“Hand y Mano” Volunteer Sign-up

Once again this Summer the Columbia District is partnering with Lutheran Family Services to offer Day Camp for the children of resettled refugees in the Columbia area. Virginia Wingard UMC (1500 Broad River Road, Columbia) is graciously hosting the program during the weeks of July 31 through August 4, and August 7 through August 11, each day from 8:45am to 12:45pm. Please be in prayer for this ministry and the families who will be touched by it. Financial support is also welcome and may be sent to Virginia Wingard designated for “Hand y Mano.”

One of the biggest outstanding needs is for volunteer help. Come and lend a hand in any way, by helping to entertain the kids or assisting in other ways. Simply sign-up using the online form below. If you only have one hour to give, that’s great. If you can do more, that’s a big help, too.

With other questions or interest, contact Martha Thompson (tmartha931@aol.com).

Transitions Retreat for Pastors


Pinnacle logo

Letting Go and Taking Hold

Sponsored by: Columbia, Hartsville, and Rock Hill Districts

9:30AM – 3:30pm, May 18, 2017  (registration deadline May 12)

Trenholm Road UMC, 3401 Trenholm Road, Columbia, SC  29204

Rev. Mark Tidsworth, Retreat Leader

Objective: To assist pastors transitioning in their ministry contexts to transition well.

Format: Activities in this one-day retreat include presentation, small group dialogue, individual reflection, and commissioning.

Resource:  “Your Best Move: Effective Leadership Transition for the Local Church” by Robert Kaylor.   Please read prior to the retreat. 

Agenda Flow:

  • Welcome, Introductions, and Warming Up
  • Interactive Transitions Bible Study
  • Guiding Metaphor: Letting Go And Taking Hold (Trapeze)
  • Letting Go – Saying A Good Goodbye (Letting Go)
  • Leadership Matters – Why We Transition Well
  • Taking Hold – Major Initiatives To Engage Early In Tenure
  • Serving Well, Serving Strong – Life Balance Planning
  • Communion and Sending Forth

The Columbia District has hosted this retreat for its transitioning clergy the last two years.  Rock Hill and Hartsville Districts are joining as sponsors this year.  This year the retreat is moving to this new earlier date to facilitate the transition. This retreat is open to all UMC Districts and to pastors from various denominations (non-UMC pastors please send a check for $25 to Columbia District, 4908 Colonial Drive, Columbia, SC  29203) 

Rev. Mark Tidsworth, Retreat Leader – Mark and Pinnacle Leadership partner with the South Carolina UMC in many ways, with this retreat as one expression of this partnership. Exploring the intersection of faith and culture is Mark’s sweet spot in ministry, influencing his coaching, training, writing, and consulting. Mark’s vocational journey as a pastor, new church developer, therapist, author, and Pinnacle President has contributed to his understanding of church leadership. You can learn more about Mark and Pinnacle on their website at pinnlead.com


For questions, contact the Columbia District office, Veronica Williams, 786-9486 or veronica@umcsc.org.

Bishop’s Forward Focus: UPDATE

Forward Focus Logo

The Columbia District
Bishop’s Forward Focus

Saturday, April 8th
9:00am – 12:00pm
Shandon UMC
(3407 Devine Street, Columbia, SC 29205)

All pastors are invited to bring up to five (5) elected leaders and/or potential leaders. This may include Church Council Chair, Lay Leader, Vision Committee Chair, and other potential leaders who are enthusiastic and committed. Bishop Jonathan Holston will be leading us in discernment about reaching our full potential and seeking a hopeful future.

At the end of the event, churches will be asked to consider entering into a process designed to guide the local church leadership team in gathering data and information necessary to reflect on the ministry potential and vitality of your church. Expected outcomes of the Bishop’s Forward Focus include: 1. Clear idea of next steps for your congregation, 2. An informed discernment of God’s will for your congregation, and 3. Reclaim a healthy process for the how the congregation should work.

TO SIGN UP FOR THE EVENT, complete online registration here or contact Veronica Williams in the District Office (803-786-9486 or codist@umcsc.org). The registration deadline is April 3rd. For additional info, contact Betty Void at betty0629@att.net or 803-447-0626.

Lay Servant Ministries Training

The Lay Servant Ministries School for the Columbia District will be held on March 11 from 9:00-5:00 and March 12 from 2:00-5:00, at Virginia Wingard United Methodist Church, 1500 Broad River Road, Columbia, SC (across from Dutch Square Shopping Mall).  Lunch will be served on Saturday and refreshments on Sunday.  A fee of $45 will be charged to cover the cost of food and classroom book.

The Basic and Advanced Lay Servant Courses will be offered.

Advanced Courses offered this year are:

  • “Lay Servants Lead in Worship” – This course is designed to help lay servants become versed in how to plan and lead worship services
  • Lay Servants Discover Their Spiritual Gifts” – Discover your spiritual gifts and learning what it means to be a spiritual leader; and being more fully equipped to lead others in exploring and using their spiritual gift
  • “Living our United Methodist Beliefs” – This course will help lay servants have a better understanding of United Methodists beliefs and history
  • “Lay Servants Lead in Prayer” – This course offers a short course on praying in public to help others grow in their confidence and skill in prayer, both public and personal.
  • It is necessary for you to attend both Saturday and Sunday, as this school requires a total of ten hours of training.

Please contact Veronica in the district office for a basic or advanced course registration form. 

Registration form and check are due in the District Office no later than February 20, 2017.

If you have any questions, feel free to call the District Office at 786-9486 or Francis Hipp at (H)794-2217.





MARCH 18, 2017

Sign in: Epworth Dining Hall (8:00-8:30 am)

Where: Epworth Children’s Home, Millwood Ave., Columbia SC 29250

While enjoying a continental breakfast, learn about the programs and exciting expansion happening at Epworth. Following this update, you will receive work assignments. Our expectation is that when we leave by 12:30 pm, the grounds will have been pruned, raked, weeded, trimmed, etc. Cottages and other buildings will have been pressured washed, and some interior painting will be completed. Other projects may be available ( dependent upon volunteer turnout).

Equipment needed: Rakes, pruning equipment, string trimmers, pressure washing equipment and water hoses, items for painting ( brushes, rollers, pans and liners), and any other items you feel necessary for a sprucing up of the campuses.

While this is sponsored by the United Methodist Men of the Columbia District, women and youth are invited to participate as well.

For planning and work assignment purposes, please call 803-609-4780 to let us know of your intention to participate in this opportunity for service to Epworth Children’s Home. Please respond no later than March 13.