The Pensacola District of The United Methodist Church
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Here for You - Serving Jesus
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 October Clergy Birthdays
 Happy birthday (in order of birth day) to Mike Roberts, Karen Evans, Clay Farrington, Clive Knights, Lester Spencer Jr., Laura Weant,
Daniel Randall, Jim Ross, Jeremy Pridgeon, John Dickinson Jr., Mike Owenby, and Rian Kegerreis!
Click on the news item for the article.  Scroll down the page for more!

Around the Pensacola District  


"Reap What You Sow" Inmate Art Show & Silent Auction
November 7, 2014, 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
at the Pensacola Museum of Art, 407 South Jefferson Street, Pensacola
Part of the proceeds of this upcoming event will benefit the Operation Fresh Start Program of Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries.  See also
Cokesbury UMC Women's Conference Makes Local News
(Pensacola, FL) - The October 24-25 women's conference at Cokesbury UMC caught the attention of and October's Bella magazine.  Mrs. Rita Wolfe, wife of Rev. Paul Wolfe, is pictured. Bella also pictures Rev. Gina Bryan, Ensley UMC pastor and recording artist, who will provide live music throughout the event and lead women in song.  

While she doesn't want to give away the core of the message, organizer Julie Terrell shed light on the conference title as well as what inspired the women of Cokesbury to host the event. "We just needed some girl fellowship, and we never take the time for it," said Terrell. As far as the conference title, Terrell gives the example of worry as an emotion women often cloak themselves in that they are better off casting aside.  The event's theme Bible verse, which says we are God's accomplishments created to do good things, will be the inspiration when keynote speaker Janie McBeth of Daybreak Connection Ministries addresses the women in attendance Friday night and Saturday.

Norma's of Duh will cater lunch at the event, which begins Friday evening and wraps up Saturday afternoon. Women will take in a fashion show by Dress Barn.  "It's going to be a packed schedule," Terrell said about the event. "And we want it to be a community event."

For more information visit
Laity Profile Sheet for Those Interested in Being Delegates to General & Jurisdictional Conferences
IMPORTANT: In preparation for District Conference, those laity who desire to serve as delegates to the 2016 General and Jurisdictional Conferences are asked to fill out the Laity Profile Sheet. We will be nominating persons at the District Conference, whose names and profiles will be displayed on the Conference website for viewing prior to the 2015 Annual Conference session and will be printed in the Conference Brochure of Reports. The deadline for the forms (with photograph) to be returned to the District Office is Friday, October 24. For the form please click here:    
District Board Meeting
The Pensacola District Board of Missions will meet October 28, noon, at the district office. Lunch will be provided. Please let us know if you cannot attend.
Gadsden Street UMC Offers Tai Chi for Senior Citizens
Gadsden Street United Methodist Church offers Tai Chi for Senior Citizens Mondays 2-3 p.m. and Wednesdays 4-5 p.m. This program is suitable for any level of fitness and expertise.  It helps with balance, coordination, and falls prevention.  $5 donations are encouraged to support the instructor. Dinner is available Wednesdays at 5:30 for $6;call church office by Tuesday noon, 850-433-0014. Location for the exercise sessions is the gathering space, Gadsden Street United Methodist Church, 901 East Gadsden Street, Pensacola, FL 32501. The church website is
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.

Updates on Florida Flood Recovery Efforts

From Lynn Dobry August 2014 (Gulf Breeze, Florida):

Acts 2 Thrift Store
Click here for the flyer, 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
Thank You for Your Support!
Thank you to these Pensacola District 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, Gulf Breeze, Jay, Lathram Chapel, Mae Edwards, Mary Esther, McDavid, New Bethel, New Hope, Pensacola First, Pineview, Shalimar (108.33%), St. Mark-Pensacola (100.11%), St. Paul-Gulf Breeze, Warrington, and Wesley Memorial!  [This list is current through 9/30/2014.]
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.
"Is There a Charge Conference Form for Certified Lay Ministers?"
Some have been asking if there is a charge conference form for Certified Lay Ministers.  Here's an update....  The Alabama-West Florida Conference heard your inquiries, and their website now has a Certified Lay Minister page! The URL is
Candidacy Document:  Items to Be Completed by December 1, 2014
Is God calling you to licensed / ordained ministry?  Whether you are pursuing licensed or ordained ministry, the first step is to become a Certified Candidate. The process to become a Certified Candidate will help you and the Church discern how God is calling you. This document (click here) outlines for you items that need to be completed no later than December 1st, prior to the January 2015 Candidacy Retreat.  For more information about the Group Candidacy Retreat January 9-10, 2015, click here:
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   
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 to Launch 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!
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.
Guest Commentary: Rev. John Brooks
(Rev. John Brooks) - God’s people are so incredibly well trained to notice what’s wrong in any given relationship, work situation, or experience, that it is easy to overlook what’s right. This is not surprising since the education system trains us to notice flaws and mistakes. In school, the wrong answers are marked, not the right ones. In our congregations, we spend a lot of time, energy, and money working on fixing what’s wrong. We study our failures and mistakes for hidden clues so that we can prevent them from happening again. What if we have it backwards? How would you have been affected if all of the correct answers on every test had been marked? What if we spent most of our energy in church noticing and appreciating the gifts, talents, and strengths of our congregation? Click here to continue. >>
Guest Commentary: "Do We Have to Consider Changing?" by Dr. John Ed Mathison
(Dr. John Ed Mathison) - Organizations have two choices – they can keep doing business as they have always done it, (and will probably soon be out of business), or they can constantly examine new ways to make positive changes that will be beneficial in the short term and long term. Forty-one years ago I moved to Montgomery and the favorite eating place for my kids was Howard Johnson’s. At that time Howard Johnson’s did more business than Kentucky Fried Chicken and Burger King combined. Howard Johnson’s didn’t change – when is the last time that you ate at a Howard Johnson’s? You probably have had a “Big Boy” or some “finger licking good” chicken lately. We all can learn from Wal-Mart. It is the largest producing company in our country. But it is not satisfied. They have a new man in charge – Doug McMillon. He has immediately started changing the culture of being satisfied with minimal growth to an attitude of how can we improve. Full commentary here. >>
Guest Commentary:  "The Real Problem with Our Kids and Social Media" by Rev. Jeremy Steele
(Rev. Jeremy Steele) - I believe that the root problem at the center of all the social media woes people like to blog about (cyber-bullying and the like) is one that is inhibiting our kids'  basic psychosocial development in the years from 10-18. At these stages, children/teens are developing many fundamental skills that allow them to understand and relate with their world.  They are learning how to interpret social cues, how to offer accurate snapshot impressions of themselves, how to deal with interpersonal conflict/pain, and through all of this they are developing an understanding of who they are in the world....
Every way that we engage with others that is not full-on face-to-face interaction is a mediated form of communication.  If we are talking on skype, there is a screen and a lack of personal presence, if we are talking on the phone, we loose [sic] the visual cues.  If we text, we loose the intonation cues.  On and on.  With each successive level of mediation, we loose [sic] a lot of information.  After all, who hasn’t had a friend read a text the wrong way and get offended?  In the world of social media, we generally loose [sic] another level of interaction: immediacy.  This means that a person can log on to a social media platform, make a post, and hours later have a friend read it, get hurt by it, and go to sleep upset. By the time the friend got hurt, our original poster was watching an episode of their favorite show on Netflix.  The original poster has no idea that they hurt their friend, they did not get the immediate feedback so they could learn how those words affect people. In fact, by the time they receive any of that, they may have lost all memory of what was going on in their head when they made the post. Full article 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.
Bishop Participates in a Reading Group Initiated by Bishop Ken Carter, Offers Reflection on Acts 15
(AWFC) - Bishop Paul Leeland is part of a reading group initiated by Bishop Ken Carter of the Florida Conference. The group, including many bishops and laity from across the world, are reading one chapter of Luke and Acts, which totals 52 weeks. This allows the group to read one chapter per week and share insight on the readings with one another. In his Word from the Bishop October 6, 2014, Bishop Leeland shares his thoughts on Acts 15.   Continue here for Bishop Leeland's reflections on Acts 15 >>
U.M. Children's Home Publishes "Pew Partners" Online
The United Methodist Children's Home has published its spring and summer newsletters for local AWF congregations to use as needed. These one-page informational pieces make great bulletin inserts and are easy to print. Please consider using these in your upcoming local church communicates to educate your congregations about the wonderful and life-changing work the UMCH does each and every day. Click here to download.
Blue Lake Board of Trustees Announces New Director
The Blue Lake Camp Board of Trustees are pleased to announce Steve Lewandowski as its new executive director following the recent retirement of Ms. Phyllis Murray. Steve grew up in Tulsa, OK, where he was heavily involved in his youth group at the First United Methodist Church. It was at summer camp that Steve dedicated his life to the service of Christ. He graduated from Tulsa Edison High School and received both his BS and MS degrees from Oklahoma State University in Administration and Management of Recreation. He brings a great deal of experience in program development, fund raising and public speaking. Click here for full release. (Posted 9/5/2014)   

"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 >>
Apportionments Paid through September 30, 2014(To view how much each church gave, click on district.)
Imagine No Malaria Update from Susan Hunt
Click here for Susan Hunt's September 8, 2014, article.  Visit to see detailed progress reports of all churches throughout our conference. Each district set their goals for participation, and many churches have done marvelous work in reaching those goals.  Click here and here to see how work through Imagine No Malaria is also fighting the Ebola outbreak.  Click here to see how work through Imagine No Malaria is also starting new faith communities and churches throughout the continent of Africa. 
"Is There a Charge Conference Form for Certified Lay Ministers?"
Some have been asking if there is a charge conference form for Certified Lay Ministers.  Here's an update....  The Alabama-West Florida Conference heard your inquiries, and their website now has a Certified Lay Minister page! The URL is
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.
According to the 2013 Brochure of Reports, page 124, the recommended minimum salary for 2014 for all full-time appointed clergy is $33,800.
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
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. >>
Society of St. Andrew Advent Devotions
This Advent, nourish your spirit as you help Society of St. Andrew share healthy food with our hungry neighbors. Order a Starter Kit today to examine the booklet and resources before ordering. In addition to the devotional booklet, the Starter Kit includes a detailed program introduction, a bulletin insert, weekly announcements, a resource order form, and a litany for dedication of Advent gifts in worship on Epiphany Sunday. All resources may be ordered in quantity, free of charge, either through the form on this page, by phone, fax, or email. Many congregations choose to order coin banks as well to distribute along with the Advent booklets. For more information visit
According to Google statistics, some visitors to our website are still using Windows XP. Please read the following security advisory. Thank you! - Mary H., Webmaster 
(Adapted, from PC World Feb. 28, 2014) - After a legendary dozen year run, Microsoft stopped providing security patches for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. Without Microsoft’s protection, all those WinXP PCs have targets painted on their hard drives. No, they didn't die that day. They continued running like normal, BUT they are rotting inside, becoming increasingly full of security holes.  Likewise, if you use Microsoft’s Internet Explorer, it’s time to let go. Even the most recent version of Internet Explorer for Windows XP is already several generations old and no longer receives security patches. Microsoft warns, "Our research shows that the effectiveness of anti-malware solutions on out-of-support operating systems is limited."   Here is the entire article. >>
Interpreter Magazine
It's that time of year again to renew local church subscriptions to Interpreter magazine! Visit
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. Click here for full story.   
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 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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