Bishop’s Day in the Greenwood District

Bishop Jonathan Holston continues his district visits this year to meet with pastors and laity concerning the way forward for churches in the SC  Conference.

October 28 is the day Bishop Holston will be in the Greenwood District. Pastors and a leadership team from their churches are expected to join with the Bishop at St. Mark UMC Rivers St. Campus, 1633 Rivers St., Greenwood, on Saturday, October 28, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

This year’s theme is By Faith, On Mission, Together. Bishop Holston will spend the morning with church leadership teams thinking about how we equip our congregations to walk faithfully into God’s vision for God’s church. Teams will have the opportunity to hear what churches are learning from the Forward Focus process, and the day will close with Holy Communion as we celebrate our connection to one another and to Jesus Christ.

Pastors are reminded that this is the October district clergy meeting. Attendance is expected.

Churches can have gay Boy Scout leaders

The folloBSAwing link is to an article published by the United Methodist Church news organization.

The executive board of Boy Scouts of America has ended its ban on gay leaders. But religiously affiliated units still can maintain their own prohibitions. Only time will tell how this policy change will affect local troop membership as well as church-sponsored troops.

Vacation Bible Schools in the Greenwood District

If you VBSare looking for Vacation Bible School experiences for your children this summer, here is information from some of our churches in the Greenwood District about their VBS events.



  • Aldersgate UMC, 103 Northside Dr. West, Greenwood, SC 29649. Pastor: Rev. Bette Hedden. June 22-26, 5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. (dinner included)
    Theme: G-Force: In God we live, move, and exist. Acts 17:28A CEB (Cokesbury curriculum)
  • First UMC, 244 West Main St., Laurens, SC 29360. Pastor: Rev. Alice MacKeil
    July 12-16, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
    Theme: G-Force: In God we live, move, and exist. Acts 17:28A CEB (Cokesbury curriculum)
  • Grace UMC, 639 Georgia Avenue, North Augusta. Pastors: Rev. Jim Dennis and Rev. Tyler Strange. Theme: G-Force: In God we live, move, and exist. Acts 17:28A CEB (Cokesbury curriculum). June 22-26, 8:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. For Children Completed 3K through 5th Grade. Special Outreach Program For 5th Graders to  children in a poverty stricken area in our community. Special offering to go to UMCOR for earthquake victims in Nepal. Children will be collecting toys for children undergoing surgery and medical procedures at GRU Children’s Medical Center in Augusta, kid-friendly snacks for North Augusta Community Ministry, and school supplies to go to local schools. Special Program on Friday evening, June 26, at 5:30 p.m. by Jeff Smith of Salt and Light Ministries. Jeff is a national and international performer and master teacher in the area of children’s ministries.
  • Leesville UMC, 510 E. Columbia Ave., Leesville, SC 29070. Pastor: Rev. Sandra King, June 14-18. Kick-off on June 14 begins at 5:00 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday sessions begin at 5:45 p.m.with a light meal and end at 8:00 p.m.
    Theme: The Abundance Orchard: Where Faith Grows and Hungry People Are Fed. (Society of St. Andrew curriculum) Classes are provided for age 2- 8th grade. An adult class will be taught by John Kneece, a Lay Pastor in our district.
  • Main St. UMC, 211 North Main St., Greenwood, SC 29646. Pastor: Rev. Phil Thrailkill. June 15-19; 9 a.m.-12 noon.  We will have classes for children 2 by Sept 1, 2014, through those completing 5th grade. Our mission emphasis will be LAMB Institute in Tegucigalpa, Honduras and items will be collected each day. Parents will be notified by email of the schedule of items. There will be a program on Friday at 12 noon in the Fellowship Hall. Children will enter Base Camp each morning in the Fellowship Hall.
  • St. James UMC, 301 Watts Ave., Laurens, SC 29360. June 14 – 18, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Theme: Blast to the Past: Time Travel Back to Explore the Bible. Know what God’s love is…Explore God’s everlasting love…Serve God. (Standard Publishing curriculum). There will also be an adult class exploring I Am: Revealed; each evening the class will examine the different aspect of God’s names.
  • St. John UMC, 18 Gregg St., Graniteville. Pastor: Rev. Alan Quarles. Theme: G-Force: In God we live, move, and exist. Acts 17:28A CEB (Cokesbury curriculum).
    Vacation Bible School Kick off will be  Sunday, June 14 at 4:00—6:30 PM
    We will have a water slide. Please bring bathing suit, towel and sunscreen.
    We will also have games and food – Hot dogs and fixings. VBS continues Monday through Wednesday from 6:30 p.m.—9:00 p.m. in the educational building. We will be offering a 5th, 6th & 7th grade class that will meet in the Darby Building. VBS commencement will be Thursday, June 18, at 6:30 p.m. in the educational building. Children will sing songs, receive certificates, and treat themselves to an ice cream bar.
  • St. Mark UMC, 1633 Rivers St., Greenwood. Pastor: Rev. Carl Hunsucker. St. Mark welcomes all children, K3-5th grade, to this year’s VBS – EVEREST!  (Christianbook curriculum) St. Mark will transform it’s Rivers Street Campus into the base camp of Everest, June 22-26 from 9:00 a.m.-noon!  Join us as we learn to conquer all challenges through God’s never ending and abundant love. To register or for more information, email julie at
  • St. Paul UMC, 301 Cambridge St., Ninety Six, SC 29666. Pastor: Rev. Valerie Mireb. July 13 – 16; 6:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.  Theme: Hometown Nazareth.
    As part of this year’s VBS, the children will learn some Hebrew and see a lot of things from Nazareth thanks to Rev. Mireb’s sister-in-law. Her husband, Johnny, will be teaching the Hebrew class.
  • Troy UMC, 127 Church St., Troy, SC 29848. Pastor: Rev. Barrett Alewine. Theme: Camp Worship: God’s Amazing World! July 13-17, 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. Classes for all ages, including an adult Bible study led by Rev. Alewine. A light meal will be served Monday through Thursday. Friday night everyone is welcome to the closing picnic (everyone is asked to bring picnic foods and tea.) followed by a fun night for children. Fun night activities include a dunking booth and other wet activities so bring your swim suit.

Millennials Seek Larger Framework to Understand God

Just read an interesting article by Chris Folmsbee, Director of Discipleship Ministries at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kansas. Entitled “Millennials Seek Larger Framework to Understand God.” He makes some valid points and offers some interesting ideas for pastors and churches to consider in attracting millennials to church or keeping them involved in church.

Folmsbee states, “The answer is not to hire younger, cooler-looking staff and build edgier programs. The answer is to give Millennials a larger framework for God and to push their boundaries of God, thus changing their concept of God.” An interesting concept and one that many churches will have a hard time accepting because so many of us think of creating a new program and then wonder why it never really succeeds.