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Features
Monday - October 27, 2014
The Area Talks ... the Bishop Listens

Last month Bishop Deborah Lieder Kiesey asked United Methodists across the state, “What new thing is God is calling us to do in Michigan?” Sixty persons met Oct. 13-14 in an opening conversation. Now others are invited to enter the dialogue.

Monday - October 27, 2014
In fire and flood, God is there

After an early morning fire on October 27, the Rev. Thomas Priest and the congregation of Redeemer United Methodist Church, look to a future of even greater ministry in Harper Woods.  read more>>

 


Monday - October 27, 2014
Only 57 more days before ...

Are you still looking for one more idea for Advent? From door hangers, to social media graphics or family devotions ... find it here.  read more>>

 

 

Monday - October 27, 2014
Grief and hope along ebola's path

Across the United States, United Methodist churches with  members from West Africa are telling stories of loss and suffering, while trying to rally support for medical relief. Learn more at the Liberia Summit Nov. 13-14, Nardin Park UMC.

News
Wednesday - October 29, 2014
In fire and flood, God is there
Harper Woods Redeemer Thrift Shop is now ashes and trash. But Rev. Tom Priest and the congregation are determined to have a new ministry emerge from the wreckage with God's help. (L-r) Sam Dallas, LouEtta Houser, one of the thrift shop founders, Mike Walters and Rev. Tom Priest ~photo courtesy of Revs. Tom Priest and Melanie Carey

KAY DEMOSS

Senior Editor-Writer, Michigan Area

The Renaissance District has had more than its share of disaster in recent months. First came the August floods. Then the Harper Woods Redeemer UMC suffered a fire during the early hours of October 27. The Rev. Thomas Priest, the congregation’s spiritual leader, sees this as an occasion to pause and consider what God’s people need. “The Thrift Shop served for 56 years,” Tom says. “This is not 1958. We want to be part of what God wants for the community today.”

Tom reports that local police and fire departments and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) are all at the scene on Vernier Road. Following several burglaries, three in the past two weeks, the church had taken measures to secure the Thrift Shop. Investigators have yet to determine if the fire was an act of retaliation.

The Thrift Shop occupies the former sanctuary of the Redeemer Church and sits next to the new building, “A fire truck and a half away,” according to Tom. The fire did not spread to the current worship facility nor the parsonage adjacent.

LouEtta Houser, 82, has worked at the Thrift Shop since it first opened. The Detroit Free Press quotes her as saying, “I can’t believe … that anybody would hate us so much when we do so much for the community.”

Pastor Tom describes the ministry as a re-sale shop that had “a double blessing.” Open four days a week and serving some 200 people a month, consignment sales “provided some people with a little income by selling their used items and other people could afford what was there for sale.” Thankfully, records were not destroyed in the fire. “We have enough funds to pay folks for their lost merchandise,” Tom says. “While we grieve, we value love more and we will make good on our responsibility for those who entrusted us with their things.”

The pastor goes on to say that in the hours since the fire their Harper Woods neighbors have shown an outpouring of love and support. “We have been receiving checks from those wanting to help continue a valuable ministry,” Tom remarks. “We are putting the money in the Thrift Shop account and then we will see what God is calling us to next.”

The present 130-member Redeemer congregation is the merger of First UMC St. Claire Shores and Redeemer UMC Harper Woods that took place July 1, 2014. The Rev. Tom Priest has shepherded the church for a year and a half.

Insurance will care for the lost property. The congregation now looks to God to care for the lost ministry with, in the words of their pastor, “something even more far reaching.” In the meantime, the Harper Woods community welcomes your prayers.
 
Rev. Melanie Carey, Superintendent of the Renaissance District notes, "When difficult things happen to us, we have a choice of how we are going to respond. The Harper Woods Redeemer Church and their pastor, Rev. Tom Priest, have given witness how to respond as the church. The church is NOT the building or bricks or mortar. The Church of Jesus Christ is every one of us, the people. We are called to be the church in the world ... a living sanctuary. This congregation is responding to this tragedy by being the church. They are coming together and helping their community heal. They are showing how to respond to evil with words of life and hope."
Tuesday - October 28, 2014
Africa takes a spotlight at UMAC


The United Methodist Association of Communicators (UMAC) held their annual meeting last week in Savannah, GA. Two African communicators took top honors at the Awards Banquet held on October 24.

Phileas Jusu, communicator for The United Methodist Church in Sierra Leone, and Julu Swen, editor and publisher of West African Writers, an online publication about United Methodist happenings in West Africa were named Communicators of the Year for 2014. Swen also assists the denomination in Liberia with coverage for United Methodist Communications.

There was a standing ovation when the winners were announced. Both Jusu and Swen expressed their thanks for the award via email. Jusu said he was “humbled by the award,” which he said was a reflection of the joint effort between writers in Africa and the team at United Methodist Communications. "I thank you all for putting us on the map of effective communicators," he added.

Vicki Brown, News Editor for United Methodist News Service, praised their coverage of the outbreak of ebola that has not claimed nearly 5,000 lives, mostly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. “Phileas and Julu are brave men,” Brown told UMAC members. “When they travel to cover the church’s anti-Ebola efforts, they increase their chances of being exposed to a virus that claims the lives of seven out of 10 people who get it.”

“Their contributions have ensured that United Methodist News Service’s coverage has been centered on West Africa, where the real fight is occurring.”

During the UMAC ceremonies, Michigan Area Director of Communications, Mark Doyal, received the Award of Excellence for Media Presentation for “Africa University: One Leader at a Time.” (See video above.) Filming  was done in March 2014 when Doyal accompanied a delegation that traveled from West Michigan to Zimbabwe for the dedication of the Ubuntu Retreat Center.

Mark reports that Africa University has expressed gratitude for this gift from West Michigan. "According to Africa University," he says, "the video has been shown to hundreds of people and continues to bear fruit for their ministry." An AU powerpoint produced by Doyal also took a 1st place in the Media Division.

Tuesday - October 28, 2014
Area joins the journey ... five listening sessions ahead

 

The first listening session gathered last week for discernment around the question, "What new thing is God calling us to do in Michigan?" Starting in November, all Michigan United Methodists can enter the conversation. ~mic photo/Mark Doyal

MARK DOYAL
Communication Director, Michigan Area 

LANSING MI -- Last month, following more than two years of listening, Bishop Deborah Lieder Kiesey invited United Methodists in Michigan to join her on a journey. She asked members of the Detroit and West Michigan conferences to discern a new path for ministry in the state posing the question, “What new thing is God calling us to do in Michigan?”
 
Last week, a diverse mix of clergy and laity came together from across the Michigan Area to discern this question and others. They met in the newly constructed Assembly Room of the Area Center, an aptly appropriate space as they discussed what new visions and ministry might be created in Michigan. The outcome of the two-day conversation was an overwhelming agreement the time has come to discuss the possibility of creating a new conference in Michigan, building on the strongest elements of each ministry rather than attempting to merge the conferences.
 
Those gathered encouraged Bishop Deb to hold five listening events. The group also suggested a series of guiding questions to be asked during the listening sessions related to the discussion of forming a totally new conference in Michigan. Among the questions were:
 
  • What are the compelling reasons for creating a totally new conference in Michigan?
  • What are the compelling opportunities?
  • What may be gained?
  • What concerns need to be considered?
  • What are some anticipated outcomes?
  • How will we listen for the anticipated losses?
  • How will we use the years ahead to dream and vision? 
The group affirmed Bishop Deb’s commitment to a broad, open and transparent conversation about the creation of a new conference.  
 
“These five events are open to any and all United Methodists who would like to enter into this dialogue about the creation of a new conference for the Michigan Area,” commented Clergy Assistant to the Bishop Rev. Dr. Bill Dobbs. “Bishop Deb will come prepared to share her thinking around this possibility, but wants those attending to know that she really wants to hear from you; your concerns, your hopes, your dreams,” he concluded.
 
The five events are free and open to all United Methodists. To accommodate broader participation in the conversation, the January 12 event at Cornerstone Church in Grand Rapids will be webcast live.
 
November 19, Wednesday at Cadillac UMC, 6:30 until 8:00 pm.
November 20, Thursday at Escanaba Central UMC, 6:30 until 8:00 pm.
November 22, Saturday at Midland First UMC, 2:00 until 3:30 pm.
January 12, Monday at Grand Rapids, Cornerstone UMC, 6:30 until 8:00 pm.
February 3, Tuesday at Northville UMC, 6:30 until 8:00 pm.
 
Area leaders are hoping members will participate in the listening sessions across the state. “This is your chance to speak with and hear from our Episcopal leader,” said Dobbs, “Your voice is important in this conversation.”
 

 

Tuesday - October 28, 2014
Judical Council reviews "aspirational" declarations
The Rev. Robert Zilhaver of the Western Pennsylvania Conference speaks during an oral hearing Oct. 22 before the United Methodist Judicial Council in Memphis, Tenn. The court deferred decisions on sexuality-related rulings by Bishop Deborah L. Kiesey regarding a 2014 Detroit Annual Conference resolution ~umns photo/Mike DuBose


LINDA BLOOM

United Methodist News Service

When is language about The United Methodist Church’s positions on issues of sexuality considered “aspirational” and when could it condone a violation of church law?

That question relates to several statements adopted in 2014 by the denomination’s conferences. Rulings by bishops on the statements were among the 21 docket items considered by the United Methodist Judicial Council during its Oct. 22-25 meeting in Memphis, Tennessee.

The denomination’s top court affirmed the ruling of Bishop Marcus Matthews that a statement entitled "Agree to Disagree on Issues Pertaining to Gender and Sexual Minorities," one of five human sexuality resolutions passed by the Baltimore-Washington Conference, was lawful and did not violate the Book of Discipline or other council decisions.

In a separate decision, the council “affirmed in part and modified in part” the ruling by Matthews that the small-group “circle process” and written ballot used to vote on the five resolutions was lawful.

“The Judicial Council does not have jurisdiction in parliamentary matters,” the decision said. “Annual conference rules that make no distinctions because of race, color, national origin, status or economic conditions and apply to all members are not discriminatory.”

The council declared “null and of no effect” the ruling by Bishop Sally Dyck that a 2014 Northern Illinois Annual Conference resolution on marriage equality is “an historical and aspirational statement without prescriptive force which does not specifically negate, ignore or violate provisions of the Discipline.”

While noting that Dyck’s response was “a thorough explanation and analysis,” the court said the questions presented to her were hypothetical and did not require a ruling.

Also considered an improper request by the council was a request submitted by a clergy member during the May 15, 2014, session of the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference.

The questioner asked whether it was “legal” for members or advisers of the Board of Ordained Ministry to remain on the board when they had made public statements “that they cannot and will not uphold the Discipline.” The request referred in particular to “those who participated in the Arch Street same-gender wedding” and cited Judicial Council Decision 980, “which held that persons who would not uphold the Discipline were ineligible to serve on the Committee on Investigation or a jury pool.”

Bishop Peggy Johnson issued a decision of law that Decision 980 does not apply to the nominations process by the conference’s committee on nominations. The Judicial Council reversed her decision, saying the request was moot and hypothetical.

“It is not a potential unwillingness by a clergy member to adhere to the Discipline, but a specified act of misconduct or a chargeable offense specified in the Discipline that can lead to ecclesiastical sanctions,” the decision said. “It is not permissible for some moot or hypothetical matter to become the basis of church law.”

The council deferred decisions on sexuality-related rulings by Bishop Deborah L. Kiesey regarding a 2014 Detroit Annual Conference resolution and by Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar on a 2014 New England Annual Conference resolution until its April 2015 meeting.

See the full list of Judicial Council decisions, dated Oct. 25, 2014.

Tuesday - October 28, 2014
Weep then act for West Africa

The map of ebola's impact stretches from Africa to the United States as persons mourn the loss of family members. The upcoming Liberia Summit hosted at Nardin Park UMC, Nov. 13-14, will offer insight into the effects the disease is having on the social fabric of the region.  Click here to register for the event. . ~umns photo/Sam Hodges

SAM HODGES and KATHY GILBERT
United Methodist News Service

“We come in expecting a celebration, a day of worship, but it always turns into a funeral,” said the Rev. Emmanuel Shanka Morris, pastor of Spencer Memorial United Methodist Church, Charlotte, N.C.

Morris is Liberian and so are nearly nine out of ten members of his church; another 10 percent are from Sierra Leone. Since the Ebola outbreak began, every Sunday one or more members of the congregation reports the death of another family member in the two West African countries hit hardest by the deadly virus.

Grief and support

Across the United States, United Methodist churches with native Liberians and Sierra Leoneans are telling similar stories of grief and suffering, while trying to rally support for medical relief.

Albert B. Travell, a member of First United Methodist Church in Arlington, Texas, had seven family members die from Ebola in July.

“The daughters of my brother were preparing a body (another sister) for a funeral and became ill,” Travell said. The family thought she died from malaria.

“We have a tradition in Liberia when someone passes away, family members stick around so many days before burial and after burial they cook and everyone eats from the same bowl,” he said. His nieces started getting sick and dying one after another.

Now the remaining family is having trouble getting food.

“I am trying to send them some money so they can buy food. I am praying by the grace of God, everything will be all right soon,” Travell said.
Helping their families

Many Liberians living in the U.S. are stepping up contributions to family members and friends because so many people are unable to work and are not getting paid, said the Rev. Richard L. Stryker, executive director of ethnic ministries for the North Alabama Conference. He is also a native of Liberia.

“My wife has lost an aunt, although not to Ebola, we wonder what role the strain on the already degraded health system played in her death from sickness,” Stryker said. His wife also lost a high school classmate to Ebola. Four out of eight people in her classmate’s family also died after waiting days for an ambulance to arrive to take them to the hospital.

“Sanitation, communication, lack of facilities remain major problems for the prevention of this disease,” he said. “I believe people from the West that are going to help assume a certain level of basic care that is nonexistent.”

Heart of Africa

Lovers Lane United Methodist Church in Dallas has long supported a hospital in Liberia founded by two of its members, Betty and Peter Weato. Now, because of Ebola, the church is raising funds for medical supplies for Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The church’s Heart of Africa Fellowship includes members from ten African countries, including Liberia and Sierra Leone. On Oct. 19, the Rev. Stan Copeland, Lovers Lane’s senior pastor, led the group in prayer about Ebola and announced a churchwide prayer service on Ebola for Sunday Oct. 26.

“None of our people have been infected, but they’ve been upended,” Copeland, who has traveled twice to Liberia, said in an interview.

Bishop John K. Yambasu, episcopal leader of Sierra Leone, said he and Bishop John G. Innis of Liberia co-signed a letter requesting that all medical and other relief items go through UMCOR.

"This is still the case," Yambasu said. However, he noted that some partners in the denomination had a schedule of shipments of non-medical supplies such as school supplies and equipment even before Ebola.

"These are sent directly to us. For instance, one of our partner churches has shipped an ambulance to Sierra Leone which cannot be channeled through UMCOR," he said, adding that UMCOR staff are aware of that shipment.

Since the end of July, all non-Ebola related conference staff have been asked to stay home in order to avoid the risk of contracting Ebola while using public transportation. "Only the Ebola response team and the administrative staff come to work every day," Yambasu added.

Ebola scare

The United Methodist Committee on Relief recommends that people who want to help send money through the International Disaster Response Advance Advance #982450, said Emily Miller, associate general secretary for the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries.

Shipping goods presents several problems, Miller said. Ports are clogged, and even if goods are unloaded, United Methodist conference staff must take time to pay customs and get the goods delivered.

Dallas became a focus of news coverage when Thomas Eric Duncan of Liberia was admitted to the city’s Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas and diagnosed with Ebola — the first such diagnosis in the United States. His subsequent death, the infection of two nurses who cared for him, and the quarantining of people who had contact with him all raised anxiety in the city, Copeland said.

Copeland noted that African members of Lovers Lane United Methodist have faced extra prejudice during the Ebola scare, an assertion confirmed by Eric Pratt, lay leader of the Heart of Africa Fellowship and a native of Sierra Leone.

“Even your neighbors that you used to play and laugh with, they start to shun you,” said Pratt, who has lived in the Dallas area for 29 years and owns a limousine service.

Pratt said Copeland and Lovers Lane have shown strong support for Africans. That was echoed by Melvin Morgan, a Heart of Africa Fellowship member who recently lost his sister, Victoria Jackson, and two nieces to Ebola in the family’s native Liberia.

“It is a blessing for me and my family to be part of this congregation,” he said. “In times of needs and difficulties, they have been there.”

Morgan hopes the United States and other wealthy countries will pour resources into West Africa, to help arrest Ebola. He acknowledged feeling a range of emotions on learning loved ones in Liberia had died of the disease.

“As a human, I weep, because Jesus himself wept,” Morgan said. “But as a Christian, I also put on my faith, because the Bible says with God all things are possible.”

Monday - October 27, 2014
Community devastated by thrift store fire

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

 

HARPER WOODS  -- The thrift shop at Redeemer United Methodist Church in Harper Woods caught fire overnight, October 27. Pastor Thomas Priest, who lives next door, believes criminals could be involved in the incident. Click here for news.

Renaissance District Superintendent, the Rev. Dr. Melanie Carey, says the most needed response right now is prayer. The homepage photo shows Sam Dallas, Lu Etta Houser, one of the thrift shop founders, Mike Walters and the Rev. Tom Priest in front of the burned out wreckage.

A full report will be issued in MIConnect October 29.

 

 

Events
Saturday - November 1, 2014
Annual Christmas Bazaar

Come One! Come All!
Get your Christmas shopping done and support local crafters!

Saturday November 1st, 2014
9 am - 4 pm

Sloppy Joe Luncheon will be served 11 am - 1 pm
for a small fee.


Trinity UMC
424 Smith St.
Algonac, MI 48001-1438
Saturday - November 1, 2014
Craft Show
Saturday - November 1, 2014
CRD Safe Sanctuary Training
Saturday - November 1, 2014
LEADERSHIP DAY
Sunday - November 2, 2014
All Saints Day
Sunday - November 2, 2014
BWD Lay Servant Commissioning
Blogs
Wednesday - October 22, 2014
Ready for what's next!
 
I want to begin this month’s Burning Questions blog by thanking all of you who read and commented upon last month’s post. I received numerous comments, both by email and in person, and was gratified by your willingness to share your thoughts. I hope that we will continue to have this dialogue as we move forward on this journey with Bishop Deb. 

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May it be so!

Bill

Monday - September 29, 2014

Perspectives on Hope: Crossing the Continental Divide!

 

October 2014
 
“For just as in a single human body there are many limbs and organs, all with different functions, so all of us, united with Christ, form one body, serving individually as limbs and organs to one another.”   Romans 12:4-5, NEB
We passed the sign too quickly for me to get a good photo of it. We had just crossed the continental divide and it seemed significantly symbolic to me. Much of my ministry, especially as a Director of Connectional Ministries, has and does involve inviting our connectional community to move beyond existing boundaries to build bridges into new places of identity and practice. Crossing the divide positions us to reach more people, younger and more diverse people, creating a broadened community in Christ. Through such a community discipled leaders help transform the quality of life and hope in the world.
Ruth and I took a road journey this summer, crossing many boundaries and divides along the way. We wove our way across the textured colors of the Badlands, the rich and sacred beauty of the Black Hills, the ancient and varied strata of the Big Horn mountain range, the vastness of high desert plains, the wooded splendor of Yellowstone National Park and the craggy yet pristine beauty of the Grand Tetons. On the journey we opened ourselves to changes in altitude and attitude; in topography and life topics; in scenery and life scenarios; in cultures, customs and comfort zones. Each of those settings can either create a divide or an opportunity for expanding our capacities to live in an ever-changing world.
I prefer to think of the continental “divide” as more of a continental “connection”. While I recognize the divide refers to watersheds and topography, it can also remind us of the immense strength the rock formations have for keeping a continent connected. Without that connection to cross over we would never have experienced the rich wonder and deep cultures across that connection. How might this also be true for our Michigan Area and the churches in our vast range of communities? 
As I write this blog I am at a Vital Conversations retreat with various conference and local church leaders across the U.S. and Central Conferences, hosted by our General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR). The board members of GCORR are present as well. GCORR is helping us focus on “developing authentic relationships where lives, churches and communities are transformed”.   Bishop Gabriel Unda, resident bishop of the East Congo Episcopal Area, is one of the GCORR board members. In reflecting on the text from the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Rome, Bishop Unda humbly and powerfully proclaimed,
“We are whole when we receive something from each other. … I am whole when I receive something from you and you are whole when you receive something from me. … It is a falsehood when I (you/me) think I am the whole church.”
The East Congo Episcopal Area was established as a new United Methodist episcopal area in the Democratic Republic of Congo at General Conference 2012. It now has three annual conferences within that Area. It involves 450 different ethnic groups, speaking 250 specific and different languages. It is rich in resources yet is one of the most impoverished regions on the planet. It has suffered under nearly a decade of civil war, killing 5.4 million people and displacing another 1 million. Yet, in the midst of ashes and blood three new annual conferences were needed to nurture and connect a growing body of Christ. DIVIDES ARE ALSO CONNECTIONS! If ethnic groups that have been at war with one another can now find a healing community through Jesus Christ, moving through and across the divides to connect, then surely this same God can help us cross the street from our churches and our homes to connect with the neighbors we do not yet know. Studies show that the longer a church has been in a community the more distant and disconnected it has become from the changing neighborhood. The only way that will change is to no longer see difference as a divide, and instead as a new connection of relationship in ministry.
Back to the summer journey of crossing connections. When we crossed over the Rockies and drove down into the high plains red desert we met a woman from inner city Detroit now working at a unique general store in Dubois, Wyoming. As we talked she discovered that I worked for the Detroit Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church and she thanked all of you for the work you are doing in our cities and towns across Michigan. She told me that the street she grew up on had already been bulldozed, but she took hope in the work that you are doing to build bridges of hope to the future. We crossed the continental divide and made a momentary connection.
It is now officially the Fall season. Most likely new children and youth moved into the neighborhoods near our churches and began school in a new place. They are perhaps still a bit nervous, wondering if the divide between them and the new setting is too vast to cross over. Their parents are likely nervous for them as well. How might you and your local church create a connection where a divide exists right now? How might you create the bridge of welcome and new discovery? How might you equip your members to be those that cross the divide and make the connection?
Send your ministry team to the REACH Event on October 18th and gain the new insights and courage to reach out and connect!
Blessings,
Jerome (Jerry) DeVine

 

Tuesday - September 23, 2014
The unfailing love of God for all people

Mary Jo and Rod have been our friends for over 40 years. Their children have been our friends over the same four decades. We had been in high school together, on church softball teams and work camp teams together. Mary Jo and Rod were our oldest daughter’s first “sitters” when she was only 3 weeks old. I officiated the wedding of their oldest granddaughter right there on their property on the river. They graciously were “parents” to us and we were honored to be treated like two additional “children” in this generous family of love and laughter. Rod and Mary Jo celebrated 61 years of marriage and 65 years of friendship.
 
I tell you this so you understand the depth of grief we experienced this summer as Mary Jo “crossed that river into the promised land.” It was profound she was surrounded by Rod, all four of their children and spouses and several grandchildren. Linda and I had had the blessing of saying “good bye” less than 24 hours earlier. 
 
To say and hear the words: “I love you,” “I love you too”; Summarize it all.
 
I have been paying attention to my grief (shock, denial, anger, bargaining, and acceptance) a great deal these past 12 months. My mom died in Nov., another 40+ year friend a few months earlier, and now Mary Jo. The cloud of witnesses grows, and with time, the blessing of memory heals the heartache.
 
Albion District Superintendent, Tamara Williams, reminded us at Annual Conference that a great deal of the issues and feelings we have as a corporate church body, have to do with grief. The Church of 40 years ago looks nothing like the Church or its statistics of today. However, like my own journey through grief, our “church journey” finds healing in the historic consistency of a message between God, God’s people and one another which echoes time and time again; “I love you.” “I love you too.”
 
Our MI Area of The UMC is consistently finding ways to express this unfailing love of God for all people
·       Our Imagine No Malaria Campaign has nearly surpassed the $1 million mark.
·       Our Area VCI Team of more than 50 facilitators, coaches and consultants has had an impact on nearly 100 congregations. These congregations and their pastors have discovered new ministries to help them fall in love with their communities again and in turn help individuals experience the love of God found in Jesus Christ.
·       Grants from the General Church are multiplying our own resources in MI Area Ministries which include, Wesley Campus Interns, Hispanic/Latino Ministries, and Vital Conversations that will strengthen our capacity to reach more people, younger people and more diverse people.
·       Teams are being equipped to help facilitate “Holy Conferencing” so that we can listen to and understand one another even as we may vehemently disagree on matter or another.   One participant commented, “Sometimes I feel like saying to people, ’You know it is hard to listen to you when you are kicking me.’”
·       The REACH Summit on October 17-18, 2014 in Lansing (See REACHSummit.org) promises to be an excellent event to help equip us to Reach: out; up; in; across; forward.
·       Our compassion for the brokenhearted has been exhibited as we responded to the tornado that swept through the southern Grand Rapids community of Kentwood and the floods that swirled across the greater Detroit region.
·       Congregations engaging in the “pulse check” review outlined in ¶213 of the Book of Discipline of The UMC – 2012 are discovering both new life and ways to end with a dignity that continues the legacy of love the congregation expressed in the generations past.
 
Mary Jo confidently proclaimed, “I am not the least bit afraid to die. I am looking forward to seeing Jesus!” 15 days after her death, great grandchild number 11 was born. The legacy of love continues in a new generation.
 
My family and friends who have been on this journey for decades may pass. The Church in our current culture may look incredibly unlike the church (capital and lower case intended) in the decades to come, but the constant message from God on that journey has been and will always be, “I love you.” God simply waits expectantly and patiently for us to reply, “I love you too.”
 
See you on the Journey.
 
Rev. Benton R. Heisler
Director of Connectional Ministries

 

Tuesday - August 26, 2014
What's new with you and God this fall?

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

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

Did you miss me? I took some much needed time, after the conclusion of both Annual Conference sessions, to try for a little personal Sabbath time before the press of our office move. It mean that I would not answer your burning questions last month, for which I am sorry, but my Sabbath was wonderful (I highly recommend Sabbath time for everyone!).
 
Now we are in the middle of boxes and crates and I remember once again why I dreaded the process of moving. I always loved getting to new places, but the “getting there” was never as much fun as “being there.”
 
I am confident that this, too, will pass and we will be settled in our new place by the end of the summer. At least I’m hopeful. There are still a few questions for which the answers are unclear, but those are fewer and fewer with each passing week.
 
Our plan is to be out of the office in Okemos by the 18th of July and open for business on Northcrest, in Dewitt Township, by the 24th of July. That’s “if” everything gets connected and working by that date. We continue to be excited about the new location and all the hard work that has been done to get the place ready, and we hope that you will plan to join us on Sunday, September 7th for our Grand Open House to see your new Area Ministry Center.
 
On another note, we said good-bye to Vicki Gibbs after ten years with our office staff as the Administrative Assistant to the person sitting in the chair of the Clergy Assistant, and both Terry Euper and I were grateful for her cheerful demeanor and helpful manner as we worked to support three bishops during her tenure. Vicki will be missed!
 
However, we are pleased to welcome Jennifer Weaver to our office team, beginning with our first day in our new office. Some of you will recognize Jennifer’s name. She comes to us with 20 years of experience in the Central/Heartland District office as the Administrative Assistant. Jennifer has worked with 6 different Superintendents (please resist the temptation to comment on how “different” we really are!) during her time in the office in Mount Pleasant, and, as one of those six, I am truly excited to be working with Jennifer again. I know that you will appreciate working with Jennifer as well, and I hope that you will make her feel welcome when you call the office.
 
Finally, as an end to this lengthy preamble, please allow me to remind you that we will also be installing a new phone system area-wide over the next few weeks. While it will be a blessing to everyone when it is finally up and running, I am realistic enough to recognize that this start-up will not be without its hiccups, so I am asking you to be patient with us. I can assure you that each and every one of us in this office will be doing everything in our power to make this office fully functional by the first of September. Please pray for us in the meantime.
 
Someone sent me a Burning Question about the Question of Law that was raised at the Detroit Annual Conference. If you are reading this blog, you have already been exposed to the Bishop’s decision and the Annual Conference resolution which prompted it. The pastor’s question was a simple: What happens now? Is everything on “hold” until we hear from Judicial Council? When will we hear something?”
 
My understanding of the process says that two things are true right now: First, the Bishop found that most of the resolution was not according to law and therefore not in force at this time. The first portion of the resolution was found to be acceptable by Disciplinary standards, and is in place as the will and intent of the Annual Conference. If you are not sure what is left of the original Resolution #14, please read again the Bishop’s Decision of Law which appeared on both conference websites. Second, the Bishop’s decision is “temporary church law” until it is reviewed by the Judicial Council and then, if Bishop Deb is upheld, becomes Church Law. We do not know, as of this date, when this matter will reach the Judicial Council calendar. We do know that they have received all of the material they requested from us and we expect that it will be considered in their October session. However, that is not our decision and we have no way of knowing what else they may be considering this Fall, so we will just have to wait and see like all of you.
 
Thank you for your patience as we move and for your support which has made this move possible. I believe that we will all be blessed by this new space in the years to come. Till next time,
 
Shalom, Bill
Classifieds
Wednesday - October 29, 2014
Custodian: Clawson UMC

Clawson United Methodist Church is looking to hire a custodian for approximately 25-30 hours per week, beginning November 1, or as soon after that as possible.

 

The first responsibility of the custodian is general cleaning and maintaining of the building, and straightening of equipment and furniture in the building. Some heavy lifting is required. Trustees are generally responsible for repairs and major projects.

 

Other specific responsibilities include:

 

*Setting up and taking down chairs and tables for regular activities in the building, as well as special events

*Setting thermostats for scheduled activities

*Changing lettering on outdoor signs as requested

*Maintaining inventory of cleaning and custodial supplies, and submitting requests for new supplies to be ordered

*Caring for lawn and shoveling sidewalks

 

Desirable qualifications:

 

*Able to adapt work hours to scheduled activities in the building

*Able to work independently on most tasks

*Able to coordinate work with other staff and volunteers as needed

 

Criminal background check will be done for potential employees.

 

Submit resume and references to Rev. Peggy Garrigues, revpeggyg@gmail.com, or bring or mail to church office: 205 N. Main St., Clawson, MI 48017. Applications will be accepted until position is filled. Questions? Call Rev. Garrigues at 248-435-9090.

 

Wednesday - October 29, 2014
Sunday School Teacher: Clawson UMC

Clawson United Methodist Church is looking for a friendly, patient, caring, and reliable individual, at least 18 years old to care for children ages 4 through 5th grade during our Sunday morning worship, to start right away. Previous experience caring for children, teaching, or volunteering in a church is desirable. A background check will be done as part of the hiring process.

Responsibilities:

       Help choose curriculum from United Methodist curriculum, or be ready to use a curriculum chosen by the church

       Prepare for each week’s lesson with access to church materials, or purchasing approved items as needed

       Be present in the classroom from 9:45-11:15 am on Sunday mornings, ready to teach several children

       Teach the lesson with help of a volunteer, adapting to the ages of children present

       Keep records of names of children and their parents

       Provide consistent, loving care for the children while they are there

       Communicate well with parents about children’s needs.

       Other volunteers or paid staff will be recruited as needed

       Give as much advance notice as possible if there is a Sunday you will be absent

       Straighten up the classroom after children leave

Compensation: $40 per Sunday worked.

Call the Clawson United Methodist Church office at 248-435-9090 to arrange to pick up an application. Or download an application at the church website: www.clawsonumc.org


The church is located at 205 N. Main St., in Clawson, one block north of 14 Mile Rd.

Thursday - October 23, 2014
Nov. 8 Mini Mall

Trinity United Methodist Church holds its annual mini mall of home party consultants and crafts on November 8th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Vendors include Cookie Lee, Mary Kay cosmetics, Nancy's Natural Jewelry, Origami Owl, The Pampered Chef, PartyLite, Tastefully Simple, Tupperware, 31 Gifts, Mary and Martha Designs, Avon, Tupperware and many crafters. The church is west of Bull Run Road at 8201 Iosco Road in Iosco Township. The event will also include a silent auction, bake sale and a lunch.

Call 517-223-3803 or 734-498-3528 for more information.

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

 

Wednesday - October 22, 2014
Church Secretary - Linden UMC

CHURCH SECRETARY NEEDED ~   Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Must be proficient in Microsoft Word, Excel and Publisher, Internet  and e-mail, including knowledge of payroll records and non-profit organization tax forms, etc.  Church secretary etiquette and confidentiality a must with kind and helpful personality for office and telephone contact with congregation and others.  Must be able to work with minimal supervision.

Send Resume' and cover letter to Linden United Methodist Church, P. O. Box 488, Linden, MI., 48451 or FAX your information to 810-735-9234.
 
Wednesday - October 22, 2014
Youth Ministry Worker: St. Luke's Essexville

St. Luke’s UMC in Essexville has an immediate opening for the position of youth ministry worker (part time, 10 hours weekly). Responsibilities include planning the youth program, encouraging youth involvement, and working with pastor and parents in planning programs and activities. Please contact Rev. Eric Stone at (989)893-8031 for more details.

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

Tuesday - October 21, 2014
Seeking Used Bell Chimes for New Children's Ministry

Upper Pennisula Church (Gwinn UMC) starting a New Children's Ministry is seeking low cost (free would be good), used Bell Chimes.  If you've replaced your chimes and would like your old ones to go to a good home  to be used by loving children - please give us a call!  

Phone number: 906-346-6314.

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

Obituaries
Sunday - October 26, 2014
Thompson, Mrs. Paula

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

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

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

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


 

Friday - September 26, 2014
Watt - Arlene

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

ARRANGEMENTS:

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

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Son]:

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

GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:

Residential Hospice Foundation
5440 Corporate Drive
Troy, MI 48098

 

Sunday - September 21, 2014
Harrison - Donna
Mrs. Donna Harrison, mother of Rev. Lisa J. Clark [Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Sunday, September 21, 2014.  
 
ARRANGEMENTS:
 
Funeral Service will be held at 12:00 p.m. Saturday, September 27, 2014, at the Capac: Zion Community UMC, located at 14952 Imlay City Road; Capac, MI 48014 [810-395-2112].  A time of visitation will be from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. prior to the service.  
 
CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO:
 
Rev. Lisa & Mr. Hollis Clark
c/o Capac: Zion Community UMC
14952 Imlay City Road
Capac, MI   48014
 
 

 

Saturday - September 20, 2014
Crumm - Donald O.

Rev. Donald O. Crumm, Retired Detroit Annual Conference Clergy and holder of the Conference Cane, grandfather to Rev. Megan J. Walther and grandfather - in - law to Rev. Joel L. Walther [Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Saturday, September 20, 2014. 

ARRANGEMENTS:

Visitation will be held from 2p.m. to 4p.m and from 6p.m to 8p.m on Saturday, September 27, 2014 at the Allen Funeral Home, located at 9136 Davison Road; Davison, MI 48423 (810-653-2171). 

Funeral Services will be held at 3p.m Sunday, September 28, 2014 at Goodrich United Methodist Church located at 8071 S. State Road; Goodrich, MI 48438 (810-636-2444). Visitation hour from 2p.m until time of service. 

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Spouse]:

Mrs. Barbara Crumm
12640 Holly Road, Apt. B211
Grand Blanc, MI 48439

GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:

Goodrich UMC Music Program, Heifer International, or the Henderson Settlement of Frakes, Kentucky [P.O. Box 205; Frakes, KY 40940]

 

Saturday - September 20, 2014
Crumm - Rev. Donald

Rev. Donald O. Crumm, Retired Detroit Annual Conference Clergy and holder of the Conference Cane, grandfather to Rev. Megan J. Walther and grandfather - in - law to Rev. Joel L. Walther [Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Saturday, September 20, 2014. 


ARRANGEMENTS:

Visitation will be held from 2p.m. to 4p.m and from 6p.m to 8p.m on Saturday, September 27, 2014 at the Allen Funeral Home, located at 9136 Davison Road; Davison, MI 48423(810-653-2171). 

Funeral Services will be held at 3p.m Sunday, September 28, 2014 at Goodrich United Methodist Church located at 8071 S. State Road; Goodrich, MI 48438 (810-636-2444). Visitation hour from 2p.m until time of service. 

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Spouse]:

Mrs. Barbara Crumm
12640 Holly Road, Apt. B211
Grand Blanc, MI 48439

GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:

Goodrich UMC Music Program, Heifer International, or the Henderson Settlement of Frakes, Kentucky [P.O. Box 205; Frakes, KY 40940]

Monday - September 15, 2014
Varner - James

Mr. James Varner, father-in-law of Rev. Dr. Darryl E. Totty [Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Monday, September 15, 2014. 


ARRANGEMENTS:

Mr. Varner’s Funeral Service was held Sunday, September 21, 2014 at Conant Avenue UMC which is located at 18600 Conant Avenue; Detroit, MI 48234.

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO:

Mrs. Anita & Rev. Darryl Totty
269 Walker Street, #105
Detroit, MI 48207
 

 
Appointments
Tuesday - July 1, 2014
Bower, Benjamin
FROM Local Pastor TO Trenton First UMC
Wednesday - October 8, 2014
McBride, William
FROM North Street TO Medical Leave
Wednesday - October 8, 2014
Raymo, Michael
FROM Army Chaplain Extension Ministry TO Retirement
Wednesday - October 8, 2014
Densmore, Jerry
FROM Hemlock/Nelson TO Retirement
Sunday - August 31, 2014
Passenger, Margaret
FROM Retirement TO Kingston UMC (3/4 time)
Sunday - August 31, 2014
Cartwright, Donna
FROM Retirement TO Algonac: Trinity UMC (1/2 time)
eNewsletters
Wednesday - May 29, 2013
Detroit Conference Connection - May 29, 2013

Detroit Conference Connection - May 29, 2013

CONFERENCE NEWS

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

TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

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

CAMP AND RETREAT NEWS

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

DEATH NOTICES

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

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

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

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

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

Detroit Conference Connection - May 22, 2013

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

CONFERENCE NEWS

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


TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

DEATH NOTICES

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

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

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

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

About the Detroit Conference Connection

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

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

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

Detroit Conference Connection - May 8, 2013

CONFERENCE NEWS

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

2013 ANNUAL CONFERENCE SESSION

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

TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

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

CAMP AND RETREAT MINISTRIES NEWS

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

DEATH NOTICES

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

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

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

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

About the Detroit Conference Connection

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

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

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

 

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

Detroit Conference Connection - May 1, 2013

CONFERENCE NEWS

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

2013 ANNUAL CONFERENCE SESSION

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


TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

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

CAMP AND RETREAT MINISTRIES NEWS

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

DEATH NOTICES

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

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

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

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

About the Detroit Conference Connection

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

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

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

Detroit Conference Connection - April 24, 2013

CONFERENCE NEWS

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

2013 ANNUAL CONFERENCE SESSION

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

TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

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

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

About the Detroit Conference Connection

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

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

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

Detroit Conference Connection - April 17, 2013

CONFERENCE NEWS

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

2013 ANNUAL CONFERENCE SESSION

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

TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

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

CAMP AND RETREAT MINISTRIES NEWS

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

DEATH NOTICES

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

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

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

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

About the Detroit Conference Connection

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

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