December Message from the District Superintendent
It is not about us. We think it is, but we would be wrong in thinking that way. It is about bringing those who have not found Jesus to Him.
Can you imagine living a life without knowing Jesus? I can't. He walks alongside me more than I even know. And I am grateful in having Him in my life even when I don't realize He is there. But then it makes me think - how do others who don't know Jesus make it through the day? Not well, I would imagine.
So what can we do? Well, we can remember what the district superintendent shared at Super-Charged Conference - "Who is the Client?" This means that all of us that know Jesus are not the client; those out in the mission field who don't know Jesus are the client.
Here are some things you can do when you are out in the mission field:
- Be always like Jesus where ever you go so that others may see Him in you.
- Invite those who are unchurched to a Fresh Expression - kayaking, motorcycle riding, beer & hymns. You never know when you will help to change someone's life by allowing them to know Jesus the way that you do.
- Remember it is not about you.
The district superintendent's message invites us to be intentional when we are out in the mission field during this holiday season. Take a few minutes to read this message and think about what you and your church can do to reach the unchurched and dechurched.
Leadership Event - Registration Now Open
Registration is now open for the District's 2018 Leadership Event. We will be holding the training in two different locations and on two different dates.
The January 20, 2018 training will be held at Keystone UMC in Keystone Heights. The January 27, 2018 training will be held at Beach Church UMC in Jacksonville Beach. We encourage you to attend the training that works best for your schedule and location.
Cost to attend the training is $10 per person. You must register in advance to attend. We will not allow walk-in registrations on the day of the event.
Please review the Event Guide which will walk you through all of the aspects of the event including breakout sessions. Many of the breakout sessions have limited class sizes so please register early to get the class that you want.
Update on District Office
In September, Hurricane Irma flooded the District Office and required us to pull up all of the carpets and perform mold mitigation. With prayerful consideration, we decided to make the decision to remodel the office. This will allow us to make the bathroom handicap accessible and also utilize the space wisely and more efficiently for our ministry.
The remodel work will start in a few weeks. We believe that we will be back in the office sometime in mid February and will be planning an open house at that point in time.
Until then, we are still working either at CrossRoad Church UMC or at our respective homes. Please continue to send mail to 1415 LaSalle St., Jacksonville, FL 32207. We will get what you send us. Our fax machine is not plugged in, so please do not attempt to fax anything. All phone calls are being forwarded to Pam's cell phone. So if you received a call from a restricted phone number, that is just Pam calling you back but also protecting her cell phone number in the process.
Don't forget to just shoot us an email if you need something. Email is the quickest way for us to respond to you. Pam can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and Jay can be reached at email@example.com.
We look forward to setting a date for our open house. We will keep you posted!
Super-Charged Conference Follow Up
We are still in the process of scanning all of the charge conference packets. As soon as they are all scanned and uploaded into our files, we will email each senior pastor and church with their copy. We will also email a copy of the minutes.
Just a gentle reminder that those of you who may not be at the minimum housing allowance -
The Clergy Housing Committee has set the standards for housing allowance throughout the North East District. Housing Allowances are assigned based on the location of the church (rural, urban, oceanfront.) Churches with existing housing allowances that are below minimum have until December 31, 2019 to raise theirs. Housing allowance minimums will be revisited annually by the team. Click here to see the current housing allowances.
Jacksonville Icemen Faith & Family Night
Join the District Superintendent as he drops the puck at the Jacksonville Icemen game Faith & Family Night game on Sunday, January 28, 2018 @ 3 p.m. We will also be able to get a group photo on the ice after the game. For more information and to order tickets, please download the event flyer.
Luncheon with Duval County UMC Pastors & Schools
If you are a clergy and serve a church in Duval County, please register to attend a Luncheon with Duval County Pastors & Schools. The luncheon will be held on January 18, 2018, 11:30 a.m. at Southside UMC.
Clergy, please invite one key stakeholder from your church to attend this luncheon with you. The focus will be on church/school partnership in Duval County and how you can enhance your school partnership.
In addition we will be discussing Parent Academy host sites. This is a mandatory event for all clergy in Duval County even if you already have a school partnership.
Clergy - Please register you and your key stakeholder to attend this event. There is no cost to attend this event. But it is limited to those clergy serving Duval County churches only.
Jobs in the District
- Children/Youth Director position. We are looking for a person who is passionate about teaching children and youth about the love of Christ. This is a full-time position at St. James UMC in Palatka. All inquiries should be sent to St. James UMC, 400 Reid St, Palatka FL 32177, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Lake Shore United Methodist Church, 2246 Blanding Blvd., Jacksonville Florida is seeking 3 part-time children’s workers who will provide a safe, secure and nurturing environment for children from infants to 5th grade. Individual will lead room activities and engage in the room’s worship and age appropriate Bible lesson. Working hours will be Sunday morning from 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM, Wednesday evening from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM and other times that a child care worker is required. Please send resume and references to Shantarra Sewell at email@example.com.
Church Safety Resources & Firearm Information
The Florida Conference has a long-standing commitment to safety, and considers the care of God’s people to be of utmost importance. In addition, the North East District is planning on scheduling safety and active shooter trainings early in the new year. We will keep you posted once those dates are confirmed.
As such, we want all of our churches to be prepared for any crisis situation that may arise on their campuses. Below are resources recommended by the Ministry Protection Department:
- The Department of Homeland Security’s website has a wealth of information, including facts sheets that can be downloaded and printed, and training videos.
- The Department of Homeland Security’s “Guide for Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Houses of Worship”
- Redacted Security Assessment Reports (SAR) performed on a pilot group of Florida Conference churches by a global security firm. The randomly selected pilot group included a cross-section of churches within the Conference, i.e. a large, urban church, a large, suburban church, a small urban church, etc.
The SARs include specific assessments related to all levels of security in our churches and a helpful checklist that would be beneficial to all churches. The SARs will be made available upon request from the Ministry Protection Department (firstname.lastname@example.org). You will be sent the SAR that most closely matches your church based on membership, average weekly attendance and square footage of your campus. Please provide this information when you make your request for an SAR.
While the Book of Discipline does not address the matter of guns in church, and the Conference does not mandate an official policy, the 2016 United Methodist Book of Resolutions Number 3428, paragraph 7 calls on congregations “to display signs that prohibit carrying guns onto church property.”
The following information relates to weapons and conduct as contained in Florida statutes:
- It is unlawful in Florida to carry a concealed weapon or electric weapon or device on one’s person without a license, except in one’s own home or place of business. F.S. 790.06 and F.S. 790.25(3)
- Provisions concerning guns in the workplace can be found in F.S. 790.251.
- Please consult with your church attorney regarding specific requirements contained in these laws and how they apply to your church.
District and Conference Happenings
Church & Pastor Profiles Due
Church Profile – reviewed and updated annually.
These forms are to be reviewed and updated annually by all church SPR Committees and all clergy in the Florida Conference. All church SPR Committees must update online annually and may begin on December 11, 2017. The Church Profile deadline requires it be completed online no later than one week prior to the pastor’s DS consultation if they are having one. The final date to update the Church Profile is January 31, 2018. Click here for the Church and Pastor Profiles start page.
Pastor Profile – reviewed and updated annually.
All pastors must update online annually and may begin on December 11, 2017. The Pastor Profile deadline requires it to be completed online no later than one week prior to the DS consultation. All clergy will be required to update all information this year with the transition to the Ezra platform. Though you may not anticipate a move, it is important that both the Pastor Profile and Church Profile be current and up to date at the first appointment-making session of the Cabinet. The reports should be an honest reflection of the pastoral ministry and the profile of the church. The final date to update the Pastor Profile is January 31, 2018. Click here for the Church and Pastor Profiles start page.
Apportionments and End of Year Payments
Apportionment payments for 2017 must be received in the lockbox at Regions Bank or paid online by Friday, January 12, 2018. This is not a postmarked by date, but is the last day by which monies must be received in the Conference or our bank lockbox to be included in 2017 apportionments receipts. Any payments received after that date will be applied to 2018 apportionments. Any payments received between January 1 and January 12 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 to pay online, click here.
Complete the Remittance Form with the following information:
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 2018. To ensure proper processing of these payments and avoid errors, payments should contain the following information on the check, check stub or statement:
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 2017 apportionments must be received by January 12, 2018, and all outstanding Ministry Protection and Health and Benefits obligations must be received by December 31, 2017.
December 11, 2017 - SPRC Training with the DS, 7-9 p.m. @ Riverside Park UMC. This training is free but you must register to attend.
December 13, 2017 - DCOM Meeting (Re-certifications) You need to be invited to attend this meeting by the DCOM registrar.
January 18, 2018 - Luncheon with Duval County UMC Pastors & Schools. 11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. @ Southside UMC.
January 20, 2018 - District Leadership Event - Location 1 @ Keystone UMC, Keystone Heights (Event Guide)
January 27, 2018 - District Leadership Event - Location 2 @ Beach Church, Jacksonville Beach (Event Guide)
January 28, 2018 - Faith & Family Weekend @ The Jacksonville Icemen Ice Hockey Game. The District Superintendent will drop the puck at the game. We will also be able to go onto the ice after the game for a group picture with everyone from the District in attendance. For more information and to order tickets, please download the event flyer.
February 10, 2018 - MissionInsite Training with Tom Bandy @ CrossRoad UMC, Jacksonville
February 22, 2018 - Duval County Principal & Pastor's Luncheon
March 1, 2018 – District Ministry Team Meeting, 11:30 – 3 @ Fleming Island UMC – Brown Bag Lunch. All clergy serving a local church are required to attend.
April 13-14, 2018 - District Lay Servant Ministry Training @ New Life Community UMC, Jacksonville
April 29, 2018 - Announcement Sunday
May 1 & 15, 2018 - Great Beginnings Training churches with a pastoral transition only, Location TBD
May 31, 2018 - Right Start for New & Moving Clergy, 10-4 @ First UMC, Lakeland
June 1, 2018 - Right Start for New Clergy (Sexual Ethics & HR), 9-4 @ First UMC, Lakeland
June 7-9, 2018 - Annual Conference, Florida Southern College, Lakeland
June 26, 2018 - Moving Day
September 12, 2018 - District Administrative Brunch, 9:30-12:30 @ Southside UMC.
September 14-15, 2018 - District Lay Servant Ministry Training @ Ortega UMC, Jacksonville
October 20, 2018 - Super-Charged Conference @ CrossRoad UMC, Jacksonville