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Opportunities — Oct. 10, 2008 {0925}

Opportunities — Oct. 10, 2008 {0925}

e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service

Opportunities — Oct. 10, 2008

Oct. 10, 2008    News media contact: Tita Parham* 
800-282-8011    Orlando {0925}

An e-Review News Item

This series includes:

• Florida bishop offers inaugural lecture at Asbury Seminary
• Weekend retreat focuses on day camp ministry
• Women celebrate pathway to joy
• Women’s Retreat design team members invited to reunion
• 2009 Spanishtown offers immersion experience
• Evangelism grant requests being accepted

• 2009 Congress on Evangelism focuses on five practices of fruitful congregations
• Worship, music, preaching from the center retreat held in Nashville


Florida bishop offers inaugural lecture at Asbury Seminary

By Caryl Kelley**

LAKELAND — Thanks to generous annual funding by the family of John and Clair Evans of Oviedo, Asbury Theological Seminary’s Florida campus, located at 8401 Valencia College Lane in Orlando, will offer The Evans Lectures, featuring renowned theologians and church leaders. 

Florida Conference Bishop Timothy W. Whitaker will give the inaugural lecture Oct. 21 at 1 p.m.

“Throughout church history, bishops have been viewed as primary theologians for the church,” said Dr. Steve Harper, vice president of the Florida campus. “I want to represent that in our inaugural lecture, and I know of no finer person to do it than Bishop Whitaker." 

The lectureship is in memory of John Evans and in honor of Claire Evans, two long-time Methodist leaders in the Florida Conference and First United Methodist Church in Oviedo. 

Clergy and laity throughout the conference are invited to attend.


Weekend retreat focuses on day camp ministry

By Melinda Trotti**

LAKELAND — All day camp ministry leaders in the Florida Conference are invited to the Life Enrichment Center in Fruitland Park Nov. 21-22 to worship, celebrate, network and plan for the future of day camping in the Florida Conference.

The weekend will be led and sponsored by the conference justice and spiritual formation ministries and camps and retreat ministries.
As a result of a similar gathering held last year, the conference launched this summer’s mission intern program (, offered a spring day camp leaders’ training day, offered a full summer day camping curriculum to all who requested it, increased connection among day camping leaders and between day camping leaders and United Methodist volunteer groups, and offered day camp staff training.

Mark Thomas, director of the Florida Conference Ministry Protection Department, also provided via conference call information on liability and insurance issues related to day camping. Another conference call offered information on building ecumenical partnerships. 
The cost of the event is covered through grant money given by the Florida Conference Leadership Connection to support the development of day camp and summer feeding programs throughout the conference.

Individuals interested in attending are asked to contact Jeannie Jacques at Participants will be booked in a room with another person of the same gender unless requesting to stay with someone attending the event with them.

The Life Enrichment Center is located at 4991 Picciola Road, Fruitland Park, FL 34731.


Women celebrate pathway to joy

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — Women who would like a time of renewal away from their homse, children, families and jobs are invited to the 25th Annual Florida Conference Women’s Retreats at the Life Enrichment Center in Fruitland Park.

“This will not only be a special time (for women) to come away from your busy world to spend time with our Lord, but a time of celebration, filled with joy, laughter and love,” says Karen Sutherland, the retreats’ design team chairwoman.

Women have the choice of attending any of four weekends, each of which will have a keynote speaker, a Bible study leader and special music. This year’s retreat theme is “Celebrate: Pathway to Joy.”

The first weekend, Jan. 23-25, features the Rev. Geraldine McClellan as keynote speaker and Jody Parks Moxley as Bible study leader. The second weekend, Feb. 6-8, features Jan McCray as keynote speaker and the Rev. Sharon Dey as Bible study leader.

Weekend three, Feb. 20-22, features Maisie Hartsfield as keynote speaker and Crystal Barham as Bible study leader, and weekend four March 6-8 features the Rev. Jackie MacMillan as keynote speaker and Triss Masters as Bible study leader.

Each retreat weekend includes several opportunities for enrichment classes. Some of the workshop titles include Singles, Inspire to Inquire, Laughing Through Adversity, Path to Wholeness, Finding Joy in the Journey and Caretakers for Parents. Every weekend include a Make It Take It class.

The cost for a weekend varies according to the housing choice. Price options for those staying on campus also include five meals. The event brochure with housing and price options is available on the Florida Conference Web site at by clicking the Women’s Retreat 2009 graphic on the front page. The brochure includes descriptions of leaders and enrichment classes, a daily schedule and registration form.

Online registration is also available at http://www.flumc by clicking the “calendar” tab at the top of the home page and then “event brochures.” The four weekend retreats are listed there.

Those who do not have Internet access may contact Heidi Leab at 800-282-8011, extension 192, to request a brochure.


Women’s Retreat design team members invited to reunion

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — All former Women’s Retreat design team members are invited to gather for a reunion celebration Feb. 20-22 during the third weekend of the 2009 Women’s Retreats.

The celebration will be dedicated to all former design team members and the faithful services they have given as design team members. It will be a time to celebrate both the spiritual journeys of past weekends and those of the future, and all attendees will have the opportunity to share with other team members what it has meant to be part of the Women’s Retreat ministry.

A link to the complete brochure for all four 2009 Women’s Retreat weekends — Jan. 23-25, Feb. 6-8 and 20-22, and March 6-8 — is available on the Florida Conference Web site at by clicking the Women’s Retreat 2009 graphic on the front page. Online registration is also available by clicking the “calendar” tab on the conference home page, and then choosing “event brochures.” The four weekend retreats are listed there.

Questions regarding the 25th reunion of design team members may be directed to Kay Roach at or 850-875-2627.


2009 Spanishtown offers immersion experience

By Icel Rodriguez**

LAKELAND — Individuals who would like to enhance their Spanish-speaking skills are invited to “Spanishtown,” a weeklong immersion experience March 16-21 at the Life Enrichment Center in Fruitland Park.

Spanishtown brings “pilgrims” (students) and “guides” (mentors) together for a week of “all Spanish, all the time.” Any lay or clergy participant from any Christian tradition may apply for admission to the program.

A basic proficiency in Spanish is required, which typically means the equivalent of two or more years of high school or college Spanish. Anyone who can carry on a simple conversation in Spanish about interests, family or life experience is ready for Spanishtown.

The main goal of Spanishtown is to equip church participants for effective cross-cultural ministry in the name and spirit of Jesus Christ. The program offers an environment where those who have been studying Spanish will overcome shyness and fears and will be able to communicate with confidence.

The weeklong program includes five hours each day of one-on-one conversation, devotionals, group dynamics, a field trip and sharing of traditions and culture.

The cost of room, board and tuition is $850 with a $50 discount for United Methodists. Continuing education credit units can be earned.

Interested individuals may obtain more information by contacting Icel Rodríguez at 800-282-8011, extension 182, or


Evangelism grant requests being accepted

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — The Florida Conference AC 70 Committee, established by the Foundation on Evangelism, is now accepting grant proposal requests for evangelism outreach initiatives from Florida Conference churches.

In 2008 and 2009, grants of up to $3,000 will be given to help congregations with servant evangelism, hospitality ministries, a special evangelism outreach event or evangelism training in their churches.

Grant requests are being accepted from small to medium sized churches, which includes those with an average weekly attendance of 250 or less. Approximately 74 percent of the conference’s churches fall into that category, according to the 2007 Florida Conference Journal.

Grant proposals will be accepted until Nov. 30, and grants will be awarded in December 2008. Grants for applications received between Nov. 30 and Feb. 23 will be awarded in March.

Applications should include the goals, strategies, target group, budget, timeline and the amount of financing the church is providing for the specified initiative.

Applications should be sent to the Rev. Dr. David L. Brazelton, Mandarin United Methodist Church, 11270 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville, FL 32223.

Questions should also be directed to Brazelton at 904-268-5549 or


2009 Congress on Evangelism focuses on five practices of fruitful congregations

By Council on Evangelism Staff

The Congress on Evangelism Jan. 6-9 “strives to prepare and equip leaders, both mentally and spiritually, to fulfill the mission of the church to ‘make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world,’ ” said Dr. David Kerr, Council on Evangelism president.

“This year’s Congress,” Kerr said, “is responding to requests to provide tools for use in the local church by offering a thorough presentation of the concepts contained in ‘Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations,’ by Bishop Robert Schnase.”

Participants will receive a copy of the book for use while attending workshops offered by Schnase, Mike Slaughter and Kent Millard, among others.
In addition to these large workshops, small group workshops are offered on a broad range of topics, including Internet in ministry, prayer, creative ways to do evangelism on a tight budget and development of a ministry plan based upon individual church DNA. Tool kits to equip the local church leader for ministry to young people — confirmation through campus and young adult ministry — have also been developed.
The congress will be held at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tenn. Individuals wanting more information or to register for the event may visit or call the registrar at 828-454-6800.
The Congress on Evangelism is a program of the Council on Evangelism, an affiliate of the General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church.


Worship, music, preaching from the center retreat held in Nashville

By Dean McIntyre**

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The General Board of Discipleship’s Discipleship University presents a time of learning and retreat for United Methodist pastors, worship leaders and musicians Jan. 15-18.

Pastors, worship leaders or anyone involved in music in The United Methodist Church are invited to attend alone or as a team.

The retreat is limited to the first 50 pastors and first 50 musicians staying on campus and additional commuters as space is available to accommodate them. The cancellation policy is on the registration page at

The event will be held at The United Methodist General Board of Discipleship in Nashville Tenn. Overnight accommodations and meals will be available at Scarritt-Bennett Center (, 1008 19 Ave. S., Nashville, TN 37212-2166 — across the street from The General Board of Discipleship and The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, adjoining the Vanderbilt University campus and Nashville’s famous “Music Row.”

This event is part retreat and part study. Retreat planners recognize the need for church workers to have a time away from their churches, choirs, duties and congregations — a time to regenerate, recharge and re-form; a time when they can relax and be themselves without the continual pressures imposed by local church ministry. It’s also a time for learning, encountering new friends and ideas, and being challenged by excellent speakers.

The retreat will include speakers, music reading sessions, worship, a tour of The United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH) with lunch, and a visit to the flagship Cokesbury Store across from UMPH and The Upper Room Chapel, museum and bookstore. There will also be one evening’s free time to experience Nashville.

The retreat will provide rest and relaxation, spiritual formation and renewal, plus some new ideas, materials and tools to take home for future pastoral and music ministry. Attendees will also meet some of the staff of the the General Board of Discipleship, The Upper Room, The United Methodist Publishing House, Abingdon Press, Cokesbury, General Board of Global Ministries, Global Praise and The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts.

The cost is $305, including registration, lodging and meals on the Scarritt-Bennett campus, as well as all event sessions and materials. The fee does not include transportation to or from the event or any expense for the Friday evening meal or optional evening out.

Double rooms are available for individuals who are traveling with a companion. Registrants must notify the registrar if they wish to reserve a double sleeping room.

The commuter registration fee is $110 for all or any part of the retreat. This includes Friday lunch at The United Methodist Publishing House, but does not include lodging or any other meals. Commuter meals in the Scarritt-Bennett dining hall are available by prior reservation and payment.

Additional information may be obtained by contacting Jeannie Musterman, event registrar, at 877-899-2780, extension 7070, or


*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.
   McEntire is director of music resources at the General Board of Discipleship, Nashville, Tenn.
   Rodriguez is associate director of Global Mission and Justice Ministries for the Florida Conference.
   Trotti is director of justice and spiritual formation ministries for the Florida Conference.