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Moreland Moves (And Laughs, Smiles, Sweats, and Prays)
By Rev. Sean Kilpatrick My life has been transformed by exercise. After experiencing some of the painfully obvious unhealthy tendencies of ministry and seminary, eight years ago I decided something must be done. To say I’ve taken exercise to an extreme would be an extreme understatement. To say that my life has been transformed by exercise would be even more of an understatement; but, I’d like to share with you something simple that you might want to try for yourself and maybe your community.  ...
Updates on Scouting Ministry and The New Affiliation Agreement
Dear North Georgia United Methodists & Friends of Scouting,   As we continue to learn from our colleagues and receive your questions regarding the new BSA-UMC Annual Affiliation Agreement, we will offer you updates and information. Even since our June 2022 communication, we have additional information to share.   Entering a new era of Scouting ministry, United Methodist churches and Scout units in the North Georgia Conference have four options available to partner with Scouting locally.    ...
Wespath and Gammon Partner to Address Financial Wellness for Underserved and Pandemic-Impacted Clergy
A shared vision for systemic change will strengthen the resources available to underrepresented clergy groups Gammon Theological Seminary and Wespath's Clergy Financial Well-Being Initiative today announced a partnership that will expand the programming and resources used to help United Methodist clergy address financial challenges, with a special focus on underserved/underrepresented and pandemic-impacted pastors. Together these organizations seek to discover new ways to share materials, ...
Scott's Top 9 Tips on How a Church Can Engage Their Community Through MissionInsite
Alternate Headline #1: Scott's Cheat Sheet for Clergy as You Fill Out Charge Conference Forms Alternate Headline #2: Don't Repeat the Mistakes Scott has Made in Previous Reports & Learn From His Errors Rev. Scott Parrish serves a dual appointment as the Conference Mission Specialist and as pastor of two North Georgia Conference congregations. He is a champion of the Mission Insight demographics tool that is available to all North Georgia United Methodist Churches. Having named Community ...
Bright Star Launches 'Coins & Care' Fellowship at Local Laundromat
Bright Star UMC in Douglasville is excited to share love with the local community through its "Coins & Care" outreach.  At least once a month, volunteers gather at a local laundromat for a creative fellowship. The team greets and welcomes customers and blesses them with a Care Packet that includes laundry detergent, quarters to wash and dry clothes, information on upcoming community events that the church is sponsoring, and details on how to connect with Bright Star UMC. The "All Washed Up" ...
North Georgia Conference Reaches Final Agreement with Mt. Bethel
The  Board of Trustees of the North Georgia Conference recently signed documents that bring resolution to the matter between the Conference and Mt. Bethel. The Trustees appreciate all who have worked patiently and prayerfully to reach this point of resolution.  As the preamble to the agreement states, "All plan to look forward and honor the mission and ministry of each other as Christians."  
Celebrating Sight: Conference Has Provided More than $800k in Vision-Saving Eye Treatment
Dear Ms. Childs, I write with gratitude to you and trustees for your steadfast support of The Emory Eye Center's Pediatric Ophthalmology Program. Your investment will have a lasting impact on our patients and their families, allowing ophthalmologists and Eye Center specialists to provide compassionate, collaborative care for the diagnosis and treatment of children's vision programs.  Thank you again for your generosity. Sincerely, Gregory L Fenves President, Emory University   Julie Childs, ...
State of the Church: Who Do We Say We Are?
Who do you say I am? (Matthew 15:16) The State of the Church Report describes how The United Methodist Church, over this past year, has sought to better define its missional and theological identity. Created by the Connectional Table, Council of Bishops, and General Council on Finance and Administration, the report comes at a very sensitive time in the life of our church. Their work developing the report led to a question similar to the one put to Peter: Who do we say that we are? United ...
Focus Area: Health and Wellbeing
By Rev. Lindsay Geist Hi how are you? Fine. You? Good.   Have had this conversation lately?   When was the last time you asked someone, “How are you?” and were willing to stop and hear the answer or pause and answer truthfully yourself?   We have started using “How are you?” as a filler phrase instead of actually checking in with ourselves or one another.   It’s interesting that during the pandemic, we learned to start greeting each other in new ways – with fist bumps and air hugs. What would ...
Digital Checklist for Moving Clergy
As a number of North Georgia Conference clergy prepare for ministry in a new faith community, there are some digital transitions to consider along with the boxes to unpack.  Clergy, here is a checklist to get you started!   Your Digital Doorstep ❑ Website  Most people’s first visit to a church is online through their ”digital doorstep.” A poorly maintained web presence can be a big hindrance to church growth. Even if your church doesn’t have a website, it is recommended that you care for the ...
Focus Area: Community Engagement
By Rev. Blair Boyd Zant, Rev. Scott Parrish, and Rev. Bernice Kirkland In our commitment to be disciples who make disciples, churches across the North Georgia Conference will focus on engaging our communities as a community.  North Georgia is a fascinating place. It's an incredible mission field in which to serve.  We are GROWING. Georgia as a whole is the 8th most populated state in the US. The North Georgia area has approximately 8million residents, with 8.6 million projected by 2026.  We ...
Focus Area: New Faith Opportunities and Communities
By Rev. Richard Hunter We have experienced rapid changes in our culture in the last two years. We have all witnessed the staggering effects of isolation on the mental health and well-being of our communities. People are seeking community and meaningful paths. Yet more than 60% of our neighbors do not have a connection to a vibrant faith community. So, how is the North Georgia Conference addressing this need and hunger? We are intentionally cultivating new faith communities for the purpose of ...
Focus Area: Scriptural Literacy and Imagination
By Rev. Blair Boyd Zant Nearly every night for the last nine years, my husband Will and I have taken turns curling up with our daughters before bed and reading. Overtime, picture books have become chapter books. The Children’s Bible became the Adventure Bible. And my role as featured performer of all character voices was recast. Suddenly I was only asked to help with sounding out the really tricky words. It’s bittersweet, now, watching our girls read quietly to themselves. And yet, I am ...
Update: United Healthcare and Wellstar Reach Agreement
Wespath received word from United Healthcare that they have reached a 4-year agreement with Wellstar. Effective July 1, 2022, Wellstar’s hospitals and physicians will again be in-network for HealthFlex participants. Related: Bishop Advocates on Behalf of Families Impacted by Wellstar Insurance Impasse Wellstar Hospitals Out of Network for United Healthcare    
2022 Laity Luncheon Address: Setting the Table
Laity Luncheon Address Russell Davis, North Georgia Camp and Retreat Ministries 2022 North Georgia Annual Conference June 2, 2022 DOWNLOAD SLIDES   I’m not exactly sure why Nate asked me to do this…As leaders of your congregations you all are the experts of how to run churches, so I’m not sure that I have anything helpful to bring to this conference “table” today.   In fact, camp and retreat ministries exist because they uniquely offer a change of perspective, an experience of “creative ...
Letter to the Conference from Keith Cox
To my brothers and sisters in the North Georgia Conference, I've had the high honor to serve as your Treasurer for over 21 years. I've worked for three wonderful Bishops, each of whom brought a unique skill set and personality to their role. I have also worked with and for equally wonderful Committee and Board Chairs and members and staff. I've been positively influenced by, and learned from, too many people, lay and clergy, to name. All made me a better man and a stronger Christian. You've ...
Letter from Bishop and Scouting Coordinator: New United Methodist/BSA Affiliation Agreement
DOWNLOAD LETTER June 20, 2022   Dear North Georgia United Methodists & Friends of Scouting,    We would like to provide an update on the long-awaited announcement of a new relationship agreement between The United Methodist Church and the Boy Scouts of America. As you may remember, the two organizations announced on December 23, 2021 that we will continue to partner with each other through at least 2036, and that one of the key next steps would be a new agreement that provides additional ...
Scouting Ministry in The United Methodist Church: A New Affiliation Agreement
The long-anticipated wait is coming to an end as a new era of Scouting ministry in The United Methodist Church makes its way forward. A highly skilled team of chancellors, insurance risk advisors, and UMC leaders have forged a path through a difficult landscape to provide a safer way for Scouting ministry to continue within local United Methodist churches.   After months of negotiation between the Ad Hoc Committee of United Methodist’s leadership team and the Boy Scouts of America, a new “...
Focus Area: Racial Justice and Healing is the Pathway to Beloved Community
Racial Justice and Healing Academy Launching Soon By Rev. Brian Tillman I was in the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta one day. In the bottom level the King papers are held on a rotating display. On this occasion there was a pamphlet that Dr. King contributed to. He wrote about the aims of his resistance efforts and the strategy behind them. In it, he wrote something like, “We aim to resist in such a way that when we are ...
Two Counties, Three Days, Transformative Work: Wesley UMC's Hometown Mission Week
The first week of June was "Hometown Mission Week" for Wesley UMC in Augusta.  "We had 100 teenagers and 40 volunteers serve local homeowners, ministries, and community organizations doing light construction, repairs, building wheelchair ramps, painting, yard work, and other projects," said Rev. Aaron Talbot. "We had 14 project sites and worked over the course of three days." In addition to support from the congregation, small businesses in the community provided $11,000 in sponsorships that ...
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