In the District
Greetings from the District Superintendent
|Dr. Bob Bushong|
Here we are at the start of another new appointment year in the Florida Annual Conference, and I’m very pleased to welcome the pastors below to the following churches. You’ll notice that some are new to the particular church, though not to the East Central District.
Aloma, Winter Park - Chris Haden
Barnett Memorial, Enterprise - Kevin Evers
Christ Hispanic, Orlando - Juan Garay
Community, DeBary - Mark Abbott
Dundee - Paul Lawson
First, Eustis - Scott Harris
First, Geneva - Joseph Okello
First, Orlando (Lead Pastor) - Vance Rains
First, Orlando (Executive Pastor) - Emily Sterling
St. John's, Winter Haven – Jeanne Icenhour
Peace, Orlando (Moved from Associate Pastor to Lead Pastor)– Jim Berlau
Stetson Wesley & Fresh Expressions – Caitlin White
Trinity, DeLand – Todd Bardin
Tuskawilla, Casselberry – Heather Harding
Seven of these fourteen folks moved within the district. One is “moving” to a different role in the same church. Two of them are coming from other annual conferences. Four of these are part-time appointments, and there are still two part-time appointments that are yet to be filled.
Paul Hartsfield, a deceased pastor in the Florida Conference who served for many years, and is the father of Matthew and Stephen Hartsfield, two pastors in our Conference who are currently serving, used to write a handwritten note to every pastor who moved into whatever district in which he was serving. I still remember how touched I was to receive Paul’s note to me when I went to my first appointment back in 1981.
Whether it’s a handwritten note, an email, a text or a phone call, why not reach out to these folks to let them know how glad you are that they are here and how privileged you feel to be serving together with them in the East Central District? After all, we are all in mission together.
I appreciate all of you, laity and clergy, and the gifts that you bring to the work of the Kingdom through the United Methodist Church.
Grace and Peace,
East Central District
2019 Annual Conference Highlights
On Mission Together
Click HERE for the Lay Member Summary Report.
Click HERE for 2019 Annual Conference Videos.
Click HERE for the AC2019 webpage.
Click HERE to purchase a hard copy of the AC2019 Journal. The deadline to order is July 31, 2019. It will be available as a free download once it is printed.
Congratulations to all the ECD Clergy who were Licensed, Commissioned and Ordained!
Jeanne Icenhour - St. John's UMC, Winter Haven, Associate
Rodolfo Martinez - St. John's UMC, Winter Haven, Associate
Wilma Reyes - First UMC, St. Cloud
Chris Tabone - First UMC, Clermont, Associate
Jeff Taylor - Lake Helen UMC
Caitlin White - Stetson Wesley and Fresh Expressions
Mary Downey, Community Hope Center, Kissimmee
Madeline Luzinski, Florida United Methodist Children's Home
Bobby Brooks - University Carillon UMC, Oviedo, Associate
Mike Luzinski - Asbury UMC, Maitland, Associate
Jonathan McCurley - Director: Community Life-Asian Rural Institute, Japan
Emily Sterling - First UMC, Orlando, Executive Pastor
Basic Disaster Ministry and Early Response Team Training
The time to plan for a disaster is before disaster happens! The conference offers two different trainings for Disaster Response and they are both free to participants.
Disaster 101: Basic Disaster Ministry Training - You and your church will learn how to respond effectively to disaster in your community in collaboration with other churches, emergency management officials and the Disaster Recovery Ministry of the conference. You will understand the importance of communication and coordination in meeting the needs of disaster survivors and the importance of being the church in the midst of crisis. The part the faith community plays in disaster preparation, response and recovery.
Early Response Team (ERT) - This is a self-contained team invited to a disaster-affected area to provide specialized physical, emotional and spiritual assistance to survivors. ERTs help with specific needs in the early days after a disaster, cleaning out flood-damaged homes, removing debris, placing tarps on home and other tasks as needed, while providing a caring Christian presence.
This 8-hour training is provided by an authorized UMCOR trainer. Participants learn the basics of disaster response, including how to stabilize and secure homes safely, and how to work effectively with survivors and others on the response team. All participants are background checked and receive an identification badge showing their affiliation with UMCOR and the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church.
The next Early Response Team (ERT) Training is August 10 at Carlson Memorial UMC, Labelle. Click HERE for flyer.
We would love to have each offered in the East Central District. Would your church like to host a training?
If your church is interested in hosting a training, please contact Pam Garrison to learn more. email@example.com or 800-282-8011 x148.
Lay Servant Ministries
September 20 & 21 - New Horizon UMC, Haines City
All classes require a total of 10 hours attendance. Friday 5:00pm - 8:30pm and Saturday 8:00am - 4:00pm. The cost is $45 which covers materials and food. NOTE: Lay Servant certification expires after three years.
New Horizon UMC
400 Orchid Drive
Haines City, FL
ECD offers Lay Servant training twice a year. Once in the Spring and once in the Fall. Lynn & Jim work hard to move it around the district. They both do this as lay folks and are not paid staff. If your church would like to host a LSM weekend, please contact Lynn Campbell firstname.lastname@example.org.
Select one of the six courses offered. Basic LSM is a pre-requisite to the Advanced Courses. Once the Basic and Advanced Courses are completed, you will be a Certified Lay Servant.
Basic LSM (English) with Lynn Campbell, Co-Director of ECD Lay Servant Ministries
Basic LSM (Spanish) with Wilkins Rodriguez, Certified Lay Servant
Discover Your Servant Profile (English) ♦ This spiritual Gifts, Personal Style and Ministry Passion Assessment course is designed to get the right people, in the right places, for the right reasons, at the right time in our local churches to help maximize their kingdom-building and serving potential. Led by Jim Boesch, Co-Director of ECD Lay Servant Ministries
Shaping the Prayers of the People: The Art of Intercession (English) ♦ At once inspirational and practical, this book empowers and equips laypeople and clergy alike to offer heartfelt, informed, and appropriate prayers on behalf of the people of God. As Samuel Wells and Abigail Kocher say, "Interceding in public worship is a duty. This book is intended to make it a joy." Led by Rev. Kate Ling
Desubriendo y Desplegando Nuestros Dones Espirituales (Spanish) ♦ Para utilizar personalmente o en grupos pequenos encuentra el lugar que te corresponde dentro del cuerpo de Cristo. Cuando conozcas y uses tus dones espirtuales, podras participar en el ministerio que Dios creo para ti personalmente. Sera un ministerio lleno de fruto y satisfaccion. Led by Rev. Dr. Leo Rodgriguez
Conflict Resolution First-Responders (English) ♦ The church needs first responders - people who can help snuff out small flames of conflict before they have a chance to cause harm. This class will equip Lay Servants to intervene and help others through the conflict. Completion of the previous advanced class, Peace-making: Resolving Everyday conflict is helpful but not required. Led by Lennie Burke & Mike Mailman, Certified Lay Servants.
We now offer online registration!
Click HERE to register online and make a payment. NOTE: If you are taking the Basic Course, you will need to print a brochure to complete and have your pastor sign. The completed registration form should be emailed to Betty Sims email@example.com.
Click HERE to print a brochure to mail in with payment.
Staff Parish Relations Committee (SPRC) Training
The Annual East Central District Staff Parish Relations Committee (SPRC) Training Event will provide you with the effective tools needed in your responsibilities. Dr. Bob Bushong our District Superintendent will facilitate. There will be two trainings offered, one in Orlando on December 10 and one in Sanford on December 12. Pick the location or date that is most convenient for you.
Cokesbury offers guidelines for leading your congregation. Click HERE to see the various committee specific resources.
Pastors, SPRC Chairs and Committee members, Lay Leaders, and Lay Members to Annual Conference are encouraged to attend. The training is free to attend, but we would like you to click on the link below and register for the training you plan on attending.
|Tuesday, December 10
6:30pm - 8:30pm
13502 Town Loop Blvd
Orlando, FL 32837
|Thursday, December 12
6:30pm - 8:30pm
121 North Henderson Lane
Sanford, FL 32771
Around the Conference and Beyond
Renfro Trust Fund Grant
The Renfro Trust Fund awards annual bricks-and-mortar grants to small rural United Methodist congregations in the Southeastern Jurisdiction.
The Renfro grant, if you are not familiar with it, “is for the purpose of establishing and supporting United Methodist churches in rural areas of the United States within the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church. The term “rural areas” shall be interpreted to mean towns of less than 10,000, villages, and open country. Situations described as unusual and challenging and for which insufficient funds are available from other local sources shall be considered as eligible for grants from the Renfro Trust Fund. Grants will be considered for projects involving new or existing church buildings only, not for parsonages. Repairs required to maintain the structural integrity or soundness of the church building may be included as part of a request. Major equipment directly related to the overall project may be included in a request. Grants will not be awarded for general maintenance on a church building or equipment. Grants for debt reduction will not be considered. The maximum amount for each grant shall be $5,000.00. Funds are awarded as grants, not as loans.”
The processing and administering of the Renfro Grant is with the SEJ CSGMs (Conference Secretaries of Global Ministries). The Florida Conference deadline for the Renfro application is July 29 and applications should be sent to Icel Rodriguez. Questions? Contact Icel Rodriguez firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-282-8011 x346.
Please download both of these documents. Renfro Trust Guideline 2019 and Florida Renfro Trust Application Form 2019
NOTE: The Florida Renfro Trust Applicaiton form MUST be received by Icel Rodriguez by July 29.
Clergy Day Apart
September 17 - Lakeland
Clergy, mark your calendars for a clergy day apart with Bishop Carter on Tuesday, September 17, from 10:00am - 3:30pm in Lakeland. We will not hold regional gatherings this year, so this is your chance to spend time with Bishop Carter, who will speak about resiliency in the midst of our changing context. We hope all clergy will plan to attend.
SEJ Clergy Women's Event - Unchartered-Adventuring the Wilderness with God