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SED April 2019 Newsletter


Dear South East District Friends,

Greetings to you this Lent.

I had the opportunity last week to spend a couple of days on the “Space Coast” with Mariana.  It was our first trip to see the Kennedy Space Center and we were both very excited to do so.  Neither of us is an expert on space, rocket ships or planets so we knew we would learn a tremendous amount during our trip.  Indeed, that was true!

The wonderful exhibits at the Space Center allow you to learn a bit about history, heroes, technology and engineering as well as the many challenges to space exploration.  There are memorials to those who died as a result of this exploration and a deep understanding of the limitations of human capacity even while “shooting for the stars.”  I was profoundly impacted by the memorial to the Challenger tragedy of 1986.  I distinctly remember sitting in my 8th grade science class watching the Challenger take off on live television.  We had learned the names and vital stats of the astronauts, particularly Christa McAuliffe, the first teacher to go on a space mission.  I remember watching the take off and then, quickly, realizing something had gone terribly wrong. 

A walk through the Space Center reminds us that we have a long way to go in making space exploration accessible to all people as the industry is still largely white and male.  It is also a reminder of why the space program received such attention, money and resources in the early days – the Cold War.  It is daunting to recognize what competition, fear and the desire to win can make possible. 

So, what were my “take aways,” you might ask?  Let me share two here.

One, humanity can surely do almost anything it sets its mind to, with God’s help.  Seeing the incredible effort it takes to get people to space truly gave me a sense that “we can do it all.”  I ask, though, why the investment in space exploration cannot also be put forth in the areas of eradicating homelessness, hunger and lack of access to education?  Mariana and I began our Space Coast vacation after spending last Saturday morning at the Annual Foot Washing for the Homeless at First UMC of Miami.  Churches, as you know so well, do an amazing job of combating many social ills.  What if the resources of our larger community and government could be offered in the same ways to eradicate these tragedies on our own planet?

Second, I returned home with questions about my daily life and our life together as the Church.  What is an example of our own “space exploration?”  How might we accomplish the “impossible” when we put our minds, hearts and resources toward one clear, tangible and faithful objective?  It doesn’t need to be the size of the moon.  Perhaps it is the size of a camp for children, a meal program for seniors, a new worship service, an outreach to troubled teens, a prayer vigil in your neighborhood.  Trust me, for many hurting people in our communities, any of these accomplishments would feel like walking on the moon.  How might we work to accomplish them together, sisters and brothers?

Grace and peace to each of you.  May God continue to guide our journeys here on earth as we pray to the God of all things small and large, known and unknown.



New SE District Facebook page

As part of our On Mission Together Weekend preparations, the South East District has created a new facebook page for us to begin sharing ideas and stories.  Please be sure to “LIKE” our new District page, so that you can join in on sharing pictures and be a part of the South East District Community. Please CLICK HERE to visit and like our FB page!





Additional Resources:



The South East District is looking for District At-Large Lay Members to Annual Conference (LMAC).  If you would like to be considered to be a LMAC for the SE District, please email the District office ( the following information: Church membership, name, address, phone number & email address.  

Click here for information on Annual Conference.

LAMC are responsible for all their own expenses.


District Annual Conference Orientations

District orientations will include a report from two delegation members regarding GC 2019, an introduction of nominees for GC 2020, a review of how to use the voting equipment, a review of the five resolutions to Annual Conference, a review of the budget, and a review of any other significant issues before the conference.  Orientation videos will also be available.  The orientation is for clergy, lay delegates from local churches and at-large district delegates.

Saturday, May 11th, 10:00 -11:30AM – at Christ Church UM in Ft. Lauderdale
Sunday, May 19th, 5:00 – 6:30 PM – at Coral Way UMC (English and Spanish)




Child Youth Protection Policy 
Due April 30

The conference updated the policy last year. Local churches and conference-affiliated ministries are asked to review and update policies using this template. Please submit a complete copy of the policy AND the Annual Review & Renewal Signature page to the District Office at by April 30.

Annual Assessment of Clergy Leadership
Due May 31

Each year United Methodist clergy are to engage in a process of assessment of effectiveness.  A team from the Florida Conference Board of Ordained Ministry has worked diligently to provide clergy and local church Committees on Staff Parish Relationships with a set of tools that will assist in that process.  Below you will find links to the resources that are to be used in completing the assessment.  It is the hope that each clergy and each SPRC will take this process seriously so that our clergy continue to grow in effectiveness toward our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

Click HERE for all the forms needed to complete the process. The completed forms should be emailed to the District Office at



National Day of Volunteer Youth Ministry Training Opportunity

September 21, 2019

9:00 – 11:30 am

In September, First UMC of Homestead is going to be part of a National Day of Volunteer Youth Ministry Training. The simulcast will be broadcast in over 200 locations around the US. The training will be given in TED talk style by leading Youth Ministry voices like Doug Fields, Josh Griffin and Kara Powell plus more!!!

This training is being offered for $99 for a church. The church can bring 1 volunteer or 99 and it's the same price –plus they are going to offer lunch to those who make the trip! 

You can find details on how to register, speakers, and other detail items at this address:

Becky Gilbert, Youth Pastor at First UMC Homestead, would like to follow up with you if you are interested in participating with First Homestead. In the meantime, please let her know if you are interested or if you have any questions by emailing her at . She would love to put you on their list!


Bishop Carter to Lead 2020 Holy Land Trip

Join Bishop Ken Carter and the Florida Conference for 10 days in the Holy Land, departing February 4, 2020.Click here for more information and registration.


April 8 - SE District DCOM Meeting

Materials due: March 11. First Provisional attempt

April 19 - Living Last Supper Play

This play brings to life a few scenes leading up to the last supper portrait that we all have around our lives. This is a long time running play for our church and we travel to different churches every year and on Good Friday we share with our church family. We hope that you and your friends, family and neighbors can join us in this production.

May 11 - Run 4 Life 4 Miler - FUMCH

The Run 4 Life 4 Miler begins and ends on the campus of the Florida United Methodist Children's Home in historic Enterprise.  The 4 mile course is on magnificent oak canopy roads along the shore of Lake Monroe.  It is one of the most uniquely beautiful areas and race courses in Central Florida.   The goal of this race is to bring awareness to mental health/depression issues and to raise funds for programs providing support to those in need.  It is also in remembrance of those who were overwhelmed by their struggles and felt suicide was their only option.  All race proceeds will go to FUMCH and other local suicide prevention programs.    Whether you will run or walk, we hope that you will ...