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NCD January 2020 Newsletter

 

In the District

  

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, 

June

 

Bishop Carter participates in Global Mediation and interprets this for the Florida Conference

Dear Sisters and Brothers of the Florida Conference,

Grace and Peace to you, in the name and spirit of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, in these first days of a new year.

I write to commend to you the fruit of a mediation process undertaken by sixteen United Methodists, entitled “A Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Separation.” The eight-page document, linked here, represents work done by a group of United Methodists from across the world who represent many (not all) of the important streams of our church. This work was done in collaboration with Mr. Kenneth Feinberg, noted mediator known for his work with the September 11 Victim’s Compensation Fund, the Virginia Tech and Boston Marathon victims, and the BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster. Mr. Feinberg, who is not a United Methodist, offered his professional guidance to us pro bono.

The Protocol is offered in service to the delegates who will gather four short months from now in Minneapolis for the 2020 General Conference. It is not perfect--no mediation is--but it gives a great deal to each of these different streams, more than I could have imagined at the beginning. All of this has been done—and the word I hear from many is that it is something of a miracle—without harming these persons. I attribute this to the work of the Holy Spirit.

The protocol was unanimously affirmed and signed by the sixteen participants.

Key features of the mediation protocol and proposed legislation that will follow are:

• The ongoing existence of The United Methodist Church

• A gracious way of departure for a traditionalist conservative Methodist Church, with a financial settlement.

• The creation of four regional conferences—Africa, U.S., Europe, Philippines—each with its own ability to adapt the Book of Discipline.

• The removal of restrictive language related to LGBTQ identity and practice in the U.S. post-separation United Methodist Church immediately following the May General Conference.

• Holding in abeyance any administrative or judicial processes regarding restrictions in the Book of Discipline related to LGBTQ persons, as of January 1, 2020.

• Creation of a fund to strengthen the Black Church and ministries with and among marginalized persons.

• No annual conference or local church is required to vote on departure from the United Methodist Church.

• No one is asked to leave or separate from the church.

• Annual Conferences and local churches may vote to depart from The United Methodist Church with their property in order to participate in another Methodist expression.

• Wespath will offer a continuity of service across the various Methodist expressions.

Note: This brief summary is not intended to be a substitute for the actual reading of the protocol. It is simply to encourage United Methodists to develop an understanding of the contents of the protocol. I encourage you to view the following documents:

• A Press Release

• The Signed Protocol 

• Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Much of the effect of this protocol will be how we receive it and how we turn toward each other. It is not about winners or losers, but about how God's promise of grace and reconciliation relates to our structures, convictions, and hopes. It is significant, and at the same time, it is one step in a journey.

For me, this mediation work is in the fulfillment of my consecration vows as a bishop, to seek the unity of the church. And for me, it is in continuity with the work of the Commission on a Way Forward.

• No one has to vote to leave the church.

• No one is being asked to leave the church.

• And The United Methodist Church, under the cross and flame, will continue to be in ministry across the world.

We were told in the mediation process that if we did not write the narrative, it would be written for us. A culture of trials related to LGBTQ persons in the church becomes the dominant narrative. By holding these administrative and judicial processes in abeyance until the resolution of these matters, we are able to devote our energies to working and walking together to finding reconciliation and grace through structural separation.

I give thanks for those who participated in the mediation and particularly to Mr. Kenneth Feinberg, who led us in this process. I give thanks for all of the people of the Florida Conference, and believe this mediation does no harm to anyone of them. I also place great trust in our delegation to the 2020 General Conference. They are authorized to help our church to move forward into a new season of mission and flourishing.

In the interim, we have much work to do in service to our Lord, in the strengthening of our local churches and ministries. We have an important question to answer: “What kind of annual conference will we be?” And we are in connection with each other, for a larger purpose: “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”

This will continue to be my focus, and I ask you to join me.

The Peace of the Lord,
+Ken Carter
Bishop, Florida Conference, The United Methodist Church


 

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?

Launchpad Events
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:
352-203-7258
Reverendwild1@gmail.com 

 

Michael   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2020 Annual Training Event - Please save the date!

"For Such A Time As This - Leading Through the In-Between"

North Central District - Annual Training Event

Saturday, February 22, 2020 - First Ocala UMC - Family Life Center  (1126 E. Silver Spring Blvd. Ocala) 
9:00 am - 3:00 pm 

$10.00 NON-REFUNDABLE ON REGISTRATION FEE

Please note that we cannot accommodate walk-ins at this event. You must register to attend. 

To register to attend the event on Saturday, February 22nd at First Ocala UMC, please click here. 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

God is moving at Lowell! 

Finally underway, The Oasis is in full swing.  A weekly Bible study at the Work Camp has been focusing on "Shifting Atmospheres," a biblically based book by Dawna DeSilva on dealing with negative forces in our environment.  A second Bible study at the Boot Camp is working through a Tony Evans book on Destiny.  Our Sunday night worship services give the ladies to experience a "church" setting, with singing, prayer, a message, offering of themselves to God and others, Holy Communion, and a time of commitment.  They are so hungry for God to move in their midst! Weekly visits with women in "confinement" (those confined to a cell as opposed to a dorm for disciplinary or safety reasons) continue, and are a blessing.  I have asked permission to begin weekly infirmary rounds to pray for the ladies who are sick or dying.   

Guitar lessons and one-on-one mentoring will begin soon, as I am waiting for the chaplain to assign my time slots at the main unit, the annex, and the work camp.   

 Please pray for:

*Approval for a proposal for HOPE Letters - a correspondence mentoring program we are hoping to begin soon

*Favor with the chaplain for additional ministry slots

*Open heavens over Lowell for greater movement of the Holy Spirit

*For women who are missing their children, and praying for restored relationships with families

*For women at the work camp praying for work release

*For help with an annual fund raising banquet in Jan 2021

*For monthly financial ministry partners

Rev. Kris Schonewolf 

PastorKrisLCI@comcast.net

  

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!

Instructions Guides

- 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.

Church and Pastor Annual Profiles
Due by January 31, 2020

Church Profile – reviewed and updated annually.
These forms are to be reviewed and updated annually by all church SPR Committees and all clergy in the Florida Conference. All church SPR Committees must update online annually and may begin now. The Church Profile deadline requires it be completed online no later than one week prior to the pastor’s DS consultation if they are having one. 

Pastor Profile – reviewed and updated annually.
All pastors must update online annually and may begin now. The Pastor Profile deadline requires it to be completed online no later than one week prior to the DS consultation. Though you may not anticipate a move, it is important that both the Pastor Profile and Church Profile be current and up to date at the first appointment-making session of the Cabinet. The reports should be an honest reflection of the pastoral ministry and the profile of the church.

Click HERE for the detailed instructions for accessing both the Church and Pastor Profiles. Follow the step by step instructions to access the appropriate profile. The final date to update Profiles is January 31, 2020.

 

Around the Conference and Beyond


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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 conmin@flumc.org .
 
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  
www.IRS.gov/withholding

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 ♦ May 5-15, 2020 ♦ Minneapolis, MN
Annual Conference ♦ June 4-6, 2020 ♦ Florida Southern College, Lakeland
Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference ♦ July 15-18, 2020 ♦ Lake Junaluska, NC
Annual Conference ♦ June 10-12, 2021 ♦ Lakeland
 

 

 

General Conference 2020
Minneapolis, Minnesota - May 5 - 15

 

Florida Delegation General Conference 2020

General Conference 2020 Website

 

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

  

DISTRICT CALENDAR 

January 9 - Staff Parish Relation Committee Training - First Ocala UMC, Family Life Center 6:30 pm

January 20 - Conference & District Offices Closed for MLK, Jr. Day

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


Calendar of Reports due 2020 - Reminder