“Love is Patient ...”
“I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him” —Psalm 40:1-3
Living in a small town of two traffic lights for several years during seminary, I remember waiting at one of the lights one night. It was late and not another car was in sight. The light did not have a sensor letting it know if cars were present, shortening the “red light time.” So, I sat and waited for it to turn green. It seemed like a really long time. A couple weeks later, same thing – stuck at the red light with no one around. This time, I counted how long the wait was – 47 seconds. It felt like an eternity even though it wasn’t. The truth is the waiting revealed my impatience. Can you relate?
The Psalmist wrote about “patiently waiting.” God’s response to the Psalmist waiting was rescue and restoration. What we are not told is how long the wait was ... only that the writer was patient. The Apostle Paul reminded us, in I Corinthians 13, that if we want to know what love really is, love begins with patience. Patient waiting is almost an oxymoron in our culture ... I know it is in my life. How about yours? Why is that when we’re asked to wait often our question is “how long?”
Perhaps our impatience in waiting reveals to us the fact that we are not in control of many things of life. If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that life is unpredictable. I love the last two phrases of this passage, “Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him.” The way I handle my pain, anxiety, and anger – will I wait patiently for God or not - reveals something about me and will be my witness to others far from God. I often say, “It’s not the what but the how.” How we wait matters.
So, what will your Advent season look like? Advent is all about waiting and preparing. How will you wait patiently for the Lord to show up in whatever situation you find yourself? I could not make the light turn green any faster. I cannot make the Christ Child show up any sooner. Our sovereign God, in God’s kairos timing, has a plan that is beyond me and my often-selfish desires or even my best laid plans! But what I can do is prepare – putting myself in a place and spirit so that when God answers, I know it is God who is speaking.
And maybe ... just maybe ... our God is waiting on me to wait so that He can do something beyond what I even can imagine. May God abundantly bless your Advent Season!
Grace and peace ~
On Thursday, December 3, 2020 from 4:00 - 6:00 PM, Generis will be providing a 'boot camp' where churches can learn about simple December communication strategies with a year end focus.
It is not too late to sign up. Please let us know you would like to join the Zoom call by registering at the link here by 2:00 PM on December 3:
The link to Zoom will be sent to the e-mail address provided on the registration form.
If you have any questions, please contact the District Office.
Is your church struggling to connect with new people, in new places, and in new ways? Did you see a decrease in baptisms and "professions of faith" this year?
If so... get together a small team of people and join us in a free Studio!
FX Studios are incubators of collaborative missional mess making and a community of support for your team as we travel uncharted territories together.
Rev’d. Dr. Michael Moynagh will be leading us through our first Studio gatherings. Dr. Moynagh is a minister in the Church of England and is based at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. He has authored many books on the missional church, including our new book The 21st Century Christian: Following Jesus Where Life Happens.
The Studio is a yearlong journey, in which your team will meet together two times:
- Studio Gathering 1: All teams will meet together to describe where they are in the ‘loving-first cycle,’ learn from each other, and plan out next steps.
- Studio Gathering 2: All teams will come back together six months later to again share learnings and collaborate.
In between Studio 1, Studio 2, your team will be supported through: 1. A shared focus 2. The free app, FX: Godsend or the book 21st Century Christian 3. A community of peer learners, 4. Support via social media, and 5. Skype/Zoom-based coaching with the FX team.
Studio 1: Saturday, January 30, 2021 l 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Zoom).
Studio 2: Saturday, July 17, 2021 l 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Zoom).
If you have any questions, please contact Michael Beck:
In January 2021, the AC District will be offering several training opportunities for local churches. Registration is required.
End of Year Reports
- Tuesday, January 5, 2021 at 10:00 AM on Zoom.
- Details will be provided for each area of the report. All who provide, gather, and submit data are encouraged to participate. i.e. Administrative Assistants, Membership Secretaries, Financial Secretaries, Treasurers, etc. Please register by Tuesday, January 5 at 8:00 AM.
- End of Year Reports Due No Later Than: February 5, 2021 at 5:00 PM
- Wednesday, January 6, 2021 at 10:00 AM or 6:00 PM on Zoom.
- Details will be provided for the three areas of this report. It is the responsibility of the SPRC Chair and SPRC Team to complete and submit this report. This report is due no later than January 31, 2021.
- Church Profile Due Date: January 31, 2021
Child and Youth Protection Policy Training
- Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at 10:30 AM or 6:30 PM on Zoom.
- All churches in the Florida Conference are required to have a Child and Youth Protection Policy in place and provide training yearly for all staff, volunteers who work with or around children/youth, and others as required by the policy. It is the responsibility of the SPRC Chair and SPRC Team to ensure the policy is in place, that training is provided, and the policy is followed. This training will provide details about the policy to those in attendance. In turn, those who attend the training can then provide training in your local church. If you have any questions about the policy or who should attend the training, please contact our office.
- Child and Youth Protection Policy and Renewal Due Date: March 31, 2021
We are excited that over 300 people joined us for the Pathway to Life in Christ Event on Saturday, November 14. During this event, churches worked on putting together a "Pathway to Life in Christ" Discipleship Plan, and were provided practical steps and guidance from Christin Nevins, Spiritual Leadership, Inc.
As a follow up to this event, churches are invited to join us on:
Saturday, February 27, 2021
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
You can gather at your church, following safe protocols, or join us on Zoom. Details and registration information will be sent out in the January newsletter.
The Florida United Methodist Women and Christ Church in the South East District invite all women to the "Celebrate the Season" Virtual Women's Retreat this Sunday afternoon, December 6, 2020 from 1:30 - 6:00 PM. Cost is $10.00.
For more information, please visit their Eventbright page at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/celebrating-the-season-womens-virtual-retreat-tickets-127731132255?fbclid=IwAR3elua4XT6y8cc1EE3MtQT2yS3CRDrqyyCAJfm20rThiISh9k8EAAckmJE
If you have any questions about this opportunity, please contact Christ Church Ft Lauderdale at email@example.com or by calling 954-771-7300.
Atlantic Central District
Florida Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church
PO Box 1898 l Melbourne, FL 32902
772-299-0255 l www.flumc.org/atlanticcentral
Rev. Dionne C. Hammond, District Superintendent
Paula McDonald, Senior Administrative Assistant l firstname.lastname@example.org
Marilyn Waldis, Administrative Assistant l email@example.com
Bruce Kitson, Church Health Advocate