Augusta District


Augusta District Newsletter, 11-8-17

1.  Nov. 16th Deadline: Healthflex elections

HealthFlex Participants are encouraged to use ALEX, an online "Benefits Counselor" provided by HealthFlex to assist us in choosing the best option for health insurance as we approach Open Enrollment time.

Open enrollment for 2017 is November 1 to 16.

Find ALEX at

If you do not wish to make any changes to your current plan, then do nothing; your plan will stay the same. 

2.  Nov. 30th -Deadline – Move-Stay forms in to the District Office

3.  Jan. 28th, District Training at Lewis Memorial UMC

Each workshop will be offered twice, at 3pm and 4pm.

PPR – Terry Fleming

Trustees – Mike Cash

Foster Care with the UM Children’s Home – Lindsey Solomon

Scouting – Chris Karabinos (the North Georgia Conference Scout Coordinator)

Church Systems (Why your church won’t experience sustained growth without them) – John Kenney

Finance Committee – not taking place at our event, but a webinar online with Keith Cox – view it anytime and send questions or comments back to Keith:

4.  March – “Crucial Conversations”

At two locations in our district – Trinity on the Hill UMC and Eatonton First UMC - General Conference delegates will spend several hours meeting with pastors and interested laity about the deep divisions within our denomination, how to have frank and open dialogue on these questions, and will discuss possible alternatives which might be coming from the Commission on the Way Forward and from our Council of Bishops.  Registration will be required.  More info as it becomes available.

5.  April 22-23 - Re-scheduled – District Retreat

Dr. Anthony Headley will be coming to Augusta for this event, previously scheduled in September 2017.  Hold the date!

6.  Clergy Ethics training –

All pastors – full time or part time – MUST attend this one day event in the New Year.  One is scheduled in our district, but if you miss that one there are several others.  Many of you have not yet registered. Without this training, you will not be appointed in June.

7.  Appointment Process video from Bishop Sue:

8.  In response to the recent gun violence in Texas:

From Sybil Davidson:

After the terrible tragedy in Texas yesterday, many of our churches received requests for comment from media today on security in churches and gun violence. 

Those we have talked to were concerned about publically revealing security procedures that could make their church vulnerable, and that even implied statements for or against the Second Amendment can be polarizing for members and the community.

No local church pastor should feel obligated to speak to a reporter on this topic. While speaking to a local reporter is certainly a choice a pastor may make, the concerns above are valid and should be considered first. 

We have a draft statement that could be emailed to a reporter. If it is needed later this week (or any time) we can add and adapt from this starting point based on specific questions. 

DRAFT - All of us at our CHURCH are deeply saddened by what occurred in Texas Sunday. Acts of senseless violence should not be an acceptable occurrence in any community.

An important note for you to know is that the line in the 2012 Book of Resolutions declaring that all UM churches are weapons free zones was not included in the 2016 Book of Resolutions. Instead, there is a guide/education piece found here:

From Scott Parrish:

*Encourage the churches in your community to work together to contact the local EMA and law enforcement for guidance and training in active shooter/emergency policies.  Most local law enforcement agencies will help with a church security audit leading to a plan that can be broadened and followed by staff, preschool, trustees, etc.
*Communicate with local authorities as plans are developed since these persons will be among the first responders in the time of emergency.  This approach leads to good relationship building in the community, establishing the church as a partner with EMA and others when situations arise that call for shelter, food and ministry.
*Become a disaster prepared church.  There is a full curriculum for this.  A church may offer a class.  Scott can share the "Connecting Neighbors" material if you or any of your churches want it.

9.  From the D.S.

Recently, Rev. Randy Kanipe shared this with me.  I believe it will resonate with us all:

“In a recent insurance claims survey, Boat Owners Association of America (Boat US) published some interesting statistics. Of all the sailboats that sink each year, only 12 percent of them do so while underway in a violent storm. The overwhelming majority of boats that sink (69%) do so while tied up securely at the dock or Marina mooring.  Boats were designed to be sailed and are tested to withstand the harshest of stormy conditions, however, they are not designed to be neglected for months while tied up at a dock. And when they are – 69% of them will sink unless checked on regularly.

Most owners buy a boat (sail or motor) with great enthusiasm, but as the excitement wears off eventually visits on the water become less and less frequent. As months go by with the boat left tied at the dock, seals dry out and small leaks from cracks or lack of use will develop It is ironic that lack of movement, not stress, is what creates cracks in sailboats. Before long, water begins to leak in drop by drop and eventually, all it takes is one microgram of water too much to push the boat past her tipping point. When that happens, down she goes - tied up right there in the safety of the marina.”

Pastors, as I reflect on this piece, I remember the old saying: “A ship in a harbor is safe; but that it not what ships were made for.”  Actually, a ship in a harbor is NOT safe!  Ships need to sail, to move, to fulfill their mission.  And our churches have anchored long enough!  Perhaps the buildings themselves have become idols; perhaps our addiction with the status quo is against us; perhaps we are just lazy.  I can hear the Savior calling, “Launch out into the deep, and follow me!”

Yours for the Kingdom,

Terry Fleming

Augusta District Superintendent

PO Box 204600
Augusta, GA  30907

Office:  706-651-8621

Fax:  706-651-8622

Cell:  678-447-6034

"Mockers can get a whole town agitated, but the wise will calm anger."  Prov. 29:8



District Superintendent

Terry Fleming
(706) 651-8621
View Bio

Administrative Assistant

Tina Lancaster
(706) 651-8621

Contact Information

Office Address:
3332 West Cliffe Court
Augusta, GA 30907

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 204600
Augusta, GA 30917

(706) 651-8621 Phone
(706) 651-8622 Fax