AUGUST Newsletter of St. James United Methodist Church. 439 Greene Street, Augusta, GA The Rev. Thurman Norville, Pastor

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1 AUGUST Newsletter of St. James United Methodist Church 439 Greene Street, Augusta, GA The Rev. Thurman Norville, Pastor

2 From Pastor Thurman NEWS We Have a New Bishop! The Southeastern Jurisdiction Committee on Episcopacy announced Thursday, July 14, that Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson has been assigned as the next bishop of the North Georgia Conference. The assignment begins September 1. The North Georgia delegation greeted "Bishop Sue", her husband Rev. Allen Johnson and their daughter, Samantha, at a reception immediately following the announcement. Haupert-Johnson, 54, was elected bishop Wednesday, July 13, at the jurisdiction s quadrennial meeting at Lake Junaluska. On the tenth ballot, she received 230 of 375 votes cast. I hope you will go and spread a table "with a sumptuous gospel feast," she bid the delegates. In her introduction address on Tuesday, Haupert-Johnson stressed the need for the church to have room for everyone at God's table. Haupert-Johnson was the fifth bishop elected by the 376 delegates, an equal number of United Methodist clergy and laity, from the nine states that form the Southeastern Jurisdiction (SEJ). Haupert-Johnson, nominated by the Florida Conference, is the current district superintendent of Florida s Gulf Central District, overseeing a church landscape of large and small congregations in a mix of urban, suburban and rural communities. The district s demographics are diverse as well. She previously served as pastor of churches in Tampa, Cape Coral and Ocala, and was an associate pastor at First UMC, Lakeland. She holds a law degree from the University of Florida and was a litigator with a Tampa law firm before answering the call to ministry and graduating summa cum laude from Emory University s Candler School of Theology. She was ordained a deacon in 1996 and an elder in Haupert-Johnson has had numerous leadership roles in the Florida Conference and has represented the Florida UMC twice at General Conference serving as Judicial Administration Legislative Committee chairperson in 2012 and three times at jurisdictional conference. Her assignment in our conference is for a four-year term and begins September 1. Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson replaces Bishop Michael Watson Other News: New Bishop of Western Jurisdiction July 15, 2016, Peoria, Ill.: Bishop Bruce R. Ough, president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, issued the following statement regarding the results of today s Episcopal election at the Western Jurisdictional Conference of The United Methodist Church, meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Western Jurisdiction has elected the Rev. Karen Oliveto of Glide Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco to serve as a bishop of The United Methodist Church. Rev. Oliveto has been described as an openly lesbian clergyperson. This election raises significant concerns and questions of church polity and unity. Our Book of Discipline has clearly delineated processes in place for resolving issues even as complex and unprecedented as this election. The authority to elect bishops is constitutionally reserved to the jurisdictional and central conferences. Any elder in good standing is eligible for election as a bishop of the church. An elder under an unresolved complaint is still considered to be in good standing. Being a self-avowed, practicing homosexual is a chargeable offense for any clergyperson in The United Methodist Church, if indeed this is the case.

3 The Council of Bishops is monitoring this situation very closely. The Council does not have constitutional authority to intervene in the election or supervisory processes at either the annual jurisdictional or central conference levels. And, we are careful to not jeopardize any clergy or lay person s due process by ill-advised comments. However, we clearly understand the Church appropriately expects the Council to provide spiritual leadership and for bishops to uphold our consecration vows. In May, prior to General Conference, the Council again affirmed to keep the promises made at our consecrations, including, among others: Shepherding all persons committed to our care; Leading the church in mission, witness and service; Ordering the church including administering processes for handling complaints; Seeking unity in Christ, including the work the Council proposed to the General Conference in An Offering for a Way Forward. There are those in the church who will view this election as a violation of church law and a significant step toward a split, while there are others who will celebrate the election as a milestone toward being a more inclusive church. Others will no doubt have questions as we find ourselves in a place where we have never been. Still, others will likely see this election as disrupting or even rendering moot the purpose and work of the Commission currently being formed by the Council. The Council continues to place our hope in Jesus Christ. Though conflicted and fragile, The United Methodist Church remains a strong witness to the transforming love of God and the saving grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ. We affirm that our witness is defined, not by an absence of conflict, but how we act in our disagreements. We affirm that our unity is not defined by our uniformity, but by our compassionate and Spirit-led faithfulness to our covenant with God, Christ s Church and one another. As a Council, we continue to maintain that the proposal for a way forward and the formation of the Commission is the best path. An endless cycle of actions, reactions and counter-reactions is not a viable path and tears at the very fabric of our Connection. The current and incoming COB Executive Committees recently met by conference call to initiate the implementation of our Offering for a Way Forward and the formation of the Commission called for in the proposal. We will resume this work at our regularly scheduled meeting on July following the Jurisdictional Conferences. A progress report will be released shortly after the meeting. Our differences are real and cannot be glossed over, but they are also reconcilable. We are confident God is with us, especially in uncharted times and places. There is a future with hope. We invite your constant and ardent prayers for the witness and unity of The United Methodist Church. May God guide us as we seek to maintain unity in the bond of peace. Bishop Bruce R. Ough, President Council of Bishops The Western Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church encompasses the eight westernmost regional conferences of the United States: the Alaska Conference, the California-Nevada Conference, the California- Pacific Conference, the Desert Southwest Conference, the Oregon-Idaho Conference, the Pacific Northwest Conference, the Rocky Mountain Conference and the Yellowstone Conference. Confessing Movement Statement INDIANAPOLIS, IN, July 16, It is with pain and sadness that The Confessing Movement has noted what appears to be the unraveling of The United Methodist Church. Unfortunately, a small number of LGBTQ-rights activists has influenced some of our conferences, our bishops, and some of our leadership to bring planned disobedience to the Doctrine and the Discipline of The United Methodist Church in an attempt to render the church inoperable under its present General Conference, and its doctrine and discipline.

4 Consider:... The Western Jurisdiction has elected Rev. Karen Olivetto, an openly gay clergyperson as a bishop of the church. As Bishop she is required to respond positively to the vow of consecration which includes these words: You are called to guard the faith, to seek the unity, and to exercise the discipline of the whole Church." However, she vocally and actively seeks to break that unity, undermine the faith and to violate the exercise of the discipline of the whole church.... The New York Conference approved 3 clergy candidates for commissioning and 1 for ordination in violation of the vows, the covenants, and the discipline of the church.... At least four conferences have passed resolutions declaring an "Action of Non-Conformity with the General Conference of The United Methodist Church" that they would not comply with the provision of the Discipline that "discriminates against LGBTQ persons.... The Oregon-Idaho Board of Ordained Ministry joined with four other Boards of Ministry indicating candidates would be considered for ministry without regard to sexual orientation or gender identification. That conference and four others also defied the actions of the General Conference which legislated that the Church withdraw from the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) by either joining the national organization or regional RCRC organizations.... The Cal-Nevada conference passed a resolution saying the Discipline would not be followed as it relates to items concerning LGBTQIA persons (Q is queer or questioning; I is intersex; A is asexual). These actions come as no surprise as the LGBTQ advocates even before General Conference indicated they intended to close down the church if their demands were not met. In light of these actions numbers of persons and churches have asked what The Confessing Movement, as well as other renewal groups, will do now. Many have urged that we simply declare United Methodist apostate and start a new denomination. Others have urged that there be a withholding of apportionment money. There is the sense that our covenantal relationships have been betrayed. For the moment we urge patience. We are not yet giving up on The United Methodist Church. But we ask for some time to discern God's will and to engage in Holy Conferencing. With that in mind we offer these statements at the moment: We will work with other renewal groups and other concerned evangelicals. We have sent out a general invitation for all who wish to defend the doctrine and Discipline of The United Methodist Church to meet with us on October 7in Chicago for the forming of an association we are calling the Wesleyan Covenant Association. There is no agenda for this meeting other than to seek God's will for those who are evangelicals in The United Methodist Church. We wish to give the Commission to be appointed by the bishops to deal with the crisis in the church a chance. This Commission needs to be appointed immediately and it needs to offer workable solutions to the present crisis. The issue at one time was whether there might be some solution that might avoid church division. It is probably too late for that, but any kind of separation or solution should be done with civility and respect for those whom we have considered as brothers and sisters in Christ. In the meantime we call upon the bishops and leaders of the church to follow the Discipline even if this brings the church into conflict with those who are presently denouncing our doctrines and Discipline and our Church. We intend to be major players in the negotiations for the heart and the soul of The United Methodist Church. We do not consider that we are the "right-wing" or the extremists in the present crisis. We are faithful United Methodists who stand firmly in the mainstream of the message of the Wesleys and the traditions of Methodism. We support the actions of the 2016 General Conference and believe that it

5 accurately reflected the will and convictions of the vast majority of United Methodists. We support our United Methodist Book of Discipline and are pained to hear that some consider it a hateful expression of our Wesleyan tradition. Furthermore, we do not consider that we are a minority in the church. The eight conferences of the church which have declared themselves in defiance of the General Conference and the Discipline of the church together account for only 643,714 members of a 12 million member denomination. This represents less than 6% of global United Methodism and only 9% of American United Methodism. These same conferences who consider themselves progressives and the future of the church were also responsible for the loss of 17,056 members in 2015, or a decrease of 2.65%. We believe God still has a plan for The United Methodist Church. Bishop Watson Shares a Letter North Georgia Bishop Mike Watson and the Bishops of the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference share the following letter to United Methodists in our Southeastern Jurisdiction Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ, Greetings to you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We celebrate the way God is working through you and the churches you represent to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Your witness is making a difference in the lives of individuals and communities around the world. We write this pastoral letter with hope in Jesus Christ. Yet our hearts are heavy as we recognize that as a result of our denominational conflicts we stand at a fragile place. Our Christian witness is defined, not by an absence of conflict, but by how we act in our disagreements. Many in our church are working to change our Book of Discipline s current position on human sexuality, believing that it is exclusive, unjust and based on a misinterpretation of Scripture. These actions are being done through processes our polity has in place for making such changes. Many others in our denomination are working to maintain our Book of Discipline s current position on human sexuality, believing that it is grace-filled, orthodox and biblically-based. These actions are also being done within the context of our church s polity. Still others in our denomination, including some Boards of Ordained Ministry and Annual Conferences, are acting in nonconformity to our church s legislation about marriage and ordination standards. These actions are not within in the bounds of our church s polity. We, the Southeastern Jurisdictional College of Bishops, grieve over the deep divisions in our beloved United Methodist Church. We recognize the pain felt both by those advocating for and those opposing change. We also view the acts of nonconformity as a violation of our covenant and as divisive and disruptive. As a College of Bishops, we are fully committed to keeping the promises we made at our ordinations and consecrations, including: shepherding all persons committed to our care; leading our areas in mission, witness and service; ordering the church, including administering processes for handling complaints about violation of our Book of Discipline that occur within our episcopal areas; and seeking unity in Christ, including the work the General Conference requested the Council of Bishops do in relation to the Commission on Human Sexuality;

6 We invite you to join us in prayer as we strive to faithfully and compassionately fulfill our covenant with God, the church and one another. We also encourage you to stay the course in your covenant relationship with God, The United Methodist Church and each other. In Christ, The Southeastern Jurisdictional College of Bishops News From Our District District Superintendent, Rev. Terry Fleming Friends: I am certain that your laity are well aware of the election of an openly gay bishop in the Western Jurisdiction yesterday. It is no surprise that at General Conference last May there were rumors of a split within our denomination. The Council of Bishops advised us to take at least two years to appoint a task force and seek a way forward. Since there, several annual conferences have chosen to defy our covenant and our Book of Discipline, and they have agreed to marry gay couples. As pastors, we are called to lead the flock. I suggest that you lead them in prayer and in study. You may choose to read them the recent pastoral letter from the SEJ bishops: The Council of Bishops has already released a statement: Groups like the Confessing Movement counsel patience. I have attached their press release to this . We are deeply divided on this issue. Some believe this is a human rights issue, tantamount to the civil rights movement of the 60's. They believe that divine love commands us to receive homosexual relationships as a blessing. They believe that only bigotry stands in the way of gay marriage, and it is time to put it aside. Others believe that the Biblical evidence is clear that God's intention for the human race is heterosexual marriage or, for the unmarried, chastity. They believe that real love will command sinners to cease from sin (sin of all kinds), to repent, and to live lives of holiness surrendered to the will of God. They fear the words of Isaiah 5:20 are for our day: "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness." They people say that the culture wants gay marriage, but say we are bound by the unchanging Word of God. Can we stand together, holding such divergent views? I advise you to study these issues afresh. You and your people should study the Scriptures, and also the views of those with whom you disagree. If your people have studied Adam Hamilton's "Shades of Gray," then have them study Bill Arnold's "Seeing Black and White in a Gray World." And wherever you stand, stand there in love and honesty. I am willing to share my own opinions with any of you face to face. I believe that face to face is best, with our church is deep in conflict!

7 But the main thing is - pray. I mean really down-on-your-knees, face to the floor prayer. May God have mercy on us, so that we can be for the world the Body of Christ. From the Pastor Rev. Terry Fleming has encouraged congregations to review the works of Adam Hamilton and Bill Arnold. These Methodist ministers, elders within the church, writers, and scholars have differing views on gay marriage, and also gay clergy serving in the Methodist Church. Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White by Adam Hamilton discusses his thoughts related to politics, morality and religion. The Rev. Adam Hamilton leads the 18,000-member United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas, and reaches many others through best-selling books about Christian faith. Hamilton and the Rev. Mike Slaughter co-authored a proposal entitled, A Way Forward for a United Methodist Church. Citing a UMC study that found that more than 90 percent of United Methodists did not think the church should split over the human sexuality debates, Hamilton and Slaughter proposed a plan that would entrust to each local church the authority to determine how they will be in ministry with gay and lesbian people including whether they will, or will not, allow for homosexual marriages or unions. The plan also proposed that each regional UMC body be given the authority to decide whether or not to ordain gay and lesbian clergy. Although more than 2,700 UMC leaders have since signed on in support of Hamilton s plan, it is not without its critics, on the right and the left, who believe it does not go far enough. Hamilton has stood by the proposal, writing last month in a blog post against a one-size-fits-all policy for either side. He argued that conservatives were underestimating the pastors who have come to see this issue differently recently, and that progressives were underestimating the number of members who were not ready to support same-sex marriage. (religionandpolitics.org/2015/06/02/will-same-sex-marriage-split-the-united-methodist-church/) Seeing Black and White in a Gray World by Bill Arnold discusses the need for theological reasoning in the Church s debate over sexuality. Bill Arnold is an ordained elder in the Kentucky Conference of The United Methodist Church. He has served as professor of Old Testament studies at Asbury Theological Seminary since 1995 and has published twelve books. He states, Some things are perfectly obvious and clear to anyone. Such truths require no further argument or persuasion. They are undisputed certainties. They are black or white. On the other hand, some topics are not perfectly obvious to all rational people. These are disputed assertions, about which sincere thinking people often disagree. These are not black-and-white issues but are instead "gray areas," or issues about which reasonable people can agree to disagree. The question before us is how to respond to a dispute in The United Methodist Church, in which both sides of the debate believe their positions are perfectly obvious and true. Each side considers its position a black-andwhite certainty, an obvious truth. Yet the two positions are mutually exclusive. They cannot both be right. In Seeing Black and White in a Gray World, Bill Arnold challenges Adam Hamilton's best-selling book, Seeing Gray in a World of Black and White, by addressing the question of whether we need more gray in the world around us, or whether it would be better when all is said and done if we were to see more black and white

8 From the United Methodist Reporter: Breaking News COB Executive Committee releases statement on moving forward July 25, 2016 By Press Releases Meeting in Chicago last week, the Council of Bishops Executive Committee approved a framework for implementing the Commission on a Way Forward and took a step toward a called session of the General Conference in The Council acknowledged that the landscape of the church has changed dramatically since the General Conference approved the Council s proposal in May, but re-affirmed their commitment to lead the church forward. The reported declarations of non-compliance from several annual conferences, the intention to convene a Wesleyan Covenant Association and the election of the Rev. Karen Oliveto as a bishop of the church have opened deep wounds and fissures within The United Methodist Church and fanned fears of schism, said Bishop Bruce R. Ough, Council president, in a detailed statement outlining the actions taken. The church finds itself in an extremely fragile, highly contested season. The statement further reads, We affirm that, as disciples of Jesus, we are all called to maintain unity in the bond of peace. As a Council, we re-affirm our commitment to lead the church in discerning and charting a way forward. We intend to do so with prayerful attention to both urgency and thoughtful preparation. The Council adopted a purpose statement for the Commission, including its mission, vision and scope, and determined that it will be composed of members to be identified by August 31 with a target of October for an initial meeting. Each bishop will nominate up to five persons, and names that have previously been submitted to either the president or executive secretary of the Council will be considered as well. A search is already underway for a professional facilitator to design and guide the Commission s discernment process. Bishops Ken Carter, Sandra Steiner Ball and David Yemba have been selected to serve as a team of moderators to preside, provide spiritual guidance and pastoral care. Updates on the Commission s actions will be provided through regular press releases every 4-6 weeks. An invitation to prayer for the Commission involving the entire church, called Praying Our Way Forward, will be launched in October. More details regarding that initiative will be forthcoming. The Executive Committee will bring the matter of a called special session to the full Council for consideration in November. Only the full Council could authorize such a session. In a related action, the Council further voted to urge the Judicial Council to include the South Central Jurisdictional Conference s request regarding the election of Bishop Karen Oliveto on the docket for their fall meeting on October For additional, more detailed information, read the full statement.

9 Celebrating 160 Years: A MONTHLY HISTORICAL SERIES BY BILL KIRBY Martin V. Calvin Few people today have any idea who Martin V. Calvin was. Let us change that. Calvin was not only one of the early members of St. James Methodist Church, but was among the first in a long line of community educators who worshipped the Lord at 439 Greene Street. An innovator, he is credited with establishing the first free school in Augusta. That is probably why we should not be too surprised that he served as the first superintendent of the Richmond County Board of Education. He must have impressed his fellow Augustans because he went on to be elected to the Georgia General Assembly for 22 years it was one of the longest post-civil War tenures in legislative history. He chaired many of the top state House committees, including education and banking. The Augusta Chronicle called him one of the most thoroughly-equipped public men in the state. Calvin could have continued as a respected career politician, but he was always looking for another challenge, and found one in the realm of Georgia agriculture. He left the security of his seat in the Capitol to take over the state s agriculture experimental station. Then he was elected president of the Georgia Agriculture Society and even wrote articles on farming for the Atlanta Journal. Writing for a newspaper was nothing new. As a Confederate soldier, Calvin was also a correspondent for The Chronicle, and when the war ended he gained full-time work as an editorial writer. So how can we remember him today? As an educator? A lawmaker? A newspaperman? An agriculture innovator? Why not remember him as a man who never forgot those St. James comrades he fought beside in war? The Chronicle credits Martin Calvin with the idea of placing a monument in front of his home church to honor the St. James men who died in the War between the States. That memorial cenotaph still stands where it s been since Martin Calvin s name is not on that monument. Indeed, a century after his death, his name is on very little. Yet, his life shows that serving one s community and never forgetting one s friends is the best memorial any could leave.

10 A recent lightning strike necessitated the installation of new telephones at St. James, and the new system promises to be much more efficient for staff and callers alike. Here s how it works: When you call during office hours, the phones will not ring in the church offices. Instead, an automated message will direct you to either the church administrator (1), the pastor (2), Methodist Family Services (3), or Raymond Hookfin (4). The phone will then ring only in that person s work area. If they re away from the phone, you may leave a personal message that only they can retrieve--either in house or remotely--and they ll return your call as soon as possible. After office hours, callers have the choice of leaving a message for either the church (1) or for Methodist Family Services (2). Callers who press (1), will then be given the option of leaving a message for Marilyn, Thurman, or for Raymond. Their phone will not ring; your call will go directly to their voice mail. In case of an emergency illness or death, callers will be instructed to hang up and call Thurman on his cell phone. This new system relieves staff members of the job of switchboard operators, answering the phones, transferring calls, and taking/delivering messages for everyone. It also provides callers with additional privacy, since they talk directly only with the person they call, or leave messages that can only be retrieved by that person. We welcome Herbert Olson, the newest member of St. James. Herb comes to us from St. Thaddaeus Episcopal Church in Aiken, SC. Jack Allen Dodgen, Jr. 8-1 Judy Cox, 8-19 Mark Powell, 8-20 Jennifer Elaine Pearson, 8-29 Bobby Baxter, 8-30 The following memorial gifts were made in July: In memory of Wesley Pearson Jane and Andy Edmunds Jackie Morton Bobby and Thomasine Deer In memory of Mosses Collins Murphey (a founder of St. James 160 years ago), Mattie Murphey Satcher, Cassie Murphey Burchalter, Evelyn Satcher Crim, and Jesse James Crim, Sr. by Jesse & Phyllis Crim

11 When you do it to the least of these... In July, Raymond s Ministry fed 48 persons and provided clothing to nine. Through your benevolence giving, St. James assisted five persons with utility bills and two with prescription medicine. A HARD JOB. BUT SOMEBODY S GOTTA DO IT! Marilyn will be out of the office Thursday, August 18, for a 3-day conference at Epworth by the Sea. Sponsored by the Georgia Professional Association of UMC Secretaries, workshops will include Keeping Methodist History Alive, Managing Church Records & Transfers, Google Apps & Software, Maintaining Spiritual & Physical Health, and more. Great info, great networking with church administrators from around the state--and maybe even a little sand between the toes! A Note from Anne: St. James family would like to give special thanks to all of this year s apportionment meal sponsors. Also, a very special thanks to Karen, Chip, and Raymond who go out of their way to give us a special and scrumptious meal every time. Through July, we were at 89% of our apportionment goal. Remember, you cannot outgive God, who gave us our very lives and sent his Son to live and die for us! Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the first fruits of all thine increase. Proverbs 3:9-10 Keep on Giving!! May God bless you, Anne Did you know that St. James has a prayer chain of 11 persons? If you have a special need and would like their prayers, call the office to connect with them. From the Trustees-- Projects Completed (Much of this was accomplished at no cost to the church, with donated labor and materials.) Ministry Building: * HVAC upstairs replaced *Repair and paint front upstairs rooms, left and right *Office kitchen faucet repaired *Repair and paint pastor s office *Landscape front & side, plus front of Church *Painted downstairs conference room *Master building keys made *Emergency lights installed *Repairs made to back porch *Two iron railings installed *New phone system installed in Ministry Building and kitchen after storm damage Church Building: *Replaced light over entry to Sanctuary with LED *Roof repairs scheduled with Southern Siding following storm damage *Men s bathroom urinal repaired Lake Property: *Toilets replaced *New gates installed *Hot water heater purchased Outside *Installed parking lot lights *Parking lots switched to LED *Resurfaced parking lot Rental Property (Former Parsonage) *Structural repairs made to hallway prior to sale Considerations for the Future: *Insurance adjuster recommends pointed brick and sealing to avoid further water damage *Recommend painting Clarks Hill buildings Pine Green after wood repairs *New lock to be placed on gate of Clarks Hill property

12 St. James United Methodist Church The Fellowship of the Friendly 439 Greene Street Augusta, GA The Rev. Thurman Norville, Jr. Pastor Marilyn Grau Administrative Assistant Walter Harwood III Organist Raymond Hookfin Sexton www:stjamesaugusta.com Praise God in his sanctuary! Praise God in his fortress, the sky! Praise God in his mighty acts! Praise God as suits his incredible greatness! Praise God with the blast of the ram s horn! Praise God with lute and lyre! Praise God with drum and dance! Praise God with strings and pipe! Praise God with loud cymbals! Praise God with clashing cymbals! Let every living thing praise the LORD! SUNDAY, JULY 31 Our thanks to our guest musicians from Trinity on the Hill United Methodist Church! WORSHIP WITH US! PSALM 150 (CEB)

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