedience.

To view the video and full transcript of Rev. Andrew's presentation go to http://susumc.org/index.php/component/content/article/51-media/susumc-videos/1376-2015-ac-saturday-morning-bible-study-alive-in-christ-one-day-at-a-time

July LINK poster

2015 Licenced Local Pastors

Back row, left to right: Ian R. Hastings, Gary L. Fanus, Todd James (TJ) McCabe, Mark E. Obrzut Sr., Kristopher R. Sledge, Jennifer E. Ryerson,
and Jeffrey F. Thoms.

Middle row: John J. Saldana, Daniel C. Kerlin, Edward C. Kerber II, Scott O. Miller, Eric B. Watkins, Eugene D. Sperazza, Rachel E. Keller,
and Joseph S. Hopkins.

Front row: Gloria Montgomery, Blanca N. Baker, Crystal A. Baumgardner, Richard P. Hanlon, Wendy M. D’Agostino, Joshua W. Davinsizer, Jane Keller Rosborough, and Ruth S. Liples.

Not Pictured: Judith Grewe, David Keyworth, Timothy Parker, Daniel Wilt, Mark Zortman.

CONAM prepares for year of remembrance and hope

Rev. Larry Siikanen told the Annual Conference of two events occuring in 2016; one observes a purposeful time of repentance for the injustices committed against Native American peoples, the other to honor the memories and families of the 10,000 children who went to the Carlisle Indian School.

By Ryan Krauss 

The Committee on Native American Ministries greeted the 2015 Annual Conference with a traditional greeting that means, “all my family.”

CONAM encouraged the body to view ministry with all persons through this lens, an opening of all God’s family.

With the support of Bishop Jeremiah J. Park, CONAM is excited for two events in 2016. Next year’s Annual Conference will observe a purposeful time of repentance for the injustices committed against Native American peoples. While none of us may be directly responsible for these damages, the remembrance declares, “may it never happen again to any people.”

CONAM will also sponsor a day of celebration in the Northeast Jurisdiction for the closing of the Carlisle Indian School. This event will honor the memories and families of the 10,000 children taken from their tribal homes all across the United States between 1879 and 1918. In all of these moments of sorrow, repentance, and remembrance, CONAM encourages the body that the key is not to dwell on what happened, but to help make sure that, with God’s help, nothing like this ever happens again.

Stewardship Foundation report

Originally published in the Daily LINK, June 12


Black College Fund

Originally published in the Daily LINK, June 12, 2105


2014 Shares of Ministry paid by Susquehanna Conference Churches at 100% and 90%

 East End Altoona
 Fairview Altoona
 Christ Community Altoona
 Greenwood Altoona
 Llyswen Altoona
 Jaggard First
 Second Avenue Altoona
 Asbury Altoona
 Bethel Bedford Valley
 Centerville Bedford Valley
 Calvary Bellwood
 Trinity Bellwood
 Stevens Chapel 
 Hicks Memorial Duncansville
 Canoe Creek Union 
 East Freedom
 Mt Moriah
 First Hollidaysburg
 First Huntingdon
 12th Street Huntingdon
 15th Street Huntingdon
 Wesley Chapel Huntingdon
 Mapleton Grace
 Bedford Forge
 Faith Woodbury
 Singers Gap
 Hope Alexandria
 Crever Memorial Petersburg
 Trinity Roaring Spring
 Broad Top
 Six Mile Run
 Spruce Creek
 Bowmans Chapel
 Trough Creek
 Christ Tyrone
 Good Shepherd Tyrone
 Wesley Tyrone
 Warriors Mark
 Cove Forge
 Trans Run
 Ebenezer Harrisonville
 Siloam Harrisonville
 Pleasant Hill
 Hillcrest Salem
 Clear Ridge
 Fairview McConnellsburg
 Wells Valley
 St Lukes Shade Gap
 Laurel Grove
 Spring Run
 Mt Carmel Three Springs
 Little Cove
 Emmanuel Clearfield
 Kerr Addition
 Mt Joy Clearfield
 Centre Grove Clearfield
 Christ Clearfield
 Trinity Clearfield
 West Side Clearfield
 First Houtzdale
 Mt Zion Olanta
 Atkinson Mills
 Ryde United
 Lake Street
 Pleasant Valley Woodland

 Mill Creek
 Grace Three Springs

St Marys Bloserville
 Mt Hope Newville
 West Hill
 New Germantown 
 Hays Grove
 Hopewell Cumberland
 Big Spring
 Otterbein Cumberland
 Christ Shippensburg
 Messiah Shippensburg
 Chambers Hill
 Immanuel Loyalton
 Trinity Elizabethville
 St Johns Grantville
 Calvary Harrisburg
 Grace Harrisburg
 Harris Street
 Grace Muir
 First Hershey
 Grace Hummelstown
 Trinity Hummelstown
 Ebenezer Middletown
 Evangelical Middletown
 First Millersburg
 Grace Millersburg
 Hebron Millersburg
 Mt Calvary Harrisburg
 Trinity County Line
 St Marks Spring Glen 
 Zion Stone 
 Centenary Steelton
 Mt Zion Steelton 
 Christ Tower City
 St Andrews Valley View
 Otterbein Boiling Spring
 Camp Hill
 Enola Emmanuel
 Mt Zion Enola
 Bethel Marysville
 Salem Marysville
 Calvary Lemoyne
 Grace Lemoyne
 Salem Liverpool
 Bethany Marysville
 Wesley Marysville
 Aldersgate Mechanicsburg
 First Mechanicsburg
 Grace Mechanicsburg
 Mt Olivet Mechanicsburg
 Wesley Mechanicsburg
 Donnally Mills
 Pfoutz Valley
 Mt Holly Springs
 Mt Rock Carlisle
 New Bloomfield
 Walnut Grove
 Baughman Memorial
 Community New Cumberland
 Trinity New Cumberland
 Trinity New Kingstown
 Hope Eternal
 Mt Gilead
 Shermans Dale
 Youngs Shermans Dale
 New Buffalo

 St Johns Hegins
 Linglestown Life

 Ridge Street
 Trinity Espy
 Beach Haven
 Summer Hill
 Christ Benton
 Bower Memorial Berwick
 Calvary Berwick
 First Berwick
 St Pauls Berwick
 Good Shepherd Bloomsburg
 Wesley Bloomsburg
 Buffalo Valley
 Bethel Catawissa
 Roaring Creek Valley
 First Catawissa
 Ebenezer Berwick
 Stone Church
 St Pauls Emmanuel Danville
 Dresslers Ridge
 Bethel Hill
 Fairmount Springs
 Christ Community
 Hunlock Creek
 Eyers Grove
 Pine Summit
 Beaver Memorial
 Trinity Middleburg
 Lime Ridge
 Bethany Milton
 St Andrews Milton
 St Peters Milton
 Daniels-St Thomas
 Fremont Emmanuel
 McKendree Shickshinny
 St Pauls Penns Creek
 St Peters Beavertown
 Zion Penns Creek
 St Peters
 Christ Selinsgrove
 Shamokin Dam
 Wesley Selinsgrove
 First Shickshinny
 Catawissa Avenue Sunbury
 Otterbein Sunbury
 Faith Sunbury
 Mt Pleasant Sunbury
 New Berlin Emmanuel
 St Johns Dewart
 West Milton
 Faith Chapel White Deer
 Trinity White Deer
 Trinity Winfield
 Faith Hoovers
 Browns Cocolamus
 Pine Grove Mifflintown
 Mt Zion Richfield
 St Johns Elimsport
 Centenary Ashley
 Calvary West Nanticoke
 First Nanticoke
 Faith Wapwallopen

 Trinity Danville
 Trinity Northumberland

 Community Great Bend
 First New Milford
 North Jackson
 Asbury Scranton
 Beach Lake
 White Mills
 Smith Hill
 Clarks Green
 Clarks Summit
 Maple Lake
 Damascus Manor
 Embury Scranton
 Union Wayne County
 Central Honesdale
 Lake Ariel
 Centenary Hamlin
 Lake Como
 Countryside Community
 Bradley Memorial
 Pleasant Mount
 Court Street
 St Pauls Scranton
 First Taylor
 East Benton
 Prompton Community
 Franklin Forks
 Albright Wilkes-Barre
 Evans Falls
 Mt Zion Wyoming
 Center Moreland
 Central Wilkes-Barre
 Church of Christ Uniting
 Bethel Avoca
 East Rush
 Forty Fort
 Lake Winola
 East Lemon
 Maple Grove
 First Old Forge
 Skinners Eddy
 South Montrose Community
 Dimock Community
 Stewart Memorial
 First West Pittston

 Elm Park
 Hop Bottom

 Faith East Waterford
 Locust Run
 Port Royal
 Aldersgate Mifflintown
 Arch Rock
 East Salem
 Otterbein East Salem
 New Hope
 St Pauls Sandy Ridge
 Faith Bellefonte
 Trinity Bellefonte
 Watts Memorial Belleville
 Buffalo Run
 Valley View Bellefonte
 Freedom Avenue
 Grace Centre Hall
 Church Hill
 Valley St Marks
 Faith Chapel
 Christ’s Julian
 Mt Nittany
 First Lewistown
 Grace Lewistown
 Grove Memorial
 Trinity Lewistown
 Lake Park 
 Wesley Chapel McVeytown
 Bald Eagle Valley Community
 St James Coburn
 Trinity Woodward
 Gethsemane Allport
 Spring Valley
 Spring Mills Faith
 Grace Philipsburg
 Trinity Philipsburg
 Pleasant Gap
 Black Oak
 Mt Pleasant Port Matilda
 Port Matilda
 Emmanuel Rebersburg
 Pleasant Valley Bellefonte
 Runville United 
 Valley Salem
 Park Forest State College
 St Pauls State College
 Fairview Morrisdale
 Summit Hill
 Calvary West Decatur
 Faith Sandy Ridge
 Rhodes Memorial
 Faith Lock Haven
 East Main Street 
 Laurel Run
 Mill Hall
 North Bend
 First Renovo
 Albright Loganton
 Greenburr Trinity
 Woolrich Community
 Walnut Street

 Tusseyville Bethany

 Faith Community
 First Blossburg
 Union Corners
 East Smithfield
 Luthers Mills
 North Orwell
 Park Coudersport
 Sweden Valley Faith
 East Canton
 St Johns Grover
 Knoxville Yoked
 Calvary Lawrenceville
 United Church of Nelson
 Ebenezer East Point
 St Pauls Nauvoo
 First Mansfield
 Little Marsh
 Jackson Center
 Liberty Corners
 Mt Pleasant Morris
 New Albany
 Niles Valley
 French Asylum
 North Towanda
 Pine Creek Valley 
 Columbia Crossroads
 East Troy
 West Burlington
 First Towanda
 First Troy
 Coolidge Hollow
 Middle Ridge
 Eagles Mere Community
 Farragut Mt Zion
 Bethany Hughesville
 Christ Hughesville
 Jersey Shore First
 Trinity Jersey Shore
 Phelps Chapel
 Pine Run
 St Johns Chapel
 Maple Springs
 State Road
 Bethel Montoursville
 Faith Montoursville
 First Muncy
 St Pauls Nordmont
 Antes Fort
 Trinity Pennsdale
 Picture Rocks
 Point Bethel
 Strawbridge Kedron
 Mt Zion Salladasburg
 Trout Run
 White Pine
 Franklin Fairview
 Pine Wesley
 Wesley Chapel Unityville
 Beech Valley
 Wallis Run
 Balls Mills
 Rose Valley
 First Williamsport
 Heshbon Park
 Bethel Loyalsock
 Mill Creek Loyalsock
 Pine Street Williamsport
 St Johns-Newberry Williamsport
 St Paul-Calvary Williamsport
 South Williamsport
 Trinity Williamsport
 Warren Center
 Beaver Meadows
 Standing Stone
 South Auburn
 Spring Hill

 Canton Ecumenical
 St Pauls Dushore

 Mt Tabor
 First Chambersburg
 Park Avenue Chambersburg
 St Paul Chambersburg
 Calvary Fayetteville
 Otterbein Fayetteville
 Fetterhoff Chapel
 Mt Union Chambersburg
 Fort Loudon
 Gettysburg United Method
 First Greencastle
 First Marion
 First Mercersburg
 Mont Alto
 Emory New Oxford
 Wesley Chapel Rouzervill
 First Roxbury
 Upper Strasburg
 St Johns Chambersburg
 St Thomas
 State Line
 Mt Calvary Bendersville
  Mt Carmel
 Mt Hope Orrtanna
 Christ Waynesboro
 Faith Waynesboro
 Chestnut Grove
 Dillsburg Community Church
 Calvary Dillsburg
 Mt Zion Dillsburg
 Mt Airy Dillsburg
 Fishing Creek Salem
 New Bethel
 Paddletown St Pauls
 Grace Wellsville
 Mt Royal
 Red Mount
 York Springs
 Bethel Brogue
 McKendree Airville
 Bethlehem Stonepile
 Springvale St Pauls
 Bethlehem Dallastown
 Dover Bethany
 New Creation Community
 Druck Valley
 Zion East Prospect
 Otterbein Emigsville
 Cross Roads
 Immanuel Glen Rock
 First Hanover
 Grace Hanover
 Faith Hallam
 Mt Zion Glen Rock
  St Paul Manchester
 Pleasant Grove Windsor
 Salem Martinsville
 Mt Nebo
 Mt Olivet Delta
 Cross Words Mt Wolf
 Grace Shrewsbury
 Pine Grove York
 Bethany Red Lion
 Zion Red Lion
 Saginaw Community
 Otterbein Spry
 Violet Hill
 Zion Freysville
 Grace Windsor
 Christ Yoe
 Aldersgate York
 Calvary York
 First Spanish 
 Grace York
 St Pauls York
 Zion York
 Christ Yorkana
 Cross Words York Haven

 Bethlehem Codorus