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ECD June 2022 Newsletter

Greetings from the District Superintendent

Charles Plumb was a U.S. Navy pilot serving in Viet Nam. After seventy-five combat missions, one day his plane was destroyed by a surface-to-air missile. Plumb ejected from the plane, parachuted into enemy hands, was captured and spent six years in a North Vietnamese prison. Later he gave lectures on lessons that he learned from that experience.

One day when Plumb and his wife were having dinner in a restaurant, a man came up to him and said, “You’re Charles Plumb! You flew jet fighters from the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk in Viet Nam, and you were shot down.”

“How in the world do you know that?” asked Plumb. "I packed your parachute,” the man replied.

Plumb responded with surprise and gratitude.

“I guess it worked,” the man said as he shook Plumb’s hand.

“It did indeed,” was Plumb’s reply. “And I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for you.”

Plumb said later that he wasn’t able to sleep that night, thinking about that man. “I kept wondering,” he said, “what he had looked like in a Navy uniform. I wondered how many times I might have seen him and never even said, ‘Good morning’ or ‘How are you?’ or anything else.  You see, I was a fighter pilot and he was just a sailor.” 

Plumb thought of how many hours that sailor would have spent at a long wooden table in the bowels of the ship, carefully weaving the shrouds and folding the silk of each chute, holding in his hands the fate of those whom he didn’t even know. 

At end of his lectures Plumb began to ask his audience, “Who packs your parachute?”

All of us have someone – or more than one someone – to help provide what we need to make it through the day. Sometimes, in the midst of the daily challenges that life brings our way we miss the things that are really important. We fail to say a simple “hello,” much less a “thank you” or a “congratulations” or pay a complement or do something nice for no particular reason. 

It’s probably a good thing for all of us to think about who are the people in our lives who pack our parachutes – and then to let them know how grateful we are.

Grace and Peace, 


Bob Bushong
District Superintendent
East Central District

East Central District 
Florida Conference of the UMC

PO Box 4064
Enterprise, FL  32725

Claudia Sava, ECD Administrative Assistant is available Mon-Fri 8:30am - 4:30pm by phone 321-295-8801 or email


Almighty God,
our prayers rise like incense.
When we cry out to you,
the Psalms teach us,
you answer.

The massacres of the innocent,
in Buffalo, in Laguna Woods,
in Uvalde are known to you.

Our schools, our churches,
our supermarkets are pierced
by violence, racism and hatred.

We sit now in the darkness
of yet another grief, and
we cannot be complacent.

We are our sister’s keepers,
our brother’s keepers.

We pray for those who have lost so much.
We pray for those motivated by a culture of death.
We pray for the anger that we harbor within ourselves.

And, as we pray,
We know that we can and must act.

We name those
who have been murdered.

We seek the development of sane gun laws, and
we honor governmental leaders
with the courage to enact them.

And we commit ourselves to the way
of Jesus Christ, who is our peace,
and who has broken down the dividing wall
of hostility that is between us.

He is our judge and our hope.

Come, Lord Jesus.
May our swords become plowshares,
may our killing fields blossom into a garden.

Guide our feet into the way of peace.


+ Bishop Ken Carter
May 24, 2022

Conversations on Race

Join us for a monthly half-hour conversation with various speakers and share your thoughts about anti-racism efforts in our Conference. Hosted by The Beloved Community. CLICK HERE for more information.

Webinar Schedule (All sessions begin at 12 noon)

  • June 1: What is MLK’s “Beloved Community?” I
  • July 6: What is MLK’s “Beloved Community?” II
  • August 3: The History of Race in Florida I
  • September 7: The History of Race in Florida II
  • October 5: How to Implement Anti-Racism Ministries I
  • November 2: How to Implement Anti-Racism Ministries II
  • December 7: Celebrating Anti-Racism Ministries in the Florida Conference

Annual Assessment of Clergy Leadership was Due May 31

If this has not been submitted, please email Claudia Sava and let her know when she can expect it. The online form has the ability to be submitted when it is not complete. The form should not get submitted until BOTH the clergy and SPRC chairperson have completed the form.

Be sure to read the Welcome Letter from Rev. Sara McKinley and watch the instructional video. All evaluation tools can be found at:  FLUMC - Annual Assessment of Clergy Leadership

Note: This is required for every clergy appointed to the local church. Even if you have a new appointment, the pastor and SPRC are expected to complete it. This exercise will be helpful for the church and pastor as they transition.

This process is fully electronic. Do not send a hard copy of the evaluation to the district office.

Annual Conference 2022 - Get ready to see one another!
June 9 - 11

Click HERE for the AC2022 webpage. Annual Conference is free and open to all. However, only clergy and lay members to annual conference who are present may vote. 

Pre-Conference Orientation Webinar on Thursday, June 2 at 6:00pm. There is no registration. Click HERE to attend.

Click HERE to watch the livestream events. There is no voting from the livestream.
Click HERE to register to usher. We NEED YOU!!

Pre-Conference Workshops are open to all, not just voting members. (Registration for Refresh Church and Building Antiracist Churches has closed.) Workshops are limited to the first 300 registrants. Click here for more details and to register today!

  • Clergy Care | Tuesday, June 7, 11 a.m. Noon: Caring for Your Pastor (if you're on SPRC) or Yourself (if you're the pastor) When it Feels Like the World is Falling Apart

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.

Fresh Expressions Florida has a New Website!

We have just launched the new Fresh Expressions Florida website!

Our team has been redesigning and reformatting our website so that it is updated with information and resources to help you turn your passion for the unchurched into thriving communities that are inclusive, accessible, transformative, and connectional.

You will be able to jump onto our website to read about the history of Fresh Expressions in Florida, learn the theology behind the movement, and how it works in practice. You will also find that there are Cultivators of Fresh Expressions in every district of The Florida United Methodist Conference who have the tools and training to help you reach those outside the doors of your church.

The site also has a blog that features the stories and learnings of Fresh Expressions adventurers in Florida and beyond, and there is a page to find events and trainings that we host or recommend.

In the future, we will host live webinars and even maybe a podcast on our website. So go check it out!

United Women of Faith

Florida Conference Mission u 2022 will be in person at Warren Willis Camp this July! Click HERE for the flyer. Click HERE for the April Trumpet Sound. 

Visit the ECD United Women of Faith webpage at Florida East Central District United Methodist Women ( If you have questions about United Women in Faith, please email Anne Winn or the leadership team If you are interested in receiving the latest event updates in the East Central District, please sign up at

Warren Willis Camp

Check out Warren Willis camp opportunities!

Summer Staff
- Summer Leadership Team is a group of young people who dedicate eight weeks of their summer to serving Christ and the young people of Florida.
Summer Camp - June - July
Creative Spirit Camp - July 4-9
Confirmation Retreats - October 7-9
Work Camping - October - April
Plan your own church retreat - Who doesn't love Warren Willis Camp? Why not plan your own retreat?

ECD Fall Clergy Meeting 
October 20
Asbury UMC, Maitland

All full-time clergy serving in the local church are expected to attend. All clergy beyond the local church are welcome to attend. Save the date, details and registration will open in the next few months.


Ukraine UMC has created a crisis committee, to oversee all the foreign support that is coming in through the Advance #14053A “Eurasia In Mission Together - Ukraine and Moldova”.
The money channeled through this Advance will arrive on the Ukraine UMC church account and decisions on how this would be used, will be taken by this crisis committee that includes some pastors (including the previous DS) as well as lay leaders. Weekly reports will be made to Ullas Tankler who is the Global Ministries representative for Europe, Eurasia and North Africa. This gives us confidence to work through the Advance directly with Ukraine.
TO HELP UKRAINIAN REFUGEES OUTSIDE OF UKRAINE going to neighboring countries such as Poland, Slovakia, Romania or Hungary, contributions to UMCOR will assist in this endeavor. Use Advance #982540 on the site if giving online.

By Phone:  Credit card gifts can be accepted by phone. Call toll free: 888-252-6174 to make your gift.
Again, designate your gift for one of the Advance mentioned numbers.
By Mail:  On the check or supplement letter give the following information on accompanying letter:

The Advance number;
Make your check payable to ADVANCE GCFA.
Send your check to:
Advance GCFA
P.O. Box 9068
New York, NY 10087-9068

Resources Worth Sharing

Prepare for fall outreach with free resources

Fall is the perfect time to invite people back to church and celebrate back-to-school time with customized banners, yard signs, sandwich board signs, postcards, invitation cards and more. Use coupon code UMCFA22 for $300 worth of free resources!

UMC Bishops agree to call regular sessions of jurisdictional conferences in 2022

In response to Judicial Council decision 1445, the Council of Bishops (COB) has formally set the dates for regular sessions of the Jurisdictional Conferences of The United Methodist Church (UMC) to be convened November 2-5, 2022. Click HERE to read the article.

Missional Vital Signs Reporting Changes

Thank you for taking the time to update your MVS reporters in the church dashboard. We had many new MVS reporter emails added which is helpful in keeping you all up-to-date with communications of any changes.

The new MVS site is now live (click here). You are NOW able to submit March 2022 data through the church dashboard. There is the option of reporting weekly or monthly. Also, you have the ability to input missing data from the last two years without having to go through the district office. 

If your church receives funding (equitable compensation) that is contingent on turning in your data by the 10th of the month, know that you have grace. We sent an email with that explanation to those churches.

Please notice the changes. There are fewer data points requested and some of the definitions have been expanded. This would be helpful to share with your leadership. Your church should continue to gather whatever is expected for the Year End Report as well as other important data for your church.

Please click here for a helpful video overview and guide sheet of the New MVS Weekly Reporting site.

Explanation of MVS’s
MVS data gathering sheet (PDF)
MVS Weekly Reporting Video
MVS Weekly Reporting Guide Sheet (PDF)

MVS Team 
(Steve Loher and Janet Earls) 

2022 Holiday Schedule for The Florida Annual Conference

The conference and district offices will be closed the following days.

June 19 (Observed June 20) Juneteenth Independence Day
July 4 Independence Day
September 5 Labor Day
November 11 Veteran's Day
November 24 Thanksgiving Day
November 25 Day After Thanksgiving
December 24 (Observed December 23) Christmas Eve
December 25 (Observed December 26) Christmas