News

American Family Life

published 7/18/2016
By Dr. Hal Brady Who is the enemy anyway? Whites, blacks, Latinos, straights, gays, Muslims, Christians, immigrants, others … who? If what Congressman John Lewis said the other day is true, none of the above. Congressman Lewis stated, “We all belong to the same house.” Now, that statement has strong ramifications, and I may add, positive ramifications. The image here is that all Americans are part of the same family, with the same heritage, freedoms, and rights. Granted, all the family in ...

Bishop King preaches opening message of love, unity, fruitfulness

published 7/18/2016
Photo by Matt Brodie, SCUMC Bishop James R. King, Jr., who will retire Sept. 1 after serving 16 years as an episcopal leader – eight in South Georgia and eight in Kentucky – preached the opening worship service of the 2016 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference and greeted those gathered in Lake Junaluska, N.C. with his trademark, “Hello, beautiful people!” His sermon, “Focus on love,” emphasized unity and fruitfulness. Speaking to a Church that has been mired in rumors of schism for several...

Bishop R. Lawson Bryan assigned to South Georgia

published 7/18/2016
Bishop Robert Lawson Bryan has been assigned to the South Georgia Conference and will serve as the conference’s bishop for the next four years. The assignment begins Sept. 1. He will succeed Bishop James R. King, Jr., who is retiring. Bishop Bryan was elected bishop Wednesday, July 13 at the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference’s quadrennial meeting at Lake Junaluska, N.C. On the tenth ballot, Bishop Bryan, 66, received 256 of 375 votes cast. He is currently serving as senior pastor of ...

South Georgians elected to serve on general church boards

published 7/18/2016
Two South Georgia United Methodists, Dr. Brad Brady and Kelly Roberson, have been nominated and elected to serve on general church agency boards by the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference. Dr. Brady, senior pastor at Perry United Methodist Church, has for a second quadrennium been elected to serve on the Connectional Table. Established by the 2004 General Conference, the Connectional Table oversees the coordination of mission, ministries, and resources across the denomination. The purpose of...

Southeastern Jurisdiction plans missional initiative

published 7/18/2016
Bishops in the Southeastern Jurisdiction are launching a missional initiative that will focus on the following: new forms of church beyond the walls; children and poverty, unity and human sexuality; making disciples; and finally structure, finance and the future church. The hope is that this work will help guide the human-sexuality commission that the Council of Bishops is forming. Southeastern Jurisdiction delegates, by voice vote, affirmed the initiative late July 14. A Missional Initiative ...

A Pastoral Letter from Bishop James R. King, Jr. - July 16, 2016

published 7/16/2016
A Pastoral Letter from Bishop James R. King, Jr. July 16, 2016 Dear Beautiful People of the South Georgia Conference, We are in a season where it is difficult to find people who are not anxious about the future, angry about the status quo, or generally find it difficult to have a deep sense of peace and joy about life. There is confusion, pain, and grief all around us. I know many of you have questions about the action taken by the Western Jurisdiction in electing an openly gay bishop. Indeed, ...

Welcome to South Georgia! Bishop Lawson Bryan has been assigned to the South Georgia Conference of The UMC

published 7/14/2016
Photo courtesy of Mary-Catherine Phillips, Alabama-West Florida Conference UMC Bishop Robert Lawson Bryan has been assigned to the South Georgia Conference and will serve as our bishop for the next four years. The assignment begins Sept. 1. Bishop Bryan was elected bishop on July 13 by the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference. He is currently serving as senior pastor at Montgomery First United Methodist Church in Montgomery, Ala., in the Alabama West-Florida Conference. Following his ...

What a day! SEJ elects five new bishops, makes history

published 7/14/2016
Photo by Matt Brodie, SCUMC There is no place in Methodism that has seen more episcopal elections than Stuart Auditorium on the campus of Lake Junaluska. By the close of the afternoon session July 13, five new bishops had been elected in the historic building that has been the site of the Southeastern Jurisdictional Confernece since 1956.  Among the five new bishops is the first African-American female bishop elected by the Southeastern Jurisdiction, the Rev. Sharma Lewis. In addition to ...

Bishop King preaches opening message of love, unity, fruitfulness

published 7/13/2016
Photo by Matt Brodie, SCUMC Bishop James R. King, Jr., who will retire Sept. 1 after serving 16 years as an episcopal leader – eight in South Georgia and eight in Kentucky – preached the opening worship service of the 2016 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference and greeted those gathered in Lake Junaluska, N.C. with his trademark, “Hello, beautiful people!” His sermon, “Focus on love,” emphasized unity and fruitfulness. Speaking to a Church that has been mired in rumors of schism for several...

Five bishops elected during first day of balloting; Rev. Sharma Lewis elected first African-American woman bishop in SEJ

published 7/13/2016
Photo by Matt Brodie, SCUMC The Southeastern Jurisdiction elected all five bishops on day one of the SEJ Conference. On the first ballot taken, Rev. Sharma D. Lewis, district superintendent in the North Georgia Conference, was elected the first African-American woman bishop in the Southeastern Jurisdiction. She is also the first African-American woman elected bishop in the United States since 2000. She received 258 votes out of 362 valid votes cast. Below are the results of the 10 ballots. ...

SEJ budget reduces by sixty percent

published 7/13/2016
By Sybil Davidson, SEJ Daily Christian Advocate   The Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference approved a budget of $1,774,000 for the 2017–2020 quadrennium. The budget passed as recommended by the SEJ Committee on Finance and Administration and reflects a 60 percent reduction over the previous budget.  Starting the report with song, Jim Allen sang "Go Tell it on the Mountain" before sharing good news from CFA.   "This report reflects a faithful commitment to the ministries of the Jurisdiction ...

A Pastoral Letter from the Southeastern Jurisdictional College of Bishops

published 7/12/2016
Southeastern Jurisdictional United Methodists   July 12, 2016 A Pastoral Letter from the Southeastern Jurisdictional College of Bishops to the United Methodists in the Southeastern Jurisdiction   Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,   Greetings to you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We celebrate the way God is working through you and the churches you represent to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Your witness is making a difference in the lives...

Council president speaks following shooting deaths

published 7/8/2016
Bishop Bruce R. Ough, president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, issued the following statement on behalf of the Council in the wake of shootings in the U.S. this week: In the aftermath of violent deaths this week in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; St. Paul, Minnesota; and Dallas, Texas, we speak to a nation that is overwhelmed with anger, grief, frustration, and despair. These deaths have left our hearts and voices crying for justice. The preliminary evidence and the shocking video images ...

2016 Jurisdictional Conference is July 13-15

published 7/5/2016
The 2016 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference will meet July 13-15 at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in Lake Junaluska, NC. The 2016 Conference theme is Hope and Unity in Christ, based on Hebrews 6:18-19a. Like the worldwide legislative meeting known as General Conference, jurisdictional conferences meet once every four years. However, while General Conference handles denominational matters across the globe, each jurisdictional gathering covers business related to one of the ...

Applications being accepted for S3 clergy groups

published 7/5/2016
Looking for a group of men or women clergy with whom you can be completely honest? Looking for a group where you can laugh, cry, pray, study, and eat well together? What if somebody paid your way to do this for two years, with no strings attached except for some minor reporting? What if the group was self-selected … that nobody mandated who was in your group, when and where you had to meet or what you had to study or do or how to serve?  You can form just such a group, joining 12 other S-3 ...

Higher Education and Ministry to celebrate six milestones this year

published 7/5/2016
This year, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) will celebrate several milestones: the 250 year anniversary of Methodism in the Americas; the 200 year anniversary of the Course of Study; the 150 year anniversary of the Methodist Board of Education; the 60 year anniversary of full clergy rights for women; the 25 year anniversary of the International Association of Methodist Schools, Colleges, and Universities (IAMSCU); and the 20 year anniversary of the establishment of the ...

John Wesley’s advice about voting

published 7/5/2016
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON If John Wesley were here today, what do you think he would say about the current political situation? In 1774 he met with those in a Methodist society who had votes in a coming election, and advised them: To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy; To speak no evil for the person they voted against; To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those on the other side. If we all took Wesley’s advice, our political atmosphere...

More upon more

published 7/5/2016
FROM THE BISHOP JAMES R. KING, JR. Hello, beautiful people of South Georgia! A big thanks to you, South Georgia, for the various ways you have shown your love to Rose and me. It was really special you identified a time during our conferencing to acknowledge our last eight years together. The celebration of our ministry with you was the icing on the cake and we are very grateful for your love, encouragement, and support. After receiving more than we could ask for you have given more than we ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 7/10/16

published 7/5/2016
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, July 10 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 Congregational Development Corner

published 7/5/2016
10 for 10 (10 steps for 10 percent growth) During the 2016 Annual Conference session, action steps for congregational growth were shared during a Fruitfulness in Evangelism panel discussion, moderated by Rev. Jay Hanson, director of Congregational Development. Five clergy – Rev. Antonie Walker, Rev. Leigh Ann Raynor, Rev. Hale Bishop, Rev. Matt Hearn, and Rev. Jim Cowart – each shared two key tools for evangelism and growth and together gave clergy and lay attendees 10 action steps for 10 ...

VSU Wesley Foundation supports, nurtures young author, illustrator

published 7/5/2016
By Kara Witherow, Editor As a 6-year-old girl, Alison Stephen wrote and illustrated her own stories and dreamed of the day when one would be published. But as she grew older, insecurity set in and she began to doubt her talent and abilities. She also wondered whether she could succeed and make art her career. Stephen gave up on her dream. God, though, didn’t give up on her. A Nashville, Ga. native, after graduating from Berrien High School Stephen enrolled in Valdosta State University and...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 6/26/16

published 6/20/2016
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, June 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 saved...

2016 Annual Conference full of celebration and commemoration

published 6/13/2016
Bishop James King preaches during his eighth and final South Georgia Annual Conference session. By Kara Witherow, Editor Each year, Annual Conference is a time to worship, fellowship, and conduct the business of the conference. This year, South Georgia United Methodists also celebrated Bishop James King’s eight years of ministry as episcopal leader of the South Georgia Conference and the conference’s 150th anniversary. It was a session full of celebration and commemoration, with an Evening ...

Annual Conference Wrap-Up Bulletin Insert

published 6/13/2016
Click on the link below to download the Annual Conference Wrap-Up Bulletin Insert (this will take the place of the June 19 Sunday Advocate). Annual Conference Wrap-Up Bulletin Insert The Annual Conference Wrap-Up Bulletin Insert is saved in a pdf format. This requires Adobe Acrobat Reader to view. If you have problems opening the Sunday Advocate, please visit get.adobe.com/reader to download your free copy of Adobe Reader.

Bonaire UMC, Caroline Gowan receive award for laundry ministry

published 6/13/2016
During the 2016 Annual Conference session, Caroline Gowan, middle, and Bonaire United Methodist Church, represented by Rev. Scott Hagan, right, were presented with a an award from Discipleship Ministries for their Loads of Love laundry ministry. The 2016 Annual Conference session heard about an exciting laundry ministry, Loads of Love, during its Friday, June 10 plenary session. Started by Caroline Gowan, a teenager from Bonaire United Methodist Church, Loads of Love offers laundry service one...

Conference encouraged, given tools, to Testify and Multiply

published 6/13/2016
Rev. Jay Hanson, far left, moderates an evangelism panel featuring five South Georgia Conference pastors:  Rev. Antonie Walker, Rev. Leigh Ann Raynor, Rev. Hale Bishop, Rev. Matt Hearn, and Rev. Jim Cowart By Kara Witherow, Editor CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE EVANGELISM PANEL With the theme “Testify and Multiply” from Acts 2:40-41, which says, “And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, ‘Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.’ So those who welcomed his message ...

Council President: Statement on the Orlando shooting

published 6/13/2016
Bishop Bruce R. Ough, president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, issued the following statement about the June 12 mass shooting in Orlando, Florida: United Methodists across the world are horrified by the despicable act of terrorism in Orlando, Florida, that took the lives of 49 individuals and wounded 53 others. We are in shock. We join those who grieve. We pray for the victims, their families, and the LGBTQ community targeted by this hateful attack. We stand against all forms of ...

Dancing into Annual Conference

published 6/13/2016
PATHWAY TO HIS PRESENCE B.J. FUNK There were many delightful and inspiring moments as the South Georgia Annual Conference convened in Tifton this week. Coming shortly after the General Conference held in Portland, Ore., our delegates showed amazing perseverance from the tiring few weeks of travel, meetings and questions required by the lay and clergy delegation to Portland. If South Georgia delegates came to Tifton with heavy hearts and questions about the future of our church, our concerns ...

Denman Evangelism Awards presented

published 6/13/2016
Warren Jones, left, a member of New Covenant UMC in Savannah, was presented the Harry Denman Evangelism Award by Rev. Drew Young, a member of the Conference Witness Team.  Three South Georgia United Methodists have been awarded UM’s highest 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 ...

Mission, ministry, evangelism awards presented at Annual Conference session

published 6/13/2016
Evangelistic awards were announced during the 2016 Annual Conference session to churches in each district that charted the largest net gain in membership, the largest number of professions of faith, and the best ratio of professions of faith with regard to membership. Harvest Church in Byron was the overall conference leader with the largest net gain in membership. Gateway Community in Pooler led the conference in the largest number of professions of faith and the best ratio of professions of ...

Motion passed to “close loophole” in “Book of Discipline”

published 6/13/2016
By Kara Witherow, Editor The South Georgia Annual Conference on June 10 passed a motion asking that their Resident Bishop not receive, for appointment or transfer, clergy who have publicly stated their intent to disregard the current language of the “Book of Discipline” regarding human sexuality. Submitted by Rev. Robert Beckum, senior pastor of St. Luke United Methodist Church in Columbus, the resolution was made after four annual conferences – Baltimore-Washington, New York, Pacific ...

Pray for Orlando

published 6/13/2016
The work and business we do at Annual Conference is important, but nothing is more important than loving, caring for, and serving one another. Let us remember and pray for our brothers and sisters in Orlando and around the country as they heal and mourn. Council President: Statement on the Orlando shooting Bishop Bruce R. Ough, president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, issued the following statement about the June 12 mass shooting in Orlando, Fla.: United Methodists across the ...

Testify and Multiply

published 6/13/2016
FOCUS ON THE VISION DENISE WALTON Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:18-20) Recently, I informally approached clergy and laity across the annual conference and asked, “What will you remember most about the leadership of Bishop James King?”...

The South Georgia Conference’s Historical Moments

published 6/13/2016
During the 2016 Annual Conference session – the 150th session of the South Georgia Conference – retired pastor Rev. Dave Hanson, a well-known Wesleyan historian, shared his love and knowledge of the South Georgia Conference with attendees via six Historical Moments. These Historical Moments took us on a journey of history and faith and helped remind us that, “there is no limit to what God can do when the Methodists of South Georgia get united behind a worthy project.” By Rev. Dave Hanson ...

Florida bishop responds to massacre

published 6/12/2016
(UMNS) Florida Area Bishop Kenneth Carter Jr. is urging churches to share the message of God’s unconditional love after the deadliest shooting in U.S. history. The early-morning massacre at an Orlando gay nightclub has left at least 50 dead and 53 injured. Long before the tragedy, Florida United Methodists had planned to meet June 16-18 in Orlando for their annual conference session. Here is Carter’s statement: “Today I am lifting up the clergy and laity who will lead worship in our #‎Orlando ...

AC2016: Saturday, June 11

published 6/11/2016
Recap of Saturday, June 11 The Service for the Ordination of Deacons and Elders with Commissioning The Conference gathered for the service for the Ordination of Deacons and Elders with Commissioning. Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett, episcopal leader for the North Alabama area, was the preacher for this service. Bishop Wallace-Padgett gave us four words to remember: Journey to the One. “Journey to the One who is our savior and redeemer,” she said. “And as you journey frequently to Jesus, you will ...

AC2016: Friday, June 10 Recap

published 6/10/2016
Recap of Friday, June 10 Business Session In the Business Session Friday morning, the conference:   was led in a teaching moment, “Evangelism for the 21st Century: Taking it to the Streets,” by Rev. Dr. Michael McQueen, senior pastor of St. James UMC in Alpharetta, GA. “It takes a disciple to make a disciple,” he said. “We are the light of the world… Don’t you give up. You’re here to be a witness. You’re saved for a reason.” approved a motion made by Rev. Robert Beckum, senior pastor at St. ...

AC2016: Thursday, June 9 Recap

published 6/9/2016
Recap of Thursday, June 9 Thursday morning began with the Laity Session at 8:30 a.m. in the John Hunt Auditorium and the Clergy Sessions at 8:30 a.m. in the Ballroom of the Conference Center. Laity Session Gloria Morgan, Conference Lay Leader, called the meeting to order.  Following the opening prayer by Robert Anderson, Northwest District Lay Leader, Jimmy Outlaw, South Central District Lay Leader, gave the greetings, welcoming lay members to Tifton for the 2016 Annual Conference. John Ray, ...

AC2016: Wednesday, June 8 Recap

published 6/8/2016
Recap of Wednesday, June 8 Business Session The Business Session of the 2016 Annual Conference opened with the historic hymn, And Are We Yet Alive. Bishop King called the 150th session of the South Georgia Annual Conference to order. This is Bishop King’s eighth and final Annual Conference to preside over as the resident bishop of the South Georgia Area. Mr. Lamar Martin, lay member of Tifton First UMC, welcomed South Georgia United Methodists to Tifton. Mrs. Julie Smith, Mayor of Tifton, ...

Annual Conference Banquets and Special Events

published 6/6/2016
Below are special events coordinated by various groups in our conference.  Gathering for Families of Deceased Clergy and Clergy Spouses On Thursday afternoon at 1 p.m., prior to the Memorial Service, you are invited to greet the families of deceased clergy and clergy spouses in Room 14 at the Conference Center. Methodist Children’s Home BBQ The Methodist Children’s Home invites all clergy and lay members and guests for a complimentary dinner at the Conference Center on Thursday evening at 5 ...

Annual Conference materials available for download

published 6/6/2016
All documents for the 2016 Annual Conference Session are online and available for download and printing, if desired, at www.sgaumc.org/acdocs. You will need these documents as business is conducted. Please note that no copies of these documents will be available at Annual Conference.  Book of Recommendations and Reports Click here for various options to download, print or order the Book of Recommendations and Reports. Additional Documents Recommended to view before arriving in Tifton: Full ...

Annual Conference Mission Emphasis

published 6/6/2016
Agencies within the bounds of our Annual Conference are changing lives and are the hands and feet of Jesus Christ as they help to meet the most basic of needs. Each of the agencies listed below will have a collection box in the lobby at the 2016 Annual Conference session. They have selected an item that will help them in their day-to-day operations. So choose one or choose several and let’s help fill up their boxes!  Magnolia Manor: large print word search/crosswords, adult coloring books, ...

Annual Conference session just two days away

published 6/6/2016
The 150th session of the South Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church will convene June 8 through June 11 at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, Ga. The conference theme of “Testify and Multiply,” based on Acts 2:40-41 (NRSV), lends itself to the celebration of good news, and attendees will be led in moments of inspiration and reflection around significant moments in mission and ministry throughout South Georgia’s 150 years as an annual conference. ...

Annual Conference Special Offering to benefit GBGM, welcome agency to Georgia

published 6/6/2016
Each year, the Annual Conference Special Offering is gathered and used to advance the good news of Jesus Christ. This year the offering will be used to welcome the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) to Georgia. The offering will support the agency’s ministries and mission efforts.  Located in New York City for 200 years, GBGM will move to Atlanta this fall. The move is a pivotal moment in the life of Global Ministries and the people they serve, and will be a catalyst for envisioning new ...

Congregations raise more than $1,600 to help send students to camp

published 6/6/2016
By Kara Witherow, Editor This summer, eight students from Ray City and Community United Methodist Churches will attend Camp Connect summer camps at Epworth By The Sea on St. Simons Island. It will be each student’s first time attending church camp, and through fundraisers, a lot of hard work, and the generous support of the congregations and communities, they’re able to go with little or no cost to them. Two fundraisers – a spaghetti supper and a chicken supper – were held to raise the money...

From a visitor’s perspective

published 6/6/2016
By Dr. Nita Crump, Southwest District Superintendent* One of the responsibilities of the Superintendent’s job is visiting churches on Sunday mornings. Jackson and I have visited approximately three-quarters of the churches in the Southwest district and will continue working toward our goal of worshipping with every church in the district. There are many things that I notice as we worship with the congregations throughout the district. I’m going to make several suggestions that perhaps will ...

John Wesley visits General Conference

published 6/6/2016
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON General Conference of The United Methodist Church met recently for 10 days in Portland, Ore. Someone asked me what I thought John Wesley would say about the Conference. I know exactly what John Wesley said about another Conference held in 1764. He wrote in his journal: “I spent some hours at the General Assembly, composed of about a hundred and fifty ministers. I was surprised to find, one, that anyone was admitted, even lads 12 or 14 years old; two, that the ...

Live stream of Annual Conference session begins June 8

published 6/6/2016
Those who are not able to attend the 2016 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 2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8 through the Fixing the Appointments/Sending Forth Service on Saturday, June 11. Those with internet access can experience events, worship services, and plenary sessions as if they were attending ...

Multimedia at Annual Conference

published 6/6/2016
Live Stream Those who are not able to attend the 2016 South Georgia Annual Conference session can 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 2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8 through the Fixing of Appointments/Sending Forth Service on Saturday, June 11. Those with internet access can experience events, worship services, and plenary sessions as if they were...

Musician Buddy Greene to perform free concert honoring Kings during Annual Conference

published 6/6/2016
By Kara Witherow, Editor On Thursday evening, June 9, musician Buddy Greene, best known for co-writing the Christmas favorite, “Mary, Did You Know?” and for touring with gospel greats Gloria and Bill Gaither, will perform a live concert at 7 p.m. at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center. This free event is open to the surrounding community and all are encouraged and welcome to attend. The “Evening of Entertainment” will be held during the South Georgia Conference of The ...

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