More news, notes and anecdotes from across the conference


Dunwoody UMC: Sound of Music performances
      The final collaboration between Rodgers & Hammerstein, “The Sound of Music,” was destined to become the world's most beloved musical. You’ve seen the movie, now see the musical on stage.  Performances are at 7 p.m. March 29, 30, 31 and 3 p.m. April 1.  Tickets can be purchased for $15 online at or at the door. The church is at 1548 Mt. Vernon Road. 770-394-0675.
Thank you from the United Methodist Children’s Home
        Thank you all so very much for all that you did to support us and rally behind the goal of winning $25,000 from the Home Depot Foundation in their Facebook contest to build a playground for our younger children on campus.
        The official results came in this morning, and unfortunately, we did not win the $25,000. However, we are thrilled to have received $5,000 for coming in second place, and we thank The Home Depot Foundation for that gift, and for allowing us to participate in such an exciting race-to-the-finish contest.
       Congratulations to the Veterans Guest House in Reno for the win, and we know that the $25,000 grant will go far in helping our veterans, which is a very worthy cause!
      And most of all, thank you to you, our wonderful community of friends, who rallied behind us to try to win the money for the playground. We were overwhelmed at the support we received - from old friends to brand-new supporters. We had over 16,000 votes at the end of the contest, which speaks to the strength of our community. We feel blessed to be trusted by you to carry out this important work that God has called us to.
      But the work is not over! There is still a playground to be built! If everyone who voted gave at least $10, we could easily fund the remaining cost of the playground (the $5,000 we received from The Home Depot Foundation will start us out!). Please make a donation today,, and together we will build that playground for our sweet children like four-year-old Sam, who we told you about in our Facebook posts.
       Again, thank you so much for all that you did to vote, to share, and to spread the word of the life-saving work that is happening at the Children's Home. We can only do what we do  because of you, and we are grateful! Please donate today. 
 McKendree UMC: Children’s clothing consignment sale
      A sale featuring spring and summer clothing and shoes, baby equipment, toys and books is planned for 9 a.m.-3 p.m. March 17. All profits benefit local missions such as the Lawrenceville Cooperative Ministry and the United Methodist Children’s Home and world-wide missions from Mexico to Africa. The church is in Lawrenceville at 1570 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Rd. 770-339-9801. 
Summerville FUMC: More than 1,100 free meals served
       A free community lunch is provided three Saturdays a month at the Summerville First United Methodist in the Fellowship Hall.  The lunch is an outreach program for Summerville First Baptist Church and Summerville First United Methodist Church.  People attend the lunch for many different reasons.  Some come for the food, others for the fellowship, and others to be supportive of the program.
      Lunch is served from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Plates are available for eat-in only and one plate per person. The lunch program provides a hot meal on the second, third, and fourth Saturday of each month.  Music is provided each Saturday by Earl Davis. 
      Summerville First Baptist youth provide food and staff for the third Saturday of each month. Summerville First Methodist provides food and staff for the second and fourth Saturdays. The Rome-Floyd Community Kitchen has provided support for the lunch program through donations of food. The joining of the groups has been a celebration for the program. It is hoped that another group will join the project so that a meal could be offered each Saturday of the month.
       Special events occur at the lunch throughout the year. The largest event is the school supply give away that is held in July. The two churches provide book bags and supplies for hundreds of students in our local school systems. Other unannounced projects are providing socks, gloves, clothes, and toiletry items.
       Lunch will be served in the fellowship hall on March 10, 17 and 24.  Everyone is invited to attend.
Consignment sale for spring, summer clothing
    9 a.m.-3 p.m. March 17 at McKendree UMC, 1570 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Rd., Lawrenceville 30043. 770-339-9801. Also includes baby equipment, shoes, toys and books. Proceds benefit local missions, such as the Lawrenceville Cooperative Ministry and the United Methodist Children’s Home and worldwide missions from Mexico to Africa.
Lawrenceville Road UMC: 50th anniversary around the corner
     Preparations are being made for the Tucker church’s March 18 celebration that begins at 9:30 a.m. with a brief rehearsal of former and present choir members who will sing for the 11 a.m. celebration service. Guests are invited for a “re-meet and re-greet” in the education building, breezeway and fellowship hall. During the 11 a.m. service, former pastors Rev. Leland Bagwell and Rev. Bob Gillespie will deliver sermonettes on the theme “50 Years of Witness – 50 Years of Service.” All former pastors in attendance will be recognized. Martha Farr Baker, widow of former pastor Rev. Zack Farr, will serve as Liturgist. A covered dish luncheon will follow the service. Guests will participate in a traditional hymn-singing after lunch. For more information, contact Jack Sartain at or 770-856-1377.

Hapville FUMC: New Spanish worship service
A new Spanish Worship Service will begin on April 8, 5 p.m. at Hapville First United Methodist Church, 3510 Atlanta Avenue, Hapeville, GA 30354. 
Dinner will be served every other Sunday at 6:30 p.m.
This new Hispanic mission is a result of a partnership between Hapeville Frist UMC, the Office of New Church Development  and the Atlanta-College Park District, to serve the Hispanic community in the surrounding Hapeville area.  Already in progress are ESOL classes for the Hispanic community. 
For more information call Rev. Efrain  Diaz at 678-308-9875 or  
Bowen UMC: Celebration of Christian women
     The women of Bowen will celebrate their annual women's day program during the regular worship hour at 11 a.m. March 18.  The theme is Christian Women Guided by Praise, Purpose, and Principles.  Our speaker will be the Rev. Jasmine Smothers, Associate Director, Connectional Ministries, North Georgia conference.
      An “Old Time Fashion Tea" will be held at 1 p.m. March 17. Ladies should dress in your "DOLLED-UP" hats and gloves. The church is located at 211 Arthur Langford Jr. Place. The Rev. Dr. Aubrey Thompson is the pastor. For more information, please contact Alice Garvin at 678-644-4519.

Special request from Athens Elberton district
     Shirley Alcorn, assistant director of Lay Speaking Utilization in the Athens Elberton District, is asking for donations of hymnals to use in services held at the Arbor Terrace Assisted Living in Athens. Lay speakers will be delivering messages and songs on Sunday afternoons and need hymnals for their worshippers. Please contact Alcorn or 678-963-9831 if you’d like to make a donation.
Special day of activities for seniors
      Seniors from all denominations are invited to a noon meal March 20, the 18th annual XYZ (Extra Year of Zest) Day at Snellville UMC. Keynote speaker will be Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter, who will talk about law enforcement.
      Participants can choose from 10 interest groups. Fee is $10. Registration begins at 8:45 a.m., followed by a time of singing and a brief devotional and interest groups, lunch and speaker. Activities take place in the easily accessible Christian Life Center. Event ends at 2 p.m. Seniors from Tucker, Mountain Park, Harmony Grove and Snellville UMC have planned the event.
   For more information, call Linda Sallee (770-364-5007), Jane McCombs (770-939-0083), Gailya Raines (770-266-0209) or Aggie Calder (770-921-8631).
Deadline nears for Denman Award nominations
     The deadline is March 21 for nominations for the 2012 Harry Denman Conference Evangelism Clergy, Laity and Youth Awards, which recognizes a person whose life and ministry exemplifies the teaching of Christ and the Great Commission. Recipients, nominated by their local church and selected by the Annual Conference, live their call to “Offer Them Christ” daily as modeled by Dr. Harry Denman, founder of The Foundation for Evangelism that sponsors these awards. The nominations forms can be found at Print out the appropriate forms and mail to Chris Branscomb or fax to 770-943-0677, or mail to 1444 Bethel Church Rd., Hiram GA 30141.
Dunwoody UMC: Caregiver support, women’s issues
     An Alzheimer's Support Group for Caregivers meets 10-11:30 a.m. on the second Thursday of each month in room 254. For more information, call JoAnn Akers at 678-352-8334 or The church is at 1548 Mount Vernon Rd.
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. $10 fee includes a meal.  Register online through the conference website.
•         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)
Lake Junaluska: Site for retreats, youth camps
        “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.”
        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 to register. Groups that register by March 12 receive one free leader registration. Limit one free leader per group.
Dunwoody UMC: Paint recycling event helps nonprofit
      On March 24, Kappa Delta Sorority will sponsor a paint can recycling event to benefit Wellspring Living, an organization that fights human trafficking by taking in women who have been sexually abused as children and wound up in prostitution, sex slavery, or strip joints. Wellspring helps them reclaim their lives and return to life as healthy functioning women. The event will be held in the parking lot. Only latex paint will be accepted.  $1 per each quart or gallon size can, $5 per 5-gallon size and there is a $10 minimum charge. Contact with questions.
St. Andrew UMC: Celebrating 50th anniversary in 2012
      St. Andrew United Methodist Church of Marietta began celebrating more than the arrival of a new year on January 1, 2012. The Canton Road congregation also began celebrating 50 years of doing the Lord’s work, which will culminate with Homecoming for its 50th anniversary on April 29.
     “On Sunday, April 29, 2012, 50 years will have passed since a small group of dedicated Methodists first gathered at Blackwell School to begin their new church,” said Rev. Mack Riley, senior pastor. “We look forward to celebrating this momentous occasion with Homecoming services on April 29 and a variety of other special events during the first four months of 2012.”
       Church founders chose the name St. Andrew because the apostle Andrew is considered a “do-er,” doing the work of the Lord. The first sanctuary, completed in 1964, is now the Community Room. The Education Building opened in 1973, the present sanctuary was built in 1978, and the Keheley Center opened in 1999.
       The church family has grown to include more than 350 families dedicated to doing the work of the Lord. Church members accomplish this through various ministries in which we hope all members of our congregation will become involved. These ministries include Thanksgiving and Christmas food drives, wellness ministries, the Appalachia Service Project, the Andrew Christian School in Haiti, and ministries for men, women, children, youth, and seniors.
 Event to help caregivers, interaction with older adults
      The North Georgia Older Adult Nurture Team is offering an event 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. March 29 at Simpsonwood Retreat Center. For caregivers, people over age 56, those who work with or advise older adults or even have older parents. Keynote speaker will be the Rev. Dr. Rick Gentzler, Director of the Center on Aging and Older Adult Ministries for the General Board of Discipleship of the UM Church. Three afternoon workshops will be offered. Breakfast and lunch included in the $35 registration fee, due by March 16. For more information, call Louise Adams at 770-446-2411 or e-mail
Listening sessions in preparation for General Conference
       The North Georgia delegation will hold two sessions to listen to the voices of North Georgia United Methodists concerning the General Conference in April. The next session will be at Griffin First UMC 10 a.m.-1 p.m. March 24. Persons wishing to speak to the delegation will be assigned a time slot of five minutes and are requested to submit a copy of their presentation to the moderator on the day of the session. To register your request to speak, contact Lyn Powell at, and include your contact info (name, email, phone, church, district), topic and preferred session date. Speakers will be notified of their assigned time.
North Georgia older adults team plans special event
     Aging is A Changin’ is the theme for the 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. March 29 event featuring keynote speaker, the Rev. Dr. Rick Gentzler, director of the Center on Aging and Older Adult Ministries for the General Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist Church.
      The session is open to anyone age 56 and older, caregivers, people who work with or advise older adults or have older parents. The $35 registration fee includes breakfast, lunch, and snack. Register by March 16. For more info, email or call 770-446-2411 or 770-441-0330.
Roswell UMC: Holy week, Easter services 
    Holy Week and Easter services include Palm Sunday services April 1 at 8:30 a.m. (Communion service in the Chapel), at 9:30 a.m. (contemporary worship in the Sanctuary), and at 11 a.m. (traditional worship in the sanctuary); a Lenten Lunch Lift at noon April 4 in the fellowship hall with lunch and a devotional message; Maundy Thursday drop-in Communion between 5 and 7 p.m. April 5 in the Chapel; and the “Seven Last Words” Good Friday service at 7:30 p.m. April 6 in the Sanctuary. Easter worship services begin with a 7 a.m. sunrise with candlelight and Communion, a 9 a.m. contemporary worship with praise band, and 11 a.m. traditional worship with sanctuary choir and organ. See for details.
Bethelehem FUMC: Golf tourney to benefit children

    The Bethlehem Children’s Classic Golf Tournament is set for April 2, with registration at 11 a.m. and shotgun start at 12:30 p.m. Proceeds benefit the church’s children’s ministry. Lunch by Chick-fil-A at Winder. Prizes, raffles and more. Mulligans $10 each with limit of two. For more information, call Doug Johnson at 404-281-6357.
Harmony Grove UMC: First Taize service planned

A Taize service is planned for 6:30 p.m. April 4 at Harmony Grove UMC. This is the church’s first time for a Taize service, which organizers hope will allow participants to experience prayer during Holy Week in a new and powerful way. The church is in Lilburn at 50 Harmony Grove Rd. 770-921-7747.
St. Andrew UMC: Easter events planned for children
   A Breakfast With the Bunny and Easter Egg Scramble is planned for April 7.
    “Breakfast With the Bunny has been a highlight of Easter weekend for the children of our church and the surrounding community for many years,” said Lisa Springer, director of youth ministries. “We encourage every youngster in our area to corral his or her parents and join us for this unforgettable annual event.”
     Congregation members will begin serving breakfast in the Keheley Center at 9 a.m. In addition to a tasty pancake breakfast, youngsters will have an opportunity to visit and take photos with the Easter Bunny as it makes its annual appearance at the event. The cost for breakfast is $4.50 for adults and $2 for children. Children under 2 can eat free. Reservations required by calling Springer at 770-926-3488.
    The Easter Egg Scramble will begin at 10 a.m., right after the breakfast. The church is in Marietta at 3455 Canton Road. 770-926-3488.
District Flood Bucket Project
     Peachtree City UMC will conduct its annual cleaning bucket drive this summer, June 1-July 12, and invite other churches within the LaGrange District to participate.  Along with the buckets, they will be collecting UMCOR Relief Supply Kits, such as health kits, layette kits, and school kits.  You can donate any of the UMCOR kits or just the buckets or any combination thereof.  To ease the logistical requirements involved, volunteers will deliver the empty buckets to participating churches, and pick up the filled buckets and UMCOR kits at the end of the drive.  A 5-gallon empty bucket (with lid) will cost $1.75 and participating churches will need to submit an order and payment by June 1.  The supplies to fill a cleaning bucket cost approximately $55.  The approximate costs for the other kits are:  health kits - $12; layette kits - $35; school kits - $11; birthing kits - $8; sewing kits - $18.  For details on the lists and how to order them,