Dear South East District Friends,
Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ, the one who sustains us through the most difficult times and rejoices with us in our triumphs. Thanks be to God!
I have been sharing with many of you the title I have given these last few months of pandemic life, “Lots of Headaches, Few Rewards.” If we are honest with each other, much of what we have been doing in our personal lives, work lives, and church lives has been the typical stuff of “headaches” without any of the typical rewards to which we are accustomed. Can I get an “Amen?”
We, laity and clergy alike, log onto a virtual meeting where we have to go through the business agenda and make tough decisions but do not get the coffee and fellowship when it is all over. We preach sermons and craft worship to a video camera but do not get to see the smiling, joyful faces of those we serve with when we finish. We console grieving families over the phone or with appropriate distance at a funeral home but we do not get to experience the depth of grieving together as a community in a worship service that celebrates a person’s life. Plus, we have adopted the added stress of face masks, measuring distance, and overall anxiety about health and safety for ourselves and our loved ones. These are incredibly challenging times
I want you to know that my assessment is that you are doing this with remarkable grace, love, and talent. There is incredible ministry happening in the midst of this very trying time. You are caring for each other, leading your churches, making hard decisions, and sharing joy on every level. It has been an inspiration for me to see. Thank you for all that you are doing to support your church, family, and community during this time.
Allow me to share some reminders to help us continue to stay strong in this season.
- Go easy on yourself. This is hard and you cannot do it all.
- Remember the small things that always make people feel good – a phone call, a note or text, a prayer.
- Pastors, remember to ask others to help you. Laity, remember to ask your pastor how you can help and say no when you just cannot do one more thing.
- Give an abundance of grace – at home, church, and beyond. Assume the best and when you are troubled about something, call the person who can help you understand what might have really happened. Seek peace. We all need it right now.
- Get your sleep.
- Drink lots of liquids.
- Buy something that smells like pumpkin because it’s fall.
- Remember that Jesus loves you so very much, along with the entire creation that surrounds us. My, oh, my.
Sisters and brothers, feel the love of God surround you today. Try and recognize the small rewards around us in this season of abundant headaches. God is, indeed, with us!
Grace and peace,
Cynthia D. Weems
ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2020 UPDATE
Virtual Pre-Annual Conference Orientation
Tuesday, September 1, 6:00 pm REGISTER HERE
This webinar will be hosted by Mickey Wilson, conference treasurer, Rev. Alex Shanks and Rev. Dr. Sharon Austin, Annual Conference Planning Team co-chairs. Members of the annual conference will have the opportunity to test the Annual Conference webinar platform during these orientations, ask questions, and learn about the essential items of business that will be covered during the Annual Conference session.
For those unable to attend, the webinars will be recorded and later posted to the Conference website.
The following events will all be virtual on September 12:
- Laity Session - 10:00am - noon
- Service of Commissioning - 1:00pm
- Service of Ordination - 3:00pm
- Installation of our two new District Superintendents - 4:30pm
Annual Conference 2020 will be virtual only on September 19 9:00am - noon.
Click HERE for the Annual Conference 2020 webpage.
Annual Assessment of Clergy Leadership
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Cabinet and the Office of Clergy Excellence has agreed to postpone the deadline for annual clergy evaluations for non-moving clergy to September 30, 2020. The completed forms should be emailed to Norma Sayago firstname.lastname@example.org
The clergy assessment process is available on the FLUMC website under Clergy Excellence.
NOTE: This is required for every clergy appointed to the local church. These evaluations are not required for extension ministers or deacons working beyond the local church setting. Deacons and Clergy serving in Extension Ministry have an annual report due December 31 each year. Click HERE to download the report.
You’re invited to the FX Studio!
Have you heard all about fresh expressions but don’t know where to start? Perhaps you have started some fresh expressions and are wondering what’s next? Or are you feeling stuck amid the pandemic? The Fresh Expressions Studio is for you…
Studio Gathering 1: Wednesday September 30, 2020 9am-12 by Zoom.
Studio Gathering 2: Saturday March 20, 2021 (location to be determined)
For more information about the gatherings and to register for these FREE events click below
Share What Your Ministry is Doing with the Conference
If you have short videos showing your ministry in action, youth activities, feeding the hungry, children’s ministry, etc., you can share them with the conference in our Now Playing feature on the home page at https://www.flumc.org.
Videos should be 4 minutes or less. You can share your video with us here: https://www.flumc.org/submitvideo.
You can also share your photos on our Photos from around the conference page https://www.flumc.org/photos.
Click HERE to submit your photos.