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The next chapter

August 21, 2017

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ!

Carol and I are excited to be back in Georgia and joining our brothers and sisters of South Georgia in the next chapter of our ministry! I want to thank everyone who has extended the warmest of welcomes and hospitality these past few months. Thanks to your prayers and care, our transition from nearly 30 years of extension ministry as an Army chaplain to working among you has been very smooth. In fact, I am writing this from Lake Junaluska where I am attending a conference for all new District Superintendents and Directors of Connectional Ministries across the Connection.

It is my hope in the future to write a column keeping with the tradition of my predecessors Denise Walton and Brad Brady. Like them, my intent will be to offer information and insights into the life of the Connection – which is to say the life of The United Methodist Church generally as well as our Annual Conference. Topics in the future will include reports on the Commission on the Way Forward; the denominational study “Wonder, Love, and Praise” (a study on the theological, doctrinal, and practice of ministry distinctives of the UMC); and conference initiatives designed and offered to your local congregation or small group.

For this week, I look forward to being with many of you at Pathways at Trinity UMC in Warner Robins, Saturday, August 26. This event is becoming the centerpiece for the Conference, offering a diversity of courses and small group opportunities to enrich both personal spiritual walks as well as enhancing the lives of congregations. I ask for your prayers for those presenting, attending, and for our amazing Connectional Ministries staff that are working to ensure success.

Thank you again for your prayers and support as I make this transition and learn to serve with you as we work together to offer the love of Christ to make disciples for the transformation of the world. I am your brother,

Alive, together, in Christ!

Dr. Jerry Maddox (Matt) Woodbery, Jr. serves as Director of Connectional Ministries. Email him at

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