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e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service


An e-Review News Item | Dec. 17, 2009 {1114}

This series includes:

• Conference emphasizes leading with passion
• Workshop provides ‘real ideas’ for ministry
• Student scholarship program seeks applicants
• Church secretaries head to Florida for 28th annual conference
• Workshops aim to increase salty service

• Deadline to submit legislation for Young People’s Convocation is Dec. 31
• Wesley Ministry Network courses go online
• Hinton Rural Life Center presents spirituality and arts series
• Workshop offers keys to unlock recovery ministry
• Conference focuses on children’s ministry
• Scholarship event planned for aspiring seminary students
• Lilly Endowment announces 2010 National Clergy Renewal Program
• Charity Navigator helps supporters make informed decisions
• Mentor book available in Spanish, English


Conference emphasizes leading with passion

By Caryl Kelley**

LAKELAND — Those interested in a time of revival and renewal for The United Methodist Church in Florida are invited to attend the Passionate Leadership Conference Jan. 24-25, where participants will celebrate their collective passion for the call to leadership in the church.

The conference will be held at First United Methodist Church, 125 North Interlachen Ave., in Winter Park, Fla.

The keynote speaker is Bishop William H. Willimon, who leads 157,000 United Methodists and 792 pastors in The North Alabama Conference of The United Methodist Church. The Rev. Kirbyjon H. Caldwell, senior pastor of Windsor Village United Methodist Church in Houston, Texas, will lead through a videotaped interview. Other leaders include the Revs. Jorge Acevedo, lead pastor at Cape Coral’s Grace United Methodist Church, a multi-site United Methodist congregation in southwest Florida, and Debbie McLeod, senior pastor at Mandarin United Methodist Church, who says her greatest joy is working with laity in discipleship, evangelism and missions.

Lodging is available at Mt. Vernon Best Western in Winter Park (407-647-1166) at a special rate
for conference attendees. The registration fee is $25, which can be waived for anyone who indicates at the time of registration that payment is a hardship.

Event details and registration information is available at More information is also available by contacting the church at 407-644-2906.


Workshop provides ‘real ideas’ for ministry

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — In today’s world, people are looking for concrete answers. They’re searching for hope and clarity in a culture of confusion. Van Dyke United Methodist Church in Tampa is offering them an opportunity to get the information they’re seeking at the 2010 Real Ideas Conference Feb. 26-27.

The conference is for all who are in ministry — pastors, staff, leaders and volunteers — from any sized church. The Revs. Matthew Hartsfield, senior pastor at Van Dyke United Methodist Church in Lutz, and Jorge Acevedo, lead pastor at the multi-site Grace United Methodist Church in Cape Coral, will share practical ideas from their years of learning.

Churches are encouraged to bring teams so leaders, staff members and volunteers can process thoughts collectively and build on each other’s perspectives.

The registration rate includes lunch on site and snacks Friday and Saturday, four general sessions, six breakout times with more than 70 practical workshops, and conference materials, and resources.

The early bird rate before or on Jan. 15 for one to nine people is $99 per person. Groups of 10 or more are $89 each. After Jan. 15 and at the door, the cost is $119 each for one to nine people and $109 each for groups of 10 or more. Groups must register together to receive the group rate.

Complete details and registration information are available at The registration form lists the many workshops offered.

More information is available by contacting Karen Peel at 813-968-3983, extension 145.


Student scholarship program seeks applicants

By Florida United Methodist Foundation Staff

LAKELAND — Through a generous endowment from Aleen and Carson Sinclair, longtime members of John Wesley United Methodist Church in Tallahassee, the Florida United Methodist Foundation is able to provide scholarships for United Methodist students in Florida. The scholarships seek to foster academic and spiritual growth for new generations of United Methodist church leaders.

The foundation is accepting applications for the 2010 Sinclair Scholarship Jan. 1-March 12. The undergraduate scholarship is available to United Methodist students who will be incoming freshmen in the fall of 2010.

The scholarship provides $1,500 per semester or $3,000 per year to help defray tuition costs for students who plan to attend a Florida or United Methodist college or university. The award is renewable for up to four years as long as eligibility requirements are met.

To be considered, a candidate must be an active member of a United Methodist church in the Florida Conference, a full-time student with a 3.0 grade point average or higher, and engaged in church and community service.

Complete scholarship guidelines and application forms are available at Candidates are encouraged to read the guidelines and application forms carefully. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.


Church secretaries head to Florida for 28th annual conference
By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — The Florida Chapter of the Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries (PAUMCS) will offer its 28th annual conference April 15-18 in Orlando.

Each year, the conference provides United Methodist Church administrative professionals with the opportunity to increase their knowledge in various areas of office skills and church polity. In addition to the continuing education aspect of the gathering, the conference includes a variety of activities to reinvigorate participants spiritually, inspirationally and motivationally.

Featured speakers and topics include Barbara Bruce, “Keeping your mind, body and soul healthy in the workplace”; Vicki Wallace, “Rethink Church”; and Buena “Beanie” Rankin, “Every member counts and we count every member.”

The mission of PAUMCS is to provide a supportive base for the unity and fellowship of its members, individual growth, professional development, continuing education, and spiritual enrichment.

This year’s conference mission project is Cornerstone Family Ministries, formerly Tampa United Methodist Centers, a faith based, multi-faceted, nonprofit mission. Details about the organization are available at

Registration for PAUMCS national members is $400. Non-member or late registration is $425. There is also a guest package at $375. The early registration deadline is March 1. An outing to Sea World Orlando is included in the registration.

The conference will be held at Wyndham Resort, 8001 International Drive. Attendees may make their room reservations by calling the hotel at 407-351-2420 and mentioning PAUMCS. A roommate should be selected before calling the hotel to make a reservation together. Room rates are $109 for single/double occupancy, with a $20 charge for each additional person. The deadline to reserve a room is March 13.

A conference brochure is available at, and more information is available at or by contacting Louise Urquhart at


Workshops aim to increase salty service

By Victoria Valdez**

LAKELAND — A series of five workshops, spread throughout the Florida Conference, will help congregational leaders learn practical strategies for mission to the least, the last and the lost.

The Salty Service events are the fourth in a series focusing on the five disciple-making practices of effective congregations known as The Methodist Way.

Dates and locations are: March 4 at Grace United Methodist Church, Cape Coral; March 5 at Harris Chapel United Methodist Church, Oakland Park; March 11 at St. Paul United Methodist Church, Largo; March 12 at First United Methodist Church, Deland; and March 13 at Saint Paul’s United Methodist Church, Tallahassee.

Paul Chilcote is the keynote speaker for each of the five events. Chilcote is professor of Historical Theology and Wesleyan Studies at Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland, Ohio.

Participants will have the opportunity to choose two breakout sessions. Topics include helping church leaders determine their community’s needs, being in ministry with the poor, prison ministry, adopting a neighborhood school, ending childhood hunger, mission trips with a difference, disaster response and earth care.
Each event begins with registration at 9 a.m. and ends by 4 p.m. The cost for each event is $45 and includes snacks and lunch.

Online registration is available through the Florida Conference Web site at When people register, they will be registering for the event date/location they wish to attend, not specific breakout group sessions. About two weeks before each event, those who have registered will receive additional information about the event by e-mail and have the opportunity to select their breakout sessions.

More information is available by contacting Vicky Valdez at


Deadline to submit legislation for Young People’s Convocation is Dec. 31

By Tim Ghianni**

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Global Young People’s Convocation and Legislative Assembly is July 21-26, but it’s crunch time for one of the most important aspects of the event. The deadline for submission of legislation for the gathering in Berlin is Dec. 31.

“It’s one of the major reasons we’ll be gathering,” says Elizabeth-Ann Rowlison, coordinator of the event for Young People’s Ministries, a division of the United Methodist General Board of Discipleship.

The gathering has much to offer, from speakers to programming that makes use of the cultural and historical backdrop that is Berlin.

“We were drawn to Berlin because the city itself echoes our event theme of ‘One Church, One Lord, One World,’ ” says Rowlison, noting that the city, once divided by ideology, as well as a wall, is now among Europe’s most vibrant. 

But the legislation is a top priority when the young people gather. “The Legislative Assembly is one of the major aspects of the event that is mandated by the Book of Discipline,” Rowlison says.

This is the second such gathering; the first took place in 2006 in South Africa. Legislation that is approved at the convocation goes forward for consideration at the next General Conference.

Registration is now open, and delegates are beginning to register, which excites Rowlison. However, the proposed legislation deadline is looming, and she wants to make sure those who are interested have their voices heard.

“It is a major focus of the event, which was conceived as a way for young people to have their voices heard in the church through the legislative process,’’ Rowlison says. “It gives young people an essential way to participate in the church — to raise their concerns and to address those concerns as they are heard through the legislative process.’’

Guidelines for legislation and general information about the convocation and how to support it through giving are available at

“Any youth or young adult from throughout the world can submit legislation for consideration at the convocation,” Rowlison says.

While there’s no way to gauge the amount of legislation or the type of measures that will be offered up for consideration, Rowlison expects “a lot of it will have to do with social justice issues.”

“Young people tend to be particularly interested in human rights and justice issues and in encouraging the church to engage on those issues,” she says.

Once the legislation is submitted, it will be translated into five languages — English, German, French, Portuguese and Russian — to make sure all attending the gathering will be able to understand the proposals.

At the first gathering in Johannesburg, 44 pieces of legislation were offered for consideration. Of those, 22 passed and moved forward to the 2008 General Conference. Four pieces failed, and the others were referred to Young People’s Ministries and other agencies of the church for further research and formatting for the future.

As is anticipated this time, the proposals offered at the first conference were strong on social issues, including building awareness of the Darfur tragedy, a statement on war and peace, various environmental concerns, and support of the Nothing But Nets campaign.

Mike Ratliff, associate general secretary of the Division on Ministries with Young People, predicts there will be as many as 500 people from throughout The United Methodist Church in Berlin for the five days of the gathering.

“It’s about developing leadership among young people, addressing their concern and passions and giving them a voice in the church,” Rowlison says of the convocation and legislative assembly. “It’s part legislative process, part sharing of ideas and connecting young people to their peers from around the world and giving them a forum to discuss things that are of concern to young people around the world today.”


Wesley Ministry Network courses go online

By Katie Schechter**

WASHINGTON — Starting in January, Wesley Ministry Network’s adult education courses for laity and clergy will be available online through a partnership with The Institute for Discipleship, affiliated with Bishop Richard Wilke, founder of DISCIPLE Bible Study.

Courses include “Journey Through the Psalms,” “Serious Answers to Hard Questions,” “Simply Christian,” “Women Speak of God,” “Devotion to Jesus” and “Religion and Science: Pathways to Truth.”

Each course features streaming video segments and online discussions with other students and experienced Wesley Ministry Network teachers. Courses are open to everyone, and continuing education credits are available for pastors.

More information is available at


Hinton Rural Life Center presents spirituality and arts series

By Hinton Center staff

HAYESVILLE, Ky. — The Hand and Soul Workshop Feb. 5-7 kicks off the Hinton Rural Life Center’s series of winter workshops on spirituality and the arts.

The Hand and Soul Workshop is a personal path to spirituality through art. It includes individual and/or collaborative art activities and finished pieces, personal reflection and quiet time, group reflection and sharing, team activities, nature time, and writing.

Participants should bring favorite quotes, Bible passages, hymns and song lyrics, poems and prayers, book passages — something that represents a path to spirituality that can be permanently used in a piece of art that they will create.

The fee is $165, and the registration deadline is Jan. 15.

The Faithbooking Retreat Feb. 12-14 is for scrapbooking a faith journey. “Scrappers,” from beginner to advanced, will enjoy uninterrupted time to work on albums. Ideas for creating an album that details a spiritual journey or a particular story of faith will be shared.

Participants should bring photos and all scrapbooking supplies (album, adhesive, embellishments, pens and others.). Scrapbooking kits are available for purchase on the center’s Web site.

The last workshop, the Creation Care Retreat, focuses on environmental stewardship. The date has not yet been determined, but will be listed on the Hinton Center Web site.

Local artists will provide activities and opportunities for participants to experience and appreciate the natural world, including nature scavenger hunts, bamboo teepee building, natural material art activities and a nature path walk. Activities will emphasize reusable instead of disposable creative methods. Participants’ creations will be presented at the end of the workshop as an environmental art showcase.

The fee for the workshop is $175. The registration deadline is to be determined

All workshop fees must be pre-paid and include lodging and meals. Participants who register by Dec. 31 may take 10 percent off the workshop fee.

A brochure and a registration form are available at or by calling 828-389-8336 or toll-free 866-389-8336 to receive a form.


Workshop offers keys to unlock recovery ministry

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — The ministry of recovery is about redeeming lives. Ministers and recovery leaders work every day to help set people free from the power of addictions, the pain of abuse, and the effects of wounds and losses.

The Recovery Conference at the Grove Hotel in Riverside, Calif., Feb. 22-23 is designed for all who help people with their recovery.

Attendees will experience inspiration and motivation by pastors, leaders and counselors who have seen God transform their churches through the ministry of recovery. They will have opportunities to learn how to start and sustain a recovery ministry, along with practical ideas and strategies to help develop a more effective ministry and connections with others who share the passion to reach out to those who are broken.

There will also be exposure to a variety of models and approaches to recovery; contact with a number of authors, thought-leaders and practitioners; access to books and materials from recovery ministries around the country; and a chance to earn continuing education units.

Recovery tracts include “True Faced,” “Starting and Sustaining a Recovery Ministry,” “The Soul of Recovery” and “Leveraging Community Resources in Recovery Ministries.”

The sessions include “Lord, Send Us the People Nobody Else Wants or Sees,” “No Band-Aids on the Battle Field,” “Maximizing the Volunteer Experience,” “Recovery is for Kids, Too” and “Recovery Life Coaching: A Church Based Ministry That Works.”

The registration fee is $179 per person. Space is limited.

Information about registration, flight and hotel arrangements, and the conference tracks are available at Questions can also be directed to


Conference focuses on children’s ministry

By Caryl Kelley

LAKELAND — Individuals who want to re-energize, refocus and refuel so they can transform the world one child at a time are invited to attend the 2010 Children’s Ministry Forum Feb. 23-25 in Raleigh, N.C.

Themed “Fill My Cup, Lord,” the event is designed to challenge attendees to learn, worship and share ideas as they explore together how to help children grow as disciples.

Edenton Street United Methodist Church and the North Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church are sponsors of the conference, which includes innovative workshops in six different time periods. There will also be worship, time for networking, a Cokesbury Book Store and information provided by a variety of vendors.

The conference is primarily for pastors and children’s ministry leaders at United Methodist congregations with 350 or more in worship, but all are welcome. It is an experience that provides tools for teaching and learning and will provide a vision for what children’s ministry can be in a large United Methodist church.

More information, including a schedule, details about leaders, a list of workshops and registration information, is available at


Scholarship event planned for aspiring seminary students

By Emory University Office of Media Relations Staff

ATLANTA — Emory University’s Candler School of Theology is helping make theological education affordable for the next generation of Christian leaders by offering a scholarship event Feb. 28-March 2.

Leadership Candler will bring together prospective Master of Divinity students from across the country and the world for a three-day event that includes interviews with scholarship committees, visits to classes and conversations with Candler’s faculty. Leadership Candler also features interaction with current students and staff, group discussions and a campus tour, including time to explore Pitts Theology Library.

The 2010 Leadership Candler participants will be offered awards totaling more than $575,000, all providing at least full tuition. Each year, Candler offers up to 30 scholarships, including awards that offer full tuition, fees and a $10,000 annual stipend. In fall 2009, 57 entering Master of Divinity students received full tuition scholarships, totaling more than $100,000.

Candidates for Leadership Candler should apply for admission and complete the Leadership Candler application no later than Jan. 15. Leadership Candler candidates must demonstrate confident and unselfish character, combined with deep concern for others; intellectual achievement; impressive communication skills; significant leadership and creativity in school, church or community; and a clear potential for enriching the lives of their peers at Candler.

A complete list of the scholarships and more information about Leadership Candler is available at

Candler School of Theology at Emory University is one of 13 United Methodist Church seminaries. Its enrollment includes more than 500 students from more than 50 denominations.


Lilly Endowment announces 2010 National Clergy Renewal Program

By Gretchen Wolfram**

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Recently, 149 congregations in 36 states were notified that they had received a National Clergy Renewal Program grant for their pastors from the Indianapolis-based Lilly Endowment. Now, the Endowment announces the program, which already has awarded more than 1,500 grants in its 10-year history, will continue for another year.

“The renewal of a pastor’s heart and spirituality is part of his or her ‘job description’ and is essential to the spiritual quality of a congregation’s life,” said Craig Dykstra, senior vice president for religion at the Lilly Endowment. “Pastors and congregations both benefit from this period of renewal. Pastors are given a rare chance to get away from the demands of daily parish ministry. We ask them to consider, ‘What will make your heart sing?’ ”

Most pastors awarded grants spend three to four months away from their churches to experience new possibilities and connect more deeply with what truly matters to them. They travel throughout the world, study subjects they really care about, and reconnect with family and friends from years past.

“As they explore the roots of their religious traditions, write poetry, practice contemplative prayer or spend weeks or months in significantly different cultural contexts, they come to see their ministry with fresh eyes,” Dykstra said. “At the same time, the congregations also come to see their pastor and themselves in new ways. The planning process itself gives them a better understanding of what their pastors do, and their appreciation for them grows.”

Dykstra says congregations sometimes decide to undertake a spiritual journey of their own alongside the pastor. “They may read some of the same books the pastor is reading or form discussion groups around the sabbatical theme,” he said. “Comments from former recipients prove to us that both the pastors and the congregations find the whole experience empowering and exciting.”

Completing the application requires a joint effort of the pastor and the congregation. Applicants are encouraged not to put off applying until the last minute. “The process takes some time,” Dykstra said. “It involves intentional and purposeful discussion between the congregation and the pastor. It is not just a form that can be filled out overnight.”

Dykstra said that even among congregations that did not receive grants, the application process helped them focus on such issues as effective leadership and the future directions of the congregation.

Eligible congregations may apply for an award of up to $50,000; up to $15,000 of that amount may be spent on congregational support during the absence of the pastor.

An application brochure that describes the program and eligibility requirements and provides application forms and instructions is available at Interested individuals may call 317-916-7350, e-mail or write Lilly Endowment at 2801 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, IN 46208.

The deadline for proposals is June 21.


Charity Navigator helps supporters make informed decisions

By United Methodist Committee on Relief Staff

NEW YORK — Charity Navigator, the nation's largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities, has awarded the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) its four-star rating for sound fiscal management.

This marks the second consecutive year UMCOR has been acknowledged for its transparency and sound financial accountability.

Only 20 percent of the charities rated by Charity Navigator receive two consecutive four-star evaluations, indicating that UMCOR executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way.

The four-star “exceptional” designation is Charity Navigator’s highest rating awarded to select nonprofit organizations that exceed industry standards and outperform most charities in its cause.

Charity Navigator works to guide intelligent giving and helps supporters make informed giving decisions by providing data about more than 5,000 charities and evaluating the financial health of each one. Charity Navigator’s detailed rating of UMCOR is available at

This recognition can help churches be confident that their contribution to UMCOR will be used responsibly.

UMCOR is the global humanitarian aid organization of The United Methodist Church, working in more than 80 countries worldwide, including the United States. Its mission is to alleviate human suffering caused by war, conflict or natural disaster. UMCOR responds to natural or civil disasters that are interruptions of such magnitude that they overwhelm a community's ability to recover on its own.

Churches and individuals can learn more about UMCOR and ways to give at


Mentor book available in Spanish, English

By Vicki L. Brown**

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — “Mentors as Instruments of God’s Call” has become a sought-after guide for those in the process of discerning a call to ministry or seeking to clarify their call.

New editions of this book, first published in 1992, are now available in Spanish and English from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

The new editions were updated by author Justo L. González, a retired member of the Rio Grande Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church and former professor at the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico and Candler School of Theology in Atlanta, Ga.

“All the great leaders of the church have had mentors who helped form and train them,” González said. “Unfortunately, there was a time when the importance of mentoring was forgotten or simply left to the chance encounter between people who would then establish a mentoring relationship. The current emphasis on mentoring, and its inclusion in the official programs and parameters for the development of new leadership, hold great promise for the future of The United Methodist Church, as well as for others who are following similar paths.”

The book includes concise introduction for anyone interested in learning more about the biblical meaning of mentoring.

The Rev. Sharon Rubey, director of Candidacy and Conference Relations at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, said the book is a helpful guide for indentifying and training candidacy mentors.

“This thoughtful resource augments individual candidacy journeys and conference candidacy programs,” Rubey said.

“Mentors as Instruments of God’s Call: Biblical Reflections” is available for $5.95 through Cokesbury at 1-800-672-1789 or online at The Spanish edition, “Mentores Como Instrumentos del Llamado de Dios,” is also available from Cokesbury for the same price.


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 Office of Interpretation at the United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry in Nashville, Tenn.
   Ghianni is a freelance writer for the United Methodist Board of Discipleship based in Nashville, Tenn.
   Kelley is subscription manager, photographer and contributing writer for e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service in Lakeland, Fla.
   Schechter is coordinator of development and media relations for the Wesley Ministry Network
in Washington, D.C.

   Wolfram is on the communications staff at Lilly Endowment in Indianapolis, Ind.