“ ... When Paul saw them, he was encouraged and thanked God”
- Acts 27:15 NLT
Right now on Facebook, there is a “challenge” to post a picture of yourself from 10 years ago and then one today. For me, it’s been fun and encouraging because I know many of my FB friends’ stories. Their pictures then and now make me thankful for God’s faithfulness in their lives. It’s made me think about my story and God’s faithfulness in ten-year increments:
- 2009 - Ten years ago this week, I was on my second mission trip to Haiti, one that especially impacted my family’s life. It was our first medical mission trip and set my oldest daughter on a journey of pursuing medicine. Two months later, Haiti experienced a massive earthquake. All of it was life-changing for me.
- 1999 – Twenty years ago this week, I was two weeks or so away from giving birth to our third child, Connor. I was at the end of a troubled pregnancy that included genetic testing for Cystic Fibrosis which ended up being negative. The tests revealed family information that I did not know (a story for another day). Again, my life was changed.
- 1989 – Thirty years ago this week, we were digging out of an early snowstorm on Long Island, where I grew up, getting ready for our wedding in early December. Craig and I worked in New York City and planned to stay and do that for a very long time. We were just a couple days away from buying our first home. Unknown to me, my life was going to change in so many ways.
As Paul made his journey to Rome, he came upon the shore and a group of believers, only a handful in a large ancient city, who were there to greet him. Instead of choosing discouragement or anger – he was on the journey that would ultimately end his life – he chose to be encouraged and thanked God when he saw the believers. His present problems didn’t end, and things only got harder, but Paul experienced God’s presence in his sisters and brothers.
Wherever you are this Thanksgiving Week, just a few days away from the beginning of Advent, I hope you can be encouraged by God’s goodness and faithfulness. My prayer is that your Thanksgiving dinner table will hold people who you can encourage and can encourage you. Life is not easy, and we need each other.
Maybe look back on your life in 10-year increments and see how God has moved. And when anxiety and worry sets in, and you are at risk of losing your joy, remember that God has been with you working through each situation and promises to continue to be. That gives me great hope and courage.
Happy Thanksgiving and may God bless you +
Online Deep Dives are focused sharing on one topic by expert hosts giving tips, ideas, and what to avoid. Topics vary from Children's Ministries, and Church/School Partnerships. Coming soon are topics on Finance and Human Resources for the local church!
The conference is currently offering online opportunities for training in the following areas:
Children's Ministry in the Small Church - in this 2-part session with guest host, Bob McLeary from Cokesbury, participants will learn how to adapt for everything for ministries that have 3 - 15 children.
Church/School Partnerships - in this session, hear from Anne Foote Hill from New Covenant, The Villages about their very successful mentoring program at Wildwood Middle High School.
Visit the Deep Dive online webpage at https://www.flumc.org/deep-dives-online for details!
Church and Clergy Profiles
On Sunday, December 1, 2019 the Church and Clergy Profile portals will be open for updates. The deadline for completing updates is Saturday, February 1, 2020. If your pastor will be meeting with DS Dionne, the profiles must be completed as least one week prior to your meeting. For details and instructions, please visit the conference website at https://www.flumc.org/profilesinstructions. It is the responsibility of the SPRC to complete the Church Profile, and the Pastor to complete the Pastor Profile. If you have any questions, please contact the AC District office.
Good News in our AC District Churches
For future e-newsletters, social media, and the AC District website, we are asking churches to submit graphics, photos, and articles to share the good kingdom work being done at the local church level. *Please remember that all people in photos must give written permission for photo use by the AC District. It is the responsibility of the local church to attain this permission prior to sending any photos to the district office. All information, photos, and graphics submitted will be posted or added to the district newsletter, website, or social media at the discretion of the district office staff.
Winter Conference at Epworth by the Sea
January 26 - 29, 2020
Clergy are invited to attend the Winter Conference at Epworth By The Sea from January 26 - 29, 2020. This will be a combined event with the Bishops and clergy of the North Georgia, Mississippi, South Georgia, and Florida Conferences. You might talk with some of the over 150 clergy who attended Winter Conference 2019 about their transformative experience. Len Wilson will be the keynote speaker.
Click HERE to register and receive the early bird discount. NOTE: The 2019 event sold out, so don't delay in registering!!
On the District Calendar
Please add the following events and meetings to your local church calendar. Details will be provided as meetings, trainings, and events are planned. Thank you!
- District Office Closed - Thursday, November 28 and Friday, November 29, 2019.'
- Appointment Process Replies - Clergy and Staff Parish Teams received information regarding the appointment process. The District Office needs to hear from clergy and staff parish teams no later than December 12, 2019.
- End-of-Year Reports - The AC District Office will be providing training on completing the end-of-year reports on Wednesday, January 8, 2020. If you would like to receive a link to the Zoom call, please click here to RSVP for this training. Please include your name, e-mail address, and church.
- Atlantic Central District Charge Conference - Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 4:00 PM - First Melbourne. This District Charge Conference is being held to vote on the sale of AC District owned property. All AC District Clergy, AC District local church delegates to Annual Conference, and AC District at large delegates to Annual Conference will have voting rights. We will be sending out information in December to those who are listed in the local church EZRA dashboard.
- Child and Youth Protection Policy Training - Pastors, Children's Ministry Directors, Student Ministry Directors, leaders involved in planning VBS, and other leaders over areas that come into contact with children and/or students are encouraged to attend one of the following trainings:
- Tuesday, January 28 - 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM or 6:30 - 8:30 PM l Location TBD
- Wednesday, January 29 - 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM or 6:30 - 8:30 PM l Location TBD
- Administrative Assistant Training - In 2020, we invited our AC District local church Administrative Assistants to join us for a time of learning, making connections, and sharing a meal. Details and locations will be announced in December. Administrative Assistants need only attend one day.
- Tuesday, March 3
- Wednesday, March 4
- District Clergy Meetings - Two dates have been set for 2020:
- Wednesday, March 11 from 10:30 AM - 2:30 PM l First - Melbourne
- Wednesday, September 9 from 10:30 AM - 2:30 PM l TBD
- Leadership Event 2020 - This is for all local church leaders and teams. Focus will be on Fresh Expressions.
- Saturday, March 28 l Details will be available soon
- Saturday, March 28 l Details will be available soon
- Regional Church Conferences - In 2020, there will be three regional church conferences. In June, you will receive a link to register for the date in in which your church will be in attendance. All church conference paperwork must be completed and turned in at the chosen regional church conference. All AC District churches are required to register for and attend ONE of these schedule church church conferences:
- Sunday, October 25 - 4:00 PM at First - Ormond Beach
- Sunday, November 1 - 4:00 PM at TBD
- Sunday, November 8 - 4:00 PM at First - Melbourne