Rock Castle Creek. Photo by “Visit Patrick County.”
PLEASE BE IN PRAYER FOR:
The family of Woodie Hardy, spouse of Rev. Robert Hardy (Danville District Property Manager); Clergy families and churches in transition; those of our families lost to COVID-19; ernestly pray for our nation and its leaders; all those designated as essential workers. Get your Vaccine. Wash your hands. Wear your masks. Stay safe.
FROM DS DENISE:
“But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do, what God is looking for in men and women.
It’s quite simple: Do what is fair and just to your neighbor, be compassionate and loyal in your love, And don’t take yourself too seriously—take God seriously.” –Micah 6:8 (The Message)
This verse from the prophet Micah is one of those “this sums it up” verses in Scripture. You may be more familiar with the wording from the New Revised Standard Version: He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? –Micah 6:8 (NRSV). This response (that “sums it up”) follows questions from the human perspective about exactly what is the “best” way to please or honor God. The prophet says that God has already told you, and then shares these words that are meant to resonate in our souls AND guide our living. When you examine the scriptures (Old and New Testaments), you find this command of God throughout. When Jesus was asked by the “religion lawyer” (or Pharisee) what was the most important commandment in the law as a test, Jesus’s response was another “this sums it up” response, that brought together commands from Deuteronomy and Leviticus: 34 When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, 35 and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. 36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” –Matthew 22:36-40 (NRSV)
Jesus said, this is what it all comes down to. Loving God, loving neighbor as you love yourself. He even says that it all boils down to this– On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Honoring God, as the prophet Micah proclaimed, and as Savior Jesus taught, is a whole being, whole living enterprise. God calls us to compassion and to love, to justice and to respect. Caring for neighbor is an embodiment of our love for God—we are to be an embodiment (an incarnation) of God’s love. God has been consistent in this since the first acts of Creation. We human creatures are less consistent at times, if we are honest with ourselves (both as individuals and as a whole). If COVID has taught us anything (and I believe God will redeem this tragic time in many ways), it is that we are all connected. What we do impacts others. We choose that impact through our actions and attitudes, our decisions and our priorities.
Biblically, it isn’t complicated –love the Lord with your whole being, know yourself as beloved of God, and know others as beloved of God as well—and treat them that way, be in relationship in that way. Living this out will be living out compassion, justice, kindness and humility. Grace we have received, becomes grace that we share. It isn’t complicated, it is simple; but, that isn’t the same as being easy, is it? But, scripture tells us that nothing will be impossible with God (Luke 1:37, NRSV) and I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13, NLT). When you and I (and all of us together) lean into the grace and power that is given to us, and bring that love to everyone and everything we encounter, we are agents of God’s transformation in the world.
This is not new news to you, even though I am new to some of you. This is how you have been living and giving the love of Christ, and most especially through this COVID times. As we continue or begin our adventure together, let’s take some time to reflect on what we have learned through this challenging, tragic time; and, discern how we might use those learnings to cultivate (or fertilize) the ministry fields that Jesus is calling the workers (you and I, individually and all together) to put our hearts, minds, muscles and lives to.
These verses from Matthew 22 and Micah 6 are my touchstone verses. They function as a litmus test for my choices and priorities (and yes, I am imperfect at this, but lean into the Lord to strengthen and shape me continually). The wonderful, transformative, life-giving, life-changing, life-saving ministry you all have been about continues, and I feel deeply blessed to be a partner in ministry with you. There are faithful, fruitful ministries in both the Lynchburg and Danville Districts. These are ministries that have sprung forth from the deep well of God’s love that flows here. I am excited to see what God will do with us as we move forward together…. all to the glory and honor of God, as we authentically live out the LOVE of God through Christ!
Save the Date
Conference Palooza is coming! And, it will be IN PERSON! It will be a morning of worship, fellowship and learning, along with the business of all the local churches’ annual Charge Conferences and our District Conference. Conference Palooza is from 9-noon
Saturday November 6 @ First UMC, Martinsville
Stay Tuned for More Info
The Danville District office will be closed Monday, July 19 – Friday, July 23.
Sandra will be on vacation
Denise’s contact information for emergencies is:
EVC Training Sessions
Are you new to entering data for charge conference on EVC?
Do yearly statistical reports give you a bad case of hives?
Is your Church Admin new to EVC? Never fear, help is on the way!
Bryan Compton, IT Manager for VAUMC is offering two Zoom EVC Training Sessions, one for Church Admins on Wednesday, July 28, and another for Clergy on Thursday, July 29.
To be able to participate and hear, a computer installed with Zoom and computer speakers is required. Questions are encouraged and can be spoken into a microphone or entered into Zoom Chat. A Camera is not required. I will share my screen during the session. The training session would benefit both Clergy and Church Admins who are new to EVC or would like a refresher before Charge Conference Season.
Questions? Contact Bryan Compton, IT Manager, Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church, BryanCompton@vaumc.org, 804-521-1115
MASK DRIVE UPDATE
These are some of the students and pastors who received masks from the Danville District Mask Drive for Uganda. In total, 1082 mask were collected and shipped to Wobulenzi, Uganda.Deep appreciation is expressed to all who contributed to this mission.
CANS AND KITS FOR CONFERENCE UPDATE
An effusive “Thank You!” to everyone on the Danville District that participated in our Cans & Kits for Conference collection on Saturday. In two hours, at three locations, we collected a combined 497 school and health kits, and just under 4,000 lbs of non-perishable food!
The vast majority of that food is already in the hands of numerous partners across the district for distribution to neighbors in need. In the coming weeks, the kits will be distributed between various learning environments, homeless/shelter ministries, and more, but they will all serve as symbols of the Hands and Feet of Christ in the four counties that comprise our district. Let us see this as a head-start on new ministry opportunities in our own backyards.
A special thanks to Chris, Sandra, and Intek for putting together our collection stations, and to all the volunteers that assisted us this weekend.
MOBILE FOOD PANTRY ON THE GO IN PATRICK COUNTY
Attention Friends & Neighbors in the Woolwine/Patrick County community… Woolwine United Methodist Church is taking out our new MOBILE FOOD PANTRY! We will be setting up in area spots to have food available for people to pick up. Please come out and pick up some food, say hello and make a new friend! Everyone has to eat…no forms, no judgement, free food for all and everyone is welcome! We will have a wide assortment of food to distribute, both perishables and non-perishables. I look forward to seeing you this Friday between 3:00-6:00 pm! Look for the gray trailer and the Woolwine UMC Banners!
This month’s distribution information-
Friday, July 2nd from 3:00-6:00 pm in the parking lot at the Woolwine Volunteer Fire Department
Friday, July 16th from 3:00-6:00 pm in the parking lot at Howell’s Furniture Store
***PLEASE SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS!***
MISSION ENCOUNTER – BEGINNING JULY 1 THROUGH AUGUST 5, 2021
Mission Encounter is an annual event sponsored by VA Conference United Methodist Women and The Serving Ministries Office of VAUMC. This year’s event will be virtual, spread across 6 weeks. Studies to choose from are:
Finding Peace in an Anxious World by Erin James-Brown Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools by Monique Morris Bearing Witness in the Kin-dom: Living Into the Church’s Moral Witness Through Radical Discipleship by Darryl Stephens Youth: Becoming Peacemakers in a Culture of Violence by Jay Godfrey Children: Responding to Violence by Sue Raymond Serving 101, The Mission of God’s People by Christopher Wright
Note that one study is designated for those working with youth and another for those working with children. To learn more, please visit (https://vaumc.org/me/)
The PRG Team has provided best practices as local churches continue to safely and effectively lead ministry as they transition to post-pandemic worship and ministry. In the team’s update from June 16, they highlight guidance for:
what happens if a local church jas a positive case of COVID-19
All Relaunch webinars, held in May and early June, can be accessed here…
2021 Lay Servant Academy August 21, 2021 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Come join us for Lay Servant Academy Online Training Day: We are excited to be hosting Summer Lay Servant courses which will take place on Saturday, August 21. NEW THIS YEAR: Both full-day and half-day course offerings! All courses are designed for equipping laity for the work and mission of each person’s calling. Instructors for each course include both clergy and laity who are ready to give practical and relevant resources that will be useful in various ministry areas. Lay Servant Academy is for all of the Virginia Conference Laity who feel called to ministry or who currently serve the church and would like to grow in their servant leadership. Click here to view the course descriptions and other information (pdf)
Register at this link: https://na.eventscloud.com/ereg/index.php?eventid=623870&
For more information or for questions, you may contact Tianna Durbin, Director of Lay Servant Academy TiannaD@arcolachurch.org.
COVID-19 RESPONSE The Danville District office is open.
You are requested to call ahead if you need to come into the office.
If you feel sick or have a temperature, please stay home.
You are asked to wear a mask inside the office if you have not been vaccinated.
DANVILLE DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT’S
Denise’s contact information includes her cell number:
571.449.0650 and her email address: DanvilleDS@vaumc.org
Important Calendar Dates
July 19-23 District office closed–Sandra on vacation
August 10 District Finance Meeting, 5:30 pm
August 25-31 District office closed–Sandra in New Jersey
September 6 District office closed for Labor Day
November 6 District Palooza 9:30 am, First UMC Uptown Ministry Center
November 25-26 District office closed for Thanksgiving
Virginia Conference of
The United Methodist Church
Rev. Denise P Bates, District Superintendent
Sandra S Fulcher, District Administrative Assistant