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Features
Monday - November 24, 2014
It's time to ask the tough questions

Quoting Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech in Grosse Pointe, the Rev. Cedrick D. Bridgeforth, now reminds us, "We have options we can choose and we can each do our part to begin to bring about change in every community." read more>>


Monday - November 24, 2014
News on national vitality front is mixed

Bishop Mike Lowry says planting churches requires more than "following the rooftops." United Methodists are starting fruitful congregations in settings as varied as diners and prisons.

 

Tuesday - November 25, 2014
Spotlight on Giving Tuesday

December 2 promises a double blessing when United Methodists around the world participate in Giving Tuesday.  read more>>

 


Tuesday - November 18, 2014
Bishop names interim Superintendent for Blue Water District

Bishop Deborah Lieder Kiesey has regretfully accepted the Rev. Dr. Joanne R. Bartelt’s request for an immediate disability leave. She has named retired pastor and former superintendent Rev. Duane E. Miller to serve, effective December 1, 2014.

read more>>

 

 

News
Tuesday - November 25, 2014
Tuesday - November 25, 2014
Advent Calendar available online from ReThink Church

Deck those halls, warm up that cocoa and wrap those gifts. Sound familiar?

Every year you promise that this Christmas will be different.

Grab a cup of cocoa and join us as we prepare, watch and wait for that wonderful something God is sending our way not just at Christmas, but every single day. Will you make it a daily practice to check the Advent Calendar and share with the community how you are experiencing this season? 

Here's why:

You’ll slow down and enjoy quality time with your friends and family, you say. You won’t drag yourself to the Black Friday sales at 6am when you should be sleeping in from a great Thanksgiving celebration, nor will you do your Christmas shopping in your pajamas on Cyber Monday. 

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to buy the latest gadgets or make progress on that wish list.

But somehow Christmas Eve is here before we know it and we wonder why we don’t feel renewed after this joyous season.

We’re inviting you to enter this season of Advent with intention and awareness. As we prepare, watch and wait for that wonderful something God is sending our way not just at Christmas, but every single day. 

So, will you join us by opening your eyes to witness the hope that is already springing up around you? Will you open your hearts for Immanuel, God with us?

Tag us on your instagram photos with @rethinkchurch or on twitter [@umrethinkchurch] with #rethinkchurch and #rethinkchristmas.

We’d also love for you to connect with us on Pinterest, so pin away!

Connect with this project online: Facebook; Twitter; Pinterest; Instagram; Tumbl.

Sign up for daily text or email reminders to check in with us,Text AdventCalendar to 75309 to receive daily reminders.

Finding the true meaning of Christmas. That’s Church.

Tuesday - November 25, 2014
College students consider what's next


BRIAN SIGMON
Ministry Matters

We hear lots of gloom and doom around the topic of young people and the church. The usual articles focus on declining church involvement, decreased giving, and the rise of the “nones” as a religious category. But earlier this month, I discovered there is more reason to celebrate than to lament.

On November 7-9, I attended Imagine What’s Next, a United Methodist conference for college students held in Denver, CO. Sponsored by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and organized by an amazing launch team, Next 2014 focused on the “spaces where church/world and present/future meet.” I went as a representative of The United Methodist Publishing House, and was blessed to connect with 600 college students and collegiate ministers from around the country.

Let me share with you some of what I witnessed this weekend, some of the ways God is working among our United Methodist college students.

I saw powerful, moving worship. Worship was thoughtful and enthusiastic, and it regularly went over schedule (in the very best way). It continued afterwards out into the common areas, as people kept right on singing, praying, and speaking God’s word to one another. It was as if we feasted on God’s presence together and nobody wanted to be the first to leave the table.

I saw our connectional church at its best. Every student I met has a deep desire to serve God and neighbor. Many of them connected with the agencies and seminaries of the United Methodist Church to explore what that will look like in their future. This is how our connectional church is supposed to work: men and women with a passion for the church’s mission are finding support and direction through our denomination.

I saw technology used responsibly and effectively. Online interaction enhanced, not hindered, our real-world experience of Christian community. Event organizers used Livecube to manage the event’s social media presence, enabling participants to interact in real time and share insights and celebrations with one another throughout the weekend. It was a look at how social media can be done right to build up our churches.

I saw the Spirit moving. The hotel’s atrium, our main gathering space, had a piano off to one side. More than once, two or three would begin playing and singing hymns, and others would quickly join in. A small group quickly would become 15, then 20, then 30, playing the piano, drumming on chairs, and singing loudly and beautifully in praise of God. Spontaneous worship in response to the Holy Spirit is a wonderful thing to be a part of.

I saw students thinking deeply and theologically about the future of the church. One student is interested in communications, and he spoke with me about the foundational role communication plays in the church’s identity. What are we called to do, after all, beyond proclaim—communicate—the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ? I high-fived him. Then he took it a step beyond that, reminding me that creation itself is God’s communication. God spoke the world into being, and Jesus Christ is the Word made flesh. Carry on, my friend. You are doing good work.

I spoke with several women and men who have a knack for writing, and who feel God calling them to serve with this gift. Their talents are diverse, some with creative fiction and nonfiction, others with curriculum for youth or adults. But what impressed me most was their keen insight into things that must be written. They all have a clear sense of the conversations that Christians need to be having today and in the future. And they have a willingness to tackle those conversations head-on.

I saw ministers and student leaders guiding the body of Christ within college communities. One Wesley Foundation celebrates communion weekly and builds their life together around worship. Another gathers it students into intentional Christian communities within their college campus, making their Christian walk a daily lived experience. It is not easy being a Christian in a college community, but these students and leaders are living out their faith boldly and with deep commitment.

I saw ordinary Christians being faithful. My favorite moment was speaking with two 20-year-olds who attend church every week, without fail. They want to serve God in other ways as well, but I was struck most by their steadfast, ordinary faithfulness. One talked about how she spends her Saturday nights differently than her peers, because Sunday morning church is non-negotiable. The other regularly offers rides to fellow church members, especially the youth she works with. “I’m the only 20-year-old there,” she said with a smile. “They love me.” Such regular commitment is rare for any demographic in 2014, especially college students. I want to write their churches and tell them what a gift they have. “Keep it up,” I tell them both. “You have no idea how important you are to them.”

The weekend’s conference invited participants to “Imagine What’s Next.” What’s next, I believe, is faithful, informed, and energetic Christians following God and leading the church. And from what I saw this weekend, that is not at all a stretch of the imagination.

Tuesday - November 25, 2014
Five sermon starters for the New Year

JEREMY STEELE
UMCom

 

With a new year on the horizon, it's time to start thinking about how you can help people engage with the story of God through your sermons. Here are some great ideas and resources.

Take your favorite idea for a kick-start sermon series for 2015 and brainstorm topics for each week. If you do it now, you can create and print a nice informational card about your beginning-of-the-year series to people as they leave your Christmas Eve service.

 1. The science of God

Sometimes the church is seen as being in opposition with science.  As United Methodists, we take a different stance. The Social Principles clearly state, "We recognize science as a legitimate interpretation of God's natural world. We affirm the validity of the claims of science in describing the natural world" (Par. 160F). Furthermore, "Science and theology are complementary rather than mutually incompatible." 

What if you used scientific principles such as chemical bonds and catalysts to help explain marriage and the body of Christ?  You might use the wave-particle duality to explore the Trinity or even wrestle with what implications the Big Bang Theory has on our understanding of God.

Learn more about The United Methodist Church's position on evolution and how science can help church keep its younger members.


2. Everyday heroes

For a moment in the lives of most children, their parents are superheroes. Even though parents know they are just everyday people, their children see something much more within them. That perspective is the perfect entrance into the biblical narrative. The Bible is full of everyday people whom God used in powerful ways to do heroic things. If we can see these Bible heroes for who they really were, maybe we can hear God's call on our lives to step out and be the everyday heroes in our world.


3. Do something

The Methodist church began as a brilliant movement fueled by people who were not content with letting the "professionals" handle the big actions of the faith. In fact, in frontier America, it was not uncommon for the Methodist pastor to be in town only two or three days per month. That meant that the members accomplished the everyday tasks of being the church. Recovering this part of our past is powerful. Take four or five weeks to teach about the importance of having an active faith and to guide people in beginning that work in the world.

Learn how to attract, recruit, train and keep volunteers:

 
4. Winter blockbusters

Try a new spin on an old idea. Take last summer's blockbusters and show a different clip each week instead of your typical sermon illustration. You could even provide popcorn and refreshments after the service. Make sure you have the right licensing to play movies with purpose and legal permission.


5. Why do we do that?

Even people who have grown up in the church get a little rusty on the reasons for and the meaning of the things we do as a church. Take a month to focus on the theological significance of each part of your worship service, making sure to help people understand the sacraments of Baptism and Communion.

Here are some resources from the General Board of Discipleship to help research this sermon series

Available Online (free):

Great Books to Buy:

Can't get enough sermon ideas? Check out the sermon series section on Ministry Matters.

~Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Tuesday - November 25, 2014
Go beyond the offering plate to make giving easy

GAVIN RICHARDSON
United Methodist Communications


Churches today are seeking newer and easier ways to set up giving to benefit their congregations. A common request circulates around setting up online giving. Online giving has its own set of complexities and options; however, it is becoming easier to navigate the set-up process.

New options for online giving are being developed all the time.

How can you help create different alternatives to the offering plate for your church?

There are a number of options that are available to churches today. We've broken this down in three ways:

  • Third party service providers present the easiest learning curve, but probably larger onset costs. This is a good place to start for the church that knows they want to jump into the game and has some funds to do that.
     
  • Mobile card readers are the quickest way to get started and with the lowest costs, but also have a bit of a learning curve. This is good place to start for the church where you are not sure how people will respond to giving online. Use this to test the waters without much set up costs.
     
  • Website direct has the most complex learning curve, but can be cost effective in the long term. This is for a church that has an experienced web developer in-house or on staff that can help to navigate this set up process.

Third Party Services

In most instances, a church will make better use of their time and security by working through third party service providers.

There are many options out there for merchant service providers. If you need online giving, card readers, texting to give, or even a full sized kiosk, you have all those options available for a new type of offering plate today.

EasyTithe allows you to integrate online giving within their giving kiosk, which are monitor or computer terminal set ups. They offer a full range of features that could fit just about any size congregation. EasyTithe's pricing suggests that they will take a transaction fee and a standing fee for various levels of their service. This is not a deal breaker, as other services have similar plans and some will have just a standing price or a percentage take per transaction. You will want to weigh the financial options between them and other services.

SecureGive offers unique payment options to go along with their full service features. They have options of flat rate or per-transaction percentages. If you expect a large volume of giving through the various gateways, then it may make sense to pay a flat rate and save over the per-transaction fee. If you do not know the amount of giving you may take in, using the per-transaction fee makes good sense. This way you do not lose money if the online giving is not used regularly.

Giving Kiosk is actually a brand name to a company, though many companies in the marketplace use the term 'giving kiosk' as service options. You may place an electronic kiosk, or kiosks in the narthex, fellowship hall or anywhere in your church. Imagine a sleeker, more personable looking ATM. People are able to use their debit or credit cards to give on a weekly, recurring or event basis. The systems can cost you a minimum of $1000 to approximately $5000 for a single kiosk machine, so the onset is more than some of the online options. The data from Giving Kiosk states that the increase in giving will pay for the set up costs within a month or two of use. Similar to EasyTithe and SecureGive, Giving Kiosk has added features to provide you a website portal where members have their own login and account information.

PayPal may have the easiest set-up of any online merchant service provider. You can set up a business account for free and start taking in donations in minutes. People are becoming more and more familiar with using the services of PayPal as well, so the trust value is built in. There are options to create recurring giving, one-time gifts, and event registrations that can be listed on your church website, but route through PayPal's secure settings.

Vanco Services is used by many United Methodist churches through their UMEFT partnership (United Methodist Electronic Funds Transfer). Through their service, you can develop a custom portal page (colors, logo) through which members can safely give. Vanco's pricing options are pretty straightforward. One unique feature with Vanco is the option to offset the card fees from a transaction. This set up would charge the donor the card fees as part of their donation. With this option, a $100 dollar donation would charge the donor $104.50 (approximately) so that a full $100 donation goes to the church. Many times people are willing to pay these fees for the convenience of online card giving. Vanco can also provide mobile card readers for digital devices.

Mobile Readers 

Flint is a free feature-rich app that allows you to process credit cards by scanning with your mobile device's camera. Simply position the card number in the scan area, then enter the card verification number on the back. No extra hardware or merchant account is needed. All data is fully protected according to industry PCI DSS standards and guidelines. All transactions are encrypted for safety, and no information or images is ever stored on your phone. Transaction rates start at 1.95% and there are no monthly fees. Keyed entry is also supported at the same rate as a scan. Download the free Flint app now on the App Store or Google Play to check out Flint's multiple payment and customer marketing tools.

Square: Square is a card reader that can attach to a phone or tablet. If your church has a wi-fi connection available, then utilizing a tablet to have at a welcome center or church office for people to give is a good starting point in online giving. You can use any tablet or phone for this process, but it is a good idea to invest in a church-owned device to avoid control and possession issues. This can allow a square connected device to be available at all times, not just when the pastor or lay leader is in the building. A neat function of Square is the ability to recognize people through their cell phones when they come into proximity of a device. This actually allows people to give with their cell phone and not have to swipe their card.

Square is a product based service, so you may have to get creative in setting up giving levels as a buyable product as part of your set up. What we mean by that is you might have to create a 'bronze tithe' and assign a price value to that, say $250. This can be a very real option if you are doing a renovation or fundraising project and someone can 'buy a chair' or 'gallon of paint' as giving.

PayPal Triangle:  Similar to Square, the Paypal Triangle is free to order and the service will only charge 2.7% per transaction so you avoid any onset or standing fees. You may use it with any device that has the PayPal Here app installed. You can collect donor information within the app. After a transaction on the "Thank You" page, you'll see an "Add Customer Info" link. If donors give you permission, collect their email addresses so you can easily stay in touch.

Check out this great Square vs. Triangle comparison chart. Though Square supports more devices and doesn't require a credit check to apply, it looks like Triangle has the advantage with better options in customer support, check processing and payment channels. Both of these mobile readers may be good options for you to test your online giving market without putting down a large start-up investment.

Website Direct

There is technical work and risk that goes into taking online payments directly off your website. First, you will need to secure a merchant account, a payment gateway and a TLS or SSL certificate.

  • Merchant Account: This is a banking service that allows you to accept debit or credit cards. Authorize.net is an example of a popular, and reliable, merchant account service provider. Merchant account providers will generally charge a standing fee. Depending on the amount of transactions the church might be making, this may be a cost-effective option.
  • Payment Gateway: This is an electronic service that authorizes your card payments, protects card data and processing information. More and more merchant account providers are able to offer payment gateway services. Setting up a payment gateway can be a time consuming process because it depends on your web developer's experience and a number of other variables. Ask your web-developer to do some research and submit a realistic time-line.
  • SSL or TLS certificate: Secure Socket Layer or Transfer Layer Security are the common reference terms for a secured webpage. You see these often when you come across an https:// on a webpage. A webpage that is taking in payment information with only an http:// address is not secure and should be avoided. This is a security risk for the website provider as well as the user as sensitive information can get out of your possession quickly. The cost for a certificate will likely be around $100, with extended services costing more.

Security Note

With recent concerns about Internet security (Target's customer information being compromised or a security bug like Heartbleed re-emerging), your congregants may likely have a concern about online giving. This is understandable and a good question to ask when making a decision on vendors and practices. When choosing an online giving method, consider security compliance of a vendor and your church's security measures. Choose a company that is PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant with current security standards. Be sure to look up PCI standards and ask a company representative how they meet those criteria. Take a further step to ensure that your church's hardware and Internet connections (which will be part of the mechanism for making online giving happen) are locked down and secure as well. Be vigilant about people's security concerns.

As you can see, putting online payments onto your church website can be taxing and cost prohibitive if you do not have informed people and incoming funds to offset the costs. If you do have some of those things in place, then doing transactions on your website can save you money and be an effective tool.

There are many ways to re-imagine passing the offering plate for the church in today's world. Setting people up for online giving can help the church to have consistent and easy tithing regardless of the ebbs and flows of church attendance. People are not bound to have to remember to bring a checkbook or cash with them to church either.

Print this article out or send it around to your finance committee and let this be a discussion starter at your next meeting.

Tuesday - November 25, 2014
Justice postponed in Ferguson, Missouri


REV. CEDRICK D. BRIDGEFORTH

Black Methodists for Church Renewal, Chairperson

As long as justice is postponed we always stand on the verge of these darker nights of social disruption. The question now, is whether America is prepared to do something massively, affirmatively and forthrightly about the great problem we face in the area of race and the problem which can bring the curtain of doom down on American civilization if it is not solved.

--"The Other America" Speech by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. at Grosse Pointe High School - March 14, 1968

The sad fact here is that I do not believe anyone is surprised that the nearly prophetic words of the people of Ferguson have come true: “The grand jury will not indict a police officer.” It seems as if the people who struggle to make a life in Ferguson knew something about their city that those of us on the outside did not know. They knew politics and good ole boy systems would prevail. They knew justice lurks around the corner in their town, but they can’t ever seem to make that turn to experience it.

They knew the heat of the summer would give way to cool breezes of autumn just as it always does. They knew the media outlets would abandon the streets of Ferguson quicker than they checked out of their hotels. They knew the black people from around the country who were outraged and boisterous in person and online would grow weary and return to the mundane existence and comfort of employment and political capital provides. They knew. We presumed it, but they knew it. They knew it because they lived it.

The greatest tragedy here is not that the police officer may never face charges for what happened, but that America, especially Black America, may not take this opportunity to band together and work toward solutions that will pave the way for future generations to experience a different reality.

Lives have been lost. Families have been destroyed. Communities have gone up in flames. All the while, America fights wars around the globe to ensure freedoms and liberties for people who have been pushed out or otherwise annihilated due to their religious, ethnic and/or economic realities. There were tanks in Ferguson and people were outraged by the presence of such machinery and weaponry. Questions were raised about the necessity of such fire power, but all one needs to do is watch the news reports coming in from around the world to see that this is the response waged against supposed terrorists or those in opposition to whatever regime is in power or attempting to gain power.

The presence of those tanks were tangible signs or even poignant expressions of the laws stacked against the disenfranchised of this nation and the certain acknowledgment that black people rising up and speaking out are in fact enemies of the State. Those tanks roll when empires are threatened. Those tanks roll when economic engines are at stake. Those tanks roll when young people challenge the status quo. While the tanks roll so does the cameras and rhetoric about change and the need for justice and unity. Now the tanks are gone and so is the hope of some who saw this as a way for people of America to wake up and to own up to its need to do better and to be better.

Whether the local officials of Ferguson or Missouri make any changes that will impact other communities in America, we have options we can choose and we can each do our part to begin to bring about change in every community. We can choose to continue to destroy the businesses in our communities that may never return. We can choose to lash out at the media in hopes they will take us seriously. We can choose to keep silent as crimes are committed on our doorsteps and in our homes. We can choose to remain home on election days - believing our votes mean even less than our voices.

We can make those choices and we can live with the consequences for another generation or two, but will that make room for a generation that has yet to be born? Will those choices free us from slavery, sin and ultimately death? Will those choices help us to rise to a place where we are truly at the tables of power and influence as true participants in the reshaping of America’s race agenda, as opposed to being items on its delectable menu?

Of course we can make such choices, but we know if we do, we are postponing justice while fast forwarding the whole of America to an abysmal future. A few direct and deliberate actions you can take now, wherever you are and whatever your feelings about the inaction and decisions in Ferguson are as follows:

  • Sign the NAACP’s petition urging the Department of Justice to complete their federal, criminal civil rights investigation into Michael Brown's slaying.
     
  • Host town hall meetings. Invite your local political leaders, law enforcement personnel and the community to discuss how we can address this problem together.
     
  • Reach out to persons who are in the fields of law and law enforcement, behavioral specialists, and elected officials to participate and provide expertise on how to address these issues. Click here for resources on this topic.
     
  • Pray with your families, especially your children so they know you care and are with them in the struggle. You should never pray more at church or with your church family than you do with your own.
     
  • Read the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech with your book club, Bible Study class or social club and generate questions and actions that make his words from over 40 years ago relevant to our current situation.

Beyond signing petitions, praying and holding open forums, we must begin to look inward and ask the tough questions about our people and our communities as much as or while we ask similar questions about our nation. The answers and the prospect of gaining such insights may be daunting, but it is work that must be done. We must hold ourselves accountable to police ourselves and protect our own families and communities. We must write our own headlines and novels that tell of our true pain and suffering because unless there are tanks rolling, no one else will.

~umns photo/Rev. Maidstone Mulenga

Events
Wednesday - November 26, 2014
DAC Appointive Cabinet
Thursday - November 27, 2014
BWD Office Closed - Thanksgiving Holiday
Thursday - November 27, 2014
FREE Community Thanksgiving Day Dinner

November 27, 2-5 p.m., the First United Methodist Church of Durand invites the community to its 7th annual FREE Community Thanksgiving Day Dinner. The church is located at 10016 E. Newburg Road, Durand, (just east of town, corner of Newburg and New Lothrop roads). The menu begins with succulent roasted turkey and we go from there: Hearty dressing, rich gravy, creamy potatoes, buttery vegetables and rolls, plus PIES for desert! Take outs are available!

While food is important, it really is about great fellowship and time spent making wonderful memories with family, friends, and making new friends. If you know of anyone who will be alone on Thanksgiving Day, tell them about this opportunity.

We know some people always feel they need to give something in return for the dinner. So (only if you want to), we do receive canned goods and monetary donations for the Loaves and Fishes Food Bank located in Vernon but this is not required! Dont let it stop you from enjoying this thanksgiving meal.

Remember! This dinner is FREE! For more information call the church at 989/288-3880. Office hours are Tuesdays and Fridays 8 a.m. 1:30 p.m. or leave a message and well get back to you as soon as possible.

Thursday - November 27, 2014
In Observance of Thanksgiving- CONFERENCE OFFICE CLOSED
Friday - November 28, 2014
Conference Office Closed - in Observance of Thanksgiving
Saturday - November 29, 2014
CORR Meeting

 

 

 

Blogs
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! 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May it be so!

Bill

Monday - September 29, 2014

Perspectives on Hope: Crossing the Continental Divide!

 

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

 

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

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

 

Classifieds
Friday - November 21, 2014
Pianist
Wednesday - November 12, 2014
Associate Director, Hispanic/Latino UMC Communications Team

 United Methodist Communications has opening for a 

Associate Director, Hispanic/Latino UMC Communications Team

for details Click Here

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Wednesday - November 12, 2014
Training and Development Specialist: UMCom

 United Methodist Communications has opening for:

Training and Development Specialist

 Details Click Here

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Friday - November 7, 2014
North Lake UMC: Children/Youth Ministry Coordinator

Children/Youth Ministry Coordinator position

Approximately 10 hours per week, $150 per week

 North Lake United Methodist Church at 14111 N. Territorial Rd, Chelsea is looking for an innovative and enthusiastic person who is organized, detail oriented, has experience with children, is flexible, and is available on Sundays.

The staff person would be physically at North Lake UMC team teaching Sunday School and meeting with our Youth Group on Sunday. The staff person would be communicating with the Education team and the pastor in planning Sunday School and Youth group activities.  The staff person would also, be conceiving and implementing new Christian programming targeting children and youth and helping to coordinate volunteers for these programs. 

Please send a resume to:  pastor@northlakeumc.org

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Thursday - November 6, 2014
Pianist.Organist at Ortonville UMC

Wanted:

Pianist/organist for the Ortonville United Methodist Church, in Ortonville, MI.  Organ playing is not necessary but a plus.  Call Sharon Williams at 586-707-7348

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Tuesday - October 14, 2014
2006 Ford Freestar SEL with Handicap Conversion

FOR SALE

2006 FORD FREESTAR HANDICAP CONVERSION VAN

 Model:  Freestar SEL      Miles:  82,447    Color:  Red

 Handicap conversion:  VMI-Northstar valued at $20,000

10 lowered Floor, Power Slide Out Ramp, Automatic Sliding Door, Lowered Drivers Side Sliding Door, Manual Wheelchair Tie-down System, Inside Spare Mount, Removable Front Driver & Passenger Seat Bases, One Touch Remote Entry, Magnetic Entry, Power Kneeling Suspension.  EZ Lock Power Tied Base, BKT-2G Wheel Chair Bracket for EZ Lock, Side Entry. 

Number of Owners:  Two, received by Central in 2009

Current Owner:  Central United Methodist Church, Detroit

Condition:  Excellent, garaged during winter months.

Maintenance:  Maintained by Avis Ford, Southfield

When used:  Only on Sundays to pick up Wheelchair bound parishioners.

 Price:  $15,000 or OBO

 Contact:  Debra Eaton, Office Administrator,

                 Central United Methodist Church, Detroit

                 23 E. Adams Ave, Detroit, MI 48226

                 Office: 313-965-5422

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Obituaries
Thursday - November 13, 2014
Cain - Walter

Mr. Walter Cain, father-in-law of Rev. Dennis E. Irish [Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Thursday, November 13, 2014. 

 
ARRANGEMENTS:
 
Mr. Cain’s Service was held Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at Martin Funeral, Cremation & Tribute Service in Mt. Morris, Michigan.
 
CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO:
 
Mrs. Sherri & Rev. Dennis Irish
P.O. Box 39
Brown City, MI 48416
 
GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:
 
Leader Dogs for the Blind
1039 S. Rochester Road
Rochester Hills, MI 48307
 
Wednesday - November 12, 2014
Albery - Rev. Mary B.
Rev. Mary B. Albery [Retired Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Wednesday, November 12, 2014. 
 
ARRANGEMENTS:
A Memorial Service will be held Friday, November 28, 2014 at the Chelsea Retirement Community located at 805 W. Middle Street; Chelsea, MI 48118 [734-433-1000].
 
CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Son]:
 
Mr. Rob Willoughby
19355 Addison Drive
Southfield, MI 48075
 
 
GIFTS IN MEMORY:
 
United Methodist Retirement Community Foundation
Parkinson’s Foundation
805 W. Middle Street
Chelsea, MI 48118
 
Saturday - November 8, 2014
Howell - Rev. John N.

Rev. John N. Howell [Retired Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Saturday, November 8, 2014.

 
ARRANGEMENTS:
 
Visitation will take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday, November 13, 2014 at Serenity Funeral Home. The funeral home is located at 8691 Old Pascagoula Road; Theodore, AL 36582 [251-653-4781]. 
Funeral Service will be held Friday, November 14, 2014 at Serenity Funeral Home.
 
CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Spouse]:
 
Mrs. Ruth Howell
9061B Grand Bay - Wilmer Road S.
Grand Bay, Alabama 36541
Sunday - October 26, 2014
Thompson, Mrs. Paula

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

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

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

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


 

Monday - September 29, 2014
McKown - Mrs. Bonnie Jean

Mrs. Bonnie Jean McKown, surviving spouse of Rev. Billy J. McKown [Detroit Annual Conference Clergy], died Monday,
September 29, 2014.

ARRANGEMENTS:
A Memorial Service was held Thursday, October 2, 2014 at the Swartz Funeral Home located at 1225 West Hill Road; Flint, MI 48507
[810-235-2345].

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT:
To The Family of Mrs. Bonnie McKown
c/o Swartz Funeral Home
1225 W. Hill Road
Flint, MI 48507
 

Friday - September 26, 2014
Watt - Arlene

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

ARRANGEMENTS:

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

CONDOLENCES MAY BE SENT TO [Son]:

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

GIFTS IN MEMORY MAY BE GIVEN TO:

Residential Hospice Foundation
5440 Corporate Drive
Troy, MI 48098

 

Appointments
Thursday - October 30, 2014
Won, Chong Joy
FROM Dearborn Heights: Stephens and Warren Valley TO Retirement
Thursday - October 30, 2014
Garrigues, Peggy
FROM Clawson 1/2 time and Berkley First 1/2 time TO Clawson (Full Time)
Sunday - November 16, 2014
Waller, Tom
FROM First Appointment TO Dearborn Heights: Stephens and Warren Valley
Wednesday - November 19, 2014
Bartelt, Joanne R.
FROM District Superintendent TO Medical Leave (par.#357)
Monday - September 1, 2014
Parkin, Penny
Saturday - November 1, 2014
Soderholm, Mary
eNewsletters
Wednesday - May 29, 2013
Detroit Conference Connection - May 29, 2013

Detroit Conference Connection - May 29, 2013

CONFERENCE NEWS

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

TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

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

CAMP AND RETREAT NEWS

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

DEATH NOTICES

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

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

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

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

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

Detroit Conference Connection - May 22, 2013

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

CONFERENCE NEWS

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


TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

DEATH NOTICES

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

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

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

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

About the Detroit Conference Connection

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

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

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

Detroit Conference Connection - May 8, 2013

CONFERENCE NEWS

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

2013 ANNUAL CONFERENCE SESSION

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

TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

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

CAMP AND RETREAT MINISTRIES NEWS

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

DEATH NOTICES

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

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

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

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

About the Detroit Conference Connection

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

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

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

 

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

Detroit Conference Connection - May 1, 2013

CONFERENCE NEWS

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

2013 ANNUAL CONFERENCE SESSION

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


TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

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

CAMP AND RETREAT MINISTRIES NEWS

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

DEATH NOTICES

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

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

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

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

About the Detroit Conference Connection

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

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

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

Detroit Conference Connection - April 24, 2013

CONFERENCE NEWS

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

2013 ANNUAL CONFERENCE SESSION

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

TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

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

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

About the Detroit Conference Connection

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

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

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

Detroit Conference Connection - April 17, 2013

CONFERENCE NEWS

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

2013 ANNUAL CONFERENCE SESSION

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

TIDBITS AND OTHER INFORMATION YOU MIGHT WANT TO KNOW …

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

CAMP AND RETREAT MINISTRIES NEWS

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

UPCOMING EVENTS

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

APPOINTMENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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

DEATH NOTICES

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

CONNECTIONAL NEWS 

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

CLASSIFIEDS/JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

About the Detroit Conference Connection

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

Detroit Conference Social Media Links

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