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Opportunities — June 24, 2005 {0318}

Opportunities — June 24, 2005 {0318}

e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service

Opportunities — June 24, 2005

June 24, 2005    News media contact:  Tita Parham*    
800-282-8011     Orlando  {0318}

An e-Review News Item

UMCOR establishes Zimbawe Emergency Advance

The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) announced June 24 it is joining other faith-based humanitarian agencies to provide basic necessities to hundreds of thousands of persons recently displaced from homes and jobs in Zimbabwe.

Tents, cooking utensils, soap and emergency food are among the aid to be distributed in the next weeks. Warm blankets will also be available, since June and July are the coldest months of the year in Zimbabwe's high rolling plateaus.

Right now faith-based organizations such as UMCOR are the only agencies able to provide assistance to these internal refugees. UMCOR has established a special Advance so that individuals' gifts can assist in a meaningful way.

Contributions to the Zimbabwe Emergency Advance may be made to UMCOR, P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068, or by calling 1-800-554-8583, where credit card donations are accepted. Indicate that gifts are for UMCOR Advance #199456.

UMCOR is also involved in many other ministries around the world. Recent headlines in the weekly UMCOR Hotline updates include:

* United States: Volunteers Wanted as Hurricane Recovery Continues;
* Zimbabwe: To Buy Seed Is a Sign of Hope;
* Central America: Hurricane Adrian Leaves its Mark;
* Many Hands Make Small Work in Sri Lanka;
* UMCOR Responds to Serious Illnesses;
* Famine in Africa;
* 2005 Hurricane Season Begins;
* Armenia: Save the Cheese;
* Worldwide: Health and School Kits;
* Haiti: Hot Lunches for Hungry Kids.

To learn how to become involved in these and other ministries visit UMCOR's Web site at or the UMCOR Hotline at

Tampa church hosts Companions in Christ leader training event

By Ann Lee Earnshaw**

TAMPA — The Companions in Christ series is holding a one-day training event for leaders Aug. 6, 8:15 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., at Hyde Park United Methodist Church here.

The training provides leaders with an in-depth experience of the 28-week resource and trains them in the distinctive leadership skills needed when leading formational groups.

The series from Upper Room Ministries brings a transforming small-group experience to congregations. The majority of in-depth Christian studies offer knowledge about scripture, prayer or other areas of faith, but the Companions in Christ series provides a journey into the essential elements of the Christian faith by inviting participants into a deeper experience of the Christian life.

As the journey unfolds, participants discover classic and contemporary spiritual practices that enrich their interaction with scripture, prayer, God's call and spiritual guidance. The practices form, rather than inform, participants and encourage them in inner and outward expressions of faith.

For more information or to register visit

New Church Development offers session on starting extension campuses

By J.A. Buchholz**

OVIEDO — If your church is a growing, healthy congregation, a workshop about how existing churches can start extension campuses might be the next step.

"How to Start Extension Campuses," will be held Aug. 27, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at University Carillon United Methodist Church here. Seating is limited to 100 people.

"We have to go back to the New Testament principle of churches starting churches. It's not a conference program, but a church-wide outreach ministry," said the Rev. Dr. Mont Duncan, executive director of the Florida Conference's New Church Development office.

Featured topics include "The Definition of an Extension Campus," "The Five Pillars of The Extension Campus Model," "Circles of Ownership" and "Leveraging Rent-A-Members."

The Rev. Jim Griffith will be the workshop leader. Griffith is the Founder of Griffith Coaching Network, a network of coaches committed to helping church leaders develop more fruitful ministries.
Griffin spent the first 20 years of his ministry starting five different congregations. In 1995 he entered a full-time coaching ministry for church leaders and congregations. Since then he has trained more than 8,000 church planters and coached 1,100 new church starts. While not a Methodist, Griffin currently works with 38 United Methodist annual conferences.

Registration before Aug. 1 is $89 for the first person and $59 for each additional person. Registration after that date is $109 for the person and $69 for each additional person. All prices include lunch and materials.

For more information contact Duncan at 800-282-8011, extension 147, or

Healthy Church Academy announces fall courses

By Rev. Dr. Larry Rankin**

LAKELAND — Eight courses offered this fall by the Healthy Church Academy (HCA) are open for registration.

A total of 10 courses are in the 2005 class schedule. An additional five courses are being offered in 2006. All of the courses are designed to help new congregations form and existing ones transform. The courses are linked to church life cycles and minimum factors, which are related to the Eight Quality Characteristics identified through the Natural Church Development process.

Churches can find relevance in each course; however, laity and clergy are encouraged to choose courses that best address their congregation's minimum factor. Clergy and laity from a single congregation are encouraged to enroll in the same courses to have the greatest impact on transformation in their congregation. 

The only required course is HCA 101, Growing a Healthy Church. Individuals can register for and take other courses before taking HCA 101 as long as they register for HCA 101. The last HCA 101 class offered this year is in September.   

All courses are repeated in different parts of the conference, most often in local churches. 

Fall courses begin Aug. 26 and include HCA 1201: Spiritual Formation and Disciplines, HCA 1301: Stewardship, HCA 1302: Church Management, HCA 101: Growing a Healthy Church, HCA 201: The Church as Global Mission, HCA 401: Leadership Development, HCA 301: The Church: Order vs. Disorder (also available in Spanish) and HCA 302: Leading Change in the Church (also available in Spanish).

For a list of dates and times for the courses, descriptions, on-line registration, the faculty, locations, tuition (no one will be turned away for lack of resources), lodging and more information about HCA visit

HCA is the creation of the Florida Conference offices of New Church Development, Congregational Transformation and Connectional Ministries. For more information about HCA contact Rankin, dean of academy, at 800-282-8011, extension 131, or

Spiritual Formation team holds next monthly gathering

By J.A. Buchholz

LEESBURG  — The Florida Conference Spiritual Formation Team will hold its next monthly gathering Aug. 19, 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Life Enrichment Center (LEC) here. There will not be a gathering in July.

Dr. Trudy Corry Rankin will present "Witnessing Together the Expression of Soul in the Sandtray."

Formation gatherings are day or weekend workshop/retreats designed to meet the interests and needs of those seeking a deeper experience in their spiritual journey. All clergy and laity are invited to attend.

The cost for each monthly gathering is $30, and participants are encouraged to bring their own lunch.

Contact Carol Sue Hutchinson at to register for the monthly gathering.

For more information contact Rankin at or 863-682-2810 or visit the Spiritual Formation Web site at
To share ideas or volunteer to serve contact Martha Clark, Spiritual Formation team leader, at or 813-988-4655 or Rankin, coordinator of the Formation gatherings.

United Methodist Women's Division combines fast food and human rights

By Kelly C. Martini**

When you drive through for fast food, have you considered that farm workers who are among the worst paid and worst treated people in the United States picked the lettuce and tomatoes on those hamburgers you are buying?

That's the question the United Methodist Women's Division is asking its one million members. This spring, United Methodists celebrated the end of the Taco Bell Boycott that assured fair wages and safe working conditions for Florida farm workers. However, the work is not done, Division leaders say.

The Division wants similar pressure for fair wages and safe working conditions applied to three more fast food giants — McDonald's, Burger King and Subway. And it wants its members to use their consumer power and letter-writing skills to make it happen. The letter-writing campaign began after federal officials broke up an alleged slave labor camp June 5 in one of Florida's largest farming operations.

Now, the Division sees action as even more urgent and is asking its members to pressure fast food corporations to pass an enforceable human rights code of conduct for suppliers and ensure improved wages for farm workers. Members are being urged to send letters to McDonalds, Subway and Burger King stating: "Pickers for Florida-based tomato companies earn 40 to 45 cents for every 35 pounds of tomatoes they pick. At this rate, a farm worker must pick two tons of tomatoes to earn just $50 in one day. Additionally, farm workers often work 10- to 12-hour days with no overtime pay, benefits, right to organize or sick pay. In the most extreme cases, farm workers are held in situations of modern-day slavery and forced to work against their will."

If this campaign against the fast food industry is successful, corporate changes will be similar to the outcome of the Taco Bell campaign. The denomination-wide boycott resulted in an additional one cent per pound for tomatoes picked, as well as improved working conditions in the fields.

"Taco Bell is only one major buyer among many, and the impact of its commitment to those new principles will fall only on those workers who pick tomatoes for Taco Bell," says the Women's Division letter to United Methodist Women.

United Methodist Women is a one-million member organization whose purpose is to foster spiritual growth, develop leaders and advocate for justice. Members raise close to $25 million a year for local and global programs and projects related to women, children and youth in the United States and in more than 100 countries around the world.

Workshop seeks to energize congregations

By J.A. Buchholz

PORTLAND, O.R. — The 2005 National Evangelism Workshop will be July 20-22 at the Doubletree Hotel, Lloyd Center, here.

The workshop will feature inspirational speakers, as well as practical workshops led by pastors and specialists on a wide range of evangelism and church vitality issues with the goal of immediately benefiting congregations.

Discounts are available for groups of three or more. "Blanket" registrations are available for churches that do not know in advance the names of individuals attending from their congregations.

All of the sessions will be held at the Doubletree Hotel. The cost is $99 for single/double occupancy.

For more information visit

Summit provides Christian coaching training
By J.A. Buchholz

RALEIGH, N.C. — The 2005 National Christian Leadership Coaching Summit will be Sept. 23-25 at the Sheraton Capital Center here.

Christian coaches know two things are necessary in today's culture. The first is connecting with people of similar passions and values. The second is stretching — continuing education and focusing on skill improvement.

The Coaching Summit provides opportunities to both connect and stretch. It's an opportunity to connect with hundreds of peers for three days of networking, case studies and coaching models. It's an opportunity to stretch through speakers like Laurie Beth Jones, best-selling author of "Jesus Life Coach." Small group sessions will focus on coaching individuals, organizations, ministry leaders and congregations.

For more information or to register visit

Intentional Growth Center offers church leadership workshops  

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — The Intentional Growth Center at Lake Junaluska is offering three workshops aimed at strengthening leadership in the local church.

n  Leading the Larger Church: Senior Pastor Startup is Aug. 15-17. The seminar is designed for pastors who have just received their first appointment to a larger church and those who have served a larger church for five years or less.

Participants will review key skills needed in making pastoral transition, explore the models and strategies for administering a multiple staff, define the unique characteristics of ministry in large congregations, examine skills required in being an 'initiating leader' who brings vision to the congregation and learn how to maintain ministry through staff and volunteers.

The commuter fee is $167 per person for the program only. The total package is $299 for double occupancy or $343 single occupancy per person and includes meals, room and program fee.

n Leading the Middle-Sized Church is July 25-28. This seminar will identify and examine the unique characteristics of the mid-sized (100 to 250 average worship) church, which exhibits characteristics of both the pastoral/program church models.

Many clergy find they must redefine their role as pastor in the mid-sized church due to its increasing demands and complexities. The seminar is especially designed for clergy and church staff who currently serve, or will soon serve, in this type of ministry setting.

The commuter fee is $167 per person for the program only. The total package is $365 for double occupancy and $431 for single occupancy per person and includes meals, room and program fee.

n Leadership and Management in the Local Church is Aug. 1-4. The seminar is a practical course aimed at providing basic understandings and skill for the pastor to lead and manage the work of a local church.

The seminar addresses such issues as time management, stewardship, conflict and criticism, training and motivating volunteers, and balancing personal and professional demands. 

The commuter fee is $167 per person for the program only. The total package is $365 for double occupancy and $431 for single occupancy per person and includes meals, room and program fee.

Individuals must register 30 days prior to each event. For more information call 800-482-1442, e-mail or visit

NSYR releases major report on Protestant teens

By Deborah Pyatt**

The National Study of Youth and Religion (NSYR) is pleased to announce the publication of a new report on Protestant adolescents in the United States based on the NSYR survey data.

Titled "Portraits of Protestant Teens: A Report on Teenagers in Major U.S. Denominations," the report was published last month by the NSYR. 

The report was written by Phil Schwadel, Postdoctoral Researcher with the NSYR, and Christian Smith, Principal Investigator of the NSYR and Professor of Sociology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. 

"This report is intended to be a companion to Dr. Smith's recent book, 'Soul Searching: The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers,' " Schwadel said. "While 'Soul Searching' provides an overview of American teenagers' religious beliefs and activities, 'Portraits of Protestant Teens' focuses specifically on Protestant adolescents, clarifying how teens from various denominations approach religion."

For more information visit

SEJ kicks off Summer Worship series

By Cintia Furtado**

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C — Messages that touch the heart and the soul will soon reach the masses as the Summer Sunday Worship series gets underway here.

Keeping a tradition begun in 1913, speakers from all over the United States and abroad will address the community weekly at Stuart Auditorium at 10:55 a.m. until Aug. 21. The services are free and open to the public.

Joetta Rinehart, Southeastern Jurisdiction public relations and interpretation director, said the Summer Sunday Worship is designed to provide the audience with a fulfilling praise and worship opportunity.

"Sunday worship services add a needed dimension to our total programming. This summer promises through the outstanding and diverse preachers and the total worship experiences to give opportunities for spiritual formation and leadership development that will nurture us for witness and service," she said.

Speakers include:

July 3 - Rev. Dr. Jim Harnish, Hyde Park United Methodist Church, Tampa, Fla.
July 10 - Dr. Leslie Griffiths, superintendent minister of Wesley's Chapel, England.
July 17 - Rev. Grace Imathiu, (ordained elder in the Methodist Church of Kenya) Brown Deer United Methodist Church, Brown Deer, Wis.
July 24 - Bishop Larry M. Goodpaster, Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference.
July 31 - Michael Williams, Blackmore United Methodist Church, Nashville, Tenn.
Aug. 7 - Dr. P. Alice Rogers, director of Teaching Parish Program at Candler School of Theology, Atlanta, Ga. 
Aug. 14 - Bishop James King, Kentucky Annual Conference.
Aug. 21 - Dr. Reginald Mallett, (ordained minister and physician) Ferndown, Dorset, England.

For more information contact Wendy Lyons at 828-452-2881, extension 739, or

2005 Appointment Book, Journal order forms available online

LAKELAND — The 2005 Appointment Book and form to order the Florida United Methodist Conference 2005 Journal are now available on the Florida Conference Web site at

The site includes a list of links related to the recent annual conference event. The link to the 2005 Appointment Book is the first item on the list. The posted appointment book is the most up-to-date information available. It includes five updates made since the book was distributed at the 2005 Florida Annual Conference Event.

The 2005 Journal is not yet complete, but production has begun now that the 2005 Florida Annual Conference Event is over. The journal will be available around September, but can be ordered now.

For more information about the Journal contact Caryl Kelley at 800-282-8011, extension 115, or For more information about the appointment book contact Sherry Reeder at 800-282-8011, extension 154, or

Scarritt-Bennett Center helps United Methodists find their way
By J.A. Buchholz

NASHVILE, Tenn. — Beginning immediately, the Scarritt-Bennett Center is offering tours of surrounding United Methodist agencies and sites of interest. Groups of 10 or more may participate in coordinated and customized tours.

The tour begins on the historic Scarritt-Bennett Center campus, site of the former Scarritt College and Scarritt Graduate School. These institutions trained laypersons, especially women, for such church vocations as deaconesses, missionaries, Christian educators, musicians, and church and community workers in the United States and abroad for more than 100 years.

Stops will include The Upper Room Chapel and Museum, The United Methodist Publishing House, the oldest and largest general agency of The United Methodist Church, and the Bethlehem Centers, founded in 1894 to improve the lives of young mothers and their children living in poverty.

Once the tours are completed participants will return to the Scarritt-Bennett campus for a buffet-style meal.

Tour Packages begin at $85 per person per night and include tours, meals and accommodations. Packages may be customized to include surrounding Nashville attractions such as the Parthenon, the Country Music Hall of Fame, Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and more.

Scarritt-Bennett is a United Methodist-related conference, retreat and education center committed to empowerment through cross-cultural understanding, education, creativity and spiritual renewal. Recognizable by the tower, the center is located in the heart of Nashville, Tenn., on 10 tree-filled acres. The center's 10 buildings, constructed of crab orchard stone in collegiate gothic architectural style, give the grounds a peaceful, nurturing atmosphere.

The center has overnight accommodations for up to 139 people and is host to many conferences, retreats, weddings and cultural events. Scarritt-Bennett Center is an independent entity and is open to the public, individuals and groups.

For reservations and more information contact Brenda Boyd-Walker at 615-340-4653 or or visit


*Parham managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**Buchholz is a staff writer with the e-Review. Furtado is the communications specialist for the Southeastern Jurisdiction. Earnshaw recently retired as director of spiritual formation at St. Luke's United Methodist Church, Windermere. Rankin is director of the Florida Conference Global Mission and Health and Wholeness ministries and dean of the Healthy Church Academy. Martini is the communications director/information officer for the Women's Division, General Board of Global Ministries. Pyatt is a member of the National Study of Youth and Religion staff at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.