Greetings from the District Superintendent
| Dr. Bob Bushong
Recently I came across a prayer that I wrote for morning worship a number of years ago. It spoke to me again, and I hope it also speaks to you:
Eternal and loving God, unto to whom all hearts are open, push us to ponder what is in our hearts this day. Our heart – that place in our bodies that is at the core of our being alive, where lay our deepest feelings of love and loyalty, that deep down place where we are fully and completely ourselves.
Though at times our preference is to close our hearts off to you, nonetheless even if sometimes reluctantly, our hearts are open to you because to remain alive they need your steady care and the wise leading of your Holy Spirit. You are the one who has made us, and in response to being created by you, our hearts are restless until they rest in you.
For some of us our hearts are ruled by anxious desires – for power, for control, for status, for conquest. For some it’s for more material things, for bigger and better as those things are defined by others, not you. Some of us carry such deep scars of resentment toward those who have hurt us or those who are different from us or those from whom we feel distant and estranged that in our hearts we long to see others get what we see as their due.
Often these places in our hearts our hidden except from you – never from you. You know all that is in our hearts. There is no secret hidden from you – no shame, no burden, no failure, no embarrassment, no disappointment, no deep desire, no sense of alienation and loneliness, no grandiosity, no pride. You know them all. You know and you do not turn away. You know and you embrace us with your love. You know and you forgive. You know and you set us free to begin anew. We marvel, O God, at your pervasive love and your engaging patience.
We present our hearts to you this day, O God. What we seek, only you can give. We seek the gift of your abiding love and the grace that we need to receive it unflinchingly and unreservedly.
Come Holy Spirit. Reclaim these hearts of ours. Renew them, re-enliven them, reorient them, realign them, that we might come to approach you with hearts that are open and receptive, honest and non-defensive, no longer fearful, and deeply committed to a deep and abiding sense of faithfulness and obedience to you, as our hearts become eager to love you in return.
Grace and Peace,
East Central District
In the District
A Message from Kim & Melanie Lee, District Lay Leaders
Kim & Melanie Lee
Fear Not and Embrace Change
I do a lot of reading during the summer, just for fun. I really like murder mysteries, and I am working my way through the alphabet with Sue Grafton’s private-eye protagonist, Kinsey Milhone. Each tale is titled with a letter, such as, A Is for Alibi. I appreciate Grafton’s quirky descriptions of the ordinary and her casual insertions of life lessons and philosophies into her storytelling. Yesterday, I began, J Is for Judgment. On the first page, I found a little pearl of wisdom – a profound statement of the obvious that made me think. “The hard thing about death is that nothing ever changes. The hard thing about life is that nothing stays the same.” True, right?
If we turn those phrases around a bit, we could say, “If nothing ever changes, it must be dead.” Change means new, and sometimes scary, experiences to tackle. That takes energy, creativity, bravery, and perseverance. Change requires growth, which can be life changing. It can also be very difficult to undergo. Click HERE to read entire article.
Loving the Laity,
Melanie & Kim Lee
Reports due August 15-31
Annual Ministry Protection Property and Casualty Insurance Review (Annual Survey). Trustees to review insurance coverage and update online insurance database annually. Annual review period is August 15-31, 2018. This database is also available online year round to enable churches to update insurance data as changes occur. Click here to link to the church dashboard via the insurance database on the Ministry Protection website.
The Annual Workers Compensation Payroll Audit. Finance/Treasurer to complete this annual payroll audit. Please be sure to project your payroll by category through the end of 2018 when completing this section. Click here between August 15-31 to log into the brief Property & Casualty Survey and Workers' Compensation Audit. (Please note this audit is performed twice a year as part of Florida Legislature Statute 440.381.)
Assistant to the Bishop Rev. Alex Shanks will lead a presentation and discussion about the proposal that the Council of Bishops will recommend to the called General Conference to be held in February 2019.
Rev. Melissa Cooper will lead a conversation around the topic "Grace across the Generations", focusing on generational identity, ways to connect with others across generations, and how to utilize generational strengths to enhance the ministries of the church.
All Full-time clergy serving in the local church are expected to attend. If you are not able to attend, please email Bob and request to be excused. All clergy beyond the local church are welcome to attend. Click HERE to register.
ECD Way Forward Meeting for Laity
August 18 9:00am - 11:00am Asbury UMC, Maitland
Assistant to the Bishop Rev. Alex Shanks will lead a presentation and discussion about the proposal that the Council of Bishops will recommend to the called General Conference to be held in February 2019. This is the same presentation he is giving to the clergy the preceding Thursday. Click HERE to register.
Fall classes are starting soon which means that Wesley at UCF and Stetson Wesley could use your help! Great conversations are made during meal time. It has become a HUGE part of their ministry and something that students really look forward to each week. Many of the students don't have the resources to have a delicious home cooked meal while away at college and through your help this has been made possible. Connecting with each of you has also allowed the students to develop new relationships with individuals and churches so that one day they, too, can give back to the community. This would be a great outreach for a small group. We are blessed to have two Wesley campuses in our district. Click HERE for Stetson Wesley or Click HERE for Wesley at UCF.
Early Response Team (ERT) Training
September 8 Community UMC, DeBary
Early Response Teams (ERT) are self-contained teams who enter a disaster zone at the invitation of local emergency management officials. ERTs offer a Christian presence and are trained to provide various types of physical, emotional and spiritual assistance to disaster survivors. ERTs are registered with the Disaster Recovery Ministry of the Florida Conference and Disaster Recovery coordinates team placement to get help where it is needed most after a disaster.
ERT training focuses on types, phases and levels of a disaster and explains what is meant by early response. Participants learn the importance of spiritual and emotional care, tarping, flood clean-up, chainsaw safety, team requirements and much more.
Participants are trained by UMCOR-certified trainers and receive a badge identifying them with UMCOR and the Florida Conference.
Participants must be 18 or older and pass a background check.
Space is limited to 25 people and registration is required. Click HERE to register. Questions? Contact Pam Garrison firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lay Servant training prepares the laity to be in ministry through caring, communication and leadership.
Basic Course - English Facilitated by Lynn Campbell
Basic Course - Spanish Facilitated by Rev. Dr. Edwin Santos
There will be three Advance Courses in English and one in Spanish.
Developing An Intentional Discipleship System: A Guide for Congregations by Junius Dotson ♦ Tired of researching community demographics, pouring over worship attendance metrics, and fixing their aging structures? We can't program our way back to vitality. Rather, it requires a discipleship-making and a process that reaches into your community. Facilitated by Jim Boesch
Resolving Everyday Conflict ♦ This course offers a practical, biblical, and concise guide to peacemaking in everyday life. With the proven advice in this book, authors Ken Sande and Kevin Johnson show you how to achieve not only a cease-fire but also unity and harmony. Facilitated by Lennie Burke & Mike Mailman
Leading Missional Small Groups ♦ Discover the Wesleyan way to form missional communities and congregations. This course is based on the conviction that just as the holiness of heart leads to holiness of life, it is communities of holy love that participate in God's mission in the world. Facilitated by Rev. Cathy Thacker
Llamados a Ser Siervos de Dios by Warren W. Wiersbe ♦ En Llamados a ser siervos a Dios el autor nos explica, en su estilo afectuoso y familiar, que hacer y como evaluar lo que estamos hacienda cuando buscamos server a Dios, un servicio que el llama "la tarea mas importante del mundo." Este libro es para todos los siervos de Dios: los pastores, los predicadores y los creyentes en general. Facilitated by Rev. Leo Rodriguez
All classes require a total of 10 hours attendance. The Session fee is $45. Cost includes dinner on Friday and lite breakfast and lunch on Saturday, as well as the basic texts required. Click HERE for the registration form to mail in.
Note: Lay Servant certification expires after three years.
Questions? Contact Lynn Campbell email@example.com or Jim Boesch firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bishop's Regional Gatherings 2018
The Cross and the Flame:
Conversations with Bishop Carter
Bishop Carter will hold four regional gatherings in September of 2018.
These events are open to all, and there will be an opportunity to submit questions for Bishop Carter prior to the gatherings.
Each event will begin at 6:30 PM and a reception will follow.
•Sunday, September 16 – Killearn UMC, Tallahassee
•Monday, September 17 – First UMC, Winter Park
•Tuesday, September 18 – First UMC, Boca Raton
•Wednesday, September 19 – Harvest UMC, Lakewood Ranch
Click HERE to register and submit your questions.
The East Central District invites all United Methodists in the district to experience something different. Different because it's not common. Different because it's counter-cultural. It's called POV or Point of View.
POV is a one-day experience that makes space for engaging difficult conversations through the lens of empathy, context and mission. A space where you can bring your thoughts, questions, emotions, and heart without the fear of being judged or coerced.
It’s uncommon because in our polarized world, there are not many spaces left that don’t have dividing lines. It’s countercultural because often we are sold a false narrative of in or out, us or them.
At POV, we're all in, we're all us.
We listen, we share, we reflect, we engage.
So if you want to come to an uncommon experience and grow in empathy, come to the first ever District POV. Our conversation will be around “Preparing the Way Forward.” This experience has been designed with help from the Florida Annual Conference and is meant to help prepare for the ongoing work and conversation around the Way Forward. You can learn more about the Way Forward at www.umc.org/wayforward.
The facilitators for our District POV will be Rev. Alex Shanks and Dr. Bob Bushong. Rev. Alex is the Assistant to Bishop Carter and helped to create POV for the Florida Annual Conference.
We hope you will consider joining us and contributing your POV. We would love to hear it!
The event is from 9am-3pm with lunch being served. Click HERE for a slide to be used during worship. To RSVP for the POV event, please Click HERE. The deadline to register for the event is September 10. Donations to cover meal costs will be appreciated at the event. Child Care will be offered, but you must register by September 10 on the First Orlando website - Click HERE. Note: Child Care requires an additional registration. Donations to cover your child care will be appreciated at the event.
2018 Annual Church Conference
The East Central District will hold four Cluster Church Conferences this fall. There are two scheduled for Saturdays and two for Sundays. Gathering and light refreshments will be 30 minutes before the Church Conference. Forms will be available online on August 21.
|Oct. 13 10am
Lakeside Fellowship UMC, Sanford
|Oct. 21 4pm
Community of Faith UMC, Davenport
|Oct. 27 10am
Conway UMC, Orlando
|Nov. 4 4pm
First UMC, Apopka
||Beymer Memorial UMC
|Barnett Memorial UMC
||Community of Faith UMC
||Azalea Park UMC
||Bear Lake UMC
|Deleon Springs UMC
||First UMC, Auburndale
||Christ Hispanic UMC
||Edge Memorial UMC
|First UMC, DeLand
||First UMC, Kissimmee
||College Park UMC
||First UMC, Apopka
|First UMC, Mt. Dora
||First UMC, Lake Alfred
||First UMC, Clermont
|First UMC, Sanford
||First UMC, St. Cloud
||First UMC, Eustis
||First UMC, Winter Garden
||First UMC, Tavares
|Lakeside Fellowship UMC
||Lena Vista UMC
||First UMC, Lake Wales
||First UMC, Winter Park
|Orange City UMC
||New Horizon UMC
||First UMC, Orlando
||Grace Haitian Mission
||On Eagles Wings
||First UMC, Oviedo
||Lake Helen UMC
|Pine Ridge Fellowship UMC
||Indian Lake UMC
||St. John's UMC
||Ocoee Oaks UMC
|St. Joseph's UMC
||St. Luke's UMC
||Orlando Korean Mission
|Trinity UMC, DeLand
||Solid Rock UMC
||Pine Castle UMC
||St. Andrews UMC
||Spring of Life UMC
||University Carillon UMC
Local Church Leadership Training
December 8 9:30am - Noon Solid Rock UMC
The District Leadership Team (DLT) reviewed the surveys from the Annual Called to Serve event this past February and have made some changes. We will hold training for members of Finance, Trustees, & Staff Parish Relations Committees on December 8. This will allow committees to start the new year ready to go! It will also free these folks up to attend other workshops in February that are not committee related. Please note, these classes will not be offered in February.
Finance - Tony Prestipino, Conference Treasurer
Staff Parish Relations - Marilynn Mollica, Human Resources Director and Dr. Bob Bushong, District Superintendent
Trustees - LaNita Battles, Ministry Protection Director
This event is free, we ask you to register for planning purposes. Click HERE to register.
Clergy HR Information
Did you have a change in appointment? There are some things to be aware of with this new change. If you had a change in appointment you will need to re-enroll in the UMPIP plan because the change in churches is a change in employers with Wespath. Therefore it is necessary to complete the UMPIP enrollment form and submit it to Wespath to be re-enrolled in the plan. The form will also require a signature of the Business Manager or whomever is responsible for your payroll. Please click on the 2018 UMPIP Contribution Form to re-enroll or change your contribution elections.
Are you getting your 1% match to your CRSP pension plan by satisfying your 1% to the UMPIP pension plan? If you have a parsonage, your 1% will need to allow for the calculation for the parsonage as part of your total compensation package. Remember, your parsonage is calculated as 25% of your salary.
Some things to consider that could impact your 1% match:
• Salary change
• Housing allowance change
• Moving Expense
• A change in church appointment
As of 2018 the tax law changed regarding moving expenses. If you are reimbursed or if your church paid the moving expense directly to the movers, the moving expense is now taxable income and is also pension eligible. To receive money into your pension plan on the moving expense, please ensure you send in the completed Moving Clergy Expense Form to the district office before the end of the 2018 tax year. For additional information on the moving expense tax change, please refer to the link on Moving Expense Q&A.
Around the Conference and Beyond
Are you interested in leading or participating on a mission team from your church or organization? Do you want to lead or participate on a team to Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Kenya, Sager Brown or somewhere else here in the states and be the hands and feet of Christ?
UMVIM Mission Team Training prepares volunteers to be part of a Volunteer in Mission team, to projects in the United States and around the world. The training will help the Leader know their role, as well as help the team members to understand their roles on the team. You will learn the "ins and outs" of organizing a mission trip from recruiting the team, to picking the location, getting support, staying safe, planning the work and much, much more. The training will also go into ways to make sure you are having a healthy impact on the community you are serving, helping you find ways to get involved in healthy missions.
Not sure if you are ready to be a part of a team? Come and learn - you will be well informed and a better team member! Click HERE to register.
Questions? Contact Molly McEntire email@example.com.
UMW Spiritual Enrichment Retreat
September 7 - 9 Life Enrichment Center
UMW invite you to join them for Sacred Spaces at the LEC. Retreat Leader is Rev. Vidalis Lopez and the Youth Leader is Kenya Monroe. Click HERE for Flyer. Click HERE for registration form. Questions? Contact Kay Roach firstname.lastname@example.org.
R-10 and Counting, a comprehensive retirement planning seminar sponsored by the Florida United Methodist Foundation for clergy planning to retire within the next 10 years, will be held Sept. 10-12 at First United Methodist Church in Lakeland (72 Lake Morton Drive, Lakeland, FL 33801).
Registrations will be accepted until Aug. 24, but prospective retirees are encouraged to register early because participation is limited to 30 clergy. Spouses are also encouraged to attend. Click HERE for complete details. Click HERE to register online or print registration form to mail in. Questions? Contact Nadara Brock email@example.com.
Warren W. Willis Camp Retreats
Check out Warren W. Willis for many opportunities to reflect & fellowship!
Confirmation Retreat: October 5-7
Connect: October 19-21; November 9-11
Rooted: September 17-18
Plan Your Own Church Retreat: Who doesn't love WWW? Why not plan your own retreat?
January 29 - February 1, 2019 - Epworth By The Sea
In lieu of our Clergy Gathering which had been tentatively scheduled October 23 - 24, 2018, we are inviting you to attend the Winter Conference at Epworth By The Sea, January 29 - February 1, 2019. This will be a combined event with the Bishops and clergy of the North Georgia, Mississippi, South Georgia and Florida Conferences. Dr. Tod Bolinger, author of Canoeing The Mountains, will be the keynote speaker.
Be sure to register soon as we expect this to be a sold out event.
Click HERE to register. Click HERE for the flyer.
All Clergy with new appointments in the East Central District are asked to attend this orientation with the District Superintendent, Dr. Bob Bushong.
Assistant to the Bishop Rev. Alex Shanks will lead a presentation and discussion about what the Council of Bishops will recommend to the called General Conference to be held in February 2019. Rev. Melissa Cooper will lead a conversation around the topic "Grace Across the Generations," focusing on generational identity, ways to connect with others across generations, and how to utilize generational strengths to enhance the ministries of the church. This meeting is for Clergy.
Assistant to the Bishop Rev. Alex Shanks will lead a presentation and discussion about the proposal that the Council of Bishops will recommend to the called General Conference to be held in February 2019. Everyone is welcome to attend, laity and clergy.
District Committee on Ministry Meeting Candidates contact Elizabeth Flynn at RegistrarEC@flumc.org
for appointment. Materials were due July 26.
Conference & District Offices are closed.
Early Response Teams (ERT) are self-contained teams who enter a disaster zone at the invitation of local emergency management officials. ERTs offer a Christian presence and are trained to provide various types of physical, emotional and spiritual assistance to disaster survivors. ERTs are registered with the Disaster Recovery Ministry of the Florida Conference and Disaster Recovery coordinates ...
Are you interested in leading or participating on a mission team from your church or organization? Do you want to lead or participate on a team to Haiti, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Kenya, Sager Brown or somewhere else here in the states and be the hands and feet of Christ? UMVIM Mission Team Training prepares volunteers to be part of a Volunteer in Mission team, to projects in the United States and ...
Weekend of Learning! Lay Servant training prepares the laity to be in ministry through caring, communication and leadership. Basic Course - English Facilitated by Lynn Campbell Basic Course - Spanish Facilitated by Rev. Dr. Edwin Santos There will be three Advance Courses in English and one in Spanish. Developing An Intentional Discipleship System: A Guide for Congregations by Junius Dotson ♦ Tired of researching ...
The East Central District invites all United Methodists in the district to experience something different. Different because it's not common. Different because it's counter-cultural. It's called POV or Point of View. POV is a one-day experience that makes space for engaging difficult conversations through the lens of empathy, context and mission. A space where you can bring your thoughts, questions, emotions, and heart ...
All Gatherings begin at 6:30 pm Sunday, September 16: Killearn, Tallahassee Monday, September 17: First, Winter Park Tuesday, September 18: First, Boca Raton Wednesday, September 19: Harvest, Lakewood Ranch