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Friday - January 30, 2015
Next stop on the listening journey

On February 3 Bishop Deborah Lieder Kiesey will be at Northville UMC for the final stop on her winter road trip. Join the conversation about one annual conference in Michigan, 6:30-8:00 pm. Share your hopes, concerns, and values ... be heard!  read more>>

 


Wednesday - January 28, 2015
A look back at January news

MIconnect January Digest is ready for you to download and print for your readers who prefer their news on paper rather than computer screen

Tuesday - January 27, 2015
Musicians leave the street and take the stage

What do you get when you put an opera star and homeless singers on stage? You get, "Street Requim," a new gig for a music minister in Dallas, Texas   read more>>

 


Monday - January 26, 2015
Her pages explore work and play

Bishop Donald Ott says of the Rev. Laurie Haller's writing ... “Call it a book if you must, but for me Recess reads like a deeply revealing diary.". read more>>


News
Tuesday - January 27, 2015
A music minister whose gig is community service
Kobi Maxwell (left) and Steven Bryant were in good spirits before joining other members of the Dallas Street Choir in a performance of "Street Requiem." The choir was part of the team of musicians pulled together by Jonathan Palant, music minister of Kessler Park United Methodist Church, for the Jan. 26, 2015 benefit concert in Dallas. ~umns photo/Sam Hodges

SAM HODGES
United Methodist News Service

This past Sunday morning, Jonathan Palant had his usual gig, serving as music minister for Kessler Park United Methodist Church here.

But on Sunday night he donned a tuxedo and conducted a stage full of instrumentalists and singers, ranging from a choir of homeless people to opera star Frederica von Stade, at Dallas City Performance Hall.

Much could have gone wrong, especially since they were doing the U.S. premier of a challenging new choral work on homelessness. But apart from a few members of Dallas Street Choir making a premature stage exitand having to be summoned back by Palantthe program came off fine.

Indeed, the packed house gave a prolonged standing ovation.

Even a few hours before the show, with performance details still being worked out, Palant seemed at peace.

Right place, right cause

Jonathan Palant, music minister at Kessler United Methodist Church, leads rehearsal for a performance of "Street Requiem." ~umns photo/Sam Hodges

“Everybody has come together at the right time, in the right place, for the right message and the right cause,” he said.

The Sunday night concert, a benefit for a longtime Dallas homeless ministry called The Stewpot, represented the highest profile event yet in Palant’s quest to make choral music more socially relevant.

From his base at Kessler Park United Methodist, Palant started CREDO, an ecumenical choir with an emphasis on community service. The choir draws from churches around Dallas. Its Latin name translates to “I believe.”

CREDO has toured in Cuba, and does Christmas concerts at The Stewpot. The 2013 concert became a giant sing-along with homeless people and other clients there.

Brian Knopp was a new member of CREDO then, and remembers the thrill of that event.

“I’m 50 years old, and I’ve never had a Christmas like that,” said Knopp, who also sings with the Northaven United Methodist Church choir. “At that point I was hooked.”

Palant, 40, has more recently turned what had been the decidedly informal choir at The Stewpot into Dallas Street Choir, which rehearses regularly and offers incentivessuch as bus passesto those who show up and work hard.

“It’s not easy to get street folks to commit to something,” Palant said. “It’s become easier because they see what it feels like being in a choir community.”

Among the Dallas Street Choir members is Steven Bryant, who spends his nights at Union Gospel Mission.

Bryant, who has battled alcohol addiction, sang in his high school choir in Louisiana, but believes he’s singing better than ever thanks to Palant.

“He’s an overall good guy, and on technical stuff he’s awesome,” Bryant said. “He lets us know the importance of singing soft or when to be loud. He tells us to push out from the stomach, so it sounds better, fuller.”

'We will remember'

For Sunday’s concert, Palant combined CREDO with Dallas Street Choir to perform “Street Requiem,” a 40-minute work by three composers from Australia who share his commitment to socially relevant music.

Andy Payne, one of the composers, said the piece was inspired by the deaths of people living on the streets in Melbourne, Australia.

“Often their names were unknown,” Payne said. “We wanted to write a piece for them, to say, `We will remember.’”

Palant summoned his nerve and asked von Stade   a mezzo-soprano known as “Flicka” to her many fans if she would sing solos in the Dallas production of “Street Requiem.”

“I just loved the idea of it,” she said after Saturday’s rehearsal. “And once Jonathan sent me the piece, I thought it was beautiful. I work with a lot of kids in Oakland, and lot of them have been homeless at times, or slept in cars. There’s just a huge place in my heart for people who have so much to deal with every day.”

The Sunday night program included a video about The Stewpot, followed by a song medley by Dallas Street Choir, whose members wore bright orange t-shirts saying “Believe.”

Von Stade, wearing one of those shirts herself, joined the choir onstage, taking the lead in “Somewhere” from “West Side Story.”

After a brief intermission, the 80-plus members of CREDO came out. Von Stade reappared, wearing a long dress. Palant conducted the orchestra as she and CREDO sang through the early movements of “Street Requiem.”

Later the Dallas Street Choir members, by now dressed in donated tuxedos and long dresses, came back on stage and joined in the final movements. They drew applause not just from the audience but from their fellow musicians.

A day later, Dallas Street Choir member Kobi Maxwell was still glowing.

“It was awesome to see the finished product,” said Maxwell, who has found fulltime work and recently moved into an apartment. “It was inspiring to me to see the thing through to completion.”

Palant said he’s received strong support from Kessler Park United Methodist Church for his work with CREDO and Dallas Street Choir.

He’s all for choirs with a community service mission. But the focus must be right.

“It’s not the kind of community service where we do something to you or for you,” Palant said. “We are building bridges, and there are lessons to be learned all over the place.”

Tuesday - January 27, 2015
A new look for 2015

Dear Friends:

We are glad many of you have been following and participating in Bishop Deb's "Conversations on a Journey." As we have traveled from Cadillac to Escanaba, from Midland to Grand Rapids, listening to your thoughts on creating a new conference in Michigan, we have frequently heard, "How can we learn more about the other conference?" 

We currently publish two editions of MIconnect, one for each annual conference.  Most of the information we include each week is identical.  We know many of you subscribe to both editions so that you can keep up with all the news and information in our state. 

For these reasons, we are pleased to launch the Michigan Area edition of MIconnect this week. This new edition will be a comprehensive source for United Methodist news and information in Michigan.  With this new format, you will see new sections that feature conference specific information and stories that click back to one or both conference websites. 
 
We hope you enjoy this new format of MIconnect.  Please share it widely. We also encourage you to print our monthly PDF summary of MIconnect for those who do not have email.  

If you get two MIconnects this week, please unsubscribe at the bottom of the email issued from the Conference of which you are not a member.

And, let us know what you think!  Your comments and suggestions are always appreciated.  Happy reading!

Peace,

Mark A. Doyal
Director of Communications
Michigan Area

Tuesday - January 27, 2015
Faith builds bridges of peace and justice


LINDA BLOOM

United Methodist News Service

As a young person in Greece, Elsa Stamatopoulou didn’t see much evidence of church support for human dignity in the struggle against dictatorship.

But after she joined the U.N. human rights office in 1980, she became familiar with religious groups who were doing “amazing work” to promote human rights.


 
Elsa Stamatopoulou offers ways faith-based groups can be "duty-bearers" for human rights.   ~umns photo/Linda Bloom


Stamatopoulou, now a professor at Columbia University, cited the U.N.’s voluntary fund for victims of torture as an example. “In many countries, we cannot even channel the money easily to NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) who can help victims of torture,” she explained.

“So faith-based organizations become vehicles through which the United Nations is able to channel this particular humanitarian aid.”

As a church youth leader, student activist and then a staff member of the National Council of Churches in the Philippines during the last brutal years of the Marcos military dictatorship, the Rev. Liberato “Levi” Bautista learned that restoring human dignity to the poor, deprived and marginalized was an important task for the church.

Today, in his 18th year as the main U.N. representative of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, Bautista continually witnesses the intersection of faith-based groups and the secular and political world on issues of human dignity and human rights.

“At the core of religious understandings and beliefs are precepts that enlarge freedoms, secure rights, promote development and sustain peace,” he noted.


Focus on human dignity

Both Bautista and Stamatopoulou were among the speakers on “The Role of Religion and Faith-based Organizations in International Affairs” during a Jan. 21 symposium at the United Methodist-owned Church Center for the United Nations.

With a focus on human dignity and human rights, the event was designed to provoke conversation and build engagement among diverse partners on the international level.

From both religious and secular perspectives, noted the Rev. Ganoune Diop, permanent representative for United Nations of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, human dignity “is accepted as a foundation” for life.

Within the People’s Movement for Human Rights Learning, said Robert Kesten, executive director, the belief is that all are born with dignity, even though that dignity has to be continually reclaimed.

Kesten led symposium participants as they read aloud “30 Points of Dignity,” an unofficial summary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the U.N. in 1948.

Professor Heiner Bielefeldt, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief, pointed to the first words of the declaration’s preamble: “Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family...”

Such recognition “is not the result of a negotiation process,” he said in a pre-recorded video presentation from Germany, where he is teaching. Instead, that recognition is a more profound insight that is the precondition of any negotiations.

“That’s why the human rights which institutionalize your recognition of everyone’s human dignity are necessarily everyone’s rights, everyone’s equal rights,” Bielefeldt said.

Working for human rights

To be “duty-bearers” for human rights, Stamatopoulou said, faith-based groups need to:

  • Respect human rights in their own communities and through their own leaders and officials.
  • Be careful not to encourage or endorse human rights violations by the state.
  • Become advocates of human rights in the broader community.

“I also believe that faith-based organizations have to go on that path… of bringing people together, with modesty, integrity, consistency and determination,” she said.

The common setting of the U.N. has allowed faith and cultural groups to examine “shared burdens, vulnerabilities and aspirations” even as they and the international community are sometimes challenged by fanaticism, adherence to ideology, oppression and exploitation, Bautista said.

Despite those pitfalls, “the quest for sustainable peace and justice and the need to overcome violence binds religions, governments and the U.N. together,” he wrote in a paper for the symposium.

“The engagement (with the U.N.) has changed the ecumenical and church community itself,” he told the participants.

Ecumenical work in international affairs is an “inseparable dimension” of the World Council of Churches and its members, said Rudelmar Bueno de Faria, the WCC’s U.N. representative.

When churches become engaged together in human problems and issues “they find themselves in a form of unity that transcends conventional backgrounds, ecclesiastical barriers and national boundaries,” he added.

What church has to offer

Faith-based groups can bring assets to the international arena that are not financial but are tied to the grass-roots quality of such organizations, said Bishop Stacy Sauls, chief operating officer for The Episcopal Church.

“We derive our real potential from how deeply we are connected with people,” he explained. “For one thing, what the church does that no other organization can do as well is to reach into the nooks and crannies of humanity, wherever it is found.”

Faith groups also use that connection with people for disaster relief and development work. Pauliina Parhiala, director and chief operating officer of ACT Alliance, a coalition of more than 140 church and affiliated relief organizations, can attest to that.

“Religious institutions may lack technical solutions or even skill or knowledge to address some of those problems they would be highlighting, but they can be offering a perspective of hope beyond business as usual,” she said.

“They can bridge divides in societies and among communities and they can speak truth even if it’s difficult and hold governments accountable to the commitments they have made.”

But the Rev. Kathleen Stone, U.N. representative for United Methodist Women, said she found herself concerned over how faith groups can ensure human dignity or even, in some cases, survival.

“I’m thinking right now of women and men with their arms up in the air either surrendering or standing with firm resolute against all risk to life and limb, stating that they have a right to breathe and live and love,” she said as the symposium concluded. “And wondering what the place of our churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, shrines... is in all of this.”

 

Tuesday - January 27, 2015
Pentecost Journey develops ministry with Hispanics

A Pentecost Journey Workshop is scheduled for Saturday, April 18, 2015 at Central United Methodist Church, 222 Cass Street, Traverse City,  9:00 am to 3:30 pm. While hosted by the Grand Traverse District, the experience is open to all who wish to develop new Hispanic Ministries in their communities. 

The resource used that day is Pentecost Journey: A Planning Guide for Non-Hispanic/Latino Congregations.  Participants will explore  the vision of Pentecost in which each one heard the good news of Jesus Christ in his/her own tongue. Today this vision of Pentecost calls us to ministries that affirm the uniqueness of each Hispanic/Latino culture as ministry is developed.
 
Participants will also expand theiri understanding of a journey. The idea of a journey is to be always adapting as needed for the travel conditions. There will be starting points and ending points; yet the ending points are merely resting places and will become new starting points as the journey continues. As the ministry yields results, those same results affect the context, new conditions emerge, and the ministry must adapt. 

The purpose of this event is to help a congregation fulfill Christ’s mandate of making disciples for the transformation of the world. The goal is to develop a comprehensive ministry plan for the local congregation in which effective programs are planned and carried out by taking into account the intercultural context of Hispanic/Latino ministries in the United States.  

Session objectivesinclude: 1) Seeing Our Context; 2: Discerning Our Ministry; and  3) Planning Our Comprehensive Ministry.  
 
For more information contact Director of Latino-Hispanic Ministries for the Michigan Area, Sonya Luna; sluna@detroitconference.org.

Download and print a registration form here.


 

 

Tuesday - January 27, 2015
Secret to online content that matters

CLAY MORGAN
UMCom

The Internet is an ocean of information. We often focus on how to reach more people by being heard over competing waves of noise, but what if we flip the script? How do we find what we need in the swirling digital sea? How do we sift through all those crashing waves to pluck the few relevant and significant items from a sea of distracting content?

Feedly and Buffer are the apps that answer such questions; a one-two punch for finding and sharing all the relevant web content you care about in the cluttered Internet ecosystem.

We'll cover both so you can find all the content you want without missing important updates and then share your findings for more effective audience engagement. First let's look at Feedly.

What is Feedly?

A lot of people think of RSS as Really Simple Syndication. The basic idea is to get content you want sorted and delivered in a neatly organized and customized way. Desktop users can use a good RSS reader to replace bulky browser bookmark lists and a bunch of open tabs sitting there until you get around to reading those articles. Smartphone and tablet users can avoid using a web browser altogether with Feedly's slick app.
You've probably seen the RSS symbol around the web.

Consider it a shortcut for subscribing to a site's content. When a new article or blog update is posted, subscribers to that site's RSS feed will be updated by their reader. This simple technology is key for the vast majority of people who don't have time to visit their favorite websites many times a day.
Is Feedly the only option?

No, other reader services exist. For a long time, Google Reader seemed the most popular, but when Google announced it was retiring the popular aggregator, many of us panicked. Why did we have to find a new reader? Which one should we choose? Would we lose all our saved sites?

In that time, Feedly emerged as a strong alternate candidate. After reviewing many options and asking fellow Internet dwellers about their experiences, we prefer

Feedly for three main reasons.
 

  1. Cutting-edge technology. Feedly made it really easy to transfer feeds from Google Reader to Feedly and their team has consistently tweaked and improved their product ever since. The user experience keeps getting better.
     
  2. Usability and readability. When you want to keep up with a website, simply copy the URL, go to feedly.com and click "Add Content." It's that simple. You can create categories to organize the types of sites you like. View everything at once in a glorious hodgepodge of all the things you love or browse one category at a time. You can also choose to display your content at least five different ways, from only the title of each post to the full article. If at any point you wish to clean out your feed, simply click "mark as read" and wait for fresh updates to appear. You can export and import your list of feeds in a snap by choosing "Save as OPML" in the Organize tab. Church leaders can use this functionality to transfer their favorite lists of feeds with friends or team members.
     
  3. A good app. This last point was the key. With the app on your phone, you can swipe through dozens of headlines in seconds. Don't have time to read the intriguing story you just discovered? No problem. Simply click the little bookmark icon to put posts with potential into your "Saved for Later" category. Best of all, Feedly allows you to share content right from the app to just about anywhere. Send articles via email or text message. Sync your Facebook, Twitter, or Google Plus accounts and share directly onto your wall with one click. They've done a great job integrating with just about every major tool you could use. This integration is seriously awesome, whether you use OneNote, LinkedIn, Dropbox, IFTTT, Zapier or any of the popular other resources already mentioned.

Integration with Buffer awesome

One of Feedly's greatest integrations is with Buffer, a powerful tool for sharing content effectively on the web. Few people have time to sit at a computer all day. Like Hootsuite, Buffer gives you control over what, where and when you share content. Link your various profiles to this app, and it will follow your direction.

With Buffer, you can spend a couple minutes setting up what you want to share in coming days or weeks, during the best times to engage people on social media networks. You can also use FollowerWonk or SocialBro to analyze Twitter for the best time to tweet. These tools help you pinpoint when your followers are most active so you can schedule accordingly.

You can share any update to all or some of your social media profiles. The Buffer icon also appears in your message composition boxes for Facebook and Twitter, so you can use a custom schedule right from there.

Setting, modifying, and pausing your posting schedule is easy, and you can shuffle the order of queued posts with drag and drop functionality.

One downside is that personal Google+ accounts cannot be linked. So far, Google has only allowed apps to connect with public pages, which might be great if you have such a page for your church or ministry.

Buffer or Hootsuite?

Buffer and Hootsuite are both great tools, and your choice comes down to personal preference. You may find that Hootsuite is better for consuming social media and Buffer is better at sharing it. In regard to Feedly, Buffer holds one key advantage for desktop users: You'll have to upgrade to Feedly Pro to use Hootsuite on your desktop.

Here are a few other great features offered by Buffer:

  • With the Buffer extension installed on your web browser, you can highlight any text you want to share and a Buffer button appears to share that exact clip to your profiles.
     
  • Twitter name prediction is great when crafting an update. You don't have to look up the handle of the person or organization you want to mention. Buffer provides it automatically. Not only can you just start typing a person's name to get the correct handle, Buffer will convert it to the person's proper name on other social networks to which you are sharing the same update.
     
  • You'll find a slew of analytics too. Buffer tracks everything you share, providing analytics so you'll know how many people were reached by each update you send. You can receive a weekly progress report via email showing how your shares performed (likes, clicks, etc.) on various platforms.
     
  • You can assign team members to help post.
     
  • Links are automatically shortened through bit.ly integration, if you prefer.

With limited time and a seemingly infinite Internet, keeping up with important, useful information is challenging enough. Effectively sharing great content to engage and grow your audience is even harder if you still prefer to actually get sleep at night.

With Feedly and Buffer, you can seem to be everywhere at once and with your finger on the pulse of what your friends and followers care most deeply about. With a minimum investment of time, use these tools to go from sinking in an ocean of noise to practically walking on digital water.
 

Monday - January 26, 2015
Changes ahead for United Methodist pension investments

HEATHER HAHN
United Methodist News Service

Being good to the planet and its people ultimately will be good for United Methodist workers’ bottom line. That’s the principle behind two changes to the investment policy of the United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits.

In November, the board’s directors voted to exclude certain investments in coal and avoid investing in companies meeting certain thresholds that operate in countries with “a prolonged and systematic pattern of human rights violations.” These changes are just starting to take effect.

The changes — part of an investment policy called the management of excessive sustainability risk — come with an eye toward both church values and the long-term financial returns of United Methodist beneficiaries, say board staff.

“What this means is that we feel that the companies that we identify (for possible exclusion) have policies and practices that are not sustainable and will ultimately result in losses in value for the companies,” said Dave Zellner, the board’s chief investment officer.

For example, Zellner and other board staff foresee only diminishing returns from companies that extract the thermal coal used to generate electricity. With the increased international focus on climate change and the attendant regulation, coal — the most carbon-intensive fuel — is losing steam as people turn to other energy sources.

Human rights violations pose a similar problem for investors, board staff say. A country that abuses its people isn’t just immoral — it’s bad for business.

The pension board manages retirement plans for more than 91,000 participants, including United Methodist clergy and lay employees. Through its Wespath Investment Management division, the board also manages the assets of United Methodist-affiliated endowments, foundations and other institutions.

Altogether, the board oversees $21 billion in assets, including the largest church pension fund in the United States.

What the new guidelines do

The board still does not know how many of its current investments the new criteria will affect.

Kirsty Jenkinson, the board’s managing director of sustainable investment strategies, said the board is working with the research firm Sustainalytics to determine which companies it will exclude from its funds.

Specifically, the new coal guideline may result in the board excluding:

Any company deriving at least 50 percent of revenues from the extraction and/or mining of thermal coal.
Electric utilities deriving at least 75 percent of overall fuel mix from coal. The exception is a company that has demonstrated its intent to transition from coal to getting at least 10 percent of its energy from renewable sources.

In developing countries, the guideline will factor in the importance of access to energy in economic development.

The new human rights guidelines may exclude any company that provides significant financial services to or derives more than 10 percent of its revenues or raw materials from:

Countries demonstrating a prolonged and systematic pattern of human rights violations.

Conflict-affected areas where significant human rights violations have been widely documented or significant breaches of international law have occurred.

The board especially will scrutinize companies that operate in nations with the worst ranking in Freedom House's annual “Freedom in the World” report. In its 2014 report, the worst rankings went to the Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

“We’re not planning to specifically release the (names of) companies that will be excluded from our portfolio,” Jenkinson said. “Successful engagement relies on a level of trust between ourselves and the companies we engage. Naming companies that we determine represent excessive sustainable investment risk would likely impair this trust and thus our ability to positively influence change.”

Instead, the board will continue to publicize the companies where it has investments. Lists of the board’s holdings are updated quarterly on its website.

Zellner added that the board’s new rules are highly unlikely to lead to the exclusion of Motorola, Hewlett-Packard or Caterpillar. Those companies have been the targets of widespread divestment campaigns because the Israeli military uses their products in the occupied Palestinian territories. General Conference, the denomination’s top lawmaking body, in 2012 voted against a proposal to divest from the three companies.

Some companies may be excluded because of their connection to the settlements, Zellner said.

“But those three companies would not meet the criteria that would exclude them,” he added.

To exclude or not to exclude?

The pension board increasingly faces pressure to exclude other kinds of businesses as well. The Fossil Free UMC movement is urging that coal, petroleum and natural gas be added to the denomination’s investment exclusions.

The Baltimore-Washington, California-Nevada, Pacific Northwest, and Virginia conferences have approved resolutions to study the issue. The movement cites the Book of Discipline, which speaks of the dangers greenhouse gases pose to the overall climate and the economically vulnerable. The church’s Social Principles urge world governments and United Methodists to work toward the reduction of such emissions.

The Rev. Jenny Phillips is the coordinator of the Fossil Free Movement and minister for environmental stewardship and advocacy in the Pacific Northwest Conference.

“The task at hand isn’t like asking Nike to stop making shoes in sweatshops,” she told the board in November. “It’s like asking Nike to stop making shoes.”

But Zellner and others at the pension board are quick to point out the board can have more influence in encouraging sustainable corporate decisions if it has a seat at the table.

The Rev. Ed Tomlinson, a board director and pastor in the North Georgia Conference, puts it this way. If a parishioner decides to leave his congregation for good, “I am not going to listen to their opinions any further.” The church will likewise be ignored if it abandons some investments altogether, he said.

The pension board’s engagement has had some success in the fossil-fuel industry. The board recently led an investor coalition to get ConocoPhillips to set a public goal for decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. The company is aiming for a 3 to 5 percent reduction in emissions this year, said Anita Green, the board’s manager of sustainable investment strategies.

Even with the current volatility in the oil and gas markets, neither fossil fuel is going away anytime soon. The board has a fiduciary duty to its beneficiaries to stay involved, board staff say. It also helps that some oil and gas companies are working to develop more renewable sources of energy.

Timothy Smith, a pension board member, works as a senior vice president of Walden Asset Management where he spends a great deal of his time advocating on environmental issues. He said it’s a “moral mirage” to think that if the denomination abandoned all fossil fuel investments it would directly affect global energy consumption.

At the same time, he said divesting from coal can make a substantial difference in an investment portfolio’s climate picture. When Stanford University decided to purge its coal stocks last year, it discovered that the move would cut the carbon footprint of its investment portfolio by half.

Determining when it’s best to remain engaged and when it’s best simply to walk away will remain a challenge for the pension board and other church-related investors. But staff are hopeful the new guidelines will help.

“There is so much that goes on behind the scenes that the average United Methodist member or pastor has no idea,” said Missouri Area Bishop Robert Schnase, vice chair of the pension board. He joined the board in 2012, and as a clergy member, he is also a beneficiary of its investments.

“I’ve known all along that they make good decisions related to their fiduciary responsibilities. But the new door that has been opened for me is seeing how conscientious they are in working with companies around environmental, social and governance issues.”

Events
Monday - February 2, 2015
DAC Full Cabinet
Wednesday - February 4, 2015
UMBCM: Executive Committee Meeting
Thursday - February 5, 2015
CR District Vacation Bible School Showcase

See Link below for Flier

 

We ask that you confirm your attendance to the showcase so we may plan accordingly and also so we have contact information in case of inclement weather so we can contact you (by email) in case the event has to be cancelled.

Thursday - February 5, 2015
VCI Consulatation Training
Friday - February 6, 2015
CRD Youth Lay Servant Training Weekend Workshop

Feb 6-8, 2014
 

Flier has been emailed to churches and youth leaders.  Flier at link below.

Saturday - February 7, 2015
Men Annual Pancake Breakfast
Food and fellowship $7.00 ticket prices
eggs, bacon, grits, sausage, pancakes, cereal, biscuits great meal prepared fresh for you.
Blogs
Monday - January 19, 2015
Time to step out in faith


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Tuesday - December 16, 2014
"God with us"

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

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

                        Bishop Deb
 

 

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This week's schedule:

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

 

 

Tuesday - November 11, 2014
We can make a difference!

The year: 1952.  The place: Hornick, a small town on the very western edge of Iowa.  A bubbly, blonde, curly headed little girl had just celebrated her first birthday, and was just beginning to pull herself to a standing position in preparation for her first steps. She, her parents, and her older brother and sister were looking forward to the relaxing, slower paced days of summer in Iowa.

 
And yet, there was a specter hanging over them - hanging over the entire town - the entire nation.  Poliomyelitis ... infantile paralysis ... polio – a disease that killed or paralyzed most of its victims, the majority of whom were children. 
 
In the words of the young mother of that little girl:
No one who did not live during those pre-vaccine days, especially those who have children, can begin to imagine the sheer terror that affected everybody. No one knew where the virus came from or how it was spread. It had no seeming pattern. It affected rich and poor alike. It attacked those “protected” by privilege as well as those in the poorer category, though the less-advantaged did have slightly fewer cases of polio. During those fearful summers, we avoided crowds; swimming pools, movies; thinking (hoping?) to reduce exposure but realizing, all the time, that it was all guess work.
 
Western Iowa was especially hard hit with this dreaded disease, and, in fact, in the little town of Hornick and its surrounding mail routes had the highest percentage of polio victims in the state of Iowa.  
 
So when that usually happy little girl fell ill, the diagnosis was the one everyone dreaded most - polio.
 
Those were dark days - frightening days - days of worrying about a little girl's survival.
 

But survive she did!  
 
If anyone had told that Mother – and all those who feared this illness – that within their lifetimes polio would be virtually eliminated from the United States, I doubt they would have believed it possible.
 
But it was.
 
People across the country (from the President to Hollywood celebrities to school children) poured their energies into eradicating polio – collecting dimes, raising money for research, praying – and together they did what was thought to be impossible.  The result of which was that today in the United States, polio is truly a disease of the history books.
 
As you may have already guessed, I was that little girl.  
 
The reason I share this story is simply this:  if we can eliminate a disease as prevalent and as frightening as polio, we can also eliminate another killer – malaria.
 
At the moment, it may seem an overly ambitious dream. With over 1,700 people (most of whom are children) dying of malaria every day, with the difficulty of getting bed nets and medicine to remote areas of Sub-Saharan Africa, and with the nearly overwhelming task of eliminating the places malaria-infected mosquitos breed, it might seem an almost impossible goal.  
 
But it is not! 
 
So far, the United Methodist Church has raised $64.5 million of it’s $75 million goal! And I’m proud that the Michigan Area has raised $1 million of its pledged $1.5 million to help rid Africa of this disease. Simply saying “thank you” hardly seems sufficient, but I say it anyway … Thank You!
 
We are close … but we are not done. 
 
The challenge now is for each of us to make one last effort to reach our goal. Please consider an additional gift, or a new project to raise funds for this worthwhile endeavor. And remember – with each $10 gift we are saving a life.
 
We can live out these familiar words of Jesus:
And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ Matthew 25:40
Friends, we did it with polio – and we can do it with malaria. When we share a vision and work together, we can do great things! We can change the world!
 
Thanks be to God!
 

Bishop Deb

 
 

 

Wednesday - October 22, 2014
Ready for what's next!
 
I want to begin this month’s Burning Questions blog by thanking all of you who read and commented upon last month’s post. I received numerous comments, both by email and in person, and was gratified by your willingness to share your thoughts. I hope that we will continue to have this dialogue as we move forward on this journey with Bishop Deb. 

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

 

Classifieds
Wednesday - January 28, 2015
Executive Director: Tree of Life Ministries

The Tree of Life Ministries, an ecumenical relief agency associated with the Dakotas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, is seeking an Executive Director.  The ministry works to address the basic human needs of individuals and families living on the Rosebud Reservation.

This is done through mobilizing volunteers from around the country to offer services that provide food, clothing and home repairs.  

The ideal candidate will have:

  • A servant heart and solid foundation of personal faith, as well as a respect for the faith of others
  •  Excellent people skills
  •  Effective written and verbal communications skills
  •  An openness to and willingness to learn about other cultures.
  •  Ability to delegate responsibilities and experience effectively supervising employees
  •  Ability to be flexible
  •  Experience working/serving in non-profit organizations
  •  Experience with fund raising efforts
  •  Understanding of the United Methodist Church structure/systems is a plus

The position is salaried (commensurate with skills/experience) and includes benefits as well as housing in Mission, SD.  A detailed job description can be found on the Dakotas Conference website:  http://www.dakotasumc.org/mission-advocacy/tree-of-life/

For more information about the ministry, visit our website:  www.treeofliferelief.org. Questions and Resumes/Cover Letters/References may be submitted to

Dr. Tom Gilmore, 605.665.8303, Tojan41@yahoo.com.

Closing date for prospective candidates is March 1, 2015.  Start date will be June 1, 2015.

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

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

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

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

Organizational Relationship and Ministry Supervision:

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

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

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

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

·        Networks with community and local churches to develop partnerships.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Qualifications and Aptitudes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thursday - January 22, 2015
Worship and Song Leader First UMC.Hazel Park

Hazel Park - First U.M.C. is looking to hire a part-time experienced Worship & Song Leader to assist the Music Director with weekly music/song selections, planning music for ordinary and special worship services, including serving as the primary Song Leader.  Interested candidates should be able to read music, possess the ability to direct a small praise team, lead songs during service, including attend weekly choir rehearsal meeting and Sunday Worship Service. 

Please send resume and cover letter to Rev. Rochelle Hunter at Revpsalms@gmail.com; and Church Secretary Roxann Kohler at: Hazelparkfirst@wowway.com

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

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

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Wednesday - January 21, 2015
Fenton UMC - Community Outreach Coordinator Position

Community Outreach Coordinator
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Fenton United Methodist Church
Fenton, MI

January 21, 2015

 

Fenton United Methodist Church is seeking experienced applicants for the position of Community Outreach Coordinator.  Qualified applicants will be able to develop and deliver an exciting, creative, dynamic and coordinated year-around program to promote and connect the ministries of FUMC to Fenton and the surrounding communities which:

-   Spreads the love and grace of God through a relevant and fun-filled community outreach ministry experience and challenges the church family to respond to Gods call to serve in their communities.

-   Creates an exciting and welcoming environment to draw in new people from the surrounding community, and to bring joy and peace to others.

-   Provides an avenue through which community outreach team members may share their gifts of talent and time, be an integral part of the outreach ministry, and encourages fellowship and spiritual growth within the team.

-   Encourages children and youth in developing their relationship to God, and involves and supports families and parents.

 

The Community Outreach Coordinator will:

-   Provide vision, direction, leadership and oversight for all community outreach programming in a fun, open and inviting setting.

-   Plan, create, communicate, prepare, implement and continuously evaluate a comprehensive program of community outreach ministries for FUMC, and promote member and community attendance and participation. 

-   Represent FUMC at community meetings and local schools and early childhood programs. 

-   Communicate with the FUMC church family through publications, mailings, newsletters, social media, etc.

-   Recruit, train, coach, equip, monitor and support the FUMC church family volunteers.

-   Monitor and provide an environment that is safe for children and youth to gather, grow and serve, and is welcoming and supportive for parents and families. 

 

Qualified applicants will have demonstrated experience and involvement in leading and participating in community outreach ministries.  They will also have an ability to plan, organize, lead, and guide complex projects and activities related to community outreach ministries, and a rapport and a passion for working with children, youth and their families.  Additional qualifications include excellent interpersonal and communication skills, experience in building successful teams, and the ability to handle sensitive and confidential information.

 

Qualified applicants will have a strong and personal commitment to Jesus Christ and be supportive of the polity, theology and practice of the United Methodist Church.  Fenton United Methodist Church is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  We reserve the right to consider the religious faith of applicants for positions directly involved in the Christian programs and ministries of the Church.

This is a part-time salaried non-exempt position.  The salary for this position is $4,000 commensurate with experience.

The Employment Application form and Community Outreach Coordinator job description are available by contacting the church office at fentonumc.office@gmail.com or 810-629-2132.  Email a completed Application Form, along with a resume and cover letter marked "Community Outreach Coordinator  Position" to fentonumc.office@gmail.com  or mail to Fenton United Methodist Church, 119 S. Leroy Street, Fenton, MI  48430.

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

Wednesday - January 21, 2015
Fenton UMC - Contemporary Worship Leader Position

Contemporary Worship Leader
Fenton United Methodist Church
Fenton, MI

January 21, 2015

 

Fenton United Methodist Church is seeking experienced applicants for the position of Contemporary Worship Leader.  Qualified applicants will be able to develop and lead a spiritual, creative, dynamic and coordinated contemporary worship service which:

  • Spreads the Word of God through the worship experience and encourages the church family in their journey with Christ.
  • Creates an exciting and welcoming environment to draw in new people from the surrounding community.
  • Provides an avenue through which worship team members may share their gifts of talent and time, be an integral part of the worship and encourages fellowship and spiritual growth within the team.
  •  Encourages artistic excellence through which God is offered our highest praise.
  •  Reaches out to the community to bring joy and peace to others.

The Contemporary Worship Leader will:

  •  Plan the contemporary worship service with a coordinated program of prayer, scripture, music and media, and message in consultation with the pastor.
  • Oversee and coordinate the music selection, media preparation and presentation, and sound and lighting to deliver and enhance the contemporary worship experience.
  • Recruit, support and lead the contemporary worship music team (instrumentalists and vocalists).
  • Recruit, support and provide oversight for the contemporary worship support team (room set-up and take-down, hospitality, greeters, and technology resources.
  • Direct and lead the contemporary worship service rehearsal.
  •  Lead the contemporary worship through prayer, scripture, message, media, music and song to create an environment that helps usher our church family into the presence of God.

 

Qualified applicants will have demonstrated experience in leading a contemporary worship service, including prayer, scripture, praise and continuity of the worship service.  They will also have the ability to sing and lead others in song, and to use technology in worship including sound, lighting, computers, worship software and video projection.  Additional qualifications include excellent interpersonal and communication skills, experience in building successful teams, and the ability to handle sensitive and confidential information.

 

Qualified applicants will have a strong and personal commitment to Jesus Christ and be supportive of the polity, theology and practice of the United Methodist Church.  Fenton United Methodist Church is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  We reserve the right to consider the religious faith of applicants for positions directly involved in the Christian programs and ministries of the Church.

This is a part-time salaried non-exempt position.  The salary range for this position is $7,000 - $9,000 commensurate with experience.

The Employment Application form and Contemporary Worship Leader job description are available by contacting the church office at fentonumc.office@gmail.com or 810-629-2132.  Email a completed Application Form, along with a resume and cover letter marked "Contemporary Worship Leader Position" to fentonumc.office@gmail.com  or mail to Fenton United Methodist Church, 119 S. Leroy Street, Fenton, MI  48430.

The application deadline is February 23, 2015.

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

Obituaries
Friday - January 23, 2015
Shaffer - Mrs. Edna

Death Notification

 

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

 

Monday - January 19, 2015
Moore - Grace

Death Notification

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

ARRANGEMENTS:

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

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Son]:

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

GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:

The American Heart Association

Rec’d 1/28/2015 cb

Saturday - January 3, 2015
Dunstan - Rev. George W.

Rev. George W. Dunstan [Retired Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Saturday, January 3, 2015.

 
ARRANGEMENTS:
Visitation will take place Wednesday, January 7, 2015 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Meyersieck-Bussema Funeral Home, located at 7436 Paul Street; Pigeon, MI 48755 (989-453-2324).
 
Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, January 8, 2015 at Pigeon: First UMC, located at 7102 Michigan Avenue; Pigeon, MI 48755 (989-453-2475).
 
CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Spouse]:
 
Mrs. Bonnie Dunstan
5760 Pine Drive 
Caseville, MI 48725
 
GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:
 
Pigeon: First UMC Or The Alzheimer’s Association
PO Box 377 
Pigeon, MI 48755
Thursday - January 1, 2015
Gotham - Jack

Mr. Jack Gotham, father of Rev. Donald D. Gotham [Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Thursday, January 1, 2015.

ARRANGEMENTS:
Visitation will be held at the Deisler Funeral Home Sunday, January 4, 2015 from 1:00pm until 7:00pm. Deisler is located at 2233 Hemmeter Road; Saginaw, MI 48603 [989-799-1151989-799-1151].

Funeral Service will be held Monday, January 5, 2015 at 11am at Deisler Funeral Home. An additional time of Visitation will take place from 10am to 11am prior to the service.

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO:
Rev. and Mrs. Donald Gotham
8506 Clinton River Road
Sterling Heights, MI 48314

GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:
Imagine No Malaria
 

Thursday - January 1, 2015
Lewis - Rev. Allen J.

Rev. Allen J. Lewis [Retired Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Thursday, January 1, 2015. 


ARRANGEMENTS:
A Memorial Service will be held at 1:30 p.m., Saturday, January 10, 2015 at the Chelsea Retirement Community Chapel. Chelsea is located at 805 W. Middle Street; Chelsea, MI 48118 (734-433-1000).

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Daughter]:

Mrs. Carole DeHart & Family
2027 Devolson Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48104


GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:

Chelsea Retirement Community
Wednesday - December 31, 2014
Carpenter, Naomi

 Mrs. Naomi Carpenter, mother-in-law of Rev. Wayne N. Thomas [Retired Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Wednesday, December 31, 2014. 

 
ARRANGEMENTS:
Memorial Service will be held Saturday, January 3, 2015 at 11am at Good Shepherd UMC which is located at 31601 Harper Avenue; St. Clair Shores, MI 48082 [586-294-4080].  Visitation time with the family will take place from 10am to 11am prior to the service.
 
CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO:
Rev. Wayne Thomas & Mrs. Janet Thomas
1408 Bonita Drive
Knoxville, TN   37918
 
GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:
Good Shepherd United Methodist Church
Appointments
Sunday - January 25, 2015
Africa, Jeremy
FROM Goodrich TO Livonia St. Matthews
Sunday - January 25, 2015
Verhelst, Weatherly
FROM Utica (Associate Pastor) TO Troy First
Tuesday - January 20, 2015
Titus, Beth
FROM Leave of Absence TO Farmington Hills: Nardin Park UMC--Associate (LTFT-1/2)
Tuesday - January 20, 2015
Hart, Caroline
FROM Coleman: Faith UMC TO Gladstone: Memorial UMC
Tuesday - January 20, 2015
Kieb, Eric
FROM Roscommon: Good Shepherd UMC of the North TO Bay City: Grace UMC
Tuesday - January 20, 2015
Turner, Monique
FROM Flint: Faith UMC TO Saginaw: State Street
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 …

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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
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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