At The Crossroads
July 2016 Newsletter from Crossroads UMC
The Nuts and Bolts and Blessings of Church
Last month I wrote to you about General Conference (the worldwide meeting of United Methodists in Portland, OR). It was the meeting that determines the direction of our church through the language of our Book of Discipline. Today, you have a chance to read Nancy Crissman's report about our North Georgia Annual Conference work at the end of this newsletter. There are a lot of nuts and bolts that keep our denomination together!
Today, I just wanted to lift up one part of the Annual Conference to you--Bishop Watson's appointment to another role in the denomination.
Bishop Watson said goodbye to our conference this year. He served us for 8 years and was recently elected to a position on the Council of Bishops. His last day will be August 31st but another bishop will be appointed in mid-july at our Jurisdictional Conference.
Bishop Watson did many things for our conference and for me personally.
Watson's leadership guided our 900+ churches through some troubling financial times. He accomplished the conference goal of fully funding the liability for retired minister pensions, thus reducing apportionments for all the churches. Above all, he sponsored many initiatives to help the church make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Membership has grow steadily here in North Georgia under his leadership.
Personally speaking, Bishop Watson appointed me to two churches. One of which was Crossroads UMC. This church has been a blessing to my family and me. I've told him so several times in meetings. I'm telling you now. These three years with you at the church passed by quickly. I look forward to another year as we do all in our power to continue "making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world."
While you may never hang out and chat with many Bishops, know that they care about the churches and the pastors who serve them. Say a prayer for the next Bishop who comes our way.
Church Events Coming Soon
Church Monthly Events
Men's Golf Team
Attention men and women golfers! Our Spring season is coming to a close. We play every Monday at 5:00pm at Bear Creek Golf Club in Monroe. Cost is $15 for nine holes. It is four person scramble, best ball format. The same team is not necessary each week. Contact Bill Edwards at 770-483-0811 or 678-201-8238. You can email your name and available dates to email@example.com. Play once or as many times as you like. Join our team and enjoy the fun and fellowship golf can bring.
Upcoming Worship Information
Scripture: Bruce Carey
Acolyte: Emily Page and Sarah Sinclair
Communion Servers: Sandra Rodrick, Peggy and Kim Rowe
Scripture: Brandon Thomas
Scripture: Jim Miller
Acolyte:Mallory and Dawson Hammonds
Scripture: Tyler Head
Scripture: Diane Reagan
Acolyte: Chloe and Evan Boyd
Scripture: Joyce Howe
Scripture: Susan Brinson
Acolyte: Grant Preiss and Sarah Sinclair
Scripture: David Copple
Scripture: Jim Miller
Acolyte: Emily Page and Evan Boyd
Scripture: Jay Howe
Communion Servers: Joel and Nancy Chrissman, Artis Spencer
Scripture: Sandra Rodrick
Acolyte: Grant Preiss and Dawson Hammonds
Communion Servers: Susan Smith, Sherry Wheeler, and Jim Miller
Crossroads Shut-In List
Many of you have asked about our church members and friends who can no longer make it to Sunday Services and other fellowship events. Below is a current list with contact information if you would like to reach out to them. We ask that you keep them all in your prayers and thoughts.
Remington House Apt. 8a
1504 Renaissance Drive
Conyers, GA 30012
1811 Spring Street
Conyers, Ga 30012
1611 Pratt Rd
Covington, Ga 30014
1358 Manchester Dr
Bristol Village - Room 230
Conyers, GA 30012
1500 Callaway Loop
Conyers, GA 30012
Anne Guest ( Rockdale HealthCare Rehab.)
Room: # 204-B
1510 Reniassance Dr
Conyers, GA 30012
Living in South Carolina
Happy Birthday! July 2016
Name (First Last) Birth Date
Chloe Boyd 07/01
Kelly Parks 07/01
Alyssa Gos 07/01
Anslee Clark 07/02
Abbey Atkins 07/02
Betty Hanson 07/04
Hencie DeGive 07/05
Sophia Zanatta 07/08
Adam Nation 07/09
Russell Parks 07/10
Madelyn Hanson 07/10
Robert Barfield 07/11
Allan McDonald 07/14
Keeli Coble 07/15
Lita Smith 07/15
Sherry Wheeler 07/16
Jacqueline Gainer 07/18
Shawn McCalmon 07/19
Deborah Head 07/21
Peggy Rowe 07/23
Sandra Alliston 07/24
Leslie Weaver 07/24
Rebekah Carroll 07/24
Sara Strain 07/24
Shelby Anne Watts 07/25
Eva Fuhrey 07/26
Beatrice Hester 07/28
John Carver 07/29
Matt Alliston 07/29
Susan Smith 07/29
Zack Martin 07/29
Frank Clair 07/31
Pam Askew 07/31
August 2016 Newsletter Deadline
The deadline to get information into the July 2016 Newsletter is Sunday July 28st. Submit all articles, information, and pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org or call 770-388-7438. If you wish to receive a mailed copy of the church's monthly newsletter, please contact the church office at email@example.com or 770-388-7438.
Annual Conference Lay Delegate's Report
2016 Annual Conference Report
The 150th Session of the North Georgia Annual Conference opened on June 7-9 in Athens, Ga. Bishop B. Michael Watson presided over his ninth session of the North Georgia Annual Conference, and his last before his upcoming retirement. The theme for this year was “Bound for Greater Things” based on John 14:12-14
“I assure you that whoever believes in me will do the works that I do. They will do even greater works than these because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask for in my name, so that the Father can be glorified in the Son. When you ask me for anything in my name, I will do it.”—John 14:12-14 (CEB)
The logo features a dove with wings spread wide, symbolizing hope and peace, with the heavens opening above. The wings reach outside the bounds of the logo just as we are called to reach outside the bounds of this Annual Conference to be a Christian witness to our neighbors near and far and to do “even greater works than these.
Annual Conference was a week of celebrations, and praise. We celebrated 150 years as the North Georgia Annual conference. It was also the 60th Anniversary of clergy rights for women, the 20th anniversary of the Order of Deacons, and the 10th Annual Conference 5K run.
We celebrated the good work that has been accomplished through our United Methodist Church and our Conference. We listened to reports from ministries and committees throughout the Conference. We listened as the names of churches that are closing was read and the merging of two sets of churches was presented.
Tuesday morning opened with the Lay Orientation and Clergy Sessions. We heard reports from Conference Lay Leader Matthew Pinson and others who attended General Conference. In his report Matthew said, “You were incredibly well represented”. He shared pieces of legislation that were passed, and notable legislation that did not pass. He thanked the many volunteers who also traveled to Portland from our Conference. Bishop Watson explained that “North Georgia had a delegate on every General Conference Legislative Committee, meaning that our Conference had a voice in every decision that was made, even at the committee level at General Conference. Sharma Lewis was affirmed as the North Georgia Conference episcopal nominee.
The afternoon session began with the Hymn “And Are We Yet Alive?” led by Song Leader Ralph Freeman for the Opening Worship and Holy Communion. The guest preacher for this service and the service of Licensing, Commissioning, and Ordination was Bishop Bill McAlilly of the Nashville Area. He brought a message of hope and encouragement. In his sermon “Expecting Greater Things”, he said we are to place our trust in Jesus, not in an institution, preacher, bank account or a bishop. “God is going to do something mighty if (we) will let God do something”. he said, “There are enough Methodists in this room to change the world, are you bound for greater things?”
As we entered into the business session John Moeller, CEO of Action Ministries, introduced our annual conference special offering to help “Raise the Roof” over the heads of families, providing them with hunger relief, housing, and educational opportunities. Georgia has the second highest rate of homelessness for children and veterans in the nation. The Annual Conference offering for “Raise the Roof” brought in $120,034.00. Crossroads United Methodist Church raised $1,592.00 through our offerings at Church services as well as our Music Camp.
Imagine No Malaria, assistant campaign director, Ashley Gish thanked the North Georgia Annual Conference for its support in helping make the campaign a success. North Georgia United Methodists have given approximately $800,000 to the work to eradicate malaria. $68.5 million has been raised across the denomination.
The evening Service of Licensing, Commissioning, and Ordination is always a very moving service. Bishop McAlilly brought the message of encouragement and love in his sermon titled, “As I have Loved You”. He said, “There is no higher calling than to kneel and wash, to serve, and to love”. The North Georgia Conference commissioned 17 provisional elders and 4 provisional deacons, and ordained 5 full connection deacons and 12 full connection elders, recognized a Transfer of Orders from Elder to Deacon, and recognized a transfer of orders from another denomination. Andrew Covington of Connexion Church in Oxford, was ordained as a Full Connection Elder this year.
Wednesday began bright and early with the Annual Conference 5K sponsored by the Conference Council on Youth Ministries to benefit the Youth Service Fund. More than $2,000 was raised and Zack Martin was among the runners this year.
Wednesday was a full day of business, celebration and thanksgiving, We heard reports from the Standing Rules Committee, Committee on Nominations, Board of Pensions and Health Benefits, Board of Trustees, Equitable Compensation, and Conference Personnel Policy Practices Committee.
The Recognition of Retirees and Passing of the Mantle was a very moving service. It is always inspiring to hear the Retirees share memories of their years of service and tell their hopes and plans for their future. All together they represented 1,268 years of ministry. The newly ordained stood on stage with the retirees, symbolically passing the mantle, marking the beautiful continuum of ministry in our church.
We also celebrated the Service of Remembrance as we remembered those who died in the past year. Rev. Wiley Stephens, who has been one of our guest ministers at Crossroads, led the worship service. Ralph Freeman led us in a moving medley of hymns, “When We All Get to Heaven, I’ll Fly Away, and On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand”.
During the Wednesday afternoon session Thomas Kemper, General Secretary of Global Ministries, reminded the conference that our United Methodist missionaries are “from everywhere to everywhere,” He introduced “Abundant Health: Our Promise to children”. UMCOR gave $13.6 million in grants to disaster-striken areas.
We listened to reports from United Methodist Children’s Home, seeking homes for Foster Care children, and Murphy Harpst an institution that cares for 60 of the most severely abused children and youth in Georgia. The reports from each of these was emotional and inspiring.
Wednesday evening was an evening of celebration and worship honoring Bishop and Mrs. Watson for their years of leadership and ministry with our Conference. "Under your leadership our debt has been reduced, membership has increased, bridges have been built, and our faith has deepened," said Skip Matson, chair of the Committee on Episcopacy. "We give thanks for the fact that God has allowed our paths to cross.”
As we ended our time together on Thursday we still had reports to hear and resolutions to vote on.
The Council on Finance and Administration: Slight increase in the budget from 2015 by 0.3%, general church apportionments were up 2%, the total recommended budget is $22, 134,096.
United Methodist Women: 5,833 UMCOR health kits were donated
Connectional Ministries: the number of Vital Congregations in North Georgia has increased over the past four years. A resolution on abolishing the Death Penalty in Georgia was presented and approved.
The Board of Pensions and Health Benefits celebrated reaching fully-funded status on the Pre-1982 retirement liability. The Conference was able to reach this long-standing goal with proceeds from the sale of the Simpsonwood property and a $4 million gift from our Conference Foundation for Retired Ministers.
Keith Cox, Conference Treasurer and Director of Administrative Services, gave a summary of the Annual Conference’s financial report. Giving highlights included:
• Conference Advances: $582,415
• General Advance Specials: $238,709
• Special Offerings: $1092,544
• Apportionment Payments: $21,645,161
• Total Funds $23,558,859
In 2015, 700 churches (80% of all churches apportioned) supported regional and global ministries by paying 100% of their apportionments.
The Annual Conference passed a budget of $22,134,096 for 2017.
Committee on Resolutions, presented to the conference a Resolution Against Human Trafficking: Help End Suicide and Homelessness Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning Youth. An amended resolution was proposed, changing a significant portion of
the language to reflect all at-risk youth and voted on by a standing count. The amended resolution passed.
2016 has been the year of Conferences for the United Methodist Church. The United Methodist General Conference was held in Portland, Oregon on May 10-20. Delegates from around the world met n Oregon to make decisions, pass legislation, and debate issues that affect the life and beliefs of our church. The Jurisdictional Conference will be held at Lake Junaluska, NC, July 13-15. The theme for the South Eastern Jurisdictional Conference is, “Hope and Unity in Christ”, based on Hebrews 6:18-19a The United Methodist Church is divided into 5 Jurisdictions. Every four years, the jurisdictional conferences meet to elect new bishops and select members of general boards and agencies. Annual Conferences will be held throughout the summer and the North Georgia Annual Conference was held in Athens, GA, June 7-9. Both The General Conference and The Jurisdictional Conference meet every 4 years and the Annual Conferences meet once each year. Please be in prayer for the Jurisdictional Conference in July. Bishop Watson will retire this year and a new Bishop will be elected for our North Georgia Conference. Bishop Watson will retire on September 1 and will assume the role of Ecumenical Officer of the Council of Bishops. He will be greatly missed but he is
“Bound for Greater Things”.
It was again, an honor to represent Crossroads UMC, where Every Member is a Minister, at the 2016 North Georgia Annual Conference. To read the complete report and watch videos of the week, visit the NGUMC.org website.
Lay Delegate to NGUMC Annual Conference
Crossroads United Methodist Church
Monday - Wednesday - Thursday
9:00AM - 2:00PM