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South Georgia prepares for 2023 Annual Conference session
South Georgia United Methodists will gather June 4-6, 2023, at the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center in Tifton, Ga. to worship, fellowship, celebrate mission and ministry, and discuss the future of the South Georgia Conference. Meeting under the theme, “When They Prayed,” attendees at the 2023 Annual Conference session will worship together, pray together, and see friends new and old. This year’s Annual Conference session will be marked by daily worship services and prayer moments woven ...
When They Prayed
FROM THE BISHOP DAVID GRAVES   I chose the theme of our 2023 Annual Conference session, “When They Prayed,” based on Acts 4:31: “And when they had prayed, the place in which they gathered together was shaken, and they were filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness.”   While it seems so obvious that prayer is the center of our work, sometimes we need to make intentional efforts. It is so easy to get sidetracked by the business and agenda items of our ...
$1.5 Million Gift Establishes Andrew College Nursing Chair
Andrew College has announced the establishment of the Aderhold Chair of Nursing thanks to an endowed gift of $1.5 million from Andrew Alumni Tom and Kay Aderhold in support of the College’s nursing program. Dr. Linda R. Buchanan, President of Andrew, describes the gift as one of the largest individual gifts in the history of the College and a ringing endorsement of the importance of Andrew’s efforts to graduate superior registered nurses to serve Southwest Georgia.    “We are so grateful to Tom ...
2023 prayer emphasis: June prayer guide, prayers for Annual Conference
June Prayer Guide The South Georgia Conference is centering itself around prayer in 2023. June’s prayer guide, written by Elisa Reece, Alexandria Dickey-Tipton, Jack Caldwell, and Jesse Thompson, is now available at  Next Book Study - August 21 Book studies centered on prayer and hosted by Connectional Ministries, will expand our minds, challenge our hearts and encourage our prayer walks. Click here for a synopsis and links to register for these fruit-filled ...
UMCOR Sager Brown Depot to welcome volunteers again
UMCOR Sager Brown Depot, which has hosted thousands of volunteers who support the United Methodist Committee on Relief by working on relief supply kits, reopened to volunteer teams in March 2023. Part of the United Methodist Relief Supply Network, UMCOR Sager Brown Depot was closed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to protect the safety of volunteers, staff, and supplies. In past years, more than 2,000 volunteers annually have prepared approximately $4 million on average in relief supplies ...
Bishop Graves delivers hope for a new season, oversees special session to vote on disaffiliations
The South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church ratified 193 local church disaffiliations at its special called session held online Sunday, May 21, 2023.    Bishop David Graves, episcopal leader of the South Georgia Conference, opened the 158th session of the South Georgia Annual Conference with a message of hope to the 274 congregations remaining with the conference.    Recognizing that disaffiliation conversations have consumed so much time and focus for our United Methodist ...
Ministry strategy team announced, conference leadership focuses on future
The South Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church is writing a new chapter in its story as it looks ahead to mission and ministry in this next season.  Bishop David Graves, episcopal leader of the South Georgia Conference, has expressed his great hope for the future of the South Georgia Conference. While it may be smaller in number, he says, he knows that numbers do not tell a full story nor define a church’s ability to bear witness to the Good News of Jesus Christ.  “It is time to ...
The General Church Membership Roll: staying connected to the present and future ministry of The UMC
Disaffiliations from The United Methodist Church in the past year have left some faithful United Methodists who want to stay part of the denomination without a church home. In response, South Georgia Conference leadership has worked to make sure there is a place to call “home” - at least temporarily.    If the church where someone currently holds their membership is disaffiliating from The United Methodist Church and they have not yet found a new church, the Conference has created a mechanism to...
7-part video resource for local churches: discerning your mission and values
Is your local church starting something new and needing to solidify the foundation of your ministry or congregation before you get started?     Has your local church experienced mission drift and find you are in need of a way to get your leadership team refocused and back on mission?     If your local church finds itself in either of these places, the Office of Connectional Ministries has developed a 7-part video series to guide you through the process of determining your mission statement and ...
Annual Conference Special Offering to benefit church planting and revitalization
In January 2023, Bishop David Graves, episcopal leader of the South Georgia Annual Conference, announced a new priority for the conference: church planting and revitalization.  “God has opened up new windows of opportunity to plant and revitalize churches,” said Bishop Graves. “With a renewed sense of commitment, I believe God is calling the South Georgia Conference to new and abundant life.”   During the 2023 Annual Conference session, South Georgia United Methodists will have the opportunity ...
Bishop Swanson named Bishop-In-Residence at United Theological Seminary
Bishop James Swanson, most recently bishop of the Mississippi Conference of The United Methodist Church (UMC), has been named Bishop-in-Residence at United Theological Seminary. Following his retirement from nearly 20 years as a bishop in the United Methodist denomination, Bishop Swanson is now using his spiritual gifts to encourage students as they prepare for ministry.   “Bishop Swanson’s highly effective pastoral leadership in local congregations and episcopal leadership in two different ...
Book of Recommendations & Reports for the 2023 Annual Conference Session now available
Business items for the 2023 Annual Conference session are contained within the Book of Recommendations and Reports (BOR). Inside the BOR delegates will find helpful annual conference information, detailed reports from conference ministries, pension and benefits recommendations, conference budgets, and much more. One of the purposes of the BOR is to allow delegates to read the recommendations, reports and resolutions before the annual conference session. As it's always been, the BOR will be a ...
Immersion Certified Lay Ministry Class set for June 19-23
The Office of Connectional Ministries is excited to announce a summer week-long immersion class June 19-23, 2023, at St. Simons United Methodist Church. This course is designed to dig into the basics of ministry, including worship, discipleship, preaching, leadership, pastoral care, and so much more. This is a great time for leaders who don’t have extended time during the year to join together for a quick and thorough walk through of the materials. To learn more or register for this event, visit...
District Prayer Days: Let's Join Together in Prayer!
This year for Annual Conference our theme is, "When They Prayed." During the six weeks leading up to Annual Conference each district has been assigned one week to pray for our Annual Conference. Laity and clergy from each district are gathering over Zoom and spending time praying through scripture, liturgy, response, and silent individual prayer. There are still three opportunities to join us. Simply choose one of the dates below and fill out the registration form. If you would like to ...
Evangelism isn’t a lost cause! New Reset Cohorts begin this Fall
Evangelism isn’t a word you hear much anymore, unless it’s around the time you’re nominating people for committees within the church. Occasionally it may be talked about in terms of someone’s spiritual gifts as if only evangelists can do evangelism. In many ways, evangelism has become a “lost cause” in our programming and efforts today. It seems outdated in a world that shuts garage doors and doesn’t invite “visitation teams” inside for coffee and cookies.  It can even seem intimidating in a ...
July 9 is deadline for S3 clergy groups applications
Serving in full-time ministry is consuming. It's hard to relax and "turn off" at the end of the day. Being a pastor is an always-on, always-in-demand role with sometimes unrealistically high expectations.  The South Georgia Conference realizes the need to care for those in ministry, and has implemented S3, a program for sustaining excellence in ministry through small-group experiences focused on Sabbath, study, and service. Brought to South Georgia nearly 20 years ago, the S3 program was ...
S3 groups help clergy renew, recharge, refresh; applications now available
Serving in full-time ministry is consuming. It's hard to relax and "turn off" at the end of the day. Being a pastor is an always-on, always-in-demand role with sometimes unrealistically high expectations.  The South Georgia Conference realizes the need to care for those in ministry, and has implemented S3, a program for sustaining excellence in ministry through small-group experiences focused on Sabbath, study, and service. Brought to South Georgia nearly 20 years ago, the S3 program was ...
Special called session set for May 21 to vote on disaffiliating churches
At a special called session on Sunday, May 21, 2023, South Georgia United Methodist clergy and laity will meet online to complete the process of ratifying the current requests for disaffiliation of local churches who have met the requirements outlined in ¶2553 of the Book of Discipline and who have met the published South Georgia Conference deadlines. The session will take place at 4 pm via Zoom. A live stream link will be available on the conference website,, for guests who would...
2023 prayer emphasis: May prayer guide, district prayer days, book studies
May Prayer Guide The South Georgia Conference is centering itself around prayer in 2023. May’s prayer guide, written by Reese McCurry, Alison Evans, Angela Gilbert, and Gail Springstead, is now available at    District Prayer Days This year for Annual Conference our theme is, "When They Prayed." During the six weeks leading up to Annual Conference each district has been assigned one week to pray for our Annual Conference. Laity and clergy from each district are ...
Connecting Points - May 2023
Hispanic Ministry Task Force meets with Dr. Lydia Muñoz On April 10, 2023, the South Georgia Conference Hispanic/Latino Ministries Task Force met with Dr. Lydia Muñoz, the director of the National Hispanic Plan, for an informational, evaluation, and advisory meeting. Dr. Lydia Muñoz is in charge of helping advise and provide resources to clergy and congregations of Hispanic origin in The United Methodist Church. This office is an administrative part of the Global Ministries agency.    This ...
Jesup First UMC and Epworth UMC merge to make Kingdom impact
By Jamie Denty* (Contributions for this article provided by Conference Communications)   When Jesup First United Methodist Church and Epworth United Methodist Church began praying about their future as one congregation, they knew it was more than just sharing a building or a name. For these two church families and one pastoral family, it was about bringing people together to make an even bigger impact for the Kingdom of God in their community.   On Easter Sunday, April 9, 2023, the members of ...
Wesleyan College inducts 26th president, Meaghan Blight
Wesleyan College President Meaghan Blight was formally inducted as the 26th President of Wesleyan College in Macon, Ga. on Wednesday, April 19, during the annual Honors and Awards Day Ceremony.    President Blight was presented with the presidential medallion and formally endowed with the responsibilities of the office. Blight shared her ongoing vision for the institution, which includes bringing more awareness to women's colleges and their importance in our communities. President Blight ...
Exegeting your Community
By Anne Bosarge Author and speaker Thom Rainer once did an informal survey on Twitter and asked how much time pastors spend in sermon preparation and exegeting scripture each week. Here is a breakdown of the results:  1-9 hours per sermon: 25% 10-18 hours per sermon: 69% 19-33 hours per sermon: 6% I think we would all agree that spending time on sermon preparation is extremely important. Good pastors spend time exegeting the text to make sure they have an accurate interpretation of the text ...
Perry UMC volunteers witness God’s perfect timing in Honduras
By Allison Lindsey, Advocate Contributor  When Katie Cawthon attended her first United Methodist Volunteer in Mission (UMVIM) Team Leader Training seven years ago, she had no idea the doors that God would open to serve alongside the people in Subirana, Honduras. But through the United Methodist Church connection, Cawthon, Missions Coordinator at Perry United Methodist Church, has seen a beautiful partnership launch, relationships built, and a deep love planted and nurtured for the people of ...
Proud to be a United Methodist
The following interview was posted on the South Georgia Abide website. Allison Lindsey is a member of St. Mark UMC in Douglas, Ga. and chairs the Conference Nurture Team. She formerly served as the Director of Connectional Ministries.   Where do you see God moving among us?  I have always felt very blessed for the doors that God has opened wide for me through The UMC. I have been given a front-row seat to see Him at work - "here, there, and everywhere". It's been an honor to serve as a Director ...
South Georgia Conference to elect delegates at 2023 Annual Conference session
The South Georgia Conference will elect persons to fill vacancies in its delegation to the postponed 2020 General Conference (to be held in 2024) and the 2024 Jurisdictional Conference during this year’s Annual Conference Session in Tifton, Ga. on June 4-6, 2023. The General Conference is the global gathering of The United Methodist Church where mission and ministry priorities are established and The Book of Discipline is reviewed for possible revisions. The General Conference is the policy ...
Brooklet United Methodist's "Pillowcase Angels" are sewing with love
By Brandon Robinson, Grice Connect newspaper    A group of local women from the Brooklet United Methodist church are in the business of pillowcase making. The group has been dubbed by local foster care organizations as “The Pillowcase Angels." The coalition of angels come together every third Friday of the month to stitch pillowcases for children in local foster care facilities. The angels begin their work in the Brooklet United Methodist Church Dining Room at 10am.   The angels launched their ...
Conference Happenings - April 2023
2023 Lay Servant Ministries & Certified Lay Ministry Check out the dates & registration for the 2023 classes.   Clergy Ethics Training – April 20 Every three years, according to the South Georgia Conference Sexual Ethics policy, persons serving under appointment by the bishop (clergy, local pastors, extension ministers, appointed lay speakers) are required to attend a Sexual Ethics Workshop. Under the guidance of the Office of Ministerial Services, the South Georgia Conference will offer Clergy ...
Diversity and Justice Ministries: What’s happening, you ask?
By Rev. Abra Lattany-Reed    We often use sports metaphors to express transitional moments and collective efforts. When baseball players are hitting every pitched ball or quarterbacks are completing every pass, people say things like, “They’re in the zone.” Well, that statement expresses the ongoing work of Connectional Ministries. We are truly living in our spiritual zone. Currently, within our spiritual zone is the work of the Bishop’s Task Force on diversity, inclusion, and vitality.   This ...
Laity, are you ready to plant? Lay Planter’s Training planned for this Fall
By Anne Bosarge   I’m not much of a gardener. I don’t know what to plant or when to plant it; how much water and care something needs or the best techniques to get a good yield on my crops. However, I have a neighbor who lives behind me who is a great gardener. Dr. Douglas always seems to be able to sense when it’s time to plant each spring. He has favorite varieties of tomatoes and squash that produce far more than they are able to eat, and I do my part by receiving produce across the back ...
2023 prayer emphasis: April prayer guide now available, district prayer days announced
The South Georgia Conference is centering itself around prayer in 2023. April’s prayer guide, written by South Georgia Certified Lay Ministers Anne Bosarge, Joeli Chance, Sara Fullerton, Gracie Martin, Whitney Weyeneth, Chris Moncus, and Ben Hasty is now available at This month’s prayer guide includes prayers for each day of holy week. A bulletin insert is also available for local churches to use.   District prayer days are also being planned. This year for Annual ...
Bishop Graves announces one new District Superintendent appointment, district alignments
Bishop David Graves announces the projected appointment of one new District Superintendent to the South Georgia Conference Cabinet, effective June 2023. The Rev. Dr. Scott Hagan, currently serving as senior pastor of Statesboro First United Methodist Church, will be appointed to serve as superintendent of both the Coastal and Northeast districts.  Dr. Hagan was ordained an Elder in The United Methodist Church in 2006. Born in Brunswick, Georgia to Dan and Miriam Hagan, he grew up in Statesboro...
'They will remember for rest of their lives': Children opened to music at Wesley Monumental
Polly Powers Stramm, Savannah Morning News & Kelly Roberson, Director of Conference Ministries/Communications   With ballet, soccer, basketball and baseball practices in full swing, it’s difficult to imagine that a church would have more than 100 singers in its young people’s choir. But 133 is the number of people – ages three to 18 – who performed a special presentation Sunday, February 26 at historic Wesley Monumental United Methodist Church in downtown Savannah, Ga.   The young people make it...
Imagine It!
If you want to be part of the Fresh Expression movement here in South Georgia, make plans to join us for our Imagine Day April 15.   By Anne Bosarge   Imagine the South Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church expanding and growing in new ways to meet new people with the love and grace of the Gospel of Christ. Imagine seeing people coming to Christ where they work, in their homes, and in the places where they play.  Imagine what it would look like to see new discipling communities ...
Pittman Park UMC evaluates accessibility and comfort for individuals living with disabilities
By Julianna Leverette, Grice Connect newspaper Easily recognized, Pittman Park United Methodist Church is frequently involved with the Statesboro community by serving as volunteers at many events, such as local soup kitchens, and even hosting a few of their own, namely their Trunk or Treat. Recently, however, the church has been striving to serve its congregation and the local community in a whole new way: through prioritizing inclusivity and evaluating the accessibility and comfort of their ...
A new beginning for a retired pastor and United Methodists in Thomasville
By Allison Lindsey, Advocate contributor    In 2017, Rev. Leigh Ann Raynor retired after 36 years faithfully serving churches in the South Georgia Annual Conference. Enjoying retirement life between Thomasville, GA and Waynesville, NC, Raynor was content to take things one day at a time, preaching occasionally, caring for her pets, and traveling. Little did she know that God was not finished with her ministry and vow to The United Methodist Church.    This January, Raynor and other United ...
Garden City UMC offers prayer walk on Ash Wednesday
By Hollie Lewis, reporter from WSAV   Tens of millions of Christians from multiple denominations across the globe began observing Lent with the start of Ash Wednesday.   Each year, Ash Wednesday falls 46 days before Easter Sunday. Lent is a 40-day season (not counting Sundays) associated with repentance, fasting, reflection and ultimately celebration.   However, a local Garden City church is adding something new this year in observance.   “We wanted to open up Ash Wednesday to the neighborhood ...
Andrew College names Dr. William R. Kennedy as its next President
Andrew College has named Dr. William “Rusty” Kennedy, currently the Vice President of Admissions and Athletics at Midway University, as its next president. The announcement comes after a national search that began after Dr. Linda R. Buchanan, who has served as president for the last eight years, announced her retirement in September. “We are really excited about Rusty Kennedy becoming our next president. He brings an array of skills, experience, and character attributes that will serve Andrew ...
Denman Award Nominations Sought
The South Georgia Annual Conference is now accepting nominations for The Harry Denman Evangelism Award for Clergy, Lay, and Youth. The Harry Denman Evangelism Award program recognizes United Methodists in each annual conference whose exceptional ministry of evangelism – expressed in Word (what), Sign (why), and Deed (how) – brings people into a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ. Evangelism happens in many contexts and many settings; impacts and engages all generations; and ...
Help for earthquake survivors in Turkey and Syria
Tents, heaters, blankets, warm clothes, ready-to-eat meals and first-aid kits soon will be headed to earthquake survivors in Turkey and northwest Syria through a grant from the United Methodist Committee on Relief. The $10,000 solidarity grant will be handled by International Blue Crescent, a longstanding humanitarian partner of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. According to The Associated Press, the quake death toll soared above 7,200 and still was expected to rise. Donate Now   ...
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