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Vital Congregations

United Methodist Churches Supporting Mental Health

Several of North Georgia United Methodist churches and ministries connect mental health to spiritual health and healing. Through grants, counseling groups, therapies, and so much more, they are working to provide places for fearless and open discussions on mental health and illness.   Oak Grove UMC Partners with Care and Counseling Center When Rev. Glenn Ethridge of Oak Grove UMC in Decatur was approached by a member eight years ago who wished to start a counseling center in the church, their ...

County Line UMC, Ellenwood, Establishes GED Program

Dr. Betty Jones, senior pastor of County Line UMC in Ellenwood, reports that the church's GED program has been approved and is now listed on the National Literacy Directory. The program officially began on January 13, 2016, and will run in 18-week increments. Classes are currently offered on Wednesday and Thursday evenings from 6-9 p.m. led by professional committed staff and dedicated church members. Registration for the program is ongoing. The GED program is “free” to students except for a ...

Riverdale UMC Members Share Their Stories

Riverdale UMC decided to look into its past in order to enhance their future. Congregants gathered at the church Saturday, January 9th for Getting to Know Your Neighbor, an event that invited members of multiple ethnicities and generations to come share their stories of how they came to Riverdale UMC and how they’ve seen it change. “Church is like a bank,” one story teller explained. “You have to put something in it in order to withdraw something from it.” Another speaker told of her struggle ...

Watkinsville First UMC Holds 'Worship Through Service' Sunday

Watkinsville FIrst UMC spent the last Sunday in 2015 holding a special service -- "Worship Through Service" to be exact. Instead of their usual 11 a.m. worship service, they used the time to assemble 200 UMCOR Health Kits. This was the conclusion of a season of giving for the Athens-Elberton District church. "On Christmas Eve they literally donated The Coats Off Our Backs at the altar and we collected 178 coats," said church pastor Rev. Teresa Angle-Young. "We are giving the coats to ACTS and ...

Kings Memorial UMC: Blessed by a Block Party

By Rev. Emile Ennis Kings Memorial UMC is one of Atlanta’s oldest churches and is located in the heart of the Edgewood Community. Church membership has declined in recent years as older members passed away and others moved on to another community. Recently the Kings Memorial congregation and I decided to take a new approach and reach out to this transitioning community in a number of ways. The Evangelism Team went door to door and invited folks to both church school and Sunday morning worship ...

Atlanta Roswell District UMCs Provide In-Home Care Program to Older Adults

By Ansley Brackin Communications Specialist During his 24 years of preaching at Dunwoody UMC, retired pastor Rev. Wiley Stephens expressed a desire to provide more aid and activities for older adults. This request eventually transformed into Perimeter North Villages: a “virtual retirement village” of sorts, formed by six Atlanta-Roswell District UMCs. The communities surrounding Dunwoody UMC, Kingswood UMC, St. James UMC (Atlanta), Sandy Springs UMC, Chamblee UMC, and Winters Chapel UMC have...

Thanks to Your Giving: Valuable Demographics Info Available to North Ga United Methodist Churches

When you give to your local United Methodist Church, much of the gift stays with that church to cover mission, ministry and expenses, but a small percent from your church is put together with gifts from other United Methodist churches in our Conference (and around the world) to fund in-part our work together as a Conference and as a denomination. We call that apportioned giving. (Read more about apportionments and your church's giving at http://www.ngumc.org/giving.) Over the next few months we...

Hartwell First UMC Small Groups Bring Generations Together

By Ansley Brackin Communications Specialist  Hartwell First UMC has always had a great attendance record during their three worship services, but they wanted to form a deeper connection between congregants across all services. Small Group Ministry Coordinator, Marci Garringer, discovered that members who went to different services didn’t know each other, and that only older adults attended Sunday School classes. She and her pastor, Allen Stewart decided to open up a new opportunity in the form...

Connect with Jasmine Smothers: Associate Director of Connectional Ministries for Ministry Teams

Fun Fact About Jasmine Smothers:  Photography was one of my favorite hobbies in high school and college. I’m now trying to relearn the art of photography in an effort to lift up my heart, mind and soul to see what God would have me see in the world.  What services does your position offer to local Churches? My main priority is church consultation through leadership and visioning training. The most impactful and wide-reaching way we are doing this work is through the Next Faithful ...

From New Identities to Breakfast Chaplaincies: North Georgia United Methodist Churches Are Creating 'New Places for New People'

Roswell UMC's chapel converts from modern space for Chapel Roswell services to traditional space for communion services.  By Anne Nelson   Everyone has an innate need to connect and belong.  It’s an idea grounded in theology (think God’s radical connection with humanity in the person of Jesus) and in science (think Brene Brown‘s new academic research on how we’re wired for – and the importance of cultivating – connection).    Some churches are doing well engaging and connecting with their ...

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