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SED April 2021 Newsletter

April, 2021

Dear South East District Friends,

Happy Easter!

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


Cabinet Worship Service

The Florida Conference Cabinet is preparing another full-length worship service for use in local churches. On April 6 the service will be made available for use on April 11, the Sunday after Easter, or any Sunday thereafter. This worship service is once again meant to give a Sabbath break to our pastors and worship leaders who have tirelessly devoted hours to creating virtual worship over the last months.

As some churches are back to in-person, socially distanced worship, we will also offer a “sermon only” version. If you are interested in using the worship service in your local congregation, please register to receive it via email by using the link below before April 5. A version of the service with Spanish translation will also be available.

Registration link:


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


Annual Assessment of Clergy Leadership
Due May 31

Finally! It is here! The new and revised Annual Clergy Evaluation Form! There is ONE online form that the clergy and SPRC chair both complete online and submit online!! Be sure to read the letter from Rev. Sara McKinley and to watch the video on the link below.

The clergy assessment process is available on the FLUMC website under Clergy Excellence. Appointed Clergy and the Staff/Pastor Parish Relations Committee should meet annually to complete this process. Continuing Education is now completed in conjunction with the Annual Assessment above. 

This NEW process is fully electronic and you do not have to print and send a hard copy of the evaluation to the district office.


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:


CLICK HERE to register for this webinar 


Young Adult Missional Movement

Young adults are a vital part of our present and our future. The Young Adult Missional Movement is an opportunity for young adults 18 to 30 years old to experience the mutual sharing God‘s love through meaningful work, cooperative living, and community engagement. Young adults participates in service full-time through a ministry, church, or social service agency for a year. The participants receive small personal stipends, housing and groceries, quarterly retreats and even health insurance if they need it. Their work duties vary widely. Participants are matched by their own education, skill and passions to a wide variety of possible opportunities.      

You can be a part of this new mission service program. 

If you have any questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate to contact the director, Martine Daceus, or call 305-733-4420.

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.



Three Commitments:

A Missional Plan for Congregations and Clergy in the Post-Covid Florida Conference
By Bishop Ken Carter & Alice Williams, Lay Leader Florida Conference.

Please Click HERE to read the article.


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:

  1. Watch for free: Four to five prerecorded video sessions will be available each day-no cost required.
  2. 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.


Immigration Clinics with Florida Justice For Our Neighbors

Free legal immigration screenings and advice from FLJFON attorneys. The only thing you need is a device (computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone) that can access Zoom and a stable internet connection, we will help with the rest!

April 17 (TPS Only)
April 28
May 21


Click HERE for flyer in Spanish
Click HERE for flyer in English

You must register for the date you wish to participate. Questions? Contact Katelyn Dino or Camila Feltrin


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




May 5 - Webinar Series: Vital Church Practices

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 them on May 5, June 2, July 7, and August 4 at noon via Zoom:


May 15 - Run 4 Life 4 Miler

The Run 4 Life 4 Miler begins and ends on the campus of the Florida United Methodist Children's Home in historic Enterprise, Florida. 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 the Children's Home and other local suicide prevention programs. Run, walk, or sponsor a child to ...


May 20 - Webinar for Clergy on Church Finances

All clergy are invited to join a free webinar on Church Finances with Lovett H. Weems, Jr. and Ann A. Michel, authors of Generosity, Stewardship, and Abundance: A Transformational Guide to Church Finance (to be released in early May, 2021) Click HERE to preorder the book.