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Advent Lists

  • This year, Advent has been different. It rushed-in upon me with an “unexpected” presence. Suddenly, Thanksgiving was here, and the first Sunday of Advent was upon us. Ramona and I had just finished a 79 Charge Conference Tour of the Northwest District, and  on the road, we were making lists and checking them twice. Decorations needed to be up with lights on the house by the end of Thanksgiving weekend. I am appreciative of my nephew at FSU who had some time to help prior to the holiday weekend!

    It is ironic to me that the scripture for today’s Advent Reading is Matthew 24:36ff. The scripture reminds us to keep watch, be prepared…  Of course, the context of the passage is about the second coming of Christ, but it applies to our lives today in this hurried time of preparation and readiness. Even though Hurricane Season ended today, we in Florida have understood the unpredictability of winter storms and nor’easters even during Advent.

    My Advent lists this year includes welcoming Bishop Tom and Karen Berlin, saying goodbye to Bishop Ken and Pam Carter. As I write this morning, I’m in Lakeland “getting ready” to depart for the Conference Center to welcome Bishop Berlin through a Cabinet onboarding experience and say goodbye to Bishop Ken and Pam Carter weekend after next at Hyde Park UMC in Tampa. It is a flurry of emotions, preparations, to do lists, and travel. But it all seems appropriate to the season of Advent.

    I was reminded last night of the Opera in one act, Amahl and Night Visitors, by Gian Carlo Menotti, based on the book The Adoration of the Magi. I was fortunate enough to play Amahl at Madison High School’s production when I was in the sixth grade. The story tells of the night the Three Kings, following the star to Bethlehem, stop for shelter at the home of Amahl, a poor, crippled shepherd boy who lives with his widowed mother. Inspired by the Wise Men’s story of a kingdom “built on love alone,” Amahl offers his own simple gift to the Christ Child and in so doing, receives his healing as a gift from the Magi on their way to find the Christ Child.

    As you make your journey this advent to the manger in Bethlehem, may your lists include gifts of love and service for others, a renewed understanding of the power of the incarnation, and the reality of the miracle of Christ With Us during this holy time of preparation and readiness to live out the gospel of Love and Peace. 

Original 1951 production — Amahl and the Night Visitors

I Love Being Your District Superintendent,




The North West District will offer SPRC Training in January for all clergy and/or SPRC committees interested. Please save the date:

January 8, 2023 (Sunday)  --  6:00 PM  --  Saint Paul's UMC Tallahassee

January 9, 2023 (Monday)  -  6:00 PM  --  First UMC Live Oak

Please CLICK HERE to register.



 Apportionment payments for 2022 must be received in the lockbox at Regions Bank or paid online by Monday January 9, 2023.  This is not a postmarked by date but is the last day by which monies must be received in the Conference or our bank lockbox to be included in 2022 apportionments receipts.  Any payments received after that date will be applied to 2023 apportionments.  Any payments received between January 1 and January 9 must be clearly marked as to which year they are to be applied.

All apportionment payments should be accompanied by a completed Remittance Report. The Remittance Report is located on our website.  Either click on this link below:

Or go to the website at:

  • Click on “Administration” on the home page
  • Click  “Financial Services”
  • Click on “2022 Apportionment Giving Report Forms”
  • Select one of the two versions of the Giving Report listed at the bottom of the page

Complete the Remittance Form with the following information:

  • Church Name
  • GCFA Number
  • Preparer contact information
  • Allocation amounts for each fund

To pay online go to the conference website.  Here is a link to take you to that page:
Any amounts due for Ministry Protection and Health and Benefits at the end of the year will continue to show as outstanding on your statement in 2023. 

To ensure proper processing of these payments and avoid errors, payments should contain the following information on the check, check stub or statement:

  • Church Name
  • GCFA Number
  • Invoice Number (include all letters and any 0’s)
  • Allocation amounts for each invoice

When mailing payments to Regions take note of the billing address for each of these types of payments.  The last 4 numbers after the zip code are different for each and very important to include to ensure your payment is processed properly.

To be considered a 100% connectional church in the Florida Annual Conference Journal, 100% of 2022 apportionments must be received by January 09, 2023, and all outstanding Ministry Protection and Health and Benefits obligations must be received by December 31, 2022.





You are invited...           DECEMBER 4, 2022 --   4 PM  ---   BETHEL UNITED METHODIST, 1470 BETHEL CHURCH ROAD, TALLAHASSE , FL 32304 with refreshments to follow concert.

Call Travis Oaks for information - 850-519-2789 



Ruslan Ramazanov will be in concert at Centenary United Methodist Church (206 N. Madison St. Quincy, Florida) on Sunday, December 18 at 6:00pm. Ruslan is a Ukrainian Pianist and recently arrived in the United States with his family. Ruslan won the international piano competition in Khmelnytskyi, Ukraine, graduated from the National Academy of Music in Kyiv with a doctorate, taught at the Chernivtsi School of Arts, and performed with various orchestras during his carrier. We hope you will be able to join us for this special evening and extraordinary music.


 Greetings UMC Famiy!

My name is Zac Prasse and I have been blessed with the opportunity to work with our Youth in the Northwest District. I’m a lifelong resident of Tallahassee, I currently attend Florida State University as well as the Youth Ministry Institute. I have been working in Youth Ministry since 2019 at Warren Willis United Methodist Camp, Killearn United Methodist Church from 2020 to 2022, and now at Saint Paul’s UMC since October of this year. I am excited to create quarterly events for our youth to attend such as service opportunities, worship nights, fun events and outings, and possibly even retreats. Again, I am overjoyed to have been presented with the opportunity to serve our Youth, and look forward to working with many of you throughout this journey!

We will be planning a District wide youth event in early 2023. Watch for the January NW District Newsletter for the date and event  details.

With love,

Zac Prasse

Director of Youth Ministry, NW District Youth Coordinator

Saint Paul’s UMC, Tallahassee FL

(850) 212 - 7026 //



Belonging Upon Arrival

What does it mean to create a community of belonging for those who do not yet believe? Fresh expressions of church are inclusive. This means that they speak to and fit within the context in which they exist. They create a space for people to connect with others who understand them—their interests, their backgrounds, their language.

Oftentimes, the typical church can feel exclusive, even when it tries to do the opposite. There are barriers that we don’t even see. Specific styles of music, turns of phrase, and behaviors can feel foreign and uncomfortable for those outside the community. Even the day and time that the church meets might be a hindrance to a new person walking through the doors. And if someone new does come to the church, they are implicitly (or explicitly) expected to play by the rules of behavior and belief. This leaves many people who just don’t fit in neglected by the church. What would it look like to build a church in the opposite way? What if we tried to do it backwards—beginning with belonging and moving toward believing and discipleship?

When we look back to the origins of Methodism, we find John Wesley engaging in this practice of missional community building. His mission field was the fields! Field preaching focused on those neglected by the church and invited them into small communities where people of every social status were welcomed and empowered. All were invited—no matter their status within the church or their education level.

Fresh Expressions begins with listening to where the Spirit is moving and is quickly followed by finding simple ways to love and serve those to whom you are called. The simplest way to make a person feel like they belong is to embody God’s love toward them. Create a place of healing, not harm, where individuals can experience what grace, mercy, and justice looks like. Prioritize the fact that the Gospel is good news for all and is available to all. Allow the members of the community to shape it. Live into the definition of what Wesleyan Fresh Expressions is all about: We cultivate communities of love and grace for people neglected by the church.

If you would like to learn more about Fresh Expressions or have someone visit your church to connect and begin reaching new people in your community, reach out to me by email at

Grace and Peace,


Piper Ramsey-Sumner
Cultivator of Fresh Expressions, Florida United Methodist Church

(940) 594-7896





The Alternative Christmas Market at John Wesley UMC is returning on Saturday, Dec. 5 from 9 am-5 pm.  If you've never been, here is your chance to learn about the good things that are happening in town. Many agencies will be returning and there are a few new additions.  There will be about 25 agencies representing folks doing good work, locally and internationally.  Of course there will be the shop where you can also pick up unusual gifts. Hope to see you there.






October 7-14, 2023.  Visit this link to learn more:
Register by Dec 1 for Educational Opportunities’  discount! 
If interested in this trip or you have additional questions, contact Dr. Wiatt in  the District Office at or 407-403-4367. 

Your NW District Staff,

 Janet, Piper, Wayne & Peggy