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ECD May 2022 Newsletter

Greetings from the District Superintendent

                                                          Prayer for a Time of Brokenness

Gracious and loving God, we confess that we are where we are today as painful evidence of times when your beloved children don’t see eye to eye on important matters related to the work of your Kingdom.

We are here because our efforts at keeping “the unity of the Spirit and the bond of peace” have become frayed and broken, and our differing perspectives have led to sharp disagreement and hard feelings.

Stir in us in these moments a palpable reminder of our common bond as those who know as real in our lives the depth of your love and the movement of your Spirit.

May we as friends, even sisters and brothers, who see the issues before us so differently, nonetheless honor one another as those who genuinely seek to be faithful servants of Jesus Christ.

Remind us that how we handle conflicts within the body of Christ often serves as an even more powerful witness to the world around us than do the issues themselves.

Give us ears and hearts that listen with humility through the leading of your Spirit, to temper mouths and minds that often speak brazenly out of our own certitude.

Bring us to a softening of the struggle in which we have become embroiled, and ultimately to a healing of our collective brokenness that can only come from you.


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


Bishop Carter Announces Full-Time Appointment Changes

Bishop Kenneth Carter and the appointive cabinet of The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church, in consultation with the clergy and authorized lay leaders of the local churches, announce the following projected appointment changes, to take effect July 1, 2022. This act of ministry is in fulfillment of paragraphs 425-429 of the 2016 Book of Discipline. For a reflection on the core values employed in the process of clergy appointments to churches, Click HERE. Click HERE for the complete list of Full-Time appointments.

Let us lift these clergy, their families and the local churches in prayer, in the hope that we will more fully participate in our mission— “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world” (Book of Discipline, ¶ 120)

July Appointments in the East Central District

Azalea Park UMC/Faith UMC, Orlando - Matt Findley
Bear Lake UMC, Apopka - Wade Eshelman
Edge Memorial UMC, Groveland - Linda Johnson
First UMC, Auburndale - CJ Hill
Osteen UMC - Ben Collins
Solid Rock UMC, Orlando - Theo Jackson

EC Clergy receiving appointments out of the East Central District

Clark McClain - First UMC, Brooksville
Jeff Taylor - Faith UMC, Hudson
Sarah Wise - Grace UMC, Venice Associate

Jim Mitchell
Cruz Edwin Santos
Walker Walker

Right Start for all Moving and First Time Clergy is May 26 over Zoom. Click HERE for Right Start details.
New Pastor Orientation Luncheon | Thursday, July 21 | 10:30am - 12:30pm | College Park UMC | Click HERE to register.

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)

  • May 4: How to talk to People about Race II (Including laity, clergy, family, children, and people we disagree with)
  • 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

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Webinar

Clergy and employees of not-for-profit organizations engaged in faith-based work may now qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. However, time is of the essence. More favorable temporary rules expire October 31.

Wespath is hosting a webinar that will provide more information about who qualifies, the application process, upcoming deadline and where to find practical guidance on next steps. The webinar will be offered twice.

Click on the date below that you would like to attend and register today!

Monday, May 9 3:00pm EDT

Wednesday, May 11 1:30pm EDT

Learn more at

District Gatherings on The Continuing United Methodist Church

These gatherings are meant to provide information to laity and clergy about what is happening in the larger United Methodist Church and to assist you as leaders in guiding your congregations during this time.

This is the perfect time for your church leadership to come and learn information about what is before us: postponement of the General Conference until 2024 which means no changes to the Book of Discipline, the launch of the Global Methodist Church (and the process for disaffiliation for those who choose to exit), a vision for the a vision for the Continuing United Methodist Church, and the ways to thoughtfully discern next steps in leadership and witness with patience and grace during this season.

Dr. Bob Bushong has held three gatherings. He has two more scheduled. Everyone is invited. There is no registration. 

Sunday, May 22 11:45 am Monday, May 23 7:00 pm
First UMC
600 S Grove St
Eustis, FL  32726
Trinity UMC
306 W Wisconsin Ave
DeLand, FL  32720

Please share this information with your congregations and invite your members to attend with you.  You may also want to share this video link from Bishop Carter - Living in Connection in a Season of Waiting. If you missed the Laity Webinar on March 20, you may watch it here - Laity WebinarClick HERE for the Q&As from the Laity Webinar.
The Conference Board of Laity has a webpage -  On this page you'll find weekly updates from our Conference laity along with podcasts and other resources and information.  

Church Debt and What to Do About It!
May 24 7:30pm

Discipleship Ministries is holding a free webinar on Tuesday, May 24 at 7:30pm EST. Presenters are Ken Sloane and Joe Park. Nineteenth century preacher Henry Ward Beecher said, “A church debt is the devil’s salary”, which probably seems a little extreme today. Many of our churches would not be in the buildings we are without some debt. We do know that money that is spent to retire debt (or in some cases, to simply pay the interest on debt) is money that could be used to expand mission and ministry. On this day that remembers John Wesley’s experience of having his “heart strangely warmed” on Aldersgate Street, join Ken Sloane and his guest Joe Park of Horizons Stewardship as they discuss church debt and what to do about it.

Annual Assessment of Clergy Leadership
Due May 31

There is ONE online form that the clergy and SPRC chair both complete online and submit online!! Be sure to read the letter from Rev. Sara McKinley and to watch the video on the link below.

The clergy assessment process is available on the FLUMC website under Clergy Excellence. Appointed Clergy and the Staff/Pastor Parish Relations Committee should meet annually to complete this process. Continuing Education is completed in conjunction with the Annual Assessment above. 

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 and you do not have to print and 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. The webpage will be updated as information is available. Annual Conference is free and open to all. However, only clergy and lay members to annual conference who are present may vote. All the information below is on the webpage and more!

Youth Information is online! Registration and payment is due by May 25. Registering as a Youth does NOT make you a voting lay member to annual conference. All youth are welcome to attend as Observers. If youth want to vote, they also need to submit their names to be considered as a District at-large Lay Member to Annual Conference. Click HERE to submit your name.

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

Pre-Conference Workshops are open to all, not just voting members - We invite you to join us for these virtual pre-conference workshops: 

  • Refresh Church | Tuesday, June 7, 9 – 10 a.m.: In this post-Christendom, post-pandemic season, are you ready to REFRESH your church? We will discuss strategies of being relevant, adaptive, and resilient, refocusing the church vision for what we are called to do. There is no easy fix for refreshing our churches. If you are willing to be introspective, prayerful, and open to new possibilities, please register.
  • Clergy Care | Tuesday, June 7, 11 a.m. Noon: Resources for clergy well-being.
  • Building Anti-Racist Churches Tuesday, June 7, 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.: In the United Methodist Church, our baptismal vow calls us to “resist evil, injustice and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves.”  The sin of racism is one of these evils and injustices. Dismantling racism is part of our discipleship. We invite you to pray about how God is calling you and your church to be engaged in dismantling racism, not for a moment, but for a lifetime. This workshop will give an overview of the basics of anti-racism, give practical steps churches can take to become anti-racist, and provide real examples of churches that are engaged in the work of anti-racism.

Workshops are limited to the first 300 registrants. Click here for more details and to register today!

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.

Youth Ministry Institute

Youth Ministry Institute is a partner with the FLUMC and its ministries to and with young people. YMI's primary purpose is strengthening the Church by guiding leaders in children's and youth ministry towards excellence. They offer certification, coaching, and hiring services {assisting churches with finding the best fit for their open children's/youth positions}, but they also have a great deal of free content!  

On their website you'll find links to blog articles and podcast episodes that may be helpful to youth and children's ministers. They have free content about helping teens keep their faith after high school, isolation and loneliness in teens, and so much more. 

If you have questions, please contact Maresi Brown and she will connect you with someone who may assist you.

United Men's Ministry (United Methodist Men)

Nashville, TN - April 4th, 2022 - The General Commission on United Methodist Men (GCUMM) is introducing a “modern way” of doing men’s ministry. Greg Arnold, General Secretary & CEO, said we are approaching men’s and scouting ministry with a much larger and more modern vision. The Commission has re-imaged how men’s and scouting ministry can be effectively offered, packaged, and distributed to the church and world around us.

Launching a new program and brand, “United Men’s Ministry”, along with several innovative products is quite an ambitious undertaking during a time of uncertainty within the UMC. “Our vision is to offer a credible resource which meets men and youth where they are. Discipleship has been the focus of the church for 2000 years and cannot take a back seat to the current administrative discussions of the church.”

Arnold says, “The older chartering model has been showing a steady decline over the past several years and placing its effectiveness in question. We’ll continue to offer the chartering model of service according to our book of discipline mandate, however, we’re adding these
new and exciting ways to serve the men, youth, and families of the church.”

UNITED Men’s Ministry is an innovative online resource providing an easy-to-follow package of resources including leader coaching, online learning, support, topical studies, connection, and more. Each subscribed church will receive a “kick off kit” packed with items when signing up for UNITED Men’s Ministry. The goal is to help churches launch, grow, and sustain effective men’s ministry.”

The UNITED Men’s Ministry product is designed to help any local church easily provide a consistent men’s ministry. The model is wrapped around a process rather than dependent upon a program. UNITED is layered with the framework of a well developed discipleship
pathway, small group support resources, and leader’s materials. All of which are deeply rooted in the Wesleyan tradition and presented in a fresh approach.

Every church leader who feels their men's ministry effort could use a restart, and upgrade, or a boost is encouraged to visit: to get in on the launch, happening May 1st, 2022. Simply register on the website for the launch event and join the movement.

1000 17th Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37212
Ph: (615) 620-7266

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

Need a great mission project for use with any 2022 VBS curriculum?

Check out Zoe Empowers International Dream Hunters!

Zoe Empowers is a leading UMC mission for empowering orphans and vulnerable children to move themselves out of poverty and never need charity again!

Download this free, kid-friendly, interactive, add-on mission component for use with ANY VBS curriculum!  The curriculum includes a leader’s guide, fun daily skits, on-site videos in 4 countries, and ideas for crafts and games. Take a look and discover why Zoe Empowers recently won the 2021.ORG Impact Award for Ending Hunger and Poverty!

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, registration will open in the next few months.

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?


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

Free Printable Scripture Wall Art:

Podcasts: Those suggested are available wherever you get your podcasts (Spotify/Itunes). Just so you know, some are UMC and some are not. We can certainly learn from others while keeping our UMC Wesleyan theology. Look at the podcast’s list of episodes for topics that hit home for you. Listen. Then, check out some of their other episodes. 

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) 

Rev. Brian Carr Joins the Leadership Team at the Children's Home

We are excited to announce that Rev. Brian Carr will be joining our Leadership Team as the new Director of Church Relations. Rev. Carr currently serves at the First United Methodist Church in Port St. Lucie. He has been an ardent supporter of the Children's Home in his capacity as a United Methodist minister and has generously served on our Board of Trustees. Rev. Carr will be resigning from his Board position to join us as of July 1st and retiring from the Florida United Methodist Conference as of June 30th. While on our Board he has been a part of the Church Relations subcommittee, a part of the strategic planning process, and also been active with our Development Committee.

Originally from Mullens, West Virginia, Rev. Carr grew up in a loving, faith-filled, often-laughing family. He received his B.A. degree from Marshall University in Spanish. "The best thing that happened in college was a personal encounter with Jesus Christ which left me forever altered," he says. He has served much of his life in the service of Christ: three years as a missionary in Mexico, four years as a Youth Director and is now in his twenty-fourth year of Ordained Ministry with the United Methodist Church after graduating from Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky.

After the huge privilege and blessing of serving on the Board of Trustees of the Children's Home where he got an inside view of the tremendous work done here in ever-challenging times, Rev. Carr said, "I'm delighted and honored to even be considered to serve with the beloved Florida United Methodist Children's Home."

Click HERE to visit the Florida United Methodist Children's Home website.

2022 Holiday Schedule for The Florida Annual Conference

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

May 30 Memorial Day
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