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2023 Clergy Ethics Training Scheduled for March and April

1/5/2023

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 Ethics trainings in March and April 2023. 
 
Trainings were postponed in 2022 while conference leadership worked on a new training model. The new model will have both an online component and an in-person component. 
 
The two lead presenters in the online training have extensive knowledge and experience in sexual ethics training: Mr. Cameron Bishop, President and CEO of Wesley Glen Ministries in the South Georgia Conference, and Rev. Lindsay Geist, Director of Clergy Wellbeing serving the North Georgia Conference. In addition, other South Georgia clergy and laity will lead portions of the online and in-person trainings.
 
With this updated training, the South Georgia Conference is also moving to a quadrennial emphasis model. A quadrennial requirement puts the conference on track with the denominational requirement found in the 2016 Book of Resolutions, ¶2044. 
 
In order to fall in line with the quadrennial model and get all clergy and lay supply on schedule, anyone who will remain under episcopal appointment as of July 1, 2023, will be required to participate in one of the trainings in March or April of 2023. This applies to everyone regardless of the date of the last training attended. Attending one of the 2023 trainings will fulfill the required ethics training for the next quadrennium, which will run from January 1, 2023, to December 31, 2026.
 
Training Components
 
Part 1: Online component
The first part of the training will be completed online and allows participants to receive important information in an individualized experience where the participant can choose the time to engage.
 
Details to join the online component will be sent two weeks prior to the training a participant has registered for. This portion must be completed before attending Part 2 of the training.
 
Part 2: In-person component
The second part of the training will be completed in-person. Being in-person allows for discussion of the material and strategies on how to use the knowledge gained. There will also be an added focus on clergy mental health, which is a part of a conference-wide initiative on clergy wellness. A focus on mental health also helps with prevention related to clergy ethics violations. 
 
**Please note: Both parts are required to satisfy your Sexual Ethics Training requirement in order to remain in good standing and be eligible to continue to serve under appointment. 
 
In-person Training Dates
Each in-person session will last from 10:00am to 3:30pm. 
 
Dates and Locations
March 16         Pittman Park UMC, Statesboro
April 11            Tifton First UMC, Tifton
April 20            The Methodist Home, Macon
 
Registration and Cost
Registration is now open. Please register for the workshop by clicking one of the links below. 


·       Register for the March 16 Workshop
·       Register for the April 11 Workshop
·       Register for the April 20 Workshop
 
Cost for the training is $50, which includes Continuing Education Units. The increased cost takes into account the expansion of the number of presenters and the inclusion of both an online portion and an in-person portion with a meal. In addition, the training will now cover the conference requirements for the next four years. 
 
It is the hope of conference leadership that this new model will provide a fresh experience that will add value to the ministry of South Georgia clergy and lay supply.

If you have questions, please contact the Rev. Dr. Jay Harris at 478-738-0048 or by email at jharris@sgaumc.com.
 

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