SouthWest News and Updates                                                         View this email in your browser
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
The Wonders of Walking: A Simple Exercise With Big Benefits | Giddy
Back to School, Back to Work, Back to Basics
As we step into Fall, 2022, multitudes of feet are running back to school, and marching back to work following the summer slowdown. We embrace again the disciplines we relaxed for a season, recognizing the greater good of enriching minds through education. As we go "back to", it is good to remember that these are some of the basics in life, and we hold these ideals in common for everyone's betterment.
Church is the same...for our best Christian life, we need to recall our basics and firm up our own spiritual discipline. For us, our Book of Discipline provides the theology, the framework, our task, etc. For instance, page 47 in our 2016 Book of Discipline provides this opening paragraph: "United Methodists profess the historic Christian faith in God, incarnate in Jesus Christ for our salvation and ever at work in human history in the Holy Spirit. Living in a covenant of grace under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, we participate in the first fruits of God's coming reign and pray in hope for its full realization on earth as in heaven."
This is who we are! I don't know any pastor in our United Methodist church that doesn't preach, teach and believe in the Trinity, in the Incarnation and the Resurrection. (For more good essentials, keep reading...The next paragraph is a critical piece of the framework, too.)
Sometimes we forget--we are a denomination full of thoughtful forebears and present-sharers of faith who work together toward the first fruits of God's coming reign!
I am grateful to be in your company, and grateful that all of us are in the company of believers spanning the length and breadth of time. I imagine them cheering us on, to be United in our goals of helping others know the love and grace of Jesus, joining Him and making disciples for the transformation of the world. 
Resource: One of our district pastors reminded me of a video, which I think is helpful, regardless of your perspective. Please view it below.

Getting Back to Basics with You,
View Video

Charge Conference Information

  • All Charge Conferences will be held via Zoom on Sunday afternoons, 10/23, 10/30 or 11/6.
  • All required paperwork and forms must be submitted 2 weeks prior to the Charge Conference.
  • A Charge Conference workshop is being offered on Tuesday, September 13 at 5:30.  You may attend in person at the District Office or via Zoom, but must sign up through the District Office.
  • All details, including the Charge Conference Checklist, Charge Conference Schedule, and detailed instructions can be found on the Reports Due page of the district website, 
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
Lay Servant Ministry Classes
SouthWest District, NGUMC
Fall 2022

Leading Worship (advanced core class)
Saturdays, Sept. 10, 17, 24, 9:00 am – 12:30 pm In-person, Griffin First UMC, 1401 Maple Dr, Griffin, GA 
Instructor: Rev. Dr. John Mattox
Book is Worshiping with United Methodists, (Revised), Hoyt Hickman
Leading Prayer (advanced core class)
Saturdays, Sept. 10, 17, 24, 9:00am - 12:30pm In-person, Griffin First UMC
Instructor:  Jan Sherwood
Book is 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 UMC, 1401 Maple Dr, Griffin, GA 30224
Instructor: Fran Boggs
Book is 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 is 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 is 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 is 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

North Georgia United Women in Faith to Celebrate 50th Annual Meeting at Griffin First UMC

Saturday, October 1, 2022, marks the 50th Annual Meeting of the North Georgia United Women in Faith! The meeting will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Griffin First UMC. 

The Annual Meeting is much more than a meeting — it’s a worship celebration! Some highlights of the day will include:

  • Word Made Flesh — Scripture in word and dance
  • A dynamic message from Dr. Millie Kim
  • Special music from Una Voz (One Voice), a female choir from Norcross First UMC
  • Saxophonist Amarylis Sueing will perform
  • Celebration Lunch
  • Revealing the new United Women in Faith brand
  • Highlighting district accomplishments
  • Communion
Register by September 17. Cost is $20 for Lunch and Meeting or $10 for Meeting only.

(SouthWest United Women in Faith will hold their District Annual Meeting immediately following the Conference meeting!)

Amazing Grace Offering, Wellroot Family Services

The Amazing Grace Offering is received across churches in North Georgia to impact the lives of children and families served by Wellroot Family Services. Wellroot does not receive apportionments and this offering is vital to the services we provide. 100% of your gift goes directly to our programs! With a focus on supporting youth from infancy through early adulthood, Wellroot helps people reach their God-given potential through the encouragement and love of a healthy home. Your support allows Wellroot to provide more loving, compassionate, and nurturing homes.

For Amazing Grace 2022 digital resources to share with your church, please visit our 2022 webpage

It is suggested that churches receive the Wellroot Offering on Sunday, September 18; however, you may choose another Sunday that works better.



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 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.  
Happy Birthday to the following appointed pastors in the SouthWest District celebrating birthdays in September:

9/8 - Lesley Langford
9/9 - Bob Wooten
9/10 - Sherry Beasley
9/18 - Terri Lemons
9/21 - Alex McGinnis
9/24 - Thomas Martin
9/29 - Katie Mattox
9/30 - James Woods
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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