News, notes and anecdotes from across the conference


Registration open for worship design workshops
      Join Marcia McFee, worship designer for General Conference, 3-6 p.m. Nov. 13 for a discussion on worship design at Lewish Memorial UMC. Fee is $5. To register, please visit
       McFee will hold a workshop on planning and creativity 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 16 at Douglasville First UMC. Registration Cost: $15 for one, $28 for two, and $35 for three people.  This is an excellent event for your worship team to attend as a group. Registration cost includes lunch.  To register, please visit
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
Griffin District: Feed the Hungry mission project
     Forest Park UMC is hosting the United Methodist Men’s annual Feed the Hungry mission project, set for 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Nov. 19. Donations of cash or supplies (paper plates, utensils, cups, napkins and desserts) are needed. Make checks payable to Griffin District, P.O. Box 13, Griffin, GA 30224 and marked UMM Thanksgiving Meal, or to Andrews Chapel UMM, Attn: Howard Turnipseed, PO Box 1437, Jonesboro, GA 30236 marked Thanksgiving. For more information, call Turnipseed at 404-597-7492 or Charles Hoke at 770-914-1135. 
Norcross First UMC: Evangelism Workshop
      The Conference Evangelism Committee invites you to the Share Your Faith Workshop, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 5.  The event is for 6th graders through adults.  Cost: $30. The leader will be Ken Silva. To register, please visit
Peachtree Road UMC: Pastor to preach on Day 1
      The Rev. Dr. Bill Britt, senior pastor of the Atlanta church, is the featured preacher Nov. 6 on “Day 1” with host Peter Wallace, the nationally syndicated ecumenical radio program also accessible online at
      Britt is a graduate of Stetson University in Deland, Fla. He received a master of divinity degree from Candler School of Theology at Emory University, Atlanta, and a doctor of ministry degree from United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. He became senior pastor of Peachtree Road in 2008 after serving several other churches in the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church, including Trinity on the Hill in Augusta, Trinity United Methodist in Cartersville, and First United Methodist in Athens.
      Britt’s sermon focuses on All Saints’ Sunday, which many churches observe on Nov. 6. Based on Jesus’ teachings known as the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12), his sermon is entitled “We Are Blessed.” 
Peace with Justice Grant Application deadline Nov. 7
      If you and your congregation have a project in mind and need a few dollars to launch or continue it, download the grant application found at  Your project goals should focus on peace building, reduction of violence, reconciliation, reduction of poverty, global health, and/or the care of God's creation and contain a focus on making changes to the root, structure, or political framework that would create more justice and fairness.
Johns Creek UMC: Broadway caliber production set
        The Forgotten Carols, a Christmas stage musical performed by Broadway actors along with Johns Creek United Methodist Church Choir and Simpsonwood United Methodist Church Choir, is coming to the John’s Creek church at 7 p.m. Dec. 11-12. 
      This is a new, heartwarming family musical about the hope and promise of Christmas, which has been playing to sold-out audiences on the West Coast for the past 20 years. This stage play will soon be made into a movie.
     Tickets are $22 and can be purchased at or as well as Johns Creek United Methodist Church, 11180 Medlock Bridge Road, Johns Creek, 770-497-8215.
McEachern UMC: Co-Author to Present to Community
          Unite/Cobb and McEachern Memorial UMC will join to host award-winning co-author Dr. Brian Fikkert as he presents from his book When Helping Hurts - How to Alleviate Poverty without Hurting the Poor . . . and Yourself on Januay 24, 2012. The book combines sound theology, solid research, foundational principles and proved strategies for transformational ministry among the poor, both locally and abroad. When Helping Hurtsaddresses the assumption that ministry strategies may cause considerable harm to poor people as they try to help and offers principles and strategies for poverty alleviation, including the distinction between relief, rehabilitation, and development, the difference between asset-based and needs-based strategies, and the advantages of participatory over blueprint approaches.
          The event is is open to the community and includes a luncheon for pastors, church and ministry leaders. It will be held at McEachern Memorial UMC. Registration is open For more information, contact Renee Abernathy at (770) 943-3008 ext 6044 or by email at
Saint Mark UMC: Open Closets auction raises $11,000
          The First Annual “Open Closets Missions Auction” was held earlier this year at Saint Mark UMC and raised $11,000. Part of the earnings went toward a Habitat build recently completed in Atlanta, another part was used to send youth to work at Hinton Rural Life center, and the remainder was used to help pay the salary of Ato Ernesto.
     Ernesto is the missions logistics coordinator for the North Honduran Coastal Mission out of La Cieba Honduras, with which Saint Mark and many other North Georgia churches are involved.
 Reinhardt University students conduct shoe drive
          Reinhardt University’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) and Business 290 (Business Ethics) are hosting a Soles4Souls Shoe Drive until November 15. Any shoes - old, unwanted, or unused - in any condition will be accepted.
      Donation boxes for the shoe drive on Reinhardt’s Waleska campus are located in Lawson/Tarpley, the Academic Building, the Falany Performing Arts Center, Paul Jones Hall, the Hasty Student Life Center, and at Support Services (located on the first floor of the Burgess Administration Building), as well as at Reinhardt’s North Fulton Center.
          Soles4Souls is a Nashville-based charity that collects shoes from the warehouses of footwear companies and from donations of people everywhere. The charity distributes shoes to people in need, regardless of race, religion, class, or any other criteria. Since 2005, Soles4Souls has given away more than 14 million pairs of new and gently worn shoes to people in more than 127 countries, including Kenya, Thailand, Nepal and the U.S.
          The Reinhardt students are hoping to donate close to 500 pairs of shoes this year. For more information about how you can help “change the world one pair at a time,” contact Dr. Kathy Hyatt, assistant professor of business and SIFE advisor, at (770) 720-5591 or by email at
Dunwoody UMC: Beating the holiday blues
          During times of uncertainty, the holiday season often brings special challenges and anxieties to already stressful situations. On November 8 at 7 p.m.,  Pete Hutching of Dunwoody UMC Counseling Center will discuss how we can understand our feelings and learn ways to cope with the added pressures of the holidays. The presentation will be offered by the Crossroads Career Ministry of Dunwoody United Methodist Church, 1548 Mount Vernon Road.
Conyers First UMC: Workshop offered for clergy, staff and volunteers
      We are blessed to have the excellent professional care and expertise of Dr. Cindy Elrod in our community and we are pleased that she will conduct an educational workshop for church staff, clergy and volunteers entitled: “Helping Your Church be a Good Samaritan in Uncertain Times”
    Wednesday, Nov. 16, 9 a.m. – noon at Conyers First United Methodist Church.
    This workshop will focus on those that come to our churches and: accessing needs, building rapport, communicating effectively.
     For more information, contact Gail Haney at 770-483-4236.
 Orange UMC: Fall bazaar
          The Orange United Methodist Women are having their Fall Bazaar in the church’s Fellowship Hall on Saturday, Nov. 12 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There will be homemade baked and canned goods, crafts, jewelry, hand-thrown kiln-baked pottery, handmade purses, homemade soaps, artwork and much more.
    They are accepting applications from vendors to reserve tables. For more information and to reserve your spot, call the church at 770-886 -9662.
Saint Mark UMC: AID Atlanta 5k (photo Aid atlanta)
          Thitry-eight members of Saint Mark UMC recently raised $10,680 for AIDS related charities by participating in the AID Atlanta 5k walk and run. Team Captain Reverend Josh Noblitt organized the effort. In the list of top ten money-raising organizations in the event, Saint Mark UMC was the only church.
     In all, the event raised over $900,000 for services to people with HIV and AIDS.
Pictured are the members of the Saint Mark UMC Aid Atlanta team.
Ousley UMC: “Race for Reading”
          The Million Book Read “Race for Reading” will be held at Ousley UMC in Lithonia on Saturday, Nov. 12. Bring a child to be a part of the life-changing event - children will be working on teams to build and race cars in an effort to raise funds.
       The Million Book Read is an international literacy pledge campaign of the Project 59 Race for Reading Foundation, brainchild of former pro-football star Darrin Smith. Pledge to read to a child at
Oak Grove UMC featured in the New York Times
          Oak Grove United Methodist Church’s 50th annual barbecue in Decatur was covered in the New York Times. The article ran online on October 18 under the headline “A Blessed Barbecue Feast and a Half-Century of Pilgrimages” by Kevin Sack.
Varnell UMC: Run For God (photo Run for God)
          In August 2010, Varnell UMC became involved with the Run For God program, whose goal is to prepare people to better witness for Christ physically, mentally and spiritually.
     Approximately 60 people participated in the weekly Bible study, and 50-60 men, women and children in all conditions of physical fitness joined together three evenings a week to run. Within 12 weeks of beginning the program, everyone completed a 5K with great success. Some members participated in a half marathon, and others ran a 10K.
     A second Run For God group began in July 2011, with 30 new faces joining 30 returning runners. Many members of the team have decided to continue running and walking together throughout the week, and are dedicated to changing their states of mind to healthy ones, one decision at a time. For more information about the Run For God program, visit or contact Reverend Stephen R. Streett, Senior Minister at Varnell UMC
Mount Gilead UMC: Car Show for a Cure
          Mount Gilead UMC in Sharpsburg recently held their second annual “Car Show for a Cure.” The event drew almost 1,000 visitors to the church and raised over $5,000 dollars for the church’s Relay for Life team next year. Awards were given in a variety of categories and attracted 65 cars and trucks.
Allen-Lee Memorial UMC: Field of Dreams property dedication
          Allen-Lee Memorial UMC in Lone Oak dedicated its “Field of Dreams” property on October 23. The property is beside its historic church building on Highway 54.
      The dedication ceremony featured current pastor Melanie Stanley-Soulen and former pastor Rance Sprayberry reading scripture and speaking words of wisdom to the congregants, who were invited to sprinkle soil around the sign that urges motorists to “Come Grow With Us.”
IMU Douglas Street UMC: Joshua and the Battle of Jericho
          More than 70 children, youth and adults learned about Joshua and the Battle of Jericho in English and Spanish at Super Saturday on October 22 at Iglesia Metodista Unida Douglas Street UMC in Cartersville.
      Five dozen vuvuzelas resonated in the wooden sanctuary and outside as the children reenacted the fall of Jericho. They learned the story through workshops using cooking, crafts, movies, music, and games, like a month of Sunday School in one day. Everyone learned that with God, all things are possible.
 Floyd County churches unite in project
       Churches in Rome and Floyd County are invited to participate in a Stop Hunger Now event, set for 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Nov. 11, in the Krannert Spruill Ballroom at Berry College. Volunteers of all ages are needed to assemble 50,000 food packets for distribution to starving families and children around the world.
      Packets are prepared using a simple assembly line system and consist of rice, soy, vegetables, flavoring and 21 vitamins and minerals. No special skills are required to participate, just an open heart and willing hands!
       For folks who want to help but can’t be there, monetary donations are accepted. Each meal packet contains six meals at 25 cents a meal.
      Donation jars are located at Rome area businesses, or donations can be mailed to Rome First UMC, 202 East 3rd Ave., Rome, GA 30161, with Stop Hunger Now in the memo line. For more information, e-mail:
Lithia Springs UMC: Interactive nativity planned
     A drive -through Nativity will be presented 7-9 p.m. Dec. 2-4. The church is at 3711 Temple St. across the tracks in downtown Lithia Springs. From the comfort of your car, drive through 11 beautifully painted scenes with hundreds of actors in period costumes, music and live animals depicting from the annunciation to the birth of Christ.
      For more information or to participate, call Margaret Arnold at 770-943-3820 or e-mail
 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