News, notes and anecdotes from across the conference


 Applications accepted for Leadership UMC

       Leadership UMC is a program of the Conference Board of Laity designed to equip emerging laity leadership from throughout the annual conference for service in mission and ministry within the local church, district and conference.  We are now taking applications for the 2012-2013 Leadership UMC.  If you or anyone in your church is interested in participating in this excellent program, please contact the District Office or go to the Board of Laity page on the conference website (  Applications must be received in the District Office by September 15.
 Children’s Home earns top honor
      The United Methodist Children's Home has received a 2012 Top Rated Children and Families award from Representatives of the Children’s Home want to thank friends and supporters who continue to pray, give and support them. “You are helping us to continue to provide redemptive healing and meaningful change to the lives of children and families.” To find out more about the home's 11 programs and how to help, visit
 Jordan Thrasher chosen for Lewis Fellows Program
      The Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary has selected 20 outstanding young clergy to participate in the 2012-2013 Lewis Fellows program. Jordan Thrasher, lead pastor of Bold Spring UMC in Carnesville, is one of the group chosen from a broad field of applicants and represent five denominations and 15 states.
      Every year the Lewis Fellows program brings together outstanding young clergy persons (generally those under the age of 35) for intensive leadership development activities and sustained peer interaction. To date, more than 150 young clergy from more than a dozen denominations have been named Lewis Fellows. The program is supported in part by a grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc.
 Central Conferences pension fund grows
     The General Board of Pension and Health Benefits and the office of the Central Conference Pension Initiative (CCPI) recently announced the attainment of more than $21 million to fund pensions for the central conferences (those outside the United States).
     Of this total, the North Georgia Conference’s contributions are now at $1,414,407.87. This milestone comes approximately four years after CCPI launched its initial fundraising effort, and 12 years after CCPI was created with a General Conference 2000 charge to launch “a pension support plan for the central conferences.”  Clergy and laity can still give online at For more information on the CCPI initiative, please visit
  St. Andrew UMC: Team travels to Appalachia
     A total of 35 young people and adults from St. Andrew UMC spent a week volunteering with the Appalachia Service Project (ASP), serving residents in Dickenson County, Virginia.  Five teams worked on homes to make them warmer, safer and drier. This is the 26th year St. Andrew teams have participated.
The church is in Marietta at 3455 Canton Rd. 770-926-3488.
     “Every summer, St. Andrew organizes a variety of mission trips for its youth group,” Lisa Springer, director of youth ministries, said. “These trips include a Youth Celebration Team Tour, Appalachia Service Project Mission Trip, Youth Praise Band Tour, and a YouthWorks Mission Trip,”
 Northbrook UMC: Instrumental, vocal works featured
     The music ministry of the Roswell church will present a program of instrumental and vocal music featuring Brian McLeod, pianist, and Brad Leenerts, baritone, at 2 p.m. Aug. 5.  Their music selections will include light classical, spirituals, folk songs, as well as Broadway and jazz favorites.
     Brad studied voice with Dr. Oral Moses, professor of music at Kennesaw State University, and has sung for church congregations, as well as performed in many other venues in the Southeast.  Before coming to Northbrook, in addition to serving in the church as a musician, Brian has performed throughout Georgia, in shows featuring a variety of music from classical to popular music and musical theatre.
     Tickets are $10. The church is in Roswell at 11225 Crabapple Rd. 770-998-2000.
Mt. Gilead UMC: Tom Atkins is revival guest
     Mt. Gilead United Methodist, 889 Arnold Mill Rd. in Woodstock, is having a revival Aug. 5-8 with evangelist Tom Atkins, addressing renewal, refreshment, and revival for today’s church. Services at 7 p.m. 770-490-9345.
 Action Ministries presents 5K fundraiser
      The Action Dash will take place at 8 a.m. Sept. 3 in five cities – Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Gainesville and Rome. The Family 5K Run/Walk & Fun Run will benefit Action Ministries and help families in need. Participants are asked to wear their best super hero costume. Churches are encouraged to join the challenge. Personalized fundraising pages are available. The 5K courses are USATF certified and Chip Timed. Participants receive a T-shirt. Prizes for racers who raise $150 or more, and award are given top three finishers in each category. Additional “super power” awards for best adult, child and pet costumes.
     Action Ministries has been selected by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA) to receive a $100,000 grant to provide housing for homeless individuals with disabilities at Maxwell House Apartments. The ministry also has been chosen to be the onsite service provider for the residents. Located in downtown Augusta, Maxwell House is a 216-unit housing development serving low-income single adults, many with disabilities. The ministry’s services will include crisis intervention, individual and group counseling, 12-step support for addiction recovery, and computer training.
Youth serve community needs at Nehemiah Project
“I love all the children. They are all so special,” Ms. Lanning expresses about the group of teenagers working on her house for the week. She is 101 years old and lives in one of the old Canton Textile Mill houses located in Downtown Canton. Her house has a fresh coat of paint and pressure washed siding. More than just the smearing of paint, she experienced love and laughter from the teenagers that were a part of the Nehemiah Project.
Nehemiah Project was founded five years ago by Daniel Roberts, youth pastor at Liberty Hill United Methodist Church, and Patrick Hartigan, member of Liberty Hill Church. Together they envisioned an opportunity for teens to give back to their community and learn about the gift of service.
  A hundred and eight teens from youth groups at City on a Hill UMC, Canton First UMC, Ball Ground UMC, and Liberty Hill UMC joined forces to spread love through service.  We discuss our connection in a more hierarchical structure but the youth from four United Methodist Churches demonstrated connectionalism works at the level of service. Bringing youth together from different churches for a week of service is a great way to teach leadership, community, and loving others.  
Among the days of hard work, the group enjoyed nightly worship and sharing in their experiences each day. It takes many hands and minds to create and organize all the projects and coordinate with all the different youth groups. It was a week of giving so that some may receive. Those who received the most were the youth who participated in the Nehemiah Project. Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Each year is a unique experience and the teenagers and adults who sacrifice this week in service to others are always blessed in return. If you would like to participate next year or have more questions about the Nehemiah Project please contact Daniel Roberts or call 678-493-8920.
Schedule set for required training seminars
     Registration is open online at for the Clergy Sexual Ethics Seminar, required training for all effective and appointed clergy in North Georgia between November 2011 and June 2013. Cost is $10/person. Click on Registrations at the conference website.  Your payment is your registration.   .5 CEU will be given for participation in a seminar.  At each location there are two sessions, each with up to 50 participants: 9:30-2:30 including lunch or 3-8 including dinner.  You may participate in any one of the times or places. All North Georgia clergy who are appointed must have participated in one of these seminars by June, 2013.  
     The following is a list of dates and places for seminars.  All will have 2 sessions (9:30-2:30 and 3-8) with clergy participating in one of the two, except as noted:
• August 23, 2012- LaGrange- Cornerstone UMC-Newnan, 2956 Highway 154, Newnan, GA 30265
• 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, TBA - 9:30-2:30 only
 Seeking travelers to Russia, Portugal
      Bridges, the North Georgia Conference mission partnership emphasis, offers mission exploration opportunities.  The first trip is planned to Moscow Sept. 24-Oct. 1. The second opportunity will take travelers from Atlanta to Lisbon and Porta Oct. 10-16 to establish a mission partnership between the North Georgia Conference and the Methodist churches of Portugal.  The cost of each trip is approximately $2,000. Space is limited.
     A mission partnership with 13 Methodist churches in El Salvador is another Bridges project, and an Oct. 15-18 trip is planned there. Cost will be around $1,100.  
     For more information, contact Mike Selleck at 678-533-1442.   
 Georgia Preachers Golf Association Tournament
      The Golf Tournament is planned for Aug. 27-29 at Callaway Gardens.  For more information, call the Rev. Don Martin, senior pastor at Alpharetta First UMC, at 770-475-4476.
 Beyond These Walls mission conference Oct. 11-13
      Looking for means to transform your congregation and equip them for effective, life-transforming ministry? Moving people from self-centered to Christ-centered is often the result of an effective missions program and this is the purpose of the Beyond These Walls 2012 Mission Conference, Oct 11-13 in Powder Springs. “Best of the best” missions teaching and training will help you and your leadership mobilize, revitalize, and equip your congregation so that they can fulfill their divine calling – making disciples of all the nations.
     Keynote speakers will be Dr. Mark Beeson, Founding Pastor at Granger Community Church (5,500 attending congregation in Indiana), and Dr. Reggie McNeal, author and Missional Leadership Specialist for Leadership Network of Dallas, Texas. As before, you will have the opportunity to tailor your learning time by selecting for multiple workshops. The growing list of offerings, along with other conference details, can be found at Registration opens June 1.
     Attendees requiring overnight accommodations should contact the Holiday Inn & Suites-Austell, 770 349-8000. Be sure to identify yourself as being with BTW.
 East Cobb UMC: Christian Educators Fellowship Meeting
     Clergy and laity Christian educators are invited to attend a noon-2 p.m. Aug. 16 meeting to discuss “Sunday School, Small Groups, and Vital Congregations.”  Please RSVP to Cindy Campbell via email at
 2012 African-American Women's Leadership Conference
     African-American female clergy and laity are invited to Lake Junaluska Aug. 23-25, where they can strengthen their leadership skills for living their faith and to promote and practice self-care, specifically as it related to living as female African-American Christians. Come away with new insights to help you use your gifts for even greater glory to God. Draw even closer to God and to your sisters in Christ. For more information, and to register, please visit 
 Covington FUMC: Prayer vigil for school year 
      Covington First UMC, together with community leaders and area churches of all denominations of Newton County, have organized a community prayer event, Community On Our Knees, to be held 7 p.m. August 11 on the downtown Covington square. Participants will pray for the 2012-2013 school year (for public, private and home school), students, families, teachers, administrators, bus drivers, janitors, cafeteria workers, BOE elected officials and all NCSS employees.
      There will be a Prayer Wall and Crosses available on the downtown square beginning at 9 a.m. that day. Community members are invited to come by, sign the prayer wall, write a prayer for the school year and tie it to the crosses.
      Everyone in Newton County is invited to attend this special event filled with prayer, music, fellowship, school and community pride. People who attend or work for a school are encouraged to wear school colors, shirts with your school name on them and sports jerseys. As we gather representing our different schools, we will leave as a community, united in prayer for each other and for a great school year!
 Peachtree City UMC: Offering DivorceCare
      Divorce Care meetings will begin 6:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 15 in room 300 at Peachtree City United Methodist Church, located at 225 Robinson Rd. The sessions are open to everyone and participants may join at anytime during the 14-week session. DivorceCareis a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. Don’t go through separation or divorce alone.  DivorceCare seminars and support groups are led by people who understand what you are going through and want to help. You’ll gain access to valuable DivorceCare resources to help you deal with the pain of the past and look forward to rebuilding your life.  For information, please contact Susan McCormick at 404-405-5343 or Kevin McCormick at 770-891-1177.  
 Roswell UMC: Yancy Not Nancy Worship Training
     A large group/small group session will begin at 11 a.m. Sept. 16, with Yancy’s training at 1 p.m.. Cost is $200 per church, and includes as many participants as you’d like. For churches looking to enhance an existing children’s praise team or those that want to start one. To register, email Elizabeth Nall at or call 770-261-1710.