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AC Newsletter February 2023

A Pilgrimage of Prayer

“The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour
and told him all they had done and taught.  Then Jesus said,
‘Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.’
He said this because there were so many people coming
and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.”
- Mark 6:30-31 (NLT)

Dear Friends of the Atlantic Central District ~

Over the past two weeks, I have been studying the concept of “pilgrimage” and asking God to direct my steps as I continue to seek Him personally and vocationally.  Jesus went on tours meeting people along the way, calling them to follow Him, healing their sicknesses, all the while prioritizing His pilgrimages to quiet places of prayer.  Everything Jesus did, centered on being in the presence of the Father in prayer.  So, what does that mean for us?  I love Sarah Yardley’s thoughts on pilgrimage:

“Pilgrimage has been the primary predisposition of God’s people from the patriarch Abraham, wandering in the wilderness, to the Apostle Peter, urging persecuted Christians of Asia Minor to live ‘as aliens and strangers in this world’ (I Peter 2:11).  ‘Faith is not the clinging to a shrine,’ says the Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heshchel, ‘but an endless pilgrimage of the heart.’” Sarah Yardley, Lectio365, 2/6/23.

With our new Bishop, Tom Berlin, we began a physical pilgrimage of sorts from the most northern part of the Atlantic Central District in Daytona on February 1st and concluded the pilgrimage in Greater West Palm Beach on February 2nd!  Meeting with pastors, experiencing District ministries such as Halifax Urban Ministries and CROS Ministries, and seeing the region, we encountered God in the journey! 

You are invited to join me in several “pilgrimages” where I know we will experience the presence of God:

  • Lenten Prayer Gathering:  A Pilgrimage of Prayer – Beginning Ash Wednesday, 2/22  on Zoom from 12Noon-1PM.  Register here for the Zoom link:  More information is below!

  • Praying Where Jesus Prayed Holy Land 2023 – Originally planned for this April, we moved this pilgrimage to November 6-16, 2023.  See below for full description of the trip and link to register.  Informational Zoom Meeting on Sunday, February 26, 2023 at 6PM via Zoom.  Register for the meeting here: :

  • District Mission Days and Pilgrimage the Methodist Children’s Home – We are planning two Mission Days of Serving in our District and a Day to the Children’s Home.  Dates are forthcoming – look for them and register to be a part of what God is doing!

Prayer, presence, and pilgrimage ... my prayer is that the Revival that is happening right now at Asbury University (if you are unaware, Google it and see what God is doing!) and spreading rapidly will ignite in the Atlantic Central District and we will join God in making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world!  It begins with prayer.  Hope to see you next Wednesday!

Grace and peace ~


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You are invited to join our weekly Lenten Prayer Study “A Pilgrimage of Prayer” beginning next Wednesday, February 22, 2023 from 12:00 Noon - 1:00 PM on Zoom, and the next six Wednesdays of Lent.  It will be a powerful time of interactive prayer, studying the Lenten scriptures with themes such as repentance, temptation, and fear.  Discover how this 40 Day Pilgrimage will deepen your walk with Christ and prepare you for Passion/Palm Sunday, Holy Week, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday. Invite a friend to partner with you in this discipline of prayer for Lent 2023.  We hope you will join Dionne, our District Superintendent, and others!

For details and to register to receive the Zoom link, click here

Times: 12:00 - 1:00 PM

Wednesday, March 1
Wednesday, March 8
Wednesday, March 15
Wednesday, March 22
Wednesday, March 29
Wednesday, April 5

NEW DATES - November 6 - 16, 2023

Imagine walking where Jesus walked and praying where Jesus prayed! Dionne personally invites you to join her and others on a pilgrimage of faith journeying to the Holy Land 11/6 - 11/16/2023!

**We originally were scheduled for April  2023 but realized more people would be able to participate if the trip was later in the year. 

There will be an Informational Zoom Meeting on Saturday, February 26 at 5:30 PM where additional information will be provided. This will include payment play, what to expect, and a time to answer your questions. To register to receive the Zoom link, click here

Everyone is welcome - it is not necessary to attend a United Methodist Church in our district! Join Dionne and others for this life-changing experience. Be in prayer and anticipate how God will move +

For details about the tour of the Holy Land, click here. Information includes dates, cost, and what's included. 

Click here for full brochure.

If you are a pastor who would like to lead a group from your church, please contact the AC District Office at to receive the recording of the informational meeting for clergy. A customized brochure with your name and tour host number will be provided upon request. The group you will be leading will need to provide the information so you get credit. 

Please contact Bob Brown at or 386-314-4779 if you would like to lead a group. He can also assist you with details of the trip and lead an informational meeting at your church. 

Join us for seven weeks of virtual training to equip you for local church ministry. All sessions will be one hour on Zoom. 

These are important annual trainings provided to support your local church ministry areas. All churches are encouraged to participate in these training opportunities. 
Dates are Thursdays and Saturdays. The information provided will be the same at all scheduled sessions for each topic. 
Each session will begin on time. Please login a few minutes early to ensure that you don't miss any of the content. 
For details and to register, click here
Ministry Protection for Trustees
LaNita Battles, Director, Ministry Protection
Thursday, February 16  l  2:00 PM or 6:30 PM
Saturday, February 18  l  9:00 AM
Human Resources
Thursday, February 23  l  2:00 PM or 6:30 PM
Saturday, February 25  l  9:00 AM
Child and Youth Protection Policy
LaNita Battles, Director, Ministry Protection
Thursday, March 2  l  2:00 PM or 6:30 PM
Saturday, March 4  l  9:00 AM
Nominations/Lay Leadership Development
Cynthia Weems, SE District Superintendent
Judith Pierre-Okerson, President, United Women of Faith
Thursday, March 9  l  2:00 PM or 6:30 PM
Saturday, March 11  l  9:00 AM
Lay Leader & Lay Member to Annual Conference
Alice Williams and Derrick Scott, III, FLUMC Co-Lay Leaders
Thursday, March 16  l  2:00 PM or 6:30 PM
Saturday, March 18  l  9:00 AM

  • Reminders: Church and Pastor Profiles were due January 31, and the End of Year Statistics Report was due February 3.
  • February 28 - Ensure Local Church Lay Member(s) to Annual Conference name and contact information is correct in your church dashboard.
  • March Reports are due by March 31, 2023. Click here for the reports that are due which include:
    • Fiscal Responsibility and Management Policies - Finance Committee
    • Employee Conduct Policy Adoption - SPRC Committee
      • Clergy Form
      • Employee Form
      • Adoption Agreement
    • Annual Report to the District Housing Committee / Parsonage Checklist - Board of Trustees
    • Fund Balance Report for the Year End 2022 - Treasurer
    • Child and Youth Protection Policy Review and Annual Renewal - SPRC Committee
  • Monthly MVS Reports - due no later than the 10th of each month
  • Annual Assessment of Ministerial Effectiveness and Goal Setting for All Clergy - Due no later than May 31

For a full list of annual reports due, click here

Trish Warren and her team are working to keep Florida Conference churches up-to-date on what is happening with disaster recovery. For weekly updates, click here. Additional information can be found on the Disaster Recovery website by clicking here
We are excited to share that FEMA has re-opened the application process for Houses of Worship ONLY. If your church has had any damage and the application has not been completed, please review the document available by clicking here, and complete the request for Public Assistance. 
If you have any questions, please contact the Disaster Recovery Team in the Florida Conference at 863-688-5563 x148.

Dear Lay and Clergy Members of the Florida Annual Conference:
As the new resident bishop of The Florida Annual Conference, I think it is important to provide opportunities for the annual conference to consider requests for disaffiliation from churches who have followed the process outlined in Paragraph 2553 of our Discipline.
Pursuant to Paragraph 603.5 of the Discipline and in accordance with Standing Rule 210 of the Florida Annual Conference, I am announcing three virtual special sessions of the Florida Annual Conference to be held in 2023. These special sessions of the annual conference will have the sole purpose of acting on requests of local church disaffiliation for churches who have followed the process outlined in Paragraph 2553 of our Discipline and received proper approval from 2/3 majority of a church conference. Paragraph 2553 is the only process by which churches may disaffiliate from the conference.
This announcement comes after prayer and consultation and with the approval of the District Superintendents. I am asking all lay and clergy members of the annual conference to save these dates and times. Each session will take place utilizing the ZOOM platform. More details will be forthcoming. If you are a church considering disaffiliation, please contact your District Superintendent to discuss the discernment process and to receive an outline of next steps.
Special Virtual Sessions of the Florida Annual Conference
Saturday, April 22, 2023 – 10 AM 
Saturday, August 5
2023 – 10 AM 
Saturday, December 2
, 2023 – 10 AM 
Note: The 2023 regular session of the Florida Annual Conference is scheduled for June 8-10 at Florida Southern College. It will not include voting on the disaffiliation of local churches.
To read more about the disaffiliation process, please see this recent article from Joe Henderson.
In Christ,
Bishop Tom Berlin
Resident Bishop
The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church

If you are serving as a local church Lay Member to Annual Conference, please contact your church office to ensure they have your correct email address and contact information in the church dashboard. 

If you would like to be nominated to serve as a District at-Large Lay Member to Annual Conference, please contact your pastor as they will need to submit a nomination for you. Nominations are due no later than Wednesday, March 1, 2023. 

If you have any questions, please contact the District Office. 

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