News, notes and anecdotes


Denman Award celebration and summit  Feb. 10-11
     Everyone is invited to a weekend celebration designed to “spark” new ideas for evangelistic mission across the conference at Northside United Methodist Church.  On Friday, Feb. 10, the Denman Award celebration will be held. Then, on Sat. Feb. 11, the Denman Award Summit, a morning full of interactive and exciting learning sessions designed to spark new evangelism and mission ideas, will follow.    
     These sessions are designed for all congregation types and sizes and are led by the 2010 and 2011 Denman Award recipients. 
      Each of the Spark Sessions will present best practices in the areas of evangelism and mission in the following categories.
Laity ministry, youth ministry, ministry in large churches, ministry in mid-size churches, ministry in small membership churhes, new church ministry, rural church ministry, revisioning/ merging church ministry.
 Online registration available at
 Grace and Truth Paradox Bible Study
      The Rev. Charles W. Savage II and Gary Fuller are leading a nine-week Monday evening Bible study called Grace or Truth … or Both? Participants will explore whether it’s possible to embrace both grace and truth. Sessions will be held 7-8:30 p.m. Mondays Jan. 23 & 30, Feb. 6, 13, 20 & 27, March 5, 12 & 19. Location is Winters Chapel Road UMC, 5105 Winters Chapel Rd., Atlanta 30360. Fee $10. To register, call Diana Durie at 770-449-6726 or
    The Well: Put others first on New Year’s Day
      Members of Cartersville’s The Well decided to turn New Year’s Day into a mission experience instead of holding a normal worship service.
    “We called it ‘Put Others First.’ As people came into the worship center, we had stations set up where people could do different things. We also disbanded our normal children’s activities and created mission opportunities for all ages,” said lead pastor Andy Postell.
      The missions accomplished included packing three tons of food for an orphanage in Liberia, organizing 100 hygiene kits for the orphans and another 100 for the homeless community in Cartersville. Members also donated, sorted and packaged eight boxes of blankets, jackets, and gloves for homeless in Cartersville and did the same for 25 boxes to be given to charities across Georgia, West Virginia and in Liberia.
       The children gathered that day wrote letters and sent photos of themselves to the Liberian orphans in hopes of developing pen-pal relationships. Both children and adults decorated 200 goody bags for soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Well meets at 9:30 and 11 a.m. Sundays at Excel Christian Academy, 325 Old Mill Rd., Cartersville.
 St. Andrew UMC: Silent auction, bake sale
      Youth members of the Marietta church will hold a fundraiser auction and bake sale after the 10:45 a.m. Feb. 26 service.
     “We will have a large variety of items up for sale at the auction,” said Lisa Springer, director of youth ministries. “Last year, there were over 200 items on the auction floor. So we hope that everyone interested in finding great bargains and supporting an even greater cause will join us for this highly popular event.”
      The prizes at past auctions have included weekend cabin trips, meals in local restaurants, a weekend in Florida, artwork, and services including painting, yard work, pest control, and car wash.  Attendees have also gotten great deals on things like books, games, household items and decorations, plants, jewelry.
     Money raised support ministries at Cobb church, located at 3455 Canton Road. 770-926-3488.
Athens FUMC: Speaker to address confident in women
    The Women's Ministry hosts nationally acclaimed speaker and author Renee Swope of Proverbs 31 Ministries on January 28, 8:30 a.m.- 3 p.m..  She will be speaking on her new book, “A Confident Heart: How to Stop Doubting Yourself & Live in the Security of God's Promises.”  Tickets are $10 and include lunch.  All are welcome.  Register online at or by phone, 706-543-1442.  For more information, contact Julie Caldwell,
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
 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 Feb. 3-4. 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 Register online at
   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
   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)
 North Georgia Conference-wide events
      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.
      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
 Camp 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.
 Lake Junaluska: Site for retreats, environmental workshop
    Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center and the Southeastern Jurisdictional Association for Native American Ministries (SEJANAM) presents the “Native American Leadership Retreat, Dispelling Myths and Stereotypes: From Green Corn Ceremony to Communion” February 17-19. Freeman Owle offers comparative Bible Study to traditional Native American Ceremonies and includes Native American worship resources and an INFUSE youth track. 828-454-6697.
     Caring for Creation 2012, planned for March 15-18, will feature Dr. Bill McKibben of Middlebury College along with more than 30 other environmental leaders who will explore ways individuals and churches can become more environmentally conscious and active. Call 800-222-4930 to register. Early registration ends February 15.
    “Innovative Ideas for Planting and Accelerating Church Growth” is the 2012 African-American Clergy Leadership Retreat April 16-18 designed to introduce pastors to key church development and redevelopment principles from members of Impact's lead team, based on Impact's book, “Zero to 80: Innovative Ideas for Planting and Accelerating Church Growth.” to register. Groups that register by March 12 receive one free leader registration. Limit one free leader per group.SURGE into Missions youth summer camps, weeks and weekends will take place between June 14 – July 22. The theme, Galatians 6:9-10, will help youth explore how serving others impacts their relationships with others. Visit
 Conyers FUMC: Workshop addresses staying safe
       “Helping Your Church be a Good Samaritan in Uncertain Times” is a three-hour workshop set for Feb. 8, led by Dr. Cindy Elrod, at Conyers FUMC. Topics include:
·         Tips for developing a safety plan for your workplace and personnel,
·         Skills for communicating with people in distress,
·         How to de-escalate tension with body language,
·         Guidelines for developing an Emergency Response Plan.
     This is a fast-paced, interactive workshop with many of the demonstrations taken from audience suggested scenarios. $30 per person, or $20 if three or more from an organization attends. The church is at 921 N. Main Street, Conyers. For reservations, contact Gail Haney at 770-483-4236 or