News, notes and anecdotes from arcross the conference


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

Allen Memorial UMC: A warm welcome for students
     On Sunday, August 28, members of Allen Memorial UMC of Oxford recognized new and returning students from Oxford College.  Three of the students sang in the choir, while two others played the flute and participated in the handbell choir. Oxford College’s Chaplain, Rev. Lyn Pace, offered the closing prayer and blessing.  After the service, church members provided a covered dish luncheon in honor of the students. 

Ebenezer UMC: Big Tent Revival Sept. 25-28  
     Ebenezer UMC of Roswell, located on the corner of Arnold Mill Rd. and Cox Rd., is holding a Big Tent Revival, Sun., Sept. 25 through Wed., Sept. 28. The event begins each evening at 7.
      On Sun, Sept. 25, Ed Tomlinson, the district superintendent of the Atlanta-Roswell District, will be guest speaker, with music provided by the choir of Birmingham UMC.
     On Monday night, Greg Porterfield, senior pastor of Wesley UMC in Evans, will be guest speaker, with music provided by the Hillside UMC choir. On Tuesday night, Carl Moore, senior pastor of Allen Temple AME in Woodstock, will be guest speaker, with music provided by the Allen Temple choir.
    On Wednesday night, Warren Lathem, retired district superintendent, will be guest speaker, with music provided by the Alpharetta FUMC choir and the Disciples in Song gospel group.
     For more information, go to:

 Alcovy UMC: Celebrating a milestone
      Alcovy members will celebrate the church’s 125th birthday during the 11 a.m. service Sept. 18. Seven former pastors will attend the event, followed by a luncheon in the fellowship hall. The church is in Covington at 12521 Alcovy Road.
McKendree UMC: Blesses community with health fair       
       In July, McKendree hosted its first health fair with a desire to offer a holistic experience of faith and healing. The event featured health care providers and vendors greeting 600 visitors, with the help of 70 volunteers. Free backpacks and haircuts were offered local school children. Also, 18 Angel Food boxes were given away, as well as 21 bicycles. Members of the Stephen’s Ministry and Prayer Force prayed with many of the guests.
St. Paul UMC: Seeking aid for church member
      The Gainesville church is asking for help for member Walter “Sam” Buffington, who recently became a double amputee and cannot safely drive his 2007 Dodge Caravan. If anyone can help by providing a swivel seat or can outfit his minivan with a lift, please contact Barbara Brooks at or call the Rev. Clarence Thrower Jr. at 770-536-4910.
 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
College Park FUMC: Recognized for community service
     The Rev. Beth Sanders and the College Park church received the 2011 Community Service Award for Ward III of the City of College Park at its Cityfest on August 20, 2011.  The award is given annually to recognize service and commitment to College Park and its citizens.  Sanders was appointed pastor of the church in January 2006.  Over the last five years, the church’s Learning Academy Preschool has grown into a licensed facility providing full-time care and learning opportunities for infants through Pre-Kindergarteners in a nurturing Christian environment.   The church also offers Sunday afternoon fellowship for the community’s pre-teens and youth in grades 3-12, and it has hosted The Main Street Academy charter school during its first two years of operation. 
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

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.
Covington First UMC: Mutt Show, pet blessings
    The Covington church is partnering with the Newton County Humane Society to present a Mutt Show at 9 a.m. Oct. 8 on the square in downtown Covington. Judging will begin at 10 a.m., with categories Most Beautiful, Most Handsome, Best Trick, Best Dressed, Look Alike, Best Kisser and Most Obedient. Ribbons will be awarded for first, second and third place in each category. Dogs must be on leashes, be at least six months old and have proof of rabies inoculation.
    The church’s senior pastor, Dr. Douglas Gilreath, associate pastor, the Rev. Jan McCoy, will hold a Blessing of the Animals service at 11:30 a.m. on the square. Dogs, cats, fish, hamsters, rabbits, turtles - all beloved pets – are welcome. All animals must be properly leashed or caged for their safety.
Center Valley UMC: Rummage sale, Halloween fest
      Shoppers and donors are welcome to participate in the Chatsworth church’s annual rummage sale, 9 a.m. Oct. 8. The church is at 5394 Hwy. 225 N. Info: contact Rev. Maria Newsum at 706-695-3203 or
      The church’s annual barbeque and trunk-or-treat fest will begin at 11 a.m. Oct. 29. Featuring southern barbecue, homemade desserts, arts and crafts and activities for children. 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
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
Harmony Grove UMC: Evening of dining, entertainment
      The church’s 4th annual Talent Show and Dinner will be held at 6 p.m. Oct. 16. RSVP by Oct. 9. Adults $10, children $5. Includes meal, salad, drink, dessert and entertainment. The church is in Lilburn at 50 Harmony Grove Rd. 770-921-7747.
 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

Leland Qwest UMC: Helping prepare for back to school 
        Members of the Mableton church hosted their second annual Back-to-School Giveaway last month, when they distributed 148 free backpacks filled with supplies and Bibles. Tote bags filled with supplies were given to teachers. Guests enjoyed free food, a bounce house, games and visits from Detective KCB (Keep Cobb Beautiful) and Dr. WellBee (WellStar’s mascot). Participants also received blood pressure screenings, CPR training and tours of Puckett Ambulances. 
Mt. Zion UMC: Craft show tradition continues
     The 26th annual event is set for 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 11-12 at the Marietta church at 1770 Johnson Ferry Road.  The show features 52 arts and crafts vendors, silent auction, door prize, bake sale, casserole pool, (Saturday only), quilt drawing, pictures with the REAL SANTA,  and fresh baked apple pies and cookies prepared throughout the show.  The show is sponsored by the Mt. Zion United Methodist Women. All proceeds benefit local and church charities.  There is no charge for admission.  For information, call 770-971-1465 or visit

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  
Insurance plan offers way to save money
     Save $250 or $500 on your 2012 medical plan deductible when you and your spouse in HealthFlex active plan both take the 2011 HealthQuotient.  You must take the HealthQuotient between August 1 and September 30 to avoid the higher 2012 deductible.  Please note, taking the HealthQuotient before August 1 will not count toward lowering your 2012 deductible.  Taking the HealthQuotient in August or September allows time for your Blueprint for Wellness screening results to be confidentially imported into the HealthQuotient for your convenience.  For more information, please contact Karen Fullerton via e-mail at
Fall brings festivals, pumpkins
     Christ UMC: The 2011 Fall Festival will take place 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 8, with rain date Oct. 22. Featuring food, music by the church’s jazz band, pony rides and petting zoo and pet adoptions. Mother Goose storyteller, moonwalk, clown and pumpkin carving contest. More than 3,000 pumpkins available for purchase. The church is in Roswell at 1340 Woodstock Rd. 770-993-3945.
      Harmony Grove UMC: Offering the “Best Barbecue in the South” at the Lilburn Daze Festival at 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Oct. 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. For more information, call the church at (770) 921 - 7747.
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.
 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 .