Greetings from the District Superintendent
It’s Holy Thursday morning as I write this. “Hmmm,” some will say. “Holy Thursday. That sounds Catholic to me. I’m used to hearing ‘Maundy Thursday’ in the United Methodist Church.”
Actually that person would be correct. I’ve come to prefer the adjective “holy” because for me it describes best this day that initiates the reenactment of the Passion of Jesus Christ that begins with Jesus’ Last Supper with his disciples, continues through his intense suffering, culminates with his death on the cross, and cannot be understood without the story of the Resurrection.
It’s a particularly holy time, these few days each spring. People of faith are remiss if we don’t choose some time between today and early Sunday morning to reflect on this amazing act of God, who chose to be born into the world as a human being named Jesus as God’s ultimate way to reach humanity with the power of God’s gracious eternal love.
I spent some extended time yesterday in the sanctuary of one of our churches reflecting on the powerful story that we are moving into today and some more time in my office this morning. Yesterday my mind and my heart wandered to specific people in my life for whom I am deeply grateful. This morning the internal wandering led directly to what we are asked to remember and celebrate together over these few days. During that time I felt drawn to a small children’s book written for a parent to read to his or her child. As I share the brief text of the book with you, I invite you to read it as if God were speaking the words to you. If you do that, I believe you will hear the real meaning of this holy time.
Written Nancy Tillman, the book is called Wherever You Are:
I wanted you more than you will ever know, so I sent love to follow you wherever you go. It’s high as you wish it. It’s quick as an elf. You’ll never outgrow it . . . it stretches itself!
So climb any mountain . . . climb up to the sky! My love will find you, My love can fly! Make a big splash! Go out on a limb! My love will find you. My love can swim!
It never gets lost, never fades, never ends . . . if you’re working . . . or playing . . .or sitting with friends. You can dance ‘till you’re dizzy . . . paint ‘til you’re blue . . . There’s no place, not one, that my love can’t find you.
And if someday you’re lonely, or someday you’re sad, or you strike out at baseball, or think you’ve been bad . . . just lift up your face, feel the wind in your hair. That’s me, my sweet baby, my love is right there.
In the green of the grass . . . in the smell of the sea . . . in the clouds floating by . . . at the top of a tree . . . in the sound crickets make at the end of the day . . . “You are loved. You are loved. You are loved,” they all say.
My love is so high, and so wide and so deep, it’s always right there, even when you’re asleep. So hold your head high and don’t be afraid to march to the front of your own parade.
If you’re still my small babe or you’re all the way grown, my promise to you is you’re never alone. You are my angel, my darling, my star . . . and my love will find you, wherever you are.
When have a few minutes sometime this weekend, read Romans 8:38-39, and I think you’ll understand why I’m asking you to do that.
Grace and Peace in these holy days,
East Central District
East Central District Office - NEW mailing address!!
East Central District
Florida Conference of the UMC
PO Box 4064
Enterprise, FL 32725
I am available Mon-Fri 8:30am - 4:30pm by phone or email email@example.com.
Annual Conference 2021
A Community of Love & Forgiveness
June 11-12, 2021
Click HERE for the AC2021 webpage. You will find the schedule for AC2021 for clergy and lay members to annual conference.
Pre-Conference workshops will be held over Zoom and are open to everyone, not just voting members. Click HERE for a description of the workshops listed below.
- Poverty Solutions Group Bread for the World's Racial Wealth Gap Virtual Learning Simulation
- Innovation 2021 Embrace the Journey: Becoming the Beloved Community
- Fill the Table Equip, Engage, Empower Your Community
- Financial Services Financial Controls in an Online World/2022 Conference Budget
- Learning Together Sharing Best Practices for Innovative Ministry During COVID-19
- One Church, Two Languages Ministry Model
Are you interested in becoming an East Central District At-Large Lay Member to Annual Conference 2021? Click HERE to submit your name to serve as a District at-large Lay Member to Annual Conference 2021. You will be notified, if you have been selected.
Immigration Clinics with Florida Justice For Our Neighbors
Free legal immigration screenings and advice from FLJFON attorneys. The only thing you need is a device (computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone) that can access Zoom and a stable internet connection, we will help with the rest!
|April 17 (TPS Only)||http://bit.ly/3ljn0ct|
Run 4 Life 4 Miler
Florida United Methodist Children's Home
The Run 4 Life 4 Miler begins and ends on the campus of the Florida United Methodist Children's Home in historic Enterprise, Florida. The 4 mile course is on magnificent oak canopy roads along the shore of Lake Monroe. It is one of the most uniquely beautiful areas and race courses in Central Florida.
The goal of this race is to bring awareness to mental health/depression issues and to raise funds for programs providing support to those in need. It is also in remembrance of those who were overwhelmed by their struggles and felt suicide was their only option. All race proceeds will go to the Children's Home and other local suicide prevention programs.
Join our Team - The Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church! Click HERE to register online. Be sure to click on "Join Group/Team" & register on our team!
Run, walk, or sponsor a child to participate!
We are one conference, let us come together as The Florida United Methodist Church
Bring awareness to mental health & suicide.
March 31st Reports past due
There are seven "March 31st Reports" that were due March 31. If you have not submitted them yet, please have one person from your church send all reports in one email to Claudia Sava at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- (1) Annual Review and Renewal Document
- (2) Clergy Employee Conduct Policy
- (3) Adoption of Employee Conduct Policy.
- (4) Annual Report on the Parsonage
- (5) Annual Review and Renewal Document
- (6) Document Retention
- (7) Fund Balance Report
Clergy/Students Can Now Apply For Grants
Deadline is April 30
The PASSING THE TORCH FUND, a collaborative grant program between the Florida United Methodist Foundation and Florida Conference, is now accepting applications for two grant opportunities.
RENEWAL LEAVE GRANTS
The fund awards grants that provide financial assistance to Florida Conference clergy in full connection who are planning to take renewal leave. Up to $10,000 per grant may be awarded.
STUDENT OF CULTURE AND COLOR SEMINARY SCHOLARSHIP
The fund awards a seminary scholarship to a qualified student of color and culture who is planning to enter United Methodist ministry.
Applications for both grants will be accepted until April 30.
Complete the application online (under #4 Passing the Torch). For more information, please contact Holly Finley, Office of Clergy Excellence, at email@example.com or 800-282-8011, ext. 134.
ABOUT THE FUND
The Passing the Torch Fund was launched in 2015 to provide training, financial assistance and leadership development support for conference clergy and those preparing for ordained ministry in the Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church.
It is administered by the Office of Clergy Excellence and funded by the Florida United Methodist Foundation and conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits.
In addition to the grant opportunities, individuals ordained deacon or elder in full connection will receive $5,000 from this fund at annual conference to help alleviate educational debt. The fund also supplements the Ministerial Education Fund assistance provided to clergy and cooperative grant efforts through the Office of Clergy Excellence.
More information about recipients of the grants and how the fund has been used is available through these articles:
Clergy scholarship recipients have passion, hope for future church
Grants help clergy dream big, focus on God’s call
Helping the helpers
Scholarship helps candidate fulfill passion for ministry
Apply Now for UMC FCU 2021 Scholarship
Application deadline: April 30, 2021
What you need to know:
- Application Open: January 1 - April 30, 2021
- Previous Winners are ineligible to apply
- UMC FCU Members are eligible to apply. Applying online to become a UMC FCU member is easy. Eligibility Requirements ( Be a Member of a UM Church, or Work for a UM Church or Organization within the four (4) conferences listed above, Have a family member who is already a member of UMC FCU)
- Click HERE for application and essay information
- Don’t wait to apply (Applying early does not increase your chances of winning… it’s just good to get things done as soon as possible)
Should you have any questions, please contact anyone at the United Methodist Federal Credit Union 863-687-9725.
Webinar for Clergy on Church Finances
Thursday, May 20
9:00am - 10:30am
All clergy are invited to join a free webinar on Church Finances with Lovett H. Weems, Jr. and Ann A. Michel, authors of Generosity, Stewardship, and Abundance: A Transformational Guide to Church Finance (to be released in early May, 2021) Click HERE to preorder the book.
Modified Missional Vital Signs Reporting
While churches are not meeting in person due to COVID-19, The Florida Conference will use a Modified MVS reporting model. Click HERE for instructions and to report MVS.
If you have data not entered for February or before, please complete the Monthly Data Gathering Chart for each of those months and email it to Claudia Sava at firstname.lastname@example.org.