News

Two Trees

published 12/14/2014
PATHWAY TO HIS PRESENCE B.J. FUNK The Christmas carolers sing out on a cold winter’s night: “O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, Much pleasure thou can’st give me; How often has the Christmas Tree afforded me the greatest glee; O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, Much pleasure thou can’st give me.” It is a message of hope and joy. In the distance, another tree is honored, the church choir lending their lovely sounds to this tree’s message. “On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross, the ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 12/14/2014

published 12/9/2014
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, December 14 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...

Conferences plan welcoming service for GBGM

published 12/5/2014
A service of celebration and hospitality to officially welcome the General Board of Global Ministries to Georgia is set for Sunday, Jan. 11 at 6 p.m. at Grace United Methodist Church in Atlanta.   Bishop James King of the South Georgia Conference will preach the service, which will include communion and will celebrate the opportunity for ministry that is truly global. Also participating in the service will be Bishop Mike Watson of the North Georgia Conference; Thomas Kemper, General Secretary of...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 12/7/2014

published 12/3/2014
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, December 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 ...

Hagan, longtime Director of Administrative Services, set to retire

published 12/2/2014
For more than 14 years, Miriam Hagan has faithfully served the South Georgia Annual Conference as Director of Administrative Services and Conference Treasurer. Set to retire Dec. 31, 2014, on Thursday, Nov. 20, family, friends and colleagues gathered in Macon to honor her. “Miriam has given 14 and a half years of service to our annual conference,” said Rev. Jimmy Cason, chairman of the Conference’s Council on Finance and Administration (CF&A). During the celebration, Rev. Mike McAfee, chairman...

Make sure your donations are tax deductible

published 12/2/2014
By Derek W. McAleer, Transitional Director of Administrative Services Local churches and charities are grateful for the generous support of their donors. Many of those donors assume their gifts are tax deductible. But are they? Assuming the church/charity meets the standards for receiving tax-deductible charitable contributions (and most do), the church must still take two steps to insure the gifts meet IRS standards. Contemporaneous Acknowledgement For individual gifts that are more than ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 11/30/2014

published 11/25/2014
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, November 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 saved...

Federal Court Rules on Housing Allowance Case

published 11/17/2014
The General Board of Pension and Health Benefits and the General Council on Finance and Administration of The United Methodist Church have both issued updates explaining that a federal court has ruled to dismiss a case that claimed the clergy housing allowance was unconstitutional. Last year, a federal district judge in Wisconsin held that Internal Revenue Code Section 107(2) (the clergy housing allowance) was unconstitutional. The government appealed the case to the Seventh Circuit Court of ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 11/23/2014

published 11/17/2014
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, November 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 saved...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 11/16/2014

published 11/10/2014
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, November 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 saved...

Conference Center Task Force receives challenge gift; races to raise $330k in six weeks

published 10/29/2014
The South Georgia Conference’s Conference Center Task Force has received a challenge gift of $100,000. The gift, which is contingent upon the Conference raising $330,000 by Dec. 15, 2014, will help fund the Conference’s planned 8,000 square foot Conference Center. With just six weeks to raise $330,000, Conference Center Task Force chairman Dr. Hal Brady urges all South Georgia United Methodists to take part in the campaign. To date, nearly $1.3 million in cash and pledges has been collected. ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 11/2/2014

published 10/27/2014
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, November 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 saved ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 10/26/2014

published 10/21/2014
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, October 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 ...

United Methodist Women gather for 42nd annual meeting

published 10/21/2014
Nearly 250 women – and a handful of supportive men – gathered at Porterfield United Methodist Church on Saturday, Oct. 18, for the 42nd annual meeting of the South Georgia United Methodist Women. They came from across the South Georgia Annual Conference to celebrate 145 years of mission and ministry. Meeting under the theme, “A Calling for This Time,” they met for the first time as a six-district organization. As they entered the sanctuary, each attendee was presented a pin highlighting the new ...

Mission agency to open 3 global offices, Atlanta HQ

published 10/13/2014
By Linda Bloom, UMNS Within two years, the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries will permanently vacate its longtime headquarters at the Interchurch Center in New York and move south to Atlanta. That decision was approved in a closed session Oct. 3 by the mission agency’s board of directors, but was not made public until its 160 employees in New York were officially informed Oct. 6. In a new configuration for the agency, staff will be assigned to three new regional offices in Asia, ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 10/19/2014

published 10/13/2014
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, October 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 ...

The times (and the district askings), they are a'changing!

published 10/8/2014
By Derek W. McAleer, Transitional Director of Administrative Services As we continue to live into the transition from nine districts to six districts, it appears that changes keep rolling out. Some of these changes are exciting (being part of a new district ministry); others rather mundane. (Closing two old bank accounts and opening a new one with the new district name will not make anyone’s top 10 list for the year!) And some changes may turn out to be unexpected, or at least, not fully ...

20-1-5 - What? Why? How? When?

published 10/7/2014
FROM THE BISHOP JAMES R. KING, JR. Hello, beautiful people of South Georgia! What? Simply stated, 20-1-5 is a goal of the South Georgia Annual Conference to focus on growing in our understanding of Jesus Christ in order to become more like him as his disciples. This goal was presented at the 2014 annual conference session. Since our next gathering as an annual conference will take place in 2015 we connected the goal with the year. The 20 represents 20,000 members of our annual conference. There...

Mission agency will match $1 million on UMC #GivingTuesday

published 10/7/2014
The United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries announced that on Dec. 2, 2014, it will match up to $1 million in gifts made online to any project through The Advance as part of UMC #GivingTuesday. Marie Kuch-Stanovsky, who chairs the communication and development committee of Global Ministries’ board of directors, expressed enthusiasm about last year’s record $6.5 million raised online through The Advance on UMC #GivingTuesday. “It was a wonderful sign of commitment and extravagant ...

UMW annual meeting will celebrate 42 years of mission and ministry

published 10/7/2014
South Georgia’s United Methodist Women will celebrate 42 years of mission and ministry on October 18 at Albany’s Porterfield United Methodist Church. Dr. Charlene Black will deliver the keynote address to hundreds of women from across South Georgia. “It is an exciting time for us,” said Conference UMW President Mary Exley. “We are about to do a new thing! This year's annual meeting will be a time for us to look back to where we have been and an opportunity to think about the future. The new six ...

Northeast District launches new Discipleship Form

published 9/29/2014
As part of the South Georgia Conference’s transition to six districts, a new, streamlined Discipleship Form has been created and launched. The new Discipleship Form, which will collect the same information from each church in the Conference, replaces individual district evangelism forms. Access the Northeast District’s Discipleship Form at www.northeastdistrict-umc.org/discipleshipform.   This updated tool was created with collaboration and input from each district and includes the 20.1.5 ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 10/5/2014

published 9/29/2014
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, October 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 ...

Life-saving Ebola messages in 160 characters or less

published 9/25/2014
By Kathy L. Gilbert Amid the most horrific Ebola outbreak in history, The United Methodist Church is sending out hope and life-saving information to Africa twice daily – in 160 characters or less. Hope is in desperate demand in the Ebola outbreak and so is a clear message about what the disease is, how to prevent it, and how to avoid spreading it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts the highly contagious and deadly virus could infect 1.4 million by the end of January. ...

UMCmarket can help generate donations

published 9/25/2014
UMCmarket.org, presented by the General Council on Finance and Administration, allows online shoppers to donate a percentage of what they spend back to their church or the United Methodist ministry of their choice. GCFA estimates holiday shoppers can generate as much as $48 million in donations to ministry. Read pastor's letter on the program See video on how to get started

Denman Evangelism Awards presented

published 9/23/2014
Three South Georgia United Methodists have been awarded UM’s highest honor, the Harry Denman Evangelism Award. Given through the Conference Witness Team, the Denman Awards recognize outstanding work in the field of evangelism.  Rev. Jimmy McIlrath, pastor of The Ridge in Columbus, is the 2014 clergy award recipient. The Ridge was also recognized at the 2014 Annual Conference session for being the South Georgia UM Church with the highest number of professions of faith. Larry Price, a member of...

South Georgia Eagles plan fall retreat

published 9/23/2014
The Eagles, better known as the retired ministers and spouses of the South Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church, are gearing up for their annual Fall Retreat. Set for Oct. 27-29 at Epworth By The Sea on St. Simons Island, the retreat will be a wonderful time of renewal, reconnecting, and rediscovery. Dr. Bob Bone, a retired pastor in the North Georgia Conference, will lead the retreat. Fred Foster will lead silent and live auctions. This retreat is a great time for fun, ...

The pursuit of diversity

published 9/23/2014
Rev. J. Michael Culbreth Drastic changes are occurring around us constantly. One of the changes taking place in the United States is that our nation is becoming less homogeneous. Unfortunately our churches remain homogeneous. In fact most of our congregations consist of people from the same racial, economic and cultural background. Yet as we read God’s word we see a church that is multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and economically diverse. Consider how the scriptures challenge the church to pursue ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 9/28/2014

published 9/22/2014
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, September 28 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 minute of margin

published 9/17/2014
FOCUS ON THE VISION DENISE WALTON On a scale of one to 10, how busy are you these days? One represents being not busy and 10 represents insanely busy and completely overloaded with schedule demands. The answer to this question can be fairly simple or really complex depending on your day-to-day circumstances. There is a biblical mandate for all of us to engage in Sabbath rest. However, this is not a theological conversation but a mere practical inquiry. If your life is out of balance with the ...

Pastor sketches, shares life with hospice patients

published 9/17/2014
Rev. Arnie Raj is as comfortable at a patient’s bedside as he is behind a pulpit. With a registered nurse for a father and a grandfather who was a preacher in India, it is fitting that he would combine the two professions in his chosen career. A chaplain at Ogeechee Area Hospice, a not-for-profit hospice serving Bulloch and surrounding counties, Rev. Raj provides critical spiritual support and care for patients facing end of life issues. Growing up in Dublin, Rev. Raj watched his father serve...

Shop at Kroger and support The Methodist Home

published 9/9/2014
Here is an easy way to help The Methodist Home! You can register to earn rebate money for The Home when you shop at Kroger. After you register for the Kroger Community Rewards program, a percentage of your purchases for grocery items at Kroger will be credited to The Methodist Home account which will enable them to receive quarterly rebates through the end of August 2015.   Here's how to help: Register using this link: krogercommunityrewards.com You will need your Kroger Plus Card to complete ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 9/14/2014

published 9/8/2014
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, September 14 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 ...

Bishop King embraces the "Final Tithe"

published 9/3/2014
Bishop James R. King, Jr. has served as the episcopal leader of the South Georgia Annual Conference since 2008. In this interview, Bishop King celebrates the impact of the Georgia United Methodist Foundation’s ministry in equipping United Methodists to leave a lasting legacy. GUMF: How does the Foundation impact the life and ministries of the South Georgia Conference? BISHOP KING: After watching a presentation by Foundation Senior Vice President Rev. Wayne Racz on the concept of the “Final ...

GBOD offers free webinars for church leaders

published 9/3/2014
The General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church is offering several free webinars this fall. As part of their 2014 Leadership Ministries Webinar Series, the GBOD is offering online training sessions topics such as Advent, lay servant ministries, stewardship, children's ministry, and much more. These webinars begin Wednesday, Sept. 3 and run through Thursday, Oct. 30. Click here to view a list of webinars Click here to register

On the heart of your Bishop - September

published 9/3/2014
Hello, beautiful people of South Georgia! This article features comments on the following: Apportionments Going deeper Power and prayer Communication Apportionments Big thanks!!! To you, pastors and congregations, for being faithful stewards as you continue to demonstrate commitment by supporting the apportionments with 100 percent giving. Some congregations have already paid their apportionments in full. How terrific!!! Going Deeper Nothing new … Over the last several years we have moved from...

Looney Named 2014 Distinguished Evangelist of The United Methodist Church

published 8/20/2014
The Foundation for Evangelism announces the selection of Bishop Richard C. Looney as the 2014 Distinguished Evangelist of The United Methodist Church.    As a member of the Holston Annual Conference, Looney served appointments in Georgia, Virginia, and Tennessee, shared in Pulpit Exchanges in England and Australia, and work missions in Peru, Liberia and Sierra Leone. In July of 1988, he was elected by the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference and assigned as the first Bishop of the newly ...

CF&A releases “Budget at a glance”

published 8/11/2014
The Council on Finance and Administration (CF&A) recently released the 2015 South Georgia Conference Budget for Mission and Ministry. It can be found online at www.sgaumc.org/conferencebudget. The “budget at a glance” provides a breakdown of the Conference budget into two parts to help pastors and congregants better understand how their apportionment dollars are spent. Type A budget items are paid based on expenses or vouchers incurred and include clergy support expenses (pensions, District ...

On the heart of your Bishop - August

published 8/4/2014
FROM THE BISHOP JAMES R. KING, JR. Hello, beautiful people of South Georgia! This article features comments on the following: Five-Star Pastors The Transition Sabbath Communication The Five-Star System Thanks to the pastors and congregations who paid 100% of their apportionments:      15 congregations paid more than 100% of their apportionments.      425 congregations paid 100 % of their apportionments. More and more pastors and congregations are taking their stewardship commitment seriously....

You ARE a leader. So be a GOOD one!

published 8/4/2014
LEADERSHIP REALLY MATTERS ANNE BOSARGE REV. JAY HANSON You are a leader. You are a leader not because of the title you have or the position you hold but because God created each of us to be Christian leaders. Stop thinking of leadership as a position and start thinking of it as personal influence. Leadership is using your influence to make a difference in the lives of people around you. Good leaders leverage their relationships with others to move them closer to Christ. We are all leaders, ...

Methodist Home guest speakers available to preach

published 7/30/2014
Guest speakers from The Methodist Home for Children and Youth are available to preach and share with local congregations the vital ministry they are providing to the more than 400 children and families they serve every day. As a mission agency of the South Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church, the Methodist Home is helping restore childhoods and strengthen families. Partnering with local United Methodist congregations and individuals is vital to The Methodist Home's ministry. Call...

Ministry highlight video helps share good work of mission agencies

published 7/21/2014
The faithful people of the South Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church are engaging in mission and ministry throughout the South Georgia area and beyond. Through the Conference’s mission agencies and backed by the care, generosity, support, and love of thousands of United Methodists, lives are being touched and changed in the name of Jesus Christ. To help tell the stories and share the impact of these ministries, the Office of Connectional Ministries has produced a 12-minute video ...

Vidalia First UMC pastor serves on two fronts

published 7/7/2014
For nearly three years, Rev. Robert Greene has served on two fronts. A pastor in the South Georgia Conference for 12 years currently serving Vidalia First United Methodist Church, he entered the Air Force Reserves in August 2011 and is assigned as a chaplain to Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins. From a young age, Rev. Greene was captivated by military chaplaincy. Baptized as an infant and raised at Vineville United Methodist Church in Macon, where, at 14 he made the personal decision to ...

New UMC Handbook available

published 7/1/2014
Have you seen the new UMC Handbook? The new United Methodist Handbook is now available in an easy-to-read and share digital format.   The Handbook is among the best resources for laity providing leadership, people new to The United Methodist Church and clergy who occasionally get stumped by a question. It includes: • United Methodist teachings, • church structure and organization, • denominational initiatives, • what it means to be a worldwide church, • connectional giving information, • a ...

Bishop King introduces 20.1.5 discipleship initiative

published 6/22/2014
During their baptismal covenant, each person who becomes a member of The United Methodist Church makes known his or her desire to live their daily life as a disciple of Jesus Christ and commits themselves to grow in their faith. In South Georgia terminology, this is known as “growing Christlike.” While thousands make the commitment – there are more than 120,000 United Methodists in the South Georgia Annual Conference – many don’t fully understand what it means or exactly how to become more ...

UM Giving helps local churches exercise generosity & faith together with new website

published 6/18/2014
United Methodist Communications has launched an all-new, redesigned website at UMCGiving.org. The new site offers Biblical perspective to help United Methodists across the globe align their giving practices with their personal faith. With easy navigation, there is a section dedicated specifically for church leaders and pastors that offers tools and downloadable resources to help inspire giving within local churches. It also highlights necessary information to equip leaders to discuss giving with...

Connectional Ministries launches Sunday Advocate

published 6/17/2014
The Office of Connectional Ministries introduces the Sunday Advocate, 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 at www.sgaumc.org/advocate. "We are continuously looking ...

South Georgia Conference releases new mobile apps for Android and iPhone

published 3/6/2014
Download Android App on Google Play Download Apple App for iPhone Now you can easily stay up to date on breaking conference news and upcoming events with the newly released South Georgia mobile app. The new mobile app is available free of charge for iPhone and Android phones/tablets.  In addition to the calendar and news, features include connections to both the church locator and the clergy Locator.  Users can easily view and interact with conference social media: Facebook, Vimeo, Instagram, ...

Shopping and selling with a purpose at Lyons First UMC

published 3/2/2014
It’s not often that shopping and service come together, but that’s exactly what happens each time a purchase is made at the Wings of Hope Thrift Store. A new ministry of Lyons First United Methodist Church, the thrift store is just one component of the church’s Wings of Hope Missions Outreach Center. Opened on Dec. 7, the center also includes a food pantry and monetary assistance ministry. Open every Thursday and Friday from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., the ...

2014 Statistical Tables Now Online

The 2014 Statistical Tables are now available: http://ezra.gcfa.org/login.aspx.   The following was an email sent out by Dr. Derek McAleer, Administrative Services Director: If you are serving as pastor of a local church, please note: Statistical Tables 2014 Statistical Tables are now available: http://ezra.gcfa.org/login.aspx.   Login Information Your username is the 6-digit general church number found in parenthesis on your church's apportionment bill. For pastors you will add a "p" to the ...

Annual Conference Session: Recap of Day 2, June 4

L to R: Alaina Harrison (full deacon), Shannon Baxter (provisional deacon), David Cott (provisional elder), Susan Beverly (provisional elder), Thomas Anderson (provisional elder) Debora Richards (provisional elder), Jamie Bone (provisional deacon), Grace Guyton (full deacon).  Morning Liturgy The morning liturgy was led by Revs. Anthony McPhail, Alaina Harrison, Greg Harrison, and Robert Wood. The first reading was from Psalm 103:1-18, and the second reading was from 1 Peter 2:21-5. Business ...

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