News, notes and anecdotes from across the conference


 McEachern UMC: Co-author to speak
          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 January 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 Hurts addresses 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 e-mail at
   Harmony Grove UMC: Nativity, breakfast with Santa
    A drive-through nativity will take place 6-8 p.m. Dec. 16-17. The trip through their rendition of Bethlehem will include angels, shepherds, village people, soldiers, and kings. Hot chocolate, coffee and cookies will be available. Free. Donations accepted. The church is in Lilburn at 50 Harmony Grove Road. 770-921-7747.
 Seminars required for pastors seeking reappointment
      Over the next 18 months, the North Georgia Conference will be offering a number of Sexual Ethics Seminars to be held in each of the 12 districts.  Every clergy person in North Georgia, full time and part time, must complete one of these seminars in order to be reappointed. 
      The date for the LaGrange District seminar is August 23, 2012.  However, you do not have to attend the seminar in your district. Below is a list of dates and locations where seminars are being held. Unless otherwise indicated, each date and location will have two sessions, 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. – 8 p.m.  Choose the one that is most convenient for you.  Cost is $10 and includes a meal.  All registration is done online through the conference website.  Clergy should check this list and be sure to register for one of the seminars.
·        January 26, 2012- Rome Carrolton- Moore’s Chapel UMC, 120 North Park Street, Carrollton
·        March 1, 2012- Athens Elberton- Bogart UMC, 1201 Atlanta Highway, Bogart
·        March 15, 2012- Atlanta College Park- East Point First Mallalieu UMC, 2651 Church Street,  East Point
·        July 23, 2012- Epworth by the Sea before Pastors’ School- (9:30-2:30 only)
·        August 23, 2012- LaGrange- Cornerstone UMC-Newnan, 2956 Highway 154, Newnan
·        October 2, 2012- Atlanta Marietta and Northwest- Sam Jones Memorial, 100 West Church Street, Cartersville
·        October 18, 2012- Augusta- Wesley UMC Evans, 825 North Belair Rd, Evans
·        November 1, 2012- Atlanta Emory and Atlanta Decatur Oxford- Oak Grove UMC Decatur,  1722 Oak Grove Rd, NE, Decatur
·        January 24, 2013- Gainesville – Gainesville First UMC, 2780 Thompson Bridge Rd, Gainesville
·        March 9, 2013 (Saturday) – Atlanta Roswell, place, address TBA – (9:30-2:30 only)
 Cumming FUMC: Community choirs join church
     The service of Lessons and Carols at 8:45 and 11 a.m. Dec. 18, will feature the church’s Chancel Choir, Forsyth Central Chamber Chorus, Vickery Creek Middle School Choir, Next Generation Choir and an outstanding orchestra, all under the direction of John Hutchinson. The church is at 770 Canton Hwy. in Cumming. 770-887-2900.
 St. Andrew UMC: Candy Cane Lane a success
     More than 300 people turned out Dec. 2 to help make Candy Cane Lane the most successful pre-holiday event in the history of St. Andrew United Methodist Church of Marietta.
      “We thank everyone who helped to make Candy Cane Lane such a great night for our church and all the children who joined us for the festivities,” said Marcie Millholland, St. Andrew’s director of children’s ministries and the organizer of the event. “We fed more than 310 people in slightly less than one and a half hours. Ed Resendez and the volunteers in the kitchen did all of that and baked dozens of cookies for the youth bake sale on Sunday.”
      Tuscany Italian Restaurant supplied the main dinner course and Santa and event photographers David and Kathy Barfield photographed more than 125 children. 
     Children’s activities included a Candy Cane Rudolph Craft table, Gingerbread Man craft table, and Thumbprint Nativity and Thumbprint Reindeer craft table. Also popular were the snowflake prayers activity and snowman prayer tree.
 Ousley UMC: Spirit of Christmas in music
     The Mass Choir at the Lithonia church will present “The Spirit of Christmas” at 6 p.m. Dec. 18, a musical extravaganza to celebrate the world's greatest gift, Jesus Christ. The church is at 3261 Panola Rd.
 Bethlehem FUMC: Fun run, 5K set for Saturday
      The church is hosting a Wiseman 5K – Follow the Christmas Star to Bethlehem (Georgia) on Dec. 18. The Fun Run/Walk begins at 3:30 p.m., followed by the 5K Run/Walk at 4 p.m. Registration cost is $20 per person, $45 family rate. To register online, visit For more information, contact George Roberson at 678-548-4879 or Carol Black, at or 706-680-7223. T-shirts will be given to those who pre-register. The church is at 709 Christmas Ave. (Hwy. 11).  Office number is 770-867-3727 and e-mail is
  Park UMC: Members to help refugee family
     Through “The RRISA Tree” Project, the Inman Park church will furnish a new apartment for a refugee family supported by Refugee Resettlement Services of Atlanta. Church members will provide all the supplies for a simple, new apartment home in time for the new year. A RRISA tree will be set up in the church lobby, where members and visitors can pick up a tag on which is written a basic need, such as bathroom towels, sheets, soap, food storage containers, etc. Donations should be delivered by Christmas eve. For more information, visit
 Covington FUMC: New spaces expand ministry
        A service of music and prayer was held in November to dedicate a sanctuary purchased for the church in 2009, consecrating it as the Covington First United Methodist Sanctuary Annex. A fellowship hall bought along with the sanctuary provides extra meeting space for church and community groups.
       At the service, a new altar table and cross handcrafted by Ben Hendricks, a member of Covington First and master woodcrafter, was dedicated. Mr. Hendricks’ Sunday School Class, The Josie Goode Class, furnished the materials needed for the table and cross.
     The buildings were purchased from the Church of the Good Shepherd, which removed special windows when they moved out. Those windows have been replaced by two beautiful new stained glass windows. The entrance window is “The Ascension” was provided by funds from the Memorial Committee of Covington First given for beloved saints of Covington First. The window over the altar area is “Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane” which was donated by Arvin Spell, III.
 United Methodists to participate in nationwide event
     United Methodist churches are invited to participate in America’s Sunday Supper, planned for Jan. 15. The goal of this denomination-wide event, designed to take place through a shared meal, meaningful conversation or community service, is to open conversation about the nation’s most pressing social issues in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Human Relations Day. Last year recorded more than 4,000 projects and more than 240,000 volunteers. 
     By signing up to host a supper, participating churches will receive marketing support to share an invitation with their communities, and a film to share at the event. Films come with discussion guides to stimulate conversation about education, food security, children of prison inmates and more.
     United Methodist Communications has teamed up with HandsOn Network and Points of Light Institute to offer America’s Sunday Supper as a Rethink Church Event – providing a model to honor both Human Relations Day and Dr. Martin Luther King’s life.
    For more information, go to or email