Main Menu



e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service


An e-Review News Item | Sept. 23, 2009 {1080}

This series includes:

• Warren W. Willis camp offers two fall youth weekends
• Seminary provides preview weekend for potential students
• Life Enrichment Center celebrates 30 years of ministry
• Tapestry III weekend helps adults mature spiritually
• Gathering focuses on wellness, health
• Registration for 2010 summer camp begins earlier
• Florida secretaries association holds national conference


• Resources available for Special Sundays in October
• Georgia seminary hold founders’ day, lecture series
• Retreat introduces harmony of spirit, earth, soul
• Mountain T.O.P. needs adult volunteers this fall
• National Shalom summit invites all to ‘step up’
• New England Conference sponsors training for retreat leaders
• Virginia seminary offers retreat for clergy serving small churches
• 2010 evangelism congress says ‘restore, rebuild, renew’


Warren W. Willis camp offers two fall youth weekends

By Joel Pancoast**

FRUITLAND PARK, Fla. — Registration is now open for two weekends of youth camping at the Warren W. Willis United Methodist Camp.

The 2009 Confirmation Retreat Oct. 2-4 offers confirmation classes from local United Methodist churches throughout the Florida Conference the opportunity to learn about the vows they will be asked to take when they are confirmed. Confirmands will also grow together as a group on the low initiatives portion of the camp’s challenge course and participate in worship, small group exercises and a variety of fun activities.

Participants have the option of attending the entire weekend or leaving on Saturday night to be back in their home churches on Sunday morning. 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 Crosstrainers retreat Nov. 14-16 offers youth the opportunity to learn what it means to walk with Christ and become energized about living their faith every day, not just on Sundays.

It’s a time for participants to worship together, play games and spend time with friends from around the state. Youth groups will compete in the Crosstrainer games, share stories and take time to de-stress from the busy fall semester of school, football and day-to-day life.

The retreat’s speaker is the Rev. Kirk Dana, youth minister at First United Methodist Church in Lakeland. The band will be Warren & Patrick Willis and other artists from the band WSU.
The cost for the weekend is $100 per person. The camp offers one free registration for every 15 paid registrations.

Registration information and a schedule for both retreats are available at by clicking on the attend tab.

Any questions about the retreats or others offered at the Warren W. Willis Camp should be directed to Joel Pancoast, camp director, at or 352-787-4345.


Seminary provides preview weekend for potential students
By Brian Johnson**
ORLANDO, Fla. — Asbury Theological Seminary will hold a preview weekend for people considering a call to seminary Oct. 16-17 on the Orlando campus and Oct. 23-24 on the Wilmore, Ky., campus.
The weekend offers opportunities for guests to meet with faculty, academic advisors and students. Guests join the community in worship, sharing meals and attending class. The event is free, and Asbury will reimburse up to $50 of hotel costs for long-distance travelers.
Asbury Theological Seminary was founded in 1923. Total current enrollment at its Orlando and Kentucky campuses exceeds 1,600 students, representing more than 90 denominations and 38 countries.
Details and registration information for the preview weekend are available at More information about the seminary is available at


Life Enrichment Center celebrates 30 years of ministry

By Caryl Kelley**

LAKELAND, Fla. — This year marks 30 years since the Florida Conference Life Enrichment Center in Fruitland Park, Fla., opened its doors. During its dedication Nov. 10, 1979, Bishop Joel D. McDavid prayed that the buildings and grounds would be set apart “for the worship of Almighty God and the service of all people.”

Since then, thousands of people have visited the LEC to participate in the many opportunities provided to grow in their faith. The Life Enrichment Center will celebrate that 30-year history Nov. 15, and all clergy and laity are invited to attend the celebration.

Activities begin at 2 p.m. and include an open house, tours of the Life Enrichment Center, music and other planned programs. At 5 p.m. guests will gather for dinner and a look at the center’s future. The celebration will end with worship at 6 p.m.

A special rate for lodging at the Life Enrichment Center will be available the night before and after the celebration.

There is no cost to attend; donations will be accepted. Those who need overnight accommodations are asked to make a reservation by contacting the Life Enrichment Center at 352-787-0313 or

Details are available at More information about the Life Enrichment Center and its ministry is available at


Tapestry III weekend helps adults mature spiritually

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND, Fla. — The Florida Conference Beyond 50 Ministries Task Team invites all adults 50 and older to attend its 2010 Tapestry III weekend Feb. 26-28 at the Life Enrichment Center in Fruitland Park, Fla.

The keynote speaker for the conference event, themed “Maturing Spiritually,” is Jane Marie Thibault, a clinical gerontologist and associate clinical professor of Family and Geriatric Medicine at the School of Medicine at the University of Louisville in Kentucky, where she has taught since 1981. Thibault also teaches gerontology at Kent School of Social Work and Louisville Presbyterian Seminary.

Thibault has worked clinically with seniors and their families for three decades. She is director of a geriatric assessment program, conducts research on “dedicated suffering” and provides counseling for older adults and those preparing to become older. She is also a trained spiritual director and considers herself an “ecumenical Christian.”

Event participants may choose from among four workshops, including: Fearless Aging in a Youth-Oriented Society; Holistic Faith: Body, Mind and Spirit; Living Fully, Dying Well; Nothing Off Limits: Money and Christian Maturity; Someone I Love is Aging … and So Am I; Transforming Suffering Into the Gift of Love; and Reaching Out.

The early registration deadline at a lower fee is Nov. 15. The final registration deadline is Feb. 10. Pricing varies depending on housing and registration date. The early and final rate per person at the Life Enrichment Center, double occupancy and with six meals, is $185 and $200, respectively. The cost for single occupancy and six meals is $231 and $245.

The cost per person at the family campground, with full hookup and six meals, is $128 (early rate) and $143. Without meals, the cost is $77 or $90.

Commuter rates, including four meals, are $114 and $126 per person. Saturday only rates, including lunch and dinner, are $90 and $105.

A brochure with a schedule, workshop descriptions and online registration is available at

More information is available by contacting Nancy Metz at


Gathering focuses on wellness, health

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND, Fla. — One of the goals of the Florida Conference Spiritual Formation Team is to provide clergy and laity with learning opportunities and experiences outside the local church. One of the gatherings fulfilling that goal is the Wellness and Health Gathering Nov. 21 at the Life Enrichment Center in Fruitland Park, Fla.

The day’s activities will focus on the maintenance of optimum health and the understanding of the body as the temple of God. Individuals will leave with a new appreciation of self-care and personal spiritual disciplines to help maintain the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health of the body.

Dr. Trudy Corry Rankin will lead the gathering. Rankin is a licensed mental health counselor and spiritual director. She has been involved with the Spiritual Formation Team since the early ’80s. As a former nurse and alternative health seeker, Rankin encourages personal advocacy for optimum health.

This is one of a series of gatherings offered each year. The fee for each gathering is $25, and gatherings are held from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., unless otherwise noted. Participants are asked to bring their lunch. Individuals may register by contacting Heidi Leab at


Registration for 2010 summer camp begins earlier

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND, Fla. — Registration for summer camp at the Warren Willis United Methodist Camp in Fruitland Park, Fla., begins Dec. 1, several months earlier than in previous years.

The new date is an effort to allow churches and individuals even more time to plan and budget for the 2010 summer camps, which begin June 7.

Campers may register online or complete a paper application. Both options will be available on the camp Web site at Paper applications will also be available at local United Methodist churches.

The online registration requires a deposit of $75 to reserve space. Paper applications require a deposit of $100.

Summer camp registration will also no longer be housed at the Florida Conference Center in Lakeland. Staff at the Warren Willis Camp will be coordinating registration from the camp beginning Oct. 1.

Any questions should be directed to the Warren Willis Camp office at 1-866-UMCAMPS (1-866-862-2677), option 3.


Florida secretaries association holds national conference
By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND, Fla. — The Florida Chapter of the Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries (PAUMCS) will hold its 2010 annual conference April 15-18 at the Wyndham Resort in Orlando, Fla.

Each year the conference provides United Methodist administrative professionals an opportunity to increase their knowledge in various areas of office skills and church polity. In addition to the continuing education credit, participants have opportunities to be reinvigorated spiritually, inspirationally and motivationally.

A brochure available at provides information about the workshops offered. During “Keeping your mind, body and soul healthy in the workplace,” Barbara Bruce will lead participants in learning how to deal with stress and maintain mental and physical fitness on the job. The “Membership Guidelines” workshop will be taught by Buena “Beanie” Rankin, assistant director of records and statistics at the United Methodist General Council of Finance and Administration in Nashville, Tenn. She is managing editor of the General Minutes of the Annual Conferences of The United Methodist Church, serves as co-staff to the Committee on Official Forms and Records and is on the teaching team for quadrennial training of conference secretaries, treasurers and statisticians.

The group’s 2010 mission project is Cornerstone Family Ministries, a faith-based, nonprofit mission in Tampa, Fla. Information about the ministry is available at Those who attend the conference will be asked to bring a contribution of new children’s underwear and/or socks or a gift card to purchase these items.

Also included in the conference are a bus trip to Kennedy Space Center April 14 and a trip to SeaWorld for dinner April 16. A one-day pass for trolley service April 17 will be included in attendees’ packets. The cost per pass is $3. Participants may send a donation to cover the cost of a pass to “FLUMC,” Attention: Karen Kastor, 8628 111th St. N., Seminole, FL 33772-3655.
Individuals who would like to serve on the host team are asked to contact Debbie Stouffer at St. John’s United Methodist Church, 6611 Proctor Rd., Sarasota, FL 34241, or 941-925-2661.


Resources available for Special Sundays in October

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND, Fla. — The General Board of Discipleship provides downloadable resources for a variety of Special Sundays, two of which are taking place in October.

World Communion Sunday, one of the six churchwide Special Sundays of The United Methodist Church, is traditionally celebrated the first Sunday in October. This year World Communion Sunday is Oct. 4, but churches can choose to celebrate it on another Sunday close to that date.

This Special Sunday provides scholarships for U.S. racial- and ethnic-minority students and international students on both undergraduate and graduate levels.

World Communion Scholarships, through the General Board of Global Ministries, are for international and U.S. (racial- and ethnic-minority) graduate students. At least half of the annual amount goes to ministries beyond the United States. The Ethnic Scholarship Program is affiliated with the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, and 35 percent of the offering benefits undergraduate students. The higher education ministry’s Ethnic In-Service Training Program provides help for racial- and ethnic-minority persons seeking second careers in church-related vocations.

Support materials to help educate congregations about World Communion Sunday, as well as a link to the online store where churches can order additional free printed resources, are available at by choosing Special Sundays and then World Communion Sunday.

The second special Sunday takes place Oct. 18, when churches across Methodism celebrate Laity Sunday. Worship resources are available at and include prayers, scripture notes, sermon notes, litanies, worship and music resources, bulletin covers, posters and others.


Georgia seminary hold founders’ day, lecture series

By Madelyn Greene**

ATLANTA, Ga. — Gammon Theological Seminary, The United Methodist component of The Interdenominational Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta, Ga., will celebrate 126 years of preparing ministerial leadership for The United Methodist Church.

Activities will highlight the achievement of the seminary’s mission as one of 13 seminaries related to The United Methodist Church. The theme of the Oct. 5-8 series and celebration is “Embracing Change: Raising New Leaders.”

Speakers include Dr. J. Gordon Melton, the Rev. Candace M. Lewis, Dr. Ronald Henderson, Ms. Garlinda Burton, Rev. Frederick Outlaw, Bishop Melvin G. Talbert, Bishop James E. Swanson and the Rev. James C. Anyike.

Alumni registration is $185, including alumni dues, luncheon, banquet ticket and registration. More information is available at

The African-American Methodist Heritage Center at Drew University will also sponsor “Bridge To The Future” on the Gammon and ITC campus Oct. 2-4. Workshops will share how to research African-American Methodist history, preserve local church history, and involve and promote the local church in its heritage.

The general registration fee is $55. Individuals may contact to register of for more information.

Questions may be directed to Madelyn C. Greene at or 404-581-0310.


Retreat introduces harmony of spirit, earth, soul

By Southeastern Jurisdiction Staff

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — John Philip Newell, an authority on Celtic spirituality, will lead “A New Harmony” retreat at the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center Oct. 9-11.

Newell is an internationally acclaimed poet, scholar and teacher. He was formerly Warden of Iona Abbey in the Western Isles of Scotland and is now companion theologian for the American Spirituality Center of Casa del Sol at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico.

Attendees will discover hope and healing through practical ways of being in meaningful relationship with others in community and creation and discover a Celtic perspective some have termed “practical divinity” and “holy living.”

The retreat will introduce new liturgical music and prayers to use in worship and offer an opportunity for personal renewal and growth, discovery of the “thin places” around Lake Junaluska, making new friends, and meeting kindred spirits.

Registration and a list of workshops, leaders, housing options and directions are available at

The program fee is $250 for the retreat and $10 for the Friday evening session and book signing only. Accommodations are an additional fee. Reservations may be made by calling 800-222-4930 and mentioning the event or visiting to reserve housing online.


Mountain T.O.P. needs adult volunteers this fall

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND, Fla. — Mountain T.O.P. (Tennessee Outreach Project) is seeking adults ages 18 and older to assist with major home repair projects during its fall Adults in Mission weekends in October.

Projects occur each weekend of the month are coordinated out of Camp Cumberland Pines in Altamont, Tenn. No construction experience necessary.

Mountain T.O.P. is an interdenominational Christian Mission affiliated with the Tennessee Conference of The United Methodist Church that is dedicated to rural life ministry in the Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee. Its mission is to help meet the physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs of families in rural Tennessee through a philosophy of partnership. Mountain T.O.P. is concerned with achieving immediate results through direct social service programming and serves only those who have expressed a need.

The cost to participate is $200, which includes all meals, materials and staffing fees.

More information is available by e-mailing or calling the ministry office at 931-692-3999. Applications are available at


National Shalom summit invites all to ‘step up’

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND, Fla. — The 2009 National Shalom Summit Oct. 28-31 is designed to help participants “step up” to asset-based economic community development, congregational-community partnerships, and financial and administrative excellence.

Sponsored by Drew Theological School and held at the Radisson Hotel in Columbia, S.C., the summit features selected sites that have “stepped up” from social services to community development, a preview of the new ShalomZone Training®, national speakers who embody the stepping up theme, practical workshops to help weave together the various threads of Shalom, and music, worship and fellowship. There will also be networking opportunities and site visits, Shalom products, resources and displays.

General session themes include “Greening Shalom,” with Vien Truong, senior policy associate, Green For All; “Developing a Web Presence,” with Ted Hart, CEO, Hart Philanthropic Services; “Seeking Systemic Change,” with Bishop Joseph Sprague, instigator of the Shalom initiative; and “Shaloming Across Borders,” with the Rev. Kelvin Sauls, the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries.

Worship leaders include Bishop Gregory Palmer, president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops; the Rev. Tanya Bennett, director of Chapel & Religious Life at Drew University; and Bishop John Schol, chair of the Washington-Baltimore Conference and National Shalom Committee.

The training sessions will be presented by Green For All, Partners in Urban Transformation, Wesley Theological Seminary, South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church, General Board of Global Ministries and selected Shalom sites.

The summit includes a two-day track for youth Friday through Saturday facilitated by the JustUs Youth program of the General Board of Global Ministries. Scholarships are available on a first-come, first served basis. The coordinator is Tanika Harris at

More information is available at Online registration and a printable registration form are available at


New England Conference sponsors training for retreat leaders

By New England Conference Staff

ANDOVER, Mass. — Rolling Ridge Retreat & Conference Center in North Andover, Mass., is the site for the Retreat Leadership Training weekend Nov. 19-21.

Co-sponsored with the New England Conference of The United Methodist Church, the event is for people who want to lead retreats, understand the dynamics and details of a retreat experience, further develop their retreat-leading gifts, and learn how to train others to design and lead their own retreats.

The training is an opportunity to learn from an experienced trainer of retreat leaders and develop more fully the gifts for retreat leadership. The sessions will involve presentation and participation, information and experience. Participants will develop their own spiritual life retreat.

Led by Gwen White and Susan MacKenzie, the retreat addresses the elements of a retreat experience, themes and theme development, resource development (music, scripture, worship centers, art), timeframes and scheduling, leadership styles, creating a retreat environment, community building, group processes, and the theology of retreat leadership.

The cost is $205, single occupancy, and $170, double occupancy, and includes two nights’ lodging, six meals, refreshments and program materials.

Preregistration is required; the registration deadline is Nov. 1. More information is available by contacting Rosemary McNulty at the New England Conference, P.O. Box 249, Lawrence, MA 01840; 978-682-7676, extension 201; or


Virginia seminary offers retreat for clergy serving small churches

By Marilyn Johns**

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Applications are now available for the 2010 Summer Collegium, a project at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Va., that supports small congregations.

Clergy and their spouses or partners from 25 small churches of all Christian denominations are invited to spend June 23-July 1 at Virginia Seminary for encouragement, education, rest and renewal. All expenses, including travel, books, meals, lodging, child care at home and pulpit supply, are paid by a grant from the Lilly Endowment.
The theme of the Summer Collegium is “Leadership in the Small Congregation.” The keynote speaker is Alice Mann, a prolific writer on congregational ministry; John Bell from the Iona Community in Scotland will join the worship team. 

Application forms are available at or by mail by e-mailing or calling 703-461-1760. 

Applications must be postmarked by Dec. 15 to be considered. 


2010 evangelism congress says ‘restore, rebuild, renew’

By Council on Evangelism Staff
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The theme for the 2010 Congress on Evangelism Jan. 5-8 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans, La., is taken from Nehemiah 2:18, “ ... they replied, ‘Let us start rebuilding’ ... so they began this good work.”

It’s also based on the motto of the host city in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina: “Restore, Rebuild, Renew.”

Speakers include authors and leaders in The United Methodist Church whose work and ministries are helping to restore, rebuild and renew Christ’s church in the world. The main speakers include William P. Young, author of the “The Shack”; Rudy Rasmus, pastor at St. John’s United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas; Bishop Minerva Carcaño of the Desert Southwest Conference; Kenda Creasy Dean of Princeton Theological Seminary; Jim Walker of Hot Metal Bridge Church in Pittsburgh; Bishop Will Willimon, editor of The Wesley Study Bible; and Bishop Bill Hutchinson of the Louisiana Conference.

A variety of workshops will also be offered. “The workshops provide take-home help for laity and clergy in the making of Christian disciples,” said Dr. David Kerr, president of the Council on Evangelism. “Several come from The General Board of Discipleship, and others come from fruitful fields of practice.”

Topics range from youth and young adult ministry, small groups and hospitality to leadership development and connecting church and community through disaster response. Hispanic-Latino sessions will again be offered with translation from Spanish to English. Continuing education credits will be offered from the General Board of Discipleship for participation in all four workshop times.

As part of the days leading up to and following the event, attendees are encouraged to invite groups from their areas to visit New Orleans and participate in rebuilding efforts through the Louisiana Conference Disaster Response Ministry.

“Along with an emphasis upon physical rebuilding, we will be exploring ways to come alongside our churches to help share the Good News of Jesus Christ that offers redemptive and saving love,” Kerr said.

Those interested in participating in rebuilding efforts may contact the Louisiana Conference Disaster Response Ministry at 222-346-5193 or to schedule a group.

Details and registration information are available at or by e-mailing the registrar at

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. The Council on Evangelism provides funding for this event, with support from The Foundation for Evangelism.


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

*Parham is managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**Gentzler is director of the Center on Aging & Older Adult Ministries at the General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tenn.
   Greene is director of Alumni & Student Affairs at Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Ga.
   Johns is project manager of the Summer Collegium at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Va.
   Johnson is admissions recruiter for the Orlando campus of Asbury Theological Seminary.
   Kelley is subscription manager, photographer and contributing writer for e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service in Lakeland, Fla.
   Pancoast is program manager at Warren W. Willis United Methodist Camp in Fruitland Park, Fla.