Message from District Superintendent
Dear North East District Family,
Normally, I write about church vitality or leadership issues, but this month I wanted to share with you an experience I had during Lent that has been profound. Part of my spiritual disciplines includes using the Daily Text from Seedbed Publishing each day. It’s emailed to me each morning before I wake up. JD Walt writes the Daily Text (most days). Often it focuses on different books of the Bible. Sometimes it’s topical in that it focuses on Advent or Pentecost. JD is an excellent writer and has a unique way of framing things. He’s solidly Wesleyan and provides a daily “devotional” that is significant and deep. If you like to listen to books and podcasts in the car, you can also listen to a recording of the Daily Text provided in the email.
During the season of Lent, JD focused the Daily Text on the Gospel of Luke. He began with the parts of Luke leading up to the Transfiguration. From there, he helped us journey with Jesus toward Jerusalem and how Luke records the events of Holy Week and Easter. Each day he encouraged us to pray a prayer that many know as the Jesus Prayer. It’s short and simple, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” One day he entreated us to walk outside, saying the prayer out loud, in time with our steps, at least 100 times.
The Jesus Prayer likely comes from the Desert Fathers. It has a significant role in the theology and practice of the Orthodox Church as well as Eastern Catholics. As you may know John Wesley was particularly fond of the Eastern branches of the Church Universal.
I made it my practice as I would spend time walking each day during Lent to simply spend those 30 minutes saying the Jesus Prayer over and over again. I found that it did in fact change me. It opened my heart to being more attuned to the presence of God. It also helped me hear more clearly what the Holy Spirit was trying to tell me on a whole host of matters. Further, it would help to clear my head of other thoughts as well as help me be aware of my deep need for Jesus in my life. Lastly, it helped me to be aware of my growth edges and how I need Jesus to continually shape me into the person He’s called me to be.
It was a simple practice and one I probably would not have ever done without JD’s encouragement. It’s one that I may not continue to do daily, but I have found myself praying the Jesus Prayer at various times throughout the day. I have a feeling this prayer has worked its permanent way into my prayer life.
I share all of this simply to say that being intentional about your own faith journey is so very important. I’m a big believer that fruitfulness follows faithfulness. For me this Lenten experience was one way to grow in that faithfulness. I invite you, as leaders of our faith communities, to spend time discerning how you can grow in your discipleship with Jesus. If you’d like to sign up for the Daily Text, click here.
God bless you!
All God’s love,
UM Family Night at the Jumbo Shrimp
Join the United Methodist Men as they host United Methodist Family Night at the Jumbo Shrimp on Friday, May 17, 2019. The Shrimp will be playing the Montgomery Biscuits with a game time start at 7:05 p.m. A Church Staff Appreciation Reception will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. at the VyStar Shrimp Net on the First Base Side. Purchase tickets and appreciate your church staff.
For more information about the event and to download ticket information, please click here.
SEJ Clergywomen Conference - Jacksonville
Registration is now open. Visit their website to register - www.unchartedconference2019.com.
Annual Assessment of Clergy Leadership - Due May 31
Each year United Methodist clergy are to engage in a process of assessment of effectiveness. A team from the Florida Conference Board of Ordained Ministry has worked diligently to provide clergy and local church Committees on Staff Parish Relationships with a set of tools that will assist in that process. It is the hope that each clergy and each SPRC will take this process seriously so that our clergy continue to grow in effectiveness toward our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Click HERE for all the forms needed to complete the process. The completed forms should be emailed to Pam Mullay (firstname.lastname@example.org.) If you cannot email a scanned copy, fax it to 904-396-6294 or mail a hard copy to NE District UMC, 1415 LaSalle Street, Jacksonville, FL 32207.
Just a reminder that ALL appointed clergy to the local church are required to have an assessment completed. If you have your own assessment that your church uses, you can use that one in place of the one online.
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.
Save the Dates - Called to Preach Classes
We are working on doing another series of Called to Preach Classes this time in the Putnam County area. The dates would be August 5, 12, 29 & 26. These classes would 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. We will let you know once registration is live!
Jobs in our Local Churches
- Director of Children's Ministry - St. Paul UMC, Jacksonville
Do you have a passion to help youth connect with Jesus and the church? Christ UMC in Neptune Beach is seeking a part-time Director of Youth Ministries. We are looking for someone who is in a growing relationship with Jesus, who can develop a team, oversee ministry, and most importantly build relationships with youth in the community and in the church. We value team and are looking for someone to help build the team within the church. The Director of Youth Ministries would help grow and develop our existing youth ministries. Please send resume and cover letter to Rev. Bridget Thornton (Rev.BET18@flumc.org)
Correct Church Information?
Also, be sure to check your church information on the locator that is used by the denomination - http://www.umc.org/find-a-church/search. If you that information is not correct, please scroll to the bottom of that page and click on the Update Church Information box.
Calendar of Events
May 5, 2019 - Pre-Conference Orientation, 3 p.m. @ Fleming Island UMC
May 15, 2019 - DCOM - Provisional. Please contact Elizabeth Flynn for more information - email@example.com.
May 17, 2019 - UM Family Night at the Ballpark. Tickets on sale now.
August 14, 2019 - DCOM - Provisional (retrys only) Please contact Elizabeth Flynn for more information - firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 18, 2019 – District Admin Brunch, 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. @ Southside UMC
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
December 11, 2019 - Recerts/Certs/LP - Please contact Elizabeth Flynn for more information - email@example.com.