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The LaGrange Link

A monthly publication of
The LaGrange District of the United Methodist Church

Rev. Susan Landry

District Superintendent February 2019

Henry Ford said “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps
learning stays young.”

Even though I’m not twenty or eighty, I agree with Mr. Ford. Staying young and
alive and hopeful in my mind and spirit has value to me. Even if I can’t remain
young in body, I want to be a lifelong learner! Our District is offering you and
your congregation a great opportunity to learn, grow and stay young THIS
SUNDAY! Come to Cornerstone UMC February 10 at 3:00pm for:
*Your youth tonic
*Fun competitions that bring meaningful prizes
*Free materials, including books
*Meaningful, practical training in specific ministries.
Last but not least, you will have a chance to give toward a 3rd world country’s needs in ministry—our El
Salvador mission! Even if you can’t go, you can make a difference.
See more details about the training at the end of this newsletter.

Heads Up:
The Special Session of General Conference is meeting this month, February 23-26. Thank you for joining
us in prayer and conversation over the last few months, and for your continued prayer as we go forward
together. So that we might work best together, please save the date for our DISTRICT GATHERING TO
DEBRIEF on MARCH 24, 4-6pm. Our LaGrange District will combine with the Griffin and the Atlanta-
College Park Districts that day at Cascade UMC (3144 Cascade Road SW, Atlanta).

Until then, the North Ga Conference has adapted the following resources for us all:
"Your 2019 Special Session of the General Conference Communications Tool Kit" (Find it

Creative worship tools for this season can be found at

Once GC begins, there are a host of tools to help you stay current:
 The event will be streamed by UM Communications in its entirety beginning with the Day of
Prayer on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 9am and adjourning at 6:30pm on Tuesday, Feb. 26
 A Daily e-Newsletter during the GC. Be sure to subscribe on the conference website.
 We will continually update the webpage,
The LaGrange District Office extends a huge Thank
You to every church in the LaGrange District for
paying 100% of your 2018 District Work Fund!!

Thank you to the following churches who paid

100% of their 2018 Conference Apportionments:

Allen Lee, Andrews Chapel, Ayres Memorial, Bethel, Big Springs, Burks Chapel, Burns, Caney
Head, Carmel, Clark, Cokes Chapel, Corinth, Cornerstone, Ebenezer, Freeman Memorial,
Greenville, Haralson, Harmony (Franklin), Harmony (LaGrange), Hartford, Heard Wesley,
Hillcrest, Hogansville First, Hopewell (Tyrone), Hopewell (Whitesville), John Wesley, Jones Hill,
Keeney Memorial, Korean Church of LaGrange, Korean Church of Newnan, LaGrange First, Leete
Hill, Long Cane, Lovejoy, Luthersville, Manchester, Merrill Chapel, Midway, Moreland,
Mountville, Mt. Airy, Mt. Carmel, Mt. Gilead (Grantville), Mt. Gilead (Sharpsburg), Mt. Olive,
Mt. Zion, New Hope, Newnan Chapel, Newnan First, Odessadale, Pine Mountain, Pleasant
Grove, Powell Chapel, Providence, Raleigh, Roe’s Chapel, Roopville, Rust Chapel, Salem, Senoia,
Smith Chapel (Pine Mountain), Smith (Newnan), St. James (Hogansville), St. James
(Manchester), St. Mary St. Paul, Trinity on the Hill, Trinity (Durand), Turin, Union Chapel, Union
Springs, Warm Springs, Welcome, Wesley, West Point First, White Plains, Whitesville, Wilson
Chapel, and Woodbury.

The Conference Housing & Homeless Offering will be received on Sunday, February
24. Materials for the offering were distributed at the Minister’s Meeting on Jan. 14. If
your church did not receive your packet at that time, you may pick it up at the District
Office. A number of churches in our district have received grants from the Housing &
Homeless Council, so please give generously! 100% of the offerings go back into local

A big Thank You goes to Rev. Beverly Casstevens, District

Statistician, and her Statistician Team for all their work on End of
Year Reports. The team put in many hours assisting churches and
reviewing all of the reports. The team consisted of Rev. Michael
McFarlin, Rev. Maria Bowers, Rev. Angie Crummie, Rev. Deborah
Holloway, and Rev. Joe Harrington. When you see them, please
thank them for their work!
Congratulations to the following youth who were selected by the District Board of Laity to
represent the LaGrange District as Youth Delegates to Annual Conference in June:

Kayleigh Hammond – Turin UMC LaMarceo Brooks – Roe’s Chapel UMC

Christian Scott – Smith Chapel UMC Ahmaria Brooks – Roe’s Chapel UMC

Lay Servant Classes

offered in March

at Powell Chapel UMC

Saturdays, March 9 & 23 at Powell Chapel UMC (586 Old Atlanta Highway, Newnan)
9:00am – 3:30 pm
Registration deadline – February 26; Cost $40, includes lunch and materials

Basic Course – taught by Rev. Brenda Rhodes

Advanced Course, Discover Your Spiritual Gifts – taught by Rev. Yolanda Jones-Colton
Advanced Course, Life Together in The United Methodist Connection, (Polity) – taught by Rev.
Ralph Thompson

Register online on the Lay Servant page of the District Website (, using
the registration form in the brochure sent to all pastors and current lay servants, or through the
District Office.


The District Church Development Committee has set aside funds to
assist churches with the separation of cemeteries from the church.
Conference Chancellor and local Real Estate Attorney, Jim Thornton,
will be leading a workshop on this process at the district training on
Sunday. Grant forms will available on Sunday and from the district
office that will provide up to $1500 on a first come, first served basis
to churches who need financial assistance with this process.
The United Methodist Connectional Federal Credit Union Is Offering Scholarships To College
Bound Students

4 people between the ages of 17-35 will have the opportunity to win a $1000.00 scholarship within the
four conferences: Florida UMC Conference, Alabama – West Florida UMC Conference, North Georgia
UMC Conference, and South Georgia UMC Conference. Deadline to apply is April 30, 2019 and each
winner will be notified during the month of prior to each Annual Conference. The Winner of each
Conference will be announced at the Conference. For Eligibility and to Apply Online click
here UMCFCU2019COLLEGESCHOLARSHIP. A hard copy of the application can be downloaded from the
website,, or obtained at either the Georgia or Florida branch offices.

Other UM scholarship opportunities are available at,, the website for the Georgia UM
Commission on Higher Education & Campus Ministry.

Thursday, February 28, 2019 at 6:00 PM

to Sunday, March 3, 2019 at 3:30 PM

Campus Crawl is a bus tour designed to introduce 9th through 12th grade students to United
Methodist campus ministries featuring our Georgia United Methodist Colleges and
Universities. In one weekend, high school students will meet representatives from our United
Methodist Colleges and Universities in Georgia, as well as, meet several Wesley Foundations on
public university campuses.

Cost is $125 after January 15, 2019

For more information and to reserve a seat on the bus:
Dear North Georgia Conference,
Thank you for joining in a season of prayer as we approach the Special Session of General
Conference this month. As districts and churches have held conversations and information
sessions, some have asked for resources to share accurate information with your congregation
about this event.
The North Georgia Conference has adapted a resource "Your 2019 Special Session of the General
Conference Communications Tool Kit" for your use. (Find it
Many congregations are utilizing the "One With" Worship Resource developed to be used
February 3 through March 3 with a focus on our United Methodist Communion Liturgy. (Find it at
The conference has also created a special email address specifically for your questions about the
session. While we may not have answers to all of them, Bishop Sue will address questions by
video. To ask a question, email

Once General Conference begins, there are a host of tools to stay current.

 The event will be streamed by United Methodist Communications in its entirety --

beginning with the Day of Prayer on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 9 a.m. and adjourning at 6:30
p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 26.
 North Georgia Conference will send a Daily e-Newsletter during General Conference. Be
sure to subscribe.
 The North Georgia Conference will continually update the webpage
After General Conference, clergy and laity are invited to District Gatherings.
LaGrange, Griffin, and Atlanta-College Park Districts
March 24 | 4 to 6 pm
Cascade UMC
Thank you for the time you spent in preparation over the last year, from participating in Clergy
Days Apart, to your personal study and prayer, to taking part in meaningful conversations. Before
and after the Special General Conference, use that foundation to communicate a calm faith and
assurance that no matter what is decided by General Conference, God is calling and equipping
United Methodists to ministry in your community and beyond.

Educational Opportunities:
District Training Event, Sunday, February 10
All clergy and church leaders are reminded of the training event on Sunday, February 10 at
Cornerstone UMC, 3-5pm, where 9 workshops are being offered (See complete list at the end
of this newsletter). All churches in the district should be represented! Small Membership
Churches (less than 50 in worship) are encouraged to be represented at the workshop led by
Rev. Phil Schroeder where each small membership church will receive a free copy of Phil’s

Suicide Intervention Training – led by Chaplain LTC Kenneth Koon

Newnan First UMC, Tuesday, March 26, 2019, 9am to 3:30pm

In the past 10 years, suicide in 4 of the 5 counties in the LaGrange District have experienced
suicide rates higher than the national average by as much as 41%. Nearly 13,000 caring
individuals have participated in the Intervene Challenge featuring the Listen/Learn/Lead
curriculum. Participants will: Increase personal awareness, Identify risk factors & warning
signs; Discuss attitudes that help and hurt; and Gain the skills that save lives. The training is
open to all with a desire to turn the tide on suicide in our communities and offers .5 CEU’s to
those who request it. Cost for the event is just $12 for lunch. Register today at

Summer Youth Events at Lake Junaluska

Bring your youth group to Lake Junaluska this summer for worship, spiritual growth and
adventure in the mountains of Western North Carolina. Every event includes energized worship
with great speakers and bands, small groups, vespers and workshops. Youth also can choose to
participate in mission projects and recreational activities such as rafting, zip lining or swimming.
Find more information at
Youth Confirmation Retreats at Camp Glisson

The fall and spring Confirmation Retreats are designed for those young people who are learning
more about what it means to follow Christ and to make a profession of faith. Each retreat is different,
but each will be a weekend of learning through a variety of educational experiences and
presentations by leaders in the conference. Expect inspiring worship, some fun and games, and
times for the youth to reflect on their faith and their desire to follow Christ and join the United
Methodist Church. There will be large group experiences as well as small group times.

The Spring Retreat covers:

- Dynamic and interactive worship and sessions studying the Confirmation vows youth will be asked
to give (prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness)
- A session on our connectional church - the blessings of us being connected to each other, how we
are connected, why our diversity is important and necessary, and what makes your congregation
- Activities for your group to bond and connect as well as recognize the unique qualities and calling
of your congregation in the midst of our connection

The Confirmation Retreats are designed primarily for 6th-8th graders, but can include senior high if
they have not yet been confirmed. Some youth groups bring older youth as "student counselors" and
that's fine if you structure your church's confirmation experience that way.

Spring 2019 - March 8-10 (Click here to register now)

Register and pay by January 15th, 2019, to receive $15 off each person
Click here for required paperwork for groups attending any upcoming retreat

Especially for Pastors:

Kindling the Fire: Monday, March 18, 2019 to Wednesday, March 20, 2019, Camp Glisson

What Will You Do at the Retreat?

• Hear lectionary lessons read aloud by District Superintendents and church leaders as you take
notes and record your ideas
• Spend quiet time developing your themes, objectives, and images for each Sunday
• Identify potential preaching series within the lectionary
• Discuss themes, observations, and insights season-by-season for the months ahead
• Coordinate your preaching schedule with vacation plans and other personal calendar

What Will You Take Home?

• A plan for preaching August 2019 - Easter 2020
• A coordinated worship calendar with themes and texts that can be shared with worship leaders,
staff and key laity.

*New this year: Hands-on experience creating original altar-scapes and worship visuals to
enhance your congregation's engagement in worship.
Happy Birthday to the following ministers celebrating
birthdays in February:

2 - Melanie Reeves 15 – Kory Trinrud

3 - Alpheia Murray 19 – Joshua Daniel
8 - Bob Tobias 24 – Ashley Jenkins
9 - Shannon Karafanda

Feb. 9 – Crisis in Ministry Workshop #1, White Plains UMC, 8:30am-12:30pm

Feb. 10 – District Training Event, Cornerstone UMC, 3-5pm
Feb. 11 – Joint meeting of District Church Development Committee & District Trustees, District
Office, 6:00pm
Feb. 16-23 – District Mission Team in El Salvador
Feb. 18-20 – Cabinet Meeting
Feb. 21 – Youth Worker Luncheon, Red Robin – Newnan, 12 noon
Feb. 23 - Crisis in Ministry Workshop #2, White Plains UMC, 8:30am-12:30pm
Feb 23-26 – Special session of General Conference
Feb. 28-March 1 – Campus Crawl
March 9 & 23 – Lay Servant classes at Powell Chapel, registration deadline is Feb. 26

District Training Event

Sunday, February 10, 2019
Cornerstone UMC, Newnan
Time – 3:00-5:00
3:00 – Gathering of all with introductions, announcements, offering for El Salvador,
prayer for mission team leaving the following Saturday
3:45-5:00 – workshops

Workshops and leaders:

SPRC – Rev. Susan Landry, District Superintendent – Susan will review the make-up and the
duties and responsibilities of this important committee that is required in each local church. All
SPR Committee members are encouraged to attend, particularly new members beginning
service in 2019.

Finance – Mrs. Denise Wilson, District Administrative Assistant - Denise will discuss the duties
and responsibilities of the Finance Committee of the local church. Anyone serving on that
committee is invited to attend, particularly church treasurer, financial secretary and finance

Separating the Cemetery from the Local Church – Mr. Jim Thornton, Conference Chancellor &
Real Estate Attorney – All churches with cemeteries are encouraged to legally separate the
cemetery from the church, creating a cemetery association. Conference Chancellor, Jim
Thornton, will explain the purpose of this and go through the steps to accomplish this.

Church Council – Rev. Jairo Gay (Louise UMC) and Rev. Renee Clark (White Plains &UMC)–
Jairo and Renee will go over the make-up and the responsibilities of the Church Council, and
how this committee works effectively with other committees in the local church. They will also
share how to run an effective meeting, setting people up for success in ministry.

Ministering with Children Experiencing Trauma – Rev. Dave Allen Grady, Director of Church &
Community Relations, UM Children’s Home – Learn with UMCH staff as we explore how children living
with trauma respond differently and what pastor, staff, and laity can do to help so that they experience
the love of God within a faith community. Also presenting with Dave will be Rev. April McGlothin-Eller,
Denise Peacock and Ashley Blocker.

Care for the Elderly – Rev. John Evans and Rev. Sharon Edgar – John, district pastor and hospice
chaplain, will discuss practical applications for communicating with and caring for the individual with
Alzheimer’s disease. Sharon, Wesley Woods Chaplain, will speak on spirituality and aging, and offering
pastoral/spiritual care to seniors.

Scouting as Ministry – Rev. Scott Pickering, Cornerstone UMC - You are invited to explore the many
ways Scouting can become a vital ministry of your congregation. Besides learning more about the
recent membership changes in the Boy Scouts of America, you will learn about the various programs
available to help foster spiritual growth for the entire family. Information will be shared regarding a
week-long course at the Boy Scouts of America’s premier high adventure base Philmont Scout Ranch in

Fresh Expressions/Evangelism –Rev. Blake Trent, LaGrange First UMC Associate - Are you looking for a
way to connect with people outside the walls of your church? Looking to start something new in your
community? In this workshop, you will learn about the basics of Fresh Expressions and the process for
starting a Fresh Expression through your church. You’ll also learn about some of the successful Fresh
Expressions that have been started in recent years.

Small Church Checkup: Assessing Your Church's Health and Creating a Treatment Plan – Rev. Phil
Schroeder, Conference Director, Center of Congregational Excellence- Many small churches today are
faced with the sobering reality of attendance loss and overall decline. This workshop will provide a
guide to help you find hope, alternatives, and the possibility of a new beginning. Learn how to measure
a small church's vitality, evaluate results, diagnose the church's condition, and view multiple options for
treatment plans.