February 2022 * Volume 23, Issue 2

Vice President’s Message by Bob Longworth

One Church, Many Gifts

Bob Longworth
Good Morning,

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit (1 Cor. 12: 12-13).
In the above passage, Saint Paul was writing to the church at Corinth—a church which he had established—a church that he loved—but a church that had problems. So, Saint Paul wrote giving them guidance to get them on the right path again.

One of their problems was spiritual pride. Each of the various Christians in Corinth had different gifts—different talents—and some of them were acting as if they were more important than the others because of their gifts and talents.

The various gifts and talents seemed to be giving the people of Corinth the greatest problem.

Saint Paul said that:
  • Every Christian has his or her own gifts. Some were prophets. Some were teachers. Some spoke in different tongues. Some had other special gifts or talents.
  • Then he said that all these gifts are important to the church. The church is like a human body, and its different members are like a hand or a foot or an eye. Each of those organs is important to the human body, and each Christian’s gifts are important to the overall church.
  • Therefore, we should treasure each other’s gifts. If our gift is teaching, we should be glad that someone else has the gift of music or administration or preaching or speaking in tongues. We should also treasure each other’s special talents.
  • Therefore, we should share each other’s sorrows and rejoice in each other’s joys because we, the Church, are all ONE BODY. You are the arm; someone else is the leg; someone else is the eye. But all the pieces fit together to form ONE BODY—meaning the Church. Every part of the body needs every other part, and if one part hurts, they all hurt.
The health of the Church is dependent on the health of all of its parts. When your church is hurting, your church’s other body parts hurt. It is not one whole Church.

Therefore, we, the Church should share each other’s’ sorrows and rejoice in each other’s joys because we, the Church, are all ONE BODY. You are Methodists; someone else is Presbyterian; someone else is Episcopalian. Other body parts include Lutherans, Baptists, and other denominations.

But all the pieces fit together to form ONE BODY—meaning the Church. Every part of the body needs every other part, and if one part hurts, they all hurt.

The Methodist Church is also made up of many body parts and many tongues.

There isn’t a single Methodist denomination. It’s comprised of different denominations— different “body parts,” BUT ALL ONE Church.

There are seven World Methodist Council denominations in the United States: the African Methodist Episcopal Church; the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church; the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church; Church of the Nazarene; Free Methodist Church; Wesleyan Church; and The United Methodist Church. And did you know there is a church called Primitive Methodist Church, a small branch of Methodism.

The largest Methodist denominations are:

The United Methodist Church (UMC): estimated 7.6 million members

African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC): estimated 2.5 million members

African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church (AMEZC): estimated 301,000 members

Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (CMEC): estimated 290,000 members

The Methodist Church is also made up of many different “tongues” –– Koreans – Hispanic – Latina/Latino – Spanish – Philippines – Vietnamese – Native American. Many tongues – BUT all ONE Church.

All the many body parts and tongues of the various Methodist churches form ONE Church. We all have ‘gifts’ and ‘talents’ for one another. Each Methodist church has a ‘gift’ or ‘talent’ for each other.

Are we sharing these gifts and talents with one another – if not – why not?

The Virginia Conference of United Methodist Men are answering the call of Bishop Lewis to form cluster groups and men’s ministry teams for those churches who have limited UMM membership or financial support. Our goal is to partner with these churches to establish and/or strengthen men’s ministry teams.

We have taken a good hard look at the overall Methodist church during this post COVID time frame. We have particularly looked at UMC congregations in rural areas. Many smaller churches in rural areas are unable to have active men’s ministry teams or UMM fellowship, yet they still wish to be part of their community and VAC UMM.
The officers of VAC UMM are recommending that small Methodist churches (or United Methodist churches with very few members in UMM fellowships that are in close proximity to each other) form “Cluster Groups” called “Men’s Ministry Teams.”

These clusters may be made up of local Methodist churches, UMC branches, and/or various other church denominations in the local area.
These UMC branches would include Pan-Methodist groups. We are encouraging a relationship with African Methodist Episcopal, African Methodist Episcopal Zion, and Christian Methodist Episcopal churches to be part of these cluster groups to share many gifts and talents in Christian fellowship.

If there is only one Methodist church in the area, then we are asking UMM to reach out to those neighboring churches of other Christian faiths – Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Lutherans, etc. to form a “Christian Men’s Ministry Team.” Again, sharing Christian fellowship with each other is important.

We would then have active UMM fellowships serving various communities and other faith churches all sharing their ‘gifts’ and ‘talents’ with one another. Each UM church and each Christian denomination would then be one united faith body with a ‘gift’ or ‘talent’ for each other.

We are forming Men’s Ministry Team clusters so that we can share the many spiritual gifts, diverse talents and tongues each one has. One Body – One Church of Christian faith.

Saint Paul said to the Corinthians, “We were all baptized into ONE body—Christ’s body—the church”. We are all part of ONE another. Therefore, let us not lord it over other Christians because of our gifts. Instead, let us rejoice together over each other’s gifts. The church has one foundation.

Bob Longworth
Vice President, Membership & Development
[email protected]

Our Health, Our History, and Our Healing

A Black History Presentation | Feb. 21 @ 5 PM EST

Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR) cordially invites you to a virtual Black history presentation, Our Health, Our History, and Our Healing, on Monday, February 21, 2022 from 5 PM to 6:30 PM EST.

L. Toni Lewis, MD will lead an informative discussion on health and healing, especially for America’s most vulnerable populations. Dr. Lewis is a family and geriatric physician, co-founded Health Equity Cypher, and is president and founder of Liberation Health Strategies.

All are welcome to join the Zoom meeting.

Zoom Topic: BMCR - Black History Presentation - Monday Feb. 21, 2022 at 5pm - 6:30pm

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 863 4911 1424
Passcode: 958123

Dial by your location (Phone Only)
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)

Spend an Evening with Heart Havens

February 22 from 7 PM to 8 PM EST

heart havens logo big
Please join Heart Havens for a virtual event on Tuesday, February 22 at 7 PM EST to know the residents and Heart Havens better. The event will include an overview of Heart Havens, a chance to meet residents, and a time for Q&A. Contact [email protected] if you have questions.

Heart Havens strives to create A New World - where people with a developmental disability are empowered to feel accomplished, give back, be creative, explore their community, make friends, celebrate and have fun. At Heart Havens, we believe people with a disability should have a life that is a lot like yours. Help us make our mission of inclusion and empowerment possible! Please make a donation to Heart Havens today. Visit

The Virginia Conference UMM is glad to partner with Heart Havens.

Access Zoom meeting:

Meeting ID: 840 9611 8391
Passcode: 525876

+13017158592,,84096118391#,,,,*525876# US (Washington, DC)
+19292056099,,84096118391#,,,,*525876# US (New York)

Love, Learn, and Lead Webinar on March 15

21 Days to a More Authentic Faith


Please join us on Tuesday evening, March 15 at 6:30 PM EDT for a Love, Learn, and Lead webinar on Chris Folmsbee's book The Wesley Challenge: 21 Days to a More Authentic Faith with David Bean. Reading and discussing each chapter from The Wesley Challenge will deepen your faith and lead you and those you mentor to a closer relationship with Jesus.

David Bean will lead us in a discussion about The Wesley Challenge. David wrote a Mentor Guide with best practices and training materials for preparing mentors and helping new Christians become disciples.

Please join us on March 15 at 6:30 PM to learn more.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 898 2460 7164

Webinar recordings from previous Love, Learn, and Lead webinars are posted on our website

Celebrating 112 Years of BSA

Eagle Scouts on the March

Rep. Glenn Thompson of Pennsylvania spoke on the House floor to mark and celebrate the 112th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America. Listen to Rep. Thompson’s speech where he introduced a resolution to recognize Boy Scouts of America Day.

Eagle Scout is the highest advancement rank in Scouts USA.
  • In 2019, 61,366 Scouts earned the Eagle Scout rank.
  • From 1912 to 2019, 2,598,999 Scouts earned the Eagle Scout rank.
  • In 2019, 8% of all Scouts BSA earned the Eagle Scout rank
  • In 2019, the average age of youth earning the Eagle Scout rank was 7.3 years.

Words to Live By …


Presidential Advice

"Make sure you are doing what God wants you to do then do it
with all your strength."

George Washington

Recommended Reading: Psalm 33: 20-22 (NRSV)
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.