The Pensacola District of The United Methodist Church
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Here for You - Serving Jesus
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Around the Pensacola District  
 
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"Ministry & Depression" - A Workshop for Community Clergy 
Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017
8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
at Christ Episcopal Church, 28 West Wright Street, Pensacola, FL
 
There is no cost to attend.
 
This event has been approved for clergy continuing education credit.
 
If you have questions please contact Ruth Ward at 850-469-2363.
 
This workshop is presented by Baptist Hospital Department of Pastoral Services and Center for Clergy Care & Education.
    
 
"Praying Our Way Forward" Prayer by Dr. Tim Trent
(AWFC-UMC-FB 9/15/2017) - We complete this week's "Praying Our Way Forward" initiative with a final prayer from Rev. Tim Trent, Pensacola District Superintendent. Thank you to those who participate this week though prayer and bell/chime ringing. All prayers can be see at this link:  http://www.awfumc.org/dailyprayers.
 
O God, you have promised that if with all our hearts we truly seek you, we shall ever surely find you. With all our hearts, we seek you now even as we know you are seeking us. We thank you for your goodness to us. May we try more consistently to deserve it. We thank you for treating us better than we deserve. Help us to treat each other in the same way.
 
Father, we need your forgiveness. We have done things that we should not have done. We can’t even plead ignorance. We knew what was right and did what we knew was wrong. We need your cleansing.
 
Deeds unkind, words untrue, thoughts unclean: the stain of these is on us all. When we contrast our moral shabbiness with your holiness, Father, we are ashamed. Create in us a clean heart and mind. What in us is dark, illumine; what is low, raise and support.
 
Father, we need your peace; that peace that passes all understanding. In a troubled, strife-torn world we need that peace that the world cannot bestow. We know that all peace comes from you. We also know that there can be no peace in the world or the church until there is first peace in each of us. May your peace enfold us, calm, compose, and quiet us as we continually seek your presence.
 
O God, grant that in our hearts there may be no bitterness toward anyone, and help us remember that we cannot be at one with you if we are not one with our fellowman. Take from us the critical and fault-finding spirit, so that we may really be your church. Give to us the spirit of love, forgiveness, acceptance, welcoming and encouragement, so that your great church will be a true representation of your spirit.
 
O God, open our eyes that we may see. Open our minds that we may think. Open our ears that we may hear. Open our mouths that we may speak of your great love, peace and forgiveness. Open our hearts that we my love. Open our hands that we may serve and embrace one another in acceptance and thanksgiving.
 
We ask these and all things in the strong and mighty name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
 
Pensacola District Superintendent
 
 
Should Our Church Be a Shelter to Evacuees?
Click here for a 2-page document on this topic from the AWF Conference.  
 
Pensacola District on Facebook
Just when we gave up our old Facebook page for dead, FB support answered and fixed the glitch.  Now it's back up and running again!  Be sure to "like"/follow us at https://www.facebook.com/PensacolaDistrictUMC!
     
Lay Servant Training September 30 & October 7
Here is the flyer. The event page on the AWF Conference calendar is here.
                   
Positions Available
To view the Alabama-West Florida Conference Classifieds page or to submit an ad for their website please visit AWFUMC.org/Classifieds. To post a job listing here (on the District Message Board) please submit your ad at the AWFC.org Classifieds page then send us the page URL after the ad is posted.  For employment opportunities at Crosspoint UMC (Niceville/Crestview) visit yourcrosspointcc.org/employment. For employment opportunities at Pensacola First UMC visit http://fumcpensacola.com/www/job-openings/.
 
Here are positions posted on Crosspoint UMC's Employment Opportunities page 9/22/2017:
Niceville Campus: Academy Teachers, Assistant Teachers and SubsNiceville Campus: Administrative Assistant (Kids Ministry)
Niceville Campus: Culinary Team Member
Niceville Campus: Custodian Technician
                         
New Name for the District Board of Missions
In 2017 the Pensacola District Board of Methodist Missions, Inc. was renamed Pensacola District Board of Church Development.  Executive Board members for 2017 are Duane Keck (President), Al Bruner (Vice President), Owen Sharp (Treasurer), John Edwards (Clergy Member), Tom Sharron (Clergy Member), Jeff Spicer (Clergy Member), Gene Floore (District Lay Leader), Bruce Knecht (District Lay Servant Ministries Director), David Crawford (District Missions Coordinator), Tim Trent (District Superintendent), Tim Wentworth (District UMM President), and Pat Dodge (District UMW President).
 
Pensacola District Superintendent Receives UMM Award
April 21, 2017, at the Annual United Methodist Men's Advance, Pensacola District Superintendent Tim Trent (pictured right) received the Robert Powell Award, which is the highest award anyone can receive in our conference representing United Methodist Men. Congratulations, Tim! 
                               
An Ongoing Ministry: PUMCM and Habitat 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.
 

 
Administrative Announcements
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If You Missed Our Annual Fall District Clergy Gathering.... 
Here are some items we distributed and discussed at the District Clergy Welcome Dinner and meeting Tuesday, July 25:
* 2017-2018 Pensacola District Clergy Directory
Because the directory contains personal contact information and is therefore not available to the general public, there is no online link.  If you would like a copy and you are one of our ministers, local church office assistant(s), district officers, or AWFC personnel, please e-mail your request to the Pensacola District Office here.
* Information about this year's annual Charge Conferences
At the time of our July 25 we were still awaiting final decisions on this year's checklist and forms from the head office in Montgomery. All the forms will be available online only in pdf, but if working with pdfs presents a problem for you and you really need them in MS Word, please send your request to the district office by e-mail so that they can be e-mailed to you. We distributed copies of the Charge Conference Schedule (click here). Look for updates at http://UMCPensacolaDistrict.org/CCforms.
 
IMPORTANT - Attention Senior Pastors! 
Re: Two Questions to Answer in Advance of Charge Conference
District Superintendent Tim Trent noted that, again this year, he is requiring every church to submit these three charge conference reports to the district office at least one week prior to their charge conference:  Report of the Pastor, Report of the Committee on Nominations, and Local Church Pastor Compensation Report for 2018.
 
The Report of the Pastor form asks for the names of those added and subtracted from the roll by category.  What I want the senior pastor to report in advance is the total number added and subtracted by category, the number baptized and to answer these questions:  (1) Have you conducted a confirmation class this past year? (2) How many have been confirmed this past year?
Pensacola District churches are to complete and include this form with their charge conference forms.
This, from the Cabinet, is a list of coaches available for ministers. This is not a requirement, but if you can sign on with a coach (of course, their services require payment), you will find this can be very helpful. If you have any questions about this, you can contact our district superintendent, Tim Trent.
* The new United Methodist Handbook   
Copies of the new Handbook were available to everyone attending, and more copies are available at the district office - or you can download or order copies of this free booklet online. More information is here.
* Information from Dr. Donna Pruett, Pensacola District representative for Senior Adult Ministries
You can download Donna's 2-page information sheet here.
* Pamphlets for the Holy Land Classic Educational Opportunities Tour January 16-25, 2018
If you need more information about this trip, the contact person for the Pensacola District is Rev. Ashley Meyer. There are extra copies of the brochure at the Pensacola District Office, and there's a video about the trip here
 
Video for Training Your Church Leaders about Safe Sanctuaries
(AWFC 6/22/2017) - If your church has already adopted and put into practice a Safe Sanctuaries policy, wonderful! Now we ask you to assist your fellow members in becoming knowledgeable about the requirements, including the essential requirement of ongoing training and reporting. If your church has not established a local Safe Sanctuaries policy, we sincerely recommend that you place this important topic on the agenda of your next Administrative Board meeting and take an active role in complying with the Annual Conference directives regarding this matter.
 
A training video has been prepared and a link to it is attached here. Accessing the video is easier now as there is a link to it on the home page of our conference website. We hope that you will ensure that it will be viewed by every member of your staff and every person who volunteers in Sunday School, youth ministry and any other church-related activity which involves children and vulnerable adults. The Trustees would also like to encourage you to invite all of your Adult Sunday School classes to use it for a class lesson. 

Yours in Christ,
Sue Bell Cobb
Chair, AWF Conference Trustees Safe Sanctuaries Committee
 
Recommended Minimum Salary for 2018
On June 7, 2017, the AWF Annual Conference approved the Commission on Equitable Compensation's recommendation of a minimum salary of $37,200 for all full-time appointed clergy for 2018.    
 
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? Visit http://UMCPensacolaDistrict.org/ChurchLeadershipRoles.  There's a lot of helpful information for Staff-Parish/Pastor-Parish Relations Committees at http://UMCPensacolaDistrict.org/SPR, including training booklet.
 
If your church elects a new treasurer inform sharon@awfumc.org! Their system is not connected with the AWFC database.
                                                     

 
Around the Conference   

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Healing Workshops in October - Two Locations
 
The Board of Discipleship will be hosting two healing ministries workshops for lay and clergy in October. "There IS a Balm in Gilead: Healing Ministries Through Your Local Church" will feature Jeff Kirby from Church of the Resurrection. This workshop begins with theory/theology and will build towards practice. We will weave in real stories along the way. We plan to conclude with a Service of Healing. Spiritual Directors will facilitate this gathering. The registration cost is $35.00. The first workshop will be on Saturday, October 7, 2017, at the  Crosspoint in  North Crestview. Click here to register for the Crestview workshop. The second will be on Sunday, October 8, 2017, at Aldersgate UMC in Montgomery.  Click here to register for the Montgomery workshop.
             
"Praying Our Way Forward"
(AWF NewsCONNECTION 9/18/2017) - The Alabama-West Florida Conference participated in the "Praying Our Way Forward" initiative. The denomination-wide initiative launched on New Year’s Day 2017 with 75 weeks of focused prayer for The United Methodist Church. Each annual conference will take one week to have intentional prayer for the mission of The United Methodist Church to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world and for the work of the Commission on a Way Forward. The effort began in the North Carolina Conference and will conclude in the West Angola Episcopal area in June 2018. The week started with a prayer from Bishop David Graves. Throughout the week prayers were posted from the AWF district superintendents online and via social media. Local churches also participated by ringing their chimes or bells on Wednesday, September 13, 2017, from 5:23-5:30pm. The 23 signified the week date the 2019 special called session will begin. 
 
Bishop Forms New Team to Help Congregations in Crisis
(Kari Barlow for the AWF Conference) - A new 19-member Bishop’s Response Team now stands ready to support congregations across the Alabama-West Florida Conference in times of crisis. Bishop David Graves, along with his cabinet and the Board of Ordained Ministry, began forming the team in May, after recognizing the need to provide more tangible support to churches dealing with a wide range of disruptive and life-altering events. “His vision is to deploy a response team of trained persons into a church and community whenever there is a traumatic event,” said Rev. June Jernigan, Assistant to Graves and Director of Ministerial Services. “He wants the congregation, complainant, clergy and clergy family to find support, encouragement and healing.” Full story here.
 
         
 
Information about Lay Servant Ministries
 
The Mid-career Retirement Seminar - CANCELED
The Mid-career Retirement Seminar originally scheduled for October 5, 2017, has been CANCELED due to lack of registrants.
                    
A Word from Bishop David Graves 2017
                        
Upcoming Events on the AWFC Calendar:

Pensacola District Lay Servant Ministries Training September 30 

World Communion Sunday October 1

Mid-career Retirement Seminar October 5 <-- This event has been CANCELED due to lack of registrants

Baypines District Day Apart October 7

Healing Ministries Workshop (CBOD) Crestview October 7

COT Mobile Books, Balls, and Blocks Event October 7

Healing Ministries Workshop (CBOD) Montgomery October 8

Wesley Heirs Fall Gathering October 10-11

ERT Training, Dothan District October 14

SEJ Black Methodists for Church Renewal October 19-21

UMW Spiritual Enrichment Retreat October 20-22

Prayer Shawl Retreat October 23-26

At The Table: An Intentional Multi-Ethnic Gathering October 28

ERT Training, Lynn Haven UMC October 28

Pensacola District Conference November 5

Pensacola District Youth Fused Conference November 5

2017-2020 Spiritual Direction Training November 13-16

 
Newsletters of the AWFC Historical Society
Newsletters of the AWFC Historical can be downloaded at http://www.awfhistory.com.
The spring 2017 issue features, among other churches, Trinity UMC of Ft. Walton Beach, FL. 
The winter 2017 issue, pages 8 & 9, features Crosspoint UMC.
The September 21, 2017, meeting of the Historical Society will be at the oldest Methodist church in Florida - Pensacola First UMC.
 
 
You Can Use Amazon to Support UMCH!
Making purchases online? If you use smile.amazon.com when shopping, the United Methodist Children's Home will receive 0.5% of your purchase. More here. >>
Continuing Education Chair
In January 2017, Reverend Dr. Jeff Spicer replaced 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 pastor at Mary Esther United Methodist Church.
 Disaster Preparedness for Local Churches
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 9/01/2016) -  "[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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Ministry Planning
 
 
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. 
 
Does Your Church Need an Online Campus?
(Lewis Center) - Multi-site ministry expert Jim Tomberlin says having an internet campus involves more than just offering a video sermon online. It involves offering a full, virtual experience of church. He anticipates an explosion of internet campuses in the coming years. More here....   
 
"5 Lessons from a Hilarious Spoof on Contemporary Worship"
How & What Are We Communicating?
(UMCom) - "There's a lot of psychology and technology behind the ebb and flow of a powerful contemporary service. When it is God-centered and done well, participants often experience worship as a genuinely compelling encounter that positively affects their lives." 
 
"If you haven’t seen 'Sunday's Coming,' the 'movie trailer' for contemporary worship, then do so now. The producers of this video come from a large contemporary church. They’re poking fun at themselves and it’s obviously a spoof, but if you analyze the worship elements they’re depicting, we can actually learn some powerful lessons about communication." For the article continue here.... 
 
Then there is the video "What If Starbucks Marketed Like a Church? A Parable." One person commented on the video, "... and the music ... is so insanely loud, it is unhealthy for human eardrums." How and what are we communicating?  
 
 Is Your Worship Appropriate? Does It 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. Here's a tool to help worship leaders discern which songs to include in worship. Continue here for the article. >>
 
How to Care for the Children in Your Congregation
(UMC.org) - We can easily overlook or ignore children. That should not be the case in church. Does your church reach out to families? If so, make every effort to affirm the children in your congregation. How can you minister to the needs of the youngest members of your congregation? Acknowledge them. Include them. Protect them. Continue here for the article.
 
Video for Training Your Church Leaders about Safe Sanctuaries
(AWFC 6/22/2017) - If your church has already adopted and put into practice a Safe Sanctuaries policy, wonderful! Now we ask you to assist your fellow members in becoming knowledgeable about the requirements, including the essential requirement of ongoing training and reporting. If your church has not established a local Safe Sanctuaries policy, we sincerely recommend that you place this important topic on the agenda of your next Administrative Board meeting and take an active role in complying with the Annual Conference directives regarding this matter.
 
A training video has been prepared and a link to it is attached here. Accessing the video is easier now as there is a link to it on the home page of our conference website. We hope that you will ensure that it will be viewed by every member of your staff and every person who volunteers in Sunday School, youth ministry and any other church-related activity which involves children and vulnerable adults. The Trustees would also like to encourage you to invite all of your Adult Sunday School classes to use it for a class lesson. 

Yours in Christ,
Sue Bell Cobb
Chair, AWF Conference Trustees Safe Sanctuaries Committee
      
Webinars on Developing Your Ministry Plan
(UMC Discipleship) - Bring your team together to use the School of Congregational Development Ministry Plan to develop a focus for your church. During these 60-minute sessions, you will learn key principals for congregational development, focus on key areas of congregational ministry, and engage in a time of learning for your whole team.  Join all four webinars to build your team and implement new ideas for vital congregational ministry. New this year, participants can earn a CEU Credit of .4 for participating in all four sessions. The dates will be October 5, 12, 19, and 26. The October 5th Webinar will be at 10 a.m. Central time.  At the link below you can download the Ministry Plan Handout 2017, which gives you all the material you need to participate in the webinars. 
 
Click here for the handout: Ministry_Plan_Webinars_Handouts_2017.pdf.
Click here to register:  Developing-your-ministry-plan.   
 
Prison Ministry
(AWFC-UMC Focus on Mission 6/28/2017) - Is your church already involved in some form of ministry to prisoners, released offenders, or their family members? Please be in touch with us because we would like to know more and how we can support you in your efforts.  We would also like to form a ministry team that will help churches become more involved in prison ministry. If you are interested in being part of this team, or just learning more, or will share what your church is already doing, contact Frank Clem (pictured right) at frankaclem@gmail.com or Susan Hunt at 334-356-8014 or susan@awfumc.org. Visit http://www.awfumc.org/prisonministry to read Frank's powerful testimony about his own prison experience and the redemption and healing he found. Frank is a member at Millbrook First UMC.   
                                               

 
Finance & Administration
 
 
Toolbox for the Annual Campaign
Will your church be planning an annual campaign this year?  If you missed July's live webinar on the topic, you can still view it online at your leisure. To view click here. After you complete the registration form the recording will begin.   
 
Finance and Stewardship Webinar for Local Churches
Are you looking for new ways to financially support your church’s ministry? United Methodist Communications offered a webinar September 7 on the topic of finance and stewardship. If you missed the live Webinar, look for the archived recording here. Resources such as this are available because of the generous contributions of Churches to the World Service Fund. 
 
Assess Your Church's Financial Health
(UMC-org) - Click here for the website summary of the article, here for the full 3-page article in pdf.
 
Financial Planning Services for Certified Candidates
(GBHEM.org 6/27/2017) - The Candidacy Office of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry has partnered with Wespath and EY (formerly Ernst & Young) to offer financial planning services to certified candidates for licensed and ordained ministry. The services will be offered at no cost to candidates upon certification by their district committees on ordained ministry. For more information visit https://www.gbhem.org/article/gbhem-candidacy-office-offers-financial-planning-services-certified-candidates.
 
Loan & Scholarship Dates of the General Board of Higher Education & Ministry
(GBHEM) - Below are upcoming loan and scholarship dates. For more information visit https://www.gbhem.org/loans-and-scholarships.
"Financial Tips for Clergy: Take the Bite Out of Taxes"    
You can view the recorded Webinar here.
"Clergy 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...."  
                     
Finance Resources for Clergy
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)  
 
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    
      
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 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. 
 
UMC Federal Credit Union
(UMC-FCU) - "The United Methodist Connectional Federal Credit Union (UMC FCU) was established to financially serve you, a member of the United Methodist Church. Ministers, lay members, employees, church staff and employees of organizations and ministries affiliated with the United Methodist Church of the Alabama West Florida Conference are eligible to join. Immediate family members of our members are also eligible to join.  Banking with the UMC FCU is a smart choice, as we are owned and operated by the people who use us. That’s why we’re dedicated to the things that really matter to you specifically positioned to offer you better rates, services, and products that often out match traditional or conventional financial institutions while also supporting the UMC mission.  We’ve taken great strides to provide you services the way you like. Online and mobile banking and new technology that will make your experience with us easy.
 

"Please join in our celebration of International Credit Union Day October 19th with various activities at our Marietta Georgia and Lakeland, FL branches as well as on our social media sites.  To learn how to become a valued member of the UMC FCU, visit our new website at UMCfcu.com. Be sure to connect with us on Instagram, Facebook, Google+, Twitter!"

 

 
Methodism
 
 
2017 Clergy Age Trends Report
The latest edition of the Lewis Center’s annual "Clergy Age Trends in the United Methodist Church" is now available at https://www.churchleadership.com/clergyage.
If you do not currently receive Leading Ideas, the Center’s free online newsletter, you can subscribe at www.churchleadership.com
 
10 Fascinating Facts about John Wesley
(UMCOM) - "History is more than facts and figures. It is full of real people with real stories. Connecting with those people and stories helps us understand our lives and discern God’s direction for our future. That is why it is important constantly to connect our teaching back to the important people in our church history. To help you do that, we have gathered some interesting, and maybe even surprising, facts about John Wesley to help you connect United Methodist history to your next lesson...."  For the article please continue here. >>
 
                 
New UMC Handbook
(UMCOM 6/22/2017) - The new United Methodist Church Handbook for this quadrennium is available, providing a detailed overview of the denomination’s beliefs, mission, structure and history. The handbook is a free, go-to resource for anyone in search of information about The United Methodist Church and is helpful for leaders and new members. “The United Methodist Church Handbook is one of the most appreciated resources generated in the church, and rightly so,” said Ken Sloane, Director of Stewardship and Connectional Ministries at Discipleship Ministries. “Whether it’s a question about our theology of grace, new annual conference boundaries, or how money from the Ministerial Education Fund is spent, you will look here first.” Details here.            

UMCom Launches Bi-weekly E-newsletter for Church Members
(UMCOM 4/11/2017) - United Methodist Communications has launched a new bi-weekly e-newsletter that is "the first publication to carry the voice of the denomination directly to members by delivering inspirational and informational content specifically designed for them." A reflection of UMC.org, the newsletter is called UNITED Methodist NOW.  Members can subscribe to the free e-newsletter and view the most recent articles at UMC.org/newsletter. Members who would like to share inspiring stories in the e-newsletters can send ideas to UMNow@UMC.org for consideration.  For the article continue here.
 
 
From GCFA:  "Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty:
What it Means and Doesn't Mean"
(AWFC-UMC 5-22-2017) - "General Council on Finance and Administration Legal Services team has worked with the document entitled 'The Summary of the Impact of the Executive Order on Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty.' [Click here for the pdf.]  This document addresses what the executive order means, or doesn’t mean, for churches and church leaders."
 
See also:  Here is the GCFA page titled "Response to Questions Regarding Recent Executive Order."
 
Bishops Set the Date for the Special Session
of General Conference: February 23-26, 2019
(AWFC-UMC 4/25/2017) - (WASHINGTON, D.C.) "The Council of Bishops (COB) has called a Special Session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church (UMC) to be held February 23-26, 2019, in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.... The purpose ... will be 'limited to receiving and acting on a report from the Council of Bishops based on the recommendations of the Commission on a Way Forward.' 
 
For the entire article at awfumc.org please continue here.
For the original article at UMC.org continue here
Click here for a pdf of the full letter sent to the heads of delegations to the 2016 General Conference (or successors), Secretary of the General Conference, and the Chairperson of the Commission on the General Conference.
 
See also:
 
Evangelical Group Plans for What’s Next   
(UMNS 5/01/2017) - "The United Methodist Church could be on the verge of a Paul and Barnabas moment — where Christian leaders decide to go their separate ways.  'Paul and Barnabas don’t allow their personal disagreement to derail the mission because the mission’s more important,' the Rev. Jeff Greenway said, citing Acts 15: 36-41. 'So Paul takes Silas and he goes off to missionary fame, and Barnabas takes John Mark, and we never hear from him again.'  Greenway was speaking to the second public gathering of the Wesleyan Covenant Association, a newly formed unofficial United Methodist group that holds church prohibitions against the practice of homosexuality to be part of Christian orthodoxy. Greenway is the chair of the association’s leadership council as well as lead pastor of Reynoldsburg United Methodist Church near Columbus, Ohio...." To read the rest of the article, please continue here. ###   
 
 

 
Outreach
                            
 
Website Development Grants
(UMC.org) - "United Methodist Communications is now offering a Website Development Grant to local United Methodist churches and church entities who do not currently have a website or who want to replace their current website with a new WordPress site. " For more information continue here
 
"Rethinking Your New Front Door"
Topic: Church Website Training

Cost: $39.99
Course Start Date: Open enrollment, start any time.
By the end of this course, you will be able to:

* Navigate & build a website on the WordPress platform.
* Identify your website’s target audience.
* Craft the goal of your website and your overall message.
* Create and design content for a church website.
* Develop menus and proper page structure.
* Access resources, training and support through United Methodist Communications and its web and internet technology sites, forums and events.

Click here for more information about this and other training opportunities offered at UMC.org.
                  
50 Ways to Reach Your Community
(The Lewis Center 11/24/2014) -  Here's an old but good article.... "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.
  
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!
 
Disabilities Ministry Manual Available Online      
A new, comprehensive manual that covers disability ministries in the local church is available at the website of the Baltimore-Washington Conference. The resource will connect United Methodists with answers about this essential ministry area. Visit http://www.bwcumc.org/ministries/disability-ministries/.
 

  
Staff & Leadership
 
 
 
Free Resources to Equip Church Leaders
(Discipleship Ministries-UMC) - 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)
 
United Methodist Webinars
Webinars offered by UMC Discipleship are posted at https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/webinars.
 
Seven Ways to Help a New Staff Member Succeed
(Ministry Matters 2/20/2017) - "Through the years I have hired hundreds of people. I don’t do a lot of things right, but finding good people seems to be one of my strengths. Getting a new person started in a good way is probably equal to finding the right people – especially if we hope to keep them...." Full story here.
 
Solutions for Pastors to 4 Major Pastor Problems
(UMC.org) - "As the 'go-to' person for calming the storm, where do you turn when you find yourself in the middle of one? Let God guide the way and be proactive. Here are the most common pastor problems and a few problem-solving tips to guard against the winds and help you weather the storm."  Points include (1) Dealing with Criticism, (2) Time Management, (3) Physical and Mental Health Issues, and (4) Financial Struggles.  Continue here for the article.
 
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.  
 
"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...." Continue here for the article >> 
 
Name Change for PAUMCS - But Acronym Still "PAUMCS"
(VAUMC) - The Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries' (PAUMCS) 35th annual conference was hosted by the Northern Illinois Annual Conference PAUMCS Chapter in Chicago, Illinois May 3-6, 2017.  At the meeting, the association membership voted to change the name of and adopt a new logo for the organization.  Beginning immediately, the organization is known as the Professional Administrators of the United Methodist Connectional Structure. The acronym, PAUMCS, remains the same.
                 
"Easy Exercises You Can Do in Your Chair" 
(AWFC-UMC 4/5/2017) - Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama suggests some easy exercises you can do at your desk.  For the pdf click here.
 
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.
 
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/
  
Lake Junaluska's 2017 Discover Magazine
(Lake Junaluska) - Lake Junaluska's 2017 program book, Discover magazine, features a calendar of upcoming events, tips for exploring Lake Junaluska to the fullest and ways to challenge yourself and enhance your faith during a stay at the lake. To view the magazine (pdf) click here. For the Lake Junaluska page click here.
 
If You Happen to Find Any Broken Web Links....
At http://UMCPensacolaDistrict.org we try to keep the Web links updated, but if you come across one that gives you a message like "page no longer exists" or "file not found," try going to the source's home page (first part of the link URL) and doing a word search on the topic at the site. As resources improve and update their websites, this sometimes breaks links we've shared with you on our site. It's all good, all a part of progress! The information may still be there, but just might take a little personal digging on your part to find where it was moved - or please contact the district office. We'll be glad to help!  - Mary, Pensacola District Administrative Assistant  
 

 
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