Bishop Crest
Let justice roll down like waters
To the South Georgia Conference, As jury selection and the trial for those accused of killing Ahmaud Arbery begins today, it brings up different emotions and feelings in all of ...
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January 06, 2014
GROWING IN GRACE BEN GOSDEN It’s a new year. We’ve come through the season of Advent. We’ve celebrated the coming of the Christ child in the manger. We’ve thrown away our old calendars and hung new empty ones showcasing a year full of promise. So how are you going to fill that new, empty calendar? Better yet, how are you different in this new year? I’m not a huge fan of making New Year’s resolutions. I confess that it’s largely due to the fact that I have a hard time keeping the resolutions I ...

June 21, 1720 - An Important Day in the Life of John Wesley

June 21, 1720 - An Important Day in the Life of John Wesley

December 31, 2013
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON                                   On June 21, 1720, John Wesley became a student at Christ Church College, one of the 40 Colleges that make up Oxford University. His father and both of his grandfathers had been students at Oxford. His older brother, Samuel, Jr., had graduated from Christ Church, and his younger brother, Charles, enrolled there four years later. John’s father had made arrangements for John to visit Dr. Sacheverell, a prominent pastor in London who...

Living inside a White Christmas

Living inside a White Christmas

December 16, 2013
PATHWAY TO HIS PRESENCE B.J. FUNK Tonight I watched the 1954 movie “White Christmas,” with Bing Crosby. The costumes were bright, the scenery was inviting, and there was not even a hint of immorality the whole way through. Refreshing! I don’t remember Bing’s voice being this rich and mellow, and I don’t remember Vera Ellen at all. Her waistline would make Scarlett O’Hara jealous! I sat glued to the screen, welcoming a more innocent time in Hollywood movies. Living in South Georgia, we don’t ...

January 28, 1714 - An Important Day in the Life of John Wesley

January 28, 1714 - An Important Day in the Life of John Wesley

December 02, 2013
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON                                   John Wesley was 10 years old when, on Jan. 28, 1714, the Duke of Buckingham, a long-time friend of the Wesley family, nominated him as a student at Charterhouse. John had been homeschooled by his mother and was ready for advanced education at Charterhouse in London.  His father advised him to run three times around the garden each day to keep in physical shape. Charterhouse was a large mansion which had once been a Catholic ...

Keeping Christ in Christmas

Keeping Christ in Christmas

December 02, 2013
Christmas has a special way of really bringing out both the best and worst in many of us. I was reading an article the other day about how we can “save Christmas” by demanding that retail stores drop their conventional “Happy Holidays” line for the more religious “Merry Christmas.” And it made me think of one particular experience I had that has just stuck with me. I vividly remember one particular day of the Christmas season a few years ago when I was trying to finish my shopping. I was at a ...

How to Win Friends and Influence People ... And Be More Christlike

How to Win Friends and Influence People ... And Be More Christlike

November 04, 2013
GROWING IN GRACE BEN GOSDEN A church member and good friend recently gave me a book that meant a great deal to him. He’s a very successful young business owner and I’m a pastor. He’s trying to grow in the area of discipleship and how it relates to his vocation and I’m trying to grow in the area of leadership. Since the two of us come from such different yet similar worlds, we’ve begun a relationship of giving each other meaningful books that we think might help the other person grow. The first ...

Twas the Night Before

October 21, 2013
PATHWAY TO HIS PRESENCE B.J. FUNK My heart is jumping and I cannot sleep. My mind is twirling with a thousand exciting thoughts. It’s not Christmas Eve. It’s not even December, but my thoughts are racing in and out as I pack my bags and prepare to drive the short distance from my home in Chula to Camp Tygart. Tomorrow begins another wonderful Walk to Emmaus weekend, and I have the awesome privilege of working on the team.  For me, the joy and excitement come from two sources: one, God always ...

On Sabbath and giving

September 03, 2013
GROWING IN GRACE BEN GOSDEN There was a wonderful article that recently ran on NPR written by Diedre Sullivan entitled, “Always Go to the Funeral.” Sullivan writes about how her parents taught her as a teenager that you make time for someone's funeral when they die. She takes the lesson a step further and says, “I have to do the right thing when I really, really don't feel like it.”  Her parents were the kind of parents I want to be. They taught their child that no matter what, you don't get to ...

Changing Rhythms, the Heart of Worship, and Being Disciples

July 08, 2013
GROWING IN GRACE BEN GOSDEN It’s 1:30 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. I’ve finished my lunch and settled in for another routine Sunday afternoon filled with reading and writing and baseball whenever I’m not chasing my 16-month-old daughter around the house. By all accounts it’s a typical Sunday afternoon except for the fact that this particular afternoon didn’t follow a typical Sunday morning worship service. You see, I felt the Spirit of God this morning in a way I’ve haven’t experienced for some ...

Mercy Kept the Light On

June 24, 2013
PATHWAY TO HIS PRESENCE B.J. FUNK Motel Six television commercials are known for their “We keep the light on” advertisements. They might not mean much to some people, but they send a comforting beacon to many for whom the light has been turned off.    For those who have ever had a door slammed in their faces or a rejection that feels like hard fists in the stomach, the encouragement of finding a place that actually keeps the light on is an oasis of hope, a contrast to their desert of darkness.  ...

John Wesley and the Sunday school

June 07, 2013
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON Did you know that perhaps the first Sunday school in all of Christendom was started by John Wesley, Charles Wesley, Benjamin Ingham and Charles Delamotte? The place was Savannah, Ga., and the date was 1736. John had come to Georgia to be pastor of Christ Church in Savannah, the third pastor of this Anglican (Church of England) congregation in the new colony of Georgia. These four young men came to Georgia with General Oglethorpe who had started the colony ...

What if...?

May 06, 2013
GROWING IN GRACE BEN GOSDEN  It was a hot, June day in South Georgia. The word “hot” doesn't even seem sufficient. After all, June in South Georgia can bring days when the heat sits on you like a 50 pound backpack. It was the sort of day when you couldn't keep water cold for long. But you don't care because you'd settle for tepid water if it means rehydrating after just a few minutes in the oppressive heat of the day. It was the sort of day when any indoor space became a Promised Land flowing ...

John Wesley's Letters

April 08, 2013
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON John Wesley was a prodigious letter-writer. For much of his life he spent hours each day writing letters. Many of these letters were to his mother, his father, his brothers and sisters, and to fellow Christians and church leaders.  Many more letters were sent in response to people who wrote to him asking for advice and guidance in their Christian walk. Wesley saved letters he received and people saved his letters.  These letters have been preserved in “The ...

Lent and the strangeness of being a Christian

February 27, 2013
GROWING IN GRACE BEN GOSDEN I’m writing this column around 2:30 p.m. on Ash Wednesday. We’ve completed two of the three services we’re offering today. It’s been a busy day of activities and our night will end just as the day began – with a worship service reminding us that we are dust and to dust we shall one day return. “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” You know, sometimes it’s strange to be a Christian. This is only my third Ash Wednesday in the role of “pastor.” I’...

John Wesley's Diary

February 26, 2013
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON John Wesley’s diary is one of the most outstanding diaries in English literature. He actually had two diaries. One was a series of small leather-bound volumes in which he wrote every hour. This diary was written in a personalized shorthand – a code. Then each week he would take these notes and write his journal in clear English sentences, paragraph style. He would often make copies of his journal and send them to friends. Some were published English papers so the ...

John Wesley's Holy Club

January 31, 2013
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON John and Charles Wesley were students at Christ Church College, a part of Oxford University. John became a teacher at Lincoln College, which was also a part of Oxford. John left for a few months to help his father who was pastor of St. Andrews Church up at Epworth.  While John was gone, Charles started a small gathering of fellow students who met for prayer each week.  Some say it was really only one other student and they would simply go to worship together.  ...

Rediscovering the awe of Advent

December 11, 2012
BEYOND THE NEWS CREEDE HINSHAW Merchants have always touted shopping.  It’s de rigueur to complain about greedy moneymakers and aggressive, insane shoppers on the recently dubbed Black Friday.  Decry the madness if you must but remember that it’s not a recent phenomenon; shopping on the day after Thanksgiving has simply grown in a logical, efficient progression over the decades.  Internet shopping and increasingly earlier store openings were anticipated in a quainter way some 40 years ago by ...

Some dos and don'ts for young adult ministry

November 05, 2012
GROWING IN GRACE BEN GOSDEN I currently serve as an associate pastor at Mulberry Street United Methodist Church in Macon. One of my primary responsibilities is young adult ministry. During the past two years I’ve learned a good deal about what ministry with young adults is like and I’d like to take a moment to share a few ideas with you. Take them, leave them, question them, it’s up to you. Do NOT over-generalize the demographic. Statements like “all young people want…” are simply not ...

Living as disciples in the middle of an election season

September 06, 2012
GROWING IN GRACE BEN GOSDEN I guess I can’t really help it, but every four years I follow political races like they’re sporting events. Now you must know that my interest comes from the fact that my background was in political science. Before I was called into the ministry, I majored in political science in undergrad and planned to go to law school. My great hope was to work in politics or cover politics as a journalist. So I admit that I can be a bit of a political junkie at times. There is, ...

AGING WELL: Epworth "Grand Camp" fosters special bonds

May 06, 2012
By Missy Buchanan UMR Columnist  A grandmother paused while her 9-year old grandson tried to scoop up sand with his bare feet. For the last half-hour, they had been strolling along the wide beach of the Atlantic, feeling the mist on their faces and picking up sea shells. She couldn’t remember the last time she had felt so free to enjoy her grandson in the beauty of nature.  Over the years she had traveled many places with all three of her grandchildren. They had ridden horses in the mountains ...

News from your South Georgia Conference Delegation - March 2

March 05, 2012
By Rev. Robert Beckum The South Georgia Annual Conference Delegation for General and Jurisdictional Conferences continues to meet in its preparation for General Conference. Central to our preparation is a careful study of The Call to Action. This Call to Action will be the center around which most proposed legislation before this General Conference revolves. Some proposals seek to implement the plan and others seek to modify the plan, but there is no comprehensive “alternative” plan of action ...

News from your South Georgia delegation - Sept. 2

September 02, 2011
By Rev. Robert Beckum* Your South Georgia Conference delegation will meet on Friday, October 21, for an overview of General and Jurisdictional Conference issues. We have invited representatives from the General Board of Pensions to brief delegates on the significant changes proposed for our current clergy pension plan.  The first thing that strikes me about the upcoming General Conference is the profile and makeup of delegations, comprising the voting members for 2012. Of the 988 voting ...

What Facebook can teach us about ministry

August 05, 2011
By Rev. Ben Gosden It’s become everyone’s guilty pleasure. It’s that one place you go when you don’t feel like working or paying attention and you just want to see what’s going on in the world. It’s become one of the biggest time-wasters in life and yet, it’s also become one of the first places where we share and announce life events. Relationships are no longer “official” until they are announced here. Acquaintances and friendships are not legitimized until they are “official” here. Job ...

News from your South Georgia delegation

June 29, 2011
By Rev. Robert Beckum It is an honor to serve in the 2012 South Georgia delegation to General and Jurisdictional Conference. As Larry Price and I lead the delegation’s work and preparation for these conferences, we want to stress the representative nature of our delegation. It is our responsibility to faithfully represent the churches of the South Georgia Annual Conference. In order to be faithful in our representation, we need your help and your input. The General Conference is the top ...

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