The Pensacola District of The United Methodist Church
Thursday, July 28, 2016
Here for You - Serving Jesus
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Here's the Local Church Packet Distributed at District Welcoming Tuesday, July 19:
  • printed copies of the 2016-2017 Pensacola District Directory (to receive a pdf of the latest edition, e-mail your request to the district office),
  • 2016 Charge Conference schedule (download here),
  • District Board of Missions charge conference form (download here),
  • a flyer about the September 2016 Lay Servant Training at Trinity UMC (download here),
  • a flyer from Rev. Pamela Avery about Spiritual Formation events (view here) [Update:  The date has been changed to August 13.]
  • envelopes and bulletin inserts for Blue Lake Sunday (if you'd like to order these please contact Steve Lewandowksi - click here), and
  • a letter and packet of information to pastors (download set one here, set two here) from Dr. Donna Pruett, CORE Team representative for Older Adult Ministries. (Please pardon the lower quality resolution of the materials in these downloads. If you are a senior pastor and did not receive your full-color original packet, it is available at the district office.)  
 
Sign Up Now for Pensacola District Spiritual Formation Event    <<-- Date changed to August 13!
August 13, 8:30 a.m.-2 p.m. (.5 CEU for U.M. clergy) at Pensacola First United Methodist Church
Dr. Robbins Sims will present "Formational Reading of Scripture"
Text: "Shaped by the Word" by Robert Mulholland
Bring your Bible!
The cost is $13 (includes breakfast and and a box lunch)
RSVP to pastorpamavery@gmail.com or 850-529-9295. The event page is here
 
"Becoming a Healthy, Growing Church" - Workshop August 26 & 27
at Crosspoint United Methodist Church, Niceville campus
 
Crosspoint is a healthy church that is seeing incredible growth. They now have the largest worship attendance of any church in our conference! AND they are the 9th fastest growing large membership church in our denomination. August 26 & 27, Crosspoint staff will be sharing the principles they have learned, the mistakes they have made, and the changes they have undergone to double their attendance in the last 10 years. The cost to attend is $30 per person; this includes breakfast and lunch on Saturday. The deadline to register is August 15. For the schedule and to register continue here.
 
Financial Peace University Begins August 13
Warrington United Methodist Church will present Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University Saturdays 10 a.m.-Noon beginning August 13, 2016. It will be 9 weekly meetings (skipping Labor Day weekend). The cost is $ 93 per participant kit. (Family units may share.) To register please call Warrington United Methodist Church (301 East Winthrop Avenue, Pensacola, FL 32507) at 850-455-0306 or 850-380-3198.
 
Blue Lake Sunday August 14
Every Pensacola District Church is invited to make an offering for Blue Lake Camp. Please help us continue to provide the great program and facilities our conference has come to expect since 1952. Bulletin inserts and envelopes will be made available at the Pensacola District Clergy Welcoming Dinner July 19.
 
Youth Meltdown will be January 27-29, 2017
at Boardwalk Beach Resort, Panama City Beach, FL
Speaker: Carlos Whittaker
Band: Calling Glory
Meltdown is an annual youth conference that brings together students from all over Northwest Florida and South Alabama for a weekend that will draw them closer to God and to each other. Organized by a team of youth pastors and church workers, Meltdown’s mission is to empower youth groups and their churches by offering a dynamic, inspiring, and challenging worship experience brought through an awesome worship team, speaker, and through a variety of breakout sessions. For details visit http://meltdownretreat.org/youth/meltdown-2017/.
 
Day Trip Volunteers Needed in Century, FL
There is an opportunity for a volunteer team to make a day trip to Century to install tarps on 4 tornado-impacted roofs that are leaking as a result of the recent summer thunderstorms.
 
  Who: Roof Tarping Team
  When: Any Monday - Saturday
  Where: Century, FL (1 hour north of Pensacola)
 
Scope:   
 
There are several properties that have leaking tarps that need replacement until new roofs can be installed. Tarps and related supplies are provided.
  Contact: Lynn Dobry, FL Recovery Team Coordinator, (850)736-3306 or lynn.flrecovery@gmail.com
 
 
Lay Servant Ministries Training September 2016
Pensacola District Lay Servant Ministries will host Lay Servant Ministries Training September 9 & 10, 2016, at Trinity United Methodist Church in Ft. Walton Beach, FL. Registration deadline is August 26. For the flyer as a pdf click here or on the graphic shown here. The event page with map is here.   [See also:  Clarification about Lay Servant / Lay Speaking Ministries positions and forms.]
 
Local Church Positions Available
Submit church listings at AWFUMC.org/Classifieds then send us the link after your ad is posted and we'll include yours here.
 
Rurel Ausley Receives Annual Conference's Denman Evangelism Award
Congratulations to Rev. Rurel Ausley, senior pastor at Crosspoint United Methodist Church, for receiving the 2016 clergy Denman Evangelism Award at the 2016 Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference!  Crosspoint United Methodist Church is now up to #9 in Len Wilson's 2016 edition of "Top 25 Fastest Growing Large United Methodist Churches."  The Church continues to grow and grow, with multiple campuses in the Niceville and Crestview, FL areas. In the 2015 edition, Crosspoint was # 12.  The 2016 list is at http://lenwilson.us/top-25-fastest-growing-large-umc-2016/.  The 2015 list is at http://lenwilson.us/top-25-fastest-growing-large-umc-2015/. 
 
Pensacola U.M. Community Ministries Celebrates New Saints
(Ministers pictured are Robin Noble and Joe Mullen)
 
Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries (PUMCM) is in need of items for the Ministry Shop.  Items may be dropped off 9-5 Tuesdays through Saturdays at 2600 West Strong Street, one block off Cervantes between "T" and "U" Streets. PUMCM is located at Richards Memorial United Methodist Church in the Brownsville area of Pensacola.  The website is http://pumcm.org/.
 
 

 
Administrative Announcements 
 
 
Clarification about Lay Servant / Lay Speaking Positions and Forms:
For 2016 we'll be using the same Lay Servant / Lay Speaker forms we used in 2015. Here's some clarification about those positions and forms:
  • A Lay Servant is one who is not yet a Lay Speaker. So the reports are different.
  • Local Church Lay servant is one that can serve in the local congregation only. This person has only taken the Basic course. They must file an annual renewal report.
  • A Certified Lay Servant is one that has taken the Basic course and an advanced course and can serve on a limited basis outside the local congregation. They must file an annual report.
  • Both Local Church and Certified Lay Servant file the same renewal. 
  • A Lay Speaker is a Certified Lay Servant that has taken the 7 required courses and been approved by the district and conference committee. May supply pulpits. This person files the Lay Speaker Annual Report.
If you have questions about Lay Servant/Speaking Ministries, see also http://www.awfumc.org/layservantministries or http://UMCPensacolaDistrict.org/LayServantMinistry.  
 
 
 
Information for Local Church Officers
Have you been elected to a local church leadership or committee position and you're not sure what your responsibilities are?  Be sure to visit the Pensacola District's Church Leadership Roles page at http://UMCPensacolaDistrict.org/ChurchLeadershipRoles.
 
Have you visited the Pensacola District's SPR page?  We've posted a lot of helpful information for Staff-Parish at http://UMCPensacolaDistrict.org/SPR, including the booklet used by Pensacola District Superintendent Tim Trent at our Leadership Inspirational Training Event (LITE Day) January 10, 2016. 

Required Workshops for Ministerial Candidates / Moving Clergy / New Clergy
July 28-29 - The Beginning Pastors' Workshop
 
 
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 swoolum@cokesbury.com or plunn@umpublishing.org. Here is a brochure, but please note that the address on the brochure has changed to 2222 Rosa L Parks Blvd., Nashville, TN 37228-0988.
 
For more information contact our area's Cokesbury Community Resource Consultant:
Ken Summerlin
Cokesbury Community Resource Consultant
251-517-7029
www.cokesbury.com
ksummerlin@cokesbury.com
                                                     

 
Around the Conference  

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

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Active Shooter Webinar July 29, 2016
Volunteer Florida and the Corporation for National and Community Service invite you to join them for a webinar on Friday, July 29 to prepare for the possibility of an active shooter scenario. This webinar is intended for staff, volunteers, and partners, including Emergency Management partners, non-profits and service organizations, and local government. The webinar will introduce participants to the psychology behind active shooters, the importance of training and preparation, and preventive measures. The deadline to register is Wednesday, July 27
 
Who: Ken Skalitzky, Volunteer Florida Emergency Management Director
            Suzanne Richards, Corporation for National and Community Service
            Florida State Program Director
What: Active Shooter Webinar
When: Friday, July 29, 2016
Time: 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm CDT
To register please click here.
 
"Cost of Poverty Experience" August 2, 2106
Communities of Transformation is hosting a "Cost of Poverty Experience" on August 2 from 6:00 pm until 8:15 pm at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Montgomery. Learn more about the "Cost of Poverty Experience" at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2boUDbKDm0. All clergy and laity in the Alabama-West Florida Conference, and in the community, are encouraged to attend this life-changing event. The event is free, but registration is required at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cope-faith-edition-participant-tickets-26420962811

Please share this invitation with all individuals, churches and other organizations who might be interested in working with those families in our communities who wish to build a brighter future.

Click here for the flyer as a pdf.

Sincerely,
Laurel Anne Akin
Communications VISTA
Communities of Transformation
334.300.2098
http://www.CommunitiesofTransformation.org 
https://facebook.com/CommunitiesofTransformation
 
September 22, 2016
Seminar for United Methodist Lawyers at Birmingham, AL about church-related legal matters. Here is the registration link:  http://www.umcna.org/files/fileshare/2016lawyersforumreg.pdf.  Here's the article about it in the July 25, 2016, AWF Conference NewsCONNECTION:
United Methodist Lawyers Seminar
(Bishop Paul Leeland) - The Chancellors for the North Alabama Conference and the Alabama-West Florida Conference are developing a seminar for lawyers which will be focused on church-related legal matters. I believe that this is a very important seminar and that it will benefit the lawyers who help our churches in various situations. I am contacting each of you to ask you to develop a list of lawyers who are members of the church you serve so that they will know about this upcoming opportunity. The Chancellors have worked hard on putting this seminar together. Click here to see full letter.
 
Upcoming Events on the AWFC Calendar:
 
AWFUMC.org
Quick Links:
 
Reflections by Dr. Robbins Sims of Jurisdictional Conferences
July 19, 2016
 
Dear Colleagues in Ministry,
 
I greet you in the name of Christ.  I pray that you and your family are well and that your church is prospering.
 
My purpose in writing is to share my reflections on the meetings of Jurisdictional Conferences across our connection.  I begin by giving thanks for the opportunity to be present as a guest at the meeting of the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference last week.  How thrilling it was to witness the election of The Reverend Sharma Lewis as the first African American female bishop in the Jurisdiction.

Likewise, it was so exciting to be there for the election of The Reverend Dr. Lawson Bryan as a bishop.  On Thursday evening, we learned that newly-elected Bishop David Graves will be our episcopal leader for the next four years and that Bishop and Mrs. Leeland will serve in the Western North Carolina Conference.  In good Methodist fashion, we embraced itineracy, saddened by the loss of the Leelands and eagerly welcoming Bishop Graves and his wife Nancy.  Nell and I appreciated the opportunity to attend this history-making Conference.
 
Upon our return, we learned about the Western Jurisdiction’s election of Karen Oliveto as the first openly gay bishop in The United Methodist Church.   Her election was one of several recent departures from the covenant agreed upon at the General Conference and articulated in The United
Methodist Book of Discipline.  Questions now abound because of these actions.
 
While none of us have answers at this point, I share information about responses and plans that have already been put in place by our leaders regarding these matters.   The first is A Pastoral Letter from the Southeastern Jurisdictional College of Bishops to the United Methodists in the Southeastern Jurisdiction.  This letter was presented at the meeting of the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference last week and may be found at sejumc.org.  The second is a letter from the Council of Bishops president Bruce R. Ough in response to the actions of the Western Jurisdiction.  It can be found at http://www.umc.org/news-and-media/cob-president-addresses-western-jurisdiction-episcopal-election-results.   This week The Council of Bishops is meeting in Chicago to work on A Way Forward.  Their doing so is in keeping with the proposal adopted at the 2016 General Conference calling for the Council of Bishops to review all portions of The Book of Discipline regarding human sexuality and to seek God’s preferred will for The United Methodist Church. 
 
The work of the bishops obviously will be made more complicated by recent events.  Nevertheless, our elected representatives have entrusted this work to The Council of Bishops.  Knowing this, we need to pray that grace and guidance will be given them in abundance.   In the meantime, I urge that we stay confidently focused on the work that is before us and on things over which we have influence.  I invite you to do as I am trying to do---remain prayerfully centered in Christ, resist the temptation to become consumed by these distractions, be steadfastly committed to the Gospel of Christ and the unity of the Church, listen respectfully to the concerns of our people without exacerbating their fears, and truly trust God with the future of our Church and its ministries.  Rather than reacting anxiously to events beyond our control, I believe that our energy is expended best by seeking Christ’s peace and reconciliation within our own families, churches, and communities.  The way forward will be made clearer in due season.  For now, we need to be good stewards of those relationships entrusted to us. 
 
Please know how much I value your service and leadership.  It is a joy and privilege to work with you.  I pledge to pray for you and for our whole Conference during these days of change and
challenge.
 
Grace and Peace,
 
Robbins Sims
 
AWF Delegates elected to General Agencies and Jurisdictional Committees
At the 2o16 SE Jurisdictional Conference, three AWF delegates have been elected to serve on General Agencies:
Robert (Tripp) Gulledge III to the General Board of Discipleship
Pat Luna to the General Board of Church & Society
June Jernigan to UM Publishing House
 
Two AWF Delegates have been elected to serve on Jurisdictional Committees:
Jeremy Pridgeon to the SEJ Committee on Coordination and Accountability  
Frank Dunnewind to the SEJ Council on Finance and Administration 
 
 
AWF Historical Society Annual Meeting
The AWF Historical Society's annual meeting will be September 15, 2016, at Saint Stephens United Methodist Church. Activities begin at 9:30 a.m. Please encourage your older adult groups to make this a planned trip to visit a very important historic location for Alabama Methodist History.  Anyone is welcome to attend. You don’t have to be a member of the AWF Historical Society. Pre-registration is required ($20) and a catered lunch is included. Please register by September 8. A brochure available at www.awfhistory.com. Saint Stephens United Methodist Church is located at 31 Saint Stephens Fork Road, Saint Stephens, Alabama 36569.
 
UM Inner City Missions Seeks Sponsors for Blue Lake Campers
(Tonny Algood, quoted in the July 25, 2016, AWFC NewsCONNECTION) - Summer is upon us and we are excited that again this year Blue Lake will host Camp Discovery for the children of the United Methodist Inner City Mission. We want to take thirty children for this one week of camp and we are delighted that we will have a chance to minister to these amazing, courageous, and loving children. The children we take to camp are from very low income households, and they will need financial assistance to be able to attend. The cost of camp this year will be $120.00 per child and we hope you will prayerfully consider a gift to help underwrite this ministry. We have been working to raise funds to cover the costs, so the children can enjoy a week of recreation and spiritual growth, knowing they can rest in the peace that God has provided because of the generous nature of you and others. Click here to read more and to sponsor a camper.
 
A Request from UMCH
Dear United Methodist Clergy,
 
Thank you for taking just a few minutes to assist our strategic planning efforts at the United Methodist Children's Home with this survey:
The information you provide is essential to making sure that UMCH's leadership makes decisions in our planning that are consistent with the values and ideals of our United Methodist constituents. UMCH finds itself in a rapidly changing child welfare environment that forces us to think creatively about how we fulfill our mission to provide safe and secure homes for children.  The wisdom and discernment of our United Methodist clergy is essential for us to successfully navigate this process.
 
Thanks again for your support and participation!
 
K. Blake Horne, Ph.D.
   
 
Word from Bishop Paul Leeland about General Conference 2016
(AWFC June 1, 2016) - "Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, [the] General Conference of The United Methodist Church always creates great expectations and hopes for our denomination. This hope was certainly embraced by the 2016 General Conference held in Portland, Oregon, as it became evident that delegates, volunteers, bishops, clergy, and church leaders clearly and consistently expressed a desire for our United Methodist Church to remain cohesive in our witness and mission.  The words of Christ, spoken to the church of Philadelphia in the book of Revelation contributes to this hope saying, 'I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut … you have kept my word and have not denied my name' (Rev. 3:8).  These words remind us the Church is of God...."  The article is continued here.
 

                    

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

 

  
Important Dates
July 28-29 - The Beginning Pastors' Workshop
All pastors taking their first appointment in the Alabama-West Florida Conference are required to attend "The Beginning Pastors’ Workshop." For 2016 this event will be held July 28-29 at  Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL. Information is posted here, or contact the Alabama-West Florida Conference Office of Ministerial Services at (334) 356-8014 or toll-free (888) 873-3127.
 
August 2 - Meeting of the Pensacola District Committee on Ministry (dCOM)
The next dCOM meeting will be August 2, 2016. When Pensacola District Committee meetings are scheduled, announcement is posted here on our Officers page as well as on our Message Board.  As you go through the ministry process, keep a copy of ALL your documents. Every time you meet with the Committee on Ministry, bring all your paperwork with you. 
 

   
 
Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan:
Looking for Churches to Partner & Help

I am sure that you all know about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, that began in April of 2014.  After Flint changed its water source from treated Detroit Water and Sewerage Department water to the Flint River, its drinking water had a series of problems.  The corrosive Flint River water caused lead from aging pipes to leach into the water supply, causing extremely elevated levels of the heavy metal. Children have been exposed to drinking water with high levels of lead and have experienced a range of serious health problems. The water change is also a possible cause of an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in the county. 
 
The Alabama-West Florida Conference is reaching out to this community and looking for possible churches in each district to partner with one of the eight United Methodist congregations in the Flint area.  These churches are still distributing water, water pitchers, filters, filter replacements, all of which are quite expensive. In the last few months, the filters and pitchers have cost from $130K to $150K and that is at the bulk and discounted rate. Filters that are designed to last three months for normal water usage are only lasting one month with the water there.
 
A clear plan has not been determined about the exact details of the partnership (beyond the obvious financial support) but some needs to be considered are:
  • Teaching community members about nutrition, diet, community gardens, etc.  There are certain foods that one can eat to help mitigate the issues related to lead poisoning.  Good nutrition can go a long way toward helping everyone, lessening the long-term effects of the lead and other issues they face.
  • Early childhood education and literacy.  Children who have been poisoned by lead can have learning disabilities and need extra help in school.
  • Need for community health clinics, including nutrition and prenatal care.
  • Helping to rebuild trust in the community.
  • Overcoming the felt lack of care from the outside.
  • Helping them to sensitively respond to their members and neighbors. (One mother told her pastor that she felt guilty for poisoning her child.)
  • Other needs might include leadership training, curriculum/resource sharing.
Above all of these listed considerations, the partnership will primarily begin with prayer and listening, then may morph into something way beyond what one could imagine.
 
If you feel that your church has a desire to reach out and form a long term relationship with one of these churches or help with the financial burden of this crisis, please contact Susan Hunt at susan@awfumc.org or 888-873-3127.  
 

 
Stegall Seminary Scholarship Endowment Foundation - Spring 2016 Brochure
The Stegall Seminary Foundation's Spring 2016 brochure is hot off the press!  You can download it here. Thank you for your continued support of seminary students from the Alabama-West Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church. Your prayers and gifts make a real difference in the lives of our future clergy leaders! http://stegallscholarship.com/currentbrochure/
 
2016 Clergy Health & Wellness Initiative Requirements
All clergy on the AWF Conference health insurance plan must complete the Healthy & Wellness Initiative by August 31, 2016. Please carefully review this information.  Beginning January 1, 2016, the Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference Board of Pension & Health Benefits launched the Health and Wellness Initiative Program. The goal of the program is to encourage our pastors and their dependents to live healthier lifestyles by providing them with personal health information, screening and coaching, thus helping the Conference to reduce and control the cost of health insurance claims. Clergy members on the conference active health insurance plan are required to complete the HealthQuotient and Biometric Screening by August 31, 2016. Dependents, retired clergy and their dependents and employees who are on the annual conference health plan are not required to complete the HQ and Biometric Screening but are welcome and encouraged to participate. Complete information here.    
 
Mid-Career Retirement Seminar
October 6, 2016
9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at Covenant United Methodist Church, Dothan, AL
You must register in advance (the deadline is September 19, 2016) to receive lunch and be provided with a current, up-to-date copy of your United Methodist pension projection. The cost to attend this seminar is $5/individual and $10/couple. Click here for a brochure. The event page is here.
 
 
Let Us Pray! Daily Prayer Unites Conference
(Dr. Cory Smith) - It is a joy to announce a new venture in prayer for the Alabama-West Florida Conference. Hopefully by now you have seen the daily prayer requests that have come from the Office of Connectional Ministries. These updates will also include prayers for individual churches and appointed pastors. Through the year we will prayer for every appointed pastor and for every church! The churches for which we are praying are the same listed on the printed wall calendars and also available here. In addition to the prayer email, a prayer page is available for details of prayer needs from the throughout the conference. What better way for us to connect with God and one another than prayer! As John Wesley stated years ago, “I continue to dream and pray about a revival of holiness in our day that moves forth in mission and creates authentic community in which each person can be unleashed through the empowerment of the Spirit to fulfill God's creational intentions.” May we join together in daily prayer for the mission of the church and for the community of people who are part of the Alabama-West Florida Conference! If you are not receiving the daily prayer newsletter and would like to, click here and check the "Let us Pray" box.  Update:  The Pensacola District archives the daily prayer concerns on their website's Ministers Page. Click here to view
 
2016 Optional Standard Mileage Rates
(IRS) - The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2016 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2016, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be as follows. >>
 
Do You Have The AWF Conference App? 
Navigate the conference Website easier by downloading the free AWF app! Scan the QR code (pictured right) to download. Available for iPhones, iPads and Droid mobile devices.
 
AWF Conference News
You can subscribe to the AWFC NewsCONNECTION here.
For the AWFC NewsCONNECTION archives visit http://AWFUMC.org/Newsletters.  
 
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 stuartworth@gmail.com.
 
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). 
                               

 
Around the Web 
 
United Methodists in the News
 
 
Quick Links: (Scroll down the page for more!)
 
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SE Jurisdictional Conference News
General Conference May 10-20, 2016
(UMC.org) - The United Methodist Church’s top legislative body met at the Oregon Convention Center, the largest convention center in the Pacific Northwest, May 10-20, 2016. MORE here >>
 
GC2016 Wrap Up Bulletin Insert
(AWFC) - The AWF Communications Team has prepared a bulletin insert for you to use in your upcoming worship services. The insert features the highlights from General Conference and our Alabama-West Florida delegate news. Should you need a black and white version, simply adjust your printer settings. The layout of the file is for 8.5 x 11 paper, two sided. Click here to download insert. [The insert is also pictured below.]
 
 
 
"General Conference Votes of Note"
(AWFC) - General Conference delegates acted on hundreds of pieces of legislation, taking part in debates, prayerfully discerning options, and voting on consent calendars items. Some of the notable legislation from GC2016 is in this article.
 
General Conference Newsletter Archive
(AWFC) - If you were unable to catch the action of General Conference, click on the daily archive below for Alabama-West Florida Conference daily updates. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Thursday, May 12, 2016
Friday, May 13, 2016
Saturday, May 14, 2016
Monday, May 16, 2016
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
Thursday, May 19, 2016
Friday, May 20, 2016

After General Conference
(AWFC) - For analysis, news stories, follow up, and looking back: 
Live Stream Archives: Find on-demand and downloadable versions of the daily General Conference plenary sessions, worship, and addresses.
 
Legislation Tracking: Search for legislation submitted by petition number, keyword or submitter for information regarding the actions taken on each piece of legislation.
 
General Conference Website: Continue to read news from General Conference 2016 at the General Conference website. 
 
Social Media: Follow the hashtags #UMCGC and #GC2016
 
General Conference News - Other
 
AWFC:  Highlights of General Conference
      
Complete coverage on General Conference can be found on our Website at www.awfumc.org and through United Methodist News Service. Photos above by Luke Lucas, AWF, and UMNS.
 
SEJ Episcopal Nominee Videos Available Online
Fourteen Episcopal candidates from the Southeastern Jurisdiction presented to delegates and guests on Tuesday, May 17 and Wednesday, May 18, 2016, during lunch breaks at General Conference. All candidates were asked to answer two questions within a six-minute time frame. The first question asked nominees to name two of the most important accomplishments in their ministry, while the next question allowed this group to inform SEJ delegates where their passion lies and how they would bring it to life, if elected. Elections for Bishop in the Southeastern Jurisdiction Conference will be held July 12-15, 2016, at Lake Junaluska, NC. Click here to see nominee videos.
 
How to Apply for a Loan with the AWF United Methodist Foundation
Crestview First United Methodist Church was featured on page 3 of the AWF United Methodist Foundation's winter 2016 newsletter, GENEROSITY MATTERS. The article is about how to apply for a church loan.  For more information click here for the newsletter, visit http://alwfumf.org, 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        
 
SEJ Conference Begins July 13, 2016
(SEJUMC.org) - The opening date for the 2016 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference will be Wednesday, July 13, 2016.  
 
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.  https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/audio/
 
Test Your Knowledge of United Methodist History
(Article here) - The United Methodist Church has existed in various forms for more than 200 years. Test your knowledge of its history with these questions. Pass on this quiz to others to encourage them to test their knowledge as well. This quiz is a partnership between United Methodist Communications and the General Commission on Archives and History
 
Explore Methodist History
At the History section of UMC.org there are features where you can learn about many of the pioneers of the Methodist Movement and their faith stories. Look under the Who We Are section and enjoy discovering more about the denomination's roots. Perfect to share with new and longtime members! For more continue here.
 
Resources for Clergy and Congregations
 
(From The Lewis Center) - Includes the topics "Concluding Ministry in One Setting" and "Beginning Ministry in a New Setting."
 
Five Ways to Support Your Pastor's Family
(Ministry Matters) - It’s no secret that the life of a pastor’s family is filled with unique challenges. There are few roles that mix work and family life as closely as pastoral ministry, which creates for clergy families a constant battle to maintain healthy boundaries. The pressure from the church and the surrounding community will inevitably take a toll on families unless adequate support is provided. For the complete article, posted November 3, 2014, please click here 

Free E-Newsletter from the Lewis Center
Leading Ideas is a weekly online newsletter of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Seminary in Washington, DC. Each week subscribers receive information, resources, and strategies to help advance God’s mission in ministry. To check it out and subscribe go to www.churchleadership.com/leadingideas.
 
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 http://www.umcom.org/learn/12-ways-to-stay-connected-with-college-students.  Tips include things you can do before the students leave, while they are at college, and when they come home.  
 
Safe Sanctuary Policies
 
5 Things Small Churches Can Uniquely Offer
(Rev. Ben Gosden) - "Church leadership has long held a bent toward the 'bigger is better'....  Instead of trying to mimmick [sic] what the large churches in your area are doing (only to come up short of their quality because you don’t have the money or resources to duplicate it), here are 5 things I believe small churches can uniquely offer the world right where they are...."   More here
 
Church Newsletters
 
United Methodist Men - Chartering
Click here for UMM news and information about chartering.  
 

The 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

 
The United Methodist Church and "World Debate"
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 http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/what-is-the-united-methodist-position-on-abortion. In relation to this comes the question, "What does the Church believe about being a nurturing community?" For this visit http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/the-nurturing-community#abortion. 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.
 
Update:  AWF Petition to Withdraw from RCRC Passes GC2016
Petition number 60837, entitled “Withdraw from Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice” was passed by the 2016 General Conference voting body with a vote of in favor of 425 to 268. This petition was co-sponsored by the AWF Conference, along with the Mississippi, North Carolina, Indiana and Western Pennsylvania Conferences. The petition reads, “RCRC is a one-sided political lobby that opposes all disapproval or limitation of abortion.  RCRC’s advocacy often directly contradicts our Social Principles on abortion but it still uses our Church’s name. Several annual conferences and many United Methodist leaders have urged the Church to end all association with RCRC.” Petition 60838 was also approved that requires The General Board of Church & Society to withdraw their membership from RCRC.
 
What Does The United Methodist Church Say About  Same-sex Marriage?
(UMC.org) - "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 UMC.org 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. >>
 
Other Articles:
 
If You Happen to Find Any Broken Web Links....
At http://UMCPensacolaDistrict.org 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.
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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