News

2017 Conference Journal ready for orders and download

published 10/16/2017
Journal includes conference business, directories, reports, appointments, and statistical tables The 2017 Journal of the South Georgia Annual Conference is now available for purchase. As has been our process in recent years, 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 2017 Journal of the South Georgia Annual Conference.*  The ...

Annual Conference shortened by one day; hotel room blocks now open

published 10/16/2017
At a recent meeting, the Annual Conference Program Committee decided to shorten the length of the 2018 Annual Conference session by one day. It is now set for June 3-5, 2018, at the Jekyll Island Convention Center on Jekyll Island. “After last year, some delegates expressed concern over the cost of hotel rooms and meals on the island,” said Dr. Jay Harris, Conference secretary. “We listened and have therefore modified our schedule so that delegates may choose to head home on Tuesday if they ...

Asbury Memorial UMC weaves scripture, sermon, Broadway songs into services

published 10/16/2017
By Kara Witherow, Editor Colorful carousel horses, balloons, and men in masks are more often associated with Broadway stages instead of church chancels, but on Sunday, Oct. 8 worshipers at Asbury Memorial United Methodist Church were treated to a vibrant and powerful musical display during a special worship service. It’s become an October tradition for the Savannah church to incorporate well-known Broadway numbers into its services. Liturgy, scripture, and a sermon are woven among harmonies ...

Church, school partnership helps give students hope, skills, confidence

published 10/16/2017
By Kara Witherow, Editor It’s sometimes challenging for young adults with disabilities to find meaningful work and live independently after graduating high school, but a unique partnership between a Richmond Hill church and school is helping give students the life skills and confidence they need to tackle adult life. For the past two years, Richmond Hill United Methodist Church has partnered with Richmond Hill High School’s special education class to help students increase their capabilities ...

Do we have the right to ask God to bless America?

published 10/16/2017
PATHWAY TO HIS PRESENCE B.J. FUNK Four days after the Las Vegas massacre, I sat in a filled civic center in Tallahassee, Fla., listening to a teaching by David Jeremiah. He was, as expected, wonderful. But what happened at the end had just as great an impact. One of his gifted vocalists sang “God Bless America,” and as she did, I asked myself, “Do we even have the right to ask God to bless America?” With division sweeping our great nation, angry voices accompanied by violence filling our ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 10/22/17

published 10/16/2017
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, October 22 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 ...

Working with leaders to plan for the future

published 10/16/2017
In the Heart of the Connection Rev. Dr. Matt Woodbery, Director of Connectional Ministries Blessed are those who trust in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8 (New Revised Standard Version) For anyone paying attention to what’s happening to The United ...

Morales to be UMCOR liaison in Puerto Rico

published 10/13/2017
  Luis Morales, South Georgia Conference Disaster Coordinator Luis Morales, Disaster Coordinator for the South Georgia Conference, is traveling to Puerto Rico today, Friday, Oct. 13, as a consultant for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). He is representing UMCOR and meeting with Bishop Hector Ortiz, bishop of the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico, to assess how The United Methodist Church and UMCOR can best support and help Puerto Ricans in the wake of Hurricane Maria. “This is ...

AC2018: Conference shortened by a day; hotel room blocks now open

published 10/12/2017
The following is an email sent by Dr. Jay Harris, Conference Secretary, to clergy and lay members of Annual Conference. Please note that the dates for the 2018 Annual Conference Session are June 3-5. Dear Lay and Clergy Members of the Annual Conference and Conference Leaders, We are busy preparing for the 2018 Annual Conference Session which will once again be held at the Jekyll Island Convention Center on Jekyll Island. You will want to make note of the date of next year’s conference, which is...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 10/15/17

published 10/10/2017
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, October 15 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 ...

United Methodist bishops call for a 'Clean Dream Act'

published 10/9/2017
United Methodist bishops are urging the United States Congress to pass a Clean Dream Act that would allow undocumented young people the opportunity to work, receive an education and serve in the U.S. military. In a statement released last week, the bishops said they are praying and urging action for the young people affected by the U.S. government’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The young immigrants, also known as Dreamers, had an October 5 deadline ...

Standing in Solidarity with Puerto Rico

published 10/4/2017
(UMCOR) The 2017 hurricane season caused Puerto Rico unprecedented levels of destruction, devastating the lives of millions of people and leaving hundreds of thousands homeless and displaced. The initial response has been slow for Puerto Rico as its food, fuel, and supplies are dependent on shipments from its air and sea ports, most of which have been severely damaged. The island’s ports and airports are slowly reopening though, allowing much-needed aid to make its way into Puerto Rico. The ...

Building Community; UMW to meet Oct. 21

published 10/2/2017
United Methodist Women Annual Meeting 2017 Written and submitted by United Methodist Women United Methodist Women in South Georgia has been “Building Community” all year long. It’s is nothing new for this organization because it is what and who we are – a community. The conference Annual Meeting being held at Statesboro First United Methodist Church Oct. 21 will highlight this theme and will accent the job our Bishop give us at Annual Conference, “being alive in Christ.” “Statesboro First is...

John Wesley and “Old Jeffrey”

published 10/2/2017
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON Did you know that the Wesley family had a very active ghost in the Epworth parsonage? While John Wesley was off at Oxford strange things began to happen back at Epworth. Footsteps were heard in the night coming up the stairs. Loud banging occurred. A noise like a chain being dragged startled everybody in the house. When this would happen their dog, “Jack” would crawl under the bed. Jack was a large Mastiff who was usually fearless. These noises seemed to get ...

Offense or Defense?

published 10/2/2017
LEADERSHIP REALLY MATTERS ANNE BOSARGE REV. JAY HANSON It’s officially fall and that means football season – kids are playing on fields at the local Rec. Department, middle schools, and high schools. College football games determine our schedules on the weekends and NFL football fans come to life on Monday nights. No matter what sideline you find yourself on or which set of bleachers you’re cheering from, at some point, you’re either calling for more offense or defense. Along with the offense ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 10/8/17

published 10/2/2017
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, October 8 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 ...

UMCom internship helps South Georgia student learn, grow, share

published 10/2/2017
Taylor Bush is pictured with her UMCom co-workers in their Nashville, Tenn. office. Pictured in the front row, left to right, are: Kathy Noble, editor of Interpreter Magazine; Fran Coode Walsh, Director, Member Communication; Taylor Bush; Chris Fenoglio, Manager, Web Content. Pictured in the back row left to right, are: Joe Iovino, Manager, Member Content Development, and Tony Cook, Freelance Video Editor. Photo courtesy of Fran Walsh, UMCom By Kara Witherow, Editor This summer, more than 400...

We become what we pay attention to

published 10/2/2017
FROM THE BISHOP R. LAWSON BRYAN Our four-year theme is Alive Together in Christ, based on Ephesians 2:5. Each year we will focus on one specific area in which we want to live out this theme. The first of these is worship. This area is so important that in 2016 our annual conference enthusiastically approved a goal of increasing average worship attendance by 10 percent. At our 2017 annual conference session we launched the emphasis of “Alive Together in Worship” by reading Lovett Weems’ book "...

We pray for victims of the Las Vegas shooting

published 10/2/2017
Our hearts go out to the victims of last night’s shooting at an outdoor concert in Las Vegas. Early reports indicate that at least 50 people have died and hundreds more are injured. The police are at work to learn all they can about the shooter and his background. Right now there is so much we want to know, yet we want real information and not misinformation. What we do know for certain is that we must pray: for the hundreds of wounded victims, that their injuries would heal and that they will ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 10/1/17

published 9/25/2017
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, October 1 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 ...

Like a Mighty Army

published 9/21/2017
We are Alive Together in Christ … like a mighty army! For several weeks we have been inundated with disasters: Hurricane Harvey, wildfires in the west, a deadly landslide in Sierra Leone, Hurricane Irma, two major earthquakes in Mexico, and now Hurricane Maria. We remain in constant prayer that the God of all mercy will comfort, protect, and provide. Here in South Georgia many  – some of you, even – have suffered as a result of Hurricane Irma. Close to home I am thinking of farms and farmers ...

After Hurricane Irma: Early response teams now needed

published 9/18/2017
The Conference Disaster Response Team is currently assessing how we as South Georgia United Methodists can be of assistance, both in our own conference and the Florida Conference, following the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. We were fortunate as we witnessed a significant downgrade in Irma before reaching South Georgia. We will be gathering damage assessments and mobilizing resources as needed throughout South Georgia in the days to come. Thank you for the many ways the connection continues to ...

Bishop Bryan reflects on one year in South Georgia, looks ahead to future

published 9/18/2017
Stay Calm, Stay Connected, and Stay the Course ADVOCATE: It’s hard to believe more than a year has passed since you were appointed and installed to the South Georgia Conference! How has being a bishop differed from being a local church pastor? BISHOP BRYAN: Some of the differences would include expanding my parish area from a local community to an annual conference covering 61 percent of the state of Georgia. Another difference would be the shift in focus from one local church to working with ...

Church presence brings help, hope to those affected by Hurricane Irma

published 9/18/2017
Rev. Andy Lamon, campus pastor of The Chapel Effingham, and several members of the congregation helped clean a Tybee Island home that was flooded by Hurricane Irma. By Kara Witherow, Editor Tricia Lewis carried sodden pillows to a growing pile of debris Friday afternoon, days after Hurricane Irma flooded her home with 18 inches of water. “It’s just stuff,” said Lewis, whose house on Lewis Street on Tybee Island was also flooded just 11 months ago during Hurricane Matthew. “We’re a lot better...

Congregations and communities come together to serve during, after hurricane

published 9/18/2017
By Kara Witherow, Editor Hurricane Irma, which was downgraded to Tropical Storm Irma before it struck South Georgia Monday, Sept. 11, downed power lines, felled trees, flooded neighborhoods, and taxed local utilities throughout the region. One week after the storm, hundreds are still without power and full restoration will take months, officials say. United Methodists across Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina are still assessing the damage and cleaning up after the deadly storm that left at...

Connecting Neighbors: UMCOR’s Disaster Response Leadership Training Program

published 9/18/2017
Over the past year - through Hurricane Matthew, the Albany tornadoes, and most recently Tropical Storm Irma - United Methodists across South Georgia have stepped up and shown what it means to be “Alive Together In Christ.” Local churches and individuals have been involved in their communities, offering feeding ministries and sheltering programs to providing comfort and early response teams and much more. Stories continue to bubble up of creative ways neighbors are helping neighbors and examples...

Methodist Home houses evacuees, shares Christ’s love

published 9/18/2017
By Brittany Grier, Marketing Coordinator, The Methodist Home The Methodist Home was blessed with the opportunity to serve others during Hurricane Irma. It was truly an incredible week of service! Roughly 120 kids and staff from The Florida United Methodist Children’s Home, along with seven dogs, arrived at The Methodist Home in Macon on Thursday, September 7 as they evacuated from Enterprise, Fla. ahead of Hurricane Irma. The following day Bishop Lawson Bryan, along with his wife, Sherrill, ...

Remembrance and Hope

published 9/18/2017
Dr. Hal Brady With most of our attention riveted on Hurricane Irma, the 16th anniversary of 9/11 quietly passed by. Oh, to be sure, there were some observances and rightly so. And it was also appropriate and necessary that we focused on the monstrous Hurricane Irma. However, Tuesday morning, September 11, 2001, will live forever in our memories. That was the day of the unthinkable. Who will ever forget the terrorist attack on our nation – those planes crashing into the World Trade Center and ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 9/24/17

published 9/18/2017
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, September 24 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 ...

Updates on Epworth By The Sea, Moore Methodist Museum

published 9/15/2017
After a week long evacuation due to Hurricane Irma, Glynn County residents were allowed to return on Thursday, September 14. Initial assessments have been made to the Arthur J. Moore Methodist Museum and Epworth By The Sea, both located on St. Simons Island. Mrs. Ann Packard, director of the museum, said that after an initial tour of the Museum & Archives there appeared to only be a bit of water that leaked under the doors. The staff is currently handling this to avoid any mold or mildew ...

Churches outside Florida feel effects of Irma

published 9/13/2017
While United Methodists across Florida began to take stock as Hurricane Irma left the state, church members in Georgia and South Carolina were dealing with flash flooding, downed trees and power outages as the storm headed north. Reports also began to emerge from Hispanic-Latino churches in the Caribbean, where Irma began its path of destruction on Sept. 5 in the Leeward Islands. The hurricane killed 36 people in the Caribbean before making landfall on the U.S. mainland. On Sept. 12, evacuees ...

Assessing Hurricane Irma: September 12 Update

published 9/12/2017
The Conference Disaster Response Team is currently assessing how we as South Georgia United Methodists can be of assistance, both in our own conference and the Florida Conference, following the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. We were fortunate as we witnessed a significant downgrade in Irma before reaching South Georgia. We ask pastors who have been impacted to contact their District Superintendent to let he or she know the condition of their community, church, and any immediate needs. The District...

United Methodists prepare for Irma

published 9/8/2017
By Linda Bloom and Vicki Brown Sept. 8, 2017 | UMNS Experiences with last year’s U.S. hurricanes and coverage of the devastation wrought by Harvey in Texas and Louisiana have put United Methodists in the Southeast on high alert as Hurricane Irma approaches. Pam Garrison, disaster response coordinator for the Florida Conference, said the conference is still working on both coasts to repair damage from Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew. Volusia, Flagler, Putnam and St. Johns counties, where Matthew ...

Preparing for Hurricane Irma: September 7 Update

published 9/7/2017
Based on the most recent forecasts from the National Weather Service, it looks like our conference will be heavily impacted. At 3 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency in six coastal Georgia counties: Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Glynn, Liberty and McIntosh. Today he expanded his emergency declaration to include 24 additional counties, with a total of 30 counties now included in a state of emergency. Gov. Deal also issued a mandatory evacuation order for all areas ...

Monitoring Hurricane Irma: September 6 Update

published 9/6/2017
Hurricane Irma Update: September 6 In the most recent projections, the path of Hurricane Irma has shifted slightly to the east putting South Georgia under alert for potential impact. At 3:00 p.m. this afternoon, Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency in six coastal Georgia counties: Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Glynn, Liberty and McIntosh. This morning the South Georgia, South Carolina, Florida and Alabama West-Florida Conferences were brought together on a conference call with UMCOR (United ...

Churches paint, hide rocks to share hope, faith

published 9/5/2017
Lena Sumner, a fifth-grade student in Christy Yates' Park Avenue UMC Sunday school class, paints a scripture verse on a rock. By Kara Witherow, Editor A little acrylic paint and a few rocks are helping spread hope and love across South Georgia communities. From Bainbridge to Brunswick, individuals and groups are painting rocks and brightening people’s days, one rock at a time. At Park Avenue United Methodist Church, Christy Yates’ fifth-grade Sunday school class is learning about the Bible ...

COB President appeals for prayers and disaster relief support

published 9/5/2017
United Methodist Council of Bishops FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday, September 1, 2017 WASHINGTON – Council of Bishops President Bishop Bruce R. Ough is urging all United Methodists to pray and offer support to the victims of the flooding in the Gulf Coast and the mudslides in Sierra Leone. In his letter, Bishop Ough said the heart-rending images from the floods in Texas and the mudslides in Sierra Leone should move all Christians into helping fellow brothers and sisters in the disaster areas. “...

Conference Disability Ministries Committee seeks passionate volunteers

published 9/5/2017
By Christy Odum, member of the Advocacy Team and chair of the Ministry with People with Disabilities subcommittee Hello, South Georgia, I had the privilege of traveling to Atlanta Sunday, Aug. 13 to attend a worship service and meeting for the Disability Ministries Committee. The worship service was filled with God’s presence and grace. My friend Mark Crenshaw of the North Georgia Conference brought the message and others with disabilities were involved with every aspect of the service. I ...

Disaster Response: Responding to Hurricane Harvey

published 9/5/2017
September 1, 2017 To the South Georgia Conference: I have said before that it is times like these that we see just how very "Alive Together in Christ" we are! Thank you for the outpouring of prayer and support for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. We are seeing a tremendous response across South Georgia in very tangible ways. The Bishop has encouraged local churches to take up a special offering, which will be sent to the Texas conferences experiencing this devastation. The following inserts ...

John Wesley’s two-day experiment

published 9/5/2017
JOHN WESLEY MOMENTS DAVE HANSON John Wesley tried a two-day experiment in sharing his faith. He decided that for two days he would only speak to others about godly things if the Holy Spirit directly prompted him to do so. At the end of this two-day experiment he concluded: 1) That he spoke to none at all, even when he rode many miles with them in a coach except for a few words when setting out. 2) That he had no cross to bear and soon went to sleep. 3) That he had much respect shown to him and...

North Georgia UM churches partnering in new ways with new campus ministries

published 9/5/2017
By Sybil Davidson As college students begin a new school year, United Methodist churches are partnering in new ways with the Georgia UMCommission to launch and champion new campus ministries. Three notable new ministries are in the works thanks to our United Methodist connection: Georgia Gwinnett Wesley, West Georgia Wesley, and Augusta Wesley.   Georgia Gwinnett Wesley Most people don't think of Lawrenceville as a "college town," but when Lawrenceville First UMC went through a ...

St. Simons UMC father helps organize $6,500 student debt payoff

published 9/5/2017
By Kara Witherow, Editor A note sent home in his son’s folder before the end of school last May spurred one St. Simons Island man into action to organize a community effort to pay off the lunch debt at every school in Glynn County. The note reminded parents to pay their children’s cafeteria debts. Instead of reading it and immediately tossing the note in the trash, Dan Meyers, a member of St. Simons United Methodist Church, wondered what he could do to help those who couldn’t afford to pay ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 9/10/17

published 9/5/2017
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, September 10 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 human chain

published 9/5/2017
FROM THE BISHOP R. LAWSON BRYAN The beginning of my second year in the South Georgia Conference coincides with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana. That is interesting because during my first year we experienced three disasters of our own: Hurricane Matthew, the storms in Albany, and the tornadoes in the South Central and Southwest Districts. We are grateful for those who reached out to us in the past year and our conference is already at work to support relief efforts for ...

Why I am committed to being UNITED in the Methodist Church

published 9/5/2017
GROWING IN GRACE BEN GOSDEN There’s a cute Disney movie that came out about 15 years ago called “Lilo and Stitch.” It’s the story of an alien that crash lands on earth and befriends a curious and fiesty young girl named Lilo. The movie follows their hijinks as they learn the value of family bonds. There’s a great line in the movie where Lilo teaches Stitch one of her native Hawaiian sayings: “Ohana means family…and family means no one gets left behind.” I remember a conversation I had with a ...

September 1 marks one year anniversary for Bishop Bryan in South Georgia

published 9/1/2017
We want to wish Bishop Lawson Bryan a happy One Year Anniversary! September 1 marks one year he has served as the episcopal leader in the South Georgia Conference. Recently, Bishop Bryan and Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson, episcopal leader of the North Georgia Conference, sat down to reflect on their first year of ministry here in Georgia. We are so thankful for their spiritual leadership and guidance and can’t wait to see what this next year holds! Click here to watch video.  

Responding to Hurricane Harvey

published 8/28/2017
Bulletin Inserts Disaster Response Bulletin Insert Special Sunday Bulletin Insert Update on September 1: To the South Georgia Conference: I have said before that it is times like these that we see just how very "Alive Together in Christ" we are! Thank you for the outpouring of prayer and support for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. We are seeing a tremendous response across South Georgia in very tangible ways.  As we move into this Labor Day weekend, I want to provide an update and new ...

Sunday Advocate Bulletin Insert - 9/3/17

published 8/28/2017
Click on the link below to download the Sunday Advocate. Sunday, September 3 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 ...

After violence, death in Charlottesville, United Methodists pray for peace, healing, unity

published 8/21/2017
Centenary Church's service attracted a diverse crowd and more than 30 clergy, including Episcopalian pastors, a Catholic priest, Methodist pastors, and Baptist ministers. Photo courtesy of Centenary Church. By Kara Witherow, Editor “Lord, what can I do?” That’s the question Rev. Precious Hawkins asked as she watched violence erupt in Charlottesville, Va. last weekend. “What can we do? It kept coming back to ‘pray,’” said Rev. Hawkins, pastor of Speedwell United Methodist Church in Savannah....

Bishop Bryan: The Eclipse of God

published 8/21/2017
On Monday, Aug. 21, the moon will pass between the earth and the sun. For a time the sun’s light will be blocked by the moon. This is the solar eclipse about which we have heard so much. I have found myself remembering the book by 20th century Jewish theologian Martin Buber entitled, “The Eclipse of God.” Buber makes the point that just as the sun is still there even though temporarily its light is obstructed, so also there are times in our lives when God may appear to be absent. What is ...

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