The Pensacola District of The United Methodist Church
Thursday, December 18, 2014
Here for You - Serving Jesus
Message Board   
December Clergy Birthdays
Happy birthday to
Tom Sharron,
Darren McClellan,
Lee Bateman,
Malcolm Franklin,
Virginia Beckham,
Larry Anderson,
Mark Roberts,
Stuart Worth,
Christ Hawkins, and
Jeff Spicer!
Click on the news item for the article.  Scroll down the page for more!

Around the Pensacola District  
Safe Santuaries Training January 11
St. Mark United Methodist Church will host Safe Sanctuaries Training in their fellowship hall on January 11, 3 p.m.  The church is located at 2203 North 12th Avenue, Pensacola. Please mark your calendar to join us for this training (approximately one hour), which will be led by Rev. Paula Roane of Trinity United Methodist Church.  Anyone who works with children and youth, including those who help with Vacation Bible School or an occasional youth event, are welcome to come to St. Mark UMC for this important training.  
John Maxwell Live!
January 26 at Pensacola Bay Center
Good morning Pastor,
We are thankful for you and your leadership in our community! I want to make sure you are one of the first to know about John Maxwell and Nick Vujicic coming to the Pensacola Bay Center for a powerful Christ-centered event on January 26, 2015.

You may have already seen this incredible YouTube video of Nick Vujicic, born with no arms and legs, with over 51 million views. But in case you haven’t:  Learn more about the event at or watch this video invitation from Carol Carlan and Paul Martinelli.
We are so thrilled that leadership guru John Maxwell is returning along with Nick! He is inspiring hundreds of thousands around the world with his Christ-centered story and is speaking here in Pensacola for the first time! I know your congregation will be blessed to experience them together - in the round.

I reached out to you because of your leadership in the Pensacola community. We envision this as an opportunity for your congregation to share in this event together. The event kicks off the Centennial celebration for Sacred Heart Health System and all funds raised will benefit children and families in need through the Children’s Hospital at Sacred Heart.
You can pre-reserve a section of seats at significantly discounted rates for your congregation and enjoy this special event together as a church family. Tickets are nearly $40 each if purchased through TicketMaster. I want to tell you about pre-purchasing a block of seats for your congregation at only $30 each for a limited time.
Please let us know if reserving a section for this incredible day interests you by next Monday, December 19th. We have to release additional sections we are holding for local congregations to the general public and out-of-towners soon. You can e-mail me at or call Hope Bradford at Sacred Heart Foundation at 850-416-4669 for more information.

Shane Mapoles       
Glory Sightings Around the Pensacola District
Matthew 25:35-40 (KJV) says, "35 I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.  37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
Christmas Ministry to Prisoners
Members of Crestview First United Methodist Church are getting together this week and signing Christmas cards to give to prisoners. This may be the only Christmas item some prisoners receive. The Church hopes to send as many as possible. Praise the Lord! (Posted 12/3/2014)
Bibles for Children in Crisis
(Niceville UMC Children's Ministry Facebook Page) - Niceville United Methodist Church's Children's Ministry raised more than $500 to purchase Bibles for Children in Crisis. Praise the Lord!
Supplies for Children in Crisis 
Glory Sighting: On Monday, December 1st, Fort Walton Beach First United Methodist Church delivered two vans full of donations they collected for Children in Crisis. Praise the Lord!
Christmas Package for Little Drops Orphanage, Africa
On Sunday, November 23, members of Warrington United Methodist Church (Pensacola, FL) assembled a Christmas box to send to the Little Drops Orphanage in Nairobi, Africa. They packed candy, stickers, bracelets, necklaces, and scripture for each girl in a brightly colored cloth back pack. Each girl will also receive a hand written note from church members wishing them blessings and prayers. The Church feels very blessed to minister to Little Drops. Praise the Lord!
** YOUR Church's story can be here, too!  E-mail ** 
District United Methodist Women News
President's Message
by Joan Simmons, President
Pensacola District United Methodist Women
"Yes, we are winners of the Spirit Award (tied with Dothan District) and kept the Bookworm for the third year, but more importantly we are winners in fulfilling the purpose of United Methodist Women. You continue to work in support of our missions for women, youth and children. It amazes me as I see and hear what you are accomplishing in our district. Your giving hearts have helped so many not only here in our communities but in our nation and world. We are faithful with our Pledges and Askings for those who are oppressed because God is faithful first.

This year we met and exceeded our $25,000.00 pledge, had 13 Five Star Units, 15 Mission Today units and 10 received recognition for participating in a Racial Justice program. We had 125 readers who read over 900 books!  Our attendance at each Mission Study, Spiritual Day and Annual Day averaged over 90 women and men surpassing previous year’s attendance." 
For the entire article, on the front page of the November 2014 UMW newsletter, continue here (pdf).
Unit Winners Recognized at District UMW Annual Day
"Hear I am, Lord" was the theme of Pensacola District Annual Day hosted by Myrtle Grove UMW September 20, 2014. District Mission Team officers were thanked and the 2015 Mission Team was elected and installed by pastor Jacqueline Slaughter. Wonderful hospitality and delicious food were enjoyed by all. UMW reading program books were available for purchase. All of us were treated to an inspirational presentation by Pastor Jacqueline Slaughter, complete with drums. You'll have a chance to hear her again at the 2015 Spiritual Enrichment Retreat, Blue Lake, March 20-22, 2015. You won't want to miss this - "Sing a New Song" with Rev. Jackie Slaughter. UMW units were recognized for their achievements in various UMW programs.
* 5-Star Units:  Cokesbury, Farm Hill, Ft. Walton Beach, Gadsden Street, Gulf Breeze, Mary Esther, Milton First, Myrtle Grove, Pensacola First, St. Luke, St. Paul, Trinity, and Warrington.
* Racial Justice: Cokesbury, Destin, Ft. Walton Beach, Gadsden Street, Gulf Breeze, Milton First, Pensacola First, St. Luke, St. Paul, and Trinity.
* Mission Today - Gold: Cokesbury, Ft. Walton Beach, Gadsden Street, Gulf Breeze, Myrtle Grove, Pensacola First, St. Luke, St. Paul, Trinity, and Warrington.
* Mission Today - Silver:  Bellview, Destin, and Milton First.
* Mission Today - Bronze:  Farm Hill and Lillian.
* Mission Today - Participating: Crestview.  
Pensacola District Committee on Ministry (dCOM)
Meetings for 2015
Because of the numbers of people we see, please request a meeting at the appropriate meeting.

January 15, 2015 @ Pensacola District Office
This meeting is for Local Pastors and Certified Candidates (1st time and recertification). The Committee gathers at 9 a.m., scheduled interviews begin 9:30 a.m.

August 18, 2015, @ Pensacola District Office
This meeting is for recommendation for provisional status and Certified Candidates (1st time and recertification). The Committee gathers at 9 a.m., scheduled interviews begin 9:30 a.m.

If your reason for meeting with us does not meet either of these, call Rev. Bob Bailey, Chairperson of the Pensacola District Committee on Ministry, and we will set up a time for you. For Rev. Bailey's contact information please see the link below. The Pensacola District Office of The United Methodist Church is located on the second floor of the Dennison Administration Building at Gadsden Street United Methodist Church, 901 East Gadsden Street, Pensacola, FL. Scheduling of interviews is done through Rev. Bob Bailey. 
AWFC Launches Why I'm UM Series
The Office of Communications of the Alabama-West Florida Conference has launched a video series on "Why I'm UM." It features a weekly video of United Methodist pastors and laity in our conference explaining why they are United Methodist.  If you'd like to participate and tell why you are United Methodist, send a message to for video submission guidelines or do so on Twitter by using the hashtag #whyimum. Here's a sample:  Click here for Dr. Jeremy Pridgeon's "Why I'm UM" video.
Blue Christmas: A Service of Healing and Light December 21
This time of year presents special challenges for many who are dealing with issues of loss, grief, financial stress, loneliness, isolation.  The constant refrain we hear on radio and television and at the mall is about the happiness of the Christmas season.  For some it is only a reminder of what they have lost or have never had.  The anguish of broken relationships, the insecurity of unemployment, the weariness of ill health, the pain of isolation, the gut-wrenching loss of a spouse or a child, even the loss of a beloved pet – all of these contribute to feeling ‘blue’ in the midst of a culture which seems bent on forcing us to be happy and to celebrate. 
This service is for all who struggle at this time of year, but it is also for those who wish to be Christian brothers and sisters to them, who wish to answer Christ’s call to comfort and encourage one another, sharing the burdens and   praying for healing.   Join us as we practice this important ministry of presence – to simply be present with those who need to experience the love of God.
Please join us for this special service in which we will make the space and take the time to acknowledge our needs and concerns, and to pray for healing.  We will share and hear prayers, Scripture, and music that proclaim the truth of Christmas: that God has come to us in person to shine light into our darkness, and to bring healing, hope and assurance of his love for us. St. Mark UMC is located at 2203 North 12th Avenue, Pensacola, FL. Phone 850-432-7777.     
Associate Children's Minister Needed - Niceville, FL
Niceville United Methodist Church currently has an opening  for a full-time Associate Children’s Minister.  Applicants should have teaching or ministry experience, a love for children and a desire to help them grow in their faith.   This position will primarily oversee elementary age programs, including curriculum development, program execution and will also work with volunteers and training.  Other roles will include special event planning and oversight.  Resumes can be emailed to by December 12.  Questions can be addressed at the above email or by ca
lling 850-678-4411 ext 142. (Posted 12/8/2014)   
Lay Servant Ministries Training February 6-7
for Adults & Youth
Pensacola District Lay Servant Ministries is offering training Friday Evening & Saturday February 6 & 7, 2015, at Gadsden Street United Methodist Church, 901 East Gadsden Street, Pensacola. Click here for the registration flyer. Registration deadline is January 23, 2015.
Courses Offered:
1. Adult Basic - Linda & Shirley Wentworth, CLS
2. Youth Basic (Ages 15-18) - Candi McKim & Perry McGinnis, CLS
3. Advanced Course "Leading in Prayer" - Darlene Mosley & Stan Sullivan, CLS
4. Advanced Course "Pastoral Care Giving" - Peggy Akerman & Judy Johns, CLS
Course registration fee is $35 per person, to be submitted with registration form. Please bring your Bible, course text book, writing instrument, and notepad to class. Bringing a chair cushion may be helpful. As registrations are received, participants will quickly be provided information for individually ordering their own course text book.
Elementary Winter Retreat February 6-8 at Blue Lake
Discount pricing is available if you register early for this retreat for grades 3-5!  Details here.
Florida Flood Recovery Team Now Accepting Volunteers
The Florida Recovery Team of the AWF Conference is looking for volunteers who are able to assist those families with reconstruction needs caused by the April 29, 2014, floods in the Florida panhandle.

Scope of work at this time:
*    Installing sheetrock
*    Mud - tape - sanding
*    Painting
*    Flooring
*    Clean-up
*    Installing insulation
*    Installing cabinets
*    Install framing for windows & doors
*    Roof repairs

Please contact KJ Chafen at with:
*    contact information
*    how many in your group 
*    skill set of the group
*    dates you are interested in coming
*    needs for the group (RV park, stay at local churches on cots)
If you feel the "Call to Action" please go to the Alabama West Florida Conference page, click on MINISTRIES, then DISASTER RESPONSE, then RESOURCES & FORMS, then TEAM LEADER FORMS.  Once completed please email to Lynn Dobry, Executive Coordinator, at
January 7, 2015 through April 15, 2015 
Christianity and Islam: Information & Understanding
This is a 13-week study course at Gadsden Street United Methodist Church, 901 East Gadsden Street, Pensacola, Florida.  (See flyer, right.)
Join us Wednesday evenings 6:15-7:15 p.m. or Thursday mornings 10 a.m.-11:30 a.m. at the Dennison Administration Building second floor conference room.  The cost is $8 (to cover materials only). Please contact the church office  at 850-433-0014 to make your reservation. Space is limited.

Christianity and Islam by Ronn Kerr is a unique new study for a unique time. Each session covers a major area of the world's two largest religions, comparing and contrasting them in a way that brings greater understanding of each. Written for Christian adults and older youth that have little knowledge of Islam other than what they have seen in the news, this study aims at providing a general understanding of the differences and similarities between these two great religions.

Topics of discussion include the following:
* The World’s Two Largest Religions
* Jesus and Muhammad, the Early Years.
* Jesus and Muhammad, the Ministry Years
* Jesus and Muhammad, the Conflicts
* Apostles and Caliphs
* Schism and Denominations
* The Bible and the Quran
* Pillars of Faith
* Religious Leadership and Worship
* Primary Theological Beliefs
* Culture and the Role of Women
* Violence and Warfare
* The Future of Christian and Islam   
Lay Servant Ministries Information  
Please post this Letter Explaining Changes to Lay Servant Ministry where folks can see and read it.
Acts 2 Thrift Store
Volunteers needed!  Click here for the flyer about Acts 2, from Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries. See also:


Coming January 30:  MELTDOWN 2015



Meltdown 2015

Meltdown 2015 will be January 30 - February 1, 2015, at the Boardwalk Beach Resort on the beautiful Panama City Beach.  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.  This year our speaker is Andy Cartee and worship will be led by the Ben Nelson Band.   
Meltdown is designed for youth grades 6-12 and their adult leaders.  The cost is $110 per person if registered before Thanksgiving, $125 if registered before Christmas, and $135 if registered after Christmas. For more information and to register visit

Meltdown is sponsored by local churches in the Northwest Florida/Southwest Alabama area. Meltdown is led by volunteers who have a heart for Youth Ministry. Meltdown is a non-profit event.

Administrative Announcements

Pensacola District Office Holiday Schedule

Christmas Holiday - The Pensacola District Office will close at noon on Wednesday, December 17, and reopen Friday, January 2.


AWFC Fiscal Office Announces Year-end Deadline
The Fiscal Office of the Alabama-West Florida Conference has announced that the last day apportionment payments can be applied for the 2014 year is Thursday, January 8, 2015. Payments must be received in the Conference office by 3 p.m. so they can be deposited before the close of business. You may also deposit the funds directly into the Conference bank account at Regions Bank no later than 4 p.m. on 1/8/15. If you wish to do so, please call or e-mail the fiscal office staff so that they can provide you with the account information. Any 2014 apportionment payments received after 1/8/15 will be applied to late receipts and will not be reflected in the percent paid total for the year. Please keep this in mind as the end of the year approaches. For questions or comments please e-mail or or call the Fiscal Office at 334-274-1051 or toll-free 888-873-3127.
Thank You for Your Support!
Thank you to these churches, who have paid 100% of their District Administration Fund connectional giving apportionment:  Aldersgate, Allen Memorial, Annie Jones, Bagdad, Baker, Century, Christ, Chumuckla Community, Clear Springs, Crestview First, Ensley, Ferry Pass, Gadsden Street, Gulf Breeze, Jay, Lathram Chapel, Mae Edwards, Mary Esther, McDavid, Mt. Carmel, Myrtle Grove, New Bethel, New Hope, Pensacola First, Pineview, Shalimar (108.33%), St. Mark-Pensacola (100.11%), St. Paul-Gulf Breeze, St. Paul-Pensacola, Trinity, Warrington, and Wesley Memorial!  [This list is current through 10/31/2014.]
Thank you to Annie Jones, Baker, Clear Springs, Lathram Chapel, McDavid, New Bethel, New Hope, and St. Paul-Gulf Breeze, who have already paid 100% of all their Alabama-West Florida Conference connectional giving apportionments!  [This list is current through 10/31/2014.]
Imagine No Malaria
If your church still has Imagine No Malaria funds to donate, you can send your check to the AWFC Fiscal Office, 4719 Woodmere Boulevard, Montgomery, AL 36106. Please make the check payable to the Alabama-West Florida Conference and mark "Imagine No Malaria" on the check memo line.
Recommended Minimum Salary
According to the 2014 Brochure of Reports, page 117, the recommended minimum salary for 2015 for all full-time appointed clergy is $35,000.

Around the Conference   
The 2014-2015 Local Church Heritage Award
"The Local Church Heritage Award" was established in 1988 as an annual award to be given to the church most diligent in preserving its heritage during the year. The award to be given at the 2015 Annual Conference session is for the calendar year 2014. For The Local Church Heritage Award packet, please visit
AWFC Continues Red Bird Partnership
(Susan Hunt) -  As we drove through northern Georgia and Tennessee to get to Kentucky, the trees were breathtaking. The fall colors were at their peak. That seemed like a good sign of things to come for our journey as we headed to the Red Bird Missionary Conference in southeast Kentucky. Sixteen of us from the Alabama-West Florida Conference spent all or some of 2 ½ days in late October with the good people of the Red Bird Conference – praying, conferencing, learning, and building relationships. We left encouraged and enthused about the possibilities of the partnership that our two conferences are forming. Click here for a full update posted 11/20/2014.
Tapestry II 
Tapestry II: The Journey will be February 20-21 at First United Methodist Church in Enterprise, Alabama. The Reverend Dr. Laura Early will be the keynote speaker. Workshops are listed in the brochure, available here.
Increased Cost for Health/Dental Insurance Begins with December 20 Statement
(AWFC) - The Board of Pension and Health Benefits has established the following rates for health insurance coverage effective January 1, 2015.... As a self-insured conference, past claims and Blue Cross/Blue Shield projections effect the premium equivalent rates. Because claims have increased significantly over the last two years, it is necessary to increase each category in 2015. The rate includes health and dental coverage. The church will continue to be invoiced on the 20th of each month for enrolled participants. It is the responsibility of the church to remit payment directly to Benefit Development Group by the 5th of each month.  Click here to view the new rates.
New Continuing Education Chair
Rev. Dr. Geoffrey Lentz is now 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)
AWF Receives Grant for Coastal Flooding 
The Alabama-West Florida Conference was presented a $10,000 check from the Community Foundation of Northwest Florida. The donation was made to the foundation specifically for victims of the spring floods. The conference efforts to provide relief were communicated to the foundation thanks to Kyle Holley of the United Way and Dr. Henry Roberts, retired AWF pastor. Pictured left to right: Dr. Henry Roberts, Amelia Fletcher, Lynn Dorby and Dr. Jeremy Pridgeon. Dr. Roberts also serves as Chairman of the Grants Committee for the Community Foundation. We are most appreciative to the Community Foundation of Northwest Florida for their donation!
 AWFC Launches Why I'm UM Series
The Office of Communications of the Alabama-West Florida Conference is pleased to launch the "Why I'm UM" Series that will feature a weekly video of United Methodist pastors and laity in our conference explaining why they are UM. Tell us why you are United Methodist on Twitter by using the hashtag #whyimum or send a message to for video submission guidelines. We welcome your participation!  Update:  Click here for Dr. Jeremy Pridgeon's "Why I'm UM" video.   
Clergy Delegate Interest Form
The Clergy Delegation Interest Form, discussed at 2014 Annual Conference, will be live on the conference Website after the first of the year. It will be released to all clergy in good standing that are eligible to vote in the Alabama-West Florida Conference. Clergy may be elected without completing the form. The online form will ask basic questions such as education, appointment history, positions held in the district and conference and why you would like to serve as a delegate, to name a few. This online form will automatically populate onto the conference Website. The information you share will be public and people from outside our conference may contact you. More information will be released as we approach 2015. Lay delegates will continue to use the form published here.
Music or Dance Ensembles Sought for 2016 General Conference
(UMNS) - United Methodist choirs and worship ensemble groups from around the world may now audition online for an invitation to perform at the 2016 General Conference, The United Methodist Church’s top legislative assembly which meets in Portland, Oregon, from May 10-20, 2016. To apply for an invitation to General Conference, groups are asked to submit a letter of application that includes the following: 1) name of group; 2) name of primary contact person along with email address and phone number; 3) brief history/bio of the group including number of members, general age range, group’s location, and any unique characteristics; and 4) a link to a private YouTube video of the group performing. The application should be emailed to by January 12, 2015. Full announcement here. >>
For MORE of the October 20, 2014, NewsCONNECTION continue here. >>
AWFC Partners with Redbird
The Alabama-West Florida Conference is embarking on an ambitious and unique partnership with the 23 churches and outreach centers of the Red Bird Missionary Conference in southeast Kentucky. This partnership will not take the shape of traditional mission work in which churches take work teams once or twice a year for a week to visit the people of Red Bird Missionary Conference and build buildings or repair homes. Instead, this will be about building mutual relationships. The goal is to work side by side to learn best how to be in ministry to our respective communities, encouraging each other, sharing resources and growing in Christ together. 
October 20-23, 2014, a team from our conference will go to southeast Kentucky to meet with the leaders of the Red Bird Conference to listen to each other and begin to shape the details of this partnership - the details that will honor to the gifts we have to offer to each other and will explore how God is calling us to be in mission to our communities and to the world.  If there are leaders in your church - clergy or lay - who would like to participate in this formational trip, or even if you cannot attend but still want to participate, contact Susan Hunt at 334-356-8014 or susan@awfumc.orgClick here for a flyer that can be printed as a two-sided bulletin insert.

"The gospel is always on the side of life
because God is creator of life."
"Bishop Carter asked whether the rhetoric
of inclusion would be more coherent,
possess more integrity, and 'become more cruciform'  if it were to include all strangers
we are to welcome in the language
of Matthew 25."
"A consistent ethic of hospitality would call us
to welcome the unborn as the stranger."
quoted by the United Methodist News Service

Bishop Ken Carter Says Include Unborn in Radically Inclusive Church Mission
(UMNS) - According to Bishop Ken Carter of The Florida Conference, the sanctity of life is very important. “We must find a coherent way, as United Methodists, of bearing witness of, in the language of the New Testament, ‘giving an account for the hope that is within us’ (1 Peter).”

“A consistent ethic of hospitality is possible only as it is set within the context of a compassionate witness to and for life,” Carter said, “which we believe to be a gift, a fragile and sacred trust.” A consistent ethic of hospitality “represents a continuum from conception to death, from the individual to the creation, from interventions in and support of the lives of unborn children and their pregnant mothers, trafficked and enslaved young people, endangered coal miners, incarcerated young men on death row, tortured prisoners of war, the dignity of the aged, and the fragile ecosystems upon which we all depend.” 
A consistent ethic of life cuts across political proclivities and moves to a deeper level of values and principles. “I do wonder if Methodism could abandon its present partisan political captivity and join the evangelical and catholic consensus in regard to life?” he asked. “The gospel is always on the side of life because God is creator of life,” the bishop emphasized. “Jesus comes so that we may have life, the Spirit descends to renew the face of the Earth.”  
Carter asked whether the rhetoric of inclusion would be more coherent, possess more integrity and “become more cruciform” if it were to include all strangers we are to welcome in the language of Matthew 25.   "A consistent ethic of hospitality would call us to welcome the unborn as the stranger,” Carter said.  Continue here for the entire article >>
Lay Ministers Page
The Alabama-West Florida Conference now has a Certified Lay Minister page at
The United Methodist Church Responds to the Ebola Crisis
(UMCom) - With the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa declared an international health emergency, The United Methodist Church is responding with relief as well as communications support. Church hospitals and health workers are providing care, and annual conferences are working with interfaith partners and government to save lives.
Personal Papers Preserved by the AWFC Methodist Archives Center
The Alabama-West Florida Conference Archives Center preserves the personal papers of its clergy. When a person dies, they receive information from the conference secretary and district superintendents. They also solicit personal papers from family members.  Below is a list of the kinds of records that provide documentation of a person's life. If a family wishes to keep the original copies, they gladly accept photocopies. Each person's papers are preserved for posterity in his/her folder in the reference files in the Archives Center vault.
Awards Geneological forms
Biographical sketches Memoirs and obituaries
Certificates of birth, marriage, and death Music compositions
Clippings from newspapers Sermons, lectures
Correspondence about events and issues Writings (articles, books, poems, stories, historical sketches, etc.
Diplomas and educational documents Date books and diaries
For more information contact Sharon Tucker, Archivist, at (334) 833-4413 or       
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
Visit for Each District's Progress for Imagine No Malaria.
Has your Church participated?
MEF Scholarship Allocation Policy
(Shared by the AWFC Office of Ministerial Services) - The Ministerial Education Fund scholarship allocation policy effective March 1, 2013, is as follows:  Seminary Scholarships - $2000 per semester for full time student (9 hours is considered full time), prorated at $222 per hour for less than full time.  Course of Study Scholarships - full tuition paid for COS coursework (does not include registration fee paid by student), $100 for books per year. Click here for the scholarship application page at  Click here for more about the Ministerial Education Fund. 
Recommended Minimum Base Compensation for Ministers:
According to the 2014 Brochure of Reports, page 117, the recommended minimum salary for 2015 for all full-time appointed clergy is $35,000.
Safe Sanctuaries Contacts
The AWF Conference Safe Sanctuaries contact person is Frank Dunnewind.  You can reach Frank toll-free at (888) 873-3127.  The Pensacola District, you can contact Rev. Paula Roane at 850-862-4169 (Trinity United Methodist Church, Fort Walton Beach).  Download here the 2013 Safe Sanctuaries Workshop Presentation/Hand-outs (70-page pdf)

Around the Web
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.
1. Pray early and often for the college students. Ask prayer chain coordinators to have members pray for one student each week. Send the student a note telling him/her of your prayers and support.
2. Create a contact directory.  List the names and addresses of the students in the church newsletter. Invite church members to send them a positive note, email or text message. Take note cards addressed to each student to different Sunday school classes and ask class members to write a short greeting.
3. Create a Facebook group for church college students. Use it to offer online Bible study, post videos of church activities and share videos filled with words of encouragement from the congregation.

4. Help students find faith communities in and around their campus. Using Find-A-Church,  research options to find churches fitting both their transportation options and their preferred worship styles. Learn if  United Methodist collegiate ministry is available on the campuses where your college students will attend. A little homework on your part  makes it easier for students to try a new church or college ministry. Where United Methodist-related collegiate ministries exist, be certain to share the names and contact information for your students with the campus minister or chaplain.

5. Make a prayer shawl or blanket in school colors.  Have people in the congregation pray over the blankets and present them to the students on the Sunday before they leave for college.

6. Have a “Blessing of the College Students.” Take a moment during the worship service to pray over the college students right before they leave for college.
7. Send an “encouragement jar.” Ask Sunday school classes or other small groups to write short encouragement notes for each student and then put them into containers. Give each student a container as part of a college starter kit or mail it to them as part of a care package.  Urge the students to read a note whenever they become discouraged or need a pick-me-up as a reminder that their church family is rooting for them. Get everyone involved. The best notes often come from the younger children.

8. Keep the students in front of the congregation. Create a bulletin board with the names and pictures of students attending college. Post a map to show the locations of their schools. If a student has a prayer request, post that on the bulletin board.

9. Card shower. Toward the middle of the semester, ask people in the congregation to bombard each student’s inbox, phone, Facebook and physical mailbox with short notes of encouragement.

10. Send an “exams survival kit.” Every student loves a care package, especially at finals. Include snacks to fuel up during exams and messages of love and encouragement.
11. Plan a “welcome home” service and lunch at the end of the semester and/or school year. Involve students in planning and carrying out the service. Hold a churchwide lunch featuring their favorite foods.

12. Start a college group. During the summer, offer a special study and fellowship group for college students who are home. Remember, even those who are only a year out of high school are  no longer are part of the youth group. Ask the students what format, day and place would be appropriate for such a group. If they wish to meet over a meal, ask other church members to take turns helping provide the food - or invite the group to use the church kitchen to prepare their own snacks or meal.

Staying connected with college students and offering the encouragement they need can make a world of difference as they face the challenges of college.         
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
Lenten Resources for Imagine No Malaria
Click here for Lenten INM resources. Free donation boxes, honor cards, offering envelopes, INM logo temporary tattoos, mosquito temporary tattoos are all still available, as well as a new 0:30 social video (
Has Your Church Met Your INM Goal? 
(UMCOM) - Has your church met your Imagine No Malaria goal?  Advent resources and new video are now available.  
Can you imagine a world where malaria does not exist, where children live their lives in joy and mothers sleep peacefully knowing their children will wake up healthy?  We can.  Join us on the journey to Imagine No Malaria! New, free Advent downloadable resources are now available, as well as free fly swatters, donation boxes, temporary tattoos, and honor/thank you cards. Subscribe to our FREE daily devotional email and newsletter, To access the downloadable resources, click on 'Resources' at the top of the page. The full resource set is available in the "Advent Toolkit" under Recommended Engagement Kits, or you can scroll down and filter by "Advent" to download individual resources including high-resolution graphics from the video and the video itself.

Your church can donate to Imagine No Malaria by sending checks to the AWFC Fiscal Office, 4719 Woodmere Boulevard, Montgomery, AL 36106. Please make the check payable to the Alabama-West Florida Conference and mark "Imagine No Malaria" on the check memo line.
Tax Break for Clergy Housing Allowance Stands
(UMNS) - A new federal appeals court ruling means United Methodist clergy and clergy of other faiths in the United States can keep getting housing allowances tax free. In a unanimous decision released Thursday, Nov. 13, three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit reversed a 2013 federal court ruling, which had found that the tax exemption amounted to an unconstitutional establishment of religion. “The ruling by the 7th Circuit is a great relief for clergy who have benefitted from the housing exclusion,” said the Rev. Steve Zekoff, the United Methodist Wisconsin Conference’s benefits officer. The case started in Wisconsin. Zekoff added, “Had the lower court ruling been upheld, the jump in income tax obligations at both the federal and state level would have created a significant financial burden for most of our clergy receiving a housing allowance.” This case did not deal with the tax exemptions for parsonages.  Religious groups have long provided homes, often called parsonages, for their ministers. Parsonages have been tax-free since the United States enacted federal income tax in 1913.  For the complete article, posted November 14, 2014, please click here
Concerning Sexuality Issues, Council of Bishops Calls Upon All to Pray
(UMNS) - The Council of Bishops issued a statement concerning human sexuality, addressing their diverse perspectives and calling the people of The United Methodist Church to be in prayer, both for their leaders and for one another. The statement reads:
As bishops of The United Methodist Church, our hearts break because of the divisions that exist within the church.  We have been in constant prayer and conversation and affirm our consecration vow “to guard the faith, to seek the unity and to exercise the discipline of the whole church.” We recognize that we are one church in a variety of contexts around the world and that bishops and the church are not of one mind about human sexuality. Despite our differences, we are united in our commitment to be in ministry for and with all people.  We are also united in our resolve to lead the church together to fulfill its mandate — to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. As we do so, we call on all United Methodists to pray for us and for one another.
The bishops worked together on the statement during several executive sessions during their week-long meeting in Oklahoma City. The statement came near the close of the Council's meeting, which opened on Monday with the bishops reaffirming the commitments they made when they were consecrated. During the president’s address, Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr. of the San Francisco Episcopal Area asked the bishops if they would stand with him to reaffirm their vows as he prayed.  Bishop Brown called for unity within the church and encouraged finding “places where we can agree to work together and find common ground.”  For the complete article, posted November 7, 2014, visit here at or here on the AWF Conference website.
Bishop:  "Beware of Costs of Sexuality Debate"
(UMNS) - The United Methodist Church’s intensifying debate around human sexuality has substantial financial implications in the global church, a bishop warned the denomination’s finance agency. Those costs could include a drop in church giving and the division of property. “The question is: Is there a middle ground that will allow most of the traditionalists to stay and yet satisfy most of the progressives?” said Great Plains Area Bishop Scott Jones. Since spring, Jones has collected some of the proposals on the matter that could be heading to the 2016 General Conference. For the complete article, posted August 25, 2014, please click here.  
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 
Ethnic/Minority Young Adult Summer Internship Deadlines
(GBCS) - Deadlines have been announced to apply for a 2015 Ethnic Young Adult (EYA) Summer Internship in social justice placements in the U.S. capital. The EYA program is for persons, ages 18-22 from United Methodist racial/ethnic minority caucuses and Central Conferences, who have an interest in exploring issues of public policy, social justice advocacy and social change. For the complete article, posted October 30, 2014, please click here
Early Warning Proposed for General Conference Legislation
(UMNS) — What if General Conference delegates could get a heads up that legislation might be in trouble without waiting for a Judicial Council ruling? That is one aim of the Advance Legislative Research Panel proposed by the Commission on General Conference, which met at Lake Junaluska last week. Some United Methodist leaders still talk with frustration about the last day of the 2012 General Conference. That was the afternoon the Judicial Council - the denomination’s top court - struck down as unconstitutional a plan to restructure the denomination’s general agencies. The plan had been years in the making. Delegates then scrambled to downsize agency boards in hopes of salvaging some part of the movement for structural change. For the complete article, posted October 20, 2014, please click here.
Secularism Grows As Christians Become "Churchless"
According to this article and religion researcher David Kinnaman.... 
When political scientists burrow into election results, they may find that church attendance is less and less useful for predicting or evaluating political social and cultural attitudes. If asked, the “churchless” would likely check the “Christian” box on a survey, even though they may not have darkened the door of a church in years. How these people think, pray and use their time is shifting away from a faith-based perspective. If you are not around people of strong belief, there’s not a lot of spillover impact.  As a result, a churchless or secular worldview “is becoming its own social force.”  Stephen Mockabee, an associate professor of political science at University of Cincinnati, has compared church attendance to medication: “It’s not only the drug but also the dose that matters.”  For the complete article, posted October 24, 2014, please click here.

Jesus said, "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world" (John 9:4-5). "Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest" (Luke 10:2).

New Resources for Churches Without Pastors
United Methodists William Willimon and Grace Imathiu are among the outstanding preachers who have recorded lectionary-based sermons on video as part of a project called “A Sermon for Every Sunday,” intended as a resource for churches without pastors, churches in the interim, or churches that might simply need a supply preacher from time to time.  Any congregation with the capability of projecting video can see and hear America’s best preachers on any—or every—Sunday of the year for the astonishingly low price of $4.99 per sermon. Visit the website for full details here.
Attention, Local Pastors and Members of the District Committee on Ministry!
GBHEM’s Correspondence Course of Study is transitioning to Online Course of Study. This will be available in January 2015:

121: Bible 1
122: Theological Heritage I
123: Formation and Discipleship
124: Transformative Leadership
United Methodist History and Polity

Registration is now open for courses 121-124. The registration form 110 can be downloaded from

Registration is due NO LATER than Dec. 12. Because the registration forms require approvals from district staff, students should download the form NOW.

United Methodist History and Polity registration will open soon.

The United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry
Division of Ordained Ministry
PO Box 340007
Nashville, TN 37203-0007
Office: (615) 340-7372

Boards of Ordained Ministry –
Music or Dance Ensembles Sought for 2016 General Conference
(UMNS) - United Methodist choirs and worship ensemble groups from around the world may now audition online for an invitation to perform at the 2016 General Conference, The United Methodist Church’s top legislative assembly which meets in Portland, Oregon, from May 10-20, 2016. To apply for an invitation to General Conference, groups are asked to submit a letter of application that includes the following: 1) name of group; 2) name of primary contact person along with email address and phone number; 3) brief history/bio of the group including number of members, general age range, group’s location, and any unique characteristics; and 4) a link to a private YouTube video of the group performing. The application should be emailed to by January 12, 2015. Full announcement here. >>

Interpreter Magazine
It's that time of year again to renew local church subscriptions to Interpreter magazine! Visit
2014 Clergy Trends Shows Trend Toward Older Clergy Continues 
(The Lewis Center) -  The number of older clergy continues to grow according to the Clergy Age Trends in the United Methodist Church report released today by the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary. The annual report is prepared with assistance from the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of the United Methodist Church.
The number of active elders continues to decline as the number of local pastors grows. Elders between ages 55 and 72 comprise 55 percent of all active elders, the highest percentage in history. The median age of elders increased to 56 in 2014, the highest in history. The median age was 50 in 2000 and 45 in 1973. The average age remains at 53, an historic high, though unchanged for five years. The mode age (the single age most represented) remains at 61, also a high. The percentage of elders aged 35 to 54 continues to shrink, from 65 percent of all active elders in 2000 to 39 percent in 2014. The number of young elders hit an historic low in 2005 and has increased by almost 100 (or about 12 percent) since then. The number of young local pastors and deacons, while much lower than elders, has increased at a higher rate since 2005. Today those under-35 make up about six percent of elders, nine percent of deacons, and eight percent of local pastors. The gender makeup of young elders is becoming more balanced. Thirty-nine percent of under-35 elders are female. Over three-quarters of young deacons are women. The gender makeup is almost just the opposite for local pastors, three-quarters of whom are men. For many years the highest concentrations of young clergy elders have been in the Southeastern and South Central Jurisdictions. That trend continues in 2014, but the North Central Jurisdiction made the greatest gains in young elders in the past year. FULL article here >>
(From UMCmarket) - The online shopping of the United Methodist church members during the holiday season would generate $48 million dollars in donations.  Today, that money goes to someone else.  By spending one minute signing up to UMCmarket, those dollars would come to our churches.  Join us and lets not miss out on this amazing opportunity.  We need this message to be brought down all the way to the pastors and congregation.  Please forward the following information about UMCmarket to as many of your church connections as you can.  

1.  Here is our  "Pastor's Letter" that explains the UMCmarket program.
2.  Forward our "How to Get Started" letter.  It can found here.  
3.  Forward our promotional video or about us video for churches to use during service announcements.  
*During the next few months, 4 million Methodist members will shop online and spend an average of $400. This means that we have the potential to raise $48 million dollars for the United Methodist Church in the next few months alone.
New Donation Program
The General Council on Finance and Administration of The United Methodist Church is pleased to present UMCmarket, a tremendously rewarding opportunity to earn money for the Kingdom of God. UMCmarket makes it possible for United Methodist churches to receive donations from retailers every time someone within their congregation makes an online purchase. The best thing is that they don’t need to change anything from how they shop today. This allows us to do together what we cannot do alone!

How it Works
Every store at UMCmarket is happy to pay a percentage of the purchased amount as a donation to the church. There are no additional charges for either the ministry or the shopper. The members shop through UMCmarket and stores send the contributions within a variable time frame of 30-90 days. Once a ministry reaches $100 in total donations, a check is mailed out.

Signing Up is Free
Most churches are already listed in UMCmarket's ministry section. Each church can update and customize their information and church members can easily sign up for free by entering their email address and getting connected to their ministry. Shopping and donating couldn't be easier!
We live in a global village, and the world is our parish. When we give generously, our gifts do wonderful, life-changing things in the name of Jesus Christ.
Resources for Clergy and Congregations
Resources for building, improving, and strengthening ministry are available at Here are sample "50 Ways to --" pdfs from   

Disciple Fast Track 

Dear Colleague in Ministry,

As many of you know, Disciple Bible Study has been a life-changing study taken by millions worldwide. It is now in a dynamic new format that allows participants to encounter the Bible in less time.  Please take 2 minutes and watch this video about Disciple Fast Track. We are inviting a limited number of church leaders (300) to participate in the final year of testing. We hope you will consider this new opportunity. Please click here (or copy and paste this URL into your browser) to view this presentation:


Thank you for watching. For more information about becoming one of our 300 leaders, please visit Please feel free to forward this email.

God's blessing on your ministry,
Bishop Richard Wilke

Find online courses for Christian leaders at

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   
Pastoral Transitions in the Age of Social Media
Should pastors "friend" on Facebook? Should they "unfriend" when they leave a church?
(Alban, article by Adam Walker Cleveland) - "I still remember sitting in classroom discussions in seminary, talking about how pastors really shouldn’t become friends with parishioners. We talked about the power and boundary issues, and about how it just made things too difficult when you were called to another church; what happened to those friendships? Could you still stay in touch? What could you talk about? ....  So, what happens when you leave a church? ....  Do you just unfriend everyone on Facebook? Unfollow everyone on Twitter?"  Full article here.
Pensacola District Hosts Annual Conference and Youth Event
(AWFC) - The Pensacola District held its annual district conference at the Navarre United Methodist Church and the youth gathered at the Soundside Campus of the Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church for FUSED. The district conference elected the leadership for the coming year, set the 2016 budget, endorsed three persons who will be considered by our Annual Conference as delegates to the General and Jurisdictional Conference, and spent time in learning sessions around best practices in several areas of ministry. FUSED brought together youth from across the district as Rev. Woods Lisenby, Chaplain at Huntingdon College, and Shake the City led a time of praise and worship under the direction of the FUSED Leadership Team led by Wayne Walker and youth directors from across the district. Click here for the November 17, 2014, AWFC NewsCONNECTION, which includes this article.
Pensacola District Hosts SEJ Bishops
The Pensacola District, along with Bishop Paul L. Leeland, hosted the Southeastern Jurisdiction College of Bishops in Pensacola, FL, in January 2014. Their focus was to build alignment for effective clergy and fruitful congregations throughout the Church. The Pensacola District, under the leadership of Dr. Jeremy K. Pridgeon, raised 100% of the funds to host this group and their spouses. In addition to regularly scheduled meetings for the Bishops, the spouses enjoyed visiting the Naval Aviation Museum and Historic Pensacola Village, as well as enjoying several local eateries. Thanks be to God for the leadership and commitment this groups brings to our connection.  [You can view this 1/13/2014 AWFC article online here.] 
Church Vitality: Professions of Faith Rise
(UMNS) - Here is some encouraging news to start the year. For the first time in 11 years, United Methodist annual (regional) conferences in the United States reported an increase in total professions of faith in 2012. Preliminary figures for professions of faith show a gain from 123,986 in 2011 to 124,635 in 2012 - less than 1 percent, but still an upward trajectory. Many of the leaders at this fall's Council of Bishops meeting in Lake Junaluska, N.C., applauded the news as a welcome development after decades of declining U.S. membership and worship attendance. Full article is here.
Clergy Pension Changes January 1, 2014
(AWFC Pension & Benefits Office) - Currently, clergy under episcopal appointment to local churches and conferences receive benefits in the Clergy Retirement Security Plan (CRSP). Effective January 1, 2014, only full-time or clergy with episcopal appointment at 75% are eligible for coverage in CRSP. Clergy serving at 50% and less are no longer eligible for continued participation in CRSP.
Each church is encouraged to become a sponsor of the United Methodist Personal Investment Plan (UMPIP) so that clergy members are able to make personal contributions into their account. While it is not required for the church to make a contribution into UMPIP for the clergy person to participate, the church may choose to make a contribution into the clergy member's account. For the clergy person to participate, the church must complete the UMPIP adoption agreement. For an adoption agreement please contact BeLinda Carnegie ( at the Conference Pension and Benefits office.
Beginning January 1, 2014, full-time and 75% clergy will be required to contribute at least 1% of their plan compensation to UMPIP to benefit from the 1% contribution to their CRSP Defined Benefit Account. (Posted 12/2/2013)
The November 25, 2013, AWFC article about this is here.
What to Include in Writing Congregational Policies
The General Board of Discipleship offers direction on what to include in writing congregational policies on sexual abuse / harassment / misconduct / prevention. The page to visit is  
Share If You "Like"
What would happen if we all shared the Gospel through Facebook? I mean, on a personal level, through these myriad branched connections, tell the world what Jesus has done for us?  How long would it take the words of thousands of witnesses on Facebook to reach all ends of the earth about our Savior?
Free Video Resources from the Lewis Center
The Lewis Center for Church Leadership has prepared an 8-minuted video titled "Why Giving Matters and Clues for Improving It." Feel free to use this video to encourage the spiritual gift of giving in your congregation. You may view and download it at  Last fall’s video on “Why Worship Attendance Matters and Clues for Improving It” is still available at  If you'd like to receive the Lewis Center’s free biweekly online newsletter, Leading Ideas, you can subscribe at   UPDATE:  New Video August 2014:  "Why Community Engagement Matters"
Is Your Church's Listing at Up to Date?
Did you know that each United Methodist local church has its own page at 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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