Main Menu

Opportunites — Sept. 18, 2005 {0367}

Opportunites — Sept. 18, 2005 {0367}

e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service

Opportunities — Sept. 18, 2005

Sept. 18, 2005    News media contact:  Tita Parham*    
800-282-8011     Orlando {0367}

An e-Review News Item

Storm Recovery Center, UMCOR seeks storm assistance

By J.A. Buchholz**

LAKELAND — United Methodists across Florida are responding with an urgent desire to provide practical relief to victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The Florida Conference Storm Recovery Center (SRC) is receiving constant information updates from annual conferences impacted by the hurricane, the American Red Cross, United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and other disaster response organizations. This helps the SRC identify and communicate opportunities for individuals and churches to respond in appropriate and meaningful ways.

The SRC is working with MERCI (United Methodist Disaster Response Center of North Carolina) to coordinate sending work teams to affected areas. Teams are required to be trained in emergency response procedures, skilled in safe operation of chain saws and skilled in tarping roofs.

Teams should also understand the "do no harm" policy (not doing something out of their range of ability); be compassionate and have strong listening skills; possess church or conference identification with expiration date; be totally self-sufficient (provide own food, water, tools and power/fuel, housing and sanitation for their entire time in the field); provide own security by ensuring locks on all vehicles, trailers and tools; make sure all equipment is in good working order and someone is with their vehicle or trailer at all times; and be prepared to work in outlying areas  because teams will not be going into New Orleans or Biloxi.

The Mississippi United Methodist Volunteers in Mission coordinator issued a request for teams to work now on 21 United Methodist parsonages on the Mississippi Gulf Coast damaged by Katrina in the Seashore District of the Mississippi Conference.

Team that match the criteria and want to volunteer or would like to receive training should contact the SRC for details at 800-282-8011, extension 149.

Additionally, churches and individuals can help by:

* Gathering supplies for Florida and other affected statesFor Florida: Migrant workers in South Florida were hard hit by Hurricane Katrina. Florida City United Methodist Church/Florida City Hispanic Mission is collecting rice and beans, non-perishable food stuffs, diapers, health kits, new men's blue jeans in small and medium sizes, new men's t-shirts (or clean t-shirts in good condition) and baby clothes. Call Diane Gutierrez at 305-247-0911 to arrange for delivery of items. Health kit items can be found at For other states: The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) no longer needs donations of bottled water, but other items are in short supply, including health kits, school kits, new sets of twin sheets, new pillows, new blankets and new air mattresses. Health and school kit items and packaging instructions may be found at Items can be sent to the Florida Conference Disaster Response Depot in Madison (call to make delivery arrangements: 850-869-0882 or 850-929-4938) or UMCOR's Sager Brown Depot, P.O. Box 850, 131 Sager Brown Road, Baldwin, LA 70514-0850 (please also provide $1.00 per kit to cover distribution costs and send it to Sager Brown UMCOR Advance #982730, "Contain Your Joy").

* Assisting with deliveries — Drivers with trucks (box trucks of approximately 20 feet) are needed at UMCOR's Sager Brown warehouse in Louisiana to help distribute supplies in the New Orleans area. The Sager Brown warehouse is located at 131 Sager Brown Road, Baldwin, LA 70514-0850. Please contact Ronald Johnson at 337-380-7511 for more details and before arriving at the depot.

* Donating — to UMCOR Advance No. 982523, "Hurricanes 2005 Global." Contributions can be made online at, at local churches or by phone at 800-554-8583. Checks should include the Advance number and name on the memo line. Checks given at local churches should be made payable to the local church. Checks mailed directly to UMCOR at P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068 should be made payable to UMCOR. Checks to support recovery in a specific region should reflect that.

The SRC is working with appropriate disaster response organizations as opportunities become available.

A new “Hurricane Katrina: How to Help” flier is posted as a PDF on the conference Web site at It may be duplicated and distributed during worship services or other church activities.

For more information contact the SRC at 800-282-8011, extension 149.

Lake Junaluska concert benefits storm survivors

By J.A. Buchholz

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — The Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center and the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church are organizing a series of relief concerts in mid-October. Proceeds from the concerts will go to the victims of Hurricane Katrina.

The concert series begins Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. in Stuart Auditorium. Tickets are $5 each in advance and $7 at the door.

The Ministries with Young People division of the Southeastern Jurisdiction ministry team will partner with Monday Morning for an evening of worship, prayer and music to raise $10,000 for the United Methodist Committee on Relief.

All proceeds from ticket sales and the love offering will go directly to assist flood victims. Organizers will also be collecting cases of single-serve bottled water, flood buckets and health kits to be taken to Mississippi the following week.

For more information call 828-454-6779 or e-mail

Agencies create resources, outlet for hurricane emotions

By Dean McIntyre**

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The days following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina have produced numerous television images of devastation and suffering. People are expressing sorrow, hopes, prayers and general lament over the tragedy.

In cooperation with United Methodist Communications, the General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church (GBOD) and Center for Worship Resourcing have created a place where people can express themselves. It should be viewed as a kind of virtual Wailing Wall. It has been named "Lord, Hear Our Prayers." People are invited to visit, read, meditate, pray and add their own voice to the community at prayer for those in such great need.

Additionally, GBOD has created "When the Wind Blows: Worship Resources for Use After Hurricanes or Other Natural Disasters."

Visit and also for these hurricane-related worship and music resources.

Cuban Bishop to speak at Deltona church

By Rev. Dr. Larry Rankin**

LAKELAND — United Methodists across the conference are invited to hear Bishop Ricardo Pereira of the Methodist Church of Cuba during an upcoming visit to Florida in October.

Pereira will preach at First United Methodist Church, Deltona, 1045 E. Normandy Blvd., Deltona, 32725, Oct. 2 at the church's 8 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. services.

A reception providing refreshments and an opportunity to meet with Pereira to share experiences and love for Cuban Methodists will be held later in the day at 5 p.m. at the church.

Individuals planning to attend the reception for Pereira are asked to contact the Rev. Jacquie Leveron by e-mail at or by calling 386-574-1391.

School of Ministry focuses on transformative worship

By Sylvia Russell and Durwood Foshee**

In his new book "A Hidden Wholeness, Welcoming the Soul and Weaving Community in a Wounded World" Parker Palmer describes the soul of each of person.

Palmer said: "The soul is generous: it takes in the needs of the world. The soul is wise: it suffers without shutting down. The soul is hopeful: it engages the world in ways that keep opening our hearts. The soul is creative: it finds a path between realities that might defeat us and fantasies that are mere escapes. All we need to do is to bring down the wall that separates us from our own souls and deprives the world of the soul's regenerative powers."

This year's Florida Conference School of Ministry October 3-5 at the Life Enrichment Center (LEC) in Leesburg is themed "Transformative Worship." The session will challenge worship leaders to look at all the elements of worship — hospitality, music, the arts, liturgy and scripture, preaching — to see how they may work together to enable each congregant to be open to the Holy Spirit.

This year's presenters will teach, coach and invite participants into God's presence so that they might offer the same experience to others. Presenters include Dr. Teresa Fry Brown, associate professor of homiletics at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University and author of "God Don't Like Ugly: African-American Women Handing On Spiritual Values" and "Weary Throats and New Songs: Black Women Proclaiming God's Word;" Dr. Marcia McFee, who earned a masters of Theological Studies at Saint Paul's School of Theology with a concentration on preaching and worship and a Ph.D. in liturgical studies and ethics at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif., and has preached, led worship and taught workshops for churches and conferences across the United States, Europe and Asia; and the Rev. Lee Lallance, minister of music at First United Methodist Church in Lakeland, who will serve as a guest presenter and musician. Lallance has served United Methodist churches in the conference for more than 20 years and has a BME in music education from Florida State University and a master's of music education from Columbus College.

The registration fee is $60. Accommodations at the LEC are $81 for single occupancy and $51.50 for double occupancy. Housing at the campground is $31. Meals are optional and $46.10 per person.

For questions regarding registration contact the registration office at 800-282-8011, extension 101 or 179.

Camps and Retreat Ministry offers first of new events this October

By Melinda Trotti**

LEESBURG  — The Florida United Methodist Camps and Retreat Ministry is offering three new retreat and conference events especially for Florida United Methodists and others in the Southeast area.

The first event is the "24-Hour Self-Awareness Retreat for Church Professionals" beginning Oct. 18 at 3 p.m. and ending Oct. 19 at 3 p.m.

This event is for laity, clergy and volunteers who work with children and youth in the local church, district or conference context. It will focus on how to become more aware of issues that lead to being more effective leaders of youth and children.

Attendees will participate in journaling, group discussion, Bible study and other avenues of self-exploration, as well as develop a plan for self-care for when they return to their ministry setting. 

The group leader is Melinda Trotti, camping and retreat leader and Florida Conference staff person for program development.

The event will be held at the Life Enrichment Center and includes one night and three meals.

Two additional, first-time events will be held in 2006 and include "The Spirituality and Ethics of Food" Feb. 10-12 and "Ira Progoff's Intensive Journaling Workshop" Feb. 12-17. More information will be provided closer to the event dates.
For more information or to register call 1-866-UMCAMPS or visit

LEC searches for volunteers for 'Grandparents Camp'

By Melinda Trotti

LEESBURG — The Life Enrichment Center (LEC) is gearing up for a new program it hopes to start in the summer of 2006, and it's looking for volunteers to help make it a success.

The new program is Grandparents' Camp, and it will be a time for young children, ages 5-12, and their grandparents to visit the LEC and stay in its facilities, in either the traditional rooms or the RV park, and enjoy camp activities developed and led by volunteers and LEC staff.

This program has been very popular in other regions of the country and is an excellent match for the LEC with its adult friendly facilities, such as no bunk beds, and the reality of having the camping, nature, Bible story activities and recreation opportunities provided in one location.

Coordinators are recruiting a committee of people to develop the program, as well as volunteers to help lead the program with the help of paid staff. The leaders could be a married couple or two co-leaders. Ideally, the team is looking for grandparents who want to work with other grandparents and staff to develop a new program that involves having fun, sharing their Christian faith and doting on their grandchildren. The only experience necessary is that of being a loving grandparent.
To participate or more information e-mail Trotti at

Clergy spouses invited to Ministers' Mates Retreat

By J.A. Buchholz

LEESBURG — The spouses of ministers are encouraged to take time for themselves and attend the Ministers' Mates Retreat in Leesburg Nov. 4-6 at the Life Enrichment Center (LEC).

The theme is "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever" from I Chronicles 16:34 NIV.

Karen Walton Taylor, who has led Bible studies, workshops and leadership training events, will be one of the guest speakers. Taylor is also a Stephens Minister and serves as the executive director of Celebrate Jesus, an evangelistic ministry seeking to equip and train churches to look beyond their walls to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with neighbors in their community.

Sarah Baldridge, who has been a clergy spouse for the past 23 years, will also be a guest speaker. Baldridge graduated from Murray State University with a degree in Behavioral and Learning Disorders. She has taught in public schools in resource rooms. Her passion is to bring scripture to life for those she encounters. She has led various Bible studies and retreats in the Florida Conference.

There will be times of worship, as well as a variety of sessions, including exercising, scrapbooking and taxes.

The cost is $100 for those staying at the LEC and $20 for commuters. Meals are extra. Any registrations postmarked after Oct.14 will include a $5 late fee. Proceeds from this fee benefit the scholarship fund. No confirmations will be sent. If cancellation is made after Oct. 28, only $10 is refundable. No telephone registrations will be accepted.

Financial assistance is available. First-time attendees and those in need are encouraged to contact Cheryl Daniels at 863-385-0727.

For more information or to download an application visit and select the November calendar option and find the retreat brochure.

Stephen Ministries schedules workshop in Jacksonville Beach

By Rick Goettsche**

JACKSONVILLE BEACH — Stephen Ministries will be holding a Caring Ministry Workshop in Florida Nov. 12, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Beach United Methodist Church in Jacksonville Beach.

The half-day event is an opportunity for pastors, lay leaders and caregivers to receive samples of Stephen Minister training in "How to Minister to Those Experiencing Grief" and "How to Care in a Distinctively Christian Way," as well as learn about Stephen Ministries and how to bring this lay caring ministry to local congregations.

The cost of the workshop is $15 per person or $50 for a congregational group of four or more. The local contact person is Marcia Ferguson at 904-249-2343.

For more information or to register visit http:// For more information about the organization visit

Florida United Methodist Children's Home seeks house parents

By Ruth Moore**

ENTERPRISE — The Florida United Methodist Children's Home is looking for mission-oriented couples that want to help children and youth lead productive lives.

The home is looking for loving house parents who are bound in the legal relationship of marriage to live on campus and care for the children and youth who live at the home. House parents work on a week-on/week-off duty schedule, working 26 weeks and drawing a paycheck for the entire year.

Interested couples send resumes for both parties by e-mail to or by fax to 386-668-4486.

The Children's Home is an equal opportunity employer and a drug-free workplace. Experience preferred, but training will be provided for the right couple.

UMVIM schedules training event
By J.A. Buchholz

LINEVILLE, Ala. — United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) will hold a weekend training event Oct. 7-9 at the Servants in Faith and Technology Campus in Lineville, Ala.

It is for team leaders, members and individual volunteers. Training will be led by staff and experienced leaders of the Southeastern Jurisdiction (SEJ) of UMVIM. Individual volunteers will receive valuable information about effective and meaningful medium-term mission service, as well as placement assistance.
Team leaders/members will receive a wealth of information on preparing an UMVIM team for service, including such topics as effective project selection, cultural sensitivity for teams, logistics and finance.
The cost is $140 and includes room and board, instruction and materials.
Register on-line at or contact UMVIM SEJ to request a brochure at 404-377-7424 or
Online registration is available at

Candler's fall conference focuses on worship

By Pete Paulsen**
ATLANTA, Ga. — The Church is most authentic and transparent about its life and ministry when it is engaged in worship. 

Guided by that understanding, Candler School of Theology, Emory University, announces its fall conference, "Worship Comes to Life," Oct. 9-11, 2005. 

The two-day event begins with a hymn sing Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. in Cannon Chapel and continues through worship, lectures, musical presentations and conversations to examine liturgical resources and strategies to deepen congregational worship. 

For details and reservation information visit

Congress on Evangelism changes locations

By Jerome Smith**

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — The 2006 Congress on Evangelism event has been moved to the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tenn. The dates are the same: Jan. 3-6.

An agreement was reached between the Council on Evangelism and The Opryland Hotel. The Congress on Evangelism was originally scheduled for the Sheraton New Orleans Hotel, but the hotel issued a contract release due to Hurricane Katrina storm damage.

The Congress on Evangelism is sponsored by the Council on Evangelism and the General Board of Discipleship.

Keynote speakers include Bishop William H. Willimon, Jessica Moffatt, Tyrone Gordon, Kirbyjon H. Caldwell and Bishop William W. Hutchinson. The Bible study leader is Billy Abraham. Wesley Putnam will provide special music. The Congress has numerous workshops relating to evangelism topics.

The Foundation for Evangelism provides scholarships to first-time attendees under 40 years old. Contact Joe Peabody for approval at

For more information about the Foundation for Evangelism visit

Virginia Theological Seminary offers free nine-day seminar

By Marilyn Johns**

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Applications are now available for the 2006 Summer Collegium, an ecumenical nine-day conference at Virginia Theological Seminary for small-church clergy and their spouses.

The conference is funded by a grant from the Lilly Endowment Inc., so there is no cost to participants. Only 25 clergy are accepted each summer.

The Summer Collegium celebrates ministry in smaller congregations with fewer than 100 in average Sunday attendance. The conference will bring small-church experts from a variety of denominations to the Alexandria campus for education, encouragement, refreshment and renewal and will include a Small Church Religious Arts Festival, showcasing the arts and crafts of local small congregations.

Clergy serving smaller churches are invited to apply now for the ecumenical project of Virginia Theological Seminary's Center for Lifetime Theological Education. All transportation, housing, meals, books and other expenses will be covered by the grant.

For more information and for application materials visit, e-mail or call 703-461-1752. Completed applications must be received by Dec. 15, 2005, to be considered for next summer's conference.

More copies of 'In Search of Security' booklets now available

By Mark Harrison**

WASHINGTON — Five thousand copies of "In Search of Security" are now available from the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS), thanks to an additional printing by the ministry for Peace with Justice.
Copies of the 32-page study are available for download in PDF format from the resources section of or can be ordered from the GBCS service department at 800-967-0880.
In Search of Security provides an invitation to United Methodists throughout the connection to consider thoughtfully and prayerfully a faithful understanding of security in a post-September 11 world. The document is not an official document of the Council of Bishops, but is approved by the council for use by local congregations to stimulate conversation and reflection. It sets a foundation to deepen Christian conversation about what security means within the Christian faith and asks United Methodists to consider how inadequate fear-based ethics are in personal and political decision-making and to wrestle with the myth of human invulnerability.

Bishop Walter Klaiber of Germany drafted the document and bishops have been holding discussions about it among United Methodists in their areas and reporting back to the council.

In creating the committee to develop the paper, bishops expressed the hope the document will become a study guide used by United Methodists throughout the world. A similar study guide, In Defense of Creation, became an important Cold War congregational resource during the 1980s.

The Bishops expressed a hope that In Search of Security would:
* Cultivate a common call and vision for United Methodist people that sustains and witnesses to authentic security.
* Provide a model for continued dialogue for local churches, districts and annual conferences.
* Bring feedback from local churches to the Council of Bishops on the issues addressed by this study for further reflection or action.

A short study guide has been added to the bishops' document to guide local church small groups that want to study the document, ideally in a four-week series. In addition, participants should be at least somewhat familiar with two important, recent United States government documents: The National Security Strategy of the United States and The National Strategy for Homeland Security. Copies are available at and at

Members of the task force that crafted the study are Bishops Walter F. Klaiber, William Boyd Grove, Alfred Johnson, Jose Quipungo, Dale White and Timothy W. Whitaker (Chair).

Newsletter for older adult ministries published

By Nancy K. Metz**

The Center on Aging and Older Adult Ministries has published its biannual newsletter Center Sage. 

The Fall 2005 issue includes an article by Richard H. Gentzler Jr., director of the center, titled “Faithful Aging” and an article by David J. Powell, Ph.D., titled “Understanding People in Life’s Second Half.”   

Center Sage may be viewed at


*Parham managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**Buchholz is a staff writer for e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service. McIntyre is director of Music Resources at the General Board of Discipleship. Pace is executive officer for the communications and marketing unit of the General Board of Discipleship. Martini is communications director/information officer for the Women's Division of the General Board of Global Ministries. Rankin is director of the Florida Conference's Global Mission and Health and Wholeness ministries and dean of HCA. Trotti is the Florida Conference camping and retreat leader and staff person for program development. Goettsche is communications assistant for Stephen Ministries. Smith is communications director for the Foundation for Evangelism. Moore is the coordinator of administrative services for the Florida United Methodist Children's Home. Johns is project manager for the Summer Collegium. Paulsen is director of communications at Candler School of Theology, Emory University. Harrison is on staff at the General Board of Church and Society. Russell and Foshee are co-chairs of the School of Ministry. Metz is chair of the conference’s Older Adult Ministries Focused Task Team.