Focus on children
FROM THE BISHOP R. LAWSON BRYAN Recently, on our early morning walks, Sherrill and I have witnessed a beautiful sight: long lines of cars at local churches. That’s when we ...
The BEST Yes
OUR CONNECTION MATTERS ALLISON LINDSEY “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 Did you know that research estimates the average adult makes ...
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Epworth By The Sea will reopen to the public this fall

July 19, 2021
Epworth By The Sea, which has been closed to the public since Sept. 22, 2020, plans to reopen to the public in late fall 2021. When Epworth By The Sea reopens, guests are invited to experience Epworth’s peace, connection, and beauty, said Executive Vice President Rev. Wayne Racz. The campus has undergone significant improvements including: cabins enlarged and upgraded with central heat and air, larger bathrooms, and tankless gas water heaters; lodge room interiors remodeled and updated; and ...

South Georgia UMs resume mission trips

South Georgia UMs resume mission trips

July 19, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor In March 2020, one day before 18 Valdosta State University Wesley Foundation students were to board a plane to fly to Jamaica, their Spring Break mission trip was abruptly cancelled. More than a year later, with a lot of planning and tests and protocols in place, 15 of the 18 original team members gratefully stepped off a plane in Jamaica. In Seville Heights in St. Ann’s Bay, Jamaica May 22 to May 28, they built a home, served others, and forged lasting friendships, ...

Focus on friendship, outreach help Brunswick’s Emanuel UMC grow

Focus on friendship, outreach help Brunswick’s Emanuel UMC grow

July 18, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor A couple of weeks ago, Rev. Ken Sharpe stopped in Winn-Dixie to buy cheese straws. As he searched the aisles, a woman helped him look for the elusive snack. They struck up a conversation and the two ended up chatting for an hour. He never found the cheese straws, but he did invite his helpful new friend to church. She showed up the next Sunday, homemade cheese straws in hand. This isn’t an unusual story for Rev. Sharpe, pastor of Brunswick’s Emanuel United Methodist ...

SEJ Called Session set for Wednesday; live stream link now available

July 18, 2021
The College of Bishops of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church, in accordance with ¶521 of the 2016 Book of Discipline, will meet for a special session of the jurisdictional conference on July 21, 2021. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. EST and will be held virtually. Delegates have been sent a link and a voter ID to participate in the Conference. Others who want to watch the special session can do so by going to www.sejumc.org and clicking the link on the home page. The...

Americus quilters make quilts for veterans, others

Americus quilters make quilts for veterans, others

July 05, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor A group of women in Americus are stitched together by their shared faith, a love of quilting, and the desire to serve their community. The Grateful Threads Quilting Guild has gathered weekly for the past several years to sew, stitch, and create as many quilts as possible to give away to others. The group, which meets in Lee Street United Methodist Church’s parsonage, started with a weekend quilting class taught by Valerie Duff, a member of Americus First United ...

Nashville UMC’s men’s group cooks up conversation, connection

Nashville UMC’s men’s group cooks up conversation, connection

July 05, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor For five weeks in June, a group of men gathered in Nashville United Methodist Church’s kitchen. They huddled around the stove, chopping, dicing, sautéing, and stirring.  They were farmers, lawyers, and businessmen, and all were hungry. They were hungry for good food, of course, but they were also hungry for connection – with God and each other. The men’s small group was cooked up by self-described foodie and cooking enthusiast Rev. Mark Addington, who serves as ...

S3 applications due Friday, July 9

July 05, 2021
S3 is a program for sustaining excellence in ministry sponsored by the South Georgia Order of Elders and the Board of Ordained Ministry. S3 is a collaborative, small group, action learning experience that will help sustain and promote excellence in ordained ministry. “S3 has fostered many deep and authentic friendships over the years,” said Rev. Dr. Jimmy Asbell, Jr., Director of S3 and senior pastor of Vineville United Methodist Church. “It provides companionship, support, and strength for the...

CPE class helps prepare pastors for rigors of ministry

CPE class helps prepare pastors for rigors of ministry

June 19, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor Rev. Greg Harrison officiated five funerals in the first six months of his last appointment. By the time he finished his second year at the church, he had conducted 15. “That was a significant portion of my congregation,” said Rev. Harrison, who now serves as associate pastor of Wynnton United Methodist Church in Columbus. “I was feeling stressed out, burned out, and I just didn’t know how to navigate through what I was experiencing. I didn’t even know how to name ...

Pierce Chapel UMC’s KILT ministry helps young men grow closer to Christ, each other

Pierce Chapel UMC’s KILT ministry helps young men grow closer to Christ, each other

June 19, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor The kilt may be the traditional garment of Scotsmen, but to a group of young men in Midland, receiving a kilt is an honor, a distinction earned for years of commitment, service, and leadership. Pierce Chapel United Methodist Church’s Knights in Leadership Training (KILT) program is a fellowship and leadership ministry for high school males. Begun seven years ago by church member Stephen Childers, it’s designed to help young men – all in ninth through twelfth grades – ...

Bishop Bryan leads fifth and final South Georgia Annual Conference session

Bishop Bryan leads fifth and final South Georgia Annual Conference session

June 09, 2021
Leading his fifth and final annual conference session as South Georgia’s episcopal leader, on Monday, June 7, Bishop R. Lawson Bryan welcomed more than 700 delegates and guests to the 155th session of the South Georgia Annual Conference. This year’s gathering was again virtual, with clergy and laity participating from their living rooms, home offices, and churches. Earlier in the week the conference worshiped virtually in three separate services: the Retiree Recognition Service on June 1, the ...

Nine South Georgia congregations disaffiliate from UMC

June 09, 2021
Nine South Georgia congregations have disaffiliated from The United Methodist Church. In nine separate votes - one per church - Recommendation 5 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 ...

Bishop Bryan sets 2021-2022 pastoral appointments

June 08, 2021
On Monday, June 7, during the 2021 South Georgia annual conference session, Bishop R. Lawson Bryan fixed the 2021-2022 pastoral appointments for the South Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church. 2021-2022 Appointments Click here to download and view the list of appointments by district. The Reading of the Appointments Click here to watch the reading of the appointments. For full Annual Conference coverage, visit www.sgaumc.org/annualconference.  

Bishop Graves introduced

Bishop Graves introduced

June 08, 2021
Just as Georgia and Alabama share the Chattahoochee River, they will soon share an episcopal leader. In a new video, Bishop R. Lawson Bryan, who will retire this September, introduced Bishop David Graves, who serves as bishop of the Alabama-West Florida Conference. Upon Bishop Bryan’s retirement and during the approximate 16-month interim, Bishop Graves will provide episcopal leadership to both the South Georgia and the Alabama-West Florida Conferences. Winning people to Jesus is Bishop Graves...

Conference completes its pre-1982 pension and benefits obligations

June 08, 2021
During the 2021 Annual Conference session, the Conference approved a motion to no longer collect apportionments for payment of pre-1982 pension and benefits. The obligation for the funding of the pensions and the yearly increase of the past service rate has been met. In these trying and uncertain times, the South Georgia Conference Council on Finance and Administration and Board of Pension and Health Benefits have worked hard to save South Georgia local churches money and ease the burden of ...

Conference remembers, celebrates, and honors during worship services

Conference remembers, celebrates, and honors during worship services

June 08, 2021
Before the Conference got down to business, it worshiped together virtually over the course of several days as it remembered, celebrated, and honored South Georgia United Methodists. Virtual Retiree Recognition On Tuesday evening, June 1, the Conference gathered virtually to honor these 11 pastors retiring this year:   James Robert Beckum Remer Logan “Brad” Brady III Columbus B. Burns III Darrell Carter Eddie J. Conaway, Jr. Bob Mark Moon Gary V. Page Norris Ashley Randall, Jr. Carol Morgan ...

General Conference delegation update: Pray and prepare

June 08, 2021
In a video to the annual conference, Mr. Bill Hatcher and Rev. Jim Cowart, heads of South Georgia’s General Conference delegation, gave a brief update on the status of The United Methodist Church, the postponed 2020 General Conference session, and the Protocol for Separation through Grace and Reconciliation. They welcome thoughts and questions from South Georgia United Methodists (www.sgaumc.org/2020-delegation). Watch Delegation video For full Annual Conference coverage, visit www.sgaumc.org/...

Swimming and sisterhood: Climax UMC exercise group is a lifeline

Swimming and sisterhood: Climax UMC exercise group is a lifeline

May 31, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor To a handful of women in Climax, Ga., “yada yada” means anything but boring, predictable talk. These are the Yada Yadas, a close-knit group of women who have been meeting, praying, and exercising together since 2005. Sure, they talk, but it’s the meaningful kind of talk – the kind described by the Hebrew word yada: to know, to make oneself known. “We have each other’s back,” said group founder Ann Ariail, a member of Climax United Methodist Church. “We’ve helped each...

Annual Conference week has begun

Annual Conference week has begun

May 27, 2021
The 155th session of the South Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church will begin online Tuesday, June 1, with the clergy session and the Retirement Recognition Service, and will run through Monday, June 7, with the virtual business session. Bishop R. Lawson Bryan, leading his fifth and final annual conference session as South Georgia’s episcopal leader, will guide South Georgia United Methodists in times of worship, business, and celebration. Gathering under the theme of “Alive ...

SEJ College of Bishops calls for special session

May 26, 2021
(SEJ) The College of Bishops of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church, in accordance with ¶521 of the 2016 Book of Discipline, calls for a special session of the jurisdictional conference on July 21, 2021. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. EST and will be held virtually. The purpose of the special session is to vote on a proposed resolution to unite the Memphis Annual Conference and the Tennessee Annual Conference into the Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference. Delegates...

St. Marys United Methodist Church Foundation announces spring grant recipients

May 24, 2021
The Board of Directors of the St. Marys United Methodist Church Foundation, Inc. has approved grants for the Spring 2021 Grant Cycle. Grants totaling $628,597 will be made to 14 organizations the week of June 1, 2021. The following is a brief description of each recipient and the purpose of the grant.   Organizations Serving Southeast Georgia:   Adoption-Share, Inc. (www.adoption-share.com): A $40,000 challenge grant to provide program support to deploy Family-Match Application in Georgia. ...

Bishop Graves to provide interim episcopal leadership for South Georgia beginning Sept. 1

Bishop Graves to provide interim episcopal leadership for South Georgia beginning Sept. 1

May 17, 2021
The Council of Bishops, in consultation with the Southeastern Jurisdiction (SEJ) and the respective Annual Conference Committees on Episcopacy, on May 14 announced projected episcopal assignments. Click here to read the published assignments. Upon Bishop Lawson Bryan’s retirement and during the interim – from September 1, 2021, until new bishops can be elected at the next Jurisdictional Conference, projected to be held fall 2022 – Bishop David Graves, current episcopal leader of the ...

Family’s love of music lives on though gift of new bell system to Douglas FUMC

Family’s love of music lives on though gift of new bell system to Douglas FUMC

May 17, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor Throughout downtown Douglas, Ga., the “bells will be ringing the glad, glad news.” On Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 9, Douglas First United Methodist Church’s new carillon bell system was dedicated and commissioned. The church’s first bell system, it was given to the church by Dr. Jane and Rev. Billy Kimbrel and their family in memory of Dr. Kimbrel’s late mother, Gwen Carver, a lifelong member of Douglas First UMC. Generations of Dr. Kimbrel’s family have loved and ...

Mental Health Awareness Month: How communities of faith can help people heal

Mental Health Awareness Month: How communities of faith can help people heal

May 17, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor Divorce. Empty nests. Dementia. Deployment. Miscarriage. Traumatic injury. Addiction. A global pandemic. In her seven years serving as associate pastor at Vineville United Methodist Church in Macon, Rev. Grace Guyton has seen countless people experience ambiguous loss. A loss that occurs without closure or clear understanding, ambiguous loss often leaves a person searching for answers. It complicates and delays the process of grieving and often results in unresolved ...

Churches host COVID vaccine clinics

Churches host COVID vaccine clinics

May 03, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor On a sunny Saturday morning in March, more than 500 people showed up at St. Mary’s Road United Methodist Church in south Columbus. In the short span of three hours, 515 people received the COVID-19 vaccine, an “awesome” feat, said Dr. Pamela Shaw-Grant, St. Mary’s Road UMC’s wellness ministry chair. Scheduled for Saturday so more people could attend, the church’s vaccine clinic offered both drive-thru and walk-up service to allow access to as many people as possible. ...

Don Barnes elected UMM president

Don Barnes elected UMM president

May 02, 2021
By Kara Witherow, Editor Don Barnes is the newly elected president of the South Georgia Conference’s United Methodist Men. An active member of Cordele First United Methodist Church, Barnes has served as South Georgia’s United Methodist Men’s secretary for more than a decade and has been involved in men’s ministry at the local, district, and conference level. Barnes will formally assume the role on June 7, at the end of the 2021 Annual Conference session, but has already begun to work on a ...

Bishop Bryan announces retirement

Bishop Bryan announces retirement

May 01, 2021
In a heartfelt video, Bishop R. Lawson Bryan, episcopal leader of the South Georgia Area of The United Methodist Church, announced his intent to retire, effective Sept. 1, 2021. “It has been a great joy, and I thank you for the willingness you have had for us to be in ministry together. We are greatly blessed by the South Georgia Conference,” he said in the video. “In every way, this Conference is ready, not only for today, but even for tomorrow, because we are being Alive Together in Christ.” ...

Book of Recommendations & Reports for the 2021 Annual Conference Session now available

Book of Recommendations & Reports for the 2021 Annual Conference Session now available

April 29, 2021
Business items for the 2021 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 ...

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...

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