Collaboration is Co-Labor
FROM THE BISHOP R. LAWSON BRYAN  Easter Sunday worship begins with the joyous affirmation, “Christ is Risen!” And the congregation responds, “Christ is risen, indeed!”  This ...
Caring for God’s Creation
OUR CONNECTION MATTERS ALLISON LINDSEY “Creation is the canvas on which God has painted His character.” Author Unknown Spring fever is upon me, especially as the temperatures ...
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Mathew Pinson elected GUMF President/CEO

Mathew Pinson elected GUMF President/CEO

April 19, 2021
The Georgia United Methodist Foundation Board of Trustees has unanimously elected Mathew Pinson as the Foundation’s next president and CEO, effective July 1, 2021. Pinson will succeed Rev. Keith E. Lawder, who is retiring after serving as the Foundation’s president since 2016. GUMF Search Committee Chair Kathryn Dennis said of Pinson’s selection, “We selected Mathew after conducting an extensive nationwide search. He brings great talents and a strong vision to lead the Foundation in the ...

Reinhardt University proudly announces new president, Mark A. Roberts, Ph.D.

April 18, 2021
Reinhardt’s Board of Trustees appointed Mark A. Roberts, Ph.D., as the 21st President of Reinhardt University. Dr. Roberts assumed his role on April 7, 2021. “The Board of Trustees embodies a strong sense of purpose and is deeply committed to the ideals of private higher education and the mission of Reinhardt University,” said Ken White, Chairman of Reinhardt’s Board of Trustees. ”We are pleased to announce Dr. Mark A. Roberts as our 21st President, a leader who will uphold the values of ...

South Georgia churches awarded more than $200,000 in grants for hybrid ministry

South Georgia churches awarded more than $200,000 in grants for hybrid ministry

April 18, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor During the coronavirus pandemic, social media – especially Facebook – has helped the Lone Hill United Methodist Church congregation stay connected, said pastor Rev. Lori Howell-Miller. And with training and a $5,100 grant, the church plans to expand their social media presence, build a church website, post sermons and events on YouTube, and more. “You can still be a rural, small church and still be vibrant and alive,” Rev. Howell-Miller said. “Technology will help ...

After more than two years, Colquitt UMC returns home

After more than two years, Colquitt UMC returns home

April 02, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor “Without a doubt we know we shall be revived. Welcome home. Welcome home.” After being displaced for two years, four months, and 11 days, the Colquitt United Methodist Church congregation had finally returned home. In his Ash Wednesday sermon, Rev. Scott Stanfill welcomed the congregation to its renovated sanctuary and highlighted many of the challenges Colquitt UMC has faced in its 163-year history, including its most recent trial, the destruction wrought by ...

An update from the South Georgia delegation

April 02, 2021
Greetings to the South Georgia Annual Conference from Jim Cowart, Bill Hatcher, and the South Georgia delegation. Hello friends! There are many moving pieces in our denomination right now. And it is challenging to stay on top of the most current information. With that in mind, I hope this update is helpful. Let me share some key dates, what’s been happening, and what’s ahead. Key Dates May 8, 2021: Virtual General Conference canceled by the Council of Bishops  To everyone’s surprise, the ...

Between Two Rivers Cluster churches fight COVID with care boxes

Between Two Rivers Cluster churches fight COVID with care boxes

April 02, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor “Get off the sidelines and get into the game.” That’s what Rev. Dorsia Atkinson heard God saying to him earlier this year. Rev. Atkinson isn’t an athlete or a coach, but pastor of Sylvania United Methodist Church. As a pastor, Rev. Atkinson understood his congregation was frightened and worried. The coronavirus pandemic hadn’t spared Screven County, and Rev. Atkinson knew he had to do something to help. “I just felt like we were talking about COVID but not doing ...

Bishops cancel May 8 General Conference

April 02, 2021
By Heather Hahn, UM News The United Methodist Council of Bishops has canceled its call for a special virtual General Conference on May 8. The bishops made the decision to cancel during a March 22 online meeting that was closed to the public. The bishops also announced that they plan to use their regularly scheduled April meeting to discuss results of listening sessions and discern a possible new timeline. “Much has been learned over the past few weeks and the extended timeline will allow for...

South Georgia funds being used for mission and ministry in North Katanga

South Georgia funds being used for mission and ministry in North Katanga

March 16, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor New roofs. Empowerment trainings. Rebuilt churches. That’s how some of the $60,000 in mission funds sent to the North Katanga Annual Conference from the South Georgia Annual Conference is being used for mission and ministry. “It is true love in action,” said Rev. Bomboko Kakese, senior pastor of North Katanga’s Dean Scott local church, where he is in charge of plastering the assistant pastor’s parsonage. Thanks to South Georgia’s support and partnership, he says, the...

Thomasville First UMC’s Giving Garden grows food, friendships

Thomasville First UMC’s Giving Garden grows food, friendships

March 15, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor Where an empty, abandoned house once stood now grows a lush, vibrant garden, full of life. Sitting in the heart of downtown Thomasville, Thomasville First United Methodist Church’s neighbors are businesses, other churches, and restaurants. With only convenience stores and dollar stores nearby, it’s in what some would call a “food desert.” “For people living near the church, there might not be super easy access to fresh produce,” said Drew West, Thomasville First UMC’s...

South Georgia congregations get creative to celebrate Ash Wednesday, Lent

South Georgia congregations get creative to celebrate Ash Wednesday, Lent

March 01, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor While much of this past year has been an exercise in sacrifice of some sort, the season of Lent is a time of fasting and surrender in preparation for the coming of Easter, a time of self-examination and reflection. For many South Georgia congregations and pastors, this Lenten season is also a time of creativity and an opportunity to innovate and adapt.  Lent is always an important part of Brunswick First United Methodist Church’s year. The church typically hosts daily...

Morales elected vice president of Georgia VOAD

February 28, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor Luis Morales, Disaster Coordinator for the South Georgia Conference, has been elected vice president of the Georgia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD).  Morales, a member of Centerville United Methodist Church, has for years been active in disaster response, recovery, and disaster training. In 2018, following Hurricane Maria, he served as a consultant for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) in Puerto Rico. In his new role with Georgia VOAD,...

Update on Epworth By The Sea’s temporary closure

February 28, 2021
By Joel Willis, President/CEO, Epworth By The Sea As most of you know, Epworth By The Sea has been closed to the general public since September 22, 2020. We will continue to be closed through July 31, 2021, and perhaps longer. When the Golden Ray (a car carrier) capsized in the Saint Simons Sound in September 2019, no one knew that it would be a blessing in disguise for Epworth. We began 2020 with two strong months of groups at Epworth and many bookings for the rest of the year. The Council of...

General Conference postponed to 2022, Bishops call Special Session for May 8

General Conference postponed to 2022, Bishops call Special Session for May 8

February 25, 2021
Meeting on February 20, the Commission on the General Conference made a decision to further postpone the 2020 General Conference until August 29 – September 6, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minn. as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the safety of mass gatherings and travel. It is the Commission’s responsibility to select the site and set the dates of General Conference. Further, the Book of Discipline requires the Commission on the General Conference to "take necessary measures to assure full ...

Rev. Jimmy Cason to serve as Northeast District Superintendent

Rev. Jimmy Cason to serve as Northeast District Superintendent

February 22, 2021
Bishop Lawson Bryan has announced the projected appointment of Rev. Jimmy Cason as the Northeast District Superintendent, effective June 2021. Rev. Jimmy Cason, who retired at the 2020 Annual Conference session, will succeed Rev. Chris Ramsey, whose new appointment will be announced when local church appointments are released. In June, Rev. Ramsey will have served his full eight years as a District Superintendent.  Prior to retiring in 2020, Rev. Cason served 11 years as senior pastor of ...

A Word from the Bishop about the 2021 Appointment Making Process

February 15, 2021
The Cabinet and I want to thank the Pastor Parish Relations/Staff Parish Relations Committees and clergy for the faithful work you completed during the month of January in order to return the appointment preference forms by Feb. 1. This information is important to the process of consultation regarding pastoral appointments to be fixed at Annual Conference in June. We are all working together as partners in the Gospel. Thank you! The Cabinet and I ask that you be our prayer partners during this ...

General Conference: What we know now

February 15, 2021
By Bishop R. Lawson Bryan With our attention appropriately focused on our local South Georgia congregations and ministries during this pandemic, it has been a while since I’ve updated you on denominational matters and what is happening in the connectional system of The United Methodist Church.  I know this may be a longer article than you’re used to from me, but my hope is that it will keep us all on the same page and well informed about the important goings-on in our denomination. I want to ...

South Georgia apportionment giving remains strong despite difficult year

South Georgia apportionment giving remains strong despite difficult year

February 15, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor Despite 2020 being one of the most challenging years in recent memory, South Georgia United Methodists continued to faithfully give to mission and ministry through their apportionments.  Overall apportionment payments for 2020 stood at 84 percent, compared to 87 percent in 2019. The Northeast and Southwest Districts led in overall percentage of apportionments paid, paying 97.11 percent and 93.65 percent, respectively. And even though actual cash collected through ...

St. Mary’s Road UMC pastor mixes Bible, baking in online devotional series

St. Mary’s Road UMC pastor mixes Bible, baking in online devotional series

February 15, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor Last summer, Dr. Adriane Burgess baked her way through the pandemic. With butter, sugar, and flour by her side, Dr. Burgess – like thousands of others – found solace and comfort in the kitchen. “I was baking at home like everyone else,” Dr. Burgess laughed. “This is something I have always had a passion for.” She’s now combined her love of sweet treats and scripture in a regular Facebook video series named “Dessert. Devotion.” Part cooking show, part Bible study, Dr....

Albany First UMC’s new Alzheimer’s Outreach Center building expands longstanding ministry’s reach

Albany First UMC’s new Alzheimer’s Outreach Center building expands longstanding ministry’s reach

February 01, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor On the corner of North Jackson Street and Flint Avenue in Albany stands a ray of light in a sometimes dark and lonely world for those who feel lost or isolated because of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The Margaret Jo Hogg Alzheimer’s Outreach Center is a brand new, 6,000 square-foot building that sits across the street from Albany First United Methodist Church. A ministry of the church, the Alzheimer’s Outreach Center serves those with dementia and Alzheimer’s and ...

Conference boards work to save churches money

February 01, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor In these trying and uncertain times, the South Georgia Conference Council on Finance and Administration and Board of Pensions and Health Benefits have worked hard to save South Georgia local churches money and ease the burden of apportionments. Two ways they’ve been able to do that are by paying the pre-1982 pension obligations and by giving churches a rebate on March 2020 health insurance bills, in addition to the rebate already given by the Conference in April. ...

South Georgia delegation urges General Conference to consider Protocol first

February 01, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor In a letter to the Commission on the General Conference, the South Georgia Annual Conference General and Jurisdictional Delegation asked that The “Protocol of Grace & Reconciliation Through Separation” be the first matter considered by the 2021 General Conference. Whether meeting in person or virtually, South Georgia’s delegation urged that The Protocol – a mediated proposal for the future of The United Methodist Church that allows each part of the Church to remain ...

2021 Annual Conference will meet virtually June 7, virtual worship service dates announced

2021 Annual Conference will meet virtually June 7, virtual worship service dates announced

January 25, 2021
A word from the Conference Secretary (1/25/2021): Dear Lay and Clergy Members of the Annual Conference, Bishop Lawson Bryan, in collaboration with the Annual Conference Program Committee, the officers of the Annual Conference, and the Cabinet, announces that the 2021 South Georgia Annual Conference session will be held virtually. During the past 10 months, Bishop Bryan and the Program Committee have closely monitored the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as we planned for the 2021 event. ...

COVID-19 battle impact’s Pine Forest UMC pastor’s life, faith

COVID-19 battle impact’s Pine Forest UMC pastor’s life, faith

January 18, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor For more than 100 days, Rev. Wes Moye lay in a hospital room, surrounded by the countless nurses, doctors, and machines that worked to keep him alive. Now home after his harrowing battle with COVID-19, he’s surrounded by his wife, Jan, and the rest of their family as he continues to recover and rehabilitate. Throughout the four-month ordeal, Rev. Moye was surrounded by the love, prayers, and support of the Pine Forest UMC congregation, friends around the South Georgia...

Hazlehurst UMC turns shipping container into clinic

Hazlehurst UMC turns shipping container into clinic

January 18, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor A group of South Georgia United Methodists has turned a can into a clinic. Partnering with Rev. Bobby Gale and his Unto the Least of His ministry, Hazlehurst First United Methodist Church’s youth group has turned a shipping container into an obstetrics and gynecology clinic. By the end of the month, it will be completed, filled with more than $5 million in medical supplies and medicines, and shipped to Africa. The clinic, which will be placed in Ghana, will serve ...

Andrew announces launch of Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education with K-12 Reading Endorsement

January 17, 2021
Andrew College is launching a new Bachelor of Science program and a standalone K-12 Reading Endorsement that will be available starting Fall Semester 2021. Andrew College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC) Commission on Colleges to award certificates, associate, and baccalaureate degrees. The new program received approval last week from GaPSC (Georgia Professional Standards Commission). Andrew College Academic Dean Dr. Karan Pittman shared specifics on...

Dr. King’s life shows us how uniquely equipped we are to provide what the world needs

Dr. King’s life shows us how uniquely equipped we are to provide what the world needs

January 17, 2021
By Bishop R. Lawson Bryan We must not expect others to do that which we are uniquely equipped to do. What do I mean by that? The longer I live, the more I realize that the Christian faith addresses the hopes and fears of humanity in a very practical way. And the more passionately we embrace the life of Jesus the more He will equip us to live in ways that enact His will on earth. Though we usually do not recognize it, Christians have a whole set of “spiritual muscles” that we have developed over...

What churches need to know about the new round of PPP loans

January 17, 2021
When the recent $900 billion COVID relief bill was signed into law, the federal government also approved a second round of Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) loans for small businesses – including churches and other non-profit organizations. This means some South Georgia United Methodist congregations are eligible for another round of PPP loans. This second round of PPP loans is similar to the first, but does have several important differences. Loans will be available to first-time qualified ...

2020: Remembering notable United Methodists

January 04, 2021
By Heather Hahn, UMNS In 2020, United Methodists mourned the passing of groundbreaking bishops, founders of Africa University, giants of the U.S. civil rights movement, and a mathematician who charted the way for astronauts. Here are 34 remembrances, listed in order of date of death or memorial service. Bishop R. Kern Eutlser While still in seminary, the future Bishop R. Kern Eutsler got a crash course in congregational leadership. Eutsler helped take over preaching and pastoral duties at a...

2021: a look ahead with Bishop Bryan

2021: a look ahead with Bishop Bryan

January 04, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor Hope. It’s the message of Christmas and the promise of a new year. But after a year like 2020, where can one find hope? As 2021 begins, Bishop R. Lawson Bryan is hopeful despite the uncertainties and unknowns. He looks to the Bible – Matthew 2, specifically – to guide him into 2021. The story he turns to often gets overlooked in the transition from Christmas to Epiphany, but it helps him remember there is hope, and sometimes just one thing needs to change for greater...

Bikers deliver gifts, cheer to Wesley Glen residents

Bikers deliver gifts, cheer to Wesley Glen residents

January 04, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor It was more rumbling and revving than prancing and pawing when a group of Macon-area bikers played Santa and delivered Christmas gifts to Wesley Glen Ministries’ residents. And instead of reindeer, the group rode in on Harley-Davidsons, Hondas, and Indian Motorcycles. “You could hear (the bikes) before you could see them!” said Dr. Tyler Plaxico, president and CEO of Wesley Glen Ministries. Located in Macon, Wesley Glen is an agency of the South Georgia Conference ...

2020: a look back with Bishop Bryan

2020: a look back with Bishop Bryan

December 14, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor 2020 usually refers to vision, clarity, and focus. We have unquestionably not had those things this year. But while 2020 hasn’t brought what was expected, it has created opportunities to grow, learn, and see God in fresh, new ways, said Bishop R. Lawson Bryan. As he reflected on a year marked by a global pandemic, racial unrest, economic woes, and more, Bishop Bryan said the word that comes to mind is “endurance.” “I’ve seen endurance on superhuman levels, a divine ...

Darien UMC’s food program feeds hundreds of at-risk neighbors

Darien UMC’s food program feeds hundreds of at-risk neighbors

December 14, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor Every two to three weeks, nearly 300 McIntosh County residents receive a knock on their door. When they open it, a bag full of food sits on the porch. Since March, Darien United Methodist Church has delivered bags of non-perishable food items to older and vulnerable residents of the community. It’s an effort to help keep those most at risk of contracting COVID-19 at home and out of grocery stores, said Ad Poppell, who heads Darien UMC’s Emergency Food Distribution ...

First South Georgia UM commissioned as an EarthKeeper

First South Georgia UM commissioned as an EarthKeeper

December 13, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor During a virtual service held Tuesday, Dec. 9, Global Ministries commissioned 24 new EarthKeepers from 14 annual conferences and all five jurisdictions. The service affirmed the EarthKeepers in their call to the ministry of creation care and blessed their work in their communities. Pat Homer, a member of Pittman Park United Methodist Church in Statesboro, is the first South Georgia Conference member to complete the training and be commissioned. Growing up on a farm, ...

2020 Conference Journal now available for ordering, download

2020 Conference Journal now available for ordering, download

December 07, 2020
Journal includes conference business, directories, reports, appointments, and statistical tables The 2020 Journal of the South Georgia Annual Conference is now available for purchase. Those wishing to purchase a Conference Journal will order their copy(ies) online directly from the printer. The cost of the Journal is $25 each plus tax and shipping. Click here to order your copy of the 2020 Journal of the South Georgia Annual Conference.*  The Journal is also available as a free PDF download ...

In midst of pandemic, Asbury UMC learns, adjusts, develops

In midst of pandemic, Asbury UMC learns, adjusts, develops

November 30, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor Asbury United Methodist Church has learned a lot this year. While 2020 has had its challenges, the downtown Savannah congregation has grown and developed during this unprecedented time. Like several other churches, Asbury UMC underwent a pastoral transition this summer, but unlike past years, the change was in the midst of a global pandemic. The church also celebrated its 151st anniversary. Through it all, the congregation has pushed themselves beyond what they ...

Virtual or in person, this year’s charge conferences look different

Virtual or in person, this year’s charge conferences look different

November 30, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor In a year where nearly everything has had to be re-evaluated, reimagined, and revamped, not much is exempt. Not even the oh-so-Methodist of meetings, the charge conference. Charge conferences are annual meetings with church leaders and their district superintendent to review the business and mission of the local church. They review the previous year of ministry, complete essential church business, and affirm goals for the coming year. While essential business ...

Virtual Thanksgiving Agape Meal planned for Nov. 22

Virtual Thanksgiving Agape Meal planned for Nov. 22

November 21, 2020
Bishop Lawson and Mrs. Sherrill Bryan invite the South Georgia Conference to join them in a virtual Thanksgiving Agape Meal at 6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 22. Intended to be a time of Christian fellowship and an opportunity to gather together virtually, the Thanksgiving Agape Meal will include music, guided prayer, time for contemplation, and personal witness.  “We held a conference-wide Agape Meal last spring and I was thrilled at the overwhelming response of our annual conference,” Bishop Bryan ...

Brooklet UMC’s music ministry gets creative to encourage community

Brooklet UMC’s music ministry gets creative to encourage community

November 16, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor If you drive through downtown Brooklet, you may catch an impromptu porch concert put on by Marjorie and John Frazier. In mid-October, John, playing guitar, and Marjorie, both members of Brooklet United Methodist Church, surprised neighbors and passers-by with a stirring and heartfelt rendition of “Precious Lord, Take My Hand.” The Fraziers, Brooklet UMC choir members, also filmed themselves and sent the video to music director Mandy Mitchell. Mitchell used the Frazier...

Hunters keep Vienna UMC’s pantry stocked with venison

Hunters keep Vienna UMC’s pantry stocked with venison

November 16, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor Deer are a big deal in Dooly County. They’re a big deal at Vienna United Methodist Church, too. The church’s three freezers are packed full of ground venison, and its food pantry’s two freezers are also fully stocked with the meat. Venison is a vital part of the church’s food ministry, which serves between 40 and 75 families each month. Every third Tuesday, cars line up to receive groceries, toiletries, and a few pounds of venison. Locals appreciate having the lean,...

Moore Methodist Museum celebrates the season with nativity collection

Moore Methodist Museum celebrates the season with nativity collection

November 16, 2020
By Anne Packard The Moore Methodist Museum, known for its extensive, international nativity collection usually on display Thanksgiving weekend through January, will this year celebrate the season with an even larger collection, thanks to the generous donation of more than 100 nativities by The Upper Room Museum in Nashville, Tenn., which closed in January, 2020. Anne Packard, curator, and Cindy Angelich, assistant curator, have been busy cataloging and photographing the new additions and are ...

Crossroads UMC to serve as Conference’s disaster storehouse

Crossroads UMC to serve as Conference’s disaster storehouse

November 02, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor Constructed during the church building boom of the early 1990s, Crossroads United Methodist Church’s Family Activities Building – a sprawling 3,750 square foot building that once hosted community gatherings, large meals, youth events, and more – now sits virtually empty. Because of the coronavirus crisis, these large gatherings have, for now, ceased, but the church’s leadership didn’t want the building to go totally unused. So when they heard of the Conference’s need ...

Election inspires 21-day prayer effort

Election inspires 21-day prayer effort

November 02, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor In the pre-dawn hours of Monday morning, Oct. 19, 115 people poured into Park Avenue United Methodist Church’s sanctuary to pray. Another 160 or so watched via livestream, worshiping and praying from their homes. More came the next day. And the next. And every day since. They’re taking part in the church’s 21-day prayer initiative, “Talk. Listen. Move,” which began Oct. 19 and runs through Nov. 8. The timing was purposeful, said Rev. Jimmy Towson, senior pastor at ...

2021 Annual Conference dates, Post-General Conference gathering announced

2021 Annual Conference dates, Post-General Conference gathering announced

October 23, 2020
The 2021 Annual Conference Session is set for June 6-8 at The Columbus Georgia Convention & Trade Center. The Annual Conference Session program committee met this week to discuss both the June session and other potential gatherings needed later in 2021. The 155th session of the South Georgia Annual Conference will meet in Columbus, Ga. beginning Sunday evening, June 6 and concluding on Tuesday, June 8. In addition to our time together in June, Bishop Lawson Bryan, in consultation with the ...

Christ UMC gives away hundreds of free pumpkins at reimagined fall event

Christ UMC gives away hundreds of free pumpkins at reimagined fall event

October 19, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor For 25 years, Christ United Methodist Church in Warner Robins has been known as “the Pumpkin Patch church.” The annual fall event has raised nearly $125,000 for local ministry groups and mission agencies like Wesley Glen Ministries, Habitat for Humanity, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, the local food pantry, and the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). But this year, because of the global coronavirus pandemic, church leaders didn’t think it wise to host a community ...

Congregations honor law enforcement during Faith and Blue Weekend

Congregations honor law enforcement during Faith and Blue Weekend

October 19, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor Across the South Georgia Conference, congregations recognized and thanked law enforcement officers for their service, prayed alongside police officers, and showed their support for those who protect and serve. During the inaugural 2020 National Faith & Blue Weekend, held Sept. 10-11, nearly 1,000 events aimed at helping promote dialogue between places of worship, community organizations, and law enforcement were held across the country. Here in South Georgia, several ...

From the Bishop & Cabinet: Church Matters

October 19, 2020
Dear South Georgia Conference Family, The Cabinet and I write to you with gratitude and respect for the way you have navigated the past eight months. The global pandemic, reckoning with racial justice, and the rolling restart of local churches - any one of those alone would be a huge challenge. Yet, you have faced them all with a perseverance and passion that comes from Christ our Lord.  While we continue to pray for a successful vaccine, we also recognize that we must plan for several more ...

Longest-serving Conference employee celebrates 30th anniversary

Longest-serving Conference employee celebrates 30th anniversary

October 18, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor This month we celebrate Eleanor Dickson’s 30th anniversary as part of the South Georgia Conference staff. We are grateful to Eleanor for her faithful service over the years and for the impact her ministry has had on our clergy, their families, our lay staff, and our entire Conference. While it’s impossible to encapsulate 30 years of ministry into one article, we want to celebrate Eleanor and thank her for her three decades of ministry and service. Capable. Highly ...

United Methodist Connectional FCU awarded Credit Union of the Year for the state of Georgia

October 18, 2020
On October 13, the League of Southeastern Credit Unions recognized United Methodist Connectional Federal Credit Union, based in Marietta, as the Credit Union of the Year for the state of Georgia. The Credit Union of the year award for up to $100 million in assets highlights individual credit unions that have shown outstanding achievements in areas of daily operations, financial prowess, and community outreach. Institutions honored as Credit Union of the Year demonstrate the all-around best the ...

Howard Chapel UMC stays connected with unlikely combination

Howard Chapel UMC stays connected with unlikely combination

October 05, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor The unlikely combination of fruit and technology are helping one South Georgia pastor stay connected to her congregation in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Like other churches, Howard Chapel United Methodist Church in Dublin suspended all in-person activities in March. But with a mostly older and vulnerable congregation, Rev. Cleo Gilchrist hasn’t yet felt comfortable re-starting in-person worship services. It’s been hard being away from one another for nearly ...

In midst of 2020 hurricane season, caseworkers wrap up Irma, Michael repairs

In midst of 2020 hurricane season, caseworkers wrap up Irma, Michael repairs

October 05, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor When Hurricane Michael swept through southwest Georgia in October 2018, its strong winds toppled trees throughout the region. In Brinson, about 10 miles from hard-hit Donalsonville, a large Live Oak limb slammed into Gloria Singleton’s roof. A large Sweetgum tree hit the back of the house so hard it cracked the kitchen’s ceiling.           More than a year after the hurricane, Singleton was still living with tarps on her roof, waiting for repairs. Mold was starting to...

GSU Wesley Foundation spreads love – not germs – with COVID Care Packages

GSU Wesley Foundation spreads love – not germs – with COVID Care Packages

September 14, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor These days, a knock on the door usually means one of about two things: dinner has arrived via DoorDash or Uber Eats or an Amazon package has been delivered. But in Statesboro, the knock may mean the Georgia Southern University Wesley Foundation has deposited a COVID Care Package on your doorstep. According to a report from the New York Times, Statesboro has become a COVID-19 hotspot. Several hundred students have been diagnosed with the virus or are quarantined ...

LaGrange College places in top 5 in ranking

September 14, 2020
For the second year in a row, LaGrange College has been named a top-five school in annual rankings released by U.S. News & World Report. The institution was rated at number five among 122 Regional Colleges in the South, the only Georgia college in the category’s top 25.   LaGrange College also was named a “best value,” a label the magazine says factors a school’s academic quality and cost after accounting for total expenses and financial aid. “The higher the quality of the program and the lower...

South Georgia UM churches help families, students, schools

South Georgia UM churches help families, students, schools

September 14, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor Rev. Chrissy Ruehl has never felt more like a deacon. Rev. Ruehl, Isle of Hope United Methodist Church’s Minister of Children and Families, is helping connect the church and the world in ways she never before imagined. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, schools across the country have scrambled to minimize the impact and spread of the disease while still providing instruction. Some began later than usual, others started virtually, and other districts offered hybrid ...

CLM training is invaluable preparation for ministry

CLM training is invaluable preparation for ministry

August 31, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor Joy Ware wears a lot of hats. A member of Pinkney Chapel United Methodist Church in Folkston, she preaches regularly, is active in her Sunday school class, and can often be found helping in the church’s kitchen. Wanting to further her leadership skills and learn how to better plan, prepare, and deliver a sermon, Ware enrolled in the Conference’s most recent Certified Lay Minister training session. An intense, five-day immersion course, the CLM training offers a ...

Rev. Magoni elected as Conference’s first female, deacon BOM chairperson

Rev. Magoni elected as Conference’s first female, deacon BOM chairperson

August 31, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor Healthy. Fruitful. Effective. The fruit borne out in Rev. Fran Magoni’s ministry and life made her a clear choice to succeed Rev. Scott Tucker as chairperson of the South Georgia Conference’s Board of Ordained Ministry.  Rev. Magoni, pastor of discipleship and administration at Martha Bowman United Methodist Church in Macon, is the first deacon and first female to serve in this role. The historic nature of the role isn’t the first thing that came to her mind when she ...

The spirituality of sandcastles

The spirituality of sandcastles

August 31, 2020
A UMC.org feature by Crystal Caviness* Most weekends, Dylan Mulligan can be found surrounded by skies and sea, relishing in all that God’s Hand has wrought, whistling his favorite hymn, “This is My Father’s World.” Mulligan builds sandcastles, a hobby the lifelong United Methodist has pursued for more than three decades. Through the years, Mulligan has come to realize that what some might call child’s play is his God-given gift. “The Lord gives everyone talents,” Mulligan says. “When I ...

2020 Annual Conference meets for historic virtual session

2020 Annual Conference meets for historic virtual session

August 17, 2020
Donning an episcopal purple face mask with the cross and flame emblem, Bishop R. Lawson Bryan welcomed nearly 750 delegates and guests to the 2020 Annual Conference session.  An historic session, this year’s gathering was virtual, and clergy and laity participated from their living rooms, home offices, and churches. Many traded their sport coats, ties, and dresses for more casual, comfortable attire.  Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a concern for the health and safety of conference members, ...

Apart but still together: conference worships virtually

Apart but still together: conference worships virtually

August 17, 2020
Apart but still together.  That was the unofficial theme of South Georgia’s 2020 Annual Conference session worship services as the conference celebrated virtually over the course of several days before culminating in the day-long Aug. 15 business session.  Virtual Commissioning Service The Conference gathered Saturday, Aug. 8 for the virtual Commissioning Service. Along with their families, those being commissioned gathered at Vineville United Methodist Church in Macon. Masks were worn and ...

Knapp succeeds Morgan as Conference lay leader

Knapp succeeds Morgan as Conference lay leader

August 17, 2020
After serving seven years as the South Georgia Conference's lay leader, on Saturday, Aug. 15, during the 2020 virtual Annual Conference session, Gloria Morgan passed the torch to J. Knapp. “It’s been an honor to serve these past seven years,” said Morgan, a member of Pine Forest United Methodist Church in Dublin. “The people of South Georgia are really near and dear to my heart. This Conference is wonderful and my prayer is that everyone will continue to support our church.” South Georgia ...

Motion focused on racial justice approved

August 17, 2020
During its 2020 Annual Conference session, South Georgia United Methodists took a stand against racism. Before the Conference broke for lunch, Rev. Lynn Meadows-White, associate pastor at Pierce Chapel United Methodist Church in Midland, made a motion for South Georgia United Methodist clergy and laity to commit to stand against racism, renew their commitment to live out their baptismal vows, and speak with a united voice against systemic racism in every United Methodist congregation. After ...

Plowden celebrated as longest tenured chancellor; passes gavel to Thompson

Plowden celebrated as longest tenured chancellor; passes gavel to Thompson

August 17, 2020
After 30 years of serving as South Georgia’s Chancellor – the legal advisor to the Bishop and the Annual Conference – Warren Plowden is passing the gavel, so to speak. Cater C. Thompson, who has served since 2015 as Associate Chancellor, officially began serving as Chancellor at the conclusion of the 2020 Annual Conference session. Plowden is now serving as Chancellor Emeritus. “Warren is so effective and so highly respected in The United Methodist Church because he is both an outstanding ...

Seven South Georgia congregations disaffiliate from UMC

August 17, 2020
Seven South Georgia congregations have disaffiliated from The United Methodist Church. In a 528-37 vote, Recommendation 6 passed, which allows the churches to disaffiliate from The UMC “for reasons of conscience regarding a change in the requirements and provisions of The Book of Discipline related to the practice of homosexuality or the ordination or marriage of self-avowed practicing homosexuals as resolved and adopted by the 2019 General Conference, or the actions or inactions of its annual ...

Camp Connect adapts, hosts sold-out day camps

Camp Connect adapts, hosts sold-out day camps

August 03, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor Even during a typical summer, Camp Connect leaders have to be prepared to deal with challenges, from homesickness to hurricanes to health issues. But this summer proved to be one of the most challenging in Camp Connect history. Because of the global coronavirus pandemic, in early May – after the summer staff had been hired, a theme had been set, and camp registration was in full swing – director Suzanne Akins made the difficult decision to cancel overnight camps. ...

Conference prepping for virtual Annual Conference session

Conference prepping for virtual Annual Conference session

August 03, 2020
The 2020 Annual Conference session will be held online in just 11 days. In his Book of Recommendations and Reports welcome letter, Bishop R. Lawson Bryan noted that the words of Ephesians 2:5 have been fulfilled in the South Georgia Conference even during a global pandemic. And now he wants the virtual Annual conference session to be a celebration of the ways South Georgia congregations have been Alive Together in Witness during this unprecedented time. The technologically-assisted Annual ...

Lindsey uniquely gifted to serve as Director of Connectional Ministries

Lindsey uniquely gifted to serve as Director of Connectional Ministries

August 03, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor Click here to watch a brief video interview with Allison Lindsey and Kara Witherow, editor of the South Georgia Advocate Allison Lindsey loves the local church. Serving, resourcing, and meeting others’ needs is her passion, which is one reason why she’s uniquely gifted to serve as Director of Connectional Ministries. The first lay person to serve as director, she steps into the role having served on the Connectional Ministries staff for eight years. Prior to that she...

Amid COVID pandemic, colleges prepare to welcome students back to campus

July 20, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor This August, students across the state and around the country will converge on college campuses, ready to start a new school year. While much will look different – masks are required on all University System of Georgia campuses, social distancing will be enforced, and hand sanitizer will be used more than ever – a good deal will stay the same, say leaders at two South Georgia United Methodist-affiliated colleges. Keeping their 750 students safe and healthy is the top ...

Conference Pastoral Counselor and chaplains comfort, share messages of hope during pandemic

Conference Pastoral Counselor and chaplains comfort, share messages of hope during pandemic

July 20, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor We are not alone. That’s the message of South Georgia’s chaplains and its Conference Pastoral Counselor. Whether that message is communicated by a handmade pocket prayer shawl, a daily prayer heard over a hospital intercom, or in a personal conversation, it’s one that’s echoed across the Conference as chaplains and pastors care for those in their flock. As Rev. Columbus Burns makes his daily rounds at Savannah’s Candler Hospital, he notices the staff, sees the stress...

Faith, prayer help college freshmen prepare for new, uncertain school year

Faith, prayer help college freshmen prepare for new, uncertain school year

July 20, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor On Lily Packard’s list of college essentials are the usual items: sheets, towels, pillows, hangers, a laundry hamper, storage bins. And there’s one more item she has to add this year: face masks. The start of classes this fall is full of uncertainty for students and university administrators, faculty, and staff. The coronavirus pandemic has altered the way classes are taught, how students can congregate, and even the way campus ministries meet. “I am a little nervous...

Q & A with Rev. Craig Hutto, North Central District Superintendent

Q & A with Rev. Craig Hutto, North Central District Superintendent

July 20, 2020
Click here to watch a brief video interview with Rev. Hutto and Kara Witherow, editor of the South Georgia Advocate ADVOCATE: Tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up? Have you always lived in South Georgia? REV. HUTTO: I grew up in Lithonia, a small suburb of Atlanta. I have always thought it was the best place to grow up: I enjoyed the simplicity of small-town life, but was 20 minutes away from the excitement of the big city! My father was a school teacher and my mother worked ...

Book of Recommendations & Reports for the 2020 Annual Conference Session now available

Book of Recommendations & Reports for the 2020 Annual Conference Session now available

July 11, 2020
Business items for the 2020 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, reports, and resolutions prior to arriving at conference. A good delegate is a prepared delegate. The 2015 Annual Conference session voted that all Annual Conference materials, including the Book of Recommendations and Reports, be made available online on the conference website and through ...

Pastors use podcasts to share the gospel

Pastors use podcasts to share the gospel

July 06, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor Whether with papyrus or the printing press, PowerPoint or iPhones, from the beginning, pastors have had to stay up-to-date with the latest forms of communication technology to spread the gospel. Reaching nearly 75 percent of households, podcasts are a powerful and growing medium, and several South Georgia United Methodist pastors have embraced the platform to spread their messages of hope, healing, and love. Basics of the faith Revs. Brett Maddocks, Allen Cason, and ...

South Georgia Annual Conference to Meet Virtually in August

South Georgia Annual Conference to Meet Virtually in August

June 30, 2020
Bishop Lawson Bryan, in collaboration with the officers of the Annual Conference and the Cabinet, has announced that the 2020 South Georgia Annual Conference session will be held virtually. The clergy session is set for Sunday, August 2, 2020, from 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm, and the one-day annual conference session is set for Saturday, August 15, 2020, from 8:30 am - 4:00 pm.  In addition to the business sessions, two special online services are being planned. A Retiree Recognition Service will be ...

No joyful noise: Many South Georgia congregations will return to in-person worship without singing

No joyful noise: Many South Georgia congregations will return to in-person worship without singing

June 15, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor When Thomasville First United Methodist Church returns to in-person worship this Sunday morning, things will look – and sound – a lot different than they did when the congregation last met in person March 15. Instead of a full choir of hymn-singing choristers belting out well-known songs like “I’ll Fly Away,” “Amazing Grace,” or “Great Is Thy Faithfulness,” soloists or duets will likely sing more obscure, lesser-known hymns. It’s one way to help prevent congregational...

South Georgia United Methodists have presence at protests

South Georgia United Methodists have presence at protests

June 15, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor Several South Georgia United Methodists are living out their faith by taking to the streets, protesting for justice and change. Each weekend beginning June 7, Derian Wilson, a 20-year-old member of Martha Bowman United Methodist Church in Macon, has organized peaceful rallies at the roundabout outside Macon’s Tattnall Square Park. Wilson says he planned the rallies to protest racism and injustice. “I’m biracial, so I became aware of racism at a very early age.” he ...

Columbus woman welcomed into UMC as a deaconess

Columbus woman welcomed into UMC as a deaconess

June 14, 2020
Micah 6:8 resonates deeply with Linda Laye. “Do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.” It’s a fitting verse for Laye, who was welcomed as a deaconess into The United Methodist Church in a virtual ceremony Monday, May 11.  “When you are consecrated as a deaconess you commit to a lifetime of service,” said Laye, who serves as chaplain of the Fellowship at Rose Hill in Columbus. Laye was to have been consecrated as a deaconess during the 2020 General Conference in ...

United Methodist Bishops: Act now to end racism and white supremacy

June 14, 2020
In the aftermath of police killings of unarmed Black people, the bishops of The United Methodist Church today called on all United Methodists to act now by using their voices, pens, feet and hearts to end racism. In a statement released by Council of Bishops President Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey, the bishops are urging every United Methodist to reclaim their baptismal vows to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves. “We ask every United Methodist to ...

Bishop Bryan sets 2020-2021 pastoral appointments

Bishop Bryan sets 2020-2021 pastoral appointments

June 12, 2020
On Monday, June 8, while meeting with the Cabinet at Epworth By The Sea, Bishop R. Lawson Bryan fixed the 2020-2021 pastoral appointments for the South Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church. 2020-2021 Appointments Click here to download and view the list of appointments by district. The Reading of the Appointments

Churches extend helping hands to homeless

Churches extend helping hands to homeless

June 01, 2020
By Kathy L. Gilbert, UM News From helping people file for the government’s coronavirus aid checks to turning a church parking lot into a tent camp, United Methodist churches are finding new and different ways to help those who are homeless or living in poverty during the COVID-19 pandemic. Centenary Community Ministries in Macon, Georgia, has been holding twice-weekly sessions since April 15 to help people apply for the $1,200 aid package offered by the U.S. government. “It is a shame that ...

Retired pastor donates hundreds of flowers to Albany nurses

Retired pastor donates hundreds of flowers to Albany nurses

June 01, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor Even though Rev. Larry Roberts lives nearly 350 miles from Albany, the south Georgia town is never far from his heart. Rev. Roberts retired and moved to Lake Junaluska, N.C. in 1999, but served throughout the South Georgia Conference for 40 years, including stints in Preston, Americus, Blakely, and Moultrie. His son, Ben, lives and works in Albany as director of public relations and communications for Phoebe Putney Health System. So when Rev. Roberts heard that Albany...

Bishop Bryan to continue serving South Georgia through 2021

Bishop Bryan to continue serving South Georgia through 2021

May 27, 2020
Bishop R. Lawson Bryan, who was set to retire in September, will continue to serve as the episcopal leader of the South Georgia Conference through 2021. This announcement comes from The Council of Bishops. In an unprecedented move, The Council of Bishops has extended the retirement of five bishops until the postponed Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference in November 2021. The five bishops extending their service are Bishop Bryan; Bishop Paul L. Leeland, episcopal leader of the Western North ...

Revised Dates Announced for 2021 General and Jurisdictional Conferences

Revised Dates Announced for 2021 General and Jurisdictional Conferences

May 26, 2020
The Commission on the General Conference has announced new 2021 dates for General Conference following the postponement of the event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The quadrennial legislative event will take place on August 29 - September 7, 2021, at the Minneapolis Convention Center in Minneapolis, Minn.  "We're grateful that we were able to secure new dates while keeping the site of General Conference in Minneapolis. Nearly seven years of pre-planning and preparations by the host team have ...

Coronavirus changes how life events are celebrated

Coronavirus changes how life events are celebrated

May 18, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor Instead of just one lavish wedding, newlyweds Rebecca and David Bell will, eventually, have two weddings to remember. Two weddings weren’t part of their original plan, but the coronavirus pandemic forced the couple to rethink and reschedule their dream wedding just weeks before the big day. Married April 25 in an intimate, outdoor “elopement” at Indian Springs State Park in Flovilla, the ceremony included only Rebecca, David, their parents, two officiants, and a ...

Oldest South Georgia Conference clergy member turns 100

Oldest South Georgia Conference clergy member turns 100

May 18, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor Rev. Henry Erwin’s Methodist roots run deep. He’s the 17th Methodist minister in a family that traces their faith heritage all the way back to Francis Asbury. “The first (pastor) in our family was ordained by Francis Asbury, the first Methodist bishop in the New World,” said Angela Mobley, one of Rev. Erwin’s daughters. Rev. Erwin’s father and uncle were both Methodist ministers, so it was no shock when, as a teenager, Rev. Erwin felt the call to ministry. “Daddy ...

Faith helps UMs care for others

Faith helps UMs care for others

May 04, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor Psalm 23 runs on a continuous loop in Brandy Floyd’s head these days. “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for you are with me…” Floyd, a busy physician assistant in Blakely and member of Blakely First United Methodist Church, is concerned about her patients, her family, and her community. In the past two months, her family practice clinic, Pioneer Family Medical, has had to convert to telemedicine as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of the ...

South Georgia United Methodists share fellowship, connection with Agape Meal

South Georgia United Methodists share fellowship, connection with Agape Meal

May 04, 2020
In this time of crisis, social distancing, and uncertainty, the things people need most are prayer, support, and encouragement. But how are those things shared when we can’t be together? On the evening of Sunday, May 3, the South Georgia Conference gathered for a virtual Agape Meal, a time of fellowship and connection. Introduced to John Wesley by the Moravians, Agape Meals became a significant part of early Methodism. And at a time when the church is scattered because of the coronavirus ...

Wesley at Frederica members live out faith, make impact on community

Wesley at Frederica members live out faith, make impact on community

May 04, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor Nearly a year ago, Leslie and Mark Coptsias began building a four bedroom, three-and-a-half-bathroom home on St. Simons Island. Located in the Sea Palms neighborhood, the home boasts both lake and golf course views. But what can’t be seen is the impact it will make on the Glynn County community. When the sale closes at the end of this month, the proceeds of its sale will be donated to FaithWorks, a social services ministry affiliated with The United Methodist Church. ...

Baxter named LaGrange College president

May 03, 2020
Susanna Baxter, current president of the Georgia Independent College Association, was named the 26th president of LaGrange College after a unanimous vote by the institution’s board of trustees. Dr. Baxter succeeds Dan McAlexander, who announced his intention to retire last year after leading the institution for 11 years. She will assume the post this summer, according to Board Chair Bobby Carmichael, who also headed the presidential search committee. “Our campus leadership could not be more ...

2020-2021 Projected Appointments

April 20, 2020
Bishop R. Lawson Bryan has announced projected appointment changes as of April 26, 2020. The appointments will be effective in June. Click here to download the list of projected appointments. 

Collins UMC serves community in a big way

Collins UMC serves community in a big way

April 20, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor Collins United Methodist Church may be small, but it is mighty. In tiny Collins, the congregation, which has about 12 members, is a big force for good. The members feed nearly 200 people at each of two large community meals every year, one at Thanksgiving and typically one at Easter; pack and donate dozens of Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes every Christmas; and give generously to ministries that serve those who are homeless. Even in the midst of the coronavirus ...

Pastors, laity use quarantine to nurture gifts, talents

Pastors, laity use quarantine to nurture gifts, talents

April 20, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor While folks are spending more time at home than ever before, people are tapping into talents they’d let go dormant, rediscovering skills they didn’t have time to nurture, and pursuing passions long abandoned. Rev. Grant Abernathy has always enjoyed doodling. In seminary, the pastime helped him stay focused and engaged as he listened to lectures, and the margins of his notes were usually littered with doodles and drawings. The pastor of Crossroads United Methodist ...

South Georgia relief teams help with tornado damage cleanup

South Georgia relief teams help with tornado damage cleanup

April 20, 2020
South Georgia Disaster Response Teams are committed to responding and helping their neighbors affected by disasters, even in the midst of a pandemic. While extra precautions are necessary, they have not kept early response teams from showing up and working hard.  Following the Easter storms, on April 13 South Georgia Disaster Response Coordinator Luis Morales and district disaster coordinators immediately sprang into action and assessed affected areas and began deploying teams. Kelly Crane, ...

South Georgia United Methodists celebrate Easter differently this year

April 20, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor For most South Georgia United Methodists, Easter usually means packed sanctuaries, big Sunday dinners with family, smocked dresses, and super-sized hats. But this year, even though churches were empty and typical Easter traditions couldn’t happen, families still found ways to safely celebrate the holiday. Instead of her usual trip to Athens to celebrate Easter with her children, Karen Forester, a member of Bainbridge United Methodist Church, worshiped online, from ...

Annual Conference postponed until August, Moving Day adjusted

Annual Conference postponed until August, Moving Day adjusted

April 15, 2020
The 2020 Annual Conference session, scheduled for June 7-9 at The Columbus Georgia Convention & Trade Center, has been postponed due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Annual Conference is now set for August 14-15 at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, Ga. "While we look forward to the day we can all be together, the reality is that the coronavirus has changed how we are all doing ministry and meetings at this time," Bishop Lawson Bryan said. "We have made the decision to not ...

Administrative Services helps navigate the CARES Act

April 06, 2020
By Dr. Derek McAleer, Director of Administrative Services President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) (HR. 748) into law on Friday, March 27th, 2020. This Act is intended to provide financial relief to individuals, businesses, and non-profits from the economic impact of the Coronavirus. There may be something in it that could help your church. The Act allows for forgivable Paycheck Protection Loans from the Small Business Administration to cover ...

Children and youth ministers find creative ways to stay connected

Children and youth ministers find creative ways to stay connected

April 06, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor As social distancing has become the norm and people are physically isolated and no longer gathering for worship services, it has become a challenge to stay connected. Although church services have been moved online, many South Georgia youth and children’s ministers are finding creative ways to continue ministering, using social media and the Internet to communicate and come together. Each evening, Annie Paulk and her two children record themselves reading a story from...

Churches make masks for healthcare workers, patients

Churches make masks for healthcare workers, patients

April 06, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, it often helps to focus on what you can do rather than what you can’t. That’s what many South Georgia sewers are doing: focusing their efforts on serving those in need and offering a solution to health care workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic. In Albany, hard hit by COVID-19, Phoebe Putney Health System recently said they were running low on critical supplies. As of Sunday morning, April 5, a total of 139 ...

In midst of crisis, South Georgia congregations get creative to share love of Christ

In midst of crisis, South Georgia congregations get creative to share love of Christ

April 06, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor The coronavirus pandemic has been called “the most challenging crisis the world has faced since World War II.” COVID-19 has killed more than 70,000 people worldwide and the global health crisis upended lives, caused mass shutdowns of businesses and schools, and churches have been asked to suspend worship services and other gatherings until at least the end of April. But pastors say this health and human crisis need not be a spiritual crisis. “When the noise of life is...

Admin. Services, Board of Pensions help churches during time of financial crisis

Admin. Services, Board of Pensions help churches during time of financial crisis

April 05, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor It’s been three or four weeks since South Georgia United Methodist congregations have gathered in person. While on-site worship services have been cancelled, the church’s ongoing mission and ministry continue. Most are holding online worship services, via Facebook or another method, and they are continuing to reach out and serve their communities and members. In the midst of this pandemic, one practical concern for churches is how not meeting in person will affect the ...

A Word from Bishop Bryan: COVID-19 update - Finding peace amid the noise of life

A Word from Bishop Bryan: COVID-19 update - Finding peace amid the noise of life

April 03, 2020
Dear South Georgia clergy, laity, and friends, On Palm Sunday, Jesus enters Jerusalem riding on a donkey. He doesn't ride in on a chariot or on a warhorse with a sword slashing all those around Him. He rides in humbly on a donkey, the animal that is a symbol of peace and a beast of burden. Christ comes in as the Prince of Peace, bearing upon Himself the burden of the sin of the world. Yes, the crowds are shouting, palm branches are being waved, and there is a lot of noise. Jesus knows full ...

South Georgia Disaster Response, churches deploy N95 masks

South Georgia Disaster Response, churches deploy N95 masks

April 03, 2020
South Georgia’s Disaster Response ministry is committed to providing the loving presence of Christ during all times of disaster, and this current pandemic is no exception. Last week, the Conference’s Disaster Response team deployed N95 masks from its stockpile of UMCOR cleaning buckets and delivered them to local emergency managers, local first responders, and local healthcare (hospitals and long-term care) facilities. Each UMCOR Cleaning Bucket (flood bucket) had five N95 particulate ...

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