This week's news from the Mobile District

February 11, 2016

To all who have been through UMCOR's Early Response Team training

Please be on standby for response in Century, FL. A tornado went through Century on Monday and destroyed 30 homes and damaged more, and also damaged Century United Methodist Church. The community is not open to volunteers at this time, but some assistance is likely needed in the days and weeks to come. Amelia Fletcher, conference disaster response coordinator, is in contact with the local emergency organization leaders, and we will keep you posted as we learn more.

Click here to see pictures and read more from a local media outlet.

2015 Grants awarded to churches in the Mobile District

New Hope, Grace & Saraland United Methodist Churches in the Mobile District received  Digital Advertising Grants from The Rethink Church program through United Methodist Communications. This program awards three types of grants each year: Community Event Grants, Digital Advertising Grants, and New Church Start Grants. 

Many churches who were awarded grants also took advantage of the free and low-cost resources available through this program each season – 100 free customized door hangers, 100 free customized invitation cards, free worship resources and a low-cost direct mail program. The 2016 door hangers, invitation cards and direct mail can still be ordered up until March 1 by visiting

Join us in lifting up these churches who are making extra efforts to Rethink Church in their communities. We encourage more of you to take part in 2016.  For additional information and guidelines for grant qualification click here

Pastor's Health Insurance Notice:

Beginning January 1, 2016, the Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference Board of Pension & Health Benefits launched the Health and Wellness Initiative Program. The goal of the program is to encourage our pastors and their dependents to live healthier lifestyles by providing them with personal health information, screening and coaching thus helping the Conference to reduce and control the cost of health insurance claims.

Clergy members on the conference active health insurance plan are required to complete the HealthQuotient and Biometric Screening by August 31, 2016. Dependents, retired clergy and dependents and employees who are on the annual conference health plan are not required to complete the HQ and Biometric Screening but are welcome and encouraged to participate.

Participants can find additional information and instructions regarding online registration and appointment scheduling here. Questions about this new initiative can be sent to Belinda Carnegie or Frank Dunnewind. Or, you may call the conference office at 334.356.8014 and ask for Belinda or Frank. 

Robert Lupton author of Toxic Charity to visit Conference

Just how should we respond in compassion and love to those who ask the church for help? Come learn from Communities of Transformation (COT) and others who are doing just that. COT will host a gathering on Saturday, March 5, 2016 at Daphne UMC and again on Sunday, March 6, 2016 at Aldersgate UMC in Montgomery.  Attached below is a bulletin insert.

Hear from Robert Lupton, author of Toxic Charity. Bob has spent his entire career serving those who do not have sufficient resources. But, Bob has a very different strategy than most churches.
You will also have an opportunity to learn about COT. This ministry is engaging adults who live without enough… and the impact is remarkable.  You will learn about how COT is currently operating in six communities. Learn how you can make it happen in your community from the pastors, COT volunteers, participants and staff that are part of the change that is happening. Hear about the transformation that is occurring!  You will go home with information about the next steps to begin a Communities of Transformation ministry in your community, in your church. 

This event is free and open to the public.

We invite all churches, denominations, and communities to come and catch a vision of a different way of living in community with those who live on the margins. Get a behind-the-scenes look at what God is doing in Brewton, Dothan, Eufaula, Mobile, Phenix City and Selma.
Bring people that you worship with, that you work with, and that are your friends and next door neighbors.

If you plan to attend the Daphne UMC speaking engagement on Saturday, March 5 click HERE.
If you plan to attend the Aldersgate UMC speaking engagement on Sunday, March 6 click HERE.
For more information, contact Laurel Blackwell at or 334.524.3652.

Click here to find Robert Lupton bulletin insert.  

***The Auburn Wesley Foundation is bringing back Children’s Caravan this summer!  Children’s Caravan is a 3-day Bible school experience designed for churches with 30 or less children in kindergarten through 5th grades.  If your church is interested, please email Patricia Stevenson, at the Auburn Wesley Foundation, at for more information. 

***Auburn Wesley Foundation’s Youth Caravan will be traveling the area again this summer, with exciting programs planned for youth groups for up through 5 days.  Contact Patricia at  Both calendars are filling up!

Save the Date: 5-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation

This event will be October 16-21, 2016, at Camp McDowell and is sponsored by the AWF Conference, the North AL Conference, The Upper Room, and The Episcopal Diocese of AL. Faculty presenters are Dr. Amy Oden (Former Dean of Wesley Theological Seminary and Professor at St. Paul Seminary) and Bishop Kee Sloan (Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of AL). The theme is God’s Welcome - The Spirituality of Hospitality. Contact Pat Luna for more information.

Inspirit 2016 - A time to: Rekindle, Relax and Renew

Inspirit 2016, a time to rekindle, relax and renew, a ministry event designed for adults age 50 , will be held April 7 - 9, 2016 at Blue Lake Assembly.  The 2016 theme:  "Seniors, we've still got it!  So, let's use it!"  

Keynote speaker will be Rev. Dr. Robbins Sims, District Superintendent for the Montgomery-Opelika District.  Director of Congregational Vitality for the Alabama-West Florida Conference, Rev. Dan Pezet, will be the Bible Teacher.  Rev. Ed Shirley, pastor, Brundidge UMC, will lead the music.

Reservation deadline is March 24.  Click here for more information. 
Sponsored by the Alabama-West Florida Conference Older Adult Task Force

 Wesley Heirs Announce Spring Retreat

The Alabama-West Florida Conference WESLEY HEIRS will host their Spring Retreat "CELEBRATE LIFE, LOVE, AND LAUGHTER” March 8 – 10, 2016 at Blue Lake.  Registration begins Tuesday, March 8 at 10 am.  Click here to see further details.

Wesley Heirs is a group of Alabama-West Florida Conference clergy retirees (and spouses) and surviving spouses. This group meets twice a year, but there are smaller meetings held within Districts that meet monthly or quarterly. 

For more information, contact Myrtice Carr .

Register now for Bishop's Day Apart

Bishop's Day Apart 2016 will be held February 22, 2016 at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Montgomery, AL  Keynote speaker will be Dr. Tom Long, Bandy Professor of Preaching at Candler School of Theology. Click HERE for Dr. Long's full bio.

There is a problem with our conference PayPal account that handles registration payments.  Please register online and either mail a check to the conference office or bring cash/check with you to the even, cashiers will be on hand.

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:



Lay Servant Training Opportunity

Blue Lake Lay Servant Training Academy -“One in Spirit, All in Ministry: In the Spirit of Discipleship”; “MINISTRY OF THE LAITY” will be offered March 11 - 12, 2016 at Blue Lake.  Registration deadline is February 26, 2016.  Click here for more information. 

Who should attend?  Church Lay Leaders, Local Church Lay Servants (LCLS), Certified Lay Servants (CLS), and those interested in becoming Lay Servants.

Blue Lake Hosts Christian Writers Retreat

Blue Lake is hosting a Christian Writers Retreat April 20 - 23, 2016 at Blue Lake. At the retreat, you’ll experience the benefits of a large writers’ conference, but on a more personal level. Whether you’re a beginning or experienced writer, our faculty of seasoned professionals can teach you how to improve your writing skills, market your work, and get published. 

You may choose from three different morning continuing classes and sixteen afternoon workshops which offer a range of information about various aspects of writing, both fiction and nonfiction.  In addition, you’ll have the opportunity to meet with the faculty in one-on-one appointments and discuss your writing goals.

All of this training and networking with other writers, plus lodging for three nights and breakfast, lunch, and dinner can be yours for an amazing, affordable price.

Click here for more information.

The 2015 Journal is for sale at Amazon!

Click here to order!

Job/Ministry Opportunities - click here for full descriptions

To submit a Job/Ministry opportunity to place on our 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

February 20 - Mobile District UMW Mission Study - Spring Hill Ave. UMC - 10am-2pm

March 5 - Robert Lupton speaking at Daphne UMC - author of Toxic Charity

May 7 - Dumas Wesley Pull a Plane event

Local Church Dates

February 27 - Christ UMC Women's Conference

Conference Dates

February 19-21 - Bishop's Confirmation Retreat

February 22 - Bishop's Day Apart

March 5-6 - COT Hosts Robert Lupton

March 8-9 - Wesley Heirs Spring Meeting

March 11-12 - Lay Servant Training Academy - Blue Lake

April 7-9 - Inspirit 2016 

April 20-23 - Blue Lake Christian Writers Retreat

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.