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Tuesday - December 16, 2014
"God with us"

From deep inside the "Christmas rush," Bishop Deborah Lieder Kiesey offers everyone a gift really worth sharing ... we are not alone.

Tuesday - December 16, 2014
Pray for families touched by terror in Peshawar, Pakistan

Thomas Kemper, head of the General Bd of Global Ministries is shown here with the Rte. Rev. Mano Rumalshah, Bishop Emeritus of Peshawar, Pakistan. Kemper invites prayer on Wednesday, December 17 at 11 am EST for the families suffering this tragedy  read more>>

 


Monday - December 15, 2014
Boayue named Superintendent of Renaissance District

Bishop Deborah Lieder Kiesey has named the Rev. Dr. Charles S.G. Boayue, Jr. to lead the Detroit Renaissance District effective July 1. He currently serves as Senior Pastor of Detroit Second Grace UMC.  read more>>


Tuesday - December 16, 2014
Poll ranks ebola response top news story in 2014

The worst Ebola outbreak in history — along with The United Methodist Church’s mobilization to ease suffering and fight the spread of the deadly virus — was the biggest story of 2014, according to a survey of communicators

News
Tuesday - December 16, 2014
Arthur Spafford to receive Conference Cane

 

In October, the Conference Cane Committee of the Detroit Conference Commission on Archives and History determined that the next cane holder will be the Rev. Arthur L. Spafford. 
 
Although Rev. Spafford has been aware of this honor, he requested that the announcement wait until closer to the time when the formal presentation occurs. The formal presentation of the cane and the accompanying plaque will take place at the Northville First United Methodist Church Sunday, January 11 at 10:15 am at a reception between their two services.
 
As you will note in his personal statement that follows, Rev. Spafford has been privileged to be a part of two historic mergers in the church. 

 

"In August, 1944, the summer of my 18th year, I attended our Michigan U.B. summer Youth Camp at Lake Odessa. MI. There, in response to the Evangelist's invitation, I dedicated myself to whatever Christian service God asked of me. About three weeks later, while working for a local farmer, a member of dad's church in St. John, MI, riding a tractor preparing a field for planting, I heard God calling me to become a pastor. 
 
"My father was a pastor in the Michigan Conference of the United Brethren Church, and my mother was very active in the conference Women's Society of World Service. Their response was that they had been praying for this, but had never said anything to me about it.
 
"Later that year I was informed by the local Selective Service Board that in January I would be bused to Ft. Wayne in Detroit for my pre-induction physical in preparation for military service. At Ft. Wayne, part of the physical was a conversation with an army psychiatrist who inquired about my life plans. I responded that I felt called into Christian ministry. His response "you mean you hear voices?" and I could not convince him about the meaning of my words, so he stamped my papers "Rejected! Emotionally immature" and sent me home. Two weeks later I enrolled in Otterbein College as a pre-ministerial student - graduating from there in the Class of 1948. Later that year I enrolled in Bonebrake Seminary (now United Theological Seminary) and graduated with the class of 1951.
 
"The Michigan conference of the United Brethren Church, at its annual session in 1947, elected me to probationary membership. Following graduation from seminary, at the Uniting Session of the Michigan Conference (United Brethren) and the Michigan Conference (Evangelical Association), I was ordained an Elder. The Ordination took place on Sunday, June 10, 1951, in the Olivet Evangelical United Brethren Church in Grand Rapids, MI, the church my grandfather served from any years as Lay Leader, the church from which my father entered the ministry and as a District Superintendent was among those who laid hands on my head.
 
"My pastoral service began with a student appointment in August, 1949, to Zion UB church in Dayton, Ohio, lasting for two years. Following ordination in 1951, I was appointed to Caro and Fairgrove EUB, serving there for three years. Subsequent appointments were Grand Rapids Hope EUB (1954), Vicksburg EUB(1956), Sebewaing EUB (1965), Dearborn Good Shepherd United Methodist Church (1968), Ferndale First UMC (1974), Farmington First UMC (1983) retiring from there in 1991. After a brief interim assignment to Livonia Clarenceville, I joined the staff of Northville First in March 1992. I resigned that position in August, 1999, but continued to be involved in the mission and ministry of Northville First to this day. In August, 2014, Northville honored me with a celebration of my 65 years of ministry.
 
"A high point of my ministry has been encouraging people to visit the Holy Land. On ten occasions I have hosted trips to Israel through Educational Opportunities. I also have led a group in Turkey "in the steps of Paul" plus a Wesley Tour of England.
 
"I feel very honored to be named "Holder of the Conference Cane."

 The Rev. Donald O. Crumm, previous holder of the cane, passed away on September 20, 2014.

Tuesday - December 16, 2014
Call to prayer for families in Peshawar, Pakistan

THOMAS KEMPER
General Bd of Global Ministries

Our thoughts and prayers are again with the people of Peshawar, Pakistan, in the wake of a December 16 terrorist attack on a school, which has left more than 145 school children and teachers dead and many others injured.

We join with the Church of Pakistan, our mission partner, in praying for all those who have been affected by this latest attack and for a future of peace and security in the region.

It is not the first occurrence of this type. On September 22, 2013, some 90 people were killed and dozens injured in Peshawar when two suicide bombers attacked All Saints Church on a Sunday morning as worship concluded. Peshawar is located in the far northwest of Pakistan, near the border with Afghanistan.

Our friend Insar, who lost two children and other relatives in the church bombing, informs us by email that Peshawar is “very tense” after the attack on the school. Insar is the youth coordinator of the Diocese of Peshawar of the Church of Pakistan, a union of Protestants in the country. Pakistan and the Peshawar region are predominantly Muslim.

According to the preliminary international press reports, the attack on December 16 was carried out by the Taliban against the Army Public School and Degree College, a government institution with an enrollment of 2,500 boys and girls. The New York Times reported that the Taliban claimed responsibility for the bloodshed as retaliation for government offenses against militants in the tribal district of North Warziristan, west and southwest of Peshawar.

“The parents of the children are in deep grief, and the whole of the environment in Peshawar is under terror and under grief,” Insar writes. “Please pray for all [affected by] this situation, [for] protection of our city and for peace in our region.”

Nothing justifies the killing of children and we urge all to put the well-being of children first. Special prayers for Peshawar and the families impacted by the school bombing will be said at the weekly staff prayer meeting at Global Ministries on December 17. All United Methodists are invited to pause for prayer at 11 a.m. EST that day.

There is a deep spiritual bond between the Diocese of Peshawar and the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church. Insar and his wife Uzma recounted their experience of the 2013 bombing of All Saint’s Church to directors of the mission agency in April 2014. The couple was in the United States for a period of renewal following the harrowing incident. Global Ministries is an advocate for religious liberty and positive interfaith relations in the area, efforts in which Insar and Uzma actively engage.

Tuesday - December 16, 2014
Communicators rank ebola top news story for 2014

VICKI BROWN
United Methodist News Service

The worst Ebola outbreak in history — along with The United Methodist Church’s mobilization to ease suffering and fight the spread of the deadly virus — was the biggest story of 2014, according to a United Methodist News Service poll of communicators.

he tragedy of Ebola in Sierra Leone and Liberia received 11 first place votes out of 25 ballots cast by conference communicators in the United States and Africa, and news service staff.

Other strong contenders were the Rev. Frank Schaefer’s fight to remain a United Methodist clergy member and the debate over how the denomination should deal with human sexuality, second and third respectively. The church’s progress in its Imagine No Malaria initiative was fourth.

Three stories — church unity, immigration, and the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries’ planned move — each got one first-place vote. Using second-place votes as the tiebreaker, church unity rounded out the top five stories.

Top story: Ebola

UMCOR sent supplies for hand-washing to help slow the spread of the virus.

The first case of Ebola was reported in May in Guinea, and by June, Sierra Leone had 24 cases. Bishop John K. Yambasu warned more than 1,000 people gathered for the dedication and opening of a church in Monghere about the need to seek immediate medical attention if anyone became ill.

The disease soon spread to Liberia and by Dec. 11, the death toll in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone was more than 6,500. More than 18,000 people have been infected, according to the World Health Organization.

The church mobilized quickly, providing medical supplies, food and communication to spread the word about how to prevent the disease. The United Methodist Committee on Relief disbursed $401,138 in grants for the denomination’s Ebola response by November. United Methodist Communications collaborated with Chocolate Moose Media and mobile-health-education innovator iHeed on an animated Ebola-education video in seven languages and gave communication grants for Ebola education.

United Methodists have used various forms of communication — text messages, radio broadcasts, drama and song — to relay facts about Ebola. They have carried prevention information and supplies for sanitization to remote villages. They have left food and supplies at the homes of infected families.

Ebola’s toll on West African health care systems was brought home by the death of Dr. Martin Salia, the only surgeon and chief medical officer at United Methodist Kissy Hospital in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

Salia died after he was airlifted to the United States for treatment. “He was everything to us,” Bishop Yambasu said, adding Salia was one of only a very few surgeons in the country.

Many United Methodists in both Liberia and Sierra Leone have died, as well as other health care workers, even though no United Methodist hospitals are Ebola treatment centers. Deaths included a nurse at United Methodist Mercy Hospital in Bo, Sierra Leone, and two other staff on the cleaning crew.

Second: The Rev. Frank Schaefer

Rev. Frank Schaefer

The church’s top court in October allowed the Rev. Frank Schaefer to remain a United Methodist clergyman. It was the last in a line of church rulings that began when a complaint was filed against the Pennsylvania pastor for performing a same-sex wedding for his son in 2007.

After a year of defrocking and refrocking, the Judicial Council upheld a June decision by a regional appeals committee to reinstate Schaefer’s ministerial credentials. The appellate committee had modified the penalty imposed after Schaefer was found guilty in November 2013 of violating church law.

“I will continue the fight alongside thousands of others in the reconciling movement for full inclusion and an open altar for all. I know the day is coming when this dream will be reality and I don't think it is that far in the future,” Schaefer said after the ruling.

Some hailed the decision as a step toward full inclusion of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, or questioning) individuals within the denomination. Others said the ruling implied pastors could ignore church law as spelled out in The Book of Discipline.

Everyone agreed on one thing: The debate isn’t over.

Third: Sexuality

The denomination’s debate over human sexuality has intensified as more states in the U.S. and more nations around the globe have legalized same-sex civil marriage. While Schaefer’s ups and downs grabbed secular headlines, other complaints were settled without trials.

A complaint filed against 36 United Methodist pastors who officiated at the 2013 same-sex union of two men was resolved in October.

Two pastors in the Pacific Northwest Conference were suspended without pay for 24 hours for officiating at same-sex unions.

The Connectional Table, which coordinates The United Methodist Church’s ministry and resources, held two interactive, online conversations about sexuality. The group decided to draft legislation that could change church law “to fully include LGBTQ persons in the life and ministry of the church.” But it won’t make any final determination until next year about whether to submit such legislation to General Conference, the denomination’s top lawmaking body.

Fourth: Imagine No Malaria

To date the Michigan Area has raised $1.1 million for Imagine No Malaria.


The United Methodist Church is close to the goal of raising $75 million by the end of 2015 for Imagine No Malaria. The global church has raised an estimated $64.5 million in gifts and pledges for the campaign to eliminate needless death and suffering from malaria in Africa. Forty-two conferences have participated.

Pittsburgh Area Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton, who chairs the denomination’s Global Health Initiative, told the Council of Bishops in November that the average individual gift for Imagine No Malaria is $96 and the average pledge is $800.

“I’ve seen the connection come alive,” Bickerton told fellow bishops.

According to a UN report released Dec. 9, the number of people dying from malaria has fallen dramatically since 2000 and malaria cases are also steadily declining. Between 2000 and 2013, the malaria mortality rate decreased by 47% worldwide and by 54% in the WHO African Region - where about 90% of malaria deaths occur.

In 2013, almost half of all people at risk of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa had access to an insecticide-treated net, a marked increase from just 3% in 2004. And this trend is set to continue, with a record 214 million bed nets scheduled for delivery to endemic countries in Africa by year-end.

Learn more about Imagine No Malaria.

Fifth: Church unity

Earlier this year, a group of United Methodists who champion the church’s current stance on homosexuality suggested the church might consider an “amicable” split over the differences. In the summer, those United Methodists met again. They stopped short of calling for a split, but issued a statement saying bishops must enforce and publicly support church law restrictions against same-sex marriage if the denomination is to hold together. More than 8,400 United Methodists had endorsed the statement as of Nov. 4.

But as conferences began meeting, clergy and laity in the North Georgia Conference, with the largest membership of any conference in the U.S., signed a covenant calling for unity.

Similar statements were crafted in other conferences, including Holston, Louisiana, Mississippi and the new Rio Grande Conference.

United Methodist bishops at their November meeting issued a statement saying their “hearts break because of the divisions that exist within the church.” The Council of Bishops, which is not all of the same mind on sexuality, committed to be “in ministry for and with all people.”

The bishops added: “We are also united in our resolve to lead the church together to fulfill its mandate — to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”

Tuesday - December 16, 2014
Seeing the stranger as yourself at Christmas and always

KATHY L. GILBERT
United Methodist News Service

President Barack Obama and United Methodist Bishop Minerva Carcaño have cited the Christmas story as the best example of how to welcome the undocumented “strangers among us.”

Both were in Nashville Dec. 9.

Obama was at Casa Azafrán, a community center which offers a wide variety of services for Nashville’s diverse immigrant population, to talk about the executive action he issued in November. United Methodist Tennessee Justice for Our Neighbors, a denomination-wide program that offers free legal service to immigrants, is located in Casa Azafran.

Bishop Minerva Carcaño

The bishop, episcopal leader of the California-Pacific Conference, attended another meeting in Nashville and did not hear the president’s address but she has long been an outspoken advocate for undocumented people. “When we look at the vulnerable immigrant child we should see the Christ child,” Carcaño said.

Hopeful steps

Obama said his order shifts the priority of who gets deported to “felons instead of families, to criminals instead of children.” This will allow ordinary law-abiding people to “come out of the shadows,” he said.

Undocumented people who have lived in the U.S. for more than five years and have children who are U.S. citizens will be able to register. They will have to pass a background check and, if they have not already, begin to pay taxes.

“This isn’t amnesty, or legalization, or even a path to citizenship,” he said.

“What we’re saying is, until Congress fixes this problem legislatively, if you have deep ties to this country and you are willing to get right by the law and do what you need to do, then you shouldn’t have to worry about being deported or being separated from your kids.”

About 75 people were part of the “town hall” meeting – many of them undocumented or advocates for immigration reform.

Adrienne Kittos, the attorney for the Tennessee JFON, said the president’s visit “gives me hope” as he continues to keep immigration as a priority after the November announcement of his executive actions.

President Barack Obama

The first person to ask a question of the president voiced the concern of many undocumented immigrants that stepping forward might lead to deportation later if the next administration does not support the executive order.

Obama replied the plan is temporary, just as the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) which protects young people enrolled in higher education or the military.

“And so it's true that a future administration might try to reverse some of our policies,” he said. “But I’ll be honest with you, I think that the American people basically have a good heart and want to treat people fairly.”

Building trust

Obama acknowledged it will take time to build trust and courage for undocumented people to come forward but that, he pointed out, is where churches and other organization can step in.

“I had thought that there would be less fear and uncertainty around applying for the program because DACA has been around for a few years now, but we are definitely hearing from people who are nervous to send their information to the government without a guarantee that they will have that protection on an ongoing basis,” Kittos said.

The plan isn’t perfect but that’s why it is important to continue to advocate for change, she said.

“The president is limited in what he can do unilaterally. It is still vital for Congress to act to repair our immigration system and the only way to make sure that happens is to let our leaders know that is what the American people want.”

Christmas wish

The Rev. Joseph Breen, a retired Roman Catholic priest who was part of the audience at Casa Azafrán, didn’t have a question but he did want to make a statement.

“I think I can speak for so many who are so proud of you for giving such a great example of a husband, of a father, and doing your very best as a president … we wish for you a joyful and blessed Christmas.”

Obama thanked Breen and responded, “It’s worth considering the Good Book when you're thinking about immigration. This Christmas season there’s a whole story about a young, soon-to-be-mother and her husband of modest means looking for a place to house themselves for the night, and there’s no room at the inn.”

Carcaño said it is time for Congress to pass a comprehensive immigration reform and for the church to open their hearts to helping undocumented people.

“In this season of mercy and grace, how do we open our hearts to the vulnerable immigrant child?”

~umns photos/Mike DuBose

 

Monday - December 15, 2014
It's time to reclaim Wesleyan evangelism
Rev. Sherry Cothran Woosley greets people as pastor of West Nashville United Methodist Church. umns photo/Kathleen Barry

HEATHER HAHN
United Methodist News Service

For many United Methodists, evangelism is an uneasy word. It conjures images of someone on a busy street corner handing out Bible tracts or perhaps a missionary on the doorstep interrupting an already-hectic Saturday morning.

Neither situation is necessarily Wesleyan, explained the Rev. Heather Heinzman Lear, the director of evangelism ministries for the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. Lear has made it her mission to give United Methodists a new vantage point on evangelism — as an essential part of Christian discipleship. 

Evangelism should not just be about providing a form of fire insurance “to keep people out of hell,” she said. “Jesus came to teach us how to live and to announce the Kingdom of God is at hand.”

To truly share and live out that good news, Lear said, requires developing relationships with people. That often requires more than handing out Bible tracts.

Lear said she wants to help United Methodists reclaim the definition of evangelism as communicating the good news of Christ’s life, death and resurrection — that in the words of the Gospel of John: “The Word became flesh and made his home among us.”

Lear was addressing more than 50 United Methodist lay people and clergy, including a district superintendent, from around the Memphis Annual  Conference. They had given up a chunk of their Saturday, March 1, to attend Lear’s workshop “Reclaiming Evangelism” at Mullins United Methodist Church in Memphis.

She said she also wants United Methodists “to reclaim the centrality of evangelism in the life of our churches.”

A Wesleyan approach to evangelism, she said, should combine three aspects:

  • Apologetics, teaching people Christian beliefs
  • Personal transformation, helping people grow in their relationship with Christ
  • Mission, enabling people to share Christ’s love with others

How do churches go about integrating all three?

Lear drew on the book “Shift: Helping Congregations Back into the Game of Effective Ministry” by the Rev. Phil Maynard, a clergy coach who works with Path1, the United Methodist Board of Discipleship new church starts division.

She presented five changes the book recommends that will help congregations more effectively share the gospel and help develop more Christian disciples.

Fellowship to hospitality

“Are we friendly, or are we in the practice of making friends?” Lear asked. “There’s a huge difference.”

Congregations usually are great about sharing friendly fellowship among current members. But at some churches, newcomers can feel like an outsider at a family reunion rather than a welcome addition to a community of faith, Lear and others at the workshop observed.

Many churches can seem to have assigned seating — with people insisting on sitting in the same place in the same pew every Sunday. But that tendency can also be an evangelism tool, Lear said.

She suggests telling congregants that their pews are their “mission field.” “You need to know the people who sit all around that pew,” she said. “You need to be aware who’s there and who’s not. When somebody new comes in, get their name.”

One man at the workshop said that when he visited a church, it was his pew neighbors who helped get him and his wife connected with the church choir and find a Sunday school class. Because of them, he and his wife became members.

Worship as lifestyle

Lear challenged her listeners to think of how they can take their worship experience out into the world and help people “encounter the risen Lord” outside the church sanctuary.

She quoted Louis Giglio, pastor of Passion City Church in Atlanta and author of “The Air I Breathe: Worship as a Way of Life.” “You are and always will be a worshiper,” Giglio wrote. “It’s what you do. You can’t help it. You can’t stop it. But you can choose where you invest it.”

The Rev. Cynthia Davis, McKendree District superintendent in the Memphis Conference, said she urges churchgoers not to toss their worship bulletins into a recycling bin after service but instead give them away between Sundays.

“If you have Scriptures and prayers and liturgy, it might be helpful to someone else on their journey,” Davis said. “You never know who might need that word from the Lord.”

On the United Methodist Board of Discipleship website, Lear also offers invitations to discipleship that churches can use each week to help worshipers reflect more on the week’s Scripture reading and keep their focus on God during the week ahead.

'Serve us' to service

Even congregations with strong community outreach can struggle to help people make the connection between love of neighbor and the worship of God.

“We have people who use our church gym every night who don’t know where the sanctuary is,” Carla Taylor, director of communications at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Memphis, said to those at the event. Taylor is also chair of the Memphis Conference Communications Action Team.

Lear suggested one way to bridge that gap is to help everyone in the church know that the task of sharing the Christian faith isn’t just the job of the pastor or the evangelism chair but a calling on every Christian.

“I would argue that everything that goes on in church buildings and with our church’s name on it should be about sharing the love of God with others and growing in the love of God ourselves,” she said. “Everything that our church is about should have an evangelistic lens.”

Survival to generosity

Lear says she often receives calls from church leaders who say their church needs more people, otherwise the church can’t pay its bills.

“Money follows ministry,” Lear said. “People aren’t really excited about paying me or paying for the lights. But if we are doing significant ministry, it will make a difference.”

She also pointed out generosity includes far more than the dollars in the offering plate. After all, United Methodist membership vows call on people to pledge their time, talents and witness as well.

She suggested one way churches can publicly acknowledge the varied forms of generosity — and get away from the mentality of scarcity — is to get rid of that old bulletin standby of printing the total budget, year-to-date and the current deficit.

Instead, she said bulletins, church newsletters and even worship should include stories of how the church’s ministries are making differences in people’s lives. “If you tell the stories of people’s lives being changed, people want to be part of that.”

Membership to discipleship

Membership focuses on what happens inside the church walls but discipleship transcends them and engages the world, Lear said.

But many people struggle with sharing their faith story, especially if they grew up in the church.

She suggested an exercise to overcome that discomfort. “Take a sheet of paper and draw a line across from birth to today and then draw the peaks and valleys of when did I feel  God really present in my life and when did I feel really alone,” she said. That way when someone at work or in the neighborhood is struggling, United Methodists can share how God reached out to them during a low point.

“The good news is that we have a God who loves us so much that he decided to be in unity with us and join in the human experience even including his death on the Cross,” Lear said. “That’s not something you find in other religions.”

And the news is so good, Christians have every reason to invite others to share in it.

Monday - December 15, 2014
Reaching young adults at Christmas break

JOE LOVINO
United Methodist Communications

College students returning for winter break often long to reconnect with old friends, their former youth leaders, and others in the church who were an important part of their faith development. That is not always as easy as it sounds. 

After years of being active in your church they are no longer part of the youth ministry, and not ready for adult ministries yet. So how can churches minister to their college students when they return for break? 

Exam survival kits

Before they return, consider sending each college student an Exam Survival Kit. The days before break are typically filled with writing final papers, finishing projects, and studying for exams. This can mean sleepless nights and stress-filled days. Fill boxes with both sugary and healthy snacks, maybe a gift card to a coffee shop, and other goodies to help a student through the home stretch.

Personalize the kits as much as possible and include a note or card of encouragement, which also lets them know you are looking forward to seeing them during their break. Invite the whole congregation to participate by donating the items for the kits.

Hands-on service

A group service project is not only a great ministry to the community, but also provides opportunities for the young adults in your church to spend time together.

Arrange a time for them to serve together. They might volunteer with a local service organization or deliver gifts and meals to people in need. The young adults and the people they serve will be blessed.

Youth group reunion

Opportunities for young adults to be together are important during this time, and planning a youth group reunion or young adult Christmas party will give old friends time to reminisce and catch up.


Evy Nickerson, youth leader of Northside United Methodist Church in Brewster, Massachusetts, held one for her former students during Thanksgiving break this year.

She invited all those who had graduated from the youth group in the last 10 years to a local restaurant for a night of memories. A slideshow of pictures from their youth group years was presented, some of their regular chaperones and Sunday school teachers were there, and each alumnus had an opportunity to talk about life after high school.

"Everyone had a great time," Nickerson reported, "and we planned to have another dinner."  

Worship leaders

While they are worshiping with you, invite your students to serve as guest musicians, liturgists, soloists, choir members, ushers, greeters, and the like. You will be giving them an opportunity to use their gifts again, something they might not have an opportunity to do at college. As a bonus, it also makes them visible to the largest number of congregants, who will then be more likely to greet them and welcome them back to church.  

Gift and a prayer

Give the students a gift that lets them know their home church is thinking about them while they are away at school. For example, ask members of your congregation to crochet or knit prayer shawls or blankets for each of them. Then have your pastor, youth leaders, Sunday school teachers, and others, pray over the blankets before presenting them to the students. Not only will the shawls keep them warm, but they will also cover them with prayer — even when they are away.

Stay connected

Many churches are good at staying connected to college students in the fall, but fewer continue those ministries in the spring. Plan now to send more "survival kits" in March or April and get ready to welcome the students back to church this summer

Events
Wednesday - December 24, 2014
BWD Office Closed - Christmas Holiday
Wednesday - December 24, 2014
Christmas Eve Service
Wednesday - December 24, 2014
In Observance of Christmas- CONFERENCE OFFICE CLOSED
Thursday - December 25, 2014
In Observance of Christmas- CONFERENCE OFFICE CLOSED
Friday - December 26, 2014
In Observance of Christmas- CONFERENCE OFFICE CLOSED
Wednesday - December 31, 2014
BWD Office Closed - New Year Holiday
Blogs
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
 

 

Wednesday - December 3, 2014
Perspectives on hope: "If I were ..."


Have you ever been an actor or actress in stage theatre productions?  Or perhaps you love reading a novel and imagining yourself into one or more of the characters within the story. For me, to do so can be a great adventure, or an expanding awareness of self and of the other. It can be especially challenging if I choose to try to enter into the life experience and understanding of someone of a different gender, culture, ethnicity or time and place. From the time I was a young child and first learned to read I used my inner imagination to try to understand, appreciate and empathize with people and cultures that I was not yet familiar with.

While this imaginative process can be entertaining when playing in fictional worlds, it is much harder when we engage real life situations and relationships. Imagining ourselves into the life experience of someone else can take us to deep and sometimes uncomfortable places within ourselves. On several occasions during my adult life when the news media has covered the beating or killing of African-American men by White men I have tried to force myself into that interior journey. 

Each time I have asked myself, “If I were Black, would I still be alive?” This past week, when a grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri did not find any reason to at least examine through trial the role of a White police officer in the shooting death of an unarmed Black young man (youth), I asked that question again: “If I were Black, would I still be alive?” 

Given my propensity to confront injustice, my distrust and resistance to unchecked use of authority, and my commitment to standing up to bullying behaviors, my answer to my question most often disturbs me.   It was made even more poignant for me as my family prepared to gather for a harvest festival celebration last week.

My wife and I have three young adult sons. As the announcement came out from Ferguson I made myself go deeper and ask, “What if our three sons were Black? What would we have to have taught them about surviving in this country? What worries would we have to hold in our hearts every time they went out with friends?” As one Twitter posting said, “The conversations in White households this Thanksgiving will be quite different than the conversations in Black households.” I cannot truly or fully know what it is like to be a Black male in the United States, yet I know I need to continue to be uncomfortable as a White male when something of this nature seems all too common to the general public and to our systems of power and control.

Some of you reading this are now ready to exit, while others may just now be getting interested. That is one of the tensions of having honest conversations on race in the United States. People in a dominant culture place of relative comfort can quite easily escape having to go to deep places of examination around systemic and/or hidden biases. A Facebook posting this week by Bill Moyers (billmoyers.com) invited readers to consider those hidden, often unintentional, biases. It leads us to take the Implicit Association Test on the UnderstandingPrejudice.org link. I strongly encourage all of us to risk entering into a greater self-awareness. I won’t tell you what my results were, but the test was a healthy journey. (Click here to find the test.)
 
As the announcement in Ferguson approached I followed young adults on Twitter and Facebook for the days preceding the announcement. The yearning and hope for justice and transformation were palpable, as was the pain and disillusionment following the grand jury announcement. Many then looked to the Advent season as a hope that Light will again shine in the midst of darkness. Most of those young adults are asking all of us in the Church to risk building the relationships necessary to have honest conversations around race, White privilege, and White oppression, and to allow the recent and ongoing tragedies to be the catalyst for a new tomorrow.

I invite you to consider what such conversations might look like here in the Michigan Area of The United Methodist Church, especially as we take this Advent journey. Remember, “What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.”

 
In Christ’s circle of life,
Rev. Dr. Jerome (Jerry) DeVine
Director of Connectional Ministries
Detroit Conference

 

Tuesday - November 18, 2014
Time to open our minds and our mouths in fresh ways

By now, I hope you have all heard about the “Conversations on a Journey” which Bishop Deb is hosting around the Area over the next three months.

Bishop Deb will be in Cadillac, Escanaba and Midland during the week this blog is published, and later in Grand Rapids and Northville. (see details below)

She is hoping to hear from as many area United Methodists as possible during these five events and she is happy to be sharing her vision and dreams as well. These should be wonderful conversations.

This month’s Burning Question, voiced by a clergy person, came to our office in advance of the first conversation, but was born out of concerns for both the process and any possible outcomes. “I hear the Bishop say she is coming to listen to us, but the last time we had “listening sessions” they were anything but. How can we be sure that this time is different? Why would we want to make the effort to encourage our laity to be there?”

I understand the concern. The last time we talked about listening sessions on an area-wide level, we were operating out of a different set of assumptions and understandings. The people who planned and conducted those “listening” sessions had been given an assignment and thought that the best way to carry out their assignment would be to take a proposed plan to the people and allow them to ask questions about the proposal. Not a bad idea, and well-executed by the members of the MATT team.

But many of us came away feeling like we had different ideas we hoped to share and it seemed that there just wasn’t time or any opportunity to give input. The end result was that some of us were frustrated by the process, and the frustration has not gone away. As I have traveled around the area, I have heard very little resistance to the idea of becoming one conference for the Michigan Area. But I have heard lingering skepticism about how this process will move forward and many questions about timelines and possible input from persons in the pew and behind the pulpit.

So please let me share with you what I think, based on what I have heard to date from Bishop Deb and conference leaders from both Detroit and West Michigan. First, and foremost, I have heard a desire and commitment to learn from the mistakes we have made in the past. Bishop Deb has come to this place after listening to people from across the area, and she is determined to continue to seek input from lay and clergy alike as we go forward. She is coming to these conversations with an open mind and deep trust in the wisdom resident in the people of the Church. She is clear that she wants to give the people of the Area opportunities to weigh-in with their thoughts and ideas, both in these initial stages and throughout the process.

Second, I believe that we will learn from the experiences of others. In the past, we were moving into areas of conversation where few other Annual Conferences had gone, and we did not have many other examples to draw from. But today, many annual conferences have experienced these vital mergers and the creation of a singular new conference where there had been two or more predecessor conferences. They have had successes and bumps along the way and we can learn from them. I know that Bishop Deb and her conference leaders from both West Michigan and Detroit have already been to Indiana to hear about their experiences of moving from two conferences to one new conference, and I am confident that there will be many more such conversations and fact-finding trips in the future.

Third, I am convinced, from what I have heard so far, that we are not in a rush to get to the end of the journey. I believe that the people and conversations I have heard are prepared to take their time in order to get it right the first time. By that I mean that, if the two conferences decide that they would like to become one new conference for the Michigan Area, then the becoming will be stretched out over enough time to allow this new thing to grow and develop, with a variety of inputs through many different means. The new conference, if it is to happen, will not be dropped out of the sky full-grown and fully developed in a matter of weeks. It will emerge from weeks and months of input gathering and idea-testing across the entire area. And I do not believe that this input gathering and idea-testing process will be conducted by the same persons who have brought us to these decision points in the past. We will certainly want to hear their voices and learn from their experiences. But if we are to have a “new” thing, then we must have new leaders with fresh ideas and fewer ties to the ways we have always done things in the past. What excites me is that I believe there are just such persons willing and eager to lead us in these new directions. I also believe that those who have been in leadership roles are prepared to hand off the baton.

However, before any of this can happen, Bishop Deb would like to hear from you and have you hear from her. There are several ways this can happen. You can attend a conversation event. You may participate in the planned “web” event in January. You can speak with a conference or district lay leader. You can email the bishop’s office or join the social media dialogue which has already begun. But mostly, you can prayerfully prepare for the opportunity will be given to each annual conference to let the Bishop and conference leaders know, by means of the ballot, whether you agree with their vision for the area.

There will come a moment when our votes will be each be counted and we will be given our opportunity to say “yes, we agree” or “no, we do not.” In the end, the choice will be ours. I know that Bishop Deb is prepared to trust the wisdom of the two conferences and their members on this. She really wants to hear from you!

This week's schedule:

  • Wednesday, Nov. 19, Cadillac UMC, 1020 E. Division Street, Cadillac; 231-775-5362; 6:30 - 8:00 pm
  • Thursday, Nov. 20, Escanaba Central UMC, 322 S. Lincoln Road, Escanaba; 906-786-0643; 6:30 - 8:00 pm
  • Saturday, Nov. 22, Midland First UMC, 315 Larkin, Midland; 989-835-6797; 2:00 - 3:30 pm

 

 

Tuesday - November 11, 2014
We can make a difference!

The year: 1952.  The place: Hornick, a small town on the very western edge of Iowa.  A bubbly, blonde, curly headed little girl had just celebrated her first birthday, and was just beginning to pull herself to a standing position in preparation for her first steps. She, her parents, and her older brother and sister were looking forward to the relaxing, slower paced days of summer in Iowa.

 
And yet, there was a specter hanging over them - hanging over the entire town - the entire nation.  Poliomyelitis ... infantile paralysis ... polio – a disease that killed or paralyzed most of its victims, the majority of whom were children. 
 
In the words of the young mother of that little girl:
No one who did not live during those pre-vaccine days, especially those who have children, can begin to imagine the sheer terror that affected everybody. No one knew where the virus came from or how it was spread. It had no seeming pattern. It affected rich and poor alike. It attacked those “protected” by privilege as well as those in the poorer category, though the less-advantaged did have slightly fewer cases of polio. During those fearful summers, we avoided crowds; swimming pools, movies; thinking (hoping?) to reduce exposure but realizing, all the time, that it was all guess work.
 
Western Iowa was especially hard hit with this dreaded disease, and, in fact, in the little town of Hornick and its surrounding mail routes had the highest percentage of polio victims in the state of Iowa.  
 
So when that usually happy little girl fell ill, the diagnosis was the one everyone dreaded most - polio.
 
Those were dark days - frightening days - days of worrying about a little girl's survival.
 

But survive she did!  
 
If anyone had told that Mother – and all those who feared this illness – that within their lifetimes polio would be virtually eliminated from the United States, I doubt they would have believed it possible.
 
But it was.
 
People across the country (from the President to Hollywood celebrities to school children) poured their energies into eradicating polio – collecting dimes, raising money for research, praying – and together they did what was thought to be impossible.  The result of which was that today in the United States, polio is truly a disease of the history books.
 
As you may have already guessed, I was that little girl.  
 
The reason I share this story is simply this:  if we can eliminate a disease as prevalent and as frightening as polio, we can also eliminate another killer – malaria.
 
At the moment, it may seem an overly ambitious dream. With over 1,700 people (most of whom are children) dying of malaria every day, with the difficulty of getting bed nets and medicine to remote areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, and with the nearly overwhelming task of eliminating the places malaria-infected mosquitos breed, it might seem an almost impossible goal.  
 
But it is not! 
 
So far, the United Methodist Church has raised $64.5 million of it’s $75 million goal! And I’m proud that the Michigan Area has raised $1 million of its pledged $1.5 million to help rid Africa of this disease. Simply saying “thank you” hardly seems sufficient, but I say it anyway … Thank You!
 
We are close … but we are not done. 
 
The challenge now is for each of us to make one last effort to reach our goal. Please consider an additional gift, or a new project to raise funds for this worthwhile endeavor. And remember – with each $10 gift we are saving a life.
 
We can live out these familiar words of Jesus:
And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:40
Friends, we did it with polio – and we can do it with malaria. When we share a vision and work together, we can do great things! We can change the world!
 
Thanks be to God!
 

Bishop Deb

 
 

 

Wednesday - October 22, 2014
Ready for what's next!
 
I want to begin this month’s Burning Questions blog by thanking all of you who read and commented upon last month’s post. I received numerous comments, both by email and in person, and was gratified by your willingness to share your thoughts. I hope that we will continue to have this dialogue as we move forward on this journey with Bishop Deb. 

However, this month I would like to respond to a different type of Burning Question.
 
It is one of several similar questions that I have received over the days, months, even years since I came into this office: “How long before you’re going to hang it up, Bill? I thought you were going to retire years ago!” 
 
I have never thought of ministry as a “job” or a burden, so I have been reluctant to think about retirement. I have talked about it from time to time, of course, but it was always something far off “in the future.”
 
I even tried naming a possible date a couple of times, (age 62 or age 66), but every time I did the Bishop called and my plans changed. However, that did not stop people from wondering about what my plans were. They knew that the calendar was marking off the days until I would no longer be able to ignore the possibility of doing something different with my remaining years. And, since I just turned 69 a few weeks ago, the volume and frequency of the questions has increased. So, if you’ll permit me a moment of personal privilege, I would like to tell you about our plans going forward.
 
I need to begin by saying that I have not written to the Board of Ordained Ministry yet to request a change to retirement status, but I am planning to ask them and Bishop Deb to consent to my retirement from active status next year, effective June 30th of 2015. This means that Bishop Deb will need to name a new Assistant to the Bishop to take up the reins beginning July 1. This is not coming as a surprise to the Bishop. She and I have been discussing this for some time, and I have notified both the Area Episcopacy Committee and the two Cabinets of my desires. As has been her practice, she has invited her superintendents to offer suggestions of names she may consider, and I know that she has been prayerfully discerning who she will ask to come alongside her in this work. I also know that she will welcome your prayers as well.
 
So that is where I find myself at the moment. Approaching life’s Sabbath after 42 years of ministry in The United Methodist Church and anticipating a time of rest and renewal for however many years God gives me. After all this time I am looking forward to my retirement, but I want you to know that I am not done with my work just yet. There is still much to do as we go through this conference year. We will need to finish the new Area Ministry Center. There are still some unfinished touches that I would like to see completed before I turn over my keys. We need to add an airlock to the front entry and furnish the large assembly room, and we need to find the funds to pay for these projects.
 
If you would like to help with these two projects, please contact me or Bishop Deb and we will be only too happy to work with you on either one. And I want to do all that I can to help Bishop Deb and her leadership team on their journey toward what will hopefully turn out to be a new conference in the Michigan Area if the conferences agree.
 
I have heard it said that one never “retires” from ministry. In one sense, that is true. My calling from God to be in ministry will not end with my retirement from active service as an Elder in the Church. I am sure that God will continue to present opportunities for me to share “Good News” and build the Kingdom even after the “retirement party.” (I do hope you’ll be able to come. I’ll let you know when and where.)
 
But it is also true that there comes a time when we need to step aside and make room for others in this work. I have enjoyed every moment of this ministry. I have especially enjoyed the opportunity to work with Bishop Deb. But I am also sure that I will enjoy whatever God has in store for Janice and me. God has never failed to delight and surprise us and we can’t wait to see what’s next! 

 

Tuesday - October 7, 2014
No sugar-coating on this "new thing"

August’s Burning Questions blog generated a number of questions and comments – some posted and more not. I’m grateful to everyone who responded.

One of those who responded had more than a little “heat” in the Burning Question which came my way: “Why does the Bishop not want to use the 'm' word? It’s a merger no matter how we try to 'sugar-coat it.' We should call it what it is. When we fail to do so, we make people wonder what we are trying to hide!"

Great question! Let me see if I can shed some light on the Bishop’s thinking as she leads us forward into a “new thing” – whatever that turns out to be.

First, the reason around the hesitation to use the “m” word. It began when the Bishop was assigned to the Michigan Area. People on the Jurisdictional Episcopacy Committee and others, people she has known and respected for years, told her that she should NEVER use the “m” or "merger" word in Michigan.

There had just been too many bad experiences in the past and there were still too many painful wounds. She has already said that in print and from the pulpit. I’m not sure if some people think she is exaggerating that part of her story, but I know from personal experience that she came with that thought even before she moved to Lansing. And when she got here we did nothing to discourage her from that line of thinking.

But as she moved around the state, and I was there for some of those introductory meetings, she really did hear people asking repeatedly: “When are we going to be one?”

She heard about our conference successes. Both conferences have much to celebrate and be proud of. But she also heard about our failures and our continual decline in membership and attendance no matter what we have tried in the past. And she began to wonder if we might want to try a new way of doing “conference”, a way that refocuses our energies and resources on the core values we all share.

When we use the “merger” word, we tend to think about the past and how to bring two entities together while preserving the things we have always done or valued. And those conversations can become heated. Letting go of the past is always difficult, and the older we become, the more past we have to hold on to. But if we are going to reverse our fortunes and began to build the kingdom again, we need to regain our focus on moving forward. That’s why Bishop Deb and others have been reluctant to use the “m” word. Not trying to hide or sugar-coat anything, just trying to point us to new possibilities.

Second, I want to assure everyone that the destination toward which we are moving is not yet known – to the Bishop, certainly, nor anyone else. It feels to me a little like the Exodus experience of the Hebrew people. They were being summoned to leave a place they had known, a place they had prayed to be delivered from but were reluctant to leave behind, and set out for a “promised” land they had never seen. I am convinced that they were able to make that great journey on the basis of hope and trust. They had a hope that the future would be better than the past and a trust in the One who was making the promise and surrounding them along the way.

Yes, there were some then and there are some now who do not want to set out until we have seen what the promised land actually looks like. I don’t think anyone can answer that request with accuracy at this point. What we can do is clarify and commit to discovering the values and vison which will guide us along the way and help us recognize it when we reach the place toward which we are headed. Those things, the core values or expectations, as Bishop Schnase calls them in his book, Seven Levers, and our defining vision or mission statement can be seen and known before we make the decision to set out on our journey. They may be refined along the way, of course, but they can be and will be stated clearly for everyone to see before we take the first step in the wilderness of transformation and “new things.”

So, over these next weeks and months, several things will be taking place. Work will be done and input will be sought from all across the Michigan Area as we try to carefully and purposefully listen to you and others share your vision and values for what these new things might look like. There will be opportunities to share with the bishop personally as she travels from St. Joe to Detroit and Adrian to Traverse City to Marquette to meet with and listen to lay and clergy from the four corners of this great state. Please notice that I have been careful to use the “listen” word. That, too, is not sugar-coated or disingenuous. She really wants to listen and to hear from you. She will not be coming with a fixed agenda or a series of “talking points.” She will be coming to listen.

And she will continue to share her sense of call and excitement for what is possible when the people of Michigan come together to do great things for the kingdom. She believes that we are better together than we are apart, and that this is a time for the people of the Area to unite around a vison of disciple-making that can transform the world.

May it be so!

Bill

Classifieds
Wednesday - December 3, 2014
CHURCH CHOIR DIRECTOR, part time, Troy, MI

Choir director for 450 member church, part time: 12-15 hours per week.

Duties include: 

         Directing the Chancel Choir, Thursday evening weekly rehearsals, 11:00 traditional worship service and special services as determined by church calendar.

         Oversee, coordinate other church choirs . (Children, Bells, Instrumental)

         Staff meetings & church committee meetings

 

Contact:               Pastor David Huseltine
                                   Big Beaver United Methodist Church
                                   3753 John R Rd
                                   Troy, MI 48083
                                   248-689-1932

                                               Email:    bbumc@bbumchurch.org or  dhuseltine@bbumchurch.org

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Wednesday - December 3, 2014
Motown Mission - 2015 Summer Staff

Motown Mission is looking for 8-12 college and/or seminary students to serve as the coordinating team for the 700+ youth volunteers coming for weeks of mission, service, spiritual reflection, and urban adventure in Detroit, MI.  Summer staff lead projects, program and hospitality for 8 weeks of our program.  Summer staff also live in intentional Christian community and discern God's call in their lives through weekly  lunches and conversations with ministry leaders from around the United Methodist Church and Southeast Michigan.  Specific areas for which we will be hiring are: construction/project guides, worship/devotional designers, meal preparation and hospitality, and communications.  This is a paid position, stipends start at $3000.  All interested parties can apply at motownmission.org/apply 

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Friday - November 21, 2014
Pianist

Contact: Laurie Koivula

Email: Click here to send an email

Phone: 810-724-1747

Address: 2008 North Van Dyke Imlay City MI 48444

Church: West Goodland UMC

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Monday - November 10, 2014
Director of Youth Ministry - Plymouth 1st United Methodist Church

Job Type:                     Part-time

Reports to:                   Associate Pastor

Job Summary

Plymouth First United Methodist Church invites people into Christian community where they can become deeply committed disciples of Jesus Christ.  The PFUMC Director of Youth Ministry position offers middle and high school students the opportunity to initiate and/or deepen their personal relationships with Jesus Christ. The mission of the program is to develop and nurture the Christian faith, values, and spirituality of the youth within our church family.

Essential Job Functions

  •          Disciple young persons in their faith
  •          Build and administer balanced, year-round middle and high school youth ministry programs
  •          Recruit, train, nurture, and lead youth ministry volunteers
  •          Develop and administer the budget for youth programs
  •          Encourage and lead participation in service related activity and missions
  •          Assist the Associate Pastor in preparing youth for their Confirmation journey
  •          Perform related duties as required

Characteristics of an Ideal Candidate

  •          A spiritually mature Christian with a strong sense of calling to youth ministry
  •          Strong interpersonal skills with demonstrated written and oral communication skills
  •          Working knowledge of youth culture and youth ministry
  •          Proven ability to leverage and mobilize volunteers and build community
  •          Proven planning and organization skills
  •          Able to appropriately leverage technology and social media to connect with both youth and adults
  •          Flexible, adaptable,  approachable, high energy
  •          Creative thinker and problem solver

To Apply

Qualified and interested candidates should send resumes to Associate Pastor Nick Berlanga at nick@pfumc.org

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Tuesday - October 14, 2014
2006 Ford Freestar SEL with Handicap Conversion

FOR SALE

2006 FORD FREESTAR HANDICAP CONVERSION VAN

 Model:  Freestar SEL      Miles:  82,447    Color:  Red

 Handicap conversion:  VMI-Northstar valued at $20,000

10 lowered Floor, Power Slide Out Ramp, Automatic Sliding Door, Lowered Drivers Side Sliding Door, Manual Wheelchair Tie-down System, Inside Spare Mount, Removable Front Driver & Passenger Seat Bases, One Touch Remote Entry, Magnetic Entry, Power Kneeling Suspension.  EZ Lock Power Tied Base, BKT-2G Wheel Chair Bracket for EZ Lock, Side Entry. 

Number of Owners:  Two, received by Central in 2009

Current Owner:  Central United Methodist Church, Detroit

Condition:  Excellent, garaged during winter months.

Maintenance:  Maintained by Avis Ford, Southfield

When used:  Only on Sundays to pick up Wheelchair bound parishioners.

 Price:  $9,500 or OBO

 Contact:  Debra Eaton, Office Administrator

                 Central United Methodist Church, Detroit

                 23 E. Adams Ave, Detroit, MI 48226

                 Office: 313-965-5422

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Wednesday - September 3, 2014
PERU 2015 - JUNIN RAINFOREST Volunteers need !

Judy Bruuin of the Wisconsin Conference and Jody Pratt of the West MI Conference will be leading a medical/ VBS team of volunteers from July 9-24th, 2015  in the Junin rainforest of Peru.   Bishop Aguliar ( Peru) has requested a team to hold health /dental clinics and work with 3-4 local churches on a VBS/ laity training.  Some Spanish would be helpful but  not necessary .   Medical background volunteers are preferred, but all volunteer applications will be considered.


 Applications will be accepted through January 1, 2015 and the team should be in place by February 1, 2015 .
For applications or information, please email Jody Pratt,  prattgji@hughes.net , or call 269-792-0481.
Estimated cost :  $1,200 per person plus airfare.

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Obituaries
Thursday - November 13, 2014
Cain - Walter

Mr. Walter Cain, father-in-law of Rev. Dennis E. Irish [Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Thursday, November 13, 2014. 

 
ARRANGEMENTS:
 
Mr. Cain’s Service was held Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at Martin Funeral, Cremation & Tribute Service in Mt. Morris, Michigan.
 
CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO:
 
Mrs. Sherri & Rev. Dennis Irish
P.O. Box 39
Brown City, MI 48416
 
GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:
 
Leader Dogs for the Blind
1039 S. Rochester Road
Rochester Hills, MI 48307
 
Wednesday - November 12, 2014
Albery - Rev. Mary B.
Rev. Mary B. Albery [Retired Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Wednesday, November 12, 2014. 
 
ARRANGEMENTS:
A Memorial Service will be held Friday, November 28, 2014 at the Chelsea Retirement Community located at 805 W. Middle Street; Chelsea, MI 48118 [734-433-1000].
 
CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Son]:
 
Mr. Rob Willoughby
19355 Addison Drive
Southfield, MI 48075
 
 
GIFTS IN MEMORY:
 
United Methodist Retirement Community Foundation
Parkinson’s Foundation
805 W. Middle Street
Chelsea, MI 48118
 
Saturday - November 8, 2014
Howell - Rev. John N.

Rev. John N. Howell [Retired Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Saturday, November 8, 2014.

 
ARRANGEMENTS:
 
Visitation will take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday, November 13, 2014 at Serenity Funeral Home. The funeral home is located at 8691 Old Pascagoula Road; Theodore, AL 36582 [251-653-4781]. 
Funeral Service will be held Friday, November 14, 2014 at Serenity Funeral Home.
 
CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Spouse]:
 
Mrs. Ruth Howell
9061B Grand Bay - Wilmer Road S.
Grand Bay, Alabama 36541
Sunday - October 26, 2014
Thompson, Mrs. Paula

Mrs. Paula Thompson, spouse of Rev. James W. Thompson [Former Detroit Annual Conference Clergy,
Retired Indiana Conference Clergy], died Sunday, October 26, 2014.

ARRANGEMENTS:
Funeral Service will be held at 2:00pm Sunday, November 2, 2014, at Aldersgate UMC located at 5130 Lincoln Avenue; Evansville, IN 47715 [812-477-7816].

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO:
Rev. James Thompson
2704 East Blackford Avenue
Evansville, IN 47714

GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:
Aldersgate UMC - 5130 Lincoln Ave.; Evansville, IN 47715
Or
Methodist Temple UMC - 2109 Lincoln Ave.; Evansville, IN 47714


 

Monday - September 29, 2014
McKown - Mrs. Bonnie Jean

Mrs. Bonnie Jean McKown, surviving spouse of Rev. Billy J. McKown [Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Monday,
September 29, 2014.

ARRANGEMENTS:
A Memorial Service was held Thursday, October 2, 2014 at the Swartz Funeral Home located at 1225 West Hill Road; Flint, MI 48507
[810-235-2345].

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT:
To The Family of Mrs. Bonnie McKown
c/o Swartz Funeral Home
1225 W. Hill Road
Flint, MI 48507
 

Friday - September 26, 2014
Watt - Arlene

Mrs. Arlene Watt, surviving spouse of Rev. Robert C. Watt [Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Friday, September 26, 2014. 

ARRANGEMENTS:

Funeral Service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Friday, October 3, 2014, at Holly: Calvary UMC, located at 15010 N. Holly Road; Holly, MI 48442 [248-634-9711]. A time of visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. prior to the service. 

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Son]:

Mr. & Mrs. Robert Watt
1814 Newcastle Road
Grosse Pointe Woods, MI 48236
 

GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:

Residential Hospice Foundation
5440 Corporate Drive
Troy, MI 48098

 

Appointments
Wednesday - December 17, 2014
Reed, David
FROM First Appointment TO North Street (DSA)
Wednesday - December 17, 2014
Wilson, Rebecca
FROM Detroit Renaissance District (1/2 time) TO Detroit Renaissance District (1/2 time) + Det. Disaster Recovery
Wednesday - December 17, 2014
Woo, Yongcheol
FROM Troy Korean UMC, Associate Pastor TO Madisonville Korean UMC (West Ohio Conference para 346.1)
Wednesday - December 17, 2014
Wiliams, Courtney
FROM Local pastor: Non-Appointment TO Redford's Aldersgate: Brightmoore Campus
Wednesday - December 17, 2014
Genoff, Nickolas
FROM Applegate (1/4) Buel (1/4) Croswell:First (1/2) - ABC Charge TO Applegate (1/4) Buel (1/4) Croswell:First (1/4) - ABC Charge
Wednesday - December 17, 2014
Council, Will
FROM First Appointment TO Detroit: Calvary (DSA)
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