Schedule set for required training seminars


 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 a.m.-2:30 p.m. including lunch or 3-8 p.m. 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 two sessions (9:30-2:30 and 3-8) with clergy participating in one of the two, except as noted:
• January 24, 2013- Gainesville – Gainesville First UMC, 2780 Thompson Bridge Rd, Gainesville
• March 9, 2013 (Saturday) – Atlanta Roswell, TBA - 9:30-2:30 onlyCovington FUMC: Hosting community service
      The church family of Covington First UMC will host the Community Thanksgiving Service at 7 p.m. Nov. 20, featuring Holy Communion and fellowship. The church is at 1113 Conyers St., Covington 30014. 770-786-7305.
 Johns Creek UMC: Offers ‘Giving With a Purpose’
      The church’s annual Christmas Gift and Mission Fair, set for 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Nov. 30, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Dec. 1 and 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Dec. 2, will give shoppers a chance to avoid crowded malls and support Johns Creek missions. Items available will include homemade baked goods, handcrafted jewelry, candles, holiday décor, and fair trade goods.  Some of the ministries represented include Foster Care Support Foundation, Rehab Ropes, Heifer International, North Georgia United Methodist Housing and Homeless Council, Refugee Sewing Society, Wesley Woods, Murphy Harpst Children’s Home, Land of 1,000 Hills Coffee and many more. 100% of the proceeds support both local and global missions. The church is at 11180 Medlock Bridge Rd.
   Johns Creek UMC: Boy Scout Coordinator training session
      The Atlanta Area Council Milton District is hosting a free training session 8 a.m.-noon Dec. 1 at Johns Creek UMC, room 207,11180 Medlock Bridge, Johns Creek 30097. The curriculum will include: Overview of the BSA, The Charter (Sponsor) Concept within the BSA, Your Job as a Scouting Coordinator, Identifying, Recruiting & Guiding Unit Leadership, Working with Unit Commissioners and District Leadership, and Other Resources for Scouting Representatives. Register by contacting Chris Karabinos, course director, at or 770-490-4940.  
 Clergy sexual abuse response line is open 
      Skilled volunteer clergy listeners of North Georgia can be called to listen, to provide spiritual guidance, and to give information on how to how to contact appropriate authorities regarding alleged clergy sexual abuse. All calls are confidential and can be anonymous. Call 866-612-2770.
  Peachtree City UMC: Nehemiah study offered for women
       “Nehemiah: A Heart That Can Break” by Kelly Minter is a seven-session Bible study that will meet 9:30-11:30 a.m. Wednesdays beginning Jan. 9, 2013.  Nehemiah's heart was so broken for those in need that he left the comfort of his Persian palace to help them. The study features authentic Bible teaching, recipes, and a relational approach. Cost is $16.  The church is at 225 Robinson Rd, Peachtree City . Register by November 28th on-line at or call the church office at 770.487.6499.
 Warrenton FUMC: Missions group open to new members
     The Merry Makers (M &Ms) at the Warrenton First met on October 10 to celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness month. The M&Ms, which began in 1987, meet monthly as a mission outreach group focused on serving the community. Warrenton residents are invited to attend the meetings, which include lunch provided by group members, a program or entertainment.
 Conference website noted for design, content
    The North Georgia Conference website ( was honored with two certificates of merit - one for design and one for content – at the annual meeting of the United Methodist Association of Communicators. Judges praised the site as a "storehouse of information" and "easy to navigate."
     The meeting was held in Arlington, Va., and included an impressive lineup of keynote speakers including: Erin Hawkins, general secretary of the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR); Diana Butler Bass, author; Mike McCurry, former press secretary to President Clinton and now co-chairman of the Commission on Presidential Debates; Rev. David Hansen (retired), an expert on the time John and Charles Wesley spent in Georgia.
     Michael Murphy-McCarthy, North Georgia's director of IT, was a workshop presenter, introducing communicators to an improved data-flow system between annual conferences and general agencies. 
Commerce FUMC: Supports Operation Christmas Child
      Church members have decided to adopt Operation Christmas Child as a way to show their love for others around the world. Operation Christmas Child is a ministry of Samaritan's Purse International Relief.  Members of the church fill shoe boxes with gifts for children such as school supplies, small toys, and hygiene items.  The boxes will be collected by the Samaritan's Purse organization for global
distribution. So far, Operation Christmas Child has distributed more than 100 million gift boxes since 1993. Commerce FUMC has supported this program for many years as one of its missions.
       The church is located at 54 Cherry St. For more information, call the church office at 706-335-4018 or visit or the Facebook page at
Ebenezer UMC-Roswell: New ministry well received 
      The Ebenezer United Methodist Women began a prayer blanket ministry this fall, hoping to bring comfort and additional prayers to congregation members in need. 
     "Sometimes we get so busy with mission work outside of our church, we forget members of our own flock who need help and comfort," said UMW president Carol Breeding. 
      The women make the "no-sew" fleece blankets during their evening meetings, and, once the fleece is tied together, they gather around and take turns saying a prayer as they place their hands on the blanket. Four blankets have been presented to church members so far.
Connectional Table names Valdez Barker as executive secretary
        The Connectional Table (CT) has hired the Rev. Amy Valdez Barker as executive secretary, effective January 1, 2013. The ordained deacon from the North Georgia Annual Conference will provide administrative leadership for the CT as it coordinates the mission, ministries, and resources of The United Methodist Church.
      “Amy’s experience as a leader in The United Methodist Church, along with her vision and passion for Christ expressed through our Wesleyan tradition and her administrative skills are just what the Connectional Table needs to assist us as we move forward,” said Bishop Bruce Ough, CT Chairperson.      “We are thrilled that she has joined us for the exciting work ahead as we focus our attention on congregational vitality, discerning our future as a worldwide church and engaging more fully in the four areas of focus.”
      Valdez Barker is currently the project manager of the Vital Congregations initiative supported by the Connectional Table and the Council of Bishops.  In the months leading up to the 2012 General Conference, Valdez Barker’s leadership galvanized  73 percent of United Methodist congregations to set specific and measurable goals that will translate into an increase in worship attendance, giving, and double the number of vital congregations over the next four years.
      Valdez Barker is earning a doctoral degree in Christian Education and Congregational Studies at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL.  In addition, she has a strong background in Christian ministry, program management and church administration, as well as 20 years of leadership at the general church and global church level. 
     The Connectional Table will hold its organizational meeting January 15-17, 2013 in Nashville, Tenn.