News, notes and anecdotes from across the conference


Decatur-Atlanta Cokesbury store to close March 2
             The Atlanta/Decatur Cokesbury Store will close its doors for good on March 2.
Cokesbury Christian Resources will continue to be available through the web at and by phone at 800-672-1789. 
   Two Cokesbury sales representatives will soon be hired for the Metro Atlanta market. In anticipation of the close, the store is offering 30 percent off inventory. The sale applies to in-stock items only and excludes VBS and dated curriculum. All sales are final.
   Hours are 10 a.m to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.
Big Springs UMC: Coffee House event
      Coffee House Friday will begin at 7 p.m. Feb. 15 with coffee and dessert, and a program of words and music presented by guest speaker Dr. David Bowen, senior pastor of Commerce UMC, and musician Tim Coleman, worship leader at St. Andrew UMC. 
Big Springs UMC is located on the eastern edge of Woodstock, just off Hwy 140 at 2066 Sugar Pike Road, about halfway between Roswell & Canton.  For more information, contact the church office at 770-475-1796.
Rick Santorum to speak at fundraiser
      Sen. Rick Santorum will be guest speaker at a March 2 fundraiser for A Beacon of Hope Pregnancy Center. The annual gala “Beautiful!” is set for 6:30-10 p.m. at the Atlanta Marriott at 5750 Windward Pkwy. in Alpharetta. 
      The former 2012 presidential candidate spoke candidly about his belief that strong families help produce a strong economy. He and his wife of 22 years are parents to seven children, including four-year-old Isabella, who was born with a condition called Trisomy 18 and wasn’t expected to survive her first birthday. This condition, when diagnosed during pregnancy, often leads to a rec¬ommendation for abortion. 
     A Beacon of Hope is a non-profit, faith-based 501(c)(3) charitable community organization with a target in Fulton and DeKalb counties. Their mission is saving the lives of the unborn and promoting healthy relationships while leading people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ. Affiliation with NIFLA (National Institute of Family and Life Advocates) and Care Net provides A Beacon of Hope with legal and ethical accountability as well as credibility as a pregnancy and relationship resource center that operates under the certified “Commitment of Care.” 
      Individual tickets for the gala are $75. Sponsorships and a VIP Reception Pass that includes a photo and Q&A with Rick Santorum are also offered for an additional donation. For more information and to purchase tickets visit 
Wesley Chapel UMC: Children, youth had a ball
     Wesley Chapel UMC in Marietta hosted its first Winter Ball Invitational in January, with third-fifth graders from East Cobb UMC in Marietta and Hillside UMC in Woodstock, along Wesley Chapel's CLUB345 and Youth gathered together for ball food and ball games.  Dinner provided included meatball subs, cheese balls, and cake balls.  Wesley Chapel's youth monitored eight different ball game stations, including the fastest toilet paper wrapped basketball and football twister.  Students determined the first players by answering Bible questions.  If you'd like more information on the event, check out
Consignment sales for spring clothing
      McKendree UMC: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. March 16. Proceeds benefit local missions, including the Lawrenceville Cooperative Ministry and the United Methodist Children’s Home and worldwide missions from Mexico to Africa. The church is at 1570 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Rd., Lawrenceville. 770-339-9801. 
     Creekside UMC: 8-9 p.m. March 7 public preview with $5 donation, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. March 8, 8 a.m.-1 p.m. March 9. The church is at 673 Peachtree Pkwy., Building A, Cumming 30041. 
     Roswell UMC: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. March 8, 8 a.m.-noon March 9 in the church Fellowship Hall Proceeds will benefit the church's preschool and kindergarten. Donated items will be given to the Foster Care Support Foundation.  The church is at 814 Mimosa Blvd., Roswell 30075. 
      St. James UMC: 9 a.m.-2 p.m. March 22-23. The church is at 4400 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd., Atlanta 30342. 
 Homeless Offering Set for February 24
     The 2013 Conference-wide Homeless Offering is set for February 24. Homeless Offering materials were distributed at district events in January. If your church has not received its materials byJanuary 31, please contact Virginia Tinsley at 
 Credit Union will award $1,000 college scholarship to a North Georgia student
    The United Methodist Connectional Federal Credit Union will award four $1,000 college scholarships this year.  Four winning applicants will be chosen, one from each of the Credit Union's four conferences: North Georgia, South Georgia, Florida and Alabama-West Florida. 
     To apply, you must be a member of United Methodist Connectional FCU between the ages of 17-24 and attend church in one of the conferences. Complete the form at, attach your essay and mail to the United Methodist Connectional Federal Credit.
Rome First UMC: Exploration of Luke
     Dr. Justo L. González, a native of Cuba and retired professor of historical theology, will explore the Gospel of Luke at Rome First UMC’s Wilder center on February 17 and 24. Dr. González has authored numerous book and has been a featured video presenter in such studies as Disciple 1 and Christian Believer. 
      His books, which include The Story of Christianity (2 vols.), A History of Christian Thought (3 vols.), and Acts: The Gospel of the Spirit, have been translated into nine languages. Besides his PhD degree from Yale, he has received five honorary doctorates. All are invited for the opportunity to dig deeper into Luke. This event is being sponsored by Rome First UMC and Trinity UMC.
 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. 
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 26-23 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 Feb. 21-23.  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
 Children's ministry webinars
      Are you involved in children's ministry? The General Board of Discipleship has several upcoming webinars on Children's Ministry topics. Webinars are a great way to learn more about our work in ministry with children while in the comfort of our own homes or offices. Each webinar features two knowledgeable and experienced guests who take questions at the end of the session.  Find information at: Log-in information is posted here at least 48 hours prior to each webinar.
 Marriage Encounter returning to the North Georgia 
     Worldwide Marriage Encounter focuses on communication between a husband and wife. It is an opportunity to spend a weekend together away from the distractions and the tensions of everyday life and to concentrate on each other as a couple. It's not a retreat, nor a marriage clinic, nor group sensitivity. It's a unique approach aimed at revitalizing Christian marriage. 
      This is a time for you and your spouse to be alone together, to rediscover each other, and focus together on your relationship for an entire weekend. Every marriage deserves that kind of attention. Rediscover the spark that was there on your wedding day! Rediscover the best friend you had when you were first married.  Join the millions of couples worldwide who have learned how to keep their marriage vibrant and alive.
     Two weekends are scheduled in 2013. The first weekend is April 26-28, designated for married clergy and church staff. The second weekend on October 11-13 is for all married couples. Weekends are also scheduled for other faiths and they welcome couples who would like to enhance their marriage.
       For more information contact Mark and Dana Turpin If you have any questions, call 770-993-2236
 Peachtree City UMC:  Pine straw and fertilizer sale
     The United Methodist Men at Peachtree City UMC are taking orders for their 34th Annual Fertilizer and Pine Straw Sale. Delivery dates will be on February 23 and March 2. Products are priced comparably to big box retailers in the area and the men deliver to your yard free of charge. You can order at or by calling 770-486-5331. For the last 34 years the Peachtree City United Methodist Men have been selling high quality products at reasonable prices that work together to make your lawn more beautiful.  Last year the group sold more than 700 bags of fertilizer, 300 bags of lime and 16,600 bales of pine straw to more than 600 customers. 
   Loganville FUMC: Presents scholarship 
     The Loganville First UM Men’s Club presented the 2013 $1,000 scholarship to Rachel Winnett, daughter of Dan and Cindy Winnett of Monroe. Rachel, a student at Walnut Grove High School, will enroll at Brenau University in Gainesville as a health sciences major, with a minor in dance. She wants to become a pediatric physical therapist.  
 Harmony Grove UMC: Community egg hunt
      The Lilburn church is planning an Easter egg hunt at 10 a.m. March 30, with games, crafts, music, inflatables and food for toddlers through fifth graders. The church is at 50 Harmony Grove Rd., Lilburn 30047. 770-921-7747.