Opportunities — Aug. 19, 2005 {0347}

e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service

Opportunities — Aug. 19, 2005

Aug. 19, 2005    News media contact:  Tita Parham*    
tparham@flumc.org     Orlando {0347}

An e-Review News Item

Space still available at upcoming Men's retreats

By J.A. Buchholz**

LAKELAND — Individuals may still register for any of three Florida Conference United Methodist Men's retreats held this October in Leesburg.

The "Why Me? Why Now?" retreats are Oct. 7-9, 14-16 and 21-23.

Guest speakers for the Oct. 7-9 retreat are the Rev. Charles Sineath, a regular speaker at the retreats and pastor at Wesleyan Fellowship in Marietta, Ga.; Ed Diaz, co-founder of Walk Thru the Bible Ministries and co-author of "The Winning Run," a men's devotional book with a baseball theme; and the Rev. Charley Reeb, pastor at Tuskawilla United Methodist Church in Casselberry and recipient of the Marcy Fellowship in Preaching. The St. Paul United Methodist Church Praise Band, in Largo, will serve as the music team for the weekend.

Guest speakers for the Oct. 14-16 retreat are the Rev. Clark Pickett, pastor at Trinity United Methodist Church in Palm Beach Gardens; the Rev. Phillip Short, pastor at First United Methodist Church in Stuart; and the Rev. Blake Lorenz, senior pastor at Pine Castle United Methodist Church in Orlando. Tom Drick and the Pine Castle Praise Band will serve as the music team for the weekend.

Guest speakers for the Oct. 21-23 retreat are Bishop Robert Hayes of the Oklahoma Area; John Riley, a regular speaker at the retreats who has spoken to more than 8,000 audiences; and Bill Owens, pastor of Palm Harbor United Methodist Church. Dr. Frank Jacobs and Lenee Schroeder will provide the music.

Registration and additional information can be found at http://www.ummflconf.org or by calling 877-815-3692.

Enrollment for fall Healthy Church Academy courses now open

By Rev. Dr. Larry Rankin**

LAKELAND — Clergy and laity may now enroll for courses offered this fall through the Florida Conference Healthy Church Academy (HCA).

HCA was developed by the Florida Conference's offices of New Church Development, Congregational Transformation and Connectional Ministries to provide learning opportunities to help congregations grow and transform. All courses are for laity and clergy, and congregational teams are especially welcome.

The list of fall courses includes: HCA 101 - Growing a Healthy Church, Sept. 16-17 and 23-24 (en español); HCA 301 - The Church: Order vs. Disorder, Sept. 16-17; HCA 302 - Leading Change in the Church, Sept. 23-24 (en español); HCA 1201 - Spiritual Formation and Disciples, Oct. 14-15; HCA 401 - Leadership Development, Nov. 4-5 (en español); and HCA 201 - The Church as Global Mission, Nov. 18-19 (en español).

Para mas información sobre los cursos en español y la facultad, favor de visitar www.flumc.org/hca y abrir en el menú HCA-Cursos en Español. Algunas fechas varían.

All HCA courses are linked to the life cycle of a congregation and its Natural Church Development (NCD) minimum factor (the NCD Quality Characteristics reveal a minimum factor for a church) and support the various leadership roles in the church. All are designed to help new congregations form and existing ones transform. Courses are spread throughout the conference at local churches and the Life Enrichment Center in Leesburg to accommodate as many people as possible.

The only course individuals are required to take is HCA 101, Growing a Healthy Church. The next class will be held at First United Methodist Church of South Miami, Sept 16-17 and 23-24. Two classes are scheduled in 2006. Individuals may register for HCA 101 while taking other courses.

For complete information on 2005 and 2006 HCA courses, including descriptions, faculty, costs, lodging and registration, visit http://www.flumc.org/hca. Partial scholarships are available.

For more information or questions contact the Rev. Dr. Larry Rankin, HCA dean, at 800-282-8011, extension 131, or lrankin@flumc.org.

Summer Camp Boosters searches for past team members, volunteers for work weekend

By Tita Parham

ORLANDO — The Florida Conference Summer Camp Boosters is sponsoring a Summer Leadership Team Reunion during the Labor Day weekend, Sept. 2-4, and a work weekend during Memorial Day weekend, May 28-30.

The Leadership Team Reunion is for anyone who has served on the Summer Camp Leadership Team and their families. It will be housed at the Warren W. Willis United Methodist Camp.

"It is an incredible time to reconnect with old friends and share in the joy that being back at camp brings to anyone who's been on team before," said Heather Pancoast, assistant director of the Florida Conference Summer Camps.

The last Team Reunion was held in 1998 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Summer Camping Ministry.

Coordinators would like to inform as many past team members as possible about the event. Anyone with names and/or contact information for past team members is encouraged to e-mail that information to Pancoast at hpancoast@flumc.org; send it to the Florida United Methodist Conference Center, P.O. Box 3767, Lakeland, FL 33802, c/o Mike Standifer; or call 800-282-8011, extension 138.

Each summer the camp Leadership Team gathers a week prior to the beginning of the Summer Camp ministry to train and prepare for the start of the summer camps. Individuals interested in being part of that preparation are invited to attend The Camp Boosters Work Weekend.

The purpose of weekend is to clean and make any necessary repairs to the facilities so they will be ready for the thousands of campers who will be spending a week at camp this summer.

"Anyone who loves camp and has a passion for the ministry there is invited" to participate, Pancoast said.

Housing and food during the work weekend are free for individuals who attend and stay at the Warren W. Willis camp. Those who prefer to stay at the Life Enrichment Center must make reservations by calling 800-862-6889 and will be charged the normal nightly rate. Details related to the team reunion will be provided closer to the event date.

For more information about either event contact Pancoast at 800-282-8011, extension 138, or hpancoast@flumc.org.

Escape the summer heat: hike the Appalachian trail

By Mary Ann Cantwell**

CLERMONT — Summer heat getting you down? Now is the time reserve space for the annual Adult Appalachian Trail Hike.

Two separate groups will participate: one will backpack on the Appalachian Trail and the second will site-camp at Standing Indian State Park, N.C., taking day hikes in the surrounding mountains.

The hikes are Oct. 17-23. Participants will meet at the Warren W. Willis Youth Camp in Leesburg at 8 a.m. Oct. 17. Community gear will be distributed and packs will be packed. The group will depart for Standing Indian at 9 a.m.

The cost of the six-day activity is $120 and covers transportation, meals while camping, insurance and community gear. Participants must furnish a warm sleeping bag, tent, sturdy hiking boots, personal gear and money for food while traveling.

The group is multigenerational, and the minimum age is 18. Requirements for participation are a love of the outdoors, ability to enjoy physical activity that requires some exertion (especially for the backpackers), and a sense of humor. Group size is limited.

For an application call the Florida Conference Center at 800-282-8011; write to Florida United Methodist Conference, P.O. Box 3767, Lakeland, FL 33802; or e-mail jalderman@flumc.org.

Contact Mary Ann or Gene Cantwell, Adult Trail Hike coordinators, at 352-394-2506 or macantwell@juno.com for additional information.

Night of chocolate and laughter benefits Winsome Spirit

By J.A. Buchholz

LAKELAND — Winsome Spirit wants guest to laugh all night while dining on succulent desserts.

"Dessert Comedy Theatre: Death by Chocolate" will be held Sept. 10, 7:30 p.m., at the First United Methodist Church Fellowship Center, 72 Lake Morton Dr., Lakeland. Tickets are $10 per person in advance and $15 per person at the door.

Nationally known comedians Mike Williams, Justin Fennell and Tommy Sloan promise a night full of laughs.

Funds will benefit Winsome Spirit Ministries, an ecumenical and international ministry that promotes church partnerships between United States and Russian congregations. The ministry supports the Christian camp ministry with Russian children and youth and sponsors United States youth participating in short-term mission trips as counselors with Russian children and youth.
For more information contact Michiel Crawford at 863-683-5196 or Michiel@WinsomeSpirit.org.

University of South Florida offers free training to help churches partner with schools

The Partnership program at the University of South Florida is coordinating a free training for faith-based organizations and school personnel who want to attend the C.L.A.S.S. Symposium (Church Leaders Assuring Student Success) and receive a free C.L.A.S.S. Toolkit.

C.L.A.S.S. is an initiative to involve faith-based and community groups in education. It promotes the collaboration and sharing of educational resources and information between faith-based, community groups, schools and parents.

Participants will be equipped with resources, training and technical assistance required to establish partnerships with other faith-based organizations, community-based organizations, local school and parents. C.L.A.S.S. will assist families in supporting the education of children considered to be at-risk.

The workshop is free. Each participant will receive a free C.L.A.S.S. Toolkit containing a manual, video, workshops (PowerPoint presentations, hand-outs and facilitator's script) on CD, poster and brochure.

The C.L.A.S.S. trainings will be held Aug. 25 in Orlando, Sept. 8 in Miami and Sept. 13 in Tallahassee.

For more information or to obtain a registration flier call 813-558-5096 or visit http://www.partnershipcenter.usf.edu.

The C.L.A.S.S. Symposium is supported by a grant from the Florida School Choice Resource Center at Nova Southeastern University.

Family Camp offers Labor Day Weekend camp

By Ed Cepull**

LEESBURG — The Florida Conference Family Camp will offer its Labor Day Weekend Family Camp Sept. 2-5 at the family campground across the road from the Warren W. Willis Youth Camp, adjacent to the Life Enrichment Center.
Some of the weekend events include the Saturday breakfast by the Florida Chapter of the National United Methodist Campers and Saturday's annual Family Camp Committee meeting.
Camping fees are $13.25 per night for water and electric and $15.50 per night for full hookups. The $5 registration fee is waived for first-time campers.
This event is one of the four family camping events sponsored each year by the Florida United Methodist Conference. One of the purposes of family camp is to provide an opportunity for worship, recreation, sharing, fellowship and enjoyment of the outdoors with fellow Christians in an attractive, safe and clean setting. The four family camping events are held at the campground at Leesburg during the following holiday weekends: Presidents' Day in February, Memorial Day in May, Labor Day in September and Thanksgiving in November.
For more information or to register contact Earl and Marietta King, program coordinators, at 863-533-5769 or earlspark@juno.com.

Retreat helps clergy, laity on spiritual journey to inner peace

By J.A. Buchholz

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — The International Growth Center at Lake Junaluska, N.C., is offering the "Path of Inner Peace and Spiritual Transformation" Oct. 21-24.

The goal of the retreat is to help participants on their spiritual journey — to experience God and inner peace in an effort to acquire the means to cope more effectively with the stresses of daily life.

The retreat will teach participants how to launch a daily practice of solitude to reconnect with the Holy Spirit. It is the start of a course of inner study where each participant will be given the gift of a small group and a soul guide in the Wesleyan tradition.

The course begins with an introductory four-day, three night retreat at the Providence Lodge. During the retreat participants will become closely acquainted with their spiritual guide and six to eight participants who will form the Spiritual Listening/Sharing Group. It is a "down to earth" and "back to nature" program designed to help participants get back to their true nature as God created so there may be joy in the simple things of life.

Once participants return home after the retreat they will continue the process of maintaining the journey of inner peace through an e-mail program.

The Rev. Fred Macon and Dr. Daniel Robinson are Celtic and Franciscan trained spiritual guides who will join experienced ministers and retreat leaders Rev. Cliff Lyda, Brenda Birdsall, Dr. William Barnard, Sandra Barnard and Dr. George Barnard to assist in the process.

The second component is the Discovery Path followed by the Pioneer Path and the optional Explorer Path, all to be explored at later dates.

The cost for the introductory course is $425 for double occupancy and $497 for single occupancy. It includes housing, meals and lodging at Providence Lodge and participation in all weekend retreat activities.

For cost and registration details visit http://www.PathofInnerPeace.blogspot.com.

Continuing education funds are available through the Florida Conference Division of Ministry to Florida Conference clergy interested in attending the retreat. Up to $750 per quadrennium is available to all associate and full members of the conference. Applications can be obtained by contacting Winnie Dean at wdean@flumc.org or 800-282-8011, extension 134.

SEJ holds workshop for small congregations

By J.A. Buchholz

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — The Southeastern Jurisdiction is offering a workshop designed specifically for smaller congregation Sept. 15-17 at the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center.

The Worship Connection Conference, sponsored by Cokesbury, was created after several requests for such a program were made. The target audience is worship planners, including pastors, lay speakers, musicians, youth ministers, key laity, deacons and people who serve on committees or have an interest in worship.

National speakers Rob Weber and Tex Sample will participate, and workshops in planning, media, music and arts led by worship leaders in small congregations will be offered. Featured workshops include "Waking the Dead ... Preaching Renewal," "Reaching the 20s and 30s," "Yes, Small Churches Can Dare to Do Drama," "The Small Church and Its Unique Gifts," "It Can Be Done: New Media in an Old Space," "Using the Arts in Worship: Altar Design, Banners and Dance," "Starting a Media Ministry on a Shoestring" and many more.

Participants can also learn about a new program called Beginnings, a small-group, spiritual journey for seekers, new believers and long-time Christians who want to explore the basics of Christianity in a relaxed, nurturing atmosphere. Participants can bring questions, gain knowledge and form or deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ.

Dr. Andy Langford of Central United Methodist Church of Concord, N.C., and Dr. Mark Ralls are co-authors of Beginnings, sponsored by the United Methodist Publishing House. Langford will provide training at the Worship Connection Conference.

A complete list of workshops, speakers and cost can be found at http://www.worshipconnection.cokesbury.com/content.

For additional information contact Betsy Hall at 615-749-6507.

Society of St. Andrew urges churches to take the challenge

By Carol A. Breitinger**

BIG ISLAND, Va. — Everyone needs a challenge.

Twenty-five years ago the Society of St. Andrew (SOSA), Advance #801600, accepted the challenge of feeding the hungry in response to Christ's call to help those in need. It began with the simple idea of saving produce that is left in fields and orchards after the harvest. That food is then used to feed America's hungry people.

During the past 25 years the Society of St. Andrew has saved 482 million pounds of edible, fresh produce that would have been plowed under or dumped into landfills, providing 1.4 billion servings of food for hungry children and adults at a cost of about one cent per serving.

Today, 36 million Americans live with chronic hunger. SOSA continues to face the challenge of meet their hunger needs and is asking churches and groups from across the county to help. This fall, as SOSA concludes the observance of its first 25 years of ministry, it is urging churches to take its 252 Challenge.

The goal of the 252 Challenge is to provide the equivalent of one year's supply of fruits and vegetables for 25 hungry Americans. Since SOSA can provide enough fresh produce to meet the minimum requirements for one person for an entire year for just $25, the total amount a church is challenged to raise is "$25 squared" or $625.

Between Oct. 23 and Thanksgiving 25 individuals or members of Sunday school classes or women's, men's, children's and youth groups can meet the 252 Challenge by donating just $5 each for each of the five weeks.

SOSA's ministry is simple and cost-effective. Fruits and vegetables left behind after harvest are salvaged to provide essential nutrition for those who cannot afford sufficient food. The salvages food is then given to food banks, church pantries and other feeding agencies. The result is that waste is reduced and hungry people are fed for about one cent per serving. For just $25 SOSA can provide feeding agencies the equivalent servings of fruits and vegetables recommended for one person for a whole year.

Materials for the 252 Challenge are free from SOSA. They include banks for each participating classroom, group, family or individual and a church bulletin insert master. On Nov. 20, the Sunday before Thanksgiving, all donations can be collected and thanks given for the food that will be saved and delivered to hungry Americans because of the generous donation. Special recognition will be sent to each church that meets the challenge.

For more information and to obtain free materials for the 252 Challenge contact Susan Allen at SOSA at 800-333-4597 or church@endhunger.org or online at http://www.endhunger.org.

Cokesbury announces Christian Education Showcase

By Rachel Smith**

NASHVILLE — Cokesbury is sponsoring "Christian Education Showcase" events, which are designed to help those engaged in making disciples of Jesus Christ experience the broad range of teaching resources available from Cokesbury, make selections appropriate to their setting and gather ideas that will enrich their educational ministries.

Christian education leaders, pastors, Sunday school teachers and youth leaders will find help at the Christian Education Showcases held in Cokesbury stores until Aug. 27.

The Christian Education Showcase events are designed to be fun, easy and helpful ways to learn about new resources and find help for planning educational ministries.

Cokesbury has also created a CD-ROM featuring people talking about how their journey with Christ has changed their lives and how Cokesbury has played a part in that journey. The short video will be made available to all United Methodist congregations free of charge.

Individuals who are not located near a Cokesbury store will find Showcase information at http://www.Cokesbury.com or by calling Cokesbury's Curric-u-phone line at 800-251-8591.

Computer-related products, services simplify church operations, communication

By United Methodist Communications Staff

United Methodist Communications, through its TechShop service, recently announced the launching of Digital Solutions, a package of computer-related products and services for United Methodist churches.

The suite of products and services represents a major new initiative, one that effectively positions TechShop as the most comprehensive digital services provider for United Methodist churches in the United States.

The new services complement TechShop's role as the primary supplier of technology products, applications and discounted software products for The United Methodist Church. Key elements include:

The United Methodist Computer Program: TechShop has developed a computer hardware and software package with customized applications for United Methodist churches. Through the program, churches can purchase business-level Hewlett-Packard desktops and laptops loaded with Microsoft Office software and customized United Methodist templates, management forms (in partnership with The United Methodist Publishing House), graphic images and Internet links. These resources give local churches the ability to develop worship materials, prepare presentations, create newsletters and e-mail messages, locate church organizations and simplify the completion of the forms and reports tracking congregational life.

The United Methodist Ministry Manager: Through Ministry Manager, churches can manage major aspects of congregational life, such as maintaining membership lists, communicating with small group members, scheduling church events and reporting church statistics to annual conferences. These components centralize information, making it easier and less time consuming to use and report.

Web Site Development: TechShop also will offer web site building tools in partnership with E-zekiel. More than 6,000 churches use this service to manage their Web ministries. E-zekiel is one of the most affordable and easy to use Web site development programs on the market, letting persons with basic computer skills establish and maintain professional Web sites.

Content Syndication: TechShop also offers Web site building tools in partnership with E-zekiel.

TechShop, in conjunction with a number of United Methodist agencies, offers a wide range of Web site content for churches. Users can regularly update content from sources such as The Upper Room, United Methodist News Service and the recently updated UMC.org. To subscribe, visit http://www.techshopministry.org/ds.

For more information call 888-346-3862 or e-mail techshop@umcom.org.

Web site ends confusion about music licensing

By Dean McIntyre**

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Pastors and church musicians have experienced much confusion and frustration surrounding the purchase and use of the three main music licenses: Christian Copyright Licensing International (CCLI), LicenSing and OneLicense.net.

A simple, easy-to-understand chart will help churches ask and answer the major questions. It is available on The General Board of Discipleship worship-preaching-music Web site.
The Music Licensing Comparison Chart can be found at http://www.gbod.org/worship/Licensing.pdf.

Florida Conference pastor considers three great 'wonders' of faith on 'Day 1'

By Nan Ross**

ATLANTA, Ga. — The Rev. Charles Reeb, senior pastor of Tuskawilla United Methodist Church in Casselberry, will be the featured speaker on three programs in September on "Day 1," a nationally broadcast radio program also accessible via Internet streaming audio. Reeb's series focuses on three great "wonders" of the Christian faith.

Reeb, who was formerly associate pastor of First United Methodist Church, Lakeland, can be heard on the Sept. 11, 18 and 25 broadcasts of "Day 1" on more than 160 participating radio stations and at http://www.day1.net.

Reeb's series addresses three questions many Christians ask: "I wonder why bad things happen to good people," "I wonder why my prayers go unanswered," and "I wonder about God's will for my life."

Reeb's first sermon, airing on the fourth anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy, focuses on the question of pain and suffering in the world. "People all over the world were asking this question: Why do bad things happen to good people? 9/11 shattered many people's naïve illusions about how the world is supposed to operate," Reeb says.

Reeb is a graduate of Florida Southern College and earned a master of divinity degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory University. He is currently in a doctor of ministry program at Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta. He is the author of "One Heaven of a Party," a collection of Lenten and Easter sermons.

Formerly known as "The Protestant Hour," "Day 1" has been broadcast every week for 60 years. It is produced by the Episcopal Media Center in association with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, the Episcopal Church, The United Methodist Church, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the United Church of Christ. A television version is also broadcast Sunday mornings on the Hallmark Channel's "America at Worship" series.

For more information call 888-411-Day-1 or visit http://www.Day1.net.

Wallace Chappell Lecture to be held at Wesley Theological Seminary

By Jerome Smith**

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — This year's Wallace Chappell Lecture will be delivered in Washington, D.C. in the Oxman Chapel at Wesley Theological Seminary Oct. 7 at 9:30 a.m. Dr. Paul Chilcote, Visiting Professor of Evangelism at Duke Divinity School, Duke University, in Durham, N.C., will deliver the lecture.

The Wallace Chappell lectures are given at United Methodist seminaries to enable the selected school to bring to its campus a national or world leader in Christian evangelism for a series of inspirational lectures. The Lectures are funded by an endowment gift from the Wallace Chappell Ministries Inc. through The Foundation for Evangelism in honor of Wallace and Mary Frances Chappell.

This year's lecture will be held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Academy for Evangelism in Theological Education (AETE). For more information about AETE, visit http://www.aeteonline.org. For more information about the lecture visit the Foundation for Evangelism's new Web site at http://www.evangelize.org.

The Foundation for Evangelism is an affiliate of The General Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church.


*Parham managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**Buchholz is a staff writer for the e-Review. Rankin is director of the Florida Conference's Global Mission and Health and Wholeness ministries and dean of HCA. Rachel Smith is an employee of Cokesbury, the retail division of The United Methodist Publishing House. Jerome Smith is communications director for  The Foundation for Evangelism. Breitinger is communications director for The Society of St. Andrew. McIntyre is director of music resources for The United Methodist General Board of Discipleship. Cantwell is one of two Adult Trail Hike coordinators. Ross is marketing/communication director for the Episcopal Media Center/Day 1. Cepull, is the Family Camp secretary.

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