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December 2019 District Newsletter

Dear North East District Family,

Merry Christmas! I don’t think it’s much of a secret that I truly adore Christmas. I have an app on my phone that gives me a daily countdown all year long. Christmas songs are playing in my car often before Halloween. I love it particularly because of its meaning that Jesus loves us so much that He came to walk beside us, die for us, and rise victoriously. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, as the song goes.

That said, it can also be a stressful time of the year. There’s more to get done and our calendars get filled up more than usual. Financial stress can be a very significant reality. Families, which can be challenging for anyone, can get harder to navigate this time of year. Let’s be honest: that goes for church families, too.

Conflict is normal, but it doesn’t have to be relationship ending. Jesus gave us a guide for dealing with it in Matthew 18:15-17. In Matthew 18:15, Jesus gives us the first step, “If your brother or sister sins against you, go and correct them when you are alone together. If they listen to you, then you’ve won over your brother or sister.” I’m not sure He could be clearer. If someone wrongs you, you must go and talk to them about it. You don’t gossip about them to others. You don’t complain about them to anyone who will listen. You go directly to them, and no one else, and talk about what is bothering you.

In Matthew 18:16, Jesus said there’s a second step if the first one doesn’t work. He said, “But if they won’t listen, take with you one or two others so that every word may be established by the mouth of two or three witnesses.” In other words, if the one-on-one conversation doesn’t resolve the issue, take a trusted friend that has influence in both of your lives. Let that person be a part of the process and see if a resolution can be found.

Lastly, Jesus even said if that doesn’t work, there’s a third step. He said in Matthew 18:17, “But if they still won’t pay attention, report it to the church. If they won’t pay attention even to the church, treat them as you would a Gentile and tax collector.” Here’s what that doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean you should then post a social media statement sharing what the person did so that the whole church will know about it. That’s gossiping and could even possibly be slander and libel. In most cases, it means you take the dispute to the pastor and see if she/he can help end the dispute. Jesus then says if you can’t resolve it, you can love that person from afar and not have to be in direct relationship with one another.

At no time does Jesus say we should get angry. He doesn’t say we should talk about people behind their backs. He doesn’t say we should be passive aggressive on social media. Before the Apostle Paul lists the fruit of the Holy Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23, he writes about what the fruit of selfishness looks like. In Galatians 5:19-21, he wrote,

The actions that are produced by selfish motives are obvious, since they include sexual immorality, moral corruption, doing whatever feels good, idolatry, drug use and casting spells, hate, fighting, obsession, losing your temper, competitive opposition, conflict, selfishness, group rivalry, jealousy, drunkenness, partying, and other things like that. I warn you as I have already warned you, that those who do these kinds of things won’t inherit God’s kingdom.

Even if we’re angry and mad at someone who has hurt us, Paul says we should do our best to ask the Holy Spirit to help us display the fruit of the Spirit which are, “…love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”

At this time of year where we spend significant amounts of time with family and friends, I pray you remember the teachings of Jesus and Paul. I’m by no means perfect at it, but they’ve kept me in good stead for many years. I pray they will do the same thing for you.

Merry Christmas! I pray 2020 is a year full of God’s blessings for all of you!

All God’s love,



We have 607 people registered for our Equip 2020 Leadership Event: Unstuck. Just a reminder that the deadline to register is December 19, 2019. This is mandatory for all clergy. The registration information is below.

For those who have reserved seats with a "TBD", please email me your list of names by January 15, 2020. We also require any outstanding payment on January 15 as well.

Join the North East District for our 2020 Training Event entitled EQUIP 2020 – Unstuck on Saturday, February 29, 2020, 10:00 AM to 3:30 PM at Beach UMC, Jacksonville Beach

During this training event, we will have Tony Morgan from The Unstuck Group as our speaker. Tony will be speaking on the following topics:

  • Interruption & Assessment: Interruptions challenge us to pause and assess what’s happening, then build a plan to respond. Without interruption, every church has the potential to go through a very similar life cycle. In this session, Tony Morgan shares the seven phases of the typical church life cycle and helps you learn how to discover if your church is really stuck.
  • Planning & Action: Where do churches most often get stuck? In this session, Tony digs deeper into two phases of the life cycle where churches tend to get stuck and offers practical frameworks and discussion around clarifying mission, vision and strategy, building a structure that reflects your strategy, and reducing complexity. You'll walk away with a clearer understanding of the next step God has for your church. 

This event is mandatory for all appointed clergy in the NE District. But church leaders, please do not let your pastor come to this event alone. This event is best attended as a team from your church. We encourage all of your leadership team to attend with the pastor. 

Registration is now open! Click here to register! You can register as an individual or as a group. Cost is $10 per person to attend. Registration is limited to 750 participants. No walk-ins or onsite registration. You must register in advance due to space constraints. We hope to see you there!


The District Office has ordered copies of the book - The Unstuck Church by Tony Morgan. This is the same book that your church Lay Leader received a copy of at Super-Charged Conference. You can purchase the book and either pick up at the office or reserve your copy to be picked up at the Leadership Event in 2020. Cost is $12.50 per book.

Order Now!

We are offering two locations for Lay Servant Ministry Advanced Classes entitled "Called to Preach." This class is designed for those who have not completed a formal preaching training, for pastors seeking a basic refresher course, and for others who are called upon to preach in a pastor's absence.

Jacksonville Classes on January 6, 13, 27 & February 3 - CLICK HERE TO REGISTER! We only have one slot left for this class. 

Fernandina Beach Classes on January 16, 23, 30 & February 6 - CLICK HERE TO REGISTER! 

Apportionments and Year End Payments

Apportionment payments for 2019 must be received in the lock-box at Regions Bank or paid online by Friday, January 10, 2020. This is not a postmarked by date but is the last day by which monies must be received in the Conference or our bank lock-box to be included in 2019 apportionments receipts. Any payments received after that date will be applied to 2020 apportionments. Any payments received between January 1 and January 10 must be clearly marked as to which year they are to be applied. All apportionment payments should be accompanied by a completed Remittance Report.

Click here to access the Remittance Report on the Conference website. Or go to the website at:

  • Click “Financial Services” tab on the homepage
  • Click on “2019 Apportionment Giving Report Forms”
  • Select one of the two versions of the Giving Report listed at the bottom of the page

Complete the Remittance Form with the following information:

  • Church Name
  • GCFA Number
  • Preparer contact information
  • Allocation amounts for each fund

To pay online, click here.

Any amounts due for Ministry Protection and Health and Benefits at the end of the year will continue to show as outstanding on your statement in 2020. To ensure proper processing of these payments and avoid errors, payments should contain the following information on the check, check stub or statement:

  • Church Name
  • GCFA Number
  • Invoice Number (include all letters and any 0’s)
  • Allocation amounts for each invoice

When mailing payments to Regions take note of the billing address for each of these types of payments. The last 4 numbers after the zip code are different for each, and it is very important to include to ensure your payment is processed properly.

To be considered a 100% connectional church in the Florida Annual Conference Journal, 100% of 2019 apportionments must be received by January 10, 2020, and all outstanding Ministry Protection and Health and Benefits obligations must be received by December 31, 2019.

Child Youth Policy Training 

The Florida Conference published an updated version of the Child and Youth Protection Policy in 2019. Since then, we have received numerous calls and emails about the policy changes. Just a reminder that you MUST do a training on this policy with your church each year. This training can serve as your local church training. 

The new policy has many changes in it that affect all the churches in the conference. Rev. Carrie Yoder, Memorial UMC, Fernandina Beach and Corey Markle, CrossRoad UMC, Jacksonville, will lead a training for church leaders on the policy overall as well as offer feedback for questions and concerns.

Those who should attend are:

  • Pastor(s)
  • Youth Leader(s)
  • Children's Ministry Leader(s)
  • Anyone involved in leadership role of VBS
  • Anyone involved in leadership role that has direct contact with children and youth

Because of the complexity of this policy, we are offering four different training opportunities within the District:

This training is FREE to attend, but please register online so we can prepare enough materials and ensure each space is set up appropriately. 


Save the Dates - Enneagram Lunch & Learn in 2020

 Registration will open in early 2020.

2020 Lay Leader Training

The District Superintendent will conduct training sessions for Lay Leaders February 4. 2020 @ St Paul UMC, 8264 Lone Star Road, Jacksonville & February 6, 2020 @ Shores UMC, 724 Shores Blvd, St. Augustine from 7-9 p.m. Both training sessions will take place in the sanctuary.

All local church lay leaders and clergy are welcome to attend. This training is free to attend, but please register so we can plan for you. Register here!

SPRC Training Follow Up

If you missed the SPRC Training sessions last week, you can find the all of the handouts on our District Page. Scroll down until you reach the section entitled SPRC.

Reminder- District Office Closed

Just a reminder that the District Office will be closed from December 23, 2019 through and including January 3, 2020 for the Christmas/New Year's Holiday and vacations. We will respond to all emails and voicemails on Monday, January 6, 2020. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


January 2020

February 2020

March 2020

  • March 5, 2020 - Enneagram Insights: Lunch & Learn, 11:30-1:30 @ River of Life UMC, Jacksonville 
  • March 26, 2020 - Enneagram Insights: Lunch & Learn, 11:30-1:30 @ River of Life UMC, Jacksonville 

April 2020

May  2020

  • May 15, 2020 - UMM Methodist Family Night at the Jumbo Shrimp Game

August 2020

  • August 22, 2020 – Igniting Men Conference @ Mandarin UMC

September 2020

  • September 16, 2020 - District Admin Brunch, 9:30-12:30 @ Southside UMC
  • September 19-20, 2020 - Fall Lay Servant Training @ First UMC, Green Cove Springs

October 2020

  • October 17, 2020 – 2020 Super-Charged Conference @ CrossRoad UMC
  • October 28, 2019 – Church Dashboard Update Day