Opportunities — Jan. 21, 2007 {0608}

e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service

Opportunities — Jan. 21, 2007

Jan. 21, 2007    News media contact: Tita Parham* 
tparham@flumc.org    Orlando {0608}

An e-Review News Item

This series includes:

n Workshop for English tutors now online;
n Confirmation classes invited to Warren W. Willis camp;
n Florida Five-Day Academy celebrates seven consecutive years;
n Methodist Student Movement offers opportunity to connect.

n Hinton Center holds workshop on leading the small membership church;
n Florida’s local church communicators invited to jurisdictional conference;
n Clergywomen called to Epworth by the Sea;
n Lenten devotional program now available to churches, individuals;
n ‘Buzzkill’ T-shirts promote anti-malaria campaign;
n United Methodist teens invited to share faith experiences with other teens;
n Agency offers religious communications scholarships.


Workshop for English tutors now online

By Marti Lane**

CLEARWATER — Individuals wishing to learn how to teach English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) may now do so through an online workshop running Feb. 15 to March 30.

The workshop is free to anyone, regardless of where they live or wish to be involved as a volunteer English tutor. It will be particularly helpful to congregations considering an ESOL ministry and individuals going on mission trips.

The workshop is provided by United Methodist Cooperative Ministries, a member of ProLiteracy America. Partial funding is provided by a grant from the Florida Department of Education, Division of Community Colleges and Workforce Education. All materials needed for the online workshop are provided. Individuals successfully completing the workshop receive a ProLiteracy America ESOL tutoring workshop certificate of completion.  

To participate, learners need basic computer skills and Internet access, the ability to download and print course materials, the commitment needed to do the mostly independent study required and to be willing to tutor as soon as the workshop is successfully completed, either for United Methodist Cooperative Ministries or another program in their community. Participants proceed at their own speed. It is helpful if at least two people from a congregation or program take the same workshop so they can work together on some assignments.

Individuals may register by sending an e-mail to Marti Lane, United Methodist Cooperative Ministries’ online instructor, at marti4lit@verizon.net.

Confirmation classes invited to Warren W. Willis camp

By Joel Pancoast**

FRUITLAND PARK — A spring confirmation retreat will be held March 2-4 at the Warren W. Willis United Methodist Camp in Fruitland Park.

This event is designed for local churches that have a confirmation program and would like to provide their confirmation class with a retreat-like setting where they can learn more about their faith, experience Christ in a new location and build relationships with others from their church and around the conference.

The cost for the weekend is $80 per person for Friday night to Sunday morning or $60 per person for Friday night to Saturday night.

A registration form is available at http://www.umsummercamp.org on the Warren W. Willis camp page. The form is found on the Upcoming Events/New Event page.

Individuals with questions about this event or any of the events coordinated by the Warren W. Willis United Methodist Camp may contact Joel Pancoast at jpancoast@flumc.org.

Florida Five-Day Academy celebrates seven consecutive years

By Lucy Wray**

The Florida Five-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation will celebrate its 7th consecutive year March 25-30 at the Life Enrichment Center in Fruitland Park.

The academy provides a sacred place and space for clergy and laity to gather, worship, study and celebrate the spiritual disciplines while enhancing their call to follow Christ and experiencing spiritual formation more in depth. The community gathers in worship throughout the day to experience the rhythm of the daily hours, prayer, quiet reflection and discernment.

This year the academy faculty includes the Rev. Dr. Paul Chilcote who will focus on the topic “Praying Through The Arts.” Participants have an opportunity to experience the joy of prayer and meditation by using Wesley hymns and great works of art. This exploration of lyrical and artistic masterpieces will give special attention to Jesus’ call and the response of Christians, their failures and God’s forgiveness, the necessity of community, sharing in Christ’s suffering, and beginning anew at the resurrection meal. Chilcote is currently a professor of the practice of evangelism at Duke University Divinity School.

The Rev. Dr. Stephanie Ford will speak on the topic “Modern Spiritual Guides: Underhill, Merton and Nouwen.” She will be presenting an in-depth look at the lives of Evelyn Underhill, Henri Nouwen and Thomas Merton as it relates to the personal spiritual journey as a modern day guide. Ford is assistant professor of Christian spirituality at Earlham School of Religion, a Quaker seminary in Indiana.

A typical day is planned around the monastic rhythm of finding a balance in private prayer and community worship; faculty presentations, study and personal and community reflections; and silence and sharing in covenant groups. This leadership team will be intentional in designing the worship space to be reflective of a monastic style of worship. Dan Miller and the Revs. Steve West and Barry Lane will lead worship and music.

A student of pastoral counseling, Catherine Long will serve as covenant group leader. Ann Anderson from Jacksonville is in charge of Hospitality and Helps. Marilyn Swanson is the faculty liaison for the academy. In addition to connecting with faculty she will be the contact for obtaining CEUs (three) for attending.

The Five-Day Academy is a program of the Upper Room. It is ecumenical and inclusive in design, and ethnic minorities and persons with handicapping conditions are encouraged to attend.

Information about the Florida Five-Day Spiritual Academy, a downloadable brochure and registration forms are available at http://www.fl5dayacademy.org. Registration is now open.

Interested individuals may also contact Lucy Wray at lucywray@tampabay.rr.com for more information. Some conference scholarships are available by contacting Carol Sue Hutchinson at 800-282-8011 or 863-688-5563, extension 140. Alternative payment schedules are available upon request.

Methodist Student Movement offers opportunity to connect

By MSM Steering Committee

College aged and mature high school students from across the state are invited to attend this year’s Methodist Student Movement retreat, a Florida Conference-funded gathering bringing students together for a weekend of worship and fellowship.

The event will be held April 13-15 at the Warren W. Willis United Methodist Youth Camp in Fruitland Park, near Leesburg.

The retreat’s focus is worship in daily life and features the arts, a 24-hour prayer room and small-group fellowship. It is specifically designed for mature students who want to grow in their faith in God.

Dr. Kandace Brooks, director of community life and adjunct professor of worship at Asbury Theological Seminary in Orlando, is the weekend’s featured speaker. Riverside Worship Project, a band from Auburn University, will lead worship. The weekend will also include workshops on leading a small group, artistic worship and heeding the call to enter seminary.

Overall, the retreat is an opportunity for students to connect with other students from different universities and churches. It will give students interested in attending a particular Florida college the chance to meet members of campus ministries and older students.

Campus ministers will participate in the retreat, but is expected that each student attending possesses the maturity and desire to attend without counselor supervision.

The cost for the weekend is $40, which includes housing in cabins and meals. More information and registration details are available by contacting WesleyMSM@gmail.com or Kelly Moore, interim director of the Florida Conference Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry, at kmoore@flumc.org.


Hinton Center holds workshop on leading the small membership church

By Caryl Kelley**

LAKELAND — Pastors of churches with small membership are invited to a workshop Feb. 12-15 at the Hinton Rural Life Center in Hayesville, N.C., located in the Appalachian Mountains of southwestern North Carolina.

The event is presented by Hinton Center staff members, who have more than 80 years of combined experience working with local churches. The workshop will help pastors better understand the small congregation and provide tools to help them see and claim a more dynamic, transformational ministry.

The plenary sessions will focus on the culture and dynamics of the small membership church and are titled “Music Diversity in the Church,” “Small Membership Church,” “Ethnic Focused Ministries” and “Comprehensive Plan for Town and Country Ministry.”

The keynote speaker is the Rev. Geraldine McClellan, superintendent of the Florida Conference’s North Central District.

There will also be an opportunity for focus in three special areas. Course options include “Focus — Visioning and Planning for Ministry,” “Nurturing Outreach Witness Organizing for Effective Ministry,” “More Than Passing the Plate: Financial Stewardship for Smaller Membership Churches,” “Christian Education/Sunday School,” “Healthy Churches/Healthy Pastors” and “Leader Development.”

The cost for the workshop is a $50 registration fee, $165 for a shared room and meals or $195 for a private room and meals, and $75 for a spouse who also attends, which covers meals.

More information is available by contacting Mollie M. Stewart at mollie@hintoncenter.org or 866-389-8336.

A downloadable brochure with registration form is available at http://www.hintoncenter.org/pdf/smc_brouchure.pdf.

Florida’s local church communicators invited to jurisdictional conference

By Neill Caldwell**

GLENN ALLEN, Va. — Local church communicators who want to learn more about communications ministry and network with fellow communicators are invited to the Southeastern Jurisdiction (SEJ) Association of Communicators meeting Feb. 21-23 in Lake Junaluska, N.C.

A number of plenary sessions and workshops are planned, including ones that will be beneficial to those involved in communications at the local church or district level.

Workshops will be offered Wednesday and Thursday, with a morning session and an afternoon session. There is an option of two workshops in each session block. Workshops include “Introduction to InDesign,” “Effective Use of Search Engines,” “United Methodist Bloggers,” “Equipping Local Churches for Effective Web Ministry,” “Creative E-mail Communication for Ministry” and panel discussions on working with the secular media and for chairs and members of conference communication boards.

There is time built into the schedule for networking and fellowship, meals, receptions at the new Foundation for Evangelism offices and World Methodist Museum, and worship led by area bishops.

The keynote speaker is the Rev. Dr. Anne L. Burkholder, director of the Florida Conference’s Connectional Ministries office. Bishop J. Lawrence McCleskey of the Western North Carolina Conference will lead the opening worship, and Bishop James Swanson of the Holston Conference will lead closing worship.

The event registration fee is $145, which includes five meals (three breakfasts and two lunches), meeting space, breaks and program fees. Participants must make their hotel reservations. Lodging is in Lake Junaluska Assembly’s historic Lambuth Inn. Rates are $47 for single occupancy and $58 for double occupancy. Hotel reservations can be made by calling 800-222-4930 and selecting individual reservations from the menu.

The SEJ office is offering free airport shuttle service from the Ashville Regional Airport by contacting Ken Howle and Cintia Furtado Listenbee at cfurtado@sejumc.org or 828-454-6730.

Free lift tickets can be arranged for any participants who want to include skiing in their trip to the North Carolina mountains. The Cataloochee Ski Area is 15 miles away and offers night skiing. Interested participants should contact Cintia Furtado Listenbee at cfurtado@sejumc.org.

A printable brochure is available at http://www.sejumc.org by clicking on ‘Events Calendar’ and then SEJ UMAC. The registration deadline is Jan. 31.

Clergywomen called to Epworth by the Sea

By Elizabeth Coppedge-Henley**

ST. SIMON’S ISLAND, Ga. — Clergy sisters from across the southeast are invited to a time of rest, renewal and inspiration.

The Southeastern Jurisdiction (SEJ) Clergywomen’s 2007 Consultation is at Epworth by the Sea, St. Simon's Island, Ga., April 23-26. The theme for the gathering is “Somebody’s Calling My Name.”

Bishops Charlene Kammerer, Mary Virginia Taylor, Hope Morgan Ward and
Linda Lee will preach. Lisa Allen is the worship leader. Bishop Minerva Carcaño will lead plenary sessions.

Workshops are based on themes from John 20: called to the garden for renewal and
revitalization; called by many names — vocational, personal, inner; called to proclaim the risen Christ and fulfill tasks in ministry.

Rates are per person, based on the number of people staying in one room. The rates include lodging, nine meals and taxes. Rates vary according to the housing location chosen and run from $255-$315 for single occupancy and $180-$240 for double occupancy. Online room and board selections can be found at http://www.epworthbythesea.com.

Event registration and information can be found at http://www.sejclergywomen.com.

Lenten devotional program now available to churches, individuals

By Carol A. Breitinger**
The Society of St. Andrew (Advance #801600) offers a free devotional program that takes the user through Lent in a spirit of reflection and prayer. 

This year’s theme is taken from Amos 5:24, “Let justice roll down like waters ... ” The guide provides daily scripture readings, short devotionals and prayers to keep one focused on the redemptive work of Christ.
Each participant or family is provided with the devotional booklet and an optional Good Friday fast. The fast can be used to supplement the daily devotions or as a stand-alone program of spiritual renewal and giving. 
Participants are also asked to express their faith by sharing in the Society of St. Andrew’s national hunger-relief ministries with a personal Lenten donation that will be used to feed hungry Americans.

The society’s Lenten Devotional program continues to grown in popularity each year. Last year donations from participants provided 3.25 million servings of fresh, nutritious food to families who don’t get enough to eat. Because the Society of St. Andrew maintains an extremely low administrative and fund-raising overhead, more than 93 cents of every donated dollar goes directly to saving fresh produce from going to waste and providing that food to the hungry.
Sample devotion starter kits are available at no cost or obligation for review before placing a congregational order. Orders can be placed online at http://www.endhunger.org, by e-mail at church@endhunger.org or by phone at 800-333-4597. After reviewing the program, orders should be placed by Feb. 1 to ensure delivery before Ash Wednesday, Feb. 21. Every attempt will be made to expedite late orders. The Society of St. Andrew asks that churches help them remain good stewards of their resources by ordering only as many kits as they will use.
The Society of St. Andrew’s national non-profit hunger-relief ministry feeds the hungry through its Potato Project, Gleaning Network, Harvest of Hope and Hunger Relief Advocate programs.  More information is available at http://www.endhunger.org.

‘Buzzkill’ T-shirts promote anti-malaria campaign

By United Methodist News Service

“Malaria kills. Send a net. Save a life.” That’s the message on the back of a new T-shirt for the Nothing But Nets campaign, an effort aimed at preventing malaria-related deaths in Africa.

The sale of each $20 shirt will also result in the purchase of an insecticide-treated bed net that will be distributed to a family in Africa. One net can protect a family of four from mosquito bites for up to four years. Nocturnal mosquito bites are the primary means by which the disease is transmitted.

Nothing But Nets is a partnership of the people of The United Methodist Church, NBA Cares, “Sports Illustrated,” the United Nations Foundation and others. The campaign, inspired by a “Sports Illustrated” column by Rick Reilly, is raising money to buy and distribute bed nets to families across Africa.

More than a million people die each year from malaria. Most of the victims are African children under the age of 5.

United Methodist leaders are encouraging church members — especially youth — to support the campaign. One bed net costs only $10.

The Nothing But Nets T-shirt, developed by the U.N. Foundation, features a mosquito illustration on the front and the word “Buzzkill.” The pumpkin-colored shirts are half-cotton and half-polyester. Details are available at https://secure.umcom.org/store/Dept.asp?Cat%5FID=219%5Fname=Nothing+But+Nets.

More information about Nothing But Nets is available at http://www.NothingButNets.net or http://www.umc.org

United Methodist teens invited to share faith experiences with other teens

By Susan Crawford**

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A new teen welcoming experience is in development and launching at Youth2007. Included in its features are short, but meaningful profiles of United Methodist teens who are willing to share a glimpse of their spiritual selves with teen seekers.

United Methodist teens who can commit time to answer a few questions and share a glimpse of a “faith moment” in a short coached-but-self-produced video are invited to participate. Teens whose profiles “go live” will receive an iTunes gift thank-you card.

Teens may be nominated by sending an e-mail with the name/e-mail address of the youth leader and the youth to Susan Crawford at scrawford@umcom.org.

The teen welcoming experience is not the usual Web site, but rather an online journey for teens. Seekers meet United Methodist peers along the way, begin to understand the values and social principles of the denomination, discover ways to join the “voice” of the church and find forums to ask questions. How is this journey constructed? What do teens learn? Where are teens pointed? These crucial questions will be addressed through research, an Igniting Ministry advisory group, youth leaders, youth partners and theologians. More information is available at http://www.ignitingministry.org/ya/index.aspx

Welcoming is showing kindness, acceptance and hospitality to everyone — guests and members alike. The teen welcoming experience has been designed to offer a teen-relevant United Methodist welcoming experience that, in context, shares the values, inclusiveness and living-embodiment of the United Methodist faith community and actively invites seeker teens to journey into a relationship with Jesus Christ.

United Methodist Communications would like to invite teens to become a member of the ongoing advisory group for the new online teen seeker welcoming experience. As part of this group, the teens can share their experiences and insights to help shape this denominational welcome.

An online hub for this advisory group called “TeenTownHall” has been developed so teens involved in the initiative can contribute as their time permits, as well as see other comments. This advisory group is helping answer tough questions.

Every advisor is either a teen, youth leader, youth worker or someone representing a conference, general agency or United Methodist church office engaged in some aspect of youth ministry. Teens will also meet special members who bring a particular expertise in related areas, such as United Methodist theology interpretation, secular teen marketing, young people ministry leadership, emerging Internet technologies, teen/seeker research and online best practices.

Teens may join the group by e-mailing Susan Crawford at scrawford@umcom.org. A confirming e-mail link to the “TeenTownHall” advisory group on 7 Villages United Methodist Church community will be sent to all who sign up. The initiative will officially launch this summer.

Agency offers religious communications scholarships

By Linda Green**

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — United Methodist students interested in religious journalism careers have until March to apply for scholarships from the denomination’s communications agency.

United Methodist Communications offers scholarships and fellowships annually to students interested in religious communications, regardless of denominational affiliation. The Nashville-based agency also is providing scholarships specifically for United Methodists to help meet the need for trained communicators in the church. In addition, the agency is again offering a mentoring experience to address the lack of racial and ethnic diversity in annual conference communications.

The $6,000 Stoody-West Fellowship will help a graduate student pursuing a career in religious journalism study at an accredited graduate school or department of journalism. The agency also will award a $2,500 Leonard M. Perryman Communications Scholarship for Ethnic Minority Students. This scholarship assists an ethnic minority college student who will be a junior or senior and is planning a career in print journalism, public relations and marketing, or audiovisual or electronic communications.

The Stoody-West Fellowship honors the Rev. Arthur West and the late Rev. Ralph Stoody, who were staff executives of United Methodist Communications or one of its predecessor agencies.

The Perryman scholarship honors the late Leonard Perryman, a journalist for the United Methodist Church for more than 30 years.

The $30,000 Judith L. Weidman Racial Ethnic Minority Fellowship is a full-time, salaried fellowship given to a United Methodist and recent college or seminary graduate for a 12-month period beginning July 1 to explore communications in the church.

The fellowship offers hands-on experience and mentoring in annual conference communications. It is aimed at building communications leaders of racial and ethnic minority background in The United Methodist Church. The fellowship, named for the former United Methodist Communications top executive, began in 1998.

The scholarship and fellowships provide opportunities for students with communications backgrounds to enhance their skills and pursue religious communications as a career option, according to Amelia Tucker-Shaw, a consultant in the agency’s Communications Resourcing Team. “Because mass communications departments at colleges and universities don’t separate a special curriculum focus for religious communications UMCom recognizes the need to provide a link between secular journalism and religion communications.”

The application deadline for each opportunity is March 15.

Details and applications can be found on the agency’s Web site at http://www.umcom.org/scholarships. More information and applications for the racial ethnic minority fellowship are available by visiting http://crt.umc.org/rem or calling Tucker-Shaw, scholarship and fellowship coordinator, at 888-278-4862.


*Parham is managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**Lane is United Methodist Cooperative Ministries’ online ESOL trainer. Coppedge-Henley is co-chair of the SEJ Clergywomen’s Consultation Design Team. Wray is retreat leader for the 2007 Five-Day Spiritual Formation Academy; Crawford is director of Marketing & Digital Delivery, Igniting Ministry, Nashville, Tenn.; Caldwell is editor of the Advocate, Virginia Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. Kelley is subscription manager, photographer and contributing writer for e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service. Miller is director of music at Drew Theological School, Madison, N.J.; Pancoast is program manager at the Warren W. Willis United Methodist Camp. Breitinger is director of communications for the Society of St. Andrew. Green is on staff at United Methodist News Service.

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