Message from the District Superintendent
Dear North East District Family,
As you all most likely know by now, this past Sunday afternoon there was a shooting at The Landing in downtown Jacksonville. In addition to that, at Raines High School, there was a shooting at the football game. I spent some time reflecting and praying about those events and shared some thoughts on my personal Facebook page. I thought I’d share those same thoughts this month for you to consider how your faith community might think about its mission to the communities where you are located.
“As I’ve had some time to reflect on the shootings in Jacksonville over the weekend, I wanted to share some thoughts:
- I think it’s unfortunate that the national media did not pick up on the news that last Friday there was a shooting at Raines High School during a football game. One person was killed and two more were injured. Adding that tragic event to the shooting on Sunday, and it’s been a very bloody weekend in the River City.
- I am deeply grateful for our first responders. I think the unsung heroes of the shooting at The Landing are the brave women and men of the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department. They were conducting drills about 200 yards away from The Landing when the gunshots rang out. While the shooting was ongoing, the firefighters/EMTs entered the building, unprotected by bulletproof vests, and began administering aid to people who were shot. Most agree that had they not done so, the body count would be much higher.
- I think the epidemic of mass shootings in our country is much more complex than most of us realize. There is not a one-size-fits-all answer to it. I am a strong believer in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, but I also believe in responsible, reasonable gun regulation. I think you can support both. I also think that’s not even close to the only solution we need to seek.
- I think the church has a strong role to play in whatever the solution is. It seems to me that a piece of the problem is the violence saturated culture that we’ve created. The church can speak out against this, and its people can be in ministry to stop this. It will look different in various ministry contexts, but it’s part of our mission to transform the world in Jesus’ Name. Not to be in ministry in this way is tantamount to theological malpractice.
- I think the media and politicians alike make this an issue about the NRA vs. Liberals. That’s overly simplistic. It helps make the news story simple and digestible for two-minute news stories and soundbites for political commercials. It doesn’t, however, even come close to responsibly dealing with the problem. I pray we won’t be duped by either political party or special interests.
- It may sound easy, but I truly believe that if the Church (not just The UMC, but all churches) did a better job of carrying out our mission of helping people to follow Jesus, we would greatly reduce the violence in our country and world. We are partly to blame.
- We must do a better job in removing the stigma of seeking help for mental health – especially amongst men. It’s not weakness to get help. We also need to help make it easier to obtain counseling and help. The church can help with this. The last church I served helped to create a health clinic for the working under-insured and uninsured. We provided counseling for $25. People are also lonely in a world dominated by smart-phones and social media. The Church can help people get connected so we can rely on each other and not be alone.
- These are my thoughts on my Facebook page. You do not have to agree with me, and I may be wrong in my assertions. I’m not looking to get into a war of words in the comments section and invite you to post your thoughts on your Facebook page. I have a heart at peace and am not looking for a fight.
Part of being a vital church is transforming our communities around us in Jesus’ Name. I would encourage your leadership to ask itself how you might make part of your missional strategy to stop the violence-soaked culture in which we’re immersed and help people to find a relationship with Jesus. I truly believe we can change the world in this way and be the answer to many people’s prayers.
God bless you!
All God’s love,
Super-Charged Conference - Are you getting ready?
- Forms are live - The Charge Conference forms are now live on our website. Please be sure that you view only the forms from the North East District. We highly recommend you read all of the instructional material prior to completing the forms. There are some changes from last year's forms.
- Clergy Compensation Form Trainings - We have made several changes to the clergy compensation form. If you need help or have more in-depth questions about completing the clergy compensation form for Super-Charged Conference, we are offering a few sessions where you can come to the District Office and learn about how to complete the form correctly. Please register online to attend.
Gift Cards for CCW - Don't forget to pick up a gift card from Publix, Costco and Walmart for our CCW Campus Ministry! These gift cards will help the CCW team with their outreach to college students on multiple campuses. We will have a collection box at Super-Charged Conference. Pick one or a few up and bring them with you to Super-Charged Conference!
Coffee at Super-Charged Conference - We encourage you to let coffee make a big difference at the Super-Charged Conference this year. Also, the Unleashed founders will be staffing the coffee station if you wish to explore bringing this type of coffee impact to your church. If you have any inquires in the meantime, they can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Save the Date for the 2019 Super-Charged Conference -The Conference will be held on Saturday, November 2, 2019 from 9-12 at CrossRoad UMC, Jacksonville. This is your church's charge conference and all clergy need to be present. We encourage all church leaders to attend as well.
Super-Charged Conference T-Shirts - We are selling Super-Charged Conference t-shirts with all proceeds going to our campus ministry program - CCW. Cost is $12 per t-shirt and we have Mens and Womens sizes from Small - 2XL. You can pre-order online and pick up your t-shirt on the morning of Super-Charged Conference, October 20, 2018 @ CrossRoad UMC. You also have the option to purchase onsite with a check made out to "NE District UMC" or cash (exact change only please - $12.).
Upcoming District Trainings
Clergy Compensation Form Trainings
We have made several changes to the clergy compensation form. If you need help or have more in-depth questions about completing the clergy compensation form for Super-Charged Conference, we are offering a few sessions where you can come to the District Office and learn about how to complete the form correctly.
You can sign up to attend a clergy compensation form training on the following dates/times:
- Thursday, September 6, 2018 @ 10 a.m.
- Thursday, September 6, 2018 @ 3 p.m.
- Tuesday, September 18, 2018 @ 12 p.m.
All trainings will be held at the District Office, 1415 LaSalle Street, Jacksonville. Limit of 10 people per training session. Please register online to attend.
The district superintendent will conduct SPRC Trainings, one on November 27, 2018 @ Lake Shore UMC, Jacksonville, 2246 Blanding Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32210 & the other on December 13, 2018 @ St. Paul UMC, 8264 Lone Star Road, Jacksonville, FL 32211 from 7-9 p.m. Both trainings will take place in the sanctuary.
We ask that all SPRC chairs/committee members attend one of these trainings, especially if they will be new to their position in January 2019. As a reminder to you, S/PPRCs ARE NOT authorized to take a vote on whether their pastor should remain or moved unless you specifically receive permission from the district superintendent. Your entire team is welcome to attend. This training is free to attend, but please register so we can plan for the trainings.
We welcome all Finance Committee Team Members and Trustees Committee Team Members to a Finance/Trustees Training. This training will involve all aspects of Finance and Trustees. This training will take place on the following dates and locations:
- November 6, 2018 - 7-9 PM @ Lakewood UMC, 6133 San Jose Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32217
- November 7, 2018 - 7-9 PM @ First UMC, 500 Walnut St, Green Cove Springs, FL 32043
Please sign up to attend. There is no cost to attend, but please register so we can prepare accordingly for the trainings.
Thrive Marriage Conference
“The Thrive Marriage Conference is an interactive experience for married couples to discover the Scriptural and clinical keys to having a marriage that thrives throughout the seasons of life”
Webster’s Dictionary defines the word THRIVE as: to grow, or develop well or vigorously; to prosper; or to flourish. As it is with anything that thrives, there are key practices that ensure healthy growth and development. The Bible is clear that the covenant of marriage between a husband and a wife is one of God’s finest creations, and that His desire is that it would thrive and flourish spiritually, emotionally, relationally and physically, bringing joy and fulfillment to both partners. Sometimes, however, we can get stuck in unhealthy patterns of relating to one another that make those key practices feel unattainable. In the Thrive Marriage Conference you and your spouse will receive instruction, foster insight, and create an experience of hope and renewal that will enhance the likelihood of having a marriage that thrives.
Thrive Marriage Conference FAST FACTS
- When: A Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Where: Your local church
- Cost: $40 per couple & a hosting fee for the local church.
- Miscellaneous: Child Care is Provided (@ an additional fee), Continental Breakfast, Lunch and Snacks are Provided, Each Participant receives a Conference Workbook, Conference is Limited to 20 couples, Live Worship is Provided.
- Next Steps: Request that your Pastor or Church Representative contact Dr. David Moenning at 904-412-2876 or at email@example.com to coordinate an available day/time for the Thrive Marriage Conference to come to your local church.
Calling Clergy Spouses...
Are you a clergy spouse interested in getting together with other clergy spouses in the District? If so, please contact Connie Sparks for more information. Connie can be reached via email - firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Our Kids Training Plus” which is hosted by the School Church Initiative Team
When: Saturday, September 29th 10am-3pm
Where: St. Luke’s UMC, Orlando, FL
We ask that churches bring a team.
Cost: $25. Per person, max $75 per church. $10. Per additional if childcare is needed.
Link for additional information and registration: Click here.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
October 20, 2018 - Super-Charged Conference @ CrossRoad UMC, Jacksonville
October 22, 2018 - District Dashboard Update Day
October 24, 2018 - Equip Master Class Series - Worship Design Team, 11:30 a.m. @ Fleming Island UMC. Bring a brown-bagged lunch.
November 6, 2018 - Finance/Trustees Training, 7-9 PM @ Lakewood UMC, 6133 San Jose Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32217
November 7, 2018 - Finance/Trustees Training, 7-9 PM @ First UMC, 500 Walnut St, Green Cove Springs, FL 32043
November 14 , 2018 - Equip Master Class Series - Special Services, 11:30 a.m. @ Fleming Island UMC. Bring a brown-bagged lunch.
December 12 - Recerts/Certs/LP - Please contact Elizabeth Flynn for more information - email@example.com.
February 9, 2019 - District Leadership Event @ CrossRoad UMC - Save the Date!
April 12-13, 2019 - Spring Lay Servant Training @ Palm Coast UMC - Save the Date!
November 2, 2019 - Super-Charged Conference @ CrossRoad UMC, Jacksonville - Save the Date!