News

What illness teaches

published 10/19/2015
Dr. Hal Brady Some years ago noted football coach Lou Holtz said something that most of us can relate to. He was speaking of the troubles we face in our lives. Holtz stated, “I know God doesn’t send us more troubles than we can handle, but sometimes I think he overestimates my ability.” I suppose we all feel that way at times. In our illnesses or troubles, who of us has not wondered if God hasn’t overestimated our ability? Like Lou Holtz and like you, at times, I’ve wondered about that during ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 10/18/2015

published 10/12/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, October 18 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 Conference Journal now available

published 10/8/2015
Redesigned book includes conference business, directories, appointments, reports, and statistical tables The 2015 Journal of the South Georgia Annual Conference is now available for purchase. New this year, those wishing to purchase a Conference Journal will order their copy(ies) online directly from the printer. The cost of the Journal is $20 each plus tax and shipping. Click here to order your copy of the 2015 Journal of the South Georgia Annual Conference.* In addition, the Journal ...

A deeply troubled John Wesley

published 10/5/2015
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON John Wesley returned from Georgia a deeply troubled young minster. His life had been shattered and he felt that he had no faith. Upon his arrival back in London he found a group of German Moravians. The Moravians had impressed him during a storm at sea and had blessed him while in Georgia. He befriended a young Moravian pastor, Peter Bohler. Bohler was 10 years younger than John. He spoke German and a little English. John Wesley spoke English and German. But they...

Bishop Holston urges prayer, giving after historic flooding

published 10/5/2015
South Carolina is feeling the effects of an unprecedented weather event that has caused extensive flooding in the Low Country, Midlands and Pee Dee regions of our state. Interstate closings, failing dams, disintegrating roads, city curfews and extensive evacuations provide an indication of the widening scale of this natural disaster. Under the leadership of Kathy James (Director of Connectional Ministries) and Gregg Varner (Disaster Response Coordinator), our Disaster Response Team has been ...

Changing tides

published 10/5/2015
LEADERSHIP REALLY MATTERS ANNE BOSARGE REV. JAY HANSON I watched a young child, his older brother, their father, and grandfather labor for hours to build a beautiful sand castle. Shortly after its completion, the tide turned and started rushing in to destroy their beautiful structure.  This was the first time the young child had actually gotten to participate in the building of the family sand castle. He could not understand why nature would destroy their work, but his commitment to the ...

Responding to the flooding in South Carolina

published 10/5/2015
Our continued prayers are with the people of South Carolina and surrounding areas in the midst of severe flooding. Below outlines several things as we look to next steps.   A Word from Bishop Holston Bishop Holston, episcopal leader of the South Carolina Annual Conference, released the following letter this morning:   http://www.umcsc.org/home/bishop-holston-urges-prayer-more-after-historic-flooding   Ways to Give There are several ways in which you can make a donation through UMCOR for disaster...

Sex and Twitter

published 10/5/2015
Hello, beautiful people of South Georgia!  Now that I have your attention, it is important for me to share words of care and encouragement as well as a new way of communicating my support for you through the scriptures. Let me begin with the subject of sex. As an annual conference, I believe we are getting stronger and stronger as we grow in our discipleship. We are becoming more Christlike as we love one another and invite others into a relationship with Jesus Christ.  From my first days ...

South Carolina trusting in God, helping neighbors after ‘1,000-year-flood’ catastrophe

published 10/5/2015
By Jessica Brodie, South Carolina Advocate editor COLUMBIA, S.C.—South Carolina is picking up the pieces today after a storm so catastrophic South Carolina’s governor called it a “1,000-year flood.” The storm left a massive chunk of the state between Columbia and Charleston underwater, with parts of the Lowcountry getting more than two feet of rainwater and Columbia up to 16 inches. As of press time, at least nine were dead, some drowning in submerged vehicles, including a South Carolina ...

Southwest District drills well, helps supply clean water and hope to village

published 10/5/2015
By Kara Witherow, Editor A community of almost 50 people near Leon, Nicaragua today has clean, running water thanks, in part, to 10 short-term missionaries from the Southwest District and the South Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church. From Aug. 29 through Sept. 5, the team of 10 went on the Southwest District’s first foreign mission trip. The group traveled to a remote area about 60 miles from the country’s capital of Managua where they drilled a well with Living Water ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 10/11/2015

published 10/5/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, October 11 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 ...

Harvest Church to host Compassion International Mobile Experience

published 10/1/2015
Harvest Church in Warner Robins, GA invites you and your congregation to tour the Compassion Experience on its campus Oct. 16-19, 2015. This is a free community-wide event that brings visitors into true stories of life in the developing world. The Compassion Experience features replicas of the homes of two Compassion children who live in extreme poverty on two separate continents. Each guest receives an iPod and headphones and takes a 20-minute, multi-media tour - walking through homes, ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 10/4/2015

published 9/28/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, October 4 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 ...

15-year-old gives instead of receives on her birthdays

published 9/21/2015
By Kara Witherow, Editor When you’re 15, birthdays usually mean presents. Gift cards, cash, and cake usually top the list of most-requested items, but not for 15-year-old Sae McIlrath. For the past four years, McIlrath, a member of The Ridge United Methodist Church in Columbus, has celebrated her birthday not by receiving presents, but by giving them away.  In lieu of gifts, for her 15th birthday, which she celebrated on June 21, McIlrath asked her family and friends to donate $15 to “...

2016 General Conference petition submission deadline looming

published 9/21/2015
The deadline to submit petitions for consideration by the 2016 General Conference is Oct. 13, 2015. According to church law, “Any organization, clergy member, or lay member of The United Methodist Church may petition the General Conference...” Detailed instructions for submitting a petition are available on the General Conference website at www.gc2016.umc.org. Petitions must be typed and may be submitted through the General Conference website, by postal mail, or via email to petitions@umpublis...

Are we there yet?

published 9/21/2015
FOCUS ON THE VISION DENISE WALTON The Office of Connectional Ministries seeks to advance the kingdom of God by utilizing the tools of communication in diverse and creative ways. The conference website; individual consults with clergy and laity; local church, district and conference trainings; webinars; social media; promotional program materials; conference calls; and video conferencing represent a sample of the annual conference tools of communication. We are constantly working to communicate ...

Harper's Chapel UMC reaches out to community with tea party

published 9/21/2015
By Kara Witherow, Editor More than 80 women gathered at Harper’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Baxley on Saturday, Aug. 22 for a day of learning, fellowship, fun, and worship. With a special tea party theme and outfitted in their finest dresses, hats, gloves, and jewels, the ladies celebrated womanhood and the significance of who they are as women in the body of Christ. Long-dreamed-about, the ladies’ tea party was finally realized under Rev. Abra Lattany-Reed’s leadership and guidance....

Quantifiable, results-based program budgets

published 9/21/2015
By Dr. Derek McAleer, Director of Administrative Services I’ve been involved in creating church budgets since the mid-1970s. Like many of you, I have seen the highs and lows of income, expenses, planning, and inspiration. I’ve seen new programs budgeted which had great impact on people’s lives. I’ve seen groups that haven’t spent their budgets in three years throw major fits when it was suggested their budgets be reduced. I’ve seen churches simply add new salary and apportionment figures to ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 9/27/2015

published 9/21/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, September 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 ...

The power of a good deed

published 9/21/2015
By Dr. Hal Brady Sometimes in a world of vastness we forget the power of a good deed or a loving act. It is still true that the healing of the wounds of a man on the Jericho Road has an influence far beyond Jericho or Jerusalem. To be sure, God often takes a single good deed and multiplies its significance. Through the magic of God’s grace that goodness shines and shines and shines. What is so powerful about a good deed, anyway? First, a good deed is powerful because it brings out our best! ...

VSU Discipleship House consecrated

published 9/21/2015
By Kelly Roberson, Director of Communications Just four years ago the Lord gave Rev. C.J. Harp, VSU Wesley Foundation Executive Director and Campus Minister, a vision to build a house for students on the current Wesley Foundation property. This God-sized vision has now become a reality.  On Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, just six months after the groundbreaking ceremony, a service was held to consecrate the Valdosta State University Wesley Foundation Discipleship House.  Centrally located on the ...

Youth will ENCOUNTER God at fall retreat

published 9/21/2015
In today’s selfie-centered world, we know the pull of social media to have the right pose, the perfect filter, and the best caption. What if we flipped that around? What if, instead of pointing the lens at ourselves, we pointed to others ... and we pointed others to Jesus? Psalm 139 paints the picture that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. So if God made us all unique, we should love ourselves as His creation, right? RIGHT! AND ... we can’t forget the greatest commandment of all: “Love ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 9/20/2015

published 9/11/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, September 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 ...

A change is gonna come

published 9/8/2015
GROWING IN GRACE BEN GOSDEN President John F. Kennedy once said, “Change is the law of life … those who only look to the past or the present will miss the future.”  I’m not entirely sure if President Kennedy was reflecting on his Catholic upbringing or not, but that is a very theologically astute observation. Change is the law of life with God. Transformation happens as a result of change. And God’s love calls us to continually change and grow. As good Methodists, we call this “moving on to ...

Children will dive into God's word at KidzQuest

published 9/8/2015
“KidzQuest provided a wonderful opportunity to get away with some of the kids in our church and get to know them more and continue to build them as disciples of Christ.” - Children’s Director, Albany KidzQuest, an annual children’s retreat sponsored by South Georgia’s Connectional Ministries, will be Oct. 2-4 at Epworth By The Sea. The theme, “Anchored,” is pulled from Hebrews 6:19 which says, “We have this hope as an anchor for our soul, firm and secure.” Designed for students in 3rd-6th ...

Conference Center Update

published 9/8/2015
By Dr. Hal Brady The old card catalog in the library reveals an incredible number of books whose titles begin with “The joy of ...” “The Joy of Sex” “The Joy of Beauty” “The Joy of Photography”  “The Joy of Gardening” “The Joy of Money” “The Joy of Cheesecake” “The Joy of Reading”  Interesting, isn’t it, that we do not find the title, “The Joy of Giving?” But we already have that book. It’s called the Bible. At the moment, 749 of you have experienced the special joy of giving to the ...

Epworth UMC member ministers through monogrammed towels

published 9/8/2015
By Kara Witherow, Editor Suzy Revell sometimes gets strange looks as she unloads her shopping cart at Kohl’s. The same thing happens when she shops at Wal-Mart and Kmart.  Revell, 63, an active member of Epworth United Methodist Church in Columbus, frequents these stores to buy bath towels in bulk. “I sometimes buy 20 towels at a time and I get some funny looks from cashiers,” she said. Because she buys towels in several different colors, “they probably think I have funny decorating ideas!”...

John Wesley and the Indians

published 9/8/2015
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON One of John Wesley’s main goals in coming to Georgia was to preach to the Indians. He said, “I will hear the gospel afresh by preaching it to the innocent savages because they have no defense against the text.”  After he had met with some Native Americans he was very severe with them. He said, “They are liars, thieves, and murderers. They murder their own babies and they murder their own parents! They do not wish to learn and are not willing to be taught.” ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 9/13/2015

published 9/8/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, September 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 ...

UMCOR provides emergency relief to refugees

published 9/8/2015
As refugees and their families continue to make their way into Europe, UMCOR prays for their safety and well-being throughout their journey and after they reach their destination. UMCOR is expanding its emergency response to refugees there by providing hygiene and food kits to 750 displaced families arriving on the Greek islands Kos and Lesbos with partner GlobalMedic. Click here to donate to UMCOR International Disaster Response, Advance #982450. 

UMW annual meeting will celebrate 43 years of mission and ministry

published 9/8/2015
By Kara Witherow, Editor South Georgia’s United Methodist Women will celebrate 43 years of mission and ministry on Saturday, Oct. 17 at Tifton First United Methodist Church. UMW National President Yvette Richards will deliver the keynote address to hundreds of women from across South Georgia. “We are extremely excited to have Yvette Richards celebrate the work of 2015 with us,” said Conference UMW President Mary Exley. “This will be an opportunity for us to celebrate this ‘new thing’ we have ...

We the People

published 9/8/2015
FROM THE BISHOP JAMES R. KING, JR. Hello, beautiful people of South Georgia!  As a new football season begins I am reminded that, as with many sports, a team effort is required. In order to win, many persons who have individual paths must commit to the same destination if they are to achieve success. Our annual conference theme for this year, “We’re Better Together,” captures our understanding that we must work together to satisfy the vision to Grow a Christlike World. The Lord’s Prayer ...

Wesley Glen Ministries welcomes new president and CEO

published 9/8/2015
The Board of Wesley Glen Ministries is pleased to announce that Kathy McCollum has joined the organization as its new President and Chief Executive Officer. “The Board, staff, families, program participants and residents of Wesley Glen warmly welcome Kathy with great confidence in her ability to lead us on an upward trajectory,” said Tom Swift, Chairman of the Board of Wesley Glen Ministries. “Her compassion, business acumen, fundraising skills and capacity to master the issues facing us in ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 9/6/2015

published 8/31/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, September 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 ...

LaGrange College sets enrollment records

published 8/28/2015
LaGRANGE, GA. – LaGrange College is welcoming its largest class of incoming undergraduate students this fall, the second record-breaking class in three years.   According to preliminary registration numbers, this year’s group of 364 new students is the largest in the college’s history. Freshmen and transfer student enrollment, when counted separately, also set records.    It is an exciting time at the college, said President Dan McAlexander.   “Recent enrollment numbers show a steady trajectory ...

United Methodist branding toolkit now available

published 8/28/2015
Nashville, Tenn.: United Methodist Communications is offering a new toolkit to make it easy for local churches, annual conferences, general agencies and other denominational entities to adopt more unified branding across the connection. The Cross and Flame, the official logo of The United Methodist Church was created in 1968 when The Methodist Church joined together with the Evangelical United Brethren Church. The trademarked insignia has become an instantly recognizable symbol for The United ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 8/30/2015

published 8/24/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, August 30 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 ...

Abuelita's Faith

published 8/17/2015
FOCUS ON THE VISION DENISE WALTON  In the book “Christ our Companion: Toward a Theological Aesthetics of Liberation” there is a compelling story of the author’s grandmother and her faith in God. Roberto S. Goizueta describes the impact that his abuelita (grandmother) had on his life and faith journey. My own life has been forever changed by the holy lives that Christ used to draw and attract me. As with many Latino and Latinas, for example, my abuelita (grandmother) was the spiritual heart of ...

Bonaire UMC teen launches laundry ministry

published 8/17/2015
By Kara Witherow, Editor It’s 5 p.m. on a Friday night, and 15-year-old Caroline Gowan is doing laundry.  It isn’t typical teenage behavior, but then again, she isn’t a typical teenager. Laundry – a mundane chore for most – has become a passion for Gowan, a sophomore at Veterans High School and an active member of Bonaire United Methodist Church. She and her mother, Michelle, make homemade laundry detergent for their family and for Bonaire UMC’s food pantry. “The detergent is really ...

Conference Center Update

published 8/17/2015
By Dr. Hal Brady Writing in his second letter to the Corinthians, the Apostle Paul suggests that there are three purposes in giving, and he also hints at a fourth. According to this obedient servant of Christ, the purposes in giving are the following: to glorify God; to serve the needs of humankind; to discipline and mature the self in the faith; and to support the life, ministry, and mission of the Church. Personally, I cannot think of any better reasons to support the new Conference Center ...

Connectional Ministries re-launches The Link bi-weekly email

published 8/17/2015
The Office of Connectional Ministries has recently re-launched a bi-monthly email blast to keep South Georgia United Methodists informed and connected with what’s happening in South Georgia United Methodism and beyond. Every two weeks, The Link will be delivered to subscriber email inboxes. Full of Conference news, Connectional news, resources, and event information, The Link will keep readers up to date and in the know. Click here to subscribe. “We are continuously looking for ways to enhance...

Music and the Arts at Vineville celebrates 25 years

published 8/17/2015
This fall, Vineville United Methodist Church will celebrate 25 years of music, art, and ministry with its 25th Annual 2015-2016 Music and the Arts at Vineville series. What started as a five-concert season 25 years ago has grown into a 12-concert series that runs monthly from September through August.  Last year nearly 3,000 people attended Vineville UMC’s Music and the Arts concerts, which bring outstanding local, regional, and national talent to the Macon area.  This year’s lineup includes ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 8/23/2015

published 8/17/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, August 23 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 ...

The story of John Wesley's sisters

published 8/17/2015
PATHWAY TO HIS PRESENCE B.J. FUNK I don’t know why I kept reading this book on John Wesley’s seven sisters, other than the fact that anything concerning John Wesley pulls me like a magnet. I wanted to understand more about his sisters and their apparent need for love, as the title suggests. “Seven Sisters in Search of Love” by Frederick E. Maser was not a particularly great read unless one has a keen interest in this family, in the kind of parenting that could produce two giants of faith like ...

UMCMarket gets upgrade and re-launches

published 8/17/2015
Shopping portal www.umcmarket.org gets new look The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) announced that the online shopping portal, UMCMarket, was recently re-launched, using more advanced technology and faster delivery of donations. Working with Tribute, Inc. the re-launched UMCMarket provides an enhanced user experience, quicker access to status reports, regular distribution of micro-donations and the addition of hundreds of savings offers for participants. Doug Spear, ...

Why attitudes matter

published 8/17/2015
Dr. Hal Brady Arriving home one day, I was having a great deal of difficultly with my attitude. I had just come off the expressway and I was disgusted with some of the other drivers. I had had it with speeding drivers, reckless drivers, tailgating drivers, lane-changing drivers, and light-running drivers. Since no one was home when I arrived, I trudged to my study to cool down. In a few minutes I opened a book and almost immediately spied another minister’s sermon title. Instantaneously, I ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 8/16/2015

published 8/10/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, August 16 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 KidzQuest retreat helps students stay anchored in Christ

published 8/3/2015
In the midst of fierce storms, anchors hold boats in place, keeping the relentless waves from smashing the vessels onto the shore. Just as boats need anchors, so do we need anchors to hold us secure in our spiritual lives. At this year’s KidzQuest retreat, set for Oct. 2 through Oct. 4 at Epworth By The Sea on St. Simons Island, students will dive into God’s word to learn how to be anchored in the hope of Jesus Christ. Designed for students in the third through sixth grades, this annual ...

5 tips for effective school ministry

published 8/3/2015
By Jeremy Steele, United Methodist Communications Is your church preparing for “back-to-school”? This time of year offers incredible ministry opportunities — if you do it right. Here are five important tips for excelling at school outreach. 1. Timing is everything Stepping in with an offer to help at the wrong time can be more of a burden than a blessing. That is particularly true at the beginning of the school year. Steer clear of the campus for the first week! The first week of school is ...

Flip the way you lead volunteers

published 8/3/2015
LEADERSHIP REALLY MATTERS ANNE BOSARGE REV. JAY HANSON Let’s talk volunteers. Think about Sunday service teams like ushers, greeters, parking lot people, coffee shop servers, Children’s ministry workers, and more. Would you describe your volunteer teams as passionate armies of fully equipped and deeply committed soldiers? Are people lining up to sign up to come aboard the battleship? Or does your volunteer system seem more like a sinking ship people can’t get off of quickly enough?  I’d like...

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