News

John Wesley's conflict with 'Beta' Hawkins

published 8/3/2015
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON  While John Wesley was on St. Simons Island he had numerous encounters with Beta Hawkins, the doctor’s wife. She sent her maid to ask John to visit her in her home. Expecting trouble, he insisted that the maid promise to stay right with them and not leave for a minute during the visit. It was a good thing.  Wesley and the maid went into a small front bedroom in Dr. Hawkins’ home. Beta was not there at first. John sat on the bed. Soon Beta came in with both hands...

President and CEO of Wesley Glen Ministries to retire

published 8/3/2015
After 12 years of devoted leadership and service, Dr. William W. Oliver, President and CEO of Wesley Glen Ministries, has announced his retirement. In 2003 Dr. Oliver was nominated by Bishop Michael Watson of the South Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church to be the President/CEO of Wesley Glen. He accepted his new position after serving 39 years in the pastoral ministry. He served for eight years at his last pastoral appointment as the Senior Minister at Vineville United Methodist...

Printable Aug. 3 South Georgia Advocate

published 8/3/2015
Click here to view and print the Aug. 3 issue of the South Georgia Advocate. This is a link to a printable PDF file that contains all of the news and stories from the Aug. 3 South Georgia Advocate. This file may be printed and given to those in your congregation who might not have access to a computer, printer or the Internet. (Length: 21 pages)

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 8/9/2015

published 8/3/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, August 9 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 ...

Vidalia children raise more than $600 for orphan care

published 8/3/2015
By Kara Witherow, Editor Saturday, July 11 was a typical South Georgia summer scorcher. Temperatures in Vidalia reached 99 degrees and heat indices soared past 100. Undaunted by the weather, William and Lauren Greene braved the blistering heat for three hours to sell lemonade to raise money for Lifeline Adoption Agency and Stand for Orphans (www.standfororphans.com). The brother and sister duo set up their lemonade stand on Vidalia First United Methodist Church’s property, right off busy ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 8/2/2015

published 7/27/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, August 2 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 ...

Conference Center Update

published 7/20/2015
By Dr. Hal Brady “Carpe Diem!” A few years ago that slogan showed up everywhere. It was on t-shirts, bumper stickers and beach towels. Books and articles were written about it. People discussed it in conversations. As you know, “Carpe Diem” means “seize the day.” I cannot help but recall that slogan as we continue our efforts to raise the funds for the new Conference Center. God is yet providing us another great possibility in the history of the South Georgia Conference. Prayer plus vision ...

How deep is your love?

published 7/20/2015
FOCUS ON THE VISION DENISE WALTON  It is the ninth Sunday of the Season after Pentecost and the lectionary readings speak toward accountable living as disciples of Jesus Christ. As disciples we are urged to not remain in our present state but to endeavor continuous growth through the love of Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit. The world and the church are deeply rooted in division and separateness. However, God’s preferred future for humanity speaks of unity, peace, justice, forgiveness ...

Impact UMC to Host Second 4D Leadership Conference

published 7/20/2015
Impact United Methodist Church is offering a second 4D Leadership Conference for church leaders to participate in significant panel discussions and explore the roles of leaders in ministry, education and entrepreneurship. Participants can choose to attend Sept. 15 or 16.  After selling out at the first 4D Leadership Conference earlier this year, Impact will again welcome leaders to its campus in East Point. The 4D Leadership Conference is designed to speak to every individual – at any level of ...

Poulan UMC teen ministers with needles and yarn

published 7/20/2015
By Kara Witherow, Editor Each Wednesday evening, 13-year-old Grace Anne Hardin spends a few hours with her grandmother, great-grandmother, great-aunt, and a handful of other “mature” women.  Though Grace Anne is at least 50 years younger than most in the group, she’s in charge and they all take direction from her… at least on Wednesday evenings.  The teenager is not teaching the women how to text, though – she’s teaching them how to knit. A lifelong member of Poulan United Methodist ...

Printable July 20 South Georgia Advocate

published 7/20/2015
Click here to view and print the July 20 issue of the South Georgia Advocate. This is a link to a printable PDF file that contains all of the news and stories from the July 6 South Georgia Advocate. This file may be printed and given to those in your congregation who might not have access to a computer, printer or the Internet. (Length: 20 pages)

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 7/26/15

published 7/20/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, July 26 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 saved...

The pursuit of happiness

published 7/20/2015
By Dr. Hal Brady Some years back an English author penned an essay on the illusion of happiness. He began the essay with the story of a young man who was facing a difficult and momentous decision. The boy asked, “Don’t I have the right to happiness?”' The author responded, “No, you don’t. And, if finding happiness is the chief pursuit of your life, you will never find it.” Many in our time are desperately searching for happiness, and that’s certainly not a bad goal. The problem, however, is ...

Waycross First UMC serves community through new daycare ministry

published 7/20/2015
By Kara Witherow, Editor When Rev. Barry Giddens was appointed to Waycross First United Methodist Church in June 2014 he was met with several realities. With numerous needs in the community and church membership in decline, church leaders and he looked for ways to increase growth, help the community, and raise the church’s visibility. Over the course of a few months and after a lot of prayer, visioning, and dreaming, the group decided to open a new preschool. “We realized that there was ...

Become a Test Church for Disciple Fast Track!

published 7/17/2015
Disciple Fast Track is looking for 10 churches from each Annual Conference to join us in our second round of beta testing to make sure the new Fast Track study is of the highest quality. For nearly 30 years, the original Disciple Bible Study has helped millions of people read through the Bible and grow in their faith through a 34-week class. The new Fast Track study leads groups through the Bible in a shortened, 24-week format while maintaining the integrity and principles of the original study....

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 7/19/2015

published 7/13/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, July 19 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 saved...

Bishop King issues statement after Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage

published 7/6/2015
Dear Beautiful People of the South Georgia Conference, On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court voted to allow same-sex marriage. The polity of our United Methodist Church did not change. Our Book of Discipline in paragraph 341.6 states, ceremonies that celebrate same sex unions “shall not be conducted by our ministers and shall not be conducted in our churches.” As a denomination, we have agreed that the only body authorized to change the Book of Discipline is the General Conference, which ...

Cokesbury reveals 2016 VBS theme

published 7/6/2015
Surf Shack VBS encourages kids to catch the wave of God’s amazing love As churches are in the midst of VBS activities this summer, the search for next year’s program begins. Cokesbury’s Surf Shack: Catch the Wave of God’s Amazing Love program fits the bill for a perfect beach-themed getaway for kids to bask in the love of the Son and come away with an understanding of God’s awesome power. At Surf Shack, kids are equipped and invited to plunge into the incredible experience of knowing God. They...

Conference Center Update

published 7/6/2015
By Dr. Hal Brady While watching the recent NBA playoff between Golden State and Cleveland, I saw the camera scan the audience. As usual, there was a person holding that small sign expressing confidence and hope. I love that sign. The sign read, “We Believe!” Of course, the man holding the sign was expressing his faith in his team. I can’t think of a better message to express the confidence of our Task Force in this dream of a new Conference Center. While we still have a long way to go in our ...

Events in the South Georgia Conference – 7/6/2015 edition

published 7/6/2015
Golden Cross Sunday – July 12 Golden Cross began in 1908 with the commitment of Methodists in Dallas, Texas to provide the first health care to persons who could not afford it. They began to receive offerings for the expenses of the poor patients at Methodist Hospital in that city. By 1930, the concept was officially adopted throughout the predecessor denominations of The United Methodist Church. Today Golden Cross is a ministry that reaches out in love to the laity in our Annual Conference who ...

Good News!

published 7/6/2015
FROM THE BISHOP JAMES R. KING, JR. Hello, beautiful people of South Georgia!  Each year we show a membership decline in the South Georgia Conference and this year is no different. But what is noticeably different in our report for 2014 is that our worship attendance is only down by 27. Compare our worship attendance being down in 2014 by 27 with these numbers: 2013: down by 588 2012: down by 1,046   2011: down by 758 2010: down by 834 This information tells me that we are not only moving in...

How a local church dollar was spent in 2014

published 7/6/2015
By Dr. Derek McAleer, Director of Administrative Services Ever wonder how the average dollar given to a local United Methodist Church in South Georgia gets spent? I took a look at the statistical tables filed by our local churches for 2014 and came up with some basic information. Here’s a chart:   The average local church kept 90 cents of every dollar for local church use, or to share with local church and other missions outside of UMC channels. Another half cent was given to conference or ...

John Wesley does pastoral work on St. Simons Island

published 7/6/2015
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON After four days travel by boat from Savannah to St. Simons Island, John Wesley took up ministry where his brother had left off. He visited from house to house. He discovered the best time for visiting his parishioners was right after lunch. The colonists would rise early, work hard, return home for a big lunch, then take a nap before returning to work in the afternoon. Just when they were about to take their nap after their big meal John Wesley would knock on ...

July 12 lesson: No tolerance for corrupt leaders and prophets

published 7/6/2015
Click here for a print-friendly version. No tolerance for corrupt leaders and prophets Sunday school lesson for the week of July 12, 2015 By Dr. Hal Brady Lesson scripture: Micah 3:5-12 Today we are dealing with corrupt leadership and how Micah confronted those corrupt leaders. The main subject of Micah 3 is the injustice and leadership failures of the “heads of Jacob” (3:1). After dealing with leaders of all types – those perverting justice, in legal decisions favoring the rich, those ...

July 19 lesson: Justice, love and humility

published 7/6/2015
Click here for a print-friendly version. Justice, love and humility Sunday school lesson for the week of July 19, 2015 By Dr. Hal Brady Lesson scripture: Micah 6:3-8 In Micah 6, we see a series of indictments and promises of punishment. The initial call for Judah to plead its case, as if in court, sums of the disposition of this chapter. As we have been told, the Lord has a case against the people because they have disregarded the covenant. They have not worshiped God purely, and as a ...

Our sacred spaces

published 7/6/2015
GROWING IN GRACE BEN GOSDEN The longer I serve in a local church, the more I become aware how much our physical spaces – the spaces we use for worship, teaching, fellowship, and service – say a lot about the souls of our congregational life. We may not always pick up on this, especially if we’ve been a member of a church for many years. A place can become home quickly and we grow accustomed to the feelings we gain by being present while missing the details of the space itself. Nonetheless, ...

Retired fire Captain says, “Yes, Lord, send me”

published 7/6/2015
By Kara Witherow, Editor Rev. Lynn Martin is a living example of Isaiah 6:8 which states, “’Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’” A second-career pastor, in April Rev. Martin retired as a Captain from the Columbus Department of Fire and EMS. After less than six weeks of not-very-relaxing retirement, a week of which was spent at “super intense” Local Pastors’ Licensing School at Emory University, in June Rev. Martin was appointed as a part-time local ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 7/12/2015

published 7/6/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, July 12 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 saved in ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 7/5/2015

published 6/29/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, July 5 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 saved in a...

A Great Dream

published 6/22/2015
By Dr. Hal Brady Recently, I read about a man named George Parkinson who dreamed for 40 years about earning a doctor of philosophy degree from the university. The First World War, however, took him as a chaplain. After that he experienced ill health, the Depression, and other professional responsibilities. All of that interfered, and it became necessary to postpone his plans. But he never gave up the idea. At last, at the age of 65, he stood on the platform of the University of Chicago on ...

Death ... I just don't get it

published 6/22/2015
PATHWAY TO HIS PRESENCE B.J. FUNK I can’t watch the “Passion of the Christ” because it happened. It’s truth. Every spit on Jesus’ face actually happened. Every fist on his stomach actually pounded his flesh. Every strap of the whip on his back was real. The thorns on His head were real. All of it. Real. I just cannot watch those horrid parts of the “Passion of the Christ.” The part I liked best was Resurrection morning when Jesus awakes in the tomb. All of the blood is gone. He is dressed in a ...

South Georgia, North Georgia Conferences partner with Emory to form joint Local Pastors' Licensing School

published 6/22/2015
A partnership between the South Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church, the North Georgia Conference, and Emory University’s Candler School of Theology has created a new educational program for the licensing of those who want to begin serving as local pastors. The inaugural joint Local Pastors’ Licensing School, held in May on Emory University’s campus, gave pastors the kind of practical, hands-on knowledge that’s vital in the day-to-day management and shepherding of local churches. A...

The Well helps meet basic needs, affirm worth of Brunswick's homeless population

published 6/22/2015
In biblical times, wells represented life. They provided water and were social hubs where people gathered to talk and socialize. Wells supplied physical water, but sometimes, like for the Samaritan woman, they also gave something even greater – living water and an encounter with Jesus Himself. At The Well, a new day center for homeless men and women in downtown Brunswick, patrons can shower, wash their clothes, use a computer to seek employment, drink a cup of coffee, and have a conversation ...

Statement from the SEJ College of Bishops - Prayers for Charleston

published 6/19/2015
In response to the murders of the pastor and eight others during a prayer meeting at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17, 2015, the Southeastern Jurisdiction College of Bishops of the United Methodist Church offers the following response: "The College of Bishops of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church stands with our Methodist family at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, with our brother Bishop Richard Franklin ...

A word from Bishop King: prayers for the people of Charleston

published 6/18/2015
Please join me in prayer for the victims and their families of a terrible crime, which happened yesterday, June 17, at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C.  Nine persons were killed during a Bible study, including the pastor, who was a state senator. All of us are called to examine the thoughts and teachings that breed this kind of destructive behavior. Those of us who are believers know that God wins. However, the path to righteousness is filled with challenges to overcome before the ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 6/21/2015

published 6/15/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, June 21 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 saved in ...

2015 Annual Conference elects delegates; celebrates fellowship

published 6/8/2015
The 2015 South Georgia Annual Conference session was marked by ballots and bonding. Held June 3 through June 6 at the University of Georgia Tifton Conference Center, more than 1,000 South Georgia United Methodist clergy and laity gathered to conference in the Wesleyan tradition and elect delegates to the 2016 General and Jurisdictional Conferences. Meeting under the theme “We’re Better Together” from Matthew 18:20, this year’s Annual Conference session emphasized the timeless value of ...

Motions approved at Annual Conference: fidelity in marriage emphasis, change in distribution of materials at annual conference session

published 6/8/2015
During the 2015 Annual Conference Session, members voted their approval on two motions brought to the floor of the Annual Conference. The first motion, made by Rev. Allen Cason, pastor of Grace United Methodist Church in Vidalia, called for a change regarding the distribution of materials for the Annual Conference Session. In making the motion, he asked to amend Standing Rule 3.1.5. The motion reads: All materials including the Book of Recommendation and Reports will be made available online on ...

Don Adams, Bill Hatcher to lead delegations

published 6/7/2015
During the 2015 annual conference session, held June 3 through June 6, South Georgia United Methodists elected delegates to serve at the 2016 General and Southeastern Jurisdictional Conferences. In all, four clergy and four laity were elected to attend General Conference, the highest legislative body of the denomination, which will meet in Portland, Ore., May 10-20, 2016. In addition, the conference elected another four clergy and four laity to attend the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference,...

South Georgia United Methodists give generously

published 6/7/2015
With the warm South Georgia sun shining down on them, nearly 80 volunteers sorted and bagged 15,650 pounds of cabbage, cucumbers, corn and cantaloupes on Friday afternoon, June 5, during the Art Shoemaker Memorial Crop Drop mission event. A hands on mission project, the Crop Drop gave Annual Conference participants and guests an opportunity to live out the Annual Conference theme of “We’re Better Together” from Matthew 18:20. Four area farms, McClellan Organics in Cairo, Docia Farms in Tifton, ...

Annual Conference recap - Saturday, June 6

published 6/6/2015
Teaching Moment The morning began with a teaching moment led by Dr. Christine Pohl. Dr. Pohl spoke about hospitality. “Our hospitality reflects God’s greater hospitality and divine generosity,” said Dr. Pohl. Business Session  In the Business Session Friday morning, the conference:   heard a John Wesley moment in which Rev. Dave Hanson reminded us that John Wesley didn’t want to return to Root because he had a small group at Oxford; a group other students called Methodists because of their ...

Annual Conference daily recap - Friday, June 5

published 6/5/2015
Teaching Moment The morning began with a teaching moment led by Dr. Christine Pohl, who reminded us that every community is held together by the promises we make to one another. "Speaking truth in love means speaking of the goodness and grace we see," said Dr. Pohl. Business Session  In the Business Session Friday morning, the conference:   heard the results of the vote on the resolution from the Church Council of Asbury Memorial UMC in Savannah (page 156 in the Book of Recommendations). The ...

Clergy Delegates elected to General and Jurisdictional Conferences

published 6/5/2015
Elections for clergy delegates took place on Friday afternoon. The results are as follows: General Conference Don Adams Buddy Cooper Jay Hanson Bob Moon Jurisdictional Conference Jim Cowart Denise Walton Scott Hagan Robert Beckum Alternates Doreen Smalls Stacey Harwell-Dye

Annual Conference daily recap - Thursday, June 4

published 6/4/2015
Thursday morning began with the Laity Session at 8:30 a.m. in the John Hunt Auditorium and the Clergy Sessions at 8:30 a.m. in the Ballroom of the Conference Center. Laity Session Gloria Morgan, Conference Lay Leader, called the meeting to order.  Following the opening prayer by J. Knapp, Southwest District Lay Leader, Jimmy Outlaw, South Central District Lay Leader, gave the greetings, welcoming lay members to Tifton for the 2015 Annual Conference. Robert Anderson, Northwest District Lay ...

Lay Delegates elected to General and Jurisdictional Conferences

published 6/4/2015
Elections for lay delegates took place on Thursday afternoon. The results are as follows: General Conference: Bill Hatcher Allison Lindsey Larry Price Carl Childs Jurisdictional Conference: Marianne Wright Richard Shinhoster Kelly Roberson Miriam Hagan Alternates: Gloria Morgan Rus Black

Annual Conference daily recap – Wednesday, June 3

published 6/3/2015
Opening Worship During Wednesday afternoon's opening worship service, Bishop King introduced the Annual Conference session's theme of "We're Better Together" and emphasized the importance of Christian fellowship. "Our theme is 'We're Better Together.' Hear this - it's a big deal," he said. "Big deals are relative. For some, it's a big deal to learn to ride a bike. For others it's a big deal to learn to drive a car. For Christians, there's one thing that is a big deal that is the same for us ...

Pathways to Discipleship is THIS SATURDAY!

published 6/1/2015
There's still time to register! Churches looking for new ideas, networking opportunities and practical, quality training for their pastors, parishioners, staff and leaders need look no further than this year’s Pathways to Discipleship conference. Scheduled for Saturday, August 8 at Trinity United Methodist Church in Warner Robins, the training event will offer participants more than 30 workshops, plus five all-day workshops, to choose from, each designed to help congregations become healthier ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 6/7/2015

published 6/1/2015
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, June 7 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 saved in a...

Live stream of Annual Conference session begins June 3

published 5/27/2015
Those who are not able to attend the 2015 South Georgia Annual Conference session may watch the conference in its entirety via live stream at www.sgaumc.org/aclivestreaming.    The live stream link will be available through the Annual Conference session’s duration, beginning at 2 p.m.on Wednesday, June 3 through the Ordination/Commissioning/Sending Forth Service on Saturday, June 6. Those with internet access can experience events, worship services, and plenary sessions as if they were attending...

UMCOR Supports Conference Flood Relief in Texas, Oklahoma

published 5/27/2015
After severe weather caused widespread damage and casualties, UMCOR has issued emergency grants to the responding conferences May 27, 2015—After torrential rain caused severe flooding in Texas and Oklahoma over the Memorial Day weekend, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has issued emergency grants in support of relief activities undertaken by three of the affected United Methodist annual (regional) conferences. Greg Forrester, executive in charge of UMCOR’s U.S. Disaster Response ...

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