News, notes and anecdotes from across the conference


 Beyond These Walls mission conference next month

      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 at McEachern Memorial UMC 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.
Sixes UMC members given cash to bless others
    While money is tight and churches are facing financial constraints, one Canton church actually gave out money to each member of its congregation.
      At the end of a recent worship service, Sixes United Methodist Church (Atlanta-Marietta District) gave each individual an envelope that contained $10 to $20 in cash. The congregation was challenged to use that money to bless someone else. The church averages 300 people each Sunday.
     “We wanted to find a creative way to show God’s love to our community,” said the church’s senior pastor, Joe McKechnie. The money was attached to a card that simply says, “We wanted to do something to show you the love of God. The Bible tells us that you are 'God’s masterpiece’ and that the Lord is crazy about you! We pray that you will receive this gift as a reminder of the amazing love He has for you.”
       McKechnie says it has been exciting to hear the ways in which people have used the money. One woman gave it her son’s school bus driver, who was going through a difficult time. Jake Jones gave $10 to the cashier at a local fast-food restaurant. “She was surprised,” writes Jones, “I could tell that it changed her mood.” Eleven-year-old Kaitlyn Smith gave her money to a classmate who is facing surgery. Another family gave the cash to a woman and her son who were living in a car.
      “We want the community to know that they are loved,” McKechnie says.
       Sixes United Methodist Church is located at 8385 Bells Ferry Road. 
Ben Hill UMC: Family comedy night planned
      Family Comedy Night @ Ben Hill, is set for 7-9 p.m. Sept. 7, with 4 Manna Quest starring Willie Brown and Woody. Price is $10, $15 at the door. All food concession items are $1 each from 6 a.m.-showtime.
      To purchase tickets, contact J. B. Thomas Jr. at 888-486-7239 or or Tom Haney Ben Hill UMC is at 2099 Fairburn Rd. SW, Atlanta 30331. 404-344-0618. 
 Roswell UMC: Acting UP presents Godspell
     The Roswell church’s adult drama ministry will present Godspell at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 7 and 6 p.m. Sept. 8 in the fellowship hall. Tickets are $10 for dessert and the show. 770-594-0512.
 Cascade UMC: Fall revival Sept. 9-12
      “God Has Not Forgotten” is the theme for the fall revival set for Sept. 9-12. Guest speakers are the Rev. Anthony Motley of Lindsay Street Baptist at 6 p.m. Sept. 9; the Rev. Dr. Gregory Williams of Golden Memorial UMC in Douglasville at 7 p.m. Sept. 10; the Rev. Dr. Williams Holmes Robinson of The Olivet Church in Fayetteville at 7 p.m. Sept. 11; the Rev. Dr. Sherry Daniels of Norfolk (VA) UMC at 7 p.m. Sept. 12. The church is at 3144 Cascade Rd. SW, Atlanta.
 Senoia UMC: Emergency personnel honored
      Members of law enforcement, fire services, EMS and others are invited to bring their families to Senoia UMC at 10:55 a.m. Sept. 9 for a special service remembering the sacrifices of those affected by the events of the Sept. 11 attacks. For more information, visit
Wesley Foundation @ KSU charity golf tournament
    The eighth annual tournament to benefit the KSU Wesley Foundation is set for Sept. 17 at Pinetree Country Club in Kennesaw. Scramble format with a shotgun start at 11 a.m. Registration is $460 per foursome, and includes greens fee, cart, golfer gift bag, range balls, and free snacks, drinks and boxed lunch and dinner. For information, contact tournament chair Marc Replogle at 770-952-5000 ext. 20 or
     The Wesley Foundation is a campus ministry of The United Methodist Church serving the students of Kennesaw State University.  Students of all faiths are welcome and are offered a “home away from home.”
Any business and individual interested in sponsoring this event can contact Greg Lynch at 678-516-1666 For more information on the Wesley Foundation @ KSU, call Rev. Hanna Rhee, Campus Director at 404-271-9838.
Jackson UMC: This theme tops them all
     In the spirit of radical hospitality and a commitment to make worship fun, Jackson UMC has added Crazy Hat Sunday to the monthly theme event Sundays. The congregation and community responded with some outlandish headwear on Aug. 26. Past themes have included tacky-Christmas sweater Sunday, Hawaiian Shirt day, and Fashion Hats. These events give people an opportunity to bring a friend or to come join the fellowship.
     These theme days are supported by all generations as the commitment to "sharing God's love from the heart of Jackson" continues to unfold. A common questions is, "What are we going to do next?" to which we reply, "Come and find out!"
 Gainesville UMC: Host to secretaries gathering
     The Georgia Chapter of the Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries (PAUMCS) will hold their annual conference at the Gainesville UMC on September 13-16.  This conference, and membership in the organization, is open to all secretaries, administrative assistants, financial secretaries and other administrative personnel from UM churches, district offices, or UM agencies, whether full time, part time or volunteer.  You do not have to be a member to attend the conference. 
       This year’s conference promises to be an excellent opportunity for continuing education, spiritual growth and a time of fellowship and networking with others from UM churches around the state of Georgia. Workshop topics and leaders include:
•         “God’s Call for Us to Lead” – Dr. Terry Walton, Sr. Pastor at Gainesville First
•         “Cultivating People Skills in Your Leadership” – Rev. Wendy Cordova, Pastor of
               Evangelism and Lay Ministry at Gainesville First
•         “Email Marketing” – Rebecca McClain, award winning coach, strategist, author and
•         “Making Social Media & Websites Work for Churches” – Dave Schroeder, expert in
               Social Networking
•         “Vital Congregations” – Rev. Jasmine Smothers, Associate Director of the North Georgia
               Connectional Ministries Office
•         “Finding Joy in the Hectic Days” – Rev. Kathy Lamon, Pastor of Congregational Care,
               Older Adults and Outreach at Gainesville First
Consignment sales:
       Roswell UMC: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 14, and 8 a.m.-noon Sept. 15 in the Fellowship Hall of the church, at 814 Mimosa Blvd. in historic Roswell. Proceeds benefit the church's preschool and kindergarten. Donated items will be given to the Foster Care Support Foundation.
      St. Andrew UMC: 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Sept. 7, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Sept. 8. 3455 Canton Rd.,
 Inspiration for Church Vitality and Growth
On Sun., Sept. 23, from 2-5 p.m, the clergy and laity of Second Avenue UMC, in cooperation with Rome First UMC, will present a program to help congregations define and pursue vitality by encouraging one another.   
This event is designed to address the initial and probing questions of pastors, lay leaders, and evangelism/witness chairpersons and stimulate thought, vision and planning in local churches regardless of size. From there, we hope sub districts will continue the conversation and encouragement to inspire greater outreach and meaningful growth. 
We invite you to partake of this opportunity to become more informed, to initiate better planning, and to make prayerful decisions for the challenges ahead. 
Participants are asked to register by submitting $10 per attendee to Second Avenue UMC (mark your check: September 23 Event); 801 East Second Avenue, SW; Rome, GA 30161-3309.
 For more information please contact Giles Chapman at; telephone: 706-234-7967.
Emory lecture series examines needy populations
       “When Law and Religion Meet 2012-2013: The Rights of the Needy” begins with a 4:30 p.m. Sept. 13 session at the Emory Law Tull Auditorium. The series will explore what happens to deeply needy populations when the modern welfare state begins to collapse.
     “How do we protect the rights and needs of the deeply needy after the welfare state as we know it is no more?” asks John Witte Jr., director of Emory’s Center for the Study of Law and Religion, which is hosting the series.
     Scholars from Emory and the University of Heidelberg will discuss basic human vulnerability, the role of church and community in protecting children, the American ethos of housing and home ownership and the power of mercy in caring for the weak. For more details, visit
 United Methodist Children’s Home work day offering
        The date for the annual offering has been suggested for Sept. 16, but churches are encouraged to schedule as best fits their needs. Speakers are available to address congregations; contact Alina Crews at or 404-327-5854 if interested. Materials can be requested by contacting Scott Young at
 Cartecay UMC: Work, worship and fellowship
     The church’s youth spent a week near Sevierville, TN, building wheelchair ramps in the local community.  Youth groups from as far away as Wisconsin, Florida, Washington D.C., New York, and North Carolina, gathered to work, worship and have fellowship.
      Another memorable event was the Cartecay River baptism of Brian Britain and his sons David and Hunter, who said they wanted to be baptized “like Jesus – in a river.”
 Epworth By The Sea: To host church historians
     A new Church Historian Workshop is planned for September 18-19 at Epworth By The Sea’s Arthur Moore Methodist Museum, Library and Archives. Cost is $275 for a single room, $200 for a double room, or $100 for workshop only. (Lodging includes meals, workshop only does not.) For more information and to register, call 912-638-4050 or
Birmingham UMC: Brad Sherrill performance set
    Off-Broadway actor Brad Sherrill will perform “Red Letter Jesus: What did Jesus Say?” at 4 p.m. Sept. 23 at Birmingham UMC. Sherrill’s 600 live performances of “The Gospel of John” have touched the hearts of more than 200,000 people worldwide. His 2011 adaptation of Jesus’ words from Matthew, Mark and Luke are communicated through a live performance and multimedia imagery from Israel and Jordan. The church is in Milton at 15770 Birmingham Hwy.,
 Cross-Racial and Cross-Cultural Gathering 
      Clergy and Laity are invited to the next Cross-Racial and Cross-Cultural Ministries Gathering, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 22 at the United Methodist Center at Simpsonwood. This event is for clergy and laity who are currently engaged in a cross-racial or cross-cultural (CR/CC) appointment, those who are preparing for such appointments and those interested in this ministry of the church. This will be a working session to gain practical tools for effective CR/CC ministry. Register at 
 Ministry around funerals for small membership churches
     “Offering Grace When Life Offers Loss: The Small Membership Church and Its Ministry to Families When a Loved One Dies” will be offered 3 p.m. Sept. 23 at Gainesville First UMC. Clergy and lay leadership of small membership churches are invited to this seminar exploring the ministry around funerals. Keynote Speaker: Dr Tom Long. Register at: or call 770-536-2341. 
Dunwoody UMC: Pianist in concert
      The Dunwoody church presents pianist and composer Ola Gjeilo in concert at 4 p.m. Sept. 23: “Piano Improvisations.” $10 suggested donation. The church is at 1548 Mt. Vernon Rd. 770-394-0675.
 Great Starts: New pastors, musicians.
    A Great Start workshop for new pastors and church musicians is planned for 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 27. The workshop will be led by Dee Shelnutt and Beth Shugart, Sept 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Atrium at Simpsonwood. Cost is $20 per person. Register at
 Reinhardt University: Camp meeting service
      Meridian Herald will present its 15th annual Higher Ground: Camp Meeting Service at 4 p.m. Sept. 29 at Reinhardt. The camp meeting, featuring old-time preaching, prayer and singing, will be held in the Falany Performing Arts Center. After the service, attendees can enjoy fellowship and refreshments in the Ken White atrium. Admission is free. A love offering will be taken.
 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:
• 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
 Mt. Bethel UMC: Funding 32nd Habitat house
      The 19th annual Habitat Road Race, to raise funds to built Mt. Bethel UMC’s 32nd Habitat house, is set for Oct. 6. 5K begins at 8 a.m., 1-mile fun run at 9 a.m., followed by a Habitot Trot for ages 5 and under. Other activities include music by The Kingsmen, a silent auction, moonbounce, refreshments and awards ceremony. The start/finish will be at the church’s Christian Activities Center at 4385 Lower Roswell Rd., Marietta. The race is a Peachtree Road Race qualifier. To register, visit
 Snellville UMC: Hosts conference UMW meeting
       The 40th annual meeting of the conference’s United Methodist Women will be held Oct. 6, with registration at 8:30 a.m. and the meeting at 9:30 at Snellville UMC. The theme is “All Things Made New.” Guest speaker Rev. Jasmine Smothers is the Associate Director of Connectional Ministries of the conference, a church consultant and staff liaison for the Conference Ministry Teams. Register online at 
 East Point First Mallalieu UMC: Christmas excursion planned
     It may only be September, but church members are planning a Dec. 4-6 Christmas excursion to Biltmore Estates in Asheville, N.C. The church is in East Point at 2651 Church St. 404-761-3183. Trip costs $300 for double occupancy. A $75 deposit due at sign-up, and final payment due Oct. 28. For more information, call 404-761-3183.
 MUST Ministries: Eager for new location
     After 22 years of serving Cherokee residents from an old warehouse space on Marietta Street in downtown Canton, MUST Ministries is moving. By the first of the year, the nonprofit should be operating from a new 9,000-square-foot building in Brown Industrial Park, just off exit 19 at I-575 adjacent to the R.T. Jones library.
      The extra space is essential to effectively serve 11,000 individuals annually, according to program director Kim Loesing. That’s a number that’s likely to rise, according to population predictions posted on the MUST website. Cherokee’s unemployment rate has risen from 8 to 10 percent, with nearly 10,000 unemployed adults in the county today. And with a population boom that’s expected to reach 315,000 by 2020 (an increase of nearly 47 percent), the demands on MUST will likely grow.
       MUST distributes food and clothing, and helps with life skills, education and employment. That's a lot of activity squeezed into a 5,400-square-foot space that was designed to manufacture poultry processing equipment. They’ve been in the current location since 1998.  
      A $2 million capital campaign is underway to fund the move. To learn more details, visit and click on the Cherokee Campaign tab.