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Tuesday - March 24, 2015
$1.5 million and still counting!

The Rev. Molly Turner, Imagine No Malaria Field Representative for the Michigan Area, announces that contributions from the state's two annual conferences now totals $1,542,269.  read more

 


Tuesday - March 24, 2015
UN affirms sacred worth of women

Nichea Ver Veer Guy, active West Michigan laywomen, has just returned from a week in New York. She was the only officer of The United Methodist Women participating in the 59th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

Monday - March 23, 2015
Divine dialogue births new plans

In Michigan and across the U.S., the Latino/Hispanic population continues to grow. That growth can be measured in spirit as well as in numbers and new strategies are called for.  read more>>


Monday - March 23, 2015
Bring your dirty feet to Holy Week

Next week the world's two billion Christians celebrate the week book-ended by the festive days of Palm Sunday and Easter. Are you ready to become a servant, like the Master? 

News
Tuesday - March 24, 2015
Africa University experiences growing pains
Students in Africa University's Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources listen to a lecture by Walter Manyangarirwa. ~umns photo/Vicki Brown

VICKI BROWN
United Methodist News Service

As Africa University celebrated the installation of its new vice chancellor, the 23-year-old United Methodist-related university’s board struggled with growing pains.

The board of directors at its March 20 meeting discussed aging buildings, overcrowded dorms and the need for more professors with doctorates to retain Zimbabwean accreditation of programs.

Bright spots included the announcement of an endowed professorship in agriculture and natural resources, a fundraising campaign for an endowed chair in theology, a record 31 U.S. United Methodist conferences that paid 100 percent of their apportionments to the university, and an endowment that stands at $63.3 million. In addition, 1,405 students used the new online registration system for the second semester of the 2014-15 academic year.

Mushare Furusa, who was inaugurated March 21 as the university’s top executive, reported on cost-cutting measures, a staff audit, a new program for a B.A. in media studies and planning for hospitality and tourism degree.

“We are looking at strategies to get people with Ph.D.s,” Furusa said. One of those strategies could be to help instructors or professors finish a doctoral program. Fifteen are now working on doctorates, Furusa said.

The Zimbabwe Education Ministry requires that 60 percent of instructors must have doctorates for accreditation of each faculty. A faculty at African University is the equivalent of a school or college at a university in the U.S. None of the faculties now meet that standard.

Furusa said he is developing plans to correct the problem by the end of 2016, but added that salaries and fringe benefits at Africa University are lower than at state universities in Zimbabwe. He said a candidate turned down an offer because of salary.

One strategy Africa University is exploring is to partner with the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries to find missionaries with doctorates to teach.

Growth brings new challenges

Bishop David Yemba, the university’s chancellor and a bishop in the Democratic Republic of Congo, said the university is at the right place, but growth is sometimes difficult.

“When we are growing, there are new challenges,” Yemba said.

Bishop Marcus Matthews, the board’s vice chair, agreed.

“To have a university that is only 23 years old that has all of its buildings paid for and no debt is a university with great opportunities ahead,” said Matthews, leader of the Baltimore-Washington Conference.

Matthews said he is excited about the university’s new leader, noting that Furusa is the first vice chancellor with significant development or fundraising experience as well as 17 years of experience in higher education in the U.S.

“How do we improve the infrastructure to the extent that the university is attractive to parents and students?” Matthews asked, suggesting that dorm renovations, better sports fields and more recreational opportunities would be a start.

The board approved a 2015-16 budget of $12 million with a provision that if income is more than that amount, more can be spent. Last year, total income was $12.8 million and the university ended the year with a $4,000 surplus, the finance committee report said.

Furusa said the university has 353 employees — 208 permanent and 115 on fixed-term contracts — for about 1,500 full-time students and another 1,000 enrolled part-time or through distance-learning programs. The staff includes more than 100 full-time professors, along with part-time and visiting lecturers. “This suggests the existing staff load is high for an institution of our size,” he said.

Aging, overcrowded dorms

“Accommodation for students remains a major challenge,” Furusa told the board.

Students now are living three to a room in rooms planned for two, with 27 students housed at a women’s center in Mutare and others living at the Fairfield Orphanage at Mutare Mission. Some common areas in the residence halls have been converted to living space, the building and grounds committee reported.

“I am saddened by the condition in which our students live,” said Maggie Jackson, the committee chair. The committee urged management to come up with a detailed plan for refurbishing the residence halls, seek funds for new residence halls, and consider using more off-campus housing to reduce crowding.

Students and alumni agree that more dorm rooms and recreational facilities are needed, although a gym has been set up in a vacant room. During the inauguration, donations announced included more than $120,000 toward a new women’s dorm.

Tapiwawashe Muganyura and Joshua Madzivanyika, both students from Zimbabwe, agreed that more and better residence halls are needed.

“For me, I’d like to see us boost extracurricular activities,” Madzivanyika said.

Alumni also are concerned about residence halls. Angeline Mafembo, a graduate who teaches at Watershed College in Zimbabwe and has a young sister who attends Africa University, said she worries about the safety of women who live off campus.

More than one board member said plans need to be drafted and estimates prepared so money can be raised for building new dorms.

Margaret Makadzange, a member of the board of directors, expressed concern that the residence halls and other issues discussed by the board were long-standing problems. “We have been talking about these things for many meetings. What is the way forward?”

Retreat Center

Furusa reported to the board that the Ubuntu Retreat Center is not finished. The West Michigan Conference raised $500,000 for the center. A timeline for completion was drawn up. Under an adjudication agreement of the dispute, if the contractor does not adhere to the completion timeline, the company can be replaced, Furusa said. In the meantime, final payments are being withheld.

Furusa agreed that the university faces many challenges, but said plans are being developed and actions taken.

“At times it seems as though everything becomes a priority,” he told the board.

Tuesday - March 24, 2015
Countdown to Vacation Church School


Nancy Speas Hill
Ministry Matters*

You’ve picked your curriculum; you’ve sent out the invitations; you’ve recruited most of your volunteers. The big pieces are covered, but now Vacation Bible School is staring you in the face, and you’re wondering what you are forgetting. Here’s a list of important last-minute (though hopefully not TOO last-minute!) pieces to consider.

1. Prayer
We all know that we should be praying for VBS. We hear it all the time. But taking the time to pray for each volunteer, youth and child before VBS truly will draw you into a closer community when you actually gather together. Before you begin each day at VBS, pray for and with your volunteers. Lines of communication opened in this short time can carry over to long-term pastoral relationships.

2. Risk Management
You are about to welcome a large group of young children, teenagers, and volunteers into your church to have a LOT of fun. What could possibly go wrong? Well, probably nothing major at least. But there are certainly risks. And where there is risk, there needs to be risk management. Managing risk protects both your participants and the church.

Many congregations have a policy in place to prevent the abuse of children and vulnerable adults, often referred to as a “Safe Sanctuaries” policy. If your church has such a policy, familiarize yourself with it and make sure you adhere to it in every aspect of your VBS program. If your congregation does not have a formal policy, you can still take basic steps to make sure everyone stays safe. For starters, use the buddy system - even for the adults: no adult should ever be alone with a group of children and/or youth. Take special care in transition times to make sure all participants are accounted for at all times. When it’s time to go home, only release the children and youth to the responsible adult who dropped them off.

It is also worth a conversation with the chair of your trustees committee or like group to confirm that all the planned activities are included under your congregation’s insurance policies. For example, if you are transporting neighborhood children in church and/or volunteers' vehicles, make sure that such transportation is covered under the church’s AND the volunteer’s liability insurance. Likewise, if you are including anything particularly risky (though fun!) activities such as a bounce house, check with your committee and/or insurance provider to see if you need a special policy rider.

3. Volunteer Recruitment
Hopefully by now you’ve got your leaders in place, but you may be looking to fill a few more spots. Think about members whose schedule or health doesn’t generally allow them to volunteer on a regular basis. Perhaps this special event is a great place for them to plug in. Ask the kids who they would like to have serve with them - there’s nothing more likely to inspire a volunteer to respond than an invitation from the kids!

4. Teacher Training and Communication
You want your teachers to feel fully empowered and equipped! Provide your teachers with your curriculum as soon as possible and encourage them to spend time with each of the Bible stories. The more they are immersed in the scripture, the more naturally and effectively they will share the stories with the children. You may hold a teacher training session to introduce the curriculum and logistical concerns specific to your program. Give each leader a small bag with a list of the participants in their group (including emergency contact and pertinent medical information for each child), a list of locations for each activity, a daily schedule, a pack of tissues, a few band-aids and a small container of hand sanitizer.

5. Supplies
Your biggest supply needs will likely be decorations, crafts, and snacks. Many of these supplies can be purchased with your curriculum, but someone will certainly need to make a few shopping trips to pick up the rest. This is a great task to be delegated to volunteers who would like to help but are unable to be at the actual VBS sessions. Just be sure that they are aware of your budget and familiar with your church’s purchasing policies (special relationship with particular retailers, tax-exempt status, reimbursement procedures, etc).

6. Publicity
A of kids find their way to Bible School because the church has posted a large banner outside the church. Make sure that your sign is effective - you want it to be visible and eye-catching, but you don’t want it to be so involved that the essential information about your event is hard to read from a passing car. Make sure that accurate VBS information is posted on your church website and any blogs or social media pages your church (or members) maintain. Submit your information to local news outlets to be included in their community announcements. Target an audience with children through local parenting websites, blogs, and magazines. Are there organizations in your area that serve children and families? Inquire about distributing invitations to their clients.

7. Youth Involvement
Some of your best helpers at VBS are your youth! The younger kids love being with them, and it’s important for the youth to have an opportunity to be the older ones for a change. It’s best to keep about a four year difference between the youth and the kids they are partnered with, so perhaps assign younger youth to work with preschoolers, etc. Remember, though, that under most Safe Sanctuary policies, youth do NOT count as a second adult and need to be protected, too.

8. Teacher Appreciation
Volunteers make VBS possible. It will be fun for them. But there will be moments that will be trying, so show your teachers some love with a little treat each day. If you can tie them into your theme, great - but more important is to make your teachers and volunteers feel appreciated throughout the week.

9. Physical set-up
This is another great place to delegate! It can take many hands to prepare the facilities, from decorating to moving tables. In order to make the most of your volunteer power, schedule a workday a day or so before VBS and get as much ready as possible so that when kids arrive you can focus on them.

10. Thank Yous
Event planning 101 suggests that you prepare thank you notes as much as possible before your event, which can include collecting addresses of volunteers, purchasing stationary, addressing envelopes, keeping good records of volunteer participation, and writing/printing notes (which can be personalized after the event). After VBS, you will be tired, no matter how smoothly your event runs. It’s human nature to want to move on quickly, and sometimes thank yous get lost in the shuffle, but they are essential in affirming the ministry of your volunteers . . . which will help bring them back for VBS next year!

When is your VBS? What tasks have you saved for the last minute?

*MinistryMatters.com is an online resource to equip and inspire leaders in the local church.

 

Tuesday - March 24, 2015
Michigan Area exceeds $1.5 million for Imagine No Malaria

MOLLY TURNER
INM Field Coordinator, Michigan Area

Nearly two years after the Michigan Area committed to raise $1.5 million for Imagine No Malaria, we are pleased to announce that we have  exceeded our goal!

We ate pancakes!

The year-end total for the Michigan Area stands at $1,542,269. This  includes contributions from the West Michigan Conference through December 31, 2014; contributions from the Detroit Conference through January 31, 2015. Globally, The United Methodist Church now stands at 85% of the $75 million goal established in 2008.

Congratulations, Michigan Area churches, on your faithful witness for the people of Sub Saharan Africa.

Together with others, we are in the process of ending suffering and death from malaria. With $10.00 representing an amount which can save a life—we have saved 154,227 lives. 

We know that there are still churches who are submitting funds. If you have not made your final gifts, please send your contributions to your conference treasurer, marked for Imagine No Malaria.

We pedaled bikes!



Please make your donations by April 30 so that we can have a more complete total by our Detroit and West Michigan Annual Conference sessions.

Bishop Deborah Lieder Kiesey celebrates this achievement. 

"I am pleased to offer my very personal 'Thank you!' to the entire Michigan Area for your generous giving to the Imagine No Malaria effort," she said. "Because of your faithfulness, efforts will continue for the eradication of this completely preventable disease. Even though you will never know the names of those whose lives you have saved, you have truly made a difference!!"

We add our many thanks to Bishop Deb, the full cabinets, district coordinators and Imagine No Malaria Steering Committee for all of their dedicated work.

Tuesday - March 24, 2015
Respect for women builds global community
The United Methodist-owned Church Center for the United Nations, across First Avenue from the U.N., was a hub of activity during the 59th session of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women. Nichea Ver Veer Guy is in the front row as part of the UMW delegation. Nichea, a member of Trinity UMC in Grand Rapids, is the Finance Chair for the Global UMW organization.  ~umns photo/Linda Bloom

KAY DeMOSS
Senior Editor-Writer, Miichigan Area

“I would never want our people to think our church is not alive and well and influencing decisions around the globe.” That’s Nichea Ver Veer Guy’s biggest “take-away” from a very big event that she participated in last week.

Nichea, a lay woman who has served as a leader in the West Michigan Conference for many years, had the opportunity to become a leader on the world stage at the 59th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women held in New York, March 9-20.

With a strong background in social justice and the chair of the global UMW Finance Committee, Nichea was a natural to be chosen by the United Methodist Women as their only officer participating in this event. The focus was the progress in women’s rights and lives since the Beijing Conference on Women’s Rights held 20 years ago. This was Nichea’s second opportunity to be part of a UN-related international delegation. She also shared in a Human Rights and Migration conference held in Geneva in 2012.

So what has happened over the past two decades? “Unfortunately,” Nichea comments, “not a lot. The United Nations has a 50-50 goal for women’s capabilities and participation in society by 2050.” In the sessions Nichea attended, she learned of mixed progress. “In some nations, like Bolivia, there has been a 40% increase of women in Parliament. There have been gains in women’s participation in government in Africa,” she says. “However,” Nichea continues, “it is quite interesting that most of the measures of progress have not been attained in the U.S.

Why was her participation important? Nichea underscores that United Methodist Women have a big role to play in policy-shaping investments and support of programs around the world. “But we rarely get a chance to be in community with women on the ground who can offer significant help in the development of program and policy,” she explains. “We must get to know our partners better through this kind of grassroots networking,” she continues.

And so she celebrates new relationships made during the course of the event. “I met powerful women. Like the wonderful farmer from Honduras,” Nichea recalls. “She was gutsy. She came to us wanting the world to take notice of her few hectares of land and we were able to offer her a voice and give her a forum. Awesome!”

Celebrating the broad scope of the session, Nichea added, “Then you sit down with first ladies of countries and hear what they are trying to do for women. It was a huge spectrum of women in leadership.” Then she remarks, “I really felt small. There was no one else there from Michigan. Hardly anyone there from the United States. But it is good to be reminded that we Americans are not always the big kahuna.”

Information sharing covered a broad range of issues and concerns: maternal care, human trafficking, fair trade, land use, childhood immunization, climate issues, and water scarcity. The role of agricultural and pharmaceutical corporations in the lives of women and children was also examined.

Of course, HIV-AIDS, Ebola and Malaria were among health concerns on the agenda. Nichea says, “African women from numerous countries talked about how the eradication of malaria is an attainable goal. Accomplishments in this effort were spoken loud and clear.”
 
Nichea calls the task ahead, “Huge.” She will have various opportunities to share in the months to come. “Information about the worldwide status and role of women needs to be both clear and enticing. I want people to know more and then to act.” And she believes their arena for action is both global and local. “As I communicate with the United Methodist Women of Michigan, I want to emphasize that we also have concerns right here in our state about climate justice, health care, racial justice, maternal care, and equity in pay.” She intends to encourage dialogue that will result in making peace and doing justice at home and abroad.

“I want people to understand and appreciate the influence the church has in the world,” Nichea concludes. “Fifteen million United Methodists around the globe have the resources and the networking that truly make a difference.”
 
Note: for more information about the 50-50 UN session, see articles by Linda Bloom, multimedia reporter for the United Methodist News Service. Seeing Sacred Worth in Women and Girls and Defining Women's Progress on the Grassroots Level. 
Tuesday - March 24, 2015
Wesley brothers make a visit to Grand Rapids

Children throughout the United Methodist connection are learning about the history of the Methodist movement and practicing intentional discipleship with the help of drawings of John and Charles Wesley called "Flat Wesleys."

Flat Wesleys relax in the Preteen room at Grand Rapids Trinity UMC. ~courtesy GR Trinity Facebook

Grand Rapids Trinity UMC was among congregations receiving laminated copies of the Flat Wesleys to begin the project, which will continue through September, said Melanie C. Gordon, director of Ministry with Children at Discipleship Ministries.

To date more than 700 churches have requested to participate through the children's ministry Facebook page.

"The end result of this project is for children to have the opportunity to practice compassion, justice, worship and devotion, to really pay attention to how they are doing that, and to be able to share their experiences with other children across the Methodist connection," Gordon said.

Nichea Ver Veer Guy,  Director of Children's Ministry and Family Life, describes how that has worked at GR Trinity . . .

"Flat John and Flat Charles arrived just as our pastors concluded a six-week sermon series on the Wesleys." Faith formation classes were also being focused on Methodist heritage.

"So the figures visited classrooms and meetings like Church Council," Nichea says, "and people had opportunities to tell them how they were living out their faith."

Some of the younger children shared about their efforts "at learning what God has to say to them." Older children talked about "social holiness and how they followed Jesus outside the church."

After a two-Sunday stay at Trinity, Flat John and Flat Charles were sent on to a church in Maryland, as assigned in the material that brought them to Grand Rapids. The figures were accompaniesd by a letter penned by Trinity children.

"Our hope is that the teachers (at the church receiving the letters) will then read about what the Flat Wesleys did where they were before to their children, and then the process will start again," Gordon said.

The idea for Flat Wesleys, which is based on the youth literature character Flat Stanley©, came from a desire by children's ministry leaders to inspire covenant discipleship with children.

The children in participating churches make their own Flat Wesleys. "They will have the Wesleys with them in prayer, and they will take them when they go out and do an act of service in the community," Gordon said. "This offers them something concrete to help them look for ways of living out their faith."

Later this year, Discipleship Resources will release a resource for covenant discipleship with children, and the experiences of the children who participate in the Flat Wesleys Project will become part of that resource.

Flat Wesleys met people of all ages at Church Meeting Night at Trinity. ~courtesy GR Trinity Facebook

"Covenant groups are at the root of Methodism," Gordon said. Members of covenant groups support one another and hold one another accountable in the areas of justice, compassion, worship and devotion and in practicing those daily and weekly in their lives.

"I believe that our church as a denomination has a very strong and unique history, especially when you think about the Methodist movement was a movement, not a church," Gordon said. "And it started with young people getting together trying to hold the church accountable to holiness."

By participating in the Flat Wesley project, children in United Methodist congregations hopefully will be encouraged to learn that the Wesleys were "young people who believed that the church could do more, and they pushed the church to do more," she said.

"It's an amazing story. I think it's a story that we don't look at enough, and we want children to know it, so that they understand why we live out our lives as Christians in this way."

United Methodist children should know "that God equips them with what they need, and the adults are here to guide them on that journey – to guide them and to help them to use those gifts that God has given them," Gordon concluded.

And there's more than one itineration taking place! We've learned that another set of Wesley Brothers is currently  ministering at Holland UMC, with their next stop Texas. Any more out there in Michigan?

Congregations interested in participating should contact Discipleship Ministries by email at childrensministry@umcdiscipleship.org.


 

 

Monday - March 23, 2015
Albert Outler archive celebrates a scholar and a pack rat
In February, Leicester Longden (l), retired elder of the West Michigan Conference,  gave a lecture at Bridwell Library on the legacy of United Methodist scholar Albert C. Outler. With Longden is Timothy Binkley, a Bridwell archivist who oversaw the reorganization of Outler’s papers.~umns photo/Sam Hodges

SAM HODGES
United Methodist News Service

Albert C. Outler remains a towering figure in United Methodism, and he left a towering collection of papers — some 370 archival boxes.

They include letters, drafts of sermons and articles, notes and syllabi for courses, and other documents one might expect from a groundbreaking scholar in Wesleyan studies.

But Outler (1908-1989) also hung onto gas ration cards from the World War II years. He saved his charge-a-plate, precursor to the credit card. From his travels for speaking engagements, Outler kept airline ticket stubs, restaurant napkins and sugar packets.

He kept matches.

“That was probably the most alarming thing I found,” said archivist Colleen Bradley-Sanders, reflecting her profession’s special dread of fire. “I gave them to our facilities manager to dispose of.”

From 2010 to 2014, Bradley-Sanders put in 6,000 hours reorganizing Outler’s papers at Bridwell Library, part of Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology.

For the first time, there’s a full guide to the Outler collection, available online and in print. Bridwell’s website includes highlights from the collection, such as the sermon Outler preached at the 1968 Uniting Conference in Dallas, officially creating The United Methodist Church.

Bridwell also has on display an exhibit drawn from the collection, featuring 90 items — though no matches.

The library’s combined efforts have a single aim.

“We’re hoping to draw attention by a new generation of scholars to a man who was a leading figure in The United Methodist Church and ecumenically,” said Timothy Binkley, the Bridwell archivist who oversaw Bradley-Sanders’ work and curated the exhibit.

Shaped by his work

The career of Outler — son of a Methodist pastor from southern Georgia — almost defies summation.

He taught at Duke Divinity School, Yale Divinity School and finally at Perkins. He edited a collection of John Wesley’s sermons and formulated the Wesleyan Quadrilateral, which holds that Christians should bring to bear Scripture, tradition, reason and experience as they live their faith.

Exactly how true to John Wesley’s theology the Quadrilateral is remains a matter of debate. But it’s part of the United Methodist Book of Discipline, part of the education of United Methodist clergy and a big part of Outler’s legacy.

Combine that with Outler’s role in the formation of The United Methodist Church, including leading the doctrinal study commission, and contemporary scholars consider him an indispensable figure in the denomination’s history.

“A lot of who we are is shaped by his work and his career,” said Leicester Longden, associate professor emeritus and director of the United Methodist Studies program at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary.

Outler wrote on other topics, such as Christology, pneumatology (study of the Holy Spirit), and pastoral counseling and psychotherapy. The nine-volume “Albert Outler Library,” published by Bristol House, testifies to his productivity.

An ordained elder, Outler also made time for preaching and speaking to clergy and lay groups.

“His parish was the entire denomination,” Binkley said. “He was a very popular speaker.”

Outler’s reputation and influence extended beyond Methodism. He addressed the World Council of Churches and served as an official observer at the Second Vatican Council.

Busy scholar

A scholar as busy as Outler would necessarily generate lots of paper. But his pack-rat tendencies also came into play.

If Outler was mentioned in a newspaper article, he saved the whole paper. He kept multiple copies of a course syllabus, and all the records of academic committees he served on, even if he didn’t have much of a role.

By eliminating redundancies and moving some material to the main SMU library, Bridwell Library reduced the collection by more than half.

“It’s a cleaner, more understandable collection,” Binkley said.

The exhibit at Bridwell offers Outler’s first license to preach, a handwritten draft of his sermon to the Uniting Conference, and correspondence between him and the noted theologian H. Richard Niebuhr.

There’s a photo of Outler meeting Pope Paul VI, and awards Outler received from Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Jewish groups.

A legal pad page shows Outler working through whether to leave Yale for Perkins and SMU. In two columns, he listed pros and cons, noting that he had a good garden where he was and that Yale was “the best school in the country,” but also that SMU was offering more money and a chance to serve Methodism in his native South.

The exhibit runs through May 1, but Bridwell will continue to have highlights from it and the rest of the collection online. And the reorganized papers will remain available for scholars.

Longden plans biography

Longden recently gave a lecture at Bridwell on Outler, and feels there’s much more to do on him.

“One of the papers I think needs to be written is on all of the documents of the doctrinal study commission he was chair of,” Longden said. “That would show that from the very start we were an extremely diverse group of people. If we don’t see that, we can’t understand why we’re divided now.”

Longden himself will be spending lots more time with Outler’s papers.

In 2008, he was considering doing an Outler biography, to follow the one by Bob Parrott, published a decade after Outler’s death. Longden went through about 40 archival boxes before feeling overwhelmed. He put the project on hold.

Now that the collection is slimmed down and better organized, he declares himself “fully recommitted” to the biography.

Given his subject, it will still be a job.

“I’m looking at five years,” Longden said.

Events
Wednesday - April 1, 2015
DAC Appointive Cabinet
Thursday - April 2, 2015
DAC Appointive Cabinet
Friday - April 3, 2015
Good Friday - BWD Office Closed
Blue Water District Office will be closed Friday, April 3rd for Good Friday. The office will reopen Monday, April 6th.
Friday - April 3, 2015
Good Friday - Conference & CR District Offices Closed

  The Detroit Conference and the Crossroads District Offices will both be closed for Good Friday on Friday, April 3, 2015.

Friday - April 3, 2015
Good Friday Cross Walk
Saturday - April 4, 2015
Spaghetti Dinner - Yale UMC

The 1st Saturday of the month(beginning March), A Spaghetti Dinner will be served from 4-7pm. The cost is Adult $7.00, Twelve & under  $4.00,   Under 5  is Free.
Come and enjoy some great food!

Blogs
Tuesday - March 17, 2015
Burning Questions: Why aren't we seeing more information about this new conference?

 I can’t begin to tell you how grateful I am for the early signs of spring and the returning warmth in Michigan. I know that I am not alone in thinking that the last two winters have been harder to bear than earlier ones, and I don’t think it is only old age and approaching retirement causing me to think that way. Come on spring!

                  I have been hearing the same question from a number of people lately, and, even though it has been addressed in a variety of other forums over the course of the last year, I would like to share my perspective.  The Burning Question for this month is this: Why aren’t we seeing more information about what this “new conference” in the Michigan Area will look like before we are asked to vote on it? I’m not comfortable voting for something until I know what it will look like!”
                  One very good friend even said to me that they would not buy a house without a building inspection and didn’t think we should be asked to “buy” an annual conference without knowing what it would look like. I absolutely agree that we should not buy property without being absolutely clear what it is that we are buying. And in the past two votes on this question that was the approach we took. We were offered a plan for an annual conference which had enough detail to determine whether or not we wanted to “buy in” to a new conference.  Many, on both sides of the conference divide, said “yes,” but enough said “no” that the new conference did not happen and now we are back to a decision point in the lives of our two conferences. However, this time the decision is being presented in a different way.
In my opinion, this is a better way to move forward. Before we expend all the time, energy and dollars to develop a plan for one conference, let’s decide whether or not we want to be “one conference” for the entire State of Michigan. Let’s decide whether or not the idea has merit. Let’s vote on the concept before we vote on any specific plan. If a majority of us believe that we can be better together as one unified conference than we are as two separate conferences and we make a commitment to make that happen, then we believe it will. We have the intelligence and the experience to fashion a new thing that will reflect our shared vision on how best to make disciples for Jesus Christ and transform our world as the image of God’s Creation for the 21st Century. Of that I have no doubt!
                  But if we, as your conference leadership teams, have been reading you wrong and this is not what you want for Michigan, then this is the time to know that. And, in my opinion, this is really the fundamental question we have to decide. Do we want to be one? Or do we believe that we can be better by continuing down the same paths we have followed in the past?
Make no mistake; this is not a vote about change. Some of you think that the vote is “will we change or won’t we? As someone who has seen the numbers and taken the toll of the empty and shuttered buildings which used to be United Methodist churches, I know that we have to change! We cannot continue to do “conference” and “church” the way we have always done them. It would be insane to think otherwise. The question on the ballot at annual conference this year is deciding whether we can make these changes better by working together, or by continuing to go our separate ways.
Whatever we decide, there will be years of hard work ahead. There are difficult challenges which have already presented themselves to your cabinets and conference leadership teams relating to changes in our Michigan Area and the communities contained within the boundaries of our two conferences. How will we do more with less? How will we fish for people when there are fewer people and they are located in different places that we found them in the past? How will we address the problems of aging buildings and shrinking resources and fewer young people in our pews? And, if the vote is affirmative, how will we design a structure that enables mission and strengthens local churches without becoming an even greater burden to lay and clergy across the state?
These are the Burning Questions for all of us that I leave you with this month. And I do so with great confidence because I believe that with God’s help and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit we can find answers to these questions - and others not yet asked - as we seek to serve Jesus Christ together! 
Sunday - March 15, 2015
Perspectives: "Breaking News...": Are you listening or tuning out?

“Nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known.  Therefore whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed from the housetops.”    Luke 12:2-3, NRSV


Perhaps you thought it would go away, or even hoped it would go away.  Let it retreat back to the shadows where light won’t reveal it.  It is more comfortable for you that way, and the light can be fearful if you do not know how to move forward. 

On the other hand, maybe you instead feared that it would be allowed to become hidden and out of sight once again, while all of the underlying pain, tension and systemic patterns remain unresolved. 

Hope and transformation can only be found in the spaces where darkness and light meet.  This is the place of relationship.  To move beyond the divide we are compelled to move into relationships.  This is especially true as we consider issues of race, racism, multicultural complexity, power and community here in the United States.

On April 25th you are invited to Beyond the Divide: Building Relationships for a New Tomorrow. Click for details. 
 
On a cold December evening several key leaders from our Detroit Conference came together in a conference call to prayerfully determine how we as United Methodist Christians in this time and place could respond to the tensions, tragedies and pain unfolding over circumstances in Ferguson, Missouri, and shortly thereafter in New York City and elsewhere across the nation. 

Each time the secular news media has begun to drop the underlying issues from their coverage a new situation has emerged, even to this day.  That which is often kept in darkness for many is now continually being brought into the light.  Christ compels us to step into that place and build for a new tomorrow.

This day of listening, discovery and exploring is being sponsored by our Detroit Conference Commission on Religion and Race and Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships.  Input from the chairs of our Board of Justice—Advocacy—and Equity, Michigan Area Black Methodists For Church Renewal, Michigan Area Black Clergy Association, Spiritual Transformation Ministry for the African American Community, cabinet and conference staff have given shape to a place of sacred sanctuary for difficult issues to be named and brought into the light. 
 
Of special note is our keynote speaker, Rev. F. Willis Johnson of Wellspring UMC in Ferguson, MO.  In a United Methodist News Service article Heather Hahn writes of Rev. Willis:
 
The Rev. F. Willis Johnson runs toward death to ponder life. Before worship most Sundays, the pastor of Wellspring Church in Ferguson, Missouri, races more than 2 miles to the spot where Michael Brown lost his life. As his feet pound the pavement, Johnson prays. “I run to the place where a relationship was ruptured to be reminded that such relationships can be redeemed,” the United Methodist pastor said. “I go to a place of pain and hurt to be reminded that is the point at which forgiveness is initiated. That is what happened at Calvary.” 
 
[Editor's note: the Rev. F. Willis Johnson will not be able to be present for this workshop. Stay tuned for announcement of additional leadership.]
 
If you are someone that hoped the complexities of race, racism, power and control in this country would slip back out of the limelight, I invite you to instead walk into the light of this conversation.  If you are one that simply has not known how to move forward, I invite you to trust God’s grace to help you learn how to build new relationships while having your understanding opened up in this light.  If you are one that has feared that these tensions, patterns and pain will once again slip into the darkness then I invite you to come so that together we United Methodists in Michigan can build relationships for a new tomorrow
 
In Christ’s circle,
Rev. Dr. Jerome (Jerry) DeVine
Director of Connectional Ministries
Monday - February 23, 2015
Reflections on "becoming one"

 

I find it interesting, as I approach retirement, that most of the questions directed my way over the last several months have more to do with what I will be doing after I retire than what we will be doing from now until then. I suspect that most people who ask the “what next” question are genuinely curious and interested about where we (Janice and I) will be living and what we will be doing with this next portion of our journey.
 
I also think that some are thinking about what they will do with the reality of having freedom to choose how they will spend each day without a sermon to prepare. I think that many of us do struggle as we try to come to grips with the fact that a major portion of our “to do” list will now be finished by someone else.
               
I have had two questions that have come my way over the last month. Both of them happened while I was on an EO (Educational Opportunities) trip to Israel early in February.
 
The first concerned Bishop Deb. Someone wanted to know what the Bishop would do if the “becoming one” motions failed at one or both annual conferences. As we talked, it became clear that the questioner did not think the motions would be turned down, but that they were concerned about how Bishop Deb would deal with defeat if it happened.
 
First of all, I need to say that I don’t believe Bishop Deb would consider a “no” vote by either conference as a defeat. She has been saying all along that she wants to know if the conferences will confirm what she believes she has been hearing from lay and clergy across the Michigan Area ever since she was assigned here. I believe that, while she thinks that she has heard you correctly, she is truly open to whatever the outcome of this vote will be.
 
And, secondly, if the answer is once again a “not at this time or not in this way” response to the question of whether we should become one conference in the Michigan Area, I don’t believe it will change her conviction that we are better together than we are separately or her commitment to working collaboratively whenever possible. That sense of valuing cooperation is a part of who she was before she came to Michigan and will continue to be an important part of how she approaches the work of the Bishop. She will continue to encourage people to work together for the larger task of making disciples for Jesus Christ and the transformation of the world which we all share.
 
Don’t get me wrong. I am sure that Bishop Deb desires a new and more fruitful conference in the Michigan Area and I am confident that, if the Detroit and West Michigan conferences make the decision to take this next step into the future of The United Methodist Church in Michigan, she will be prepared to lead us all in discovering what the new conference will look like. But regardless of the outcome of the votes in May and June, Bishop Deb is committed to leading us into more productive and efficient ways of being faithful disciples.
               
The second question was over a very strong cup of coffee one night: “What’s the best and worst advice you ever received about how to be a pastor?” What struck me about the question was that I had an almost immediate response come to mind. I didn’t have to think a long time or try to dredge up some long lost memory to come up with an answer. Both pieces of advice were given to me during my first year of ministry and both were given with the very best of intentions.
 
The first and best advice came from a colleague when I asked him how someone with as little experience as I had could ever hope to be an effective pastor. I have never forgotten his brief answer. “Just love them” he said. Just love the people that God has called you to serve and care for. “Do your best to care for them as you believe Jesus would care for them,” he said. I still remember where we were standing when he said it. And I can tell you that his words have echoed in my memory time and time again when I wondered how I was going to approach a difficult situation or a congregation which was undergoing a time of trial. “Just love them!” became my goal. Not to “like” them. Sometimes that is too difficult for mortal flesh. But to love them as Jesus loves them. That was, and is, great advice.
               
The worst advice came from a District Superintendent in that same first appointment, but I did not recognize it for what it was until years later. When asked what advice he would give a first-year pastor, the DS said, “Just pay your apportionments and stay out of trouble!” What he went on to say was advice to not attract the attention of the DS.
 
Looking back, I’m not sure whether he meant it the way I heard it, but it was advice I took to heart. For 40+ years I worked hard at following his advice. I did my very best to help the congregations I served understand the value and importance of our apportionments or Ministry Shares. And I tried not to attract the attention of the DS for anything negative I might have done.
 
But as I look back at those years and the churches I have been blessed to serve, I have come to believe that I wish he had given different advice. I wish that he had said, “Hold on to your passion for making disciples and do everything in your power to share that passion with others!” I really do believe that we need more passion for disciple-making, and if I had it to do over, that’s what I would be focused on.
 
If you are asking what good advice I would hope to give to the next generation, that’s it: Love God, love all people and be passionate about making disciples!
 
Shalom!

Bill

Monday - February 9, 2015
Reflections on "The Journey"
Bishop Deb listening in Midland. Please click here for Frequently Asked Questions on Conversations on the Journey.

 

 

Where are you going? I asked,
To places I have never been, was the answer.
What do you plan to do? I asked.
My purpose will be evident at journey's end.
Who has planned your itinerary? I asked.
Its plan will be revealed at times most unlikely.
Why would you consent to such a vague plan? I saId.
I accepted the challenge when I accepted life, was the answer.

                           ("The Journey" by Mary Eleanor Rice)
 



I love this poem! It’s one my mother shared with me, and I have shared it in several places here in Michigan – most recently in my ordination service at Annual Conference last year.
 
But I have to confess that even though I love the poem, its message is a challenge for me. 
 
Those of you who know me, know I like to know what’s coming. 
  • When I travel, I like to know all the details of the trip from start to finish.
  • When I go into a meeting, I like to know when we start, when we finish and what’s on the agenda. 
  • When I go places to preach I like to know not only the order of worship, but what else might be expected of me. 
There is a comfort level for me in knowing what’s ahead. So it is very hard for me to step into something totally unknown – totally new – and totally open-ended. 
 
And I would guess I’m not the only one who feels that way.
 
Perhaps that’s why I have enjoyed these “Conversations on the Journey” so much. For not only have I thoroughly enjoyed meeting so many people and seeing new places across the Michigan Area, but our conversations have lifted my spirits and helped me have a sense of excitement about what “Something New” might be like. As you have shared your hopes and dreams and fears, you have begun to help form what a future together might look like.
 
I have been impressed with all the gatherings across the state. And I have been pleased that the general tone of these conversations has been overwhelmingly positive. Even when fears or concerns were raised, they were done in a manner that wasn’t critical or harmful, but with an honesty that I would have expected from fellow Christians.  
 
Some of those fears/concerns were:
  •  loss of identity
  • how this will affect the local church
  • financial concerns – especially around retiree health and Wesley Foundations
  • appointments of clergy to new and unfamiliar regions of Michigan
  • why now and what will be gained from trying to do this again?
These comments have been heard. They are legitimate questions. And they will not be lost if the annual conferences choose to move forward.
 
But the majority of responses have been positive, with clergy and laity alike sharing their hopes of what it would mean for them to come together. I have heard:
  •  a desire for each conference to know more about the “other” – their cultures, their ministries, their structures, their people
  • an excitement about drawing from the strengths of each conference to create a more effective annual conference
  • a belief that together we can be stronger – with a stronger voice and more resources to share and stronger mission emphasis
  • a hope that a larger pool of clergy will allow the cabinet to match gifts and graces with needs of churches even better
  • a desire to erase the artificial lines between us
  • many voices saying, “It’s just time for us to do this.”
These comments, too, have been heard.
 
Friends, I don’t know what will happen when we take a vote in our individual annual conferences later this spring as we decide whether or not it IS time to come together. But I have a deep trust in the wisdom of the people of the United Methodist Church in Michigan. And whatever decision we make, I believe we will be stronger for having talked together, dreamed together, and shared together in honesty and Christian love.
 
As I said earlier, I don’t like “not knowing”. I don’t like uncertainty. I don’t like the chaos that comes from the possibility of major change. But what I do know is that no matter what the outcome – God is with us.
 
In a new hymn sung at several of our gatherings is this verse:
            “Trust the goodness of creation;
trust the spirit strong within.
            Dare to dream the vision promised
 sprung from seed of what has been.
                        Let us bring the gifts that differ
and in splendid , varied ways
                        Sing a new church into being,
one in faith and love and praise.
            (Words: Delores Dufner; Tune: Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing)
 
In the words of I John 3:2:
“Beloved, we are God’s children now. What we will be has not yet been revealed.”
           
We are, indeed, God’s children. May we walk in that faith, and may we trust in whatever future God has placed before us! 
 
 
With you in the exciting, challenging and life-changing work of Christ,
 
Bishop Deb

 

 

Monday - January 19, 2015
Time to step out in faith


What a great time we have had traveling across Michigan. The weather was not always the best, but the people who came out to each of the first four events made the Bishop’s Conversations on a Journey truly exciting.

It was great to hear people’s questions and comments about the possibility of creating a new conference for Michigan. It was especially exciting to be part of the “live” webcast from Cornerstone Church in Grand Rapids.

If you go to either conference website, you will find the notes which were taken at each on the events and you can even find an archived copy of the webcast. They will give you a much better sense of what we heard than I can in these few lines.

However, there were some Burning Questions which came my way during our time on the road which I would like to try and answer here for the benefit of everyone.

The first question came from a clergy person: “Does everyone who is appointed in the Detroit Conference have to go to the city of Detroit or the Upper Peninsula at least once? That’s what I heard last week at our clergy forum.” The second question, this time from a lay person, was actually heard in several variations: I know we are talking about Annual Conference, but that is way “down there” and I never see any of that at my local church. What’s a good reason for me and our church to support this idea? How will this change affect us?” And finally, at every session: “What would be a missional reason for doing this?”

I should start off by saying that neither the Bishop nor Mark Doyal nor I ever heard anything that could be characterized as negative about the “other” conference. Questions, to be sure, but nothing from either side which would lead anyone to believe that we were anything but sisters and brothers in the faith. Separated by miles and isolated by years of little or no communication, people were still not hateful or unkind. Even my clergy colleague was not being deliberately unkind. He just didn’t know enough about the Detroit Conference or the ministry locations mentioned in the question.

And my answer to this question is relatively easy: First of all, appointments in the Detroit Conference are made just like the appointments in West Michigan; by a bishop and cabinet who are committed to making disciples for Jesus Christ and transforming the world. They understand that their critical part of that process is the appointing of clergy who will do everything in their power to accomplish the same goal in the place where they are appointed. There are no pre-determined rules about where one must be appointed in either conference. The bishop and cabinet do not sit down and say to themselves, “Who hasn’t been to the UP yet? or “Who hasn’t done time in Detroit yet?” any more than they say “Who hasn’t been to a two-point charge or a really small town yet?”

Appointments are discerned on the basis of the gifts of the pastor and the needs of the congregation. There are some tethers attached to some pastors, but most of those are related to spouse or family concerns and are most often expressed as places we want to stay near rather than places we don’t want to go. And I can tell any pastor who asks that every church is unique and all people are similar in regard to their faith needs, regardless of where they live. There are some fantastic ministries happening in the cities of Detroit and Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo and Flint and there are equally fantastic ministries going on in the small congregations of the Heartland or Blue Water districts and across the Upper Peninsula.

Not every pastor will have an opportunity to reap where another has sown, but every pastor will have the opportunity to bloom where they are appointed. It’s true that some of us do not have the same gifts or skills and so we may not be equally effective in every location. But based on my personal life experience, I will say that we should not assume that there are only certain places where we can serve. I’ve been in open country and inner city and county seat settings and have found opportunities to do ministry in each place where I’ve been appointed. That is less a reflection on my gifts and more on my willingness to love the people wherever I get the opportunity to serve. And I can truthfully say that I have found people to love in every area of this state – regardless of the conference or district boundaries.

Secondly, the “will” in the second question is easier to speak to than the “how.” I can say with confidence that, if this creation of a new conference is done right, it will affect everyone. If we become more fruitful and dynamic as a conference and begin to support the work of local congregations with excellence in leadership and a shared expectation of effective missional congregations that are making disciples for Jesus Christ who are transforming the world, then every local church member will see and experience the kind of life-changing movement of the Holy Spirit which cannot help but change us.

But “how” we are going to do that and what that new conference will look like is impossible to say at this point. It is too early to speak with any certainty about retiree health care or the place of campus ministry in the life of the conference. We are a little like the Israelites who must have asked Moses exactly where they were going and how long it would take before they would set one foot in the wilderness. The biblical record seems clear. There were many who were very uncomfortable with the lack of certainty. They were, I think, good people who simply preferred the certainty of the way they had always done things to the uncertainty of an unclear destination or an unknown path, even though they had be praying for just such a “next step” in their nation’s future.

Like the children of Israel, we are at a stepping-off point on our life’s journey. We are poised at the precipice of an unseen future and we are about to decide if we will step out in faith or not. The good news in all of this is that we will get to decide what our next destination, our new conference will look like. The outcome is not pre-determined and it will not be decided by the infamous “them.” It will be all of us – clergy and lay alike – who will pool our resources and talents to create something uniquely able to respond to the circumstances we will face in the days and weeks and years to come! 

Finally, and this is my favorite question, the compelling missional reason to do this is summed up in the word “opportunity.” The creation of a new conference represents an opportunity to make necessary course corrections and even wholesale course reversals in order to deliberately go in new directions as we fulfill our mission to make disciples and transform the world. We have a long history as a denomination and as local churches in our communities of making a difference in the lives of people and communities. We have done fantastic work – in the past. And we are doing fantastic work in the present in some unique and isolated places.
 
Our denomination is still saving lives and changing the world. But as church right here in Michigan and, perhaps, as a church in the community where you live, we have lost, in my opinion, much of our sense of direction and purpose. We still talk a good game but we are losing ground and we are losing souls and we find ourselves unable to change or adapt quickly to a new and rapidly changing world. As long as we persist in trying to work harder at doing things the way we have always done things, we will continue to grow more and more fatigued with fewer faith communities to show for it.
 
This new conference has the opportunity to be a new way of doing things, with a new perspective and younger, fresher voices. To be the church in the 21st century for the people still on the horizon! I am convinced that the creation of a new conference in and for the State of Michigan is an opportunity to be in mission in this evolving mission field. It is not a guarantee, but it certainly is a possibility and an opportunity.

 

 

Tuesday - December 16, 2014
"God with us"

Well, friends, we are deep into the Christmas rush. 

 
Christmas trees have been up in stores since well before Halloween. Neighborhood homes have been decorated since the middle of November. Carols have been playing for weeks.
 
All the signs are there. We have rushed, headlong, into the frantic season Christmas has become.
 
I still love to hear my parents tell stories about Christmases past when one gift meant more than 100 today ... when there was a cozy, warm little home with a cold upstairs ... when an orange in one’s Christmas stocking was cause for excitement.
 
It seemed to me that was the way Christmas “ought” to be. 
 
And yet, as I have gotten older, I have finally come to realize that Christmas has never been 'as it ought to be'. 
 
I've never gone into the woods to cut down a tree or glided over the snow in a horse-drawn sleigh. I've never had a Christmas where there weren’t mobs of noisy people and over-filled schedules and an embarrassing number of presents under the tree.
 
That is the Christmas I know. That is the reality of Christmas, 2014.
 
Listen to these words from Matthew:
            “And you shall call his name Emmanuel (which means “God with us”).” Mt. 1:23
 
God with us.”  
 
Did you hear that? In this frantic, busy, noisy Christmas of 2014, God is still “with us”.
 
Not “with us” in a far away place and some long ago year,
            Not “with us” in some future unknown time,
                        But “with us” – now and here – in December, 2014.
 
God is still with us.
 
You see, the tinsel, the eggnog, the football games, the gag gifts, the parties, and all the rest are what God has to work with in this modern-day Christmas.
 
The hungers, the heartaches, the losses, the joys, the anticipations, the sadness and pain, are also what God has to work with this Christmas.
 
As Frederick Beuchner says,
            "The world speaks of holy things in the only language it knows, which is a worldly language."
 
Because that’s where God is – “with us” in the worldly midst of it all.
 
God with us” …
… in the $1.1 million we have given to Imagine No Malaria;
… in the countless food baskets churches have prepared for the hungry in their communities;
… in the Christmas pageants with bath-robed shepherds and tinsel-haloed angels;
… in the noise of parties - and in the quiet of a candlelight Christmas Eve service.
 
Now, that’s the Good News! And that’s a Christmas gift worth sharing!
 
God is with us. Yesterday. Today. Forever. We are not alone.   
 
Dear friends, it is my prayer that your Advent be filled with all that means Christmas to you. So that, when Christmas morning arrives, you may celebrate with deep joy the coming of the Christ Child … a joy and peace that will carry you into the days beyond Christmas with the certainty that God is truly “with us” – now and forever.
 
Thanks be to God! 
 
Blessings and peace,

                        Bishop Deb
 

 

Classifieds
Friday - March 27, 2015
Youth Director Position

Central United Methodist Church in Waterford, MI is looking to hire a part-time youth director for approximately 12-20 hours a week.  The youth director will be compensated with a salary of $12,000 per year.

Interested applicants are requested to send a letter of application and resume to John Lawrence by Monday, April 13, 2015 at info@waterfordcumc.org or at Waterford Central United Methodist Church, 3882 Highland Rd, Waterford, MI, 48328.  Phone: 248-681-0040

The job description and the application for employment can be found on the front page of our website: www.waterfordcumc.org or at our Church office.  Thank you.

Thursday - March 26, 2015
Crossroads District Christian Education Consultant

 Crossroads District is seeking a self starter Christian Education Professional. The part-time position is described in the link below.

Send cover letter, completed application, and resume by April16, 2015 by email to: crossroadsdistumc@gmail.com 

Job Description

Application Form

 

Friday - March 20, 2015
Youth Pastor - Full Time, Okemos Community Church

We are not the perfect church looking for the the perfect youth pastor, but God is doing some exciting things around here and were looking another team member to join us in reaching out in the greater Okemos area.

The Opportunity

God is calling Okemos Community Church to go to the next level in reaching high school, college and young adults. Our staff team is solid, dedicated and enjoys working together; now were searching for the right person to lead our children and student ministries to that next level, to help us launch post high ministries, and to build our connections with young adults and families.

 We desire a person with a deep commitment to Christ, an outgoing personality, a drive to connect kids to Christ and to strengthen their faith, along with the proven ability to recruit, motivate, organize and lead volunteers. Organizational skills will be critical, as will a team player attitude.

 We are open to clergy or laity for this full time salaried position. Those who are headed toward ordination, or are trained as local pastors, are encouraged to apply. As an independent congregation, that affiliates with The United Methodist Church, we are open to persons from different denominations. We are a main-line congregation with a progressive theology that is deeply committed to social and mission ministries.

 Were located 2 miles from Michigan State University and all that has to offer. The Okemos, Haslett, and East Lansing school districts consistently rank highly in the school systems in the state. We currently worship 170, and are growing. Our single worship service is traditional in style; we plan to add a distinctly different service that will connect with younger people.

The Youth Minister

  • You love Christ and are committed to the church as a place to make disciples and deepen faith

  • You love to work with children, youth, college and young adults

  • You have a great sense of humor, an engaging personality, and plenty of energy, enthusiasm and drive

  • You are a leader, called to lead youth, youth leaders, and parents

  • You are self-motivated, with a bias toward action and have solid organizational skills

  • You have experience leading youth groups, motivating and managing volunteers, and launching new ministries

 The Job Description Overview (see link to full job description)

The Associate Pastor for Children, Youth and Young Adults reports directly to the Senior Pastor and is responsible for the development and oversight of leadership teams and ministry with children, youth, post-high/college students and young families (those 0-30 years old). If clergy, the Associate Pastor will assist with pastoral duties beside the Senior Pastor (preaching, worship leadership, pastoral care, etc.) The position is full time, with a total compensation package of up to $50,000, depending on experience. For a complete job description, go to http://bit.ly/OkemosAssocPastorJobDescript. We are anxious to begin the position as soon as the right person is found. Applications will be continually reviewed as received.

 To Apply:

Please email a complete resume (including a list of 4-6 personal references) to occjobs1@gmail.com. You may also mail your resume to: Okemos Community Church, P.O. Box 680, Okemos, MI 48805.

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Thursday - March 19, 2015
Minister of Congregational Care at Ann Arbor First

Click on link above

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Wednesday - March 18, 2015
Franklin Community Church: Director of Christian Education

This is a great opportunity to join a historic congregation with a growing community of young families. Our current Director is moving out of state, and we want to continue and expand upon the innovative and developmentally appropriate programs that our families have found to be both meaningful and fun.   We are looking for someone who has a passion for ministry with children, as well as outstanding communication skills in connecting with people of all ages.

The Director will work 25-30 hours per week, including Sunday mornings, regular but flexible weekday office hours, and some midweek or weekend programs. A degree in Education, Christian Education, Child Development, or comparable education and experience is required.  Successful previous experience in guiding children’s ministry programs is highly desirable.   Our salary is competitive, and includes annual continuing education funds. 

Located in the historic Village of Franklin, Michigan, Franklin Church is just south of Fourteen Mile Road, just west of Franklin Road.  Surrounded by playgrounds, a sledding hill, and a village green, we are a United Methodist Church that is small enough to feel like a warm family, but large enough to make a difference in mission projects in Detroit, Pontiac, and across the world.  

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Wednesday - March 18, 2015
Guest Services Director, Bay Shore Camp and Family Ministries, Sebewaing, MI

 The Guest Services Director serves as the leader and manager of Guest Services, and is the primary contact with guest groups and their leaders.  This position recruits and develops guest groups, and coordinates their scheduling.  The Guest Services Director oversees the hosting of guest groups and serves as a liaison for the needs of guest groups and for the Bay Shore Camp staff.

The Guest Services Director serves on the camp’s management team.
 
This position requires a person with a servant’s heart and a commitment to the Bay Shore Camp ministry.  It requires a person who possesses an evangelical Christian commitment and a lifestyle consistent with the organization’s goals.  The ideal candidate will be fluent in verbal, written and electronic communication skills and have previous administrative and hospitality experience and training preferably in a camp and retreat ministry setting.  This person will be able to work without direct supervision and will be able to undertake the job responsibilities in a timely, friendly, respectful and detail-oriented manner.
 
The qualified candidate maintains a viable and growing relationship with Jesus Christ and exemplifies that relationship in daily life.  They will work well with others, be self-motivated, anticipate the needs of guests and staff, have the ability to multi-task, interact extremely well with the public and exhibit entrepreneurial enthusiasm.
 
This is a full time, year round management position, eligible for the camp’s benefit package, including salary, health insurance, 401K, meals and paid vacation/sick/holiday.
 
To apply for this position, please send a letter of application detailing why you would be the perfect person for this position, compensation requirements and a resume via email to: director@bayshorecamp.org.  Email the same for a complete job description.  No phone calls, please.
 
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Obituaries
Saturday - March 7, 2015
Hipwood - Rev. Billie J.

Rev. Billie J. Hipwood [Assembly of God Clergy, Retired From Serving in the Detroit Annual Conference], died Saturday, March 7, 2015. 
 

ARRANGEMENTS:

The Funeral Service will be held at 4:00pm Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at the Buresh Funeral Home located at 212 W River Road; Oscoda, MI 48750 [989-739-5141]. Visitation time will take place beginning at 1:00 p.m. prior to the service.

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Daughter]:

Mr. & Mrs. Larry and Cynthia Sabin
1820 Gawlick
Turner, MI 48715

 
Sunday - February 15, 2015
Gamber - Rev. Leonard W.

 Rev. Leonard W. Gamber [Retired Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Sunday, February 15, 2015.

ARRANGEMENTS:

A Memorial Service will take place at 11:00 a.m. Thursday, February 19, 2015 at St. John UMC, located at 3214 Grand Prix Drive; Sebring, FL 33872 [863-382-1736]. 
An additional Memorial Service will be held at a later date in the Crossroads District at Swartz Creek UMC.

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Spouse]:

Mrs. Joanne Gamber
1208 N. Peniel Avenue
Avon Park, FL 33825

GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:

Asbury Seminary - 204 N. Lexington Avenue; Wilmore, KY 40390 
or
Avon Park Holiness Camp Association - 1000 West Lake Isis Avenue; Avon Park, FL 33825

 

Saturday - February 7, 2015
Aubin - Phoebe

Mrs. Phoebe Aubin, mother - in - law to Rev. Mary G. McInnes [Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Saturday, February 7, 2015. 


ARRANGEMENTS:
Visitation will take place Monday, February 9, 2015 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors, located at 524 Liberty Park; Lapeer, MI 48446 [810-664-8282].
Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, February 10, 2015 at the Lynch & Sons Funeral Directors - Capstick Chapel in Lapeer. 

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Son]:

Mr. Damon & Rev. Mary McInnes
110 Belleview Street
Mt. Clemens, MI 48043
 
 
GIFTS IN MEMORY:

The American Legion Women’s Auxiliary
212 North Verlinden Avenue, Ste A
Lansing, MI 48915
Tuesday - February 3, 2015
Krichbaum - Dr. Daniel H.

Dr. Daniel H. Krichbaum [Retired Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Tuesday, February 3, 2015. 

 

ARRANGEMENTS:

 

Memorial Service will be held at 2:00pm Saturday, February 14, 2015 at Birmingham: First UMC located at 1589 W. Maple Road; Birmingham, MI 48009 [248-646-1200].

 

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Spouse]:

Mrs. Susan Krichbaum

24082 Bingham Pointe Drive

Bingham Farms, MI   48025

 

GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:

1) Neuroscience Center of Excellence - Beaumont Foundation, P.O. Box 5802, Troy, MI 48007  [or online at: www.beaumont.edu/foundation/ways-to-give/]

 

2) Daniel Krichbaum Memorial Fund - Detroit Public Schools, Fisher Bldg., Ste. 1004; 3011 W. Grand Blvd, Detroit, MI 48202


Saturday - January 31, 2015
Boley - Rev. Dr. Robert W

Rev. Dr. Robert W. Boley [Retired Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], father of West Michigan Conference District Superintendent, Rev. John Boley, died Saturday, January 31, 2015.

ARRANGEMENTS:

Visitation will take place Friday, February 6, 2015 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Wagley Funeral Home, located at 1501 W. Maumee Street; Adrian, MI 49221 [517-263-1400].  Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, February 7, 2015 at Adrian: First UMC located at 1245 W. Maple Avenue; Adrian, MI 49221 [517-265-6973].

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Son]:

Rev. & Mrs. John Boley & Family
2717 Frederick Avenue
Kalamazoo, MI 49006

GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:

Adrian First: UMC and Chelsea Retirement Communities

 

Friday - January 23, 2015
Shaffer - Mrs. Edna

Death Notification

 

Mrs. Edna Shaffer, surviving spouse of Rev. Howard E. Shaffer [Retired Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Friday, January 23, 2015.  
 
ARRANGEMENTS:
A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, June 27, 2015 at the Jowett Family Funeral Home located at 7223 South Street; Benzonia, MI 49616 [231-882-5097].  
 
CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Daughter]:
To the Family of Mrs. Edna Shaffer
c/o Mrs. Molly Franks
470 North Pine Tree Lane
Beulah, MI   49617
 
GIFTS IN MEMORY:
Willow Cottage c/o Grand Traverse Pavilions Foundation  
1000 Pavilions Circle; Traverse City, Michigan 49684
 
Munson Manor Hospitality House - 
1200 Medical Campus Drive; Traverse City, Michigan 49684
 
Hospice of Michigan - 989 Spaulding SE; Ada, Michigan 49301
 
 

 

Appointments
Sunday - March 1, 2015
Brown, Debra K.
FROM Local Pastor Without Appointment TO Retirement
Sunday - March 15, 2015
Schippert, Ellen o.
FROM Forester TO Local Pastor Without Appointment
Sunday - March 22, 2015
VanMarter, Dianne H.
FROM New Haven: Faith (1/2) TO Retirement
Sunday - March 22, 2015
Lewis-Lakin, Barbara
FROM Extension Ministry: Samaritan Counseling Center TO Retirement
Monday - December 1, 2014
Reinhardt, Keith
FROM Wilber (DSA) TO Wilber (PT Local Pastor)
Sunday - March 22, 2015
Combs, Jonathan
FROM Oak Park Faith UMC (1/4) TO Redford: Aldersgate UMC, Associate-Brightmoor Campus (1/4)
eNewsletters
Wednesday - May 29, 2013
Detroit Conference Connection - May 29, 2013

Detroit Conference Connection - May 29, 2013

CONFERENCE NEWS

For the latest news from the Detroit Conference, please visit www.detroitconference.org/news.
 
Perez named to Detroit Conference program staff
The Rev. Paul Perez, a deacon currently serving at Livonia: Newburg UMC and as the regional coordinator for Justice For Our Neighbors - Southeastern Michigan, has been named the Conference Director for Mission and Justice Engagement and Leadership Recruitment. Perez will begin his duties on July 1, 2013.
 
West Michigan Annual Conference session opens today
The 45th annual session of the West Michigan Conference opens today (May 29) on the campus of Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich. The opening worship service begins at 7:00 p.m. Watch live
 
BLOG: In the Same Boat…or Pup Tent
In his latest Monday Memo e-newsletter, the Rev. Dr. John Harnish, senior pastor at Birmingham: First UMC, writes about how "Methodists and Boy Scouts just seem to go together," and explores the similarities between The United Methodist Church and the Boy Scouts of America in regards to inclusion. Read article 
 
Last edition of the Conference Connection ...
Since November 2009, the Detroit Conference Connection has been the weekly resource for churches and leaders in the Detroit Conference to stay up-to-date on Conference, Area, and denominational news. This edition will be the final edition of the Detroit Conference Connection. As part of the ongoing transition from two separate conference communications offices into one Michigan Area Communications Team, a new weekly Michigan Area e-newsletter will debut in July. Watch for information about the new e-publication in the coming weeks. 
 
Bob Miller honored at MTSO Closing Convocation
Graduating seminarian Bob Miller, from the Detroit Conference, was honored at the Closing Convocation of Methodist Theological School in Ohio May 7. Miller, appointed to Milan Marble Memorial United Methodist Church, received the David Wilcox Leadership Award. The award honors the service and leadership of the Rev. Dr. David Wilcox within the United Methodist Church and as a trustee of MTSO.  The recipient must reflect characteristics of servant-leadership within the MTSO community and in church ministry, and show promise to become a leader in judicatory connections. Miller received a Master of Divinity degree at MTSO’s commencement May 18.

TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

Parish Paper - Informed Decisions
The June 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 topic - "Making Informed Decisions during Times of Change." To download the issue, please visit www.detroitconference.org/parishpaper.
 
Michigan Cokesbury Resource Consultant
Cokesbury would like to provide you with the information you and those within your conference need. To help meet your needs they have placed a Community Resource Consultant in the Michigan Area. Community Resource Consultants (CRCs) are a team of highly trained individuals providing personalized response and trusted, relevant resources to support your ministry. They are equipped to make personal visits at a time convenient for your hectic schedule. The CRC in the Michigan Area is Scott Woolum (swoolum@cokesbury.com, 248-330-5163).
 
Save the date - Circuit Rider Town and Country Workshop/Retreat
The 38th annual Circuit Rider Town and Country Workshop/Retreat will take place on Wednesday-Friday, Nov. 6-8, 2013, at the West Branch Quality Inn in West Branch, Mich. Bishop Deborah L. Kiesey will be the guest speaker, addressing the theme "Life in the Glass Bowl: managing privacy and boundaries as the preacher/spouse." More information 
 
Online market benefits local churches
The Office of Corporate Responsibility at the General Council on Finance and Administration, the denomination’s finance agency, is announcing a new program. UMCmarket will allow United Methodists the opportunity to shop online at some of their favorite places while generating a donation to their local church.  Read news release  |  Sign up for UMCmarket
 
Conference on kids’ faith development
Church leaders and workers who are engaged in ministry with children can celebrate their work and discuss ways to help children grow in faith at the 2013 United Methodist Conference on Ministry with Children. The conference, “Make a Joyful Noise to the Lord,” is set for July 23-26 at Buncombe Street United Methodist Church in Greenville. The United Methodist Board of Discipleship is the sponsor.  Read news release  |  To register

CAMP AND RETREAT NEWS

The Values of Being Accredited
Judson Collins Center, Camp Kinawind, and Lake Huron Retreat Center are accredited by The American Camp Association, as is Camp Michigamme in the Marquette District. When you see the ACA sign at a camp, know that it is trusted sign. The ACA-Accredited Camp sign has 50 years of parent trust behind it. For a very busy and preoccupied public, it is a way to presort among camp options.  Accreditation identifies those programs which offer a solid foundation of health, safety, and program quality. It offers assurance that camps comply with up to 300 health, safety, and program quality standards. It is solid proof of our accountability, credibility, and commitment.  It is evidence that we care. It demonstrates that we have gone to great lengths, have been evaluated, and have passed the test!  It shows that we continually seek expert counsel. Experts from many fields, including The American Academy of Pediatrics, American Red Cross, etc., continually work with ACA to improve their camp standards program. Serving the children and youth of our Conference through camp and retreat ministries is a great privilege, and a great responsibility. Being accredited helps us provide an even greater experience to your young people!
 
Open House and Groundbreaking at Judson Collins Center - June 8
Join us for a great day at Judson Collins Center on Saturday, June 8!  It will be a day of camp fun and celebration.  The day begins at 2:00 p.m. with a variety of camp activities, including hayrides, canoeing and kayaking, and ga-ga ball.  At 4:00 p.m., we’ll have a special time of worship with Bishop Deborah L. Kiesey as we break ground for the Acorn Lodge, a new retreat center that will serve up to 50 people.  At 5:30 p.m., we’ll enjoy a Barbecue dinner, followed by more fun and a closing campfire. For more information and to make dinner reservations, please visit www.umccamps.org.
 
Golf Scramble for Camperships - June 14
The Joanne Liles Memorial Golf Scramble for camperships will be Friday, June 14 at the Chemung Hills Golf Course in Howell, Mich. The cost of $85 for individuals or $320 for a foursome covers 18 holes, carts, lunch, great fellowship and prizes! The scramble is a great way to help young people attend church camp this summer while have a fun day out with friends. For more information and online registration, visit www.umccamps.org.

UPCOMING EVENTS

To view the conference calendar and submit events, please visit www.detroitconference.org/events. For events happening in local churches across the conference, please visit http://www.detroitconference.org/events/index?mode=church. Local churches may submit events through the Church Dashboard at www.detroitconference.org/churchdashboard.
  • May 30 - New Beginnings (Pastors, Administrative Assistants, Staff) - Frankenmuth UMC
  • June 1 - New Beginnings (Staff/Pastor-Parish Relations Committee members) - Troy: Big Beaver UMC
  • July 4 - Conference office closed in observance of Independence Day
  • July 8-16 - Wesley Heritage Tour with Bill Dobbs
  • July 12-14 - 11th National Gathering of United Methodist Men
  • July 21-26 - Michigan Area School for License as a Local Pastor
  • August 20-22 - Michigan Area School for Pastoral Ministry

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Michigan Area Bishop Deborah L. Kiesey has announced the following appointment for the Detroit Conference.
  • Dr. Frederick Sampson, III to Bloomfield Hills: St. Paul UMC (Detroit Renaissance District), effective July 1, 2013. He is currently serving as a staff member at Redford Aldersgate UMC (Detroit Renaissance District). Sampson is the campus pastor for the West Outer Drive campus.
For all appointment announcements, please visit www.detroitconference.org/appointments.

DEATH NOTICES

The following death notices were received by the Conference Office over the last week. To view all of the death notices, please visit www.detroitconference.org/obituaries.
  • Cynthia Hall, sister of Rev. Jan Brown [Detroit Annual Conference Clergy] died Monday, May 20, 2013.

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

 
Inseparably tied by the tornado
MOORE, Okla. (UMNS) — “We need to embrace that, sometimes, the right thing to say is nothing, and simply share the embrace and the tears,” writes the Rev. Adam Shahan, associate pastor of First United Methodist Church, in The Huffington Post. Shahan, age 12 when the 1999 EF5 tornado hit Oklahoma City, has been there twice.  Read commentary  |  Support U.S. disaster relief  |  How to volunteer  |  Dealing with disaster
 
Boy Scouts lift ban on gay members
GRAPEVINE, Texas (UMNS) — Boy Scouts of America leaders voted by a substantial margin today, May 23, to lift the organization’s longstanding ban on openly gay youth in the Scouting movement. The change could affect ministries at 6,700 United Methodist churches in the United States. The discussion also has helped re-energize a longtime debate about human sexuality within The United Methodist Church.  Read story and post a comment
 
Bishop: Time to lobby senators over immigration reform
WASHINGTON (UMNS) —The Senate Judiciary Committee will send an amended immigration reform bill to the full Senate when it reconvenes in June. United Methodist Bishop Minerva Carcaño is calling for bishops and other United Methodists to use this crucial time to contact their senators because the bill has “weaknesses that would keep it from being the just and humane comprehensive immigration reform that we have all worked so hard for,” she said. Carcaño, of the California-Pacific Annual (regional) Conference, along with the other active bishops of The United Methodist Church, went to the U.S.-Mexican border.  Read more  |  View slideshow
 
Looking ahead
Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. 
  • Inspiration Saturday, June 1 — Event featuring Michigan Area Bishop Deborah Lieder Kiesey and the Rev. Lovett H. Weems of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT at Calvin College Covenant Fine Arts Center, Grand Rapids, Mich. Details.
  • Free webinar “The New Senior: Boomers,” June 20 — 6:30 p.m. CT, tips on ministering to this large generation from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register.
  • “Inside Out for the Glory of God,” July 12-14 — Eleventh national gathering of United Methodist Men at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. Details
  • School of Congregational Development, Aug. 15-18 — Hosted at Denver Marriott Tech Center, sponsored by the United Methodist Board of Discipleship, Path1 and Board of Global Ministries. Theme is “Encountering God at the Edge.” Details
  • School of Congregational Development, Satellite Experience, Aug. 17 — Offsite participation is available from satellite congregations within the five U.S. jurisdictions. Registrants will participate remotely through live and tape-delayed interactive live streaming. Details.
  • Exploration 2013, Nov. 15-17 — Event for young adults, ages 18-26, considering ordained ministry, Marriott Denver Tech Center, sponsored by United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Speakers include Louisiana Area Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey and the Rev. Jorge Acevedo, senior pastor of the multicampus Grace Church in Southwest Florida. Details.

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

To view and submit classifieds, please visit www.detroitconference.org/classifieds. Local churches may enter a classified through the Church Dashboard at www.detroitconference.org/churchdashboard.
 
Current job openings within the Detroit Conference:
  • Worship Leader - Bay City: Grace UMC
  • Music Director - Bay City: Grace UMC
  • Director of Youth Ministry - Clarkston UMC
  • Youth Leader for Junior and Senior High Students - Holly: Calvary UMC
  • Part-time Custodian - Goodrich UMC
  • Part-time Communications Director - Clarkston UMC
  • Part-time Clerical Assistant - Detroit: Central UMC
  • Nursery Attendant - Detroit: Metropolitan UMC
  • Part-time Youth Director - Crossroads District
  • Custodian - Detroit: Trinity-Faith UMC
  • Church Secretary/Treasurer - Brown City UMC

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

Detroit Conference on facebook: www.facebook.com/detroitconference
Detroit Conference on Twitter: www.twitter.com/umcdetroitconf
Wednesday - May 22, 2013
Detroit Conference Connection - May 22, 2013

Detroit Conference Connection - May 22, 2013

Editor's note: The Detroit Conference Connection will cease publication following next week's edition (May 29). A new Michigan Area e-newsletter will debut in early July. For news and information during June, please visit www.detroitconference.org.

CONFERENCE NEWS

For the latest news from the Detroit Conference, please visit www.detroitconference.org/news.
 
Bishop Kiesey calls for prayer for tornado victims
Michigan Area Bishop Deborah L. Kiesey is calling on Michigan United Methodists to "join our prayers together" for the people affected by the devastating tornados in recent days. Read more  
 
2013 Detroit Annual Conference session review
Beginning a quadrennial theme of "Disciples: Made in Michigan," the 2013 session of the Detroit Annual Conference focused on leadership as it met from May 16-19 in Adrian, Mich. For the 45th consecutive year, the conference took place on the campus of Adrian College, a United Methodist-affiliated institution. Read more 
 
Oklahoma Conference asks collaborative response
“I know you are seeing and hearing news reports about the devastation and want to assist. … Do not self-deploy. Best practices in times of crises call for a collaborative response, so people who can help are directed to where that help and those skills are most needed and will be most effective,” wrote the Rev. Richard Norman, disaster response coordinator for the Oklahoma Conference. The confirmed death toll was at 51 with hundreds injured after a second round of devastating storms hit the state Monday. Here is what the Oklahoma Conference is asking people to do
 
How to give in response to disasters
The United Methodist Church is well situated to respond to disasters because of its churches in almost every county and community across the United States and the worldwide Methodist connection with annual conferences, central conferences and autonomous partner churches on five continents.  Here is how giving works  |  Cash donations encouraged over clothing, other items  |  Volunteers urged to be patient
 
Opening worship "Remembers" Detroit Annual Conference
The 2013 session of the Detroit Annual Conference opened on Thursday, May 16, with an opening worship that featured a time of remembrance, a baptism, and a sermon from Michigan Area Bishop Deborah L. Kiesey. Read more
 
Hamilton brings Leadership Institute to Detroit Conference
The Rev. Adam Hamilton, senior pastor at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, gave three talks during the 2013 Detroit Annual Conference session, teaching leaders about leadership, worship, preaching, and missional outreach. Read more
 
"Through Death Comes Resurrection," conference preacher reminds
The Rev. Dottie Escobedo-Frank offered two challenging sermons during the 2013 Detroit Annual Conference session, focusing on revitalizing congregations and individuals. Read more


TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

Mission u (formerly the School of Christian Mission) 
The handout at Annual Conference and the insert in the Detroit Conference News (the Conference United Methodist Women newsletter) reversed the listing of two of the study leaders.  Rev. Dr. Jerry DeVine will be the study leader for the study "The Call:Living Sacramentally, Walking Justly".  Rev. Dr. Sherry Parker will be the study leader for the study "The Roma of Europe".   Mission u Events are happening Saturday, July 20 at Livonia:Newburg UMC; Thursday, August 15 and Friday-Saturday, August 16-17 at the Lake Huron Retreat Center.   Registration information can also be found on the United Methodist Women conference website http://www.gbgm-umc.org/detcumw
 
How the new Facebook news feed affects your church
On March 7, 2013, Facebook announced a major update to the news feed. Learn about the changes and takeaways to implement immediately. Read more
 
Aldersgate Day: Celebrating Wesley’s experience
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — May 24 is Aldersgate Day. This celebrates our founder John Wesley's life-changing experience at a meeting on Aldersgate Street, London, May 24, 1738. He wrote extensively of that experience in his journal for that day. Read Wesley’s words at Interpreter Online  |  What a Georgia church plans
 
Easily find and engage local communities via social media
Even if you're doing everything possible to promote your church and make it easy for new visitors to find you, it may not be enough. So find them. Read more
 
Resources for graduation, commencement, and baccalaureate
The General Board of Discipleship has compiled free resources to aid in worship during the graduation season. View resources 
 
It's time! Put your sermon audio online: Best hosting plans
Among any church’s most easily shared resources is the weekly sermon. New Web technologies and digital recorders make it easy to capture and upload sermons. What are you waiting for? It's time! Read more

UPCOMING EVENTS

To view the conference calendar and submit events, please visit www.detroitconference.org/events. For events happening in local churches across the conference, please visit http://www.detroitconference.org/events/index?mode=church. Local churches may submit events through the Church Dashboard at www.detroitconference.org/churchdashboard.
  • May 26 - Peace with Justice Sunday
  • May 27 - Conference office closed in observance of Memorial Day
  • May 30 - New Beginnings (Pastors, Administrative Assistants, Staff) - Frankenmuth UMC
  • June 1 - New Beginnings (Staff/Pastor-Parish Relations Committee members) - Troy: Big Beaver UMC
  • July 4 - Conference office closed in observance of Independence Day
  • July 8-16 - Wesley Heritage Tour with Bill Dobbs
  • July 12-14 - 11th National Gathering of United Methodist Men
  • July 21-26 - Michigan Area School for License as a Local Pastor
  • August 20-22 - Michigan Area School for Pastoral Ministry

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

For all appointment announcements, please visit www.detroitconference.org/appointments. To view the document that was handed out at the 2013 Detroit Annual Conference session containing all appointments as of May 20, 2013, click here.

DEATH NOTICES

The following death notices were received by the Conference Office over the last week. To view all of the death notices, please visit www.detroitconference.org/obituaries.
  • Rev. John Miller [Retired Detroit Annual Conference Clergy] died Sunday, May 19, 2013.

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

Click here to view the latest stories from the United Methodist News service. 
 
Church begins 3,175 new worship places worldwide
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — The United Methodist Church established 3,175 new places for new people to worship God around the world during the past quadrennium, according to a new report. The Worldwide Church Plant Update includes 684 new churches started by annual conferences in the United States, 574 new churches and cell groups initiated by Global Mission Initiatives, and 1,917 new missions, churches, circuits and preaching points in the Central Conferences. Read more
 
Saying farewell to United Methodist Reporter
DALLAS (UMNS) — United Methodists across the United States are sharing a sense of loss following the news that UMR Communications, publisher of the United Methodist Reporter, will shut its doors May 31. After years of financial struggles, the board of UMR Communications unanimously voted May 16 to shutter the Dallas-based nonprofit, ceasing a publication that has been covering Methodism since 1847. Read story and post a comment
 
Garrett-Evangelical selects new president
EVANSTON, Ill. (UMNS) – The Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary Board of Trustees selected Lallene J. Rector to be the next president of Garrett-Evangelical. Now the seminary’s vice president for academic affairs and academic dean, Rector will succeed Philip A. Amerson, who will retire on Dec. 31 after nearly eight years as president. Read story 
 
Looking ahead
Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. 
  • Peace with Justice Sunday, May 26 — One of the churchwide special Sundays, it provides financial support programs that advocate for peace and justice in annual (regional) conferences and around the globe. Resources.
  • Inspiration Saturday, June 1 — Event featuring Michigan Area Bishop Deborah Lieder Kiesey and the Rev. Lovett H. Weems of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. CT at Calvin College Covenant Fine Arts Center, Grand Rapids, Mich. Details.
  • Free webinar “The New Senior: Boomers,” June 20 — 6:30 p.m. CT, tips on ministering to this large generation from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register.
  • “Inside Out for the Glory of God,” July 12-14 — Eleventh national gathering of United Methodist Men at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. Details
  • School of Congregational Development, Aug. 15-18 — Hosted at Denver Marriott Tech Center, sponsored by the United Methodist Board of Discipleship, Path1 and Board of Global Ministries. Theme is “Encountering God at the Edge.” Details
  • School of Congregational Development, Satellite Experience, Aug. 17 — Offsite participation is available from satellite congregations within the five U.S. jurisdictions. Registrants will participate remotely through live and tape-delayed interactive live streaming. Details.
  • Exploration 2013, Nov. 15-17 — Event for young adults, ages 18-26, considering ordained ministry, Marriott Denver Tech Center, sponsored by United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Speakers include Louisiana Area Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey and the Rev. Jorge Acevedo, senior pastor of the multicampus Grace Church in Southwest Florida. Details.

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

To view and submit classifieds, please visit www.detroitconference.org/classifieds. Local churches may enter a classified through the Church Dashboard at www.detroitconference.org/churchdashboard.
 
Current job openings within the United Methodist connection:
  • Youth Director - East Lake UMC (Florida)
  • Worship Music Director - Bowling Green First UMC (Ohio)
Current job openings within the Detroit Conference:
  • Youth Leader for Junior and Senior High Students - Holly: Calvary UMC
  • Part-time Custodian - Goodrich UMC
  • Part-time Communications Director - Clarkston UMC
  • Clerical Assistant - Detroit: Central UMC
  • Nursery Attendant - Detroit: Metropolitan UMC
  • Part-time Youth Director - Crossroads District
  • Custodian - Detroit: Trinity-Faith UMC
  • Church Secretary/Treasurer - Brown City UMC

About the Detroit Conference Connection

The Detroit Conference Connection is the weekly e-newsletter of the Detroit Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. 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 www.detroitconference.org/site/stayconnected. To submit news items for the Detroit Conference Connection, please send stories to Paul Thomas, Director of Communications

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

Detroit Conference on facebook: www.facebook.com/detroitconference
Detroit Conference on Twitter: www.twitter.com/umcdetroitconf
Wednesday - May 8, 2013
Detroit Conference Connection - May 8, 2013

Detroit Conference Connection - May 8, 2013

CONFERENCE NEWS

For the latest news from the Detroit Conference, please visit www.detroitconference.org/news.
 
Amendments to UMC Constitution to be considered at annual conference session
As part of the business of the 2013 Detroit Annual Conference session, members of the conference will consider four amendments to the Constitution of The United Methodist Church. These proposed amendments were passed by a two-thirds margin during the 2012 General Conference session in Tampa, Fla. Read story 
 
Liberia missionary visiting Detroit Conference in May
Princess Jusu, a missionary with the General Board of Global Minsistries serving in Monrovia, Liberia, will be visiting the Detroit Conference during the next two weeks. Read more 
 
Michigan Area Ministry Center proposal
For the past 15 years, the Michigan Area has rented 3,500 square feet in Okemos, Mich., for use as the Episcopal office. A proposal from the Trustees of the Detroit and West Michigan Conferences will be considered at the 2013 annual conference session to locate and jointly purchase property and structure for a Michigan Area Ministry Center. Watch video 
 
Collections to benefit Haiti, Liberia, and malaria to take place at annual conference session
A number of special collections will take place during the annual conference session, including offerings for ministries in Haiti and Liberia, Imagine No Malaria, and collections of new underwear for community agencies as part of the Bishop's Seat Cover Project. View all of the opportunities for you and your church to give 
 
Join Bishop Deb in urging funding to prevent malaria-related deaths
In conjunction with the Imagine No Malaria campaign, the General Board of Church and Society is asking mothers (and others) to sign the "Moms for Moms" petition to preserve U.S. global health funding to fight malaria and other diseases of poverty. Due to across-the-board U.S. spending cuts related to the sequester, global health funding is being cut by 4.8%. These cuts will significantly impact treatment, prevention and care related to malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS. Join Bishop Deb and sign the petition 
 
New website powers United Methodist young adults
A collaboration among United Methodist agencies and local ministries has produced a new website, revgo.org, to help connect young adults in "spiritual discernment through missional engagement." United Methodist-connected ministries that engage young adults as interns, missionaries, staff and ministry leadership teams can use REVGO as a platform for fundraising, story sharing and recruitment. For more information
 
Updated malaria documentary now airing on NBC
United Methodist Communications is releasing an updated version of the Imagine No Malaria documentary, “Killer in the Dark: An Extraordinary Effort to Combat Malaria,” in collaboration with the Interfaith Broadcasting Commission. This sequel, set to air on NBC affiliates through Nov. 3, reflects new research and scientific advancements in the fight against malaria. More information
 
May edition of Michigan Area Reporter now online
The May edition of the Michigan Area Reporter, the newspaper of the Detroit and West Michigan Conferences, has arrived at local churches across the state and can now be viewed online. Read the paper 

2013 ANNUAL CONFERENCE SESSION

The 2013 Detroit Annual Conference session will take place on Thursday-Sunday, May 16-19, on the campus of Adrian College in Adrian, Mich. Information about the annual event can be found at www.detroitconference.org/annualconference.
 
Health Screening to take place during annual conference session
As part of its wellness initiatives, the Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits will offer a health screening during the 2013 annual conference session. The screening will again be conducted by Personal Health Partners (PHP) who provides health screening opportunities for many annual conferences. The screenings will take place on campus from 6:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. on Friday-Saturday, May 17-18. The cost of the screening for all active clergy, lay employees, spouses, and dependents age 18 or older that are enrolled in the conference group health insurance plan is being subsidized by the Board of Pension and Health Benefits. All others may receive the screening at a cost of $120, which is payable to PHP at the time of the screening. As part of the screening, fasting for eight hours is preferred but not required. A patient-friendly interpretation of the screening results with explanation of significant findings will be mailed to the participating within two weeks of the screenings, which the participant is encouraged to share with his/her primary physician. Results from the previous year are also included in the report for comparison and reference. Results are completely confidential. The laboratory panel being offered contains a comprehensive array of tests based on those done annually for the physical exam of the President of the United States. Significant findings may indicate the presence or risk of serious, acute, and chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and cancer.
 
Committee on Nominations seeks to fill vacancies
There are a variety of vacancies in the Report of the Committee on Nominations, 2013, that require special passions and skills, which the Committee on Nominations does not have the knowledge to fill.  For this reason, the Committee on Nominations encourages all members of the Detroit Annual Conference session to examine the Report of the Committee on Nominations, 2013, identify agencies which have a blank line (_______), and look up the nature of each agency in the Agency Description center. If you know a person who has the passions, skills and time to fill the job, please submit a Nominee Application, which is available at the same website. An individual who has the necessary qualifications is encouraged to “self nominate,” which can be a rich talent source, or you can nominate a fellow member, especially if you have discussed the position with the individual and know that the person will accept. Important jobs, as chairs or members, include the Committee on Disability Concerns, Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministries, Commission on the Status and Role of Women, Protection Policy Committee, Board of Global Ministries, Committee on Ethnic Local Church Concerns, and Board of Pension and Health Benefits, as well as the other agencies. In addition, the Committee on Nominations requests At-Large Nominee Applications for its five open positions (one clergy, two laymen and two laywomen) which are to be nominated by the Annual Conference. All Nominee Applications should include the nominee’s initials in the “acceptance” box at the bottom of the first page and be emailed to Michelle Walkup (michellewalkup@sbcglobal.net) by Tuesday, May 14, or be delivered to Michelle at the Detroit Annual Conference session before 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, May 18. 
 
United Alumni meal - Saturday. May 18
All alumni and friends of United Theological Seminary are invited to a lunch at 12:15 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, at the WOW Cafe on the campus of Adrian College. United President Wendy J. Deichmann will be present to share exciting news about United's growth and new programs for prospective students. Contact the Rev. Dr. J.D. Landis at 989-835-7877 to RSVP. The WOW Cafe is located in the Arrington Ice Arena. 
 
Clergy choir being formed for Service of Ordination and Commissioning
A choir made up of active and retired clergy (including deacons, elders, and local pastors) is being formed for the Service of Ordination and Commissioning, which will take place at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 19. Clergy interested in singing with the choir are asked to bring their robes and a red stole to wear during the service. The Rev. David Gladstone will be directing the choir.
 
2013 session to be live-streamed
All plenary sessions and worship services during the 2013 Detroit Annual Conference session will be streamed live on the conference website.

TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

Rethinking Church… might mean live video streaming your weekly worship to your mobile app!
TechShop launches these two new services at discount prices for local churches. Use discount code: Techshop. Want to know more? Go to: www.myUMCapp.com and www.myUMClive.com
 
Sign up now for Techshop’s email
Keep up with the latest product releases! TechShop e-cards give you the rundown on new products, along with access to exclusive promotional codes to save on purchases! TechShop e-cards are published once every three to four weeks. Sign up today: umcom.org/subscribe_techshop.

CAMP AND RETREAT MINISTRIES NEWS

Hospitality Tent at Annual Conference
Camp and Retreat Ministries will be back at Annual Conference again this year with our Hospitality Tent.  Be sure to stop by and enjoy some coffee, cookies, popcorn , fruit and fellowship!  We’ll again have coffee travel mugs and water bottles for sale, along with other camp store goodies.   Proceeds go to support our campership fund, so plan to eat heartily and give generously!
 
Open House and Groundbreaking at Judson Collins Center - June 8
Join us for a great day at Judson Collins Center on Saturday, June 8!  It will be a day of camp fun and celebration.  The day begins at 2 PM with a variety of camp activities, including hayrides, canoeing and kayaking, and ga-ga ball.  At 4 PM, we’ll have a special time of worship with Bishop Kiesey as we break ground for the Acorn Lodge, a new retreat center that will serve up to 50 people.  At 5:30 PM, we’ll enjoy a Barbeque dinner, followed by more fun and a closing campfire.  
For more information and to make dinner reservations, please visit www.umccamps.org.
 
Golf Scramble for Camperships - June 14
The Joanne Liles Memorial Golf Scramble for camperships will be Friday, June 14 at the Chemung Hills Golf Course in Howell, Michigan.  The cost of $85 for individuals or $320 for a foursome covers 18 holes, carts, lunch, great fellowship and prizes!  The scramble is a great way to help young people attend church camp this summer while have a fun day out with friends.  For more information and online registration, visit www.umccamps.org .

UPCOMING EVENTS

To view the conference calendar and submit events, please visit www.detroitconference.org/events. For events happening in local churches across the conference, please visit http://www.detroitconference.org/events/index?mode=church. Local churches may submit events through the Church Dashboard at www.detroitconference.org/churchdashboard.
  • May 16-19 - 2013 Detroit Annual Conference session - Adrian, Mich.
  • May 26 - Peace with Justice Sunday
  • May 27 - Conference office closed in observance of Memorial Day
  • May 30 - New Beginnings (Pastors, Administrative Assistants, Staff) - Frankenmuth UMC
  • June 1 - New Beginnings (Staff/Pastor-Parish Relations Committee members) - Troy: Big Beaver UMC
  • July 4 - Conference office closed in observance of Independence Day
  • July 8-16 - Wesley Heritage Tour with Bill Dobbs
  • July 12-14 - 11th National Gathering of United Methodist Men
  • July 21-26 - Michigan Area School for License as a Local Pastor
  • August 20-22 - Michigan Area School for Pastoral Ministry

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Michigan Area Bishop Deborah L. Kiesey has announced the following appointment for the Detroit Conference:
  • Carol Blair-Bouse to Flint: Hope UMC (Crossroads District), effective July 1, 2013. She is currently providing pastoral leadership to Bay City: Christ UMC (Saginaw Bay District).
Editor's note: In last week's Connection it was announced that Lee Sayer was appointed to New Lothrup UMC (Crossroads District) as a district superintendent assignment, 1/2-time, effective July 1, 2013. We mistakenly referenced Lee as a male and sincerely apologize for the error. This will be her first assignment.
 
To view appointment updates, please visit www.detroitconference.org/appointments

DEATH NOTICES

The following death notices were received by the Conference Office over the last week. To view all of the death notices, please visit www.detroitconference.org/obituaries.
  • Rev. Roy Syme [Retired Detroit Annual Conference Clergy] died Tuesday, April 30, 2013.

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

 
Theologian faces charges for same-sex wedding
NEW YORK (UMNS) — A United Methodist theologian and retired elder is facing formal charges under church law and a potential trial for officiating at the same-sex wedding of his son. The Rev. Thomas Ogletree, a retired seminary dean noted for his work on Christian ethics, presided over the wedding of Thomas Rimbey Ogletree to Nicholas Haddad on Oct. 20. In a statement, Ogletree, 79, described the ceremony as “one of the most significant ritual acts of my life as a pastor.” Read story and post a comment
 
United Methodist bishops work toward common goals
SAN DIEGO (UMNS) — “Exploring leadership for an emerging church” will be the theme of the first meeting of the Forum of Residential Bishops, scheduled on May 5-9. Read news release
 
‘By all means, save some!’
TRENTON, N.J. (UMNS) — Amid recent tragedies in Boston and West, Texas, retired United Methodist Bishop Felton May points to the failure of the U.S. Senate to pass a bill on gun safety as potential for future tragedy and violence. In a commentary, May cites disappointment in politicians “who broke the hearts of gun victims’ families everywhere and also broke their vow to represent the interests of voters, an overwhelming majority of whom support universal background checks for gun purchases.” Read full story and comment
 
Looking ahead
Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. 
  • Older Adult Recognition Sunday, any Sunday in MayResources compiled by the Virginia Annual (regional) Conference.
  • Free webinar “Has God Been Invited to the Conversation?” May 9 — 6:30 p.m. CT, help with church and community prayer from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register
  • Ascension Day, May 9 — Celebrate Christ’s Ascension with resources from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship.
  • Mother’s Day, May 12 — Imagine No Malaria provides offering envelopes, posters and bulletin inserts to prepare for special offerings on Mother’s Day to benefit the campaign, which has significant impact on the lives of mothers and children. Details.
  • Free webinar “Gen2Gen: Sharing Jesus Across the Generations,” May 14 — 6:30 p.m. CT, from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register
  • Free webinar “Committed to Christ: Six Steps to a Generous Life,” May 16 — 6:30 p.m. CT, help with stewardship from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register
  • Change the World, May 18-19 — Join the United Methodist Rethink Church event that helps build community locally and fight malaria globally. Details.
  • Pentecost, May 19 — Celebrate the birthday of the Christian church with resources from the Board of Discipleship and the United Methodist Publishing House’s Ministry Matters
  • Free webinar “Spiritual Development in the Early Years,” May 22 — 10 a.m. CT, tips on the spiritual development of children from birth to 5 from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register.
  • Peace with Justice Sunday, May 26 — One of the churchwide special Sundays, it provides financial support programs that advocate for peace and justice in annual (regional) conferences and around the globe. Resources.
  • “Inside Out for the Glory of God,” July 12-14 — Eleventh national gathering of United Methodist Men at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. Details
  • School of Congregational Development, Aug. 15-18 — Hosted at Denver Marriott Tech Center, sponsored by the United Methodist Board of Discipleship, Path1 and Board of Global Ministries. Theme is “Encountering God at the Edge.” Details

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

To view and submit classifieds, please visit www.detroitconference.org/classifieds. Local churches may enter a classified through the Church Dashboard at www.detroitconference.org/churchdashboard.
 
Current job openings within the United Methodist connection:
Worship Music Director - First UMC - Bowling Green, Ohio
 
Current job openings within the Detroit Conference:
Director of Youth and Family Ministry - Flint: Lincoln Park UMC
Nursery Attendance - Detroit: Metropolitan UMC
Associate Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries - Detroit: Central UMC
Conference Director for Mission and Justice Engagement and Leadership Recruitment - Detroit Conference
Youth Director (part-time) - Crossroads District
Custodian - Detroit: Trinity-Faith UMC

About the Detroit Conference Connection

The Detroit Conference Connection is the weekly e-newsletter of the Detroit Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. 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 www.detroitconference.org/site/stayconnected. To submit news items for the Detroit Conference Connection, please send stories to Paul Thomas, Director of Communications.

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

Detroit Conference on facebook: www.facebook.com/detroitconference
Detroit Conference on Twitter: www.twitter.com/umcdetroitconf

 

Wednesday - May 1, 2013
Detroit Conference Connection - May 1, 2013

Detroit Conference Connection - May 1, 2013

CONFERENCE NEWS

For the latest news from the Detroit Conference, please visit www.detroitconference.org/news.
 
Collection for UMCOR Cleaning Buckets to take place on May 29
A conference-wide collection of UMCOR Cleaning Buckets will take place on Wednesday, May 29, to help alleviate the high demand in the Midwest for the disaster response materials. Learn more 
 
Parish Paper - Important conversations
The May 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 topic - "Important Conversations: How to Avoid the Sand Traps." To download the issue, please visit www.detroitconference.org/parishpaper.
 
Last chance to register for annual conference
This Friday, May 2, is the final day to register for the 2013 Detroit Annual Conference session. After Friday, the only way to register for the conference will be on site at Adrian College. Register now
 
Bishops work toward common goals
“Exploring leadership for an emerging church” will be the theme of the first meeting of the Forum of Residential Bishops, scheduled on May 5-9, 2013 in San Diego. Read more 
 
United Methodists to Change the World in May
On May 18-19, United Methodists around the globe will unite in service with their local communities for the fourth annual Change the World weekend. Change the World was observed in more than 1,500 locations internationally in 2012. United Methodist Communications has created several free planning resources including a sermon series and ideas for service projects. To locate an event in your area, go to RethinkChurch.org. Join the Change the World conversation online on Facebook, or on Twitter and Instagram using #changetheworld and #rethinkchurch. Resources  Learn more
 
Chuck Knows Church: Communion
“Chuck Knows Church” leads viewers through communion, one of two sacraments (along with baptism) in The United Methodist Church. This is the first of a three-part series about communion.  Read and watch

2013 ANNUAL CONFERENCE SESSION

The 2013 Detroit Annual Conference session will take place on Thursday-Sunday, May 16-19, on the campus of Adrian College in Adrian, Mich. Information about the annual event can be found at www.detroitconference.org/annualconference.
 
United Alumni meal - Saturday. May 18
All alumni and friends of United Theological Seminary are invited to a lunch at 12:15 p.m. on Saturday, May 18, at the WOW Cafe on the campus of Adrian College. United President Wendy J. Deichmann will be present to share exciting news about United's growth and new programs for prospective students. Contact the Rev. Dr. J.D. Landis at 989-835-7877 to RSVP. The WOW Cafe is located in the Arrington Ice Arena. 
 
Clergy choir being formed for Service of Ordination and Commissioning
A choir made up of active and retired clergy (including deacons, elders, and local pastors) is being formed for the Service of Ordination and Commissioning, which will take place at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 19. Clergy interested in singing with the choir are asked to bring their robes and a red stole to wear during the service. The Rev. David Gladstone will be directing the choir.
 
#dac13
For Twitter users that will be attending or watching the 2013 Detroit Annual Conference session: if you are going to be tweeting during the conference, please use the hashtag #dac13.
 
2013 session to be live-streamed
All plenary sessions and worship services during the 2013 Detroit Annual Conference session will be streamed live on the conference website at www.detroitconference.org/aclive.
 
iPad Giveaway at the 2013 Detroit Annual Conference by the Called to Ministry Team of the Board of Ordained Ministry
If you have had a Called to Ministry Sunday since the 2012 Detroit Annual Conference, you may enter our iPad giveaway which will take place during Annual Conference. You may enter by emailing the Board of Ordained Ministry Recruitment Team at enteringministry@gmail.com with (1) your name, (2) church or ministry setting, (3) when you had your Called to Ministry Sunday, and (4) names of anyone who responded to God's call to ministry. If you do not know what a Called to Ministry Sunday is, in it's simplest form is to have at least one moment during your worship service to ask if anyone may feel called to ministry and to speak with clergy of the church or ministry setting to discuss his/her call to ministry and to pursue the next steps.  For more information and resources on having a Called to Ministry Sunday, please email us at enteringministry@gmail.com and we will send you more information.  Please also visitwww.detroitconference.org/calledtoministry to learn more and to share our website and resources with someone who feels call to ministry.  The website includes BOM Recruitment Team members to contact with any questions and/or for guidance.


TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

Keep your church connected with live video streaming for as little as $79/month
Introducing live video streaming from TechShop! For as little as $79/month your church can have worship services streamed live over the Internet, connecting your church with younger, more diverse parts of your community as well as homebound and traveling members of your congregation. Anyone with Internet connection can experience your worship services via your website, Facebook fan page or mobile app. They can sing with the music, hear the Scriptures and listen to the sermon, just like they were there in-person. To get live streaming for your church, visit myUMClive.com and use the discount code: TechShop or call 1-888-346-3862.
 
Pastors Moving to New Churches Need the Right Start
Are you a pastor preparing to begin ministry in a new setting? With The Right Start DVD/CD Resource, you’ll learn how to end your current ministry well, develop a personal transition plan, and make the most of your first days, weeks, and months in your new congregation. Learn more
 
Learn 50 Ways to Welcome a New Pastor
If a new pastor or associate pastor is in your congregation’s future, be sure to check out the updated 50 Ways resource from the Lewis Center. This free handout shares how to say goodbye to your current pastor in a healthy way and offers helpful advice on how to welcome your new pastor. Download the PDF now

CAMP AND RETREAT MINISTRIES NEWS

September Retreat for Singers and Choirs
Individual singers and choirs are invited to the Adult Choir Retreat at Lake Huron Retreat Center Septermber 6-7.  Make plans now to attend before church choirs take their summer break. Join us for a weekend of music education and worship at an opportunity for all adults who love music. Arrive Friday evening and jump right into rehearsals and fellowship! Rehearsals, Bible Study and fellowship continue through Saturday. Take home some new music to use with your church choir!  The weekend concludes with a special benefit concert.  Participants may commute or stay at our wonderful retreat center just north of Port Huron.  Register online at www.umccamps.org/eventsessions .
 
Register Now for Summer Camp
Summer camp registrations have been pouring in this past week!  Parents recognize that a week of church camp gives their young people a week in God’s amazing creation making new friends, growing faith, learning new skills, building self-confidence, encountering new role models, and having loads of fun.  Secure your young person’s place at camp this summer, and register them online today at www.umccamps.org
 
Church Retreats at Myers Lake Campground
A growing number of United Methodist Churches are discovering Myers Lake Campground as a great place to have a retreat that is low in cost and high in enjoyment!  Myers Lake offers newly renovated group campsites, as well as camper cabins that can be combined with campsites  to serve your group’s needs.    Centrally located near Byron, Myers Lake also offers options for day away events for your church.  For more information, visit www.myerslake.org , or call (810)266-4511.
 
Upcoming Events:
  • Prayer Shawl Retreat at Judson Collins Center, May 3-4
  • Memorial Weekend Camping at Judson Collins Center and Myers Lake Campground, May 25 - 27
  • Memorial Weekend Camping at Judson Collins Center and Myers Lake Campground, May 25 - 27
  • Camp Kinawind Volunteer Work Camp , May 29 – June 4
  • Open House and Groundbreaking at Judson Collins Center, June 8
  • Golf Scramble for Camperships, Chemung Hills Golf Course, Howell, June 14

UPCOMING EVENTS

To view the conference calendar and submit events, please visit www.detroitconference.org/events. For events happening in local churches across the conference, please visit http://www.detroitconference.org/events/index?mode=church. Local churches may submit events through the Church Dashboard at www.detroitconference.org/churchdashboard.
  • May 5 - Golden Cross Sunday
  • May 16-19 - 2013 Detroit Annual Conference session - Adrian, Mich.
  • May 26 - Peace with Justice Sunday
  • May 27 - Conference office closed in observance of Memorial Day
  • May 30 - New Beginnings (Pastors, Administrative Assistants, Staff) - Frankenmuth UMC
  • June 1 - New Beginnings (Staff/Pastor-Parish Relations Committee members) - Troy: Big Beaver UMC
  • July 4 - Conference office closed in observance of Independence Day
  • July 8-16 - Wesley Heritage Tour with Bill Dobbs
  • July 12-14 - 11th National Gathering of United Methodist Men
  • July 21-26 - Michigan Area School for License as a Local Pastor
  • August 20-22 - Michigan Area School for Pastoral Ministry

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Michigan Area Bishop Deborah L. Kiesey has announced the following appointments for the Detroit Conference:
  • Nancy Bitterling to Port Austin and Pinnebog-Grindstone UMCs (Blue Water District), effective July 1, 2013. She is currently providing pastoral leadership to Nashville UMC in the West Michigan Conference.
  • Danny Bledsoe to Juddville UMC (Crossroads District) as a district superintendent assignment, 1/4-time, effective July 1, 2013. This is his first assignment.
  • Benjamin Bower to Trenton: First UMC (Detroit Renaissance District) as a full-time local pastor, effective July 1, 2013. This is his first appointment.
  • Esther Irish to Columbiaville UMC (Crossroads District) as a full-time local pastor, effective July 1, 2013. She is currently providing pastoral leadership to Flint: Dimond UMC (Crossroads District).
  • Eric Johnson to Gaines and Duffield UMCs (Crossroads District), effective July 1, 2013. He is currently providing pastoral leadership to Sandusky: First UMC (Blue Water District).
  • Keith Lenard to Wyandotte: Glenwood UMC (Detroit Renaissance District) as a district superintendent assignment, 1/2-time, effective July 1, 2013. This is his first assignment.
  • Elizabeth Macaulay to medical leave of absence, effective April 15, 2013. She was providing pastoral leadership Trenton: First UMC (Detroit Renaissance District).
  • Lee Sayer to New Lothrup UMC (Crossroads District) as a district superintendent assignment, 1/2-time, effective July 1, 2013. This is his first assignment. 
To view appointment updates, please visit www.detroitconference.org/appointments

DEATH NOTICES

The following death notices were received by the Conference Office over the last week. To view all of the death notices, please visit www.detroitconference.org/obituaries.
  • Mr. Douglas Guibord, brother-in-law to Rev. Jerry D. Griggs [Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Friday, April 26, 2013.

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

 
Church vitality: How do you define it?
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Leaders across the denomination are pondering that question even as they seek to increase the number of highly vital churches. This is the first in an ongoing series of reports. Read story and post a comment
 
How old is too old to join the clergy?
HOUSTON (UMNS) — A proposal from the Texas Annual (regional) Conference to discourage people over 45 from becoming candidates for ordination and people over 60 from licensed local pastors is igniting debate across the denomination. Read story and post a comment
 
George W. Bush Presidential Center dedication at SMU
DALLAS (UMNS) — The dedication was — to no small degree — a United Methodist event, given that former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, are active United Methodists; that they chose to put the facility at a United Methodist school (Laura Bush’s alma mater); and that their pastor, the Rev. Mark Craig of Highland Park United Methodist Church, delivered a prayer. Sam Hodges of the United Methodist Reporter offers an overview of the new presidential center. Read story  Read Craig’s prayer
 
United Methodists mourn passing of Bob Edgar
WASHINGTON (UMNS) — The Rev. Bob Edgar, a United Methodist pastor and a “tireless defender of the poor and an advocate for justice” died unexpectedly April 23 of a heart attack at his home. He was 69. Edgar, who was the top executive of Common Cause, is the former top executive of the National Council of Churches and a former six-term congressman from Pennsylvania. He was president of Claremont (Calif.) School of Theology from 1990 to 2000. Read story
 
HBO movie raises needed malaria awareness
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — “Programs like The United Methodist Church’s Imagine No Malaria initiative and its partner organizations are making a difference, producing life-saving results,” writes the Rev. Larry Hollon, top executive of United Methodist Communications, as World Malaria Day approaches. “Malaria’s impact has been cut in half in just a few short years, but the battle is still far from over.” Read full commentary  Learn about the HBO movie  Imagine No Malaria
 
Looking ahead
Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. 
  • Deadline to register for Welcoming Ministry 100, May 1 — Online course from May 8 to June 19, sponsored by United Methodist Communications, $29. To register
  • Free webinar “Leadership in Small Churches,” May 2 — 6:30 p.m. CT, especially for churches with 100 or fewer in worship attendance from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register
  • National Day of Prayer, May 2 — Resources for U.S. event from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship.
  • Older Adult Recognition Sunday, any Sunday in May — Resources compiled by the Virginia Annual (regional) Conference.
  • Free webinar “Tell of God’s Love; the Small Church Story on a Shoestring,” May 7 — 6:30 p.m. CT, help for small churches to get the word out from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register
  • Free webinar “Has God Been Invited to the Conversation?” May 9 — 6:30 p.m. CT, help with church and community prayer from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register
  • Ascension Day, May 9 — Celebrate Christ’s Ascension with resources from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship.
  • Mother’s Day, May 12 — Imagine No Malaria provides offering envelopes, posters and bulletin inserts to prepare for special offerings on Mother’s Day to benefit the campaign, which has significant impact on the lives of mothers and children. Details.
  • Free webinar “Gen2Gen: Sharing Jesus Across the Generations,” May 14 — 6:30 p.m. CT, from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register
  • Free webinar “Committed to Christ: Six Steps to a Generous Life,” May 16 — 6:30 p.m. CT, help with stewardship from the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. To register
  • Change the World, May 18-19 — Join the United Methodist Rethink Church event that helps build community locally and fight malaria globally. Details.
  • Pentecost, May 19 — Celebrate the birthday of the Christian church with resources from the Board of Discipleship and the United Methodist Publishing House’s Ministry Matters
  • “Inside Out for the Glory of God,” July 12-14 — Eleventh national gathering of United Methodist Men at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. Details
  • School of Congregational Development, Aug. 15-18 — Hosted at Denver Marriott Tech Center, sponsored by the United Methodist Board of Discipleship, Path1 and Board of Global Ministries. Theme is “Encountering God at the Edge.” Details

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

To view and submit classifieds, please visit www.detroitconference.org/classifieds. Local churches may enter a classified through the Church Dashboard at www.detroitconference.org/churchdashboard.
 
Current job openings within the United Methodist connection:
Current job openings within the Detroit Conference:
  • Nursery Attendance - Detroit: Metropolitan UMC
  • Associate Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries - Detroit: Central UMC
  • Conference Director for Mission and Justice Engagement and Leadership Recruitment - Detroit Conference
  • Youth Director (part-time) - Crossroads District
  • Office Manager (part-time) - Byron UMC
  • Youth Director - Asbury UMC, Rochester, N.Y.
  • Part-time Children's Choir Director - Northville: First UMC
  • Custodian - Detroit: Trinity-Faith UMC
Other job openings:

About the Detroit Conference Connection

The Detroit Conference Connection is the weekly e-newsletter of the Detroit Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. 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 www.detroitconference.org/site/stayconnected. To submit news items for the Detroit Conference Connection, please send stories to Paul Thomas, Director of Communications

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

Detroit Conference on facebook: www.facebook.com/detroitconference
Detroit Conference on Twitter: www.twitter.com/umcdetroitconf
Wednesday - April 24, 2013
Detroit Conference Connection - April 24, 2013

Detroit Conference Connection - April 24, 2013

CONFERENCE NEWS

For the latest news from the Detroit Conference, please visit www.detroitconference.org/news.
 
BLOG: A Faith for Hard Times
Michigan Area Bishop Deborah L. Kiesey, in her latest Michigan Meanderings article, writes about the recent difficult days for our country, our state, and our world. Read article and comment 
 
Committee on Nominations introduces new process
The Detroit Conference Committee on Nominations is seeking interested individuals for several at-large members prior to the 2013 annual conference session as a way to improve the nominations process. Read more 
 
Bishop Kiesey speaks on Michigan flooding
Michigan Area Bishop Deborah L. Kiesey issued a statement on the recent flooding in the Michigan Area after visiting the flooding that has affected Lowell, Mich. Read statement and find out how you can help 
 
Love crosses the finish line
Kimberly Grauer was in Boston on April 15 fulfilling a promise to her dad. She was among the runners stopped by police at Mile 25. “I got three medals," she says, “when I saw the faces of my mom, brother and friend that evening.” Kay DeMoss of the West Michigan Conference shares the story of Grauer and her family.  Read story

2013 ANNUAL CONFERENCE SESSION

The 2013 Detroit Annual Conference session will take place on Thursday-Sunday, May 16-19, on the campus of Adrian College in Adrian, Mich. Information about the annual event can be found at www.detroitconference.org/annualconference.
 
Clergy choir being formed for Service of Ordination and Commissioning
A choir made up of active and retired clergy (including deacons, elders, and local pastors) is being formed for the Service of Ordination and Commissioning, which will take place at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 19. Clergy interested in singing with the choir are asked to bring their robes and a red stole to wear during the service. The Rev. David Gladstone will be directing the choir.
 
iPad Giveaway at the 2013 Detroit Annual Conference by the CALLED TO MINISTRY Team of the Board of Ordained Ministry
If you have had a Called to Ministry Sunday since the 2012 Detroit Annual Conference, you may enter the iPad giveaway which will take place during Annual Conference. You may enter by emailing the Board of Ordained Ministry Recruitment Team at enteringministry@gmail.com with (1) your name, (2) church or ministry setting, (3) when you had your Called to Ministry Sunday, and (4) names of anyone who responded to God's call to ministry. If you do not know what a Called to Ministry Sunday is, it is to have at least one moment during your worship service to ask if anyone may feel called to ministry and to speak with clergy of the church or ministry setting to discuss his/her call to ministry and to pursue the next steps. For more information and resources on having a Called to Ministry Sunday, please email enteringministry@gmail.com and more information will be sent to you. Please also visit www.detroitconference.org/calledtoministry to learn more and to share our website and resources with someone who feels call to ministry. The website includes BOM Recruitment Team members to contact with any questions and/or for guidance.
 
2013 session to be live-streamed
All plenary sessions and worship services during the 2013 Detroit Annual Conference session will be streamed live on the conference website. 

TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

Jan Thomas Receives National Award
Jan Thomas, former Director of Outdoor and Retreat Ministries for the Detroit Conference, recently received the Legacy of Leadership Award from the National Camp and Retreat Leaders of the United Methodist Church. The award recognizes leaders who have given years of exemplary service to camp and retreat ministries. Jan was one of the first female leaders in camping ministry, paving the way for many more. Jan will be stepping back into service this summer as she provides interim leadership to a United Methodist Camp in Alabama.
 
Prayer Shawl Retreat at Judson Collins Center
Come to Judson Collins Center May 3 and 4 to learn about Prayer Shawl Ministry!  Beginners as well as veterans are welcome! Share your experiences and ideas for prayer shawl ministry, or learn how to get one started. There will be time for instruction, worship, rest and growth as together we explore the amazing gifts that go into our crafts. Enjoy a weekend of being nurtured by Judson Collins Center’s gracious hospitality.  Guests are invited to come for the whole event or just part. For more information, visit www.judsoncollinscenter.org , or call (517) 467-7711.
 
The Power of Camp
The Christian Camping Association reports that the average American child spends 7.5 hours a day on electronic media:  television, video games, phones and ipods, and computers and tablets—totaling nearly 113 days a year!  16% of young people age 6 -19 are obese, and only 33% of our young people get enough exercise.  The average child spends 3.5 minutes of meaningful conversation with a parent every day. A week of church camp provides young people with caring, Christian adult role models, time to think without distractions, and high adventure all in the beauty of God’s creation.  A young person that spends a week at camp is there more waking hours than if they attended an entire year of Sunday school or youth group.  They form lifelong friendships that provide positive peer pressure.  It gives them a chance to be known and loved.   Adolescents gain the tools they need to make the tough decisions they face. Help the young people in your church and in your community experience the power of camp!  Register online today at www.umccamps.org .

UPCOMING EVENTS

To view the conference calendar and submit events, please visit www.detroitconference.org/events. For events happening in local churches across the conference, please visit http://www.detroitconference.org/events/index?mode=church. Local churches may submit events through the Church Dashboard at www.detroitconference.org/churchdashboard.
  • April 25 - New Beginnings (Pastors, Administrative Assistants, Staff) - Troy: Big Beaver UMC
  • April 27 - New Beginnings (Staff/Pastor-Parish Relations Committee members) - Frankenmuth UMC
  • May 5 - Golden Cross Sunday
  • May 16-19 - 2013 Detroit Annual Conference session - Adrian, Mich.
  • May 26 - Peace with Justice Sunday
  • May 27 - Conference office closed in observance of Memorial Day
  • May 30 - New Beginnings (Pastors, Administrative Assistants, Staff) - Frankenmuth UMC
  • June 1 - New Beginnings (Staff/Pastor-Parish Relations Committee members) - Troy: Big Beaver UMC
  • July 4 - Conference office closed in observance of Independence Day
  • July 8-16 - Wesley Heritage Tour with Bill Dobbs
  • July 12-14 - 11th National Gathering of United Methodist Men
  • July 21-26 - Michigan Area School for License as a Local Pastor
  • August 20-22 - Michigan Area School for Pastoral Ministry

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Michigan Area Bishop Deborah L. Kiesey has announced the following appointments for the Detroit Conference:
  • Michael Sawicki to Midland: Aldersgate UMC (Saginaw Bay District), effective July 1, 2013. He is currently appointed to FaithWay UMC (Saginaw Bay District)
  • Ted Whitely, Sr., to Birmingham: Embury, Troy: Fellowship, and Waterford: Trinity UMCs (Detroit Renaissance District), effective July 1, 2013. He is currently providing pastoral leadership to Detroit: Calvary UMC (Detroit Renaissance District).
To view appointment updates, please visit www.detroitconference.org/appointments

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

 
Judicial Council splits East Africa decision
SEATTLE (UMNS) — A 10-year financial dispute between the Western Pennsylvania Annual (regional) Conference and the East Africa Annual Conference that wound up before The United Methodist Church’s top court has ended with a split decision that likely will not please everyone. Neill Caldwell, editor of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate and a correspondent for United Methodist News Service, reports on the council meeting. Read story and post a comment
 
‘Home Run’ hit for recovery ministries
TULSA, Okla. (UMNS) — “Home Run” is a movie about addiction — a story of a professional baseball player whose life spirals out of control because of ego and alcohol. Premiering today, April 19, the inspirational feature film highlights the recovery ministries offered by thousands of United Methodist churches.  Read news release
 
Looking ahead
Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. 
  • April 25 — World Malaria Day. Help fight the disease at imaginenomalaria.org.
  • May 1 — Deadline to register for Web Ministry 100 — Online course from May 8 to June 19, sponsored by United Methodist Communications, $49. To register.
  • May 1 — Deadline to register for Welcoming Ministry 100 — Online course from May 8 to June 19, sponsored by United Methodist Communications, $29. To register.
  • May 7-9 — RENEW retreat for United Methodist single clergy, Selah Inn at the Ranch, Mount Vernon, Texas. Details.
  • May 12 —  Mother's Day. Imagine No Malaria provides offering envelopes, posters and bulletin inserts to prepare for special offerings on Mother’s Day to benefit the campaign, which has significant impact on the lives of mothers and children. Details.
  • May 18-19 — Change the World. Join the United Methodist Rethink Church event that helps build community locally and fight malaria globally. Details.
  • July 12-14 — “Inside Out for the Glory of God.” Eleventh national gathering of United Methodist Men at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. Details
  • Aug. 15-18 — School for Congregational Development. Hosted at Denver Marriott Tech Center, sponsored by the United Methodist Board of Discipleship, Path1 and Board of Global Ministries. Theme is “Encountering God at the Edge.” Details

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

To view and submit classifieds, please visit www.detroitconference.org/classifieds. Local churches may enter a classified through the Church Dashboard at www.detroitconference.org/churchdashboard.
 
Current job openings within the United Methodist connection:
Current job openings within the Detroit Conference:
  • Associate Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries - Detroit: Central UMC
  • Administrative Secretary - Plymouth: First UMC
  • Conference Director for Mission and Justice Engagement and Leadership Recruitment - Detroit Conference
  • Youth Director (part-time) - Crossroads District
  • Office Manager (part-time) - Byron UMC
  • Youth Director - Asbury UMC, Rochester, N.Y.
  • Director of Children's Ministries (part-time) - Holly: Calvary UMC
  • Office Manager/Financial Secretary - Lake Louise Christian Community, Camp and Retreat Center
  • Part-time Children's Choir Director - Northville: First UMC
  • Custodian - Detroit: Trinity-Faith UMC
  • Coordinator of Youth Ministries - Auburn UMC

About the Detroit Conference Connection

The Detroit Conference Connection is the weekly e-newsletter of the Detroit Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. 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 www.detroitconference.org/site/stayconnected. To submit news items for the Detroit Conference Connection, please send stories to Paul Thomas, Director of Communications.

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

Detroit Conference on facebook: www.facebook.com/detroitconference
Detroit Conference on Twitter: www.twitter.com/umcdetroitconf
Wednesday - April 17, 2013
Detroit Conference Connection - April 17, 2013

Detroit Conference Connection - April 17, 2013

CONFERENCE NEWS

For the latest news from the Detroit Conference, please visit www.detroitconference.org/news.
 
Last Chance! Registration Deadline for 2013 Annual Conference session is Friday!
The registration deadline for the 2013 annual conference session is April 19. After the registration deadline passes, those individuals registering will not be able to register for special meals and a $30 late fee will be charged. Register for the conference today at www.detroitconference.org/annualconference.
 
Bishop Deb offers statement on Boston bombings
Michigan Area Bishop Deborah Kiesey said "our hears and prayers are with the people of Boston," in a statement released on Monday, April 15. Read statement and comment
 
Host a movie party to fight malaria
Throw a party to save lives. That’s the message The United Methodist Church is sharing in preparation for World Malaria Day, April 25. United Methodist advocates for Imagine No Malaria can raise awareness by hosting screening parties of HBO’s new movie, “Mary and Martha,” starring Oscar® winner Hilary Swank and Oscar® nominee Brenda Blethyn. The movie follows the journey of two women who meet in Africa and work to raise awareness of malaria, a preventable and treatable disease that claims a life every 60 seconds. Learn how to participate 
 
United Methodists offer prayer and comfort after Boston bombings
As investigators search for answers, the people of The United Methodist Church offer prayer, comfort and resources for healing in the aftermath of Monday’s bombings at the Boston Marathon.God in action after Boston bombing. Read story and view resources 
 
Bishop urges peace in Korea
United Methodist Bishop Hee-Soo Jung has issued a letter urging “North and South Korea to negotiate directly through their government leaders to forge an agreement ending the nuclear threat in the Korean peninsula” for the sake of the world community. Read story and post a comment  Read letter

2013 ANNUAL CONFERENCE SESSION

The 2013 Detroit Annual Conference session will take place on Thursday-Sunday, May 16-19, on the campus of Adrian College in Adrian, Mich. Information about the annual event can be found at www.detroitconference.org/annualconference.
 
Conference choir members, ushers needed
The annual conference session worship committee is inviting any interested persons to participate in the choir, brass choir, or serve as an usher during worship services. DOWNLOAD THIS FORM and submit it by April 19 if you are interested in serving in any of these areas.
 
Images needed for annual conference worship services
The worship committee for the Detroit Annual Conference session would like to invite people to participate in a pictorial collection of people celebrating ministry. They are looking for people to send in pictures of people participating in ministry activities in local churches so that they can celebrate the goodness that is being done in communities across the conference. They are looking for all sorts of different activities from baptisms to choirs to vacation Bible schools to softball games. Anything that you could share where people are enjoying being a part of ministry in some fashion is welcome. A collage of these pictures will be presented as a part of the Saturday (May 18) morning worship. If you have some good pictures that you would like to share, please send them to Brian Kelley at bkelley@umc-sc.org by May 1.
 
Voting items available for download
The voting items for members of the 2013 Detroit Annual Conference session are now available online at www.detroitconference.org. Voting items will not be mailed or available in print. It is the responsibility of every member to print or download the materials, and for local churches to make sure their members have the necessary materials. 
 
Special collections during the conference session
A number of special collections will take place during the annual conference session, including offerings for Haiti and Liberia, and collections of new underwear for community agencies as part of the Bishop's Seat Cover Project. Click here to view all of the collection opportunities for your church. 
 
Guest speakers to visit annual conference session for special meals
Several groups will be having guest speakers during their special meals at the 2013 Detroit Annual Conference session. The Rev. Amy DeLong, executive director of Kairos CoMotion, will speak at the Board of Church and Society dinner on Friday, May 17, while Princess Jusu, a missionary with the General Board of Global Ministries serving in Liberia, will be the keynote speaker at the Board of Global Ministries dinner that evening. On Saturday, May 18, the Rev. Kris Kappler, a Detroit Conference clergy member serving as a missionary in Kazakhstan, will speak at the IMPACT breakfast. Dr. Philip Amerson, president of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, will speak at the Garrett Alumni dinner. Friday, April 19 is the final day to register for special meals. View all special meal opportunities

TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

New Beginnings Workshops
The Conference Board of Ordained Ministry is offering workshops to insure a healthy transition for those churches that are changing pastors this summer. The workshops are free of charge, and there are separate workshops for staff-parish relations committee members and pastors, program staff, and administrative assistants/secretaries. View the flyer and registration form 
 
Michigan Area Haiti Task Force newsletter
The Michigan Area Haiti Task Force has begun producing a newsletter, which can be viewed here
 
5 signs your church needs social media training
You have a website. You tweet. You're on Facebook. You blog. You may think this article doesn’t apply to you. Not so fast. There is always room for improvement. read more »
 
8 ways to connect young adults to the church
During the coming summer, young adults in your church, as well as their friends, may have time – and skills – to share. Create opportunities for young adults to engage with the church and community. Read more
 
Putting Your Passions and Skills to Work
In an effort to more effectively identify, nurture, and utilize the passions and skills of United Methodists, the Detroit Conference Nominations Committee, has developed a new Passions and Skills Inventory. This tool, available online is a quick, easy way for clergy and laity to better connect with the many ministries of the Detroit Conference, and for the committee to better utilize the United Methodist connection to strengthen the Conference's ministries by enabling people to serve in ways and areas best suited to their God-given talents. Take the survey 

CAMP AND RETREAT MINISTRIES NEWS

Presenters Available to Local Churches to Promote Camping
One characteristic of vital congregations is that they offer many options for children, youth, and families.  A visitor from the Conference's camp and retreat ministries can help families in your church understand and take advantage of this valuable ministry that is available to them. They can tailor their time with you to help meet the needs of your particular setting, whether it is providing a Sunday morning message, visiting with classes or youth meetings, a mid-week program, a home based “tupperware party” with parents, summer opportunity fair, or other setting. To learn more and schedule a presenter, please call Jim Parkhurst in the Camp and Retreat Ministries office at (800) 334-0544 x337, or e-mail jparkhurst@detroitconference.org.
 
Ride the Bus to Camp Kinawind this Summer
Bus transportation to and from Camp Kinawind will be offered for several weeks of camp this summer, with pickup and drop off points in Pontiac and Flint. Camp Kinawind is our wonderful north woods Christian camp that is your camper’s base for rustic and adventure camping. For more information, visit www.umccamps.org.
 
Enjoy RV and Tent Camping at a Christian Campground This Summer
Myers Lake Campground, centrally located near Byron, Michigan, offers RV and tent camping to you and your family in a safe, clean, alcohol-free lakeside setting. A sandy beach with paddle boats and other rentals are available for your enjoyment. Join them for worship by the lake every Sunday morning. Myers Lake also offers camper cabins to rent. Church groups may be interested in visiting Myers Lake together for a time and retreat and fellowship, using one of their newly upgraded group sites. Many special themed events happen throughout the summer for your family’s enjoyment. Volunteer and stay free on their work week, April 24-28! To learn more and to make a reservation request, visit www.myerslake.org.
 
Correction
The dates for the Teddy Bear camp at Lake Louise were listed in correctly in the Camp and Retreat brochure. The correct dates are July 14-16 for Terry Bear 1 and August 4-6 for Teddy Bear 2. For more information visit www.lakelouisecommunity.org.

UPCOMING EVENTS

To view the conference calendar and submit events, please visit www.detroitconference.org/events. For events happening in local churches across the conference, please visit http://www.detroitconference.org/events/index?mode=church. Local churches may submit events through the Church Dashboard at www.detroitconference.org/churchdashboard.
  • April 25 - New Beginnings (Pastors, Admin. Assistants, Staff) - Troy: Big Beaver UMC
  • April 27 - New Beginnings (Staff/Pastor-Parish Relations Committee members) - Frankenmuth UMC
  • May 5 - Golden Cross Sunday
  • May 16-19 - 2013 Detroit Annual Conference session - Adrian, Mich.
  • May 26 - Peace with Justice Sunday
  • May 27 - Conference office closed in observance of Memorial Day
  • May 30 - New Beginnings (Pastors, Admin. Assistants, Staff) - Frankenmuth UMC
  • June 1 - New Beginnings (Staff/Pastor-Parish Relations Committee members) - Troy: Big Beaver UMC
  • July 4 - Conference office closed in observance of Independence Day
  • July 8-16 - Wesley Heritage Tour with Bill Dobbs
  • July 12-14 - 11th National Gathering of United Methodist Men
  • July 21-26 - Michigan Area School for License as a Local Pastor
  • August 20-22 - Michigan Area School for Pastoral Ministry

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Michigan Area Bishop Deborah L. Kiesey has announced the following appointments for the Detroit Conference:
  • John Amick to UMCOR as Assistant General Secretary, International Disaster Response, effective July 1, 2013. He is currently providing pastoral leadership to Flint: Hope UMC (Crossroads District).
  • Jeremy Benton to the Wesley Foundation of Greenville, N.C., as campus minister, effective July 1, 2013. He is currently providing pastoral leadership to Ortonville UMC (Crossroads District).
  • Tim Callow to Newberry and Engadine UMCs (Marquette District) as a full-time local pastor, effective July 1, 2013. He is currently attending Duke Divinity School.
  • Patricia Green to retirement, effective July 1, 2013. She is currently providing pastoral leadership Milan: Marble Memorial UMC (Ann Arbor District).
  • Carolyn Harris to retirement, effective July 1, 2013. She is currently providing pastoral leadership to Salem Grove UMC (Ann Arbor District) as a part-time local pastor and will continue to serve Salem Grove UMC in retirement.
  • Jennifer Jue to Wayne: First UMC (Detroit Renaissance District), effective July 1, 2013. She is currently serving Napoleon UMC in the West Michigan Conference.
  • Lisa Kelley to Hillman and Spratt UMCs (Saginaw Bay District) as a full-time local pastor, effective July 1, 2013. This will be her first appointment. 
  • Mark D. Miller to Muskegon Central UMC (West Michigan Conference) as senior pastor, effective July 1, 2013. He is currently providing pastoral leadership to Midland: Aldersgate UMC (Saginaw Bay District).
  • In Boem Oh to Troy: Korean UMC (Detroit Renaissance District) as associate pastor, effective July 1, 2013. This is his first appointment.
  • Matthew Osborne to Sandusky: First UMC (Blue Water District) as a full-time local pastor, effective July 1, 2013. He is currently providing pastoral leadership to Algonac: Trinity and Marine City UMCs (Blue Water District).
  • Kristin Parks to Blissfield: First UMC (Ann Arbor District), effective July 1. She is currently serving as the youth director for the Crossroads District.
  • William Sanders to Fairgrove and Watrousville UMCs (Saginaw Bay District), effective July 1, 2013. He is a retired elder from the West Michigan Conference and has most recently served Standish: Community UMC and Saganing Indian Church (Saginaw Bay District).
  • Norma Taylor to Sterling Heights UMC (Detroit Renaissance District) as a district superintendent assignment (DSA), effective July 1, 2013. This is her first assignment.
  • Alonzo Vincent to retirement, effective July 1, 2013. He is currently providing pastoral leadership to Mt. Morris UMC (Crossroads District).
To view appointment updates, please visit www.detroitconference.org/appointments

DEATH NOTICES

The following death notices were received by the Conference Office over the last week. To view all of the death notices, please visit www.detroitconference.org/obituaries.
  • Mrs. Marjorie Stone, mother-in-law to Rev. Dr. John E. Harnish [Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Saturday, April 13, 2013. 

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

 
God in action after Boston bombing
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Evil struck Monday, but by Tuesday it was clear evil did not have the last word. United Methodists in Boston and around the globe testified to the ways they saw God in action after two explosions shattered the peace of the Boston Marathon, claiming at least three lives and leaving more than 170 injured. Read story and post a comment
 
Judicial Council starts spring meeting
SEATTLE (UMNS) — The United Methodist Judicial Council begins its spring meeting April 17 in Seattle. In addition to the April docket, the council will consider an item deferred from the council’s October 2012 meeting on how United Methodist church funds are handled in East AfricaView April docket
 
Cokesbury consultants now available
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) — Cokesbury is building a staff of community resource consultants across the United States to offer customers personal support, even as its stores close their doors. So far, the United Methodist Publishing House’s retail arm has hired 43 consultants and ultimately plans to have 50 on call. Many will work near the locations of former stores. “Because it is less expensive to place a community resource consultant in a market than a store, we took the opportunity to significantly expand the personal support we can provide touching more markets than we could hope to do with stores,” said Amy Smith of the United Methodist Publishing House.  To find a consultant near you
 
‘Pastors are human, too’
INDIANAPOLIS (UMNS) — Indiana Area Bishop Mike Coyner reflects on the suicide of the son of the Rev. Rick Warren, Saddleback Church pastor and best-selling author. Coyner is saddened that in Warren's time of grief, others have used the tragedy to condemn both him and the Christian faith. “Perhaps this sad situation with the Warren family can remind all of us that clergy and their families are human, too,” he writes. Read blog 
 
Looking ahead
Here are some of the activities ahead for United Methodists across the connection. 
  • April 18-19 — “Light the Fire! Divine Healing,” church renewal conference — Ginghamsburg Church, Tipp City, Ohio. Details.
  • April 21 — Festival of God's Creation/Earth Day Sunday is April 21. The United Methodist Board of Church and Society offers resources.
  • April 25 — World Malaria Day. Help fight the disease at imaginenomalaria.org.
  • May 1 — Deadline to register for Web Ministry 100 — Online course from May 8 to June 19, sponsored by United Methodist Communications, $49. To register.
  • May 1 — Deadline to register for Welcoming Ministry 100 — Online course from May 8 to June 19, sponsored by United Methodist Communications, $29. To register.
  • May 7-9 — RENEW retreat for United Methodist single clergy, Selah Inn at the Ranch, Mount Vernon, Texas. Details.
  • May 18-19 — Change the World. Join the United Methodist Rethink Church event that helps build community locally and fight malaria globally. Details.

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

To view and submit classifieds, please visit www.detroitconference.org/classifieds. Local churches may enter a classified through the Church Dashboard at www.detroitconference.org/churchdashboard.
 
Current job openings within the Detroit Conference:
  • Youth Director (part-time) - Crossroads District
  • Office Manager (part-time) - Byron UMC
  • Youth Director - Asbury UMC, Rochester, N.Y.
  • Administrative Secretary - Plymouth: First UMC
  • Director of Children's Ministries (part-time) - Holly: Calvary UMC
  • Office Manager/Financial Secretary - Lake Louise Christian Community, Camp and Retreat Center
  • Part-time Children's Choir Director - Northville: First UMC
  • Custodian - Detroit: Trinity-Faith UMC
  • Coordinator of Youth Ministries - Auburn UMC

About the Detroit Conference Connection

The Detroit Conference Connection is the weekly e-newsletter of the Detroit Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. 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 www.detroitconference.org/site/stayconnected. To submit news items for the Detroit Conference Connection, please send stories to Paul Thomas, Director of Communications.

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

Detroit Conference on facebook: www.facebook.com/detroitconference
Detroit Conference on Twitter: www.twitter.com/umcdetroitconf