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SED Advent/Christmas 2020 Newsletter

Advent, 2020

Dear South East District Friends,

Blessed Advent to you.

We made it to December, 2020. Limping, crawling, sighing, praying. We made it to the season of waiting, expectation, and preparation. Most of us do not know exactly what we are preparing for this year yet we know that God is with us – Emmanuel – and we are so   grateful.

These have been incredibly trying times for each of us and for our churches. I have seen profound resilience in you and in the ways you have handled crisis and uncertainty. You  have been creative, faithful, hopeful, and realistic. All of these things are really hard to accomplish in the midst of great stress. Yet you as church leaders and faith communities  have done this so well.

It seems as though the new year will bring us into a new stage of this pandemic. We will continue to live in a metropolitan area where numbers are elevated and there is reason to stay safe, cautious, and distant from one another. This is our reality. Yet we are also hopeful for the news of vaccines to be distributed and a new reason to see a light at the end of this tunnel. For our churches there are still very difficult decision to be made. Each church is making a faithful decision in its context related to in-person worship, meetings, events, youth group, etc. There is a great deal of stress associated with all of these decisions and I commend you for the hard work involved in it all.

During these final days of Advent I want to invite you to return to the sacred practices of prayer, singing, scripture reading, and even fasting. May you encounter God in these ways as well as in the everyday actions and interactions of our lives. God is with us indeed – Emmanuel!

Let me close with this prayer from Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals,

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you;
may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you through the storm;
may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you;
may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.


Advent peace to each of you,

Cynthia D. Weems


2020 Virtual Charge Conferences

We are grateful to our pastors and church leaders for their support during this unprecedented Virtual Charge Conference season. It wouldn’t have been possible without your cooperation and faithfulness. We want to thank the clergy and lay leadership for going above and beyond to make this year a success. Thank you!


Campus Ministry Worship Service for December 27

The Florida Conference campus ministries will be offering a full-length worship service to be used on December 27 as a gift to our clergy and worship teams who have worked tirelessly to provide virtual worship for many months. The worship service will be emailed to all pastors and Lay Leaders on Wednesday, December 16. If you do not receive it, reach out to the district office. Feel free to use it in your worship setting on December 27.


Apportionments and End of Year Payments

Apportionment payments for 2020 must be received in the lockbox at Regions Bank or paid online by Monday, January 11, 2021. 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 2020 apportionments receipts. Any payments received after that date will be applied to 2021 apportionments. Any payments received between January 1 and January 11 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 “2020 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. Click Here to take you to that page

Note: To be considered a 100% connectional church in the Florida Annual Conference Journal, 100% of 2020 apportionments must be received by January 11, 2021, and all outstanding Ministry Protection and Health and Benefits obligations must be received by December 31, 2020.


Craig Smelser recommended to be next Florida Conference Treasurer


 Craig Smelser


The Council on Finance and Administration unanimously recommended Craig Smelser as the Interim Conference Treasurer, effective Jan. 1, 2021.  In June 2021, the Annual Conference will vote on Smelser's recommendation to become the next Conference Treasurer/Director of Administrative Services. 

The announcement followed an extensive national search by the search committee that included reviewing more than 35 resumes. After conducting multiple interviews, committee members felt it was clear that Smelser was  the top candidate.  The committee sent its unanimous recommendation to the CF&A, which wholeheartedly agreed with the choice.

This vital position oversees all financial aspects of the Florida Conference. The role is also responsible for overseeing the administrative functions, including Human Resources and Benefits, Facilities Management, Information Technology, and Risk Management. Craig knows a great deal about the South East District and has worked closely with our churches. We congratulate him and look forward to working with him in this new role!

Click HERE for complete article.


Church and Pastor Annual Profiles
Due by January 31

Church Profile – reviewed and updated annually. 

These forms are to be reviewed and updated annually by all church SPR Committees and all clergy in the Florida Conference. All church SPR Committees must update online annually and may begin after December 1. The Church Profile deadline requires it be completed online no later than one week prior to the pastor’s DS consultation, if having. The final date to update the Church Profile is January 31, 2021. 

Pastor Profile – reviewed and updated annually.
All pastors must update online annually and may begin after December 1, 2020. The Pastor Profile deadline requires it to be completed online no later than one week prior to the DS consultation. Though you may not anticipate a move, it is important that both the Pastor Profile and Church Profile be current and up to date at the first appointment-making session of the Cabinet. 

Click HERE for the detailed instructions for accessing both the Church and Pastor Profiles. Follow the step by step instructions to access the appropriate profile. The final date to update Profiles is January 31, 2021.


2021 South East DCOM Dates



Due Date


Monday, February 22

January 25

Local Pastor Renewals

Tuesday, April 20

March 23

Recerts/Local Pastors

Tuesday, August 17

July 20


Tuesday, November 2

October 5

Recerts/Local Pastors


DCOM Chair: Rev. David Range
DS: Rev. Cynthia Weems
DCOM Registrar: Elizabeth Flynn
DCOM Meeting Location: Virtual

For information how to begin the Candidacy process, Click HERE.


Office Closed for Holidays

Our District Office will be closed on the following dates:

December 22-25 & 28-31, 2020 - Christmas

January 1, 2021 - New Year's Day