The Pensacola District of The United Methodist Church
Monday, February 20, 2017
Here for You - Serving Jesus
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E-mail and Website Issues
E-zekiel (who provide the Pensacola District website, e-mail, and domain) has been experiencing multiple server problems.
As a result, we have been intermittently experiencing issues with e-mail and being able to log into and manage this website.
We have been informed that the issues have been resolved.
 
 
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Around the Pensacola District 
 
                     
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Blue United Methodist Hymnals Needed
The choir director at Bagdad United Methodist Church is looking for 10-12 old blue United Methodist hmnals, copyright 1989, ISBN # 0-687-43132-8. If you can help please call the church office at 850-626-1948. 
 
 
 
2017 Edition of Len Wilson's "Top 25"
Two churches of the Alabama-West Florida Conference made the 2017 edition of Len Wilson's "Top 25 Fastest Growing Large United Methodist Churches." Number 10 is the Pensacola District's Crosspoint United Methodist Church and number 23 is the Marianna-Panama City District's Woodlawn United Methodist Church. Continue here for the article
 
Update on Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries
PUMCM Needs Shelving
Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries needs storage shelving that can display toys, home goods, books, and electronics in their thrift store. Metal, wood, and plastic units would all be welcomed. 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.
 
PUMCM Video
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.
 
 
PUMCM and Habitat for Humanity Seek Volunteers
Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries (Pensacola, FL) and Habitat for Humanity need volunteers for neighborhood revitalization projects in Brownsville, one of the areas of highest need and lowest income in Florida. Projects include day projects - cleaning yards, installing wheelchair ramps, minor repairs, small painting projects, etc.; weekend projects - for larger projects come and stay at "His Place" at PUMCM (bunk rooms and beds for 22, kitchen, showers, $10 per person per night); and week-long mission trips - multiple projects or smaller ones in multiple locations within the 28-block neighborhood.  To plan your project contact Peggy or Jon at Pensacola Habitat:  pfowler@pensacolahabitat.org or jpotrzeba@pensacolahabitat.org, 850-434-5456. For more information visit www.pensacolahabitat.org. To reserve housing on-line or more information about PUMCM visit www.PUMCM.org. Click here for the flyer as a pdf.
 
 
Pensacola District Town Hall Meetings
with Bishop Graves February 26-28
UPDATE:  Note RSVP deadline for the laity meeting!
Bishop David Graves, Resident Bishop of the Alabama-West Florida Conference, will visit the Pensacola District February 26-28, 2017. He will meet with district leadership, clergy and laity over the course of the three-day period. The event page is here.   
 
Positions Available
Submit job posts at AWFUMC.org/Classifieds then send us the link after your ad is posted!
Here are the most recent positions:
 
 
 

 
Administrative Announcements 
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Commissioning and Ordination Requirements
For information about commissioning and ordination requirements, deadlines, and to download the required forms visit http://www.awfumc.org/commissioningandordination. Look for the PACKETS.
 
New Clergy?
Important information for newly-appointed clergy is at http://umcpensacoladistrict.org/RightStart.
 
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.
 
 
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 training booklet.
 
 
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. 
                                                     

 
Around the Conference   

      
Quick Links: (Scroll down the page for more!)   

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Strengths-based Finder Workshops
(AWFC-UMC 2/02/2017) - A local church staff can “make it or break it” based on how well they connect with one another. Knowing each other's strengths can offer a glimpse into how they can be most productive. To read more about the Strengths-based Finder Workshops, please continue here for the article. For more information or to schedule Rev. Jernigan, please contact her at 334-356-8014, 888-873-3127 or june@awfumc.org.   
 
A Word from Bishop David Graves
Monday, January 29
(AWFC-UMC 1/29/2017) - We invite you to hear a message from Bishop David Graves, Resident Bishop of the Alabama-West Florida Conference. Click on the image or here to view. Click here to read the written transcript.  Bishop Graves gives specific information about the upcoming day apart on February 21, including a few requests about what to bring in preparation for the day.  You may also listen to this message as an audio-only podcast by clicking here, by searching for "AWFUMC Podcasts" on iTunes or in your preferred podcast player. We invite you to subscribe to these podcasts. 
 
Bishop's Day Apart - More Details
(AWFC-UMC 1/30/2017) - The 2017 Bishop's Day Apart will be held Tuesday, February 21, 2017, at Dothan FUMC. Bishop David Graves will welcome Rev. Jerry Herships out of the Denver, CO area. This day apart will look different from past years and will have a more interactive component. The sessions will be a bit more interactive than perhaps you’re used to experiencing. The topic is entitled, “That'll Preach! How to Make Your Message Stick.” Rev. Herships will explore his innovative techniques to engage all personality types through your sermons. Jerry will give a similar presentation that he did last year at the Fred Craddock Center in Cherry Log, North Carolina. You will walk away with practical knowledge to further engage your congregations. Claire Bowen will facilitate a 15-minute Communications Style Preference assessment at the beginning of our session that will allow us to better understand how we engage with differing personalities. We are also asking that you bring a rough-draft sermon you are working on that is not Wi-Fi dependent, perhaps your Easter or Ash Wednesday sermon. Click here to register.
 
Clergywomen's Day Apart February 22
9:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at Tabernacle UMC in Dothan (4205 South Brannon Stand Road).
Clergywomen will be meeting with Bishop David Graves. We will have lunch but need an RSVP  by 2/16. Please RSVP to Olivia Poole at 334-462-7055 or Olivia.L.Poole@gmail.com.  The hospitality team at Tabernacle will provide lunch and we will be accepting a donation to offset their expenses.     
 
2017 Health & Wellness Initiative
(A Note to AWFC Clergy Health Participants)
(AWFC-UMC 1/23/2017) - The Conference Board of Pension & Health Benefits has begun the Health & Wellness Initiative for 2017.  AWFC Clergy Health Participants, please take a moment to read these documents regarding the 2 requirements for the Health & Wellness Initiative and additional information for 2017: 2017wellnessrollout1.pdf    
 
Disaster Response Update January 24
(AWFC-UMC 1/24/2017) - This past weekend, tornadoes ripped through Mississippi and South Georgia leaving behind destruction and at least 20 people dead. Our brothers and sisters in those conferences are asking for our help in several ways, including needing ERT teams and chainsaw teams. UMCOR Sager Brown Depot in Baldwin, LA is asking for churches to assemble more health kits, as their supply was already low. Details are at http://www.awfumc.org/outofconferencerecoveries. Check that site for updates as available."  To view the January 24 Disaster Response e-mail, click here                 
 
Fresh Expressions Vision Day March 30
The Alabama-West Florida Conference will be having a "Fresh Expressions Vision Day" March 30 at Prattville First United Methodist Church in Alabama. A link to information, flyer and to register is http://www.awfumc.org/freshexpressionsvisionday2017. Pictured (right) is Rev. Neil McDavid speaking on this topic. Neil will also be presenting this topic at the Pensacola District's Leadership Inspirational Training Event (LITE Day) 3-4:45 p.m. Sunday afternoon, January 22, at Navarre UMC.
New Continuing Education Chair
In January 2017, Reverend Dr. Jeff Spicer will replace Dr. Geoffrey Lentz as Chairperson of Continuing Education.  If you are planning an event and need CEU authorization or have questions about continuing education, here is Dr. Spicer's contact information. He is also the pastor at Mary Esther United Methodist Church.
AWFC Prayer & Resources Calendars for 2017 Available!
The AWFC Prayer and Resources Calendar for 2017 are now available and can be ordered online for $5 each at https://awf-reg.brtapp.com/2017Calendarpurchase. The 2017 calendar features pictures of conference ministries and was put together by Luke Lucas, AWFC Communications Specialist. (Posted 11/30/2016)
 
Update:  The Pensacola District Office has about 18 extra 2017 Prayer Calendars available for FREE while the supply lasts!  If you'd like to have one, feel free to stop by and pick it up.
  
Inspirit 2017 April 6-8
Inspirit 2017, a time to rekindle, relax and renew ... a ministry event designed for adults age 50+, will be held April 6-8, 2017, at Blue Lake Assembly.  The 2017 theme will be "Old Time Religion: Come explore with us the days of camp meetings and circuit riders."  Keynote speakers will be Dr. Jimmy Jeffcoat (Professor of Religion, Huntingdon College) and Rev. Ed Shirley, Pastor at Brundidge UMC.  The registration brochure is here (pdf). Questions?  Contact Mrs. Barbara Wilder, Conference Coordinator of Older Adults, bwilder@yourcrosspoint.org. Reservation deadline is March 22.  This event is sponsored by the Alabama West Florida Conference Older Adult Task Force. The event page is here.
 
 
A Word from Bishop David Graves
about General Conference & Town Hall Meetings
(AWFC-UMC 11/10/2016) - We invite you to hear a word from Bishop David Graves about the upcoming special called general conference session and the AWF district town hall meetings. Click here to watch video or on the image below. Click here to read written transcript.  You may also listen to this message as an audio-only podcast by clicking here, by searching for "AWFUMC Podcasts" on iTunes or in your preferred podcast player. We invite you to subscribe to these podcasts.
 
(AWFC-UMC 10/28/2016) - Bishop David Graves, Resident Bishop of the Alabama-West Florida Conference, will visit each district starting in January. He will meet with district leadership, clergy and laity over the course of the three-day period. More details, including location, are forthcoming.
 
Here are the dates for each district:
January 8-10 in Montgomery-Prattville District
January 22-24 in Mobile District
January 29-31 in Montgomery-Opelika District
February 12-14 in Dothan District
February 26-28 in Pensacola District
March 5-7 in Marianna/Panama City District
March 26-28 in Demopolis District
April 2-4 in Baypines District    
 
Huntingdon College Leadership Academy
(Huntingdon College) - Nomination and registration forms opened November 1, 2016, for the 2017 Huntingdon College Leadership Academy. Churches nominate youth who will be entering their junior or senior year of high school to participate in the year-long HLA program. Students participate in a week of summer residency at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama, and take part in several online gatherings over the course of the year with members of their cohort and Huntingdon College faculty and staff. Together, churches and families contribute $100 of the cost per participant. The remaining cost is entirely covered through the generosity of the Lilly Endowment.
 
PASTORS:    To nominate, please use this form: Leadership Academy Sponsorship Form. (Please submit one form per student.)
STUDENTS: To register, please use this form: HLA Student Registration Form.
MORE INFO: Follow the HLA on Facebook and Instagram for updates and more information!
 
Send your registration fee to Huntingdon Leadership Academy, Huntingdon College, 1500 E. Fairview Ave., Montgomery, AL 36106.  If you are a church official or student who has questions, or if your church would like to send a list of students for consideration, please speak with director of the HLA, Sophy Shore, at 334-833-4455 or sshore@hawks.huntingdon.edu.
 

MORE INFO: Follow the HLA on Facebook and Instagram for updates!     

 

Disaster Preparedness 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.
 
(AWFC-UMC September 1, 2016) -  "[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.
 
Alabama-West Florida Conference News
You can subscribe to the AWFC NewsCONNECTION here.
For the AWFC NewsCONNECTION archives visit http://AWFUMC.org/Newsletters.
 
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
                               

 
Around the Web 
 
 
Quick Links: (Scroll down the page for more!)
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50 Ways to Take Church to the Community
(The Lewis Center 11/24/2014) -  Here's an old but good article.... "Churches can no longer open their doors and expect that people will come in. Effective congregations go into the world to encounter those in need of the gospel. These 50 Ways provide tips on reaching beyond the walls of your church with worship, community events, ministries, and service."  Continue here for the article.  Here's the information as a pdf you can share with others.   
 
 
Methodists in the News
Free Webinars for Church Leaders (Posted 2/06/2017)
The following Webinars are free and are made possible by the generous support of our churches for the World Service Fund.
 
Financial Tips for Clergy: Take the Bite Out of Income Taxes!
DATE: Monday, February 13, 2017TIME: 10:00 a.m. Central
PRESENTER: Rev. Don Joiner, Certified Financial Planner & Rev. Ken SloaneClergy face some unique challenges when it comes to things like social security payments, estimated tax payments, housing allowances or exclusions, and reimbursed expenses. It is important to know the rules, but also the way to minimize the impact of your tax liability. Not every tax preparer understands the unique situation of clergy, and finding one who does can save you substantially in money and aggravation. Join us as the Rev. Don Joiner, a certified financial planner, offers tips to clergy who are navigating the preparation of taxes and planning for a sound financial future.
 
The Church Audit: You Can Do This!
Register here >>
DATE: Thursday, March 9, 2017
TIME: 6:30 p.m. Central
PRESENTER: Ken Sloane, Director of Stewardship and Connectional Ministries
Every congregation needs to do a church audit, but it doesn't have to be a big expense or an insurmountable obstacle. There is a great Local Church Audit Guide, available free for United Methodist churches that will take you through it step by step. Going through the process builds confidence among you financial leaders and projects transparency to your donors. Join us as we explore the tools that can make this process easier than you thought.
 
Offering Electronic Giving: What Are You Waiting For?
Register here >>
DATE: Thursday, May 11, 2017
TIME: 6:30 p.m. Central
PRESENTER: Ken Sloane, Director of Stewardship and Connectional Ministries
Electronic giving is not the future of charitable giving, it is the present reality. If your church is not offering this as an option for those who attend your church, you are missing out on generous giving. If there have been obstacles to making this option available to your church, we will talk about them in this webinar. 
 
"Open Borders" Statement from Council of Bishops President
Prompts Debate
 
Commission on a Way Forward Holds Organizational Meeting
(UMNS 1/26/2017) - The Commission on a Way Forward held its first meeting in Atlanta, Georgia January 23-26, 2017, with 32 members from nine countries in attendance. Led by commission moderators Bishop David Yemba, Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball and Bishop Ken Carter, members worked and worshipped together and began the foundational work integral to their charge of developing consensus about how to move forward amid different theological understandings of LGBTQ identity. “We need to diagnose what is happening in our churches, in our denomination and in our world,” said Bishop Ken Carter. “We sometimes pre-arrive at a diagnosis. Let us be careful and deliberate and thoughtful and take the time we need to diagnose what is going on in our church.” The moderators are not members of the Commission, but help to facilitate the conversation. Presentations from Dawn Wiggins Hare, General Secretary of the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women, and Erin Hawkins, General Secretary of the General Commission on Religion and Race, focused on gender, race and culture and provided some principles for self-monitoring and laid the groundwork for the group to agree on behavioral norms and build a covenant for their work together. Full story here.
 
About the Commission on a Way Forward:
The 32-member Commission on a Way Forward was appointed by the Council of Bishops to assist the bishops in their charge from the 2016 General Conference to lead the church forward amid the present impasse related to human sexuality and resulting questions about the unity of the church.
  The next meeting of the Commission will be February 27-March 2, in Atlanta, GA. For more information on the Commission on a Way Forward visit umc.org/wayforward
      
"How to Break Bad News to a Congregation and Community"
(UMCOM.org) - "Whether the boiler just failed in the middle of winter, there’s been a break-in, or a staff member was unexpectedly let go, bad news travels fast and can create chaos in your church. The actions and words of the pastor and church leaders can shape the perception of how the congregation and community feel and may have broad ramifications that last well beyond the moment and must be handled with extreme care...." 
 
This article recommends ten steps for handling bad news:  (1) Don't panic. (2) Convene your team. (3) Contact your conference communications director. (4) Investigate what happened and the impact of the crisis. (5) Take the time to listen. (6) Develop your message.  (7) Determine who will deliver the message and what communication channels you will use.* (8) Get the word out. (9) Monitor and react as needed. (10) Learn from it.  Continue here for the full article and elaboration on each point. >>  
 
* Some good points to note, step 7:  "As a leadership team, review what happened, the potential impacts and the concerns of your various audiences, then determine what you want to communicate. Develop a written response that everyone can agree with and that complies with any applicable laws. Do not make excuses or blame others for what has happened but directly own what your church is responsible for and apologize if it is appropriate. State the facts of what has happened (if permissible) and the steps that will be taken to address the situation. Never make negative or disparaging comments, but express hope, love and forgiveness for all involved. Consider having the church or conference communications director and legal counsel review the statement to prevent any missteps."
 
Free Resources to Equip Church Leaders for Revitalization
(Discipleship Ministries-UMC) - New guidebooks from Discipleship Resources are available for quality leadership team training for your church’s key staff, laity in leadership positions and pastor. Topics of the four TeamWorks Guidebooks are Spiritual Life of the Leaders, Connecting with Your Community, Creating a Discipleship System and Futurecasting. Each contains seminars, personal devotions, tools and articles, and downloadable presentation slides and webinars are available at the TeamWorks website. For more information, go to www.TeamWorksUMC.org or contact Craig Kennet Miller at cmiller@umcdiscipleship.org. (Posted 12/08/2016)
 
Scholarship/Loan and Other Dates on the Calendar
of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry
  • Spring/Summer Term Loan Application opens December 13. Read more here.
  • Scholarship Enrollment Period: January 3 - March 1, 2017. Read more here.
  • Excellence Scholarship opens January 2017. Read more here.
  • Exploration 2017: Save the date! Exploration 2017 is coming to Portland, Oregon, November 3-5, 2017. Read more here.
  • Story Telling as Spiritual Exploration: This workshop with Rev. Dr. Michael Williams is designed for chaplains and pastoral counselors through the UMEA office.
Clergy Finance Resources
The Lewis Center for Church Leadership and Wesley Theological Seminary have gathered free resources to help pastors better understand and manage their personal finances. The resources are available at https://www.churchleadership.com/clergyfinances. (Posted 11/10/2016)   
 
 
Council of Bishops to Call for 2019 General Conference
(UMNS 11/02/2016) - Through an affirmative vote at their fall meeting this week, the United Methodist Council of Bishops expressed their intent to call for a special session of the General Conference in either February or March 2019 and asked the business manager of the General Conference to move forward with exploring venues and a bid search. More here at awfumc.org.
          
 Are Your Worship Songs Appropriate? Do They Line Up with Good Theology?
(Discipleship Ministries 8/12/2016) - Songs are an important part of worship. They carry a message. But not all songs carry the right message. Some are inappropriate. Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church offers a tool to help worship leaders discern which songs to include in worship. Continue here for the article. >>
 
Free Special Sunday Resources
"How We Give" page at UMCgiving.org
What Are "Special Sundays?"
Six times throughout the year United Methodist congregations celebrate church-wide Special Sundays with offerings. United Methodists contribute to a variety of educational, community development, health and social welfare programs, many of which are administrated fully or in part through the General Board of Global Ministries. General Conference created six unique Special Sundays to help congregations work with communities, rebuild shattered lives, strengthen self-sufficiency, encourage partnerships, nurture Native American ministries, model peace and justice, provide scholarships and loans for United Methodist students, and much more. Special Sundays include Human Relations Day, One Great Hour of Sharing, Native American Ministries Sunday, Peace with Justice Sunday, World Communion Sunday, and United Methodist Student Day. 
 
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 

50 Ways to Take Church to the Community
(From the Lewis Center) - Here's an old but good article.... "Churches can no longer open their doors and expect that people will come in. Effective congregations go into the world to encounter those in need of the gospel. These 50 Ways provide tips on reaching beyond the walls of your church with worship, community events, ministries, and service."  Continue here for the article.  Here's the information as a pdf you can share with others.
 
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.  
 
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.  
  
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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