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September 10, 2012 / Volume 11, No. 16 View Online"

Conference News

Conference Continues to Seek Help After 2011 Tornados

(Rev. Charles Walters) -"Our conference disaster recovery program has been active in partnering with long-term recovery committees and families in rebuilding lives that were devastated by storms. We have had a very active team from Slidell, Louisiana who has been carrying the load of the recovery work in Choctaw County. Sadly, Hurricane Isaac flooded their hometown and they are busy in their own recovery at the moment. Please be in prayer for the Epworth Project and our friends at Epworth UMC in Slidell."To finish the houses we are working on, we need your help! We have two homes we are in the process of completing and would love to have these families in their homes as soon as possible! The houses are in Choctaw County, Alabama. We have a church that can receive and house your teams. Click here to read more from Charles Walters."

Niceville UMC Featured in UM Reporter

(UM Reporter) -"Niceville UMC in Niceville, Fla., is near Destin, a popular tourist spot, so many church members must work Sunday mornings. But the church"s Saturday evening service, begun in early 2011, was designed mainly to attract folks who might not ever turn up in a church on Sunday morning."Called "Exchange," the service has allowed worship leaders a chance to experiment"adding elements like colorful lights, rappers, fog and edgier, guitar-driven music that"s a little louder than usual."And people seem to like it. Full article here."

Two Huntingdon Scholarships Honor Clio Resident Pearl Norton Jackson

(Su Ofe, Montgomery, Ala.) " Huntingdon College President J. Cameron West announced that two scholarships have been established to honor Huntingdon alumna Pearl Norton Jackson (Mrs. Alto L.) of Clio, Alabama. The scholarships were established by Mrs. Jackson's daughter, Caroline Jackson, of Arlington, Virginia. The Pearl Norton Jackson Endowed Scholarship and the Pearl Norton Jackson Gift Scholarship will be awarded to students of high achievement who are majoring in mathematics."Preference for the scholarship recipients will be given to those majoring in math who are Barbour County residents and active members of United Methodist churches in the Alabama-West Florida Conference. Full announcement here."

Meet the Office of Ministerial Services

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 Rev. June Jernigan and Betty West. Click here for video."

Around the Conference"

{Dr. Tim Thompson leads a preaching excellence small group
as a part of the Academy for Congregational Excellence.}

Labor Day to Advent: A Season For 90 Days of Prayer

(Dr. Philip McVay) - Do we remember what was happening ninety days ago? Ninety days ago would have been Memorial Day Weekend and Annual Conference was just around the corner. In the twinkling of an eye the summer of 2012 has now vanished as a shooting star and left Labor Day in the wake. What will happen significant the next ninety days? The weather will cool down, school will be in full session, football season, church opportunities, a national election, and 2013 will be here in a flash! Before the next ninety days vanish like summer how can we make the most of them? Is there a way to ad"""d meaning and slow down our lives and move into 2013 with readiness? Prayer is a great starting place."Click here for full commentary."

Deadline Approaches to Register for Holy Land Trip

Almost 100 persons have registered for the Alabama-West Florida pilgrimage to the Holy Land hosted by Bishop Paul Leeland, and the invitation is extended to any others who would like to be included. All clergy and laity of the conference are invited, but those clergy ordained or commissioned by Bishop Leeland are especially encouraged to join him for this experience, and a special discounted price is offered for them. But hurry " the final deadline for registering is October 10."The trip departs January 23, 2013, and returns on February 1 for those who do not take one of the optional extensions. Pastors would miss only one Sunday to take the basic trip. Click here for more information."

Safe Sanctuaries Form Added for Charge Conference"

A Safe Sanctuaries Covenant has been added to the charge conference forms. Please make a note of this. It is available with the other forms here.""

Connectional News

Louisiana Outlines Ways to Help

BATON ROUGE, La. (UMNS) - Louisiana Annual (regional) Conference officials have expressed thanks for the prayers for those affected by Hurricane Isaac and ask that those prayers continue. They also provided a list of additional ways in which United Methodists can help:
-Thousands of flood buckets have been used and continue to be needed. Learn how to prepare and send these buckets.
-Give to the UMCOR fund for Hurricanes 2012.
-Volunteer to serve on a disaster response team.
For more information on disaster relief in Louisiana, watch the conference website and the conference Facebook page.

Registration Now Open for 2013 Large Church Initiative

(UMCOM) " Registration is now open for "Ignite: Growing Disciples to Transform the World," the 2013 Large Church Initiative Conference of the United Methodist Church. LCI 2013 will be held April 22"24 in Tampa, FL at Hyde Park United Methodist. Online registration, early bird rates and a complete conference schedule are now available at www.lci2013.com. Click here for more."

Report: Older Clergy Bubble Grows

WASHINGTON (UMNS) " The Lewis Center for Church Leadership on Sept. 6 released its 2012 report on "Clergy Age Trends in The United Methodist Church." The report, prepared with assistance from the United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits, found that United Methodist elders ages 55 to 72 represent 53 percent of all active elders. The preponderance of older clergy is a trend across all mainline denominations, the report also found. The Lewis Center is part of United Methodist-related Wesley Theological Seminary. Click here for full report."

Is Your Church Accessible?

(UMCOR) -"Nancy O"Loughlin says that the first time she visited Morningside United Methodist Church in Salem, Oregon, "there was no place in the sanctuary where people in wheelchairs could comfortably sit without feeling like a road block." She parked her chair awkwardly and joined in worship. The trustees met the very next week to discuss shortening a pew to make space for her. "You can imagine my surprise when I returned the following Sunday and found wheelchair seating," says O"Loughlin. "Now, I can sit comfortably and feel part of the congregation instead of apart from it." O"Loughlin remains an active member of Morningside UMC to this day. Full article here."

Job Postings"

Full-time Musician, Metropolitan UMC (Montgomery, AL)

Full-time Youth Minister, Bainbridge UMC (Bainbridge, GA)

Director of Youth Ministries, Hernando UMC (Hernando, MS)

Lead Youth Pastor, St. James UMC (Montgomery, AL)

Family Support Worker, UMCH (Dothan, AL)

Group Home Supervisor, UMCH (Mobile, AL)

Regional Director, UMCH (Montgomery, AL)

Pianist, Dadeville UMC

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

Full-time Youth Pastor, Eclectic UMC

Contemporary Worship Leader, Vestavia Hills UMC

Associate Director of Young Adults/Adults, Lakeland, FL First UMC

Upcoming Events"

Pensacola District Day Apart, September 13

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

Dothan District Mission Work Day, September 15

Coming Home to Our True Selves Women's Conference, September 21-22

Prayer Shawl Ministry, September 21-23

Dothan District Gathering, September 24

The Future of Christian Spirituality and Interreligious Interaction, September 26-28

Early Response Team Training and Recertification, September 29

Deaconess/Home Missioner Discernment, October 5-7

World Communion Sunday, October 7

Wesley Heirs Fall Meeting, October 9-10

Mobile District Lay Speaker Training, October 12-13

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.