Conference News

Annual Conference Day One, June 2, 2019

published 6/2/2019

In the News

Opening Worship: A capacity crowd attended the Opening Worship Service of the 2019 Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference session, which was held Sunday evening, June 2, in the sanctuary of Frazer Memorial UMC in Montgomery, AL. To begin the service, Stephanie Jeck passionately sang the first verse of the opening hymn, "The Church's One Foundation." The Call to Worship was led by Beverly Maddox, Lay Leader of the conference. A mass choir from around the conference, and led by Frazer Memorial UMC Music Director, Wayne Sigler, provided inspiring music for the service including powerful renditions of, "Come, Christians Join to Sing," "O, Praise the Name" and "Amen," which featured soloists Courtney Selman and Adam Murphy. Bishop David Graves, presiding over his third conference as Resident Bishop of the AWF Conference, welcomed those in attendance. Bishop Graves emphasized how honored the Alabama-West Florida Conference was to have two special guests this evening. Bishop Tracy Smith Malone of the East Ohio Conference and Rev. Eric Soard from the Tanzania Annual Conference were participants in tonight's service. Bishop Malone preached her heartfelt sermon based on 1 John 1:1 entitled, "This We Proclaim," which was appropriately titled to reflect the theme of the 2019 Annual Conference. She mentioned that she grew up in the United Methodist Church as a preacher's kid and has heard many different ways people proclaim to be the church. She noted, "What does it mean to proclaim to be children of the most high?" In her message of mission she emphasized that the church is the instrument of God’s mission in the world revealed in Jesus Christ. "Jesus was not sent to the church but to the world," Malone expressed. She passionately said, "Do we show up in judgement or do we show up in love?" She continued by sharing that we are then sent by Christ as an instrument not of OUR mission, but of God's mission. Our baptismal covenant outlines what that mission is and who we are as God's people in the world. She invited us to reflect carefully on how we are doing as a people sent to the margins of the world. And she called us to rely on the Spirit's power to extend God's love into the world that God loves so much. The scripture lesson was read by Rev. Amanda Messer, a deacon currently serving in the South Georgia Conference who called Alabama-West Florida home for four years. 

Jarvis Wilson and Keith Wilson, talented worship leaders from the Atlanta area, led an inspirational and spirit-filled communion medley that had the congregation on their feet by the final song. For the third year, communion was served as a part of this service and celebrated all phases of ministry including elders, deacons, lay members, licensed local pastors, associate members, seminarians, and persons in extension ministry from our conference. Rev. Amanda Messer and Rev. Billy Luttrell of Enterprise UMC prepared the communion elements. Rev. Michael Precht of Crestview FUMC coordinated the service along with the gifted annual conference worship team. 

AWF Missional Offering: Wesley College, a part of Teaming with Tanzania, was tonight's recipient of the missional offering. Rev. Eric Soard, Global Ministries Missionary appointed to the Tanzania Annual Conference, was present and shared a few words about our partnership. A brief video was shown as part of his presentation. Wesley College has quickly outgrown their current space in downtown Mwanza and plans have been made to build a campus that will offer more courses and will feature dorms, classroom space, a cafeteria, offices, and more for the projected 2,500 students who will become part of Wesley College. Our annual conference offering will help Wesley College realize this dream of a campus that will better meet the needs of their students. Click here for more

Biometric Health Screenings: As part of the conference health initiative, biometric health screenings will be offered during annual conference in the rooms 3013/3015 (note this change from last year) at Frazer Memorial UMC on Monday, June 3rd, Tuesday, June 4th and Wednesday, June 5th from 7:30am-12:30pm. This is offered as a part of our health and wellness initiative designed to help you maintain good health. You may visit rooms 3103/3015 to make an appointment with Belinda Carnegie, AWF Benefits Coordinator. For more information, click here

UMCOR Relief Kits: Bring your UMCOR relief kits and supplies to the truck in the parking lot during annual conference. All assembled and unassembled kits and supplies are welcome. Thank you to Coleman American for providing the truck again this year, and for transporting the supplies to Sager Brown Depot in Baldwin, LA. The truck will be open to receive the kits and supplies during the following hours:
Monday: 7:30am-12:30pm
Tuesday: 7:30am-12:30pm
Wednesday: 7:30am-11:00am 

Multimedia

Photos
View photos from the 2019 Annual Conference session (added daily, all photos by Luke Lucas). 

Live Streaming
Watch selections of the 2019 Annual Conference LIVE from your home or office. 

Remaining Streaming Schedule
All sessions available at www.frazerumc.org/live, except the Service of Commissioning and Ordination. See special link for that service below. All times are CDT. 

Monday, June 3
-Morning Worship, 8:30am
-Conference Business Session, 9:30am
-Service of Remembrance & Holy Communion, 1:30pm
-Conference Business Session, 3:00pm
-Recognition of Retiring Clergy (following afternoon business session)
-Service of Ordination: 7:00pm (click here for this service)

Tuesday, June 4
-Morning Worship, 8:30am
-Conference Business Session, 9:30am
-Conference Business Session, 1:30pm
-Conference Business Session, 7:00pm

Wednesday, June 5
-Morning Worship, 8:30am
-Conference Business Session, 9:30am
-Sending Forth Service (following the morning business session)

WFRZ TV Schedule
The following service will be broadcast live on Frazer TV, WFRZ. Check your local provider listings for channel. 

Monday, June 3
-Service of Remembrance & Holy Communion, 1:30pm

Get a Copy: CD and DVD copies of many portions of annual conference are available for purchase. Click here for the order form

Social Media

Follow the action of the conference live. 
                 

Hashtags: Use #awfac19 to join the Twitter and Facebook conversations and to tag your Instagram photos. 

Stay connected throughout Annual Conference at www.awfumc.org/ac2019.


Glaize Named New Director of Alabama Course of Study

published 5/30/2019
Rev. Alecia C. Glaize has been named the new director for the Alabama Course of Study Extension School (ALCOS). This school is part of a network of regional, extension, and satellite schools designed to provide vital education to part-time local pastors of The United Methodist Church in the North Alabama and Alabama-West Florida Conferences.
 
After a thorough search, Glaize emerged as the leading candidate and will assume this role on July 1, 2019. She follows Rev. Walter Cash, who retired after 24 years of service. His retirement was announced on February 7, 2019.
 
Rev. Glaize is a deacon in the Alabama-West Florida Conference and has faithfully served this conference through faith-based and social impact organizations. She currently serves as the Baypines District Missioner and for over twenty years has served as an instructor for the Alabama Course of Study. For nine years Glaize was the Executive Director of Escambia County Habitat for Humanity in Brewton, AL. Her strengths and gifts are with leadership and team management skills; managing community-based volunteers; project management and fundraising; to name a few.
 
“Rev. Glaize was an ideal candidate for this role,” stated Rev. June Jernigan, Alabama-West Florida Conference Assistant to the Bishop and Director of Ministerial Services. “She has the gifts and graces to walk alongside our part-time local pastors to ensure they receive the training and guidance needed to make effective pastoral leaders.”
 
“While this program will deeply miss Rev. Cash, we are excited to see Rev. Glaize take this program to the next level,” stated Rev. Ron Schultz, North Alabama Director of the Board of Ordained Ministry. “Her faculty and course of study experience will ensure a smooth transition into this leadership position.”
 
The director’s position is responsible for the oversight, governance, and development of an extension school for part-time local pastors in accordance with the administrative policies of the United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM).
 
Glaize is married to Rev. Ed Glaize, who will be appointed as the Dothan District Superintendent on July 1, 2019. They are the proud parents of Anna Grace and the late Curtis. Anna Grace is a seminary student at Yale Divinity School and is a candidate for ministry.
 
More information about the Alabama Course of Study can be found at www.awfumc.org/alabamacosinformation.

Important Final Details and Guide to Annual Conference 2019

published 5/16/2019

We are quickly approaching the 2019 session of the Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference. We are excited to see many of you soon. Click here to access a working agenda. Copies of the final agenda will be distributed at the doors of Wesley Hall prior to Monday's first business session. 

The reservation system will close tomorrow, May 17, 2019, at 2:00pm. After this date and time, the reservation system will be closed so that we can accurately report head counts to our host churches. Click here to make a reservation

The 2019 Guide to Annual Conference has been published. It contains the bulletins for the Opening Worship Service and Memorial Service and overviews of the morning worship services. We continue to strive to be good stewards of our resources. Therefore, printed bulletins will not be produced for these services (family attending the Memorial Service will receive keepsake copies). The 2019 Book of Reports is available online. Hard copies may be ordered through Amazon at this link

The clergy session and laity session will be held Sunday evening following opening worship (please note the start time for opening worship). Clergy will report to Wesley Hall and laity may remain in the sanctuary. Registration will close during opening worship but will briefly reopen prior to these sessions to accommodate those who are not able to register prior to opening worship. It will close promptly at 8pm Sunday evening. Clergy need to have their name badge visible to enter the executive session. 

Each morning (Monday-Wednesday) will begin with worship in Wesley Hall at 8:30am. Holy Communion will be served on Tuesday and Wednesday. Please plan to join your fellow clergy and laity for a special time of worship and reflection. This was a very meaningful part of last year's annual conference. 

We will be electing clergy and lay delegates to the 2020 General Conference. Electronic voting devices will be used only for these elections. More information on voting rights, badge colors and voting devices may be found here. If you were not able to make a pre-conference briefing, please carefully read this information. Voting devices will be obtained inside Wesley Hall and will not leave the room. Your name badge is required to receive a device. The Bishop may call for a vote at any time during a business session. Please note that Tuesday evening is a business session (this is new for 2019). 

At the beginning of the Wednesday session in Wesley Hall, we are asking all clergy to find their local church lay members and sit with them by district. There will be a screen visual (see image below) and pages to assist you in finding your district. If you are projected to receive a new appointment, please find your new church lay members. If you are retiring clergy, please sit in the district where your charge conference is held. This will be important for our Sending Forth service.

We look forward to seeing everyone June 2-5, 2019, at Frazer Memorial UMC! 


Hurricane Michael Update and Video Resource

published 5/2/2019

Hello friends of the Alabama-West Florida Conference!

We are excited to share some updates on the Hurricane Michael Recovery efforts in our conference. We have had many hurdles to jump while building our recovery program. One of our case managers likened it to building an airplane while in flight! However, we are confident that the time we have taken to put our systems into place will be multiplied back to us as we journey down this road to recovery.

The good news is that we are starting to gain traction with our construction projects in each of our three areas: Panama City, Marianna and Port St. Joe. Thus far, we are working with over 150 families and we anticipate that over 100 of them will be ready for construction in the coming days, weeks and months. Believe it or not, we are on track to far exceed our initial goal of 300 home repairs and/or rebuilds! Our summer is packed with volunteers and we are excited about the number of families that we will be able to assist thanks to your help. Please look ahead on your calendars to the fall and winter and consider helping us fill our weeks with volunteers. 

If you are a pastor or leader in your local church, I encourage you to show this brief video update in your worship services and on social media. If you have not already partnered with a church through our conference, consider exploring that option. More information can be found here or by contacting Susan Hunt.

Finally, I am grateful to the United Methodist Committee on Relief and their generous $4.6 million-dollar-grant. This grant will help launch and fund the first two years of a phased four-year recovery program in response to Hurricane Michael. You can read more about that here.

If I can answer any questions you may have about how you can help with our relief efforts, I welcome a conversation. Continue to pray for us as we minister to our neighbors in the best way possible. Thank you for you care, support and prayers.

With gratitude,
Rev. Chris Ackerman


A Video Message from Bishop Graves

published 5/1/2019

We invite you to watch a video message update from Bishop David Graves. Click here to viewClick here to read transcript.  

You may also listen to this message as an audio-only podcast by clicking here, by searching for "AWFUMC Podcasts" on iTunes or in your preferred podcast player. We invite you to subscribe to these podcasts.


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