Gainesville District Monthly Newsletter                           View this email in your browser

February 1, 2019

A Way Forward

In the book of Exodus, we witness the dramatic story of the Israelites’ escape from Egypt.  They are being pursued by the Egyptians, and the way forward into their future of freedom is filled with hardship, chaos and extreme difficulty.  They even accuse Moses of bringing them out of Egypt only for them to face death in the wilderness.  We see them standing at the edge of the Red Sea with the waters lapping at their feet and the Egyptians breathing down their necks.  Moses tells them not to be afraid, that the Lord will be with them and fight for them, and then he says, “You have only to keep still.” Ex. 21:14  God then says to Moses, “Tell the Israelites to go forward. Lift up your staff, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, that the Israelites may go into the sea on dry ground.” Ex 21:15  “Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea. The Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night, and turned the sea into dry land; and the waters were divided. 22The Israelites went into the sea on dry ground, the waters forming a wall for them on their right and on their left.” Ex. 21:21
As I have prayed for guidance concerning the upcoming called General Conference to be held in St. Louis, MO February 23-26, this is an image that keeps coming to me.  It is an image that reminds me that God is powerful and will lead us forward.  There is much grumbling among the Israelite Methodists, and yet, here is a reminder for us “to keep still.”  For me, this reminder is a call to prayer, a call to keep still and listen for the voice of God. 
Every day, I am inundated with blogs, articles, podcasts, letters, questions, demands, etc.  I am certainly doing my homework as I prepare to go to the conference as a delegate; however, I intend to spend at least 20 minutes each day keeping still; sitting in complete silence and listening to and for the voice of God.  I am also going to hold this dramatic image in my heart and mind to remember that God told the Israelites to go forward in faith, trusting in God’s awesome power to hold back the very sea.  I encourage you to join me in keeping still each day in order to listen to and for the voice of God. 
Peace and grace,

2019 Special General Conference Communications Toolkit
As the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference approaches, churches are presented with unique communication opportunities with their members. TOOLKIT

Announcements & Celebrations


February Birthdays

Steve Barnum                    25
Winfred Pitts                     25
Paula Milo-Moutrie         27
Dwain Cassady                 28

If you are a minister in the Gainesville District, active or retired, and your birthday is not listed during the designated month, please send us your information at

On January 9, Emory University’s Candler School of Theology  announced the establishment of The Rev. Dr. P. Alice Rogers Scholarship Endowment, which will provide financial support for students pursuing a career in pastoral ministry. This scholarship endowment was made possible through the generosity of Mr. Donald H. Defoe and Mrs. Barbara E. Defoe of Atlanta, Georgia.

Please visit the District Office website for more information regarding this special honor and details if you would like to contribute.



The North Georgia Housing and Homeless Council provides capital and operational grants to organizations throughout the North Georgia Conference who are serving our brothers and sisters in need. You church may collect the Housing and Homeless Offering on February 24 or another Sunday that works in your church's schedule.

By contributing to the Homeless Offering, you are directly supporting ministries and agencies serving those experiencing homelessness and poverty in communities across our state. These organizations might include housing programs, food pantries and other feeding programs, Habitat for Humanity houses, and many other programs in communities large and small.

100% of the Homeless Offering goes to ministries serving persons experiencing poverty. Please prayerfully consider supporting this important work.

Learn more at
Lunch and Learn for all Gainesville Pastors
On Wednesday, March 6, from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., all Gainesville Pastors are invited to join Alice at Branan Lodge in Blairsville for a complimentary lunch to hear about the ministry of Wesley Woods at Branan Lodge.  We often think that the work of Wesley Woods is confined to the facilities in Atlanta; however, that ministry extends across the conference—even into the Gainesville District! It is important for us to know of the ministries that reside in our own backyard!  Rev. Karen Kagiyama, the O. Wayne Rollins Director of Pastoral Care, will be with us that day as well.   
            Since this is a complimentary lunch, we will need your reservation to attend no later than February 25th.  Please register here you plan to attend. 
            Alice plans to stay after the event to talk about the outcome of General Conference and any other concerns with those who would like to join the conversation.
Lay Servant Class
February 16th at Gainesville First.

Terry Thomas, director of Lay Servant Ministries for the district, can be reached by email at for more details and upcoming classes.

Lay Servant Class
February 23rd at Gainesville First.

Terry Thomas, director of Lay Servant Ministries for the district, can be reached by email at for more details and upcoming classes.

Beyond Dementia - Seeing, Caring, Connecting: Education and conversation on how faith communities can support people with dementia and their caregivers
Tuesday, February 12, 10:30 am - 1 pm
Brenau Downtown Center

When individuals and families are facing a diagnosis of dementia, they often don't know where to turn. Because of the stigma, they often remain silent about their struggles. Learn what your faith community can do to recognize and minister to those with dementia both in your congregation and in the wider northeast Georgia community.

Learn to:
  • recognized common signs of dementia and families who are struggling to care for a loved one with dementia
  • find local and online resources that support people living with dementia and their care partners
  • Interact with people with dementia
  • support caregivers
  • make worship services and facilities more "dementia friendly"
Open to clergy, lay leaders, and congregations of all faith traditions. Register by February 4 at or by calling 770/219-0276
Coaching Workshop  
Tuesday February 19, 10 am -1:30 pm at Roswell UMC
Thursday, February 21, 10 am -1:30 pm at Oak Grove UMC

Dr. Jeff Ross has created a Free 3 1/2 hour  "What is Coaching & How Can it Help" workshop.  Jeff will be joined by coaching guru Dr. Jim Robey from the Clergy Coaching Network and Empower Coaches Training. Coaching has become a valuable tool for both personal growth and working with your churches. The workshop is FREE and also includes Lunch!
The workshop will give you a general overview of what coaching is all about and the different ways you can utilize it.  For more info on coaching go to Dr. Robey's website at or to Jeff's site at

TO REGISTER send an email to Jeff at

North Georgia Vision Day
February 23 in Douglasville

Fresh Expression Vision Days are one-day, interactive-learning experiences that inspire and equip individuals and church leaders to pioneer new ways to be the Church. The next vision day will take place in Douglasville on Feb. 23. Register at
Campus Crawl 2019
February 29 - March 1
Attention parents of 9th through 12th grade students! This is an intense bus tour of our United Methodist Colleges and Universities as well as some of the Wesley Foundations at our public colleges and universities. The cost is $125. Registration is open and also at the Georgia Higher Education Commission website.

Group's Roar VBS FunShop
Saturday, March 9, 8 am - 12:30pm
St. Paul UMC 404 Washington Street, Gainesville

If you are using Roar this year, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to make some new friends in ministry or reunite with your VBS buddies. Join our trek and get lots of Safari Station Leader Tips for your 2019 VBS! Please note, Group Publishing will provide the training at St Paul United Methodist Church.

Online registration and advance registration discount! See the District Calendar for more detials.
Gainesville District Retired Ministers & Spouses Lunch
Thursday, March 14, 2019 at noon
Crossroads Cafe, 4654 GA-115, Demorest, GA 30535

Topic: "Amazing Grace"
Please RSVP no later than March 11. For more information and to RSVP, contact Tony Kemp 706/968-1037

Lake Junaluska’s Marriage Enrichment Retreats
March 10-12, 2019
August 18-20, 2019
September 29 - October 1, 2019

Pastoral participants earn 1.5 CEUs for participation in this program. This retreat is perfect for pastors who regularly do marriage counseling, or anyone who wants to strengthen the bond in their marriage.
  • Marriage Enrichment Program for two people: $350 
  • Two nights lodging for two people and five meals (Monday breakfast through Tuesday lunch) for two people (required): $319
Learn more at or call 800-222-4930.

A Grateful Lent with Diana Butler Bass
March 21-23, 2019
Lake Junaluska Conference Center

During this 2 night event in Western North Carolina, award winning author and thought leader on spirituality and culture, Diana Butler Bass will explore why gratitude is missing as a modern spiritual practice, offer practical suggestions for reclaiming it, and illuminate how the shared practice of gratitude can lead to greater connection with God, our world, and our own souls. The event will include 4 sessions with Diana, worship, and optional workshops. 1 CEU Credit available.  Registration Deadline: February 4. View the flyer and learn more at:  

Scholarships for College Bound Students
Deadline to apply is April 30, 2019

The United Methodist Connectional Federal Credit Union Is Offering Scholarships To College Bound Students
4 people between the ages of 17-35 will have the opportunity to win a $1000.00 scholarship within the four conferences.  
Florida UMC Conference
Alabama – West Florida UMC Conference
North Georgia UMC Conference
South Georgia UMC Conference
Each winner will be notified during the month prior to each Annual Conference. The Winner of each Conference will be announced at the Conference.
For Eligibility and to Apply Online:  UMCFCU2019COLLEGESCHOLARSHIP.  A hard copy of the application can be downloaded or obtained at either the Georgia  or Florida branches.

For all Conference calendar events, please visit the North Georgia Conference calendar.


District Work Fund payments will be received and accounted for by the North Georgia Conference. Please share the change in remittance address to the proper person at your local church.

North GA Conference Treasurer’s Office
United Methodist Church
P.O. Box 102417
Atlanta, GA 30368-2417

For more information regarding this change please see the following video clip from Bruce Cooper, Controller of the North Georgia Conference.

All Clergy in the North Georgia Conference are assigned a '' email address and are expected to maintain and check this address for messages from the district and/or conference offices.  You may roll this address into your church or personal email or check it independently through the gmail system. 
For more information go to:
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