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Opportunities — March 13, 2008 {0813}

Opportunities — March 13, 2008 {0813}

e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service

Opportunities — March 13, 2008

March 13, 2008  News media contact: Tita Parham* 
800-282-8011    Orlando {0813}

An e-Review News Item

This series includes:

n Conference seeks nominees for evangelism awards
n Florida social action group holds retreat
n Disaster training helps churches meet communities’ needs
n Ministry offers specialty camps: Camp Pioneer, Grandparents and Me
n Calling all campers: registration open for summer camps

n Discipleship agency seeks members’ feedback on hymnal, worship practices
n UMCOR resource center needs relief kits
n Western North Carolina Conference opens deaf ministry event to Southeastern Jurisdiction


Conference seeks nominees for evangelism awards

By e-Review Staff

The Harry Denman Evangelism Award is presented each year by the Foundation for Evangelism to both a lay and clergy recipient deserving of recognition for their outstanding contributions to the church’s mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ.

Individuals who would like to nominate a person in either the clergy or laity category may access a nomination form at

Nomination forms should be sent to the Rev. Dr. Jeff Stiggins at the Florida Conference Office of Congregational Transformation, 1140 E. McDonald St., Lakeland, FL 33801, or 863-680-1912 (fax).

The nomination deadline is March 21.


Florida social action group holds retreat

By Caryl Kelley**

LAKELAND — The Florida Chapter of the Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA) is offering its annual retreat, “Hope and Justice,” for anyone interested in learning more about the church’s role in social justice.

The keynote speaker for the gathering, which takes place April 5, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., at the Florida Conference’s Warren W. Willis Camp in Fruitland Park, is the Rev. Loren Boyce, associate director of Connectional Ministries for the Rocky Mountain Conference of The United Methodist Church. The worship leader is the Rev. Andy Sistrunk, minister of worship at First United Methodist Church of Port Orange.

Focus area group topics include immigration, children and poverty, Earth care, and peace in the 21st century.

An optional screening of the film “For The Bible Tells Me So” takes place April 4.

The cost for the retreat is $35, including lunch. Overnight costs are listed on the event brochure, available at The brochure includes the retreat schedule, more information about the leaders and registration information.

Individuals may register online at by selecting events, then “Annual Retreat — Hope and Justice.” The registration deadline is March 21.

More information is available by contacting Emily Oliver at or 954-778-9533.


Disaster training helps churches meet communities’ needs

By e-Review Staff

The Florida Conference Disaster Recovery Ministry is offering three opportunities for churches to learn about the unique and important role the faith community plays in disaster mitigation, preparation and response in the United States.

The Community Arise: Basic Disaster Ministry Training teaches people of faith how to identify and address unmet needs of all survivors, particularly people who were vulnerable before a disaster, and how to provide a larger vision of life that includes emotional and spiritual care and physical rebuilding to assist in long-term recovery.

At the conclusion of the training, churches will have a practical foundation for how to effectively respond to disasters in their community in cooperation with other churches, emergency management officials and the conference’s disaster recovery ministry. Church members will also have gained a better understanding of the importance of communication and collaboration in meeting the needs of disaster survivors and of being the church in the midst of crisis.

This one-day training is based in part on “Community Arise: A Disaster Ministry Curriculum,” which was developed by Church World Service in collaboration with other faith-based organizations, including the United Methodist Committee on Relief, Lutheran Disaster Services, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, Catholic Charities and others.

The training sessions will take place: March 29 at Pine Ridge Fellowship United Methodist Church, 935 Howland Blvd., Deltona FL, 32738; May 17 at Cornerstone United Methodist Church, 8200 Immokalee Rd., Naples, FL 34119; and June 7 at Cokesbury United Methodist Church, 1801 NW 65th Ave., Margate, FL 33063.

Interested churches and individuals may register now for this free training at

More information is available by contacting Pam Garrison, manager of the conference disaster recovery ministry, at or 800-282-8011, extension 148.


Ministry offers specialty camps: Camp Pioneer, Grandparents and Me
By Erik Alsgaard**

LAKELAND — Local churches in the Florida Conference are invited to save the date for and help communicate about two specialty camps offered by the Florida Conference Camps and Retreat Ministries: Camp Pioneer and Grandparents and Me.
Camp Pioneer, held July 14-19, allows adults who are mentally challenged to experience first-hand the love of God in a caring community. Held at the Life Enrichment Center in Fruitland Park, the camp allows campers to participate in a camping experience while discovering and enjoying the wonders of the natural world.
Grandparents and Me, held June 23-26 and June 30-July 3, is a half-week camp that gives children ages 5-12 and their grandparents a chance to visit the Life Enrichment Center and enjoy a camping experience together in a Christian environment. Grandparents and their grandchildren stay either in motel-style rooms at the Life Enrichment Center or in their own RV. The camp is designed to allow time for games, playground activities, nature exploration, swimming, Bible study and more.
Information about both camps is available at by choosing the Life Enrichment Center option on the drop-down menu, then 2008 summer camps, then LEC camp descriptions. Information is also available by calling 1-866-UMCAMPS, #2, or 352-787-0313.


Calling all campers: registration open for summer camps

By Summer Camp Staff

FRUITLAND PARK — The story of the Florida United Methodist youth camp and its campers, adult volunteers and staff has been 60 years in the making.

When youth go to camp this summer they will become part of that story.

They will also be part of God’s story and the continuing journey to share the love of God with the world. Children and youth who go to camp will learn more about these stories and how hearing them, joining them and living them can impact the world with the love of God and continue the ministry of the Warren W. Willis camp for another 60 years.

Nine weeks of Classic Camp are offered this summer, Monday through Saturday, beginning June 9 and running through Aug. 9.

Elementary School Camp, for children entering third-fifth grades in September 2008 is a high energy experience designed to bring campers into the presence of Christ through friendships, games, crafts, singing and worship. Campers spend the week getting to know the camp counselors and other children of the same age as they learn more about God. During the week campers will learn about their faith in small groups, go swimming in the camp’s pool and have the opportunity to choose from a variety of crafts and skills classes, like archery, nature skill, drama, interpretive dance and outdoor games.

A camp for middle school students — those entering sixth-eighth grades in September 2008 — offers a week of games, activities, worship and challenges. Campers become part of a Christian community as they learn more about God, themselves and others. Skills times give campers the opportunity to go sailing or canoeing on Lake Griffin or play ultimate Frisbee, kickball or softball on one of the fields. They can also join other campers to learn an interpretive dance, sign language or perform a drama in one of the week’s worship services or sign up to take one of the creative crafts offered each week.

High school campers entering ninth-12th grades in September 2008 will have the opportunity to participate in a unique retreat experience away from their everyday lives, summer jobs and the stress of high school. A week at camp will challenge them to learn more about their faith through small group discussions, worship experiences and an immersion in the camp’s Christian environment. Activities include large group games and classic camp crafts and skills. High school campers may also sign up for the high challenge course, featuring a 55-foot climbing wall, zip line and other challenging elements 30 feet in the air.

An Appalachian Trail Hike Week June 14-21 and June 21-28 is also available for high school students who want to experience hiking and camping on the Appalachian Trail. Each week has a maximum capacity of eight campers, and the journey begins and ends at the Warren W. Willis Camp in Fruitland Park. The trail hike encompasses a four-day, three-night backpacking journey along the Appalachian Trail outside Franklin, N.C. Once campers leave the trail they will travel to Tennessee to whitewater raft down the Ocoee River. The trip ends with a laser light show at Stone Mountain, Ga.

Wilderness Camp Week July 12-19 and 19-26 offers high school students both physical and spiritual challenges that push them beyond their comfort zones and into an area of learning and exploration. Each week a maximum of 10 campers will begin their trek at the Warren W. Willis camp, then travel through the foothills and rivers of Tennessee to the mountains of northern Georgia. Campers will go hiking, rock climbing, rappelling and whitewater rafting while learning to find God in nature and becoming more attune to their own strength and ability.

Creative Spirit Week is for rising fourth- through 12th-grade campers who love to perform, are creative or just want to learn new things. It is designed for campers who are interested in worshipping God through the arts. During the day campers will participate in many of the traditional activities offered at camp, but there will also be time to learn a unique skill and prepare a presentation that will be shared with the rest of the camp and the parents Saturday morning. Campers choose from drama, interpretive dance, clowning, puppets, brass/woodwind ensemble, two-dimensional art and musical theater. Creative Spirit camp takes place at the Warren W. Willis Camp.

The Middle School/High School Mini Camp is a shortened week designed for churches that have a large number of campers who want to attend camp the same week and experience camp together as a group. This mini-camp runs Sunday through Wednesday, and unlike a week of Classic Camp, students from the same church will participate in activities and reflection groups together. High school and middle school students will be separated for some of the activities, but all will worship together as a camp each morning and evening and participate in large group games and activities and small groups. The camp takes place at the Warren W. Willis Camp, and there must be adult leaders from each church to provide supervision in the cabins, with one adult for every six campers of the same gender. There is a separate registration form for this week that must be completed by the church youth director.

Costs and registration information for all camps are available at



Discipleship agency seeks members’ feedback on hymnal, worship practices

By Dean McIntyre**

The music resources division of the General Board of Discipleship wants United Methodists provide input on the current hymnal (The United Methodist Hymnal, 1989) and common practices related to congregational worship and singing.

That feedback can be given through a survey that is open to all United Methodists — pastors, musicians, laity, children, youth, adults. The responses will be used in planning future resources in the areas of congregational worship and music.
The survey will be available March 17-30 and will include 35 simple statements related to the hymnal, worship and congregational singing. Respondents will be asked to register their agreement or disagreement with each statement by mouse-clicking on a button. The survey should take no more than 15 minutes.
In order to maintain the integrity of the survey, only one response per computer will be accepted. It is important that participants log in to the survey only when they are ready to complete it in one session. They will not be able to access the survey once they exit it.
Those interested in signing up now to take the survey when it is available online may do so by going to and registering there. When the survey is available, an e-mail notification will be sent to those who registered, along with a link to the survey.
Thank you for your willingness to contribute your time to this important research. We encourage you to share this invitation with other United Methodists.

UMCOR resource center needs relief kits

By UMCOR Staff

NEW YORK — The United Methodist Committee on Relief’s (UMCOR) Sager Brown resource center needs help in restocking its supply of a variety of kits used in its relief ministry.

Every day lives around the world are touched by the gifts that are given to UMCOR. Large tangible items like food, clothing, shelter and clean water are gifts of survival. But it’s also the smaller everyday gifts — a needle, thread, a ruler, a pen, a pillow or sheet — contained in an UMCOR supply kit that bring hope in a more personal way.

UMCOR’s relief supply warehouse, the UMCOR Sager Brown Depot in Baldwin, La., needs support to provide much-needed bedding, sewing and layette kits for Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. Sager Brown has received fewer kits over the last year and stocks are becoming alarmingly low.

Sager Brown is especially requesting donations for 33,000 layette kits, 64,000 sewing kits and approximately 1,000 bedding kits to meet upcoming needs. Donations for all kits are needed to prepare for uncertain times and future relief efforts. The Sager Brown Depot is accepting complete kits, as well as items in bulk.

In places like Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, people who are sick, elderly, women, children, refugees and other vulnerable groups are being cared for through the distribution of these material resources. The supply kits are delivered to primary health-care facilities and the institutions that serve the people in need. Whether they are school supplies to help a child return to school, fabric and thread to help make a dress, or a baby blanket to help a mother care for her child, these kits are meeting personal everyday needs.

Help is needed to replenish the kit supplies today. Financial gifts towards purchasing supplies can also be given. By doing so, anyone can make a tangible difference in the lives of others.

The material resources program is always happy to receive kits and buckets fully assembled with all required items. However, the UMCOR Sager Brown Depot can also use large quantities of bulk items.

A list of the items that go in each kit is available at The site also lists the estimated value, the cost for processing and shipping, and shipping instructions. Donations can be sent to Material Resources, UMCOR Advance #901440.


Western North Carolina Conference opens deaf ministry event to Southeastern Jurisdiction

By Marty Folsom**

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Almost every congregation in the Southeastern Jurisdiction is likely to have members who miss out on a full worship experience because of hearing loss. Their communities may have people who are unchurched for the same reason.

To help churches reach them, the deaf ministry of the Western North Carolina United Methodist Conference (WNCC) is sponsoring “Visualize Deaf Ministry: Ministering to People with Hearing Loss” May 2-3 at Christ United Methodist Church in Hickory, N.C.

This ecumenical educational and inspirational event covers ways to begin a deaf ministry, models of deaf ministry, developing a plan, and essentials and challenges. It features Chad Entinger of Deaf Missions and Gary Barrett of Shalom Lighthouse Ministries/Deaf Ministries Worldwide, along with signed worship music by Rock the Silence. Ministry, agency and technology resource exhibits for all levels of hearing loss are planned. The Friday night session is optional.

The early bird registration deadline is April 18. The cost is $25 and includes lunch. Details are available at Questions may be directed to Kay Free, WNCC deaf ministry director, at or 828-734-9154.

A flier and registration form are available at The spring 2008 newsletter featuring more details and bios is available at


*Parham is managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**Alsgaard is director of communications for the Florida Conference.
   Folsom is president of the Western North Carolina Conference deaf ministry.
   Kelley is subscription manager, photographer and contributing writer for e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
   McIntyre is director of music resources with the General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tenn.