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Features
Wednesday - August 27, 2014
Open House at Area Center in Lansing, Sept. 7

Michelle Obama told the 226  Dillard University graduates to never lose their hunger for education as she recounted the history of the school which dates back to 1826.  MORE

Monday - August 25, 2014
Dogs are building a bridge in Pinckney

Dirk Elliott, Detroit Conference's Director of New Faith Communities and Church Development, is a presenter at the REACH Summit Oct. 18 in Lansing. He will share how to do evangelism by meeting a need in the community ... like a Dog Park.

Tuesday - September 2, 2014
Send the children back to school in Haiti

In support of education in Haiti, the United Methodist Commitee on Relief has launched a new call for school kits and health kits.

Monday - September 1, 2014
Boy sells cookies to beat the bugs!

Doing chores and selling cookies, the children at Grand Rapids 1st UMC recently raised $482 for Imagine No Malaria. Projects continue this fall toward raising $1.5 million.

News
Tuesday - September 2, 2014
Eary Response Teams needed in Warren
Over 350 homes in Warren still have urgent needs for clean-up. Contact Eric Miller, Disaster Response Coordinator for the Detroit Conference, is scheduling volunteer teams. Email emiller629@wowway.com.

ERIC MILLER
Disaster Response Coordinator, DAC

Early Response Teams are still being requested to assist with the massive effort of evaluating and mucking out of homes in Warren, Michigan after the storms of August 11th. 

Over 18,000 homes were affected after the storms. Anywhere from 16 inches of flood water to reports of over 7 feet have been reported and confirmed. 

Working with the City Council, the Detroit Annual Conference Disaster Response Coordinator, Eric Miller, has currently identified over 350 homes (with more being reported daily) that still have immediate and urgent needs. 

ERT’s have been requested to work alongside the City of Warren in the evaluation of, mucking out and cleaning of the affected homes. 

Please remember your training and be prepared to “self support” in the area of meals and logistics.

Housing has been secured at New Hope UMC in Shelby Township, MI a few miles north of the affected area and in an area not affected by the floodwaters. (There is room for your tool trailers!!!) 

Please contact Eric Miller, emiller629@wowway.com, for more information, documents and to confirm your team’s reservation. 

Please continue to pray for those affected, those that will respond and also about your response to this invitation.

Monday - September 1, 2014
CARE for the school children of Haiti
UMCOR's goal is to send 50,000 School Kits and Health Kits into Haiti over the next five years.~umns photo/Mike Dubose

SUSAN KIM
United Methodist Committee on Relief

In support of children’s education programs in Haiti and around the world, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is launching a renewed call for school kits and health kits.

In Haiti, UMCOR is one of various non-governmental organizations partnering with Care International and its Partnership for Learning Program. Through this program, CARE is committed to helping 50,000 underserved students in Haiti.

The Government of Haiti has made access to free, universal education a priority, but thousands of children remain unable to go to school, explained Thodleen Dessources, UMCOR's program manager for Haiti.

“Many children live in remote rural areas,” she said. “In addition, there are large numbers of street children and children known as 'restavek’ (the pejorative creole term for domestic servants), who have no access to education.”

UMCOR will provide school kits and health kits, as well as text books that will be purchased in Haiti, in support of the CARE program.

“The inclusion of textbooks purchased in Haiti ensures that these materials will be available in relevant languages and that they already have been approved by the Ministry of Education,” said Dessources.

UMCOR's Haiti field staff also will provide hygiene education, including teaching children how to properly wash their hands and brush their teeth.

UMCOR's goal is to provide 50,000 each of school kits and health kits, at a rate of 10,000 of each type of kit per year for the next five years. “Reaching these amounts will depend upon our stock of school kits and health kits. If the kits aren't replenished, we will not meet this goal,” Dessources underscored.

You can assemble health kits and school kits, and send them to one of the depots in the UMCOR Relief-Supply Network.

Click here for School Kit assembly; Health Kit directions found here. .

You also can support this ministry with your gifts to Material Resources, Advance #901440, which enhances the purchase of emergency relief supplies all throughout the year.

Monday - September 1, 2014
Mistrust and fear fuel ebola crisis


LARRY HOLLON
United Methodist Communications 

A posse of young boys armed with slingshots blockades a road to prevent a Red Cross vehicle from bringing medical supplies into a village wracked by Ebola. In another area, residents throw stones at an arriving health team. And in a another, villagers flee when a health worker in a white lab coat makes calls in the neighborhood.

Why?

These reports remind me of conversations I have had with survivors of horrific conflict. Having worked around the world, I have seen and heard the fear and mistrust that people have of government and others in official capacities in places such as Kampuchea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and South Africa. In these places, the common historical theme is social conflict, and in some places outright war.

I recall a conversation I struck up with a young man sitting under a large umbrella by the roadside in Monrovia a few years ago. He was selling lottery tickets and gasoline in quart glass bottles. I learned he was a high school student when his education was interrupted by the civil war in Liberia. He wanted to study agronomy, but the post-war economy was making survival difficult and the dream of college unrealistic.

I asked him where he spent the war. His voice lowered and his expression changed.

“I moved about,” he said. “Sometimes to the bush, sometimes hiding in the city.”

Pointing to a now-empty swimming pool in an abandoned hotel across the street, he said, “See that pool? I was caught once by a gang of young guys who put a tire around me and threw me into that pool to drown. They were crazy.”

As if the war was not horrific enough, when peace came, gangs of young men armed with military weapons roved the city, robbing and intimidating the people until the U.N. established order and disarmed the former fighters. Without effective government, there was no security, and pronouncements by those who claimed leadership were unreliable. The nightmare of war does not end when the shooting stops.

Liberia and Sierra Leone are post-conflict societies. They are recovering, but strong civil institutions and governance are still evolving. Infrastructure such as sanitation, electricity, communication, health and education are weak. In both, a generation of children lost their childhood because they were born in a time of war. They didn’t attend school, and many were internal migrants or refugees in neighboring countries. And they’ve experienced trauma.

Health systems, never particularly strong, remain weak and fragile. For example, in the county most affected by Ebola in Liberia, according to a story in the New York Times, the health surveillance officer does not have a computer to track disease statistics. As a consequence, the health officer could not track the outbreak of Ebola in real time, and was relegated to an inadequate pen and paper record that was woefully behind the rapid spread of the virus.

Trust depends on the effectiveness of the government and its institutions to deliver adequate, impartial service to its citizens. Weak institutions cannot do this.

Hidden source of conflict

It’s true that people fear the Ebola virus and the toll it takes. But I think there is another, less obvious factor at work as well. It is the residual emotional state of people who are recovering from traumatic experiences in post-conflict societies. This trauma is often masked.

In daily survival it goes unnoticed, and in many places it does not figure into ongoing relationships. In others, of course, it remains a prickly source of conflict that has not been resolved. However, it’s been my anecdotal experience that in post-conflict societies, trauma is not far below the surface, and in times of crisis, when trust is on the line, it can rear its head.

Efforts to create reconciliation commissions have been tried with varying degrees of success. Sometimes they provide a platform for the abused to have a voice, sometimes they exacerbate unresolved divisions.

When I talk with people who have been through terrible experiences such as civil war, I often hear stories told in soft voices that surface pain and loss. Sometimes this pain is expressed with strong language that reveals unresolved feelings of injustice and indignity. Sometimes people are reticent to talk about their experiences at all. They fear retribution. Some don’t want to recall horrible memories. These unresolved conflicting emotions are carried silently. They reflect great personal loss. Spouses, children and whole families have been lost. Homes and sometimes entire communities have been wiped out.

Steps to rebuilding trust

This emotional reservoir, along with weak government, social structures and economies, creates a stew of uncertainty, unmet needs and struggle. In the case of Ebola, I think it points to a need for clear, trusted voices to interpret the reality of the virus, and to encourage people to get medical care and avoid traditional healing. It’s also important for the church to provide messages of hope, comfort, encouragement and concern. In this circumstance, it’s a form of public witness in addition to a vital community service.

This alone cannot heal the broken trust, but it is a step toward healing. Other actions must be taken as well. Improving the health system, physical infrastructure, education and governance are critical. Economic development is necessary to improve work opportunities.

The church has another important gift to offer people in these societies. While large group gatherings are being discouraged during the contagion, under better conditions local congregations are communities of support where spiritual comfort and assurance are given, and personal growth and development occur. In faith communities, people are assured that life is sacred. Life is a gift of God, and God’s intent is not for us to suffer, kill or be killed. God’s intent is for us to flourish, and to find purpose and meaning. In The United Methodist Church, we speak of God’s graciousness. In post-conflict societies, the community of faith can be a means of grace.

What the Ebola crisis has revealed is that residual trauma and weak civil society infrastructure have long-term effects. Untended, these can threaten global well-being in unexpected ways. But this is not the end of the story. It is only the beginning.

Monday - September 1, 2014
Risk-taking mission, kid style

LAURE MIESKOWSKI
Grand Rapids 1st UMC

Imagine being 10 years old.

Imagine hearing that in Africa malaria kills a person every 60 seconds.

Imagine understanding that most of malaria’s victims are under the age of five and pregnant women.

Imagine being asked to help.

The children who attended Arts Alive Camp sponsored by Grand Rapids First UMC experienced the joy of African culture through art, music, drumming, and dance. They also learned Jesus healed the sick and that Jesus challenges us to help others in the same way. They learned $10 buys a net, which will protect a child from malaria-carrying mosquitoes. They learned $10 saves a life.

On Monday, the children were challenged to bring an offering each day. They were encouraged to do something to earn the money for an offering, perhaps by doing chores at home. They were challenged to save the lives of children threatened by malaria.

On Tuesday, the money began to trickle in. A spattering of dollar bills, quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies was enough to save six lives. On Wednesday, the money poured in; it was enough to save an additional 34 lives! Each child contributed. Each child made a difference.

Caden, one of our 10-year-old campers, raised his hand on Tuesday and asked if it was okay for him to wait until Thursday (our field trip day) to bring his offering in. Bright and early on Thursday morning, Caden handed me a zip lock sandwich bag full of money. I was busy checking in children for our field trip at Meijer Gardens and vaguely heard him say something about cookies. Late in the day, I called Caden at home and asked him to tell me how he collected the money for his offering.

With his mother’s help, Caden and his sister baked cookies and sold them in their neighborhood. He told his neighbors that he was raising money to purchase malaria-preventing mosquito nets. After selling the first batch of cookies, Caden was dismayed that he only had $9. He told me, “I panicked because that wasn’t enough to buy a net!” When he arrived home he discovered a “giant tray” of additional cookies. He said he didn’t stop until he sold enough cookies to raise $40, saving four lives.

Well-done to every child who attended Arts Alive Camp! In total, $482.92 was given. That represents a lot of chores and cookies!

Imagine being 10 years old. Imagine saving lives. Imagine No Malaria!

Monday - September 1, 2014
Shop revamped UMCmarket website


The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) recently settled a disagreement with one of the founding partners of UMCmarket.org. During the process, UMCmarket.net was developed so that the program did not cease operation. In the settlement, GCFA regains full rights of UMCmarket.org, the online shopping portal for United Methodists.

At www.UMCmarket.org, United Methodist shoppers can browse through and shop with a vast array of online vendors.

The process is simple: Log on to www.UMCmarket.org, create a profile, select the local church or other church entity you’d like donations made to, search for a vendor by name or category, click on the vendor page and shop online as you regularly would.

When shoppers use this portal, each retailer has agreed to donate a percentage of the purchases to the local church or United Methodist group of the shopper’s choice. Each time the total of donations reaches $100, the church (or group) will be sent a check in the mail.

Zebraplace, GCFA’s strategic sponsor for the online shopping portal, has enhanced its marketing department and revamped the website. The current site should be easier to navigate. Joakim Richter, the CEO of Zebraplace said "UMCmarket is committed to helping United Methodist churches fulfill their mission by providing an alternative method of receiving funds for ministry generated from online shopping. With our new site and the ‘Easy Give Button’, it's now easier than ever for members to sign up, shop, and generate a donation.

We invite all ministries to share the process with their congregation. It's easy and free. Together we can see your donations make a difference."

 

Wednesday - August 27, 2014
$64,000 grant comes to Michigan Area young people
A new campus ministries program, EncounterMICall, has been granted $64,000 to expand a program that began at the Kalamazoo Wesley Foundation.



The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry has released names of recipients of the second round of Young Clergy Initiative grants. There were 164 grant applications over the two rounds, and 75 awards were made totaling about $5.5 million.

Three Michigan clergy,  Paul Perez, Carl Gladstone and Lisa Batten wrote a proposal to expand Kalamazoo Wesley's congregational internship program to 30 interns at campus ministries across the state. The program, called EncounterMICall, was awarded $64,000. (Further details next week.)

Grants ranged in size from $100,000 to $5,000. Kim Ingram, a member of the YCI Selection Committee, said of the diversity among applicants, “We got grant requests from a number of different kinds of sources—local churches, districts, campus ministries, conferences, non-profits, seminaries, United Methodist [related] colleges, foundations, and camps.”

“There were also some exciting partnerships that were going to happen as a result [of the YCI grants awarded,] through campus ministries and United Methodist [related] colleges, between churches and campus ministries, between seminaries and conferences, [and] between a seminary and a college,” Ingram said. “We’re excited about people working together.”

She also said that as a result of reading through applications, the board is working to partner people from different parts of the country who are trying to do similar things so that they’ll be in conversation with one another.

The goal of the grant program is to support good ideas from all levels of the church about how to prepare young people to hear God’s call to ordained ministry, assist young people in responding to God’s call to ordained ministry, develop young people in spiritual and theological formation, and nurture young clergy for lifelong transformational ministry.

“Simulating innovation and creativity is difficult,” Mills said of the selection process. “We really need to look at and balance the benefits and challenges of an approach that is grassroots. This [approach] was more grassroots in that the call went out as a general call versus a more targeted effort.”

Some of the other projects approved included:

  • $50,000 to the Rocky Mountain Conference for an Academy for Clergy Young in Ministry which uses online community learning to help develop young clergy leadership.
     
  • $100,000 to Gammon Theological Seminary recruit, equip, and train young African American and Ethnic clergy leaders through Gammon Pathways Program.

    $35,000 to Wisconsin to develop a conference for young women to discern a call to ministry and equip women of all ages to encourage other young women into ministry.

General Conference 2012 created the $7 million fund to address the need for young clergy in the UMC. While $7 million was approved, the amount disbursed was about $5.5 million, since the actual funds are dependent on payments to the World Service apportionment fund.

Events
Thursday - September 4, 2014
CR Leadership Team & Its Committee - Planning Night

The Crossroads District Leadership Team and all of it's committee members are to attend this 2014-2015 planning meeting.

Please Contact Rev. Rourke to indicate your attendence or your request to be excused.

Thursday - September 4, 2014
New Church Development

 Large Conference Room

Friday - September 5, 2014
Adult Choir Retreat

Adult Choir Retreat
September 5 - 6, 2014
Lake Huron Retreat Center
Burtchville, MI

 

Click Here for more information

Saturday - September 6, 2014
3rd Annual Jeff Murdoch Memorial Golf Scramble

Memorial Golf Scramble
September 6, 2014 - 9 am

Registration - 8:30 am
18 holes w/cart
$50 per person or $200 per Foursome
Buffet Dinner
Door Prizes
Hole and Event Specials

Proceeds to benefit Youth Camp Scholarships

Sponsored by Trinity united Methodist Men

To register contact: Call Rodney at: 989-980-3883 or Dean at 989-845-6403


 

Saturday - September 6, 2014
BWD Sunday School Material Open House

Looking for new material?
Bring your team and preview what the district has to offer. 

Sunday - September 7, 2014
Area Appointive Cabinet Retreat
Blogs
Tuesday - August 26, 2014
What's new with you and God this fall?

It is late August, we have moved into the new office, and are now poised at the beginning of yet another fall season of Church Conferences and pre-Advent preparations. In many ways, it is reassuring to step into the familiar rhythms of fall on the church calendar. But God is always doing new things in our midst, and hiding in the familiar rhythms of how we have always done things, while it may be comfortable for a time, could well find us “napping” when the Bridegroom or Holy Spirit “shows up.” So the Burning Question for this time is one from me to you: What “new” thing is God doing where you are?

 
You may be tempted to answer that question by listing what you or your church have on your calendar for the next few weeks or months, and that would be one possible answer. But I would like to push you a little deeper. As you think about this question, be still and listen for the Holy Spirit’s prompting. What is God doing in your life, in your church, in your community that is new and exciting? Where is God nudging you or challenging you and tempting you to step out in faith to do a new thing?
 
And what does that new thing look like? Don’t know yet? That’s OK. We don’t always have to see the finish line when the race begins. We just have to commit to run the race that is before us. To see it through to completion.
 
Don’t limit yourself to available resources or time. Don’t limit God by the size of our imaginations. If we could dream God-sized dreams for our congregations or even our Annual Conference, what might they look like? Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King Jr. were instruments God used to transform our world. They were ordinary people with God-sized dreams and extra-ordinary faith. How is God going to transform our world because of the God-sized dream you have been given?
 
Over the next weeks and months, you are going to hear and be asked these questions in a variety of places and ways. Bishop Deb is challenging us – all of us in the Michigan Area – to think about how and where God is leading us into new and, as-yet, untried ministries for the sake of the Kingdom. She will be asking her own versions of these questions all across this great ministry field called Michigan and we are all anxious to hear what you are hearing and sensing from the Holy Spirit.
 
Isaiah spoke a word from God which told of God’s ways not being our ways and God’s plans not being our plans. (55:8) We know how we have always done things. We have spent countless hours and untold dollars in the past to do ministry in old, familiar ways. But, we believe, God is doing a “new thing in our midst!” What do you believe that to be in the place where God has called you to minister?
 
I have asked the question without telling you what I think the answers are. We are going to try to be very faithful to that process – to listen without answering our own questions. We – Bishop Deb and others in positions of leadership across our area – are going to do our very best to allow you to speak a word on God’s behalf. You can respond in any number of ways. You can write a response to this blog. You can write a letter to the Bishop or to me or to Benton Heisler or Jerry Devine or Wayne Bank or Anne Soles. You can call us or text us. Or, better yet, you can talk with one another. Talk about the good and powerful new things that you sense God doing in Michigan. Listen to one another.
 
It’s a new Fall and a new day! How will you answer this Burning Question?
 
Until next time, Bill
 
~ homepage image courtesy of foto76 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net 
Monday - July 21, 2014
Boxed up and on the move to Lansing

Did you miss me? I took some much needed time, after the conclusion of both Annual Conference sessions, to try for a little personal Sabbath time before the press of our office move. It mean that I would not answer your burning questions last month, for which I am sorry, but my Sabbath was wonderful (I highly recommend Sabbath time for everyone!).
 
Now we are in the middle of boxes and crates and I remember once again why I dreaded the process of moving. I always loved getting to new places, but the “getting there” was never as much fun as “being there.”
 
I am confident that this, too, will pass and we will be settled in our new place by the end of the summer. At least I’m hopeful. There are still a few questions for which the answers are unclear, but those are fewer and fewer with each passing week.
 
Our plan is to be out of the office in Okemos by the 18th of July and open for business on Northcrest, in Dewitt Township, by the 24th of July. That’s “if” everything gets connected and working by that date. We continue to be excited about the new location and all the hard work that has been done to get the place ready, and we hope that you will plan to join us on Sunday, September 7th for our Grand Open House to see your new Area Ministry Center.
 
On another note, we said good-bye to Vicki Gibbs after ten years with our office staff as the Administrative Assistant to the person sitting in the chair of the Clergy Assistant, and both Terry Euper and I were grateful for her cheerful demeanor and helpful manner as we worked to support three bishops during her tenure. Vicki will be missed!
 
However, we are pleased to welcome Jennifer Weaver to our office team, beginning with our first day in our new office. Some of you will recognize Jennifer’s name. She comes to us with 20 years of experience in the Central/Heartland District office as the Administrative Assistant. Jennifer has worked with 6 different Superintendents (please resist the temptation to comment on how “different” we really are!) during her time in the office in Mount Pleasant, and, as one of those six, I am truly excited to be working with Jennifer again. I know that you will appreciate working with Jennifer as well, and I hope that you will make her feel welcome when you call the office.
 
Finally, as an end to this lengthy preamble, please allow me to remind you that we will also be installing a new phone system area-wide over the next few weeks. While it will be a blessing to everyone when it is finally up and running, I am realistic enough to recognize that this start-up will not be without its hiccups, so I am asking you to be patient with us. I can assure you that each and every one of us in this office will be doing everything in our power to make this office fully functional by the first of September. Please pray for us in the meantime.
 
Someone sent me a Burning Question about the Question of Law that was raised at the Detroit Annual Conference. If you are reading this blog, you have already been exposed to the Bishop’s decision and the Annual Conference resolution which prompted it. The pastor’s question was a simple: What happens now? Is everything on “hold” until we hear from Judicial Council? When will we hear something?”
 
My understanding of the process says that two things are true right now: First, the Bishop found that most of the resolution was not according to law and therefore not in force at this time. The first portion of the resolution was found to be acceptable by Disciplinary standards, and is in place as the will and intent of the Annual Conference. If you are not sure what is left of the original Resolution #14, please read again the Bishop’s Decision of Law which appeared on both conference websites. Second, the Bishop’s decision is “temporary church law” until it is reviewed by the Judicial Council and then, if Bishop Deb is upheld, becomes Church Law. We do not know, as of this date, when this matter will reach the Judicial Council calendar. We do know that they have received all of the material they requested from us and we expect that it will be considered in their October session. However, that is not our decision and we have no way of knowing what else they may be considering this Fall, so we will just have to wait and see like all of you.
 
Thank you for your patience as we move and for your support which has made this move possible. I believe that we will all be blessed by this new space in the years to come. Till next time,
 
Shalom, Bill
Monday - July 14, 2014
Take a chance on peace

I have always been a bit of a ‘news junkie’. Somehow I feel out of touch with what’s going on in the world if I don’t watch the national news each evening. I know other generations get their news online, but I’m old fashioned enough that I still like listening to Diane Sawyer on ABC or Brian Williams on NBC for my daily evening news. 
 
An aside: having lived most of my life in the Central time zone, it’s been difficult for me to adjust to everything being one hour later here in the Eastern time zone. It’s still hard for me to remember that the national news is not on at 5:30, but 6:30 pm. I still occasionally find myself turning on the television at 5:30, only to discover Ellen DeGeneres, or local news.  But I’m learning!
 
Anyway … I have always felt it important to know what’s happening across the country and around the world.
 
But lately I’ve almost dreaded turning on the 6:30 news. The stories of violence and war have been heartbreaking and nearly overwhelming to me.
  • Three young Jewish students killed;
  • A young Palestinian man burned alive in retaliation;
  • Mothers and children fleeing Honduras, labeled the ‘murder capital of the world’;
  • Nigerian school girls kidnapped by Boko Haram;
  • A two year old girl intentionally shot in the head, here in Michigan, in order to punish her father;
  • More than 60 people shot in Chicago over the Fourth of July weekend, nine of whom died;
  • Continued violence in Iraq and Syria and the Ukraine and … fill in the blank.
Do I need to continue?
 
My heart truly aches …  for the lives lost ...  for the bodies and souls scarred ...  for the anger and hatred and revenge that seem to surround our world.
 
The cry of the Psalmist becomes my cry:
How long, O Lord? … How long must I bear pain in my soul, and have sorrow in my heart all day long?  (Psalm 13)
 
I confess that at times I do feel overwhelmed by the magnitude and scope of the violence in our world. It is so widespread and the solutions seem so complex and so out of reach, that it’s hard to imagine how we can ever break this tragic cycle. 
 
I want to turn off the television, throw away the newspapers, and close my eyes and ears to the crushing sadness that is such a part of our world.
 
And yet,  as a Christian I must concern myself, if for no other reason than simply that I am a follower of the Prince of Peace. 
 
Then the words of Jesus come back to me
                 Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. (John 14)
 
Christ came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. ... So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God(Ephesians 2:17, 19)  
           
And I am reminded that no matter how much I may want to, I can’t shut my eyes or ears to the cries of the world. As a Christian and as a member of the family of God – it is my responsibility to share those burdens, hard as they are to bear. For,
If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it. (I Corinthians 12:26)
 
So, those young Jewish and Palestinian men are my brothers; those Nigerian schoolgirls are my sisters; those children fleeing the violence of Honduras are my children, too. For we are one Body – one world – one family.
 
Listen, as well, to these words of Jesus:
He put before them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that someone took and sowed in the field; it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” (Matthew 13:31-32)
 
A mustard seed is small – it looks unimpressive and insignificant. But once planted, the result is quite amazing.
 
What that says to my hurting heart, is that I can’t give in to despair – or discouragement – or hopelessness. But I must do what I can do – however small it may be – to bring peace, wherever I am.
 
I know I won’t be able to write the policies that affect peace;
I know I can’t stop the violence in all the corners of this world;
I know I’m not a very powerful person in the large scope of things;
 
But I can, at least, help plant a simple seed of peace: 
  • By finding new ways to solve disagreements within my own life;
  • By choosing words that heal and reconcile instead of hurt and divide;
  • By treating others with respect – even those with whom I strongly disagree;
  • By living a life – to the best of my ability - that reflects the message and spirit of Christ;
  • By, at the very least, praying for peace.           
A small seed, yes, but through our witness to our faith – and with the help of God, perhaps we can at least change a little corner of our world for the better.
 
Many years ago, Pope John Paul II said this in a message given on the World Day of Peace:
"To everyone, Christians, believers, the men and women of good will, I say: Do not be afraid to take a chance on peace, to teach peace. The human aspiration for peace will not be disappointed forever. Our work for peace, inspired by that love which does not pass away will surely produce its fruits. Peace will be the last word of history."
 
I like that … “take a chance on peace”. 
 
That is my prayer …  that peace will, indeed, be the last word of history. 
 
That is our challenge …
and that is our hope.  
 
May it be so, dear Lord, may it be so.
 
 
Shalom.
 
Bishop Deb
 

 

Thursday - May 29, 2014
Open Letter to the Detroit Annual Conference

The Psalmist asked, “If the foundations are destroyed what can the righteous do?” (11:3) Resolution 14 passed at the recent Annual Conference strongly recommends against the use of Disciplinary procedures relating to same-sex marriage. It is imperative that faithful United Methodists of all opinions protest this action as schismatic. For decades we have been locked in debate over homosexual practice. This resolution is a decisive move away from dialog and relationship and towards separation.

The Discipline is the table around which United Methodists gather. Inasmuch as the Detroit Annual Conference aspires to step away from this table, it aspires to schism. This action breaks new ground and with it we enter into our final hour as a denomination.

United Methodism has an accessible and sensible governing polity through the General Conference and the Book of Discipline. It is critical to the health of our denomination that we deliberate with many voices but govern in one. The Detroit Annual Conference aspires to solutions outside United Methodist polity and this is schism.

Now is the time for faithful United Methodists of all opinions in our conference to raise their voices in protest. Clergy should not mistakenly believe they have permission to break their ordination vows. Churches should not wrongly assume they have license to separate themselves from our Discipline. Such things are already happening around the country. Dialog is being eclipsed by schism.

Tuesday - May 27, 2014
A summer sabbath

I just finished reading a book over the weekend that was suggested to me by Dr. Bill Dobbs. It’s called “24/6”, by Matthew Sleeth. And it’s a book about taking Sabbath.
 
Now, I had received this book in the mail quite a while ago, but I had set it aside, opting instead to focus on books and articles that I felt were more relevant to what I needed – books on adaptive change, or transitions, or church structure, or the controversies facing our denomination. So this little book, had been relegated to my “I’ll read sometime – when I get more time” pile.
 
Besides, I thought I already knew what I needed to know about Sabbath.
 
I was wrong. 
 
(Note to self: It is always dangerous to assume you know all you need to know about a certain topic, because eventually you will be proven wrong.)
 
So, on the long Memorial Day Weekend, and with Bill’s excitement about this book still ringing in my ears, I picked it up, went outside in the warm sunshine, and read it – cover to cover.
 
Only then did I realize how much I needed that little book.
 
Let me share with you some of the quotations that struck me as I read:
            “The word Sabbath means “cease from working”. The concept is holy.” (p. 24)
 
Jumping off the hamster wheel once a week allows us to think about who we are, why we exist, and why we were made.” (p. 69)
 
Everyone needs rest. What do we need rest from? We need rest from being hurt, rest from our heavy labors, and rest from our fast-paced world. … Everyone picks up a collection of hurts as the years go by. … It takes time for physical tissue to recover from pain and injury. The same goes for spiritual and emotional injuries. Rest gives our souls the time they need to heal.”  (pp. 75-76)
 
Resting is even more necessary in uncertain times. It helps us remember that God is in control and that our identity is not dependent on the work we do.” (p. 81)
 
There is something comforting about being overworked. If work is the meaning of our lives, then more work equals more meaning. … But 24/6 is not about working hard and playing hard. It’s about working hard and stopping.”  (p. 161)
 
I have always believed in the importance of Sabbath, and I have tried to live by it, but in reading this book, I realized how often I had slipped away from living out that belief.
 
Sabbath is more than just a day off – it is a day of just ‘being’. It’s a day where you stop … and listen … and breathe. A day to “be still and know God”.   And in our 24/7 kind of lives, that’s difficult to do.
 
With smart phones dinging with every email and text;
with stores open 24/7/365;
with the world expecting us to be available whenever they come calling … it is no small act of courage to step away from that kind of busy-ness.
 
It’s an act of faith.
 
We need Sabbath.
 
“Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work. But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; you shall not do any work.” Exodus 20:8-9
 
Even Jesus withdrew from time to time to be by himself and to renew his spirit. 
And so should we.
 
So as we enter into summer, and what we all hope will be a little slower pace, may we find time to reconnect with this holy concept of Sabbath.  And through that Sabbath, find peace – find ourselves – and find God.
 
 
A Prayer by Ted Loder from his book, “Guerillas of Grace”:
 
                                    Let Me Live Grace-fully        
            Thank you, Lord,
            for this season
                        of sun and slow motion,
                                    of games and porch sitting,
                                                of picnics and light green fireflies
                                                            on heavy purple evenings;
            and praise for slight breezes.
 
            It's good, God,
            as the first long days of your creation.
 
            Let this season be for me
                        a time of gathering together the pieces
                                    into which my busyness has broken me.
            O God, enable me now
                        to grow wise through reflection,
                                    peaceful through the song of the cricket,
                                                recreated through the laughter of play.
 
            Most of all, Lord,
            let me live easily and grace-fully for a spell,
                        so that I may see other souls deeply,
                                    share in a silence unhurried,
                                                listen to the sound of sunlight and shadows,
                        explore barefoot the land of forgotten dreams and shy hopes,
                                    and find the right words to tell another who I am. 
 
Amen.                                                                
 
Tuesday - May 20, 2014
It's not the stole but the soul that marks clergy worth


As I write this we are between sessions of our two Annual Conferences and I confess that I am enjoying the Sabbath time before we get to the second session. That being said, I have also enjoyed thinking about this month’s burning questions. The first question to hit my desk was “Why are Local Pastors allowed to wear stoles in Michigan? I find it very confusing. I know that stoles are for the Ordained only but I have seen many Local Pastor wearing them as I have been visiting here in Michigan.”

The second question came from someone who had attended the Annual Conference Session in Adrian and wanted to know what the difference was between a Local Pastor and a Commissioned Clergy Person, since neither is ordained.

About the stoles: We present stoles to ordained persons as a sign of their ordination. The stoles are different for Deacons and Elders and are a powerful non-verbal witness to their ministry among us. These clergy stoles are a tradition that dates back to the Bible.

In a recent article from the United Methodist Reporter (07/27/12), the Rev. Taylor Burton-Edwards, director of worship resources for the General Board of Discipleship, was quoted as saying, “Only ordained deacons and elders are to wear stoles. That is solid Christian tradition that dates back at least to the fourth century. The stoles recall the serving towel that Jesus used to wash the disciples’ feet, as well as the prophetic mantles worn by Elisha and Elijah.” He goes on the say that some district superintendents have allowed – or even encouraged – local pastors who aren’t ordained to wear the stole, but that goes against the denomination’s ordinal. The article quotes Mr. Burton-Edwards as saying, “The stole is not a sign of being a pastor, it’s a sign of ordination to a particular order, elder or deacon.”

All that being said, I understand why some Local Pastors have resisted being told that they could not wear stoles. While they are serving in the church where they are appointed, they are every bit as much a pastor as an elder would be, and if the clergy are going to robe and wear stoles, many Local Pastors feel that they should be able to as well. They are quick to point out that the Discipline does not prohibit them from wearing stoles. (One Local Pastor even reminded me, on some occasion, that the Book of Worship for our denomination speaks of stoles as a sign of pastoral authority.) And no one that I know wants to say or imply that Licensed Local Pastors are second class clergy, so the Bishop and Superintendents are reluctant to say that Local Pastors cannot wear stoles. But Local Pastors should be aware of the history behind the wearing of stoles and how some, particularly persons not of our United Methodist denomination, will view their wearing of ordination stoles with concern.

On a personal note, I never wore a stole until I was ordained, but I remember my concern for how my then Local Pastor daughter was being perceived by her congregation when she did not wear a stole, and thinking more than once that maybe it would be ok if she did chose to wear one. In the end, each Licensed Local Pastor will make up their own mind on whether or not they want to wear a stole, and remember that it is their faithfulness to their calling and their charge which, in the end, will be the mark by which they are measured.

We have been talking about Licensed Local Pastors. These are non-itinerant clergy who are licensed, credentialed and appointed for service as a pastor in a local charge or congregation. Their license and authorization is tied to their appointment, and without an appointment, they are lay persons once again. I have said it before, and I will say it again, that Licensed Local Pastors, who are under appointment, are clergy in the fullest sense of the word, and should be respected as such by laity and other clergy.

Commissioned clergy, both deacons and elders, are clergy who have completed a certain level of education and training, have been examined and recommended by the Board of Ordained Ministry and elected into a provisional relationship with the Annual Conference. In the case of Elders, they are expected to be itinerant pastors – meaning that they agree to go where sent and be under the authority of the bishop and others in supervision over them – in exchange for which they are guaranteed an appointment. Deacons and Elders, who are in the provisional status, are expected to be in a continuing relationship with the Board of Ordained Ministry who will evaluate their effectiveness until they are ready for Ordination or surrender their credentials with the church. Ordination is that moment when the Church says to persons who have been called and trained for this set-apart ministry and have served under supervision for at least two years, “we see the gifts and the fruit in you for life-long effective ministry and we send you forth with authority and responsibility as part of a covenant community of clergy.”

If I am a lay person in a local church and I am being ministered to by a clergy person – licensed or commissioned, ordained Elder or Deacon – I would not worry so much about which status or category of clergy they were. If I saw evidence of call, gifts, and fruit for ministry and if I experienced grace and mercy in their witness and in their lives, and if the larger church had that same experience of them, then that would be enough for me to acknowledge them as clergy and worthy of my respect.

Until next time… may God grant you Shalom!

Bill

Classifieds
Wednesday - September 3, 2014
Youth Director... Part Time

DownRiver UMC, a new church start southwest of Detroit, is looking for a part-time youth director with an entrepreneurial spirit who would thrive being part of a church "under construction." DRUMC is a vital merger of 4+ congregations worshiping in a school auditorium. If you would like more information, please submit a letter of interest and resume via email to pastormargie@drumc.org

Friday - August 29, 2014
Seeking Youth Director for Crossroads District

 CROSSROADS DISTRICT: Seeks District Youth Director, Part-time(12hours).

Resume & letter of intent outlining ministry call, previous job experience, and proficiencies due by 9/15/14.  Job description and Application are below.

Resumes & cover letters should be addressed and sent to Attn: Dr. Sutton at crossroadsdistumc@gmail.com

Job Description

Employment Application Form

--------------------------------------------------

Thursday - August 28, 2014
Chesaning Trinity UMC: Youth Ministries Coordinator

 WAGES: $12.00 per hour

SCHEDULE: 6-9 hours per week. (Time generally includes Sunday programs.)

COMMITTEE AFFILIATION: Youth Council, Family Ministries, Administrative Council

QUALIFICATIONS:

-Layperson seeking to dedicate his/her skills to the service of God in the church in an employed basis as part of his/her commitment to Christ

-A commitment to youth and their Christian growth needs

-Some experience related to the description: this position ascertains the needs of the youth, then develops and supervises the youth ministry programs of the church

-Child Protection Training/Certification is required


RESPONSIBILITIES:
-Work with the directing pastor and appropriate committees to identify youth ministry needs and develop plans to meet such needs.
-Evaluate existing youth programs and determine future directions to meet the needs of the youth
-Oversee/coordinate weekly youth meetings
-Meet with the Youth Council and, when appropriate, with the Family Ministries Committee to plan, staff, and implement youth ministry programs
-Work with the Chairperson of the Youth Council to develop agendas and facilitate decisions
-Promote Conference and District youth events
-Participation in District/Conference activities relating to Youth Ministry Programs will be encouraged and time invested will be compensated
-Attend staff meetings and special meetings as needed
-Secretarial assistance will be available within the limits of the office staff
-Continuing education will be encouraged and a designated amount will be provided in the yearly evaluation
-Curriculum and resources will be provided to perform the needed tasks
-Provide yearly report of youth activities

ACCOUNTABILITY: This position is accountable to the directing pastor and SPRC

COMPENSATION:
-The compensation package will be reviewed annually by SPRC prior to requesting budget.
-Areas to be included will be salary, continuing education, and such other areas as shall be determined by SPRC.

Send a letter of interest to:  tumc@centurytel.net  

--------------------------------------------------

Thursday - August 28, 2014
Hemlock UMC: Director of Youth Programs

 Personal Attributes:

Our Part-time Director for Youth Programs should possess and exemplify a Christian character and manner.  This person must be a people person being courteous, and pleasant in greeting people in person
and by telephone. We expect staff to respect any sensitive church or personal issues of our members confidentially.   
 
Knowledge and Skills Needed:
 
This leader must be able to share a personal faith founded in Jesus Christ. They must relate well to the youth of today, be a creative self-starter (able to start and carry out ideas), complete the Detroit Annual Conference Child, Youth and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy Training, recruit and motivate volunteers.  A background check will be performed.
 
General:
 
Responsibilities and Accountability:
 
The Director for Youth Programs:
 
1.     Shall be under the direct supervision of the Church Pastor and Staff/Parish Committee will be responsible to him/her.
2.     Shall supervise and direct ministry for children and youth, through High School.
3.     Oversees children’s, and junior/senior high programs.
4.     Attends worship.
5.     Chairs Youth Council which plans programs for the year.
6.     Becomes involved in ecumenical, district and conference youth activities.
7.     Develops opportunities for youth to grow and deepen their faith.
8.     Administers youth activities (budget, publications, newsletter articles, fund raisers, etc.).
9.     Produces regular written reports including articles for monthly newsletter and attends bi-monthly Church Council.
10.   Leads mission experiences with the input of the youth.
11.   Provides quarterly Performance Reports quarterlyto Senior Pastor and/or Staff Parish Relations Committee during the probationary year on progress of responsibilities of 1-10 and as requested by committee.
 
Annual Performance:
 
The Youth Director will be evaluated quarterlyand a 1 year probationary period during the first year.  An annual evaluation will take place before our Church Charge Conference.
 
Hours:
5 hours a week salary
 
Benefits:           
1)     Hourly salary set by Administrative Board on recommendation of the Staff Parish Relations Committee and paid bi-weekly. Salary will begin at = $35.00 weekly for the remainder of 2014.   
2)     Total Budget is $2.400.00 includes salary, travel & continued education
3)     There is a two(2) week nonpaid vacation
This is in no way to be construed to be an all-inclusive list of duties.
 
Job interviews will take place the week of August 01, 2014.  The goal is to have a new director of youth in place before or by September 1, 2014 and no later than October 1, 2014.  
Thursday - August 28, 2014
Kochville UMC: Organist

 Contact church office at (989) 792-2321 for details.

Thursday - August 28, 2014
Kochville UMC: Secretary

 Contact the church office at  (989) 792-2321 for details

Obituaries
Saturday - August 23, 2014
Studaker-Rev. Victor L.

Rev. Victor L. Studaker [Retired Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Saturday, August 23, 2014.

ARRANGEMENTS:

Funeral Services were held Tuesday, August 26, 2014 at Pollock-Randall Funeral Home located at 912 Lapeer Avenue, Port Huron, MI 48060.

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Spouse]:

Mrs. Phebe Studaker
2618 W. Water Street
Port Huron, MI 48060

GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:

Any of the churches served by Rev. Studaker (Reference the Detroit Annual Conference Journal)

Wednesday - August 20, 2014
Patton, Rev. Clare

Rev. Clare Patton [Retired Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Wednesday, August 20, 2014.

ARRANGEMENTS:
A Memorial Service will be held in Caro, Michigan at a later date.

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Spouse]:
Mrs. Louine Patton
153 Palisades Drive
Davenport, FL 33837

Thursday - August 14, 2014
Mansfield - Rev. Richard A.

Rev. Richard A. Mansfield [Retired Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Thursday, August 14, 2014. 

 
ARRANGEMENTS:
 
Funeral Services were held Tuesday, August 19, 2014 at Frankenmuth United Methodist Church located at 346 E. Vates Street; Frankenmuth, MI 48734. 
Wednesday - August 13, 2014
Sepolen, John

Mr. John Sepolen, brother of Rev. Jacque Hodges [Detroit Annual
Conference Clergy], died Wednesday, August 13, 2014.

ARRANGEMENTS:
Funeral Service will be held at 11:00am Saturday, August 23, 2014
at St. Therese Catholic Church located at 3416 E. Marion Street;
Seattle, WA 98122 [206-325-2711].

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO:
Rev. Jacque and Mr. Clifford Hodges
c/o Mt. Vernon UMC
3000 28 Mile Road
Washington, MI 48094

GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:
St. Therese Catholic Church

Sunday - July 27, 2014
Moore - Frances

Mrs. Frances Moore, surviving spouse of Rev. Clyde R. Moore, Jr. [Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Sunday, July 27, 2014. 

ARRANGEMENTS:

Funeral Service will take place at 1:00 p.m. Friday, August 1, 2014 at the Embry-Bosse Funeral Home which is located at 2723 Preston Hwy; Louisville, KY 40217 [502-635-6371].

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Daughter]:

Mrs. Sylvia Degenkolb
103 E. Tenney Avenue
Louisville, KY 40214
 

GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:

World Gospel Mission
P.O. Box 948
Marion, IN 46952
 

 

Sunday - July 6, 2014
Murry - Lena

Mrs. Lena Murry, widow of Rev. Horace Murry, (Detroit Conference Clergy), died July 6, 2014 in Lansing, MI.

ARRANGEMENTS:

Viewing will be held on Tuesday, July 8 from 5:00-8:00 p.m. at Gorsline Funeral Home, 900 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing Charter Township., and on July 9 at Pennway Church of God, 1101 E Cavanaugh Rd., Lansing Charter Township from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service at 11:00 a.m.

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO:

Gerry Tibbits, daughter and Roy Murry, son
106 Hartwell Terrace
Mason, MI 48854


IN LIEU OF FLOWERS, GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE SENT TO:

· Bayshore Camp, 450 N Miller St, Sebewaing, MI 48759
· Mid-Michigan Hospice c/o Gerry Tibbits 106 Hartwell Terrace, Mason, MI 48854
· Adventures in Mission c/o Gerry Tibbits 106 Hartwell Terrace, Mason, MI 48854

Appointments
Friday - June 13, 2014
Garrigues, Peggy
FROM Clawson (Full Time) TO Clawson 1/2 time and Berkley First 1/2 time
Sunday - June 15, 2014
Snyder, Jean (Retired Elder)
Sunday - June 1, 2014
Van Wormer, Patricia A.
FROM Disability Leave TO Retirement
Saturday - May 31, 2014
Turner, Monique
FROM Flint: Faith (DSA) TO Flint: Faith (1/4 time) and Crossroads District Christian Education Consultant (1/4 time) (CR)
Sunday - June 1, 2014
Walls, Suzanne
FROM Berkley First 1/2 time and Beverly Hills1/2 time (DR) TO Birmingham First as 1/2 time associate and Beverly Hills 1/2 time (DR)
Sunday - May 25, 2014
Wilson, Rebecca
FROM First Appointment TO Livoinia: Newburg UMC
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.

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