News from the Florida Annual Conference

Dear Church Family,

As many of you know, I attended Annual Conference in Lakeland last week. Annual Conference, which happens every June, is when United Methodists from around the Florida Conference (which spans from Tallahassee to Key West) gather to discuss the business of our connection. Bishop Ken Carter, our resident bishop, has provided of helpful summary of what took place at Annual Conference. I share this list with you so you can know what we accomplished.

  • The election of our 2020 General and Jurisdictional Conference Delegations – led by Alex Shanks and Molly McEntire. (Some of you may remember that Molly McEntire served on staff at Community of Faith years ago as our Director of Children and Families Ministries. In addition, Alejandra Salemi, a recent graduate of the University of Florida who grew up at Community of Faith and still holds her membership here, will be serving as a delegate to Jurisdictional Conference. These are tremendous honors for both Molly and Alejandra.)
  •  The Ordination, Commissioning and Licensing of 52 persons. (Mary Downey, who was mentored by Community of Faith and continues to occasionally preach here, was one of the persons ordained.)
  • Over $37,000 given to the Bishop’s Offering in order to start a new church within the Lowell Correctional Institute in Reddick and the revitalization of FAMU Wesley in Tallahassee. (Community of Faith contributed $1,125 toward this amount!)
  •  We now have 301 Fresh Expressions in Florida and we chartered a new church (Good Samaritan UMC in Tallahassee).
  • Over the last year, 14 new churches became involved in ZOE and over 1,000 children have entered the program.  A new challenge grant of $42,000 will hopefully double the number of children supported by ZOE.
  • Apportionment giving increased last year, and we reduced our 2020 Conference Budget to return more resources to the local churches to make disciples.
  • We enthusiastically approved a new ministry plan for Latino/Latina ministries.
  • We engaged in dialogue about our church’s social teaching and public witness and approved funding for seminary scholarships for the next five years.
 
All in all, it was a great conference. I left Lakeland encouraged by what our churches are doing on mission together.
 
As a reminder, we won’t have our Saturday night service this weekend, nor will we have our 8:30am service on Sunday. Instead we will have 1 combined service on Sunday at 10:30am. Make sure to join us for this special service as we celebrate what our kids learned at Vacation Bible School.
 
See you Sunday!

Blessings,
Chris