May 2022 * Volume 23, Issue 5

President's Message by Albert Weal, Jr.


Good Morning,

Then all the elders of Israel gathered together and came to Samuel at Ramah and said to him, “You are old, and your sons do not follow in your ways; appoint for us, then, a king to govern us, like other nations… We are determined to have a king over us, so that we also may be like other nations and that our king may govern us and go out before us and fight our battles.” (1 Samuel 8:4-5, 19-20)
The people of Israel determined that they needed a leader. The Lord had rescued and delivered Israel from the land and hardship of Egypt. Generations later, judges ruled over Israel. Now Israel wanted a king. God listened and heeded their wishes. And then God anointed David, from whose lineage came Joseph, the husband of Mary who bore Jesus.

Why did the people of Israel want a king? Why do we seek leaders today? Leaders provide a path forward through troubled times. Leaders not only encourage people to follow, but also provide examples of morals, behavior, and devotion to the Lord.

I am very grateful to the Cabinet for leadership over the last year. I am grateful for each officer as we work with you to dialog to help men become allies for people of color, encourage UMM fellowships to cluster together, and build relationships with the Pan-Methodist movement. For additional details about these initiatives, please see the January 2022 BEACON.

I encourage you to vote to support our nominee slate for the 2022-2023 term of office. Voting for Cabinet officers will be available in early June. Please plan to join us in Hampton for the Annual Conference UMMen Breakfast on June 17 for the installation of the Cabinet officers. We welcome Kip Robinson who will speak on This Just In: Was Jesus a Boy Scout? More details about the elections and the breakfast are below. Keep reading.

I am encouraged by the new UNITED platform that the General Commission on United Methodist Men just launched. UNITED is an effective way to reset and restart men’s ministry in your local church and context so that the next generation may know and thrive in Christ.

Be a leader!

Albert Weal, Jr., President
[email protected]

Nominee Slate for 2022-2023 Term of Office

Virginia Conference UMM Cabinet Officers

The Virginia Conference UMM is pleased to introduce nominees for Cabinet officers for the 2022-2023 term of office. Voting for Cabinet officers will be available in early June.

Please reach out and contact these nominees with questions or comments about men’s ministry.
Nominated for President
Albert Weal, Jr.
Year of service if elected: Third
Church: St. Paul’s UMC
District: Elizabeth River
Previously served as: Vice President, Spiritual Life
Email: [email protected]
Nominated for Vice President, Spiritual Life
David Collins
Year of service if elected: Third
Church: Community UMC
District: Elizabeth River
Previously served as: President, Elizabeth River District
Email: [email protected]
Bob Longworth
Nominated for Vice President, Membership & Development
Bob Longworth
Year of service if elected: Second
Church: Charity UMC
District: Elizabeth River
Currently also serving as: Events Coordinator Director, Elizabeth River District
Email: [email protected]
Mark McKinney
Nominated for Secretary
Mark McKinney
Year of service if elected: Second
Church: Thalia UMC
District: Elizabeth River
Previously served as: President, Thalia UMM
Email: [email protected]
Gary Lupton
Nominated for Treasurer
Gary Lupton, Sr.
Year of service if elected: Fourth
Church: Community UMC
District: Elizabeth River
Retired from: TowneBank
Email: [email protected]
Nominated for Chaplain
Paul Smith
Year of service if elected: Third
Church: Hopewell UMC
District: James River
Currently also serving as: President, James River District
Email: [email protected]

2022 UMMen Annual Conference Breakfast is June 17

Please Come | Registration Requested

Kip Robinson

You are invited to the 2022 UMMen Annual Conference Breakfast on Friday, June 17, 7 AM, at Bethany UMC, 1509 Todd’s Lane, in Hampton. Men, spouses, and guests will gather at 7:00 a.m. to enjoy a hearty breakfast, install Cabinet officers, and conduct the annual business of the Virginia Conference United Methodist Men. The cost of breakfast is $12 payable at the door. Please email David Collins by June 5 to let us know that you are coming.

We welcome Kip Robinson, a retired United Methodist missionary having served with his wife Nancy in Sierra Leone in West Africa, who will speak on This Just In: Was Jesus a Boy Scout? Kip’s role as a missionary was two-fold: serving as the mission team coordinator for the Sierra Leone Annual Conference and also serving as the Conference Engineer. While there he helped design and build a primary school which became a model for future primary schools. The Ebola crisis occurred during their tenure.

Kip and Nancy served together as the presidents of The Friends of Barnabas Foundation, a non-profit faith-based health care ministry to remote villages in the mountains of Honduras. Previously, he served as associate director of United Methodist Volunteers in Mission for the Southeastern Jurisdiction, was the Virginia Conference’s UMVIM coordinator for eight years, and is a certified lay speaker. He now serves the Virginia Conference as the chair of the Conference Committee on Mission Personnel.

We look forward to seeing you in Hampton on Friday, June 17.


Heart Health, Golf, Bible Study, and PTSD

Heart & Brain Health = Cardiovascular Wellness
Monday, May 23rd @ 5pm

Dr. Mfonsio Okon, MD, Georgetown University Medical Center, will lead a conversation on how cardiovascular wellness benefits the heart and the brain. Please join us.

Time: May 23, 2022 05:00 PM - 6:30 PM Eastern Time
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 813 2212 4582
Passcode: 627555

Dial by your location
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC)
Meeting ID: 813 2212 4582
Passcode: 627555

Thanks to the Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR) for hosting this webinar.
Rising Hope Mission Church in Alexandria, VA is hosting its Annual Golf Tournament on May 23 at Greendale Golf Course for a morning of golf and fellowship.

This annual event raises funds to help men and women of all ages who are struggling to overcome poverty or homelessness. Your support of this event will have a huge impact on the lives of the men and women along the Route 1 Corridor.

Registration and sponsorship information is available here.
The Men's Bible Study of Community United Methodist Church in Virginia Beach welcomes all men of the Virginia Conference and beyond to join us online for Bible Study Monday nights at 7:00 PM. We are currently meeting and studying James: Mercy Triumphs by Beth Moore. Please join us on Monday* nights from 7:00 PM until 8:30 PM on Zoom.

Please contact Kevin Keith at [email protected] for the Zoom link and any questions.

* Please join us on the 4th Monday night of each month for our monthly UMM dinner meeting. Men’s Bible Study does not meet on the 4th Monday.
June 27th is PTSD Screening Day. On this day, we ask that everyone spread the word about the importance of self-screening. Self-screening is an important first step for those who may be experiencing PTSD to receive the treatment they need.

The self-screen takes only a few minutes to complete and can help you find out if your feelings and behaviors may be related to PTSD. Your responses are private and secure; they are not collected or shared. This tool is a terrific way to help get you on the path to treating PTSD.

Become an advocate of PTSD awareness by knowing the signs and sharing what you’ve learned with others. For more information, please visit

Join the Movement

UNITED Men’s Ministry

UNITED is a new platform for men's ministry to help local churches minister to men where they are (at work, on the golf links, or at the fishing dock). Whether you are an organizer, a ministry leader, or pastor, the UNITED platform can assist with starting, growing, and sustaining effective men’s ministry. With resources and coaching, you aren’t alone on this journey.

UNITED is subscription based. An annual subscription is $180/year and includes aides for leaders to engage with men's ministry through apps, small groups, coaching, and resources to build a foundation for men's ministry in your local context. Subscriptions include:
  • “How To” Courses
  • Starter Box / Kit
  • Quick Start Devotionals
  • Leader Support
  • Downloads and Resources
  • Live Q&A Webinars
  • Virtual Event Speakers
  • Member's Only Store Discounts
To get started, join the platform, get your starter kit, and start your ministry. For more information, visit

Classic Cars

Hopewell UMM Offer 1st Annual Car Show

The United Methodist Men at Hopewell UMC in Chesterfield, VA sponsored the 1st Annual UMM Car Show on April 30. This community event included a DJ, trivia games, a bounce house for children, and a bake sale in addition to all the classic cars. Awards presentations concluded a fun-filled afternoon.

Be sure to join the Hopewell UMM for the 2023 Car Show next spring.

BMCR Selects Richmond for SEJ Meeting in October

Save the Date | October 13-15

7 - Save the Date BMCR

Words to Live By



Life will hold perils, but in devoting yourself to the service of others, you find a satisfaction that transcends your troubles. As many have discovered, service and leadership are inextricably bound together. Indeed, leadership at its best is service to others.

David Gergen, Hearts Touched by Fire: How Great Leaders are Made, 2022

Recommended Reading: Judges 8:21-23
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.