|Rev. June Edwards|
Dear Pastors and Leaders in the NC District,
As I’m sure with each of you, the past week has been spent on high alert watching and waiting to see the path Hurricane Dorian would take. Thankfully, the effects in Florida seem to be minimal and it appears that may be the case as it makes its way up the eastern seaboard of the US. However, we are all painfully aware of the devastation that was wrought upon those in the Bahamas. They are still in the midst of emerging from the horror Category 5 sustained winds and the storm surge that swept across their homes. Loss of life and destruction will be their reality for a long time to come. In response, you are encouraged to offer these options to your congregations as a way offer help and assistance that is so desperately needed to our neighbors so close by.
I am grateful for each of you lay and clergy and the ministry you provide every day through your churches. I look forward to seeing many of you at the upcoming charge conferences in the days ahead.
May you know God’s Love. May you experience Christ’s Peace. May you be enlivened by the Holy Spirit in the days ahead!
Rev. June Edwards, Superintendent
North Central District
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. 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
The North Central District is in the beginning stages of developing a Rural Ministry Initiative. Our goal is to cultivate connections and relationships between all of the the rural churches in our district. We believe rural churches are important and valuable extensions of God's Kingdom. Often, rural churches are the centering hub of their communities. Our rural churches are already engaged in meaningful ministries and missions.
Rural churches are expressions of "grassroots faith", generations who help one another and are engaged in ministry within their communities. The North Central District wishes to honor our rural ministries and provide increased support that fits the context of the rural church. Please stay tuned for upcoming Rural Ministry Initiative events in the North Central District.
Rev. Sarah Campbell
NC District Congregational Vitality Specialist
More information and registration link soon!
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.
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.
At the start of 2017, the Life Enrichment Center and Warren Willis Camp merged into one site offering sacred space in Fruitland Park. This marriage has been an involved process, and the need was clear for a name that reflected the connectedness. This year, the board approved the new name:
Warren Willis United Methodist Camp and Conference Center
In addition to the new name, they have a new logo for this united ministry. The Cross on the Lake has been an iconic image of camping ministry on these grounds and is a great space to view each morning's sunrise. The cross was rebuilt last year after sustaining heavy damage from Hurricane Irma. The new-and-improved cross pictured here is a contemporary update of this historic symbol. The shape of the letters are meant to invoke the waters of Lake Griffin, and the leaf symbolizes the many trees that adorn the property. Guests of the Life Enrichment Center have long celebrated the Live Oak trees around the property and sunsets on the lake. This new logo represents decades of spiritual growth that has occurred in these spaces, and it points toward a bright future for the camp and conference center.
A new website and new marketing materials will be coming soon!
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.
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