Copy

An Account of the Ministry and Mission
of the South East District 

Today’s entry in the Theologian’s Almanac by saltproject.org, reminds us that on September 8, 1504, (516 years ago!) Michelangelo unveiled his astonishing sculpture, David.  Some four decades earlier, a colossal, misshapen block of marble - more than 19 feet high - was imperfectly quarried and then delivered to the sculptor Agostino di Duccio, along with the commission to create a biblical figure for one of the buttresses of a Florence cathedral.  The block was unwieldy, and Duccio gave up after a rough attempt at carving some feet and legs; the commission then passed on to Antonio Rossellino, who also conceded defeat. The abandoned slab lay in a field in Florence for thirty years; locals dubbed it “the Giant.”  When church authorities revived the project in 1501, the commission went to the young, ambitious Michelangelo - who promptly built a shed around “the Giant” and got to work. When the sculpture was at last unveiled for public viewing, it must have seemed a miracle: the dirty, twisted Giant had become an elegant, beautiful man, the ancient Shepherd King of Israel.  Michelangelo didn’t battle the block’s imperfect dimensions, but rather used them to create the figure’s signature pose. He later said, “Every block of stone has a statue inside it, and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” And again: “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”
 
This week of the Labor Day holiday, it feels like we who love the church are in the throes of such endless labor over the unwieldy block of stone that encases her.  We are struggling to learn new ways to use technology. We are struggling to provide community and pastoral care for emotionally and spiritually weary people while also caring for the health of our physical bodies.  We are struggling to be faithful amid fear of unemployment, anxiety over how to best educate our children, and mounting tension as a government election looms.  Yet, God in whom we place our trust is the Creator, who brought all things into existence from the seemingly impenetrable darkness of a formless void.  God is still creating, still speaking, “Let there be…,” and still forming the church. That block of stone meant to buttress the old form of a cathedral became a new creation introducing millions of people outside the church to the biblical witness of David.  So, from what now seems a formless, unwieldy, giant block of stone is coming the new creation of the church, ready to be discovered by those who will pray and work alongside the Holy Spirit to set her free for a fresh expression of love and grace. 
 
Blessings in the discovery,



 
Attention Pastors:
District Set Up Meeting
In an effort to keep everyone as safe as possible, there will not be an in-person Set Up Meeting this year. Sunday, September 13, at 3:00 p.m. has been set aside for a virtual meeting for all appointed pastors and laity. You will receive information needed to register for Sunday's Zoom Webinar in a separate email this week as well as information on reviewing pertinent documents and forms online.  Please make every effort to attend this important meeting, which will include discussion of Charge Conference, Clergy Evaluations, Apportionments, District Budget, District Committees, and more.
 
CHARGE CONFERENCE INFORMATION

Southeast District 7 will hold one "mega virtual" Charge Conference by Zoom Webinar on Sunday, November 8 at 3:00 p.m.
You can begin looking at the various reports on Data Services that will need to be submitted electronically prior to the Conference. 

September 13 - Virtual District Set-up Meeting 3:00 pm

September 22 - First Day of Autumn

October 3 & 10       
Advanced Lay Servant Course on Prayer at Young Memorial, 9-4 p.m.

October 3 - NGA UMW Virtual Annual Meeting

October 10 - UMM Virtual Summit Registration Deadline

October 15-17 - UMM Igniting Faith Virtual Summit

October 19-21 – Cabinet Meeting

November 8 - Virtual Charge Conference - 3:00 p.m.

December 1-3 – Cabinet Meeting

2021

General Conference ~ August 29-September 7, 2021

Called Virtual District Meeting for the purposes of open, transparent and fair elections for the role of United Methodist Men District President (Todd Pierson, Lewis Memorial UMC 2020) , Vice-President, District Secretary and Treasurer (Article VIII B). Nominations should be sent to ummen@ngcumm.org. Circuit Riders and Evangelists are recommended to apply for Vice-President!

District 7 | South East: Baldwin, Columbia, Elbert, Greene, Hancock, Lincoln, McDuffie, Morgan, Oglethorpe, Putnam, Richmond, Taliaferro, Warren, and Wilkes Counties 
October 3, 2020 @ 9:00 am Registration link
The United Methodist Men will be sponsoring our very first Igniting Faith Virtual Summit on October 16-17, 2020. Speakers include Bishop James Swanson, Bishop Gary Mueller, Gil Hanke and Rick Vance from the General Commission on United Methodist Men. This is a free event, see registration link below. 
Registration link
Fresh Expressions’ Resilient Church Academy is a great resource for continuing education that will be helpful to doing church in new ways through and following the challenges of 2020.  Cultivating Digital Fresh Expressions begins on Tuesday, September 15:  https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cultivating-digital-fresh-expressions-tickets-118039313765?aff=odeimcmailchimp&goal=0_eb9d1fd14e-ca99172d5f-1206048821&mc_cid=ca99172d5f&mc_eid=2a9d906d94
 
Click here for more information about Resilient Church Academy: https://resilientchurchacademy.com/?goal=0_eb9d1fd14e-ca99172d5f-1206048821&mc_cid=ca99172d5f&mc_eid=2a9d906d94
*Begins October 19th*
House Church: Temporary solution? Experiment? The future of the church?
The North Georgia Conference "House Church Cohort" will unpack the nuts and bolts of this way of Christian Community while providing opportunities for peer learning and coaching to take steps toward starting a house church(es).

Dates: Meets Mondays, October 19-November 9
Time: 11 am -1 pm  
Follow-up Session: Monday, December 7
Contact:  Rev. Heather Jallad
Fee: $10 per person


LEARN MORE
Fresh Expressions Vision Day
At each Vision Day, we make the case for the Fresh Expressions movement. We give the why, the what, and the how. If you or someone in your sphere of influence needs the basics, this training opportunity is just for them. During the Vision Day we ask this question: “If all you do is what you’re doing now, who will never be reached with the power of the Risen Christ?” If this is a question worth grappling with--join us for a virtual Vision Day on Wednesday, September 9 or Saturday, September 26. Both events are from 9:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m. Fresh Expressions Vision Day
New Children's Ministry Institute Cohort forming now! Many of the ways we have done ministry have been significantly altered and changed by the global pandemic. Traditional children's ministry programming has been moved aside for creative, new ways to teach and tell our faith stories. None of us is equipped for where we have found ourselves. The NGUMC Children's Ministry Institute is more important than ever in providing a learning community for children's ministry professionals. You are invited to join Cohort IV as we learn and grow in new ways. To learn more, visit: https://www.ngumc.org/CMI

As we continue to face the COVID-19 pandemic, North Georgia United Methodists are rethinking ways of doing church and building community. We're considering how and when we might gather in person again. We are exploring and struggling. We are leaning into our connection. We are buoyed by our faith in Jesus Christ. 

Find helpful resources, information, and updates as we navigate this time together. 

Happy Birthday to our Clergy born in September!
Tim Savelle 9/4
Linda Birchall  9/9
John Donaldson 9/11
Randy Kanipe 9/12
Deborah Griffith 9/13
Nancy Johnson 9/19
Dan Wilson 9/20
Tony Gavalas 9/21
David Wofford 9/26
Sargent Nelson 9/29
The 2020/2021 South East District Directory is available to view or download on our website at https://www.ngumc.org/southeast-district-directory. Request the password by emailing the district office at District7SE@ngumc.net.
After the stress of the last six months, pastors need time away for rest, refreshment, and spiritual renewal.  The District Office keeps a list of clergy and lay servants that are available for pulpit supply when you take this important time away.  A copy of this list is available upon request.
Materials for the 2020 offering should have arrived or will be arriving shortly at your church. Please review these resources when they arrive and consider how you might share them with your congregation.  The Conference has designated September 20 as the official Sunday to receive an offering to financially support  Wellroot’s ministries, but as always, we hope you will select a time that is best for you to allow people to support this important work. Whether your church is gathering in person or is still in digital mode, we have materials to help you tell Wellroot’s story. To view and download digital resources, please visit our website at https://wellroot.org/ag2020
Did you know that your Conference/District has a Credit Union? The United Methodist Connectional Federal Credit Union has been serving members since 1960 and is still going strong! We provided $2,795,900.00 in Payment Protection loans to UM Churches/Organizations to help secure employment during the COVID19 Pandemic. SAVE MONEY with our low interest loans on our Car Inventory, Credit Cards, Mortgages, and other Loans. We also offer Free Financial Counseling. Contact us today to take full advantage of membership.
The UMC FCU is there for you. www.umcfcu.com
770-565-3794 or 800-282-9368.
We join together in prayer for all who have been affected by Hurricane Laura. Reports indicate significant damage, power outages, and flooding. North Georgia Conference leaders have been in communication with the Louisiana Conference of The United Methodist Church. UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) has readied its response in coordination with local Disaster Response coordinators. There are three ways we in North Georgia can help: 1. Pray - Be in prayer for all in the aftermath of the storm 2. Give - Give through your local church to UMCOR (mark your gift for US Disaster Response) or through the UMCOR Website. 3. Wait - Do not self-deploy. Trained Early Response Teams stand ready to serve, but any mission team should only respond at the direct invitation of the Louisiana Conference. While there is a long road to recovery ahead, the Louisiana Conference of The United Methodist Church ended its morning storm update with good news: "The most important update - the sun rose this morning and God is with us."
Clergy are strongly encouraged to check their ngumc.net email addresses directly through Gmail. However, some clergy prefer to forward their address to another account. Pastors who moved September 1 and forward their ngumc.net email should be sure to update the forwarding account. Access to your ngumc.net email is important for receiving district and conference communication.
Twitter
Facebook
Website
Copyright © 2020 The North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church, All rights reserved.


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.