Augusta District Newsletter, 11-19-16
1. Federal Overtime Rules –
Pastors, you and your SPR committees need to decide how best to handle these new laws. Consistency is key.
2. 1-15-17 - Fresh Expressions Seminar, at the Global Ministries Building -
3. Move-Stay forms - http://www.ngumc.org/MinisterialServices
This link has both the clergy preference forms and the SPRC input form. These are due in my office by the end of business on Jan 12th. Pastors, see to it that your SPR chair receives their form.
Coming soon –
District Administrative Training (Dec. 4) at Harlem UMC (115 W Milledgeville Rd, Harlem, GA 30814)
Training Offered for Administrative Committees
3pm-3:55pm - SPR Committee Training, Rev. Terry Fleming
3pm-3:55pm - Board of Trustees, Dr, Mike Cash
4pm-4:55pm - Finance Committee, Keith Cox
4pm-4:55pm - Administrative Council Members, Rev. Herzen Andone
Bishop Sue’s visit to the district - Dec. 11, Laity (and those Part Time Local Pastors who work on Monday!) Townhall;
Dec. 12, Full Time Clergy and Part Time Local Pastors Townhall
5. From the DS – New Wineskins
We are facing a crisis of the consumer-oriented church vs. the missionally-minded church.
Mike Slaughter writes about his ministry at Ginghamsburg UMC in his book, The Passionate Church:
“I was ill-prepared for an appointment to a small, rural, family controlled church that was perfectly content to remain just that. I realized from the beginning that the biggest key to change would be transforming the congregation’s mindset from a consumer mentality to one that was missional.
…About twenty people staffed those committees, and their primary function was controlling and approving the ministry that I, as the pastor, was then supposed to go out and do..…the pastor eventually becomes the cork in the bottle, limiting ministry and mission to the narrowest of confines…over time, the pastor basically becomes the caregiver to a stagnant and declining congregation….Nothing can grow where new ideas are perpetually stifled.”
Of course, he was able to lead this church to being missional…though not without pain and the loss of many members along the way. What are you prepared to sacrifice?
From my notes at the cabinet summit: “There will always be casualties. How much loss will you tolerate? Systematic abandonment – what will you keep, and what will you give up? For DS’s – which churches have already chosen to die, even if they won’t face it?”
If we and our churches are willing to be missionally minded, we turn to face a secular culture that is against Christianity and/or against institutional religion. The old “attractional model” that simply sat, and waited for visitors to drop in and join us, is gone the way of the dodo. We must go out to the world, and win them – all the while, facing their biases against us! The rising generation is tech savvy (our old flannel graphs won’t work on them); they are not interested in maintaining large physical plants; and they will not be pew-sitters but community servants. I hear Sean Connery in the movie “The Untouchables,” saying to Elliott Ness – “What are you prepared to do?”
See the calendar for a seminar in January on “Fresh Expressions” - http://freshexpressionsus.org/about/
I am not a doomsayer, but I am not naive. The church will continue, by God’s grace, but we Methodists face a valley of dry bones. Can these bones live? Yes, if the wind of God’s Spirit will blow. We cannot manipulate the providential move of God’s Spirit. What we can do is to seek repentance, prayer, and faithfulness; seek out our neighbors and love them; and change our methods to serve our mission. The old wineskins are about to burst. Are we prepared to try new things? What are you prepared to do?
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