News, notes and anecdotes from across the conference


 Scholarship available for Methodist students

     There’s a new scholarship opportunity available for Methodist students in North Georgia attending Methodist-affiliated schools, thanks to the Martha Forrest scholarship endowment. Scholarship awards will be matched by the Higher Education Foundation, the participating Methodist-related schools and the student’s local church. The funds are invested at the Georgia United Methodist Foundation in Norcross.
     The endowment was established to honor Martha Forrest, a retired North Georgia District Superintendent, and was developed with cooperation of Bob Fletcher at the UMHEF and Chuck Savage of the Georgia United Methodist Foundation.
      Applicants must be active, full members of a United Methodist church in the North Georgia Conference for at least one year prior to application. He or she must be enrolled or planning to enroll in a full-time degree program (undergraduate or graduate) at a UM-related college, university or seminary in Georgia.
      Recipients will be chosen by the Georgia United Methodist Foundation as part of the United Methodist Dollars for Scholars Quadruple Match program. Participating schools include Andrew College, Candler School of Theology, Clark Atlanta University, Emory University, LaGrange College, Paine College, Reinhardt University, Wesleyan College and Young Harris College.
     To make a contribution, make a check payable to United Methodist Higher Education Foundation, For: Martha Forrest Scholarship Endowment, and mail to 60 Music Square East, Suite 350, Nashville, TN 37203. For more information, visit or call 800-811-8110.
 Bishop Watson to speak at Salem Campmeeting
     The 185th Salem Campmeeting will be held July 12-19 at Salem Campground, 3940 Salem Road, three miles south of Interstate 20 between Covington and Conyers. Bishop Mike Watson, Bishop of the North Georgia Methodist Conference, will preach July 14 at the 10:45 a.m. service. Every Bishop in the history of the North Georgia Conference has preached from this historic pulpit.
     Dr Bill Bouknight, former pastor of the Christ of UMC in Memphis, Tenn. will preach at 7:45 p.m. Friday, July 12 and  then Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:45 p.m. and Saturday and Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday at 10:45 a.m.  Rev. John Dees of Cross Pointe Church in Madison, Alabama will preach at 7:45 p.m.  July 13, then Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at 7:45 p.m. and Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 10:45 a.m.
      Tom Roberts of Ft. Lauderdale will be music director. Alice Walker and Becky Ramsey of Covington will be at the grand pianos to accompany hymns and offer special two piano selections. Special choirs will perform at each service.
      Rev. Andrew Covington will be youth director and a special youth service will be held at 10:45 a.m.  July 13. Youth groups from surrounding churches are urged to attend and a free lunch will be provided to the youth after the service at the Ramsey Pavilion. For complete information on Salem Campmeeting, go to
 Action Ministries Housing is looking for skilled workers to help with house repair projects
      Do you have a group of friends who have the skills to renovate a kitchen or bathroom and who would like to volunteer at one of our houses?  If so, give us a call. Contact Sarah Gleason at or 404-881-1991 x5618.
 Roswell UMC: Field Day in 32nd year
     The 32nd annual Field Day for developmentally and physically challenged adults age 16 years and older will be held 9:45 a.m.-2 p.m. May 18, at the Grimes Bridge Park soccer fields in Roswell. The event will include relays, group games, individual events, live pets, hot dogs, awards, and trophies.
     The event is free. For planning purposes, pre-registration is preferred but walk-up registration will be available at 9 a.m. Volunteers are also needed. Go to for Field Day information and for registration and volunteer forms. Forms are also available at the Roswell Adult Rec. Center.
       Field Day is cosponsored by Roswell Recreation, Parks, Historic, and Cultural Affairs Dept. and Roswell UMC. For more information, call 770-641-3950.
 St. Andrew UMC: Men host golf outing
      The men of St. Andrew UMC of Marietta invite golf enthusiasts to join church members, family members and other friends at the 16th annual golf outing on May 20 at Eagle Watch Golf Club, 3055 Eagle Watch Dr., Woodstock 30189.
     “For the last few years, we have provided a weeks’ supply of groceries, including turkeys or hams, for 75 families during Thanksgiving and Christmas,” said Rick Denman, co-president of the men’s group. “We have also provided presents to 200 children of those less fortunate families.”
      The event will follow a Ft. Lauderdale Scramble format. Each golfer who participates will receive a gift package. Door prizes will also be awarded to lucky winners at lunch following the competition. Prizes will be awarded to the first place team in each flight. Additional prizes will be awarded for the male and female player who makes the shot closest to the pin on par three holes. Players will also have an opportunity to win a major gift by scoring a hole in one on hole number 4.
      Cost is $95 for an individual player and $15 for individual lunch only. Registration will take place from 7:30 – 8:30 a.m. followed by a shotgun start at 9 a.m. To register or purchase a sponsorship online, please visit
Setting the table for Annual Conference
     Members of Rock Springs UMC in Lawrenceville and St. Timothy UMC in Stone Mountain worked on materials for display tables in conjunction with this year’s Annual Conference theme of Building Bridges.  The Connectional Ministries Teams and Streams display tables will have the imagery of bridges reflected under the areas of Worship, Outreach, Resource, Leadership and Discipleship. Dorothy Grizzle, Kerry Randel and Rev. Shari Rates of Rock Springs UMC, and Rev. Ellynda Lipsey and Irene Vann of St. Timothy UMC too part in the project.
 Moving pastors’ required to attend seminar
    All pastors receiving new appointments must attend the moving pastors’ seminar, 8-11 a.m. May 23 at the United Methodist Center, to go over employment forms and other information.
 Opportunities at Hinton Retreat Center
    Family weekend has been planned for May 24-26 at Hinton Retreat Center overlooking Lake Chatuge in Hayesville, N.C.  The Christian retreat and conference center builds community through sacred space for retreat, reflection, and renewal. The family weekend will begin with an ice cream sundae get-together on Friday night. Saturday’s activities will end with a lakeside worship service, bonfire and s’mores. Sunday morning’s inspirational worship wraps up the weekend.
    A Pathways through Loss retreat is planned for June 14-16 at the center.  The event offers an exploration of the nature of loss, how we face it or avoid it, and some of the ways that we walk (or run) through it. Beginning with an introductory session on Friday evening and continuing through morning, afternoon, and evening sessions on Saturday, participants will delve into the nature of loss and the human response to it. Included in the workshop will be a discussion of the many kinds of losses experienced throughout life, an exploration of images surrounding them, the emotions they elicit and a variety of pathways through them. The workshop will conclude with worship on Sunday morning.
     For more information on both events, visit
 Winters Chapel UMC: Life Line Screening
      Winters Chapel UMC is partnering with Life Line Screening for a community screening 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. May 29.  The "Helping Hands" program can help save your life and the lives of your loved ones through simple, painless, preventative health screenings.  Sign up by calling the Helping Hands phone number, 1-800-324-9458 or by visiting  Pre-registration is required. The church is at 5105 Winters Chapel Rd, Atlanta  30360
Credit Union celebrates record assets
     On April 23, the United Methodist Connectional Federal Credit Union held its 52nd annual meeting at Powers Ferry UMC in Marietta. Among the accomplishments of the last year, the credit union assets have grown more than $28 million, a historical record. 
      The UMC Federal Credit Union also honored retiring board member Rev. Dan McFarland, who has served on the credit union board for 39 years. Replacing Rev. McFarland is Rev. Jack Hankins, from the Alabama-West Florida Conference. 
     “We are grateful for the faithful service that Dan has given to the credit union over the years and will miss his wise counsel,” said Keith Pritchard, president. “At the same time, we are excited to have a voice from the Alabama-West Florida Conference as we continue to connect with our members and expand our reach into the United Methodist community.”
  YOUTH 2015 Design Team Application Deadline
     YOUTH 2015 will be a large-scale gathering of United Methodist youth from across the denomination. This will be the “must attend” discipleship conference for United Methodist youth and their leaders June 24-28, 2015, at the Marriott World Center in Orlando, Fla. Now, YOUTH 2015 is looking for passionate and skilled leaders to assemble as part of the Design Team. This Design Team will bring together volunteer youth, adult workers with youth, General Board of Discipleship Staff, and other UMC General Agency staff. Together this team will plan and execute all phases of YOUTH 2015 before, during, and after the event. Find details and download the application at
 With photo:
Boynton UMC: New ministry brings comfort
      Boynton UMC in Ringgold has begun a prayer shawl ministry to comfort those in the church and community who are going through tough life circumstances. Shawls are crocheted by hand and prayed over throughout the process.
       Ministry members are first row seated Jeanne Thacker (left) and Susan Wooten. Standing (from left) are Barbara Pulver, Carolyn Bonner, Patty Bishop, Saundra Smith, Lisa Huskey, and Glenda Thomas. 
 Resource for children’s ministry workers
      The 2013 Conference on Ministry with Children (formerly FOCUS) is offered by the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) of The United Methodist Church to support those engaged in ministry with children. This event is open to teachers, leaders, pastors, children’s advocates, preschool teachers and directors, annual conference staff, and anyone who is committed to faith formation of children. We will offer workshops, panel discussions, networking, engaging worship experiences, and resources for training and connecting leaders in ministry with children while equipping participants with practical applications and practices to use in their congregations.
       Join us as we “Make a Joyful Noise to the Lord” July 22-26, 2013 in beautiful Greenville, S.C. at Buncombe Street UMC. We will celebrate our work with children and connect in ways that will help our children continue to grow in faith
       For more information, please e-mail
 HealthFlex Participants: Schedule your screening
     Clergy and Conference staff who are participants in HealthFlex should take advantage of the Quest Diagnostics Blueprint for Wellness® screening ongoing through July 31 at no cost to you. This screening is part of your HealthFlex wellness benefits. Participants and spouses in active HealthFlex plans can each earn $100 HealthCash.* You’ll receive valuable health data to share with your doctor.
     Blueprint for Wellness is a comprehensive biometric screening. Just one blood sample and a few quick measurements analyze 30 health factors. Results are confidential and will be mailed directly to you, to share with your doctor. You must preregister to obtain this screening. 
     To register, call (866) 908-9440.  Employer/group: “United Methodist Church” or “HealthFlex” 
     To register online:  Log into HealthFlex/WebMD and select “Quest Blueprint for Wellness” in left column.
 Babbie Mason, Jessica LaGrone at Roswell UMC
     Women in the Atlanta area are invited to a morning of inspiration with Babbie Mason and Jessica LaGrone.  The nationally-known Bible teachers will speak 9:30 a.m.-noon June 8 in the Roswell UMC Chapel, located at 814 Mimosa Blvd. in the heart of Historic Roswell.  The event will allow women to personally connect with the teachers.
      Abingdon Women, a new division of Abingdon Press, the publishing imprint for The United Methodist Publishing House focusing on Bible studies created by and for women, is hosting the event. Childcare is provided with advance registration at Books and Bible study resources will be sold on site, and the authors will be available to sign books.