News

WOW!

published 2/1/2016
FROM THE BISHOP JAMES R. KING, JR. Hello, beautiful people of South Georgia!  When I read the positive financial report for this year I just said “WOW!!!”  IT’S BEEN EIGHT YEARS (2007) since our Conference giving has been at 90.53%. This accomplishment represents a special effort on the part of our pastors, congregations, and district superintendents. A gigantic THANKS is well deserved, for you have been intentionally generous and faithful. Our financial status is a significant indicator of ...

Toward Tomorrow: The General Board of Global Ministries breaks ground in Atlanta

published 1/24/2016
Bishop Mike Watson welcomes Global Ministries to Georgia at the organization's ground breaking ceremony. (Photo courtesy of Grace UMC) By Anne Nelson   “It’s not the one who plants or the one who waters who is at the center, but God, who makes things grow.” 1 Corinthians 3:7, The Message    The North and South Georgia Conferences of The United Methodist Church, the City of Atlanta, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Gammon Theological Seminary, Candler School of Theology, and many, many ...

Clergy Compensation List now available online

published 1/21/2016
The 2016 Clergy Compensation List is now available online to view: http://www.sgaumc.org/clergycompensationlist.

A letter to Martin Luther King Jr. - 2016

published 1/18/2016
UMNS photo by Maile Bradfield - Detail of the sculpture of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in Washington, DC By Bishop Woodie W. White January/February 2016 Editor’s Note: Each year, retired United Methodist Bishop Woodie W. White writes a “birthday letter” to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in which he offers his perspective on the state of race relations, particularly in the United States. White, now bishop-in residence at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, was the ...

Effingham County church packs purses to give away

published 1/18/2016
Sarah-Lyn Ward, left, daughter of Rev. Chance Ward, pastor of Goshen UMC in Rincon, and Jodie Lamon, church administrator at Gateway Community Church Effingham, volunteer at a community event and pass out packed purses to women and mothers. By Kara Witherow, Editor Renee Raffield was casually scrolling through Facebook one day when she saw a friend’s Facebook post about donating purses to women in need. She “liked” the post and kept scrolling. That Sunday, while sitting in church at Gateway ...

Hanson appointed NRCD director

published 1/18/2016
Rev. Jay Hanson By Kara Witherow, Editor Bishop James King announced today that Rev. Jay Hanson has been appointed as Director of South Georgia’s New and Revitalized Congregational Development (NRCD). Rev. Hanson will continue serving as lead pastor of The Chapel Ministries, formally known as Taylors Chapel Cooperative Parish, a unique three-campus church in Brunswick. “I am pleased to announce the appointment of Reverend Jay Hanson to the position of Director of New and Revitalized ...

Suffering and a few insights

published 1/18/2016
By Dr. Hal Brady “Do not let your hearts be troubled,” said Jesus (John 14:1). Yet our hearts are troubled. They are troubled on every level – personal, societal, national, and global. Practically everywhere we look today we see tragedy, disaster, and hear warnings of tragedies to come. “Do not let your hearts be troubled ...” Stating it another way, do not be nervous, anxious, or fearful. Normally, this kind of talk is meaningless to anyone to whom it is addressed. Here, however, the speaker ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 1/17/16

published 1/11/2016
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, January 17 The Sunday Advocate is a weekly printable bulletin insert and supplement to the South Georgia Advocate online newspaper. Loaded with South Georgia Conference and UMC news, event information, tips and more, the Sunday Advocate is a printable PDF that can be printed and distributed through local church communication pieces. It will be published and available for download each Monday afternoon. The Sunday Advocate is ...

2015: Notable United Methodists remembered

published 1/4/2016
By Heather Hahn The bishop who popularized John Wesley’s “Three Simple Rules,” a former U.S. Speaker of the House, and scholars who influenced generations of pastors were among the notable United Methodists who died in 2015. Here are 13 remembrances, listed in order of date of death. Bishop Hermann L. Sticher Retired Bishop Hermann L. Sticher led United Methodists in a divided Germany as European culture grew ever more secular. However, he never lost faith in the church’s capacity to make ...

Details announced for 2016 Annual Conference session

published 1/4/2016
Detailed plans have been announced for the 2016 South Georgia Annual Conference session, set for June 8 through June 11 in Tifton at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center.  “The Annual Conference Planning Committee and the Local Arrangements Committee look forward to welcoming everyone to Tifton for the 2016 South Georgia Annual Conference Session,” said Dr. Jay Harris, Conference Secretary. “We are especially excited about this year’s conference for several reasons.” The...

General Conference prayer observance began Jan. 1; South Georgia's vigil set for Jan. 22

published 1/4/2016
Jan. 1 kicked off 131 days of continual prayer for the General Conference of The United Methodist Church (#UMCGC), which meets May 10-20, 2016, in Portland, Oregon. The quadrennial legislative event begins 131 days after the New Year. By coincidence, there are 131 annual (regional) conferences in The United Methodist Church. The Council of Bishops has invited each of the annual conferences to host a 24-hour prayer effort on a specific date, with the intent of creating a groundswell of prayer ...

How to have a happy New Year

published 1/4/2016
FROM THE BISHOP JAMES R. KING, JR. Hello, beautiful people of South Georgia!  What are some of the characteristics of a happy New Year? Often mentioned by many are good health, good relationships – especially with family and friends – a comfortable financial income, a deep sense of purpose, and participating in activities that help those in need. What would make up your list of characteristics for a happy New Year? Have you given thought about what would interfere or block you from having a ...

Join the Journey Confirmation Retreat set for March 4-6

published 1/4/2016
During the weekend of March 4-6, 2016, more than 500 confirmands will gather at Epworth By The Sea on St. Simons Island for the annual “Join the Journey” Confirmation Retreat of the South Georgia Conference.  Tailored to fifth-grade students and above, confirmands will enjoy learning about their United Methodist heritage in a high-energy, exciting atmosphere. Participants will also be exposed to the diverse leadership that makes up the South Georgia Conference as pastors, youth directors, ...

More about Wesley’s Aldersgate experience

published 1/4/2016
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON John Wesley wrote in his diary on May 24, 1738, “I went reluctantly to a prayer meeting in a house on Aldersgate Street.” It was a German prayer meeting in London. He continued, “There at quarter till nine while someone was reading from Martin Luther’s preface to the Book of Romans about the change that happens in the human heart through faith in Christ. I felt my heart strangely warmed and that I trusted Christ and Christ alone for my salvation…” What was read ...

Nominations process for Conference and District leadership underway

published 1/4/2016
It is time to begin identifying nominees for Conference and District boards, committees, and teams that will serve for the 2016-2020 quadrennium.  You are invited to indicate your willingness to serve or to encourage possible leaders to complete the online Interest Form. Between now and Feb. 2, the South Georgia Annual Conference will accept online interest forms from all laity and clergy interested in serving on Conference and District boards, committees, and teams. “In the past, clergy and ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 1/3/16

published 12/27/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, January 3 The Sunday Advocate is a weekly printable bulletin insert and supplement to the South Georgia Advocate online newspaper. Loaded with South Georgia Conference and UMC news, event information, tips and more, the Sunday Advocate is a printable PDF that can be printed and distributed through local church communication pieces. It will be published and available for download each Monday afternoon. The Sunday Advocate is ...

A special Christmas greeting from Bishop James R. King, Jr.

published 12/21/2015
Bishop King has recorded a special Christmas greeting as we draw closer to celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Click here to watch

Conference Center Update - 12/21/2015

published 12/21/2015
By Dr. Hal Brady “Strangely Warmed” is an expression well known to United Methodists. Of course, it is John Wesley's heartwarming experience at Aldersgate when the Spirit of God touched his heart. But what about “Marvelously Warmed?” Here I am referring to the hearts of all of us who stay close to the Conference-wide campaign of raising funds to build the new Conference Center. Recently, our hearts were warmed by two special gifts that were given to help make the dream a reality. One of these...

Finding a moment of joy and hope

published 12/21/2015
FOCUS ON THE VISION DENISE WALTON I recently read an article entitled, “Is it too much pressure to be merry at Christmas?” The author, Lyda K. Hawkes, through her transparent struggles, encourages the reader to remain open to moments when the true meaning of Advent breaks through this season.  The Season of Advent is a time of awe, wonder, and expectant waiting. As Christians, we look back at the birth of the Christ and we look forward in anticipation of His second coming. There is hope, love,...

Mercy notes

published 12/21/2015
When you are sad or lonely PATHWAY TO HIS PRESENCE B.J. FUNK Mercy danced around me that day, but I was too preoccupied to notice. Mercy’s ballet was slow and beautiful, a soft melody preceding each step. Mercy was tender, kind and inviting. However, I had already given the key to my heart to grief, sadness, loss, and loneliness. Mercy would have to wait for better times, happier times. I did not want her to dance.  “Let me be,” I begged. “You cannot begin to understand the pain I feel, the ...

Pittman Park UMC gives backpacks full of grace and love

published 12/21/2015
By Kara Witherow, Editor In August, Statesboro’s Pittman Park United Methodist Church began an outreach ministry focused on donating backpacks filled with common hygiene and household items to those who are homeless or otherwise in need. Since then, more than 200 of their navy blue nylon-string backpacks, emblazoned with a tree logo and the words, “Amazing Grace,” have been filled and distributed. “I was reading an article about homelessness one day and my thought was, ‘There but for the ...

Porterfield Memorial UMC members donate more than 3,000 cans of food to charity

published 12/21/2015
By Kara Witherow, Editor  One person, one can. It may not seem like much, but when there are 2,562 people, the cans quickly added up. That was the idea behind Porterfield Memorial United Methodist Church’s 2562 Challenge, a food drive that asked each member of the Albany congregation to donate just one can of food. One can could be a meal for someone, said Rev. Nate Lehman, Porterfield Memorial UMC’s associate pastor, especially if it’s a high-protein food like soup, beans, peanut butter, ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 12/27/15

published 12/21/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, December 27 The Sunday Advocate is a weekly printable bulletin insert and supplement to the South Georgia Advocate online newspaper. Loaded with South Georgia Conference and UMC news, event information, tips and more, the Sunday Advocate is a printable PDF that can be printed and distributed through local church communication pieces. It will be published and available for download each Monday afternoon. The Sunday Advocate is ...

Wesley Glen Ministries tells the Christmas Story

published 12/21/2015
During this advent season, Wesley Glen has been sharing the story of the first Christmas in its local community and online. This agency of the South Georgia Conference serves adults with developmental disabilities through residential and day programs, providing 24-hour care and helping those they serve work toward greater independence. Earlier this month they participated in Riverside UMC’s Drive-Through Nativity program, silently presenting scenes of the story to thousands of Macon-area drivers...

What’s Christmas all about?

published 12/21/2015
By Dr. Hal Brady As someone suggested, “Charlie Brown isn’t the only one who asked, ‘what’s Christmas all about.’” Real people also ask it. Well, what is Christmas all about? Permit me to offer a few suggestions. Christmas is about God being with us! “And the word became flesh and dwelt among us …” (John 1:14). One of my favorite Christmas stories is about the little boy who was walking home one evening with his father from a Christmas Candlelight Service. This was in England during World War ...

Global Ministries to break new ground in Atlanta Jan. 19

published 12/17/2015
CLICK HERE TO RSVP In the fall of 2016, Global Ministries, the mission agency of The United Methodist Church, located in New York City for almost 200 years, will move to its new home in Atlanta, Ga. The move to Atlanta — a catalyst for envisioning new ways to connect the church in mission — is a pivotal moment in the life of Global Ministries and the people with whom it serves. With a programmatic scope encompassing the world’s major social and global health challenges, integrated with an ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 12/20/2015

published 12/14/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, December 20 The Sunday Advocate is a weekly printable bulletin insert and supplement to the South Georgia Advocate online newspaper. Loaded with South Georgia Conference and UMC news, event information, tips and more, the Sunday Advocate is a printable PDF that can be printed and distributed through local church communication pieces. It will be published and available for download each Monday afternoon. The Sunday Advocate is ...

Can your pastor help save Park Grove Church? Nominate your pastor to appear on an episode of “The Committee”

published 12/11/2015
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Dec. 1, 2015 /Discipleship Ministries – The fictional Park Grove Community Church of the Chuck Knows Church series, “The Committee,” has lost its pastor and its way. It will soon close its doors unless it reinvents itself. Can your pastor help save Park Grove? The production staff and cast of “The Committee,” a humorous and thought-provoking online series produced by Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church, is looking for a real pastor to make a cameo appearance...

2016-2017 appointment-making schedule released

published 12/7/2015
Bishop King and the Appointive Cabinet have released the 2016-2017 appointment-making schedule. Click here to view. 

Avalon UMC hosts Thanksgiving Day prayer vigil

published 12/7/2015
By Kara Witherow, Editor Thanksgiving, traditionally a day of food, football, and family, was, for one Albany church, about something a little different this year. More than 100 people spent part of their Thanksgiving giving thanks at Avalon United Methodist Church’s Thanksgiving Day Prayer Vigil.  For nine hours, from 7 a.m. until 4 p.m., members of the church and others from the community prayed in shifts for at least 30 minutes. They prayed for the church, the city, their families, those...

John Wesley’s Aldersgate experience

published 12/7/2015
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON On Wednesday, May 24, 1738, a very troubled John Wesley awoke early in the morning. Around 5 a.m. he opened his Bible and read, “There are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, even that ye should be partakers of the divine nature.” He opened it again and read, “Thou art not far from the Kingdom of God.”  That afternoon he visited St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. St Paul’s is a massive Gothic building which is 400 feet tall and dominates London’s ...

Nearly 6,000 donors gave $2.8 million through The Advance on Giving Tuesday

published 12/7/2015
United Methodists around the world demonstrated inspiring generosity through their contributions on Dec. 1, 2015 – UMC #GivingTuesday. Nearly 6,000 donors from 27 countries donated $2.8 million through The Advance to support mission and ministries around the world. The denomination’s General Board of Global Ministries matched the first $1 million, building additional incentive for giving. More than 770 projects and missionaries received 8,757 gifts through The Advance, the designated giving ...

Plans underway for 2016 Annual Conference session; new location announced for 2017 Annual Conference session

published 12/7/2015
By Kara Witherow, Editor Plans are well underway for the 2016 South Georgia Annual Conference session, set for June 8 through June 11 in Tifton at the University of Georgia Tifton Campus Conference Center.  “I am excited about the opportunity to continue to grow as disciples of Jesus Christ through conferencing together,” said Bishop James R. King, Jr., episcopal leader of the South Georgia area. “Our Annual Conference is designed in the Wesleyan tradition to the extent that we include fresh...

Prepare

published 12/7/2015
FROM THE BISHOP JAMES R. KING, JR. Hello, beautiful people of South Georgia!  Years ago, while serving as the director of a Wesley Foundation, I was blessed to work as the team chaplain of a college basketball team. I would often find myself reminding discouraged basketball players who did not get playing time in a game, “Listen, your time is coming. The light will turn green and your name will be called to go in the game and you need to make sure your attitude is right so you can play your ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 12/13/2015

published 12/7/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, December 13 The Sunday Advocate is a weekly printable bulletin insert and supplement to the South Georgia Advocate online newspaper. Loaded with South Georgia Conference and UMC news, event information, tips and more, the Sunday Advocate is a printable PDF that can be printed and distributed through local church communication pieces. It will be published and available for download each Monday afternoon. The Sunday Advocate is ...

Joy in leadership

published 12/6/2015
LEADERSHIP REALLY MATTERS ANNE BOSARGE REV. JAY HANSON Last week I, Anne, attended a Children’s Ministry conference with two of my friends and coworkers from The Chapel Ministries. While there, we had the opportunity to ride in a limo bus. The three of us were visibly excited about this opportunity and were snapping pictures and laughing at the ridiculousness that we would be so excited about a limo with neon lights, curved pleather seats and way too many cup holders. After the bus started ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 12/6/2015

published 12/1/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, December 6 The Sunday Advocate is a weekly printable bulletin insert and supplement to the South Georgia Advocate online newspaper. Loaded with South Georgia Conference and UMC news, event information, tips and more, the Sunday Advocate is a printable PDF that can be printed and distributed through local church communication pieces. It will be published and available for download each Monday afternoon. The Sunday Advocate is ...

Events in the South Georgia Conference – 11/16/2015 edition

published 11/23/2015
Free webinar: Local Church Treasurer 101 – Nov. 17 Are you a new local church treasurer or financial secretary? Do you wonder about the various forms you get from the conference office? Do CRSP-DB, CRSP-DC, and UMPIP confuse you? Are you unsure if you need to do a W-2 or 1099 for your church pianist? What sort of report should you give to the church board or finance committee? Would you like to know how your statistics impact your apportionments?  Get answers to all of these questions and more ...

Council of Bishops President: Statement on the Paris attacks

published 11/16/2015
The President of the United Methodist Council of Bishops issued the following statement about the November 13 terrorist attacks in Paris:  John 11:35 Jesus wept. This week, we weep for those in Paris. We weep for the senseless violence. We weep for the innocents whose lives were cut short. We weep for those who are grieving, who are frightened, who are hurting. We weep for those whose hearts are breaking, in France and all over the world. As several world leaders have stated, this is an attack...

GCFA Reports on 2014 Church Statistics, UMData.org

published 11/16/2015
The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) has vetted and released the 2014 United States statistical data on local churches in the U.S. The Data Services Department holds the responsibility for receiving, vetting, and publishing the information each year. GCFA Data Services reports there are over 32,000 local churches. There is a slight decrease in African-American and White membership in the Church. The largest church in the U.S., Windsor Village, located in Houston, Texas, ...

Meaningful experiences and inspiring examples

published 11/16/2015
By Dr. Hal Brady A necessary ingredient of a good home is pictures – pictures placed by meaningful experiences and inspiring examples. I am a dog person, but I have had one cat in my life whose name was White Socks. She was a black cat with four white feet, and I really cared for that cat. When I was eight years old my father sent me to camp for two weeks at Bar Rest Boys Ranch in Warm Springs, Ga. It was basically where you go live with a horse for two weeks and learn to ride or you just don’...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 11/22/2015

published 11/16/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, November 22 The Sunday Advocate is a weekly printable bulletin insert and supplement to the South Georgia Advocate online newspaper. Loaded with South Georgia Conference and UMC news, event information, tips and more, the Sunday Advocate is a printable PDF that can be printed and distributed through local church communication pieces. It will be published and available for download each Monday afternoon. The Sunday Advocate is ...

Wesley Foundations, campus ministries stand in the gap

published 11/16/2015
Rev. Michael McCord brings passion and expertise to his new position as Executive Director of the Georgia United Methodist Commission on Higher Education and Campus Ministry. Photo credit: Joseph McBrayer By Kara Witherow, Editor The time between high school and adulthood can be tough, fraught with anxiety, indecision, and uncertainty. It’s a phase of life when young adults often question themselves and their faith and look to peers and friends for support and guidance. And when churches ...

Wesley Monumental UMC’s Joy Circle shares joy of the Lord

published 11/16/2015
By Kara Witherow, Editor About 15 years ago, a handful of women started Wesley Monumental UMC’s Joy Circle group as a way to serve others while socializing.  The group has grown to include more than 20 women, and each month they choose a different service, or mission, to support. “We named it ‘Joy’ because we wanted to have the joy of the Lord with our circle,” said Sue Ellis, an active member of the group. The women recently spent several weeks making washable feminine pads – called Luo ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 11/15/2015

published 11/9/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, November 15 The Sunday Advocate is a weekly printable bulletin insert and supplement to the South Georgia Advocate online newspaper. Loaded with South Georgia Conference and UMC news, event information, tips and more, the Sunday Advocate is a printable PDF that can be printed and distributed through local church communication pieces. It will be published and available for download each Monday afternoon. The Sunday Advocate is ...

Update Your Church's Find-A-Church Profile on UMC.org

published 11/6/2015
Enhanced Find-A-Church features now available One of the most popular pages on our denomination's website, umc.org, is Find-A-Church. The search feature is used by 1,000 people each day looking for a United Methodist Church.  This service is a no-cost opportunity for your church to increase your web presence and outreach. It is well worth your time to update your congregation's Find-A-Church pages.  To make it easier to update your church's profile, United Methodist Communications is offering ...

2015 Advent Resources

published 11/2/2015
A Different Kind of Christmas from Rethink Church  Advent and Christmas are seasons that fill the church calendar with joyous events and services - events to which you want to invite neighbors and others seeking a faith community. Reach literally thousands of households in your community with direct mail customized postcards that carry an inviting and welcoming Advent message. Order yours through our online portal. We will print and mail them to the area you choose — at a fraction of the usual ...

A metric worth measuring

published 11/2/2015
GROWING IN GRACE BEN GOSDEN Church metrics continue to be a moving target of evaluating the health and effectiveness of our churches. I’m reminded of that fact today as our conference journals hit mailboxes and we were bombarded by statistic upon statistic from the local churches across our conference. These numbers (we believe) offer a snapshot of how healthy (or not) our churches are. We look at things like number of new members, professions of faith, baptisms, active small groups, pastor ...

Attention

published 11/2/2015
FROM THE BISHOP JAMES R. KING, JR. Hello, beautiful people of South Georgia!  As I listened to scripture during my devotion time, I was led to tweet this response:  God’s plan is to speak through you today. Listen as the Holy Spirit tells you what to say and do. 1 Cor. 6:19  During my time of prayer and reflection I was reminded of how difficult it is today to get the attention of people even if you are offering them the good news. Historically, as civilization has evolved, options have ...

Court defers review of 'Plan UMC Revised'

published 11/2/2015
By Linda Bloom A ruling on the constitutionality of legislation for a proposed organizational plan for The United Methodist Church has been deferred until May. To make a declaratory decision about one specific piece of proposed legislation, the United Methodist Judicial Council said in Decision 1303, “could intrude” on the full legislative authority of General Conference. The denomination’s top decision-making body meets May 10-20 in Portland, Oregon. Although it has the authority to do so, ...

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