In the District
Greetings from the District Superintendent
|Dr. Bob Bushong|
Recently I pulled out of an old file a tool that I had found helpful in structuring my personal devotional/prayer life, and I thought it might be a helpful tool for you as well. It’s a simple way to focus on connecting with God.
Ten Steps to God
- In preparation, set aside fifteen minutes in a location where you can be physically relaxed and there is little likelihood of interruption. Read one or two chapters from the Bible, listening to what God says to you. This helps to erase distracting thoughts from the blackboard of your mind.*
- Close your eyes and give thanks for three personal blessings of which you are especially conscious today. This helps you move toward God by moving away from a sense of your own self-sufficiency.
- Ask God to help three other persons whom you feel need his help today. This helps you move toward God by moving away from self-centeredness.
- Ask God to forgive your mistakes and sins and to give you strength to forgive others.
- Ask God to help one person whom you find it difficult to like. Ask God to give that person insights into his/her personal problems and that God will give you the power to allow God’s love to flow through you to him/her.
- Ask that you will be sensitive to the needs of one person today with whom God may want you to share his love in word or deed.
- Ask for insights into your own personal problems and challenges.
- Ask for help in achieving your personal goals.
- Ask God to tell you the most important thing you need to do today in order to “seek first God’s Kingdom” (Matthew 6:33).
- Conclude by listening intently for three minutes to what God may say to you.
*Some suggestions for scripture readings at this point: Psalms 19, 23, 27, 46, 84, 90, 91, 103, 121, 130, 149; Isaiah 55; Matthew 5:1-12, 6; Luke 15, 18:1-17, 24; John 1:11-18, 3:1-17, 14, 15; Romans 8:35-39, 12; I Corinthians 13; I John 4:7-21.
Whether it’s through using this tool or some variation of it – or whether it’s through another tool or process that you have found works for you, whatever that is – I hope you’re taking steps intentionally to connect with God on a daily basis. It will make a difference in your life.
Grace and Peace,
East Central District
Annual Called to Serve
February 22, 2020 - First UMC, Oviedo
Everyone in the Kingdom is Called to Serve. This event is not just for clergy and leaders. It is for everyone and that includes YOU!
Rev. Patina Ripkey, Associate Pastor at First UMC, Oviedo will lead us in Worship.
Rev. Annette Stiles Williams, Senior Pastor at Suntree UMC and previous East Central District Superintendent will be our Keynote Speaker!
We have a great lineup of subjects and speakers. Everyone will select two different workshops to attend. It is important to register, so that we can assign rooms to accommodate those registered. Registration will close February 19.
- Being in Ministry with Everyone - Kim and Melanie Lee
- Building & Maintaining Faith-based Ministries that Grow & Impact the Community - Denise Gilman
- Celebrate Recovery - Rev. Dawn Carter and Tommy Moore
- Child Youth Protection Training - LaNita Battles
- Connecting with the Latino/a Population in FL - Rev. Dr. Rini Hernandez
- Cuba Missions for beginners and advanced - Revs. Chris Akers, Rusty Belcher, & Aldo Martin
- Curriculum Showcase for Children's Ministry - Bob McLeary
- Florida United Methodist Children's Home - Elisabeth Gadd
- Fresh Expression of Church 101 - Rev. Caitlin White
- Nuevas Expresiones de la Iglesia en Su Contexto - Rev. Wilma Reyes
- Fresh Expression in Practice - Deeper Dive - Rev. Caitlin White
- Fulfilling our Mission to make Disciples - Rev. Dr. Wade Arnold
- Great - Another Workshop on Reaching Young Adults - Rev. Bobby Brooks
- Hurricanes and more... - Pam Garrison
- Lands of the Bible - Rev. Bob Brown
- Lay Leader Boot Camp - Kim & Melanie Lee
- Making Disciples in your Local Church Community Public School (CEF) - Martha Smith and Brenda Whitwam
- Ministry Protection Focus for Trustees - LaNita Battles
- Missional Engagement - Rev. Patina Ripkey
- Social Media - Rev. Dan Wunderlich
- Sound Financial Practices - Ron Beyer
- Staff Parish Relations - Dr. Bob Bushong
- Youth Ministries (YMI) - Brian Lawson
This is a FREE event, but you must register. Registration closes February 19!
Florida Conference Celebrates 175th Anniversary!
It is with great excitement that I share with you that on February 6, the Florida Conference will celebrate its 175th anniversary! On February 6, 1845, one month before Florida was granted statehood, the Florida Conference held the first session at Trinity United Methodist Church in Tallahassee. Today, your church is invited to celebrate this significant milestone in the life of the conference in your own unique way.
Some ideas for your church to consider ways to celebrate may be through a special music moment in worship, whether it is the children’s choir, chancel choir or praise band playing a worship song that celebrates this anniversary. Or, your church may want to hold a birthday celebration with cake and the singing of “Happy Birthday”! A special prayer or congregational response may be another way to signify the 175 years of ministry in our great Conference.
We do ask that you would send a picture, video, and update to us so that we can post this to the Florida Conference website and other social media so that our brothers and sisters Conference-wide may see how you celebrated!
Also, it is always a good time to update the history of your local church. When you can, please send an updated history to the Heritage Center so that we can keep this valuable information for future generations. If you need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact Judi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make it fun, make it special, and above all make this wonderful celebration a way to give thanks for the countless ways God has faithfully moved to allow the Holy Spirit to flow through this conference that we hold so dear.
Anita "Nita" Campbell, Chairperson
Archives & History
Psalm 132:18 “Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord.”
Florida United Methodist Children's Home is Hiring!
Career Fair - February 15 - 9am - Noon
East Central District Committee on Ministry (dCOM)
| Elizabeth Flynn
dCOM Chair: Rev. Chris Jones email@example.com
dCOM Vice Chair: Rev. Jenn Stiles-Williams firstname.lastname@example.org
Click HERE to read about the Candidacy Process.
For more information or to schedule an interview, email Elizabeth Flynn email@example.com.
EC dCOM meetings are held on Thursdays at Asbury, UMC in Maitland.
|EC 2020 dCOM||Due Date||Purpose|
|March 19||February 20||LP License Renewal|
|April 23||March 26||Provisional/Certification|
|August 20||July 23||Provisional Follow-ups|
|September 17||August 20||Local Pastor/Recert|
|October 15||September 17||Local Pastor/Recert|
|November 19||October 22||LP/Cert/Recert|
Strike for Hope Black Tie Bowling 2020
March 1 5pm - 10pm
You are invited to Community Hope Center's 5th Annual Strike for Hope - Black Tie Bowling fundraiser at Splitsville Luxury Lanes in Disney Springs West Side! You can help be part of the HOPE! Please consider buying a ticket to bowl &/or being a Sponsor of the event. Click HERE for the Community of Hope website to see all they are doing in the community! Click HERE for the Sponsorship Packages. Click HERE to order tickets. Questions? firstname.lastname@example.org
Florida United Methodist Children's Home
Every year, hundreds of friends and family come to the main campus for a special open house, called Day on Campus. Day on Campus includes tours of the Enterprise campus, special performances, resident testimonies, a picnic lunch and wonderful fellowship with others from across the state. If you would like to be part of Day on Campus, Click HERE to register. Questions? Trista Calvin email@example.com or (386) 668-5088.
Celebrating & Equipping the Small Church
April 25 - 9am-1pm - First UMC, Sanford
Small churches have something unique to offer their community and their members! In a society that often overtly tells us that bigger is always better, how can we imagine the small church as a gift rather than a hindrance? Join us for a workshop on April 25 from 9am to 1pm at First UMC Sanford focused specifically on the health, assets and thriving of small congregations. The time will be focused on discovering the beauty and giftedness of small congregations, and using those assets to discover each congregation's unique call in our communities.
The day will include morning coffee, lunch, and time to connect with other pastors and lay leadership of small churches. Allen Stanton, Executive Director of the Turner Center at Martin Methodist College, will share some of his research into vitality in small and rural United Methodist congregations throughout the connection. As part of his work, Allen has created a community transformation incubator specifically focused on leadership development among rural church pastors and Meghan has assisted the cohort in utilizing an assets-based approach to ministry. Allen and Meghan will present some of the tools they have used in celebrating and empowering small and rural congregations in some of the districts in the Tennessee Annual Conference. Lunch is included but registration is required. The cost for the day is only $10 because we'd like for as many churches to come as possible!
Rev. Allen T. Stanton is the Executive Director of the Turner Center at Martin Methodist College. Before coming to Martin Methodist College, he served as the pastor of a small United Methodist Congregation in North Carolina. Prior to serving in the local church, he served as the Rural Church Fellow at the Institute for Emerging Issues, a non-partisan public-policy think tank at N.C. State University. At the Turner Center, Allen focuses on how rural churches can become leaders in economic and community development and building strong community partnerships. Allen has written for a variety of publications, including Practical Matters, Faith and Leadership, and Ministry Matters. He holds an MDiv from Duke Divinity School, where he was a Thriving Rural Communities Fellow, and a BA from Wake Forest University, and lives in Pulaski, TN with his wife, Abby, and their daughter, Paige.
Rev. Meghan Killingsworth is co-pastor at First United Methodist Church of Sanford and director of Crave Sanford, an organization that empowers change makers through spiritual formation and professional development. After some years of work in the social services sector, Meghan felt called to ordained ministry with a special desire to see the people of God equipped to pursue justice and to be fully who God has called them to be in their neighborhood. Her passion is to bring different folks together and help empower the local church to be a change agent in the community for the sake of the Kingdom. Meghan’s favorite Wesleyan theological concept is prevenient grace: how cool is it that the Holy Spirit is already way out ahead of us and we just get to respond?! She is married to David, the other Co-Pastor at First Sanford, and mama to Moses.
Apply Now for UMC FCU Scholarships for College Bound Students
The Florida United Methodist Connectional FCU is once again offering scholarships to 17-35 year-old college-bound students in our connection. Four winning applicants, one from each of our four conferences - Florida, North Georgia, South Georgia, & Alabama-West Florida - will each receive a $1,000 scholarship. Click HERE for complete rules and full essay submission criteria. Click HERE for the application with all the details. Deadline for submission is April 30, 2020.
Questions? Call 866-687-2136.
Missional Vital Signs
Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF)
Every Child, Every Nation, Every Day
For over 80 years God has been using Child Evangelism Fellowship® to bring the love of Jesus Christ to children around the world. The Word of God puts a high priority on children. They are near to God’s heart and we believe that He is uniquely concerned about their spiritual welfare. Without the foundation of a relationship with God and training in Biblical principles for life they are unequipped to face what life will throw at them.
Child Evangelism Fellowship, also known as CEF®, is a Bible-centered, worldwide organization composed of born-again believers whose purpose is to evangelize boys and girls with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to establish (disciple) them in the local church for Christian living. CEF was founded by Jesse Irvin Overholtzer in 1937. The ministry has grown into the largest evangelistic outreach to children in the world. CEF is currently ministering in countries around the world and in every state in the U.S.
God has given His people a clear commission—to reach every creature with the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our special mission in CEF is to evangelize every child. In the last ministry year our workers worldwide reached over 25.4 million children! As children grow in their relationship with the Lord through meditating on His Word, they develop godly character, which produces much fruit to the glory of God, including spreading the Gospel to their peers.
God has given CEF a number of unique ministries which have proven to be effective tools in our effort to evangelize and disciple children. Good News Club®, a weekly club during the school year, is more popular than ever following the Supreme Court victory allowing Good News Club to take place in public schools across America. Our summer 5-Day Club® outreach takes place over the course of a five-day period, offering a unique opportunity for children to interact with teenagers who receive training in the Christian Youth In Action™ program.
Perhaps God is leading you to become more involved in the lives of children. CEF is here to come along side individuals and churches to train, equip and encourage for His kingdom’s sake. Interested in more information? Please check out our state website at CEFFlorida.com or connect with us at the East Central District Conference in February.
Around the Conference and Beyond
Part-time Administrative Assistant
The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church is seeking an experienced, reliable and task-oriented part-time Administrative Assistant in the Episcopal Office of the Resident Bishop. The Administrative Assistant will work directly with episcopal office staff and other conference leaders and will be responsible for performing a number of administrative duties in support of the work of the full time senior administrative assistant. The ideal candidate is highly self-motivated, professional and capable of managing their work load and prioritizing diverse tasks in a fast paced environment while upholding a strict level of confidentiality. Click HERE for details.
Licensing School 2020
May 11 - 22, 2020
Licensing School 2020 will be held at Florida Southern College May 11 through May 22, 2020. Click HERE for the link with the requirements for licensing school, the tentative schedule and the revised fillable application.
Please note the cost has changed due to the fact that we have been losing money on this for some time now. It will be $900 per person and $700 for those who are Certified Candidate in the Florida Conference. There is no additional paperwork needed for the $200 reduction in costs. Compared to other schools we are charging significantly less.
Lake Junaluska Summer Youth Events
Bring your youth group for an unforgettable retreat in the North Carolina mountains! Each event features an empowering speaker, worship band, workshops, small groups and opportunities to add mission work and outdoor recreation such as rafting or zipling. Jimmy Atkins and the Light 'Em Ups Worship Band will perform all summer. Click HERE for more information.