News, notes and anecdotes from across North Georgia


16 churches dedicate 2 Habitat homes
      Volunteers from Dunwoody UMC joined 15 other Methodist churches to dedicate two new homes in Atlanta for Habitat for Humanity last month. It's the first time so many churches from a single denomination have joined together for an Atlanta Habitat build.
    More than 560 volunteers worked almost every Saturday from April to June to build the homes with two new homebuyers, Sabrina Richards and Yolanda Paulhill.
      The churches are all from the Atlanta-Roswell district: Alpharetta First, Birmingham, Chamblee First, Christ, Dunwoody, Hickory Flat, Lanier, North Springs, Northbrook, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Sardis, Shiloh, Simpsonwood, St. James and Winters Chapel.
     “Atlanta Habitat’s mission is not only to build new quality, affordable homes, but also to build a better community. Bringing 16 churches together to work on one house is a great way to accomplish both goals," said Larrie Del Martin, president & CEO of Atlanta Habitat for Humanity
     Dunwoody UMC sponsored the builds and has provided almost 90 percent of the funding for both homes from funds raised during the annual Holiday Festival. For more information, visit and
New Hinton Center president in place 
     The new president and CEO of the Hinton Rural Life Center is Jacqueline “Jackie” Gottlieb. She has earned a bachelor’s degree in special education from Western Carolina University, and taught in the Wake County public schools in the Raleigh area after graduation. After four years of teaching, Gottlieb transitioned into the nonprofit world, and now has more than 13 years of senior and executive level experience in community action organizations. She also has earned a master’s and doctorate in occupational education from North Carolina State University.     
      In April 2011, she moved with her husband and three children to Hayesville, “to share more intimately in ‘The Hinton Experience’ and the beauty of the mountains.  With over 35 years experience as a Methodist, years of service projects, youth ministry – both as a youth and as a youth leader,  and executive-level non-profit experience, I’m ready to celebrate the past 50 years of Hinton’s ministry and create the next 50 years with the help of staff and people like you.  I hope that you will join in celebration and excitement of what is to come!” 
      Gottlieb is asking for folks to contact her and share the impact that Hinton has had on their lives. E-mail, call  828-389-8336 or visit
Jonesboro FUMC activist lobbies for the poor      
      Elaine Davies from Jonesboro First United Methodist Church and active in Bread for the World, met with U.S. Representative David Scott last month to urge Congress to create a circle of protection around the programs that impact hungry and poor folks in this country and abroad. She also met with legislative aides from the offices of Senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson. 
      Davies and 250 others from across the nation went to Congress on Bread for the World Lobby Day, to advocate for the poor and ask that members of Congress use common sense and compassion as they work to balance the budget.  
      Elaine Davies can be reached for onsite church or civic presentations at
Scholarship available for future leaders
     The Cal Turner, Jr. Center for Church Leadership of Martin Methodist College, Pulaski, Tennessee, awards two or more Ben Alford Scholarships to students showing exceptional promise in the area of church leadership. These are full scholarships that include tuition and basic room and board costs for an entire academic year, renewable for up to three years. For information phone the Turner Center, 931-363-9898 or Lisa Smith, Director of Admissions, 931-363-9805, or .
 Powder Springs member honored by WXIA
     Deidri Cumbie was recently named one of WXIA-Channel 11’s 2011 Community Service Awards recipients. For the last 36 years, 11 outstanding local volunteers are honored each year for their selfless devotion for the betterment of the community. Deidri was recognized during a ceremony hosted by WXIA’s news anchors Brenda Wood and Ted Hall.  As part of the event, a short video was shown about the recipient’s story and the nominating organization – in Deidri’s case it was Vision Rehabilitations Service (VRS). Additionally, VRS received $1,000.
     Deidri, who is a wife, mother and grandmother, has been blind for the past 20 years, since the age of 32, from a brain tumor. She volunteers for VRS and serves on its board. With Duke, her second guide dog, by her side, she also volunteers for  the Southeastern Guide Dogs and the Georgia Guide Dogs Users. She also speaks to students, civic groups, and others multiple times a week. Deidri and Duke run charity races and she serves as the mission chairperson at Powder Springs First UMC. 
Free calendars available for church planning
    Church staff members who are planning worship and music schedules for the next year may be interested in downloading free 2011 and 2012 PDF calendars available at The calendars contain liturgical, sacred, secular and civil holidays and observances as well as all of the Revised Common Lectionary citations for each Sunday and many special days. 
Churches pair to offer disaster relief
     Some members from Liberty Hill UM and Quest churches in Canton teamed up to help with debris cleanup at Mt. Peria Baptist Church in Ringgold.  Mt. Peria was badly damaged in the April tornadoes and was recently demolished completely in order to rebuild.  Most of the building debris was already at the road for pickup but there was some leftover debris that needed to get moved to the road to be picked up also.  The work was done on Saturday June 11.  And as for the why, because Jesus said that we should love our neighbor.
Conference to guide leaders in casting 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.   For more information or to register for the Transformational Leadership Conference, visit or call 828-454-6656.
Norcross First UMC: A sandwich hub
    The church’s scout hut is headquarters for the MUST Ministry program which feeds 350 children each weekday this summer. Each morning, rows of cardboard boxes are stuffed with lunch sacks—some of them decorated with hearts and messages—as volunteers swiftly check them, removing peanut butter crackers here, adding fruit there.
       The summer lunch program, run by MUST Ministries with help from the Norcross Co-op and United Way, provides area kids who receive free or reduced lunch at school with some sustenance over the summer.
      Organizer Carol Love Karpf hopes to hand out 400 lunches every day this summer. Volunteers are needed to donate lunch supplies, check and deliver the lunches. Supplies needed include brown lunch bags, sandwich baggies, juice boxes, chips, sweets and sandwich supplies.  For information on volunteer opportunities, contact Rev. Brenda Westmoreland at or Bill Stair at
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. 
 Gammon activities include inauguration events 
     The Gammon Theological Seminary Presidential Inauguration Installation service has been set for 10 a.m. Oct. 18 at Cascade UMC, 3144 Cascade Road in Atlanta, with the Rev. A.D. Mosley, inaugural address, and Bishop Julius Trimble, Preacher. The inaugural banquet will be held 7 p.m. Oct. 18 at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis Hotel, 265 Peachtree Center Ave., NE. The Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III will be speaker for the black-tie event.
      The 128th founders’ day activities include a 12:30 p.m. Oct. 18 alumni luncheon, lectures at 2 p.m. Oct. 18 and 9:30 a.m. Oct. 19 by Dr. Rosetta Ross, and a closing worship service at 11 a.m. Oct. 19.
Action Ministries takes kids out to the ballgame
      An outing to watch a GreenJackets baseball game in Augusta was a special Father’s Day outing, sponsored by Action Ministries Augusta, for a group of about a dozen fatherless children.
      “There are about 60 to 70 percent of the children in Augusta who don’t have a father in their lives, so this is our opportunity to make them feel special on a day when they’re a little bit left out,” said Rick Herring, the Augusta executive director.
       The goal was to boost the spirits of children who didn’t have fathers to spend the day with. Some of those children come from low socio-economic backgrounds and haven’t had the opportunity to watch a ballgame.
     Chaperone Marvin Heath, a father of three, made it his mission to help the children feel loved.
    “There are too many children without their fathers,” he said. “It’s sad.”
Endowment dinner to fund scholarships
     The Bishop B. Michael Watson Scholarship Endowment Dinner is set for 7:30 p.m. Sept. 15 at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park. The goal is to raise money for a scholarship program for undergraduate students in the North and South Georgia conferences attending United Methodist-affiliated colleges and universities in Georgia. The evening’s events will include music from ensembles from each of the eight UM schools in Georgia. Sponsorships are available by calling Sheila Graham, United Methodist Higher Education Foundation, at 800-811-8110 or emailing her at
Insurance provider to change names
       The United Methodist Property and Casualty Trust, the preferred insurer of churches, agencies and conferences in the United Methodist Church, will have a new name that better represents its mission, vision and commitment to United Methodists and their ministries: United Methodist Insurance.
      "We are better than ever," said Irene Howard, CEO. "No other insurance company understands local churches like we do because we were purposefully designed for local church ministry. As the United Methodist Property and Casualty Trust, we've been serving churches, conferences and agencies reliably and faithfully since 1976. That will not change. The new name builds on our successes over the past 35 years and better reflects our single focus on serving United Methodists and their good works."
      As part of its continued focus on convenience, customer service and education, United Methodist Insurance is also launching a wide range of online resources tailored to the specific needs of United Methodists (  In addition, United Methodist Insurance will offer a YouTube channel, Twitter account and other online tools to ensure all United Methodists have access to valuable resources created just for them.