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SED October 2018 Newsletter

Dear South East District Friends,

In the fall of 1999 I experienced my first charge conference as a pastor. I prepared “the packet” and made the copies. I worked with nominations and the budget team. Our lay people tried to tell me what to expect when the “DS comes to town.” (This is back in the day when the superintendent came to each church for individual charge conferences.) I remember the fellowship hall where we met, the DS who presided and a feeling of great responsibility and excitement as we reported on the year past and dreamed toward the year ahead.

In that charge conference a fairly grumpy church member sitting in the back of the room raised her hand when the DS asked people to share joys and concerns. She said, “I have a joy! Two weeks ago our pastor was on vacation and our Lay Leader gave the message. It was nice to have a man back in the pulpit.” Ouch. That hurt. It still hurts today as I type the words.

It wasn’t an entirely unexpected comment. She and her husband were unhappy people and my arrival at the church was a part of their unhappiness. It was hard for me, and the rest of the congregation, to hear this kind of comment spoken out loud with a visitor in the room. People were embarrassed. I don’t remember feeling embarrassed but, as I said earlier, hurt. I loved this church – my first appointment! – and was so happy to be their pastor. And, of course, there wasn’t anything I could do about being a woman. 

It has been a reminder to me ever since that first charge conference that church meetings can be full of anxiety, challenge and tension. People are human. Often times people bring more of their anxiety and anger to church meetings than anywhere else in their lives. This is hard.

We begin our season of charge conferences now. The format is different (and doesn’t provide much opportunity for complaints!) and our focus will be on our life together and our mission and values as a conference. This is not to dismiss the anxiety and challenges that are also present in our life together. Yet, we point to God’s amazing abundance of love and joy to inspire and strengthen our ministries and our respective duties within those ministries.

Perhaps you are wondering how my DS responded to the comment from the woman in the back of the room during my first charge conference. His response has stuck with me through my whole ministry. He said, “You know, it is so interesting, isn’t it? God appears to be raising up all kinds of persons for ministry, and there seem to be fewer and fewer men hearing a call or responding to that call from God. Are your sons and grandsons pursuing a call to ministry? Mine are not. Thank God for Cynthia’s call and the many other women who are hearing God’s call to lead our churches. I’m not sure where we would be without them.” 

My prayer is that as your superintendent, lay and clergy alike will hear from me an equally affirming message of the power of God’s call on our lives and the varieties of gifts we all bring to leadership in the church. We are all gifts to God’s kingdom and I am so grateful to serve among you. See you at charge conferences!

Grace and peace,   



Fall Lay Servant Ministries Training at Christ Church

October 13 – 14, 2018

Lay Servant Training prepares the laity to be in ministry through caring, communication and leadership

We are offering two classes: LSM Basic, and one Advanced course.

All classes require a total of 10 hours attendance. The Session fee is $50. Cost includes course materials, lite breakfast and lunch on Saturday. 

Note:  Lay Servant certification expires after three years.

To register, click HERE. Registration run through October 12th.

If you have any questions, please contract Connie Bookholt at, or call her at 954-440-4187.


The South East District is to begin the Cluster Charge Conferences this fall. Please remember that charge conference season is beginning now and that the District needs to receive your paperwork in for review ten days before your charge conference. Also, please keep in mind that the agenda has changed this year and you need to pay attention to it very closely.

Completed Church Conference packets with all documents signed will be turned in at the Church Conference. We do not need originals, as we will scan the packet and then shred it.

All Charge Conference forms with detailed instructions are available on the Florida Conference website. Please click HERE

The South East District will hold six Cluster Church Conferences this fall. Gathering will be 20 minutes before the Church Conference. 

Click HERE to download the South East District forms. 

NOTE:  The Housing Resolution and Accountable Reimbursement Policy  for clergy are no longer required

Oct. 14, 2 pm
Kendall UMC
7600 SW 104 Ave

Oct. 14, 4:30 pm
Hollywood Hills UMC
400 North 35th Ave

Nov. 4, 2 pm
Christ Church UM
4845 NE 25th Ave
Ft. Lauderdale

Nov. 4, 4:30 pm
Miami Lakes UMC
14800 NW 67th Ave
Miami Lakes


Carol City

Bethesda Haitian

Coral Way





First Coral Gables


Christ Church


First Homestead



Kelly’s Chapel

First Miami

First Fort Lauderdale

First Boca Raton

Miami Lakes

Grace Haitian

Harris Chapel

First Coral Springs


Greater Hialeah

Hollywood Hills

Hallandale Haitian

Olympia Heights

Iglesia Metodista Unida Peace

Korean American

St John Ft. Lauderdale

Palm Springs





Kerr Memorial



Seller’s Memorial

Killian Pines

New Life Haitian

St. Paul Deerfield Beach


La Nueva Iglesia

Nueva Vida


St. John’s Miami Beach




Wesley Hispanic


Trinity Lighthouse Point



Silver Palm




South Dade








Lower Keys –Wednesday, Nov. 7th: Big Pine, Key West, Newman

Upper Keys –Thursday, November 8th: Burton Memorial, Marathon, Matecumbe.


Fall Clergy meeting

October 11, 2018
Miramar UMC
10:00 am – 1:00 pm, followed by lunch

The Rev. Alex Shanks, Assistant to Bishop Carter, will return to the district to make a presentation on the report of The Commission on a Way Forward and specifically the three plans that were presented to the Council of Bishops. Each pastor may also bring a lay person to this presentation. It will be our Fall Clergy Meeting so there will be just a few other items shared but the bulk of the meeting will be given to Alex’s presentation.


2019 Apportionments are Available

Apportionments for 2019 are now available on the conference website. To find your 2019 apportionment information follow these steps:

  1. Go to the Conference homepage:
  2. Click on the “Monthly Reports” tab at the bottom right of the page.
  3. Click on the top link under Monthly Billing Reports:  “Click here to download monthly reports.”

When you choose a report, there will be a report on the pull-down menu called 2019 Apportionments Report. 

Thank you in advance for being diligent about paying your 2018 apportionments before the end of the year. Last year the SE District paid 83% -an incredible achievement. Let's do our part to continue strong this year.


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. 


Commission on the Status and Role of Women

Grace and peace be with you! We were grateful to be in fellowship with you during Annual Conference this June. As you may recall, our committee dedicated our energies towards sharing the stories and witness of women. This was most visible through our big pink buttons that said #webelieveyou. We celebrate and hold in prayer the individuals who shared their stories through the Pre-Conference session “Hearing the Female Story,” our #Metoo box at the COSROW table, and in conversation with one another.

In an effort to continue to create space for conversation within the local church, we encourage you to engage with the #MeToo toolkit created by the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women.  Click HERE to review the toolkit.  Click HERE to continue reading.    



September 29 - Our Kids Training Plus!

"Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs." Luke 18:16 Our Kids Training Plus Putting the Florida Conference School and Church Partnership to Work We strongly recommend that you create a team of at least 3 to attend this event together. Click HERE to register.  

October 14 - SE District Charge Conferences

Kendall, South Dade & First Miami Clusters: 2:00-3:30 pm @ Kendall UMC Miramar & St. John FLL Clusters: 4:30-6:00 pm @ Hollywood Hills UMC

November 4 - SE District Charge Conferences

Cokesbury & Christ Church Clusters: 2:00-3:30 pm @ Christ Church Ft. Lauderdale Miami & Central Dade Clusters: 4:30-6:00 pm @ Miami Lakes UMC