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e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service


An e-Review News Item | March 12, 2010 {1149}

This series includes:

• Cornerstone laces up for 30th Annual Wonder Walk
• Asbury Seminary Florida offers open house, preview weekend
• Youth workers invited to learn to ‘speak to teenagers’
• Parents, children discuss human sexuality
• United Methodist Credit Union offers scholarships
• Foundation offers financial seminar for clergy
• Ministry helps clergy strengthen covenant groups
• Gathering celebrates Native American heritage, ministry
• UMVIM offers mission training
• Warren Willis Camp shifts summer camp schedule
• Prison ministry volunteers needed

• Hunger society urges participation in Feinstein Challenge 2010
• Intentional Growth Center helps youth stay committed to confirmation
• Event helps small membership churches ‘reach, keep’ members
• United Methodists unite to change world
• Conference helps leaders ‘rethink church,’ chart new course
• Leaders trained on human sexuality curriculum for children
• Virtual classes on leading mid-sized church launch in April
• Older adults celebrate springtime by the sea
• Student Forum focuses on social justice advocacy


Cornerstone laces up for 30th Annual Wonder Walk

By Stephanie Collins**

TAMPA — Cornerstone Family Ministries is gearing up for its 30th Annual Wonder Walk March 20 at 8:30 a.m.

This event brings together many of Central Florida’s churches, businesses and organizations for a 10K walk along Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa. Cornerstone Family Ministries, actively involved in the community to nurture children and feed the hungry, invites anyone who would like to help raise money to lace up their walking shoes and join the event.

The walk’s opening ceremony will take place at Hyde Park United Methodist Church, 500 Platt Street, in Tampa. After the ceremony, participants can run, roller blade, bike or take a scenic stroll down Bayshore Boulevard and then return to the Hyde Park church for lunch. As in previous years, the Wonder Walk will attract more than 600 volunteers who will walk to help the community served by Cornerstone Family Ministries. 

Participation is open to the public as walkers, joggers, skaters and bike riders hope to raise more than $100,000 for the fund-raiser. The goal is for each participant to collect $100, and they must collect a minimum of $35 in order to earn a free T-shirt, continental breakfast and lunch. The course is measured for 1K, 5K and 10K. Those unable to walk the distance are welcome to collect pledges and participate in the events at Hyde Park.

Cornerstone Family Ministries is a faith-based, human service agency that touches the lives of more than 20,000 families each month. All proceeds from the walk will benefit the children of the Rosa Valdez Center and participating in the Child Care Food Program, as well as families in the SHARE Florida Food Network.

More information on the Wonder Walk is available by calling 813-248-6259, extension 225, or visiting


Asbury Seminary Florida offers open house, preview weekend

By Brian Johnson**

ORLANDO — Asbury Theological Seminary’s Florida Dunnam campus is sponsoring a free open house March 23 for people interested in Master of Arts degrees in counseling and pastoral counseling.

Two sessions are being held, 10:30-2 p.m. and 5-7 p.m., at the Asbury campus, 8401 Valencia College Lane. A lunch or dinner will be provided. Attendees will attend class, tour campus and meet with counseling faculty and students.

The master’s in counseling offers licensure in either mental health or marriage and family. The master’s in pastoral counseling is designed for pastors, chaplains and laity wanting to enhance their ministries as community caregivers.

Individuals may register at or by calling 800.2.ASBURY.

The seminary is also offering its preview weekend April 16-17 for people considering a call to seminary.
The weekend offers opportunities for guests to meet with faculty, academic advisors and students. Participants will 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.

Interested individuals may register at or call 800.2.ASBURY.
Asbury Theological Seminary is a community called to prepare theologically educated men and women to evangelize and spread the Gospel throughout the world.


Youth workers invited to learn to ‘speak to teenagers’

By Tita Parham

ORLANDO — Beach United Methodist Church in Jacksonville Beach invites all workers with you to attend the “Speaking to Teenagers” seminar April 24, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

The seminar offers practical tips for youth workers and anyone who teaches or speaks to teenagers and preteens, including pastors, volunteers, small group leaders and Sunday School teachers.

Doug Fields and Duffy Robbins are the featured leaders. Fields is the founder of Simply Youth Ministry and a youth pastor who most recently served at Saddleback Church in southern California. He is the author of more than 50 books, including “Speaking To Teenagers” with Robbins, who is professor of youth ministry at Eastern University in St. David’s, Pa. Robbins is also author of 17 youth ministry books and textbooks.

The pre-registration cost is $49 per person; at-the-door registration (if space is available) is $59.
Groups of four or more receive $10 off each registration. Lunch is not provided.

Interested individuals may register at


Parents, children discuss human sexuality

By e-Review Staff

LAKELAND — Fifth-grade students and their parents or guardians are invited to participate in a comprehensive, faith-based study of human sexuality at the Warren W. Willis United Methodist Camp in Fruitland Park April 23-25.

The Rev. Dr. James H. Ritchie Jr., a pastor, religious educator and writer who developed the  “Created By God” curriculum that will be used at the retreat, will facilitate the program.

Through six sessions of active learning, Ritchie will spend time with both children and adults. Adult leaders will accompany the children in mixed gender small groups, and parents will go through a series of workshops, forums and discussions. Scripture, worship and music are woven throughout the study.

The cost of the retreat is $100 per person. Registration information and details about the schedule and class sessions are available at by choosing “attend,” then “spring and fall retreats” and “Created by God.” The registration deadline is April 9.

Interested individuals may contact Joel Pancoast at for more information.


United Methodist Credit Union offers scholarships

By Renea Hazelbaker**

LAKELAND — The Georgia Florida United Methodist Federal Credit Union will award three $1,000 college scholarships this year: one each for a student in the North Georgia, South Georgia and Florida conferences.

Individuals interested in applying must be between the ages of 17 and 24, attend church in one of the conferences and be a member of the credit union.

An application form is available at The application and an essay pertaining to questions listed at the bottom of the application must be mailed to Georgia Florida United Methodist Federal Credit Union, P.O. Box 6448, Marietta, GA 30065-0448, by April 30.


Foundation offers financial seminar for clergy

By Suzanne McGovern**

LAKELAND — Beginning this spring the Florida United Methodist Foundation will add a new financial workshop to its educational curriculum with the introduction of “Now You Tell Me: A Clergy Guide to Personal and Church Finance.” 

The course is designed to help clergy acquire financial management skills that are sorely missing in seminary training, but are absolutely essential to success, according to the Rev. Tom Marston, the foundation’s president.

The seminar is an intensive three-day workshop April 29-May 1 in Orlando that lays out the basics of personal and church finance, including how to develop a theology of money. Topics include fundamentals of finance and financial planning, church finance, stewardship and the cultural challenges facing clergy and the church. Workshop leaders include foundation and conference staff and outside professionals with wide-ranging expertise on financial matters.  Continuing education credits will be offered.

“Clergy are often at a real disadvantage because they come out of seminary with high expectations and a pretty heavy student loan debt,” Marston said. “When they encounter the reality of salary and living expenses, they are already in the hole and facing difficult choices on how to plan for a secure financial future.”

“We hope that the financial seminar will help our pastors navigate these treacherous waters,” he added. “We have learned through experience that financial hardship is the primary reason people leave the ministry. We need to do as much as we can to help our clergy succeed.”

Because the sessions on personal finance impact families, Marston said, couples are encouraged to attend together.

The cost is $195 for couples and $125 for single attendees. Tuition covers overnight accommodations, workshop sessions and materials, and most meals. Under special circumstances, scholarships are available.

The seminar will be held at The Marriott Courtyard in the Marriott Village at Lake Buena Vista, 8623 Vineland Avenue, Orlando, FL 32821. Space is limited to 25 participants. Couples count as one participant. Information and online registrations are available at 
The registration deadline is April 2.


Ministry helps clergy strengthen covenant groups

By e-Review Staff

LAKELAND — Clergy wanting to strengthen or form a support group of other clergy are invited to attend upcoming retreats offered by Shade and Fresh Water.

Shade and Fresh Water is a program agency of the Florida Conference that offers help to clergy and their families in a variety of ministry areas — personal retreats, relocation workshops and retreats, divorce issues, and support for clergy kids.

Shade and Fresh Water is currently offering several weekend retreats to help strengthen existing Florida Conference clergy covenant groups and provide assistance to those wanting to develop a covenant group in order to deepen clergy spiritual friendships within a covenant group experience.

Remaining 2010 weekend dates are May 9-10, Aug. 8-9, Sept. 12-13 and Oct. 3-4.

Those interested in the weekend retreats may contact the Rev. Mason Dorsey at 727-527-6466 or or the Rev. Dionne Hammond at 727-784-9250 or

More information on the Shade and Fresh Water ministry is available at


Gathering celebrates Native American heritage, ministry

By e-Review Staff

ORLANDO — Native and non-native clergy and laity interested in Native American heritage and ministry are invited to the fifth annual Native American Gathering May 14-16 at the Florida Conference Life Enrichment Center in Fruitland Park.

The retreat features Native American style worship, teaching, workshops and fellowship. Leaders include Dock Green Silverhawk, chairman of the Florida Conference Committee on Native American Ministries (CONAM), as emcee and guest speaker Richard Twiss of the Rosebud Lakota/Sioux tribe and co-founder and president of Wiconi International ( The host drum is Sacred Thunder Drum.

The retreat’s sponsors are CONAM, American Indian Christian Circle in Thonotosassa, All Nations Native Ministries in Sarasota and Inter-tribal Cultural Society in Plant City.

More information and registration details are available by contacting Vickie Swartz at 941-954-0664, mailbox 2. Those interested in attending must register in order to participate. The registration deadline is April 30.

More information about CONAM is available on the Florida Conference Web site at


UMVIM offers mission training

By Pam Garrison**

LAKELAND — Clergy or laity who feel ready to take their leadership skills to the next level and would like to discover the keys to successfully lead a mission team domestically or overseas will benefit from the United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) leader training May 14-15.

Held at Riverside Retreat, 7305 CR 78, LaBelle, FL 33935, the training is designed to prepare volunteers to lead Volunteer In Mission teams to projects in the United States and around the world.

Participants will stay in dorm-style lodges with bunk beds and should bring a sleeping bag or bedroll, linens, pillow and personal items. The cost is $55 per person, including lodging for one night, three meals and all training materials. Check-in on Friday begins at 5 p.m., followed by dinner at 5:30 p.m. and training at 6:30 p.m. Training ends at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Interested individuals my register at or request more information by contacting Sue Macchiarella, Florida Conference UMVIM chairwoman, at or Pam Garrison at or 800-282-8011, extension 148.


Warren Willis Camp shifts summer camp schedule

By Warren W. Willis Camp Staff

FRUITLAND PARK — Due in part to the public school calendars in Florida this year, a minor shift in the summer camping schedule at the Florida Conference Warren W. Willis United Methodist Camp was needed.

The first week of camp will now begin June 14, instead of June 7, and the last week of camp will begin Aug. 9.
All weeks of camp begin on Monday and end Saturday morning. Children and youth who have already registered for what was originally weeks two through nine will not be affected by the change and no further action is needed on their part.
The list of camp weeks is now June 14-19 and 21-26; June 28-July 3; July 5-10, 12-17, 19-24 and 26-31; and Aug. 2-7 and 9-14.
Registration details and more information are available at


Prison ministry volunteers needed

By Tammy Fisher**

LAKELAND — Members attending the 2009 Florida Annual Conference Event adopted a resolution calling for the expansion of prison ministry.

Nearly 100,000 men and women are incarcerated and in the custody of the Florida Department of Corrections. Of that number, 80 percent has alcohol and drug abuse problems, according to corrections officials.

In an effort to minister to this growing segment of society, a task force is being developed to coordinate the efforts of churches throughout the conference as they minister to the prison population.
Individuals who have a passion for prison ministry are asked to contact Bob Crowley, task force chairperson, at, or Tammy Fisher, Florida Conference staff, at


Hunger society urges participation in Feinstein Challenge 2010

By Society of St. Andrew Staff

BIG ISLAND, Va. — Each year the Feinstein Foundation divides $1 million among participating hunger-fighting charities nationwide, using it to help them raise funds during March and April.

Last year the Society of St. Andrew (SoSA) received $19,869. The more money donated and pledged to SoSA March 1-April 30, the larger the share of the $1 million the organization will receive. The money will be divided proportionately among all participating agencies, exponentially increasing each donor’s gift.

Individuals may participate in the challenge by donating at or pledging at before April 30


Intentional Growth Center helps youth stay committed to confirmation
By Stephanie Driver**

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — Youth who are involved in confirmation classes are about to make an exciting commitment to their local churches. How can they keep their promise? How do they stay committed to this promise after they are confirmed?
Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center has been committed to youth since 1916. Home of the most important United Methodist museum in the world, Lake Junaluska also offers fun and educational workshops that will challenge youth to continue their faith journey beyond the end of their confirmation class.
The Intentional Growth Center has been sponsoring confirmation retreat weekends for more than 25 years. Participants may choose among different confirmation weekends or one of the center’s “mega” weekends.

Each mega weekend provides a larger experience to groups of at least 600 participants. Speakers Andy Lambert (Mega I) and Duffy Robbins (Mega II), along with the band Providence, will lead youth in an uplifting worship experience. 

All weekends include tours of the World Methodist and Heritage Center museums, which have the largest exhibits in the world chronicling Wesleyan history. Youth will learn about their Methodist roots in an interactive way. Other mini workshops offered include drama, worship, fitness and diversity.

Remaining confirmation dates for 2010 are April 16-18 with speaker Stephen Streett and the Stephen Streett band; April 23-25 with speaker Owen Barrow and the Zeke Listenbee band; and Nov. 5-7 with speaker Don Washburn and the Don Washburn band.

More information is available by contacting The Intentional Growth Center at 800-482-1442 or Stephanie Driver at or visiting


Event helps small membership churches ‘reach, keep’ members

By e-Review Staff

LAKELAND — Clergy and laity from small membership churches are invited to the Hinton Rural Life Center in Hayesville, N.C., May 10-11 for a workshop titled “Reaching people under 40 while keeping people under 60.”

The workshop will feature Eddie Hammett, who has served on church staffs and in denominational leadership for 25 years. He is also an author and a professional credentialed coach.

The registration fee is $100 per person and includes housing and two meals, based on double occupancy. A limited number of private rooms are available for an additional $25.

A brochure with schedule and registration information is available at or by contacting Beth Leinbach at the Hinton Rural Life Center at 828-389-4007.


United Methodists unite to change world

By United Methodist Communications Staff

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — United Methodists everywhere are encouraged to begin planning now to participate in “Change the World,” a church-wide event April 24-25 that prompts members to join with others in the community to make a difference locally and globally.

During that weekend, United Methodist churches are encouraged to create and participate in a service or fund-raising event that creates positive and long-lasting change, whether it’s revitalizing a food-pantry program, creating a new ministry to help the homeless or increasing awareness of global health issues, like malaria. Churches can utilize existing ministries or initiate a new outreach event.

“ ‘Change the World’ challenges the people of The United Methodist Church to see the world holistically by giving and serving beyond the four walls of sanctuaries and Sunday school classrooms,” said the Rev. Larry Hollon, chief executive of United Methodist Communications. “Our hope is that not only will church members participate, they will invite neighbors in the community to work side-by-side with them to make a sustainable difference in diverse ways.”

On April 25, World Malaria Day, The United Methodist Church will formally launch a $75 million campaign called Imagine No Malaria ( to eradicate deaths caused by malaria. Churches are being asked to host such events as camp-outs to experience sleeping under bed nets, as families in Africa who rely on mosquito netting for protection against malaria do. These events will help raise awareness and funds that support Imagine No Malaria.

The “Change the World” event was created as part of the Rethink Church campaign in partnership with the United Methodist Publishing House and Imagine No Malaria.

The concept for “Change the World” originated with the Rev. Mike Slaughter, lead pastor at Ginghamsburg Church in Tipp City, Ohio, which was named one of the top 50 churches in the United States by Church Report. Last October, Slaughter was host to a “Change the World” conference. He also wrote a book by the same name that aligns with the vision of Rethink Church.

“The way we love is by serving people, especially the poor and marginalized,” Slaughter said. “The church in the world needs the reputation of being a community that helps people … a community of people that gives hope and that functions as salt and light in its neighborhood.”

The Rethink Church campaign is seeking to utilize outreach events that embrace the concept of an outward-bound church to make a positive difference in the world beyond the church doors. Rethink Church advertising will complement the April events, giving churches an opportunity to take advantage of the awareness generated by the ads.

There are two simple ways to get involved in the “Change the World” event. Plan a community work project and recognize World Malaria Day in worship April 25. Together, churches can show the strength of Christ’s heartbeat around the world.

More information about the event or to learn how to create a church event is available at


Conference helps leaders ‘rethink church,’ chart new course

By Andie Robbins**

LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. — Leaders who long for their church to “rethink” its mission or want change and growth to be evident in their ministry are invited to Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center April 25-29 for a Rethink Church workshop that poses the question, “What if church was a verb?”

Rethink Church will be held in combination with Charting the Course, another workshop designed to give attendees specific tools and ideas to reshape the way their church invites, welcomes and reaches out to its community. Those interested in attending have the option of participating in either workshop or both.

“I hope participants will take away practical information and practices to put into use in their local churches to make them more welcoming and to learn how to become more inviting,” said the Rev. Mark Barden, Western North Carolina Conference director of communications and Rethink Church leader.

Workshop training will cover the areas of welcoming, connecting and identifying. Barden sees the workshop as “a catalyst that moves the denomination … into dialogue — and ultimately into transformative, collaborative action.”

In addition to answering the question, “What if church was a verb?”, Barden says the workshop will “(prod) us to consider church as more about what we do than simply a place to go on Sunday mornings.”

“Grounded in Wesleyan theology, Rethink Church encourages us to move beyond the walls of the church and engage those outside the walls in the action of Christ in the world,” Barden said. Similarly, Charting the Course offers practical ways these ideals can be put into play in the church.

Both workshops will feature several leaders, each of whom have experience in discipleship and facilitating personal and church growth. Leading the Rethink Church training with Barden is the Rev. Dawn Hand, associate pastor at Matthews United Methodist Church in the Western North Carolina Conference, and the Rev. Gregg Plott, pastor at Warrensville Charge and chair of the Western North Carolina Conference Commission on Communications. Leading Charting the Course is the Rev. Donna Gaither, who has served as a Christian educator and currently works with the General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church. Gaither also helped develop the Charting the Course materials with the Illinois Great Rivers Conference.

Registration fees vary from $70 to $85 for early registration, depending on workshop or workshops being attended. After April 1, late registration fees apply and prices vary from $85 to $100.

More information about the retreats, leaders and registration is available at, where a printable brochure and lodging information can also be found, or by contacting Pam Naplen at 828-454-6656.


Leaders trained on human sexuality curriculum for children

By Tita Parham

ORLANDO — Laity and clergy interested in receiving training on the “Created by God” curriculum are invited to a train the trainer’s event April 30-May 1 at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Montgomery, Ala.

The Rev. Dr. James H. Ritchie Jr., a pastor, religious educator and writer, developed the curriculum, which is a comprehensive, faith-based study of human sexuality for pre-teen children

The Rev. Leigh Meekins of the Alabama-West Florida Conference will lead the session, which includes an overview of the “Created by God” curriculum, a guided plan for leading “Created by God” events for tweens and parents, and an overview of a certification plan developed by the North Texas Conference. The curriculum will also be available for purchase during the event.

The cost is $55 per person and includes lunch April 30. Individuals may register online at http:// Registration ends April 23 or when the maximum registration of 45 people is reached.

Out-of-town guests are invited to stay at the Wingate by Wyndham, 2060 Eastern Boulevard, Montgomery, AL 36117. The cost is $72 per night, single or double occupancy, plus tax. Attendees may make their reservations by calling 800-228-1000 and asking for the “Created by God” rate.

Event sponsors include the General Board of Discipleship, Cokesbury, the Alabama-West Florida Conference and Aldersgate United Methodist Church.


Virtual classes on leading mid-sized church launch in April

By e-Review Staff

LAKELAND — Instead of attending a seminar, laity and clergy in mid-sized churches can connect virtually with the Rev. N. Burton Brooks Jr.’s seminar “Leading the Middle Sized Church.”

Participants will watch a PowerPoint presentation on their computer, hear Brooks on the phone and experience small group discussions with participants and the leader. Five 90-minute teleconferences will take place at 4 p.m. each Tuesday April 13-May 11.

Topics include challenges and opportunities of the mid-sized church; planning and organizing for ministry; leadership development; involving laity; stewardship, fund raising and financial management; creating new worship experiences; identifying and developing new ministries; effective committees and ministry teams; redefining the pastoral role — self care; and growing the mid-sized church.
The registration fee for the virtual seminar is $97 per person for all five teleconference sessions. Individuals may register online at or call 800-482-1442. After registering, participants will receive an e-mail with more information on joining the calls.
More information is available at


Older adults celebrate springtime by the sea

By e-Review Staff

LAKELAND — “When I In Awesome Wonder” is an event for older adults May 17-20 at Epworth by the Sea on St. Simons Island, Ga., one of the Southeastern Jurisdiction’s conference grounds.

Participants will enjoy a visit to Okefenokee Swamp national wildlife and wilderness area and a two-hour narrated ferry cruise to Cumberland Island seashore. Also planned is a tour of historic Fernandina Beach, the Amelia Island Museum of History and a drama featuring the Rev. Lee Weaver portraying Peter, the Big Fisherman. An optional free event Thursday afternoon will be a lecture by Rev. Dave Hanson titled “John Wesley in Georgia.”

A brochure with more details is available at Online registration is available at

All inclusive rates are per person and include lodging for three nights, nine meals (Monday supper through Thursday lunch), the registration fee, entry fees and transportation charges to stated locations. A double room with two adults per room is $353.12 per adult; single rooms are $451.94.


Student Forum focuses on social justice advocacy

By Vicki Brown**

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — United Methodist college students will focus on advocacy for social justice at Student Forum 2010, the national leadership conference of the United Methodist Student Movement, sponsored by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM).
Registration is now open for the event, May 27-30 at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va.
“Students will be given the opportunity to learn in-depth about one of eight different issues, including what they can do in their local communities to be advocates for themselves and others,” said the Rev. Meg Lassiat, director of Student Ministries, Vocation and Enlistment at GBHEM. “One of the main goals of Forum is to give students the information and tools they need to apply what they have learned. I believe teaching students to advocate about different issues and providing them with resources they can use locally is one way we train students to be leaders in their local churches and campus ministries.”
Student leaders from across the United States are expected to gather for the conference, which is planned and organized by college students. The theme is “Jesus’ Story Empowering Disciples.” The conference will include leadership training, spiritual formation and networking.
The registration fee this year has been reduced to $75 per person. The fee includes all conference materials, lodging, meals and a $5 contribution to the United Methodist Student Movement Mission Fund.
Although registration for Student Forum is open to all young adult college and university students, each annual conference must identify three voting student delegates and six alternate student delegates to the annual Student Forum.
Registration details and information about the event are available at


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

*Parham is managing editor of e-Review Florida United Methodist News Service.
**Beecher is director of the East Central District’s Church and Community Connection.
   Brown is a staff member in the office of interpretation at the United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry in Nashville, Tenn. 
   Collins is development and grants manager at Cornerstone Family Ministries in Tampa, Fla.
   Driver is administrative assistant/registrar at The Intentional Growth Center in Lake Junaluska, N.C.
   Fisher is an administrative staff member in the Florida Conference Justice and Spirituality Ministries office.
   Garrison is manager of the Florida Conference Disaster Recovery Ministry in Lakeland, Fla.
   Hazelbaker is a staff member in the Georgia Florida United Methodist Federal Credit Union’s Lakeland, Fla., office.
   Johnson is admissions recruiter at Asbury Theological Seminary’s Florida Dunnam Campus in Orlando, Fla.
   McGovern is vice president of communications for the Florida United Methodist Foundation in Lakeland, Fla.
   Robbins is a communications intern at the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in Lake Junaluska, N.C.