Click here for a downloadable version of The Link.
September 10, 2009 --
Volume 8, No. 16
Thoughts from Bishop King
Bishop James King began his second year as episcopal leader of the South Georgia area on September 1. Bishop King shares his thoughts on his first year in South Georgia as well as his expectations and excitement for the coming year.
Speakers, Musicians announced for November Youth Celebration 2009
Who hasn't asked the question, "What does God want me to do?" It is a question that we all wrestle with, a search for purpose and meaning in an all too often chaotic and seemingly random universe. But what if God has already answered that question for us? What if the answer is simply to obey the instructions given to us through God's word, the Bible? This year's November Celebration theme, OBEY, will explore the idea that application and not revelation is what most of us are lacking in our Christian walk.
Set for November 20-22 at Epworth By The Sea, November Celebration will retell the story of Jonah and answer the question, "What happens when we obey God's commands?" This year's speaker is Fred Whaples, a highly sought after trainer in children and youth ministry. Fred takes his full knowledge, experience and education to partner with churches in growing vibrant ministries and impacting the world for Christ. Joining Fred to lead the weekend is Living Anthem, worship leaders, and guest musician Heath McNease.
November Celebration, a conference sponsored youth event that seeks to offer young people an opportunity to connect with Christ and one another in a safe and friendly environment, is intended for 6 th -12 th graders. Cost is $130. For more information or to register, click here.
The Methodist Children's Home offers CEU Course on Psychopharmacology
The Methodist Home for Children and Youth will be offering a CEU course focusing on Psychopharmacology on September 24 from 11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at their Macon campus. This course will address child and adolescent psychiatric treatment options and will provide an opportunity to learn and question the medication used most commonly in psychiatric diagnosing, ranging from anxiety to psychosis. Participants will learn to recognize psychoactive medications utilized in different diagnostic categories, and develop skills in reporting effect and side effects of these medications. Dr. Nathan Feibelman will lead the training. Cost for the event is $75 and includes CEU certificate and lunch. The registration deadline is September 18. For more information or to register, click here to download a flyer.
Scott Rigsby to speak at A Night For Wesley
The Wesley Foundation at Valdosta State University invites you to A Night for Wesley at Park Avenue United Methodist Church in Valdosta on Friday, September 11 at 7:00 p.m. The guest speaker for the evening is Scott Rigsby, the first double amputee to complete the Iron Man Triathlon. Scott is from South Georgia and went to VSU before transferring and graduating from the University of Georgia. He has a powerful testimony to share. This fundraising dinner will help raise awareness and support for the ministry of the Wesley Foundation on the VSU campus. For reservations call the Wesley Foundation at 229-242-4156 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charles Wesley Society to meet at Epworth By The Sea
The Charles Wesley Society invites all interested persons to attend its 20th Annual Meeting to be held at Epworth By The Sea October 2 - 4, 2009. Presenters include Patrick, Eby, Geordan Hammond, Richard P. Heitzenrater, S T Kimbrough, Jr., Robin Knowles Wallace among others. For more details, visit www.wesleysociety.org.
Bishop King invites laity and clergy to the Bishop's Hours this fall
Click here to view a special invitation from Bishop King.
Bishop James King will be traveling to all nine districts this Fall to conduct a Bishop's Hour. Designed for all laity and clergy, these events will include a time of praise and worship, followed by a teaching session.
Note from Bishop King:
"It is in my heart to be with the people of South Georgia; however, it is not possible for me to be in each local church. The Bishop's Hour is an opportunity for me to come close to the laity and clergy of each district, and for me to fulfill the teaching role that is intended to flow out of the office of Bishop. God has called me to teach about the various components of disciple formation, which is the church's chief purpose. It is my prayer that as many laity and clergy as possible will meet with me for this time of spiritual inspiration and instruction.
Churches are encouraged to gather a group and make plans now to attend
the Bishop's Hour in their district. For more information, contact your district office.
SCHEDULE FOR BISHOP'S HOUR
||Dublin First UMC
||Statesboro First UMC
||Richmond Hill UMC
||Liberty UMC, Macon
||Epworth By The Sea
||Valdosta First UMC
||St. Paul UMC, Columbus
||Americus First UMC
||Porterfield UMC, Albany
CCPI Challenge Grant - joining together to help those in needs
|Nearly 2,000 retired pastors, lay workers and surviving spouses in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe are struggling to survive and to meet their basic needs, resorting to growing their own food, relying on their children and creating products to sell. The Central Conference Pension Initiative (CCPI) is a long-term solution that provides financial security in retirement for these dedicated church leaders and surviving spouses who would otherwise have little or no means of supporting themselves.
South Georgia United Methodists have a great opportunity to raise funds for CCPI. An anonymous donor has given $500,000 to CCPI and has challenged United Methodists in both the South and North Georgia Annual Conferences to respond with donations of their own. There is potential for an additional gift later in the year depending on the level of support generated among Georgia United Methodists. The donor is challenging every local United Methodist Church to participate significantly in the campaign so that together the original gift of $500,000 can be matched or exceeded. The hope is to raise more than $1.5 million for CCPI in Georgia alone. If Georgians respond with that level of generosity, approximately 150 central conference retirees could be supported by South Georgia and North Georgia United Methodists (for every $10,000 contributed, approximately one central conference retiree will be supported).
For more information, to donate, or to request CCPI campaign resources, call the South Georgia Conference Administrative Office at 800-535-4224. To learn more about the Central Conference Pension Initiative, visit www.ccpi-umc.org.
NEWS FROM THE SOUTH GEORGIA ADVOCATE
Take a sneak peak at the following news stories that appear in the most recent edition of the South Georgia Advocate. If you are not already a subscriber, make sure to subscribe today! Subscribe online here or mail your check, payable to "South Georgia Advocate,"
P.O. Box 660275 /
Dallas, TX 75266-0275.
Pay by credit card by calling 1.877.465.1685. A one year subscription is
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Q & A with Rev. Lowery Brantley, Thomasville District Superintendent
ever remember a time when our parents would let us get away with not being prepared for school.
ADVOCATE: Where are you from? Did you grow up in South Georgia?
ADVOCATE: What's your faith journey? Did you grow up in the church?
REV. BRANTLEY: I was born and reared in Johnson County, Georgia (Wrightsville). I grew up on a farm that's been in our family for generations. That fact is important to me, for the land represents stability and continuity. I'm grateful for that heritage.
REV. BRANTLEY: I taught in the public schools of Georgia for a number of years and served a church at the same time. While teaching school, I learned for the first time that you did not have to do your homework (for I had students who didn't) and in my first appointment, I learned that you didn't have to go to church (for I had members who promised to be faithful in attendance but were not). I don't ever remember when we were not in church, nor do I
If it were Sunday, we knew where we would be. We would be in Sunday School and church. There was never a discussion about what we would do on Sunday. My parents had answered that question years before I was born.
Click here to read the entire interview.
Macon native Nancy Grace gives back; donates book proceeds to Wesley Glen
By Kara Witherow, Editor
On camera, Nancy Grace is known as an outspoken, tough-as-nails victims' rights advocate with a forthright and bold journalistic style.
Off camera, she's a small-town girl who made it to the Big Apple who's putting her faith into action and giving back to her community.
Nancy Grace, Macon native and host of cable channel HLN's nightly current affairs show, Nancy Grace, has written her second book, The Eleventh Victim, and is donating a portion of its proceeds to Wesley Glen Ministries in Macon, a private, not-for-profit agency and ministry of the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church that provides 24-hour care in 17 residential homes across South Georgia to adults with mental disabilities. She presented Wesley Glen president Dr. Billy Oliver with a $25,000 check, from the initial proceeds of the book, during the August 12 taping of her show. More>>
St. Simons Island sweet spot a popular place for small groups
By Kara Witherow, Editor
The sweet smell of baking cookies greets you as you open the door to Sweet Mama's, a locally owned restaurant and bakery on St. Simons Island. Patron's voices fill the air, and, on many mornings, prayers and Bibles are as readily found in this eatery as the restaurant's popular pork pops.
Known by many as the spot for breakfast and lunch on St. Simons and the must stop for a sweet treat before leaving the island while on vacation, Sweet Mama's is also known by local residents as a great gathering spot for Bible studies and small groups. More>>
Bishop Martínez becomes interim mission leader
(UMNS) Bishop Joel N. Martínez will serve as interim general secretary of the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries while a search is conducted for a new chief executive. The retired bishop was president of Global Ministries' board of directors for two four-year terms, concluding last October. He is stepping into a position left vacant by the resignation for health reasons of the Rev. Edward W. Paup, who held the position for one year. Martínez' appointment, effective immediately, was announced by Bishop Bruce Ough of West Ohio, board president, with the approval of the agency's executive and personnel committees. More>>
Young clergy evangelize in cyberspace
Young United Methodist clergy see the elephant in the sanctuary – the fact more ministers are headed for retirement than the pulpits – and they are grabbing the mops. The concerned under-35 crowd is doing what comes naturally. It is using social media – Facebook, Twitter and blogs – to form an online community to search for ways to draw more young people into ministry and into the pews.A core group of 10 young clergy met with the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry in February. As a result, hundreds of young clergy are now talking and creating relationships in cyberspace through their own Web site, www.umcyoungclergy.com. Throughout the denomination, young adults are responding to the evangelism challenge in several ways, from sharing their own stories about the ordination process to creating campaigns such as “40 Days of Prayer,” and “6 Questions for The United Methodist Church.”The need is critical, research shows. The number of people under 35 ordained or on the track to be ordained dropped from 3,210 in 1985 to 910 in 2008, according to a study by the Lewis Center for Church Leadership at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington. The average age of elders is 52; for ordained deacons it is 51. More>>
Talbert institute to develop African-American leaders
(UMNS) The Bishop Melvin George Talbert Leadership Institute is seeking up to 20 young African Americans to
commit two to four years to become creative leaders in The UMC. The numbers may not be large, but the
hopes and dreams of expanding God’s kingdom on Earth are as substantial as the legacy of the man who
inspired the institute. “It will not be a weekend event and we say we have done our work,” Talbert said.
Bishop Alfred Johnson, the institute’s dean, said, “We will intentionally and purposefully seek to equip new
leaders who are bold in witness, centered in compassion and exhibit good will for all people.” More>>
Doctor says churches need to promote health, wholeness
The church's role in reforming health care begins at home, a family physician told United Methodist leaders. Dr. Scott Morris, a United Methodist and founder of the Church Health Center in Memphis, Tenn., said the inability to deal with health and wholeness is one of the fundamental reasons the U.S. health-care system is broken. For their part, churches need to do more than check blood pressure on Sunday and host health fairs, he told close to 80 new district superintendents and directors of connectional ministries. We need to explore what it means to have a healing ministry in our congregations and in our lives, he said at a late August training event sponsored by the Council of Bishops, the Board of Higher Education and Ministry and the Board of Discipleship. More>>
Nothing But Nets Raises More Than $7 Million in 2008: United Methodists Provide People Power
(UMCom) In 2008, the Nothing But Nets campaign eclipsed its ambitious fund-raising goals and raised more than $7 million from some 40,000 individual donors. The 2008 annual report issued by the United Nations Foundation, creator of the grassroots campaign, declared that 2008 donations represent significant increases over annual fund-raising the two previous years.
Based on the momentum of what began halfway through 2006, Nothing But Nets raised nearly $25 million by the end of 2008 from over 100,000 individuals and distributed over 2 million bed nets to areas of greatest need in Africa, stated Timothy E. Wirth, president, United Nations Foundation.
As always, these achievements could not have been possible without our unique set of partners who are helping us to reach diverse communities to spread the message that malaria kills and nets save lives, he continued.
As a founding partner of Nothing But Nets, the people of The United Methodist Church have contributed significant energy and funds to the campaign. The United Methodist Church contributed more than $2 million to purchase and distribute bed nets in 2008 alone. More>>
Faith in God powers Heisman-winning quarterback
(UMNS) The story of David and Goliath is Sam Bradford's favorite from the Bible. Like David, he faces big challenges and super-sized expectations especially on the football field as the quarterback for the University of Oklahoma. And like David, he is confident that God goes with him into battle. I think it's a great story. It's grown to become a big part of my life, the Heisman Trophy-winning athlete told an audience at the United Methodist Church of the Servant in Oklahoma City, where he is a member. With God, you're so much stronger than you could ever be by yourself. Any time I step on the field, I know I'm not alone. He's got my back.
He was not always so sure. More>>
Mission partnership to serve 500 young people -- find out how you can take part
(UMNS) More than 500 young people are expected to converge on the city of Nashville, TN next summer to perform mission work, learn leadership skills and discover more about what it means to be United Methodists. And they will be doing it all with the help of a multidenominational mission planning group looking to expand into Music City. The seven-week Denominational Mission Experience to be held June 20 to Aug. 6 is the result of a partnership linking the Minneapolis-based YouthWorks with Young People’s Ministries, a division of the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. “YouthWorks approached me about it,” Hank Hilliard, director of Young People’s Ministries, said of the organization that this summer helped send 35,000 junior high and high school students on mission trips in the United States Canada and Puerto Rico. “They’ve never had a site in Nashville before,” Hilliard said. “Nashville offers a lot of opportunities for mission projects.” More>>
Training Event Helps Congregations Rethink Church
(AWF) A Welcoming Training for Rethink Church event, aimed at helping local United Methodist congregations learn about marketing themselves and honing their welcoming skills, will take place Saturday, October 3, at Prattville First United Methodist Church in Prattville, Ala. The training session offers three training options Welcome, Connect, and Identify using the resources and ideas of The United Methodist Church's Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors. advertising and welcoming ministry. Leading the session at Prattville FUMC will be experienced trainers from across the United Methodist connection. Local churches are encouraged to send a minimum of three members of their teaching team, including the pastor, to the session. Registration fee is $40 for each participating congregation, plus $10 per person for lunch and snacks. Deadline for registration is September 27. Each person attending will choose one track, which starts in the morning and concludes in the afternoon. Additional team members from the church may attend the other two tracks, to cover all the sessions and explore all the information and resources available. To register, please click here. More information on the training and additional components of the effort is available from RethinkChurch.org.
Alabama-West Florida Conference to host Ministry 2 web event
Pensacola Beach will play host to Ministry 2 – this hands-on workshop and live event is designed for church leaders and volunteers interested in enhancing their ministry using cutting-edge Internet tools and social media. Ministry 2 Pensacola will take place at Gulf Breeze Church from October 9-10, 2009.
Event topics include: implementing the tools of social media in your church; producing a web development strategy; website visual design;
managing vendors and volunteers; bridging the gap between technology and ministry; and much more!
Whether you're just getting started with your ministry's first website or trying to build community using social media, Ministry 2 is an event to help you get there. Learn how you can unpack the possibilities at http://www.ministry2.org/pensacola.
A discount on event registration is being offered to churches in our area. To redeem this discount, simply use this code when checking out: COUP1009.
Grandparents Day - September 13
--Prayer for Grandparents Day
Bread for the World Sunday - October 18
United Methodist churches everywhere have an opportunity to renew their commitment to ending world hunger and poverty. Through Bread for World Sunday on October 18, or any Sunday before Thanksgiving, churches can lift up their voices on behalf of the hungry through education, prayer, and music. Free resources include a scripture and sermon study on Mark 10:35-45 by Dr. John Buchanan, editor and publisher of Christian Century, as well as bulletin inserts, offering envelopes and a new sacred song composed by Marty Haugen. Special prayers for the day are also included. For more information and to download resources, please click here. Bread for the World is a Christian organization based in the US which seeks justice for the world's hungry people by lobbying US legislators and other decision makers. You can also alleviate world hunger with your gifts to World Hunger Poverty, UMCOR Advance #982920.
World Communion Sunday - October 4
Click here to download resources for World Communion Sunday.
Children's Sabbath - October 9-11
--Worship Resources for Children's Sabbath from the General Board of Discipleship
--National Observance of Children's Sabbath Resources from the Children's Defense Fund Site
--Children's Sabbath Resources from the General Board of Global Ministries
Korean Manual Focuses on Cross-Racial Ministry
(GBHEM) A new publication, The Manual for Korean-American United Methodists Serving a Cross-Racial Appointment , will be a tremendous resource for preparing Korean-American clergy who are going to serve cross-racial and cross-cultural appointments, said the Rev. HiRho Park. Park, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry's director of Continuing Formation for Ministry, said the new book was published by the National Association of Korean-American United Methodist Pastors Serving a Cross-Racial and Cross-Cultural Appointment. GBHEM provided funding for the publication. More>>
Reverse Trick-or-Treat Church Bulletin
(UMCOR) The US spends more than $16 billion dollars a year on chocolate. Fifty percent of cocoa comes to the US from the Ivory Coast, West Africa--where children as young as five years old are trafficked into slavery and forced to work on cocoa farms. This Halloween, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), the General Board of Church and Society and Equal Exchange are encouraging congregations to distribute fairly-traded chocolate through the Reverse Trick-Or-Treat campaign. Encourage trick-ortreaters to pass out fair trade chocolate and United Methodist informational cards to every home they visit. This will help raise awareness about child labor problems in the cocoa industry and how fair trade certified chocolate provides a viable solution. Download UMCOR's Fair Trade Chocolate bulletin or Power Point slide to learn more. Also visit Equal Exchange Interfaith Store to place your order. For information about Reverse Trick-or-Treating visit www.reversetrickortreating.org, or give to UMCOR SA&D, UMCOR Advance #982188 which supports small scale farmers.
New World Outlook September/October edition
Click here to read excerpts from the September/October edition of New World Outlook, the mission magazine of the United Methodist Church.
September is National Hunger Awareness Month
(SoSA) The month of September has been set aside as an opportunity to lift up our 37 million brothers and sisters that go hungry every day in the United States with the hope that each one of us will pray and work for an end to this injustice. Featured on the Society of St. Andrews website, endhunger.org, are a number of different resources that can be downloaded for free. In addition, you will also find a prayer calendar. The prayer calendar offers the chance to pray, learn, fast, and discover ways to be engaged in activities that will personally benefit our hungry brothers and sisters. Click here to view and download these resources. Thank you for Doing Something about hunger. Together, we can make a difference.
Bring on the fans! It's getting hot on Facebook!
(UMCom) Maybe you've heard all the rage about Social Networking, but you didn't think it applied to your church. What if you took a different look at social networking Facebook in particular and how your church could reach new visitors, conduct online Bible studies, promote community, announce events and more? Join me as we skip down the yellow brick road of Facebook features. Continue>>
Take steps - literally - for a noble cause: A fun way to fundraise
(UMCom) Are you looking for a fun way to support your outreach or mission program? Starting a 5k or 10k walk is an exciting event that draws the community in while lifting up a noble cause. They are especially popular among young adults, families, Church Women United, service organizations, scouts, high school and college students. So choose a local, national or global beneficiary to support and get going. Continue>>
Attract young adults via podcast
(UMCom) Podcasts enable your church to spread the good word both geographically and youthfully. It is popular among teens, young adults and anyone using iTunes or mp3 players. Your congregation and prospective members can take your messages on the road and listen at their convenience. Taking advantage of this technology starts with strategy. Grab a digital recorder, a microphone and a messagethe simple formula for a good podcast. Continue>>
Hiring a passionate music director
(UMCom) Does your music director or worship leader struggle to meet your church's needs? Perhaps, he or she is getting ready to go on a sabbatical. Maybe she or he moved to another town, and you now have an opening.
Before you begin the hiring process, take time to consider the position. Ask God what roles the music director should assume in your church. Continue>>
Draw people in with the concise copy; let's get down to the nitty gritty
(UMCom) Dealing with wordsspoken and writtentakes lots of time and practice. The right word can make all the difference. The wrong word can wreak havoc. Say what you meanno more, no less. A review of the church's Web site, pastor's sermon, bulletin notes and newsletter articles may surprise you. Continue>>
Honorable ideas for supporting military families
(UMCom) When the Rev. LeNoir Culbertson became pastor of Madison Street United Methodist Church, near Fort Campbell, Ky., she thought churches probably needed special programs for military families.
Up to one third of the 600 active members of her Clarksville, Tenn., congregation, near the home of the 101st Airborne Division, are related to the military. However, Culbertson said, I was told repeatedly, We don't want to be treated like military.' Continue>>
2009 Sexual Ethics Workshops for Clergy - September 10
The remaining Sexual Ethics Workshop for 2009 is set for September 10, 2009, at Valdosta First UMC. The workshop will begin at 9:00 a.m. and conclude at 3:00 p.m. This workshop is required every three years for person serving under appointment by the bishop (clergy, local pastors, extension ministers, appointed lay speakers). Cost is $5 for lunch (collected at the door). To register, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
|KidzQuest Retreat - October 2-4
KidzQuest, the annual conference children's retreat, has been set for October 2-4, 2009, at Epworth By The Sea. Intended for children in 3rd - 5th grades, this weekend retreat is high-octane, high-energy and lots of fun! This year's speaker will be Jesse Joyner who will keep us on the edge of our seats as he communicates biblical truths while performing amazing juggling stunts. Uncle Charlie returns again this year to lead us in worship, and our favorite emcee Brandon Rushin, Hey Ya, will keep us entertained with fun games and a few new dance moves. Mark your calendars now because you won't want to miss out! Click here for more information or to register online.
Activate - a seminar focusing on membership - October 27
Harvest Church, a United Methodist congregation in Warner Robins, invites pastors, church staff and lay leaders to join them for Activate. Activate will focus on how and why a membership class can help your church get on the same page and turn an audience into an army. This free seminar is set for Tuesday, October 27 from 9:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m. The church is located at 3322 Highway 41, Byron, GA 31008. Call 478-923-8822 to make your reservations.
LiveFeed - a ministry exploration for young men and women - January 8-10
Denise Walton, Rev. Andy Lamon and Rev. Matt Woodberry. Worship leaders will be Rev. Reggie Williams and Mr. David Herndon. LiveFeed begins with registration at 6 pm on January 8 in the Jones Auditorium at Epworth By The Sea. The event will end with lunch on Sunday, January 10. You can also follow the event on Twitter, www.twitter.com/LiveFeed_2010. Register online here. For questions about the event, contact Rev. Jay Tucker at 478-923-7317.
|LiveFeed is a weekend event for young men and women exploring a call to ministry. LiveFeed is the perfect place for you to listen, to ask questions, and to meet others who are sensing a call from God. Set for January 8-10, 2010, at Epworth By The Sea on St. Simons Island, this event is being sponsored by the South Georgia Conference Board of Ordained Ministry. Thanks to generous support from the St. Marys Foundation and the Board of Ordained Ministry, there is no cost for you to attend this event. Come as you are - no strings attached. Guest speakers include: Dr. Rick Lanford, Rev.
Vineville UMC's Children's Jamboree - February 28
Vineville United Methodist Church in Macon is hosting a Children's Jamboree February 28, 2010, from 5:30 pm -7:30 pm. Lyn Ford, international storyteller and author, will share "Home-Fried Tales," adaptations of folktales "from many places and many faces," as well as her own original stories and personal narratives. Cost for the event is $3 per person. Mark your calendars now. For more information, contact Kim Brooks at email@example.com or (478) 745-3331.
ALL UPCOMING EVENTS
--Sexual Ethics Workshop for Clergy - September 10
--E-zekiel Web Training Event - September 18
--Methodist Children's Home Day - September 20
--KidzQuest Retreat - October 2-4
--World Communion Day - October 4
--Vashti Day - October 18
--Wesleyan College Day - November 8
--November Youth Celebration
- November 20-22
--United Methodist Student Day - November 29
--United Methodist Global AIDS Fund - December 6
--LiveFeed Ministry Exploration - January 8-10