SouthWest News and Updates                                                         View this email in your browser
“We all get the exact same 365 days. The only difference is what we do with them.” Hillary DePiano          

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As we step into 2022 together, Denise and I lift a prayer for you and yours. May this be a time for fostering love over judgment, hope over cynicism, and grace over condemnation. The vision of Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians, chapter 5, verse 19 speaks well to what we are called to do each day: “In other words, God was reconciling the world to himself through Christ, by not counting people’s sins against them. He has trusted us with his message of reconciliation.”

God trusts us. Should we not be able to trust one another, as followers of Christ?  We hear the call to work together, care for one another, spread the good news and be the church united. 

Let's use our precious time in 2022 for reconciliation, as God "has trusted us with his message of reconciliation."

In support of you,
Susan and Denise


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Monday, January 10, 2022 is the last day for churches to pay 2021 Conference Apportionments and District Work Fund.  Checks must be in hand at the Conference office that afternoon.  PLEASE check your payment record against that of the Conference now.  This can be done at .  It is the expectation that every church will pay 100%.  Thank you to those churches who have already paid all apportionments.  We will recognize churches in the February newsletter. 

End of Year Reports - Important Information

Every church must complete an End Of Year report through Data Services between January 12 and January 31.  Information from Table 2 is used to compute apportionments for 2023, so it is critical that the numbers are accurate.  Every church has been assigned to a member of the District Statistician Team.  These team members will be reviewing reports as they are submitted and are available for questions.  You may download a list of team assignments on the Reports Due page of the District Website (  Please make every effort to have your reports submitted by January 26 so that the team has ample time to review and get in touch with pastors if there are questions.
There will be an End of Year Report Workshop on Tuesday, January 11 at 6:00pm.  Anyone working on EOY Reports is invited to participate, either in person at the District Office or via Zoom.  Make your reservations by contacting Denise Wilson in the District Office ( or 770-227-1074)


Tornado Recovery Information

An exterior view of Mayfield First UMC in Mayfield, KY. Courtesy of Mayfield First UMC via Facebook.

A deadly tornado outbreak December 10 and 11 produced catastrophic damage and numerous fatalities across portions of the United States including Kentucky, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, and Tennessee according to news reports. 

United Methodist churches and members in those communities are dealing with death and property devastation. (Read more in this report from United Methodist News Service.)

UMCOR is already coordinating with leaders in those areas and has made initial grants to assist with funding immediately and over what will likely be a long recovery. North Georgia Conference leaders are also in touch with United Methodists in the affected areas.

Our best response today is to pray, wait, give, and prepare. 

As always, don’t self deploy to a disaster area. Our agreement with our United Methodist conferences & UMCOR is to wait until we are invited as the locals coordinate their disaster response. We stand ready to send trained ERT (generally a few weeks after a disaster as they'll first use in-conference ERT, then neighboring states ERT, and later extend the request to those of us further away).

We can put funding to immediate use at this time!

Your financial gift to UMCOR is especially appreciated. You may give through any North Georgia Conference United Methodist church by designating your donation for UMCOR U.S. Disaster Response  #901670 or give directly at

Clergy Ethics Courses Postponed to 2023

Clergy were recently notified about signing up for a required Clergy Ethics course in March; however, those have now been postponed until 2023.  We will provide you with the necessary information at that time.

District At Large Delegates for Annual Conference Needed

The SouthWest District is responsible for 42 At Large Delegates for the 2022 Annual Conference (6 youth, 8 young adults and 28 general).  The Board of Laity is now accepting applications for anyone wishing to serve in this capacity.  At this time, a decision has not yet been made regarding an in person gathering.  For more information, contact Denise Wilson in the District Office ( or 770-227-1074). Deadline for submission is January 14.
At Large Application (all adults)
Youth Application
Early Response Team (ERT) Training
Saturday, February 26, 2022, 8:30am – 4:00 pm
LaGrange First UMC, 401 Broad Street, Methodist Ministry Center

Please pre-register by February 22 at this link:
or contact the District Office at
770-227-1074 or

What is an Early Response Team?
While ERT’s are not first responders, they fill a specific need in the early days after a disaster to clean damaged homes, remove debris, place tarps on homes and otherwise prevent further damage, while providing a caring Christian presence.  When tornadoes hit a part of our district earlier this year, ERT Teams were very much needed and played an important role in recovery.  You must complete this training in order to serve on an ERT.
If you live in the eastern portion of the SouthWest District and are interested in a training session in your area, please contact the District Office and if we get enough response, we will work to set that up.

District Ministers' Meeting, via Zoom
Sunday, January 9, 2022 @ 3:00pm

All appointed pastor's should plan to join this meeting for an update on several upcoming events and other important information.  Zoom links will be emailed to your conference address the week prior to the meeting.
Fearless Dialogues Registration

About Disaffiliation Process

As we approach the New Year, some churches have asked questions about the disaffiliation process a church must take to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church per the Book of Discipline paragraph 2553. You will find much information on the conference website, If your church plans to request disaffiliation for approval at the 2022 Annual Conference, you will need to submit a request in writing to the District Office by February 15, 2022.
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Happy Birthday to the following appointed ministers celebrating birthdays in January:
9 - Carson Thaxton
10 - William Collier
11 - Michael Phillips
11 - Scott Pickering
22 - Gary Johnson
22 - Wade Corley
27 - David Adamson
29 - Skip Mitchell

District Calendar:

Dec. 23, noon - Jan. 3 - District Office closed for holidays
Jan. 4 - Statistician Team Meeting via Zoom, 4:00
Jan. 9 - District Ministers' Meeting via Zoom, 3:00
Jan. 10-12 - Cabinet meeting
Jan. 11 - End of Year Report Workshop, 6:00pm, In person at District Office or Zoom
Jan. 12 - End of Year Report System opens in Data Services
Jan. 24 - District Board of Laity meeting, via Zoom, 4:30pm
Jan. 25 - DCOM meets with Continuing Candidates via Zoom, 4:00-6:00
Jan. 31 - Last day to submit End of Year Reports
Feb. 5 - Fearless Dialogues Event, Griffin First, 10am-3pm (pre-registration required)

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