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August 27, 2012 / Volume 11, No. 15 View Online

Conference News

AWF Conference on Storm Alert

As we watch the track of Isaac, conference and district leaders are on alert. Please watch for notices from your district and conference offices as the storm progresses. Updates will be sent to the NewsCONNECTION database, posted on our conference Facebook page and on the conference Web site.

Quietly Shaping the Future of the United Methodist Church

An anonymous donation. A student quietly hearing the call to ministry. Letters from donors to seminary students to show their support. The Stegall Seminary Scholarship Endowment Foundation makes a monumental impact on the future of the United Methodist Church but much of their work goes unnoticed or is behind the scenes. Thursday, August 9, 2012, the Stegall Scholarship Fund hosted its annual banquet at the Renaissance Hotel in downtown Montgomery. A record number of supporters gathered to show their support of this ministry while also welcoming twelve seminary students back home; placing donors and students face to face, some for the first time. Despite a most elegant evening, the night was paid for by two generous donors so that no money was taken away from scholarships. Full feature here.

AWF Conference Church Receives National Media Spotlight

Perdido Bay United Methodist Church's Flora-Bama Outreach gained national attention on August 15 with an article that ran in The Montgomery Advertiser, al.com and National Public Radio. To read the Associated Press' article about the wonderful ministry and the people it is reaching in an innovative way, click here.

Huntingdon Students Show Spirit of Service

(The Montgomery Advertiser) - The smell of fresh paint filled the halls at New Church @ 301 Dexter on Saturday as more than 100 Huntingdon College students helped renovate the building. For the students, the community service was part of Big Red Weekend, an introductory event for the school"s freshman class that also included an induction ceremony. Su Ofe, associate vice president for communications and marketing, said faith, wisdom and service are a big part of the Huntingdon experience. "It"s important that the students immediately get into the service and see what it"s all about," Ofe said. Full story here.

Meet the Fiscal 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. Meet Frank Dunnewind, Kenyona Brown, Belinda Carnegie, Ashley Oliver and Terri Pickering. Click here for video.

Around the Conference

{The Harbor Church in Dothan, AL held its first worship service as a new church start within the AWF Conference Saturday, August 12, 2012. Vicki and Rev. Dwight Deal (pastor) and Rev. Neil McDavid are pictured at the first service. Others from the conference including Rev. Dan Morris, Dothan district superintendent and Bishop and Mrs. Paul Leeland were in attendance. Bishop Leeland preached at this commemorative first service. Photo courtesy of The Harbor.}

Glory Sighting: Creola UMC VBS Feeds Hungry

Creola UMC had a great time at their Vacation Bible School called, "It's A Miracle!" The children learned about some of the wonderful miracles of Jesus. They also learned how God can take a little and make a lot and how they can make a difference in the fight against hunger. The children brought in their loose change all week to donate to The Society of St. Andrew's Potato and Produce Project. They donated enough money to ship 2,000 pounds of potatoes to feed hungry families. What an AWESOME week!

Glory Sighting: Camden UMC Takes Prayer on the Road

After honoring sixty-eight students, college students and teachers with gifts in Sunday Services on Sunday, August 19 before school started, 35 members of Camden UMC traveled to Montgomery from the Demopolis district to pray for one of their own, Lisa Agee. Lisa was undergoing intense chemotherapy at a Montgomery hospital and was not able to receive visitors at the time. They gathered in the parking lot to pray for her as she watched from the window of her hospital room. Tragically, Lisa lost her battle with cancer the morning of August 22 and was a young mother whose cancer came back after a 10-year remission.

Connectional News

General Board of Church & Society Announces 2013-2016 Board of Directors

The 2013-2016 Board of Directors for the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) has been announced. The Alabama-West Florida Conference is represented on this board by Pat Luna. Complete article here.

Summit Looks at Young Clergy Issues

(GBHEM) - Inaccessible mentors who don"t know the process, church folk who want to "fix up" single clergy, sitting in a candidacy meeting where everyone is the age of your parents or grandparents"those were just a few of the stories told by young adults who are seeking ordination or are recently ordained in The United Methodist Church. The group of under 30 clergy and clergy candidates talked about their frustrations as well as their triumphs"including some phenomenal mentors and supportive local churches that helped them along the way"during the Young Clergy Summit held by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry August 20 - 21 in Nashville. Full story here.

United Methodist Execs Seek Creative Change

(UMNS) Cut back, hang tough, shift priorities. The United Methodist Church"s general agencies will employ those strategies over the next four years to deal with reduced budgets, smaller boards and new directions in mission. More here.


9 Computer Tricks to Save You Time and Money

(UMCOM) - Often in ministry, the hours in the day are not enough to cover all the needs of a diverse congregation, especially in the realm of communications. Here are nine computer practices to help you save time and money.

Lewis Center Offers Free Resource to Help Churches Improve Worship Attendance

WASHINGTON, DC "To help churches improve worship attendance, the Lewis Center for Church Leadership offers the free resource Why Worship Attendance Matters and Clues for Improving It. Hosted by Lewis Center Director Lovett H. Weems, Jr., the 10-minute video provides an overview of the importance of worship attendance and offers practical ways to improve it. The video is available online at www.churchleadership.com/attendance; it may also be downloaded. In addition to the video, the Lewis Center offers several additional attendance resources, many of which are free. Of note is How Do New People See Your Church, a free handout with suggestions to help congregations view their churches and worship services from the perspective of new people. This and more resources are available at www.churchleadership.com/attendance. The attendance information is offered as part of the Lewis Center"s Reach New Disciples program. The goal of this program is to help congregations better connect with their communities through practical resources and insightful conferences.

Using Parables to Inspire and Teach

(UMCOM) - Jesus used parables to teach. The word "parable" conjures up old-fashioned images. Can there be modern-day parables? Certainly. You can use parables to teach life lessons and theological concepts. But exactly how do you bring Jesus" parables to life? Find parables in daily life. If you keep your eyes and ears open, you"ll find heartwarming stories that mirror the parables Jesus told. More here.

Job Postings

Part-time Director of Music, Alex City FUMC

Part-time Youth Director, Liberty UMC (Notasulga, AL)

Full-time Youth Pastor, Eclectic UMC

Contemporary Worship Leader, Vestavia Hills UMC

Director of Children's Programs, Spring Hill Avenue UMC (Mobile, AL)

Part-time Director of Music Ministries, Brewton UMC

Foster Parent Liaison, 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

Upcoming Events

Lay Speaking Training, September 8

Project 56 Preteen Conference, September 8

First/Early Responder Disaster Training, September 9

Pensacola District Day Apart, September 13

Five Key Elements in Successful Stewardship Strategies Free Webinar, September 13

Prayer Shawl Ministry, September 21-23

Dothan District Gathering, September 24

Deaconess/Home Missioner Discernment, October 5-7

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

Want more?

Contact us
Episcopal Office
100 Interstate Park Drive Ste 120-A Montgomery, AL 36109
Phone: 334.277.1787
Toll free: 888-873-3127
Fax: 334.277.0109
Email the Bishop

Fiscal Office
100 Interstate Park Drive Ste 106 Montgomery, AL 36109
Phone: 334.274.1051
Toll free: 888-873-3127
Fax: 334.274.1052
Email Us

Office of Connectional Ministries/ Communications
100 Interstate Park Drive Ste 120 Montgomery, AL 36109
Phone: 334.356.8014
Toll free: 888-873-3127
Fax: 334.356.8029
Email Us

Office of Ministerial Services
100 Interstate Park Drive Ste 100 Montgomery, AL 36109
Phone: 334.356.8014
Toll free: 888-873-3127
Fax: 334.274.1052
Email Us

Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors.