The Pensacola District of The United Methodist Church
Saturday, May 27, 2017
Here for You - Serving Jesus

  Message Board
 
Annual Conference
is June 4-7.
 
 
Be sure to download
or print out
the GUIDE
before heading to
Montgomery!
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
For more news scroll down the page or jump to a section:  District - Conference - Web - Admin.
                           

                        
Around the Pensacola District  
 
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Status on Printed Copies of the Brochure of Reports
(Pensacola District Office Friday, May 12) - This past week churches were asked to respond to the district office as to which of their clergy and lay members would like a printed copy of the Brochure of Reports and which ones plan to download it instead. According to the AWFC Office, the expected date of delivery for the Brochure of Reports (at least, for the Montgomery area) is May 24. Since there may be insufficient time to distribute the books throughout the district before annual conference, Pensacola District's books will remain in Montgomery. Those who requested a printed copy can pick theirs up at annual conference at the Frazer Memorial UMC registration desk.
 
2017 Brochure of Reports Available Online
The AWFC has now posted a link to the 2017 Brochure of Reports on their home page. Click here to download the pdf. This is also on the Pensacola District's Forms & Documents page here, where we have archived previous years' Brochures and Journals.  
 
Update on Rev. Joe Hensel (Posted 5/15/2017)
Please continue to pray for Rev. Joe Hensel and his wife, Joy. Doctors have determined that his brain tumor is inoperable. He will be undergoing chemotherapy treatment. Joe is pastor at Farm Hill United Methodist Church.
                   
Positions Available
To submit your ad for posting on this page please submit it at AWFUMC.org/Classifieds then send us the link after your ad is posted! 
 
For employment opportunities at Crosspoint UMC (Niceville/Crestview) visit yourcrosspointcc.org/employment
 
For the Alabama-West Florida Conference Classifieds page visit http://awfumc.org/classifieds.
 
Here are the most recent posts: 
Niceville Campus: Nursery Caregivers
Niceville Campus: Crosspoint Academy Teachers, Assistant Teachers and Subs
North Crestview: Worship Leader
South Crestview: Crosspoint Academy Teachers, Assistant Teachers and Subs
 
Pensacola District Superintendent Receives UMM Award
Friday, April 21st, at the Annual United Methodist Men's Advance, Pensacola District Superintendent Tim Trent (pictured right) received the Robert Powell Award, which is the highest award anyone can receive in our conference representing United Methodist Men. Congratulations, Tim! 
 
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 videos at https://www.facebook.com/PUMCM.org. PUMCM is located at the Richards Memorial United Methodist Church in the Brownsville area, Pensacola, Florida. 
                                
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:  pfowler@pensacolahabitat.org or jpotrzeba@pensacolahabitat.org, 850-434-5456. For more information visit www.pensacolahabitat.org. To reserve housing on-line or more information about PUMCM visit www.PUMCM.org. Click here for the flyer as a pdf.
 
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
 
Quick Links: (Scroll down the page for more!)  
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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.
 
The Beginning Pastors Workshop July 28 & 29
Click here for search results on this event at the AWFC website, or you can search for this event on the AWFC calendar.
All pastors taking their first appointment in the Alabama-West Florida Conference are required to attend "The Beginning Pastors Workshop." The workshop for 2017 will be July 28-29 at Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church in Montgomery, AL. The calendar page is here. For more information contact the Alabama-West Florida Conference Department of Ministerial Services at (334) 356-8014 or toll-free (888) 873-3127.
        
Moving to a New Clergy Appointment?
Important information for you is at http://umcpensacoladistrict.org/RightStart.
 
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?  http://UMCPensacolaDistrict.org/ChurchLeadershipRoles.
 
There's a lot of helpful information for Staff-Parish/Pastor-Parish Relations Committees at http://UMCPensacolaDistrict.org/SPR, including training booklet.
 
Cokesbury Cares Program
The Cokesbury Cares Program is designed to help churches who've had a catastrophic event by offering FREE resources to help the get back on their feet.  Application requires signature by the church's district superintendent and can be emailed to swoolum@cokesbury.com or plunn@umpublishing.org. Here is a brochure, but please note that the address on the brochure has changed to 2222 Rosa L Parks Blvd., Nashville, TN 37228-0988. 
                                                     

 
Around the Conference   

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

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Information for Tellers and Alternate Tellers
From David Saliba 5/25/2017:
Dear Annual Conference Tellers and Alternate Tellers:
 
The 2017 session of the Alabama-West Florida Conference will be held June 4-7, 2017, at Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church in Montgomery, AL.

There will be a MANDATORY TELLER ORIENTATION held Sunday, June 4, 2017, beginning at 3:30 p.m. CT in Wesley Hall of Frazer Memorial UMC.  Click HERE for the latest copy of the WORKING AGENDA.

This year we will be voting on Constitutional Amendments and the General Church has specific orientation guidelines that we must follow, therefore our orientation meeting this year is mandatory. If you cannot make it please contact me as soon as possible by emailing: davidrsaliba@gmail.com.

Clergy Tellers, please be advised that the clergy executive session is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 4, in Wesley Hall.  We will need your presence at this meeting and will discuss your work at our orientation meeting.

Attached are General Teller Responsibilities.  Please read over them prior to the Annual Conference Meeting. Constitutional Amendment Voting will be discussed in person at the Teller Orientation.

If you have any questions please contact me at davidrsaliba@gmail.com.

God's Peace,
David

Files: ResponsibilitiesofTellers.pdf
 
Status on Printed Copies of the Brochure of Reports
(Pensacola District Office Friday, May 12) - This past week churches were asked to respond to the district office as to which of their clergy and lay members would like a printed copy of the Brochure of Reports and which ones plan to download it instead. According to the AWFC Office, the expected date of delivery for the Brochure of Reports (at least, for the Montgomery area) is May 24. Since there may be insufficient time to distribute the books throughout the district before annual conference, Pensacola District's books will remain in Montgomery. Those who requested a printed copy can pick theirs up at annual conference at the Frazer Memorial UMC registration desk.
 
2017 Brochure of Reports Available Online
The AWFC has now posted a link to the 2017 Brochure of Reports on their home page. Click here to download the pdf. This is also on the Pensacola District's Forms & Documents page here, where we have archived previous years' Brochures and Journals. 
 
AWF Annual Conference News Wednesday, May 17:  Final Details & Guide
(AWFC-UMC Wednesday, 5/17/17)

May 17, 2017

We are quickly approaching the 2017 session of the Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference. We are excited to see many of you soon. Click here to access a working agenda. Copies of the final agenda will be distributed at the doors of Wesley Hall prior to Monday's first business session. 

The reservation system closes on May 22, 2017, at 2:00pm. After this date and time, the reservation system will be closed so that we can accurately report head counts to our host churches. Click here to make a reservation

The 2017 Guide to Annual Conference has been published. It contains the bulletins for the Opening Worship Service and Memorial Service. We continue to strive to be good stewards of our resources. Therefore, printed bulletins will not be produced for these two services (family attending the Memorial Service will receive keepsake copies). The 2017 Book of Reports is available online. [NOTE:  Delegates from the Pensacola District will be picking up their Brochure of Reports at the annual conference registration desk.]

This year we will host Color Craft Directories at annual conference to produce our quadrennial pictorial directories. They will be photographing clergy and conference leadership on Monday-Wednesday in rooms 3013/3015. Click here for times. All clergy, conference staff, district administrative assistants and district lay leaders should have their photo taken. The Episcopal office highly recommends all clergy have their photo taken. These photos will also be used on our clergy finder section of the conference Website. Click here to make an appointment (select the only dropdown option and date on calendar). 

The clergy executive session and laity session will be held Sunday evening following opening worship (please note earlier start time for opening worship). Clergy will report to Wesley Hall and laity may remain in the sanctuary. Registration will close during opening worship but will briefly reopen prior to these sessions to accommodate those who are not able to register prior to opening worship. It will close promptly at 8pm Sunday evening. Clergy need to have their name badge visible to enter the executive session. 

Each morning (Monday-Wednesday) will begin with worship in Wesley Hall at 8:30am. Holy Communion will be served on Tuesday and Wednesday. Please plan to join your fellow clergy and laity for a special time of worship and reflection.

At the beginning of the Tuesday session in Wesley Hall, we are asking all clergy to find their local church lay delegates and sit with them by district. There will be a screen visual (see image below) and pages to assist you in finding your district. If you are projected to receive a new appointment, please find your new church lay delegates. This will be important for one of our morning teaching sessions.    

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.
 
Invitation to Free BSC Lunch at Frazer UMC June 6
  (Please forward this to your Youth Director, thank you!)

Dear Pastors and Youth Directors,
 
Birmingham-Southern College will be hosting a free lunch on Tuesday, June 6th at 12:00 p.m. at Frazer United Methodist Church for Youth Delegates, Pages, and any or High School Students who would like to get to know each other better and learn more about Birmingham-Southern College. Please share this message with any students in your church, and if you or they have any questions please email Steve Reneau at steve@tumcpc.com 
 
                                      
Grace and Peace,
Pastor, Trinity United Methodist Church in Phenix City, Alabama
          
Blue Lake Seeks Counselors
          
Licensing School Prepares Candidates for Pastoral Appointments
(AWFC-UMC 5/8/2017) - Seventeen certified candidates, along with AWF conference leaders, gathered April 24- May 1 in the Marianna-Panama City District for the 2017 Licensing School. Under the direction of Rev. Dave Barkalow and the Board of Ordained Ministry, candidates heard from pastors from across the AWF Conference about various ministry areas. The sessions, held at several United Methodist churches in the Panama City area, covered topics including pastoral care, congregational vitality, leadership, helping professionals, theology, evangelism, administration, and licensing school, to name a few. Pictured here are those who completed licensing school. Five persons from other annual conferences also attended the AWF Licensing School.
 
Hispanic Ministries "Listening Session"
(AWF-UMC 4/25/2017) - Hispanic/Latino pastors, laity and conference leaders gathered Sunday, April 23, 2017, at Spanish Fort UMC to engage in conversation with the Bishop. The barriers of language, culture, perception and history were replaced with the hope for a new sense of ministry together, for the sake of all. Approximately 100 people were in attendance in what proved to be an inspirational exchange of listening, encouragement, conviction and prayer.
 
Rev. Nancy Watson, Director of Connectional Ministries, stated, "We are making intentional efforts with our ethnic ministries to seek ways to hear their voices more. The Hispanic/Latino churches are an important and growing population in this conference and a priority is to connect with these leaders to understand their needs. We look forward to announcing specific ways that we can better connect with them in near the future." Photo courtesy of Rev. Nancy Watson.
 
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.            
     

 

[See also:  http://umcpensacoladistrict.org/RightStart]      

 

Upcoming Events on the AWFC Calendar:
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 www.awfhistory.com. 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:  https://vimeo.com/181975760. At our website you can find out even more and read some about each of the different sites across the US:  http://quadwmi.org. The application can be found here:  http://quadwmi.org/application/
                                                     
2017 Annual Conference
Pastors/Church Administrative Assistants, please be sure your delegates are connected with Annual Conference announcements!  For 2017 AWF Annual Conference information visit http://awfumc.org/AC2017. The deadline to register was 2 p.m. May 22.
 
(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: http://www.umcor.org/UMCOR/Relief-Supplies. 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.  http://www.awfumc.org/ac2017
 
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 arm-al.org/missioncamp to find out more and register online or contact Joe at joe@arm-al.org or (334) 501-4276 x100.
      
News from the AWF Board of Pension and Health Benefits
Health Tips Newsletter
May is “Education and Awareness Month for High Blood Pressure, Asthma and Allergies.”
In April's issue, note the attachment: "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 www.benefitsaccess.org—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.         
 
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 smile.amazon.com 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 june@awfumc.org.    
 
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 https://awf-reg.brtapp.com/2017Calendarpurchase. 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: https://vimeo.com/173934300 (AWFC-UMC 9/01/2016) -  "[This is] an appropriate time to review our conference protocol of reporting damage. Should your local church experience damage from [any] storm, first contact your district disaster response coordinator. They will assist you in assessing the damage and reporting it to your district superintendent and our conference leadership. You may find several other forms and documents helpful to ensure your church is prepared. Our connectional system is often at its best when we come together to help those in need.
 
Alabama-West Florida Conference News
You can subscribe to the AWFC NewsCONNECTION here.
For the AWFC NewsCONNECTION archives visit http://AWFUMC.org/Newsletters.
 
Do You Have Students Attending UWF or PSC?
The Wesley Foundation would like to contact students from your church if they are attending The University of West Florida or Pensacola State College.  If you have students currently attending, or heading that way in the fall, they would love to have their contact information so that they may welcome and invite them to be a part of our Wesley Foundation family.  Please e-mail this information to stuartworth@gmail.com.  
 
Safe Sanctuaries
                               

 
Around the Web 
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Webinar: "Older Adult Ministry on a Shoestring"
Friday, June 2, 2017
10 a.m. CDT
 
This webinar is designed to help small membership, rural, and financially strapped churches offer quality older adult ministry to their seniors. It focuses on doing a few ministries well and concentrates on ways to adapt the practices of larger and better funded churches to the context of the small church. It offers tools for uncovering hidden assets and partnerships that will stretch resources much further.  For more information or to register visit https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/older-adult-ministry-on-a-shoestring.
 
Note: The webinar will be made available in webinar archive for those who are unable to attend the live event.
                 
UMCom Launches New Bi-weekly E-newsletter for Church Members
(UMCOM 4/11/2017) - United Methodist Communications has launched a new bi-weekly e-newsletter that is "the first publication to carry the voice of the denomination directly to members by delivering inspirational and informational content specifically designed for them." A reflection of UMC.org, the newsletter is called UNITED Methodist NOW.  Members can subscribe to the free e-newsletter and view the most recent articles at UMC.org/newsletter. Members who would like to share inspiring stories in the e-newsletters can send ideas to UMNow@UMC.org for consideration.  For the article continue here.
 
From GCFA:  "Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty:
What it Means and Doesn't Mean"
(AWFC-UMC 5-22-2017) - "General Council on Finance and Administration Legal Services team has worked with the document entitled 'The Summary of the Impact of the Executive Order on Promoting Free Speech and Religious Liberty.' [Click here for the pdf.]  This document addresses what the executive order means, or doesn’t mean, for churches and church leaders."
 
See also:  Here is the GCFA page titled "Response to Questions Regarding Recent Executive Order."
 
From UMCH:  "Overwhelming Response - White Christmas"
According to the spring 2017 newsletter of the Alabama-West Florida United Methodist Children's Home, Crosspoint UMC of the Pensacola District (again) topped the list of White Christmas donations from churches of the Alabama-West Florida and North Alabama conferences. Top donor churches were as follows:  Crosspoint UMC - $110,015 (AWF Conference), First UMC-Dothan - $43,427 (AWFC), Asbury UMC-Birmingham - $38,324 (North AL Conference), First UMC-Montgomery - $24,825 (AWFC), Trinity UMC-Huntsville - $17,954 (North AL Conference), and Caterbury UMC-Birmingham - $17,856 (North AL Conference).  Pictured here is from the back page of the spring 2017 UMCH newsletter.
    
Disabilities Ministry Manual Available Online     
A new, comprehensive manual that covers disability ministries in the local church is now available at the website of the Baltimore-Washington Conference. The resource will connect United Methodists with answers about this essential ministry area. Visit http://www.bwcumc.org/ministries/disability-ministries/.
 
Bishops Set the Date for the Special Session
of General Conference: February 23-26, 2019
Re: Human Sexuality & The UMC
(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 awfumc.org please continue here.
For the original article at UMC.org continue here
Click here for a pdf of the full letter sent to the heads of delegations to the 2016 General Conference (or successors), Secretary of the General Conference, and the Chairperson of the Commission on the General Conference.
 
See also:
 
"Way Forward" Commission Ponders Structural Changes
Pictured: "Human Sexuality Protest Closes Session."
Disruption of 2012 General Conference by protestors taking over the floor. (UMNS Photo May 3, 2012)
(UMC.org 4/10/2017) - "The 32 members of the Commission on a Way Forward are getting down to the business of doing what their name says — helping a denomination deeply divided over homosexuality move toward some sort of future together.  That future could end up looking very different than how The United Methodist Church operates at present.... 
 
"The multinational commission held its third meeting April 6-8 at the United Methodist Building in Washington. Just as was true with its first two meetings, the commission’s third gathering was closed to reporters.  The commission, authorized by General Conference 2016, is looking at new ways to be a global church where many United Methodists view the practice of homosexuality as a sin while many others view restrictions on LGBTQ individuals as sinful. 
 
"The Rev. Thomas Lambrecht likens the work to putting together a puzzle. The group has laid out pieces on the table and is trying to figure out how the pieces might fit together. The challenge is the group has no set picture or diagram to go by.  'We’re acknowledging that there are deep-seated differences in the church, and there are parts of the church that are not able to live together in a closed connection,' Lambrecht said. 'So we are looking at ways to loosen the connection. What form that might take, we don’t know yet.' 
 
"Matt Berryman agreed with Lambrecht’s assessment. 'What we’re contemplating is loosening the connection in the face of conflict over whether there needs to be uniformity of practice and belief around LGBTQ people,' Berryman said.  Scott Johnson of Upper New York cautioned not to get too carried away with the idea of 'loosening the connection.' 'I think there is no question we still see a connected United Methodist church,' he said. 'We’re working toward unity....' 
 
"According to a press release about the meeting, the commission members indicated they are leaning toward a simpler structure 'with clearer processes for decision-making and accountability.' The Rev. Tom Berlin, lead pastor of Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, Virginia, said the commission still doesn’t know what 'simpler' would look like."
 
"The commission’s next meeting will be July 17-21 in Chicago. For any of its proposals to become reality, the commission needs the assent of General Conference delegates."
 
                             
Website Development Grants
(UMC.org) - "United Methodist Communications is now offering a Website Development Grant to local United Methodist churches and church entities who do not currently have a website or who want to replace their current website with a new WordPress site. " For more information continue here
 
"Rethinking Your New Front Door"
Topic: Church Website Training

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

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

Click here for more information about this and other training opportunities offered at UMC.org.
                           
 Is Your Worship Appropriate? Does It Line Up with Good Theology?
(Discipleship Ministries 8/12/2016) - Songs are an important part of worship. They carry a message. But not all songs carry the right message. Some are inappropriate. Here's a tool to help worship leaders discern which songs to include in worship. Continue here for the article. >>
 
Annual Conferences Will Vote on Amendments
(UMNS via AWFC-UMC 2/01/2017) - "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.
                  
50 Ways to Reach Your Community
(The Lewis Center 11/24/2014) -  Here's an old but good article.... "These 50 Ways provide tips on reaching beyond the walls of your church with worship, community events, ministries, and service."  Continue here for the article.  Here's the information as a pdf you can share with others.

Free Resources to Equip Church Leaders
(Discipleship Ministries-UMC) - New guidebooks from Discipleship Resources are available for quality leadership team training for your church’s key staff, laity in leadership positions and pastor. Topics of the four TeamWorks Guidebooks are Spiritual Life of the Leaders, Connecting with Your Community, Creating a Discipleship System and Futurecasting. Each contains seminars, personal devotions, tools and articles, and downloadable presentation slides and webinars are available at the TeamWorks website. For more information go to www.TeamWorksUMC.org or contact Craig Kennet Miller at cmiller@umcdiscipleship.org. (Posted 12/08/2016)
     
Seven Ways to Help a New Staff Member Succeed
(Ministry Matters 2/20/2017) - "Through the years I have hired hundreds of people. I don’t do a lot of things right, but finding good people seems to be one of my strengths. Getting a new person started in a good way is probably equal to finding the right people – especially if we hope to keep them...." Full story here.
 
United Methodist Webinars
Webinars offered by UMC Discipleship are posted at https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/webinars.
 
For Pastors:  "Weathering the Storm:  Solutions to 4 Major Pastor Problems"
(UMC.org) - "As the 'go-to' person for calming the storm, where do you turn when you find yourself in the middle of one? Let God guide the way and be proactive. Here are the most common pastor problems and a few problem-solving tips to guard against the winds and help you weather the storm."  Points include (1) Dealing with Criticism, (2) Time Management, (3) Physical and Mental Health Issues, and (4) Financial Struggles.  Continue here for the article.
 
"How to Break Bad News to a Congregation and Community"
(UMCOM.org) - "Whether the boiler just failed in the middle of winter, there’s been a break-in, or a staff member was unexpectedly let go, bad news travels fast and can create chaos in your church. The actions and words of the pastor and church leaders can shape the perception of how the congregation and community feel and may have broad ramifications that last well beyond the moment and must be handled with extreme care...." Continue here for the article >>
 
How to Write Your Way to Better Bible Study
(UMCom.org) - Combining note-taking and journaling can enhance your Bible study, prayer time, and sermon preparation. United Methodist Communications has an article about this here.
 
Free Online Audio Bible 
At the link below you can hear a dramatic reading of the Bible. You can set it to the Bible translation you prefer, start at a particular passage, run or not run continuously, and pause it and restart at any time.  https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/audio/
                 
"Easy Exercises You Can Do in Your Chair" 
(AWFC-UMC 4/5/2017) - Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama suggests some easy exercises you can do at your desk.  For the pdf click here. 
 
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...."  
                     
Clergy Finance Resources
The Lewis Center for Church Leadership and Wesley Theological Seminary have gathered free resources to help pastors better understand and manage their personal finances. The resources are available at https://www.churchleadership.com/clergyfinances. (Posted 11/10/2016)   
 
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.
 

Free Special Sunday Resources
"How We Give" page at UMCgiving.org
What Are "Special Sundays?"
Six times throughout the year United Methodist congregations celebrate church-wide Special Sundays with offerings. United Methodists contribute to a variety of educational, community development, health and social welfare programs, many of which are administrated fully or in part through the General Board of Global Ministries. General Conference created six unique Special Sundays to help congregations work with communities, rebuild shattered lives, strengthen self-sufficiency, encourage partnerships, nurture Native American ministries, model peace and justice, provide scholarships and loans for United Methodist students, and much more. Special Sundays include Human Relations Day, One Great Hour of Sharing, Native American Ministries Sunday, Peace with Justice Sunday, World Communion Sunday, and United Methodist Student Day. 

2016 Clergy Age Trends Report
The 2016 edition of the Lewis Center’s annual "Clergy Age Trends in the United Methodist Church" is now available at https://www.churchleadership.com/clergyage. Download here the 2016 Clergy Age Trends Report. If you do not currently receive Leading Ideas, the Center’s free online newsletter, you can subscribe at www.churchleadership.com
 
How to Apply for a Loan with the AWF United Methodist Foundation
Crestview First United Methodist Church was featured on page 3 of the AWF United Methodist Foundation's winter 2016 newsletter, GENEROSITY MATTERS. The article is about how to apply for a church loan.  For more information click here for the newsletter, visit http://alwfumf.org, or click here for the AWFUMF Facebook page. 
 
Free Clergy Tax Video Available
Clergy face some distinctive tax regulations and often need guidance from tax professionals with experience working with clergy. The Lewis Center has prepared an informational video to help seminary students and clergy understand better the issues to which they and their tax preparers need to give attention. We use it as part of our seminary class on Personal Finances for Religious Professionals. If you feel this 12-minute video, Clergy Compensation and Taxes, may be useful to clergy with whom you work, feel free to share it.
 
Lovett H. Weems, Jr.
Professor of Church Leadership
Director, Lewis Center for Church Leadership
Wesley Theological Seminary        
 
Resources for Clergy and Congregations
(From The Lewis Center) - Includes the topics "Concluding Ministry in One Setting" and "Beginning Ministry in a New Setting."
 
Five Ways to Support Your Pastor's Family
(Ministry Matters) - It’s no secret that the life of a pastor’s family is filled with unique challenges. There are few roles that mix work and family life as closely as pastoral ministry, which creates for clergy families a constant battle to maintain healthy boundaries. The pressure from the church and the surrounding community will inevitably take a toll on families unless adequate support is provided. For the complete article, posted November 3, 2014, please click here 

50 Ways to Take Church to the Community
(From the Lewis Center) - Here's an old but good article.... "Churches can no longer open their doors and expect that people will come in. Effective congregations go into the world to encounter those in need of the gospel. These 50 Ways provide tips on reaching beyond the walls of your church with worship, community events, ministries, and service."  Continue here for the article.  Here's the information as a pdf you can share with others.
 
Free E-Newsletter from the Lewis Center
Leading Ideas is a weekly online newsletter of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Seminary in Washington, DC. Each week subscribers receive information, resources, and strategies to help advance God’s mission in ministry. To check it out and subscribe go to www.churchleadership.com/leadingideas.
 
Articles about Burn-out
 
Online Training Courses
 
12 Ways to Stay Connected with College Students
United Methodist Communications has an article on this topic at http://www.umcom.org/learn/12-ways-to-stay-connected-with-college-students.  Tips include things you can do before the students leave, while they are at college, and when they come home.  
 
5 Things Small Churches Can Uniquely Offer
(Rev. Ben Gosden) - "Church leadership has long held a bent toward the 'bigger is better'....  Instead of trying to mimmick [sic] what the large churches in your area are doing (only to come up short of their quality because you don’t have the money or resources to duplicate it), here are 5 things I believe small churches can uniquely offer the world right where they are...."   More here
 
Church Newsletters
 
United Methodist Men - Chartering
Click here for UMM news and information about chartering.  
  
Update Your Find-A-Church Listing
Provided by United Methodist Communications and the local church, Find-A-Church allows you to introduce your church family to the community. By updating your church profile, you will help seekers find your church. Your profile serves as a powerful online tool for evangelism. Find-A-Church has almost 35,000 United Methodist Church profiles gaining more than 12,000 page views daily. Take advantage of this tool and get started now!  Update your church's profile by searching here.  By updating your church profile, you can:
  • Welcome visitors personally to your congregation.
  • Display your church's ministries and activities.
  • Add details about your worship schedule.
  • Link to your church's Web site for a closer look.
New Worship Service Times?
Pastors/Secretaries, if your church's worship and Sunday School times have changed, please log-in and update the Local Church information. Your District Superintendent is visiting churches, and your Church Locator Page will need to show the correct information.  Thank you! 
 
If You Happen to Find Any Broken Web Links....
At http://UMCPensacolaDistrict.org we try to keep the Web links updated, but if you come across one that gives you a message like "page no longer exists" or "file not found," try going to the source's home page (first part of the link URL) and doing a word search on the topic at the site. As resources improve and update their websites, this sometimes breaks links we've shared with you on our site. It's all good, all a part of progress! The information may still be there, but just might take a little personal digging on your part to find where it was moved - or please contact the district office. We'll be glad to help!  - Mary, Pensacola District Administrative Assistant   
 
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