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SE District August 2023 Newsletter

August, 2023

Brothers and Sisters,

Let me first and foremost give all Glory, honor and praise to our Redeeming Lord who has called each one of us to this sacred ministry. In whatever capacity you have been called, each one of us have been called to serve God. I also want to thank you all for the warm welcome my family and I have received as we made a transition back to South Florida. South Florida is indeed a home for us. We served in this district for 15 years. Our children grew up here in South Florida. Many of you have been part of their spiritual developments. Many of you have inspired me over the years. For all these and many more, we are grateful to God and we are thankful to all of you. I am also grateful for the excellent leadership that Rev. Dr. Cynthia Weems had provided for this district over the last 8 years. We pray that God will continue to use her even more for the furtherance of God’s Kingdom.

Our Conference theme this year is “abounding in hope” I like to declare to you, South East District churches, the best is yet to come. Therefore, we must abound in hope. Life may be full of twists and turns. Many of us may have found ourselves having to deal with situations over which we have no control. We may have been forced into situations that we really did not like or ever wanted. Some of our Churches may have disaffiliated and it may seem as though the divisions in the church have marred our message of love and unity to the world. But do not lose hope; a better day is coming. Our tomorrow will be better than our today. Our God can turn our mourning into dancing. God can turn our tests into our testimony and bring out a message out of the mess in our lives. The best is yet to come. Let us abound in hope. Sometimes it feels like things were better in the past, and so we speak of “the good old days”. Some things are certainly good about the old days and some things are not. The message of Jesus is a message of hope. A message that constantly reminds us that God has a better plan for our future.

God said through the Prophet Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” Brothers and Sisters, God has a plan for our church –The United Methodist Church. God has a plan for our Conference and for the South East District. God has a plan for each of our local churches. God has a plan for your life. Sometimes it's difficult to see the plan, but God does have a plan. Sometimes we become impatient, but God has a plan. We may think our own plan is better, but God’s plan is always the best. We may feel it’s taking too long time to see God’s plan, but God’s delay is not God’s denial. Paul was writing to encourage the Corinthian Church, and he said to them “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9 (NLT). In times of uncertainty, the only thing that can keep our soul from drifting into fear and despair is hope. Hope is the anchor of our soul. As the writer of Hebrews puts it: “This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary” (Heb. 6:19). We must abound in hope. In Revelation 21:5 The Scripture declares, “Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” Jesus makes all things new! As we abound in hope let us welcome God’s presence, let us trust God’s promises and rely on His power.

Simon Osunlana, District Superintendent

F

all Clergy Meeting

September 20. 2023

Miramar UMC

2507 Utopia Drive, Miramar, FL 33023

10:00 am – 12:00 pm, followed by lunch

A time to share with our new District Superintendent Simon Osunlana as we share hopes and dreams for our district. We will also talk about the Fall Charge Conferences and other important items.202

The 2023 Charge/Church conference forms are already available on the Florida Conference website. It is never too early to begin to work on these. Please go to this link: Annual Charge Conference Forms. These forms are to be completed annually by each local church in accordance with the District Superintendent’s annual charge conference directions. We are currently working on the charge/church conference schedule for this year. They will run from September 24th to November 5th and the district office will send specifics shortly.

  • The following reports are to be emailed to Norma Sayago at least one week prior to your CC: SED Voting Matters Agenda, 2024 Clergy Compensation form(s), Housing Resolution(s), and Accountable Reimbursement Policy (ies). Signatures are not required at this time. Click HERE for Norma's email address.

  • Deacons beyond the local church and Extension Minister's Annual Reports are NOT part of Charge Conference forms. Their Annual Reports are due December 31 of each year. Click HERE for the Office of Clergy Excellence page with those details.

  • Clergy who do have reports due to be turned into their Charge Conference for the Fall Annual Charge Conference are: 

Report of the Retired Clergy
Report of Clergy on Honorable Location
Report of Clergy on Voluntary Leave of Absence

Annual Ministry Protection Property and Casualty Insurance Review (Annual Survey). Trustees to review insurance coverage and update online insurance database annually. Annual review period is August 14-31, 2023. This database is also available online year-round to enable churches to update insurance data as changes occur. Click here to link to the church dashboard via the insurance database on the Ministry Protection website.   

The Annual Workers Compensation Payroll Audit. Finance/Treasurer to complete this annual payroll audit. Please be sure to project your payroll by category through the end of 2023 when completing this section. 

Click here between August 14-31 to log into the brief Property & Casualty Survey and Workers' Compensation Audit. (Please note this audit is performed twice a year as part of Florida Legislature Statute 440.381.)

The South East District will be offering the following courses in September, 2023. 

Basic Lay Servant Ministry Course, an Advanced Course on Social Principles 2017-2020, and an Advance course on Teaching Biblical Faith: Leading Small Group Bible Studies. 

For details, please click HERE and to register for the upcoming courses, please click HERE.

If you have any questions, please contact Connie Bookholt by email

Click HERE for the AC2023 Summary Report
  Click HERE for the 2023 Annual Conference Videos
  Click HERE for details on the Bishop's Offering  

All appointed clergy are required to attend. 2016 Book of Discipline ¶602.8 It is the duty of every member and all provisional members and local pastors of the annual conference to attend its sessions and furnish such reports in such form as the Discipline may require. Any such person unable to attend shall report by letter to the conference secretary, setting forth the reason for the absence. Should any ordained minister in active service be absent from the session of the annual conference without a satisfactory reason for the absence, the matter shall be referred by the conference secretary to the Board of Ordained Ministry.

 
 
Lay persons wishing to move their membership to a new church should do so before the disaffiliation of their current church. Disaffiliation dates for 2023 are: June 1, September 1, and December 31. Those persons wishing to remain United Methodist but are uncertain of their new church home can offer their names to the General Church Roll for one year as they discern next steps.
 

Click on the button below to register to transfer your membership to the general roll while you decide your next steps.

You will need to write an email or letter to the church and transfer your membership to The Florida Conference. Just a couple of sentences is all that is needed for the email/letter. Be sure to state you are transferring from your current church to The Florida Conference UMC General Roll. If you have difficulty in registering, please contact the district office. Also, if you or a group of people from disaffiliating/disaffilated church will want to remain United Methodist Church and need some guidance, please reach out to the district office: flumc-se@flumc.org.

This conference is a two-day conference for lay and clergy people serving in rural contexts held on the beautiful grounds of Warren Willis Camp + Conference in Fruitland Park, FL.

The Fresh Expressions FL team has brought together an incredible lineup of speakers and presenters from across the country to encourage, teach, and share their expertise in building new church communities in rural contexts. Attendees have the opportunity to learn from Bishop Tom Berlin, Elaine Heath, Tex Sample, Chris and Jaidymar Smith, Stacey Spence-Baldwin, Luke Edwards, Michael Beck, and more.

A Pre-Conference Retreat is available, which includes a time led by spiritual director Laura Baber followed by an immersive session led by Michael Beck and a rural ministry networking dinner at a local restaurant.

The conference will include times of worship, activities, and relaxation as well as learning sessions and workshops hosted by our presenters. Participants will leave Rural Church Rising equipped with new tools to engage their community, empowered to reach those outside the church, and energized to explore new ways of being church. Click HERE for bulletin insert. For more information, email Piper at freshexpressions@flumc.org.

Dates: October 27-28, 2023 (Pre-Conference Retreat - October 26)
Location: Warren Willis Camp + Conference Center, 4990 Picciola Rd, Fruitland Park, FL 34731
Tickets: $260 ($230 Early Bird price until 8/1)

 
 

Fall Youth Retreat: Sep 15-17
Confirmation Retreat: Oct 6-8
Family Camp: Nov 10-12

Plan Your Own Church Retreat: Who doesn't love WWW? Why not plan your own retreat?

75th Anniversary Celebration and summer Leadership Team Reunion
Sep 8 - 10
Registration opens July 12. Click HERE for details.