News

God opens and shuts doors

published 4/19/2015
PATHWAY TO HIS PRESENCE B.J. FUNK I love the way our mighty God makes Himself available to us. He is holy and powerful yet He comes to our side as our dear friend to whisper His comfort, peace and guidance. This next line is one of my favorite. “God can open doors that no man can close, and close doors that no man can open.” I love this thought. It leaves nothing out, nothing to chance. It is clear and concise and looks to God as being completely in charge. If God wants a door to close in ...

Preparations continue for Annual Conference 2015

published 4/19/2015
More details for the 2015 South Georgia Annual Conference session have been announced and pre-conference materials, including the Book of Recommendations and Reports and the Lay Delegate Interest Brochure, are now available for download at www.sgaumc.org/acprintedmaterial. With a theme of “We’re Better Together,” times of worship, teaching, business and fellowship will celebrate what can be accomplished because of the connected nature of The United Methodist Church.  Set for June 3-6 in ...

VSU Wesley Foundation celebrates Discipleship House groundbreaking

published 4/19/2015
What began almost three centuries ago at Oxford University in England continues today at Valdosta State University’s Wesley Foundation. There, a small group of students devoted themselves to lives of service, faith sharing, witnessing, and holy living. They prayed together, studied scripture, and applied what they learned to their daily lives and to social justice. In much the same way, this fall 12 VSU students who are dedicated to lives of discipleship will move into a new discipleship house...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 4/19/2015

published 4/13/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, April 19 The Sunday Advocate is a weekly printable bulletin insert and supplement to the South Georgia Advocate online newspaper. Loaded with South Georgia Conference and UMC news, event information, tips and more, the Sunday Advocate is a printable PDF that can be printed and distributed through local church communication pieces. It will be published and available for download each Monday afternoon. The Sunday Advocate is saved in...

A Journey to Belonging: Including Persons with Disabilities in Faith Communities

published 4/6/2015
Part 2 in a 3-part series on inclusion Rev. Stacey Harwell-Dye With Excerpts from Including People with Disabilities in Faith Communities by Erik W. Carter In the last article we talked about barriers to full participation in our churches for people with disabilities. We talked about both physical barriers, like lack of ramps and bathrooms, and attitudinal barriers. This article is going to talk about how we can get folks active in the life of the church. The first and most important lesson ...

All for me!

published 4/6/2015
FROM THE BISHOP JAMES R. KING, JR. Hello, beautiful people of South Georgia! After celebrating Easter in 2015, what does it mean to be an Easter people? God sent Jesus into the world to love me, teach me, die for me, and to save me … all this for me! For those who accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we become a good news people – an Easter people. God overcomes our sins, death loses its power over us, and life eternal is our gift by God’s grace. What, then, is the earthly journey to be ...

Camp Connect Spotlight - Ben Barron

published 4/6/2015
Ben Barron, 12, is a homeschooled sixth grader from Swainsboro. He and his family are active at Swainsboro First United Methodist Church. Tell us a little bit about yourself and one cool or neat fact. I do YouTube videos. I’m a YouTuber. I have a channel where I do challenge videos, like the Ice Bucket Challenge and a bunch of others. I also do vlog videos where I vlog about my day and what I’m doing. I upload about one of those a day. My mom and my granddad both went to Epworth when they were ...

Focus

published 4/6/2015
LEADERSHIP REALLY MATTERS ANNE BOSARGE REV. JAY HANSON Bishop King took this picture of me in Antioch on a hill that houses a cave called St. Peter’s Church. It was in this cave that the early followers of “The Way” would secretly meet with Peter, Paul and Barnabas to worship God. It was in this place that the followers of Jesus were first called Christians. Right below me is this field with sheep that appears unchanged by the centuries. In front of me, sprawled out as far as I can see, is the...

Ground can be broken on new Conference Center if 5,000 people each give $100

published 4/6/2015
At the heart of United Methodism is the concept of connectionalism, a system which “enables us to carry out our mission in unity and strength” (Book of Discipline, ¶701). Basically, it means that together we can accomplish far more than any one church or person could alone. That connectionalism is at the heart of the South Georgia Conference Center Task Force’s latest fundraising effort for the new Conference Center. They’re asking 5,000 South Georgia United Methodists to support the ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 4/12/2015

published 4/6/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, April 12 The Sunday Advocate is a weekly printable bulletin insert and supplement to the South Georgia Advocate online newspaper. Loaded with South Georgia Conference and UMC news, event information, tips and more, the Sunday Advocate is a printable PDF that can be printed and distributed through local church communication pieces. It will be published and available for download each Monday afternoon. The Sunday Advocate is saved in...

UMW host Spiritual Growth Retreat, consecrate new communion sets

published 4/6/2015
In Isaiah, chapter 43, God offers promises of restoration and redemption, and hope of new life. “Behold! I will do a new thing,” proclaims Isaiah 43:19. The United Methodist Women used that verse as the theme for their annual Spiritual Growth Retreat, held March 20-22 at Epworth By The Sea on St. Simons Island. “Our theme was about starting new again,” said UMW Conference President Mary Exley. After more than a year of meetings, planning, and the hard work of redistricting as the Conference ...

Petition Submission Begins for General Conference 2016

published 4/3/2015
Petitions for consideration by the 2016 General Conference may be submitted to the Petitions Secretary beginning April 1 and continuing through Oct. 13, 2015. According to church law, “Any organization, clergy member, or lay member of The United Methodist Church may petition the General Conference...” Detailed instructions for submitting a petition are available on the General Conference website at gc2016.umc.org. Petitions must be typed and may be submitted through the General Conference ...

Volunteers needed for General Conference

published 3/31/2015
Nashville, Tenn.: Volunteers are needed for a variety of roles during the 2016 General Conference, The United Methodist Church’s top legislative assembly, which will meet in Portland, Oregon from May 10-20, 2016. At this time, volunteers are needed for the following positions: 28 recorders, 10 channel “B” identifiers and 20 verbatim transcribers/copy editors. Recorders will serve as members of the staff of the secretary of the General Conference and work in direct support of their assigned ...

Help make the dream a reality - invest $100 in new Conference Center

published 3/26/2015
From: Dr. Hal Brady on behalf of the South Georgia Conference Center Task Force   The only thing better than dreaming a dream is to see it come to fruition. South Georgia Methodists have experienced the first blessing. You can make the second a reality in 2015.   Your Conference Center will be on the grounds of Wesleyan College in Macon. The total cost of the building is estimated at $2.2 million, and we have already raised $1.3 million. So the goal is clearly in sight.    We are looking for ...

Living the Ten Timeless Values

published 3/17/2015
FOCUS ON THE VISION DENISE WALTON A few years ago, Bishop James King introduced the ten timeless values as the basis for personal and congregational plans of discipleship. Recently I was asked to name them. It was very easy to name nine but I continued to get stuck on the last value. The exercise reminded me that we often engage in the ten timeless values but we may not be conscious of the effort. The Lord’s Supper, Sabbath, Scripture, Stewardship, Baptism, Fasting, Fellowship, Justice, ...

Camp Connect gives children and youth opportunity to learn about God

published 3/16/2015
This summer, through Connectional Ministries’ camping ministry, children and youth have the opportunity to explore and learn about God’s creation and intention for the world. They will be inspired to care for their world as they discover their responsibility toward both God and the planet. They will examine steps they can take in their everyday life to protect the environment while applying these principles to their Christian faith. "My prayer, as each camp registration comes through, is that ...

Dublin First UMC Sunday school class surprises Jack and Ruthanne Key with $25,000 endowment

published 3/16/2015
As an expression of their love and appreciation for “Brother Jack” and “Miz Ruthanne” Key, members of the Dublin First UMC Key Sunday school class and the Dublin, Ga. community pooled their resources to establish a $25,000 legacy gift in their honor. Jack, the former pastor of Dublin First UMC, is one of the longest-serving ministers in the history of the South Georgia Conference. The Georgia United Methodist Foundation manages the endowment fund, which is to be used to further the Christian ...

McCord appointed Director of the Georgia Commission on Higher Education

published 3/16/2015
Bishop B. Michael Watson, Bishop James King, and the Georgia Commission on Higher Education announce the appointment of Rev. Michael McCord as the next Executive Director of the Georgia United Methodist Commission on Higher Education and Campus Ministry. The appointment will be effective in June of 2015.  McCord will follow Rev. Cindy Autry who will retire in June.  McCord is currently Director of Campus Ministry Resources and Training for the United Methodist General Board of Higher Education ...

Prayer, persistence, patience pay off for local churches

published 3/16/2015
It took prayer, persistence, and patience, but last year, for the first time since 2006, Ashburn First United Methodist Church paid 100 percent of its apportionments. It was one of a handful of South Georgia congregations that had not paid 100 percent of their apportionments in several years and then paid them in full in 2014. For Ashburn First UMC, understanding, education, and developing a long-term plan were critical to their success. “They wanted to do the right thing,” Rev. Alan Miller ...

We'd rather grumble

published 3/16/2015
By Dr. Hal Brady A woman in her eighties, rigid and conservative, had become cynical. She thought everything modern was bad and every new change was a disaster. She complained to a neighbor, “It's a good time to be dead.” Now, few of us would be pleased at being compared with this glum person. But many of us, if we are honest, do not have much room to brag. We know that one of the things we do best – and perhaps most frequently – is grumble. And our grumbling tends to spill over into ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 3/15/2015

published 3/9/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, March 15 The Sunday Advocate is a weekly printable bulletin insert and supplement to the South Georgia Advocate online newspaper. Loaded with South Georgia Conference and UMC news, event information, tips and more, the Sunday Advocate is a printable PDF that can be printed and distributed through local church communication pieces. It will be published and available for download each Monday afternoon. The Sunday Advocate is saved in...

Camp Connect Spotlight: Gentry Haygood

published 3/1/2015
Gentry Haygood, 12, is a sixth-grade student at West Laurens Middle School in Dublin. She and her family – sister, Ruthie, 10, and parents Laura and Thad – attend Dublin First United Methodist Church. Tell us about yourself and one cool fact. I like cross country, soccer, track, tumbling, and piano. Fun Fact: my grandfather went to Epworth camp, my dad went to Epworth, and now I go to summer camp at Epworth. They both were camp counselors there and I hope to be one someday, too. When was ...

Charles Wesley's troubles on St. Simons Island

published 3/1/2015
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON On March 9, 1736, Charles Wesley first set foot on St. Simons Island, Georgia. He wrote in his diary, “No sooner did I enter upon my ministry than God gave me, like Saul, a new heart…” However, that enthusiasm did not last long in Frederica Town. One of the first things Charles did in Georgia was to get Oglethorpe to pass a rule forbidding “the discharge of firearms on the Lord’s day.” Some of the people loved to go out shooting on Sunday. Charles was just ...

Five things the Church should stop for Lent

published 3/1/2015
GROWING IN GRACE BEN GOSDEN Lent is the time of year where we look at our lives and do the hard work of being honest about things that might be keeping us from growing deeper in our relationship with God. Now, many use it as an excuse to deprive themselves of chocolate or caffeine or dessert. I say that’s fine so long as those things are hindering your faith life. If they’re not and you still want to give them up as an act of endurance for the next 40 days, then fine, at least add something ...

From the Bishop: From the heart

published 3/1/2015
FROM THE BISHOP JAMES R. KING, JR. Hello, beautiful people of South Georgia! THANKFUL! I give thanks to God for you. There are so many wonderful and blessed ministries occurring because of your faithfulness. THANK YOU! For loving! THANK YOU! For giving! THANK YOU! For taking care of yourself! THANK YOU! For making disciples of Jesus Christ! Appointments All active clergy and many laity are aware that this is appointment-making season. Some of the moves that the cabinet and I will ...

Pastor proclaims gospel in and out of pulpit

published 3/1/2015
For 63 years, Rev. George Herndon has proclaimed the gospel of Jesus Christ in and out of the pulpit. He saw an opportunity to serve God in another season of life when he retired from full-time ministry in 1991 from Brunswick’s College Place United Methodist Church. Passionate about serving wherever the Lord leads, in the years that followed Rev. Herndon led 58 United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) teams on short-term mission trips around the world. “I have been involved in missions ...

Pre-Conference Mailing Opt-out

published 3/1/2015
CLICK HERE TO OPT-OUT OF MAILING To help us be better stewards of our resources we are asking those who are willing to download the Book of Recommendations and pre-conference materials - whether you download it to a laptop or mobile device or print it out yourself - to opt out of the physical mailing by filling out this form. Deadline to opt-out of the mailings is April 15. Those who do not opt-out of the mailing will receive the printed materials as usual. An email will also be sent with the ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 3/1/2015

published 2/23/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, March 1 The Sunday Advocate is a weekly printable bulletin insert and supplement to the South Georgia Advocate online newspaper. Loaded with South Georgia Conference and UMC news, event information, tips and more, the Sunday Advocate is a printable PDF that can be printed and distributed through local church communication pieces. It will be published and available for download each Monday afternoon. The Sunday Advocate is saved in ...

2015 Lenten photo a day project

published 2/16/2015
Lent, the season of the Christian Year that is typically observed as a time of simple living, prayer and fasting leading up to Easter, begins on Ash Wednesday [February 18, 2015]. Many spend the time in self-examination and reflection as modeled by Jesus in Matthew 4: 1-11 where he prayed and fasted for 40 days before beginning his ministry. What happened during those 40 days of fasting and praying in the wilderness? Our friends at the Upper Room say that maybe Jesus needed some time with God to...

Aldersgate UMC has powerful partnership with weightlifting ministry

published 2/16/2015
A unique partnership between a Savannah United Methodist Church and a former member of the U.S. Women’s Weightlifting National team has grown into a powerful ministry. Aldersgate UMC, located in the heart of East Savannah at the corner of Pennsylvania and Tennessee Avenues, is a small, urban, neighborhood church. In the past 50 years, what used to be a blue-collar, middle-class community has transitioned. Crime, gangs, and violence had increased and there were two shootings in the neighborhood ...

In times of grief

published 2/16/2015
By Dr. Hal Brady Since our daily newscasts show so many grieving people and since I have just finished reading about the death of legendary North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith, I want to address the subject of grief. Grief has been defined as “the natural response to any loss.” The key word is that it is natural. There is an orderly process people go through in dealing with grief. This process is nature's way of healing a broken heart. And keep in mind that there are no short cuts, no ...

Leadership Growth and Development

published 2/16/2015
FOCUS ON THE VISION DENISE WALTON In his book “Servant Leadership,” Robert Greenleaf defines two kinds of leaders. Strong natural leaders are those who try to take control, make decisions, and give orders in any situation in which the find themselves; they have a need to be in charge. Strong natural servants, on the other hand, will assume leadership only if they see it as a way in which they can serve. Ken Blanchard, in his book “The Heart of a Leader,” states, "I want to be led by strong ...

Remembering my baptism

published 2/16/2015
PATHWAY TO HIS PRESENCE B.J. FUNK On the first night of Winter Camp Meeting at Epworth By The Sea, Bishop King asked us if we still had our Baptismal Certificate. He said that as he has grown older, his baptism has also grown in meaning. Immediately, my mind went back to scenes from my childhood as I sat on Mama’s bedroom floor and asked the question she heard me ask every year on my birthday. “Is this the year, Mama? Is this the year I get to open the preacher’s letter to me?” “Not yet,” she ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 2/22/2015

published 2/16/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, February 22 The Sunday Advocate is a weekly printable bulletin insert and supplement to the South Georgia Advocate online newspaper. Loaded with South Georgia Conference and UMC news, event information, tips and more, the Sunday Advocate is a printable PDF that can be printed and distributed through local church communication pieces. It will be published and available for download each Monday afternoon. The Sunday Advocate is saved...

2014 Statistical Tables now available online

published 2/11/2015
The 2014 Statistical Tables are now available to be filled out online: http://ezra.gcfa.org/login.aspx.  Below is a note from Dr. Derek McAleer, Director of Administrative Services, that he sent out to all pastors serving a local church. If you are serving as pastor of a local church, please note: Statistical Tables 2014 Statistical Tables are now available: http://ezra.gcfa.org/login.aspx.   Login Information Your username is the 6-digit general church number found in parenthesis on your ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 2/15/2015

published 2/9/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, February 15 The Sunday Advocate is a weekly printable bulletin insert and supplement to the South Georgia Advocate online newspaper. Loaded with South Georgia Conference and UMC news, event information, tips and more, the Sunday Advocate is a printable PDF that can be printed and distributed through local church communication pieces. It will be published and available for download each Monday afternoon. The Sunday Advocate is saved...

Apportionment giving rises

published 2/3/2015
The 2014 financials are being finalized, and the Conference’s fiscal outlook is better than it has been in years. United Methodist churches in the South Georgia Conference paid 88.25 percent of their 2014 conference apportionments, the highest percentage received since 2007. Total giving for conference apportionments was $738,000 higher than in 2013. Expenses are still being tallied, but Conference leaders are optimistic about the future. “I’m very hopeful that when we put the expense side ...

Finding friends for old country churches

published 2/3/2015
By Sam Hodges* Union United Methodist Church sits so far back in the southeast Georgia pines that the crackling report of a deer hunter’s rifle sometimes interrupts worship. It’s been known to happen as members kneel for communion. “All of a sudden they’ve got a grip on the altar rail and they don’t turn loose,” said Steve Brown, the church’s volunteer lay speaker. “It’s what we call white-knuckle prayer.” Though Union United Methodist is geographically obscure, it’s enjoying a raised profile ...

How leaders tackle HUGE problems!

published 2/3/2015
Remember it is not your battle.­ LEADERSHIP REALLY MATTERS ANNE BOSARGE REV. JAY HANSON Sometimes the challenges in ministry seem insurmountable. It feels like everyone is against us and there simply isn’t enough time or energy to handle everything that has to get done. So what are we to do when we honestly don’t know what to do? Let’s learn from Jehoshaphat, King of Judah, when he was confronted with a huge problem in 2 Chronicles 20. The Moabites, the Ammonites and the Meunites all rallied ...

John Wesley begins his ministry in Georgia and senses potential trouble

published 2/3/2015
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON After spending almost a month waiting for Rev. Quincey to leave Savannah, John Wesley became the pastor of Christ Church. He had waited on the ship “Simmons” and spent time with the Germans who came to Georgia with Oglethorpe. Finally, in early March 1736 he led his first worship service in the small public building on Bay Street. Almost at once he sensed potential trouble for himself and his ministry in Savannah. After that first worship service he wrote to his ...

March 2 deadline for resolutions

published 2/3/2015
March 2, 2015 is the deadline for all resolutions to be considered by the 2015 session of the South Georgia Annual Conference. The Resolutions Committee will consider only those resolutions received by March 2. Resolutions should be sent to Rev. Wayne Moseley, Chair, 10 Timber Trail Suite #101, Richmond Hill, GA 31324 or coastalds@sgaumc.com. A copy should be sent to Rev. Craig Hutto, Conference Secretary, PO Box 420, Waynesboro, GA 30830 or hcraighuttojr@gmail.com. A digital copy should also ...

New Conference-wide database will consolidate data, increase efficiency

published 2/3/2015
On Friday, Jan. 30, members of the Administrative Services, Office of Connectional Ministries, Ministerial Services, Congregational Development and Pastoral Counseling teams met in Macon to collaborate and converse. The meeting developed after several conversations between department leaders focused on more collaboration and less redundancy in each conference ministry area. The recommendation made by the Conference’s Enhanced Technology Team to use new technology to increase efficiency, be ...

On the heart of your Bishop - February

published 2/3/2015
FROM THE BISHOP JAMES R. KING, JR. Hello, beautiful people of South Georgia! Below I will address several subjects including the following: Apportionments The Influence of a Christlike life How to Protect Yourself The Natural Standard Apportionments A BIG thanks to you, South Georgia! Thanks, clergy and congregations, for being so generous in supporting our covenant together through the apportionments. Our giving percentage was the highest it’s been in the past eight years. We are greater ...

Pierce Chapel UMC wears pajamas to serve others

published 2/3/2015
On Sunday, Jan. 25, members of Pierce Chapel UMC traded their Sunday finest for pajamas and slippers. The congregation isn’t typically quite so casual – they were gearing up for their annual Global Impact Celebration (GIC), a weekend-long mission immersion experience. Leading up to the weekend, which will be held Feb. 6 through Feb. 8, Pierce Chapel has introduced congregants to their mission partners and asked for donations that each can use in their ministry. Fran Lynch, a deaconess and ...

South Georgia preps for 2015 Annual Conference session

published 2/3/2015
United Methodists from across South Georgia will converge in Tifton June 3 through June 6 for the 2015 Annual Conference Session. With a theme of “We’re Better Together” from Matthew 18:20 which says, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them,” this year’s Annual Conference session will focus on the timeless value of fellowship. “This theme … will help us celebrate the fellowship we share with Christ and with each other,” said Rev. Hutto, Conference Secretary.  The main ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 2/8/2015

published 2/3/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, February 8 The Sunday Advocate is a weekly printable bulletin insert and supplement to the South Georgia Advocate online newspaper. Loaded with South Georgia Conference and UMC news, event information, tips and more, the Sunday Advocate is a printable PDF that can be printed and distributed through local church communication pieces. It will be published and available for download each Monday afternoon. The Sunday Advocate is saved ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 2/1/2015

published 1/26/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, February 1 The Sunday Advocate is a weekly printable bulletin insert and supplement to the South Georgia Advocate online newspaper. Loaded with South Georgia Conference and UMC news, event information, tips and more, the Sunday Advocate is a printable PDF that can be printed and distributed through local church communication pieces. It will be published and available for download each Monday afternoon. The Sunday Advocate is saved ...

Upcoming webinars focus on children, technology and safety

published 1/26/2015
The General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) is hosting two important upcoming webinars, both focused on children, safety and technology. On Wednesday, Jan. 28, GBOD presents "Safe Sanctuaries in a Virtual World." Joy Melton and Michelle Foster will unpack their new book which addresses the challenges of ministry that have arisen in the face of rapidly changing technology in the digital age. This interactive webinar will focus on how the virtual world impacts our ministry with children. The webinar...

Worship service marks beginning of Global Ministries' transition to headquarters at Grace UMC Atlanta

published 1/21/2015
By Sybil Davidson, North Georgia Conference When you are in ministry “from everywhere, to everywhere,” you become fluent in the language of hospitality and welcome. That is certainly the case with The General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church. In a special worship service on Sunday, Jan. 11, Global Ministries staff, missionaries, and directors joined members of Grace United Methodist Church, and North and South Georgia Conference clergy, laity, bishops and leaders at the...

"Behold the new thing God will do in your life" at the UMW annual retreat

published 1/20/2015
The United Methodist Women of the South Georgia Conference will host their annual Spiritual Growth Retreat March 20-22 at Epworth By The Sea on St. Simons Island. Coming together under the theme of “Behold! I will do a new thing …” from Isaiah 43:19, retreat participants will hear well-known author and speaker Cathy Lee Phillips use personal experiences and her trademark humor to show how God guides and nurtures believers as they face new and sometimes unexpected events in their lives. ...

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