The Pensacola District of The United Methodist Church
Friday, January 30, 2015
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January Clergy Birthdays
Happy birthday to
Pamela Avery, Barry Dickson, Terry Van Gilder, John Collins, Dallas Little, Ted Bowne,
Alex Palomaria, Jim Jines,
Paul Wolfe, Jerry Seely,
and Christina Shaver!
 
 

 
Click on the news item for the article.  Scroll down the page for more!
                                      

                        
Around the Pensacola District  
 
 
 
 
Acts 2 Thrift Shop Moving
Now posted on our Community Ministries page:
In January 2015 The Acts 2 Thrift Store (a ministry of Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries) is moving to the south wing of Richards Memorial United Methodist Church and will be renamed the Community Ministry Shop. Items will be for sale and vouchers will be available. Volunteers are needed and appreciated!
 
Ezra & Consultation Reports - to Be Submitted Online by January 31
Year-End Reports, Table I, II, and III data, are due at the end of January. Log-in here.  For a blank copy of the report to use as a worksheet, or to see last year's report, please log in. If you do not remember your password, go to the log-in page, click on "Forgot Password," and enter the user name and e-mail address where the password can be e-mailed. If you cannot remember your user name please e-mail the district office.

We are beginning consultation season, as pastors and congregations start to reflect on their season of ministry together, giving counsel to superintendents and to the bishop as to whether they believe ministry should continue for another year or indicate a change would best serve the church. There is a new form for consultation this year for clergy and for congregations. The new form will be available beginning Monday, January 12The deadline for the form to be submitted is January 31.  The new form, as you will see, asks clergy and SPR Committee members to provide the necessary information to the district superintendents and to Bishop Leeland regarding the appointment that will be made for each pastor and church.  As part of this process, District Superintendent Jeremy Pridgeon will be holding clergy consultations with the Pensacola District clergy beginning on February 2. He will be sending additional information for your consultation in the upcoming weeks. You can see the consultation schedule by using the following link (click here).
 
UPDATE:  The Pensacola District's Online Reports page has been updated with new information about the reports that are to be submitted online by January 31. Please continue here. >>
 
District United Methodist Women News
 
President's Message
by Joan Simmons, President
Pensacola District United Methodist Women
 
"Yes, we are winners of the Spirit Award (tied with Dothan District) and kept the Bookworm for the third year, but more importantly we are winners in fulfilling the purpose of United Methodist Women. You continue to work in support of our missions for women, youth and children. It amazes me as I see and hear what you are accomplishing in our district. Your giving hearts have helped so many not only here in our communities but in our nation and world. We are faithful with our Pledges and Askings for those who are oppressed because God is faithful first.

This year we met and exceeded our $25,000.00 pledge, had 13 Five Star Units, 15 Mission Today units and 10 received recognition for participating in a Racial Justice program. We had 125 readers who read over 900 books!  Our attendance at each Mission Study, Spiritual Day and Annual Day averaged over 90 women and men surpassing previous year’s attendance." 
 
For the entire article, on the front page of the November 2014 UMW newsletter, continue here (pdf).
 
Unit Winners Recognized at District UMW Annual Day
"Hear I am, Lord" was the theme of Pensacola District Annual Day hosted by Myrtle Grove UMW September 20, 2014. District Mission Team officers were thanked and the 2015 Mission Team was elected and installed by pastor Jacqueline Slaughter. Wonderful hospitality and delicious food were enjoyed by all. UMW reading program books were available for purchase. All of us were treated to an inspirational presentation by Pastor Jacqueline Slaughter, complete with drums. You'll have a chance to hear her again at the 2015 Spiritual Enrichment Retreat, Blue Lake, March 20-22, 2015. You won't want to miss this - "Sing a New Song" with Rev. Jackie Slaughter. UMW units were recognized for their achievements in various UMW programs.
 
* 5-Star Units:  Cokesbury, Farm Hill, Ft. Walton Beach, Gadsden Street, Gulf Breeze, Mary Esther, Milton First, Myrtle Grove, Pensacola First, St. Luke, St. Paul, Trinity, and Warrington.
 
* Racial Justice: Cokesbury, Destin, Ft. Walton Beach, Gadsden Street, Gulf Breeze, Milton First, Pensacola First, St. Luke, St. Paul, and Trinity.
 
* Mission Today - Gold: Cokesbury, Ft. Walton Beach, Gadsden Street, Gulf Breeze, Myrtle Grove, Pensacola First, St. Luke, St. Paul, Trinity, and Warrington.
 
* Mission Today - Silver:  Bellview, Destin, and Milton First.
 
* Mission Today - Bronze:  Farm Hill and Lillian.
 
* Mission Today - Participating: Crestview.   
 
Pensacola District Committee on Ministry (dCOM)
The Pensacola District Committee on Ministry will meet at Gadsden Street United Methodist Church August 18, 2015, The Committee will gather at 9 a.m. and scheduled interviews will begin at 9:30 a.m. This meeting is for recommendation for provisional status and certified candidates (first time and recertification). This meeting is scheduled through the chairperson, Rev. Bob Bailey. 
 
"Toxic Charity" Seminars FREE to the Public February 5 
- 3 Presentations, 3 Locations in Pensacola

 

Robert Lupton, author of Toxic Charity & Founder of FCS Urban Ministries, is coming to Pensacola Thursday, February 5, 2015! He will have 3 presentations - all free to the public:

(1) February 5, 10 a.m.-noon at Pensacola First United Methodist Church
“Renewing the City: One Neighborhood At A Time” 10 a.m.-12 noon at Wesley Abbey (Perry Home building at First United Methodist Church, downtown Pensacola) 2 East Wright Street. This presentation is for developers and bankers; government, housing & CRA officials; neighborhood associations, and business owners; applying the concepts of FCS Urban Ministries and its leader, Robert Lupton, to community development efforts in the most needy parts of Pensacola/Escambia County. Contact Brunie Emmanuel at univisgrp@aol.com or 850-261-1251.

(2) February 5, 2 p.m.-4 p.m. at Trinity Presbyterian Church
“Toxic Charity: How Nonprofits Hurt Those They Help (And How to Reverse It)” 2 p.m.-4 p.m. at Trinity Presbyterian Church sanctuary, 3400 Bayou Blvd., Pensacola. This event is for nonprofits and the general public, applying the concepts of FCS (fcsministries.org) and its founder, Robert Lupton, to the Missions of area non-profits that serve those in poverty. Contact Jean Silva at jean@united-ministries.com or 850-434-7371.

(3) February 5, 6 p.m.-8 p.m. at First Baptist Church
“Toxic Charity: How Churches Hurt Those They Help (And How to Reverse It)” 6 p.m.-8 p.m. at First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall, 500 North Palafox Street, Pensacola. This event is for pastors, church members, faith-based social service providers, and the general public, applying the concepts of FCS  (fcsministries.org) and its founder, Robert Lupton, to the Mission of the Church. Contact Don Minton at don@fbpc.org or 850-433-5631.
 
Lay Servant Ministries Training February 6-7
for Adults & Youth
Pensacola District Lay Servant Ministries is offering training Friday Evening & Saturday February 6 & 7, 2015, at Gadsden Street United Methodist Church, 901 East Gadsden Street, Pensacola. Click here for the registration flyer. Registration deadline is January 23, 2015.
 
Courses Offered:
1. Adult Basic - Linda & Shirley Wentworth, CLS
2. Youth Basic (Ages 15-18) - Candi McKim & Perry McGinnis, CLS
3. Advanced Course "Leading in Prayer" - Darlene Mosley & Stan Sullivan, CLS
4. Advanced Course "Pastoral Care Giving" - Peggy Akerman & Judy Johns, CLS
 
Course registration fee is $35 per person, to be submitted with registration form. Please bring your Bible, course text book, writing instrument, and notepad to class. Bringing a chair cushion may be helpful. As registrations are received, participants will quickly be provided information for individually ordering their own course text book.
 
Elementary Winter Retreat February 6-8 at Blue Lake
Discount pricing is available if you register early for this retreat for grades 3-5!  Details here.
 
Lay Servant Ministries Information  
Please post this Letter Explaining Changes to Lay Servant Ministry where folks can see and read it.
 
         

 
Administrative Announcements
 
 
The Pensacola District's Online Reports page has been updated with new information about the reports that are to be submitted online by January 31. Please continue here. >>
 
 
Imagine No Malaria
If your church still has Imagine No Malaria funds to donate, you can send your check to the AWFC Fiscal Office, 4719 Woodmere Boulevard, Montgomery, AL 36106. Please make the check payable to the Alabama-West Florida Conference and mark "Imagine No Malaria" on the check memo line.
 
Recommended Minimum Salary
According to the 2014 Brochure of Reports, page 117, the recommended minimum salary for 2015 for all full-time appointed clergy is $35,000.
                                             

 
Around the Conference   
 
 
Day Apart with Bishop Leeland March 2
at St. James United Methodist Church, Montgomery 
- an Event for All Clergy and Laity
(Bishop Leeland - article & registration here) - Bishop Scott Jameson Jones, Bishop of the Great Plains Area of the United Methodist Church, serving East Kansas, West Kansas, and Nebraska, will be our guest as he explores the unique gifts of our Wesleyan heritage - gifts that continue to inform and guide our teaching, preaching, and service.

To ensure lunch is provided, it is critical to register for this event. The $10 registration fee will cover the cost of lunch and will only be guaranteed to the first 400 participants who register. Once that number is at capacity, you may register to attend at no cost for the event but you will need to find lunch off campus.  If you need help in the registration process, please contact Lauren (lauren@awfumc.org) at our Conference Center.
 
  
 
Blue Lake News January 2015
For closer view (pdf) of the graphic (right), click on the graphic.
 
 
 
Board of Ministry Holds Annual Candidacy Retreat
The AWF Board of Ordained Ministry held its January 2015 Candidacy Retreat at Camp Beckwith in Fairhope January 9-10, 2015. There were 26 exploring candidates in attendance. Ten elders are serving as their mentors: Ashley Davis, David Saliba, Ray Lane, Jeff Wilson, Jerry May, Jason Thrower, Charles Cummings, Brian Miller, Brandon Dasinger, and Laura Weant. Directors for the retreat were BOM members Kathy Knight and Alan Cassady. (See picture, right)
 
The 2014-2015 Local Church Heritage Award
"The Local Church Heritage Award" was established in 1988 as an annual award to be given to the church most diligent in preserving its heritage during the year. The award to be given at the 2015 Annual Conference session is for the calendar year 2014. For The Local Church Heritage Award packet, please visit http://www.awfumc.org/heritageaward.
 
Tapestry II 
Tapestry II: The Journey will be February 20-21 at First United Methodist Church in Enterprise, Alabama. The Reverend Dr. Laura Early will be the keynote speaker. Workshops are listed in the brochure, available here.
 
Continuing Education Chair
Rev. Dr. Geoffrey Lentz is now 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)
 
AWF Receives Grant for Coastal Flooding 
The Alabama-West Florida Conference was presented a $10,000 check from the Community Foundation of Northwest Florida. The donation was made to the foundation specifically for victims of the spring floods. The conference efforts to provide relief were communicated to the foundation thanks to Kyle Holley of the United Way and Dr. Henry Roberts, retired AWF pastor. Pictured left to right: Dr. Henry Roberts, Amelia Fletcher, Lynn Dorby and Dr. Jeremy Pridgeon. Dr. Roberts also serves as Chairman of the Grants Committee for the Community Foundation. We are most appreciative to the Community Foundation of Northwest Florida for their donation!
 
Clergy Delegate Interest Form
The Clergy Delegation Interest Form, discussed at 2014 Annual Conference, will be live on the conference Website after the first of the year. It will be released to all clergy in good standing that are eligible to vote in the Alabama-West Florida Conference. Clergy may be elected without completing the form. The online form will ask basic questions such as education, appointment history, positions held in the district and conference and why you would like to serve as a delegate, to name a few. This online form will automatically populate onto the conference Website. The information you share will be public and people from outside our conference may contact you. More information will be released as we approach 2015. Lay delegates will continue to use the form published here.
 
AWFC Partners with Redbird
The Alabama-West Florida Conference is embarking on an ambitious and unique partnership with the 23 churches and outreach centers of the Red Bird Missionary Conference in southeast Kentucky. This partnership will not take the shape of traditional mission work in which churches take work teams once or twice a year for a week to visit the people of Red Bird Missionary Conference and build buildings or repair homes. Instead, this will be about building mutual relationships. The goal is to work side by side to learn best how to be in ministry to our respective communities, encouraging each other, sharing resources and growing in Christ together. 
 
October 20-23, 2014, a team from our conference will go to southeast Kentucky to meet with the leaders of the Red Bird Conference to listen to each other and begin to shape the details of this partnership - the details that will honor to the gifts we have to offer to each other and will explore how God is calling us to be in mission to our communities and to the world.  If there are leaders in your church - clergy or lay - who would like to participate in this formational trip, or even if you cannot attend but still want to participate, contact Susan Hunt at 334-356-8014 or susan@awfumc.orgClick here for a flyer that can be printed as a two-sided bulletin insert.
 

 
"The gospel is always on the side of life
because God is creator of life."
 
"Bishop Carter asked whether the rhetoric
of inclusion would be more coherent,
possess more integrity, and 'become more cruciform'  if it were to include all strangers
we are to welcome in the language
of Matthew 25."
 
"A consistent ethic of hospitality would call us
to welcome the unborn as the stranger."
 
quoted by the United Methodist News Service
 

 
Bishop Ken Carter Says Include Unborn in Radically Inclusive Church Mission
(UMNS) - According to Bishop Ken Carter of The Florida Conference, the sanctity of life is very important. “We must find a coherent way, as United Methodists, of bearing witness of, in the language of the New Testament, ‘giving an account for the hope that is within us’ (1 Peter).”

“A consistent ethic of hospitality is possible only as it is set within the context of a compassionate witness to and for life,” Carter said, “which we believe to be a gift, a fragile and sacred trust.” A consistent ethic of hospitality “represents a continuum from conception to death, from the individual to the creation, from interventions in and support of the lives of unborn children and their pregnant mothers, trafficked and enslaved young people, endangered coal miners, incarcerated young men on death row, tortured prisoners of war, the dignity of the aged, and the fragile ecosystems upon which we all depend.” 
 
A consistent ethic of life cuts across political proclivities and moves to a deeper level of values and principles. “I do wonder if Methodism could abandon its present partisan political captivity and join the evangelical and catholic consensus in regard to life?” he asked. “The gospel is always on the side of life because God is creator of life,” the bishop emphasized. “Jesus comes so that we may have life, the Spirit descends to renew the face of the Earth.”  
 
Carter asked whether the rhetoric of inclusion would be more coherent, possess more integrity and “become more cruciform” if it were to include all strangers we are to welcome in the language of Matthew 25.   "A consistent ethic of hospitality would call us to welcome the unborn as the stranger,” Carter said.  Continue here for the entire article >>
 
Lay Ministers Page
The Alabama-West Florida Conference now has a Certified Lay Minister page at http://www.awfumc.org/pages/detail/862.
 
The United Methodist Church Responds to the Ebola Crisis
(UMCom) - With the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa declared an international health emergency, The United Methodist Church is responding with relief as well as communications support. Church hospitals and health workers are providing care, and annual conferences are working with interfaith partners and government to save lives.
     
 
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.
 
     
MEF Scholarship Allocation Policy
(Shared by the AWFC Office of Ministerial Services) - The Ministerial Education Fund scholarship allocation policy effective March 1, 2013, is as follows:  Seminary Scholarships - $2000 per semester for full time student (9 hours is considered full time), prorated at $222 per hour for less than full time.  Course of Study Scholarships - full tuition paid for COS coursework (does not include registration fee paid by student), $100 for books per year. Click here for the scholarship application page at GBHEM.org.  Click here for more about the Ministerial Education Fund. 
    
Recommended Minimum Base Compensation for Ministers:
According to the 2014 Brochure of Reports, page 117, the recommended minimum salary for 2015 for all full-time appointed clergy is $35,000.
 
Safe Sanctuaries Contacts
The AWF Conference Safe Sanctuaries contact person is Frank Dunnewind.  You can reach Frank toll-free at (888) 873-3127.  The Pensacola District, you can contact Rev. Paula Roane at 850-862-4169 (Trinity United Methodist Church, Fort Walton Beach).  Download here the 2013 Safe Sanctuaries Workshop Presentation/Hand-outs (70-page pdf)
                                              

 
Around the Web
 
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.
 
1. Pray early and often for the college students. Ask prayer chain coordinators to have members pray for one student each week. Send the student a note telling him/her of your prayers and support.
 
2. Create a contact directory.  List the names and addresses of the students in the church newsletter. Invite church members to send them a positive note, email or text message. Take note cards addressed to each student to different Sunday school classes and ask class members to write a short greeting.
 
3. Create a Facebook group for church college students. Use it to offer online Bible study, post videos of church activities and share videos filled with words of encouragement from the congregation.

4. Help students find faith communities in and around their campus. Using Find-A-Church,  research options to find churches fitting both their transportation options and their preferred worship styles. Learn if  United Methodist collegiate ministry is available on the campuses where your college students will attend. A little homework on your part  makes it easier for students to try a new church or college ministry. Where United Methodist-related collegiate ministries exist, be certain to share the names and contact information for your students with the campus minister or chaplain.

5. Make a prayer shawl or blanket in school colors.  Have people in the congregation pray over the blankets and present them to the students on the Sunday before they leave for college.

6. Have a “Blessing of the College Students.” Take a moment during the worship service to pray over the college students right before they leave for college.
 
7. Send an “encouragement jar.” Ask Sunday school classes or other small groups to write short encouragement notes for each student and then put them into containers. Give each student a container as part of a college starter kit or mail it to them as part of a care package.  Urge the students to read a note whenever they become discouraged or need a pick-me-up as a reminder that their church family is rooting for them. Get everyone involved. The best notes often come from the younger children.

8. Keep the students in front of the congregation. Create a bulletin board with the names and pictures of students attending college. Post a map to show the locations of their schools. If a student has a prayer request, post that on the bulletin board.

9. Card shower. Toward the middle of the semester, ask people in the congregation to bombard each student’s inbox, phone, Facebook and physical mailbox with short notes of encouragement.

10. Send an “exams survival kit.” Every student loves a care package, especially at finals. Include snacks to fuel up during exams and messages of love and encouragement.
 
11. Plan a “welcome home” service and lunch at the end of the semester and/or school year. Involve students in planning and carrying out the service. Hold a churchwide lunch featuring their favorite foods.

12. Start a college group. During the summer, offer a special study and fellowship group for college students who are home. Remember, even those who are only a year out of high school are  no longer are part of the youth group. Ask the students what format, day and place would be appropriate for such a group. If they wish to meet over a meal, ask other church members to take turns helping provide the food - or invite the group to use the church kitchen to prepare their own snacks or meal.

Staying connected with college students and offering the encouragement they need can make a world of difference as they face the challenges of college.         
 
 
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2015, the IRS standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck will be as follows:
  • 57.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, up from 56 cents in 2014
  • 23 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down half a cent from 2014 
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations
Lenten Resources for Imagine No Malaria
Click here for Lenten INM resources. Free donation boxes, honor cards, offering envelopes, INM logo temporary tattoos, mosquito temporary tattoos are all still available, as well as a new 0:30 social video (http://youtu.be/_7iiOCzaseo).
 
Has Your Church Met Your INM Goal? 
(UMCOM) - Has your church met your Imagine No Malaria goal?  Advent resources and new video are now available.  
 
Can you imagine a world where malaria does not exist, where children live their lives in joy and mothers sleep peacefully knowing their children will wake up healthy?  We can.  Join us on the journey to Imagine No Malaria! New, free Advent downloadable resources are now available, as well as free fly swatters, donation boxes, temporary tattoos, and honor/thank you cards. Subscribe to our FREE daily devotional email and newsletter, To access the downloadable resources, click on 'Resources' at the top of the page. The full resource set is available in the "Advent Toolkit" under Recommended Engagement Kits, or you can scroll down and filter by "Advent" to download individual resources including high-resolution graphics from the video and the video itself.

Your church can donate to Imagine No Malaria by sending checks to the AWFC Fiscal Office, 4719 Woodmere Boulevard, Montgomery, AL 36106. Please make the check payable to the Alabama-West Florida Conference and mark "Imagine No Malaria" on the check memo line.
 
 
Tax Break for Clergy Housing Allowance Stands
(UMNS) - A new federal appeals court ruling means United Methodist clergy and clergy of other faiths in the United States can keep getting housing allowances tax free. In a unanimous decision released Thursday, Nov. 13, three judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit reversed a 2013 federal court ruling, which had found that the tax exemption amounted to an unconstitutional establishment of religion. “The ruling by the 7th Circuit is a great relief for clergy who have benefitted from the housing exclusion,” said the Rev. Steve Zekoff, the United Methodist Wisconsin Conference’s benefits officer. The case started in Wisconsin. Zekoff added, “Had the lower court ruling been upheld, the jump in income tax obligations at both the federal and state level would have created a significant financial burden for most of our clergy receiving a housing allowance.” This case did not deal with the tax exemptions for parsonages.  Religious groups have long provided homes, often called parsonages, for their ministers. Parsonages have been tax-free since the United States enacted federal income tax in 1913.  For the complete article, posted November 14, 2014, please click here
 
Concerning Sexuality Issues, Council of Bishops Calls Upon All to Pray
(UMNS) - The Council of Bishops issued a statement concerning human sexuality, addressing their diverse perspectives and calling the people of The United Methodist Church to be in prayer, both for their leaders and for one another. The statement reads:
 
As bishops of The United Methodist Church, our hearts break because of the divisions that exist within the church.  We have been in constant prayer and conversation and affirm our consecration vow “to guard the faith, to seek the unity and to exercise the discipline of the whole church.” We recognize that we are one church in a variety of contexts around the world and that bishops and the church are not of one mind about human sexuality. Despite our differences, we are united in our commitment to be in ministry for and with all people.  We are also united in our resolve to lead the church together to fulfill its mandate — to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. As we do so, we call on all United Methodists to pray for us and for one another.
 
The bishops worked together on the statement during several executive sessions during their week-long meeting in Oklahoma City. The statement came near the close of the Council's meeting, which opened on Monday with the bishops reaffirming the commitments they made when they were consecrated. During the president’s address, Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr. of the San Francisco Episcopal Area asked the bishops if they would stand with him to reaffirm their vows as he prayed.  Bishop Brown called for unity within the church and encouraged finding “places where we can agree to work together and find common ground.”  For the complete article, posted November 7, 2014, visit here at UMC.org or here on the AWF Conference website.
 
Bishop:  "Beware of Costs of Sexuality Debate"
(UMNS) - The United Methodist Church’s intensifying debate around human sexuality has substantial financial implications in the global church, a bishop warned the denomination’s finance agency. Those costs could include a drop in church giving and the division of property. “The question is: Is there a middle ground that will allow most of the traditionalists to stay and yet satisfy most of the progressives?” said Great Plains Area Bishop Scott Jones. Since spring, Jones has collected some of the proposals on the matter that could be heading to the 2016 General Conference. For the complete article, posted August 25, 2014, please click here.  
 
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  
Early Warning Proposed for General Conference Legislation
(UMNS) — What if General Conference delegates could get a heads up that legislation might be in trouble without waiting for a Judicial Council ruling? That is one aim of the Advance Legislative Research Panel proposed by the Commission on General Conference, which met at Lake Junaluska last week. Some United Methodist leaders still talk with frustration about the last day of the 2012 General Conference. That was the afternoon the Judicial Council - the denomination’s top court - struck down as unconstitutional a plan to restructure the denomination’s general agencies. The plan had been years in the making. Delegates then scrambled to downsize agency boards in hopes of salvaging some part of the movement for structural change. For the complete article, posted October 20, 2014, please click here.
 
Secularism Grows As Christians Become "Churchless"
According to this article and religion researcher David Kinnaman.... 
When political scientists burrow into election results, they may find that church attendance is less and less useful for predicting or evaluating political social and cultural attitudes. If asked, the “churchless” would likely check the “Christian” box on a survey, even though they may not have darkened the door of a church in years. How these people think, pray and use their time is shifting away from a faith-based perspective. If you are not around people of strong belief, there’s not a lot of spillover impact.  As a result, a churchless or secular worldview “is becoming its own social force.”  Stephen Mockabee, an associate professor of political science at University of Cincinnati, has compared church attendance to medication: “It’s not only the drug but also the dose that matters.”  For the complete article, posted October 24, 2014, please click here.

Jesus said, "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world" (John 9:4-5). "Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest" (Luke 10:2).

  
New Resources for Churches Without Pastors
United Methodists William Willimon and Grace Imathiu are among the outstanding preachers who have recorded lectionary-based sermons on video as part of a project called “A Sermon for Every Sunday,” intended as a resource for churches without pastors, churches in the interim, or churches that might simply need a supply preacher from time to time.  Any congregation with the capability of projecting video can see and hear America’s best preachers on any—or every—Sunday of the year for the astonishingly low price of $4.99 per sermon. Visit the website for full details here.
 
Attention, Local Pastors and Members of the District Committee on Ministry!
GBHEM’s Correspondence Course of Study is transitioning to Online Course of Study. This will be available in January 2015:

121: Bible 1
122: Theological Heritage I
123: Formation and Discipleship
124: Transformative Leadership
United Methodist History and Polity

 
Registration is now open for courses 121-124. The registration form 110 can be downloaded from http://www.gbhem.org/education/licensing-and-course-study/documents.

Registration is due NO LATER than Dec. 12. Because the registration forms require approvals from district staff, students should download the form NOW.

United Methodist History and Polity registration will open soon.

From:
The United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry
Division of Ordained Ministry
PO Box 340007
Nashville, TN 37203-0007
Office: (615) 340-7372

GBHEM - gbhem.org
Boards of Ordained Ministry – gbhem.org/bom
 

 
2014 Clergy Trends Shows Trend Toward Older Clergy Continues 
(The Lewis Center) -  The number of older clergy continues to grow according to the Clergy Age Trends in the United Methodist Church report released today by the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary. The annual report is prepared with assistance from the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of the United Methodist Church.
 
The number of active elders continues to decline as the number of local pastors grows. Elders between ages 55 and 72 comprise 55 percent of all active elders, the highest percentage in history. The median age of elders increased to 56 in 2014, the highest in history. The median age was 50 in 2000 and 45 in 1973. The average age remains at 53, an historic high, though unchanged for five years. The mode age (the single age most represented) remains at 61, also a high. The percentage of elders aged 35 to 54 continues to shrink, from 65 percent of all active elders in 2000 to 39 percent in 2014. The number of young elders hit an historic low in 2005 and has increased by almost 100 (or about 12 percent) since then. The number of young local pastors and deacons, while much lower than elders, has increased at a higher rate since 2005. Today those under-35 make up about six percent of elders, nine percent of deacons, and eight percent of local pastors. The gender makeup of young elders is becoming more balanced. Thirty-nine percent of under-35 elders are female. Over three-quarters of young deacons are women. The gender makeup is almost just the opposite for local pastors, three-quarters of whom are men. For many years the highest concentrations of young clergy elders have been in the Southeastern and South Central Jurisdictions. That trend continues in 2014, but the North Central Jurisdiction made the greatest gains in young elders in the past year. FULL article here >>
 
 
UMCmarket
(From UMCmarket) - The online shopping of the United Methodist church members during the holiday season would generate $48 million dollars in donations.  Today, that money goes to someone else.  By spending one minute signing up to UMCmarket, those dollars would come to our churches.  Join us and lets not miss out on this amazing opportunity.  We need this message to be brought down all the way to the pastors and congregation.  Please forward the following information about UMCmarket to as many of your church connections as you can.  

1.  Here is our  "Pastor's Letter" that explains the UMCmarket program.
2.  Forward our "How to Get Started" letter.  It can found here.  
3.  Forward our promotional video or about us video for churches to use during service announcements.  
 
*During the next few months, 4 million Methodist members will shop online and spend an average of $400. This means that we have the potential to raise $48 million dollars for the United Methodist Church in the next few months alone.
 
New Donation Program
The General Council on Finance and Administration of The United Methodist Church is pleased to present UMCmarket, a tremendously rewarding opportunity to earn money for the Kingdom of God. UMCmarket makes it possible for United Methodist churches to receive donations from retailers every time someone within their congregation makes an online purchase. The best thing is that they don’t need to change anything from how they shop today. This allows us to do together what we cannot do alone!

How it Works
Every store at UMCmarket is happy to pay a percentage of the purchased amount as a donation to the church. There are no additional charges for either the ministry or the shopper. The members shop through UMCmarket and stores send the contributions within a variable time frame of 30-90 days. Once a ministry reaches $100 in total donations, a check is mailed out.

Signing Up is Free
Most churches are already listed in UMCmarket's ministry section. Each church can update and customize their information and church members can easily sign up for free by entering their email address and getting connected to their ministry. Shopping and donating couldn't be easier!
 
We live in a global village, and the world is our parish. When we give generously, our gifts do wonderful, life-changing things in the name of Jesus Christ.
 
 
 
Resources for Clergy and Congregations
Resources for building, improving, and strengthening ministry are available at http://www.churchleadership.com. Here are sample "50 Ways to --" pdfs from ChurchLeadership.com:   
 
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   
Pastoral Transitions in the Age of Social Media
Should pastors "friend" on Facebook? Should they "unfriend" when they leave a church?
(Alban, article by Adam Walker Cleveland) - "I still remember sitting in classroom discussions in seminary, talking about how pastors really shouldn’t become friends with parishioners. We talked about the power and boundary issues, and about how it just made things too difficult when you were called to another church; what happened to those friendships? Could you still stay in touch? What could you talk about? ....  So, what happens when you leave a church? ....  Do you just unfriend everyone on Facebook? Unfollow everyone on Twitter?"  Full article here.
 
Pensacola District Hosts Annual Conference and Youth Event
(AWFC) - The Pensacola District held its annual district conference at the Navarre United Methodist Church and the youth gathered at the Soundside Campus of the Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church for FUSED. The district conference elected the leadership for the coming year, set the 2016 budget, endorsed three persons who will be considered by our Annual Conference as delegates to the General and Jurisdictional Conference, and spent time in learning sessions around best practices in several areas of ministry. FUSED brought together youth from across the district as Rev. Woods Lisenby, Chaplain at Huntingdon College, and Shake the City led a time of praise and worship under the direction of the FUSED Leadership Team led by Wayne Walker and youth directors from across the district. Click here for the November 17, 2014, AWFC NewsCONNECTION, which includes this article.
 
What to Include in Writing Congregational Policies
The General Board of Discipleship offers direction on what to include in writing congregational policies on sexual abuse / harassment / misconduct / prevention. The page to visit is http://www.gbod.org/lead-your-church/what-should-our-policy-include.  
 
 
Share If You "Like"
What would happen if we all shared the Gospel through Facebook? I mean, on a personal level, through these myriad branched connections, tell the world what Jesus has done for us?  How long would it take the words of thousands of witnesses on Facebook to reach all ends of the earth about our Savior?
   
     
Free Video Resources from the Lewis Center
The Lewis Center for Church Leadership has prepared an 8-minuted video titled "Why Giving Matters and Clues for Improving It." Feel free to use this video to encourage the spiritual gift of giving in your congregation. You may view and download it at http://www.churchleadership.com/funding.  Last fall’s video on “Why Worship Attendance Matters and Clues for Improving It” is still available at http://www.churchleadership.com/attendance.  If you'd like to receive the Lewis Center’s free biweekly online newsletter, Leading Ideas, you can subscribe at www.churchleadership.com.   UPDATE:  New Video August 2014:  "Why Community Engagement Matters"
  
http://www.churchleadership.com/resources/Leading_ideas.asp
  
Is Your Church's Listing at UMC.org Up to Date?
Did you know that each United Methodist local church has its own page at UMC.org in the international Find-a-Church directory? Click here to find and update your church's Find-A-Church page.
 
United Methodist Men - News & Chartering
Click here for UMM news and information about annual chartering re-certification.    
 
New Worship Service Times?
Pastors/Secretaries, if your church's worship and Sunday School times have changed, please log-in and update the Local Church information. Your District Superintendent is visiting churches, and your Church Locator Page will need to show the correct information.  Thank you!  
 
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