e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service


An e-Review News Item | Jan. 19, 2010 {1125}

This series includes:

• Response after Haiti earthquake: Give, prepare, plan
• Society of St. Andrew seeks volunteer citrus gleaners, trees to glean
• Documentary shows Warren Willis Camp story
• Leaders gather to ‘connect with Christ,’ mission
• Clergy kids connect at camp
• Youth leadership summit explores L.O.V.E.
• Workshop explores aging, ministry in 21st century
• Confirmands learn about vows at spring retreats
• United Methodist asked to ‘show up, speak out’ for children

• Hunger relief organization offers Lenten devotions
• Conference presents keys to leading in shifting culture
• Native American ministers’ retreat studies power of prayer
• Faith communities learn how to promote Earth justice
• Certification institute provides professional training for church secretaries
• New blog helps clergy spouses connect


Response after Haiti earthquake: Give, prepare, plan

By Tita Parham

ORLANDO — A major earthquake hit Port-au-Prince Jan. 12, killing thousands and causing widespread destruction. Many Florida Annual Conference Haitian congregations are also feeling the effects as members work to connect with and help family members and friends in Haiti cope with the disaster.

The Florida Conference has a long-term relationship with the Methodist Church of Haiti, formalizing those ties with the signing of the Haiti/Florida Covenant in June 2006. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) also has close ties with the Methodist Church there and is responding to the devastating earthquake with funding, material resources and prayers.

Churches and individuals can help by raising funds for relief efforts and giving to either UMCOR or the Methodist Church of Haiti. General humanitarian aid is being provided by UMCOR through its Gifts to Advance Special #418325. Every dollar UMCOR receives for this Advance goes directly to help the people of Haiti. Checks, with #418325 in the memo line, can be mailed to UMCOR at P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY 10087, or dropped in church offering plates. Donations can also be made online at http://new.gbgm-umc.org/.
Monetary donations may also be sent to the Methodist Church in Haiti. Every dollar collected will go directly to the Methodist Church in Haiti to help rebuild lives and buildings. Checks may be made payable to “FAC Treasurer,” with “2010 Methodist Church in Haiti Relief, #100190” in the memo line. Individuals may send checks directly to the Florida Conference at 1140 McDonald Street, Lakeland, FL 33801. Florida Conference United Methodist churches may send these checks through their normal apportionment giving channels, utilizing lock-box #207.
Churches can also consider preparing and sending health kits for short- and long-term recovery efforts to Sager-Brown, the UMCOR depot in Louisiana. Information on making kits is available at

It is unsafe at this time for mission teams to enter Haiti, but churches can begin planning now to sponsor or send a United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) team later in the year to assist in disaster recovery and humanitarian aid. Churches may visit the UMVIM Web site at http://www.umvim.org for updates or to register a team to go to Haiti. The Southeastern Jurisdiction UMVIM ministry is also collecting contact information at http://www.umvim.org/haiti for individuals interested in traveling to Haiti. Contacts listed there will be activated as soon as UMVIM has news about the possibility of scheduling trips to Haiti.

The General Board of Discipleship is offering prayers, hymns and liturgies for use during worship services at http://www.gbod.org/worship/.
More information about the United Methodist response is available at http://
www.umcor.org, http://www.umvim.org and http://www.flumc.org.


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

By Caryl Kelley**

LAKELAND — The Society of St Andrew’s (SoSA) 2010 Florida citrus drive is about to begin. The goal: to collect unwanted citrus and distribute it to feeding programs statewide.

The Florida Gleaning Network staff (http://www.endhunger.org/florida.htm) coordinates volunteers from across the state who enter fields and groves after farmers have finished harvesting and salvage tons of good produce left behind.

With four citrus drives each year, Florida gleaners save and distribute more than a half million pounds of oranges, tangerines, grapefruit and lemons each year. The Florida SoSA office also salvages onions, white potatoes, strawberries, cabbage, cucumbers, squash and sweet corn.

Anyone may participate in the gleaning drives. Volunteers may gather unwanted fruit from their neighborhoods and take it to a local drop site, donate their citrus for someone else to pick, or sponsor a box of citrus for $10.

Volunteers will be picking citrus 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Orlando area Jan. 23, in the Brevard area Jan. 30, and in Volusia and Flagler counties Feb. 20.

Greater Orlando drop sites are Grace United Methodist Church, 499 N. Country Club Blvd., Lake Mary; College Park Presbyterian Church, 118 East Par St., Orlando; St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 4851 Apopka Vineland Road, Orlando; First United Methodist Church, 263 King Street, Oviedo; and Zellwood United Methodist Church, 5538 Jones Ave., Zellwood.
In Volusia and Flagler County, the drop site is First United Methodist Church, 115 East Howry Avenue, DeLand.
Bulletin inserts or more information is available by calling 407-650-1956 or visiting
http://www.endhunger.org/orlando_drive.pdf. Gleaning calendars at http://www.endhunger.org/cgi-bin/calendar.pl?calendar=SoSAEvents show other dates for gleaning opportunities.

SoSA operates a statewide, volunteer-driven gleaning network in Florida that coordinates with local farmers, thousands of volunteers, and food providing agencies. The SoSA Florida gleaning network is saving 1 million to 2 million pounds of fresh produce for the hungry each year.


Documentary shows Warren Willis Camp story

By Heather Pancoast**

FRUITLAND PARK — The Warren Willis United Methodist Camp celebrated 60 years of ministry in 2008. “A Story to Tell,” a documentary about the camp, was created in celebration of the anniversary of that ministry.

This documentary will be shown across the Florida Conference over the next few months at Community United Methodist Church, Davenport, Jan. 31, 6:30 p.m.; Trinity United Methodist Church, Tallahassee, Feb. 8, 7 p.m.; and Gator Wesley Foundation, Gainesville, March 14, 6 p.m. It will also be shown at The Estates at Carpenters in Lakeland at a date to be determined.

All are invited to attend a showing and learn about the history of the camp, the effect its ministry has had on those who have participated in camp programs and activities, and how they can be involved in future ministry.

Questions may be directed to Heather Pancoast, the camp’s assistant director, at 352-787-4345, extension 4151, or hpancoast@flumc.org.


Leaders gather to ‘connect with Christ,’ mission

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — Church staff, mission team members, and other laity and leaders are invited to explore ways they can more effectively engage in God’s mission at Connection2010 Feb. 5-7 in Orlando.

The event offers opportunities for learning, discussion, worship, reflection and planning new ways to impact the world for Christ. The event’s structure encourages attendees to better connect with each other and build team unity. It is also designed to cultivate future leaders and advance the mission strategies of congregations.

Topics include transforming hospitality for international students, cruciform worship, church outreach team training, and mission and money — practical ways to connect in God’s mission.

Leaders include Steve Richardson, president of Pioneers USA, Orlando; The Rev. Buddy Hoffman, pastor at Grace Fellowship Church, Snellville, Ga.; and Dick McClain, president of The Mission Society, Norcross, Ga.

A complete list of presenters, a schedule, hotel information, a downloadable flier and registration information are available at http://www.connection2010.info. Additional questions may be directed to the Rev. James Loftin at 407-366-8485.

Lodging is located in The Heritage Crossing neighborhood at Reunion Resort (http://www.reunionresort.com/), located 35 minutes south of Orlando and 25 minutes from Orlando International Airport (OIA).

The full weekend package includes registration and all meals and lodging for the weekend. A private room is $280; a private room with a spouse or roommate is $510. Local option-registration and meals only, excludes lodging, is $175.


Clergy kids connect at camp

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — Clergy Kids Camp Feb. 5-7 at the Warren W. Willis United Methodist Camp in Fruitland Park is a time of fun, fellowship and worship for children of clergy families.

Kids may register for the event by choosing the “register for this event” button at http://www.flumc2.org/event_detail.asp?PKValue=2581. Registration closes Feb. 1.

The weekend cost is $85 per person; and $240, $300 and $350 for a family of three, four and five, respectively. When registering three or more kids for the event, parents should use the group registration option.

More information is available by contacting Andy Sistrunk at asistrunk@VanDyke.org.


Youth leadership summit explores L.O.V.E.

By Kelly Minter**

LAKELAND — Students in leadership or with leadership potential are invited to the “Dare to L.O.V.E.” retreat Feb. 12-14.

At this second annual student leadership summit, youth will explore a dare to L.O.V.E. — love God, love others, value themselves and care for the environment. Through large group worship, breakout sessions, service projects and group discussions, the summit is designed to help students gain a better understanding of what it means to be a servant leader in their schools, homes, churches and communities. 

Housing is at Quality Inn Heritage Park in Kissimmee at 407-846-4545. The room rate is $55 a night. When making reservations, participants should mention Student Leadership Summit.

The registration fee is $25 per person. The registration deadline is Jan. 27. Youth may register at the Network of Ministries with Young People page of the Florida Conference Web site at http://www.flumc2.org/event_detail.asp?PKValue=2487 .

More information is available by contacting Kelly Minter at 407-694-2167 or Kelly.minter@flumc.org or visiting http://www.flumc2.org/page.asp?PKValue=1584.


Workshop explores aging, ministry in 21st century

By Kelly Ping**

GAINESVILLE — Laity and clergy who are interested in changing the trends and lifestyles of Florida’s rapidly growing older adult population, have a vision and passion for ministry with mid-life and older adults, or who want to learn more about older adult ministries are invited to attend the “Aging & Ministry in the 21st Century Conference” Feb. 19 at Trinity United Methodist Church in Gainesville.

The event features the Rev. Dr. Richard Gentzler, director of the Center on Aging and Older Adult Ministries at the General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church. His ministry involves providing resources and training support for leaders of midlife and older-adult ministries.
The registration fee of $25 includes a continental breakfast, lunch and conference materials.  Checks should be made payable to “Trinity UMC” with “Older Adult Conference“ written in the memo line.

Applicants may download the workshop brochure or register online at http://www.trinitygnv.org.  Completed registration forms with checks should be sent to Trinity United Methodist Church, Attn: Brian, 4000 N.W. 53 Ave., Gainesville, FL 32653.


Confirmands learn about vows at spring retreats

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — Confirmation classes are invited to attend the Florida Conference spring confirmation retreats Feb. 26-28 and March 19-21 to receive sound teaching on the confirmation vows they will be asked on Confirmation Sunday.

Groups will participate in games and worship and bond as a class on the low initiatives portion of the camp’s ropes challenge course. Attendees will also experience being at camp with confirmands from around the state.

Warren W. Willis camp will coordinate housing, meals, challenge course facilitation, meeting spaces, worship service and a special activity Saturday night.

The camp schedule also includes three or four times for each church group to meet to cover the curriculum they are using. Church groups may program this time as needed to review confirmation lessons, cover new material or just get to know each other better.

More information is available by calling the camp at 1-866-UMCAMPS or visiting http://www.warrenwilliscamp.org.


United Methodist asked to ‘show up, speak out’ for children

By Erik Alsgaard**

LAKELAND — United Methodist who want to improve the lives of Florida’s children are urged to act on their behalf at the 2010 Florida Advocacy Days (FAD) April 11-13 at Children’s Week, held annually at the state capitol in Tallahassee.

The Florida Conference established children as its social witness priority during a 2007 Conference Table. FAD is one way the conference is fulfilling that mandate.

FAD is for anyone willing to “Show Up 2 Speak Out” for children. Participants will help create change through visits to their state legislators, be transformed through prayer and worship services, network with other Christians who feel it is their mission to help children and families in poverty, and receive vital knowledge through educational opportunities.

The Florida Conference offers bulletin inserts and other resources to help promote Advocacy Days at http://www.flumc2.org/page.asp?PKValue=1653.

Conference staff will provide training to prepare participants to address their state representatives and coordinate a meeting with representatives. Training will also be provided to help participants reach the children in need in their local church area.

Registration information will be available soon. More information is available now by contacting Tammy Fisher, FAD project coordinator, at tfisher@flumc.org or 800-282-8011, extension 182; or Melinda Trotti, Florida Conference director of justice and outreach ministries, at mtrotti@flumc.org.


Hunger relief organization offers Lenten devotions

By Carol Breitinger**

BIG ISLAND, Va. — The Society of St. Andrew — a national, ecumenical, nonprofit hunger relief ministry and Advance #801600 — is now offering its 2010 Lenten Devotions program, themed “Jesus is … . ” 

“Through spiritual reflection, prayer and giving, the reader is challenged to take seriously the scriptural injunctions to care for the poor, while also being provided an opportunity to feed our hungry neighbors,” said the Rev. Jennifer Vestal Moore, church relations director for the Society of St. Andrew. “Each day of Lent, one of our gifted guest writers uses the theme “Jesus is …” to describe how they see Jesus and how his love has touched their life.”
An optional “Good Friday Fast” is available for use in conjunction with the daily devotions or as a stand-alone program. 
The Society of St. Andrew’s (SoSA) produce salvage programs (Gleaning Network and Potato & Produce Project) are a common sense and cost-efficient way to gather what is left in farm fields after the harvest to feed the hungry. Through its 30-year history of ministry, SoSA has saved nearly 600 million pounds of good, nutritious food from going to waste. This food has been donated to critical feeding agencies throughout the nation, providing hungry people with 1.78 billion servings of nourishing food. 

Since SoSA delivers fresh food for about two cents per serving, a $1 a day donation during Lent ($47) will provide more that 2,000 servings of fresh produce for those who don’t get enough to eat. SoSA’s fundraising and administrative costs are less than 10 percent, which means more than 90 cents of every donated dollar goes directly to providing food. 
Donations made to the Society of St. Andrew through last year’s Lenten Devotions program were directly responsible for providing 4.25 million servings of food to the nation’s hungry.

All materials for the devotions program are free. Churches and individuals can order packets by contacting 800-333-4597, 434-299-5949 (fax) or church@endhunger.org or online at http://www.endhunger.org/lent.htm
More information about the Society of St. Andrew or its hunger-relief and Lenten devotions programs is available by contacting 800-333-4597 or


Conference presents keys to leading in shifting culture

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — George Barna, Phyllis Tickle, Walt Kallestad and other leaders will share their unique perspectives on today’s shifting culture at a conference presented by Leadership Nexus and Willowbrook United Methodist Church Feb. 9-11 in Phoenix, Ariz.

Conference speakers, panelists and other local leaders will provide participants with tools, information and inspiration to help them understand the shifts in culture, what direction the church is going and how to move through perplexing times with strength and confidence. There will also be a series of opportunities before and after the conference for participants to dig deeper into specific issues.

A brochure and registration information are available at http://www.leadershipnexus.org. Conference information is available at http://www.leadershipnexus.org/documents/ShiftingCulture.pdf.

The cost to attend is $310 and $240 for each additional attendee from the same faith community, ministry or business.

Questions may be directed to Leadership Nexus at 918-477-7549 or bpierson@leadershipnexus.net.


Native American ministers’ retreat studies power of prayer

By Stephanie Drum**

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — All are invited to attend the Southeastern Jurisdiction Association of Native American Ministers’ (SEJANAM) ninth annual ministers’ retreat Feb. 18-20 at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center.

Themed “A World in Need of Prayer,” the event will kick off with comments from retired Bishop William Morris. Other key speakers include Dr. Evelyn Laycock, lecturer and author; the Rev. Dr. Garry Revels, chaplain for Healthkeeperz; and the Rev. Dr. J. Gordon Henry, of J. Gordon Henry Ministries in Lynchburg, Va.

The retreat offers the opportunity and environment for education and guidance on deepening one’s understanding of the purpose of prayer. It also provides tools to heighten awareness and understanding of the impact and power of prayer from a holistic perspective and ways to better strengthen one’s prayer life for healing.

A special track for youth focuses on spiritual formation and personal exploration. Akwiasdi Revels of the Western North Carolina Conference will lead that track.

SEJANAM is the advocate for 23 Native American congregations and three other ministries in the Southeast Jurisdiction.

More information about retreat is available at http://www.lakejunaluska.com/native-american-ministers.


Faith communities learn how to promote Earth justice

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — The 5th annual “Caring for Creation’ retreat at the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in Lake Junaluska, N.C., will help people learn how to be better caretakers of the environment.

The April 8-11 event offers 20 workshops on such topics as Biblical/theological foundations for creation care, Native American spirituality and creation care, and mapping a person’s ecological footprint. A 24-hour experience in a sustainable community is also available prior to the conference, as well as a number of on- and off-site tours to a solar farm, an oil to biodiesel conversion facility, a green home, the Junaluska Wetlands and the Corneille Bryan Native Garden.

Plenary speakers include Senator Marc Basnight, president pro-tem of the North Carolina senate; John Hill, director of economic and environmental justice for the General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church; Pat Callbeck Harper, editor of resources for “God’s Renewed Creation: Call to Hope and Action Resources”; Rita Harris, regional organizer for the Sierra Club in Memphis, Tenn.; and Derek Arndt, chief of the monitoring board at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“During the recent Council of Bishop’s meeting at Lake Junaluska, the new ‘God’s Renewed Creation: Call to Hope and Action’ was set to include a pledge to work in hopeful and robust ways for transforming creation. This is a very exciting step towards increasing awareness and value of environmental preservation,” said Loy Lilley, director of Good Word Resource Center. “As we have planned each ‘Caring for Creation’ experience at Lake Junaluska, our hope has been to have every annual conference in the SEJ (Southeastern Jurisdiction) represented. Advocates of protecting our natural environment are encouraged to attend this year’s event.”

Lake Junaluska has received a grant from the General Board of Church and Society EMLC funds to provide scholarships for ethnic young adults ages 18-35 to participate in the 2010 Caring for Creation. Early registration deadline is March 5.

Information about workshops, schedules, leadership, registration and scholarship applications is available at visit http://www.lakejunaluska.com/caring-for-creation/.


Certification institute provides professional training for church secretaries

By Cynthia Haralson**

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries (PAUMCS) Certification Institute is July 18-23 at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga.

The Institute, sponsored by General Council on Finance and Administration of The United Methodist Church, provides advanced professional training and enrichment for United Methodist church secretaries from across the denomination. 

Participants who complete the program and meet the requirements set forth by the General Council on Finance and Administration are eligible to apply for certification as a professional United Methodist church secretary.

The five-day institute is designed to stimulate professional growth and development of the individual. Participants are introduced to business concepts required for understanding the financial operations of the church, as well as relationships with the pastor, church employees and members of the congregation. 

The experience of learning with local church secretaries and networking with others in similar office settings provides a broader understanding of the connectional United Methodist Church. Church secretaries learn the functions of district, conference, agency and episcopal offices, while these various office personnel learn about the many responsibilities of a local church secretary. It is a place to see how all members of the church body are in ministry together.

The registration fee for the 2010 Institute is $315, including course materials, several lunches and dinners, and refreshments. Travel, room, additional meals and any other incidentals are the responsibility of each participant.

An appealing aspect of the Institute is the opportunity for participants to interact with colleagues from church entities across the denomination. The sharing of ideas is a valuable complement to the course material.

Arrangements have been made with Emory University for air-conditioned dormitory rooms at $38 per person, single occupancy, and $30 per person per person, double occupancy. Hotels are available as an option for participants to contact on their own. When staying in a hotel, there will be a $15 commuter charge for the week by Emory.

Membership in National PAUMCS is required to attend. A membership application and certification institute brochure is available by contacting Cynthia Haralson at GCFA, P.O. Box 340029, Nashville, TN 37203-0029; 866-367-4232, extension 2386, or 615-369-2374; or paumcs@gcfa.org.

Class size is limited to 30 participants. Registrations will be honored in the order in which they are received.


New blog helps clergy spouses connect

By Caryl Kelley

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Created by a small group of United Methodist clergy spouses, SpouseConnect seeks to provide a safe space where spouses of clergy and others in congregational ministry can openly share frustrations, joys, concerns and ideas.

Kathy Armistead, co-developer of the site and editor of books, Bibles and media at Abingdon Press in Nashville, Tenn, says she sees SpouseConnect as a way to reach out and help various categories of people.

“We’re happy to include all or any pastor’s spouse, not just United Methodists and not just ordained clergy spouses,” she said. “We want to reach out to the local pastor spouses, as well.”
SpouseConnect can be accessed at
http://spouseconnect.blogspot.com. Questions may be directed to spouseconnect@gmail.com or Kathy Armistead at KArmistead@umpublishing.org.


News media contact: Tita Parham, 800-282-8011, tparham@flumc.org, Orlando

*Parham is managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**Alsgaard is director of Florida United Methodist Communications in Lakeland, Fla.
   Breitinger is director of communications for the Society of St. Andrew in Big Island, Va.
   Drum is communications specialist at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in Lake Junaluska, N.C.
   Haralson is director of records and statistics at the General Council on Finance and Administration of The United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tenn., and staff representative to the Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries.
   Kelley is subscription manager, photographer and contributing writer for e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service in Lakeland, Fla.
   Minter is coordinator of the Florida Conference Network of Ministries with Young People.
   Ping is public relations coordinator at Trinity United Methodist Church in Gainesville, Fla.

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