Welcome to the second edition of "The Advocacy Connection," a quarterly newsletter created to communicate Advocacy information for awareness, knowledge, and call to action. We are hopeful that it will serve as a connection within and beyond our communities as a tool to make a difference through prayer, our voices, financial giving, and call to action as you are led.
Purpose and Mission
The Newsletter includes the South Georgia Conference Advocacy Discipleship Team, and the UMC General Agencies focuses, to include the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR), General Commission on the Role of Status of Women (GCRSW), and the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS). The first publication was inclusive of the Conference and the Agencies’ missions and websites that include communications such featured stories, articles, blogs, events, our Social Principles, and other relevant information. The following publications include only featured information.
Who Are We?
The Advocacy team is a Discipleship Team of the South Georgia Conference, Office of Connectional Ministries. The Advocacy Team, Multiculturalism and Undocumented Neighbors Taskforce members have a broad knowledge and experience through individual and Conference and global connections strengthened by our interactions, training, hands-on, and other opportunities that have provided awareness, education and resources in response to those in need and according to our Social principles.
Meet the South Georgia Conference Advocacy Discipleship Team with their Quadrennial focuses:
- Denise Rooks, Chair, Focus: Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships.
- Rev. David Diaz, Focus: Immigration.
- Christy Odom, Focus: Persons with disabilities.
- Rev. Ashley Randall, Focus: Extreme poverty worldwide.
- Rev. Earnestine Campbell, Staff person related to the Advocacy Team, Focus: Supports the Advocacy team ministries, passionate about engaging in advocacy issues, awareness, and call to action.
See below and www.sgaumc.com/advocacy for complete Ministry focuses.
The Advocacy Team gives coordinated effort to help the annual conference, districts and local churches reflect the best of Christian community as we value awareness, respect, trust, equality, and acceptance of our diversity. This team oversees ministries related to:
- Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns
- Church and Society
- Ethnic Local Church Concerns
- Multiculturalism Luncheon Event, Feb. 8, Register at www.sgaumc.com/advocacy
- Native American Ministries
- Persons with Disabilities
- Prison Ministry
- Religion and Race
- Sexual Ethics
- Sexual and Gender Issues
- Special Sunday Givings
- Status of Role of Women, www.gcsrw.org
Featured Articles and Events
Multicultural Luncheon Workshop
February 8, 2020, 12 – 2 PM
St. Peter UMC, Columbus, GA
The Fourth Annual Multicultural Luncheon Workshop is set for Feb. 8, meeting under the theme “Alive Together In Witness." Come out, celebrate, and engage in our diversity as the body of Christ. Wear your native heritage attire. You are invited to join the Multicultural Luncheon Choir. Contact Janel Kassa (email@example.com or call 315-212-7414) to participate.
The Workshop Presenter is Rev. Dr. Ken Walden, President and Dean of Gammon Theological Seminary, Atlanta. Dr. Walden will present from his book, "Practical Theology for Church Diversity, A Guide for Clergy and Congregations." The book teaches on cross-racial pastoral ministry and multicultural ministry endeavors and how sacred spaces within Christian churches can have a meaningful witness through diversity in their particular locations. While skillfully informing, gently challenging, and respectfully questioning some widespread components of church life along demographic lines, it focuses on pragmatic approaches to cross-cultural pastoral ministry and multicultural ministry for readers to utilize.
There is a small cost of $6 for lunch. To register, go to www.sgaumc.com/advocacy and click on to “Multiculturalism Luncheon Annual Event,” For more information and to register, contact Earnestine Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Multicultural Luncheon Workshop is presented by Connectional Ministries/Advocacy/Multicultural Ministries.
Multiculturalism Taskforce provides new videos
At the 2017 Annual Conference session, the South Georgia Conference approved the Multiculturalism task force the resolution, a statement that represents the position of the conference on a subject. The approved resolution asked that the bishop appoint a diverse task force to consider the implications of multiculturalism education.
Over the past couple of years, the task force worked to help churches address issues of diversity with the church and with society. At the 2019 Annual Conference Session, the task force presented to the Annual Conference with a resource guide on Multiculturalism and as well as videos to accompany it and plans for future videos. (View presentation) Read more.
See links below for videos:
Telling Your Advocacy Story
Annual Conference, June 2020
Annual Conference is set for June 7 – 9, 2020 at the Columbus Trade Center in Columbus, GA. The Advocacy Team wants to highlight your Advocacy story at the Advocacy Display Table. If you have pictures of your church advocacy works throughout the year, send them with a brief description that tells the story no later than April 15 or for more information to email@example.com.
Black History Month
February is Black History Month, the annual observance of the history of the African diaspora. It has been observed in the month of February in the United States and Canada since 1976. It was begun as Negro History Week by historian Carter G. Woodson in 1926 with the goal of educating the American people about African American history. It concentrates on the cultural backgrounds and achievements of African Americans. To celebrate Black History Month, Discipleship Ministries staff have offered a piece of African American history, culture or biography related to church music or worship practice and history each weekday during February. For resources, go to https://www.umcdiscipleship.org/resources/additional-resources-for-black-history-month.
For other information and resources go to:
SBC21 Highlight Moments
SBC21 Annual Leadership & Development Conference
October 5, 2019
Congregations participating in the Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century (SBC21) initiative, a leadership and church development partnership between the national SBC21 and the South Georgia Conference, gathered for the third annual SBC21 Leadership and Development Conference Saturday, October 5 at Pine Forest United Methodist Church in Dublin. The conference focused on the following laboratories: Fresh Visioning, Reaching the Millennial, and Christian Education. Connectional Ministries is seeking new churches to be a part of this partnership – contact Rev. Earnestine Campbell, Associate Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SBC21 Highlight Moment: ML Harris UMC
ML Harris United Methodist Church is a growing and striving church in the 21st Century!
One of South Georgia’s SBC21 (Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century) partnered churches, it celebrates accomplishing one of its SBC21 SMART goals, the creation of its Technology Ministry.
Under the leadership of Rev. Donald Mathis and the core leadership team, the church has installed screens in the sanctuary and are experiencing the unifying engagement that they bring to the worship experience. They are also in the process of developing a church website, which will help promote and celebrate the church’s ministry, vision, and mission for the church and community.
The ML Harris UMC congregation is excited about their many accomplishments and continues to strive to achieve their SBC21 goals and ministry as they fulfill the Great Commission to make disciples of all of the nations (Matthew 28:18-20).
SBC21 Highlight Moment: South Columbus UMC
South Columbus continues to work on completing their SBC21 goals. One of their goals is to establish a Children’s Ministry Zone (CMZ), a designated worship space for children ages 10 to 13. The area was previously used as a fellowship hall, but after a major flood in the basement, the space was reimagined as the CMZ. After prayer, donations from members, and a grant from the Northwest District Committee on Missions, the CMZ was completed. Rev. Reggie Williams says that after accomplishing this SMART goal the participation from the children’s ministry increased and there was great enthusiasm.
The church has also launched another ministry, the “Tweens,” which serves youth ages 12 to 17.
The congregation’s other SMART goals are to grow average attendance by 10 percent, increase membership by adding 20 new members, and to continue to prioritize apportionment giving by more than ten percent of the budget to The United Methodist Church at large.
Rev. Williams says the congregation has greatly benefitted from the SBC21 coaching component.
Native American Ministry
Partner with Connectional Ministries, Advocacy Team to serve Native American ministry December 10, 2019
Mary Ella and Rev. Charles “Buddy” Whatley drive across South Georgia every year, collecting warm blankets, coats, and Christmas shoeboxes for children living near the Navajo churches in which they serve on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona. The Whatleys partner with several churches throughout the South Georgia Conference to accomplish this mission of giving during this season. You are invited to join in this ministry and share with our Native American brothers and sisters on the Navajo Reservation. Ways to serve in the December Mission: Fill a Christmas shoebox (see Samaritan Purse list) to share with the Navajo Reservation, Arizona. Purchase a $25 gift card to help with essentials. Purchase warm blankets and jackets, book bags, and school supplies. A later opportunity to serve: Upcoming 2020 mission trip (more information to come). If you know of Native American persons or congregants we could partner with in mission in the South Georgia Conference, email email@example.com. For more information about the Navajo Reservation Arizona ministry, contact Buddy Whatley (firstname.lastname@example.org or 229-516-2406) or email@example.com.
Respite Care Ministry is needed across SGA
St. Luke UMC's Respite Care Ministry Celebrates 20 years
Front row, left to right: program assistant Geraldine King, senior pastor Rev. Robert Beckum; assistant director of Connectional Ministries Rev. Earnestine Campbell, program director Kathryn Fussell, former program director Diane Hett, former program assistant Mary Bass, former program assistant Mary Williams, and former senior pastor Dr.Hal Brady. Second row, left to right: first program director Alexis Williams and former director Carol Boers. Third row: current program assistant Norma Butler.
On Thursday, Dec. 19, St. Luke United Methodist Church in Columbus celebrated its 20th anniversary of ministering to and serving its community by providing caregiver relief for families caring for loved ones with dementia. Recognition was paid to all former and current staff of the Respite Care Ministry.
For information about churches in the SGA Conference providing Respite Care Ministry or training, contact Rev. Earnestine Campbell, firstname.lastname@example.org, Associate Director, Connectional Ministries, Advocacy/Multicultural Ministries.
Scholarships for the "Join the Journey" Confirmation Retreat
We are pleased to offer the ELCC scholarship for local ethnic churches for the 2020 "Join the Journey" Confirmation Retreat (Feb. 28 - Mar. 1) designed for your youth, fifth grade, and beyond. The Confirmation Retreat is a great opportunity for these young people to learn more about the Spiritual Journey of Christianity as United Methodists. Registration fills up quickly, and scholarships are limited, so we encourage you to register your youth as soon as possible and to raise funds to help offset the cost. Submit your scholarship requests to email@example.com by Feb. 21. The amount awarded is by need and availability of funds.
Other Scholarship opportunities upcoming throughout the year for local church ministry (special outreach/community ministry), camps and retreats, clergy training, social justice, and other events and programs.
The General Board of Church and Society is dedicated to the work of living faith, seeking justice, and pursuing peace. The board is called to seek the implementation of the Social Principles and other policy statements of the General Conference on Christian social concerns.
In the 50 years since the Social Principles’ adoption, the world has changed a lot, but the need for the church’s statement of social principles is as urgent as ever. The 2020 revised Social Principles conserves this tradition, producing a resource for mission and ministry the entire church can use.
A United Methodist Experience of Revision
Eight years ago, the General Conference called Church and Society to lead a revision of the Social Principles in order to live more fully into our identity as a global church. The new document was created with feedback from thousands of United Methodists across Africa, the Philippines, the U.S. and Eurasia. --Susan Henry-Crowe
“The Social Principles are not church law. Instead, they represent the prayerful and earnest efforts of the General Conference to speak to issues in the contemporary world from a sound biblical and theological foundation that is in keeping with the best of our United Methodist traditions.” – Preface, the Social Principles.
For more information, go to: https://www.umcsocialprinciples2020.org/
Print copy: https://www.umcsocialprinciples2020.org/translations?emci=7fdae721-cb28-ea11-a601-2818784d6d68&emdi=68a7f49b-303d-ea11-a1cc-2818784d084f&ceid=2737075
Ethnic Young Adult internship
Church and Society is in the process of recruiting young justice seekers for summer’s Ethnic Young Adult internship cohort! I wanted to share this opportunity with you so that you can spread the word and encourage some you may know to apply.
The Ethnic Young Adult Internship (EYA) program is designed for young justice-seekers willing to unpack their faith and identity.
EYAs are placed with partner organizations working to address social injustices. Placement partners include: The National Disabilities Rights Network, The Children’s Defense Fund, Creation Justice Ministries, Church World Service, Interfaith Power and Light, Democracy Initiative, National Religious Partnership for the Environment, Results, and the NAACP. Interns serve at these placement sites four days a week. Applications can be completed here:
We will receive the bulk of our applications by March 1st, 2020.
Background Checks, https://www.umcjustice.org/what-you-can-do/advocacy/take-action/universal-background-checks
Worker Justice, https://www.umcjustice.org/what-we-care-about/economic-justice/worker-justice
General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR)
As a result of GCORR’s work, the Church at all levels, all around the world, reflects and values the diversity of God’s creation.
General Commission on the
Status and Role of Women
Raising awareness, preventing sexual abuse, promoting healthy boundaries, bringing about justice and healing
Why Am I Receiving This Newsletter?
You are receiving the newsletter because you signed up to receive it or you are a part of the Advocacy Team or a Taskforce of the Advocacy ministry. If you no longer want to receive the newsletter, you can unsubscribe by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter. However, we hope that it will be informative, and you will want to remain connectional through this newsletter.
We hope The Advocacy Connection newsletter continues to provide informative news about the South Georgia Conference Advocacy Ministry and the UMC General/Global Interactive Agencies. Stay tuned for the next quarterly newsletter in April and thanks for being an Advocacy Connection Newsletter subscriber. We appreciate your feedback