This week's news...................

August 4, 2016

Stained Glass Window Repair

We have a church that is need of stained glass window repairs.  If you know of someone that does this kind of work, or have used a business to make these repairs, please share your service providers contact information with the district office.  Call (251) 345-3313 or email  Thanks!

We need your ideas!

We are putting together a basket to welcome Bishop Graves to The Alabama West-Florida Conference and we need your help.  If you have any ideas of items that we may include that are unique to our District or if you want to contribute an item from your church or personally, please contact the District Office at (251) 345-3313 or   

We need these items in hand by WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 24TH.    Please help us make this a special welcome and introduction to the Mobile District!

Singspiration at Mt Vernon UMC on August 14th.

Open Doors Resale and Thrift Store Update

 It has been a busy, productive and successful summer for Open Doors. As the Store continues to help the United Methodist Church further its mission goals we are excited to announce that we have just distributed a total of $50,000 to our seven local agencies: Dumas Wesley, Inner City Mission, West Wilmer, St. John's Hispanic Ministries, USA Wesley Foundation, Babies First and MAIC Jail Ministries. This brings distributions to approximately $200,000.
Several things have made the store a success. First, faithfulness that God will run the store as long as we are listening and following his guidance. Second, volunteers that spend countless hours accepting deliveries, sorting items donated and making sure that customers have a good shopping experience. Third, donations that are picked up or delivered to the store on a daily basis.
As we work our way through August, we are happily overwhelmed as our warehouse continues to fill with donations. This generosity leads to our CALL FOR VOLUNTEER HELP! We need adult volunteers (Sunday school classes, UMW circles, Men's Groups, a group of friends, supper clubs, etc.). While most volunteer groups come on Saturday mornings, groups are welcome any day of the week, and for any amount of time. To volunteer, please call the store (661-5661) and speak with Audrey Bryan.
Thank you!

Upcoming Conference Events

  • September 11 - Service of Installation and Welcome Reception for Bishop and Mrs. David Graves - Montgomery FUMC at 4pm with a reception following service.
  • September 18 - Welcome Service for Bishop and Mrs. David Graves at 4pm with reception to follow at Crosspoint UMC.

Ultimate Training Event for Children and Youth Leaders

Your leaders need good training to minister to the children and youth in your church! This September the Alabama-West Florida Conference will be offering a one-day event filled with seminars from incredible children and youth workers from around the area. The event will be hosted by Christ UMC in Mobile, AL, on Saturday, September 17, 2016

The cost is only $20 per person (including lunch) and drops to $15 per person when you bring your team of five or more.  Register now to make sure we have a lunch waiting for you!   Click here for more information on topics, leaders and how to register. 

God’s Welcome - The Spirituality of Hospitality

On October 16-21, 2016 a 5-day Academy for Spiritual Formation will take place at Camp McDowell.  The theme is “God’s Welcome” and focuses on the spirituality of hospitality.  Hospitality is one of the church’s earliest and most foundational characteristics and we will explore its roots in our early Christians tradition as well as how it can bear fruit in our churches and in our lives.This Academy is going to be an extraordinary opportunity and will be a blessing for both clergy and laity and all are welcome. 

Our faculty features two gifted and inspirational speakers:  Dr. Amy Oden is the former Dean of Wesley School of Theology in DC and professor of church history at St. Paul’s.  Bishop Kee Sloan is the Episcopal Bishop of AL and insightful author.  Both are wonderful teachers and storytellers and their presentations will be transformative and enlightening.  CEU’s are available, so take advantage of this amazing ecumenical opportunity for growth and sabbath.

Camp McDowell, the Episcopal camp for North Alabama, is beautifully nestled in the mountains and streams of northern Alabama near Jasper.  It is a wonderful oasis, especially during the beauty of autumn.  The camp is also 100% accessible so we especially welcome those that may not have attended before because of physical limitations.

Click here to see brochure or click here for other details.


Academy for Congregational Excellence offers Training

Please allow me to invite you to the 4th year session of Becoming a More Effective Leader (BAMEL), a ministry of the Academy for Congregational Excellence of the Alabama-West Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church.  This year, we are offering you the opportunity to: 1) Enroll and attend as a clergy or staff person of a church or ministry, or 2) Enroll as a clergy person and, at the same time, enroll 2-3 key lay persons from your church, thereby building a team that can help your church apply relevant concepts and practices learned in the BAMEL sessions.  This second approach will provide the foundation for a partnership with laity as you do ministry together.  The practical principles you will learn here will work in a church of any size and in any location.  

The course will begin meeting on Thursday, September 15, 2016, and continue through April 20, 2017 (meeting on the 3rd Thursday of each month) at Frazer Memorial UMC (6000 Atlanta Highway, Montgomery, Al., 36117*) promptly at 10 am and ending at 2 pm.  The cost is only $150 for all 8 sessions and that includes your lunch prepared by the Frazer cooks, who provide a magnificent meal and friendly service.  A list of the sessions and the presenters accompanies this invitation. Each person who completes the course will receive 3 C.E.U.’s.

The course is designed for a maximum capacity of 40 participants (minimum of 25).   Click HERE to enroll today!  Click HERE to review seminar topics and names of presenters.


Partners in Preaching Seminar for Clergy

Partners in Preaching is a monthly seminar-style coaching group for pastors and preachers to grow in the art and craft of preaching.  Dates are September 2016 through May 2017.  Lead Partner is Dr. Sam Persons Parkes.

Cost is $200 per person for seven sessions over nine months. Each session will be held 9:30 am to 2:30 pm CT with lunch provided.

Sessions will be held in Dothan at Cloverdale UMC on the second Monday of each month, except in December and April and in Montgomery at Aldersgate UMC on second Thursday of each month, except in December and April.  

This monthly seminar style coaching group is set up for only SIX TO EIGHT pastors and preachers at each location.   3 units of CEUs will be granted.  Click HERE to register, deadline is September 1.

Fresh Expression Vision Day

Fresh Expressions is a missionary minded movement of people who are creating new kinds of church alongside existing congregations.  It is designed for churches who desire to move into their mission fields and connect with the growing diverse and unchurched population.  It is a movement of the church that is about going where people are and creating relatively small new communities of faith which are often lay-led.  Churches of varying sizes are engaging in this movement of creating new, fresh expressions of church.

The Alabama-West Florida Conference (AWFC), along with the Board of Congregational Development, is sponsoring a Fresh Expressions Vision Day October 3, 2016 at First United Methodist Church in Pensacola, FL.  The event will begin at 9am and end at 4pm CT.
Vision Day is about:
•    Sharing how Fresh Expressions is renewing the church
•    Hearing about the development of Fresh Expressions US
•    Learning more about the Mission-Shaped church
•    Discovering tools to help your church start Fresh Expressions in your community

At its heart, Fresh Expressions is about reaching people we are not currently reaching, and building the body of Christ right where they are.  This is an indigenous, context oriented, mission field driven, local church connected approach to creating new places for new people.  Plan to be present on October 3 and bring a team from your congregation. 

Click here to find more information or to register for the event.

Mid-Career Clergy Retirement Planning Seminar

A Mid-Career Retirement Seminar will be held on Thursday, October 6, 2016, at Covenant UMC.  There are many aspects of retirement that require planning at different stages of a pastor’s ministry. This one day seminar provides vital information regarding the needs of pastors who still have fifteen or more years before retiring. We encourage spouses to come as well.  Click here to see brochure with more details.

Historical Society to meet at St Stephens UMC

Laity and clergy are invited to the annual meeting of the Alabama-West Florida Historical Society September 15, 2016 at 9:30am.  The meeting will be held at Saint Stephens UMC here in the Mobile District.  You do not have to be a member of the Historical Society to attend and this would be an interesting outing for your Older Adult Ministries.  
There will be guest speakers from the 18th and 19th centuries and you will also learn about the St. Stephens United Methodist Church which was built around 1857.  The main sanctuary of this church is the original structure and was listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks & Heritage on March 25, 1976.
Preregistration is required by September 8th; a catered lunch is included in the registration fee of $20.    Click here to find a brochure or visit the Historical Society website at

Lay Servant Training Events

  • The Pensacola District Committee on Lay Speaking will offer Lay Servant Ministry Training September 9 and 10, 2016, at Trinity United Methodist Church in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.  Click here for more.
  • The Dothan District will host Lay Servant Training August 26 - 27, 2016 at First United Methodist Church in Enterprise, AL. Click here for more.

Job/Ministry Opportunities - click here for full descriptions

To submit a Job/Ministry opportunity on the AWFUMC website click here

District Dates

Second Sunday of Each Month - North Mobile District SINGSPIRATION- 6pm - Aug: Mt. Vernon UMC

Clergy Coffee - First Wednesday of each month 8am – Cracker Barrel on Schillinger Road

August 13 - UMW District Mission Study - Toulminville-Warren Street UMC - 10m - 2pm

August 18 - Communities of Transformation Taste and See Event - Spring Hill Ave UMC - 5:45pm

August 31 - Deadline to order Boston Butts and Ribs to support Inner City Mission - (251) 432-1122

September 9-10 - Lay Servant Training - Pensacola District at Trinity UMC

September 17 - Ultimate Training Event for Children and Youth Leaders

September 18 - Mobile District's Blue Lake Sunday

Church Dates

August 23 - Bridging the Gap Event - Toulminville-Warren Street UMC - 6pm

September 24 & 25 - Dauphin Way UMC  - Dill Lecture Series featuring Rachel Held Evans

Conference Date

August 5-7 - Blue Lake Christian Ashram

August 6 - Clergy Mid-Career Retirement Seminar -Thursday, October 6, 2016, Covenant UMC, Dothan

August 14 - Farewell Reception for Bishop and Mrs Leeland - Montgomery FUMC - 4pm

August 26-27 - Dothan District Lay Servant Training

August 26-27 - Becoming a Healthy, Growing Church

August 29-31 - Global United Methodist Clergywomen Gathering

August 17-20 - School of Congregational Development 2016

September 11 -Service of Installation and Welcome Reception for Bishop Graves - Montgomery FUMC - 4pm

September 17 - Ultimate Training Event for Children and Youth Leaders

September 18 - Welcome Service for Bishop and Mrs. David Graves -4pm - Crosspoint UMC

October 16-21 - 5-day Academy for Spiritual Formation

November 4-6“Imagine What’s Next” Conference

Click here to find The Alabama West Florida Conference calendar online! 


Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.