News, notes and anecdotes from across North Georgia


Bufurd FUMC: Homecoming event a success    
      Buford First United Methodist Church held its 140th Homecoming Event August 20 and a homecoming service August 21. Students buried a time capsule that will be dug up in 10 years.
     Former and local church pastors were invited to attend and be recognized at the service. The 700-member church has focused on outreach since its founding 140 years ago and is now home to the Buford Aid Project and Sack Kids Hunger.
     Two traditional services are offered at 8:40 a.m. and 10:55 a.m. every Sunday morning, with seasonal services at Lanier Chapel, and dinner and Bible studies at 5 p.m. Wednesday evenings. Senior pastor is the Rev. Sondra Jones.
 Bishop’s endowment dinner to fund scholarships, 7 p.m., Sept. 15
     The Bishop B. Michael Watson Scholarship Endowment Dinner is set for 7 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.  
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
Due West UMC: Concert tradition continues
     Due West United Methodist Church is hosting the 13th annual Festival of Music Concert on September 11 at 7 p.m. at the Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre. The free event will be an uplifting, reflective concert to honor the history, heroes and Christian heritage of our country. The concert will feature patriotic songs, original selections and narrations by the Due West UMC children’s choirs, sanctuary choir and orchestra. Ad space for the programs and tables are available for purchase. Visit or contact Billy Payne, director of music ministries, at for more information.
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 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.
Mount Gilead UMC: Offers CPR training class
      The Sharpsburg church will host a CPR training class on September 22 from 6- 9 p.m. The class will cover adult, child, and infant CPR techniques as well as pediatric first aid. The cost is $20 and includes a light dinner served at 5:30 p.m. For more information, please email Dan Dixon at
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.
St. James UMC: Tom Key portrays C.S. Lewis
     The Atlanta church will present Tom Key portraying “C.S. Lewis on Stage” September 25 at 7 p.m. Dessert and coffee will be served after the performance. Reservations should be made by September 20. Tickets are $20 for those older than 18 and $15 for those younger (performance is recommended for high school ages and older). Childcare will be provided but should be reserved in advance. To place reservations and to find more information, visit or call (404) 261 - 3121.
Dunwoody FUMC: Women invited to annual meeting    
     All UMC women are invited to attend the United Methodist Women’s Annual Meeting on Oct. 1 at the Dunwoody church. Bishop Watson will speak and the meeting will end with an award luncheon. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Cost for meeting and lunch is $20; cost for meeting only is $10. For more information, contact Irene Davis at or visit the UMW website at
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, featuringkeynote 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

Harmony Grove UMC: Barbecue at Lilburn fest    
      Harmony Grove UMC will be serving the “Best Barbecue in the South” at the Lilburn Daze Festival at 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. on October 8. The festival will be held at Lilburn City Park. David Rigby will cook Boston butt pork in his famous cookers; the Harmony Grove booth will be selling sandwiches and barbecue by the pound. Stop by for wonderful food and fellowship. For more information, call the church at (770) 921 - 7747.
Gainesville district churches join in missions
          The United Methodist churches of the Gainesville District are hosting a two-in-one event on October 8 for very worthy causes. First, the churches will join with Square Foot Ministries to raise money and build a home for James Doyle and his family. Mr. Doyle has recently retired from the military after 20 years of service with injuries that have left him 70% disabled, for which he was presented the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. A total of $10,000 is needed for the home construction costs.
          The churches are also joining Stop Hunger Now, an advocacy organization, to pack 10,000 meals for those in need. A total of $2,500 is needed for food packages.
          The two-in-one event will be held at Cleveland United Methodist Church. All are invited to donate and to attend.
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
Young Harris College offers workshop
     The Faith and Life Program at the college is hosting an Oct. 20 continuing education workshop. The theme is, “Through the Glass, Darkly: Assessing Important Demographic and Attitudinal Trends and Trajectories of the Culture for the Church.” The session is 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Cost is $10, and includes a meal. For more information, contact the Office of Religious Life at 706-379-5166 or
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
Conference to focus on European missions
     The Eastern Europe and Balkans Consultation VII will be held in Alton, IL October 27 - 29. The purpose of the conference is to inspire and encourage the commitment for mission and ministry through partnerships with the region, to strengthen relationships with others involved in ministry there, to help shape future missions, and to provide opportunities for new churches to become involved. The conference will include workshops, reports from key ministry members, and networking opportunities. To register, visit and click on In Mission Together Consultation to download the registration brochure. For more information, contact Dick Arnold at (540) 961-1265 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  
Atlanta, New York seminaries form partnership
       Emory University’s Candler School of Theology in Atlanta and The General Theological Seminary (GTS) in New York are entering a partnership that includes the sharing of library resources, collaborative educational programs and the exchange of both students and faculty members. Candler is one of 13 seminaries of the United Methodist Church and GTS is a seminary of the Episcopal Church. The library sharing begins this fall, while the student exchange program will begin in the 2012-13 academic year. Details of faculty exchange and educational program collaboration are still in development. For more details, visit