The Pensacola District of The United Methodist Church
Friday, August 28, 2015
Here for You - Serving Jesus
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Clergy Birthdays - August
Happy birthday this month 
to Brian Dale, Edison Burleson,
Richard Branch, Alan Cassady,
Amy Sheffield, Jimmy Allen,
John Edwards, John Webb,
Gerald Shelton, Jerry Hollis,
and Al Ragghianti!
 
If you'd like to send a card
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Click on the news item for the article.  Scroll down the page for more!   
                           
 
 

                        
Around the Pensacola District  
 
                    
Quick Links:  (Scroll down the page for more!)  
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"A Conversation on Raising Girls" Sunday, August 30
"A Conversation on Raising Girls" will be offered at Gonzalez United Methodist Church 6-7 p.m. on Sunday, August 30.  The purpose of this event is to encourage girls and their families and offer tools to navigate adolescence.  Gonzalez UMC is located at 2026 Pauline Street, Cantonment, FL.  For a map and other information about Gonzalez United Methodist Church continue here.
 
Cluster Churches' "5th Sunday Sing" August 30, 6 p.m., at Cottage Hill United Methodist Church
 
Beth Moore Simulcast September 12
Register early for discount pricing. For more information visit http://yourcrosspointsc.org/grouplife/.
 
Lay Servant Ministries Training September 12 & 19
Click here for the flyer.
 
Bagdad UMC Celebrates 120 Years October 11
The Bagdad United Methodist Church invites all to their October 11 Homecoming celebration "Come worship with us in our 'little white church' built 120 years ago!" Worship begins at 10 a.m. Bagdad UMC was established in 1830 and the sanctuary was built in 1885.  For more about Bagdad UMC continue here.
 
Board of Missions Meeting October 15
The Pensacola District Board of Missions will meet at the Pensacola District Office at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 15. Lunch will be provided. If you cannot attend please let the district office or Duane Keck know.
 
FREE 1968 Baldwin Organ (Model 48C) - Cantonment, FL
Great condition!  Still has all the original paperwork (warranty certificate, handbook, and service dates). Must have the ability to come pick it up.  Pictures available upon request.  If interested contact Rev. Mike Cobb, pastor of Allen Memorial United Methodist Church, at 334-430-7868.  For more about Allen Memorial United Methodist Church continue here
 
Gulf Breeze UMC and Soundside Campus Consider Becoming Two Separate Churches
Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church will be voting September 23 on whether to launch Soundside Campus as a separate United Methodist Church. The congregation is asked to pray in the days leading up to the vote. MORE here. >>
       
Children's Ministry Director Needed - Pensacola, FL
St. Mark United Methodist Church is seeking a part-time Children's Ministry Director (10-12 hours/week) beginning October 1st. Please contact Deak Batchelor at 619-3242 or Jennifer Bonner at 432-7777 for more information or to apply.  The application deadline is September 10th at 4 p.m. For more information about St. Mark United Methodist Church continue here. (Posted 8/27/2015)
 
Worship Leader Needed - Crestview, FL
Crosspoint South Crestview Campus is seeking a Worship Leader. Click here for details. (Posted 8/24/2015)
 
Administrative Assistant Needed - Shalimar, FL
Shalimar United Methodist Church is seeking a full-time Administrative Assistant for the front office. They are looking for a unique individual with these skills and talents:
  • Strong computer skills, well organized and detail-oriented.
  • Strong interpersonal skills - someone proactive, service-minded and flexible.
  • Thrives in a team setting and is extremely helpful to others.
  • Prompt task execution, high initiative, and strong name-face recognition.
  • General knowledge of various office equipment.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite.
Experience with Shelby and EMS software preferred.  Please email your resume/cover letter to shalimarumc@gmail.com. For more about Shalimar United Methodist Church continue here. (Posted 8/5/2015)
 
Church Nursery Worker Needed - Milton, FL
First United Methodist Church of Milton, FL is seeking a dependable part-time nursery worker to provide care for children through age 4 on Sunday mornings, Wednesday evenings, and for special events.

Qualifications:
Must be at least 20 yrs old and have experience caring for infants and children.
Must satisfactorily complete church’s background check and drug screening.
Must present results of current TB test and immunizations.
Must satisfactorily complete CPR training for infants and children.
Must adhere to Church’s Safe Sanctuaries Guidelines.
Must be a non-smoker.
 
Send resume to pastorkathy@bellsouth.net. 
For more about First United Methodist Church continue here. (Posted 8/4/2015)
 
Organist/Pianist Needed - Pensacola, FL  
Gadsden Street UMC is seeking a person who is proficient in piano and organ accompaniment for worship services.  This is a part-time position.  Primary attention will be to worship service on Sunday and practice each Wednesday.  Other seasonal rehearsals and services will be required.  Interested persons should submit their resume’ to Gadsden Street United Methodist Church c/o Rev. Bobby Ellisor, 901 East Gadsden Street, Pensacola, FL  32501.  For more about Gadsden Street United Methodist Church continue here.  (8/27/2015 update:  this is still a need)
 
Prayer Labyrinth at Soundside Campus, Gulf Breeze

Always open - public cordially invited

The Soundside Campus of Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church is building an outdoor prayer labyrinth and welcomes all who wish to utilize the garden for prayer or quiet reflection. The labyrinth is located adjacent to the butterfly garden and behind the church building at 4115 Soundside Drive, Gulf Breeze. On September 19 at 10 a.m., the church will be dedicating the prayer labyrinth to God in memory of Mary "Emma" Grace. Emma was life-long resident of Gulf Breeze and member of GBUMC who passed on to heaven one year ago.
 
From GBUMC: "Labyrinths are pathways. Labyrinths have one clear path to the center. Labyrinths have been used as spiritual tools by Christians for at least 1,600 years. Christians today still walk the pathways of labyrinths for a variety of purposes: to pray and meditate, to facilitate calm and stillness in a hectic world, to listen for God, to promote health and wellness, and to get in touch with the Holy Spirit."
 
News from Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries
PUMCM Ministry Shop Needs Donations
Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries is in need of items for the Ministry Shop, such as clothing, household items, furniture, etc. Items may be dropped off 9-5 Tuesdays-Saturdays at 2600 West Strong Street, one block off Cervantes between "T" and "U" Streets. The website is http://pumcm.org/.
 
Photos and "Thank You!" from Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries
For a better view of the photographs click on them.
 
* "Great Sunday morning worship at Richards Memorial United Methodist Church with Casa de Dias Gateway of Heaven!" (Pensacola Hispanic Ministries congregation) (First photo, right)
 
*  "Great Sunday afternoon ... God is so good! Thank you, Pine Forest, for dinner and thank you, Kitty and Shawn, for praise and workshop music!" (Second photo, right)
 
*  "We are having a busy summer here at PUMCM! After meal times sometimes we feed out the back door with 'go bags.' Thank you, Myrtle Grove UMC ... there are 100 men, women and children that won't be hungry!" (Third photo, right)
 
*  "Thank you, Gulf Breeze UMC Youth teams, for being the 'Hands and Feet of Jesus.' You have worked over 100 hours combined in just two days!" (First photo, right)
 
*  "Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries says, 'Thank you Gulf Breeze United Methodist, Soundside for a wonderful VBS, making memories and serving God!'" (Second photo, right)
 
 
Top 25 Fastest Growing Large United Methodist Churches
Crosspoint (# 20)  and Gulf Breeze (# 18) United Methodist Churches are featured in this year's "Top 25 Fastest Growing Large United Methodist Churches." Both Churches are in the Pensacola District of the Alabama-West Florida Conference. The article and list are at http://lenwilson.us/top-25-fastest-growing-large-umc-2015/.

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

 
Administrative Announcements
 
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Change in Charge Conference Instructions
To:  Pastors and Local Church Administrative Assistants (Posted 8/26/2015)
 
Instructions from the AWF Conference Office have changed regarding the "Report of the Committee on Nominations." This form CAN now be replaced by a print-out from the database after it has been updated. The new database now allows a printing choice of CURRENT or FUTURE leadership, which can be submitted with other charge conference reports. Remember that the district office will need to receive a copy of all reports no less than one week before your charge conference meeting. Local churches have through December 15, 2015, to update the database for 2016.  For our Charge Conference page continue here >>
 
2015 Annual Charge Conferences
Important information for Pensacola District churches is at http://UMCPensacolaDistrict.org/CCForms.
Please note that the Accessibility Audit (download here) is not optional. It is called for in the Report of the Trustees charge conference form.
 
Please place these Pensacola District events on your church calendar:
                                                      

 
Around the Conference   
 
     
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Communications Audit for Local Churches
In August 2015 the AWF Conference Office of Communications published a "Communications Audit" for churches. We invite you to download this easy-to-read document and use it as a resource to evaluate what tools you are using to share your story. Click here to download. 
 
Here is a sampling from the Audit resource, under the topic "E-mail":*
A strategic effort should be made to acquire and maintain a database of member e-mail addresses. You should be using a program such as Constant Contact or MailChimp to manage your e-mail communications if a method is not built into your database system. These e-mail programs allow people to opt out of e-mails should they not wish to be contacted in the future. Do not send e-mails to hundreds of people through Outlook. This practice could potentially land your church on an e-mail black list - which is very, very difficult to undo.   Consider these e-mail communications tips:
*  Make a concerted effort to update your e-mail database and ask members to notify the church office if there is a change in e-mail address.
*  Send e-mail when needed but do not oversend.
*  Keep information in the e-mail short and to the point. If you need to include a long article, include the headline and a lead-in paragraph with  a link to the full article elsewhere. People usually only read headlines and a few sentences of articles.
*  Have e-mail header designs be consistent with what you do in printed communications.
*  If you are able, add a visual to your article; include a photo or two.
(* Emphasis added by webmaster.)
 
 
 
2014 Stats for the 2015 AWF Conference Journal
 
Register for October 2015 AWFC Clergy Gathering!
Join Bishop Leeland and Bishop Mike Coyner of the Indiana Conference on Thursday, October 8, at Frazer Memorial UMC for a day apart with the Order of Elders and all appointed clergy. Continuing education credit of .5 is available. The topic for the day is "Keeping our Clergy Covenant." Register here.
 
Invitation from Bishop Paul Leeland
As clergy serving churches in the Alabama-West Florida Conference, you are invited to attend a gathering of all clergy on October 8, 2015, at Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church with Bishop Mike Coyner, Resident Bishop of the Indiana Conference. We will gather at 9:30 a.m. and begin our worship and work with Bishop Coyner at 10:00 a.m.  Registration is $10 to cover the cost of the lunch. Please note that due to the agenda, there will not be time to eat off site.  Please register your attendance here so that we have a head count for the staff at Frazer. A .5 CEU credit is available.  Please click here to continue reading the invitation. >>   The event page is here. >>
      
Body & Soul 2015 Launches September 2
(AWFC event page here) - The Academy for Congregational Excellence (ACE) invites clergy to participate in a unique cohort opportunity this fall.  Body & Soul is a 12-week group covenant experience focused upon a holistic approach to spiritual, emotional, relational and physical flourishing. Beginning the first week of September until the week before Thanksgiving, six Body & Soul groups will be launched at various locations throughout the Alabama-West Florida Conference.  Locations are Dothan, Fairhope, Mobile, Montgomery, Panama City and Pensacola. The cost for Body & Soul is $700.00 per participant.  Clergy who successfully complete the 12-week experience will be reimbursed $350 by ACE. A book or group curriculum will be used by the group.  Continue here for more information. >>
 
Two Districts Will Have Lay Servant Ministries Training in September
You can look up upcoming training events at the AWFC website here. Here are two in September:
  • Pensacola District - September 12 & 19 at Christ UMC, Milton. Click here for details.
  • Marianna/Panama City District - September 25 & 26 at St. Andrew UMC, Panama City.  Click here for details.  
Stephen Ministry Introductory Workshop October 17
9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Fairhope United Methodist Church. Continue here for more information and to register. $15/person for individuals or $50/person for group of 4  or more.  Stephen Ministry is the one-to-one lay caring ministry that takes place in congregations that use the Stephen Series system. Stephen Ministry congregations equip and empower lay caregivers - called Stephen Ministers - to provide high-quality, confidential, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting. People learn to serve as Stephen Leaders by attending a Leader’s Training Course - a one-week conference that introduces the resources used to lead Stephen Ministry, develops key skills, and gets people excited about this caring ministry. Most congregations begin with two to four Stephen Leaders, typically including a pastor, possibly another church staff person, and one or more lay leaders.   
 
AWF Trustees Release Church Emergency Resource
(AWFC) - Over the past several months, the AWF Trustees have been discussing and developing a resource for local churches to use as they consider emergency preparedness in their congregation. The need for such preparedness has come to the forefront with the tragic events in Charleston, SC, and Chattanooga, TN.  Emergency Guidelines for Churches can be found by clicking here. It is not a policy, it is simply a resource to “spark a conversation in your church on emergency preparedness.” The hope is that the Board of Trustees of each local church in our annual conference will consider how best to prepare for accidents, fires, natural disasters, and criminal behavior that may affect your local church.
 
Guest Commentary: Rev. John Brooks, Journey Notes
(Montgomery-Prattville District) - Sometimes ministry can be filled with fear, especially as the new kid on the block trying to implement change. Your faith, your eminent connection to our Lord and Savior, is intricately constructed to carry you through such times as these. As parishioners begin to see that your walk is a faith walk, the spirit of faith will gain voice in work area meetings. Have you ever gone to a meeting and later heard two people's responses to what went on? Were you amazed at how different their take on it was? Click here for more.   
 
You can subscribe to the AWFC NewsCONNECTION here.
To read NewsCONNECTION online visit http://AWFUMC.org/Newsletters.
 
"Days of Refreshing" at Dauphin Island UMC Sept. 16-17
Dauphin Island United Methodist Church will host "Days of Refreshing" September 16-17, 2015, featuring Pastor Scott McDermont of Washington Crossing United Methodist Church, PA. There is no charge to attend, but offerings will collected at each session. For more about Dauphin Island United Methodist Church (including directions) continue here. For a closer view of the flyer please click on the graphic pictured right.
 
To Order the 2015 AWFC Journal....
This year's AWF Conference Journal will be distributed by Amazon.com. Once the Journal is complete and uploaded to Amazon, a link will be provided to place orders. (Posted 6/15/2015)  
 
Emory Receives $1 Million for Religious Freedom Work
(UMNS) - The Center for the Study of Law and Religion at Emory University School of Law has received a $1 million anonymous gift to expand training in religious freedom for law students. The gift will fund "Restoring Religious Freedom: Education, Outreach, and Good Citizenship," a project that will run for four years, starting in September. More here.  
 
AWF Pastor and Seminary Student Publish Parenting Book
(AWFC) - In the face of the bewildering array of modern parenting advice, author and pastor Patrick Quinn, along with Ken Roach, shows parents a new way to make a positive difference in their children’s lives in How to Ruin Your Child in 7 Easy Steps: Tame Your Vices, Nurture Their Virtues (June 1, 2015). Modern parenting tends to lean heavily on either behavior—what children do—or on education—what children think. A growing number of parents, however, are most concerned with identity—who children become. Patrick directs these eager parents to the ancient understanding of virtues and vices, the powerful forces that shape one’s character. Click here for more.
 
AWFC Sponsors Youth Pastors/Directors Roundtable
From the AWFC NewsCONNECTION June 15, 2015 (view here):
Youth Pastors and Directors from several churches around the conference met recently at Crestview FUMC to connect, learn, and share youth ministry ideas. The Youth Pastors/Directors Roundtable is open to all persons serving in a local church youth leadership role. It is self-directed and facilitated as topics for discussing and sharing come from the roundtable participants. This is the second roundtable held in the conference, the first being last year at Huntingdon College. The participants value the sense of community and connection shared in this experience as well as appreciate the learnings from one another that can be used in their specific ministry context. Rev. Jeremy Steele, Next Generation Minister at Christ UMC, and Caroline Hare, Director of Student/Young Adult Ministry at Destin UMC facilitated the discussion. For more information about the roundtable, please contact the Conference Office of Connectional Ministries.
 
Book of Discipline Updates Distributed
(UMNS 4/21/15) — The United Methodist Publishing House is distributing corrections to the Book of Discipline, the denomination's book of law and teachings. The most significant corrections reflect a Judicial Council ruling in April that restores the conference committee on investigation in dealing with complaints against clergy. Read UMNS on the ruling and see corrections in English.
 
Pensacola Flood Recovery Volunteers Needed!
The Florida Recovery Team of the AWF Conference is looking for volunteers during the summer months for the following type of jobs: sheetrock repairs, flooring, install cabinets, trim & door installation. Accepting weeklong teams as well as weekend volunteers. If interested please contact Volunteer Coordinator, Kj Chafen, at 850-736-7077 or kj.flrecovery@gmail.com. (Posted 5/12/2015)
 
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). 
Launch of The Antioch Project
The Antioch Project, under the leadership of Rev. Dan Pezet, was launched on Saturday, January 31, 2015, at Frazer Memorial UMC....  The Antioch Project is a new initiative from the Office of Congregational Vitality designed to partner with local churches that have potential to grow in several areas of ministry. Churches who are invited to participate in the Antioch Project have demonstrated good pastoral leadership, good lay leadership, and potential resources to jump start a new life cycle of ministry fruitfulness. The Antioch Project is comprised of a group of churches each year that have been recommended by the cabinet as meeting specific criteria, and then are prayerfully selected and invited by the Bishop to participate. For congregations that sign the Antioch Project covenant, a 2-3 year process is launched. Click here to learn more about the Antioch Project or click here to see the photo gallery.
 
                               

 
Around the Web 
 
United Methodists in the News
 
 
Quick Links: (Scroll down the page for more!)
 
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5 Significant Attitude Differences That Separate Growing and Declining Churches
"So what’s the difference between a growing church and a declining church? Attitude may or may not be everything, but it’s close. Here are 5 attitude differences I see again and again in growing churches and declining churches...."  Continue here for the article. >> 
 
 
Interpreter Magazine Subscriptions
It's that time of year again when churches update their subscriptions to Interpreter magazine.  MORE here >>
 
Is Social Media Effecting Communion?
(RELEVANT) -  "How often is our time on Facebook helping us to think about whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent and praiseworthy, as we are encouraged to do in Philippians 4:8? Or is our constant connectivity keeping us from being still and knowing God is God, as is encouraged in Psalm 46:10? While we generally no longer make idols out of gold or wood, sometimes our connectivity interferes with our communion."  Continue here for the article. >>
 
The New 2016 UMC Program Calendar Ap
(UMCom.org) - You Asked for It; We Did It!  The new 2016 Official Program Calendar App provides concise and functional access to Lectionary readings, Special Sundays, planning data and UMC agency information and contacts. You can also bookmark content for later use, add notes and annotations, filter by date or book of the Bible and easily share content with others. This mobile version of the popular Official Program Calendar of The United Methodist Church includes all the helpful information you’ve come to expect plus easy to navigate native mobile content.   This app is free to download and includes a free 14-day subscription with full access to all calendar data for those 14 days. Once the free trial has expired, you will have several options to purchase an ongoing subscription. If you elect not to subscribe you will retain valuable access to hand-picked articles from UMC.org as well as UMC agency information at your fingertips.   For MORE continue here.
 
General Conference 2016
(UMC.org) - The United Methodist Church’s top legislative body will meet at the Oregon Convention Center, the largest convention center in the Pacific Northwest, May 10-20, 2016. MORE here >>
 
SEJ Conference 2016
(SEJUMC.org) - The opening date for 2016 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference will be Wednesday, July 13, 2016.
 
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.
SEJ Clergywomen's Consultation October 26-29
Ministry can be wild, wonderful, life-giving...and draining. At times, it's a sieve through which the water of our baptism slowly drips, leaving our souls parched, cracked, and creaky. It's time to plug the drain. Join your United Methodist clergy sisters from across the southeast as we wade and splash your way through the living water as we consider the story of the woman at the well from John 4. Drink deeply and let the water hold you and heal you. Dip a toe in the water or jump right in...or sit in the sand and let the waves find you. The SEJ Clergywomen's Consultation will be October 26-29, 2015, at Epworth by the Sea. Click here for more.
How to Run Highly Effective Meetings
(UMCOM.org) - Like good project management, being organized and prepared will go a long way toward taking your meetings to the next level. Here some practical advice about how to get the most out of committees:  (1) Open with prayer. (2) Designate a leader that will be focused on set objectives. (3) Set the agenda in advance. You can do this at the end of each regular meeting, or the designated leader can write down the agenda and send it to the committee members a day or week before the meeting. (4) Write down action items, make assignments, and assign due dates. (5) Before the meeting ends, recap what has been decided and the action steps that have been noted. (6) Meet to live, don't live to meet.  The entire article is here. >>
 
Free Online Audio Bible
At the link below you can hear a dramatic reading of the Bible. You can set it to the Bible translation you prefer, start at a particular passage, run or not run continuously, and pause it and restart at any time.  https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/audio/
 
UMCMarket.org Gets Upgrade
(UMNS) — In July 2015 the General Council on Finance and Administration, the denomination's finance agency, relaunched the online shopping portal UMCMarket using more advanced technology and faster delivery of donations. The site allows online shoppers to donate a percentage of what they spend back to their church or to the United Methodist ministry of their choice. Click here for press release or visit UMCMarket.org.  
 
Resources offered through United Methodist Communications 
United Methodist Communications has many forms of outreach resources for local churches this year.  Here are a few of these offerings......
  • Low-cost Direct Mail: Right now, we have an exciting opportunity for local churches to participate in a low-cost direct mail campaign for Back to School. Churches can place their orders here. Order deadline is September 1, 2015. 
  • Free Doorhangers:  We have free customized door hangers (1 pkg. of 100 per church) available here. This offer is available until December 1, 2015.
  • Free Customized TV Spots: Churches can also order free customized digital copies of our brand new “Church Can Happen Anywhere” TV spots here.
  • Free Worship Resources: A Sermon Starter, Bulletin Cover, Invitation Cards, Worship Slides and Social Media Items have been developed to match the new “Church Can Happen Anywhere” campaign. Download all items from the United Methodist Communications store for FREE here!
United Methodist Communications is also able to provide support in many different ways through resources, programs, training, and grants!  Click here to find out more. 
 

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

 
5 Reasons the Church Should Talk About Abortion
(Seedbed, July 30, 2015) - "Last week, a YouTube video surfaced showing Deborah Nucatola, the senior director of medical services at Planned Parenthood, discussing how she procures intact organs while performing abortions.... While the video has sparked renewed outrage over abortion, it has arguably prompted even more silence -  even among Christians. The silence has been so deafening that it prompted Ed Stetzer at Christianity Today to write an article headlined, “Where are the Mainline and Progressive Evangelical Voices Speaking Up after that Planned Parenthood Tragedy?” “If this moment does not bring you to outrage and to tears,” Stetzer writes, “there is something wrong.” Continue here for the entire article. >>
 
What Does The United Methodist Church Believe About Abortion?
With Planned Parenthood in the news a lot lately, the question is asked, "What does the The United Methodist Church believe about abortion?" For this visit 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. - MH
 
What Does The United Methodist Church Say About the Same-sex Marriage Ruling?
(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. >>
United Methodist History Quiz
(Article here) - The United Methodist Church has existed in various forms for more than 200 years. Test your knowledge of its history with these questions. Pass on this quiz to others to encourage them to test their knowledge as well. This quiz is a partnership between United Methodist Communications and the General Commission on Archives and History.
 
"A searchable platform connecting young people to church-wide opportunities from the agencies of the United Methodist Church...."  The site provides a wide range of topics, including among others church, school (high school, college, seminary), home, Chrysalis, devotions, magazines, career, missions, and exploring a calling to ministry.
 

(Rich Burch) - This weekend, all across the country, leaders are going to get up in front of their churches and talk about upcoming events and opportuRich Birchnities to connect with the community. They want to move people to action, but in reality a large portion of those in the room will simply tune out for that part of the service and then tune back in when something more interesting comes along. You know it’s true … because you’ve done it!

We blame the people for not engaging in the mission. Sort of like a shepherd blaming the sheep for not going to the right pasture. We need to understand why people stop listening and then shift our behavior to help them connect with those we seek to serve. Here are eight reasons people aren’t listening to announcements.  CONTINUE article here. >>     

Disciple Bible Study Fast Track
- A Request from Bishop Richard B. Wilke, Author, Disciple Bible Study 
In this final year of development [of Disciple Bible Study Fast Track], we are looking for 30 churches from each Annual Conference to join us in beta testing.  We need you. Three hundred and fifty churches participated last year with over 5000 participants. These churches reported a surge of people who signed up to learn the basic story of the Bible, Genesis to Revelation, but in a shorter time frame!  Participants experienced spiritual growth and spiritual renewal. Please go to the website http://www.disciplefasttrack.com and explore all the materials and read what other pastors, educators, leaders and participants are saying. Then, consider joining us as one of the 30 churches in your annual conference on this awesome journey of launching Disciple Fast Track! (Click on the graphic, right, to enlarge view of the flyer.)
 
Update 6/10/2015
From Rev. David Hoppenjan:  "If anyone has questions regarding the Disciple Fast Track study, I have taught this and would be glad to answer questions." 
 
 
Update July 2015:  Beta2 Testing 
 
July 9, 2015
 
Over the years, pastors have asked me to modify Disciple Bible Study to better fit the demands of busy lifestyles, and finally, I feel we are honoring this request!   Now beta2 testing of Disciple Fast Track is beginning....  Leaders of all beta2 classes will receive the final product free of charge when it debuts in the summer of 2016.

Disciple Fast Track lasts just 24 weeks – 10 weeks shorter than Disciple. Classes are 75 minutes instead of two hours. There are many other innovations, including all new videos and online leader training. Initial beta testing with over 6,000 participants has just been completed, and the feedback is outstanding!   I invite you to look at the website where you can learn more and view sample materials (http://www.disciplefasttrack.com).

My hopes are high that this new shorter Disciple will prove to be an asset ... in the same powerful ways that the original is renowned for – nurturing spiritual depth, generating new congregational leadership, and revitalizing churches.  I pray God’s blessings on your faithful work.  Please certainly email me if you have questions or need further assistance.
 
Press on,
Bishop Richard B. Wilke
Author of Disciple Bible Study
<disciplefasttrackinformation@gmail.com>
 
Includes the topics "Concluding Ministry in One Setting" and "Beginning Ministry in a New Setting."
 
Measuring What Matters:  A Commentary about Metrics and Mission
(Bishop Ken Carter/Lewis Center) - "There is currently a lively conversation underway in the mainline church about numbers and metrics. This conversation is often dominated by two extreme and less-than-helpful perspectives. One seeks to quantify everything. In its most pronounced expression, this is the ascendency of the M.B.A. into every other professional guild, including ministry. The second perspective is an overreaction to the first. It insists that metrics should be ignored in favor of higher values — persons, or communities, or contexts." Full commentary here.
 
5 Things Small Churches Can Uniquely Offer
(Rev. Ben Gosden) - "Church leadership has long held a bent toward the 'bigger is better'....  Instead of trying to mimmick [sic] what the large churches in your area are doing (only to come up short of their quality because you don’t have the money or resources to duplicate it), here are 5 things I believe small churches can uniquely offer the world right where they are...."   More here.
 
Free E-Newsletter from the Lewis Center
Leading Ideas is a weekly online newsletter of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Seminary in Washington, DC. Each week subscribers receive information, resources, and strategies to help advance God’s mission in ministry. To check it out and subscribe go to www.churchleadership.com/leadingideas.
 
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.         
 
 
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2015, the IRS standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck will be as follows:
  • 57.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, up from 56 cents in 2014
  • 23 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down half a cent from 2014 
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations
 
Five Ways to Support Your Pastor's Family
(Ministry Matters) - It’s no secret that the life of a pastor’s family is filled with unique challenges. There are few roles that mix work and family life as closely as pastoral ministry, which creates for clergy families a constant battle to maintain healthy boundaries. The pressure from the church and the surrounding community will inevitably take a toll on families unless adequate support is provided. For the complete article, posted November 3, 2014, please click here  

 
Resources for Clergy and Congregations
Resources for building, improving, and strengthening ministry are available at http://www.churchleadership.com. Here are sample "50 Ways to --" pdfs from ChurchLeadership.com:   
 
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   
  
Is Your Church's Listing at UMC.org Up to Date?
Did you know that each United Methodist local church has its own page at UMC.org in the international Find-a-Church directory? Click here to find and update your church's Find-A-Church page.
 
United Methodist Men - News & Chartering
Click here for UMM news and information about annual chartering re-certification.    
 
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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