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NCD November 2018 Newsletter


Greetings from the District Superintendent

 Rev. June Edwards



Pastors and Leaders of the North Central District,

535 is the number! Yes, 535 pastors and leaders representing the 86 churches and missions of the North Central District gathered for a great day of worship, learning, prayer, business, blessing, fellowship and food for the first Super-Charged Charge Conference! There was great enthusiasm and energy that comes from being all together in one place with the Holy Spirit leading and guiding and filling us. Thank you for stepping out and trying something new along with me. We will not do this every year but I believe there was great benefit from being able to look around and see those with whom we share in ministry together through our United Methodist Connectional relationship. We’ve received very positive feedback from many of you.

It was time to be together in a big way in response to what I have perceived as a sense of ‘disconnectedness’ and being in isolation from one another as churches and pastors. I pray this time together is a strong reminder of the strength that is our connection. We truly can do so much more for the kingdom as we serve together collectively.

There was a great response to the request for items for Open Arms Village ministry at St. Marks UMC, Ocala. They filled up Pastor Sue’s car and will be put to use right away! 








Thank you as well for the offering that was collected designated for the establishment of the UM congregation at Lowell Women’s prison and for the Hurricane Relief matching fund. $4,756.89 was received! $3,256.89 will go toward helping establish the congregation and $1,500 will be sent for Hurricane Relief. That means that with matching funds, $3,000 will make its way to churches and folks in the Alabama-West Florida conference to help with relief and recovery efforts that will be taking place for some time to come.

Of greatest importance is for us to remember that we are On Mission Together ‘equipping leaders to make disciples of Jesus for the transformation of communities across Florida and beyond’ through Courageous Leadership, Missional Engagement and Spirit-Led Innovation. This is the nature of the church we serve together in Florida and in the NC District.

It is a privilege to serve with you!


June Edwards 

 Rev. Michael Beck

Make Methodism Vile Again

I was recently working with one of our districts in the Florida Conference to set up a district fresh expressions team. I was sharing about how the fresh expressions movement, alongside existing congregations, helps Methodists to become “more vile” again. One of the folks on that team looked at me puzzled and said, “you mean vital again right?”

 No, I actually mean “vile,” in fact, most local churches will never truly be able to become more vital unless they are first willing to become more vile.

On April 2, 1739, John Wesley went to a field just outside what was then the city limits of Bristol, England. There he tried this missional innovation called field preaching. Thousands of people showed up, many of whom who had no connection with a church. Later Wesley wrote in his journal, “At four in the afternoon I submitted to be more vile, and proclaimed in the highways the glad tidings of salvation…” John Wesley April 2, 1739 (journal entry).

Despite the derision of his many critics, most of whom were fellow clergy persons, Wesley took up this vile practice of field preaching, and designed an apostolic discipleship process. Wesley reached the people that were not connecting with the established church, taking it to the fields, miners camps, and debtors’ prisons. He connected new believers who’s only requirement for membership in the societies was a desire to “flee the wraith to come” to small gatherings of people who journeyed on the life of grace together (societies, classes, bands).

H. Richard Niebuhr once said, “The great Christian revolutions come not by the discovery of something that was not known before. They happen when someone takes radically something that was already there.”

This is what the fresh expressions movement is about, it is not the next newfangled thing the bishop is asking us to do. This is a movement of the Holy Spirit, a new iteration of Methodists taking it to the fields again. It enables us to be church with people who will never come to our Sunday morning services. It is an awakening of the core identity of who we are as the people called Methodists. It is not in competition with your traditional activities as a local congregation, it is a compliment.

Please click here to read more. 

Congregational Vitality

Rev. Sarah Campbell


As your church works toward increased vitality and health, please consider this article’s wisdom. Bishop Robert Schnase has updated his 5 Practices for Fruitful Congregations. This is a great article to discuss with your church’s leadership. How do we “do” church in a post-attractional era?


5 Practices for Fruitful Congregations in a Post-Attractional Era

By Robert Schnase 

Please click here to read more. 

Rev. Sarah R. Campbell

North Central District Congregational Vitality Specialist

2018 Super Church Conference Follow up 




Super-Charged Conference

We had 535 disciples at Super-Charged Conference on Saturday, October 20th! What a wonderful celebration it was. 

We shared so much information that day that we wanted to send out a follow up so you can share everything with those who could not be with us. 



If you weren't able to attend and want to watch Super-Charged Conference, we recorded the entire event. 

Please click here to see the video. 
























The North Central District churches collected and donated items to Open Arms Village.

    The items donated to Open Arms were both plentiful and well thought out!  The bulk of the items were personal hygiene related. We received 3 large boxes of sample size products and 3 large boxes of full size shampoos, deodorants, soaps, lotions and toothpaste. The "well thought out" statement comes from the great bags of combs and fingernail clippers! 

    In addition to hygiene items, we had a very generous amount of towels and washcloths donated. These will be utilized both for our residents and for occasional walk in folks asking for showers.

   We thanks all those donating to Open Arms, filling our closets to serve those in need.

With Gratitude,

Pam McBride

OAV Executive Director


District Training Event

‘Welcome to the Future-Going Where No Church Has Gone Before!’ 

"Jesus calls his disciples to be First Responders, those who run towards not away from the future. “Welcome to the Future” is a First Responders boot-camp to help you and your church arrive quickly on the scene, assess the situation and assist the Spirit who is the real First Responder. This day is not a crash course in first-aid skills but a first course in how to first-edition faith, first-noel hope, and first-person love in a future that will be some of the greatest churning cauldrons of danger and disaster the world has ever seen." -Len Sweet 


Saturday, February 9, 2019
9:00 am to 3:00 pm

First Ocala UMC, Family Life Center
(1126 E Silver Springs Blvd. Ocala FL 34470) 

$10.00 Registration Fee 

Please click here to register. 


'Celebrating 2 New Church Buildings!’

New Covenant United Methodist Church: Lake Deaton Campus









First Inverness UMC

1140 Turner Camp Road  Inverness FL 34453








First Inverness church dedication date will be held on Sunday, November 11 at 10:30 am. 


New Beginnings Nueva Vida Central 

Nueva Vida Central will be open on January 2019 on the former Druid Hill UMC, Ocala church. Please be in prayers for Rev. Eduardo Cortez and the missionaries of the Nueva Vida Central on the beginning of this new ministry.   


Warren W. Willis Retreat

Warren W. Willis is not just for Summer Camp...although that is an amazing time! Click on any of the following links for information on the wonderful programs you and your church can attend.
Plan Your Own Church Retreat:  Who doesn't love WWW?  Why not plan your own retreat  




Clergy Gathering
January 29 - February 1, 2019 - Epworth By The Sea

In lieu of our Clergy Gathering which had been tentatively scheduled October 23 - 24, 2018, we are inviting you to attend the Winter Conference at Epworth By The Sea, January 29 - February 1, 2019. This will be a combined event with the Bishops and clergy of the North Georgia, Mississippi, South Georgia and Florida Conferences. Dr. Tod Bolinger, author of Canoeing The Mountains, will be the keynote speaker. 

Be sure to register soon as we expect this to be a sold out event.

Click HERE to register.  Click HERE for the flyer.


2020 Self-Nomination Process is Open

The planning and preparation for the 2019 session of the Florida Annual Conference is well under way. During the 2019 session, we will also be electing Lay and Clergy members to represent our Annual Conference as delegates to the 2020 General and Jurisdictional Conferences. Being elected to serve as a delegate is quite an honor that carries a lot of responsibility.

Who can be elected as a delegate to represent the Florida Annual Conference?

The Florida Annual Conference uses an on-line self-nomination process. Anyone who: (1) senses the leading of God to serve as a delegate, (2) who meets all of the Disciplinary eligibility requirements, (3) who successfully completes the self-nomination process before the February 15, 2019, deadline or (4) who successfully completes the self-nomination process during the Lay or Clergy Sessions on the first day of Annual Conference, can have their name placed on the ballot for election at the 2019 Annual Conference Session in Lakeland, Florida.

How do I know if I’m being called to serve as a delegate? Let me suggest the following:

• Begin with a time of prayer and reflection. Explore your thoughts and feelings with God. Ask God for the wisdom and understanding to know how best to serve.
• Take time to study the issues affecting The United Methodist Church, our Annual Conference, our congregations, and our world. What are the social, spiritual, theological and moral concerns which need to be addressed by our denomination?
• Ask someone whom you trust to help you to discern whether your gifts and skills, intuition and insight, learning and leadership have prepared you to serve as a delegate at this time.
• Reflect deeply on one of the required essay questions. As a delegate, what particular things could/would you do to help The United Methodist Church to fulfill its purpose and mission around the world?
• After having done all of the above, and sensing God’s call to serve, place your name on the ballot by completing the self-nomination process found on the Conference website. Click here to access it. The on-line nomination process will remain open until midnight on February 15, 2019. If you have questions about the eligibility requirements or the self-nomination process, call, write, or email me using the information below. I will assist you in every way possible.


Beth Gardner, Annual Conference Secretary


Special Session of the General Conference
February 2019 - St. Louis


With the Special Session of the General Conference approaching in February 2019, your General Conference delegation from Florida wants to hear from you. Thank you to the 100 or so who attended our special day of listening on Saturday, October 20. For those of you who were not able to attend, we want to offer a web based virtual listening session on Wednesday, November 14, at 10 a.m.
The hour will be shaped by an opportunity for some members of the delegation to listen to you. Delegates will answer submitted questions as we are able, and we will share in a time of prayer together.
To register and get log-in information click here.
To see a list of members of the delegation click here. If you would like to share something with the delegation and cannot join us on November 14, email, and your email will be sent to the all the members of the delegation.
Finally, we hope each of you will consider joining the delegation in Praying Our Way Forward which includes time of daily prayer, email reminders and weekly fasting. For more information click here.
Molly McEntire
Leader of Florida Delegation to General Conference (lay)
Rev. Alex Shanks
Clergy Member of Florida Delegation to General Conference



CCYM - Dare to Explore
February 15 - 17, 2019 - Warren W. Willis

Dare to Explore is a student leadership retreat for students by students.  This is a great event to bring your student leaders (or those whom you'd like to become students leaders) to, in whatever form that takes in your local church.  For some that is their whole youth group, for others it is a core group of student leaders.  The registration is $90 per person.   Click HERE for the Dare page.  Registration will open in October.  We can't wait to see you and your team. No matter where you are on your spiritual walk, be prepared to explore!


The Five-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation


The Five-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation team is pleased to announce that registration is open for the 2019 Academy to be held March 10-15, 2019 at the Life Enrichment Retreat Center in Fruitland Park.

The Academy is a program of the Upper Room and The Florida Conference.  Faculty members this year will be Ray Buckley, who is Director of Native People Communication Office of UMCom, Director of Connectional Ministries and Native Discipleship for the Alaska Missionary Conference and Kathryn Damiano, a Quaker and lifelong contemplative.  She has served as spiritual director at Pendle Hill, a Quaker center for study and contemplation.

The descriptive brochure and more details for this opportunity are available at


The Gator - Seminole Showdown is back!!





Every year Gator Wesley and FSU Wesley (the United Methodist Campus Ministries at UF and FSU) use the rivalry football game to raise money for these vibrant and vital ministries! We love football, and we love campus ministries even more, so we hope you will consider supporting us in this event!

You can pledge a one-time amount or a per point dollar amount scored by your team in the UF/FSU football game played on November 24th.

Example:  If you pledge $10 per point, and your team scores 14 points during the game, you will then donate $140 to your Wesley. Or you could pledge and then donate $150 and that will be added to your Wesley’s one time pledge amount.

Pledges will be updated on the website so you can see exactly where your ministry stands for both the per point and one time pledges. Both ministries will be accepting pledges until the end of the game. So if your school is down at halftime, it is not too late to jump in and change the showdown winner!

The winner of the showdown will be the ministry who raises the most money total. This will be determined by all one time pledges + (pledges per point x game score).

In addition, each ministry will give the 10% of the money raised to a local mission project of the other's school’s choice!

The ministry with the most money raised gets to keep the showdown trophy and gets to dress the other ministry's staff in the winning colors!
The Wesley Foundations at UF and FSU support the spiritual life of young adults attending the University of Florida, Florida State University, Santa Fe College, and Tallahassee Community College. Your donations support the United Methodist Church's presence on these campuses and their outreach to students with the love and grace of Jesus Christ.
Will you please consider joining us in supporting these awesome Campus Ministries and the students they serve?
You can donate here:


Heather Pancoast



November 12- Veteran's Day Holiday

Conference & District Offices are closed.


November 13 - North Central District Church Dashboard Update Day!

This day is being held as a reminder for all churches to go into their church dashboard and update their 2019 church leadership. 

November 22 - Thanksgiving Holiday

Conference & District Offices are closed.

February 9, 2019 - NC District Training Event "Welcome To The Future" , First Ocala UMC, from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm