The Pensacola District of The United Methodist Church
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Here for You - Serving Jesus


Around the Pensacola District  
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May 11, 2017 (Thursday)
Pensacola District Spiritual Formation Workshop
On May 11, 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.  at Pensacola First United Methodist Church, Minta McDavid will present the topic "Centering Prayer." Click here for the flyer in pdf. The event page is here.
Positions Available
If you want your ad posted here please submit job posts here at then send us the link after your ad is posted!  For employment opportunities at Crosspoint UMC (Niceville/Crestview) visit
For the Alabama-West Florida Conference Classifieds page visit
Here are the most recent posts:
South Crestview Campus: Teachers, Assistant Teachers and Subs
North Crestview Campus: Worship Leader
Niceville Campus: Facilities Manager
Niceville Campus: Teachers, Assistant Teachers and Subs
Ministry Moment Mondays by Pensacola U.M. Community Ministries
Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries (PUMCM) is sharing God's love in action, and they'd like to share Ministry Moments with YOU!  Each Monday on their Facebook page they will be posting a different video. You can view their first video, posted April 3rd, on their Facebook page ( or click here to go directly to the video. PUMCM is located at the Richards Memorial United Methodist Church in the Brownsville area, Pensacola, Florida.
May 6, 2017
4th Annual GUMC Youth/Branden Penegar Memorial Car Show
This event is free and open to the public.  Car registration will be on May 6th from 8-11 a.m.  Presentation of awards will be 1 p.m. The fee to register a car for judging is $25, to display only $15.  There will be live music from local bands Southern Revival and Down Home and food and beverages will be available for purchase.  Proceeds will go towards construction of a building for the youth group of GUMC. Please come join us!  GUMC is located at 2026 Pauline Street, Cantonment, FL  32533.  You can find this event on the church website at or on Facebook at
May 6, 2017
Potato Drop at Milton First UMC - Volunteers Are Welcome!
First United Methodist Church of Milton in partnership with the Society of St. Andrew is hosting a Produce Drop in connection with the Santa Rosa Day of Service on Saturday, May 6, beginning at 8:00 a.m. More than 100 volunteers are requested to unload a tractor trailer of carrots and perhaps other produce for repackaging. The repackaged carrots will be delivered to agencies in Santa Rosa County that feed the hungry. Children ages 10 and older are welcome but must be accompanied by a parent or guardian who has the authority to sign a permission slip for the event. Volunteers are requested to bring their own work gloves and to wear closed toe shoes. To volunteer call 850-623-6683.
June 16, 2017
Trinity UMC's 6th Annual Fairway to Heaven Golf Tournament
It's time again for Trinity UMC's annual Fairway to Heaven golf tournament at Shalimar Pointe Golf Course!  This is open to all men, ladies, and juniors. 1 p.m. shotgun start. Playing a fun scramble format. All entry fees include golf cart, green fees, refreshments, prizes, and sponsor promotions. All proceeds will go to support the mission of Trinity United Methodist Church.  Click here for the registration flyer in pdf.  
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: or, 850-434-5456. For more information visit To reserve housing on-line or more information about PUMCM visit Click here for the flyer as a pdf.
A Letter of Request from Retired Pastor Dr. James R. White
RE: Missions to Liberia, West Africa
2017 Edition of Len Wilson's "Top 25"
Two churches of the Alabama-West Florida Conference made the 2017 edition of Len Wilson's "Top 25 Fastest Growing Large United Methodist Churches." Number 10 is the Pensacola District's Crosspoint United Methodist Church and number 23 is the Marianna-Panama City District's Woodlawn United Methodist Church. Continue here for the article.
Congratulations, Pensacola District "All Stars"!!
And the honorees are....  Continue here to see!! 
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. 

Administrative Announcements
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A Word from the AWFC Cabinet:
"Pastoral Appointment Timeline and Reminders"
(AWF-UMC 4/06/2017) - The Alabama-West Florida Cabinet is concluding its third round of appointment making today. Below you will find reminders of dates pertaining to pastoral moves and public announcements about appointments...."  For the rest of the article please continue here. >>
Now posted at the AWFC website:  2017 Pastoral Transitions Guidelines
(AWF-UMC 3/27/2017) - If you or your pastor is receiving a new local church appointment within the Alabama-West Florida Conference, the Pastoral Transitions Guidelines document has been posted to the conference Website. This document reviews the appointment process, saying goodbye and welcoming a pastor, moving strategies, and personnel policies, to name a few. Click here to access the document.
2016 Connectional Mission Giving Report
  • 2016 Connectional Giving (Apportionments) Report - All Districts
  • Pensacola District Summary - Final 2016
  • Pensacola District Churches' Apportionment Statements Fourth Quarter 2016 - Final Statements for 2016
  • Thank you to the following Churches that paid 100% of their District Administration Fund connectional giving apportionments for 2016:  Aldersgate, Allen Memorial, Annie Jones, Bagdad, Baker, Bellview, Century, Christ, Chumuckla Community, Clear Springs, Community Life, Cottage Hill, Crestview First, Crosspoint, Destin, Ensley, Farm Hill, Ft. Walton Beach First, Gadsden Street, Gonzalez (100.35), Gulf Breeze, Jay, Lathram Chapel, Lillian, Mary Esther, McDavid, Milton First, Mt. Carmel, Myrtle Grove, Navarre, New Bethel, New Hope, Pace First (262.2), Pensacola First, Perdido Bay, Pine Forest, Pineview, Shalimar, St. Luke, St. Mark-Pensacola, St. Paul-Gulf Breeze, St. Paul-Pensacola, Trinity, Warrington, Wesley Memorial, and Woodbine (116.04)! 
  • Thank you to the following Churches that paid 100% of their Alabama-West Florida Conference connectional giving apportionments for 2016:  Aldersgate (100.01), Allen Memorial, Annie Jones, Bagdad, Baker, Christ, Clear Springs, Community Life, Cottage Hill, Crestview First, Crosspoint, Destin, Ensley, Farm Hill, Gulf Breeze, Jay, Lathram Chapel (100.01), Lillian, Mc David, Milton First, Myrtle Grove, Navarre, New Bethel, New Hope, Pace First, Pensacola First, Perdido Bay, Pineview, Shalimar, St. Paul-Gulf Breeze, and Trinity! (Another Church of note was Warrington at 99.64.)
New Clergy?
Important information for newly-appointed clergy is at
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?
There's a lot of helpful information for Staff-Parish/Pastor-Parish Relations Committees at, including training booklet.
Cokesbury Cares Program
The Cokesbury Cares Program is designed to help churches who've had a catastrophic event by offering FREE resources to help the get back on their feet.  Application requires signature by the church's district superintendent and can be emailed to or Here is a brochure, but please note that the address on the brochure has changed to 2222 Rosa L Parks Blvd., Nashville, TN 37228-0988. 

Around the Conference   

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

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A Word from Bishop David Graves 2017
March 10:  Seeking Prayer >>
Bishop Graves' New Monthly Editorial Column 
Bishop David Graves now has a monthly editorial column in the Montgomery Advertiser and other Gannett papers.
Here is Bishop Graves' first column, printed Sunday, March 26.
Blue Lake Seeks Counselors
May 8-10, 2017
Soul Care Retreat
The event page and location map are here.
Pastors, do you sometimes feel like you are running on empty? Need a break to let your soul catch up with your body? Want some time alone with God to refocus your ministry? 

You're invited to the Soul Care Retreat  May 8 - 10, 2017 (5:00 pm Monday to 9:00 am Wednesday).  Inspirational speakers will be Rev. Rurel Ausley and Rev. Ron Ball.  Cost is $90.  CEU credit available will be .8 hours.  Click here to register.    

Come to beautiful Wild Woods Camp, 20 minutes south of Montgomery. Invest some time sharing about the care of your soul in the company of other pastors who value soul keeping too.  For more information call 334-224-6107.
May 11, 2017
The Right Start:  Beginning Ministry in a New Setting
All clergy receiving new pastoral appointments for 2017-18 are required to attend "The Right Start," an event that has been specifically designed to aid clergy as they complete ministry in their current setting and prepare to begin service in a new congregation. The Right Start will be held on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at First United Methodist Church of Enterprise, AL beginning at 9:30 am for coffee and fellowship until 3:30 pm. Cost for lunch is $10.00.
A Word from the AWFC Cabinet:
"Pastoral Appointment Timeline and Reminders"
(AWF-UMC 4/06/2017) - The Alabama-West Florida Cabinet is concluding its third round of appointment making today. Below you will find reminders of dates pertaining to pastoral moves and public announcements about appointments. 
Beginning April 17, 2017, pastors and churches are free to make announcements about pastoral moves in bulletins and newsletters and on Websites and social media.
In light of the stress of moving, the Cabinet has set the following schedule to encourage a smooth and healthy pastoral transition:
May 11, 2017 - The Right Start Workshop
June 18, 2017 - Last Sunday in the current appointment
June 20, 2017 - Moving day 
July 9, 2017 - First Sunday in the new appointment
This schedule is slightly different from previous years.  We appreciate your prayers during the appointment season. We seek God’s guidance in all we do and pray for smooth transitions in the coming months.            
Annual Conference Laity Banquet June 6
Here is the Laity Banquet flyer. Please share it with your AC 2017 delegates!
To purchase tickets register online at or call the AWFC Office.
Spring 2017 Newsletter of AWFC Historical Society
Features Trinity UMC of Ft. Walton Beach
The Spring 2017 newsletter of the AWFC Historical Society is now posted at This issue features the Pensacola District's own Trinity United Methodist Church (Ft. Walton Beach, FL) as well as other churches across the AWF Conference - Luverne, Florala, Dothan First, Troy First, and more. The September 21, 2017, meeting of the Historical Society will be at the oldest Methodist church in Florida - Pensacola First UMC.
QuadW Missional Summer Internship
(QuadW) - The QuadW Missional Internship is an 8-week paid summer internship for college-age young adults. The internship will be in at least 10 cities across the US with positions for as many as 100 interns. The interns will experience the rhythms of living in Christian community with one another - eating, praying, studying, worshiping and SERVING together.
We believe that growth and transformation happen best through an action/reflection model of discipleship - so that the primary experience of the intern will be time spent relationally serving with and among those in need, in the context in which they are living. They'll be partnering with local churches and other ongoing ministries there, then we intentionally pull back to reflect and pray, read Scripture, and discuss the ways we hear and see God at work and how we may even more faithfully join God in the work God is doing in the world.  This is a great way to facilitate an openness to God's mission and work that helps young adults take steps in saying "Yes!" to the vocation that is set before each and every Christian. 
You can check out a video about the internship here: At our website you can find out even more and read some about each of the different sites across the US: The application can be found here:
Free Mother's Day Fountain of Love Offering Materials
Free Mother's Day Fountain of Love Offering materials are available to order online. Visit  The Fountain of Love Fund provides financial assistance to older adults living in a Methodist Home retirement community who find that they can no longer pay for their entire care. Because of the support of the Alabama-West Florida Conference and its Churches, no resident has ever been asked to leave a Methodist Home due to their inability to pay.


2017 Annual Conference Updates

Pastors/Church Administrative Assistants, please be sure your delegates are connected with Annual Conference announcements!
Watch for Updates!
For 2017 AWF Annual Conference updates stay tuned to
Comprehensive information was sent via email March 28 - click here to view:

Annual Conference Reservations
To see the various reservation links visit
We're Collecting Relief Kits at Annual Conference!
(AWF-UMC 3/16/2017) - Bring your UMCOR kits to Annual Conference! Coleman Moving Company has once again generously offered to provide a truck during AWF Annual Conference 2017 for collecting UMCOR Relief supplies. UMCOR is currently requesting health kits and bedding kits, though all kits will be accepted during Annual Conference. Click here for assembly instructions: Relief-supply kits help provide care for the most vulnerable people during times of crisis. UMCOR collects 6 types of kits for global distribution and cleaning buckets for U.S. distribution after storms.  Annual Conference will be June 4-7, 2017. Closer to that time, more details will be available about the hours each day when the kits will be received.
Online Application to Serve As Youth Page
If you would like to be a youth page for the 2017 AWF Annual Conference here is the application:
Youth pages have always been a part of our annual conference and we appreciate their presence, energy, and assistance! Students age 12-18 and active members in the United Methodist Church are eligible to serve as pages at the annual conference. Youth pages extend lay leadership and we appreciate their presence, energy, and service. This year, pages have additional responsibilities and increased expectations for being present, serving, and participating in the events of the annual conference.

Annual Conference Award Nominations
Do you know of someone to nominate for one of our Conference awards? Applications and information are at
Laity Banquet
Click here for the flyer in pdf.       

Missionary Dan Godwin Visiting AWFC,
Available to Speak at Churches
(AWFC-UMC 03/16/2017) - Rev. Dan Godwin is a Global Ministries missionary currently serving in Ecuador. Dan is a clergy member of the Alabama-West Florida Conference.  U.S. Missionaries visit churches ("itinerate") in the United States every three years to tell their story and share about their ministry. Dan is visiting AWFC churches in March and April 2017.

If you would like to have Dan come visit your Church, contact Susan Hunt at or 334-356-8014 or 888-873-3127. Dan is available to speak to various church groups including mission teams, committees, Sunday school classes, UMW groups, and more.  Here are links to Dan's most recent newsletter:  Page 1 / Page 2          
Youth Mission Camp 2017
There's still time to register! Mission is more than a trip. It’s more than a project. With Alabama Rural Ministry (ARM), we believe mission is a lifestyle of service shared among friends. We have availability for your middle/high school student mission team throughout June and July at one of our two rural AL locations! You'll serve with low-income families through home repair ministry and also have the option of serving with 5-10 year old kids with Sonshine Day Camp! Cost is only $290 person which includes meals, lodging, and construction materials. Link arms with us to extend Christ’s love and help us end substandard housing in rural AL! Check out to find out more and register online or contact Joe at or (334) 501-4276 x100.
News from the AWF Board of Pension and Health Benefits
Health Tips Newsletter
In the April 5th issue, check out the attachment from BCBS-AL:  "Easy Exercises You Can Do in Your Chair."
Wespath Changes Retirement Process for 2017
(AWF-UMC 3/13/2017) - Wespath is currently mailing retirement kits to participants who intend to retire in June or July 2017. A sample kit will was mailed to conference benefits officers on February 9, 2017. In an effort to streamline the retirement process, Wespath will not mail paper applications for benefits (AFBs) or AFB guides to this year’s retirees. The materials provided in the kit will focus on the online process. The online benefits application—available at—customizes applications for benefits so that retirees are only presented information that is pertinent to their unique situations. Retirees may contact the retirement team to request printed forms. More here.         
Win a Free Fitbit from the AWF Board of Pension and Health Benefits
(AWFC-UMC 2/15/2017) - To all AWF health plan participants:  Would you like to win a FREE Fitbit? The Alabama-West Florida Conference Board of Pension & Health Benefits is kicking off a friendly health competition called Thrive. This friendly competition will last from March 1-May 31, 2017. At the end of this time, each group who follows the criteria and sticks to their new habits will be placed in a drawing. The winners will each receive a new Fitbit.  This will be announced and given during the AWF Board of Pension & Health Benefits report at Annual Conference.  For details continue here. >>
2017 Health & Wellness Initiative
(AWFC-UMC 1/23/2017 to AWFC Clergy Health Participants) - The Conference Board of Pension & Health Benefits has begun the Health & Wellness Initiative for 2017.  AWFC Clergy Health Participants, please take a moment to read these documents regarding the 2 requirements for the Health & Wellness Initiative and additional information for 2017: 2017wellnessrollout1.pdf
Changes January 2017 for AWFC Clergy & Lay Insurance                                
You Can Use Amazon to Support UMCH!
Making purchases online? If you use when shopping, the United Methodist Children's Home will receive 0.5% of your purchase. More here. >>
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    
AWF Historical Society Newsletter - Winter 2016-2017
Download the Winter 2016-2017 newsletter here. Pages 8 & 9 feature the history of Pensacola District's own Crosspoint UMC.
AWFC Prayer & Resources Calendars for 2017 Available!
AWFC Prayer and Resources Calendars for 2017 are still available and can be ordered online for $5 each at The 2017 calendar features pictures of conference ministries and was put together by Luke Lucas, AWFC Communications Specialist.  The Pensacola District Office has extra copies available for FREE while the supply lasts.  If you'd like to have one, feel free to stop by!  
New 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: (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
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  
Safe Sanctuaries

Around the Web 
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UMC 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.'  The 32-member Commission was appointed by the Council of Bishops to assist the bishops in their charge to lead the church forward amid the impasse related to homosexuality. The Commission's task includes examining paragraphs in The Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and exploring options to strengthen the unity of the church.  Per the Constitution of the Church, the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference shall be composed of the delegates to the 2016 General Conference or their legal successors or alternates, except when a particular annual conference or missionary conference shall prefer to have a new election." For the entire article at please continue here. The original article is at [Pictured, from the article, are members of the Council of Bishops.]
From Blue Cross/Blue Shield of AL: 
"Easy Exercises You Can Do in Your Chair" (PDF)
Webinar "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...."
SEJ College of Bishops Announces Q & A about the Judicial Council
(AWF-UMC 3/27/2017) - Many in the Church are anticipating the upcoming Judicial Council ruling on the Western Jurisdiction’s recent election of a married lesbian bishop, Bishop Karen Oliveto. Some are hopeful the Judicial Council will rule the election unconstitutional because of the United Methodist Church’s clergy standards.  Others expect the election will be upheld as valid since the nominee was in good standing in her Annual Conference at the time of the election. Though opinions are being offered from a variety of sources, no one will know with certainty the outcome until after the Judicial Council meets and rules on April 25-28, 2017. This Q and A is designed to give background to help interpret the meaning of the Judicial Council decision once it is made. 
Training:  "Your Church Website: Rethinking Your New Front Door"

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
Website Development Grants
( - "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.
Weathering the Storm:  Solutions to 4 Major Pastor Problems
( - "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.               

UMC Annual Conferences in 2017 Vote on Amendments

(UMNS via AWFC-UMC 2/1/2017) - "General Conference delegates had their say last year. Now, it’s up to annual conference voters to determine whether five amendments will become part of The United Methodist Church’s constitution. In the coming months, the voters will consider changes that address matters of gender equality, inclusiveness in membership, delegate and bishop elections, as well as bishop accountability. To be ratified, a constitutional amendment first requires at least a two-thirds vote at General Conference, which happened in May 2016. Then, it must win at least a two-thirds majority of the total voters at annual conferences around the world." More here.

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.
Seven Ways to Help a New Staff Member Succeed
(Ministry Matters 2/20/2017) - I recently received the following message from a pastor friend: I have a new full-time associate pastor starting next week. What suggestions would you give for getting such a person off to a great start? What a great question! I’m so glad someone is actually asking it. 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. I can’t say I’m the best at this. I tend to be less hands-on than needed some times. Full story here.
50 Ways to Take Church to the Community
(The Lewis Center 11/24/2014) -  Here's an old but good article.... "Churches can no longer open their doors and expect that people will come in. Effective congregations go into the world to encounter those in need of the gospel. These 50 Ways provide tips on reaching beyond the walls of your church with worship, community events, ministries, and service."  Continue here for the article.  Here's the information as a pdf you can share with others.   
Methodists in the News
Free Webinar:  Offering Electronic Giving: What Are You Waiting For?
DATE: Thursday, May 11, 2017
TIME: 6:30 p.m. Central
PRESENTER: Ken Sloane, Director of Stewardship and Connectional Ministries
Electronic giving is not the future of charitable giving, it is the present reality. If your church is not offering this as an option for those who attend your church, you are missing out on generous giving. If there have been obstacles to making this option available to your church, we will talk about them in this webinar.
This free Webinar is made possible by the generous support of our churches for the World Service Fund.  
Commission on a Way Forward
The 32-member Commission on a Way Forward was appointed by the Council of Bishops to assist the bishops in their charge from the 2016 General Conference to lead the church forward amid the present impasse related to human sexuality and resulting questions about the unity of the Church.  For updates about the Commission visit
"How to Break Bad News to a Congregation and Community"
( - "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 >> 
Free Resources to Equip Church Leaders for Revitalization
(Discipleship Ministries-UMC) - New guidebooks from Discipleship Resources are available for quality leadership team training for your church’s key staff, laity in leadership positions and pastor. Topics of the four TeamWorks Guidebooks are Spiritual Life of the Leaders, Connecting with Your Community, Creating a Discipleship System and Futurecasting. Each contains seminars, personal devotions, tools and articles, and downloadable presentation slides and webinars are available at the TeamWorks website. For more information, go to or contact Craig Kennet Miller at (Posted 12/08/2016)

Clergy Finance Resources
The Lewis Center for Church Leadership and Wesley Theological Seminary have gathered free resources to help pastors better understand and manage their personal finances. The resources are available at (Posted 11/10/2016)   
Council of Bishops to Call for 2019 General Conference
(UMNS 11/02/2016) - Through an affirmative vote at their fall meeting this week, the United Methodist Council of Bishops expressed their intent to call for a special session of the General Conference in either February or March 2019 and asked the business manager of the General Conference to move forward with exploring venues and a bid search. More here at
 Are Your Worship Songs Appropriate? Do They Line Up with Good Theology?
(Discipleship Ministries 8/12/2016) - Songs are an important part of worship. They carry a message. But not all songs carry the right message. Some are inappropriate. Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church offers a tool to help worship leaders discern which songs to include in worship. Continue here for the article. >>
Free Special Sunday Resources
"How We Give" page at
What Are "Special Sundays?"
Six times throughout the year United Methodist congregations celebrate church-wide Special Sundays with offerings. United Methodists contribute to a variety of educational, community development, health and social welfare programs, many of which are administrated fully or in part through the General Board of Global Ministries. General Conference created six unique Special Sundays to help congregations work with communities, rebuild shattered lives, strengthen self-sufficiency, encourage partnerships, nurture Native American ministries, model peace and justice, provide scholarships and loans for United Methodist students, and much more. Special Sundays include Human Relations Day, One Great Hour of Sharing, Native American Ministries Sunday, Peace with Justice Sunday, World Communion Sunday, and United Methodist Student Day. 
How to Write Your Way to Better Bible Study
( - Combining note-taking and journaling can enhance your Bible study, prayer time, and sermon preparation. United Methodist Communications has an article about this here.
2016 Clergy Age Trends Report
The 2016 edition of the Lewis Center’s annual "Clergy Age Trends in the United Methodist Church" is now available at Download here the 2016 Clergy Age Trends Report. If you do not currently receive Leading Ideas, the Center’s free online newsletter, you can subscribe at
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, or click here for the AWFUMF Facebook page. 
Free Clergy Tax Video Available
Clergy face some distinctive tax regulations and often need guidance from tax professionals with experience working with clergy. The Lewis Center has prepared an informational video to help seminary students and clergy understand better the issues to which they and their tax preparers need to give attention. We use it as part of our seminary class on Personal Finances for Religious Professionals. If you feel this 12-minute video, Clergy Compensation and Taxes, may be useful to clergy with whom you work, feel free to share it.
Lovett H. Weems, Jr.
Professor of Church Leadership
Director, Lewis Center for Church Leadership
Wesley Theological Seminary        
Free Online Audio Bible 
At the link below you can hear a dramatic reading of the Bible. You can set it to the Bible translation you prefer, start at a particular passage, run or not run continuously, and pause it and restart at any time.
Test Your Knowledge of United Methodist History
(Article here) - The United Methodist Church has existed in various forms for more than 200 years. Test your knowledge of its history with these questions. Pass on this quiz to others to encourage them to test their knowledge as well. This quiz is a partnership between United Methodist Communications and the General Commission on Archives and History
At the History section of there are features where you can learn about many of the pioneers of the Methodist Movement and their faith stories. Look under the "Who We Are" section and enjoy discovering more about the denomination's roots. Perfect to share with new and longtime members! For more continue here.
Resources for Clergy and Congregations
(From The Lewis Center) - Includes the topics "Concluding Ministry in One Setting" and "Beginning Ministry in a New Setting."
Five Ways to Support Your Pastor's Family
(Ministry Matters) - It’s no secret that the life of a pastor’s family is filled with unique challenges. There are few roles that mix work and family life as closely as pastoral ministry, which creates for clergy families a constant battle to maintain healthy boundaries. The pressure from the church and the surrounding community will inevitably take a toll on families unless adequate support is provided. For the complete article, posted November 3, 2014, please click here 

50 Ways to Take Church to the Community
(From the Lewis Center) - Here's an old but good article.... "Churches can no longer open their doors and expect that people will come in. Effective congregations go into the world to encounter those in need of the gospel. These 50 Ways provide tips on reaching beyond the walls of your church with worship, community events, ministries, and service."  Continue here for the article.  Here's the information as a pdf you can share with others.
Free E-Newsletter from the Lewis Center
Leading Ideas is a weekly online newsletter of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Seminary in Washington, DC. Each week subscribers receive information, resources, and strategies to help advance God’s mission in ministry. To check it out and subscribe go to
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  Tips include things you can do before the students leave, while they are at college, and when they come home.  
5 Things Small Churches Can Uniquely Offer
(Rev. Ben Gosden) - "Church leadership has long held a bent toward the 'bigger is better'....  Instead of trying to mimmick [sic] what the large churches in your area are doing (only to come up short of their quality because you don’t have the money or resources to duplicate it), here are 5 things I believe small churches can uniquely offer the world right where they are...."   More here
Church Newsletters
United Methodist Men - Chartering
Click here for UMM news and information about chartering.  
Update Your Find-A-Church Listing
Provided by United Methodist Communications and the local church, Find-A-Church allows you to introduce your church family to the community. By updating your church profile, you will help seekers find your church. Your profile serves as a powerful online tool for evangelism. Find-A-Church has almost 35,000 United Methodist Church profiles gaining more than 12,000 page views daily. Take advantage of this tool and get started now!  Update your church's profile by searching here.  By updating your church profile, you can:
  • Welcome visitors personally to your congregation.
  • Display your church's ministries and activities.
  • Add details about your worship schedule.
  • Link to your church's Web site for a closer look.
New Worship Service Times?
Pastors/Secretaries, if your church's worship and Sunday School times have changed, please log-in and update the Local Church information. Your District Superintendent is visiting churches, and your Church Locator Page will need to show the correct information.  Thank you! 
If You Happen to Find Any Broken Web Links....
At 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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