Greetings to the Great Gainesville District


Greetings to the Great Gainesville District!  I am delighted to join in the ministry and mission that is already happening among the many churches of this district.  I look forward to getting to know all of you better as we build upon the strengths of the district and envision new ways to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.    Carolyn Morris joins me in the District Office as the Administrative Assistant, and she, too, looks forward to meeting you and working ...

A Path For The Church

Quincy Brown


Do you remember the game Candy Land? If you’re not familiar with the iconic board game, please click here. The game is a pathway through gumdrops, lollipops, ice cream, and gingerbread. Woven around players finding King Kandy, the lost king of Candy Land, its creator Eleanor Abbott, who was recovering from polio, designed for the game kids suffering from the disease to enjoy.   At the suggestion of the children, Eleanor submitted the game to Milton Bradley, who purchased it in 1949. The game ...

‘The Beauty of ‘Us’

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking… I’ve never been one for labels.  I think they are dangerous because in each label there is an assumption that your understanding and my meaning are equal.  For example, I may say that I’m conservative.  But what does that word mean?  You may think I mean theologically conservative when I mean fiscally or socially conservative.  The context of the conversation and the understanding of words are critical for ‘label’ understanding. Several decades ago in church circles there were ...

‘God Idea’

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking… Have you ever run across someone that you thought was a ‘control freak’?  I know I have and it is most likely true that there may be people who may think that I am a ‘border line control freak’ (or maybe not even ‘border line’). I have been reading Richard Rohr’s book Hope Against Darkness.  I commend it to you.  Richard is a Franciscan Monk and I think one of the wisest souls on earth.  He writes, “Someone recently asked me why there seemed to be so many control freaks in ...

Try It This Week (A Disciple-Making Tool)

Brian Clark


Many of you will read this as you head to Annual Conference today. If you aren't a clergy or lay member of Annual Conference, you are likely thinking about and praying for Annual Conference this week. I want to offer a simple "try it this week" word of encouragement to each of you. It comes from a recently released Contemporary Christian song by Zach Williams entitled "Fear Is A Liar".  In the song, Zach says: "Cast your fear in the fire because fear, it is a liar." We are prone to fears and ...

Family, Friends and Football

Quincy Brown


On Monday, I made a trip to my hometown to visit my family.  As with most of my family gatherings, we each took turns going back down memory lane.  For some reason, this experience brought back a memory of my first time playing an organized sport on the football team of my elementary school. We were the Purple Panthers. Though at the time it made sense, none of us ever gave a second thought of how silly a purple panther looked.  I guess anything makes sense to you as a child.     I went to the ...

Meet M.A.P



By Nate Juvinall Metro Atlanta Project or M.A.P. for short is a student-led/adult-supported mission effort based at Northside United Methodist Church. MAP began in 1999 after a group of students and adults traveled to Nashville to experience a local youth ministry mission. That group had a great experience in Nashville but came back to Atlanta convinced that Atlanta had just as many needs as Nashville so “Why couldn’t we start something here?!!” From that moment, MAP has strived to be a beacon ...

‘Soul Massage’

Terry Walton


I Was Thinking… How is it with your soul?  That is an important question.  For the past several decades of ministry this has always been the first question I’ve asked in any staff or personnel review.  It is such an important question.  Because as our soul goes so goes our lives. It can be very easy to make the mistake that ‘church work’ is the same as ‘soul work’.  It is not.  The Church can be the place (and hopefully is) through which soul health is practiced.  But it has been my experience...

Disc Golf Church



By Rev. Jeff Rogers Chamblee First UMC is blessed with a beautiful campus. The building sits on close to 40 acres of green space where the community is able to gather. A few years ago the church added a disc golf course, and people with no connection to the church often come to play disc golf.  We had people coming to our backyard, and we needed to find a way to reach them. I attended a “Fresh Expressions” seminar hosted by the Conference and we were challenged to answer the question, “Where ...

There’s No “I” in Team But There’s an “I” in CHURCH When It’s Turned Sideways

Quincy Brown


On Mother’s Day, Dionne and I attended worship at Crossroads Church in Conyers.  During the Children’s Moment, Pastor Zack Martin held up two signs that read “TEAM” and “CHURCH” respectively. He mentioned that there wasn’t an “I” in the words “TEAM” or “CHURCH.” As he spun the signs around for visual effect, the sign labeled “CHURCH” was turned on its side and one of the kids mentioned that the “H” becomes an “I” when you turn the CHURCH sideways. She shouted see; there is an "I" in CHURCH. ...

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