News, notes and anecdotes from across the conference


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
Make plans now to visit the Holy Land in 2012
    It's not too early to start planning for the Best of the Holy Land trip! Join Bishop Watson and North Georgia Conference members on a 10-day trek to the Holy Land, February 12-21, 2012. Travel to Jerusalem, Galilee, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Caesarea Philippi, Jericho, Masada, and many other places where Jesus walked.  Round-trip travel from Atlanta is provided through Educational Opportunities at a cost of $2,948.  Please contact Beth Barnwell at or 678-533-1372 if you would like to order copies of the trip brochure.

Worship design help for church leaders
     A worship design workshop is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Aug. 20 at Dunwoody UMC. Registration cost: $15 for one person; $28 for two people; $35 for three to five people.  Additional team members are $7. Price includes lunch. 
The workshop will focus on planning and creativity. To register, please visit
Training for Mission Team Leaders
   The United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) is offering team leader training 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 20 at Gainesville First UMC. Participants will learn the ins and outs of organizing a mission trip from recruiting the team, picking the location, getting support and staying safe. The church is in Gainesville at 2780 Thompson Bridge Road.
Ousley UMC: Men’s day a call to unity
    The Rev. Dr. Rodney Thomas Smothers will be the special guest for Men’s Day 2011, “Brothers Dwelling Together in Unity: A Call for Spiritual Excellence.” Festivities begin at 10 a.m. in the sanctuary, at 3261Panola Road in Lithonia. For more information, please visit, or call 770-981-0180.
Church secretaries prepare for conference
     “Building on Your God-Given Strengths” is the title of the annual conference for Georgia Chapter of the Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries (PAUMCS) being offered Aug. 25-28 at Epworth By The Sea. Workshop leaders include the Rev. Charles Adams, Rev. Marcia Cochran, Dr. Phil Schroeder, and Rev. Doreen Smalls. Cost is $75. For more details, contact Denise Wilson, president of PAUMCS, at or 706-882-3343.
Dunwoody UMC: Handbell choir concert
      The Concert Series at the Dunwoody church presents The Raleigh Ringers at 7 p.m. Aug. 27. The internationally acclaimed, advanced community handbell choir performs unique interpretations of sacred, secular and popular music arranged just for handbells.  The church is at 1548 Mt. Vernon Road, 770-394-0675.  Suggested donation is $10.
Atlanta-Roswell offers ministry training 
       Laity and clergy are invited to attend the 2:30-4:30 p.m. Aug. 28 session for developing church ministries at Roswell UMC. Workshops include:
  • Planning for the Year (focused on small and medium sized churches) - Led by Rev. Max Vincent, Allen Memorial UMC
  • Recruiting, Training, and Care of Teachers (across the age-levels) - Led by Rev. Debbie Fox, Gainesville FUMC
  • Charge Conference Preparation for First-times - Led by Rev. Royeese Stowe, Chamblee FUMC
  • Senior Adult Ministries - Led by Rev. Exa Grubb, Dunwoody UMC
  • How to Choose the Right Curriculum - Led by Rev. Kim Reindl, Peachtree City UMC
     To register, please email Katie Cook at with names of participants and church name.
Roswell UMC site of district youth rally
     A District Youth Rally is planned for 6-8 p.m. Aug. 28 at Roswell UMC. The Oswald Brothers will be in concert. The $5 tickets are available at the door. Contact the new Atlanta-Roswell District Youth Coordinator, Matt Parker, for advance purchases at or 770-441-2181 ext. 305. .
Cathy Lee Phillips offers humor with a message
      An evening with inspirational speaker Cathy Lee Phillips is planned for 7 p.m. Aug. 28 at Lawrenceville Road UMC, 3142 Lawrenceville Hwy., Tucker. No charge, an offering will be taken. The Newnan native draws upon her simple and humble life growing up in the South on a farm to help weave a rich tapestry of colorful and poignant stories of her accomplishments, desires and endeavors. For more information, contact the church at, 770-939-3717 or visit
Golf tournament open to Georgia pastors
     The 48th annual Georgia Preachers Golf Association Tournament will be held Aug. 29-31 at Mountain View and Lake View courses at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain. Special rates are available for lodging at the Callaway Gardens Lodge and Spa. For a brochure and registration form, contact Jan Thrift at, or one of the three Methodist directors: Wayne Monroe at, Don Martin at or Malone Dodson at
East Cobb UMC sponsors comedy evening
      Christian comedian Dennis Swanberg will perform at Marietta’s Jennie T. Anderson Theatre, next to the Cobb Civic Center, at 7 p.m. Sept. 10. Opening music by The Junction Band. For ticket information, visit
Harmony Grove UMC: 9-11 service of hope
      The Lilburn church is planning a special service of reconciliation and hope at 11 a.m. Sept. 11 to mark the 10-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the U.S. The church is at 50 Harmony Grove. 770-921-7747.
     The General Board of Discipleship has a variety of worship, preaching and music worship resources available to help churches plan similar remembrances. For more information, visit
Color of Silence Retreat in Tennessee
       A four-day getaway (Sept. 12-15) at the Scarritt-Bennett Center in Nashville includes spiritual disciplines like meditative reading and listening, journaling, centering prayer, silence, and labyrinth walking. Though described as a silent retreat, there are scheduled times when participants may socialize with other attendees if desired.  For more information, please visit  You may also register online at

McKendree UMC: Consignment sale
     The annual Kids Clothes Closet will be open 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sept. 17, with 150 sellers. Featuring children’s fall and winter clothing and shoes, baby equipment, toys and books. Proceeds to benefit the Lawrenceville Cooperative Ministry and the UM Children’s Home as well as worldwide missions from Mexico to Africa. The church is in Lawrenceville at 1570 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Rd. 770-339-9801.
Atlanta First UMC: Study on Sudan
     The Atlanta church’s UMW will sponsor a Study on Sudan and Preparation for Just Peace at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 20 at the downtown church, 360 Peachtree Street NE. Guest speaker will be the Rev. David Hooker, who has worked with the Christians of South Sudan to plan for the establishment of two nations and to bring reconciliation and peace. His efforts are a part of the peace initiatives sponsored by the Mennonite and United Methodist churches. A $10 fee includes lunch. For information, visit or call 404-524-6614.
Marvin UMC: Ministering to older adults
     The North Georgia Conference Older Adult Nurture Team and the Augusta District Team are hosting “Living With Heart and Soul” at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 22. Phil Schroeder, Associate Director of Connectional Ministries, and Martha Forest, beloved former District Superintendent, will offer inspiration and encouragement. Designed for both clergy and laity, this event will introduce you to new ways of being in ministry with older adults.  The $25 registration fee includes continental breakfast, lunch and snack breaks.  For more information, please contact Louise Adams at or 770-446-2411.
Northside UMC: Info to help women, addictions
      Breaking Free: Empowering Women to Break the Cycle of Addiction is the topic for a brunch session set for 10 a.m. Oct. 1, featuring keynote speaker Ashley Smith Robinson, author of “Unlikely Angel.”  Ashley will share her inspiring story of strength, faith and redemption after being taken hostage in 2005 by Brian Nichols, hours after his escape from the Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta. Registration deadline is Sept. 23. Cost is $40 per person or $320 for a table of eight. For more information, contact Kate Boyer at or 404-284-4658, ext. 2.  For more information on Breakthru House, please visit

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. Hooker
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 .
 Retreat added to district confirmation calendar
     A fall Confirmation Retreat has been set for Oct. 7-9, and is available for groups of all sizes. Chaperones of the same gender must register at the ratio of one adult to six youth. Cost is $125 per person due upon registration. The fall retreat is in addition to the annual February gathering.
     “Pieces” is the theme for the weekends as we look at the pieces that come together in our journeys of faith as United Methodists, focusing on Romans 12:4-5. Worship, learning, fun and fellowship, as well as small and large group experiences, will be components of the weekend as we discover our part in the Body of Christ, experience some of the history of the Christian heritage, and celebrate the diversity and the connection that makes us who we are as United Methodists.
      The confirmation retreats, designed for 6th-8th graders, can include senior high youth not yet confirmed. To register, visit
Habitat race a fundraiser for all ages
     The 18th annual Habitat Road Race will be held Oct. 1 at Mt. Bethel UMC, 4385 Lower Roswell Road, Marietta 30068. Start times are 8 a.m. for the 5K, 9 a.m. for the 1 Mile, followed by the Habitot Trot for ages 5 and under. Families, strollers, walkers and dogs are welcome. More than 820 runners participated last year.
      Cost is $20 through Sept. 29, $25 up to race day. Sponsorships are available. Proceeds from the race will be used to build Mt. Bethel’s 30th and 31st Habitat Houses. The goal is to raise $120,000.
     Register online or print out a form at Registration forms also available at New Balance Atlanta East Cobb, in all Big Peach Running Company locations or at
Caribbean evangelism seminar set
      The World Methodist Evangelism Institute has announced the Caribbean Regional Evangelism Seminary will take place in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, Nov. 9-15. The theme is “That The World May Know Jesus Christ: Developing Missional Congregations.” The seminar will be in English, with translations into Spanish and French.  Participants also will join in the 250th anniversary celebration of the founding of Methodism in the Caribbean.  Open to all Methodists and Wesleyans. 
      Continuing Education Units will be available for $10 through Emory University.  The early bird deadline with registration fees of $250 is Sept. 15, and the regular deadline with registration fees of $295 is Oct. 15.   Roommate hotel accommodation is $520 room, three meals and daily snacks, and is due by Oct. 15. Limited single room accommodation is also available. Register at
Hollydale UMC: To host network meeting
    The Atlanta-Marietta District’s 2011 Kickoff Children's Ministry Network Meeting will be held 6-8 p.m. Sept. 15 at Hollydale UMC. This is a good opportunity for those who are volunteer children's coordinators to network. The dinner is free, but a love offering will be taken. Please RSVP to Nicole Keyser at or Cindy Campbell at
Faith-based TV station featuring churches
     The Atlanta Interfaith Broadcasting (AIB) is featuring churches in a special program called “Faith Community of the Month,” consistent with the station’s mission to enhance the spiritual, intellectual and social well-being of viewers by delivering exceptional faith-based, educational and community programming to more than 19 counties. 
      The station is asking for churches to provide a 30 minute program that will air at 8:30 p.m. Sunday night as well as four weekend primetime airings, a 30-second promo, inclusion in the monthly eNewsletter and website. For details, contact Swain Watters, director of AIB business-to-business, at