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NCD October 2019 Newsletter


In the District

Greetings from the District Superintendent

 Rev. June Edwards












Dear Pastors and Leaders in the NC District, 

At a recent cabinet meeting, Bishop Carter shared the following quote:

“If God is to be found, God will be found in the space between us.”

These words have continued to surface in my times of quiet and in my ongoing work with the folks and churches of the North Central District. Each of us experience this space in many and various ways. They can appear to be deep and vast chasms where it doesn’t seem that there is any possible way to the other side. They can appear to be long and narrow where it seems that it should be easy to cross but separated by the distance of being at opposite ends. But to ponder the thought that God occupies that space that separates us changes our perspective entirely. Whatever it is that separates us--whether opinion, belief, life experience, roles, gender, ethnicity, or whatever it would be, is merely the perception that such separation really does exist. For God is the one in the space holding us all together.

In Galatians 3:28 the apostle Paul writes, “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” Here Paul is saying that God has closed the gap, filled the space through the work of Christ Jesus.

I invite you into the pondering of the spaces of your lives in and through your relationships with family, friends, churches, neighbors and strangers all the while remembering that God is there filling the space. And this means that there is always the opportunity to close the gap in between. May you take the first step in order to grasp God’s hand extended to you and begin the journey across to the other side.

Blessings upon you all as you risk taking that first step toward God and closing the space between us all!


Rev. June Edwards, Superintendent

North Central District 



Pioneers: The Gift of Living on the Edge?

In Makoto Fujimura’s Culture Care: Reconnecting with Beauty for Our Common Life I was introduced to a mysterious group called the mearcstapas… the “border-stalkers.”

The mearcstapas (an Old English term from Beowulf) aptly describes the kind of adaptive disposition we need in the church today. These border-stalkers of the ancient tribes lived on the edges of their groups, moved in and out, and brought back news.[1] Living on the edge, enabled them to become instruments of reconciliation amidst the fragmentation.

In the fresh expressions movement, we call mearcstapas… pioneers.

Like the mearcstapas, pioneers inhabit the liminal space, and incarnate the role of helping fragmented tribes find hope and reconciliation. Please click here to read more. 

By the Rev. Michael Beck
Aug. 6, 2019 | WILDWOOD, Fla. (UM News)













Fall Lay Servant Training at Celebration UMC, Gainesville.

Classes will run on Saturday, November 9, 2019 (8 a.m. - 6 p.m. - check-in begins at 8:00 a.m.). Lunch and snack will be provided.
We are offering the following classes:

  • Basic Lay Servant Class - James Dunn
  • Advance "DYSG" - Irene Braugh
  • Advance "LF" - Hollis Taylor
  • Advance "SK" - John Tarburton

Register here! Be sure to register early since all classes have a cap on the number of registrants per class (15 per class.) Only a few weeks left to register. No walk-ins please. 


Registration deadline: November 1, 2019. 

For more information please contact Walter Dry, Lay Servant Ministry Director at


2020 Annual Training Event - Please save the date!



More information and registration link soon! 


October is Pastor Appreciation Month!

October is Pastor Appreciation Month, and October 13 is designated as Pastor Appreciation Day.

The life of a United Methodist pastor is filled with a variety of responsibilities. They preach, teach, visit, counsel, lead, consult, communicate, budget, clean, and so much more.

Pastoring a church is not a job that can be done well under the pastor’s power alone. Every pastor relies heavily on God’s guidance, strength and peace as they live into their call.

One of the best ways we can support our pastors and show them our appreciation is to regularly pray for them. But it can be difficult to know exactly what we should pray for. To help get started, we’ve assembled fifteen areas of pastors’ lives and ministries where they would value your prayers.

1. Spiritual lives

Our pastors’ spiritual lives are important to their finding the wisdom, strength and guidance necessary to lead a church. Pray for your pastors’ growth as a disciple of Jesus Christ, as the Holy Spirit works through them to serve your congregation and community.

2. Time management

With all of their responsibilities, United Methodist pastors need to become masters of their calendars. John Wesley knew this back in the 1700s. He instructed the preachers, “Never trifle away time.” Pray for your pastors to use time wisely, including blocking out occasions for Sabbath rest, prayer, work and family.

Click HERE for all 15 areas that pastors would value your prayers. 

Around the Conference and Beyond

Fall Conference Events

The Bishop’s Clergy Day Apart originally scheduled for Tuesday, September 17, has been rescheduled for Tuesday, December 10. All clergy from Florida are invited to attend the December 10 event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Lakeland. The focus will be on “God is With Us” and spiritual preparation during the season of Advent.

The Conference Table is scheduled for Saturday, October 26, at the Portico in Tampa. The morning portion of the Conference Table meeting (10 a.m. to noon) will be open to all clergy and laity in Florida to come and hear a presentation from Bishop Carter on “Growing the Center.” The presentation will be followed by table discussion. To register for this event please click here.


2020 Connectional Giving

The apportionments for 2020 are now available on the conference website. To access your 2020 apportionment information:

  • Go to the conference homepage:
  • Click on the "Monthly Reports" tab at the bottom right of the page.
  • Click on the top link under Monthly Billing reports: "Click here to download monthly reports."
  • When you choose a Report, there will be a report on the drop-down menu called 2020 Apportionments Report. This link will take you to your 2020 apportionments.


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


Bishop Carter's Invitation to 2020 Holy Land Trip

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.


Young Adult Missional Movement (YAMM)

You can put more young adults into mission service!  

The Young Adult Missional Movement is seeking more support to expand the mission service program. Currently, YAMM has 7 houses in 4 districts but plans to expand into every district as support and recruiting allows. 

Churches, small groups, or individuals can add the YAMM program to their annual mission giving and help engage more young adults in more communities. Whether it's $1,000 annually or a love offering, all you support will make a difference. Utilities, transportation, health care costs, etc are all on the rise. 

Gifts can be mailed to the conference office, designated for YAMM or made securely online: Click HERE

YAMM's year-long mission program no longer receives apportionment funding after the initial three year start up period. Since it was formed, there have been 75 alumni who served in 30 teams over the past five years. 

Questions? Heidi Aspinwall 305-733-4420


Guidelines for Grant Application Submission, Review and Endorsement

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 


Appointed Clergy serving in the Florida Annual Conference
Do No Harm: Mandatory Quadrennial Sexual Ethics Training

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.

  • Gainesville at Trinity UMC on Wednesday, October 9
  • Plantation at Plantation UMC on Tuesday, October 22
  • Orlando at St. Luke's UMC on Wednesday, November 6


Fall Local Church Representative (LCR) Workshop
November 16 - Florida United Methodist Children's Home

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

Day on Campus 2020 - Save the Date!
March 28, 2020


Florida United Methodist Heritage Center

We are excited to announce - we now have a Facebook page! We created the page to showcase the rich and dynamic history our Conference has preserved and cherished throughout our almost 175 years as a Conference.

If you've never been to our United Methodist Heritage Center, located on the campus of Florida Southern College in Lakeland, your "tour" can start on Facebook. The archives have countless pictures, artifacts and interesting collections that need to be seen right? Well, we want to make sure that you AND members of your church can easily access and marvel at all the beautiful and sacred archives we have, so we created this Facebook page just for you!

Will you please share this link with your congregation and ask them to "Like" it, so that our great connection can be in touch with our sacred past? Reflecting and studying our past can only help us as we look to the future and all that God has in store for us. Click HERE for our Facebook page.

Thank you for your help in spreading the word and we look forward to connecting with your congregation through this page.

Mrs. Anita Campbell, Chair
Florida United Methodist Conference Archives Commission

Rev. Judi New, Archivist
Florida United Methodist Conference


General Conference 2020
Minneapolis, Minnesota - May 5 - 15


Florida Delegation General Conference 2020

General Conference 2020 Website




Winter Conference at Epworth By the Sea, January 26-29, 2020

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.






November 28 - Conference & District office Closed

Calendar of Reports due 2019 - Reminder