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Nehemiah: Interruptions

published 2/18/2013
LIVING THE VISION BRAD BRADY This is the fifth in a series of articles about the book of Nehemiah. Bishop King has invited all South Georgia United Methodists to join him in studying this book. Nehemiah received a God-inspired vision to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. The vision was cast and widely received by the people. An enthusiastic group was repairing the walls. However, real life constantly made the rebuilding project a test for everyone. Nehemiah had to do more than one thing at a ...

This is My Story!

published 2/18/2013
By Allison Lindsey, associate director of Connectional Ministries In preparing to write this column, my favorite hymn, Blessed Assurance” came to mind. At the age of 3, I knew every word of this classic hymn and would sing (loud and proud), “Blessed insurance - Jesus is mine!”  You know the chorus: This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior, all the day long! Then, following my chain of thought, the hymn “We’ve a Story To Tell To the Nations” came to mind. We all have a story, and ...

Advocacy Team seeks input around Prison Ministry

published 2/5/2013
YOUR INPUT NEEDED!  The Conference Advocacy Team is seeking input from congregations who are involved in Prison Ministry throughout our conference. They invite you to complete the prison ministry survey at  Thank you in advance for your input and support!  

Judicial Council Docket for April 2013

published 2/5/2013
The UM Judicial Council has posted the docket for its April meeting  on the council’s website. The meeting will take place in the denomination’s U.S. Western Jurisdiction, but the exact location has yet to be determined. Here is a summary of the issues. --Docket 0413-1—IN RE: Review of a Bishop’s Decision of Law in the Desert Southwest Annual Conference Regarding the Resolution Entitled “Inclusiveness Resolution” --Docket 0413-2—IN RE: Review of a Bishop’s Decision of Law at the Western ...

High-tech tithing

published 1/31/2013
South Georgia UM churches embrace electronic avenues to collect tithes and offerings By Kara Witherow, Editor Last Sunday morning, in an act of worship, Daniel Rock swiped his debit card on a small white device attached to an iPad. In this electronic age when the majority of people carry cell phones and use cards instead of cash, churches are beginning to embrace electronic avenues to collect tithes and offerings. Rock, a member of Gateway Community United Methodist Church in Pooler, does all ...

John Wesley's Holy Club

published 1/31/2013
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON John and Charles Wesley were students at Christ Church College, a part of Oxford University. John became a teacher at Lincoln College, which was also a part of Oxford. John left for a few months to help his father who was pastor of St. Andrews Church up at Epworth.  While John was gone, Charles started a small gathering of fellow students who met for prayer each week.  Some say it was really only one other student and they would simply go to worship together.  ...

Multiculturalism: Creating a Church for all people

published 1/31/2013
By Rev. Abra Lattany-Reed, associate director of Connectional Ministries Interestingly enough, the last lesson for 2012 from the United Methodist Adult Bible Study Series for December 30 was entitled “Christ's Love for the Church.” In this lesson, the writer, Jack Gilbert, states that in the last few years we have been puzzled by the influx of other nationalities and cultures into our American milieu. He asks, “are we a melting pot in which we all practice the same general customs, or are we a ...

On the heart of your Bishop

published 1/31/2013
FROM THE BISHOP JAMES R. KING, JR. Hello, beautiful people of South Georgia! Thank you! As we close the book on another year of ministry through our apportionment giving, it is important to say thank you for your faithfulness. So many of you have been extremely intentional about making the connection between good stewardship and our commitment to support ministries near and far in order to grow a Christlike world. The United Methodist Church remains strong because of your loyalty to the ...

Do the right thing

published 1/30/2013
Written by Rev. J. Michael Culbreth, Speedwell UMC, Savannah “Creating a church for all people requires United Methodists to do the right thing.” Bishop Melvin Talbert, who spoke those words, preached at the 2012 Multicultural Conference, held Nov. 29-Dec. 1 at the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. Bishop Talbert was the closing keynote speaker at the gathering of about 130 leaders representing 13 annual conferences of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church. ...

New laws around mandatory reporting: what does this mean for my church?

published 1/30/2013
By Allison Lindsey, associate director of Connectional Ministries  The Office of Connectional Ministries is committed to resourcing the churches across South Georgia with the most relevant and timely information to equip clergy and laity for ministry. At a training event hosted by Centenary United Methodist Church in Macon, changes to the current laws surrounding mandatory reporting were presented. These changes went into effect July 1 and will have an impact on the faith community and local ...

Camilla UMC rings in New Year with community-wide day of prayer and worship

published 1/28/2013
By Kara Witherow, Editor 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 states, “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” On Saturday, Jan. 5 and Sunday, Jan. 6, Camilla United Methodist Church took Paul’s instructions literally. The church invited the entire community and all area churches to their “24 hours of prayer and worship” service, which ran from 9:30 a.m. Saturday until 9:30 a.m. Sunday. During the 24-hour period, nearly 500 people ...

2013 Confirmation Retreat set for March 15-17

published 1/22/2013
Connectional Ministries, in partnership with Epworth By The Sea on St. Simons Island, will again offer youth from around the Conference the opportunity to learn, worship and fellowship at their annual Confirmation Retreat. The retreat will be held March 15-17, and the deadline for registration is Feb. 28.  Designed for students in the sixth grade and above, the “Join the Journey” Confirmation Retreat will provide churches of all sizes an opportunity to connect with others through worship, study...

2013: A Look Ahead

published 1/22/2013
In Matthew 28, Jesus instructs his disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations …” As the South Georgia Conference enters a new year, that 2,000 year-old commission continues to be Bishop James King’s focus for the Conference. Making disciples, he says, requires growth in faith and a deepening spiritual walk. “I feel blessed as a bishop to be serving in the South Georgia area,” said Bishop King, who enters his second quadrennium as the episcopal leader of the Conference. “I’m still very ...

Advance Special renewal notice: deadline is Jan. 31

published 1/22/2013
The Advance is an official program of The United Methodist Church for voluntary, designated, second-mile mission giving. Advance Specials are those approved mission projects and personnel which local churches, groups, classes and individuals are encouraged to support with their financial gifts. This entails giving beyond apportionments, World Service and/or Conference Benevolence.  Seven categories have been designated through which persons are encouraged to channel their gifts; these categories...

Summer camp counselors needed

published 1/22/2013
College students interested in a summer serving in ministry are invited to apply to be counselors at Camp Connect on St. Simons Island. As a camp counselor, students will minister to hundreds of youth and children throughout the summer while making lifelong friendships with other staff members.  As a paid position, staff members on the Leadership Team will commit to eight weeks of service which will include serving at mid-high and elementary camps.  The summer will run from May 27- July 21, ...

Tennille UMC members respond to God's call to help others

published 1/22/2013
By Kara Witherow, Editor Scripture recounts dozens of ways Jesus met people’s needs. He fed more than 5,000 men, women and children on the Sea of Galilee’s shore. He restored blind Bartimaeus’ sight. He healed the invalid at Bethesda. And He ministered to the woman caught in adultery. Through meeting their physical and emotional needs, Jesus was able to minister to and meet their spiritual needs, too. Tennille United Methodist Church is following Jesus’ example with their many health ...

Methodist Home plans Methodist Home Advocates training events

published 1/8/2013
The Methodist Home is preparing training events for the newly elected Methodist Home Advocates in each local church.  They will be doing a training event in each district, and an additional one to help catch any who might have missed theirs.  They will go over the details of how Advocates can be most effective in their work, and provide information and materials to assist them.  They ask each Advocate to attend, and to bring the little silver Methodist Home Advocate Handbook they received from ...

2012 marked by holy conversations, comforting and building a Christlike world

published 1/3/2013
Conferences, CLUs and compassion – oh my! The South Georgia Conference had much to celebrate as 2012 came to a close. There were many highs and lows throughout the year, and through it all, South Georgia United Methodists continued to reach out to the hurting, hungry, hopeless and helpless with the love and grace of Jesus Christ. Holy Conferencing Much of the year was spent preparing for or engaging in holy conferencing, as quadrennial General and Jurisdictional Conferences were held in addition...

District Study Task Force at work

published 1/3/2013
Bishop James King, the District Superintendents, six lay persons and four clergy are making progress toward fulfilling the 2012 Annual Conference session’s action calling for the continuation of the study to possibly reduce the number of districts.  The “Hinshaw” amendment called for the Bishop, District Superintendents and five laity to work on developing detailed models for a reduction to seven or six districts, which will be presented at the 2013 Annual Conference session, set for June 2-4 in...

GC vies with Judicial Council as 2012's biggest news-maker

published 1/3/2013
By Sam Hodges, UMR Managing Editor Summarizing a full year in the life of the sprawling, conflicted United Methodist Church is always a challenge. Every fourth year, it gets tougher. That’s because General Conference—the quadrennial gathering for setting church policy, law and finances—occurs and influences so much of church life. But the 2012 General Conference faced surprising competition as a news-maker. It came from the UMC’s Judicial Council, which overruled as unconstitutional two major ...

Helping churches, individuals make disciples is goal of 2013 Disciple Covenant Conference

published 1/3/2013
The third annual Disciple Covenant Conference is set for Friday, Feb. 8 and Saturday, Feb. 9.   Helping people, individually or in teams, develop disciple plans based on the 10 timeless values of the faith is the focus of the conference, which will convene in Macon at the Macon Centreplex (Macon Coliseum). The purpose of the Disciple Covenant Conference is to provide a spiritual and learning environment for people to develop their disciple-making plans. The two primary goals of the event are to ...

I Believe

published 1/3/2013
FROM THE BISHOP JAMES R. KING, JR.  Hello, beautiful people of South Georgia! The hope of every Christian should be growing a Christlike world. There is an obvious contrast between a Christlike world and a world filled with layers of hurt and disconnects of all sorts. “Growing a Christlike World” is not just a vision slogan pulled out the sky. Rather, it is the promise land of every believer revealed in the disciple’s prayer for the kingdom of God to come on earth as it is in heaven. The values...

Rev. Gene Cochran to retire, new Director of Ministerial Services sought

published 1/3/2013
By Kara Witherow, Editor The process of becoming a United Methodist minister is a long and somewhat complicated one. The Director of Ministerial Services oversees that process, shepherding candidates through their journey to become ordained elders. In June, the South Georgia Conference will appoint or hire a new Director of Ministerial Services. Rev. Gene Cochran, who has served in this role the past four years, will be retiring following the 2013 Annual Conference session. The Conference’s ...

Epworth By The Sea to host 2013 Winter Camp Meeting

published 1/2/2013
One of South Georgia’s oldest and most popular United Methodist gatherings will be held Sunday, Jan. 27 through Wednesday, Jan. 30 at Epworth By The Sea on St. Simons Island.    “For more than 60 years, the world’s most outstanding preachers, teachers and musicians have come together in “God’s Place” to present the Gospel of Jesus Christ and help us all face the morning with the assurance that God is with us,” said Epworth’s Superintendent, Dr. Charles Adams. “This year we are honored to have ...

Nehemiah: Leaders mobilize people

published 12/29/2012
LIVING THE VISION BRAD BRADY This is the third in a series of articles about the book of Nehemiah. Bishop King is inviting all South Georgia United Methodists to join him in studying this book. Reading Nehemiah 3 feels as though we have entered the footnote zone. Footnotes are something important the writer wants you to know, but footnotes are not known as the most invigorating reading. Reading this chapter calls forth the same low level of warm-fuzzy feelings you experience when reading the ...

North Georgia and South Georgia churches work together

published 12/29/2012
Submitted by Debby Stikes In a time when mission statements are encouraged, written, and often put in a drawer and ideas of building bridges and cooperative ministry are talked about but never put into action, Riverside United Methodist Church in Macon and Griffin First United Methodist Church in the North Georgia Conference are proving you can build a bridge to another conference and to the world. Beginning in early 2012, a group of women from both churches began a quest to travel to Baldwin, ...

United Methodist churches and agencies eligible for Staples discounts

published 12/29/2012
The General Council on Finance and Administration of The United Methodist Church has recently arranged with office supply retailer Staples to provide United Methodist churches and organizations with preferred pricing and discounts on purchases.  In addition, one percent of all purchases will go to UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief). To sign up, visit 

Springfield/Isle of Hope members collaborate on cookbook to help children

published 12/19/2012
By Kara Witherow, Editor Six-year-old Danny was in prison. So was his 3-year-old half-brother Moises. The two hadn’t committed any crimes, but were living with their parents in a cramped, overcrowded room in the Tapachula, Mexico men’s prison where their father was incarcerated. After he was released, the boys continued to live in the prison with their mother, who was in jail for running drugs. Today, Danny, 21 and in his third year of dental school, is a shining example of God’s redemptive and ...

Members hold on to faith after fire damages South Columbus UMC

published 12/18/2012
By Kara Witherow, Editor Rev. Reggie Williams and the South Columbus United Methodist Church congregation are holding on to hope, scripture and each other after a fire damaged the church’s sanctuary in the early morning hours of Friday, Nov. 23. Romans 8:28, which says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” is a life verse for Rev. Williams, and the entire South Columbus congregation is holding on to that ...

Thomasville First UMC is transforming lives through Advent Revolution

published 12/18/2012
By Kara Witherow, Editor  Justin was 3 years old when his parents were killed in the Rwandan genocide. Homeless and hopeless, he didn’t have anyone to take care of him or anywhere to go. That is, until someone told him about Village of Hope, a group of homes built because of Thomasville First United Methodist Church’s Advent Revolution and members who decided that Christmas should be about compassion, not consumption. Now in its sixth year, Advent Revolution focuses on remembering why ...

Bishop King announces plan for 900 CLUs by 2013

published 12/11/2012
By Kara Witherow, Editor We all need love. That was Bishop James King’s message to each United Methodist who attended one of nine Bishop’s Hours held this fall throughout the South Georgia Conference. “We all need love,” he said. “We not only need love as a one-time experience, we need Christlike love as an ongoing experience.” To help foster and spread this love, Bishop King has set a goal of having 900 Christlike Love Units (CLUs) in the Conference by Dec. 1, 2013.  That’s a minimum of 100 ...

Defining Advocacy

published 12/11/2012
Written by the Advocacy Team (Rev. Jeff Cook, Rev. Stacey Harwell, Rev. Abra Lattany-Reed, and Richard Shinhoster) When Jesus sat down with the disciples and talked about the kingdom of God, he had the weight of the prophets behind him. For hundreds, even thousands of years, prophets spoke of a coming one and a coming kingdom. The coming one would bring the longed-for peace – a time when the child would play at the snake’s den and not be harmed, where natural enemies – the lion and the wolf – ...

Moore Methodist Museum welcomes new assistant director

published 12/11/2012
By Kara Witherow, Editor Elizabeth Rhye is enthusiastic about history and teaching others about United Methodism.  The recent Elon University graduate has combined her passion for history, her United Methodist heritage, and her degree and training into the perfect job as the new assistant director of the Arthur J. Moore Methodist Museum, Library and Archives. Born and raised a United Methodist in Charlotte, N.C., Rhye came to St. Simons Island after graduating with a history degree. She put ...

Mulberry Street UMC holds post-election Day of Prayer and Unity

published 12/11/2012
By Kara Witherow, Editor In a years-long election cycle filled with vitriol, rancor, discord and divisiveness, voters quickly grew weary of the partisan politics that dominated airwaves, conversations, Facebook feeds and daily discussions. But with its Day of Prayer and Unity, Mulberry Street United Methodist Church in Macon sought to bridge the divide and come together as a church and a community one day after the election, on Wednesday, Nov. 7. With its sanctuary open for prayer at 8 a.m., ...

Rediscovering the awe of Advent

published 12/11/2012
BEYOND THE NEWS CREEDE HINSHAW Merchants have always touted shopping.  It’s de rigueur to complain about greedy moneymakers and aggressive, insane shoppers on the recently dubbed Black Friday.  Decry the madness if you must but remember that it’s not a recent phenomenon; shopping on the day after Thanksgiving has simply grown in a logical, efficient progression over the decades.  Internet shopping and increasingly earlier store openings were anticipated in a quainter way some 40 years ago by ...

White Bluff UMC's needlecraft ministry members create gifts of love

published 12/11/2012
By Kara Witherow, Editor When Helen Norman’s husband Dale was diagnosed with cancer nearly eight years ago, he was given a prayer quilt by the women of White Bluff United Methodist Church’s Pins and Needles sewing and quilting group. He was so impressed by and appreciative of the quilt that he took it everywhere and even had it signed by his doctors, nurses and everyone who visited him at home and in the hospital. That quilt made such an impression on both Helen and Dale that after Dale’s death...

St. Marys Foundation announces grant recipients

published 12/3/2012
The Board of Directors of the St. Marys United Methodist Church Foundation, Inc. has approved grants for the Fall 2012 Grant Cycle. Grants totaling $850,408 were made available to 18 charitable organizations the week of December 3, 2012. The following is a brief description of each recipient and the purpose of the grant. You can also view a video presentation of grants awarded by visiting their website at  Boys and Girls Club of Southeast Georgia (

2013 Convocation for Pastors of Black Churches set for January 9-11

published 12/1/2012
United Methodist Church announces the 2013 Convocation for Pastors of Black Churches to be held January 9-11, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. This year’s theme is “Shifting Wineskins”: Education, Adaptation and Transformation.  The Convocation for Pastors of Black Churches exists for the information, inspiration and encouragement of Pastors of Black Churches and those who support them. For over 10 years the Convocation has helped pastors: Learn from renowned pastors who are recognized for their ...

GA Give Day is Dec. 6; support a participating UM ministry

published 11/26/2012
Several ministries in the South Georgia Conference are participating in the inaugural Georgia Gives Day on Dec. 6, 2012.  Ministries include The Methodist Home for Children and Youth, Magnolia Manor, Wesley Glen, Open Door, Epworth By The Sea, Wesleyan College and Andrew College. This is a new thing for Georgia – trying to raise awareness and charitable giving.   How you can help:  Let folks in your church know about Georgia Gives Day via email, newsletter, and bulletin.  Many of your ...

Final Cokesbury Christmas for stores

published 11/25/2012
A UMNS Feature By Barbara Dunlap-Berg* a href="" title=" The Cokesbury Bookstore in Nashville, Tenn., hosts an open house with special savings on Christmas items. Nancy Sawyer from Pennington United Methodist Church, Nashville, shops for holiday gifts. UMNS photos by Kathleen Barry. " class="lightbox" style="text-decoration: none; color: rgb(85, 117, 161); ">img border="0" src="

Cordele First UMC puts faith into action

published 11/15/2012
Submitted by Rev. David Thompson, Cordele First UMC  The Church has left the building. And on Sunday, Oct. 14, their community was glad they did.  Cordele First United Methodist Church put their faith into action by canceling their three English and Spanish Sunday morning services to practice very purposeful acts of kindness throughout their community. More than 500 volunteers from Cordele First UMC, Cordele First Baptist Church, Pinecrest Baptist Church, St. Theresa’s Catholic Church, New ...

Nehemiah: God works in the delay

published 11/15/2012
LIVING THE VISION BRAD BRADY This is the second in a series of articles about the book of Nehemiah.  Bishop King is inviting all South Georgia United Methodists to join him in studying this book. Sometimes we read the Bible without full appreciation of the timeline of events because we are unfamiliar with the calendar of the day.  The transition to Nehemiah 2 is a perfect example.  The first words give us a time stamp that is important to the story for several reasons. What catches my eye is ...

Statesboro First UMC's Project Deer Share helps fight hunger with hunting

published 11/15/2012
By Kara Witherow, Editor Venison. It’s the other red meat. With Georgia’s deer season in full swing, many South Georgia hunters are starting to harvest some of the state’s abundant supply of whitetail deer. And with the liberal limit of 12 deer per season, many hunters are finding – or soon will find – themselves with an excess supply of venison that they and their families can’t consume. That was the case with Statesboro First United Methodist Church member Warren Ball, an avid hunter. A few ...

UMC high court upholds guaranteed appointment

published 11/15/2012
By Sam Hodges, Managing Editor, United Methodist Reporter The frustration level for reformers of the struggling United Methodist Church appeared to reach a new high as the denomination’s Judicial Council struck down the last major reform standing after General Conference 2012. The council, after an Oct. 24-27 meeting outside Chicago that considered 18 cases, ruled that legislation to end guaranteed appointment for ordained elders violates the church’s constitution. Retired Bishop Al Gwinn ...

Finance agency asks for East Africa funds cutoff

published 11/14/2012
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How South Georgia is supporting East Africa missions and ministries

published 11/14/2012
I am honored to represent South Georgia serving as a director for the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM). During our organizational meeting in October, the suspension of funds to East Africa was discussed and it was again reported that all donations for projects in East Africa continue to be held until such time as sound practices are put into place for the accounting of funds given that would result in the suspension being lifted. Our Conference established a special partnership years ...

South Georgia Drop-off Locations for Cleaning Buckets

published 11/14/2012
There continues to be a great need for Cleaning Buckets. Instructions on assembling UMCOR kits can be found at  We have six locations within our conference where you can take your completed cleaning buckets. The buckets will then be taken to a designated location where UMCOR can disperse the buckets. Brunswick First UMC - 912-265-4313 (1400 Norwich Street, Brunswick, GA 31520) Valdosta First UMC - 229-242-4050 (220 N. Patterson Street, Valdosta, GA 31601) Cordele First UMC - ...

Connectional Table Names the Rev. Amy Valdez Barker as Executive Secretary

published 11/7/2012
The Connectional Table (CT) is pleased to announce the hiring of the Rev. Amy Valdez Barker as executive secretary, effective January 1, 2013. She will provide administrative leadership for the CT as it coordinates the mission, ministries, and resources of The United Methodist Church.  “Amy’s experience as a leader in The United Methodist Church, along with her vision and passion for Christ expressed through our Wesleyan tradition and her administrative skills are just what the Connectional ...

UMPH Board Approves CokesburyNext Plan

published 11/7/2012
The Board of Directors of the UM Publishing House (UMPH) met in Nashville Oct. 29–31. The Board reviewed UMPH’s FY12 results and learned that sales of $86.1M were up 2.2% over the previous year and that the House achieved its budgeted net operating revenue. But the Board also discussed future economic challenges related in part to decreased church worship and Sunday school attendance, steadily increasing costs for local store operations, changes in publishing technologies and the use of digital ...

20 ways to reach out on Veterans Day

published 11/5/2012
A UMNS report by Barbara Dunlap-Berg and Kathy L. Gilbert*  Veterans Day – Nov. 11 — is just a week away. The observance began almost a century ago. In the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Allied nations and Germany declared an armistice — a temporary cessation of hostilities — in World War I. Commemorated as Armistice Day the next year, Nov. 11 became a legal federal holiday in the United States in 1938. After World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became ...

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