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
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 katebowler.com.
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 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 hthttp://florida-email.brtapp.com/files/tables/emails/3122919/files/AC+2022+Logo.png?width=556tp://florida-email.brtapp.com/files/tables/emails/3122919/files/AC+2022+Logo.png?width=556be: 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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!
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:
- 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
- The date on which a contract providing for such payments is entered into.
- Must be reported every 12 months that they receive $600 or more.
Chapter 409 Section 2576 - 2021 Florida Statutes (flsenate.gov)
To Register: https://servicesforemployers.floridarevenue.com/Pages/home.aspx.
Options for Reporting:
- Child Support Services for Employers Information on how to report (floridarevenue.com)
- Florida New Hire Reporting Form (floridarevenue.com)
Lands of the Bible Cruise
Guest Speaker Bishop Ken Carter 2022
September 22, 2022
Join 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.
The conference and district offices will be closed for the holiday.
Provisional Interviews (Materials due: April 22)
Mandatory Right Start Training for all clergy moving in July.
The conference and district offices will be closed for the holiday.