BEACON Christmas Nameplate
December 2021 * Volume 22, Issue 11

President's Message by Albert Weal, Jr.


Good Morning,

But it is for you, O Lord, that I wait;
it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer. (Psalm 38:15)

And just as it is appointed for mortals to die once, and after that the judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:27-28)

The season of Advent is here which means Christmas is coming. Advent is a time of waiting for God so that we can experience the joy of Jesus’ birth on Christmas Day.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to wait. We wait in shopping lines, traffic, or on the phone if we are put on hold. Waiting may seem like a waste of time.

But waiting for God is different.

The Bible is full of references to waiting. The Israelites wondered 40 years in the desert waiting to enter the Promised Land. Jesus was tempted in the desert for 40 days. Jesus waited 30 years to start his ministry, and then only turned to Jerusalem when the time was right. Throughout Acts and Paul’s letters, there are references to Paul staying in cities for months and even years before continuing his journey.

And God waits for us too. At the 2014 Spiritual Retreat at Blackstone, Dan Shaffer, author of the book Spiritual Fathers, referred to God as a hunter waiting for us to come into his scope. This type of waiting takes patience. Waiting enhances expectations and anticipation.

Are we too busy to wait for God? Are you longing for God? Are you seeking God this Advent?

Praying that you will wait for God this Advent to enter your heart and life on Christmas morning.

Merry Christmas,

Albert Weal, Jr., President
[email protected]

Watch Night 2021

You Are Invited | December 31, 2021 at 10:00 PM EST

The Virginia Conference UMM, Southeastern Jurisdiction UMM, and Northeastern Jurisdiction UMM invite you to join with men (and women) from around the country as we present a LIVE Watch Night on New Year’s Eve.

Watch Night 2021 is a time of reflection on 2021 and a new start for 2022. First, listen to the words of the prophet Hagii asking how we fared in 2021 and then the words of King Solomon reminding us there is a time for everything.

Hear the words of David, sharing how we can have a new start if only we let our heart be filled with the love of God and hear the reassurance from Joshua that God will be with us always.

As we start the new year, we will reflect on Jesus' words about what it means to love him. Did we feed the hungry, give water to the thirsty, invite a stranger into our home, provide those needing clothes, help the sick, or visit those in prison?

Come and join us in prayer, song, devotion and hope for the New Year and 2022.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 846 5629 769
Passcode: 659649

2021 Love, Learn, and Lead Webinars

Watch LLL Recordings Anytime

Thank you to our speakers and to all who participated, watched, and engaged in conversation during the 2021 Love, Learn, and Lead webinars sponsored by the Virginia Conference UMM.

We are excited to announce that Love, Learn, and Lead webinars will return in 2022. Watch for announcements in January about our slate of webinars for 2022.

Starting with a series of webinars in 2020, the Virginia Conference UMM have provided opportunities for the Virginia Conference to gather together virtually and discuss important issues and grow in faith.

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
Mission Opportunities
September 7, 2021
The Serving Ministries office of the Virginia Conference focuses primarily on mission and justice opportunities but also oversees All God’s Children Camp and the Camp Rainbow Connection, ministries that the VA Conference UMM supports. The Rev. RJ Jun, director, gives an overview and answers questions.
Click here to watch.
Passcode: Asmb6&3$
October 12, 2021
Bishop Lewis shared the need for more ethnic involvement within UMM, larger cluster UMM fellowships, and a potential relationship between UMM and the Pan-Methodist movement.
Click here to watch Passcode: ^W6YW=Es
AMENDing Through Faith
November 9, 2021
Steve Schaefer, VACUMM advocate for AMENDING Through Faith, shared how the AMENDING Through Faith study trains men to recognize, respond to, and prevent violence against women.
Click here to watch Passcode:

Finding Ministry in Apple Butter

James Sink and Rocky Gap UMM Profiled by The UMC

Apple Butter
James Sink, who attends Rocky Gap United Methodist Church, started making apple butter when he was in high school for 50 cents a quart. He continues making apple butter today as part of an apple butter ministry for Rocky Gap United Methodist Men. “We sold it for $5.50 this year but it goes for has high as $8 a quart.”

“Our apple butter making has been a ministry of the United Methodist Men. We keep enough in our treasury to take care of our ministry for the year. If we have more than we need, we put it in the building fund for the church.”

James and Rocky Gap UMM worked 3,120 pounds of apples in 2019 making applesauce, apple butter, and chunk apples.

“When I was in the 4th grade, I was called to be a teacher. I had spent 32 years teaching and I said, “Well, I’ve got to talk to the Lord about retiring because He called me to be a teacher.” So His answer to me was “Go ahead and retire, but I’ve got work for you to do.” And the apple butter ministry was one thing that developed from that.”

Thanks, James, for the apple butter and the many lives it touches.

Watch the video created by United Methodist Communications and posted on November 12, 2021. Media contact is Joe Iovino.

Adapted from

December 2021 Reflections

General Commission on United Methodist Men

Note to Readers: Click on names below to view full articles.

Look Beneath the Glitter
Bishop Gary Mueller, vice president of the General Commission on UM Men, says Christmas glitter always fades, falls off and blows away, but the Incarnation is eternal, beautiful and our ultimate hope.

Thank God for Challenges
Greg Arnold, top staff executive of the General Commission on UM Men, says it’s easy to thank God when things are going well, but the measure of our faith is based on our ability to thank God for challenging experiences.

Restart Your Ministry
Rick Vance, director of the Center for Men’s Ministry, gives four steps to restart ministry to men following the pandemic: Pray, Plan, Prepare and Proceed.

Our Response to Prevenient Grace
Steven Scheid, director of the Center for Scouting Ministry, says there are two alarms in the Bible. The first is gentle. The second calls for an immediate response.

Spend Advent Welcoming Jesus
Herman Lightsey, president of the National Association of Conference Presidents of UM Men, invites us to welcome Jesus as he comes new to us each day.

Support the Foundation
Steve Nailor, president of the UM Men Foundation, says a gift from your Required Minimum Distribution will avoid a tax bill and support the foundation.

Plan for 2022
Mark Lubbock, a Louisiana-based staff member of the commission, invites us to review the results of actions taken in 2021 before setting plans for 2022.

Make Disciples
Jim Boesch, a Florida-based staff member of the commission, says making disciples is never a 50/50 proposition.

Click to view entire newsletter on GCUMM’s website.

Click to view the Winter 2022 UM Men magazine..

General Commission on United Methodist Men
1000 17th Avenue S. | Nashville, TN 37212
615-340-7145 | Toll Free: 866-297-4312

Helping to Feed the Hungry

Greetings from Society of St. Andrew

Hunger Relief
The men in Virginia have done a great job in 2021 helping to feed the hungry during these unprecedented times. Through their Meals for Millions contributions, Virginia United Methodist Men have already provided over 655,000 servings of fresh produce to the hungry. The number of hungry adults has doubled, and the number of hungry children has quadrupled since the onset of COVID-19. The VAUMM have stepped up to help meet this challenge in a major way.

The Society of St. Andrew also offers an Alternative Christmas Card donation program. You can honor your family and friends while feeding the hungry. Please visit our website for more information or to order cards: (We’ll even write the cards for you!)

Please let me know if you need a speaker for your local UMM meetings. I’ll be glad to meet via Zoom to help spread the mission of our ministry to the hungry. Please also let me know if there are gleaning opportunities in your area.

May God bless you for all that you do to help feed those in need. On behalf of the hungry thank you for your support.

Merry Christmas to each of you.

Contact Information:
Wade Mays
National Meals for Millions Director
Society of St. Andrew
3383 Sweet Hollow Road
Big Island, VA 24526

Phone: 434.610.7323
Email: [email protected]

Words to Live By


Merry Christmas

Jesus came with love to Bethlehem;
Jesus comes with grace into our souls;
Jesus will come with justice at the end of the world.

Father Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalen
Mary of Magdalen, Divine Intimacy, (Ignatius Press, 1987), 4

Recommended Reading: Malachi 3:2-3 (KJV)

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.