The AWF Conference office will be migrating to a new server starting today. E-mail for conference staff could potentially be down through Monday. Should you need to contact someone at the conference office, please visit our Web site and the phone numbers for each office can be found at the bottom of each page. The Monday NewsCONNECTION schedule will resume October 10. Hope to see you at Catapult!
Calculator Tool Now Available
Under the leadership of Frank Dunnewind, AWF Treasurer, the conference leadership team has implemented an apportionment calculator designed to educate pastors, lay leaders and local church members about how apportionment dollars are distributed for 2011. Click here or go to www.awfumc.org/calculator to utilize this new tool. A quick link is also on our Web site under Features. Upon entering an amount, each line item is clickable, resulting in information about each fund. Should you need to know your world service fund or conference benevolence fund amounts, call your local church pastor or the AWF Fiscal Office. To see a brief screen shot instructional video, click here. The conference will be notified when it is updated for 2012. This tool was developed with the help of our Web and database provider, Brick River. Our conference is excited to be a trend setter and the first to use this tool!
Dexter Avenue UMC Embarks on Church Restart
Click here to witness how Rev. Tony McCullough is leading Dexter Avenue UMC through its restart process and hear from Bishop Paul Duffey about his days as senior pastor. Dexter Avenue UMC will host its last service this Sunday, September 25, before transitioning into a missional restart church.
Conference Cabinet September Recap
Click here to read a summary of the extended cabinet from Dr. Jeremy Pridgeon. The extended cabinet consists of Bishop Paul Leeland, eight District Superintendents and four conference staff directors.
AWF Conference Welcomes Cameroon Missionaries
The AWF Conference welcomed Mbwizu and Nkemba Ndjungu, Missionaries to Cameroon during the month of September. Susan Hunt, Director of Mission and Advocacy, coordinated their schedule, which included several areas of the conference including Pensacola, Mobile, Brewton, Dothan, Point Washington, Panama City and the extended cabinet in Montgomery. Click here for full article.
2012 Annual Conference Speakers Announced
Mark your calendars on June 3-6 for the 2012 Annual Conference, to be held at Christ United Methodist Church in Mobile, AL. Dr. Ben Witherington from Asbury Theological Seminary will lead our Bible Study sessions and Dr. Dana L. Robert from Boston University School of Theology will lead our teaching sessions.
Shawl Recipients Wrapped in Love
(Andalusia Star News) - A couple of years ago, Corrie Owens sat and knitted while she waited to get in line for the Wednesday night suppers at First United Methodist Church. If someone inquired about what she was making, Corrie was pleased because she had embarked upon a project that she believes in"the prayer shawl ministry. Those who knit or crochet the shawls pray over them and give them to people who are sick or experiencing difficulty. She learned about this special caring ministry from a friend involved with one at a United Methodist church in Birmingham. For complete article, click here.
Know Your District Superintendent!
Each edition, we will feature a District Superintendent as a way to "Know Your DS." Click here to get to know Rev. Ron Ball, Montgomery-Opelika District Superintendent.
There are two database upgrades that will benefit many churches. In order to log into the church dashboard to update your local church information, it requires a username and password. Should you forget that information, your district office has easy access to that information. Also, we have added a Facebook widget option to each local church page. To see a sample, click here. To implement this on your page, simply login to your dashboard, click on "My Church"s Information." Scroll down until you see the field labeled, "Facebook page." Enter in the FULL URL including http://. If you have not created a custom Facebook URL, you will most likely have to go to your church Facebook page and copy the link. Then, paste the link into the Facebook field box. Click save and your church page on the conference site should be updated! For questions or comments, call Traci or Mary Catherine at 334.356.8014.
Fiscal Year End Approaching
The deadline to have apportionments paid for the Fiscal Year 2011 will be January 9, 2012, 10am. After December 25th, the most recommended method for making apportionment payments will be directly making a deposit at a local Regions Bank into the conference account. For the account number or questions, contact the Fiscal Office. After a deposit has been made, fax a copy of your remittance form with the breakdown of how the funds are to be applied to 334.274.1052.
From October 10th through the 19th, there will be a 10-day online event that will mobilize passionate people to stand up and be counted for causes they believe in, called 10-Fold. Each day will feature a different United Methodist ministry supported by Global Ministries and UMCOR. Visit 10-Fold.org daily and register your interest. With one click, you can trigger a $1.00 donation each day of 10-Fold, up $10,000 for each project. Click here to print a bulletin insert to use during your worship services.
United Methodist Pastors Called to Serve
(UMNS) - Thousands of U.S. Reserve and National Guard members found themselves called suddenly into active duty and deployed when the war on terror started 10 years ago. Among them were United Methodist pastors called out of their pulpits in local churches to go with the troops as chaplains. Click here for full article.
More Children in Poverty Not a Surprise
(UMNS) - Last month, the Annie E. Casey Foundation reported that another 2.4 million children joined the ranks of the U.S. poor during the past decade. Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that the total number of Americans living below the poverty line " 46.2 million " was the highest total ever in the 52 years the bureau has tracked such data. For church members involved with food pantries and after-school programs, the Casey Foundation"s report of "a significant decline" in the economic well-being of low-income children and their families "is consistent with what they"re seeing," said the Rev. Mary Ellen Kris, a consultant on ministry with the poor for the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. For more, click here.
Clergy Tax & Church Accounting Workshop
This course is designed to inform tax professionals, accountants, CPAs, church accounting staff, and church volunteers about current regulations concerning clergy tax and accounting procedures. The instructor, Nancy Fritschner, CPA, has taught this course through the Episcopal church community. This course is approved for 8 CPE including
2 hours of Accounting & Auditing credit. All participants completing the program will receive CEU certificates. Choose one session: October 19: Montgomery / Troy-Montgomery"Whitley Hall, or October 20: Birmingham / Jeff State Community College"Shelby Campus. For more information, click here.
Advent Sermon Series Now Available
(UMNS) - Rethink Church has released an Advent sermon series titled "Outside the Box." The series invites Christians to unwrap anew the story of Jesus' birth. It includes sermon starters, an Advent wreath-lighting liturgy, youth/young adult small group resources as well as children and family activities. For more, click here.
World Communion Sunday is October 2
Your participation in this Special Sunday is vital to developing United Methodist leaders in the United States and around the world. Your gifts provide scholarships for graduate and undergraduate students who might not be able to pursue higher education without your support. To download free resources, click here. To see a video about World Communion Sunday, click here.
Catapult, September 26-28
Tracing Footsteps from the Past, September 26-29
Troy University Wesley Foundation Youth Day, October 1
World Communion Sunday, October 2
Safe Sanctuary Training, October 3
Huntingdon College Homecoming and Family Day, October 7-8
Bible Extreme Makeover at Epworth by the Sea, October 10-13
Wesley Heirs Fall Retreat, October 11-12
Laity Sunday, October 16
Gammon Theological Seminary Founders Day, October 18-19
Change the World Conference at Ginghamsburg UMC, October 19-21
Dothan District Lay Speaker Training, October 21-22
Encounter Weekend Marriage Seminar in Pensacola Beach, FL, October 21-23
Choir Music Weekend at Lake Junaluska, October 21-23
UMW Annual Day, October 22
You Were Born For This, October 23-26
A Christian Story for a New Generation Conference, October 27-28
AWF Historical Society Annual Meeting, October 28-29
Exploration 2011, An Event For Those Exploring A Call Into the Ministry, November 11-13
Lake Junaluska Peace Conference, November 13-15
United Methodist Student Day, November 27
Infuse Youth Ski Retreats at Lake Junaluska, Winter 2012
Warmth in Winter at Epworth by the Sea, January 16-18