A MESSAGE FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT
Credible Witness Summer Study
Have you registered yet for our NW District’s Thursday evening Credible Witness Summer Study? It’s happening via Zoom at a computer near you from Thursday, June 17th to Thursday, July 22nd. I would like all clergy groups to participate in this study in June and July. You do NOT want to miss this amazing six-week journey with us! Rev. Michelle Shrader and Rev. Dr. Latricia Edwards Scriven have committed to leading what will be an exciting and transforming time together using the resource, A Credible Witness – Reflections on Power, Evangelism, and Race by Brenda Salter McNeil. Click the video message from Latricia and Michelle below.
All are invited to register TODAY at https://florida-reg.brtapp.com/NWDISTRICTCREDIBLEWITNESSSUMMERSTUDY
We look forward to seeing you there!
I Love Being Your District Superintendent,
Clergy: In order to be counted present and vote on agenda items, all Florida Conference clergy members must register for two separate Zoom webinars:
Click here to register for the Clergy Session to be held on Friday, June 11 at 9:00 am. After you register for the sessions, and your membership of the Florida Annual Conference has been verified, you will receive an email to join the Clergy Session Zoom webinar. The Zoom webinar will open at 8:30 am and the clergy session will begin promptly at 9:00 am and conclude by 10:30 am. You must register separately and will receive a separate email to join the Annual Conference sessions. (Please be patient, there are a lot of you for us to verify!)
Click here to register for the Annual Conference plenary sessions beginning on Friday, June 11 at 10:45 am. The opening Annual Conference session will begin promptly at 10:45 am and a general schedule is posted here. Only members of the Annual Conference with voice and vote are asked to register. Guests of the annual conference are invited to join the sessions via livestream from flumc.org/ac.
We will host two orientations in order to prepare you for Annual Conference:
Click here to register for the Pre-Conference Orientation on Tuesday, June 1 at 6:00 pm.
Click here to register for your District Pre-Conference Orientation on Sunday, June 6 at 3:00 pm.
Specific details of the essential items of business as well as a more detailed agenda will be posted on flumc.org/ac by June 1 in order to prepare you for the Pre-Conference Orientation to be held on Tuesday, June 1 at 6 pm. Register for the orientation webinar here. This orientation webinar will be hosted by Rev. Alex Shanks and Rev. Dr. Sharon Austin, Annual Conference Planning Team co-chairs and include a presentation by Craig Smelser, Interim Conference Treasurer. Members of the Annual Conference will have the opportunity to test the Zoom webinar platform during these orientations, ask questions, and learn about the essential items of business that will be covered during the Annual Conference session. For those unable to attend, the webinars will be recorded and later posted to flumc.org/ac.
You should also plan to attend your DISTRICT Pre-Conference Orientation on Sunday, June 6 at 3 pm, where you will have the opportunity to hear from your District Superintendent and discuss key issues in smaller breakout groups.
If you have a question you would like answered, please email email@example.com.
On Mission Together,
The Florida Annual Conference Planning Team
All clergy should be making plans to be at our next Clergy Meeting. This will be everyone together for Annual Conference Orientation on Sunday afternoon, June 6 at 3pm via Zoom. Save the Date!
RESOURCES FOR YOU AND YOUR TEAM
by Piper Ramsey
Fresh Expressions has some incredible resources that you and your team can use in every stage of growing fresh expressions of church in your communities.
The Godsend app from Fresh Expressions UK is a free and simple tool that walks you through the Fresh Expressions process with brief teachings, real stories, creative animations, and questions to guide your group discussions. You can also find the content of the app on a user-friendly webpage here.
Fresh Expressions US has a blog that is filled with teachings and reflections from some incredible practitioners and theologians and their stories.
Here in NW Florida, we have fresh expressions of all kinds from online communities to youth hiking clubs. If you are interested in learning more and being a part of our team, email Piper at firstname.lastname@example.org and join us for our monthly team meeting every second to last Tuesday of the month at 4:30 pm EST. In June, we are meeting on Tuesday, June 22. Follow the link below to join us!
NOTES FROM THE CHURCH FINANCE SEMINAR
FROM CONGREGATIONAL VITALITY
by Janet Earls
Pruning the Vine and the Spices
John 15:2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
Recently, my spice cabinet needed to be overhauled. I couldn’t see what I wanted, and it was getting frustrating. Why couldn’t my cabinets look like those home improvement shows? After several attempts at installing an organizer and failing, I decided we should go through and purge the spices we had. Perhaps we didn’t need that many after all. Maybe some were outdated. Maybe?
I didn’t need a spice organizer, I needed fewer spices. The spice vine needed pruning! After going through the cabinet, what we really needed and wanted actually fit. This reminded me of some of our church offices and classrooms. We end up with so much stuff that we can’t make room for anything new and fresh. This is physically as well as spiritually.
The church becomes a hoarder’s place to hoard. It starts out innocently. Rather than throw something out, I can give it to the church. Why are we not willing to let go of our stuff? Does this faded picture of The Last Supper really honor God? When taking care of our church buildings, let’s do it in a way that honors God, our community, and our fellow parishioners. Think of it as giving our best as our offering. When we tithe, we are sharing a portion of what God has provided. When furnishing and caring for our rooms and buildings, we want to think of it as giving our best, not our left-overs. I am a recycler and like to use what we can, but we tend to never let go or get rid of things that no longer serve purpose or give honor.
Put together a small group of about three people. Make an agreement from the start about what your purpose will be that day. Bring a notepad and paper (or just take photos). Start from the road as you enter the church property. Does the landscaping look tired and worn out? That is the impression it gives, tired and worn out. Walk through each room and make notes of what it would take to freshen up the rooms. Make a plan of how to reduce, re-use, repurpose, and freshen your church.
How can we be ready to receive new guests and visitors, potential members, if we are not making room? Take a hard look, let go, and be ready to receive new blessings.
REVISED CLERGY ASSESSMENT FORM FOR 2021