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GCD October Newsletter 2019

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From the District Superintendent

Gulf Central District Pastors!!!! We Appreciate You!!!

As I follow friends on social media, I’ve enjoyed pictures highlighting special days. I’ve seen National Daughter/Son day, Siblings Day, and Staff Appreciation Day.  There is even a National Ice Cream Day and a National Taco Day.  Some days we celebrate just for fun and a good food selfie.  Some days offer an opportunity to show appreciation to people who are important in our lives. 

October is Pastor’s Appreciation Month.  This Month reminds and invites us to show appreciation to our appointed Pastors and retired Pastors.  We can say “thank you” for answering God’s call.  We can celebrate our Pastors for their faithfulness to God’s mission and ministry in our church and community.  We can also say thank you for the ways many pastors sacrifice to journey with the people in the church.     

To our 88 Pastors leading churches in the Gulf Central District, we say “thank you” and “we appreciate you”.  We appreciate the sacrifices you make to serve and care for God’s people.  We appreciate the numerous hours you spend in Leadership and Administrative meetings wrestling with the present and future of the church.  Thanks for your faithful study and preparation to share a relevant message weekly.  Thanks for caring for God’s people.  Thanks for all the funds you raise, meetings you attend and emails you respond to supporting the connectional ministries of our District and Conference.  I could go on and on thanking you for the big and small things you do as a Pastor in the Gulf Central District. 

Here’s a great reminder from Hebrews 6:10 – “God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown towards his Name”(NIV). 

God sees your faithful service Pastor and we appreciate you as well. 

On Mission Together,

Rev. Dr. Candace M Lewis


October is Pastor Appreciation Month, and October 13 is designated as Pastor Appreciation Day.

The life of a United Methodist pastor is filled with a variety of responsibilities. They preach, teach, visit, counsel, lead, consult, communicate, budget, clean, and so much more.

Pastoring a church is not a job that can be done well under the pastor’s power alone. Every pastor relies heavily on God’s guidance, strength and peace as they live into their call.

One of the best ways we can support our pastors and show them our appreciation is to regularly pray for them. But it can be difficult to know exactly what we should pray for. To help get started, we’ve assembled fifteen areas of pastors’ lives and ministries where they would value your prayers.

1. Spiritual lives

Our pastors’ spiritual lives are important to their finding the wisdom, strength and guidance necessary to lead a church. Pray for your pastors’ growth as a disciple of Jesus Christ, as the Holy Spirit works through them to serve your congregation and community.

2. Time management

With all of their responsibilities, United Methodist pastors need to become masters of their calendars. John Wesley knew this back in the 1700s. He instructed the preachers, “Never trifle away time.” Pray for your pastors to use time wisely, including blocking out occasions for Sabbath rest, prayer, work and family.

Click HERE for all 15 areas that pastors would value your prayers.


You can put more young adults into mission service!  

The Young Adult Missional Movement is seeking more support to expand the mission service program. Currently YAMM has 7 houses in 4 districts but plans to expand into every district as support and recruiting allows. 

Churches, small groups, or individuals can add the YAMM program to their annual mission giving and help engage more young adults in more communities. Whether it's $1,000 annually  or a love offering, all you support will make a difference. Utilities, transportation, health care costs, etc are all on the rise. 

Gifts can be mailed to the conference office, designated for YAMM or made securely online:

YAMM's year-long mission program no longer receives apportionment funding after the initial three year start up period. Since it was formed, there have been 75 alumni who served in 30 teams over the past five years. 

Save the Dates


 February 22, 2020

Anona United Methodist Church
13233 Indian Rocks Rd 
9:30 AM - 3 PM


Staff Parish Relations Committee (SPRC) Training

The Annual Gulf Central District Staff Parish Relations Committee (SPRC) Training Event will provide you with the effective tools needed in your responsibilities. Dr. Candace Lewis our District Superintendent will facilitate. There will be two trainings offered, one in Palm Harbor on December 11 and one in Brandon on December 12. Pick the location or date that is most convenient for you.

Pastors, SPRC Chairs and Committee members, Lay Leaders, and Lay Members to Annual Conference are encouraged to attend (current and newly elected). The training is free to attend, but we would like you to click on the link below and register for the training you plan to attend.

Wednesday, December 11, Palm Harbor UMC 7 -8:30 PM 1551 Belcher Rd. click here to register

Thursday December 12 7 – 8:30 PM St Andrew’s UMC Brandon3315 S Bryan Rd click here to register

Cokesbury offers guidelines for leading your congregation. Click HERE to see the various committee specific resources.

Pastors, SPRC Chairs and Committee members, Lay Leaders, and Lay Members to Annual Conference are encouraged to attend. The training is free to attend, but we would like you to click on the link above and register for the training you plan on attending.

2020 Holy Land Trip with Bishop Carter

Bishop Carter is leading a trip to the Holy Land February 4-13, 2020. 

Clergy and laity are invited to join Bishop Ken Carter, for 10 days in the Holy Land, departing February 4, 2020. You will walk the shores of the Sea of Galilee, study the scriptures in the synagogue in Capernaum, pray on the Mount of Beatitudes and renew your baptism at the Jordan River. Click HERE for more information and registration. Click HERE to download the brochure.

2019 Annual Church Conference

On Mission Together  is the theme for our 2019 church conferences. The Gulf Central District will hold six Cluster Church Conferences this fall. Below are the dates/times and name of the host church. Click HERE for Charge Conference Forms.

The Agenda, 2020 Appointed Clergy Compensation, Housing Resolution, & Accountable Reimbursement Policy  are due (unsigned)10 days prior to your conference. Please email them to Maggie Corrigan at The completed Church Conference packet with all signed documents will be turned in at your Cluster Church Conference.  Once the district reviews and scans the documents, and the DS Signs a copy will be scanned to the church Admin and or Pastor.

All 2020 leadership should be updated into your church dashboard within 7 days of your Church Conference. Click HERE for Tutorials on adding leadership, BEFORE you start to update.

Job Opportunities in Gulf Central District


We are a small preschool serving children age 2 through VPK (Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten), along with a before and after school program for elementary age students.
You can learn more about our preschool at

We are in search of a Director who can lead our preschool staff and administrate our school in compliance with Pinellas County Licensing Board, Pinellas Early Learning Coalition, and all other rules and regulations. We are also looking for someone who can grow our school, and work well with our church staff, volunteers, and Children’s Ministry program to accomplish our church’s mission of Connecting People to God, Each Other, and the World.

Qualified applicants will have their CDA, Director’s Credential, Level 2 background screening, and VPK Literacy course.

We will be interviewing for this position on a rolling basis, so please contact us ASAP with a resume and cover letter to if you would like to be considered. Our phone number is 727.446.5047 and email is (CC:

Director of Adult Ministries for Aldersgate UMC in Seminole (mid-Pinellas County)

Aldersgate UMC in Seminole (mid-Pinellas County) is hiring a part-time Director of Adult Ministries, 18-20 hours per week. This person will lead, manage, and nurture the adult growing and serving ministries of Aldersgate, enabling adults to grow as Christian disciples and serve within the church and in the world. Attracting, connecting, training, and sustaining volunteers for all adult ministries is essential to success in this role. This person will work closely with the Senior Pastor and other staff members to interact effectively with ministry leaders, volunteers, and staff members of Aldersgate to define and implement ministry objectives. This person will work under the direction of the Senior Pastor to help implement the vision of Aldersgate and to support the mission of “making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” For a complete job description, to apply, or to answer questions, email our Office Administrator at or call 727-391-0218. For more information about our church, visit

UMW 2019 Calendar

Oct. 19 - District Annual Celebration, St. Paul’s, Largo

Nov. 9 - Conference Annual Meeting, First United Methodist Church, Lakeland

Cornerstone Ministries Events:

November 1, 2019 Cornerstone Family Ministries Child’s Chance for Change Top Golf Challenge

March 7, 2020 Cornerstone Family Ministries Wonder Walk - Bayshore (Starting at Hyde Park UMC)

March 21, 2020 Cornerstone Family Ministries Wonder Walk - Lake Hollingsworth (Starting at College Heights UMC)

March 28, 2020 Cornerstone Family Ministries Wonder Walk - Redington Shores Beach (Starting at Constitution Park)

2020 Connectional Giving

The apportionments for 2020 are now available on the conference website. To access your 2020 apportionment information:

Go to the conference homepage:

Click on the "Monthly Reports" tab at the bottom right of the page.

Click on the top link under Monthly Billing reports: "Click here to download monthly reports."

When you choose a Report, there will be a report on the drop-down menu called 2020 Apportionments Report. This link will take you to your 2020 apportionments.


SEJ Clergy Women's Event - Unchartered-Adventuring the Wilderness with God 


Special Hotel rate ends October 28 so get your reservation in for the best rate.

Ministry is beautiful, challenging, rewarding, and frustrating. Where we end up is often not where we first sought out to be; sometimes that turns out beautifully and sometimes…it doesn’t feel so beautiful.

The theme “Uncharted” was chosen with great intentionality for this year’s Southeast Jurisdiction’s Clergywomen Conference. Everyday ministry in general seems uncharted - moving from appointment to appointment, being a pastor to people vastly different from ourselves, being a clergywoman in a male-dominated field (and churches that have strong opinions about this), and the list goes on.

All of this on top of the uncertainty that lies beyond General Conference and a denomination that proved itself with the vote percentages to be very divided.

There is much uncertainty ahead, but we hope to provide a safe space for the clergywomen of the SEJ to find rest, sisterhood, resources, and reassurance in the God who never leaves us, but rather adventures the wilderness with us.

This event is open to all female clergy and candidates. "Like" the Facebook page "Uncharted Conference 2019" for all the updates!  Click here

The Conference Table
October 26 10:00am - The Portico, Tampa

Clergy & Laity are invited

The Conference Table is scheduled for Saturday, October 26, at the Portico in Tampa. The morning portion of the Conference Table meeting (10am-noon) will be open to all clergy and laity in Florida to come and hear a presentation from Bishop Carter on "Growing the Center." The presentation will be followed by table discussion. Click HERE to register for this event.

Bishop's Clergy Day Apart

December 10 10:00am - 3:00pm

The Bishop's Clergy Day apart originally scheduled for September, has been rescheduled for Tuesday, December 10. All clergy from Florida are invited to attend the December 10 event from 10am to 3pm in Lakeland. The focus will be on "God is With Us" and spiritual preparation during the season of Advent.

Guidelines for Grant Application Submission, Review and Endorsement

The opportunity to serve a connectional church is a missional blessing as we share and effect ministry on every level of the Church. The opportunity also carries responsibilities. One of the responsibilities is the process by which we apply for grants. Boards, agencies, Commissions, and all of our United Methodist entities rely on us to conduct due diligence in the review and endorsement of funding requests.

Below please find a reminder of our Conference guidelines implemented in 2014. Click HERE to see the process outlined on the FL Conference website. Please note that the following process represents our best opportunity to evaluate and endorse grant applications in a timely manner:

Thank you for assisting us in becoming better stewards of UMC resources and fellow travelers with you on the journey of implementing vital ministries!

Connectional and Justice Ministries

Winter Conference at Epworth By the Sea, January 26-29, 2020

Clergy are invited to attend the Winter Conference at Epworth By The Sea, January 26-29, 2020. This will be a combined event with the Bishops and clergy of the North Georgia, Mississippi, South Georgia and Florida Conferences. You might talk with some of the over 150 clergy who attended Winter Conference 2019 about their transformative experience. Len Wilson will be the keynote speaker.

Click HERE to register. NOTE: The past event sold out. Don't delay in registering!!

Florida United Methodist Heritage Center

We are excited to announce - we now have a Facebook page! We created the page to showcase the rich and dynamic history our Conference has preserved and cherished throughout our almost 175 years as a Conference.

If you've never been to our United Methodist Heritage Center, located on the campus of Florida Southern College in Lakeland, your "tour" can start on Facebook. The archives have countless pictures, artifacts and interesting collections that need to be seen right? Well, we want to make sure that you AND members of your church can easily access and marvel at all the beautiful and sacred archives we have, so we created this Facebook page just for you!

Will you please share this link with your congregation and ask them to "Like" it, so that our great connection can be in touch with our sacred past? Reflecting and studying our past can only help us as we look to the future and all that God has in store for us. Click HERE for our Facebook page.

Thank you for your help in spreading the word and we look forward to connecting with your congregation through this page.


Mrs. Anita Campbell, Chair

Florida United Methodist Conference Archives Commission

Rev. Judi New, Archivist

Florida United Methodist Conference

Annual Clergy Mates Retreat

My name is Kim Fisackerly, and I’m contacting you in regards to our Annual Clergy Mates Retreat. Something I’ve learned through the years being married to a clergy person is that I cannot do this alone. Being connected with other spouses brings me so much support, encouragement, accountability, and renewal. I’ve made some incredible friendships, and some of these people we consider to be our family. I was introduced to them via the connection opportunities provided by the Florida Annual Conference—both at the District and Conference levels. While there are no longer opportunities at the District level for most of us, we do still have connections at the Conference level.

Those of us who have attended for the past 30+ years recognize the importance of these gatherings, but unfortunately most spouses now are either unaware of the retreat or don’t understand why it’s such a valuable resource for those of us in ministry. We’ll be having a more informal weekend again this year on November 7-9 at the Riverside Retreat in LaBelle. We would ask that you encourage your clergy spouse to consider attending.

Here’s where you can help both our Clergy Mates group and the spouse of your clergy. Please make sure he/she knows about our group (give them my contact information, if they want to know more), and encourage them to consider becoming a part of us. We have a private Facebook group where we share joys, concerns, prayers, etc.—to stay connected throughout the year. We also have an informal gathering over a meal at Annual Conference.

October is Clergy Appreciation Month, and offering to pay for your clergy spouse to attend is a wonderful way to let them know how thankful you are for their service. Even if your church can only pay for part of it, we do have some scholarship funds available for those who need assistance (handled very discreetly) to cover the remainder (or even all of it, if necessary). Also, assisting with childcare and transportation would be another great way to show appreciation. The cost is $135, and includes lodging and 5 meals.

Please prayerfully consider how your church can care for your clergy spouse, and make sure they’re feeling the love and support necessary to thrive in this role. I appreciate any assistance you can offer in connecting them with our group. Feel free to contact me, should you have any questions or need further information. My passion is caring for my fellow mates, as they have been such a blessing to me.

Click here to register.


General Conference 2020

Minneapolis, Minnesota - May 5 - 15

Florida Delegation General Conference 2020 

General Conference 2020 Website




Conference and District offices will be closed

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

October Clergy Appreciation Month

October 12-November 10 Charge Conference Season click here to link to the forms

October 17 materials due for November 14 DCOM

October 26 Round table at the Portico click here to register 


November 7 materials due for December 5 DCOM meeting

November 7 Annual Clergy Mates Retreat info and registration 

November 14 DCOM Meeting

November 23 Tools to Launch a new Hispanic/Latino Ministry 9:30-1:30 Location TBD

November 18 - 21 SEJ Clergywomen's Event - in Jacksonville FL - Click here to register.


December  17 DCOM Meeting

December 10 Bishop's Day Apart at First Lakeland 10-3 info above

December 11 SPR Training at Palm Harbor click here

December 12 SPR Training at St Andrew's Brandon click here


2020 and beyond

February 22, 2020 Innovation 2020 at Anona UMC 9:30 -3 PM sign up coming soon

April 23 - Clergy Meeting - Bay Hope 10-1 (including working lunch) more information closer to the date

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