Thursday, July 30, 2009


Racism is still a part of our world. Recently I have seen some glaring examples: some children experienced racial remarks and discrimination at a swimming pool in Huntingdon Valley. Dr. Henry Gates, a Harvard professor, experienced racism as he struggled to prove to police officers that his house was his house. Last Sunday in Cambridge, MD, the statue of Harriet Tubman was covered with racial slurs. We need to pray for all of those involved in these incidences. Pray for healing and understanding and that those who have racist attitudes can change. As a church we should not tolerate this kind of thing and need to speak out against it whenever we see it happening. Diversity education must be continually offered so that people can be made aware of the causes and effects of racism. Both EPA and PDC offer classes. “Healing the Wounds of Racism” and “Nurturing Wholeness and Community” are scheduled every year. I encourage every lay person and clergy to attend these events.

Bishop Peggy A. Johnson

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Signs of Life

I spent last week at Camp Innabah directing a camp for deaf young adults and reconnected with nature, as well as literal and figurative “hands on” ministry and deaf people. One day we went to French Creek with nets to look for life in the water. The campers each got a little net and we waded into the water and looked for life. When we started no one expected to catch anything. When you look at a stream it is impossible to see the many creatures in the water but with the help of a net one can find all kinds of baby bugs, larva, crayfish, minnows, and dragon flies. The creek was like a nursery for future life in the water. Mostly unseen by the eye, they grow and flourish in their season.

Some of the work we do for the Lord is like the life in that stream. Sometimes we can’t see the results, but there are small beginnings and not much growth….however it is there! God provides the growth! Sometimes we get discouraged because we can’t see our accomplishments. They are in there. God will use every good work to grow something for the future. Nothing you do for the Lord is in vain.

Bishop Peggy A. Johnson

Monday, July 13, 2009

What I Learned at the Phillies Game

I am not much of a sports fan…never have been. But when the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference United Methodist Men asked me to go to United Methodist Night at the Phillies and throw out the first pitch, I stepped up to the plate (or I guess it was the mound, literally and figuratively). But I was dreading it! I had never thrown a baseball before. This is true. I threw a few softballs as a kid but never a baseball and never in front of 45,000 people. So I got some good advice from Bill Westbrook, the financial officer of Pen-Del. He said, “When you throw a ball, aim high.” That’s what I did and it worked! The ball did not hit the ground, it did not look like I was bowling, it actually got to the catcher (which was the Phillies Phanatic - what an interesting mascot).

In life we need to aim high - epecially when you don’t think you can do something. Within every one of us God has given gifts and talents and they are not to be hidden “under a bushel.” Do more than you think you can; pray for more than you can possibly imagine; trust God to do what you can’t.

Another lesson I learned was in the bottom of the 9th inning. The Phillies were losing. They were behind 7-4. But they got a second wind and began scoring runs one after another and within minutes (and a few homeruns) they had won the game. Who would have guessed? I had written them off in the 3rd inning. Life is like that too. Always have hope. God’s timing is not our timing. Never give up or you might be missing out on a blessing.

Philadelphia has a pretty good baseball team!

Bishop Peggy A. Johnson

Monday, July 6, 2009

World Population Day

July 11th is “World Population Day” according to the United Nations. This year the theme is “Fight Poverty: Educate Girls.” United Methodists have been doing that kind of mission work for centuries. Some of the first missions schools that were founded in India and Korea were established to educate girls and young women. The United Methodist Church is still about the business of educating females and this is one of the best ways of eliminating poverty and disease on our planet. The United Methodist Women have taken the lead on ministries to women and children for over 135 years. They have missions in over 100 countries. Girls and women are taught to read and write, learn a trade, learn how to care for children, and learn how to prevent diseases like HIV/AIDS. Both of our conferences are having Schools of Christian Mission this summer (Pen-Del: July 9-11 and Eastern PA: July 23-25) Learn more about how we do missions and make a difference in the world.