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SED February 2020 Newsletter

Dear South East District Friends,

Go Chiefs!!

Please excuse my excitement but I have waited, along with my fellow Kansas City Chiefs fans, a very long time to be able to say we are Super Bowl champions so I think I am going to say it a few more times!

Team sports define much of our community life, don’t they? Perhaps you remember the sports you played as kids: mine were softball and basketball. The importance of perfecting your position as an individual alongside playing as a team member. Stepping up to the plate but also stepping out of the limelight when necessary. Allowing others the room to do their part and taking responsibility for your part too. Celebrating together the wins and crying together over the losses.

Over the weekend, many Chiefs fans were nervous as the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl began. Those who were watching the game with me said I was unusually “grumpy and silent” as I watched a lackluster performance. I thought our star player, Patrick Mahomes, just wasn’t going to show up to play that night. Then he did. It was awesome.

Later, after the trophy had been lifted (both the Super Bowl trophy and the MVP trophy for Mahomes), and the celebrations had taken place, the players and coaches settled in for the press conference interviews. Mahomes was asked what changed the game. His answer, “Our defense.” He did not take credit for scoring 21 points in less than eight minutes. He did not talk about the incredible passes he made or his poise in leading his team down the field. Instead, he praised the KC defense. Without them, he never would have had the chance to throw the ball. They needed to stop San Francisco first before Mahomes could work his magic.

This is our work, isn’t it? Doing our part and allowing others to do theirs. Praising the way others make our work possible and reciprocating when the opportunity arises.

Sisters and brothers, I have been a part of many conversations lately that begin with “I” and end with “me.” I am hearing less about “us” and “we.” Do you remember when you had a toddler in your home? Two year olds say “Me, me, me!” As we grow, we learn to understand the concept of “we.” Spiritually, it is possible to be a two year old that focuses entirely on what we want for ourselves and our need to be “right.” As God works in us, we learn the art of living together and living as a team in the communion of God’s creation. We each do our part, often not understanding exactly how God calls us to “win.” Yet we are confident God calls us to live together, work together, serve together.

This weekend at our District Training Event we will hear from my friend, the Rev. Magrey deVega, how to live as Wesley taught us to live – focusing on God first. I invite us to come together, our South East District “team,” to learn, train, grow and worship together.

Hope to see you there. And again, Go Chiefs!

In Christ’s love,

Cynthia D. Weems


District Training Event

All In For God: Wesley's Rules for Living


Register now to attend the upcoming Training Event. The registration deadline is Thursday, February 6.

When: February 8th, 2020

8:45 am -1:00 pm (Registration begins at 8:15)

Where: Christ Church UMC 

4845 NE 25th Ave, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33308


Cokesbury will be present at the event with books for sale.

Click HERE for more informationClick HERE to register.


Rise Up! SE District FLUMC Youth Event 

February 8, from 5:00-9:00 pm

Christ Church Ft. Lauderdale 

Rise Up South East District Youth! This year's District Youth Event promises to be a powerful evening. Derrick Scott from Campus to City Wesley Foundation will be bringing a message, we’ll have great music, games, small group time, and a chance to join Rise Against Hunger in a packing event that will provide food to the hungry!

It’s going to be a great evening, so be sure to have your youth leader get registered for it so we know how much pizza to buy!  Rise UP!

To register CLICK HERE.


An Invitation from St. John UMC, Ft. Lauderdale

St. John UMC would like to invite you for an evening of joy on February 15th at 4.00 pm with IMANI MILELE Youth Choir from Uganda, Africa. Come to celebrate Black History month! Please share this FLYER with members of your congregation. This YouTube LINK will show you some of the choir performances. This is a free event. Please share this information with those in your network. If you have any questions, please contact


Lay Servant Ministries

March 28 & 29 – Christ Church UMC, Fort Lauderdale

Sign up now and plan to attend the Spring 2020 LSM Training!

Training will be held on Saturday, March 28th from 7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. and on Sunday, March 29th 20 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. There is a course fee of $50.00. It includes course materials, light breakfast and lunch on Saturday.

This training is open to all. If you are seeking to receive certification of re-certification credits you must attend all 10 hours of the training. Registration is now open and will run through March 20th, 2019.

We are offering the following courses:

  • Lay Servant Ministry Basic Course 
  • Advanced as well as Lay Speaker Course – Polity

Register today!

Click HERE for the flyer to print and mail in. Click HERE to register and pay online.


Spring Clergy Meeting

April 2 –9:30 am-1:00 pm 

Miramar UMC, Miramar

Rev. Alex Shanks will join us for our time together to discuss the recently released Protocol related to General Conference. All full-time clergy serving in South East District local churches are expected to attend. If you are not able to attend, please email the District office and request to be excused. All part-time, lay supply, retired and clergy beyond the local church are welcome to attend.


Calendar of Reports Due for February and March

February 7

Year-end local church statistics (Table 1, Table 2, Table 3) close on Friday, February 7 at 5:00 pm. Complete online annually. This form will be available online via the Statistics link at your church dashboard login on the conference website beginning January 2, 2020.  Must be completed by February 7, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.  

February 21

Workers Compensation Payroll Audit is to be completed online annually.  Report actual payroll for calendar year 2019.  Must be completed between February 1 and February 21, 2020. In order to comply with State of Florida requirements related to workers’ compensation coverage, we ask that you complete the brief online payroll survey.  Please review your payroll records (941’s etc.) for the calendar year 2019 and complete the form as accurately as possible.  Please note that your responses will not affect your workers’ compensation insurance costs for 2020 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 

The following reports are due to the District office by March 31.
Please email them to Norma Sayago 


Committee Responsible

Financial Controls, Policies & Procedures


Document Retention Policy


Clergy Employee Conduct Policy


Adoption of Employee Conduct Policy


Annual Parsonage Report


Child Youth Protection Policy



The church needs to have a Local Church Employee form signed by each employee and kept in their personnel file. This does not get sent to the District office.

The Fund Balance report is submitted online by Finance. Do not send a hard copy to the District. The form is located in your Church Dashboard on the bottom left. Note: The Disaster Recovery Resource Survey is no longer required.

For detailed instructions on reports, please review the Calendar of Reports.



Cornerstone UMC is trying to find a new home for a Unity Candle Holder.

If you are interested, please contact Jackie Dammann at for additional information and/or to make arrangements to pick it up. They would love to get a donation for it.  It is a floor stand and is about 5 feet high. 

They need to find a home for it by February 21st.






UMCFCU 2020 Scholarship Application

WIN $1000 COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP! Methodist Connectional Federal Credit Union Is Offering Scholarships to College Bound Students

The United Methodist Connectional Federal Credit Union will award four $1,000 college scholarships again this year. Four winning applicants will be chosen one from each of our four conferences Florida, North Georgia, South Georgia and Alabama-West Florida. To apply, you must be a member of United Methodist Connectional FCU between the ages of 17-35.

Application deadline is April 30, 2020. Winners will be announced at each Annual Conference of Florida, North Georgia, South Georgia and Alabama-West Florida. Complete the form below and paste your required essay.



General Conference 2020

Minneapolis, Minnesota - May 5 – 15

What is the General Conference of the UMC?

Florida Delegation General Conference 2020

Volunteers needed for General Conference 2020

General Conference 2020 Website

Comparison of Proposals to General Conference 2020


Many of you have asked how you can learn more about the upcoming General Conference in May 2020. Here are three ways you can prepare for General Conference:

  1. Go to and read news and other articles. Eventually all proposed legislation will be posted here.
  2. Pray for our Florida delegation. A list of our delegation can be found at If you would like to send a note to the delegation and any comments or questions for them to consider, email Your email will be shared with the entire delegation.
  3. Plan to attend yet to be scheduled webinars before and after General Conference hosted by delegation leaders.

We appreciate your prayers as we approach General Conference. Together we remain on mission together.

Rev. Alex Shanks
Clergy Head of Delegation

Molly McEntire
Lay Head of Delegation


Florida United Methodist Children's Home is Hiring!

Career Fair - February 15 - 9am - Noon


Government Payroll Changes for 2020

Effective January 1, the new Florida Minimum Wage will be $8.56 per hour.  Be sure to increase any employee making below this amount for the first paycheck dated in January, 2020.

Effective January 1, the new guidelines for salary exempt status goes into effect.  The new minimum salary for an exempt employee is $35,568 ($684 per week).  You have two options regarding this change:

  • Option 1. The employee can remain at their current salary and be reclassified as a non-exempt employee, at which time, the employee will have to track their hours and be paid overtime for any hours worked over 40 hours in any week.  We recommend a timecard or timesheet be turned in weekly and retain on file.
  • Option 2.  Increase the employee’s salary to the new exempt minimum of $684 per week.  
  • Clergy Exemption – Clergy are exempt from the salary requirement; HOWEVER, Lay Supply Pastors ARE NOT covered by the exemption and must follow the new guidelines for salary exempt status. 

Effective the first day of your first payroll run of 2020 all new hires MUST complete the new 2020 W-4. Click HERE for the NEW W-4.

Current employees do not need to complete the new W-4 unless they want to.  It is supposed to allow for a more accurate tax withholding.  Any employee that only completes Sections 1 and 5 (both mandatory) will be treated as a single filer with the highest tax rate with no adjustments.

Click HERE for FAQ’s from the IRS to help answer your questions regarding how to properly complete the new W-4.  

Tax Withholding Estimator

The IRS suggests employee should take the time to use the Tax Withholding Estimator to determine if they need to make any adjustments to their tax withholding for 2020.  They may also want to consult their tax professional.





February 15 - Florida United Methodist Children's Home Career Fair

The Florida United Methodist Children's Home is having a Career Fair! They are seeking qualified candidates to fill many open positions. Click HERE for their website with details on all the opportunities.    Positions in Residential Care for at-risk youth Residential Manager Campus Security (Part -time, nights) Contemporary Youth Worship Leader Contract Therapist Cook Montessori and Preschool Teachers Truck Driver (Part-time) Benefits include: Florida Blue Medical & Dental Insurance 403(B) Retirement With Matching Life Insurance Long Term Disability Montessori Child Care Available On Site at 50% Discount For Employees Longevity Bonuses

March 3 - SE District DCOM meeting

Materials due: February 4. 

April 12 - Spring Clergy Meeting

Rev. Alex Shanks will join us for our time together. All full time clergy serving in the South East District local church are expected to attend. If you are not able to attend, please email the District office and request to be excused. All part-time, lay supply, and clergy beyond the local church are welcome to attend.

April 28 - SE District DCOM Meeting

Materials due: March 31