The Pensacola District of The United Methodist Church
Tuesday, February 09, 2016
Here for You - Serving Jesus
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Around the Pensacola District
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Great Night of Methodist Singing February 14
The 2016 Great Night of Methodist Singing will be February 14, 6 p.m., at the Mattie Kelly Arts Center, NW FL State College, Niceville. This is a special evening of singing and worship. Eight local United Methodist churches combine their choirs to form a 200+ group of singers. Together, this group will lift their voices to praise God. The selections will include some favorites as well as more contemporary pieces. There will be a free-will offering to cover expenses and to help fund the Guynelle Stewart Scholarship Fund. You won't want to miss it!
Women's Conference February 20
Pace First United Methodist Church will be having a Women's Conference February 20, 2016. All the speakers are local women who have amazing testimonies to share. We hope that you will share this opportunity with the women of your community. Click here for the flyer.
Local Church Jobs
You can submit church listings at AWFUMC.org/Classifieds.
Send us the link after your ad is posted and we'll include yours here.
Part-time Youth Director Needed - Lillian, AL (Posted 1/21/2016)
Executive Administrative Assistant Needed - Milton, FL (Posted 1/19/2016)
Campus Maintenance Technician Needed - Pensacola, FL (Reposted 1/12/2016)
Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries (PUMCM) is in need of items for the Ministry Shop, such as clothing, household items, furniture, etc. With cooler weather comes winter needs such as warm clothing, coats, hats, gloves, blankets, and sleeping bags. 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.
Top 25 Fastest Growing Large United Methodist Churches
Crosspoint (# 20) and Gulf Breeze (# 18) United Methodist Churches are featured in this year's "Top 25 Fastest Growing Large United Methodist Churches." Both Churches are in the Pensacola District of the Alabama-West Florida Conference. The article and list are at http://lenwilson.us/top-25-fastest-growing-large-umc-2015/.
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.
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IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THOSE ENROLLED IN THE AWFC HEALTH PLAN
"The 2016 Health & Wellness Initiative"
Starting January 1, 2016, AWFUMC will be rolling out a Wellness Campaign for participants enrolled in the conference's health plan. Participants will need to complete two requirements. Participants who have not completed both requirements by August 31, 2016, will be charged a personal $50 monthly health surcharge in addition to the regular health premium equivalent charged to the church. This annual surcharge will remain in effect for all of 2017. Completion of the requirements after September 1, 2016, will not reduce the 12 month surcharge. The next 12 month processing period will begin January 1, 2017. Click here for details.
From the Alabama-West Florida 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.
Nominations for New AWF Conference Lay Leader
Dr. Steve Furr, Alabama-West Florida Conference lay leader, has announced the formation of the Board of Laity nominating committee that will consider candidates for the next conference lay leader. This person will take office immediately at the end of the next annual conference session in June 2016. Persons interested in potentially serving as the conference lay leader may contact Frank Moore, committee chair. He can be reached by email here or by calling 334-618-2104 (cell) or 334-598-2103 (home). You may also contact Frank if you would like to nominate someone for this position. For timing purposes, the committee will complete its work by April 4 in order to have the nomination results for the meeting of the Conference Nomination Committee on April 21.
2015 Journal Available Through Amazon.com
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 Alabama-West Florida 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Early Response Teams Needed for Elba Flood Cleanup
Volunteer Cleanup Teams are still needed in Elba, AL, as a result of severe flooding in December. Only the team leader is required to be ERT badged and certified. The majority of the work involves cleaning out flooded homes. Local teams and out-of-area teams are welcome. Those that are not local to the area should make housing arrangements on their own (closest town is Enterprise, AL). Volunteers should check in at the Elba Volunteer Reception Center (VRC), located at 715 Troy Hwy, Elba (Elba Church of Christ). The center is open Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm. Teams should bring masks and cleaning supplies. Please continue to pray for the community of Elba as they recover from this natural disaster.
Nominations for New AW Conference Lay Leader
Dr. Steve Furr, Alabama-West Florida Conference lay leader, has announced the formation of the Board of Laity nominating committee that will consider candidates for the next conference lay leader. This person will take office immediately at the end of the next annual conference session in June 2016. Persons interested in potentially serving as the conference lay leader may contact Frank Moore, committee chair. He can be reached by email here or by calling 334-598-2103 (cell) or 334-618-2104 (home). You may also contact Frank if you would like to nominate someone for this position. For timing purposes, the committee will complete its work by April 4 in order to have the nomination results for the meeting of the Conference Nomination Committee on April 21 .
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.
Scholarship Opportunities for United Methodist Students at Birmingham-Southern College
(BSC) - Thank you for the many ways you encourage youth in your church and community. Thank you, also, for financial support of students through various avenues of the United Methodist Church as well as your church’s support of Birmingham-Southern College. For the fall 2015, BSC awarded 111 scholarships from the United Methodist Scholarship Fund. United Methodist students are engaged with UM ministries in our community each semester as a part of the covenant for scholarship support. You will find information on United Methodist Scholarships on the BSC website here. The priority deadline for Christian vocation scholarships is January 29th, all others February 1, 2016. In particular we hope you will encourage youth in whom you see gifts for ministry to apply for Christian vocation scholarships. The Christian Vocation Scholarship Day is Saturday, February 6th.
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) - Over the past several months, the AWF Trustees have been discussing and developing a resource for local churches to use as they consider emergency preparedness in their congregation. The need for such preparedness has come to the forefront with the tragic events in Charleston, SC, and Chattanooga, TN. Emergency Guidelines for Churches can be found by clicking here. It is not a policy, it is simply a resource to “spark a conversation in your church on emergency preparedness.” The hope is that the Board of Trustees of each local church in our annual conference will consider how best to prepare for accidents, fires, natural disasters, and criminal behavior that may affect your local church.
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 email@example.com.
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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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.
Lent Devotionals from the Society of St. Andrew
Lent begins February 10, 2016. If you would like FREE devotions for Lent from the Society of St. Andrew, click here to order "While Still Far Off." With a daily scripture reading, reflection, and prayer for the forty days and seven Sundays leading up to Easter, “While Still Far Off,” based on the Parable of the Prodigal Son, is a resource for personal or congregational devotional use. Written by pastors and lay people from all walks of life, each day’s devotional offers depth and meaning in our fast-paced world.
A FREE preview packet is available. If you decide it’s right for your congregation, place your bulk order by January 29 to ensure timely delivery. (Ash Wednesday is February 10.) The preview packet also includes a sample copy of “I Thirst,” the Society of St. Andrew's all-new Good Friday Fast program, designed for individuals or small groups within the congregation that want the spiritual discipline of purposeful hunger between Maundy Thursday and Easter Sunday. For more information and to place your order, continue here for the order form.
Booklets and (optional) coin boxes will be sent to you, in quantity, free of charge, as part of the Society of St. Andrew mission to feed spiritual as well as physical hungers.
Prefer an environmentally-friendly alternative? You may also download the Lenten booklet for your e-reader or subscribe to receive each day’s devotion as an email, delivered to your device each morning.
Be a Part of General Conference 2016 Worship
(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
SEJ Conference Begins July 13, 2016
(SEJUMC.org) - The opening date for the 2016 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference will be Wednesday, July 13, 2016.
Free Online Audio Bible
At the link below you can hear a dramatic reading of the Bible. You can set it to the Bible translation you prefer, start at a particular passage, run or not run continuously, and pause it and restart at any time. https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/audio/
Test Your Knowledge of United Methodist History
(Article here) - The United Methodist Church has existed in various forms for more than 200 years. Test your knowledge of its history with these questions. Pass on this quiz to others to encourage them to test their knowledge as well. This quiz is a partnership between United Methodist Communications and the General Commission on Archives and History.
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 the Same-sex Marriage Ruling?
(UMC.org) - "Our commitment to biblical truth does not depend upon judicial affirmation by the Supreme Court of this or any other nation," said the Rev. Thomas Lambrecht, according to an article posted by UMC.org Friday, June 26. Rev. Lambrecht is vice president and general manager of "Good News," an unofficial United Methodist advocacy group that supports the denomination's teachings on homosexuality. The article quotes him as saying, “Most of the delegates who would favor retaining the church’s current position on marriage do so out of deep conviction and understand that the church is at different times and various points at odds with the culture in which it lives." Church law bans clergy from performing same-sex marriages and forbids churches from hosting such ceremonies. Rev. Sky McCracken, a district superintendent in western Kentucky, noted that both capital punishment and abortion are legal but United Methodists challenge both. United Methodists have varied reactions to the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling that establishes same-sex civil marriage as a constitutional right, but many United Methodists agree on one thing: The decision likely will escalate a longtime denominational debate on the church's position on homosexuality. To read the entire article continue here. >>
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!