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Opportunities — Jan. 26, 2009 {0965}

Opportunities — Jan. 26, 2009 {0965}


e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service



An e-Review News Item | Jan. 26, 2009 {0965}

This series includes:

• Evangelism grant requests still being accepted
• Couples ‘walk with Jesus’ at spiritual retreat
• Retreat center programs bring out creative talents
• Cornerstone Family Ministries Wonder Walk date changed
• Volunteers needed for conference summer camp ministry
• Outreach ministry offers free tutor training


• Special Sunday offering provides humanitarian aid
• Event challenges churches to be caretakers of creation
• Conference offers young adults mission encounter
• Web training available in Little Rock
• Free online Web ministry course offered by communications agency
• Biennial worship, preaching convocation takes place in Orlando
• Youth invited to help storm survivors in Louisiana



Evangelism grant requests still being accepted

By e-Review Staff

LAKELAND — The Florida Conference AC-70 Committee, established by the Foundation on Evangelism, has just finished distributing $21,475 in grants to eight Florida Conference churches.

The grants, each totaling up to $3,200, were awarded to small membership churches to support servant evangelism and hospitality ministries, special evangelism outreach events, or evangelism training being undertaken by the churches.

Funds are still available, and the committee is encouraging more small membership churches to apply immediately for the one-time grants for an evangelism outreach ministry through their congregations. The deadline to apply is Feb. 23. Grants will be awarded in March.

Small to medium-sized churches are those with an average weekly attendance of 250 or less. Approximately 74 percent of the conference’s churches fall in that category, according to the 2007 Florida Conference Journal.

Individuals may obtain more information or request a grant application by contacting the Rev. Dr. David L. Brazelton, pastor at Mandarin United Methodist Church in Jacksonville, at 904-268-5549 or Applications should include goals, strategies, target group, budget, timeline and the amount of financing the church is providing for the specified initiative.

Applications should be mailed to Brazelton at 11270 San Jose Boulevard, Jacksonville, 32223.


Couples ‘walk with Jesus’ at spiritual retreat

By Caryl Kelley**

LAKELAND — The Florida Conference United Methodist Men are sponsoring two couple’s retreats in March at the Life Enrichment Center in Fruitland Park.

Themed “Walking With Jesus,” the retreats offer couples the opportunity to spend time away from their everyday responsibilities so they can focus on each other and God. Inspirational speakers, music and group discussion are featured each weekend.

Retreat leaders for the March 13-15 retreat are the Revs. Philip Short, senior pastor at First United Methodist Church, Stuart; Jaquie Leveron, associate pastor at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, West Palm Beach; and Tom Farmer, retired Florida Conference pastor. Ross Kimura will lead music, and Don Taylor will share his insight into the Jewish roots of Christians as leader of the weekend’s enrichment opportunity. Leveron will lead the discussion group option, titled “The Power of Forgiveness.”

Retreat leaders for the second weekend, March 20-22, are John Riley and the Revs. David Stauffer, senior pastor at Faith United Methodist Church, Ft. Myers, and Debbie Nelson, pastor at Ridge Manor United Methodist Church. Lenee Schroeder will lead the music; the discussion topics are spiritual disciplines and self-care. The enrichment opportunity is “Women of the Bible,” a dramatic portrayal of 12 characters in the Old and New Testaments.

The cost for each weekend, including room and meals, is $279 per couple staying at the Life Enrichment Center. Fees for the family campground and for Saturday only are posted on the Florida United Methodist Men’s Web site at under retreat information and then 2009 Couple’s Spiritual Retreat.

More information is available by calling 877-815-3692.


Retreat center programs bring out creative talents

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — The Life Enrichment Center in Fruitland Park — part of the Florida Conference camp and retreat ministries — offers numerous program opportunities in 2009, many designed to bring out participants’ creative talents.
Photography as a Medium for Spiritual Growth is March 8-10. During this program participants will use photography to express themselves in prayer and engage in a journey of spiritual growth.

Searching for Birds, Butterflies and Other Critters is March 8-13. This small group bird watching week will venture into the area’s distinctive ecosystem, offering birding opportunities each day.

Grandparents & Me Camp retreats are June 22-25, June 29-July 2 and July 20-23. This half-week camp for grandparents and their grandchildren ages 5-12 offers opportunities to share and learn together. Themed “Pray,” the camp is designed to help campers learn about prayer through reflection on five biblical texts and from each other. Participants will engage in different prayer forms, worship and a variety of activities. All will be encouraged to see God at work in every aspect of life and discover how God is alive through all people.
Several three-day scrapbooking events will offer participants the opportunity to creatively express their faith journeys through a medium that can be shared with family and friends.

Scrapbooking Get Away March 27-29 is for those who have photos, scrapbooking supplies and the desire to make scrapbooks to tell their stories, but never the time to complete their projects. Participants will scrapbook, enjoy fellowship with others and learn new scrapbooking techniques.

Scrapbooking Your Faith June 5-7 offers biblical references that show the importance of passing on personal faith stories to future generations and explores ways to accomplish that goal. Participants will work on scrapbook page layouts together, using photographs that express their faith journeys.
Scrapbooking Your Heritage April 24-26 will help participants learn about genealogical resources, preserving old photographs, using historical documents and newspaper clippings, different techniques and styles for heritage pages, and other tips for chronicling their family’s history. Leaders will help with page layouts, using participant’s photographs, documents and other historical artifacts. Participants will learn ways to use scrapbooking to share their family history with future generations.
At the Stamping and Card Making retreat Aug. 14-16 participants will learn such creative techniques as stamping, chalking, paper tearing, layering, and adding ribbons and buttons.

Registration information and printable brochures for each event are available at by choosing Life Enrichment Center and then “events” under The Life Enrichment Center Programs 2009 link.
More information on these and developing programs at the Life Enrichment Center is available by calling 866-UMCAMPS (selecting option #2) or 352-787-0313.


Cornerstone Family Ministries Wonder Walk date changed

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — The 29th Annual Cornerstone Family Ministries Wonder Walk will now be held March 21, 8 a.m.-noon, instead of its original date March 28 in order to avoid a conflict with SHARE Florida D-Day.

The walk will begin at Hyde Park United Methodist Church, 500 W. Platt St., Tampa, and proceed down Bayshore Blvd.

All proceeds from the event will benefit at-risk children served by the Rosa Valdez and Cuscaden Centers. The fund-raising goal is $140,000.

Cornerstone Family Ministries works with more than 25,000 families each month across Florida through programs in early intervention child care, pre-school education for at-risk children, nutrition programs, housing for seniors, cultural arts in underserved communities and a statewide food network.

The Wonder Walk provides the funds to serve approximately 110 children weekly. All donations will be part of that assistance.

More information is available at


Volunteers needed for conference summer camp ministry

By Erik Alsgaard**

LAKELAND — The Warren W. Willis United Methodist summer camp ministry is in need of individuals to serve in various capacities this summer.

Camp coordinators are seeking a team pastor to minister to and facilitate the spiritual growth of counselors serving on the 2009 camp leadership team. Applicants must be college graduates who are in seminary or seeking vocation in The United Methodist Church. They must also have leadership experience and a passion for college students. A United Methodist background and experience at a Christian residential camp is preferred. More information is available by calling 352-787-4345.
Each summer, the camp hires two nurses each week to serve in ministry to campers, team members and adult volunteers. The camp is looking for individuals who are registered nurses or licensed practical nurses who would be interested in serving one or several weeks during the summer.
The summer camp program’s youth leadership team includes high school seniors and college students from around the state who have a passion for Christ and sharing that passion with children and youth. The camp hires approximately 100 college students to work at the camp each summer for 11 weeks. Those who are accepted on the leadership team will develop new leadership skills, explore vocational possibilities and begin to better understand the larger picture of the church as they work with others in this ministry.

The leadership team makes each day at camp happen by serving as lifeguards; teaching small groups, crafts and waterfront activities; leading games, devotions and music; and building life-changing relationships with campers. This is a 24-hour-a-day job with campers five days each week.

Some of the qualities needed in team members are a sacrificial spirit; a faith in Christ and an openness to other theological interpretations; specialty skills related to such areas as computers, sailing, photography, dance and instruments; a willing spirit to do anything that needs to be done; the ability to work as part of a team; a flexible spirit that is willing to make changes; and an understanding of appropriate behavior, language and activities.
Each team member will serve May 28-Aug. 9 and receive room and board and a minimum of $1,675 for the summer.

Applications for all positions and more information are available at on the drop-down menu from the “Warren Willis Summer Camps” tab at the top of the page.


Outreach ministry offers free tutor training

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — United Methodist Cooperative Ministries, a Florida Conference outreach ministry based in Clearwater, is sponsoring free training for individuals who would like tutor people who speak English as a second language. No previous teaching experience is needed.

The training is Feb. 21 and 28, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Pinellas Park Library, 7770 52nd St. N., Pinellas Park, 33781.

Training materials will be included, and classes will be enhanced with additional online training. Upon completion of training and certification, tutors will be assigned to one of nine sites in Pinellas County.     

Details and registration information are available by contacting Pam Qualls, volunteer coordinator, at 727-442-6881, extension 5, or visiting


Special Sunday offering provides humanitarian aid

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — Through The United Methodist Church’s six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings, United Methodists have annual opportunities to make a difference in people’s lives beyond their regular gifts to their church.

General Conference created these six unique Special Sundays to help congregations work with communities, rebuild shattered lives, strengthen self-sufficiency, encourage partnerships, nurture Native American ministries, model peace and justice, provide scholarships and loans for United Methodist students, and much more.

The next Special Sunday of 2009 is One Great Hour of Sharing March 22.

Necessities of life include food, shelter and clothing; however, many people around the world lack these basic necessities. The One Great Hour of Sharing offering makes providing those necessities to people in need a reality.

When a catastrophe occurs, church offerings to One Great of Sharing enable the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to reach out and ease people’s pain and suffering by providing humanitarian aid in the form of food, shelter, health and peace.

By giving to One Great Hour of Sharing, church members enable UMCOR to keep the promise that 100 percent of designated gifts go to specified causes. Unlike other mission programs, UMCOR receives no World Service or other apportionment money. This is why faithful support of the One Great Hour of Sharing offering is crucial. God calls everyone to be the hands, heart and hope of the church for people who are suffering. Through One Great Hour of Sharing, churches are enabled to answer that call.

Many resources supporting each of the Special Sunday offerings are available online. Support materials include bulletin inserts, worship litanies, hymns and scriptures, children’s sermons, and stories about people who have been helped through the special offerings.

Those resources are available at by selecting Connectional Giving Programs – Special Sundays on the side menu. There is a link to each Sunday and a downloadable brochure to order printed resources. Individuals may also visit the online store for additional free resources or place orders by calling 888-346-3862.


Event challenges churches to be caretakers of creation

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND —The Christian faith challenges all its members to be caretakers of the Earth, but helping members of faith communities learn how to be good caretakers is often taken for granted.

Lake Junaluska Conference & Retreat Center is offering a three-day, two-night event March 5-8 for those who want to discuss practical ways to offer environmental justice.

The Caring for Creation event will provide biblical, theological and practical support for people and churches that want to be ecologically friendly. Workshops and speakers will focus on many environmental areas, and a practical and easy approach to caring for creation will be provided. Participants will gain a vast knowledge of earth care, ranging from mapping an ecological footprint to planning Earth Day celebrations.

Housing will be at the Lambuth Inn at Lake Junaluska, N.C. Housing and meal packages have been arranged for the event. Information is available at by choosing events, spring and then Caring for Creation. A link to a downloadable brochure is included in the registration section, along with a list of leaders, schedule and workshop details.

Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in three of 15 workshops dealing with such topics as how to measure a carbon footprint, what the church can do about global warming, how changing a light bulb can affect global warming, the information provided through an energy audit, where food is grown in relation to where people live, why turning off appliances and computers when not in use is important, what the Bible says about caring for the Earth, what constitutes a sustainable community, why people should be concerned about water and the true costs of “going green.”

More information is available by contacting Loy Lilley at the Good Word Resource Center at or 828-454-6750.


Conference offers young adults mission encounter

By Angela Cunigan**

WALLINS CREEK, Ky. — The Red Bird Missionary Conference in Kentucky is offering two Mission Encounter Weeks for young adults who have finished 11th grade up to age 25. 

Held July 19-25 and July 26-Aug. 1, the weeklong events offer interested young adults the opportunity to work with others from around the United States and focus on the calling of missions.

Teams will spend the week working on a variety of projects and seeing missions from many angles. Each day, teams will spend time in worship with several of the conference’s Associate in Missions pastors and staff members.

The weeks are sponsored at Camp O’Cumberlands, the Red Bird Conference’s camp. Each week is limited to 25 people. The cost, which includes food, housing and team supplies, is $400.  Participants are responsible for their own transportation to and from the camp.

More information and an application are available at or by contacting Angela Cunigan at or 606-664-2909.


Web training available in Little Rock

By United Methodist Communications Staff

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — United Methodist Communications (UMCom) invites all pastors and church communicators to attend the “Weaving a Web of Connections” training Feb. 21 at Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Ark.

This one-day training event covers the basics of Web ministry and introduces many free or low-cost tools to develop a dynamic Web presence that can help fulfill the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. UMCom is pleased to partner with the Arkansas Conference communications office to provide this opportunity.

For a program fee of $75 participants receive a full day of interactive presentations from seasoned Web and Internet technology practitioners, a comprehensive information packet, a continental breakfast, catered lunch, two snack breaks and nearly eight hours of networking, ideas sharing and vital Web ministry best practices, tools and tricks of the trade to jump-start local church Web ministries. Participants can also earn 0.7 continuing education units for full participation.
Any participant of a Weaving a Web of Connections training event qualifies for a special promotion to receive a significant discount on the new Web Ministry series of online courses, a savings of $100 for the four-part series. Details will be available at the training event. This is an exclusive offer to training participants only.

Individuals may register for Weaving a Web of Connections until Feb. 15. Space is limited to 100 participants. Online registration information is available by contacting United Methodist Communications at 615-742-5400.

More information about the training is available by contacting Cheryl A. Hemmerle at 888-278-4862, sending an e-mail to or by visiting Information about other Web ministry training events, online courses and networking opportunities is also available on the site.


Free online Web ministry course offered by communications agency

By United Methodist Communications Staff

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — United Methodist Communications is offering a new, free online course called “What Is Web Ministry?”

This self-directed, five-part online course is designed to provide foundational information and the biblical and theological basis for developing a Web ministry for the local church. It is the first in a new Web Ministry series of online courses that will prepare participants to create and maintain a dynamic Web ministry.

Individuals who would like more information or to register for the course may visit and select the “more” button in the “What is Web Ministry?” description.

The Web Ministry series of online courses is offered by The United Methodist Church and provided by United Methodist Communications. Other courses offered include:

“Turning Connectional Living into Connectional Giving,” open through Feb. 18 — offers an overview of how the people of The United Methodist Church make ministry possible through connectional giving;

“RETHINK CHURCH Welcoming Training” Jan. 21-Mach 4 — helps local churches become more welcoming and seeker-sensitive;

“The Four Areas of Focus” beginning Feb. 1 — provides an overview of the Four Areas of Focus of The United Methodist Church: leadership development, church growth, ministry with the poor and global health; and

“United Methodism 101” Feb. 4-March 18 — provides an overview of The United Methodist Church, its history and beliefs.
More information is available by contacting Cheryl A. Hemmerle at 888-278-4862, sending an e-mail to or visiting


Biennial worship, preaching convocation takes place in Orlando

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — Clergy and lay speakers are encouraged to register for Preaching from the Center 2009, held this year in conjunction with IMAGINATION 2009, the biennial convocation of the Fellowship of United Methodist Musicians in Music and Worship Arts (FUMMWA) July 13-16 in Orlando.

IMAGINATION 2009 is for pastors, musicians, artists, dancers, dramatists and anyone who seeks to create more effective and inspired worship for their communities of faith.

This biennial event focuses on large group experiences, worship services, concerts and plenary sessions. New “Imagination Stations” will also provide opportunities for participants to work in smaller sessions on specific topics.

The concurrent “Preaching from the Center” track features a one-day pre-event with Dr. Barbara Lundblad of Union Theological Seminary in New York and instructional sessions with John Bell of the Iona Community, Dr. Jana Childers of San Francisco Theological Seminary and staff of the General Board of Discipleship’s Center for Worship Resourcing.

More information about the schedule, leadership and registration is available at by choosing the Biennial Convocation 2009 link.

Registration fees include $260 for FUMMWA members and those attending with members (Jan. 1- May 30); $315 for non-members (includes one year of membership in FUMMWA); $75 for intensive classes July 13 (9 a.m.-3 p.m., lunch included); $99 for youth registration (students 20 years and under interested in worship arts and attending the adult program); $50 for guest registration (limited number for spouse/companion/family members, including registration badge and worship participation, but not class or plenary sessions.); a $150 meal package (six meals, breaks and receptions, paid by all attendees) and $50 for an optional bus pass.

More information is available by contacting Dean McIntyre, United Methodist Hymnal revision project co-editor and director of music resources at the General Board of Discipleship in Nashville, Tenn., at or 877-899-2780, extension 7073.

The General Board of Discipleship Web site is; its worship Web site is


Youth invited to help storm survivors in Louisiana

By Laurie Byland**

BATON ROUGE, La. — On Sept. 1, 2008, Hurricane Gustav ripped through South Louisiana, and Terrebonne Parish experienced the eye of the storm. As a strong Category 2 hurricane, Gustav’s 115-mile per hour winds pushed a 12-foot storm surge into coastal Louisiana. 

Less than two weeks later, Hurricane Ike, the third most destructive hurricane in U.S. history, came ashore in Louisiana. Ike’s nine-foot storm surge inundated hundreds of miles of coastline and thousands of homes in south Louisiana, re-flooding several homes that had already been damaged by Katrina, Rita and Gustav. Together, these storms have devastated the southern part of Louisiana, leaving thousands in need of help.

In response to the devastating damage, First United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge, La., has created Terrebonne Area Restoration Project (TARP). The church has participated in several mission projects over the last 25 years and is the creator of Project NOAH, a hurricane relief effort that has involved more than 2,000 people from across the country and rebuilt more than 30 homes in the New Orleans area following Hurricane Katrina. TARP is the newest youth mission opportunity being offered by the church. 

TARP provides an opportunity for teens 14 and older to participate in the home repair and restoration of those affected by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike. Through their efforts, multiple homes in the Terrebonne area will be restored this summer.

TARP invites youth to the home of Cajun culture and the heart of America’s wetland, where homes and lives must now be rebuilt. Youth volunteers who commit one week of their summer to serve with TARP will have the opportunity to apply their faith in life-changing ways by sharing Christ’s love through their words and actions. Volunteers will be immersed in a cross-cultural setting and encouraged to build new relationships across generations, among people from other racial groups and with those from other denominations.

After each day’s work, volunteers will experience a true Louisiana-style celebration, followed by a time for reflection and worship. Designed with the hope of transforming hearts and minds, the TARP experience will not only change the lives of hurricane victims, but also the lives of those who serve.

TARP volunteers will stay in the Terrebonne area and work at one of several work sites recommended by Louisiana Conference Disaster Response Inc. TARP runs June 14-Aug. 1

TARP is now accepting applications from interested youth groups. More information is available by visiting


News media contact: Tita Parham, 800-282-8011,, Orlando

*Parham is managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**Alsgaard is director of communications for the Florida Conference.
   Byland is director of Terrebonne Area Restoration Project (TARP), based at First United Methodist Church in Baton Rouge, La.
   Cunigan is director of Camp O’Cumberlands in Wallins Creek, Ky.
   Kelley is subscription manager, photographer and contributing writer for e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.