Dr. Jeremy Pridgeon, District Superintendent
Mrs. Mary Hernandez, Administrative Assistant
P.O. Box 2727, Pensacola, FL 32513-2727
Phone (850) 434-0118
Happy December birthday to Jeremy Mount, Tom Sharron, Darren McClellan,
Lee Bateman, Carl Carnley, Virginia Beckham, Larry Anderson, Mark Roberts,
Larry Bryars, Stuart Worth, Chris Hawkins, and Jeff Spicer!
Scroll down the page for more!
News and Announcements
Calendar - Big Events Coming Up:
Change in District Coordinator for Disaster Response
(Rev. Alan Gantzhorn, pictured right) - "Effective January 1, I will end my 9-year tenure as district disaster response coordinator, a position I have filled since Hurricane Ivan in 2004. But in The United Methodist Church, there are always new jobs to do! So effective the same day, I will begin serving as the Alabama-West Florida Conference coordinator for the United Methodist Volunteers in Mission, the short-term missions arm of The United Methodist Church. I am looking forward to the opportunity to serve the church on the conference level." - Rev. Alan Gantzhorn
(Pensacola District Office) - Thank you, Alan, for your years of service as our district's disaster response coordinator. Thank you for your very keen oversight any time there was even a threat of a natural disaster for our area, for always being spot-on with considering logistics and contingencies. Beginning January 1, 2014, Mr. Gene Schmidt, member of Pensacola First United Methodist Church, will be the district’s new disaster response coordinator.
2013 Connectional Giving Deadline and Address Change
January 8th is the final date apportionment funds may be submitted to be credited for the fiscal year 2013. To insure your payments are credited in time, depositing the remittance directly into the Conference Regions account is the safest way to make this happen. Contact the fiscal office at (888) 873-3127 or call the district office for instructions and/or account number. The Fiscal Office of the Alabama-West Florida Conference is also kindly requesting that local churches remember to use the new conference address when remitting connectional giving funds. This will be especially important at the end of the year as churches seek to be credited for apportionments paid in 2013. Checks sent to the old address may not be forwarded to the Conference Office in time before the books close for the year, please update this information as soon as possible. The new address is 4719 Woodmere Boulevard, Montgomery, AL, 36106.
Clergy Pension Changes January 1, 2014
(AWFC Pension & Benefits Office) - Currently, clergy under episcopal appointment to local churches and conferences receive benefits in the Clergy Retirement Security Plan (CRSP). Effective January 1, 2014, only full-time or clergy with episcopal appointment at 75% are eligible for coverage in CRSP. Clergy serving at 50% and less are no longer eligible for continued participation in CRSP.
Each church is encouraged to become a sponsor of the United Methodist Personal Investment Plan (UMPIP) so that clergy members are able to make personal contributions into their account. While it is not required for the church to make a contribution into UMPIP for the clergy person to participate, the church may choose to make a contribution into the clergy member's account. For the clergy person to participate, the church must complete the UMPIP adoption agreement. For an adoption agreement please contact BeLinda Carnegie (Belinda@awfumc.org) at the Conference Pension and Benefits office.
Beginning January 1, 2014, full-time and 75% clergy will be required to contribute at least 1% of their plan compensation to UMPIP to benefit from the 1% contribution to their CRSP Defined Benefit Account. (Posted 12/2/2013)
The November 25, 2013, AWFC article about this is here.
Safe Sanctuaries Training in Pensacola January 19
Paula Roane will lead Safe Sanctuaries Training Sunday, January 19, 2014, 3:30-4:30 p.m. at the Gadsden Street United Methodist Church fellowship hall. This opportunity is open to all churches. For hospitality and materials purposes, please call the church office at 850-433-0014 if you plan to attend.
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/
PUMCM Needs Blankets & Shoes
Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries is in need of blankets and men's shoes. Please call Pastor Joe at (850) 554-9444 for drop off times. Thank you!
Individual Needs Increase ...
Religious Leaders Criticize Assumption that Faith Communities Can Pick Up the Cost
(UMNS article quoted here at AWFUMC.org) " If Congress drastically cuts the federal food stamp program, religious institutions will not be able to fill the gap for hungry families." That was the message delivered by religious leaders from southeastern states who participated in an Oct. 30 media briefing. "As the SNAP (food stamp) benefits are decreasing, we're seeing an increase in individual needs in our area," said Alabama-West Florida Bishop Paul Leeland. "The majority of these people are children and older adults."
Religious leaders criticized the assumption of some federal lawmakers that faith communities can pick up the cost of cuts to SNAP. To make up for the proposed reductions, each religious congregation in the U.S. would need to increase its food assistance by nearly $15,000 a year for the next 10 years, totaling more than $145,000, according to Bread for the World.
“Florida is undergoing a tremendous impact from unemployment,” said the Rev. Russell Meyer, executive director, Florida Council of Churches, and a clergy member of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. “If SNAP is cut as proposed … the estimate is one out of three Florida families will face food insecurity at some point during the week.” Religious groups in Florida, particularly suburban churches, would have to pick up the added responsibility for feeding the hungry in what “represents a tax on people of faith,” he argued. The entire article is here >>
COSROW Event: Leadership Development, Planning, Organization, & Sexual Ethics Training
The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (GCSRW) and The Alabama-West Florida Conference present COSROW 2014 “Come Grow With Us” January 10-11, 2014, at Blue Lake. Keynote speaker will be Audrey Krumbac, GCSRW Director of Gender Justice & Education. For additional information please contact Ruth Ann Powers Rall@ctvea.net. The brochure is here, event page here.
Community Ministries Positions to Begin January 1, 2014
Part-time Assistant Director
Part-time Youth Director
Rev. Joe Mullen, Director of Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries (PUMCM), will be retiring December 31, and Dr. James White will serve as Interim Director beginning January 1, 2014. PUMCM is seeking an Assistant Director (part-time salary) and a Youth Director (part-time salary) to begin January 1, 2014.
For more information please contact Dr. James White at (850) 419-1141 or email@example.com. PUMCM is a District and Conference outreach ministry located within the Richards Memorial United Methodist Church, Pensacola.
Local Church Positions Available
Director of Children’s Ministries (Part time)
2014 Meltdown Youth Retreat
January 31-February 2, 2014
Old Forms - Old Addresses
When sending apportionment payments and other correspondence to the Alabama-West Florida Conference be sure to use their new address: 4719 Woodmere Boulevard, Montgomery, AL 36106. [An announcement video and article about the new offices are here.] Please make special note of this if you have on hand any old forms showing the old address, such as apportionments remittance forms or forms for the AWFC Office of Ministerial Services. Using the old address may delay processing your request. Please share with your finance person that you can download the new remittance form here, which shows the new address.
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?
"Used each year as a spiritual underpinning for Advent by hundreds of congregations of all denominations across the United States, these daily meditations—all new for 2013—are the words of people of faith, both pastors and lay persons, from all walks of life." More here.>>
Large Church Initiative Conference
Registration is open for Continuum - "Engaging All Generations," the 2014 Large Church Initiative Conference of the United Methodist Church. LCI 2014 will be held April 28-30 in Johns Creek, GA, at Mount Pisgah United Methodist. Online registration, early bird rates, and a complete conference schedule are available at www.LCI2014.com.
AWF Conference United Methodist Women
View here the Alabama-West Florida Conference UMW newsletter for information about Conference Annual Day, Assembly 2014, Tapestry, and more.
2014 Bishop's Day Apart
(AWFC 8/26/13) - The Episcopal Office is pleased to announce Bishop Robert Schnase of the Missouri Area as the 2014 Bishop's Day Apart speaker. In addition to his Episcopal appointment, he is well known for authoring Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations. The Day Apart will be Monday, March 3, 2014, at St. James United Methodist Church, Montgomery, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Complimentary Interpreter Magazine Subscriptions
Interpreter Magazine has a letter to pastors at this link: http://www.umcom.org/atf/cf/%7B60c02017-4f6a-4f3b-883a-4afaece1182f%7D/INTERPRETER-INTROLETTER-REVISED.PDF
It's time again to sign up for your complimentary subscriptions to Interpreter Magazine! Churches are eligible for unlimited free digital subscriptions, five free print subscriptions, and free subscription for pastors. New this year, each subscriber to Interpreter digital will also receive a free digital subscription to New World Outlook. Covering the mission ministries of The United Methodist Church, this magazine shares stories about church planting and growth, the church’s role in the aftermath of disasters, the service of missionaries around the world, and more. If you have any questions please contact customer service at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll-free at 888-346-3862.
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.
According to the 2013 Brochure of Reports, page 124, the recommended minimum salary for 2014 for all full-time appointed clergy is $33,800.
New Address for AWF Conference Office
The new address for the Alabama-West Florida Conference Office is 4719 Woodmere Blvd., Montgomery, AL 36106. The new office is situated among other professional office buildings and is convenient to I-85, the Eastern Bypass, and Perry Hill Road. In addition to Conference staff and the Episcopal Office, the two Montgomery District offices are now be located within this new building.
Does Your Church Livestream/Archive Worship Services?
There is now a Conference-wide list of "Virtual Churches" here. If your church needs to be added to this list let us know!
Health Care Reform ... Impact on Methodists
(UMC GENERAL BOARD OF PENSION) - The federal government enacted comprehensive federal health care reform in March 2010. This is perhaps the most significant piece of social welfare legislation in nearly 50 years. Over the next decade, this health care legislation will substantially alter the manner in which millions of Americans receive health care coverage. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the regulations issued under it will have significant short-term and long-term impacts on the health plans of The United Methodist Church. We have prepared these documents to give you an overview of health care reform and its potential impact on annual conferences and other UMC-related employers.... Continue here. >>>
IRS Offers FREE Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations >>
MEF Scholarship Allocation Policy
(Shared by the AWFC Office of Ministerial Services) - A new 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.
Free Appraisal of Church Insurance Coverage
(AWFC Board of Trustees 9/7/2012) - "We all know it is important to have comprehensive insurance that covers all the needs of the local church.... Contact Bill Bullock (251-621-2041, BBullock@cpg.org) about insurance coverage. He is able to provide an appraisal of church property from United Methodist Insurance (UMI) without a sales pitch to the church. He does this at no charge. Local churches are then able to compare UMI coverage and cost to their current insurance provider. This comparison will provide churches an opportunity to look at insurance coverage and make sure their coverage meets the standards required by the Annual Conference.
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 - 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!
Words from The Word
and Inspirational Blogspectives from Our Pastors and Churches
by Rev. Mike Sigler of Fort Walton Beach First United Methodist Church
Do You Have a Personal Relationship with Jesus?
From the website of Fort Walton Beach First United Methodist Church:
Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus? Not just know about Him. But really know Him. Many people live daily in emotional turmoil, feeling alone and without purpose or direction. Jesus has a plan and a purpose for each of us (Jeremiah 29:11). He also wants us to have an abundant and joyful life (John 10:10). Read these verses and begin a relationship with Jesus - a relationship that will lead you to your purpose for life.... [Continued here>>]
What Is God Calling You to Do?
Excerpts from Rev. M. Kathryn Knight's article in the August 2013 First News newsletter of First United Methodist Church, Milton, Florida:
"Jesus ... not only calls the disciples to learn from him, but also commissions them to go into the world to carry out his mission of telling the good news to the ends of the earth. He reminds us that we are not alone because he is with us (Matthew 28:19-20). The Apostle Paul ... reminds us that we can do all things through Christ, who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13). The choice is ours. We can look at the world's problems and feel sorry for ourselves. Shall we say, 'We can't possibly do anything about the complex problems that affect us directly and indirectly?' or do we hear the call of Jesus and respond with courage and enthusiasm? ... I challenge you to ask yourself, 'What is God calling me to do?' 'What is God calling our congregation to do?' The needs of our community and the world are great. May we open our eyes and ears to see and hear what God has in store for us! For the old adage is true - God equips those who are called. May we respond with courage and enthusiasm, so that God's kingdom on earth may become a little closer to becoming like his kingdom in heaven."
What Is This World Coming To?
Looking for a Church Home?
From the website of Warrington United Methodist Church, Pensacola, Florida:
"Warrington United Methodist Church is a Christ-centered fellowship of Bible believing Christians who are excited about worship, evangelism, missions, and Christian discipleship. We have found great joy and hope through faith in Jesus Christ, our living Lord. It is not our good works that make us secure in our relationship with God, but His mercy and grace. We know because of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, God loves us with an overwhelming, infinite love. We are saved by that grace. Come join in the joy of it here. Ours is an exciting church for growing Christians." "We have a mission to continually grow in the knowledge and likeness of God, and to make His name known through every breath we take."
Connect and Grow
From the website of Niceville United Methodist Church:
"Here at Niceville UMC, we're all about 'Connecting People to Christ.' It’s our vision, and everything we do flows right out of those four words. We accomplish this goal through our mission - to build a community where people can come as they are, meet Christ, grow in their faith, and find a place to serve. One of the best ways to grow in Christ as a community of believers is to connect with each other - through Bible study, worship, small groups and outreach ministry.
Where Are They?
Excerpts from Rev. Nancy Watson's article in the Aug. 2013 St. Mark Messenger newsletter:
"It seems that more and more these days I hear that question, 'Where are they?' It pops up in blogs, in magazine articles, posts on Facebook, and in conversations around town. The they, of course, are the young people ... at least those younger than, say, 50. Where are they, and why aren't they in church?
"It's an interesting question on many fronts. The obvious concern behind the question comes from a disconnect between generations. We talk about Generation X ... and the Millennials.... Different generations have been lobbing pejoratives, criticism, and condemnation back and forth since Abel first asked Adam and Eve if he could spend the night at a friend's house.
"I have a sneaking suspicion that these arguments have never really been about music or clothing or even, more recently, technology. I think they take place at the juncture between fear and hope. Our world has always been changing because we as human beings keep pushing the edges of our knowledge and our capabilities. We do and have things today that my grandparents would never have dreamed.... Culture and society have always been changing to adapt and to incorporate these changes. When a generation feels these changes spiraling out of control, fear sets in, along with a desire to slow things down or even keep things the same. After all, that generation has more or less figured out how to deal with the world. Along comes a younger generation to whom these 'changes' are no longer new, they are simply part of what has always been for them. They have no fear about pushing the edges of our world even farther, and they have new ideas and concepts about how things 'should be.' Arguments about music and clothes - and worship styles - happen when the hopes of the younger generation butt up against the fears of the older generation. Of course this is an overly simplistic assessment of a very complex interaction, but I think it is at the core of all our discussions about what we need to do to get 'them' in or back to church and why 'they' don't respond the way 'we' expect.
"One of the most insightful articles I have recently read tells us that the real reason they aren't in church has nothing to do with music style, worship style, whether or not we have a coffee bar in the narthex, or whether the pastor wears skinny jeans and a T-shirt to preach. It has to do with substance. Our intergenerational arguments were never about such things.... At the core they were about finding purpose, meaning, and value in a changing world, a new world. And so it is with religion and the church. What people of every generation are seeking is the source of meaning and a purpose for life. It's more than current programs or doing good deeds in the community.
"What people are seeking, although they may not know it as such, is God. What we have to offer is God in Jesus.
"Jesus is the One who said, 'Let the children come to me,' and is also the One who affirmed that we are to honor our fathers and mothers. He crossed generation boundaries; indeed, He transcends the generational differences, reaching beyond the fears and faithfulness on one hand, and the hopes and defiance on the other. All of which is to say that the reason they are not in church is because they don't see Jesus there. They don't see that Jesus has had any effect on the lives of those already in the church. They don't find clear teaching or the offer of a clear path.
"I praise God that St. Mark is such an intergenerational congregation. We do have folks of all generations present, engaged, and supporting our ministries. We are not afraid to be who we are. But we must never forget that our call, our mission, is to offer them Christ, whoever them may be.
"From the Builder Generation to the Millennials, Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. He is the reason we come together as a congregation, and we must give witness to the world - to whomever walks in our doors - that Jesus is here. As we move forward in this changing world, let's not get caught up in superficial concerns, but rather stay focused on the unchanging love and mercy of Christ. That approach appeals to all generations."
This article has an interesting perspective.
Trinity UMC's Community Thanksgiving
Trinity’s Annual Community Thanksgiving fed 490 people in the Fort Walton Beach area - click here for the article and photos in the local newspaper November 28, 2013.
Panhandle Youth Gather for FUSED Conference
Over 500 youth from the Panhandle of Florida in the Pensacola District gathered for the annual FUSED event at the Soundside Campus of Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church. This spirit-filled event is held at the same time of the Pensacola District Conference. Rev. Patrick Quinn of Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church was the guest speaker and Shake the City led praise and worship music. District Superintendent, Dr. Jeremy Pridgeon said, "FUSED is a way to bring some of our younger disciples together to celebrate what God is doing in our area. The passion and witness at this event is humbling and reminds me that the future of our church is bright. I am deeply grateful for those who organized this event and dedicate themselves to positively influencing our youth." Click here for the article in the 11/11/13 AWFC NewsCONNECTION
Journey Church Has New Home
The Journey United Methodiist Church held its first service last month in their new church home. Approximately seventy adults and twenty children were in attendance. Among those in attendance were Rev. Neil McDavid, Mr. Owen Sharp, and Duane Keck, representing the Pensacola District Board of Missions. The Journey congregation had beautifully redecorated the interior of the building. Upon entering the church, the focus was on a painting done by Sandra Peters, Rev. Sean Peter's wife. As your eyes met the cross, you immediately felt at home, that you were in the right place, God's place.
Blessing of The Harvest
at Chumuckla Community Church - A United Methodist Congregation north of Pace, FL
All week long the sign outside the church invited all the farmers and workers from the various farm operations to the 1st Annual Blessing of The Harvest on Sunday August 25, 2013 at Chumuckla United Methodist Church. The invitations had been mailed to all community farm operators and Rev. Tom Sharron invited each one with a personal letter to a special Sunday to honor their work. During the Blessing of The Harvest service, Pastor Tom acknowledged the work, dedication and commitment of this farming community as a different way of serving the country. The crops they produce help feed and clothe, not only their community, but also their country and the world. The mood was uplifting and worshipful as the crowd of 130 (40 more in attendance than normal) listened and sang along with The Masters Men One Quartet. After the service, Pastor Tom invited them outside to pray for each farming family individually, for their health, safety, for their equipment and successful harvest, as the other farmers gathered around. View the Sept. 16, 2013, AWFC news article about this here.
Aldersgate UMC Recognized as a Blessing to Molino Park Elementary
Aldersgate United Methodist Church was recently recognized for stepping up to help Molino Park Elementary School following the theft and destruction of tens of thousands of dollars' worth of technology from the school. The church is donating proceeds from their next two community dinner collections, accepting donations at a Back to School Splash Party, taking up collections from their congregation, in addition to their annual paper drive, for the school. Molino Park Principal Alice Woodward called the church’s contributions “a blessing.” Aldersgate has also joined other Molino organizations as a Molino Park Elementary technology recovery donation drop off point. Click here for the article posted 8/30/2013.
Century UMC Receives Statewide Community Involvement Award
Century United Methodist Church was recently honored with the Florida Health Care Activity Coordinators Association’s Community Involvement Award. The statewide award is presented to a group or organization that provides ongoing, outstanding support to the activity department of a long term care facility in Florida. The members of Century UMC provide countless volunteer hours at the Century Care Center. Accepting the award on behalf of the church was Rev. Janet Lee. Click here for the article posted 8/28/2013.
Glory Sightings at Fort Walton Beach First UMC
New Traditions Worship -- On Sunday, August 18, 2013, Fort Walton Beach First United Methodist Church will begin a new worship service at 11 a.m. called "New Traditions." Here's more about it from their August newsletter: "New Traditions draws from the rich traditions of the ancient church, our proud Wesleyan heritage, and culturally relevant styles of music and communication. New Traditions maintains continuity with historic Christianity as the church reaches out to new generations and people groups. New generations of worshipers are rediscovering the richness of ancient creeds, of Psalter reading, and interactive prayer litanies, of 'passing the peace,' and frequent celebration of Holy Communion. In a more visual time and culture, worshipers are rediscovering how worship space can speak to our hearts and enhance our worship of the living God. Musically, this service will include traditional hymns - often with contemporary accompaniment - as well as more current worship songs. The sermons at New Traditions will be biblically-based and life-related." (Posted 8/06/2013)
Annual Inner City Mission Ministry -- Student Ministry of Fort Walton Beach First United Methodist Church is gearing up for their annual Inner City Mission Ministry. Their 2013 theme is "A Passion to Serve," from Mark 10:43-45. August 8th through 10th they will be working at job sites in the community, visiting nursing homes, etc. (Posted 8/6/2013)
Warrington UMC Makes Difference in Classrooms
Warrington UMC made a significant impact on Warrington Elementary School this past year. The school principal stated that Warrington UMC has, “done more than any other organization has ever done for our school.” According to Rev. Bob Bailey, "We have encouraged teachers and staff with cards before school started, on their birthdays, at significant events during the school year, and thank you’s after the school year was over. We have fed the teachers and staff breakfast the week before classes began and then filled the teacher’s lounges with snacks during the year and also volunteered in the classrooms. We have attempted to make the entire staff of the school feel the support and gratitude we have hoping that what we do for them helps them do a better job teaching our children. We want to make a significant impact on our community for Jesus Christ." (Posted in the 6/24/13 AWFC NewsCONNECTION)
Aldersgate/Cottage Hill Charge Generously Gives to Missional OfferingThe Aldersgate/Cottage Hill UMC Charge gave just over $1,100 to the conference missional offering. That may not sound very impressive by itself; but that reflects a charge comprising right at 230 members, for a per capita giving rate of $4.78 per member. The conference per capita giving as a whole was $0.38. The congregations were also unfamiliar with UMCOR until recently. Rev. Alan Gantzhorn stated, "I'm proud of the people of the Aldersgate/Cottage Hill Charge, and I thank you (Dr. Jeremy Pridgeon), the bishop and the rest of the cabinet for returning me to serve them for another year." (Posted 6/24/13 AWFC NewsCONNECTION)
Pace First United Methodist Church has combined their 9:45 and 11 a.m. Sunday worship services into a new "ancient-future" worship service, Veritas. Veritas is Latin for "truth." Veritas is committed to draw from biblical resources, has an interest in worship traditions of the past, is an eclectic mix of old and new worship music, incorporates the arts, renews focus on the Communion Table, and relates worship to the people's ministry and response as servants of Christ. What a powerful testimony in name and focus! Veritas meets Sundays at 11 a.m. The Web page is here.
"All-Stars" is an annual recognition of Pensacola District Churches who meet three requirements in the course of a year: 1) pay 100% total Connectional Mission Giving, 2) have more than 50% attendance by membership, and 3) have a net gain in membership. Click here to view previous years' All-Stars.
Student Ministry Interns at GBUMC
The Student Ministry interns, led by Suzannah and Joe Driver at Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church, were able to experience hands-on learning as they discerned calls into the ministry. Take a moment to hear from them (click here) about what they learned during their invaluable internship.... [This Glory Sighting was posted in the AWFC newsletter here.]
Pensacola District FUSED Youth Conference
(Wayne Walker, quoted in the AWF Conference NewsCONNECTION 12/12/12) - The Third Annual Fused Youth Rally was held on Sunday, November 4th, at the Gulf Breeze UMC Soundside Campus. We had approximately 400 students brought by 17 youth pastors from the Pensacola District churches. Those in attendance enjoyed food, fun, games, and fellowship. The UWF Wesley Foundation Students, led by Stuart Worth, served 120 pizzas and over 600 drinks. The game winners received many prizes for their efforts such as CD"s from a variety of Christian artists (we gave away 60 CD"s), 10 T-shirts, 100 back packs, 4 $25.00 iTunes gift cards, 2 Meltdown Scholarships valued at $120.00 each, and an Apple IPOD! All of the giveaway items were donated. In addition to the fellowship time, the students participated in an amazing time of worship led by Josh Walker and members of the Niceville UMC Exchange band. Rev. Jeremy Smith presented an inspirational message that challenged the students to always turn back to God in all circumstances. Many students spent prayer time at the altar following the message. Each part of the event was a huge success! [This Glory Sighting was posted in the AWFC newsletter here.]
Church at the Beach: More Than 2,000 Attend
The full article is here.
PERDIDO KEY, Florida and ORANGE BEACH, Alabama - More than 2,000 people attended an Easter service Sunday morning held at the Flora-Bama Lounge, followed by a baptism in the waves of the Gulf of Mexico. Since July 2011, Perdido Key United Methodist Church has organized a weekly 11 a.m. worship service called "Worship at the Water" on Sundays at the beach bar famous for hosting the annual Mullet Toss on the Alabama-Florida state line. Usually the service draws people in shorts and flip-flops, but on Easter, many of those in attendance came in their finest Sunday dresses. Jeremy Mount, discipleship pastor at Perdido Key United Methodist, preached the sermon, then waded into the ocean to baptize several new converts after the service. An overflow crowd filled chairs near the stage under the outdoor tent. Church volunteer John Mason Smith said 2,450 church bulletins were handed out. A typical service at the Flora-Bama attracts about 700 people each week....