Message from the District Superintendent
Dear North East District Family,
This will be my last e-blast as your district superintendent. I want to take a moment and thank you for allowing me the privilege of serving you in this role.
Almost four years ago when I began as your DS, I knew very little about northeast Florida. I grew up in Central Florida and also served churches there. Additionally, I served a church in Southwest Florida. This was one area of the state about which I knew very little. I can now say that we adore it. In fact, Jacksonville is our favorite place that either Kendra or I have ever lived. We have fallen in love with this beautifully diverse area that includes an urban core, wonderful suburbs, beautiful beaches and islands, the oldest city in America, and gorgeous rural areas. Some people have asked where we will live after I conclude my time on the Cabinet and the answer is right here! Kendra has developed a large law practice in Jacksonville and has about 18 employees that count on her for a job. Paul is in high school and loves his friends and teachers. We don’t want to live anywhere else, and we look forward to bumping into you from time to time.
I want to express my deep appreciation to the district Operations Team. They are an outstanding group of leaders including Betsy Condon, Jordan Baker, Brooke Lawrence, Derrick Scott, Kevin Griffin, Charlie Charles, Don Thompson, Tiffany McCall, Jerry Sweat, Mike Moore, and Christin Nevins. They have helped shepherd, connect, and equip our district and it has grown dramatically in vitality. This past weekend’s Equip 2020 featuring The Unstuck Group is just one piece of fruit they have helped grow with the leading of the Holy Spirit. They are deep spiritual leaders, and it has been a great privilege doing ministry with them.
Our district has exceptional clergy, and I have been so proud to serve alongside them. I have watched them grow in leadership skill and preaching. I have seen them tackle difficult issues and take unpopular stances because it was the right thing to do. I have observed the new followers of Jesus that they have helped make as they equipped their faith communities to be disciple-making factories. God bless each and every one of you.
I truly believe that our district has a campus ministry that is not only highly effective but the model for what the future of campus ministry will look like. Campus to City Wesley is now on four campuses: Jacksonville University, the University of North Florida, Flagler College, and Edward Waters College. It doesn’t own any buildings and uses all of its resources to reach college-aged adults. Not only are they making disciples of Jesus, but they do an exceptional job at leadership development. It has been an honor to be one of your biggest cheerleaders this past four years.
The North East District is blessed to have the best senior assistant that we could possibly have: Pam Mullay. Several years ago one of our churches adopted a nickname for her: Ms. Awesome. It stuck because it’s true. It’s has been a joy to have a genuine partnership with Pam, and I will miss working with her terribly. Our district won the lottery when it got Pam.
Lastly, I want to say a word of thanks to my wife, Kendra, and our son, Paul. They have not traveled with me much around the district because we’ve tried to let Paul have a church home where he could grow and especially be a part of the youth ministry. That said, they have always been by my side no matter what. When I was little, I wondered what my family would be like one day. I never dreamed that I would be blessed with the embarrassment of riches that I have been given in Kendra and Paul.
In his letter to the Philippians, the Apostle Paul shared these words that have always meant a lot to me. Kendra and I had them read at our wedding, and I have shared them with two other churches as I finished my time as one of their pastors. They aptly describe how I feel about my North East District family. (Philippians 1:3-8, CEB)
I thank my God every time I mention you in my prayers. I’m thankful for all of you every time I pray, and it’s always a prayer full of joy. I’m glad because of the way you have been my partners in the ministry of the gospel from the time you first believed it until now. I’m sure about this: the one who started a good work in you will stay with you to complete the job by the day of Christ Jesus. I have good reason to think this way about all of you because I keep you in my heart. You are all my partners in God’s grace…and in the defense and support of the gospel. God is my witness that I feel affection for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus.
Indeed I keep you in my heart. I will continue to pray for you in the coming months, and I ask you to pray for me and my family. God bless you!
All God’s love,
Registration is still available for this event.
Protocol Meeting in the North East District
Alex Shanks will share about General Conference 2020, the various plans (including A Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation) and legislation and resources for how churches can prepare their congregations. The North East District meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 25, 2020, 10 a.m. at Orange Park UMC, 2051 Park Avenue, Orange Park. You do not need to register to attend.
April 16, 2020 - District Youth Leaders Meeting, 10:30-2 @ District Office, Jacksonville
April 18-19, 2020 - Spring Lay Servant Training @ Spring Glen UMC, Jacksonville
August 22, 2020 – Igniting Men Conference @ Mandarin UMC
October 17, 2020 – 2020 Super-Charged Conference @ CrossRoad UMC
October 28, 2019 – Church Dashboard Update Day