AC Christmas 2019

Surrender ... Letting Go of the Outcome

Then Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant.
Let it be with me just as you have said.” Then the angel left her.
Luke 1:38 CEB

As I have walked closer to the cradle this Advent Season, doing my best to prepare my heart and life to welcome Jesus into my world once again, I have been thinking a lot about Mary.  Above all else, she was willing to accept the assignment God had for her.  Although we have little detail, we can only imagine the personal cost of following God.  Mary would give birth to the Son of God, do her best to raise Jesus to love and serve God, but beyond that, she did not have control of the outcome.

Sometimes I delude myself and think that I have more control than I do ... can you relate?  Yes, the smaller, daily details and decisions of life I can determine but the big things like my family and the future I really have little control over.  Serving in the local church for 20+ years with all sorts of people and situations has taught me time and time again that the only thing I can control is my action or reaction. 

Like all of us, Mary had her hopes and dreams.  Mary had her prayer list that included her family and their future.  But somewhere, she was able to surrender the outcome of her prayers.  Mary was able to see her assignment, her appointment as the Mother of God, in the context of a larger plan God had and has for the world God loves.

As I look to 2020, I am making that my personal New Year’s goal ... surrendering the outcome of my prayers and growing in my trust that my present place in life – personally and vocationally – is part of a larger plan of God’s.  It’s not a hands-off “whatever happens, happens” kind of surrender.  Instead, for me it means remembering everyday what it means to have Emmanuel, God with us.  Will you join me in this goal?  Even if we grow a little more in surrendering our lives to Christ, we will have been successful! 

As you celebrate the Incarnation of God in the birth of Jesus, I pray you have an experience of God’s presence with you that can encourage you long into 2020!  May God bless you, and Merry Christmas!

Grace and peace ~


 Church and Clergy Profiles

Church and Clergy Profile portals are now open for updates. The deadline for completing updates is Saturday, February 1, 2020. If your pastor will be meeting with DS Dionne, the profiles must be completed as least one week prior to your meeting. For details and instructions, please visit the conference website at  It is the responsibility of the SPRC to complete the Church Profile, and the Pastor to complete the Pastor Profile. If you have any questions, please contact the AC District office. 

Church Leadership in EZRA

The AC District Office Staff is currently in the process of setting up e-mail groups for the leadership provided in EZRA by each church. Please check your EZRA account to be sure you have all of the leadership areas covered. If you do not have someone for an area, i.e. Lay Leader, please assign a person to the area who will receive information sent from the District or Conference office. If you do not have a contact person listed, your church may miss receiving vital information. If you have any questions, please contact the AC District office. 

Winter Conference at Epworth by the Sea

January 26 - 29, 2020 

Clergy are invited to attend the Winter Conference at Epworth By The Sea from January 26 - 29, 2020. This will be a combined event with the Bishops and clergy of the North Georgia, Mississippi, South Georgia, and Florida Conferences. You might talk with some of the over 150 clergy who attended Winter Conference 2019 about their transformative experience. Len Wilson will be the keynote speaker.

Click HERE to register and receive the early bird discount. NOTE: The 2019 event sold out, so don't delay in registering!!


Online Deep Dives are focused sharing on one topic by expert hosts giving tips, ideas, and what to avoid. Topics vary from Children's Ministries, and Church/School Partnerships. Coming soon are topics on Finance and Human Resources for the local church!

The conference is currently offering online opportunities for training in the following areas:

  •  Children's Ministry in the Small Church - in this 2-part session with guest host, Bob McLeary from Cokesbury, participants will learn how to adapt for everything for ministries that have 3 - 15 children. 

  • Church/School Partnerships - in this session, hear from Anne Foote Hill from New Covenant, The Villages about their very successful mentoring program at Wildwood Middle High School.

Visit the Deep Dive online webpage at for details!

General Conference 2020

Minneapolis, Minnesota  l  May 5 - 15, 2020


In 2020, the General Conference of the United Methodist Church will gather in Minneapolis, Minnesota. 

For details about the conference, please visit the General Conference website at

Information for the Florida Delegation to the General Conference is available at

We will send out additional details as we have them available. 

On the District Calendar

Please add the following events and meetings to your local church calendar. Details will be provided as meetings, trainings, and events are planned. Thank you!


  • District Office Closed - Tuesday, December 24 - Friday, December 27, 2019. If you need assistance, please call us at 772.299.0255 and leave a message, or e-mail us at
  • End-of-Year Reports - The AC District Office will be providing training on completing the end-of-year reports on Wednesday, January 8, 2020. If you would like to receive a link to the Zoom call, please click here to RSVP for this training. Please include your name, e-mail address, and church. 
  • Atlantic Central District Charge Conference - Sunday, January 26, 2020 at 4:00 PM - First Melbourne. This District Charge Conference is being held to vote on the sale of AC District owned property. All AC District Clergy, AC District local church delegates to Annual Conference, and AC District at large delegates to Annual Conference will have voting rights. We will be sending out information in December to those who are listed in the local church EZRA dashboard. 
  • Child and Youth Protection Policy Training - Pastors, Children's Ministry Directors, Student Ministry Directors, leaders involved in planning VBS, and other leaders over areas that come into contact with children and/or students are encouraged to attend one of the following trainings. For details and to register, click here.
    • Monday, January 27, 2020  l  6:00 - 8:00 PM  l  First - Vero Beach

    • Tuesday, January 28  l  10:00 AM - 12:00 Noon  l  Coronado Community - New Smyrna Beach

    • Tuesday, January 28  l  6:00 - 8:00 PM  l  First - Melbourne

    • Wednesday, January 29  l  10:00 AM - 12:00 Noon  l  Trinity - Palm Beach Gardens

    • Sunday, February 2, 2020  l  3:00 - 5:00 PM  l  Suntree - Melbourne

  • Administrative Assistant Training - In 2020, we invite our AC District local church Administrative Assistants to join us for a time of learning, making connections, and sharing a meal. Details and registration will be available in January.
    • Tuesday, March 3, 2020 - 10:30 AM - 3:00 PM  l  First - Vero
  • District Clergy Meetings - Two dates have been set for 2020:
    • Wednesday, March 11 from 10:30 AM - 2:30 PM  l  First - Melbourne
    • Wednesday, September 9 from 10:30 AM - 2:30 PM  l  TBD
  • Leadership Event 2020 - This is for all local church leaders and teams. Focus will be on Fresh Expressions. 
    • This Event has been rescheduled for August 2020
  • Regional Church Conferences - In 2020, there will be three regional church conferences. In June, you will receive a link to register for the date in in which your church will be in attendance. All church conference paperwork must be completed and turned in at the chosen regional church conference. All AC District churches are required to register for and attend ONE of these schedule church church conferences:
    • Sunday, October 25 - 4:00 PM at First - Ormond Beach
    • Sunday, November 1 - 4:00 PM at TBD
    • Sunday, November 8 - 4:00 PM at First - Melbourne

Conference News

New Ministry at Lowell Correctional Gets Underway

After several months of prayer, preparation, and planning, a new prison ministry, called The Oasis at LCI, began on Thanksgiving Day with a worship service in the evening. This new ministry was one of the Bishop's initiatives celebrated at Annual Conference 2019. The Oasis will offer worship services, Bible studies, confinement visits with women on lock-down, one-on-one mentoring, and beginning guitar classes. 

We are praying and believing that as relationships and trust relationships build between the ministry and the prison staff and officers, more opportunities will open up for additional ministry. 

Because the worship services are held on Sunday evenings, Kris Schonewolf, the pastor appointed to prison work, is available to preach and share with your congregation about what God is doing at Lowell Correctional Institution. She can be reached at 302.363.5351 or

For details about The Oasis at LCI, visit their website at 

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