Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference Recap
(Montgomery, AL) - The Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference of the United Methodist Church met Wednesday, July 18-Friday, July 20, 2012 at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. Twenty-four delegates, half clergy and half laity, represented the Alabama-West Florida Conference during the quadrennial session. The primary goal of the conference is to elect Bishops for fifteen conferences within the jurisdiction as well as appoint currently serving Bishops. Twenty-nine ballots were taken over the course of two days, electing five Bishops vacated by retiring Episcopal leaders. Fourteen nominees from annual conference and caucuses made up the pool from which Bishops were elected. More here.
A Word from the Bishop: God is Good!
(Bishop Paul L. Leeland) - Coming home is always a great feeling. My appointment as the resident Bishop of The Alabama-West Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church felt like coming home. Janet and I certainly express our gratitude to Dr. Steve Furr, MD, and Dr. John Ed Mathison, who served on the Southeastern Jurisdictional Episcopal Committee and made the appointments for every Annual Conference within the jurisdiction. There were several surprises when this committee assigned three bishops to serve their home conference, but is certainly within their ability to do so when two-thirds of the jurisdictional committee agrees to make such a request to the entire jurisdiction. From my perspective, I was reminded once more that ordained clergy, including bishops, are certainly itinerant and are appointed at the discretion of the church to serve where the church believes they will best serve the needs of larger faith community. For my family, this meant we would be returning to Montgomery, AL., to continue the work we have been building upon for the last four years. God is good. Full commentary here.
Meet the Episcopal Office
In the coming editions of the NewsCONNECTION, you will see a ministry team of the Alabama-West Florida Conference featured. We hope you will take a moment to watch the brief videos that will be shared to learn more about the conference staff and how each office can assist you or your congregation. First we meet Bishop Paul Leeland and Megyn von Gal, the Episcopal Office Administrative Assistant. Click here to watch.
The Harbor, "A New Place for New People"
(Rev. Neil McDavid) - One of the ten new places for new people highlighted at our recent annual conference was The Harbor, a new church plant in Dothan, AL. This new congregation is being planted in the area where Love In Action ministries is located. Love In Action ministries serves the homeless, the marginalized, the poor, those often on the edge of or outside the mainstream of society. Efforts have been made to transport people in this area to Dothan United Methodist Churches, but The Harbor is a church being planted right where these persons live, right in their zip code. Worship space is being rented in the Love In Action facility and this "church for all people," this new body of Christ will be officially launched August 11 under the leadership of Rev. Dwight and Vicky Deal. The vision of The Harbor is to reach out to all in the name of Christ seeking to serve and love the poor and homeless both physically and spiritually. The ministry of The Harbor includes the building of a worshiping, serving, community of faith around the mission "changing the heart of Dothan through the heart of Jesus." To learn more about this new church plant, contact Rev. Dwight Deal (firstname.lastname@example.org) or find The Harbor church on Facebook.
Around the Conference
Charge Conference Forms Now Online
For your convenience, 2012 Charge Conference Forms are now available online in one, easy place. Click here or go to www.awfumc.org/2012chargeconference. Please contact your local district office if you have any questions.
Glory Sighting: Troop 409
Troop 409, a Boy Scout troop for Down syndrome and special needs men, was featured in the July 23, 2012 issue of People Magazine as their "Heroes Among Us." The troop meets at Cokesbury United Methodist Church in Pensacola, FL. One parent was quoted in the article as saying the following. "Every time Gordon gets a merit badge," says Teresa Roser, whose 23-year-old son has Down syndrome, "he stands a little taller." The troop is led by a retired Air Force couple that answered a newspaper classified ad looking to lead such a group. Look for this article on news stands!
Nellie Burge Receives Development Grant
(The Montgomery Advertiser) - Several Montgomery charities together will receive more than $650,000 in federal and state grant money to support their work in the community. Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange announced 10 grant recipients at a news conference Thursday, and a representative from each organization said a few words about how the funds would help them accomplish their goals. The Nellie Burge Community Center, where the news conference was held, will receive $55,000. The center provides transitional housing to the homeless and their children while helping its residents gain skills to live independently after their two-year stay. Full article here.
Deaconess/Home Missioner Discernment
God is calling. You have the opportunity to pause, listen and respond to God"s call. This fall, local United Methodist laity will explore God"s invitation to become a deaconess or home missioner at a special event in Florida. The Alabama-West Florida Conference will host a a Deaconess/Home Missioner Discernment event. It will be held at Pensacola FUMC Friday, October 5-Sunday, October 7. This event is to allow people to explore the possibilities of ministry as a Home Missioner or Deaconess. (See BOD "1314). The gathering is open to any lay person looking at ministry possibilities. If you or someone you know is interested in this event, please contact Susan Hunt for an application. For more information, click here.
Publication Order Deadline
July 31 is the last day to order a clergy director or journal. To order, click here.
U.S. Bishops Elected, Assigned for 2013-16
(UMNS) - United Methodists elected 11 new U.S. bishops and assigned many bishops to new areas during jurisdictional meetings July 18-21. The jurisdictional conferences gathered simultaneously in five regions of the United States with the primary purpose of electing and assigning bishops. The United Methodist Church has 46 active bishops overseeing more than 7 million U.S. members. The new assignments take effect Sept. 1. Click here for more.
See assignments for all Bishops.
Shootings Draw Personal, Pastoral Response
(UMNS) - For the Rev. Elizabeth Jackson, the sadness of losing a friend in the Colorado movie theater shootings has become a portion of her life"s journey. Only three weeks into her appointment as the pastor of the Edgewater (Colo.) United Methodist Church, the tragedy also has added a different dimension to the get-acquainted period for her and her supportive congregation. More here.
Bledsoe Appeals Removal as Bishop
(UMNS) " Bishop W. Earl Bledsoe is appealing to the Judicial Council, The United Methodist Church"s top court, in an effort to overturn his involuntary retirement as an active bishop. "Bishop Bledsoe has not been accused of or charged with any chargeable offense under The (Book of) Discipline, nor have any formal written complaints been filed or processed against him," said the appeal filed by Jon R. Gray, a retired judge in the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit of Missouri and former Judicial Council member. Click here for more.
Free Music Downloads
(GBOD) - Click here to download five free contemporary songs from Sherri Carr including print scores and mp3 files.
Let"s Talk Audio and Video in PowerPoint
(UMCOM) - When you think about PowerPoint, what comes to mind? Perhaps a business proposal? Maybe a college report? What about a professional looking presentation on Sunday morning? While Microsoft touts PowerPoint as an integral business tool, it can also be used effectively, creatively and, most importantly, professionally in church. Click here for tips.
Director of Children's Programs, Spring Hill Avenue UMC (Mobile, AL)
Part-time Director of Music Ministries, Brewton UMC
Foster Parent Liaison, UMCH
Chief Development/Communications Officer, UMCH
Children's Minister, Trinity UMC (Opelika, AL)
Director of Children's Music, Ashland Place UMC (Mobile, AL)
Church Administrator, Gadsden Street UMC (Pensacola, FL)
Nursery Coordinator/Preschool Assistant Director, Navarre UMC
Extravagant Generosity Stewardship Event, August 1-3
Cooperative School of Christian Mission, August 2-5
Blue Lake United Christian Ashram, August 3-5
Lake Junaluska Ministry Summit, August 5-7
The 21st Century SBC21 Convention, August 9-11
The Global Leadership Summit, August 9-10
Summer Camp for Grownups, August 13-16
School of Congregational Development, August 16-19
African-American Women's Leadership Conference, August 23-25
Designing Women's Luncheon, August 25
Lay Speaking Training, September 8
Prayer Shawl Ministry, September 21-23
USA Wesley Foundation Golf Tournament, October 2
World Communion Sunday, October 7
Wesley Heirs Fall Meeting, October 9-10
Annual Meeting of the Historical Society, October 13
Just Breathe at Epworth by the Sea, October 15-18
UMW Fall Training and Meeting, October 19-20
The Enduring Magic of Eugenia Price at Epworth by the Sea, October 29-November 1
Lake Junaluska Multicultural Conference, November 29-December 1
Fiscal Office Closes for 2012 Financial Records, January 8, 2013