Where do you see the Holy Spirit at work?
FROM THE BISHOP R. LAWSON BRYAN    I don’t know about you, but one of the ongoing challenges for me is to pay attention to where the Spirit is at work and then move in that ...
Ready or not
OUR CONNECTION MATTERS ALLISON LINDSEY  “Plan purposefully. Prepare prayerfully. Proceed positively. Pursue persistently.” – William A. Ward Planning and preparing are two words ...
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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 ...

A Word from Bishop Bryan: COVID-19 update - Holy Week and Easter

A Word from Bishop Bryan: COVID-19 update - Holy Week and Easter

March 24, 2020
Dear South Georgia clergy, laity, and friends, Last night Gov. Kemp issued the latest guidelines for lowering the infection rate of COVID-19. This includes a shelter in place order for those in certain areas and for vulnerable populations. He also encouraged people to work from home when possible and to limit travel to only that which is absolutely necessary. The churches of South Georgia have already been proactive in doing all we can to avoid spreading this virus. Thank you for the spirit in ...

A Word from Bishop Bryan: COVID-19 update - suspending church services & activities

A Word from Bishop Bryan: COVID-19 update - suspending church services & activities

March 16, 2020
Dear South Georgia clergy, laity, and friends, I sit in gratitude today as I reflect on the ways our clergy and our churches have leaned into the sudden adjustments being thrust upon us by the spread of the coronavirus. With inspired creativity, you are exploring ways to stay in connection as you minister in your congregation and community. You are giving special attention to those who are considered most vulnerable. Thank you for rising to the occasion so that the South Georgia Conference can ...

Commission on the General Conference to meet March 21

March 16, 2020
As concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic continue to escalate, the Commission on the General Conference will meet on March 21 via teleconference to discuss plans for the 2020 General Conference, scheduled for May 5-15, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minn.  According to the United Methodist Book of Discipline, in the absence of a convened General Conference, only the full Commission, as the duly authorized committee of the General Conference, can set the date of the quadrennial meeting.  ...

Southwest District spends day serving Vashti, others

March 16, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor More than 150 people gathered at the Vashti Center in Thomasville Saturday, Feb. 22 for the Southwest District’s Inaugural Day of Giving Back. A day to focus on missions outside the walls of the church, the effort brought together adults, youth, and children from throughout the district to serve. “This was an opportunity to bring our churches together for fellowship and a common purpose to strengthen the connections between our congregations,” said Southwest District ...

Bishop Bryan announces conference-level appointments/assignment

Bishop Bryan announces conference-level appointments/assignment

March 15, 2020
Bishop Lawson Bryan today announced the projected appointments of Rev. Craig Hutto as the North Central District Superintendent, Dr. Nita Crump as senior pastor of Mulberry Street UMC, and Dr. Rick Lanford to the Georgia United Methodist Foundation as well as the assignment of Mrs. Allison Lindsey as Acting Director of Connectional Ministries, effective June 2020. Rev. Craig Hutto, currently serving as senior pastor of Trinity United Methodist Church in Warner Robins, will be appointed to serve...

Communicating and ministering during a pandemic

Communicating and ministering during a pandemic

March 13, 2020
The novel coronavirus is spreading, and we each have a responsibility to be prepared. While we should not panic, now is the time for churches and congregations to review or create preparedness plans so that you can communicate and minister during this time.  The decision to suspend worship, even for one Sunday, is a tough one. It’s a hard call to make, especially if your worship, discipleship, and giving systems are primarily dependent upon in-person gatherings. This is also weighty when it ...

Join a regional prayer gathering this week

Join a regional prayer gathering this week

March 09, 2020
You are invited to join a regional prayer gathering near you! Regional Prayer Gatherings Tuesday, March 10 Macon, Vineville UMC, 10 - 11:30 a.m. Statesboro, Pittman Park UMC, 10 - 11:30 a.m. Columbus, St. Mark UMC, 6:30 - 8 p.m. Vidalia, Vidalia First UMC, 6:30 - 8 p.m. Thursday, March 12 Savannah, White Bluff UMC, 10 - 11:30 a.m. Camilla, Camilla UMC, 10 - 11:30 a.m. Brunswick, The Chapel, 6:30 - 8 p.m. Valdosta, Park Avenue UMC, 6:30 - 8 p.m.   *************************** When people ...

Simple steps to limit coronavirus risk

March 03, 2020
In a 10 p.m. news conference last night, Governor Brian Kemp announced that two cases of the coronavirus have been diagnosed in Fulton County. Both individuals are in the same household and one of them recently returned from travel in Italy (a high-risk country for the coronavirus). Those two persons have minimal symptoms, are under the care of a physician, and are in “at home isolation” so that they will not infect others.   The governor and the state health officer emphasized the pre-planning...

Perry UMC youth make blankets for children in foster care

Perry UMC youth make blankets for children in foster care

March 02, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor On a wet, rainy Wednesday evening a few weeks ago, youth at Perry United Methodist Church spent the evening inside, serving others. They cut, tied, worked, and worshiped, but above all, they shared the love of Christ as they made 20 blankets to give children who will be entering the foster care system.   Measuring about a yard and a half long, each no-sew fleece blanket takes four people about half an hour to make. Two youth cut fringe and another two tied knots. ...

Churches reach out with financial literacy classes

Churches reach out with financial literacy classes

March 01, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor Nick Fletcher, a father of two with one on the way, says he’s never been financially stable. Elsie and Daniel Widener, parents of 16-month-old Evelyn, were stressed and had given up on budgeting. Cheryl Howell, a registered nurse whose new home seemed more like a burden than a blessing, felt overwhelmed. They are among the hundreds or so participants that gather each week at one of a handful of South Georgia United Methodist churches that offer biblical curriculum to ...

A father’s love: father and son journey together to the Holy Land

A father’s love: father and son journey together to the Holy Land

February 17, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor As Rev. Jonathan Fuller walked along rough and craggy terrain while following Jesus’ footsteps during a recent Holy Land pilgrimage, one person was always a step behind, ever-watchful and mindful. His father, Robert Fuller. A few weeks ago, the father and son had the opportunity to travel to the Holy Land together with a group of about 90 South Georgia United Methodists. The pilgrims explored Biblical sites such as the Sea of Galilee, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Jericho, ...

Conference to unite in prayer, fasting

Conference to unite in prayer, fasting

February 17, 2020
 When people pray, God listens. And John and Charles Wesley believed “that God does nothing apart from believing prayer.” In a focused effort to prepare for the 2020 General Conference session, the South Georgia Conference is launching a Conference-wide prayer and fasting initiative, “Together We Pray.” It will begin the day after Easter and run through the General Conference session. The initiative will include three components: local church prayer resources, eight regional prayer ...

Macon Conference offices moving this week

February 17, 2020
This week, the Conference offices in Macon will move to a new, shared home. They will share space at 3040 Riverside Drive, about a mile and a half from the current Episcopal office. “We’re pleased to have the Episcopal office, Ministerial Services office, Administrative Services office, the Director of Connectional Ministries, and Georgia United Methodist Foundation’s South Georgia office all in one place,” said Dr. Derek McAleer, Director of Administrative Services, who has shepherded this ...

2020 appointment-making season begins in the South Georgia Conference

2020 appointment-making season begins in the South Georgia Conference

February 16, 2020
It’s appointment-making season in The United Methodist Church, and this week, Bishop Bryan and the Appointive Cabinet are meeting to pray, worship, and begin the decision-making process of appointments. The 2020-2021 appointment-making schedule is available here. “I ask for your prayers for our Cabinet, for every local church, and for every pastor, for we all want to be alive together in ministry and we want the appointment-making process to be a part of that which looks for liveliness and ...

Delegation affirms Protocol

Delegation affirms Protocol

February 10, 2020
The South Georgia Annual Conference General and Jurisdictional Delegation has released a statement unanimously affirming the work done on the “Protocol of Grace & Reconciliation Through Separation.” It also recommended the Protocol be the first legislative item considered by General Conference 2020. “The South Georgia Annual Conference General and Jurisdictional Delegation supports the Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation as a way to move forward into new expressions of ...

Bishop Bryan, delegation discuss Protocol, future

Bishop Bryan, delegation discuss Protocol, future

February 03, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor During a Winter Conference panel discussion, Bishop Bryan and several members of South Georgia’s 2020 General Conference delegation shared their thoughts about the recently released Protocol of Grace & Reconciliation Through Separation, the possible future of the South Georgia Conference, and General Conference 2020. Held Wednesday, Jan. 29 at Nalls Auditorium at Epworth By The Sea on St. Simons Island, much of the dialogue focused on the Protocol. “The Protocol is a ...

Foretaste of what’s on the table at GC2020

February 03, 2020
By Heather Hahn, UMNews What form The United Methodist Church takes next will remain unclear until the 2020 General Conference meets this spring.  In a gathering that emphasized the denomination’s uncertain future, United Methodists received a preview of some of the possibilities that will be before 862 delegates when they meet May 5-15 in Minneapolis. “Minneapolis is likely to be our Massah, our testing place, and Minneapolis is likely to be our Meribah, our quarreling place,” said Minnesota...

South Georgia UMs continue to give despite denominational discord

South Georgia UMs continue to give despite denominational discord

February 03, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor In a year of heightened uncertainty and denominational discord, South Georgia United Methodists continued to faithfully give. While total apportionment giving is down slightly from 2018, giving to conference and district askings was close to 2018 levels. General church apportionment giving was down significantly compared to 2018 levels. Overall apportionment payments for 2019 were at 87 percent, compared to 89.5 percent in 2018. The Northeast and Southwest Districts ...

SEJ heads of delegations affirm Protocol

SEJ heads of delegations affirm Protocol

February 02, 2020
The clergy and lay heads of Southeastern Jurisdiction (SEJ) General Conference delegations released a statement last week affirming the work done on the “Protocol of Grace & Reconciliation Through Separation.” They also recommended the Protocol be among the first legislative items considered by General Conference 2020. Heads of delegations from 14 of the 15 conferences of the SEJ signed onto the statement, with 26 lay and clergy heads of delegations supporting and signing it. “One of the ...

Bishop Bryan: Reflections at the Wesley Monument at Fort Pulaski

Bishop Bryan: Reflections at the Wesley Monument at Fort Pulaski

January 27, 2020
On Feb. 6, 1736, after sailing four months to get from England to America, John Wesley, Charles Wesley, General Oglethorpe, and others landed on Cockspur Island off the coast of Savannah. A monument marks the location. “One of the things we learn historically is that none of what Wesley really thought was going happen actually happened,” Bishop Bryan said in a video from Fort Pulaski, erected on the site where Wesley and the others landed. “In his diary, on the way back to England, Wesley ...

Conference Nominations Committee looking for leaders

Conference Nominations Committee looking for leaders

January 22, 2020
The South Georgia Annual Conference Committee on Nominations has begun a process to identify laity and clergy interested in serving on Conference and District boards, committees, and teams for the 2021-2024 quadrennium.  Between now and January 29, you are invited to indicate your willingness to serve or to encourage possible leaders to complete the online Interest Form. The Conference Nominations Committee is looking for resourceful and committed leaders who have vision, leadership skills, ...

GSW Wesley Foundation sees rapid growth, strong leadership

GSW Wesley Foundation sees rapid growth, strong leadership

January 20, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor For Georgia Southwestern State University junior Jessica Montanye, the Wesley Foundation is a home away from home. Without the foundation of the campus ministry and the support she finds there, she probably wouldn’t be attending church today, she said. “If The Wes wasn’t there …. I would have probably left the church.” This fall, the campus ministry welcomed 85 students at its kickoff event and is averaging more than 60 students at its recently restored Tuesday night...

Vineville UMC helps strengthen community, build neighbor’s home

Vineville UMC helps strengthen community, build neighbor’s home

January 20, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor Shequita Manson’s new home is painted blue, in honor and memory of her 12-year-old daughter, Nophstaria “Star” Henley, who died May 25, 2018, of sickle-cell disease. After her daughter’s death, Manson and her older daughter moved several times, bouncing from rental to rental, unable to find their “happy place.” But today, thanks in large part to Vineville United Methodist Church, they are finally home and happy. Partnering with the Macon Area Habitat for Humanity and ...

New Wesleyan partnership offers college credit to pastors in training

January 19, 2020
A new partnership between Wesleyan College in Macon and the United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) will offer college credit for women who are enrolled in GBHEM’s pastoral training program, the Course of Study. The Course of Study is designed for those who wish to serve as local pastors in The United Methodist Church and possibly pursue ordination as elders without taking the traditional seminary route. Women who are enrolled in one of Wesleyan College’s online ...

An Update on the Leadership Forum Task Force Meeting - Writing our own story in 2020

An Update on the Leadership Forum Task Force Meeting - Writing our own story in 2020

January 15, 2020
A Word from Bishop Bryan: Since January 3 you may have seen headlines announcing that a decision has been reached to split The United Methodist Church. As most have figured out by now, those headlines were wrong and misleading. What’s the truth? The top legislative body of The United Methodist Church, the General Conference, meets every four years. The next session of General Conference is May 5-15, 2020, in Minneapolis, MN. This is the only body that can speak officially for The United ...

2019: Remembering church newsmakers

January 06, 2020
United Methodists this past year marked the passing of influential bishops, a beloved Zimbabwean lay leader and a man who surprised his whole community six weeks after his funeral.   Here are 29 remembrances, listed in order of date of death. This list includes four deaths late last year.   

South Georgia UMs share Christmas with Navajo Nation

South Georgia UMs share Christmas with Navajo Nation

January 06, 2020
By Kara Witherow, Editor Several South Georgia United Methodists spread some early Christmas cheer last month when they took more than 2,000 shoeboxes packed full of gifts to the Navajo Nation. Two trailers, loaded full of filled Christmas presents, left South Georgia Dec. 11. After crossing the country, the group arrived in northeastern Arizona ready to serve and play Santa. While only seven people actually made the trip, thousands of South Georgia United Methodists contributed to the ...

Special general conference tops the news in 2019

January 06, 2020
For the second year in a row, The United Methodist Church’s struggle to stay together despite longstanding division over homosexuality was the denomination’s top news story of 2019. This year, however, the focus was on unity efforts by the Commission on a Way Forward and others, culminating in a special called session of General Conference Feb. 23-26 in St. Louis. Thirty-eight ballots were cast by church communicators and United Methodist News staff for the top five United Methodist news ...

Thank you, South Georgia United Methodists!

Thank you, South Georgia United Methodists!

January 06, 2020
As we begin a new year and a new decade, we want to give thanks to you, the faithful members of our local churches, for partnering with us to do the ministry we’ve been called to do. Because of your prayers, support, and gifts, we are able to minister to people all across South Georgia - and beyond - in the name of Jesus Christ.   Thank you!  A note from Bishop Bryan I am so very grateful for the privilege of serving with you in the South Georgia Conference. The power and hope of the ...

Diverse leaders’ group offers separation plan

Diverse leaders’ group offers separation plan

January 03, 2020
A Word from Bishop Bryan: Grace and peace to you as we begin a new year Alive Together in Christ. A new proposal for the future of The United Methodist Church was released today. This new proposal is the fruit of a mediation process undertaken by 16 United Methodists entitled, “A Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace through Separation.”  This eight-page document represents work done by a group of United Methodists from across the world who represent many (not all) of the important streams of ...

Advent candles spark church fire

Advent candles spark church fire

December 16, 2019
By Kara Witherow, Editor Baxley First United Methodist Church was damaged by fire Sunday afternoon, Dec. 15. No injuries were reported. Church leaders say the fire was an accident that started in the pulpit area where candles on an advent wreath were left burning unattended. “We’re brokenhearted, but we know that buildings can be replaced,” said Rev. Steve Meguiar, pastor of Baxley First UMC. “We’re very blessed that it was reported as early as it was.” A passer-by who saw smoke coming from ...

Former Santa still spreading message of love, joy, hope

Former Santa still spreading message of love, joy, hope

December 16, 2019
By Kara Witherow, Editor For 18 Christmas seasons, from 1975 until 1993, Rev. Eric Sizemore donned a red suit, a beard, and a stocking cap. And while the 160ish-pound, dark-haired, 36-year-old preacher didn’t then look much like the jolly, old elf, he had the same infectious grin and hope-filled spirit. On Sunday mornings – then and now – Rev. Sizemore preaches a message of love, hope, and goodwill to all. But for those 18 holiday seasons, on Friday evenings, Saturdays, and Sunday afternoons ...

Tutoring program helps connect church to community

Tutoring program helps connect church to community

December 16, 2019
By Kara Witherow, Editor Whether they’re there for the food, the fun computer games, or the free tutoring, the end result is the same: they know ConneXion Church cares. Every Wednesday afternoon at 3:45, a dozen children from Savannah’s Juliette Low Elementary School pile into a church van and make the short trek to ConneXion Church. They spend a few minutes in the church’s fellowship hall, chatting, playing, and eating snacks. Then the group heads to the education/children’s wing, divides ...

Historic downtown Savannah church looks to renovate, rebuild for the future

Historic downtown Savannah church looks to renovate, rebuild for the future

December 02, 2019
By Kara Witherow, Editor The church is not the building, but the people. But the building is a home, a place of identity, and a refuge in times of crisis and need. And now, after 92 years, Asbury United Methodist Church’s building needs help. Named last month to the Georgia Trust’s 2020 “Places in Peril” list, the historic downtown congregation hopes the exposure will help raise awareness of its plight so they can raise funds for the building’s restoration. The only African American United ...

Smith honored with Francis Asbury award

Smith honored with Francis Asbury award

December 01, 2019
By Kara Witherow, Editor Dr. Jonathan Smith, director of the Georgia Southern Wesley and Savannah Wesley Foundations, was recently honored by The Georgia United Methodist Commission on Higher Education and Collegiate Ministry with the Francis Asbury Award. The national award is presented annually by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church to a person who fosters the church’s ministries in higher education at the local, district, or annual conference ...

St. Marys United Methodist Church Foundation announces fall grant recipients

December 01, 2019
The Board of Directors of the St. Marys United Methodist Church Foundation, Inc. has approved grants for the Fall 2019 Grant Cycle. Grants totaling $758,000 were made to 12 organizations the week of December 2, 2019. The following is a brief description of each recipient and the purpose of the grant. Organizations Serving Southeast Georgia: Coastal Outreach Soccer – Coastal Outreach Academies (www.coastaloutreachacademies.com) A $25,000 challenge grant to Coastal Outreach Soccer-Coastal ...

Bishop Bryan and Task Force give General Conference update

November 18, 2019
During the 2019 Annual Conference session, Bishop Bryan shared that the Leadership Forum Task Force would continue to meet throughout this year to provide updates to the Conference concerning the conversations going on in The United Methodist Church as preparations are made for General Conference 2020 in May.  One possibility mentioned was a conference-wide gathering in November. To be good stewards of everyone’s time, Bishop Bryan and the Task Force have decided to release their update report ...

Donalsonville group repairs roofs, restores hope

Donalsonville group repairs roofs, restores hope

November 18, 2019
By Kara Witherow, Editor When Hurricane Michael tore through southwest Georgia last year, high winds and falling trees destroyed homes and damaged roofs. More than a year later, blue tarps still dot the landscape, covering hundreds of homes still in need of repair. Lisa Minto’s two roofs were among those hit. Her restaurant, Mintos Sports Bar & Grill, which she and her husband had just opened three months prior, lost its roof. The roof on her home was damaged and water leaked in every time it...

Student athlete lives faith on and off the court

Student athlete lives faith on and off the court

November 18, 2019
By Kara Witherow, Editor If you look closely at Madie Bunge’s wrist you’ll likely see “P4:13.” A reminder that she can do all things through Christ, who strengthens her, Bunge, a senior defensive specialist on the College of Coastal Georgia’s Mariners volleyball team, writes the verse on the inside of her wrist before each volleyball game. It’s just one of the ways Bunge lives out her faith when she’s on the volleyball court. She also prays for her teammates; invites them to worship ...

Boreholes bring ‘sigh of relief’ in Uganda

November 04, 2019
By Vivian Agaba Accessing clean water in some parts of Uganda is difficult, especially for girls and women who are usually responsible for walking long distances to fetch water, often from unsafe sources. The addition of five boreholes near United Methodist churches in the Uganda-South Sudan Conference will alleviate that problem for some. Members of Baxley First United Methodist Church in Baxley, Georgia, First United Methodist Church in Vidalia, Georgia, and Lynn Haven United Methodist ...

Church exit plan already in effect, court says

Church exit plan already in effect, court says

November 04, 2019
By Linda Bloom Legislation setting special provisions for United Methodist churches deciding to leave the denomination took effect immediately at the end of the special General Conference last February, the church’s top court has ruled. In making that determination, the United Methodist Judicial Council at least temporarily bypassed the assertion from a Commission on General Conference investigation that improper voting meant the vote to substitute parts of Petition 90066, the disaffiliation ...

Forest Hills UMC’s Sanctuary Respite Ministry offers hope to those living with memory loss diagnosis

Forest Hills UMC’s Sanctuary Respite Ministry offers hope to those living with memory loss diagnosis

November 04, 2019
By Kara Witherow, Editor Dianne Roberts had prayed the same prayer for nearly 10 years. “Church, do something.” Her husband of 52 years, Marvin, suffers from corticobasal degeneration, a progressive neurological disorder and cognitive illness similar to Alzheimer’s. A former certified public accountant, Marvin is no longer able to speak, and Roberts, a teacher, retired to care for him. “He is able to do a lot of things, but he does need some help,” she said. “I really prayed for a long time ...

UMW gather, celebrate 150 years of missions, ministry

UMW gather, celebrate 150 years of missions, ministry

November 04, 2019
By Kelly Roberson, Director of Communications It was a rainy day outside but inside was a beautiful day of celebration as the South Georgia Conference United Methodist Women gathered for their annual meeting Oct. 19, 2019, at Open Door Community House in Columbus, Ga. Carol Banks, South Georgia United Methodist Women president, expressed her appreciation for the year of blessings in United Methodist Women as they celebrated their 150-year milestone as a mission organization focused on missions...

2019 Conference Journal ready for orders and download

2019 Conference Journal ready for orders and download

October 31, 2019
Journal includes conference business, directories, reports, appointments, and statistical tables The 2019 Journal of the South Georgia Annual Conference is now available for purchase. As has been our process in recent years, 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 2019 Journal of the South Georgia Annual Conference.*  The Journal ...

Centenary UMC partners with local group to combat “period poverty”

Centenary UMC partners with local group to combat “period poverty”

October 14, 2019
By Kara Witherow, Editor When was the last time you had to choose between paying for a meal or a menstrual pad? For many women, the choice is all too real. Called “period poverty,” it’s the lack of access to sanitary products due to financial constraints, and it affects women and girls around the world. It’s a problem that affects more than those who are financially strapped or experiencing homelessness, though. According to a recent survey, nearly one in five American girls have either left ...

New Conference Center receives another $100,000 donation

October 14, 2019
The South Georgia Conference’s effort to build a new Conference Center on the grounds of Wesleyan College in Macon has been given another boost with its second major gift in three months. At a recent New Conference Center Task Force meeting, held Oct. 2, Dr. Hal Brady, chair of the Conference Center Task Force, announced that a second anonymous donor has given a $100,000 gift towards building the new Conference Center. “We celebrate this gift and are grateful to the donor and the generosity ...

Sparks UMC’s activity mats help dementia patients

Sparks UMC’s activity mats help dementia patients

October 14, 2019
By Kara Witherow, Editor When Pat Scrogham’s mother, Margery Resser, was living with dementia, Scrogham looked high and low for something to keep her mother’s hands busy. “Their hands need to be moving,” Scrogham said. She searched online but was unable to find exactly what she was looking for. “I had even gotten her a baby toy that she could twist and twist, and it made her happy.” Coming up empty at local stores and craft fairs and not satisfied with what she found online, Scrogham ...

Rev. Scott Stanfill reflects on Hurricane Michael one year later: 'We saw church happen...'

Rev. Scott Stanfill reflects on Hurricane Michael one year later: 'We saw church happen...'

October 10, 2019
As we mark the one-year anniversary of the worst storm many in Northwest Florida and Southwest Georgia have lived through and as Colquitt United Methodist Church (CUMC) still navigates the effects of the storms, Rev. Scott Stanfill, senior pastor of CUMC, shares his reflections: The word for “patience” in the Bible can be translated “long-suffering.” Indeed, CUMC continues to live into our current reality of long-suffering while we eagerly anticipate returning to our building. The layers ...

Church isn't a building: southwest Georgia congregations continue to serve communities

Church isn't a building: southwest Georgia congregations continue to serve communities

September 30, 2019
By Kara Witherow, Editor Nearly one year after Hurricane Michael destroyed parts of southwest Georgia, blue tarps still dot the landscape. Trees are scattered throughout backyards, and some residents are living in hotels instead of their homes. Even now, 12 months later, you can’t drive 100 yards without seeing one of the emergency roof coverings or some other sign of the storm. Full recovery will take years, locals say. At a time when it would be natural for residents to focus on their own ...

UMs, UMCOR still helping southwest Georgia recover

UMs, UMCOR still helping southwest Georgia recover

September 30, 2019
By Kara Witherow, Editor United Methodists are known for being “the last to leave,” and in southwest Georgia, where Hurricane Michael swept through the area Oct. 10, 2018, as a devastating Category 3 storm, they’re still there, working to restore what was lost. Rev. George Masciarelli was recently hired as a Disaster Recovery Coordinator for Hurricane Michael, working specifically in the Southwest District to coordinate long term recovery efforts for those impacted by Hurricane Michael. His ...

Lessons from Dorian: Communication and connection are critical

Lessons from Dorian: Communication and connection are critical

September 16, 2019
By Kara Witherow, Editor Even though Hurricane Dorian didn’t impact Georgia’s coast as originally forecast, South Georgia United Methodist congregations and ministries responded before and after the storm to help those whose lives were affected. In the days leading up to Hurricane Dorian’s eventual East Coast landfall, no one was sure exactly where the storm would hit, but those in the Coastal District prepared for the worst. Coastal District Superintendent Rev. David Thompson lives in ...

Trip explores partnership between South Georgia, North Katanga Annual Conferences

Trip explores partnership between South Georgia, North Katanga Annual Conferences

September 16, 2019
By Kara Witherow, Editor Joy. Passion. Radical hospitality. Relevance. That’s what six South Georgia United Methodists found earlier this month when they traveled to the North Katanga Annual Conference, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). There to explore a new mission partnership with the conference, the team met with Bishop Mande Muyombo and learned about his three main initiatives: church planting, the Kamisamba Farm and Training Centre, and an orphanage. The group toured the ...

Monitoring Hurricane Dorian - 9/2/19 Update

Monitoring Hurricane Dorian - 9/2/19 Update

September 02, 2019
We continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in the Bahamas and those in the path of Hurricane Dorian along the east coast. Based on the most recent forecasts from the National Weather Service, it looks like our conference will be heavily impacted by Hurricane Dorian. Gov. Brian Kemp has ordered residents in six Georgia counties east of I-95 - Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Glynn, Liberty and McIntosh Counties - to evacuate beginning today at noon. Bishop Bryan, Luis Morales (Conference Disaster ...

Series of shocking stunts helps youth group raise mission trip money

Series of shocking stunts helps youth group raise mission trip money

September 02, 2019
By Kara Witherow, Editor Bake sales, pasta dinners, and cake walks are the bread and butter of church fundraisers, but one Brunswick church’s student ministry has taken food fundraising up a noxious notch or two. Wanting to raise several thousand dollars for 14 students and four chaperones to go on a mission trip to Jamaica this December, youth directors from The Chapel, a United Methodist congregation in Brunswick, this summer hatched a plan to raise $5,000 by performing a series of shocking ...

2020 conference budget reduced, local churches continue to faithfully give

2020 conference budget reduced, local churches continue to faithfully give

September 01, 2019
By Kara Witherow, Editor In a time when not much is certain, this is clear: the South Georgia Conference is connectional. Despite uncertainty in The United Methodist Church and concerns for the denomination’s future, South Georgia’s apportionment giving remains steady. As of the end of July, the Conference is on pace to pay local and regional apportionments at the same rate as were paid in 2018. The Conference also approved a 2020 budget of $9,326,184, a more than 7 percent decrease from the ...

Albany First UMC program helps feed kids, reduce waste

Albany First UMC program helps feed kids, reduce waste

August 19, 2019
By Kara Witherow, Editor A program in Dougherty County, launched by Albany First United Methodist Church, helped save 25.5 tons of food from the landfill last year. But more importantly, it provided food for nearly 1,500 children during the weekends, a time when they don’t have the free breakfasts and lunches that schools offer. “Helping Hands Ending Hunger,” launched last September in Albany’s Morningside and Northside Elementary Schools, has now expanded to include all of Dougherty County’s...

Ministry weaves plastic bags into beds for homeless

Ministry weaves plastic bags into beds for homeless

August 19, 2019
By Kara Witherow, Editor You’ve heard of Charlie’s Angels, but do you know the Plarning Angels? A group of women, affectionately known as the “Plarning Angels,” are using plastic shopping bags to help people who are homeless. Park Avenue United Methodist Church’s Homeless Bedroll Ministry has, for the past year, been making bedrolls out of used plastic shopping bags, the kind nearly everyone has stuffed under their kitchen sink or tucked in their pantry. “Everyone has hundreds of these bags ...

UMC bishops agree to ask Judicial Council to review Special Session votes

August 19, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Council of Bishops, in response to a request from the Commission on General Conference, has voted to ask the Judicial Council to rule on the implications of the invalid votes discovered during the independent investigation of the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference held last February.   Below is a statement from the President of the Council of Bishops.   “The Council of Bishops was asked by the Commission on the General Conference to bring a request to the ...

New Conference Center receives $100,000 gift

New Conference Center receives $100,000 gift

August 05, 2019
By Dr. Hal Brady, chairman of the Conference Center Task Force The campaign to build a new Conference Center for the South Georgia Conference just received a massive boost with the generous gift of $100,000. The donor hopes that the gift will inspire others to step up their giving and finish the campaign toward providing the South Georgia Conference a much-needed home. As you know, the new Conference Center is to be built on the beautiful campus of Wesleyan College and will bring the Episcopal...

Prepare now, respond when storms hit

Prepare now, respond when storms hit

August 05, 2019
By Kara Witherow, Editor Last fall, Hurricane Michael slammed into Southwest Georgia as a Category 3 hurricane after making landfall in the Florida Panhandle as a Category 5.  Michael brought 115 mph winds and downed trees and power lines throughout the region. Homes, churches, and businesses were damaged and destroyed. Cotton, peanut, and pecan crops, which were not yet fully harvested, were decimated. The damage - widespread and far-reaching - is still being felt. The 2019 Atlantic ...

Wesley Foundations, campus ministries offer community, connection

Wesley Foundations, campus ministries offer community, connection

August 05, 2019
By Kara Witherow, Editor Transformational. Inclusive. Loving. A home-away-from home. In a word, life changing. As a sophomore in college, away from home for the first time, Savannah Buice was looking for a community of believers. Invited to a worship service at Valdosta State University’s Wesley Foundation, she went and immediately felt welcomed and at home. “I feel like when you go to college you’re out on your own for the first time, and, for a lot of people, they look to join the first ...

Students Changing Lives

Students Changing Lives

August 04, 2019
By Mallery L. Hale, Epworth By The Sea Students from churches and schools all over the southeastern United States are improving our community through Epworth By The Sea’s “Mission Volunteer” program, serving others and making an impact in Glynn County. Epworth By The Sea partnered with 17 local organizations to deploy more than 950 students and 31 church/school groups during 2019. Projects included building wheelchair ramps, yard and park clean-ups, visiting nursing homes, feeding meals to the...

Bishop Bryan: Listen, Pray, Speak the Gospel Truth about Violence

Bishop Bryan: Listen, Pray, Speak the Gospel Truth about Violence

August 03, 2019
The mass shootings this past week in El Paso, Texas, Dayton, Ohio and Gilroy, California have once again brought us face to face with the horrible violence of which human beings are capable. We are plunged into shock and collective grief. And we wonder. Who did this? What were the motives? Why these places in these particular cities?  What about the mental health of the shooters? These and a host of other questions can only be answered after thorough investigations have occurred. In the ...

Andrew College leads effort to revitalize downtown Cuthbert

Andrew College leads effort to revitalize downtown Cuthbert

July 22, 2019
By Kara Witherow, Editor What’s true of many small, rural communities is also true of Cuthbert, a Southwest Georgia town of about 3,800 people. “There were more things to do here 50 years ago than there are now,” said Mary Jane Salter, a 1968 Andrew College graduate and longtime Randolph County resident. But times are changing in Cuthbert, for the better, thanks in large part to Andrew College’s efforts in the downtown area. The school, a private, liberal arts college related to The United ...

Savannah churches help build houses for homeless veterans

Savannah churches help build houses for homeless veterans

July 22, 2019
By Kara Witherow, Editor On their way to church each Sunday, many members of Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church drive past the homeless camps near Interstate 16 and the Truman Parkway. One day, Nick Hitt, a member of the downtown Savannah church, decided that something needed to be done to help. “There’s no reason we should be driving by veterans sleeping under bridges as we come to church. They served; we need to do something about it,” he said to the congregation. Others agreed, and...

General Conference 2020 petition submission process opens

July 08, 2019
Nashville, Tenn.: Petitions for consideration by the 2020 General Conference may be submitted to the Petitions Secretary now through September 18, 2019. According to church law, "Any organization, clergy member, or lay member of The United Methodist Church may petition the General Conference...". Detailed instructions for submitting a petition are available on the General Conference website at umc.org/gcpetition. Petitions must be typed and may be submitted through the General Conference ...

Q & A with Rev. Steve Patton, Northwest District Superintendent

Q & A with Rev. Steve Patton, Northwest District Superintendent

July 08, 2019
This is the second in a two-part series that will introduce the new District Superintendents ADVOCATE: Tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up? Have you always lived in South Georgia? REV. PATTON: I was born and raised in Jesup, Georgia, and graduated from Wayne County High School. When I was in middle school we lived in Philadelphia for two years while my dad completed training as an orthodontist. I spent four years in Atlanta for college and three more in Kentucky for ...

Valdosta First UMC launches The Porch Community Church

Valdosta First UMC launches The Porch Community Church

July 08, 2019
By Kara Witherow, Editor Nearly 17 years ago, Valdosta First UMC began Solomon’s Porch as the church’s contemporary worship service. By 2019, attendance at Solomon’s Porch’s two services averaged more than 410, with growth exceeding 33 percent in the past few years. The congregation had maxed out its worship space, limiting further growth. Knowing something had to be done in order to continue growing, church leaders met to discuss options. They considered several, including moving to a bigger ...

Columbus churches partner to feed homeless

Columbus churches partner to feed homeless

June 24, 2019
By Kara Witherow, Editor Every Tuesday night, folks in Columbus’ Rose Hill neighborhood gather downstairs in the former Rose Hill United Methodist Church for a little bit of food and a whole lot of Jesus. For nearly a decade, volunteers from throughout the community have come together to help feed the city’s homeless. Begun by a former Rose Hill UMC pastor, the ministry is now run by Linda Laye, chaplain of the Fellowship at Rose Hill. Several Columbus-area United Methodist churches are part ...

Q & A with Rev. Paula Lewis, South Central District Superintendent

Q & A with Rev. Paula Lewis, South Central District Superintendent

June 23, 2019
This is the first in a two-part series that will introduce the new District Superintendents ADVOCATE: Tell us a little about yourself. Where did you grow up? Have you always lived in South Georgia? REV. LEWIS: My family moved back here from Mississippi when I was in fourth grade. I lived in the Thomasville area from then until I took my first appointment. When we first moved to Thomasville, we lived in a split-house apartment with my grandfather. I spent a lot of time with him, whether it was ...

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