|Rev. June Edwards|
Dear Pastors and Leaders of the North Central District!
As Thanksgiving approaches, I am thinking of all the pastors and the congregations with which I serve in the North Central District and am grateful to God for each one of you for your faithful commitment and service. As co-laborers in the mission field where we are located, I am reminded that there is both great need and great opportunity and these are not mutually exclusive. While the task before us may seem insurmountable or overwhelming, as we commit ourselves to the mission as followers of Christ, let us remember that God has given us everything we need to do the work to which God calls us. Too often, we have ‘bought’ into the idea that this work requires abundant resources. The notion of sufficiency is lost on us. Instead, what if we trust in God’s sufficiency to do exactly what God is asking us to do?
If we consider God’s provision of manna in the wilderness we know that when the Israelites tried to save up extra it spoiled. When Jesus sent the disciples to proclaim the kingdom of God in instructed them “Take nothing for your journey, not staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money—not even an extra tunic” (Luke 9:3). It is time to shift our thinking from waiting until we have enough to start engaging in ministry to claiming the work to which Jesus has charged us and go forth trusting in God’s sufficiency for the task.
Recently, we had the privilege to host Rev. Mike Moynagh, missiologist and primary leader in the Fresh Expressions movement in the Anglican Church of England. He shared a very simple approach to moving beyond the walls of the church to reach those who long to hear of God’s presence and love. He began by saying that ‘love doesn’t just happen and that it is hard to love on your own. Rather, love must be organized.’ He also said that ‘its hard to find Jesus on your own.’ The question for the church is what to do? He offers these simple steps that any one of us can do and requires nothing of us but to organize love. He says—‘Try this!’
He said, ‘when you do this, transformation happens and discipleship occurs.’ Jesus calls us to find a simple way to love the people around us. It is that simple. Love is sufficient to begin the work.
During this season of gratitude, may the sufficiency of God’s love fill your life to overflowing and be an encouragement to you to find ways to share it with others that the kingdom may be realized among us!
With Gratitude to God for each of you!
Rev. June Edwards, Superintendent
North Central District
I hope by now you've heard about fresh expressions and how traditional congregations involved in cultivating new forms of church are experiencing revitalization. Maybe you are saying "okay I get it, but how does my church actually get started?"
Here’s some ways we can help, each of these opportunities is provided for free by our district:
1. Listening Sessions: I would love to come and meet with your team just to learn about your context together.
2. Local Church Workshop: A three hour workshop at your church. These workshops are focused on strengthening existing fresh expressions, and/or cultivating new ones.
3. Pioneer Coaching: Are you or someone you know a pioneer? Pioneers are passionate about mission with people outside the church. Schedule a coaching call with someone on the NCD FX team.
4. Zooming in to your Staff/Leadership Meetings: If you would like to have a Q & A session through Zoom (or Skype), I would love to join you.
5. Sharing a Fresh Expressions Sermon: If you are looking for a guest preacher, I can come and share a sermon exploring the Scriptural foundations of the fresh expressions movement.
If you have questions just let me know!
All 2020 leadership should be updated into your church dashboard within 7 days of your Church Conference. Click HERE for Tutorials on adding leadership, BEFORE you start to update.
Will you have a new leadership role in 2020? Are you wondering what that means?
Cokesbury sells Guidebooks for $3.99 for many different leadership roles in the United Methodist Church. Click HERE to see what they offer.
The Bishop’s Clergy Day Apart
Laity, local pastors, deacons and elders are invited to an Advent retreat with Bishop Ken Carter on Tuesday, December 10, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Community of Faith UMC in Davenport.
We will focus on the gospel of Matthew, the lectionary gospel for 2019 Advent through 2020. For those who do not preach the lectionary, Matthew is also a great resource for growing in discipleship.
The retreat will be in three movements:
1. Identity: Becoming a Part of a Greater Story (Matthew 1. 1-17)
2. Incarnation: The Best of All is that God is With Us (Matthew 1. 18-25)
3. Epiphany: The Long Journey to the Place Where Christ is Born (Matthew 2. 1-11)
There will be times of silence, collaboration, conversation and lectio divina. Participants will also have an opportunity to develop their own plan of spiritual reading and prayer for 2020. Participants are asked to bring a Bible, a notebook and a 2020 calendar.
Space is limited, sign up here today!
The apportionments for 2020 are now available on the conference website. To access your 2020 apportionment information:
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.
The opportunity to serve a connectional church is a missional blessing as we share and effect ministry on every level of the Church. The opportunity also carries responsibilities. One of the responsibilities is the process by which we apply for grants. Boards, agencies, Commissions, and all of our United Methodist entities rely on us to conduct due diligence in the review and endorsement of funding requests.
Below please find a reminder of our Conference guidelines implemented in 2014. Click HERE to see the process outlined on the FL Conference website. Please note that the following process represents our best opportunity to evaluate and endorse grant applications in a timely manner:
1. The grant application must be signed by the pastor (or Extension Ministry director) in charge. By her/his signature the pastor or Extension Ministry director) in charge indicates that s/he is aware of the grant application and is in agreement with its contents.
2. The grant application must then be signed by the district superintendent. In doing so the superintendent is giving his/her endorsement that this is a valid request and that the congregation (or ministry) making application is in a strategic place to fulfill the objectives of the request.
3. After the above two signatures are secured the application must be forwarded to the Conference Director of Connectional Ministries no later than thirty (30) days previous to the deadline for application to be mailed to the grantors. Applications received with less than thirty (30) days for processing will not be completed.
4. The Director of Connectional Ministries will review the application and may solicit review from appropriate Conference staff personnel who have expertise regarding the nature of the grant application.
5. Upon reaching a decision of affirming and signing the application, the Director of Connectional Ministries will then request that the other required signatures be affixed to the application. In order they would be:
a. The Treasurer of the Florida Conference (if required by the grant)
b. The Bishop of the Florida Conference
c. If the Bishop is unavailable, the Assistant to the Bishop will provide the needed endorsing signature
6. Upon the completion of the above steps the completed application will be returned to the pastor in charge where upon s/he will forward the application to the appropriate granting body.
Thank you for assisting us in becoming better stewards of UMC resources and fellow travelers with you on the journey of implementing vital ministries!
Connectional and Justice Ministries
The Local Church Representative (LCR) plays a pivotal role in connecting the Children's Home with the local church. This Fall, we will hold two workshops for LCRs which will take place on both the Enterprise and Madison campuses of the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home. LCRs are invited to attend this workshop, whether or not it is held in your particular district. The identical workshops will include an overview of the ministry of the Children’s Home, as well as an overview of the role of the LCR. There will be an opportunity to learn about the various resources we have available to support our Representatives. We will cover the 2020 Day on Campus festivities, as well as the opportunities for connection that the event brings.
North West District
November 14, 2019
Madison Youth Ranch Chapel
East Central District
November 16, 2019
Florida United Methodist Children’s Home
RSVPs are vital in allowing us to accommodate for parking and refreshments. We kindly ask that you RSVP for the event no later than Wednesday, November 6th.
Please call Trista Calvin with any questions and RSVPs at 386.668.4774 ext. 2296 or email at Trista.Calvin@fumch.org.
Day on Campus 2020 - Save the Date!
March 28, 2020
Let this be recorded for a generation yet to come, so that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord. Psalm 102:18
As you may well know, the work of the Commission on Archives and History (CAH) is an exciting and rich opportunity to serve God and the Florida Conference. Currently, we are seeking a new commissioner from each of the following districts: North West, Gulf Central, and East Central. Click HERE for a job description for commission members. This information can also be found on our CAH webpage within the Conference website.
There are three very good reasons why:
If you feel you are “the right person for the job,” please contact Anita Campbell, Chair of Florida United Methodist Conference Commission on Archives and History at firstname.lastname@example.org or 386-734-9224. She would love to chat with you about your interest, desire to serve, and expectations of the position.
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.
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 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.
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