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ECD June 2019 Newsletter

In the District


Greetings from the District Superintendent


Dear Pastors and Leaders,

If its June, its Annual Conference! I hope that by now you have made your plans to attend and become familiar with the business before the conference. This year is an important conference as delegates to General Conference will be selected.

Please be sure to read their statements listed in the Conference Workbooks (beginning on page 204 for clergy and 235 for laity) as well as attend the meet and greet times. These are significant decisions to be made with good information as well as the wisdom and discernment of the Holy Spirit. Our church depends on it! It is also important for you to be present in the sessions as much as you can as voting takes place throughout the conference sessions.

The new church start in our district at the Lowell Correctional Institution will be recognized on Wednesday evening at the time of the Annual Conference offering. I hope you have already received the offering for Annual Conference to bring forward that night. Half of the offering received will go toward this amazing new ministry and adventure that is about to begin with God’s help. Please be in prayer with and for Rev. Kris Schonewolf as she steps forth to be the founding pastor of this new church in a prison—the first in Florida and the Florida Annual Conference!

Annual Conference is also a time of great joy as we celebrate the Service of Licensing, Commissioning and Ordination on Saturday morning. Please plan to stay and witness God’s continuing work in and through the church by calling folks into ministry to lead us into the future. It is a very real image and experience of our present and active God. We are fortunate to have a good number from our district to be licensed, commissioned and ordained. We are already grateful for their ministry.

I look forward to seeing many of you next week! Blessings on your travels and on this Annual Conference!




Dear people of the North Central District,

You are going to hear a lot about Fresh Expressions at Annual Conference this year. We have planned immersive experiences to happen all over Lakeland to give you a taste of what they can be like and to provide new ides you may want to explore, check it out here:

Fresh Expressions has been a major conference initiative for over four years, and we are well on our way toward Bishop Carter's vision of 500 fresh expressions of church by 2025. We will share just how close at annual conference next week!

Churches that plant fresh expressions are reaching new people, in new places, in new ways AND experiencing forms of revitalization. The NCD FX team is here to be a free resource to walk beside you on that journey.

Here’s three ways we can help: 

1. NCD Fresh Expressions Team: Tuesday, June 11th 2pm at the North Central District Office. We are so energized by what's happening on the team, we want to invite you to join us by Zoom here: 

Topic: NCD FX Team
Time: Jun 11, 2019 2:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

2. Local Church Workshop: A three hour workshop at your church. This is a service provided for free by our district. I will come learn with you in your context, to strengthen existing fresh expressions, and/or cultivate new ones. 

3. Pioneer Coaching: Are you or someone you know a pioneer? Pioneers are passionate about mission with people outside the church. We would love to come alongside you in this work. Again, this is a free service provided by our district.

If you have questions just let me know 352-203-7258







Lay Servant training prepares the laity to be in ministry through caring, communication, and leadership. 

North Central District - Lay Servants Training Event

August 3rd, 2019

8:00 am to 6:00 pm 

Location: New Covenant UMC - Lake Deaton Campus

6500 Wesleyan Way

Wildwood, FL 34785

Registration Deadline: July 23rd, 2019

Please click here for courses information and Registration Form. 
NOTE: Lay Servant certification expires after three years.


Questions? Contact Walter Dry - North Central District Lay Servant Ministry Coordinator at


Fall Clergy Meeting
August 27 - Nueva Vida Central Ocala 

 North Central District Fall Clergy Meeting will be August 27 at Nueva Vida Central UMC, Ocala.

 Nueva Vida Central (1712 SE Lake Weir Ave, Ocala, FL 34471).

All  clergy in the local church are expected to attend. If you are not able to attend, email Rev.                                                    JuneEdwards ( and request to be excused. 


9:30 am - noon
Lunch - Optional
12 pm - 1pm 
Click HERE  to register.


The North Central District is glad to announce Rev. Michael Beck's first book on Fresh Expression entitled,  

Deep Roots, Wild Branches: Revitalizing the Church in the Blended Ecology 


Churches around the world are discovering that revitalization comes when we get back to our roots.  

The book is available at the District office for $10.00 and $2.00 for shipping and handling.

You may purchase directly from the district office, calling at 352-789-6981, please make checks payable to North Central District.  Or, click here to order online.


7 Suggestions for Welcoming New Pastors

By  On Leading Ideas

Barry Howard outlines ways a congregation can prepare spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally for the arrival of a new pastor to make the most of a new beginning.

Please click here to read more. 

Around the Conference and Beyond


Bishop's Offering 

The Bishop’s Offering for Annual Conference 2019 will be divided evenly between a restart of the FAMU Wesley Foundation in Tallahassee and planting a new church in Lowell Women’s Prison in Reddick.

Lowell Correctional Institution The Florida Conference is joining a trend in the US by placing a United Methodist church inside a state prison. A pastor will be assigned to serve at Lowell Correctional Institution for women in Reddick, Florida. The idea to partner with Prison Congregations of America, a consulting group that helps denominations establish worshiping congregations in prisons, came after Bishop Carter heard about a church based in a prison in Tennessee. Currently there are 34 prison-based churches in the United States, including two UMC prison churches in Tennessee and Iowa. Conference officials chose Lowell because it houses the most women (3,054) in a correctional institution in the United States, including three on death row.

Impact at Florida A&M University Wesley Foundation Part of our vision for IMPACT@FAMU Wesley Foundation is to create a “home away from home” for our students, an office/pastoral care area for the Executive Director, and a place to worship, gather, learn, play, and pray for the FAMU campus at large. We call this space the IMPACT House, a spiritual Living & Learning Experience for our IMPACT FAMUly. The money collected via this offering will help to make this vision a reality. For more information, visit

The Peace of the Lord,

Ken Carter
Florida Area Resident Bishop
The United Methodist Church


Annual Conference 2019 - Florida Southern College
On Mission Together

June 5-8, 2019

Florida Southern College
111 Lake Hollingsworth Dr.
Lakeland, FL 33801

Click HERE for the AC2019 webpage. 

Tweet with #flumc19 to join the conversation!

Annual Conference is free and open to anyone who would like to go.  However, only Clergy and Lay Members to Annual Conference 2019 will have a vote. Click HERE for the Voice and Voting Guidelines.

If you are using the digital workbook and supplement. Please download them to your device, before getting to Annual Conference. Click HERE for the workbook. Click HERE for the supplement.


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 June 15 at First UMC, Ft. Pierce

We would love to have each offered in the North 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. or  800-282-8011 x148.


Bishop Carter's Invitation to 2020 Holy Land Trip

Clergy and laity are invited to join Bishop Ken Carter for 10 days in the Holy Land, departing February 4, 2020. You will walk the shores of the Sea of Galilee, study the scriptures in the synagogue in Capernaum, pray on the Mount of Beatitudes and renew your baptism at the Jordan River. 

Click HERE for more information and registration. Click HERE to download the brochure.

a worship leader retreat  the WELL
June 13-15 -  Life Enrichment Center

Join church and worship leaders from around the Florida Conference for a two-day Worship Leader Retreat, Thursday, June 13 to Saturday, June 15. This event is sponsored by the Florida Chapter of the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music & Worship Arts.

Presenters for this event will be Todd Fields, Rev. Melissa Cooper, Joshua Smith and Jeremy Hearn. Worship leaders will be Drew Miller, University Carillon UMC, and Gabrielle Toledo, FUMC Orlando.

Todd Fields is the founder of Worship Circle, a ministry that exists to let worship leaders know they are loved and not alone. Leaders from all over the world join online small group community with a veteran leader of their choice for life changing experience and training.

Todd has led worship for more than 25 years alongside the ministries of Billy Graham, Charles Stanley, Louie Giglio, Andy Stanley and others. He travels both in the US and internationally leading worship and helping churches develop the worship component of their services.

Register NOW for this opportunity to hear Todd's message and have a chance to talk with him in an intimate, small group setting. Click HERE for more information and to register online.


Festival of Wisdom and Grace
Beyond 50 Ministries
August 5-8 - Lake Junaluska, NC

How do we grow deeper roots in our faith,  turning our age into an asset as we cultivate spiritual maturity and strengthen our relationship with Jesus Christ? How do we become the disciples Jesus called us to be?

"Growing Deeper Roots" is the theme and it promises to be a great experience with a lineup of insightful and inspiring speakers, including Richard Gentzler author of "An Age of Opportunity: Intentional Ministry by, with, and for Older Adults." In addition there will be workshops, entertainment, worship, special events, and outings. Yet the pure blessing of the conference is the opportunity to enjoy the scenic North Carolina scenery for a time of rest and relaxation. Join others in the second half of life for a time of inspirational and renewal in the mountains of North Carolina. 

Click on the following promotional items: FWG Poster FWG Brochure
Click HERE to go to the Festival of Wisdom and Grace website.


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.


Warren Willis United Methodist Camp and Conference Center

At the start of 2017, the Life Enrichment Center and Warren Willis Camp merged into one site offering sacred space in Fruitland Park. This marriage has been an involved process, and the need was clear for a name that reflected the connectedness. This year, the board approved the new name:

Warren Willis United Methodist Camp and Conference Center

In addition to the new name, they have a new logo for this united ministry. The Cross on the Lake has been an iconic image of camping ministry on these grounds and is a great space to view each morning's sunrise. The cross was rebuilt last year after sustaining heavy damage from Hurricane Irma. The new-and-improved cross pictured here is a contemporary update of this historic symbol. The shape of the letters are meant to invoke the waters of Lake Griffin, and the leaf symbolizes the many trees that adorn the property. Guests of the Life Enrichment Center have long celebrated the Live Oak trees around the property and sunsets on the lake. This new logo represents decades of spiritual growth that has occurred in these spaces, and it points toward a bright future for the camp and conference center.

A new website and new marketing materials will be coming soon!

Summer Youth Events at Lake Junaluska

Bring your youth group to Lake Junaluska this summer for worship, spiritual growth and adventure in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Every event includes energized worship with great speakers and bands, small groups, vespers and workshops. Youth also can choose to participate in mission projects and recreational activities such as rafting, ziplining or swimming. Find more information at
Event 1: June 15-19 – Rev. Andy Lambert with Jimmy Atkins and the Light ’Em Ups and a talent show, outdoor movie and Sunday morning worship in Stuart Auditorium
Event 2: June 20-23 – Rev. Juan Huertas with Abbye West Pates and a talent show
Event 3: June 23-27 – Guest speaker Stephanie Caro with Abbye West Pates and a talent show and outdoor movie
Event 4: June 27-30 – Rev. Janjay Innis with Zachariah Suggs and illusionist Josh Lozoff
Event 5: June 30-July 3 – Rev. Jeremy Steele with Zachariah Suggs and illusionist Josh Lozoff
Event 6: July 10-14 – Rev. Kevin Wright with Jimmy Atkins and the Light ’Em Ups and a talent show and comedian


Appointed Clergy serving in the Florida Annual Conference
Do No Harm: Mandatory Quadrennial Sexual Ethics Training

All clergy who are serving under episcopal appointment within the Florida Conference must attend one of the upcoming sexual ethics trainings this fall to remain in good standing. This includes ALL clergy serving in extension ministries, retired clergy serving under appointment, all deacons, elders, licensed local pastors (part time and full time). diaconal ministers and lay supply who are assigned to lead a church. This is required even if you have recently attended the Sexual Ethics training at Right Start or are scheduled to do so this coming May. A different curriculum will be covered in the quadrennial training. Certificates will be provided to those who complete the full 5 hours of training. A copy of your Certificate will be placed in your clergy file.

When & Where?

You may attend a session outside of your appointed district.

  • Tampa at St. James UMC on Tuesday, September 24
  • Jacksonville at Mandarin UMC on Thursday, October 3
  • Gainesville at Trinity UMC on Wednesday, October 9
  • Plantation at Plantation UMC on Tuesday, October 22
  • Orlando at St. Luke's UMC on Wednesday, November 6





June 5 - Annual Conference, Florida Southern College, Lakeland

July 2 - Clergy Moving Day

July 4 - Conference & District Office Closed

August 3 - Lay Servant Ministries Training, New Covenant - Lake Deaton Campus UMC

August 27 - Fall Clergy Team Meeting Nueva Vida Central UMC, Ocala. From 9:30 am to 1:00 pm


Calendar of Reports due 2019 - Reminder