News, notes and anecdotes from across the conference


Glisson summer 2012 registration begins
     Summer Camp 2012 begins May 27 and concludes July 27, a program that has been at the core of Glisson's ministry for more than 85 years.
     Glisson offers five distinct programs: Village Camp, a traditional summer experience for rising 2nd graders through rising 12th graders; Outpost, an outdoor adventure program for rising 2nd graders through rising 12th graders; Sparrowwood, a traditional summer camp experience for youth and adults with mild to moderate developmental disabilities; Experiential Leadership Program, offering leadership development experiences for rising 11-12th graders; and Day Camps, bringing the flavor of summer camp to local churches across North Georgia.
      To register, and for more information on pricing, please visit or contact Lacey Bauer at or 706.864.6181. For more information on programs, please visit, or contact Kim Bell at or 706.864.6181.
 Confirmation, spiritual life retreats at Glisson
       The confirmation retreats at Camp Glisson, held February 17-19 and Feb 24-26, are designed primarily for 6th-8th graders, but can include senior high schoolers who have not yet been confirmed. The goal is to enhance the confirmation experience of churches who might not have their own confirmation retreat for those young people who are learning more about what it means to follow Christ and to make a profession of faith. It will be a weekend of learning from a variety of educational experiences and presentations by leaders in the conference, inspiring worship, some fun and games, and times for the youth to reflect on their faith and their desire to follow Christ and join the United Methodist Church. Cost is $130.        
   Glisson also will host spiritual life retreats, with the theme “B-On Fire,” March 2-4, 9-11, 16-18, and 23-25. The theme is based on Luke 24:32 – "And they said one to another, Did not our hearts burn within us, while He talked with us by the way, and while He opened us to the Scriptures?" The weekends are stocked full of spiritual kindling that will help spark a scorching passion in you and your youth group’s faith journeys. Worship, small groups, fun and games, experiential activities and much more will get you “fired up” as you join in building a lasting “B-On Fire” with other youth groups from across the conference. Cost is $130. To register, please visit For more information, contact Meg Morrison via email at
 Emory University marks 175th anniversary
     Bishop Michael Watson offered greetings on behalf of the United Methodist Church during a convocation celebration held in December to commemorate Emory University’s 175th anniversary. Watson also presented a gift: a sprig of East Palatka Holly, which grew in the nook of an oak tree under which John Wesley once preached.
     Emory's “175 History Makers” were honored, including North Georgia Conference members L. Bevel Jones III and John Lloyd Cromartie. More details of the event can be found at
 Denman Award celebration set for Feb. 10-11
      “Spark 2012” is the theme of the Denman Award for Evangelism Celebration weekend at Northside UMC Feb. 10-11. Free online registration available at
 Trinity on the Hill UMC: Hosts disaster training
      The UMCOR Disaster Relief and Trinity on the Hill are working together to offer Mission Training 2012. The courses being offered include Children’s Disaster Services, Shelter Childcare Training; Disaster Assessment; Disaster Prepared Church; Basic Spiritual and Emotional Care; Early Response Training and Mission Team Leader Training. For more information and to register, contact Kim Fender at 706.738.8822 ext. 50 or e-mail
Emory Clergy Care interim director named
     Rev. Christopher Carlton , M. Div., M.S., APC, NCC has been named Interim Director of Emory Clergy Care, a job he will serve while maintaining his current appointment as Johns Creek Associate. The position became available after the retirement of Dr. Fred Smoot.     
 Carlton has most recently served Johns Creek UMC as Associate Pastor in charge of Nurture Ministries. The Candler graduate is an ordained elder, a licensed counselor, and aware of the personal and professional struggles experienced by clergy and clergy families.
       Emory Clergy Care is a resource to the ministers of the North Georgia Conference. To contact ECC, call 678-924-9260 or e-mail
 Conference website now mobile friendly
      The North Georgia Conference website ( is now mobile friendly. Visitors can see a smart-phone compatible version of the top visited pages in the North Georgia conference website, including clergy and church locators, classifieds, conference news, resources, Connectional Cafe, events, blogs, all conference e-newsletters, the North Georgia Advocate and conference and district staff directories.
Boynton UMC: Gives community a new Christmas tradition
       The people of Boynton UMC in Ringgold saw an opportunity to reach the community and seized it. “As we looked at the holiday landscape, we saw that there just weren’t that many family Christmas activities in our community,” according to the Rev. Brett DeHart.
      So the church held “Christmas at the Farm” Dec. 18 at the local farm of one of its members. Festivities included live Christmas scenes, petting zoo, kids' activities, Santa, music from the area’s middle school and high school choruses, firepit, hayride, hot beverages and cookies. All activities were free and canned food donations were accepted for the local food pantry.
      “We knew within fifteen minutes we had hit a homerun,” said DeHart. “Parking quickly reached capacity and we had to scurry to run a shuttle from the church half a mile away. Some people waited close to an hour to get here. Considering that well over 1,000 people attended, I think we’ve created an annual tradition that everyone will be able to look forward to each Christmas.”
   Seminars required for pastors seeking reappointment
      The North Georgia Conference is 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)
 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 e-mail
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 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
 January conference-wide events
     Leading Worship 101 for Lay Leaders, online class Jan. 9 – Feb. 13. Focus on basic worship leadership skills for lay persons (liturgists or lay readers) who assist the pastor. CEUs are available. Biblical Storytelling I, online class Jan. 16: Two-week introduction to the ancient-future art and spiritual discipline of telling the sacred stories of Scripture. Participants will learn to prepare, learn, and tell a Biblical text by heart, not memory. Growing Spiritually through Daily Discipline, online class Jan. 17-March 2. Participants will be guided in discerning God's direction for their lives, practicing daily disciplines, and reaching out in love. For more information about the online classes, visit
      Pre-retirement seminar Jan. 24 at UM Center Atrium. Register by Jan. 16. Targeted to UM clergy nearing retirement eligibility: 58 or older, or with 26 or more years of service in the United Methodist Church. Peter Hang from the General Board of Pension & Health Benefits and Karen Fullerton from the North Georgia Conference will present information on pension, Social Security, Medicare, HealthFlex and other related information. Reservations are required. To register, contact Val Bligh at or Beth Barnwell at or call 678-533-1391.
 February conference-wide events
      Social Media, Communications and Evangelism, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Feb. 7 at Reinhardt University. Registration Cost: $35. This continuing education workshop will explore how social media can be used, how it helps connect with varying demographics, including young adults, and how it can be an effective evangelism tool. Includes lunch and a beverage. Participants are encouraged to sign up by Feb. 1, but walk-in registrants are welcome. Register online at or call 770-720-5546.
     SEJ Disaster Academy, Feb. 20-23 at Simpsonwood Conference and Retreat Center.
Jurisdictional leaders will teach participants about the ministry of disaster response. For a complete listing of classes, prices, and for registration information, visit
    "Kindle the Fire" Lectionary Reading Week, Feb. 27-March 1 at Camp Glisson.
 Register by Feb. 14. This reading week will encourage quiet time as you develop themes, objectives, and images for each Sunday of the upcoming lectionary year. There will also be ample time to give and receive helpful insights with other preachers and facilitators. Lectionary texts are read aloud by guest readers like Carol Cook, Dana Everhart and Coy Hinton. For more information, e-mail Phil Schroeder at Register at