Danville District E-News

Angel Overlook on Squirrel Spur Road, Meadows of Dan. Photo by Visit Patrick County.



Holly Hawkins, mother of Rebecca Lutz (spouse of Rev. Tobias Lutz, Concord/Mount Pleasant); those affected by ongoing racial tensions, nurses and doctors on the front line, grocery stockers and cashiers, hospital workers, clergy and laity, grocery stockers and cashiers, drive-thru fast food workers, school systems trying to keep children fed, graduating seniors, all those affected by the COVID-19 virus.

Mount Olivet UMC, Danville, has an opening for the position of a part-time Administrative Assistant. Applicants are persons who are self-starters, have excellent relational and communication skills, proficiency with computers, databases, websites, office equipment, and is detail oriented. For details, visit the Virginia Conference website at www.vaumc.org/jobs

“In our prayers for you we always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven.  You have heard of this hope before in the word of the truth, the gospel that has come to you.  Just as it is bearing fruit and growing in the whole world, so it has been bearing fruit among yourselves from the day you heard it and truly comprehended the grace of God.”
                   ——Colossians 1: 3-6  (NRSV)

            Scripture is a rich resource for guiding and inspiring our everyday lives, in whatever circumstances that life brings our way.   The Psalms are a personal favorite.  They contain the whole range of human emotion and express the sometimes complicated relationship we have with others, even with God.   In the Gospels, we see the life and ministry of Jesus open to us the example for the Christian walk as we follow Jesus, seeking to live and love as Jesus does.  In the Hebrew Bible, we find the story of God’s relationship with ancient peoples, and discover our own story there.  In the Epistles, we find words that guide us in being the Church, and what it means to be fruitful in the midst of the world.

These verses from Paul’s letter to the church in Colossae jumped out at me this afternoon. They express a message I want you to know, about our relationship, whether you are laity or clergy.  I consider us all workers in the vineyard together, even if we might have different roles to play.  I consider us all sisters and brothers of Christ, gifted, graced and forgiven, sent out to share the love of Christ in real and tangible ways.   I consider each and every one of us, and all people everywhere, to be Beloved children of God.  Loved first by God, not because of what we believe or who we are, what we look like or where we live, or any other human determination; but because God is LOVE.   God’s relationship with us came first, and is offered to us to accept (or not)—our choice—another gift from God.

I continue always to keep all of you in my prayers, at all times; but, especially in the midst of these very challenging times we are living in right now.  Even in the midst of these times, with all the tragedy, confusion and chaos, I can see ways that God is bearing fruit in the world and in the Church.  We can take a leap of faith, beyond where we have been, into a new future that God has for all people.  Kingdom of God stuff is happening all around, even when it seems like everything is spinning out of control.  I can’t help but wonder if it is precisely at those times when we reach for God all the more?  We hold on to hope, because all the “usual” handholds seem to be too slippery, or we find they are non-existent.  Sometimes, we find that we have outgrown them, as God expands our soul in caring for and about our neighbors in new life-giving ways.  This hope, that we hear in the truth of Scripture is bearing fruit in us and through us.   As we open our minds and our hearts to God’s grace, we grow evermore fruitful in the impact our lives (our walk with Jesus) has on the world in which we live.  That can be in big ways or in small ways; in our community or in our homes, or even in our hearts.

I always thank God for each of you, laity and clergy alike.  I am so appreciative and proud at how you have worked together to care for each other and to make keeping each other and your communities safe a top priority in your ministries.  This is hard work, but it is worth it.  As we deepen our comprehension of God’s grace, as we more fully understand God’s abundant love, our perspective should and does change.  Each life is precious and deserves the opportunity to enjoy the fullness of all the gifts that God gives.  You are a gift that God gives.  Enjoy the gift that you are and share it generously with everyone you encounter.  God bless you in every way.

DS Denise
“Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my help and my God.”   –Psalm 42:11 (NRSV)


Saying Goodbyes

Twenty-three years ago, as I graduated college, I was heartbroken.  Unlike high school, my college experience had knit my life into web with other dear friends.  Many of these relationships continue today.  But leaving those friends behind, and entering a new season life called “adulthood,” was difficult for my heart to bear.  Subconsciously I decided to never again let my heart be broken when having to tell people goodbye.  I tried to guard my heart.

It didn’t work.  In the years since then, I’ve pastored three different congregations.  In those churches, I walked with people through their joys and their sorrows.  They walked with me through major life transitions—both the good and the difficult.  Each time, as I laid down the mantle of my pastoral leadership in a community, my heart was broken again by the loss of relationships, and by wrapping-up another season of life and ministry.

At the end of June, I am preparing to do so again.  Having served in my role as Assistant to the District Superintendent for only one year, I didn’t think I would have much grief to deal with.  But how wrong I’ve been!  For the last sixteen years I have been a part of the Danville District, and the people of this district have been a part of me.  I’ve served under four different District Superintendents here—each of whom has blessed, mentored and inspired me in different ways—including the Rev. Denise Bates.  Countless times I’ve been assisted (or bailed out!) by the steadfast, knowledgeable and capable Sandra Fulcher.  (What a gift she is to us all!)  I also find myself seeing the faces and names of countless clergy and laity whose love and commitment to ministry have inspired me over the years.

And you continue to inspire me!  Recently, as I was coaching a group of our pastors, I found myself on the verge of tears—tears of gratitude.  Through these months of COVID-19, I’ve seen so many of our pastors stepping outside your comfort zones—learning new skills, trying new ways of doing ministry.  Your courageous faith, and your commitment to our communities inspires me to be a better pastor as I move back into local church ministry.  You have touched me deeply.

As I leave the District, my heart is still breaking—which is a good thing!  It’s a sign that I’ve experienced something powerful, something real—that I’ve experienced love.  I realize our congregations and our entire United Methodist connection are amid a season of great uncertainty, turmoil and stress.  But the aching in my heart isn’t about these things.  I feel pain in my heart-space because of the web of spiritual relationships I’ve been a part of in the Danville District.  I feel this because, in Paul’s words, “Christ [is dwelling] in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love” (Ephesians 3:17).  Together we are the body of Christ.  As I take leave of this part of the body, I pray that you may continue to bless, support and encourage one another, so that Christ’s love may be seen more clearly in your communities, and in our greater world!  Live alive, and…

Go with God!
Brad Dulaney
Assistant to the District Superintendent



Phone (540)797-5891

Wildwood Christian Counseling is a Nonprofit Mental Health Organization that focuses on reaching those in the underserved Appalachia region of Virginia.We provide services for those who have Mental Health and Substance Abuse Disorders. Counseling services are available in person and by secure telehealth phone and video.

Cares Act PPP funds still available
The United Methodist Credit Union (TUMCU) has already funded nearly $2.8 million dollars of forgivable loans under the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program.  CEO Jim Eads shared, “We are so happy to have helped dozens of United Methodist churches, as well as agencies, districts, charities, and even a couple of Methodist camps weather the storm of the recent COVID-19 economic shutdown.”There is still significant money available in this program, and TUMCU would like to help any church or organization obtain this needed funding.  Many churches may not be familiar with how the program works, but TUMCU can provide a lot of assistance and help churches and organizations qualify for complete forgiveness of these low-interest loans. Essentially, the result is permanent, no-cost funding for your church or organization.Any interested party can call TUMCU at (804) 672-0200 to learn more, or can start the application process at https://www.tumcu.org/sba-paycheck-protection-program/.

From United Methodist Communications <umcom@umcom.org>
Church websites
 are a vital part of digital ministry. If your church doesn’t have a website, we want to help! Apply for a Website Development Package, which includes:

  • One year of web hosting and domain name registration
  • WordPress online training and support
  • Pre-designed templates
  • Email accounts and storage
    Apply now

Micro-Training – If you don’t have time to enroll in a full online training course, this is perfect for you. Take a moment to explore these free, on-demand learning opportunities, which offer 20-minute “bursts of knowledge” on communication topics such as Facebook outreach and sharing your church through pictures and videos.  Explore training

Webinar Information from Glenn Shelton:Today I’ve watched a copy of a Webinar from United Methodist Men,

June 10 Hunger Relief and Scouting Click here to view. Access Password: 0M#p+G7l

(Will be seen again in the link just above the closing)

The presentation deals primarily with the Society of Saint Andrews and Scouting.

These are challenging times and this is something of a different experience.
Hopefully, several of you who are able to share this experience will comment on your opinion of this information.

This may become one of our best means for sharing information and having important meaningful discussions for a while.

 Upcoming Webinars 

Best Wishes.
(Watson Memorial UMC)
(434) 432-9641

Please mark your calendars for the VA Conference UMMen Love, Learn, and Lead webinar on June 24, 2020 at 6:30pm EDT. All are welcome.

All God’s Children provides week-long summer camps for children of incarcerated parents who face so many challenges in their lives. While 2020 camps have been cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Lori Smith will share how you can support these children this year and prepare for camps in 2021.

GraceInside chaplains bring faith, hope, and love to the more than 30,000 incarcerated men and women of Virginia’s prisons. Rev. Randy Myers will discuss how chaplains provide one-on-one pastoral care, conduct worship services, and offer rehabilitative programs through the Department of Corrections staff.

Jail Ministryencourages local churches and districts to conduct Bible studies in regional, county, and city jails. Jim Eilertsen will explain how a chaplaincy support team supports the Good News Jail & Prison Ministry in Virginia.

Kairos Prison Ministry shares the love of Jesus Christ with incarcerated men, women, and youth and their families. Rev. John Cole II will share how you can support this ministry and transform lives of the residents of Virginia’s prisons with prayer and sharing groups.

Topic: All God’s Children, GraceInside, Jail, and Prison Ministries
Date: Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Time: 6:30 pm – 7:30pm, Eastern Daylight Time

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 921 0197 6396

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Meeting ID: 921 0197 6396
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kcJq1VwrpF

Recordings from previous Love, Learn, and Lead webinars are posted on our web page https://vaumc.org/UMM.


Danville worship as of 6/17/20
Danville District Drive-In Worship = 27
Bethlehem   Brosville    Creasey’s Chapel    Crafts/East Franklin Charge
Penhook/East Franklin Charge    Fellowship    First, Martinsville
Fork Mountain    Grace Design    Harmony    Harris Chapel
Oakland    Pleasant Grove    Red Valley    Rock Springs
Ross Harbor    Salem    Stuart    Granbery    Rehobeth
Flint Hill    Oyler’s Chapel    Watson Memorial (w/1st Presbyterian)
Wesley Memorial    Whitmell    St. John’s    Stanleytown    Epworth
 Danville District In-person churches = 9

(CP is Cooperative Parish)

Rocky Mount    Bethany/West Franklin Charge
Maple Grove/West Franklin Charge    Bethlehem    Trinity
Rehobeth/Upper Franklin CP    Flint Hill/Upper Franklin CP
Oyler’s Chapel/Upper Franklin CP    Ridgeway/Two County CP
Patrick Co. CP

to be used by churches in planning in-person worship from June 21 and going forward.

New information about Stage 2 return to in-person worship has been added to the Virginia Conference website at www.vaumc.org/return
The information includes
·       A video from Bishop Sharma D. Lewis (above)
·       A letter from Bishop Sharma D. Lewis
·       A Technical Assistance Manual for Local Churches The Technical Assistance Manual is to be     used  for planning in-person worship from June 21 and going forward.
·       COVID Health Acknowledgement Online Form Instructions


June Session of Virginia Annual Conference postponed until September

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the June 2020 session of the Virginia Annual Conference has been postponed until September 18 -19, 2020. Information regarding the location of the September 2020 Annual Conference is forthcoming. This postponement will not affect the clergy appointment process.


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


June 20, Clergy Evaluations are due. These can be completed by a ZOOM meeting anytime before June 20, or in person after June 10.

June 20, Parsonage Inspections are due. These could be done by a ZOOM meeting or it is probably better to complete them in person after June 10.  This report is completed by the Trustee Chair, SPPRC Chair, and Clergy.

June 30, Moving Date
July 5, First Sunday in the new church
These are, of course, subject to change if conditions necessitate.

IMPORTANT – Churches with moves this year – These parsonages will need disinfecting using the CDC and VHD guidelines before the new parsonage family moves in. This is the responsibility of the receiving church’s Board of Trustees.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Guidelines can be found by going to
Cleaning and Disinfecting your Home


The Danville District office will be closed
until further notice.

Sandra and Denise will be working
from their respective homes.

To reach Denise by email:  DanvilleDS@vaumc.org

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

Important Calendar Dates

  • June 21                    Father’s Day
  • July 3                       Office closed for Independence Day
  • July 15                     State & Federal taxes due
  • July 26                     Henry Fork Board Mtg 2:30 pm
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
Rev. Brad Dulaney, Assistant to the District Superintendent
Sandra S Fulcher, District Administrative Assistant

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