Dear South East District Friends,
It is a joy to write to you as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and the new life of resurrection hope that we each receive anew this season. Hallelujah, the tomb is empty!
Friends, we have each experienced an empty tomb in this last year. We have each come to grips with a place in our lives that is dark, damp, isolated, and without light. We have spent time there alone. We have wept. We have cried out.
Beloved, we have each met Jesus in our dark, damp, isolated place. We have received his light and hope. We have felt his embrace and it has consoled us. Likely, it has not fixed us nor our problems. It has not “made everything better.” For many of us, life is still quite difficult and dark.
Yet, Jesus is with us. We feel his embrace. We remember he also spent time in dark, damp, isolated places. We remember that ultimately, the tomb was found empty. New life emerged. And new life will emerge for us.
The world, and our churches, need us more than ever in this season of resurrection hope. Our neighbors need us to be more generous and kind. Our communities need our churches to be more welcoming and hope-filled. Our world needs us to show what the love of Jesus in “plain clothes” really looks like. We can do this. We can be the face of resurrection hope in our communities and far beyond.
Yesterday I had the privilege of preaching on Big Pine Key for their two Easter services. Part of my visit was to also see several of the restoration projects that have taken place since Hurricane Irma. This work is incredible. The amount of resources and labor that have been put into piecing people’s lives and homes back together is indescribable. This is the work of resurrection hope – walking into a dark, damp tomb and emptying it with God’s good news.
My prayer for our district churches this season is that we live the message of Easter in real and tangible ways. In the midst of crisis, people look to us for hope, understanding, and joy. May we provide just that to a world in need. Happy Easter, friends!
Grace and peace,
Cynthia D. Weems
SE District Training Dates for Spring, 2021
This year, our spring administrative trainings will be held via ZOOM. Please see the schedule below and be on the lookout for a separate email with registration link.
- Monday, April 26, 5:00-6:30 p.m. – Staff Parish Relations led by Cynthia Weems
- Tuesday, April 27, 5:00-6:30 p.m. – Trustees led by LaNita Battles
- Saturday, May 1, 10:00-11:30 a.m. – Simultaneous trainings in SPRC, Trustees, Finance
- Monday, May 3, 6:00-7:30 p.m. – Lay Leaders led by Judith Pierre-Okerson
- Tuesday, May 4, 5:00-6:30 p.m. – Finance led by Sandra Santiago
- Thursday, May 6, 5:00-6:30 p.m. – Church Council led by Cynthia Weems
Webinar Series: Vital Church Practices
Discipleship in the After Times
Wednesday, May 5 from 12pm to 1pm on Zoom
Join guest speaker Chris Haden and your colleagues as we discuss ways to fulfill the Great Commission in this hybrid (in-person and online) world. Chris will help us define the problem, clarify the goal, and share practical ways to disciple like Jesus.
Vital Church Practices is a monthly 1 hour seminar designed to provide fresh insight for churches in this time of transition. District pastors Tony Baurichter and Kevin Johnson are organizing the seminars. Guest speakers will examine trends and share best practices on specific ministry topics. Each seminar will include a short presentation and a time for questions and answers. Join us on May 5, June 2, July 7, and August 4 at noon via Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/95513638765?pwd=dTRQR1d5VVBpeVVjY2c3SG1Cd0taZz09
CLICK HERE to register for this webinar
2021 Florida Annual Conference
June 11 - 12, 2021
Are you interested in serving as a South East District at-large Lay Member to Annual Conference 2021? The Cabinet has given the Districts Guidelines regarding Lay Members to Annual Conference.
- No more than three voting members from one household
- No more than five at-large members from one local church
- Click HERE for the Discipleship Ministries explanation on Lay Member to AC
- Pre-Annual Conference Gathering is Sunday, June 6 3:00pm - 4:30pm for all Clergy and Lay Members to Annual Conference
- There will be some optional events June 7 - 10
- You are not automatically a Lay Member to AC because you were last year. Please submit your name, if you want to be considered again.
- If you are selected, you will be notified by Norma Sayago.
Click HERE to submit your name for Lay Member to AC.
Festival of HOMILETICS -"Preaching for the Future Church"
May 17-21, 2021 Virtually
The church is in decline. We need to adapt to survive.
Can the church recapture what it was in the first century -- a distinctive community willing to stand against the status quo, to confront the ways of empire, and to embody the gospel?
Together, we'll explore how the promise of the gospel gives hope and shapes ministry for the church now and in the future.
There are two ways to participate:
- Watch for free: Four to five prerecorded video sessions will be available each day-no cost required.
- Purchase a recording package: Gain full access to bonus material and watch sessions at a later time. Bonus materials include additional speaker presentations, live workshops, learning opportunities, and exclusive vendor connections. Receive CEU credit.
Click HERE to register.
Modified Missional Vital Signs Reporting
While churches are not meeting in person due to COVID-19, The Florida Conference will use a Modified MVS reporting model. Click HERE for instructions and to report MVS.
If you have data not entered for February or before, please complete the Monthly Data Gathering Chart for each of those months and email it to Norma Sayago at firstname.lastname@example.org