|September 28, 2011 / Volume 10, No. 15||Printable Version|
Bishop James King is pleased to announce that the 2012 Discipleship Covenant Conference (DCC) has been set for February 24-25, 2012, at the Macon Centreplex in Macon, Ga. The DCC is an experience where clergy, staff and laity come together to develop and improve personal and congregational covenants based on the timeless values of our faith. Speakers for the two day event include Tim Stevens, Granger Community Church, Sister Kathleen Flood, Program Development Executive for Stillpoint, a school for spiritual direction and contemplative prayer, Jim and Jennifer Cowart, Harvest Church UMC in Warner Robins, and Jay Hanson, The Chapel UMC in Brunswick. Robert McMichael and Jarvis Wilson, both from Atlanta, will lead the music for the event. For more details visit disciplecovenantconference.org/ or contact Pam Kanode at (478) 475-9286 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Global Board of Church and Society (from Washington, D.C.) and the Interfaith Children’s Movement will hold a juvenile justice advocacy training Thursday, October 20, 2011, at Wesley Chapel UMC in McDonough, GA. This training is designed to: 1) Create awareness of the importance of advocacy and educational training for issues that affect children and families in Georgia; 2) Elevate our understanding of how missional and worshipful engagement ultimately moves the political; 3) Provide basic training about church-based organizing; 4) Create comprehensive program(s) that both North and South GA Conferences can organize around; 5) Develop a political strategy and structure with specific calendar of action steps; and 6) Mobilize congregations and build momentum to support restorative justice in juvenile code reform in 2012. Registration/Continental Breakfast/Networking will begin at 9:00 a.m. The training will begin at 10:00 a.m. and end at 4:00 p.m. Click here for more details and contact information to register.
Bishop James R. King, Jr., episcopal leader of the South Georgia Conference, is continuing his journey to visit all nine districts this fall for the 2011 Bishop’s Hour. These Bishop’s Hours are designed to be an intentional time for Bishop King to be in each district sharing with both laity and clergy. Contact your district office for more information.
Waycross District - October 2 - Epworth By The Sea, St. Simons Island - 4:00 p.m.
Valdosta District - October 6 - Valdosta First UMC - 6:00 p.m.
Savannah District - October 9 - Gateway Community UMC, Pooler - 4:00 p.m.
Statesboro District - October 11 - Statesboro First UMC - 7:00 p.m.
Dublin District - October 13 - Swainsboro First UMC - 7:00 p.m.
Macon District - October 16 - Harvest UMC, Warner Robins - 4:00 p.m.
ADVOCATE: Where did you grow up? Have you always lived in South Georgia?
REV. WALTON: I was born in the inner city of Chicago but grew up in Columbus, Georgia. My mother, Minnie Lee Harris, moved back home to care for her mother, Precious Amber Johnson, after she had a stroke. My five siblings and I grew up caring for my grandmother. I believe it taught me to be compassionate and concerned for those unable to care for themselves. More>>
In early 2009, Mia and Thomas Ai knew they needed God to be a stronger presence in their lives. After searching for a church home, they thought they had found one that accepted them and their three children, Bison, 8, Maysen, 6, and Kaysen, 3, just as they are. After attending for two months, though, they were told that the church’s children’s ministry staff and volunteers were not equipped or able to handle and accommodate Bison, who is autistic. Discouraged, wary and “homeless,” Ai poured her heart out to her son’s teacher, Paige Madden. Madden, a special education teacher at Brunswick’s Golden Isles Elementary School and member of The Chapel, a United Methodist congregation in Brunswick, took Ai’s concerns and needs to Anne Bosarge, The Chapel’s director of children’s ministries. More>>
On Saturday, October 15, United Methodist Women from around the conference will gather together to celebrate 39 years of mission work in South Georgia and around the world. Meeting at Macon’s Vineville United Methodist Church under the theme, “Finding Peace in a Busy World,” this year’s annual meeting and celebration will feature the work of the Vashti Center in Thomasville, Ga., one of the South Georgia mission agencies supported by the Women’s Division. Cathy Snook, Vashti’s director of development, will present the agency’s new focus of intervention and counseling, and will be assisted by a special mystery guest. More>> Click here to download the brochure.
The South Georgia Eagles, a group of retired South Georgia United Methodist pastors and spouses, will gather November 7-9, 2011, at Epworth By The Sea, for their annual retreat. Rev. Dave and Kay Hanson, Eagles’ co-presidents, are happy to announce that Rev. Lyman Coleman, a world-wide leader in small-group ministries, will lead the retreat. More>>
(UMNS) There's long been talk of the "graying" of United Methodist congregations, but the same can now be said of its pastors. The annual report on clergy age trends in The United Methodist Church reveals a widening age gap. The report was released this week by the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. Even though there are more young elders, deacons and local pastors than 10 years ago, their numbers are dwarfed by elders in the 55-72 age range - 951 compared with 8,790. Reflecting a trend that began in 1995, the number of elders in the 35-54 range continues to decrease. More>>
(GBGM) The United Methodist Church, through UMCOR, is on the ground locally and globally, helping people after disasters. What are these workers experiencing? United Methodist missionaries are doing God's work every day. What issues are they facing and how are they making a difference?
Beginning Monday, October 10, join us daily for 10-Fold, a 10-day multimedia experience that spotlights 10 powerful ways The United Methodist Church is making an impact worldwide—from planting churches to eliminating death and suffering from malaria.
Log on daily to 10-fold.org, Oct. 10–19, to explore each day's featured project. See live webcasts and videos, read powerful stories, and learn ways YOU can join the effort. Plus, when you click to BE COUNTED, our sponsors will give $1 to the day's initiative—just because you visited!
Please share 10-Fold with your family, friends, and fellow church members. For your convenience, we have created a toolkit (PDF, 4 pp.) to answer questions and provide you with suggestions for how you can get others involved.
Mission never stops, so please spread the word and visit 10-fold.org.
(UMNS) Christians around the globe will celebrate World Communion Sunday on Oct. 2. United Methodists will also have the opportunity to contribute to a special offering to support World Communion Scholarships, the Ethnic Scholarship Program and the Ethnic In-Service Training Program. Gifts equip racial- and ethnic-minority students in the United States and international students to transform the church and their communities. Read full story»
(UMNS) Whether they call it “mudding out” or “mucking out,” seven of the 10 United Methodist annual (regional) conferences in the Northeast are in active disaster mode as they assist communities hit by record flooding at the end of the summer. The calendar is as much of a hindrance as the mud left behind. “Our problem is we’re coming up on winter,” explained the Rev. Larry Siikanen, disaster response coordinator for the United Methodist Susquehanna Annual (regional) Conference in Pennsylvania. “We’ve got six or eight weeks to get a lot of these homes cleaned out.” The same situation exists in New York State. “We are really running against time,” said the Rev. Joseph Ewoodzie, New York Conference disaster coordinator. “We are afraid so many of the homes will not even be gutted or mucked out, so volunteers are urgently needed.” More>>
(UMNS) Last month, the Annie E. Casey Foundation reported that another 2.4 million children joined the ranks of the U.S. poor during the past decade. Last week, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that the total number of Americans living below the poverty line – 46.2 million – was the highest total ever in the 52 years the bureau has tracked such data. For church members involved with food pantries and after-school programs, the Casey Foundation’s report of “a significant decline” in the economic well-being of low-income children and their families “is consistent with what they’re seeing,” said the Rev. Mary Ellen Kris, a consultant on ministry with the poor for the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. The real face of poverty often isn’t apparent to most Americans. People are shocked, for example, “when they find out the (homeless) shelter system in New York City is overwhelmingly children and single moms,” Kris said. “There’s this huge number of people in need who are really not visible.” More>>
(SEJ) The fourth annual Lake Junaluska Peace Conference, “Poverty, Abundance, and Peace: Seeking Economic Justice for All God’s Children,” on November 13-15, 2011, will lift up some of the systemic causes of poverty and economic disparity to help participants better understand these issues and to be equipped as change agents to work for alleviating these causes of poverty for a more just and peaceful world. Speakers for this year’s conference include Senator George McGovern; Dr. David Beckmann, Executive Director of Bread for the World; Bishop Nkula Ntambo of the Katanga Conference in the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and Michael Ayuen de Kuany, one of the "Lost Boys of the Sudan." For more information about the 2011 Peace Conference, visit www.lakejunaluska.com/peace.
(GBHEM) Exploration 2011 is set for November 11-13 in St. Louis, Mo. The event will include speakers, worship, workshops, and small group interaction to help students hear, discern, and respond to their call to ordained ministry. Speakers include the Rev. Adam Hamilton, founding pastor of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kan. The church has grown from four people in 1990 to more than 12,000 adult members. Also, representatives of all 13 United Methodist theological schools will be at the event so that young adults who are planning to go to seminary can compare the programs and choose which theological school will best fit their needs. The event aims to address The United Methodist Church’s need for more young clergy. For more information, or to register for Exploration 2011, please visit www.gbhem.org/exploration or www.explorecalling.org.
(GBOD) If you can’t visit The Upper Room in person, go online to see the chapel’s renowned carving of the Last Supper and the World Christian Fellowship Window, made from 9,000 panes of glass. You also can submit prayer requests at the Virtual Prayer Room. For The Upper Room Chapel and Christian Art Museum, go to http://chapel.upperroom.org/
(GBOD) Shoot and submit a video about your youth ministry for inclusion in the young people’s address to General Conference. To present a complete picture of young people in the United Methodist Church, GBOD will incorporate video stories and photos from around the world in the presentation. For submission guidelines, go to http://bit.ly/genconfaddress. Hurry! Oct. 31 is the deadline.
(GBOD) The General Board of Discipleship is offering the following free webinars for church leaders. To register, visit www.gbod.org/committee_
Oct 25 - Principles for Church Renewal (for PASTORS)
WHAT: Topics include defining Christian transformation, disciplines for Christian transformational leadership, leading a movement of hope, and introduction to a process to enable church transformation. Helpful to read “Does Your Church Have A Prayer?” before the webinar.
WHEN: Oct 25 at 12:30 PM CDT
Oct 27 - Plan Now to Meet Your 2012 Goals (for CHURCH COUNCIL LEADERS)
WHAT: Turn the goals you have set for 2012 into actions and results. Planning strategies for implementation is the first step to reaching goals. General principles and specific strategies for meeting vitality goals you have set.
WHEN: Oct 27 at 6:30 PM CDT
Nov 10 - Finishing the Year Financially Strong (for FINANCE LEADERS)
WHAT: God’s generous love sustains your church, and God provides all that is needed for God’s purposes. Practical ideas for people entrusted with managing the funding.
WHEN: Nov 10 at 6:30 PM CDT
(GBHEM) United Methodist Student Day is just weeks away. Be sure to order your free offering resources for this Nov. 27 offering. United Methodist Student Day provides scholarships and loans for students attending United Methodist-related and other accredited colleges and universities. Scholarships and loans funded through United Methodist Student Day prepare leaders for The United Methodist Church and the world. The financial support students receive help keep them in school and focused on their studies. Offering inserts, a poster, worship resources, stories and videos are all available online at www.umcgiving.org/UMSD.
(UMCom) Outside the Box is the newest Rethink Church sermon series, and it includes something special for all ages. This four-week lectionary-based series will help you invite others to unwrap the story of Jesus’ birth and include those forgotten, ignored or turned away from life’s inns, so we may welcome all. The Outside the Box series is a free downloadable resource and is available at www.umcom.org/outside. An accompanying multimedia bundle ($25) includes videos to make messages come to life, graphics for worship and outreach resources to engage your community. These resources may be edited in Microsoft Word or Adobe Photoshop. Free shipping (USPS First Class only) is offered on this series. To order, go to www.umcom.org/outside or call 1-888-346-3862.
(GBOD) Get a copy of What Every Child Should Experience: A Guide for Teachers and Leaders in United Methodist Congregations. An index of Bible stories and concepts divided by age appropriateness, this guide provides a plan for a child’s faith foundation. Developed by GBOD’s Ministry with Children team, What Every Child Should Experience covers tenets about God, worship, the Bible, home and family, everyday life, community and Wesleyan heritage. Download it free at http://bit.ly/
(GBOD) World Communion Sunday is October 2, 2011. This hymn festival includes readings, scriptures, hymns, prayers, and a bulletin, all ready for downloading and use. Celebrating the Mystery
(GBCS) The United Methodist Church is among sponsors of a new resource on immigration issues, addressing them from a faith perspective. The curriculum offers segments of filmed interviews, facts and figures interspersed with class activities and discussion. More>>
(UMCom) Maybe there's a lesson or two to be learned from one of television's most popular reality shows, "Hoarders." Think about discarding a few of the things that aren't working anymore. Continue>>
(UMcom) Many children find it difficult to open up right away and share their thoughts in Sunday school. The following games are fun icebreakers designed to put children at ease in Christ-centered settings. Continue>>
(UMCom) Why not get more mileage out of your sermons and blogs? Recycling content to fit other media allows you to reach much larger and more diverse audiences. Continue>>
(UMCom) One of the best resources for people in your church to grow spiritually can be found on your church website. Pages can be built that guide individuals to practical ways of practicing the "means of grace," which will enhance individual spirituality, as well as the spirituality of the whole church. Continue>>
(UMCOR) Mental illness is often a hidden disability, so few congregations are aware of the persons in their pews who are affected, either directly or as family members of those living with mental illness. According to current statistics, in any given year, more than a quarter of adults will experience some form of mental illness. These illnesses also affect family, friends, and employers. Mental Illness Awareness Week is October 2 – 8, 2011. The United Methodist Task Force on Disability Ministries, a program of UMCOR Health, is offering churches resources they can use to help improve their ability to recognize mental illness and increase responsiveness to it. Read more. Your gift to Disability Ministry, UMCOR Advance #3021054, helps the task force carry out and expand its ministry.
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