An Account of the Ministry and Mission
of the South East District
Happy First Week of 2021! I hope you enjoyed some time of well-deserved rest and relaxation over the Christmas season and are ready for Epiphany’s new vision of hope and joy for the year ahead.
A friend of mine likes to jokingly say she worries a lot because most of the things she worries over usually do not come to pass. That may be one way to look at it; but another is that our worry is an easy distraction from the vision God has for our life. There is plenty we can worry about, but when you reflect on what you were worried about this time last year, was it truly worth the emotional and spiritual energy?
Matthew’s gospel gives us the story of magi who came from the east to Jerusalem looking for a newborn. Most modern translations of Matthew 2:10 merely say, When they saw the star, they were filled with joy, but earlier biblical translations seem to bend over backwards describing how they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy! It was something stupendously wonder-full, amazing, glorious, and radiant beyond the power of words to express in that moment when the soul of a common child was revealed as heaven on earth, God’s love among us, waking up as a toddler from his nap. The magi’s wisdom was in embracing the joy and wonder of God’s new thing, Emmanuel. Letting go of worry for the past and concern for the future, they were free to rejoice exceedingly with great joy, to see and respond to the gift right in front of them.
That is also the wisdom of the Wesley Covenant Prayer Bishop Sue invites us to pray each day of 2021. It encourages us to the devotion of less worry, more dreaming, letting all our concerns go so our actions can be shaped by wonder, joy, and trust. …I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal…O Glorious and blessed God…Thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it.
What are you most anticipating personally in 2021? What exciting new ministry opportunities are springing up in your community? Know that I am here to help you and all our congregations hear and respond to the Holy Spirit’s inspiration.
Whatever the new year brings, God will be with us, and that is cause for more joy, more wonder, and less worry!
Blessings for this Joyful New Year,
The final day to submit 2020 payments to the Conference Office is January 8, 2021. D.S. Greg Porterfield will drive any 2020 district work fund/apportionment payments to the Conference Office on Friday. They’ll need to be at the district office by noon on Thursday. All churches are strongly encouraged to check your 2020 payment record against the Conference records to be sure that all payments have been received and posted. On the home page of the conference website, go to the Apportionment Payments section and enter your church number to get a 2020 Apportionments Paid Report. Contact Bruce Cooper for information to submit payments online 678-533-1394.
Even as we are looking forward to 2021, it’s time to gather data for 2020 End of Year Reports. Beth Sanders is our District Statistician overseeing the End of Year Report process, assisted this year by John Donaldson, Randy Kanipe, and David Wofford. You will hear from one of us soon to let you know who your congregation’s main point of contact will be. You may begin filling out the report online January 12th. It must be completed by January 31st, after which you will no longer have access to the report. In the meantime, we suggest you print blank copies of the reports NOW from the Conference website and begin gathering the necessary information. A 2020 instructional video is also available now: End of Year Report Instructions and Information on Vimeo
Our District UMW meeting will be held on January 23, at 10 a.m., at Young Memorial United Methodist Church located at 1711 Washington Road in Thomson. We will have our meal catered by Chick-Fil-A and we will need a number so that we will be able to provide food for everyone. Please RSVP no later than Wednesday, January 20 to firstname.lastname@example.org if you plan to attend so that we can notify them. The meeting will also be on Facebook Live for those who cannot attend in person. RSVP’s to attend in person should go to Nicole. We hope that you will be able to join us for this, our first meeting of 2021, as we will have installation of officers. Looking forward to good things in 2021!
A Message from Conference UMM President Odell Horne
I pray that you all had a blessed Christmas, and that you will have a prosperous New Year!
2020 has been a tumultuous year.
A virus in Wuhan, China caused a global pandemic with the aid of international travel. This virus took the lives of many people; and it caused businesses, schools, and churches to close temporarily. It also forced us to change our habits.
A video of a black man murdered while jogging near Brunswick, GA sparked racial protests, that were only exacerbated with different videos in Louisville, KY and Minneapolis, MN becoming public.
And a tense Presidential election, which led to multiple ballot recounts, was followed by what seems to be a never ending Senate runoff election.
And on Christmas Day a bomb devastated downtown Nashville, TN.
Despite all of this, God is still on the throne!!!
I have attached the United Methodist Men's 2021 calendar below. This calendar is subject to change, so please check for updates here.
We will have a Leadership Council Meeting on Saturday, January 9, 2021, please see the flyer below, and register here to attend.
Finally, please consider giving to the United Methodist Men of the North Georgia Conference directly. I have attached a fundraising letter, however you can Donate to NGCUMM using this link.
Thank you for your consideration in this matter. Like, share, and comment on our social media accounts
District At-Large Delegates to Annual Conference Needed
Annual Conference is currently scheduled for June 3-5, although the decision has not yet been announced as to whether it will be an in person gathering or a virtual meeting. Any interested, active laity in the district are encouraged to submit an interest form to serve as a district delegate. Local church delegates will continue to be selected at the church level as always.
Friday, January 22, 10:00-11:30am, Via Zoom Let's learn about launching Fresh Expressions in the digital age. Dr. Michael Beck and Dr. Rosario Picardo will share the work behind Fresh Expressions in a Digital Age; How the Church Can Prepare for a Post Pandemic World along with a time for live Q&A in this Zoom webinar. The cost is $10. Participants will get a 40% discount code on the ebook following the webinar.
A Weekly Conversation of the Wesley Covenant Prayer
Bishop Sue is hosting weekly candid conversations with United Methodists across our conference and connection on Wesley's Covenant Prayer.
Happy Birthday to all our clergy born in January!
David Bohling 1/3
Jim Miller 1/3
Shirley Suarez 1/5
Tate Welling 1/5
Rick Maeser 1/8
Unisah Conteh 1/15
Congratulations to George Holcombe (pastor of Berlin UMC) who was married to Brandy Sullins Holcombe on December 31.
Happy New Year
from the South East District Office!
All Clergy in the North Georgia Conference are assigned a 'ngumc.net' 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.