News

June 25 lesson: Samson’s Call

published 6/19/2017
Click here for a print-friendly version Samson’s Call Summer Quarter: God’s Urgent Call Unit 1: Called to be Strong Sunday school lesson for the week of June 25, 2017 By Rev. Denise Walton Lesson Scripture: Judges 13:1-7, 24-25 Background Scripture: Judges 13-16 Key Verse: You are pregnant and will give birth to a son. Don’t allow a razor to shave his head, because the boy is going to be a Nazarite for God from birth. He’ll be the one who begins Israel’s rescue from the power of the ...

A Word From Bishop Bryan: The Shoulders Upon Which We Stand

published 6/16/2017
Generations of laity and clergy have used William Barclay’s commentary on the Bible known as “Daily Bible Studies.” Several years ago I read Barclay’s autobiography and was struck by these words: “If I have been privileged to go farther in life than others and if I have been able to gain a greater vision of life than others it is because I am standing on the shoulders of my parents.”    Like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day is a good time to reflect on the shoulders upon which we are standing. From ...

A Prayer for Moving Day

published 6/14/2017
June 14 is Moving Day in the South Georgia Annual Conference. As clergy and their families across the Annual Conference are preparing to serve a new church and churches are preparing to welcome their new pastoral family, Bishop R. Lawson Bryan offers the following prayer. A Prayer for Moving Day Proverbs 3:5-6 God of Love, You are with us in every transition and change. As we enter into this new day with excitement and even some anxiety, we recall your deep compassion, presence, and abounding ...

2017 Annual Conference session is refreshing, rejuvenating, alive

published 6/9/2017
Bishop James Swanson preaches at the Opening Worship Service of the 2017 Annual Conference Session. The Jekyll Island Convention Center was filled with red as the South Georgia Annual Conference celebrated Pentecost and convened for its 151st session Sunday, June 4. Meeting under the theme “Alive Together in Christ,” this year’s Annual Conference session was held June 4 through June 7 at the new, oceanfront locale. With beautiful views, ocean breezes, and a new facility, the conference had a...

2017 Denman Evangelism Awards presented

published 6/9/2017
From L to R: Mrs. Teri Nave, Rev. Matt Hearn, Mrs. Karen Forrester Two South Georgia United Methodists have been awarded UM’s highest evangelism honor, the Harry Denman Evangelism Award. The Harry Denman Evangelism Award program honors United Methodists in each annual conference whose exceptional ministry of evangelism – expressed in Word (what), Sign (why), and Deed (how) – brings people into a life transforming relationship with Jesus Christ. Each year Annual Conferences and the Foundation ...

Bishop Bryan presides over first annual conference session in South Georgia

published 6/9/2017
For the first time in 40 years, Bishop R. Lawson Bryan wasn’t in Montgomery, Ala. for the Alabama-West Florida Annual Conference’s Annual Conference session. Not only was he not sitting in a pew in Frazer Memorial United Methodist Church’s sanctuary, he was sitting on stage, looking over a crowd of nearly 1,000 South Georgia United Methodists at the Jekyll Island Convention Center. Presiding over his first annual conference session since becoming South Georgia’s resident bishop, Bishop Bryan...

Bishop Bryan sets 2017-2018 pastoral appointments

published 6/9/2017
On Wednesday, June 7, Bishop R. Lawson Bryan fixed the 2017-2018 pastoral appointments for the South Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church. Click here to download and view a list of appointments by district. 

Conference approves two resolutions

published 6/9/2017
During the Tuesday, June 6 business session, the South Georgia Conference approved two resolutions. Resolutions, once approved by the Annual Conference, are statements that represent the position of the conference on a subject. The first, a “Resolution in support of a Coordinated Action on Behalf of Undocumented Neighbors,” was written and submitted by South Georgia Hispanic pastors and allies. It called on the presiding bishop to form a task force to develop a strategy to educate clergy and ...

Created for Connection

published 6/9/2017
LEADERSHIP REALLY MATTERS ANNE BOSARGE REV. JAY HANSON I (Anne) am a baker. Bread, biscuits, cupcakes, muffins, pastries, scones, cookies… pretty much anything made with flour or sugar! I love the thrill of combining individual ordinary ingredients to create something amazing and delicious that brings others joy. Interestingly enough, when someone comments on something I’ve made they never remark on the tastiness of the baking powder, the texture of the eggs, or the deliciousness of the flour. ...

John Wesley helps a young man learn how to preach

published 6/9/2017
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON John Wesley and a young Methodist preacher were walking along the street near the docks. Two fishermen’s wives got into an argument with each other. The two women began to shout, scream, and curse each other. The young preacher said, “Let’s get away from this; I can’t stand it!” Wesley said, “No, stay and learn how to preach…”  

New annual conference venue offers beautiful views, opportunities for outdoor fun

published 6/9/2017
Alfredo Bocanegra, Faustino Peres, and Jaime Gallaga, members of Casa de Vida y Paz, part of the Bainbridge Hispanic Mission, enjoyed the oceanfront location of the 2017 Annual Conference session. Breathtaking ocean vistas greeted conference attendees as they arrived at the Jekyll Island Convention Center for the 2017 South Georgia Annual Conference session. The only oceanfront convention center on the east coast south of New Jersey, the convention center’s remarkable views of the Atlantic ...

Remembering those who have gone before us

published 6/9/2017
A Memorial Service for those faithful servants who served in the South Georgia Annual Conference was held on Tuesday afternoon, June 6, at 2:00 p.m. as conference members gathered at the Jekyll Island Convention Center. Bishop B. Michael Watson, South Georgia’s former episcopal leader and current Ecumenical Officer for the Council of Bishops, gave a touching message titled, “The Strong Arms of Jesus,” as he remembered those who have gone before us. The message reminded listeners that God’s ...

Vital Signs moments highlight ways Conference is alive

published 6/9/2017
From L to R: Rev. Earnestine Campbell, Rev. Stacey Harwell-Dye and Rev. Carrie Myers share a Vital Sign moment about the ministry foci of the Conference Advocacy Team. A highlight of this year’s Annual Conference session were the Vital Signs moments. These brief, interactive snapshots of ministries showed the various ways we are Alive Together in Christ in the South Georgia Conference through our various agencies, ministries, and people. Rev. Jonathan Smith, Campus Minister at the Georgia ...

Celebrating ministries, churches, and individuals who are Alive Together in Christ through mission, ministry and evangelism

published 6/8/2017
Mission, ministry, and evangelism awards were highlighted during the 2017 Annual Conference session, a way to celebrate how ministries, churches, and individuals throughout the conference are alive together in Christ.   The mission of the church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ. A significant dimension of the disciple-making process is that of leading people to make a commitment to God through baptism and profession of faith in Jesus Christ. Reaching new persons with the gospel is at the ...

Celebrating Ministry Milestones and Achievements at Annual Conference

published 6/8/2017
The 2017 Class of Retirees Annual Conference is a special time to celebrate ministry milestones and achievements, from those just entering the ministry to those taking the next step of their journey into retirement.   On Tuesday morning the South Georgia Annual Conference celebrated with those clergy who have served in ministry for 50 years and those who are entering into a retired relationship with the Annual Conference.   Clergy recognized for having served 50 years in ministry include: Jack...

2017 Annual Conference Session - Recap of Wednesday, June 7

published 6/7/2017
Business Session In the Business Session Wednesday morning, the conference:   celebrated with individuals and churches who have received awards from various agencies and ministries throughout the conference. For the year 2017 Centerville UMC (Early Co.) had the best ratio of professions of faith; Statesboro First; had the largest net gain in membership; and St. Luke (Columbus) had the largest number of professions of faith. St. Luke UMC (Columbus) was recognized for the church with the ...

2017 Annual Conference Session - Recap of Tuesday, June 6

published 6/6/2017
Business Session In the business session Tuesday, the conference: heard two more John Wesley moments. In the first of the day, Rev. David Hanson told the conference that if they want to increase worship attendance they need to find out why people aren’t attending church. John Wesley, he said, would take a survey. He did, and the results surprised him. Results of a survey may surprise us, too. Two people told Wesley they didn’t attend church because Tom Nesbit attended. Are YOU Tom Nesbit? In ...

2017 Annual Conference Session - Recap of Monday, June 5

published 6/5/2017
From L to R: Eric Mayle (Provisional Elder), J. Grantham (Provisional Elder), Jack Varnell (Full Elder), Jonathan Fuller (Full Elder), Scott Stanfill (Provisional Elder), Jerry Akin (Provisional Elder) Monday morning began with the Laity Session at 9:00 a.m. in the main plenary hall, and the Clergy Sessions at 9:00 a.m. in Ballroom G of the Convention Center. Laity Session Following gathering music by Frank Lowery, song leader, and Jane Kimbrel, organist, Gloria Morgan, Conference Lay Leader, ...

2017 Annual Conference Session - Recap of Sunday, June 4

published 6/5/2017
Opening Worship   The Jekyll Island Convention Center was filled with red as the South Georgia Annual Conference celebrated Pentecost Sunday, June 4 as it gathered for its opening worship session. Bishop James Swanson, episcopal leader of the Mississippi Conference and an ordained elder in the South Georgia Conference, “came home” to South Georgia to preach a rousing and passionate sermon about the Holy Spirit. “You have gathered in a beautiful, pristine place with cool breezes,” he said. “It...

Celebrating life, freedom, and being alive together in Christ

published 5/30/2017
FROM THE BISHOP R. LAWSON BRYAN Sherrill and I thank you for joining us in rejoicing over the birth of John Philip Bryan, Jr., our first grandchild. Philip, Brittany, and the baby are doing fine. Especially meaningful to me is the fact that the labor began on Aldersgate Day, the birth was on Ascension Day, and he came home from the hospital on Memorial Day weekend. On Memorial Day I remember my grandfather who helped raise me. John Algonas left school at the age of 16 to defend our country ...

Live stream of Annual Conference session begins June 4

published 5/30/2017
Those who are not able to attend the 2017 South Georgia Annual Conference session may watch the conference in its entirety via live stream at www.sgaumc.org/aclivestreaming. The live stream link will be available through the Annual Conference session’s duration, beginning at 7 p.m. on Sunday, June 4 through the Fixing the Appointments/Sending Forth Service on Wednesday, June 7. Those with internet access can experience events, worship services, and plenary sessions as if they were attending in ...

St. Marys United Methodist Church Foundation announces spring grant recipients

published 5/22/2017
The Board of Directors of the St. Marys United Methodist Church Foundation, Inc. has approved grants for the spring 2017 Grant Cycle. Grants totaling $589,761 will be made to 12 local and statewide organizations the week of June 5, 2017. The following is a brief description of each recipient and the purpose of the grant. Andrew College (www.andrewcollege.edu ) A $10,000 grant to Andrew College to support the joint chaplain position for the campus. This grant represents the third year of a ...

A note to graduates

published 5/15/2017
Dr. Hal Brady Congratulations to all 2017 high school graduates! Graduation from high school is a notable milestone, and you are to be congratulated upon reaching this very significant moment in your life and in the life of your family. In your transition from student to graduate, our nation is once again blessed with renewed creativity and the blessing of youthful idealism. With two of our own grandchildren graduating this year, I am particularly mindful of the significance of this moment. ...

Andrew College receives final approval for registered nursing degree program

published 5/15/2017
Andrew College passed the final hurdle in the process of creating an Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) program. On Monday, May 3, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS) approved the program and have included it in the scope of the current Andrew College accreditation. Dr. Linda R. Buchanan, president of Andrew College, expressed her profound thanks to donors, the Board of Trustees, clinical partners and others who have stood behind the College as it ...

Annual Conference to vote on five constitutional amendments

published 5/15/2017
One of the major items of business during the 2017 Annual Conference session is the consideration of five constitutional amendments. Voters will consider changes that address matters of gender equality, inclusiveness in membership, delegate and bishop elections, as well as bishop accountability. For an in-depth story about the amendments, scroll down or click here. All five amendments were approved by a two-thirds vote of the 2016 General Conference and now must be ratified by a two-thirds ...

Cokesbury unveils new Ministry Resource Center at Annual Conferences

published 5/15/2017
Cokesbury has announced that it is bringing a new consultative retail experience to Annual Conferences this year with the new Cokesbury Ministry Resource Center. Focused on equipping leaders to build disciples, the Ministry Resource Center will offer the opportunity for more personalized consultations with church leaders in order to match products with their specific ministry needs. Features of the Ministry Resource Center include: Showcases highlighting new and classic resources ranging from ...

Conference to consider, vote on three resolutions

published 5/15/2017
Three resolutions have been presented for consideration and vote by the 2017 South Georgia Annual Conference. Resolutions, once approved by the Annual Conference, are statements that represent the position of the conference on a subject. The first, a “Resolution in support of a Coordinated Action on Behalf of Undocumented Neighbors,” was written and submitted by South Georgia Hispanic pastors and allies. It calls on the presiding bishop to form a task force to develop a strategy to educate ...

South Georgia Conference Chancellor serves on Judicial Council

published 5/15/2017
South Georgia Conference Chancellor W. Warren Plowden, Jr., a member of Vineville United Methodist Church in Macon, is for the second quadrennium serving on The United Methodist Church’s Judicial Council, the denomination’s highest judicial body. He was first elected fifth lay alternate during the 2012 General Conference session, held in Tampa, Fla. and elected for a second consecutive term, this time as first lay alternate, during the 2016 General Conference session in Portland, Ore. In what ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 5/21/17

published 5/15/2017
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, May 21 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 ...

The Immigrant’s Creed

published 5/15/2017
HISPANIC NEWS REV. DANIEL MEDINA Rev. Daniel Medina, pastor of Nueva Vida United Methodist Church in Macon and associate director of Connectional Ministries for Hispanic Ministries, presents the text below as a Christian reflection and statement in the midst of the political conversation in which we live. This creed has been part of the Hispanic liturgy in the recent years and expresses hope in a future where we all live in reconciliation and peace, “as it is in heaven.” Rev. Medina prays that ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 5/14/17

published 5/8/2017
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, May 14 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 ...

Bishop Bryan encourages Conference to read “Overflow”

published 5/1/2017
During the 2016 Annual Conference session, delegates set a goal of increasing average worship attendance by 10 percent by 2018. The 2017 Annual Conference session is being intentionally designed to help the South Georgia Annual Conference meet that goal, and when it gathers at the Jekyll Island Convention Center June 4-7, Dr. Lovett H. Weems, co-author of the book “OVERFLOW: Increase Worship Attendance & Bear More Fruit,” will teach three sessions that will provide practical steps for planning, ...

God is at work in our community of faith

published 5/1/2017
FROM THE BISHOP R. LAWSON BRYAN A fresh perspective on the possibilities of Annual Conference can be found in the early chapters of the Acts of the Apostles. The first five chapters are filled with one moving experience after another: the Ascension; the Holy Spirit on Pentecost; 3,000 people are saved; and the early Christians meet daily to worship, break bread in their homes, and share their possessions to meet the needs of fellow Christians. But then in chapter six a problem arises: “Now ...

S3 groups help clergy renew, recharge, refresh

published 5/1/2017
Serving in full-time ministry is consuming. It’s hard to relax and “turn off” at the end of the day. Being a pastor or deacon is an always-on, always-in-demand role with sometimes unrealistically high expectations. The South Georgia Conference realizes the need to care for those in ministry, and has implemented S3, a program for sustaining excellence in ministry through small-group experiences focused on Sabbath, study, and service. Brought to South Georgia nearly 13 years ago, the S3 program ...

S3: The smartest decision I’ve made in ministry

published 5/1/2017
GROWING IN GRACE BEN GOSDEN I want to tell you about the smartest decision I’ve made in ministry. The decision has nothing to do with a finance committee meeting. It has nothing to do with a perfect children’s minister I’ve hired. And it has nothing to do with a five-step evangelism plan. The smartest decision I’ve made in ministry was almost two years ago when I decided to form an S3 Group. What is S3, you ask? From the information on our conference website: S3 is a program for sustaining ...

A Word from Bishop Bryan: The Judicial Council Ruling

published 4/29/2017
April 29, 2017 To the South Georgia Conference: The Judicial Council, the highest judicial body or “court” of The United Methodist Church, has ruled that the consecration of an openly gay bishop in the Western Jurisdiction, Bishop Karen Oliveto, violated church law. Specifically, the Council said: “…no individual member or entity may violate, ignore or negate church law,” the council ruled. “It is not lawful for the College of Bishops of any jurisdictional or central conference to consecrate a ...

Book of Recommendations & Reports for the 2017 Annual Conference Session now available

published 4/28/2017
Business items for the 2017 Annual Conference session are contained in the Book of Recommendations and Reports (BOR). One of the purposes of the BOR is to encourage delegates to read the recommendations and reports prior to arriving at conference. A good delegate is a prepared delegate. The 2015 Annual Conference session voted that all Annual Conference materials, including the Book of Recommendations and Reports, be made available online on the conference website and through other electronic ...

UMC Bishops Call Special Session of General Conference for 2019

published 4/25/2017
The Council of Bishops (COB) has called a Special Session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church (UMC) to be held February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. In announcing the call, COB President Bishop Bruce R. Ough said the Special Session will be held in accordance with Division Two - Section II - Article II of The Constitution of The United Methodist Church as recorded in Paragraph ¶14 of The Book of Discipline (2016). The purpose of the 2019 Special Session of the ...

Bishop Bryan offers prayer for Judicial Council meeting

published 4/24/2017
Earlier this month Bishop Bryan shared a message to the people of the South Georgia Conference regarding this week's Judicial Council meeting. (Read Bishop Bryan’s message)  Bishop Bryan now invites you to join him in continued prayer for The United Methodist Church, the Council of Bishops, the Commission on the Way Forward, and the Judicial Council as we await the Judicial Council decision. God of resurrection and new life, we pray to you as Easter people: When we were dead, you made us Alive...

Bishop Bryan Announces Projected June Appointments

published 4/23/2017
Bishop R. Lawson Bryan has announced projected appointment changes as of April 23, 2017. The appointments will be set at the South Georgia Annual Conference and will be effective in June. The appointment list and a note about the projected appointments can be found at www.sgaumc.org/projectedappointments. 

April 19: An update on the appointment-making process

published 4/19/2017
To the South Georgia Conference: The appointive cabinet and I thank you for your prayers for God’s guidance in the appointment process. We have felt your prayers and have been constantly reminded that in the South Georgia Conference we are Alive Together in Christ.    I am pleased to announce that we are on track in terms of the previously announced times and process for the release of the appointments.     First, I remind PPR/SPR chairpersons that on Sunday, April 23, they are free to announce ...

A United Methodist understanding on immigration; an act of Christian compassion

published 4/17/2017
HISPANIC NEWS REV. DANIEL MEDINA The “Book of Resolutions” of The United Methodist Church states: “The Bible is full of stories of sojourners, strangers without homes, immigrants whom God called people to protect. God did not let the Israelites, after their exodus from Egypt, forget that they had been without a homeland for such a long time; the ethic of welcoming the sojourner was woven into the very fabric of the Israelite and early Christian culture, religion and law.” Jesus exemplified the...

Celebrating Small Church Leadership and Vitality

published 4/17/2017
FOCUS ON THE VISION DENISE WALTON Small churches play a vital role in the mission and ministry of the South Georgia Annual Conference. At the 2017 Annual Conference session, the South Georgia Annual Conference, Conference Board of Laity, and Connectional Ministries have partnered to provide a luncheon promoting ministry resources for small churches. Clergy and Laity are encouraged and invited to attend “Celebrating Small Church Leadership and Vitality,” the Small Church Leadership Luncheon at ...

Douglas pastor, dentist roast coffee, change lives

published 4/17/2017
By Kara Witherow, Editor In the heart of Coffee County, Ga. a dentist and a part-time local pastor are helping make disciples and transform a small part of the world, one cup of coffee at a time. What began with a short-term mission trip to El Salvador nearly six years ago has grown into El Camino Coffee, an artisanal coffee company that specializes in single-origin brews. Rev. Chris Calhoun, pastor of St. Mark United Methodist Church in Douglas, and Dr. Griff Lindsey, a dentist and member of...

Now accepting applications for Woods Home in Epworth Acres

published 4/17/2017
The South Georgia Conference Board of Trustees is now accepting applications for one of the Woods Homes in Epworth Acres on St. Simons Island. The estimated date of availability is June 1, 2017. Certain criteria must be met in order to live in the Woods Homes, as directed by the Trust which was originally established in 1957 when a gift was made to the South Georgia Annual Conference by Dr. and Mrs. James A. Wood. The Policy Statement can be viewed here in order for applicants to determine ...

Students worship, learn at community-wide 3rd Night services

published 4/17/2017
By Kara Witherow, Editor Lindsey Conroy, 15, loves seeing fellow believers as she walks through the halls of Columbus High School. She may not know all of their names and they don’t all attend the same church, but they are connected through a shared faith and, for many, through 3rd Night. A community-wide worship service for junior high, high school, and college students, 3rd Night was conceived by leaders from The Ridge and is led by five Columbus-area United Methodist church leaders. “It’s ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 4/23/17

published 4/17/2017
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, April 23 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 ...

The Approval of God

published 4/17/2017
PATHWAY TO HIS PRESENCE B.J. FUNK Oswald Chambers writes, “Paul is like a musician who does not need the approval of the audience if he can catch the look of approval from his Master.” That sentence brought a flood of memories into my spirit for until recently I was that one who needed the approval of the audience. I believe that’s why God called me to be a pastor in my latter years and why he couldn’t call me in my youth. Breathing “Will you like me?” in and out each day, I would have been a ...

An Easter Message from Bishop Bryan: When Easter Calls Your Name

published 4/10/2017
To the South Georgia Conference: The Resurrection Run. That is what I call the opening scene in the Easter story in the Gospel of John.  The Resurrection Run starts with Mary Magdalene who goes to the tomb, finds the stone rolled away, and then runs to find Peter and the other disciple (possibly John, the gospel writer himself). Those two men respond by joining the Resurrection Run, and we even get a news report as to who won the race: “The two were running together, but the other disciple ...

Commission on a Way Forward optimistic of future, delves into tough task

published 4/10/2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Members of the Commission on a Way Forward have expressed optimism at reaching consensus on a plan or plans to guide the Council of Bishops in leading The United Methodist Church into the future. During the three-day meeting, April 6-8, at the United Methodist Building in Washington, D.C., the Commission members began discussing possible outcomes and timelines on accomplishing their task of examining paragraphs in the Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and ...

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