Atlanta Emory District

 

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble, therefore, we will not fear...
Be still and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.  The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge."  Psalm 46: 1-2a, 10-11

An Observation
     I never thought I would be found binge watching Sunday morning church services from my couch, (maybe in my pajamas for part of the time).  I never thought our churches and most every other organization where people gather would be closed indefinitely either.  But it has come to that out of necessity for the health and well being of all of us. 
     So I have some observations from my binge watching.  All I have seen and heard from Atlanta Emory churches online has been thoughtful, creative and connected.  I have discovered that just as many of us have preferences about worship styles when we attend brick and mortar church, I am drawn to certain features of online worship.  Simple is more appealing to me.  Some easy listening music, a song from a good soloist, perhaps a familiar hymn so I can sing along, the Lord's Prayer.  I have enjoyed the broadcasts that include multiple voices from laity, clergy, and especially from the children.  In three videos, I saw and heard children reading scripture and a creed from their homes. And, Susannah Bales (Embry Hills) offered one of the most creative children's moments I have seen.  She began on the steps of her house and invited the viewers inside to meet her dogs and for a tour that ended on her back deck overlooking the beginnings of her summer garden.  Her point: out of the wilderness God is doing something new. 
     The easiest opportunities for giving tithes and offerings seems to be text to give.  Some churches post the number on the screen.  Most  have some form of online giving and are promoting it.  A few churches didn't mention giving at all.  I hope that will change.  I believe that people still want to give and have a spiritual need to do so.  Let's help them. 
     I enjoyed all the sermons and music.  Everything from a Sunday service replicated to a pastor seated in front of a  stained glass window, to sitting outside on a bench, to a porch.  It felt intimate and reassuring to me in these crazy times.  Mark Westmoreland's midweek meditation from his study gave me hope and comfort.  Blair Setnor's mid-week meditation from her yard with her sons playing behind her made me laugh and remember that we are carrying on. 
     It is amazing and inspiring how quickly our pastors and laity are meeting daily adaptive challenges. Holy Week and Easter are coming soon.  It is looking more likely that we will not be together in our sanctuaries and worship centers, but God will be with us, Jesus will take up the cross and die for us, to rise again on Easter morning.  And we will give witness in the creative ways that the Spirit continues to inspire. 
     I thank God for each and every one of you.  I am praying with and for you, for your families and your congregations.  God is our very present help in this time of physical isolation, sickness and uncertainty.  We do not need to fear.  God is with us and we are together. 

Grace and peace,
   Jane
Jane Newman Brooks

 

Bishop and Cabinet Ask That Church Buildings and Property Remain Closed Through April 30

Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson and the North Georgia Conference Cabinet are grateful to clergy and congregations for all you are doing to be the Church in your communities while keeping people safe and connected through this season of hardship and inconvenience. We thank you. 

In order to live out John Wesley's first general rule to "do no harm," the Bishop and Cabinet strongly recommend and expect that all church buildings and properties remain closed until April 30, 2020. They will offer updated advisement on April 27, 2020. 

Any specific questions about regulations for sheltering in place in local communities should be directed to local authorities of those municipalities. 

 

COVID-19 Related Employee Rights - Federal Notice

Employee Rights Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
Click here for more information.

 

Federal Disaster Area Unemployment Benefits

President Trump declared Georgia a disaster area yesterday. As such, unemployment benefits are now available to folks who otherwise wouldn't receive them.
Click here for more information.

 

The CARES Act Includes Provisions for Non-Profits and Churches

On March 27, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was enacted into law. The $2 trillion economic stimulus is intended to provide immediate relief for individuals, nonprofits, businesses, and state and local governments. 

Please note that information is developing every day, but the details for implementation are still pending

A number of organizations are working to interpret the act as it relates to churches and non-profits. We will continue to update https://www.ngumc.org/covid-19-response-resources with useful links.

Some of the most helpful directives include:

 

Easter Online Worship Resources

 

 

The North Georgia Conference is proud of the creativity, humility, and witness of United Methodist churches like yours as you plan to celebrate Easter 2020. To add to the efforts you already have in place, the Conference is developing and assembling resources. 

Resources for Your Church

You are invited to include the following resources as part of your church's online Easter worship service or share as stand-alone pieces. They may be posted on social media, on your church website, or emailed to your congregation. Click the title to view or download each resource.

Still to come:

  • Easter Sunday Virtual Choir (available Friday, April 10)
  • Grand Process: Easter Sunday 2019 at Peachtree Road UMC
  • Original music
  • a "Christ is Risen" compilation

Easter 2020 will be different than any other in our lifetimes, but, thanks be to God, Easter can't be cancelled! 

Calendar

April 27, dCOM (Duluth First UMC)
June 7, 4:00 pm, Pre-Conference Briefing (Embry Hills UMC)
June 18-20, Annual Conference (Athens)

Please check the conference calendar and district calendar for cancellations/postponements.

 

Conference Board of Pensions to Cover Church Portion of HealthFlex Insurance Premiums for Next Three Months

Beginning April 1, for a period of three months, the North Georgia Conference Board of Pension will fund the church portion of HealthFlex health insurance premiums from the CBOP "Current Benefits Reserve" fund. 

"These are certainly unprecedented times," said Charles Darden, chair of the Conference Board of Pension. "It is for times like these that we have reserves. The Board of Pension will cover the health insurance premiums that would otherwise be paid by the churches for a period of three months, beginning April 1."

This action was approved by the Conference Board of Pension on Friday, March 20.

April billing from the Conference Benefits Office will reflect this decision. Waiving this expense for churches will not impact the benefits received by any participants. 

 

Atlanta-Emory District Pre-Conference Briefing
Date:                Sunday, June 7, 2020
Time:                4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Location:          Embry Hills United Methodist Church
                         3304 Henderson Mill Road
                         Chamblee, GA 30341
 
Annual Conference delegates will receive valuable information at this meeting including information concerning the pending realignment of districts throughout the North Georgia Conference and any action items that came out of General Conference (to be held May 5-15, 2020 in Minneapolis, MN) that you need to be aware of.  All clergy and lay delegates are encouraged to attend this meeting.
 
After the meeting, please stay and help the Embry Hills youth by attending their Annual Mac N’ Cheese contest – fund raiser.  

 

Murphy Harpst

With so many of us now practicing social distancing, I want to encourage you to begin engaging with us on our Murphy-Harpst’s Facebook page and to use the many online resources provided for our church partners. Check out 

 http://murphyharpst.org/churchpartners/

 

Claire Wood has done a fabulous job of setting up this resource page for churches, so that we can all keep vitally connected. You will find that she has even included Murphy Harpst coloring pages for children in our churches  to download at home! And she will continue to update this page in the weeks and months ahead.

 

Thanks so much for your steadfast love for the churches and for the children in our care. 

 

Grace and peace,

Scott


Igniting Faith Retreat - October 17, 2020
However, we do have another opportunity for you to join us for the Igniting Faith Retreat. On Saturday October 17, 2020 for the Igniting Faith Retreat at McEachern Memorial UMC in Powder Springs, GA; and we would love to see you there!
Until then, make sure that you are taking care of yourself physically and spiritually.

Grace and Peace,
Odell Horne
YoungER Men's Ministry Representative
North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Men
Office: 404-327-5826


Protocol of Reconciliation & Grace Through Separation



A diverse group of 16 United Methodist leaders from around the world has collaborated on a proposed path forward for The United Methodist Church that has the unanimous support of all the parties involved.  The agreement is the Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation.

There are several places you are encouraged to turn for information and insight on this Protocol that can help as you articulate this work to your congregation and discuss with your colleagues.

The Protocol of Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation
Video of the Panel Interview of the Participants in the Mediation Process
Press Release
Frequently Asked Questions about the United Methodist Mediation Team
Podcast: At The Table With Bishop Sue - Episode 3 


Join Bishop Sue in Bible Reading in 2020
Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson invites all North Georgia United Methodists to read the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts in 2020, beginning with Luke 1 on January 1, 2020. Subscribe to receive a weekly reading prompt and reflection each Wednesday by choosing "Reading the Gospel of Luke" at www.ngumc.org/subscribe

Print the Schedule (PDF)
 

Disaster Response Ministry
Upcoming disaster response training offered at a number of locations around the conference. Details & registration are listed at https://www.ngumc.org/disasterresponseministry. This all day training is the entry point for churches to be part of the UMCOR and North GA network for disaster response. This also helps churches to be ready when needed for their community and district, as well as being available beyond the local community. 

 


ADDRESS FOR DISTRICT WORK FUND AND CONFERENCE APPORTIONMENT PAYMENTS
District Work Fund payments will be received and accounted for by the North Georgia Conference.  Include on the memo line: AMRY DWF.
 
Please provide the remittance address to the proper person at your local church.

North GA Conference Treasurer’s Office
United Methodist Church
P.O. Box 102417
Atlanta, GA 30368-2417

 


 

Lay Servant Ministries

Please complete form to register for lay servant ministries training.
Form

Upcoming online advanced Lay Servant course offerings through the

North GA Conference:

 

Leading Public Prayer  ||  May 4-June 1, 2020  ||  Kay Haugen, Facilitator

Pre-requisite -Lay Servant Basic Course   Deadline for Registration is May 4

 

Registration Link: https://na.eventscloud.com/427394  || Cost $62

Courses must be paid with credit or debit card.  Each course's duration is 5 weeks.  Your actual completion date is dependent upon your completion pace.   

 

 

 

 

District Superintendent

Mike Long
(404) 335-0321

Administrative Assistant

Mozelle Mitchell

Contact Information

One Georgia Center
600 W. Peachtree Street NW, Suite 1500
Atlanta, GA 30308

(404) 335-0321 Phone
(404) 209-7794 (Fax)
 

amry@ngumc.net
http://www.ngumc.org/amry