Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Why so much communicating?

We are in a season of many communications – printed, emailed, online, you name it! In May, our global denomination will hold its next General Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota. General Conference is a time in our church’s life where elected representatives from the various Methodist conferences throughout the world come together. At General Conference, representatives vote on legislation on behalf of the nearly 12+ million Methodists worldwide. 

Leading up to every General Conference we often see an increase of articles, interviews, and other communications. In these communications, different individuals and organizations offer suggestions and perspectives on upcoming General Conference matters – this year is no different!

What’s the official word from FUMCWP?

Please discern whether the communications you receive are official statements on behalf of First United Methodist Church of Winter Park. Official statements from FUMCWP are available on the following channels:

Additionally, in mid-January our Leadership Council, the elected leaders of FUMCWP, will mail an official statement on FUMCWP letterhead to our members. 

How can I stay informed?

Make sure you don’t miss the awesome work that God is doing in our faith community. 

Our Deniomination

What is the General Conference in May?

The General Conference held in May is the quadrennial gathering of United Methodists from around the world. The General Conference consists of delegates elected from their annual conferences on four continents. Half of the delegates are clergypersons and half are laypersons. Bishops preside at General Conference sessions, but do not vote. The General Conference is the legislative body of the worldwide United Methodist Church.

What are appointments?

You may or may not have heard the term appointment before. The United Methodist denomination uses an appointment system to determined where Methodist clergy serve. Each year, all clergy (including ours here at FUMCWP!) are evaluated and either appointed or reappointed on an annual basis. Take a minute to read these words from Bishop Carter as he offers insights into the appointment system within the Florida Conference.

“As the appointive cabinet begins its work this winter, we welcome your prayers. We are seeking, in consultation with the clergy and laity leaders of our annual conference, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, to make assignments that will create the best matches, that will call forth our gifts, that will help the local church to resemble the Kingdom of God, and that will glorify God…. Every appointment is made in an environment of deep prayer, listening to God, paying attention to the gifts of clergy and the desires of the local church, but, again focusing first on the needs of the mission field—that is, the community that surrounds the local church.”

Here are a few resources from the past you may find helpful to review:

What is church?
Often, we fall guilty of talking about church as if church is merely a building(s). But a church is its people. To echo Pastor David, “Thank God for that! I don’t want to be a part of a building. I want to be a part of a community.”

What’s the history of Methodism?
Think of how the Methodist church started. Initially, John Wesley’s movement started as a fresh expression from the Church of England. Ultimately, that seed formed other denominations like the Wesleyan Methodist and the Free Methodists – and even the Church of the Nazarene. We see there is room for multiple forms of Methodist faith while we are all the body of Christ.

What is the structure within the denomination?
Remember, in the United Methodist Church, we have a representational model of government. We do not have a congregational model of government where everyone votes on all matters. Rather, we elect representatives that vote on our behalf at the denominational level and the local church level. That is our structure.

Where can I find updates about the denomination?
Please visit the Florida Conference website at for more information regarding the denomination. In the meantime, let’s be in prayer for God’s direction and grace. Let’s be mindful that our rhetoric will be heard by others who are equally treasured, valued and loved by God – which is to say, each and every one of us. Do no harm. Pray for patience, wisdom and the movement of grace in these circumstances. Be informed.

Can you tell me more about appointments?
Our local church is one that historically (and currently!) is blessed with vast resources and immense community. And as one of over 700+ local churches in the Florida Conference, we are a single variable within a much broader scope. One of the initiatives that happens each year within the Florida Conference (and all United Methodist conferences for that matter) involves clergy appointments. The clergy appointment initiative is actually quite complex. The Bishop’s Cabinet, the District Superintendents, the Clergy, the local church’s Staff Parish Relations (SPR), and an annual feedback form completed by the local church all contribute to how appointments are made. Bishop Carter makes note that “every appointment is made in an environment of deep prayer, listening to God, paying attention to the gifts of clergy and the desires of the local church, but, again focusing first on the needs of the mission field – that is, the community that surrounds the local church.”

Grace-filled conversations characterize the spring of every year. These conversations 1) assess the missional needs of a local church community, 2) uplift the giftedness and areas of strength of the clergy and 3) pair clergy with mission fields ripe for ministry. Appointments really are an opportunity for the Florida Conference to practice stewardship in pairing the giftedness of clergy with the needs of a particular local community.

Do you have a question for us?