News

November 19, 2020

A Video Message from Bishop Graves: Thanksgiving and Advent

November 19, 2020 As we move into the holiday season, Bishop David Graves invites you to hear a brief video message. Click here for video. We invite you to share this message with your church and on social media. Click here for ...

November 05, 2020

Zirlott Road UMC layperson leads storm relief efforts

Clayton Schwind’s phone rang as he cut tree limbs and cleared storm debris from his Mon Louis Island yard. On other end of the line were Hurricane Sally survivors who needed help. Schwind, Zirlott Road UMC’s disaster coordinator,...

November 04, 2020

Needs Assessments Continue after Zeta and Sally

One week ago today Hurricane Zeta raced through the Alabama-West Florida Conference, just weeks after Hurricane Sally made landfall along the coast. While Hurricane Sally left more long-term damage, Zeta added additional burdens ...

November 04, 2020

District connectional system vital after storms

(Kara WItherow for AWFUMC) - When a disaster strikes, the first 72 hours are critical. That’s why it’s necessary, Rev. Jared Parker says, to have a system in place in order to respond efficiently and effectively. Since late ...

November 02, 2020

Bishop Announces Alabama-West Florida Coalition for Dismantling Racism

Under the leadership of Bishop Davis Graves, the Alabama-West Florida Conference has established The Coalition for Dismantling Racism. This group of leaders met Thursday, October 29, 2020, to begin critical work around racism.   ...

November 02, 2020

A friendship forged in crisis, rooted in faith

(Kara Witherow for the AWFUMC) - Amid the storms of life, it’s important to have friends to help you weather the worst of times. With a partnership forged in crisis, Rev. Chris Ackerman and Amelia Fletcher are that kind of friend...

October 29, 2020

The Aftermath of Hurricane Zeta

There is no dispute 2020 has been an unprecedented year. Hurricanes have been no exception. After still reeling from Hurricane Sally just weeks ago, Hurricane Zeta packed a powerful punch in the Alabama-West Florida Conference. ...

October 26, 2020

An Election Day Call to Prayer from Bishop Graves

October 26, 2020 Today, October 26, 2020, Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett (North Alabama Conference Resident Bishop) and I released a call to prayer for the upcoming election on November 3. As you know, she and I share Episcopal ...

October 20, 2020

Hurricane Sally Update, October 20

Friends,   Hurricane Sally made landfall on September 16, 2020, which was 16 years to the day that Hurricane Ivan damaged the same area. To date there has been close to 60,000 individuals who have registered for FEMA assistance. ...

October 13, 2020

An Invitation from Bishop Graves

Friends,   One of my biggest struggles of the COVID era is the lack of in-person fellowship and time together. As clergy women and men, many of us crave that personal interaction to build relationships with one another. Although ...

October 12, 2020

A Word from Bishop Graves: November 3rd election

Dear Friends, As the November 3rd election approaches, I am reminded of my grandfather and uncle who served as political officials in Knoxville, Tennessee, where I grew up. My uncle served as County Trustee and County Mayor. ...

September 26, 2020

2020 Annual Conference: In Review

The 2020 Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference, originally scheduled for June 7-10, was held today, September 26, via Zoom. Bishop David Graves, presiding over his fourth annual conference session since becoming the resident ...

September 21, 2020

2020 Annual Conference Pre-conference Information

As previously announced, Annual Conference 2020 will be held virtually through Zoom webinar. The half-day annual conference session will be held on Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 1:00pm. A non-voting live stream option will be ...

September 17, 2020

Hurricane Sally Update, September 17

Hurricane Sally has moved out of the Alabama-West Florida Conference. Below is the latest disaster response information.  Assessment & Needs Flooding and roof damage are significant issues in the southern parts of our conference. ...

September 16, 2020

Hurricane Sally Update, September 16

As Hurricane Sally moves through our conference, we continue to assess the damage and communicate with our disaster recovery leadership team and clergy.  -We give thanks that we have not heard of any injuries or deaths related to ...

September 15, 2020

Hurricane Sally Conference Response: September 15, 2020

Hurricane Sally is slated to make landfall at some point tomorrow. It is a remarkably slow-moving storm and causes concern for historic flooding and storm surge. The Alabama-West Florida Conference is already staging relief ...

September 14, 2020

Hurricane Sally Preparations

Friends, Yet again, we call on our conference for prayer in preparation for Hurricane Sally making landfall. At this time, most accurate models have it hitting from New Orleans to the Mississippi Gulf Coast. This puts parts of our...

September 01, 2020

Ackerman Offers Guidance After Hurricane Laura

AWF Disaster Response Director, Rev. Chris Ackerman, has some very important words and advice for our conference after going through a traumatic hurricane just two years ago. Please carefully read his guidance. (Rev. Chris ...

August 31, 2020

Alabama-West Florida Conference Transitions to New Conference Structure

As previously announced on May 5, 2020, the Alabama-West Florida Conference has made significant budget cuts that have led to the restructuring of staff. All staff transitions are complete as of today, September 1, 2020. To ...

August 27, 2020

Hurricane Laura Response

In the wake of Hurricane Laura, we continue to pray for those affected by the storm. Bishop David Graves is requesting that churches begin collecting special offerings so that we are prepared to purchase critical items or donate ...

August 24, 2020

A Video Interview with Bishop David Graves: Reflection on Four Years

As Bishop David Graves completes his first four years of Episcopal ministry in the Alabama-West Florida Conference, he reflects on several important topics in this interview. Hear his thoughts on:  -ministry in the pandemic; ...

August 21, 2020

Conference Releases Hurricane Season Reminders

To our friends, neighbors, and churches in the Alabama-West Florida Conference:   As I am sure most of you are aware, we currently have two storm systems that have the potential to be hurricanes entering into the Gulf of Mexico. ...

August 05, 2020

Churches hold blood drives in ministry to their local community

(Susan Hunt) On a recent Monday afternoon, Ken and Brenda Smith of Montgomery First UMC each held out an arm to give a little of themselves. They, along with about 40 other people, were at the church to donate blood at a LifeSouth...

August 03, 2020

Important 2020 Annual Conference Information

As previously announced, Annual Conference 2020 will be held in two parts in the fall of 2020. Both sessions will be held virtually through Zoom webinar.    The clergy session will be held on Sunday, September 13, 2020, at 4:00pm ...

July 15, 2020

A Word from Bishop Graves: 2020 Charge Conference Season

Friends, It goes without saying that we are living in a new normal. Most of you know that one of our conference priorities relates to adaptive leadership in uncharted times. I never knew how prophetic that would be when those ...

July 08, 2020

New Vital Conversation Topic and Dates Released

In Bishop David Graves’ statement released on June 4, 2020, he charged us all to listen to one another. “I am asking all people of the Alabama-West Florida Conference to listen and stand in solidarity with people of color!” So ...

July 01, 2020

Dismantling Racism Resources

On June 4, 2020, Bishop David Graves challenged the people of the Alabama-West Florida Conference to simply listen. This came after the tragic death of George Floyd and other acts of violence against people of color.  The ...

June 25, 2020

Graves Issues Update on Worship in the Alabama-West Florida Conference

In consultation with the cabinet, I am encouraging churches to continue virtual, drive in, and outdoor worship. These worship methods have become important outreach tools and many members cannot return to in-person worship for ...

June 14, 2020

Teaming with Tanzania Impact Report

The relationships that were built in March of 2018 when Bishop Graves, as well as other lay and clergy members of the Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference (AWFC), visited Tanzania has sprouted into a beautiful partnership.   ...

June 08, 2020

Bishops call on church to act to end racism

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In the aftermath of police killings of unarmed Black people, the bishops of The United Methodist Church today called on all United Methodists to act now by using their voices, pens, feet and hearts to end ...

June 05, 2020

A Pastoral Letter to United Methodists of the Southeastern Jurisdiction

Brothers and Sisters: As president of the Southeastern Jurisdiction College of Bishops my heart rejoices over the bold, courageous, and compassionate offering of confession, lament, and call to action by our white brothers and ...

June 04, 2020

A Word from Bishop Graves: 24 Hours, 24 Days: Listen!!!!

Dear Alabama-West Florida Church Family,   In recent days following the tragic murder of yet another black male, George Floyd, there have been numerous statements written and reports of protests. Most of these were peaceful, yet ...

June 02, 2020

Alabama-West Florida Conference Seeks District Administrator

The northern districts of the Alabama-West Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church are seeking a full-time District Administrator to be located in Montgomery, Alabama. The position includes providing support for ...

May 27, 2020

Alabama-West Florida to hold annual conference sessions in fall of 2020

Bishop David Graves, in collaboration with conference leadership and the annual conference planning team, is announcing that the 2020 AWF Annual Conference session will be held in two parts in the fall of 2020. Both sessions will ...

May 27, 2020

AWF Office of Communications Receives Four UMAC Awards

For the first time ever, the United Methodist Association of Communicators held their annual awards gala in a virtual format on the evening of Thursday, May 21, 2020. Each year, UMAC recognizes excellence in communication through ...

May 26, 2020

General and Jurisdictional Conference Revised Dates Announced

Commission sets dates for postponed General Conference; will explore new uses of technology  Nashville, Tenn.: The Commission on the General Conference has announced new 2021 dates for General Conference following the postponement...

May 21, 2020

Graves Issues Update on Worship in the Alabama-West Florida Conference

Bishop David Graves, in conjunction with the Alabama-West Florida cabinet, encourages churches to continue to hold online, outdoor and drive-in worship services through June 30, 2020.   “Thus far, we have not seen the necessary ...

May 19, 2020

Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH) partners with Alabama-West Florida Conference to Provide Housing for Families Impacted by Hurricane Michael

The Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH), in partnership with the Alabama-West Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church (AWFUMC), has been awarded $645,000 in funding from the Florida Disaster Fund to rebuild six (6) ...

May 13, 2020

Virtual Vacation Bible School

May 13, 2020 The Alabama-West Florida Conference would like to connect churches around the topic of 2020 Vacation Bible School (VBS). As many of you know, it has been recommended by Bishop David Graves that there be no in-person ...

May 12, 2020

Conference Leadership Releases Restart Guidelines for In-person Worship

Under the leadership of Bishop David Graves, the COVID-19 task force has released updated guidelines for restarting in-person worship. Click here for guidelines.   The bishop, cabinet and conference leadership continue to affirm ...

May 06, 2020

In-person Worship Cancellations Extend into June for Alabama-West Florida Conference

Bishop David Graves, in conjunction with the Alabama-West Florida cabinet, is recommending the cancellation of all in-person worship and church meetings through June 1, 2020.   “We continue to assess recommendations from health ...

May 05, 2020

Alabama-West Florida Conference Announces Budget Reductions and Restructuring Plans

The Alabama-West Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church is undergoing budget reductions and staff restructuring to appropriately plan for financial implications as a result of COVID-19 and the upcoming session of the ...

April 29, 2020

Alabama-West Florida Conference Important Announcements and Updates Related to COVID-19

There are several important announcements for clergy, lay leaders, lay members to annual conference and staff parish relations chairs. Please take time to carefully read these announcements. Annual Conference Dates The 2020 ...

April 27, 2020

A Word from Bishop Graves for the Montgomery-Prattville District

Friends in the Montgomery-Prattville District,   I hope this correspondence finds you well despite the ongoing pandemic in the world.   Perhaps you read the announcement that the Montgomery-Opelika district superintendent, Dr. ...

April 23, 2020

In-person Worship Cancellations Extend into May for Alabama-West Florida Conference

Bishop David Graves, in conjunction with Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett of the North Alabama Conference of the UMC, is recommending the cancellation of all in-person worship and church meetings through (and to include) May 17, 2020....

April 19, 2020

COVID Statement from Tanzania for AWF Conference

Greetings from the Tanzania Annual Conference. We greet you in the name of our Risen Savior and with the Hope of the Easter Season.   Thank you for letting us know how you are doing and ways in which to pray for you. This global ...

April 13, 2020

Bishop Announces District Cabinet Changes

Bishop David Graves has announced one change to the AWF Cabinet. Dr. Jeff Wilson, current Montgomery-Opelika District Superintendent, will also serve the Montgomery-Prattville District, effective July 1, 2020.   Rev. Allen Newton,...

April 11, 2020

AWF Online Easter Service Now Available

Friends, The comprehensive online AWF Easter service is now available in two formats. This service is dedicated to the glory of God and as a gift to the clergy and laity of our annual conference. All eight districts participated ...

April 06, 2020

Being the hands and feet of Christ in a pandemic through curbside delivery

While being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ can be difficult under normal circumstances, consider this challenge with state and national shelter-in-place mandates. When all hands and feet are ordered to stay at home, several ...

April 02, 2020

Alabama-West Florida Conference Releases Updates on In-person Worship and 2020 Annual Conference Session

The Alabama-West Florida Conference has released a revised date for all conference- and district-related gatherings in the bounds of the conference. To comply with the recommendation of President Trump, all in-person worship and ...

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