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SED April 2022 Newsletter

April, 2022

Dear South East District Friends,


When I was in college I had a backpack that had been given to me as a graduation gift from high school. It was good quality and sturdy. I remember it was dark green with silver trim. I really liked it and, as it turned out, I would use it for years as I moved through both college and seminary.

Along the way, I collected patches and buttons and stickers for my backpack. Perhaps you once did the same (or was it just me?). I would travel to a new place and buy a patch and sew it on my backpack. Or I’d find a button with a saying that I liked and purchase it to include on my backpack. It was a bit like an old car with bumper stickers all over it. I laugh just thinking about it now!

One of the first buttons I purchased, when I was likely still a young 18 or 19 year old, was one that read, “Knowledge is Wealth.” I remember seeing it and being drawn to it – the concept that what went into my mind was an investment and would benefit me and others. It seemed fitting to buy it and put it on my backpack where all those books of knowledge would be carried around for years.

As the cabinet has been preparing for the District Gatherings taking place around the Conference over a three week period (ours will begin this weekend, see schedule below), the phrase on that button returned to me, “Knowledge is Wealth.” What we hope to accomplish in these gatherings is to give your churches information about what is happening in the larger United Methodist Church now that the General Conference has been postponed to 2024. We want you to know that because of this, there are no changes to our Book of Discipline or other matters. We also want you to hear a vision for the Continuing United Methodist Church that includes both our strong history and a bright future.

I want to invite you to attend one of the gatherings or to be sure someone from your church plans to attend who can “report back.” I also want you to know that I am happy to come and present the same material to your church or a group of churches in your area. There is no rush and we can take time to do this through the spring and summer months.

Thank you, friends, for the ways you seek to “build your knowledge” of the Bible, our church and the world in order to invest in yourself and what you will give to others in return. There is so much to learn and so much to share!

I will look forward to seeing you soon and wish each of you a blessed Lent and upcoming Holy Week.

Grace and peace,

Cynthia D. Weems

Florida Conference District Gatherings - Open to All 

The Florida Conference invites you to a District Gathering near you to discuss the recent postponement of General Conference, learn information that will be helpful to you, and be encouraged as a leader in your church during this season.

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SE District schedule:

  • April 2, 9:00 am -First UMC of Coral Springs
  • April 3, 4:00 pm -Miami Lakes UMC
  • April 7, 7:00 pm -Riverside UMC -Spanish only
  • May 1, 4:00 pm – First Homestead UMC

Kate Bowler event

 A Conversation with Kate Bowler

Join Bishop Ken Carter April 6 at 10 a.m. for a virtual conversation with New York Times bestselling author, Duke University professor, and incurable optimist, Kate Bowler. They will discuss her book No Cure for Being Human (And Other Truths I Need to Hear) written after Kate was unexpectedly diagnosed with Stage IV cancer at age 35. Learn more about Kate at

Click here to register for the event.


Save the Date for Our Next Anti-Racism Event

May 1, 2022

Christ Church UMC

from 4:30 - 7:00 pm

The SE District Anti-Racism Committee will host an event to share with one another and listen to each other's experience with a Potluck dinner. For more information, please contact Dr. Judith Pierre-Okerson at Clergy Meeting
May 12 –9:30 am-1:00 pm

Hollywood Hills UMC, Hollywood

Save the date! We will gather about 9:30 for coffee fellowship, meet from 10-12 in the sanctuary for worship and learning, then enjoy lunch together.


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 (there is also a Spanish version available.) 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.

Annual Conference 2022

Get ready to see one another!

The Florida Annual Conference 2022 session will be back to an in-person event and will be held on June 9-11 (a general schedule will be released in the new year) on the campus of Florida Southern College in Lakeland. The theme for Annual Conference 2022 will ht Rebuilding the Church, Re-membering the Body: Creating a Spiritual Home for All.

“We have been through an extraordinary season with many complexities and constraints, and all of this has kept us from the joy of coming together, and we likely have taken this gift for granted,” said Bishop Ken Carter. “I am excited about the 2022 Annual Conference, and I believe God will bless us during these days.”
Thanks to vaccinations and proper protocols, we feel confident that an in-person gathering can occur in June of next year. While we will still offer a livestream option for those not able to be present in Lakeland, voting on Conference matters will only be available to in-person lay and clergy members.
As we have for the past two years, your Annual Conference planning team will continue to follow state and local health guidelines, including those of Florida Southern College as our hosts. It is possible that mask-wearing and social distancing may still be recommended so please watch for more details as we draw closer to June.

For questions, please contact

Get AC 2022 updates delivered straight to your phone!

Text "flumc22" to 844-635-1026 to subscribe.

Normal text messaging rates apply. Text "STOP" to opt out. Text "HELP" for help.

Florida Annual Conference Planning Team

Pastors: Please forward this to your lay member(s) to Annual Conference and be sure they are entered on the church dashboard!


Good News from the Ministry Protection Insurance Program!

Last year was one of the costliest years on record for insurance companies.  A staggering 401 notable natural disaster events around the world plagued the industry, from a cyclone making a rare landfall in Oman, to major hailstorms in Australia, to catastrophic Hurricane Ida, the fourth-costliest hurricane in U.S. history.  All toll, the economic loss estimate for natural disasters worldwide in 2021 is $343 billion, of which approximately $130 billion was insured. 
The record-breaking natural disasters, along with monumental legal exposures, like the one brought on by the Boy Scouts bankruptcy filing, and the lingering uncertainties of COVID-19 could paint a very dire picture for any insurance program seeking to provide quality products at affordable prices in an ever-changing economy.

Even with all the dire reports, we still have good news from the Ministry Protection Insurance Program! 

  1. Though the cost of insurance for the program increased by almost 10% over the previous year, that increase will not be passed on to the local church/ministry. Based on the strength of the insurance program, the Ministry Protection Committee voted to forego passing any of the year’s increase on to local churches.

    NOTE:  This benefit may not be feasible and thus not offered in future years.
  2. The 2% early payment discount is back!  As in years past, if your church insurance allocation was paid in full by 3/31/22, you will receive a 2% discount off the billed amount.  Invoices are now available online and can be accessed here.

    Choose “PC/Workers Comp” from the drop-down menu and enter your church’s GCFA number. A packet containing insurance information will also be mailed to you in the coming days and will include a paper copy of the invoices and the 2022 Insurance Summary of coverages.

The market for Cyber Liability Insurance tightened considerably in the past year, with much stricter underwriting standards for all industries, making the coverage unattainable for many programs, including our own.  Though we could not find a company willing to underwrite our cyber liability exposure for this year, the Ministry Protection Insurance Program is offering, free of charge, to Florida Conference churches and related ministries, an industry-leading cyber security training program.  The program will be offered in the spring and again in the fall.  Stay tuned for details about this valuable training.


Reporting New Hire/Rehire Employees and Independent Contractors to the State of Florida

On October 1, 2021, Florida Statute §409.2576 became effective which requires all employers to report newly hired and rehired employees to the State Directory of New Hires within 20 days of hire.  Previously, only employers with 250 employees or more had to report this information.
This Statute also requires all employers to report individuals who are independent contractors, who provide a service to the employer and are paid more than $600 per year for the services rendered. 
The reporting requirement does not apply to service providers that are business entities such as a limited liability companies (LLCs), even if owned and operated by only one person.
Reporting Requirements for Independent Contractors - Employers must report independent contractors that are subject to reporting (paid $600 or more) within 20 days after the earlier of:

  1. The date of the first payment made which requires an information return in accordance with s. 6041A(a) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986; or
  2. The date on which a contract providing for such payments is entered into.
  3. Must be reported every 12 months that they receive $600 or more.

Chapter 409 Section 2576 - 2021 Florida Statutes (
To Register:
Options for Reporting:



Ukraine UMC has created a crisis committee today, to oversee all the foreign support that is coming in through the Advance #14053A “Eurasia In Mission Together - Ukraine and Moldova”.
The money channeled through this Advance will arrive on the Ukraine UMC church account and decisions on how this would be used, will be taken by this crisis committee that includes some pastors (including the previous DS) as well as lay leaders. Weekly reports will be made to Ullas Tankler who is the Global Ministries representative for Europe, Eurasia and North Africa. This gives us confidence to work through the Advance directly with Ukraine.
TO HELP UKRAINIAN REFUGEES OUTSIDE OF UKRAINE going to neighboring countries such as Poland, Slovakia, Romania or Hungary, contributions to UMCOR will assist in this endeavor. Use Advance # 982540 on the site if giving online.
By Phone:  Credit card gifts can be accepted by phone. Call toll free: 888-252-6174 to make your gift.
Again, designate your gift for one of the Advance mentioned numbers.
By Mail:  On the check or supplement letter give the following information on accompanying letter: The Advance number; Make your check payable to: ADVANCE GCFA. Send your check to: Advance GCFA; P.O. Box 9068; New York, NY 10087-9068


 Lands of the Bible Cruise

Guest Speaker Bishop Ken Carter 2022
September 22, 2022 us along with Guest Speaker Bishop Ken Carter on a 13 day Lands of the Bible Cruise aboard the Celebrity Apex, starting at $4,698* from New York, NY departing on September 22, 2022. Journey to places such as Rome, Galilee, Jerusalem, Ephesus, Bethlehem, Athens, and much more! Click HERE for details.


News from Youth Ministry Institute

Youth Ministry Institute is a partner with the FLUMC and its ministries to and with young people. YMI's primary purpose is strengthening the Church by guiding leaders in children's and youth ministry towards excellence.

On their website you'll find links to blog articles and their podcast episodes that may be helpful to the youth and children's ministers in your church. For more information and resources, please see the links below:



April 15 - Good Friday Holiday

The conference and district offices will be closed for the holiday.

May 17 - SE DCOM

Provisional Interviews (Materials due: April 22)

May 26 - Right Start for all moving clergy

Mandatory Right Start Training for all clergy moving in July.

May 30 - Memorial Day Holiday

The conference and district offices will be closed for the holiday.