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NCD July 2018 Newsletter

Greetings from the District Superintendent

 Rev. June Edwards


Dear Pastors and Leaders of the North Central District!

Yesterday, July 1st, began a new appointment year for us all. We said goodbye to three retiring pastors who served the conference faithfully and effectively—Rev. Dr. Geraldine McClellan, Rev. Jerry Milner and Rev. Kip Younger. They go with our well wishes and our prayers as they enter a new season in their lives and as they discover new ways to be disciples of Jesus Christ. We welcome several new pastors to the district—Rev. Jeffry Ice, First Hudson; Rev. Christopher Kirk, First Homosassa; Rev. Janet Allen (Virginia Conference), First Micanopy; Rev. Michael Frazier who arrived to the district last year but is now the Sr. Pastor at Mt. Pleasant UMC, Gainesville.

Also, please welcome the following Part-Time Pastors, Isabella (Izzie) Williams, Free Canaan; Jill Beck Associate Pastor at Wildwood and Kathy Hudak-Yoakum, Webster UMC. 


Please offer your words of welcome to these new pastoral leaders joining the North Central District.

Mid-June, Bishop Carter hosted the Cabinet Retreat in Lake Junaluska. We spent some rich and meaningful time with Bishop Janice Huie focusing upon the meaning of ‘resilience.’ A working definition we used was:

                “the capacity of a person, system or enterprise to maintain its core purpose and integrity

                in the face of dramatically changed circumstances.”

Each of us, both personally as well as part of this system we call the church, know immediately what dramatically changed circumstances means. They come in many ways through transitions such as retirements or new appointments, through difficulties in our family relationships, illnesses—any number of life circumstances that come our way. Clearly, the way in which we operate each day has changed through both the wonders and challenges of technology. As a superintendent, I encounter how some pastors and churches embrace change and how some resist. The question before us is how will we work to strengthen our own personal resilience as well as that of the churches we serve that make up our district and the Florida Annual Conference? This is the beginning of an important conversation that will be ongoing throughout the days ahead.

As a cabinet, we determined to look to the scriptures and the word God speaks to us about resilience. Over the next year we will be reading together a chapter a day from Isaiah 40-66 and Philippians 1-4 beginning July 1st. You are invited to join along with us as we allow God to work within our hearts and minds and strengthen and prepare us to be God’s resilient people!

I hope you will find some time to step away for rest and refreshment this summer as we anticipate the year ahead. May God continue to strengthen and form us ever more into the presence and light we are called to be wherever we find ourselves to be!

Peace Be with You!



 Rev. Michael Beck

History Repeating Itself in Discipleship

About our guest writer:  Reverend Walter Edwards was a United Methodist pastor for over 50 years.  He graduated from Asbury College, where he studied History, Greek, and Psychology.  He earned his Master of Divinity from Candler School of Theology and served as the district superintendent of the North Central District in the Florida Conference of the UMC.  Now retired, he serves as a “Master Yoda” to young clergy like Michael Beck and others.  Well-versed in all things Wesley, you can visit his blog here.

Early in my walk with Jesus, I realized the lack of parental figures in my life had caused some significant holes in my formation.  Fortunately, God blessed me with a big, messy, blended family called the church.  God has supplemented those deficient areas with incredible mentors, who have walked beside me throughout my spiritual journey.

One of those mentors is Rev. Walter Edwards.  About ten years ago, I began meeting with Edwards weekly for lunch.  Sometimes our time was a barrage of my questions about God, ministry, marriage, parenting, and so on.  Edwards always seems to have some simple spiritual gem for every question I formulate.  His patience and commitment have had a powerful formational effect on my soul.

Walter is John Wesley redivivus!  Often, the group of us clergy that he mentors, jokingly say that we will never get closer to sitting down with Wesley than Walter Edwards.  He embodies a profound sage wisdom, saintly holiness, and missional fervor, hence his identity as our “Master Yoda.” Walter has been dedicated to the study of Scripture and Wesleyan history/theology most of his life.  He is a spiritual Paul to many Timothy’s, of which I am blessed to be one.

Throughout my apprenticeship with Walter, I have sought to apply his incredible wisdom to the new missional frontier.  It was truly an honor to collaborate with him on this piece and we hope you enjoy it!

Please click here to read more. 


2018 Annual Conference highlights 

Remembering Who We Are


About 1,600 Florida United Methodists, including 722 clergy and 798 lay voting members, gathered June 6-9 in Lakeland.  Below are some quick links to highlights of AC2018:                           

Click HERE for the Lay Member Summary Report.
Click HERE for 2018 Annual Conference Videos 
Click HERE for the AC2018 Website.
Click HERE to purchase a hard copy of the AC2018 Journal.  The deadline is August 31st.  Once it is completed it will be available to download at no cost.


Annual Conference Dates
June 5 - 8, 2019 Lakeland, FL
June 4 - 6, 2020 Location TBD


NCD Fall Clergy Meeting
September 11, 2018 10:00am - 2:00pm - First Brooksville UMC

Clergy Meeting Tuesday, September 11, 2018 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.  The clergy meeting of the fall 2018 will be held at First Brooksville UMC (109 S Broad St. Brooksville, FL 34601). Lunch will be provided, Pastors, please confirm your attendance.

All clergy serving a church in the North Central District are required to attend. If for some reason you cannot attend, please email the district superintendent ( directly. 

Please click here to register.  


Warren W. Willis Retreat

Warren W. Willis is not just for Summer Camp...although that is an amazing time! Click on any of the following links for information on the wonderful programs you and your church can attend.
Confirmation Retreat: Oct. 5-7                    
Connect:  Oct. 19-21, 2018; Nov. 9-11, 2018

Plan Your Own Church Retreat:  Who doesn't love WWW?  Why not plan your own retreat 


Life Enrichment Center

Want to help create meaningful experiences for your church's families this year?  Want to encourage your parents to be more active in their kids' spiritual lives?  Be sure they know about LEC Family programs! 

Family Camp - July 20 - 22
Mom and Me Weekend - September 14 - 16

 Questions?  Email Asa Quinn


Clergy Gathering
January 29 - February 1, 2019 - Epworth By The Sea

In lieu of our Clergy Gathering which had been tentatively scheduled October 23 - 24, 2018, we are inviting you to attend the Winter Conference at Epworth By The Sea, January 29 - February 1, 2019. This will be a combined event with the Bishops and clergy of the North Georgia, Mississippi, South Georgia and Florida Conferences. Dr. Tod Bolinger, author of Canoeing The Mountains, will be the keynote speaker. 

Be sure to register soon as we expect this to be a sold out event.

Click HERE to register.  Click HERE for the flyer.


Bishop's Regional Gatherings 2018

The Cross and the Flame:
Conversations with Bishop Carter

Bishop Carter will hold four regional gatherings in September of 2018.

These events are open to all, and there will be an opportunity to submit questions for Bishop Carter prior to the gatherings.

Each event will begin at 6:30 PM and a reception will follow.

•Sunday, September 16 – Killearn UMC, Tallahassee
•Monday, September 17 – First UMC, Winter Park
•Tuesday, September 18 – First UMC, Boca Raton
•Wednesday, September 19 – Harvest UMC, Lakewood Ranch

Click HERE to register and submit your questions.

Florida United Methodist Children's Home (FUMCH)

Believe it or not, a new school year is right around the corner. As Floridians continue to soak up the summer sun, parents and teachers are already preparing for classes. At the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home, that means providing school supplies for the nearly 500 children we serve each day. Thus, we are now entering our back to school supply drive for our children. This is a time when generous individuals, churches, and groups collect necessary school supplies for our students and staff.
Click HERE to find the 2018 school needs list for our children. To help us process the items received, we kindly request they be delivered to the Children's Home (Enterprise campus) no later than August 3rd, 2018.
If you have any questions, please contact Lynn Bellomy, Volunteer Relations Supervisor, at 386.668.4774 ext. 2321, or at Thank you for your continued support of our students and the ministry here at the Children's Home.

Legacy Scholars Academy Celebrates Largest Graduation Class
Click HERE to read about the third High School graduation at FUMCH.



Our annual charge conference meeting will be held on Saturday, October 20, 2018 from 9:00 am to noon, at New Covenant United Methodist Church. This will be our first Super Charge Conference and it will be yearly meeting of a local church under the direction of the district superintendent.

Charge conferences are required to sell church property, elect new leaders, establish a pastoral housing allowance, approve a nominations report and pastoral salary, approve the membership audit (including reviewing active/inactive members), and receive the trustees, district and conference reports. It is also a time for worship. 

More information will be coming soon! Please save the date!


Congregational Vitality 

 Rev. Sarah Campbell 

As we move toward increased health and vitality in all of our North Central District churches, let us keep these guidelines in mind. A healthy and vital church will be working towards the following:

·  Increasing trends in Average Worship Attendance (AWA). A church will experience continuous growth.

·  Increasing trends in Professions of Faith (POF) – The church will have people joining who have never before made a profession of faith in Jesus Christ.

·  Healthy small groups – A church will have small group(s) and/or traditional Sunday school classes.

·  Discipleship systems – The church will have a plan for taking a person from a visitor to a fully devoted disciple of Christ. This will include a plan for continuous spiritual growth.

·  Financially stable- The church will able to pay its bills, staff appropriate for income, pay apportionments and insurance, and have or be building a reserve for emergencies.

·  Property Maintenance- The church will take care of its property and have an ongoing plan for upkeep.

·  Missions and Outreach- The church will be engaged in missions with the community. This includes Fresh Expressions ministries.

The Congregational Vitality Team has developed a Church Self-Assessment tool that helps churches gauge their progress in the above areas. If your church would like to utilize the Self-Assessment tool and/or would like coaching in any of the above areas, please contact me at




 August 16 - Mission Field Leaders Meeting, District Office at 10:00 am 

   August 21 - New Pastors Orientation, District Office at 10:00 am

September 11 - Fall Clergy Team Meeting, First Brooksville UMC at 10:00 am

  October 20 - Super Charge Conference - New Covenant UMC, The Villages at 9:00 am