The Pensacola District of The United Methodist Church
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Here for You - Serving Jesus


Around the Pensacola District  
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Second Annual Clergy Health Fair April 3
“Practicing Sabbath” 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at Hilton Garden Inn, 1144 Airport Blvd., Pensacola
Baptist Hospital Department of Pastoral Services and the Center for Clergy Care & Education are pleased to host the second annual Clergy Health Fair. This fun, interactive and educational day is designed to help you explore what it means to be healthy and find inspiration to take better care of yourself as you seek to be a better caregiver for God’s people.
There is no cost to attend.  This event has been approved for Methodist pastors in the AWF Conference to receive .5 continuing education credits. 
Learning objectives: Participants will be able to (1) identify personal health issues needing attention; (2) clearly define personal health goals; and (3) understand the connection between mind, body, and spirit to enhance healthy living. My Health Blueprint by Baptist Health Care will be available to provide real-time health screens.
To register contact Ruth at 850-469-2363. If you have questions contact Don Winslett at  The web page is
Congratulations, Pensacola District "All Stars"!!
And the honorees are....  Continue here to see!!  All Stars is an annual recognition of Pensacola District Churches who meet three requirements in the course of a year: (1) pay 100% total Connectional Mission Giving, (2) have more than 50% attendance by membership, and (3) have a net gain in membership. 
This recognition and statistical reports compiled by the District are from data submitted each January by the Churches.  
All In The Family: Allen Siblings Prepare to Graduate
(SSSEF 3/12/2017) - The family of God is a phrase often used to convey the feeling of togetherness in Christ. In the case of brother and sister seminary students Mary Kathryn Allen and Jack Allen, the family part is quite literal. Both Jack and Mary Kathryn are preparing to graduate from seminary this Spring and pursue ordination as Elders in the United Methodist Church. Mary Kathryn and Jack grew up in a family that was incredibly active as members of Trinity United Methodist Church in Fort Walton Beach, Fla. Their parents, Kim and Mary Allen, modeled for their three children what it meant to be congregational servants. The importance of weekly church life to their family even led the children to playfully argue over who got to put the tithe check in the offering plate. Full story here
Disaster Response Work in Century, FL Comes to a Close
(AWF-UMC 3/16/2017) -  In the months since a tornado struck Century, FL in February 2016, hundreds of volunteer teams have been in the area to help repair and reconstruct homes. The United Methodist Church, through UMCOR and the Alabama-West Florida Conference, is one of several relief agencies working together to make a difference for those who were affected by the storm.  Our work there will be ending soon, and we are grateful for all the AWFC churches that sent work teams, financial support and other donations to help the people of Century. Many of the people in Century, including Ms. Jessie, are well on their way to restoration to a "new normal."  We are also grateful for the excellent work of Lynn Dobry and Felic Fussner, our Florida Recovery Team. [Photo (right) is from AWFC "Focus on Mission" newsletter. Pictured l-r are Amelia Fletcher, Conference Disaster Response Coordinator; Felic Fussner, Florida Recovery Team Construction Manager; Century Homeowner Ms. Jessie; and Lynn Dobry, Florida Recovery Team Coordinator.]
Bishop Graves Visits the Pensacola District
(AWF-UMC 3/13/2017) - As part of the Pensacola Town Hall three-day meetings, Bishop David Graves visited Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries. This outreach program is part of Richards Memorial UMC, led by Rev. Robin Noble. Pictured below is Rev. Robin Noble, Bishop Graves, Terrell, Juan and Jerry (inmates at the minimum security federal prison at Saufley Field), and Dr. Tim Trent. Juan, Jerry and Terrell are each in their last year at the minimum security prison and are picked up each Tuesday and Thursday by Dick Baker, the director of the REAP program. From 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., they work in the community garden and enjoy a lunch together. The prison and community garden outreach is only one of many ways PUMCM serves the community to reach hundreds of people each week. 
January 2017 Newsletter - Pensacola District United Methodist Women >>    
Positions Available
If you want your ad posted here please submit job posts here at then send us the link after your ad is posted!  For employment opportunities at Crosspoint UMC (Niceville/Crestview) visit  For the Alabama-West Florida Conference Classifieds page visit
PUMCM and Habitat Seek Volunteers
Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries (Pensacola, FL) and Habitat for Humanity need volunteers for neighborhood revitalization projects in Brownsville, one of the areas of highest need and lowest income in Florida. Projects include day projects - cleaning yards, installing wheelchair ramps, minor repairs, small painting projects, etc.; weekend projects - for larger projects come and stay at "His Place" at PUMCM (bunk rooms and beds for 22, kitchen, showers, $10 per person per night); and week-long mission trips - multiple projects or smaller ones in multiple locations within the 28-block neighborhood.  To plan your project contact Peggy or Jon at Pensacola Habitat: or, 850-434-5456. For more information visit To reserve housing on-line or more information about PUMCM visit Click here for the flyer as a pdf.
2017 Edition of Len Wilson's "Top 25"
Two churches of the Alabama-West Florida Conference made the 2017 edition of Len Wilson's "Top 25 Fastest Growing Large United Methodist Churches." Number 10 is the Pensacola District's Crosspoint United Methodist Church and number 23 is the Marianna-Panama City District's Woodlawn United Methodist Church. Continue here for the article.

Administrative Announcements
Quick Links: (Scroll down the page for more!)  
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Pastoral Transitions - Guidelines & Dates for 2017
Now posted at the AWFC website:  2017 Pastoral Transitions Guidelines
The Cabinet has set the following schedule to encourage a smooth and healthy pastoral transition. Variation from this schedule must be coordinated between the pastor, the S/PPRC chairpersons, and the sending and receiving superintendents.
June 18 - Last Sunday at current appointment for pastors moving or retiring
June 20 - Moving Day 
July 9 - First Sunday in the new appointment 
2016 Connectional Mission Giving Report
  • 2016 Connectional Giving (Apportionments) Report - All Districts
  • Pensacola District Summary - Final 2016
  • Pensacola District Churches' Apportionment Statements Fourth Quarter 2016 - Final Statements for 2016
  • Thank you to the following Churches that paid 100% of their District Administration Fund connectional giving apportionments for 2016:  Aldersgate, Allen Memorial, Annie Jones, Bagdad, Baker, Bellview, Century, Christ, Chumuckla Community, Clear Springs, Community Life, Cottage Hill, Crestview First, Crosspoint, Destin, Ensley, Farm Hill, Ft. Walton Beach First, Gadsden Street, Gonzalez (100.35), Gulf Breeze, Jay, Lathram Chapel, Lillian, Mary Esther, McDavid, Milton First, Mt. Carmel, Myrtle Grove, Navarre, New Bethel, New Hope, Pace First (262.2), Pensacola First, Perdido Bay, Pine Forest, Pineview, Shalimar, St. Luke, St. Mark-Pensacola, St. Paul-Gulf Breeze, St. Paul-Pensacola, Trinity, Warrington, Wesley Memorial, and Woodbine (116.04)! 
  • Thank you to the following Churches that paid 100% of their Alabama-West Florida Conference connectional giving apportionments for 2016:  Aldersgate (100.01), Allen Memorial, Annie Jones, Bagdad, Baker, Christ, Clear Springs, Community Life, Cottage Hill, Crestview First, Crosspoint, Destin, Ensley, Farm Hill, Gulf Breeze, Jay, Lathram Chapel (100.01), Lillian, Mc David, Milton First, Myrtle Grove, Navarre, New Bethel, New Hope, Pace First, Pensacola First, Perdido Bay, Pineview, Shalimar, St. Paul-Gulf Breeze, and Trinity! (Another Church of note was Warrington at 99.64.)
Licensing School
Licensing School 2017 will be held the week of April 24 - May 1st at The Reef at Seahaven, 15191 Front Beach Road, Panama City Beach FL 32413.  Click here for details and to register. You MUST be a certified candidate and have your District Superintendent's APPROVAL in order to attend.  If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact Erika Glawson at  
Commissioning and Ordination Requirements
For information about commissioning and ordination requirements, deadlines, and to download the required forms visit Look for the PACKETS.
New Clergy?
Important information for newly-appointed clergy is at
Changes in January 2017 for AWFC Clergy & Lay Insurance
Download the pdf report here.
Write and Share Your Church's History
For information on how to write your Church's history, visit  See also "Guidelines for Managing Records" at
Information for Local Church Officers
Have you been elected to a local church leadership or committee position and you're not sure what your responsibilities are?
There's a lot of helpful information for Staff-Parish/Pastor-Parish Relations Committees at, including training booklet.
Cokesbury Cares Program
The Cokesbury Cares Program is designed to help churches who've had a catastrophic event by offering FREE resources to help the get back on their feet.  Application requires signature by the church's district superintendent and can be emailed to or Here is a brochure, but please note that the address on the brochure has changed to 2222 Rosa L Parks Blvd., Nashville, TN 37228-0988. 

Around the Conference   

Quick Links: (Scroll down the page for more!)   

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Online Application to Serve As Youth Page
for the 2017 AWF Annual Conference
Youth pages have always been a part of our annual conference and we appreciate their presence, energy, and assistance! Students age 12-18 and active members in the United Methodist Church are eligible to serve as pages at the annual conference. Youth pages extend lay leadership and we appreciate their presence, energy, and service! This year, pages have additional responsibilities and increased expectations for being present, serving, and participating in the events of the annual conference. If you would like to serve in this capacity, please continue here:

2017 AWF Annual Conference Updates (Posted 3/21/2017)
Pastors/Administrative Assistants, please share this with your delegates - thank you!

For 2017 AWF Annual Conference updates stay tuned to
These updates have been added to the page: 
2017 Standing Rules Deadlines
About Frazer Memorial UMC
Annual Conference Awards
Child Care Reservations
Exhibit Areas Registration
Lay Member Role
Mass Choir Information
Presentation Tips
Proposed Constitutional Amendments
Proposed Constitutional Amendments Rationale
Room Space and Special Meals Room Request Registration
UMCOR Kit Collection
Working Agenda
Youth Pages Online Application
Coming soon:  Registration page for the 2017 AWF Annual Conference. 
For our list of who is going to Annual Conference from the Pensacola District visit here.
A Word from Bishop David Graves:
March 10:  Seeking Prayer >>
Missionary Dan Godwin Visiting AWFC,
Available to Speak at Churches
(AWFC-UMC 03/16/2017) - Rev. Dan Godwin is a Global Ministries missionary currently serving in Ecuador. Dan is a clergy member of the Alabama-West Florida Conference.  U.S. Missionaries visit churches ("itinerate") in the United States every three years to tell their story and share about their ministry. Dan is visiting AWFC churches in March and April 2017.

If you would like to have Dan come visit your Church, contact Susan Hunt at or 334-356-8014 or 888-873-3127. Dan is available to speak to various church groups including mission teams, committees, Sunday school classes, UMW groups, and more.  Here are links to Dan's most recent newsletter:  Page 1 / Page 2          
"At the Table" Gathering of Ethnic Groups April 8
April 8 at Evergreen First United Methodist Church“At The Table" is a gathering of ethnic groups (lay and clergy) seeking to have intentional conversations about inclusion and unity throughout the Church. This is a free event and it is open to everyone in the conference.  Continue here >>
Youth Mission Camp 2017
There's still time to register! Mission is more than a trip. It’s more than a project. With Alabama Rural Ministry (ARM), we believe mission is a lifestyle of service shared among friends. We have availability for your middle/high school student mission team throughout June and July at one of our two rural AL locations! You'll serve with low-income families through home repair ministry and also have the option of serving with 5-10 year old kids with Sonshine Day Camp! Cost is only $290 person which includes meals, lodging, and construction materials. Link arms with us to extend Christ’s love and help us end substandard housing in rural AL! Check out to find out more and register online or contact Joe at or (334) 501-4276 x100.
We're Collecting Relief Kits at Annual Conference!
(AWF-UMC 3/16/2017) - Bring your UMCOR kits to Annual Conference! Coleman Moving Company has once again generously offered to provide a truck during AWF Annual Conference 2017 for collecting UMCOR Relief supplies. UMCOR is currently requesting health kits and bedding kits, though all kits will be accepted during Annual Conference. Click here for assembly instructions: Relief-supply kits help provide care for the most vulnerable people during times of crisis. UMCOR collects 6 types of kits for global distribution and cleaning buckets for U.S. distribution after storms.  Annual Conference will be June 4-7, 2017. Closer to that time, more details will be available about the hours each day when the kits will be received.
The AWF Conference NewsCONNECTION
To view the March 13, 2017, issue click here.  In this issue please especially note this from the article about Annual Conference:

(1) "The reservation system will be live this month and more details will be sent to your email inbox. Full information can be found at"  (Are your delegates* subscribed to receive Annual Conference e-news? If not, they can do so at
(2)  "We encourage you to nominate someone for one of our conference awards. Applications and information can be found here":
* Here's our list of Annual Conference delegates from the Pensacola District:
News from the AWF Board of Pension and Health Benefits
Health Tips Newsletter
Wespath Changes Retirement Process for 2017
(AWF-UMC 3/13/2017) - Wespath is currently mailing retirement kits to participants who intend to retire in June or July 2017. A sample kit will was mailed to conference benefits officers on February 9, 2017. In an effort to streamline the retirement process, Wespath will not mail paper applications for benefits (AFBs) or AFB guides to this year’s retirees. The materials provided in the kit will focus on the online process. The online benefits application—available at—customizes applications for benefits so that retirees are only presented information that is pertinent to their unique situations. Retirees may contact the retirement team to request printed forms. More here.   
Win a Free Fitbit from the AWF Board of Pension and Health Benefits
(AWFC-UMC 2/15/2017) - To all AWF health plan participants:  Would you like to win a FREE Fitbit? The Alabama-West Florida Conference Board of Pension & Health Benefits is kicking off a friendly health competition called Thrive. This friendly competition will last from March 1-May 31, 2017. At the end of this time, each group who follows the criteria and sticks to their new habits will be placed in a drawing. The winners will each receive a new Fitbit.  This will be announced and given during the AWF Board of Pension & Health Benefits report at Annual Conference.  For details continue here. >>
2017 Health & Wellness Initiative
(AWFC-UMC 1/23/2017 to AWFC Clergy Health Participants) - The Conference Board of Pension & Health Benefits has begun the Health & Wellness Initiative for 2017.  AWFC Clergy Health Participants, please take a moment to read these documents regarding the 2 requirements for the Health & Wellness Initiative and additional information for 2017: 2017wellnessrollout1.pdf
Changes January 2017 for AWFC Clergy & Lay Insurance                                
You Can Use Amazon to Support UMCH!
Making purchases online? If you use when shopping, the United Methodist Children's Home will receive 0.5% of your purchase. More here. >>
Bishop Graves Announces Appointment of New Cabinet Member
(AWF-UMC 3/06/2017) - Bishop David W. Graves announces that Dr. Debora Bishop has been projected as a District Superintendent to the Alabama-West Florida Conference cabinet effective July 1, 2017.  Currently serving as pastor of FUMC Atmore, Bishop was ordained as an elder in the AWF Conference in 2010. She was previously the Spanish Fort UMC associate from 2006-2013. Her district appointment, the FUMC Atmore appointment and subsequent appointments will be announced at a later date. Dr. Bishop will join the cabinet in their appointment sessions in the coming weeks as an observer.

Strengths-based Finder Workshops  
(AWFC-UMC 2/02/2017) - A local church staff can “make it or break it” based on how well they connect with one another. Knowing each other's strengths can offer a glimpse into how they can be most productive. To read more about the Strengths-based Finder Workshops, please continue here for the article. For more information or to schedule Rev. Jernigan, please contact her at 334-356-8014, 888-873-3127 or    
AWF Historical Society Newsletter - Winter 2016-2017
Download the Winter 2016-2017 newsletter here. Pages 8 & 9 feature the history of Pensacola District's own Crosspoint UMC.
Plan to Have the Bishop Visit?
(AWF-UMC) - Is Bishop David Graves coming to your church in the coming months to visit and preach? If so, you might find this new link helpful ( In it is a Dropbox link with approved high resolution photos and an updated bio.
Upcoming Events on the AWFC Calendar:
 Inspirit 2017 April 6-8
Inspirit 2017, a time to rekindle, relax and renew ... a ministry event designed for adults age 50+, will be held April 6-8, 2017, at Blue Lake Assembly.  The 2017 theme will be "Old Time Religion: Come explore with us the days of camp meetings and circuit riders."  Keynote speakers will be Dr. Jimmy Jeffcoat (Professor of Religion, Huntingdon College) and Rev. Ed Shirley, Pastor at Brundidge UMC.  The registration brochure is here (pdf). Questions?  Contact Mrs. Barbara Wilder, Conference Coordinator of Older Adults, Reservation deadline is March 22.  This event is sponsored by the Alabama West Florida Conference Older Adult Task Force. The event page is here.
Bishop's Day Apart - Photos & Article
Article here.... Photos here....
(AWF-UMC 2/22/2017) - "Over 250 clergy from the Alabama-West Florida Conference gathered today at Dothan FUMC. In years past this event has been held in Montgomery, AL. This event was held at a more central location in the conference to accommodate those in all corners of the conference. Dr. Jim Sanders and his staff welcomed a capacity crowd to the church early in the day....  'Today was a blessing to see so many clergy take time away from their hectic schedules to grow together and fellowship with one another,' said Bishop David Graves. 'It is crucial we spend quality time together to not only learn how to be better pastors, but support and encourage one another, upholding our clergy covenants. Jerry brought a humorous and entertaining presentation that hopefully will resonate with our clergy'....  After lunch, a new health initiative called Thrive was launched by members of the AWF Board of Pension & Health Benefits, under the direction of Rev. Meghan Kelley. A brief skit emphasized the need for small teams to increase health awareness. Clergy are encouraged to establish teams of three to five people already enrolled on the conference health plan. More information on Thrive can be found here. Click here to see the video shown as part of that presentation."  For the entire article please continue here.    
Fresh Expressions Vision Day March 30
The Alabama-West Florida Conference will be having a "Fresh Expressions Vision Day" March 30 at Prattville First United Methodist Church in Alabama. A link to information, flyer and to register is Pictured (right) is Rev. Neil McDavid speaking on this topic. Neil will also be presenting this topic at the Pensacola District's Leadership Inspirational Training Event (LITE Day) 3-4:45 p.m. Sunday afternoon, January 22, at Navarre UMC.
AWFC Prayer & Resources Calendars for 2017 Available!
The AWFC Prayer and Resources Calendar for 2017 are now available and can be ordered online for $5 each at The 2017 calendar features pictures of conference ministries and was put together by Luke Lucas, AWFC Communications Specialist. (Posted 11/30/2016)
Update:  The Pensacola District Office has about seven extra 2017 Prayer Calendars available for FREE while the supply lasts!  If you'd like to have one, feel free to stop by!  
New Continuing Education Chair
In January 2017, Reverend Dr. Jeff Spicer replaced Dr. Geoffrey Lentz as Chairperson of Continuing Education.  If you are planning an event and need CEU authorization or have questions about continuing education, here is Dr. Spicer's contact information. He is pastor at Mary Esther United Methodist Church.
Disaster Preparedness for Local Churches (Posted 8/24/2016)
If your Church wants to know how to be better prepared for a disaster, here's the video of a recent AWFC webinar:
(AWFC-UMC September 1, 2016) -  "[This is] an appropriate time to review our conference protocol of reporting damage. Should your local church experience damage from [any] storm, first contact your district disaster response coordinator. They will assist you in assessing the damage and reporting it to your district superintendent and our conference leadership. You may find several other forms and documents helpful to ensure your church is prepared. Our connectional system is often at its best when we come together to help those in need.
Alabama-West Florida Conference News
You can subscribe to the AWFC NewsCONNECTION here.
For the AWFC NewsCONNECTION archives visit
Do You Have Students Attending UWF or PSC?
The Wesley Foundation would like to contact students from your church if they are attending The University of West Florida or Pensacola State College.  If you have students currently attending, or heading that way in the fall, they would love to have their contact information so that they may welcome and invite them to be a part of our Wesley Foundation family.  Please e-mail this information to  
Safe Sanctuaries

Around the Web 
Quick Links: (Scroll down the page for more!)
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Training:  "Your Church Website: Rethinking Your New Front Door"

Cost: $39.99
Course Start Date: Open enrollment, start any time.
By the end of this course, you will be able to:

* Navigate & build a website on the WordPress platform.
* Identify your website’s target audience.
* Craft the goal of your website and your overall message.
* Create and design content for a church website.
* Develop menus and proper page structure.
* Access resources, training and support through United Methodist Communications and its web and internet technology sites, forums and events.

Click here for more information about this and other training opportunities offered at
Website Development Grants
( - "United Methodist Communications is now offering a Website Development Grant to local United Methodist churches and church entities who do not currently have a website or who want to replace their current website with a new WordPress site. " For more information continue here.
Weathering the Storm:  Solutions to 4 Major Pastor Problems
( - "As the 'go-to' person for calming the storm, where do you turn when you find yourself in the middle of one? Let God guide the way and be proactive. Here are the most common pastor problems and a few problem-solving tips to guard against the winds and help you weather the storm."  Points include (1) Dealing with Criticism, (2) Time Management, (3) Physical and Mental Health Issues, and (4) Financial Struggles.  Continue here for the article.               

UMC Annual Conferences in 2017 Vote on Amendments

(UMNS via AWFC-UMC 2/1/2017) - "General Conference delegates had their say last year. Now, it’s up to annual conference voters to determine whether five amendments will become part of The United Methodist Church’s constitution. In the coming months, the voters will consider changes that address matters of gender equality, inclusiveness in membership, delegate and bishop elections, as well as bishop accountability. To be ratified, a constitutional amendment first requires at least a two-thirds vote at General Conference, which happened in May 2016. Then, it must win at least a two-thirds majority of the total voters at annual conferences around the world." More here.

Lake Junaluska's 2017 Discover Magazine
(Lake Junaluska) - Lake Junaluska's 2017 program book, Discover magazine, features a calendar of upcoming events, tips for exploring Lake Junaluska to the fullest and ways to challenge yourself and enhance your faith during a stay at the lake. To view the magazine (pdf) click here. For the Lake Junaluska page click here.
Seven Ways to Help a New Staff Member Succeed
(Ministry Matters 2/20/2017) - I recently received the following message from a pastor friend: I have a new full-time associate pastor starting next week. What suggestions would you give for getting such a person off to a great start? What a great question! I’m so glad someone is actually asking it. Through the years I have hired hundreds of people. I don’t do a lot of things right, but finding good people seems to be one of my strengths. Getting a new person started in a good way is probably equal to finding the right people – especially if we hope to keep them. I can’t say I’m the best at this. I tend to be less hands-on than needed some times. Full story here.
50 Ways to Take Church to the Community
(The Lewis Center 11/24/2014) -  Here's an old but good article.... "Churches can no longer open their doors and expect that people will come in. Effective congregations go into the world to encounter those in need of the gospel. These 50 Ways provide tips on reaching beyond the walls of your church with worship, community events, ministries, and service."  Continue here for the article.  Here's the information as a pdf you can share with others.   
Methodists in the News
Free Webinar:  Offering Electronic Giving: What Are You Waiting For?
DATE: Thursday, May 11, 2017
TIME: 6:30 p.m. Central
PRESENTER: Ken Sloane, Director of Stewardship and Connectional Ministries
Electronic giving is not the future of charitable giving, it is the present reality. If your church is not offering this as an option for those who attend your church, you are missing out on generous giving. If there have been obstacles to making this option available to your church, we will talk about them in this webinar.
This free Webinar is made possible by the generous support of our churches for the World Service Fund.  
Commission on a Way Forward
The 32-member Commission on a Way Forward was appointed by the Council of Bishops to assist the bishops in their charge from the 2016 General Conference to lead the church forward amid the present impasse related to human sexuality and resulting questions about the unity of the Church.  For updates about the Commission visit
"How to Break Bad News to a Congregation and Community"
( - "Whether the boiler just failed in the middle of winter, there’s been a break-in, or a staff member was unexpectedly let go, bad news travels fast and can create chaos in your church. The actions and words of the pastor and church leaders can shape the perception of how the congregation and community feel and may have broad ramifications that last well beyond the moment and must be handled with extreme care...." Continue here for the article >> 
Free Resources to Equip Church Leaders for Revitalization
(Discipleship Ministries-UMC) - New guidebooks from Discipleship Resources are available for quality leadership team training for your church’s key staff, laity in leadership positions and pastor. Topics of the four TeamWorks Guidebooks are Spiritual Life of the Leaders, Connecting with Your Community, Creating a Discipleship System and Futurecasting. Each contains seminars, personal devotions, tools and articles, and downloadable presentation slides and webinars are available at the TeamWorks website. For more information, go to or contact Craig Kennet Miller at (Posted 12/08/2016)
Scholarship/Loan and Other Dates on the Calendar
of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry
  • Spring/Summer Term Loan Application opens December 13. Read more here.
  • Scholarship Enrollment Period: January 3 - March 1, 2017. Read more here.
  • Excellence Scholarship opens January 2017. Read more here.
  • Exploration 2017: Save the date! Exploration 2017 is coming to Portland, Oregon, November 3-5, 2017. Read more here.
Clergy Finance Resources
The Lewis Center for Church Leadership and Wesley Theological Seminary have gathered free resources to help pastors better understand and manage their personal finances. The resources are available at (Posted 11/10/2016)   
Council of Bishops to Call for 2019 General Conference
(UMNS 11/02/2016) - Through an affirmative vote at their fall meeting this week, the United Methodist Council of Bishops expressed their intent to call for a special session of the General Conference in either February or March 2019 and asked the business manager of the General Conference to move forward with exploring venues and a bid search. More here at
 Are Your Worship Songs Appropriate? Do They Line Up with Good Theology?
(Discipleship Ministries 8/12/2016) - Songs are an important part of worship. They carry a message. But not all songs carry the right message. Some are inappropriate. Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church offers a tool to help worship leaders discern which songs to include in worship. Continue here for the article. >>
Free Special Sunday Resources
"How We Give" page at
What Are "Special Sundays?"
Six times throughout the year United Methodist congregations celebrate church-wide Special Sundays with offerings. United Methodists contribute to a variety of educational, community development, health and social welfare programs, many of which are administrated fully or in part through the General Board of Global Ministries. General Conference created six unique Special Sundays to help congregations work with communities, rebuild shattered lives, strengthen self-sufficiency, encourage partnerships, nurture Native American ministries, model peace and justice, provide scholarships and loans for United Methodist students, and much more. Special Sundays include Human Relations Day, One Great Hour of Sharing, Native American Ministries Sunday, Peace with Justice Sunday, World Communion Sunday, and United Methodist Student Day. 
How to Write Your Way to Better Bible Study
( - Combining note-taking and journaling can enhance your Bible study, prayer time, and sermon preparation. United Methodist Communications has an article about this here.
2016 Clergy Age Trends Report
The 2016 edition of the Lewis Center’s annual Clergy Age Trends in the United Methodist Church is now available at [Download here the 2016 Clergy Age Trends Report.]  A five-minute video summary of the report is also available.  Below are some highlights from the report. Figures for each conference can be found in the report.
Decade-Long Modest but Steady Increase in Young Elders Continues
Growth among young elders has been slow but relatively steady (about 14 per year) since 2005, the low point when only 850 or 4.69 percent of elders were under 35. In 2016, there are 1,003 young elders that comprise 6.84 percent of the pool of active elders, the highest since the 1990s. The overall pool of active elders is now smaller by almost 3,500 elders since 2005.
Fewer Middle Age Elders
Unfortunately, the modest gain in the presence of young elders was offset by a continuing substantive decline in the number and percentage of elders aged 35 to 54. This mid-age group continues to shrink, from 65 percent of all active elders in 2000 to 37 percent in 2016.
Proportion of Older Clergy Continues to Grow
Elders between ages 55 and 72 comprise 56 percent of all active elders, the highest percentage in history. This group reached 50 percent for the first time ever in 2010. This age cohort represented only 30 percent of active elders as recently as 2000.  
Clergy Are Retiring Later
Since 2000, there has been a fairly consistent increase in the age at which clergy retire. The average age at which United Methodist clergy retired in 2000 was just under 64. By 2015, the last full year of data, the average retirement age had increased to just over 66.
Much more information is available in the complete Clergy Age Trends report, which is available for download free of charge. The Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary is pleased to provide this report as a service to the church.   If you do not currently receive Leading Ideas, the Center’s free online newsletter, please consider subscribing today at    

SEJ Episcopal Nominee Videos Available Online
Fourteen Episcopal candidates from the Southeastern Jurisdiction presented to delegates and guests on Tuesday, May 17 and Wednesday, May 18, 2016, during lunch breaks at General Conference. All candidates were asked to answer two questions within a six-minute time frame. The first question asked nominees to name two of the most important accomplishments in their ministry, while the next question allowed this group to inform SEJ delegates where their passion lies and how they would bring it to life, if elected. Elections for Bishop in the Southeastern Jurisdiction Conference will be held July 12-15, 2016, at Lake Junaluska, NC. Click here to see nominee videos.
How to Apply for a Loan with the AWF United Methodist Foundation
Crestview First United Methodist Church was featured on page 3 of the AWF United Methodist Foundation's winter 2016 newsletter, GENEROSITY MATTERS. The article is about how to apply for a church loan.  For more information click here for the newsletter, visit, or click here for the AWFUMF Facebook page. 
Free Clergy Tax Video Available
Clergy face some distinctive tax regulations and often need guidance from tax professionals with experience working with clergy. The Lewis Center has prepared an informational video to help seminary students and clergy understand better the issues to which they and their tax preparers need to give attention. We use it as part of our seminary class on Personal Finances for Religious Professionals. If you feel this 12-minute video, Clergy Compensation and Taxes, may be useful to clergy with whom you work, feel free to share it.
Lovett H. Weems, Jr.
Professor of Church Leadership
Director, Lewis Center for Church Leadership
Wesley Theological Seminary        
Free Online Audio Bible 
At the link below you can hear a dramatic reading of the Bible. You can set it to the Bible translation you prefer, start at a particular passage, run or not run continuously, and pause it and restart at any time.
Test Your Knowledge of United Methodist History
(Article here) - The United Methodist Church has existed in various forms for more than 200 years. Test your knowledge of its history with these questions. Pass on this quiz to others to encourage them to test their knowledge as well. This quiz is a partnership between United Methodist Communications and the General Commission on Archives and History
Explore Methodist History
At the History section of there are features where you can learn about many of the pioneers of the Methodist Movement and their faith stories. Look under the Who We Are section and enjoy discovering more about the denomination's roots. Perfect to share with new and longtime members! For more continue here.
Resources for Clergy and Congregations
(From The Lewis Center) - Includes the topics "Concluding Ministry in One Setting" and "Beginning Ministry in a New Setting."
Five Ways to Support Your Pastor's Family
(Ministry Matters) - It’s no secret that the life of a pastor’s family is filled with unique challenges. There are few roles that mix work and family life as closely as pastoral ministry, which creates for clergy families a constant battle to maintain healthy boundaries. The pressure from the church and the surrounding community will inevitably take a toll on families unless adequate support is provided. For the complete article, posted November 3, 2014, please click here 

50 Ways to Take Church to the Community
(From the Lewis Center) - Here's an old but good article.... "Churches can no longer open their doors and expect that people will come in. Effective congregations go into the world to encounter those in need of the gospel. These 50 Ways provide tips on reaching beyond the walls of your church with worship, community events, ministries, and service."  Continue here for the article.  Here's the information as a pdf you can share with others.
Free E-Newsletter from the Lewis Center
Leading Ideas is a weekly online newsletter of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Seminary in Washington, DC. Each week subscribers receive information, resources, and strategies to help advance God’s mission in ministry. To check it out and subscribe go to
Articles about Burn-out
Online Training Courses
12 Ways to Stay Connected with College Students
United Methodist Communications has an article on this topic at  Tips include things you can do before the students leave, while they are at college, and when they come home.  
5 Things Small Churches Can Uniquely Offer
(Rev. Ben Gosden) - "Church leadership has long held a bent toward the 'bigger is better'....  Instead of trying to mimmick [sic] what the large churches in your area are doing (only to come up short of their quality because you don’t have the money or resources to duplicate it), here are 5 things I believe small churches can uniquely offer the world right where they are...."   More here
Church Newsletters
United Methodist Men - Chartering
Click here for UMM news and information about chartering.  
Update Your Find-A-Church Listing
Provided by United Methodist Communications and the local church, Find-A-Church allows you to introduce your church family to the community. By updating your church profile, you will help seekers find your church. Your profile serves as a powerful online tool for evangelism. Find-A-Church has almost 35,000 United Methodist Church profiles gaining more than 12,000 page views daily. Take advantage of this tool and get started now!  Update your church's profile by searching here.  By updating your church profile, you can:
  • Welcome visitors personally to your congregation.
  • Display your church's ministries and activities.
  • Add details about your worship schedule.
  • Link to your church's Web site for a closer look.
New Worship Service Times?
Pastors/Secretaries, if your church's worship and Sunday School times have changed, please log-in and update the Local Church information. Your District Superintendent is visiting churches, and your Church Locator Page will need to show the correct information.  Thank you! 
If You Happen to Find Any Broken Web Links....
At we try to keep the Web links updated, but if you come across one that gives you a message like "page no longer exists" or "file not found," try going to the source's home page (first part of the link URL) and doing a word search on the topic at the site. As resources improve and update their websites, this sometimes breaks links we've shared with you on our site. It's all good, all a part of progress! The information may still be there, but just might take a little personal digging on your part to find where it was moved - or please contact the district office. We'll be glad to help!  - Mary, Pensacola District Administrative Assistant   
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