Opportunities — Nov. 11, 2007 {0763}



e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service
      
 

Opportunities — Nov. 11, 2007

Nov. 11, 2007     News media contact: Tita Parham* 
800-282-8011  
tparham@flumc.org    Orlando {0763}

An e-Review News Item

This series includes:

Conference-related:
n Society of St. Andrew seeks volunteer citrus gleaners, trees to glean
n Conference, foundation schedule pre-retirement seminar
n Upcoming Asbury ministry conference hopes to ‘restore the joy’




Global/national:

n ONE invites churches to raise public awareness about global poverty
n Advent devotional guide reminds of call to service
n World AIDS Day worship resources available
n National TV message asks viewers to believe in power of prayer
n Peace conference helps give churches a voice
n General Board of Church and Society holds event for young clergy
n New teen welcoming resources available through Igniting Ministry



Conference-related:

Society of St. Andrew seeks volunteer citrus gleaners, trees to glean

By Caryl Kelley**

LAKELAND — The Society of St Andrew’s (SoSA) 2008 Citrus Drive begins in January. The goal: to collect unwanted citrus and distribute it to feeding programs statewide.

Anyone who lives in Brevard, Hillsborough, Lee, Orange, Osceola, Pinellas or Seminole counties may participate, either by volunteering to glean (pick) fruit from trees, offering their citrus trees to be gleaned or taking their leftover fruit to drop-off sites.

The citrus drive begins Jan. 19 in Orange and Seminole counties at five collection sites: College Park Presbyterian Church, 118 E. Par St., Orlando; Reeves United Methodist Church, 1100 N. Ferncreek Blvd., Orlando; Grace United Methodist Church, 499 N. Country Club Rd., Lake Mary; University Carillon United Methodist Church, 1600 E. McCulloch Rd., Oviedo; and St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 4851 S. Apopka Vineland Rd., Orlando.

The citrus drive will move to Volusia County Feb. 2.

Each year SoSA coordinates thousands of volunteers to glean more than a million pounds of a wide variety of produce in Florida. Volunteers may pick (or pick up) their citrus and bring it to a drop site, pick citrus for a neighbor, or invite SoSA volunteers to pick the citrus in their backyard.

Individuals who would like to donate citrus are asked to complete a donation form at http://www.endhunger.org/citrus/donate_citrus.htm and check http://www.doacs.state.fl.us/pi/canker/maps.html for citrus quarantine locations. Volunteers who wish to participate in the Central Florida Citrus Drive must also complete the online form at http://www.endhunger.org/citrus/volunteer.htm

The SoSA calendar lists other gleaning dates in Florida and is available at http://www.endhunger.org/cgi-bin/calendar.pl?calendar=SoSAEvents and.
 
More information about SoSA is available by calling 407-650-1956 or First United Methodist Church, Titusville, at 321-269-7631 or visiting http://www.endhunger.org/brevard.



Conference, foundation schedule pre-retirement seminar

By Erik Alsgaard**

LAKELAND — The Florida Conference human resources office and Florida United Methodist Foundation are sponsoring a pre-retirement seminar called “R-10 and Counting” for clergy and spouses who have 10 or fewer years until retirement.

The seminar will be held Jan. 28-30 at the Life Enrichment Center in Fruitland Park.  

The three-day seminar will cover a full range of issues facing retirees, including planning for and funding retirement, living arrangements, relationships, wellness, myths and realities, and estate planning. Speakers include the Revs. Tom Marston and John Peterson, foundation staff, and the Rev. Mark Connor with the General Board of Pension and Benefits and Carla Bryant, both estate planning attorneys, and others to be announced.

The seminar is limited to 30 participants, with couples counted as one participant. All participants will receive scholarships underwritten by the Preacher’s Relief Board. Fees include accommodations for two nights, five meals and workshop materials. The fee for a couple is $140 ($225-$85 scholarship); for singles it is $90 ($175-$85 scholarship).

Registration information is available at http://www.fumf.org. The registration deadline is Dec. 15. Checks should be made payable to the Florida United Methodist Foundation.

More information is available at 866-363-9673 (toll-free), 863-904-2970 or foundation@fumf.org.


Upcoming Asbury ministry conference hopes to ‘restore the joy’

By Asbury Theological Seminary Staff

ORLANDO — Asbury Theological Seminary’s 2008 Ministry Conference, held for the first time in Orlando, is designed to help pastors and laity begin the restoration process in their churches and lives.

Participants will learn how to bring hope back into the pews and joy back into the lives of struggling congregations.

The conference will be held Feb. 4-6 at Iglesia Cristiana Church, 1557 North Chickasaw Trail, Orlando.

Pastor or youth minister, layperson or teacher, Asbury Theological Seminary’s annual ministry conference is designed to enrich the lives of anyone involved in ministry. Attendees will gain valuable insights and tools to become more effective church leaders. Well-known guest speakers, coupled with Asbury Seminary’s faculty, will strive to make this year’s “Restore the Joy” conference a relevant event for anyone seeking to hone their skills and strengthen their church.

Speakers include Kirbyjon Caldwell, Tony Campolo, Shane Claiborne, Judith MacNutt, Brennan Manning and Nancy Ortberg. A daily program and information about the speakers are listed at http://www.asburyseminary.edu/ministry-conference/program.php. Workshop choices are listed at http://www.asburyseminary.edu/ministry-conference/workshops.php.

The registration fee is $300; current students pay $150. Registration to receive two continuing education credits is $50. There is also a cancellation fee of $50. Special rates are available for groups of 10 or more and may be made by calling 888-523-3766.

Participants may register by contacting 888-523-3766 or lifelonglearning@asburyseminary.edu or going online at https://www.asburyseminary.edu/ministry-conference/registration.htm. Online registrants must pay by credit card. Individuals may also register by mail by sending the registration fee to Asbury Theological Seminary, Ministry Conference, 204 N. Lexington Ave., Wilmore, KY 40390.

Information about “Restore the Joy” is found at http://www.asburyseminary.edu/ministry-conference/.



Global/national:

ONE invites churches to raise public awareness about global poverty

By Susan McCue**

WASHINGTON — ONE, a nonpartisan organization that works to end poverty, hunger and disease around the world, is giving churches an opportunity this Thanksgiving to help raise awareness about the issues affecting people in need.

Working on the ground in communities, colleges and churches across the United States, ONE members both educate and ask America’s leaders to increase efforts to fight global AIDS and extreme poverty, from the U.S. budget and presidential elections to specific legislation on debt cancellation, increasing effective international assistance, making trade fair and fighting corruption.
 
Now, ONE is reaching out to people of faith and engaging traditions that say that when you “spend yourselves on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness (Isaiah 58:10).”
 
It is with that belief in mind that people of faith are invited to be leaders in ONE Sabbath, a new initiative to bring the spirit of many churches, synagogues, mosques and temples to the movement to make poverty history.
 
During the weekend of Nov. 23-25 congregations that sign up to be a part of ONE Sabbath will host special services focused on a simple question “What can we do, as congregations and as believers, to bring healing to a world in which 28,000 children die every day from poverty-related causes?”

By taking part in ONE Sabbath, a congregation will be out in front, exploring how people of faith can bring compassion and leadership to the fight to end global poverty.

The issues are described at http://www.one.org/issues/. Churches can sign up to download the ONE Sabbath overview at http://www.one.org/joinos/index.html?t=3
 
ONE partners with many religious organizations and denominations, including the General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church, that are already tackling issues of hunger, debt relief and HIV/AIDS. The ONE faith resource page describes more about what faith communities are already doing to fight global poverty and how that can be a part of ONE Sabbath.

More information about the ONE Campaign is available at http://www.one.org/joinos/index.html?t=4.


Advent devotional guide reminds of call to service

By Carol Breitinger**
                    
BIG ISLAND, Va. — The Society of St. Andrew is once again offering an Advent devotional guide. This year’s guide is themed “God’s Abundant Blessings,” based on Matthew 2:11, the story of the Magi following the star to Bethlehem to see Jesus.

Each day of the Advent season readers will experience the reflections and insights of a variety of people who have received the joy of God’s abundant blessings and Christ’s continual presence in their lives.  Both lay and clergy authors have contributed to the devotions. It is the Society of St. Andrew’s hope that their inspirational writings will move readers to count their blessings and recognize the abundance God has poured out for everyone.  

During Advent SoSA is also asking participants to prayerfully read and reflect on the scriptures and devotions in “God’s Abundant Blessing” and join the organization’s hunger-relief work of feeding America’s hungry by making a financial donation. Each year this devotional program has grown, providing more and more food to those in need. Last year donations made through SoSA’s Advent devotional program provided nearly 2.1 million servings of food to those who don’t always get enough to eat. 
 
The Society of St. Andrew is an Advance for Christ and His Church #801600 and a national nonprofit hunger-relief ministry that saves excess fresh produce that will go to waste for various marketing reasons and distributes it free of charge to service agencies across the country that feed the hungry.
 
All materials are free from the Society of St. Andrew. A sample kit can be ordered at http://www.endhunger.org/advent.htm, 800-333-4597 or church@endhunger.org.
 
More information about the Society of St. Andrew and its hunger-relief programs is available at http://www.endhunger.org or sosausa@endhunger.org.   


World AIDS Day worship resources available

By Linda Bales**

WASHINGTON — Each year on or near Dec. 1, the world recognizes World AIDS Day. The theme for this year’s recognition is leadership.
 
The goal of the 2007 World AIDS Day is to encourage people in the church and society to lead in the response to HIV and AIDS where there is no leadership and strengthen those individuals already providing leadership, whether nationally or in their own communities and churches.

Each congregation is urged to address this issue through worship and community events. A sample worship service and additional AIDS Day resources are available at http://www.umc-gbcs.org/AIDS. The service was designed by the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance, a network of faith groups addressing global poverty and AIDS. The service can be photocopied for church members, and it includes a list of additional suggested hymns at the end of the liturgy.

The worship takes into account the proximity of World AIDS Day and the first Sunday of Advent and incorporates scripture readings corresponding to that Sunday.

All United Methodist church members are also encouraged to contribute to the United Methodist Church’s Global AIDS Fund, Advance #982345. Money from the fund is used for projects in the United States and abroad.

More information about World AIDS Day and the Global AIDS Fund is available by contacting Linda Bales, General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church, at 202-488-5649 or lbales@umc-gbcs.org.


National TV message asks viewers to believe in power of prayer

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — Starting Dec. 10 United Methodist messages will again air on cable television stations during the Advent season, a prime time for United Methodists to connect with returning family, friends and people in their communities.

The ad features a boy flying a kite and inviting all viewers to “believe again” with child-like enthusiasm. This is the theme of Igniting Ministry’s Prayer-themed emphasis.

Ideas for welcoming and using this message during Advent, which begins Dec. 2, are available at http://www.ignitingministry.org/pdfs/Advent_Tips_for_Prayer.pdf. Included are suggestions for images, themes or ideas to highlight prayer during Advent. Igniting Ministry also offers free downloadable graphics for bulletin covers, post cards, newspaper ads, door hangers and more.

Door hangers and post cards can be an effective way to invite people to church and promote special events. The free downloadable designs are found at
http://mediawarehouse.ignitingministry.org/search.aspx?act=start&searchtxt=bacadvent.

Other advent designs are found at http://www.ignitingministry.org/newsletters/oct07/advent_worship.htm.

Igniting Ministry also offers the Expression Package DVD Bundle at https://secure.umcom.org/store/Product.ASP?SKU=IM07-EPDVDB&web_name=Expression%2BPackages%2BSeries&mscsid=A3R6W7KEBA8V8KXH9F96XUWNDAH3D1S0

The series offers four Biblical themes — The Journey, The Gift, Prayer and Faith, each with a CD of customizable graphics for Web, newspaper and other media and a DVD featuring video viewbook, TV spots, training and other tools. Expression packages are available in VHS or DVD format and are $60 each or $160 for all four.


Peace conference helps give churches a voice

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — “Our polarized and violent world desperately needs for the church to be a sign and instrument of the justice, reconciliation and peace wrought in Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace,” said Bishop Kenneth L. Carder.

Carder, professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry at Duke Divinity School in Durham, N.C., is one of the speakers at the 2008 Peace Conference held at Lake Junaluska, N.C., Jan. 31-Feb. 2.

Leaders of this conference will help participants look at issues of peace from a Biblical and theological stance and offer insights on peacemaking from personal experience.

Conference leaders include Peter Storey, a Methodist bishop of the Johannesburg/Soweto area for 13 years and past president of the South African Council of Churches and the Methodist Church of Southern Africa; Jan Love, dean of Candler School of Theology, who served as a representative of The United Methodist Church to the World Council of Churches for 31 years; and Jim Winkler, general secretary of the General Board of Church and Society, the international public policy and social justice agency of The United Methodist Church.

Conference workshops include The Local Church as Peace Advocate, Peace in Palestine, Lessons From South Africa, Relating the Peace Agenda to Public Affairs, Biblical and Theological Resources on Peace, Preaching on Difficult Issues, and The United Nations and Peace Issues.

The cost for the conference is $50, with an early bird registration of $40 if paid by Dec. 1 and a student fee of $25. Information and an online registration form are available at http://www.lakejunaluska.com/peace.aspx.

Lodging will be at the Terrace Hotel. Reservations may be made by calling 800-222-4930 and indicating the reservation is for the purpose of attending the Peace Conference.


General Board of Church and Society holds event for young clergy

By Rev. Clayton Childers**

WASHINGTON — The General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) is partnering with a number of United Methodist agencies and leaders from the Southeastern Jurisdiction (SEJ) to provide the GBCS-SEJ Young Clergy Forum Jan. 30-31 at Lake Junaluska, N.C., in conjunction with and prior to this year’s 2008 Peace Conference.

Any clergyperson 40 and younger is encouraged to consider attending this event. Conference leaders are also asking clergy and laity to let younger clergy know about this opportunity.

GBCS will provide scholarships for up to five young clergy from each SEJ conference to attend the young clergy gathering and then stay for the SEJ Peace Conference Jan. 31-Feb 2. Upon checkout from the Young Clergy Forum GBCS will pay $150 toward the Lake Junaluska expenses of each forum attendee participating in the full program Jan. 30-Feb 2.

Registration for the Young Clergy Forum will be limited to 50 young clergy from across the SEJ.

The event provides clergy an excellent opportunity to meet GBCS staff and learn about the agency’s ministry of advocacy, network with other young clergy from across the jurisdiction, and discuss the issue of peace-building and the call of the church to respond with faithfulness during times of violence.

Participants may register for the forum at http://www.umc-gbcs.org/sejyoungclergy08 and make their room reservations by calling 800-222-4930 or visiting http://www.lakejunaluska.com/accommodations.aspx?id=114

The registration fee is $50 per person. One continuing education credit will be awarded for full participants.

Questions about this event should be directed to Rev. Clayton Childers at cchilders@umc-gbcs.org or 202-488-5642.



New teen welcoming resources available through Igniting Ministry

By Igniting Ministries Staff

After much research and teen input, Igniting Ministry has developed Igniting Youth, a welcoming ministry that mirrors the established ministry for adults, yet has distinct differences relevant to the teen audience.

The Igniting Youth program has been designed to help local churches offer a teen-relevant United Methodist welcome that, in context, shares the values and inclusiveness of The United Methodist faith community and actively invites seeker teens to journey into a relationship with Jesus Christ. It also offers local churches new teen-specific training and teen-relevant tools to encourage teen-to-teen community outreach.

The teen program includes a new, highly-social, teen welcoming online experience at http://www.OrangeFloat.org; a teen welcoming handbook on understanding the teen culture and reaching out to seeker teens (rolling out November ’07); and a library of invitation cards, posters and more for local church teen community outreach at http://mediawarehouse.ignitingministry.org/search.aspx?act=start&searchtxt=t2t.

For youth and youth leaders, these three teen resources together serve as community evangelism tools. Stepping into the community and engaging seeker teens can be as simple as a door hanger campaign or an open invitation to participate in an outreach project, such as yard cleaning for elderly neighbors.

The Teen Welcome Site at http://www.OrangeFloat.org serves as a “meet us/learn more” site where teens can find out what it means to be part of a dynamic youth faith group and a United Methodist. Teens can make their own tile and post it in the Mosaic, view videos by United Methodist teens and read answers from United Methodist teens to everyday faith questions.



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*Parham is managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**Alsgaard is Florida United Methodist Conference Communications Director, Lakeland, FL
Bales is a program director at the General Board of Church and Society, Washington.
   Bretinger is communications director for Society of St. Andrew.
   Childers is program director, annual conference relations, General Board of Church and Society, Washington
   Kelley is subscription manager, photographer and contributing writer for e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
   McCue is a ONE staff member.
   Park is director of Continuing Formation for Ministry, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, Division of Ordained Ministry, Nashville, Tenn.




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