The Pensacola District of The United Methodist Church
Tuesday, December 12, 2017
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Death of Minister's Mother
It is with profound sadness that we notify you of the death of Shirlee Kegerreis,  member of Gadsden Street United Methodist Church and mother of Rev. Rian Kegerreis of Pensacola.  Shirlee passed into the arms of the Lord Sunday evening, December 10, 2017. Visitation will be Friday evening, December 15, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Faith Chapel Funeral Home South, 100 Beverly Parkway, Pensacola, FL  32505. Additional arrangements will take place in Oklahoma. Please be in prayer for her family. The obituary is here.
Pensacola District News
Here are a few items from your District Administrative Assistant, e-mailed Saturday, December 9:
Thank You
It was a joy fellowshiping with ministers and spouses at the District Christmas Dinner December 5th. What a great reunion! The time flew by as I tried to visit with as many of you as I could. I enjoy talking with you. I enjoy hearing and reading about and seeing all the great work for the Lord that you and your Churches are doing. I feel honored to work with you in this fine district. Thank you for your Christmas gift. May you have a very blessed Advent and Christmas season! - Mary H., District Administrative Assistant
Church Dashboard
Churches are to update their Church Dashboard (which updates the AWF Conference database) by December 15. When you're done (and still logged in), please go to the Church Leaders section and click on "Let my conference/district know that I am done."

The Dashboard deadline is not later in the month because we hope that by then you will be enjoying the holidays and spending time with your families. It is not delayed to January because at the start of January we're already using the 2018 information you've entered AND in January we will all be working on other items: the annual statistical report (Ezra), consultation reports, and the Fund Balance report.

Although it is ultimately the pastors' responsibility to see that their church's Dashboard is up to date by the deadline, I try to help with this as much as I can. It's quite a task, though, with 51 churches in our district!  Any help your office can provide in updating your lay leadership and church information ahead of the December 15 deadline (and then clicking on "Let my conference/district know that I am done") is surely appreciated!

Holiday Schedule
The Pensacola District Office will be closed for the holidays December 14 through January 3, but I will continue to monitor District Office e-mail in case anyone needs to contact us.
Deadline for Apportionment Payments for 2017
The last day apportionment payments can be applied for the 2017 year is Monday, January 8, 2018. Payments must be received in the conference office by 3 p.m. so they can be deposited before the close of business. Payments can also be deposited directly into the conference bank account at Regions Bank no later than 4 p.m. on January 8, 2018. If a church wishes to do so, they need to call (toll-free) 1-888-873-3127 or e-mail the fiscal office so that they can provide you with the account information.

2018 Youth Meltdown Retreat January 26-28
Mark your calendar and register early!!  The 2018 Youth Meltdown Retreat willbe January 26-28 at Boardwalk Beach Resort, Panama City Beach, FL. Details are at
"Planning for Your Retirement" February 6 & 7
at the Pensacola Grand Hotel. The event page is here
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.  

  • 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)
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. The registration form will be available in early 2018. For questions about this training contact Bruce Knecht at
PUMCM's Annual Winter Clothing Drive
Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries is having their annual Winter Clothes Drive.  Donations are accepted at the Community Ministry Thrift Store (located at Richards Memorial United Methodist Church, 2600 West Strong Street, Pensacola, FL) 9-5 Tuesdays-Fridays and 9-4 Saturdays.
Positions Available - Quick Links:
To view or post positions across Alabama-West Florida:
For Crosspoint UMC positions (Niceville/Crestview):
For Pensacola First UMC positions:
Here are some recent posts:
Posted Monday, Dec. 11: Youth Directors Position - Pine Forest UMC, Pensacola, FL
Pine Forest United Methodist Church in Pensacola is in search of two part-time Youth Directors, one for Junior High youth and one for Senior High/College ministries. If you have a passion for Jesus, a heart for young people, and a desire to create life-changing discipleship programs, please consider applying. Resumes should be mailed to the church office at 2800 Wilde Lake Blvd., Pensacola, FL 32526 or by e-mail to
Posted Monday, Nov. 6: Part-time Youth Ministry Position - First UMC, Milton. Pdf here >>
Posted Friday, Nov. 3: Custodian - St. Luke UMC, Pensacola. Pdf here >>
Posted Friday, Nov. 3:  Choir Director & Organist  - Warrrington UMC, Pensacola
Warrington United Methodist Church is seeking a choir director and organist (part time) beginning January 2018 or before. Please send resume' with experience and/or education to Music Search Team, Warrington United Methodist Church, 301 E Winthrop Ave, Pensacola, FL 32507.
Posted Monday, Oct. 23: 
Farm Hill Methodist in Cantonment is looking for a piano player for Sunday mornings, Wednesday evenings and special occasions. Salary will be discussed. Contact Cheryl at 251-769-5798.


Administrative Announcements 

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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 as of January 2017 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.
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
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.
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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Message from Bishop David Graves Monday, December 11
(AWF-UMC 12/11/2017) - "We invite you to watch a video message from Bishop David Graves, Resident Bishop of the Alabama-West Florida Conference. Click here to view. Click here to read the written transcriptYou may also listen to this message as an audio-only podcast by clicking here, by searching for 'AWFUMC Podcasts' on iTunes or in your preferred podcast player. We invite you to subscribe to these podcasts."
Training Videos in Production for Local Church Committees - SPR/PPR, Finances, and Trustees
(AWFC-UMC 12/4/2017) - "Three training videos are currently in production that will help AWF local churches train new and current SPR/PPR, finance and trustee committee members. These videos will discuss what is expected of the committee and how to better understand the members' role on the committee. Bishop David Graves, Dr. Darren McClellan and Dr. Jeff Wilson will be leading the video training sessions. An e-mail will be sent mid December 2017 and again in early January 2018 with links to these resources." ###  See also:
Deadline for Apportionment Payments to Count for 2017
The last day apportionment payments can be applied for the 2017 year is Monday, January 8, 2018. Payments must be received in the conference office by 3 p.m. so they can be deposited before the close of business. Payments can also be deposited directly into the conference bank account at Regions Bank no later than 4 p.m. on January 8, 2018. If a church wishes to do so, they need to call the AWF Conference Fiscal Office toll-free at 1-888-873-3127 or e-mail the fiscal office so that they can provide you with the account information.
Blue Lake Update
November 28, 2017
Image goes here.
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
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)
Missionaries Visiting in Alabama-West Florida in December
(AWFC-UMC 11/21/2017) - Missionaries Delbert and Sandy Groves will be traveling through the Alabama-West Florida Conference soon and are available to speak to small groups, Bible studies, UMW Circles, mission committees, and other groups in your church.  Delbert and Sandy serve in Zambia, at the New Life Center in Kitwe. They are missionaries with Global Ministries.  They are available December 12-14, 2017.  These events are already confirmed:  Dec. 12 - Montgomery FUMC, 10 AM (CST); Dec. 13 - Epworth UMC, Phenix City - 6:30 PM (EST).  To have them come to your church, too, contact Susan Hunt at, 334-356-8014, or toll-free 888-873-3127.
AWFC Website Offers 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."
Two Staff Changes
(AWFC-UMC 11/06/2017) - The Alabama-West Florida Conference announces two staff changes in the finance and connectional ministries offices.
Mr. Frank Dunnewind, AWF Treasurer and Director of Administrative Services, has announced his retirement effective December 31, 2017. Mr. Dunnewind has served in this role for nineteen years. Under his leadership, the conference office has increased apportionment giving every year since 2011, moved to its current physical location where the conference owns the property, and has transitioned the conference to direct billing, which was a necessary change that resulted in significant savings. Beebe Frederick, Chair of the AWF Council on Finance and Administration, stated, “Frank has dedicated nearly two decades to the conference and is leaving us in a much better place. He has ensured that the financial health of our conference is strong and I am personally grateful to him for his many years of service. On behalf of the council, we wish Frank and Pat well in their retirement where they will enjoy time traveling and with family.” An official job posting will be on the Alabama-West Florida Conference Website in the coming weeks.
Mrs. Jenn Lusher, former AWF Director of Leadership Strategies, is now on staff in a local church within the conference. “Jenn is a bright and talented asset to this conference,” said Bishop David Graves. “While we will miss her leadership in our office, she will greatly add value to her local church. She has graciously offered to serve as a liaison, when needed. We wish her well in her ministry and are thankful for her gifts and graces.”   

Image goes here.
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. The registration form will be available in early 2018. 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
 News from the United Methodist Children's Home: 
The United Methodist Children's Home (UMCH) has this year's White Christmas materials ready! Click here to order.  A new resource this year from UMCH is the 2017 "scratch off" Advent Calendar (11x17) and downloadable material.  The Advent Calendar will be perfect for each household to have in their home, and it would also make a great take-away for a Children's moment.  Please take the time to look at the new UMCH White Christmas page - it is very user friendly! Click here to visit:
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
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
Where Is Headquarters?
( - United Methodists tend to think more heads are better than one. That means United Methodists make decisions together while in conference, or conversation, and prayer with other church members. We have never had one central headquarters or single executive leader with authority over the mission and ministries of the whole church.  Continue here for more. >> 
Florida Conference Requests Disaster Recovery Volunteers
The Florida Conference is now requesting volunteers to help with their disaster recovery efforts. This is their message: We need volunteers! Contact our call center at  855-CAT-FUMC (855-228-3862), or click here to complete the online volunteer registration form. If you plan to send a team, or if individuals want to join another team, please contact Rev. Rob Haynes at 251-270-2932 or in order to better coordinate our conference's efforts.  Please also keep track of your volunteer hours and report those to your district disaster response coordinator.  Thank you for helping the people of Florida recover from Hurricane Irma. (Posted 10/12/2017)

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.
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
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

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
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.   
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. >>
New 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.
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 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.
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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