Main Menu



e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service


An e-Review News Item | June 6, 2009 {1028}

This series includes:

• United Methodist Women gather ‘at the table’

• Youth invited to create logo for international fund
• Burning Bush revises format
• Discipleship institute offers online workshops
• Conference for preachers, leaders in worship arts held at Disney World Resort
• Committee provides grants for intergenerational, caregiving ministries
• Lake Junaluska re-establishes academy for older adult ministry
• ARRA grants available to states to strengthen nonprofits
• Abrahamic faiths unite for peace
• Seminaries, boards launch Methodist Review
• DVD, new books help those in, interested in ordained ministry
• General agency seeks churches of the week


United Methodist Women gather ‘at the table’

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND, Fla. — The theme “Together at the Table” incorporates the three study emphases that will be featured in July at the 2009 School of Christian Mission at Florida Southern College in Lakeland.

“For generations the table has been an important symbol for the gathered community. It is around the table that food is shared, discussions are held, decisions are made, crafts are created and board games are played,” the school’s brochure reads. “As Christians, we are reminded of the significance of the table in Jesus’ life and ministry. …”

Participants will study one of three tracks during a weekend school July 21-24 or a weeklong school July 24-26. The tracks include Food and Faith (spiritual growth study), Giving Our Hearts Away: Native American Survival (issue study) and The Beauty and Courage of SUDAN: Why a Dream of Peace is Possible (geographic study).

The weekend cost is $95 before July 7 or $105 after that date; the cost of the weeklong school is $140 for the early fee or $150 after July 7; commuter fees are $35, early rate, or $45. Costs include a double occupancy room, meals and program fees.

More information and registration forms for adults, youth and children are available at

Questions may be directed to Roberta Lau, dean of the school, at or 727-595-9714.


Youth invited to create logo for international fund

By Kathy L. Gilbert**

A team of United Methodists working in an office in Nashville is looking to youth for some divine inspiration.

United Methodist students, grades 6 to 12, are invited to design a new logo for the Youth Service Fund administered by The United Methodist Division on Ministries with Young People. The contest is open from May 1 to July 31.

The Youth Service Fund is a grant program funded by youth for youth service projects. In 2009, grants went to projects from Detroit to Kenya.

A good example of the type of projects that benefit from YSF is Immanuel Deaf Youth Outreach headquartered in Nairobi. This program run from within Immanuel Church brings the gospel of Jesus Christ to a deaf community of more than 3,000 youth. A group of United Methodist deaf youth members from the church started the program in 2004 because the majority of deaf youth do not attend any church services.

“I know there are talented young people out there; tons of you! I just want to encourage ANYBODY to enter a drawing,” said Sarah Smith, grants administrator for the division.

Mark Jones, who was then a senior in high school, designed the current logo in 1992. He used Matthew 10:16 as inspiration for his dove design. “The dove is a symbol of peace ... what every Christian youth in the world hopes for. The chance for world peace is in the hands of today's youth, and I know we can achieve it,” he said.

Inspiration can come from anywhere as long as it represents the global nature of the fund, Smith said.

“Many of the projects funded by Youth Service Fund would not have been possible without this funding source,” said the Rev. Michael Ratliff, top executive of the young people’s division. “In addition, because of the way this program is structured, even the application process is an opportunity for young people to grow in their relationship with one another and to clarify what it is they are trying to accomplish.”

A panel of young people will judge all designs. The winner will be announced Aug. 10. The winner and a parent or guardian will get a trip to Nashville to meet with a professional designer who will help hone the art into a finished print and Web-ready logo.

“Young people today are interested in whether God exists,” said Hank Hilliard, manager of youth ministry development for the division. “But more than this, they are asking whether God matters. Young people aren’t as interested in talking about faith or discussing issues as they are about experiences and relationships.”

The fund gives young people around the world opportunities to change lives through service projects, Ratliff said.

“It will be exciting to see how a new logo provides the image that becomes a symbol for energizing the young people of The United Methodist Church to fund even more life-changing, world-changing projects,” he said.

“There seems to be a symbiotic relationship between giving ourselves away and finding who God is creating us to be. The opportunity to move beyond a very me-centered culture, to be other-focused, allows young people a unique perspective to discover their gifts, grow in their faith, refine their values, and shape their future.”


Burning Bush revises format

By Jeanette Pinkston**

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The General Board of Discipleship is redesigning the format of Discipleship University’s core curriculum, Burning Bush (, in response to current economic realities. The deadline to enroll is June 15
Burning Bush is a unique experience for congregational teams to intentionally plan for making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. A two-year process, Burning Bush includes five weekend experiences that equip congregational teams to develop and implement a plan for making disciples of Jesus Christ in their context.
The first and fifth weekends will be held in Nashville, Tenn. The middle three weekends will be conducted at each of the participating congregations and facilitated by congregational guides assigned to congregational teams. Participation is open to congregations of any size.
Congregational teams must begin their participation with the first weekend experience in Nashville. New learning groups begin approximately every six months.
More information about Discipleship University and Burning Bush is available by contacting Mary McDonald at 877-899-2780, extension 1760, or

The General Board of Discipleship’s mission is to support annual conference and local church leaders for their task of equipping world-changing disciples. An agency of The United Methodist Church, it is located at 1908 Grand Avenue in Nashville, Tenn. More information about the agency is available at or by contacting its media relations office at 877-899-2780, extension 7017.


Discipleship institute offers online workshops

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND, Fla. — The Institute for Discipleship is offering online workshop opportunities for Christian leaders that are designed to reach people in the congregation who travel or have busy schedules that prohibit them from committing to a weekly class meeting.
The Richard and Julia Wilke Institute for Discipleship is offering Disciple Bible Study online at This course may be offered to groups of 12 within a congregation, or individuals may enroll in Disciple online with other individuals from any location.
Participants will complete daily reading and reflection on their own, entering their daily scripture notes in the online workshop environment if they choose, and assignments will be available with instructions for weekly group work. This will include discussion questions to be completed in a group-interactive discussion board. Prayer requests and written prayer petitions will also be included. The workshop covers what is normally accomplished in the first half of a face-to-face Disciple class.
Richard Wilke, the author of Disciple, will present a weekly online review of the week’s scriptures that is designed to lead into key questions for weekly discussion. A group facilitator who monitors the sessions and encourages participation will determine the class schedule.

Facilitators need to complete the online workshop “How to Become a Disciple Online Facilitator” prior to leading a group. This workshop will be offered June 15-26 at at a program cost of $50. Questions should be directed to Lisa at

Other workshops include “Would Jesus be on Facebook?” June 15-26, which explores free and low-cost communication tools for small and large churches, and “Family Systems in the Life of the Congregation: An Introduction” June 22-July 9.

Family systems theory is about learning how to put limits on invasive behavior and manage reactivity, getting clues on how to keep anxiety from becoming infectious, and discovering how leaders can function as a congregations’ immune system. Participants get started by developing a working understanding of “natural systems.”

More information about the Facebook and family systems classes is available at and


Conference for preachers, leaders in worship arts held at Disney World Resort

By Dean McIntyre**

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — IMAGINATION 2009, the biennial convocation of The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts (FUMMWA) in conjunction with The United Methodist General Board of Discipleship, is July 13-16 at the Hilton Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla.

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

This biennial event focuses on large group experiences, worship services, concerts and plenary sessions. Imagination Stations, a new concept borrowed from Disney’s theme of imagination, will provide the opportunity to “awaken the imagination” so individuals can create, not just re-create, productive and innovative worship within their own context and worship community.

Highlights for the week include plenary sessions and worship with a full choir and orchestra sponsored by First United Methodist Church in Orlando, a concert with Ken Medema, and multiple reading sessions offered in choral and handbell music.

Preachers are encouraged to participate in the concurrent event “Preaching from the Center.” Pastors choosing this track will be full participants in the convocation and all its events.

More information about the schedule, leadership and registration is available at by choosing the National Convocation link on the left side of the page or by contacting the national Fellowship office for a brochure at 800-952-8977.


Committee provides grants for intergenerational, caregiving ministries

By Dr. Richard H. Gentzler Jr.**

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The United Methodist Committee on Older Adult Ministries will be providing grants to United Methodist congregations, districts and conferences for their ministry with older adults in two main areas: intergenerational and caregiving ministries.

Grant applications will be available Aug. 1 for funding related to intergenerational ministry. The application deadline is Dec. 15. The committee will review grant requests and make selections in March 2010 and then notify applicants of its decisions in June 2010.

Grant applications related to caregiving ministries will be available Aug. 1, 2010, with an application deadline of Dec. 15, 2010. The committee will review grant requests and make selections in March 2011 and then notify applicants in June 2011.
Applications are available from the Center on Aging and Older Adult Ministries, General Board of Discipleship, by contacting Teri Kline at or 615-340-7177.

More information is available by contacting Richard Gentzler at the General Board of Discipleship at and asking to be added to the Center Sage Newsletter list. Other information for senior adults is also available by visiting


Lake Junaluska re-establishes academy for older adult ministry

Cintia Listenbee**

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center recently announced the re-establishment of the Norman T. ALLERS Academy of Older Adult Ministry (NTAA) in collaboration with the Southeastern Jurisdiction Association for Older Adult Ministries (SEJ AOAM).

With that announcement comes the first ALLERS Academy certificate course Aug. 5-9. Dr. Paul Chilcote of Asbury Theological Seminary in Orlando, Fla., will be the course instructor. The course will cover the story of the Methodist movement, the meaning of discipleship, and beliefs and practices of The United Methodist Church, as well as application to work and service to older adult ministries.

The announcement follows the recent approval by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the August 2009 ALLERS’ certificate course, in conjunction with Lake Junaluska’s long-range initiative to become a center for leadership training/certification courses related to professional credentialing in ministry areas endorsed by the board.

ALLERS Academy was established in 1997 as the church’s response to a recognized need for validation of older adult ministry. It was named for Norman T. Allers, a leader of older adult ministries in the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church.

Individuals may register for the certificate course by phone at 828-454-6656, fax at 828-452-1956, by mail at P.O. Box 237 Lake Junaluska, NC 28745, or online at
More information is available by contacting Roger Dowdy at 828-454-6710 or or Pam Naplen at 828-454-6656 or


ARRA grants available to states to strengthen nonprofits

By Janet Foggs**

SANFORD, Fla. — The Department of Health and Human Services announced the availability of grants worth $50 million from the Strengthening Communities Fund, a new fund created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The fund will strengthen nonprofit and faith-based organizations that aid families and communities who are struggling in the economic downturn.

The Strengthening Communities Fund (SCF) is divided into two parts. The Nonprofit Capacity Building program will make one-time, two-year awards of up to $1 million to lead organizations that will use the funds to support other faith-based or secular nonprofit organizations.

The State, Local and Tribal Government Capacity Building program will make one-time, two-year awards of up to $250,000 to state, city, county and Indian/Native American tribal governments. Governments will use these grants to strengthen nonprofit organizations and increase the nonprofits’ involvement in projects that help turn our economy around.

Grantees for both programs must provide at least 20 percent of the total approved cost of the project from non-federal funds. This match may be met by cash or in-kind contributions.

HHS’ Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Community Services will administer the SCF programs. Applicants interested in applying for funds should visit

Information on how to become an Access Community Partner is available by contacting Janet Foggs at, 407-432-9015 or 407-302-1088, extension 107.


Abrahamic faiths unite for peace

By Stephanie Drum**

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — Participants of this year’s Lake Junaluska Peace Conference Sept. 20-22 will be exposed to a dialogue of better understanding the faith communities of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Paricipants will learn about one another’s faith traditions, examine what each brings to the search for peace, celebrate common heritage and explore ways to be more effective peace builders.

Speakers from each faith will describe what their scriptures and practices have to bring to the peace movement. Workshops will teach skills in being a peace builder. Through prayers, celebrations and the arts participants will experience what each contributes to the search for peace.

“This year's Peace Conference centers on an issue that has universal implications,” said Garland Young, chair of the conference planning committee. “There is much agreement that we will not have worldwide peace until the major religions understand each other better and develop genuine respect for one another.

“As we focus this year on the three Abrahamic faiths, we hope a significant number of persons from each faith group will be here. Come expecting to be challenged by the presenters. Come with an open mind and an eagerness to enter into creative dialogue with persons of other faiths.”

The cost of the conference is $89 or $79 before Aug. 1 and $65 for students. Conference registration and lodging reservations can be made online at, by fax at 828-452-1956, by phone at 828-454-6656 or by calling 800-222-4930.

More information is available by contacting Pam Naplen at 828-454-6656 or


Seminaries, boards launch Methodist Review

By Vicky L. Brown**

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Methodist Review: A Journal of Wesleyan and Methodist Studies is a new open-access, peer-reviewed electronic academic journal launched by a variety of seminaries and boards.

Methodist Review publishes scholarly articles in all areas and eras of Wesleyan and Methodist studies, including biblical, theological, ethical, philosophical, practical, historical, biographical, and social-scientific topics and methodologies. The journal’s URL is

Methodist Review is partly a successor to and transformation of Quarterly Review: A Journal of Theological Resources for Ministry (QR), which was published jointly by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church and The United Methodist Publishing House from 1980 to 2005.

Although its entirely digital format and blind peer-review policy are new, the journal seeks to continue a rich intellectual tradition that dates back far beyond QR, its immediate predecessor, to the establishment in 1818 of the Methodist Magazine, a North American Methodist effort to emulate John Wesley’s own Arminian Magazine, which began publication in 1778.

The journal’s editors and developers say the peer-review procedure used will help ensure the academic credibility and quality of Methodist Review. To that end, a large editorial board of highly qualified senior scholars, including non-U.S. Methodist/Wesleyan scholars, is serving on a voluntary basis to review and evaluate articles submitted for publication and advise the editors about their suitability for publication in the journal.

Methodist Review will not be published on the regular schedule of a print journal. Instead, articles will be published on the journal Web site when they are ready, and registered users will be notified of their publication by e-mail. The electronic format was purposely used to best serve an increasingly global Methodist/Wesleyan academic audience by allowing for more timely delivery of articles and lower production costs. The financial support provided by its sponsors enables the journal to provide immediate access to its content at no cost to its readers. A one-time, free user registration is required to access the articles published in the journal.

Listings of the Methodist Review’s board of directors and editorial and advisory boards are available on the journal’s Web site at along with “An Editorial Welcome to Methodist Review” giving more details about the journal. More information is available by contacting Rex D. Matthews at 404-727-6345 or

Methodist Review is sponsored by Candler School of Theology, Emory University; Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University; the Association of United Methodist Theological Schools (AUMTS); and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church. The corporate office of The Methodist Review Inc. is located at the higher education and ministry board in Nashville; the editorial office is located at Candler School of Theology in Atlanta. Digital Systems division of Emory University Libraries provides technical support and hosting services.


DVD, new books help those in, interested in ordained ministry
By Vicki Brown
A new DVD provides moving accounts by elders, deacons, chaplains, and pastoral counselors about what it means to be called to ordained ministry in The United Methodist Church.
Ordained Ministry in The United Methodist Church, a DVD and accompanying brochure, is one of several new and revised resources available from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

New and revised books are: “The Christian as Minister,” revised and updated for the 2009-2012 quadrennium; “Understanding God’s Call: A Ministry Inquiry Process;” and “Fulfilling God’s Call: Guidelines for Candidacy.” A booklet, Preparing for God’s Call: United Methodist Schools of Theology, provides descriptions of the 13 United Methodist schools of theology and their programs.
“This new DVD and these resources highlight what it means to be called and the different ways to serve in ordained ministry in The United Methodist Church,” says the Rev. Sharon Rubey, director of Candidacy and Conference Relations, Division of Ordained Ministry, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.
The Rev. Tom Carter, director of Endorsement for the higher education board’s United Methodist Endorsing Agency, said the DVD shows deacons and elders in a variety of settings that include prisons, hospitals and the military.
“Anyone exploring their call to ordained ministry will see living examples of the variety of ways to serve God,” he said.
Multiple and diverse resources are contained in one piece, which means people will not have to search in many different places for what they need, Rubey said. It offers annual conference boards of ordained ministry a multi-faceted way to foster understanding about ordained ministry and the various ways to serve both in and beyond the local church.
She added that it can also be used to promote understanding with staff/parish relations committees, district committees on ordained ministry, cabinets, and individuals exploring a call to ministry.
The Rev. Meg Lassiat, director of Student Ministries, Vocation and Enlistment at the higher education board, stressed that the DVD will appeal to a wide range of audiences because it presents information using a variety of formats.
“The videos are available on the DVD, as well as on the Web, and can be used in chunks of time that vary from 30 seconds to 12 minutes. The printed resources are available to view on the Web or can be downloaded and printed for an individual or a group of people to reference,” she said.
The accompanying brochure also contains written information about hearing and understanding God’s call with some short explanations about the different types of ordained ministry.
“In putting it together like this, we hope it will reach a broad range of groups who have many different needs in how they present and use the resource,” Lassiat said.
The series of books provides information that will be useful to those considering ordained ministry. “The Christian as Minister: An Exploration Into the Meaning of God’s Call” (2009-12), offers an introduction into the meaning of God’s call to ministry, the vision of that ministry and the opportunities for servant leadership in The United Methodist Church. It is a useful tool for candidates or anyone exploring lay, ordained or commissioned ministry.
“Understanding God’s Call: A Ministry Inquiry Process” is designed to help any Christian explore how faith and vocation are related. The book, designed to be used with a guide, allows individuals to explore how God calls them through their interests and skills, the world’s needs, and their life experiences, with a particular significance to those exploring a call to ordained or licensed ministry.
“Fulfilling God’s Call: Guidelines for Candidacy” is available only through the higher education board’s online candidacy Web site, The book provides information and material to guide a candidate for ordained or licensed ministry through the process.

The brochure and DVD can be ordered from Cokesbury at 800-672-1789. Only the cost of shipping is charged for orders smaller than 250. Orders larger than 250 will be charged $1 per package, plus shipping. “The Christian As Minister” and “Understanding God’s Call” are also available from Cokesbury. Copies of “Preparing for God’s Call” are available by calling 615-340-7395 or e-mailing
More information about these resources is available at


General agency seeks churches of the week

By Dean McIntyre
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church features a Church of the Week on its worship-preaching-music Web site. The agency is now soliciting digital photos and information from churches that would like to be included.

Churches can see the current Church of the Week at or visit to see all of the churches  featured to date.

Guidelines for submitting a church photo and information are available at


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

*Parham is managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**Brown is associate editor and writer for the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry office of interpretation in Nashville, Tenn.
   Drum is communications specialist at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in Lake Junaluska, N.C.
   Foggs is ACCESS Florida operations manager consultant liaison to the Department of Children and Families in Sanford, Fla.
   Gentzler is director of the Center on Aging and Older Adult Ministries at the General Board of Discipleship in Nashville, Tenn.
   Gilbert is a news writer for United Methodist News Service in Nashville, Tenn
   Kelley is subscription manager, photographer and contributing writer for e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
   Listenbee is a communications specialist at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in Lake Junaluska, N.C.
   McIntyre is director of music resources at the General Board of Discipleship in Nashville, Tenn.
   Pinkston is director of the General Board of Discipleship media relations office in Nashville, Tenn.