Circuit mast
The Circuit Rider                                                  Nov. 6, 2009
Weekly Update for the Mississippi United Methodist Conference

In This Issue
Important Correction
Gulfport First's Arts Under The Dome Opens with Guitarist Pat Donohue
Greenville UMCs Sponsor School Presentations on Combating Violence
Special Offering Update from The Hour's Mike Boucher
Hinds Chapel UMW to host Soup Day and Fall Festival
Friars Point to Hold Revival
Rials Creek UMC Holds Blessing of the Hunters
Pumpkin Patch Offers Fun and Funds
Council of Bishops Adopt..."God's Renewed Creation: Call to Hope
Council of Bishops Elects Wenner President-Designate and Goodpaster President
Cares and Concerns
Employment Opportunities Across the Conference
Keep on Knocking...
Knock on 9
Let us Know!    Share how your church is accepting the challenge to Knock on Nine. Send your information to the conference office at

We will share your information with churches across the conference. And, don't forget to report back on the number of doors you've opened.

For information, contact conference Communications Director Lisa Cumbest Michiels at 601.354.0515,
ext. 17.

UMW Holds Annual Meeting

The email, that is

Sign up now for The Circuit Rider
and click on"Sign up for
newsletter here."

Receive up-to-the minute news
and information from
Mississippi Conference.

 Your Circuit Rider will arrive
at your email address weekly

with announcements, dates to remember, celebration stories and cares and concerns from across the conference, as well as
employment opportunities.

 Be a Circuit Rider: Print a copy of Circuit Rider each week  and share with someone you know who doesn't have a computer,
but wants to stay informed.

UMW Holds Annual Meeting

Dates to Remember

Bishop Ward to Preach at Oxford University UMC
Nov. 8 at 8:45 a.m. & 10:55 a.m.
Oxford, MS


Board of Pensions
Nov. 10, 2009 at 10 a.m.
UM Foundation


Move the Mountain
Leadership Training

Nov. 10, 2009
Time and Location TBA
601.354.0515, ext. 14


Exploration 2009
November 11-15, 2009
Dallas, TX


Committee on Finance & Administration
Nov. 17, 2009 at 10 a.m.
UM Foundation


Communications Committee
Nov. 19, 2009 at 10 a.m.
MS Conference Office
601.354.0515, ext. 17


Dare to Lead
Dec. 5 - 6, 2009
Camp Lake Stephens 


Dec. 30 - Jan. 1
Camp Lake Stephens


Mark Your Calendar
for 2010 District
Lay Speaking Schools

East Jackson/West Districts  January 30 -- Brandon 1st UMC

  Tupelo District
February 5-6

New Albany District
 (TENTATIVE) February 20 -- New Albany 1st or Corinth

Seashore District
February 26-27

Meridian District
February 27 -- College Park UMC

Brookhaven District
February 27 -- Brookhaven 1st UMC

Starkville District
March 27

Senatobia District

April 10 -- Hernando UMC
(Sponsored by Desoto Cluster)

Greenwood District
April 17 -- Moore Memorial UMC (Winona)

New Albany District
April 17 -- New Albany 1st or Corinth

Hattiesburg District
April 17 -- Laurel 1st
4 classes (Basic, Evangelism, Bible Study, and Grow Spiritually through Daily Discipline)

Seashore District

October 29-30

Save the Date
Arise! Shine! Grow!
Mississippi Annual Conference
June 11-13, 2010
Jackson Conv
ention Complex

Arise, Shine logo
Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List

Welcome to your connection for up-to-the minute news and information from the Mississippi Conference. Your Circuit Rider will arrive weekly with announcements, dates to remember, celebration stories from across the conference and employment opportunities. Our hope is for The Circuit Rider to become a tool for building the connection across the conference, strengthening our districts and local congregations as we go forth to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Please e-mail your news and information for us to share with others around the conference to Deadlines are Tuesday at noon for the following Thursday.
Bishop Ward
:: Gleanings

We just got the numbers for the third quarter and participation in Mississippi has grown tremendously -- from 8 percent last year at this time to 48 percent.Thank you!
-- Shawn Bakker, Director of The Advance

Thank you for your response to the invitation toward 100 percent participation in The Advance in 2009!  
A 600 percent increase over last year this time is amazing, a sign that all things are possible when we focus on growing, going and giving.
The Advance of The United Methodist Church is the channel established for mission giving through the apportionments of all United Methodist churches.  Your gifts to mission -- to support missionary salaries, mission projects and programs of evangelism and healing and education -- go 100 percent to the designated cause. 
Check out and you will have fun exploring the way we United Methodists are in mission. 
 As you plan for Advent, you may want to use the wonderful short video Advent Conspiracy to help your congregation or class or group move faithfully and generously toward the season of Jesus' birth.  You can find Advent Conspiracy easily (it's free!). To see the promotion click here: For more information about Advent Conspiracy visit their site
As you participate in the 2009 Mississippi Conference Advent Offering for Nothing But Nets, you are participating in giving through The Advance. You are in my prayers as you share this invitation and the joy of generosity.
Let us continue to grow, go and give as God meets us with wonderful surprises!
With thanksgiving for your partnership in the ministry of Christ,
Hope Morgan Ward

:: Important Correction!
In the Treasurer Notes last week it listed incorrectly that insurance rates should be out by January 20, 2009. It should read as follows:

Conference-wide Property and Casualty Insurance

Renewal forms for the conference wide insurance program will be received by the local churches before November 30, 2009.  Premiums are looking very favorable.  If you have not received your packet by that date, give Gallagher a call at 601.956.5810. Please be sure to follow the renewal instructions contained in the packet. 

If you are not covered by the conference plan, you may contact Jeff Estes or Chris Brantley at Gallagher for a quote on your coverage. Remember, there is always a place for every local church and entity flying the cross and flame at the conference wide insurance table.
:: AnnouncementsPat Donohue
Gulfport First's Arts Under The Dome Opens with Guitarist Pat Donohue

Gulfport First UMC kicks off the 2009-2010 concert series Arts Under The Dome on Saturday, Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. with prolific guitarist Pat Donohue, featured weekly on the popular radio program  A Prairie Home Companion.  Called  "one of the greatest finger pickers in the world today" by legendary guitarist Chet Atkins, Donohue's repertoire includes swing, jazz, blues, folk, ragtime, and boogie-woogie.
The concert venue is First United Methodist Church in downtown Gulfport on 15th Street at 24th Avenue. Tickets are available at the door for $10 adults and $7 students. Season tickets may be purchased for  $40 individuals or $80 families (in the same household). Other artists in the lineup are Corky Siegel's Chamber Blues, brass ensemble Proteus 7, the Bethune-Cookman University Inspirational Gospel Choir, and the Panorama Jazz Band. For information or to receive a season brochure, call 228.863.0047 or 228.863.0392, or go to

Greenville UMCs Sponsor School Presentations on Combating Violence

The Greenville UMCs will sponsor presentations to the Greenville Public Schools on combating violence. Featured speaker is Rev. Eddie Spencer who will address the students based on his own personal experience. This event is scheduled for Friday, November 13; Spencer will speak to 10th graders at 9 a.m., 11-12th graders at 10:15 a.m., and 9th graders at 2 p.m. At the 9th Grade School. Spencer will be available to intermingle with the high schoolers during lunch-time. 

The Hour
Special Offering Update from
The Hour's Mike Boucher

The United Methodist Hour would like to take this opportunity to thank each of you for responding to our emails and phone calls in such a wonderful way. Our staff and volunteers have been working hard to contact you regarding the participation of your church in our Special Offering Sunday on November 8. It has been a blessing to talk to you and to know The Hour has such support throughout the Mississippi United Methodist Conference. Your words of support have blessed us more than you know.
Though we diligently worked to contact each minister in the conference, we may have missed you. If for some reason you were not contacted, we apologize. Please let us know if your church will participate and we will get the information to you as soon as possible. Also, keep in mind that you do not have to participate on November 8, but you can choose a more convenient time for your church if needed. Give us a call at 601.296.1676 or email us at if you have any questions, or would like more information.
We appreciate you and look forward to working with you in the future. God bless you and yours.

Hinds Chapel UMW to host Soup Day and Fall Festival
The United Methodist Women of Hinds Chapel United Methodist Church will host their annual Soup Day and Fall Festival Saturday, Nov. 7, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the church fellowship hall. Soups, chili and stews will be available for purchase as lunch for $5 (lunch includes soup, cornbread and drink) or take out prices are $5 per quart and $2.50 per pint. There will also be a bake sale, white elephant sale area and craft and information booths. In the afternoon there will be grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, a cake walk and games.  Craft booth rentals are $10 (no tables or electricity available).

Proceeds from the event benefit various charities.The church is located at 5105 Church Road (at the corner of Church and Fogg Roads) in Nesbit. For more information call 901.299.2722 after 5 p.m.

Friars Point to Hold Revival
Friars Point UMC will hold a revival Nov 8-11, 7 p.m. each night. Rev. Jim Cox will be the guest preacher with special music by Matt Cox, Southaven First youth director on Sunday; Hope Ministries on Monday; St Paul UMC Choir on Tuesday and Flo Shackleford on Wednesday. Ya'll come. Friars Point UMC is part of the Lula Charge and is located on 2nd Street in Friars Point, MS.

Circle of HandsWorkshops on Ministry to Poor Scheduled for Next Week
Circles, a pilot ministry to the poor of the United Methodist Church and Move the Mountain Leadership Center will be holding meetings throughout the conference Nov. 10-12

Circles is a transformational approach that partners regional volunteers and community leaders with families in need. Using job support, networking, education, and empowerment, it provides social capital to understand, engage, and eliminate poverty.

Anyone interested in helping the more than 36.5 million Americans currently living in chronic poverty are invited to attend one of the following meetings: Greenville on Tuesday, Nov. 10 from 9:30-11:30 a.m.  at the Percy Memorial Library, 341 Main Street; Clarksdale on Nov. 10 from 2-4 p.m. Coahoma Education Center (formerly Cutrer Home); Biloxi on Wednesday, Nov. 11 from 1-3 p.m. at Seashore Assembly, 1410 Leggett Drive; and Jackson on Thursday, Nov. 12 from 2- 4 p.m. at the MS Conference Office, 321 Mississippi Street.

For more information call 601.354.0515 ext. 14.

Senatobia District UMW to Hold Annual Meeting
Saturday, November 14, 2009, Senatobia District UMW Annual Meeting at Batesville 1st UMC. Coffee and Registration at 9:30 a.m., meeting begins at 10 a.m.  Lunch will be served. Rev. Stephen Bittick, Lifebridge UMC, Desoto County New Church Plant, will bring the message of the morning. Theme of meeting COME TO THE TABLE!  For more information contact Cheryl Denley at

:: Celebrations

Rials Creek UMC Holds Blessing of the Hunters  

On Sept. 27 Rials Creek UMC in Mendenhall recognized the hunters and their families with a special worship service called "Blessing of the Hunters" day. Families arrived in camouflage and a blessing for their harvest as well as for their safety was given. This year, the hunters have agreed to give a portion of their harvest to the needy through a program they call S.P.A.M. (Sportsmen Providing Additional Meat). The meat will be collected at the church and later processed to give to those in need within the community.
Rials Creek UMC
Pumpkin Patch Offers Fun and Funds  

Hernando UMC Youth ran a "pumpkin patch" in the church yard this fall with all proceeds going to the Youth Fund. Residents of Hernando were invited to stop by, purchase their pumpkins for holiday fun and use the lovely display for a photo backdrop, reports Chris Camp, director of Youth Ministries at the church. 
Pumpkin Patch

Pictured are Myles and Sawyer Denley, and Shelby and Andrew Dorr, grandchildren of Cheryl Denley, Senatobia District Secretary/Staff.   
:: Action from Council on Bishops

Council of Bishops Adopt
"God's Renewed Creation: Call to Hope and Action"   

In a statement that says, "We cannot help the world until we change our way of being in it," the bishops of The United Methodist Church announced a significant call to all United Methodists, ecumenical and inter-religious partners and people of goodwill around the world.

"As bishops, we know that critical issues of the day have left people feeling fearful, cynical, hopeless and overwhelmed," said Bishop Gregory Palmer, president of the Council of Bishops."God's Renewed Creation: Call to Hope and Action contains our pledges to work in hopeful and robust ways for transforming change as God's stewards of creation. We invite the church and our partners around the world to join us."

Stating that they "cannot remain silent while God's people and God's planet suffer," the 69 active bishops of The United Methodist Church addressed the pastoral letter and foundation document to the 11.3 million global members of the denomination.

The bishops recommend that the pastoral letter be read aloud in worship during the season of Advent in each of 42,600 congregations worldwide. A liturgical setting for the letter offers responsive elements for congregational participation. These are a "lament for God's people and God's planet," confession of "failure to embody the image of God" and call to action inviting everyone to join the bishops in their own nine pledges for urgent, effective action.

The final documents will be available online  by November 9, 2009 and in French, Portuguese, German, Spanish and Korean as soon as possible. Study guides for adults and leaders with children are being prepared for Lenten studies in 2010.

The focus of the bishops' message is three interconnected global threats to God's good creation:
  • Pandemic poverty and disease
  • Environmental degradation
  • The proliferation of weapons and violence.
"We spent many months listening to the concerns and hopes of over 5,400 United Methodists worldwide of every age and status," said Bishop Timothy Whitaker of Florida, Chair of the Task Force that brought the proposal to the Council. "We are building on a strong church tradition of seriously engaging public policy issues that most affect the human race-especially our young people."

Feedback from United Methodists and interreligious partners in Europe, Africa, Asia (especially the Philippines), and the U.S. asked the bishops to share words of confession, prophetic reminders of biblical and Wesleyan heritage, and some ways to respond to specific calls to action.

God's Renewed Creation is the evolution of action taken 20 years ago when the bishops issued a pastoral letter called, "In Defense of Creation: The Nuclear Crisis and a Just Peace." The 1986 letter reminded all people that this world is God's creation, a sacred gift to be received and nurtured with respect, declaring an unconditional NO to the policy of deterrence and any use of nuclear weapons.

In 2004, the General Conference of The United Methodist Church authorized the Council of Bishops to update the 1986 document for our time by "educating and encouraging the church, citizens and governments to seek things which lead to a just peace." 

Council of Bishops Elects Wenner President-Designate and Goodpaster President   

The United Methodist Council of Bishops has elected Bishop Rosemarie Wenner of the Germany Episcopal Area as its president designate.
The council also elected Bishop Larry Goodpaster of the Charlotte Episcopal Area as president for a two-year term beginning May 6, 2010 and ending during the 2012 General Conference. Goodpaster will succeed Bishop Gregory Palmer of the Illinois Episcopal Area.
Bishop Goodpaster, who has served as president-designate for the past year and a half, said that he is looking forward to continuing work on reordering and rethinking church and what it might look like in the future. "Being in a position to make that vision  happen-that keeps me energized," he said.
Bishop Wenner is a native of Germany and attended the United Methodist Theological Seminary in Reutlingen. She was ordained in 1981 and served as pastor of congregations in Karlsruhe-Durlach, Hockenheim and Darmstadt-Sprendlingen before her appointment as superintendent of the Frankfurt District in 1996. In February 2005, she was elected bishop at the Germany Central Conference in Wuppertal--the first woman elected to the United Methodist episcopacy outside the U.S.
"We are clear about our priorities; we want to enable our local churches and our annual conferences to fulfill the task of making disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world," said Bishop Wenner. "I look forward to giving my contribution so that we all together might go forward in this direction and really focus on the four area of foci that we have agreed to as our priorities."
Bishop Wenner said that she looks forward to working in a worldwide perspective. "I hope that we can grow deeper into that relationship so that we really support each other in doing God's mission all over the world," she said.
The election took place during the Council's semi-annual meeting at Lake Junaluska, NC this week.
:: Cares and Concerns

From New Albany District
Please be in prayer for Rev. J.G. Babb, retired elder, living in Corinth. Rev. Babb fell at home and is now in the Magnolia Medical Center, Corinth.

From East Jackson District

Please be in prayer for the family of Revs. Douglas "BB" Watson and Diane Braman. Rev. Watson just learned that his sister, Janice Watson of Tampa, FL died unexpectedly from an illness. 
From Hattiesburg District
Mrs. Carolyn Wolfe, surviving spouse of Rev. Hillman Wolfe, is in the intensive care unit at Forrest General Hospital in Hattiesburg following emergency open heart surgery Wednesday evening to repair her aorta.  Please remember Carolyn, her family and friends in your prayers.

From West Jackson District
The funeral service for Mrs. Dorothy Whitaker, mother of Bishop Tim Whitaker, was held Thursday, Nov. 5.  Memorial gifts may be sent to Redwood UMC, P.O. Box 26, Redwood, MS. For more information you can get in touch with Jo Ann McClain, Administrative Assistant, The Council of Bishops, Telephone: 202.547.6270, Fax: 202.547.6272. Please keep the Whitaker family in your prayers.
:: Employment Opportunities Across the Conference

YOUTH DIRECTOR /MINISTER - Lucedale First is looking for either part-time or full-time youth director/minister.  Great community to raise family. Salary dependent upon experience. For information call 601.947.8132 or email resume to
2012 GENERAL CONFERENCE WORSHIP AND MUSIC DIRECTOR - The Worship and Music Director, an individual with a high level of organizational and communication skills, is responsible for the overall worship and music program management at General Conference. The Director is responsible to the Commission on the General Conference functioning as a part of the staff coordinated by the Business Manager. The Worship and Music Director receives a modest honorarium with transportation, housing, and food paid through the submission of expense reports to the Business Manager of the General Conference. Applicants should send a brief resume outlining their background and professional references with a brief audition video highlighting music leadership abilities in a variety of settings by February 1, 2010 to: Rev. Alan J. Morrison, Business Manager of General Conference, P.O. Box 340029, Nashville TN 37203 - 0029 or email: The position description provides technical requirements for the audition video.

UMM GENERAL SECRETARY - The General Commission on United Methodist Men is seeking a qualified individual to serve as its General Secretary. This person will serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the Commission on United Methodist Men. Interested persons should contact Mrs. Martha Davis at 615.620.7266 or email: for complete application and job description forms. Forms are also available on the GCUMM website:

- Ripley First United Methodist Church, a growing church in the heart of downtown Ripley is seeking to fill the position of Organist and Choir Director. For more information please contact the Rev. Andy Stoddard at 662.837.7183.