News

After God’s Own Heart

published 3/20/2017
Dr. Hal Brady People give and receive numerous compliments. He’s a great person. She’s a beautiful lady. He’s quite an athlete. She’s a class act. In the world of sports we often hear the expression, “He has color.” While I cannot exactly define it, I think you understand what it is. The athlete with “color” makes his easy plays look spectacular and his mistakes are readily forgotten. We like him just the way he is, rough edges or not. He has “color,” we say. But perhaps the greatest ...

Centenary UMC’s Roving Listeners listen, learn, love

published 3/20/2017
A Macon resident speaks with Roving Listeners Davida Poole, seated, with microphone; Laura Sugg, standing; and Samuel Closson, sitting, wearing hat. By Kara Witherow, Editor In the Internet age with smart phones and social media, we’re more connected now than ever. So why do we feel so disconnected? Since 2012, Centenary United Methodist Church has worked in its Macon neighborhood to connect neighbors to one another and to promote a greater sense of community through its Roving Listener ...

South Georgia pastors speak at Dominican Republic Methodist General Assembly

published 3/20/2017
The United Methodist Church is a Church of connections, relationships, and partnerships. So when presented with the opportunity to attend the Dominican Republic Methodist Church’s General Assembly – their version of an Annual Conference session – South Georgia Conference representatives quickly agreed and set the wheels in motion for a visit. Rev. Henry Bass, superintendent of the South Central District; Rev. Christy Bandy, pastor of Springhill United Methodist Church and Whigham United ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 3/26/17

published 3/20/2017
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, March 26 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 ...

We have hope!

published 3/20/2017
HISPANIC NEWS REV. DANIEL MEDINA Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O Jehovah. (Psalm 130:1) When I was young, I really liked to hike mountains. It was not the extreme sport where you use all the special equipment to climb, it was about walking trails and climbing hills. I also enjoyed going into caves and caverns to explore, to admire God’s creation and … maybe to impress others. There is, in the proximities of the city of Chihuahua (Mexico), a system of caves and rocky formations ...

Young Harris College President Cathy Cox to Step Down in June

published 3/20/2017
Young Harris College President Cathy Cox announced today that she will formally step down from the position in June 2017 to accept the role of dean of Mercer University’s School of Law, her alma mater.   During her 10-year tenure as president, Cox has led the College through an unparalleled period of growth, transitioning it from a two-year to a four-year college, more than doubling the size of the faculty and student body, and constructing $100 million in new facilities, while staying true to ...

2017 Annual Conference Session: Overflow book, AC announcements & reminders

published 3/15/2017
The following is an email sent out on March 15, 2017, by Dr. Jay Harris, Conference Secretary, with updated details about the 2017 Annual Conference Session set for June 4-7 on Jekyll Island.   2017 Annual Conference Session: Overflow book, AC announcements & reminders From the Bishop Dear Lay and Clergy Members of the Annual Conference, Conference and Agency Leaders, I am excited about my first Annual Conference Session in South Georgia and look forward to us coming together to share all the ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 3/19/17

published 3/13/2017
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, March 19 The Sunday Advocate is a weekly printable bulletin insert and supplement to the South Georgia Advocate online newspaper. Loaded with South Georgia Conference and UMC news, event information, tips and more, the Sunday Advocate is a printable PDF that can be printed and distributed through local church communication pieces. It will be published and available for download each Monday afternoon. The Sunday Advocate is ...

Asbury Memorial UMC youth teach tech at “reverse mentoring” workshop

published 3/6/2017
By Kara Witherow, Editor iPhones, iPods, and iPads. PCs and passwords. Facebook and Facetime. Internet and Instagram. Software, settings, and smartphones.   All of the digital technology that inundates our daily lives can be intimidating and downright confusing, especially for those who didn’t grow up in such a wired world. Some Savannah teens, though, are taking the time to help navigate neophytes through the digital landscape with their “reverse mentoring” technology workshops. Asbury ...

Bishop Bryan announces projected Conference-level appointments

published 3/6/2017
Bishop R. Lawson Bryan has released projected appointments for seven Conference-level positions. All six current district superintendents will be reappointed to serve in their respective districts. Dr. Wayne Moseley will continue to serve as Coastal District Superintendent; Dr. Rick Lanford will continue as North Central Superintendent; Rev. Chris Ramsey will continue to serve as the Northeast District Superintendent; Dr. Buddy Cooper will continue serving as the Northwest District’s ...

Commission moves onward and forward

published 3/6/2017
Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia this week, the Commission on a Way Forward continued to make progress towards completing the groundwork for their task, building relationships, engaging in learning, information gathering, working and worshiping together. On Wednesday, the Rev. Donna Pritchard led a morning Bible study of Galatians 2. Later, Commission members joined the staff of the General Board of Global Ministries in the stained-glass sanctuary of Grace United Methodist Church for an Ash ...

Commission on a Way Forward convenes in Atlanta

published 3/6/2017
The second meeting of the Commission on a Way Forward got underway in Atlanta Feb. 27 as commission members spent time in reflection, discussion and work team meetings. Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball led the Commission in discussions of accountability and their covenant, the complexity of the work ahead, and building relationships of trust by going deeper in conversation and understanding. These three values – accountability, complexity, trust – are considered essential to taking the steps toward ...

Miracle-themed ads and resources will extend Easter invitation to seekers

published 3/6/2017
Miracles, and what children have to say about them, will be the focus of The United Methodist Church’s national Easter advertising campaign and accompanying local church resources this spring. Running late March through mid-April, the ads are the second phase of the 2017 campaign, “Our Beliefs. Their Words,” which features children sharing about their faith. “A miracle is an everyday extraordinary. It’s when you find the strength that you didn’t think you had, when you find hope when you thought...

OVERFLOW in worship

published 3/6/2017
FROM THE BISHOP R. LAWSON BRYAN Even before moving to the South Georgia Conference I heard of a most inspiring moment at last year’s annual conference session. The delegates enthusiastically set a goal of increasing average worship attendance by 10 percent by 2018. How grateful I am to be part of an annual conference that can set such a goal! Much help toward achieving that goal is already being provided by leaders in our conference. For example, the “Praying For 5” booklets outline a way that...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 3/12/17

published 3/6/2017
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, March 12 The Sunday Advocate is a weekly printable bulletin insert and supplement to the South Georgia Advocate online newspaper. Loaded with South Georgia Conference and UMC news, event information, tips and more, the Sunday Advocate is a printable PDF that can be printed and distributed through local church communication pieces. It will be published and available for download each Monday afternoon. The Sunday Advocate is...

Turn the tables over — 5 ways to be more innovative in ministry

published 3/6/2017
GROWING IN GRACE BEN GOSDEN Are you tired of church as usual? I know I am. Pew Research says we’ve seen roughly a 7 percent increase among those who claim no religious affiliation over the last 10 plus years. We know this already. Church attendance is down across the board. As an annual conference we’ve challenged ourselves to a 10 percent increase in average worship attendance in order to grease the wheels of growth. But what, if anything, will make the difference? I believe now, more than ...

Cabinet Level Appointments Announced

published 2/27/2017
To the South Georgia Conference: Thank you for your prayers for me and for the Cabinet as we fulfill our responsibilities in the appointment making process. As I said in the recent appointment process video, our goal is to seek appointments that best enable our local churches and our clergy to be Alive Together in Christ. While consultation has been going on with churches and pastors, I have also been in consultation with the members of the cabinet regarding their appointments. In recent months ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 3/5/17

published 2/27/2017
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, March 5 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...

5 constitutional amendments head to vote

published 2/20/2017
By Heather Hahn, UMNS General Conference delegates had their say last year. Now, it’s up to annual conference voters to determine whether five amendments will become part of The United Methodist Church’s constitution. In the coming months, the voters will consider changes that address matters of gender equality, inclusiveness in membership, delegate and bishop elections, as well as bishop accountability. To be ratified, a constitutional amendment first requires at least a two-thirds vote at ...

Congregational Development publishes 40-day devotional

published 2/20/2017
South Georgia’s Office of Congregational Development has published a new devotional focused on prayer and evangelism called, “Praying for Five: Forging Eternal Friendships Through Daily Prayer.” Click here for a digital copy Perfect for use as a Lent devotion, “Praying for 5” is a 40-day daily devotional book written by South Georgia clergy and lay persons designed to inspire and equip 20,000 people to pray for 100,000 people in South Georgia. “Prayer changes lives,” said Rev. Jay Hanson, ...



Letting it go

published 2/20/2017
PATHWAY TO HIS PRESENCE B.J. FUNK The first time I did it was before I was 30. I waited a long time before doing it again, not because I didn’t want to, but because it’s simply not the kind of thing I enter into lightly. Both times I was at a difficult place in my life, a crossroads where my strong desire for answers crossed my equally strong desire to please God. Something had to give. I was barren, and the heartache of not conceiving rested on my shoulders with pain that felt like a giant ...

Service modeled after the ministry of Jesus

published 2/20/2017
HISPANIC NEWS REV. FELIPE RICARDO “He rose from supper, laid aside His outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around His waist. Then He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around Him.” (John 13: 4-5) During Jesus’ time, washing guests’ feet was the duty of the servant of the house. Jesus, when He washed the feet of His disciples, wrapped the towel around His waist. This was an action that the most humble of all ...

Shoreline Church launches in Valdosta

published 2/20/2017
By Kara Witherow, Editor Popcorn and … Jesus? People usually associate popcorn with movies and Coca-Cola, not the Holy Spirt. But with the familiar smell of popcorn in the air, 144 people piled into the Valdosta Cinemas on Sunday, Feb. 5 not to watch a movie, but to worship. They were there for The Shoreline Church’s launch service, which was the fifth service the new congregation had hosted. After four preview services church leaders decided they were ready to start meeting weekly. South ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 2/26/17

published 2/20/2017
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, February 26 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 ...

2017 appointment-making season begins in the South Georgia Conference

published 2/13/2017
{Click to watch video} It’s appointment-making season in The United Methodist Church, and on Feb. 20 Bishop Bryan and the Appointive Cabinet will meet for several days to pray, worship, and begin the decision-making process of appointments. The 2017-2018 appointment-making schedule is available here. “Our appointment system is really not so much about moving preachers from one place to the next, it’s about sending people, lay and clergy, into those places of service into the world so they can ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 2/19/17

published 2/13/2017
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, February 19 The Sunday Advocate is a weekly printable bulletin insert and supplement to the South Georgia Advocate online newspaper. Loaded with South Georgia Conference and UMC news, event information, tips and more, the Sunday Advocate is a printable PDF that can be printed and distributed through local church communication pieces. It will be published and available for download each Monday afternoon. The Sunday Advocate is ...

Be agents of unity and healing

published 2/6/2017
FROM THE BISHOP R. LAWSON BRYAN To the South Georgia Conference: Thanks to all who have given so graciously – financially, prayerfully, and in service – in response to the tornadoes that struck parts of our conference Jan. 2 and Jan. 21-22. The need continues; to contribute to this special appeal please send to the conference fiscal office and designate for Advance Special #6796. To read about how our Conference has responded to these winter storms, click here. As we continue to address the ...

ConneXion Church consecrated, dedicated

published 2/6/2017
Savannah church is focused on connection, unity By Kara Witherow, Editor Sunday morning at 11 a.m. has been called “the most segregated hour in this nation.” More than 53 years ago Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke those words, and even today, decades later, many pastors grapple with that same issue and still say that churches are among the most divided institutions in American society. One new South Georgia United Methodist Church, however, is trying to break down those barriers and be an ...

Praying for Five: Forging Eternal Friendships Through Daily Prayer

published 2/6/2017
LEADERSHIP REALLY MATTERS ANNE BOSARGE REV. JAY HANSON There are certain times when something happens that words are inadequate to describe. We know it was special … in fact, everyone in the room senses it, but none can fully articulate what happened. We say things like: “The magic happened,” “The room lifted and the Spirit fell,” or “It was palatable.” “You could feel the energy shift and the momentum build,” we might say. When you have experienced it and try to describe it, you begin to more...



Some strange characters John Wesley met

published 2/6/2017
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON A man confronted John Wesley and urged him not to leave the Church of England. John assured him that he had no intention of leaving the Church of England. The man replied, “Then you should always read prayers because praying extempore is the same thing as leaving the Church!” The man went on to explain, “You cannot do two things at the same time. Therefore; if you think and pray you are doing two things at the same time. And that cannot be done!” Wesley ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 2/12/17

published 2/6/2017
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, February 12 The Sunday Advocate is a weekly printable bulletin insert and supplement to the South Georgia Advocate online newspaper. Loaded with South Georgia Conference and UMC news, event information, tips and more, the Sunday Advocate is a printable PDF that can be printed and distributed through local church communication pieces. It will be published and available for download each Monday afternoon. The Sunday Advocate is ...

Two South Georgia UM churches top growing church list

published 2/6/2017
By Kara Witherow, Editor Two South Georgia United Methodist congregations top a well-respected list of growing churches. Harvest Church, a United Methodist congregation in Byron, and The Chapel, a United Methodist congregation in Brunswick, have been ranked number one and number two, respectively, on a list of top 10 United Methodist churches with the highest annual growth over a 10-year period. The Chapel was also recently ranked number 12 on a list of top 25 fastest growing large United ...

Commission on a Way Forward holds organizational meeting

published 1/30/2017
The Commission on a Way Forward held its first meeting in Atlanta, Georgia January 23-26, 2017, with 32 members from nine countries in attendance. Led by commission moderators Bishop David Yemba, Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball and Bishop Ken Carter, members worked and worshipped together and began the foundational work integral to their charge of developing consensus about how to move forward amid different theological understandings of LGBTQ identity. “We need to diagnose what is happening in our ...

Disaster Response Update: January 27, 2017

published 1/27/2017
Disaster Response Update: January 27, 2017 Nearly a week after devastating storms ripped through South Georgia, leaving death and destruction in their wake, United Methodists in the affected areas are working on plans for immediate relief and long-term recovery. On Wednesday, conference officials, including Bishop Lawson Bryan, Dr. Nita Crump, and other Cabinet members, met with several Albany United Methodist pastors to tour the area and talk through next steps of our disaster response. UMCOR ...

A letter to the President

published 1/23/2017
Dr. Hal Brady Dear President Trump, Congratulations on becoming the 45th President of the United States. Though, in all honesty, I was not always pleased with some of your pre-election rhetoric, you won the election and I, along with countless Americans, are hoping for your best and the best for our nation as well. Party labels to me are not critically important, but political parties working together really are. For me, we have had enough squabbling among politicians and their parties and ...

Clergy Compensation List now available online

published 1/23/2017
The 2017 Clergy Compensation List is now available online to view: http://www.sgaumc.org/clergycompensationlist.  

Conference apportionment giving reaches 90 percent

published 1/23/2017
By Kara Witherow, Editor For the second consecutive year, apportionment giving in the South Georgia Conference reached 90 percent. The total collected for 2016 was $9,377,572.65 on a 10,419,695 budget. Giving was almost level to 2015’s, down only about $400. “Flat” is the word Dr. Derek McAleer used to describe the Conference’s apportionment giving. “It had been increasing and I wish it had increased this year too,” he said. “This is still pretty good, though not quite as good (as last year,...

Connected through disaster

published 1/23/2017
Albany-area congregations show the love of Christ as they serve  By Kara Witherow, Editor After the devastating early January storms three weeks ago, members of El Faro, a Hispanic United Methodist congregation in Albany, helped members of Albany First United Methodist Church, Porterfield Memorial United Methodist Church, and other Dougherty County churches clean up and recover. They worked tirelessly, washing, drying, and folding laundry and moving limbs and debris from yards and homes. They...

Deadly storm damages Zoar UMC

published 1/23/2017
By Kara Witherow, Editor A line of deadly storms swept through the Southeast this weekend, killing at least 15 and injuring dozens more in South Georgia alone. The storm system damaged homes, toppled trees, and destroyed much in its path. Zoar United Methodist Church in Baxley sustained major damage to its sanctuary during Sunday morning’s storms. A large pine tree landed on a storage building, destroying it, and the church’s pump house was also crushed in the storm. Debris and wind tore ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 1/29/17

published 1/23/2017
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, January 29 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 ...

Disaster Response: South Georgia Winter Storms

published 1/22/2017
Devastating storms ripped through South Georgia this weekend, leaving death and destruction in their wake. The most affected areas of the South Georgia Conference were the South Central and Southwest Districts, where 15 people are confirmed dead and at least 43 injured. Just three weeks ago, the same areas were slammed by straight-line winds and tornados. While many are still cleaning up from that storm, they have been faced with more rain, winds, and flooding. “We grieve the loss of life, ...



2017 Annual Conference Session Important Details

published 1/20/2017
The following is an email sent out by Dr. Jay Harris, Conference Secretary, with updated details about the 2017 Annual Conference Session set for June 4-7 on Jekyll Island. Dear Lay and Clergy Members of the Annual Conference, Conference and Agency Leaders,   Happy New Year!   Our 2017 Annual Conference Session, set for June 4-7 on Jekyll Island, will be here before you know it. The Conference Program Committee, the Local Arrangements Team, and the Coastal District are excited about welcoming ...

A prayer for our country - a message from Bishop R. Lawson Bryan

published 1/19/2017
A message from Bishop R. Lawson Bryan As the attention of the nation and the world is focused on tomorrow’s inauguration ceremony, I invite you to join me in reflecting on this event in three ways. First, consider the Social Principles found in the Book of Discipline. These principles represent a prayerful and thoughtful effort to speak to the issues of human life from a sound Biblical foundation expressed in Wesleyan theology and practice. With respect to “The Political Community,” for ...

2017 Lenten Resources

published 1/18/2017
Restored, Finding Redemption in Our Mess, Tom Berlin This Lent, Look at Your Mess Through the Eyes of Christ. Often we make a mess of our lives and wonder if there is any redemption. In this book, pastor and author Tom Berlin helps us see our mess through the eyes of Christ to find redemption and restoration. Using Scripture, devotional tools, and the writings of Ignatius of Loyola, John of the Cross, St. Augustine, John Wesley, Evelyn Underhill, and others, Berlin encourages reflection and ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 1/22/17

published 1/17/2017
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, January 22 The Sunday Advocate is a weekly printable bulletin insert and supplement to the South Georgia Advocate online newspaper. Loaded with South Georgia Conference and UMC news, event information, tips and more, the Sunday Advocate is a printable PDF that can be printed and distributed through local church communication pieces. It will be published and available for download each Monday afternoon. The Sunday Advocate is ...

Disaster Response Update: The United Methodist Church is at work

published 1/10/2017
January 10, 2017 To the South Georgia Conference: I had the opportunity to go to Albany yesterday to see firsthand the widespread damage caused by the storms that hit the Southwest District last week. Thanks to Nita Crump, Thad Haygood, Leigh Ann Raynor and Debbie Cone for taking me through the area. Hundreds of trees were blown down, often onto the rooftops of houses. Many streets were impassable last week, and many residents, churches, and businesses are still without power. But I also saw The...

Spiritual decluttering: A fresh start for a new year

published 1/9/2017
A UMC.org feature by Joe Iovino One of the wonderful things about each new year is that it brings with it a sense of a new beginning, 365 days of promise and possibility. Some use this time to bring freshness to their lives. They may decide to declutter the junk drawer, attic, or garage. It may also mean removing many of the sugars, fats, and carbohydrates from our diets. As a United Methodist church member, parting with some things for a season, may help declutter your spiritual life. Doing ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 1/15/17

published 1/9/2017
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, January 15 The Sunday Advocate is a weekly printable bulletin insert and supplement to the South Georgia Advocate online newspaper. Loaded with South Georgia Conference and UMC news, event information, tips and more, the Sunday Advocate is a printable PDF that can be printed and distributed through local church communication pieces. It will be published and available for download each Monday afternoon. The Sunday Advocate is ...

United Methodists work to bring relief, hope to storm victims

published 1/9/2017
By Kara Witherow, Editor, and Kelly Roberson, Director of Communications The storm system that tore through Albany last Monday night and into Tuesday morning uprooted trees, destroyed homes, and left thousands without power, but it didn’t break the spirits of those who live, work, and worship there. In the midst of devastation and darkness, United Methodists are working together to shine the light of Christ in an uncertain and anxious time. Individuals and congregations in the Southwest ...

Responding to the storms: Alive Together in Christ as we bear one another's burdens

published 1/7/2017
January 7, 2017 To the South Georgia Conference: Devastating straight-line winds and tornadoes have resulted in significant damage in parts of our Southwest District. The United Methodist Churches of that district have moved quickly to alleviate suffering and provide for the basic needs of storm victims. Porterfield Memorial UMC and Albany First UMC are spearheading local UMC efforts to provide for essential needs at this time, providing food and blankets, coordinating clean-up teams, washing ...

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