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Opportunities — Sept. 22, 2008 {0914}

Opportunities — Sept. 22, 2008 {0914}

e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service

Opportunities — Sept. 22, 2008

Sept. 22, 2008    News media contact: Tita Parham* 
800-282-8011    Orlando {0914}

An e-Review News Item

This series includes:

• Confirmation, youth retreats scheduled this fall
• Methodist Men’s retreats promise spirit-filled weekends
• Adult backpacking trail hike, day hikes planned
• Lay speaking training available in North Central District
• Conference offers music groups tools for success
• Real Ideas Conference offers ideas to equips leaders
• Event for potential young clergy helps discern God’s call
• Radical Hospitality event lowers registration costs, Oct. 4 session postponed

• Gammon Theological Seminary alumni ‘seek new pathways’
• Laity Sunday celebrates one in spirit, all in ministry
• Leadership retreat held for African-American clergy
• Candler School of Theology hosts 21st annual Reformation Day event
• Conference provides tools for traditional worship
• Young Peoples Ministries hosts leadership events
• United Methodist Student Day prepares students to unite faith with knowledge
• Families invited to spend New Year’s on the island
• Summer Collegium study opportunity announced
• Workshop focuses on creative possibilities for visual arts
• Alternative spring break event helps feed America’s hungry


Confirmation, youth retreats scheduled this fall

By Erik Alsgaard**

LAKELAND — Two retreat opportunities for youth are scheduled this fall at the Warren W. Willis United Methodist Camp in Fruitland Park.

The first is the 2008 Confirmation Retreat Oct. 3-5. The retreat offers confirmands sound teaching on the vows they will be asked to take at confirmation and opportunities for worshiping together, playing games and learning from other confirmands from around the state.

Participants will grow together as a group through the curriculum of the weekend, which also includes the camp’s challenge courses.

Participants are invited to attend the whole weekend or depart Saturday night in order to be back in their home church Sunday morning.

Two packages are available. Package “A” runs Friday night through Sunday morning and costs $80 per person. Package “B” runs Friday night through Saturday night and costs $60 per person.

The second retreat, “Crosstrainers 2008,” is Nov. 14-16.

The Rev. Roy Terry, pastor of Cornerstone United Methodist Church in Naples, will serve as worship leader for this weekend of worship, games, activities and time to hang out with old and new friends from around the state. Music for the retreat will be provided by summer camp band leader Bryant Manning.

Participants will have a chance to compete for the coveted “Golden Glove.” Last year, Hyde Park United Methodist Church in Tampa ran the gauntlet and brought home the trophy. This year, it’s anybody’s game, so youth are encouraged to be prepared for another round of games and competitions.

The cost for Crosstrainers is $100 per person, with one free registration offered for every 15 paid registrations.

Registration information and a complete schedule for both the Confirmation Retreat and Crosstrainers are available online at through the “events” tab.

More information is available by contacting Joel Pancoast at or 352-787-4345.


Methodist Men’s retreats promise spirit-filled weekends

By Caryl Kelley**

LAKELAND —The 2008 Men’s Spiritual Retreats, sponsored by the Florida Conference United Methodist Men, are Oct. 10-12, 17-19 and 24-26.

The retreats, held at the Life Enrichment Center (LEC) and Warren W. Willis Camp in Fruitland Park, are themed “Jesus is the Lighthouse.”

Retreat leaders for Oct. 10-12 are the Rev. Scott Smith, Community of Faith United Methodist Church; Andy Searles, Aloma United Methodist Church, Winter Park; Don Taylor, division director of Search Ministries, which provides training for Christians in Lifestyle Evangelism; and the Rev. Larry Bergstrom, First United Methodist Church, Coral Springs. Leading music is “Higher Ground,” the contemporary praise band from First United Methodist Church, Coral Springs.
Retreat leaders for Oct. 17-19 are John Riley, an inspirational speaker who strives to communicate truths in a simple, understandable manner; Ed Diaz, co-founder of Walk Thru The Bible Ministries and seminar leader; and the Rev. David Adams, general secretary of the General Commission on United Methodist Men.

Retreat leaders for Oct. 24-26 are the Rev. Dr. Riley Short, retired pastor; the Rev. David McEntire, First United Methodist Church, Lakeland; Rev. Jim Hollis, general evangelist of The United Methodist Church and director of Proactive Evangelism Ministries; and Don Taylor.
John and Margie Anderson will provide music leadership. John is music department coordinator and professor of music at Polk Community College in Winter Haven.

Each retreat follows the same schedule, beginning on Friday and finishing Sunday morning with worship. Check-in begins at 3 p.m. Friday, with dinner at 6 p.m.

The registration form and a brochure, including the complete schedule, are available at by clicking on the “information” link. Online registration is also available at that site.

The costs are $128 per person for those staying at the LEC and $109 per person at the Warren Willis camp. Both costs include room, meals and program fees. The cost for participants staying at the family campground campsite is $40, plus a program fee of $30 per person and $41 per person for meals. Linens, blankets, pillows, towels and soap are furnished for those staying at the LEC.

A DVD is available to help promote the Men’s retreats within a congregation. It includes a three-minute promotional clip and a longer 19-minute segment that looks at a weekend retreat and can be used in men’s meetings, church dinners and other gatherings to encourage men to attend the retreats. Copies of the DVD are available by contacting the United Methodist Men’s office at 877-815-3692 or requesting one from the group’s Web site at


Adult backpacking trail hike, day hikes planned

By Joel Pancoast**

FRUITLAND PARK — For adults around the state who love hiking, the outdoors and Christian fellowship, it’s time to prepare for the 31st Annual Adult Trail Hike Trip sponsored by the Warren W. Willis United Methodist Camp Oct. 13-18.

A backpacking group will spend five days and four nights on the Appalachian Trail, hiking from Dick’s Creek Gap to Mooney Gap on the Appalachian Trail. A day hiking group will stay in a cottage at Black Rock Mountain State Park outside Clayton, Ga., hiking many trails around the park.

Hikers will meet at the Warren W. Willis Camp in Fruitland Park Oct. 13 at 7:30 a.m., pack their gear and head out as early as possible. All will return late on Oct. 18 or early Oct. 19.

The camp will furnish backpakers with roundtrip transportation from camp, food on the trail, a backpack if one is needed, cooking equipment, sleeping pads and other gear as needed. A limited number of tents is available. Day hikers will receive roundtrip transportation from camp to the cottage, lodging and meals.

The fee for the day hiking trip is $150; the backpacking trip is $135. The registration and fee should be sent to: Warren W. Willis United Methodist Camp — Adult Trail Hike, 4990 Picciola Rd., Fruitland Park, FL 34731. Checks should be made payable to the Warren W. Willis United Methodist Camp.

Because space is limited, registrations will be accepted in the order they are received.
Registration details and hike information are available at A confirmation letter will be sent to all applicants who have successfully registered. Registrations may be confirmed by calling the camp at 352-787-4345 or e-mailing Joel Pancoast at

Questions about this year’s trip should be directed to the camp office or trip coordinators Joel Pancoast, program manager,, 352-787-4345; Mary Ann Cantwell, backpacking coordinator,, 352-394-2506; or Dolly Bufter, day hike coordinator,, 239-275-2069.


Lay speaking training available in North Central District

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — Lay Speakers are called to proclaim the gospel and help others grow in their relationship with Christ by teaching, serving, training, leading, participating, caring, loving, supporting and communicating.

Anyone who is an active, informed member of a local United Methodist church and willing to train for service can become part of the Lay Speaking Ministry.
Certified lay speakers serve in their local church, other churches, throughout the district and conference. To be recognized as a certified lay speaker, an individual must be recommended by his/her pastor and charge conference and complete the basic and advanced lay speaking courses. 

The North Central District's fall lay speaking training event is Oct. 25 and Nov. 1, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., at First United Methodist Church, 100 West Guerrant St., Umatilla, 352-669-2741. Both days are required.

The basic course cost is $25; the advanced course is $28. The fees include the class text and meals for both sessions. Registration and continental breakfast begin at 8:30 a.m.; the session begins at 9 a.m. Each participant must complete the basic course before enrolling in an advanced course.

Checks should be made payable to North Central District and mailed with a registration form to Carol Mack-Harrell, Director Lay Speaking Ministries, 1195 SW 125 Ave., Ocala, FL 34481.

Registration forms must be mailed by Oct. 14 for participants to receive an assignment and book prior to the first class.

Interested individuals may receive a registration form and additional information from their local church office, a certified lay speaker within their congregation, their district office or the district director of lay speaking ministries. A brochure is available at

More information about lay speaking ministries is available at


Conference offers music groups tools for success

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — Ignition, a Conference Networking Catalyst Showcase event, is designed to equip independent artists/bands with the tools they need to succeed.

The event will be held at Lake Magdalene United Methodist Church, 2902 W Fletcher Ave, Tampa, Nov. 7-9.

The conference tracks are designed to provide the type of information that provides real, relevant answers and are presented by professionals who know the subjects well and are passionate about what they do. Judges from within the Christian music industry will also offer feedback, insight and education through artist workshops, coaching sessions and question and answer sessions to help music groups move in the right direction.

The workshop sessions are designed to help individuals or groups learn and grow as an independent artist/band. Workshop topics include: making it as an artist, making it as an indie band, VOX TRAX — finding your voice and exploring the possibilities, live vocal coaching, indie or industry or both, market relevance, everything about merchandising, music industry impact, songwriting and producing a custom record.

Interested individuals may register for the conference by calling 530-896-0559 or going to
The cost for a participant to enter the competition is based upon the total number of people in the group/band. Three rates based on the date of registration are also available. Information on rates and registration deadlines is available on the Web site.

Registration entitles each participant full access to the Ignition conference track for the entire weekend, a showcase slot in the competition, a registration packet complete with networking tools and gifts, an Ignition t-shirt and an additional one-day showcase fan pass per registrant.


Real Ideas Conference offers ideas to equips leaders

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — Van Dyke United Methodist Church in the Tampa area is offering a conference designed to help churches thrive in the community they serve.

At the Real Ideas Conference 2009 attendees will be encouraged, challenged and equipped to move to the next level of effectiveness in all areas of ministry. They will be given the opportunity to discover real ideas that work and can be used immediately in the church and community. 

The conference offers four general sessions and six breakout times with more than 60 workshops. Workshops are built around the topics of children, youth, worship, outreach, congregational care, leadership, discipleship and operations.

Keynote speakers include the Revs. Matthew Hartsfield, senior pastor at Van Dyke United Methodist Church, and Dr. Mark Beeson, who, with his wife, Sheila, founded Granger Community United Methodist Church in 1986. Today, the church has an average attendance of 6,000 during five weekend services.

The conference, held Feb. 6-7 at Van Dyke United Methodist Church, 17030 Lakeshore Rd., Lutz, is open to pastors, staff, church leaders and volunteers. Groups are encouraged to register before Oct. 31 for special early bird rates, which are $75 per person for groups of one to nine people and $60 per person for groups of 10 or more. After Oct. 31 and at the door the cost is $95 per person for one to nine people and $80 per person for groups of 10 or more

The registration rate includes a continental breakfast and snacks Friday and Saturday, conference materials, and resources.

United Methodist pastors may earn continuing education credits upon verification by their district superintendent.

More information about speakers, workshops and registration are available at Questions about the conference should be directed to Karen Peel, conference coordinator, at


Event for potential young clergy helps discern God’s call

By Erik Alsgaard

LAKELAND — The Center for Clergy Excellence will hold a special event Feb. 20-22 for young adults, ages 18 to 25, who exhibit gifts for ministry.

“SCREAM: Get Ready for the Ride,” will help young adults discern if they are being called to full-time Christian ministry.

The event will be held at the Holiday Inn in Orlando near the entrance to Universal Studios. The cost to participate is a $25 registration fee.

The Rev. David Dodge, executive director of the Center for Clergy Excellence, asks clergy in the Florida Conference to forward names and addresses of young adults who would be invited to attend this event to Winnie Dean at

Space is limited to the first 75 registrants.


Radical Hospitality event lowers registration costs, Oct. 4 session postponed

By Erik Alsgaard

LAKELAND — Because so many people have asked for registration that reflects the realities of smaller churches, the Florida Conference has revised the registration costs for the five upcoming Radical Hospitality workshops. The new fees are $75 for up to three people, plus $15 each for food and snacks. A single registration will be $50, including food and snacks.  

This one-day event, held in locations across the Florida Conference, is designed to help church teams think through what it means for their congregations to be radically hospitable to the people of their community and individuals of younger generations. In addition to the three plenary sessions, each participant will be able to choose from two practical breakout groups.

More information, dates and locations of the Radical Hospitality events are available at A brochure that can be printed and shared in church gatherings is available at

The Oct. 4 Radical Hospitality event has been postponed due to lack of registration. The new date for this event will be Feb. 21. Those who have already registered and paid for this event and would like a refund may send a request to Misty Harmon at


Gammon Theological Seminary alumni ‘seek new pathways’

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — Gammon Theological Seminary will hold its 125th Founder’s Day and Thirkield-Jones Lecture series Oct. 6-8 under the theme “Remembering Who We Are: Seeking New Pathways.”

Bishop Violet Fisher will speak at the Founder’s Day worship service Oct. 7 at 11 a.m. Bishop Gregory Palmer will be the Thirkield-Jones lecturer, and Bishop James King will speak at the alumni banquet.

Alumni from classes 1998, 1988, 1983, 1978, 1968, 1958, 1953, 1948 and 1938 will be recognized. The class with the most representatives and which contributes the most as a class at the celebration will have a picture plaque mounted in Gammon Hall in its honor.

All alumni are asked to give a minimum of $125 or more for the Founder’s Day Celebration. Attendees may also bring any local church Gammon Sunday contributions.

Lodging reservations may be made at the Atlanta Marriott Airport Hotel by calling 404-766-7900 (or 800-228-9290).

The registration package is $185, which includes the $30 registration fee, $50 for alumni dues, $50 for the alumni luncheon and $75 for the Founder’s Day banquet. Banquet tables for groups of 10 can be reserved for $750.

More information is available by contacting Madelyn C. Green, alumni affairs director, at 404-581-0310, or More details and a downloadable registration form and ticket request form are available on the Gammon Web site at


Laity Sunday celebrates one in spirit, all in ministry

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In the Renovaré Spiritual Formation Bible, fellowship is defined as, “Engaging with other disciples in the common activities of worship, study, prayer, celebration, and service, which sustain our life together and enlarge our capacity to experience more of God.”

In the Scripture passage cited above (I John 1:6-7), there is a caveat to this form of fellowship; and that is, “walking in the light as he is in the light.” Those who want true fellowship with God and neighbor or fellow believers must remain in the light and be intentional about spending time with God in prayer, searching the Scriptures and practicing such means of grace as worship, Holy Communion, fasting, works of mercy, and holy or Christian conferencing.

Much is said about fellowship in the church. Many churches even have fellowship halls where members and guests can meet “to fellowship.” But fellowship has a more important meaning: meeting together to encourage one another to love and do good deeds.

The United Methodist heritage had at its roots an emphasis on meeting together to give an account of faithfulness. Early Methodists met in societies, classes or bands in order to pray together, hear a word of exhortation or encouragement, and “watch over one another with love.” Not only did these meetings provide a time of fellowship, but they provided the strength needed to live lives of personal and scriptural holiness.

Today there are plenty of meetings to attend in the church, but are they times of fellowship? Is there a spirit of holy conferencing there? Is time given for worshipping together, praying for each another and encouraging each other at those meetings?

Members may be missing the chance to “walk in the light” when they forget whose work they are doing and when the focus is only on the business at hand, not on discerning God’s will. What change might occur in churches today if every meeting time was an intentional time of Christian or holy conferencing? What changes might be seen in the unity of the body of Christ?

Laity Sunday Oct. 19 is a reminder of the church’s common ministry and a celebration of how the body of Christ walks in the light of God through devotional practices, care for others as Christ commanded, and meeting together in fellowship and mutual accountability.

Resources for laity Sunday, including a poster and bulletin insert, may be found online at and at


Leadership retreat held for African-American clergy

By Southeastern Jurisdictional Staff

LAKELAND — A retreat designed to provide tools to help African-American clergy build greater self-awareness of soul, spirit and mind will be held Oct. 20-22 and 22-24 in Lake Junaluska, NC.

The African-American Clergy Leadership Development retreat “Claiming Our Humanity for Ministry” is sponsored by the Office of African-American Ministries at the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church.

The unique opportunities and challenges of being an African-American in ministry will be the context for the retreat.
The retreat is for clergy who want to enhance their ministry effectiveness, improve morale, decrease ministry burnout and prevent clergy misconduct. The workshops are designed to help participants grow in health and wholeness in their lives. It will be a safe space for all to know themselves better and aid in ministry to others.
Storytelling, role-playing and humor will be used in the workshops. The focus will be on experiential learning with “how to” specifics included, such as when and how to use one’s own story, how to step off the “pedestal” and how grace is also accessible for ministers. This experience will help participants see how God can use their humanity more fully in the service of others and is intended to remind attendees of the humanity, needs, struggles, wholeness and brokenness of all people. It will help participants get a sense of what they would like to improve in their lives and provide an open door for more friendship with and support from other clergy.
The event will utilize a retreat and life-coaching model. Leadership is provided by the Revs. Dr. Jim Robey, executive director of the Intentional Growth Center of the North Alabama Conference, and Dr. Carl Arrington, director of African-American Ministries for the Southeastern Jurisdiction.
The registration cost by Sept. 30 is $329. The cost after that date is $429. There is an additional fee of $100 per non-participating guest, which includes housing and meals only. The registration package includes the program fee, CEU, housing, meals and snacks.

The conference brochure, schedule and registration information are available at, by calling 828-454-6681 or e-mailing


Candler School of Theology hosts 21st annual Reformation Day event

By Emory/Candler Staff

ATLANTA, Ga. — “America’s German Heritage” is the theme of the 21st annual Reformation Day Oct. 21, sponsored by Emory University’s Candler School of Theology.

The program includes an array of lectures and music, culminating in a performance of Bach’s “Magnificat” by the Emory University Concert Choir under the direction of Eric Nelson. The concert will take place in the Cherry Emerson Concert Hall at the Donna and Marvin Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, located at the corner of North Decatur and Clifton roads. This free concert is open to the public.

The Reformation Day program marks the 21st anniversary of the Richard C. Kessler Reformation Collection, which was established in 1987 when Richard and Martha Kessler donated their private collection of Reformation imprints and manuscripts to Emory University.

“For 20 years the Reformation Day at Emory program has brought international authorities in music, history and theology to Atlanta to address the history and ideas of the 16th century and to reflect on contemporary life and what can be learned from our predecessors in the academy and the church,” said Dr. M. Patrick Graham, Margaret A. Pitts professor of theological bibliography and director of Pitts Theology Library. “One of the most satisfying aspects of the program over the years has been to see the way that various disciplines — music, art history, law, theology, political and ecclesiastical history, and ethics — have come together to stimulating and fruitful effect.”

Dr. Steven Ozment, McLean professor of ancient and modern history at Harvard University, and John Witte Jr., Jonas Robitscher professor of law and director of the Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory, will be the guest lecturers. Each has won international acclaim in his field and has made significant contributions to the study of the German Reformation, Graham said, noting “this year’s program represents a new initiative to reflect more broadly on the German heritage that America continues to enjoy.”

In his lecture, Ozment will discuss Lucas Cranach, the Elder, one of the greatest European artists of the 16th century, a close friend of Martin Luther, and one of the Reformation’s most vigorous advocates. Witte, a specialist in legal history, marriage law and religious liberty, will identify some of the most important ways the German Reformation influenced the development of Western law.

Bishop Dr. Rüdiger R. Minor of the German Methodist Church will lead the morning worship service. Minor has had a distinguished career in Germany and Russia as a pastor, seminary professor and church administrator.

This year’s program will also include a presentation of highlights from the Kessler Collection and an illustrated lecture on a 1548 printing of the popular “Summary of the Entire Bible,” which was brought to the United States by a German immigrant in the 19th century.

More information is available at or by contacting Dr. M. Patrick Graham at or 404-727-4166.


Conference provides tools for traditional worship

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — Leadership Nexus and St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas, will present “Traditional Worship for Contemporary People” Nov. 11-13 at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church.

This conference will provide tools that help pastors, musicians, local church leaders and liturgists create worship that touches people, leads them closer to Christ, strengthens the church and helps people relate to God. It is also designed so individuals can network, share, get ideas from others and develop a collegial working relationship with others wishing to build strong traditional worship.

Attendees will learn from 11 national leaders, including Dr. Jim Bankston, senior pastor of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, and Dr. Robert Pierson, executive director of Leadership Nexus. Attendees will also learn in relevant and practical workshops how to revitalize worship services for a more meaningful connection with God. 

Meals for the conference will be done in small groups with one of the keynote speakers or workshop leaders as host at each meal. Affinity groups will be organized so participants can network with others in similar worship settings, and there will be panels and discussion groups for sharing of ideas.

Workshop titles include “Preaching Without Screens: Giving Shape to Your Sermon,” “Altars, Paraments and Banners,” “High Church in a Small Town,” “Real Commitment to Lectionary Preaching,” “High Church in the Suburbs,” “Real Growth in Traditional Worship” and others.

The registration cost is $195 per person or $165 per person for two or more people from the same group. Early registration before Oct. 10 is $165.

Online registration, hotel information, a schedule, speakers and complete workshop details are available at A brochure is available at

Questions regarding the conference should be directed to Leadership Nexus at 918-477-7549.


Young Peoples Ministries hosts leadership events

By General Board of Discipleship Staff

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The General Board of Discipleship’s (GBOD) Young People’s Ministries Division will offer two additional leadership development training events this year for adults who work in ministry with young people.
The first event will be held Nov. 15-16 at the Methodist Theological School in Delaware, Ohio. The second is slated for Federal United Methodist Church in Auburn, Wash., Dec. 6. Saturday sessions will run 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Called “The ’SOURCE,” the event is designed to enhance spiritual growth and explore new resources for ministries with youth and young adults.  The ’SOURCE is a resource for ministry that connects participants with “The Source,” who is God in Christ.

“The ’SOURCE is an opportunity to gather with other adult workers in ministry with young people to network, gain inspiration, share resources and worship,” says Bill Lizor, director of Young Adult and Single Adult Ministries and one of the workshop leaders.
The Ohio gathering includes an optional half-day “Living Waters” retreat Sunday, 8:30 a.m.- noon, that allows participants to dig deeper and reflect more broadly on their personal spiritual journey.
Young People’s Ministries previously hosted five leadership development sessions, one in each jurisdiction. The Ohio and Washington events have been added by request.
“The ’SOURCE 2008 provides a context to learn about leadership and how to examine our own styles of leadership in our settings with youth and young adults,” said Julie O’Neal, a manager with Young Peoples Ministries.
“In small and large group experiences, participants will interact with GBOD staff in Young People’s Ministries and colleagues in settings near them,” she said. “Whether you work with youth, young adults or both, The ’SOURCE is not to be missed.”
GBOD staffers will facilitate the sessions, which include worship, a plenary titled “Leadership: The Big Picture,” snapshot sessions and closing worship.
The Saturday session costs $25 and includes lunch. The half-day retreat on Sunday is $10 (lunch not included).

Registration and hotel information are available at or by contacting Micki McCorkle at or 615-340-1797 or Sarah Smith at or 615-340-1780.


United Methodist Student Day prepares students to unite faith with knowledge

Every year, students report that tuition costs are increasing. For many United Methodist students, the continuous increase places an enormous financial burden that many cannot assume. However, through the United Methodist Student Day offering, United Methodists can prepare students to unite faith with knowledge

In 1866 a special fund was established for the advanced education of Sunday school children and the educational preparation of people for ministry and missionary service. The 1940 General Conference established Methodist Student Day with a churchwide offering. The 1968 Uniting Conference continued this connectional student-aid program to be funded by the United Methodist Student Day offering. Dates for taking the offering have changed through the years.

Each year, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry awards scholarships and loans to students attending United Methodist and other accredited colleges and universities through the United Methodist Student Day offering. In addition, a portion of the United Methodist Student Day offering is returned to annual conferences for merit scholarship awards to students of their choosing.

For many students, this financial assistance is critical to attaining higher education. Each year the number of applicants continues to rise, furthering the need for more financial assistance. Imagine being able to provide assistance for everyone. That is the goal of United Methodist Student Day.

Nov. 30 is the designated National Methodist Student Day. Theoffering can be received at any time, however.

Offerings award scholarships and loans to students attending United Methodist and other accredited colleges and universities. In 2007, the United Methodist Student Day offering totaled $602,309.

More information about the offering is available at by clicking on the United Methodist Student Day link under special Sundays on the right-hand menu bar.


Families invited to spend New Year’s on the island

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — Epworth By The Sea in St. Simon’s Island, Ga., is preparing a family celebration for New Year’s Eve weekend Dec. 31-Jan. 2.

The weekend entertainment will feature songwriter and recording artist Anna Moo, juggler Ron Anglin and storyteller Betty Ann Wylie, performing artists for the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta. Tiffany Flavell, volunteer with the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, will also be a guest speaker.

The weekend will feature a holiday bonfire, sports field and basketball courts on campus, bike rentals, pier fishing (gear not provided), and campus TV tuned to football games.

Directions to Epworth by the Sea, details and registration information are available at or by calling 912-638-8688.

Epworth by the Sea is a Christian conference and retreat center overlooking the Frederica River on St. Simons Island.


Summer Collegium study opportunity announced

By Marilyn Johns**

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Applications are now being accepted for the Summer Collegium, a Lilly Endowment project in support of small congregations. 

Twenty-five clergy and their spouses/partners from all Christian denominations will be invited to spend nine days at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Va., focusing on “Body, Mind, and Soul: Celebrating, Strengthening and Sustaining Clergy Wholeness in Small Congregations.”  

The Summer Collegium takes place June 24-July 1, and applications must be postmarked by Dec. 15 to be considered. 

All expenses for the event, including travel, meals, lodging, books, pulpit supply and child care at home are paid for by the grant. 

More information and an application packet are available at or by calling Marilyn Johns at 703-461-1760.


Workshop focuses on creative possibilities for visual arts

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — “Our Church:  An Artful Experience?” is a liturgical arts seminar featuring Catherine Kapikian that will be offered at Epworth By The Sea, St. Simons Island, Ga., Feb. 16-18

Kapikian is the director of the Henry Luce III Center for the Arts and Religion at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. Kapikian’s fabric art, featuring paraments, vestments, banners, tapestries and fiber with wood installations, can be seen in a variety of worship spaces inclusive of every major Christian denomination, interfaith military chapels and synagogues.

Workshop presenters and their focus include the Rev. Sonny Mason, “Heavenly Spaces”; Rev. Dr. Ann Laird Jones, “Pottery — Sacramental Vessels”; Rev. Mary Callaway Logan, “Secret Aqueduct”; and the worship committee of St. Simons United Methodist Church, “Visual Arts in the Church.” 

A brochure with agenda and online registration is available at by clicking on Epworth events schedule and scrolling to the event date.

Rates, which include two nights at Pitts/Booth Motel, six meals, the registration fee and tax, are $371.70 per person, single occupancy, or $314.90 per person, double occupancy.

Program details are available by contacting Donna Chisholm at 912-638-8688 or


Alternative spring break event helps feed America’s hungry

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — Harvest of Hope and Society of St. Andrew, a Christian ministry dedicated to gleaning America’s fields and feeding those in the United States who do not have enough to eat, announce a new missions opportunity for students called Harvest of Hope Alternative Spring Break.

Interested individuals can glean food and learn about the hunger issue in America, all in the warmth of the Florida sun. Those attending will work hard and play hard during the week, while doing something about hunger together.

This gleaning event will take place March 8-14 at The Mission Place in Jacksonville. Fla. It is open to all college students, chaplains and club advisors. The cost is $150 per person (scholarships available as needed).

More information about the Society of St. Andrew is available at Registration details and more information about the spring break opportunity are available by contacting Harvest of Hope Director Sarah Nagy at


*Parham is managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**Alsgaard is director of communications for the Florida Conference.
   Johns is project manager for The Summer Collegium at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Va.
   Kelley is subscription manager, photographer and contributing writer for e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
   Pancoast is program manager at the Warren W. Willis United Methodist Camp in Fruitland Park.
   Zeigler is the director of lay leadership development for the General Board of Discipleship.