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Wholeness for our Clergy, Congregations, and Communities


June 2015 Newsletter

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As you know, I'm in a season of transition in life and ministry. As of July 1, 2015, Rev. Bob Bushong will be the new East Central District Superintendent. Many of you already know Bob as he has served most of his ministry in the Orlando area. He brings many gifts to the role of superintendent including a heart and passion of mission and ministry and for making relational connections with pastors and laity alike. It certainly makes my transition out of this role easier knowing that all of you will be led by such a Christ centered and caring leader.


At that time, I will be moving into the role of senior pastor at Suntree UMC in Melbourne, a church that I've been acquainted with and have admired for many years. I am truly honored and humbled to be appointed to serve such a vibrant and faith filled community and I look forward to this next chapter in ministry with great joy and anticipation. God has been preparing my heart for some time to move back into the role of a local church pastor and I'm grateful that this time has arrived.


Of course, with moving to a new position comes moving in general, never my favorite thing. I really despise all the disruption and chaos of boxing and sorting and literally tearing up one home to move into another. I'm good once everything is settled again. But I've learned I will always struggle with the "process" of moving and all that can be done is to dive in and live through it. This move is also more emotionally complicated in that Scott and I are essentially moving for the first time as empty nesters. While our youngest son Daniel is in college he will be in and out of our home in Melbourne but we know he will continue to spend lots of "away from school" time in his home, Ormond Beach. Another son, Jacob will be staying in our home in Ormond as well and with Kyle married and living in Gainesville, well, it's just different.


So there are plenty of reasons for me to feel a bit out of sorts and uncertain, even in the midst of a transition that I'm really looking forward to.


In the midst of all the boxing and packing and trying to wrap up details this week, God sent me a gentle, lovely reminder of God's graceful presence and providential care in the midst of all the emotion that goes with transition. I was at the Bethany retreat center and was out for my early morning run and came upon a baby deer or fawn, curled up in a little ball in a patch of grass. I slowed, stood and watched her for a moment. Then when I lifted my phone to take a picture, she ran away.


She reminded me of another fawn I'd encountered several years ago in my back yard. (I got a picture of that one.) It was early in the morning before the sun rose and as the day wore on I became anxious when there was no sign of the mama deer coming to get her. I tried to go about my business around the house that morning but I kept returning to the window, worried that she was lost and her mama wouldn't find her. I left the house at one point but was more worried when I returned home and she was still there. I talked to a grounds maintenance worker in my neighborhood who said sometimes it can take a couple of days for the mother to return. This did not help my anxiety!


Then it happened. As I sat at my kitchen table watching the fawn, it occurred to me that though I was a nervous and impatient wreck about the fawn, she didn't seem worried or anxious at all. She just sat perfectly still, sleeping some, then waking and looking around. She wasn't anxiously pacing or walking around. She was simply still, waiting, as if she knew all she needed to do was just be still and sooner or later her mama would show up. She just seemed to know that she could count on mama to come. And she did. Later in the day, I looked out the window and the baby was gone.


One of my favorite Psalms reads, "Be still and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10) I am terrible at waiting and being still. I always have been and probably always will be. But this week, as I saw another fawn and thought about that previous experience, I realized that I wasn't worried this time. I knew her mother wasn't far away, in fact I had a suspicion that I'd seen her earlier that morning not far away. I knew I could trust that she would make it back to her mama. And it reminded me that I can trust that my mother/father God is with me and with all of us who are in the midst of the season of transition. It reminded me that even in the midst of the chaos of transition and all the details that must be negotiated, I can pause and be still, and find the peace of a God who holds me and holds other pastors and families and holds this whole process we are all in, with loving and grace-filled strength that we can lean on and lean into.


I'll be going back to packing today. But I do that with a profound sense of peace and trust that God is, as always, working in all this. And I also do it with a deep sense of gratitude for all that I've experienced over the last 7 years in serving on the cabinet. It has been an amazing ride filled with incredible joy and at times deep sorrow. But the thread that runs through it all and ties it all together is the amazing, surprising and overwhelming gift of God's grace that is always working for our good.


Thank you to all the pastors and laity that have shared your lives, your faith, your passion and heart for ministry with me throughout this journey. And a special thanks to Janet Kelley, Claudia Sava, Kyle Pendergrass and Belinda Luquis (North Central District AA) for serving alongside of me and keeping me straight! You all made the journey all the more rich and rewarding with your love for God and your kind, servant hearts. I pray God's richest blessings will overflow in your lives and in your ministries for Christ.


Grace and Peace,


In The District
2015 Annual Conference  |  June 10-13
Bethune Cookman University, Daytona Beach
173nd Session of the Florida Annual Conference
Wednesday, June 10 through Saturday, June 13

Bethune Cookman University Performing Arts Center
698 West International Speedway Blvd.
Daytona Beach, Florida  32114

Countdown to Annual Conference:  A comprehensive look at the annual four-day event.  Click HERE.

2015 AC Pre-Conference Orientation Videos featuring key information related to Annual Conference.  Click HERE to view.

Bishop Carter's Tweet Meet:  Tweet Meet for AC2015 slated for June 3rd.  Click HERE for details.  #flumc15 The official hashtag of the 2015 Florida Annual Conference.

Registration Tuesday, June 9th 1:30pm-7:00pm Holmes Business Building
Tuesday Only:  Plenty of special short term parking in front of the Holmes Business Building will be available for quick in/out registration plus pick up of voting device.  
Register Tuesday as you arrive in Daytona Beach - you will be glad you did.

7:30am Wed., June 10th

Registration Opens

8:00am Wed., June 10th
Opportunity to Self-Nominate for the Election
8am - 11am at the Lay and Clergy Session Locations
8:30am Wed., June 10th

Meet & Greet Nominees to General & Jurisdictional Conference

Laity - Performing Arts Center
Clergy - Moore Gymnasium 
10:00am Wed., June 10th Laity & Clergy Sessions (Locations above)
1:30pm Wed., June 10th Opening Plenary Session - Performing Arts Center

Click HERE for the complete AC2015 tentative schedule and information.
Click HERE for the Pre-Conference Brochure previewing planned activities.
Click HERE for an updated map for the Bethune-Cookman University campus.

This is an election year when members will elect delegates to represent them at the 2016 General Conference to be held in Portland, Oregon.  Click HERE for details.

Second self-nomination window for Lay and Clergy Members:  Click HERE for details and self-nominations forms.

Name Badges  for Lay & Clergy Members to Annual Conference  will NOT be mailed this year.   In keeping with the Church's aim to care for creation and be good stewards of resources, name badges will be distributed at Registration in the Wendell P. Holmes Business Building.

Registration check-in located in the Holmes Business Building opens 1:30pm Tuesday.
East Central District Luncheon for Annual Conference Lay & Clergy Members:
Thursday, June 11th 11:45am - 1:15pm - First Ormond Beach.  Click HERE for more information and to register.
Annual Conference 2015 Workbook 
has been mailed to all who had previously requested one.  Click HERE to view or download the workbook to your laptop or mobile device.

Live Webcasts
- The Annual Conference will start live webcasts with the laity session on Wednesday, June 10th, then stream all plenary sessions and worship services.  We invite interested members of your church to follow the Annual Conference online.  Click HERE to watch the live webcast.

Youth Information - Youth are encouraged to participate and experience Annual Conference.  Housing will be at Bethune Cookman University, and $100 will cover housing and meals (excluding lunch).   Click HERE  for all the quick links for youth: registration, schedule, expectations, forms and more detailed information.  Registration ends June 3rd.
Volunteer Opportunities - AC2015
Radical Hospitality Opportunities to
Serve at Annual Conference 2015
June 9 - 13, 2015
Tuesday - Saturday

Bethune Cookman University
Daytona Beach, Florida

Volunteers are still needed in the following areas:

Hospitality Volunteers will be assigned in areas of:
*Greeter and Welcome Hospitality
*Registration Welcome and Voting Machine Distribution
*Guest Services
*Ushers at Daytime Plenary and Evening Worship Sessions

Click HERE to join the Annual Conference Radical Hospitality Team.

For more information, please contact Janet Kelley at
Fresh Expressions Vision Day
June 9th - First UMC Ormond Beach
Fresh Expressions Vision Day
First Ormond Beach
Tuesday, June 9th

What is Fresh Expressions?
Fresh Expressions is a movement that is cultivating new forms of church alongside existing congregations in order to reach a changing world.

What is Vision Day?
Vision Day is a great way to discover more about Fresh Expressions.  In an interactive format, you will have the chance to:
  • Hear how Fresh Expressions is renewing the church
  • Talk about the development of Fresh Expressions US
  • Learn more about the Mission-Shaped Church
  • Discover tools to start Fresh Expressions in your area

Click HERE for more information, the agenda and registration.

Want more information?
Jane Linton, Fresh Expressions U.S.

Audrey Warren, Florida Conference of the UMC

Second Annual Florida Conference 5K
June 11, 2015  at 6:30am - Breakers Oceanfront Park and Daytona Beach Pier 
The FLAC5K Team invites you to join us for the Second Annual Florida Conference 5K.  We will gather on picturesque Daytona Beach to run and walk as a community committed to improving personal health and raising support to end malaria.  The FLAC5K raised $5K for 5K last year and kicked off the Annual Conference's support of the Imagine No Malaria Campaign.  Our hope is that this Annual Conference we can match - and hopefully surpass - $5K for 5K as our Conference works towards the Florida Conference goal of raising $2.5 million dollars to help end malaria.

Click HERE to register.   Deadline is June 5th to be guaranteed a race t-shirt!

5K Check-in and T-Shirt pick-up
:  Tuesday 1:30pm - 7:00pm and Wednesday 7:30am-1:30pm in the Wendell P. Holmes Business Building - near registration.

If you aren't able to run/walk, perhaps you can sponsor one of your friends who are participating.   Click HERE to see those in the Florida Conference who are registered.

Click HERE to sponsor our own Claudia Sava, East Central District AA.

Questions?  Please contact Rev. Sarah Miller at
Bishop Carter's Annual Conference Offering
Imagine No Marlaria - This will complete the Florida Conference's emphasis on this life-saving ministry, which is transforming the continent of Africa, where so much of the church's growth is taking place.  This is a profound ministry of healing in the name of Jesus.

Ordinand Pilgrimage to the Holy Land - We are beginning a tradition that once every four years the Bishop will take those who have been ordained to the Holy Land (Israel and Palestine).  Educational Opportunities has made a commitment to partner with us on this at cost.  (Note:  Once every four years the Bishop also leads a pilgrimage to the Holy Land that includes laity and local pastors).  This experience will add immeasurably to the teaching and preaching of clergy in their early years.

Click HERE for a letter from Bishop Carter about the Offering.  Click HERE for a bulletin insert about the Offering.  Churches should send with their Apportionments and put it under other  AC2015 Offering code 100010 or bring it to Wednesday night's (June 10th) Communion service at AC.
2016 General Conference Session Elections

Nominees from the Florida Annual Conference for Election to
2016 General Conference Session

During the 2015 Annual Conference Session, we will be electing Lay and Clergy members who will serve as our representatives to the General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference Sessions. We will begin by electing nine Lay and nine Clergy members to serve as our delegates to the General Conference Session. We will then elect an additional nine Lay and nine Clergy members to serve as our delegates to the Jurisdictional Conference Session. Finally, members will elect seven Lay and seven Clergy members to be on stand-by as "Reserve" delegates in the event one of those elected above is unable to serve. With all of the ballots to be cast, it will be a busy Annual Conference Session indeed.

At this time we have 38 Lay members and 40 Clergy members of the Florida Annual Conference that have completed the on-line self-nomination process for election to the 2016 General and Jurisdictional Conference Sessions. Below are links that will automatically direct you to the lists of Lay and Clergy nominees. There you will find a picture, a summary of their basic biographical information, their local and connectional Church involvement, and their vision of/for The United Methodist Church in the future.

Eligible members of the Annual Conference will have a second opportunity to nominate themselves for consideration as a delegate to the General and Jurisdictional Sessions. Representatives from the Elections Procedures Committee will be available from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. at the locations established for the meetings of the Clergy Session and the Lay Session. Eligible members may complete the registration form at that time. Once verified, those names will be provided to the members of the Annual Conference for consideration of election during the balloting process. No additional names may be added after the 11:00 a.m. deadline.

Click HERE for laity nominations
Click HERE for clergy nominations
Click HERE General Conference 2016 Information 
Join in Prayer...
  • Pray for these individuals who have voluntarily offered themselves to serve on our behalf.
  • Pray for those who are sensing a call to serve as delegates between now and the second self-registration opportunity.
  • Pray for God's insight and illumination as you decide those for whom you will cast your vote.
  • Pray for all of those persons who will soon be elected from Annual Conferences all around the world.
  • Pray that the decisions and directions to be established by the General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference Sessions will keep The United Methodist Church ever focused on its mission - to make disciples of Jesus Christ.
A Message from Alice Williams, District Lay Leader
Hope this finds you off to a great start of Summer!  For us as members of the FLUMC it's a busy time with moves and Annual Conference.  Please keep the FLUMC in your prayers over the next few weeks as we engage in holy conferencing and seek God's guidance for us as the body of Christ.  The more I'm involved in the conference, the more I realize that most of our congregations are not aware of the incredible amount of work that our Pastors, church staff, conference staff and leadership and engaged laity give to help keep our churches going and growing.  Pastor David Stephens is a good friend and shared this in his sermon this past Sunday.  In addition to the giggle it gave, it really brought home an important message.

See if you recognize any of the characters...

The Body Church
By:  Dr. David Stephens
A church was founded and the members named it "The Body Church," because the Bible says:  "You are the body of Christ in the world."

Things went well for a year or so because Everybody was new to the church, and Anybody could find Somebody who was friendly and Nobody thought anything was wrong at all.

But the city was growing all around them, and there were many needs to be met, and people to reach, so the Body Church voted that everybody should show God's love to others every day, so that the church could grow in numbers and in love.

Everybody was asked to do it, but it wasn't working.  So they asked Nobody in particular to do it, but he thought that Somebody would do it!

So they asked Somebody to do it, and Somebody said:  "Anybody can do it!"

When they asked "Anybody," Nobody came back and said: "Anybody won't do it, you have to ask Somebody!"

By now Everybody had heard that Somebody should do it because it wasn't getting done, so they asked Everybody to do it, one more time.  But Everybody just looked around to see if Somebody would do it.

So Somebody finally tried to do it, but got tired, and asked Anybody to help, but Anybody knew it is easy to get lost in the crowd with Everybody so Nobody stepped forward, and he wouldn't do it.

As a result Somebody got mad at Everybody and Everybody decided that Anybody could go find another church, and Everybody went home discouraged, while Somebody stopped going to church altogether, and Nobody showed up the next Sunday and said:
Where is Everybody?
A Message from Jeff Campbell, District Disaster Coordinator
The subject of my article this month is inspired by a real life incident.  It's not one of those disasters that you can plan for, or even expect to unfold during the course of your day.  It comes on suddenly when you least expect it.  I am speaking of the all-too-common, everyday accident.  This is no little accident that you can take an aspirin for or put a Band-Aid on and everything is better.  I am speaking of the instantaneous accident that can and will alter a life in one way or another.  As I mentioned this is an actual event and, yes, it is very personal.
Click HERE to read the entire article. 
Celebrate Jesus
You and your church family are invited to join us at the next Monthly Prayer Gathering for the Orlando Area Mission on Thursday, June 4, from 7-8 pm, at Faith United Methodist Church, 1411 N. Dean Road, Orlando, FL  32825: (407) 275-1771.  We will pray for our churches, pastors and leaders, the communities around our churches, and the teams that will come to help us visit our neighbors during Mission Week this summer July 25 -  August 1, 2015.
All are welcome!
Global Leadership Summit - August 6-7, 2015
Pine Ridge Fellowship Howland Campus, Deltona
Pine Ridge Fellowship UMC is area'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 HERERegister by June 23rd for the Early Bird rate! 
Contact Yvonne Levesque at 407-324-1614 or for details.
Great Expectations for Boomers & Beyond
October 22 - 24, 2015 - First UMC, Winter Park
One of the fastest-growing population segments is those beyond 50.  Churches are struggling to keep up with and address the unique needs and wishes of this group.  As a result, the Beyond 50 Ministries of the Florida Annual Conference and First Winter Park have partnered to present a special statewide event, Great Expectations for Boomers & Beyond.
  • When:          October 22 - 24, 2015
  • Where:         First UMC - Winter Park
  • Cost:            $125 per person (Early-bird registration by 9/1/15 is $100)
  • Questions:    Rev. Gary Rideout
                       407-644-2906 x223

Register:  https// or contact Kathy Marshall at 407.644.2906, ext 224. 

Below is one promotional Brochure in three different formats:

Around The Conference 
Peace With Justice Sunday
June 7, 2015
Peace With Justice Sunday is an opportunity to recognize the incredible life-giving and peaceable work that is being done by United Methodists locally, nationally, and globally that gifts healing, dignity, and reconciliation to our hurting neighbors.  Although individuals - persons or congregations - may lack the resources alone to effect change in a broken world, collectively our gifts are vital and impactful.  Together our gifts can bring change in a broken world in need of healing.

Last year 47 Churches in our Conference participated to raise $6,000.  Half of this goes to the General Church and half stays in Florida to support local ministries.  The General Board of Church and Society just awarded South Florida Justice for our Neighbors (an immigration ministry) a grant.  Check out a short video about their ministry at:

One of our goals is to increase participation in this offering as a sign of our commitment to support Christ's work of reconciliation in the local, national, and global church.  We invite you to celebrate Peace With Justice Sunday with us!

For more information and resources about  Peace With Justice Ministries and Peace With Justice Sunday, Click HERE.
Fresh Expressions
What is it?: Major Initiatives Fact Sheet
Aromas of stew, chicken and yellow rice and chili.  Sounds of hammers, saws, stacking lumber and laughter while renovating a bath house.  Sights of low income, makeshift campers.

This is the church.  It doesn't look, smell or sound like yours.

It began when First UMC of Starke realized the residents of a trailer park community weren't going to come to their church; the church was going to have to go to them.  They began a Crockpot Ministry, feeding the residents every Tuesday evening, and the ministry grew as an inspiring example of a "Fresh Expression" church.  First Starke moved through a process of listening to what the community's needs are to loving and serving them to building up and with the community to forming disciples and worship.

Click HERE to continue reading.
The Young Adult Missional Movement
Vehicle needed
The Young Adult Missional Movement is looking for a vehicle to be donated.  They have young people who are working in the Orlando area and  are in need of transportation.  If you are in the position to donate a used vehicle, please consider YAMM.  Contact Heidi Aspinwall at or 305-733-4420.
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. 
Summer Opportunities 
Youth Trip to Cuba
 July 21 - 28, 2015
If you want to change the life of a young student between the ages of 15-19 years of age, have them go on this trip to Cuba.  This is the fourth year the Southwest District will be sending students on this exciting trip.  The trip is scheduled for July 21 - 28 and the cost is approximately $1,500 per traveler.  Click Here for more details.  Click Here for the application.

Contact Dan Christopherson, SW District Cuba Coordinator at or 941-468-7209.
Warren W. Willis Summer Camp
LEC Family Programs
Want to help create meaningful experiences for your church's families this year?  Want to encourage your parents to be more active in their kids' spiritual lives? Be sure they know about LECFamily programs!

Grandparents and Me - June 15-18; July 13-16 
Family Camp - June 12-14; July 17-19
Mom and Me Weekend - September 18-20 

Email Melissa at if you're interested in a group discount for your church's families! 
District Calendar of Events

June 2015

June 9 Annual Conference Registration - 1:30pm - 7:00pm - Holmes Bldg - BCU

June 10 - 13, 2015:  Annual Conference - Bethune Cookman University, Daytona Bch

June 11: East Central District Luncheon at AC2015-11:45am-1:15pm FUMC Ormond 
June 25: EC dCOM - 9:00am-4:00pm Asbury UMC, Maitland
June 30: Florida Conference Moving Day

July 2015
July 9-12: UMW Mission U - Bethune Cookman University

July 10 - 11: Candidacy Retreat


August 2015

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

August 31: New Clergy to ECD Orientation - 11:00am-1:00pm District Office


September 2015

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 17: UMW District Annual Meeting - Location TBD

October 22-24: Great Expectations Boomers & Beyond, First Winter Park

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


November 2015

November 19: EC dCOM - 9:00am-4:00pm Asbury UMC, Maitland


December 2015

December 3: SPRC Training - 6:30pm - Volusia County Location

December 7: SPRC Training - 6:30pm - Orlando Location

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



January 2016

January 8 - 9: Candidacy Retreat

February 2016

February 6: Called to Serve - First UMC, Oviedo


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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Imagine No Malaria 
How can you Imagine a World with NO Malaria, if you already believe you live in One?

Text  MALARIA FLA to 27722  to give $10  to the  United Methodist Communications Imagine No Malaria program .  
Click here  for a slide that you can use during worship.
MissionInsite - Florida Conference Demographic Information
As part of the Florida Conference United Methodist Church you have free access to MissionInsite and the demographics around your church.  This free service is provided to you and your church by the Florida Conference New Church Development office.   Click HERE to find out more.