At the Table: North Georgia Cabinet Retreat is Time for Listening, Learning, and Vision


By Sybil Davidson

On Tuesday the members of the North Georgia Conference Extended Cabinet gathered online with Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson for the annual Cabinet Retreat. 

Several new members have joined the leadership team by appointment or invitation since July 2020. This opportunity to learn from one another, pray with one another, and set the course for the next calendar year was transformative. 

Members of the 2020-2021 Extended Cabinet
John Pinson, North West District Superintendent (Dean of the Cabinet)
Alice Rogers, North East District Superintendent 
Jessica Terrell, Central West District Superintendent 
Michael T. McQueen, Central North District Superintendent 
Quincy Brown, Central South District Superintendent 
Rodrigo Cruz, Central East District Superintendent 
Susan Landry, Central West District Superintendent 
Greg Porterfield, Central East District Superintendent 
Terry Walton, Executive Assistant to the Bishop
Bernice Kirkland, Director of the Center for Clergy Excellence
Hal Jones, Director of Connectional Ministries
Bill Martin, Conference Lay Leader
Donn Ann Weber, Conference Secretary
Keith Cox, Conference Treasurer
Jim Thornton, Conference Chancellor
Keith Lawder, President of the Georgia United Methodist Foundation 
Blair Zant, Director of the Center for Congregational Development
Yvette Massey, Associate Director of the Center for Congregational Development
Sybil Davidson, Conference Communicator 

This is perhaps one of the most diverse cabinets that has served North Georgia. Including Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson, the cabinet is half men and half women, spans a 40 year age range, and one-fourth of the members are Black or Hispanic/Latino. 

The group clarified roles and relationships, evaluated processes, spent dedicated time in authentic and sometimes tender dialogue about ways to invite and cultivate deeper levels of trust across our North Georgia Conference, and set a vision for the coming year. 

Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson shared her vision of a truly Wesleyan church, balancing personal piety and social holiness, a church where every voice is honored and heard, and a church with the highest expression of unity and joy. 

“I don’t resonate with a church where all think alike and act alike,” she said. “I envision a table and we’re trying to get everybody there, where we honor the vast diversity of God’s people. It is a table where we are bound together by the Holy Spirit, following wherever Christ leads and treasuring Scripture as containing everything necessary for our salvation. That is the vision I will lead into.”

The cabinet and their families ended the day with an evening Zoom Christmas party sharing holiday memories, laughs, prayers, and reading the Christmas story. 

The appointive cabinet continued meeting Wednesday and Thursday.