In the District
Greetings from the District Superintendent
|Dr. Bob Bushong|
Jesus gave this charge: God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age. Matthew 28:16-20 from The Message
The passage above is the scriptural undergirding for the mission statement of the United Methodist Church: to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Jesus is always the key. Jesus is the motivator. Jesus is our inspiration, our reason for existence as the church. The life and teachings, the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus are what give inspiration to all that we are and say and do as the church.
William Penn once said, “If there is any kindness I can show, or any good thing I can do to any fellow human being, let me do it now, and not deter or neglect it, as I shall not pass this way again.”
That’s a wonderful thought and a great quote to remember and to live by – but for a follower of Jesus Christ it’s not enough just to “do good things.” It’s not enough just to be kind. Those good things, that kindness must flow out of our relationship with Jesus. The goodness of God expressed through Jesus is the source of any goodness that we demonstrate.
And just as that’s true for individual persons of faith, it’s true as well for a local church. Hence, all that we do in our local churches . . . from worship to Sunday School to classes and small groups for adults to the various dimensions of children’s and student ministry to special music and drama offerings to fellowship opportunities to congregational care ministry to our local community outreach opportunities to mission projects around the state, our country, and the world . . . all that we do through the ministries of our local churches . . . everything . . . emerges out of our relationship with the God of love and grace and forgiveness, the God of creation and new life, the God of mercy and hope, the God of redemption and transformation whom we know most fully and completely through knowing that man from Nazareth named Jesus.
Let’s agree always to remember why we’re committed to our local churches and why we’re doing what we’re doing: it’s because God calls the church to proclaim and tell and teach and show the world about the power of God’s love through Jesus Christ and in doing so, to be God’s tools in shaping those who hear and accept the Good News into disciples whose lives reflect a deep commitment to the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
Grace and Peace,
East Central District
East Central District Office
I am available Mon-Fri 8:30am - 4:30pm and can be reached at 321-295-8801 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our FLUMC COVID-19 guidance remains following Governor DeSantis' recent executive order
September 29, 2020
Dear Florida United Methodists,
Some of you have asked about Friday’s executive order from Governor Ron DeSantis and whether it has any impact on our FLUMC COVID-19 guidance for in-person activities. Conference leaders have read the executive order. Our current FLUMC COVID-19 guidance has not changed. The focus of the executive order is on restaurant capacity and local government restrictions and fines.
Please read our latest guidance from September 8th in its entirety.
Below are a few summary points from our September 8th guidance.
Some key parts of our ongoing guidance:
1. At all times persons must maintain at least six feet of distance between family groups.
2. Masks or cloth face coverings are required when any group gathers (except for children under the age of 2).
3. Monitor your symptoms. Stay home if you are sick or displaying COVID-19 symptoms. Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive should adhere to the CDC guidelines for isolation and quarantine.
4. All inside activities must be in well ventilated spaces that allow for persons to maintain at least six feet of distance between family groups. Outside activities are preferred over inside activities.
Our COVID-19 safety protocols and guidelines are connected to the ongoing guidance and recommendations from the Florida Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control. Governor Desantis’ order has not changed the guidance and recommendations of either group in terms of in-person, large gatherings.
Decisions about in-person activities will vary according to your church context. We understand there is not a "one-size-fits-all" approach for every church around the conference. Contexts are different as cases rise at different rates (click here for a county and zip code break down). At all times churches should carefully follow the guidance of your city and county officials. Any decision to resume in-person activities should be affirmed by the pastor in consultation with a team of leaders and should be communicated to your District Superintendent.
All of our previous updates and resources are found on our COVID-19 website and in our FAQ section. If you have questions, please reach out to your District Superintendent or contact the Episcopal Office at email@example.com.
The Peace of the Lord,
Bishop Ken Carter and The Cabinet of The Florida Annual Conference
East Central District Fall Clergy Meeting
Thursday, October 15 9:45am - 11:45am
East Central District clergy are asked to attend the fall clergy meeting. Bishop Ken Carter will speak on Clergy Health. Lois Durham, Human Resources, will speak on pension and cover Q&As related to pension and the Clergy Care Initiative.
Click HERE to register.
2020 Annual Fall Charge Conference
Annual Charge Conference are underway with 11 down and 51 to go!! Click HERE for the Charge Conference schedule. Click HERE for Charge Conferences forms. Be sure to read all the instructions and click on the East Central District specific forms.
- One week prior to your Charge Conference, the following reports should be emailed to Claudia Sava firstname.lastname@example.org: The Senior Pastor's Report, ECD Voting Matters Agenda, 2021 Clergy Compensation form, Housing Resolution, & Accountable Reimbursement Policy. (Signatures not required at this time.)
- Within one week of your Charge Conference, the entire Charge Conference packet should have all signatures and be mailed to Claudia at the District Office. The packet should be copies and the church office should maintain the original documents. Please put the Preparation Checklist on top and all the other documents in the order they are listed on the Preparation Checklist. Please use a binder clip to keep them together. We do not need a fancy binder or notebook.
- It will be mailed to East Central District Attn: Claudia Sava 2221 Lee Road Suite 21 Winter Park, FL 32789.
- The church must update their Church Dashboard within one week of your Charge Conference to reflect the 2021 leadership. Click HERE for Tutorials on adding leadership, BEFORE you start to update. Email is how the conference and district communicates with church leadership.
- Certified Lay Servants - We recognize that we have not been able to hold a Basic or Advanced class for sometime now. Due to COVID-19, we are suspending the rule that an Advanced LSM class must be taken within three years. If you already a current Certified Lay Servant (taken Basic & Advanced Classes) and your certification is due to expire Dec 31, 2020, we will extend it to Dec 31, 2021. Only Certified Lay Servants complete a report for Charge Conference. If you have taken a Basic class and have never taken an Advanced class, you will not fill out a report.
Staff Parish Relations Committee (SPRC) Training
Thursday, December 10 7:00pm via ZOOM
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.
Cokesbury offers guidelines for leading your congregation. Click HERE to see the various committee specific resources.
Pastors, SPRC Chairpersons and Committee Members, and Lay Leaders are encouraged to attend this important training event. Invite those who will be joining the team on January 1, 2021. Click HERE to register.