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GCD November 2021 Newsletter

From Clarke
District Superintendent

Dear friends,

There is a hymn often sung before Thanksgiving that I suspect we all know. It goes

              Now thank we all our God

With heart and hands and voices,

Who wondrous things hath done,

In whom his world rejoices;

Who from our mothers arms

Hath blessed us on our way,

With countless gifts of love,

And still is ours today.

Do you know the story of that hymn? Sounds like it was written under ideal circumstance, doesn't it. As a matter of fact, it was written by Martin Rinkart, a German minister, right after the Black Plague had swept his town and carried away one third of the population, including two members of his own family. He had just buried his youngest daughter when he wrote it. He came back from the funeral, which he, himself conducted, sat down at his desk in that now nearly empty house, and penned the words.

Not even tragedy could shake his faith in the eternal Goodness...

"Now thank we all our God..."

As we approach this season of gratitude in the midst of loss and fear and exhaustion from the ongoing demands of leading in the midst of a global pandemic, may God's Goodness and Grace permeate the grief and weariness and bring comfort, peace and a grateful heart that is ours as Christ's beloved to you and to your family.

Of all the things I am thankful for, I am thankful for each of you!

Grace and peace,


Charge/Church Conference

The Annual Charge Conference season is almost over! Thank you for all your work in your local church.

Will you have a new leadership role in 2022? 
Are you wondering what that means?
Cokesbury sells Guidebooks for many different leadership roles in the United Methodist Church. Click HERE to see what they offer.

If you have not updated already - your 2022 Church Leadership is to be updated on your Church Dashboard within seven days of your CC.  Click HERE for Tutorials on adding leadership, BEFORE you start to update.  All leadership with an end date of 12/31/21 will fall off at the end of the year.  The end dates you enter should all be 12/31/22.  It is not done by the class they are in. We do not want entire committees added, just the chair. We also need key staff positions listed. Please put their positions and not just “staff”. Be sure to click “I am done” when you are finished.

NOTE:  The Church Dashboard should be updated throughout the year as changes happen.

How to reach your GCD team: 

The best way to reach the District staff is:

GCD Administrative Assistant - Administration/Financial related items - 
Interim Co-DS's Rev. Clarke Campbell-Evans and Rev. Sharon Austin -
Beth Potter - Congregational Vitality -
We continue to work remote, however, if you need to reach by phone the number is 727-585-1207

We look forward to welcoming Rev. Emily Hotho as our District Superintendent effective 1/1/2022.  

Please do not text or email Rev. Emily Hotho at Skycrest for District matters.  She remains Sr. Pastor at Skycrest until the end of the year. and needs to attend to those responsibilities.

Thank you! 


The district superintendent will conduct one SPRC Training Webinar on Thursday, November 18, 2021 from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. via a ZOOM Webinar.

We ask that all SPRC chairs, committee members, and lay leaders attend. Clergy are also welcome to attend.

This training is free to attend, but you must register online to receive the ZOOM link. Once you register, you will receive the link in your confirmation email.



 GCD Anti-Racism

Your District Anti-Racism Team is coming to you.  Yes, as we live into our purpose of “equips and empowers individuals and local churches to challenge racial injustice” we need to hear from you what your church needs to continue the conversation and journey.  A member of the GC Anti-Racism Team will be reaching out to every district senior pastor for a conversation during the next couple of months.  What you share will be critical in helping us support you and the local church.

 Coaching and Mentoring available.  Your District Anti-Racism Team is ready to support you in developing a plan to bring the Anti-Racism Journey to your church.  Contact to get connected.

Need resources and ideas.  Two great ways for you and your church to discover and learn more while to a resource to all as we work to end racism:  

  1. Gulf Central District’s Anti-Racism webpage at A glossary of terms; recommended books, podcasts, documentaries; and information on programs for your whole church are readily available to you. 
  2. Gulf Central District’s open FaceBook page, Call to Discipleship-End Racism ( is a great place to plug in.  Historical information, UMC resources referenced and so much more is constantly shared for the curious and for the advocate.

Are you and your church called to witness against the inequities of racism?  Are you and your church wanting to stand with others to seek redemption for the atrocities of past acts of racism.  You are invited to join the people of The Portico.

Seeking Redemption: The Robert Johnson Soil Ceremony: Tuesday, November 16 at 6:30 p.m. at The Portico. Gather will Tampa Councilman Luis Viera, State Representative Driskell, Hyde Park United Methodist’s The Portico and the local Equal Justice Initiative Coalition for the remembrance of a Hillsborough County lynching victim.

Join the Hillsborough Equal Justice Initiative Project and The Portico for this remembrance ceremony.

Gather with Tampa Councilman Luis Viera, State Representative Fentrice Driskell, Hyde Park United Methodist’s The Portico and the Tampa/Hillsborough EJI Coalition for a soil ceremony remembrance of Jim Crow era victim Robert Johnson.

On January 28, 1934, a 40-year-old Black man named Robert Johnson was wrongly arrested in Tampa, Florida. White authorities within the Tampa police investigated Mr. Johnson’s alleged involvement in an attack on a white woman, and though he was quickly cleared of those charges, police did not release him.

A mob carried Robert Johnson to a wooded part of town along the Hillsborough River near Sligh Avenue, where about thirty people had gathered to watch the lynching. Though he had been cleared of the assault allegations and not even tried for the minor charge of theft, the mob had determined he should face death. The mob killed Mr. Johnson with four shots to the head and one to the body, all fired from Deputy Constable Graves’s pistol.

Help us commemorate Mr. Johnson and other lynching victims during this special memorial service.

Join event via Zoom:

Learn more about the wrongful death of Mr. Johnson:

From the desk of Mark Becker,
president of the Florida United Methodist Foundation

When I was in the Navy, we had a saying that the first law of leaky pipes is they never get better with time. If you had a leak anywhere, you needed to fix it because a small leak today could result in a much larger leak tomorrow.
The same “law” can be applied to roofs and other deferred maintenance. A leaky roof today can cause expensive damage in the future. Poorly sealed windowsills today can result in leaks that cause wood rot around windows.
Even in the best of times, keeping up with facility maintenance sometimes takes a back seat to other expenses. It’s a particular challenge now when the finances of so many churches have been impacted by the pandemic. But continually putting off repairs or performing periodic maintenance of things like HVAC systems will inevitably lead to greater expenses in the future.
That’s one reason we wanted to let you know the foundation’s board of directors recently reduced our mortgage rate for church loans to 3.75%. It’s an extremely low rate for churches, many of which may not be able to secure lending from a bank.
The foundation’s loan program can provide the resources churches needs to take care of maintenance needs, prolonging the life of facilities. And with interest rates trending up, this is a great time for churches to take advantage of the opportunity to obtain a low-interest loan.
For more information about the loan program or to share details with other church leaders, see the flyer below or visit And if you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at or 866-363-9673, ext. 7225. As always, thank you for trusting us with your resources and allowing us to partner with you in ministry.


Mark E. Becker CMA® ChFC®

Transitioning to a Single Leadership Model?

We have received several last-minute request for churches to transition from larger, transitional Nominations and Leadership, to smaller, singer-board structures (i.e., Single Leadership Board or Simplified Accountability Structure for a vote at this year's charge conferences.

One of the essential early steps is that of consultation with the district superintendent.  The Transition model should conform to the discipline, and the DS and the presiding elder may not be prepared to review and approve multiple proposal on short notice.  Paramount in this change is discernment with the congregation, which needs to understand and also approve the transition.

Please be prepared for the possibility of postposing this vote until critical discernment, work, and preparation has occurred.

Church Dashboard

Click HERE for the tutorials. Please review these tutorials which answer most questions! 

Are your church worship times correct in the church dashboard? Take a moment to ensure that your worship times are accurately listed in your church dashboard so they are accurate on the Conference website! 

Most of our churches ensure that their websites include updated information for persons seeking to connect with their church.  However, fewer may realize that the Conference also posts worship information for most of our congregations.  Is your church’s dashboard outdated or incomplete?

As communities receive new residents and online viewing expands, accurate information on your church will become an asset for everyone!  Want to see what others see?  Click here and search for your church.  You can review the information and if incorrect, go into your dashboard and make the adjustment.

Input your Social Media Links

A section has been added to the church dashboard so it accepts social media links for the following platforms

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Instagram
  • Live Streaming

Click HERE for a tutorial (about 2 minutes) on how to enter your links! 

Candidacy Retreats

January 14, 2022 - Deadline December 1, 2022
July 8, 2022 - Deadline June 1, 2022

Please see the Candidacy Retreat Checklist to ensure all necessary items are completed. The checklist outlines all the steps needed for Candidacy.

2022 Connectional Giving

 The apportionments for 2022 are now available on the conference website. To access your 2022 apportionment information:

  • Go to the conference homepage:
  • Click on the "Monthly Billing Reports" at the bottom right of the page.
  • Click on the first link on the page, "Click here to download monthly reports."
  • When you choose a Report, there will be a report on the drop-down menu called Apportionments Report 2022. This link will take you to your 2022 apportionments. You will need to know your GCFA Number to pull your report.

2022 United Methodist Women Assembly
Orlando Convention Center
May 20-22, 2022

Lands of the Bible Cruise with Guest Speaker Bishop Ken Carter 2022
September 22, 2022

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 Florida Annual Conference

The conference and district offices will be closed the following days.

November 11 Veteran's Day holiday

November 25-26 Thanksgiving holiday
December 24 Christmas holiday
December 27 Christmas holiday
December 31 New Year's Day holiday