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August 2019 District Newsletter

Dear North East District Family,

Earlier this month I attended the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit, and as always, God had something important for me to learn from the speakers. Before I share something that I learned, let me say a word of thanks to CrossRoad Church UMC, the Rev. Kevin Griffin, Tracey Hixson, and Alex Card (along with their amazing team of volunteers) who continue to host the Summit with extraordinary hospitality. If your church wants to learn how to provide excellent hospitality, I recommend attending the Summit just to see CrossRoad’s team in action.

During the Summit, one of the speakers was Ben Sherwood. Ben is the former president of Disney-ABC Television and ABC News. During his talk, he shared something he learned when he went to a school that taught people how to survive in a plane crash. I thought his words were also germane for churches that are experiencing crisis. (You could even say they pertain to The UMC in general as we continue down the path of deciding our future.)

Ben taught about the 10-80-10 Rule. In a crisis, 10% of the people will emerge as leaders. They will begin to lead people to safety. Eighty percent of the people in a crisis will tend to freeze and wait for someone in authority to direct them. The last 10% will emerge as counter-productive. They are only looking out for themselves and not trying to help lead anyone else to safety. They will ignore instructions and sound leadership causing harm to others.

The next time you find your faith community in a crisis, I would encourage you to look for the 10-80-10 rule in action. Who are the people that are emerging as wise leaders? How can you support them? Who are the people who are becoming counter-productive? How can you prevent them from doing harm?

A few other things Ben learned from the school seemed helpful to churches in times of crisis:

  • Maintain your point of reference. This allows you to stay on course. In the church, our point of reference should always be Jesus! When we lose sight of Him during a crisis, we can easily stray off course. It may sound trite, but what would Jesus do?
  • Wait for the violent and sudden motion to stop. If you wait for a few moments, things will settle down and you can find the way to move forward and out of the crisis. Often we want to react too soon, and it can cause more damage.
  • Practice realistic optimism. Optimists don’t tend to survive. Instead, realistic optimists are the ones who survive! A realistic optimist is someone who understands the present ruthlessly but has hope that things will get better and works toward it. Jim Collins in his ground breaking book From Good to Great called this the Stockdale Principle after Admiral James Stockdale who was a prisoner of war during the Vietnam War.

I hope and pray that your congregation doesn’t find itself in crisis, but the reality is that sooner or later, something happens that can rock your faith community. Think and pray about these principles and see if they might not help you lead your church to safety!

God bless you!

All God’s love,


Fresh Expressions in the North East District

Fresh Expressions are new forms of church that emerge within contemporary culture and engage primarily with those who don’t go to church”. They are New People, New Places, New Ways!

Come and learn more about Fresh Expressions at our FREE Brown Bag Training Sessions. We are offering the same training on dates (August 13/20/27) and in different locations throughout the districtYou only need to attend one of the sessions.

  • Aug. 20, 11:30-1:30 @ First UMC, Jax
  • Aug. 20, 11:30-1:30 @ Christ UMC, Neptune Beach
  • Aug. 20, 6-8 PM @ Grace UMC, Lawtey
  • Aug. 27, 11:30-1:30 @ Orange Park UMC
  • Aug. 27, 11:30-1:30 @ River of Life UMC
  • Aug. 27, 6-8 PM @ San Marco UMC

Bring a brown bag/drink and enjoy learning more about Fresh Expressions! For more details and to register, click here


Join us for Coffee and Conversation with Rev. Dr. Michael Moynagh on Thursday, September 12, 2019, 10:30 a.m. @ Greater Bell UMC, 21024 N State Road 235, Brooker, Florida 32622.

Rev. Dr. Michael Moynagh is one of the earliest creators and adapters of Fresh Expressions. If you've been leading a Fresh Expression and wanting to take it to the next level, from loving and serving to community or from community to building a church, or want to learn how to replicate the process in your local setting - THIS event is for you!

Come and have coffee and conversation and learn from one of the masters of Fresh Expressions. Meet other pioneers who are on the journey of leading fresh expressions in their communities as well and hear their questions and experiences.

Register today to attend this FREE Event! -


On Mission Together - Through Fresh Expressions

"Go and make disciples of all nations." (Matthew 28:19) As United Methodists we are called to make disciples for the transformation of the world. But how? The answer to study of that answer is called missiology. We once thought missions were something that only happened overseas but the reality is the mission field is at our front door.

Come and listen to Rev. Dr. Michael Moynagh, a renowned missiologist and early creator and adapter of Fresh Expressions in England on Thursday, September 12, 2019, 4 p.m. @ River of Life UMC, 2600 Race Track Rd Jacksonville Florida, 32259. Hear how Rev. Moynagh and others have been successful in reaching people for Jesus in a post-Christian context. Learn how to reach new people in your area for Jesus in new ways! This is your opportunity to learn from one of the brightest and best in disciple making!

Register to attend this FREE Event!

Charge Conference Documents and Health Stipend Increase

  • The charge conference documents will be available on August 21. Be sure to check the website next week and click on the forms for the North East District. 
  • The Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits met last week and the board voted in favor of raising the clergy health stipends by 5.5%. Please note these updated numbers when completing your clergy compensation form at Charge Conference.
    • The new Health Stipends for 2020 are:
      • Single: $11,183
      • Clergy Plus One Dependent: $14,538
      • Family:  $17,893

District Admin Brunch - 2019

Come and join your fellow church administrative professionals at our Annual District Admin Brunch. This brunch is open to all who work in the church in an administrative position, whether paid or volunteer. This is a FREE event. So come and meet fellow church administrators as we love, learn and lead together.

The event will be on Wednesday, September 18, 2019 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Southside UMC, 3120 Hendricks Avenue, Jacksonville.

Our speaker will be Beverly Patrick, Palm Coast UMC & former President & CEO of an international insurance services company. She will be speaking on the following topic: ""How You Are Perceived Is Who You Are."

Registration is now live! CLERGY - please encourage your church admin to attend.


Lay Servant Training

 Called to Preach Lay Servant Class at CrossRoad UMC, Jacksonville.

September 9, 2019, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
September 16, 2019, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
September 23, 2019, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
September 30 , 2019, 6:30-8:30 p.m

Register here!


Fall Lay Servant Training at Wesconnett UMC, Jacksonville.

Classes will run on Saturday, October 12, 2019 (9 a.m. - 5 p.m. - check-in begins at 8:30 a.m.) and Sunday, October 13, 2019 (3 - 5:30 p.m.) with lunch on Saturday and snacks provided.

We are offering the following classes:

  • Basic Lay Servant Class 
  • Aging and Ministry in the 21st Century 
  • Lay Servants Lead in Conflict Resolution  
  • Leading Missional Small Groups 

Register here! Be sure to register early since all classes have a cap on the number of registrants per class (15 per class.) 

District Youth Leader's Meeting

The North East District will have its next District Youth Meeting back at CrossRoad UMC (10005 Gate Parkway N, Jax FL 32246) on Thursday, August 22 at 10:30 a.m. It'll be awesome to reconnect and swap stories about our summers, and then get our feet wet in the waters of Fall District Retreat planning! Following our meeting we will head over to Town Center for some lunch together. If you have any questions about the meeting, please contact your District Youth Coordinator, Corey Markle

Free Items

The following items are looking for a new church home:


 There are 20 red hymnals, in very good condition (1989 edition). The attendance books are brand new. The pulpit is currently located at Ortega UMC. If you are interested in either of these items, please email Pam -


For more information about the training, please click here

Fall Conference Events

The Bishop’s Clergy Day Apart originally scheduled for Tuesday, September 17, has been rescheduled for Tuesday, December 10. All clergy from Florida are invited to attend the December 10 event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Lakeland. The focus will be on “God is With Us” and spiritual preparation during the season of Advent.

The Conference Table is scheduled for Saturday, October 26, at the Portico in Tampa. The morning portion of the Conference Table meeting (10 a.m. to noon) will be open to all clergy and laity in Florida to come and hear a presentation from Bishop Carter on “Growing the Center.” The presentation will be followed by table discussion. To register for this event please click here.

August 2019
August 20, 2019 - Fresh Expressions Brown Bag Trainings
August 19, 2019 - Called to Preach Class in Crescent City, 4-6:30 p.m.
August 22, 2019 - Called to Preach Class in Middleburg, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
August 26, 2019 - Called to Preach Class in Crescent City, 4-6:30 p.m.
August 27, 2019 - Fresh Expressions Brown Bag Trainings

September 2019
September 9, 2019 - Called to Preach Class in Jacksonville, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
September 14, 2019 - District UMW Mission Study, 9 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. @ Palm Coast UMC
September 16, 2019 - Called to Preach Class in Jacksonville, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
September 18, 2019 – District Admin Brunch, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m./Southside UMC
September 23, 2019 - Called to Preach Class in Jacksonville, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
September 30, 2019 - Called to Preach Class in Jacksonville, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

October 2019
October 1, 2019 – Clergy Compensation Forms Due to District Office
October 2, 2019 - Servant Keeper Webinar, 12 p.m.
October 9, 2019 – District Clergy/Ministry Team Meeting @ Fleming Island UMC. 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
October 12-13, 2019 - Fall Lay Servant Training @ Wesconnett UMC.
October 26, 2019 – Super-Charged Conference, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. @ CrossRoad UMC
October 28, 2019 – Church Dashboard Update Day

November 2019

November 12, 2019 – Finance/Trustees Training @ San Marco UMC
November 13, 2019 – Finance/Trustees Training @ Emmanuel UMC, Palatka

December 2019
December 10, 2019 – SPRC Training @ Garden City UMC

December 11, 2019 - Recerts/Certs/LP - Please contact Elizabeth Flynn for more information -
December 12, 2019 – SPRC Training @ First UMC, Bunnell

February 8, 2020 – Equip 2020 Leadership Event @ Beach UMC
October 17, 2020 – 2020 Super-Charged Conference @ CrossRoad UMC