North Georgia Conference Receives Communications Awards at Annual Gathering


John Wesley statue in Reynolds Square, Savannah. (Photo by Ansley Brackin)

United Methodist communications professionals from across the denomination were welcomed to Savannah last week at a reception in Reynolds Square complete with sweet tea, pimento cheese, shrimp salad and John Wesley's statue as the centerpiece. The annual gathering of UMAC, the United Methodist Association of Communicators, was held Oct. 22 to 24 at the Riverfront Marriott in Savannah. 

An array of speakers and workshop leaders addressed the group on topics ranging from videography to the United Methodist Church Social Principles. Rev. Susan Henry Crowe, chief executive of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, offered the opening address. Phil Schroeder of the North Georgia Conference Office of Congregational Development led a workshop on marketing church ministries. 

Communicators spent an evening at Foundry Coffee Pub in downtown Savannah, a new ministry supported by the South Georgia Conference. The coffee shop is open seven days a week and serves a traditional menu of high quality, locally roasted coffee. But more importantly, it is a place where downtown Savannah’s diverse community can come together and be supported and cultivated.

The North Georgia Conference received several awards at the annual gala dinner, including first place for electronic publications for Snapshot, the monthly printable PDF newsletter. (Download it at The judge for the category commented on the great header design and lifted up the "Tweetworthy" section of the newsletter as a good content feature. 

The Conference website,, won second place for website design. A judge wrote: "Beautiful, clean design. Responsive for mobile devices also a plus. Nice features including commenting, links to social media and extensive archive of news and forms."

Additionally, Monday Morning in North Georgia took home second place in its division for enewsletter; the Conference Instagram account won second place for social media; and Ansley Brackin's photo series from Reinhardt University's first football game won third place for photography. 

United Methodist Association of Communicators gave the association’s top award to Phileas Jusu, communicator for The United Methodist Church in Sierra Leone, and Julu Swen, editor and publisher of West African Writers, an online publication about United Methodist happenings in West Africa. Swen also assists the denomination in Liberia with coverage for United Methodist Communications.

There was a standing ovation when the two Communicators of the Year were announced. 

See the full list of winners here

--Sybil Davidson