Augusta District Newsletter, 9-28-16
1. From Winston Worell, Director of the World Methodist Evangelism Institute:
All clergy, outreach teams, mission coordinators, evangelism leaders are now welcomed to sign up for the "Training the Trainers" Practical Faith-Sharing Seminar being held from 10.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. on, Thursday, November 3 at Tucker First UMC, sponsored by The World Methodist Evangelism Institute.
Come and explore historical methods of faith-sharing, participate in hands-on role-playing in this practical workshop, learn contemporary ways of sharing your faith, and receive several faith-sharing resources. Register now on our website at www.wmei.org or Click here to register/.
2. From Lovett Weems:
The most frequent request we receive from congregations is for help in planning and visioning. While we can direct them to resources, we are not able to guide them personally. To help such churches, we have organized the Discovering God’s Future for Your Church Conference and Live Stream. The event is Saturday, November 5, from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (Eastern) at Wesley Theological Seminary. Attendees may participate in person in Washington, DC, or via live stream from anywhere.
At Discovering God’s Future for your Church, attendees will learn how to discern God’s vision for their congregations — a step-by-step process for considering the strengths, challenges, and people that God has given them. This process can reveal what God is calling a congregation to be and to do.
Early-bird registration discounts are available through Tuesday, October 4. Special live stream rates for groups are also available.
3. Administrative Training, Dec. 4th, 3-5pm at Macedonia UMC
This year we are offering administrative committee training in December. Each session will last one hour.
3pm – PPR (led by Terry Fleming)
Trustees (led by Mike Cash)
4pm – Finance (led by Keith Cox, Conference Treasurer)
Admin. Council/Board, all members (led by Herzen Andone, connectional ministries)
This is a great way for your new folks on these committees to jump start their year.
4. UMW Meetings
Conference Annual Meeting, Cumming UMC, Oct. 1, 9:30-Noon
District UMW Annual Meeting, Eatonton UMC, Oct. 22, 9:30-Noon
5. From the D.S. - Making Disciples?
We say that our mission is the one designed by Jesus in Matthew 28 – “Go therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you, and behold! I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
In that sentence, there is one imperative verb – “Make Disciples!” – and three participles that explain how you will make disciples – “going, baptizing, and teaching.” This is how Matthew ends his gospel, with Jesus’s marching orders to His disciples (then) about His disciples to come.
The Book of Discipline states that this is our mission; Not making church members, or tithers, or activity leaders, or worship attenders, or elected officers (though all of that possibly leads out of being disciples)…but rather, making disciples. So, um…How do we do that? How was it done to you? Was it done well?
I pulled a book off my shelf about Jesus. Each chapter is headed by one of His names or titles:
Jesus, Man, God, Son of David, Son of Man, Son of God, Messiah, Servant, Good Shepherd, Divine Physician, Savior, Prophet. King, Stone, Bridegroom, Bread of Life, Light of the World, Door, Vine, The Way, The Truth, the Life, The Resurrection, The Judge, Mediator, High Priest, The Amen, The Head, The Image of God….etc.
Not once did this book mention Rabbi.
And yet this was His chosen method of calling people unto Himself and then sending them (us) out. Jesus did not invent this model. It is there in the Scriptures; read the story of how Elijah called Elisha. It is the ancient model of a skilled artist working with a committed apprentice. We can read the written history of Jewish Rabbis working with their disciples. Yet we Protestant Christians have not focused on the fact that the gospels are an ongoing playbook of this actual model being used by Jesus and then passed down to us.
Did you know that while typical Rabbis waited for potential students to seek them out, asking, “May I follow you?” Jesus changed this. First, He sought out individuals (“Come, follow me!”) and then He expanded His call to…well…the whole world! (“Come to me, all the weary and heavy laden”…”Let the children come to me”…”Come to me, anyone who thirsts”…and then, “Go to all the world and make disciples of every nation!”)
Did you know that one of the primary duties of a disciple was to memorize, word for word, the teaching of her Master? How do we read - and practice what we learn - from the gospels?
Did you know that the goal of being a disciple, once fully trained, was to be like his Master (Luke 6:40)?
Did you know that a disciple was called to complete commitment, following the Master, eating like the rabbi, sleeping when He slept, keeping Sabbath as He did, fasting and praying and studying the Scriptures with Him and like Him? “We have left everything to follow you!” said Peter. (Attending worship once a month does not sound similar at all.)
Jesus warned us that we are not to be rabbis ourselves (Matthew 23:8), because we have only one Master - the Messiah. This is why his last words in Matthew, after the commission, were the promise that He would be with us always. Today, you and I (and all who come to Him) are still sitting at the feet of Rabbi Jesus. He is here. He is the ultimate teacher and the only true Master and Lord.
Yours for the Kingdom,
Augusta District Superintendent
PO Box 204600
Augusta, GA 30907
"Mockers can get a whole town agitated, but the wise will calm anger." Prov. 29:8
3332 West Cliffe Court
Augusta, GA 30907
P.O. Box 204600
Augusta, GA 30917
(706) 651-8621 Phone
(706) 651-8622 Fax