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SED February 2019 Newsletter

Dear South East District Friends,

Greetings to you in the name of Jesus our Lord!

I write to you just days before leaving for St. Simon’s Island, Georgia and Epworth by the Sea, a beautiful retreat center on the grounds where John and Charles Wesley first made their marks in America. By the time you read this our event will be over and I’ll be on my way back home (thankfully, it looks to be quite cold up there!).

The event is a “Winter Conference” where the keynote speaker is The Rev. Tod Bolsinger. He is the author of Canoeing the Mountains, a book that has made a tremendous impact (earthquake, shall we say?) on the church in the last couple of years. I have recommended it to many of you and do believe all lay and clergy leaders in the church can benefit from its teachings. In a nutshell, Bolsinger relates the current experience of being a leader in the church to the famous explorers Lewis and Clark when they arrived at what they thought was the water route connecting the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean and actually found a chain of mountains to be called the Rockies. They had been canoeing their way to what they hoped would be the Northwest Passage, anticipating an ocean.  Instead, they found enormous snow-capped peaks. They had to trade their canoes for horses and they had to leave their trusted maps behind in order to go “off the map” and chart a new course.

Bolsinger believes the religious landscape in North America is like this right now in contemporary life. We are using canoes and old maps to try and navigate through unknown mountains.  Does this sound familiar? It sure feels like my life from day to day and I sense it feels the same for you. We are in uncharted territory, my friends.

At the heart of Bolsinger’s work is the need to be adaptive leaders. This is what we will be learning about this week at Epworth by the Sea. Adapting our leadership, our churches, our current ways of operating into the next natural adaptation will be the key to our churches’ futures in this district, conference and throughout our country.  Some of you already see this at work when you say to yourself, “We have never done this before!”  (That is good, it means your church is adapting to something new….trading canoes for horses.) We will continue to share ideas for how to adapt to new challenges and opportunities together.  I am grateful that there are many explorers on this journey – all of us together, praying and learning and diving into what lies ahead.

I hope you will begin this new year at our District Training Event on February 9. The details and registration are below.  I believe this will be the best training event yet!  It is a great opportunity to begin to put into practice a desire to learn and grow as church leaders. Additionally, encourage those who work with your youth to attend our District-wide Youth Event in the evening of February 9. Details for that are also below.  I am so excited for both of these events!

Grace and peace to you, my sisters and brothers.  May God continue to guide our journeys.  



Annual District Training Event 2019

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Christ Church UM, Ft. Lauderdale


Behold! I am Making All Things New

Keynote Speaker: Rev. Scott Smith, First UMC Ormond Beach

Worship Leader: Jeremy Hearn & band, First UMC Lakeland 




8:15 – 8:45 am Registration

8:45 – 10:00 am Opening Worship and Keynote

10:15 – 1:00 am Break-Out Sessions and lunch


Translation devices will be available for Spanish and Creole

Register today HERE


District-Wide Youth Event 2019

Grades 6-12
Saturday, February 9, 2019
Christ Church UM, Ft. Lauderdale
From 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Planned events: Worship, Hands-on service project, games, food, prayer stations and more

Keynote Speaker: Rev. Scott Smith, First UMC Ormond Beach

Worship Leader: Jeremy Hearn & band, First UMC Lakeland


We would love to know you are planning to attend with your youth. Register your intention HERE


Volunteers needed in the Florida Keys for Hurricane Irma Recovery

We have a great need for volunteers to help rebuild the homes in the Keys mainly in the Marathon and Big Pine areas.  The recovery could take several years. No experience is needed and would be guided by one of our construction coordinators.  A team could volunteer from a day, a weekend, a week or longer.  We take teams as small as 2 to around 20.  Housing is provided for a small daily fee.  If interested, please contact the volunteer coordinator Jeremy Bridges at 386-234-1813 for more information.

Jeremy will also be present at our District Training Event.



Christ Church UM in Fort Lauderdale is looking for great Camp Counselors. If you are interested please apply here:


Cornerstone Church UMC has an immediate opening for a Preschool Director. For details or inquiries, please visit or contact Rev. Paul Cook (305-235-6651, x. 102;


Educational Opportunity

Celtic Christianity in Ireland 2019
May 13-22. 2019

This trip is being led by The Rev. Dr. Brett Opalinski, senior pastor of Christ Church in Ft. Lauderdale.

For more information and to register please click HERE


Calendar of Reports due for February and March

February 8, 2019: Year End Statistics – (Table 1, Table 2, Table 3) Complete online annually. Must be completed by 5:00 pm Friday, February 8.  Click Here for instructions page.

February 22: Workers Compensation Payroll Audit is to be completed online annually.  Report actual payroll for calendar year 2018.  Must be completed between February 1 and February 22, 2019. In order to comply with State of Florida requirements related to workers’ compensation coverage, we ask that you complete the brief online payroll form. Please review your payroll records (941’s etc.) for the calendar year 2018 and complete the form as accurately as possible.  Please note that your responses will not affect your workers’ compensation insurance costs for 2019 as this updated information is simply required to comply with State of Florida regulations. 

February 28: Ensure Lay Member to Annual Conference name and contact information is correct in church dashboard.

March 31  

Child/Youth Protection Policy. As a reminder to the email that went out November 20, 2018, the conference has updated the Child/Youth Protection Policy (CYPP). Click HERE to view that email. Local churches and conference-affiliated ministries are asked to review and update policies using this template by April 30. Please submit a complete copy of the policy AND the Annual Review & Renewal Signature page to Norma Sayago by April 30.

Fiscal Responsibility and Management Policy. Financial Controls, Policies, and Procedures - Review & renew annually. Once in compliance, submit a signed copy of the one page Annual Review and Renewal Document to the district office by March 31.  Click here for Fiscal Responsibility and Management Policies in Local Churches.

Employee Conduct Policy Adoption. FL Conference Revised Local Church Policy last revised April 2015.  Review and renew annually.

  1. CLERGY FORM: Click here for ECP for clergy. Submit the signed clergy copy to the district office by March 31.
  2. LOCAL CHURCH EMPLOYEE FORM: Click here for local church employee ECP. Copies of the local church employees’ forms should not be submitted to the district office, but should be filed in their employee file at the local church.
  3. ADOPTION AGREEMENT: Click here - Adopt the revised ECP and submit a signed copy of the Adoption Agreement to the district office by March 31

Annual Report to the District Housing Committee / Parsonage Checklist. Review & renew annually. Submit a signed copy of the Annual Parsonage Review to the district office by March 31.

Fund Balance Report for the Year End 2018. This report is located in your church dashboard. Report available via the church dashboard login under Fund Balance.


2019 Florida Conference Women’s Retreat

Life Enrichment Center
Lake Griffin in Fruitland Park, Florida


For a short time, step away from everything. Spend a quiet and glorious time celebrating Christ, with your sisters.

CLICK TO REGISTER:  2019 Women's Retreat Registration

February 8-10, 2019:
Keynote: Rev. Emily Knight
Bible Study Leader: Rev. Rachel Hughes
Music Leader: Cindy & Casey Cleveland & Family
Devotions: Sierra Clark & Kim Fisackerly
Enrichment Leaders: Margie Anderson, Kimberli Jones & Roxy Haas

March 8-10, 2019:
Keynote: Rev. Lisa Stamp
Bible Study Leader: Rev. Sara McKinley
Music Leader: Sue Sommer
Devotions: Tabatha Parish & Gladyanne Hood
Enrichment Leaders:  Rev. Tamara Isidore, Karen Taylor, Rev. Mary Ashcraft, Margie Anderson, Kathy Delozier, Maureen Corristan.

Get to know your retreat leaders by clicking here

Click here for the brochure

Click here for a bulletin insert

Click here for a save the date flyer

Click here for the Facebook page


Annual Conference 2019 set to take place at Florida Southern College

Make plans now to attend Annual Conference 2019 by booking your hotel rooms early. A list of hotels and rates can be found HERE. Housing will also be available at Florida Southern College (details forthcoming).

As you make your plans, please be aware of the following:

  1. Annual Conference will begin on Wednesday, June 5, with clergy and lay sessions at 10 a.m. We will conclude with the Service of Licensing, Commissioning and Ordination on Saturday, June 8, adjourning at 12:30 p.m.
  2. We will be voting on delegates to General Conference 2020, with chances to meet delegates Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning.

All registration will take place at Florida Southern College, as will the clergy and lay sessions. Florida Southern has added new parking shuttles and golf carts.

Webinar for Church Leaders

UMCom has some great webinars, live and recorded for our church leaders. For more information please go to the following link:


2019 Florida Minimum Wage

The Florida minimum wage is increasing to $8.46 per hour, effective January 1, 2019. Please Click HERE for the minimum wage poster for 2019. This needs to be posted for all employees to see.



February 5 - SE District DCOM

Materials due: January 8th.  

February 9 - District-Wide Youth Event

This event is for Grades 6-12 At Christ Church UM, Ft. Lauderdale Theme: Hope in Action

March 16 - Day on Campus

More than 1,000 United Methodist from across the Florida Conference will gather on the beautiful campus of the Florida United Methodist Children's Home in Enterprise.

April 8 - SE District DCOM Meeting

Materials due: March 11. First Provisional attempt