Preparations continue for Annual Conference 2015


More details for the 2015 South Georgia Annual Conference session have been announced and pre-conference materials, including the Book of Recommendations and Reports and the Lay Delegate Interest Brochure, are now available for download at

With a theme of “We’re Better Together,” times of worship, teaching, business and fellowship will celebrate what can be accomplished because of the connected nature of The United Methodist Church. 

Set for June 3-6 in Tifton, the Annual Conference session will commence at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 3 with Bishop James King preaching during the opening worship service.

A tentative schedule of events for the 2015 Annual Conference session can be found here:

Worship leaders announced
The 2015 Annual Conference leadership includes Dr. Christine Pohl, Associate Provost and Professor of Church and Society/Christian Ethics at Asbury Seminary, who will present the Annual Conference session’s teaching moments; Bishop Jonathan Keaton from the Illinois Area who will preach at the Ordination/Commissioning Service; and Rev. Ronnie Wills, pastor of Thomasville First UMC, who will preach at the Memorial Service.

Special Offering
The Special Offering for the 2015 South Georgia Annual Conference will go to support ministry with college students through Wesley Foundation campus ministries across the Conference.

South Georgia Wesley Foundations are in ministry at these colleges and universities:

  • Georgia Southwestern (Americus)
  • Fort Valley State
  • Georgia Southern (Statesboro)
  • Mercer, Middle Georgia State, Wesleyan (Macon)
  • Armstrong Atlantic State (Savannah)
  • Savannah State
  • SCAD (Savannah)
  • Valdosta State
Mission Emphasis
Throughout the Annual Conference session, attendees are encouraged to donate items to the ministries and agencies of the South Georgia Annual Conference. Each of the agencies listed below will have a collection box in the lobby at Annual Conference. They have selected items that will help them in their day-to-day operation. Choose one or several and let’s help fill up their boxes! Overflowing collection bins will be another great way to show that “We're Better Together!”
  • Magnolia Manor: Puzzle books (crossword, word search, Sudoku), #2 lead pencils, and manual sharpeners
  • Methodist Home: Body wash, boys/girls deodorant, hairbrushes/combs, shampoo/conditioner
  • Open Door: Toiletries/hygiene items
  • Vashti: Towels and washcloths
  • Wesley Community Centers: Boxed - Hypoallergenic latex gloves
  • Wesley Glen: Antibacterial wipes for hands or baby wipes
Clergy Breakout Session
During laity elections from 2 until 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 4, all clergy members to Annual Conference will have the opportunity to attend a clergy gathering. Focused on the theme “We’re Better Together,” clergy will engage in teaching and discussion related to ministry best practices, coaching, small groups, affinity groups, and practical tools for working effectively as a team. CEU credit (0.25) provided for attendance.

Laity Breakout Sessions
As the clergy elections are taking place on Friday afternoon, June 5, lay members to Annual Conference and guests will have an opportunity to attend workshops focusing on the ways “We’re Better Together” in mission and ministry. Each of the workshops listed below will be offered twice, once at 2 p.m. and again at 3:30 p.m. Each person can choose one workshop to attend in each time slot.

2 – 3:15 p.m.               Workshop (Choose from 1, 2 or 3)
3:15 – 3:30 p.m.         Break and move to next workshop
3:30 – 4:45 p.m.         Workshop (Choose from 1, 2 or 3)
  1. Better Together in Missions
    Jim & Bernice Keech, Mission Advocates from the General Board of Global Ministries, will share the connection and resources to Global Ministries, From Everywhere to Everywhere.
  2. Better Together in Advocacy
    Kim Jenkins, Executive Director for Open Door Community Center in Columbus, Ga., will present Social Action Awareness: Human Trafficking. Kim serves on the National UMW Human Trafficking Committee. This workshop is sponsored by the South Georgia Conference United Methodist Women.
  3. Better Together in Small Groups
    Anne Bosarge, Director of Discipleship at The Chapel UMC in Brunswick, Ga., will present the keys to successful small group ministries, an important component for nurture ministries in the local church.
Live Streaming
Even those who are not able to be in Tifton for the 2015 Annual Conference Session can still be a part of the four-day event. All worship services and business sessions will be streamed live online. Visit for a detailed agenda and link to the streaming (beginning June 3). Make sure to tell others in your church. 

Photo-a-Day Challenge
You are invited to take a picture each day that expresses the “word of the day” and upload it to Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter using the hashtags (#) below. This is great way to journey through Annual Conference together! #bettertogether #sgaumc
May 1 Listen May 11 Serve May 20 Pray May 29 Nurture
May 2 Love May 12 Bread May 21 Play May 30 Family of God
May 3 Peace May 13 Cup May 22 Joy May 31 Global
May 4 Justice May 14 Worship May 23 Connect June 1 Friendship
May 5 Go May 15 Invite May 24 Encourage June 2 Advocacy
May 6 Restore May 16 Rest May 25 Accountability June 3 Gather
May 7 Blessed May 17 Home May 26 Gather June 4 Connectional
May 8 Family May 18 Scripture May 27 Hope June 5 Fellowship
May 9 Thirst May 19 Alone May 28 Share June 6 Send
May 10 Team      
Pre-Conference Mailing
The pre-conference mailing should arrive in mailboxes within the next two weeks. Download materials here:

Special Lunch Option
On Thursday, June 4 and Friday, June 5, lunch will be available in the ABAC Dining Hall. The meal cost is $7, which includes all-you-can-eat of any and all of the menu items. Lunch tickets may be purchased in the lobby of the Conference Center. A menu will be available. Transportation to and from the ABAC Dining Hall will be provided. Meet the buses right outside the main entrance to the Conference Center.

Swamp Gravy
On Thursday evening, June 4, Swamp Gravy, the Official Folk Life Play of Georgia, will present a one-hour performance for conference members and guests at 7:30 p.m. at the Conference Center. Swamp Gravy’s play will delight audiences of all ages and backgrounds. While steeped in Southern tradition, Swamp Gravy presents stories of universal appeal – stories about life and death, about family, and community. This free event is open to the surrounding community.

Rev. Craig Hutto, Conference Secretary, will present two free webinars for conference attendees. To register for the following webinars and to view documents that will be used during the Annual Conference session, visit All that is needed to view the webinar is an internet connection. No special software required.

On Monday, May 4 at 7 p.m., Rev. Hutto will lead an Annual Conference Overview webinar. The Annual Conference Session can be daunting for those attending conference for the very first time. What is the Book of Recommendations and how do I use it? How do I prepare? Will I have to vote on anything? What do I need to report back to my local church? This webinar will help you navigate the 2015 Annual Conference session and will explore these questions and much more. Whether this will be your first time or tenth time attending conference, all are invited to participate.

On Thursday, May 7 at 7 p.m., Rev. Hutto will lead an Annual Conference webinar focused on the elections of delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conferences. General and Jurisdictional Conferences will be held in May 2016 and July 2016, respectively. Rev. Hutto will help navigate the process for electronic voting as well as explain the responsibilities and duties of delegates for their future work at both General and Jurisdictional Conferences.

Additional information
Banquets and Special Events
Delegation interest form