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South West Special Events and News


Upcoming District Committee Meetings:
September 20 - Board of Laity/District Leadership Team Planning Meeting, District Office, 6-8pm
September 27 - District Union Zoom Meeting, 5:30
October 4 - DCOM meets with Provisional Candidates and New Candidates, Moreland UMC, 3-7pm

Charge Conferences will once again be conducted through Zoom this year.  All required paperwork must be submitted 2 weeks prior to your Charge Conference. Please check the Reports Due page of this website to find the schedule, the Charge Conference Checklist, and the Charge Conference Instructions.

A Charge Conference Workshop is being offered at the District Office or via Zoom on Tuesday, September 13 at 5:30 pm.  Please register through the District Office (southwest@numc.net or 770-227-1074).

SPARK Meetings - Fresh Expressions

At its heart, Fresh Expressions is about empowering and equipping God’s people to reach people currently outside of the traditional church.  By listening to people, meeting them where they are, and forming church - where they are - this powerful movement is cultivating new expressions of church alongside existing congregations. The Southwest District has a new Fresh Expression Cultivator, Rev. Allyson Lawrence. Allyson's goal is to help build a district-wide support structure through coaching and collaboration to aid those who want to embark on their own Fresh Expressions of church in their local communities. To better inform clergy and laity about Fresh Expression, each church in our district has been given a special day for clergy to bring at least two key leaders of their congregation to an event called a Spark Day. A Spark Day is a great way to hear how Fresh Expressions is renewing the church and to discover tools to start Fresh Expressions in your own context. Click here to see the schedule for the Spark Meetings and to see the grouping of churches. Churches of similar size and closest geographical locations have been placed together.  

Clergy & Laity Invited to Regional Gatherings with Bishop Sue                                                      

North Georgia United Methodists are invited to attend one of six regional gatherings with Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson this fall. Clergy and laity may attend the session that is most convenient. The gatherings will include timely updates on this season in our denomination and our continuing United Methodist witness for Christ in North Georgia.

Thursday, September 29
6:30 PM
Most convenient to North West, Central West, Central North, Central South, and Central East Districts

Tuesday, October 4
6:30 PM
Gainesville First UMC | LEARN MORE
Most convenient to North East and Central East Districts

Sunday, October 9
6:30 PM
Watkinsville UMC | LEARN MORE
Most convenient to South East, Central East, and North East Districts

Wednesday, October 19
6:30 PM
Peachtree City UMC | LEARN MORE
Most convenient to South West, Central North, and Central South Districts

Wednesday, October 26
6:30 PM
Most convenient to North West and North East Districts

Sunday, November 13
4 PM
Wesley UMC, Evans | LEARN MORE
Most convenient to​ South East District

Clergy Ministry Reviews
All SouthWest District appointed clergy and SPR Committees must submit ministry review forms in Data Services no later than October 10.  The forms have been updated and are specific to clergy status (elder, deacon, local pastor, etc.).  There is also a unique form for all clergy in their first year of an appointment.  There is an instructional video and printed instructions available on the conference website (see below for link). SPR Committees should have meetings scheduled with pastors to complete these evaluations in time to get the forms submitted by the October 10 deadline.

Ministry Review Information

Clergy Ethics Training Scheduled for January to March 2023

The North Georgia Conference will be hosting in-person Clergy Ethics trainings between January 23, 2023 and March 25, 2023. In order to be in good standing and eligible to continue to serve under appointment, all clergy and lay supply must attend one of these 2023 scheduled sessions.

This training fulfills our denominational requirement for all clergy and lay supply to complete an ethics training each quadrennium (2016 Book of Resolutions ¶2044). Attending one of these 2023 trainings will fulfill the required ethics training for the next quadrennium, January 1, 2023-December 31, 2026.

All sessions will be held from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, with the exception of the Sunday session on March 12th which will be held from 2:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Attendees MUST be present for the entire training. Please select a session that you can attend from the beginning to the end. The cost of the training is $100 and you will receive 0.6 Continuing Education Units for fully participating during the entire session.

To be in compliance, we are requesting all clergy and lay supply complete a criminal background check. You will receive further instructions regarding your background check prior to your registered ethics session. The registration fee includes the cost of processing a criminal background check as well as lunch and all materials.

The schedule is:

  • Monday, January 23 – Newnan First UMC
  • Thursday, January 26 – Dunwoody UMC
  • Tuesday, January 31 – Madison First UMC
  • Thursday, February 23 – Gainesville First UMC
  • Monday, February 27 – Marietta First UMC
  • Sunday, March 12 – Trinity @ the Well UMC (2:00p-8:00p)
  • Wednesday, March 15 – Cannon UMC, Snellville
  • Thursday, March 23 – Peachtree Road UMC, Atlanta
  • Saturday, March 25 – Douglasville First UMC

While a session is scheduled in every district, clergy may register for any session that is most convenient.  There is a limit for the number of participants in each session, so register early!

If you have questions please contact the Rev. Leigh Martin at 678-533-1372 or by email at leigh.martin@ngumc.net.


Better Together Conference
October 21-22
Bring a team from your church to the two-day Better Together Conference: When Two or More Churches Join Together for Missional Impact. You'll experience how churches can join together in a hopeful and healthy process through one of these proven models: strategic mergers, partnerships, restarts, launching satellite campuses, or a cooperative parish. Keynote Speaker will be Dr. Jim Tomberlin, co-author of the book "Better Together."

Opportunities for Children & Youth:

Fall Kidmin Retreat
September 16-18
At the Fall Kidmin Retreat, 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders will experience a faith-based science exploration in a three year cycle. This year we’re looking up to the stars! Scripture lessons and whole group sessions will revolve around star stories in the Bible. The children will rotate through 6 workshops through the weekend including waterfront play, science experiments, teambuilding, crafts, Bible study, and whole camp chapel, music, and fun. We’ll be at Glisson Camp and Retreat Center in Dahlonega where we will sleep in cabins, eat in the dining hall, have lots of snacks, play games, make smores around campfires, and worship together. Email retreats@ngumc.org for more information. 

Confirmation Retreat
September 30-October 2
The Fall Confirmation Retreat is a time to talk about one's faith and ask questions. The retreat sessions are with your own group helping youth discover their own faith journey and story and enabling them to speak their stories with the rest of the group. Youth will hear other youth staff tell their own faith stories, be led in looking at their own stories of how God's prevenient grace has already been moving in their lives, and experience the members and leaders from your own Confirmation group tell their own faith stories. Activities are especially designed to build trust and unity with your newly formed Confirmation group and worship is centered on God's prevenient grace and how God interacts with us. The Confirmation Retreats are designed primarily for 6th-8th graders, but can include senior high if they have not yet been confirmed.

Rooted Retreats

October 28-30 and November 4-6
Rooted Retreats are the North Georgia Conference fall youth retreats. Rooted provides powerful worship experiences, dedicated youth group time, fun activities, as well as food and lodging at Glisson Camp and Retreat Center. Rooted retreats are focused on group formation and community involvement and outreach. The two Rooted weekends are very similar in structure and schedule--we have two so that everyone will have a chance to attend!  Rooted retreats will provide a powerful retreat experience where youth leaders and volunteers can spend their time developing and strengthening relationships while we take care of the details. This will be a time to foster connection and allow the youth leader to be fully present with students and volunteers.  

A friendly reminder to all clergy, active and retired, in a season of moves and disaffiliations:
We honor our covenant relationship with one another and value each other’s ministry. We uphold this covenant by not being in contact with another pastor’s parishioners regarding church matters unless we are invited by the pastor and/or with the express permission of the district superintendent. Thank you for upholding these boundaries, making it possible for pastors to lead and shepherd their flocks without outside interference.

If you need any support around this, feel free to contact one or all of us.

Peace of Christ,

          Rev. Lindsay Geist
          Chair of the Order of Deacons

          Rev. YoLanda Jones-Colton
          Chair of the Fellowship of Local Pastors and Associate Members

          Rev. Leon Matthews
          Chair of the Order of Elders

UMC General Council on Finance & Administration - Ministry Partners:

The Ministry Partner Program of the General Council on Finance and Administration was created with the vision of providing connection within the denomination. GCFA seeks to build relationships with vendors and businesses outside of the connection in an effort to provide vetted and approved services to our annual conferences and churches. Our collective group of partners serve all the areas of the United Methodist Connection as we all work together to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

What we accomplish with our Ministry Partners

  • Provides the United Methodist Churches, Agencies, Annual Conferences, Camps, Retreat Centers, etc. cost saving solutions and products
  • Through cost-saving solutions, the UMC can focus those savings on their ministries
  • Provides vetted and credible businesses for our audience
  • Helps our connection solve problems as they manage their churches, programs, and ministries.
  • Creates a connection within the denomination and gives our partners access to our audience

Some of the Ministry Partners include Staples, Home Depot, Ace Hardware, Educational Opportunities, Park N Fly, and many, many more.  For more information on discounts available to churches through this program, visit the website at:  https://www.gcfa.org/partners/

Pulpit Supply

 There are a number of excellent Certified Lay Speakers in the SouthWest District that are available for pulpit supply.  To schedule one of these, please contact Jeanie Enyart, District Director of Lay Servant Ministry.  She can be reached at jeanieenyart@gmail.com or 470-217-2173.  Click here to view more details about this program.  

Clergy CEU Opportunities

Clergy can participate in a variety of CEU opportunities through ClergyEducation.com.

Workshop leaders include:  Quincy Brown, Kay Kotan, Olu Brown and more!