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August 2015 Newsletter

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"How should I pray?" was the question asked of Jesus by his disciples.  And his answer?

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not bring us to the time of trial,
but rescue us from the evil one.
                         Matthew 6:9-13
                         New Revised Standard Version

E. Stanley Jones described the effect of prayer on us like this:

Prayer is not pulling God to my will, but the aligning of my will to the will of God.  Aligned to God's redemptive will, anything, everything can happen in character, conduct, and creativeness.  The whole person is heightened by that prayer contact.  In that contact I find health for my body, illumination for my mind, and moral and spiritual reinforcement for my soul.  'Prayer is a time exposure to God,' so I expose myself to God for an hour and a half or two hours a day, asking less and less for things and more and more for Himself.  For having Him, I have everything.  He gives me what I need for character, conduct, and creativeness, so I'm rich with His riches, strong in His strength, pure in His purity, and able in His ability.

An hour and a half to two hours a day?  That's probably not happening for most of us.  To set aside fifteen to twenty minutes a day for intentional communication with God would be a great start for many folks in our context.  For many of us, claiming that quiet time is not an easy thing to do.  And yet it is essential.

Prayer makes a critical difference in our lives:  because of the presence of the Spirit of God in our lives of which prayer reminds us; because of our need for "exposure to God," as Jones puts it; because through regular, intentional prayer we do receive a strong sense of God's leading, of God's direction, of God's purpose for our lives.

Prayer often is defined a "communicating with God," not a bad definition.  However, when we pray regularly, when we do it in a heartfelt manner, when it becomes a part of our daily routine, when we look forward to it and put it in a place of priority, we find that we don't only communicate with God...we also commune with God.  We become one with God in mind and spirit and purpose.

Prayer then becomes for us not just a time set aside; it becomes a way of life.  It becomes a part of us that is interwoven with all that happens throughout our day.  It becomes something that we realize we cannot live without.


Grace and Peace,

Bob Bushong
District Superintendent
East Central District

In The District
East Central District Office is Moving!
August 12, 2015
The East Central District Office is moving to Lee Road in Winter Park Wednesday, August 12th.  Once we are settled, we will send out an email with our new address & phone numbers.  Please bear with us the week of August 10th - 14th, as we pack, move, and get settled.  Our phones and internet will be disconnected and re-connected at our new location in Winter Park as quickly as possible.
Email will be best connection the week of the 10th:
Rev. Dr. Bob Bushong, District Superintendent:
Janet Kelley, Business Administrator:
Claudia Sava, Administrative Assistant:
East Central District 2015 Charge Conference Information
Annual Fall Charge Conferences will be held as individual Charge Conferences in your own local church.
  • Each church will schedule their own individual Charge Conference date and invite an elder to preside.  Click HERE for the list of elders. 
  • Bob is available to preside at a limited number of Charge Conferences.  If you have a need for Bob to preside at yours, please contact him directly as soon as possible to give him a heads up. 

Pastor's RESPONSIBILITY to prepare for your 2015 Charge Conference:

  • Select the date and time you wish to hold your 2015 Fall Charge Conference. 
  •  Invite an Elder to preside.  Click HERE for the list of Elders.
  •  Email Claudia Sava at with your Charge Conference date, time & presiding elder by September 1, 2015.

All Charge Conference forms with detailed instructions will be available on the Florida Conference website and the East Central District website on Monday, August 24th.

All Annual Charge Conferences must be held by Friday, November 13, 2015.

Best Wishes & Gratitude to Troy Ray!

Rev. Troy Ray, who has headed Halifax Urban Ministries for 12 years will be leaving at the end of August.   He believes that HUM is now ready to take up any challenge in the work for homeless people and for the very poor that face the prospect of homelessness all the time.  Under Troy's leadership, HUM has grown to a team of 25 employees and 400 volunteers and added many services for those in need. 

Troy will be moving to Portland, Oregon to work with Open Arms International dedicated to rescuing abandoned babies and children in Kenya.  Please continue to pray for Troy and his wife, Cindy in their new ministry.  We can only imagine the impact they will have! 
A Message from Alice Williams, District Lay Leader
While driving the other day with the radio on, a talk show host announced that "ET Phoned Home"!   The story was about the New Horizons space probe that had traveled for 9.5 years some 3 billion miles, traveling at 10 times the speed of a bullet, to do a "fly by" of the dwarf planet Pluto.  The probe was powered by a plutonium pellet which generated about 200 watts of power.  That's the power equivalent of burning two 100 watt light bulbs.  The odds of it surviving its mission were really low, a spec of space dust the size of a grain of rice could have easily destroyed the probe anywhere along the trip.  Yet, it made it.  And it sent back some of the first images of a planet at the furthest reaches of our own solar system.  Simply amazing!


There are several God things that came to mind when I heard about the New Horizons probe's success.  First, the humbling reminder of the awesomeness of God's creation of the heavens and the Earth.  And how amazing it is that while the heavens are so vast, God still knows every fiber of our being.  I was also struck by the technological "know how" that we have the ability to create something that can actually explore space.  But the thing that really struck me was how they were able to design something with such a minimal power requirement.  For some reason the song I learned a child kept going through my head:

"This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.
O this little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!"

How often I feel that I just don't have the energy or inclination to let the light of God's love and grace shine.  And how often I can find excuses for dimming that little light inside.  And how many people do I come in contact with who are just aching to bask in the light of God's love and grace?


My hats off to the folks who designed the New Horizon's probe for a job well done.  As for us, I'm thinking we all could probably do a little more to shed some light in a world of darkness!


Here's to a brighter witness for us all!

Global Leadership Summit - August 6-7, 2015
Pine Ridge Fellowship Howland Campus, Deltona
Pine Ridge Fellowship UMC is the EC District's official satellite location for The Global Leadership Summit 2015, the Willow Creek Association's annual world-class leadership event broadcast from the Willow campus near Chicago.  The Summit is a two-day world-class leadership event experienced by more than 200,000 leaders around the world.  It's crafted to infuse vision, skill development and inspiration to help Christians grow their leadership to maximize Kingdom impact.
"Everyone wins when a leader gets better." -- Bill Hybels

Step up today and get better at leading.  Right where you are.  Right where God has put you.  We believe the local church is the hope of the world, but only when it's working right, and for it to work right, it must be well-led.  The Summit is an unprecedented global movement of Christian leaders making lasting change in the world.  In the decades to come it will become even more critical that the local church is working right.  The church is still God's plan to redeem and restore our broken world.  Register HERE.  
Contact Yvonne Levesque at 407-324-1614 or for details.
United Methodist Men Special Meeting
August 13, 2015 - First UMC, Oviedo
Special meeting for Officers and Members of UMM, men in Church ministry and UMC Pastors.  Rebirth of the East Central District UMM.

WHERE --- we have been?
WHERE --- are we now?
WHERE --- are we going?

How the District can become a Source of Help to the Local Chapter and Church and to help them grow.  How the Local Chapter can become a Source of Help to the District to Synergize Disciple-ing.  An information gathering and plan plotting meeting.
WHEN:  August 13, 2015 6:30 pm (Arrive and register 6:00 - 6:30 pm
WHERE:  First UMC, 263 King St Oviedo, FL  32765
Cost:  $10, reservations are required for dinner
RSVP:  Jeannette Dickson, church office 407-365-3255 or
           Jim Boesch in the evening 407-721-0416
Click HERE for a flyer to distribute.
Annual Ministry Protection Property and Casualty Insurance Review
August 15-31, 2015
Local Church Trustees should take time to carefully review insurance coverages and update the online insurance database annually.  The annual review period is August 15-31, 2015.  The link to Insurance Reports is located on the local church dashboard homepage.  Click HERE to link to the Church Dashboard via the insurance Database Instructions on the Ministry Protection website.  This database is also available online year round to enable churches to update insurance data as changes occur.  For assistance, please contact Ana Temple in Ministry Protection at
Annual Workers Compensation Payroll Review
August 15-31, 2015
The Annual Workers Compensation Payroll Review is included in the Church Dashboard review of property and casualty insurance detailed above.  The Finance/Treasurer or person responsible for payroll should project the church payroll by category through the end of 2015 and complete the 2015 Workers Compensation Survey during the review period in August 2015.  For assistance, please contact Ana Temple in Ministry Protection at
A Message from Jeff Campbell, District Disaster Coordinator
Just in the last couple of months the US has been hit with three of the Big 4 natural disasters; namely fire, flood, and tornado.  We are a people who are sympathetic to others when they suddenly face harsh conditions.  The first reaction, mine anyway, is to want to physically assist.  That's fine for some of us.  God has given these people the will and ability to do so.  Are you desiring to help but can't, for one reason or other, be able to contribute physically?  There are things you can do that will make a difference.

The first is to pray for the people facing hard times and those assisting in their relief.  Another option is to donate money to aid organizations such as UMCOR.  This is not throwing money at the problem.  It is giving them the flexibility to obtain what they need to fulfill their mission.  A third thing takes a bit of physical effort but it will help those who are organizing relief efforts from their church or community group.  This is to collect certain items and put them into packages that can be taken to distribution points such as Sager Brown, the distribution center for the United Methodist Church.  In the past groups have joined together to develop health kits and cleaning buckets.

We don't have to experience a disaster to see its effects.  If you feel called to assist in one of these ways, call your church to see if anything is being organized for a particular event.  You may also feel compelled to lead or start such an effort.  Again the church is a great place to start.

Compassion is a side effect of our love for Jesus and God.  Don't feel bad that you can't do anything that can visibly be seen.  After all, the definition of faith is "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." (Hebrews 11:1 NLT).

Jeff Campbell
CFL Wesley Golf Tournament
September 26, 2015 - Oviedo

CFL Wesley is hosting its second annual golf tournament.  Last year we had a great time playing golf for such an important cause.  This year, let's do it again!  The Golf Tournament will help support the ministries of CFL Wesley.

When:  September 26, 2015
Where:  Twin River Golf Club 2100 Ekana Drive Oviedo, FL  32765
Style of Game:  Scramble*:  4 person Teams - Best ball
Cost:  $300 foursome / $85 individual player
Lunch: Provided by Huey Magoos
Start time:  Registration at 7:30am, Shotgun start at 8:30am
Prizes: 1st, 2nd and 3rd place

*Scramble is made up a 4-person team, and involves choosing the one best shot following every stroke, with each team member then playing again from that one spot.

Click HERE for a flyer to display.  Click HERE for more information and to register.

Great Expectations for Boomers & Beyond
October 22 - 24, 2015 - First UMC, Winter Park

For more details about the conference, to check out the schedule of breakout sessions or to register, go to our Web Site:

Great Expectations for Boomers & Beyond is a conference designed to address the needs of the growing population of those over 50.  This unique event will encourage and engage participants with passion and creativity.  It also will provide countless ideas and opportunities for growth, as well as pave the way for tapping into the spiritual gifts and talents of older adults.

This conference is especially for:
  • People 50 years of age and beyond.
  • Members of the clergy interested in starting or improving their 50+ programs.
  • Persons involved in leading groups for those beyond 50.
  • Anyone who wants to learn more about addressing the needs of this rapidly expanding population.

Brought to you by the Beyond 50 Ministries Task Force of the Florida Annual Conference in partnership with First United Methodist Church Winter Park.

For any questions concerning the conference, please contact Rev. Gary Rideout at

Around The Conference 
Florida Conference 19th Annual Lay Servant Ministries Training
August 21 - 23, 2015 - LEC
Join us on beautiful Lake Griffin August 21-23 as we enjoy both a relaxing and stimulating weekend, learning from great teachers about how we can reach, train and equip leaders and disciples of the Next Generations.  Learn about exciting initiatives for church planting, new and fresh expressions for doing church among the unchurched, setting up and implementing a discipleship system, mentoring and developing new leaders, and growing into God's best vision of you.

Rev. Dr. Travis Collins will be our Plenary Speaker & will lead Exploring Fresh Expression of Church class on Saturday and Sunday.  Fresh Expressions is a movement founded in the United Kingdom, and now being put forth here in the United States.  Travis asks us:  How do we engage people who are unlikely ever to come through the doors of our churches?  Travis is Director of Mission Advancement and Virginia Regional Coordinator for Fresh Expressions U.S.

Music Leader - Scott Kinkead.  Scott is Director of Music, First United Methodist Church Pine Hills.  Schott has been leading, developing and directing Contemporary and Blended style worship services for the past 17 years in the UMC.  Scott has had the opportunity to lead people of all ages in worship.  Whether through current praise and worship or traditional hymns he loves to lead people into the presence of God.

Lay Missionary Planting Network Training - facilitated by Rev. Candace Lewis, she is Executive Director of Path 1, an initiative of the General Board of Discipleship to help plant new churches in the United States.  Candace is an elder and former church planter here in the Florida Conference.  Path 1 demonstrates biblical principles in starting new churches by training and equipping lay persons and clergy to Find, Equip, Plant and Multiply.  Candace will provide an overview and some practical exercises from their curriculum.  Do you feel called to help plant new churches in your own or other communities?

From Membership to Discipleship - facilitated by Dr. Phil Maynard, he is Director of Path 1 Coaching Network, Director of Excellence in Ministry Coaching and Director of Church Leadership Training Institute.  Phil leads networks of churches through transformation processes all over the country.  Join him to discover how to build a discipleship process in your context as we explore:  Clear understandings of discipleship; how disciples grow; what people say they need from the church to grow; the kinds of relational support needed; and clear steps for growing maturing disciples of Jesus Christ.  Learn how to witness and engage those outside the church in ways that are invitational and relational, as well as how the church can help.

The Next Generation Leader - facilitated by Terry Fitzgerald
, she has been UMC member since 2007.  A Certified Lay Servant since 2008, she began teaching Lay Servant classes in 2009.  She challenges young Christians eager to learn, grow, and lead in ministry or in the marketplace.  Learn how to discover and play to your strengths, harness your fears, leverage uncertainty, enlist a leadership coach, and maintain moral authority.

The Me I Want to Be - faciliatated by Kathy Walther, she is a Certified Lay Servant.  Some contemporary writers seem to capture God's will and then apply it to our modern lives.  They are then able to take who God is and apply it to our modern lives.  John Ortberg has done this in his book, The Me I Want To Be.  This is on of those books that you keep on your shelf and pull it down for a re-read every few years.  Part of the study of The Me I Want To Be is looking at the me I don't want to be, the me others want me to be, and the me I am afraid to be. 

Class Fee:  $55  There are different housing and meal plans which you will find on the registration form.  For more information & registration form, click HERE.  Questions? contact Rod Groom at
Inspired For Life - Women's Conference
September 11 - 12, 2015 - First UMC, Melbourne
Join us for a powerful weekend of worship, guest speakers and workshops that will leave you Inspired for Life!  If you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it.  Pursue the things over which Christ presides.  Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you.  Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ - that's where the action is.  See things from his perspective.  Your old life is dead.  Your new life, which is your real life - even though invisible to spectators - is with Christ in God.  Colossians 3:1-3

For information &/or to register please email or visit
R-10 Retirement Seminar for Clergy
September 14 - 15, 2015 - First UMC, Lakeland

"R-10 and Counting", a comprehensive financial planning seminar for clergy couples planning to retire within the next 10 years, will be held September 14 - 15, 2015 at First UMC - Lakeland.  Registrations will be accepted through August 31st, but prospective retirees are encouraged to register early because participation is limited to 30 couples.  

For more information and to register for "R-10 and Counting", please visit the foundation website by clicking HERE.  You may also contact Nadara Brock at the Foundation Office at (866) 363-9673 ext 7113 or email her at
Rooted - Youth Worker Training Event
September 21 - 22, 2015 - Warren W. Willis Camp
Conference Youth Ministry Training Event
  • Monday, September 21st - Tuesday, September 22nd
  • Cost:  $50 for whole event or $20 for one day only (Monday or Tuesday)
  • Warren W. Willis UM Camp
    4990 Picciola Road Fruitland Park, FL  34731

Rooted is an annual youth worker training, networking, and gathering event for youth workers in the Florida Conference put on by the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church and the Youth Ministry Institute. 

Please note:  If you are new to youth ministry, new to the Florida Conference, or if you are new to the United Methodist Church we have a block of training on Monday afternoon that you cannot miss. 
Click HERE for more information or email Joel Pancoast at

FSU Wesley

As an extension of the Florida Conference and local UMCs, we are grateful to partner in ministry with you to young adults attending Florida State University and Tallahassee Community College!


We are looking to connect with as many FSU Wesley Alumni as we can to keep them updated on how the ministry is impacting local churches and beyond.  Two of the easiest ways for alumni to stay in the know is through our FSU/TCC Alumni Page at Facebook or join the email list on the alumni page of our website:

FSU Wesley will be saying farewell to the Chapel of the Upper Room on September 26th - 27th, 2015 and we are inviting all alumni, family and friends to celebrate with us prior to its demolition in November.  A new, multipurpose building will be built in its place and used for worship, meals, events, offices, and meeting spaces.  If you would like more information, check out the news page of our website:  Also, be on the lookout for an invitation in the mail!


We would appreciate it if you would share this information with your congregation, as we know many of our alumni relocate once they've graduated.  FSU Wesley Alumni are living and serving in each district of the Florida Conference - whether as clergy, lay leaders, worship leaders, youth leaders, church members, or church volunteers.  We would love the opportunity to come and share some of the wonderful things happening in this ministry, and would appreciate if you could provide potential dates when we can come and speak about the vibrant ministry at FSU Wesley!  To do so, please contact Christina Pacelle, Director of Development, at or 850-222-0251.

Leadership Institute 2015
October 1 - 2, 2015 - Church of the Resurrection
Leadership Institute at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection brings together clergy, church staff and volunteers who share a passion for renewing churches.  Lean in to our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world by investing in your leadership and leaders of your church.  Leaders with fresh ideas, renewed focus and inspired by the Holy Spirit are able to unleash the potential of a church and community.  Bring your ministry leaders to the largest mainline church training event in the country and be equipped, renewed and inspired.  Over the past 15 years, more than 20,000 leaders have returned to their congregations and communities ready to "Go and Lead" with impact, vitality, excellence, passion and boldness.  Click HERE  for more information and registration.
United Methodist Men's October Retreats
October 9-10, 2015 and October 23-25, 215 - LEC
Could you use some restorative time before the 2015 holiday season begins?  Join us in October for one of two Men's Retreats to recharge your batteries!  We are taking advantage of the peacefulness found at the Life Enrichment Center outside Leesburg to offer inspiration, relaxation and fulfilling relationships.  There will be retreats on October 9-10 and October 23-25.   Click HERE  for details and the registration form.
Early Response Team Training
October 23 - 24, 2015 - Warren W. Willis
Early Response Teams (ERT) are self-contained teams who enter a disaster zone at the invitation of local emergency management officials.  ERT's offer a Christian presence and are trained to provide various types of physical, emotional and spiritual assistance to disaster survivors.  ERT's are registered with the Disaster Recovery Ministry of The Florida Annual Conference, and Disaster Recovery coordinates team placement with emergency management to get help where it is needed most after a disaster. 

Note:  Basic Disaster Ministry Training is required before taking ERT Training.   Click HERE for more details and to register online.
2015 Florida Clergy Mates Retreat
November 5 - 7, 2015

The Journeys of Paul with Bishop Carter
November 7, 2015 
The pilgrimage to Israel in May 2014 with my friend, the beloved teacher Bob Tuttle, and friends from across the Florida Conference and beyond was a wonderful time of fellowship.  I would like to i nvite you to join me as we sail through the Mediterranean following in the Footsteps of the Apostle Paul.  I am excited to have Dr. Waite Willis join us from Florida Southern College as our Guest Speaker.  I am inviting pastors, teachers, and members of our churches to join us in this profound experience of travel, study, worship and fellowship aboard the Rhapsody of the Seas.  I hope you will make this pilgrimage with us in 2015!

Bishop Ken Carter
Florida Conference
United Methodist Church 

Click Here for more details and to view a video.
Click Here for a bulletin insert. 
District Calendar of Events

August 2015

August 12-13: EC District Office Moving to Lee Road Office. No phone or internet access until the 14th.
August 13:  UMM Special Meeting - First UMC, Oviedo

August 24: Charge Conference Forms launch date. Live on-line for church access.

August 27: EC dCOM - 9:00am-4:00pm Asbury UMC, Maitland

August 31: New Clergy to ECD Orientation - 11:00am-1:00pm District Office: 2221 Lee Road, WP, FL


September 2015

September 7: District Office Closed in observance of Labor Day
September 8-9: Cabinet Meeting in Lakeland
September 14-16: Janet and Claudia in Lakeland for Administrative Training
September 19: UMW Mission Sampler - First Pine Hills, Orlando

September 24: EC dCOM - 9:00am-4:00pm Asbury UMC, Maitland

September 27: EC District SundayServe Day


October 2015

October 6-7: Bishop's Gathering with Clergy at the LEC
October 12-13: Cabinet Meeting in Lakeland

October 15: EC Local Church Administrative Staff Training
October 22-24: Great Expectations Boomers & Beyond, First Winter Park

October 24: UMW District Annual Meeting - Orange City UMC

October 29: EC dCOM - 9:00am-4:00pm Asbury UMC, Maitland


November 2015

November 11: District Office Closed in observance of Veterans Day
November 19: EC dCOM - 9:00am-4:00pm Asbury UMC, Maitland
November 26 & 27: District Office Closed for Thanksgiving Holiday


December 2015

December 1: SPRC Training - 6:30pm - Asbury UMC, Maitland
December 3-4: Cabinet Meeting Lakeland

December 7: SPRC Training - 6:30pm - TBD

December 15: Retiree Christmas Luncheon

December 17: EC dCOM - 9:00am-4:00pm Asbury UMC, Maitland

December 24-25: District Office Closed for Christmas Holiday

December 31: District Office Closed for New Year's Eve



January 2016

January 1: District Office Closed for New Year's Day

January 8 - 9: Candidacy Retreat

February 2016

February 6: Called to Serve - First UMC, Oviedo


May 2016

May 10-20: General Conference of the UMC, Oregon Convention Center in Portland Oregon

June 2016

June 15 - 18, 2016: Annual Conference - The Buena Vista Palace Hotel & Spa, Lake Buena Vista

July 2016

July 8 - 9: Candidacy Retreat 

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