e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service


An e-Review News Item | Feb. 16, 2010 {1140}

This series includes:

• Response after Haiti earthquake: Give, prepare, plan
• Training offered for day camp leaders
• Workshop provides insight into Methodism’s early days
• Children’s Home holds annual Day On Campus
• Workshop celebrates creation through creative community gardening
• Black Methodist leaders gather in Florida for annual meeting
• Reclaim event helps young adults discern their mission
• 2009 Florida Conference Journals still available

• Sumer mission internships available in Alabama
• Churches make disaster ministry possible through One Great Hour of Sharing
• Leaders of large churches learn disciple-, decision-making
• Retreat for African-American clergy focuses on leadership
• United Methodist Women put faith, love into action
• Resources help children cope after disasters


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.


Training offered for day camp leaders

By Melinda Trotti**

LAKELAND — Leaders in agencies and churches that currently offer or are planning to offer day camping to children in their communities are invited to a training session March 19-20 sponsored by the Florida Conference offices of justice and outreach and camps and retreat ministries.

Participants will gather at the Florida Conference Life Enrichment Center in Fruitland Park Friday evening through Saturday afternoon to learn about working with children in generational poverty, staffing, discipline and curriculum.

Some funding is available for this event, so the cost will be either free or minimal.

Interested individuals are asked to contact Tammy Fisher at tfisher@flumc.org.


Workshop provides insight into Methodism’s early days

By the Rev. Gary Bullock**

SUN CITY CENTER — In 1765, there were a handful of Methodists in the United States. A little more than a decade later, 3 percent of church members were Methodists, and by 1850 that number had risen to 34 percent. 

The Journal of Southern Religious Reviews has described this growth as “probably the most breathtaking institutional triumph of the Early Republic.” 

How did Methodism become such a powerful influence in the early days of the United States?  Could that finest hour become a lesson for today?

Dr. John Wigger, author of two books on the lives of early U.S. Methodists, will strive to answer those questions March 20 as the featured speaker at “Recover the Passion!”

The workshop, held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Sun City Center United Methodist Church, 1210 Del Webb Blvd., Sun City Center, 33573, offers laity and clergy the opportunity to learn about Methodism in the early days of America and explore the influence of Methodism on the wider culture to better understand the dynamics of Methodist growth in the United States.

Participants will learn how the culturally adapted theology and passionate spirituality of Francis Asbury worked in tandem with the zeal of lay men and women to ensure that Methodist preaching, teaching and sacraments reached the remotest communities of a young and expanding nation, while linking them to a national religious community. Early Methodism was able to provide a spiritual center that addressed bewilderment, uncertainty and social disorientation in a time of huge population migrations.

The goal of the workshop is to help United Methodists today recover the enthusiasm of the early Methodists as a means to revitalize United Methodism.

Wigger is a member of the faculty at The University of Missouri. He has a doctorate and master’s degree in American history from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s degree from Fuller Theological Seminary. Wigger’s focused study of early Methodism includes two books, “Taking Heaven by Storm: Methodism and the Rise of Popular Christianity in America” and “American Saint: Francis Asbury and the Methodists.”

The cost of the workshop is $25, including lunch. Registration is limited. Mail checks to: Recover the Passion, Sun City Center United Methodist Church, 1210 Del Webb Blvd., Sun City Center, FL 33573. Registration will also be available the day of the event on a space-available basis.


Children’s Home holds annual Day On Campus

By Caryl Kelley**

LAKELAND — Laity and clergy are invited to the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home annual Day On Campus March 20 to learn about the ministry of the more than 100-year-old Children’s Home.

Activities include campus tours, an informative program featuring songs sung by the children, a picnic lunch under a big top tent and fellowship with other United Methodists and friends of the Children’s Home.

Directions to the Children’s Home, 51 Main St., Enterprise, 32725, are available at http://www.fumch.org/.

Tours run 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Special guests for the Day On Campus are the North West, North Central and North East districts.

More information is available by contacting the Rev. Stephen Hartsfield, the home’s church relations director, at stephen.hartsfield@fumch.org or 386-668-4774.


Workshop celebrates creation through creative community gardening

By Wayne Boswell**

POMPANO BEACH — Clergy and laity who would like to learn how to celebrate and care for creation in new ways are invited to a leadership workshop March 20, 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., at Parkway United Methodist Church in Pompano Beach.

Participants will hear the story of the Parkway/Tedder Community Garden (PTCG) and how it is changing its community. They will learn about key factors and principles that make a church-community-nonprofit garden successful and how to apply them in order to construct a basic plan for creation care in their own context. They will also learn about resources from PTCG and other organizations so they can return home able to “think beyond the pews” and take action.

Pastors or church leaders, gardeners, outreach ministry leaders thinking about new ways to celebrate creation and reach out to neighbors, church members who want to promote dignity and nutrition in hard times, ministry leaders concerned about food security, trustees worried about the cost of “maintaining the grounds” and facilities rental, and youth ministers looking for creative sustainable ways to involve youth are all encouraged to attend.

PTCG seeks God’s peace and wholeness by caring for the earth, sharing with those in need and fostering spiritual health. The garden models creative and sustainable use of land, provides dynamic hands-on learning opportunities for all ages and builds healthy relationships with the local community and beyond. The garden exists to reconnect people and creation with each other and with God.

PTCG is a cooperative ministry of Parkway United Methodist Church, the Tedder Neighborhood Watch community association and South Florida Urban Ministries, the urban ministry and social justice agency of the Florida Conference’s South East District.

The workshop cost is $12, including breakfast and lunch, and is payable the morning of the workshop or by check in advance to Parkway United Methodist Church. Individuals interested in attending are asked to send an e-mail to parkwayumc@bellsouth.net.

A workshop schedule, directions and other important information are available at http://www.parkwayteddergarden.com. More information is also available by contacting Wayne Boswell at wayneboswell@mac.com.


Black Methodist leaders gather in Florida for annual meeting

By Caryl Kelley**

LAKELAND — Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR) will hold its national annual meeting March 24-26 at The Wyndham Jacksonville Riverwalk Hotel.

Under the theme “Achieving Excellence in Ministry: Equipping the Saints for Ministry,” the meeting emphasizes praise and worship and holy conferencing. Two of the focus areas are leadership development and creating new places for new people, emphasizing effective and innovative ministry techniques.

Leaders will facilitate a National Black Staff Forum (NBSF) to discuss “Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama” by Tim Wise. Interested individuals my contact David Malloy, NBSF president, at dmalloy@gbgm-umc.org for more details regarding the forum.

The Rev. Safiyah Fosua will also lead Bible study, and participants will have time to meet with others in their jurisdictions. A Service of Remembrance and Holy Communion will be open to the public March 24. More details, a schedule and registration information are available at http://www.bmcrumc.org, click on annual meeting.

BMCR represents and serves more than 2,400 black United Methodist congregations and approximately 500,000 African-American members across the United States. The caucus is vital because of its concern for the future of African-Americans in the denomination and the ability to advocate for the interests and inclusivity of blacks in the general church structures.

The general registration fee price is $260 for adults, $220 for retired seniors and $160 for students and associates. The price includes registration and national membership fees and a banquet ticket.


Reclaim event helps young adults discern their mission

By Emily Oliver**

LAKELAND — Young adults in the Florida Conference are invited to attend “Reclaim: A Gathering for Young Adults” April 16-17.

Sponsored by the Young Adult Table of the Network of Ministry to Young People and the Florida Conference, Reclaim is a two-day event at First United Methodist Church in Winter Park specifically for young adults in their 20s or 30s, married or single, who are searching to claim their place in the mission of the church.

The Reclaim team strongly encourages churches to send at least one or two young adults from each congregation, even if the church does not have a specific young adult ministry.

The event will include seminars about starting a young adult ministry and messages from campus ministers and young adult pastors from across the state.

The registration cost is $39 by March 29, $49 by April 15 and $59 at the door.

Reclaim has blocked rooms and arranged special conference rates at the Courtyard by Marriott Altamonte Springs/Maitland. Registration details and more information are available at http://www.reclaimgathering.com or by e-mailing reclaim@access218.com.

“Reclaim” is also on Facebook and can be followed on Twitter.


2009 Florida Conference Journals still available

By Caryl Kelley**

LAKELAND — Individuals who missed getting a copy of the 2009 Florida Annual Conference Journal have the opportunity to order one now through a limited supply of print and compact disc versions available for purchase.

The printed Journal includes directories of clergy, churches and lay members by district; information and reports on conference finances and ministries; the daily proceedings and business of the 2009 Florida Annual Conference Event; and all local church statistical information collected for 2008. The statistical tables are arranged by district and include a recap by district.

The CD includes the information provided in the print version, as well as copies of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Florida Annual Conference Journals; pictures and highlights of the 2009 Florida Annual Conference Event; and a separate, printable clergy-lay-church directory.

The costs are $15 for the print version and $10 for the CD, including shipping. Individuals may purchase either through the Florida Conference online store at http://www.flumc2.org/product_find.asp.

A free downloadable version of the complete Journal is available on the Florida Conference Web site at http://www.flumc2.org/page.asp?PKValue=1646.


Sumer mission internships available in Alabama

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — The WWWW Foundation in Dallas, Texas, has awarded a grant to expand the 3.0 Summer Internship program in Mobile, Ala., allowing up to 26 college students to serve and be trained as missional leaders. Internships run May 25-July 31.

The 3.0 Internship operates under the umbrella of the Mobile District of the Alabama-West Florida Conference. This opportunity for college students includes a $2,000 living stipend and room and board.

The goals of the internship are to provide a significant, potentially life-changing mission experience for college students, while meeting the needs of the urban poor. Interns will partner with inner city churches to reconnect with and serve the communities.

Interns will be placed in a ministry environment where they will work to meet the physical and spiritual needs of Mobile’s poor. They will have time with experienced missional leaders to process field experiences, and mentoring will occur in both a mission team setting and one-on-one to provide the greatest benefit to the interns.

There will be weekly training to help interns re-evaluate what it means to follow Jesus, move beyond consumer spirituality, focus on the needs of the world and prepare to launch future initiatives that contribute to the transformation of communities. Small group gatherings will allow interns to share stories, questions and ideas with the goal of relationship-building and greater effectiveness.

Interns will develop concrete strategies and plans for the future so that what they learn through the internships is applied in the communities to which they return.

Interns will also participate in worship together and at host churches and in weekly Life Transformation Groups (groups of two or three of the same gender who meet for the purpose of accountability, Scripture reflection and prayer).

The application deadline is March 1. Applications and reference forms are available at http://www.3mlt.com
Questions should be directed to Jean Tippit at 251-656-6857 or
jtippit@gmail.com or Don Woolley at 251-689-4333 or donwoolley09@gmail.com.


Churches make disaster ministry possible through One Great Hour of Sharing

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — Churches have an opportunity to support the work of the denomination’s disaster relief ministry through the One Great Hour of Sharing special offering March 14.

Churches are asked to collect a special offering that will provide funds to support the work of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), including programs that provide food, clothing, shelter and medical help to assist survivors of disasters.

UMCOR’s work also covers a broad range of needs, from helping soldiers reintegrate into their communities as productive citizens to feeding schoolchildren and establishing medical clinics in remote villages, assisting more than 80 of the poorest countries in the world.

This year United Methodists responded quickly as soon as a massive earthquake reduced most of Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince to rubble Jan. 12. The United Methodist Committee on Relief immediately pledged to send teams, material resources and funding to Haiti as soon as possible.

Gifts to the One Great Hour of Sharing underwrite UMCOR’s costs so that 100 percent of every dollar donated to a specific UMCOR project can be spent on that project and not administrative costs. Any offering funds over and above those used to cover administrative costs are used where the needs are greatest. Donations to One Great Hour of Sharing also support UMCOR programs not been fully funded through designated Advance gifts.

More information about One Great Hour of Sharing can be found at http://gbgm-umc.org/umcor/oghs.stm.

Free resources to promote One Great Hour of Sharing and other Special Sunday offerings are found at http://secure.umcom.org/store/catalog/Special-Sundays,19.htm.


Leaders of large churches learn disciple-, decision-making

By Caryl Kelley**

LAKELAND — The University United Methodist Church in San Antonio, Texas, is the site of the Large Church Initiative 2010 April 12-15

The conference is open to clergy and laity of any congregation, but especially suited for those with a weekly worship attendance of 350 and more. Attendees will hear about new tools for coaching individual disciples and coordinating institutional decisions that help a congregation grow larger in both size and significance. Church teams will also have the opportunity to establish new contacts, friendships and peer networks.

The event will introduce participants to leading thinkers, major speakers and cutting-edge systems for making disciples and decisions that make disciples.

An evening of “holy conversation” between senior pastors of large congregations and a representative group of United Methodist bishops, featuring dinner, a panel discussion and dialogue, will also be included.

The registration cost is $325 through March 12. Online registration and information, including a schedule and list of speakers, is available at http://www.lci2010.com.


Retreat for African-American clergy focuses on leadership

By Andie Robbins**

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — All African-American clergy in The United Methodist Church who would like to become more spiritually attuned in order to implement more successful ministries are invited to the African-American Clergy Leadership Retreat April 19-21 at the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center.
Participants will explore and apply the message of 2 Corinthians 4:7, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”

“Many African-American clergy feel isolated from other African-American clergy in the church. This retreat is a time that allows them to connect and share common concerns of doing ministry as African-Americans in The United Methodist Church,” said The Rev. Dr. Carl Arrington, director of African-American Ministries at Lake Junaluska. “It is a great time for reflection and learning specific skills to energize and motivate clergy to go back to their local congregations ready to achieve excellence in their ministries. It gives them much needed breathing room to plan for more effective ministry.”

Participants will discuss how to strengthen ministry effectiveness, create an action plan for successful ministries, create a supportive network of colleagues, turn challenges into successes, provide tips to stay inspired and motivated in ministry, and discover new ideas for powerful ministry. Clergy will also have opportunities to reflect on their own spirituality and ministry and share joys and concerns with others in positions similar to their own.

The Rev. Clarence Brown, pastor at Annandale United Methodist Church in Annandale, Va., will lead the retreat, themed “We Have This Treasure.” Brown has served as superintendent of the Norfolk and Charlottesville districts of the Virginia Conference and senior pastor at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Chesapeake, Va. Brown also led last year’s conference.

The early registration fee before March 31 is $129. The cost after that date is $159. Those who wish to attend may register online, where a printable brochure with information about the retreat is also available.

More details about registration, the leader, lodging and directions are available at http://www.lakejunaluska.com/african_american_clergy_leadership or by contacting Pam Naplen at 828-454-6656.


United Methodist Women put faith, love into action

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — United Methodist women of all ages who care for the missional organization of the church are invited to the quadrennial Women’s Division Assembly April 29-May 2 in St. Louis, Mo.

Assembly 2010 has been themed “Faith. Hope. Love in Action.” to highlight the 140-year history of United Methodist Women and the passion of women for missional service through United Methodist Women.

United Methodist Women assemble to celebrate, lift up, learn and return to their communities better equipped for mission. Tens of thousands of women have been meeting in this fashion since 1942 in a unified effort to stay at the forefront of the work being done locally and globally, systemically and in charity, to improve and sustain the lives of women, children and youth.
More information on workshops, exhibits, speakers and programs is available at
http://www.umwmission.org. Updates can be accessed through the 2010 Assembly box.
The 2010 Assembly offering theme is putting faith, hope and love into action. The offering will help fund organizations and projects focused on global health and environmental justice issues that affect women, children and youth in the United States and internationally.


Resources help children cope after disasters

By General Board of Discipleship Staff

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — How do adults help children who are witnessing disaster feel secure?  How do adults let children know God is in the midst of those who are suffering after the earthquake in Haiti Jan. 12?

Several resources provided by the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and First Steps Spirituality Center offer a way for adults to talk to children, know the expected signs of response to disaster and provide comfort as children heal.

The resources help answer the questions: How can I expect my child to react to disaster, where can a child count blessings or leave a prayer, how do I support my child following a natural disaster, and what ways can children help in the relief effort?

Information and links to information on the subject of spiritual care in disaster response are available at http://blogs.gbod.org/younger_children/helping-children-cope-in-the-aftermath-of-disasters/.


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.
   Boswell is a garden volunteer and member of Parkway United Methodist Church in Pompano Beach, Fla.
   Bullock is outreach pastor at Sun City Center United Methodist Church.
   Kelley is subscription manager, photographer and contributing writer for e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service in Lakeland, Fla.
   Oliver is director of discipleship ministries for the Florida Conference.
   Robbins is a communications intern at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center.
   Trotti is director of justice and outreach ministries for the Florida Conference.

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