The Pensacola District of The United Methodist Church
Thursday, October 19, 2017
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Funeral for Mrs. Juanita Bottoms Thursday, October 19
Mrs. Juanita Bottoms, surviving spouse of the Rev. Wilmer R. Bottoms, passed away on Friday, October 13, 2017. The service will be Thursday, October 19 at the Pensacola Memorial Gardens Funeral Home, 7433 Pine Forest Road. Visitation will be at 10:30 a.m. and the service will be at 11 a.m. Please keep the family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.  Her obituary is here.
             
 
Would You Like to Serve as At Large for 2018?
Would you like to serve as an At Large member of the 2018 Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference for the Pensacola District?  If so, please contact your pastor and ask him/her to recommend you to the District Office. We are putting together a list of laity willing to serve in this capacity whom we may contact in 2018 if the district needs more delegates.  The 2018 session of Annual Conference will be June 3-6 at Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church in Montgomery.
 
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.
 
Way to Go, GBUMC!!  Reaching Teens after Homecoming Game
(AWFC-UMC 10/12/2017) - When high school homecoming dances end, most teenagers are nowhere near ready to call it a night. In Gulf Breeze, there’s a tradition of partying hard in beachfront houses flowing with alcohol and a wide variety of recreational drugs.  But for the past four years, high school students active in the Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church youth group have led the fight for a safer alternative. Serving on a planning committee with other church members, they put together an alcohol-free night of fun, food and fellowship that has become one of the hottest tickets in town. More here >>
      
30th Annual Craft Show at Pace First UMC October 21
Pace First United Methodist Church's 30th Annual Craft Show will be on Saturday, October 21, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be over 30 vendors with a wide selection of different items available for sale. Youth will be serving lunch on this day. Plenty of FREE parking. The church is located at 4540 Chumuckla Highway, Pace, FL (850-994-5608). Outside booths are still available. All indoor booths are sold out.

"To Be Told" Conference October 20 & 21
There has never been, nor will there ever be, another life ... another story ... like yours. It is God authored for a divine purpose. Come learn more and be inspired at the To Be Told Conference October 20 & 21 at Gulf Breeze United Methodist Church, 75 Fairpoint Drive, Gulf Breeze, Florida.  Dr. Dan Allender, who wrote the book (among many others) titled To Be Told, will share about the importance of knowing, writing and telling our story. Registration is required. The cost is $25 to register and suggested donation of $5 for the lunch that will be provided.  For details and to register visit http://www.pfc-steppingstones.org/ToBeTold. They will also take folks at the door on a first-come-first-served basis.  
 
From Your District Administrative Assistant:
Here at the district office we've been receiving questions about annual charge conferences, such as what forms are required and where to get them. One of the most-asked comments is, "I don't see the such-and-such form on the list. Is that required this year?"
 
In anticipation of (or in response to) questions folks ask, we have the Pensacola District charge conference forms page. Every charge conference season, head right over to the district website.  Chances are, we've already answered FAQ!  It's all here - checklist, schedule, forms, and UPDATES. The page is listed in our site's left-column index.
 
P.S. - Please do NOT staple reports.  Again this year, we're getting forms that are stapled. As highlighted on our cc forms page, please don't do that. We have to go through all 51 churches' sets of reports and remove them. Thank you.
 
Remember to Add This with Your Other Charge Conference Reports....
Pensacola District churches are requested to complete this form and submit it at their annual charge conference:  "Local Church Representative to the Pensacola District Board of Church Development." Click here to download.
 
Please Publicize the November 5 District Events to Your Church!
Each year, Pensacola District churches are asked to suspend regular activities on the afternoon and evening of the first Sunday in November so that everyone can attend the annual Pensacola District Conference and the District Youth Fused Conference. Please be sure these events are on your calendar!  
  • The 2017 Pensacola District Conference will be November 5, 4 p.m., at Navarre United Methodist Church. All are invited to attend. (More details TBA.)
  • Also on November 5, youth and youth leaders from all over the Panhandle will gather at the Community Life United Methodist Church in Gulf Breeze 4:00-6:30 p.m. for the Pensacola District Youth Fused Conference. All are invited to this time of food, fun, worship, and fellowship.         
 
 
"Ministry & Depression" - A Workshop for Community Clergy 
Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017
8 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
at Christ Episcopal Church, 28 West Wright Street, Pensacola, FL
 
There is no cost to attend.
 
This event has been approved for clergy continuing education credit.
 
If you have questions please contact Ruth Ward at 850-469-2363.
 
This workshop is presented by Baptist Hospital Department of Pastoral Services and Center for Clergy Care & Education.
    
 
Positions Available
To view or post positions visit AWFUMC.org/Classifieds.
For Crosspoint UMC positions (Niceville/Crestview) visit yourcrosspointcc.org/employment.
For Pensacola First UMC positions visit http://fumcpensacola.com/www/job-openings/.
                               
An Ongoing Ministry: PUMCM and Habitat Seek Volunteers
Pensacola United Methodist Community Ministries (Pensacola, FL) and Habitat for Humanity need volunteers for neighborhood revitalization projects in Brownsville, one of the areas of highest need and lowest income in Florida. Projects include day projects - cleaning yards, installing wheelchair ramps, minor repairs, small painting projects, etc.; weekend projects - for larger projects come and stay at "His Place" at PUMCM (bunk rooms and beds for 22, kitchen, showers, $10 per person per night); and week-long mission trips - multiple projects or smaller ones in multiple locations within the 28-block neighborhood. 
 
To plan your project contact Peggy or Jon at Pensacola Habitat:  pfowler@pensacolahabitat.org or jpotrzeba@pensacolahabitat.org, 850-434-5456. For more information visit www.pensacolahabitat.org. To reserve housing on-line or more information about PUMCM visit www.PUMCM.org. Click here for the flyer as a pdf.
 

 

Administrative Announcements 

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2017 Charge Conferences:  What to Send in Advance
District Superintendent Tim Trent requires every church to submit these three reports to the district office at least one week prior to their charge conference:
  • Report of the Pastor - special instructions:  The Report of the Pastor form asks for the names of those added and subtracted from the roll by category.  What D.S. Tim Trent wants senior pastors to report in advance is the total number added and subtracted by category, the number baptized and to answer these questions:  (1) Have you conducted a confirmation class this past year? (2) How many have been confirmed this past year?
  • Report of the Committee on Nominations
  • Local Church Pastor Compensation Report for 2018
Remember to Add This with Your Other Charge Conference Reports....
Pensacola District churches are requested to complete this form and submit it at their annual charge conference:  "Local Church Representative to the Pensacola District Board of Church Development" (click here to download).
 
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 http://UMCPensacolaDistrict.org/ChurchLeadershipRoles.  There's a lot of helpful information for Staff-Parish/Pastor-Parish Relations Committees at http://UMCPensacolaDistrict.org/SPR, including training booklet.  If your church elects a new treasurer inform sharon@awfumc.org! 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 

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AWFC Announces 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. The conference will be sending a survey in the coming weeks to better understand more about when, where and what people are interested in attending. Click here for the pdf document
        
 News from the United Methodist Children's Home: 
The United Methodist Children's Home has this year's White Christmas materials ready! Click HERE to order. 
 
We are very excited about a new resource this year!  It's 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 our new White Christmas page - it is very user friendly! Click here to visit: http://umch.net/christmas.
 
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.   
 
Upcoming Early Disaster Response Training:
      
Mission Teams Needed from Texas to Florida

Alabama-West Florida has received requests for ERTs (Early Response Teams) and mission teams from Annual Conferences affected by recent storms. Coastal communities in Texas, Florida, and South Georgia can all use our help, as can communities affected by Hurricane Matthew last year. Remember that when you are looking for an opportunity to volunteer as a mission team, each requesting annual conference controls the process and coordinates the United Methodist response. Details here.

 
2017 Revitup November 13-15 at Pensacola Beach
Revitup is an energizing and educational event for young clergy ages 39 and under that strengthens personal, financial and leadership skills in order to sustain a lifetime in ministry. This year’s event is at Pensacola Beach, FL November 13-15, 2017. This year, nearly all of your expenses to attend may be covered!  Continue here for more >>
 
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.
 
Should Our Church Be a Shelter to Evacuees?
Click here for a 2-page document on this topic from the AWF Conference. 
        
Information about Lay Servant Ministries
                    
A Word from Bishop David Graves 2017
                        
Upcoming Events on the AWFC Calendar:
 
Changes in AWF Conference Clergy & Lay Insurance                            
 
You Can Use Amazon to Support UMCH!
Making purchases online? If you use smile.amazon.com when shopping, the United Methodist Children's Home will receive 0.5% of your purchase. More here. >>
Continuing Education Chair
As of January 2017, Reverend Dr. Jeff Spicer is the AWF Conference Chairperson of Continuing Education.  If you are planning an event and need CEU authorization or have questions about continuing education, here is his contact information. He is pastor at Mary Esther United Methodist Church.
 
Alabama-West Florida Conference News
You can subscribe to the AWFC NewsCONNECTION here.
For the AWFC NewsCONNECTION archives visit http://AWFUMC.org/Newsletters.
 
Do You Have Students Attending UWF or PSC?
The Wesley Foundation would like to contact students from your church if they are attending The University of West Florida or Pensacola State College.  If you have students currently attending, or heading that way in the fall, they would love to have their contact information so that they may welcome and invite them to be a part of our Wesley Foundation family.  Please e-mail this information to stuartworth@gmail.com.   
 
Safe Sanctuaries
                                 

 

Around the Web 

 
Quick Links: (Scroll down the page for more!)   
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News from Around the Web
 
 
Where Is The United Methodist Church Headquarters?
(UMC.org) - 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 disasterresponse@awfumc.org 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
 
 
2017 Revitup November 13-15 at Pensacola Beach
Revitup is an energizing and educational event for young clergy ages 39 and under that strengthens personal, financial and leadership skills in order to sustain a lifetime in ministry. This year’s event is at Pensacola Beach, FL November 13-15, 2017. This year, nearly all of your expenses to attend may be covered!  Continue here for more >>
 
Strengths-based Finder Workshops   
(AWFC-UMC 2/02/2017) - A local church staff can “make it or break it” based on how well they connect with one another. Knowing each other's strengths can offer a glimpse into how they can be most productive. To read more about the Strengths-based Finder Workshops, please continue here for the article. For more information or to schedule Rev. Jernigan, please contact her at 334-356-8014, 888-873-3127 or june@awfumc.org. 
 
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
(UMC.org) - 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
      
Webinars on Developing Your Ministry Plan
(UMC Discipleship) - Bring your team together to use the School of Congregational Development Ministry Plan to develop a focus for your church. During these 60-minute sessions, you will learn key principals for congregational development, focus on key areas of congregational ministry, and engage in a time of learning for your whole team.  Join all four webinars to build your team and implement new ideas for vital congregational ministry. New this year, participants can earn a CEU Credit of .4 for participating in all four sessions. The dates will be October 5, 12, 19, and 26. The October 5th Webinar will be at 10 a.m. Central time.  At the link below you can download the Ministry Plan Handout 2017, which gives you all the material you need to participate in the webinars. 
 
Click here for the handout: Ministry_Plan_Webinars_Handouts_2017.pdf.
Click here to register:  Developing-your-ministry-plan.   
 
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 frankaclem@gmail.com or Susan Hunt at 334-356-8014 or susan@awfumc.org. Visit http://www.awfumc.org/prisonministry 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
 
International Credit Union Day October 19
The United Methodist Church Federal Credit Union (UMC FCU) invites you to join them in celebrating International Credit Union Day October 19, 2017. They'll have various activities at their Marietta Georgia and Lakeland, FL branches as well as on their social media sites.  The 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 UMC FCU members are also eligible to join. You can learn how to become a valued member of the UMC FCU by visiting UMCfcu.com. You can also connect with them on Instagram, Facebook, Google+, Twitter.
 
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
(GBHEM.org 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 https://www.gbhem.org/article/gbhem-candidacy-office-offers-financial-planning-services-certified-candidates.
 
Loan & Scholarship Dates of the General Board of Higher Education & Ministry
(GBHEM) - Below are upcoming loan and scholarship dates. For more information visit https://www.gbhem.org/loans-and-scholarships.
"Financial Tips for Clergy: Take the Bite Out of Taxes"    
You can view the recorded Webinar here.
"Clergy face some unique challenges when it comes to things like social security payments, estimated tax payments, housing allowances or exclusions, and reimbursed expenses. It is important to know the rules, but also the way to minimize the impact of your tax liability. Not every tax preparer understands the unique situation of clergy, and finding one who does can save you substantially in money and aggravation...."  
                     
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 https://www.churchleadership.com/clergyfinances. (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 http://alwfumf.org, or click here for the AWFUMF Facebook page.  
 
Free Special Sunday Resources
"How We Give" page at UMCgiving.org
What Are "Special Sundays?"
Six times throughout the year United Methodist congregations celebrate church-wide Special Sundays with offerings. United Methodists contribute to a variety of educational, community development, health and social welfare programs, many of which are administrated fully or in part through the General Board of Global Ministries. General Conference created six unique Special Sundays to help congregations work with communities, rebuild shattered lives, strengthen self-sufficiency, encourage partnerships, nurture Native American ministries, model peace and justice, provide scholarships and loans for United Methodist students, and much more. Special Sundays include Human Relations Day, One Great Hour of Sharing, Native American Ministries Sunday, Peace with Justice Sunday, World Communion Sunday, and United Methodist Student Day. 
 
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.
 

"Please join in our celebration of International Credit Union Day October 19th with various activities at our Marietta Georgia and Lakeland, FL branches as well as on our social media sites.  To learn how to become a valued member of the UMC FCU, visit our new website at UMCfcu.com. Be sure to connect with us on Instagram, Facebook, Google+, Twitter!"

 

 
Methodism
 
 
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 https://www.churchleadership.com/clergyage.
If you do not currently receive Leading Ideas, the Center’s free online newsletter, you can subscribe at www.churchleadership.com
 
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 UMC.org, the newsletter is called UNITED Methodist NOW.  Members can subscribe to the free e-newsletter and view the most recent articles at UMC.org/newsletter. Members who would like to share inspiring stories in the e-newsletters can send ideas to UMNow@UMC.org for consideration.  For the article continue here.
 
 
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 awfumc.org please continue here.
For the original article at UMC.org continue here
Click here for a pdf of the full letter sent to the heads of delegations to the 2016 General Conference (or successors), Secretary of the General Conference, and the Chairperson of the Commission on the General Conference.
 
See also:
 
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. ###   
 
 

 
Outreach
                            
 
Website Development Grants
(UMC.org) - "United Methodist Communications is now offering a Website Development Grant to local United Methodist churches and church entities who do not currently have a website or who want to replace their current website with a new WordPress site. " For more information continue here
 
"Rethinking Your New Front Door"
Topic: Church Website Training

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

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

Click here for more information about this and other training opportunities offered at UMC.org.
                  
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 http://www.bwcumc.org/ministries/disability-ministries/.
 

  
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 www.TeamWorksUMC.org or contact Craig Kennet Miller at cmiller@umcdiscipleship.org. (Posted 12/08/2016)
 
United Methodist Webinars
Webinars offered by UMC Discipleship are posted at https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/webinars.
 
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
(UMC.org) - "As the 'go-to' person for calming the storm, where do you turn when you find yourself in the middle of one? Let God guide the way and be proactive. Here are the most common pastor problems and a few problem-solving tips to guard against the winds and help you weather the storm."  Points include (1) Dealing with Criticism, (2) Time Management, (3) Physical and Mental Health Issues, and (4) Financial Struggles.  Continue here for the article.
 
Resources for Clergy and Congregations
(From The Lewis Center) - Includes the topics "Concluding Ministry in One Setting" and "Beginning Ministry in a New Setting."
 
Five Ways to Support Your Pastor's Family
(Ministry Matters) - It’s no secret that the life of a pastor’s family is filled with unique challenges. There are few roles that mix work and family life as closely as pastoral ministry, which creates for clergy families a constant battle to maintain healthy boundaries. The pressure from the church and the surrounding community will inevitably take a toll on families unless adequate support is provided. For the complete article, posted November 3, 2014, please click here 

50 Ways to Take Church to the Community
(From the Lewis Center) - Here's an old but good article.... "Churches can no longer open their doors and expect that people will come in. Effective congregations go into the world to encounter those in need of the gospel. These 50 Ways provide tips on reaching beyond the walls of your church with worship, community events, ministries, and service."  Continue here for the article.  Here's the information as a pdf you can share with others.
 
Free E-Newsletter from the Lewis Center
Leading Ideas is a weekly online newsletter of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Seminary in Washington, DC. Each week subscribers receive information, resources, and strategies to help advance God’s mission in ministry. To check it out and subscribe go to www.churchleadership.com/leadingideas.
 
Articles about Burn-out
 
Online Training Courses
 
12 Ways to Stay Connected with College Students
United Methodist Communications has an article on this topic at http://www.umcom.org/learn/12-ways-to-stay-connected-with-college-students.  Tips include things you can do before the students leave, while they are at college, and when they come home.  
 
5 Things Small Churches Can Uniquely Offer
(Rev. Ben Gosden) - "Church leadership has long held a bent toward the 'bigger is better'....  Instead of trying to mimmick [sic] what the large churches in your area are doing (only to come up short of their quality because you don’t have the money or resources to duplicate it), here are 5 things I believe small churches can uniquely offer the world right where they are...."   More here
 
Church Newsletters
 
United Methodist Men - Chartering
Click here for UMM news and information about chartering.  
 
"How to Break Bad News to a Congregation and Community"
(UMCOM.org) - "Whether the boiler just failed in the middle of winter, there’s been a break-in, or a staff member was unexpectedly let go, bad news travels fast and can create chaos in your church. The actions and words of the pastor and church leaders can shape the perception of how the congregation and community feel and may have broad ramifications that last well beyond the moment and must be handled with extreme care...." Continue here for the article >> 
 
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
(UMCom.org) - Combining note-taking and journaling can enhance your Bible study, prayer time, and sermon preparation. United Methodist Communications has an article about this here.
 
Free Online Audio Bible 
At the link below you can hear a dramatic reading of the Bible. You can set it to the Bible translation you prefer, start at a particular passage, run or not run continuously, and pause it and restart at any time.  https://www.biblegateway.com/resources/audio/
  
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 http://UMCPensacolaDistrict.org we try to keep the Web links updated, but if you come across one that gives you a message like "page no longer exists" or "file not found," try going to the source's home page (first part of the link URL) and doing a word search on the topic at the site. As resources improve and update their websites, this sometimes breaks links we've shared with you on our site. It's all good, all a part of progress! The information may still be there, but just might take a little personal digging on your part to find where it was moved - or please contact the district office. We'll be glad to help!  - Mary, Pensacola District Administrative Assistant  
 

 
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