From the District Superintendent
In Times Like These….
Last week we witnessed in horror as the news stories reported another mass shooting in the United States. Innocent lives were cut short by acts of domestic terrorism fueled by evil, racism and hatred as innocent people were killed in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio.
“In the year 1943, Ruth Caye Jones, a pastor’s wife in Pennsylvania and the mother of five, was distressed by the headlines of her Pittsburgh newspaper. She saw the World War II causality lists and she knew the Allies were making slow progress through the boot of Italy. Supplies were rationed at home, and everyone was living under incredible strain.
Opening her Bible to 2 Timothy 3, Ruth studied the page and pondered the opening words. But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come. A song began composing itself in her mind. She jotted some lyrics on a small pad in her apron pocket. A series of notes also played in her mind. Only later did she realize they came from the old clock on the mantle with its iconic Westminster Chimes. Soon the notes and music congealed to become one of the most beloved Gospel songs of the 1940s and 1950s, “In Times Like These.”
In times like these we need a Savior;
In times like these we need an anchor.
Be very sure, be very sure
Your anchor holds and grips the Solid Rock!
In Times like these, HOPE anchors our souls. We can also offer the HOPE-filled actions through our relationship with Christ to our communities. Our churches have an opportunity to do more than mention these incidents in our “thoughts and prayers” during our Sunday Morning Worship Service. We are called to “Equip clergy and laity to connect with their communities”.
This month’s Newsletter article seeks to equip clergy and laity with resources empowering clergy and laity to effectively connect with the needs and concerns happening in and around our church communities in which we can be reluctant to engage. These links below are resources provided for churches by the Council of Bishop’s and our General Agencies of the United Methodist Church.
A Call to Discipleship: Living as Disciples of a Non-Violent Lord in a Time of Violence - Bishop Ken Carter https://www.flumc.org/newsdetail/12867654
Email your senators: Pass universal background checks – ACT NOW https://www.umcjustice.org/what-you-can-do/advocacy/take-action/universal-background-checks
Courageous Conversation about Gun Violence https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/courageous-conversation-about-gun-violence
More than Gun Laws, More than Mental Health: Let’s Talk About Mass Violence Fueled by White Supremacy - http://www.gcorr.org/more-than-gun-laws-more-than-mental-health-lets-talk-about-mass-violence-fueled-by-white-supremacy/
From Mourning to Action – Teaching Tolerance - https://www.tolerance.org/magazine/from-mourning-to-action
Infographic: How Do We Protect Our Undocumented Neighbors? http://www.gcorr.org/infographic-how-do-we-protect-our-undocumented-neighbors/
I hope you find some of these resources provided by the Council of Bishops, Discipleship Ministries, General Commission on Religion and Race and the General Board of Church and Society helpful.
It’s time to move from “mourning to action” and equip our churches to transform their communities to the glory of God.
On Mission Together,
Candace M Lewis
Church Admin Lunch and Learn -
Come and join your fellow church administrative professionals at our Annual District Lunch. This Lunch is open to all who work in the church in an administrative position, whether paid or volunteer. This is a FREE event. So come and meet fellow church administrators as we love, learn and lead together. Please pre-register here September 25 in Clearwater click here September 26 in Brandon click here
ROOTED, Youth, Children & Family Ministry Training Event
September 16-17 at Warren Willis Camp Fruitland Park FL https://www.rootedumc.com/
CLERGY RETIREMENT SEMINAR
R-10 and Counting, a comprehensive retirement planning seminar sponsored by the Florida United Methodist Foundation for clergy planning to retire within the next 10 years, will be held Sept. 9-11 at First United Methodist Church in Lakeland (72 Lake Morton Drive, Lakeland, FL 33801).
Registrations will be accepted until Aug. 26, but prospective retirees are encouraged to register early because participation is limited to 30 clergy. Spouses are also encouraged to attend.
The popular, annual seminar spans two and a half days, providing information critical to retirement planning. It covers a range of topics, including what to expect in retirement, how to maintain wellness in a variety of areas, clergy taxes, Social Security, pension and benefits, financial planning, health insurance, housing issues, and estate planning.
Ron Theodore, a benefit educator with Wespath Benefits and Investments, will provide information to help attendees anticipate their retirement income and stay financially healthy in retirement. The Rev. John Peterson CFP®, CASL®, the foundation’s vice president of stewardship and education, will help participants focus on strengthening their financial planning. And a panel of retirees will discuss what attendees can expect in retirement. Specialists in maintaining healthy lifestyles, Social Security issues, taxes, housing options and insurance will round out the seminar’s agenda. Participants will also have an opportunity to meet one-on-one with the Wespath benefits educator on a first-come, first-served basis.
The program begins Sept. 9 at 1 p.m. and ends Sept. 11 at noon. The cost is $70 for single participants and $95 for clergy attending with a spouse, including meals and materials. Participants must pay for their lodging, but the foundation has negotiated a rate of $178 at the Terrace Hotel for Sept. 9 and 10 and will reserve any rooms needed. Those wishing to take advantage of that rate should include payment with their registration fee.
Clergy may register online or download the registration form and send it to the foundation offices, attention Nadara Brock. More information is available at R-10 and Counting Seminar by contacting Brock at 866-363-9673, extension 7113, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On the road to deeper discipleship, we all have someone we need and someone we can lead. SheGrows is a conference for women of all ages and stages of life, from 13 to 113. This event will encourage you to find someone to champion your potential and equip you to become someone to better support another woman in her faith. We need the wisdom and love that others have to share. Join the mentoring movement to link lives in order to form a deeper faith. Invite your sisters to join you for SheGrows on the evening of Friday, September 20 at First United Methodist Church of Lakeland. Group tickets and scholarships are available. Learn more and register at shegrowsconference.com.
Friday September 20, 6:30-9:30pm at First UMC Lakeland, 72 Lake Morton Dr 33801. Tickets are $39 each. Scholarships are available.
Questions? Call 863-686-3163. Discover more and register at shegrowsconference.com
UMW 2019 Calendar
August 3 - Action Day, UMCM Suncoast at St. Mark’s, St. Petersburg
August 17 - Planning Event for the Gulf Central Mission Study, Oakhurst
Sept. 6-8 District-wide Retreat, LEC
Sept. 21– District Mission Study, Oakhurst
Oct. 19 - District Annual Celebration, St. Paul’s, Largo
Nov. 9 - Conference Annual Meeting, First United Methodist Church, Lakeland
Appointed Clergy serving in the Florida Annual Conference
Do No Harm: Mandatory Quadrennial Sexual Ethics Training
All clergy who are serving under episcopal appointment within the Florida Conference must attend one of the upcoming sexual ethics trainings this fall to remain in good standing. This includes ALL clergy serving in extension ministries, retired clergy serving under appointment, all deacons, elders, licensed local pastors (part time and full time). diaconal ministers and lay supply who are assigned to lead a church. This is required even if you have recently attended the Sexual Ethics training at Right Start or are scheduled to do so this coming May. A different curriculum will be covered in the quadrennial training. Certificates will be provided to those who complete the full 5 hours of training. A copy of your Certificate will be placed in your clergy file.
When & Where? You may attend a session outside of your appointed district.
Tampa at St. James UMC on Tuesday, September 24
Jacksonville at Mandarin UMC on Thursday, October 3
Gainesville at Trinity UMC on Wednesday, October 9
Plantation at Plantation UMC on Tuesday, October 22
Orlando at St. Luke's UMC on Wednesday, November 6
Also ongoing, available 24/7, online webinars for the local church.
A Deep Dive is a form of a teaching church with immersion into a select topic of focus. We are using our connection of churches in the Florida Conference to teach other churches. What is different about this style is that each Deep Dive is a small gathering with 5-7 churches, delving into the host church's best practices and learnings as they have grown and tried various methods. Keeping the attendance small and digging deeper into this one topic, keeps the learning conversational and collaborative. To view more information, Click Here.
Current Open Registrations:
New Covenant - The Villages
Systems and Properties
Wednesday, September 25 - Thursday, September 26, 2019
New Covenant - The Villages (WEDNESDAY)
New Covenant - Lake Deaton Campus (THURSDAY)
Topics To Be Covered: Transitions and New Covenant's uniquness, multiple locations, infrastructure systems, staffing, integrating people, database, software, use by outside groups, columbarium - benefits and drawbacks, budgeting, trustees, outreach.
DEEP DIVE ONLINE
Online Deep Dives are meant to be a focused sharing (about 30 minutes and no more than 1 hour) to allow participation during lunch or replay later.
A topic expert hosts giving tips, ideas, and what to avoid. Topics will vary from Children's Ministries, School Church, Finance, and so much more!
Click Here to view more information about Deep Dive Online and to view previous online topics.
Current Open Registrations:
School Church Online Deep Dive - Friday, August 16, 10AM - 11AM
Sharing how to begin a relationship with your local school and ideas on various ways to make a difference. Spend 45 minutes - 1 hour hearing from those who do this well.
Click here to sign up for alerts when new Deep Dives are open!
2019 HOLIDAY SCHEDULE
Conference and District offices will be closed
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
December 26 Day After Christmas
August 21 – Charge Conference forms go live on the Conference Web Page
August 22 DCOM meeting for 2nd Provisional attempt DATE CHANGE
September 19 Clergy Meeting Location Lake Magdalene 9:30 -2PM working lunch – click here to register.
September 24 Sexual Ethics Training - (Clergy Only) Location St James - Tampa click here to register
September 25 Church Admin Lunch and Learn at Heritage UMC 10 AM -2PM click here to register
September 26 Church Admin Lunch and Learn at St Andrew’s UMC 10 AM – 2 PM click here to register
October 12-November 10 Charge Conference Season
October 17 materials due for November 14 DCOM
November 7 materials due for December 5 DCOM meeting
November 14 DCOM Meeting
November 18 - 21 SEJ Clergywomen's Event - in Jacksonville FL - Click here to register.
December 5 DCOM Meeting
December 11 SPR Training at Palm Harbor click here
December 12 SPR Training at St Andrew's Brandon click here
2020 and beyond
General Conference ♦ May 5-15, 2020 ♦ Minneapolis, MN
Annual Conference ♦ June 4-6, 2020 ♦ Florida Southern College, Lakeland
Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference ♦ July 15-18, 2020 ♦ Lake Junaluska, NC
Annual Conference ♦ June 10-12, 2021 ♦ Lakeland