Main Menu

AC Newsletter March 2022

The Great Rebuilding

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession,
that you may declare the praises of him who called you
out of darkness into his wonderful light.  Once you were not a people,
but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy,
but now you have received mercy.”  I Peter 2:9-10 (NIV)

Dear People of God, Chosen by Christ ~

As we begin this Lenten Season, amid the Ukrainian invasion, the Church of Jesus Christ is the Hope for our broken and sinful world.

We are Plan A for restoring the world.  You are God’s beloved, called and equipped to do the work of rebuilding the local church!  I personally invite you to join Jesus in the Great Rebuilding.  On Saturday, April 2, 2022 from 9:00 AM - 12:30 PM, we will gather for “Thrive!  Rebuilding The Local Church” at Suntree United Methodist ChurchALL ARE WELCOME!  Below is the registration form and I hope to see you there.

The Apostle Peter’s reminds us that we are the “priesthood of all believers”, forming the vision for his Kingdom work.  It will mean clearly understanding our challenges.  In recent conversations around the district, I’m hearing that people who showed up weekly in worship are more like once a month, people who served regularly now say “no” ... what’s changed?

In Carey Nieuwhof’s blog this week, he says it is not fear but indifference:

“Indifference is defined as a lack of interest, concern, sympathy, or unimportance.  They don’t hate in-person church; there’s no surge of strong emotions.  It’s just no longer important.  Many former church attenders aren’t mad, nor are they afraid.  They’re just indifferent to whether they come back to church or not.  It’s like they’ve assessed their life, reconsidered what matters, and decided that attending church wasn’t that important in the end” (https://careynieuwhof.com/fear-isnt-keeping-them-home-its-indifference-why-church-attendance-has-plummeted/)

I encourage you to read the whole blog.  Nieuwhof speaks of mission and thinking about church beyond the walls – things we all know but often find hard to do.

Thank you for your faithfulness.  May God deepen your faith as you walk through this Lenten Season.  See you April 2nd.

Grace and peace ~
Dionne


Thrive! Leadership Day 2022


Like never before, ministry of the local church is hard. Honest questions around the future are abundant. But even amid our real challenges, God is moving and wants us to not just survive, but Thrive! And we want to help charge that path forward! 

Join us on Saturday, April 2, 2022 beginning at 9:00 AM. Matthew Hartsfield, Lead Pastor of Bay Hope United Methodist Church in Tampa, Florida, will lead us in two keynote sessions. There will be breakout sessions that will meet the real needs of the local church that will give your ministry a boost to take next steps to rebuilding the church right now and for the future.

Share this opportunity with your church leadership and register today for Thrive! 

For details and to register, click here

Table Talk Webinar Series: Conversations on Race

Every first Wednesday of the month from 12:00 - 12:30 PM, The Beloved Community is holding a Webinar Speaker Series called, "Table Talk: Conversations on Race." The goal of this speaker series is to bring awareness, to equip and support the local church, and to continue the conversation on Anti-Racism. The series has very gifted speakers and pertinent topics for clergy and laity in Florida. 

For more information on topics, speakers, and resources, visit their website at the link below. 

https://www.flumc.org/table-talk-webinar-series


Lay Servant Ministry Basic Course

April 29 and 30, 2022

The Atlantic Central District will be offering a Lay Servant Ministry Basic Course at First UMC - Pahokee. Lunch will be provided. Cost is $25.00. For details and to register click on the link below. 

Friday, April 29, 2022  l  6:00 - 9:00 PM

Saturday, April 30, 2022  l  9:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Lay Servant Ministry Basic Course Information
 

Good News from the Ministry Protection Insurance Program!
 

Last year was one of the costliest years on record for insurance companies.  A staggering 401 notable natural disaster events around the world plagued the industry, from a cyclone making a rare landfall in Oman, to major hailstorms in Australia, to catastrophic Hurricane Ida, the fourth-costliest hurricane in U.S. history.  All toll, the economic loss estimate for natural disasters worldwide in 2021 is $343 billion, of which approximately $130 billion was insured.

The record-breaking natural disasters, along with monumental legal exposures, like the one brought on by the Boy Scouts bankruptcy filing, and the lingering uncertainties of COVID-19 could paint a very dire picture for any insurance program seeking to provide quality products at affordable prices in an ever-changing economy.
 
Even with all the dire reports, we still have good news from the Ministry Protection Insurance Program! 

  1. Though the cost of insurance for the program increased by almost 10% over the previous year, that increase will not be passed on to the local church/ministry. 

    Based on the strength of the insurance program, the Ministry Protection Committee voted to forego passing any of the year’s increase on to local churches.

    NOTE:  This benefit may not be feasible and thus not offered in future years.
     
  2. The 2% early payment discount is back!  As in years past, if your church insurance allocation is paid in full by 3/31/22, you will receive a 2% discount off the billed amount.  Invoices are now available online and can be accessed here.

    Choose “PC/Workers Comp” from the drop-down menu and enter your church’s GCFA number. A packet containing insurance information will also be mailed to you in the coming days and will include a paper copy of the invoices and the 2022 Insurance Summary of coverages.
     
  3. The market for Cyber Liability Insurance tightened considerably in the past year, with much stricter underwriting standards for all industries, making the coverage unattainable for many programs, including our own.  Though we could not find a company willing to underwrite our cyber liability exposure for this year, the Ministry Protection Insurance Program is offering, free of charge, to Florida Conference churches and related ministries, an industry-leading cyber security training program.  The program will be offered in the spring and again in the fall.  Stay tuned for details about this valuable training.

On behalf of the Ministry Protection Committee and Department, we are pleased to share this good news.

Thank you for your continued support and for sharing the vision of protecting and enabling ministry, to the Glory of God.

Reporting New Hire/Rehire Employees and
Independent Contractors to the State of Florida

On October 1, 2021, Florida Statute §409.2576 became effective which requires all employers to report newly hired and rehired employees to the State Directory of New Hires within 20 days of hire.  Previously, only employers with 250 employees or more had to report this information. We recommend you report everyone that has been hired or meets the criteria for the Independent Contractor requirements since January 1, 2022. 

This Statute also requires all employers to report individuals who are independent contractors, who provide a service to the employer and are paid more than $600 per year for the services rendered. 
 
The reporting requirement does not apply to service providers that are business entities such as a limited liability companies (LLCs), even if owned and operated by only one person.
 
Reporting Requirements for Independent Contractors - Employers must report independent contractors that are subject to reporting (paid $600 or more) within 20 days after the earlier of:

  1. The date of the first payment made which requires an information return in accordance with s. 6041A(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; or
  2. The date on which a contract providing for such payments is entered into.
  3. Must be reported every 12 months that they receive $600 or more.

Chapter 409 Section 2576 - 2021 Florida Statutes (flsenate.gov)
 
To Register:
https://servicesforemployers.floridarevenue.com/Pages/home.aspx.
 
Options for Reporting:
Child Support Services for Employers Information on how to report (floridarevenue.com)
 
Florida New Hire Reporting Form (floridarevenue.com)

District at-Large Lay Members to Annual Conference

The AC District is currently accepting nominations for District at-large Lay Members to Annual Conference. If you would like to be nominated, please contact your local church Senior Pastor. They will need to send me your name and best contact information with their nomination. If you have any questions about the process, please contact our office. 

 

Annual Conference 2022 - Get ready to see one another!

The Florida Annual Conference 2022 session will be back to an in-person event and will be held on June 9-11 (a general schedule will be released in the new year) on the campus of Florida Southern College in Lakeland. The theme for Annual Conference 2022 will be: Rebuilding the Church, Re-membering the Body: Creating a Spiritual Home for All.

“We have been through an extraordinary season with many complexities and constraints, and all of this has kept us from the joy of coming together, and we likely have taken this gift for granted,” said Bishop Ken Carter. “I am excited about the 2022 Annual Conference, and I believe God will bless us during these days.”
 
Thanks to vaccinations and proper protocols, we feel confident that an in-person gathering can occur in June of next year. While we will still offer a livestream option for those not able to be present in Lakeland, voting on Conference matters will only be available to in-person lay and clergy members.
 
As we have for the past two years, your Annual Conference planning team will continue to follow state and local health guidelines, including those of Florida Southern College as our hosts. It is possible that mask-wearing and social distancing may still be recommended so please watch for more details as we draw closer to June.

Information will be added to the AC2022 webpage as it is available.

For questions, please contact acquestions@flumc.org.

Get AC 2022 updates delivered straight to your phone!
Text "flumc22" to 844-635-1026 to subscribe.
Normal text messaging rates apply. Text "STOP" to opt out. Text "HELP" for help.


Local Church Disaster Plan

Hurricane season will be here before we know it and we want to help you be prepared. In April, the churches in the Atlantic Central District will receive information on developing a Local Church Disaster Plan. This is a great time to develop or review the disaster plan for your local church and put together a team prior to the start of Hurricane season. The plan is not only for hurricanes. There are many types of disasters that can cause major damage. i.e. fires, tornadoes, etc. 

Begin now to put together a team that will develop or review your current plan, make any changes, and implement the plan. 

For more information about Disaster Recovery, visit their website at https://www.flumcdisasterrecoveryministry.org/

All churches in the Florida Conference are being asked to complete the Disaster Recovery Survey. If your church has not completed this survey, click here to complete. This is for all churches whether you have a disaster plan in place or not. Thank you for completing!

Please contact our office if you have any questions or would like additional information.