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AC March 2019

I was at the called General Conference in St. Louis to deal with the human sexuality questions in our church. I left sad as I witnessed my church struggle with itself.

Where do we go from here?

To start I encourage everyone to read Bishop Carter’s letter ( and his article in the Orlando Sentinel ( Both statements helped me begin to understand and put into context what it means to be a global church dealing with very different cultural and context.

Next, I encourage us all to reach out to each other and listen to each other’s pain in all of this. As we listen to each other, turn to God and pray for a heart of peace. No matter where you come down, we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. Jesus taught and lived out a heart of peace toward all and expressed to those who crucified him saying, “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do.” Jesus’ message was of grace and love, not one of law and judgement – just read the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12) and Jesus’ words in Luke about what real love looks like (Luke 6:27-36). The Luke passage ends with “be merciful just as your Father is merciful”. The Beatitudes say, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be sons and daughters of God”.

Finally, stay on mission. The best example of this is the Book of Acts, especially Acts 2:42-47. The mission is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and like the early church let’s not allow anything, I say anything, to thwart our call and mission.

In His Peace,






As we approach 2019, we want to invite you to put an exciting experience on your calendar. Bishop Carter is asking if your church would join us in setting aside one weekend in May to align your church around God’s mission.

We are building a dynamic, customizable On Mission Together Weekend where you can bring your congregation together to connect with one another, your community, and the mission that we share to make disciples of Jesus for the transformation of the world.

We will provide you with a loose structure, agenda, and content for the experience and you will have the opportunity to tailor it to your context. We envision three movements to the weekend that you can adapt:

Friday – Movement 1: Kick the weekend off with a time of connection. This could be a Love Feast, Concert, or Celebrate Recovery event. It is a time to enjoy one another and celebrate our shared mission.

Saturday – Movement 2: Saturday morning will be a time for missional engagement where participants will serve together in the community. Take some time to rest and reflect in the afternoon and then gather the group for dinner and intentional, courageous conversations.

Sunday – Movement 3: Sunday morning will be a normal Sunday service with a focus on grace, lay testimony, and an invitation to follow Jesus. After church, the On Mission Together Weekend would close with a lunch sharing some of what participants learned and God-sightings. This could also kick off a small-group study or some brainstorming around how the church can continue living out the mission, vision, and mindsets. Click here for attachment.

This note is to get you excited, ask you to save a weekend and let you know more resources and ideas will be coming your way soon. Will you consider joining us? We think this will be a great time to rally together around our passion for Jesus and his mission to the world.

Your next step might be to start conversations with your leadership and begin forming a team who can make this idea a reality. Keep in mind that we will be providing great resources for this event, but you will have freedom and flexibility to adapt it to your context for maximum impact.


If you haven't already sign up and plan to participate, please 

Contact the District Office for help in registering.

Let’s do this!


On Mission Together


June 5-8, 2019

Florida Southern College
111 Lake Holingsworth Dr.
Lakeland, FL 33801


District Orientations

District orientations will include a report from two delegation members regarding GC 2019, an introduction of nominees for GC 2020, a review of how to use the voting equipment, a review of the five resolutions to Annual Conference, a review of the budget, and a review of any other significant issues before the conference.  Orientation videos will also be available.

AC District:
Sunday May 19th, 5:30 PM - Suntree, Melbourne

and for our southern district churches that will find this to be a closer location, see below

SE District:
Saturday May 11th, 10:00 AM - Ft. Lauderdale area
Sunday May 12th, 4:30 PM - Central Dade (translated in Spanish)


2019 Annual Conference 5K
Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at 6:30 a.m. start time

Meeting Place and Same Day Packet Pickup
Nina B. Hollis Wellness Center
111 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland, FL 33801

The Florida Annual Conference 5K is returning to our inaugural site around the beautiful Lake Hollingsworth at Florida Southern College. This run/walk event is in its sixth year! This is an opportunity to unite our clergy and lay members of the Annual Conference in an initiative to promote faith and fitness in a 3.1 mile fun run/walk. The race will begin across Lake Hollingsworth from the Nina B. Hollis Wellness Center. It will finish across Lake Hollingsworth Drive from Branscomb Auditorium.

The cost: $25 early bird registration before 4/31/2019
              $30 starting 5/1/2019

Registration Closes Friday, May 20, 2019 at 12:00 p.m. (firm deadline)

Pre-Race Packet Pick-Up (T-shirt/bib and race info) – Tuesday, June 4, 1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. at AC Registration.

Same Day Packet Pick-Up – Wednesday, June 5, 6:00 a.m. – 6:25 a.m. at Nina B. Hollis Wellness Center

This year funds raised will be split between two important ministries: 1. The Florida United Methodist Foundation’s Next Generation Fund which provides small grants to programs and ministries that foster the spiritual growth and church leadership development of children, youth and young adults ages 30 and younger. 2. Florida Advocacy Days (FAD) Young Adult Sponsorship. This will enable a new generation of leaders to receive training on critical issues, meet with elected officials and engage in conversation that will minimize or prevent hunger and homelessness in children and senior citizens in Florida due to a lack of resources.





Join Bishop Carter for a Conversation about Leadership and Courage 


All Florida Conference clergy and lay leaders are invited to join Bishop Carter this Lent for a conversation about leadership and courage. We will study the new Gil Rendle book entitled Quietly Courageous. Gil, the former vice-president of the Texas Methodist Foundation, offers incredible insight on how to lead in these turbulent and ever-changing times. Your commitment is to read the book, then attend an in-person meeting at the Portico in Tampa, Florida, on Thursday, March 7, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. A second brief meeting will be held virtually on Thursday, April 11, at 10 a.m. to discuss how you are putting courage into action in your settings. Space is limited. Sign up here.


Congregational Care Ministry Training Event

Congregational Care, for both clergy and lay members, can be daunting. The needs are many and varied and can be overwhelming. Nationally renowned expert, Rev. Karen Lampe, will lead a 2-day Congregational Care Ministry Workshop at Coronado Community United Methodist Church in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, that will teach churches how to organize their care ministries and train participants to provide compassionate care for people experiencing a variety of life crises.

Rev. Karen Lampe served as the Executive Pastor for Congregational Care at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, for twelve years. Serving alongside Rev. Adam Hamilton, she created a model of care that empowered lay people to become Congregational Care Ministers (CCMs) who work alongside their pastors. Karen has authored two books and has taught this model of care to churches throughout the U.S. She believes that no matter what size the church, "care" is the heart of the church and when you can do this part of church well it draws people to your faith community. Her enthusiasm for the CCM program is contagious as she calls everyone to use the experiences of their lives to build the kingdom. 

Cost of the training is $50 and includes two meals and training materials.  For more information and to register, please visit Registration closes on Friday, March 1. Scholarships are available.

Contact Laura Berg for more information.

Thursday, March 7, 2019                                     8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.                                                                             Friday, March 8, 2019                                           8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Coronado Community United Methodist Church                                                                        
201 South Peninsula Avenue                                                                                                                   
New Smyrna Beach,  FL 32169

(386) 428-6252




Marriage Enrichment Retreats at Lake Junaluska


We are created for a lifetime of love and intimacy, but relationships can be hard, even for the happiest couples. Distance, frustration and disconnection can enter through any number of life's events.


Come to a Christian-based marriage retreat at Lake Junaluska to better understand your partner and learn to cultivate a warmer, more joyful and loving relationship.




How to strengthen essential psychological and spiritual foundations for healthy, happy relationships

How to stop rigid negative patterns in communication that lead to frustration and disconnection

How to be more accessible, responsive and engaged in your relationship

How to better understand your partner and help them to understand you

How to share your deepest needs for support, love and affection and respond to those same needs in your partner


Pastoral participants earn 1.5 CEUs for participation in this program. This retreat is perfect for pastors who regularly do marriage counseling, or anyone who wants to strengthen the bond in their marriage.



Marriage Enrichment Program for two people: $350 

Two nights lodging for two people and five meals (Monday breakfast through Tuesday lunch) for two people (required): $319



-           March 10-12, 2019

-           August 18-20, 2019

-           September 29 - October 1, 2019


Learn more at or call 800-222-4930.


ImageFlorida Five Day Academy

A Journey of Life and Love Together will be held March 10-15 at the Florida Five Day Academy in March at the Life Enrichment Retreat Center in Fruitland Park, near Leesburg.

It’s a retreat for lay and clergy of all denominations to deepen their relationship with God and live as faithful servants in the world.

Presenters include Steve West and Kathryn Damiano.

West is a graduate of Candler School of Theology and serves in the North Alabama Conference. His focus will be communion and spiritual formation.

Damiano, a Quaker and lifelong contemplative and spiritual director, sees her ministry as working for peace and justice through spiritual formation.

More information and registration are available here.


 The Florida United Methodist Foundation is now accepting applications from United Methodist high school seniors for the 2019 Sinclair scholarships, and we need your help to spread the word.

 Applicants must be full and active members of a Florida United Methodist church, have a record of church and community service, and have a grade point average of 2.5 or higher or academic performance that indicates ability to succeed in college. They must also be planning to attend a Florida or United Methodist college or university for the first time this fall.

 Scholarship awards range from $2,000 to $3,000 and are renewable for up to three additional years for students who remain in good standing. The deadline to apply is March 15.

 A scholarship application and instructions about other required documents are available on the foundation’s website. More information is available by contacting Nadara Brock at or 866-363-9673, ext. 7113.

 Please consider posting and/or sharing the Sinclair Scholarship flyer with students you feel are good candidates for this opportunity, as well as including it in your newsletters or worship bulletins.

 Below are several stories related to the scholarship, providing more information about how they benefit and support students:

Scholarship recipients make campus ministry experience a priority
Scholarship recipients have mission-minded focus

Scholarship recipients are driven, thankful

Sinclair Scholarship recipients offer hope for the future

 Thank you for your help in spreading the word about this valuable opportunity.


The Florida United Methodist Church and the African Methodist Episcopal Church, in partnership with our community partner, Florida Impact, will convene in Tallahassee, Florida, on Sunday, March 24-Tuesday, March 26. Our collaboration is entitled Florida Advocacy Days (FAD). We will gather for a time of prayer and learning as we prepare to meet with our legislators and advocate on behalf of children and others: "those who cannot speak for themselves."

The three-day event begins with a dedication of children’s handprints in response to the “Hanging of the Hands” display on Sunday at 4:00 p.m. at the State Capitol. This celebration will be followed by a Sunday worship service at 6:30 p.m. and reception held at FSU Wesley Center in Tallahassee, to which the public is invited.

The Monday gathering will convene at Trinity United Methodist Church. Leaders from the three membership partnerships and others come together to receive data and impact information on areas of need and challenges regarding resources. Experts from several fields and agencies will help shape and inform our messages. Training will be provided in order to prepare us to meet with our legislators and to advocate and call for their accountability on behalf of "those who cannot speak for themselves."

The event culminates with a Tuesday Prayer Breakfast held at Trinity UMC at 7:00 a.m., followed by a group photo, a march to the State Capitol and keeping pre-scheduled appointments with legislators. We conclude our time together with a debrief over lunch at Trinity UMC.

Join your voice with other brothers and sisters in Christ as we gather for FAD in Tallahassee during the Annual Children's Week.

A detailed list of the advocacy issues will be provided soon.



  Church Leaders take advantage to available training.

UMCom has some great webinars, live and recorded for you.

 Click here to see what is available



91 N. Lakeshore Drive | PO Box 67 | Lake Junaluska, NC 28745
828.454.6731 | Fax: 828.452.2225



Summer Youth Events at Lake Junaluska


Bring your youth group to Lake Junaluska this summer for worship, spiritual growth and adventure in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Every event includes energized worship with great speakers and bands, small groups, vespers and workshops. Youth also can choose to participate in mission projects and recreational activities such as rafting, ziplining or swimming. Find more information at



Event 1: June 15-19 – Rev. Andy Lambert with Jimmy Atkins and the Light ’Em Ups and a talent show, outdoor movie and Sunday morning worship in Stuart Auditorium

Event 2: June 20-23 – Rev. Juan Huertas with Abbye West Pates and a talent show

Event 3: June 23-27 – Guest speaker Stephanie Caro with Abbye West Pates and a talent show and outdoor movie

Event 4: June 27-30 – Rev. Janjay Innis with Zachariah Suggs and illusionist Josh Lozoff

Event 5: June 30-July 3 – Rev. Jeremy Steele with Zachariah Suggs and illusionist Josh Lozoff

Event 6: July 10-14 – Rev. Kevin Wright with Jimmy Atkins and the Light ’Em Ups and a talent show and comedian


Registration Now Open for Summer Youth Events at Lake Junaluska


LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. - Registration is open for Lake Junaluska’s Summer Youth Events.


Middle school and high school youth groups may sign up for one of six events to be held in June and July.


Each three- or four-night event features morning and evening worship sessions as well as small groups, spiritual workshops and evening vespers. During the afternoons, youth may participate in recreational activities at Lake Junaluska, off-site adventures such as rafting or ziplining, or mission projects through Asheville Youth Mission, a partner of Lake Junaluska.


The Rev. Mitzi Johnson, director of programming at Lake Junaluska, said she is particularly excited about the theme for the 2019 Summer Youth Events – “Kairos: Your Moment of Opportunity.”


“Kairos refers to an opportune moment in your life where you recognize the ways God is calling you to live, be or become,” said Johnson. “We’re excited to invite youth this summer to be shaped by God so that God, through them, can shape the world. We want youth who come to step into ‘God’s time’ and to develop the courage to seize those extraordinary moments of opportunity.”


Speakers and bands from across the Southeast will explore the theme in their messages. In small groups, youth will discuss topics from who they are in God's eyes to how they are called to serve.


The first youth event of the summer will feature the Rev. Andy Lambert, senior pastor at Oak Ridge United Methodist Church in Winston-Salem. Lambert has proclaimed the Gospel across the United States and abroad at such venues as comedy clubs, churches and colleges.


The second event will bring to Lake Junaluska the Rev. Juan Huertas, pastor of Grace Community United Methodist Church in Shreveport, Louisiana, and a contributor to Ministry Matters and


“Huertas meets groups where they are while also respecting their intelligence,” said Johnson. “He dives headfirst into deep theological questions in a way that engages and enthralls.”


During the third event, the guest speaker will be Stephanie Caro, senior consultant for Ministry Architects and author of “Thriving Youth Ministry in Smaller Churches” and “99 Thoughts for the Smaller Church Youth Worker.”


Speaking at the fourth event will be the Rev. Janjay Innis, nurture pastor at The Nett Church, a multi-campus United Methodist Church in Gwinett County, Georgia, and a former US-2 missionary who served as a social justice advocate in Tacoma, Washington.


The Rev. Jeremy Steele, who is the next generation minister at Christ United Methodist Church in Mobile, Alabama, senior editor of the Seedbed Youth Ministry Collective and author of “Reclaiming the Lost Soul of Youth Ministry,” will present during the fifth event.


The closing summer youth event will host the Rev. Kevin Wright, former executive minister of programs at The Riverside Church in New York City. Wright now serves as the chief program officer at the Urban Arts Partnership in New York City where he helps public schools close the achievement gap for underserved students.


“These speakers are all extremely gifted and passionate about sharing the Gospel with and inspiring youth,” said Johnson.


Summer Youth Events include three or four nights of lodging, meals and programming that includes morning and evening sessions with small groups, workshops, worship and vespers, and start from $299 per person for a three-night event and $368 per person for a four-night event. Groups of 10 participants or more that register before Monday, April 8, will receive $100 off the registration price for their groups.


More information about speakers, bands and entertainers is available online at To register, call 800-222-4930 or visit


Lake Junaluska is a place of Christian hospitality where lives are transformed through renewal of soul, mind and body. For more information about Lake Junaluska programs and events, visit



Event 1: June 15-19 – Rev. Andy Lambert with Jimmy Atkins and the Light ’Em Ups and a talent show, outdoor movie and Sunday morning worship in Stuart Auditorium

Event 2: June 20-23 – Rev. Juan Huertas with Abbye West Pates and a talent show

Event 3: June 23-27 – Guest speaker Stephanie Caro with Abbye West Pates and a talent show and outdoor movie

Event 4: June 27-30 – Rev. Janjay Innis with Zachariah Suggs and illusionist Josh Lozoff

Event 5: June 30-July 3 – Rev. Jeremy Steele with Zachariah Suggs and illusionist Josh Lozoff

Event 6: July 10-14 – Rev. Kevin Wright with Jimmy Atkins and the Light ’Em Ups and a talent show and comedian




Dear Friend(s)

The fourteenth Annual Native American Gathering will be held in Fruitland Park (Leesburg area), Fla., on Friday, April 26 – Sunday, April 28, 2019. We have been extremely blessed at our past gatherings, and we are anticipating a tremendous time again this year.

The setting for our gathering is the beautiful United Methodist Warren Willis Camp and Life Enrichment Center and Campground on serene Lake Griffin (see directions attached). It is a great place to get relaxed, refreshed and be inspired.

The theme for the weekend is “Creator’s Love.” We are honored to have as our guest Jonathan Maracle (a Mohawk from Tyendinaga Territory in Ontario, Canada), who conceived the band Broken Walls in 1995. He is the lead vocalist and guitarist, who also plays on the Mohawk wind flute. He has often performed around their large Pow Wow drum, singing songs of and to the Creator. He has taken the healing quality of his music into many places where restoration and reconciliation were needed with great results.
We are equally honored to have with us Dr. Casey Church (Pokagon Band Potawatomi). Casey is the director of Wiconi International (, a contextual ministry organization founded by the late Dr. Richard Twiss. He is also a member of the North American Institute for Indigenous Theological Studies ( and author of the books “Holy Smoke: The Contextual Use of Native American Ritual and Ceremony” and “Native American Contextual Ministry: Making the Transition” (Centre for Pentecostal Theology Native North American Contextual Movement Series).

On Saturday we will also have great workshops, which will include Dream Catcher with Dian Barreras, Feather Painting with Marsha Taylor and Kathy Miller and Church Rep Training with Roger Antworth. So, make sure you sign up for one or more of these great workshops!

You can arrive as early as 3:00 p.m. on Friday, April 26. Upon arriving, please come to the registration table located in the Lake Room by the Fellowship Hall on the Warren Willis side (see site map #1) to check-in. Dinner will be served on the Warren Willis side between 5:30 p.m. and 6:15 p.m. for those who have purchased meals. Our first session will begin at 7:00 p.m. with the Opening Ceremony. Those who come Friday evening dressed in their tribal regalia will be honored in the first dance of the evening. We will also be having our traditional trade blanket after the Friday evening session, so bring your items to trade.

If you are coming just for the day on Saturday, you will want to arrive early, as the second session will start right after breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Our gathering will end Sunday at noon with Communion.


Don't miss this opportunity for great fellowship, culturally relevant worship and teaching and an all-around wonderful experience with fellow believers. Please join us and be a part of what God is doing among the Native American people! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 352-409-3368.


Click here for a LEC Map

Click here for directions to the LEC








Wespath Benefits and Investments developed a partnership with Paychex to provide United Methodist Churches with Payroll and HR solutions for 2019 and beyond.

Struggling with clergy payroll? UMPIP deductions? Filing quarterly tax forms? Preparing year-end W2s? This could be a great way to improve your processes!

With this new partnership, Paychex can send 403b/UMPIP contribution information to Wespath to debit you for the corresponding amount, saving you time and ensuring the accuracy of information.

Paychex will handle your quarterly tax filings and year-end reports. Managing your payroll can become easier and more accurate and you ensure your church is financially compliant. All you’ll have to do is report salaries and hours worked and Paychex will do the rest! You will also receive a 35% discount for the duration of the partnership between Paychex and Wespath.

Jeff Kohl is the designated Paychex/Wespath representative for all UMC churches nationwide. For more information about Paychex payroll, human resources, time & attendance and other services, call Jeff Kohl at (561) 907–7402, email him at or visit here.

Distribution: all active clergy, business administrators, church secretaries, church FC&A, church finance secretaries, church treasurers and SPRC


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May 10 - Missional Vital Signs Due

Please remember to submit your Missional Vital Signs (MVS) each month no later than the 10th of the month. Click here to enter stats.

March 4 - Prayer and Listening Gatherings

Following the General Conference, District Superintendent Gary Spencer is holding a Prayer and Listening Gathering at the following locations and on the following dates for all clergy in his District. March 4th: Suntree UMC 9-10 a.m First Titusville UMC 11-12 p.m. First Port Orange UMC 2-3 p.m. March 5th: First Melbourne UMC 8:45-9:45 a.m. First Vero UMC 2-3 p.m. March 7th: First Hobe Sound UMC 12:30-1:30 p.m. Trinity Palm Beach Gardens UMC 2:30-3:30 p.m.

March 7 - Congregational Care MInistry Training

Takes place at  Coronado Community UMC in New Smyrna Beach Rev. Karen Lampe from Church of the Resurrection will be facilitating the two day event. Contact Rev. Laura Berg for more information or to register at (386)428-6252

March 16 - Day on Campus

More than 1,000 United Methodist from across the Florida Conference will gather on the beautiful campus of the Florida United Methodist Children's Home in Enterprise.


Christ UMC Palm Bay, Outdoor event, crafts, vendors, flea market & food trucks. Vendor spots open please email us