News, notes and anecdotes from across the conference


Snellville UMC: Hosting disaster training event
      The Gwinnett County Citizen Corp Council Faith-Based Committee and Snellville UMC have collaborated in conjunction with the North Georgia Disaster relief committee to present a disaster simulation training, awareness, and preparedness event on the Snellville church campus April 14.  For more information and to sign up, please visit
      The event is open to everyone and is an opportunity for your established UMCOR ERT’s to have additional training, and for your church staff or members to learn the importance of awareness and preparedness before the time of need arises.
 Golf tournament to benefit Murphy-Harpst
     The 3rd annual Murphy-Harpst Gold Tournament will be held May 19 at Stonebridge Golf Club, 585 Stonebridge Dr., Rome GA 30165. The 4-person scramble format tourney is sponsored by the Rome Carrollton District UM churches. Prizes for longest drive, closest to pin and putting. Hole in one prize is new vehicle, sponsored by Bob Williams Dodge Chrysler Jeep.
Breakfast at 7:30 a.m., start time is 8:30. Shotgun start.
 Dunwoody UMC: Discussion for young adult leaders
     A young adult round table discussion is planned for 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. April 26 at Dunwoody UMC. You may want to attend if you can answer "yes" to any of the following questions.  Do you minister to young adults in your church? Do you want to know ways to increase the young adults in your church? Are you concerned about the growing gap of high school students leaving church and not returning? Do you want to reach out to young couples, young singles, and young students just graduating from college?
    Ministers, lay leaders, Sunday school teachers, or volunteers are welcome. Lunch will be provided. For more information, contact Ashley Fitzpatrick or Meg To register, go to 
 2012 SEJ Historical Society’s Annual Meeting
      The registration deadline is April 9
 for the Tennessee Conference Historical Society’s annual meeting July 9-12 at UMW’s Scarritt-Bennett Center, Nashville, TN.  This event is for anyone interested in Methodist history, and also offers tours of Mt. Olivet Cemetery and the Upper Room Chapel and Museum.  For more information on the topics offered, please visit or email the Historical Society at
 Greensboro FUMC: UMCOR ERT Training
    Join Bill Hightower for this UMCOR training at 9 a.m. April 14. Cost is $10. For more information or to register, please contact Susan Prugh via email at or call GFUMC at 706.453.7064.
 Online course offered in Biblical storytelling
The Richard and Julia Wilke Institute for Discipleship and the General Board of Discipleship invite you to participate in the online advanced lay speaking ministry course, Biblical Storytelling II,  with Beth Galbreath as instructor.  The course dates are April 15-May 7. Registration cost is $75. This workshop expands on the methods taught in Biblical Storytelling I. It explores a number of storytelling genres as well as telling the Biblical text, including midrash, chancel drama, first-person storytelling, puppetry, and more.  For more information and to register, please visit
 African-American Clergy and Laity Leadership Retreat 
      An April 16-18 African-American clergy and laity leadership retreat, entitled Innovative Ideas for Accelerating Church Growth, will introduce participants to proven innovative ideas and best practices that North Georgia Conference church, Impact UMC, has used to create one of the fastest growing African-American churches in the UMC.  Location is Lake Junaluska, NC. To register, please  For more information, please contact  Carl Arrington via email at
 5th annual Wesley Speedway Walk for Others
      The walk is planned for April 21 at Atlanta Motor Speedway. For 110 years, Wesley Community Centers has been helping meet the needs of the poor in Atlanta.  Support this ministry in "giving feet to the faith of the church" by walking or volunteering at the Wesley Speedway Walk for Others or by pledging to support a walker or worker.  Proceeds support Project Extend, Bethlehem Senior Center, and Project SOAR.  For more information, please call 404.872.0086 or
 Session geared to help create safer lives for seniors
     Participants in this April 24 session, set for 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at The Methodist Children’s Home in Macon, will learn how to safely launch and enhance a wide variety of low-cost volunteer projects in your community to help older adults successfully age in place. Featured services include home modification/repairs and volunteer driver-escort programs, plus volunteer opportunities related to nutrition, chores, telephone reassurance, and more. This risk management event is for Faith-Based Volunteers and is presented by The Georgia Department of Human Services Division of Aging Services.  $10 registration fee includes lunch. To register, please visit
 Roswell UMC: Hosting ‘Believe Benefit Celebration’
      Roswell’s entertainment-based Believe Ministries will host the 2012 "Believe Benefit Celebration" at 7 p.m. April 26 at Roswell UMC. This fund-raising event will be filled with magical illusions, music, multi-media, and message featuring "Magic Boy" Greg Davidson – master illusionist and funny guy. Featuring special guest, monster-guitarist, and vocal recording artist Tony Sims.
     "So far in 2012, we’ve already seen God change thousands of lives through this ministry, and our work continues,” said President of Believe Ministries, Greg Davidson.  “Next up for Believe Ministries? We’ll be on the road to the Appalachians of West Virginia, central Mississippi, Georgia, Canada, and wherever God leads us. For this year’s benefit event we’re not charging for tickets, but this is a fundraiser. The donations from this evening will allow us to reach even more for Jesus Christ."
      Reserve seats by April 20. Call 770-587-1292 or e-mail
Roswell UMC is in the heart of historic Roswell at 814 Mimosa Blvd., 30075.
 New network to gather vital data from churches
     VitalSigns is a new weekly dashboard ministry of the United Methodist Church, designed to keep track of the following information about UM congregations: total worship attendance; number of new members and baptisms; how many persons actively engaged in small groups; local, national and international missions and outreach; numbers of people served by your congregation; amount given to other charities, and total offerings.
     Each Sunday, churches in the conference will receive invitations to answer these questions. to your email contacts to prevent the emails from going to a Spam folder.
     Churches are encouraged to create a ministry team to contribute to the VitalSigns network. When you fully participate in the second quarter (April-July), your District superintendent will remove the requirement for your church’s second quarter Evangelism report.
     For more information, contact your district office or the Rev. Jasmine Smothers in the Office of Connectional Ministries ( or 678-533-1387) if you have questions or need assistance.
 Hickory Flat UMC: Concert benefits care ministry
      A concert to benefit the church’s Cares Ministry will be held 5 p.m. May 12 on the lawn at the church, 4056 East Cherokee Dr., Canton 30115. Featuring 5:30 p.m. performance by Power Taps Clogging Group and 6 p.m. performances by the Heart Family, all for ONE, and Daily Bread. Hickory Flat Cares provides GED prep programs, job ministry, Good Samaritan Assistance and budget training. Event is free, but donations accepted. Food vendors onsite. Bring a lawn chair or blanket.
 Conference to address helping people with disabilities
     Wesley Glen Ministries and Developmental Disabilities Ministries are co-sponsoring a conference entitled "Opening New the Church, Home, & Community for People with Disabilities," set for April 13-14. Featuring eight workshops offered from “Spiritual Concepts for People with Autism” to “Planning for the Future for your Dependent with Special Needs.” Download a brochure and register at For more information, call 1-888-340-5820.
 St. Andrew UMC: Hosts Car wash, yard sale
     The Marietta church invites everyone to an 8 a.m.-2 p.m. yard sale and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. car wash fundraiser on April 14. “All proceeds from the yard sale and car wash will benefit the missions of St. Andrew United Methodist Church,” said Lisa Springer, director of youth ministries.  “The St. Andrew Youth House yard will be full of household items, furniture, clothes and other treasures – all at great bargain prices.” 
      The church youth will also be washing cars to raise money for the church’s missions, that include sending 100 people to Tybee Island; Montgomery, AL; Jackson, MS; and mountains of Appalachia.
    The church is at 3455 Canton Road, Marietta, GA 30066.
 Grace UMC: Members celebrate 145 years
     Grace UMC of Covington celebrated its 145 anniversary on March 4. The Reverend Dr. Albert D. Mosley, the 15th President-Dean of Gammon Theological Seminary in Atlanta, GA was the speaker for this spirit-filled worship service.
     The members of Grace were extremely proud to honor our church’s lengthy and full history along with our work and presence in this community, city, and county since the Freedmen’s Aid Society established churches and schools for the newly freed people in 1867.
     The ladies of the church prepared and served a nutritious and tasty lunch following the morning service. The men of Grace financed this meal and we thank them for their generosity and kindness.
      During the following week we had a three-day revival with United Methodist ministers and their church family from the surrounding churches.  It was a spirited filled celebration as we continue to be a Godly light for this community.
 United Methodist Men’s 3rd Annual Spring Golf Outing 
     "A great time is had by all" is the common theme for the upcoming UMM Spring Golf Outing being held April 24 at Rivermont Country Club.  The field doubled in players last year to 64 golfers; the hope this year is for 100 players.  There are team and individual prizes, lots of gift cards and giveaways, lunch and buffet at the awards reception, play on a gorgeous private country club, a great day off during the week, and a Bible!
     As in most scramble formats, there will be Mulligans for sale, called “Shots at Redemption." Men and women are invited to play. Register before April 19 online at by clicking on Spring Golf Outing.  $125/per player. Hole sponsors at $100. Donations of door prizes are needed. For more information or to register offline, call Don Cline at 770-871-8157.
 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.
 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)
 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.
 District flood bucket project planned for summer
     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,