The Circuit Rider September 2022

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Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church

TheCircuitRider Monthly Newsletter

Capitol Area UMCs Helping Neighbors in Water Crisis Jackson, Miss. – Metro Area United Methodist volunteers and churches are harnessing the power of the connection to prioritize and meet the needs of the over 170,000 people lacking access to safe drinking water due to the Jackson Water Crisis. Those connected to Jackson’s water supply had already been under boil water notices for over 30 consecutive days when Jackson’s main water treatment facilities began failing Monday, August 29. City and state officials

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month Matthew Johnson, Connectional Ministries and Communications Assistant National Hispanic Heritage Month is September 15 to October 15 each year. Starting as a week-long recognition in 1968 and later expanded, the month-long celebration pays tribute to the generations of Americans with ancestry from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and South and Central America. During this month, we honor their culture and contributions to our churches and communities. Click here for worship and outreach resources. Click here for ways to celebrate.


announced they would distribute bottled water as crews work to get water treatment operational again. In the first days of the crisis, broad distribution of clean drinking water was neither fully accessible nor sustainable for Jacksonians and others in the Metro Area impacted by the crisis. Mississippi Disaster Response Teams began gathering information from volunteers, churches and other organizations willing to put their faith into action by helping with water or offering to serve as distribution and storage sites. [Read More]

Members of We Are One UMC deliver water to homebound Jackson resident.

UMCOR Team in Miss. for Jackson Water Crisis Response Local United Methodist disaster volunteers met with two members of the General Board of Global Ministries team recently at Mississippi Conference headquarters. The group convened to discuss strategies pertaining to disaster management like asset management, feedback loops and structures and systems that aid clarity and collaboration among disaster volunteers. Lara Martin, director of U.S. Disaster Response for UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief), led conversation around disaster

Lara Martin (left), director of UMCOR U.S. Disaster Response and Rev. Greg Ellis (right), program manager for UMCOR U.S. Disaster Response lead discussion on disaster management with United Methodist disaster response volunteers.

response planning and invited those in attendance “to be mindful of communities who are marginalized” and look at a wholistic community approach to response. She used for an example, considering strategies for homeless people to have access to clean water as well.

Answers to UMC Questions page 2 | World Communion Sunday page 2 | Delegation Update page 3 | Mission Grants Available page 3 | Gathering Tour page 4 | United Women of Faith Annual Meeting page 4

September 2022

Jasmine Haynes, Communications Specialist

Connection News Is The UMC Really…? With some congregations considering leaving the United Methodist connection or curious about the future of the denomination, Ask The UMC is providing answers. Is The United Methodist Church Really…? is a series of articles addressing questions many congregations are receiving as they are discerning next steps. Click here to read the first article in the series addressing matters relating to theology, pensions and benefits. Ask The UMC welcomes your questions and input email them to

Methodist Rehab Addresses Stroke Depression Methodist Rehabilitation Center, in Jackson, a connectional ministry of the Mississippi Conference, is helping stroke survivors recover from the psychological effects of a stroke. Post-stroke depression affects about 30% of stroke survivors. The caregivers at Methodist Rehabilitation Center and its satellite clinics are quickly identifying symptoms of depression and anxiety to ensure stroke survivors receive proper care. Click here to read more. Pictured Dr. Clea Evans, PhD.

Endowment Supports Education for Clergy Spouses Being a clergy spouse is a challenging job. Balancing the responsibilities of family, church obligations and earning a degree can seem impossible. The Allie D. Foster Jackson College Scholarship Endowment can assist clergy spouses attending college to earn an undergraduate degree. Click here to learn the history behind the formation of this outstanding scholarship opportunity. Interested applicants can find scholarship applications here. Applications will be available for students from January to March.

World Communion Sunday is October 2 The first Sunday in October is World Communion Sunday, a day that calls the Church to be the universal, inclusive church that helps transform communities. The World Communion Sunday Special Offering supports racial and ethnic minority students in achieving their educational goals. In 2021, your support raised a total of $473,970. These donations change the world one life at a time and make a positive impact in the life of students worldwide. For a full package of World Communion Sunday ready to use resources in digital and print formats, click here.

Empty Bowls Supports Edwards Street Center Empty Bowls Hattiesburg started in 2012 to raise funds and awareness for the Edwards Street Fellowship food pantry. Edwards Street Fellowship, a connectional ministry of the Mississippi Conference, provides for the needs of the Hattiesburg and Pine Belt Community offering childcare, a medical clinic and Bible study in addition to other services. This year’s event takes place Saturday, October 22, from 10:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. The cost is $25. For more information, click here.

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Mississippi Conference News Mississippi Delegation Update The Mississippi Conference Delegation to General and Southeastern Jurisdictional Conferences have released a statement respecting Rev. Fred Britton’s decision to withdraw his candidacy for the episcopacy and supporting the episcopal candidacy of Rev. Dr. Connie Shelton. Impressed by Shelton’s gifts, graces and qualifications, the delegation’s statement makes clear their support. To read the delegations full statement, click here. For more information on the Mississippi Conference Delegation visit the delegation hub, here.

Collaborative Leadership Evangelism Summit The office of spiritual leadership is hosting the Collaborative Leadership Evangelism Summit Saturday, October 15. Featuring keynote speaker Rev. Dr. Phil Maynard, author of Shift 2.0, the one-day event will explore creative ways for faith communities to engage in evangelism and discipleship. The summit will be held at Crossgates United Methodist Church in Brandon beginning at 8:00 a.m. The cost is $75 for clergy and $25 for lay and there will be .8 CEUs available for clergy who attend. To register, click here.

Apply Now for Mission Grants Looking to strengthen or start a ministry for which you have a vision but limited resources? Consider applying for the 2022 Connectional Ministries Mission Grants. These matching grants, available to United Methodist churches, typically range from $250 to $2,500 per project. Extraordinary applications for up to $5,000 will be considered. The purpose of the grants is to help form spiritual leaders, develop new places for new people, renew existing congregations and/or engage in ministry with the poor. Online applications will be accepted until October 31, 2022. Click here to apply. Only applications submitted online will be considered.

National Summit on Mass Incarceration Individuals who want to make a positive impact on those currently and formerly incarcerated and their families are invited to attend the National Summit on Mass Incarceration. The two-and-a-half-day event will feature teaching, networking and policy impact development to equip those who work in the area of mass incarceration. The summit will be held October 19 through 22 in Charlotte North Carolina at University City United Methodist Church. For more information and to register, click here.

Laity Sunday 2022 Methodism, in all its roots, has a long history celebrating and recognizing the ministry of the laity. Usually observed the third Sunday in October every year, Laity Sunday is a day to celebrate the ministry of lay people who are on the front lines of daily ministry in the workplace, at home and in the community. This year, Laity Sunday will be observed October 16, with the theme Rise Up-and Reveal God’s Grace. Click here for the history of Laity Sunday. Click here for Laity Sunday themes and resources.

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Miss. Conf. United Women in Faith Annual Meeting

The Gathering Fall Tour Stops – Sept. 18 and Oct. 2

The Mississippi Conference United Women in Faith are gathering for their 34th annual meeting Friday and Saturday, September 30, and October 1, at St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church in Madison. Illka Vega, National United Women in Faith executive for economic and environmental justice will be the keynote speaker. There is a $30 registration fee that includes lunch, and a $20 registration fee with no lunch. There will be no onsite registration. To register click here.

The Gathering Fall Tour is coming to a city near you. Upcoming stops include Indianola First United Methodist Church, September 18, and Trinity United Methodist Church in Gulfport, October 2. Enjoy worship and music from Big Al and a foam party. All youth are invited to attend. For more information on The Gathering, click here.

Dr. Robert P. Jones End Racism for Good Event – Sept. 18-20 The End Racism for Good Task Force is holding a three-day event featuring Dr. Robert P. Jones author of White Too Long. All sessions will be on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi Sunday, September 18, through Tuesday, September 20. For more information on End Racism for Good, click here.

UAMN 50th Anniversary Assembly – Oct. 5-7 The United Methodist Appalachian Network invites you to celebrate, worship and learn about ministries that have been working to eradicate poverty in the Appalachia region for the past 50 years. The event will be held at the Oglebay Resort and Conference Center in Wheeling, West Virginia. To register, click here.

Lambuth Day – Oct. 6

(one of about 50 worldwide) for Lambuth Day, a time for remembering Pearl River Methodist Church, its relationship with the Lambuth Family and their missionary work in Africa, China and Japan. The program will begin at 2:30 p.m. and will be followed by snacks and cemetery walks. Click for more information.

All Saints Sunday – Nov. 6 On All Saints Sunday we remember and honor all Christian people of every time and place who have joined the Church Triumphant. We also celebrate the communion of saints as we remember the dead in our congregations who have shaped our lives and churches in a real way. For All Saints Sunday worship resources, click here.

Sabbath Day Away – Nov. 11 Clergy have an opportunity for rest and reconnection at the Sabbath Day Away retreat Friday, November 11, at Camp Lake Stephens in Oxford. The cost is $20 which covers meal and retreat. There will be .5 CEUs available for those who attend. To register, click here.

Visit your local United Methodist Landmark

Sept. Appointments/Status Changes Church/District • Diamonhead (SEA) • Marks/Lambert (SEN) • Lovely Lane (BRO) • Lorman (Cane Ridge) (BRO) • Lorman (Blue Hill) (BRO) • Court Street (HAT)

New Pastor Allen Gould Regan (FL) Cyrus Ray Owens (RE) Lindsey Robinson (FE) Lindsey Robinson (FE) Lindsey Robinson (FE) David Carey Sellers (FE)

Start Date September 6, 2022 September 4, 2022 September 5, 2022 September 5, 2022 September 5, 2022 October 1, 2022

CARES AND CONCERNS As you pause to pray this week, take time to ask for strength, peace and comfort for the families and friends of those listed below who have joined the Church Triumphant:


• We regret to inform you that Patricia Parke, wife of the late Rev. Cecil Parke passed away September 6.

As a courtesy to the Mississippi Annual Conference, job announcements from across the United Methodist connection are featured in The Circuit Rider. To submit an employment notice, send an email to Postings are not guaranteed to appear more than once in Mississippi Conference publications. To read a description of job opening(s) listed below as well as other listing, click here.

• It is with deep sadness we report Rev. Joe Landrum passed away September 4. Please keep his wife Rev. Vicki Landrum and the rest of his family in your prayers.

• Church Administrator, Starkville First UMC (Starkville, MS) • Children’s Ministry Director, First UMC (Mountain Home, AR) • Director of Youth Ministries, Trinity UMC (Gulfport, MS) • Next Generation Pastor, Faith Community UMC (West Chester, OH)

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• Please remember the family of Winna Seefeld, wife of Rev. Glenn Seefeld, in your prayers. Mrs. Seefeld passed away August 22.