The Pensacola District of The United Methodist Church
Saturday, July 22, 2017
Here for You - Serving Jesus
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Website Update
We hope you enjoy our newly revised website.
When we recently learned that E-zekiel sites may experience viewing issues for those using Internet Explorer, we reworked our format to avoid those issues.
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Around the Pensacola District  
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E-mailed July 14, 2017:
Benefit Fish Fry for Rev. Joe Hensel 
Rev. Joe Hensel, pastor of Farm Hill United Methodist Church, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor in April of this year. Things have moved rather quickly. He and his lovely wife, Joy, are both unable to work. He is now fighting double pneumonia and a blood clot in his lung. Chemo is on hold.
Farm Hill UMC will be having a Fish Fry benefit for Pastor Joe and Joy on July 22, 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. They have a Facebook page about it here.  On the page they posted, "Whether you can attend or not, please lift them up in your prayers." For those who can't be there, I'm sure they'd appreciate any donations folks would like to send (clearly marked accordingly). The church address is 1251 Muscogee Road, Cantonment FL 32533-4329.
Celebration of Life Service
Saturday, July 22, is also the day in which there will be a Celebration of Life service at Mary Esther United Methodist Church for Rev. Charles Walker (retired), who passed away June 27. There will be a time to greet the family at 10:00 a.m. with the service following at 11:00 a.m. It will be strange not to see Rev. Walker this year at our district's Welcome Dinner July 25, as he and his wife, Monette, have attended together district (and conference) events like this for so many years. Charles served at Alston Ct., Marion-Junction-Orrville, Chisholm, Millbrook, Gonzalez, Dothan First (Associate), Spanish Fort, Mary Esther, Selma: Church Street, and Demopolis District Superintendent before retiring in 2001. He's greatly missed. Monette appreciates your prayers.
Please continue to pray for Joe and Joy Hensel and for the Walker family.   
Hispanic Ministries Gets a Church
It was a small, simple ceremony but an historic one. Thursday morning, June 29, 2017, the Pensacola District Board of Church Development, represented by Duane Keck, Al Bruner, and Owen Sharp, presented three gifts to Pensacola District Hispanic/Latino Ministries. Accepting the gifts was Pastor Andres' Doimeadios, who has led the ministry since 2011. He also, by the way, was the clergy winner of the 2017 AWF Annual Conference Denman Evangelism Award.
Pastor Doimeadios' congregation has been leasing facilities where they can meet, worship, disciple, and minister. They've been growing as a faith community and needing a permanent location.
One of the gifts from the District Board was the deed to property on Pace Boulevard in Pensacola for Pastor Doimeadios to set up a permanent location for the Casa de Dios Puerta del Cielo congregation to meet. (The name of the congregation translates to "House of God Gateway to Heaven.")  The second gift was the keys to all the buildings on the property. The third was $10,000 to use as the pastor sees fit to grow his church and congregation.
The congregation will continue to meet at its current locations as the new site is renovated. News of this wonderful event made page 3A of the local Sunday morning paper. An article with pictures about it is in the PNJ paper here.
 Training Meeting for dCOM Members
Members of the Pensacola District Committee on Ministry will meet at the Pensacola District Office 10 a.m. to noon on August 15, 2017, for training about the Lay Minister process. If you have questions or cannot attend please contact Rev. Bob Bailey, chairperson of the Committee.
Milton First UMC Celebrates 150 Years of Ministry
(AWFC-UMC NewsCONNECTION 6/26/2017) - For 150 years, the people called Methodists have connected people to God and people to people through Jesus Christ in Milton, Florida! A celebration of this ministry and mission of First United Methodist Church was held on Heritage Sunday, May 21. The theme of the day was “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” In his sermon, “Through These Doors,” Bishop David W. Graves reminded the congregation that the saints who had gone before were stepping stones on which the future of the church was built and continues to this day. District Superintendent The Reverend Timothy R. Trent introduced Bishop Graves and  assisted in the leading of prayers and the affirmation of faith. The members of the children’s, youth, and chancel choirs sang uplifting, majestic music accompanied by the church organist and those playing hand bells, flutes, a saxophone, and a trumpet. Special Guests included former pastors, other clergy, a historian of Santa Rosa County, and representatives of the Milton City and Santa Rosa County governments. More here.
Gulf Breeze Church Raises Money for Local Community Ministries
(AWFC-UMC NewsCONNECTION 6/26/2017) - Gulf Breeze UMC was blessed by the presence of over 450 children and 178 volunteers at their Vacation Bible School the week of June 12. The church selected Richards Memorial UMC as the recipient of its student missional offering. The children raised $3,500 in four days! GBUMC matched their efforts and presented Rev. Robin Nobles with a check during the closing service on Friday, June 16. Rev. Nobles explained that this gift would provide 3,500 hot meals in the Brownsville Community. Rev. Shawn York stated, "I am so proud of these children and the hard work they demonstrated for this ministry. It is certainly a worthwhile group to support. They impact so many lives in the community that it was not a difficult decision who should be the missional offering recipient. They reflect the love of Christ to those who need love and support."
Ausleys Recognized As Outstanding Asbury Alumni
(AWFC-UMC NewsCONNECTION 6/26/2017) - Rev. Lisa Ausley and Rev. Rurel Ausley (pictured right) were honored at a dinner over the weekend in Wilmore, KY, where they received the Distinguished Alumni Award. This award is designed to honor alumni who in their personal lives and public ministries exhibit the Asbury values of a theologically educated, sanctified, spirit-filled, evangelistic ministry to spread scriptural holiness across the world. The Ausleys are pictured with Dr. Sandra Gray, Asbury University President. Congratulations to the Ausleys for this award and for tirelessly working for the Kingdom!
Appointment Changes for Pensacola District
Here is Dr. Tim Trent's post-annual conference message Monday, June 12, 2017.
Below are Pensacola District clergy appointment changes for 2017-2018. Unless otherwise noted, effective date is July 1, 2017.
  • Allen Memorial - John Edwards (RE) has been appointed to Allen Memorial and pastor Michael Cobb to Dalraida.
  • Clear Springs - Barry Carpenter, Jr. (SY) has been appointed to Clear Springs and pastor John Edwards to Allen Memorial.
  • Crosspoint Associate - Billy Russell (FL, effective 6/1/2017) has been appointed to Crosspoint as Associate Pastor.
  • Navarre - Alan McBride (FE) has been appointed to Navarre as Senior Pastor and pastor Alan Cassady to Eufaula FUMC.
  • Pace First - Mark Lilly (FE) has been appointed to Pace FUMC and pastor Mike Roberts will return to retirement.
  • Shalimar Associate - Faith Parry (PE) has been appointed to Shalimar as Associate Pastor, replacing Jonathan Hart, appointed to Robertsdale UMC.
  • Trinity - Scott Hohn (FE) has been appointed to Trinity (Ft. Walton Beach) and Sterling Boykin to Ashland Place, Mobile.
New Name for the District Board of Missions
In 2017 the Pensacola District Board of Methodist Missions, Inc. was renamed Pensacola District Board of Church Development.  Executive Board members for 2017 are Duane Keck (President), Al Bruner (Vice President), Owen Sharp (Treasurer), John Edwards (Clergy Member), Tom Sharron (Clergy Member), Jeff Spicer (Clergy Member), Gene Floore (District Lay Leader), Bruce Knecht (District Lay Servant Ministries Director), David Crawford (District Missions Coordinator), Tim Trent (District Superintendent), Tim Wentworth (District UMM President), and Pat Dodge (District UMW President).
2017 Brochure of Reports Available Online
The 2017 Brochure of Reports is posted on the AWF Conference's home page under "Quick Links." Click here to download the pdf.  You can also view this and previous years' Brochure of Reports and Journals on the Pensacola District's Forms & Documents page here.  
Positions Available
To view the Alabama-West Florida Conference Classifieds page or to submit an ad for their website please visit To post a job listing here (on the District Message Board) please submit your ad at the Classifieds page then send us the page URL after the ad is posted.  For employment opportunities at Crosspoint UMC (Niceville/Crestview) visit For the Alabama-West Florida Conference Classifieds page visit
Listed below are new employment opportunities at Crosspoint. For details visit (Posted 7/14/2017)
    South Crestview Campus: Nursery Caregivers
    South Crestview Campus: Kids Ministry Administrative Assistant
    South Crestview Campus: Teachers, Assistant Teachers and Subs
    Niceville Campus: Nursery Caregivers
    Niceville Campus: Teachers, Assistant Teachers and Subs
From the Baypines District:  Full-time Youth Minister Needed for Gulf Shores UMC, Gulf Shores, AL (Posted 7/17/2017)
Pensacola District Superintendent Receives UMM Award
April 21, 2017, at the Annual United Methodist Men's Advance, Pensacola District Superintendent Tim Trent (pictured right) received the Robert Powell Award, which is the highest award anyone can receive in our conference representing United Methodist Men. Congratulations, Tim! 
Ministry Moment Mondays by Pensacola U.M. Community Ministries
Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries (PUMCM) is sharing God's love in action, and they'd like to share Ministry Moments with YOU!  Each Monday on their Facebook page they will be posting a different video. You can view their videos at PUMCM is located at the Richards Memorial United Methodist Church in the Brownsville area, Pensacola, Florida. 
PUMCM and Habitat Seek Volunteers
Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries (Pensacola, FL) and Habitat for Humanity need volunteers for neighborhood revitalization projects in Brownsville, one of the areas of highest need and lowest income in Florida. Projects include day projects - cleaning yards, installing wheelchair ramps, minor repairs, small painting projects, etc.; weekend projects - for larger projects come and stay at "His Place" at PUMCM (bunk rooms and beds for 22, kitchen, showers, $10 per person per night); and week-long mission trips - multiple projects or smaller ones in multiple locations within the 28-block neighborhood. 
To plan your project contact Peggy or Jon at Pensacola Habitat: or, 850-434-5456. For more information visit To reserve housing on-line or more information about PUMCM visit Click here for the flyer as a pdf.
2017 Edition of Len Wilson's "Top 25"
Two churches of the Alabama-West Florida Conference made the 2017 edition of Len Wilson's "Top 25 Fastest Growing Large United Methodist Churches." Number 10 is the Pensacola District's Crosspoint United Methodist Church and number 23 is the Marianna-Panama City District's Woodlawn United Methodist Church. Continue here for the article.
Congratulations, Pensacola District "All Stars"!!
And the honorees are....  Continue here to see!! 
All Stars is an annual recognition of Pensacola District Churches who meet three requirements in the course of a year: (1) pay 100% total Connectional Mission Giving, (2) have more than 50% attendance by membership, and (3) have a net gain in membership. 

Administrative Announcements
Quick Links: (Scroll down the page for more!)  
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Safe Sanctuaries Video Availabled from AWF Conference Trustees
(Sue Bell Cobb via AWFC-UMC 6/26/2017) - As the Chair of the Alabama-West Florida UMC Conference Safe Sanctuaries Committee and a former juvenile judge, I am reaching out to you because of your position of leadership at your United Methodist Church. As a member of the Conference Board of Trustees, I know that the Trustees are indeed proud of our record of caring for and protecting our children and vulnerable adults. In an effort to ensure that none of our local churches are mired in the controversy of abuse allegations, your Conference Board of Trustees has endeavored to amend, with Conference approval, our Safe Sanctuaries Policy and Minimum Standards so that the content can be more understandable and easier to implement. Click here for videoClick here for more
Recommended Minimum Salary for 2018
On June 7, 2017, the AWF Annual Conference approved the Commission on Equitable Compensation's recommendation of a minimum salary of $37,200 for all full-time appointed clergy for 2018.    
The Beginning Pastors Workshop July 28 & 29
Click here for search results on this event at the AWFC website, or you can search for this event on the AWFC calendar.
All pastors taking their first appointment in the Alabama-West Florida Conference are required to attend "The Beginning Pastors Workshop." The workshop for 2017 will be July 28-29 at Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church in Montgomery, AL. The calendar page is here. For more information contact the Alabama-West Florida Conference Department of Ministerial Services at (334) 356-8014 or toll-free (888) 873-3127.
Moving to a New Clergy Appointment?
Important information for you is at
Information for Local Church Officers
Have you been elected to a local church leadership or committee position and you're not sure what your responsibilities are?
There's a lot of helpful information for Staff-Parish/Pastor-Parish Relations Committees at, including training booklet.
Cokesbury Cares Program
The Cokesbury Cares Program is designed to help churches who've had a catastrophic event by offering FREE resources to help the get back on their feet.  Application requires signature by the church's district superintendent and can be emailed to or Here is a brochure, but please note that the address on the brochure has changed to 2222 Rosa L Parks Blvd., Nashville, TN 37228-0988. 

Around the Conference   

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Lay Servant Training in August and September
Renfro Trust Bricks-and-Mortar Grants for Small Rural Churches
ATTENTION:   Small Rural Churches
RE:  Renfro Trust Grants
The Renfro Trust Fund awards annual bricks-and-mortar grants to small rural United Methodist congregations in the Southeastern Jurisdiction.  Last year, two churches in the Demopolis District each received $2,500 toward roofing projects from the Trust. If you wish to apply, the contact person is Susan Hunt. Please continue below for more information.
The Renfro Trust Grant was established in the 1950s from the estate of Judge William E. Renfro and his wife. The Renfro Grant continues to bless United Methodist churches throughout the Southeastern Jurisdiction each year. Churches in rural communities (population of 10,000 or less) in our conference can apply for the Renfro Grant again in 2017. The grant funds are “for the purpose of establishing and supporting United Methodist Churches in rural areas.” The funds can be used for repairs required to maintain the church’s structural integrity or for major equipment – especially those described as “unusual and challenging for which insufficient funds are available from other local sources.
This is an SEJ-wide grant opportunity so if you choose to apply please note that it is very competitive and very important that you follow all the guidelines and instructions carefully. Many applications are rejected simply because their application was not completed correctly. For the Renfro Trust Guidelines click here. For the Renfro Trust Fund Application click here. Guidelines must be followed completely for applications to be considered.

Questions about the application form, award process, or the Renfro Trust Fund may be directed to Susan Hunt, Renfro Trust Grant Coordinator, Conference Secretaries of Global Ministries, at, 334-356-8014, or toll-free number 888-871-3127. 
Please turn in completed applications to Susan Hunt by August 11 so that our Conference review team will have a chance to read and evaluate them. Please note that signatures need to be done by hand. Susan Hunt is the Conference CSGM for that signature.
Full-time Children's Director Needed - Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Good News United Methodist Church in Santa Rosa Beach, FL is looking to hire a full time children’s director to join their ministry team. Good News is located in the rapidly growing area of Walton County just a short distance from the incredible beaches of highway 30A. There is currently a new elementary school built to accommodate growth to the area and the potential for growth within the church is great. Good News just turned 20 years old, has a new pastor, is finishing up a new building to house preschool, and is excited about this next season of ministry. This position oversees all programming and ministry for children ages birth – 5th grade, including Sunday mornings, midweek activities, and summer programming. All applicants should have a growing relationship with Jesus and relevant ministry experience. To apply send a resume and cover letter to Rev. Bradley Goode,, by July 14.    (Posted Friday, July 7, 2017)           
Missionaries Coming to Visit Soon!
(AWFC-UMC Focus on Mission 6/28/2017) - "Small, medium and large membership churches can have a missionary visit! These [missionaries] ... will be traveling (itinerating) through Alabama-West Florida soon and would love to come speak to your Church. They are available for small groups, Wednesday night suppers, breakfast or lunch meetings, a few Sunday morning services, and many other opportunities." For more information continue here.
United Methodist Women Prepare for "Mission u"
(AWFC-UMC Calendar) - Each year, United Methodist Women members prepare for faithful living and action by studying mission studies. The 2017 Cooperative Mission u Event will be July 21-22 at Millbrook First UMC. Each study is a 6-hour course. The study topics this year are Spiritual Growth: A Covenantal Community, Geographic Study: The Missionary Conferences, Issue study: Climate Justice, and NEW: A Youth Study on Missionary Conferences. For more information continue here.  
Prison Ministry
(AWFC-UMC Focus on Mission 6/28/2017) - Is your church already involved in some form of ministry to prisoners, released offenders, or their family members? Please be in touch with us because we would like to know more and how we can support you in your efforts.  We would also like to form a ministry team that will help churches become more involved in prison ministry. If you are interested in being part of this team, or just learning more, or will share what your church is already doing, contact Frank Clem (pictured right) at or Susan Hunt at 334-356-8014 or Visit to read Frank's powerful testimony about his own prison experience and the redemption and healing he found. Frank is a member at Millbrook First UMC.
Photo Submissions for Quadrennial Pictorial Directory
(AWFC-UMC NewsCONNECTION 6/26/2017) - We are excited to work with Color Craft Directories this year for our quadrennial pictorial directory. They will be available late summer. Many of you had your photos taken at annual conference, we appreciate it! If you are clergy and were not able to stop by the booth, you may send a high resolution, professional headshot photo to All submitted photos will be included in the back of the directory. Please, no camera phone photos.
We Welcome Your Feedback
(AWFC-UMC NewsCONNECTION 6/26/2017) - We appreciate the outpouring of responses related to annual conference. If you have not yet completed the post-conference survey, we invite you to share your feedback. The annual conference planning team carefully reviews every comment and suggestion so that the 2018 session can be even better! Click here to take the survey.
2017-2010 Spiritual Direction Training
( - The three year Spiritual Direction Training, hosted by Sacred Space Spiritual Formation, is suited to those who hunger to experience deeper intimacy with God, to grow in attentiveness to God’s movement, are drawn to compassionate listening, feel a call to companion others on the spiritual journey, and seek spiritual community with others.
• Lifelong compassionate listening skills
• Strong community development between participants
• Personal transformation and deeper inner-personal relationships
• Certificate as a trained spiritual director
Click here to download.

Registration page is here.  Enrollment fee is $50. Each forum is $390 (includes instruction, meals, & private room/bath).  A $50 non-refundable enrollment fee are due by July 20. Participant is responsible for his/her own books, notebook, pens, and paper. 

The AWF Conference calendar page is here.
Excerpts from AWFC Statistician's Report at 2017 Annual Conference
(AWF-UMC 6/07/2017) - Mr. Frank Dunnewind reported that membership stands at 137,618 down 1% from the previous year. Worship attendance stands at 61,273 down 2%. Asian, Native American and Multiracial attendance all showed areas of increase over the past year. Other areas that also showed increases were baptisms, constituents, and children and youth in christian formation. In 2016, 404 churches paid 100% of their apportionments, which is the highest in the past few years. There was a 1.58% increase in missional giving over 2015, which was at it highest level since 2001. Thank you!
2017 Brochure of Reports Available Online
The AWFC has now posted a link to the 2017 Brochure of Reports on their home page. Click here to download the pdf. This is also on the Pensacola District's Forms & Documents page here, where we have archived previous years' Brochures and Journals. 
AWF Annual Conference "Guide"
Blue Lake Seeks Counselors
Upcoming Events on the AWFC Calendar:
Spring 2017 Newsletter of AWFC Historical Society
Features Trinity UMC of Ft. Walton Beach
The Spring 2017 newsletter of the AWFC Historical Society is now posted at This issue features the Pensacola District's own Trinity United Methodist Church (Ft. Walton Beach, FL) as well as other churches across the AWF Conference - Luverne, Florala, Dothan First, Troy First, and more. The September 21, 2017, meeting of the Historical Society will be at the oldest Methodist church in Florida - Pensacola First UMC.
News from the AWF Board of Pension and Health Benefits
Wespath Changes Retirement Process for 2017
(AWF-UMC 3/13/2017) - Wespath is currently mailing retirement kits to participants who intend to retire in June or July 2017. A sample kit will was mailed to conference benefits officers on February 9, 2017. In an effort to streamline the retirement process, Wespath will not mail paper applications for benefits (AFBs) or AFB guides to this year’s retirees. The materials provided in the kit will focus on the online process. The online benefits application—available at—customizes applications for benefits so that retirees are only presented information that is pertinent to their unique situations. Retirees may contact the retirement team to request printed forms. More here.         
2017 Health & Wellness Initiative
(AWFC-UMC 1/23/2017 to AWFC Clergy Health Participants) - The Conference Board of Pension & Health Benefits has begun the Health & Wellness Initiative for 2017.  AWFC Clergy Health Participants, please take a moment to read these documents regarding the 2 requirements for the Health & Wellness Initiative and additional information for 2017: 2017wellnessrollout1.pdf
Changes January 2017 for AWFC Clergy & Lay Insurance                                 
You Can Use Amazon to Support UMCH!
Making purchases online? If you use when shopping, the United Methodist Children's Home will receive 0.5% of your purchase. More here. >>
Strengths-based Finder Workshops  
(AWFC-UMC 2/02/2017) - A local church staff can “make it or break it” based on how well they connect with one another. Knowing each other's strengths can offer a glimpse into how they can be most productive. To read more about the Strengths-based Finder Workshops, please continue here for the article. For more information or to schedule Rev. Jernigan, please contact her at 334-356-8014, 888-873-3127 or    
AWF Historical Society Newsletter - Winter 2016-2017
Download the Winter 2016-2017 newsletter here. Pages 8 & 9 feature the history of Pensacola District's own Crosspoint UMC.
AWFC Prayer & Resources Calendars for 2017 Available!
AWFC Prayer and Resources Calendars for 2017 are still available and can be ordered online for $5 each at The 2017 calendar features pictures of conference ministries and was put together by Luke Lucas, AWFC Communications Specialist.  The Pensacola District Office has extra copies available for FREE while the supply lasts.  If you'd like to have one, feel free to stop by!  
Continuing Education Chair
In January 2017, Reverend Dr. Jeff Spicer replaced Dr. Geoffrey Lentz as Chairperson of Continuing Education.  If you are planning an event and need CEU authorization or have questions about continuing education, here is Dr. Spicer's contact information. He is pastor at Mary Esther United Methodist Church.
Disaster Preparedness for Local Churches
If your Church wants to know how to be better prepared for a disaster, here's the video of a recent AWFC webinar: (AWFC-UMC 9/01/2016) -  "[This is] an appropriate time to review our conference protocol of reporting damage. Should your local church experience damage from [any] storm, first contact your district disaster response coordinator. They will assist you in assessing the damage and reporting it to your district superintendent and our conference leadership. You may find several other forms and documents helpful to ensure your church is prepared. Our connectional system is often at its best when we come together to help those in need.
Alabama-West Florida Conference News
You can subscribe to the AWFC NewsCONNECTION here.
For the AWFC NewsCONNECTION archives visit
Do You Have Students Attending UWF or PSC?
The Wesley Foundation would like to contact students from your church if they are attending The University of West Florida or Pensacola State College.  If you have students currently attending, or heading that way in the fall, they would love to have their contact information so that they may welcome and invite them to be a part of our Wesley Foundation family.  Please e-mail this information to  
Safe Sanctuaries
Licensing School Prepares Candidates for Pastoral Appointments
(AWFC-UMC 5/8/2017) - Seventeen certified candidates, along with AWF conference leaders, gathered April 24- May 1 in the Marianna-Panama City District for the 2017 Licensing School. Under the direction of Rev. Dave Barkalow and the Board of Ordained Ministry, candidates heard from pastors from across the AWF Conference about various ministry areas. The sessions, held at several United Methodist churches in the Panama City area, covered topics including pastoral care, congregational vitality, leadership, helping professionals, theology, evangelism, administration, and licensing school, to name a few. Pictured here are those who completed licensing school. Five persons from other annual conferences also attended the AWF Licensing School.
Hispanic Ministries "Listening Session"
(AWF-UMC 4/25/2017) - Hispanic/Latino pastors, laity and conference leaders gathered Sunday, April 23, 2017, at Spanish Fort UMC to engage in conversation with the Bishop. The barriers of language, culture, perception and history were replaced with the hope for a new sense of ministry together, for the sake of all. Approximately 100 people were in attendance in what proved to be an inspirational exchange of listening, encouragement, conviction and prayer.
Rev. Nancy Watson, Director of Connectional Ministries, stated, "We are making intentional efforts with our ethnic ministries to seek ways to hear their voices more. The Hispanic/Latino churches are an important and growing population in this conference and a priority is to connect with these leaders to understand their needs. We look forward to announcing specific ways that we can better connect with them in near the future." Photo courtesy of Rev. Nancy Watson.

Around the Web 
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General Board of Higher Education & Ministry Loan & Scholarship Dates
(GBHEM) - Below are upcoming loan and scholarship dates. For more information visit
Stop Singing the Summer Attendance Blues
(UMCCOM) - "It happens every year. As the mercury rises, the number of feet bounding through your church’s doors decreases. With children out of school and families taking vacations or participating in outdoor activities, it can be difficult to keep up attendance numbers during the summer. Yet, the need to worship doesn’t go away. Recognizing the challenge is the first step; taking action is the second. Here are some ways to encourage summer worship...." For the article continue here. >> 
4 Pitfalls That Make People Ignore You 
(UMCOM) - "Creating excellent content pieces to help attract your community is essential, but all that work can be for naught if your audience never reads it.  It is easy to pick up bad habits that cause all but the most devoted members to stop reading your content. What should you avoid? Here are four of the most common and insidious culprits...." For the article please continue here. >>   
10 Fascinating Facts about John Wesley
(UMCOM) - "History is more than facts and figures. It is full of real people with real stories. Connecting with those people and stories helps us understand our lives and discern God’s direction for our future. That is why it is important constantly to connect our teaching back to the important people in our church history. To help you do that, we have gathered some interesting, and maybe even surprising, facts about John Wesley to help you connect United Methodist history to your next lesson...."  For the article please continue here. >>
New UMC Handbook
(UMCOM 6/22/2017) - The new United Methodist Church Handbook for this quadrennium is available, providing a detailed overview of the denomination’s beliefs, mission, structure and history. The handbook is a free, go-to resource for anyone in search of information about The United Methodist Church and is helpful for leaders and new members. “The United Methodist Church Handbook is one of the most appreciated resources generated in the church, and rightly so,” said Ken Sloane, Director of Stewardship and Connectional Ministries at Discipleship Ministries. “Whether it’s a question about our theology of grace, new annual conference boundaries, or how money from the Ministerial Education Fund is spent, you will look here first.” Details here.            
Assess Your Church's Financial Health
(UMC-org) - Click here for the website summary of the article, here for the full 3-page article in pdf.
UMCom Launches New Bi-weekly E-newsletter for Church Members
(UMCOM 4/11/2017) - United Methodist Communications has launched a new bi-weekly e-newsletter that is "the first publication to carry the voice of the denomination directly to members by delivering inspirational and informational content specifically designed for them." A reflection of, the newsletter is called UNITED Methodist NOW.  Members can subscribe to the free e-newsletter and view the most recent articles at Members who would like to share inspiring stories in the e-newsletters can send ideas to for consideration.  For the article continue here.
From GCFA:  "Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty:
What it Means and Doesn't Mean"
(AWFC-UMC 5-22-2017) - "General Council on Finance and Administration Legal Services team has worked with the document entitled 'The Summary of the Impact of the Executive Order on Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty.' [Click here for the pdf.]  This document addresses what the executive order means, or doesn’t mean, for churches and church leaders."
See also:  Here is the GCFA page titled "Response to Questions Regarding Recent Executive Order."
From UMCH:  "Overwhelming Response - White Christmas"
According to the spring 2017 newsletter of the Alabama-West Florida United Methodist Children's Home, Crosspoint UMC of the Pensacola District (again) topped the list of White Christmas donations from churches of the Alabama-West Florida and North Alabama conferences. Top donor churches were as follows:  Crosspoint UMC - $110,015 (AWF Conference), First UMC-Dothan - $43,427 (AWFC), Asbury UMC-Birmingham - $38,324 (North AL Conference), First UMC-Montgomery - $24,825 (AWFC), Trinity UMC-Huntsville - $17,954 (North AL Conference), and Caterbury UMC-Birmingham - $17,856 (North AL Conference).  Pictured here is from the back page of the spring 2017 UMCH newsletter.
Disabilities Ministry Manual Available Online     
A new, comprehensive manual that covers disability ministries in the local church is now available at the website of the Baltimore-Washington Conference. The resource will connect United Methodists with answers about this essential ministry area. Visit
Bishops Set the Date for the Special Session
of General Conference: February 23-26, 2019
(AWFC-UMC 4/25/2017) - (WASHINGTON, D.C.) "The Council of Bishops (COB) has called a Special Session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church (UMC) to be held February 23-26, 2019, in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.... The purpose ... will be 'limited to receiving and acting on a report from the Council of Bishops based on the recommendations of the Commission on a Way Forward.' 
"The 32-member Commission was appointed by the Council of Bishops to assist the bishops in their charge to lead the church forward amid the impasse related to homosexuality. The Commission's task includes examining paragraphs in The Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and exploring options to strengthen the unity of the church. 
"Per the Constitution of the Church, the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference shall be composed of the delegates to the 2016 General Conference or their legal successors or alternates, except when a particular annual conference or missionary conference shall prefer to have a new election."
For the entire article at please continue here.
For the original article at continue here
Click here for a pdf of the full letter sent to the heads of delegations to the 2016 General Conference (or successors), Secretary of the General Conference, and the Chairperson of the Commission on the General Conference.
See also:
"Way Forward" Commission Ponders Structural Changes
Pictured: "Human Sexuality Protest Closes Session."
Disruption of 2012 General Conference by protestors taking over the floor. (UMNS Photo May 3, 2012)
( 4/10/2017) - "The 32 members of the Commission on a Way Forward are getting down to the business of doing what their name says — helping a denomination deeply divided over homosexuality move toward some sort of future together.  That future could end up looking very different than how The United Methodist Church operates at present.... 
"The multinational commission held its third meeting April 6-8 at the United Methodist Building in Washington. Just as was true with its first two meetings, the commission’s third gathering was closed to reporters.  The commission, authorized by General Conference 2016, is looking at new ways to be a global church where many United Methodists view the practice of homosexuality as a sin while many others view restrictions on LGBTQ individuals as sinful. 
"The Rev. Thomas Lambrecht likens the work to putting together a puzzle. The group has laid out pieces on the table and is trying to figure out how the pieces might fit together. The challenge is the group has no set picture or diagram to go by.  'We’re acknowledging that there are deep-seated differences in the church, and there are parts of the church that are not able to live together in a closed connection,' Lambrecht said. 'So we are looking at ways to loosen the connection. What form that might take, we don’t know yet.' 
"Matt Berryman agreed with Lambrecht’s assessment. 'What we’re contemplating is loosening the connection in the face of conflict over whether there needs to be uniformity of practice and belief around LGBTQ people,' Berryman said.  Scott Johnson of Upper New York cautioned not to get too carried away with the idea of 'loosening the connection.' 'I think there is no question we still see a connected United Methodist church,' he said. 'We’re working toward unity....' 
"According to a press release about the meeting, the commission members indicated they are leaning toward a simpler structure 'with clearer processes for decision-making and accountability.' The Rev. Tom Berlin, lead pastor of Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, Virginia, said the commission still doesn’t know what 'simpler' would look like."
"The commission’s next meeting will be July 17-21 in Chicago. For any of its proposals to become reality, the commission needs the assent of General Conference delegates."
Website Development Grants
( - "United Methodist Communications is now offering a Website Development Grant to local United Methodist churches and church entities who do not currently have a website or who want to replace their current website with a new WordPress site. " For more information continue here
"Rethinking Your New Front Door"
Topic: Church Website Training

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

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

Click here for more information about this and other training opportunities offered at
 Is Your Worship Appropriate? Does It 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. Here's a tool to help worship leaders discern which songs to include in worship. Continue here for the article. >>
Annual Conferences Vote on Amendments
(UMNS via AWFC-UMC 2/01/2017) - "General Conference delegates had their say last year. Now, it’s up to annual conference voters to determine whether five amendments will become part of The United Methodist Church’s constitution. In the coming months, the voters will consider changes that address matters of gender equality, inclusiveness in membership, delegate and bishop elections, as well as bishop accountability. To be ratified, a constitutional amendment first requires at least a two-thirds vote at General Conference, which happened in May 2016. Then, it must win at least a two-thirds majority of the total voters at annual conferences around the world." More here.
50 Ways to Reach Your Community
(The Lewis Center 11/24/2014) -  Here's an old but good article.... "These 50 Ways provide tips on reaching beyond the walls of your church with worship, community events, ministries, and service."  Continue here for the article.  Here's the information as a pdf you can share with others.

Free Resources to Equip Church Leaders
(Discipleship Ministries-UMC) - New guidebooks from Discipleship Resources are available for quality leadership team training for your church’s key staff, laity in leadership positions and pastor. Topics of the four TeamWorks Guidebooks are Spiritual Life of the Leaders, Connecting with Your Community, Creating a Discipleship System and Futurecasting. Each contains seminars, personal devotions, tools and articles, and downloadable presentation slides and webinars are available at the TeamWorks website. For more information go to or contact Craig Kennet Miller at (Posted 12/08/2016)
Seven Ways to Help a New Staff Member Succeed
(Ministry Matters 2/20/2017) - "Through the years I have hired hundreds of people. I don’t do a lot of things right, but finding good people seems to be one of my strengths. Getting a new person started in a good way is probably equal to finding the right people – especially if we hope to keep them...." Full story here.
United Methodist Webinars
Webinars offered by UMC Discipleship are posted at
For Pastors:  "Weathering the Storm:  Solutions to 4 Major Pastor Problems"
( - "As the 'go-to' person for calming the storm, where do you turn when you find yourself in the middle of one? Let God guide the way and be proactive. Here are the most common pastor problems and a few problem-solving tips to guard against the winds and help you weather the storm."  Points include (1) Dealing with Criticism, (2) Time Management, (3) Physical and Mental Health Issues, and (4) Financial Struggles.  Continue here for the article.
"How to Break Bad News to a Congregation and Community"
( - "Whether the boiler just failed in the middle of winter, there’s been a break-in, or a staff member was unexpectedly let go, bad news travels fast and can create chaos in your church. The actions and words of the pastor and church leaders can shape the perception of how the congregation and community feel and may have broad ramifications that last well beyond the moment and must be handled with extreme care...." Continue here for the article >>
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.
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.
"Easy Exercises You Can Do in Your Chair" 
(AWFC-UMC 4/5/2017) - Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama suggests some easy exercises you can do at your desk.  For the pdf click here. 
Webinar "Financial Tips for Clergy: Take the Bite Out of Taxes"
You can view the recorded Webinar here.
"Clergy face some unique challenges when it comes to things like social security payments, estimated tax payments, housing allowances or exclusions, and reimbursed expenses. It is important to know the rules, but also the way to minimize the impact of your tax liability. Not every tax preparer understands the unique situation of clergy, and finding one who does can save you substantially in money and aggravation...."  
Clergy Finance Resources
The Lewis Center for Church Leadership and Wesley Theological Seminary have gathered free resources to help pastors better understand and manage their personal finances. The resources are available at (Posted 11/10/2016)   
Lake Junaluska's 2017 Discover Magazine
(Lake Junaluska) - Lake Junaluska's 2017 program book, Discover magazine, features a calendar of upcoming events, tips for exploring Lake Junaluska to the fullest and ways to challenge yourself and enhance your faith during a stay at the lake. To view the magazine (pdf) click here. For the Lake Junaluska page click here.

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. 

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. If you do not currently receive Leading Ideas, the Center’s free online newsletter, you can subscribe at
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        
Resources for Clergy and Congregations
(From The Lewis Center) - Includes the topics "Concluding Ministry in One Setting" and "Beginning Ministry in a New Setting."
Five Ways to Support Your Pastor's Family
(Ministry Matters) - It’s no secret that the life of a pastor’s family is filled with unique challenges. There are few roles that mix work and family life as closely as pastoral ministry, which creates for clergy families a constant battle to maintain healthy boundaries. The pressure from the church and the surrounding community will inevitably take a toll on families unless adequate support is provided. For the complete article, posted November 3, 2014, please click here 

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