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Opportunities — April 5, 2007 {0649}

Opportunities — April 5, 2007 {0649}

e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service

Opportunities — April 5, 2007

April 5, 2007    News media contact: Tita Parham* 
800-282-8011    Orlando {0649}

An e-Review News Item

This series includes:

n Youth address application deadline extended;
n Healthy Church Academy announces one-day courses;   
n Sun City Center United Methodist Church holds seminar on creativity in the church;
n Nurses sought for Warren W. Willis summer camps;
n District United Methodist Men partner with learning center to hold golf tournament;
n 2007 annual conference events geared toward youth, young adults;
n Camp offers summer camp registration updates online, Camp Pioneer opportunities; 
n Health and wholeness team seeks help.

(Photo: Visible Earth, NASA)

n Online workshop offered for Disciple Bible study facilitators;
n Resources available for Native American Ministries Sunday offering, Earth Day; 
n Conference shows how to discover ministry of encouragement;
n Feinstein Foundation offers matching funds to hunger-fighting agencies;
n New film festival to share United Methodist youth insight; 
n Free Vacation Bible School materials offered; 
n Women’s Division program to examine dangers of mercury;
n United Methodist Men promote hunger awareness; 
n Upcoming events at Lake Junaluska empower church and diversity; 
n Fusebox to lead worship at Youth 2007;
n United Methodist Church Secretaries Institute offers certification training;
n Summer gathering to bring United Methodists together around mission;
n United Methodist Publishing House seeks Sunday school stories;
n Young United Methodist clergy ideas sought in new survey.


Youth address application deadline extended

By Kelley Moore**

LAKELAND — Last year, members attending the annual gathering of Florida United Methodists passed a resolution calling for a youth member or members to address the annual conference in 2007.

To select that person or persons, the annual conference event planning committee is asking any rising 10th graders through recently graduated seniors to submit an essay focusing on the idea of passing the Christian faith from one generation to the next generation.

The essay must be no longer than 750 words, able to be delivered in five minutes or less and include references to Luke 1:46-55 and Psalm 145:4.

The Conference Council on Youth Ministries will review the submissions and choose three representatives. These three representatives will give a five-minute presentation during the annual conference event. The conference planning committee will pay for all travel and lodging expenses, and the conference Connectional Ministries office will award each representative a $150 scholarship.
As of April 2, only one entry has been submitted. The submission deadline has been extended to April 16 to secure more applications.
Submissions may be e-mailed to Kelly Moore at or mailed to: Annual Conference Youth Address, Connectional Ministries Office, Florida Annual Conference, P.O. Box 3767, Lakeland, FL 33802. Entries may also be faxed to 863-688-7233.
More information may be obtained by contact Moore at or 800-282-8011, extension 183.

Healthy Church Academy announces one-day courses  

By Rev. Dr. Lawrence A Rankin**

LAKELAND — The Healthy Church Academy, a ministry of the Florida Conference, exists to help churches and their members dig deeper into what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.

With that goal in mind, the academy is offering several one-day courses, now open for registration and sponsored by their respective district leadership councils. The councils are offering a special discount of $40 per person for each one-day course; two courses encourage bringing several church leaders at a further discount. Rates are $125 per church with five persons from that church registered, which includes instruction, handouts, lunch and refreshments.

The classes include HCA 1202 “Congregational Spiritual Formation,” April 28, at First United Methodist Church, Ocala, in the North Central District, and HCA 501 “Disciple Growing and Congregational Spiritual Formation,” May 5, at First United Methodist Church, Perry, in the North West District.

Registration information and full course descriptions are available at by selecting “HCA Registration” on the left-hand menu bar, then clicking “HCA — Courses Registering.” Individuals may register by e-mail or printing the form and mailing it.

More information is available by contacting Lawrence Rankin, dean of the academy, at or 800-282-8011, extension 131.

Sun City Center United Methodist Church holds seminar on creativity in the church

By Caryl Kelley**

LAKELAND — Sun City Center United Methodist Church will host a special daylong seminar, “Fifteen Creative Concepts of the ‘Mouse’ That We Can Use for the ‘Master,’ ” led by Derric Johnson, a creative consultant to Walt Disney World. 

The seminar is April 28 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Sun City Center United Methodist Church, 1210 Del Webb Blvd. W., Sun City Center. 

Johnson, an ordained minister in the Wesleyan Church and creative consultant with Disney World, uses Biblical equivalents to the ideals and guidelines that make Walt Disney World so successful and popular.

Johnson was on staff at Frazier Memorial United Methodist Church in Birmingham, Ala., with Rev. John Ed Mathison several years ago. For many years he created and directed the Candlelight Processional at Epcot, as well as “The Voices of Liberty” presentation. 

The cost of the workshop is $30, which includes seminar materials, lunch and snacks. Interested individuals may register by sending a check made payable to Sun City Center United Methodist Church to the church. The attendees’ names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses should be included. Directions to the church can be found on the church Web site at The registration deadline is April 20
More information is available by contacting the Rev. Fred Gardner at 813-634-2539.

Nurses sought for Warren W. Willis summer camps

FRUITLAND PARK — The Florida Conference’s Warren W. Willis United Methodist Camp needs an RN or LPN to assist with the camping ministry for a minimum of one week this summer.

The camp already has one full-time nurse who will work at the camp throughout the summer, but additional staff are needed to assist the head nurse.

The position could be paid or volunteer. Principle duties include administering first aid and medications, treating minor illnesses, and maintaining health and medication records and logs. A current RN/LPN licensure is required, along with a current CPR certification. A job description and application form are available at

More information is available by contacting Heather Pancoast at the Warren W. Willis United Methodist Camp at 1-866-UMCAMPS, option three, or The deadline to apply is May 1.

District United Methodist Men partner with learning center to hold golf tournament

By Tita Parham

ORLANDO — The Florida Conference’s North East District United Methodist Men is partnering with the Development Learning Center to hold the 7th Annual DLC Nurse & Learn Golf Tournament to raise scholarship funds for children wanting to attend the learning center.

The tournament will be May 6, 1:30 p.m., at Windsor Parke Golf Club, 4747 Hodges Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32224 (904-223-4653).

Entry fees are $300 per foursome or $75 per person until April 14 and $320 per foursome or $80 per person April 15-May 17. Fees include cart and green fee, goody bag and dinner following the tournament. Each team will consist of four players in a best ball scramble.

Since 1989, the Development Learning Center has served students with special needs, from birth to 22 years of age. Children from birth to six years may attend a full-day preschool program, and students ages 3 to 21 may attend before/after school programs for educational activities, therapy and medical care.

Any child with a disability or medical problem that prevents him or her from attending regular day care or other developmental preschools is eligible for service. The children have a variety of disabilities, including cerebral palsy, microcephaly, anencephaly, Down’s Syndrome, arthrogriposis, tuberous sclerosis and others.

The center also now provides full-time nursing care and physical, occupational, speech and vision therapy and has a volunteer program serving troubled youth, which allows youth to fulfill community service hours and learn valuable lessons working one-on-one with disabled children. Many other youth also volunteer after school, on holidays and during the summer.

Some students attend on scholarships and others pay reduced charges. Only 6 percent of the budget goes to administrative expenses. The center is a United Way agency and receives a portion of its budget through the annual United Way fund-raising campaign, but it relies heavily on other donations for medical supplies, medical equipment, therapy toys and everyday supplies, such as rubber gloves and thermometers.

The preschool at Murray Hill United Methodist Church in Jacksonville and the learning center have merged, allowing the center to serve as a full inclusion preschool and plan activities and programs that bring children with and without disabilities together.

The application form for the golf tournaments is available on the district United Methodist Men’s Web site at under the calendar link.

More information is available by contacting Amy Buggle, founder and director of the learning center, at 904-387-0370.
+ Amy Buggle contributed to this report.

2007 annual conference events geared toward youth, young adults

By Kelly Moore**

LAKELAND — This year’s “From Generation to Generation” 2007 Florida Annual Conference Event will include two gatherings specifically for youth and young adults.

A “U2charist,” featuring the music of Bono and the band U2, will be held June 8 at 7 p.m. at the Lakeland Center. Along with the liturgy of Holy Communion, the U2charist uses U2’s biblically rich lyrics and social justice message to inform and empower communities to respond to critical issues of extreme poverty, hunger and the AIDS pandemic. More information about the U2charist service is available at Information on the critical issues addressed during a U2charist can be found at

“Expression 07: The Expression of the Soul” will follow the U2charist and be held at 8:30 p.m. at Florida Southern College.

Young people are invited to gather to celebrate the intersection of art and faith through music, visual art and film. Woodale, a local Lakeland band, will be the featured performer (, but all youth and young adults are invited to perform or contribute to Expression 07.

Interested participants are asked to provide a CD of band performances. The five or six best bands involved with church youth groups will be invited to play during the event. Organizers are searching for bands that are making excellent expression-of-the-soul music — not necessarily worship bands, but bands whose art connects with their faith and is inspired by that faith. The CDs should include two to three of the best songs from the band. A music review team will choose the bands to perform.

Works of art and film are also needed. These should include visual art that can be displayed during the event and inspired by faith and life, using the theme, “The Expression of the Soul.” Film entries should be a two- to three-minute, student-produced digital film that can be shown at the event.

All CDs, art and films for Expression 07 should be sent to Andy Sistrunk, 305 Dunlawton Ave., Port Orange, FL 32127. All media entries should be clearly labeled so they may be returned after the show.

A third event will be a day at Wet ’n Wild in Orlando June 9. The cost is $28.40 per person, a discount over the regular admission price.

Churches in Orlando and Lakeland are willing to provide space for youth groups that need overnight lodging. Churches looking for a place to stay should contact churches directly to make arrangements. A list of churches in either city may be found through the church locator on the Florida Conference Web site at by putting the name of the city in the city name field.

Individuals needing more information or wanting to register for these events may do so at Groups should register for these events and send admission ticket money for the Wet ’n Wild day by May 14. After May 14, tickets can be purchased at the gate for full price. The U2charist and Expression ’07 events are free. Registration for these two events is necessary to help event planners know how many people to expect.
More information about Expression 07 is available by contacting Andy Sistrunk at More information about U2charist and Wet ’n Wild is available by contacting Kelly Moore at or 800-282-8011, extension 183.

Camp offers summer camp registration updates online, Camp Pioneer opportunities

By Melinda Trotti**
FRUITLAND PARK — As registration for the 2007 Florida Conference summer camps gets into full swing, the summer camp registration office reminds churches there is a quick, easy way to check on their campers and the status of their registration.
Information on campers who are registered is available at, with information updated every Friday. To access the site and information, each church will need a username and password. The username and password are available by sending an e-mail to Heather Pancoast, assistant director of the Warren W. Willis United Methodist Camp, at, or by calling 866-UMCAMPS, and selecting option three.
Camp Pioneer partners with the LEC

The Life Enrichment Center is again partnering with Camp Pioneer June 25-30 to create a week of camp for mentally challenged adults.

Camp Pioneer allows adults who are mentally challenged to experience the love of God in a caring community and discover and enjoy the beauty and wonders of the natural world in a camp setting.

Campers will participate in a variety of experiences, including Bible study, chapel, community activities, hiking, crafts, swimming and other outdoor activities. Camp staff members focus on individualized learning and recreational opportunities, appropriate for each camper.

People interested in participating in Camp Pioneer may visit for an online copy of the brochure with registration information.

More information about Camp Pioneer is available by contacting Sarah-Beth Priest at or 352-787-0313.

Health and wholeness team seeks help

By Tita Parham**

ORLANDO — Individuals with a passion for providing relevant ministry to those who are mentally or physically challenged or deaf or disabled, as well as to all people by promoting healthy living, are invited to serve on the Florida Conference Health and Wholeness Focused Task Team.

The team is a focused task team of the conference’s Leadership Connection. It works to raise awareness among United Methodists about the needs and challenges of people who are mentally and physically challenged. The team also encourages churches to develop ministries that are sensitive to and inclusive of people with special needs.

The team meets twice a year to administrate the Golden Cross offering, disbursing up to $1,000 to those who submit Golden Cross applications for health and wholeness ministries in the local church. The team also serves as a resource for local churches and connects congregations with other congregations that wish to know more about health and wholeness ministries.

Individuals may apply to serve on the health and wholeness team at

More information may be obtained by contacting the Rev. Ginny Pearcy, R.N., chair of the health and wholeness team and coordinator of the conference’s parish nurse ministry, at 321-452-4803; 435 Sunset Lane, Merritt Island, Fl 32952; or or visiting


Online workshop offered for Disciple Bible study facilitators

By Lisa Buffum**

The first Institute for Discipleship online workshop, called “Maximizing Disciple in Your Church: A Workshop for Disciple Facilitators,” by Bishop Richard Wilke, author of DISCIPLE, and Lisa Buffum, DISCIPLE facilitator, has been completed.

The workshop will be offered April 9-27 at a cost of $150, which includes required texts and shipping. 
This workshop is intended for pastors and laity who already facilitate or would like to facilitate DISCIPLE Bible Study in their home church. Participants have access around the clock to the workshop, logging on in the convenience of their own home or office, to participate in the workshop, download resources and engage in discussion threads.

Participants will explore the need, purpose, structure and expectations of DISCIPLE Bible study. The workshop DVD includes helpful hints for using DISCIPLE Bible Study. Participants will receive a new assignment every three days, which will allow time to watch a short video and read a section of the book. Discussion will center on helping DISCIPLE Bible Study flourish in each congregation. 
This is not DISCIPLE training, nor is it intended to replace DISCIPLE training. The intent of the workshop is to assist currently trained facilitators and potential facilitators in the growth and use of the DISCIPLE program within their church.
Individuals interested in enrolling in the workshop may visit Participants must register as a user to the Web site first and then log in to enroll.

More information regarding the workshop or the Institute for Discipleship is available by e-mailing Lisa Buffum at or calling 620-229-6246.

Resources available for Native American Ministries Sunday offering, Earth Day

By Caryl Kelley**

LAKELAND — All churches are invited to celebrate Native American Ministries Sunday April 22.

The date has been designated in The United Methodist Church as a Sunday to recognize the contributions of Native Americans to society. A special offering that day helps fund Native American ministries, the Urban Initiative and seminary scholarships.

Each conference keeps 50 percent of the receipts of the offering that Sunday to develop and strengthen Native American ministries within the conference. The conference committee on Native American ministry administers these funds. The contact person in the Florida Conference is the Rev. Jeff Ramsland, P.O. Box 422, Wauchula, FL 33873.

A worship resource for use on Native American Ministries Sunday is available at Included in this resource are a call to worship, litany of dedication, prayer, suggested hymns, lectionary readings and a benediction.

The General Board of Discipleship’s Web site,, lists songs and readings for Native American Ministries Sunday that are found in the United Methodist Hymnal. In addition, free posters, leaflets and collection envelopes can be ordered at or by calling customer service at United Methodist Communications at 888-346-3862.

April 22 has also been designated Earth Sunday. Free worship and music resources are available at

Conference shows how to discover ministry of encouragement

By Southeastern Jurisdiction Staff

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. – The Rev. Paul Moots will lead a weekend conference titled “Becoming Barnabas – the Ministry of Encouragement” April 30-May 2 at Kern Auditorium at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center.

Moots is a writer, Alban published author and pastor of First United Methodist Church in Mount Sterling, Ohio.

The ministry of encouragement is rooted in attentiveness to God and modeled after the ministry of Barnabas in the book of Acts. This ministry can transform a congregation’s life and the community in its care. The workshop will help participants examine how they can implement this ministry in their local church.

The program fee is $90. A $35 per person reservation deposit is required at the time the registration is made. This is applied to the final bill. Housing and meal packages have been arranged for this event. The single room cost is $164, double room is $124 each and triple is $104 each. Packages include room and six meals, and there is a $1 common area fee per person per day applied to final bill.

The hotels are on the American Plan. This means meals are included with the room. Reservations to stay in Junaluska Apartments or Lakeside Lodge do not require meals. Meal tickets may be purchased at the hotel on an as-available basis.

Conference registration is done separately from housing. Online registration is available at by choosing the events link.

For housing reservations by credit card, participants may call 800-222-4930 (selecting individual reservations). Program information may be obtained by calling 828-452-2881, extension 795.

Feinstein Foundation offers matching funds to hunger-fighting agencies

By Society of St. Andrew Staff

BIG ISLAND, Va. — The Society of St. Andrew (SoSA) has the chance to receive matching funds from the Feinstein Foundation.

The foundation will divide $1 million proportionately among participating hunger-fighting agencies nationwide based on the pledges and contributions they receive between March 1 and April 30. The foundation will add money to whatever pledges or donations SoSA receives within that time frame. The more pledges or gifts received, the more of the $1 million SoSA will receive.

The Society of St. Andrew is an ecumenical Christian ministry dedicated to meeting both spiritual and physical hungers. SoSA feeds the hungry all year long by saving fresh produce that would otherwise go to waste and giving it to hunger ministries. More than 95 percent of all funds raised by SoSA is spent on direct delivery of food and services to hunger programs.

Pledges can be made online at Credit card donations can be made online at

New film festival to share United Methodist youth insight

By Jeanette Pinkston**
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The United Methodist Church is calling on aspiring young filmmakers in its ranks to share their insights through the denomination’s first online film festival for youth.
The Insight project, sponsored by the General Board of Discipleship’s Young People’s Ministries section, will provide an opportunity for local youth groups to tell stories related to themes of faith and spirituality. 
The short videos (three to 10 minutes in length) can be in any genre — documentary, fiction, animation — and must be submitted by youth groups, not individuals. Participants may upload their entries to the festival Web site,, where they will be posted for viewing.
A panel of judges will decide on the winning films or videos and award cash prizes of $1,000, $500 and $250 for the top three. Winning entries will be shown during Youth2007, the church’s largest quadrennial youth event, to be held in Greensboro, N.C., July 11 to15.
The deadline to enter the film festival is May 1. Information about specific requirements for entries, additional suggestions for help and instructions for uploading are available on the Insight Web site or by e-mailing

Free Vacation Bible School materials offered

By Society of St. Andrew Staff

BIG ISLAND, Va. — The Society of St. Andrew (SoSA) is offering a mission project titled “Truckin’ to End Hunger” that can be adapted to any Vacation Bible School themed curriculum. 

Through daily Bible stories and activities, children will learn what Jesus meant when he said, “You give them something to eat.” Participants will understand there are people who go hungry, and they are given the opportunity to help feed hungry neighbors by donating nickels and dimes to the Society of St. Andrew’s hunger-relief ministry.

Each Vacation Bible School is challenged to raise at least $50 for SoSA. Each $50 contribution provides about 2,500 servings of fresh, nutritious food.

Free materials are available at More information is available by contacting Susan Allen at 800-333-4597, or 434-299-5949 (fax).

Women’s Division program to examine dangers of mercury

By Dana Jones**

United Methodist Women members and friends are invited to attend a conference to raise awareness about mercury as a preservative in some vaccines and other drugs.

The Women’s Division of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries will sponsor “The Truth is Coming to Light” event June 6-7 at Simpsonwood Retreat Center near Atlanta.

The event seeks to educate the faith community about the dangers of vaccines and other drugs that contain the mercury-preservative Thimerosal as a step toward protecting children from this toxin.

At the conclusion of this educational event, two grassroots organizations, Moms Against Mercury and the Coalition for Mercury-free Drugs (CoMeD), will hold a rally at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and a press conference nearby in Atlanta.

“We are absolutely not opposed to vaccinating children,” said Julie Taylor, Women’s Division executive. “We think vaccinations are important to the health and safety of children, but even a trace amount of mercury, a known neurotoxin, should not be injected into our bodies. If there is mercury in any medicine we are given, we should know about it.”

The Women’s Division is sponsoring this educational event and will support the coalitions in their public witness and press conference. The division calls for informed consent whenever persons receive vaccinations that contain mercury and also advocates that mercury be removed from all medicines.

Individuals who would like to register for this event or need more information may contact Beverly Irving at 212-870-3751 or

More information on the history of United Methodist Women’s work with issues related to mercury poisoning and children’s health is available at

United Methodist Men promote hunger awareness
By J. Richard Peck**

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — United Methodist Men are asking families to fast one meal during the first week of June and donate the cost of the meal to feed the hungry.

The denominational men’s organization also encourages all churches to use June 3 or June 10 as Hunger Awareness Sunday and send donations to its hunger relief office in Nashville.

The activities are part of an initiative called “FAM1LY,” which stands for “fast a meal in 1 year.” The drive is sponsored jointly by the National Association of Conference Presidents of United Methodist Men and the Virginia-based Society of St. Andrew, an ecumenical hunger relief organization.

The presidents voted unanimously last year to sponsor the initiative this June and invite other United Methodist agencies and other faith communities to join in.

For Hunger Awareness Sunday, church leaders can find Sunday school lessons and worship materials at, and individuals may download a Fami1y brochure at Printed brochures are available through the denomination’s Commission on United Methodist Men or through annual conference hunger relief advocates.

National Hunger Awareness Day, designated June 5, was created in 2002 when hunger relief organizations faced increased demand from Americans unable to feed their families at the same time that less surplus food and fewer charitable dollars were available.

The need to increase Americans’ awareness of hunger issues is just as critical today. Six million children are expected to die in 2007 as the result of hunger and malnutrition, according to hunger relief advocates.

“Hunger is one of the most long-lived social problems facing the United States today,” said the Rev. Kenneth Horne, executive director of the Society of St. Andrew. “It is also the greatest opportunity we will have to transform our world into the kind of place God wants it to be.

“Contrary to conventional wisdom, of all our social problems, hunger is the most easily remedied.”

The Society of St. Andrew is an Advance special (#801600) of the United Methodist Church’s second-mile giving program. It has distributed more than 500 million pounds of food since its founding in 1979. Last year, United Methodist men’s organizations gave $211,000 to the cause — not counting a large number of gleaning projects and “potato drops” also sponsored by the men’s groups. Each year, the society saves 25-40 million pounds of fresh produce that provides 75-120 million servings of nourishing food delivered to hungry people in the 48 contiguous states.

Donations for Hunger Awareness Sunday can be sent to the Hunger Relief Advocate, General Commission on United Methodist Men, P.O. Box 340006, Nashville, TN 37203-0006. “Fami1y” should be written in the memo section of the check.

Upcoming events at Lake Junaluska empower church and diversity

By Cintia Furtado Listenbee**

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — The Southeastern Jurisdiction (SEJ) minister’s week is July 9-13. The theme that will be explored is “Making Disciples: Transforming the Family, Congregation and the World.”

The conference speaker is the Rev. Michael Slaughter, pastor of Ginghamsburg Church in Tipp City, Ohio. About 4,000 people can be found on Ginghamsburg’s campus on any given week, but Slaughter’s greatest source of fulfillment is the radical Jesus-followers who are “on mission” at home, as well as those who have gone out to make a difference around the globe, he says.

Evening worship speakers include Bishops James Swanson, Al Gwinn, Dick Wills and Lindsey Davis.

A new event at SEJ is the Multicultural Event Dec. 13-15. This event will equip participants with tools to create a more ethnically inclusive church in their local settings. The skills acquired at the event can be transferred to address other areas of conflict and differences, as well.

Speakers include Bishops James Swanson, Hope Morgan Ward and Woodie White. Herb Waters, founder of Rural Southern Voice for Peace (RSVP), and Silvia Peterson, director of Centro Latino, which serves six North Carolina mountain communities, will also speak.

More information on these and other events is available at

Fusebox to lead worship at Youth 2007

By General Board of Discipleship staff

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Several cutting-edge Christian bands will perform during Youth2007, slated to meet in Greensboro, N.C., July 11-15.

While several bands have signed on for the event, Fusebox will be the worship band for the entire week. The Katinas, Superchic[k] and Kutless will also perform.

Sponsored by General Board of Discipleship (GBOD)’s Young People’s Ministries, more than 10,000 United Methodist youth from across the globe will gather for Youth2007, the largest quadrennial youth event of The United Methodist Church. 

The theme for Youth 2007 is “Splat!” — which stands for seek, pray, learn, act and teach. Each day will focus on one of these sub-themes.

Bishops Scott Jones, Linda Lee and Minerva Carcaño, as well as Kathleen Baskin-Ball, Ray Buckley and Bible study leader Michael Williams, are among the speakers for the event. 

The workshops, also known as “splatshops,” will be taught by people from across the country and abroad and will expose participants to the multitude of resources and insights that will help them grow as disciples and make a positive impact on their communities. An Expo Center called “Destination Stations” and a missions pavilion will round out Youth ’07.

More than 5,000 youth and their leaders have already registered for the event. More information is available at or by calling the Youth2007 event office toll-free at 877-899-2780, extension 7058.

United Methodist Church Secretaries Institute offers certification training

By Cecile McGinniss**
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries (PSUMCS) Certification Institute is being held July 15-20 at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga.

The Institute provides advanced professional training and enrichment for United Methodist church secretaries from across the denomination. A participant who completes the program and meets the requirements set forth by the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) is eligible to apply for certification as a professional United Methodist Church secretary.

The five-day PAUMCS Institute is designed to stimulate professional growth and development of the individual. Participants are introduced to business concepts required for understanding the financial operations of the church, as well as relationships with the pastor, church employees and members of the congregation.

The experience of learning with local church secretaries and networking with others in similar office settings provides a broader understanding of the connectional United Methodist Church. Church secretaries learn the functions of district, conference, agency and episcopal offices, while these various office personnel learn about the many responsibilities of a local church secretary. It is a place to see how all members of the church body are in ministry together.

The registration fee is $300, which includes course materials, a continental breakfast Monday through Friday, and several lunches and dinners (Sunday and Thursday). Travel, room, additional meals and any other incidentals are the responsibility of each participant.

Arrangements have been made with Emory University for air-conditioned dormitory rooms at $38 for singles per day and $30 per person per day for doubles.
A limited amount of scholarships are available. GCFA must receive a written request explaining the need for the scholarship, using the address below.

National PAUMCS membership information can be obtained by contacting Cynthia Haralson, staff representative, GCFA, 1200 Davis St., Evanston, IL 60201-4193, or by contacting 847-425-6548 or Individuals my receive a copy of the institute brochure by contacting Cecile McGinniss at 615-369-2393 or Class size is limited to 30 participants. Registrations will be honored in the order in which they are received.

Summer gathering to bring United Methodists together around mission
By Richard Schwenk**

EVANSTON, Ill. — United Methodists from across the denomination will come together in the Chicago area for four days in August to explore what mission can mean for the church in the 21st century.
The “Bridges of Hope” Mission Gathering and Forum will take place Aug. 5-8 at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill. Participants will pray, sing and worship together while being inspired to share the evangelical message that leads to the transformation of lives and communities.
The gathering will critically analyze the changes in communities impacted by Christian mission, while affirming justice ministries and ministries of presence as legitimate forms of mission.
Speakers at the conference include Bishop Roy Sano; Gennifer Brooks, a professor of preaching at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary; Steven Ybarrola, a professor of anthropology at Asbury Seminary; and Robert Hunt of Perkins School of Theology. Randy Day, the head of the denomination’s mission agency, and Ruth Daugherty, a former president of United Methodist Women, will also give keynote presentations. Edith Gleaves of the mission agency; David Scott, longtime missionary in India; and Dana Jones, a deaconess, will lead the Bible studies.
Workshops and panels on a variety of topics, including mission in situations of conflict, medical mission, the challenges for mission work in light of U.S. foreign policy and the links between evangelism and mission, are scheduled.
Registration for the event is $35. Information is available online at or by contacting the gathering’s registrar, Richard Vreeland, at

More information is available by contacting Norma Kehrberg at 808-394-0459 or

United Methodist Publishing House seeks Sunday school stories

By United Methodist Communications Staff

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Laity and clergy who have stories about how Sunday school has touched people’s lives and ideas to help Sunday school succeed are asked to share that information with the general church through an effort called “Sunday School — It’s for Life.”

Stories may be shared at as a joint effort by United Methodist Publishing House and the General Board of Discipleship and used for additional placements.

Articles of approximately 500 words in length should be submitted to Harriet Olson, United Methodist Publishing House, at, and Diane Denton, director of public relations at United Methodist Communications, at

Young United Methodist clergy ideas sought in new survey

By Lewis Center Staff

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Young United Methodist clergy, approximately 35 or younger, are invited to complete a survey seeking their input on a host of subjects by going to

The Lewis Center for Church Leadership at Wesley Seminary is inviting young clergy to share data on when and why they entered ministry, factors influencing their decisions, perceptions of how age influences their standing in the church, the nature of their appointments, their financial well-being and their level of satisfaction in ministry.

The survey will also help provide input for a book on the young clergy situation being written by Lewis Center staff for publication before the 2008 General Conference.

This inquiry grows out of the Lewis Center’s 2006 report Clergy Age Trends in the United Methodist Church,, which showed a sharp decline in younger adults entering ordained ministry in the past 20 years.


*Parham is managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**Buffum is workshop coordinator of Be a Disciple at Southwestern College in Winfield, Kansas.
   Jones is a staff member of the General Board of Global Ministries.
   Kelley is subscription manager, photographer and contributing writer for e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
   Listenbee is communications specialist for the Southeastern Jurisdiction in Lake Junaluska, N.C.
   McGinniss is administrative assistant to the director of Records & Statistics Department and assistant to GCFA Staff Representative to PAUMCS in
     Nashville, Tenn. 
   Moore is interim director of youth, young adult and campus ministry for the Florida Conference Connectional Ministries office.
   Pearcy is chair of the health and wholeness team and coordinator of the conference's parish nurse ministry.
   Peck is the communications coordinator for the General Commission on United Methodist Men.
   Pinkston is director of media relations at the General Board of Discipleship in Nashville, Tenn.
   Rankin is director of the Florida Conference Global Mission and Justice Ministries team and dean of the conference’s Healthy Church Academy.
   Schwenk is communications chairman for United Methodist Missionary Association in Pittman, N.J.
   Trotti is interim director of the Life Enrichment Center, Fruitland Park.