November 30, 2021

Conference News

AWF Cohorts Offered in New Year

Over ten clergy and laity cohorts will begin or continue in the new year. Cohorts are designed to offer innovative ways to embrace ministry in a small group setting. The above graphic explains more about the various options offered or click here for a pdf. We invite you to consider if one of these cohorts will enhance your learning in 2022. 

'We are truly sorry': Wentworth family laments KKK past with Pensacola faith leaders

(Pensacola News Journal) - With the hot afternoon Florida November sun bearing down, a group of about 50 people gathered at the Hunter Amphitheater at Community Maritime Park on Sunday to participate in an "acknowledgment and lament" service organized by the Wentworth family. It was the first public gathering to acknowledge the revelation last year that Pensacola historian T.T. Wentworth Jr. was a leader of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s. The revelation occurred after it became public that the University of West Florida Historic Trust had obtained hundreds of pages of Klan documents from the 1920s that belonged to Wentworth. More here. More photos here. Photos by Jeb Hunt.  

AWF Lay Leadership Video Series to be Released in January

A series of lay leadership training videos will be released after the new year. These videos were coordinated by the AWF Board of Laity under the leadership of Beverly Maddox (AWF Conference Lay Leader) and Celeste Eubanks (AWF Director of Leadership Strategies). Video topics in this series will include: lay leaders, church council chair, trustees, SPPRC, finance/church treasurer, mission and outreach, disaster response and lay servant ministries. Please notify chairs of your local church committees about this news series so that they may plan to show these in their early 2022 meetings.  

Around the Conference

Wespath Saving Grace Wesleyan Financial Course Coming in 2022

Join us in the new year as we take a look at having healthier financial habits and lives. Beginning in January we will have two opportunities to journey through "Saving Grace: A Guide to Financial Well-Being.” This nine-week study guide was created form a uniquely Wesleyan point of view and with clergy in mind. We currently plan to offer a Monday and Thursday zoom afternoon group beginning after MLK Day. All workbooks and supplies are being covered through a grant and there is a financial incentive to the first 25 participants who complete the study. Please contact Jenni Hendrix at if you are interested. More information to follow!

QuadW Seeking Young Adults for QuadW Tarime 2022

QuadW is seeking young adults for a one-year commitment at a site in Tanzania. It is a great opportunity for someone who is exploring a potential call to international missions but isn't sure where to start. Total cost is only $2,700 and even that can be waived for students in difficult financial situations. A student could join the site in March, June, or August of this coming year. The experience consists of living in Christian community with Tanzanian residents, learning basic Swahili, getting to know our impoverished nearby neighbors and living life with them, and then helping our neighbors to come closer to God, mainly through house visits and starting house churches. A pdf with more information may be found here. Any students who are interested can fill out an interest form here

The Way UMC reaches out to community with soccer league

(Kara Witherow for the AWFUMC) - On sunny Saturday mornings in the fall, the parking lot at The Way United Methodist Church in Pace, Fla. is packed. Children run across the church’s 10 acres, parents cheer, and Rev. Jennifer Guidoni walks up and down the field, stopping and talking to families and kids along the way. It’s not a fall festival or a camp meeting; just a typical Saturday morning at The Way. Nearly two years ago, the congregation converted its then-unused field into soccer fields and launched a recreational league. Now, Saturdays are for soccer. “The goal of this was to bring the church outside the walls of the church building,” Rev. Guidoni said. “This is a great way to introduce new ways of caring for our community.” The church sits next to an elementary school in an area that has very few parks, Rev. Guidoni said. The small congregation looked at what its resources, recognized the community’s need for an affordable recreational soccer league, and saw an opportunity to serve its neighbors. More here

Global Professional Services Firm Offering FEMA Guidance

(Marsh) Did you know that the federal government has authorized reimbursement for COVID-19-related expenses through FEMA, and what expenses are under this provision? Recovering reimbursement for your non-profit organization, including those in the healthcare and higher education industries, may be challenging and time-consuming, especially if this is your first experience applying for FEMA funds. Marsh has already helped organizations recover more than $300 million in COVID-19-related FEMA reimbursements. Click this file to learn more

Connectional News

COB Press Release: Bishop Bickerton elected as next president of UMC Council of Bishops

(COB) - Bishop Thomas Bickerton, the residential bishop of New York Conference, was elected as the next president of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church during the bishops’ online meeting via Zoom. "It is very humbling to be asked to offer my leadership at this point in the church’s life and work,” Bishop Bickerton said after the election. “While the road ahead will no doubt present us with great challenges, I celebrate a faith which offers the firm assurance that God will provide us with the light we need to find the next step on the path.  My prayer is that with grace and deep respect, we will continue to find ways to love one another as a response to God’s great love for us. I pledge to lead out of that same conviction and covet the prayers of the church as we embark on this journey together.” More here

UMCFCU Board Chair Retires After Years of Service

(UMCFCU) - At the 2021 Annual Meeting, Rev. James Mitchell retired from the Board of Directors of the United Methodist Connectional FCU. Rev. Mitchell served the credit union as a board member for 46 years, 38 of those as the Board Chairperson. During his tenure, the credit union expanded its membership charter to include United Methodist laity, and participated in two mergers, widening the credit union reach into Florida and Alabama. He has been a tireless advocate for credit unions in the Southeast, and was awarded the Eloise Woods Distinguished Service award by the League of Southeastern Credit Unions in 2018. The award is given to an individual who has worked to advance cooperative finance for the benefit of Georgia citizens. The members of United Methodist Connectional FCU are grateful to the impact and legacy that Rev. Mitchell leaves behind and wish him well on his well-deserved retirement.


“Creating Powerful Worship in Small Congregations” featuring Teresa Stewart

(Lewis Center) - Do you want amazing worship on a small church budget? Teresa Stewart, a blogger and creator of the website Paper Bag Cathedrals, shares ways small congregations can enliven their worship. More here

Advent Resources

'Tis the season...and it's not too late! This past Sunday marked the beginning of Advent. As we journey through the season, we hope the resources provided in this edition will help jumpstart your planning and give you fresh ideas. As you continue in the Advent season, consider the following resources for new ideas. More here

Tech Tips: Maintaining Church A/V Equipment

(GCFA) - Does your tech only work when it wants - not when you need it? Many churches only upgrade their Audio and Video equipment when something stops working, so extending the life of the equipment is crucial to get the most value out of your gear. Here are a few tips for audio and video equipment maintenance to keep things running optimally. More here


Early Response Team Basic Course, December 11


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