August 2016 District News

Message from District Superintendent

Since joining our district just a few weeks ago, the new superintendent has already visited 24 churches where he met with the clergy, toured the churches and learned about the unique ministries that each church has to offer in the North East District. As we move forward into late summer and early fall, Jay will continue to visit all of the churches in the district and is looking forward to those visits.

Please click here to read Rev. Jay Therrell's message to the district for August. 

District Office Phone System Update

We recently made an update to our phone system and when you call our office you will hear a message from an attendant that will ask you to select the person you would like to speak with in our office. We have already noticed a decrease in calls from telemarketers. AMEN!  

District Directory

The district directory is available for download on our main district webpage. Please note that we are no longer providing clergy cell phones and home addresses. We ask that you be mindful of the number of emails that you send to the clergy and churches in an effort that their inbox does not become overloaded with solicitations. The district is happy to communicate information to our clergy and churches through the newsletter. Please feel free to send any communication you would like shared to 

Upcoming District/Conference Meetings & Events

Please click on the links below for more information about these meetings/events.

August 23, 2016 - District Youth Workers Meeting

September 15, 2016 - Fall District Clergy Meeting (more details with a registration link will be sent to all clergy serving a local church at their email address)  

September 16-17, 2016 - Resonate - District Youth Worship Band Training

September 18, 2016 - District Youth Rally

September 20, 2016 - Town Hall Meeting with Bishop Carter (please note a change of start time from 5:30 to 6 p.m.)

October 25-26, 2016 - Clergy Gathering - 2016

November 4-6, 2016 -  District Youth Retreat

November 5, 2016 - Fresh Expressions Vision Day (more details to come)

November 6, 2016 - District Superintendent Installation Service, 3 p.m. @ Mandarin UMC

November 10 & 15, 2016 - Retiree Luncheon with the DS 

December 16, 2016 - District Office Holiday Open House, 10-12 & 2-4 (more details to come)


Benefits Update: Freedom to Choose – 2017 Health Initiative

The Florida Annual Conference approved the Freedom to Choose- 2017 Health Initiative effective January 1, 2017. This new benefit criteria applies to all full-time clergy, including deacons, appointed to a local church, mission, District or Conference staff.

Over the next few months you will begin receiving more information to help you navigate through this transition. Please take a few moments to read about the upcoming changes to health benefits. We will be including an update each month and also will speak more about these changes at the District Clergy Meeting on September 15, 2016. 

Local Events/Gatherings

September 9-10, 2016 - Rock the Universe @ Universal Orlando - Youth Event

September 17, 2016 - The Hart Felt Ministries Annual Charity Gala


We are on Facebook!

Come and check out our District Facebook Page! Be sure to Like us so you can stay current on all of the happenings in the District.


Reminder: Discipleship/Small Group Study Materials Available

The District Office has a large number of resource materials available to anyone in our district. Click here to review the list and reserve your copy of the resource materials available. You can then make arrangements to pick up the items in the district office.

We will make these materials available through the end of September. Clergy - we are happy to bring any materials you would like to have in your church to the clergy meetings on September 15 so you don't have to make a special trip to the district office. Be sure to reserve the materials you want today. 

Welcome New Fresh Expressions Coordinator

Please join us in welcoming the new Fresh Expressions Coordinator for The Florida Annual Conference, Matthew Harrell. Matt comes to us from First UMC, Stockbridge, GA, where he was the Director of Student and Recreation Ministries for five years. 

Matt will be supporting Rev. Audrey Warren and Rev. Kevin Griffin, co-conveners of the Fresh Expressions Steering Committee and will be engaged in the following ways:

  • Provide operational support for the Fresh Expressions movement by supporting the Fresh Expressions Steering Committee
  • Be a resource hub and connector of Fresh Expressions
  • Plan and implement Vision Days and Pioneer Retreats
  • Empower & resource Pioneers for Fresh Expressions Florida
  • Engage local churches
  • Guide lay and clergy leaders within the Fresh Expressions movement through the School of Missional Wisdom
  • Empower Fresh Expression leaders to facilitate regional groups of support, coaching and collaboration

Matt can be reached at  For more information about Fresh Expressions, go to

Charge Conference

We are currently finalizing all of the details for charge conference season and will send out a separate email to everyone soon!

Fall NE Emmaus Walks & Chrysalis Flights

Emmaus Walks & Chrysalis Flights are a ministry of the Upper Room providing opportunities for spiritual formation and renewal enhancing one's walk with Christ and strengthening one's servant ministry in the local church. Registration details will be available soon, but save the following dates on your calendar:

  • Men's Walk #77 - September 29 - October 2, 2016
  • Women's Walk #77 - October 6 - 9, 2016
  • Girls Chrysalis Flight #32 - November 4-6, 2016
  • Boys Chrysalis Flight #32 - November 11-13, 2016 

For more information, please visit

Bishop's Reflection on the Western Jurisdiction Election

A few weeks ago Karen Oliveto was elected as a bishop by the Western Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church. Read Bishop Carter's reflection on that election on the Conference website



August 2016

August 11-­12, 2016 -­ Global Leadership Summit

August 1­4, 2016 - ­ Festival of Wisdom & Grace Conference

August 23, 2016 - District Youth Workers Meeting

September 2016

September 15, 2016 - District Clergy Meeting, 9-2 @ Orange Park UMC

September 16-17, 2016 - Resonate - District Youth Worship Band Training

September 18, 2016 - District Youth Rally

September 20, 2016 - Town Hall Meeting with Bishop Carter 6 p.m.@ Trinity UMC, Gainesville (please note the change of the start time from 5:30 to 6 p.m.)

September 23-­24, 2016 -­ District Lay Servant Ministry Training @ Howe Memorial UMC

November 2016

November 4-6, 2016 -  District Youth Retreat

November 4-6, 2016 - Clergy Mates Retreat @ Life Enrichment Center, Lake Griffin

November 5, 2016 - Fresh Expression Vision Day

November 6, 2016 - New District Superintendent Installation Service, 3 p.m. @ Mandarin UMC. More details to come!

December 2016

December 16, 2016 - District Office Holiday Open House, 10-12 & 2-4


January 28, 2017 - District Leadership Training Event, more details to come

February 4, 2017 - District Leadership Training Event, more details to come

June 7-9, 2017 - Annual Conference 2017, Buena Vista Palace Hotel, Orlando

Contact Us

The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church

450 Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue
Lakeland, FL 33815

(863) 688-5563 or toll free (800) 282-8011