July 13, 2021

This concludes the clergy resource email series, which was created during COVID-19 as a way to best help clergy in uncertain times. Archived emails may be found here. The bi-monthly NewsCONNECTION will resume in August. 

Clergy News

July Worship Service Celebrates Local Pastors

The Alabama-West Florida Conference is celebrating AWF local pastors in this month's online worship service. The monthly collaborative worship service linked below will premiere on Facebook on July 18 for public views. 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. Deryl Pendleton, Wesley Chapel UMC
Musical Offering: Rev. Gina Bryan, Ensley UMC
Scripture and Sermon: Rev. Dr. Kitsy Dixon, Spanish Fort UMC
Benediction: Rev. Janet Krantz, Robinson Springs UMC
Click here for service

Renfro Grant Applications Due

Renfro grant applications are due to Rev. Ashley Davis by August 1st. The AWF Conference Board of Global Mission recommends the top three applicants to the SEJ selection committee. Below are the specifics of the grant. Please click here to apply.

Purpose and Eligibility:
-Under provisions of the Renfro Trust, the income from the Fund is to be used for the purpose of establishing and supporting United Methodist churches in rural areas of the United States within the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church. The term “rural areas” shall be interpreted to mean towns of less than 10,000, villages, and open country.
-Situations described as unusual and challenging and for which insufficient funds are available from other local sources shall be considered as eligible for grants from the Renfro Trust Fund.
-Grants will be considered for projects involving new or existing church buildings only, not for parsonages. Repairs required to maintain the structural integrity or soundness of the church building may be included as part of a request. Major equipment directly related to the overall project may be included in a request. Grants will not be awarded for general maintenance on a church building or equipment. Grants for debt reduction will not be considered.
-The maximum amount for each grant shall be $5,000.00. Funds are awarded as grants, not as loans.
-New applications need to be submitted each year. Grants will be made to a church for the same project only one time. 

Upcoming Trainings and Resources 

Olu Brown Headlines Next Bishop's Time Apart 

Join us for another Bishop’s Time Apart on Thursday, August 19, 2021, from 10am-noon with well-known author and pastor, Rev. Olu Brown. Author of “4D Impact: Smash Barriers Like a Smart Church” and pastor of Impact Church (Atlanta, GA), Olu will join us for a time of discussion around four mission-critical aspects of twenty-first-century ministry and church vitality: technology, hospitality, worship, and culture/systems. A graduate of Jarvis Christian College in Hawkins, Texas, Olu earned a Master of Divinity degree from Gammon Theological Seminary of the Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, GA. Click here to register.

Ministry Job Description Worksheet Just For You

(GCFA) - Building the right ministry team will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your ministry. Developing an accurate and comprehensive job description will help you recruit qualified candidates to join your team. Our experienced HR team created this worksheet to help your ministry craft a comprehensive job description for open positions at your organization. More here

There Are No Volunteers Named “Somebody”

(Lewis Center) - We have all heard it and even done it. We stand up in front of the church and say, “We need somebody to volunteer for our mission project on Saturday.” We just know that after church, folk will start coming to us to sign up. But all too often, we are shocked when no one volunteers. For the life of us, we cannot figure out what we did wrong. We clearly explained the mission project. We clearly explained the time commitment. The problem is that we asked for the mythical parishioner named “somebody” to sign up. More here

Event Opportunities

Mission u to Hold Virtual Event

(Laurel Akin) - The Alabama-West Florida Cooperative Mission u will be a virtual event this year. Our Mission u event is “cooperative” because United Methodist Women and the Conference Board of Church & Society work together to make it possible to “Learn together for the Transformation of the World.” The biblically grounded curricula educates both laity and clergy to be in ministry for a more just and equitable world. Those who attend will earn 1.2 Continuing Educations credits.

The 2021 studies are “Finding Peace in an Anxious World,” “Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools,” and “Bearing Witness in the Kingdom: Living into the Church’s Moral Witness Through Radical Discipleship.”

For more information, go to Please note that the registration fee includes the cost of the book, which will be mailed to you. If you already have a book for a study you are taking, or wish to download the Kindle version, please use the mail-in registration and indicate that.

Blue Lake Camp Reunion

Did you work summers at Blue Lake Camp between 1965 and 2019? Were you on the Conference Youth Council any time between 1965 and 2019 and had your gatherings at Blue Lake? If so, join us September 21-23 for a Blue Lake Reunion at Blue Lake's Oakwood Lodge! Beginning at 3:00pm on Tuesday, September 21, we will be gathering, talking, laughing, singing, and doing some old folk dancing. The revelry will last until 10:00am on Thursday, September 23. Spouses are welcome. More here.  


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