The Pensacola District of The United Methodist Church
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Here for You - Serving Jesus
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Clergy Birthdays in October
Happy birthday to Mike Roberts, Karen Evans,
Clive Knights, Laura Weant, Daniel Randall,
Jim Ross, John Dickinson, Mike Owenby,
Rian Kegerreis, Richard Hulbert, and Robin Noble!
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Around the Pensacola District  
Thank you, Rev. Jim Jines,
for the district office picture!
It's a professionally framed jigsaw puzzle
that looks like beautiful stained glass.
Quick Links:  (Scroll down the page for more)   
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PUMCM Thrift Shop Now Has a Facebook Page!
Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries (PUMCM) now has a Facebook page for their thrift shop. Let’s all work the connection by liking the page, sharing the page, shopping in the store, and donating gently-used items. The page is  The thrift shop is located at 2600 West Strong Street in Pensacola. Hours are 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Showing Love to Community
Can you think of creative ways to show love to your community?  This month, among other activities, Gadsden Street United Methodist Church is putting together baskets of goodies and sweet treats and will be delivering these to the neighboring fire department, local police, and businesses. Next month they will be participating in the November 12 Walk for Alzheimer’s in Pensacola, including distributing water for walkers and visitors.
Positions Available
District Spiritual Formation Event October 22
October 22, 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at Pensacola First United Methodist Church.
Cost: $13 (includes breakfast and hot lunch)
CEU:  .5 continuing education unit for United Methodist clergy and laity
Topic:  "Practicing the Presence," presented by Rev. Marshall Craver
To Register:  RSVP by October 15 to or 850-529-9295.
Event Description:
Prayer is aimed at our deepest malady and our deepest longing.
This retreat offers three simple prayer practices that when used together serve as a bridge
from that sense of separateness from God
to a more consistent state of “praying without ceasing!”
Come and join us as we learn about and practice
Prayer of the Heart as taught by the Desert Fathers and Mothers,
Brother Lawrence’s Little Interior Glance, and
St. Ignatius’ Prayer of Examen.

The beauty of these classic prayer practices is that their content and shape
rise out of and are connected to our daily lives, 
which means that by learning them we begin to experience prayer
more and more as a way of being rather than as an isolated act of doing!
70th Anniversary at Allen Memorial UMC October 30
Allen Memorial United Methodist Church, located at 206 Pace Pkwy in Cantonment, has been blessed with so many couples, individuals, and incredible pastors since its inception 70 years ago. In honor and gratitude for those who helped paved the way for how we serve, love, and reach our community for Christ, we would like to cordially invite you to join us for our “70th Anniversary and Homecoming Celebration” on October 30th at 10:30am. Mrs. Elaine Barrow will be guest speaking. Lunch will immediately follow our service of worship.  Come. Remember. Reflect. Reconnect with friends, family, and hear the stories of old and new!! Most of all, please know we are grateful for you! For more information contact Rev. Michael A. Cobb at (334) 430-7868 or
Trunk or Treats, Craft Shows & Festivals
OCTOBER 26 - Jay United Methodist Church (14093 South Alabama Street, Jay, FL) will have a Trunk or Treat 5-7 p.m. They invite, "Come dress up and Trunk or Treat with us. We would love to have you come and join us as we Trick or Treat at the different trucks in the parking lot between Jay First Baptist and Jay UMC." The Facebook page is here.
OCTOBER 29 - St. Luke United Methodist Church (1394 East Nine Mile Road in Pensacola) will have Trunk or Treat October 29, 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Here is the event page.
OCTOBER 31 - Gonzalez United Methodist Church (2026 Pauline Street, Cantonment, FL) will have a Trunk or Treat free for the public October 31. For more information visit
OCTOBER 31 - Mae Edwards United Methodist Church (5052 Mulat Road, Milton, FL) will have its annual Trunk or Treat October 31, 4 p.m.-6 p.m.
OCTOBER 31 - Bellview United Methodist Church (4945 Saufley Field Road, Pensacola, FL) will have a Trunk or Treat free to the public October 31, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Bring the family for a night of fun.
OCTOBER 31 -Woodbine United Methodist Church (5200 Woodbine Road, Pace, FL) will hold a Fall Festival on Monday, October 31, 6 p.m.-8 p.m. There will be hayrides, a dunking booth, and games for all ages, face painting, a bounce house and trunk or treating. There will also be a cupcake wall and a chili cook-off. For more information call (850) 995-0007 or email
NOVEMBER 12 - Pine Forest United Methodist Church (2800 Wilde Lake Blvd in Pensacola, FL) will host their 27th Annual Arts and Crafts Festival and Car Show on Saturday, November 12, 2016, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. The day features over 160 arts, crafts & other vendors, food, children’s activities, and live music. Free admission. Free parking. Door prizes. Proceeds used for community ministries. For more information call (850) 944-01710 or visit
NOVEMBER 18 & 19 - Pensacola First United Methodist Church (6 East Wright Street in downtown Pensacola, FL) will have their 39th Annual Christmas Creation Arts and Craft Show will be held Friday, November 18, from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and Saturday, November 19, from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Lunch served both days. Get a host gift for Thanksgiving and get started on your Christmas list. The Gingerbread Treat shop with have cheese straws and pies available. All proceeds awarded to local non-profits via grant application. The event will be held at the First United Methodist Church, 80 East Wright Street in Pensacola.

An Evening in Bethlehem December 2 & 3 at Gonzalez
This December don’t just read the Christmas story – come be a part of it! Bring the family and join us December 2 & 3, 6-8 p.m., at Gonzalez United Methodist Church, as we make the journey to experience a Christmas like no other. This is a FREE event for the community, no ticket or reservation required.  Here is a link to the flyer: An Evening In Bethlehem
Weight Watcher Class
(NE News) - Molino Weight Watcher Class meets each on Monday at Aldersgate United Methodist Church on Highway 29 in Molino. Weigh in 6-6:30 p.m., class 6:30-7 p.m. For more information call Sandra @ (850) 572-4310.
Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries Needs Shelving
(From Rev. Robin Noble, Director:)
Greetings from PUMCM!
Exciting things are happening at Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries. We are in the process of improving the space in our thrift shop in order to better serve ministry needs of our neighbors and in the hopes of attracting even more bargain hunters to the store.
I'm writing this today to ask for your partnership in this effort. We are in dire need of more shelving. We need units that can display toys, home goods, books, and electronics. Metal, wood, and plastic units would all be welcomed.
Here's how you can help:
* Pray for our ministry.
* Recruit groups in your congregation (Sunday School classes, youth groups, UMM, etc.) to host a "build" event to benefit the store. You can choose the size, design, and color of the unit. We would love it if you branded it somehow to show the group that built it.
* Donate shelves that are in good condition.
* Individuals can underwrite the cost of new shelving. You fund, we handle the purchase.
* Did I mention pray for our ministry? 
Items can be dropped off at 2600 West Strong Street in Pensacola Tuesdays through Saturdays 9 a.m.-5 p.m.   If you need more information contact Pastor Robin Noble at 850-454-7652.
Thank you for helping us serve our Brownsville Community with love!
Video about Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries
A video from the August 15, 2016, webinar about Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries is now posted at as well as on the Pensacola District's Community Ministries page (here.)  The video is courtesy of Alabama-West Florida Conference United Methodist Church Mission & Outreach.
Video of the Social Principles Webinar
About 50 attendees from far and near came to attend the September 22 Social Principles seminar presented by Dr. Wesley Wachob at Pensacola First United Methodist Church. The seminar was offered by the Alabama-West Florida Conference Board of Church & Society. Given the limited amount of time to adequately cover each social principle item by item, attendees were encouraged to study God's Word to know His principles and visit the Church & Society's Social Principles page to research the denomination's stance. You can watch a video of the Social Principles seminar here.
Pensacola District Conference November 6
4 p.m. at Navarre United Methodist Church
The event page is here.
All Pensacola District Churches are asked to reserve this event on their calendars and suspend their regular activities during this time so that everyone can attend.

On the first Sunday in November, the Pensacola District Conference will meet at 4 p.m. at Navarre United Methodist Church. All ministers and congregations of the Pensacola District are invited to attend. This is a time of worship that includes a short business meeting in which the District Conference votes on district officers and committees for the upcoming year and District Administration Fund budget which is supported by local church apportionments.
Pensacola District Fused Youth Event November 6
4 p.m. at Community Life UMC in Gulf Breeze
The event page is  here.
All Pensacola District Churches are asked to suspend their regular activities and gather together this evening with other youth and youth leaders across the district for food, fun, worship, and fellowship.  Concurrent with the Pensacola District Conference meeting, youth and youth leaders from all over the Panhandle will gather at the Community Life United Methodist Church in Gulf Breeze for a worship celebration.  Here's a word from Wayne Walker, Youth Ministries representative for the Pensacola District:
Dear Pensacola District Youth Worker:
1 Corinthians 6:17 says “But whoever is united with the Lord is one with Him in the Spirit."
We are excited about joining together again as "one with Him in the Spirit" for our 6th Annual FUSED Youth Rally which will be held on Sunday, November 6th, from 4:00-6:30 pm at Community Life UMC!  Last year we had 18 churches and over 350 students attend our FUSED event. Please plan on bringing your students to FUSED 2016!  
If you have never attended FUSED, this is what you can expect:
*  FUSED provides an opportunity for students from across the District to come together for worship, fellowship, fun, & food!
*  There is no cost to attend FUSED!
*  We always have a lot of fun with up front and group games!
*  We give away a lot of stuff, including a full scholarship to Meltdown!
*  We always have an excellent worship band! This year's worship leader is Josh Johnson from Crosspoint UMC.
*  We always have an excellent speaker! This year's message will be delivered by Australian native Jeremy Thiess.
*  We always support a mission initiative! This year we are supporting Pensacola UM Community Ministries.
*  We feed your students FREE pizza!
*  We provide a “Secret Green Room” for youth workers that has real food, free resources, and an opportunity for you to communicate with other adults while your students are having a great time.
*  FUSED is centrally located at Community Life UMC (formerly Gulf Breeze Soundside Campus), 4115 Soundside Drive, Gulf Breeze, FL.
FUSED gives you a night off from planning an event. You just need to get them there!
Pensacola District Clergy & Spouses Christmas Dinner December 6
6 p.m. at Pensacola First United Methodist Church (The Wright Place)
The event page is here.
All Pensacola District United Methodist clergy and their spouses (or a guest, if you do not have a spouse) are invited to this evening of dinner and fellowship. Gathering time is 6:00 p.m.  There is no cost to attend, but reservations are required and will be accepted November 1, 2016, through November 29, 2016. This is an adults-only event, no childcare provided.
Youth Meltdown January 27-29 
at Boardwalk Beach Resort, Panama City Beach, FL
Speaker: Carlos Whittaker
Band: Calling Glory
The website is here.
Meltdown is an annual youth conference that brings together students from all over Northwest Florida and South Alabama for a weekend that will draw them closer to God and to each other. Organized by a team of youth pastors and church workers, Meltdown’s mission is to empower youth groups and their churches by offering a dynamic, inspiring, and challenging worship experience brought through an awesome worship team, speaker, and through a variety of breakout sessions. For details visit
Local Church Positions Available
Submit church listings at then send us the link after your ad is posted and we'll include yours here.
For employment opportunities at Crosspoint United Methodist Church visit
From Century United Methodist Church:  Thank You!
Thank you to all who supported Century after a tornado ripped through their area in February 2016!
Century UMC Pastor Janet Lee sent the district a thank-you card that read as follows:
It is overwhelming to be the recipient of such a gracious gift from the Pensacola District. Behind the monetary expression, I sense love and support. Such has been true throughout the conference. The tie that binds us is surely real and strong. 
Thank you from all of us at Century Methodist.
Rurel Ausley Receives Annual Conference's Denman Evangelism Award
Congratulations to Rev. Rurel Ausley, senior pastor at Crosspoint United Methodist Church, for receiving the 2016 clergy Denman Evangelism Award at the 2016 Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference!  Crosspoint United Methodist Church is now up to #9 in Len Wilson's 2016 edition of "Top 25 Fastest Growing Large United Methodist Churches."  The Church continues to grow and grow, with multiple campuses in the Niceville and Crestview, FL areas. In the 2015 edition, Crosspoint was # 12.  The 2016 list is at  The 2015 list is at 
Pensacola U.M. Community Ministries Celebrates New Saints
(Ministers pictured are Robin Noble and Joe Mullen)
Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries (PUMCM) is in need of items for the Ministry Shop.  Items may be dropped off 9-5 Tuesdays through Saturdays at 2600 West Strong Street, one block off Cervantes between "T" and "U" Streets. PUMCM is located at Richards Memorial United Methodist Church in the Brownsville area of Pensacola.  The website is

Administrative Announcements 
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Changes in January 2017 for AWFC Clergy & Lay Insurance
Download the pdf report here.
Database Deadline
December 11 is the deadline for churches of the Pensacola District to update their Staff-Parish/Pastor-Parish Relations Committee chairperson information in the AWF Conference database. Please be sure that the chairperson's information includes a current e-mail address and current mailing address.  December 15 is the deadline to update all other lay leadership and church information in the database.  For more information and how to enter the database by logging into the Church Dashboard, please visit the Pensacola District's Online Reports page.
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
Clarification about Lay Servant / Lay Speaking Positions and Forms:
For 2016 we'll be using the same Lay Servant / Lay Speaker forms we used in 2015. Here's some clarification about those positions and forms:
  • A Lay Servant is one who is not yet a Lay Speaker. So the reports are different.
  • Local Church Lay servant is one that can serve in the local congregation only. This person has only taken the Basic course. They must file an annual renewal report.
  • A Certified Lay Servant is one that has taken the Basic course and an advanced course and can serve on a limited basis outside the local congregation. They must file an annual report.
  • Both Local Church and Certified Lay Servant file the same renewal. 
  • A Lay Speaker is a Certified Lay Servant that has taken the 7 required courses and been approved by the district and conference committee. May supply pulpits. This person files the Lay Speaker Annual Report.
If you have questions about Lay Servant/Speaking Ministries, see also or  
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?  Be sure to visit the Pensacola District's Church Leadership Roles page at
Have you visited the Pensacola District's SPR page?  We've posted a lot of helpful information for Staff-Parish at, including the booklet used by Pensacola District Superintendent Tim Trent at our Leadership Inspirational Training Event (LITE Day) January 10, 2016. 
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.
For more information contact our area's Cokesbury Community Resource Consultant:
Ken Summerlin
Cokesbury Community Resource Consultant

Around the Conference  


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AWFC Disaster Response Update
(AWFC-UMC 10/17/2016) - "The congregations of the Alabama-West Florida Conference have been so very generous to our neighbors affected by natural disasters this fall. The response to the Louisiana flooding was especially wonderful. Thank you for the supplies and volunteer hours you have provided.
Hurricane Matthew
North Carolina Conference

There is still an active disaster situation unfolding in the North Carolina Conference. At this time, they have not requested Emergency Response Teams (ERTs). You may send your team information for future needs to the disaster response call center at or 888-440-9167.

South Carolina Conference
The South Carolina Conference has issued a request for Early Response Teams. Team leaders must be ERT trained. The South Carolina Conference will coordinate housing and food, but self-sufficient teams are also needed and welcome. Teams should contact 1-800-390-4911. If your team is deployed, please share your plans with the Alabama-West Florida Conference by emailing
Florida Conference 
The Florida Conference will also be requesting teams in the near future. The request for teams may be monitored on the SEJUMVIM website.
Team Reminders
Do not self deploy. A strength of our connection is that we can cooperate and respond based on need and information from local authorities and organizations. Please do not go to a disaster site until we are asked to send trained ERTs or mission teams. All teams should register through the conference they desire to serve. ERTs should have current badges and identification and insurance. Team leaders should send a roster of the team and destination to Amelia Fletcher, conference disaster response coordinator.
Ways You Can Help
Give generously. As always, 100 percent of our gifts to UMCOR go to those in need. Give through your local church by clearly marking checks for UMCOR Disaster Response (you may designate a specific conference on the memo line). You may also donate directly to UMCOR US Disaster Response Advance #90167 or UMCOR International Disaster Response Advance #982450. 
Assemble UMCOR Health Kits. Thanks to the generosity of many, there are adequate Cleaning Buckets (flood buckets). There is a need for Health Kits. Find assembly instructions at
Finally, we ask for your prayers for those who experienced loss after this natural disaster.  
UMCOR’s Disaster Response Plan for Haiti
As the humanitarian assistance agency of Global Ministries and the United Methodist Church, UMCOR is responding to the Hurricane Matthew disaster in Haiti on several levels. UMCOR has now, and has had from since the 2010 earthquake, a field office in Haiti. Azim Akhtar, UMCOR Haiti’s Head of Mission is experienced in humanitarian assistance. He and the rest of the UMCOR Haiti staff are already at work responding to this current disaster through an UMCOR grant that will provide emergency water and food rations, cooking pots, and other emergency supplies as needed.  Check in the coming days, weeks and months for updates on how we in Alabama-West Florida can respond.
Blue Lake Newsletter October 2016
Click here to view as a pdf. For a different format click on the graphic (pictured right).
Here Are Some Events on the AWFC Calendar:
Just After Celebrating 100 Years
Satsuma UMC Sanctuary Destroyed by Fire
Please pray for the congregation of Satsuma United Methodist Church.
Church members at Satsuma United Methodist Church are working to salvage what little they can after their sanctuary caught fire Monday morning just before noon. The damage inside is extensive. Firefighters got the call around 11:45 a.m. Church employees were at the church at the time, but thankfully no one was inside the sanctuary. Church members said on Sunday they celebrated 100 years of worship on Bayou Avenue, so the fire was especially heartbreaking. Longtime members came rushing over to pray as soon as they heard the news. "I'm just devastated. I know it's just a building and the church is the members but it's just so many memories. But I know we'll build something bigger and better for God for us to worship in," said member Carol Heathcoe. Satsuma Fire Chief Clyde Miller said it took about 10 minutes for Satsuma and Saraland firefighters to put out the blaze.
On Monday, September 26, Satsuma UMC experienced a fire in their sanctuary. We are thankful that nobody was injured. At this time the cause has not yet been determined and the church is working with their insurance company. Please keep Rev. Joel Wasson, the staff and congregation in your prayers as they move forward and rebuild. The church celebrated its 100th anniversary the day before with a homecoming celebration. Click here for local coveragePhoto courtesy of Satsuma UMC.
Disaster Preparedness Video 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:
Chris Perry's Methodist Meterologist Page
(AWFC-UMC September 1, 2016) -  "We invite you to follow Rev. Chris Perry's Methodist Meteorologist [Facebook] page. Rev. Perry is a pastor in our conference and has a degree in meteorology."
Hurricane Preparedness
(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. We sincerely appreciate the help many of you have given to the Louisiana flood recovery efforts
Conference Holds Onboarding Sessions
(AWFC NewsCONNECTION 9/19/2016) - Throughout the course of the week, three on-boarding sessions were held in the Alabama-West Florida Conference. These sessions are being led by Claire Bowen, a lay person in the North Georgia Conference, who specializes in this process when a new person is named to a corporation or large organization like a United Methodist conference. She is a lifelong United Methodist and a member of Peachtree Road UMC in Atlanta, GA....  The first on-boarding session was held on Monday, September 12 with conference staff and district administrative assistants, the next with the AWF extended cabinet and the final session will be held tomorrow with the 25 large church pastors of the conference in Crestview, FL. Kim Doss, Administrative Assistant for the Mobile District, attended Monday’s session and said, “It was an honor to spend intentional time with the conference staff and colleagues. We don’t often have the opportunity to participate in sessions like this and I feel it was very helpful and constructive for all parties involved. I look forward to working with Bishop Graves in the coming quadrennium.”  Full story here
First Day As Residing Bishop September 1st
(AWFC Facebook 9/01/2016) - "Today is the official 'First Day of Bishop' for Bishop David Graves in the Alabama-West Florida Conference and new Bishops around the conference in The United States. Bishop Graves comes to us from the Holston Conference where he was senior pastor of Church Street UMC in Knoxville, TN. Read more about Bishop Graves' ministry and his hope for the church at #firstdayofbishop, #awfumc, #umc, " For the Facebook post continue here.  
Service of Installation Video Link
(AWFC-UMC 10/03/2016) - Bishop David W. Graves was officially installed as resident bishop Sunday afternoon, September 11, 2016. If you were not able to attend this event, the online video link is available to watch. Click here for video. Click here to read the full article.
See Also:
Summer Newsletter of the AWFUMC Historical Society
The summer newsletter of the Alabama-West Florida United Methodist Church Historical Society is now posted at See also: or
"Partners in Preaching" Program September 2016-May 2017
(AWFC) - Partners in Preaching is a monthly seminar-style coaching group for pastors and preachers to grow in the art and craft of preaching.  Dates are September 2016 through May 2017.  Lead Partner is Dr. Sam Persons Parkes.  Cost is $200 per person for seven sessions over nine months.  Each session will be held 9:30 am to 2:30 pm CT with lunch provided.  Sessions will be held in Dothan at Cloverdale UMC on the second Monday of each month, except in December and April and in Montgomery at Aldersgate UMC on second Thursday of each month, except in December and April.  This monthly seminar style coaching group is set up for only SIX TO EIGHT pastors and preachers at each location.  Registration deadline is September 1.  3 units of CEU will be granted.
September 1st Appointments
Bishop Paul Leeland, in consultation with Bishop David Graves, is pleased to announce several appointments in the AWF Conference that are the result of Bishop Lawson Bryan’s episcopal election and assignment to the South Georgia Annual Conference - new appointments for Jeremy Pridgeon, Darren McClellan, June Jernigan, Jeff Wilson, and Robin Wilson.  Continue here for the article

         Alabama-West Florida Conference
        Daily Cares and Concerns
           Prayer Calendar
           Prayer Wall
           Submit Prayer Requests

Helping with the Flint (Michigan) Water Crisis
(AWFUMC) - "Our conference has the opportunity to partner with the eight churches in the Flint area, and be in ministry with them as they reach out. There are several specific ways your churches can join the partnership our conferences are forming...."  MORE here >>  For more information or to get involved contact Susan Hunt at or 334-356-8014 or toll-free number 888-873-3127. Click here for resources(Posted 6/27/2016) 
Stegall Seminary Scholarship Endowment Foundation - Spring 2016 Brochure
The Stegall Seminary Foundation's Spring 2016 brochure is hot off the press!  You can download it here. Thank you for your continued support of seminary students from the Alabama-West Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church. Your prayers and gifts make a real difference in the lives of our future clergy leaders!
Let Us Pray! Daily Prayer Unites Conference
(Dr. Cory Smith) - It is a joy to announce a new venture in prayer for the Alabama-West Florida Conference. Hopefully by now you have seen the daily prayer requests that have come from the Office of Connectional Ministries. These updates will also include prayers for individual churches and appointed pastors. Through the year we will prayer for every appointed pastor and for every church! The churches for which we are praying are the same listed on the printed wall calendars and also available here. In addition to the prayer email, a prayer page is available for details of prayer needs from the throughout the conference. What better way for us to connect with God and one another than prayer! As John Wesley stated years ago, “I continue to dream and pray about a revival of holiness in our day that moves forth in mission and creates authentic community in which each person can be unleashed through the empowerment of the Spirit to fulfill God's creational intentions.” May we join together in daily prayer for the mission of the church and for the community of people who are part of the Alabama-West Florida Conference! If you are not receiving the daily prayer newsletter and would like to, click here and check the "Let us Pray" box.  Update:  The Pensacola District archives the daily prayer concerns on their website's Ministers Page. Click here to view
2016 Optional Standard Mileage Rates
(IRS) - The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2016 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2016, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be as follows. >>
Do You Have The AWF Conference App? 
Navigate the conference Website easier by downloading the free AWF app! Scan the QR code (pictured right) to download. Available for iPhones, iPads and Droid mobile devices.
AWF Conference News
You can subscribe to the AWFC NewsCONNECTION here.
For the AWFC NewsCONNECTION archives visit  
Continuing Education Chair
Rev. Dr. Geoffrey Lentz is overseeing continuing education credit.  If your local church offers an event  and wants CEUs awarded, please reach out to Dr. Lentz. (Posted 10/30/2014)
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
The United Methodist Church is and has been vocal and active in its campaign for safe spaces for the vulnerable. For information about Safe Sanctuaries please visit This link provides resources, tools, and guidelines to help reduce risks for the vulnerable.  
United Methodist Women has been very active in programs of educating and providing tools and resources against human trafficking and for protecting women and children. More information is available at

Around the Web 
United Methodists in the News
Quick Links: (Scroll down the page for more!)
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Amidst Uncertain Future,
Methodists Launch the Wesleyan Covenant Association 
In their e-newsletter October 11, 2016, the Wesleyan Covenant Association wrote:
"During the first hour of its launch event in Chicago on October 7, leaders of the Wesleyan Covenant Association (WCA) were scrambling to find more chairs to accommodate the standing-room-only gathering.... The inaugural gathering was a high-energy mixture of affirmative messages on the Lordship of Jesus, the Wesleyan drive to transform the world through Christian discipleship and social holiness, the centrality of the Scriptures in the life of the Church....  With more than 1,800 participants, the Donald E. Stevens Convention Center near O’Hare Airport in Chicago was flooded with enthusiastic United Methodists from every conference across the denomination in the United States and from ten conferences in Africa."
"Through a 'Chicago Declaration' that was affirmed by a standing ovation and cheers, the group asked the Council of Bishops to 'swiftly name the members' of the Commission on the Way Forward and 'approve the call for a special General Conference in early 2018 to enable resolution of the conflict that divides us before further harm is done to United Methodist members, congregations, conferences, and ministries.'”  
"'We believe it is imperative for the commission to propose a plan that calls for accountability and integrity to our covenant, and restores the good order of our church’s polity,' states the Declaration. 'If the commission determines no such plan is possible, then we believe it should prepare a plan of separation that honors the consciences of all the people of the church and allows them to go forward in peace and good will. A plan that requires traditionalists to compromise their principles and understanding of Scripture, including any form of the "local option" around ordination and marriage, will not be acceptable to the members of the Wesleyan Covenant Association, stands little chance of passing General Conference, would not definitively resolve our conflict, and would, in fact, lead to the fracturing of the church.' 
“'If we are one church, we need to stop acting like two churches,' said the Rev. Dr. Chris Ritter, pastor of a multi-site United Methodist congregation around Geneseo, Illinois, in presenting the statement. 'If we are two churches, we need to stop pretending we are one. I say these things as someone who has worked passionately for the cause of church unity over the past few years.'”
See also:  
Membership Selection for Commission on the Way Forward
(This article is posted on the Alabama-West Florida Conference website here.)
(UMNS 10/05/2016) - The Executive Committee of the Council of Bishops has narrowed the list of potential nominees for membership on the Commission on the Way Forward from over 300 persons to 29. The group includes 8 bishops, 13 clergy, and 8 laity who are representative of our global connection and theological diversity. Letters have been sent to those individuals informing them they have been nominated for membership on the Commission, sharing the mission, vision and scope of the work before them, as well as a projected meeting schedule. Potential members were asked to prayerfully consider whether they are willing and available to serve and respond within a couple of days.
Following those responses, the Executive Committee will make additions or modifications as necessary, and will then propose a final list of nominees by email to the full Council of Bishops for their consideration.  Following action by the Council of Bishops, individuals who are selected will receive an invitation to serve on the Commission and the membership list will be made available. These remaining steps are expected to take a couple of weeks. The moderator team, which consists of Bishop Ken Carter, Bishop Sandra Steiner-Ball and Bishop David Yemba, will convene the Commission this fall, possibly by telephone or video conference, to begin organizing the Commission's work.
Bishop Bruce R. Ough, president of the Council, acknowledged that the selection process has taken longer than initially hoped. He said that vetting the nominee list, consultations and gathering biographical and contact information for potential nominees have all contributed to the time needed to complete this critical task. “We are working to move this process forward with as much dispatch and care as possible,” said Bishop Ough. “The additional time has honored the values we have of being a global church, seeking representative voices and experiences, and creating space for the discernment of the nominees and the bishops who are guiding the selection process.
Way Forward Commission Makeup Challenged
(UMNS 10/06/2016) - "A group of mostly current and former lay leaders is drafting a response to the bishops addressing concern about the commission’s makeup, saying that General Conference guidelines on membership of commissions and other agencies call for one-third clergy (including bishops), one-third lay women and one-third lay men...."
"'Laity are foundational to The United Methodist Church,' said Irene R. DeMaris, one of the lead organizers of the petition. A lay member living in Alexandria, Virginia, she has a master of divinity from Seattle University School of Theology and Ministry. 'The Wesleyan movement has been fueled by the faith of our laity and therefore it is vital for our voices to be a part of one of the most important conversations of our time,' she said."
"One lay leader called on the church to give the commission a chance."
"Dr. Steve Furr, past president of the Association of Annual Conference Lay Leaders,* was more disturbed by the commission composition. 'I got almost physically sick. I never dreamed this would happened. I thought at most it would be 50-50 lay and clergy. I expected it to be based on General Conference,' Furr said. The association of lay leaders is not involved in writing or circulating the petition, but members have been discussing the makeup of the commission since it was announced. 'We don’t know who those eight lay people are, but laity are clearly underrepresented,' Furr said. 'They need to hear our voice on this. It’s hard for us to trust the process when we don’t feel represented. This is not the polity of The United Methodist Church.'”
[* Dr. Steve Furr is also former Lay Leader of the Alabama-West Florida Conference. He was elected as the Southeastern Jurisdictional Representative for the Commission on General Conference May 16, 2016. (AWF-UMC article here.)  Furr joins twenty-four delegates from other jurisdictions and central conferences who were also elected. He was nominated by the SEJ College of Bishops.]
 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. >>
Advent Devotions Booklets, Advent Daily E-mail
from The Society of Saint Andrew
Continue here for
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    

South Central Jurisdiction Realignment Studied
(UMNS) - A task force has been making plans for the possible realignment of the South Central Jurisdiction. The work is under way because of the likelihood that the jurisdiction will, due to membership losses and Book of Discipline requirements, lose a bishop in 2020. The Texas Conference reports. Read story. (Posted 8/11/2016)

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 

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.  
Safe Sanctuary Policies
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.  
The United Methodist Church and Social Issues
Safe Sanctuaries
Human Trafficking
United Methodist Women has been very active in programs of educating and providing tools and resources against human trafficking and for protecting women and children. More information is available at
"5 Reasons the Church Should Talk About Abortion"
(Seedbed 7/30/2015) - "Last week, a YouTube video surfaced showing Deborah Nucatola, the senior director of medical services at Planned Parenthood, discussing how she procures intact organs while performing abortions.... While the video has sparked renewed outrage over abortion, it has arguably prompted even more silence -  even among Christians. The silence has been so deafening that it prompted Ed Stetzer at Christianity Today to write an article headlined, “Where are the Mainline and Progressive Evangelical Voices Speaking Up after that Planned Parenthood Tragedy?” “If this moment does not bring you to outrage and to tears,” Stetzer writes, “there is something wrong.” Continue here for the entire article. >>

The silence from Christians
about abortion is deafening.
"If this moment does not
bring you  to outrage
and to tears,
there is something wrong.”
- Ed Stetzer, Christianity Today

What Does The United Methodist Church Believe About Abortion?
Planned Parenthood has been in the news a lot, especially in relation to life and rights of the unborn. The question is asked, "What does the The United Methodist Church believe about abortion?" For this visit
In relation to this, there is also the question "What does the Church believe about being a nurturing community?" For this visit
The Book of Resolutions 2012 (more here) says that we "care enough about people's lives to risk interpreting God's love, to take a stand, to call each of us into a response." While being a nurturing community reaching out to the world to share the Gospel and love of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, "We mourn and are committed to promoting the diminishment of high abortion rates." (See complete article here.) To learn more about life inside the womb and what happens during an abortion, presentations are available at this link.
AWF Petition to Withdraw from Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice Passes!
(AWFC 5/19/2016) - Petition number 60837, entitled “Withdraw from Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice” was passed by the 2016 General Conference voting body with a vote of in favor of 425 to 268. This petition was co-sponsored by the AWF Conference, along with the Mississippi, North Carolina, Indiana and Western Pennsylvania Conferences. The petition reads, “RCRC is a one-sided political lobby that opposes all disapproval or limitation of abortion.  RCRC’s advocacy often directly contradicts our Social Principles on abortion but it still uses our Church’s name. Several annual conferences and many United Methodist leaders have urged the Church to end all association with RCRC.” Petition 60838 was also approved that requires The General Board of Church & Society to withdraw their membership from RCRC.  Click here to read the AWF petition to General Conference.   
Same-sex Marriage
What Does The United Methodist Church Say About  Same-sex Marriage?
( - "Our commitment to biblical truth does not depend upon judicial affirmation by the Supreme Court of this or any other nation," said the Rev. Thomas Lambrecht, according to an article posted by Friday, June 26. Rev. Lambrecht is vice president and general manager of "Good News," an unofficial United Methodist advocacy group that supports the denomination's teachings on homosexuality. The article quotes him as saying, “Most of the delegates who would favor retaining the church’s current position on marriage do so out of deep conviction and understand that the church is at different times and various points at odds with the culture in which it lives." Church law bans clergy from performing same-sex marriages and forbids churches from hosting such ceremonies.  Rev. Sky McCracken, a district superintendent in western Kentucky, noted that both capital punishment and abortion are legal but United Methodists challenge both.  United Methodists have varied reactions to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that establishes same-sex civil marriage as a constitutional right, but many United Methodists agree on one thing: The decision likely will escalate a longtime denominational debate on the church's position on homosexuality. To read the entire article continue here. >>
Bishops Overrule Nonconformity Resolutions
( 9/15/2016) - Two bishops, in separate rulings, have voided two resolutions in the Northeastern United States that called for defying church restrictions on gay and lesbian individuals. The full article is here.
Bishops Approve Plan for Sexuality Panel
(UMNS 7/25/2016) - Amid growing concerns for the denomination’s future, United Methodist bishops approved a plan for establishing a commission dealing with church teachings on homosexuality. The bishops’ executive committee also took a step toward a special session of General Conference, the denomination’s top lawmaking body, in early 2018. The Council of Bishops executive committee met July 19-20 in Chicago behind closed doors to discuss creating the Commission on a Way Forward, which General Conference authorized in May. The full council has charged its 17-member executive committee with developing a framework for the new commission. More here.
Other Articles:
Mental Illness 
Mental Illness and Churches - "Breaking the Taboo"
(UMCOM) - "Mental illness is better understood today, but some of the abuse from the past has been replaced with silence in the present. It is time for the church to step up and move beyond the taboo.... Churches are places of refuge. Church members are spiritual families. Still, it is more difficult than it seems.... The United Methodist Church’s statement of beliefs regarding ministries in mental illness encourages churches to love, welcome and pray for all individuals, especially those who are suffering. The church can be an agent of change through education and encouragement."  MORE here >>
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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