SouthWest News and Updates                                                         View this email in your browser

SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 9:30-2:00

20 We are, therefore, Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.  (2 Corinthians 5:20)
   Sermon feedbacks are always interesting! They can encourage you, point out areas of improvement, raise questions, or just make you feel bad about a week's worth of work.
   Last year, as I finished greeting some first-time guests, a well-intended member of my church approached me, saying he enjoyed the sermon, but he worried it was going to be a "political one."
   The text for that Sunday was 2 Corinthians 5:16-21, where Paul is teaching disciples then and now that if we are in Christ, we are not only participants in the new Christ is making but also carriers of the message of reconciliation. 
   The point of the sermon that encouraged the feedback was that racial reconciliation is essential to the full proclamation of the gospel of Jesus. In my sermon, I argued that as ambassadors of Christ, we could not preach a message of complete reconciliation while living in willful separation. The news of reconciliation Christ entrusted us compels us to move beyond social normative and cultural expectations into a posture of active outreach to any person identified as "the other" in our community.
   Curtiss Paul DeYoung, in his book Radical Reconciliation, insists that reconciliation is an exchanging of place with 'the other,' "overcoming alienation through identification, solidarity, restoring relationships, positive change, new framework, and rich togetherness that is both spiritual and political."[1]
   The ministry of reconciliation we have received from Christ moves us into restoring broken individual and communal relationships, even if broken to no fault of our own. This reconciliation is not only between the individual and God, but it is also a reconciliation of humanity with itself and, in the context of the United States, a reconciliation between white and black people!
   Here in the Southwest District, under the leadership of our D.S. Susan Landry, we have started a movement of empowerment of clergy and lay persons to become agents of racial reconciliation. Our goal has been to provide a framework for Fear+Less Dialogues, clarify terminologies that cloud the conversation, and create opportunities to increase cultural awareness.
   This effort is not an adoption of a political agenda, but it is a faithful witness of the gospel mandate to be reconciled with all people as an expression of the ministry of reconciliation of which we are Christ’s ambassadors.                                                                                            
   I’m looking forward to our next session Saturday, August 8th, between 9:30 – 2 pm. On that day, Rev. Brian Tillman, the Conference Director of Inclusion and Advocacy, will lead us in considering concrete steps as we lead our congregations and communities toward racial healing and reconciliation.
   I invite you to make plans to attend this event and gain tools to become a better agent of reconciliation for the kingdom of God! I’m also looking forward to receiving your feedback!
In Christ,
Nelson Furtado
[1] Boesak, Allan. Radical Reconciliation: Beyond Political Pietism and Christian Quietism. Orbis Books, 2004. p. 12
District Set Up Meeting for All Appointed Pastors in the SouthWest District
Sunday, August 28, 3:00pm
Griffin First UMC (1401 Maple Drive, Griffin)

We are asking for several volunteers to bring a dessert to share.  Please contact Denise if you are willing.
A number of important items will be distributed at this meeting including the district calendar, charge conference information, apportionments, evaluation information and much more!
Lay Servant Ministry Classes
SouthWest District
Fall 2022
Leading Worship (advanced core class) Saturdays, Sept. 10, 17, 24, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm In-person, 
Griffin First United Methodist Church, 1401 Maple Dr, Griffin, GA 30224
Instructor: Rev. Dr. John Mattox
Book: Worshiping with United Methodists, (Revised), Hoyt Hickman

Leading Prayer (advanced core class)
Saturdays, Sept. 10, 17, 24, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm In-person, Griffin First United Methodist Church, 1401 Maple Dr, Griffin, GA 30224
Instructor: Jan Sherwood
Book:  Shaping the Prayers of the People, Samuel Wells and Abigail Kocher

Spiritual Gifts (advanced core class)
Saturdays, Sept. 10, 17, 24, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm In-person, Griffin First United Methodist Church, 1401 Maple Dr, Griffin, GA 30224
Instructor: Fran Boggs
Book: Each One a Minister, William J. Carter

UM Heritage (advanced core class)
Saturdays, Sept. 10, 17, 24, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm In-person, Griffin First United Methodist Church, 1401 Maple Dr, Griffin, GA 30224
Instructor: Rev. Dr. Woody Roberts
Book: Living Our Beliefs: The United Methodist Way, Kenneth L. Carder

Preaching (advanced core class)
Saturdays, October 1, 8, 15, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm In-person, Clark Chapel UMC, 60 East Oak Street, Luthersville, GA 30251
Instructor: Julia Morrison-Morgan
Book: From Pew to Pulpit, Clifton F. Guthrie

Basic (requires pastor’s approval)
Saturdays, October 1, 8, 15, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm In-person, Clark Chapel UMC, 60 East Oak St, Luthersville, GA 30251
Instructor: Barb Combs
Book: Lay Servant Ministries: Basic Course, Sandy and Brian Jackson

To register, go to the NGUMC website, The cost for each 
class is $42. The participant book is not included in the enrollment fee and is purchased 
separately. In addition to the classes offered by the eight districts, the North Georgia Conference 
also offers self-directed online classes via Google Classroom. To enroll in any of those classes, 
go to

Questions: Please contact Jeanie Enyart, Director, SW District, NGUMC, Lay Servant Ministries,, 470-217-2173

Moreland Moves (And Laughs, Smiles, Sweats, and Prays)

Every Monday at 7:00 am folks from the town of Moreland gather at 16 Church Street. The routine goes something like this:
  • Circle up
  • Share our names
  • Get question of the day
  • Serenity prayer
  • Then, get the route
The route? Yes, this is a walking, jogging, and running group that meets every Monday morning to experience fellowship through movement. We call this "Moreland Moves."
We carry that question of the day with us as we partner up in 2s and 3s and proceed to walk, jog, or run our predetermined route throughout the town. Ideally we exercise with people we don’t live with or know. Even as we may be gasping for air through the thick blanket of humidity, our conversations meander through both the practical and humorous. 
The trek takes about 30 minutes, but with the conversation and good company it goes by faster than life seems to. We circle back up, share some of our conversations with the larger group, say the serenity prayer again, then depart to enter into the rest of our day. 
If it were just exercise, that would be the end of what I have to say ...
August 10 - District Committee on Ordained Ministry (DCOM) Training, 10am-12
August 25 - District Superintendency Committee Zoom  meeting, 6:30
September 1 - District Strategic Growth & Church Location Orientation/Planning, District Office, 10am-2pm
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
List of District Committees

Charge Conferences will once again be conducted through Zoom this year.  The schedule has been emailed to all pastors and will be available soon on the district website (Reports Due page).  All required paperwork must be submitted 2 weeks prior to your Charge Conference.

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 ( or 770-227-1074).



Connecting College Students With Campus Ministries

Our Georgia United Methodist Commission on Higher Education is excited to connect college students with Campus Ministers and College Chaplains! If you are a college student or heading off to college this fall, share a little about yourself at!
Sabbath Life Clergy Cohort
August 15 Fall Cohort begins
In 2022 the North Georgia Conference is partnering with the Sabbath Life organization to offer a four-month clergy cohort. This clergy group will meet one day a month at a farm near the Cherokee/Forsyth County line. The fall cohort is now full.

Racial Justice and Healing Academy
August 19 Fall Cohort begins
The Fall Cohort of the North Georgia Conference Racial Justice and Healing Academy begins August 19. Learn more at

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."


Faith and Fun this Fall: Registration Open for
Children's and Youth Retreats

A full schedule of North Georgia Conference children's and youth retreats are planned this fall and registration is now open! All are hosted at Glisson Camp and Retreat Center, and the line-up includes:
Faith-ology: KidMin Retreat
3rd-5th Graders
September 16- 18

Fall Confirmation Retreat
September 30-October 2
6th-8th Graders

Rooted Retreats for Youth
October 28-30 and November 4-6
6th-12th Graders

In the last year, children and youth from 78 different congregations across North Georgia took part in Conference-wide retreats! 
SouthWest District Office
P. O. Box 13
430 W. Poplar Street
Griffin, GA 30224
Copyright © 2022 The North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church, All rights reserved.

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