From the District Superintendent
Prayers, Presence, Gifts, Service and Witness
As a Pastor, I enjoyed welcoming new members into the United Methodist Church Family through baptism, confirmation, profession and reaffirmation of faith. This time of welcome asks each person, “Will you uphold the United Methodist Church by your prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness? The consistent response is, I, will. Personally, I’ve welcomed hundreds of people into a life of faith in Christ and Christian Community. I’ve watched God use faithful people filled with faults, failures and frailties in amazing ways as we seek to keep and live into our membership vows.
In a few weeks, the Bishops and the delegates of the Global United Methodist Church will gather for the called General Conference in St. Louis February 23 – 26th 2019.
Will you commit again to “uphold” the Bishops and delegates and this entire process in your prayers?
Our Resident Bishop Ken Carter posted on the Florida Conference web site important information resources and reflections. Here is the link to Bishop Carter’s reflections.
We will keep you posted on the decisions of the General Conference. Thanks for upholding General Conference with your prayers.
This month, we request your Presence at one of our two upcoming District Training Events both happening on Saturday, February 16th from 9am – 3pm. Innovation 2019 will focus on equipping pastors and laity to connect, grow and innovate and will be held at Anona UMC. The link to register for is below in the Newsletter. We also have a day of Creative Worship Design Training with Jason Moore of Midnight Oil Productions. This training starts at 9am – 4pm will also be held at Anona UMC. If interested please contact Maggie in the District Office.
Speaking of Gifts, I want to thank you for your overwhelming generosity and commitment to Connectional Giving. Gulf Central District Churches paid 89.83% of our Apportionments contributing a total of $4,020,035.66. We were up 3.89% from last year and had 63 churches pay 100% of their apportionments. Thank you for being cheerful givers.
These are just a few ways we can and are living into our membership vows as a District. I will share more stories next month. I am grateful for your continued faithfulness to God through our local United Methodist Churches as you uphold the Christ’s church and share your prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness.
On Mission Together,
Year end Stats due February 8
SEEKING STILLNESS: the practice of Christian Meditation
We don’t experience much silence in our lives. Gather together in downtown Tampa to learn more about the practice of meditation.
WHO SHOULD ATTEND
This Seeking Stillness retreat is for anyone wanting to experience silence in a busy world: from life-long practitioners to those just beginning to explore meditation.
SPEAKER: CARL MCCOLMAN
Retreat features talk and instruction from Carl McColman, contemplative writer, speaker, retreat leader and host of pod-cast Encountering Silence.
Friday March 29th 6:00-9:00pm and Saturday March 30th 8:30am-2:30pm (2019)
*7:00am Sunrise meditation walk on the River Walk on Saturday
Friday evening only $25
Friday evening and Saturday with Lunch $49
WHAT TO EXPECT
This retreat will teach contemplation, centering prayer and a variety of different methods, including meditation’s Christian foundation. This experience will help attendees reclaim the heritage of Christian contemplative spirituality through teachings of the Christian mystics, the practice of silent prayer, and the revival of ancient practices like Lectio Divina.
LOCATION: The Portico, 1001 N Florida Ave, Tampa, FL 33602, 813-222-2299
Shout Out to Elsa Huff from First Bartow
An amazing 3rd grade teacher, Elsa Huff, at First United Methodist Bartow's School has been taking her class on an "Israelite walk" for 40 years. They hike for about 6 miles in order to teach, along the way, about Israel's journey through the desert. Please, Click here to see the story in the Ledger.
She teaches her students with innovative and experiential methods. She is an outstanding teacher at 72 years of age, still walking the 6 miles with her students.
This year many of her alums of 40 years are walking again with her.
Around the Conference and beyond
We are in a season of prayer as we approach the Special Session of General Conference in February. Some of you have asked for resources to share information with your local church about the Way Forward so they have accurate information about something that will undoubtedly be covered in the media.
The attached downloadable bulletin insert is a one-page summary that you could use to educate your members the Sundays preceding General Conference. Bishop Carter has also made available this short video (click here) you can share in worship if desired. It is up to you to decide what is most helpful in your context.
Please plan to join us for a live webinar on Friday, March 1, at 11 a.m. for a conversation with Bishop Carter and delegation leaders about the results of the General Conference. We will also provide a similar bulletin insert or video you could use for Sunday, March 3.
If you have questions or need additional resources, please contact Alex Shanks at email@example.com.
Blessings in this time!
2019 Micro Grants Available
The Fresh Expressions team is excited to announce that there is grant money available for new and existing Fresh Expressions in the Florida United Methodist Conference. The current application window is now open. You can download the application HERE.
We are looking for groups that have a clear vision for their group and a plan for the usage of grant funds. Grants will range from $100 to $1,500. All applications and support letters must be submitted by February 28th, 2019, for consideration. If you have any questions or need to be connected to a learning partner who can provide a letter of support, please contact the Fresh Expressions team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UMCom has some great webinars, live and recorded for our church leaders. http://www.umcom.org/learn/webinars-for-church-leaders
Marriage Enrichment Retreats at Lake Junaluska
We are created for a lifetime of love and intimacy, but relationships can be hard, even for the happiest couples.
Distance, frustration and disconnection can enter through any number of life's events.
Come to a Christian-based marriage retreat at Lake Junaluska to better understand your partner and learn to cultivate a warmer, more joyful and loving relationship.
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN AND APPLY:
How to strengthen essential psychological and spiritual foundations for healthy, happy relationships
How to stop rigid negative patterns in communication that lead to frustration and disconnection
How to be more accessible, responsive and engaged in your relationship
How to better understand your partner and help them to understand you
How to share your deepest needs for support, love and affection and respond to those same needs in your partner
Pastoral participants earn 1.5 CEUs for participation in this program. This retreat is perfect for pastors who regularly do marriage counseling, or anyone who wants to strengthen the bond in their marriage.
Marriage Enrichment Program for two people: $350
Two nights lodging for two people and five meals (Monday breakfast through Tuesday lunch) for two people (required): $319
- March 10-12, 2019
- August 18-20, 2019
- September 29 - October 1, 2019
Learn more at www.lakejunaluska.com/marriage or call 800-222-4930.
JOB DESCRIPTION: DIRECTOR OF THE UNITED METHODIST HERITAGE CENTER
Position Title: Director of the United Methodist Heritage Center, Florida Conference UMC
Position Status: Part-time
Reports To: Florida Conference Commission on Archives and History
Position Summary: The Director of the United Methodist Heritage Center serves as both Director and Conference Archivist. He/she is responsible for receiving, describing, arranging, maintaining, researching and preserving all archival and museum holdings depicting the history and heritage of Methodism in Florida, according to professionally-accepted standards.
2019 HOLIDAY SCHEDULE
February 18 President’s Day
April 19 Good Friday
May 27 Memorial Day
July 4 Independence Day
September 2 Labor Day
November 11 Veteran’s Day
November 28 Thanksgiving
November 29 Day After Thanksgiving
December 24 Christmas Eve
December 25 Christmas Day
February 16 District Learning Event at Anona 13233 Indian Rocks Rd Largo 9AM – 3 PM
February 23-26 Special Session General Conference - St Louis MO
April 4 – materials due for 1st Provisional attempt meeting May 2
April 25 Clergy Meeting Location Heritage UMC Clearwater 9:30 -2PM working lunch Click Here to Register
May 2 DCOM Meeting 1st Provisional attempt materials due April 4
May 14 Annual Conference Orientation meeting location St Paul UMC Largo Christian Life Building Click to register
May 16 Annual Conference Orientation meeting location St Andrew's Brandon Sanctuary Click here to register
June 5-8 Annual Conference at Florida Southern in Lakeland
July 11 materials due for 2nd Provisional attempt meeting August 8
August 8 DCOM meeting for 2nd Provisional attempt
September 24 Sexual Ethics Training - (Clergy Only) Location St James - Tampa click here to register
September 26 Clergy Meeting Location Lake Magdalene 9:30 -2PM working lunch
October 17 materials due for November 14 DCOM
November 7 materials due for December 5 DCOM meeting
November 14 DCOM Meeting
December 5 DCOM Meeting