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SED August 2018 Newsletter

Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.

                                                                                                                 -Saint Francis of Assisi


Dear South East District Friends,

I came across this quote over the summer and have been sitting with it while making plans for this fall.  It speaks to me (as so many words from Saint Francis do!). 

On one level, these are powerful words for us when we are hurting personally.  I think about the journey I have traveled over the last year and it reads a bit like this quote where I first started with what was necessary and then moved to what was possible.  I’m still working on the impossible!  And think about the efforts to recover from Hurricane Irma.  People all over our state, and many of you in this district, first began with what was necessary.  Then what was possible.  And, absolutely, the impossible has been accomplished in many places (a big shout out to Big Pine UMC!). 

I believe one of the key words in this quote is simply the word, “Start.”  There are times when we feel paralyzed and the hardest task is the effort it takes to begin: getting out of bed or making a tough phone call or finally asking for help.  In the church it is no different.  We are often paralyzed by what seems to be the enormous task of “saving the world” and we find we can’t even take the baby steps of getting started:  calling the leaders together or committing to pray for guidance or talking with others to collaborate around solutions to the problem. 

 Our communities need for us to first do what is necessary instead of fretting over our inability to do the impossible.  We must start somewhere, and Saint Francis says to start in the beginning – with what is necessary.  So, what is necessary?  I would argue that in all of our communities vital and relevant worship is necessary.  Worship that speaks to people and the transformation God is seeking in their lives.  If your worship is not vital and relevant (and joyful!), please work on this ASAP.  I believe daily contact between our churches and the communities they serve is necessary.  This can happen through food ministries, church-school partnerships, homeless ministries and youth ministries.  If the only contact your church facilitates is contact among church members then we are doing what is easy, not what is necessary.  The world needs human contact with the church – a real person that shows Jesus’ love is real.   

I invite you to create your own list (preferably with other church leaders) of what is necessary for your ministry to make a difference in your community.  You may be surprised with the answers.  You may stop doing certain things.  You may begin others.  Ultimately, I believe you will be turning necessary things into bright possibilities for growth and transformation.  Then, shall we all shout together, we will be doing the impossible!

Grace and peace,   


Welcome new clergy to the South East District!

Cokesbury UMC – Joseph Kim

Davie UMC –Scott Didriksen

Ebenezer UMC & Kelly’s Chapel –Sherlain Stevens

Hollywood Hills UMC –Kevin Johnson

Killian Pines UMC & SE District Missional Initiatives Specialist– Michelle Shrader

Redland Community & YAMM staff –Anna Scharbo

Trinity UMC, Lighthouse Point –Elyse Milligan


Congratulations to all the SED Clergy who were Commissioned and Ordained!

Commissioned as Provisional Elders:

Kevin Johnson  -Hollywood Hills UMC;

                                      Elyse Milligan   -Trinity UMC, Lighthouse Point                                 



Joshua M. Beaty -Christ Church, Fort Lauderdale

Stuart Bodin -Miami Lakes UMC and Palm Springs UMC

Andrea Byer-Thomas -Village UMC, North Lauderdale

Berteau Eliassaint -Grace Haitian Mission, Miami

Vidalis Lopez -First Coral Gables, Coral Gables

Gary Marcelin -Fulford, North Miami Beach

Congratulations to the following pastors who graduated this summer from Course of Study!

David Fernández – Garrett

Tom Tift Candler


Attention all clergy with new appointments in the SED

There is an orientation meeting for all clergy with new appointments in the SE District on August, 8, 2018 from 11:00 am - 2:00 am at the District Office.


South East District Church Administrators Training

Who are invited? All administrative staff who work within a local church office in the SE District

When?  Wednesday, September 12.

Where?  Coral Gables UMC from 10:30 am to 2:00 pm. Coffee and fellowship begins at 10:30 am in the Head Center. To register, CLICK here. Registration ends on September 5, 2018.

Topic Ideas?  Do you have a certain topic you want covered? Email your suggestions to: on or before August 17.  We will cover charge conference forms, district and conference annual forms and the best practices of our church offices.

Please join us! This is a FREE event!


Fall Charge Conferences

The South East District will have Cluster Charge Conferences this fall in a different format than the past. Clergy and Administrative Assistants will be receiving an email soon regarding the dates and locations of these conferences.  Charge Conference forms will be on the Conference web page by August 21.


Early Response Team (ERT) Training

ERT training focuses on types, phases and levels of a disaster and explains what is meant by early response. Participants learn the importance of spiritual and emotional care, tarping, flood clean-up, chainsaw safety, team requirements and much more. Participants are trained by UMCOR-certified trainers and receive a badge identifying them with UMCOR and the Florida Conference

When? August 18, 2018

Where? New Horizon UMC – Southwest Ranches. 5741 S Flamingo Rd, Southwest Ranches FL 33330

Participants must be 18 or older and pass a background check. Space is limited to 25 people and registration is required.

For more information and to register, please go to 


 Bishop's Regional Gatherings 2018

The Cross and the Flame
Conversations with Bishop Carter

Bishop Carter will hold four regional gatherings in September of 2018.  These events are open to all, and there will be an opportunity to submit questions for Bishop Carter prior to the gatherings.  Each event will begin at 6:30 PM and a reception will follow.  The one taking place within our district is at First UMC of Boca Raton.  All are invited to attend and enjoy this time of learning and conversation with Bishop Carter.

•Sunday, September 16 – Killearn UMC, Tallahassee
•Monday, September 17 – First UMC, Winter Park
•Tuesday, September 18 – First UMC, Boca Raton
•Wednesday, September 19 – Harvest UMC, Lakewood Ranch

Click HERE to register and submit your questions.


Clergy Gathering

January 29 - February 1, 2019 - Epworth by the Sea

In lieu of the traditional fall Clergy Gathering, all are invited to attend the Winter Conference at Epworth by the Sea, January 29 - February 1, 2019.

This will be a combined event with the Bishops and clergy of the North Georgia, Mississippi, South Georgia and Florida Conferences. Dr. Tod Bolinger, author of Canoeing the Mountains, will be the keynote speaker. 

Be sure to register soon as this is expected to be a sold out event.

Click here to register. 

Click here for the flyer. 


2018 Annual Conference Highlights

Remembering Who We Are

About 1,600 Florida United Methodists, including 722 clergy and 798 lay voting members, gathered June 6-9 in Lakeland.  Below are some quick links to highlights of AC2018:                           

Click HERE for the Lay Member Summary Report.
Click HERE for 2018 Annual Conference Videos
Click HERE for the AC2018 Website.
Click HERE to purchase a hard copy of the AC2018 Journal.  The deadline is August 31.  Once it is completed it will be available to download at no cost.
Annual Conference Dates
June 5 - 8, 2019 Lakeland, FL
June 4 - 6, 2020 Location TBD


Baptismal Font FREE

Everglades Community UMC is trying to find a new home for a baptismal font.

If you are interested, please contact Rev. Mason Dorsey at for additional information and/or to make arrangements to pick it up.