The Pensacola District of The United Methodist Church
Sunday, January 21, 2018
Here for You - Serving Jesus
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Services Monday, January 22 for Rev. Ed Chandler
Friday, January 19, 2018
 It is with mixed emotions that I share that Rev. Ed Chandler passed away this morning at 4:30 a.m., after a short time in the hospital. Mixed because we are excited for him, but he will be deeply missed by all of us. He was a pastor in this Conference for over 60 years and was actively employed at Crosspoint for 35 years. He was the Senior Pastor here for 15 years from 1983-1998. He has been Pastor Emeritus and Church Counselor from 1998 until now. He was a remarkable pastor and Christian whose influence in our church will be deeply felt for a very long time. A celebration of his life will be Monday, January 22, at 11 a.m., in the Niceville campus Sanctuary. Visitation will be at 10 a.m. A reception will follow immediately in the Community Life Center.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be given to the Asbury Seminary Foundation. This can be designated thru Crosspoint or sent directly to Asbury Seminary Foundation, 3027 Fellowship Lane, Pace, FL 32571.

Please keep Sylvia and the Chandler family in your prayers during these days.

Rurel Ausley
Senior Pastor
Crosspoint UMC

These Reports Are Due in January:

Annual Statistical Report (aka Ezra Report)


Consultation Reports

Consultation Schedule


Fund Balance Report

Click here to find the latest Fund Balance Report report form at

Free Chairs!
The Way (Wesley Memorial) United Methodist Church has over 100 chairs they would like to donate to a church or organization. If interested please contact them at (850) 994-6213. They are located at 4701 School Lane, Pace, FL. Front and  back view photos of the chairs are available on the Pensacola District's Facebook page. (Posted 1/12/2018)        
Milton First UMC Seeks Children's Music Director
Attention, Senior Pastors / Church Office Staff!!
  • Did you update your Church Dashboard for 2018?
  • After you complete your update, on the Church Leaders page click on "Let my District/Conference know I'm done."
  • IMPORTANT:  If your Dashboard shows persons in the classes of 2017 and earlier with no position end date, it is not up-to-date until you put the end date.  The end date year should not go beyond what the class year was. For instance, if someone was in SPR Class of 2015, the end date would not be after December 31 of 2015, because the Class of 2015 term ended in 2015.
  • If you need more information about updating the Dashboard, please continue here to our Online Reports page.
The Annual Statistical Report Is Due January 31 
All churches are to complete the Annual Statistical Report (aka Ezra Report) by January 31, 2018. It is the responsibility of the senior pastor to ensure that this is done. If you need worksheets, the log-in page, password, or other information please continue here to our Online Reports page.
Consultation Schedule & Reports
Here are links to download Pensacola District consultation forms:
PDF / MS Word - Letter to Chair of the Committee on Pastor-Parish Relations or Staff-Parish Relations
PDF / MS Word - Staff/Pastor-Parish Relations Committee Response
PDF / MS Word - Pastor Consultation Process   
Mental Health Symposium
Wednesdays January 10 - February 28, 6 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church (Chapel)
We are extremely blessed to offer this symposium led by Don Winslett, Ed. D. and John Hodges, Ph. D. Each week will cover a different topic; therefore, it is not necessary to attend every session. There is no charge and no registration is needed. Dinner will be available at 5:00 p.m. for $5 per person/$15 per family. Sessions will begin at 6:00 p.m. Childcare available. Begins January 10, 2018, in the Chapel.

Dates, Topics, and Presenters:
Jan. 10 - "Depression, Treatment and Care" (Don Winslett)
Jan. 17 - "Suicide - Causes and Care" (Don Winslett)
Jan. 24 - "I'm Stressed, but What is It?" (John Hodges)
Jan. 31 - "Substance Abuse - How and Where to Find Help" (Don Winslett)
Feb. 7 - "Managing Grief and Bereavement" (Don Winslett)
Feb. 14 - Ash Wednesday
Feb. 21 - "Do I Call It ADD or ADHD?" (John Hodges)
Feb. 28 - "Caring for God's People" (Don Winslett)

This program is open to pastors, laypeople, church staff, those who work in the mental health field, and others interested in improving mental health.  For more information visit
2018 Youth Meltdown Retreat January 26-28
Register now!! The 2018 Youth Meltdown Retreat willbe January 26-28 at Boardwalk Beach Resort, Panama City Beach, FL. Details are at
St. Paul UMC Soccer Field
St. Paul UMC Adds Soccer Field to Benefit Gulf Breeze Community 
(AWF-UMC 1/10/2018) - Saint Paul United Methodist Church in Gulf Breeze wasn’t looking to add a soccer field to its property on U.S. Highway 98, but God apparently had other ideas. 
"How it started was I just answered the phone one day—you know how it goes,” says Rev. Christina Shaver. “It was the coach, Victor Ayala, … of the Gulf Breeze Breakers, which is a club soccer team.”

Ayala explained that his club for 9 year olds to 14 year olds had recently lost access to its practice field and asked if Saint Paul would allow his organization to use one of church’s vacant fields. He told Shaver the Breakers would make all the necessary improvements in return for the use. She immediately liked the idea and agreed to put it before the church council.

“We weren’t using that piece of our property,” adds Shaver, who has served at Saint Paul since 2016. “It was a flat piece of property that was dirt and patches of grass. It looked awful.… Someone says, ‘Can we come fix up your property and use it every day?’ and I said, ‘Yes, you can!'”

The partnership became official in the spring, and Ayala began making improvements to the field in late April....  For the rest of the article continue here. >>

Pensacola District Lay Servant Training March 2018
The Pensacola District will hold Lay Servant Ministries Training on Friday, March 9, 2018, and Saturday, March 10, 2018, at Trinity United Methodist Church in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Click here for the event page and flyer.


Positions Available

PUMCM's Annual Winter Clothing Drive
Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries is having their annual Winter Clothes Drive
Donations are accepted 9-5 Tuesdays-Fridays and 9-4 Saturdays at the Community Ministry Thrift Store which is located at Richards Memorial United Methodist Church, 2600 West Strong Street, Pensacola, FL.
For a closer view of the flyer please click on the graphic pictured left.


Administrative Announcements 

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Update from GCFA Legal
Re: Judge's Ruling That Housing Allowance Tax Exemption Is Unconstitutional
( 12/18/2017) -  Judge Barbara B. Crabb of the Western District of Wisconsin recently found the housing allowance tax exemption for clergy to be unconstitutional, violating the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The Legal Services Department at GCFA has reviewed the decision and prepared a thoughtful analysis of its contents and the reasoning of the judge. The Legal Services Department will continue to monitor this case and will update its analysis when necessary. Updates will be found at  If you should have any questions, please feel free to e-mail  legal@gcfa.orgClick here to read the analysis of the ruling from the Legal Services Department of GCFA and view the most recent update.  
Continuing Education Chair
If you are planning a clergy continuing education event and need credit authorization or have questions about continuing education, the contact person is Reverend Dr. Jeff Spicer. Dr. Spicer is the AWF Conference Chairperson of Continuing Education. Here is his contact information.
Coaching Resources for Ministers
Here is a list from the AWFC Cabinet of coaches available for ministers. This is not a requirement, but if you can sign on with a coach (of course, their services require payment), you will find this can be very helpful. If you have any questions about this, you can contact our district superintendent, Tim Trent.
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? Visit  There's a lot of helpful information for Staff-Parish/Pastor-Parish Relations Committees at, including training booklet.  If your church elects a new treasurer inform! Their system is not connected with the AWFC database.
See Also: 
Finance and Administration Resources from Around the Web
For more items related to Finance and Administration see our "Around the Web" section below.


Around the Conference 

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

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Bishop's Day Apart Feb. 20 in Montgomery - Heads Up about Reading to Do in Advance
Here is the event page with more information. NOTE:  The event page says, "Please read The Anatomy of Peace prior to the meeting. If you are able, Real's The New Rules of Marriage is suggested reading."   
Webinar from GCFA on the New Tax Laws and What You Need to Know
(GCFA-UMC 1/12/2018) - The new tax law has implications for employers, non-profits, churches, and individuals. On Wednesday, January 24th, GCFA will sponsor a one-hour webinar on Tax Reform. This webinar will be presented by Blake Harrison, CPA, who is the Senior Manager of Tax Services, at LBMC, GCFA’s internal audit firm. In his presentation, Blake will break down the details of the new law and help you to understand its impact.
(If you are unable to attend, look for the recording that will be posted after the Webinar.)
WHAT:  Tax Reform – What You Need to Know 
OUTLINE: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is now in place.  It is wide-ranging tax reform that will impact ALL taxpayers including individuals, non-profits, and businesses.  In this presentation, we will break down the details of the new law in order to understand its impact.  We will also address questions individual taxpayers and non-profits should be asking.
WHEN:  Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 11:30 am CST
WHERE:  Participate online using WebEx
HOW:  To register, click here. Limited to the first 250 registrants. 
2018 Training Videos for Local Church Committees
Here are videos and transcripts that will help local churches train new and current Staff-Parish/Pastor-Parish Relations Committee members, Finance Committee members, and Trustees.  
For audio-only podcast click here
2018 Health & Wellness Initiative, Clergy Requirements
(AWF-UMC 1/3/2018) - "The AWF Conference Board of Pension & Health Benefits will continue the Health and Wellness Initiative Program as a goal of encouraging our pastors and their dependents to live healthier lifestyles; providing them with personal health information, screening and coaching thus helping the Conference to reduce and control the cost of health insurance claims. 
"The Health & Wellness Initiative will continue beginning January 1, 2018. Clergy members on the Conference's active health insurance plan are required to complete the online Health Quotient (HQ) and the Biometric Screening by August 31, 2018. Dependents, retired clergy over age 65 and lay employees who are on the annual conference health plan are not required to complete the HQ and Biometric Screening but are encouraged to participate.

"The following two steps are required:
*  To complete your online HQ assessment, login or register (if you do not have an account setup) at www.mybluewellness.  The online HQ can also be completed at Annual Conference during the health screening process (June 2018).  
* A Biometric Health Screening is required. You may choose from one of the following options to complete the screening: 
Option 1: An on-site Biometric Health Screening will be available at Annual Conference.  Biometric Screening will be held from 7:30 am until 12:30 pm on Monday and Tuesday.  It is a fasting screening.

Option 2:  You may choose to go to your personal physician for the biometric health screening.  Co-pays are applicable to this doctor's visit. Please download and print the physician's form from the Conference‘s website and take with you.

"Failure to complete the 2 requirements will result in a monthly wellness charge of $50 beginning January 2019."
2017 AWF  Conference Journal Now Available
(AWFC-UMC on FB 12/13/2017) - "The 2017 Journal is now available. You may download the free pdf or order hard copies for $25 each through The pdf download can be found on under "Quick Links" or click here to find it on Amazon." 
"Planning for Your Retirement" February 6 & 7
at the Pensacola Grand Hotel. The event page is here
Pastors considering retirement in the next ten years are invited to a Retirement Seminar on February 6 & 7 at the Pensacola Grand Hotel. There are many aspects of retirement that require planning at different stages of a pastor's ministry. This two-day seminar provides vital information regarding the needs of pastors considering retirement within the next ten years. We encourage spouses to join in making preparations for this milestone event in a pastor's (and his/her family's) life.  Click here to register.
  • Deadline for reservations is January 26, 2018. 
  • Limited to 20 clergy participants (and their spouses) age 50 and older who are considering retirement within the next ten years. Due to limited space, only the first 20 paid clergy registrations will be accepted. 
  • Cost - $55 per clergy participant, $65 per couple (fee includes room and breakfast)
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Sam Persons Parkes
"Growing the Culture of Generosity in Your Church" Conference
February 8 in Montgomery
February 9 in Niceville
The Division of Stewardship of the Conference Board of Discipleship is co-sponsoring with Generis the event "Growing the Culture of Generosity in Your Church."  We are hosting this 4-hour event in two locations in our conference - on Thursday, February 8 at FUMC Montgomery and on Friday, February 9 at Crosspoint UMC in Niceville.  ***BONUS*** The Niceville event happens the morning before their "Becoming a Healthy Growing Church" conference!  So, just arrive early!  Plus the generosity event is only $17!!  Just the cost of lunch!  Also, CEU's will be awarded, the number of them yet to be determined.

Why Generis?  Generis has become a leading generosity ministry agency in the United States and has been producing impressive results in our annual conference at churches such as Crosspoint, FUMC Bay Minette, and Foley UMC.  Both Jay Cooper and Nolan Donald will also be on hand at both events to witness to the results that Generis has helped them achieve toward funding ministry for Jesus Christ.

You'll find the registration pages for each site below:
These are also on our conference website:
Additionally, there are Facebook events prepared for each site:
I believe that these events will do much to help on their own, but they will also allow churches and pastors to connect with a team that could help them in the future.

Sam Persons Parkes
Means of Grace
Day Apart for Spiritual Formation (Session 3) February 10
Speaker for February 10 will be Donell Seager. For details and to register continue here.  For a closer look at the flyer click on the graphic (pictured right). Here is the schedule for upcoming days apart:
  • Prayer - Saturday, February 10, 2018
  • Fasting and Holy Living - Saturday, May 19, 2018
  • The Sacraments - Saturday, August 25, 2018
  • Christian Conferencing/Living in Covenant Community - Thursday, November 15, 2018
  • Living Generously/Seeking Justice for All - February 2019 (date to be determined)
  • Celebrating the Means of Grace - May 2019 (date to be determined)
Each day apart will be held at Blue Lake, begin at 9:00 a.m., end at 4:00 p.m., and will offer time for worship, learning, silence, fellowship, sharing a meal, and a chance to actually experience what is being taught.  The cost for each day apart is $40.00. Ten private rooms have been reserved for each day apart. Should you desire to spend the night there will be an additional cost of $63.00, which includes supper. Breakfast the following morning is not included as check-out is at 9:00 a.m.
Upcoming Annual Conference Deadlines
(AWF-UMC 11/27/2017) - The Committee on Standing Rules has begun its work in preparation for the 2018 Annual Conference session June 3-6, 2018, at Frazer Memorial UMC in Montgomery, AL. The committee will be reviewing the Conference Standing Rules and recommending revisions. Please be aware of upcoming deadlines specified in our Standing Rules: 
  • Any proposed changes to the Standing Rules should be received in writing by the chairperson of the Committee on Standing Rules no later than February 1, 2018.  You may submit proposed changes by email to or by mail to Shirley H. Woodie, 171 Meadowview Drive, Ozark, AL 36360.
  • Resolutions shall be submitted to the Committee on Resolutions and Petitions by February 15, 2018, except in cases where it can be demonstrated by the author of a late petition that the situation which gave rise to making the petition was not apparent until after the deadline for petitions. The committee shall provide copies of all resolutions submitted by February 15 to all voting members present at the conference session. The maker of the late resolution shall supply these copies of his/her resolution if submitted after February 15.  No resolution will be received on the last day of the session.  The Chairperson of the Committee on Resolutions and Petitions is Rev. Christina Shaver. You may contact her at
  • Materials and reports to be included in the Book of Reports shall be in the hands of the Journal editor NO LATER THAN February 26, 2018. Please email materials and reports to Rev. Jackie Slaughter, Journal Editor:
If you have questions or need additional information, please contact me.
Shirley H. Woodie, Chairperson
AWFC Committee on Standing Rules
334-774-5516 (home)
334-379-7207 (cell)
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Interim Treasurer Named for Alabama-West Florida Conference
(AWFC-UMC 1/03/2018) - The Alabama-West Florida Conference is pleased to announce that Mr. Mickey Wilson has been named Interim Treasurer in the conference office. Wilson begins his service January 3, 2018. Prior to coming to the Alabama-West Florida Conference, he served as Treasurer of the Florida Annual Conference for ten years. He also worked at the General Commission on Finance and Administration as their CFO and was president of a leasing company that partnered with Nashville area’s largest bank. Wilson is a current general conference delegate in the Florida Annual Conference and has been one since 2008.  “I hope you will join me in welcoming Mickey Wilson to our conference on this interim basis,” said Bishop David Graves. "The conference CFA committee and I feel he will be an asset in helping our conference and fiscal office move ahead in this new year. His expertise and knowledge will allow us to effectively serve our local churches and continue to align the fiscal office with the mission of the United Methodist Church.” For more of the article continue here. >>  See Also: Two Staff Changes at Montgomery Office
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Disability Awareness Sunday February 25
(AWFC-UMC Focus on Mission Newsletter 1/11/2018) - "Disability Awareness Sunday calls the Church to celebrate the gifts and graces of persons with disabilities and calls the Church and society to full inclusion of persons with disabilities in the community.”(¶265.4)

Berta Hurston, member of the AWF Conference Committee on Ethnic Local Church Concerns, Division of Disability Concerns stated, “This special Sunday will allow our local churches to acknowledge and show appreciation to those with disabilities. Often times these members are overlooked in our congregations because they are perceived to have limitations. We want to bring awareness that many of these members with disabilities bring a unique perspective to our congregations and can be leaders and contributing members to the United Methodist Church and our communities.” 

For more information about Disabilities Awareness Sunday and other disability ministry resources visit
Small Membership Church Summit March 2 & 3 at Blue Lake
This summit will be an opportunity for members of small membership churches (membership under 200) to come together to learn from each other and a few specialists about topics that are relevant for small churches. Open for all lay and clergy, .8 CEU available for participants. For details and to register, here is the event page.
"Take the Next Step" Event April 14 at Andalusia First UMC
Click here or on the graphic (right) for the April 14, 2018, event flyer.
Click here to search for more about "Next Step Ministry" at the AWF Conference website.

New Church Start in Ecuador

(AWFC-UMC Focus on Mission Newsletter 1/11/2018) - We are grateful to announce the start of a new church in Ecuador. Located on the outskirts of Santo Domingo de Los Colorados, IEMUE Campamento is making an impact for God. They held their first worship service on December 17, 2017, with 95 people in attendance. The next Sunday saw 285!

Rev. Daniel Godwin, a GBGM Missionary and Retired Elder of the AWF Conference (pictured, left), and his team have been hard at work to bring the Word of God to the people of this community. He said, "We have a location and a crude building, God is so good! It is a great location on the outskirts of Santo Domingo de Los Colorados. I think that these are the fields of harvest Jesus is calling us to."

They need your help. Please consider sponsoring them through a general donation or from the following list:
                Pulpit- $250
                Sound- $1,200
                Ceiling- $700
                Flooring and other improvements: $1500
Please send contributions to:
Loaves & Fishes for Ecuador
189 Eglin Pkwy 2nd Floor
Fort Walton Beach, FL  32548
Earmark: New Church in Sto Dgo
Also, Dan would love to receive a team of volunteers from your church. You can find him on Facebook, 3 locations:
                    Daniel Godwin
                    Echoes from Ecuador
                    IEMUE Campamento
His e-mail address is
Blue Lake Update
November 28, 2017
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Steve Lewandowski
Happy Holiday and Merry Christmas!
Blue Lake has had a great year.  God has been good!!  We have seen more then 25,000 user days in 2017. This year was our 65th anniversary and we again have had numerous lives changed by their experiences here at Camp, not just children but also adults. We have had weddings, family reunions, football teams, vision impaired, Emmaus walks and as always Summer Camp and numerous other meetings here on the grounds.
Blue Lake is the only Camping and Retreat Center for the Alabama West Florida Conference. We have invested in our future with a few projects this year. We put a new metal roof on the Linwood wing of Oakwood Lodge, we are also in the process of replacing a double wide trailer for the Program Director with a new 3-bedroom 2-bath house. We will continue to make updates to our facilities for the safety and comfort of our guests.
As you know, we had a busy hurricane season.  We had to cancel groups that were scheduled to be here and lost income in the neighborhood of $26,000.  That and the construction of the new house have made our year end need more then usual.

I know that this time of year many groups are asking you for financial donations.  I would ask that you prayerfully consider a donation to Blue Lake United Methodist Camp.  You may go to our website and donate or can send your check directly to Blue Lake Camp, 8500 Oakwood Lane, Andalusia, AL 36420.
Thank you and God bless you,

Steve Lewandowski
Executive Director
Resources Prompted by Church Tragedies
(AWFC-UMC 11/16/2017) - "After the terrible tragedy in Texas, many churches are considering how they can best prepare for an emergency in their community or congregation and how United Methodists can take a stand against gun violence. Click here for some of the resources available to clergy, trustees committees, church leaders, and others on this topic." 
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David Bowen, AWFC Director
Lay Servant Training 2018
(AWFC-UMC 12/02/2017) - The Montgomery-Prattville District will hold Lay Servant Ministries Training on Friday, January 19, 2018, and Saturday, January 20, 2018, at First United Methodist Church in Greenville, Alabama. Two Advanced Courses and One Basic Course will be offered. Click HERE for the registration form. For questions about this training contact Tom Crenshaw at
The Pensacola District will hold Lay Servant Ministries Training on Friday, March 9, 2018, and Saturday, March 10, 2018, at Trinity United Methodist Church in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. [Here is the event page and flyer.] For questions about this training contact Bruce Knecht at
There will be no Conference Blue Lake Training in 2018. We will hold a large training event at First United Methodist Church, Montgomery from Thursday, July 12, 2018, through Saturday, July 14, 2018, as we host the Southeastern Jurisdiction Annual Conference and District Directors meeting. There will be four or five Advanced Courses available as well as the Basic Course. Registration will be available in the spring of 2018. You may attend courses in any district. You are never limited to courses in your own particular district. For questions about Lay Servant Ministries in the Alabama-West Florida Conference contact David Bowen at
Event Promotion Guidelines (PDF)
(AWF-UMC 10/16/2017) - The Alabama-West Florida Conference cabinet and CORE team have approved new guidelines for promoting events in the conference. This will streamline how information is submitted, where events are promoted and also provides suggestions on how groups can help promote their events.  Click here for the pdf document.  
How We Can Partner With You?
(AWF United Methodist Foundation) - "The Development Fund would like to help your church build, expand, or renovate. We loan money to churches at rates that are significantly lower than typical commercial rates and we offer loan terms of up to 15 years. In addition, the Development Fund charges no points or closing costs.  Because we are a non-profit that serves our conference, the Development Fund Board is made up of United Methodists with financial backgrounds and also has experience complying to the Book of Discipline guidelines for building and loan projects. The reward received from helping churches ... is "why we do what we do," says Terri Turner, Executive Director of the Alabama-West Florida United Methodist Foundation.  When considering finance options for your next project we invite you to fill out a loan application at   To get started on a new loan for your ministry contact Terri at 334-793-6820 or"
A Shift to Digital in the Ordained Ministry Residency Program
(AWF-UMC 10/4/2017) - A shift toward digital resources in the Alabama-West Florida Conference is making it easier for newly commissioned ministers to navigate the challenging path to ordination.  Conference officials say the decision to make its Residency in Ordained Ministry program accessible through an online portal has resulted in more efficiency and greater connections among the candidates. For more continue here.   
Bishop Forms New Team to Help Congregations in Crisis
(Kari Barlow for the AWF Conference) - A new 19-member Bishop’s Response Team now stands ready to support congregations across the Alabama-West Florida Conference in times of crisis. Bishop David Graves, along with his cabinet and the Board of Ordained Ministry, began forming the team in May, after recognizing the need to provide more tangible support to churches dealing with a wide range of disruptive and life-altering events. “His vision is to deploy a response team of trained persons into a church and community whenever there is a traumatic event,” said Rev. June Jernigan, Assistant to Graves and Director of Ministerial Services. “He wants the congregation, complainant, clergy and clergy family to find support, encouragement and healing.” Full story here.
Information about Lay Servant Ministries
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. >>
Alabama-West Florida Conference News
You can subscribe to the AWFC NewsCONNECTION here.
For the AWFC NewsCONNECTION archives visit

Video for Training Your Church Leaders about Safe Sanctuaries
(AWFC 6/22/2017) - If your church has already adopted and put into practice a Safe Sanctuaries policy, wonderful! Now we ask you to assist your fellow members in becoming knowledgeable about the requirements, including the essential requirement of ongoing training and reporting. If your church has not established a local Safe Sanctuaries policy, we sincerely recommend that you place this important topic on the agenda of your next Administrative Board meeting and take an active role in complying with the Annual Conference directives regarding this matter.
A training video has been prepared and a link to it is attached here. Accessing the video is easier now as there is a link to it on the home page of our conference website. We hope that you will ensure that it will be viewed by every member of your staff and every person who volunteers in Sunday School, youth ministry and any other church-related activity which involves children and vulnerable adults. The Trustees would also like to encourage you to invite all of your Adult Sunday School classes to use it for a class lesson. 

Yours in Christ,
Sue Bell Cobb
Chair, AWF Conference Trustees Safe Sanctuaries Committee
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 


Quick Links: (Scroll down the page for more!)   
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News from Around the Web
Ministry Planning
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 
Does Your Church Need an Online Campus?
(Lewis Center) - Multi-site ministry expert Jim Tomberlin says having an internet campus involves more than just offering a video sermon online. It involves offering a full, virtual experience of church. He anticipates an explosion of internet campuses in the coming years. More here....   
"5 Lessons from a Hilarious Spoof on Contemporary Worship"
How & What Are We Communicating?
(UMCom) - "There's a lot of psychology and technology behind the ebb and flow of a powerful contemporary service. When it is God-centered and done well, participants often experience worship as a genuinely compelling encounter that positively affects their lives." 
"If you haven’t seen 'Sunday's Coming,' the 'movie trailer' for contemporary worship, then do so now. The producers of this video come from a large contemporary church. They’re poking fun at themselves and it’s obviously a spoof, but if you analyze the worship elements they’re depicting, we can actually learn some powerful lessons about communication." For the article continue here.... 
Then there is the video "What If Starbucks Marketed Like a Church? A Parable." One person commented on the video, "... and the music ... is so insanely loud, it is unhealthy for human eardrums." How and what are we communicating?  
 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. >>
How to Care for the Children in Your Congregation
( - We can easily overlook or ignore children. That should not be the case in church. Does your church reach out to families? If so, make every effort to affirm the children in your congregation. How can you minister to the needs of the youngest members of your congregation? Acknowledge them. Include them. Protect them. Continue here for the article.
Prison Ministry
(AWFC-UMC Focus on Mission 6/28/2017) - Is your church already involved in some form of ministry to prisoners, released offenders, or their family members? Please be in touch with us because we would like to know more and how we can support you in your efforts.  We would also like to form a ministry team that will help churches become more involved in prison ministry. If you are interested in being part of this team, or just learning more, or will share what your church is already doing, contact Frank Clem (pictured right) at or Susan Hunt at 334-356-8014 or Visit to read Frank's powerful testimony about his own prison experience and the redemption and healing he found. Frank is a member at Millbrook First UMC.   

Finance & Administration
Webinar from GCFA on the New Tax Laws and What You Need to Know
(GCFA-UMC 1/12/2018) - The new tax law has implications for employers, non-profits, churches, and individuals. On Wednesday, January 24th, GCFA will sponsor a one-hour webinar on Tax Reform. This webinar will be presented by Blake Harrison, CPA, who is the Senior Manager of Tax Services, at LBMC, GCFA’s internal audit firm. In his presentation, Blake will break down the details of the new law and help you to understand its impact.
(If you are unable to attend, look for the recording that will be posted after the Webinar.)
WHAT:  Tax Reform – What You Need to Know 
OUTLINE: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is now in place.  It is wide-ranging tax reform that will impact ALL taxpayers including individuals, non-profits, and businesses.  In this presentation, we will break down the details of the new law in order to understand its impact.  We will also address questions individual taxpayers and non-profits should be asking.
WHEN:  Wednesday, January 24, 2018, 11:30 am CST
WHERE:  Participate online using WebEx
HOW:  To register, click here. Limited to the first 250 registrants. 
Spring Loan Application Now Available from GBHEM
GBHEM offers United Methodist students the lowest interest rates for student loans in the U.S. to help minimize debt levels. Students may borrow up to $5,000 per calendar year. Spring loan applications are available now through May 2, 2018. For more information continue here.
Toolbox for the Annual Campaign
Will your church be planning an annual campaign this year?  If you missed July's live webinar on the topic, you can still view it online at your leisure. To view click here. After you complete the registration form the recording will begin.  

Agency Partners with Church Software Company 
(GCFA) - Responding to inquiries from local churches about the need for church software to help manage church administrative functions, Church Windows, a leading provider of church management software, is the latest organization to partner with GCFA to support local church ministries. Details here
Finance and Stewardship Webinar for Local Churches
Are you looking for new ways to financially support your church’s ministry? United Methodist Communications offered a webinar September 7 on the topic of finance and stewardship. If you missed the live Webinar, look for the archived recording here. Resources such as this are available because of the generous contributions of Churches to the World Service Fund. 
Assess Your Church's Financial Health
(UMC-org) - Click here for the website summary of the article, here for the full 3-page article in pdf.
Financial Planning Services for Certified Candidates
( 6/27/2017) - The Candidacy Office of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry has partnered with Wespath and EY (formerly Ernst & Young) to offer financial planning services to certified candidates for licensed and ordained ministry. The services will be offered at no cost to candidates upon certification by their district committees on ordained ministry. For more information visit
Loan & Scholarship Dates of the General Board of Higher Education & Ministry
(GBHEM) - Spring loan applications are open December 13, 2017 to May 2, 2018. Scholarship applications for the 2018-2019 academic year open January 3, 2018 - March 7, 2018. For more information visit or
"Financial Tips for Clergy: Take the Bite Out of Taxes"    
You can view a recorded Webinar on this topic 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...."  
Finance Resources for Clergy
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)  
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    
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 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. 
UMC Federal Credit Union
(UMC-FCU) - "The United Methodist Connectional Federal Credit Union (UMC FCU) was established to financially serve you, a member of the United Methodist Church. Ministers, lay members, employees, church staff and employees of organizations and ministries affiliated with the United Methodist Church of the Alabama West Florida Conference are eligible to join. Immediate family members of our members are also eligible to join.  Banking with the UMC FCU is a smart choice, as we are owned and operated by the people who use us. That’s why we’re dedicated to the things that really matter to you specifically positioned to offer you better rates, services, and products that often out match traditional or conventional financial institutions while also supporting the UMC mission.  We’ve taken great strides to provide you services the way you like. Online and mobile banking and new technology that will make your experience with us easy.  To learn how to become a valued member of the UMC FCU, visit our new website at Be sure to connect with us on Instagram, Facebook, Google+, Twitter!"

2017 Clergy Age Trends Report
The latest edition of the Lewis Center’s annual "Clergy Age Trends in the United Methodist Church" is now available at
If you do not currently receive Leading Ideas, the Center’s free online newsletter, you can subscribe at
10 Fascinating Facts about John Wesley
(UMCOM) - "History is more than facts and figures. It is full of real people with real stories. Connecting with those people and stories helps us understand our lives and discern God’s direction for our future. That is why it is important constantly to connect our teaching back to the important people in our church history. To help you do that, we have gathered some interesting, and maybe even surprising, facts about John Wesley to help you connect United Methodist history to your next lesson...."  For the article please continue here. >>
UMC Handbook
(UMCOM 6/22/2017) - The new United Methodist Church Handbook for this quadrennium is available, providing a detailed overview of the denomination’s beliefs, mission, structure and history. The handbook is a free, go-to resource for anyone in search of information about The United Methodist Church and is helpful for leaders and new members. “The United Methodist Church Handbook is one of the most appreciated resources generated in the church, and rightly so,” said Ken Sloane, Director of Stewardship and Connectional Ministries at Discipleship Ministries. “Whether it’s a question about our theology of grace, new annual conference boundaries, or how money from the Ministerial Education Fund is spent, you will look here first.” Details here.            

UMCom Launches 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, the newsletter is called UNITED Methodist NOW.  Members can subscribe to the free e-newsletter and view the most recent articles at Members who would like to share inspiring stories in the e-newsletters can send ideas to for consideration.  For the article continue here.
Booklet Offers Resources "Way Forward" Has Used
( Daily Digest 12/12/2017) - The United Methodist Council of Bishops offers an 88-page booklet that contains some of the resources the Commission on a Way Forward has used so far in its work. The booklet contains information on three proposals the bishops will discuss in their respective areas. The bishop-appointed commission has the task of trying to move the denomination past its impasse around homosexuality. See booklet here, United Methodist News Service (UMNS) story on three models under consideration here.
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.' 
For the entire article at please continue here.
For the original article at 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:
Evangelical Group Plans for What’s Next   
(UMNS 5/01/2017) - "The United Methodist Church could be on the verge of a Paul and Barnabas moment — where Christian leaders decide to go their separate ways.  'Paul and Barnabas don’t allow their personal disagreement to derail the mission because the mission’s more important,' the Rev. Jeff Greenway said, citing Acts 15: 36-41. 'So Paul takes Silas and he goes off to missionary fame, and Barnabas takes John Mark, and we never hear from him again.'  Greenway was speaking to the second public gathering of the Wesleyan Covenant Association, a newly formed unofficial United Methodist group that holds church prohibitions against the practice of homosexuality to be part of Christian orthodoxy. Greenway is the chair of the association’s leadership council as well as lead pastor of Reynoldsburg United Methodist Church near Columbus, Ohio...." To read the rest of the article, please continue here. ###   

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
"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
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.
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!
Disabilities Ministry Manual Available Online      
A new, comprehensive manual that covers disability ministries in the local church is available at the website of the Baltimore-Washington Conference. The resource will connect United Methodists with answers about this essential ministry area. Visit

Staff & Leadership
Free Resources to Equip Church Leaders
(Discipleship Ministries-UMC) - 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
United Methodist Webinars
Webinars offered by UMC Discipleship are posted at
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.
Solutions for Pastors 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.
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.  
"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 >> 
Name Change for PAUMCS - But Acronym Still "PAUMCS"
(VAUMC) - The Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries' (PAUMCS) 35th annual conference was hosted by the Northern Illinois Annual Conference PAUMCS Chapter in Chicago, Illinois May 3-6, 2017.  At the meeting, the association membership voted to change the name of and adopt a new logo for the organization.  Beginning immediately, the organization is known as the Professional Administrators of the United Methodist Connectional Structure. The acronym, PAUMCS, remains the same.
"Easy Exercises You Can Do in Your Chair" 
(AWFC-UMC 4/5/2017) - Here's an item with office staff in mind.... Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama suggests some easy exercises you can do at your desk.  For the pdf click here.
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.
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.
Lake Junaluska's 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.
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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