News

Post General Conference Meetings and Questions

published 3/6/2019

In preparation for the post general conference meetings with Bishop Graves this week, we are announcing a dedicated gmail address where you can send your questions ahead of time. These questions will be given priority. We will also field additional questions at the meetings as time permits.

Please send to awfgcquestions@gmail.com.

As a reminder, the meetings are as follows. Details can be found on our event calendar on the Website. 
Thursday, March 7, 2019, at Montgomery FUMC
Saturday, March 9, 2019, at Covenant UMC in Dothan, AL
Saturday, March 9, 2019, at Covenant UMC in Dothan, AL (local pastors and associate members)
Sunday, March 10 2019, at Christ UMC in Mobile, AL
Monday, March 11, 2019, at Christ UMC in Mobile, AL (clergy)


A Lenten Challenge from Bishop David Graves

published 3/5/2019

Bishop David Graves has offered a Lenten challenge for the people of the Alabama-West Florida Conference and beyond. Click here or to see the video. We invite you to share this challenge with your local churches and on social media. 

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.


A Statement from Dr. Jeff Wilson and the Montgomery-Opelika District: Lee County Storm Damage

published 3/5/2019

"The Montgomery-Opelika District suffered catastrophic damage on Sunday, March 3, 2019, as a result of violent storms and tornadoes. To date, 23 people have died and more than 50 people were injured. The response from the United Methodist Church has been significant and will continue to be a constant presence for days and weeks to come.  On both Sunday and Monday, numerous United Methodist pastors provided pastoral support and care to families who lost loved ones. This was emotionally grueling work for them as they also continue their day-to-day ministry. I am so very grateful for their faithful service and ministry. 

The sanctuary of Watoola UMC, near Opelika, AL, suffered extensive damage. I am working with Bishop Graves and our disaster response team to provide the best resources we can for this church. They have made arrangements to worship in the fellowship hall, which was damaged but not destroyed.  We are currently looking for warehouse space to store the sanctuary pews and furniture.  Please contact me if you have heated/cooled space that could be used for long-term storage for Watoola UMC as they begin to rebuild. 
Many of our local churches in the area have mobilized supply collections. I am grateful for our connection and am reminded of the importance of our denomination in times like these. At this time, we do not need more supplies.  However, we will continue to monitor the needs and communicate them out as needed.

One way our Alabama-West Florida Conference family can immediately help is to collect a special offering this Sunday, March 10, 2019. Checks may be sent to the conference or district office with a notation of, “2019 tornado response.” This money will be used for long-term recovery efforts in Lee and Russell Counties.   

The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) quickly mobilized and sent necessary supplies and a $10,000 grant. Again, we are grateful for their partnership and our connectional system.

Please join me in praying for those who were forever changed by this tragic storm. I am incredibly proud of how our district clergy and churches have responded, and I know that they will continue to lead the recovery and healing efforts. Thank you for the care and concern you have expressed and the many ways you have offered to assist those in need. I will continue to assess and inform you of the needs of the community in the days to come."

Dr. Jeff Wilson
District Superintendent, Montgomery-Opelika District
Alabama-West Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church


A Statement from Bishop David Graves Regarding Catastrophic Storms in Alabama

published 3/4/2019
“I am deeply saddened as I continue to hear of the rising death toll in Lee County. Yesterday’s storms were catastrophic and will leave a permanent mark on areas of our conference. I want to express my deepest sympathy to the families who lost a loved one in this tragedy. The raw pain you are experiencing is unfathomable. Several United Methodist pastors have responded to these families and were present last night at East Alabama Medical Center to provide comfort, prayer and pastoral support. They will continue to be available to families affected by the tornado.
 
Watoola UMC, located near Opelika, AL, received extensive damage from the storms. Our Montgomery-Opelika district disaster response director and team are assessing damage and will keep our conference leadership informed as they continue to contact our churches and clergy in the area.
 
As we draw close to Ash Wednesday, we are reminded of our human mortality and sorrow. The United Methodist Church has a great opportunity to serve our communities who are broken by this tragedy. We will respond to immediate and long-term needs in the days and weeks to come. Please join me in praying for those who were forever changed by yesterday’s storms.”
 
Bishop David Graves
Resident Bishop
Alabama-West Florida Conference
 

March 3 Storm and Tornado Damage

published 3/3/2019
The southern and eastern parts of Alabama have been in the line of significant storms and tornadoes today and the activity is not yet over. First responders are trying to gain access to several areas. According to Montgomery media outlets, there are several deaths in Lee County. We will wait to hear from our churches, pastors and members and inform you if there are any disaster response opportunities in the coming days and weeks. Please remember we are still in an active weather situation and will allow first responders to complete their search and recovery efforts before we assess needs.

Several United Methodist pastors are at East Alabama Medical Center ministering to those who are grieving the loss of a loved one. 

Lord in your mercy, hear our prayers.

Photo is from previous Hurricane Michael damage is is not related to today's storms.

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