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

April 14, 2016


Prayer Request:

The Rev. Linwood Lewis (retired, serving Coden UMC) has fallen several times in recent weeks and is now home receiving physical therapy. Cards, calls, visits and especially your prayers are welcomed.


Called Mobile District Conference

A called District Conference will be held on Sunday, April 24th, 4:00 PM at Dauphin Way UMC.  This conference is being called for the specific purpose of voting on a proposal from the district trustees to sell the district parsonage and provide a housing allowance for the incoming superintendent.


Pastor's Meeting April 28th

There will be a pastor’s meeting at Christ UMC on April 28th at 10am, please make every effort to attend. Hopefully we will have your Brochure of Reports on hand for you to pick up as well.  The Ransom Café serves lunch on Thursdays at CUMC.  We have our meeting space reserved through lunch so that pastors may share a meal together.  The Café would like to know how many to expect so please let the district office know if you plan to stay for lunch


Spiller Celebration of Ministry

You are cordially invited to join the congregation of Christ United Methodist as they honor the ministry of Jeff & Norma Spiller.  Jeff will be retiring at our upcoming Annual Conference after serving 39 years as the Senior Pastor of Christ UMC.  The reception will be held in the Christ Center Gym on Sunday, April 24, 2015 at 5:00 pm. 


United Methodist Women Mission Lunch

West Side United Methodist Women is hosting a Mission Lunch – April 17th @ 12 noon. Bring your appetite & join us for good food & fellowship. Donation is $6.  Everyone is welcome.


Click here to see the Spring newsletter from the

AWF Conference Historical Society!

You will find an article about one of our Mobile District Churches there!



 

 

 

Annual Conference 2016 is quickly approaching!

(AWFUMC) This year's theme is the fourth part of the SEND Model many in the conference have adopted. It is, "The Great Commission: Sending Disciples." We are most appreciative to Dr. Tim Thompson and his staff at Frazer Memorial UMC in Montgomery, AL, for hosting us again this year as well as Dr. Lawson Bryan and his staff at Montgomery FUMC for hosting the ordination and commissioning service. This year we welcome Bishop Gregory Palmer and Dr. Kevin Watson as special guests. We are honored to announce that Robert McMichael and Jarvis Wilson will be leading our music once again. Please note several changes to annual conference. 

Annual conference is Sunday, June 12-Wednesday, June 15, 2016. The reservation system is available by clicking here. Use this system only if you or members in your group wish to reserve a meal, volunteer for the Upper Room prayer line, participate in the Biometric Health Screening (persons under the conference health plan), and/or reserve nursery care that is available during a worship service. This system is not registering attendance to annual conference. Attendance is marked and counted at the registration/check-in table inside the host church. On-site registration will open on Sunday at 3:00pm. 

This year's missional offering is for the Alabama-West Florida Disaster Response & Recovery Ministry. We will joyfully collect this offering at opening worship on Sunday, June 12. A bulletin insert will follow in the coming days. 

We are excited to invite choir members from around the conference to participate in the Opening Worship Mass Choir. Choir directors who are interested in bringing members to participate should contact Wayne Sigler at Frazer Memorial UMC. Details about the evening and music selection information may be found here

Click here for full article.....

If you have a special meal that you would like to attend contact the below to register:

Fellowship of Local, Associate Pastors - Susie Beeson (suzie@fcr-mm.org)
Asbury Foundation - Jen Hoppenjan (hopnjen@gmail.com)
Asbury Club - Jeremy Smith (JSmith@yourcrosspoint.org )
Christian Educators Fellowship - Paula Roane (children@trinityfwb.org)
Wesley Heirs - Traci Herndon (traci@awfumc.org)
Candler Club - Steve Reneau (rsreneau@gmail.comz)
Duke Club - Gillian Walters (GLWalters@fumcmontgomery.org)  or Brennan Peacock (brennanpeacock@gmail.com)
COSROW - Ruth Ann Powers (rall@ctvea.net)
Order of Deacons - Emily Kincaid (emily.d.kincaid@gmail.com)
Birmingham Southern - Jennifer Lancaster (jlancast@bsc.edu)
Spiritual Formation - Pat Luna (patluna@me.com)
SBC21 - Frederick Outlaw (revfgo@att.net)
Jeff Spiller Honor Lunch - Faye Sellers (Faye@christumcmobile.com)
Educational Opportunities - Joe Bullington (gosbull@att.net)


Grace UMC Sponsoring Human Trafficking Video Series

Grace UMC will be sponsoring a 6-week informational series on Human Trafficking. We would like to invite all Mobile churches to join us.  The series will run on Wednesday nights from April 13 - May 18, from 6:30 - 8:00 pm.
Topics will be:
April 13 - Introduction to Trafficking, Sex Trafficking, Labor Trafficking
April 20 - A Multidisciplinary Approach to Trafficking
April 27 - Effective Victim Services
May 4 - Focus on Youth & Legal Needs and Rights of Victims
May 11 - Now That We are Free
May 18 - Feature Film Caged No More @ Carmike Wynnsong 16 - Schillinger Rd.
Get your tickets here:  https://www.tugg.com/events/96344

Reaching out to Flint Michigan

I am sure that you all know about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan that began in April of 2014.  After Flint changed its water source from treated Detroit Water and Sewerage Department water to the Flint River, its drinking water had a series of problems.  The corrosive Flint River water caused lead from aging pipes to leach into the water supply, causing extremely elevated levels of the heavy metal. Children have been exposed to drinking water with high levels of lead and have experienced a range of serious health problems. The water change is also a possible cause of an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in the county. 

Our Conference is reaching out to this community and looking for possible churches in our District to partner with one of the eight United Methodist congregations in the Flint area.  These churches are still distributing water, water pitchers, filters, filter replacements, all of which are quite expensive. In the last few months, the filters and pitchers have cost from $130K to $150K and that is at the bulk and discounted rate. Filters that are designed to last three months for normal water usage are only lasting one month with the water there.

A clear plan has not been determined about the exact details of the partnership (beyond the obvious financial support) but some needs to be considered are:

  • Teaching community members about nutrition, diet, community gardens, etc.  There are certain foods that one can eat to help mitigate the issues related to lead poisoning.  Good nutrition can go a long way toward helping everyone, lessening the long-term effects of the lead and other issues they face.
  • Early childhood education and literacy.  Children who have been poisoned by lead can have learning disabilities and need extra help in school.
  • Need for community health clinics, including nutrition and prenatal care.
  • Helping to rebuild trust in the community.
  • Overcoming the felt lack of care from the outside.
  • Helping them to sensitively respond to their members and neighbors. (One mother told her pastor that she felt guilty for poisoning her child.)
  • Other needs might include leadership training, curriculum/resource sharing.
  • Above all of these listed considerations, the partnership will primarily begin with prayer and listening....it then may morph into something way beyond what one could imagine.

If you feel that your church has a desire to reach out and form a long term relationship with one of these churches, or help with the financial burden of this crisis, please contact Susan Hunt at susan@awfumc.org or 888-873-3127.


Huntingdon College Leadership Academy

Huntingdon College invites pastors and youth ministers who serve United Methodist churches in the Alabama-West Florida and North Alabama Conferences of The United Methodist Church to sponsor high school juniors and/or seniors to participate in the Huntingdon Leadership Academy (HLA), June 22 - 24, 2016.
 
High school juniors and seniors who have the gifts and graces for ministry of any sort—whether as deacons or elders, missionaries, music ministers, children’s or youth pastors, worship leaders, or lay leaders, among the many ways to minister —are welcome at this retreat.

Click here for more information.


United Methodist Women (UMW) SEJ Quadrennial Meeting

The United Methodist Women will host their 2016 Southeastern Jurisdiction Quadrennial Meeting June 3 - 5, 2016 in Charleston, South Carolina.  The theme:  "A Fresh Wind Blowing".  

The wind blows where it chooses and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. John 3:8 NRS

All United Methodist Women in the Southeastern Jurisdiction are encouraged to attend and participate in worship, Bible study, focus groups, fellowship and celebration, browse the program resource room and the display area, participate in Hands-On Mission event, meet the SEJ Leadership Team and nominees to United Methodist Women Board of Directors, observe the election of United Methodist Women Directors by voting delegates and much, much more!

Click here for more information.


Youth Workers Roundtable to be held April 28

If you are in youth ministry, you need a community of others working with teens to steal ideas from, ask policy questions, and find solutions to your current youth ministry conundrum. Once a year, the youth workers in the Alabama West-Florida Conference gather to do just that. On April 28th at Huntingdon College we will discuss whatever we all need to discuss, get the details on the cool wookie game that worked last week, and eat lunch.

Click here for more information.


Blue Lake will have an open house and a free concert May 14, 2016 from 2 pm until 8 pm.  Performing will be The Lads.  The only cost is the concession stand where guests can buy food for dinner.

This is an awesome opportunity to help new parents and new campers get to know this awesome place! If you know of someone who would love to come to camp but is just unsure or if you and your family just want to come up for the day all you have to do is call up the office at 334-222-5407 and tell us your name and how many are coming with you!

We are looking forward to summer camp 2016! 

Blue Lake asks for a reservation with the church's name and how many will be attending.  Contact Eric Hindmon programs@bluelakecamp.com or 334-222-5407.


 


ARM's Cycle of Service

3 Days, 3 States, 300 Miles- ARM's Cycle of Service. If you like to cycle and make a difference at the same time, then join us or encourage someone to ride with us. From April 22-24th, we will launch our 7th annual ride across the heart of Alabama. Going from West Alabama to GA and back into Auburn, it promises to be a challenging and meaningful experience. Cyclists help raise $25,000 for home repair by gaining sponsors and can ride all three days or various legs of the journey. If you would like to ride or be a sponsor of a rider, please see the details on Active.com or the Cycle of Service website. Registration is $65 and closes on April 8th. Contact Lisa Pierce lisa@arm-al.org (334) 501-4276 ext 300 for details.



Fountain of Love Offering Focuses On Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day, May 8th, has been approved for a Fountain of Love Offering emphasis in 2016. Because of the support of the Alabama-West Florida Conference and its churches, no resident has ever been asked to leave a Methodist Home because of their inability to pay. Last fiscal year the Fountain of Love awarded more than $410,000 to elderly residents in need. A large part of this program’s success is because of the churches that faithfully participate in a Fountain of Love Offering. Thank you, in advance, for making the Fountain of Love a priority in your church!
 
To order FREE Fountain of Love Offering materials online, visit http://www.methodisthomes.org/contactform.htm, and complete the form!  Though our emphasis is on Mother’s Day, offerings and speaker requests are honored throughout the year. For more information about the Fountain of Love or our Methodist Homes, explore our website or call 205-951-2442.
 
If you have questions please contact Sherri Easdon, Director of Public Relations at seasdon@methodisthomes.org

Methodist Homes of Alabama & Northwest Florida
Wesley Gardens (Montgomery) * Wesley Manor (Dothan) * Epworth House (Selma)
Wesley Haven Villa (Pensacola) * Mathison Retirement Community (Panama City)
Wesley Scott Place (Pensacola)


2016 AC Award Committees Accepting Nominations

Do you know someone in the Alabama-West Florida Conference who has exemplified outstanding leadership? Please prayerfully consider nominating them for the Alice Lee Award, Francis Asbury Award, Harry Denman Evangelism Award, Jane Walker Scholarship, and Local Church Award. More information and nomination packets can be found here.

Pictured is Mrs. Helen Edwards before she accepts the 2015 Alice Lee Award


Praying for GC2016: What will happen?

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — When the 864 delegates arrive for the 2016 United Methodist General Conference, each one comes blanketed in prayer. The Rev. Tom Albin, director of the church’s Upper Room, invites all United Methodists to blanket the entire proceeding with intentional prayer. Kathy Gilbert reports.
Read story and post a comment    -     60 Days of Prayer website


Free course on General Conference

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — United Methodist Communications offers “Exploring General Conference,” a free online course designed to help participants learn more about the official decision-making body of The United Methodist Church. The course is ongoing through June 30.
Learn more


65th Annual National Day of Prayer

 

Pull a Plane for Dumas Wesley!

Can you handle the ultimate man versus machine challenge? This extreme and unique event, which pits teams of 20 against a FedEx aircraft weighing more than 180,000 lbs., is a fundraiser that raises both money and awareness for the Dumas Wesley Community Center. Teams compete to pull the plane 12 feet in the fastest amount of time. The event is open to the public on May 7th at Brookley Aeorplex.  It will also include entertainment, food, an awards ceremony and a Kid’s Zone with various activities. Spectators are strongly encouraged to attend and cheer on their favorite team!

For more information please visit: http://www.dumaswesley.org/2016-plane-pull-fundraiser


 


 

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

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

April 24 - Called District Conference at Dauphin Way UMC at 4pm

April 24 - Christ UMC Reception for Jeff & Norma Spiller

April 28 - Pastor's Meeting at Christ UMC

May 5 - National Day of Prayer - www.NationalDayofPrayer.org

May 7 - Dumas Wesley Pull a Plane event

June 4 - USA Wesley Foundation Paddle Skedaddle Event

June 12 - 15 -   Alabama West Florida Annual Conference - Frazer UMC

June 19 - Last Sunday for Moving and Retiring Pastors

July 3 - First Sunday in Pulpit for Moving Pastors

September 18 - Mobile District's Blue Lake Sunday

Local Church Dates

April 17 - West Side United Methodist Women Mission Lunch - Noon

April 13 Grace UMC Human Trafficking series 6:30pm - Sex and Labor Trafficking

April 20 - Grace UMC Human Trafficking series 6:30pm - Multidisciplinary approach to Trafficking

April 27 - Grace UMC Human Trafficking series 6:30pm - Effective Victim Services

May 4 - Grace UMC Human Trafficking series 6:30pm - Focus on Youth & Legal Needs & Rights of Victims

May 11 - Grace UMC Human Trafficking series 6:30pm - Now That We are Free

May 18 - Grace UMC Human Trafficking series - Carmike Wynnsong 16 theater to view feature film - Caged No More

June 3-5 - Toulminville-Warren Street UMC50th Anniversary Weekend of Celebrations

Conference Dates

April 19 - The Right Start

April 22-24 - ARM's Cycle of Service

April 28 - Youth Workers Roundtable

May 10 - 20 - General Conference 2016

May 14 - Blue Lake Open House and Free Concert

June 3 - 5 -United Methodist Women (UMW) SEJ Quadrennial Meeting

June 22 - 24 - Huntingdon College Leadership Academy

July 13-15 - 2016 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference

August 17-20 - School of Congregational Development 2016

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

 

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

 

 
Open Hearts. Open Minds. Open Doors.