Meet Your New District Superintendent
Dear Laity and Clergy of the Gulf Central District,
Today begins my official time as your Superintendent. I figured I’d begin this monthly newsletter by telling you a little about myself, and about how I foresee us working together.
I have most recently served for the last 8.5 years as the pastor of Skycrest United Methodist Church in Clearwater. My previous appointments were on Conference Staff in Clergy Excellence, and as an associate pastor at Christ Church United Methodist in Fort Lauderdale. My undergraduate degree is from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, which is where I experienced a call to ministry after initially planning to pursue a career in music. My M.Div. is from Duke Divinity School. I’m married to Mat who is on staff at Hyde Park UMC, and I have three sons ages 3 to 13. I enjoy running, doing CrossFit, playing and listening to music, and doing projects around the home we recently bought in Largo. I’ve lived in the current bounds of the Gulf Central District since 2009 and have numerous friends and family members throughout the area. I truly love this area and am thrilled to serve here.
Having just spent the last almost-decade of my life as the solo pastor of a mid-size church, I think that I’ll bring to the superintendency a focus on and an appreciation for local churches, campus ministries, and missions. I’m here to help you do your best work. Whether that be through making strategic appointments, connecting you to available resources, or just offering support, I like to think of myself as working for you and your churches, rather than the other way around.
I want to make sure you know how to reach me. You can email me at DS-GC@flumc.org or call the District Office at 727-585-1207. I plan to work a hybrid schedule of remote and in-office hours, with office hours available in Lakeland and Tampa on what I’m calling “Traveling Tuesdays” (exact hours and locations posted weekly in the Gulf Central Clergy Facebook group.)
My first tasks in this new year are to meet with each pastor and church who are projecting a change in appointment for July. I’ll also be working on a schedule to visit each of your churches in worship this coming year. I’m looking forward to getting to know each of you and your churches better and supporting you in your work!
P.S. You don't want to miss the Conference-wide virtual trainings being provided by our Conference leaders coming up in February and March. Please get your Staff-Parish Chair, Finance Chair, Trustee Chair, Lay Leader, Youth and Children's Leaders and more to these helpful and convenient resources to equip them for their roles.
Meet Your New District Administrative Assistant
Katelyn Dino email@example.com
Katelyn was born and raised in Roswell, Georgia and was an active member of the North Georgia UMC conference for 21 years. Katelyn attended Lagrange College studying Nonprofit Leadership with a specialized focus in Servant Leadership. In following her love and passion for service, she joined the Global Mission Fellow program and FL UMC’s own YAMM program after graduation. She has spent the last year and a half working at Florida Justice for Our Neighbors on their Naturalization Grant. Within her short time here in Florida she has been assisting in leading a local UMC youth group and enjoys the beauty that Florida has to offer.
Gulf Central District Office Information
Office Location: St. Paul UMC, 1498 Rosery Rd. NE, Largo, FL 33770. Staff work a combination of in-office and remote hours.
Office Phone: 727.585.1207
GCD Team: Rev. Emily Hotho, Katelyn Dino, Beth Potter (Congregational Vitality Specialist), Deb Digman
January Details and Due Dates
Church and Pastor Profiles - Due January 31 - click here for details.
These forms are to be reviewed and updated annually by all clergy and all Staff-Parish Relations Teams, whether or not you anticipate a change in appointment this year. As the Cabinet works through the appointment-making process, having an accurate Profile on each pastor and church are essential.
Apportionments - 2021 payments due by January 10
Apportionment payments for 2021 must be received in the lockbox at Regions Bank or paid online by Monday January 10, 2022. This is not a postmarked by date but is the last day by which monies must be received in the Conference or our bank lockbox to be included in 2021 apportionments receipts. Any payments received after that date will be applied to 2022 apportionments. Any payments received between January 1 and January 10 must be clearly marked as to which year they are to be applied.
2022 apportionments are available on our website under Monthly Billing Reports.
Church Dashboard - 2022 Leadership, Worship Times, Social Media Links Due
Please ensure your 2022 church leaders are entered in the Dashboard so that they can receive information from the District and Conference pertinent to their positions. Please also make sure that your worship times and social media links are correct in the dashboard. Click here for a tutorial.
Single Board Leadership Model (Simplified Accountable Structure)
Is your church considering transitioning to a simplified leadership structure? An early step in the process is to consult with the District Superintendent to ensure that the model complies with the Book of Discipline. The congregation will also need to learn, discern, and vote before a new leadership model is implemented. Please get in touch with the District Office if you are considering making this change so we can work together on it.
The Calendar of Reports Due will keep you up-to-date all year long on what is due when.
Resources and Learning Opportunities
***Local Church Trainings*** - February and March - Join us for six weeks of virtual training to equip your local church for ministry. Craig Smelser (Finance), Lois Durham (Staff-Parish Teams / HR), LaNita Battles (Trustees, Child Protection Policy), and more. Details and Registration can be found here.
Bishop Palmer and Dr. Willie Jennings Webcast - January 11, 10:00am-12:00pm. A very special “MLK” Edition of Bishop Palmer’s Leadership Clinic will be held via live webcast. The cost is $10 with all proceeds going to the UMC’s General Commission on Religion and Race to support their ongoing work in helping the church and the world to be free from the brokenness of racism. There will be a 30 minute teaching session followed by Bishop Palmer’s interview, ending with questions from the audience. Everyone who registers will receive 30-day access to this Clinic. CLICK HERE to register and to learn more.
Tod Bolsinger Webinar -March 15, 12:00pm-1:15pm. Save the date for a webinar with Tod Bolsinger about his new book Tempered Resilience. More details coming soon.
Gulf Central District Anti-Racism Team - Your District Anti-Racism Team is ready to support you in developing a plan to bring the Anti-Racism Journey to your church. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to get connected.
Worship Warehouse offers free online music video resources for local churches that can be used on your livestream without copyright issues. Check out this article from Janet Earls, Director of Congregational Vitality, to learn more.
MissionInsite is a valuable tool to explore the demographics of the area around your church, and the Conference provides access at no charge. Contact Beth Potter for instructions on how to start using this tool.
Local Church Events
Bethune-Cookman University Concert Chorale - Sunday, January 16, 4:00pm at Pasadena Community Church (727.381.2499).
African-American Heritage Celebration - Saturday, February 26 at Florida Botanical Gardens, hosted by Anona United Methodist Church. More details to come next month.
Advanced Lay Servant Ministry Course - January 22, 7:30am-5:30pm, Belleview UMC
R-10 Clergy Retirement Seminar- January 24-26 at First UMC, Lakeland (register by January 7)
3-Day Virtual Academy for Spiritual Formation- March 17-19
Lands of the Bible Cruise with Bishop Carter - Join us along with Guest Speaker Bishop Ken Carter on a 13 day Lands of the Bible Cruise aboard the Celebrity Apex, starting at $4,698* from New York, NY departing on September 22, 2022. Journey to places such as Rome, Galilee, Jerusalem, Ephesus, Bethlehem, Athens, and much more! Click HERE for details.
Holiday Schedule for the District and The Florida Annual Conference
January 17th Martin Luther King, Jr. Day