AC August 2019

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race,

and I have remained faithful.” 2 Timothy 4:7 NLT


            Monday morning, I set out on a three-mile run in 98% humidity and 78-degree temperatures … and it was only 7:15AM!  I like to run and have been running for 22 years.  But running in the summer heat is beyond challenging.  I am not a long-distance runner … have run a couple of races and while that’s been satisfying, my personal goal is self-care and nothing else.  The goal of Monday morning was simply to complete three miles … speed and time did not matter.


            As I ran three things happened.  First, with headphones in listening to music, I was spooked by a lawn service mower that sounded like it was right behind me.  My perception was off, but my heart dropped as I thought I was about to be runover!  Second, I changed courses because my original path was too sunny … I was seeking shade whenever possible which meant leaving my regular way for a new one that offered relief!  Finally, I doubled back part of the way so I could get home in the time I needed to.  I usually don’t like to go a way I’ve already been – more interesting to not see the same old things – but finishing on time took precedence over my need for fascinating sites.


            I appreciate the Apostle Paul’s imagery of the spiritual life as a race.  It resonates with me.  Like many of us, I know that I need to have the marathon image of ministry not the sprint, and I need to train regularly if I am going to finish the race set out before me.  I would add that there are going to be moments when we are “spooked” – legitimately scared – because we don’t understand what is behind us.  There will be times when we need to change our route because the original path has been overcome by the elements that will drag us down and restrict our running goal.  Lastly, doubling back – remembering that we are called by God to run this race in the first place - can be the best decision so we can make it home at the right time.  And while we can have the best laid plans but life happens and the need to course correct becomes apparent, our goal remains the same and is attainable when we walk with Jesus.


            As we begin to enter into the fall season with the start of school right around the corner, my prayer for each of us is that we would find some time to devote to self-care:  a run, a walk on the beach, a hike in the mountains … wherever you experience God’s presence away from the daily routine and schedule.  The goal is finishing our course in faith! 


            May God’s love and grace surround and uphold you +




Thank you to all I have seen on my clergy visits. It's been very enjoyable to get to know you and visit your church. For those who I have received commitments for future appointments, again thank you for being so accommodating to my schedule. For those I haven't yet seen or set an appointment, I'm still working on my schedule. At this time it looks like I am booked through October. So it will be later in the year or the beginning of the new year before I can get to you. Please be patient and know that I look forward to visiting. 



September 22nd:

Please join us for worship as we celebrate


Reverend Dionne Chandler Hammond’s Installation

to the office of District Superintendent

of the Atlantic Central District

of The Florida Annual Conference

of The United Methodist Church.


Sunday, September 22, 2019


First United Methodist Church of Melbourne

110 East New Haven Avenue

Melbourne, FL


Haitian food to follow!

RSVP by September 15th


October 2nd - District Clergy Meeting

Clergy meeting will be at First UMC, Melbourne  Time: 10:00 - 3:00



Dear sisters and brothers in the Florida Conference,

As we finish the summer and approach fall, we wanted to let you know about the following:

  1. The Bishop’s Clergy Day Apart originally scheduled for Tuesday, September 17, has been rescheduled for Tuesday, December 10. All clergy from Florida are invited to attend the December 10 event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Lakeland. The focus will be on “God is With Us” and spiritual preparation during the season of Advent.
  2. The Conference Table is scheduled for Saturday, October 26, at the Portico in Tampa. The morning portion of the Conference Table meeting (10 a.m. to noon) will be open to all clergy and laity in Florida to come and hear a presentation from Bishop Carter on “Growing the Center.” The presentation will be followed by table discussion. To register for this event please click here.

In the midst of this season of the church, we hope you will make plans to attend these events. More information about both events will be available soon.

On Mission Together,
The Florida Conference


Deep Dive is a form of a teaching church with immersion into a select topic of focus. We are using our connection of churches in the Florida Conference to teach other churches. What is different about this style is that each Deep Dive is a small gathering with 5-7 churches, delving into the host church's best practices and learnings as they have grown and tried various methods. Keeping the attendance small and digging deeper into this one topic, keeps the learning conversational and collaborative. To view more information, Click Here.

Current Open Registrations:

New Covenant - The Villages

Systems and Properties
Wednesday, September 25 - Thursday, September 26, 2019
New Covenant - The Villages (WEDNESDAY)
New Covenant - Lake Deaton Campus (THURSDAY)
Click here to register!

Topics To Be Covered: Transitions and New Covenant's uniquness, multiple locations, infrastructure systems, staffing, integrating people, database, software, use by outside groups, columbarium - benefits and drawbacks, budgeting, trustees, outreach. 


Online Deep Dives are meant to be a focused sharing (about 30 minutes and no more than 1 hour) to allow participation during lunch or replay later.

A topic expert hosts giving tips, ideas, and what to avoid. Topics will vary from Children's Ministries, School Church, Finance, and so much more!

Click Here to view more information about Deep Dive Online and to view previous online topics.

Current Open Registrations:

School Church Online Deep Dive - Friday, August 16, 10AM - 11AM

Sharing how to begin a relationship with your local school and ideas on various ways to make a difference. Spend 45 minutes - 1 hour hearing from those who do this well.

Click here to register!

Click here to sign up for alerts when new Deep Dives are open!





To all Appointed Clergy of the Florida Annual Conference
Register for one of the Mandatory Quadrennial Sexual Ethics Training dates listed below:

     Tampa at St. James UMC on Tuesday, Sept. 24
     Jacksonville at Mandarin UMC on Thursday, Oct. 3              All training sessions will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
     Gainesville at Trinity UMC on Wednesday, Oct. 9                 Lunch will be provided.
     Plantation at Plantation UMC on Tuesday, Oct. 22
     Orlando at St. Luke's UMC on Wednesday, Nov. 6            
                                         To Register:  



SEJ Clergy Women's Event - Unchartered-Adventuring the Wilderness with God

This event is open to all female clergy and candidates. "Like" the Facebook page "Uncharted Conference 2019" for all the updates! Click HERE for flyer.



SEJ-BMCR Annual Meeting Registration & Info



Greetings Brothers and Sisters in the Florida Conference!

The Southeastern Jurisdiction Black Methodists for Church Renewal will hold our 2019 Annual Meeting on October 17-19, 2019.

Theme: Purpose Driven, Laser Focused on the Mission and Ministry of the Black Church

Host Hotel:
Doubletree by Hilton | Tampa Airport-Westshore
4500 W Cypress St.
Tampa, FL 33607
Phone: 813.879.4800
Room Rate: $121 + taxes

Overview of Annual Meeting
On opening day, Thursday, October 19, at 9 a.m., we will conduct the business of the caucus, as well as hearing from our keynote speaker.

There will be two learning labs conducted: Techniques and Tools for Effective Leadership Resources and Funding for the Black Church. Nomination of officers will also be held. There will be a Communion Service on Thursday evening to close out the day at the host church, Mt. Zion UMC, Clearwater. Friday we will begin with Bible study followed by the town hall, Black College Fund luncheon, election of officers, reports and other business. Our annual banquet and dance will close the day. Saturday we will have Bible study, unfinished business, installation of officers and a closing worship service at noon.

Online Registration Link:
Registration fee includes 1 luncheon ticket, 1 banquet ticket and SEJ BMCR membership dues for 2019-2020. Don't wait to register! Early bird registration discount ends August 19, 2019.

For more information and vendor opportunities, please contact Doris Bluitt:

Pastors, please forward this information to the rest of your congregation. Especially encourage one or two lay leaders to register. This meeting is designed to empower laity to strengthen the local church.

Your fellow laborers in the Kingdom,

Rev. Geraldine McClellan
President, Florida BMCR

Revs. Lee & Jana Hall-Perkins
Host Pastors, SEJ BMCR Annual Meeting 2019




R-10 and Counting, a comprehensive retirement planning seminar sponsored by the Florida United Methodist Foundation for clergy planning to retire within the next 10 years, will be held Sept. 9-11 at First United Methodist Church in Lakeland (72 Lake Morton Drive, Lakeland, FL 33801).  
Registrations will be accepted until Aug. 26, but prospective retirees are encouraged to register early because participation is limited to 30 clergy. Spouses are also encouraged to attend.
The popular, annual seminar spans two and a half days, providing information critical to retirement planning. It covers a range of topics, including what to expect in retirement, how to maintain wellness in a variety of areas, clergy taxes, Social Security, pension and benefits, financial planning, health insurance, housing issues, and estate planning. 
Ron Theodore, a benefit educator with Wespath Benefits and Investments, will provide information to help attendees anticipate their retirement income and stay financially healthy in retirement. The Rev. John Peterson CFP®, CASL®, the foundation’s vice president of stewardship and education, will help participants focus on strengthening their financial planning. And a panel of retirees will discuss what attendees can expect in retirement. Specialists in maintaining healthy lifestyles, Social Security issues, taxes, housing options and insurance will round out the seminar’s agenda. Participants will also have an opportunity to meet one-on-one with the Wespath benefits educator on a first-come, first-served basis.
The program begins Sept. 9 at 1 p.m. and ends Sept. 11 at noon. The cost is $70 for single participants and $95 for clergy attending with a spouse, including meals and materials. Participants must pay for their lodging, but the foundation has negotiated a rate of $178 at the Terrace Hotel for Sept. 9 and 10 and will reserve any rooms needed. Those wishing to take advantage of that rate should include payment with their registration fee.
Clergy may register online or download the registration form and send it to the foundation offices, attention Nadara Brock. More information is available at R-10 and Counting Seminar by contacting Brock at 866-363-9673, extension 7113, or




​The Fresh Expressions team is excited to announce that there is grant funding support available for new and existing Fresh Expressions in the Florida United Methodist Conference. Our grant application is now open!

We are looking for groups that have a clear vision for their group and a plan for the usage of grant funds. Grants will range from $100 to $1,500. All applications and support letters must be submitted by August 10th, 2019 for consideration. Along with the application, please provide a letter of support from a pastor at your church or your District Superintendent.


Don't have a pastor or District Superintendent to support your project? That's fine! Contact the Fresh Expressions FL Team at before submitting your application, and we will connect you with a learning partner.


August 10 - Missional Vital Signs Due

Please remember to submit your Missional Vital Signs (MVS) each month no later than the 10th of the month. Click here to enter stats.

August 27 - SLI Operations Team Info meeting

At First UMC, Melbourne 9:00 - 1:00 with lunch Christin Nevins will be with us that day to explain the process and goals

September 9 - dCOM meeting

Meeting is at First UMC, Vero Beach 9:00 a.m.

September 22 - Installation of District Superintendent, Dionne Hammond

Installation will be at First UMC, Melbourne at 4:00 p.m.

October 2 - AC District Clergy Meeting

Clergy meeting will be at First UMC, Melbourne  Time: 10:00 - 3:00




Contact Us

The Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church

450 Martin L King Jr Ave
Lakeland, FL 33815

(863) 688-5563 or toll free (800) 282-8011