February 11, 2021
February Worship Service and Coalition Panel Honors Black History Month
The Alabama-West Florida Conference continues to honor Black History Month in February. The monthly collaborative worship service linked below will premiere on Facebook on February 21 for public views. Also on that day, the Bishop's Coalition for Dismantling Racism will host an intercultural and intergenerational conversation about the joy, awkwardness, laughter, fear and anxiety that often accompanies intercultural dialogue. More information is below under trainings or here. We invite you to stream this worship service on your Facebook page, share with your congregation through email, or stream at your regularly scheduled worship time so that you may have time away.
Welcome: Rev. Richard Williams, Metropolitan UMC
Prayer Experience: Rev. Jackie Slaughter
Musical Offering: Gentle Spirits of Toulminville-Warren Street UMC
Message: Rev. Frederick Outlaw, Toulminville-Warren Street UMC
Click here for service.
2021 Annual Conference Information
Due to the continued threat of COVID-19, Annual Conference 2021 will be held virtually through Zoom webinar. Several important services will be by invitation only to honor the work of pastoral candidates. The Zoom clergy session will be held on Sunday, May 23, 2021, from 4:00-6:00pm and the Zoom four-day annual conference session will be held June 6-9, 2021. Two of the four days will be morning-only sessions (Tuesday and Wednesday). A non-voting live stream option will be available for guests. A working agenda for the annual conference is available by clicking here. The theme for Annual Conference 2021 is, "Come to the Table" based on Luke 24:35. More here.
Upcoming Trainings for Clergy
Sharing our Stories: When Culture and Context Collide
Under the leadership of Bishop Davis Graves, the Alabama-West Florida Conference has established The Coalition for Dismantling Racism. This coalition will be sponsoring a series of events related to dismantling racism. As the Alabama-West Florida Conference continues to honor Black History Month, this panel will host an intercultural and intergenerational conversation about the joy, awkwardness, laughter, fear and anxiety that often accompanies intercultural dialogue on Sunday, February 21. The subcommittee members planning this event are Rev. Rhett Butler, Rev. Katrina Paxson, Rev. Audrey Rodgers and Rev. Jackie Slaughter. Click here to register. Earlier in the day on the 21st the conference will premier the February Collaborative Worship Service honoring Black History Month on Facebook.
Bolsinger Headlines Next Bishop's Time Apart
Join us for another Bishop’s Time Apart on Tuesday, April 20, 2021, with Tod Bolsinger. Most known for, "Canoeing the Mountains," Bolsinger serves as vice president and chief of leadership formation at Fuller Theological Seminary. He has extensive experience in church and nonprofit consulting and executive coaching, and writes infrequent weblogs on church and leadership formation. His faculty role at Fuller includes teaching the Practices of Vocational Formation class and a cohort in Leading Change for DMin students. Registration will be live soon. Click here to access video from the Susan Beaumont time apart that was held on February 4, 2021.
Both/And Event - Maximizing Hybrid Worship Experiences for Online & In-person Audiences
As churches envision new opportunities for both online and in-person ministry, the BOTH/AND webinar is in high demand. This Zoom webinar, led by Jason Moore of Midnight Oil Productions, will delve into strategies for creating powerful transformative worship where no one feels like they’re an afterthought for both online and in-person audiences. It will explore:
- Re-imagining worship for both/and
- How to create interactive both/and experiences
- Bringing at-home and in-person audiences together in real time
- Alternative opportunities for online audiences watching in-person livestreams
- Repurposing in-person worship for online audiences
- Strategies for adapting practices for both/and
- How to avoid letting your groove become a rut
- And more!
The resource is live via video for 30 days through this link (password is "hybrid)". You may download the handbook here.
For those churches desiring to enhance your digital worship presence, AWF congregational development is making a limited number of micro-grants available. To express interest and learn more about securing a grant, please contact Bill Kierce, director of congregational development at 334-750-4820 or email@example.com.
Clergy Resources and Tools
Walking Program 2021
Welcome to the AWFUMC Wellness program. 2020 was without a doubt a challenging year. While some of you were able to make your health and wellness a priority, others were not able to do so. The conference would like to partner with you to help you prioritize your health. All we need is a few motivated folks with some good walking shoes, a willing spirit and a desire to get healthy and have some fun. On February 15th, we will start a walking challenge that will take us on a virtual journey around the bounds of the Alabama-West Florida Conference, from Chilton county, down to Gulf County, over to Mobile and all the way back up to Bibb, until we have made a complete circuit. You have heard the term circuit riders, we will be circuit walkers! More here.
Clergy: Get Smart about your Taxes!
(Discipleship Ministries) - Clergy face some unique challenges when it comes to things like Social Security payments, estimated tax payments, housing allowances or exclusions, and reimbursed expenses. There are questions you may have about implications of the pandemic on your 2020 tax situation. Your corner tax preparer may not understand the unique situation of clergy and finding a preparer who does can save you substantially in money and aggravation. Join us as the Rev. Don Joiner, a certified financial planner, helps us navigate the preparation of taxes and planning for a sound financial future. Register here.
New Paycheck Protection Program resources
(GCFA) - With a fresh round of U.S. Paycheck Protection Program loans available, United Methodist financial leaders have updated information for ministries considering applying. The General Council on Finance and Administration, the denomination's finance agency, and Wespath Benefits & Investments, the denomination's pension agency, answer frequently asked questions.
Read guidance for loan-forgiveness applications