Thursday, June 13, 2013

North GA Annual Conference 2013

We've just completed the three day North Georgia Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.  You can find details, including official daily summaries, here.  I enjoy the worship, the hallway conversations, & the displays and opportunities to learn more about all the ways to "do good."  After more than a decade of attending conference it's more like a family reunion for me than a mandatory meeting.

One of my favorite discussions this week was with Dr. Ted Runyon, and his wife Cindy, when they stopped by the Russian United Methodist table to learn how the seminary in Moscow was doing.  Runyon is Professor Emeritus of Systematic Theology at Candler School of Theology.  He taught a short term class in Moscow a number of years ago and was eager to hear the current status of the seminary and how the United Methodist Church was doing in Russia.  Dr. Sergei Nikolaev, President of the Moscow Theological Seminary of The United Methodist Church and E. Stanley Jones Professor of Evangelism, updated Dr. Runyon in that personal discussion, and renewed the conversation later Wednesday night during the seminar on the "Bridge" partnership.

This is one of my favorite photos of the last few days as the Runyons continue their Methodist Christian journey with enthusiasm.


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Watch out Athens!

The Annual Conference (AC) of the North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church will be meeting in Athens next week.  Y'all watch out for the traffic downtown and all the extra hungry folk in local restaurants!  We anticipate another incredible gathering with the typical mix of worship, business, and sense of a family reunion.  See Annual Conference to catch the story in the Athens Banner Herald.  You can also follow the AC on Twitter at #ngac13 or go to to follow the news or watch by livestream.

Friday, June 7, 2013

UMC Annual Conference Clergy Executive Sessions

I noticed a UMC clergy Facebook friend post that their executive session was about to begin.  She expects it to to 4 1/4 hours!  I know that it's an essential beginning to an Annual Conference meeting with a lot of business to work through, but that's twice as long as our North GA clergy session.  It made me wonder what "normal" might be in most annual conferences.  What conference are you in and how long does your session go?  Is there something in particular, in addition to Board of Ordained Ministry report and the necessary voting, that makes up your clergy session?

Thursday, June 6, 2013


It's Annual Conference season!  Look for more activity from me next week as we have the North Georgia UMC gathering in Athens.  We're hosting Methodist partners from across the globe, so you may notice more wide ranging photos and stories.  The Bridges will be an exciting element of conference as partners from Russia, Portugal, Philippines, El Salvador, Bahamas, and others.  Find more info about #ngac13 at North GA Annual Conference or watch Twitter or maybe you'll enjoy an online live streaming view if you can't attend.

Speaking of news, while sad that the United Methodist Reporter died I'm thankful that independent United Methodist news that is being resurrected.  Follow and encourage the efforts of Harrison, Voorhees, Richardson and others after you see the press release.