Mountain View District-E News

Mountain View District E-News 
Issue: January 27, 2023

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Waters leading into Philpott Lake. Photo from Philpott Lake Facebook page.
Mountain View District
Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church

Rev. Denise Bates, District Superintendent                      
Rev. Leigh Anne Taylor, Director of Connecting Ministries
Mrs. Sandra Fulcher Administrative Manager            

Rev. Steve Propst recovering from surgery; Rev. Leigh Anne Taylor (MV Director of Connecting Ministry) recovering from surgery; Rev. Wimpy Martin (Bethel/Tyreeanna); those suffering food insecurity; Clergy and Laity who are feeling overwhelmed; churches in discernment; Ukraine; those affected by gun violence; those suffering from the Flu, RSV, COVID. Get your Flu Vaccine or COVID Booster. Wash your hands. If you’re more comfortable, wear your masks inside. Stay safe. 

Staff/Pastor Parish Relations Committee Training Being Offered
DS Denise Bates will offer a ZOOM training for Staff/Pastor Parish Relations Committees and anyone else who might be interested. The ZOOM meeting will be 

Tuesday, January 31, beginning at 7 pm. ZOOM link is below. 
Join Zoom Meeting ID: 969 3737 6273
Passcode: 715680
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Meeting ID: 969 3737 6273
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From DS Denise:Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life. 
Galatians 6: 7-8 (MSG)

            Was pondering and praying about what scripture to use for my offering to you in this enews.  I found my mind kept getting way-laid by all the many things to do, including that 150+ emails that have accumulated whilst I was engaged in meetings, in-person and via zoom, and time driving to Richmond (twice) and elsewhere and back.  I use Biblegateway, both in app and online forms, and so I brought that up.  The scripture above was the “verse of the day” recently.  At first, I thought, nah.  Great scripture but wasn’t feeling it.  Then, as I continued to ponder and pray, search and seek, my eyes kept coming back to my screen and these words.  I hope they (and my poor offering) may speak to you, as it did to me, after I got through the weeds.
            I centered first upon the last line, verse 8.  But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.   Each of us, in our own way are to give our lives in the service of the Lord, although I know I have not achieved perfection in this.  I do know that the life of discipleship is a response to a call that God plants deep in our hearts.  God’s Spirit nurtures that seed of  faithfulness until it sprouts and produces leaves, vines and fruit.  Our life, our discipleship, our ministry, for all its imperfections, is a humble offering to God, in response to God’s gift of love in Jesus, and the gift of a calling to love and care for all of God’s people.  When we turn our lives over to God’s Spirit, for continual growth work, and then, in turn, pour out that “growth work” (you could call it grace) on others, our lives bear fruit, the kind that lasts. 
            Real life, lived in real relationships, cares about the needs of others.  Verse 7 says that selfishness, ignoring the needs of others is ignoring God.  God is found in caring about and caring for the needs of others and is self-giving.   The fountain from which all of it springs is the real relationship that God has with each human (whether they -or we- realize/accept it or not); the real Love that covers us all, and the seed of that divine love that is deep within each person.  A word about weeds, though.  Sometimes, what may look to be a weed still may have beauty and purpose.  Consider the dandelion.  A weed, yes. But the greens are delicious, the flowers so bright and who doesn’t love to blow the fuzzy seeds on a windy spring day.  I can’t help but wonder if who may seem to be  the “weeds” we encounter in our ministry, are just one of God’s gifts that need a bit of extra care. Sometimes it is a matter of whose eyes we are using to see.
            When my son was little, we lived in Maine.  One day, he came in with a fist full of dandelion flowers.   His face was full of love as he handed me the bouquet.  They were from the crop of weeds –dandelions—blooming in our front yard, that was in need of a mow. Yet, they were beautiful to him, and he gave them to me as a gift of his love.  As I recall those sunny yellow flowers and the graceful gift of love that filled his chubby little hand, I remember I didn’t see weeds, or the dirty fingers that held them.  My son had harvested a real gift of love for me, because of his love for me, and in response to my love for him.  That is the essence of all we do, isn’t it friends?  We give our lives to the Lord, to love all his people—the lovely and even those who are harder to love.  They all are a gift of grace to us.  They are carrying the challenge of deep love and many times deep brokenness.  But, if we continue to let God’s Spirit do the growth work in us, God’s Spirit will also work in and through us to do the growth work in all we have the blessing and respons-ibility to care for.

YOUNG ADULT MISSION TRIP OPPORTUNITYMy name is Rebecca Andrews and I work for the Highland Support Project- a Richmond-based Advance Special of the UMC. We have partnered with indigenous communities for over 30 years to facilitate cross-cultural exchange and transformational development. Alongside the Pace Center at VCU, we are putting together a young adult mission trip for high school and college students in Virginia to Guatemala this summer.For more information:

Lay Servant Academy is excited to share its Winter Training that will take place on Friday and Saturday, February 17th & 18th. The course schedule features Michael Beck, originator of Fresh Expressions and a leader in cultivating movements. In addition to this course in Planting Fresh Expressions, additional courses include Fruitful Small Groups, Lay Pastoral Care-Giving, Basic Course, Spiritual Gifts, and Certified Lay Ministry Orientation. Courses are offered in person only at Shady Grove UMC Mechanicsville, VA. Registration and additional information can be found using this link:
For questions, you are welcome to email Tianna Durbin, Director of Lay Servant Academy.  

Important Note for Clergy and Laity of the Mountain View District

The Mountain View District office landline phone number has been moved to a cell phone. This will make contact with Sandra easier. The cell phone will also receive and send texts and emails. 
The phone number remains the same 276.638.2688.   Scholarships Available for United Methodist Students!

Applications are now open for scholarships from the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation. Every year, UMHEF awards $2+ million to students planning to attend one of the 100+ UM-related colleges, universities, and seminaries across the country. Don’t let finances get in the way of achieving your dreams of a quality education! Apply by March 1 at
Teresa Tysinger | Director of Communications & Public Relations 
direct: 615-649-3975 | office: 615-649-3990
60 Music Square East, Suite 350
P.O. Box 340005, Nashville, TN  37203
Apply early and save.

School of the Spirit is a soul-tending Christian spiritual formation ministry for pastors and leaders. The School exists to create space for God to strengthen souls and nurture growth toward vibrant spiritual wholeness. You are invited to join our next cohort, community 14. A one-year experience delivered in five quarterly retreats, this practice-based opportunity is grounded in the conviction that our soul is the greatest gift we’ve been given for life and leadership (Matthew 16:26). If your soul is in need of renewal, learn more and apply here:

“School of the School was like walking in the garden for me. While tarrying there, I learned how to break the ground, tilt it, plant the seeds, and water them. With wonderful and experienced staff, the School of the Spirit will serve you to be equipped with many tools to tender your soul and follow the Spirit. If you are seeking something for your soul, I strongly recommend School of the Spirit to you.” Jae Song (Red Valley and Burnt Chimney UMC in Mountain View District) 
Rev. Leigh Anne Taylor, Director of Connecting Ministries, is home recovering from surgery. There is a Caring Bridge site with updates,
You may leave comments and well wishes. Notes and cards can be sent to 3766 Fort Ave, Lynchburg, VA 24501-3820.

UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE) January 31           
SPRC Training, ZOOM, 7 pm January 31           
Statistical Tables 2 & 3 due February 11           
Bishop Haupert-Johnson Installation, Woodlake UMC,10:30 am February13-16     
Cabinet Meeting, UM Center February 16           
DCOM, ZOOM meeting February 18           
Called Annual Conference, ZOOM, 9 am March 6-9             
Cabinet Meeting, UM Center

Resident Bishop
Sue Haupert-Johnson

District Superintendent
Rev. Denise P. Bates

Director of Connecting Ministries
Rev. Leigh Anne Taylor

Administrative Manager
Sandra S. Fulcher

Mountain View District Office
PO Box 4204
Martinsville, VA 24115

276.638.2688Copyright © 2023 Mountain View District of The United Methodist Church), All rights reserved.

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