The Men of Georgia (and a few from Tenn. and other states) gathered at Christmount on March 25 - 27, 2011 for the 2011 Georgia Men's Retreat to consider the Theme of "Creating Community by Telling Your Story.  Our Speaker for four sessions was Rev. Arnold Nelson, Jr. (see bio at right).

Speaker:

Arnold Nelson, Jr. has been Senior Minister of the First Christian Church of Duncan, Oklahoma since December of 2007. Prior to that time Nelson served five years as President of Disciples Home Missions, and another five years as Regional Minister of the Christian Church in South Carolina. His going to serve the Oklahoma congregation was a return to his first love, the local pastorate. For twenty two years he served two congregations in Arkansas. At Duncan the congregation has started a third worship service, and has had 130 additions since he arrived.

Nelson is a native of Clarksville, Tennessee and the First Christian Church of that city. He graduated from Philips University with a B.A. in religion. He received his Master of Divinity Degree from the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colorado. He has served the wider church in numerous capacities including Pastor/Counselor to the General Conference of Disciple Men He has served on the General Board and its Administrative Committee the Board of Directors of the Division of Homeland Ministries and currently serves on the Board of the Disciples of Christ Historical Society.

For hobbies Nelson works in the yard when his wife, Kelly, is not out doors, and has taught himself to play mandolin pretty poorly. He wishes he could do the same with golf. The Nelsons have three daughters one a realtor in Nashville and the others in high school in Duncan. The household is rounded out with two cats and two and a half beagles.

Will PerdueFriday Night

President Will Perdue started things off on Friday night by Welcoming the men to the Retreat then Michael Murphy of Christmount welcomed everyone to the Mountains of North Carolina.

Bob Grant and accompanist Jody Gragg couldn't be with us this weekend but we were blessed to have Rev. James Shelton to lead us A Cappella - and the men sang out as usual - Bob can be proud of us.

Rod Baker, 2010 Layman of the Year gave an excellent devotion.  It is tradition that the Layman of the Year give the Friday Evening Devotion at each Retreat.

Our theme of "Creating Community by Telling Your Story" was delivered by Rev. Nelson who started by telling the story of Abraham and Moses and their adventures with the God of Israel.

James SheltonFriday night ended with our usual Ice Cream social and Vespers delivered by Rev. James Shelton.

Saturday Morning

The food at Christmount is always excellent and Saturday's Breakfast didn't disappoint.

Following a warm-up with Song, past President John Anderson led us in a devotion followed by Session II of Rev. Nelson's keynote.

After a break, Will led us in a short Business meeting that began with the election of officers for 2011-2012.  Rev. Ray Miles then gave an update on the state of the region, and Medie Still gave a treasurer's report.  Video's were then shown about the upcoming Xtreme Faith, Bold Action Men's assembly in 2012 and the General Assembly coming up in July of 2011.  Buddy Ray and Will Perdue showed some features of interest to Men on the Regional Web site.  The meeting was adjourned to lunch of Bar-b-Que.

After Lunch everyone is free to visit Black Mountain, drive or hike through the mountains, or just rest and relax at Christmount.

Saturday Evening

During Saturday Evening's Business session, Rev. Ray Miles installed officers for 2011 - 2012.  Serving for the coming year will be (l-r) John Anderson (board), Joe Austin (board), Nathan Brown (NW Rep.), Michael Bodnar (SE Rep.) Will Perdue (past president), Rev. James E. Shelton (Pastor Councilor), Medie Still (Sec. Treas.).  Not pictured are Bob Grant (President), Archie Jenkins and Joe Kern (board), Larry Gunter (NE Rep.) and Jimmy Walker (WC Rep).

After Arnold Nelson presented the third session of his Keynote, we adjourned to the Fireplace again for more ice cream and Vespers by Rev. James Shelton.

Sunday

The morning began, as does every session at Men's Retreat, with a song fest.  Then Rev. Arnold Nelson finished his Keynote series with the story of Wanda Jean (aka - The Woman at the Well).  You had to be there!

David GrandgeorgeAfter a short break, Rev. David Grandgeorge led an excellent bible study which led into more song and prayer led by Joe Austin.  Rev. Jamie Braime of Christmount gave the communion meditation and the Men's Commission led communion.

The Retreat was closed by the circle of men singing "Blest be the Tie."

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