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Features
Tuesday - March 3, 2015
Vietnam and Michigan linked together in faith

As The United Methodist Church is growing in Vietnam with the leadership of two pastors from Michigan, a new Vietnamese United Methodist Fellowship has launched on the Renaissance District.   read more>>


Tuesday - March 3, 2015
Registration for Annual Conference open

The snow may still be on the ground but spring is coming. And that means we are just 10 weeks away from Annual Conference May 14-17. You can register now.  read more>>

 


Tuesday - March 3, 2015
Gospel meets culture at Africa University

Evangelists from around the world gather at Africa University to share insights into the growth of the United Methodist Church in Africa.

Thursday - March 5, 2015
MIconnect Digest February 2015 edition

Another month has gone by. Disciples have been made and small corners of the world transformed. Download and share this wrap-up with members and friends who like their news in print.

News
Tuesday - March 3, 2015
Africa University hosts Evangelism Summit

By Sandra Brands*

African countries have their own cultures, their own way of worship and The General Board of Global Ministries, the mission arm of The United Methodist Church, is responding to the changing needs of the African church and its missional outreach.

In February, Global Ministries brought together evangelists from 28 African countries and 13 episcopal areas for a summit on evangelism at Africa University in Mutare, Zimbabwe, to discuss how The United Methodist Church in Africa could continue to play a leading role in incorporating African cultural traditions and a holistic approach to mission.

“African leaders gathered at Africa University to share and discuss models and insights regarding the growth of the church in Africa,” said George Howard, Deputy General Secretary for Mission and Evangelism at Global Ministries.  

Bishop Eben K. Nhiwatiwa of the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area set the tone during the opening worship, ensuring the summit was grounded in the African experience, said Howard.

“Church leaders in Africa and the world can learn from the African experience of evangelism and church grow,” said the Rev. Mande Muyombo, Assistant General Secretary, Justice and Relationships. “For instance, every culture has its own way of worshipping. How do we integrate that into the Christian experience of worship.”

- See more at: http://www.umcmission.org/learn-about-us/news-and-stories/2015/march/0303africauniversitysummit#sthash.97hAv6rP.dpufBy Sandra Brands*

African countries have their own cultures, their own way of worship and The General Board of Global Ministries, the mission arm of The United Methodist Church, is responding to the changing needs of the African church and its missional outreach.

In February, Global Ministries brought together evangelists from 28 African countries and 13 episcopal areas for a summit on evangelism at Africa University in Mutare, Zimbabwe, to discuss how The United Methodist Church in Africa could continue to play a leading role in incorporating African cultural traditions and a holistic approach to mission.

“African leaders gathered at Africa University to share and discuss models and insights regarding the growth of the church in Africa,” said George Howard, Deputy General Secretary for Mission and Evangelism at Global Ministries.

Bishop Eben K. Nhiwatiwa of the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area set the tone during the opening worship, ensuring the summit was grounded in the African experience, said Howard.

“Church leaders in Africa and the world can learn from the African experience of evangelism and church grow,” said the Rev. Mande Muyombo, Assistant General Secretary, Justice and Relationships. “For instance, every culture has its own way of worshipping. How do we integrate that into the Christian experience of worship.”
- See more at: http://www.umcmission.org/learn-about-us/news-and-stories/2015/march/0303africauniversitysummit#sthash.97hAv6rP.dpuf

(L-R) Africa University Vice Chancellor Professor Munashe Furusa speaks with Rev. Adam Hamilton of Church of the Resurrection, and Larry Kies, Africa University’s Faculty of Agriculture and Natural Resources staff member and Global Ministries missionary.  ~Photo Courtesy Africa University

SANDRA BRANDS
Bd of Global Ministries

African countries have their own cultures, their own way of worship and The General Board of Global Ministries, the mission arm of The United Methodist Church, is responding to the changing needs of the African church and its missional outreach.

In February, Global Ministries brought together evangelists from 28 African countries and 13 episcopal areas for a summit on evangelism at Africa University in Mutare, Zimbabwe, to discuss how The United Methodist Church in Africa could continue to play a leading role in incorporating African cultural traditions and a holistic approach to mission.

“African leaders gathered at Africa University to share and discuss models and insights regarding the growth of the church in Africa,” said George Howard, Deputy General Secretary for Mission and Evangelism at Global Ministries.

Bishop Eben K. Nhiwatiwa of the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area set the tone during the opening worship, ensuring the summit was grounded in the African experience, said Howard.

“Church leaders in Africa and the world can learn from the African experience of evangelism and church grow,” said the Rev. Mande Muyombo, Assistant General Secretary, Justice and Relationships. “For instance, every culture has its own way of worshipping. How do we integrate that into the Christian experience of worship.”

During the summit a new resource, “Evangelization and Church Growth in the African Context,” was launched. Global Ministries partnered with key African evangelists and The General Board of Discipleship to create the resource. Four of the eight African writers — including the Rev. Dr. John Wesley Kurewa, Vice Chancellor Emeritus of Africa University, and the Rev. Pierrette Ayite-Beugre — were also presenters at the summit.

The event was designed to equip evangelists and Africa University students and faculty members in evangelism and to begin development of a new theology of mission for The United Methodist Church in a changing Africa.

“Our older generation have remained with the old way of doing things,” said Professor John Kurerwa, Vice Chancellor Emeritus of Africa University. “We will fail to hold on to the younger generation if we fail to change. ... I want to try and bring Christianity together with African Life.”

“African independent churches are growing faster than mainline churches, including The United Methodist Church,” Muyombo said. “That’s because they integrate African culture into the Gospel.”

The summit provided leadership with resources necessary for strengthening the Wesleyan tradition and promoting a church that works for social transformation, he said.

“It was also an opportunity for African evangelists to share their experiences [and learn from one another],” Muyombo said. “We really wanted to stimulate African evangelism. We want them to continue to share their experiences, write their stories [of faith about evangelism].”

Topics discussed include making Christian worship relevant to African culture, connectional support for The United Methodist Church in Africa while remaining faithful to the Wesleyan Tradition and the global United Methodist Church; the need for commitment to evangelism; and the growth of the church in Africa and maintaining the denomination’s growth.
 

Tuesday - March 3, 2015
E-readers bless students around globe
Dja Serge studies an e-reader during the Feb. 7 workshop held at Methodist University in Codody, Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. ~umns photo/Isaac Broune

ISAAC BROUNE
United Methodist News Service

Tété Gnamba Laurent Martial, a freshman at the United Methodist seminary located in this isolated village, has spent $400 making copies of textbooks in the past four months.

With no Internet connection at the Institut Supérieur de Théologie d’Abadjin-Doumé, the 36-year-old seminarian can’t do online research unless he goes to downtown Abidjan, which is 40 kilometers (about 25 miles) away.

Anytime Martial is in Abidjan, he tries to research his subjects on the Internet only to find that the free resources available in theology are in English.

But a program to provide e-readers for theological students in Africa and the Philippines has brought relief for 50 students and faculty members at the theological school. The project is a partnership of the United Methodist Discipleship Ministries and Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

The students and faculty members received e-readers uploaded with theological texts in French.

“We are taking technology happening in the United States and sharing it across Africa,” said Robin Pippin of Discipleship Ministries. She said the e-readers work well in Africa since “they are steady, keep their charge for a long time and hold thousands of books at a time.”

She led a workshop on Feb. 7 at the Université Méthodiste de Côte d’Ivoire (Methodist University) in Abidjan to demonstrate how to use the e-readers. Pippin said students quickly learned how to use the e-readers and were soon helping others.

Tété said he went through the list of 200 books loaded on to his e-reader. “I realized that I had none of them. They come in complementary of the books I already have.”

E-readers are "a revolution"

Judith Gbangbo, the librarian at the seminary, said the e-readers are “a revolution.” She said many of the library books cannot be lent out to students because they are too rare, old, or large. “Now, they can have access to knowledge at any time even without Internet,” she said.

She hopes the 2,200 books in the library can be scanned and archived on the e-readers. Three e-readers will be kept in the library, along with nine chargers for students who don’t have computers to charge the e-readers.

Students will pay $60 each for their e-reader, with the fee spread out over the academic year. The e-readers cost about $300 each when loaded with texts.

French texts harder to find

Pippin said compiling resources in French hasn't been as easy as getting texts in English and Portuguese.

“Many of the French resources are Roman Catholic or secular texts and few in the theological perspectives that our seminaries hold,” she said.

That is why Discipleship Ministries is negotiating with six to eight French Christian publishers to try to get access to their digital files. She is also working with the United Methodist publications team in Côte d’ Ivoire to get resources in French and other local Ivorian languages.

The Rev. Adriano Quelende, a United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry staffer, helped direct the workshop.

Quelende said the project equips the schools so that the schools can make changes that are “only possible through education.”

The goal for the next two years is to supply all 16 United Methodist theological schools in Africa.

Quelende said during a meeting with Bishop Benjamin Boni that the second phase of the project will expand distribution to all African United Methodist pastors.

Bishop Boni ordered an emergency disbursement of $ 1,600 to get the equipment through customs and refused to be reimbursed. “We all have to contribute in the formation of emerging leaders for the church and the world,” he said.

Culture of reading

Pippin praised work by United Methodist Communications’ ICT4D Division (Information and Communication Technology for Development) to help get a server that Discipleship Ministries can use to update e-reader content. Quelende expressed hope that this partnership with UMCom would help provide solar panels for rural pastors to charge their e-readers. That has been done in Mozambique.

Students, faculty, donors and agency staff involved in the project all said they hoped the e-readers will foster an even greater culture of reading and more interaction between students and faculties around those readings.

Meanwhile, Martial said he is “the happiest man on the earth,” now that he has easy access to French theological texts.

Martial said he “blessed the name of the Lord” that he had entered seminary at a time when the e-readers were available.

Learn more about supporting theological education in Africa at www.umcereader.org.

Tuesday - March 3, 2015
Join us in Adrian and learn like a Super Hero!
 

 

Tuesday - March 3, 2015
Liberia welcomes Bishop Innes home

JULU SWEN
United Methodist News Service

Bishop John G. Innis is back home in Liberia after 11 months in the United States for health reasons and because of travel restrictions imposed on the country due to the Ebola outbreak.
 

Bishop John G. Innis distributes Holy Communion at First United Methodist Church in Monrovia. ~umns photo/Julu Swen

A thanksgiving service at First United Methodist Church in Monrovia on Feb. 25 was attended by hundreds of United Methodist who praised God for the safe arrival of the bishop and for his successful back surgery in the United States.

The Rev. Matthew A. Jaiah of the Stephen Trowen Nagbe United Methodist Church urged those attending the service to be thankful to God for the challenging path he has led them through during the Ebola crisis.

“There were challenges, but God has guided us through them all,” Jaiah said. "I will work in the house of the Lord for all of the things he has done for me."

Innis thanked church members for praying for him.

“I was overwhelmed by the out pouring of love from all of you for my health situation at the time,” Innis said.

The bishop was travelling for his episcopal duties when health issues arose, then he could not return to Liberia because the borders were closed due to the Ebola crisis.

He praised the leadership of the Liberia Annual Conference for ably managing the affairs of the church while he was away.

“I thanked God for you wonderful people called United Methodists,” he added. “Ebola must leave Liberia in Jesus’ name,” Innis said.

Tuesday - March 3, 2015
Vietnam and Michigan linked in faith and love
Circuit riders used to ride horses. Today's circuit riders ride motor bikes. The Rev. Ut To (r) is a clergy member of the Detroit Conference who has spent the last ten years in Vietnam directing the Mission Initiative of the Bd of Global Ministries. Congregations across  Michigan support Ut and his wife, the Rev. Karen Vo-To. ~gbgm photo
 

Joel Rabb, the In Mission Together Coordinator for Laos and Vietnam Mission Initiatives of the General Board of Global Ministries, said in a recent article for umcmission.org: "There is tremendous growth and transformation in the Vietnam Methodist Church!"
 
Rabb was speaking of the ten years of church planting that has taken place in Vietnam under the leadership of Ut To and Karen Vo-To, Global Ministries missionaries and clergy members of the Detroit Conference. Ten years ago there were half a dozen Methodist Churches in the Mekong Delta. Today, there are over 300 churches. The goal, articulated by Ut and Karen  in “The Vision 20/20,” is to grow 1,000 more churches by the year 2020.
 
The Tos outlined the details of that vision during the Vietnam Annual Meeting in October 2014. The vision called for existing churches to start new churches and existing church members to recruit new members.
 
A circuit rider team comprised of 40 people was established to go into unchurched areas. Instead of horses, these modern day circuit riders travel two-by-two, riding a motor bike thanks to funds raised by the Rev. Dennis Miller, district superintendent for the Foothills District of the West Ohio Annual Conference.
 
In February the West Ohio Vietnam Leadership meeting took a first step toward a national conversation that seeks to walk with, support and equip the Vietnam Methodist Church in its growing mission. Critical questions asked around the issue of sustainability were:
  • How will it develop the management components of a 1,000-church organization?
  • How will it create educational components to train and educate pastors, ordain pastors, and train and educate laity?
  • How can the Vietnam experience deepen the spirituality of U.S. congregations?
It is possible to develop a Covenant Partnership through Vietnam Mission Initiative, Advance #14932A,  which supports congregational development, pastors' salaries, an orphanage ministry and building projects.
 
 A new Vietnamese United Methodist Fellowship has launched on the Renaissance District. Members of the Area Committee on Asian American Ministries, the Revs. Jennifer Jue (c) and Joy Chong Won (r), welcome the Lay Leader of the fellowship, Quyen Quan. ~courtesy of Michigan Area Asian American Ministry Facebook
In the meantime, the General Board of Global Ministries and its Asian American Language Ministry (AALM) has been working here in Michigan.
 
A new Vietnamese United Methodist Fellowship was launched at a special Lunar New Year service held at Madison Heights: Korean Central United Methodist Church on February 22.
 
This new faith community was organized through the collaborative efforts of GBGM Asian American Ministries executive, the Rev. Dr. Christian Van; the National Vietnamese Caucus; Grand Rapids Vietnamese UMC pastor, the Rev. Daniel Nguyen; and the Michigan Area Committee on Asian American Ministries.
 
The Vietnamese population in Metro Detroit is about 10,000 people, while Asian Americans number 150,000.
 
Rev. Van notes: "With the leadership of the Rev. Melanie Carey looking for and arranging a new space for a new face, the Madison Heights UMC has opened their door with radical hospitality." He explains that they are "a strategic location where the Vietnamese population is most concentrated in the metropolitan area.

In her welcoming message, Carey said, "On behalf of our Bishop, Deborah Kiesey and the Detroit Renaissance District, I welcome you and want you to know that United Methodists across the State of Michigan and in the City of Detroit and Metro Detroit area are praying for you" in this new beginning in ministry.
 
Van goes on to say, "The Fellowship is an immigrant community which includes children, youth and adults. English language is a great challenge. Methodism is also a new teaching in their spiritual journey." He encourages neighbors to help this new community. "The new fellowship is like a new born infant that needs a lot of care, nurture and love from family and extended family," he continues. "The Renaissance District and the Detroit Conference are their families. Like Jesus said to his mother, Mary, as he was on the cross,  'Woman, behold your son.' And then to his disciple, John, 'behold your mother.'" (John 19:26)
 
Christian Van then concludes, "WWJS ... What Would Jesus Say to us today?"

 

Moving the Vietnam Mission Forward

By Joel Rabb

Joel Rabb, In Mission Together coordinator for Laos and Vietnam Mission Initiatives, summarizes a recent West Ohio Vietnam Leadership meeting on Feb. 20, which examined areas of growth for the Vietnam Methodist Church.

There is tremendous growth and transformation in the Vietnam Methodist Church!

- See more at: http://www.umcmission.org/learn-about-us/news-and-stories/2015/february/0226vietnammission#sthash.ShDI2ntE.dpuf

 



 

Monday - March 2, 2015
Oh well, life goes on

LAURIE HALLER
Sr. Pastor Birmingham First UMC

How do you tell your father that he is going to have to move out of the place he has called home for many years into the next level of care? How do you understand the role reversal when, for most of your life, your parents have been the ones to nurture, educate, teach, guide, provide for and protect you? When your father tells you every time you call, “Everything’s fine! Life goes on whether we like it or not,” how do you tell him, “Yes, life goes on, and you will be just fine, Dad.”

This scenario plays out every day in our country as millions of baby boomers are now caring for their parents. To complicate matters, many adult children live far away from their parents and have to coordinate care from a distance.

Last month my three siblings and I decided that my father was no longer able to care for himself in his “cottage” in a continuing care facility. A day was chosen when two social workers at Peter Becker Community and my three siblings would break the news to my father. I would participate by speakerphone.

I have a pit in my stomach. So do my siblings.

I adore my father and don’t want to see him hurt. He loves his cottage so much. He has bird feeders outside and loves to watch the birds. He rides his bike around the facility. The sun room is a warm, cheery place for him to spend the day. What if he resists? What if he starts crying? What if he begs to stay, promising to take his meds and eat three meals a day when we all know he simply can’t do it anymore?

Kate (Social worker): Hi, Gerry. We’re all here this morning to talk to you because we think you need more care.

Dad: Uh oh.

Kate: Did you know that you are not always taking your meds?

Dad: I am not aware of not taking meds.

Kate: And you are not eating.

Dad: I do eat.

Gerry Jr. (son): I don’t think you are eating, Dad.

Jenny (daughter): Dad, you have not used cereal and milk for breakfast for many weeks now.

Dad: There is no food here.

Randy (son): We had to throw it out because it spoiled, Dad.

Kate: I am concerned, Gerry. Making sure you have three meals is important for your health.

Randy: Do you remember when you fainted three times at church over the past year and we had to take you to the hospital?

Dad: Was that what it was?

Laura (social worker): You did not eat or drink before you went to church, so you were dehydrated and your blood pressure dropped. You were also on your bike one day and did not know how to get home. It was dark, and you did not have a light. I have multiple reasons to be concerned.

Gerry: And we don’t want you riding your bike to the café when it’s zero degrees. I call you every day to make sure that you go there for lunch, but I worry when it’s snowy and cold. Unfortunately, that has been your only option for lunch.

Jenny: We all take turns taking you out for dinner, but we can’t be here all the time. Sometimes it’s very difficult to make sure that you are eating.

Kate: I’d like you to join me in the main building, Gerry. I have a two room apartment for you at Ridgewood. Your medications will be taken care of, all your meals will be provided and there are lots of activities. In addition, we have a closet right next to your apartment where you can store your bike. When it’s warm out, you can ride again.

Dad: Are you saying you would like me to move?

Kate: Yes, I would like you to move. It will be your own apartment in Ridgewood.

Dad: I thought this morning, “Something is going to happen today.”

Laughter all around.

Kate: Living in Ridgewood will assure your safety. Plus, you’ll still be able to have independence and do the things you enjoy. There’s even an exercise room down the hall. And your children won’t have to worry about you.

Jenny: And you can still have your TV. We’ll make sure CNN is always on! (A tear drops onto my phone.)

Laura: You will be on the first floor, Gerry, close to the dining room.

Gerry: You can still come to our house on Tuesday night to see five of your great-grandchildren.

Randy: And I’ll still take you to church, only now I won’t have to worry anymore that you haven’t eaten beforehand.

Kate: We’re going to move you tomorrow because these apartments do not become available very often.

Dad: Well, I had already thought about moving.

Sigh of relief. Thank you, Jesus.

Laura: You keep your cards close to your chest!

Dad: I didn’t know if I would like it.

Kate: It will make your life so much easier, and you’ll have your own space. We still want you to be you.

YES! This is actually going to work!

Kate: We have entertainment every Wednesday evening. Choirs and other musical groups come in. I know how much you love music, Gerry.

Dad: You know my wife and I were the first ones to build a cottage here at Peter Becker. We got in on the ground floor. We have always loved it here.

Randy: At that time you bought a long term care policy, which helped when Mom was in the Alzheimers unit. Now that policy will help pay for your care.

Dad: I feel better already! (Laughs) What can I say?

Kate: You can always say yes.

Dad: How can I say no? (Laughs)

Laura: Do you want to see your new apartment now? Put your shoes on and let’s go!

I talk to my Dad alone before they leave.

Laurie: Dad, I love you. I am so glad you are going to move. You won’t regret it at all. You’ll have more interaction with people, you’ll love the meals and you can still ride your bike! Remember how you always say, “Life goes on?” Well, your new life is going to be awesome! My only regret is that when I come to visit, I won’t be sleeping in your spare room in my favorite sofa bed! I’ll miss your sun room, too, but I can’t wait to see your new digs!

Dad: When are you coming?

Laurie: Probably not till the summer. We’ll still go golfing, okay?

Dad: Yeah, sure!

I am too choked up to continue, so I say goodbye. It is so difficult to live hundreds of miles away. I thank God that my parents gave all they had to take care of me, keep me safe and give me a good education. Most of all, they told me about the love of Jesus, lived out their faith and instilled in me the habit of going to worship every week and being part of a community of faith.

I thank God for my siblings, who always demonstrated grace and never resented me because I could not pull my weight in caring for my parents. I thank God for my father, who knew in his heart that it was time to move. Every time I called he was cheerful, never complained and always found an occasion to say, “Oh well, life goes on.”

I also thank God for care communities all over the country like Peter Becker Community in Harleysville, Pennsylvania. I am especially grateful for faith-based retirement communities where our loved ones can continue to worship, be nurtured in a grace-filled, spiritual environment and continue to become all that God created them to be. Thank you, God, for always walking with us as life goes on.

Blessings,
Laurie

Events
Friday - March 6, 2015
CR Dist Lay Servant Workshop

Registration Deadline is February 21,  2015.  Mail Registration Form and $75.00 check to Gerald Mowl, 4091 E. Maple Ave., Grand Blanc, MI  48439

Workshop will be held Friday, March 6th from 4pm to 8:30pm and all day Saturday, March 7th from 8:30am to9pm.  Invite family, friends and your pastor to attend the banquet ($12.00 per guest)  held at 6:30pm on Saturday.

Four Courses Offered:  Basic, and three Advanced Classes: are 1. Planning Worship,  2. Social Principals    3. Dancing with Words  

See flier link below for description of classes.

Saturday - March 7, 2015
Board of Discipleship

 Large Conference Room

Saturday - March 7, 2015
Detroit Renaissance District: Mission Inspiration Team

Mission Inspiration Team 

District Mission Event

 

 

Save the date.  Location and other details will be available soon!

 

Saturday - March 7, 2015
March Madness Detroit Renaissance District

 

 

 The Rev. Jack Amick, head of UMCOR’s international disaster response, is the guest speaker at the Renaissance District Day of Mission Madness. Sponsored by the Mission Inspiration Team, the event will be hosted at Troy UMC on March 7, 11 am to 2 pm. Amick will reflect on UMCOR’s 75 years in mission. Thirty churches and agencies will have displays. A light lunch benefits district mission. Fellowship-Food-Networking … join this slam dunk for mission.  

Saturday - March 7, 2015
Spaghetti Dinner - Yale UMC

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

Monday - March 9, 2015
DAC Appointive Cabinet
Blogs
Monday - February 23, 2015
Reflections on "becoming one"

 

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

Bill

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

 

 

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

                           ("The Journey" by Mary Eleanor Rice)
 



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

 

 

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Tuesday - December 16, 2014
"God with us"

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

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

                        Bishop Deb
 

 

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This week's schedule:

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

 

 

Classifieds
Wednesday - February 25, 2015
Kingswood Communications/Product Marketing

Additional Information Click Here

Job Application Form  Click Here

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Wednesday - February 25, 2015
United Methodist Communications: Electronic Marketing Specialist

  

Job Opening

A General Agency of The United Methodist Church

External Posting: February 19 – March 19, 2015 

United Methodist Communications / Digital Marketing

Position Title:  Electronic Marketing Specialist

Basic Purpose:   We are seeking an innovative Electronic Marketing Specialist to:

  • Support and execute the agency’s email marketing program.
  • Plan and execute email marketing campaigns to reach marketing goals and build database.
  • Research and employ new best practices for email and other digital marketing campaigns.
  • Create, monitor and analyze recurring email performance reports to optimize email results.
  • Provides graphic design support for emails and other digital marketing campaigns.
  • Coordinate and publish web content as needed using expression engine CMS.
  •  Support other digital marketing plan development with research, new ideas and implementation.

To apply or for more information contact:  UMCom/Human Resources

P. O. Box 320 (810-12th Ave. S., Nash. 37203), Nashville, TN 37202-0320

Phone: 615-742-5137    Fax: 615-742-5428, Email: hr@umcom.org

To apply please provide the following: 

Cover Letter Resume Complete Application Form References

 Additional Job Description Click Here       Job Application Click Here

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Tuesday - February 17, 2015
Prestige Series Pulpit Robe

The robe has no velvet panel or embroidered symbols.

  • Color: Blue
  • Size: 52-53
  • Askin Price: $200

The money will be donated to Port Huron: First United Methodist Church for their 2015 youth trip.

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Friday - February 13, 2015
Bay Shore Camp: Workcampers

Bay Shore Camp and Family Ministries, a United Methodist affiliated ministry, located in Sebewaing, Michigan, on the shore of Saginaw Bay, has spots available for couples or individuals for the 2015 summer season.  Our workampers have the opportunity to invest in the lives of young people and see lives transformed before their very eyes.  

Duties may include: serving meals, helping with camper check in/check out, running mini-golf or helping with the zipline, working in our camp store and light duties with Housekeeping, Maintenance and Grounds.  

Compensation: full hook up for RVs or housing, laundry facilities, Wi-Fi, and meals while working provided in exchange for 24 hours/week/couple or individual.  3 days on, 4 off with couples together.  Additional hours paid at $8.15/hour.  Position starts May 12 and runs through Labor Day Weekend.  (Extended dates, before and after, may be possible.)  

Background check required.  Send resume and photos to director@bayshorecamp.org. Phone: 989-883-2501. Web: www.bayshorecamp.org

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Wednesday - January 28, 2015
Pastoral Assistant.Calvary UMC. Flint MI

STATUS: Full-time, Salaried, HOURS: 40 Hours per week

GENERAL PURPOSE OF POSITION: To work in concert with the senior pastor and staff in order to make disciples for Christ for the transformation of the world.

SUPERVISION: Reports to the Senior Pastor. The Staff Parish Relations Committee provides an annual evaluation of the Pastoral Assistant’s performance as required by the United Methodist Discipline. Operates with considerable independence within areas of responsibility described below subject to the United Methodist Discipline and local church policy as determined by the church committee(s) with authority over the ministry area involved.

Organizational Relationship and Ministry Supervision:

·        The Pastoral Assistant reports to the Senior Pastor for spiritual and ministry guidance.

·        Following the strategic guidance of the Senior Pastor; works with ministry leaders to ensure they receive appropriate development and training, provides necessary support to leaders so that they can foster and nurture their volunteers, connects leaders throughout the church.

·        Following the strategic guidance of the Senior Pastor, manages the ministry and directs the employees and volunteers dedicated to serving the various ministries for which the Pastoral Assistant carries primary responsibility.   

·        At the direction of the Senior Pastor, provides spiritual leadership and subject matter expertise to other staff members.  Develops strategic guidance, project plans, and intermediate steps necessary to facilitate spiritual and numerical growth for the Calvary UMC.

·        Networks with community and local churches to develop partnerships.

·        The Staff Parish provides an annual evaluation of the Pastoral Assistant’s performance.

·        The Pastoral Assistant will be responsible and subject to core United Methodist polity and doctrine, informed by the United Methodist local church policy as determined by the Charge Conference, Senior Pastor, and Staff Parish Relations Committee.

·        Responsible for the creation, direction, and oversight of a comprehensive outreach and spiritual formation ministry to children, youth, and young families.

·        In consultation with the pastor form, direct and oversee a Children’s Ministry Development Team as instructed in VCI prescription.

·        In consultation with the pastor form, direct and oversee a Youth Ministry Development Team as instructed in the VCI prescription.

·        To understand and assist implementation of the multi-cultural vision as listed in the VCI prescriptions.

·        Assist in developing and maintaining multi-cultural discipleship pathway as laid out in VCI prescriptions.

·        Assist in the development of a Dream Day as laid out in the VCI prescriptions.

Qualifications and Aptitudes:

1.      Must embrace Christian discipline and core United Methodist doctrine and theology.

2.      Must have vision and a demonstrated ability to plan, develop, coordinate, manage and implement ministry within the parameters of the United Methodist Church.

3.      Must have excellent written and verbal communication skills, conflict management skills, and computer skills.

4.      Must possess a proven ability to work effectively with congregation, diverse individuals, and teams of volunteers.

5.      Must be an effective communicator who supports and embraces the new vision of CUMC.

6.      Must have a complete commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord, a love for His Word, His Spirit, and prayer.

7.      Must have a tenacious passion for ministry to children, youth and their families with a desire for God’s Church to reflect His multi-cultural kingdom.

8.      Must be willing to receive and be available for additional training and education through the direction of the Senior Pastor and the SPRC.

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Wednesday - January 21, 2015
Executive Director (Lake Louise in Boyne Falls, MI)

Lake Louise is a non-profit organization providing retreats, events, service projects, Christian camping and other year around opportunities along with services to a community of Lake Louise residents.  We seek a devoted and inspiring leader of personnel, recruiting, financial and spiritual development, budgeting, community networking and interaction, connection with the United Methodist Church, internet utilization, and land use and preservation.  

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

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

ARRANGEMENTS:

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

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Spouse]:

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

GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:

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

 

Saturday - February 7, 2015
Aubin - Phoebe

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


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

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Son]:

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

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

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

 

ARRANGEMENTS:

 

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

 

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Spouse]:

Mrs. Susan Krichbaum

24082 Bingham Pointe Drive

Bingham Farms, MI   48025

 

GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:

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

 

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


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

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

ARRANGEMENTS:

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

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Son]:

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

GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:

Adrian First: UMC and Chelsea Retirement Communities

 

Friday - January 23, 2015
Shaffer - Mrs. Edna

Death Notification

 

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

 

Monday - January 19, 2015
Moore - Grace

Death Notification

Mrs. Grace Moore, surviving spouse of Rev. John T. Moore [Retired Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Monday, January 19, 2015.

ARRANGEMENTS:

Funeral Service was held Thursday, January 22, 2015 at Roscoe UMC located at 10816 Main Street; Roscoe, Illinois 61073 [815-623-2292].

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Son]:

The Moore Family
c/o Mr. Jeffrey Moore 
10558 Pearl Street
Roscoe, Illinois 61073

GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:

The American Heart Association

Rec’d 1/28/2015 cb

Appointments
Sunday - March 1, 2015
Forsyth, Michelle
FROM First Appointment TO Fenton UMC, Associate
Sunday - March 1, 2015
Kim, Won Dong
FROM Troy: Korean UMC, Associate TO Goodrich UMC
Sunday - March 1, 2015
Bailey, John
FROM Clio: Bethany UMC TO Romeo UMC
Sunday - March 1, 2015
Smith, Devin
FROM First Appointment TO Lambertville UMC, Associate (1/2); Blissfield: Emmanuel UMC (1/2)
Sunday - March 1, 2015
Mondragón, Rey
FROM (Kalamazoo District-W. Mich. Conf.) Hartford UMC TO Burt UMC / Birch Run UMC
Sunday - February 15, 2015
Glanville, Gary
FROM Romeo UMC TO Swartz Creek UMC
eNewsletters
Wednesday - May 29, 2013
Detroit Conference Connection - May 29, 2013

Detroit Conference Connection - May 29, 2013

CONFERENCE NEWS

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

TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

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

CAMP AND RETREAT NEWS

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

DEATH NOTICES

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

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

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

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

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

Detroit Conference Connection - May 22, 2013

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

CONFERENCE NEWS

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


TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

DEATH NOTICES

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

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

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

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

About the Detroit Conference Connection

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

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

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

Detroit Conference Connection - May 8, 2013

CONFERENCE NEWS

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

2013 ANNUAL CONFERENCE SESSION

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

TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

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

CAMP AND RETREAT MINISTRIES NEWS

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

DEATH NOTICES

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

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

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

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

About the Detroit Conference Connection

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

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

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

 

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

Detroit Conference Connection - May 1, 2013

CONFERENCE NEWS

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

2013 ANNUAL CONFERENCE SESSION

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


TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

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

CAMP AND RETREAT MINISTRIES NEWS

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

DEATH NOTICES

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

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

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

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

About the Detroit Conference Connection

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

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

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

Detroit Conference Connection - April 24, 2013

CONFERENCE NEWS

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

2013 ANNUAL CONFERENCE SESSION

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

TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

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

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

About the Detroit Conference Connection

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

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

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

Detroit Conference Connection - April 17, 2013

CONFERENCE NEWS

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

2013 ANNUAL CONFERENCE SESSION

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

TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

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

CAMP AND RETREAT MINISTRIES NEWS

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

DEATH NOTICES

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

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

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

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

About the Detroit Conference Connection

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

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

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