Pastors: Please distribute this to your delegates, leaders & congregation “A PLACE TO CALL HOME” Did you see the Yahoo! News story last week about the Florida family that relocated to North Dakota? In 2005 the city of Hazelton ran national ads offering families huge incentives to relocate to their small town, in hopes of turning around decades of decline. Families were offered two free lots and up to $20,000 toward a home purchase, and new businesses were offered free lots and up to $50,000 to set up shop. Tired of crime, traffic, hurricanes and the high cost of living in Miami FL, the Tristani family of four packed up and moved to Hazelton four years ago. Everything they were told was true – they received free lots and money toward a home purchase. They also opened a small business – a bistro - with $50,000 incentive money.
Now four years later, they are planning to return to Miami. Why? They were never accepted by the people of Hazelton, and they are lonely. People in town judged Mr. Tristani as a drug dealer because he wore gold necklaces and a Rolex – he said he felt like a pink flamingo in a town of flannel shirts and farm caps. And a local coffee shop owner saw their new bistro as competition and so the Tristani’s had to take out a restraining order on the man in order to stop his constant drive by threats and property damage.
Isn’t there a parable in this for us as God’s community of believers? We can offer great “incentives” to attract people to church, but unless we are willing to embrace those who may look or dress differently from us, or who have different perspectives or competing ideas from our established ways of doing things, chances are, those new attendees won’t feel like our church fellowship is a place that they want to call “home” or remain.
Reaching out to those who are searching or lonely involves more than one-time incentives to attract them. We must open our hearts and make room to include them. This Easter may our churches be filled with both pink flamingos and flannel shirts.
(commuter rate includes NO lodging)
Hotel: $325 per person, need 2 people per room
(Hotel prices are based on double occupancy;
for a single occupancy, add an additional $139.)
Child Rates (ages 3 – grade 5):
1 Child: $50
2 or more children: $85 per family
One Day Registration Rates are also available
TOUCHING OUR NEIGHBORS at HOME and GLOBALLY:
ATLANTA HANDS OF HOPE UPDATE:
Pastor Greg Nitchman encourages all southeast congregations to send a work team to greater Atlanta to work on flood victim’s homes. Lodging and meals for your team are available at his church in Fayetteville GA. The fourth home is currently being finished and many other cold, discouraged homeowners are awaiting help. Thanks to the Lakeland Light & Life FMC team that served in February. Contact Greg at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 404-775-2403. Check out the excellent info and pics on website at www.handshope.org.
GENEROSITY: In the southeast region, 20 churches have reported special offerings and Salad Bowl donations totalling $31,000 since the earthquake in Haiti. Thank you for your sacrificial gifts of love. Continue giving through the Bishops Famine & Relief Fund.
VISATEAM TRAINING will take place March 25 – 27 in Indianapolis for leaders and team members considering a trip to Haiti or other cross-cultural ministry experience. For info, go to www.go.fmwm.org and click on the VISA Team Training registration link OR call 1-800-342-5531 and ask for VISA. The registration deadline is March 18
HAITI WORK TEAMS: Many have expressed interest in participating in a work team to Haiti. Let Supt Riley know if you are planning to send a team to Haiti, or if you would like to be a part of someone else’s existing team, and we’ll help you network.
HAITI CHILD SPONSORSHIPS: Now is the perfect time for every family to sponsor a Haitian child. Contact International Childcare Ministries at www.childcareministries.org
MISSIONARY SUPPORT: Individuals or churches previously supporting Jack & Jeanne Munos should continue their financial support through FMWM. Funds will be funneled to Jack as well as to new Haiti missionaries Rick & Cookie Ireland.
WRITE JACK MUNOS who now lives at 2716 Cedar Point Dr., Waco, TX 76710.
EVERY PERSON A PASSIONATE PRAY-ER Pray daily for these churches and pastors. Send greetings to one another. When you are the prayer focus, please contact the Rileys to share personal & church prayer requests.
Pray that the message of HOPE and FREEDOM is proclaimed and received
Pray that the message of HOPE and
FREEDOM is proclaimed and received
SOUTHEAST REGION NEWS WE’RE GETTING BETTER AT BEING “ON PURPOSE”
Annual On Purpose Reports summarizing 2009 and preparing for 2010 were greatly improved this year. It’s obvious that many of our pastors & leadership teams are benefiting from meeting monthly in order to evaluate, celebrate, plan and pray together. Trusting one another to speak honestly, and being unified in ministry takes effort!
During 2010, EVERY CHURCH is to follow the On Purpose Process, as Godly leaders unashamedly discuss church progress and problems, and together seek the Lord.
INDIVIDUAL CONFERENCE UPDATES ALABAMA – GEORGIA MISSION DISTRICT SAT – MON, FEB 27 – MARCH 1: SUPT DARREL IS IN AL-GA:
Sunday morning worship with Pastor Serge & Ledia Bonhomme in Marietta, GA
Then meetings @Comfort Suites at 125 Davis Loop Rd, Oxford AL 36203
Sun, Feb 28: AL-GA Exec Team Mtg (6pm CST, 7pm EST)
Mon, March 1 AM: AL & GA Pastors Mtg (9:30 – 11:30 CTS, 10:30 – 12:30 EST
HANDS OF HOPE UPDATE from Pastor Greg Nitchman:
The greater Atlanta floods of 2009 damaged 1,600 homes. Since these homes were not in a flood plain, the majority of homeowners had no flood insurance.
FM teams have come from Wenatchee WA, to East Williamson NY, to Lakeland FL.
The Fayette church offers 16 beds in 2 sleeping rooms, meals, a lounge complete with wireless internet & cable TV, and showers (some at the World Gym 3 blocks away).
Contact Pastor Greg Nitchman (404-775-2403, email@example.com) to schedule your team.
GULF COAST CONFERENCE: FRI – SUN, MARCH 5 - 7: SUPT DARREL IS IN THE GULF COAST
Sat, March 6: Pre-Annual Conference combined meeting of all pastors, delegates & leaders
All leaders are encouraged to participate in this event at Martha’s Chapel in Deville
Gather at 9:30am, session begins at 10am and concludes at noon.
Noon luncheon will be served by Youth; a donation of $7 with all proceeds going for IYC
1:00pm: MEG BD. Meeting includes interviews.
Sun, March 7: Supt Riley will be in morning services in Olla: Antioch and Summerville
SAT – SAT, MARCH 13 – 20: SPRING ARBOR GROUP comes to LA:
The Pineville: Edgewood FMC hosts Spring Arbor students serving on their spring break
They will participate in Sunday services, Wednesday night children’s program and Friday night block party at Edgewood – everyone is invited to the block party.
Also street ministry with Pastor Ronnie Hampton in Shreveport on Tuesday, and serving lunch at Manna House in Alexandria on Thursday.
FRI – SUN, MARCH 26 – 28: Dale Robinson holds revival services at Acme, please come:
Friday and Saturday night at 7:00pm
Sunday morning at 10:45am & lunch
SAT, MARCH 27: Shreveport’s “Take It to the Streets II,” led by Pastor Ronnie Hampton
Looking Ahead: JUNE 7 – 11: GULF COAST FAMILY CAMP
SOUTH ATLANTIC CONFERENCE:
BE A GRACIOUS HOST AT OVERFLOW:
It is a privilege to be the host conference for the upcoming OVERFLOW Conference on April 22 – 24. VOLUNTEER if you’d like to be part of a team that helps make sure attendees coming to Overflow are warmly greeted and conference activities run smoothly:
Airport Sign Holders, pointing attendees to our charter bus shuttle service to the Double Tree Hotel
Greeters at the hotel, pointing attendees to our Overflow Registration Area
Registration Table team – pass out nametags, hospitality bags, register children, etc.
Usher at one or more of the five main sessions
Be an on-site runner, or “Go-pher” with a van to pick up reception sheet cakes & Office Max materials
OTHER: indicate what you’re available to do
It’s going to be great fun – get in on the “behind the scenes” action to see how it all happens!
Contact Peggy Riley at firstname.lastname@example.org to choose a volunteer team and time shift.