Greetings from the District Superintendent
| Dr. Bob Bushong
John Baillie was a Scottish theologian who died in 1960. Also a highly respected teacher and author, Baillie was known for his ability to combine the head and the heart in his approach to faith. His devotional life was at the center of his academic endeavors, and he was adept at navigating the delicate balance between faith and reason.
Baillie's most popular selection of writings was published in 1949 as a book entitled A Diary of Private Prayer, a collection of prayers designed to be used in the morning to start the day and in the evening to end it. I began my day this morning with the following prayer offered by John Baillie. I've used it before, and I’m sure I will use it again. The language is dated, but the thoughts and feelings it evokes are timeless. I hope it touches your heart as it has touched mine.
Eternal father of my soul, let my first thought today be of Thee, let my first impulse be to worship Thee, let my first speech be Thy name, let my first action be to kneel before Thee in prayer.
For Thy perfect wisdom and perfect goodness:
For the love wherewith Thou lovest mankind:
For the love wherewith Thou lovest me:
For the great and mysterious opportunity of my life:
For the indwelling of Thy Spirit in my heart:
For the sevenfold gifts of Thy Spirit:
I praise and worship Thee, O Lord.
Yet let me not, when this morning prayer is said, think my worship ended and spend the day in forgetfulness of Thee. Rather from these moments of quietness let light go forth, and joy, and power, that will remain with me through all the hours of the day;
Keeping me chaste in thought:
Keeping me temperate and truthful in speech:
Keeping me faithful and diligent in my work:
Keeping me humble in my estimation of myself:
Keeping me honourable and generous in my dealings with others:
Keeping me loyal to every hallowed memory of the past:
Keeping me mindful of my eternal destiny as a child of Thine.
O God, who hast been the Refuge of my fathers through many generations, be my Refuge today in every time and circumstance of need. Be my Guide through all that is dark and doubtful. Be my Guard against all that threatens my spirit's welfare. Be my Strength in time of testing. Gladden my heart with Thy peace; through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.
When you get up tomorrow morning why not try using this prayer to set the stage for your day?
Grace and Peace,
Bishop Announces Full Time Appointment Changes
Bishop Ken Carter and the appointive cabinet of the Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church, in consultation with the clergy and authorized lay leaders of the local churches, announce full-time appointment changes, to take effect July 1, 2018. Click HERE for the list, organized by districts.
This act of ministry is in fulfillment of paragraphs 337-338 of The Book of Discipline (2016). For a reflection on the core values employed in the process of clergy appointments to churches, Click HERE.
"Let us lift these clergy, their families and the local churches in prayer, in the hope that we will more fully participate in our mission—“to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world” (The Book of Discipline, 120).
Full Time Appointments in the East Central District
Asbury UMC, Maitland -- Cameron Lashbrook
First UMC, Kissimmee -- Jose Nieves
First UMC, Geneva/Barnett Memorial UMC -- Juan Ramos
Lakeside Fellowship UMC, Sanford -- Dan Wunderlich
Spring of Life UMC (Associate) -- Ivan Gonzalez
St. Andrew's UMC, Winter Park - Andrew Kim
EC Clergy receiving appointments out of the East Central District
First UMC, Titusville -- Wayne Cook
A Message from Kim & Melanie Lee, District Lay Leaders
| Kim & Melanie Lee
Are you game for a risk-taking challenge? The one I’m proposing comes in two parts.
1. Aggressive kindness
2. Hello! (I love you, won’t you tell me your name? – The Doors)
The first part, aggressive kindness, I attribute to a dear friend from the past, Becky Minton. Her husband, Ken, was an associate pastor at our church when our kids were young. At the time, I had a problem with a woman in our church. We had a difference of opinion, and she stopped engaging with me at all. She wouldn’t talk to me or even look at me in the hallway when we passed each other. It was driving me crazy! I decided that, should she look at me, I would smile and say, “Hi.” The trouble is, she never looked at me. I told Becky about this burden on my heart, and she told me, “Melanie, you’ve got to be aggressively kind.” Oh, no. That meant taking a pretty big risk. There’s your first challenge. Do you have someone in your life who needs a little aggressive kindness? It’s hard; believe me, I know. It’s the right thing to do, though, and it lightens your heart and your step.
The second part, involves total strangers. I have always said, “Hello,” to strangers on the street, even in NYC’s Time Square, back in the day when it was a pretty sketchy place to meet someone’s eye. I generally never say hello to someone who doesn’t look up when I walk by. This year, as a New Year’s Resolution, I decided to take a risk and share a smile and a greeting to people I pass, even when they pay no attention to me. It has been a rewarding experience, overall. I am a teacher at a high school. At 7:30 in the morning, no teenager wants to give you the time of day – if you leave it up to them. I’ve been pleasantly surprised, however, by the beautiful smiles I’ve received when I loudly say, “Good Morning!” I’ve found this works in the adult world too, at the mall, in the grocery store, even in the elevator. There’s your second challenge. Say, “Hi!” to strangers, even if they aren’t looking at you, even if they have their earbuds jammed into their ears, even if they have nasty looks on their faces. (Maybe, especially if they have nasty looks on their faces).
Let us know how it goes! Making connections with people takes intentional action, and it requires taking some risks, putting yourself out there. Jesus expects us to go out and make disciples. That means making connections, building relationships, getting out of your comfort zone. Take the challenge, and get out their spreading some love!
Loving the laity,
Melanie and Kim Lee
2017 2nd Place Largest Team
The 8th Annual Run 4 Life 4 Miler is May 12th at The Florida United Methodist Children's Home. This 4 Mile Event will take 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.
Rev. Madeline Luzinski will lead us in prayer to open the event.
Run or walk...come join us on May 12th! We would love for you to sign up on our Team "The Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. All United Methodists, regardless of church or district will be on ONE Team! Click HERE for details. Click HERE to join our team.
DISASTER 101: Basic Disaster Ministry Training
May 19 - First UMC, Cocoa Beach
This training provides an introduction to the unique and important role the faith community plays in disaster mitigation, preparation and response. You and your church will hear practical ideas on how to effectively respond to disaster in your community in cooperation with other churches, emergency management officials and the Disaster Recovery Ministry of the conference. You will understand the importance of communication and collaboration in meeting the needs of disaster survivors and the importance of being the church in the midst of crisis.
There is no cost for this training; however, registration is required for planning purposes. Click HERE for details and registration. Questions? Contact Pam Garrison firstname.lastname@example.org 800-282-8011 x148.
Annual Conference 2018
Remembering Who We Are
176th Session of The Florida Annual Conference
June 7 - June 9
Pre-Conference Workshops Wednesday, June 6
Florida Southern College, Lakeland
Click HERE for the AC2018 webpage. Information gets added as it is available.
* Hotels are filling up. * Childcare Deadline to register is May 4th. * Youth LM to AC and Observers must register and pay online by June 1st. *Volunteers are needed. Please check the AC2018 webpage for volunteer opportunities. * Registration for pre-conference workshops is open.
All ECD Clergy and Lay Members to AC are invited to the ECD Breakfast on Friday, June 8 at Trinity, Lakeland. Click HERE to register.
ECD Fall Clergy Meeting
August 16 9:00am - 2:00pm - 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.*
Coordinator of Special Ministries 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.
* Rev. Shanks will lead this same presentation for Laity on Saturday, August 18 at 9:00am at Asbury UMC. There is no registration required for that day.
Children’s Home Ambassador
The role of the Children’s Home Ambassador is to represent the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home in a variety of capacities, thereby carrying the message of the ministry throughout the Florida Annual Conference. The Ambassador will act as an extension of the Church Relations team at the Children’s Home, seeking to increase both awareness and support of the organization.
To faithfully fulfill this role, an individual should be committed to the mission of the Children’s Home: to empower children and families to experience God’s love as revealed in the ministry of Jesus Christ. Ambassadors should also have public speaking experience and a comfort level engaging groups of various sizes.
• On behalf of the Children’s Home, preach or provide a mission moment during a worship service
• Make a presentation to a group within the local church about the Children’s Home
• Advocate for the ministry of the Children’s Home within church district and/or the Annual Conference
• Host an information session about the Children’s Home
• Speak within your community about the Children’s Home
• Advocate for a specific ministry of the Children’s Home that aligns with ministry passions (e.g. Foster Care, Independent Living, the Madison Youth Ranch, Enterprise, etc.)
• Correspond with Local Church Representatives (LCRs)
• The Ambassador may be asked to solicit feedback from LCRs or other church members so that it may be reported to the Director of Church Relations with the intent to improve provided services.
For more information &/or apply contact Rev. Ryan Frack email@example.com 386-668-4774 x2222.
Life Enrichment Center
Want to help create meaningful experiences for your church's families this year? Want to encourage your parents to be more active in their kids' spiritual lives? Be sure they know about LECFamily programs!
Grandparents & Me: June 25-28
Family Camp: June 29-July 1; July 20-22
Mom & Me: September 14-16
Questions? Email Asa Quinn firstname.lastname@example.org.
Warren W. Willis Camp Retreats & Summer Camp
Lay Servant Training Weekend
September 14 & 15 - First UMC, Lake Alfred
Save the date for Lay Servant Training, details and registration will be out as soon as possible.
Questions? Contact Lynn Campbell email@example.com or Jim Boesch firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Run 4 Life 4 Miler begins and ends on the campus of the Florida United Methodist Children's Home in historic Enterprise. The 4 mile course is on magnificent oak canopy roads along the shore of Lake Monroe. It is one of the most uniquely beautiful areas and race courses in Central Florida. The goal of this race is to bring awareness to mental health/depression issues and to raise funds for programs providing support to those in need. It is also in remembrance of those who were overwhelmed by their struggles and felt suicide was their only option. All race proceeds will go to FUMCH and other local suicide prevention programs. Whether you will run or walk, we hope that you will ...
This training provides an introduction to the unique and important role the faith community plays in disaster mitigation, preparation and response. You and your church will hear practical ideas on how to effectively respond to disaster in your community in cooperation with other churches, emergency management officials and the Disaster Recovery Ministry of the conference. You will understand the importance of communication and collaboration in meeting the needs of disaster survivors and the importance of being the church in the midst of crisis. There is no cost for this training; however, registration is required for planning purposes. Check in beings at 9:30am and lunch is provided. ...
District Committee on Ministry Meeting Candidates contact Elizabeth Flynn at RegistrarEC@flumc.org for appointment. Materials due April 19th.
Conference & District Offices are closed.
Annual Assessment of Ministerial Effectiveness & Goal Setting. The clergy assessment process for 2018 is available on the FLUMC website under Clergy Excellence. Appointed Clergy and the Staff/Pastor Parish Relations Committee should meet annually to complete this process. The report is due to the district office every year by May 30. Click here for more information. (Continuing Education is now completed in conjunction with the Annual Assessment above.)
Join us at the East Central District Breakfast Friday, June 8th 6:45 am - 8:00 am During Annual Conference 2018 Trinity UMC Lakeland, Florida Laity and Clergy will have the opportunity to Welcome New Clergy to the East Central District and Say Farewell to Pastors who are Moving in June.
Conference & District Offices are closed.
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. Coordinator of Special Ministries 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.