The Pensacola District of The United Methodist Church
Saturday, October 10, 2015
Here for You - Serving Jesus
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October Clergy Birthdays
Happy birthday this month to Mike Roberts, Karen Evans,
Clive Knights, Lester Spencer Jr, Laura Weant,
Daniel Randall, Jim Ross, John Dickinson Jr, Mike Owenby,
Rian Kegerreis, and Robin Noble!
If you'd like to send a card click here for their clergy page.
in Pensacola, FL is seeking a
substitute organist or pianist
for November 1st
for the 10:30 a.m. worship service.
Job entails providing
music for prelude, hymns,
communion, and postlude.
If available please contact
Grace Van Sickle at (850) 438-2194.
(Posted 10/06/2015)
Click on the news item for the article.  Scroll down the page for more!   

Around the Pensacola District  
Quick Links:  (Scroll down the page for more!)  
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The Pensacola District
    Event 2016

The Pensacola District CORE Team is planning to have a LITE Day on January 10, 2016, at Navarre United Methodist Church (time TBA) and we need your input!

Churches, please download this bulletin insert (click here) and distribute it to your congregation one Sunday of your choice in October. After collecting your church's responses, please send them as a packet to the district office.

The district office needs to receive responses by November 3.
Collected surveys may be (1) dropped off at the Pensacola District Office, 901 East Gadsden Street, Pensacola, FL (we're located on the second floor of the Dennison Administration Building at Gadsden Street United Methodist Church); (2) mailed to the Pensacola District Office, P.O. Box 2727, Pensacola, FL 32513-2727; (3) handed to the District Superintendent as a packet at any local church annual charge conference held before November 3; or (4) given to the District Administrative Assistant or District Superintendent at the 2015 District Conference which will be held November 1st, 4 p.m., at Navarre United Methodist Church.   

SURVEY AVAILABLE ONLINE - Individuals who wish to do the survey online may do so at
If you have any questions, please call the Pensacola District Office at 850-434-0118 or e-mail  Thank you!            
October 12 - Columbus Day Holiday
The Pensacola District Office will be closed October 12 (Monday) in recognition of Columbus Day.
Thrift Store Opening Saturday, October 17 at Warrington United Methodist Church
Warrington United Methodist Church in Pensacola (301 East Winthrop Avenue) is opening a Thrift Store October 17, 2015. Hours of operation will be Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m.-2 p.m.  If you would like to donate or volunteer please contact the church office at 850-455-0306 M-Thu, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., for details.  For a map or more about Warrington United Methodist Church continue here.
Gulf Breeze UMC Holds Church-wide Vote
Gulf Breeze UMC held a church-wide vote on Wednesday, September 23. The majority of the GBUMC church membership voted "yes" to launch the Soundside Campus as a stand-alone United Methodist Church. More here in the September 28 AWFC NewsCONNECTION ... here in local newspaper. >>
A Must Read! - Q&A with Rev. Michael Precht about the Long-range Plan of First UMC, Crestview
Rev. Michael Precht is the senior pastor at Crestview First United Methodist Church and has served in this appointment since July 1, 2014. In his brief tenure, he has made it a priority to intentionally explore every aspect of ministry at Crestview FUMC. We learn more in his recent Q & A with the AWF Conference Office of Communication. Continue here for the article.
"I hope that everyone can know by experience what we so often say in our words - that they have a place in the mission of God. I hope everyone knows the love of God - and I hope they know it through a community that misses them when they're gone, that celebrates their gifts, and counts on them to fulfill our mission. And I hope that everyone can see not only the results of our actions, but the process. I hope, above all, they see the reason we do what we do and the reason we are who we are. I hope they see that Jesus is Lord, and our church is an embassy of the kingdom He rules." - Michael Precht, Senior Pastor, First United Methodist Church, Crestview, FL      

Local Church Anniversary & Revival Celebrations

Bagdad UMC Celebrates 120 Years
October 11 at 10 a.m.
The Bagdad United Methodist Church invites all to their October 11 Homecoming celebration "Come worship with us in our 'little white church' built 120 years ago!" Worship begins at 10 a.m. Bagdad UMC was established in 1830 and the sanctuary was built in 1885.  For more about Bagdad UMC continue here.
Revival Celebration
October 23-25, 6 p.m. nightly, at Ferry Pass United Methodist Church
Guest preacher will be Rev. Ted Johnson.  For more about Ferry Pass United Methodist Church continue here.
Mary Esther UMC Celebrates 50th Year
October 25 at 9:15 a.m.
50th year celebration activities at Mary Esther United Methodist Church on October 25 will begin at 9:15 am with a 45 minute meet-and-greet followed by worship service at 10:30 am. Our first presiding pastor, Rev. Jack Taylor, as well as other prior pastors, will reflect and share their thoughts and memories. There will be a time of recognition for former members and staff with a special music selection performed. Following the service a covered dish luncheon, hosted by the Celebration Committee, will be held in the Fellowship Hall. Please join us as we celebrate God’s work, through the body of Christ, in the Mary Esther community for 50 years. For more about Mary Esther United Methodist Church continue here or visit
Multiple Services, Styles, & Pastors, Yet One Church
- Article by Pensacola District Pastor Jeremy Smith
Crosspoint United Methodist Church, which now has three campuses, has been on Len Wilson's list of the top 25 fastest-growing large United Methodist Churches. That said, when this article by their Niceville campus teaching pastor Rev. Jeremy Smith appeared on Seedbed's website on the topic of multiple worship services and preachers and styles of worship ... well, that deserves sharing!  Just to peak your curiosity to read the article, here are some excerpts:
(Jeremy Smith) - "I applaud churches that do both traditional and contemporary styles of worship (and whatever other styles and names are out there).  Some of my friends from other churches, especially really fast-growing church starts, argue with me about this.... They say it causes you to have a split congregation between a traditional church and a contemporary church. While that may be true, the problem is not that the church has two separate styles of worship; the problem is style of leadership.... One of the things I love most about the church I serve in is that even though we have four different styles of worship in eight different weekend worship services, we still have the sense that we are one church.  In fact, far from there being a battle between contemporary and traditional, we celebrate and promote the fact that we have different services for different people. Without that, we wouldn’t have all these people under the same vision and mission, pulling in the same direction to advance the Kingdom of God.  The decision that made the biggest difference in keeping the feeling of one church, even with multiple services, was...." Continue here for the complete article.
See also September 14, 2015, local news article about Crosspoint UMC: "Advent Offerings Turn into Churches in the Congo."

Board of Missions Meeting October 15
The Pensacola District Board of Missions will meet at the Pensacola District Office at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 15. Lunch will be provided. If you cannot attend please let the district office or Duane Keck know.     


Local Church Positions Available

Director of Youth Ministry Needed - Shalimar, FL
Shalimar United Methodist Church is seeking a full-time Director of Youth Ministry. For more information continue here. (Posted 10/6/2015)
Pianist/Organist Needed for November 1, 2015 - Pensacola, FL
St. Mark United Methodist Church in Pensacola, FL is seeking a substitute organist or pianist for November 1st for the 10:30 a.m. worship service. Job entails providing music for prelude, hymns, communion, and postlude. If available please contact Grace Van Sickle at (850) 438-2194.  (Posted 10/06/2015)
Executive Administrative Assistant Needed - Milton, FL 
First United Methodist Church in Milton is seeking an executive administrative assistant. For details continue here. (Posted 9/16/2015)
Music Director Needed - Cantonment, FL
Gonzalez United Methodist Church is seeking a Music Director. If interested please contact the church office at 850-968-6006. For more about Gonzalez UMC continue here
Youth Ministry Director Needed - Cantonment, FL
Gonzalez United Methodist Church is seeking a Youth Ministry Director. If interested please contact the church office at 850-968-6006. For more about Gonzalez UMC continue here
Administrative Assistant/Secretary Needed - Cantonment, FL
Gonzalez United Methodist Church is seeking an Administrative Assistant/Secretary. This is a part-time position, 25 hours/week. If interested please contact the church office at 850-968-6006. For more about Gonzalez UMC continue here. (Posted 9/8/2015)
Music Ministry Assistant Needed - Pensacola, FL
Perdido Bay United Methodist Church is seeking a Music Ministry Assistant. For more information continue here. (Posted 9/01/2015)
Executive Pastor / Church Administrator Needed - Gulf Breeze
Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church is seeking an Executive Pastor/Church Administrator. For more information continue here. (Posted 8/31/2015)
Children's Ministry Director Needed - Pensacola, FL
St. Mark United Methodist Church is seeking a part-time Children's Ministry Director (10-12 hours/week) beginning October 1st. For more information continue here. (Posted 8/27/2015)
Worship Leader Needed - Crestview, FL
Crosspoint South Crestview Campus is seeking a Worship Leader. Click here for details. (Posted 8/24/2015)
Organist/Pianist Needed - Pensacola, FL  
Gadsden Street UMC is seeking a person who is proficient in piano and organ accompaniment for worship services.  This is a part-time position.  Primary attention will be to worship service on Sunday and practice each Wednesday.  Other seasonal rehearsals and services will be required.  Interested persons should submit their resume’ to Gadsden Street United Methodist Church c/o Rev. Bobby Ellisor, 901 East Gadsden Street, Pensacola, FL  32501.  For more about Gadsden Street United Methodist Church continue here.  (8/27/2015 update:  this is still a need)
Local Church Positions - Other Districts:

Prayer Labyrinth at Soundside Campus, Gulf Breeze

Always open - public cordially invited

The Soundside Campus of Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church is building an outdoor prayer labyrinth and welcomes all who wish to utilize the garden for prayer or quiet reflection. The labyrinth is located adjacent to the butterfly garden and behind the church building at 4115 Soundside Drive, Gulf Breeze. On September 19 the church dedicated the prayer labyrinth to God in memory of Mary "Emma" Grace. Emma was life-long resident of Gulf Breeze and member of GBUMC who passed on to heaven one year ago.
From GBUMC: "Labyrinths are pathways. Labyrinths have one clear path to the center. Labyrinths have been used as spiritual tools by Christians for at least 1,600 years. Christians today still walk the pathways of labyrinths for a variety of purposes: to pray and meditate, to facilitate calm and stillness in a hectic world, to listen for God, to promote health and wellness, and to get in touch with the Holy Spirit."    
News from Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries
PUMCM News September 3, 2015
Thank you for all the donations of children's clothes and items for the Ministry Shop over the summer!  In August we issued vouchers for clothing and shoes for men, women and children returning to school totaling $1,593.  The vouchers are redeemed in our Ministry Shop, where we also sell items to support the ministry. Current needs are small sizes of men's clothing, blankets and sleeping bags, and pots & pans.  Shop hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Please come shop or drop off items and support the work of PUMCM. Check out our website,!  Blessings from Pastor Robin and Kathy
PUMCM Ministry Shop Needs Donations
Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries is in need of items for the Ministry Shop, such as clothing, household items, furniture, etc. Items may be dropped off 9-5 Tuesdays-Saturdays at 2600 West Strong Street, one block off Cervantes between "T" and "U" Streets. The website is
Photos and "Thank You!" from Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries
For a better view of the photographs click on them.
* "Great Sunday morning worship at Richards Memorial United Methodist Church with Casa de Dias Gateway of Heaven!" (Pensacola Hispanic Ministries congregation) (First photo, right)
*  "Great Sunday afternoon ... God is so good! Thank you, Pine Forest, for dinner and thank you, Kitty and Shawn, for praise and workshop music!" (Second photo, right)
*  "We are having a busy summer here at PUMCM! After meal times sometimes we feed out the back door with 'go bags.' Thank you, Myrtle Grove UMC ... there are 100 men, women and children that won't be hungry!" (Third photo, right)
*  "Thank you, Gulf Breeze UMC Youth teams, for being the 'Hands and Feet of Jesus.' You have worked over 100 hours combined in just two days!" (First photo, right)
*  "Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries says, 'Thank you Gulf Breeze United Methodist, Soundside for a wonderful VBS, making memories and serving God!'" (Second photo, right)
Top 25 Fastest Growing Large United Methodist Churches
Crosspoint (# 20)  and Gulf Breeze (# 18) United Methodist Churches are featured in this year's "Top 25 Fastest Growing Large United Methodist Churches." Both Churches are in the Pensacola District of the Alabama-West Florida Conference. The article and list are at

The Matthew Initiative
Working with The Matthew Initiative, in April 2015 volunteers from Bellview, Gonzalez, and Richards Memorial United Methodist Churches of the Pensacola District trained in Crestview for a new children's program launching in the summer. Photos pictured to the right are courtesy of Kathy Strader. 

Administrative Announcements
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Apportionments Report August 31, 2015
Please see below for Pensacola District's report.
2015 Annual Local Church Charge Conferences
Important information for Pensacola District churches is at
Please note that the Accessibility Audit (download here) is not optional. It is called for in the Report of the Trustees charge conference form. Also, it has now been determined that a print-out from the database after it has been updated CAN replace the "Report of the Committee on Nominations."
Please place these Pensacola District events on your church calendar:

Around the Conference   
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New Training Event Offered by AWFC Board of Ministry: 
"Taking Clergy Mentoring to the Next Level"
The Alabama-West Florida Conference Board of Ordained Ministry is offering a new training event called "Taking Clergy Mentoring to the Next Level." Persons completing this training will be assigned by their district superintendents to serve as mentors for part-time and full-time local pastors enrolled in Course of Study. The mentor training event will be offered on these dates: There is no cost to attend the training, which should conclude around noon.  Additional training will be offered periodically, as needed, for those who are unable to attend these initial sessions.  Should you have further questions about this event, please contact Erika Glawson, Office of Ministerial Services, Click here for more. (Posted 10/2/2015)
Fiscal Year End Date - Closing Date & Hour to Receive Payments Credited to 2015 Apportionments
(2015 Brochure of Reports, pages 170-171) - The Fiscal Office will close the annual financial records on the fifth working day of January. This date will be the last day that apportionment payments can be credited to the prior year asking. Churches sending apportionment payments AFTER December 31 must do one of the following:
a. Deliver payment to the Fiscal Office in Montgomery, AL any time before 10:00 a.m. on the closing date.
b. Mail the payment. Regardless of the postmark date, payments received after 10:00 a.m. on the closing date cannot be credited to the prior year apportionments.
c. Deposit payment in the Annual Conference account on or before 1:00 p.m. on the closing date at a local Regions Bank. FAX a copy of the BANK RECEIPT and a copy of the REMITTANCE BREAKDOWN to the Fiscal Office when the deposit is made. Call the Fiscal Office (1-888-873-3127) to obtain the current deposit account number.
The Fiscal Office must KNOW of these deposits on the closing date. Persons without access to a fax machine should call 1-888-873-3127 and report the deposit information.  PLEASE NOTE:  The bank's business day may end earlier than the time the bank closes. For example, often deposits received after 2:00 p.m. are credited to the next day's business.  CONTACT THE LOCAL BANK TO DETERMINE WHEN A DEPOSIT MUST BE MADE, IN ORDER TO BE CREDITED ON THE CLOSING DATE."
The Fiscal Office must KNOW of these deposits on the closing date. Persons without access to a fax machine should call 1-888-873-3127 and report the deposit information.  PLEASE NOTE:  The bank's business day may end earlier than the time the bank closes. For example, often deposits received after 2:00 p.m. are credited to the next day's business.  CONTACT THE LOCAL BANK TO DETERMINE WHEN A DEPOSIT MUST BE MADE, IN ORDER TO BE CREDITED ON THE CLOSING DATE."
AWF Delegation Endorses Lawson Bryan As Episcopal Nominee
Members of the 2016 Alabama-West Florida Conference General and Jurisdictional Conference delegation have endorsed the Reverend Dr. R. Lawson Bryan as their episcopal nominee. Since 2007, Dr. Bryan has served as senior pastor of Montgomery First United Methodist Church in Montgomery, AL. The AWF annual conference clergy elected him in June to lead the 2016 General/Jurisdictional delegation. Prior to this past annual conference session, he was elected a delegate to one General Conference and three Jurisdictional Conferences. He began his ministry as an associate pastor at Trinity UMC (Opelika, AL). Other appointments include Hiland Park UMC (Panama City, FL), Dexter Avenue UMC (Montgomery, AL), First UMC, Brewton, Ashland Place UMC (Mobile, AL) and served for ten years as senior pastor at First UMC, Dothan, AL, before becoming senior pastor to Montgomery FUMC.  Bryan received his BS degree from Tulane University, a Master of Divinity from Candler Theological Seminary at Emory University and a Doctorate of Ministry, also from Candler. He was ordained as an elder in 1976.   MORE here >> (Posted 9/22/2015)
Communications Audit for Local Churches
In August 2015 the AWF Conference Office of Communications published a "Communications Audit" for churches. We invite you to download this easy-to-read document and use it as a resource to evaluate what tools you are using to share your story. Click here to download. 
Here is a sampling from the Audit resource, under the topic "E-mail":*
A strategic effort should be made to acquire and maintain a database of member e-mail addresses. You should be using a program such as Constant Contact or MailChimp to manage your e-mail communications if a method is not built into your database system. These e-mail programs allow people to opt out of e-mails should they not wish to be contacted in the future. Do not send e-mails to hundreds of people through Outlook. This practice could potentially land your church on an e-mail black list - which is very, very difficult to undo.   Consider these e-mail communications tips:
*  Make a concerted effort to update your e-mail database and ask members to notify the church office if there is a change in e-mail address.
*  Send e-mail when needed but do not oversend.
*  Keep information in the e-mail short and to the point. If you need to include a long article, include the headline and a lead-in paragraph with  a link to the full article elsewhere. People usually only read headlines and a few sentences of articles.
*  Have e-mail header designs be consistent with what you do in printed communications.
*  If you are able, add a visual to your article; include a photo or two.
(* Emphasis added by webmaster.)
2014 Stats for the 2015 AWF Conference Journal
Stephen Ministry Introductory Workshop October 17
9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Fairhope United Methodist Church. Continue here for more information and to register. $15/person for individuals or $50/person for group of 4  or more.  Stephen Ministry is the one-to-one lay caring ministry that takes place in congregations that use the Stephen Series system. Stephen Ministry congregations equip and empower lay caregivers - called Stephen Ministers - to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting. People learn to serve as Stephen Leaders by attending a Leader’s Training Course - a one-week conference that introduces the resources used to lead Stephen Ministry, develops key skills, and gets people excited about this caring ministry. Most congregations begin with two to four Stephen Leaders, typically including a pastor, possibly another church staff person, and one or more lay leaders.   
AWF Trustees Release Church Emergency Resource
(AWFC) - Over the past several months, the AWF Trustees have been discussing and developing a resource for local churches to use as they consider emergency preparedness in their congregation. The need for such preparedness has come to the forefront with the tragic events in Charleston, SC, and Chattanooga, TN.  Emergency Guidelines for Churches can be found by clicking here. It is not a policy, it is simply a resource to “spark a conversation in your church on emergency preparedness.” The hope is that the Board of Trustees of each local church in our annual conference will consider how best to prepare for accidents, fires, natural disasters, and criminal behavior that may affect your local church.
You can subscribe to the AWFC NewsCONNECTION here.
To read NewsCONNECTION online visit
To Order the 2015 AWFC Journal....
This year's AWF Conference Journal will be distributed by Once the Journal is complete and uploaded to Amazon, a link will be provided to place orders. (Posted 6/15/2015)  
AWFC Sponsors Youth Pastors/Directors Roundtable
From the AWFC NewsCONNECTION June 15, 2015 (view here):
Youth Pastors and Directors from several churches around the conference met recently at Crestview FUMC to connect, learn, and share youth ministry ideas. The Youth Pastors/Directors Roundtable is open to all persons serving in a local church youth leadership role. It is self-directed and facilitated as topics for discussing and sharing come from the roundtable participants. This is the second roundtable held in the conference, the first being last year at Huntingdon College. The participants value the sense of community and connection shared in this experience as well as appreciate the learnings from one another that can be used in their specific ministry context. Rev. Jeremy Steele, Next Generation Minister at Christ UMC, and Caroline Hare, Director of Student/Young Adult Ministry at Destin UMC facilitated the discussion. For more information about the roundtable, please contact the Conference Office of Connectional Ministries.
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 AWF Conference Safe Sanctuaries contact person is Frank Dunnewind.  You can reach Frank toll-free at (888) 873-3127.  The Pensacola District contact person is Rev. Paula Roane , who can be reached at 850-862-4169 (Trinity United Methodist Church, Fort Walton Beach). 
Launch of The Antioch Project
The Antioch Project, under the leadership of Rev. Dan Pezet, was launched on Saturday, January 31, 2015, at Frazer Memorial UMC....  The Antioch Project is a new initiative from the Office of Congregational Vitality designed to partner with local churches that have potential to grow in several areas of ministry. Churches who are invited to participate in the Antioch Project have demonstrated good pastoral leadership, good lay leadership, and potential resources to jump start a new life cycle of ministry fruitfulness. The Antioch Project is comprised of a group of churches each year that have been recommended by the cabinet as meeting specific criteria, and then are prayerfully selected and invited by the Bishop to participate. For congregations that sign the Antioch Project covenant, a 2-3 year process is launched. Click here to learn more about the Antioch Project or click here to see the photo gallery.

Around the Web 
United Methodists in the News
Quick Links: (Scroll down the page for more!)
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From Society of Saint Andrew:  Advent Devotions
"The Advent Devotions Program offers an opportunity for your congregants to give in support of Society of St. Andrew’s feeding ministries, reflecting Jesus’ own concern for the least, the last, and the lost. Used each year as a spiritual underpinning for Advent by hundreds of congregations of all denominations across the United States, these daily meditations—all new for 2015—are the words of people of faith, both pastors and lay persons, from all walks of life." Continue here for more information. 
Disaster Response News:  Flooding in South Carolina
From:  AWFC Disaster Recovery Ministry
To:        Early Responders
Date:     Monday, October 5, 2015 - 12:57 PM
There is major flooding happening in areas of South Carolina. First, please keep the people there in your prayers, especially the first responders as they rescue those trapped by the water. You can read more about the situation from Bishop Jonathon Holston here. For those of you who have current ERT credentials, at this time please be on standby. We are not deploying early response teams (ERT) yet, but Amelia Fletcher includes the note [here] from the SC coordinators so that when the call is made, we may respond. If you have questions, please contact Amelia Fletcher at, and 251-968-2549 (office) or 251-978-8384 (cell).  Please do not deploy until called. MORE here. >>
(From Amelia Fletcher, AWFC Disaster Response and Recovery Coordinator) - As we are in prayer for our congregations and communities in South Carolina, we also respect their need to allow first responders, state and local emergency management, and communities assess situations.  Early Response Trained teams from our conference should be organizing and notifying our Conference Disaster Response & Recovery Ministry of their intentions. A composite team can be formed if there are individuals who would like to participate.  A core team and leader would be necessary for that to occur. Team guidelines should be posted next week. Until then, please read the communication from the South Carolina Conference....  Continue here >>
Be a Part of General Conference 2016 Worship
(UMNS) - Your words can inspire the world. You can help shape the worship services at the 2016 General Conference of The United Methodist Church, taking place on May 10-20 in Portland, Oregon. The worship design team for the conference is seeking volunteers to write liturgy, including prayers, calls to worship and litanies. More information here.    
2015 Edition of Clergy Age Trends Report
The 2015 edition of the Lewis Center’s annual Clergy Age Trends in the United Methodist Church is now available at The full report includes detailed data for every annual conference.  This report is prepared in partnership with the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits. A pdf download is available, as well as a six-minute video summary of the report. The Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary is pleased to provide this report as a service to the Church. Click here for highlights, here for the full report and video. (Posted 9/8/2015)        
SEJ Clergywomen's Consultation October 26-29
Ministry can be wild, wonderful, life-giving...and draining. At times, it's a sieve through which the water of our baptism slowly drips, leaving our souls parched, cracked, and creaky. It's time to plug the drain. Join your United Methodist clergy sisters from across the southeast as we wade and splash your way through the living water as we consider the story of the woman at the well from John 4. Drink deeply and let the water hold you and heal you. Dip a toe in the water or jump right in...or sit in the sand and let the waves find you. The SEJ Clergywomen's Consultation will be October 26-29, 2015, at Epworth by the Sea. Click here for more.
3 Common Traits of Children Who Stay in the Church
"These children had come through the church’s youth program, gone on short-term mission trips, and served in several different ministries during their teenage years. Now they didn’t want anything to do with it anymore.  What is it that sets apart the kids who stay in the church?" Continue here for a good article about this. >>
Dr. John Ed Mathison about Attitude:  "It Can Be a Stumbling Block or a Stepping Stone"

(Dr. John Ed Mathison) - The older I get the more I am convinced that attitude in life is extremely important. I think that an attitude toward a given situation is more important than the reality of the situation itself. I have seen people in a bad situation with a great attitude and they discover a good dimension of life that is indescribable. Likewise I have seen people in good situations with a bad attitude and they have a miserable life. Attitude is how we look at things. It is what we see and how we see them. When we face something in life it can either be an obstacle or an opportunity. It can be a burden or a blessing. It can be a stumbling block or a stepping stone. Our attitude makes a determination of what it ultimately is in our situation. Click here for the complete blog post.

5 Significant Attitude Differences That Separate Growing and Declining Churches
"So what’s the difference between a growing church and a declining church? Attitude may or may not be everything, but it’s close. Here are 5 attitude differences I see again and again in growing churches and declining churches...."  Continue here for the article. >> 
Interpreter Magazine Subscriptions
It's that time of year again when churches update their subscriptions to Interpreter magazine.  MORE here >>
The New 2016 UMC Program Calendar Ap
( - You Asked for It; We Did It!  The new 2016 Official Program Calendar App provides concise and functional access to Lectionary readings, Special Sundays, planning data and UMC agency information and contacts. You can also bookmark content for later use, add notes and annotations, filter by date or book of the Bible and easily share content with others. This mobile version of the popular Official Program Calendar of The United Methodist Church includes all the helpful information you’ve come to expect plus easy to navigate native mobile content.   This app is free to download and includes a free 14-day subscription with full access to all calendar data for those 14 days. Once the free trial has expired, you will have several options to purchase an ongoing subscription. If you elect not to subscribe you will retain valuable access to hand-picked articles from as well as UMC agency information at your fingertips.   For MORE continue here.
General Conference 2016
( - The United Methodist Church’s top legislative body will meet at the Oregon Convention Center, the largest convention center in the Pacific Northwest, May 10-20, 2016. MORE here >>
SEJ Conference 2016
( - The opening date for 2016 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference will be Wednesday, July 13, 2016.  
How to Run Highly Effective Meetings
( - Like good project management, being organized and prepared will go a long way toward taking your meetings to the next level. Here some practical advice about how to get the most out of committees:  (1) Open with prayer. (2) Designate a leader that will be focused on set objectives. (3) Set the agenda in advance. You can do this at the end of each regular meeting, or the designated leader can write down the agenda and send it to the committee members a day or week before the meeting. (4) Write down action items, make assignments, and assign due dates. (5) Before the meeting ends, recap what has been decided and the action steps that have been noted. (6) Meet to live, don't live to meet.  The entire article is here. >>
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. Gets Upgrade
(UMNS) — In July 2015 the General Council on Finance and Administration, the denomination's finance agency, relaunched the online shopping portal UMCMarket using more advanced technology and faster delivery of donations. The site allows online shoppers to donate a percentage of what they spend back to their church or to the United Methodist ministry of their choice. Click here for press release or visit  
Resources offered through United Methodist Communications 
United Methodist Communications has many forms of outreach resources for local churches this year.  Here are a few of these offerings......
  • Low-cost Direct Mail: Right now, we have an exciting opportunity for local churches to participate in a low-cost direct mail campaign for Back to School. Churches can place their orders here. Order deadline is September 1, 2015. 
  • Free Doorhangers:  We have free customized door hangers (1 pkg. of 100 per church) available here. This offer is available until December 1, 2015.
  • Free Customized TV Spots: Churches can also order free customized digital copies of our brand new “Church Can Happen Anywhere” TV spots here.
  • Free Worship Resources: A Sermon Starter, Bulletin Cover, Invitation Cards, Worship Slides and Social Media Items have been developed to match the new “Church Can Happen Anywhere” campaign. Download all items from the United Methodist Communications store for FREE here!
United Methodist Communications is also able to provide support in many different ways through resources, programs, training, and grants!  Click here to find out more. 

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

5 Reasons the Church Should Talk About Abortion
(Seedbed, July 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. >>
What Does The United Methodist Church Believe About Abortion?
With Planned Parenthood in the news a lot lately, the question is asked, "What does the The United Methodist Church believe about abortion?" For this visit In relation to this comes 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.
What Does The United Methodist Church Say About the Same-sex Marriage Ruling?
( - "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. >>
United Methodist History Quiz
(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.
"A searchable platform connecting young people to church-wide opportunities from the agencies of the United Methodist Church...."  The site provides a wide range of topics, including among others church, school (high school, college, seminary), home, Chrysalis, devotions, magazines, career, missions, and exploring a calling to ministry.
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.   
What Matters:  A Commentary about Metrics and Mission
(Bishop Ken Carter/Lewis Center) - "There is currently a lively conversation underway in the mainline church about numbers and metrics. This conversation is often dominated by two extreme and less-than-helpful perspectives. One seeks to quantify everything. In its most pronounced expression, this is the ascendency of the M.B.A. into every other professional guild, including ministry. The second perspective is an overreaction to the first. It insists that metrics should be ignored in favor of higher values — persons, or communities, or contexts." Full commentary here.
Includes the topics "Concluding Ministry in One Setting" and "Beginning Ministry in a New Setting."
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.
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
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2015, the IRS standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck will be as follows:
  • 57.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, up from 56 cents in 2014
  • 23 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down half a cent from 2014 
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations
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  

Resources for Clergy and Congregations
Resources for building, improving, and strengthening ministry are available at Here are sample "50 Ways to --" pdfs from   
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   
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.
United Methodist Men - News & Chartering
Click here for UMM news and information about chartering.    
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! 
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