|April 13, 2011 / Volume 10, No. 6||Printable Version|
Plans are quickly taking shape for the 2011 South Georgia Annual Conference session, scheduled for June 5-9 in Tifton at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center. Gathering under the theme of “Never Alone,” based on Acts 2:42, this year’s Annual Conference session will provide several opportunities for attendees to gather together in fellowship and worship. More>>
The Annual Conference section of our conference website is frequently updated. You can find specific pages and information for the following:
The South Georgia Conference has joined in the fight against malaria by pledging its support to raise funds to help eradicate the disease. At its 2011 Annual Conference session in Tifton, the South Georgia Conference will collect a special offering that will be given to the Imagine No Malaria initiative. Each church is encouraged to receive an offering in the weeks prior to Annual Conference and bring the offering with them to Tifton. Click here for more details.
The Eagles, a group of retired ministers who served in the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church, will hold their annual luncheon during the 2011 Annual Conference Session in Tifton. The luncheon will be at noon on Wednesday, June 8. For more information, contact Rev. Dave Hanson at 912-634-6384.
The Spouses' Luncheon at Annual Conference will be held on Monday, June 6, at 12:30 pm at the Conference Center. Contact Susan Martin at the Statesboro District Office, 912-871-3306, for information.
(GBCS) Directors of the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) awarded $276,360 in Ethnic Local Church grants at its spring meeting. The Ethnic Local Church Grants program is to strengthen congregations through education, advocacy or leadership development for social justice engagement. Grants are awarded twice each year. The $276,360 was split among 10 programs in three U.S. jurisdictions and Central Conferences overseas. Five annual conferences in the U.S. and the South Congo area in Africa received grants. The remainder has been allotted to three domestic and family violence seminars and Social Principles consultations, all in Central Conferences.
Asbury Beacon of Light Community Outreach Center in the South Georgia Conference will receive $9,560. The grant is for the “Community Food & Summer Camp Program.” Asbury Beacon of Light is an outreach ministry of Asbury United Methodist Church in Savannah, Ga. This year’s camp, the third, will host 35-40 children and provide academic improvement tutorials, anti-substance abuse education, spiritual development, cultural arts, field trips and personal value training, including gang prevention strategies. Participating children and youths receive at least two meals daily. In addition, their peers not enrolled in the summer camp are offered an opportunity to share meals. Each enrolled student also receives free eye and dental screenings prior to returning to school. More>>
The Layered Bible Journey is a resource developed by Dr. Jay Harris, pastor of Martha Bowman UMC in Macon, that helps people read the Bible in a year. Since the Bible is made up of sixty-six books, daily reading assignments are helpful to guide your journey. Taking the journey one layer at a time keeps you from getting bogged down and helps you experience the story of God’s love expressed in the life of God’s people. A Spanish version of the Layered Bible Journey is now available. Thanks to Gamaliel Torres Coriano, pastor of New Covenant Church of God in Columbus, GA, for translating the document. Click here to download this resource in English or Spanish.
Full-time pastors who will move to new appointments in June 2011 are required to participate in one of two full-day transition workshops. The first is set for Wednesday, April 27 at Dublin First UMC and the second is set for Thursday, April 28 at Tifton First UMC. Both workshops will begin at 9:30 a.m. and last until 3 p.m. Attendees must register with their current District Superintendents in order to receive materials at the seminar and to ensure a lunch will be ready.
Wesley Glen Ministries will host a fish fry on Saturday, April 30, at the Wesley Glen Ministries Life Skills Center located at 4580 North Mumford Road in Macon. The event will last from 11 am. until 2:30 p.m., and all are invited. For more information, call 478-471-3711.
Trinity United Methodist Church in Warner Robins will host a 5K Run/Walk on Saturday, May 7. Race Day registration begins at 7:30 a.m. and the race starts at 9 a.m. Proceeds will go to Change the World Missions, including Imagine No Malaria. Pre-registered participants will receive a 5K t-shirt. For additional details and a registration form visit www.trinity-methodist.org. This race will kick off Trinity UMC’s week of “Change the World” events.
Magnolia Manor is a ministry of the United Methodist Church and serves older adults of all faiths throughout South Georgia. On Sunday, May 8, South Georgia United Methodists are asked to take up a special offering to support this vital ministry. To learn more about Magnolia Manor visit www.magnoliamanor.com.
On Native American Ministries Sunday, United Methodists cultivate and support urban missions with Native Americans and fund scholarships for Native American seminarians. The offerings collected help strengthen and develop Native American ministries, expand mission work with the Native American Urban Initiative and provides scholarships for Native Americans attending United Methodist and other approved schools of theology. The Native American Ministries Sunday offering is critical to continue the traditions and nurture the gifts of Native Americans.
One of the world’s greatest Bible teachers, Dr. Evelyn Laycock, will be teaching May 13 – 15, 2011, at Cairo First United Methodist Church, 318 South Broad Street, Cairo, GA 39828. Dr. Laycock will be leading four Bible study sessions and one worship service. For more information, please visit the church website at www.cairofumc.org. For additional information, e-mail email@example.com or call 229-377-3051. Cairo First UMC looks forward to having share as they continue “Sowing the Word.”
Part-time local pastors and Lay Speakers serving as Supply Pastors who will have new appointments in June 2011 are required to participate in a full-day transition workshop. The workshop is set for Saturday, May 21 in Eastman. There is no charge for this event, but participants are asked to contribute a small amount towards lunch and must register in order to receive materials at the seminar and to ensure a lunch will be provided. Participants should contact their current District Superintendent to register.
Spring is in the air in South Georgia, and with warmer weather comes thoughts of vacations, beach trips and summer camps. With campers set to arrive in less than three months, planning and preparation for the South Georgia Conference Summer Camps programs are well under way, says Camp Director Rev. Adam Ricker. The theme of this year’s camps is “Grow,” based on the parable of the sower, found in Mark 4:1-8. More>>
The 2011 Georgia Pastors' School, held annually at Epworth By The Sea on St. Simons Island, is set for July 25-28 under the theme "Christian Leadership in a Changing World." Program leaders will be Alice Rogers and Russell West. The preacher will be Leonard Sweet The Georgia United Methodist Pastors' School provides inspiration, education, fellowship, fun and relaxation for North and South Georgia clergy and their families. Clergy have the opportunity to earn CEUs, and fun programs are offered for children from nursery thru 12th grade. All programs are in the morning so that families will have their afternoons free. Each morning begins with a service of table, and ends with an evening service of word followed by a time of fellowship. The school is supported by the tuition of attendees, a modest grant from the South Georgia Conference, and the generous contributions of our sponsors who provide refreshments during breaks and fellowship times. Active and retired United Methodist clergy are cordially invited to experience this combination of continuing education and personal renewal. More information on the school including on-line registration and tuition payment are available on the school’s website www.georgiapastorsschool.org.
On Sunday, March 6, Vidalia’s Grace United Methodist Church shut its doors. Instead of having its regular Sunday morning worship service, the church held its first “Be the Church Day” at nearby Bay Street Park. An outreach effort to area residents, Grace UMC’s “Be the Church Day” included food, games, live worship music, and clothing and food giveaways. More than just a day of fun and activities, though, the event was created as a way for congregants to step outside the church walls and meet others who live in the community. “The goal was to meet our neighbors,” said Grace UMC pastor Rev. Allen Cason. “This thing was bathed in prayer, and early on we decided to just show up, be there, talk and really meet our neighbors.” More>>
Donalsonville’s Friendship United Methodist Church is living up to its name. Needy residents of Donalsonville and Seminole County have, for years, looked to Friendship UMC to help get them through hard times, often stopping by the church to ask for food or money. Church staff would oftentimes hand visitors a voucher to use at a local grocery store, allowing them to purchase items up to a certain amount. At the end of the month the grocery store would send the church a bill, which was paid for using the church’s discretionary fund. After one 2009 month in which the church spent more than $500 on groceries, it was decided that a new system was needed. “We spent well over $500 and we helped maybe 18 families,” said Friendship UMC’s pastor Rev. Kirk Loyless. “When we got the receipts we realized that not everybody was using it to buy just good food … and we thought that there had to be a better way to do this.” Church leaders discussed their options, researched alternatives, talked to other churches and, after making contact with Second Harvest of South Georgia, decided to establish the Friendship United Methodist Church Food Bank ministry. More>>
The South Georgia Advocate is now online at www.sgaumc.org/advocate. The South Georgia Advocate will continue to produce its normal print edition, publishing the first and third Friday of each month in conjunction with the United Methodist Reporter. The online edition of the Advocate will be free and will not require registration. To subscribe to the print version call 1.877.465.1685.
(UMNS) “What is God’s vision for The United Methodist Church?” That question was among several fielded by a panel of three bishops, a young adult leader and agency head at the Leadership Summit on April 6. There was a notable pause after the question as the leaders considered how best to respond on behalf of the Almighty. Finally, Germany’s Bishop Rosemarie Wenner took a crack at it. “We took the words of Matthew 28 as the mission of the church, and that really is God’s wish for all of us: Making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world,” she said. More>>
(UMNS) Annual conference time is approaching, and United Methodist representatives are getting ready to debate issues — and to reconnect with friends and colleagues. But in most conferences, the action goes far beyond the meeting room. Sure, in this pre-General Conference year, it will be a time to elect delegates to the denomination’s top lawmaking assembly in 2012, ordain new clergy and remember colleagues who have died during the past year. Several conferences will hear from megachurch clergy leaders like the Revs. Adam Hamilton, Rudy Rasmus and Mike Slaughter. But amid the “traditional” activities on annual (regional) conference agendas, United Methodists plan to reach out in ministry with the poor, strive for healthier lifestyles and much more. More>>
(UMCom) How will your community know that change is coming? On May 14-15, United Methodists around the globe will be going where needed and doing what they can to show that Christ is in our midst. Communities should be a part of the work. How will you invite them? Rethink Church has produced the “Change the World: Be. Go. Do.” sermon series and a companion multimedia bundle so you’ll be prepared to invite people to work and worship alongside you on this transformative weekend. To download this free resource, go to www.umcom.org/changetheworld. A companion multimedia bundle is available for $25 with graphics for direct mail, door hangers, newspaper and much more. All churches registered for Change the World will receive a 50% discount on this resource, and free shipping on any Cokesbury item purchased online between now and May 15. A free poster is included with each order and many free resources are also available at this site. Go to www.umcom.org/rethinkseries to order now. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 1-888-346-3862. To register your church as being a participant, click here.
(UMCom) Petitions for consideration by the 2012 General Conference may be submitted to the Petitions Secretary now through September 27, 2011. Detailed instructions for submitting a petition are available on the General Conference website at gc2012.umc.org, or click here for more.
(GBHEM) Election of a new general secretary and minor changes to a new formula for allocating church dollars to the 13 United Methodist theological schools were approved by the Board of Directors of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry during their spring meeting in Nashville. The Board members and staff also worshipped together, worked on legislation for General Conference 2012, and held a retirement dinner for the former general secretary. The board unanimously elected the Rev. Kim Cape, former executive director of New Church Growth and Transformation for the Southwest Texas Annual Conference, to lead GBHEM as its new general secretary. Her first day in the office was April 4. More>>
(UMNS) The division responsible for United Methodist Women has decided to seek denominational approval for status as a separate agency of the church. Directors of Women’s Division, the organization’s administrative body, unanimously voted during their April 7-11 meeting to “structurally separate” but remain “missionally connected” with the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries rather than continue as a division of the mission agency. Part of the goal, said Harriett Olson, the division’s chief executive, is to create more transparency and strengthen relationships throughout the church, as advocated by the Call to Action plan endorsed by the United Methodist Council of Bishops. More>>
(UMNS) The United Methodist Church’s ecumenical commission has approved proposals for its future that would either maintain its current status but drastically reduce the board of directors or fold the group and its work into the denomination’s Council of Bishops. The votes, which occurred during a March 30-April 1 meeting in Claremont, Calif., reflected “faith and trust” on the part of directors of the United Methodist Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns, said the Rev. Stephen J. Sidorak Jr., top staff executive. More>>
(UMNS) In the early days of Methodism, circuit riders traveled by horseback across swollen streams and over jagged hillsides to reach potential converts. Some 200 years later, today’s United Methodists can explore their mission field without ever leaving their computers — thanks to the U.S. Census. The once-a-decade enumeration of the U.S. population gives churchgoers a better sense of the people in their neighborhoods — their ages, ethnicity, educational backgrounds, household size, income levels and even their average travel time to work. More>>
(UMCOR) Strong quakes continue to cause damage in Japan one month after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake unleashed a terrifying tsunami and the threat of a nuclear emergency. At least three major aftershocks rocked the country between April 7 and April 12, ranging in magnitude from 6.0 to 7.1. Three people died after the first event. The other two came as the Japanese government, concerned for the population’s long-term exposure to radiation, announced it would increase the severity level to 7, on a par with the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear event, and widen the evacuation zone surrounding the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. UMCOR continues to work with partners in Japan to respond to this massive and ongoing emergency. Your gift to Japan Emergency, UMCOR Advance #3021317, supports these efforts.
(UMNS) When Maria, an Armenian citizen, ended up in Dubai, she resisted attempts by her traffickers to force her into prostitution. In retaliation, they threw her off the top of a three-story building. Maria survived the fall, eventually escaped her captors and was repatriated to Armenia, where police referred her to the Anti-Human Trafficking Project run by the United Methodist Committee on Relief. To date, the UMCOR project has helped 93 women move on to new lives after becoming entangled in what is considered the second-largest and fastest-growing global criminal enterprise, said Kathryn Paik, UMCOR’s Armenia program officer. More>>
(UMCom) Thank you for participating in the One Great Hour of Sharing offering that provides much-needed support for all of UMCOR’s programs. Many online resources are still available to help you promote the offering. You will find printable bulletin inserts, children’s sermons and worship suggestions at www.umcgiving.org/OGHS and www.umcor.org. Contact the Connectional Giving Team at email@example.com to receive a high-resolution copy of this video to share in worship. When you give to One Great Hour of Sharing, you join United Methodists everywhere who support UMCOR’s vital work. You can be assured that when catastrophes cause suffering, your church, inspired by Jesus' love and compassion, will be in the lead to ease the pain. Gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing underwrite UMCOR’s “cost of doing business.” Without your giving to One Great Hour of Sharing, UMCOR would not be able to cover home office administrative costs. Our ability to respond and remain until the job is done is in direct proportion to the generosity of United Methodists like you.
(SEJ) The fourth annual Lake Junaluska Peace Conference, “Poverty, Abundance, and Peace: Seeking Economic Justice for All God’s Children,” on November 13-15, 2011, will lift up some of the systemic causes of poverty and economic disparity to help participants better understand these issues and to be equipped as change agents to work for alleviating these causes of poverty for a more just and peaceful world. Speakers for this year’s conference include Senator George McGovern, Dr. David Beckmann, President of Bread for the World, and Bishop Nkula Ntambo of the Katanga Conference in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Visit www.lakejunaluska.com/peace for more information.
(SEJ) Hinton Rural Life Center has limited openings still available in its Summer Volunteer Mission schedule for groups who want a transformative service experience in rural Appalachia. A mission agency of the United Methodist Church, Hinton creates opportunities for work teams from all over the country to experience rich mountain culture, to serve with others in repairing or building homes with local families, and to grow in their understanding of faith in action. Hinton Center is located on 32 acres overlooking beautiful Lake Chatuge in Hayesville, NC, two hours from both Asheville, NC, and Atlanta, GA. Complete information can be found at Hinton's website, www.hintoncenter.org or by calling 828-389-8336 or toll-free 866-389-8336.
(UMCOR) Malaria kills about a million people a year; the vast majority are pregnant women and young children. Tune in to www.umcor.org on Wednesday, April 20, at 12:00 noon for an UMCOR-hosted webcast on The United Methodist Church’s Imagine No Malaria (INM) campaign. UMCOR is supporting INM by helping United Methodist annual conferences in Africa prepare to develop strategic plans and integrated proposals to combat the disease in their countries. Hundreds of thousands of long-lasting, insecticide-treated mosquito nets have been distributed. Download a church bulletin insert, a worship slide, and a poster to mark World Malaria Day, April 25, in your congregation. Your gift to Imagine No Malaria, UMCOR Advance #3021190, supports this important ministry.
(GBGM) World Malaria Day is Apr. 25. Worship resources are available for download by clicking here. In observance of World Malaria Day, the Mozambique Annual Conference's Center for Hope program will distribute 100,000 long-lasting, insecticide-treated mosquito nets to vulnerable families this spring. UMCOR is working with the annual conference to coordinate the net distribution, which will also include educational activities on malaria prevention and on the proper use of the mosquito net. The government of Mozambique is supplying the nets for the May 14 distribution.
(Cokesbury) Confirmation is not the beginning or the end of the faith journey. Confirmation is about making disciples. It is that simple and that challenging. To help your church meet the challenge, Cokesbury has developed new confirmation materials called Credo. Click here for more.
The General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) is offering a free webinar, “Easter Living for Church Leaders: Prayers and Faith,” on Apr. 28 for developing and renewing spiritual practices among congregational leaders. Several church leaders will tell how they stay connected with God. Don’t let “doing” church work overwhelm your “being.” Register at www.gbod.org/committee_resources.
(UMCom) 5 sweet outreach ideas Many non-Christians would prefer to be introduced to your church by participating in outreach rather than attending a worship service. Continue>>
(UMCom) Make your summer worship services a little different this year by letting laity plan worship and lead in new ways. Continue>>
(UMCom) Offering a variety of opportunities to give will help those who want to give heartily to bless others and meet the needs of the church. Continue>>
(UMCom) Learn more about what analytics mean and which ones can help you identify whether you are meeting your church's marketing objectives. Continue>>
(GBOD) Outlines, handouts, plenaries, Powerpoints, class materials, worship, and more from the recent Rethinking Worship & Song national introductory event last month can be viewed by clicking here.
(Newscope)The Office of Spanish Resources at UM Communications is launching an electronic newsletter in Spanish to be delivered via e-mail. The Noticias Weekly Digest will provide weekly news and facilitate news access to its Hispanic/Latino audiences at the denomination's Spanish portal. The digest will initially go to subscribers of El Intérprete, the Spanish-language journal of The UMC. Readers can subscribe by clicking on the word Suscríbase on the left side of the newsletter. The first Noticias Weekly Digest was sent on Mar. 29.