News, notes and anecdotes from across the Conference


Reinhardt students turn mission focus on campus
         Students, faculty and staff at Reinhardt University spent a week toward the end of spring semester dedicated to spreading God’s love on campus. The school’s chaplain, the Rev. Leigh Martin, challenged the students to take part in a “Rooted in Love” movement, created by the Campus Ministry Leadership group that featured different daily activities.
        “We acknowledged that we weren’t doing enough to reach out to the Reinhardt community. We were more included to go someplace else and serve those we didn’t know rather than reaching out to those who we see every day.”
       Each day featured an aspect of love: joy, kindness, service, patience and faithfulness. Participants manned a lemonade stand, took part in a campus clean-up, handed out goodie bags, volunteered in the library, lunch line and dining room, gave away plant seeds, hosted an outdoor picnic and organized a campus-wide game of Capture the Flag.
      Money raised from T-shirt sales ($850) will go toward the Good Samaritan Fund, which helps students in need of minor financial assistance.
    “This should be something we do every day,” Martin said, “but sometimes we become so self-absorbed that we forget to love our neighbor as Christ commanded us to do.  Our neighbors are both far and near. Christ has called us to transform the world through love.  Why not start at Reinhardt?”  

Harlem UMC: River of Life event July 20-24
     Harlem UMC’s 2nd annual River of Life event will be held July 20-24. Incorrect dates are listed on the River of Life website. Applications are being accepted from youth groups of all ages, middle and high school. For more information, e-mail Derry Kitchens at
UMM: Spring fundraiser replaces conference BBQ
      The North Georgia Conference United Methodist Men (NGCUMM) will hold a spaghetti lunch/dinner fundraiser noon-6 p.m. June 4 at Mountain Park UMC in Stone Mountain. This event will take the place of the annual barbecue the men have hosted at annual conference. Plates are $6 for adults, $3 for children under 13. Takeout is available.
      Several concerts will take place that day. The Stone Mountain Chorus, known as the 2010 Dixie District Champion chorus, will perform, as well as the quartet A Mighty Wind. Proceeds will be divided between the Mountain Park UMC and your NGCUMM to be used for scholarships, devotionals for our troops, disaster relief and other programs supported by the UMM. For information, call Robert Koop at 770-564-2296 or e-mail
Rust Chapel UMC: Pastor’s appreciation
     The Rev. Lonnie Thornton Sr. will be honored during the church’s annual Pastor’s Appreciation service at 11 a.m. June 5, commemorating his six years of service at Rust Chapel UMC of Greenville.  Dr. Oscar Meredith of Meredith Ministeries, Inc. in Atlanta will be the guest speaker.
Summer at Glisson Camp and Retreat Center is filling fast
     In order to meet high demand, Glisson has opened 200 additional places for campers this summer.  By closing the mid-summer break, Glisson has made more space for elementary and middle school campers.  Share Glisson’s transforming ministry with families in your congregation!  To register, please visit
Druid Hills UMC: Honors retiring pastor
     After 12 years of service at Druid Hills United Methodist, Pastor Rex Kaney has retired. Dr. Kaney has become more than a pastor to this Atlanta congregation; he is considered a friend, mentor, and inspiration.  
      The pastor graduated from Emory University’s Candler School of Theology in 1972 with a Master of Divinity degree, and returned to earn his Doctor of Ministry degree in 1988.  He came to Druid Hills UMC in 1999, following a 12-year tenure as pastor of Trinity United Methodist in downtown Atlanta.  Earlier in his career he served at churches in Marietta and Dublin. 
       Kaney’s time at Druid Hills UMC is characterized by his willingness to lend a hand to those in need and his readiness to take action to bring about social justice.
His tenure is marked by this passion for social justice as evidenced in his mission trips, work with the homeless, as well as DHUMC’s participation in the Reconciling Ministries Network.  Members have found inspiration in his Sunday morning sermons as well as his weekly lectionary study group. 
     “Rex has been a mentor in Christian living and is loving to all of us.  It’s a good thing that Rex doesn’t have to present himself to us for retirement approval.  It’s very likely that although we wish the best for him, we might not ‘approve’ that retirement,” said church member Mary Lynn Merkle.  
Holbrook Camp Meeting schedule set
      The 173rd session of Holbrook Camp Meeting in Cherokee County is set for July 15 - 24.  Guest pastors are the Rev. Sven Mosinger from McKee's UMC in Dawsonville, and Dr. Barry Crocker from Cumming Baptist Church.
     Host pastor is Dr. Sam Newman from Macedonia UMC. Song Leaders will be Dr. Robert Brown and Denise Brown. Services are 8 p.m. July 15, 11 a.m., 3 and 8 p.m. July 16-23, and 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. July 24.
      Holbrook Campground is at 2415 Holbrook Campground Rd., one mile off Hwy. 20 between Cumming and Canton.
Transformational Leadership helps leaders cast nets of ministry
      Lake Junaluska’s Transformational Leadership Conference August 7-9, "Fishing on the Right Side of the Boat," will help congregational leaders cast new nets of ministry into living water through principles that are biblically based, organizationally effective, and spiritually nourishing.
      Based on the Leader’s Guide and Bible Study from Does Your Church Have a Prayer? In Mission Toward the Promised Land, participants will learn and discuss biblical and organizational principles of congregational transformation and the characteristics of transformational leaders. 
      The seminar’s content is appropriate for annual conference, district, and local church leaders who want to move their congregations from maintenance to mission.  
     “In a time of deep cultural ferment, congregations need to have better conversations focused on mission, purpose, and possibility rather than membership, maintenance, and survival.  Leaders need tools and resources to shape and structure these discerning conversations,” said Gil Rendle, Senior Consultant with the Texas Methodist Foundation. 
    Marc Brown (Director of Connectional Ministries for the Virginia Conference), Kathy Merry (former corporate executive and current organizational effectiveness consultant) and John Briggs (retired business executive and pastor of Powhatan United Methodist Church in the Virginia Conference) will lead the conference. The three have formed a ministry partnership entitled FaithFull Journey, LLC, with a mission to provide biblically based approaches that increase organizational effectiveness and are spiritually nourishing.
     For more information or to register for the Transformational Leadership Conference, visit or call 828-454-6656.
St. James UMC: Television personality to lead auction
      TV personality Nancy Grace will be the auctioneer at a High Tea & Accessories Auction, a Dress for Success Benefit, 3-5:30 p.m. June 11 at St. James UMC, 4400 Peachtree-Dunwoody Road N.E. Community members are invited. Reservations required. Cost $10, payable at the door. For more information, call 404-261-3121 or visit
Mt. Pisgah UMC: Family-friendly event planned
      Enjoy a night of free fun activities for the whole family, 6:30-8:30 p.m. June 8, with giant inflatables, face painting, a dunk tank, live music, and more. The Mt. Pisgah UMC Cooking Team will provide great food - a hamburger or hotdog, chips, a drink, and dessert for $4 per person. Bring friends and neighbors. Mt. Pisgah UMC is located at 2850 Old Alabama Rd, Johns Creek, GA 30022. For more information visit,
Choirs invited to 2012 General Conference
      United Methodist choirs and ensembles are invited to apply to share in worship at General Conference in Tampa, Florida April 24-May 4, 2012. Please submit a letter of application to, including a brief bio and a link to a YouTube video of your group. The deadline for applications is July 31, 2011.
 Action Ministries: Moeller on board as new president
     Action Ministries, Inc., a non-profit that helps the people of North Georgia deal with hunger, homelessness and addiction issues, has named the Rev. John R. Moeller, Jr., as President /CEO.
      Moeller, who currently serves in a similar capacity at MUST Ministries, will assume his new responsibilities this month. He succeeds Jim Dickens, former President/CEO of Action Ministries, Inc.
      “Action Ministries has a long tradition of providing vital services to communities all across North Georgia.  I am excited by the opportunity to lead an organization that is actively working to help those in need in such a broad geographic area,” said Moeller. “I look forward to working with the board of directors and volunteers to make the programs of Action Ministries even more relevant where they are today as we expand our presence throughout the state.”
      Action Ministries, Inc. is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a covenantal relationship with the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church in ministry to the homeless, poor and others in need throughout North Georgia. Founded in 1963, the ministry’s more than 5,000 volunteers from congregations, businesses and community organizations help fulfill the mission of “pulling people back from the brink of hunger, homelessness, and addiction…and equipping them to prosper” through seven regional program divisions located in Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Decatur, Gainesville, Rome and a Transitional Housing Program covering all of north Georgia. For more information, visit
Members rally for Stop Hunger Now event
     Early on a recent sunny Saturday, 55 United Methodist men and women from the Northwest District of the Conference gathered at Dawnville UMC for the 3rd annual Men’s Rally. This year’s focus was STOP HUNGER NOW, a ministry devoted to “provide lifesaving aid to those most in need and to create a movement to end hunger in our lifetime.”
       A variety of fundraisers netted $3452, more than the $2,500 required to host a Meal Packing Event. The following men’s fellowships or churches contributed money, men and women, or both to the effort: Blue Ridge, Boynton, Cartecay, Chatsworth First, Dawnville, Ellijay First, Newnan Springs, Sam Jones Memorial, Trinity – Cartersville, Trinity – Dalton, Tunnel Hill, and Varnell.
       Dawnville’s fellowship hall became the packing station. The volunteers first filled a plastic bag with a vitamin and mineral packet, followed by a premeasured amount of dehydrated soy, dehydrated mixed vegetables, and finally dehydrated rice. The open bag was placed into a container, and the filled containers were taken to the weigh station where each bag was weighed and rice was either added or removed to reach the desired weight.
      At the next station, the packets were sealed and packed into a cardboard box for shipping. Each meal packet, when rehydrated, feeds six. The end result of the district’s efforts: 12,930 meals ready to be shipped to Africa or a Ugandan school.
Dunwoody UMC: Bringing concert back home
The Chancel Choir of Dunwoody United Methodist Church will be in concert at 5 p.m. June 12 at the church, performing an array of music from Giovanni Gabrieli through Brahms and Moses Hogan that they will perform June 5 at the Piccollo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, S.C. Dunwoody UMC is at 1548 Mt. Vernon Rd.