News

Book of Recommendations & Reports for the 2016 Annual Conference Session now available

published 4/29/2016
Business items for the 2016 Annual Conference session are contained in the Book of Recommendations and Reports (BOR). One of the purposes of the BOR is to encourage delegates to read the recommendations and reports prior to arriving at conference. A good delegate is a prepared delegate. The 2015 Annual Conference session voted that all 2016 Annual Conference materials, including the Book of Recommendations and Reports, be made available online on the conference website and through other ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 5/1/16

published 4/25/2016
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, May 1 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 ...

Chaplain dedicated to serving, tending to needs of public safety departments

published 4/18/2016
By Brittany Tate, The Brunswick News* Applying God’s words to everyday life has always been a mission of the Rev. Charles Houston, even if that meant delivering the word of God within the confines of the state’s police departments. With nothing more than a welcoming smile — one hand extended for shaking and the other firmly clasped around author Charles Ferrara’s book, “Beyond the Badge: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Cops and Their Families” — the retired minister has traded in his vestment ...

Discipleship and The Book of Discipline

published 4/18/2016
FOCUS ON THE VISION DENISE WALTON “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35 The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church provides both law and doctrine. This week the relational passage of scripture in John 13:34-35 speaks to discipleship and the new commandment given to love others as Christ loves.  As we grow in our discipleship another...

How is the Christian life like a lemon meringue pie?

published 4/18/2016
PATHWAY TO HIS PRESENCE B.J. FUNK To me, the best part of making a lemon pie is the meringue. After whipping the egg whites with a mixer, adding vanilla and cream of tartar, I watch for small peaks to form. Then, I dip a generous portion into the pie and spread that. More and more of the glossy whipped froth goes on top of that until the whole pie is covered with the soft, cloud-like white substance. But, now we come to my favorite part, that of playing gently in the meringue with a stainless ...

Laity encouraged, empowered at Brunswick’s Grace UMC

published 4/18/2016
By Kara Witherow, Editor The lay members of Grace United Methodist Church have a renewed passion for service and ministry. They’ve been encouraged and empowered to discover their gifts, graces, and talents and use them to the glory of God and for the betterment of their community, and, emboldened, they’ve started new ministries and helped bring about revitalization to their congregation. As a participant in the Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century, or SBC21, initiative, Grace ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 4/24/16

published 4/18/2016
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, April 24 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 Well shares food, hope, love with Macon homeless

published 4/18/2016
By Kara Witherow, Editor Leftovers. The forgotten stepchild of the food world, they’re usually banished to the back of the refrigerator and left to sit and spoil unless grudgingly eaten for lunch. But leftovers have become a big deal for one Macon small group, so much so that its members purposefully overcook so that enough extra food is on hand after each month’s “Family Feast” potluck meal that they can go out into the community and serve those who are less fortunate. The Well’s ...

United Methodist Connectional FCU college scholarships available

published 4/18/2016
Are you or do you know a member age 17-35 who is attending or planning to attend college and attend church in in one of the four conferences? If so, please let them know about your Credit Union’s college scholarship program. Four winning applicants, one from each of our four conferences, Florida, North Georgia, South Georgia, and Alabama-West Florida, will receive a $1,000 scholarship each. Applicants will need to meet the following requirements: 1.    Be a Credit Union Member in Good Standing:...

7 Ways to Lead Meetings that Motivate

published 4/4/2016
LEADERSHIP REALLY MATTERS ANNE BOSARGE REV. JAY HANSON WOW! The other day at The Chapel Ministries we had the best board meeting! We had fun together, we remembered why we’re in ministry, we solved a few problems, listened to people’s experiences, and learned more about what it means to join God in ministry to our community through this church. We left refreshed and renewed with a clear direction and purpose. Are you wondering how you can have uplifting meetings that motivate people to action? ...

Centenary UMC ministry helps music bring back memories to Macon seniors

published 4/4/2016
Rufus Jones, a resident of Blair House Senior Living Community, a senior living facility in Macon, became emotional when he first heard rhythm and blues and soul music on his new iPod. By Kara Witherow, Editor There’s something about music that can instantly change a mood or transport a person to another place and time, rekindling memories long forgotten.  There’s also evidence that music helps people suffering from dementia. As theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Music . . . in time of ...

First round of projected appointments announced

published 4/4/2016
During the appointment making season, we invite the prayers of the annual conference as the Bishop and Cabinet engage in the holy but challenging ministry of appointment making. Follow the appointment process here. As appointments are firmly projected between now and the 2016 Annual Conference Session they will be posted on this page.

General Conference Reflections – 1976

published 4/4/2016
Rev. C.E. Cariker sits in his study and shares his memories of the 1976 General Conference delegation. By Kara Witherow, Editor The more things change, the more they stay the same. 40 years ago, The United Methodist Church’s legislative body met in Portland, Ore., also the site of the 2016 General Conference. During the 1976 General Conference, held April 27 through May 7, the conference established the Commission on the Status and Role of Women and established the office of diaconal ...

John Wesley preaches outdoors

published 4/4/2016
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON After his heartwarming spiritual experience at a German prayer meeting on Aldersgate Street in London on May 24, 1738, John Wesley was soon banned from preaching in most of the churches in London. The pastors did not want him telling their congregations that we are saved by faith, not good works. George Whitefield invited John to come and see what was going on in Bristol where Whitefield was preaching in the fields. Wesley was reluctant to preach outdoors. He ...

SBC21 helps South Georgia pastors, congregations learn, grow, flourish

published 4/4/2016
By Kara Witherow, Editor Never stop learning; never stop growing.  Personal mantras of South Georgia Conference pastors Revs. Reggie Williams and Antonio Sutton, their mindsets have trickled down into their respective congregations. That’s why the two pastors and their churches – South Columbus United Methodist Church and Howard Chapel United Methodist Church – have chosen to take part in South Georgia’s Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century, or SBC21, initiative. Designed to ...



Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 4/10/16

published 4/4/2016
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, April 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 ...

60 days of Prayer for General Conference began March 31

published 3/31/2016
The Upper Room has created resources for 60 Days of Prayer to help every local congregation pray with the delegates and church leaders for the 2016 General Conference. The 60 days of prayer began March 31 and extends through May 29, which are the 40 days prior to General Conference, the 11 days in session, and the nine days following the event as we live into the priorities established. The denomination’s legislative assembly is May 10-20 in Portland, Oregon. The prayer guide is available ...



Annual Conference Reminders - March 2016

published 3/28/2016
Dear Lay and Clergy Members of the Annual Conference, Conference and Agency Leaders,   I hope you are getting excited about our 2016 Annual Conference Session set for Wednesday, June 8, through Saturday, June 11, at the UGA Tifton Campus Center in Tifton, Ga. To keep you informed, we want to update you from time to time with the latest updates and reminders for Annual Conference.   You have already been made aware of some of this year’s highlights: Celebration of our 150th Session of the South ...

Dare to be countercultural and take Sabbath time

published 3/21/2016
FOCUS ON THE VISION DENISE WALTON “The Sabbath,” by Abraham Joshua Heschel, describes Sabbath practices such as a regular weekly rhythm of rest, time for reconnecting with the sacred, festive meals with loved ones, the nurturing of community life, study of holy wisdom and sacred text, attention to beauty, and honoring intimacy.  Here are a few questions for your consideration:  As you consider the matter of time, what does it mean to be countercultural?  As a disciple of Jesus Christ, are you...

Easter Says …

published 3/21/2016
By Dr. Hal Brady For more than 50 years I stood in the pulpit on Easter Sunday morning and proclaimed, “Jesus Christ is Risen!” And the congregation responded, “Christ is Risen, indeed.” Almost needless to say, I made that proclamation by faith. If some of you reading this column are wanting proof that Jesus is alive, I can honestly say that I have none to give. No preacher, teacher or even the Bible can prove it. In none of the gospel accounts do we have an eye witness to the actual ...

New Savannah church to be birthed out of three longstanding churches

published 3/21/2016
By Kara Witherow, Editor In the South Georgia Conference’s Coastal District, one plus one plus one equals one.  This may seem a mathematical miscalculation, but in Savannah it represents a significant and historic development that’s unfolded during the past year as three congregations and pastors have prayed and sought God’s will. ConneXion Church – a new congregation birthed out of Aldersgate United Methodist Church, Cokesbury United Methodist Church, and Speedwell United Methodist Church – ...

South Georgia delegation prepares for General Conference

published 3/21/2016
By Kara Witherow, Editor South Georgia’s General and Jurisdictional Conference delegation has met five times since the close of the 2015 Annual Conference session. The last meeting, held Tuesday, March 16, was the last before the 2016 General Conference session convenes May 10 through May 20 in Portland, Ore. The South Georgia delegation is comprised of eight delegates headed to General Conference as well as eight jurisdictional delegates and three alternates. The first two clergy and laity ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 3/27/16

published 3/21/2016
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, March 27 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 ...

Teaching children about Holy Week: Telling the whole story

published 3/21/2016
A UMC.org Feature by Joe Iovino* The story of Holy Week is not exactly family-friendly, but that doesn’t mean we can skip the part about Jesus’ journey to the cross when sharing our faith with our children. “I think it’s important for parents to share the whole story of Holy Week,” says Kathy Schmucker, Spiritual Formation Director at Faith United Methodist Church in North Canton, Ohio. “Often children are in worship on Palm Sunday and then not again until Easter Sunday and they miss out on ...

LaGrange College hosts missions celebration with Global Ministries

published 3/20/2016
LaGrange College, a private, four-year liberal arts and sciences college affiliated with The United Methodist Church and located in the North Georgia Conference, and Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, partnered to host a Global Engagement event for North Georgia United Methodists, the LaGrange community, and college students on the LaGrange campus.  “It’s just this sort of partnership that is powerful with strong impact for congregations and communities,” explained Rev. Scott ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 3/20/16

published 3/14/2016
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, March 20 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 ...

After Aldersgate

published 3/7/2016
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON After his heartwarming experience during a German prayer meeting on Aldersgate Street in London on May 24, 1738, John Wesley sat down and examined his Christian walk up to that point in his life. He felt that up until that experience he had been simply “going through the motions” in his spiritual journey. He was reading his Bible and saying his prayers as he had been taught at his mother’s knee. He was doing his duty and trying to be good. He felt that during ...

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

published 3/7/2016
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 ...

Goodwater

published 3/7/2016
FROM THE BISHOP JAMES R. KING, JR. Hello, beautiful people of South Georgia!  My hometown is Ashland, Ala., which is about 22 miles from Goodwater, Ala. I do not know why the town was named Goodwater, but Flint, Mich. is reminding the world family that water is not only essential for life, but good water is directly connected to good health and contaminated water to poor health and even death. Rev. Bobby Gale has recognized the importance of every person and every nation having access to good...

Howard Chapel UMC’s Saturday soup kitchen serves love, warm meals

published 3/7/2016
By Kara Witherow, Editor The smell of onions, carrots, celery, and tomatoes simmering on the stove is a familiar one at Howard Chapel United Methodist Church. Every Saturday morning for the past 25 years women from the church’s United Methodist Women’s circle have chopped, stirred, and poured their hearts into the soup kitchen ministry, feeding, loving, and caring for more than 100 hungry men, women, and children.  Volunteers from Dublin First United Methodist Church, Pine Forest United ...

Rev. Thad Haygood selected to participate in Leadership Georgia

published 3/7/2016
By Kara Witherow, Editor Rev. Thad Haygood, senior pastor of Dublin First United Methodist Church, has been chosen to participate in the 2016 Leadership Georgia class. He’s following in the footsteps of at least four other South Georgia United Methodist pastors who have participated in the program: Dr. Joe Buck, Rev. Jimmy Cason, Dr. Don Kea, and Dr. Jerry Roe, Jr. Affiliated with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Georgia is a year-long leadership training program for young business,...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 3/13/16

published 3/7/2016
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, March 13 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 ...

This Lent, discover God when you’re standing in line

published 3/7/2016
GROWING IN GRACE BEN GOSDEN There’s something we all do at least once a day or maybe once a week. It happens in a variety of settings. It can happen unexpectedly – we think we’re in the clear. Or we can see it coming before we ever get there. What am I talking about? Standing in line, of course!  Have you ever thought about the different lines we regularly find ourselves in? We stand in line to check out at the grocery store, we wait in lines of traffic, some of us still wait in line at the ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 3/6/16

published 2/29/2016
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, March 6 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...

Memories of Mollie

published 2/15/2016
PATHWAY TO HIS PRESENCE B.J. FUNK Every now and then, when I have an extra 10 minutes in my day, I like to iron my pillowcases. I hear you. Who does that anymore? Well, me, for one. I think that’s because there is something about the smell and look of a freshly ironed pillowcase that moves me into happy memories of Mollie. She worked for my family during my growing-up years. Memories of Mollie are always pleasant. She did everything well, but she was exceptional at two things. She ironed my ...

One Great Hour of Sharing Sunday is March 6

published 2/15/2016
On March 6, 2016, you are invited to join with thousands of other congregations across the connection in a special offering to support the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).  When our congregations participate in One Great Hour of Sharing, we help cover the operating budget of UMCOR. This is a powerful story.  Your support makes it possible for UMCOR to direct 100% of all other contributions to the projects donors specify, instead of using this money on administrative or ...

Pinson Memorial UMC youth collect clothes to change the world

published 2/15/2016
Photo courtesy of Wright Gazaway and WALB By Kara Witherow, Editor On Saturday mornings, most typical teenagers are sleeping in, surfing the web, or spending time with friends. But not youth from Sylvester’s Pinson Memorial United Methodist Church.  Inspired by their study of the mission and ministry of Jesus in Rev. Mike Slaughter’s “Change the World” Bible study, the youth prayerfully and thoughtfully considered how they could meet a need in their community.  “We thought, ‘If Pinson ...

South Georgia gives $10,000 to South Carolina flood recovery efforts

published 2/15/2016
Photo by Shawn Salley - Floodwaters at Canaan UMC, Ridgeville, South Carolina By Kara Witherow, Editor The catastrophic storm that hit and devastated South Carolina in October 2015 left the Palmetto State in a state of emergency. Eight of the 12 districts in the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church were affected by flooding, 19 died, and full recovery will take years.   To respond to its neighbor in need, at the beginning of this month the South Georgia Conference gave ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 2/21/16

published 2/15/2016
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, February 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 ...

UMW, Conference leader chronicles faith journey

published 2/15/2016
By Kara Witherow, Editor Hanging on Dr. Charlene Black’s refrigerator is a popular saying that reads, “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” Given to her by a friend and former president of the Valdosta District United Methodist Women, the quote reminds Dr. Black of God’s work and faithfulness in her life. She’s chronicled His faithfulness and her faith journey in a new book, “God Had a Plan Even for a Little Girl from Dexter.” All money from the sale of each book will ...

Young Clergy Academy now accepting applications for 2016-2017 internships

published 2/15/2016
The Young Clergy Academy Intern Program is now accepting applications for 2016-2017 internships. Sponsored by the South Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church and the St. Marys United Methodist Church Foundation, the YCA Intern Program is designed for those interested in exploring a call to ordained ministry in the South Georgia Annual Conference. This nine-month paid internship will allow selected interns to be immersed in a vocational ministry setting with intentional ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 2/14/16

published 2/8/2016
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, February 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 ...

Beyond fasting: 10 tips for a more meaningful Lent

published 2/5/2016
A UMC.org feature by Joe Iovino* Lent is a time for self-reflection and deepening one’s relationship with God in Jesus Christ. For many this season leading up to Easter will be weeks of giving up something they enjoy as a sign of contrition for mistakes they have made. Others will spend extra time in devotions and prayer, while a few more will carry a cross or nail in their pocket as a reminder of the sacrifice Jesus made for them and the whole world. If those practices work for you, wonderful!...

2016 Lenten Resources

published 2/1/2016
Society of St. Andrew Lent begins this year with Ash Wednesday on Feb. 10. The United Methodist partner, the Society of St. Andrew, offers Lenten daily devotions, written by pastors and lay people from all walks of life. The booklets are titled "While Still Far Off." The society asks for orders by Jan. 29 for timely delivery. Click here to order.  The Sanctuary for Lent 2016, Sue Mink Prayer is the focus of Sue Mink's devotions and on people in the Bible who prayed. She especially examines ...

After Aldersgate

published 2/1/2016
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON Some modern Wesley scholars seem to downplay John Wesley’s Aldersgate experience. They point out that earlier in Wesley’s life he dedicated himself to seek and serve God with all his energy. He indicated that “leisure and I have parted company.”  I believe that John Wesley was a young man on a quest during his time before Aldersgate. On May 24, 1738, at the German prayer meeting on Aldersgate Street in London when his heart was strangely warmed and he trusted ...

Apportionment giving tops 90%

published 2/1/2016
By Kara Witherow, Editor In 2015, the Conference received 90.53% on its apportionments, the highest since 2007. The total collected was $9,377,940.86 on a $10 million budget. That is an increase from the 88.25% collected in 2014. The Conference also received 95.77% on District apportionments, up from the 91.66% received in 2014. In addition to what was received for apportionments, $99,765.12 was given for approved Special Sundays and $624,468.48 was given for advance specials and other ...

Conference Center Update

published 2/1/2016
By Dr. Hal Brady Someone once stated that there are three kicks in money. One comes in making it, another comes in having it, and a third comes in giving it.  Churches and Conferences with exciting stewardship always have a number of people who especially enjoy this third kick – they delight in giving.  I am so pleased to report that the South Georgia Conference also has a number of people who enjoy this third kick. More than 800 giving units have given $100,000 on reaching the first major ...

Mulberry Street UMC’s music ministry helps shape, grow singer’s faith

published 2/1/2016
By Kara Witherow, Editor Singing since she was a 4-year-old in Mulberry Street United Methodist Church’s Cherub Choir, Sarah Kate Sellers has performed on several stages in her young life. Now 17, Sellers is preparing to perform at one of the world’s premiere concert venues and on what is undoubtedly the biggest stage of her blossoming vocal career – Carnegie Hall. A junior at Macon’s Stratford Academy, Sellers, like many vocalists, began singing in church.  Her love of music developed as she...

Peace under Pressure

published 2/1/2016
LEADERSHIP REALLY MATTERS ANNE BOSARGE REV. JAY HANSON John 14:27, “I give you peace, the kind of peace that only I can give. It isn’t like the peace that this world can give. So don’t be worried or afraid.” It’s five minutes before your worship service starts and the computer has crashed in the tech booth, you’re missing three key volunteers, a child in the nursery is having a parent-detachment meltdown, and you spilled coffee all over your shirt.  In ministry, just like in life, things ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 2/7/16

published 2/1/2016
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, February 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 ...

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