Anticipated release of Way Forward report; revised call for special session
To the clergy and laity of the South Georgia Conference: In the last couple of days two matters have arisen related to the special session of General Conference, set for February ...
What does it mean to be connectional and unified?
OUR CONNECTION MATTERS NITA CRUMP “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just ...
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Dr. Crump’s vision is for Connectional Ministries to be the glue that holds the connection together

July 09, 2018
Identifying the needs of local churches and working to meet those needs is one of Dr. Nita Crump’s passions. As the new Director of Connectional Ministries, Dr. Crump has the opportunity to help resource, connect, and equip churches on a conference-wide scale. The Director of Connectional Ministries (DCM) is the steward of the vision of the annual conference; a leader of the process of transformation and renewal; responsible for alignment of resources, and overseer of the connectional ...

Q & A with Rev. Doreen Smalls, Southwest District Superintendent

July 09, 2018
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. SMALLS: I grew up in small-town Ehrhardt, S.C. with my parents and siblings. Ehrhardt is a close-knit community where everyone knows everyone. I remained in South Carolina through college and for a few years after college. I moved to Columbus, Ga. upon the urging of one my older sisters who ...

Bishop Bryan announces new staff member

June 25, 2018
The South Georgia Conference, under the leadership of Bishop Lawson Bryan, is pleased to announce that Barbara “Bobbi” Googe has been hired as the Administrative Assistant to Bishop Bryan. She will join the conference staff July 6, 2018. Googe currently works in administration at Navicent Medical Center in Macon. She is a lifelong United Methodist, having grown up in Ft. Valley UMC and currently serving as Lay Leader at Martha Bowman UMC in Macon. Googe is also an active member of United ...

Journey of a bucket

June 25, 2018
A story of extraordinary giving made possible by many hands along the way by Christie R. House The 2017 Atlantic Coast hurricane season, from June 1 to November 1, spawned 17 named storms that affected the United States and Caribbean island nations. The worst of these for the United States were: Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall in Texas on August 26 as a category 4 hurricane; Hurricane Irma, a category 5 storm that affected the Florida Keys, Puerto Rico, Barbuda, Saint Barthélemy, Saint ...

Paving the way for female clergy

Paving the way for female clergy

June 25, 2018
By Kara Witherow, Editor When Rev. Marcia Cochran was first ordained in 1975, she had never heard a woman preach. In every appointment she served before retiring, she was that congregation’s first female pastor. At the 2018 Annual Conference session, the only ordinands were two females, both being ordained as deacons. A lot has changed in 43 years, Rev. Cochran said, but she has endured pain, hurt, and rejection along the way. That bumpy path, however, has helped pave the way for future ...

Wesleyan College, Candler partner to help students attend seminary

Wesleyan College, Candler partner to help students attend seminary

June 25, 2018
By Kara Witherow, Editor A new partnership between Wesleyan College and Emory University’s Candler School of Theology will make it easier for students to pursue theological education and earn seminary degrees. The collaboration, which will see its first student begin classes at Candler this August, gives Wesleyan College students guaranteed admission and scholarship opportunities to Candler. To be eligible, students must have a 3.0 grade point average and have majored in ...

Bishop Bryan sets 2018-2019 pastoral appointments

June 11, 2018
On Tuesday, June 5, Bishop R. Lawson Bryan fixed the 2018-2019 pastoral appointments for the South Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church. Click here to download and view a list of appointments by district. 

Bishop Bryan to 2018 Annual Conference session: Stretch!

Bishop Bryan to 2018 Annual Conference session: Stretch!

June 11, 2018
Just outside the doors of the Jekyll Island Convention Center, the Atlantic Ocean stretched as far as the eye could see. Inside, the South Georgia Annual Conference gathered Sunday, June 3 through Tuesday, June 5 for its 152nd annual conference session. “Stretch,” Bishop Bryan said as he preached the conference’s opening worship service sermon and encouraged South Georgia United Methodists to respond to Jesus’ call to follow Him and love and serve others.  “Even John Wesley had to learn to ...

Conference members learn to plan, vision, create “Plan on a Page”

Conference members learn to plan, vision, create “Plan on a Page”

June 11, 2018
During the 2018 Annual Conference session, church consultant and guest teacher Claire Bowen, a human resources specialist and Statesboro native, led clergy and laity to work together in teams to develop a plan for vitality and ministry. The teacher for the 2018 South Georgia Annual Conference Session, during the Tuesday, June 5 morning business session Bowen taught delegates how to put a "Plan on a Page" to bring new life and vision to their congregation.  “Whatever size we are, we need a plan...

Memorial Service 2018: Remembering those who have gone before us

Memorial Service 2018: Remembering those who have gone before us

June 11, 2018
A Memorial Service for those faithful servants who served in the South Georgia Annual Conference was held Monday afternoon, June 4, at 2 p.m. as conference members gathered at the Jekyll Island Convention Center. Rev. Leigh Ann Raynor, retired South Georgia minister, gave a touching message as she remembered those who have gone before us.   Rev. Raynor reminded us of our calls to serve and to thank God for calling us all into ministry.   “Remembering our calls, shouldn’t we be saying thank you,...

Conference approves one resolution, refers another

June 10, 2018
During the 2018 South Georgia Annual Conference session, delegates approved a resolution that called on the South Georgia Conference to “affirm the present standards of our Discipline” and referred a second, the “Christian Spirituality Task Force” resolution, to the Office of Connectional Ministries. During the Tuesday, June 5 business session, a resolution that called on the South Georgia Conference to “affirm the present standards of our Discipline” and also asked that the Secretary of the ...

Celebrating ministry milestones and achievements at Annual Conference

June 08, 2018
Annual Conference is a special time to celebrate ministry milestones and achievements, from those just entering the ministry to those taking the next step of their journey into retirement. On Monday morning the South Georgia Annual Conference celebrated with those clergy who have served in ministry for 50 years and those who are entering into a retired relationship with the Annual Conference. Clergy recognized for having served 50 years in ministry include: Rev. James E. Hamlin Rev. W. Carl ...

Conference adopts arrearage policy to help stop health insurance and pension debt

June 08, 2018
During the 2018 Annual Conference session, South Georgia delegates approved a conference arrearage policy to help stem the tide of clergy benefit debt. An arrearage is something unpaid or overdue. South Georgia congregations that are in arrears to the conference are, for the most part, in debt because they haven’t paid their clergy health insurance premiums or the church’s share of pension costs, said Dr. Derek McAleer, conference treasurer. An arrearage can occur, however, anytime a church or ...

Praying Our Way Forward: Take part in the next phase of prayer for God's guidance

Praying Our Way Forward: Take part in the next phase of prayer for God's guidance

June 08, 2018
The Council of Bishops, in partnership with The Upper Room, is launching Phase 3 of Praying our Way Forward. Phase 1 involved 84 members of the Council of Bishops praying for The United Methodist Church’s way forward for 15 minutes daily, from August to December 2016. This was followed by Phase 2, which resulted in 18 continuous months of daily individual and corporate prayer by faithful members of annual conferences around the globe. South Georgia United Methodists held a week of prayer ...

2019 Conference budget reduced by nearly 6 percent

May 28, 2018
The Council on Finance and Administration (CF&A) is proposing a 2019 budget that is a nearly 6 percent decrease from the 2018 budget of $10,662,813. The proposed 2019 budget, to be presented to and voted upon at the 2018 Annual Conference session, is $10,062,826. Most of the decrease is due to a reduction in the Pre-82 pension apportionment of $650,400. The proposed 2019 budget does include a salary increase for conference staff of 2.5 percent and a raise for Cabinet-level staff, along with ...

Annual Conference session begins Sunday

Annual Conference session begins Sunday

May 28, 2018
The 152nd session of the South Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church will convene June 3 through June 5 at the Jekyll Island Convention Center on Jekyll Island. Bishop R. Lawson Bryan, leading his second annual conference session, will guide South Georgia United Methodists in times of worship, business, and celebration of our lives together in Christ. Gathering under the theme of “Alive Together in Worship,” the annual conference session will celebrate the ways South Georgia churches...

Bishops, The Upper Room launch Phase 3 of Praying our Way Forward

May 28, 2018
Bishop Bryan has a plan for how the South Georgia Annual Conference will implement Phase 3 of Praying our Way Forward. It will be announced in the coming weeks. WASHINGTON, D.C.  -- The Council of Bishops, in partnership with The Upper Room, is launching Phase 3 of Praying our Way Forward. Phase 1 involved 84 members of the Council of Bishops praying for The United Methodist Church’s way forward for 15 minutes daily, from August to December 2016. This was followed by Phase 2, which resulted in ...

CBOP responds to 2017 motion about family health insurance

May 28, 2018
In response to a motion made during the 2017 Annual Conference session which directed the South Georgia Conference Board of Pensions and Health Benefits (CBOP) to “revisit the subject of family health insurance policies specifically focused on finding options that will lower the premium,” the CBOP Insurance Subcommittee met regularly during the past year to study options to creatively lower insurance costs for clergy and their families. After thorough research which included a survey of 39 ...

Conference to consider, vote on two resolutions

May 28, 2018
Two resolutions have been presented for consideration and vote by the 2018 South Georgia Annual Conference. Resolutions, once approved by the Annual Conference, are statements that represent the position of the conference on a subject. The first, the “Christian Spirituality Task Force” resolution, was written and submitted by four South Georgia pastors and one lay member of the annual conference. It calls on the presiding bishop to appoint a task force to study how the conference can more ...

Multimedia at Annual Conferece

May 28, 2018
Social Media Follow the action of the conference  Facebook: www.facebook.com/sgaumc Twitter: www.twitter.com/sgaumc - #sgaumc Instagram Use #sgaumc to join the Twitter conversation and to tag your Instagram photos. Stay connected throughout Annual Conference at www.sgaumc.org/annualconference.  Get the App Navigate the conference website more easily by downloading the free SGAUMC app! Available for iPhones, iPads and Droid mobile devices. Click here for more information and to download. Wrap-up ...

South Georgia delegates to revote on proposed constitutional amendment

May 28, 2018
Delegates to the 2018 South Georgia Annual Conference, meeting June 3-5 on Jekyll Island, will revote on a proposed amendment to the UMC constitution dealing with women’s equality. It was announced May 10 that an error had been made in the text of proposed Constitutional Amendment I as it was presented to annual conferences for voting. The amendment needed 66.7 percent of the votes to pass and only received 66.5. The amendment was among five constitutional amendments approved by the 2016 ...

Bishop Bryan Announces Projected June Appointments (updated 5/27)

May 27, 2018
Bishop R. Lawson Bryan has announced projected appointment changes as of May 27, 2018. The appointments will be set at the South Georgia Annual Conference and will be effective in June. The appointment list and a note about the projected appointments can be found at www.sgaumc.org/projectedappointments. 

Court OKs submission of other petitions for GC2019

May 25, 2018
The United Methodist Church’s top court has ruled that other petitions — in addition to legislation from the Council of Bishops — can be submitted for the 2019 special session of General Conference. Any organization, as well as clergy members and lay members, can file a petition for the 2019 special session of General Conference, which is devoted to working through a longstanding impasse over homosexuality. Those petitions must be “in harmony with the purpose stated in the call” for the special...

Judicial Council to hold oral hearing on bishops’ request

May 14, 2018
Updates with oral hearing granted By Linda Bloom and Vicki Brown   (UMNS) The United Methodist Church Judicial Council will hold an oral hearing to consider a request from the bishops for a declaratory decision of law about what legislation can come before next year’s special session of General Conference.   The Council of Bishops decided during its April 29-May 4 meeting to request the oral hearing.   The court set the one-hour oral hearing for 9 a.m. CDT May 22 at the Hilton Orrington Hotel ...

United Methodists encouraged to celebrate 50th anniversary of the denomination alongside Pentecost

May 14, 2018
May 20 is being called a “once in a lifetime” event for United Methodists, offering an opportunity to commemorate the church’s history alongside the celebration of Pentecost. Numerous event-specific resources are available for congregations, including a video created to honor the church’s legacy since April 23, 1968, when leaders of the Evangelical United Brethren Church and The Methodist Church declared the creation of a new denomination, The United Methodist Church.   “May 20, 2018 is ...

Vineville UMC member teaches students to fix bikes at his Macon bike shop

Vineville UMC member teaches students to fix bikes at his Macon bike shop

May 14, 2018
By Kara Witherow, Editor At 5 p.m. each Tuesday and Wednesday, a crowd of young boys and girls waits eagerly for the door to the Learn and Earn Bike Shop to open. When it does they rush to their work stations, grab their wrenches, and get to work. They’re there to earn bikes by putting in 10 hours of sweat equity into the Learn and Earn bicycle program, a youth training and mentoring program that’s a partnership between after-school program Campus Clubs and Nathan Watson, a member of Vineville...

Constitutional amendment to be revisited

May 10, 2018
The Rev. Gary W. Graves, Secretary of the General Conference, announced today that an error was made in the text of a proposed Constitutional amendment as it was presented for voting, and which subsequently failed to pass. Amendment #1 of the five constitutional amendments that were approved by the 2016 General Conference - and which narrowly failed to be ratified - included a sentence which had been removed by the legislative body. Graves, who became secretary on December 1, 2016, said he was ...

United Methodist Bishops release recommendation to 2019 General Conference

May 04, 2018
A Word from Bishop Bryan I have spent this past week at the Council of Bishops (COB) meeting in Chicago where we heard the final report from the Commission on a Way Forward and have prayerfully finalized our recommendation to the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference. A summary of the recommendation coming out of this meeting is now ready to be released (see press release below). I remind us to receive this summary as helpful information as we study the report, reflect on it, and ...

Two Savannah UM churches join to combat racism

Two Savannah UM churches join to combat racism

April 30, 2018
By Kara Witherow, Editor In Savannah, a group of 30 churchgoers are working to combat racism, and they’re doing it in true United Methodist style – with food, fellowship, and learning. The diverse group – comprised of ConneXion Church members, Trinity United Methodist Church members, and a handful of others from the community – were brought together by ConneXion Church member Ariana Berksteiner and Rev. Stacey Harwell-Dye, Trinity UMC’s Minister of Community Building. The two founded C.U.R.E....

UMC bishops to act on three major issues at Chicago meeting

April 25, 2018
The bishops of The United Methodist Church are meeting in Chicago April 29-May 4 to celebrate leadership through the passing of the gavel, certify constitutional amendments and finalize their recommendations to the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference. The April/May meeting of the Council of Bishops will also hear leadership reports regarding immigration, ecumenical relations, racism, disaster relief and other mission and ministry work around the global denomination. “As leaders of ...

Applications being accepted for S3 clergy groups

April 17, 2018
Deadline is July 1 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/promote excellence in ordained ministry. You and your peer group develop and implement a two-year long small group learning experience focused on three areas: Sabbath, Study, and Service. S3 groups are self-selected and self-directed: you choose the members ...

Connectional Table planning for post-General Conference church

April 17, 2018
By Heather Hahn, UMNS No matter what happens at the special General Conference next year, United Methodists will wake the next day and still have work to do. That was a frequent refrain at the April 4-7 meeting of the Connectional Table, a leadership body of 64 lay and clergy members who act as a sort of denomination-wide church council coordinating ministry. The Connectional Table devoted most of its discussions to how it can help the church fulfill its calling during this time of ...

Irwinville UMC quilters share gifts of love with Methodist Home’s children

Irwinville UMC quilters share gifts of love with Methodist Home’s children

April 17, 2018
By Kara Witherow, Editor Every Monday, a group of five women from Irwinville United Methodist Church gather in the church’s fellowship hall to sew, stitch, and make small talk while joyfully sharing God’s love. They’re there to make quilts for the children at the Methodist Home for Children and Youth, something they’ve been doing for more than 12 years. They’ve handmade hundreds of quilts over the years, lovingly crafting each one. The quilts are more than just warm, colorful blankets. They ...

Judicial Council announces special session

April 17, 2018
By Linda Bloom, UMNS The United Methodist Judicial Council has confirmed it will meet May 22-25 to consider one or more petitions related to the special session of General Conference in February 2019. General Conference 2019 will focus solely on one topic — the church’s position on homosexuality. In an April 16 letter, Lui Tran, Judicial Council secretary, told Bishop Cynthia Harvey that the United Methodist Council of Bishops’ request for a special meeting of the denomination’s top court “...

Bishops seek declaratory decision from Judicial Council on Special Session

April 10, 2018
WASHINGTON – The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church is asking the Judicial Council for a declaratory decision on what petitions can be submitted to the denomination’s Special Session of General Conference called for February 2019. In an electronic vote that affirmed the request made at their February 2018 meeting in Dallas, the bishops voted to seek a ruling from the highest court in the denomination on the meaning, application and effect of Paragraph 14 in relation to Paragraph ...

Cordele First UMC blesses community, church with unexpected candy donation

Cordele First UMC blesses community, church with unexpected candy donation

April 03, 2018
By Kara Witherow, Editor What would you do with 48,000 pieces of candy? Cordele First United Methodist Church asked themselves that question when a semi-truck carrying 48 cases of candy, unable to deliver the order, donated its entire load to the church a few weeks ago. While several cases were given to the church’s food pantry, the timing turned out to be perfect to turn their small church-wide Easter egg hunt into a community outreach event, and church leaders quickly jumped on the idea. “...

Isle of Hope UMC ministry offers hope, support to those with dementia

Isle of Hope UMC ministry offers hope, support to those with dementia

April 03, 2018
By Kara Witherow, Editor Five years ago, Beth and Chuck Maner’s lives changed when Chuck was diagnosed with Lewy body dementia. In the past two years, his health has declined to a point where he needs round-the-clock care and isn’t able to be alone. It’s been a difficult few years, Beth says – isolating and lonely. Because of the disease, Chuck, an outgoing and friendly man, had little to look forward to and nowhere where he felt normal. And unless she hired a caregiver Beth didn’t have time ...

The United Methodist Church celebrates 50th anniversary of historic merger

April 03, 2018
Congregations across the connection are invited to celebrate the 50th anniversary commemorating the event on April 23, 1968, when leaders of the Evangelical United Brethren Church and The Methodist Church declared the creation of a new denomination, The United Methodist Church. With the words “Lord of the Church, we are united in Thee, in Thy Church and now in The United Methodist Church,” the new denomination was birthed at the constituting General Conference being held that year in Dallas. The...

Annual Conference 2018: Announcements & Reminders

March 23, 2018
2018 Annual Conference Session From the Bishop Dear Lay and Clergy Members of the Annual Conference, Conference and Agency Leaders, We launched “Alive Together in Worship” at the conclusion of the 2017 Annual Conference. When we meet again this June we will have much to celebrate for our churches have been diligently pursuing our goal of increasing average worship attendance by 10%. This year’s annual conference session will include stirring music, inspiring updates on our ministries over the ...

Commission members grateful to serve, complete work on final report

March 23, 2018
Members of the Commission on a Way Forward expressed gratitude at the opportunity to be part of the Commission and they signaled hope for The United Methodist Church as they completed their meeting in Los Angeles on Thursday, March 22. The 32-member Commission has been meeting since January 2017 in various places throughout the global denomination to assist the bishops in their charge from the 2016 General Conference to lead the church forward amid the present impasse related to LGBTQ inclusion ...

After-school program fosters servant leadership in teenage boys

After-school program fosters servant leadership in teenage boys

March 19, 2018
By Kara Witherow, Editor   Andre Greene wants to be a lawyer. And a doctor.   The 13-year-old already has plans to finish high school early and start college before his peers.    His big dreams are being nurtured at the Robert Lamar Anderson Academy of Excellence, an after-school program serving at-risk minority students at Columbus’ Baker Middle School.   Begun in October, the RLA Academy provides an art and music-based curriculum that includes leadership training, fine and performing arts ...

Reynolds Chapel UMC member shares God’s love through bicycle ministry

Reynolds Chapel UMC member shares God’s love through bicycle ministry

March 19, 2018
By Kara Witherow, Editor The joy on a father’s face, a simple promise, and a commitment to God set Jim Anderson on a path toward sobriety and launched a bicycle ministry that is now in its ninth year. When cleaning out their garage one afternoon Anderson and his wife, Debbie, found a bike their grandson had outgrown. Not wanting to sell it, they decided to give it to a child who might not otherwise have a bike. Anderson took it to the Seminole County Division of Family and Children Services ...

Commission on a Way Forward to meet March 19-22 to prepare final report

March 14, 2018
The 32-member Commission on a Way Forward will meet in Los Angeles on March 19-22 to prepare a final report to be submitted to the Council of the Bishops for consideration by the bishops at their April/May meeting. “The Commission is focused on suggesting a way forward that pays attention to our public mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, especially with those who are not yet a part of our churches,” said Bishop Ken Carter, resident bishop of the ...

Learning what works: Shadowing Program sends five Europeans to South Georgia to learn principles of growing congregations

Learning what works: Shadowing Program sends five Europeans to South Georgia to learn principles of growing congregations

March 06, 2018
By Kara Witherow, Editor A group of five United Methodists from Estonia and Finland recently visited two South Georgia United Methodist churches to learn the principles of vital congregations. They visited Harvest Church in Byron and The Chapel Ministries in Brunswick and Effingham County. At each, they spent time with church staff and shadowed pastors to gain experience and insight into what makes an effective, growing church. “The idea was that we could learn from their experiences, to see ...

Northeast District partners with Discipleship Ministries to revitalize churches, make disciples

Northeast District partners with Discipleship Ministries to revitalize churches, make disciples

March 06, 2018
By Kara Witherow, Editor The Northeast District of the South Georgia Conference is about to embark on a two-year program to revitalize churches and make disciples. A partnership between the district and Discipleship Ministries, the new initiative was birthed from a question District Superintendent Rev. Chris Ramsey asked in a meeting nearly a year and a half ago. How can general agencies resource local churches and districts? When he heard the question, Bishop Lawson Bryan responded ...

Ken Howle Elected Executive Director of Lake Junaluska

March 04, 2018
The Lake Junaluska Board of Trustees has unanimously elected Ken Howle as the new executive director of Lake Junaluska. He will assume the role immediately. Howle has worked at Lake Junaluska for the last 14 years as director of advancement and as director of sales and marketing. He is a life-long United Methodist. He serves as a member of the church council at Long’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Waynesville, N.C. “We are fortunate to be able to build on Ken’s experience with Lake ...

Commission on a Way Forward clarifies values as it presents two sketches to bishops

March 01, 2018
(Dallas) What is the Christ’s way forward for doing mission and ministry in the worldwide United Methodist Church? That is the question bishops pondered during their February meeting in Dallas this week as they received an updated report from the Commission on a Way Forward. In the report given to the Council this week, the Commission shared with the bishops two sketches that carry forward many of the values and principles of the three sketches that were presented to the bishops at their ...

2018 appointment-making season begins in the South Georgia Conference

February 19, 2018
It’s appointment-making season in The United Methodist Church, and this week Bishop Bryan and the Appointive Cabinet are meeting for several days to pray, worship, and begin the decision-making process of appointments. The 2018-2019 appointment-making schedule is available here. “One of the primary ways you can see how alive we are is through the appointment-making process,” said Bishop Bryan in a video explaining South Georgia’s appointment-making process. “In that process, local churches, ...

Church uses Facebook Live to minister

Church uses Facebook Live to minister

February 19, 2018
By Kara Witherow, Editor Ashburn, Ga. residents Sheila and Cliff Gibbs have been in Jacksonville since early November. Cliff Gibbs was at Mayo Clinic for nearly three and a half months before recently moving to a rehabilitation hospital. Even though they’ve been far from home for nearly four months, they haven’t felt too far away because they’ve been connected to their Ashburn First United Methodist Church congregation each Sunday via Facebook Live. They haven’t missed a Sunday morning worship...

New fund helps retired pastors in time of need

February 19, 2018
By Kara Witherow, Editor Unexpected help from a new fund that helps retired pastors in their time of need has made Rev. Guy Mathis’ life a little easier these days. Suffering from coronary artery disease, Rev. Mathis has had open-heart surgery and retired from full-time pastoral duties in 2015. Serving Desoto United Methodist Church part time in retirement, upon his wife’s sudden death in October 2016 he became the primary caregiver for their three adopted grandchildren. So when he was told ...

Pastors, churches respond to Florida massacre

February 19, 2018
By Sam Hodges Feb. 15, 2018 | UMNS The Rev. Vance Rains had expected that his church’s Ash Wednesday evening service would be just like the noon service. But in-between, a mass shooting occurred at nearby Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida. So evening worship at First United Methodist Church of Coral Springs, became a time for grieving, consoling and praying, with Rains improvising a new message. “I talked about Jesus calming the storm and basically said that Jesus ...

Bishop announces appointment of Rev. David Thompson as Coastal District Superintendent

Bishop announces appointment of Rev. David Thompson as Coastal District Superintendent

February 11, 2018
Bishop Lawson Bryan announces the projected appointment of one new District Superintendent to the Cabinet, effective June 2018. Rev. David W. Thompson, currently serving as the senior pastor of Cordele First United Methodist Church, will be appointed to serve as superintendent of the Coastal District. He succeeds Dr. Wayne Moseley, who will retire at the 2018 Annual Conference session. “David is an effective, fruitful pastor who uses his mission-field experience in Latin America to strengthen ...

Conference apportionment giving tops 90 percent for third straight year

February 05, 2018
For the third year year in a row, apportionment giving in the South Georgia Conference was above 90 percent. The total collected for 2017 was $12,104,503.09. Of this, $9,446,709.22 was collected on a $10,474,609 budget. The remainder collected was district apportionments and advance special giving.  Total giving was up $583,935.15 from 2016.  “This generosity is a real testimony to the heart of our congregations,” said Dr. Derek McAleer, Conference Treasurer. “There is so much that is fine and...

Wesley Monumental UMC celebrates 150th anniversary

Wesley Monumental UMC celebrates 150th anniversary

February 05, 2018
By Kara Witherow, Editor In the “Hostess City of the South,” Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church has carved out a niche by being a warm, welcoming, historic, traditional church in the heart of downtown Savannah.  The church, a Neo-Gothic beauty with historic stained glass windows, was dedicated in 1890. Situated on Abercorn Street across from Calhoun Square, it has been a fixture in the city’s Historic District since 1868. On Sunday, Jan. 19 Wesley Monumental UMC celebrated its 150th ...

Youth orchestra bolsters confidence, learning

Youth orchestra bolsters confidence, learning

February 05, 2018
By Kara Witherow, Editor For 10 years Kim Jenkins had prayed that Open Door Community House would begin a music program. In the fall of 2016, that decade-long prayer was answered, but not exactly how Jenkins expected. Jenkins had long prayed for, and expected, that Open Door would have a gospel music program for the children who attend Mathews Promise Academy, the ministry’s after school and all day summer program. After all, the children love music and movement, so it seemed a likely fit.  ...

Beauty from the storm

Beauty from the storm

January 22, 2018
When storms ripped through the Southwest and South Central Districts last January, all members of Albany’s El Faro congregation were impacted by the storms in some way, with several families losing everything, including their homes and vehicles. But in the year since the tornadoes brought such devastation to the community, there is hope. The church, a Hispanic United Methodist congregation, is growing and vital, says Rev. David Diaz, who serves both El Faro and the Bainbridge Hispanic Mission. ...

Building Capacity: Where we are now

Building Capacity: Where we are now

January 22, 2018
By Allison Lindsey, Associate Director of Connectional Ministries Building capacity - described as the process of developing and strengthening the skills, instincts, abilities, processes, and resources needed to survive, adapt, and thrive - has been a key phrase among conference leaders this past year when it comes to disaster response.  Admittedly, disaster response becomes very challenging in that as you move out of a disaster event, the awareness and interest fades over time and the sense ...

Commission on a Way Forward prepares updated report to bishops

January 22, 2018
DALLAS - The Commission on a Way Forward is nearing the completion of its task of making recommendations of possible ways forward for The United Methodist Church regarding the inclusion of LGBTQ persons in this global denomination. The 32-member Commission concluded its three-day meeting in Dallas, Texas, on Saturday after reworking sketches of possible models of the future of the denomination that will be part of the final report to the Council of Bishops in May. Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball, ...

Disaster Response: A year in review

Disaster Response: A year in review

January 22, 2018
2017 was an unprecedented year for disasters. More than 25 million Americans - nearly 8 percent of the U.S. population - were affected by what FEMA has called a historic year. South Georgia wasn’t spared, with deadly tornadoes and straight-line winds hitting the Southwest and South Central Districts; Hurricane Irma striking the coast and continuing through the state; and many residents still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew from the previous year. The Conference also supported ...

Morales serves as UMCOR consultant; helps Puerto Ricans recover

Morales serves as UMCOR consultant; helps Puerto Ricans recover

January 22, 2018
Luis Morales, Disaster Coordinator for the South Georgia Conference, has traveled to his native Puerto Rico four times since Hurricane Maria devastated the island last September.  Serving as a consultant for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) since October, Morales has helped the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico devise a relief strategy and recovery plan. To date, more than 11,000 bags of food and 48,960 bottles water have been distributed, helping more than 27,000 people. Five ...

Relief supplies, cleaning kits help after floods, hurricanes

Relief supplies, cleaning kits help after floods, hurricanes

January 22, 2018
Revs. Alaina and Greg Harrison weren’t sure what to think when they arrived at Wesley United Methodist Church in Macon and saw hundreds of plastic five-gallon buckets stacked on the church’s fellowship hall stage. Eager to start their new appointment, they quickly learned the church was a drop-off location for UMCOR cleaning kits. Assembled kits had begun being dropped off pretty regularly after last January’s winter storms in the Southwest and South Central districts, and they decided to more ...

Clergy Compensation List now available online

January 16, 2018
The 2018 Clergy Compensation List is now available online to view: www.sgaumc.org/clergycompensationlist.

A New Year’s letter from Council President Bishop Bruce Ough

January 08, 2018
2018 New Year’s Greetings To the People Called United Methodists: Grace and peace to you as we embrace the New Year. The joy of Christmas and the gift of Emmanuel – God with us – gives us the confidence to face the future with hope.  This hope is born of our faith in the Living God.  Thus, as we enter the New Year we affirm that God who started a good thing in us will see it to fruition. As United Methodists, we are at a precipitous moment, uncertain about our denomination’s future.  Yet, we...

Clergy Day Apart will focus on fresh approaches to preaching

January 08, 2018
A Clergy Day Apart is set for February 12 at Harvest Church in Byron from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Registration and gathering time will begin at 9:30 a.m. This Day Apart, intended for all clergy in the South Georgia Conference, will offer mental, spiritual, emotional, and vocational renewal through the inspiring leadership of the Rev. Jerry Herships. In the midst of therapeutic laughter clergy will find fresh approaches to preaching so that we can be Alive Together in Worship.  Rev. Jerry ...

Conference’s new partnership with seminary makes theological education accessible

Conference’s new partnership with seminary makes theological education accessible

January 08, 2018
By Kara Witherow, Editor By day, Lance Bazemore fights pests and banishes bugs as an exterminator.  In the evenings the husband and father of two is a student and scholar, taking seminary classes to earn a Master's of Divinity degree. The South Georgia Conference’s new partnership with Asbury Theological Seminary makes it possible for Bazemore to do both: have a full-time job to support his family and pursue theological education as part of God’s call on his life. Launched this past ...

Porterfield Memorial UMC launches year-long prayer initiative to combat crime

Porterfield Memorial UMC launches year-long prayer initiative to combat crime

January 08, 2018
By Kara Witherow, Editor With a sharp uptick in violence and crime in Albany in the past year, one local United Methodist Church is praying for change and sending a message of hope and unity to the community.  There were more than 20 murders in Albany last year, more than double what the southwest Georgia city averaged in previous years. The city and its citizens have experienced a spike in crime, much of it drug related, said Rev. Robert Greene, senior pastor of Albany’s Porterfield Memorial ...

South Georgia’s Week of Prayer begins Jan. 14

South Georgia’s Week of Prayer begins Jan. 14

January 08, 2018
This coming Sunday marks the beginning of South Georgia’s Week of Prayer for The United Methodist Church’s “Praying Our Way Forward” initiative. During the Week Of Prayer, which runs Jan. 14 through Jan. 21, South Georgia United Methodists are being asked to commit to worshipping and praying daily using a guide written by the Conference’s deacons. A breath prayer is provided to help guide each day’s worship.  The “South Georgia Prays” daily prayer guide may be found online here. Prayers will ...

2018 Annual Conference session schedule released

December 18, 2017
Plans are coming together for the 2018 South Georgia Annual Conference session, set for June 3 through June 5 at the Jekyll Island Convention Center on Jekyll Island. Gathering under the theme of “Alive Together in Worship,” the annual conference session will celebrate the ways South Georgia churches have made efforts and gains over the past year in worship vitality. Towards the end of the conference session, Bishop Bryan will introduce next year’s emphasis.  The annual conference will also be...

Conference leaders meet to discuss future of church, work of Commission

December 18, 2017
Watch Bishop Bryan and Rev. Jorge Acevedo discuss what it means to be a missional church in a time of uncertainty in our denomination. Various clergy groups and lay leaders met with Bishop Lawson Bryan and Rev. Jorge Acevedo December 5 and Dec. 6 at Epworth By The Sea on St. Simons Island to talk about the work of the Commission on a Way Forward and what the journey ahead looks like for The United Methodist Church.  Rev. Acevedo, pastor of Grace Church in the Florida Conference and a member of...

Hilton UMC’s monthly lunches feed community, renew congregation’s purpose

Hilton UMC’s monthly lunches feed community, renew congregation’s purpose

December 18, 2017
By Kara Witherow, Editor Hilton United Methodist Church, just three miles from the Alabama border, is a rural country church deep in Early County. A small congregation organized in the 1860s, the church regularly has eight people worshiping on Sunday mornings. Earlier this year, the congregation discussed ways to reach out into the community and serve their neighbors. They decided to do what United Methodists do so well - host a covered dish meal and feed others. What started as a small ...

South Georgians give generously to The Methodist Home to help ensure children have a merry Christmas

South Georgians give generously to The Methodist Home to help ensure children have a merry Christmas

December 18, 2017
By Kara Witherow, Editor Jeanie Hoffman is an avid crocheter and has kept busy in her 12 years of retirement by making prayer shawls, hats, and blankets.  When a local thrift store generously donated her a large supply of yarn, Hoffman considered what to create. She knew of The Methodist Home for Children and Youth and the ministry it provides to children and families across South Georgia, and decided to make hats for the 140 children served by The Home. “Something told me The Children’s ...

United Methodists around the world celebrate Christmas

December 18, 2017
Click here to watch how United Methodists around the world celebrate Christmas  We are grateful to the following churches and photographers for contributing their photos to our Christmas Around the World Slideshow: UMC Africa Churches: Emmanuel United Methodist Church Port-Bouët (Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire), United Methodist Cathedral Magami (Jalingo, Nigeria), First United Methodist Church of Monrovia (Liberia) Photographers: Isaac Broune (Côte d’Ivoire), Ande Emmanuel (Nigeria), Julu Swen ...

Cordele church’s crops help grow congregation

Cordele church’s crops help grow congregation

December 04, 2017
By Kara Witherow Midway United Methodist Church is in the heart of Cordele, the self-proclaimed Watermelon Capital of the World. With deep agricultural roots, it makes sense that the church’s congregation, pastored by a former farmer, would begin a food and gleaning ministry in the acre-and-a-half field that sits next to the church. What they didn’t necessarily expect, however, was how the small church would blossom right alongside the crops. What started as a pumpkin patch several years ago...

Delegate counts for 2020 General Conference announced

December 04, 2017
The Secretary of the General Conference announced today the number of delegates assigned to each annual conference for the 2020 General Conference has been calculated, and certificates of election are on the way to bishops and annual conference secretaries. The computation involves applying a statistical formula contained in The Book of Discipline 2016, which is based on the number of clergy and professing lay members of each annual conference. Since the Book of Discipline caps the maximum ...

New Conference Center less than $500,000 from being fully funded

December 04, 2017
After being revised and “right-sized,” South Georgia’s new Conference Center is $492,000 from being fully funded. That’s a $700,000 savings from the original construction estimate. “Anytime you can save $700,000 and still fulfill a vision, it’s a good thing!” said Bishop Lawson Bryan. The cost savings are a result of a collaborative partnership with Wesleyan College, which recently built Pierce Chapel and the Corn Center, and their willingness to allow the Conference use of those conference ...

South Georgia UM students receive more than $26,000 in scholarships from GBHEM

December 04, 2017
Eighteen South Georgia United Methodist students have received scholarships totalling $26,550 from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM).  The students received the funds through the Rev. Dr. Karen Layman Gift of Hope Scholarship, the United Methodist General Scholarship, the Ethnic Scholarship, the E. Craig Brandenburg Scholarship, the Miriam Hoffman Scholarship, the HANA Scholarship, and the UM Allocation. Each scholarship recipient was awarded amounts ranging from $500 ...

United Methodists called to pray; South Georgia’s week of prayer Jan. 14-21, 2018

December 04, 2017
Conference deacons write prayer and worship guide As The United Methodist Church grapples with issues related to human sexuality and the future of the denomination, United Methodists are being called to pray intentionally and fervently.  The denomination-wide “Praying Our Way Forward” initiative launched New Year’s Day 2017 with 75 weeks of focused prayer for The United Methodist Church. Each annual conference will take one week to pray for the mission of The United Methodist Church to make ...

Banks follows in mother's footsteps as United Methodist Women president

Banks follows in mother's footsteps as United Methodist Women president

November 20, 2017
Carol Banks has followed in her mother’s footsteps in more ways than one. The newly elected United Methodist Women president is carrying on the legacy of service her mother instilled in her from a young age as Banks saw her mother, former United Methodist Women president Eugenia Yawn, attend Woman’s Society of Christian Service (WSCS) meetings and actively serve in missions and ministry. A strong influence in her daughter’s life and faith, Yawn served as the South Georgia United Methodist ...

Bishop Bryan names who will serve on two task forces

November 20, 2017
Bishop R. Lawson Bryan today announced the names of South Georgia clergy and laity who will serve on two task forces approved during the 2017 Annual Conference session: a task force on Coordinated Action on Behalf of Undocumented Neighbors and a task force on multiculturalism. The first, a task force on Coordinated Action on Behalf of Undocumented Neighbors, will look at developing a strategy to educate clergy and laity about the history of immigration and human and civil rights concerning ...

Bishops receive interim Way Forward report, elect new officers

November 20, 2017
The Council of Bishops (COB) met at Lake Junaluska in North Carolina last week to receive an interim report from the Commission on a Way Forward, elect new officers, and prepare for the 2019 Special Session of General Conference, among other things. From the president’s address to giving feedback on the interim report of the Commission, the bishops stressed the importance of the mission of God, the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the love of Jesus Christ in The United Methodist Church. Here ...

Churches focus on safety; South Georgia hosts Church Security Workshop

November 20, 2017
Like many South Georgia congregations, Bonaire United Methodist Church is fortunate to count among its members several law enforcement officers and federal agents. Vigilant and sensitive to their surroundings even during worship services, they keep an eye out for dangers most don’t notice. Still mindful of the need to gird up the Bonaire UMC campus and keep the congregation safe, senior pastor Dr. Scott Hagan attended a church security workshop last April and learned valuable tips that he and ...

South Georgia congregations, individuals give more than $500,000 to storm recovery

November 20, 2017
South Georgia has seen its share of natural disasters during the past two years: devastating tornadoes and straight-line winds and Hurricanes Matthew and Irma. But even amid their own losses and damage, faithful and generous South Georgia United Methodists have dug deep, giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to others in need. In 2017 alone, more than $500,000 has been given by South Georgia United Methodist congregations and individuals to the conference’s Hurricane Harvey Relief fund and ...

South Georgia's week for Praying Our Way Forward movement is January 14-21

November 20, 2017
South Georgia Conference Week of Prayer: January 14-21, 2018 umcprays.org The denomination-wide 'Praying Our Way Forward' initiative launched on New Year’s Day 2017 with 75 weeks of focused prayer for The United Methodist Church. Each annual conference will take one week to have intentional prayer for the mission of The United Methodist Church to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world and for the work of the Commission on a Way Forward. The effort began in the North...

St. Marys United Methodist Church Foundation announces fall grants

November 20, 2017
The Board of Directors of the St. Marys United Methodist Church Foundation, Inc. has approved grants for the Fall 2017 Grant Cycle. Grants totaling $794,018 will be made to 14 organizations the week of December 4, 2017. The following is a brief description of each recipient and the purpose of the grant. Organizations serving Southeast Georgia: Skylark (formerly Care Net Pregnancy Center of Coastal Georgia) (www.helloskylark.com)  A $31,768 grant to Skylark to provide funding to upgrade medical...

Academy for Spiritual Formation coming to Epworth

November 06, 2017
Prayer, worship, learning, and reflection are the hallmarks of the five-day Academy for Spiritual Formation, a retreat experience for clergy and laity that is scheduled April 29 through May 4, 2018, at Epworth By The Sea on St. Simons Island. A time for intentional spiritual growth in a disciplined community of prayer, study, worship, and fellowship, the Academy for Spiritual Growth, a program of Upper Room Ministries, provides an opportunity for clergy and laity to deepen their relationship ...

Andrew College receives gift of bicycles for student transportation from Brunswick First UMC

November 06, 2017
Shown with some of the refurbished bicycles are students Madison Whitehead, Franklin, GA; Frederik Ackander, Västerås, Sweden; and Destiny Reed, Dawson, GA Thanks to a generous donation, students at Andrew College in Cuthbert are now enjoying riding bicycles as they move from campus to downtown classes or shopping. The refurbished bicycles were donated to the college by the Bicycle Ministry program of the First United Methodist Church of Brunswick. More than a dozen bicycles were delivered to ...

Columbus pastor, wife launch marriage and family podcast

Columbus pastor, wife launch marriage and family podcast

November 06, 2017
Marriage, family, faith, fun. Those who know Shannon and Rev. Jimmy McIlrath know they’re passionate about those four topics. And now they’re the basis of a lively and engaging weekly podcast – Figuring Our Four – where the McIlraths share four ideas about a specific topic. During a recent episode, Balance, they shared ways to find balance with time, money, faith, and fun. “Make fun a priority,” Shannon McIlrath said, whether it’s a day at the lake or a weekend getaway. “Put it on the ...

Jack Ewing to retire as Executive Director of Lake Junaluska

November 06, 2017
Lake Junaluska Executive Director Jack Ewing announced today that he will retire on December 31, 2017. Over the past seven years Ewing has led Lake Junaluska following four guiding principles: clarity of mission, focus on place, support of staff and development of a sustainable business model.   “Jack brought a vision to Lake Junaluska, and over the last seven years he has helped us live into that vision,” said Mike Warren, chairman of the Lake Junaluska Board of Trustees. “Lake Junaluska has ...

United Methodist Women gather for 45th annual meeting

November 06, 2017
Past United Methodist Women gathered at the annual meeting. Pictured, left to right, are Mary Exley, Sara Bankhead, Margaret Creech, Eugenia Yawn, Gloria Morgan, and Charlene Black. After plans for a 2016 annual meeting were thwarted by Hurricane Matthew, the South Georgia United Methodist Women gathered Saturday, Oct. 21 for their 45th annual meeting. “What a wonderful day God has made for us to gather,” South Georgia United Methodist Women president Mary Exley said to the women and handful ...

Commission on a Way Forward working on interim report to bishops

November 01, 2017
The Commission on a Way Forward, which is working to find unity for The United Methodist Church regarding human sexuality, began its sixth meeting on October 30, 2017, with a devotion that challenged the members to be as one in the body of Christ and to see each person as a reflection of God. The Rev. Dr. Tom Salsgiver, of the Susquehanna Annual Conference in the U.S., sharing on Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12, told his fellow Commission members: “I must be the reflection of the one who created ...

2017 Conference Journal ready for orders and download

2017 Conference Journal ready for orders and download

October 16, 2017
Journal includes conference business, directories, reports, appointments, and statistical tables The 2017 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 $20 each plus tax and shipping. Click here to order your copy of the 2017 Journal of the South Georgia Annual Conference.*  The ...

Annual Conference shortened by one day; hotel room blocks now open

October 16, 2017
At a recent meeting, the Annual Conference Program Committee decided to shorten the length of the 2018 Annual Conference session by one day. It is now set for June 3-5, 2018, at the Jekyll Island Convention Center on Jekyll Island. “After last year, some delegates expressed concern over the cost of hotel rooms and meals on the island,” said Dr. Jay Harris, Conference secretary. “We listened and have therefore modified our schedule so that delegates may choose to head home on Tuesday if they ...

Asbury Memorial UMC weaves scripture, sermon, Broadway songs into services

Asbury Memorial UMC weaves scripture, sermon, Broadway songs into services

October 16, 2017
By Kara Witherow, Editor Colorful carousel horses, balloons, and men in masks are more often associated with Broadway stages instead of church chancels, but on Sunday, Oct. 8 worshipers at Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church were treated to a vibrant and powerful musical display during a special worship service. It’s become an October tradition for the Savannah church to incorporate well-known Broadway numbers into its services. Liturgy, scripture, and a sermon are woven among harmonies ...

Church, school partnership helps give students hope, skills, confidence

October 16, 2017
By Kara Witherow, Editor It’s sometimes challenging for young adults with disabilities to find meaningful work and live independently after graduating high school, but a unique partnership between a Richmond Hill church and school is helping give students the life skills and confidence they need to tackle adult life. For the past two years, Richmond Hill United Methodist Church has partnered with Richmond Hill High School’s special education class to help students increase their capabilities ...

Morales to be UMCOR liaison in Puerto Rico

October 13, 2017
  Luis Morales, South Georgia Conference Disaster Coordinator Luis Morales, Disaster Coordinator for the South Georgia Conference, is traveling to Puerto Rico today, Friday, Oct. 13, as a consultant for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). He is representing UMCOR and meeting with Bishop Hector Ortiz, bishop of the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico, to assess how The United Methodist Church and UMCOR can best support and help Puerto Ricans in the wake of Hurricane Maria. “This is ...

Building Community; UMW to meet Oct. 21

Building Community; UMW to meet Oct. 21

October 02, 2017
United Methodist Women Annual Meeting 2017 Written and submitted by United Methodist Women United Methodist Women in South Georgia has been “Building Community” all year long. It’s is nothing new for this organization because it is what and who we are – a community. The conference Annual Meeting being held at Statesboro First United Methodist Church Oct. 21 will highlight this theme and will accent the job our Bishop give us at Annual Conference, “being alive in Christ.” “Statesboro First is...

SACSCOC approves Reinhardt University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing

October 02, 2017
Reinhardt University is proud to announce that the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges has approved the University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing. “It is gratifying to see several years of work come to full fruition with approval from SACSCOC,” said Provost Mark Roberts. “Regional accreditation is a mark of quality, and Reinhardt is pleased to add the BSN to its academic offerings.” Reinhardt University announced its new program in early 2017 and received a ...

UMCom internship helps South Georgia student learn, grow, share

October 02, 2017
Taylor Bush is pictured with her UMCom co-workers in their Nashville, Tenn. office. Pictured in the front row, left to right, are: Kathy Noble, editor of Interpreter Magazine; Fran Coode Walsh, Director, Member Communication; Taylor Bush; Chris Fenoglio, Manager, Web Content. Pictured in the back row left to right, are: Joe Iovino, Manager, Member Content Development, and Tony Cook, Freelance Video Editor. Photo courtesy of Fran Walsh, UMCom By Kara Witherow, Editor This summer, more than 400...

We pray for victims of the Las Vegas shooting

We pray for victims of the Las Vegas shooting

October 02, 2017
Our hearts go out to the victims of last night’s shooting at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas. Early reports indicate that at least 50 people have died and hundreds more are injured. The police are at work to learn all they can about the shooter and his background. Right now there is so much we want to know, yet we want real information and not misinformation. What we do know for certain is that we must pray: for the hundreds of wounded victims, that their injuries would heal and that they will ...

Bishop Bryan reflects on one year in South Georgia, looks ahead to future

September 18, 2017
Stay Calm, Stay Connected, and Stay the Course ADVOCATE: It’s hard to believe more than a year has passed since you were appointed and installed to the South Georgia Conference! How has being a bishop differed from being a local church pastor? BISHOP BRYAN: Some of the differences would include expanding my parish area from a local community to an annual conference covering 61 percent of the state of Georgia. Another difference would be the shift in focus from one local church to working with ...

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