Posts by Category: News

This is the category for Advocate news and feature articles.

News February 23, 2017 posted by

Stronger than ever: Advent UMC rallies after fire

By Jessica Brodie. Advent United Methodist Church is recovering this month after a fire Feb. 8 destroyed its sanctuary. No one was injured in the blaze, which happened around lunchtime that day after construction crews renovating the structure reportedly sparked a small fire while cutting steel. Now, church leaders are doing their best to carry on, armed with prayer and a commitment to perseverance. “The building burned, but the church is still here, and we’re moving forward,” said the Rev. Michael Turner, Advent’s senior pastor. “We believe we’ll be stronger than ever.”

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Stronger than ever: Advent UMC rallies after fire
Advent pastor the Rev. Michael Turner said one powerful sign of God’s providence and grace was illuminated through the large wooden cross that had been hanging in their sanctuary. While most of the roof was destroyed, the cross remained. It is now misshapen and some of wood has cracked and it reeks of smoke, but it remained nonetheless. The fact that the cross survived is a sign God is going to do what He has done in the past, Turner said: bring new life and order out of chaos and destruction. Photo by Matt Brodie.
News February 23, 2017 posted by

Men rooted in Christ

By Jessica Brodie. One thousand South Carolina men spent three days rooting themselves in the Lord. And at the end of it all, they emerged transformed, fired up and ready to take the church in a bold new direction.

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Men rooted in Christ
A man prays at the altar during the South Carolina Conference United Methodist Men’s spiritual retreat. One thousand men spent three days at the retreat rooting themselves in the Lord. Photo by Matt Brodie.
News February 23, 2017 posted by

Breaking the cycle: UMCs urged to give $100 apiece to build homes for the homeless

By Jessica Brodie. A home, where before there was none. A way out and a step up, when before there was only the endless, debilitating cycle of poverty. And all thanks to a new conference-wide mission project called simply the Homeless Initiative.

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Breaking the cycle: UMCs urged to give $100 apiece to build homes for the homeless
Four churches in the Greenville District have already agreed to sponsor one home apiece for the Homeless Initiative: Buncombe Street UMC, Greenville; Covenant UMC, Greer; Advent UMC, Simpsonville; and Mauldin UMC, Mauldin. The conference is hoping every other UMC throughout South Carolina will donate $100 apiece so two or three more homes can be built. Here, during the Feb. 4 Bishop’s Forward Focus Tour, Buncombe Street UMC gives a $39,000 check to Bishop Jonathan Holston for one of the homes. Buncombe Street members raised the money through their 2016 Advent Offering. Pictured are the Rev. Jerry Hill, Buncombe Street minister of missions and outreach; Dr. Bob Howell, senior pastor; the Rev. George Howell, Greenville District superintendent; and Holston.
News February 23, 2017 posted by

Pastors explore how to preach to confront racism 70 years after S.C.’s last lynching

By Jessica Brodie. Seventy years after South Carolina’s last known lynching, a crowd gathered to remember the tragedy and share thoughts about what the church can do today to confront the sin of racism. Retired Bishop Will Willimon, South Carolina Resident Bishop Jonathan Holston, scholar Will Gravely and a host of United Methodist pastors were among a handful who shared thoughts with the packed Leonard Auditorium at Wofford College Feb. 17 in “Who Lynched Willie Earle? Preaching to Confront Racism.”

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Pastors explore how to preach to confront racism 70 years after S.C.’s last lynching
Photo by Jessica Brodie
News February 23, 2017 posted by

UMCSC Hispanic/Latino Task Force condemns immigration ban

By Jessica Brodie. While the legalities of President Donald Trump’s immigration ban remain unclear, the Hispanic/Latino Task Force of the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church is calling on Christians to condemn the ban and advocate for immigrants and refugees.

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UMCSC Hispanic/Latino Task Force condemns immigration ban
At Thurgood Marshall Baltimore Washington International Airport, published reports state that 2,000 people gathered outside the international arrivals area to rally against the president’s executive order banning refugees. Photo by Erik Alsgarrd, Baltimore-Washington Conference.
News February 23, 2017 posted by

Youth bike initiative picks up speed

By Jessica Brodie. Across South Carolina, United Methodist youth are ramping up their collection of new and gently used bikes for the conference’s Annual Conference Bike Initiative.

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Youth bike initiative picks up speed
Val Kenney, youth worker at St. John’s UMC, Rock Hill, with some of the bikes his church’s youth have collected for the Annual Conference Bike Initiative.
News February 23, 2017 posted by

Race relations and the role of the church

By Jessica Brodie. When it comes to race relations, the church has a big role to play in leading the conversation and speaking out about what is right. That was the thrust behind a forum and panel discussion on “Race Relations and the Role of the Church: Then and Now,” held at Claflin University Jan. 28.

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Race relations and the role of the church
Photo by Matt Brodie
News February 23, 2017 posted by

Re-Purpose: Youth Revolution retreat draws 2,000 for worship, commitment to Christ

By Jessica Brodie. Two thousand screaming teenagers packed the Township Auditorium, nearly every one screaming “Jesus” at the top of their lungs. All around them, their peers were crying, laughing and singing, sometimes all three at once. A kaleidoscope of lights filled the hall and shot beams of color across the stage—red, green, blue and pink—while the pound of drums and thrum of bass blasted a wave of high-energy sound, urging the momentum higher and higher. They were gathered for Revolution…

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Re-Purpose: Youth Revolution retreat draws 2,000 for worship, commitment to Christ
Photo by Matt Brodie
News February 23, 2017 posted by

40 years of basketball, fellowship

By Jessica Brodie. Thirty-eight teams of youth from churches across South Carolina gathered in January to compete in the 40th annual South Carolina United Methodist Basketball Tournament.

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40 years of basketball, fellowship
This year’s Mitch Milford award for sportsmanship went to the Inman UMC senior boys, from Inman.
News February 23, 2017 posted by

ERT crews respond in Christian love after EF-2 tornado in Barnwell County

By Billy Robinson. On Jan. 24, 2017 two South Carolina United Methodist Volunteers in Mission Early Response Teams responded to Barnwell County near the town of Blackville in the aftermath of an EF-2 tornado Jan. 21.

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ERT crews respond in Christian love after EF-2 tornado in Barnwell County
The Rev. Fred Buchanan uses a chainsaw on a damaged mobile home to clear storm debris so a tarp can be placed on it and the debris removed. Photos by Billy Robinson.
News January 25, 2017 posted by

Sellers blitz: ‘I thank God for y’all’

For Allen James, the scores of people who descended upon his town armed with hammers, crowbars and chainsaws were “like the star over Bethlehem.” “It was just a total faith lift, a joy to know that someone thought enough to come and help us,” said James, whose Sellers home was devastated both from October’s Hurricane Matthew and the October 2015 flood. The tiny town of Sellers, already a poverty-stricken area before the hurricane, was badly impacted after two storm-swamped rivers overflowed and flooded the region. But after a Jan. 13-14 hurricane blitz organized by the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church, many of those homeowners are on the road to recovery. By Jessica Brodie.

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Sellers blitz: ‘I thank God for y’all’
Allen James stands outside his Sellers home as United Methodist volunteers pitch in to help repair hurricane damage. “I thank God for y’all,” James said. Photo by Jessica Brodie.
News January 25, 2017 posted by

UMCSC closes 2016 with 92% in apportionments

By Jessica Brodie. Even a hurricane couldn’t stop the power of God’s generous people in South Carolina. South Carolina United Methodists are celebrating this month over news that their churches brought in more than 92 percent in apportionment giving—the best financial performance since at least 2002 and possibly ever.

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UMCSC closes 2016 with 92% in apportionments
Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS
News January 25, 2017 posted by

UMCSC helps fund spiritual support team to come alongside survivors during Emanuel 9 trial

By Jessica Brodie. As victims, survivors and family members of the Emanuel 9 massacre gathered for the emotionally grueling trial in Charleston recently, a three-pronged team of chaplains, mental health counselors and victim advocates were there every step of the way, letting them know they were loved and they were most certainly not alone.

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UMCSC helps fund spiritual support team to come alongside survivors during Emanuel 9 trial
The altar at St. Michael’s Church in Charleston after the trial ended. The large candles in the center represent hope, healing and the survivors. The nine candles surrounding them were lit by family members in honor of the nine lives lost. The names of the victims are listed on the candles.

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