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Friday - November 21, 2014
Responding to the Ebola Crisis: The Council of Bishops

 To the People of The United Methodist Church:

The Ebola outbreak in three countries of West Africa is one of the most threatening health crises of our day. As of November 7, 2014, more than 13,000 cases had been reported with almost 5,000 deaths. United Methodists are always responsive to human suffering as is the case with Ebola, and our response is without regard to race, nationality or creed. As it happens, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, the countries most affected, are within our church’s connectional system; Liberia and Sierra Leone are each an annual (regional) conference and one district in Guinea is part of the Liberia Conference, giving us a front-line opportunity and responsibility for palliative and preventive service. The United Methodist Committee on Relief and the Global Health Unit of the General Board of Global Ministries are at work on the ground in collaboration with the health boards and episcopal leaders of the Liberia and Sierra Leone annual conferences.

The United Methodists of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are strongly committed to efforts with their neighbors of all faiths to safely confront and control Ebola. They invited their fellow Methodists around the world to join in this essential ministry of compassion and healing. This is an international and interfaith cause.

The severity of Ebola is so great that special care must be taken to confine the disease and to prevent its spread to health workers. And there is great fear associated with the possibility of transmission to unaffected areas through international travel.

Fear is understandable in the face of Ebola, and nations unaffected, or minimally so, are right to exercise diligent care in dealing with travelers from affected areas and with health workers returning from Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Yet fear sometimes leads to unnecessary stigmatization of any persons from or believed to be from those countries or even coming from other parts of Africa. We hear increasing calls for travel bans against citizens and even health workers returning from the three countries to their home countries. A few governments have banned travelers from those countries and others are considering full or partial bans. Some political leaders in the United States have urged President Barack Obama to impose a ban. Questions have been raised in our own US church about the advisability of missionaries from any part of Africa visiting congregations in the US through our regular program of itineration.

None of our missionaries in West Africa have become infected by Ebola and we pray that this remains the case. Three missionaries, who were in the US when the outbreak occurred, are returning on their own choice to Liberia this month.

While prudence is required with regard to travel from affected countries, we caution against travel bans, which have been judged by airlines to be unenforceable and by health authorities as likely to severely restrict the movement of overseas health workers in and out of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. As many as 5,000 such overseas workers are needed at any given time to bring Ebola under control.

We also question the imposition of blanket quarantines of persons, especially health workers and others engaged in the fight against Ebola, in the absence of symptoms or direct contact with those infected. [Bishop Yambasu of Sierra Leone decided against attending an early November meeting of the Council of Bishops in Oklahoma because of the likelihood of a 21 day quarantine, which would have delayed his return to the work of organizing his church to take part in ecumenical efforts to stop the spread of the disease.] Quarantines should be required on a case by case basis when medically required and then implemented with a great sense of respect.

President Obama in a meeting with leaders of religious relief and health agencies on October 30 urged faith groups to work within their communities to overcome fear and stigma. He was firm in the belief that stigma and fear have no place in a situation where health workers and others are putting their lives on the line to serve the afflicted and ensure the safety of all by seeking to contain the spread of disease.

We urge all United Methodists to be realistic and diligent in confronting fear and stigma as our brothers and sisters in West Africa are in a front-line encounter with Ebola. Self-protection should become an example for other persons.

United Methodists practice “open hearts, open minds and open doors,” especially in times of crisis when we are called to offer compassion to our sisters and brothers who are suffering, and support to those who walk with them.

Faith communities have a special responsibility to stem fear and stigma by providing or directing persons to accurate information that can enhance their understanding of both Ebola and means of self-protection without stigmatizing. Accurate information that increases understanding and decreases stigma is a matter of urgency, justice, and fairness for all members of our human family.

Our Global Ministries agency is preparing or directing our congregations and members to such reliable information on Ebola in collaboration with international faith-related health and relief organizations.

As a caring community of people, we pledge our continued and unreserved support to work with the governments and our partners in the fight to eradicate Ebola from West Africa.

Our hearts go out to families, communities and all those suffering as a result of the epidemic. We assure them of our prayers for divine assistance as they go through this period of pain, trauma and grief.
In God’s mission together,

Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr., president
The Council of Bishops
The United Methodist Church


Thomas Kemper, General Secretary
General Board of Global Ministries and the United Methodist Committee on Relief
The United Methodist Church

Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, President
General Board of Global Ministries
The United Methodist Church

Bishop John K. Yambasu, Sierra Leone
Vice-President, General Board of Global Ministries
The United Methodist Church

Bishop John Innis, Liberia
The United Methodist Church


Wednesday - November 19, 2014
Alice Lee, United Methodist leader, Dies at 103

(Sam Hodges, UMNS) - Alice Finch Lee may be a footnote in literary history as the older sister of Harper Lee, author of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

But in United Methodist circles, she’s being remembered as an exemplary laywoman whose service and wise counsel stretched across decades, and could be felt at the local church, conference and general church levels.

“She really was a pillar of leadership,” said Dawn Wiggins Hare, a close friend of Lee’s, fellow resident of Monroeville, Ala., and top executive of the United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women.

Lee, 103, died Monday in Monroeville. Funeral arrangements are pending, said the Rev. Francis Turner III, pastor of First United Methodist Church in Monroeville.

Survivors include her sister Harper, 88, who lives in a Monroeville assisted living home.

Harper Lee dedicated “To Kill a Mockingbird,” a 1961 Pulitzer Prize-winner and one of the best-selling novels of all-time, to Alice Lee and to their father.

Alice Finch Lee was a female legal pioneer in south Alabama, practicing law in Monroeville from 1944 until she was nearly 100, and earning a reputation for unassailable integrity.

“She is Atticus in a skirt,” said the Rev. Thomas Butts, pastor emeritus of First United Methodist Church in Monroeville, in introducing her for an award given her by the Alabama Bar Association in 2003.

Reached by phone Tuesday, Butts said Lee’s death would leave a void in Monroeville, First United Methodist Church of Monroeville and in The United Methodist Church.

Butts said Lee was asked once what positions she’d held in her local church.

“She thought for a minute and said, ‘I’ve never been pastor,’ which meant she’d done everything else,” he said.

For many years, she taught an adult men’s Sunday school class at First United Methodist in Monroeville.

“They respected her teaching,” Hare said.

During the 1960s struggle over integration, Lee left a standing order with ushers in her church that any African-American seeking admission should be seated by her.

She also, as an Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference voter, used a parliamentary maneuver to thwart efforts to block a committee report calling for acknowledgment of racial divisions.

Lee served as a Jurisdictional and General Conference delegate, and in 1976 became the first (and still only) woman to lead the Alabama-West Florida Conference delegation to General Conference.

She served eight years on the Southeastern Jurisdiction’s episcopacy committee, helping to make bishop assignments. She was a member of the General Council on Ministries for eight years, serving as treasurer and on the executive committee.

When Hare was a General Conference delegate in 2008 and in 2012, she would send emails to Lee, providing updates and asking advice about tough votes.

“I felt like I had a little angel on my shoulder,” Hare said. “Her insight was absolutely invaluable because her motives were always true.”

Lee championed the role of women in church work, and the Alabama-West Florida Conference gives an Alice Lee Award to outstanding women church leaders.

Hare recalled Lee’s keen interest in missions, particularly United Methodist orphanages, and noted that she quietly provided financial support beyond giving to her church.

“She gave to ministers whose churches could not come up with their salaries,” Hare said. “When the bishop had projects, she would raise money for them.”

Lee was a voracious reader of newspapers and books, and a local historian so renowned that “Go ask Alice” became a de facto command for anyone with a question about the area’s past.

She wore smart-looking business suits with tennis shoes.

“The footprints of those tennis shoes are all over this community and the church,” Hare said.

Hodges, a United Methodist News Service writer, lives in Dallas. Contact him at (615) 742-5470 or


Tuesday - November 18, 2014
A Call for Prayer: Ferguson, MO

I’ve preached twice in recent weeks in St. Louis and as I visited in our churches, the tension is palpable as people await the news from the grand jury in the Michael Brown case. Fear runs deep that there will be more violence. The tragedy has left the community on edge as it copes with the anger, frustration, and mistrust felt by so many people following the shooting of Michael Brown by police officer Darin Wilson.

The issues involved are far larger than Ferguson, than St. Louis, and than Missouri. The entire country and the whole church need to engage these issues. The focus for law enforcement and the legal processes is on what happened on August 9th. But the tragedy forces people of faith to confront a larger question: What happens now? What happens next? What do we learn about ourselves and our communities that will cause us to change so that such events are less likely in the future? What kind of preferred future does God intend for our communities and for our world?

Followers of Jesus, the Prince of Peace, and believers in the God who is the lover of justice must come together for prayer and dialogue to address the deeper and more intransigent issues that have been too long repressed in our communities. These are issues such as racial profiling, mistrust of authority, violence in our communities, underemployment, quality education, fear of one another, white flight, inequalities in our justice system, family breakdown, and under-representation of ethnic officers in law enforcement. There are hard issues and issues that require deep commitments and changes of attitudes, values, and behaviors. These require changes in systems. These require long-term work and a willingness for community and church leaders to stay engaged for the long haul.

In the short-term, the role of the church is to be the purveyor of peace. The sin of racism must be dealt with, but not through violence. Violence rights no wrongs, heals no harms, and leads to no positive change. As the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

What can United Methodist Christians do?

First, pray. Pray for peace. Our faith finds its roots in the hope for a day when “the lion shall sleep with the lamb.” We serve a Lord who said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.” For nearly two thousand years, we have offered “grace and peace” to one another when we gather in Christ’s name. Peace is our hope, our prayer, our yearning, our aim, our end, and it is our gift to the community.

A number of our United Methodist churches in St. Louis and across the conference are already planning prayer vigils on the day the grand jury decision is announced. Other of our churches are working with Metropolitan Congregations United to plan “safe places” for the community to gather for dialogue and to offer support to one another. These churches are also planning to offer a variety of worship experiences and other services needed by the surrounding community.

Second, call upon officials to work for ways so that people can express their frustrations and voice their concerns peacefully. People need a way to participate, to speak out, to gather for mutual support, and we need leaders willing to give room and space for it in a way that reduces the possibility of violence rather than ratcheting up tensions.

Third, support the efforts of two of our United Methodist Churches near Ferguson, Wellspring and The Gathering at Clayton, who are developing extensive plans to be open and available to the community as places of peace and respite. These two churches are collecting supplies and gathering individuals with the needed skills sets to be helpful. Manchester United Methodist Church has volunteered to be the drop off point for supplies. We are collecting a pool of volunteer pastors to be sent to Wellspring and the Gathering in Clayton to offer support as requested and needed by those two churches. The Metropolitan Clergy Coalition, an interfaith group, has also offered suggestions to area congregations on how they can be helpful.

Along with other religious leaders in Missouri, I renew my call to everyone in Ferguson and the greater St. Louis area to be an instrument of peace amid chaos, a calm voice in the turmoil, a sign of grace when the world needs most the message we offer in Christ.
Yours in Christ,

Robert Schnase Bishop
The Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church

Sunday - November 16, 2014
AWF Conference Continues Red Bird Partnership

(Susan Hunt) As we drove through northern Georgia and Tennessee to get to Kentucky, the trees were breathtaking. The fall colors were at their peak. That seemed like a good sign of things to come for our journey as we headed to the Red Bird Missionary Conference in southeast Kentucky. Sixteen of us from the Alabama-West Florida Conference spent all or some of 2 ½ days in late October with the good people of the Red Bird Conference – praying, conferencing, learning, and building relationships. We left encouraged and enthused about the possibilities of the partnership that our two conferences are forming.

The Red Bird Missionary conference consists of 22 churches/outreach centers, plus the Red Bird Mission and Henderson Settlement. Our partnership will be focused on the churches/outreach centers. Many of our AWFC churches have sent teams to the Red Bird Mission and Henderson Settlement over the years, and will continue to do so. However, many of our people are only aware of those two agencies and not enough know much about the churches. That is about to change!

Those 22 churches and outreach centers are ably led by 14 clergy – 5 elders and 9 local pastors. Most of the churches are doing very well in their communities and urgently want to reach out even more to the people who live near them. Many of them are in very rural settings where poverty is crushing, drug use is epidemic, and jobs are becoming more and more scarce. In that environment, these churches want to offer hope and encouragement and are trying to be the Church in a very unchurched world. Our partnership will enable us to explore ways to come alongside their churches so they can do just that.

Because healthy relationships are about receiving and giving, we look forward to things that those of us from Alabama and Florida will learn from our friends in Kentucky. They have so much to offer us, and we have already received so much! In fact, Rev. Dr. Jason Thrower, a participant in this October trip, shared that when his church, Graceville UMC, burned down several years ago, they received hymnals from the Red Bird churches!

Rev. Andy Gartman of Tabernacle UMC in Dothan, also a trip participant, said, “One of the things that excites me about this partnership is the potential it has to show the connectional nature of the UMC at its best. A partnership between AWF and Red Bird that is built on genuine reciprocity, where everyone involved both gives something and receives something, has the chance to be a unique witness to the transforming power of God and to the connection.”

Rather than planning a series of steps for AWFC churches to follow in order to participate in this partnership, we have developed a framework that can guide churches and districts as their relationships develop. We start by looking at all our assets, and build on those. Here are just a few of the ideas that we considered during our joint meeting in October: pulpit swaps, fall festivals, Vacation Bible Schools, leadership training, sharing choirs (even a dulcimer choir!), camps for children, healing services, economic development, and so much more.

AWFC districts have already begun conversations with their partner churches in the RBMC, sharing prayer concerns and joys, church news and events, and more. If your church would like to join us, please contact me at 334-356-8014 or


Friday - November 7, 2014
Bishops Call United Methodists to Prayer in Human Sexuality Statement

(UMNS) - Oklahoma City, Okla.: The Council of Bishops issued a statement concerning human sexuality, addressing their diverse perspectives and calling the people of The United Methodist Church to be in prayer, both for their leaders and for one another.

The statement reads:

As bishops of The United Methodist Church, our hearts break because of the divisions that exist within the church. We have been in constant prayer and conversation and affirm our consecration vow “to guard the faith, to seek the unity and to exercise the discipline of the whole church.” We recognize that we are one church in a variety of contexts around the world and that bishops and the church are not of one mind about human sexuality. Despite our differences, we are united in our commitment to be in ministry for and with all people. We are also united in our resolve to lead the church together to fulfill its mandate—to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. As we do so, we call on all United Methodists to pray for us and for one another.

The bishops worked together on the statement during several executive sessions during their weeklong meeting in Oklahoma City.

The statement came near the close of the Council's meeting, which opened on Monday with the bishops reaffirming the commitments they made when they were consecrated. During the president’s address, Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr. of the San Francisco Episcopal Area asked the bishops if they would stand with him to reaffirm their vows as he prayed.

Bishop Brown called for unity within the church and encouraged finding “places where we can agree to work together and find common ground.”

“Leading a church, such as ours, with a diversity of perspectives means we must let people know we hear them, and that we are listening both to those voices that are in the majority and those that are in the minority so that all know they’re heard,” said Bishop Brown.

In November 2013, the Council voted to form a task force which would lead conversations about human sexuality, race and gender with the goal of coming to a shared theological understanding amid differing perspectives and cultures. The task force will continue its work.

“The Council of Bishops is charged to lead the church in a time of prayer and discernment. The task force will seek to work for the council as the conversation continues,” said Bishop Rosemarie Wenner, who chairs the task force. "In a worldwide church serving in very diverse contexts and composed of faithful Christians who have different opinions, we, the bishops, are committed to pastoral care for all our people as we continue to find a way forward.”

Thursday - October 9, 2014
Mission Agency Prepares for Long-term Integrated Response to Ebola

October 8, 2014—Since June 2014, the General Board of Global Ministries’ United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and Global Health unit have been working in collaboration on a global scale to coordinate an integrated approach in response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa.

Community education about the disease, health worker protection and psychosocial counseling for affected people and their families are the strategy’s three prongs, said Dr. Olusimbo Ige, of Global Health.

To date, UMCOR and Global Health have worked together to ensure that grants totaling $400,000 for educational programs, protective equipment and other Ebola-related supplies have been provided primarily to United Methodist health boards in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire.

“Our approach is to work closely with United Methodist health boards in affected countries, listening closely to them as they identify needs and strategies we can support,” said Rev. Jack Amick, UMCOR executive who heads the organization’s International Disaster Response unit.

Amick is in charge of disbursing UMCOR emergency funds, while Ige advises that distribution in the case of the Ebola response. Together, they hold a weekly conversation by telephone with the United Methodist health boards in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

It has become apparent to the international humanitarian community and the governments involved with this crisis that the epidemic will likely have a long-term negative impact on the health systems, economies and social practices of these countries.

Global Ministries is partnering with local health boards, bishops, missionaries, UMCOR technical offices and others to enable a long-term approach that not only responds to the current Ebola crisis but, also, helps strengthen healthcare capacity in the region to make it better prepared to meet any possible future crisis.

This long-term, integrated approach reflects the established standard for response to health crises and issues of sustainable development. To financially support these immediate and long-term goals, please write “Ebola response” in the memo section of your check. This will ensure that funds go where intended.

Please give to one or more of the following Advance projects:
982450 International Disaster Response
3021951 UMCOR Sustainable Recovery and Development
3021770 UMCOR Global Health
15124A Pastors and District Superintendent Salary Support – Liberia
14552A Salary Support and Training for Pastoral Leaders – Sierra Leone

Get the latest updates about the Ebola crisis and response from Global Ministries.

Sunday - November 30, 2014
Hanging of the Greens
First United Methodist Church, Montgomery, will host a Hanging of the Greens Sunday, November 30, 2014 at 4:00 p.m.  Music will be provided by the children, youth, and adult choirs.  
Following the service, regular and white chili with fresh corn muffins will be sold.  The cost is $12 for a quart of chili and 6 muffins for a pre-order and $15 the day of.  You may purchase a ticket at the Montgomery-Prattville District Office or at the church front desk. Please call the district office at (334) 239-7329 or Montgomery First at (334) 834-8990 to purchase a ticket. 


Monday - December 1, 2014
DO District Christmas Party

The Dothan District will host a Christmas Party on December 1, 2014 at Holy Ground in Headland, AL.  The party will begin at 6pm CST. This will be a catered event.

For more information and to RSVP, please contact the district office 334-792-4259. 

Monday - December 1, 2014
Dothan District Christmas Party

The Dothan District will host a Christmas Party on December 1, 2014 at Holy Ground in Headland, AL. The party will begin at 6pm CST.  This will be a catered event.

For more information and to RSVP, please contact the district office 334-792-4259.


Monday - December 1, 2014
MTOP PPR Chair Training

The Montgomery-Opelika District will host Pastor/Parish Relations Committee (PPRC) Chair Trainings at the locations listed below.  Please make plans to attend one of these meetings if you will chair your church's 2015 PPRC.  Please bring at least one member of your committee with you to this training.  Your pastor may accompany you but is not required to do so. 

The training dates, times and locations are:

  • December 1 at 6:30 p.m.   Frazer UMC  room 7207
  • December 2 at 6:30 p.m.   Grace UMC (Auburn)  Sanctuary
  • December 9 at 6:30 p.m.   Park Memorial (Troy) Fellowship Hall

Click HERE to register and confirm your attendance at one of these training meetings listed above.   

Monday - December 1, 2014
Pastor/Parish Relations Committee Chair Training in the Montgomery-Opelika District

The Montgomery-Opelika District will host Pastor/Parish Relations Committee (PPRC) Chair Trainings at the locations listed below.  Please make plans to attend one of these meetings if you will chair your church's 2015 PPRC.  Please bring at least one member of your committee with you to this training.  Your pastor may accompany you but is not required to do so. 

The training dates, times and locations are:

  • December 1 at 6:30 p.m.   Frazer UMC  room 7207
  • December 2 at 6:30 p.m.   Grace UMC (Auburn)  Sanctuary
  • December 9 at 6:30 p.m.   Park Memorial (Troy) Fellowship Hall

Click HERE to register and confirm your attendance at one of these training meetings listed above.  


Tuesday - December 2, 2014
Conference CORE Team Meeting
The Conference CORE Team will meet on Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at First United Methodist Church, Montgomery.  Coffee gathering will begin at 9:30 am CST; business will begin promptly at 10:00 am CST. 
Lunch will be served.
Please RSVP your attendance/non-attendance and if you will/will not stay for lunch.
If you have any questions, please contact Rev. Neil McDavid 334.356.8014.


Monday - November 24, 2014
Director of Children’s Ministries - Bluff Park United Methodist Church (Hoover, AL)

Bluff Park United Methodist Church in Hoover, AL (a suburb of Birmingham) seeks a Director of Children’s Ministries oversees the ministry for children ages 0 years to 5th grade and their families.  The Director of Children’s Ministries nurtures spiritual growth and development in children and provides support to parents in raising their children in the Christian faith and the United Methodist tradition. The Director of Children’s Ministries also oversees a staff of three part-time employees as well as a staff of hourly nursery workers.

Interested candidates can submit their resume to or call Debi Whitcomb at 205-822-0910.


Friday - November 21, 2014
Director of Children’s Ministries - East Lake United Methodist (Palm Harbor, FL)
East Lake United Methodist Church (Palm Harbor, Florida) seeks an energetic and creative full-time Director of Children’s Ministries.  East Lake United Methodist was established in 1985 and is located on East Lake Road, a local connection thoroughfare.  A weekly worship attendance of 350 is present at the three worship services, which feature a reflective worship, contemporary worship, and traditional worship.  East Lake United Methodist is committed to being a family of believers who seek to make a difference in the lives of others.
Building on a current core group of about 40 active children, the Director of Children’s Ministries will be responsible for leading and expanding a program that inspires discipleship for children, commitment and trust with parents, and dedicated involvement for volunteers. The director will lead ELUMC’s efforts to create a nurturing and welcoming faith community where families can build relationships with other families; children may explore and develop a relationship with Christ, and participate fully in a Spirit-led, mission-oriented church. The children’s ministry program serves children from birth through fifth grade. 
The successful candidate will have a college degree and three years experience, or significant experience in children’s ministry leadership, as well as a strong personal faith consistent with the United Methodist tradition. 
Candidates interested in applying to be part of the team at East Lake United Methodist Church should submit a resume to


Thursday - November 20, 2014
Director of Music Ministries - Perdido Bay United Methodist Church

Perdido Bay United Methodist Church is seeking a Director of Music Ministries.  Perdido Bay UMC is a United Methodist Church in Northwest Florida. Our vision involves connecting, strengthening, and serving others with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Average church attendance is 450 over three Sunday morning services.

PBUMC is looking for a full time Director of Music Ministries who has a love and passion for leading congregations in the musical areas of worship. This person must have a knowledge of and experience in leading contemporary and traditional styles of worship utilizing multiple choirs, praise bands, instrumental and vocal ensembles. PBUMC’s Sunday services include two traditional services at 8:00 and 11:00 am, one Contemporary service at 8:55 am.

Click HERE for a full job description.


Wednesday - November 19, 2014
Bookkeeper/Secretary - Robertsdale UMC
Robertsdale United Methodist Church is currently looking for an experienced Bookkeeper/Secretary for the Church office. You must have bookkeeping experience, must have experience with multiple software programs and good interpersonal skills. The hours are Monday - Thursday from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
If you are interested, please email your resume to  
If you have any questions about the position, please call the Church office at (251) 947-4602.


Wednesday - November 19, 2014
Director of Youth Ministry - Trinity UMC (Prattville, AL)

Trinity United Methodist Church (Prattville, Alabama), is looking for a full-time Director of Youth Ministries.  This person will be responsible for the youth ministry (grades 7-12) in grounding them through relationships with each other, leading them in spiritual formation, and connecting them to their community. 

Trinity UMC is a growing church with two traditional services and one contemporary service each Sunday.  Youth are active in local and out of state mission programs as well as being a vital part of the church vision for the future.  Current activities for the youth include: Sunday School, worship, Sunday evening youth program, Wednesday night youth, and a youth band.  The youth of Trinity have a strong support system of parents and volunteers who commit their time, resources, and talents toward the spiritual formation of our youth.  Financial package includes salary, continuing education, insurance, and pension.  

For more information and to submit a resume, contact Dr. Ken Jackson




Tuesday - November 18, 2014
Youth and College Minister - Full Time - Forest Park UMC (Panama City, FL)


Forest Park United Methodist Church in Panama City, Florida seeks to hire an experienced, fulltime Youth and College Minister.  The successful candidate will have a Bachelor's degree, knowledge of United Methodist doctrine, and experience in all facets of Youth and College Ministry. 

For a complete job description or additional information, please reply via email to  Resumes with cover letters may be sent to Forest Park United Methodist Church, 1401 West 23rd Street, Panama City, Florida, 32405.  Attn:  Chuck Dick. 




Friday - November 21, 2014
Davitz - Donald

Rev. Donald J. Davitz, a resident of Montgomery, passed away on November 21, 2014. 

He was preceded in death by: his parents, Donald & Dorothy Davitz and In-laws Frank & Mary Gothard.

Born in Columbus, Ohio, Don graduated from West High School (1973) and The Ohio State University in 1978 with a degree in Education and taught 1 year at Westmoor Junior High School in Columbus. He joined the U S Air Force and served 20 years as a B52 pilot and taught at several schools at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery. He earned his Masters of Business from Central Michigan University. Don was a member of Aldersgate UMC for 22 years. He graduated seminary with Masters of Divinity and Theology degrees and served the Alabama-West Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church as he pastored at Ramer UMC, Pinckard UMC, Frisco City UMC, Crawford UMC and Ebenezer UMC. 

Don will be missed by his wife Cheryl Gothard Davitz; Son and daughter-in-law, Zane and Hannah Davitz; Son Andrew Davitz; Godson, Phillip Lane; Uncles, Aunts, cousins and lots of friends and co-workers.

Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, November 26, 2014 at Aldersgate UMC at 11:00 a.m. with Rev. Brian Miller officiating. Visitation will be from 10 – 11:00 a.m., prior to the service at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: The Wounded Warriors Project, P. O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675 or The Independence Fund 6538 Collins Ave., Suite 187, Miami, FL 33141.

Wednesday - October 15, 2014
Posey - James A.

We are sorry to report the death one of Rev. James A. (Jim) Posey (retired) of Centreville, AL on October 15, 2014.  

The graveside service was October 18, 2014 at the New Live Oak Cemetery on Hwy. 22 in Selma, AL.   

He is survived by his wife, Vicci Posey of Centreville, AL; sons, James A. Posey, Jr. (Irene) of Gulf Shores, AL, John E. Posey (Rhonda) of Pine Level, AL, Chris Daggert (Karen) of Northport, AL and Mark Daggert (Taylor) of Clemmos, NC; daughters, Angela Posey of California and Lia Marquez (Chris) of California; brother, Travis Posey, Jr. of Texas; 8 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.

Please keep the Posey family in prayers during this time.  

Wednesday - October 1, 2014
Warren - RC
Rev. RC Warren (retired), 87,  died October 1, 2014.  
Funeral arrangements will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, October 4, 2014 at the First United Methodist Church of Panama City. Interment will follow at Evergreen Memorial Gardens. The family will receive friends at the church on Saturday from 9 – 10 a.m. prior to the service. 

Wilson Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. 

Friday - August 22, 2014
Hale - Lowell Edgar

Rev. Lowell Edgar Hale (retired) passed away Friday, August 22, 2014.  

The viewing will be held today, August 28, 2014 6pm to 8pm at Mowell’s Funeral Home (180  Jeff Davis Drive, Fayetteville, GA). Funeral services will be held tomorrow, August 29, 2014 at 2pm at Fayetteville First UMC (175 East Lanier Ave., Fayetteville, GA).  

Family hour/visitation will be on Saturday, August 30, 2014 at the Community Funeral Home in Sylacauga, AL beginning at 12 noon until 2 PM.  Burial will follow at 4 PM  at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church (2108 Pine Grove Road Sylacauga AL; a community of Odena).

He is survived by his wife, Martha.

Please keep the Hale Family in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. 


Saturday - August 16, 2014
Perry - James

James B. Perry, age 79, of Demopolis, died August 16, 2014. Services were held Monday, August 18, 2014, at First United Methodist Church of Demopolis with Rev. David Willis and Rev. Gary Perry officiating and Kirk Funeral Homes Demopolis Chapel directing.

He was born December 19, 1934 in Roanoke, Al. to the late James and Martha Williamson Perry.

He was preceded by his parents, James and Martha Williamson Perry.

He is survived by his wife, Bess Stockton Perry; daughters, Kathy (Randy) Morgan of Demopolis, Tammy Brown of Mobile, and Melissa Zorn of Lakeland, Fl.; sons, Jason (Janna) Perry of Spanish Fort, Jimmy (Brenda) Perry of Fairhope, Shane (Vickey) Perry of Spanish Fort; brothers, John Thomas Perry and Gary R. Perry of Opelika; grandchildren, 18; great-grandchildren, 7.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to American Heart Association National Center, 7272 Greenville Avenue Dallas, Tx., 75231 or the United Methodist Church, 200 East Decatur, Demopolis, Al.



Saturday - August 9, 2014
Jordan - Dennis Jerry

The Rev. Dennis Jerry Jordan, 64, of Lynbrook Drive, Brewton, passed away Saturday evening, August 9, 2014, at his residence after an extended illness. 

Funeral services were held on Tues., August 12, at 11 a.m., from the chapel of Craver's Funeral Home with Brother Stevie Cooper and Brother Ron Headley officiating.  Entombment will follow at a later time in Glory Hill Cemetery with Cravers Funeral Home of Brewton directing.

He was a native and life-long resident of Brewton and was an ordained minister with UMC Ministries.  He was a 1968 graduate of T. R. Miller High School and Jefferson Davis Community College.  He was also a graduate of Andersonville Theological Seminary and also had attended The University Of Alabama.

He is survived by his devoted wife of 39 years, Frankie McCall Jordan of Brewton; son, Chad (Lindsey) Jordan of Pensacola, Fla.; sister, Barbara Jordan of Brewton; three grandchildren, Jason Jordan of Cantonment, Fla., and Samuel Connor Jordan and Hailey Elizabeth Jordan of East Brewton.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ealom and Dru Ethel Jordan.

The family asks that you kindly omit flowers and instead, make memorial contributions in the name of “The Rev. Dennis Jerry Jordan” to International Fellowship Of Christian & Jews In Russia, P O Box 96105, Washington, D.C. 20090-6105 or online at or by phone at 1-800-486-8844. 

Monday - November 17, 2014
The NewsCONNECTION, November 17

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Monday - November 3, 2014
The NewsCONNECTION, November 3

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Monday - October 20, 2014
The NewsCONNECTION, October 20

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Monday - October 6, 2014
The NewsCONNECTION, October 6

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Tuesday - September 23, 2014
The NewsCONNECTION, September23

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Thursday - September 18, 2014
Focus on Mission, September 2014

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