Main Menu

Opportunities — Feb. 19, 2006 {0445}

Opportunities — Feb. 19, 2006 {0445}

e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service

Opportunities — Feb. 19, 2006

Feb. 19, 2006    News media contact:  Tita Parham*    
800-282-8011     Orlando {0445}

An e-Review News Item

Lay Speaking classes offered in South Central District

By Caryl Kelley**

LAKELAND — Two Lay Speaking courses will be offered March 18 and March 25, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., at Trinity United Methodist Church, 715 Cornelia Ave., Lakeland.

The Basic Course, leading to certification as a local church lay speaker, an Advanced Course on Preaching, leading to certification as a certified lay speaker, and three-year renewal of Certified Lay Speaker certification will be provided.

The Basic Course introduces basic skills for speaking, leading and caring. Topics include discerning God's call, proclaiming the gospel through worship, witnessing, teaching, preaching leadership, service, personal faith, lifestyle and speaking. Karolyn Nunnallee, district co-director of Lay Speaking Ministries, and Jeanette Lewis, a certified lay speaker, will teach the class.

The Advanced Course, titled "Lay Speakers Preach," helps lay speakers discover how to present sermons that are biblical, imaginative and relevant to daily living. The Rev. Craig Paul, pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church, Lakeland, and Pat Steed, a certified lay speaker, will teach the class.

A brochure with a registration form can be found on the Florida Conference Web site at Individuals may also register by contacting Karen Morin at 813-253-0030 or The deadline to register is March 4.

The course fee is $35. A textbook will be provided for each class.

Conference offers next round of coaches training

By the Rev. Dr. Kendall Taylor**

LAKELAND — The Florida conference is offering two ways for any lay- or clergyperson in the Florida Conference to receive training to be a coach who can guide churches in the process toward becoming healthy and vital congregations.

The first opportunity is Natural Church Development (NCD) Coach Training, a two-phase process that includes an orientation to coaching in the NCD process with local churches. It has minimal actual hands-on coaching practice and experience and prepares participants for coaching in as little as four to five months. More than 60 certified coaches have been trained with this method.

The next sessions for both phases of the NCD coaches training are March 23-25 and July 14-15 at Anona United Methodist Church in the Gulf Central District. The sessions are for those who want to go through the training, but not be an NCD coach, and for those wanting to be coaches.

Phase one is March 23-25 and will run 9 a.m.-5 p.m. the first two days and end at noon the last day. Phase two is July 14-15 and will run 9 a.m.-5 p.m. the first day and end at 3 p.m. the second day. The second phase is for people who have completed the first phase.

Total tuition (for both phases) is $270 for potential coaches, including four lunches, CoachNet subscription, resource library, coaching discs, self assessments and training notebook; and $80 for the training only, including four lunches, self assessments and training notebook.

Interested individuals may register online through the Florida Conference Healthy Church Academy at by March 10

The second coach training option is a nine-month long foundational coaching training experience, which includes six months of supervision while the student is involved in coaching. This yields certification in coaching and would allow for, but not require, specialization training to facilitate coaching in a particular setting. The conference Office of Congregational Transformation (OCT) is receiving applications for classes beginning in February and March. Interested individuals may register by contacting Kendall Taylor, OCT director, at 800-282-8011, extension 109,

The basic text for both is Coaching 101 by Robert Logan and Sherilyn Carlton and the Handbook by Logan and Gary Reinecke. The coaching model is the one developed and supported by CoachNet, the organization founded by Robert Logan.

Training for early disaster responders set for March

By Tita Parham

ORLANDO — Teams from local churches interested in receiving training on early response after a disaster are invited to attend an Early Response Team training March 11, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., at Port Charlotte United Methodist Church, 21075 Quesada Ave., Port Charlotte, FL  33952, 863-625-4356.

Attendees will receive a disaster response manual, certification and credentials identifying them as early responders for the Florida Conference. The training will focus on the types, phases and levels of a disaster and explain what is meant by early response. It will also cover spiritual and emotional care, support from the United Methodist Committee on Relief, faith-based response in disaster, and team leadership needs and equipment.

Coordinators of disaster relief efforts strongly recommend work groups be trained as early response teams. After intensive training early response teams enter a disaster zone after search and rescue operations have ended, according to the United Methodist Committee on Relief Web site. The teams deploy geographically and do what's needed to make homes safe and secure, such as tarping roofs, removing water and mud from homes, and removing trees and other debris.

The fee to attend the training is $15 per person. To reserve seating contact the Florida Conference Storm Recovery Center at 800-282-8011, extension 149. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m.

Tampa United Methodist Centers announces annual Wonder Walk

By Kitty Carpenter**

TAMPA — Tampa United Methodist Centers (TUMC) is again offering its Wonder Walk fund-raiser and inviting all United Methodists to participate.

Themed "Precious in His Sight," the 2006 Annual Wonder Walk is March 11. Participants can walk, skate or ride a bike and collect pledges or walk in spirit by donating funds for programs benefiting more than 300 children served by TUMC.

The Wonder Walk is the major fund-raiser benefiting the programs of TUMC's Children's Services. The Rosa Valdez and Cuscaden Early Intervention Centers are nationally accredited centers that provide developmentally appropriate child care and early school readiness education for at-risk children, birth through 5 years old.

The walk will begin at Hyde Park United Methodist Church, 500 W. Platt St., Tampa, and run along Bayshore Blvd. Churches, individuals and teams may join the festivities, including registration at 8 a.m., kickoff at 8:30 a.m., breakfast snacks until 9:30 a.m. and a catered lunch 11 a.m.-noon.

More information is available at or by calling 813-248-6259, extension 225.

Children invited to 'lend a hand' at weeklong Tallahassee event

By the Rev. Marilyn Beecher**

ORLANDO — Each year Children's Week is held in Tallahassee to highlight the importance of children and youth to the legislators in Tallahassee.

Many advocacy groups use the week to speak with legislators about the issues relating to the needs of children in Florida. Florida Conference Bishop Timothy W. Whitaker will give a press conference April 4 at 11 a.m. and ask legislators to give special priority to children.

The "Hanging of the Hands" is a special tradition during the week. Children from across Florida make and decorate handprints that are hung throughout the Florida Capitol.

Sunday School or preschool classes that would like to participate in the Hanging of the Hands are invited to make construction paper cutouts in the shape of hands, then decorate and string them together to be hung vertically from ceiling to floor. Small posters (8.5x11 or 11x14) can also be sent.

All artwork must be submitted by March 24 to Children's Week, c/o Kids Incorporated, 1170 N.E. Capital Circle, Tallahassee, FL 32301.

Churches can make difference through One Great Hour of Sharing offering

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — Churches once again have an opportunity to support the work of the denomination's disaster relief ministry through the One Great Hour of Sharing special offering March 26.

That Sunday churches are asked to collect a special One Great Hour of Sharing offering that will provide funds to support the work of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), including programs that provide food, clothing, shelter and medical help to assist survivors of disasters. UMCOR's work also covers a broad range of needs, from helping soldiers reintegrate into their communities as productive citizens to feeding schoolchildren to establishing medical clinics in remote villages, assisting more than 80 of the poorest countries in the world.

"The One Great Hour of Sharing offering ... is absolutely essential to UMCOR," said the Rev. Paul Dirdak, the agency's chief executive, on the UMCOR Web site. "UMCOR receives no World Service funds or any other apportionments. Through their gifts to the offering, United Methodists can assure that when catastrophes cause suffering, your church, impelled by Jesus' love and compassion, will be in the lead to ease the pain."

Gifts to the One Great Hour of Sharing underwrite UMCOR's "costs of doing business" so that 100 percent of every dollar donated to a specific UMCOR project can be spent on that project and not administrative costs. Any offering funds over and above those used to cover administrative costs are used where the needs are greatest. Donations to One Great Hour of Sharing also support UMCOR programs not been fully funded through designated Advance gifts.

Free resource materials are available, many in English, Spanish or Korean. Churches may call the United Methodist Communications customer service team at 888-346-3862 to order resources, including a leaflet combined with an offering envelope to insert in church bulletins, mini-poster for a bulletin board, refrigerator magnet, coin bank to get children involved in mission, DVD — "Be There with UMCOR," and worship guide with suggestions for hymns, a litany and prayers.
More information about One Great Hour of Sharing can be found at

SOUL Fiesta offers help for lay and clergy leaders

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — Leading for Christian transformation is a team effort for clergy and laity alike.

SOUL Fiesta, held March 30-April 1 at Alamo Heights United Methodist Church in San Antonio, Texas, will address five aspects of congregational vitality on which leaders need to focus when making and growing disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. The five aspects are presence, practice, pathways, power and pilgrimage.

The conference will explore how spiritual leadership is more a matter of doing things differently than doing different things. More than 60 "Learning Session" workshops and pre-conference options are planned around the topics of exploring spiritual practices for church leaders, discovering pathways in discipleship formation and discerning the next steps as spiritual leaders.

Featured speakers include the Rev. Trevor Hudson, Northfield Methodist Church in Benoni, South Africa; the Rev. Marjorie Thompson, director of Pathways in Congregational Spirituality at Upper Room Ministries; the Rev. Vance Ross, associate general secretary of the General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church; and the Rev. Stephen Bryant, world editor and publisher of Upper Room Ministries.

A brochure and registration information are available at http://www.upperroom.ort/soulfiesta or

Confirmation weekends held at Lake Junaluska

By Jennifer McSwain**

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — Southeastern Jurisdictional (SEJ) Confirmation Retreats will be held at the Intentional Growth Center at Lake Junaluska beginning Feb. 24 and running through the end of April, excluding Easter weekend, and including one weekend in November.

The retreats provide an opportunity for local church confirmation classes to meet young people from across the jurisdiction, learn about United Methodist history from the SEJ Heritage and World Methodist Centers, explore spiritual development and claim their call to be Christians through shared worship and plenary sessions throughout the weekend.

More information is available on the SEJ Web site at or by contacting the Intentional Growth Center at P.O. Box 546, Lake Junaluska, N.C. 28745; 800-482-1442; or

New welcoming ministry resources now available

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — The newly created Prayer Expression Package from the national Igniting Ministry office in Nashville contains professionally developed resources that can help local congregations enhance their welcoming ministries.

The Prayer package offers a selection of ready-to-use worship and Web graphics, customizable advertising materials and media graphics, small group welcoming and training resources, and a view-book picture guide to all advertising materials.

The Prayer package can be used as a coordinated effort with the upcoming United Methodist Church national television campaign during the Lenten season or whenever the message of "prayer" or "believe again" fits a local church's needs.

The Prayer package is available through the Igniting Ministry Product Store for $59.95, along with other spiritually themed Expression Packages in the series, including Journey and The Gift.

To order these resources contact United Methodist Communications' customer service department at 888-346-3862 (toll free) Monday-Thursday, 7 a.m.-6 p.m., and Friday, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. (both Central Time).

More information is available at, by e-mail at or by calling toll-free 877-282-6535.

Wesley Theological Seminary accepts applications for emerging church programs
By Wesley Theological Seminary Staff

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Wesley Theological Seminary is accepting applications for entering seminary students to participate in one of the first emerging church programs in the country.

Individuals who apply to Wesley's Master of Divinity degree and are accepted for the upcoming fall semester will have the opportunity to compete for four internships focused on immersion into the growing emerging movement. These internships are a result of Wesley's relationship with emerging churches in the Washington, D.C. region, including Cedar Ridge Community Church, one of the largest congregations within this movement in the nation, and The Church in Bethesda.

These churches are part of a dynamic and growing group of congregations that identify themselves as "emerging" because of their focus on mission, personal relationships and meeting member and community needs. The term emerging can describe congregations from all streams of the Christian faith around the world. Leaders within this movement often explore new ways of expressing compassion, approaching worship and welcoming people unfamiliar with church.

Dr. Douglas M. Strong, associate dean for church relations at Wesley Theological Seminary, worked with The Church in Bethesda and Cedar Ridge Church to establish these internships.

"Wesley has longstanding relationships with many denominations," he said. "Our partnership with emerging congregations adds an exciting dimension to our training of the people who will lead the church for the coming generation. These internships will benefit Wesley's students and the churches they will shepherd."

The internships will include a congregational placement, mentoring by emerging church leaders, spiritual formation with other students, and mission-focused and culturally relevant curricula. The internships also offer the possibility of studying abroad with mission-shaped churches in England.

Interested individuals may apply by contacting or 800-882-4987. Candidates must present strong undergraduate studies and the ability to be full-time students. More information is available by contacting Strong at 202-885-8688 or 8655 or The deadline to apply is May 1.

Wesley Theological Seminary is located in Washington, D.C., and has an enrollment of more than 1,500 individuals each year. It offers a range of programs and resources for clergy and church lay members. More information can be found at

Research study on music and worship now underway
By Amy Campbell Smith**

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Individuals who are serving or working with a United Methodist church are asked to participate in study on music and worship-related issues.

At the 2004 General Conference a joint research study on music and worship needs in the church was requested to be conducted by the General Board of Discipleship and The United Methodist Publishing House. Input is needed from across the country from people with knowledge and interest in the music and worship life of United Methodists.

Those interested in participating are asked to complete a survey posted at

Singles Memorial Day adventure set in Blue Ridge Mountains

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — Memorial Day Weekend May 27-30 offers single adults a unique opportunity to experience God in a classroom setting and the great outdoors.

The Memorial Day adventure for singles event will be held at LifeWay Ridgecrest Conference Center near Ashville, N.C.

Moses Ceasar, an author and a "truth communicator" who was born in India and grew up in Texas, will lead the event's worship and Bible study. Ceasar has served as a youth/college pastor in Texas and California and recently served as a singles pastor in Tennessee. He now travels and speaks at churches, conferences and schools across the country. Caesar's Bible study is titled "A License to Love."

In addition to the study, attendees have the opportunity to participate in a number of free onsite activities, including hiking, tennis, basketball, sand volleyball and others, or offsite activities at a fee established by the vendor, including whitewater rafting, biking, fly fishing, horseback riding and others. Participants may also visit area attractions, such as the Biltmore House, Grandfather Mountain and Chimney Rock Park. All groups and individuals are responsible for contacting each vendor before the event.

The cost to attend the event per person/double occupancy is $193.50 in an economy room, $201.00 in a standard room and $216.00 in a deluxe room. Different occupancy rentals for single room occupancy, as well as rates for triple and quad occupancy, are available. The rates include three nights' lodging at Ridgecrest's campus, six meals (beginning with dinner Friday and concluding with breakfast Monday) and all program/materials fees. Lunches are not provided.

Interested individuals can find more information or make reservations by calling 800-588-7222 or visiting


*Parham is managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**Kelley is subscription manager, photographer and contributing writer for e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service. Taylor is director of the conference Office of Congregational Transformation. Carpenter is director of development and public relations at Tampa United Methodist Centers. Beecher is director of the East Central District's Church and Community Connection. McSwain is program coordinator at the Intentional Growth Center, Lake Junaluska, N.C. Smith is executive director of research and planning, The United Methodist Publishing House, Nashville.