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

You shall rejoice in all the good which the Lord your God has given to you.  Deuteronomy 26:11

November is my favorite month, not only because here in Georgia the weather is usually quintessentially autumn with leaves in bright array and cooler temperatures sustained, but also because it includes that most uplifting, comforting, and calming holiday of Thanksgiving. Full disclosure that I was born on Thanksgiving Day, and, though I might have been disappointed as a child that the holiday disrupted my party plans, now I relish the coincidence of my birthday and expressions of gratitude the season of Thanksgiving inspires.
 
Gratitude is foundational to our life of faith as disciples of Jesus Christ. During this extraordinary year, I have been attending to the website gratefulness.org in my daily devotional life.  I find the spiritual practice of gratitude (in addition to Sabbath-keeping) helps counteract and overcome the ever-present anxiety and fear of this year of pandemic and a national election.  We can choose anger, fear, resentment, grief, or pain, stuck in the worst moments of our lives. We can choose to believe that everyone and everything is against us. We can choose to define ourselves by someone else's violence, prejudice, or injustice toward us. We can choose to define life as a zero-sum game. We can choose every negative political ideology that cuts us off from grace, and we can choose to think there is no one and nothing to thank. …Or we can choose to practice gratitude. 
 
A few years ago, I learned the GLAD acronym for daily prayer, a reminder to pray at the end of each day, lifting up to God something for which you are Grateful; something Learned; something Accomplished; and some experience of Delight.  It’s the G for gratitude and D for delight that have most inspired my daily prayer.  I love how this GLAD prayer starts with gratitude that opens the way for delight in the ordinary daily experiences of life.  That first expression of gratitude and delight may seem so small and insignificant, but it creates space for more and more gratitude to produce deepening delight. 
 
Gratitude opens the space for joy to flourish, producing a deeper experience of grace from which all the fruit of the spirit grows: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  As Jesus promises, the kingdom of God is here.  We have only to express our gratitude and allow God to multiply our joy.  That is the joy to which Deuteronomy 26:11 and communion in beloved community invite us: “Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.  It is right to give our thanks and praise.  It is right and a good and joyful thing always and everywhere to give thanks to you, Almighty God, creator of heaven and earth.”  
 
Blessings of gratitude and joy,

CHARGE CONFERENCE INFORMATION

 

This year’s annual celebration of the ministry of local congregations known as Charge Conference will be a South East District-wide “mega virtual” event held by Zoom webinar. All clergy and laity of the district are invited to log on or call in to hear encouragement and expressions of gratitude from our District leadership and one another as we reflect on all that God has done among us in 2020 and look forward to all the ministry to come in 2021.
 
Please use the following information to participate:
 
You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
When: Nov 8, 2020 03:00 PM Eastern Time
Topic: 2020 District-Wide Charge Conference
 
Please click the link below to join the webinar:
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83301055626?pwd=am9YZU9IUUVSclFLem9KbGwzVnh5UT09
Passcode: 410586
Or call: 301 715 8592  
Webinar ID: 833 0105 5626
Passcode: 410586

Clergy Preference Forms

Move/Stay forms are due into the District Office by November 15th.

Healthflex Annual Enrollment is Now Open

Annual Enrollment for HealthFlex participants is open now through November 12, 2020. Make your Elections at HealthFlex/WebMD. For information regarding the HealthFlex plans, 2021 insurance rates, and more, please visit the NGUMC Health and Wellbeing page at https://www.ngumc.org/healthflex.

Tech Grants Available

As crisis innovation has transitioned to long term reality, church ministry has transformed. Our mission field is now certainly in-person and digital. Likewise, the church must mobilize in both worlds. And we’ve learned that we can! 

That's why the Center for Congregational Excellence and the Board of Congregational Development have approved 25 grants, valued at up to $2,500 each, for North Georgia United Methodist churches trying to pioneer and expand digital expressions of ministry for long-term impact and disciple-making.

Read More About Tech Grants

Save the dates to join Retired Pastor Linda Birchall for an Advent study via Zoom (for both Clergy and Lay).  The series will be based on an Advent study by James W. Moore,  "Finding Bethlehem in the Midst of Bedlam" - which seems appropriate this year! - but you don't have to buy the book to participate.   This will be a five week study starting on November 23rd at 7:00 PM for an hour each week.  If you are interested in participating or have questions, contact Linda at linda.birchall@ngumc.net.

St. Luke & Adwin Media, LLC present:  “The How To Be An Antiracist” Book Club.  A Book Club to promote Love & Reconciliation! This book club began Oct. 29, 2020 and continues every Thursday at 7:00 p.m.  Register free on Facebook @StLukeUMCAugusta 

Local Pastors Resources

Registration for the Winter 2021 Session of the Alabama Course of Study School is open. The syllabus for each class has been uploaded to the front page of our website: www.umcna.org/alcosumc .The Winter 2021 Session will be held online during January and February. If we are offering a class you need, we invite you to join us. --Peggy Ryan, ALCOS Registrar, Alabama Course of Study

Continuing Education Resources
The pandemic has made it more difficult to attend seminars and conferences to receive CEU's, but here is a resource for some online webinars. https://clergyeducation.com/upcoming-courses/

Virtual Event with Bishop Sue
On Saturday, November 21, 2020 the North Georgia Executive Committee of Local Pastors will be hosting an online event for Part Time Local Pastors, Full Time Local Pastors and Associate Members with Bishop Sue as our Guest Speaker. Below is the link needed to register for our time together with Bishop Sue. 
We will have time for questions and answers for Bishop Sue or the Fellowship Leadership. We ask that you submit your questions in advance. The questions will then be forwarded without name or contact information. If you would rather submit your question to your leadership representative you will find their email address included within the registration form. Again, your name or contact information WILL NOT be shared with your question.
Registration for Virtual Event with Bishop Sue

ADVENT RESOURCES FROM THE CONFERENCE

This Advent will be different than any in our lifetime as communities anticipate Christmas amid a pandemic. The invitation to hope, peace, love, joy, and light are as important as ever. Visit this link to see 7 resources to help with Advent planning: 

Read More about Advent
By Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson's designation, the Murphy-Harpst Special Offering was held on July 19. Due to COVID-19 and so many of our congregations not meeting in person, these vital funds were not received as during previous years. If your congregation has not participated, would you please consider including it soon in your church calendar? To assist, Murphy-Harpst has a number of quality digital resources for virtual participation available at
www.murphyharpst.org/churchpartners and their staff is available to help you make this offering meaningful to your church. Please contact Rev. Scott Fuller sfuller@murphyharpst.org for questions or to schedule a speaking engagement.

Derrick Lemons 11/7
David Cooper 11/7
Kim Hancock 11/9
Beth Sanders 11/23
Mac Enfinger 11/28

Click here to view the District Calendar

The District Office will be Closed for Thanksgiving November 24-26.

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