Greetings from the North Central District,
|Rev. June Edwards|
Greetings pastors and leaders on the North Central District,
I pray blessings on you and your ministry for this new year and decade ahead. We claim the promise of God making all things new through Jesus Christ, and that promise continues as we begin this new year. There is much to look forward to through the work of the churches in this district. Much will be accomplished through your faithfulness. There are also opportunities for continuing to strengthen your leadership in your local churches. Most especially the district training on February 22nd is an excellent opportunity to hear of the importance of adaptive leadership and resiliency from Bishop Janice Huie of the Texas Methodist Foundation. I hope to see you all of you there as we learn to navigate the exciting and uncharted waters ahead.
Peace be with you,
FRESH EXPRESSION NEWS!
You’re invited to the FX Studio!
Have you heard all about fresh expressions but don’t know where to start? Perhaps you have started some fresh expressions and are wondering what’s next? The Fresh Expressions Studio is for you…
What is it?
A “studio” is a generic term for the workroom of an artist and team of apprentices. It can be a space for collaborative architecture, painting, pottery, origami, woodworking, scrapbooking, music making, photography, film production, sermon preparation, and the list goes on.
FX Studios are incubators of collaborative missional mess making and a community of support for your team as you cultivate fresh expressions.
What’s the Purpose?
1. The aim is to create and multiply new Christian communities (‘fresh expressions of church’) in a focused and structured way to make new disciples.
2. In the Studio your team will receive an integrated structure of support, tailored to your individual needs.
3. You will Connect, Collaborate, and Cultivate, with others in the district who are focused on reaching new people.
What are the Benefits?
Each Studio is comprised primarily of these five elements.
1. A shared focus
Your team will focus on traveling through the ‘loving-first cycle’ at your own pace and in your own way (see diagram below).
2. Self-paced discovery
Your team will be guided through using the free app, FX: Godsend (or the website version). Godsend contains frameworks, methodologies and stories that will help your team navigate each stage of the cycle. Get it here https://www.fxresourcing.org/godsend/share/
3. Community of practice (the Gatherings)
Teams can attend a Launchpad gathering, where the NCD FX team will introduce these concepts and answer questions. Then gather in the Studios twice-yearly in a community of practice for planning, team and personal formation, and mutual support.
4. Support via social media
Between Studio gatherings, teams will be provided free digital spaces on social media to encourage and support each other.
5. Skype/Zoom-based coaching
If your team gets stuck or needs help not only will you be able to seek advice from other teams. But free coaching will be provided normally on Skype or Zoom, with experienced pioneers on the NCD FX Team.
So how do we get started?
Bring your team to one of the following Launchpad Events. Here we will more fully introduce all the Studio concepts, provide a tutorial of the app, and answer any questions you have.
The Launchpads are conveniently spread throughout the district at different times to accommodate work schedules:
Tuesday January 21st at Trinity UMC 6-8pm (4000 NW 53rd Ave, Gainesville, FL)
Sunday January 26th at Community UMC 3-5pm (309 College Ave, Fruitland Park, FL)
Thursday January 30th at Ocala West 10am-12pm (Address: 9330 SW 105th St, Ocala, FL)
First Studio Gathering
The first Studio gathering will take place in early May. Everything your team needs to do will be provided before you come!
Saturday May 2nd First Ocala UMC 9am-3pm (1126 E Silver Springs Blvd, Ocala, FL)
If you have any questions, please contact Michael Beck:
Save the Date
Rural Ministries Celebration
Saturday, March 21st at 10 am
In honor of our North Central District rural churches, we will be hosting a districtwide Rural Ministries Celebration on Saturday, March 21st at 10am. All rural church laity and clergy are encouraged and invited to attend. Lunch will be provided. Rev. Tex Sample will be our guest speaker. Tex is a world-renowned author/pastor whose work focuses on rural church life and ministry.
Please save the date for the North Central District’s Rural Ministries Celebration and be on the look-out for registration opportunities. The location of the event will be announced at a later date.
Tex Sample is the Robert B. And Kathleen Rogers Professor Emeritus of Church and Society at The Saint Paul School of Theology where he taught for 32 years. He holds a B.A. degree from Millsaps College, an M.Div. from the Boston University School of Theology, and a Ph.D. from the Boston University Graduate School.
Sample is a freelance lecturer and speaker in North America and overseas. He has published 14 books. His book, Blue Collar Ministry, was named a “Judson Classic” by the Judson Press, and his book U. S. Lifestyles and Mainline Churches was a bestseller for over two years. He is also the author of articles in academic journals, magazines, and books. His most recent book is Working Class Rage.
In 2016, he received the Invictus Award for Social Justice from the Liberty, Missouri, Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee at its celebration of MLK Day; later that year, he was given The Equality and Justice Award by The Greater Metropolitan Church of Christ. In July of 2018 Sample became pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in Kansas City, Missouri.
An ordained elder in The United Methodist Church, Sample served on four occasions as a delegate to The General Conference of the UMC, the world meeting of his denomination, and on six occasions to the North Central Jurisdiction of the UMC, a regional meeting of his denomination.
Sample was born and grew up in Brookhaven, Mississippi, and as a young man drove a cab, worked in construction, and was a roustabout in the oilfield. A baseball fan to his dying day, he pitched and caught in high school, college, and city leagues and continued to play both baseball and softball for a total 45 seasons.
Sample is married to Peggy Jo Sanford Sample, who is a water- media artist and a musician. They have three children, one of whom is deceased.
“Tex” is his real name, not a nickname. His father named him after Texanna Gillham, an African-American woman who lived near Shelbyville, Texas.
Statistics due February 7, 2020
Please visit the Year-End Statistics Instructions website as you begin preparations for reporting your church's end of year statistics. You will find everything you need for reporting. Please read all instructions, before you begin!
- Church Guide for EOY and EZRA Reporting (Login Instructions & Passwords)
- Church Table Directions (help text)
- New Church Development and Year End Statistical Reporting
Step by Step Overview of the Year-End Reporting Process
The information you share gives the GCFA and the conference an opportunity to see how the churches have prospered in the last year.
Online reporting has begun and is due by February 7, 2020. Thank you for your help in telling our churches' stories through statistics.
Apportionment payments for 2019 must be received in the lockbox at Regions Bank or paid online by Friday, January 10, 2020. This is not a postmarked by date but is the last day by which monies must be received in the Conference or our bank lockbox to be included in 2019 apportionments receipts. Any payments received after that date will be applied to 2020 apportionments. Any payments received between January 1 and January 10 must be clearly marked as to which year they are to be applied.
All apportionment payments should be accompanied by a completed Remittance Report.
Click here to access the Remittance Report on the Conference website.
Or go to the website at: www.flumc.org:
- Click “Financial Services” tab on the homepage
- Click on “2019 Apportionment Giving Report Forms”
- Select one of the two versions of the Giving Report listed at the bottom of the page
Complete the Remittance Form with the following information:
- Church Name
- GCFA Number
- Preparer contact information
- Allocation amounts for each fund
To pay online, click here.
Any amounts due for Ministry Protection and Health and Benefits at the end of the year will continue to show as outstanding on your statement in 2020. To ensure proper processing of these payments and avoid errors, payments should contain the following information on the check, check stub or statement:
- Church Name
- GCFA Number
- Invoice Number (include all letters and any 0’s)
- Allocation amounts for each invoice
When mailing payments to Regions take note of the billing address for each of these types of payments. The last 4 numbers after the zip code are different for each, and it is very important to include to ensure your payment is processed properly.
To be considered a 100% connectional church in the Florida Annual Conference Journal, 100% of 2019 apportionments must be received by January 10, 2020, and all outstanding Ministry Protection and Health and Benefits obligations must be received by December 31, 2019.
Share your gifts and talents by serving on a Florida Conference team
As we approach the upcoming start of the Quadrennium, we have various Conference ministry teams, agencies and task forces that could use passionate, committed individuals who have a desire to engage in ministry at the Conference level. We are seeking those volunteers to share their spiritual gifts and skills.
If you have a calling to serve, a spiritual gift, or an area of expertise which you are open to sharing in this way, your gifts and graces are needed. Please let us know by clicking HERE and completing the appropriate Application to Serve link below (by District). Additional information can also be found at this link.
The Conference Committee on Nominations and Leadership will review all Applications to Serve, within the coming months, and work through the discernment process as outlined in the Florida Annual Conference Standing Rules Paragraph 302. All who complete and application to serve will be notified of the outcome.
Your Application to Serve is needed not later than 1/10/2020.
Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email email@example.com .
Don’t forget, if you are being led to apply to be the Florida Conference Lay Leader, Click HERE for more information! Deadline for the Conference Lay Leader application is 1/15/2020.
Government Payroll Changes for 2020
Effective January 1, the new Florida Minimum Wage will be $8.56 per hour. Be sure to increase any employee making below this amount for the first paycheck dated in January, 2020.
Effective January 1, the new guidelines for salary exempt status goes into effect. The new minimum salary for an exempt employee is $35,568 ($684 per week). You have two options regarding this change:
- Option 1. The employee can remain at their current salary and be reclassified as a non-exempt employee, at which time, the employee will have to track their hours and be paid overtime for any hours worked over 40 hours in any week. We recommend a timecard or timesheet be turned in weekly and retain on file.
- Option 2. Increase the employee’s salary to the new exempt minimum of $684 per week.
- Clergy Exemption – Clergy are exempt from the salary requirement; HOWEVER, Lay Supply Pastors ARE NOT covered by the exemption and must follow the new guidelines for salary exempt status.
New W-4 for 2020 – The IRS has completely redesigned the 2020 W-4. This was due to the tax law changes that took effect in 2018. Click HERE for a “Draft” copy. The final will not be available until Mid-December.
Effective the first day of your first payroll run of 2020 all new hires MUST complete the new 2020 W-4.
Current employees do not need to complete the new W-4 unless they want to. It is supposed to allow for a more accurate tax withholding. Any employee that only completes Sections 1 and 5 (both mandatory) will be treated as a single filer with the highest tax rate with no adjustments.
Click HERE for FAQ’s from the IRS to help answer your questions regarding how to properly complete the new W-4.
Tax Withholding Estimator
The IRS suggests employee should take the time to use the Tax Withholding Estimator to determine if they need to make any adjustments to their tax withholding for 2020. They may also want to consult their tax professional.
Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF)
Every Child, Every Nation, Every Day
For over 80 years God has been using Child Evangelism Fellowship® to bring the love of Jesus Christ to children around the world. The Word of God puts a high priority on children. They are near to God’s heart and we believe that He is uniquely concerned about their spiritual welfare. Without the foundation of a relationship with God and training in Biblical principles for life they are unequipped to face what life will throw at them.
Child Evangelism Fellowship, also known as CEF®, is a Bible-centered, worldwide organization composed of born-again believers whose purpose is to evangelize boys and girls with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and to establish (disciple) them in the local church for Christian living. CEF was founded by Jesse Irvin Overholtzer in 1937. The ministry has grown into the largest evangelistic outreach to children in the world. CEF is currently ministering in countries around the world and in every state in the U.S.
God has given His people a clear commission—to reach every creature with the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our special mission in CEF is to evangelize every child. In the last ministry year our workers worldwide reached over 25.4 million children! As children grow in their relationship with the Lord through meditating on His Word, they develop godly character, which produces much fruit to the glory of God, including spreading the Gospel to their peers.
God has given CEF a number of unique ministries which have proven to be effective tools in our effort to evangelize and disciple children. Good News Club®, a weekly club during the school year, is more popular than ever following the Supreme Court victory allowing Good News Club to take place in public schools across America. Our summer 5-Day Club® outreach takes place over the course of a five-day period, offering a unique opportunity for children to interact with teenagers who receive training in the Christian Youth In Action™ program.
Perhaps God is leading you to become more involved in the lives of children. CEF is here to come along side individuals and churches to train, equip and encourage for His kingdom’s sake. Interested in more information? Please check out our state website at CEFFlorida.com or connect with us at the East Central District Conference in February.
Licensing School 2020
May 11 - 22, 2020
Licensing School 2020 will be held at Florida Southern College May 11 through May 22, 2020. Click HERE for the link with the requirements for licensing school, the tentative schedule and the revised fillable application.
Please note the cost has changed due to the fact that we have been losing money on this for some time now. It will be $900 per person and $700 for those who are Certified Candidate in the Florida Conference. There is no additional paperwork needed for the $200 reduction in costs. Compared to other schools we are charging significantly less.
Apply Now for UMC FCU Scholarships for College Bound Students
The Florida United Methodist Connectional FCU is once again offering scholarships to 17-35 year-old college-bound students in our connection. Four winning applicants, one from each of our four conferences - Florida, North Georgia, South Georgia, & Alabama-West Florida - will each receive a $1,000 scholarship. Click HERE for complete rules and full essay submission criteria. Click HERE for the application with all the details. Deadline for submission is April 30, 2020.
Questions? Call 866-687-2136.
Important dates in the United Methodist Church
General Conference 2020
Minneapolis, Minnesota - May 5 - 15
A Field Guide to Methodist Fresh Expressions
New Book of Rev. Michael Beck and Rev. Jorge Acevedo
According to Fresh Expressions U.S., "a Fresh Expression is a form of church for our changing culture, established primarily for the benefit of those who are not yet part of any church." Fresh Expressions are introducing people to Jesus, expanding the kingdom, and revitalizing churches. Congregations need a practical and theological resource that can help them cultivate Fresh Expressions. As consultants who work nationwide and as innovative pastors, authors Michael Beck and Jorge Acevedo awaken congregational leaders and ministry teams to a distinctive Wesleyan approach for the Fresh Expressions movement. In Wesleyan Fresh Expressions, they show congregations how to cultivate and customize fresh expressions that fit their local context. They motivate ministry teams to take risks, experiment, and when necessary, fail well.
On April 2, 1739, John Wesley went to a field just outside what was then the city limits of Bristol, England. There he tried a missional innovation called field preaching. Thousands of people showed up, many of whom who had no connection with a church. Today, most Methodists and other Wesleyans don’t know their own story. Lost in the milieu of divisive issues that threaten to tear the church apart, Wesleyans have forgotten their DNA as a renewal movement, born not from doctrinal disputes but from a missional imperative. In this sense, the Fresh Expressions movement is the most "Methodist" thing in the denomination today. This iteration of the Spirit is taking it to the fields again. Wesleyan Fresh Expressions will help guide the way.
To order the book, please click here.
January 9 - Staff Parish Relation Committee Training - First Ocala UMC, Family Life Center 6:30 pm
February 22 - District Training Event - "For Such A Time As This-Leading Through the In-Between" First Ocala UMC, 9:00 am to 3:00 pm