Dear Pastors and Leaders,
I hope your summer has gone well and though it is just August, families are returning from vacations preparing for school to begin in a couple of weeks, depending on your location. I’ve had a wonderful summer so far and was able to spend time with our four grandchildren. These are special times!
One of the joys I experienced was going to camp at the Warren Willis Camp the week of July 8th! I was able to spend time with the children and youth from First Ocala, Ocala West and Celebration along with their pastors and children’s directors. Rev. Melissa Pisco did an awesome job as the worship pastor for the children’s worship! As well, I was able to witness first hand the great job the Leadership Team of the camp does as they demonstrate the love of God by their words and example. One of the team members as well as one of NC District ministry candidates, Annie Deaderick, coordinated all the worship that took place. She will be headed to seminary this fall. I share this to give witness to the excellent ministry and resource we have in the Conference through the work of the camp. I also share this so that you can be looking for the week next summer that your DS will be at camp spending important time with the church at work in the lives of children and youth (and, it happens to be located in our district!). It is my hope you will make it a priority to send children and youth to camp next summer and plan to come with them! God was at work everywhere I looked!
I’ve seen pictures on social media of some awesome VBS’s, large and small throughout the district. Thank you pastors, staff and volunteers for making sure that the ministry of the church is offered to everyone. Again, children and youth are being given an experience of God that they will always have with them. Thank you for this commitment.
The fall charge conference schedule is being sent out this week. The theme that Bishop Carter chose is, “On Mission Together.” The focus is Matthew 22:34-40. Please be in prayer as reports are prepared and worship is planned that God would plant deeply within us a vision of the kingdom of God that shines forth for all to see. May we continue to be faithful in this task and call as it is clear both our communities and the world is in desperate need of such an image. We DO have a Mission and a purpose in these troubling times!
Blessings on each of you!June
Sometimes we need a breath of fresh air.
Have you ever felt like you were suffocating? Air is all around us, all the time, we take it for granted, until it’s suddenly not there or becomes stagnant. We can live for a considerable amount of time without food, to a lesser degree without water, but only minutes without air. Sometimes, air can become unbreathable, becoming “stuffy,” like in a room full of sweaty church folks where the preacher goes on too long and the AC is broken.
Many of us have experienced the feeling of big city smog, especially when we migrate from the crisp clean air of the countryside. We find that big city air hard and heavy, maybe even choking us. It’s refreshing to get away from the city smog and breathe in the fresh air of nature once in a while. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a study demonstrating the ill effects that smog (a combination of industrial pollutants, vehicle emissions, open burning, incinerators, and so on) can have on our health. Symptoms may include: coughing, throat or chest irritation, worsening of asthma, difficulty breathing, and lung damage… to name just a few.
Please click here to read more.
North Central District Fall Clergy Meeting will be August 27 at Nueva Vida Central UMC, Ocala.
Nueva Vida Central (1712 SE Lake Weir Ave, Ocala, FL 34471).
All clergy in the local church are expected to attend. If you are not able to attend, email Rev. JuneEdwards (firstname.lastname@example.org) and request to be excused.
9:30 am - noon
Lunch - Optional
12 pm - 1pm
Click HERE to register.
The North Central District is glad to announce Rev. Michael Beck's first book on Fresh Expression entitled,
Deep Roots, Wild Branches: Revitalizing the Church in the Blended Ecology
Churches around the world are discovering that revitalization comes when we get back to our roots.
The book is available at the District office for $10.00 and $2.00 for shipping and handling.
You may purchase directly from the district office, calling at 352-789-6981, please make checks payable to North Central District. Or, click here to order online.
Episode 12: Reflections on Annual
Bishop Ken Carter shares a recap of this year’s Annual Conference including the election of delegates for General Conference, the ordination and commissioning of persons for ministry, the celebration of new forms and expressions of ministry, and more.
We invite you to listen and engage with Bishop Ken Carter’s podcast, On Mission Together, as we move forward together. Our prayer is for these conversations on spirit-led innovation, missional engagement, and courageous leadership to inspire you and your teams to dream about the future of our movement.
Clergy and laity are invited to join Bishop Ken Carter for 10 days in the Holy Land, departing February 4, 2020. You will walk the shores of the Sea of Galilee, study the scriptures in the synagogue in Capernaum, pray on the Mount of Beatitudes and renew your baptism at the Jordan River.
Click HERE for more information and registration. Click HERE to download the brochure.
At the start of 2017, the Life Enrichment Center and Warren Willis Camp merged into one site offering sacred space in Fruitland Park. This marriage has been an involved process, and the need was clear for a name that reflected the connectedness. This year, the board approved the new name:
Warren Willis United Methodist Camp and Conference Center
In addition to the new name, they have a new logo for this united ministry. The Cross on the Lake has been an iconic image of camping ministry on these grounds and is a great space to view each morning's sunrise. The cross was rebuilt last year after sustaining heavy damage from Hurricane Irma. The new-and-improved cross pictured here is a contemporary update of this historic symbol. The shape of the letters are meant to invoke the waters of Lake Griffin, and the leaf symbolizes the many trees that adorn the property. Guests of the Life Enrichment Center have long celebrated the Live Oak trees around the property and sunsets on the lake. This new logo represents decades of spiritual growth that has occurred in these spaces, and it points toward a bright future for the camp and conference center.
A new website and new marketing materials will be coming soon!
All clergy who are serving under episcopal appointment within the Florida Conference must attend one of the upcoming sexual ethics trainings this fall to remain in good standing. This includes ALL clergy serving in extension ministries, retired clergy serving under appointment, all deacons, elders, licensed local pastors (part time and full time). diaconal ministers and lay supply who are assigned to lead a church. This is required even if you have recently attended the Sexual Ethics training at Right Start or are scheduled to do so this coming May. A different curriculum will be covered in the quadrennial training. Certificates will be provided to those who complete the full 5 hours of training. A copy of your Certificate will be placed in your clergy file.
When & Where?
You may attend a session outside of your appointed district.
Clergy are invited to attend the Winter Conference at Epworth By The Sea, January 26-29, 2020. This will be a combined event with the Bishops and clergy of the North Georgia, Mississippi, South Georgia and Florida Conferences. You might talk with some of the over 150 clergy who attended Winter Conference 2019 about their transformative experience. Len Wilson will be the keynote speaker.
Click HERE to register and receive the early bird discount. NOTE: The past event sold out. Don't delay in registering!!
The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church
450 Martin L King Jr Ave
Lakeland, FL 33815
(863) 688-5563 or toll free (800) 282-8011