It is August! Sometimes I think back to more normal times (way back in February) and long for the ease and calmness that was associated with those times. Before COVID-19 hit, we took so many of the normal things for granted: the ability to hug another person; visit another person; travel (anywhere in the world.) Since March we have had to isolate ourselves in our homes and just about "bubble wrap" ourselves when leaving the house.
I know I speak for many of you when I say, "I miss the simpler times before self-isolation and bubble wrap." I miss being able to congregate at church. I miss in-person meetings and training events. I miss all of you popping by the office just to say hello!
Because of COVID-19, we are more anxious than ever about in-person everything. Even going to the grocery store is an ordeal that requires a high level of skill just to avoid that ONE person not following the arrows and going down the aisle the wrong way. Friends, please follow the arrows and don't be that person! (That one was for you Phillip!)
This verse from the book of Matthew reminds me that now more than ever, we need to put God in the forefront of everything that we do.
Matthew 6:30-33 / But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
So while these are still anxious times, remember that God is with you. Seek Him first!
NE District Office
Virtual Pre-Annual Conference Orientation - Even though we are offering the North East orientation on August 17, you can attend any of the three sessions that are offered.
Atlantic Central + East Central + South East Districts: Tuesday, August 18, 7 pm
Gulf Central + South West Districts: Thursday, August 20, 6 pm
North Central + North East + North West: Monday, August 17, 6 pm
The following events will all be virtual on September 12.
Laity Session - 10:00 am - noon
Service of Commissioning - 1:00 pm
Service of Ordination - 3:00 pm
Installation of our two new District Superintendents - 4:30 pm
We are still working out all of the details but here are just a few highlights that we want to share with you:
- Forms go live on August 24. - https://www.flumc.org/calendarofreportsdue2020#August. Be sure to click on forms for NE District only.
- A fully completed and signed charge conference packet will be due to the District Office by October 31.
- Our ZOOM meeting is limited to 500 individual participants. Clergy will automatically be registered. Any laity that want to attend must register by October 31. ZOOM meeting links will be emailed to all registrants on November 2.
If you have short videos showing your ministry in action, youth activities, feeding the hungry, children’s ministry, etc., you can share them with the conference in our Now Playing feature on the home page at https://www.flumc.org.
Videos should be 4 minutes or less. You can share your video with us here: https://www.flumc.org/submitvideo.
You can also share your photos on our Photos from around the conference page https://www.flumc.org/photos.
Click HERE to submit your photos.
Do you have skills in the area of writing, photography, video, graphic design, or curation? We would love to activate those talents and connect you to our shared mission. We believe you can help us create and curate dynamic storytelling content for The Florida Conference.
As we think of new ways to streamline our communications, while at the same time increasing our storytelling capacity, we are convinced that there are talented people all over the Conference that might be willing to use their gifts to help tell the story of our movement.
There is so much good to be celebrated that is happening all over The Florida Conference and we want to make sure we are highlighting it well!
That is where you come in.
If you have the capacity to periodically write a story, curate some resources, shoot photos or video, or make a graphic, would you consider joining the On Mission Together Collective?
Oftentimes, we miss out on great stories of Courageous Leadership, Missional Engagement, and Spirit-Led Innovation because we don’t have a network of storytellers across the Conference set up to capture them. This group of leaders will help shape the stories that we tell in The Florida Conference and use their gifts to bless those who interact with this content.
If you would have any interest in serving in this way, take a moment to fill out our interest form so that we can begin bringing together leaders willing to make an impact through communication: OMT Collective Interest Form
Our goal is for this initiative to be a natural extension of the gifts you are already using and a match to the capacity you have to give.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cabinet and the Office of Clergy Excellence has agreed to postpone the deadline for annual clergy evaluations for non-moving clergy to September 30, 2020. The completed forms should be emailed to Pam Mullay - firstname.lastname@example.org.
The clergy assessment process is available on the FLUMC website under Clergy Excellence. If your church has a form that you already use, feel free to use that form.
NOTE: This is required for every clergy appointed to the local church. These evaluations are not required for extension ministers or deacons working beyond the local church setting. Deacons and Clergy serving in Extension Ministry have an annual report due December 31 each year. Click HERE to download the report.
After much deliberation, we have decided to cancel our Lay Servant Training Sessions in September. We need to love one another and be mindful of the social distancing currently being mandated in Florida. Below are some questions you may have:
What does this mean for you if you need to recertify this year?
- We will give you a one year reprieve on your recertification. For example, if you needed to recertify in 2020, you have until Charge Conference of 2021 to recertify.
- You can recertify online. BeADisciple.com has online course offerings. Check out their website - https://www.beadisciple.com/lay-servant-ministries/.
What if I registered for one of these classes and purchased the book already?
- Our plan is to offer the same classes with the same instructors in the same locations in 2021. We will wait to see how things are going with the current pandemic before we start scheduling these sessions. We will revisit the planning in early 2021.
- We are in the process of refunding you for the registration fee. This may take a few weeks. You will get an email once it is processed. As for your book, you can try to return it or just hold onto it for next year since we will be offering the same classes in 2021.
Do I need to complete my lay servant report for charge conference?
- Yes. This is an annual requirement. Please complete the report and submit to your church once the forms go live in August. Check back on our website after August 24.
You’re invited to the FX Studio!
Have you heard all about fresh expressions but don’t know where to start? Perhaps you have started some fresh expressions and are wondering what’s next? Or are you feeling stuck amid the pandemic? The Fresh Expressions Studio is for you…
Studio Gathering 1: Wednesday September 30, 2020 9am-12 by Zoom.
Studio Gathering 2: Saturday March 20, 2021 (location to be determined)
For more information about the gatherings and to register for these FREE events click below.
Please be sure to visit the Conference website for COVID-19 updates on worship, preschools, etc.
Save the date for our Virtual District Youth Retreat on Saturday, November 14, 2020. The retreat will begin at 10 a.m. and end no later than 4 p.m. We will have online registration for this FREE event.
Youth pastors/directors, please share this date with the youth in your church. We are hoping to have youth from each church in the district participate.
More information to come!