Nominations sought for 2006 Elzy Award


Nominations may now be made for the Emma K. Elzy Award, presented each year by the Mississippi Conference Commission on Religion and Race.

The Elzy Award encourages reconciliation by honoring an individual, group or institution that has shown outstanding achievement in race relations in Mississippi. The award will be presented at the 2006 session of the Mississippi Annual Conference.

Emma Elzy was a woman of faith and built her life’s foundation on the teaching of the Methodist church. Elzy taught five grades at the Pontotoc Colored School. Elzy moved to Corinth to teach after she lost her job in Pontotoc. It was there that she joined Mount Moriah Methodist Church. She would remain in Corinth nearly all the rest of her life. Emma died in 1985 age 98. She had been a member of the Methodist church for about 70 years and attended Methodist conferences for 50 years. 

Any United Methodist in the Mississippi Conference may submit a nomination for the award. Nominees must have shown outstanding achievement in race relations through the building of interracial relationships, the establishment or operation of a program emphasizing race relations, work beyond the “call of duty” or any other significant activity that promotes reconciliation.  Although United Methodists may receive preference, the selection process does not exclude persons or agencies from other denominations or faith traditions. Members of the conference Commission on Religion and Race or directly related conference staff are not eligible for the award.

To nominate an individual, group or institution, submit in writing the biographical/historical information and a letter of endorsement stating why this person should be considered for this award. Send nomination materials by April 15 to Conference Commission on Religion and Race, Attention Lindsey Robinson, P. O. Box 1147, Jackson, MS 39215.


Brookhaven sets speakers event

Newcomers and experienced lay speakers are invited to attend the Brookhaven District 2006 Leadership School.

The event offers the basic course for those seeking to become lay speakers and offers two new advanced courses.

The event is scheduled for March 10-11 at Camp Wesley Pines in Gallman. While designed for the Brookhaven District, anyone interested is invited to participate.

“Don’t Shoot the Horse” is a new advanced course on stewardship that will be taught by the Rev. Phillip Heidelberg, superintendent of the Brookhaven District, while Mary Ford will lead “Accountable Discipleship.” Ford is the conference director of Lay Speaking Ministries. The Rev. Ron Barham, executive director of Wood Institute, will teach the basic course.

Cost of the event for those staying over night is $75, while commuters pay $55. Make checks payable to Mississippi Conference 2006 Leadership School. Registration should be mailed to Brookhaven District, P.O. Box 629, Brookhaven, MS  39602.

Bonnie Dillon of Columbia is the district director of Lay Speaking Ministries.


Booneville First UMC honors Box for years of membership, service

Mickey Box, long-time member of both the Booneville First United Methodist Church and the United Methodist Women, was honored at the church’s Jan. 15 morning service.

She had been president of the Booneville First UMC unit for 21 years. New Albany District President Carolyn Jackson made the announcement before the church service.

 “It gives me great pleasure to give this plaque to Mickey Box. I didn’t know for a year or so if we were related to each other. But after being here and getting to know this lovely woman, I just know we have to be. I am honored to be able to be a part of this, Mickey,” said the Rev. Phillip Box.

UMW Group President Eudora Kemp read a poem, dedicated to the honoree:

“Her worth it would be impossible to tell,

For she has served lovingly and well;

Never a harsh or least critical word

From Mickey’s lips are ever heard.

Her work she does with quiet and loving care,

Doing the Lord’s work with a worshipful air.

Dutifully and devotedly she meets each duty,

Serving the Lord with quietness and beauty.

There’s one thing she does firmly believe:

That it’s more blessed to give than to receive,

And from her resources she donates unstintingly –

To Mickey we offer our admiration and laud

And for her many qualities we sincerely applaud.”


Hawkins offers something for all

Hawkins United Methodist Church in Vicksburg has scheduled a special event that literally offers something for all ages.

The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. Feb. 23-25.

Kicking off the event on Feb. 23 will be a concert for youth.  Two time Dove award-winning artists By The Tree will perform. The Rev. John Hugh Tate of Christ UMC in Jackson will deliver the night’s message. 

Friday night is designed for families. Kids will enjoy the Great Cookie Carnival where they will learn “it’s sweet to follow Jesus,” with a special message by Amy Jackson of Crawford St. UMC in Vicksburg. Parents can enjoy some time for their own spiritual renewal with a service led by the Rev. Kelly Pope from First UMC in Brandon.

Southern gospel trio Paid In Full will end the weekend with a concert on Saturday night. The night’s message will be given by the Rev. Richard Robbins from Parkway Hills UMC in Madison. 

No attendance fee will be charged, but a love offering will be taken each night. Church groups are encouraged to attend. Contact Hawkins at 601-636-2242, for reserved seating.  


Marvin plans divorce workshop

Those dealing with divorce are invited to take part in New Beginnings: A Divorce Recovery Workshop at Marvin United Methodist Church in Florence.

New Beginnings is for persons, regardless of church affiliation, who are separated, divorced, divorcing or who have ended a love relationship.  Participants will explore issues of divorce, learn daily survival and coping skills, grow in recovery from divorce and learn how to help others. The confidential workshop will include lecture, study and small group discussion.

The workshop will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesdays for eight weeks beginning Feb. 14.

Childcare will be provided for children under age 12. The total cost for the workshop is $25.  Interested persons may call the church office at 601-845-7524.


Battle delivers keynote address for Seashore District UMW event

Patricia Battle of Meridian, the immediate past Mississippi Conference president, was the keynote speaker when the Seashore District United Methodist Women held its annual meeting.

The event was held Jan. 14 at Picayune First United Methodist Church’s Pittman Family Life Center. Weems Chapel and Trinity UMCs helped host the event.

Battle spoke about the Africa Children’s Choir which is now traveling in the United States.

Sixty-one women from across the Seashore District took part in the event which focused on the purpose of UMW and to worship under the theme of “Through the Eyes Of a Child.” The Meeting began with inspirational music by the Weems Chapel Children’s Choir under the direction of Sheena Antoine.

The invocation was given by the Rev. Gloria McKinney, minister at Weems Chapel. The group was welcomed by Rev. David Lowery, host minister; Betty Perkins, local unit president; and Peggy Hubert, district president.

The Candle Burning ceremony in memory of deceased UMW members was led by Patricia Jones, district Membership, Nurture and Outreach coordinator, and Margo Porter, exiting Education and Interpretation coordinator.

Retiring officers were presented pins by Vice President Linda Hyland in appreciation of mission service. Rosalyn Folks, Nominations chair, installed the incoming officers.

After lunch the mission studies were led by Denise Pickett, Spiritual Growth coordinator; Gabrielle Barnes, conference historian; and Mary Carter, conference coordinator of Membership, Nurture and Outreach.


Women’s Division group to lead Spiritual Life Retreat in March

A core planning group from the Women’s Division of the General Board of Global Ministries is scheduled to provide leadership for the 2006 Mississippi Conference United Methodist Women’s Spiritual Life Retreat.

Leading the event will be Jeanette Clifton of Columbiana, Ala.; Myra Martin of Pensacola, Fla.; and Mary Mooney of Millington, Tenn.

The event is scheduled for March 10-11 at Camp Lake Stephens near Oxford. The camp is located on Mississippi 334 east of Oxford. From Mississippi 6, take the Mississippi 334 exit. From Mississippi 7, take the Mississippi 6 east exit and then the Mississippi 334 exit.

Cost of the retreat is $40 for accommodations and meals, $20 for commuters who also eat meals at Lake Stephens and $15 for those attending the Saturday session and eating lunch.


Ranager gets top chaplain honor

The Rev. Joe Ranager, a clergy member of the Mississippi Conference, has been named Chaplain of the Year by the United Methodist Association of Health & Welfare Ministries (UMA), a national network of United Methodist related organizations.

Ranager is lead chaplain for the Department of Pastoral Care for Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital in Germantown, Tenn.

Recipients of this award are selected based on their sense of Christian ministry by demonstrating leadership within the appointed organization, the local church and at local, state, regional and national levels of professional associations and societies.

Recognition of Ranager’s achievements will take place March 18 in St. Louis during UMA’s national convention.


Conference plans Zimbabwe trip

Are you interested in going to Zimbabwe? 

A conference-wide trip is scheduled for Aug. 1-11 or later in the fall. All interested folks from the Mississippi Annual Conference are invited to pray about their involvement in this trip.

This year’s trip will focus on Africa University and the issues facing children in Zimbabwe. In addition, travelers will be doing some sight-seeing and learning about the culture of Zimbabwe.

The approximate cost is $3,000 per person.

If you are interested, contact Becky Trask at the conference office at 601-354-0515 extension 13 or email