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2007 North Georgia Annual Conference

June 11-15, 2007, Athens, Ga.

North Georgia Conference United Methodists met at the Athens Classic Center under the theme "We are Called to Walk Humbly With God." This marked the third year the conference has focused on the words of Micah 6:8, "What does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?"

In an effort to answer that call, conference delegates continued the tradition of holding a Great Day of Service and, on June 13, went into Athens to paint, do yard work, visit nursing home residents and pray. They held a Red Cross blood drive, wrote letters to soldiers and assembled hygiene and school kits for the United Methodist Committee on Relief. New was a 5K run/walk road race open to conference delegates and guests as well as the Athens community to raise money for the Nothing But Nets anti-malaria campaign.

Bishop Larry M. Goodpaster of the Alabama-West Florida Conference was guest speaker and led moving worship services including the service of ordination and commissioning and the celebration of mission.

The conference commissioned 32 probationary members, ordained two full connection deacons, ordained 21 full connection elders and recognized 23 retiring clergy members.

The North Georgia Conference Board of Church Development reported that four new churches were chartered this year and introduced 16 church planters who are in the process of starting new churches. Among the starts is a Korean Mission. There are 22 ministries with Latinos in the conference and 1,761 Hispanic/Latino members. A resolution was passed to recommend the continuation of the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministry.

Four resolutions were passed by the conference for submission to the 2008 General Conference. They included a call for recodification of the Discipline, an amendment to the Constitution calling for fairness in representation, an amendment giving the General Conference the right to define membership of the annual conference, and a resolution to correct misinterpretation of legislation on fair representation in general boards and agencies. Delegates also passed a resolution calling for immigration reform.

The Task Force to Study the Episcopal Residence recommends that the residence be moved to a location near the United Methodist Center at Simpsonwood Conference and Retreat Center in Norcross.

The conference approved the recommendation of a task force appointed to study the districts. It calls for keeping the current 12 districts but looking into realigning those districts. The conference approved the formation of a committee to work with the South Georgia Annual Conference to study the shared conference lines.

North Georgia Conference lay leader Lyn Powell of Conyers will lead the North Georgia delegation to General Conference in 2008. Other lay delegates elected to General Conference are: Joe Whittemore of Hartwell; Jane Finley of Kennesaw; Hank Huckabee of Athens; Joel Mooneyhan of Lawrenceville; Marget Sikes of Tunnel Hill; Joe Kilpatrick of Tucker; Mathew Pinson of Ringgold; Matthew Everhart of McDonough; Marjorie Kimbrough of Atlanta; Dianne Spencer of Decatur; Richard Williamson of Gainesville; Jeff Jernigan of Powder Springs; and Tom Jackson of Watkinsville.

Clergy delegates elected to General Conference are: Ed Tomlinson of Norcross; Jonathan Holston of Atlanta; Wiley Stephens of Dunwoody; James Cantrell of Stone Mountain; John Simmons of Athens; Jane Brooks of Rome; David Jones of Atlanta; Jamie Jenkins of Norcross; Richard Winn of Atlanta; Nora Martinez of Decatur; Steve Wood of Sugar Hill; Richard Hunter of Snellville; Alice Rogers of Atlanta; and Chuck Savage of Roswell.

Lay delegates elected to Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference are: Tonya Murphy, of Covington; Gary Fuller of Dunwoody; Harvey Johnson of Augusta; Ida Jones of LaGrange; Debbie Stikes of Griffin; Yooeui Sohn of Suwanee; Leon Jourolmon III of Athens; Tom Cook of Tucker; Dianne Traynham of Jasper; Jasper Russell Sr. of Decatur; Charles Miller of Dalton; Karen Vaughn of Alpharetta; Janet Sligar of Norcross; and Sue Raymond of Loganville.

Clergy delegates elected to the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference are: Bridgette Young of Atlanta; Bill Britt of Athens; Diane Parrish of Marietta; Joy Melton of Atlanta; Mike Cavin of Dalton; Clay Jacobs of Griffin; Renita Thomas of Norcross; Dee Shelnutt Jr. of Duluth; David Naglee of Decatur; Michael Harvey Long of Roswell; Leon Matthews Jr. of Atlanta; Sondra Jones of Atlanta; Jacqui Rose Tucker of Rome; and E. Parks Davis of Norcross.

Lay reserve delegates are: Sylvia Moore of Milledgeville; Evelyn Wells of Pendergrass; Betty Whitten of Athens; Catherine White of Ellenwood; and Al Rowe of Buford.

Clergy reserve delegates are: Byron Thomas of Atlanta; Jimmy Moor of Atlanta; Sharma Lewis of Marietta; Mary Gene Lee of Decatur; and Jimmy Ellison of Fayetteville.

The North Georgia Conference paid $22,079,098 in apportionments in 2006. Payments to Conference and General Advances and to special offerings totaled $1,932,369.

Membership stands at 346,430, up 4,385 from the previous year. Worship attendance stands at 136,148, up 2,407. Church school attendance stands at 113,595, down 1,669.

-Sybil Davidson