News

UMCommission: Georgia's Collegiate Ministry Gets New Name

published 8/22/2016
Since the summer you may have noticed a new name for our Georgia United Methodist Commission on Higher Education and Campus Ministries, now the Georgia UMCommission. And along with a new name came a new logo and new website! There were a few reasons for the change, according to director Rev. Michael McCord.  "We wanted to honor our name and yet come up with a newer, simpler identity," he explained. "The name (connecting UM and Commission) demonstrates our desire to be deeply connected to the...

Children’s ministry and the mission of the Church

published 8/15/2016
FOCUS ON THE VISION DENISE WALTON How many of you remember the classic children’s book, “The Lorax,” a picture book by Dr. Seuss, first published in 1971? The book has a strong moral story about the care of the environment. The story follows the Lorax, the character who speaks for nature, and the Once-ler, the character who represents greed. Here’s a classic line from the book where the Once-ler reflects on the aftermath of a series of acts related to greed and growing bigger without ...

Columbus congregation stocks school clinic

published 8/15/2016
By Kara Witherow, Editor Thanks to generous children and a congregation that cares, Columbus’ Allen Elementary School is stocked with necessary clinic supplies for the entire school year. The creative mission project was part of Epworth United Methodist Church’s focus during Vacation Bible School this summer, but the response was so strong that it was extended into June and July.   Children and church members donated sandwich bags, adhesive bandages, tissues, cotton balls, hand sanitizer, and...

Connectional Ministries welcomes new leaders

published 8/15/2016
By Kara Witherow, Editor  Summer is a time of transition for many ministries across the Annual Conference. The Office of Connectional Ministries is no exception, as it welcomed three new associate directors following the 2016 Annual Conference session. Rev. Earnestine Campbell joins the Connectional Ministries team as associate director after having served as associate pastor of South Columbus United Methodist Church for the past two years. A passionate teacher and preacher, Rev. Campbell ...

Rhodes newly appointed United Methodist Men’s president

published 8/15/2016
By Kara Witherow, Editor Donald Rhodes is the newly appointed president for the United Methodist Men of the South Georgia Conference. He has served in various capacities in the local UMM unit at Warner Robins First United Methodist Church, including two years as president. This is his first Conference level service with UMM. The native and lifelong resident of Warner Robins was introduced during the 2016 Annual Conference session and began his four-year term of service July 1. He and his ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 8/21/16

published 8/15/2016
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, August 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 ...

The Congregational Development Corner

published 8/15/2016
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 Anne 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 ...

Wesleyan President Ruth Knox announces retirement

published 8/15/2016
Ruth Knox will retire from Wesleyan College effective June 30, 2017, after a 15-year tenure as president. Ruth Austin Knox announced Thursday, Aug. 11 that she will retire from Wesleyan College effective June 30, 2017, after a 15-year tenure as president. “This is a natural time for fresh leadership,” said Knox, citing the completion of the College’s current strategic plan. “I have never felt more confident in our mission, in the quality of the Wesleyan Experience, and in the people who are ...

Why a Hispanic ministry in South Georgia?

published 8/15/2016
HISPANIC NEWS DANIEL MEDINA This is the second in a series of monthly columns written by Revs. Felipe Ricardo and Daniel Medina, associate directors of Connectional Ministries for Hispanic Ministries. The Hispanic ministry of the South Georgia conference is an intentional response to the commandment of Jesus Christ when He said, “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). The Holy Spirit, who in the day of Pentecost, in downtown Jerusalem, allowed people from everywhere to hear ...

Wild Animals

published 8/15/2016
PATHWAY TO HIS PRESENCE B.J. FUNK You know how you’ll be reading something you’ve read before in the Bible, and certain words jump out at you with new meaning? That happened for me this morning when I was reading in Mark and saw these words, “He was with the wild animals, and the angels attended Him.” (Mark 1: 13) The reference is to Jesus when he was led by the Spirit into the desert after his baptism. God had just voiced these beautiful words, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well...

Churches embrace Pokémon Go craze

published 8/1/2016
Will Medders, left, and Mason Schneider, right, both members of The Chapel in Brunswick, play Pokémon Go and appreciate how churches have opened their doors to players. By Kara Witherow, Editor They come on bikes, in cars, and on foot. They are young and young at heart. And they’re usually looking down at their phones as they wander onto church property. Who are they and what, exactly, are they doing? They’re Pokémon Go players, out trying to capture Pokémon (which means pocket monsters in ...

John Wesley: Art Critic?

published 8/1/2016
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON John Wesley was a man of many interests. He read everything he could find about electricity, medicine, and numerous other subjects. He was interested in architecture and art. Here is a quote from Wesley about art: “Of pictures I do not pretend to be a judge, but there is one, by Paul Rubens, which particularly struck me, both with the design and the execution of it. It is Zacharias and Elizabeth, with John the Baptist, two or three years old, coming to visit ...

New Wesley Foundation will launch this month in Brunswick

published 8/1/2016
The Watering Hole, a summer worship service in Glynn County, will help launch the new Coastal Wesley Foundation. Photo by Sarah Spivey with The Darkroom Photography. By Kara Witherow, Editor What began 20 years ago when a few young adults gathered in a small room at Epworth By The Sea on St. Simons Island has laid the groundwork for a campus ministry in Brunswick. The Watering Hole, a summer worship service for college age young adults in Glynn County, has been a popular ministry since its ...

South Georgia returns to East Africa, provides funding for eight projects

published 8/1/2016
Rev. Denise Walton, Assistant to the Bishop for Connectional Ministries in the South Georgia Conference, left, and Bishop Daniel Wandabula of the East Africa Annual Conference, sign a Memorandum of Understanding. By Rev. Denise Walton, Assistant to the Bishop for Connectional Ministries The South Georgia Annual Conference has a long history of partnership, mission, and ministry with the East Africa Annual Conference. Two of our primary points of focus have been Humble United Methodist School ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 8/7/16

published 8/1/2016
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, August 7 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 Congregational Development Corner

published 8/1/2016
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 Anne 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 ...

We love you, South Georgia!!!

published 8/1/2016
FROM THE BISHOP JAMES R. KING, JR. Hello, beautiful people of South Georgia! This is our last article for the Advocate. Some of you are old enough to remember the chorus sung at the end of the Mickey Mouse show. It began with these words: “Now it’s time to say goodbye to all our company.” Well, Rose and I are not saying goodbye, but we are at a time in our lives where we are turning to another page and so are you as you receive a new episcopal family. We will always have space in our hearts ...

Council Executive Committee affirms unity, moves forward

published 7/25/2016
Nashville, Tenn.: Meeting in Chicago July 19-20, the Council of Bishops' Executive Committee approved a framework for implementing the Commission on a Way Forward and took a step toward a called session of the General Conference in 2018. The Council acknowledged that the landscape of the church has changed dramatically since the General Conference approved the Council's proposal in May, but re-affirmed their commitment to lead the church forward. "The reported declarations of non-compliance from...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 7/31/16

published 7/25/2016
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, July 31 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...

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 ...

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