Dear South East District Friends,
I write to you this day with two words on my heart. 1. Grateful. I am grateful for the sun that shines, for dry floors in my home and for our churches that worshiped yesterday without the disruption of storms, leaks and power outages. 2. Convicted. I am convicted in my need to turn my gratitude into action as we utilize our resources to assist our sisters and brothers whose lives and sacred worship spaces are devasted due to Hurricane Ian.
Perhaps you have felt these and other feelings over the last several days. It has been excruciating to watch the news and read developments on the west coast of our state as well as countries dear to us like Cuba. Our Florida Conference leaders in disaster response have been doing a tremendous job of assessing the damage, supporting the communities and directing our response. As many as 150 United Methodist churches sustained damage during this storm, not to mention parsonages, homes, schools and businesses in our many communities.
Please be on the lookout for ways you can help. Currently, I encourage you to receive an offering in your local church for our Florida Fund. The link is here: Hurricane Ian Response and Recovery (brtapp.com) Donations may also be made to UMCOR. The work of UMCOR is intended to support natural disasters all around the world and Florida will receive support from UMCOR. The Florida Conference fund will ensure we can offer support to churches and persons who fall outside of the parameters of UMCOR support. And, ultimately, our greatest hope is that we can raise significant dollars to provide as much relief as possible. Working together, we can do this!
Please do not hesitate to reach out with specific questions for how you or your church can help. We will be forthcoming as we learn of Conference efforts to donate, volunteer, assist and collaborate.
May our prayers continue for the people most in need.
Grace and peace,
Cynthia D. Weems
Hurricane Ian Response & Recovery
The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church is walking alongside our brothers & sisters devasted by Hurricane Ian. Your prayers and financial support are welcome to assist with our response to this disaster. This is how you can help:
- Pray. Continue to lift the impacted in prayer.
- Give online at FLUMC.ORG/IAN. 100% of gifts will be used to support the mission of local churches most directly affected by the storm and will be distributed by the cabinet under the supervision of the Conference Committee on Finance & Administration.
- Collect cleaning kits. Click here for a list of supplies and instructions on how to assemble a cleaning kit. Please be prepared to hold on to the kits until further notice from the Disaster Recovery Ministry.
- Call the Disaster Recovery call center. Dial 855-CAT-FUMC to volunteer or share post-storm community needs.
- Share this information in your churches and communities. Click here for a graphic that you can download and share.
October is Pastor Appreciation Month
We would like to remind our laity that October is Pastor Appreciation Month. Here is a link to some helpful resources:
Thank you for all that you do to support your pastor!
Be ready! Youth 2023 is happening next July in Daytona Beach.
For more information, please go to this link: https://www.umcyoungpeople.org/youth2023
Missional Vital Signs Reporting Changes
Missional Vital Signs (MVS) for the local church is newly updated (April 2022). It important to remember that these numbers represent people and the vitality of the local church. They are indicators of the behaviors that produce them, and this tool can be used to discern the health of the church – what works, what does not, where should we make changes, and most importantly, how can we bring more disciples to Christ? The local church should continuously be aware of their MVS’s so that they may evaluate and make adjustments. Healthy churches are aware of their stats and can quickly adapt.
This information is gathered weekly and may be reported weekly or monthly through the church dashboard online by the “MVS Reporter” designated by the church and updated in the church dashboard. There is now the ability to enter missing data over the previous two years.
If your church receives funding (equitable compensation) that is contingent on turning in your data by the 10th of the month, know that you have grace. We sent an email with that explanation to those churches.
Please click here for a helpful video overview and guide sheet of the New MVS Weekly Reporting site.