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( Artwork by Erin Reed Iobst )

157th Regional Assembly
Christian Church (DOC) in Georgia

November 17-19, 2006
Epworth by the Sea, St. Simons Island

Reports to the Regional Assembly:

Including Staff, CWF, CMF, Camp and others.
Reports
(pdf file: 446kb)

Press Release
(pdf file: 18k)

Beautiful weather, fellowship, worship, learning and yes . . . some church business, were the hallmarks of the 157th Regional Assembly.

The Regional Board gathered on Friday afternoon, then following dinner the Assembly kicked off with Worship.

Friday Evening Worship

Rev. Betty Brewer Calvert led the Assembly in communion following special music presented by the First Christian Church, Waycross choir.

Brad Miller Brad Miller, Regional Moderator reported in his "State of the Region" message that there were over 150 at this years Assembly.  Brad pointed out that we should be thankful for our regional staff.  He said that the region is making progress but with frustrating slowness.  Financially the region is getting its house in order, but Disciple Mission Fund Giving is down so "things are tight."  This reduction in DMF giving has forced the regional board to realize that they can't rely on DMF to run the region and must develop other sources of revenue.

However, Brad reported that the Region has received and is accepting an offer on the Woodland property in Macon and expects to close on that transaction in mid December.  This will provide both an infusion of cash and a reduction in expenses.

Brad summarized that our Camping Program is strong, our Women lead the way in teaching us how to do ministry and the Men grow stronger with each event.  The main challenge we have, according to Brad, as Disciples of Christ in Georgia, is to connect with each other.  We have learned too well how to do things alone, we must work together and build tighter connections.  The region needs to hear what our congregations need and it needs to respond.  One thing, Brad concluded, will always hold us together - Jesus Christ, "All we do must celebrate God's presence among us.  When in God's name we truly connect, we can make a difference."

Rev. Bob Shebeck of The Division of Overseas Ministries reported on the work of that organization.  Bob hoped that we had all met Phyllis Byrd when she visited Georgia earlier this year.

Gordon Dalrymple, board member of Campbell Stone Housing pointed out that Campbell Stone has been offering affordable housing to seniors since 1964.  But the Buckhead complex has reached a point where it must be completely renovated if it is to continue.  The Board approve, in April, a plan to refinance the property and begin an $11 million dollar renovation to bring the building up to 21st century standards.  However the proceeds from refinancing can't be used to furnish or decorate the facility so the Board has approved a campaign for $300,000 to make sure the new facility has the atmosphere of "home."

Rev. Dr. Bill Crowl presented the Heartbeats of Faith program. The Heartbeats of Faith is a capital campaign designed to raise $5 million to assure the sustainability of the Church wide Healthcare Program.  The General Assembly in Portland approved raising a $5 million reserve fund for the Disciples Healthcare plan.  Bill reported that retired clergy are astonished that the church took action and by doing so, proved that it cares.   $750,000 has been raised so far towards the $5 million goal.

Dick HammRev. Dr. Dick Hamm, former General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples or Christ) in the United States and Canada, gave the keynote address and sermon.  Dick pointed out that anxiety is the primary emotion many people feel today.  There are now three factors in the world, the state, global communications and global markets.  These factors are changing the world order.  God is actively working in the world, but we have free will to follow God's will or "mess it up."  The "post modern" era is a time of rapid change and it makes us anxious.  We sometimes hope that our Churches could be a shrine to a simpler time but our churches are changing too.  Our congregations either get older and shrink or they constantly change to meet the needs of new members who join.

Dr. Hamm received a laugh when he said that the mantra of the dying church is "ohhhmmmmmm but we've never done it that way ohhhhmmmmm."

Dr. Hamm also pointed out that congregations frequently take their anxiety out on the ministry - especially on women ministers when members are anxious about women in the ministry.

He then read 1 John 14:18 "There is no fear in love but perfect love casts out fear."  He concluded that "our whole church will grow when we surrender our anxiety to God and embrace those around us."

Saturday Morning

Men's GatheringSaturday morning began with both Women's and Men's gatherings.  Following Breakfast Dr. James Crockett led a bible study on Romans 12:2 and then the Business Meeting of the Assembly was convened by Moderator Brad Miller.  Each of the Regional ministers delivered a report on their areas of ministry.  Dr. Ray Miles then presented the 2007 Regional Budgets for operations and camp.  A long discussion ensued about the removal of expense for pastoral counseling.  The Budget was approved but a task force was established, by vote of the Assembly, to find a way to restore funding to this critical area.

The Nominating Committee brought forward the following nominations which were voted on and approved:

Nominations for Regional Board Representatives, term to expire in 2009

Doris Germano
Johnny Lee
Chimeste Doriscar

Waycross, First (SW)
Decatur, First (NW)
Lawrenceville, Centre Pierre Angulaire (NE)

Layperson
Layperson
Minister

Nomination to the General Board and a new position on the Regional Board

Kathy McDowell

Tucker, First Christian of Atlanta (NW)

Minister

Nominations for the Credentials Committee, term expiring 2009

Patrick Chandler
Carolyn Flemming

Athens, First (NE)
Atlanta, Brookhaven (NW)

Minister
Minister

Nominations to the Nominating Committee, term expiring in 2009

Keith Somerville
Hoyt Huff - to chairperson

Decatur, Ray of Hope (NW)
 

Layperson
Minister

Saturday Afternoon

Saturday afternoon, workshops were offered in Transforming Ourselves, Transforming our Relationships, Transforming our Churches and Transforming our Communities.  Each attendee had the opportunity to participate in two workshops over the afternoon.

Saturday Evening

Evening WorshipSaturday evening worship gave the Assembly the opportunity to sing in some different languages and ways as we moved "... to the table...".  Rev. Randy Johnson of the Christian Church Foundation informed the Assembly about opportunities to provide for the Church in will.  Rev. Glenn Carson explained the work of the Disciples Historical Society and offered to visit local congregations to preach or teach on "Communion" or on "The Preamble of the Design for the Christian Church."  Glenn also announced that Gordon Hamlin of Eagles Landing Christian Church had been named the 2006 Faithful Servant.  Congratulations Gordon!

Rev. Vinetta Golphin-Wilkerson of Ray of Hope Christian Church let the Call to Worship, Rev. Michael Weeks led the communion and Rev. Dr. Milton West, Jr. FCC Valdosta took the offering.  Dr. Hamm gave another inspiring message to close the Saturday Evening Worship.

Sunday Morning

Katie HayesRev. Katie Hayes began Sunday morning with an inspiring Bible Study on Transformation.

Rev. Kathy McDowell of FCC Atlanta and Jocelyn Wheaton from God's City of Refuge opened Sunday's worship in prayer and call.  As a part of the service, Rev. Bob Harris gave a report on the work of the Mission for Biblical Literacy and the work of the Christian College of Georgia.

Worship again featured a sermon from Rev. Dick Hamm as we were "...Transformed in Unity."  Dick emphasized the importance of reflecting on the past week to examine ourselves and express thanks for the way God works in our life.  Confession is also important, to recognize and name our spiritual needs.  Dick encouraged us to remember Christ's ministry of sacrifice for us when we are frustrated with other church members.  He suggested we tell ourselves "Jesus considered that person worthy of his life too." 

Dr. Ray Miles presided over Communion and gave the benediction sending all back to our congregations renewed and transformed.

Reports and Photos

Copies of all reports submitted at the Regional Assembly can be downloaded in PDF format from links at the top of this page.

Also, be sure to enjoy the photos of the Assembly by following the links near the top of this page.

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