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November 2, 2021

How can you take part in learning, influencing, and serving this week?

  • How can you be a lifelong learner?

Join other youth leaders to learn from Chris Wilterdink, General Board of Discipleship, about developing youth leadership in your local church on Wednesday, November 10 at 12 noon. Wilterdink will also be leading a youth leadership retreat in February for 20 youth and five adults in the Virginia Conference. Register to join the Zoom...
  • How can you be an influencer?
Learn how one church has leveraged the community of online gamers to build an exclusively virtual ministry. Read more...
  • How can you serve?

Global Ministries has launched a new initiative to increase the equitable distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine. Read more about this new interfaith partnership that will support UNICEF’s global vaccine distribution effort.

Virginia News

Donor Sunday Nov. 14

Organ and Tissue Donor Sunday has special meaning for Vienna church

This year The Church of the Good Shepherd (United Methodist) in Vienna, VA, will celebrate its denomination’s special Organ and Tissue Donor Sunday on November 14 as it never has before. In 2021, one member of the congregation received a heart transplant, and another donated his kidney to his sister-in-law. They will speak during the 10:15 a.m. worship service on Nov. 14 at the church, located at 2351 Hunter Mill Road in Vienna. Read more...
UMFS Offering_1

Resources now available for UMFS December offering

United Methodist Family Services (UMFS) is the Virginia Conference designated offering for December. UMFS does not receive any apportionment funding, so the organization deeply appreciates your generosity through this offering. The offering supports high-risk children across Virginia, including children in foster care, children struggling with mental health challenges, and special education students.
A variety of resources are available to support the offering and help bring this ministry to life for your congregation. You can find the following resources at bulletin inserts, offering envelopes, church offering scripts, short videos, and images for newsletters, emails, social media, and websites. Please contact Jill Gaynor ([email protected] or 804-254-9463) with any questions.

Learn more about UMFS as they celebrate 120 years in this recent NBC12 segment.

Council of Bishops shares anti-racism resources for Advent

As churches prepare for Advent season, prayerfully consider incorporating the Advent 2021 theme project from the Council of Bishops (COB) into your local church's preaching and teaching and adapting any of the following elements for use in your context. View project...
day of the dead

Wesley Seminary student shares her cultural experience of The Day of the Dead

In Mexico, an important annual cultural tradition is "Día de los Muertos" (Day of the Dead). Much like All Saints and All Souls Days, November 1 and 2 are reserved to remember those loved ones who have passed, but in vibrant, colorful, and meaningful ways special to this culture. Wesley Seminary asked 3rd Year WTS Master of Theological Studies student and Gente Latinx Seminarians Association Co-President Talina Sarmiento Beck, originally from Mexico City, Mexico, to share her family's traditions regarding "Día de los Muertos." Talina is currently an ordination candidate as a Deacon in the Virginia Conference. Read the interview:

Music and Worship Arts Fellowship offers 'worship revisioned' virtual event

Last fall, when so many acknowledged they were exhausted, in despair, and in need of hope, the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts offered a virtual event to engage people in ways of finding God’s help and hope in ministries and lives. Another year into the pandemic, many still do not see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. The way worship arts are led continues to change dramatically with few chances to breathe and say, “Now we’ve figured it out.”

The Fellowship is offering another event to reconnect with the hope and help needed with a one-year anniversary virtual event on November 10 at 12 noon. The one-hour webinar will be a time to share encouragement and resources with one another for worship arts ministry in this ongoing pandemic.

Registration for the webinar is complimentary with a suggested donation amount of $10 that will support the Annual Fund of The Fellowship. (Webinar recording will be made available to registrants.) Click here to register

Love, Learn, and Lead Webinar focuses on AMENDING Through Faith

Mark your calendars now, and please join us on Tuesday evening, November 9, 2021 at 6:30 PM EDT for a Love, Learn, and Lead webinar on AMENDING Through Faith, a program that encourages men and boys to challenge a culture that supports violence against women.

Steve Schaefer, VACUMM advocate for AMENDING Through Faith and co-team leader of the Elizabeth River District UMM, will share how the AMENDING Through Faith study trains men to recognize, respond to, and prevent violence against women.

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Latino Thanksgiving Worship Service in Spanish invitation extended

All are invited to join in a Latino Thanksgiving Worship Service in Spanish on November 13 at 7 p.m. by Zoom. The service will feature testimonies, prayers, music and praise! Topic: Culto de Alabanza y Adoracion. More details...

Sensing a call to ministry? Bailey Pre-Ministerial program can help

For students who sense a calling to full-time Christian ministry, the A. Purnell Bailey Pre-Ministerial Program at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland offers encouragement through a weekly vocational discernment group, two internships, and financial support. Applications are currently being accepted. Interviews for selected applicants may take place in person or by video conferencing this year. The A. Purnell Bailey Pre-Ministerial Program offers half-tuition during a student’s freshman/sophomore years; full tuition during the junior/senior years; two internships in ministry settings. Join in a cohort of peers who are also discerning a call while working on your college degree. Find out more and apply at The deadline for 2022-2023 Bailey Scholar applications is January 10, 2022.
wesley seminary

Take Time For You in 2022 with a J-Term Class at Wesley!

With another year just around the corner, do you feel the need for some time away and spiritual and intellectual refreshment? If so, Wesley Theological Seminary invites you to join J-Term 2022, a series of intense, 1- or 2-week courses in January that enables a time of focused class learning (online or in-person) with the remainder of the coursework completed individually later in the term. Many clergy and ministry leaders take these courses for both CEUs and as a time of retreat following a busy Advent/Christmas season. Registration opens October 18, 2021 - December 13, 2021. Learn more...

Make it Matter One-Day Youth Rally will replace Youth Retreat; registration is open

The Youth Rally on Saturday, December 4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, VA, is filling up fast. Learn more...
Click here to register by November 29.

General Church News

women clergy

COSROW 2020 Study Results: Women clergy still paid less

UM NEWS--Compensation for women clergy in The United Methodist Church continues to trail that of their male peers, according to a new study, despite progress in many annual conferences. “If we don’t expose it, we will never fix it,” said the Rev. Pamela Pirtle, director of leadership development and accountability for the United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women (COSROW). The agency commissioned the study. “So we’re just … trying to put it out in the open so that we are mindful because many people didn’t know.” The second of three batches of information from the study (“2020 Geographic Trends of Gender Disparities in Composition and Compensation for UMC Clergy”) was released Oct. 27. The research was conducted by Magaela C. Bethune, assistant professor of African American Studies at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Read more...
senior technology

Ministry connects seniors with today’s tech

Joyce Long isn’t asking for all that much. “I want to use this (tablet) for communication,” she said, as she waited for a recent Project Connect class to begin at Gordon Memorial United Methodist Church.
Long, 88, with glasses, a mask to protect her from COVID-19, and a blue baseball cap obscuring much of her face, was hoping to get competent on Zoom so she can visit with relatives and keep connected to church when she can’t be there personally. She was in the third week of a four-week program teaching her to use a tablet. “When they offered it, I signed up,” Long said. “Whatever I can learn will be more than I knew because I didn’t know anything.” Gordon Memorial is using a $7,000 grant from United Methodist Discipleship Ministries to fund Project Connect. “The idea came about because many people were not being able to tune into the worship experience when COVID hit,” said Julius Witherspoon, a Gordon Memorial member, and project manager for Project Connect. “We had to shut down the church for over a year.” Read more...
bishop asbury

Bishop Asbury still shapes church today

UM NEWS--With car keys in hand, the Rev. Bonnie McCubbin was about to leave her archiving work for the day — when a box in a stack of old church records caught her eye. “I saw a label on one that said ‘Bishop Asbury,’ and I thought, ‘That’s not a closed church.’” The United Methodist historian put away her keys, opened the box, and began carefully removing the papers from inside. What she uncovered on Sept. 29 was lost treasure — documents that shed light on a pioneering bishop who played a key role in shaping what is now The United Methodist Church. The find also comes at an auspicious time. This fall, both The Methodist Church of Britain and The United Methodist Church are celebrating the 250th anniversary of Asbury’s crossing of the Atlantic from England to America. Near the top of the box was an official copy of Asbury’s last will and testament from 1813. He bequeathed most of what little money he had to the Book Concern, the predecessor of today’s United Methodist Publishing House. The contents also included a letter dated 1800 from Asbury’s mother, Eliza — one of the few missives in her own hand that still survives. She wrote from England to a son whom she would not see again in this life. Read more...
gw stark

Sermons revived 25 years after pastor’s death

Decades of sermons by a United Methodist pastor are attaining new relevance in the 21st century, thanks to the preacher’s son, who refashions his dad’s lessons as podcasts. GW Stark, son of the late Rev. Wallace A. Stark, started the Son of a Preacher Podcast in September. The younger Stark was inspired by a walk he took through the National Archives in Washington. “As I'm walking by these paper lawyer boxes, I’m walking by (the papers of anthropologist) Margaret Mead, and that memory has stayed with me,” he said. If he donated the 1,300 or so sermons from the 1950s through the 1970s his father left behind to an archive, GW Stark feared that they’d disappear in such a storage building. The Son of a Preacher podcast posted its first episode Sept. 5. Listenership is still modest, but it has reached the U.S., Sweden, Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Hungary. Episodes are about 12 minutes and feature Stark — in his made-for-radio, raspy voice — summarizing one of his father’s sermons along with some commentary to update it. “I appreciate the way he brings that central message to relevance for today,” said the Rev. Bill Poland, director of new communities of faith and connectional ministries in the Iowa Conference, where the Rev. Stark spent most of his career heading up moderately sized churches. “He doesn't just redo what his dad does. Read more...

One Last Word

Invest in the human soul 1
Please send any issues or concerns to [email protected]. If you have issues with the formatting trying to forward (especially in Outlook), you can use the following link. More...
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