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Commentary 2 Sunday School Lesson 3 Around the Conference 4-5 Obituaries 6 Ministry Connection and Classifieds 7 January 21, 2009

Vol. 62 / Issue 8

What would you say to President Obama? By Kathy L. Gilbert United Methodist News Service

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f given 15 minutes to speak with the first African-American U.S. president, many United Methodists would spend part of the time with their heads bowed in prayer. Then they would like a word with him about poverty, terrorism, the economy, racism, torture, climate change, abortion, im-

migration and genocide — just to mention a few issues on the hearts and minds of United Methodists. “If I could have 15 minutes with President-elect Obama, I think I would first ask if we could pray together and would pledge to him I would be in daily prayer for him and his Cabinet,” said Margie Briggs, United Methodist certified lay minister at Calhoun and

Drake’s Chapel United Methodist churches in Missouri. “I would ask him to share with me his plan of action for the poor, especially children living in poverty, so all might be covered by health care and have the chance to rise above Waite poverty by earning a living wage. And then I would ask how I could help.” The Rev. Douglas Waite, a U.S. Navy chaplain and captain stationed in Hawaii, would try to be a pastor to him and encourage him to keep up regular devotions and to worship with his family as often as possible.

Giving sets record, but budget short

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Catfish dinner “Captain Catfish,” the official mascot of U.S. farm-raised catfish, welcomes to a special dinner (from left) Turner Arant of Sunflower, Bishop G. Lindsey Davis of the Kentucky Annual Conference, Bishop James R. King Jr. of the South Georgia Conference, Bishop Robert H. Spain (retired), Bishop Hope Morgan Ward of the Mississippi Conference, Bishop James E. Swanson Sr. of the Holston Conference, Bishop Timothy W. Whitaker of the Florida Conference, Bishop Richard J. Wills Jr. of the Tennessee Conference, Bishop Charlene P. Kammerer of the Virginia Conference, Bishop Paul L. Leeland of the Alabama-West Florida Conference; Bishop Clay F. Lee Jr. (retired) and Bishop Larry M. Goodpaster of the Western North Carolina Conference.

By the Advocate

Mississippi United Methodists set a record for giving in 2008. Church members gave $16,960,883 toward apportionments, or fair-share askings, said Mississippi Conference Treasurer David Stotts. That total represents a $1,360,397 increase over the amount given in 2007. Stotts said it’s the most ever given to the Mississippi Conference. The total represents 82.08 percent of the $20,664,572 budget for 2008. The percentage of the budget given is a 1.77 percent decrease from the 83.85 percent given in 2007. Meanwhile, the conference Council on Finance and Administration followed the recommendation of one of its subcommittees and voted to freeze conference salaries. Stotts said the figures are even more impressive when considering the state of the U.S. economy. “We are so blessed in the Mississippi Conference,” Stotts said. “Preliminary reports from across the denomination show that for every conference that increased their receipts, three had a decrease. Most decreases were much larger than the 1.77 percent experienced in Mississippi. Most of their budgets did not increase as much as the Mississippi Conference. That is why I say we are so blessed.”

“Concerning important issues, I could think of nothing more important than keeping us safe from attacks of terrorism from our enemies,” Waite said. Keep your promises After pastoral words of encouragement, Obama Bishop Robert T. Hoshibata, of the church’s Portland (Ore.) Area, would tell Obama: “Do not disappoint us! “I ask that you hold to the commitments you made to us: for a government that hon-

Senior Services purchases coast land Special to the Advocate

Senior adults will once again have the opportunity to retire to the Mississippi Gulf Coast in an innovative, church-related community. Methodist Senior Services has purchased 20 acres in Harrison County with plans to construct a new Seashore Retirement Community. The property is located north of I-10 on new Mississippi 605 and is adjacent to the First Baptist Church of Gulfport and the Gulfport Highlands development. The retirement community will consist of apartment homes and cottage homes, as well as Green House® homes licensed as assisted living. The former Seashore Retirement Community, located on Beach Boulevard in Biloxi facing the Gulf of Mexico, was heavily

damaged by Hurricane Katrina. MSS has been working since 2006 to acquire land in a desirable location for its latest retirement living project. At the time of the storm, Seashore was home to 189 residents. With plans still being made, no capacity for the new facility has been set. “This property is centrally located and offers easy access to shopping, health care, major highways and all the amenities of the Gulf Coast,” said Steve McAlilly, president and CEO of Methodist Senior Services. “Katrina may have knocked us down, but she

General Church: The centerpieces for ministry in The United Methodist Church over the next four years are: • Developing principled leaders for the church and the world • Creating new places for new people by starting congregations and renewing existing ones • Engaging in ministry with the poor • Stamping out killer diseases by improving health globally

didn’t knock us out. We are as committed as ever to fulfill our mission of serving older adults in the spirit of Christian love. We are excited about building a new community that will help make Mississippi the best place in the country to grow old.” MSS began the search process after meeting with area focus groups to determine what the campus should look like and what amenities should be available to its residents. Alan Brown, chief operating officer for MSS, indicated that the first phase of construction will likely include apartment homes as an affordable option for residents, as well as cottage homes for those who want even more space. Both will include maintenance See facility, page 

Mississippi Conference: The ministry focus of the Mississippi Annual Conference is to make disciples of Jesus Christ by connecting to More People, More Younger People and More Diverse People (MP3).




Mississippi United Methodist Advocate/Jan. 21, 2009

Commentary Seeking kingdom of God puts things of world in their place

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hile reading my Bible at this early morning hour and anticipating a golf game which may have to be set aside, my spirit is being made aware of the urgency of Jesus’ words in Luke 10:9, “The kingdom of God has come near you.” John the Baptist began the first New Testament sermon with these words: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew and Mark have Jesus beginning his ministry proclaiming the Kingdom of God. The scribe who asked Jesus “which commandment is first of all” and wisely answered his own question, was told by Jesus, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” Jesus often spoke of the nearness of the kingdom of God. He even said to the Pharisees, “For behold, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you.” (Luke 17:21) When Jesus told the disciples to shake off the dust of their feet against the towns who would not receive

them, he said “nevertheless, know this, that the kingdom of God has come near you.” (Luke 10:9) Then he warns, “I tell you, it shall be more tolerable on that day for Sodom than for that town.” (Luke 10:12) Another similar warning follows for Chorazin Bethsaida and Capernaum. (Luke 10:13-15) Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount, “seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness...” (Matt. 6:32) He said to one man “follow me.” The man answered, “Lord, let me go and bury my father.” Jesus said, “Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:59) Another said, “Lord, I will follow you, but let me first say goodbye to my family.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom.” Jesus is making very clear the urgency of hearing and receiving the gospel and the absolute firstness of the kingdom of God, even when honorable family duties call. (Luke 9:61, 62) We have neglected to teach and preach

Gleanings Bishop Hope Morgan Ward

Here we are! n “Here I am!” — I Samuel 3:4

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Mississippi United Methodist Advocate (USPS 354-360) 321 Mississippi Street / P.O. Box 1093 / Jackson, MS 39215-1093 / Telephone: 601-354-0515 Published twice a month, 24 times a year, on the first and third Wednesday of each month, by the Mississippi Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church, 321 Mississippi Street, Jackson, MS. Periodicals postage paid at Jackson, MS and additional mailing offices. ■ Woody Woodrick, ■

Editor Cindy W. Clark, Layout

Postmaster: Send address changes to The Mississippi United Methodist Advocate, P.O. Box 1093, Jackson, MS 39215-1093

Advocate Columnist this absolute firstness of the kingdom of God, and we have failed to live it. The pulpits of this nation have catered to the culture of our audiences. We have allowed our churches to become places of consolation for those who give a fraction of a tithe and live life as they please. Our culture of waste and buy more has overcome our gospel of the ownership of God and the stewardship of life. The commercial world around us offers delayed easy payments for stuff we do not need. People are paid much to draw our attention to products that result in diminished health and lifetime addictions. Our children are absorbing the scenes of sex, violence, profanity and promises of happi-

ness from things. Our technology has brought us many opportunities but far more temptations. It is never any better than the people who program it. Many, if not most, TV programs are now rated TV14, which means that it is unsuitable for any age. A 14th birthday does not prepare a human being to be exposed to such trash; nor does a 21st birthday. Crimes of lust and violence have no age barriers nor do temptations. To really seek first the kingdom of God would put all of these things in their place, and many of them would have no place. It is not enough for the Kingdom of God to come near us. It must be embraced, internalized and proclaimed. That is the assignment of every Christian and every church. We could then pray the Lord’s prayer ... “thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” n Martin is a retired elder in the Mississippi Conference who lives in Grenada.

Letters to the Editor

Israel’s action in Gaza doesn’t reflect God Editor, In Israel we are reminded again of the uncivilized barbarity of war. Jesus counseled us not to live by the old custom of an eye for an eye, etc. but to “love your enemies, do good to those that hate you,” etc. Ancient Arab people lived by a similar custom called vendetta. If a member of one tribe killed a member of another tribe the law demanded that the murderer be killed (if he could be found) but if he could not be found, one ( only one) member of the offending tribe must be killed. The ancient Hebrews and Arabs considered this to be fair and just. In modem warfare humanity has slid very far back below this stage of evolution and civilized society. Since the present offensive on Gaza, Israel (with our weapons) has slaughtered 714 (hundreds of those innocent and helpless children) of the offending tribe with the loss of 13 of their own (four of those from “friendly fire.”) What does this say about these “chil-

dren of God” and what does it say about their God? What does it say about us who are accessory to such inhuman action and what does it say about our God?

C.E. Swain Carthage

Editor, The general rules of the United Methodist Church mandate that all conferences support the World Service fund, which include the (general) boards and agencies. There seems to be no wiggle room here. Among the boards and agencies which are funded through World Services are the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS), and the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM). For many United Methodists, this creates a very real problem. Currently the GBCS and the GBGM are engaged in an all-out propaganda war which favor many far-left, humanistic causes. But the most troubling of all is their open assault on the sovereignty of the nation of Israel. Since they don’t seem to believe

God’s word, they don’t understand the fulfillment of prophecy that has taken place in Israel since the end of World War II. Like the religious leaders of old who sought to oppose the spiritual kingdom of Christ’s first coming, they seem to oppose the literal material kingdom that Christ will establish upon his second coming. They do this by offering their own non-Biblical idea of God’s “plan” for the church and the world. The economic crunch, along with decreased membership, has hit our churches hard. Small churches such as mine struggle to pay our utilities and property insurance, and are currently taking up bimonthly special offerings to pay their fair share. Yet each year our conference sends a million and a half dollars of our money to World Services. True Bible-believing Methodists currently stand in the valley of decision. May God grant us wisdom to do what is right.

Robert Robbins Stonewall

Morrison explores ‘unfathomable puzzle’ Recommendation: A Mercy by Toni Morrison “To be given dominion over another is a hard thing; to wrest dominion over another is a wrong thing; to give dominion of yourself to another is a wicked thing. . .”

Comments: Toni Morrison continues to help us feel the sorrows and horrors of enslavement as she offers a beautifully written narrative of a four women who are bound across time and shared experience on a plantation owned by Jacob, a gentle man with a heart for children of any race, who sees each of them “as a human child.” Florens is a child wearing fancy shoes of the senora as she first appears in the narrative. Lina is Native American survivor of the destruction of her family and community. Sorrow is named for the desperate circumstances of her early years. Rebecca

is the wife of Jacob who finds community with Florens, Lina and Sorrow. The human condition is indeed, as the women observe: “an unfathomable puzzle. Europes could calmly cut mothers down, blast old men in the face with muskets louder than moose calls, but were enraged if a non-Europe looked a Europe in the eye. On the one hand they would torch your home; on the other they would feed, nurse and bless you. Best to judge them one at a time, proof being that one, at least, could become your friend. . .” Some moments in our lives are miracles, others are mercies.

■ Cokesbury Bookstore in Ridgeland offers a 25 percent discount on the monthly Bishop’s Bookshelf selections. This is a limited-time offer.

Bishop’s Bookshelf

hank you for your strong response in support of conference apportionments in 2008! We have finished the year in remarkable fashion, in light of the fiscal realities across our state and nation. The 2008 apportionments have been supported at 82.08 percent, 1.77 percent less than 2007. In dollars, we raised $16,960,883, which is $1,360,397 more than in 2007. Generosity continues to increase across our conference, defying the fear and uncertainty abroad in recent months. As we go forward, we continue to trust in God’s great generosity and to offer ourselves in amazing ways in Christ’s mission in the world. Thank you for your sacrificial leadership and generosity. It is making a difference across Mississippi and around the world. We have heard God calling, and we have responded in faithfulness. Thanks be to God!

Rev. Glenn Martin

Suggested Reading from Bishop Hope Morgan Ward




Mississippi United Methodist Advocate/Jan. 21, 2009

Sunday School Lesson

Consequences should not deter commitment By Charles Westbrook

Feb. 1 A Sunammite Woman Helps Purpose: To consider making commitments without thought of personal gain.

Bible Lesson: 2 Kings 4:8-17 Key Verse: “She said to her husband, ‘Look, I have sure this man who regularly passes our way is a holy man of God. Let us make a small roof chamber with walls, and put there for him a bed, a table, a chair and a lamp so that he can stay there whenever he comes to us.” — 2 Kings 4:9-10 Our lesson begins with a woman lived in a small village called Shunem. She lived with her husband who was old and couldn’t get around. Traveling through the village, Elisha would walk by her house and smell the food she was cooking. She was interested in knowing who Elisha was and where he was from. Each morning as he passed through, she would offer him some food and usually he would eat a meal with her and discuss each other’s family and have a good visit. She suggested to her husband that Elisha was a man of God. The women suggested that he was he was sent by God. The woman told her husband that they should make Elisha a place to stay each time he came through Shunem. This would be a place for him to get a meal and a place to stay. When he came through Shunem again, they showed Elisha what they had done, and he appreciated it. Each time he came to the village, he stayed with them The couple was pleased with how appreciative he was for what they had done for him. The couple enjoyed having him come and talk with him. Elisha always made is a point to express his heart felt thanks for what they had done for him. On one of his visits, he said he wanted to do something for them, but didn’t know what to do. Elisha didn’t know who was happier him or them. This was his witness to them, and knowing that, he would always think of them. He continued asking the couple how he might repay them, but the woman said they had all they needed. Eventually, Elisha found

the couple couldn’t have children. Elisha looked at the man and said by his next visit she would be holding a baby in her arms. Soon she was with child and was happy about it. The woman and her husband started praising God for this blessing. Does God send people to help people? I believe he sends help takes care of all of His children. I also feel that he when he sends help, we must follow his ways. We need to put our lives in his hands where we can be safe. We need to take time with him every day. We need to learn to trust him and follow him. We might not see what God puts in our lives, but if we follow and obey, he will take make us men and women of God. Could God have sent Elisha to minister and witness in this world? Are you willing to go out and tell others about Jesus Christ? Are you willing to let God use you as a witness?

Feb. 8 Nathan Challenges David Purpose: To learn to take action to speak truth to those in power.

Bible Lesson: 2 Samuel 12:1-7, 13-15 Key Verse: “But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord, and then Lord sent Nathan to David.” — 2 Samuel 11:27-12:1 Nathan told David a story about two men; one rich, one poor. The rich man had many sheep and cattle, but the poor man had one lamb. He and his children had raised the lamb from the time it was born. The lamb was raised to eat out of his plate and drank from the same cup from which the poor man drank. A traveler came to visit the rich man, and they prepared for fellowship and food. Instead of killing one of the rich man’s flock and roasting it, they went to the poor man and got his lamb to roast. This story disturbed and angered David, he vowed that he would get the poor man four small lambs to raise. David was so angry that he said the rich man deserved to die. Then Nathan said, “You are the rich man.” This is how Nathan met King David for the first time. David told Nathan that he had

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Called to Teach? Would you like to take part in the Advocate’s Sunday school lessons? Laity and clergy who would be interested writing lessons for 2009 are encourage to call 601-354-0515 ext. 16 or 866-647-7486 or e-mail advocate@mississippi-umc.org..

sinned against the Lord. Nathan told David that his sin had been put aside, but that his child would die. Months must have passed since the time David had displeased the Lord. But God was about to get into the problem. Nathan was serving as a court prophet who was to advise the king. David served as God’s messenger, and he was held accountable for what was being done. Nathan’s parable sets up a contrast between the one who had all he wanted for himself and the one who didn’t have anything. The poor man affection for his little lamb. David understood because he had kept sheep and baby lambs in his father’s flock. Perhaps David had knowledge of what it took to be a shepherd. Similarly, the callousness and selfishness of the rich man was manifest in all his actions. The parable had the impact that Nathan intended. The story tells us about how to invoke the kings sympathy and anger. David was infuriated because the rich man took advantage of the poor man.

Feb. 15 Esther Risks Her Life Purpose: To consider the implications of making commitments without respect to potential personal harm.

Bible Lesson: Esther 4:1-3, 9-17 Key Verse: “‘Go, gather all the Jews to be found in Susa, and hold fast on my behalf, and nether eat nor drink for three days, night or day. I and my maids will also fast as you do. After that I will go to the king, though it is against the law; and if I perish, I perish.’” — Esther 4:16 The Jews were under the authority of the Persian Empire. Most of the events in Esther took place in the city of Susa, which is the winter residence of the Persian king. The story begins with King Ahasuerus giving a large banquet. He displayed the great wealth of his kingdom. It says that the great feast lasted about six mouths. Mordecai went to the main gate dressed in sackcloth ashes and wailed bitterly; other people in the crowed fell with him. The Jewish population was asked to join him at the gate of the city. This is where people came to settle legal matters. Mordecai was probably there regularly, but at this point his mourning made him ritually unclean. The king and Hamann sat down to drink in private. When Esther’s maids and eunuchs came and told her about Mordecai, she fell into great distress. The women of a king’s harem were guarded. A trusted eunuch went as her liaison with Mordecai. Mordecai knew that Esther was the only one that was in a position to help the Jews. A large group gathered because they wanted to know the reason for Mordecai’s actions. Esther didn’t hear from the king for a month. He was considered a high risk for an assassination attempt. Palace rules forbid

anyone who had not been summoned from approaching the king. Mordecai asserted that if Esther would not intervene, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another quarter. Ordinarily one would assume that the reference is to God, but the book of Esther makes no mention of God. Esther contains no mention of God, any religious practices or the laws of God. Esther praises mostly acts of violent revenge and ways that aren’t kept by God. Rather than raising her concern directly, Esther invited the king and Haman, his prime minister and enemy of the Jews, to a banquet. It is assumed that she invited them to a dinner party to make it easier to make her plea known, and also it would make a occasion to make her plea for a place where she would feel secure. Haman was invited and been flattered by these two invitations and didn’t know which one to accept. He would be accepting an invitation to dinner which would mean he would be alone with the king and queen. Haman had ten sons. Haman could not enjoy his status and wealth because his hatred for Mordecai poisoned his whole mind. In his lust for vengeance, Haman prepared to put Mordecai to death by public hanging on a gallows 75 feet high. Esther risked her life when she agreed to approached the Persian king on the behalf of her people. We should not ever think that God isn’t present at times of need. He’s always with ready to take care of us. All we need to do is ask him to be a part of our lives. In this day and time we really need him. I don’t know what’s happening in this world today, but whatever happens, we know that all we need to do is trust God and he will see us through anything.

Feb. 22 Isaiah Answers God’s Call Purpose: To identify and respond to situations in which God is calling us to move beyond the present limits of our commitments.

Bible Lesson: Isaiah 6:1-8 Key Verse: “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I; send me.”’ — Isaiah 6:8 Scholars believe the book of Isaiah was written by at least three different prophets. The writings were from different periods of Jewish history. As we study this book, we see where the first 39 chapters were written by Isaiah of Jerusalem. This passage comes from the prophet of the lesson this book is named for. He is known as the one of the greatest writers of his time. Isaiah’s writing was done in the 8th century before Christ. The settings is the time of the great temple which was known as Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem. The temple was a great piece of work. There were three different sections, the Holy of Holies and the most Holy Place. The prophet’s vision was King Solomon’s Temple. King Uzziah had been really good as he ruled Judah wisely for more than 40 years. King Uzziah, was writing an account of his reign and he was likely depressed and discouraged over the death of his monarchy. Solomon’s Temple was of the heavenly temple of God. God sat on his throne with his heavenly court. God was attended by serSee lesson, page 




Mississippi United Methodist Advocate/Jan. 21, 2009

Around the Conference

Stephen Ministries schedules workshop

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hurches seeking to help others facing hard times can be much more effective if they have trained lay caregivers. Galloway United Methodist Church will host a Stephen Series Caring Ministry Workshop at 9 a.m. Jan. 24. Registration begins at 8 a.m., and refreshments will be served at 8:30 a.m. The half-day workshop consists of three sessions designed both to enhance participants’ caregiving skills and to help congregations explore ways to expand their caring ministry. The workshop is sponsored by Stephen Ministries, the St. Louis-based Christian training organization that has been providing congregations with training and resources for Christian caregiving for more than 30 years. In “Ministering to Those Experiencing Grief,” participants learn about the grief process – the stages of grief and how to effectively minister to people in each of those stages. The second session provides an introduction to the Stephen Series, a system of lay caring ministry through which congregation leaders can equip members to provide one-to-one Christian care to people in need. The final session explains “How to Care in a Distinctively Christian Way.” Participants learn what makes the Christian caregiving unique and how they can use resources like prayer, blessings, and Scripture in their caring for others. The cost of the workshop is $15 per person or $50 for a group of four or more from the same congregation. For more information, or to register to attend the Stephen Series Caring Ministry Workshop at Galloway UMC, contact Stephen Ministries at 314-428-2600 or you can also register at www.caringministry.org.

Special recognition

Historian and long time member of Vicksburg Hawkins United Methodist Church Sam Price received on behalf of the church a portrait of the mural painting “The Founding of Vicksburg and Methodism.”

With holiday season behind us, Brookhaven District Lay Speaking some might feel some letdown Ministries plans March school If you had a merry Christmas, why aren’t you having a Those looking for a way answer God’s call to service might consider Lay Speaking Ministries. Lay speakers receive specific training in witnessing to the Christian faith through speaking, church, community leadership and care-giving ministries. Training will be offered by the Brookhaven District in March. The event is scheduled for March 5-6 at Wesley Pines Conference, Retreat and Camping Center in Gallman. Two advanced courses and the basic lay speaking course will be offered. Richard Henley, director of Lay Speaking Ministries for the East Jackson District will teach the basic course. Cheryl Denley, conference director of Lay Speaking Ministries, will teach an advanced course on United Methodist heritage, and the Rev. Elbrist Mason, pastor of Brandon Trinity UMC, will teach an advanced course on discovering spiritual gifts. Registration deadline is Feb. 23. Cost for overnight participants is $80 and includes three meals and a textbook. Commuters pay $60. Participants should bring a Bible, writing materials, linens (including pillow), snacks to share, towels and toiletries. Send tuition (made payable to the Brookhaven District) and course selection to Jennifer Allen, P.O. Box 629, Brookhaven, MS 39602. Bonnie Dillon is director of Lay Speaking Ministries for the Brookhaven District.

happier New Year? Perhaps you suffer from what might be called Seasonal Letdown Disorder. Dr. Clea Evans of Brandon, director of neuropsychology at Methodist Rehabilitation Center in Jackson, says it’s common for some people to feel depressed and lethargic in the month of January.

“Many people build up their expectations for the holidays, only to find themselves disappointed when things don’t turn out as perfectly as they had planned,” she said. “They also may feel lonelier after friends and family return home and resume their busy schedules. Others report grieving for loved ones who have died and are no longer with them over the holidays.” Evans said plain old everyday exhaustion also affects people’s moods as they try to recover from the frenzy of holiday preparations. To shake off the doldrums, Evans recommends several simple strategies: n Set up some lunch dates and/or make plans to spend time with people. n Try to get outside for some sunshine and exercise. n Begin planning a trip for spring or summer to give

Methodist Tested Recipes 1 lb. hot pork sausage 1 lb. Velveeta or cheddar cheese ½ tsp. Italian seasoning Cocktail party size rye bread

Party Sausage on Rye Brown sausage in skillet and drain well. Stir in cheese until melted. Add seasoning. Spread on rye bread. Bake in 350-degree oven for 3 to 5 minutes or long enough to get heated through. — Submitted by Frances Ewing of Independence United Methodist Church Have a recipe too good to keep? Share it with our Advocate readers. If your church has its own cookbook, we would like a copy. Mail to Woody Woodrick, Methodist Tested Recipes, P.O. Box 1093, Jackson, MS 39215.

Bob Walters presented the portrait during a recent worship. The original mural is part of the Vicksburg Riverfront Mural Project. Robert Dafford painted 27 murals on the panels the Mississippi flood wall.

yourself something to look forward to. n Write thank-you notes or e-mail friends and family to stay connected throughout the year. Evans said if symptoms don’t improve, it’s time to talk to a physician. “This could be a sign of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a type of major depression that some people experience only during the winter months due to lack of sunlight,” she said. Symptoms can include depressed mood, lethargy/ fatigue, increased sleep, anxiety/irritability, crying spells, headaches, overeating/craving for carbohydrates and thoughts of suicide.

Gray to deliver keynote speech for annual Marshall UNCF banquet

Dr. L. LaSimba M. Gray, Jr., pastor of New Sardis Baptist Church in Memphis and a long-time community activist, will be the speaker for the 19th Annual Holly Springs/ Marshall County United Negro College Fund (UNCF) banquet. The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 12 in the Shaw Cafeteria in the Brown Mass Communications Center at Rust College. Gray has served as pastor of New Sardis for more than 10 years and has seen the membership grow to more than 700 members. He is the health coordinator for the Memphis Affiliate of the Congress of National Black Gray Churches. In this capacity, he leads the Memphis affiliate in health ministries and environmental justices. Gray is the vice president of the Memphis satellite of Operation Push and serves on the Tennessee Human Rights Commission. Tickets for the banquet are $15 each and raffle tickets for gasoline or groceries are $2 each. For more information, contact Frances Hathorne at 662-252-8000, ext. 4913.

Society of St. Andrew offers study for Lent that focuses on hunger

Jesus commanded his followers to make feeding the hungry their mission on his behalf. In the Old Testament God called his people, his church to be his hands and feet in a world in need. What better way during Lent to honor God’s directive and Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross than by helping to feed the hungry? The Society of St. Andrew, a national, ecumenical, nonprofit hunger relief ministry and Advance #801600, offers its 2009 Lenten Devotions program, “Christ’s Marvelous




Mississippi United Methodist Advocate/Jan. 21, 2009

Photo File

Around the Conference

George C. Washington recently spoke to the Jackson Central United Methodist Men on the progress in rebuilding Gulfside Assembly in Waveland. Gulfside is in the initial phase of reconstruction. A 22-page report was given to each member present along with instructions for sending support from the church. The Rev. Dr. Connie Shelton, senior pastor of Galloway Memorial United Methodist Church in Jackson, opens the 2009 session of the Mississippi House of Representatives with prayer. The ceremony took place in the state’s Old Capitol, which has been renovated after suffering extensive damage by Hurricane Katrina. Galloway UMC was one of the few churches in Jackson when the Old Capitol opened in 1839, and the church sits one block south of the new Capitol in downtown Jackson.

Hands.” An optional “Good Friday Fast” is available for use in conjunction with the daily devotions or as a stand-alone program. The Society of St. Andrew’s (SoSA) produce salvage programs are a common-sense and cost-efficient way to gather what is left in farm fields after the harvest to feed the hungry. SoSA has a 30-year history of ministry and has saved over half a billion pounds of good, nutritious food from going to waste. This food has been donated to critical feeding agencies throughout the nation, providing hungry people with 1.7 billion servings of nourishing food. Since SoSA delivers fresh food for about 2 cents per serving, a $1 a day donation during Lent ($47) will provide more than 2,000 servings of fresh produce for those who don’t get enough to eat. SoSA’s fundraising and administrative costs are less than 10 precent, which means that more than 90 cents of every donated dollar goes directly to providing food. All materials for the Society of St. Andrew’s Lent Devotions program are free. Order today – individuals can order their own packet, and churches can order a sample packet. Call 800-333-4597; fax 434-299-5949; e-mail church@endhunger.org; or order online at www.endhunger.org/lent.htm. For more information about the Society of St. Andrew, its hunger-relief or Lenten Devotions programs, call 800-3334597 or email church@endhunger.org.

UMCom places Stanford on pair of committees during meeting

At the fall 2008 meeting of the United Methodist General Commission on Communications in Nashville, the Rev. Shane Stanford, ministry leader-host for the United Methodist Hour and team leader for Message and Media in the Mississippi Annual Conference, received two committee assignments. Stanford will serve on the Global Health Initiative Committee and on the Personnel Committee for the GCOC. Stanford’s term on the GCOC runs 2009-2012. The Global Health Initiative Committee supports United Methodist Communications’ effort to create partnerships with other boards, agencies, and appropriate entities to impact health care around the world. This multidimensional project will look at reframing how people view health care to include body, mind, spirit, and community. Also, this Initiative focuses on education and advocacy. The Personnel Committee Oversees development, review and authorization of personnel policies and procedures;

conducts the evaluation of the General Secretary; reviews the affirmative action plan and the annual affirmative action report. Stanford also serves on the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund Committee.

Jackson Central UMW holds tea as part of Christmas celebration

Jackson Central’s United Methodist Women hosted its 2008 Yuletide Tea recently. “This year’s tea showcased Central’s young talent,” said Cozetta Buckley, vice president of UMW. “In addition, we held a fashion show to entertain the audience.” Representatives from the entire church participated in the Yuletide celebration. The Rev. Henry C. Clay, Jr. offered a prayer that reminded participants that the reason for the season is Jesus. Krystal Jackson, vocalist, serenaded the audience with a medley of Christmas classics, accompanied by Angela Riley, pianist, and the Wind Ensemble directed by Kermit Holly. Dalron Robertson, pianist, rendered a musical selection, the liturgical dancers performed a dance routine. Carla Allen coordinated the fashion show. The young adults served an assortment of Christmas sandwiches, savory tarts, cookies, petit fours and spiced tea and punch. The Rev. Stephen T. Cook, pastor, gave the closing remarks and the benediction for the approximately 100 people who attended.

Ward to preach at Wiggins First

Bishop Hope Morgan Ward will deliver the message at the 11 a.m. Jan. 25 service at First United Methodist Church of Wiggins in Wiggins. A North Carolina native, Ward has served as a youth director, Christian educator, pastor, director of Connectional Ministries and district superintendent in the North Carolina Conference. She attended Duke University and Duke Divinity School and was elected to the episcopacy in July 2004. She was assigned to the Mississippi Conference in 2004 and reassigned in 2008. A potluck luncheon is planned to be held in the Family Life Center following the service. For information, call the church office at 601-928-4880 Monday through Friday before 4 p.m.

Memorial services set for Joneses

A memorial service for Dr. G. Eliot Jones and his wife Mildred will be held at 1 p.m. Feb. 14, 2009 at Drakes United Methodist Church in Flowood.

Sidon United Methodist Church recently grew in a way that reflected the church’s roots. Three girls whose family has been part of the church for six generations joined on professions of faith. The girls are Sarah Presley Howard and twins Lauren Elise and Avery Katherine Howard. In addition, their mother Mary Lauren Howard joined the church along with Cesar Hooper, another family member. Following the service led by the Rev. Jodie Cothen, a small reception was held in the fellowship hall. Sidon UMC was founded in 1852.

Dr. Jones died Nov. 16, and Mrs. Jones died Jan.10. Dr. Jones began his ministry in 1937 with his appointment to Shands Mission in Jackson. He also served Bogue Chitto, Pachuta, New Augusta, Prentiss, Hazlehurst, superintendent of the Vicksburg District, Laurel First, superintendent of the Hattiesburg District, Laurel First, superintendent of the West Jackson-Vicksburg District, Hattiesburg Main Street and in retirement the Drakes UMC. Both were living in Terrell, Texas, at the time of their deaths. Their son, George Jones, Jr. and family are scheduled to attend the memorial service. A time of fellowship and refreshments will be held in the fellowship hall of the church following the service.

Women’s conference set in Feb.

Women from around the Mississippi Conference are invited to attend the FaithLift Women’s Conference at Starkville First United Methodist Church. The event is scheduled for Feb. 6-7. The theme will focus on God’s plan for his people to “Bloom Where You’re Planted.” FaithLift will be led by Lee Ann Williamson, a former Starkville native, and Lori Smith of Grace and Gladness Ministries in Blue Springs, Mo. The two-day conference will cost $25 until Jan. 23 and $30 after Jan. 23. The fee includes three meals and childcare with a reservation through the church office. Contact First UMC at 662-323-5722 or Jean Walrath Ferguson at 662-323-8148 for more information.

Dates set for mandatory ethics workshops for appointed clergy

All clergy under appointment or planning to be appointed in 2009 must attend one of six clergy ethics training events. The sessions are sponsored by the Department of Ministerial Services and the Board of Ordained Ministry. These meetings are mandatory for clergy. No pastor can be appointed without having completed one of these workshops. For more information, contact the Rev. Lisa Garvin, director of Ministerial Services at 601-354-0515. Workshop dates include: n Jan. 24 —Crystal Springs New Zion UMC, 10 a.m. n Jan. 25 — Wiggins First UMC, 2 p.m. n Feb. 7 — Oxford-University UMC, 10 a.m. n Feb. 8 — Grenada First UMC, 2 p.m. n Feb. 28 —Jackson Alta Woods UMC, 10 a.m. n March 1 —Louisville First UMC, 2 p.m.




Mississippi United Methodist Advocate/Jan. 21, 2009

Obituaries Sylvia Jane McGuffie Baylot local pastor VICKSBURG — Sylvia Jane McGuffie Baylot died Jan. 9, 2009 at her residence. Services were held Jan. 12 at Glenwood Funeral Home. Burial followed at Green Acres Memorial Park. Pallbearers were Scott Vinzant, Mike Carlysle, Justin Vinzant, Nathan Baylot, Kenny Tackett, Hunter Vinzant and Scotty McClellan. Honorary pallbearers were Jennie Lynne Palmer, Ann Henley, Beth Butler, Debbie Bosarge, Nan Smith, Janelle Nicholson, Morine Woltering and Jeremy Kenny. Mrs. Baylot was born in Roseville, Mich., and had been a resident of Baylot Vicksburg most of her life. She was a graduate of Culkin Academy, class of 1958. She was pastor of Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church in Yazoo City and served as youth and children’s minister in various churches in the Vicksburg area. She was a member of the Homemaker’s Club and Civitan Club. She was active in the Mississippi Methodist Cursillo and Karios. She held special her friends and Pleasant Hill Church family and Wednesday women’s Bible study. Mrs. Baylot was preceded in death by a son, Robert Vinzant; her parents, R.W. and Mary Ethel McGuffie; and a brother, John McGuffie. Survivors include: husband, Erwin A. Baylot Sr. ofVicksburg; sons Will Vinzant and Patrick Vinzant, both of Vicksburg; stepsons Alex Baylot of Vicksburg and Skip Jackson of St. Louis; daughter Polly Vinzant of Vicksburg; stepdaughters Cindy Vanderberry of Vicksburg, Kathy Cregar of Fort Myers, Fla., and Delana Jackson; sisters Pauline Sheffield of Vicksburg and Nancy Critelli of Nashville; brother Gary McGuffie of Lewisburg, W.Va.; and 17 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Nell Jernigan Butts clergy spouse BRANDON — Nell Jernigan Butts, 100, a clergy spouse, died Jan. 1, 2009. Services were held Jan. 3 at Maben Memorial Gardens in Maben. Ott and Lee Funeral Home in Brandon handled arrangements. Born June 25, 1908, Mrs. Butts loved sports as a young woman and played basketball and tennis at Derma High School. She met and the Rev. Stanton M. Butts, a young Methodist pastor. Rev. and Mrs. Butts pastored many churches in the North Mississippi Methodist Conference for many years. Mrs. Butts was a very talented homemaker, seamstress and cook. She was noted for her homemade rolls. Mrs. Butts spent the last seven years of her life at the Heritage House of Castlewood Assisted Living. She enjoyed watching all types of sports on TV and had all her favorite teams and players. She was preceded in death by her parents, Jim and Sally Jernigan, five siblings and her husband, Rev. Stanton Butts. Survivors include: daughter, Martha Ann McCarter of Port

Author, Texas; sons, Clovis Butts of Dixon, Tenn., George Butts and Charlie Butts, both of Brandon, Don Butts of Louisville, Ky., Benny Butts of Water Valley; and 12 grandchildren, 24 great- grandchildren and two great-great- grandchildren.

daughter, Clara Ruth Philley of Brandon, and five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Memorials may be made to the Methodist Children’s Home, 4715 Methodist Farm Road, Jackson, MS 39213.

Mildred Clara Causey Jones clergy spouse

M.J. “Jimmy” Tindall retired banker

TERRELL, Texas — Mildred Clara Causey Jones, 95, the widow of the Rev. Dr. G. Eliot Jones, died Jan. 10, 2009 at her residence at Colonial Lodge Retirement Center. Funeral services were held Jan. 13 at Terrell First United Methodist Church with the Rev. David Rucker and the Rev. Joe Ed Goolsby officiating with burial in the College Mound Cemetery. Pallbearers included Charles Daniel Smith, Jr., Danny Currington, David Burns Brown, David Glover, Jimmy Cooper, Jorge Martinez, Ricky Carmona, and Wesley Killian. Honorary pallbearers were Tom Snow, Dr. Jorge Martinez, Randy Lockhead, Rayford Harwell and Jim Carr. Goggans Funeral Home handled arrangements. A memorial service is scheduled for 1 p.m. Feb. 14 at Drakes United Methodist Church in Flowood, Miss. Mrs. Jones was born on March 16, 1913 in McComb, Miss., the daughter of Ed and Mary Bardwell Causey. She married Dr. G. Eliot Jones on Sept. 1, 1934 in McComb. She served beside him in his “journey of faith” in his ministry for 48 years in the Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church. Her joys of life included crochet, needlepoint, quilting, cooking, collecting cookbooks and entertaining house guests. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 74 years, Dr. G. Eliot Jones, her parents, and a brother, Clifton Causey. Survivors include: son, George Jones, Jr. of Terrell; three grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and special friend LaTricia Banks. Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church, 503 West College Street, Terrell, TX 75160 or a charity of your choice in memory of Mildred Jones.

SENATOBIA — M.J. “Jimmy” Tindall, 75, died Jan. 4, 2009, at the North Oak Regional Medical Center Senior Care Unit. Services were held Jan.6 at the Coldwater United Methodist Church with burial following in Magnolia Cemetery in Coldwater. Pate-Jones Funeral Home handled arrangements. Mr. Tindall was born in Calhoun City on Sept. 19, 1933, and at the age of 2 moved to Coldwater with his parents, the late Wesley Melvin Tindall and Anita Will Bridges Tindall. Mr. Tindall was a former chairman of the board, president and CEO of Citizens Bank in Coldwater. After the merger of Citizens Bank with Senatobia Bank, he continued his services to the bank in a number of roles. In 1995 he served as interim president-CEO of Senatobia Bank and also served on the board of directors until his death. Mr. Tindall was a former trustee of the Mississippi School of Banking. He was honored by the Mississippi Bankers Association for 50 years of service to the industry. Besides banking, Mr. Tindall’s other passion was Wyndi Hill Farm where he raised cattle. He spent four years in the Air Force, two of which were in Japan. He attended Northwest Junior College (NWCC) and graduated from Mississippi Southern College (USM). Mr. Tindall and his wife Mary Carolyn recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Other survivors include: daughter, Wyn Williams Tindall of Oxford; son, M.J. “Jay” Tindall Jr. of Gluckstadt; and four grandchildren. He also leaves a special friend, Ricky Bowles. Memorials may be sent to the Wings Foundation of West Clinic, 100 N. Humphreys, Memphis, TN 38120 or the Senior Care Unit of North Oak Regional Medical Center, 401 Getwell Dr., Senatobia, MS. 38668.

Rev. Burnell Phillips, Sr. retired pastor

Rev. Dolphus P. ‘Doc’ Williamson retired clergy

BRANDON — Rev. Burnell Phillips, Sr., 86, died Dec. 28, 2008, at Crossgates River Oaks Medical Center. Services were held Dec. 30 in the chapel of Wright & Ferguson Funeral Home in Jackson with burial fin Lakewood Memorial Park. Rev. Phillips was born on April 22, 1922 in Jackson, the son of the late William and Birdie Phillips and graduated from Central High School. A World War II veteran, Rev. Phillips served his country in the European Theater as a soldier in the U.S. Army. After the war, he returned to Jackson continued his education at Millsaps College and earned his degree from Clark College. He became a United Methodist minister and served the Lord faithfully throughout the Mississippi Conference for over 50 years. After retirement he continued serving the church. His last appointment was to Drakes United Methodist Church in Flowood. He is preceded in death by his parents, siblings and a son, Burnell Phillips, Jr. Survivors include his wife, Mary Margie Phillips of Brandon;

LAUREL – The Rev. Dolphus P. “Doc” Williamson, 81, a retired pastor, died Jan. 15, 2009 at Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg. Services were held Jan. 17 at Franklin United Methodist Church in Laurel. Burial was in Mount Zion United Methodist Church Cemetery in Ellisville. Memory Chapel Funeral Home handled the arrangements. The Rev. Williamson served in the U.S. Army and was a minister for 13 years. He was preceded in death by his parents, Henry Jones Williamson and Carrie Alderman Williamson. Survivors include his wife of 59 years, Sybil Chisolm Williamson of Laurel; sons, Wayman Dal Williamson, and Merlon Tye Williamson of Laurel; daughters, Candace Lyn Sherman of Laurel, Gisele Gay Robertson of Ellisville and Melonie Joy Craig of Cincinnati; brother, Shelby C. Williamson of Philadelphia; sister, LaVerne W. Elsesser of Jackson; and seven grandchildren and two stepgrandchildren.

Facility, from page 1 services, freeing residents to enjoy retirement. For those who need some help with daily activities, assisted living will also be available. Construction is expected to begin in the spring with completion in 2010. Methodist Senior Services is the preeminent innovator of housing and services to elders in Mississippi. For more than 40 years, MSS, a non-profit organization related to the Mississippi Annual Conference

of The United Methodist Church, has provided affordable housing and quality care for elders. Viewed as one of the nation’s leading health and welfare agencies, MSS has 12 campuses in 11 communities throughout Mississippi. In 2001 MSS began the Green House® movement to revolutionize the way America provides nursing home care for her elders. Based on the Eden Principles developed by

Dr. Bill Thomas, a Harvard educated gerontologist, Green House® homes de-institutionalize care for the elderly. Instead of a hospital-like environment, MSS designed a large home with 10 bedrooms and private baths surrounding a large living area called the Hearth. Specially trained universal workers in each home are the primary caregivers who place the residents at the center of life. They are supported and nurtured by a team

of medical personnel. The first homes of this type opened in 2003 in Tupelo. Today, Methodist Senior Services has 18 Green House® homes around the state, and more than four dozen organizations nationally and around the world are following in the footsteps of MSS. For more information about Methodist Senior Services, visit www.mss.org.

Lesson, from page 4 aphs, who are not mentioned anywhere else in the Bible. The seraphim are the highest of the nine orders of angles. For Isaiah, holiness is the defining quality of God. His favorite title for God was, ‘The Holy One of Israel.” The term Israel is commonly used to refer to the whole Jewish people even after the conquest of the northern kingdom. God called Isaiah to be a prophet, and Isaiah saw the Lord sitting on a throne high and lifted up. Isaiah was a man of God and worshiped him. Isaiah maintained a steady

grip on that. He said that he wanted to be close to and serve his God. Isaiah was worried about being so unworthy with his life and lifestyle. He knew that he was a sinner just like all of mankind. He knew that a sinful person couldn’t stand before God and would be expected to die. Not only was he a sinful person but he saw where the people that he was suppose to be leading were sinners also. He knew that he had to face God about being a sinner himself. As he stood shamefully before God, one

of the seraphs flew toward him with a coal so hot tongs were needed to take it from the fire. The coal was placed against his mouth, and the seraph proclaimed that Isaiah’s sin had been blotted out. At that point, God asked who he could send to be his prophet, and Isaiah proclaimed, “Here I am, send me.” Many of us feel a stirring in our hearts to serve God, but believe we are too sinful to represent God. How could God want me, sorry sinner that I am? Yet, God can burn away our sin if we repent. Suddenly our

hearts become eager to serve, and we cry, “Send me.” Interestingly, as we read further in Isaiah, we learn that God doesn’t necessarily call us to success. Isaiah knew his people would not listen; they would continue their sinful ways. No, God didn’t call him to be successful. God called Isaiah to be faithful. Think about this the next time God calls you to do something. n Westbrook is a member of Pearl United Methodist Church and a regular contributor to the “Advocate.”




Mississippi United Methodist Advocate/Jan. 21, 2009

Questions, from page 1 ors and respects the diversity of the people of this nation and of the world; for an administration that supports and defends the Constitution and the freedoms it guarantees; of a world that is committed to conversation, dialogue and negotiation before turning to war and violence; for opportunities not just for a select few, but for the many; for leadership willing to serve the common good, not just benefiting a few.” Erin Hawkins, top executive of the United Methodist Commission of Religion and Race, said she would remind Obama of his historic speech on race when he spoke of the march for a more equal, caring and prosperous America. “As you take office President Obama, how do you plan to continue that march – how will you engage this country in seeing that establishing an African American in the White House is not proof that we in the U.S. are living in a post-race society?” The Rev. William Abraham, a professor of Wesleyan Studies at Perkins School of Theology in Dallas and a native of Ireland, said he would urge the new president to find a way to give the poor a better future. “In Ireland, I was brought up in a family where we were deeply dependent upon the state – my father was killed in an accident

when we were small, and aside from help from the church, we got help from the state,” Abraham said. “I think it is absolutely crucial that the state strike a balance between meeting the immediate needs of people and doing it in a way that is going to construct a future for them whereby they will be full, responsible citizens in the community.” The Rev. Robert Renfroe, pastor at The Woodlands United Methodist Church, Woodlands, Texas, would use the time to ask Obama a question: “Mr. President, if it’s true, as you stated when interviewed by Rick Warren, that you do not know when human life begins, why not err on the side of caution?” The unborn are at great risk in this country, he said, where “there is a one in five chance that a fetus’ existence will be terminated by an abortion.” He would ask the president to “appoint Supreme Court justices who will allow the states and the people a voice in this matter. And, please, use your position and your charisma to speak to what’s best in us – the desire to protect human potential and life itself.” The Rev. Maxie Dunnam, chancellor of Asbury Theological Seminary, Wilmore, Ky., would ask Obama not to compromise on human rights, the environment, the lives of

millions of babies each year, the health and medical care of children, the values of a Judeo-Christian culture, the place of America in the international community and “the most positive dynamic of our nation’s life by thinking that religion and politics don’t go together.” “We within The United Methodist Church are committed to contributing a prophetic, healing faith that will not claim God’s blessings for all our national policies and practices, as though God is always on ‘our side,’” Dunnam said. “Rather, with one of your favorite presidential mentors, Mr. Lincoln, we worry a lot and pray earnestly as to whether we are on God’s side.” The Rev. Joy Moore, dean at Duke Divinity School, Durham, N.C., would want Obama to use his leadership in the world to make the case against genocide in places such as Sudan. “As long as the international community permits mass killing and rape, it emboldens the Mugabes (president of Zimbabwe) of the world to act with impunity, believing that they have nothing to lose,” she said. Both the Rev. Sandra Cabrera, pastor of Elmwood United Methodist Church, Dallas, and Judith Siaba, with the church’s North-

ern Illinois Annual Conference, would ask Obama to pass a just immigration law. “This country came to be and became what it is on the back of immigrants,” said Siaba, who works in the conference office on congregational development. “Young children who have been brought to this country have a right for higher education. We need to change the law so that they can contribute to our society by getting a good education.” “Our immigrant people are 40 million hard-working people, brave, strong, enterprising, intelligent and people of faith, who started a journey of faith by fleeing poverty and the lack of resolve due to the constant socio-economic problem of Latin America,” Cabrera said. Obama is “the reincarnation of the American dream,” Abraham said. “The American project is a theological project from beginning to end, and the president is a critical figure in the civil religion of the United States,” he said. “I would love to hear him reflect on that. “It is very clear that this man comes out of a very robust wing of Christian tradition, and he is very serious about his faith,” he said. “I think his faith makes a lot more distinctive difference to his politics than he is letting on.”

CFA, from page 1 At its meeting on Jan. 15, CF&A adopted the recommendation of the administrative subcommittee to freeze conference salaries until further notice. The recommendation had the endorsement of the 11 district superintendents and the senior staff of the conference headquarters. The decision was one of the steps CF&A took as it began the 2010 budget process for reporting to the 2009 Annual Conference. CF&A has created six committees to allow it to deeper research the financial needs of the conference as well as the way that it does business. The administrative committee, along with CF&A chair the

Rev. Danny Rowland, plans to meet quarterly with Stotts and senior staff to review the receipts of the conference and the related expenditures. Stotts said hard financial times demand that CF&A keep close watch on the pulse of the annual conference’s giving and to watch the spending of the conference ministry committees and tables. “Our gracious givers choose every Sunday to give their tithes and offerings to God through their local church. The local church, by paying their apportionments, is affirming the ministry of the annual conference and each local church’s commitment to God’s call,” Stotts said. “Together

we are doing ministry larger than the sum of what our 1,132 local churches can do. I give thanks for our gracious givers, our local churches, our denomination and our opportunity to be in the ministry of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of our world.” CF&A will meet in February to complete the 2010 budget process and look further at the 2009 apportionment receipts and 2009 budget in an effort to continue to do the ministry the annual conference voted to do in the 2008 session in June.

Ministry Connection The Ministry Connection provides an opportunity for United Methodist churches in Mississippi seeking to fill staff positions and persons in Mississippi seeking staff positions to give notice of availability. Cost of the ads is 25 cents per word with a $5 minimum. ASSOCIATE MINISTER — Jefferson Street United Methodist Church in Natchez seeks a deacon to serve as associate minister to direct Christian education and implement Christian education programming. Jefferson Street UMC is vibrant and dynamic church in need of an enthusiastic person to maintain programming and develop new programs to meet the needs of its diverse membership. Jefferson Street UMC provides unique opportunity to minister to people of all ages from a growing children’s ministry,

young adults and older adults. Jefferson Street UMC recently celebrated its 200th anniversary. Beautiful and historic Natchez is also a wonderful place to live and minister. Please visit our web site at www.jeffersonstreetumc.org. Salary is commensurate with experience. Send resumes to Jefferson Street UMC, P.O. Box 862, Natchez, MS 39121. Telephone 601-442-3795. E-mail jeffersonstreet@bellsouth.net. CHILD CARE — Childcare center director position available. Experience requirements: Bachelor’s degree in early childhood, experience as childcare director. Send resume and letter of interest to Kaye Sowell, 210 Huntview Dr., Brandon, MS 39042. PIANIST — First United Methodist Church of Ridgeland seeks a pianist. Send resume to 234

West Jackson St., Ridgeland, MS 39157; phone 601-856-6456. PROGRAM DIRECTOR — The PeninsulaDelaware Conference of the United Methodist Church is currently seeking applicants (laity or clergy) for the position of Director for Strengthening the Black Church & Congregational Development. The director will be expected to develop goals and strategies in spiritual gifts assessment, worship, lay-clergy partnering, Christian education, evangelism, spiritual disciplines, community outreach development, new church development and vital congregations. Duties include linking and networking with UM General agencies in relation to the African-American churches. Qualifications include a Masters Degree, experience in growing the local church and expertise in visioning and

goal setting. The position will require knowledge of United Methodist history and polity and familiarity with the conference structure and ministry strategy. This position requires travel and a valid driver’s license. A resume and a letter indicating reasons for seeking the position, including reflections on the Position Description,* should be received by February 15, 2009. Please send all material to M. Cleeton, 139 N. State Street, Dover, DE 19901 or by e-mail to mcleeton@pen-del.org. Applicants will need to call 1-877-736-3351 or email Mrs. Cleeton to obtain a copy of the Position Description. VISITATION MINISTRY — Experienced individual interested in doing home and hospital visitation for church, including brief devotional. No salary, just expenses. Call 601-939-1242.

Classified Ads FOR SALE — Handicap accessible, 23-passenger, 2000 Ford bus. TV/VCR/DVD, overheard storage, wheelchair lift. Contact Southaven First UMC at 662-396-7945 for more information. SEASHORE ASSEMBLY — Seashore United Methodist Assembly is located on the historic lands dating from 1890. We have continued the Camp Ground atmosphere into the present day. We offer Camp SUMA for all ages of children & youth during the month of July. The grounds offer space for meditation, contemplation and fellowship. Our facilities are used for spiritual retreats, family reunions, educational adventures, and a place for personnel retreats. We welcome your inquiry 228-436-6767, www.seashoreassembly. org, sumasuma@bellsouth.net. Please feel free to stop by and visit a part of your Methodist history. GATLINBURG LOG CABINS ­ — 2 bedroom, 1 one-half bath or 1 bedroom loft, both on same secluded creek, (2 night minimum). Call 662724-2026 or 601-416-8918 or e-mail for pictures and info at TheLogCabinsofTN@hotmail.com. LAKE JUNALUSKA RENTAL — 2 BR apt. Sleeps 6; 1 king, 1 queen, 2 twin and baby bed; large deck, close to all activities; weekly, monthly, daily, 3-day minimum. Call 251-928 4770 or (summer)

828-452-7053. LAKE JUNALUSKA — Two furnished apartments for rent by day or week (2 day minimum) from Sept. to May. Modern, clean, comfortable, beautifully decorated home in a quiet neighborhood. Each unit will sleep 6 and has a fully furnished kitchen, gas logs, ceiling fans, phone, cable TV, covered deck with table and chairs and one step to door. The Upper Unit has 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, washer & dryer and deck rockers ($85/day, $550/ week). The Lower Unit has 3 bedrooms, 1 bath, and deck swing ($75/day, $500/week). Can rent whole house with stairwell that connects both apartments ($160/day, $1000/week). Call Don or Nancy Bishop at 662-494- 9203 or e-mail nancyanddon@peoplepc.com and ask to see pictures. One day’s rent deposit required to reserve. LAKE JUNALUSKA — Apartment for rent. Nice,

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Mississippi United Methodist Advocate/Jan. 21, 2009

Mission and Ministry Keep your eyes turned toward Jesus, not behind you n “But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following along behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.” — Genesis 19:26

L

ooking through the book of Genesis, I found the story about Sodom and Gomorrah. The Lord was going to destroy the cities. He sent two of his angels to warn Lot and his family to leave the city quickly. The Lord told Lot that he found the cities to be evil, and he would destroy both cities. The angels told them to get out of the town and don’t look back for any reason. In verse 23, we read that the Lord started raining down fire and burning sulfur from the skies over Sodom and Gomorrah. Everything was being burned. All life was

being destroyed; all animals, plants and people as well as other small villages and small cities in the path of the fire. Lot and his entire family gathered what they could carry and ran for their lives. As they were running, Lot’s wife wanted to see was happening so she looked back and was turned to a pillar of salt. Christians are doing the same thing. So many times we keep looking in the past instead of looking forward with Jesus Christ. It seems as if we worry about what happened in the past, and we can’t enjoy the present or look forward to the future. We shouldn’t worry about the past or the future if we are a Christian. We don’t need

A Stream of Faith Charles Westbrook to worry about the past or the future. We don’t need to worry about the present, because he will take care of everything for us. I’ve always heard the old saying “worrying can’t change anything,” and it can’t, but belief in Jesus can. You’ve got no other friend as you have by walking with the Lord. He will help you

handle your life with the past, present and the future if you let Him. What are you going to do? Continue to live in the past or worry about what lies ahead in the future? The future doesn’t belong to anyone because God hasn’t given it to us yet. There’s a song that we’ve all have heard before called One Day at a Time. We could learn from it. Just trust in the Lord and don’t keep looking back, look at today and don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will take care of itself. n Westbrook is a member of Pearl United Methodist Church and a regular contributor to the “Advocate.”

Some FAQs pertaining to Safe Sanctuaries program Our efforts in the ministry of

n What is “Safe Sanctuaries”? “Safe Sanctuaries” is the name commonly given by local United Methodist Annual Conferences and local churches to their individual efforts to make conference and local church ministries both welcoming and safe for children and those who minister to them. n Why do we need to have this Safe Sanc-tuaries program? We need Safe Sanctuaries for three reasons: • Jesus commanded us to care and protect the most vulnerable in our communities. Jesus said, “Whoever welcomes a child…welcomes me.” He also said that “if any of you put a stumbling block for one of these little ones, it would be better for you if a millstone were hung around your neck and you were drowned in the depths of the sea.” • The resolution Reducing the Risk of Child Sexual Abuse in the Church was adopted in 1996 and reaffirmed in 2000 by the General Conference of The United Methodist Church. This resolution states that all conferences were to take proactive steps toward preventing child abuse from occurring in the church. • We have a baptismal covenant to fulfill to every child in our congregation. We have committed through baptism that each child will be “… surrounded by steadfast love, established in the faith, and confirmed and strengthened in the way that leads to life eternal” (Baptismal Covenant II, United Methodist Hymnal, p. 44). Our efforts in the ministry of Safe Sanctuaries demonstrate our faithfulness to Jesus Christ and our commitment to the protection of all our children, youth, and vulnerable adults. n Is there a set standard of care that local churches must follow? Local churches are not required to follow an established standard of care or structure for their Safe Sanctuaries policy. The Mississippi Annual Conference Safe Sanctuaries policy does provide a guideline for local churches working to develop their own Safe Sanctuaries ministry. The Rev. Joy Melton’s book, Safe Sanctuaries, is a guidebook published to help local congregations in planning a thorough Safe Sanctuaries ministry. The book does not establish a standard of care

Safe Sanctuaries demonstrates our commitment to the protection of children and youth. national background check provides you with Social Security verification, National Criminal Background screening and the National Sexual Offenders registry check.

for churches. Each local church is encouraged to adopt the minimum standards set forth by our annual conference and add to their local church policy any additional pertinent procedures it determines is best for its local ministries. n What about youth leading in different aspects of ministry? Youth are a vital part of the congregation. They are often the heartbeat of Vacation Bible School, Wednesday evening ministries, etc. We need youth to be a part of our congregation and have a responsibility to raise and help form their faith in “the way that leads to life eternal” (Book of Worship, Baptismal Covenant, Congregational Pledge, page 11). We must remember, however, that youth are not adults. When we ask a youth to serve in a supervisory capacity with children or other youth, we are placing on them adult expectations and responsibilities. We can and should find ways to encourage youth to serve in leadership while not placing upon them the sole responsibility for the full care and protection of children or other youth. It is our strong recommendation that youth under the age of 18 can participate in leading Sunday school, VBS, etc. as long as there is an adult over the age of 18 serv-

ing in a supervisory capacity in the classroom with them. n Who is required to have a national criminal background check? All paid staff and non-paid volunteers who work in any significant capacity with children and-or youth are encouraged to have a national criminal background check. n Why should we conduct background checks on existing employees and volunteers? One aspect of Safe Sanctuaries care includes conducting background checks on persons – both paid and volunteer – who work with children and youth. Doing background checks on staff members and volunteers who have been in their positions prior to the implementation of required background checks provides uniformity in treatment of the workers. It demonstrates that background checks are not targeted or random. Uniformity of treatment helps guard against any misunderstanding or resentment that might otherwise arise. Asking all staff and volunteers to submit to a background check is one way the adult leaders can demonstrate their commitment to the protection of those within their care. A national criminal background check can also help defend against false allegations if and when they should occur. n What costs are involved? The cost of a single background check is $9 through Trak-1 Technology. This

n What if you find these expenses difficult to manage? It is likely that you will not be able to run all the background checks that need to be run and make all of the improvements to your physical facility at one time. I Instead, you may need to create a ranking of the priorities in terms of highest risk to children and begin there. Set a goal of three to five years to be in complete compliance. Some creative suggestions: • Ask each potential staff person and volunteer pay for their own background check • Have a fund-raising event for children’s ministry • Ask people to give in honor of each baptism that occurs in your congregation. As for facility updates, you might consider asking persons to donate to these projects or conduct a comprehensive “Safe Sanctuaries” fund-raising campaign emphasizing the need to make your church a safe and welcoming place for all of God’s children. n Who will handle the administration of a Safe Sanctuaries policy in the local church? The administrative-church council should assign someone to be responsible to administer the policy. This can be a paid staff member or a volunteer. The staff person is accountable to the Board of Trustees or Staff-Parish Relations Committee. The volunteer is accountable to the administrative-church council. The policy administrator should prepare to give an annual report to their supervisor and charge conference. n What if we encounter difficulty or have questions in implementing a “Safe Sanctuaries” policy and program in our congregation? Contact the Rev. Michelle Foster at 601354-0515 or michelle@mississippi-umc. org.


Mississippi United Methodist Advocate