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August 6, 2009
Volume 8 – No. 14


Bishop King to lead Bishop's Hours this Fall
Bishop James King will be traveling to all nine districts this Fall to conduct a Bishop's Hour. Designed for all
laity and clergy, these events will include a time of praise and worship, followed by a teaching session.

Note from Bishop King:
"It is in my heart to be with the people of South Georgia; however, it is not possible for me to be in each
local church. The Bishop's Hour is an opportunity for me to come close to the laity and clergy of each
district, and for me to fulfill the teaching role that is intended to flow out of the office of Bishop. God has
called me to teach about the various components of disciple formation, which is the church's chief purpose.
It is my prayer that as many laity and clergy as possible will meet with me for this time of spiritual inspiration
and instruction.”

Churches are encouraged to gather a group and make plans now to attend the Bishop's Hour in their
district. For more information, contact your district office.

Dublin District       September 27 4:00 PM         Dublin First UMC
Statesboro District   October 4        4:00 PM     Statesboro First UMC
Savannah District     October 6        7:00 PM     Richmond Hill UMC
Macon District        October 8        7:00 PM     Liberty UMC, Macon
Waycross District     October 11       4:00 PM     Epworth By The Sea
Valdosta District     October 20       7:00 PM     Valdosta First UMC
Columbus District     October 22       7:00 PM     St. Paul UMC, Columbus
Americus District     November 1       4:00 PM     Americus First UMC
Thomasville District November 22 4:00 PM           Porterfield UMC, Albany

Still room for you at Pathways to a Healthy Church event
Are you looking for practical, quality training for yourself, your church staff or your church leaders? Are you
thirsty for new ideas, networking and a fresh vision for your ministry? If so, look no further than this year's
Pathways to a Healthy Church conference. Scheduled for Saturday, August 15 at Trinity United Methodist
Church in Warner Robins, the training event will feature 42 one-hour-and-15-minute workshops and two all-
day workshops for participants to choose from, each designed to help congregations become healthier and
to fulfill the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ.

There is still room for you at this year's event. To register for the event, click here. The early-bird registration
deadline is August 7, and the conference costs $20 per person. After this date the cost will be $30. A boxed
lunch from Chick-fil-A is included in the registration fee. Safe Sanctuaries compliant childcare is available
for newborn to 5th grade children at a cost of $3 per child, which covers the cost of their lunch.

Epworth By The Sea to sponsor Women's Retreat this November
(EBTS) "Waiting for God," a retreat for women led by Rev. Kathleen Kilbourne will take place at Epworth By
The Sea, November 2- 4, 2009. Participants will explore how setting divine priorities in a discordant world
will help us sing with the Christmas angels. Come and learn how to welcome God's constant coming into
the world. Details can be found online at or by calling 912-638-8688.

CCPI Challenge Grant - joining together to help those in needs
Nearly 2,000 retired pastors, lay workers and surviving spouses in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe are
struggling to survive and to meet their basic needs, resorting to growing their own food, relying on their
children and creating products to sell. The Central Conference Pension Initiative (CCPI) is a long-term
solution that provides financial security in retirement for these dedicated church leaders and surviving
spouses who would otherwise have little or no means of supporting themselves.

South Georgia United Methodists have a great opportunity to raise funds for CCPI. An anonymous donor
has given $500,000 to CCPI and has challenged United Methodists in both the South and North Georgia
Annual Conferences to respond with donations of their own. There is potential for an additional gift later in
the year depending on the level of support generated among Georgia United Methodists. The donor is
challenging every local United Methodist Church to participate significantly in the campaign so that together
the original gift of $500,000 can be matched or exceeded. The hope is to raise more than $1.5 million for
CCPI in Georgia alone. If Georgians respond with that level of generosity, approximately 150 central
conference retirees could be supported by South Georgia and North Georgia United Methodists (for every
$10,000 contributed, approximately one central conference retiree will be supported). For more information,
to donate, or to request CCPI campaign resources, call the South Georgia Conference Administrative Office
at 800-535-4224. To learn more about the Central Conference Pension Initiative, visit


Take a sneak peak at the following news stories that appear in the most recent edition of the South Georgia
Advocate. If you are not already a subscriber, make sure to subscribe today! Subscribe online here or mail
your check, payable to "South Georgia Advocate," P.O. Box 660275 / Dallas, TX 75266-0275. Pay by credit
card by calling 1.877.465.1685. A one year subscription is $25 (or $23 for subscribers 65 and older). Share
your news by e-mailing

Q & A with Rev. Nathan Godley, Valdosta District Superintendent
This is the second in a five-part series in the South Georgia Advocate that will introduce the new District
Superintendents. Click here to read the full Q&A.

ADVOCATE: Where did you grow up? Have you always lived in South Georgia?
REV. GODLEY: I grew up in Savannah, went to Savannah High School, and then graduated from
Armstrong State College and went to Emory to Candler School of Theology. When I was in college I did a
summer in Europe with the study abroad program, in France. That was a wonderful experience for me. I
attended the University of Dijon and studied the French language. I got to go to cooking school, and did
some touring and traveling; there were a lot of cultural opportunities for us there. I grew up at Epworth
United Methodist Church in Savannah; Marcus Tripp, Mary Ann Traver and I entered the ministry together
from that church.

Pastor offers insight into his 59-year career, shares body of work as resource for ministers
By Kara Witherow, Editor
Rev. W. Hampton “Hamp” Watson, Jr. grew up “under the eaves” of the church, directly across the street
from the Baxley Circuit parsonage and catty-corner to the town parsonage. Preachers visited often, and, by
the time he was 14, he found himself leading worship during Sunday night services. Paul's words in
Ephesians 3:7 resonated with the young man, and he felt “made a minister.” And now, 63 years later, Rev.
Watson is still ministering, still proclaiming the love of Christ, and, by offering a free e-book of almost 300
sermons, still making an impact that will be felt for generations.

Born in 1931 in Baxley during the Great Depression, Rev. Watson was thrust into adulthood at an early age
with the deaths of both of his parents during his teenage years. After graduating high school, Rev. Watson,
with the help of his pastor, Ab Quillian, was invited to lead worship at camp meetings and revivals. With the
money he earned, plus a scholarship he was given, he entered Emory Junior College at Valdosta. More>>

Pierce Chapel UMC lends hearts and hands to Costa Rica
By Kara Witherow, Editor
Pierce Chapel United Methodist Church in Midland recently sent 30 representatives to Costa Rica to
perform short-term mission work in and around the town of El Mirador, located in the northern part of the

The group, which consisted of 17 students and 13 adults, left Midland on July 4 and returned on July
12. They say the trip was life changing and a “great experience.”

“For many on our team, this was our first mission trip,” said Nathan Carr, Director of Program Ministries at
Pierce Chapel UMC and a member of the mission trip team. “Little did we know how powerfully God would
work in and through us.” More>>


Palmer Issues Letter to United Methodists About Amendments
Bishop Gregory V. Palmer, President of the Council of Bishops, issued the following letter to all United
Methodists regarding proposed amendments to the denomination's constitution: Grace and peace to you in
the name and spirit of Jesus the risen Christ.

Recently it was prematurely reported that a number of the proposed amendments to the Constitution of the
United Methodist Church had been defeated. As of this date, not all annual conferences have voted on
these proposed changes. The voting will not be completed until the Winter/Spring of 2010.

Amendments to the United Methodist Constitution require a two thirds aggregate majority of all votes cast,
unless the proposed amendment would alter the Restrictive Rules. At the present time, the amendments
before the church do not affect the Restrictive Rules.

As annual conferences vote on the proposed amendments those totals are reported directly to the Office of
the Council of Bishops. There the votes are received and have not and will not be totaled until the voting is
complete in all parts of the church. Once all annual conferences have turned in their vote results, the total
will be canvassed by the Council of Bishops, according to paragraph 59 in the 2008 Book of Discipline. No
one has access to these reports outside the Office of the Council.

The results of the balloting on the Constitutional amendments will be announced during the May, 2010
meeting of the Council of Bishops. Some bishops have announced the voting on amendments in their
annual conferences whereas others have not. Nevertheless it is the aggregate vote of all annual
conferences together that determines the disposition of each amendment, not the percentage of annual
conferences that vote one way or the other.

In the meantime I urge you to remain steadfast in living the mission of “making disciples of Jesus Christ for
the transformation of the world”. However the amendments go our mission is unchanging.

United Methodists challenged to seek young clergy
(UMNS) The United Methodist School of Congregational Development began with a rousing appeal to the
denomination to increase the number of ordained clergy under the age of 35. "Young people got talent,"
declared Bishop James Swanson. Swanson is the leader of the church's Holston Area, which has one of the
highest percentages of clergy under 35 of any of the 62 United Methodist annual (regional) conferences in
the United States. While 12 percent to 13 percent of Holston's clergy are under 35, most conferences have
5 percent or fewer, he said. The United Methodist Church currently has some 8 million members in the U.S.,
a number that has steadily declined over the last 40 years. The number of younger pastors also has
declined. More>>
Church developers learn from early evangelists
(UMNS) Can Methodists learn anything about effective Christian evangelism from their denomination's
founding period 250 years ago? "Yes," says a Duke University professor, who explained to the 2009 United
Methodist School of Congregational Development how the Wesley brothers, John and Charles, gave rise to
a movement that swept the young United States of America. "Early Methodism was evangelistic," the Rev.
Laceye Warner said. "When the Wesleys talked about spreading 'Scriptural holiness,' they meant
evangelism." She defined evangelism as preaching the gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ and "living it out."

Agencies announce restructuring, more layoffs
(UMNS) Two United Methodist agencies are eliminating more than 50 jobs in restructuring plans
precipitated by the economic crisis. The Board of Global Ministries announced it eliminated 45 jobs,
including 19 positions held by people who took buyouts or early retirement. United Methodist
Communications is eliminating seven positions. Both agencies said the restructuring plans will allow them to
continue to meet church needs despite the cuts. "It is a new day and we are going forward," said the Rev.
Larry Hollon, top executive of United Methodist Communications. “We must focus on priorities that best
serve the mission of the church.” The 45 positions eliminated at Global Ministries are in addition to cuts last
February and may not represent the last of the reductions as the 2010 budget is completed, said the Rev.
Edward W. Paup, top executive of the mission agency. More>>

Pastor gives churches ideas for supporting troops
(UMNS) When the Rev. LeNoir Culbertson was appointed pastor of Madison Street United Methodist Churc,
just a few miles from Fort Campbell, Ky., she thought churches probably needed to have special programs
for military families. Up to one third of the 600 active members of her Clarksville, Tenn., congregation, near
the home to the 101st Airborne Division, are related to the military. But, Culbertson said, “I was told
repeatedly, ‘We don't want to be treated like military.'” What she discovered was that many needs of a
military family with a deployed member are similar to the needs of single parents. Providing child care for
church programs, such as a Bible study or prayer groups, was important. More>>

2009 Annual Conference Session Reports
Read the latest reports from across the connection


The Cross and Flame of The United Methodist Church: Guidelines for Usage
(GCFA) The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) is privileged to be able to share and
guard this proud symbol of United Methodism. With the Cross and Flame, we say that as United Methodists
we believe God saved us through Jesus Christ and empowers us with the Holy Spirit to make a difference in
the world. The Cross and Flame is a registered trademark that is maintained and supervised by the General
Council on Finance and Administration. Find out more about the cross and flame, including usage

UMCOR Ready to Respond Resource
(UMCOR) Last June, severe storms and flooding affected 10 states and approximately 11 million people
throughout the Midwest. This storm system was followed by Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, which pounded
Gulf Coast communities. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) responded to 57 US
disasters in 2008. These relief efforts placed a financial strain on available disaster resources and
UMCOR's ability to respond to future storms. The Atlantic hurricane season began June 1. UMCOR is
relying on United Methodist support to help meet emergency relief needs in the US. Download Ready to
Respond, UMCOR's new church bulletin to learn more, or use UMCOR's Ready to Respond Power Point
slide. Share these resources with your local congregation and collect a special offering for the Domestic
Disaster Response fund. Your gifts will help UMCOR be there in times of disaster. Give to Domestic
Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #901670.
Experience the Field - UMCOR Notebook
(UMCOR_ Interested in learning what a “Gully Sucker” is? Would you rather experience the cheers of
thousands of Zimbabwean children as they receive United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) school
kits? Perhaps you want to learn how a new UMCOR home is changing someone's life in Sri Lanka? Well,
now you can. Through the UMCOR Notebook, you can share in the experience of “being there” with
UMCOR in the field. Read personal stories submitted by UMCOR staff, volunteers or field staff as they work
to bring relief to those in need around the world. The UMCOR Notebook will be updated regularly and
includes inspirational stories of how lives are being changed through UMCOR's relief and recovery work.
Open the UMCOR Notebook pages now and find out what inspires UMCOR staff.

Small churches offered low-cost Sunday school program
(UMNS) "All-in-One Bible Fun: 13 Lessons for Busy Teachers" is a curriculum option for small churches
with stretched budgets. Cokesbury officials said the Sunday school program allows teachers to plan
complete lessons without having to purchase additional components that larger children's ministries need.
Available for both preschool and elementary age children, the curriculum will be published in four books for
each age group. The first book, "Stories of Jesus," will be released in August. The remaining books,
"Favorite Bible Stories," "Heroes of the Bible," and "Fruits of the Spirit" will be released over the rest of the

A Great Day of Singing
(GBOD) August may be the slowest month of the church year. There are no major liturgical or civil holidays
or observances. People are on vacation. The choir or pastor may be taking a summer vacation. It is an ideal
time to do A Great Day of Singing service in which the worship service emphasizes music and the
expanded role it can play in a worship service. You can incorporate soloists, groups, choirs and
instrumentalists, or rely entirely on the congregation for singing. The service can include all the normal
elements of a worship service, including sermon, or you may substitute musical stanzas or selections for
some of them. Here is a sample worship bulletin for a typical Great Day of Singing service. Use it, adapt it
or come up with your own.


Georgia PAUMCS - August 13-16
The Georgia Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries (PAUMCS) invites you to a
weekend of continued education, learning and networking August 13-16, 2009, at Epworth By The Sea.
Meeting under the theme “Georgia PAUMCS Goes Green!” the conference and retreat is open to all
Secretaries, Administrative Assistants, Finance Administrators and other office personnel – paid/volunteer,
full or part-time in the United Methodist Church. For more details on how to register for this retreat, contact
JoAnn Bloodworth, Vice-President, at 478-272-3371 or by email at

Pathways to a Healthy Church - August 15
The annual Pathways to a Healthy Church event is designed to equip local churches with practical, quality
training that will help you fulfill the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ. Set for August 15 at Trinity
UMC in Warner Robins, this training will offer over 40 workshops and 2 all day workshops designed to help
congregations become more healthy. Make plans now to attend. Click here to download the brochure to
view all of the workshops.

Dublin District Lay Speakers Courses - August 21-22
The Dublin District is sponsoring a Basic and an Advanced Lay Speakers Course August 21-22 at Calvary
UMC in Swainsboro. The Basic Course will be taught by Rev. Wayne McDaniel. The Advanced Course,
“Lay Speakers Preach,” will be led by Dublin District lay leader Randel Bryan. These courses are open to
anyone across the conference. For more information, including a registration form and a schedule, click
2009 Sexual Ethics Workshops for Clergy - September 10
The remaining Sexual Ethics Workshop for 2009 is set for September 10, 2009, at Valdosta First UMC. The
workshop will begin at 9:00 a.m. and conclude at 3:00 p.m. This workshop is required every three years for
person serving under appointment by the bishop (clergy, local pastors, extension ministers, appointed lay
speakers). Cost is $5 for lunch (collected at the door). To register, please e-mail

E-zekiel Web site Training Event - September 18
The South Georgia Annual Conference is partnering with E-zekiel web solutions for a full day of
training. Join professional E-zekiel trainer, Dacia Gulledge, September 18, 2009, at Vineville UMC in
Macon, Ga. as she shows participants how to use E-zekiel to build and maintain a great web site. E-zekiel
is an online software that allows you to publish a dynamic, interactive, professional-looking web site without
being a programmer, without all the technical hassles, and without the expense of traditional web site
development. In three 1.5-hour sessions, participants will look at the tips and tricks of the pages and panels
managers, explore the management of events (calendar) and forms, and learn how to utilize the syndication
manager (podcasting, blogging,etc.) as well as discuss streaming media options such as Early-
bird registration is $50. For more information or to register, visit or e-mail To learn more about E-zekiel visit

KidzQuest Retreat Dates Set - October 2-4
KidzQuest, the annual conference children's retreat, has been set for October 2-4, 2009, at Epworth By The
Sea. Intended for children in 3rd - 5th grades, this weekend retreat is high-octane, high-energy and lots of
fun! This year's speaker will be Jesse Joyner who will keep us on the edge of our seats as he
communicates biblical truths while performing amazing juggling stunts. Uncle Charlie returns again this year
to lead us in worship, and our favorite emcee Brandon Rushin, “Hey Ya”, will keep us entertained with fun
games and a few new dance moves. Mark your calendars now because you won't want to miss out! Click
here for more information or to register online.

--Georgia PAUMCS - August 13-16
--Pathways to a Healthy Church - August 15
--Christian Education Sunday - August 16
--Dublin District Lay Speakers Course - August 21-22
--Sexual Ethics Workshop for Clergy - September 10
--E-zekiel Web Training Event - September 18
--Methodist Children's Home Day - September 20
--KidzQuest Retreat - October 2-4
--World Communion Day - October 4
--Vashti Day - October 18
--Wesleyan College Day - November 8
--November Youth Celebration - November 20-22
--United Methodist Student Day - November 29
--United Methodist Global AIDS Fund - December 6

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