God's Unconditional Love to Our Community, St. Paul UMC, Pine Mountain
On Jan. 30, 2022, the family of the late Sister Ezella Copeland Scott, one of the oldest members of the Saint Paul UMC, where the Rev. Aubrey Thompson Sr. is the pastor, gathered in remembrance to share some of her favorite memories and comfort each other in the first year of her death. The family & members of Saint Paul dedicated in her memory a "Sharing & Caring Community Outreach Blessing Box". Sister Scott loved to read, do crossword puzzles, and help out in the community. She also enjoyed singing God's praises up and down the dangerous highways. The box is located on the grounds of Saint Paul. It is filled with books and non-perishable items, accessible to anyone in the community. If we can help anyone along this journey, then our living will not be in vain.
Thank you, St. Paul for sharing this picture of God's love expressed through you!
We will celebrate another story of God's Agape Love next month. If you haven't sent in your church's special story of outreach, please send it in by March 21 (email@example.com). It just may be shared here in April.
DCOM Meets With All Local Pastors
All Local Pastors in the SouthWest District are reminded of their meetings (via Zoom) with the District Committee on Ordained Ministry on either Tuesday, March 22 or Thursday, March 29. Detailed schedules were emailed to everyone involved. Zoom links will be emailed one week prior. The Local Pastor Annual Report form and Ministry Review forms (A, B, and C) were due to the District Office by February 28. Any questions should be directed to Denise in the District Office.
The2022 North GA Annual Conference will be held in Athens, June 2-4. In person attendance will be limited to members, but a live stream option will be available for visitors and friends. The South West District is still in need of 3 young adults (ages 19-35) to serve as Young Adult Lay Members at Large. All delegates are reminded that the Pre-Conference Briefing will take place virtually on May 15. More information can be found on the Conference website.
Young adults interested in serving as district delegates can complete the application form below and return to the District Office by March 21.
Jeanie Enyart, District Director of Lay Servant Ministries, has announced that the SouthWest District has recently approved the renewal of two Certified Lay Speakers, Dr. Robert Calhoun (Burns UMC) and Barbara Combs (Senoia UMC). In addition, two new Certified Lay Speakers were recently approved - Dorothy Johnson (Smith UMC) and Sue Berg (North Fayette/Friendship UMC). We extend congratulations to these four people for the hard work they have completed to reach this level. Pastors in the district are reminded that there are a number of Certified Lay Speakers available to provide pulpit supply when you have to be out of the pulpit. Please contact Jeanie firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The SouthWest District is offering several in person Lay Servant Classes this spring including Basic, Leading Prayer, and Dancing With Words. Zoom class options include Polity: Life Together in the United Methodist Connection and Spiritual Gifts. These will begin in late April. There are additional classes available through the Conference or other districts. All information and registration is available at https://www.ngumc.org/courseschedules.
2022 Conference Nominations Process Open March 1
It is my honor to share with you that the 2022 North Georgia Nominations process will open from March 1 to April 1, 2022. The Nominations process is a pathway to service beyond the local church. It allows for highly qualified disciples of Jesus from across the connection to be nominated for service on boards and committees which are critical to the success of the North Georgia Conference.
Last year the process was improved for transparency and inclusivity. Among the changes were moving the process entirely online, and allowing for Conference boards and committees to nominate persons for service. This helped us to have a more racially inclusive pool of potential leaders that add strength to our conference. We are grateful for the collective efforts of individuals and groups that helped generate an abundance of high-quality disciples from which to choose leaders. We are looking for that same type of effort this year. In 2022 we will further improve the experience by greatly simplifying the process for making a nomination.
As we look at the current makeup of our conference boards and committees, we still have areas where we can be more representative of who we are as a conference. Some of those areas are with young adults, members of the Latino/a community, the Asian community, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. With your help, we are hopeful that we will be able to submit the most committed, talented, and inclusive group of leaders to the nominations committee and to this years Annual Conference.
Please take a look at the areas where nominees are needed and prayerfully consider who you will nominate for service.
Rev. Brian Tillman
Director of Inclusion and Advocacy
The Pastoral Care department at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Newnan is offering a free two-day virtual training event March 10 & 11. The training will also be offered May 12 & 13. The training will guide church leadership in how to develop a cancer care ministry within the local church which effectively ministers to the cancer patient as well as their family and caregivers. The training is a live presentation offered through Zoom. There is no cost for the training, resources, curriculum, and continuing education related to cancer care ministry. Registration is available at www.ourjourneyofhope.com. Churches are invited to have two representatives attend the training. The representatives can be pastor/church staff/laity. The Pastoral Care team at Cancer Treatment Centers of America has trained over 1000 churches using the two day training module. If you have questions, feel free to reach out to the Pastoral Care department at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Newnan directly at 770-400-7200.
Membership in PAUMCS (Professional Administrators of The United Methodist Connectional Structure) is open to those who are currently employed by a UM Church, District Office, Conference Office or UM Agency to engage in administrative and /or secretarial work. There is a national organization as well as a local Georgia Chapter. Below are links to membership information for both organizations. National PAUMCS is pleased to present information about their upcoming Annual Conference being held at Lake Junaluska April 21-23. You do not have to be a member to attend the Conference, which provides excellent continuing education.
Project Funding for Churches Available Through UMC FCU
The United Methodist Connectional FCU has a special loan rate available for churches. Unsecured loans for less than $50,000 can be provided for three- and five-year terms. A number of United Methodist churches and agencies have used these loans for repairing or replacing pews, HVAC systems, audio-visual equipment and more. Rates are as low as 3/5%. For details, contact Jonathan Curtis at email@example.com .
Black Church Summit
The North Georgia Conference Black Methodists for Church Renewal is hosting a Black Church Summit March 18-19 at the Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta. Click below for more information or to register.
The Conference continues to offer Mission Insite training opportunities for churches who want to learn more about the demographics of their community. This can be an excellent tool as churches work to meet the needs of their surrounding area. The next training will take place on March 16, 10-11:30am, and will focus on rural areas. Click below to visit the conference Mission Insite page where you can learn more about this program and register for upcoming training.
Churches are encouraged to celebrate the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) on this designated Sunday and define how we give, why we give and the impact we make through connectional efforts. Our district has benefitted from UMCOR resources, most recently when part of the SouthWest District was devastated by tornadoes. Below is a link where you can get resources to help share this information with your congregation. Please give generously to this cause.