Thank you, Kara
FROM THE BISHOP DAVID GRAVES It is with a sense of sadness and gratitude that we say farewell to our longtime Advocate editor, Mrs. Kara Witherow. After 13 years, Kara, today, ...
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More troubles for Charles Wesley on St. Simons Island

More troubles for Charles Wesley on St. Simons Island

April 05, 2015
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON John Wesley was living in a lean-to covered with palmetto branches up against the fort at Frederica. He thought he would be staying in the tent with Oglethorpe, but that had not happened. The heat was getting to him. He was covered with insect bites. The women were driving him crazy, especially two of them: Beta Hawkins, the doctor’s wife, and Ann Welch, the carpenter’s wife. It is hard to believe these two women were as evil as depicted in Charles and John’s ...

We'd rather grumble

We'd rather grumble

March 15, 2015
A woman in her eighties, rigid and conservative, had become cynical. She thought everything modern was bad and every new change was a disaster. She complained to a neighbor, “It's a good time to be dead.” Now, few of us would be pleased at being compared with this glum person. But many of us, if we are honest, do not have much room to brag. We know that one of the things we do best – and perhaps most frequently – is grumble. And our grumbling tends to spill over into everything else. Like the ...

Charles Wesley's troubles on St. Simons Island

Charles Wesley's troubles on St. Simons Island

March 01, 2015
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON On March 9, 1736, Charles Wesley first set foot on St. Simons Island, Georgia. He wrote in his diary, “No sooner did I enter upon my ministry than God gave me, like Saul, a new heart…” However, that enthusiasm did not last long in Frederica Town. One of the first things Charles did in Georgia was to get Oglethorpe to pass a rule forbidding “the discharge of firearms on the Lord’s day.” Some of the people loved to go out shooting on Sunday. Charles was just ...

Five things the Church should stop for Lent

Five things the Church should stop for Lent

March 01, 2015
GROWING IN GRACE BEN GOSDEN Lent is the time of year where we look at our lives and do the hard work of being honest about things that might be keeping us from growing deeper in our relationship with God. Now, many use it as an excuse to deprive themselves of chocolate or caffeine or dessert. I say that’s fine so long as those things are hindering your faith life. If they’re not and you still want to give them up as an act of endurance for the next 40 days, then fine, at least add something new...

In times of grief

In times of grief

February 15, 2015
Since our daily newscasts show so many grieving people and since I have just finished reading about the death of legendary North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith, I want to address the subject of grief. Grief has been defined as “the natural response to any loss.” The key word is that it is natural. There is an orderly process people go through in dealing with grief. This process is nature's way of healing a broken heart. And keep in mind that there are no short cuts, no magic words or magic...

Remembering my baptism

Remembering my baptism

February 15, 2015
PATHWAY TO HIS PRESENCE B.J. FUNK On the first night of Winter Camp Meeting at Epworth By The Sea, Bishop King asked us if we still had our Baptismal Certificate. He said that as he has grown older, his baptism has also grown in meaning. Immediately, my mind went back to scenes from my childhood as I sat on Mama’s bedroom floor and asked the question she heard me ask every year on my birthday. “Is this the year, Mama? Is this the year I get to open the preacher’s letter to me?” “Not yet,” she ...

How leaders tackle HUGE problems!

How leaders tackle HUGE problems!

February 02, 2015
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John Wesley begins his ministry in Georgia and senses potential trouble

John Wesley begins his ministry in Georgia and senses potential trouble

February 02, 2015
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON After spending almost a month waiting for Rev. Quincey to leave Savannah, John Wesley became the pastor of Christ Church. He had waited on the ship “Simmons” and spent time with the Germans who came to Georgia with Oglethorpe. Finally, in early March 1736 he led his first worship service in the small public building on Bay Street. Almost at once he sensed potential trouble for himself and his ministry in Savannah. After that first worship service he wrote to his ...

2015's Top Ten

2015's Top Ten

January 17, 2015
David Letterman, on The Late Show, made it famous. Of course, I'm referring to “The Top Ten.” With great fanfare, every night Letterman presents the Top Ten direct from the “home office.” Sometimes Letterman’s Top Ten are way out, but they always draw considerable laughter and are usually quite entertaining. Over the years I have noted numerous other Top Ten list from other sources. These Top Tens have included the “Top Ten Liar's Lies,” the “Top Ten Recipes for Reindeer Snacks,” “Top Ten Most ...

John Wesley lays down the rules in Savannah

John Wesley lays down the rules in Savannah

January 05, 2015
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON In early March 1736, John Wesley gathered his new Savannah congregation together and lined out “how it was to be while he was their pastor.” He told them that they were going to have communion the “old-fashioned way,” which meant that in order to take communion they first had to go to confession with the pastor who would then give them a token which they were to then present at communion. He said, “I will not serve you communion if you do not have that token!” He...

Resolutions and New Habits for 2015

Resolutions and New Habits for 2015

January 05, 2015
GROWING IN GRACE BEN GOSDEN I’m currently reading a great book titled “The Power of Habit: Why We Do the Things We Do” by Charles Duhigg. The book looks at our daily habits and unpacks the science behind why we do the things we do. For example, it is believed that up to 40 percent of our daily activity comes from habits engrained in us instead of conscious choices. You might think you’re making a conscious decision to put on shoes, but the way you put them on the same way every time comes from a...

Bridging the Racial Divide

Bridging the Racial Divide

December 13, 2014
Rev. J. Michael Culbreth Sunday morning continues to be a time of deep racial division across our nation. Ninety percent of all African-American Christians worship in all-black churches and 90 percent of European Christians worship in all Caucasian churches. Chris Rice, the author of “More than Equals: Racial Healing For the Sake of the Gospel,” notes that only 5 to 7.5 percent of churches in the United States are considered to be racially diverse. Since all congregations need to be more ...

Two Trees

Two Trees

December 13, 2014
PATHWAY TO HIS PRESENCE B.J. FUNK The Christmas carolers sing out on a cold winter’s night: “O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, Much pleasure thou can’st give me; How often has the Christmas Tree afforded me the greatest glee; O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, Much pleasure thou can’st give me.” It is a message of hope and joy. In the distance, another tree is honored, the church choir lending their lovely sounds to this tree’s message. “On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross, the ...

Important Days in the Life of John Wesley: February 6, 1736

Important Days in the Life of John Wesley: February 6, 1736

November 25, 2014
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON On Feb. 6, 1736, John and Charles Wesley first set foot on Georgia soil after four months aboard the “Simmons” on their voyage across the Atlantic. They came ashore on Peppers Island in the mouth of the Savannah River. Today the island is called Cockspur Island. James Oglethorpe left the colonists in the care of the Wesleys as he sailed the 15 or so miles up the river to visit the town of Savannah. The Wesley brothers took a hike to explore their new home land. ...

Trust is earned

Trust is earned

November 25, 2014
LEADERSHIP REALLY MATTERS ANNE BOSARGE REV. JAY HANSON We don’t earn our salvation or our spiritual growth – they are gifts of grace that we receive. Even our faith is a gift of grace from God. As Christians we are comfortable with the concept of gifts that are given and not earned, but in leadership, that concept no longer applies. Positional authority, respect that is given simply because of one’s title or position, no longer exists in our society. Today we operate with the understanding that...

Stressed Out

Stressed Out

November 15, 2014
A former parishioner I hadn't heard from in 20 years telephoned me recently. There was a certain desperation in her voice. I remembered that she had been a youth in one of my churches. “Dr. Brady,” she said, “I am under great stress. My problem is twofold: my husband drinks and my father is ill and very dependent. In addition, my family has had a drug and alcohol problem. My brothers have been in trouble with the law and my parents frequently say to me, ‘You are our shining light. We keep going ...

Christians and Election Day

Christians and Election Day

October 30, 2014
GROWING IN GRACE BEN GOSDEN Well, it’s that time again. Election Day is upon us. It’s time to be bombarded by numerous campaign commercials, too many automated phone calls, and enough negative news commentary to make you begin to question the very meaning of our election process. Candidates want to appeal to our sense of duty and compassion. They spend loads of money to play on our fears and hope to somehow inspire us along the way. It’s probably a good thing every two years for Christians to ...

Important Days in the Life of John Wesley: January 25, 1736

Important Days in the Life of John Wesley: January 25, 1736

October 30, 2014
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON A third winter storm racked the “Simmons,” the ship on which John Wesley sailed to Georgia. It was a bad storm! The main sail was shattered and water was pouring into the ship. The sailors were pumping water out, the colonists were bailing water out, and the English were screaming in terror. John Wesley was as frightened as anybody. He was looking death in the face and he was not prepared. When he looked in on the Germans he found them singing. Later he asked the...

Lesson from the frogs

Lesson from the frogs

October 20, 2014
PATHWAY TO HIS PRESENCE B.J. FUNK Every night, the frogs in my pond make music for the neighborhood. I like to think they’re singing songs of praise to their Maker. Psalm 150 reminds us that everything that has breath can praise the Lord!  When the frogs in my pond praise Him, they don’t seem to care how loudly they sing or how exuberantly they sound. Their songs of praise are not based on how they feel, how muggy the night, or on how many bugs they could not catch that day. They were created to...

Important Days in the Life of John Wesley: October 14, 1735

Important Days in the Life of John Wesley: October 14, 1735

October 06, 2014
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Stop working in problems and start working on them

Stop working in problems and start working on them

October 06, 2014
LEADERSHIP REALLY MATTERS ANNE BOSARGE REV. JAY HANSON How much time do you spend working in problems instead of working on problems in your church? Think about some of your most difficult issues. Does your list look something like this? Lack of volunteers Everything that needs to get done never does Always a shortage of resources Discouraged and unmotivated people Enthusiasm to reach the unchurched is just not there Resistance to change always seems to win the day How much time and energy do ...

Literal Lydia

Literal Lydia

September 13, 2014
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The pursuit of diversity

The pursuit of diversity

September 13, 2014
Rev. J. Michael Culbreth Drastic changes are occurring around us constantly. One of the changes taking place in the United States is that our nation is becoming less homogeneous. Unfortunately our churches remain homogeneous. In fact most of our congregations consist of people from the same racial, economic and cultural background. Yet as we read God’s word we see a church that is multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and economically diverse. Consider how the scriptures challenge the church to pursue ...

Moving the Church from

Moving the Church from "In Here" to "Out There"

September 01, 2014
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Why John Wesley came to Georgia

Why John Wesley came to Georgia

September 01, 2014
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Mercy received must morph into mercy given

Mercy received must morph into mercy given

August 17, 2014
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John Wesley and James Oglethorpe

John Wesley and James Oglethorpe

July 29, 2014
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You ARE a leader. So be a GOOD one!

You ARE a leader. So be a GOOD one!

July 29, 2014
LEADERSHIP REALLY MATTERS ANNE BOSARGE REV. JAY HANSON You are a leader. You are a leader not because of the title you have or the position you hold but because God created each of us to be Christian leaders. Stop thinking of leadership as a position and start thinking of it as personal influence. Leadership is using your influence to make a difference in the lives of people around you. Good leaders leverage their relationships with others to move them closer to Christ. We are all leaders, ...

In Transition: When priorities begin to shift

In Transition: When priorities begin to shift

July 06, 2014
GROWING IN GRACE BEN GOSDEN This is one in a series of columns documenting Rev. Gosden’s transition from associate pastor to senior pastor. Read more on his blog, www.mastersdust.com. Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" DefUnhideWhenUsed="false" DefSemiHidden="false" DefQFormat="false" DefPriority="99" LatentStyleCount="371"> w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" SemiHidden="true" UnhideWhenUsed="true" ...

John Wesley's father's death, April 25, 1735

John Wesley's father's death, April 25, 1735

July 04, 2014
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Frogs and Pearls

Frogs and Pearls

June 18, 2014
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John Wesley's Holy Club, 1729

John Wesley's Holy Club, 1729

May 27, 2014
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Stuck in forward

Stuck in forward

May 18, 2014
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What did Jesus look like?

What did Jesus look like?

May 05, 2014
GROWING IN GRACE BEN GOSDEN Recently, National Public Radio ran a story about a controversial sculpture installed at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Davidson, N.C. The statue depicts Jesus as a homeless man, wrapped in a blanket, curled up on a park bench. The only signs that give away his identity are the crucifixion scars on his feet, which are sticking out from under the blanket. w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" DefUnhideWhenUsed="false" DefSemiHidden="false" DefQFormat="false" ...

1727-1729 - Two Important Years in John Wesley's life

1727-1729 - Two Important Years in John Wesley's life

May 04, 2014
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Security Light

Security Light

April 21, 2014
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August 4, 1727 - An Important Day in the Life of John Wesley

August 4, 1727 - An Important Day in the Life of John Wesley

April 02, 2014
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON         On Aug. 4, 1727, John Wesley left his classes at Oxford to help his father. A “Fellow of Lincoln College” during those days could do that sort of thing. Samuel Wesley needed his son to help him get out of debt. So John became his curate (assistant pastor) and served a little church at Wroote across the river from Epworth where his father was pastor. Except for his time in Georgia, this was the only pastorate John Wesley ever served. Epworth was located ...

Hey, wanna write for a Bible?

Hey, wanna write for a Bible?

March 17, 2014
LAUGH & LEARN CATHY LEE PHILLIPS About this time last year, an editor with Zondervan Publishing called and asked, “Cathy, how would you like to write for a Bible?” That question stunned me into silence. I stumbled for an answer and finally said, “Uh, I thought that book was finished.” She laughed and then invited me to write four short devotionals for a new Study Bible being published by the Zondervan Corporation. This publisher is well-known for their New International Version of the Bible. ...

What's so special about Lent?

What's so special about Lent?

March 03, 2014
GROWING IN GRACE BEN GOSDEN Wednesday marks another observance of Ash Wednesday and begins the season of the church year known as Lent – 40 days of denying ourselves fun things like chocolate and gossiping. It’s a bit of a drag, but it’s a predictable drag. We’ll begin, ready for the test of endurance. We’ll hear the story of Jesus, alone in the wilderness, being tempted by Satan, and we’ll say to ourselves, “If Jesus can resist temptation for 40 days on an empty stomach, surely I can forego a ...

John Wesley's life at Lincoln College

John Wesley's life at Lincoln College

March 02, 2014
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON      On March 17, 1726, John Wesley was unanimously elected Fellow of Lincoln College. His father was so proud of him. Samuel Wesley wrote, “Wherever I go now, my son, Jackie, is a Fellow of Lincoln College…!” At the College he taught Greek, Latin, Bible, Philosophy, and Logic. He gave lectures in “Natural Philosophy,” “Moral Philosophy,” and “Religion.” He served as moderator of the daily debates. Later in life Wesley credited his work with the debates at Lincoln...

Yellow Ribbons

Yellow Ribbons

February 15, 2014
PATHWAY TO HIS PRESENCE B.J. FUNK Perhaps some of you will recognize this story written by an unknown man: “Many years ago, I was sentenced to federal prison. I had a beautiful wife and wonderful children. I said to her, ‘Honey, don't write to me. I won't write to you. The kids should not know their dad is in prison. If you want to, go ahead and find another man - somebody who will be a good father to those boys.’ “I do not know if she kept her part of the bargain. I kept mine. Last week when I ...

September 19, 1725 - An Important Day in the Life of John Wesley

September 19, 1725 - An Important Day in the Life of John Wesley

January 26, 2014
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON                   John Wesley was ordained Deacon in the Church of England on Sunday, Sept. 19, 1725. He was 22 years old. He was ordained at Christ Church Cathedral at Oxford University by Dr. Potter, Bishop of Oxford, who later became the Archbishop of Canterbury. After his ordination John wrote in his diary, “Leisure and I have taken leave of one another. I propose to be busy as long as I live, if my health is so long indulged me.” He determined to seek God and...

The Chickenator, The Mrs., and The Sauce

The Chickenator, The Mrs., and The Sauce

January 18, 2014
LAUGH & LEARN CATHY LEE PHILLIPS Dr. John Pemberton in 1886 brewed a sassy drink to alleviate headaches and calm nerves. Asa Candler of Atlanta purchased the formula and gave it a name. Today the whole world recognizes the Coca Cola brand. Tasty and beloved, the Coca Cola recipe remains perhaps the most highly-guarded trade secret in history. In 1930, Harland Sanders magically blended eleven herbs and spices and established his Kentucky Fried Chicken. The details still remain under lock and key....

Resolutions

Resolutions

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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