News, notes and anecdotes from across the conference


Boynton UMC: Christmas at the Farm a success
On December 23, Boynton UMC in Ringgold welcomed over 700 people to its second annual Christmas at the Farm community event.
 The two-hour event, held at a church member’s farm, featured Santa, a Christmas drama, a petting zoo, crafts for kids, a hayride, a firepit, hot beverages and snacks. "At Christmas, we celebrate incarnation, God invading the neighborhood," said Rev. Brett DeHart. "That is exactly what Christmas at the Farm is - the church taking Christ's love into the neighborhood."
Dr. Lovett Weems to speak at LaGrange College
On February 11, Dr. Lovett Weems Jr. will speak at LaGrange College about his book “Bearing Fruit: Ministry with Real Results.” Some topics that he will specifically address include planning and visioning, how to develop a mission statement and how to have vision to move the church forward. 
     Dr. Weems is the Distinguished Professor of Church Leadership and Director of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC. He also served as president of St. Paul School of Theology in Kansas City and was a local church pastor in Mississippi for many years. 
      All clergy in the district are invited to attend this meeting with Dr. Weems and are encouraged to bring laity leaders from your church. The meeting will be held in the Dickson Assembly Room of Turner Hall on the LaGrange College Campus from 6-8pm.  Parking will be available in the Vernon St. parking lot, with a shuttle to campus available at 5:30. Reservations not required.
 For more information, contact Laura Faulkner in the Office of Spiritual Life and Church Relations at LaGrange College at 706-880-8340 or
Winter retreats for youth at Junaluska
       Ski Lake Junaluska & Ministries with Young People (MYP) at Lake Junaluska presents its annual winter retreats, INFUSE. Save the dates for weekends of skiing, dynamic worship, and fun! Speakers and bands include some new faces, like Jennifer Dake, Forgotten City, and Empire State, as well as favorites like Rev. Olu Borwn, Rev. Andy Lambert, This is Luke, The Wayne Kerr Band, and more! Weekends through February 18. 
For more information, call 800-222-4930.
 LaGrange College hosts retreat for teens
      LaGrange College is hosting a spiritual renewal weekend Jan. 26-27 for senior high youth groups (grades 9-12). Cost is $20 per student. This includes lodging at Callaway Gardens for one night, lunch on January 26, and admission to the Explorations in Antiquity Center.
      TRANSFORM weekend is designed to transform the lives of students, challenge them into a new and deeper
faith experience, and inspire them to explore their own faith journey through the opportunities of service and
higher education. During TRANSFORM, students will explore the Wesleyan and liberal arts tradition of the
United Methodist Church, which challenges us to engage in critical thinking about our faith and to serve God with
our hearts, hands and minds.
    Praise and worship leaders will be Undivided, a group of six LaGrange students. Registration begins at 10 a.m. Jan. 26. To register, email or call 706-880-8005 or toll-free at 800-593-2885.
 Annual Conference 2013: Procedures for submitting a resolution
     The Committee on Resolutions processes all resolutions presented to the annual conference that are not submitted through programmatic committees. 
     The Resolutions Committee’s job is to ensure that resolutions presented are in compliance with the Book of Discipline and the Standing Rules of the Annual Conference and are properly before the Annual Conference for a vote as part of the Resolutions Committee Report. 
     The committee may take the following actions on resolutions: 
1) Accept the resolution as presented with no changes; 
2) Accept the resolution after amending it to comply with the Standing Rules or Book of Discipline; 
3) Refer the resolution to another Annual Conference committee for inclusion in that committee’s report. (If the committee to which a resolution is referred does not choose to include it in their report, then that resolution is included in the Resolution Committee report). Members of the Resolutions Committee vote concurrence or non-concurrence on each resolution and the committee’s decision is included along with the resolution in the report to Annual Conference.
    To submit a resolution for consideration by the 2013 Annual Conference, send properly formatted resolutions to Beth LaRocca-Pitts, Chair, Resolutions Committee at The resolution is to be written in the following format:  “whereas, whereas, whereas…therefore be it resolved” structure and submitted in 14 point, Times New Roman font, single spaced, with the following margins: top 1.25”; bottom 1”; left 1”; right 1.25”. The  name, title, phone number, and email address of author/originator must be included with the resolution.
        The deadline for submitting resolutions to appear in the annual conference handbook is Feb.1.  Resolutions requiring additional research may preclude inclusion in the handbook. Resolutions submitted after Feb. 1 will be processed by the committee; then, upon notification by committee, copied by the author (3,000 copies paid for by the submitter), and delivered to the Secretary of the Annual Conference for inclusion in the delegate packets prior to annual conference.  
       Resolutions submitted after the deadline for assembly of delegate packets can be received no later than 48 hours prior to the scheduled report of the Resolutions Committee during Annual Conference. Resolutions submitted at this time will be processed by the committee, copied by the author, and given to the Annual Conference Secretary and properly distributed to the members of annual conference at least 24 hours before the Resolutions Committee report. 
       Since the Resolutions Committee must process all resolutions before they are official and properly before the body, copies of late resolutions shall not be produced prior to committee processing and notification.
 Seminarians' financial literacy supported by grant to Emory
      Emory University's Candler School of Theology has received a $250,000 grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to develop a model curriculum for improving the financial literacy of its students. 
      "We're thrilled to partner with Lilly Endowment to help our students learn to navigate the ever-changing financial landscape," said Jan Love, dean of Candler. 
      "Candler wants to prepare the next generation of clergy to make wise financial decisions that will alleviate debt, strengthen their administrative and fiscal leadership, and support ministries in the local church and beyond," she said. "This grant allows us to make great strides in that."
       Lilly Endowment awarded the grant as part of its Theological School Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Future Ministers, which is designed to assist theology schools in examining financial literacy issues in order to improve the economic well being of future pastoral leaders. Candler is one of 16 schools to participate in the program. 
The grant will fund a three-year required curriculum for Candler's master of divinity degree students that focuses on: personal financial literacy, financial administration in ecclesial settings, and financial management for ministerial professionals. 
      Training in personal financial planning and debt management will be included in Candler's advising groups for first- and third-year students. Second-year students will learn to handle finances in ministerial settings through the school's field-based Contextual Education Program. In each year of study, students will meet with a financial advisor to tailor a financial plan based on their individual goals, resources and responsibilities.
      Set to begin in the fall of 2013, the new curriculum is based in part on the success of Candler Advantage, a program the school created in 2009 after studying the problem of student debt. A competitive internship program, Candler Advantage provides stipends, professional development opportunities and financial counseling. 
 Encounter Weekend offered for clergy/spouse couples
   Marriage Encounter United Methodist has seven weekends planned across the United States, with an Atlanta weekend set for April 26-28, 2013, at the Atlanta Marriott Norcross, 475 Technology Parkway, Norcross 30092. The goal is to support married clergy and church staff by helping them grow in their marriages. Clergy who attend also can earn 1.5 CEUs. To apply, visit For more information, contact Dana & Mark Turpin at or Gary & Lisa Morris at 678-819-8885 or
 Christ Church UMC-Birmingham: Hosting conference
      Christ Church will host The Rejuvenate Conference on February 21-23, 2013.  This trans-denominational conference is designed to renew disciple-making and holistic missional movement in our cities and beyond through United Methodism and the North American Church at large. Dr. Alan Weatherly and Dr. Tim Tennent will be on the platform for the conference.
     For more information, visit , or contact Sharon Ams at 
 Trinity on the Hill UMC: Training event
        A training event featuring top national and international leadership in missions and outreach will be held at Trinity on the Hill UMC on Feb. 2. From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., workshops will be facilitated by mission leaders from the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, the Mission Society, the World Methodist Evangelism Institute, Global Praise, and the North Georgia Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
        This will be an exceptional training event to assist churches in local and international outreach. Lunch and refreshments will be provided for $10 payable the day of the event at the registration table.  Registration is required as seating may be limited due to interest in the classes. 
         Choose one morning session from 10:15-11:45 a.m. and one afternoon session from 1-2:30 p.m.
“Children’s Ministry and Mission,” Mrs. Kim Torres, GBGM Church & Community Worker
“Christ and Culture in Africa,” Rev. Mande Muyombo, GBGM
“Congregational Mission Bridges to the World,” Rev. Mike Selleck, NGUMC
“Developing Strong Mission Partnerships,” Rev. Patrick Friday, GBGM
“Evangelism & Mission,” Dr. Winston Worrell, World Methodist Evangelism Institute
“Mission as Bridge of Church and Community,” and “Building Bridges to Youth and Young Adults in Your Community,” Rev. Jasmine Smothers, NGUMC
“Mission Leader Training: 5 Ps of Missions Done Well in the Local Church,” Mr. Stan Self, The Mission Society
“Missionaries for the 21st Century,” Dr. Thomas Kemper, GBGM
“Multicultural Ministry,” Rev. Nora Martinez, GBGM
“Muslims, Christians, and Jesus,” Rev. Dick McClain, The Mission Society
“Singing God’s Song: From Everywhere to Everywhere,” Rev. Debra Tyree, GBGM Global Praise
       Check-in begins at 8:30 a.m., with opening assembly and worship at 9 a.m. led by Rev. Dick McClain and Dr. Thomas Kemper. Workshops begin after worship. The church is on Augusta at 1330 Monte Sano Avenue, Augusta GA 30904 (beside Augusta State University). Register online at or call the missions office 706-738-8822, ext. 57.