Annual Conference offers many 'take homes' for the local church


Members of Annual Conference left Athens with ideas, training opportunities and resources to bring back to their local churches to share. Below are a few highlights from Connectional Ministries reports:

Worship Design with Marcia McFee
Marcia McFee, worship designer for General Conference, will be in North Georgia in August and November leading workshops and providing consults to individual churches. Register for these events at and click “registrations” or contact Phil Schroeder at to learn about consult opportunities.

Regional Stewardship Summits
Following the success of last year’s Generosity Summit, the Stewarship team will host four Regional Stewardship Summits this fall and winter.  Plan now to attend the event closest to you: Oct. 2 at McEachern UMC in Powder Springs, Feb. 5 at Trinity on the Hill in Augusta, Feb. 26 at Gainesville First UMC, or at a date soon to be set at Wesley Chapel UMC in McDonough

Mystery Worshiper 
Schedule a Mystery Worshiper for your church at
Disaster Response 
Mike Yoder, chair of Disaster Response, reported that the North Georgia Conference is working in 11 counties in this state and across the Southeast responding to the spring storms. Find updates on disaster needs at “We have reacted to the need of the people as the Lord told us to do in Matthew 25,” said Yoder. “We hope we can train many of you to respond.”

ERT ‘Train the Trainer’
UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) is sponsoring “Train the Trainer” August 5-6 at Simpsonwood Retreat Center in Norcross. This two-day event is for those interested in becoming UMCOR ERT “trainers.” Certified trainers may then lead UMCOR ERT trainings in the future. See for more information on pre-requisites and to register.

Time for an Energy Audit
Conference passed a resolution encouraging each congregation to participate in an energy audit.  For more information on how to get started, contact Jennifer Coffee, chair of the Conference Creation Care Team, at

Great Starts
Got a new pastor? Did you get a new church? Connectional Ministries wants to help you make a great start! Visit and “registration” to sign up for Great Start: Pastor and Administrative Assistant (July 19), Great Start: Pastor and Finance Team (Aug. 4),  or Great Start: Senior and Associate Team (Aug. 18).

Small Membership Church 
Shari Rates, chair of the Conference Parish Life Team, announced the launch of G.E.M. (Growing Effective Ministers). Connectional Ministries is looking to establish a long-term partnership, offering support that specifically addresses the needs of clergy and lay leaders of small-membership churches. For more information, contact Shari Rates at
Safe Sanctuaries
Is your church Safe Sanctuaries compliant? Cindy Blocksidge, chair of the Conference Nurture Team, announced that 35 trainers—at least one in every district —were recently certified. Please call on trainers in your district if your church is not already in compliance. Download the list at

Connectional Ministries Welcomes Jasmine Smothers
Mike Selleck, director of Connectional Ministries, thanked the staff, board, and many volunteers who make up the ministry arm of the Conference. The staff said goodbye to Associate Director Renita Thomas and welcomed new Associate Director Jasmine Smothers.

Connectional Cafe Menu Highlights
Are you planning a district or sub-district event? Browse the menu at Connectional Cafe at for workshop ideas. Contact a faculty member directly to schedule an event. 

Idea: Spiritual Formation begins in Worship. In this workshop, participants will discover how to connect worship to the local context of community, classroom, and other ongoing programs and disciplines throughout the church. Participants will be encouraged to preach beyond the lectionary and develop a plan for his or her church. 
Faculty: Davis Chappell

Idea: The UM Hymnal, like a new computer, when not fully understood, means much of its power and potential goes completely unused. In this workshop, Beth will help participants not only understand what it can do, but appreciate all the options for all areas of church life.
Faculty: Beth Brown Shugart