The Pensacola District of The United Methodist Church
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
              
May 29, 2018

 

Messages by the District Superintendent - 2018
 
Dear Friends,

I hope everyone had a good Memorial Day weekend.  We are thankful our weather wasn’t as bad as predicted.  I checked on several churches during the storm and we have had no reports of any flooding or damage.

Our District Administrative Assistant, Mary Hernandez, has tendered her resignation. Her last day will be tomorrow, May 30, 2018.  Last year, Mary found out her husband has a terminal illness and her mom has recently become a shut-in.

Mary has served us faithfully for over seventeen years and has been a great asset to not only our District but to the Conference.  She has requested no going-away party or anything special.  We will honor her wishes.  We wish her well in this new chapter of her life.  She will be missed.

In the meantime, I will be in search for her replacement.  If anyone reading this is interested, let me know.  As you know, the nature of my job requires me to be out of the office more than in.  If you need anything, especially if you need to talk to me, call my cell phone (334.313.6946).  Please keep Mary and her family in your prayers and pray for the right person to take her place.

Annual Conference is fast approaching.  I hope everyone has read the two books Bishop Graves has encouraged us to read.  We are asking all the delegates to go to awfumc.org/ac2018 and download a copy of the working agenda and also the book of reports.

Keep in mind that Tuesday is voting day in Alabama and Frazer is a polling place.  Please do not park by the gym on the east side on Tuesday.

I look forward to seeing all of our pastors and delegates at Conference.  May we all be in prayer for God to bless us with a joy-filled, meaningful Conference.

Thanks for all you do!

Dr. Tim Trent
Pensacola District Superintendent
 

 
May 7, 2018
 
Linda and I had a great day yesterday being with the good folks at Mt. Carmel for the dedication of their new facilities.  On May 14, 2014, lightning struck their church and it was totally destroyed.  They now have a beautiful new sanctuary and fellowship hall!  Rev. Mark Barfield and the congregation put together a wonderful worship service and dedication service.  We celebrated all the ways God has blessed them through this.  We gave thanks for the United Methodist Connection and gave God thanks for all the United Methodists across our Conference who supported them with prayers and gifts.  They were also blessed with support from churches in their area.  Many churches and denominations were represented at the worship and dedication services.  It was truly a great day of celebration giving God thanks for His many blessings!
 
After our time at Mt. Carmel UMC, on our way to a visit with another church, we went by to see the progress that is being made at Century UMC.  Another celebration!  The foundation has been poured and all the steel beams are up!  They are well on their way in building their new facility after their church was destroyed by a tornado.  Rev. Janet Lee has given great leadership in helping the whole Century community recover from the tornado.  The entire congregation has been involved in the building design of their new church and it, too, is going to be beautiful and functional.  Again, we give God thanks for His blessings and for the support from so many.
 
Annual Conference is June 3-6.  Again, we are collecting items for the UMCOR kits.  The Pensacola District is responsible for erasers for school kits (2 inch or larger size) and combs for the hygiene kits.  Combs need to be sturdy and longer than 6 inches long; no pocket combs or picks; rattail combs and combs without handles are acceptable with a minimum of 6 inches of teeth.  This is something any church of any size can participate in.  It is a good way to involve our children and youth while teaching them about missions of our Annual Conference.  You can send your items with your lay delegate.  Thanks for your support in this.
 
Our District is hosting two Stegall Scholarship Foundation dinners.  The first is May 14, 6:00 p.m., at Pensacola FUMC.  The second is May 23, 6:00 p.m., at Ft. Walton Beach FUMC.  There is no cost for the dinner but you do need to make a reservation.  Please call the church where you are planning to attend and let them know soon so they can know how many to prepare for.  This is open to clergy and laity.  I encourage us all to attend and support the Stegall Scholarship Foundation in any way we can.  This Foundation is making a tremendous difference is the lives of our students.  Let’s show up and let Karl know how much we appreciate him and the work he is doing!
 
It seems like in the last month all I have done is go to meetings. Still, I celebrate all the good things that are going on in the Pensacola District and give God thanks.  Thanks for all the work you do as we continue to partner together, both clergy and laity, doing Kingdom work in this little corner of God’s vast creation!
 
Pensacola District Superintendent
 

 
March 27, 2018
 
Dear Friends:
 
I need your help! 
 
I am hearing great things throughout the District about creative things being done in our churches during the Lenten season, especially Holy Week.  I am asking each church to send the District Office a report on what you have done or what you plan to do to help people in your community and church celebrate Lent, especially Holy Week.
 
I would like to compile all these great, creative ideas together and get them back to all of you.  Depending on how many respond, this will be in the form of an e-mail or booklet.  I think it would benefit us all to be able to share these ideas with each other.  We can then begin to brainstorm ideas for next year.
 
I’ve had a couple of people wanting more information about the Palm Sunday parade around the neighborhood of Pensacola FUMC. I got a report from Navarre UMC this morning sharing with me the things they did last Sunday after church and had over 1,000 people on their campus.  Gadsden Street hosted a community picnic at the park adjacent to the church that was a huge success.  These are great ideas that need to be shared! 
 
Please help me with this.  I think sharing our ideas with each other can get our creative juices flowing for next year.
 
God bless each of you in the work you are doing!
 
Mary, Linda, and I wish for each of you a Happy Easter!
 
Pensacola District Superintendent 
 

 
March 26, 2018
 
I want to thank the United Methodist Men at Bellview UMC for doing such a wonderful job hosting our District UM Men’s meeting Saturday.  We had a wonderful meeting with several churches represented.  Mr. Tim Wentworth did a great job leading us. A representative from each church shared what their UMM organization has been doing. We plan on having a meeting each quarter, so you will soon hear the details of the next meeting date.  I hope your church will be represented.
 
I also want to encourage all of our United Methodist Men to attend the UM Men’s Annual Advance scheduled for April 20-21 at Blue Lake.  The topic will be "The Playbook – A Game Plan for Every Season." The speaker will be Hank Marshman with the Campus Crusade for Christ International. More information can be found here on the district website or here on the AWF Conference calendar. I hope to see you there.
 
Linda and I worshiped at FUMC Pensacola yesterday.  Like most of our churches, the children had a large role in helping us celebrate Palm Sunday.  Dr. Wachob preached an excellent sermon and the music was outstanding.  After the worship service we had our own Palm Sunday parade as we walked through the neighborhood around the church, waving our palm branches.  We then went back to the church for a delicious meal and great fellowship.  It was a great worship experience.
 
This week is Holy Week.  It is a special time for all of us to continue our Lenten journey as we relive the events of this week with the living Christ.  It is a time to remember and reflect.  It is a time of repentance and drawing closer to Christ.  This week is vitally important.  As I wrote at the beginning of Lent, we cannot experience the full joy of the resurrection until we experience His death.  This is the week we experience his death!
 
After journeying with Christ to the cross and experiencing His crucifixion on Good Friday, we are then prepared to worship on Sunday celebrating and experiencing the full joy of the resurrection. 
 
I hope your Lenten journey has been meaningful for you.  I pray that Easter Sunday will be filled with meaning, joy, and beauty!  Remember on Easter Sunday as you worship, if it had not been for the resurrection there would be no Church.  We, as Christians, are resurrection people!  God help us all to live in celebration of that!
 
I am thankful for each of you and the difference you and your churches are making in the lives of people.  Linda and I wish for all of you a happy and joy-filled Easter!!!!
 
Pensacola District Superintendent
 

 
February 19, 2018
 
This past Thursday the Pensacola District Board of Methodist Missions and Church Development honored Mr. Owen Sharp.  Owen has retired from our District Board after serving over 25 faithful years as our treasurer.  He will be greatly missed but not forgotten!  Mr. Sharp was a given a grand send-off by Board Members with cake and a beautiful plaque.
There is no other group like this in the entire UMC in the United States.  Just as a reminder, below is a list of churches who have been founded with the assistance of the Pensacola District Board of Methodist Missions:
       
St. Paul-Gulf Breeze
St. Paul-Bay Minette
Trinity-Ft. Walton
Wesley Memorial
St. Andrew
Pleasant Grove
Gulf Shore
Daphne
Aldersgate
Spanish Fort
Encompass
Bellview
Summit Park
McRae Street
Mary Esther
Christ-Milton
Shalimar
Lillian
Navarre
St. Luke
Destin
 
 Perdido Bay
Woodbine
Myrtle Grove
Morgan's Chapel
Celebration
Jubilee Shores
Niceville, First
Orange Beach
Cokesbury
Hispanic Church
 
 
We are thankful for all who have served in this great work through the years!
 
Congratulations to Crosspoint and Destin United Methodist Churches for making the list of the Top 25 fastest growing large membership churches in the United States.  Crosspoint is now number 6 and Destin is number 17.  (Covenant in Dothan is 18.)  Three churches in our Conference, two in the Pensacola District!  Congratulations to Rev. Rurel Ausley and Dr. Barry Carpenter and their teams for the great kingdom work they are doing!
 
Tomorrow I will be in Montgomery for the Bishop’s Day Apart event at St. James.  Wednesday through Friday I will be in a Cabinet meeting.  Saturday, I will be in Foley for the Conference United Methodist Women’s meeting.
 
May we continue to be in prayer for one another, our military, our country, and our world.
Grace and Peace to all!
 
Pensacola District Superintendent
 

 
February 16, 2018
 
Dear Friends,
 
This week Nikolas Cruz committed one of the deadliest school shootings in American history when he shot and killed seventeen people and injured many more at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Today, as we have since hearing the news on Wednesday, we grieve the loss of life and hurt for those who are injured and hurting.  This tragedy will be stuck in the hearts and minds of those who experienced this for the rest of their life.  Our heart breaks for those who have had loss and are suffering.

Let me encourage all of our churches in the Pensacola District to have a special moment of prayer for all of these who have experienced this tragedy firsthand.  You may consider calling out the names of those who lost their life.  You may provide a special prayer time at the altar.  You may light candles for each life lost.  These are only suggestions.  You can probably think of better ideas.  But may we join our hearts together in prayer in the Pensacola District.

In the days to come, may we not get caught up in the politicizing of this event.  It always happens.  But through it all, may we not lose sight of lives lost and injured.  May we not lose sight of the mental and emotional healing that is going to be needed.

May we all be in prayer for all of these dear people as they grieve, heal, and try to find normalcy. God bless each of you as you worship Sunday.  Peace and grace to all!

Pensacola District Superintendent 
 

 
February 14, 2018
 
Today is the beginning of Lent.  It is Ash Wednesday.  Today, all across the world, Christians will worship and have ashes imparted on their forehead.  It is also Valentine’s Day.  Today is like a two-for-one special! (By the way, Easter this year falls on April Fool’s Day!)  I can’t remember when Ash Wednesday and Valentine’s Day were on the same day.  But why not?  Both days are all about love!
 
Today we begin a journey. Today, as Christians, we begin our journey, in symbolic ways, making our way toward Jerusalem and our destination is to kneel at the foot of the cross of Jesus the Christ!  Hopefully, through prayer, worship, spending time in reading the scriptures, and devotional time, we will all journey together toward the cross of Christ.  And, hopefully, we will experience the crucifixion of our Lord.

A lot of people will not do much through this holy season.  They will show up in church on Easter Sunday to celebrate the resurrection. But they will not experience the resurrection, they will have just gone to church.  You see, you cannot experience the resurrection if you do not experience the crucifixion.  You cannot experience the resurrection if you are not willing to experience the death of our Lord.  It is incumbent on each of us to use these forty days to go to the cross with Christ and experience His death, to realize we are the ones who placed Him there, and to take ownership in His death.

Today people will begin the season of Lent by giving up something.  I have known people who have given up chocolate.  Some have given up drinking soft drinks. The list goes on.  People give up things and, when they have a craving or temptation for the things they have given up, they enter into a time of prayer to bring them closer to the Christ.

But Lent is not just a time to give up something.  Some find it meaningful not to give up something but instead find it meaningful to start doing something.  Not give up but do!  Again, I have known some who have committed themselves to start a time of daily prayer and devotional habits.  Some have chosen to visit the nursing home on a regular basis.  I know of one who has decided for lent she will drive the speed limit! For some, that is a difficult thing to do!  Again, the list can go on.

All of us choose whether to give up something or to do something to help make our Lenten journey more meaningful.  The purpose is to bring us closer to the Christ.

Today we begin our journey.  Today is all about love.  I hope each of us will express our deep and abiding love to those who mean so much to us.  I hope each of us will express our deep and abiding love to Jesus the Christ and be willing to journey with him to the cross.  Remember, we cannot experience the true joy of the resurrection on Easter if we do not experience His death!

I wish you well on your Lenten journey.  Remember, there are many around the world who will be traveling to Jerusalem with us.  May we be in prayer for one another.

Grace and peace to all!
Dr. Tim Trent
Pensacola District Superintendent
 

 
January 17, 2018
 
I hope everyone is doing well with the weather.  I was cold all morning and then I saw on the news a report on the Yakutia region in Russia.  There are about 1,000,000 people who live there.  The temperature there dropped to minus 88.6F!  After seeing that report I was warm, warm, warm!

Saturday I had the good pleasure of being at the District UMW event hosted by the ladies at Trinity UMC.  They did a wonderful job hosting the event.  We all thought the attendance would be low because the wind was blowing and it was cold.  There were 84 in attendance!  I was there to install the officers for 2018.  They honored Louise O’Bannon for serving in leadership for 10 years.  Louise is such a beautiful person with a wonderful spirit.  She has served in three different positions faithfully for the last ten years.  She also has served on the District level and has been faithful serving on the District CORE Team and as an At Large delegate to Annual Conference for the Pensacola District.  She is well deserving of the recognition.  How do we serve?  How faithfully do we serve?  Louise is a model for us all.
 
The Rev. Pam Avery, Associate Pastor at the Gulf Breeze UMC, gave the program and it was excellent.  Her presentation was both serious and humorous.  We sang, danced, and looked at ourselves in the mirror! Thank you, Pam, for a wonderful program!

The next day, Sunday, I had the good pleasure of preaching at Milton FUMC for both morning services.  I always enjoy preaching there.  Milton FUMC has a lot going on with missions and ministry.

I then went to Century UMC to hold a special called Charge Conference for the purpose of building a new church.  A tornado destroyed the Century church on February 15, 1916.  They are now ready to sign the contract to rebuild!  It was a great moment of celebration.  Rev. Janet Lee has given great leadership through this process along with several in the church.  I am thankful for the folks at Century.  They have such a great spirit and attitude and are a joy to work with!

I hope consultations can resume tomorrow.  Friday I will be in Dothan for a meeting at the UMC Foundation.

Thanks to all of you for the good work you are doing.  Stay warm and God bless you all!!!

Dr. Tim Trent
Pensacola District Superintendent
 

 
January 7, 2018
 
I hope everyone had a great holiday season.  Linda and I did our best to do as little as we could.  I promised her I would do no church work for two weeks and I came pretty close to fulfilling that promise.
 
I want to thank all the ministers and spouses for the wonderful gift you gave to Linda and me.  I am thankful for each of you and I appreciate your love and support more than you will ever know.
 
I want to thank both the clergy and laity of our District for a wonderful year!  We will begin tabulating some figures to share with you in the near future.  We have had a very successful year in so many ways.  As we enter into the new year, may we renew our commitment to work with each other to do Kingdom work in the Pensacola District.
 
We now begin the process of Consultations.  You should have received your forms to fill out by now.  If not, be sure and contact the office.  The schedule will be sent out soon with the appropriate instructions.  I look forward to meeting with each of you, as well as the churches that will be anticipating a move. May we all be in prayer for one another as we begin this process.
 
As we begin this new year, I hope we begin with a renewed commitment to serving Christ and His Church.  I look forward to the new year working with each of you.  I know this year will be even greater than last.
 
I will be at Blue Lake tomorrow afternoon through Thursday for Spiritual Leadership Training.  As you know, Blue Lake is pretty much a “dead zone” when it comes to communications.  If it is serious and you really need me, call Blue Lake and ask them for me to call you.  I will be not be able to leave but maybe I can call you back on their phone.
 
God bless each of you, your families, and ministries!
Dr. Tim Trent
Pensacola District Superintendent