Danville District-E News

Spring at last! Photo by Katherine Blair.

 

PLEASE BE IN PRAYER FOR:
Sandra Stamps, sister of David Bates (spouse of DS Denise Bates); those affected by gun violence; those of our families lost to COVID-19; ernestly pray for our nation and its leaders; all those designated as essential workers. Wash your hands. Wear your masks. Stay safe.

FROM DS DENISE:
This is how we’ve come to understand and experience love: Christ sacrificed his life for us. This is why we ought to live sacrificially for our fellow believers, and not just be out for ourselves. If you see some brother or sister in need and have the means to do something about it but turn a cold shoulder and do nothing, what happens to God’s love? It disappears. And you made it disappear. 
1 John 3:16 (The Message)

Our family is in the midst of walking a dear one home to the Lord.  My husband’s sister, Sandra has bravely and faithfully fought a valiant battle with cancer.  She has inspired us with her resilience and strength, even though having several surgeries that limited her ability to speak (and Sandra loves to talk), as well as living with a feeding tube and “talking trach” for several years, along with all the impacts of chemo and radiation.  She chose to endure all this not just for her own sake, but to have as much time with her husband, children and grandchildren, family and friends as humanly possible.  When she received the dreaded news, “there is nothing more that can be done”, she chose to face that faithfully and again strengthen all of us with her trust in the Lord and gratitude for the good life she has enjoyed.
We have walked this road before as a family, as we said “see you later” to my parents, my brother and my husband’s parents.  Before those final farewells, there was the exhausting and holy work of caring for them.  Just like my brother-in-law caring for Sandra, we set aside everything else to not only be there, but to care for them.  I know many, many of you know about this sacrifice.  It is a gift we give in love, but it also is heartbreaking and back-breaking.  But, it is a choice we make out of love, to be present with a dear one in this holy time.  It is a gift of love that is a living out of how far love is to be willing to go for the sake of another.
As always, we follow the example of Christ in this.  There are many theological explanations for the cross.  I cling to this simple explanation.  He did it for us, because of love.  Jesus chose to die on the cross for us, out of love. Christ sacrificed his life for us, so we can know just how far LOVE is willing to go for our sakes.  Willing to endure pain, humiliation and even death for us.  The cross is both a demonstration and an example for us as we live our lives.  We look at the life of Jesus, and we see him reaching out to those on the margins, to people others said “were not good enough” to be counted or cared for.  We look at the life of Jesus and we see him healing the sick, feeding the hungry and caring for the lost.  We all know that “sickness”, “hunger” and “lostness” can take many forms, including beyond the literal.
Jesus’ sacrifice for us models for us how we are to live.  Likely none of us will be called upon to be crucified (although there are other meanings to that too).  There are those among us though, who willingly put themselves between danger and disease and us each and every day.  Jesus said, There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends (John 15:13, NLT).  Again, there are other ways we live sacrificially each and every day.  The writer of 1 John is quite clear, when we see a need, and can help and we don’t, then we “disappear” God’s love.  God’s love shines out for the world to see and people to experience when we put ourselves out there for one another.  Jesus said, I give you a new commandment.  Love one another.  Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this, everyone will know you are my disciples.  If you have love for one another (John 13:34-35, NRSV).
I know that this kind of sacrificial love is hard.  Sometimes it is physically, emotionally and even spiritually difficult.  Sometimes it challenges our long held attitudes as it calls us to new actions and new relationships grounded in love. Sometimes the task or need seems way beyond our ability (and maybe our desire) to “make a difference”.  Sometimes the risk seems too great.  All of that can be and often is true.  But, it doesn’t have to stop us.  Just as the cross shows us how far love is willing to go, the Resurrection shows us the power of that love.  It is power that defeats even death.  This power, grounded in God’s love, is what makes the impossible possible.  This power is what gives us the strength to do what it takes to care and love deeply, just as we are deeply loved.  This power gives us the courage to choose to care for the dying and lift up the living, even when it is messy or hard or costs us a lot.  In this power, we can give of ourselves to make a difference, even if it is through one small act of random kindness at a time, or the day in and day out care of a dear one heading home to the Lord.  When we choose to do this, God’s love not only appears, it shines light, peace and joy into that place, that person, those persons and even ourselves.  It is my prayer that you and I, each and every day, choose to be Easter people.  I pray that we choose live in this love and power, and let it live in us and through us.  It will surely make a difference!

                                                                  Happy Easter!
                                                                  DS Denise


Clergy Zoom Meeting (formerly known as listening posts):
Tues April 20. 1:00 pm 


IMPORTANT CHANGE – “KITS FOR CONFERENCE” Effort   

The pandemic has affected the operations of the United Methodist Committee on Relief, UMCOR. UMCOR hasn’t been able to process new kits or to ship their existing kits overseas as usual. So UMCOR is asking that conferences NOT make hygiene, school, or cleaning kits this year.  
Churches and UMWs are being asked to devote their kit-making energies to ministries and non-profits in their local communities. Do you have a feeding ministry or a ministry to the homeless in your community? Perhaps your local public school system would appreciate the same sort of “kits” that your church has traditionally made. NO KITS will be accepted as part of this year’s (virtual) Annual Conference. Questions may be addressed to Rev. David Magruder at davidmagruder@vaumc.org.

ANNUAL CONFERENCE INFO FOR ACTIVE CLERGY
According to ¶602.8[1], any active clergy member of the Annual Conference who will not be attending will need to send a letter with a reason as to your absence from Annual Conference. You may do so by emailing the acting Annual Conference Secretary at JoshuaKing@vaumc.org or if you are sending a written letter, please address it to:
Rev. Joshua King
P.O. Box 487
Purcellville, VA 20134

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.To reach Denise by email:  DanvilleDS@vaumc.org
To reach Sandra by email: DanvilleDistrict@vaumc.org
or by cell phone 276.340.3650.


DANVILLE DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENT’S
CONTACT INFORMATION

Denise’s contact information includes her cell number:
571.449.0650 and her email address:  DanvilleDS@vaumc.org

EVEN WITH VACCINE, CONTINUE TO WEAR MASK
Please remember if you have received the vaccine, you still must wear a mask. This is in keeping with CDC advice, along with Dr. Fauci (virus may still be transmitted even after vaccination), and Governor Northam’s Executive Order requiring the wearing of masks while at indoor spaces (EO 72), and the VAUMC TAM.  Virus levels are quite high at this time in our communities. Please take every precaution to keep you, your family, your church family and your church community healthy and safe.

AS OF NOW ALL MEETINGS WILL BE HELD VIRTUALLY USING ZOOM.
Important Calendar Dates

  • April 12-15                Cabinet ZOOM Meeting
  • April 18                      Board of Missions ZOOM Meeting, 3 pm
  • April 22                      DCOM, 9 am-4 pm
  • May 5                        Committee on Superintendency, ZOOM, 6 pm
  • May 9                        Mother’s Day
Danville District
Virginia Conference of
The United Methodist Church
E-mail: DanvilleDistrict@vaumc.org
Web: http://www.dandist.org/
Phone: 276.638.2688
Rev. Denise P Bates, District Superintendent
Sandra S Fulcher, District Administrative Assistant

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Our mailing address is:
PO Box 4204, Martinsville, VA  24115