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Travelers Christmas Eve: A Service at 'Home' Before the Holiday

12/13/2018
There's No Place Like Your Church Home for Christmas Eve Eastside UMC in the Atlanta-Decatur-Oxford District noticed several years ago that some of its members had taken the journey through Advent, but weren't in town for Christmas Eve Worship. The members were disappointed to miss Christmas Eve with their church family.  "Due to the stage of life and demographics of Atlanta, many of our members were heading out of town to be with family," said Rev. Tim Lloyd, pastor of Eastside. "So a few ...



Conference Invests in Pastors, Churches Through On Boarding

10/9/2018
By KARA WITHEROW Transition is tough, whether it’s getting a new appointment and moving to a new town or receiving a new pastor. Getting a jump start to help further the process can be an invaluable tool for all involved. With this in mind, the North Georgia Conference has embraced Onboarding, a corporate technique for getting a fast start in executive leadership through early, candid dialogue, assisted by an outside consultant. This corporate strategy has been adapted for ministry settings by...



ACE2 Launches Clergy Peer Groups

9/26/2018
By REV. LEIGH MARTIN This summer ACE2 rallied more than 90 clergy in the North Georgia Annual Conference into 13 peer learning groups.   The Academy of Clergy Excellence, known as ACE Squared, is an alternate continuing education program for clergy.  Each group comprises of six to eight clergy who commit to a two-year covenantal learning process. After its announcement in late spring, interest in ACE2 far exceeded expectation. When asked why this program generated such enthusiasm, ...



Kingswood UMC Celebrates 50 Years of Ministry

9/9/2018
Kingswood United Methodist Church celebrated 50 years of ministry Sunday with a special worship service, including former pastors and charter members. Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson, leader of the North Georgia Annual Conference, officiated and preached during the service. The church held its first worship service on September 8, 1968, in a classroom in what was then Peachtree High School. The congregation was chartered with 76 members, 8 of whom attended Sunday’s service. Before moving to its ...

North Decatur UMC Invites Community and Church into Conversation

5/31/2018
By JESSICA BRADFORD   Once a month, North Decatur UMC and the Greater Decatur churches gather to present a moderated panel discussion of experts on topics of concern to the community. These topics have included homelessness, racial reconciliation, mental health and creation care.   The idea came about a few months ago when North Decatur’s Outreach Chair and other staff members met to discuss the overlapping passions of the church and the community around them. They realized that the community ...



Growing Churches: Three Trends We Spotted in 2017

12/13/2017
In early 2017, the North Georgia Conference communications office asked District Superintendents to point out a few growing churches in their district. They were given the option to define growth as an increase in worship attendance, increase in mission and presence in their community, growing in small group participation, or another positive change. We followed up with several of their suggestions and have shared them over the course of the year. In telling the stories we discovered a few ...



Let’s Talk: Churches and Difficult Conversations

11/27/2017
Photo: Notes from a difficult conversation at Elizabeth Lee UMC. By Rachel Quartarone   In this broken world, churches are often called on the play the role of comforter and community healer. While it would be much easier to focus on uplifting worship, covered dish suppers and the “fun stuff” of church life, that isn’t how it works. With people hurting, communities struggling and families grappling with tough life and death decisions, congregations are called to minister in ways that are ...



'Part-time' Doesn’t Have to be Only 'Part of the Time'

11/16/2017
By Rebecca Wallace When Rev. Dr. Theophilus Stanford got the call, he was at a church he had been serving for 10 years. It was somewhat of a surprise, but he was asked to make a move to a church where the previous pastor had made the tough decision to accept a new assignment. Allgood Road UMC was still reeling from change.  “I first needed to build trust,” Rev. Stanford said.    A part-time local pastor, Rev. Stanford immediately began to empower the leaders.  “I couldn’t do everything ...

Golden Memorial’s Rev. Williams Attributes Growth to a 'Wonderful Team'

11/2/2017
By Rebecca Wallace Golden Memorial UMC in Douglasville is one of the fastest growing United Methodist churches in the Rome-Carrollton District. With more than 1,100 members, an average of 800 congregants attend each Sunday among four services that the church provides. Just 10 years ago when Rev. Dr. Gregory Williams started at the church, there were only 60 members.   Faced with the possibility of closing, Rev. Williams said the church made a choice. "The first thing we had to decide is if we ...



Every Church Encouraged to Send a Team to the Worship Design Conference

10/5/2017
This year's North Georgia Annual Conference emphasized the importance of preparation, spending time in prayer and with scripture, and collaboration in worship planning. It was inspiring and challenging and led the Conference to seek experts in worship planning to teach us more.  That's where the November 4 Worship Design Conference comes in. Your church is strongly encouraged to send a team to this one-day event.  The Worship Design Conference will be led by Jason Moore of Midnight Oil ...



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