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Detroit Conference Connection - February 1, 2012

Detroit Conference Connection - February 1, 2012


For the latest news from the Detroit Conference, please visit
Michigan Area delegations meet prior to General Conference
The delegates to the 2012 General and North Central Jurisdictional Conferences from the Michigan Area met on Saturday, Jan. 28, at Mason: First UMC for a time of getting acquainted and discussing some of the issues that will be addressed during the quadrennial sessions. FULL STORY
Neil Davis: Giving and the connection
As part of the "D.S. Speaks" blog on the Michigan Area website (, the Rev. Neil Davis, superintendent of the Kalamazoo District in the West Michigan Conference, writes about giving and the connection. READ POST. 
2012 Michigan Area License to Preach School
Information regarding the 2012 Michigan Area School for License as a Local Pastor has been posted at The school begins with a week at the Lake Huron Retreat Center in July and also includes four weekends between August and November.
Parish Paper - How to Manage Change Resistance
The February issue of The Parish Paper - Ideas and Insights for Active Congregations is now available for downloading on the conference Web site. The edition addresses the question "How to Manage Change Resistance." To download the February issue of The Parish Paper, please visit
Note: The Parish Paper is a monthly resource for clergy and lay leaders to use to help their local churches engage in dynamic and fruitful ministry. This resource is now being provided to the churches of the conference free of charge by the Conference Commission on Communications. Each monthly issue of The Parish Paper provides ideas, insights, research-findings, and practical methods that strengthen the effectiveness of congregations in accomplishing God’s purposes through their various ministries. 
Detroit Conference VIM team Blogging from Haiti
A Volunteers-In-Mission team is working in Jeremie, Haiti, this week, and they are blogging their experience. Visit to read the stories of their trip.
Commentary: Pursuing a New History Between United Methodists and Indigenous Peoples
During the 2012 General Conference session in Tampa, Fla., an "Act of Repentance and Healing for Indigenous Persons" will take place. This commentary by the Rev. Tex Sample is the latest in a series of articles developed by the General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns, which is the general agency responsible for the act of repentance. READ COMMENTARY
Detroit Renaissance District U-Nite
United Media Creations, a ministry of Detroit: Ford Memorial UMC that is supported by the Commission on Communications, produced a recap video of the recent Detroit Renaissance District U-Nite, held on the campus of Eastern Michigan University. WATCH VIDEO 


The 2012 session of the Detroit Annual Conference will take place on Thursday-Sunday, May 17-20, 2012, on the campus of Adrian College in Adrian, Mich. Preparations for the annual gathering are already underway, and this section of the Detroit Conference Connection features news and information regarding the annual conference session.
"Imagine a world…" to be theme of 2012 annual conference session
"Imagine a world … healing, hope-filled, whole" will be the theme of the 2012 Detroit Annual Conference session, which will take place on Thursday-Sunday, May 17-20. FULL STORY
Resolutions for 2012 annual conference session now being accepted … Deadline is February 15.
The Detroit Conference Committee on Reference and Daily Procedure is now accepting submissions for conference resolutions for the 2012 Detroit Annual Conference session. The deadline to submit resolutions and petitions for consideration by the conference is February 15, 2012. FULL STORY 
Requests for speaking at conference session due by April 10
Formal speaking time at this year’s annual meeting of the Detroit Annual Conference again will be very limited as the Program Committee is working diligently to provide meaningful and effective programming for the Conference.  Committees, task forces, groups and other ministries are asked to submit historical reports to be included in the annual journal that record their work from the previous year.  Additionally, some presentations are required by the Discipline and others are critical to the mission and ministry of the Annual Conference. Please contact Diane Brown, Chair Committee on Reference and Daily Procedure, at by April 10 to request consideration of an allocation of time during a plenary session.  Please include some detail about what you wish to present, how long you anticipate you will need, what additional media will be employed besides the spoken voice as well as an explanation of your compelling need to present on stage. 
Please remember to enter your lay members into the church dashboard!
All local churches are asked to enter and/or update their lay member(s) for the 2012 annual conference session into the church dashboard ( immediately. Please make sure there is an e-mail address entered as well for the lay member(s) so that they may be contacted. Churches with questions may contact Jessica Browning ( in the Detroit Conference office or Paul Thomas (, conference director of communications. If you are unsure of how many lay members your church/charge is allowed for the conference session, please click here. 


Reports from 2011 UMVIM trips needed
2011 is history, but many of you that led a team in 2011 have not recorded that history with the VIM Coordinator, John Walls. Please click here for the Disaster Response Team report, and click here for the Mission Trip report. Each year we are asked to report to the North Central Jurisdiction VIM coordinator on activity in the Conference. Please make this a banner year for reporting and for VIM. Reports may be e-mailed wo Walls at
Protection policy website
The Detroit Conference Protection Committee and Policy now has a website - - which has resources to help churches promote the health, welfare, and safety of children, youth, and vulnerable persons during district and conference related functions, activities, or events. The site also features training opportunities to become certified to work with children, youth, and vulnerable persons at district and conference events.
UMVIM Team Leader training opportunities
A Volunteers-In-Mission Team Leader training will be offered on Thursday, Feb. 16, from 6:00-9:30 p.m. at Livonia: St. Matthew's UMC. The cost to attend the training is $25, which covers the cost of the manual. Please RSVP to John Walls, conference VIM coordinator, at Team Leader trainings will also be offered at the UMVIM Festival of Opportunities on April 21 at West Branch UMC, and at the Rx Consultation on May 5 at Highland UMC.
Rethink Church invites churches to Journey to Hope this Lent
United Methodist Communications, through Rethink Church, is inviting churches to take a 7-week Journey to Hope this Lent. During the series, you will travel with Jesus to the cross and discover the Hope that can be found in the midst of life’s most difficult circumstances. This series was previously released in 2010 and has been updated to include small group, children and youth/young adult supplements. FULL STORY 
Registration open for Keep Making Peace event featuring Shane Claiborne
Shane Claiborne, sought-after speaker and bestselling author, will speak at the 10th annual Keep Making Peace event at University United Methodist Church in East Lansing. FULL STORY 
New Lenten Studies- available through MARC!
Looking for that perfect small group study to take you through Lent? Click here for your February edition of MARC News, and find out what’s fresh in your Michigan Area Resource Center. It’s also time to renew your subscription.  New to MARC, or haven’t had a membership in 5 years? Join for half-price for 2012! Click here for your 2012 membership form. MARC looks forward to equipping you in your ministries!  Questions? Contact Betsy Weems, Director, at (888) 217-1905, or
Mandatory Sexual Ethics Training for Clergy - March 19-21
All clergy in the Michigan Area are now able to register for the upcoming mandatory sexual ethics training online. The training will take place at three sites from March 19-21, including two in the Detroit Conference: Birmingham: First UMC on March 19, and Gaylord: First UMC on March 20. Cornerstone Church near Grand Rapids will host the third site on March 21. Some of your questions, including questions about child care, who has to attend, and more, can be answered by visiting the registration link. REGISTER NOW 


To view the death notices published on the Detroit Conference website, please visit There were no death notices announced this week.


Michigan Area Bishop Jonathan D. Keaton has announced the following appointments for the Detroit Conference:
  • David Gladstone to retirement, effective July 1, 2012. He is presently serving Port Huron: First UMC (Blue Water District).
  • Margaret "Peggy" Paige to retirement, effective July 1, 2012. She is presently serving Iron Mountain: First and Quinnesec UMCs (Marquette District).
To view appointment updates, please visit 


To view the conference calendar and submit events, please visit For events happening in local churches across the conference, please visit Local churches may submit events through the Church Dashboard at
Feb. 4 - JFON-SEMI "Friends and Neighbors" Celebration and Dinner 
March 3 - Blue Water District Bishop's Day - Port Huron: First UMC 
March 3 - Detroit Renaissance District Bishop's Day - Rochester: St. Paul's UMC 
March 10 - Ann Arbor District Bishop's Day - Saline: First UMC 
March 10 - Saginaw Bay District Bishop's Day - Saginaw: First UMC 
March 17 - Marquette District Bishop's Day - Ishpeming: Wesley UMC 
March 19 - Michigan Area Sexual Ethics Training - Birmingham: First UMC 
March 20 - Michigan Area Sexual Ethics Training - Gaylord: First UMC 
March 21 - Michigan Area Sexual Ethics Training - Cornerstone Church 
March 31 - Keep Making Peace - East Lansing University UMC 


One Great Hour of Sharing: March 18, 2011
One Great Hour of Sharing is just weeks away. Be sure to order your free offering resources for this offering that supports the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) so that it may respond immediately and effectively to emergencies around the world. When you give to One Great Hour of Sharing, you help to build the strong foundation on which all other UMCOR ministries are built. Because One Great Hour of Sharing covers UMCOR’s administrative costs,100 percent of gifts designated for specific projects is used for those programs.
Give Online Anytime
If you cannot celebrate this offering March 18, you can observe this Special Sunday on any day of the year. Give now. 
Your gifts to the One Great Hour of Sharing, channeled through UMCOR, are a tangible expression of God’s love for people who suffer. They enable the church to answer Jesus’ command to love our neighbors as ourselves.
Change the World weekend set for May 19-20
Change the World, a global movement of United Methodists to build community locally and fight malaria globally, will take place on Saturday-Sunday, May 19-20, 2012. Local churches are being asked to begin planning for the denominational event, as the church seeks to have 4,000 events take place worldwide. FULL STORY 
Lewis Center to Host Annual Funding Conference and Offer Resource to Help Congregations Better Fund Ministries
To help congregations develop secure and reliable funding to support ministry, the Lewis Center for Church Leadership is hosting its annual Funding Conference and releasing an accompanying DVD/CD Resource Guide.
The half-day Building a Hopeful Financial Future Conference is Saturday, March 10, from 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. on the campus of Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. Building on the Lewis Center’s continuing work in funding ministry, this conference will explore congregational funding issues vital to the church. The conference commences with “Leadership Essentials for the Church’s Financial Future,” a presentation by Lovett H. Weems, Jr., Distinguished Professor of Church Leadership and Director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership at Wesley Theological Seminary.
Following the presentation, conference attendees may attend their choice of workshops led by knowledgeable Lewis Center staff and these guest workshop leaders: Rev. Tom Berlin, pastor of Floris United Methodist Church in Herndon, Va., and coauthor of Bearing Fruit: Ministry with Real Results; and Karl Mattison, executive director, Presbyterian Endowment Education and Resource Network.
The workshop topics are: Tithing and Biblical Standards of Giving; Preaching and Stewardship; Planned Giving: What Every Church Can and Should Do; Key Questions in Assessing Your Church’s Financial Future; Best Practices for Financial Integrity; and Using Endowments to Build the Future.
Clergy and laity may find more conference information and register at An early-bird registration discount is available through February 13, 2012, and .5 CEU credits are available.
DVD/CD Resource Guide
The Building a Hopeful Financial Future DVD/CD Resource Guide features content from the conference, including video recordings of the presentation and workshops, PowerPoint presentations, templates, handouts, and other resources which are useful in congregational settings. The DVD/CD Resource will be released in mid April.
A preorder discount for the Building a Hopeful Financial Future DVD/CD Resource Guide is available through March10, 2012, at
Living Proof — Society of St. Andrew Lenten Devotional Program
During Lent make feeding the hungry your mission
The Society of St. Andrew (Advance Special #801600), a domestic hunger-relief ministry that provides nutritious fresh produce to hungry Americans, also offers spiritually nourishing devotions each Lent and Advent season. This upcoming Lent, the theme Living Proof will inspire readers to see proof of Jesus at work in unexpected ways. These daily devotions were contributed by a variety of writers from different denominations who share how they have seen Jesus at work in the world.
Through daily devotions, scriptures, and prayers, this program offers an opportunity to strengthen your walk with Christ while joining in ministry to feed the hungry. All materials are offered at no cost and there is no obligation. However, participants are asked to seriously consider giving sacrificially – a donation of just $1 a day during the season of lent – $47 – would enable the Society of St. Andrew to salvage over 2,000 servings of fresh produce. The Society of St. Andrew’s low operating costs allow fresh nutritious produce to be saved and delivered for only 2 cents a serving. Last year’s Lenten Devotions program was responsible for providing over 2 million servings of food to families in need in our nation.
An optional “Good Friday Fast” booklet is also available for use in partnership with the daily devotions or as a stand-alone program.
The Society of St. Andrew is a national nonprofit hunger-relief ministry that rescues 25-30 million pounds of excess produce each year that would otherwise go to waste for various marketing reasons. This food is then distributed to critical feeding agencies across the country at no cost to the agencies or the people they serve. The Society of St. Andrew has three main food salvage programs in addition to their spiritual-life programs. The Potato & Produce Project saves tractor-trailer loads of produce from being dumped for cosmetic reasons. The Gleaning Network sends volunteers directly into farmers’ fields to pick the excess produce after the harvest. The Harvest of Hope program is a Christian education and mission experience. More information about the Society of St. Andrew and its hunger-relief programs is available online at or by email at
All materials for the Lenten devotional program are free from the Society of St. Andrew. For a church sample kit or a personal packet, order online:; by phone: 800-333-4597; or by email:
From the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)
The following information was taken from the UMCOR Hotline, a weekly e-newsletter from the United Methodist Committee on Relief. To view the newsletter, and to subscribe, click here. 
Alabama: Recovery Continues
North Alabama continues to work towards recovery after an outbreak of tornadoes ripped through the conference April 27, 2011. Since that day, the affected communities have worked steadily towards rebuilding and redefining their new normal with UMCOR’s help and support.
UMCOR has issued a $1 million grant to the North Alabama Conference as they enter into long-term recovery, which will last until at least December 2013. The funds will support volunteer coordination for reconstruction; case management to help families gain access to assistance; reconstruction; and other activities that are critical to recovery.
Alabama was struck once again by tornadoes January 22, 2012. Conference personnel are asking for prayers as damage assessments are made and the full impact of this storm is becoming clear.
You can help UMCOR provide assistance when disaster strikes by giving to US Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #901670. GIVE NOW 
The Latest News From the United Methodist News Service
Will restructuring cut vital ministry?
That’s the question church staff want General Conference delegates to consider in weighing various reorganization proposals.
Growing communities along the Santa Cruz
From the hard soil of Tucson, Ariz., Youth Farm Project interns help the community to develop a flourishing garden and gathering place.
Sowing promise for developing countries
Foods Resource Bank spins cash from crops into food security as farmers and churches make a global difference.
Home nourishes body, soul of Nigerian young
Born out of the Hope for Children of Africa initiative, this mission of the United Methodist orphanage is still expanding.
Preview to church restructuring debate
Concerns raised that the proposed changes would give too much power to bishops and damage the denomination’s ‘separation of powers.’
Supreme Court shields church from bias laws
United Methodist leaders say the decision puts the onus on the denomination to do justice in its hiring practices.
Briefing previews General Conference issues
Delegates consider issues from reorganization to roles of bishops to an operating budget that is smaller than in the previous quadrennium.


To view and submit classifieds, please visit Local churches may enter a classified through the Church Dashboard at


Visit to view and submit mission trips originating from the churches of the Detroit Conference. All local churches taking VIM trips are encouraged to enter their trips on the conference website.
VIM scholarships available
John Walls, conference Volunteers-In-Mission coordinator, has indicated that money is available for scholarships and team insurance due to the generosity of donations to MJ1316, the Volunteers-In-Mission Ministry Jubilee project. Requests can be made to Walls at Please list all team members and indicate which are first time volunteers,  also indicate cost of team insurance.  Checks will be sent to Sponsoring church. First-time volunteers on international teams can receive $100, while first-time volunteers on local or national teams can receive $50. Trip insurance scholarships are available for all volunteers.

About the Detroit Conference Connection

The Detroit Conference Connection is the weekly e-newsletter of the Detroit Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. Subscribe to the Detroit Conference Connection. Every local church is encouraged to have their leaders subscribe to the Connection so that they can receive the latest news from the conference and general church. To subscribe to the Connection, please visit To submit news items for the Detroit Conference Connection, please send stories to Paul Thomas, Director of Communications.

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