The Pensacola District of The United Methodist Church
Friday, September 30, 2016
Here for You - Serving Jesus
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Clergy Birthdays in September
Happy birthday to Robert Warren, Gary Jones, Faith Parry,
Hugh McDonald, Elizabeth Sullivan, Valerie Balius, Ed Cotten,
Nancy Hammond, Michael Ramsey, Jim Belcher, Dan Morris,
Dave McAlister, Scott Veroneau, Ken Autrey, Nancy Hart,
Greg McKinnon, David Thompson, and Shawn York!
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News around the District, AWF Conference, Web, and Administrative Items.
***IMPORTANT***
Local Church Admin. Assistants:
If you have not already done so, please let the District Missions Board Representative of your church know about the meeting that will be held at Cokesbury UMC October 11 at 6:30 p.m. The announcement is here on our District News page.  The chairperson, Mr. Duane Keck, has requested a response from everybody as to whether or not they will be there.
Click on the news item for the article.  Scroll down the page for more!   
                           
 

                        
Around the Pensacola District  
Thank you, Rev. Jim Jines,
for the district office picture!
It's a professionally framed jigsaw puzzle
that looks like beautiful stained glass.
 
                     
Quick Links:  (Scroll down the page for more)   
 
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VBS Kits Give-away
Status: The offer is now closed. All kits have been claimed.
Thursday morning, September 29, Ken Summerlin, our Cokesbury Community Resource Consultant, brought VBS kits to the Pensacola District Office to give away to churches or ministries that would like to have them. (Thank you, Ken!!!)  We posted a first-come-first-served give-away of the kits on the district Message Board and sent an e-mail blast to our churches. We are thrilled to announce that by 3:06 p.m. (same day), all the VBS materials were claimed. Recipients were Farm Hill, Pensacola District Hispanic Ministries, and St. Paul-Pensacola.   
 
Central Subdistrict UM Men's Low Country Boil October 11
Men of the Central Subdistrict are invited to the annual United Methodist Men's Low Country Boil. It will be October 11 (Tuesday), 6 p.m., in the Christ UMC fellowship hall. Please RSVP by October 7th to the church office at 850-623-8820. Central Subdistrict churches are Bagdad, Christ (Milton), Chumuckla Community Church, Jay, Mae Edwards, Milton First, Mt. Carmel, Pace FUMC, Pineview, Wesley Memorial, and Woodbine.
 
Pensacola District Spiritual Formation Event
October 22, 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. at Pensacola First United Methodist Church.
Cost: $13 (includes breakfast and hot lunch)
CEU:  .5 continuing education unit for United Methodist clergy and laity
Topic:  "Practicing the Presence," presented by Rev. Marshall Craver
To Register:  RSVP by October 15 to pastorpamavery@gmail.com or 850-529-9295.
Event Description:
Prayer is aimed at our deepest malady and our deepest longing.
This retreat offers three simple prayer practices that when used together serve as a bridge
from that sense of separateness from God
to a more consistent state of “praying without ceasing!”
Come and join us as we learn about and practice
Prayer of the Heart as taught by the Desert Fathers and Mothers,
Brother Lawrence’s Little Interior Glance, and
St. Ignatius’ Prayer of Examen.

The beauty of these classic prayer practices is that their content and shape
rise out of and are connected to our daily lives, 
which means that by learning them we begin to experience prayer
more and more as a way of being rather than as an isolated act of doing!
 
 
70th Anniversary at Allen Memorial UMC October 30
Allen Memorial United Methodist Church, located at 206 Pace Pkwy in Cantonment, has been blessed with so many couples, individuals, and incredible pastors since its inception 70 years ago. In honor and gratitude for those who helped paved the way for how we serve, love, and reach our community for Christ, we would like to cordially invite you to join us for our “70th Anniversary and Homecoming Celebration” on October 30th at 10:30am. Mrs. Elaine Barrow will be guest speaking. Lunch will immediately follow our service of worship.  Come. Remember. Reflect. Reconnect with friends, family, and hear the stories of old and new!! Most of all, please know we are grateful for you! For more information contact Rev. Michael A. Cobb at (334) 430-7868 or cobb1972@live.co.
 
Employment Opportunities at Crosspoint
Here are some newly announced opportunities for employment at Crosspoint:
  • Crestview Campuses: Student Minister
  • Niceville Campus: Academy Teachers and Substitutes
  • North Crestview Campus: Childcare Worker
For  job descriptions, details and application instructions, please visit: yourcrosspoint.org/employment. (Posted 9/21/2016)

Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries Needs Shelving
Greetings from PUMCM!
 
Exciting things are happening at Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries. We are in the process of improving the space in our thrift shop in order to better serve ministry needs of our neighbors and in the hopes of attracting even more bargain hunters to the store.
 
I'm writing this today to ask for your partnership in this effort. We are in dire need of more shelving. We need units that can display toys, home goods, books, and electronics. Metal, wood, and plastic units would all be welcomed.
 
Here's how you can help:
* Pray for our ministry.
 
* Recruit groups in your congregation (Sunday School classes, youth groups, UMM, etc.) to host a "build" event to benefit the store. You can choose the size, design, and color of the unit. We would love it if you branded it somehow to show the group that built it.
 
* Donate shelves that are in good condition.
 
* Individuals can underwrite the cost of new shelving. You fund, we handle the purchase.
 
* Did I mention pray for our ministry? 
 
Items can be dropped off at 2600 West Strong Street in Pensacola Tuesdays through Saturdays 9 a.m.-5 p.m.   If you need more information contact Pastor Robin Noble at 850-454-7652.
 
Thank you for helping us serve our Brownsville Community with love!
 
- - - - - - -
Director
PUMCM
 
Annual Meeting October 11 at Cokesbury
Members and local church representatives of the Pensacola District Board of Missions will meet October 11, 6:30 p.m., at Cokesbury United Methodist Church in Pensacola. There will be refreshments, so come a little early if you can!  We need to know who will be able to attend, so please contact Duane Keck or the district office to RSVP.  If you have any questions please contact Duane Keck at 850-362-6740 or dndkeck@gmail.com.
 
Video about Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries
A video from the August 15, 2016, webinar about Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries is now posted at https://vimeo.com/179055193 as well as on the Pensacola District's Community Ministries page (here.)  The video is courtesy of Alabama-West Florida Conference United Methodist Church Mission & Outreach.
 
 Dementia Caregivers Education September 30
9 a.m.-Noon (Virtual Dementia Tour available afterward) at St. Paul UMC, Gulf Breeze
The event page with flyer is here.
As part of the Pensacola District's efforts to focus this fall on the needs of patients with Alzheimer's Disease and related disorders and their caregivers, Covenant Care's Alzheimer's Services will be providing a Dementia Caregivers Education seminar 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on Friday, September 30, at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Gulf Breeze. This is open to anyone who wishes to attend.  This seminar will provide an overview of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias, special considerations for caregivers, and resources available to support patients and families through the journey of dementia.  Following the classroom sessions, there will be an opportunity for participants to experience The Virtual Dementia Tour.    Refreshments will be provided.  While there is no cost to attend, registration is required. For further information or to register, please contact Audrey Hanline at 850.202.0928 or Audrey.Hanline@choosecovenant.org.   
 
Fresh Expressions Vision Day October 3
9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Pensacola First United Methodist Church (.5 CEU)
The event page is here.

(AWFC) - Please receive this as a special invitation to participate in an exciting new ministry called Fresh Expressions. Fresh Expressions is a missionary-minded movement of people who are creating new kinds of church alongside existing congregations. It is designed for Churches who desire to move into their mission fields and connect with the growing diverse and unchurched population. It is a movement of the Church that is about going where people are and creating relatively small new communities of faith which are often lay-led. Churches of varying sizes are engaging in this movement of creating new, fresh expressions of Church.

Bring a team from your congregation. The cost is $20 for members of the AWFC, $35 for non-members.

We are excited about the great potential of living more and more into our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world through Fresh Expressions of Church.  If you have questions or need additional information, contact Neil McDavid at neil@awfumc.org or 251-510-3514.

 
Pensacola District Conference November 6
4 p.m. at Navarre United Methodist Church
The event page is here.
All Pensacola District Churches are asked to reserve this event on their calendars and suspend their regular activities during this time so that everyone can attend.

On the first Sunday in November, the Pensacola District Conference will meet at 4 p.m. at Navarre United Methodist Church. All ministers and congregations of the Pensacola District are invited to attend. This is a time of worship that includes a short business meeting in which the District Conference votes on district officers and committees for the upcoming year and District Administration Fund budget which is supported by local church apportionments.
 
Pensacola District Fused Youth Conference November 6
4 p.m. at Community Life UMC in Gulf Breeze
The event page is  here.
All Pensacola District Churches are asked to suspend their regular activities and gather together this evening with other youth and youth leaders across the district for food, fun, worship, and fellowship.
On the first Sunday in November, 4 p.m.-6:30 p.m., concurrent with the Pensacola District Conference meeting, youth and youth leaders from all over the Panhandle will gather at the Community Life United Methodist Church in Gulf Breeze for a worship celebration. The Fused Youth Conference is sponsored by the Pensacola District.
 
Pensacola District Clergy & Spouses Christmas Dinner December 6
6 p.m. at Pensacola First United Methodist Church (The Wright Place)
The event page is here.
All Pensacola District United Methodist clergy and their spouses (or a guest, if you do not have a spouse) are invited to this evening of dinner and fellowship. Gathering time is 6:00 p.m.  There is no cost to attend, but reservations are required and will be accepted November 1, 2016, through November 29, 2016. This is an adults-only event, no childcare provided.
 
Youth Meltdown January 27-29 
at Boardwalk Beach Resort, Panama City Beach, FL
Speaker: Carlos Whittaker
Band: Calling Glory
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. For details visit http://meltdownretreat.org/youth/meltdown-2017/.
 
Here's the Local Church Packet Distributed at District Welcoming July 19:
  • printed copies of the 2016-2017 Pensacola District Directory (to receive a pdf of the latest edition, e-mail your request to the district office),
  • 2016 Charge Conference schedule (download here),
  • District Board of Missions charge conference form (download here),
  • a flyer about the September 2016 Lay Servant Training at Trinity UMC (download here),
  • a flyer about upcoming District Spiritual Formation events (view here) <-- Please note date change to August 13.
  • envelopes and bulletin inserts for Blue Lake Sunday (if you'd like to order these please contact Steve Lewandowksi - click here), and
  • a letter and packet of information to pastors (download set one here, set two here) from Dr. Donna Pruett, CORE Team representative for Older Adult Ministries. (Please pardon the lower quality resolution of the materials in these downloads. If you are a senior pastor and did not receive your full-color original packet, it is available at the district office.)    
 
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.
Rurel Ausley Receives Annual Conference's Denman Evangelism Award
Congratulations to Rev. Rurel Ausley, senior pastor at Crosspoint United Methodist Church, for receiving the 2016 clergy Denman Evangelism Award at the 2016 Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference!  Crosspoint United Methodist Church is now up to #9 in Len Wilson's 2016 edition of "Top 25 Fastest Growing Large United Methodist Churches."  The Church continues to grow and grow, with multiple campuses in the Niceville and Crestview, FL areas. 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/. 
 
Pensacola U.M. Community Ministries Celebrates New Saints
(Ministers pictured are Robin Noble and Joe Mullen)
 
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/.
 
 

 
Administrative Announcements 
 
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Changes in January 2017 for AWFC Clergy & Lay Insurance
Download the pdf report here
 
 
Write and Share Your Church's History
For information on how to write your Church's history, visit http://www.gcah.org/resources/How-to-Write-a-Local-Church-History.  See also "Guidelines for Managing Records" at http://www.awfumc.org/guidelinesformanagingrecordsoftheannualconferenceandlocalchurch.
 
Clarification about Lay Servant / Lay Speaking Positions and Forms:
For 2016 we'll be using the same Lay Servant / Lay Speaker forms we used in 2015. Here's some clarification about those positions and forms:
  • A Lay Servant is one who is not yet a Lay Speaker. So the reports are different.
  • Local Church Lay servant is one that can serve in the local congregation only. This person has only taken the Basic course. They must file an annual renewal report.
  • A Certified Lay Servant is one that has taken the Basic course and an advanced course and can serve on a limited basis outside the local congregation. They must file an annual report.
  • Both Local Church and Certified Lay Servant file the same renewal. 
  • A Lay Speaker is a Certified Lay Servant that has taken the 7 required courses and been approved by the district and conference committee. May supply pulpits. This person files the Lay Speaker Annual Report.
If you have questions about Lay Servant/Speaking Ministries, see also http://www.awfumc.org/layservantministries or http://UMCPensacolaDistrict.org/LayServantMinistry.  
 
 
 
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. 
 
 
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 swoolum@cokesbury.com or plunn@umpublishing.org. 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:
Ken Summerlin
Cokesbury Community Resource Consultant
251-517-7029
www.cokesbury.com
ksummerlin@cokesbury.com
                                                     

 
Around the Conference  

    

      
 
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Just After Celebrating 100 Years, Satsuma UMC Sanctuary Destroyed by Fire
Please pray for the congregation of Satsuma United Methodist Church.
(WPMI-TV, Mobile via Daily Dispatch 9/26/2016) - Church members at Satsuma United Methodist Church are working to salvage what little they can after their sanctuary caught fire Monday morning just before noon. The damage inside is extensive. Firefighters got the call around 11:45 a.m. Church employees were at the church at the time, but thankfully no one was inside the sanctuary. Church members said on Sunday they celebrated 100 years of worship on Bayou Avenue, so the fire was especially heartbreaking. Longtime members came rushing over to pray as soon as they heard the news. "I'm just devastated. I know it's just a building and the church is the members but it's just so many memories. But I know we'll build something bigger and better for God for us to worship in," said member Carol Heathcoe. Satsuma Fire Chief Clyde Miller said it took about 10 minutes for Satsuma and Saraland firefighters to put out the blaze.
 
Conference Holds Onboarding Session
(AWFC NewsCONNECTION 9/19/2016) - Throughout the course of the week, three on-boarding sessions were held in the Alabama-West Florida Conference. These sessions are being led by Claire Bowen, a lay person in the North Georgia Conference, who specializes in this process when a new person is named to a corporation or large organization like a United Methodist conference. She is a lifelong United Methodist and a member of Peachtree Road UMC in Atlanta, GA....  The first on-boarding session was held on Monday, September 12 with conference staff and district administrative assistants, the next with the AWF extended cabinet and the final session will be held tomorrow with the 25 large church pastors of the conference in Crestview, FL.   Kim Doss, Administrative Assistant for the Mobile District, attended Monday’s session and said, “It was an honor to spend intentional time with the conference staff and colleagues. We don’t often have the opportunity to participate in sessions like this and I feel it was very helpful and constructive for all parties involved. I look forward to working with Bishop Graves in the coming quadrennium.”  Full story here.
 
Hurricane Ermine, Preparedness, & Chris Perry's Methodist Meterologist FB Page
(AWFC-UMC September 1, 2016) -  "We invite you to follow Rev. Chris Perry's Methodist Meteorologist page. Rev. Perry is a pastor in our conference and has a degree in meteorology.
 
[This is] an appropriate time to review our conference protocol of reporting damage. Should your local church experience damage from [any] storm, first contact your district disaster response coordinator. They will assist you in assessing the damage and reporting it to your district superintendent and our conference leadership. You may find several other forms and documents helpful to ensure your church is prepared.
 
Our connectional system is often at its best when we come together to help those in need. We sincerely appreciate the help many of you have given to the Louisiana flood recovery efforts.    
 
Bishop Graves' First Day As Residing Bishop Thursday, September 1st
(AWFC Facebook) - "Today is the official 'First Day of Bishop' for Bishop David Graves in the Alabama-West Florida Conference and new Bishops around the conference in The United States. Bishop Graves comes to us from the Holston Conference where he was senior pastor of Church Street UMC in Knoxville, TN. Read more about Bishop Graves' ministry and his hope for the church at #firstdayofbishop, #awfumc, #umc, http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/life/entertainment/story/2016/aug/27/coming-full-circle-youth-pastor-methodist-bis/383086/. " For the Facebook post continue here.  
      
Disaster Preparedness Video for Local Churches (Posted 8/24/2016)
If your Church wants to know how to be better prepared for a disaster, here's the video of a recent AWFC webinar: https://vimeo.com/173934300.
 
Louisiana Flood Relief Update  (Posted 8/24/2016) 
Click here for an update about Louisiana Flood Relief. This was sent today by Amelia Fletcher and Susan Hunt of the AWF Conference.

Regarding disaster response collection sites, Amelia and Susan write, "We would like to have our first wave of deliveries sent by the end of this week. Please send your items to your nearest collection point by Thursday at 2 p.m. Please contact your collection site in advance to arrange for your delivery."

They also note that Baton Rouge First United Methodist Church has a new website with updated donation requests and volunteer opportunities. The website is http://www.firstmethodistfloodrelief.org/
 
 
Louisiana Flooding - Disaster Response  (Posted 8/18/2016)
(Susan Hunt at AWFUMC.org) - Our hearts are broken with the news of severe flooding in Louisiana over the last several days. Thousands of people have been displaced and are in temporary shelters after over two feet of rain fell in a short span of time, flooding many homes. Our brothers and sisters there need our help.
 
First, please pray for all those who are affected by this disaster.
 
Second, please do not self-deploy to disaster areas until the people in Louisiana have issued an invitation.
In the weeks and months to come there will be an appropriate time we can help in person, but that time is not yet. There is no place for volunteers to stay, and we would displace those residents needing shelter now.
 
Third, there are a few items they have requested:
UMCOR Cleaning Buckets (Formerly called Flood buckets; click here for assembly instructions)
Box fans (To help dry out homes
25' Extension Cords (So people can move the fans around in a home
2 gallon garden sprayers (To kill mildew and mold
Flat billed shovels (To take out wet carpet, carpet pads, sheet rock, insulation, etc.)
Garden rakes with 3" tines (To gather limbs, leaves and trash that have floated into a home.)
2-wheeled wheel barrows (To carry wet items and trash to the road/street)
Adult diapers, baby diapers and baby wipes.
 
UMCOR's Sager Brown depot, located in Baldwin, LA, is already shipping items they had on hand to places where roads are open. Now, they are asking us to help replenish their supplies and their feeder warehouse in Decatur, AL. We will soon have several collection points throughout the conference where you can take your items and they will be transported to Decatur or Louisiana. Watch for a separate email with that information in the next day or two. Please do not send items that are not requested. 
 
Fourth, your financial contributions are always welcome.
You can send donations directly to Louisiana Annual Conference, 527 North Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70802, with "August 2016 Flood" in the memo field. Or you can send contributions for UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) to the conference fiscal office at AWFC, 4719 Woodmere Blvd, Montgomery, AL 36106. Write "US Disaster Response #901670 - Louisiana flooding" in the memo line.

In-kind Donations:

In addition to the items listed in yesterday's email, Baton Rouge First UMC also has a list of items they are requesting. Click here to see their list.
 
We recommend your church concentrate on collecting only one or two items from the lists. This will help the receiving churches and warehouses not have to spend as much time sorting your donations and they can more quickly and easily distribute the items to those in need.
 
Please do not send items that are not requested. 

Collection sites:

We are very grateful to these churches that have offered to collect your donations:

Andalusia First UMC
Auburn UMC
Capitol Heights UMC - Montgomery
Cokesbury UMC – Pensacola 
Covenant UMC – Dothan
Demopolis First UMC
Fairhope UMC
Good News UMC - Santa Rosa Beach, FL
Grove Hill UMC
Gulf Shores UMC
Jackson First UMC
Woodland UMC – Pike Road 
Woodbine UMC - Pace, FL

Please call the churches in advance to make arrangements for dropping off your items as not all have the same office hours during the week. Click on the church name above for their address and contact information.  Volunteers may also be needed at the above listed collection sites to help unload and load donations. Please contact the collection sites directly to offer assistance.

Transportation:

Several people have already volunteered to transport donations to Baton Rouge FUMC, the Sager Brown Depot in Baldwin, LA, and to the disaster response warehouse in Decatur, AL. However, we need additional drivers. If there is someone in your church with a truck and/or trailer and who would be willing to pick up and deliver our donated items from any of our collection sites, please contact Susan Hunt at 334-356-8014 or susan@awfumc.org, Amelia Fletcher at 251-978-8384 or amelia@gulfshoresumc.org.

Volunteers:

Baton Rouge First UMC is accepting volunteers at this time. They have some housing at the church available for 30-40 people, as well as showers and inflatable mattresses. Volunteers should be able to rake and muck out; ERT badges are not required. Our preference is for teams to have leaders who have been through ERT training.
 
Before deploying, team leaders must:
Contact George Ragsdale at dgrags@firstmethodist.org for dates available and scheduling. 
Brief their teams on disaster response protocol and interaction with survivors.
Collect volunteer forms (click here).
Have proof of volunteers' insurance .
Provide ID badges for team identification.
Notify your district disaster coordinators of your deployment.
 

 
 
Summer Newsletter of the AWFUMC Historical Society
The summer newsletter of the Alabama-West Florida United Methodist Church Historical Society is now posted at http://www.awfumc.org/historicalsociety. See also:  http://www.awfhistory.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/awfmethodists?fref=ts
 
 
"Partners in Preaching" Program September 2016-May 2017
(AWFC) - Partners in Preaching is a monthly seminar-style coaching group for pastors and preachers to grow in the art and craft of preaching.  Dates are September 2016 through May 2017.  Lead Partner is Dr. Sam Persons Parkes.  Cost is $200 per person for seven sessions over nine months.  Each session will be held 9:30 am to 2:30 pm CT with lunch provided.  Sessions will be held in Dothan at Cloverdale UMC on the second Monday of each month, except in December and April and in Montgomery at Aldersgate UMC on second Thursday of each month, except in December and April.  This monthly seminar style coaching group is set up for only SIX TO EIGHT pastors and preachers at each location.  Registration deadline is September 1.  3 units of CEU will be granted.
 
September 1st Appointments
Bishop Paul Leeland, in consultation with Bishop David Graves, is pleased to announce several appointments in the AWF Conference that are the result of Bishop Lawson Bryan’s episcopal election and assignment to the South Georgia Annual Conference - new appointments for Jeremy Pridgeon, Darren McClellan, June Jernigan, Jeff Wilson, and Robin Wilson.  Continue here for the article
 

                    
         Alabama-West Florida Conference
        Daily Cares and Concerns
 
           Prayer Calendar
           Prayer Wall
           Submit Prayer Requests
 

 
   
 
Helping with the Flint (Michigan) Water Crisis
(AWFUMC) - "Our conference has the opportunity to partner with the eight churches in the Flint area, and be in ministry with them as they reach out. There are several specific ways your churches can join the partnership our conferences are forming...."  MORE here >>  For more information or to get involved contact Susan Hunt at susan@awfumc.org or 334-356-8014 or toll-free number 888-873-3127. Click here for resources(Posted 6/27/2016) 
 
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/
 
Mid-Career Retirement Seminar
October 6, 2016
9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at Covenant United Methodist Church, Dothan, AL
You must register in advance (the deadline is September 19, 2016) to receive lunch and be provided with a current, up-to-date copy of your United Methodist pension projection. The cost to attend this seminar is $5/individual and $10/couple. Click here for a brochure. The event page is here.
 
 
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
 
2016 Optional Standard Mileage Rates
(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. >>
 
Do You Have The AWF Conference App? 
Navigate the conference Website easier by downloading the free AWF app! Scan the QR code (pictured right) to download. Available for iPhones, iPads and Droid mobile devices.
 
AWF Conference News
You can subscribe to the AWFC NewsCONNECTION here.
For the AWFC NewsCONNECTION archives visit http://AWFUMC.org/Newsletters.  
 
Continuing Education Chair
Rev. Dr. Geoffrey Lentz is overseeing continuing education credit.  If your local church offers an event  and wants CEUs awarded, please reach out to Dr. Lentz. (Posted 10/30/2014)
 
Do You Have Students Attending UWF or PSC?
The Wesley Foundation would like to contact students from your church if they are attending The University of West Florida or Pensacola State College.  If you have students currently attending, or heading that way in the fall, they would love to have their contact information so that they may welcome and invite them to be a part of our Wesley Foundation family.  Please e-mail this information to stuartworth@gmail.com.  
 
Safe Sanctuaries
The United Methodist Church is and has been vocal and active in its campaign for safe spaces for the vulnerable. For information about Safe Sanctuaries please visit http://www.umcdiscipleship.org/leadership-resources/safe-sanctuaries. This link provides resources, tools, and guidelines to help reduce risks for the vulnerable.  
 
 
 
United Methodist Women has been very active in programs of educating and providing tools and resources against human trafficking and for protecting women and children. More information is available at http://www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/human-trafficking.
                               

 
Around the Web 
 
United Methodists in the News
 
 
Quick Links: (Scroll down the page for more!)
 
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How to Write Your Way to Better Bible Study
(UMCom.org) - Combining note-taking and journaling can enhance your Bible study, prayer time, and sermon preparation. United Methodist Communications has an article about this here.
   
2016 Clergy Age Trends Report
The 2016 edition of the Lewis Center’s annual Clergy Age Trends in the United Methodist Church is now available at https://www.churchleadership.com/clergyage. [Download here the 2016 Clergy Age Trends Report.]  A five-minute video summary of the report is also available.  Below are some highlights from the report. Figures for each conference can be found in the report.
 
Decade-Long Modest but Steady Increase in Young Elders Continues
Growth among young elders has been slow but relatively steady (about 14 per year) since 2005, the low point when only 850 or 4.69 percent of elders were under 35. In 2016, there are 1,003 young elders that comprise 6.84 percent of the pool of active elders, the highest since the 1990s. The overall pool of active elders is now smaller by almost 3,500 elders since 2005.
 
Fewer Middle Age Elders
Unfortunately, the modest gain in the presence of young elders was offset by a continuing substantive decline in the number and percentage of elders aged 35 to 54. This mid-age group continues to shrink, from 65 percent of all active elders in 2000 to 37 percent in 2016.
 
Proportion of Older Clergy Continues to Grow
Elders between ages 55 and 72 comprise 56 percent of all active elders, the highest percentage in history. This group reached 50 percent for the first time ever in 2010. This age cohort represented only 30 percent of active elders as recently as 2000.  
 
Clergy Are Retiring Later
Since 2000, there has been a fairly consistent increase in the age at which clergy retire. The average age at which United Methodist clergy retired in 2000 was just under 64. By 2015, the last full year of data, the average retirement age had increased to just over 66.
 
Much more information is available in the complete Clergy Age Trends report, which is available for download free of charge. The Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary is pleased to provide this report as a service to the church.   If you do not currently receive Leading Ideas, the Center’s free online newsletter, please consider subscribing today at www.churchleadership.com.    
 

SEJ Episcopal Nominee Videos Available Online
Fourteen Episcopal candidates from the Southeastern Jurisdiction presented to delegates and guests on Tuesday, May 17 and Wednesday, May 18, 2016, during lunch breaks at General Conference. All candidates were asked to answer two questions within a six-minute time frame. The first question asked nominees to name two of the most important accomplishments in their ministry, while the next question allowed this group to inform SEJ delegates where their passion lies and how they would bring it to life, if elected. Elections for Bishop in the Southeastern Jurisdiction Conference will be held July 12-15, 2016, at Lake Junaluska, NC. Click here to see nominee videos.
 
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 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        
 
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
 
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
 
(From The Lewis Center) - Includes the topics "Concluding Ministry in One Setting" and "Beginning Ministry in a New Setting."
 
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
 
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
 
Church Newsletters
 
United Methodist Men - Chartering
Click here for UMM news and information about chartering.  
 
The United Methodist Church and Social Issues
Safe Sanctuaries
 
Human Trafficking
United Methodist Women has been very active in programs of educating and providing tools and resources against human trafficking and for protecting women and children. More information is available at http://www.unitedmethodistwomen.org/human-trafficking.
 
Abortion
"5 Reasons the Church Should Talk About Abortion"
(Seedbed 7/30/2015) - "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. >>
 

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

 
 
What Does The United Methodist Church Believe About Abortion?
Planned Parenthood has been in the news a lot, especially in relation to life and rights of the unborn. 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, there is also 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.
 
AWF Petition to Withdraw from Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice Passes!
(AWFC 5/19/2016) - Petition number 60837, entitled “Withdraw from Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice” was passed by the 2016 General Conference voting body with a vote of in favor of 425 to 268. This petition was co-sponsored by the AWF Conference, along with the Mississippi, North Carolina, Indiana and Western Pennsylvania Conferences. The petition reads, “RCRC is a one-sided political lobby that opposes all disapproval or limitation of abortion.  RCRC’s advocacy often directly contradicts our Social Principles on abortion but it still uses our Church’s name. Several annual conferences and many United Methodist leaders have urged the Church to end all association with RCRC.” Petition 60838 was also approved that requires The General Board of Church & Society to withdraw their membership from RCRC.  Click here to read the AWF petition to General Conference.   
 
Same-sex Marriage
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. >>
 
Bishops Overrule Nonconformity Resolutions
(UMC.org 9/15/2016) - Two bishops, in separate rulings, have voided two resolutions in the Northeastern United States that called for defying church restrictions on gay and lesbian individuals. The full article is here.
 
Bishops Approve Plan for Sexuality Panel
(UMNS 7/25/2016) - Amid growing concerns for the denomination’s future, United Methodist bishops approved a plan for establishing a commission dealing with church teachings on homosexuality. The bishops’ executive committee also took a step toward a special session of General Conference, the denomination’s top lawmaking body, in early 2018. The Council of Bishops executive committee met July 19-20 in Chicago behind closed doors to discuss creating the Commission on a Way Forward, which General Conference authorized in May. The full council has charged its 17-member executive committee with developing a framework for the new commission. More here.
 
Other Articles:
 
Mental Illness 
Mental Illness and Churches - "Breaking the Taboo"
(UMCOM) - "Mental illness is better understood today, but some of the abuse from the past has been replaced with silence in the present. It is time for the church to step up and move beyond the taboo.... Churches are places of refuge. Church members are spiritual families. Still, it is more difficult than it seems.... The United Methodist Church’s statement of beliefs regarding ministries in mental illness encourages churches to love, welcome and pray for all individuals, especially those who are suffering. The church can be an agent of change through education and encouragement."  MORE here >>
  
Update Your Find-A-Church Listing
Provided by United Methodist Communications and the local church, Find-A-Church allows you to introduce your church family to the community. By updating your church profile, you will help seekers find your church. Your profile serves as a powerful online tool for evangelism. Find-A-Church has almost 35,000 United Methodist Church profiles gaining more than 12,000 page views daily. Take advantage of this tool and get started now!  Update your church's profile by searching here.  By updating your church profile, you can:
  • Welcome visitors personally to your congregation.
  • Display your church's ministries and activities.
  • Add details about your worship schedule.
  • Link to your church's Web site for a closer look.
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! 
 
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   
 
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