From The District Superintendent
As we enter the season of Advent, we know it’s a season of preparation, anticipation, expectation and waiting. Most of us, if honest, don’t enjoy waiting. We get impatient waiting at traffic lights, in grocery store lines and we impatiently wait for websites or a videos to load on our computers or devices. Who has time to wait? We have a destination even in Advent season. We want to get to the beloved candlelight Christmas Eve services. Candlelight Christmas is important and deserves our energy and focus. I also wonder what else GOD has in store for us each week of Advent. We can be so focused on our destination that we miss the wonders of the journey.
I pray as Advent unfolds, the Holy Spirit reveals to us new insight and experiences we can share with others. As we light the candles of HOPE, FAITH, JOY and PEACE may we be inspired a fresh and a new.
Oh, come, oh, come, Emmanuel, And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here, Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to you, O Israel!
I pray we enjoy the wondrous journey of this Advent season.
Candace M. Lewis
PASSION for helping churches become more VITAL? Looking for a way to serve in new and impactful ways?
The Gulf Central Congregational Vitality Team is looking for those wanting to work with our churches-up front and behind the scenes-to help build vital worshipping communities. Gifts and skills appreciated include coaching, facilitation, analysis, event planning.
Please contact Beth Potter at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Shepherd’s Community in Lakeland– We bid Doug Townley adieu and wish him all the best in his retirement and we welcome Kent Crow to the Gulf Central District as he serves at Shepherd’s.
Keystone Odessa We bid Fred Ball adieu and wish him all the best in his retirement and welcome Drew Dancey – Drew was serving at First Seminole.
First Seminole – We welcome Avis Smith to the Gulf Central District as an interim pastor.
Around the Conference and Beyond
Church and Pastor Annual Profiles
Due by February 1, 2019
Church Profile – reviewed and updated annually.
These forms are to be reviewed and updated annually by all church SPR Committees and all clergy in the Florida Conference. All church SPR Committees must update online annually and may begin after December 1, 2018. The Church Profile deadline requires it be completed online no later than one week prior to the pastor’s DS consultation if they are having one.
Pastor Profile – reviewed and updated annually.
All pastors must update online annually and may begin after December 1, 2018. The Pastor Profile deadline requires it to be completed online no later than one week prior to the DS consultation. Though you may not anticipate a move, it is important that both the Pastor Profile and Church Profile be current and up to date at the first appointment-making session of the Cabinet. The reports should be an honest reflection of the pastoral ministry and the profile of the church.
Click HERE for the detailed instructions for accessing both the Church and Pastor Profiles. Follow the step by step instructions to access the appropriate profile. The final date to update Profiles is February 1, 2019.
2019 Florida Minimum Wage
The Florida minimum wage is increasing to $8.46 per hour, effective January 1, 2019. Please Click HERE for the minimum wage poster for 2019. This needs to be posted for all employees to see.
Professional Administrators of United Methodist Connectional Structure
February 16, 2019 - LEC
If you are in an Administrative role in the local church, we hope you will join us at the 45th Annual Seminar of the Florida Chapter PAUMCS. This seminar offers a chance to renew and refresh at the Life Enrichment Center in Fruitland Park. We have a great day planned for you that includes information, rest & relaxation. Registration beings at 7:30am in the Lee Pearson Building. The seminar will be from 8:45am - 4:00pm. Click HERE for the details and registration form. Questions? Contact Lynn Campbell email@example.com.
January 29 - February 1, 2019 - Epworth By The Sea
In lieu of our Clergy Gathering which had been tentatively scheduled October 23 - 24, 2018, we are inviting you to attend the Winter Conference at Epworth By The Sea, January 29 - February 1, 2019. This will be a combined event with the Bishops and clergy of the North Georgia, Mississippi, South Georgia and Florida Conferences. Dr. Tod Bolinger, author of Canoeing The Mountains, will be the keynote speaker.
Child/Youth Protection Policy Update
Since 1996, the General Conference of the United Methodist Church has required that each local church congregation have a child/youth protection policy (CYPP).
The Florida Conference has been a pioneering force in implementing this mandate and establishing a template for local church use that would highlight our core value of safety and security; acknowledging that all people, especially children, are important to God.
A strong, broad-base policy template was developed and then updated in 2009. Since that time, we have collected questions, concerns and suggestions from many sources around the Conference.
Using this valuable input and guided by Scripture, the Book of Discipline and civil law, we offer this latest update to the CYPP Template. Changes to the 2009 template appear in the update in red. (Click here for the 2018 document.) The template will be available in Spanish and Creole by 12-01-18 and will be posted on the Ministry Protection web pages of the Conference website.
Local churches and conference-affiliated ministries should use this template to update their own policies by April 30, 2019. Copies of updated church policy Adoption Agreements (page 13 of the template) are to be sent to the church’s District Office by that date.
SPECIAL NOTE: Florida Statute 943.053 now mandates a minimum fee per name submitted for a Florida Criminal History Database check; that fee is $24.00. Additional fees may apply to perform a national criminal background screening; however, access to the Sexual Offender Registry remains free.
Should you have questions on the template update, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 13 DCOM
Merry Christmas District office closed December 21 - January 2
January 1 – Materials due for Local Pastor License Renewals – meeting January 24
January 11 - Final day for 2018 Apportionments to be received in Lakeland.
January 17 Clergy Meeting at Lake Magdalene, 2902 W Fletcher Ave Tampa 9:30 -2PM working lunch
January 24 DCOM – at St Paul 1498 Rosery Rd. NE Largo
February 16 District Learning Event at Anona 13233 Indian Rocks Rd Largo 9AM – 3 PM
April 4 – materials due for 1st Provisional attempt meeting May 2
April 25 Clergy Meeting Location Heritage 9:30 -2PM working lunch
May 2 DCOM Meeting 1st Provisional attempt materials due April 4
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
Clergy Meeting Location TBD 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