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Around the Pensacola District
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The Pensacola District Committee on Church Locations and Building will be meeting May 11, 2016, with the Crosspoint United Methodist Church Team at noon at their new Blue Water Bay facility, which is located at 4400 Highway 20 East, Suite 600 Niceville, FL 32578. We will tour the facility first, then have Crosspoint present their final plans. This should be a one-hour meeting. The event page is here. PLEASE NOTE: The facility has power, but does not have running water (restrooms) at the moment - so please plan accordingly in preparation for our time together. DIRECTIONS: Take Highway 20 through Niceville (if coming from the west) and Highway 20 from Freeport or Destin (if coming from the east). Once you arrive in Blue Water Bay turn down Range Road at the stoplight. Look for the sign on the right that says "Merchants Walk" and turn there. The turn will take you directly in front of the building on the left. REGARDING TOLL ROAD: If you cross the Mid-Bay Bridge (from Destin) to come to Blue Water Bay the toll is $4 one way. If you take the bypass around Niceville the toll is $2 one way. These tolls are a bit cheaper if you have a SunPass. If you take the bypass around Niceville (on the toll road) they photograph your license plate and bill you by mail. If coming from Pensacola to Niceville and Blue Water Bay, you can avoid the tolls by taking I-10 to Highway 85 to Highway 20. Chairperson of the Committee is Gene Floore, who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 850-830-9342.
20 United Methodist Hymnals Needed
Twenty United Methodist hymnals are needed for ministry at Azalea Trace retirement home. Any color is fine. If you can help please call St. Luke United Methodist Church (Pensacola, FL) at 850-477-3145. (Posted 4/20/2016)
(Scott Veroneau) - "On any given day, I might be laughing and celebrating with a family in a delivery room only to moments later receive a phone call from just down the hall informing me that a loving family member has left this world all too soon. I hang up the phone, hug the celebrating family, then start the walk towards a family that is undoubtedly hurting. It is in moments like this that I discover the God that is between.
"Two floors and a few hundred paces separate emotions that are on opposite ends of the spectrum. My feet grow heavy with each step as my heart starts peeling back the layers of joy previously experienced. Unearthed are the somber, raw feelings that come with the loss of a loved one. My fear is always that I will come up short, or maybe have nothing to offer. Questions about what to say, and how to be present, flood my mind with each and every step.
"Somewhere about halfway in the journey, God always gets my attention. I am usually reminded that if I forget to let the Holy Spirit lead, I will come up short and I will have nothing to offer. God lovingly comforts my heart and settles my spirit. He is sufficient. I find that in this moment, I am able to release my design and my fears and trust in something greater than myself. This is when I discover the God between...." For the entire article please visit http://www.clc.life/2016/04/4-8-16-pastors-note/.
JULY 19 - PENSACOLA DISTRICT CLERGY WELCOMING DINNER
6 p.m. at Crestview First United Methodist Church.
This event is for all Pensacola District pastors and their families. Reservations open July 1 and close July 12, 2016. Please RSVP at http://UMCPensacolaDistrict.org.
Inquiry about VBS Materials
Warrington UMC is redoing a VBS that first came out in 2005 called "Lift Off." We are in need of any materials from this VBS but especially the director's manual. If you have materials, please contact the church (850-455-0306 or email@example.com), Pastor Bob Bailey (850-380-3198 cell/txt or firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mrs. Nikki Lile (850-723-8026 or email@example.com)
Local Church Positions Available
Submit church listings at AWFUMC.org/Classifieds then send us the link after your ad is posted and we'll include yours here.
Director of Children's Ministry Needed - Thomasville, AL (Demopolis District, Posted 5/03/2016)
Youth Care Worker Needed - United Methodist Children's Home, Milton, FL (Posted 5/03/2016)
Children/Youth Director Needed - Pace, FL (Posted 5/02/2016)
Church Secretary Needed - Pensacola, FL (Posted 4/21/2016)
Director of Children's Ministries Needed - Pine Forest UMC, Pensacola, FL (Posted 4/12/2016)
Church Maintenance Director Needed - Pine Forest UMC, Pensacola, FL (Posted 4/12/2016)
Aldersgate Collecting Survival Bags for the Homeless
This might be a great idea for your Church, too! The elementary Sunday School of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Molino, FL is collecting items to provide survival bags for the homeless: small flashlights, bug spray (travel size), sunscreen (travel size), rain ponchos, first aid kits (travel size), hand warmers (18-hour kind), travel bags, magnifying glasses, $5 gift cards to fast food, reading glasses from Dollar General, crossword puzzle books (small), and bookmarks with scripture. (Posted 2/11/2016)
Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries (PUMCM) is in need of items for the Ministry Shop. Items may be dropped off 9-5 Tuesdays through Saturdays at 2600 West Strong Street, one block off Cervantes between "T" and "U" Streets. PUMCM is located at Richards Memorial United Methodist Church in the Brownsville area of Pensacola. The website is http://pumcm.org/.
Community Life Church in Gulf Breeze
In a church-wide vote September 23, 2015, Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church members voted "yes" to launch their Soundside Campus as a stand-alone United Methodist Church in 2016. (More here in the September 28 AWFC NewsCONNECTION ... here in local newspaper.) On January 3, 2016, Soundside Campus officially became a stand-alone Church, now known as Community Life United Methodist Church. The pastor is Rev. Scott Veroneau.
Crosspoint Is #9 in "Top 25"
Crosspoint United Methodist Church is now up to #9 in Len Wilson's 2016 edition of "Top 25 Fastest Growing Large United Methodist Churches." Crosspoint now has multiple campuses in the Niceville / Crestview, FL area. In the 2015 edition, Crosspoint was # 12.
The 2016 list is at http://lenwilson.us/top-25-fastest-growing-large-umc-2016/.
The 2015 list is at http://lenwilson.us/top-25-fastest-growing-large-umc-2015/.
Congratulations, All Stars Churches in 2015!!
* Christ, Milton (Ronald Bearden, Pastor)
* Crosspoint (Rurel Ausley, Senior Pastor)
* Destin (Barry Carpenter, Pastor)
* Jay (Ebb Hagan, Pastor)
* Mae Edwards (Byrd Mapoles, Pastor)
* McDavid (Ted Johnson, Pastor)
All Stars is an annual recognition of Pensacola District Churches who meet three requirements in the course of a year: 1) pay 100% total Connectional Mission Giving, 2) have more than 50% attendance by membership, and 3) have a net gain in membership.
See also: http://UMCPensacolaDistrict.org/AC2016 or scroll down this page
From the Lewis Center: 50 Ways to Improve Pastoral Transitions
From the Lewis Center: 50 Ways to Welcome a New Pastor
Information for Local Church Officers
Have you been elected to a local church leadership or committee position and you're not sure what your responsibilities are? Be sure to visit the Pensacola District's Church Leadership Roles page at http://UMCPensacolaDistrict.org/ChurchLeadershipRoles.
Have you visited the Pensacola District's SPR page? We've posted a lot of helpful information for Staff-Parish at http://UMCPensacolaDistrict.org/SPR, including the booklet used by Pensacola District Superintendent Tim Trent at our Leadership Inspirational Training Event (LITE Day) January 10, 2016.
Required Workshops for Ministerial Candidates / Moving Clergy / New Clergy
June 24-25 - AWFC Group Candidacy Retreat
July 28-29 - The Beginning Pastors' Workshop
August 2 - Meeting of the Pensacola District Committee on Ministry
Clergy Mid-Career Retirement Seminar October 6, 2016, in Dothan (.5 CEU). Only $5/clergy, $10/couple. Register by September 19. More here.
Cokesbury Cares Program
The Cokesbury Cares Program is designed to help churches who've had a catastrophic event by offering FREE resources to help the get back on their feet. Application requires signature by the church's district superintendent and can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Here is a brochure, but please note that the address on the brochure has changed to 2222 Rosa L Parks Blvd., Nashville, TN 37228-0988.
For more information contact our area's Cokesbury Community Resource Consultant:
Cokesbury Community Resource Consultant
Quick Links: (Scroll down the page for more!)
Alabama-West Florida Daily Cares and Concerns
Director of Children's Ministries Needed - Thomasville, AL
The Thomasville United Methodist Church (Thomasville, AL) is currently seeking qualified applicants for Director of Children’s Ministries. For information about requirements, job description, and salary, please contact Gay McNair at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are excited to be entering this new phase of spiritual formation for our children and our church! (Posted 5/03/2016) Continue here for other positions available. >>
Pre-Annual Conference 2016 News
Highlights: (View original message here.)
Annual Conference 2016 is quickly approaching! This year's theme is the fourth part of the SEND Model many in the conference have adopted. It is, "The Great Commission: Sending Disciples." We are most appreciative to Dr. Tim Thompson and his staff at Frazer Memorial UMC in Montgomery, AL, for hosting us again this year as well as Dr. Lawson Bryan and his staff at Montgomery FUMC for hosting the ordination and commissioning service. This year we welcome Bishop Gregory Palmer and Dr. Kevin Watson as special guests. We are honored to announce that Robert McMichael and Jarvis Wilson will be leading our music once again. Please note several changes to annual conference.
Annual conference is Sunday, June 12-Wednesday, June 15, 2016. The reservation system is available by clicking here. Use this system only if you or members in your group wish to reserve a meal, volunteer for the Upper Room prayer line, participate in the Biometric Health Screening (persons under the conference health plan), and/or reserve nursery care that is available during a worship service. This system is not registering attendance to annual conference. Attendance is marked and counted at the registration/check-in table inside the host church. On-site registration will open on Sunday at 3:00 p.m.
This year's missional offering is for the Alabama-West Florida Disaster Response & Recovery Ministry. We will joyfully collect this offering at opening worship on Sunday, June 12. A bulletin insert will follow in the coming days.
We are excited to invite choir members from around the conference to participate in the Opening Worship Mass Choir. Choir directors who are interested in bringing members to participate should contact Wayne Sigler at Frazer Memorial UMC. Details about the evening and music selection information may be found here.
Meals will again be served at Frazer Memorial UMC for Monday and Tuesday lunch as well as the Laity Banquet Tuesday evening. Please make a reservation by clicking here if you plan to eat meals on campus or attend the banquet. Traditional group lunches may also choose to have their gatherings on campus and will arrange their own catering.
Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church is offering nursery care for children for the opening worship and memorial services. The Frazer nursery will be open 30 minutes prior to these two services. Montgomery FUMC will provide nursery care for the ordination/commissioning service. Both facilities offer this care for children up to five years of age. There is no charge for nursery care. Child care can be reserved here.
Please note the ordination and commissioning service will be a combined service this year. It will be Monday, June 13, starting at 7:00 p.m. at Montgomery FUMC.
In order to be good stewards of the conference budget, we will again forego printed worship bulletins for several services. Instead, a downloadable "Guide to Annual Conference" pdf will be provided several weeks before annual conference. In it will be worship bulletins, pages that were previously bag inserts and other relevant notes. You may wish to access it on your computer, tablet or phone, or print a hard copy on your own to bring with you. Printed worship bulletins will be provided to family members at the memorial service as a keepsake. The traditional ordination/commissioning service bulletin will be a printed version, as usual. Should you or your agency wish to submit a digital "insert," it must be laid out and submitted no later than April 15. It will go in the "Guide to Annual Conference" behind the agenda and worship bulletins that will be electronically distributed to all clergy and delegates. All inserts must be one page, 8.5 x 11 submitted as a pdf to email@example.com. Please do not submit a brochure repurposed. Digital inserts should be a general overview of your ministry. No late submissions will be accepted. All submissions must be affiliated with the United Methodist Church.
Your Brochure of Reports will be sent to your district office and either distributed at a gathering or picked up by each pastor. Please look for instructions from your district office. It is essential that you review this publication before arriving to annual conference. Should you choose the pdf download option, it is recommended that you download it from the conference Website before arriving at annual conference. [Update: Click here to download the Brochure of Reports.] As we confirm more cost-effective methods to print/distribute our conference journal, we will provide an updated link with information and instructions for ordering as soon as it is available.
Alabama-West Florida boards and agencies have been given priority for the limited number of available display spots. The deadline for their response is April 15. Other pertinent inquiries may go to firstname.lastname@example.org to be placed on a waiting list. Should there be openings, our conference registrar will contact you in order of request. Requests must be affiliated with the United Methodist Church.
We are again anticipating a great response to the request for UMCOR relief kits and supplies. We are encouraging local churches and groups to continue to assemble these kits or collect supplies to make up kits. A truck from Coleman American will accept donations in the parking lot at Frazer Memorial UMC. We appreciate any group that is willing to continue this ministry and will gladly accept these donations at annual conference. Click here for more.
As a reminder, we encourage you to prayerfully consider nominating someone for one of our conference awards: The Alice Lee Award, Jane Walker Scholarship Award, Francis Asbury Award, Harry Denman Evangelism Award and the Local Church Heritage Award. Click here for more information.
Blocked rooms, some with special rates for hotels in Montgomery, have been posted. Click here for an updated list.
We look forward to seeing you at annual conference in Montgomery, AL, June 12-June 15, 2016!
AWFC Director of Communications
For our opening worship service at the 2016 AWF Annual Conference on the evening of June 12, we would love to again have singers from all over the conference join the Frazer choir to make a mass chorus. It has been a real thrill at past conference services to see a great choir from all of our churches singing together. If you can bring a group from your church, we will need for you to do the following things.... For Wayne's letter (pdf) please click here.
Bring UMCOR Relief Kits to Annual Conference
At annual conference in June 2016 we will again collect UMCOR relief kits. UMCOR is especially requesting health kits and school kits. Relief supply kits help provide care for the most vulnerable people during times of crisis. UMCOR kits are distributed globally, and help sustain everyday life for people who lack ready access to essential supplies. Bring/send your kits to annual conference to the truck in the parking lot at Frazer, and Coleman American will ship the kits and supplies on to the Sager Brown depot in Baldwin, Louisiana. Visit www.awfumc.org/reliefkits for more details. Click here to see the flier with kit instructions.
Clergy Moving Expenses Guideline (2016 Brochure of Reports)
(Posted at AWFC 4/5/2016) - The first Sunday following the adjournment of Annual Conference shall be the last Sunday of pastoral responsibility for each conference year. The official moving day will be Tuesday, June 21, 2016 and may be adjusted according to the needs and concerns worked out in consultation with the clergy persons, the churches and approved by the District Superintendent.
The entire June salary shall be paid to the pastor by the church from which he/she is moving. In effect 50% of the annual salary will be paid January through June; with the remaining 50% paid by the church receiving a new pastor. Health insurance contributions and/or premiums, as well as any UMPIP payments are to be deducted from the pastor’s compensation for the full month of June, with the receiving church beginning such payments in July.
Upon retirement, disability, termination, or death of a minister serving within the bounds of the Annual Conference and serving a full time appointments under the provisions of Paragraph 333.1 of the 2012 Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, the conference shall pay up to $2,500 for documented moving expenses to the first place of retirement, termination, or disability or the first place of dwelling for a surviving spouse. Moving expenses to be reimbursed shall not be incurred prior to retirement or termination notification to the Bishop and will be reimbursed after the move is completed.
Guidelines for clergy under appointment:
1. Following notification of appointment change by the district superintendent, the Chairperson of the PPRC should contact the minister to be appointed to communicate the church’s policy in paying moving expenses and to discuss moving plans.
2. The receiving church is responsible for the first $3,000 of documented moving expenses and is encouraged to pay all documented expenses for the incoming ministerial family.
From the Lewis Center - 50 Ways to Improve Pastoral Transitions
From the Lewis Center - 50 Ways to Welcome a New Pastor
Welcoming Dinner for Pensacola District Ministers and Families July 19, 2016, 6 p.m., at Crestview First United Methodist Church
Dr. Lawson Bryan, the Episcopal nominee from the Alabama-West Florida Conference, has launched his Website, http://lawsonbryan.com. We invite you to share his link as you are able so that the Southeastern Jurisdiction knows what a talented and dedicated leader he is. Join us in prayer for him.
About Robert Lawson Bryan
Born June 13, 1950 in Quincy, Florida; raised in Dothan, Alabama
Graduated from Dothan High School in 1968
Bachelor of Science, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, cum laude
Master of Divinity, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, cum laude
Doctor of Ministry, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia
Married to Sherrill O. Cooper of Thomaston, AL. Their son, Philip, lives in Montgomery and is chief of staff for the president pro-tem of the Alabama State Senate. On October 10, 2015, Philip and Brittany Woodham were married at First United Methodist Church Montgomery.
1975—Associate Pastor, Trinity United Methodist Church, Opelika, AL.
"My experience with local churches includes ministering to a divided church, an inner city church, a grieving church, a county seat church, a baby boomer church, and churches whose membership ranges from small to midsize to large." - Lawson Bryan
For more about Dr. Lawson Bryan continue here.
2016 Annual Conference Award Committees Accepting Nominations
(AWF Conference) - Do you know someone in the Alabama-West Florida Conference who has exemplified outstanding leadership? Please prayerfully consider nominating them for the Alice Lee Award, Francis Asbury Award, Harry Denman Evangelism Award, Jane Walker Scholarship, and Local Church Award. More information and nomination packets can be found here. Pictured here is Mrs. Helen Edwards before she accepts the 2015 Alice Lee Award.
The Annual Conference Wesley Heirs Luncheon will be held on Monday, June 13, 2016, in Room 6102 at Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church. The luncheon will begin immediately following the Memorial Service, approximately noon. All retired ministers and spouses are invited to attend. Our meal will be served in the room. We will not have to go through the regular serving line.
Everyone needs to make a reservation(s) with Traci Herndon at the Conference Office. Call her at 334-356-8014 or email her at email@example.com. If you wish to make a reservation for Tuesday lunch and/or the Laity Banquet using the conference online system, DO NOT make a reservation(s) there for lunch on Monday. Skip over that question. This will avoid a double head count.
Everyone will need to pick up a ticket for the lunch from Traci Herndon at the registration desk Sunday afternoon or Monday morning. Everyone will need to turn in a ticket as we gather for the luncheon. There is no charge for lunch but you do need a ticket.
We appreciate Traci helping us with our reservations and tickets and Rev. Rusty Taylor at Frazer for making the arrangements for us to be served in the room. It will be a great time of fellowship, seeing long-time friends and sharing in the comradeship of the ministry that has meant so much to all of us over the years. Plan to join in this gathering of Wesley Heirs.
Walter and Dean Albritton
Jim and Bobbie Dannelly
Co-Presidents, Wesley Heirs
(AWFC News, Montgomery, March 24, 2016) - Bishop Paul L. Leeland is pleased to announce Rev. Allen Newton has been appointed as the District Superintendent to the Demopolis District of the Alabama-West Florida Conference effective July 1, 2016. Rev. Nancy Watson, pastor of Thomasville UMC, will be appointed as the Director of Connectional Ministries, also effective July 1, 2016. Dr. Chris Eckert, current Demopolis District Superintendent, and Dr. Cory Smith, current AWF Director of Connectional Ministries, will be appointed to local churches at the upcoming annual conference session. For the full article continue here.
Earlier, on March 9, Bishop Leeland announced that Dr. Darren McClellan has been appointed as the District Superintendent to the Mobile District of the Alabama-West Florida Conference effective July 1, 2016. Dr. Doug Pennington, current Mobile District Superintendent, will receive a new appointment in the coming days, as will Perdido Bay UMC. For the full article continue here.
June 24-25 - AWFC Group Candidacy Retreat
The next Alabama-West Florida Conference Group Candidacy Retreat will be held June 24-25, 2016, at Camp Beckwith, Fairhope, AL. Before applying for the retreat, candidates contact their district office regarding admission to the Ministry Candidacy Program. (See also Application for Admission to the Ministry Candidacy Program.) For more information please contact Erika Glawson at the AWF Conference Office of Ministerial Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 334-356-8014 or toll-free number 888-873-3127.
July 28-29 - The Beginning Pastors' Workshop
All pastors taking their first appointment in the Alabama-West Florida Conference are required to attend "The Beginning Pastors’ Workshop." For 2016 this event will be held July 28-29 at Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL. Information is posted here, or contact the Alabama-West Florida Conference Office of Ministerial Services at (334) 356-8014 or toll-free (888) 873-3127.
August 2 - Meeting of the Pensacola District Committee on Ministry (dCOM)
The next dCOM meeting will be August 2, 2016. When Pensacola District Committee meetings are scheduled, announcement is posted here on our Officers page as well as on our Message Board. As you go through the ministry process, keep a copy of ALL your documents. Every time you meet with the Committee on Ministry, bring all your paperwork with you.
Water Crisis in Flint, Michigan:
Looking for Churches to Partner & Help
I am sure that you all know about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan, that began in April of 2014. After Flint changed its water source from treated Detroit Water and Sewerage Department water to the Flint River, its drinking water had a series of problems. The corrosive Flint River water caused lead from aging pipes to leach into the water supply, causing extremely elevated levels of the heavy metal. Children have been exposed to drinking water with high levels of lead and have experienced a range of serious health problems. The water change is also a possible cause of an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in the county.
The Alabama-West Florida Conference is reaching out to this community and looking for possible churches in each district to partner with one of the eight United Methodist congregations in the Flint area. These churches are still distributing water, water pitchers, filters, filter replacements, all of which are quite expensive. In the last few months, the filters and pitchers have cost from $130K to $150K and that is at the bulk and discounted rate. Filters that are designed to last three months for normal water usage are only lasting one month with the water there.
A clear plan has not been determined about the exact details of the partnership (beyond the obvious financial support) but some needs to be considered are:
Above all of these listed considerations, the partnership will primarily begin with prayer and listening, then may morph into something way beyond what one could imagine.
UMC General Conference May 10-20
Huntingdon College Leadership Academy June 22-24 <- Looking for Pastors & Churches to Sponsor Students
Mid-Career Retirement Seminar October 6
It is through the Fountain of Love Fund that needy residents at Methodist Homes are able to continue living in the place that they call “home.” Free Fountain of Love offering materials are available at www.methodisthomes.org/FountainOfLovePortal.html. Though the emphasis is on Mother’s Day, offerings and speaker requests are honored throughout the year. The Methodist Homes in the Alabama-West Florida Conference are Wesley Gardens (Montgomery), Wesley Manor (Dothan), Mathison Retirement Community (Panama City), and Wesley Haven Villa (Pensacola). For more information visit http://www.awfumc.org/newsdetail/fountain-of-love-offering-focuses-
Huntingdon College Leadership Academy June 22-24:
Looking for Pastors & Churches to Sponsor Students
Huntingdon College invites pastors and youth ministers who serve United Methodist churches in the Alabama-West Florida and North Alabama Conferences of The United Methodist Church to sponsor high school juniors and/or seniors to participate in the Huntingdon Leadership Academy (HLA), June 22 - 24, 2016. High school juniors and seniors who have the gifts and graces for ministry of any sort—whether as deacons or elders, missionaries, music ministers, children’s or youth pastors, worship leaders, or lay leaders, among the many ways to minister —are welcome at this retreat. Click here for more information.
Stegall Seminary Scholarship Endowment Foundation - Spring 2016 Brochure
The Stegall Seminary Foundation's Spring 2016 brochure is hot off the press! You can download it here. Thank you for your continued support of seminary students from the Alabama-West Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church. Your prayers and gifts make a real difference in the lives of our future clergy leaders! http://stegallscholarship.com/currentbrochure/
2016 Clergy Health & Wellness Initiative Requirements
All clergy on the AWF Conference health insurance plan must complete the Healthy & Wellness Initiative by August 31, 2016. Please carefully review this information. Beginning January 1, 2016, the Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference Board of Pension & Health Benefits launched the Health and Wellness Initiative Program. The goal of the program is to encourage our pastors and their dependents to live healthier lifestyles by providing them with personal health information, screening and coaching, thus helping the Conference to reduce and control the cost of health insurance claims. Clergy members on the conference active health insurance plan are required to complete the HealthQuotient and Biometric Screening by August 31, 2016. Dependents, retired clergy and their dependents and employees who are on the annual conference health plan are not required to complete the HQ and Biometric Screening but are welcome and encouraged to participate. Complete information here.
Mid-Career Retirement Seminar
October 6, 2016
9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at Covenant United Methodist Church, Dothan, AL
The Rethink Church program through United Methodist Communications awards three types of grants each year: Community Event Grants, Digital Advertising Grants, and New Church Start Grants. The churches listed below took part in one of these grant opportunities in 2015.
Digital Advertising Grants:
Fairhope UMC (Fairhope, AL)
New Hope UMC (Theodore, AL)
Orange Beach UMC (Orange Beach, FL)
Crestview First UMC (Crestview, FL)
Grace UMC (Mobile, AL)
Saraland UMC (Saraland, FL)
Shalimar UMC (Shalimar, FL)
In addition, Centro Missionaro Fort Walton (Fort Walton, FL) was awarded the New Church Start grant. Many resources are available at www.umcom.org/rethinkchurch.
From the AWF Conference NewsCONNECTION Monday, January 25, 2016:
Fountain of Love Offering Focuses On Mother’s Day
(Methodist Homes for the Aging) - For many of us, our parents and grandparents hold the most important positions in our lives. We celebrate these family members on special days during the year, reflecting on their influence in our lives and to show love, appreciation, or special remembrance. That is why Methodist Homes has chosen Mother’s Day for a Fountain of Love Offering emphasis in 2016. The Fountain of Love Fund provides financial assistance to older adults living in a Methodist Home retirement community who find that they can no longer pay for their entire care. Because of the support of the Alabama-West Florida Conference and its churches, no resident has ever been asked to leave a Methodist Home due to their inability to pay. More information here.
The 2015 Journal is now available online for purchase through amazon.com. Copies are $25 and will ship directly to your preferred location. Click here to order the Journal.
United Methodist Connectional Federal Credit Union 2016 Annual College Scholarships
Are you or do you know a member age 17-35 who is attending or planning to attend college and attend church in in one of the four conferences? If so, please let them know about your Credit Union's college scholarship program. Four winning applicants, one from each of our four conferences, Florida, North Georgia, South Georgia and Alabama-West Florida will receive a $1,000 scholarship each. More here.
From the AWF Conference NewsCONNECTION Monday, January 11, 2016:
Saliba Named AWF Conference Secretary
Dr. David Saliba, pastor at Greenville FUMC, has been named by Bishop Paul Leeland as the Alabama-West Florida Conference Secretary. Saliba began this role as of January 4, 2016. He succeeds Dr. Neil Epler, who has served in this role since 2013 and also served during previous quadrenniums. We extend our sincere appreciation to Dr. Epler for his years of service in this role and welcome Dr. Saliba to the annual conference leadership team. Should you need to contact Dr. Saliba, he can be reached at email@example.com.
Let Us Pray! Daily Prayer Unites Conference
(Dr. Cory Smith) - It is a joy to announce a new venture in prayer for the Alabama-West Florida Conference. Hopefully by now you have seen the daily prayer requests that have come from the Office of Connectional Ministries. These updates will also include prayers for individual churches and appointed pastors. Through the year we will prayer for every appointed pastor and for every church! The churches for which we are praying are the same listed on the printed wall calendars and also available here. In addition to the prayer email, a prayer page is available for details of prayer needs from the throughout the conference. What better way for us to connect with God and one another than prayer! As John Wesley stated years ago, “I continue to dream and pray about a revival of holiness in our day that moves forth in mission and creates authentic community in which each person can be unleashed through the empowerment of the Spirit to fulfill God's creational intentions.” May we join together in daily prayer for the mission of the church and for the community of people who are part of the Alabama-West Florida Conference! If you are not receiving the daily prayer newsletter and would like to, click here and check the "Let us Pray" box. Update: The Pensacola District archives the daily prayer concerns on their website's Ministers Page. Click here to view.
A Notice from the AWF Conference Fiscal Office
(IRS) - The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2016 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. Beginning on Jan. 1, 2016, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be as follows. >>
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.
AWF Trustees Release Church Emergency Resource
(AWFC) - AWF Trustees have developed a resource for local churches to use as they consider emergency preparedness in their congregation. 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.
The AWF Conference Journal
To view all the AWFC Journals from 2007 through 2015, continue here at the Pensacola District's FORMS & DOCS page.
For those who would like to get a printed copy, this year's AWF Conference Journal is distributed by Amazon.com.
The AWFC clergy directory will not be available to order online due to privacy concerns associated with public distribution of a directory document.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
The AWF Conference Safe Sanctuaries contact person is Frank Dunnewind. You can reach Frank toll-free at (888) 873-3127. The Pensacola District contact person is Rev. Paula Roane, who can be reached at 850-862-4169 (Trinity United Methodist Church, Fort Walton Beach).
Around the Web
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As of April 14, the Auburn Wesley Foundation still has calendar openings available for Children's Caravan! Children's Caravan is a 3-day Bible school experience designed for churches with up to 30 to 50 children in kindergarten through 5th grade. The Children's Caravan Team will be prepared to lead a scripture-based program for 3 days with your children. This program will include story time, music, crafts, and games! We'll send you a list beforehand of supplies to purchase for crafts. The VBS can be morning or evening, based on what is best for your church. Our team is excited about sharing the love of Christ with children in and around Alabama. For MORE visit http://www.auwesley.org/childrens-caravan/.
How to Apply for a Loan with the AWF United Methodist Foundation
Crestview First United Methodist Church was featured on page 3 of the AWF United Methodist Foundation's winter 2016 newsletter, GENEROSITY MATTERS. The article is about how to apply for a church loan. For more information click here for the newsletter, visit http://alwfumf.org, or click here for the AWFUMF Facebook page.
Free Clergy Tax Video Now Available
Clergy face some distinctive tax regulations and often need guidance from tax professionals with experience working with clergy. The Lewis Center has prepared an informational video to help seminary students and clergy understand better the issues to which they and their tax preparers need to give attention. We use it as part of our seminary class on Personal Finances for Religious Professionals. If you feel this 12-minute video, Clergy Compensation and Taxes, may be useful to clergy with whom you work, feel free to share it.
Lovett H. Weems, Jr.
Professor of Church Leadership
Director, Lewis Center for Church Leadership
Wesley Theological Seminary
General Conference May 10-20, 2016
(UMNS) - Your words can inspire the world. You can help shape the worship services at the 2016 General Conference of The United Methodist Church, taking place on May 10-20 in Portland, Oregon. The worship design team for the conference is seeking volunteers to write liturgy, including prayers, calls to worship and litanies. More information here.
General Conference Guide
The General Conference Guide is now available for download. It contains helpful information about the denomination’s legislative assembly. Along with an overview, special events details and schedules, the 50-page guide also explains the legislative process, highlights major issues and offers basics about United Methodism. http://www.umc.org/topics/general-conference-2016
Information for Delegation
Stay Informed of General Conference 2016 News
Click here for the Subscribe page to receive FREE United Methodist News Service's daily or weekly digest.
How Much Do You Know About General Conference? Here's a Quiz to Find Out!
The United Methodist General Conference 2016 convenes in Oregon from May 10-20. We invite you to take a short quiz to test your knowledge about the denomination’s most important meeting. Then be sure to share the link with friends so you can compare scores later! The page is at http://www.umc.org/who-we-are/general-conference-quiz.
SEJ Conference Begins July 13, 2016
(SEJUMC.org) - The opening date for the 2016 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference will be Wednesday, July 13, 2016.
At the link below you can hear a dramatic reading of the Bible. You can set it to the Bible translation you prefer, start at a particular passage, run or not run continuously, and pause it and restart at any time. https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/audio/
Test Your Knowledge of United Methodist History
(Article here) - The United Methodist Church has existed in various forms for more than 200 years. Test your knowledge of its history with these questions. Pass on this quiz to others to encourage them to test their knowledge as well. This quiz is a partnership between United Methodist Communications and the General Commission on Archives and History
Explore Methodist History
At the History section of UMC.org there are features where you can learn about many of the pioneers of the Methodist Movement and their faith stories. Look under the Who We Are section and enjoy discovering more about the denomination's roots. Perfect to share with new and longtime members! For more continue here.
Resources for Clergy and Congregations
"50 Ways" Downloads
Resources for building, improving, and strengthening ministry are available at http://www.churchleadership.com. Here are samples:
Five Ways to Support Your Pastor's Family
(Ministry Matters) - It’s no secret that the life of a pastor’s family is filled with unique challenges. There are few roles that mix work and family life as closely as pastoral ministry, which creates for clergy families a constant battle to maintain healthy boundaries. The pressure from the church and the surrounding community will inevitably take a toll on families unless adequate support is provided. For the complete article, posted November 3, 2014, please click here.
Free E-Newsletter from the Lewis Center
Leading Ideas is a weekly online newsletter of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Seminary in Washington, DC. Each week subscribers receive information, resources, and strategies to help advance God’s mission in ministry. To check it out and subscribe go to www.churchleadership.com/leadingideas.
Articles about Burn-out
Online Training Courses
12 Ways to Stay Connected with College Students
United Methodist Communications has an article on this topic at http://www.umcom.org/learn/12-ways-to-stay-connected-with-college-students. Tips include things you can do before the students leave, while they are at college, and when they come home.
Safe Sanctuary Policies
Discipleship Ministries Addresses "How to Begin Developing & Updating Safe Sanctuary Policies for Your Congregation"
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.
United Methodist Men - Chartering
Click here for UMM news and information about chartering.
The United Methodist Church and "World Debate"
5 Reasons the Church Should Talk About Abortion
(Seedbed, July 30, 2015) - "Last week, a YouTube video surfaced showing Deborah Nucatola, the senior director of medical services at Planned Parenthood, discussing how she procures intact organs while performing abortions.... While the video has sparked renewed outrage over abortion, it has arguably prompted even more silence - even among Christians. The silence has been so deafening that it prompted Ed Stetzer at Christianity Today to write an article headlined, “Where are the Mainline and Progressive Evangelical Voices Speaking Up after that Planned Parenthood Tragedy?” “If this moment does not bring you to outrage and to tears,” Stetzer writes, “there is something wrong.” Continue here for the entire article. >>
What Does The United Methodist Church Believe About Abortion?
With Planned Parenthood in the news a lot lately, the question is asked, "What does the The United Methodist Church believe about abortion?" For this visit http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/what-is-the-united-methodist-position-on-abortion. In relation to this comes the question, "What does the Church believe about being a nurturing community?" For this visit http://www.umc.org/what-we-believe/the-nurturing-community#abortion. The Book of Resolutions 2012 (more here) says that we "care enough about people's lives to risk interpreting God's love, to take a stand, to call each of us into a response." While being a nurturing community reaching out to the world to share the Gospel and love of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, "We mourn and are committed to promoting the diminishment of high abortion rates." (See complete article here.) To learn more about life inside the womb and what happens during an abortion, presentations are available at this link.
What Does The United Methodist Church Say About Same-sex Marriage?
(UMC.org) - "Our commitment to biblical truth does not depend upon judicial affirmation by the Supreme Court of this or any other nation," said the Rev. Thomas Lambrecht, according to an article posted by UMC.org Friday, June 26. Rev. Lambrecht is vice president and general manager of "Good News," an unofficial United Methodist advocacy group that supports the denomination's teachings on homosexuality. The article quotes him as saying, “Most of the delegates who would favor retaining the church’s current position on marriage do so out of deep conviction and understand that the church is at different times and various points at odds with the culture in which it lives." Church law bans clergy from performing same-sex marriages and forbids churches from hosting such ceremonies. Rev. Sky McCracken, a district superintendent in western Kentucky, noted that both capital punishment and abortion are legal but United Methodists challenge both. United Methodists have varied reactions to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that establishes same-sex civil marriage as a constitutional right, but many United Methodists agree on one thing: The decision likely will escalate a longtime denominational debate on the church's position on homosexuality. To read the entire article continue here. >>
If You Happen to Find Any Broken Web Links....
At http://UMCPensacolaDistrict.org we try to keep the Web links updated, but if you come across one that gives you a message like "page no longer exists" or "file not found," try going to the source's home page (first part of the link URL) and doing a word search on the topic at the site. As resources improve and update their websites, this sometimes breaks links we've shared with you on our site. It's all good, all a part of progress! The information may still be there, but just might take a little personal digging on your part to find where it was moved - or please contact the district office. We'll be glad to help! - Mary, Pensacola District Administrative Assistant
Update Your Find-A-Church Listing
Provided by United Methodist Communications and the local church, Find-A-Church allows you to introduce your church family to the community. By updating your church profile, you will help seekers find your church. Your profile serves as a powerful online tool for evangelism. Find-A-Church has almost 35,000 United Methodist Church profiles gaining more than 12,000 page views daily. Take advantage of this tool and get started now! Update your church's profile by searching here. By updating your church profile, you can:
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!