August 10, 2020
This new clergy resource email series is a way for Alabama-West Florida Conference clergy and lay leaders to know of the various training and resources available to them. These monthly emails are temporarily replacing the NewsCONNECTION so that we may focus on meeting clergy needs during the pandemic. This email is being sent to all AWF clergy and lay leaders so that they may partner together to ensure effective ministry is still ongoing.
Annual Conference Information Released
Comprehensive information related to 2020 Annual Conference was released on Monday, August 3. Clergy should register for both Zoom links. The clergy session will be held on Sunday, September 13, 2020, at 4:00pm and the half-day annual conference session will be held on Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 1:00pm. A non-voting live stream option will be available for guests. A working agenda for the 1/2 day annual conference is available by clicking here. Complete information, including registration links, may be found here.
Online Charge Conference details to be released soon
As Bishop David Graves indicated on July 15, 2020, charge conference will be 100% online this year. The forms will be available no later than August 15 and will be due by October 5. An email with complete instructions for this new system will be sent to each pastor in charge. This will allow six weeks for you and your church to collect the requested information and also troubleshoot any technical questions you may have. Please note, all completed forms will be due by October 5, regardless of the date of your charge conference. Forms will not be accepted through mail. Please be on the lookout for the forms in your email in the coming days.
Upcoming Trainings for Clergy
Technology is vital to ministry now more than ever. If you are still feeling behind the curve, Rev. Olu Brown at Impact Church in Atlanta, GA, and his team have put together a two-hour seminar just for the clergy and lay of our conference. In this session you will gain information to take your virtual presence to the next level from wherever it is now. We want to invite you to register for one of these sessions and bring your lay team or staff with you. The sessions will be identical so choose which one fits your schedule but please do not miss this opportunity to learn how to have an excellent contextual online worship experience. Online worship and ministry is going to continue to be an important part of being the church moving forward and this is a great opportunity to learn about making your online experiences the best they can be. The team will talk about the basics of audio and visual, setting the space and other resources and information. Please register for one of these free training sessions using the links below. Co-sponsored by AWF Office of Congregational Development.
August 18th training link:
August 20th training link:
Generis Game-changing Leadership
The Alabama-West Florida UM Foundation is partnering with Generis to provide two “Game Changing Leadership: Be Renewed” online workshops on Tuesday, August 18 at 1:00 p.m. and Thursday, August 20 at 11:00 a.m. Click here for more information including a link to register. These workshops are FREE, and you can earn .1 CEU credit by attending this workshop. Each workshop lasts for one hour, and the speakers scheduled are Terri Turner, UM Foundation Executive Director; Alan Wildes and Chris Stovall of Generis.
Advent Sermon Series Workshop Registration Now Live
An Advent sermon series, led by Dr. Sam Parkes of Mary Ester UMC and Dr. Cory Smith of Auburn UMC, will be held on September 10 from 9-11am.
Click the below Zoom link to register.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
United Methodists to Host New “Dismantling Racism” Town Hall Discussions
(UMNS) - Two new interactive town hall discussions are planned as part of the “Dismantling Racism: Pressing on to Freedom” initiative’s town hall series on anti-racism to explore both old and new approaches to organizing for racial justice in church and community. In the first of the two discussions, participants will hear from a panel of seasoned leaders on August 19 at 12:00 noon CT, followed by a discussion featuring a panel of emerging leaders on August 26 at 12:00 noon CT. The webinar will be at available at UMC.org/EndRacismTownHall, as well as a live airing on The United Methodist Church Facebook page. The Dismantling Racism initiative is a multi-level effort throughout The United Methodist Church to initiate a sustained and coordinated effort to dismantle racism and promote collective action to work toward racial justice. On Wednesday, August 19, 2020, four seasoned leaders in the movement will discuss their experiences in confronting racism: The Rev. James Lawson, Bishop Joel N. Martinez, Sue Thrasher and Clara Ester. To submit questions in advance or to get additional information, visit UMC.org/EndRacismTownHall. To find resources and additional information related to The United Methodist Church’s stand against racism, visit UMC.org/EndRacism.
Clergy Resources and Tools
Clergy Counseling Available through conference EAP
The conference has fielded many questions around options for clergy to receive counseling and mental health services. All clergy under appointment have access to counseling through our EAP (Employee Assistance Program). Join us for this Webinar on August 27th or Sept 3rd to learn more about this program. Belinda Carnegie will walk you through accessing and getting the most out of this benefit. Suzanne Krejcar, AWF Treasurer, and Rev. Steve Reneau, AWF Board of Pension and Health Benefits Chair, will also be available to answer questions.
August 27, 11am registration:
September 3, 11am registration:
For clergy who are on conference insurance, sign up for the CHC wellness seminar to learn more about the health and wellness program available through our insurance. Belinda Carnegie will also moderate these sessions and answer questions.
August 27, 12pm registration:
September 3, 12pm registration:
For those not able to join, a recording of each topic will be available at a later date.
Reboot Recovery Pilot Studies Begin
A group of local pastors has begun a pilot study of a curriculum called "Reboot Recovery," aimed at helping our clergy work through trauma and build resiliency through safety, support, and stability. More of these groups will be made available in coming months and into the new year. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in being part of a group or using this resource with a small group or covenant group.
Virtual Mission Opportunity for Churches
UMVIM SEJ is hosting a virtual mission opportunity on August 10, 12, and 14th that will primarily focus on what a trip to Tanzania looks like for mission teams as well as introduce people to the local church leaders, students, and Wesley College staff. Anyone can register at the following link: https://www.umvim.org/vmregtanzania