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March 2019 District Newsletter

Message from DS

Dear North East District Family,

As we begin the month of March, we have a chance to truly find more about our neighbors and how we might be in ministry with them. By now you have received many emails from us about From the Steeple to the Streets. If for some reason you’re just hearing about this for the first time, there is more information included in this newsletter. Please be sure to check it out.

One of the key things that is hampering many of our churches is that we expect people to come to us. The reality is that the vast majority of the people in our communities won’t. They’re suspect of church and Christians. The excellent news is that they like Jesus. The answer is we need to bring Jesus to them.

Just like the four friends who brought their sick brother to Jesus by lowering him through the roof, we have to find out where people are gathering in our neighborhoods and help them experience Jesus. From the Steeple to the Streets will help you do that.

It’s very simple. You can do it in a team or one-by-one. It’s simply walking, listening, praying, and observing. You can then begin to dream of how you might take ministry and the message of Jesus to people in places around your community.

We do ask that you share your observations with our district Fresh Expressions Team so that they can learn from you. They can then also help equip you! Next, consider attending our Fresh Expressions Vision Day on April 6, 2019 at Mandarin UMC in Jacksonville. Michael Beck will be leading this day and it will help you take the information you gathered through From the Steeple to the Streets and then figure out how to use it to start a Fresh Expression.

This is low threat. It’s not knocking on people’s doors. It’s simply praying and observing. You can do this!

God bless you and know that I’m praying for you!

All God’s love,


 Children's Ministry Luncheon

The second children's ministry district meeting will be held on April 10, 2019, 12 p.m. at Lakewood UMC in the Family Life Center.

Anyone who works in leadership with children (paid staff or volunteers) is welcome to attend.  We will spend time thinking about summer and fall programming and sharing ideas. Bring your lunch! For more information, please contact Carrie Yoder -

Mission Trip

St Paul UMC, Jacksonville is participating in a Mission Trip to the Florida Panhandle, March 24-30, 2019. They are open to participation by others interested from other churches in our District.  The team is registered with the Alabama-West Florida Conference and the sponsoring church has agreed to house the team. For more information about the trip, please click here

Child/Youth Protection Policy 

We had a GREAT turnout at the Child/Youth Policy Changes Training a few weeks ago. We are working on a Q&A document to help answer many of your questions. Corey mentioned a document that he uses in his ministry and we wanted to share it with everyone. Take a peak:

Don't forget to complete your policy adoption and return the new policy including signature pages to our office by April 30.

Clergy Assessments - 2019

There was a delay in updating the Clergy Assessment forms, so if you have already started using the old 2018 materials, that is fine. Click here to access the 2019 forms.

There are a few minor changes to the English forms this year. Mostly, these are formatting issues and minor word changes. One change has been made so that the S.M.A.R.T. goals on the SPRC evaluation are the church’s goals and the S.M.A.R.T. goals on the clergy self-evaluation are the pastor’s goals. Both sets of goals are recorded on the Joint SPRC/Clergy Dialogue. But remember, if you’ve already started using the 2018 forms, you don’t have to make the changes!! In addition, if you have your own assessment form at your church, feel free to use that one. We’re very flexible!

Here are some helpful hints:

  1. Schedule your assessment meeting as soon as possible. This will allow plenty of time to ensure that the deadline of May 31 is met.
  2. Please read the Welcome Letter from Sara McKinley and the Instructions Process. These documents will most likely answer any question you may have. If not, call (04-396-3026) or email us (
  3. You must complete an assessment for all appointed clergy in your church regardless of their status (elder, deacon, local pastor, etc.)
  4. We do not need hard copy originals of the documents. Feel free to scan and email completed and signed documents to our office. You can also fax the documents - 904-396-6294.
  5. You must adhere to the deadline of May 31. The DS will meet with all appointed clergy in a one-on-one meeting shortly after Annual Conference. He will not meet with the clergy transitioning. However, their new DS will review the assessment. 
  6. We do read them! So please complete them by the deadline. 


Vitality Metrics

Are you up-to-date on your 2018 Vitality Metrics? If not, email your numbers to Pam ( Have you submitted the metrics for January and February 2019 yet? If not, submit your metrics online -

Steeple to the Streets

As we focus on discipleship district-wide in 2019, one of the ways we are doing that is through helping our faith communities better understand and implement the Fresh Expressions movement. Many of you have heard the term which simply defined is about reaching new people in new places in new ways.

We know from research that at best, our churches are positioned to reach only about one third of the population. Up to two thirds of the population are likely never to darken the doors of our churches. To reach them, we have to do church in new ways and in new places. It doesn’t mean the message changes. Our message will always be only Jesus saves by grace through faith in Him. How we convey that message must change if we’re to reach a large segment of society, however.
Please mark the first week of March (March 3-9, 2019) as the North East District’s first Steeple to the Streets week. Steeple to the Streets is a way of going into our communities to pray, observe, and engage. It’s easy to do and is a first step to thinking about where people are outside your church and to begin brainstorming about how you might reach them. 

Here is some information to help you learn more about Steeple to the Streets and to share with your church:

You can also find these files on our website

Fresh Expressions Vision Day - Have you registered yet? 

The North East District will be hosting a Fresh Expressions Vision Day at Mandarin UMC in Jacksonville from 9:30am – 3:30pm. This event is produced by Fresh Expressions US and will be led by the Rev. Michael Beck from our annual conference. Many of you have experienced Michael at last year’s Equip event. Michael is an excellent presenter and a pioneer in the Fresh Expressions movement. This will be a day-long, immersive event that will help you move forward in launching a Fresh Expression. Registration is now open to the first 150 people that sign up. Please note that we cannot accept walk-ins for this event.

Feel free to share this Vision Day Flyer with your church.

National Day of Prayer

There will be a 2019 National Day of Prayer Event at Jacksonville City Hall on Thursday, May 2 at 12 noon. All are welcome to attend.

March 2019
March 3-9 – Steeple to the Streets Week 
March 6, 2019 – Social Media/Church Marketing Training @ Fleming Island UMC. Social Media session will run from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and the Church Marketing session will run from 1-3 p.m. Register to attend these FREE trainings.
March 27, 2019 – District Clergy/Ministry Team Meeting @ Fleming Island UMC. 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. All full-time clergy appointed to a church are required to attend. Bring a bagged lunch.

April 2019
April 5-6, 2019 - Spring Lay Servant Training @ Palm Coast UMC 
April 6, 2019 – Fresh Expressions Vision Day @ Mandarin UMC, 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. 
April 10, 2019 - Children's Ministry Luncheon @ Lakewood UMC, 12 p.m.

May 2019
May 5, 2019 - Pre-Conference Orientation, 3 p.m. @ Fleming Island UMC
May 15, 2019 - DCOM - Provisional. Please contact Elizabeth Flynn for more information -
May 17, 2019 - UM Family Night at the Ballpark. Tickets on sale soon.

August 2019
August 14, 2019 - DCOM - Provisional (retrys only) Please contact Elizabeth Flynn for more information -

September 2019
September 18, 2019 – District Admin Brunch, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. @ Southside UMC

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. Save the Date!
October 26, 2019 – Super-Charged Conference, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. @ CrossRoad UMC
October 28, 2019 – Church Dashboard Update Day

December 2019
December 11, 2019 - Recerts/Certs/LP - Please contact Elizabeth Flynn for more information -