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June 2019 District Newsletter

Message from District Superintendent

Dear North East District Family,

As I write this, I have arrived in Lakeland for The Florida Annual Conference. There are several days of Cabinet meetings before the event begins.

I’ve always believed that good leadership is transparent, and I have to share with you that I am reticent about this year’s Conference. I am concerned that the denominational issues surrounding the human sexuality debate are going to dominate our time together. I am even more concerned that we will allow those matters to divide us personally. I know that many of us have different opinions on these issues; I respect that. I simply want you to know that my love and heart for you does not change regardless of where you are on the theological spectrum. We may not agree, but it is one of the greatest honors of my life and ministry to serve as your district superintendent. I love you and celebrate that all of you are children of God and persons of worth. (As I call it: COGPOW!)

I am praying for all of us in the next few days. I pray that we will yield to the movement of the Holy Spirit - me at the top of the list. I continue to place my trust in Jesus and go back over and over to my “life verse” from Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart; don’t rely on your own intelligence. Know him in all your paths, and he will keep your ways straight.”

May we all trust in Jesus and not rely on ourselves! May He increase and we decrease! May we passionately seek to know Him and radically trust that He will keep our paths straight!

God bless you!

With great respect and,

All God’s love,


Renfro Trust Fund

The Renfro Trust Fund awards annual bricks-and-mortar grants to small rural United Methodist congregations in the Southeastern Jurisdiction.

Renfro Trust Funds are available for award with a deadline for application determined by the Annual Conference of the church which is submitting the grant application. Please check with your Annual Conference (see contact information below) to determine your respective deadline for application (typically in mid- to late summer). Please note: Applications will only be accepted when submitted through the Conference Secretary for Global Ministries of the Conference in which you are located.

For the Renfro Trust Guidelines, click here. Click here to view a pdf version of the application. An online fillable version of the application will be available by the end of June 2019. Guidelines must be followed completely for applications to be considered. 

Questions about the application form, award process, or the Renfro Trust Fund may be directed to:

Allison Lindsey, Chairperson, Conference Secretaries of Global Ministries



Susan Hunt, Renfro Trust Grant Coordinator, Conference Secretaries of Global Ministries


Newborn Kits for Angola

Can you help? The Conference's Global Missions Team is collecting Newborn Kits for Angola. These kits are a tremendous resource in that area. Here is a list of items for each kit:

  • 3 cloth diapers (pre-folded or plain diapers only—NO disposable)
  • 1 under shirts and 1 one-piece onesies
  • 1 baby washcloths (infant size only)
  • 1 gowns or sleepers
  • 2 diaper pins (protective plastic closures)
  • 1 sweater open in the front (may be knitted, crocheted or hooded sweat shirts are acceptable)
  • 1 newborn baby hat
  • 2 receiving blankets (28” or 28” to 32” x 32” sizes only. No crib blankets please)
  • Bundle the items inside one of the receiving blankets and secure with the diaper pins

We will be collecting these items over the coming months since they have a team that will be traveling to Quessua in September. Feel free to drop off your kits to the District Office or bring them to Annual Conference and drop them off with Pam at the check-in area. Deadline to drop off at District Office is August 19.

We welcome all Finance Committee Team Members and Trustees Committee Team Members to a Finance/Trustees Training. This training will involve all aspects of Finance and Trustees.

This training will take place on the following dates and locations:

  • November 12, 2019 - 7-9 PM @ San Marco UMC (formerly Swaim Memorial UMC), 1620 Naldo Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32207
  • November 13, 2019 - 7-9 PM @ Emmanuel UMC, 700 Main St, Palatka, FL 32177

Please sign up to attend. There is no cost to attend, but please register so we can prepare accordingly for the trainings. 

The district superintendent will conduct SPRC Training on December 10 @ Garden City UMC, 3057 Dunn Avenue, Jacksonville & December 12, 2018 @ First UMC, 205 N Pine St, Bunnell from 7-9 p.m. Both trainings will take place in the sanctuary.

We ask that all SPRC chairs/committee members attend one of these trainings, especially if they will be new to their position in January 2020. As a reminder to you, S/PPRCs ARE NOT authorized to take a vote on whether their pastor should remain or move unless you specifically receive permission from the district superintendent. Clergy are also welcome to attend.

This training is free to attend, but please register so we can plan for you.

2020 Equip Leadership Event

Save the date for the 2020 Equip Leadership Event to be held on February 8, 2020. Location and more details will be forthcoming. 

SEJ Clergywomen Conference - Jacksonville 

Registration is now open. Visit their website to register -

Fall Lay Servant Training

Our Fall Lay Servant will be held on Saturday, October 12, 2019 from 9-5 and then again on Sunday, October 13, 2019 from 3-5:30. This is a switch from our normal Friday night classes. The training will be held at Wesconnett UMC. We are offering the following classes:

  • Basic Lay Servant Class with Rev. David Preston of Wesconnett UMC  - This basic course includes a study of what it means to be God’s called people and how we may be at work for God in our own communities. The course provides learning opportunities in three areas of service for lay speakers: leading, caring and communicating. 
  • Aging and Ministry in the 21st Century with Ruth Woo of First UMC, Jacksonville (Advanced Lay Servant) This class is a practical guide for building ministry for older adults.  
  • Lay Servants Lead in Conflict Resolution with Rev. Debbie McLeod of Mandarin UMC (Advanced Lay Servant) Every church deals with conflict, both healthy and unhealthy, and lay servants can be equipped and empowered to help lead through those times of conflict as a time of transformation. 
  • Leading Missional Small Groups with Camille Wilson and Rev. Jeff St. Clair, both from Longleaf Church and Rev. Will Wold of Mandarin UMC (Advanced Lay Servant) This course teaches the Wesleyan way to form missional communities and congregations. It is based on the conviction that just as holiness of heart leads to holiness of life, it is communities of holy love that participate in God's mission in the world. 

Online registration is open. Class sizes are limited to 15 per class. So register early. If you want to register by check, please call the District Office at 904-396-3026. You must purchase your own book prior to the training. The District will provide lunch and snacks during the event. You must register to attend in advance. We do not allow walk-ins.

Called to Preach Classes

We are offering two Called to Preach Classes. One in Crescent City and the other in Jacksonville.

The dates in Crescent City at Howe Memorial UMC are August 5, 12, 29 & 26. These classes will be offered in the late afternoon (4-6:30 p.m.) time frame. Please note that we understand that this schedule does not work for everyone. But it does work for some folks, especially those not wanting to drive at night so we are trying to do something different. 

The class will be limited to 12 people. Registration is live and we have eight spaces left. 

The dates in Jacksonville at CrossRoad UMC are September 9, 16, 23, 30 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. The class will be limited to 12 people. Registration is live


August 2019
August 5, 2019 - Called to Preach Class in Crescent City, 4-6:30 p.m.
August 12, 2019 - Called to Preach Class in Crescent City, 4-6:30 p.m.
August 14, 2019 - DCOM - Provisional (retrys only) Please contact Elizabeth Flynn for more information -
August 19, 2019 - Called to Preach Class in Crescent City, 4-6:30 p.m.
August 26, 2019 - Called to Preach Class in Crescent City, 4-6:30 p.m.

September 2019
September 9, 2019 - Called to Preach Class in Jacksonville, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
September 16, 2019 - Called to Preach Class in Jacksonville, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
September 18, 2019 – District Admin Brunch, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m./Southside UMC
September 23, 2019 - Called to Preach Class in Jacksonville, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
September 30, 2019 - Called to Preach Class in Jacksonville, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

October 2019
October 1, 2019 – Clergy Compensation Forms Due to District Office
October 9, 2019 – District Clergy/Ministry Team Meeting @ Fleming Island UMC. 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
October 12-13, 2019 - Fall Lay Servant Training @ Wesconnett UMC.
October 26, 2019 – Super-Charged Conference, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. @ CrossRoad UMC
October 28, 2019 – Church Dashboard Update Day

November 2019

November 12, 2019 – Finance/Trustees Training @ San Marco UMC
November 13, 2019 – Finance/Trustees Training @ Emmanuel UMC, Palatka

December 2019
December 10, 2019 – SPRC Training @ Garden City UMC

December 11, 2019 - Recerts/Certs/LP - Please contact Elizabeth Flynn for more information -
December 12, 2019 – SPRC Training @ First UMC, Bunnell