Focus Area: New Faith Opportunities and Communities


By Rev. Richard Hunter

We have experienced rapid changes in our culture in the last two years. We have all witnessed the staggering effects of isolation on the mental health and well-being of our communities. People are seeking community and meaningful paths. Yet more than 60% of our neighbors do not have a connection to a vibrant faith community.

So, how is the North Georgia Conference addressing this need and hunger?

We are intentionally cultivating new faith communities for the purpose of moving people into a deeper relationship with Jesus Christ. Some of these new places will resemble existing church styles, meeting in traditional spaces practicing our historical faith in familiar ways. Others will be gatherings that create authentic, Christian community in secular places, in digital spaces, and through bringing two or more churches together to create a new future together. 

We have seen New Faith Opportunities and Communities develop recently in North Georgia through Fresh Expressions, new church plant Madras in Newnan, multi-campus such as Peachtree Road UMC's Westside Table, strategic mergers such as Hanleiter at Griffin First, St Timothy & Allgood Road, North Fayette & Friendship. The soon to launch Cascade Midtown campus is the result of two churches, Cascade UMC and Grace UMC, demonstrating courageous, visionary work to produce a new expression of church in the Old Fourth Ward of Atlanta.

We're excited to see ministry unfold in a new way through Chicopee, Candler, Redwine UMCs and Decatur First UMC at Avondale Patillo. 

There are exciting sacred spaces in digital places happening across North Georgia. This year at Annual Conference, members were invited to a virtual reality experience, touring Israel, taking a moment to meditate, or even play a quick game to experience some of what is capable in the digital landscape.

We invite your church to learn more about these innovations and new approaches. Here are three upcoming opportunities:

+ Better Together Conference October 21-22
Academy for Leadership and Innovation – for laity and pastors who are sensing a call to serve in a new faith community initiative
+ FX Expressions Vision Days and Resources