All Bridges lead to 2013 Annual Conference in Athens


          There is a two-fold benefit in building a bridge: Once completed, people can travel in either direction. No one constructs a one-way bridge.
       This June in Athens, members of the North Georgia Conference will have a chance to learn first-hand how their bridge-building efforts have made a difference in the world. Mission partners from across the globe will be making the trek to Annual Conference to share their stories, answer questions, and strengthen bonds.
       The theme for the 2013 Annual Conference: Bridges to Mission.
      “We will have 21 people, representing all our Bridge partners, who will be visiting with us in Athens,” said Mike Selleck, Director of Connectional Ministries. “This will provide a wonderful opportunity for members of the North Georgia Conference to get more information about what we are doing around the world and to see how their churches can get involved.”
       North Georgia launched its first Bridges effort in 2011, focused on Uganda. Since then, the list of Bridges has expanded steadily to include: El Salvador, the Bahamas, Russia, Portugal, the Philippines, Israel, North Georgia (Action Ministries), and World Methodist Evangelism.
       Bridges partners will play a prominent role throughout Annual Conference, held June 11-13 at the Classic Center.
       “They will be on stage at various times,” Selleck said. “Some will preach, some will teach and some will hold workshops. And each of the Bridges will be represented with a display table.”
      Wednesday night, with no regular conference business on the agenda, is being planned as an everyone-is-welcome, Bridges-focused special event.
     “We hope people from across our conference will take advantage of the chance to talk with our Bridges partners face-to-face,” Selleck said. “We will all have a chance to hear their stories, get more information, explore options, and make connections.
       “If you can get to Athens in June, you can get to the world.”
        Various districts in the North Georgia Conference will be serving as logistical support (handlers) for the Bridges partners, coordinating arrivals and departures at the airport, transportation and housing, as well as schedules before and after Annual Conference.
       To allow adequate time for Bridges partners to share during Annual Conference sessions, Selleck said regular presentations will be pared back.
      “We will be making an effort to add extra detail to the reports published in the handbook so we can cut back on the time it takes for reports to be given from the stage.”
      The global missions focus is not the only thing that will be fresh at Annual Conference.
      The Classic Center has undergone a dramatic $24-million renovation.
     The two most dramatic improvements involve the expansion of the Grand Hall, where the majority of Annual Conference is held, and the new climate-controlled atrium, a 8,500-square-foot gathering area between the Grand Hall and the Theatre, where ordination is held.
The Grand Hall has virtually doubled in size, encompassing 55,000 square feet. The extra space will not only allow for expanded seating but also for a significantly larger stage.
     The renovations have been completed. Two grand opening events were held in February.
        For latest updates, go to the conference website:
Reports for Annual Conference Handbook 
Email to Conference Secretary at by April 2, 2013.
Prepare a one-page summary celebrating activities. Note connection with the Annual Conference theme, Bridges to Mission.
Clearly identify any action(s) requested by the Annual Conference
Reports may be edited by the Handbook Committee for space as needed.
Do not include logos, photos, letterhead or signatures on report.
Use Word software.
Use 14-point type, Times New Roman font.
Single space format for your report.  
Margins: top 1.25 inches; bottom 1 inch; left 1 inch; right 1.25 inches.
Include name, position, phone number and email of contact person for report.
 Guidelines regarding content: To facilitate the development of a concise, complete, accurate, and professional publication and to be effective stewards of funds provided for printing, the Journal Handbook Committee has developed the following guidelines:        
Your report will be a part of the historical record of the North Georgia Conference
In preparing your report, ask these questions to determine what to include and what to exclude: What purpose does this report serve for my readers? Have I included only the material essential to that purpose, or am I distracting readers with unessential information? Are the facts pertinent, reliable, accurate, complete, and current?
Make your report accurate and complete but as concise in consideration of your purpose and your readers’ time.
 Supplemental materials guidelines 
      Guidelines limit contents of supplemental materials, i.e. “Tote Bags” to: addenda, amendments or correction to the contents of the pre-conference handbook or material requiring conference action. See page 34 of the 2012 North Georgia Conference Journal for additional information. Utilize display tables for all other promotional, marketing, interpretive and/or education materials.
 Display Table Request Deadline May 1   
No requests can be considered after May 1. See conference website for policy statement, guidelines and request form.
 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 inches; bottom 1 inch; left 1 inch; right 1.25 inches. 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 was 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.