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ECD September 2018 Newsletter

Greetings from the District Superintendent

 Dr. Bob Bushong

By now you’ve probably heard the abbreviation POV, which stands for Point of View, a conversation template offered throughout the Florida Conference as a tool for dialogue that prepares us to engage the various perspectives on human sexuality.

POV is related to the A Way Forward process, which leads to the Special Session of the General Conference that will be held in St. Louis, February 23-26, 2019. It is a tool that is being utilized in many of our local churches across the Florida Conference, including here in the East Central District.

The purpose of the POV process is to create empathy in congregations and communities that enables us to approach the LGBTQ conversation from a context of listening: listening to scripture and listening to one another as we engage in open dialogue together.

POV was developed by a cross section of leaders from across a wide theological spectrum and is being used in other annual conferences in addition to our own.

In our polarized society, POV really is designed as a Christ-centered, biblically rooted alternative to the often “us versus them” mentality that undergirds conversations in the larger culture and in the church around biblical and theological perspectives and social issues. In the POV dialogues, we listen, we share, we reflect, and we engage with one another in authentic ways that give us the opportunity to learn and grow together.

We are offering a district-wide POV experience here in the East Central District on Saturday, September 15 from 9:00am - 3:00pm at First UMC Orlando, 125 North Jackson Street in downtown Orlando. Lunch will be provided, with a donation requested.

Rev. Alex Shanks, Assistant to the Bishop, and I will be the facilitators for this experience. Alex has served as the Project Manager for the Commission on a Way Forward and has been present for the entire process involved in the work of the commission and the directions that it has identified as options.

I invite you to consider participating in this enriching experience. Please click this link to sign up to be with us on September 15:   This will help us know how many folks we need to prepare for logistically for seating, materials, and lunch.

Please be in prayer for this particulate event and of course for the work of the delegates to the February General Conference as together we continue to be on mission together to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Grace and Peace,

Bob Bushong
District Superintendent
East Central District

In the District

A Message from Kim & Melanie Lee, District Lay Leaders

 Kim & Melanie Lee

Take an Empathy Walk in Someone Else’s Sandals

On August 18, Kim and I attended the Way Forward Laity Meeting at Asbury UMC.  Rev. Alex Shanks led the group of us through the rather complicated and lengthy reports produced by the Commission on a Way Forward.  I give kudos aplenty to Rev. Shanks for condensing the reports into easily digestible bites for us and for artfully and empathetically leading us through the discussions that followed.

The discussions made me realize just how much all of us need to attend the POV Experience on Sept. 15th.  No one was impolite or aggressive in presenting their views and responding to those of others at the meeting in August.  However, it became quite obvious we have widely differing opinions on the direction our church as a whole should take when addressing the LGBTQ issues.  Many of us have trouble even saying the acronym, which is understandable.  It’s a mouthful.  At present, it stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer.  The last term includes much more than most of us have understood previously.  I say, “at present,” because more letters have been added and might be added.  It’s difficult to include everyone in one acronym.  This is a complicated subject, because human beings are complicated.  However, we are all created in God’s image. (Genesis 1:27 - So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.)

Kim and I encourage you to register to attend the POV Experience and be prepared to experience a life-changing growth in empathy that will help all of us have meaningful, productive conversations about the future of our denomination.  POV stands for 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.  Rev. Alex Shanks and Dr. Bob Bushong will be facilitating the event.  Please click this link register.

We hope to see you there! 

Loving the Laity,
Melanie & Kim Lee
melaniebushlee@gmail.com  

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 pgarrison@flumc.org.

Lay Servant Ministries
September 14 & 15 First UMC, Lake Alfred

Lay Servant training prepares the laity to be in ministry through caring, communication and leadership.

The Basic Course will be offered in English and Spanish. 
There will be three Advance Courses in English and one in Spanish.

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 lzdcamp1951@gmail.com or Jim Boesch jimboesch68@gmail.com

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.

Our Kids Training Plus
September 29 St. Luke's UMC, Orlando

Our Kids Training Plus
Putting the Florida Conference School and Church Partnership to Work

When: Saturday, September 29th 10am-3pm

Where: St. Luke’s UMC, Orlando, FL

We ask that churches bring a team.

Cost: $25. Per person, max $75 per church. $10. Per additional if childcare is needed.

Click HERE for details and registration.

  

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. 
Click HERE to download the East Central District forms. 
NOTE:  The Housing Resolution and Accountable Reimbursement Policy are no longer required

Church Dashboard Update Day is November 13.  Click HERE for details.

Oct. 13, 10am
Lakeside UMC
121 N. Henderson Lane Sanford

Oct. 21, 4pm
Community of Faith UMC
9120 Teacher Lane
 Davenport

Oct. 27, 10am
Conway UMC
3401 S Conway Road
Orlando

Nov. 4, 4pm
First UMC
201 S Park Ave
Apopka

 
Altoona UMC Beymer Memorial UMC Aloma UMC Asbury UMC
Barnett Memorial UMC Community of Faith UMC Azalea Park UMC Bear Lake UMC
Deleon Springs UMC Dundee UMC Broadway UMC CUMC, Casselberry
First UMC, DeLand First UMC, Auburndale Christ Hispanic UMC Edge Memorial UMC
First UMC, Mt. Dora First UMC, Kissimmee College Park UMC First UMC, Apopka
First UMC, Sanford First UMC, Lake Alfred Conway UMC First UMC, Clermont
Grace UMC First UMC, St. Cloud Emmanuel Haitian First UMC, Eustis
Lakeside UMC First UMC, Winter Garden Faith UMC First UMC, Tavares
Orange City UMC Lena Vista UMC First UMC, Geneva First UMC, Winter Park
Osteen UMC New Horizon UMC First UMC, Lake Wales Grace Haitian Mission
Sanlando UMC On Eagles Wings First UMC, Orlando Lake Helen UMC
St. Joseph's UMC Peace UMC First UMC, Oviedo Montverde UMC
Trinity UMC, DeLand St. John's UMC Indian Lake UMC Ocoee Oaks UMC
  St. Luke's UMC LifeSong UMC Paisley UMC
    Orlando Korean Mission Pine Castle UMC
    Pine Ridge Fellowship UMC Spring of Life UMC
    Solid Rock UMC Tuskawilla UMC
    St. Andrews UMC Zellwood 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.

Around the Conference and Beyond

Commission on the Status and Role of Women

Grace and peace be with you! We were grateful to be in fellowship with you during Annual Conference this June. As you may recall, our committee dedicated our energies towards sharing the stories and witness of women. This was most visible through our big pink buttons that said #webelieveyou. We celebrate and hold in prayer the individuals who shared their stories through the Pre-Conference session “Hearing the Female Story,” our #Metoo box at the COSROW table, and in conversation with one another.

In an effort to continue to create space for conversation within the local church, we encourage you to engage with the #MeToo toolkit created by the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women.  Click HERE to review the toolkit.  Click HERE to continue reading.

United Methodists Volunteer in Mission (UMVIM)
September 8 -
The Florida Conference Center, Lakeland

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 mmcentire@flumc.org.

Leadership Deep Dive

Leadership in the local church should be a balance of strong committed leaders partnering with their clergy to see through the vision and ministry of the church. For 22 years, Grace Church has been shaping how leadership is lived out on the main campus of Grace Church, as well as four additional campuses. With core values of reach/connect/form/send as a disciple-making system, with covenant and expectations of leaders, Grace uses a team approach for leadership. Come learn more about what it is like to have strong lay leaders, leadership teams that work together, and sharing of tips and failures from the Grace family.

www.flumc.org/deepdives

Current Open Registrations:
Discipleship - October 15-16, 2018 - North Naples UMC
Systems and Properties - October 30-31, 2018 - New Covenant, The Villages
Finance - November 5-6, 2018 - First UMC Lakeland

Conference Table and Listening Session
Saturday, October 20 First UMC, Lakeland

The Conference Table and General Conference Delegation will host a Conference Table and Listening Session on Saturday, October 20 from 11 AM to 2:30 PM at First UMC in Lakeland. The focus will be on preparing for the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference. All Florida United Methodists lay and clergy are invited to attend. There will be an opportunity for facilitated table conversation and for persons to sign up to speak in five minute increments.  Participants must register and plan to bring a donation for the lunch that will be provided. (The Conference Table will convene at 10 am, prior to the listening session.)  Click HERE for registration.

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
 

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

Clergy Gathering
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.

CCYM - Dare to Explore
February 15 - 17, 2019 - Warren W. Willis

Dare to Explore is a student leadership retreat for students by students.  This is a great event to bring your student leaders (or those whom you'd like to become students leaders) to, in whatever form that takes in your local church.  For some that is their whole youth group, for others it is a core group of student leaders.  The registration is $90 per person.   Click HERE for the Dare page.  Registration will open in October.  We can't wait to see you and your team. No matter where you are on your spiritual walk, be prepared to explore!

 

September 3 - Labor Day Holiday

Conference & District Offices are closed.

September 8 - Early Response Team (ERT) Training

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 ...

September 8 - UMVIM Team Leader Training

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 ...

September 14 - East Central District Lay Servant Training

Weekend of Learning! Lay Servant training prepares the laity to be in ministry through caring, communication and leadership.

September 15 - East Central District POV

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...

September 29 - Our Kids Training Plus!

"Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs." Luke 18:16 Our Kids Training Plus Putting the Florida Conference School and Church Partnership to Work We strongly recommend that you create a team of at least 3 to attend this event together.   

October 18 - East Central District Committee on Ordained Ministry (dCOM)

District Committee on Ministry Meeting Candidates contact Elizabeth Flynn at RegistrarEC@flumc.org for appointment.  Materials due September 20th. LPRs only  

October 20 - Conference Table and General Conference Listening Session

Conference Table and Listening Session – Saturday, October 20th  First United Methodist Church – Lakeland