|May 18, 2011 / Volume 10, No. 8||Printable Version|
The Annual Conference section of our conference website is frequently updated. You can find specific pages and information for the following:
-Book of Recommendations
-The Working Agenda
-Declare your interest in being a delegate to General and Jurisdictional Conferences
-View laity and clergy who have declared their interest in being a delegate to General and Jurisdictional Conferences
A list of clergy who are eligible to vote for General and Jurisdictional delegates has been posted on the conference website. Clergy are encouraged to look at this list. If you have any questions or feel like your name should be on the list please contact Rev. Craig Hutto, Conference Secretary, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to view the list.
This year even those who are not able to be in Tifton for the 2011 Annual Conference Session June 5-9 can still be a part of the 5 day event. All worship services and business sessions will be streamed live online. Visit www.sgaumc.org/ac2011 for a detailed agenda and link to the streaming (beginning June 5). Last year was a pilot year for the streaming and our AV provider has worked with the conference center to make sure everything is ready for this year. A daily recap as well as an entire Annual Conference wrap-up will also be posted online at www.sgaumc.org. Or individuals can follow the conference on Facebook (www.facebook.com/sgaumc) or Twitter (www.twitter.com/sgaumc) for real time information during the conference session. Make sure to tell others in your church!
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.
For the second year, lay and clergy members will take part in “A Healthier Me: Mind, Body & Soul,” a time set aside for an intentional moment to refresh and renew. Clergy and laity will be encouraged to focus on some aspect of creating a “healthier me.” Options include physical activities such as a 5K run/walk, a one-mile walk, a body prayer and an aerobic class. Workshops will zero in on maintaining Sabbath living, eating healthy and interactive prayer. Click here to view the flyer.
(Newscope) After hundreds of tornadoes roared through the southeastern U.S. in April, the UM Committee on Relief (UMCOR) responded with emergency grants and provided disaster response personnel to support affected annual conferences. The Rev. Wayne Napier, disaster response coordinator for the Mississippi Conference, said the funds would be used to cover the costs associated with assessing damages, removing debris, processing and assigning work projects, and providing case management to families impacted by the storm. Rev. Tom Hazelwood, UMCOR executive for U.S. disaster response, underscored that [these storms], along with Red River flooding in the Upper Midwest, and tornadoes in Iowa, Ohio, Wisconsin, Missouri and Arkansas are the beginning of the spring storm season. Gifts to US Disaster Response, Advance #901670, help provide hope to people who are seeking to put their lives back together in the wake of a disaster.
Click on the links below to find ways you can help our neighboring conferences following the April storms.
Two Early Response Team trainings have been set (see below). For information about these trainings contact Doreen Smalls at email@example.com.
June 17 & 18 at Pine Forest UMC in Dublin
July 29 & 30 at Wyntonn UMC in Columbus
(Newscope) According to the National Weather Service, 600 tornadoes were recorded in the United States in the month of April alone. UMCOR is working with annual conferences to respond to communities that have been devastated by these disasters, but funds are being disbursed faster than they are replenished. Your gift is urgently needed. While health kits are in plentiful supply, cleaning buckets are needed to respond to these emergencies and the upcoming hurricane season. For information on assembly and shipping of cleaning buckets, click here. Your gift to Material Resource Ministry, UMCOR Advance #901440 also allows UMCOR to purchase supplies for assembly and shipment.
?Every local church in South Georgia is encouraged to receive a special offering on Sunday, June 19 to support the ministry of Wesley Glen. To learn more about Wesley Glen and its ministry, visit www.wesleyglenministries.com.
The staff at Harvest UMC in Warner Robins is inviting clergy and their staff, council, leaders, etc. for “A Day Away” at Harvest. You simply make an appointment for this unique, personalized and interactive gathering with some of the key staff at Harvest. They will share some of the "DNA" of Harvest, why they do the things they do and the "nuts and bolts" of their systems. This is an informal time to get real about doing ministry. The goal is for you to walk away with some fresh, new ideas and then begin to "tweak" them to your setting. This is by appointment so if you are interested or have questions contact Jessi Marlow at 478-923-8822 or firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no charge for “A Day Away.”
The board of trustees unanimously approved the election of The Rev. Charles W. Savage II as the new president/CEO of the Georgia United Methodist Foundation following the enthusiastic endorsements of the presidential search and executive committees. Bishop Mike Watson of the North Georgia Conference will make this appointment effective June 2011. More>>
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.
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. Held at Epworth By The Sea on St. Simons Island, the 2011 Summer Camps are divided into two age categories. Mid-high camps, for those entering the sixth through ninth grades, will be offered in two sessions, June 13-17 and June 20-24. Elementary camps, for those entering fourth through sixth grades, will be offered three times this summer: June 27-July 1, July 11-15, and July 18-22. Parents of rising sixth graders can choose which age-level camp – elementary or mid-high – they want their child to attend. More>>
The South Georgia Conference United Methodist Women will be hosting the annual School of Christian Mission July 14-17, 2011, at Epworth By The Sea on St. Simons Island. Meeting under the theme "All Things Made New," the school will provide a mission experience for all ages, including classes for adults, youth, and children. Click here to download the brochure for more information.
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.
For a state that is well known for its peach, pecan and poultry production, the issue of hunger is, nonetheless, a real and ever-present problem in Georgia. To help combat the issue of childhood hunger, in September 2008 members of Statesboro First United Methodist Church began Backpack Buddies, a ministry dedicated to helping meet the needs of hungry children in Bulloch County. Teaming up with Sallie Zetterower Elementary School to provide kid-friendly, non-perishable food items to eligible, low-income students, the ministry serves approximately 40 students each week. More>>
Sowing the seeds of community. Cultivating the spirit of outreach. Harvesting the fruits of ministry. Through its new community garden ministry, Macon’s Mulberry Street United Methodist Church is reaching out to the Macon community and those served by the church’s Macon Outreach ministry. They’re replacing a blighted streetscape with a thriving, well-tended garden, will soon be providing the needy with fresh produce and are helping build active, healthy connections between church attendees, Macon Outreach clients and community members. More>>
Through life and death, tragedy and triumph, retired South Georgia pastor Rev. Ralph Bailey believes that everything has a purpose and that nothing in life is a waste. Even the death of two of his children, Angela and Michael. At 25 years old, Rev. Bailey and his wife Vermelle were secure in their respective careers – he as a high school band director and she as a public school musician – when they were expecting their first child. Joy quickly turned to sorrow when Angela, born two months premature, died an hour after she was born. The ensuing grief and inner struggle made Rev. Bailey question what is really important in life and led the couple into the realization that they were being called to full-time ministry. More>>
On Sunday, April 10, Central United Methodist Church in Fitzgerald participated in “Change the World Day,” part of a world-wide movement in The United Methodist Church to “rethink church.” It is a call to refocus and ask the question, “What is God calling His Church to be in the 21st century?” Jesus gave the Great Commission, telling the church to “Go into the world” and do the things that He did: teach, heal, feed hungry people, speak out about injustice, and call people to faithful living. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to empower the disciples to begin a movement. More>>
The economy and its impact on every aspect of society are on the forefront of almost everyone’s mind. Individuals, families, government agencies, businesses, non-profit institutions and local churches are in a heightened state of awareness around finances. The South Georgia Conference’s Council on Finance and Administration is keenly aware of the economic climate. The Council is composed of 10 lay persons and eight clergy, each of whom comes from a South Georgia local church and has personal awareness of financial challenges. “We are paying attention,” said Rev. Jimmy Cason, new chairperson for the Council on Finance and Administration (CFA). “Our council members gathered recently to study anecdotal and detailed written financial reports from our local churches and for the Annual Conference.”
CFA members celebrated that South Georgia’s local church members gave more than $108.6 million in 2010 for all aspects of their local ministries and their outreach ministries beyond the walls of their churches. “This is a terrific response on so many levels given the economic climate in which we find ourselves,” Rev. Cason said.
But local churches are experiencing more financial strain because of the instability in so many aspects of the national economy. This has translated into reduced offerings from church members. The end result was an almost $8 million reduction in local church spending in 2010 as compared to 2009. More>>
The South Georgia Advocate is online at www.sgaumc.org/advocate. To subscribe to the print version call 1.877.465.1685.
(UMNS) While the U.S. Congress is hammering out a 2012 budget, United Methodists are engaging in a yearlong effort to craft denominational budgets for the years 2013 to 2016. Unlike protracted budget debates on Capitol Hill, two groups responsible for denominational budgets concluded their scheduled May 9-12 meeting one day early. The 40-member General Council on Finance and Administration and the 60-member Connectional Table quickly accepted proposed “realistic” overall budget reductions of 6.04 percent presented by a GCFA committee and line-item recommendations for denominational agencies worked out by their top staff executives. More>>
(UMNS) In an effort to promote more vital congregations, United Methodist leaders are weighing proposals that would dramatically change church funding and the denomination’s agencies. The possible changes under consideration include:
Illinois Area Bishop Gregory V. Palmer shared these possibilities as part of an update on the denomination’s Call to Action process during the May 2-6 Council of Bishops meeting. The changes follow recommendations from the Call to Action report, which asserts that the status quo of a shrinking and aging U.S. church is “toxic” and unsustainable. More>>
(UMNS) Members of the Connectional Table, meeting May 9-11, suggested drivers of the Interim Operations Team should proceed cautiously through intersections within The United Methodist Church. The team is considering seven structural changes team members hope will increase the number of vital congregations as the result of findings by the former Call to Action team. Team members asked the Connectional Table to respond to seven proposals with a green, yellow or red traffic light. Forty-one members of the 60-member Connectional Table responded. More>>
(UMNS) United Methodist bishops approved a proposal May 4 that would significantly redefine the role of president for the Council of Bishops. The amendment to the church’s constitution would allow the council to elect one of its own to a full-time, four-year position without the usual responsibilities of overseeing a geographic area. The individual in that role would serve as the denomination’s chief ecumenical officer, help align the strategic direction of the church and focus on growing vital congregations, among other duties. More>>
(UMNS) Change the World, a weekend of simple acts of kindness, led to truly changed lives. Just ask Kelly Dyer, a single mom working her way through nursing school. When her friend told her about a free gas giveaway at City on a Hill United Methodist Church in Woodstock, Ga., she couldn’t believe it. “Wow!” she exclaimed. “It’s a huge blessing.” Dyer and her daughter had been driving 25 miles each way to attend another church. Then the cost of gas shot up. They could not afford the trip. Along with free gas and water and an offer to pray with recipients, Kelly and the other single mothers got an invitation to church. More>>
(UMNS) Bintu Kamara has lost three of her seven children to malaria. One daughter, Mariatu, the twin sister of Fatu Koroma, died when she was only a week old. She had suffered a high fever, a common symptom of malaria. Another daughter, Hassanatu, died at age 5 from “wam body” – a common Sierra Leonean Creole expression for high fever. Hassanatu’s twin brother survived. A third child, also one of a set of twins, likewise died from malaria. Now, armed with the knowledge that mosquito bites can cause “wam body” and a new insecticide-treated bed net hung by United Methodist volunteers who arrived at her home less than 10 hours after she delivered her seventh child, Kamara’s plight of losing her children to malaria may have ended. More>>
(UMNS) The United Methodist Church’s top court says it is not obliged to respond to every request for reconsideration of a 2005 decision related to whether a pastor can deny local church membership to a gay or lesbian person. In Memorandum 1187, related to a petition from the denomination’s California-Pacific Annual (regional) Conference, the Judicial Council noted that it has received numerous requests to reconsider Decision 1032 “on its own motion” but is not required to do so. That petition was among those on the docket for the council’s April 27-29 meeting in Detroit. Other reconsiderations under discussion included another look at an October ruling on due process for a clergy member in the Baltimore-Washington Conference and a request related to procedures in the Philippines Central Conference. More>>
(UMNS) A policy adopted but not yet implemented by United Methodists in New York and Connecticut that essentially would have allowed clergy to marry someone of the same sex has been declared “null, void and of no effect” by the denomination’s top court. The United Methodist Judicial Council has ruled that the New York Annual (regional) Conference resolution and policy allowing clergy “to marry at their own discretion” is “neither valid nor constitutional.” The council upheld the church’s current prohibition against same-sex marriage and pastors who are “self-avowed practicing homosexuals,” found in Paragraph 2702 of the United Methodist Book of Discipline. More>>
The Young People’s Ministries division of the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) is soliciting videos and images reflecting the diverse ministries of the church’s youth and young adults. The material will be featured in a presentation at the 2012 General Conference in Tampa, Fla. The division also is seeking two young people to host the presentation. One-minute videos or pictures with narration about youth/young people’s ministries are due by Oct. 31; applications for on-stage presenters are due by Aug. 1. More information is available online.
(SEJ) The 2011 Festival of Wisdom and Grace Conference, sponsored by the Southeastern Jurisdictional Association of Older Adults, is an experience that will renew your life as you celebrate the Kingdom of God. The 2011 theme focuses on "One in the Spirit: Age to Age Conversations," and features Dr. Leonard Sweet, Dr. Evelyn Laycock, and Senior Research Engineer Brian Jones for the professional track. Paul Saik and the Lake Junaluska Singers will provide music, and there will be seven outstanding workshops. This year's festival will be held August 8-11, 2011, in Lake Junaluska, NC. Click here to read more.
(GBOD) Prayers for Armed Forces Week (Armed Forces Day is May 21; Armed Forces Week is May 14-22)
(UMCom) Online Bible studies can bring group members together for instant interaction without the hurdles of travel, babysitters and work schedules. More>>
(UMCom) These few tips will help you creatively and strategically make the most of your Facebook advertising dollars. More>>
(UMCom) Learn more about what analytics mean and which ones can help you identify whether you are meeting your church's marketing objectives. More>>
(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. More>>
(UMCom) Make your summer worship services a little different this year by letting laity plan worship and lead in new ways. More>>
(UMCom) Many congregations unite around mission endeavors. Scaling back the budget doesn’t mean you must reduce this ministry. More>>
(UMCom) It is important for the church to help teach stewardship to children. One fun way to do this is to use "Bible Bucks." More>>
(UMCom) Reflect on how your church serves singles—and, from the start, recognize "single" is not a singular subject. More>>
(GBOD) Audio Lectio is a new website feature of Alive Now, a bi-monthly magazine from The Upper Room that seeks to nourish people hungry for a sacred way of living. Editor Beth Richardson and friends lead the meditation using an excerpt from each week’s lectionary gospel reading to help preachers, teachers, and pray-ers prepare. Pray while at your computer or download it to pray on the go. For more information, go to http://alivenow.upperroom.org/
(UMCom) Order before June 15 and get 20% off all EcuFilm resources focusing on John and Charles Wesley and United Methodism! See titles and descriptions of sale items here. Enter coupon code EF052011UM at checkout for 20% off. For all other EcuFilm titles, check out their new digital catalog.
(Newcope) This year’s VBS Mission Program from the Society of Saint Andrew (SoSA), “Order Up!” is based on Galatians 5:22-23, 25 on the fruits of the spirit. Each day, in addition to being introduced to a Bible character who, by using a fruit of the Spirit, found favor with God, students will also meet a “Today’s SoSA Superhero” who will encourage them to discover ways they can use their hands to help the hungry. Student sheets contain a short Scripture story; facts about hunger, the SoSA ministry, and Go Green; potato trivia; and a pencil activity for both younger and older children. New this year are song suggestions, craft ideas, and snack choices for each day of the program. Order at http://www.EndHunger.org/vbs.htm.