Print This Document
Features
Tuesday - July 22, 2014
UMs ride the disaster roller coaster

For the third time in three years, the United Methodist Committee on Relief has sent a disaster grant to the Michigan Area. This time UMCOR is helping with efforts to clean-up and rebuild after a July 6 tornado in Grand Rapids.

Monday - July 21, 2014
Glimpses of autumn

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

Wednesday - July 23, 2014
Reflect and respond to the news

 

It's one thing to read the news. It's another thing to pray the news and to be used by God  as an answer to prayer. The Rev. Paul Perez reflects on current events in the state and in the world and offers next steps.

Tuesday - July 22, 2014
Young people with a heart for mission

Two young people have left Michigan to spend the summer in Asia as Global Justice Volunteers. Jonathan Jue-Wong reports from Japan and Heather Jue-Wong tells of her service in the Philippines.

News
Wednesday - July 23, 2014
Michigan Area hires new staffer

The Michigan Area welcomes Jennifer Weaver to the Episcopal Office Team when the new Ministry Center opens on July 24. Jennifer comes with 20 years of administrative experience in the Central/Heartland District Office.

The Rev. Dr. William Dobbs notes, "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." Jennifer replaces Vicki in that role. Bill continues, "Both Terry Euper and I were grateful for Vicki's cheerful demeanor and helpful manner as we worked to support three bishops during her tenure."

Bill also expresses appreciation of Jennifer as a co-worker. He was one of six District Superintendents to work with her in the office in Mount Pleasant. "I am truly excited to be working with Jennifer again," Bill remarks.

Jennifer lives in Ithaca with her husband, Tim. They have four grown children, five grandchildren, with a sixth on the way. Following her retirement from serving the district, for the past two years she has been the Office Coordinator at the Ithaca United Methodist Church.

A life-long United Methodist, Jennifer has held many different leadership positions through the years. "I am now looking forward to serinvg in hte Episcopal Office," she says.

Wednesday - July 23, 2014
Reading and praying the news

REV. PAUL PEREZ
DAC Dir. for Mission and Justice Engagement & Leadership Recruitment

Last week Bishop Kiesey’s article, “Take A Chance on Peace,” really captured the heart break and frustration I felt after a week of listening to news reports about the Palestine/Israel conflict, working with community and faith leaders in Detroit in response to residential water shut offs, and hearing from colleagues across the nation and in our state about the reaction to children fleeing violence in Central America and seeking refuge in our nation. 

Inspired by the challenge to “take a chance on peace” I have compiled some ways that all of us through prayer, reflection, and response might answer that challenge.  Please feel free to share how you are responding by posting a comment below.

If you have any questions or would like to be in further conversation about these issues please do not hesitate to contact me directly at pperez@detroitconference.org.


Headline: Water Shut Off in the City of Detroit

PRAY:

Creator God, we give you thanks for your creation and everything in it. Teach us to love and care for our communities and our neighbors, near and far. Please help us to remember you and your gift of water now and always. May we recognize the holiness in all the earth’s water and strive for care and protection. In your name we pray, Amen. (From Water, Holy Water, Earth Day Sunday 2014 Resources)

REFLECT:  

RESPOND:


Headline: Treatment of Children fleeing Violence in Central America

PRAY: 

Hear our prayer, oh loving and compassionate God, and give us courage that we may accompany these migrant children with abundant mercy and grace. Embolden us to speak to the world of your love for all your children, and give us the courage to be unafraid. Free us from the fear of scarcity and the fear of the one whom we do not know. Through the power and presence of your Holy Spirit remind us that we are all your children, and allow us the blessing of experiencing the renewal of life that comes when we share your love with especially the littlest among us. Bring your healing among these unaccompanied migrant children. Bless their hearts with your loving presence, and surround them with your angels of care. Bless their parents and their families wherever they may be as they suffer the separation and the not knowing that comes with the migrant journey. Bless us to be the parents, family and friends of these children who now come to be among us, blessing us and bringing us your love. Amen. (From Interfaith Weekend of Compassion and Prayer for Unaccompanied Migrant Children)

REFLECT:

RESPOND:


Headline: Conflict continues in Middle East

PRAY:

God of peace, encourage those who seek to establish a fair and just peace in the Middle East. Bless their efforts as they work to end conflict.  Lead those who engage in violence to put down their weapons and to live in peace with one another. Amen. (From Prayer Vigil for the Middle East)

REFLECT:

RESPOND:

 

Tuesday - July 22, 2014
BIG help offered for a 'small' storm

 

United Methodists are helping with their hands and with their UMCOR dollars to assist in the clean-up from the July 6 tornado in Kentwood. Considered a "small storm" by official disaster measurements, no government funding is available for the effort. Realizing that no storm is "small" when neighbors' lives are affected, churches are working to offer help and hope. ~photo courtesy of St. Paul's UMC

KAY DeMOSS

Senior Editor-Writer, Michigan Area

KENTWOOD, Mich. MIC – For the third time in three years, grants from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) are making a difference in the lives of people in the state of Michigan. Following the tornado that hit in Kentwood on July 6, Bishop Deborah Lieder Kiesey contacted UMCOR’s Disaster Relief Office. She asked for a $10,000 emergency relief grant. The money was in hand less than two weeks later.

Last year Bishop Deb had requested and secured assistance from UMCOR following the severe flooding in Lowell. At the time Lowell UMC’s pastor, Rick Blunt, said, “This is our One Great Hour of Sharing offering and other UMCOR contributions coming back to us.”

Similarly, in March of 2012, Bishop Jonathan Keaton reached out to UMCOR when a tornado hit the community of Dexter. "The devastating winds of a tornado cut a swath of destruction through Dexter," he prayed in the wake of that storm. “May the winds of the Holy Spirit breathe on our hearts and minds to help our brothers and sisters reeling from the impact." 

 
In the Kentwood situation the UMCOR gifts are especially appreciated since no governmental funding is available to help with recovery and clean-up efforts in that suburb of Grand Rapids. “This was classified as a ‘small storm’,” explains the Rev. Erin Fitzgerald, pastor of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, the congregation nearest to the impact area.

Day after

Erin was asleep when the tornado struck. “It was only on the ground for 10 minutes,” she says, “but it traveled almost seven miles in that time.” St. Paul’s church was untouched by the storm that destroyed 85 homes. The houses of four of Erin’s parishioners were among 300 additional structures that sustained damage.

On Monday morning Erin’s first priority was to offer pastoral care to the four St. Paul families. As she moved through the neighborhood, she became aware of the extent of the devastation. “I phoned our District Superintendent, Bill Haggard, and asked what the United Methodist Church would be doing to help.” In the Spirit of Isaiah, Bill asked Erin if she would spearhead the recovery on behalf of the District. “I am caring enough and global enough to say, ‘yes,’” she recalls.

The focus of the effort became immediately apparent. “When I went out to St. Paul’s members and asked what we could do they said, ‘Don’t worry about us. We have insurance. Please help our neighbors.”

Next door was a couple in their mid-40s who had no insurance. “We got on the roller coaster with Tim and Kristi,” Erin says (names used with permission). “We were there with them from that very first day, when they were overwhelmed with their loss.” Shock, confusion and frustration filled the pair as trees were cleared and damage was assessed. Fifteen trees came down on this property alone, four hitting the house. Mostly they were grateful. “Tim and Kristi are now hopeful and humbled by what we have all accomplish together,” Erin reports.

The couple is staying with friend until their home is again habitable.
  
Working together

So far seven churches have adopted the family, with more joining by the day. St. Paul’s UMC is home base for volunteers who have come from Grand Rapids 1st, Cornerstone, Wyoming Park, Valley, Grandville and Greenville.

The first two week’s work has secured the massive hole in the roof with tarps, cleared trees and brush, disposed of debris such as shingles, bricks, etc. Estimated wind speeds on July 6 were 110 miles an hour, just one mile short of a Category 2 storm. Eighty volunteers worked the first day with an average of 12 each working day since. Almost 200 persons have given a hand.

The dollars from UMCOR rented a dumpster and a porta potty with the remainder intended for material and supplies for the home repair. All labor has been donated to date, although professional roofers and masons will need to be hired. “I am excited!” Erin says, “even though I have no idea what I’m doing!” Lots of retirees and skilled laborers offering their vacation time have helped Erin with some of the technicalities. “Each day I find a new problem we need so solve,” she notes, “so I say a quick prayer, make a few calls and it’s taken care of.”

Future needs

As welcome as the UMCOR grant is, Erin estimates that another $40,000 will be needed to rehab the home in Kentwood. She is looking for four churches willing to accept the challenge of matching the UMCOR grant over the next months. Pastors or mission leaders should contact Erin to explore possibilities. Email erin.lb.fitzgerald@gmail.com or phone 616-510-7941.

D.S. Bill Haggard has encouraged churches to take a special offering remitted to the West Michigan Conference Treasurer for Grand Rapids Tornado Relief. Another way to help is to bring cases of water or Gatorade to St. Paul’s UMC, 3334 Breton Road SE, Grand Rapids, open Monday through Thursday 9 am to 4 pm.
 
The United Methodists are not the only ones on the scene. The American Red Cross was there immediately setting up shelters and aiding the displaced in the area. The Salvation Army, Southern Baptist Convention, and National Relief Network are there, too. Volunteers from as far away as Beijing, China assisted in storm relief.
  
“We were all side by side making trips to the dumpster and brush sites,” Erin smiles. “The whole body of Christ has come together to get the job done.” The pastor emphasizes the importance of a sustained effort. “We can’t let ourselves think,” she says, “that once the power is back on and the freezer is working again that everything is back to normal.” She adds with determination and hope, “It is going to be a new normal for everyone here in Kentwood.”

 

Tuesday - July 22, 2014
Michigan young people with a heart for mission

Elsewhere in this week's news the head of the General Board of Global Ministries, Thomas Kemper, celebrates the ways that young people are being transformed and transforming in places across the globe.

Two young people with Michigan ties--Jonathan and Heather Jue-Wong--are making a difference even as they grow in their faith. Heather and Jonathan are serving as Global Justice Volunteers; they are the daughter and son of the Rev. Jennifer Jue, a pastor from the West Michigan Conference now serving Oxford UMC.

Heather Jue-Wong

Heather is serving in a rural village outside of Manila, Philippines, at Kapatiran Kaunlaran Foundation (KKFI). KKFI is a social development organization involved in education, training and community organizing for the past 63 years. KKFI equips marginalized individuals and communities with knowledge and skills.Heather is involved in hte Alternative Learning System, teaching at-risk cihldren and youth.

Here's her recent report:

Went to the dump site to teach class today. This week's lesson was on how to brush teeth and wash hands. Last week Love asked me if there was anything I wanted to teach related to public health. I noticed that even the tiny babies had rotting teeth and they were sticking their dirt covered hands in their mouths. These kids, and adults too, have such poor oral hygiene and most likely lack the resources and awareness. So we got toothbrushes, toothpaste, and soap. We did a fun lesson with that. There were 35 kids today. They're all so great and happy that we're there. I love them already. This evening we went to the town center and just observed the street children. Most of them stand outside the mall or fast food places selling flower chains that people hang in their cars or give as an offering to a saint. Some just beg. There are some young mothers who have their babies and young children with them selling flowers.

KKFI started these classes because the establishments complained about the children bothering their customers and asked the local government to do something. The local government then asked KKFI because they knew about the work the org does. KKFI tries to identify the neighborhoods the kids come from to target the classes for them. The classes that we offer are designed to help them in school and keep them off the streets for at least a few hours. Love serves as a positive role model and really loves the kids. I admire the work she is doing in the community and how God is working through her. I hope I can do something meaningful like she is doing. The kids beg/sell things so that they can put food on the table. Education is a challenges as it is such a long term solution.

Jonathan Jue-Wong



Jonathan is serving in Tokyo, Japan with the Christian Coalition for Refugee and Migrant Workers, part of the National Christian Council of Japan. He shares about his first weeks as an intern:

Ohayo gozaimas!  I do know how to say ‘good morning' in Japanese. The GJV interns flew to Manila in late June. We spent a week in Quezon City in training sessions, staying in the guest dormitories of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines. 

The most memorable and impactful experiences for me included Rev. Elizabeth Tapia’s compelling presentation on the United Methodist Church’s mission theology and a visit to Migrante International. Migrante International is an advocacy organization working hard to support Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs). The Philippines has a policy of exporting many, many workers. The government really pushes this policy because of high unemployment and poverty in the country. Unfortunately, many workers are abused and human trafficking is rampant.

After a week in the Philippines, two team members and I flew to Tokyo to start our placement with CCRMW. My new colleagues are Sharon Michael, from South Dakota, and Thiago Agosto, from Brazil.

Instead of sitting in an office all day (which is kind of what I expected we’d be doing), we have a pretty diverse schedule that includes quite a bit of fieldwork. One thing we do regularly is visit detainees at the immigration bureau detention centers in Tokyo and Ushiku. We also do a lot of education and exposure sessions, for our own learning. We visited Kotobuki, an urban poor neighborhood in Yokohama. There, we met with Rev. Hidetoshi Watanabe, who gave us a lecture on the many problems facing migrant workers and low-income communities like Kotobuki. On a different day, we went to the Diet (parliament) Members’ Building to attend a presentation about the plight of refugees from Myanmar.

Please keep all of the GJV mission teams—working in the Philippines, Japan, Latin America, and Dallas—in continued prayer, as well as God’s kingdom of peace and justice that we all strive for together.


The Global Justice Volunteer program is supported through The Advance, #982459. Contributions to the program go to noone's personal gain. However, gifts may be given "In Honor Of" Heather or Jonathan. Checks should be sent to the Conference Treasurer. Those interested in exploring more about participation in the Global Justice Volunteer program, should click here for more information.  

~homepage photo shows (l-r) Heather Rashid and Larissa, all Global Justice Volunteers assigned to Kapatiran Kaunlaran Foundation in Manila.

Tuesday - July 22, 2014
Schaefer case goes to Judicial Council

KATHY L. GILBERT
United Methodist News Service

The Rev. Christopher L. Fisher, who was counsel for the church in the trial of the Rev. Frank Schaefer, is appealing to The United Methodist Church’s top court to overturn last month’s reinstatement of Schaefer’s ordination credentials.

The denomination’s Judicial Council will next meet in October, and the appeal is on the docket.

"As counsel for the church of the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference, I have determined to appeal the June 24 decision of the NEJ Committee on Appeals in the case of Rev. Frank Schaefer to the Judicial Council. After review of the appeals court decision, I believe it was based on several errors of Church law. The Judicial Council will be requested to correct these errors of law and to reverse the lower court's ruling. We are asking the church to keep this difficult matter in prayer," Fisher said.

His brief to the Judicial Council argues that the decision to reinstate Schaefer conflicts with the Book of Discipline, the denomination's law book, and earlier Judicial Court decisions. Fisher also says the committee on appeals "wrongly crafted its own penalty" for Schaefer rather than remanding back to the lower church court. In his appeal, Fisher also requested that the Judicial Council hear oral arguments in the case.

Schaefer told United Methodist News Service he knew an appeal “was a real possibility … and knowing how politicized my case has become I sort of expected it to happen.”

“I am just hoping and praying the Judicial Council will really keep in mind our LGBQT community first because harm is still being done to them,” he said. “I am hoping they will really review this case also in light of the fact that we are a diverse church and that we have many LGBQT members in our churches. I am hoping that their decision will really reflect that.”

The Rev. Scott Campbell, counsel for Schaefer, said the appeal is disappointing.

“While the defense team for the Rev. Schaefer is disappointed that the counsel for the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference has failed to accept the clear and compelling decision of the Northeastern Jurisdictional Committee on Appeals, we welcome this opportunity to have the Judicial Council, the highest court in our church, ratify what the Appeals Committee decided. We are confident that the Judicial Council will uphold the careful work of the lower court,” he said.

Schaefer’s ministerial credentials were reinstated by the denomination’s Northeastern Jurisdictional Committee on Appeals on June 23. The decision also ordered the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual (regional) Conference to compensate Schaefer for all lost salary and benefits dating from Dec. 19, 2013.

The nine-member panel unanimously ruled the lower church court’s penalty against Schaefer was “illegal.” An eight-member majority of the committee supported a penalty modification to the 30-day suspension Schaefer had already undergone.

The former pastor of Iona United Methodist Church in eastern Pennsylvania, Schaefer was defrocked after a November 2013 church trial found him guilty of violating The United Methodist Church’s Book of Discipline by conducting a same-sex marriage ceremony for his son. He also was found guilty of violating the church’s order and discipline.

In the penalty stage of the trial, the court suspended Schaefer from his ministerial duties for 30 days and declared that if he could not “uphold the Discipline in its entirety” at the end of the suspension, he would surrender his credentials. He refused to do that, and on Dec. 19, the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Board of Ordained Ministry asked him to give up his credentials.

After the June 23 ruling, Bishop Minerva Carcaño announced Schaefer’s new appointment to Isla Vista Student Ministry in Santa Barbara, California, with the blessings of his previous bishop in the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual (regional) Conference. Schaefer will be responsible for reaching out to the large college community that “lives, studies and works at the doorsteps of the church,” said Carcaño, who leads the denomination’s California-Pacific Conference.

“Rev. Schaefer has much to teach us about what it means to love the children God gives us who happen to be gay. I pray that we will make space for him and his family in our lives and in our hearts as he comes to labor among us,” she said.

Tuesday - July 22, 2014
Scott Memorial UMC is satellite site for training

Scott Memorial UMC in Detroit is serving as one of ten hosts sites for the upcoming School of Congregational Development sponsored by the General Board of Global Ministris. The event takes place on Saturday, August 16, 10 am EDT.

The School of Congregational Development focuses on resourcing, designing and implementing leadership development components that will assist United Methodist churches across the world embrace and welcome the growing diversity in their communities.

The Satellite Experience in Detroit will provide facilitators who will lead guided conversations with those present.Cost is $29 per person.

Also, new this year,  LiveCast will allow participants to watch the event from their own home or local church.

The training features Dr. Joseph W. Daniels. Jr. and Ms.Christine Shinn Latona. Their topic is REAL Transformation. This session will teach participants how to lead a Relevant, Enthusiastic, Authentic and Loving cultural revolution that results in changed lives and a changed community.

Rev. Daniels is a nationally recognized turnaround pastor and district superintendent. Ms. Latona, a lay person, facilitates leaders and groups toward thriving ministry. Together they have authored two books--Begging for REAL Church and The Power of REAL: Changing Lives, Changing Churches, Changing Communities. Both Daniels and Latona call Emory UMC in Washington, DC home.

Get Registered Today! Once at the website find the link to the North Central Jurisdictional event at Scott Memorial UMC. Be ready for a full and productive day in person or online.

Events
Friday - August 1, 2014
Renaissance in the D 2014

Following last year’s huge success we are back and bigger than ever.  Reminder – Limited Tickets and Time to Order Tickets - First Come, First Serve basis for getting the discounted tickets:  What better than a Summer night at Detroit Tiger game, fellowship with United Methodists of the area, fireworks after the game plus extras.  Sign up and be a part of the first Detroit Renaissance District -’Renaissance in the D at Comerica, sponsored by the Detroit Renaissance District. 

Summer weekend games are expected to be sellout crowds.  Order AND prepay now, this is critical and required because of the high upfront deposit, need to secure larger block of seats, new Tiger dynamic pricing policy.  We will work to expand for additional seats based on demand.

GAME DATE: FRIDAY, Aug 1, Game 7:08 PM (Tigers v Colorado Rockies) – Come Early

·       Be present for a  Imagine No Malaria and Hands 4 Detroit pre-game recognition

·       Post-game Fireworks will follow, weather permitting.

·       As like last year, expect other special events to be announced 

SEAT LOCATION/ COST: Upper Deck, Sections 330 & 331  behind Home Plate –Ticket Cost is $38.00   Subject to change based on demand.

RESERVATIONS/CONTACT:  Checks payable to Detroit Renaissance District UMC.  Please send to Don Archambeau, 28270 Elmira St, Livonia, MI 48150, (734) 422-2227

 

 

                   

                     

 

Renaissance in the D – Aug 1 Ticket Order Form

Church/Org Name___________________________________

Send Tickets to: ____________________________________

                           ____________________________________

                          _____________________________________

How Many __     Check Sent $_______   (Your phone ______________)

 

 Click Here to download pdf

 

Saturday - August 2, 2014
Protection Policy Training

 If you are interested in attending, please call Ruby Anderson at (586) 040-0221

 

 

Monday - August 4, 2014
Vacation Bible School

We will be using Goup's "Weird Animals" for this year's VBS!
This event is FREE for all children.

Monday - August 4, 2014
Vacation Bible School

Hay Day!
Come join us "Down at the Farm"
as we learn that
Because of Jesus we can be Friends with God!


Monday - Wednesday August 4th - 6th
5:30 pm - 8 pm


Trinity UMC
424 Smith St.
Algonac, MI 48001

Wednesday - August 6, 2014
Annual Chicken BBQ


Thursday - August 7, 2014
BWD Zone 6 Meeting
Blogs
Monday - July 21, 2014
Boxed up and on the move to Lansing

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday - May 27, 2014
A summer sabbath

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Until next time… may God grant you Shalom!

Bill

Wednesday - May 14, 2014
Creative Courage

 

 
 
 
SCENE ONE:
 
"And Joseph died."
With those words being a very familiar story:
-       of a Pharaoh who didn’t know Joseph or his story;
-       of a Pharaoh who worried about the growing strength of the Israelites in his midst;
-       of a decree forcing the Israelites into slavery;
-       and a story of two extraordinary women of faith who changed the course of the world.
 
Two women I doubt you heard much about. They are two Hebrew midwives by the names of Shiprah and Puah.
 
The Pharaoh called these two women to him and said:
"When you serve as midwife to the Hebrew women, ... if it is a son, you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, she shall live."
 
Now, it was never wise to defy the Pharaoh, but Shiphrah and Puah feared God more than they feared the Pharaoh, and they ignored his orders.
 
In the meantime, the Israelites continued to grow in numbers.
 
So t Pharaoh called the women back. 
 
Actually, given the situation, the king's reaction seems mild. He didn't have the midwives killed on the spot, as he had the power to do, but he asked them to account for their defiance. 
 
It is a dramatic scene. 
 
You can picture the women standing, unafraid, before the king and his court. They had absolutely no power of any kind; they were simply slaves. But the power they felt and demonstrated was of a different kind. It was the power that came from knowing and obeying God. It was a trust brought about by deep faith - a trust that they were doing what was right in the eyes of God, regardless of the consequences. 
 
So, to the Pharaoh's question, "Why have you done this? Why have you let the male children live?", Shiprah and Puah were shrewd enough to have their answer ready. They explained: the Israelite women are not like the Egyptian women. They are 'vigorous' and they give birth too quickly - the children are born before a midwife can even be called. There was nothing they could do about it.
 
So … in response, the Pharaoh gave the order to all the Israelites that any sons born to them must be thrown into the Nile - only the daughters would be allowed to live. 
 
And we know the rest of the story.
 
And we read that God dealt well with the midwives because of their faith and courage. 
 
This is one of my favorite stories of the Old Testament. I mean, who’s ever heard of Shiprah and Puah? And yet, these were women of extraordinary faith and courage whose actions changed the course of history. 
 
These Hebrew midwives found a creative solution - a God-inspired solution - to what must have seemed like an insurmountable problem. And they followed that vision - they followed God’s call - even when common sense told them otherwise.
 
Shiphrah and Puah. Remember those names.
 
 
SCENE TWO:
 
The town had died …
 
It once had a school - but it closed. 
            It once had a grocery store - it, too, closed. 
                        It once had a bank, a gas station, and a hardware store, but they closed.
 
The tiny, part-time church worshipped, maybe, 30 on a really good Sunday. Most people remembered when things were different; most wished they could return to the Good Old Days. But, they had to admit that was unlikely. So they came on Sundays and UMW days and that was about it -  everyone basically content with just surviving. 
 
Well, almost everyone. 
 
“Helen” was 70+ years old, and one day she realized that the children in town had nowhere to go after school. Most of their parents worked out of town, so there was little supervision for these children. And she worried about them. But what could she do? She was just one person - and well into her retirement years.
 
What could she do? Well, … she could bake. All kids liked cookies, didn’t they?   Then she thought that many of these children could probably use some tutoring in reading and other help with schoolwork. She thought she might be able to do that, too. 
 
She talked to her very part-time pastor, and little by little the idea grew. 
 
The church was near the school bus stop. They had a nice, large, mostly unused room in the church. How hard would it be? They could put out some fliers around town and then just open their doors and see what would happen.
 
And that’s what they did. Other church members came - just to ‘be there’. By the time this little project got underway, there were 12-20 children coming through those doors, half a dozen adults (men and women), and lots of bars, cookies, and Kool Aid. 
 
Just like Shiprah & Puah, this congregation found a creative solution - a God-inspired solution - to what must have seemed like an insurmountable problem. And they followed that vision - they followed God’s call - even when common sense told them otherwise.
 
A statement was made to that small town: 
            * This church cared about its children. 
            * This church wasn’t afraid to try something new.
            * This church was small - but it was alive. 
                       
This church forgot about itself - opened itself to the possibilities – and found a new life - a new purpose.
 
 
Creative courage.
 
It’s very Wesleyan.
 
In fact, that’s one of the things I admire about John Wesley and the early Methodist movement. His “Holy Club” saw a need and they did what they were able to do to be the Good News to people in prisons and poor houses and slums and mines - those people society preferred not to see. 
 
A courageously creative, God-inspired solution.
 
Early Methodists in America saw the difficulties facing their church with the ever expanding frontier. 
                        How could the needs of these pioneers be met? 
                        Who would baptize? 
                        Who would marry and bury and preach the Gospel? 
 
They found a creative solution!                     
 
From those questions arose the concept of the Circuit Rider … and the strong belief in the itinerant ministry.
 
Throughout history Methodism has continued to offer creative ways of bringing in God’s kingdom … with Lay Preachers, the Ordination of Women, and Wesley’s firm belief in the Grace of God offered to every single child of God - the doctrine of Prevenient Grace. 
 
This combination of courage and faith and creativity helped change the course of the church.
 
We, here in the Detroit and West Michigan Annual Conferences, are no strangers to that creative spirit. 
 
·      We’ve seen “church” happening in diners, in parks, in storefronts, across the conference;
·      We’ve seen congregations willing to leave beloved sanctuaries to merge & network with other United Methodist congregations to strengthen the United Methodist witness of Christ in their communities;
·      We’ve seen Lenten ashes offered on street corners, and programs for outreach that I would never have dreamed of, and fruitful beyond my expectations;
·      We are strategizing around the best way to move forward creatively with urban ministry;
·      We are talking openly and honestly about what it would look like to become “one” conference – together.
 
The creative spirit is alive and well!
 
            - a spirit that is unafraid to find a new way to share the old, old story; 
                        - to give birth to something new; 
                        - to be a courageous midwife to make real the message of Christ; 
                        - to bring dreams to reality.
 
Courageous. And Creative.
 
Friends, that really is the challenge that is before us today. 
 
We’ve heard the statistics about the decline of the United Methodist Church;
            We’ve heard rumors of our demise;   
                        We’ve heard faithful voices calling for the church to go this way – or that way;
                                    We’ve even heard concerns about schism.
 
Our beloved United Methodist Church is in the midst of great turmoil – and anxious about our future.
 
And the easy solution would be to give up, to listen to those voices, and to assume there is no way forward.
 
But friends, I am not ready to give in to any of those voices – because I believe we can find creative and faithful ways through the chaos of this time in the life of our Church.
 
And I also believe that we have – right here within this room – within this annual conference – and within the hearts of our people – all the gifts we need to find that God-inspired solution to what seems like an insurmountable problem.
 
Yes, we are going through a difficult time – yes, a chaotic time, but it is at moments such as these that we can also find opportunities …
·      to learn new ways of being disciples;
·      to grow in our understanding of who we are and who God is calling us to be;
·      and to ‘be the church’ to a new generation who needs to hear this ‘old, old story’.
 
So … where do we start?
 
We start at the beginning – at the very foundation of who we are and what we believe.
 
When Jesus was asked what was the most basic commandment of all he said,
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Mt. 22:37-39)
 
Say it with me …
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” 
 
We know it – we can say it by heart … and it should be that simple. But we know it’s not.
 
How many times did Jesus say,
            “You have heard that it was said, … but I say to you …
 
Jesus was being pushed and pulled by many voices …
            voices demanding him to go one way – or another;
                        voices of anxious disciples – and an every more anxious system;
 
Jesus responds with the simple command:
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”
 
And he concludes by saying:
“On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Mt. 22:40)
 
Friends, I know that sounds simplistic, and I am not so naïve as to say it IS that simple. But I know this … I believe that good, faithful people from all theologies, from all unique faith journeys, from all walks of life, find different ways of living out those commandments. But we are all faithfully trying to follow Jesus’ call.
 
So here is what I am asking of all of us during this time of chaos and anxiety and fear.
 
1.     To stay in relationship – especially with those with whom we disagree. Stay at the table – not writing anyone off, or demonizing those with whom we disagree. But stay in relationship.
2.     To listen carefully to one another – not with the intent of changing anyone’s mind, but with the goal of understanding who they are and how their unique faith journey has brought them to where they are.
3.     To look for the Christ in each person with whom we engage – when we agree and especially when we don’t.
4.     To stay committed to working together to find a creative way forward – not in a uniform lock-step, but instead searching for that which unifies us in our faith – a faith based in Christ and his message of hope.
 
Friends, I believe that if we are willing to do this, not only will our personal faith be deepened, but we will grow in love with one another, and the Body of Christ – in all it’s diversity – will be strengthened.
 
Back to Shiprah and Puah …
 
During the long night of birth, the mid-wife is the one called on to keep faith in the miracle that is about to happen - to help us look beyond the struggle and pain of the moment and to keep faith in the miracle of the future.   And so the midwife is there, not to replace the mother's work, but to support her in the struggle to bring about new life.
 
We have the incredible opportunity to be mid-wives to a new future for the United Methodist Church.
 
The world will continue to change
            … as will our lives
                        … and our churches and congregations. 
 
But … “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, and today and forever”.  
 
And when the way seems frightening, or our steps uncertain, remember Shiphrah and Puah - who stood before the Pharaoh, unafraid, knowing that the answers to their fear was their faith.
 
And because two Hebrew mid-wives obeyed God, another unknown Hebrew woman gives birth to a son, and instead of throwing him into the Nile, places him tenderly in a basket - and the world is given Moses.
 
And centuries later, another Hebrew woman gives birth in a stable and gives the world a Savior.
 
Courageous creations. That's what we all are. That is what we are called to be - new creations in Christ. 
 
May we have the faith of Shiphrah and Puah.   And may God be with us in our search for find new life.
 
Thanks be to God!
 
 

 

Classifieds
Thursday - July 24, 2014
Treasurer - Part Time Crossroads District Board of Missions
Wednesday - July 23, 2014
Old Used 8' rectangular tables
We have several old, used, 8 foot long rectangular tables for sale at $5.00 each.  If you are interested in one or more, please contact the church office.  First United Methodist Church of Ferndale, Office Hours are from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Monday through Friday. 248-545-4467.
Monday - July 21, 2014
University United Methodist Church: Administrative Assistant

Position Summary

As the first contact many persons have with the church, the Administrative Assistant position is a key and essential position. Responsibilities include serving as receptionist, producing worship service materials, distributing and assisting in the acknowledgment of mail, coordinating church mailings, recruiting, training and supervising volunteers, assisting in preparations for weddings and funerals, opening and closing the building as assigned, and performing other office duties related to the administration of the church. The Administrative Assistant will proactively maintain the church website. The Administrative Assistant needs to maintain regular office hours and seek continuous improvement in processes and procedures.

The Administrative Assistant will uphold the mission and values of University United Methodist Church. UUMC does not discriminate based on race, gender, or sexual orientation.

 

Tasks and Duties

  • Perform general office duties
  • Produce publications and reports, e.g. worship bulletins and newsletter distribution
  • Schedule and keep records for weddings, baptisms, and funerals
  • Recruit, support, train, and supervise office volunteers
  • Generate and maintain web content
  • Manage the phone system
  • Assist the Membership Secretary and Church Administrator with membership database maintenance
  • Arrange for maintenance of office equipment
  • Other duties as assigned in discussion with pastoral staff and Church Administrator
  • Required Skills, Knowledge and Experience

Required Skills

  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office (especially Word and Excel)
  • Ability to learn software
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality in both a pastoral and congregational setting
  • Ability to work collaboratively and support the team
  • Excellent organizational and administrative skills
  • Excellent people skills (including patience, kindness, tactfulness and boundary setting)
  • Excellent written and spoken English skills

Desired Experience

  • Document composition, editing and formatting
  • Experience and/or knowledge of church office management
  • Experience with databases
  • Experience with website administration
  • Supervisory Responsibilities: Office Volunteers
  • Physical Demands and Work: No restrictions

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

Friday - July 18, 2014
Laser Toner
3 Toner Cartridges  Q6000A and Q6002A were donated to the church to sell. Still in original packing.
$10 each OBO.
Wednesday - July 16, 2014
Christian Life Director: Mt. Pleasant First UMC

Mt. Pleasant First United Methodist Church is hiring a part time (22 hrs/wk) Christian Life Director who will provide dynamic, strategic leadership and oversight of Christian education opportunities for children and adults, and coordinate with the Youth Director for the needs of the youth, equipping the process of multi-generational discipleship growth. They will resource and implement curriculum for: Sunday morning classes for children and adults, small groups, Vacation Bible School, Kid’s Club, develop and coordinate a 5th/6th grade group, and provide fellowship and local mission opportunities. Minimum requirement: at least one year experience in Christian education and a Bachelor’s degree in education or theology-related field. For full job description go to www.mtpfumc.org . To apply, send letter of interest and resume’ to PastorDiane7@aol.com

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

Wednesday - July 16, 2014
Youth Director: Mt. Pleasant First UMC

Mt. Pleasant First United Methodist Church is hiring a part time (22 hrs/wk) Youth Director to develop and oversee programs to promote the spiritual development of youth, 7th thru 12th grade, through study, fellowship, and service programs. Responsible for overseeing weekly Bible study, small groups, classes, curriculum selection and recruitment of leaders, weekly Youth Group meetings which promote fellowship, assist the pastor in annual Confirmation classes, and special events such as trips, retreats, service and mission work, fundraisers and special services. Minimum requirement: At least one year of experience working with youth and in developing youth ministry and Christian education and a Bachelor’s degree in education or theology-related field preferred. For full job description go to www.mtpfumc.org To apply send letter of interest and resume’ to PastorDiane7@aol.com

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

 

Obituaries
Sunday - July 6, 2014
Murry - Lena

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

ARRANGEMENTS:

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

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO:

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


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

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

Saturday - June 28, 2014
Cozadd - Rev. Frank A.

Rev. Frank A. Cozadd, retired Detroit Annual Conference clergy, died on June 28, 2014.

ARRANGEMENTS:   A memorial service will be held at a later date.

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO: 

Mrs. Fay Cozadd (spouse)
2450 S. Ridgewood #10
Edgewater, FL 32141

Monday - June 23, 2014
Couch - Janelle Anne

 Mrs. Janelle Anne Couch, mother of Rev. Dr. Joanne Bartelt (Detroit Conference Clergy), died June 23, 2014.


ARRANGEMENTS:

A private graveside service will be held for the family on Friday, June 27, 2014. The memorial service will be held at the United Methodist Retirement Community, 805 W Middle St., Chelsea, MI 48118; phone: 734-433-1000 on Saturday, June 28, 2014 at 1:00 p.m.

Obituary link: http://www.modetzfuneralhomes.com

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO:

Rev. Dr. Joanne Bartelt
c/o Blue Water District Office
3061 Commerce Drive, Suite 5
Fort Gratiot, MI 48059

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

UMRC Foundation

805 West Middle Street

Chelsea, MI 48118

or

Ann Arbor Hospice

www.arborhospice.org/foundation-donation/donate-today 

 
Wednesday - June 11, 2014
Voegeding - Lynn C.

 Lynn C. Voegeding, father-in-law of Rev. Mark Alan Miller (Detroit Conference Clergy), died 11 June 2014.

ARRANGEMENTS:

Visitation will take place Saturday, 14 June and Monday, 16 June at Borek-Jennings Funeral Home, Manchester MI.
The funeral service will take place Tuesday, 17 June at Sharon United Methodist Church, Manchester, MI.

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO: (son-in-law and daughter)

Rev. Mark A. and Mrs. Sharon Miller
808 Derby Drive
Tecumseh, MI 49286

GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:

Sharon United Methodist Church
P.O. Box 543
Manchester, MI 48158 

Tuesday - June 10, 2014
Hawkins - Evelyn

 Mrs. Evelyn Hawkins, mother of retired Detroit Annual Conference clergy Rev. Rhonda Hawkins,  died on June 10, 2014.

ARRANGEMENTS:

Funeral services will take place at Saline First UMC, 1200 N. Ann Arbor St., Saline MI 48176 on Friday, June 13, 2014 at 3:00 p.m. Visitation is at Saline First UMC from 6-8:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 12 and on Friday, June 13 from 2:00 p.m until the time of the service. For more information please visit www.rbfhsaline.com.

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO HER DAUGHTER:

Rev. Rhonda Hawkins
1223 Mountain Ash Dr.
Brighton, MI 48116

Saturday - June 7, 2014
Duncan - Rev. Edward L.

The Rev. Edward L. Duncan died June 7, 2014. Rev. Duncan was a retired pastor of the Detroit Area Conference, former Director of Mission and Outreach and Editor of the Michigan Christian Advocate.

ARRANGEMENTS:
Funeral services were held at the Frankfort United Methodist Church, Grand Traverse District.

MEMORIAL CONTRIBUTIONS MAY BE SENT TO THE FOLLOWING:

Alzheimer’s Association (by ph. 1-800-272-3900)
P.O. Box 96011
Washington DC 20090-6011

OR

Frankfort Church UMC
P.O. Box 1010
Frankfort, MI 49635

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO HIS WIFE:


Mrs. Marcia Duncan
1507 W. Lovell
Kalamazoo, MI 49006 

Appointments
Friday - June 13, 2014
Garrigues, Peggy
FROM Clawson (Full Time) TO Clawson 1/2 time and Berkley First 1/2 time
Sunday - June 15, 2014
Snyder, Jean (Retired Elder)
Sunday - June 1, 2014
Van Wormer, Patricia A.
FROM Disability Leave TO Retirement
Saturday - May 31, 2014
Turner, Monique
FROM Flint: Faith (DSA) TO Flint: Faith (1/4 time) and Crossroads District Christian Education Consultant (1/4 time) (CR)
Sunday - June 1, 2014
Walls, Suzanne
FROM Berkley First 1/2 time and Beverly Hills1/2 time (DR) TO Birmingham First as 1/2 time associate and Beverly Hills 1/2 time (DR)
Sunday - May 25, 2014
Wilson, Rebecca
FROM First Appointment TO Livoinia: Newburg UMC
eNewsletters
Wednesday - May 29, 2013
Detroit Conference Connection - May 29, 2013

Detroit Conference Connection - May 29, 2013

CONFERENCE NEWS

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

TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

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

CAMP AND RETREAT NEWS

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

DEATH NOTICES

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

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

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

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

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

Detroit Conference Connection - May 22, 2013

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

CONFERENCE NEWS

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


TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

DEATH NOTICES

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

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

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

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

About the Detroit Conference Connection

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

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

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

Detroit Conference Connection - May 8, 2013

CONFERENCE NEWS

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

2013 ANNUAL CONFERENCE SESSION

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

TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

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

CAMP AND RETREAT MINISTRIES NEWS

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

DEATH NOTICES

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

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

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

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

About the Detroit Conference Connection

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

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

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

 

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

Detroit Conference Connection - May 1, 2013

CONFERENCE NEWS

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

2013 ANNUAL CONFERENCE SESSION

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


TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

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

CAMP AND RETREAT MINISTRIES NEWS

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

DEATH NOTICES

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

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

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

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

About the Detroit Conference Connection

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

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

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

Detroit Conference Connection - April 24, 2013

CONFERENCE NEWS

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

2013 ANNUAL CONFERENCE SESSION

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

TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

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

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

About the Detroit Conference Connection

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

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

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

Detroit Conference Connection - April 17, 2013

CONFERENCE NEWS

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

2013 ANNUAL CONFERENCE SESSION

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

TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

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

CAMP AND RETREAT MINISTRIES NEWS

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

DEATH NOTICES

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

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

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

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

About the Detroit Conference Connection

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

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

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