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NCD January 2021 Newsletter

In the District

Dear NC District Pastors and Leaders,

Dear NC District Pastors and Leaders,

Perhaps many of you, myself included, have been waiting for an ending of some sort of all that has taken place in 2020 and a marker for a new beginning as a sign of hope that the worst is behind us. But 12:01am January 1st didn’t come with the automatic reset button that many of us would like to be available. Instead, there was no perceptible change. As I sat outside in the waning hours of 2020 by a fire my husband built, I received word of the passing of one of the long time pastors in our district, the Rev. Dr. John Banks who served the Mt. Zion congregation in Reddick for 27 years. As I prayed for John’s family and the Mt. Zion congregation, I thought about endings and beginnings and how we seek to locate our life in finite (chronos) time when what has real and lasting meaning transcends time and place (kairos time). I reflected upon how John’s life and ministry transcends time and place and that there is part of John that remains with us even still. There is more about our lives than we can know or understand. This is the location of hope. There is more to our lives than we can see. That gives us hope. And we long for hope.

Rev. 21:1-6a are words that move us beyond our finite world to that which we long for, hope for—to dwell with God in a world that is healed and whole, without mourning or pain or tears.

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away…

‘See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them as their God; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them;

He will wipe every tear from their eyes.

Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more,

For the first things have passed away.’”


As we begin 2021, a new year with not many of the days marked off of our calendars, may we begin with the hope to which these words in The Revelation to John speak—of a new heaven and earth, a place we dwell with God. May we know that whatever is to come, there is more that awaits us and it is with God. And in the meantime, we live with an unshakable hope that God is with us now, through Jesus Christ. And this reality makes all the difference in each and every present moment that is to come in this new year.

May the blessings and fullness of God’s presence and love lead and guide each of you and your congregations into this new year—2021!












Frederick Buechner said, “Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.” Perhaps this is an appropriate note on which to begin 2021?

As devastating as COVID-19 has been for all of us who have been in a state of loss; jobs, family time, friends and loved ones, paradoxically it is the greatest opportunity for reset in the recent history of the Church. It has given every industry the possibility of pausing, ending, reinventing, and restarting.

It is possible that the consequences of this global pandemic will have lifelong implications. We are witnessing perhaps the dawning of the Covidian Era, in which the psychological, economic, and spiritual aftermath has yet to be comprehended. The likelihood of mutations, new strands, and vaccine effectiveness are already making headlines.

While much of this is speculation, what is certain is that we find ourselves in a Digital Age.

In 2020 we came face to face with a largely unforeseen consequence of a globally connected, network society. The silk road served as a network to transport valuable goods and services, but it also transported the bubonic plague. Likewise, the technologically enabled capacity of humans to jump space and time, traveling the globe in a matter of days, now enables a single carrier of a novel virus to spread death across the same network.    

In the Fresh Expressions movement, we have prayerfully sought to discover ways to form church with people who don’t go to church in this emerging social milieu.

Many of us are rushing to put 2020 behind us and venture optimistically into 2021, but what have we learned that may help us thrive? The saddest tragedy of all might be that we waste this moment of reset.

We had all hoped things would go “back to normal” but find ourselves in a new normal.

In Fresh Expressions in a Digital Age: How the Church Can Prepare for a Post Pandemic World, Dr. Rosario Picardo and I curate and distill some of the learnings from 2020.


We propose that the future of the Church in the West is not analog, nor is it digital, it is hybridity… a blended ecology of analog, digital, and hybrid expressions of church for a post-Christendom world. 

Not only do we suggest simple ways for traditional congregations to use technology to reach new people and care for existing flocks, but we also suggest a process to plant churches on the digital frontier. We hope you will find this resource timely and helpful to seize the tremendous challenges and opportunities that 2021 will provide. Pre-order your copy here and make the 2020 reset count.

Feel free to take advantage of these two opportunities:

1.Bring your team to the Studio with Mike Moynagh: Register here.

2.If you would like me to Zoom with your team on implementing any of the ideas presented in the book, email me to set up an appointment

If you have any questions, please contact Michael Beck: 









 Fresh Water from The Oasis

Fresh Water at The Oasis!

The 1st Annual Fundraiser for The Oasis at LCI that was originally scheduled for March 16, 2021 has been postponed until the fall.  We want everyone to be able to enjoy the event in a fun and safe environment.  Please stay tuned for the new date!

Ministry at Lowell CI has resumed!  

*Weekly Bible Study, confinement visits with the women who are on lock-down, and one-on-one counseling sessions have all resumed.  I am also helping to staff both the Main Unit and Annex libraries, creating a space for life-giving conversations and ministry with a large number of women from two compounds.  

HOPE LETTERS Correspondence Mentoring

In June, we were able to launch HOPE LETTERS, a correspondence ministry that continues to grow.  We started with 90 mentees, and we have grown to about 135 mentees and mentors.  Now that I am back inside, I am always making contact with more women who need an encouraging voice in their lives - someone who will write letters of letters of hope, love, and faith.  Would you open your heart to a woman who needs a positive voice in her life?  Please respond to this email, and we can give you access to the the training materials and get you started!  Your identity and location are completely hidden from your mentee, as you write under your first name only or pen name, and she writes to you at our PO Box in Lady Lake which I monitor.  ANY woman ANYWHERE can be a mentor as long as she has an email address where I can send her letters.    

Rev. Kris Schonewolf 

Rural Church Ministries

Rev. Sarah Campbell and the North Central District's Rural Church Ministries Team will begin hosting a weekly Rural Church Ministries Book Club on Monday, January 25th at 7pm via Zoom. 

The Book Club will give both clergy and laity the opportunity to read books specific to the rural church ministry context, ask questions, have conversations about best practices for rural church ministry, and form community. 

Our first book is Reclaiming Rural: Building Thriving Rural Congregations by Allen Stanton. The book will be released on January 15, 2021.  Please click here to pre-order the book.

If you are interested in participating in the Rural Church Ministries Book Club, please click here to register. After you register, you will get the Zoom link invitation. Please check your email for any other materials closer to January 25th.

I am looking forward to sharing this experience with each of you!


Rev. Sarah R. Campbell
North Central District Congregational Vitality Specialist
Pastor, Forest United Methodist Church
The Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church



2021 Annual District Training Week - February 8 to February 13

Staff Parish Relations Committee

Lois Human Resources Administrator and Rev. June Edwards, North Central District Superintendent

Monday, February 8, 2021

Please click here to register for the training at 2:00 pm

Please click here to register for the training at 6:30 pm

Finance Committee

Craig Smelser – Interim Treasurer, Director of Administrative Services

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Please click here to register for the training at 2:00 pm

Please click here to register for the training at 6:30 pm

Trustees Committee

 LaNita Battles, Department of Ministry Protection, Director

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Please click here to register for the training at 2:00 pm

Please click here to register for the training at 6:30 pm


Don't miss Saturday Webinar!

Being Church in a Post Pandemic World

Keynote Todd Bolsinger

Panelists Drs Rosario Picardo & Michael Beck

Saturday, February 13, 2021

12:00 pm to 2:30 pm

More details to follow soon!

Registration is required.

Prayer Request

-Rev. Delbert J. King, a pastor in the Florida Conference for many years, passed away peacefully in his sleep on the morning of December 16. Please keep his wife of 56 ½ years, Maureen, and their family in your prayers. Emails and notes of appreciation may be emailed to: or sent to 1601 NW 94th Street, Gainesville, FL 32606.

-Prayers are requested for Rev. Kris Schonewolf, Senior Pastor of the Oasis at Lowell Correctional Institute. Her husband, Mike Schonewolf, died suddenly on December 2, 2020. Condolences may be sent to

-Prayers are requested for Rev. Sabrina Tu, Senior Pastor at Community San Antonio. Her father, Khon Binh Tu, passed away on November 27, a day after Thanksgiving. Condolences may be sent to

-Rev. Dr. John Banks, pastor of Mt. Zion UMC in Reddick, FL unexpectedly went on to his heavenly home. He had served the Mt. Zion congregation for 27 years. He was also the pastor of Wesley Chapel, Arredondo for 19 years. Please be in prayer for his wife, Carol, their family, and the congregation of Mt. Zion. Notes of sympathy may be sent to his wife, Carol Banks, at 617 NW 192nd Ave. Gainesville, FL 32609-6207.  


2021 W-4  

The IRS changed the W-4 in 2020 and made another change for 2021. Existing employees do not need to complete a new form. If an employee wants to change their withholding elections or you hire a new employee, you must use the new form. Click HERE for the new W-4.

Apportionments and End of Year Payments

Apportionment payments for 2020 must be received in the lockbox at Regions Bank or paid on line by Monday January 11, 2021.  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 2020 apportionments receipts.  Any payments received after that date will be applied to 2021 apportionments.  Any payments received between January 1 and January 11 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 for a Remittance Report. Click HERE to pay online.

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 2021.  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 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 2020 apportionments must be received by January 11, 2021, and all outstanding Ministry Protection and Health and Benefits obligations must have been received by December 31, 2020.

Church and Pastor Annual Profiles
Due by January 31

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 after December 1. The Church Profile deadline requires it be completed online no later than one week prior to the pastor’s DS consultation, if having. The final date to update the Church Profile is January 31, 2021. 

Pastor Profile – reviewed and updated annually.
All pastors must update online annually and may begin after December 1, 2020. 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. The final date to update the Pastor Profile is January 31, 2021. 

**If you  anticipate a change of pastoral appointment it is of critical importance that particular attention be paid to accurate and update profile. 

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, 2021.

Statistics due February 5

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: 

  • Instruction Guides
    • Church Guide for EOY and EZRA Reporting (Login Instructions & Password, Payroll Protection Program (PPP) reporting)
    • Church Table Directions (help text)
    • New Church Development and Year End Statistical Reporting
  • Step by Step Overview of the Year-End Reporting Process

The deadline for submitting Year End Statistical Tables is February 5, 2021.

The information you share gives the GCFA and the conference an opportunity to see how the churches have prospered in the last year. 

Go to the Year-End Statistics Instructions website to get started!
Thank you for your help in telling our churches' stories through statistics.

Candidacy Retreats

July 8 and 10, 2021 - Deadline June 1, 2021

Please see the Candidacy Retreat Checklist to ensure all necessary items are completed. The checklist outlines all the steps need for Candidacy.

Clergy & Lay Members to Annual Conference
We Want YOUR Feedback for AC2021!

Your Annual Conference planning team has been hard at work beginning to make plans for our June 2021 Annual Conference session. At this time we don’t know what the health and safety protocols related to the pandemic will look like in June or how that might impact our plans for annual conference.
We ask for your input into our planning process. Please fill out this brief survey before January 11.  If you have additional questions, ideas or resources that could help us in our planning, please send to

If you have already taken the survey, thank you!! There is no need to complete it again.

Wespath Benefits and Investments - Delivered to you!
All active clergy members of The United Methodist Church
February 8-9

Wespath is having a virtual 2-day afternoon meeting covering pension plans and clergy taxes, clergy wellness, benefit proposal for General Conference 2021, and much more.  There is also an opportunity to schedule a private benefits consultation with a Wespath Benefits staff member. Every clergy person could benefit from this event. The deadline to register is January 29, 2021.
The registration fee is $49.00 and includes the event Care Package that will be shipped to you in advance.  Click HERE to register. 

Apply Now for UMC FCU 2021 Scholarship
Application deadline:  April 30, 2021

What you need to know:

  • $1,000.00 awarded to one person from each of the United Methodist Conferences (Florida, Alabama -West Florida, South Georgia, North Georgia)
  • Application Open: January 1 - April 30, 2021
  • Previous Winners are ineligible to apply
  • UMC FCU Members are eligible to apply. Applying online to become a UMC FCU member is easy. Eligibility Requirements  ( Be a Member of a UM Church, or Work for a UM Church or Organization within the four (4) conferences listed above, Have a family member who is already a member of UMC FCU)
  • Click HERE for application and essay information
  • Don’t wait to apply (Applying early does not increase your chances of winning… it’s just good to get things done as soon as possible)   

Should you have any questions, please contact anyone at the United Methodist Federal Credit Union 863-687-9725.

Clergy Care - Your New Magellan EAP is here!

Lois Durham has worked hard to come up with the new Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for all clergy of The Florida Conference. There are lots of benefits available at no cost to you. Please take a minute to download each of the items listed below, so you don't miss out!

  1. Welcome Email to Members
  2. EAP Flyer
  3. Work-Life Flyer
  4. Legal Financial Flyer
  5. Discount Center Flyer
  6. Clickotine App Flyer

2021 Holiday Schedule for The Florida Annual Conference

The conference and district offices will be closed the following days.

January 18 Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday
February 15 President's Day holiday
April 2 Good Friday holiday
May 31 Memorial Day holiday
July 5 Independence Day holiday
September 6 Labor Day holiday
November 11 Veteran's Day holiday
November 25-26 Thanksgiving holiday
December 24 Christmas holiday
December 27 Christmas holiday
December 31 New Year's Day holiday

2021 North Central DCOM Dates

  • Tuesday, February 23    (due January 26) Local Pastor License Renewals
  • Tuesday, May 4              (due April 6) 1st Provisional/LP/Cert
  • Tuesday, August 24       (due July 27) 2nd Provisional/LP/Cert
  • Tuesday, Dec 7               (due Nov 9) LP/Cert/Recerts

DCOM Chair: Rev. Elizabeth "Beth" Snarr -
DCOM Registrar: Elizabeth Flynn
DCOM Meeting Location: District Office, Ocala FL 

For information how to begin the Candidacy process, Click HERE.

Update to Missional Vital Signs Reporting

While churches are not meeting in person due to COVID-19, The Florida Conference will use a Modified MVS reporting model. Click HERE for instructions and to report March, April, & May MVS.

If you have data not entered for February or before, please complete the Monthly Data Gathering Chart for each of those months and email it to Belinda at

Calendar of Events 

General Conference 2020 - August 29-September 7, 2021

Should General Conference go virtual?

2020 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference - November 10-12, 2021