News

Getting through the night

published 7/24/2017
Dr. Hal Brady A student at Harvard came to see the great Boston preacher Phillips Brooks one day. The student shifted from one foot to the other and with some hesitation and said, “Dr. Brooks, I’d like to talk over some of my doubts with you, but I don’t want to upset your faith.” Phillips Brooks threw back his head and laughed. As a matter of fact, he laughed and laughed until the student laughed with him. And that laughter did more to answer that student’s questions than anything Phillips ...

July 30 lesson: Amos’ Call

published 7/24/2017
Click here for a print-friendly version Amos’ Call Summer Quarter: God’s Urgent Call Unit 2: Calling of the Prophets Sunday school lesson for the week of July 30, 2017 By Rev. Earnestine W. Campbell Lesson Scripture: Amos 7:10-17 Background Scripture: Amos 7 Key Verses: Amos answered Amaziah, “I am not a prophet, nor am I a prophet’s son; but I am a shepherd, and a trimmer of sycamore trees. But the Lord took me from shepherding the flock, and the Lord said to me, ‘Go, prophesy to my people...

Prepare for disasters now, respond when storms hit

published 7/24/2017
In January 2017, devastating storms tore through the small community of Adel, causing death, destruction, and nearly insurmountable loss. The storms claimed seven lives in the town and damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes. In the aftermath of the disaster, Adel United Methodist Church, which was spared major damage and loss of life, offered relief to families in a nearby mobile home community by helping pay for funeral expenses. The church also set up a fund to receive donations to minister ...

Rev. Reese to serve as Northwest District liaison during Dr. Cooper’s recovery

published 7/24/2017
As Dr. Buddy Cooper, superintendent of the Northwest District, recovers from quintuple bypass surgery, Bishop R. Lawson Bryan and the South Georgia Cabinet are grateful to Rev. Dick Reese for stepping in to serve as the Northwest District’s liaison to the Cabinet. He will also serve as a liaison between the district office and the Northwest District churches. Rev. Reese, who retired in 2010 after serving 54 years in the South Georgia Conference, brings supervisory experience to this new role, ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 7/30/17

published 7/24/2017
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, July 30 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...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 7/23/17

published 7/17/2017
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, July 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 saved...

Alive Together in Worship

published 7/10/2017
FROM THE BISHOP R. LAWSON BRYAN Our annual conference theme, “Alive Together in Christ,” prepared us well for the theme that will guide us over the next 12 months, “Alive Together in Worship.” One of the primary ways of being alive together in Christ is through the experience of meaningful worship. These words from Alfred Tennyson’s poem, “Strong Son of God, Immortal Love,” always remind me of the reason worship is so important. Tennyson writes: Our little systems have their day;  They have ...

Bishop Bryan presents Vital Signs Assessment Tool to Conference

published 7/10/2017
The “Alive Together in Worship” theme was woven throughout the 2017 Annual Conference session as Dr. Lovett Weems, Distinguished Professor of Christian Leadership at Wesley Theological Seminary, taught three sessions based on his book, “Overflow: Increase Worship Attendance and Bear More Fruit.” Each of the sessions was geared toward helping the conference achieve its goal of increasing average worship attendance by 10 percent. To accompany the teaching moments and help congregations and ...

Father and son serve downtown Brunswick church

published 7/10/2017
By Kara Witherow, Editor In the late 1800s, Mary and Charles Shepard were faithful members of Brunswick First United Methodist Church. Their daughter Lillian married George Bright Culpepper, a Methodist minister. Today, more than 100 years later, the Shepard’s great-great grandson, Dr. Wright Culpepper, and great-great-great grandson, Rev. Bill Culpepper, are following in their footsteps, serving and worshiping in the same downtown Brunswick church. Dr. Culpepper, an ordained elder, was ...



John Wesley found some alive churches and some dead ones

published 7/10/2017
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON John Wesley liked to preach in congregations that were alive together in Christ. But he often found congregations that were dead. In his journal he would comment about such congregations, saying such things as, “That poor, dumb congregation didn’t understand as much as the benches upon which they sat.” Or, “The mules which brought them to church understood more than they.” He told one church they were “the stupidest, most stubborn congregation he ever saw.” ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 7/16/17

published 7/10/2017
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, July 16 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...

UMC School of Congregational Development to be held in Atlanta

published 7/10/2017
You're invited to “Join Us at The Lord’s Table,” and this year the table is close to home! The UMC School of Congregational Development will be held here in Georgia Aug. 17-20 at Peachtree Road UMC in Atlanta. This is the premier event in The United Methodist Church for equipping clergy and laity to lead vital, dynamic, life-changing congregations. Sponsored by Discipleship Ministries, Global Ministries, and Path 1, this year’s event is being hosted by the North Georgia Conference, Candler ...

Columbus congregation gives car to teen

published 6/26/2017
Epworth UMC youth minister Adam McNeil, Audrey, and Epworth UMC pastor Rev. Crosby stand in front of Audrey's new 2013 Ford Focus By Kara Witherow, Editor Epworth United Methodist Church in Columbus is a small church making a big impact. When church members learned that the transmission in 16-year-old Audrey’s* 2002 Jeep Liberty had blown and her family couldn’t afford to have it fixed they jumped in and offered to pay for the repairs. When it was determined that the repairs would cost more ...

Discipleship: One voice makes a difference

published 6/26/2017
FOCUS ON THE VISION DENISE WALTON “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. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20) Truly it has been a joy to serve the South Georgia Annual Conference during the past four years as Assistant to the Bishop for Connectional Ministries and previously in a number of clergy and ...

God of the Little Things

published 6/26/2017
PATHWAY TO HIS PRESENCE B.J. FUNK I like God’s words to Elijah, taken from 1 Kings 17: 2-4. I like them because these words show how personal God is when it comes to our care. He told Elijah to tell the evil King Ahab that there would be no rain for three years. Then God told Elijah His plan for taking care of him during those next three years of drought. “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine east of the Jordan. You will drink from the brook, and I have ordered the ravens to...

New UMC Handbook now available

published 6/26/2017
The new United Methodist Church Handbook for this quadrennium is available, providing a detailed overview of the denomination’s beliefs, mission, structure and history. The handbook is a free, go-to resource for anyone in search of information about The United Methodist Church and is helpful for leaders and new members. “The United Methodist Church Handbook is one of the most appreciated resources generated in the church, and rightly so,” said Ken Sloane, Director of Stewardship and ...

No age limit on ministry

published 6/26/2017
By Kara Witherow, Editor Dr. John McGowan loves people and loves to preach. The nonagenarian, who turns 92 in November, officially retired in 1990 after 40 years of service in the South Georgia Conference, but he’s been preaching and pastoring ever since. He’s served at least 14 interim appointments in the past 27 years, and says he’ll serve again if called upon. “I love to preach! Whenever someone would call me and ask me to preach I would go,” Dr. McGowan said. “I have enjoyed doing it in ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 7/2/17

published 6/26/2017
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, July 2 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 ...

Why the “Resolution in support of a Coordinated Action on Behalf of Undocumented Neighbors” is important

published 6/26/2017
HISPANIC NEWS REV. DANIEL MEDINA The Hispanic caucus and its friends of the South Georgia Conference presented a document called “Resolution in support of a Coordinated Action on Behalf of Undocumented Neighbors” to the 2017 Annual Conference session gathered at Jekyll Island. Such document considers that the social reality, the scriptures, our Wesleyan theology, and our historic practice of taking care of our neighbors calls us today to intentional and meaningful actions for the wellbeing of ...

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, ...

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