News and notes from around the conference


Mt. Zion UMC: Lifelong teacher honored
     The Friendship Sunday School Class of Mount Zion UMC in Ellenwood  honored Sarah Harrell for her lifetime of teaching Sunday School during a ceremony February 13.  Class president Tom Smith gave her a framed certificate.
      Harrell has taught the Friendship Sunday School class at Mount Zion UMC since 1990.  Before then, she taught at Columbia Drive UMC in Decatur from 1960-1990.  She was a teacher of an adult Sunday School class at McKendree UMC in Atlanta in the 1950s.    
      Harrell and husband Sterling also are members of the Mount Zion Choir and the Leisure Club.  Her father, two grandfathers, and other family members were Methodist ministers, and Mrs. Harrell always felt that she was "called to teach."
Dunwoody UMC: Preview of “Fat Boy”
       A showing of the movie “Fat Boy Chronicles” will begin at 6 p.m. March 6 at the Dunwoody church. The film is based on a true story about teen obesity, bullying and other issues teens deal with in life and at school. Some of the actors will participate in a discussion panel after the film. To see the movie’s trailer, visit The church is at 1548 Mt. Vernon Road.  
Older adult workshop set for April
     “Living With Heart and Soul” is the theme of the North Georgia Older Adult Team Conference Event set for 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. April 14 at The Lodge at Simpsonwood. Keynote speaker is Phil Schroeder. Afternoon workshops include: Remembering Your Story, Local Resources: Senior Needs, and Build a Seniors Ministry in Your Church.
      The event, designed for clergy and laity who are senior adults, costs $35 per person and includes breakfast, lunch and snack. Register by March 31 by e-mail to Louise Adams at, calling 770-446-2411 or downloading forms at
Exhibit offers artistic Stations of the Cross
      Lyn Pace, chaplain for Oxford College of Emory University, has commissioned an art exhibit for the school’s chapel, to run March 14-April 22. 
      “It is meant to broaden our cultural experience and deepen our spiritual experience as we think about the last moments of Jesus’ life,” said Pace. The artist, Kris Neely, is the assistant dean for visual arts at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C.
       The free exhibit will be open to anyone. A public presentation with comments from the artist will be held on March 15.
Schroeder leads training event for pastors and worship leaders
      Phil Schroeder will lead a two-day planning event March 17-18 at Glisson Retreat Center. It is designed to help pastors and worship leaders leave with a preaching plan for August through Advent. Participants will be divided into tables by type of settings, worship styles and use of lectionary. The cost is $90 and includes overnight lodging, materials, four meals and snacks. Registration deadline is March 7. To register, please visit
Dahlonega UMC: Weekend to guide planning
       “Are You Thirsty?” is the theme for an evangelism weekend, set for April 8-10 at Dahlonega UMC, featuring Dr. Bob Tuttle, from Asbury Theological Seminary. The event will include teaching, healing and equipping services. For details, call Janet Eriksson, 706-864-2521 ext. 231.
Murray County UM churches join for webcast
       The United Methodist Churches of Murray County are sponsoring “The Case for Christianity” live webcast, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. March 12 at North Murray High School’s auditorium. Authors Lee Strobel and Mark Mittelburg will discuss the latest scientific evidence for God and the latest historical evidence for Jesus. They will also be answering the questions “Why does God allow pain and suffering” and “Is Jesus really the only way to God?”              
        The $5 charge covers the cost of lunch and snacks. For more information, call 706-695-3211, e-mail Rev. Roger Vest at, or visit
Mt. Bethel UMC: Helping women overcome
      “Overcoming: Fulfill Your God-Given Destiny” is the theme for an evening with Christian vocalist and speaker Lori Kennedy ( is set for 6:30-9:30 p.m. March 24 at Mt. Bethel UMC in Marietta. A potluck meal and fellowship will be followed by worship and a dramatic presentation. Free tickets available at the church’s bookstore or at Ladies are asked to bring a dinner dish to share. The church is at 4385 Lower Roswell Road.
Snellville UMC: Senior tradition continues
      The 17th annual XYZ Day (Extra Years of Zest Day) will be held 9:20 a.m.-12:45 p.m. March 15 at the Snellville church’s Christian Life Center. Registration opens at 8:45 am. The event, for members of all denominations, was planned by seniors from Tucker, Mountain Park, Harmony Grove and Snellville United Methodist churches.
       Phillip Shoultz, an accomplished conductor, educator, vocalist and speaker will be the keynote speaker. For details, call Linda Sallee at 770-364-5007, Jane McCombs at 770-939-0083, or Gailya Raines at 770-266-0209. Registration fee is $10 per person. Mail to Darla From, XYZ Treasurer, at Snellville UMC, 2428 Main Street, Snellville, GA 30078.  The church is in Snellville at 2428 Main Street East.
LaGrange FUMC: Sweet to preach, lecture
     Leonard Sweet will be the guest preacher for the Ash Wednesday service, 7 p.m. March 9 at LaGrange First United Methodist Church. Sweet also will give a lecture at LaGrange College at 11:15 a.m. March 10. The public is invited.
     Sweet is the E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism at Drew Theological School, in Madison, New Jersey; and a Visiting Distinguished Professor at George Fox University in Portland, Oregon. In 2007, he was voted One of the 50 Most Influential Christian Leaders in America (#8). In 2006, he received the same honor (#32).
        Sweet has written more than 40 books and hundreds of articles. He has more than 1,000 published sermons, and currently is the chief weekly contributor to the lectionary-based Sweet has weekly podcasting on iTunes entitled Napkin Scribbles.
Athens FUMC: Bestselling author to speak 
     Bruce Feiler (“Walking the Bible,” “Abraham,” “Where God Was Born”) will be at the Athens church at 4:30 p.m. March 27, 2011, to bring a message of hope amidst cancer survival, and the value of family. Online tickets will be available at in January. Seating will be limited, general admission. Feiler will sign books after he speaks. The church is at 327 North Lumpkin Street.

Annual Conference guidelines for report, tote bags
      Reports for the 2011 North Georgia Annual Conference Handbook are due March 21. A detailed list of guidelines in preparing the reports can be found at and click on Offices, then Communications, then 2011 Annual Conference Session for more information. The deadline to request display table space is May 23.
March Pre-Retirement Seminar planned
     Active clergy in the North Georgia Conference are invited to a Pre-Retirement Seminar 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. March 8 at Candler, room 252. If you are 58 years old or older or have 26 years of service or more in the United Methodist Church, you may be eligible to retire soon.
     Peter Hang from the General Board of Pension & Health Benefits, a Social Security representative, Karen Fullerton and others will present information on pension, Social Security, Medicare, HealthFlex and other related information. Spouses are encouraged to attend.
     Lunch is included, so reservations are required. E-mail or, or call 678 533-1391.
Johns Creek UMC: Tropical show and auction
      Clothes for men, women, teens and children will be featured at the annual Style Show and Silent Auction, set to begin at 9:15 a.m. March 26.  The “Summer Enchanted Evening” theme will be reflected in the clothing styles shown runway-style, and auction items that range from resort vacations, art pieces, design services and hand-crafted jewelry.
      Brunch will be served at 10 a.m. Proceeds will support four missions from Atlanta to Africa. Tickets are $15 per person, $100 reserved table of 8. Beverages and brunch included in the price. A partial list of auction items will be online in early March at The church is at 11180 Medlock Bridge Road. 770-497-8215.
United Methodist Men: Conference, golf outing
      The Faith in Action Mission Conference includes Training and Certification Classes, and a ministry fair with a guest appearance by Simon Peter during lunch.  No charge to attend conference or ministry fair, but some classes will have small fees for materials or background checks needed to receive certification.
     This mission conference is a collaborative ministry of the United Methodist Men of the North Georgia Conference, North Georgia Conference Connectional Ministries (through the Outreach Team) and Snellville United Methodist Church. 
     The Spring Golf Outing is the second annual event at Rivermont Golf and Country Club in Johns Creek, set this year for April 26. Proceeds will benefit the United Methodist Men of the North Georgia Conference.  The format is a 4-Man Scramble (limited to the first 144 players). Cost is $125 per player or $500 per foursome and includes all golf, box lunch, soft drinks, prizes and food.
      For more information, visit
 Winters Chapel UMC: Boy Scouts supper; AARP driver safety
     Boy Scout Troop 403 will host its annual Spaghetti Supper on Sat., March 12 from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at the church, 5105 Winters Chapel Road, 770-396-4550. Proceeds from the event support the work of the troop.
     Cost is $8 for adults, $5 for children. Meal includes spaghetti (with or without meat), salad, bread and beverages. Tickets are available at the door or can be purchased from any scout at Troop 403.
      Winters Chapel United is also hosting the AARP Driver Safety Program on March 12, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. AARP developed this six-hour classroom refresher to help driver of all ages to improve their skills and prevent crashes.
        In addition to important safety tips, upon graduation you may be eligible for a multi-year automobile insurance discount.
If you wish to register for the course you may contact Rolia Pabilona at 770-512-7157. The cost for the course is $12 for AARP member and $14 for non-members. Space is limited to 25 participants.