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Features
Saturday - June 27, 2015
Michigan reacts to Supreme Court's ruling

United Methodists from around the globe are reflecting on the impact of the Supreme Court's decision on same-gender marriage. What does this mean for day to day ministry and the issues before the 2016 General Conference?

Friday - June 26, 2015
Now is the time to pray then act

The Rev. Paul Perez offers information and a call to action after participating in the Prayer Vigil at Trinity Faith UMC in Detroit on Wednesday evening.

Tuesday - June 30, 2015
Bishops share marriage guidelines

On June 26 the Supreme Court made same-gender civil marriages legal in all 50 states. On June 29 Bishop Deborah Lieder Kiesey joined other UM episcopal leaders in providing specific guidelines to pastors regarding their participation in such marriages.  read more>>


Tuesday - June 30, 2015
A heart that burns for the Lord

The Michigan Area wishes the Rev. Dr. William D. Dobbs well as he enters into the sabbath season of retirement. But not before he answers ten more "Burning Questions."

News
Tuesday - June 30, 2015
Assist seniors in your congregation to get hands on tech

TRICIA BROWN
United Methodist Communications

Many older adults are still skeptical about the practical applications or benefits of technology. Some may need assistance to learn how to use digital devices and access Internet resources. According to data by the Pew Research Center, approximately 40 percent of all adults age 65 and older do not access the Internet at all. More than half do not have broadband access at home.

How can churches help older adults take advantage of the wonderful world of cyberspace?

1. Make it personal

Engage older adults with specific applications that can make their lives easier or provide entertainment. Consider the following ideas:

  • Leaders might use sites such as Quizworks to ask questions relating to Sunday school lessons or sermons.
  • Show homebound church members how they can view and interact with live broadcasts of your worship service or classes.
  • Invite older adults to share their stories on your church's social media sites. Have another volunteer type and post for them, if needed.
  • Be creative. Collaborate with family or close friends to plan a surprise Skype visit or Facetime call. Imagine having the grandkids pop into a Sunday school class to say "hello." Demonstrate the process and walk them through it a few times.
  • Teach older adults to use online Bible apps like YouVersion or Internet study resources such as BibleGateway.
  • Words with Friends is a fun Scrabble-ike game and chat app that older adults can play with friends from all over the world. They also might enjoy playing games they can play alone, like Solitaire. They can take these games wherever they go if they download them on iOS or Android smartphones. But what if they don't have smartphones?  
  • Convince more older adults to try smartphones! Research smartphones made for seniors. Highlight the fun features on your smartphone. Show them how to download popular free music apps. These apps contain powerful technology, yet they're extremely easy to use.  Seniors might change their minds about smartphones if they knew they could:
  • Start a radio station based around their favorite song, artist or music genre.
  • Easily identify songs playing in their environment with the tap of a button.
  • Listen to unlimited amounts of almost every artist, orchestra, comedian, etc.
  • Create custom playlists for dinner parties and other special events.
  • Share all these activities on Facebook, Twitter, etc.

 2. Encourage volunteer support

Everything is more fun when you do it with a friend. Recruit volunteers who are willing to take a hands-on approach to introducing technology-based ministries to older adults. Remember, when teaching newbies of any age how to access Internet ministries, use non-techie language and provide easy-to-follow step by step printed instructions. Also encourage volunteers to be very patient and to gently troubleshoot problems that may arise.

  • Have a volunteer visit older adult Sunday school classes to demonstrate specific uses and answer questions. Include the same information in Sunday morning worship pamphlets or bulletins and monthly newsletters and during slideshows before worship.
  • Have an IT expert teach an introductory computer class. A class that is offered directly before or after a regularly-scheduled meeting or activity may draw a greater audience.
  • Create a buddy system where knowledgeable teen or adult volunteers pair up with older church members who want to learn how to use computers, cellphones, tablets and other devices.
  • Recruit volunteers to demonstrate how to use basic cell phone features such as texting or taking and sending photos. If older adults have smartphones, look for "Accessibility" settings. You may be able to:
    • Increase text size.
    • Turn on "Talkback" or a similar setting that provides spoken feedback and describes what you touch, select and activate.  
    • Turn on voice confirmation of characters when inputting passwords. Be sure to explain not to insert passwords in public places.
    • Adjust colors or increase screen color contrast for people who have a hard time differentiating colors.
    • Turn on captions for people with hearing impairments.
    • Create an accessibilities settings shortcut on home screens to make adjustments easily.
    • Download a senior-friendly launch app.

3. Provide the equipment

Many older adults live on fixed incomes. Those who are not already connected to the Internet may not have the equipment or funds to do so. If you want older adults to use online resources, you may need to provide the equipment.  

Sponsor a computer drive to collect used equipment. Provide at least one computer, with Internet access, in the older adult Sunday school room. Simply offering a computer to use before or after regular class times (or whenever the church is open) may give people a place to develop computer skills or sign up for an email account. Provide a list of other places such as libraries and community centers that offer free computer and Internet services.  

Once older adults enjoy the benefits of the Internet, you can find more ways to connect with the "plugged-in" at your church. Of course, despite your best efforts, some will hesitate. Use more traditional methods to stay connected with the "unplugged" as well.  And remember that even those who are "plugged-in" will welcome in-person visits and telephone calls, especially if they are homebound.

Tuesday - June 30, 2015
Rev. Dr. Williams Dobbs... a heart that burns for the Lord

Wisdom and a warm smile have been at the center of his ministry for the past 43 years. Now the Rev. Dr. William Dobbs enters into retirement and new opportunities to offer the mind and the love of God. ~MIC photo/John Woodring

 
M. KAY DeMOSS
Senior Editor-Writer, Michigan Area

He pastored five churches in the West Michigan Conference then served as the Superintendent of the Central-Heartland District. Since 2010 he has walked beside two episcopal leaders as the Clergy Assistant to Bishop Jonathan D. Keaton and Bishop Deborah Lieder Kiesey. And now the Rev. Dr. William D. Dobbs has retired, launching  into a season of life and ministry he calls "Sabbath."
 
For the past several years Bill blogged under the banner, Burning Questions. Now as he and his wife, Jan, begin a summer of rest at Sandy Pines near Hopkins, MI, MIConnect asks Bill to have a go at these last ten "burning questions." His answers offer a window into his spirit and devotion to his God.
 
 
10. When did you first know God had plans for you?
            I had my first sense of God’s call on my life at church camp. I was at the old Port Huron camp (now Lake Huron Retreat Center) and believed that God had gifted me and was calling me to be a preacher. That camp still tugs at my heart every time I go back and it was the number one reason why I wanted to return to my home conference in retirement. The “sunrise” side of the lake is still a special place for me.
 
9. What was the biggest challenge in responding to that call?
            I spoke to a pastor (whose name I have forgotten), a counselor at that camp, about my sense of call. His response stuck with me for years. He said that, “I should avoid the ministry if it was at all possible!” Well, I now suspect that he was trying to say that such a call must be compelling beyond resistance, but for a sixth grader that was a clear message from God that I should consider some other line of work. So I went home from camp and began to concentrate on my music. After graduating from High School in Cass City, I went to MSU and majored in music education. It was only later, while teaching music and driver education in Potterville, that I heard that still, small voice again calling me to consider the set-aside ministry of the Elder as a life work.
 
8. Who in the scripture has been a model for you?
            I experienced a whole new sense of call the day I read Luke 15 and the story of the Forgiving Father and Prodigal Son in the translation of the New Testament called “Good News for Modern Man.” It changed my life in a heartbeat and has been my go-to text ever since. I am still moved to tears every time I think of that father leaping off the porch and running to embrace his wayward child and welcome the child home! At the end of the day, that is the role I believe the Church should embody in this wayward world.
 
7. What joys have you experienced as a dad?
            I have said this publically, on more than one occasion, so it will come as no surprise when I say that being a dad has been my life’s greatest joy! I have enjoyed every day of these 43 years in pastoral ministry, but nothing I have done or experienced can equal the joy I have felt as I have watched our children grow and blossom into adults. Some of them your readers will know and some of them they will not, but I can tell you that I am proud of each one of them for the people they have become. At the end of life, that is how I hope to be remembered: as a good and faithful husband, father, and follower of Jesus. What else can I say?
 
6. What is your deepest fear for The United Methodist Church?
            My deepest fear is for the “united” part. I am afraid that we will lose our way arguing over details and forget the One who has called us and equipped us to “fish for people!” And our bickering will keep people from hearing about their Father’s love or see the “welcome home” in our embrace. 
 
5. What is your greatest hope for The United Methodist Church?
            My hope is always that we will remember our call and how we are better together than we are apart! I hope and long for the day when all people will experience our doors and our hearts and minds as open and welcoming! 
 
4. How has your faith been influenced by your travels?
            I have been to Israel three times, beginning when I was in my first student appointment at West Mendon and the congregation thought that a trip to the place where Jesus walked was an important part of Jan’s and my training to be a couple in pastoral ministry. Each time I have been back it has brought me closer to Jesus, and more aware of how our human sinfulness can keep us apart. They are building walls there now, but there have always been walls between the people of the Holy Land and, for that matter, the world. We are still called to tear down the walls which divide us and only Christ’s love will make that possible.
 
3. What memory, from your time as Bishop's Assistant, makes you smile?
            Seeing what these two conferences can do when they put their minds, their wills, and their resources together. A wonderful new Area Ministry Center and now this new Conference which will be unfolding in the years ahead are just two examples of this excitement which comes from synergy and cooperation. These things make me smile, but so do the memories of all the people I have met and worked with along the way. At the end of the day, these are the real blessings of this office.
 
2. What expectations do you have for this Sabbath time?
            Rest, a little fishing, more rest, a little golf, even more rest, and the chance to work on the ministry of the baptized which we all share! But the best part will be to discover what God has in store for the two of us. I am sure that we have not seen all that is to come, but I know that it will be a blessing so I just can’t wait!
 
1. How do you know that God isn't done with you yet?
                Because I’m still here, and as long as I have breath and a mind, I am sure that God has something yet in store for me to discover. That’s what makes getting up in the morning such a joy!


Godspeed, Brother Bill. We look forward to meeting you again ... on the lake, on the golf course, and at other stations along Christ's way.

 

Tuesday - June 30, 2015
UM Bishop joins President in salute to Charleston pastor
South Carolina United Methodist Bishop L. Jonathan Holston shakes hands with President Obama at the June 26 memorial service for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, killed with eight others at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. ~cspan photo

LINDA BLOOM
United Methodist News Service

When the nine died, they were living by faith, reaching out in love and surrounded by grace.

That knowledge is how mourners at the June 26 memorial service for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, killed with eight others at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, could remember his legacy with joy as well as sorrow.

“With grace, anything is possible, everything can change,” declared President Barack Obama just before he began to sing the first verse of “Amazing Grace” at the end of his eulogy.

To South Carolina Bishop L. Jonathan Holston, who represented The United Methodist Church at the service, the president’s leading the worshippers into that hymn “was almost a signature moment” of his speech. “You could tell he felt it in his heart.”

Since the June 17 shooting of the clergy and church members as they were engaged in Bible study at Emanuel, United Methodists have mourned and joined in the national discussion about race, justice and hope.

Holston first met Pinckney when the pastor helped organize a Pan-Methodist worship service for the family of Walter Scott and the community. “We were working on planning a Methodist day at the statehouse,” the bishop added. “It was just a tremendous pleasure to meet him and have a chance to work with him.”

The service already was underway when Obama flew in on Air Force One to deliver the eulogy at TD Arena, College of Charleston, where thousands had begun gathering in the early morning hours. The nearly four-hour service began with a clergy processional at 11:50 a.m. as the Rt. Rev. John Bryant made a call to worship “for the home-going celebration for Clementa Pinckney.”

The president began by acknowledging Pinckney’s personal achievements — in the pulpit by 13, pastor by 18, public servant by 23 — and his graciousness, his ability to stay true to his convictions and his belief in better days ahead.

“Clem was often asked why he chose to be both a pastor and public servant,” Obama said, adding that those in the AME church know “you don’t make those distinctions.”

A calling is not just to a congregation, he explained, but to “the life and the community in which the congregation resides.”

Importance of the church

Obama acknowledged the importance of the church in African-American society. “To the families of the fallen, the nation shares in your grief,” he said. “The pain cuts that much deeper because it happened in the church.”

In particular, Emanuel AME Church in Charleston has a special role in history, “not just for blacks, not just for Christians, but for every American who cares about the expansion of human rights in this country. … That’s what this church meant,” he said.

Whether or not the alleged killer of the nine knew this history, the president continued, “he surely sensed the meaning of this violent act … not random but as a means of control and a way to terrorize and oppress.”

The killer’s attempt to provoke a deep racial divide backfired, Obama noted. “God works in mysterious ways. God has different ideas. He (the killer) didn’t know he was being used by God.”

Obama said that blinded by hate, that person could not imagine grace, love and forgiveness or how others would respond with to his actions not only with revulsion, but also with thoughtful introspection and self-examination.

“Blinded by hatred, he failed to comprehend what Reverend Pinckney so well understood, the power of God’s grace.”

Tackling the tough issues

Touching upon issues raised by the racially motivated shootings, the president talked about being blind “to the pain the Confederate flag stirred in many of our citizens” and praised South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley’s “recent eloquence on the subject” of removing the flag from the statehouse. Haley is a United Methodist.

“But I don’t think God wants us to stop there,” he said. “For too long, we’ve been blind to the way past injustices continue to shape the present. Perhaps we see that now. Perhaps this tragedy causes us to ask some tough questions.”

The toughest and politically touchiest question, perhaps, is gun control, which the president tackled head on. “For too long, we’ve been blind to the unique mayhem that gun violence inflicts upon this nation,” he declared.

Sporadically, eyes are opened — he referenced Charleston, Aurora, Sandy Hook — but 30 lives are lost to gun violence every day in the U.S., he said, and countless other lives are changed forever because of that.

Obama called for a moral choice to change those statistics and suggested that “an open heart” might be more useful than any policy or analysis to accomplish that.

Holston already is contemplating “how to grow from this moment” and what the next steps might be to guide congregations to deal with racism and gun violence.

“How do we perfect action rather than just perfect our words?” the bishop asked.

Tuesday - June 30, 2015
UM bishops respond to Supreme Court decision

Conducting a same-gender wedding ceremony currently violates the law of The United Methodist Church. But in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling on June 26, that legalized same-sex civil marriages in all 50 states, bishops are striving to address questions being asked by clergy and laity alike.

Bishops are both celebrating with those who celebrate and mourning with those who mourn the decision. Like the members of their flocks, the bishops have varied personal reactions to the ruling. But many noted in public messages that they want to respond pastorally to all United Methodists in their areas.

Bishop Deborah L. Kiesey

All United Methodist pastors in the Michigan Area received an email from Bishop Deborah Lieder Kiesey on June 29. Her statement began: "This decision has prompted me to consider how we, as clergy, can be in ministry with our LGBTQ parishioners and still remain in compliance with the Book of Discipline." Then she continued, "I believe it is important for us to care and counsel all our members--and all those who come to our churches for spiritual guidance and deepening of faith."

She then shared her "understanding of how to live within the Discipline," offering specific ways clergy may participate and ways they may not participate when asked to perform a same-gender marriage. Click here to read her full statement.

Bishop Kiesey reminded pastors that the 2016 General Conference may change portions of the Discipline that will impact those stated guidelines.

She then concluded: "I am committed to upholding the Book of Discipline, and altough there are many ways of interpreting that Discipline, I believe these guidelines offer a way to live together in ministry with all people."

Civil law and church law

“This is not a time to draw lines in the sand but rather a time to come together in prayer for one another and for all those with whom God calls us to be in ministry,” said Nashville (Tennessee) Area Bishop William T. McAlilly in a statement.

He leads United Methodists in the Tennessee and Memphis Conferences. Three of the couples involved in the landmark Supreme Court case were in Tennessee.

To be clear, the Supreme Court ruling does not change church law, which prohibits pastors from conducting and churches from hosting “ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions.” The Book of Discipline, the church’s law book, defines marriage to be between a man and a woman.

At the same time, The United Methodist Church calls for civil rights for all people regardless of their sexual orientation, and the church is called to be in ministry to all people.

Only General Conference, the denomination’s top lawmaking body, can change church law.

What is permissible?
Bishop William McAlilly Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS
Bishop William McAlilly

United Methodists have been debating the denomination’s teachings on homosexuality for more than 40 years, and each General Conference considers efforts to change that stance.

New survey data from United Methodist Communications found that about 46 percent of U.S. members agree with the church’s ban on same-sex marriage, while 38 percent disagree with it. The global denomination has about 7.3 million members in the United States. 

In living with this tension, McAlilly and at least seven other bishops have offered similar guidelines in helping pastors understand what they can and can’t do under church law.

  • Clergy cannot preside over the wedding ceremony. Specifically, these bishops say, clergy cannot officiate at the vows, exchange of rings or the declaration and pronouncement of marriage. They cannot sign the certificate of marriage or participate in any way that makes it appear to people present that they are conducting the wedding.
     
  • However, these bishops say, clergy can assist same-gender couples in finding other venues for their weddings; provide pre-marital counseling; attend the ceremony; read Scripture, pray or offer a homily.

The episcopal leaders offering this advice include Bishops Ken Carter of the Florida Area, James E. Dorff of the San Antonio Area, Scott J. Jones of the Great Plains Area, Mike Lowry of the Fort Worth (Texas) Area, Michael McKee of the Dallas Area and Gary Mueller of the Arkansas Area.

While most of these bishops serve in the southern United States, they all echo a statement Chicago Area Bishop Sally Dyck released in September 2014 after Illinois began legally recognizing same-sex marriage.

“I am aware that many clergy or laity will not be satisfied with these guidelines in terms of what they would like to be able to do in relation to ministry with LGBTQ persons and families, while there are others who will not elect to do any of the things on the list,” Dyck said. The initials stand for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning.

A chargeable offense

Bishop Sally Dyck. Photo courtesy of the Council of Bishops
Bishop Sally Dyck
Since 1972, the Book of Discipline has said all people are of sacred worth but the practice of homosexuality “is incompatible with Christian teaching.” Since 2004, conducting a same-sex wedding has been a chargeable offense under church law.

Bishops are the first stop for any complaint accusing a pastor of committing a chargeable offense, and their advice can shed light on how they would process such complaints.

The Rev. Taylor Burton-Edwards, director of worship for United Methodist Discipleship Ministries, said bishops have the task of proper enforcement of the Book of Discipline in their areas. Indirectly, this can give bishops authority to determine what counts as a church law violation when the Discipline is not entirely clear.

Dyck, in her statement, said she determined her lists of do’s and don’ts in consultation with Bill Waddell, the counsel for the United Methodist Council of Bishops. But she also warns that bishops have not offered such specificity before, and her interpretation of the Bishop could be overturned.

Indiana Area Bishop Mike Coyner offered a different possibility to clergy after a federal judge struck down his state’s same-sex marriage ban. He suggested that such rituals as the United Methodist “blessing of a home” might be a way for clergy to care for same-sex couples without violating church law.

He also warned against being judgmental of couples who sincerely want to be married, committed and faithful. He noted that plenty of heterosexuals have allowed “marriage to be violated, ignored, abused, and reduced to mere convenience.”

Ahead to 2016 General Conference

A number of bishops said they expect the Supreme Court ruling will increase calls to change current ban when General Conference meets in May 2016.

Bishop Warner H. Brown Jr., president of the Council of Bishops. Photo courtesy of the Council of Bishops
Bishop Warner H. Brown, Jr.

Phoenix Area Bishop Bob Hoshibata said he sees the decision as a signal that it is “vitally important that we make changes in the way our church does ministry.”

“What is changing and what our United Methodist churches must accept and embrace is the need for us all to intentionally reach out in love and radical hospitality to all persons to proclaim the love of Jesus Christ,” he said.

San Francisco Area Bishop Warner H. Brown Jr., president of the Council of Bishops, likewise said the ruling calls attention to the difference between church law and the law of the land.

“May we continue to be a people of prayer, and hope, as we work towards a day of equality and inclusion for all people created in the image of God,” he said in a statement.

Still, at least one bishop offered a different view. Louisville (Kentucky) Area Bishop Lindsey Davis announced his disappointment in the Supreme Court’s ruling.

“The court’s reasoning runs counter to the teachings of almost all world religions including Christianity, Judaism and Islam,” said Davis, whose area encompasses the Kentucky and Red Bird Missionary conferences.

“I will remain faithful to the biblical understanding that marriage is a lifetime covenant between a man and a woman."

Philadelphia Area Bishop Peggy A. Johnson invoked the words of Methodism’s founder John Wesley, who said in one sermon: “Though we cannot think alike, may we not love alike? May we not be of one heart, though we are not of one opinion? Without a doubt, we may!’”
 
Johnson urged General Conference delegates to look seriously at proposed legislation from Connectional Table, a United Methodistcoordinating body, that would remove church law’s prohibitive language against gay weddings and clergy who are “self-avowed practicing homosexuals.”

“To do this would mean that, even while thinking differently, we strive greatly to ‘love alike,’ uniting our hearts in prayer and conversation, and humbly listening to one another,” she said.

Bishops do not get a vote at General Conference. But they are all empowered to pray for the church. Many bishops included a prayer in their statements.

“While the church must address the issues facing our communities and our world, my prayer is that we might do so in a way that distinguishes us from the world and our culture,” said Louisiana Area Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey. “We must treat each other as sisters and brothers in Christ who operate from a place of grace that unites and does not divide.”

This article was written by Heather Hahn, reporter for United Methodist News Service, with material contributed by Kay DeMoss, MIConnect Senior Writer.

Monday - June 29, 2015
Flood Relief Open House coming to Detroit July 14

On August 11 the largest federally declared disaster of 2014 occured in the United States ... in Metropolitan Detroit. Flood waters caused damage to 130,000 households in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties. Many homeowners applied for Federal Emergency Management Assistance (FEMA) assistance. Churches and parsonages on the Detroit Renaissance District also suffered damage.

Recovery is not over. The Northwest Detroit Flood Recovery Project of the United Methodist Church is working alongside flood survivors in the northwest area of the city.  Two full-time disaster case managers are currently in  relationship with more than 30 households. The total case load grows on a daily basis.

The Rev. Becky Wilson, Detroit Renaissance District Director of Justice and Mission Engagement is coordinating the project. Financial support for the project is provided by the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).

The Michigan Area is invited to an Open House on Tuesday, July 14, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. at the project's headquarter's at Second Grace United Methodist Church. The Ellison Center Office is located at 18900 Joy Road, Detroit, MI 48228. Brunch will be served.

This is an opportunity for congregations--pastors and church leaders--to learn more about the ways that the Northwest Detroit Flood Recovery Project is working in the community and also about ways to become involved. Project staff and steering committee members will be present to share stories and answer questions.

Click here for a flyer to promote the project. Please send Open House RSVP to Rev. Becky Wilson at deacon.beckyw@gmail.com or call the project at 313-646-4052.

Monday - June 29, 2015
Study shows state of clergy health today

Glenview, IL—The Center for Health of the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits (GBPHB) has released the 2015 Clergy Health Survey Report with results of its United Methodist Church (UMC) clergy questionnaire identifying clergy health trends.

For this third administration of the survey, the Center for Health reached out to 4,000 UMC clergy—1,501 clergy responded (38% return) to the 100-question online survey, representing a cross-section of active UMC clergy by jurisdiction, gender, race/ethnicity, age and clergy type. Multiple dimensions of health (physical, emotional, social and spiritual) and the vocational setting were explored. The survey questionnaire is based on—and continues to build on—clergy health research conducted for the 2009-2011 Church Systems Task Force (CSTF).

2015 Key Findings

  • 42% of respondents are currently obese—a much higher percentage than a demographically-matched sample of U.S. adults; an additional 37% are currently overweight
  • 49% have “ever had” high cholesterol at some point—also much higher than the comparable benchmark; 16% currently have high cholesterol
  • 35% have “ever had” high blood pressure at some point; 20% currently have high blood pressure
  • 7% suffer from depression as measured by frequency of depressive symptoms―more than twice that of the comparable benchmark
  • 11% are currently being treated for depression and are managing their symptoms
  • 26% of all clergy have at least some functional difficulty from depressive symptoms—higher than a demographically-matched sample of U.S. adults
  • 8% of UMC clergy continue to have higher rates of asthma, when compared to a matched sample of U.S. adults
  • 25% of clergy experienced stress as a result of dealing with ministry personnel who are critical of them
  • 46% of clergy experienced at least one intrusive ministry demand (e.g., not consulted about ministry decision; devotion to ministry questioned; doubts about pastor’s faith; etc.)

The complete 2015 Clergy Health Survey Report is available on the Center for Health website (www.gbophb.org/cfh). It contains all findings, including key vocational and demographic differences.

The website also contains previous clergy health survey reports and other clergy and congregational health resources. 

Events
Thursday - July 9, 2015
BWD Zone 6 Meeting
Saturday - July 11, 2015
CONAM
Saturday - July 11, 2015
Crafting on the Corner
Yale UMC is hosting Crafting on the Corner, Saturday, JULY 11, 2015 from 10am-2pm. Come craft with us! Start a project. Finish a project. Learn something new. Great Fellowship. Lunch provided. No cost. For more information contact Donna Dean at 810-531-3524.
Monday - July 13, 2015
Asian American Ministry
Monday - July 13, 2015
BWD Finance Team
Tuesday - July 14, 2015
Pension & Health Benefits

 Health Committee

Blogs
Monday - June 15, 2015
Holy Chaos

It’s been an exciting week here in Michigan as both the Detroit and the West Michigan Annual Conferences overwhelmingly affirmed our coming together as one Annual Conference!

I want to say, “Thank You,” to those who have put in countless hours – for those who have kept this journey in prayer – and for the members of the two Annual Conferences themselves, as they placed their trust in those who will continue to lead us forward.

These past several days, since the announcement of that vote, an analogy has been running through my mind. It has to do with my piano.
Bishop Deb calls the Detroit Conference back to order from her seat at the piano bench in Dawson Auditorium. ~MIC photo/Jeremy Africa
 
I don’t believe I have ever been without a piano in my life.
 
The piano was always an important part of our household – if not the center of our house while I was growing up. We sang carols at Christmas; listened to parts of the Messiah during Lent; practiced choir and band parts at the piano; and I have very vivid and wonderful memories of lying in bed at night, listening to Mom play “The Teddy Bear’s Picnic” as I drifted off to sleep. 
 
So, I was excited when I began taking piano lessons in grade school in the little town of Odebolt, Iowa. 
 
Those early years were spent learning fingerings, treble and bass clefs, sharps and flats – all those important things you need to know if you are to play the piano.
 
And I have been playing ever since.
 
And yet … as much as I love to play, even having majored in piano performance in college, I regret that I am not a very good sight reader. 
 
If you place a new piece of music in front of me, I will still fumble around, stop and start, hit wrong notes, miss sharps and flats and accidentals, and in general make a real mess of that new piece of music. 
 
So, the other day I was trying to learn a new piece and I was struggling to make sense of it. After hitting way too many wrong notes, I went back to a tried and true method: I started with just one hand – getting to know the notes and fingerings and intervals – and then I worked on the other hand, doing the very same thing, until slowly, tentatively, I put those two hands together, and finally I heard the piece in its completeness.
 
I’ve heard us refer to this “coming together” as a kind of dance; and it is. But the musical analogy is one I can relate to even more.
 
Each conference has been making its own beautiful music. Each with its own style – its own rhythms – its own way of “being” that is wonderful and effective. But we are now in the process of bringing these “two hands” together, and I can’t wait to hear what music we can make - together!
 
I have no doubt that, just like with my poor sight reading, we will stumble. We will forget some flats and sharps. We will try one rhythm and then another. We will hit some sour notes and, at times, our hands may not be “in sync.” But that’s not unexpected. We need to work through this awkward time. 
 
I believe it’s important not to get frustrated or anxious during this time. In fact, I suggest we think of it as a kind of, “Holy Chaos” – a chaos that helps move us into something new. 
 
Remember, God is in the midst of it all! In our stumblings and in our revelations … in our missteps and in our certain paths … in our hopes and in our fears. And in the end we can create something beautiful – created from the wisdom and the dreams of the faithful, committed United Methodists from across the entire state. 
 
So I say, “Thank You!” to all of you who are willing to dream and to be blessed by stepping boldly into this unknown but exciting future.
 
Thank you! Thank you!
 
I can’t wait to hear the final piece!
 
Bishop Deb
 

 

Tuesday - May 19, 2015
Because you asked what I have been thinking ...

This is a moment which comes to everyone. For some, it comes with more warning and more preparation. For others, it sneaks up on you or even jumps up when you least expect it. I have been anticipating this moment for a number of years, and somehow, it still managed to surprise me with how quickly it has arrived. I’m speaking about retirement and transition, of course.

Mark your calendars now. A celebration of Bill Dobbs' ministry will be held on Saturday, June 20, from 2-4 pm at the Area Ministry Center, 1011 Northcrest Road, Lansing. ~MIC photo/Mark Doyal

As I sit down to write this final Burning Questions blog piece, I have already been through the retirement service at the Detroit Annual Conference and am only days away from my final Annual Conference session in West Michigan. Someone asked me what I have been thinking about in these last few days before the moving people come to take away the books and pictures from the walls of my office. So, if you will permit me, let that be my final Burning Question even if it is not foremost on everyone’s mind.

I’ve been thinking about all the people who have blessed us – Janice and me and our family – over the last 43 years of ministry. Many of them, of course, have already gone on to glory, and many more may well have forgotten the moment or moments which I remember so vividly. But, now, today, they come across the years to remind me that we have been blessed beyond anything we could have imagined when we started out. From that little country church at West Mendon and the arrival of Grandma Dorothy and Grandma Barbara’s welcoming strawberry shortcake just as the moving van departed, to the joys of working with Bishop Deb and all the members of her cabinets as well as every incredible member of our office team, this journey of ordained ministry as an Elder in The United Methodist Church has been a wonderful experience. I know that there must have been painful moments, but I cannot recall the pain. What I am left with is wonderful memories and treasured souls who have made our lives richer for having been touched by them!

I’m also thinking about a line from the service we used every time we left one appointment to go to another. It expressed our awareness of our need for forgiveness and our need to forgive. It was always easier to forgive congregations and church members than it was to admit failure and ask for forgiveness. But the great good news of this repeated exercise was the graceful and forgiving nature of the people of West Mendon and Calvary and Ludington and East Lansing – University and Holland First. They were so forgiving and forgetful that we can only praise God for the mercy and grace we experienced in those appointments. As we now take leave of this last season of ministry in the Bishop’s office, I know that the opportunity for harm has been even greater and the need to forgive and seek forgiveness is even more necessary. Please forgive me for any harm I may have done, either in my writing or in my work as Bishop Deb’s Clergy Assistant. It may be something I said, it may be something I left unsaid or undone. But I hope you will believe that it was never my intention to harm anyone through word or deed!

And I’ve been thinking about what’s next for us – both the “us” of the Dobbs’ household, and the “us” of the Michigan Area. Within a very few days we will know whether the time has come for the two sides of this one state to come together as one whole Area, or if they will remain two distinct conferences. Twice before I thought the time was right, but it was not to be. And, looking back, I now see that it really was not the right time despite all our plans and dreams. There was more work to be done, more bridges to be built, more friends to be made and more joint ministries to be undertaken. Has the right time arrived? I think so, but only the two conferences will reveal the answer on June 10th. However either way, we – the United Methodists of the Michigan Area - are stronger because of the conversations we have undertaken over the last few years and the collaborations we have been a part of. And whatever the future will bring, God is already there beckoning us forward into new possibilities. Our hope is built on nothing less! 

For Janice and me, life’s Sabbath rest is ahead. It is not an ending, so much as it is a next step on a journey and we are not in mourning! We don’t know what it will look like for sure, and we don’t know how long it will go on, but we do know that it will be a great joy because we will be together and we will be in God’s keeping and, oh yes, we are confident that God, in God’s own time, will reveal the answers to all our Burning Questions!

So thanks for reading all these reflections over these last few years, and thanks for all your comments, both favorable and not. You have made it fun to write each month, and I am grateful!
 
SHALOM!

 

Monday - May 4, 2015
Can we learn each other's songs?

 


Amazed and astonished they asked, “… How is it that we hear,      each of us, in our own native language?”
 [Acts. 2:8]

Aho Mitakuae Oyasin.
 
Many of our local churches recently celebrated and observed Native American Ministries Sunday. The Book of Discipline tells us that “this Sunday serves to remind the church of the gifts and contributions made by Native Americans to our society.”  [¶263.6]
 
For every human being there is a much greater depth to their identity than is seen on the surface. It takes time to truly come to know another human being. This is also true when we seek to understand one another’s larger cultures and worldviews. 
 
When we consider how the general U.S. population has come to view Native America, it is often through the stereotypes from Hollywood, or the mis-education of history in our schools. Did you know that there are 12 federally recognized tribes here in Michigan alone? And that there are some still seeking that recognition? The 12 tribes here are part of the historic Council of Three Fires, comprised of the Odawa, Potawatomi and Chippewa. They are the Anishinaabe, the People of This Place. My daughter-in-law’s grandfather is an active member of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians near Dowagiac, Michigan. 
 
Did you know that there are eight active Native American United Methodist congregations in Michigan, and three other active ministry programs? The Anishinaabe are not a mythical people of the past; they are a vital part of the fabric of the present across the state and across the church. I am particularly encouraged by the new Saganing Native American Ministry Center in Standish, which our conference Committee on Native American Ministries is helping shape. There is also an exciting new formational effort for at risk Native youth in the Pashawbestown area North of Traverse City, in the West Michigan Conference. Brandon Ahmicasaube Smith, a young adult member of the Northport Indian United Methodist Church, had a vision for guiding these youth back onto a pathway that would restore values, leadership and cultural grounding. He gave birth to Spirit Journey, a summer program that brings these young people to the historic Northport Indian Camp Meeting Grounds. 
 
There is much to be celebrated, and much more yet to be told. For these ministries to grow and be known requires non-Natives to begin to build the relationships necessary so that you can see with new eyes and hear with new ears. Remember the line from the book of Acts: “… How is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language?” Native American Ministries Sunday is an opportunity for each of us to not only give financially to support these ministries, it is also an invitation to move beyond the surface into genuine relationship.
 
In the mid-1990’s the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries launched a new initiative that resulted in a series of song books called Global Praise. It involved bringing together dynamic church musical artists from many cultures around the globe. The desire was to help make the Gospel of Jesus Christ more accessible and more culturally and contextually relevant to all peoples. It was also so that we might once again discover that enriching moment of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost when it became clear to all that diverse cultures, languages and practices were a part of God’s intentionality, not a problem to be fixed. 
 
I was working in New York City for the General Board of Global Ministries at the time the Global Praise effort was first starting. I asked one of the artists that were guiding this exploration what his hope was. He talked about wanting us to “learn to sing each other’s song”. What he meant by that was not that I would usurp something that belonged to you and your culture, or you would steal something that belonged to me and my community of belonging, but that when life circumstances push me down, oppress me and cause me to forget the community song that forms my life and soul, then if you have listened to me well, you can sing my song back to me, reminding me who I belong to, until I can once again sing my own song again. When life pushes you down, oppresses you and causes you to forget where you come from, if I have journeyed well with you and listened deeply then perhaps I can sing your song back to you until you once again find yourself.
 
God embraces uniqueness while building commonality. 
 
Yet, Church, we have a problem. We have a theological, historical, political, attitudinal, contemporary and practical problem! This problem is rooted in an ancient text, Deuteronomy 7:1-6. It is not a passage that I ever recall hearing someone preach on: “When … your God brings you into the land that you are to enter and take possession of … you must destroy them. … Treat them thus: Tear down their altars, smash their sacred poles, and burn their idols. For you are a people holy in the sight of God… Somehow, I find it hard to see that kind of behavior as ‘”holy in the sight of God”, yet this text became a foundation for the unleashing of a centuries long genocide.
 
Dr. Robert Allen Warrior is a Ph.D. professor and is of the Osage Nation. In an essay entitled “Canaanites, Cowboys and Indians” he shakes open the eyes of the dominant culture church to realize that this story about the invasion of Canaan is not a word of hope for many indigenous peoples. He reminds the reader that as a Native American he reads the text from the life experience and lens of the Canaanite.
 
In 1452 A.D. the Papal Bull Romanus Pontifix, declared “war against all non-Christians throughout the world, sanctioning and promoting the conquest, colonization and exploitation of non-Christian nations and their territories.” Within a year Spain was given these “rights of conquest and dominion over one side of the globe and Portugal the other” side. In 1823 the Christian Doctrine of Discovery was adopted into U.S. law by the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice “observed that Christian Europeans nations had assumed dominion over the lands of America—and upon discovery—Indians had lost their rights to complete sovereignty and retained a mere right of occupancy in their lands”. (See The BOOK OF RESOLUTIONS of The UMC 2012, #3331). The whole idea of Manifest Destiny began to grow, with America being the new Israel and European settlers God’s chosen people. (Cf., Book of Resolutions, #3336).
 
It is hard to hear or learn someone else’s song if you assume yours is the only one that matters!
 
Before 1492 it is estimated that between 40 – 90 million indigenous people of many cultures, languages and nations lived in the Americas and Caribbean. By 1892 I think it was estimated that only 890,000 remained in what became the United States. There are now in excess of 2.5 million people that identify as Native American in the U.S.  There are now 566 federally recognized tribes and dozens of state-recognized tribes today.
 
As a denomination we have committed ourselves to take a step toward a different future. At the 2012 General Conference the delegates and the Council of Bishops all participated in an Act of Repentance Toward Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.  Out of that action of the general church came a request that every annual conference in the denomination consider what repentance toward reconciliation would look like in the contexts they live in. 
 
While there is the larger picture of what the nation and church have conspired together in there is also the specific setting in which we share life here in Michigan. There were Indian Boarding Schools in many places across the country, including here in Michigan. The Removal Act impacted 100 of tribes and thousands of families, including those in Michigan. Land theft, broken treaties, mineral rights, fishing rights, ceremonial practices, language, family ties, etc. have all been impacted even to the present moment, including here in Michigan.
 
In September of 2014, Bishop Kiesey asked me to develop and convene the design team that will shape a year-long pathway toward the joint 2016 annual conference. During that year non-Native United Methodists will be invited and encouraged to take small steps toward a new understanding.
 
The members of that design team asked: “What might a new covenant between non-Natives and Native Americans look like in Michigan?”
Jeremiah 31:31-34 tells us that this covenant will be written on our hearts, meaning it becomes our way of living instead of something external to our way. Theologian Walter Bruegemann speaks of “inhaling” the new covenant with God. It becomes a part of our very being, equipping us to live God’s intended way of justice and relationship in the world. Our desire with this Act of Repentance Toward Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples is that we might all “inhale” a way of living in relationship to one another so that restorative justice, healing, reconciliation and new covenant partnerships might emerge and be lived out here in Michigan and beyond. 
 
For this to truly take place requires that non-Natives learn the real story of our state and national histories, not simply those that were taught in our dominant culture history books. If we are willing to see the past and present through the eyes and experiences of the marginalized we have the opportunity then to see a future that can be quite different than the past.
 
Can we learn to sing each other’s song? Yes, if we humble ourselves and allow God to lead us one step at a time.
 
In Christ’s circle,
 
Rev. Dr. Jerome (Jerry) DeVine, Director of Connectional Ministries
 
[This article was adapted from the sermon DeVine preached on April 19, 2015 at Central UMC in Detroit.]

 

Monday - May 4, 2015
Why is the silence so deafening?
We are in the season of Eastertide, moving readily toward Pentecost.   We proclaim the hope that God is truly with us and rejoice in the promise that God’s intentional creational diversity is our blessing in the world. 
 
And yet, for many, the events of the daily news for the past several months weigh heavy in the heart and seek to rob us of this blessing. Life in this country has been marked by protests fueled by the grief and anger that many of this nation’s citizens experience daily in the wake of officers involved in the fatal killings of unarmed African American men.  
 
Yet, in the midst of such deep social unrest, many of our local churches have been silent. And, it is all too real that silence from authorities is the norm, including from the Church.  One United Methodist in our Detroit Conference felt compelled by the images of the struggles in Ferguson and elsewhere. 
 
Rev. Jeff Nelson, pastor at Redford-Aldersgate UMC, reached out to Black and White clergy colleagues in his community to begin to build deeper relationships and to then engage community leaders. 
 
Nelson shared, “It is important to not be silent, even if we are not sure what to say.” The group of six ecumenical colleagues have titled themselves One Redford, affirming that there is not a White Redford and a Black Redford, or an Old Redford and a New Redford. 
 
Together they proclaim “We are One Redford—One Community—One set of people committed to living and raising our families right here!” From this base of trust and relationship they now have reached out to the key community leaders, such as the Chief of Police and Township Supervisor.
 
Many dominant culture Americans and, undoubtedly, many United Methodists see the events and deaths of unarmed Black men as individual and tragic incidents. For those involved in the protests in several cities, the deaths are not individual or isolated, they are part of a larger system that privileges White Americans and discriminates against American of color.  The cries represent the pain not only caused by recent events, but it reflects layers upon layers of injustices inflicted upon people of color in America for generations.
 
The prophet Micah proclaimed that we are to “Do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God.” Throughout its history the United Methodist Church has struggled with what this looks like in real daily life. Central to the struggles within our Church and the U.S. social, political and economic fabric has been the injustice of racism. The Social Principles of the United Methodist Church teach that racism is a sin that has both personal and institutional dimensions, and the results, within the U.S. context, brings practices of white privilege and racial discrimination. 
 
The Acts of Repentance at four successive United Methodist General Conferences (2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012) have drawn on the United Methodist Social Principles’ teaching on institutional racism, white privilege, and racial discrimination to acknowledge the mistreatment of African Americans and indigenous people within the life of the denomination. Because of our denominational history and our social teaching, all United Methodists must acknowledge and carefully consider the allegation of racism in this contemporary moment.
 
The hard work of making the Acts of Repentance more than one-time apologies and the Social Principles more than just words on a page wrest squarely on our shoulders. In order for these Acts and Principles to encourage true healing and lead to the forming of life giving relationships, the spirit of repentance and reconciliation must be received and enacted by United Methodist in their local contexts. It is therefore incumbent for Michigan United Methodists to take up this sacred work in response to the particular historical moment in which we find ourselves.
 
This sacred work must involve critically reflecting on the pernicious and persistent realty of racism in both the church and U.S. society. This will include wrestling with the policy and practices of the United Methodist Church that result in white privilege and racial discrimination as well as examining institutional racism at work in the criminal justice system through practices of profiling, mass incarceration, and use of excessive force. For United Methodists in the State of Michigan is it also important to wrestle with how the events in Missouri, New York, Cleveland, Baltimore and elsewhere might be linked with recent local protest and resistance to Emergency Financial Management in predominately African-American municipalities and to the alleged targeting of low income African-American and Hispanic residents for water shut off in Detroit. Might these also be linked to the pernicious and persistent force of racism?
 
Along with this statement, leaders of the Michigan Area of the United Methodist Church have also committed themselves to providing ongoing places of dialogue and training for leaders in our local churches. It is the hope of these leaders that these conversations might inspire and guide our local churches to engage in this moment within the context of their local communities.  To be silent is deafening in the midst of pain and injustice. We urge and encourage every local United Methodist Church to reach out into your communities proactively to build relationships across cultures, classes and generations to address issues of brokenness and systemic inequity. Let your voices be heard.
 
After all, the cross and resurrection are signs and symbols of God’s abundant life and saving love in a world marked by oppression, injustice, and violence. May we who survey the Easter Cross have the courage to truly live in the gracious judgment and hope that each proclaim.  
 
In Christ’s circle,
 
Rev. Dr. Jerome (Jerry) DeVine, Director of Connectional Ministries, Detroit Conference
Rev. Paul Perez, Detroit Conference Director of Mission and Justice Engagement and Leadership Recruitment
Ms. Ernestine Campbell, Chair of the Detroit Conference Commission on Religion and Race
Rev. Dr. Darryl Totty, Chair of the United Methodist Black Clergy of Michigan
Rev. George Covintree, Chair of the Board of Justice, Advocacy and Equity, Detroit Conference
Tuesday - April 14, 2015
Will the church be left behind?

 

Just got back from a lovely one mile walk in the sunshine and I don’t have to tell you that, after this long, long winter, I enjoyed every step! The temptation was to keep on walking, but duty called and my computer was waiting. But when I’m finished here, the sun is still shining and the road is beckoning!
 
The Burning Question for this month comes as two sides of the same coin. I first saw it on a blog post by a layperson, but I have heard it since from lay and clergy alike. “When considering the decision to move forward with the creation of one new conference, what are the compelling reasons for change and what are the compelling reasons for remaining as we are now, with two separate conferences?”

As I begin to think about the answer for this two-sided question, I am very much aware that what would be compelling for one person might not be compelling or ‘as’ compelling for another. There is something of the personal in each answer, so let me share something of my compelling reasons even as I invite you to consider what will be compelling for you.
 
One advantage of being in ministry for 43 years is that I have seen a lot of changes in the ways that we do our work. Some have been easy changes but most – like any change - have not been without their challenges.
 
When I started out we were doing bulletins on typewriters and mimeograph machines – with stencils and correction fluid. We had no (or very few) conflicting demands for people’s time on Sunday mornings, and businesses still closed for church holidays. And we had no cell phones. I remember the first cell phones I ever saw. They were “bag” phones or car phones and it was a major production to carry one around reserved, for the most part, for the well-to-do.
 
So I had a pager in my pre-cell phone days. All it did was beep to ask me to call my office or my home to find out what it was that I needed to know. It worked wonders. There were at least two occasions when I beat the family to the hospital. But it also wreaked havoc on our family dinners. On more than one occasion, the pager would sound off in the middle of the main course and we all know that strident beeper tones or ringing cell phones are not be denied. But in the end we adjusted to the change because it enabled us to be more effective in ministry. We had to learn how to live with it and when to turn it off, but we also had to admit that, in the end, we were better for the change.
 
Our culture and our context for ministry have changed dramatically over the last 40 years. Change is coming much more rapidly and those who cling to the past are often left behind by those who embrace the change for the sake of the desired end goal. This is not to say that change is ever easy. It makes me very uncomfortable when I am not sure what is happening or where we are going, and I don’t think I am the only one. And not all change produces the desired outcome, whatever that outcome may be, early in the process. It can take repeated trial and error attempts before we get to the place we want to be. But if we don’t make the effort, if we don’t at least try, we will never achieve the goal we seek.
 
For me personally, that is both the compelling reason to change and the answer when someone is looking for a compelling reason to remain where we are. The structures we have become comfortable with, the ones we know backwards and forwards, are no longer producing the growth outcomes we desire and we are fast approaching a place where those embracing change are going to leave us, if they haven’t already. My comfort, or more accurately, my dis-comfort with change and the unknown are not compelling reasons for me to vote to resist change. And just working harder at doing what we have been doing is not the answer.
 
Cell phones are better than pagers and computers are more productive than typewriters in the hands of the right person. We have an opportunity to design a conference that is more nimble and more responsive to changing populations and a changing state. We have a chance to create a structure which is able to care for those who have gone before all while having the wherewithal to seek and save those who have not yet heard the Good News of grace and salvation. We have a chance, if the people of both annual conferences agree, to build something tailored to the demands of the next generation and the next after that. Of course, we must be careful not to forget our past or our promises to generations of pastors and laity who have toiled in this harvest before we every started. But we cannot, we must not be so tied to our past that we cannot adjust to the present or adapt for the future.
 
Brothers and Sisters, the world will not end if you all decide not to embark on this new venture. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow; and Christ’s kingdom, already begun, will come in its own time. But I believe that we have an opportunity here to do a new thing in Michigan which can and will, by God’s grace, help us all do ministry more effectively and fruitfully in the days and weeks and years to come!
 
Till next time – Shalom!

 

Tuesday - March 17, 2015
Moving toward a decision point

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

I have been hearing the same question from a number of people lately, and, even though it has been addressed in a variety of other forums over the course of the last year, I would like to share myperspective.  The Burning Question for this month is this: Why aren’t we seeing more information about what this “new conference” in the Michigan Area will look like before we are asked to vote on it? I’m not comfortable voting for something until I know what it will look like!”

One very good friend even said to me that they would not buy a house without a building inspection and didn’t think we should be asked to “buy” an annual conference without knowing what it would look like.
 
I absolutely agree that we should not buy property without being absolutely clear what it is that we are buying. And in the past two votes on this question that was the approach we took. We were offered a plan for an annual conference which had enough detail to determine whether or not we wanted to “buy in” to a new conference.  Many, on both sides of the conference divide, said “yes,” but enough said “no” that the new conference did not happen and now we are back to a decision point in the lives of our two conferences. However, this time the decision is being presented in a different way.

In my opinion, this is a better way to move forward. Before we expend all the time, energy and dollars to develop a plan for one conference, let’s decide whether or not we want to be “one conference” for the entire State of Michigan. Let’s decide whether or not the idea has merit. Let’s vote on the concept before we vote on any specific plan. If a majority of us believe that we can be better together as one unified conference than we are as two separate conferences and we make a commitment to make that happen, then we believe it will. We have the intelligence and the experience to fashion a new thing that will reflect our shared vision on
how best to make disciples for Jesus Christ and transform our world as the image of God’s Creation for the 21st Century. Of that I have no doubt!
 
But if we, as your conference leadership teams, have been reading you wrong and this is not what you want for Michigan, then this is the time to know that. And, in my opinion, this is really the fundamental question we have to decide. Do we want to be one? Or do we believe that we can be better by continuing down the same paths we have followed in the past?
 
Make no mistake; this is not a vote about change. Some of you think that the vote is “will we change or won’t we? As someone who has seen the numbers and taken the toll of the empty and shuttered buildings which used to be United Methodist churches, I know that we have to change! We cannot continue to do “conference” and “church” the way we have always done them. It would be insane to think otherwise. The question on the ballot at annual conference this year is deciding whether we can make these changes better by working together, or by continuing to go our separate ways.
 
Whatever we decide, there will be years of hard work ahead. There are difficult challenges which have already presented themselves to your cabinets and conference leadership teams relating to changes in our Michigan Area and the communities contained within the boundaries of our two conferences. How will we do more with less? How will we fish for people when there are fewer people and they are located in different places that we found them in the past? How will we address the problems of aging buildings and shrinking resources and fewer young people in our pews?
 
And, if the vote is affirmative, how will we design a structure that enables mission and strengthens local churches without becoming an even greater burden to lay and clergy across the state?
 
These are the Burning Questions for all of us that I leave you with this month. And I do so with great confidence because I believe that with God’s help and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit we can find answers to these questions - and others not yet asked - as we seek to serve Jesus Christ together! 
Classifieds
Wednesday - July 1, 2015
Lansing Trinity , Free Hymnals

Items to donate to other churches:

About 200 UMC Hymnals

There is no charge for anything but the items must be picked up in Lansing, or interested parties need to pay for shipping costs.

For more information Contact Sue Adsit

Wednesday - June 24, 2015
October Haiti trip seeks volunteers

 Plans are underway for a Volunteer in Mission (VIM) Haiti School Project Trip affiliated with the General Board of Global Ministries and the Michigan Area Haiti Task Force. Proposed dates are October 9-16, 2015. The cost of the trip is approximately $1400 (includes air fares).Youth and young adults are especially encouraged to join the team. Keith Thomas and Rod Green are co-leaders.  An orientation meeting will be held in September at the Ypsilanti United Methodist Church.

Applications, medical information, budget, airfares will be available soon for those who are interested.

Donations of playable musical instruments and laptop computers are being collected for use by the schools. The first school band at College Modele as many students with musical talents but a limited number of instruments.

Have questions? Those interested in joining the team should email Tom Anderson (989-422-5622); email Curtis Bartz (313-278-4849); or email Keith Thomas (517-336-7815).

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Wednesday - June 17, 2015
Youth Director (Part-time) Central UMC, Waterford

 Central United Methodist Church of Waterford is looking to hire a part-time Youth Director. 

The job description and application can be found on our website: www.waterfordcumc.org 

Please submit your application by July 31, 2015 to either info@waterfordcumc.org or at the Church office.

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Tuesday - June 16, 2015
Director of Youth/Young Adult Ministries

Commerce United Methodist Church is seeking to fill the time position of Director of Youth/Young Adult Ministries.  CUMC is seeking an energized, motivated individual with a strong Christian faith and ability to communicate their faith to others and be seen as an example to the youth at CUMC.   Reporting directly to the Pastor, your responsibilities will include:

        Direct and oversee the Christian based youth and young adult programs. This includes but is not limited to: providing bible study and spiritual growth opportunities, planning mission projects and trips, and other fellowship opportunities deemed beneficial for the youth and young adults.

        Work to identify opportunities to grow youth and young adult membership and participation in the Church.  This includes: developing and managing follow ups with those visiting our church, (specifically ones with interest in youth and young adult programming), exploring opportunities This includes developing and managing follow ups with families visiting our church in the community at-large, and within the church community network.

        Recruit and train volunteers to assist with youth leadership.  This person will work to develop volunteers to be able to mentor the youth at CUMC.  The Director of Youth Ministries will coordinate and monitor volunteers pertaining to youth activities

        Other tasks assigned by the Pastor and Staff Parrish Relations Committee (SPRC)     

Qualifications:

  •         A strong Christian faith and ability to communicate that to others
  •         Supportive of the United Methodist Discipline and Wesleyan Theology
  •         Believe in the authority of scripture
  •         Approachable and easy to work with
  •         Previous work with youth/young adult Ministries.  Minimum volunteer experience, previous paid experience preferred.
  •         Minimum Bachelor Degree required.  Bible College/Seminary degree or experience preferred.

CUMC  is offering a generous salary for the position as well as a matching church pension program after one year of service and vacation time.  All qualified candidates interested in applying for the position should send a resume and cover letter to either Pastor Deane Wyllys, Pastor, at dwyllys@sbcglobal.net or Matthew Kennedy, chair of the Staff Parrish Relations Committee, at matthew.a.kennedy3290@gmail.com or send their information to the church office at 1155 Commerce Rd, Commerce MI 48382.

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Tuesday - June 16, 2015
Ministry Assistant

Lawrenceburg United Methodist Church (www.lawrenceburgumc.org) is a well-established church in the community of Lawrenceburg, KY, who is committed to leading unified missions and ministries in Christ for the transformation of the world.  This worshipping congregation of 100 - 125 seeks a full-time Ministry Assistant who will oversee the youth program and will help in leading worship.   The primary responsibilities of the Ministry Assistant will be to provide leadership in youth programming and missions, develop relationships with the youth, families, and congregants, and provide support in the weekly worship and day-to-day ministries of the church.

Qualifications include: 

  •       Education in youth and music ministry
  •       Experience that demonstrates success in youth and worship ministry
  •       Servant leadership skills and the ability to lead teams with a team work attitude
  •       Spiritual role model
  •       Strong organization skills
  •       Strong computer skills with proficiency in presentation software
  •       Alignment with the beliefs and practices of the United Methodist Church 

For more detailed information or to submit a resume with a cover letter, contact Pastor Karen Stigall at karenstigall@me.com. 

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Friday - June 12, 2015
Director of Student Ministries

Dauphin Way United Methodist Church of Mobile, Alabama, seeks a full-time Director of Student Ministries for grades 6-12.  This growing congregation of 2100 offers a variety of worship services and has a heart for mission and service in our church, community and around the world.  The primary responsibilities of the Director of Student Ministries will be to provide leadership in youth programming and missions, develop relationships with the youth, families, and volunteers, and recruit and train volunteers to minister to the youth. 

The successful candidate should have a Bachelors degree, three or more years of experience, and be strong in leadership, relationship building, communication, ministering to youth and working with parents and volunteers. The candidate should be aligned with the beliefs and traditions of the United Methodist Church.

For more detailed information or to submit a resume, including a cover letter and three references, please contact Robin Wilson at rwilson@dauphinwayumc.org. 

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Obituaries
Sunday - June 28, 2015
Huff - James Sr.

Mr. James Huff, Sr., father of Rev. James E. Huff, Jr. [Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Sunday, June 28, 2015.

ARRANGEMENTS:

Visitation will be held from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday, June 30, 2015 at the Wilson Funeral Home, located at 1323 W. Keiser Avenue; Osceola, Arkansas 72370 [870-563-2877].

Funeral Service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Thursday, July 2, 2015 at the cemetery in Morrilton, Arkansas.

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO:

Rev. & Mrs. James Huff, Jr.
PO Box 29
Memphis, MI 48041

GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:

Blue Water United Methodist Free Store
Blue Water District Office
3061 Commerce Drive, Suite 5
Fort Gratiot, MI 48059

Thursday - June 25, 2015
Lewis - Mrs. Carrol

Mrs. Carrol Lewis, mother of Rev. Dr. Barbara Lewis-Lakin [Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Thursday, June 25, 2015. 

ARRANGEMENTS:

A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, July 25, 2015 at Dearborn: First UMC which is located at 22124 Garrison Street; Dearborn, MI 48124    [313-563-5200]. There will be a gathering time with the family from 9:00 a.m. until the start of the service.

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO:

Rev. Dr. Barbara & Rev. Shawn Lewis-Lakin
2221 Maplewood
Royal Oak, MI 48073


GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:

Dearborn: First UMC

Wednesday - June 17, 2015
Bohnsack - Robert

Robert Bohnsack Surviving Spouse of Rev. Christine F. Bohnsack [Associate Member of the Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Wednesday, June 17, 2015.

ARRANGEMENTS:

A Memorial Service was held Saturday, June 20, 2015 at the L’Anse UMC located at 304 N. Main Street; L’Anse, MI 49946 [906-524-7939].

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Daughter]:

Mr. & Mrs. James and Heather Miller & Family
2185 Amarillo Street
Portage, IN 46368

GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:

Omega House - 2211 Maureen Lane; Houghton, MI 49931

Or The L'Anse United Methodist Church

Wednesday - June 3, 2015
Ott - Mrs. Janet

 

Mrs. Janet Ott, spouse of Bishop Donald A. Ott [Retired Michigan Area Bishop], died on Tuesday, June 2, 2015.

ARRANGEMENTS:

A Service of Thanksgiving will be held at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at Community United Methodist Church. The church is located at 14700 Watertown Plank Road; Elm Grove, WI 53122 [262-782-4060].

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO:

Bishop Donald Ott
S77W12929 McShane Drive D212
Muskego, WI 53150

GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO ONE OR MORE OF THE FOLLOWING:

Carroll University
The Janet and Donald Ott Scholarship Fund
100 N. East Avenue
Waukesha, WI 53186

Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary
The Don and Jan Ott Scholarship 
2121 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60201

Community United Methodist Church
14700 Watertown Plank Road
Elm Grove, WI 53122

 

Wednesday - June 3, 2015
Smart - Clifton

Mr. Clifton Smart, father-in-law of Rev. Peter S. Harris [Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Wednesday, June 3, 2015.

ARRANGEMENTS:

Funeral Service will be held on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at First Baptist Church of Leander which is located at 10000 Ranch Road 2243 East; Leander, TX 78641 [512-259-1050].

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO:

Rev. & Mrs. Pete and Jan Harris
16181 Wellwood Court
Tipton, MI 49287


 

Wednesday - May 27, 2015
Amick - Robert

Mr. Robert Amick, father of Rev. John H. Amick [Detroit Annual Conference Clergy - UMCOR Assistant General Secretary for International Disaster Response], died Wednesday, May 27, 2015. 


ARRANGEMENTS:
A Memorial Service will be held at 1:00 p.m., Saturday, June 6, 2015 at Dixboro UMC. The church is located at 5221 Church Road; Ann Arbor, MI 48105 [734-665-5632].

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO:

Rev. and Mrs. Jack Amick & Family
260 Maple Road
Valley Cottage, NY 10989
 

GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:

[Make check payable to] Regents of the University of Michigan
Connie Amick Dementia Research
3003 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Account #323598

Or     Dixboro UMC Volunteers in Mission Scholarships

Appointments
Sunday - April 12, 2015
Thomas, Crystal C.
FROM Flint Diamond 1/4 T and Linden UMC Circuit 3/4 TO Linden UMC 3/4 Time
Monday - June 22, 2015
To, Karen Vo
FROM Leader of the United Methodist Initiative in Vietnam TO Program Director in Vietnam General Board of Global Ministries
Monday - June 22, 2015
To, Ut Van
FROM General Board of Global Ministries, Vietnam TO Country Director in Vietnam (GBGM)
Monday - June 22, 2015
Alsgaard, Erik
FROM Detroit Conference TO Baltimore-Washington Conference Para. 344.1d
Sunday - June 7, 2015
Bledsoe, Danny
FROM Juddville (1/4 time ) Sr. pastor, Seymour Lake (1/2 time) Assoc. Pastor TO Seymour Lake (1/2 time) Assoc. Pastor
Sunday - May 31, 2015
West, Brian
FROM Laingsburg (Provisional Elder) TO Laingsburg (Full Elder)
eNewsletters
Wednesday - May 29, 2013
Detroit Conference Connection - May 29, 2013

Detroit Conference Connection - May 29, 2013

CONFERENCE NEWS

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

TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

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

CAMP AND RETREAT NEWS

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

DEATH NOTICES

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

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

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

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

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

Detroit Conference Connection - May 22, 2013

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

CONFERENCE NEWS

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


TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

DEATH NOTICES

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

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

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

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

About the Detroit Conference Connection

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

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

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

Detroit Conference Connection - May 8, 2013

CONFERENCE NEWS

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

2013 ANNUAL CONFERENCE SESSION

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

TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

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

CAMP AND RETREAT MINISTRIES NEWS

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

DEATH NOTICES

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

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

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

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

About the Detroit Conference Connection

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

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

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

 

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

Detroit Conference Connection - May 1, 2013

CONFERENCE NEWS

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

2013 ANNUAL CONFERENCE SESSION

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


TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

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

CAMP AND RETREAT MINISTRIES NEWS

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

DEATH NOTICES

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

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

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

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

About the Detroit Conference Connection

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

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

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

Detroit Conference Connection - April 24, 2013

CONFERENCE NEWS

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

2013 ANNUAL CONFERENCE SESSION

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

TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

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

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

About the Detroit Conference Connection

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

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

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

Detroit Conference Connection - April 17, 2013

CONFERENCE NEWS

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

2013 ANNUAL CONFERENCE SESSION

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

TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

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

CAMP AND RETREAT MINISTRIES NEWS

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

DEATH NOTICES

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

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

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

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

About the Detroit Conference Connection

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

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

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