Set-Up Meeting 2021


Columbia District Set-Up Meeting and Gathering for Clergy and Spouses

The District Set-Up Meeting and Gathering for Clergy and Spouses will be Tuesday, August 3,  6:00 pm at Epworth Children’s Home, 2900 Millwood Avenue, Columbia, SC. 

Worship service at 6:00 in the Sanctuary.  

Dinner will be 6:45 in the Dining Hall at no cost.

Appointed clergy are expected to attend.

Spouses will gather after dinner.

Children are welcome. Childcare will be provided. Register number of children.


Copy and paste the Registration link below:

Preparing for MLK Day 2020

Prepare the Way for MLK Day

MLK Day can’t be a “one and done” experience.   We need to open our hearts and minds in preparation for our District Virtual MLK Service, 12:00 Noon, January 18, 2021.  We invite you to use one of the following resources, to prepare the way for MLK Day.


Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? 256 pages (Martin Luther King Jr.)

Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman, 128 pages (Before MLK)

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin, 128 pages (During and after MLK)

Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, 176 pages (Millennial)


Movie:  Selma (2014) PG-13 | 2h 8min | Biography, Drama, History (Movie)


Internet:  I Have a Dream Speech  (YouTube)


Podcast:  1619: The 1619 Project is an ongoing project developed by The New York Times Magazine in 2019 which “aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of [the United States’] national narrative”.


Light of the World

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being 4in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.  5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.   John 1:1-5

As I’ve gotten older, I find it more difficult to drive at night.  I wear mono-vision contacts, which means one contact is for distance and one for reading.  In the dark, I need my progressive lens glasses, which give me distance and reading vision in both eyes.   It’s also hard to do yoga in dim lighting.  Balancing poses are impossible.   Even in a brightly lit room, if the yoga instructor asks us to close our eyes in a balancing pose, I fall.  It’s also impossible to read in the dark.  I really don’t like those energy-saving light bulbs.   Ever try walking in the dark without a flashlight?  I meander like a drunk sailor.  The bottom line is that without light, we are lost.   This has been a very dark year, a global pandemic, political divisiveness, racial injustice, and economic crisis.  Perhaps that’s why we all were excited about the merging of Jupiter and Saturn, revealing the Christmas Star on December 21, the longest night of the darkest year.   We long for brighter days, free from brokenness and suffering.  We hope that 2021 will be a better year, but I hate to tell you, there will always be brokenness and suffering in our lives and in the world.  That’s what it means to be human, and to live in the imperfect world.   Into the brokenness and suffering, Jesus shines His light, offering hope, love, grace, peace and joy.   God chose to come to earth, to enter into our brokenness and suffering, and even use brokenness and suffering upon the cross, to bring us abundant and everlasting life.    L.R. Knost wrote, “Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of this world.  All things break.  All things can be mended.  Not with time as they say, but with intention.  So go, love intentionally, extravagantly, and unconditionally.  The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.”   May the light of the world, Jesus Christ, be born anew in you this Christmas.   And may you reflect His light.

Namaste, the light in me honors the light in you.


Virtual Leadership Training, Jan 24, 2021

Excellence in Ministry Virtual Training, January 24, 2021, Sunday 

Opening Session: 3:00pm                                          Workshops: 3:30-4:30pm

This will be a Zoom training.  You will receive an email with the Zoom link AFTER you register on-line (registration link at the bottom of this post).  You will attend only one workshop.   

  • “How to Reach New People in a Pandemic and Beyond” – Rev. Martin Quick, Assoc. Pastor, Journey UMC
  • “Taking Care of God’s Money:  Finance and Stewardship” – Beth Westbury, Conference Treasurer
  •  “Taking Care of Business:  Trustees” –  Kay Crowe, Conference Chancellor
  • “Congregational Care in the Pandemic and Beyond”- Rev. Alston Lippert, Assoc. Pastor, Washington St. UMC
  •  “Resolving Conflict in the Church” –  Rev. Millie Nelson Smith, Director of Connectional Ministries & Congregational Specialist 
  • “How to Start and Grow Special Needs Ministry” – Rev. Shannon Bullion, Assoc. Minister of Evangelism & Outreach, Shandon UMC
  • “Enhancing Worship: Live Stream and in Person” – Rev. Gary Phillips, Senior Pastor, Salem UMC & Rev. Scott Smoak, Trinity UMC, Blythewood
  • “Epworth Local Church Representative: Be the Face and Voice” – Rev. Kathy James, Director of Church Relations, Sherry Mims, Associate Dir. of Church Relations and Assistant to the President; Lisa Livingston Fusco, Senior Director of Development 
  • “Strengthening Youth Ministry in a Pandemic and Beyond” – Chris Lynch, Congregational Specialist, Rock Hill and Spartanburg and Ministry with Young People
  • “Strengthening Ministry with Children” – Ashley Reynolds, Director of Children & Youth Ministry, Red Bank UMC               

MLK Day Service, January 18, Noon

Date:  January 18, 12:00noon  – Virtual service, broadcast on Columbia District FaceBook

and Journey UMC Youtube

Sponsor:  “CFRE: Clergy for Racial Equality”  (a group of Columbia District clergy dedicated to racial equality and justice) 

Theme:  “Truth, Accountability, Reconciliation”

  • Voices from around the district sharing thoughts on truth, accountability, reconciliation   
  • Panel Discussion: Moderator:  Rev. Lex McDonald;  Panel: Rev. Dr. George Ashford, Rev. Tiffany Knowlin Boykin, Rev. Jeff Kersey, Rev. Elizabeth Murray, Rev. Kenneth Middleton
  • Music
  • Voices from around the district sharing their hopes and action steps for race relations