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e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service


An e-Review News Item | Oct. 18, 2009 {1092}

This series includes:

• Registration opens for Crosstrainers youth retreat
• Methodist women invited to ‘be a blessing’


• Retreat strengthens marriage relationships
• Conference offers renewal for campus ministers
• Conference helps church navigate changing culture
• World AIDS Day focuses on access, human rights
• SoSA Christmas card provides food for hungry families
• Conference teaches creativity in worship
• Workshop offers keys to effective ministry for small membership churches
• Free youth ministry resources available


Registration opens for Crosstrainers youth retreat

By Joel Pancoast**

FRUITLAND PARK — 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.


Methodist women invited to ‘be a blessing’

By Caryl Kelley**

LAKELAND — Women who would like time away from the responsibilities of home, children, families and jobs to focus on God and their own spiritual development are invited to attend the 26th annual Florida Conference Women’s Retreats at the Life Enrichment Center in Fruitland Park beginning in January.

Attendees to the four retreat weekends, themed “Be a Blessing,” will experience fellowship, worship, prayer and devotional time, enrichment sessions, and the message of special guest speakers.

The retreats will be held Jan. 22-2, Feb. 5-7, Feb. 19-21 and March 5-7. Keynote speakers for the weekends include the Revs. Debbie Nelson, Sharon Austin, Terri Hill and Pat Daniels. Bible study leaders include the Revs. Alexis Talbott, Beth Fogle-Miller and Kim Uchimura and Bobbie Smith.

The costs per person, including five meals, vary according to the accommodation selected: $155 at the Life Enrichment Center (motel style room, double occupancy), $135 at the Warren W. Willis Camp (cabin style room with bunk beds), $110 for commuters (lodging arrangements off campus made by attendees) and $131 at the family campground (in attendee-owned RV/camper). The cost for commuters and those staying in the family campground with no meals is $65 and $87, respectively.

Registration is done by mail. A brochure with a registration form and details about the schedule, music, enrichments and speakers for each weekend is available under the “register for this event” link on the right-hand side of the page at


Retreat strengthens marriage relationships

By Lake Junaluska Staff

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — The Intentional Growth Center at the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center is offering a retreat Nov. 13-16 to help spouses strengthen their relationship.

The workshop is centered on the awareness of God’s love in the relationship and the call to be whole persons in life, ministry and marriage. The workshop’s goal is that participants leave with a greater understanding of their relationship and the skills to repair or enhance them.

Leaders are Dr. Larry and Darlene Saunders Ousley. Larry is an ordained elder in the Holston Conference and directs the Intentional Growth Center.

Participants will gain new insights and research-based relationship skills that can dramatically improve the intimacy and friendship in a relationship and help resolve conflict in healthy, productive ways. During the workshop, couples will learn to: increase awareness of the dynamics of their relationship; foster positive interactions; create greater appreciation, respect, affection and closeness; keep conflict discussions calm; and strengthen and maintain the gains in their relationship. Participant’s privacy will be respected throughout the learning experience.

The program fee per couple is $197. Accommodations are $128 per person, double occupancy, including lodging and meals from Friday dinner to Sunday lunch, on the American Plan. Housing reservations can be made by calling 800-222-4930 and mentioning event code 104608 or visiting to book housing reservations online.

Details about the Marriage Retreat and registration information are available at


Conference offers renewal for campus ministers

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — United Methodist-related campus ministers and chaplains will be gathering at The Woodlands United Methodist Church in The Woodlands, Texas, Dec. 14-17 for a time of inspiration, training and renewal.

The Refresh Conference is an annual event funded by a grant from The Foundation for Evangelism to offer a time of spiritual growth and refreshment for workers in campus ministry.

The Foundation for Evangelism, an affiliate of The General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church, provides grants and venture capital for the development of leaders who have a passion for evangelism and a multiplying impact on the church.

Highlights of the gathering include leaders Sharon Irving and Mike Gaffney. Irving is a full-time worship leader at Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago. Gaffney has served in campus ministry for 23 years, most recently at The Inn in Seattle, Wash. In his role as director of Young Life College, he is passionate about helping today’s young leaders grow and develop. His podcast is available at

Information about the schedule, accommodations and registration for REFRESH 2009 are available at Early registration is $125 until Oct. 31.


Conference helps church navigate changing culture

By Leadership Nexus Staff

TULSA, Okla. — In a time of shifting worldviews and vast cultural change, the “Navigate” conference Nov. 10-12 can help participants discern the future of the church and navigate the waters of this changing culture. 

The first Navigate conference was held in Denver in 2008 as “The Emerging Church for the Existing Church Conference.” As at that conference, Navigate will offer times of lecture, deep discussion and close interaction with speakers, powerful spiritual formation, and encouraging community.

This year’s conference will take place at Florence United Methodist Church in Florence, Ky. The cost is $200 per person, including the registration fee, conference materials, four meals, four workshop sessions, 10 plenary sessions and more.

Leaders include David Kinnaman, author of “unChristian: What a New Generation Really Thinks About Christianity ... and Why It Matters,” and Dan Kimball, author of “They Like Jesus But Not the Church.” Kinnaman and Kimball will provide team teaching on understanding and reaching the postmodern generations (those born after 1961).

Other leaders will speak about how the established church and emerging churches must co-exist and support each other, and many local leaders will help participants see how they are responding to the cultural shifts on a practical local level. 

More information is available at The full brochure, with a schedule and detailed descriptions of speakers and workshops, hotel information and prices, is available at

Scholarship information is available by e-mailing Bob Pierson at


World AIDS Day focuses on access, human rights

By Linda Bales Todd**

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The theme for World AIDS Day Dec. 1 is “Universal Access and Human Rights.”

Every country receiving funding from the U.S. government for AIDS research and education is required to have an AIDS strategy, although the United States itself doesn’t have one. There is a request for input into the process of developing a U.S. AIDS strategy. The framework document is available at

Listening sessions sponsored by the Coalition for a National AIDS Strategy will be held around the country in order to give input to the White House on what is needed in a comprehensive U.S. plan. The tentative date in Florida is Nov. 20 in Ft. Lauderdale.

The Global AIDS Fund Committee of The United Methodist Church is developing a new resource kit, available at, for local churches and annual conferences to address the AIDS pandemic. The kit will include basic information on HIV and AIDS, a PowerPoint presentation on the Global AIDS Fund, how to work with young people and the role of an AIDS ambassador.

Materials for use in local congregations are available on the Global AIDS Fund Web site at Additional materials are available on the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance (EAA) Web site at EAA is an international network of churches committed to campaigning together on common concerns.

More information about World AIDS Day and the United Methodist response is available by contacting Linda Bales Todd, General Board of Church and Society, at or 202-488-5649.


SoSA Christmas card provides food for hungry families

By Society of St Andrew Staff

BIG ISLAND, Va. — While families are celebrating the joyous Christmas season, many Americans will be experiencing first-hand the reality of hunger and poverty.  

Although America is the richest nation on earth, an estimated 40 million of its citizens are in poverty. This Christmas any person can give them hope by honoring loved ones with a gift donation to feed the hungry. Each $12 gift donation to The Society of St. Andrew (SoSA) provides about 800 servings of fresh, nutritious food to America’s hungry families.

SoSA is a grassroots hunger relief ministry that relies on volunteers to glean nutritious produce from farmers’ fields and orchards after harvest and deliver it to people in need across the United States.
The Christmas Gift Donation Card — the 15th in a series — was designed exclusively for and donated to the Society of St. Andrew by Virginia artist Annis McCabe. The full-color, 7"x 5" card features original art on the front and back. Inside is an original, inspirational verse and scripture passages related to God’s abundance through the birth of Jesus Christ. The card announces each generous gift to feed the hungry in the name of the chosen honoree(s). The giver will also receive the same card with thanks and confirmation of the number of people honored.

Individuals may make their donations at SoSA will send the cards and envelopes to the donor to personalize and mail or they will send them on the donor’s behalf to the recipient in time for Christmas.

The minimum gift donation for each card is $12. All gifts are tax deductible.


Conference teaches creativity in worship

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — Scripture says God is the creator and all are created in his image to be a new creature in Christ. And all are invited to follow his lead and be creative when bringing his message, love and redemption into the world.

At the Creative Church Conference Jan. 12-14, attendees can learn how to nurture their creative side and funnel that creativity into the ministry of the church. This nurturing will take place in Orlando and Walt Disney World — not just the “happiest place on earth,” but also one of the most creative places to experience.

The leaders for this three-day adventure include Alice Bass, author of “The Creative Life,” actress, stage writer and former Disney and Universal employee; Jennifer and Kevin Brassard, current Disney employees with expertise in creative stage improvisation, dance and voice; Phil and Tess Card, former Disney employees now creating their own Christian theatre troupe, specializing in Reader’s Theatre; and the Rev. Bill Barnes, senior pastor of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Orlando. Other Disney executives will also be involved.
Updates on speakers, workshop information and registration are available at


Workshop offers keys to effective ministry for small membership churches

By Hinton Rural Life Center Staff

HAYESVILLE, Ky. — Hinton Rural Life Center presents “Keys to Effective Ministry” Feb. 22-24 for small membership church pastors and laity.

The event features the Rev. Ron and Bonnie Crandall. Ron is a retired elder in the Kentucky Conference of The United Methodist Church who lives with his wife, Bonnie, in Lexington, Ky. His special areas of research and writing include ministry and evangelism in small churches, Christian witness and Wesleyan contributions to Christian leadership.

The executive secretary of Rural/Urban Networks of the General Board of Global Ministries, who will be named in early 2010, will be at the event to discuss small church issues. Attendees should bring questions for the Wednesday afternoon session.

The registration fee is $125. Lodging costs are: $155 for a private room and meals, $135 for a shared room and meals, and $210 for a private room and meals with spouse.

Questions should be directed to Beth Leinbach, administrative assistant at the Hinton Rural Life Center, at 828-389-8336. A brochure and information about Hinton Rural Life Center is available at


Free youth ministry resources available

By Jeremy Steele**

MOBILE, Ala. — United Methodist youth pastors from across the United States have come together to create a new Web site called that is focused on providing free, high-quality resources to youth ministers/ministries in the United Methodist denomination — though all are welcome. 

Youth pastors are uploading content they create for their youth groups to be used free of charge by other youth ministers in two main groupings of resources: downloadable resources and ideas. In the downloadable resources section, youth ministers can find confirmation curriculum, small group studies, youth ministry logos and complete camps and retreats (shirt design, backgrounds, small group books). The ideas area features short articles on everything from recruiting volunteers to youth games and ideas for using technology in ministry.

This new youth leader’s resource site is available at More information is available by contacting Jeremy Steele at


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

*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 in Lakeland, Fla.
   Pancoast is program manager at Warren W. Willis United Methodist Camp in Fruitland Park, Fla.
   Pierson is director of Navigate and Post Modern Consultant at Leadership Nexus in Tulsa, Okla.
   Steele is youth pastor at Christ United Methodist Church, Mobile, Ala.

   Todd is director of the Louise and Hugh Moore Population Project at the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society in Washington, D.C.