News

AWF Hurricane Michael Update

published 10/8/2018

Hurricane Michael continues to gain strength in the Gulf of Mexico and is expected to make landfall in or near the bounds of the Alabama-West Florida Conference. Our Conference Disaster Response Ministry is active in preparations and has provided the following update. 

Bishop David Graves encourages everyone to be in prayer for those in path of the storm and those who will respond in the immediate aftermath. The United Methodist Church has always been a community leader in post-storm recovery efforts and will be present when Hurricane Michael passes. 

Local churches should complete their disaster response plans as soon as possible. Click here to access resources and forms on the conference Website

The conference is coordinating with UMCOR to stage thousands of flood kits, hygiene kits, and other materials in anticipation of post-storm needs. Click here for more information on kit assembly

After the storm, churches should report damage assessments and needs to their district disaster response coordinator and district superintendent. Click here for coordinator contact information

While we encourage all to be in ministry to their neighbors after the storm, ERT teams should not self deploy to impacted areas until requested to do so.

Direct financial contributions are always best. You may send checks to the conference office with "Hurricane Michael relief efforts" in the subject line. 

We will share updates as they become available to us in the coming days. Should you have any questions, please reach out to Rev. Rob Haynes, our AWF Disaster Response Coordinator. 


A Video Message from Bishop Graves: Conference Staff Priorities

published 10/2/2018

October 2, 2018

We invite you to watch a video message from Bishop David Graves related to conference staff priorities. 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.


Open Enrollment for Conference Insurance for 2019

published 10/2/2018
Are you eligible for the Conference health/dental insurance?  Interested?  Have questions?  Contact BeLinda Carnegie at Office (888-873-3127) for answers about eligibility.
  • Become a church-plan sponsor the lay employees
  • Health insurance coverage is administrated through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Alabama
  • Dental/Vision coverage are administrated through Guardian Company
Open enrollment begins November 1st and ends December 14th.  The effective date of coverage is January 1, 2019.

Active Clergy Coverage Premium Equivalent Rates per month
Individual Coverage (only)                                $875.00
Dependent Coverage (additional)                     $875.00
 
Laity Coverage Premium Equivalent Rates per month
Individual Coverage (only)                                $800.00
Dependent Family Coverage (additional)          $1,210.00
Laity Medicare Supplement*                             $210.00
 
*must meet requirements to enroll.
 

A Second-year Reflection Interview with Bishop Graves

published 9/18/2018

September 18, 2018

We celebrate the two-year anniversary of Bishop David W. Graves being assigned and installed to the Alabama-West Florida Conference. Hear more from him in this interview with Mary Catherine Phillips, AWF Director of Communications, about his second year and his hopes for our conference. 

Click here to see the interview. We invite you to share this on social media and with your local churches. 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. 


Alabama-West Florida Conference announces top priorities

published 9/17/2018

September 17, 2018

In an effort to better align the work and focus of the Alabama-West Florida Conference, Bishop David Graves, the extended cabinet, and the Compass leadership team (ministry area directors) have released four priorities that will streamline the efforts of the conference. The priorities were carefully crafted over several months and are a result of many hours of exploring all ministry areas.

“It is almost an impossible task to narrow down the fruitful ministry that this conference produces,” said Bishop Graves. “However, for the remainder of the quadrennium, we must focus on what will change the landscape of this conference. When we focus on disciple making, attracting talent, preaching, and adaptive leadership, we are sending the message that we have a clear, concise plan to move forward.”

The priorities read as follows:

We exist to help our local churches and extension ministries by:
• Growing God’s kingdom by making disciples and developing a multiplication mindset throughout the annual conference.
• Attracting and retaining exceptional talent that helps promote a culture of call for clergy and laity.
• Teaching, training, and coaching to support excellent preaching so that people encounter Jesus and live out the Great Commission.
• Being adaptive leaders through uncharted times emphasizing connectionalism and focusing on Kingdom work.

Although this priority list was staff and conference leadership driven, this plan will also help local churches better identify their focus.

“Many churches look to the conference for guidance on priorities and resources," said Rev. Ashley Davis, AWF Director of Connectional Ministries. "This will give them a head start on their ministry. We understand each church has its own priorities depending on the health of the church, location of congregation and financial resources, but we feel that any church can adopt this focus.

"As a new member to the conference staff team, I appreciate the identification of these priorities as it will help me focus my ministry and time. I think you will see a positive change in what resources are offered, who can best help the local church related to a specific topic, and streamlined conference-sponsored events," she said. 

Claire Bowen, a lay person from the North Georgia Conference who specializes in on boarding and team building, led a staff retreat earlier this summer. In that session each staff team member identified the components of their work and it became clear that although the work was positive, it lacked focus and clarity.

"It can be so difficult for a staff person to say no to one thing and yes to another," Graves said. "The AWF staff needs to feel empowered to clearly define if the work they are doing or visioning aligns with one of these four priorities. If it does not, we need to take a second look at that particular task.”

The conference priorities will be adopted immediately into the ongoing work of conference staff, the cabinet, and conference leadership.

Click here to download the priority sheet.


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