As we approach this Sunday’s celebration of Mother’s Day, We recognize and celebrate the Moms, Dads, Grandparents, Aunts, Sisters, Brothers, Cousins, Foster and Adopted parents and Guardians who have loved, nurtured, supported, corrected and cared for us. Emotions on Mother’s Day can be joyful and complicated so let’s be sensitive to both realities. Some Mothers have passed away and this will be a Mother’s Day without Mom present. Others do not have a good relationship with their Mother and we can acknowledge that painful reality too.
There is an old hymn called “Faith of our Mothers” that is often sung on Mother’s Day. I appreciate the second verse as I reflect on my relationship with my Mother and Grandmother. “Faith of our mothers, lavish faith, The fount of childhood's trust and grace, O may thy consecration prove The well-spring of a nobler race: Faith of our mothers, lavish faith, We will be true to thee till death”.
Being invited to church for the first time by my Grandmother, affectionately known as “Mama” was an exciting event. We worshipped together on the 2nd and 4th Sundays at her small, country Baptist church. Mama was foundational as I began my faith journey. A few years later, my own Mom became a believer and through her strong faith and fervent prayers, I was encouraged to continue to grow in my relationship with Christ. On Wednesdays, I would tag along with Mommy to noon day prayer service at Zion United Methodist Church. Those faithful saints, both men and women taught me how to pray. Like Timothy, I express deep gratitude for a Mother and Grandmother whose faith in Christ served as an example to follow. “I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” 2 Timothy 1:5 (NIV).
As worshippers gather this Sunday throughout our 89 Gulf Central District Churches let’s create a celebration of Motherhood and safe spaces for those present filled with and without joy. Let’s acknowledge the joy and pain, gains and losses, dancing and sorrow which can exist in our relationships with our Mothers. Let’s do our part in creating inclusive, normalizing conversations and sensitivity towards today’s modern families. Let’s reassure everyone that God is with us and we are with each other, caring for one another, seeking to be as the hymn says a “nobler race”.
Happy Mother’s Day,
Dr. Candace M Lewis
Learn More in Just One Hour
Join our first Gulf Central District Draft Day 2018
UMCM Suncoast, the Gulf Central District Outreach Ministry, is hosting three Summer BreakSpots in St. Petersburg this June and July! Summer BreakSpots provide free, nutritious meals throughout the summer for children who would normally receive free and reduced lunch during the school year. It's like a Pack-A-Sack for the summer! In addition to healthy lunches, BreakSpot also includes a morning of fun activities, social enrichment, and creative learning.
But we need help from you and your church! Spread the word, send your kids, or volunteer! There are so many ways you can help no matter your age, abilities, or limitations.
Join us Monday-Thursday, 10am-noon at:
To volunteer, register a child, or get more info visit https://tinyurl.com/yb56gdrl.
Questions? Contact Katharine H. Henry at firstname.lastname@example.org
*In addition to UMCM’s locations there will be BreakSpots all over the state! Find locations at www.summerfoodflorida.org or by texting "FoodFL" to 877-877.
Superman and Jesus have many similarities: They both come from other worlds, raised by humans, sent out to discover themselves, and provide hope to the world. Is this because of who they are....or how their stories are told? Similar to Joseph (Hero of a Thousand Faces/Power of Myth) Campbell's work in Mythology, this book looks into Jesus and Superman's journeys being linked by a thread of storytelling which spans time and many other hero characters; including Batman, Spider-Man, and Luke Skywalker. If you've wondered why Jesus' story is told the way it is in the four gospels, perhaps looking at the story of Superman can shed some light.
The 2018 Exploring Gifts and Graces: Summer Adventure in Theology and Leadership (EGG) nine-day, all expenses paid, residential summer experience for high school juniors and seniors from all over Florida to explore their faith, learn more about themselves, and to think deeply about their dreams, their goals, and their gifts. The goal of the program is to help career-bound high school students better utilize their summer months to gain career exposure and guidance in order to improve the way they make informed career and educational decisions about their lives and future. This year we have designed a fun, educational, and innovative summer program that will support high school youth in their exploration of vocational choices in faith-based services, education, and ministry.
EGG is held on the campus of Bethune-Cookman University from July 14-July 22, 2018. It will offer students the opportunity to build friendships, participate in community service projects, and gain leadership skills. Participants will also take a day trip to a unique eco-adventure ropes and zip-line challenge course to work in small groups, learn leadership and communication skills, as well as practice team-building exercises.
Complete program information is available on their website:
http://www.cookman.edu/yti/egg/. The application form and instructions are also on the website and there is no application fee. Applications must be submitted by May 4, 2018. EGG is developed by Bethune-Cookman University
Consider now what your church does well and what you could do to help in your community after the storm. Host a training and learn more ways to prepare and respond. Attend the Pre-Conference workshop at Annual Conference to learn more. Because it’s never IF it happens, it’s WHEN.
And while you are preparing, did you know that thousands of people around Florida are still recovering from Hurricane Irma last fall? Go to www.flumc.org to learn how you can help!
Please remember to submit your Missional Vital Signs (MVS) each month no later than the 10th of the month. Click here to enter stats.
The Run 4 Life 4 Miler begins and ends on the campus of the Florida United Methodist Children's Home in historic Enterprise. The 4 mile course is on magnificent oak canopy roads along the shore of Lake Monroe. It is one of the most uniquely beautiful areas and race courses in Central Florida. The goal of this race is to bring awareness to mental health/depression issues and to raise funds for programs providing support to those in need. It is also in remembrance of those who were overwhelmed by their struggles and felt suicide was their only option. All race proceeds will go to FUMCH and other local suicide prevention programs. Whether you will run or walk, we hope that you will ...
Annual Assessment of Ministerial Effectiveness & Goal Setting. The clergy assessment process for 2018 is available on the FLUMC website under Clergy Excellence. Appointed Clergy and the Staff/Pastor Parish Relations Committee should meet annually to complete this process. The report is due to the district office every year by May 30. Click here for more information. (Continuing Education is now completed in conjunction with the Annual Assessment above.)
The United Methodist Connectional Credit Union will be happy to meet everyone attending the Florida Annual Conference in June at the display tables. We want to say hi to our current members and bring awareness those not yet familiar with the UMC FCU’s connection with the United Methodist Church. Be sure to stop by and meet our courteous staff. Please visit us online www.umcfcu.com
The Florida Annual Conference 5K is returning to our inaugural sight around the beautiful Lake Hollingsworth at Florida Southern College. This run/walk event is in its fifth year! This is an opportunity to unite our clergy and lay members of the Annual Conference in an initiative to promote faith and fitness in a 3.1 mile fun run/walk. The race will begin across Lake Hollingsworth from the Nina B. Hollis Wellness Center. It will finish across Lake Hollingsworth Drive from Branscomb Auditorium.
One hundred percent of the proceeds from the 5K will go toward our Annual Conference's support of the Hurricane Irma Recovery
This year we will, once again, have a competition to see which District will have the most registrants/participants.
PACKET PICK-UP & RACE INFO:
Pre-Race Packet Pick-Up - Wednesday, June 6, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. at First UMC, Lakeland by AC Registration.
Race Day ~ Friday, June 8
Florida Southern College - Nina B. Hollis Wellness Center - under the tent
6:15 a.m. - Same day pick up
6:30 a.m. - 5K Start!
Click here to register
The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church
450 Martin L King Jr Ave
Lakeland, FL 33815
(863) 688-5563 or toll free (800) 282-8011