News from the Conference and the District
Proposed Re-Districting Plan
A proposed re-districting plan will be voted on by the delegates to the Florida Annual Conference. The number of Florida districts will be reduced from nine to eight, with our district, the South Central District, disappearing.
Under the proposed plan, our church will now come under the jurisdiction of the Gulf Central District which will geographically include all of Pinellas, Hillsborough and Polk counties. The newly-formed district will include 87 churches and 2 missions, and its offices will be headquartered at St. Paul UMC in Largo, Florida. The Rev. Candace M. Lewis will be our new District Superintendent.
New Church Starts in Florida –
A 4-Year Plan
The Florida Conference has initiated a four-year strategic plan to plant new churches throughout Florida. Data was collected through MissionInsite, an updatable demographic research program to identify areas of the state where new populations are growing, or where large existing populations are being underserved. This link identifies the proposed new startups in the state—including two new churches in Hillsborough County.
A startup church is proposed for the Apollo Beach / Riverview area to serve a rapidly growing population. If you have traveled South on U.S. 301 and then East on Big Bend Road recently, you would be amazed at the number of new subdivisions and homes going up in that area. Initially, the new church plant would be associated with the Sun City Center church—the largest United Methodist church in Hillsborough County. The Rev. Ryan Hall, an associate pastor at Sun City Center would be the new church’s first pastor.
Preparing for the 2017 Florida Annual Conference
The Annual Conference for Florida in 2017 will be held on June 8-10 at the Buena Vista Palace Hotel in Walt Disney World. The lay representatives from our district will have a prepatory meeting on May 21st from 3-5 PM at the United Methodist Temple, 2700 S. Florida Avenue in Lakeland. The main topics for the 2017 Annual Conference includes five constitutional amendments, nine resolutions, and District Realignment for the entire Conference.
Rev. Merritt Waters will be the clergy representing us at Annual Conference, while Bev Aveyard has been tapped to be our lay delegate.
St. Stephens Dedicates Its New Campus in June
The new home for St. Stephens Catholic church, on Boyette Road, will be dedicated on Thursday, June 29th. St. Stephens began in a storefront on Bell Shoals Road. Their new church contains a spacious 30,000 sq. ft. sanctuary that can comfortably seat 1,100 parishioners.
Prior to its dedication, the new sanctuary will be used to stage the Broadway musical, The Cross and the Light, which will play in the new sanctuary from Thursday, May 18th until Sunday, May 21st. The musical’s message holds firm to biblical truths, portraying Jesus’ life from the Passion to the Pentecost—a timely topic for this time of year. The musical has a cast of seven actors and singers and a state-of-the-art video projection system. Visit this website to see a listing of show times and date and to purchase tickets.
Florida Conference Mission U
United Methodist Women shall be a community of women whose purpose is to know God, to experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ; to develop a creative, supportive fellowship; and, to expand concepts of mission through participation in the global ministries of the church.