In the District
Greetings from the District Superintendent
|Dr. Bob Bushong|
I was on an airplane, coming home from a conference that I had attended. It was a late flight. I was tired. I was trying to get into a comfortable position in which to get some sleep. As is true on many planes, there was a minimal amount of legroom between the seat in front of me and my knees.
As we taxied away from the gate, out onto the runway, I noticed that sitting in the two seats in front of me and in the next two across the aisle was a family of four – a mom, dad, and two daughters – most likely on their way to Orlando for a vacation. The younger child was next to the window, with her mom on the aisle. Her dad was across the aisle. Her big sister, about nine or so, was next to him. While bouncing against the seat in front of me, the younger girl called out her older sister’s name in rhythm – “Sher-ry, Sher-ry,” with each syllable receiving a bounce against the seat. It was annoying, to say the least, and I anticipated a long ride to Orlando.
The plane picked up speed, lifted off the ground and into the dark sky. The lights of the city below became visible very quickly. Suddenly I heard the little girl in front of me exclaimed, “Oh, Mommy, look, look, isn’t that beautiful? Isn’t this wonderful? I just love it up here!”
Then she settled down, awestruck as she kept her eyes glued to the window that provided a spectacular view from the night sky.
I looked out my window and saw what was below with new eyes because of the enthusiasm of this child. As she continued to share her excitement with her mother, I paid more attention to the view than I would have otherwise. I began to feel my own sense of excitement about what I saw. I reflected on some of the information that had been shared at the conference I had attended and how it might impact my ministry in a positive way. I thought about my family, and how good it would be to get home. I said a brief prayer of thanksgiving for all that is good in my life.
Then it hit me. The energy and excitement and enthusiasm of this little girl by whom I had been annoyed just minutes before had transformed my negative attitude about sparse legroom on a crowded flight late at night. This little girl’s enthusiasm had given me a new set of eyes through which I saw some things that otherwise I may not have seen. Suddenly I felt pleased that she was sitting in front of me. (Of course, it helped that she had stopped bouncing!)
I thought of Jesus’ words in Mark 10:15-16, with parallel passages in Matthew and Luke:
Truly I tell you, Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.
And he took them up in his arms and blessed them.
In other words, whoever does not a have a humble, teachable spirit . . . whoever does not have an openness, a sense of enthusiasm for life and its many facets . . . whoever is not open to a new perspective, a new way of looking at the things of life . . . is going to miss the presence of God and the fresh, new perspective, the direction and guidance and insight and meaning that God’s presence brings into our midst.
May God work within each of us to give us the heart of a child when it comes to cultivating our awareness of the goodness and mercy of God that is all around us
Grace and Peace,
East Central District
East Central District Office
I am continuing to work remotely. I am available Mon-Fri 8:30am - 4:30pm and can be reached at 321-295-8801 and email@example.com. Blessings,
The Florida Annual Conference continues to put information related to COVID-19 and the church on the conference website. Please continue to look HERE when you have questions around COVID-19.
2020 Annual Charge Conference
Dr. Bob Bushong will preside at Individual Charge Conferences held via Zoom. Please contact your church office, to find out the date of your conference. Click HERE for Charge Conferences forms. Be sure to read all the instructions and click on the East Central District specific forms.
- All Charge Conference forms are fillable forms and can be signed with ink or electronically. You must download the forms to your computer first and then open them to begin to complete and sign.
- 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. 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.
Annual Assessment of Clergy Leadership
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cabinet and the Office of Clergy Excellence has agreed to postpone the deadline for annual clergy evaluations for non-moving clergy to September 30, 2020. The completed forms should be emailed to Claudia Sava - email@example.com.
Click HERE for the clergy assessment process on the Office of Clergy Excellence webpage. If your church has an evaluation form that you use, feel free to use your form.
NOTE: Deacons and Clergy serving in Extension Ministry have their own annual report due December 31 each year.
Click HERE for the Deacon Report.
Click HERE for the Extension Ministry Report.
2021 EC District Committee on Ministry (dCOM)
East Central District Committee on Ministry meetings are all on Thursdays at Asbury UMC, Maitland. To schedule a dCOM interview, email Elizabeth Flynn, District Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click HERE to read about the Candidacy Process.
|2020 dCOM Date||Due Date||Purpose|
|March 18||February 18||LPRs|
|April 15||March 4||Recerts/LPs|
|May 6||April 8||Provisional/Certs|
|August 19||July 22||Provisional follow-up|
|November 18||October 21||Certifications|
Young Adult Missional Movement (YAMM)
Heidi Aspinwall has served as YAMM director for six years. She has spent many hours working with and empowering 90 young adults who have gone through this program. Heidi is turning over the reigns to the new director, Martine Marcelin! Heidi is still around, so we will be seeing her!
"I am a living example of the importance of investing in young adult leadership development and how it is necessary in the life of the church," Marcelin wrote in a letter to the YAMM board. "As a youth and young adult, I participated in several young adult leadership programs that opened my eyes to opportunities to serve people within my community." Click HERE to read complete article.