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January 2021 District Newsletter

MESSAGE FROM THE DISTRICT OFFICE


Friends,

As we begin 2021 please know that you, along with your faith communities, continue to be in my prayers. 2020 stretched all of us in ways we could have never imagined. So much change. So much uncertainty. Life changing at warp speed. 

In my conversations with laity and clergy I have been amazed by your adaptability. Faith communities are "doing and being the church" in ways you never imagined before. Through all the struggles, the cause of Jesus Christ has continued to define the journey. I cannot overstate my gratefulness and admiration for each of you. 

This is the appointive season in our church, and I would ask your prayers for Bishop Carter and the Cabinet as we undertake this monumental task. I can assure you it is a prayerful time of discernment that is led by the Holy Spirit. Please be in prayer for pastors and churches expecting change that we may all be open to the leading of the Spirit in the days ahead.     

One a personal note, I want you to know that I will have hip replacement surgery. Currently the surgery is scheduled for February 16, though the hope is that it can be sooner. There will coverage for any needs during my recovery time away. I will appreciate your prayers.

As always, Pam and I stand at the ready to assist and encourage you in any way possible.

May the joy of new life brighten your journey in 2021!!!!

I do love serving as your superintendent,

 FINANCE WEBINAR


As we begin this new year there is still much uncertainty that Church Treasurers and Finance teams are facing and important decisions to be made.  The Conference Financial Services team would like to provide you with an update that may prove useful as you continue to serve your church this year by hosting a one hour webinar this Thursday afternoon from 4 to 5 pm.
Topics covered will be:
 

  1. 2021 Ministry Protection renewal
  2. 2021 health stipend/pension updates
  3. New EAP for Conference Clergy as part of the Clergy Care Initiative
  4. PPP loan forgiveness update
  5. 2020 year in review

Presenters will be Craig Smelser, Interim Conference Treasurer, LaNita Battles, Director of Ministry Protection, and Mickey Wilson, former Conference Treasurer.

ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2021 SURVEY 


Your Annual Conference planning team has been hard at work beginning to make plans for our June 2021 Annual Conference session. At this time we don’t know what the health and safety protocols related to the pandemic will look like in June or how that might impact our plans for annual conference. We ask for your input into our planning process. 

Please fill out this brief survey before January 11. If you have additional questions, ideas or resources that could help us in our planning, please send to acquestions@flumc.org.

VIRTUAL CROSS-RACIAL/CROSS-CULTURAL MINISTRY SPRING TRAINING


Registration is open for this April 30 - May 1, 2021 virtual event. For more information and to register, click here

This event is sponsored by: The North Texas Conference Center for Leadership Development, The Center for Church Development, and Cowley Coaching. If you have questions about this event, contact the host: Edlen Cowley: cowley@sbcglobal.net.

CREDIT UNION SCHOLARSHIP 

What you need to know:

  • $1,000.00 awarded to one person from each of the United Methodist Conferences (Florida, Alabama -West Florida, South Georgia, North Georgia)
  • Application Open: January 1st-April 30th, 2021
  • Previous Winners are ineligible to apply
  • UMC FCU Members are eligible to apply . Applying online to become a UMC FCU member is easy. Eligibility Requirements  ( Be a Member of a UM Church, or Work for a UM Church or Organization within the four (4) conferences listed above, Have a family member who is already a member of UMC FCU)
  • Application and essay information will GO LIVE on January 1st, 2021 on www.UMCFCU.com website
  • Don’t wait to apply (Applying early does not increase your chances of winning… it’s just good to get things done as soon as possible.)   

2021 W-4 AND MILEAGE RATES 


The IRS changed the W-4 in 2020 and made another change for 2021. Existing employees do not need to complete a new form. If an employee wants to change their withholding elections or you hire a new employee, you must use the new form. Click HERE for the new W-4.

In addition, the IRS changed the mileage rate for 2021 to 56 cents per mile. Please share this information with your finance team/bookkeeper so they are aware of the change. 

WESPATH VIRTUAL MEETING


Wespath is having a virtual 2-day afternoon meeting covering pension plans and clergy taxes, clergy wellness, benefit proposal for General Conference 2021, and much more.  There is also an opportunity to schedule a private benefits consultation with a Wespath Benefits staff member. Every clergy person could benefit from this event. The deadline to register is January 29, 2021.

There is a charge to register but materials will be mailed to you that will be needed during the event. Please go to the link below for full details of this 2-day event and to register today!

CLERGY CARE - YOUR NEW MAGELLAN EAP 


Lois Durham has worked hard to come up with the new Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for all clergy of The Florida Conference. There are lots of benefits available at no cost to you. Please take a minute to download each of the items listed below, so you don't miss out!

  1. Welcome Email to Members
  2. EAP Flyer
  3. Work-Life Flyer
  4. Legal Financial Flyer
  5. Discount Center Flyer
  6. Clickotine App Flyer

FRESH EXPRESSIONS STUDIO


Is your church struggling to connect with new people, in new places, and in new ways? Did you see a decrease in baptisms and "professions of faith" this year?
 If so... get together a small team of people and join us in a free Studio!

FX Studios are incubators of collaborative missional mess making and a community of support for your team as we travel uncharted territories together.

Rev. Dr. Michael Moynagh will be leading us through our first Studio gatherings. Dr. Moynagh is a minister in the Church of England and is based at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford. He has authored many books on the missional church, including our new book The 21st Century Christian: Following Jesus Where Life Happens.

 

Watch this interview with Dr. Moynagh to learn more about the Studio and what you need to do get ready! Then register your team for the studio here.

The Studio is a yearlong journey, in which your team will meet together two times:

  1. Studio Gathering 1: All teams will meet together to describe where they are in the ‘loving-first cycle,’ learn from each other, and plan out next steps.
  2. Studio Gathering 2: All teams will come back together six months later to again share learnings and collaborate. 

In between Studio 1, Studio 2, your team will be supported through: 1. A shared focus 2. The free app, FX: Godsend or the book 21st Century Christian 3. A community of peer learners, 4. Support via social media, and 5. Skype/Zoom-based coaching with the FX team.

Studio 1: Saturday, January 30, 2021  l  9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Zoom).
Studio 2: Saturday, July 17, 2021  l   9:00 AM - 12:00 PM (Zoom).

If you have any questions, please contact Michael Beck: Reverendwild1@gmail.com.

2021 CALENDAR OF REPORTS AVAILABLE ONLINE


The 2021 Calendar of Reports is available on our website. We recommend printing out the list and putting reminders on your calendar. 

Here are the reports that are due in early 2021:

January 1, 2021 - LIVE DATE

Year-end local church statistics available online beginning January 1, 2021. (Table 1, Table 2, Table 3) Complete online annually.  Must be completed by 5:00 pm Friday, February 5, 2021.  Click Here for instructions page. IF YOU NEED A COPY OF YOUR 2019 YEAR END REPORT, PLEASE CONTACT PAM - FLUMC-NE@FLUMC.ORG.

January 10

Pastor Preference for Appointment and Staff Parish Advisory Recommendation. 
Only Pastors and SPRCs making an advisory request to the Bishop and the Cabinet for a move in 2021 will complete the Preference for Appointment or SPRC Advisory Recommendation forms. If requesting a move, contact your District Superintendent to schedule a consultation appointment and to request the appropriate Advisory Recommendation form. (Please refer to the Cabinet Process of Appointment-Making for more detailed information.)

January 11

2020 Apportionments. Monday, January 11, 2021 is the last day for receiving 2020 apportionments. This is not a postmark date, but the date by which monies must be received in the conference office or at the lockbox at Regions Bank to be included in 2020 receivables. Monies received after this date will be credited to 2021. Include a completed apportionment giving form with your payment. Always include your church’s GCFA number on all forms and checks. When paying in January, mark clearly if the payment is for 2020 or 2021 apportionments. Click here to view your 2020 Connectional Giving Report.
Note: To be included in the Florida Annual Conference "Report of 100% Churches," 100% of 2020 apportionments must be received by January 11, 2021, and all outstanding Ministry Protection and Health and Benefits obligations must be received by December 31, 2020.

January 31

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. The Church Profile deadline requires it be completed online no later than one week prior to the pastor’s DS consultation, if having. The final date to update the Church Profile is January 31, 2021. Click here for the Church and Pastor Profiles start page.

Pastor Profile – reviewed and updated annually.
All pastors must update online annually and may begin after December 1, 2020. 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. The final date to update the Pastor Profile is January 31, 2021. Click here for the Church and Pastor Profiles start page.

OPEN POSITIONS

 

If you do have an open position in your church, be sure to submit an ad on our classifieds page