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Ben Hill Griffin, Jr.
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Susan Davis (politician)
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Staunton District UMC
P.O. Box 1048
Fishersville, VA 22939
Return Service Requested
August/September 2016
Staunton District United Methodist Churches
Our New Bishop is
Bishop Sharma Lewis
Staunton District Conference - Saturday, September 24, at
10:00 a.m. at Trinity UMC in Lexington. We will be voting on
District Delegates to the 2017 Annual Conference. If you are
interested in being a nominee, please contact your pastor or
the District Office for the form.
The Virginia Chapter of the Professional
Association of UMC Secretaries (PAUMCS)
will host a fall event at the Conference Center
(10330 Staples Mill Rd, Glen Allen) on
Wednesday, November 2, from 9:30 a.m. until
3:00 p.m. This session will explore tools for living the abundant
life we were designed for through developing healthy, loving
relationships with God, self, and others. Based on key lessons
from Sharon Hanna's book, Person-to-Person: Positive
Relationships Don't Just Happen, topics will include building selfesteem, wellness, open communication, career success, and
developing positive relationships. Our greatest love relationship,
with God, will be woven throughout each topic. Find more
information and a registration form at
ncfilerepository/PAUMCS/Fall2016EventBrochure.pdf. We hope
to see you there!
Serving Alleghany, Augusta, Bath, Botetourt, Highland and Rockbridge Counties.
Contact Us
We are here to equip and
encourage our churches as
they strive to do ministry in
their unique communities.
Staunton District UMC
P.O. Box 1048
Fishersville, VA 22939
Physical Address:
26 Orr Dr., Fishersville
(540) 932-1055
We are delighted and hopeful to welcome
Bishop Sharma Denise Lewis to our Virginia
Conference. Elected to the Office of Bishop
on the first ballot of the Southeastern
Jurisdictional Conference, Bishop Lewis has
served for the past six years as the District
Superintendent of the Atlanta-DecaturOxford District in the North Georgia
Conference. Having begun her ministry as
Associate Pastor of the 8,000 member Ben
Hill UMC in Atlanta, Bishop Lewis’s later appointments included
Powers Ferry UMC in Marietta and Wesley Chapel in McDonough,
GA - where, during her three year tenure as Senior Pastor, over
600 new and restored members joined the church and worship
attendance doubled.
In 2011, the North Georgia Conference honored Reverend Lewis
by electing her as the first African-American woman to lead its
delegation to the 2012 General and Jurisdictional Conferences, an
honor she received again for the 2016 General and Jurisdictional
Conferences. Born and raised in Statesboro, GA, Bishop Lewis is
a second-career pastor, having worked as a research biologist and
chemist prior to surrendering to God’s call upon her life in the
1990s. She is a graduate of Mercer University, the University of
West Georgia, and Gammon Theological Seminary.
Let us join in prayer for our new Bishop, as she prepares to begin
her service to Christ as Bishop of the Virginia Conference on
September 1.
[email protected]
Visit us on the web at
Like us on Facebook
You are invited to a Welcoming Service of Worship for Bishop
Lewis on Saturday, September 17th, at 10:30 a.m. at Reveille UMC
(4200 Cary Street Road, Richmond).
The Mission of the
Virginia Annual
Conference is to make
disciples of Jesus Christ
for the transformation of
the world by equipping
its local churches for
ministry and by
providing a connection
for ministry beyond the
local church; all to the
glory of God.
In This Issue
Meet Our New Bishop
News from the DS
Secret Boutique News
For the Lay Servant
Dates for your
After all, fear brings voters out for either party,
for any party, and the more divisive and
pitched the campaign, the more motivated we
are at the ballot box – or so it would seem. But
how joyful and how powerful is our
proclamation as the inviting and open-hearted
people of God, when we echo our Master:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in
every situation, by prayer and petition, with
thanksgiving, present your requests to
God. And the peace of God, which transcends
all understanding, will guard your hearts and
your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
“Peace is what I leave with you; it is my
own peace that I give you. I do not give it as
the world does. Do not be worried and upset;
do not be afraid.” John 14:27
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear,
but of power and of love and of a sound
mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
The concordant wisdom of Jesus from Luke
12 is a constant reassurance as well as a
powerful challenge to us: if we cannot will
ourselves to live longer, then how is our
continued distress and anxiety an expression
of faithfulness? Is the present darkness so
deep that we must live as if God has not won
in Jesus for all time the victory over
meaninglessness, death and evil? Do we cling
to the Cross as our hope in present struggle,
or in case we need a club handy?
We Christians do not claim that security is
unimportant for our nation, or our borders, or
our local communities. In fact we are vigilant we look for those who are uniquely vulnerable
and left aside, and speak for them in times of
But in this harrowing election season, and
when divisions
threaten even our
own global United
Methodist Church,
thank goodness
our hope is not in
our own wisdom
and perspective,
our chosen
candidate, our
own tribe. At a
time when our
witness can
perhaps be even
Rev. Dave Rochford, D.S.
more powerful
Hope for the future.
From the District Superintendent
It has been a dizzying season since the
Annual Conference in June (was that really
only last month?). The cadence of news
stories involving violence at home and abroad
has fallen like hammer-blows on an anvil: it’s
as if our ears are still ringing from the last one
when the next one lands.
Of course, some would seek full advantage
of the moment, stepping boldly into the
spotlight from one side and the other. As the
camera rolls, a nation wonders: from where
else can we as a people find courage,
certainty and security? Who can deliver us
from our enemies?
Surely the answer depends upon whom
you consider to be your people. Some of us
are Republicans, some Democrats; a growing
number are Independents, and then there are
conservatives, progressives, traditionalists,
free-traders, post-partisans, and so on. So
many tribes - and potentially a whole lot of
Written to a struggling community of
believers in Christ, beset by many conflicting
claims on their allegiance, 1 Peter says: “But
you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood,
a holy nation, God’s special possession, that
you may declare the praises of him who
called you out of darkness into his wonderful
light. Once you were not a people, but now
you are the people of God” (1 Peter 2:9-10a).
That is to say, as I understand it, those
other claims did not and do not make us a
people, for we are now God’s called-out
witnesses in a fractious and quarreling world.
You know, God’s radiant people.
And the byproduct of this new identity is to
live free from something that a partisan spirit
very much wants and needs to remain potent.
Our Churches
Comes to Staunton District!
Voices of Youth will be performing on
Thursday, July 28, at Trinity UMC in
Lexington, at 7:00 p.m. VOY is a
wonderful United Methodist Youth
outreach ministry that has blessed our
Conference for generations now. We
hope you will take the opportunity to
attend this free and fun concert.
Somethings to Celebrate:
As of July 20, a total of $157,715 has
been given to this year's Annual
Conference special offering, exceeding
the goal of $150,000.
Virginia Annual Conference members
brought 52,016 disaster relief kits for
the United Methodist Committee on
Relief (UMCOR) to Annual Conference.
The kits, valued at $644,388, included
29,676 Health Kits; 17,637 School Kits;
2,634 Birthing Kits; 1,352 Layette Kits;
303 Cleaning Kits; 55 Bedding Kits and
359 Sewing Kits. Total number of
donated kits exceeded last year's
offerings by more than 9,000.
Here’s Some Good News For College Students . . .
The Virginia United Methodist Credit Union
(VUMCU) is offering SnapLoan, an educational line of
credit available to help with the funding gap once
scholarships, subsidized federal student loans and
college savings accounts have been exhausted.
It’s structured as a low fixed rate Line of Credit
· Only one application-no need to reapply each
· No annual FAFSA required
· Quick and easy one page application
· Complete flexibility to draw the money whenever
you see fit (subject to annual limits)
· Funds can be used for any educational related
expense-even study abroad
· Borrowers may need a co-signer if not otherwise
5.45% APR Fixed Rate* - Attending Any
Accredited College or University.
4.95% APR Fixed Rate* - Attending Seminary or a
Virginia Methodist Affiliated College
Visit or call 804-6720200 for details or to apply online.
*All loans are subject to approval and credit
restrictions apply. Must be a VUMCU member to
Equipping People for Ministry Outside the Walls of the Church:
Featuring Andy Crouch ~ Tuesday, October 4, 2016 | 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Church doesn’t stop on Sunday mornings and it doesn’t happen only in our church
buildings. Vital Congregations are full of people who live out their faith each day in
their workplaces, homes, schools, communities, etc. This event is designed to help
participants equip the people of their congregations to be the church in the world. Join
the 5 Talent Academy on Tuesday, October 4, 2016 for “Equipping People for Ministry
Outside the Walls of the Church” featuring Andy Crouch.
Who Should Come? This event is designed for those who want to learn and help others learn how to
live out their faith in daily life. Bring those from your congregation who do Mission, Christian
Education, and anyone ready to deepen their daily practice of Christian Living.
Event Cost: $35/person: Registration Deadline 9/19
Prayers for one
The Staunton District Youth in Mission
Secret Boutique needs your help – now!
With the grand opening of two Secret Boutique locations a month away, there’s much work to
be done. Here’s how you can help: *Moving Truck and Crew: We need 4 or more STRONG
men and a few large box trucks (at least one 26-foot minimum) to move retail store fixtures from
near Richmond to Staunton. Do you have connections to the trucking or moving industry? Can
you put those to work for us? *Clothes Hangers: We need hundreds of retail hangers. Purchase
100 for $25. *Paint and Paint Crews: We also need to freshen the walls in Staunton. *Clothing
Collections: Hundreds of local students qualify for our services. Help us make sure they go back
to school in style. Send us your students’ gently-worn clothing, collect clothing from your friends
and neighbors, start a neighborhood clothing drive, or volunteer to help your church become a
drop-off location. Watch for our Augusta County clothing drive hosted by our new sister
organization, The Green Hanger Project, and sponsored by The News Leader. For more
information, go to *Purchase personal care products or school
supplies: Our shelves in Staunton are absolutely bare. Help us stock them. *Financial Support:
In the coming weeks we need to purchase or pay for: Hundreds of hangers, Gallons of paint, Gas
for moving trucks (and potentially rental fees for those trucks), Beige area rugs, Signs, Publicity
materials (brochures, flyers, business cards), Web hosting fees, Not-For-Profit incorporation fees.
*Sign up for our monthly newsletter: Secret Boutique is a vibrant ministry that grows and
changes daily. Stay up to date on what’s happening by joining our mailing list. Send your email
address or mailing address to [email protected] or Jenelle Watson, 77 Hamshire Way,
Fishersville VA 22939. *Invite Jenelle to share the Secret Boutique story at your church or
civic meeting. We welcome the opportunity to tell others about this incredible project God has
given us. Email [email protected] or call her at (540) 649-7149.
Many thanks to: all of our district churches for their prayers and the following individuals
and churches who have helped us get off to a strong start: Pastor Jim Harris of Bridgewater
UMC: For donating 90% of the proceeds of his art show at Bridgewater Retirement Community to
Secret Boutique. Benham Black of Central UMC (Staunton): For providing legal advice as we
proceed toward 501c3 incorporation. Wayne Hills UMC: For hosting our Waynesboro boutique.
Fishersville UMC: For their ongoing clothing and personal care produce drive. Marvin UMC: For
an entire SUV load of clothes and goodies. Calvary UMC: For becoming our first Green Hanger
Project donation site. Staunton District Board of Missions: For sponsoring the purchase of 800
coat hangers Staunton District Banquet Participants: For helping stock our personal care
product shelves and jewelry counter at our Wayne Hills location. Staunton Churches Lenten
Luncheon Participants: For financial support through their lunch offering. The Students of
Helping Hands District Mission Camp: for kicking off the massive painting project at our
Staunton boutique location. Tim Armentrout of Fishersville UMC: for real estate signs to be
repurposed as location markers.
We wouldn’t be where we are without YOU! Want to learn how you can get to work on a
Boutique project this summer. Email [email protected] or call Jenelle at (540) 6497149.
Our Deepest Sympathy
Our Beth Christian wih our new Bishop
╬ The Family of Mrs.
Loretta Miller (Richard) ,
who passed away July 9.
Rev. Miller served
Granbery Memorial UMC in
because we Christians are not of one earthly tribe, we have
Someone so much better to offer:
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from
God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,
neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not
even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.” Romans
╬ Dr. Ester Mabry and her
family on the death of her
husband Rev. Hunter
Mabry. Rev. Mabry served
as a missionary in the
Philippines and then spent
25 years in India teaching
at a seminary. He served
on Conference & District
Boards of Church &
Society. The Mabrys
attended Main Street UMC
for many years.
╬ Rev. Bill and Susan
Davis and their family on
the death of their daughter
Anne. Rev. Davis served
the Wayne Hills-Oak Hill
Charge (1985-1990).
West Virginia Flooding: the Hands and Heart of Christ
as Waters Recede
In the latter part of June, as many of us were preparing to enjoy
the benefits of summer vacation, what meteorologists call “a once
in 1,000-year weather-event” struck the counties of eastern West
Virginia. In Greenbrier, Kanawha and Nicholas Counties, over a
foot of rain fell in just a few hours. Channeled by steep mountains,
the rushing waters became a flood.
As news came of loss of life and massive damage to property,
we on the Staunton District took stock: some homes had been
damaged in Callaghan and in Covington; our Alleghany UMC had
been battered by waters. A VA Conference ERT team quickly
engaged with Alleghany members to clean up the church and its
grounds. But almost immediately, our eyes turned to the greater
crisis in WV. I am grateful to God and proud to say that many
Staunton District churches rallied immediately to provide goods,
supplies and relief to those to our west. Mt. Carmel UMC
(Covington) became a veritable supply/distribution outpost almost
overnight, and so did others in diverse ways.
Many of us wondered: how can we help? When can our church
send/be part of a work team? I know that the seeming caution of
our Conference Disaster Response was frustrating to some who
made early enquiries: I felt those concerns personally. But as I
learned this past week while working on the roof of a tornadodamaged house in Waverly, the disaster-recovery work takes
Continued on page 4
The United Methodist
District Calendar:
From Luz M. de Tablan, Spiritual
Growth Coordinator
Something to ponder on:
OBEDIENCE-- Luke 5-11
9 - District Committee on
Ordained Ministry,
9:30 a.m., District Office
11 - District Nominations
Committee, 10:00 a.m.,
District Office
12 - District Clergy
Welcoming Picnic,
5:30 p.m., Fairfield UMC
6 - Charge Conferences
8 - District Board of
Mission Managers,
10:00 a.m., District Office
17 - Welcoming Service
for Bishop Sharma Lewis,
10:30 a.m., Reveille UMC
in Richmond
19-22 - DS will attend
24 - District Conference,
10:00 a.m., Trinity UMC
24 - District Vital
Congregations Training
1 - UMW District Annual
Meeting, 9:30 a.m., St.
John’s UMC
15 - Lay Servant Academy,
St. Paul’s UMC (Staunton)
Our New Bishop
Pokemon goes to Church...
months - or even years. Short-term (emergent) efforts can sometimes
get in the way of loss assessments and insurance claims, and
coordination (alas) takes time.
I encourage you to read the below note, recently sent to our own
Disaster Response folks by Sandy Binotto, who has that role for the
WV Conference. In it she shares the process for VA teams plugging
into their on-going efforts to help flood victims. Know also that our Bob
Pihlcrantz is seeking teams for the fall to repair homes in our three
tornado-ravaged communities in eastern Virginia.
Finally I thank you, as sincerely as I can, for your turning “the heart
and hands of Christ” outward, in prayers spoken and enacted, to those
who suffer. The work is a way of life.
Rev. Dave Rochford , DS
Lay Servant Ministries:
Tuesday, July 19, 2016
Subject: West Virginia Flood Volunteering
Greetings everyone,
I am Sandy Binotto, the Volunteer in Mission Coordinator for the WV
Conference. We appreciate your willingness and eagerness to come to
help and volunteer after the 2016 WV flooding. Our Conference is
working diligently with those in leadership to open up opportunities for
you to come.
You know that after a disaster it takes many people to work together
to sort out all of the items that need to be done to help those who were
affected. We are trying to keep some order and a process in which we
welcome volunteers. For now I have been asked to process all the
individuals and teams that want to come and help. You can obtain from
your Conference Office a form that each team/individual is asked to fill
out and send back to me. After received I will share it with my Disaster
Coordinators, Dan and Sue Lowther, and we will do our best to get you
placed and here to help.
Right now we are trying to get Volunteer Housing established for
incoming teams. The Long Term Recovery Committees are being
formed in different areas and organizations are working together to
make this all happen. Please be patient with us as we try to get all the
items put in place and we would covet your prayers.
In Christ,
Sandy Binotto
[email protected]
WV Conference UMC
UMVIM Coordinator
It’s the end of July, summer is in full swing and fall is
the last thing on my mind. However, the Committee on Lay
Servant Ministries has been at work planning the Fall Lay
Academy. We have set October 15th as the date and will
once again enjoy the hospitality of St. Paul’s in Staunton.
Three of the classes being offered are Polity, Ministry with
Boomers and Beyond and Leading Worship. We are also
going to offer a 4th class to be announced at a later date.
As you can see, we continue to be cognizant of the needs of
those who are striving for certification of Lay Speaker,
while still offering new and different classes for those
whose focus is on serving within their local church body.
The Conference Committee has now produced four
“On Demand Learning” Classes that are available online for a
cost of $30/each. The current offerings are Leading
Worship, Leading Prayer, Polity and Spiritual Gifts. Still to
come are UM History on September 24th and Go Preach
sometime in October. IF you want to go to the Conference
center in Glen Allen to be part of the live event, you may do
so at no cost and still have access to the online video once it
is published. Go to and follow the Lay Servant
Ministry links to District and Conference Training Events to
sign up. Classes are available for 180 days (6 months) from
date of production. The first class was offered March 19th
and will end on September 19th so you have plenty of time to
take advantage of this new way we are equipping the Lay
Servants to serve the world in the Name of Jesus Christ.
If you have questions, please feel free to contact me
by email @ [email protected], or by
phone @ 540-885-2052 (home) or 757-871-2809 (cell). I
love to talk about Lay Servant Ministries! If any of you is
feeling a call to be a Lay Speaker, I would really love to help
you get started! More certified Lay Speakers are always
needed. You never know when you may be the one God is
calling to deliver the message on a Sunday morning.
Marge Sharp, CLS
District Director
Lay Servant Ministries
OBEDIENCE is a fundamental part
of the Christian life. Peter’s
interaction with Jesus by the Sea
of Galilee tells three important
1. Compliance in small matters
has eternal significance and leads
to blessings from God.--Peter
loaned a boat to Jesus at the Sea
of Galilee and being called he
became a fisher of men.
2. Following Jesus is always good
to others. Peter's action made
possible for more people to hear
words of truth and life from
Jesus. When Jesus told Peter to
cast his nets back into the water
his obedience meant a big catch
for his coworkers. When we live
out our Biblical principles others
will be enriched and blessed. God
responds to our obedience with His
3. God may tell us to respond or
act in ways that make little
sense. The Lord directed Joshua
to conquer Jericho through silent
marching on six days and shouting
on the seventh day. The Lord told
Noah to build an ark in the middle
of a bright day. Their trust in God
overruled any concerns and led to
a great reward. All these men
agreed to God's plan even though
it did not make sense for
them. God has a plan for our
eternal good. Like Peter we have
no idea what God will do in and
through us if we commit to living a
life of obedience and to follow him.

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