April 2021 * Volume 22, Issue 4

President’s Message by Albert Weal, Jr.

Recognizing Jesus

Good Afternoon,

Christ is risen!

Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. (Luke 24:31)
It must have been awkward for Mary and the women bringing spices to the tomb to anoint Jesus’ body. So much had happened in the last three to four days. Jesus, who was a master, teacher, and friend, suffered the death of a criminal. Yet, when Jesus appeared to Mary, Simon, the disciples, and to Cleopas at Emmaus, those who knew Jesus best did not recognize him.

The joy of Easter morning has passed, but my joy is full because we are in the Easter season. The issues and challenges we face as men of the United Methodist Church are still here, but the Risen Lord gives me confidence and assurance that we can meet those challenges, work together, and discover the Lord’s will and direction for our ministries.

In March, I joined the National Association of Conference Presidents (NACP) for a virtual retreat where we discussed Christian unity and ways to “coach men to thrive in Christ” both inside and outside our faith communities.

United Methodist Scouting is celebrating the 100th anniversary of United Methodists and scouting in Philmont, NM this summer. Consider coming to Philmont!

The Virginia Conference UMM have offered a series of Love, Learn, and Lead webinars on mentoring, prayer, and dismantling racism. If you missed any of these outstanding events, please visit our website to view the recordings. Watch for upcoming webinars on topics including Covid-19 vaccinations, men’s health, and cybersecurity.

The ministry of the Virginia Conference UMM is self-sustaining. We need your help. Please visit our VAUMM Store and support our ministries with a purchase of fantastic merchandise. For those donating $10 or more to our ministries, we will send you a Men in the Spirit face mask as our expression of thanks.

If you are interested in being part of a UMM cluster group in your area, please contact me. The Virginia Conference UMM will help churches form UMM cluster groups in areas where there are several small churches but very few local UMM fellowships.

Do you recognize Jesus is at work in the NACP, the Virginia Conference UMM, districts, and local fellowships? Keep reading to find out how the Risen Christ is in our midst.

Christ is risen indeed!

Albert Weal, Jr., President
[email protected]

2021 Love, Learn, and Lead Webinars

Miss a LLL Webinar? Recordings Available

Please note: The Love, Learn, and Lead webinar on men’s health, originally scheduled for April 13, is being rescheduled for a later date.

The 2021 Love, Learn, and Lead webinars sponsored by the Virginia Conference UMM have received wide acclaim. Thank you to all who have participated, watched, and engaged in conversation with the speakers.

Starting with a series of webinars in 2020, the VA Conference UMM are providing opportunities for the Virginia Conference to gather together virtually and discuss important issues and ways to grow our ministries.

If you missed a Love, Learn, and Lead webinar, no worries. The webinar is a click away. Recordings of past webinars are available at VA Conference UMM Resources.
LLL Webinar
Intentional Discipleship
January 12, 2021
One of the most important things we can do in the process of “making disciples of Jesus Christ” is to engage men of all ages and backgrounds in ministry.

Learn about The Wesley Challenge from David Bean, No Man Left Behind from Todd Hoar, and Wesleyan Building Brothers (WBB) from Johnnie Draughon.
Click here to watch.
Passcode: +R45Ltr6
Personal Prayer
February 16, 2021
Jesus gave us the Lord’s Prayer as a model for prayer. Paul writes in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Rev. Wayne Snead, District Superintendent of the Elizabeth River District, led a discussion on personal prayer.
Click here to watch Passcode: wKeU*Ff6
Dismantling Racism
March 16, 2021
On January 6 after the violent event at the US Capitol, the Council of Bishops endorsed a letter from Bishop LaTrelle Easterling condemning “…all the forces that led to the unprecedented insurrection — forces of hate, white supremacy, distorted self-interest, and abuse of power.”

Andrew Kissell, president of the Southeastern Jurisdiction UMM and past president of the VA Conference UMM, encouraged all to listen and discussed experiences of racism with
  • The Rev. Reason Chandler, Jackson St. UMC, Lynchburg VA
  • The Rev. Brenda Laws, Greenbackville Charge, New Church VA
  • The Rev. Larry Jent, Grace UMC (Hartwood), Fredericksburg VA
  • The Rev. Jeff Mickle, Alexandria District Superintendent

Click here to watch Passcode: B7g17t!4

Men in the Spirit UMM Masks Available

Support VA Conference UMM Ministries

COVID-19 is sadly still with us, and until the pandemic is under control, we’ll need plenty of masks. Masks are a vital part of fighting the Covid-19 pandemic and are a visible sign of how United Methodists can visibly care for our neighbors.

In return for a donation of $10 or more to the Virginia Conference UMM, you’ll receive a Men in the Spirit face mask as our expression of thanks. These masks are extremely well crafted, 100% cotton, screen-printed, and reusable.

The Virginia Conference UMM supports ministries including Heart Havens, All God’s Children, Camp Rainbow, Scouting, and the Society of St. Andrew. To help us support these ministries in 2021, please send a donation payable to Virginia Conference UMM to:

Virginia Conference UMM
c/o Gary Lupton, Sr.
1661 Hawks Bill Dr.
Virginia Beach, VA 23464

Show your spirit! Wear the VA Conference UMM face mask.

Additional VA Conference UMM merchandise is available from the Virginia Conference UMM Store. All purchases support the VA Conference UMM.

Nominations Open for VA UMM Cabinet

Serving Men of the Virginia Conference

Looking for an opportunity to serve the men of the Virginia Conference and be nourished spiritually at the same time? There are opportunities!

The Virginia Conference United Methodist Men is preparing a slate of officers for the 2021-2022 term that begins July 1. Please consider the positions of Vice President for Membership & Development and Secretary.

The Vice President for Membership & Development supports MENistry initiatives of the SEJ and GCUMM offices; chartering of local fellowships; and provides direction, oversight, and encouragement to ministry advocates and district presidents. Please click here for the full job description.

The Secretary compiles and updates the VA UMM Cabinet roster; records and distributes proceedings of Cabinet meetings, Executive Committee Meetings, and the Annual Business meeting; and maintains the VA Conference UMMen calendar. Please click here for the full job description.

If you are interested in serving as the Vice President for Membership & Development or the Secretary, please contact Andrew Kissell at [email protected].

Methodist Scouter’s Conference & 100th Anniversary Celebration

Join the Celebration in Philmont July 11-17, 2021

Strongly consider coming to the celebration! Six from the Virginia Conference are heading to Philmont this summer. Two of our six are clergy! As I have said previously, our goal is ten. We may beat that! There are scholarships available in Virginia and nationally. You can't miss this, can you? If you are registered, awesome! If you are not registered yet, then pray, accept, register, pray (thanksgiving)... let me know!

Serving Christ through Community Youth Outreach Ministries,

Bill Chaffin
UMC Virginia Conference - Director of Scouting Ministries
[email protected]

The Methodist Scouter’s Conference & 100th Anniversary Celebration is an opportunity to identify your calling, reach into a deeper understanding, and prepare to live your calling in the world. We will be celebrating the 100 years of Methodist and BSA partnership.

Key Courses: Scouting as ministry, resources for your scout group, connecting within the UMC, making the most of Scouting, engaging the community, and special 100th Anniversary celebration activities. We will have a split track option and interfaith sessions as well. Join us!

Methodist Scouter’s Conference & 100th Anniversary Celebration
Philmont Training Center
Cimarron, New Mexico
July 17-21, 2021

Register at:

  1. If you are NOT a registered BSA Scout leader and do not have a BSA Council or Leadership position to claim, enter the following for these fields.
    • Council Name: “National Service Center”
    • Primary Scouting Position: “District Commissioner”
  2. Enhanced Lodging Options: you will see a few lodging options once you submit the form and it asks you for additional information.
  3. Credits: if you registered in 2020 and want to apply last year’s payment to your 2021 registration, you can either deduct that amount from the total amount presented on the recap page; or pay the full amount and Philmont will issue you a refund.

The Rev. Pam Anderson Joins VA Conference Scouting Team

A Knowledge and Passion for Scouting

The Virginia Conference Ministry of Scouting team has been blessed with a new addition. We now have a new, strong representative on the Richmond District. The Rev. Pamela J. Anderson is currently appointed to Discovery United Methodist Church as the Associate Pastor where she also served as Director of Congregational Excellence while attending Wesley Theological Seminary in pursuit of a Master of Divinity degree.

Pam is a local of Richmond, Virginia and has also served in many lay capacities in the United Methodist Church throughout Virginia. A life member of the Girl Scouts of the USA, she serves as an active troop leader.

Pam is an avid supporter of Scouting Ministries, a champion for children, and an advocate for youth with a passion for their spiritual formation. As you will notice, we now have clergy on the team and another Girl Scout. Pam is a great addition to our team bringing knowledge and passion to this role. Pam will be traveling with others from the Virginia Conference to UM Scouter training at Philmont in New Mexico in July.

We heartedly welcome Pam to this ministry. She is a blessing!

Bill Chaffin
UMC Virginia Conference - Director of Scouting Ministries
[email protected]

April 2021 Reflections

Reflections from GCUMM

Note to Readers: Click on names below to view full articles.
Spend Time in the Light
What Helps You Feel Close to God?
Bishop Gary Mueller, vice president of the General Commission on UM Men, says the pandemic and personal losses have caused us to live in darkness, but he assures us that the light of Jesus can light us up from within.
Gil Hanke, top staff executive of the General Commission on UM Men, warns us not to try to compartmentalize Christ. “The Bible has many examples of men thinking they could escape from God’s presence or believing they had to be in a certain place or condition to be in God’s presence.”

Note: Gil Hanke announced his retirement on April 1. We congratulate and thank Gil for his 11 years of service with GCUMM.
Learn from Wesley
Time to Revive Our Ministries
Rick Vance, director of the Center for Men’s Ministry, tells us that it is important to receive training in the techniques related to men’s ministry, but it’s far more important to take the advice of John Wesley: “Get on fire for God, and men will come and see you burn.”
Steven Scheid, director of the Center for Scouting Ministry, retells the parable of a farmer who is instructed to cut down a tree which isn’t bearing fruit. The farmer asks for another year to try to revive it. Steven suggests we may have to revive some of our ministries.
Leave Your Comfort Zone

Herman Lightsey, president of the National Association of Conference Presidents of UM Men, challenges men to leave their comfort zone and reach out to those with whom they do not normally communicate––men of all ages, color, and social status.

UMM Foundation Supports Scouting

Steve Nailor, president of the UM Men Foundation, celebrates a 40-year history of providing support for Scouting ministry, but he laments that the annual gift from the foundation has not kept pace with inflation. He suggests three ways to support this ministry.

Ignorance is No Excuse

Mark Lubbock, a Louisiana-based staff member of the commission, was arrested for violating a law he didn’t know existed. He learned that ignorance is no excuse. He suggests that ignorance may also not be an excuse for violations related to our spiritual lives.

Click to view entire newsletter on GCUMM’s website.

General Commission on United Methodist Men
1000 17th Avenue S.
Nashville, TN 37212

615-340-7145 | Toll Free: 866-297-4312
[email protected]

Words to Live By …

“If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain.”

Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians
1 Corinthians 15:13-14

Recommended Reading: 1 Samuel 16:6-7
In continued efforts to fulfill the Virginia Conference goal of having Connectional Ministries become a greater resource to districts, laity and clergy, United Methodist Men are now partnered with Virginia UM clergy. Clergy, you are receiving the Beacon newsletter as part of your Virginia Conference connection.