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ECD March 2019 Newsletter

 Bishop Ken Carter

Dear Florida Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Some are grateful for the results of the Special Session.  And others sought a different outcome.  All of this will take some time to process. Human sexuality is a topic on which our people have differing views. As evidenced by the vote of the special session, we are a global church with very different contexts. We were not able to achieve contextual differentiation as envisioned by the Commission on a Way Forward. By a majority vote, we passed the Traditional Plan, with some parts ruled unconstitutional.  It now goes to the Judicial Council for review at their next meeting but our existing Discipline language is maintained.

We are a global church. This is a great gift in that God blesses us with diversity and the gospel is lived and shared across cultures. This is a great challenge in that we have different understandings of the LGBTQ community and, indeed, the LGBTQ persons in our own churches. 

By a majority, the U.S. church seems to favor the One Church Plan that would have more openly welcomed pastors from the LGBTQ community and allowed for same-sex marriage. And, an overwhelming majority of the Council of Bishops endorsed the One Church Plan.

I am a person of evangelical and orthodox faith and respect those who see this primarily as a matter of scriptural interpretation. I will continue to live my promises of consecration as a bishop by abiding by the Book of Discipline as a resource for oversight and supervision in support of the church’s mission (BOD ¶403).

Some believe the arc of history is moving towards more acceptance of LGBTQ people, not less.  Pew Research teaches us that younger generations in the U.S., especially under 45 and more so under 30, will not participate in a church that rejects the LGBTQ community. A letter from United Methodists under the age of 35 was shared at the Special Session, with over 15,500 signatories. A greater number of LGBTQ voices were heard on the floor of the Special Session than ever before. Many of these were younger voices.

I offer the following words to the LGBTQ community:

Please know that you are of sacred worth. You are not the problem. You are not "out there." You are present in our churches. You bless us with your faith and your gifts strengthen the church. And my calling, for you and all people, is to remove the obstacles to your experience of the grace of God, and especially in the life of The United Methodist Church.

I also offer these words to the evangelical community:

Please know that your faith is a great gift to God and to your local churches.  Too often, your stances have been misunderstood as driven by hatred, as opposed to being of deeply held faith. Your lives have been changed by the good news of Jesus, and you have a deep desire that others know this grace.  Our denomination is blessed by you and needs your gifts in our calling to share God’s love across the world.  Our conference includes at every level of leadership evangelicals who are of the utmost integrity.

We remain a denomination that is open to people of all nations, ethnic groups, ages, and sexual orientations. We hope to find better ways to embrace our diversity and be on mission together. Our POV process continues to be a resource available to you. 

Despite our differences, we will continue to work together to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world and to share God’s love with all people.

The peace of the Lord,  

+Ken Carter
Resident Bishop, Florida Conference
President, Council of Bishops
United Methodist Church

In the District

Lay Servant Ministries - There is still time to register!
March 8 & 9 First UMC, Tavares

It's this weekend!! Click HERE for the registration form to see the description of the classes.
Bring your completed form with a check for $45 on Friday, March 8.
Please email Claudia Sava with your name and the class you plan on attending.

Lay Servant training prepares the laity to be in ministry through caring, communication, and leadership. 
All classes require a total of 10 hours attendance. The cost is $45 which covers materials and food.

Questions? Contact Lynn Campbell or Jim Boesch

A Message from Kim & Melanie Lee, District Lay Leaders

 Kim & Melanie Lee

Why Is It So Hard to Trust?

I know that God is trustworthy.  I also know that God can do anything!  So why do I not trust God?  I say I do.  I certainly know I should.  Still, I worry, which clearly shows I don’t trust God as much as I could.

I sometimes go through a long scenario in my head about a tough conversation I’m planning to have with someone.  The “script” keeps me up at night and colors my thoughts during the day.  What a waste of time and emotional energy!

God is great.  God is good.  God loves me.  Jesus told me so.  I have no need to worry, no need to fret.  God can handle even the worst of my problems and invites me to let God have it.  Matthew 11:28-30 says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

I know that trusting God to take my heavy burden does not mean abdicating all responsibility.  I still have to go through the phone calls, the letters or e-mails, and the manual and emotional labor of getting the work done.  What it does mean is gathering in all that joy of the peace from worry.

Paul tells us in Philippians 4:4-9, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

When I’ve completely trusted God to handle the outcome, my heart has been light and my mind unclouded by worry.  I’ve done that!  I’ve been there!  I know that God IS trustworthy.  God’s will prevails in the end.  My worry never adds a single piece of anything to the outcome.  All it does is make me upset, agitated, concerned, difficult to be around, and ineffective.  Who wants any of that?

Dear Lord, Please give me the courage to give you all my burdens.  Help me to embrace the joy that you so freely give.  Amen.

Loving the Laity,
Melanie & Kim Lee  

March 31 Reports

The following reports are due to the District office by March 31. Please email them to Betty Sims Originals should remain in the church office as the District Office shreds all documents once they are scanned.

Committee Responsible

The following reports are submitted online. Do not send a hard copy to the District. These forms are located on your Church Dashboard under "FORMS".

Committee Responsible
Disaster Recovery Resource Survey
Disaster Coordinator or Trustee
Fund Balance

The church needs to have a Local Church Employee form signed by each employee to keep in their personnel file. They do not get sent to the District office.

For instructions and other pertinent information, click on the links above or click on Calendar of Reports

Child Youth Protection Policy 

The conference updated the policy last year. Local churches and conference-affiliated ministries are asked to review and update policies using this template. Please submit a complete copy of the policy AND the Annual Review & Renewal Signature page to Betty Sims by April 30.

Annual Assessment of Clergy Leadership
Due May 31

Each year United Methodist clergy are to engage in a process of assessment of effectiveness.  A team from the Florida Conference Board of Ordained Ministry has worked diligently to provide clergy and local church Committees on Staff Parish Relationships with a set of tools that will assist in that process.  Below you will find links to the resources that are to be used in completing the assessment.  It is the hope that each clergy and each SPRC will take this process seriously so that our clergy continue to grow in effectiveness toward our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Click HERE for all the forms needed to complete the process. The completed forms should be emailed to Betty Sims

Costa Rica Mission Trip with Dr. Bob Bushong

District Superintendent Bob Bushong will be leading a mission trip to Costa Rica September 7-14, 2019. We will be working with Costa Rica Mission (  under the leadership of Director Wil Bailey, a North Carolina Conference missionary.

Costa Rica Mission Trip Information Meeting will be Sunday, March 24 2pm at Asbury UMC, Maitland. This meeting will include information about travel, cost, and more details about our in country experience. Please email Claudia Sava and let her know if you plan to attend the meeting.

Day on Campus - March 16

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.

UMW Spritual Retreat
April 6 - Warren W Willis

The East Central District United Methodist Women are hosting their Women’s Spiritual Retreat on Saturday, April 6 from 9:00am to 3:00pm. The theme is: “It Is Well With My Soul”.  We are having this one day event at Warren Willis United Methodist Camp. We will be having breakout sessions:

>Thai Chi
>How Music Influences Your Soul
>Praying the Psalms
>God’s Promises
>Soul and Soil
>Mission Project (turning plastic bags into plastic yarn).

Click HERE for the flyer and registration.
Questions? Contact Kristi Carnesale, Vice President, East Central District UMC at

Run 4 Life 4 Miler
Florida United Methodist Children's Home
May 11

The 9th Annual Run 4 Life 4 Miler is May 11 at The Florida United Methodist Children's Home. This 4 Mile Event takes you through the FUMCH and Enterprise.  The goal of this race is to bring awareness to mental health/depression issues and to raise money for programs providing support to those in need. All race proceeds will go to FUMCH and other local suicide prevention programs.

We would love for you to sign up on 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! Click HERE to print a registration form to mail.

Run, walk, or sponsor a child to participate! Come join us on May 11! 

Annual Conference 2019 set to take place at Florida Southern College

Make plans now to attend Annual Conference 2019 by booking your hotel rooms early. A list of hotels and rates can be found HERE. Housing will also be available at Florida Southern College (details forthcoming).

As you make your plans, the Annual Conference planning team wanted you to be aware of the following:
     1)  Our theme is “On Mission Together,” and we will welcome Bishop Will Willimon, missiologist Dr. Dana Robert, along with musical leaders Jarvis Wilson and Keith Wilson. 
     2)  Annual Conference will begin on Wednesday, June 5, with clergy and lay sessions at 10 a.m. We will conclude with the Service of Licensing, Commissioning and Ordination on Saturday, June 8, adjourning at 12:30 p.m.
     3)  We will be voting on delegates to General Conference 2020, with chances to meet delegates Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.
     4)  All registration will take place at Florida Southern College, as will the clergy and lay sessions.
     5)  Florida Southern has added new parking shuttles and golf carts.
     6)  We will have an air-conditioned tent near Branscomb Auditorium which will be a place to eat and fellowship with other delegates. 

Annual Conference is free and open to anyone who would like to go.  However, only Lay Members to Annual Conference 2019 will have a vote.


Youth are encouraged to participate and experience Annual Conference. Housing will be on the Florida Southern Campus, and $170 will cover dorm housing (double occupancy) and 8 meals. Register by May 15, 2019. Orientation will be at 2:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 4th , with housing check in immediately before orientation at 2:00 at Reynolds Hall. All youth must check into housing before orientation. Click HERE for youth information and registration.

Note:  This does not make them a Voting Member at Annual Conference.

District Orientations -

Each district will have orientations which will include a report on GC2019, an introduction of nominees for GC2020, a review of how to use the voting equipment, a review of the five resolutions to Annual Conference, a review of the budget, and a review of any other significant issues before the conference. 

East Central District will hold theirs Sunday, May 19 at First UMC, Orlando at 3:00pm. Everyone is welcome to attend any of the orientations. Click HERE for the list throughout the conference.


Wespath Benefits and Investments developed a partnership with Paychex to provide United Methodist Churches with Payroll and HR solutions for 2019 and beyond.  

Struggling with clergy payroll? UMPIP deductions? Filing quarterly tax forms? Preparing year-end W2s?  This could be a great way to improve your processes!

With this new partnership, Paychex can send 403b/UMPIP contribution information to Wespath to debit you for the corresponding amount, saving you time and ensuring the accuracy of information.  
Paychex will handle your quarterly tax filings and year-end reports.  Managing your payroll can become easier and more accurate and you ensure your church is financially compliant.

All you’ll have to do is report salaries and hours worked and Paychex will do the rest!  You will also receive a 35% discount for the duration of the partnership between Paychex and Wespath.

Jeff Kohl is the designated Paychex/Wespath representative for all UMC churches nationwide. For more information about Paychex payroll, human resources, time & attendance and other services, call Jeff Kohl at (561) 907-7402, email him at or visit  

East Central District Committee on Ministry (dCOM)

The East Central District Committee on Ministry (dCOM) meetings are held at Asbury UMC, Maitland. 


dCOM Chair:  Rev. Chris Jones
dCOM Vice Chair:  Rev. Jenn Stiles-Williams
dCOM Registrar:  Elizabeth Flynn

Thurs, Apr 11 (materials due Mar 14)
Fri, May 3 (materials due Apr 5) 1st Provisional attempt  NOTE: This is a Friday.
Thurs, Aug 29 (materials due Aug 1) 2nd Provisional attempt
Thurs, Oct 17 (materials due Sept 19) LP License Renewals
Thurs, Dec 19 (materials due Nov 21) This meeting will be at First UMC, Oviedo.

Click HERE
to read about the Candidacy Process.  For more information or to schedule an interview, email Elizabeth Flynn, District Registrar at

Around the Conference and Beyond

Warren W. Willis Camp Retreats

Check out Warren W. Willis for many opportunities to reflect & fellowship!

Confirmation Retreat:  March 15-17, Sept 27-29
Created by God:  April 26-28
Rooted: September 16-17
Summer Camp

Plan Your Own Church Retreat:  Who doesn't love WWW?  Why not plan your own retreat?

 Marriage Enrichment Retreats at Lake Junaluska

We are created for a lifetime of love and intimacy, but relationships can be hard, even for the happiest couples. Distance, frustration and disconnection can enter through any number of life's events. 
Come to a Christian-based marriage retreat at Lake Junaluska to better understand your partner and learn to cultivate a warmer, more joyful and loving relationship. 

  • How to strengthen essential psychological and spiritual foundations for healthy, happy relationships
  • How to stop rigid negative patterns in communication that lead to frustration and disconnection
  • How to be more accessible, responsive and engaged in your relationship
  • How to better understand your partner and help them to understand you
  • How to share your deepest needs for support, love and affection and respond to those same needs in your partner  

Pastoral participants earn 1.5 CEUs for participation in this program. This retreat is perfect for pastors who regularly do marriage counseling, or anyone who wants to strengthen the bond in their marriage.

Marriage Enrichment Program for two people: $350  
Two nights lodging for two people and five meals (Monday breakfast through Tuesday lunch) for two people (required): $319
-           March 10-12, 2019
-           August 18-20, 2019
-           September 29 - October 1, 2019
Learn more at or call 800-222-4930.

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. Deadline for submission is April 30, 2019. Click HERE for the application.

If you have any questions regarding the scholarship, call 866-687-2136. 

Apply Now for the Sinclair Scholarship from FUMF

The Florida United Methodist Foundation is now accepting applications from United Methodist high school seniors for the 2019 Sinclair scholarships, and we need your help to spread the word.
Applicants must be full and active members of a Florida United Methodist church, have a record of church and community service, and have a grade point average of 2.5 or higher or academic performance that indicates ability to succeed in college. They must also be planning to attend a Florida or United Methodist college or university for the first time this fall.
Scholarship awards range from $2,000 to $3,000 and are renewable for up to three additional years for students who remain in good standing. The deadline to apply is March 15.
A scholarship application and instructions about other required documents are available on the foundation’s website. More information is available by contacting Nadara Brock at or 866-363-9673, ext. 7113.
Please consider posting and/or sharing the Sinclair Scholarship flyer with students you feel are good candidates for this opportunity, as well as including it in your newsletters or worship bulletins.
Below are several stories related to the scholarship, providing more information about how they benefit and support students:
Scholarship recipients make campus ministry experience a priority
Scholarship recipients have mission-minded focus
Scholarship recipients are driven, thankful
Sinclair Scholarship recipients offer hope for the future

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

The Florida Annual Conference is Hiring!


Conference Archivist for Florida Annual Conference
Life Enrichment Center & Warren W. Willis Internship