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February 2019 District Newsletter

Message from the District Superintendent

Dear North East District Family,

About 10 days ago you received exciting information from our District Fresh Expressions Team about two initiatives that are coming up. The first is From the Steeple to the Streets. The second is a Fresh Expressions Vision Day for our district. I’m excited to share more about both with you.

Our hope is that every church will participate in From the Steeple to the Streets during the week of March 3. (March 6 is Ash Wednesday.) This movement is a way to help you get out into your community and observe where people are gathering. Our goal is that it will open you to the Holy Spirit sparking ideas for places where your faith community could meet new people in new places in new ways. It’s very simple to participate; we’ve even put a “how-to” guide together as well as a checklist. You can find that information here.

On the day you participate simply pray, observe, and encounter. As you walk through the community, actively pray for the people and places you see. Observe the different people you see by noticing where they are and what they are doing. Take some notes so you can share them with others later. If you encounter a stranger, give them a smile and engage in a friendly conversation. It couldn’t be easier. We ask you to share your findings with our Fresh Expression Team so we can then help resource you. As you’re out and about, consider taking pictures and posting them to social media using #prayinthestreets. Doing so will enable us to share them on the District social media as well.

 On Saturday, April 6, 2019, at Mandarin UMC in Jacksonville, we will host a Fresh Expressions Vision Day in partnership with Fresh Expressions US. Registration is open to the first 150 people who sign up and is open to others beside United Methodists. We anticipate this event completely filling up and we encourage you to sign up now. You can take the information you gathered as you prayed, observed, and encountered during From the Steeple to the Streets and begin to see how it could turn into a Fresh Expression so you can reach new people for Jesus.

Let’s be honest, Fresh Expressions aren’t really all that fresh…John Wesley was doing the very same thing 300 years ago. He would preach in the fields to the coal miners and stand in the center of villages singing just so he could pray, observe, and encounter. He would then help disciple those he met and help them to become followers of Jesus who in turn have helped to transform our world. Three hundred years later, we’re recovering our Wesleyan roots and being missional in our thinking. I strongly encourage you and your faith community to take part.

Lastly, please be in prayer for the special-called General Conference later this month in St. Louis, Missouri. I know that many on all sides of the human sexuality debate are anxious, but I’m holding fast to Paul’s words in Philippians 4:6-7: “Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.” God bless you!

All God’s love,



 Jay Therrell, Superintendent


Wespath Benefits and Investments developed a partnership with Paychex to provide United Methodist Churches with Payroll and HR solutions for 2019 and beyond. 

Struggling with clergy payroll? UMPIP deductions? Filing quarterly tax forms? Preparing year-end W2s?  This could be a great way to improve your processes!

With this new partnership, Paychex can send 403b/UMPIP contribution information to Wespath to debit you for the corresponding amount, saving you time and ensuring the accuracy of information. 

Paychex will handle your quarterly tax filings and year-end reports.  Managing your payroll can become easier and more accurate and you ensure your church is financially compliant.

All you’ll have to do is report salaries and hours worked and Paychex will do the rest!  You will also receive a 35% discount for the duration of the partnership between Paychex and Wespath.

Jeff Kohl is the designated Paychex/Wespath representative for all UMC churches nationwide. For more information about Paychex payroll, human resources, time & attendance and other services, call Jeff Kohl at (561) 907-7402, email him at or visit

Annual Conference Pre-Conference Session

The District will host a pre-conference session before Annual Conference on Sunday, May 5, 2019, 3-5 p.m. at Fleming Island UMC. All clergy and lay members to Annual Conference are encouraged to attend. This meeting will be led by the district superintendent.

Wanted - 2010 GROUP VBS EGYPT: Joseph's Journey from Prison to Palace

Christ UMC, Hastings has their heart set on doing the 2010 VBS Egypt: Joseph's Journey from Prison to Palace program this year, although it is from 2010. They have searched eBay and Amazon.  Nothing!

If your church has a copy of this kit, please contact Shelly Owen @,  The church is willing to buy or rent program.

Cost of the training is $50 and includes two meals and training materials.  For more information and to register, please visit Registration closes on Friday, March 1. Scholarships are available.

Child/Youth Protection Policy Update

Since 1996, the General Conference of the United Methodist Church has required that each local church congregation have a child/youth protection policy (CYPP).

The Florida Conference has been a pioneering force in implementing this mandate and establishing a template for local church use that would highlight our core value of safety and security; acknowledging that all people, especially children, are important to God.

A strong, broad-base policy template was developed and then updated in 2009. Since that time, we have collected questions, concerns and suggestions from many sources around the Conference.

Using this valuable input and guided by Scripture, the Book of Discipline and civil law, we offer this latest update to the CYPP Template. Changes to the 2009 template appear in the update in red. (Click here for the 2018 document.) The template will be available in Spanish and Creole by 12-01-18 and will be posted on the Ministry Protection web pages of the Conference website.

Local churches and conference-affiliated ministries should use this template to update their own policies by April 30, 2019. Copies of updated church policy Adoption Agreements (page 13 of the template) are to be sent to the church’s District Office by that date.

SPECIAL NOTE: Florida Statute 943.053 now mandates a minimum fee per name submitted for a Florida Criminal History Database check; that fee is $24.00. Additional fees may apply to perform a national criminal background screening; however, access to the Sexual Offender Registry remains free.

Should you have questions on the template update, please feel free to contact us at

Full-time Youth Director @ Grace UMC, St. Augustine

Worship Leader @ Mandarin UMC, Longleaf Campus

For more ministry opportunities, please visit the Classified Section of the website. Churches - be sure to submit your help wanted there as well. 


February 2019
February 12, 2019 - Child and Youth Protection Policy Changes Training - 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. @ Shores UMC, St. Augustine & 7-9 p.m. @ Highlands UMC, Jacksonville
February 16, 2019 - Disaster Recover Training, 10-3 @ Memorial UMC, Fernandina Beach
February 16, 2019 Igniting Men Conference @ Mandarin UMC
February 20, 2019 - DCOM. Please contact Elizabeth Flynn for more information -

March 2019
March 3-9 – Steeple to the Streets Week 
March 6, 2019 – Social Media/Church Marketing Training @ Fleming Island UMC. Social Media session will run from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and the Church Marketing session will run from 1-3 p.m. Register to attend these FREE trainings.
March 27, 2019 – District Clergy/Ministry Team Meeting @ Fleming Island UMC. 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. All full-time clergy appointed to a church are required to attend. Bring a bagged lunch.

April 2019
April 5-6, 2019 - Spring Lay Servant Training @ Palm Coast UMC 
April 6, 2019 – Fresh Expressions Vision Day @ Mandarin UMC, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. 

May 2019
May 5, 2019 - Pre-Conference Orientation, 3 p.m. @ Fleming Island UMC
May 15, 2019 - DCOM - Provisional. Please contact Elizabeth Flynn for more information -
May 17, 2019 - UM Family Night at the Ballpark. Tickets on sale soon.

August 2019
August 14, 2019 - DCOM - Provisional (retrys only) Please contact Elizabeth Flynn for more information -

September 2019
September 18, 2019 – District Admin Brunch, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. @ Southside UMC

October 2019
October 1, 2019 – Clergy Compensation Forms Due to District Office
October 9, 2019 – District Clergy/Ministry Team Meeting @ Fleming Island UMC. 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
October 12-13, 2019 - Fall Lay Servant Training @ Wesconnett UMC. Save the Date!
October 26, 2019 – Super-Charged Conference, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. @ CrossRoad UMC
October 28, 2019 – Church Dashboard Update Day

December 2019
December 11, 2019 - Recerts/Certs/LP - Please contact Elizabeth Flynn for more information -