Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
Let me say a word of deep appreciation. We were truly blessed on March 4th in the Called District Conference, not just because of the decision to make a name change from the Fredericksburg District to the Rappahannock River District. We were blessed in several ways. The first blessing was that Nokie Lemons and Tony Fortune (from Shepherds UMC) patiently shared valuable information and were gracious in answering
many question regarding the Native American history, language, and culture. It was a wonderful minieducation. Nokie and Tony’s presence and information helped us in our discernment.
The second blessing was the way we engaged in discussion and discernment. It was a fantastic modeling
of Christian Conferencing. We laughed, we talked, we prayed, we maintained a (virtually) perfect order,
and we listened to one another with our ears and our spirits. No, everyone present didn’t agree on
every comment or point raised. We didn’t sit and sing Kum Ba Ya in some 60’s counter cultural fashion
as if embracing change for the sake of change. We actually talked about the pro’s and con’s. We were careful to be sure that everyone present who asked to speak was given ample opportunity to speak. We didn’t try
to challenge one another’s perspectives. When we felt that the various parts of the discussion had gone on
long enough, we used Robert’s Rule as a helpful tool to move the decision making along.
In the end, it appeared that everyone left uplifted by the way we discerned and many expressed
pleasure with our decision. So, Thank You to all who prayed for the last 30 days, thank you to our
special experts in residence (Nokie & Tony), thank you to Lynn for (giving up a Saturday and) serving as
the Secretary, and many thanks to all who attended and conducted the Lord’s work with grace and
Fredericksburg District Connection
March 8, 2017
At Annual Conference 2017, the name of the Fredericksburg
District will change to Rappahannock River District.
For information about the 2017 VAUMC Lay Servant Academy, please click here to download or view the flyer
If your church is planning on inviting or already have invited the Bishop for a visit, please click here to read the guidelines the Bishop's Office has sent out.
The District Youth Retreat is March 24 - 26 at Watermarks near Charlottesville. For information on the camp: http://www.watermarkscamp.com/#facilities
On April 2-8, the Virginia Conference will participate in a week of intentional prayer for the mission of The United Methodist Church and for the work of the Commission on a Way Forward which began meeting in January. This week of Praying Our Way Forward is an initiative of the Council of Bishops as a part of their larger commitment to lead the church in every part of the world in times of worship, study, discernment, confession and prayer for God’s guidance.
Each annual conference in The United Methodist Church will participate in this prayer ministry which was launched on January 1 in the North Carolina Conference and will conclude in the West Angola Episcopal area in June 2018. Churches in each of the 16 districts of the Virginia Conference will be invited to participate in focused times of prayer by their district superintendents. In addition to participating in each conference’s designated week of prayer, individuals are invited to join the initiative beyond the week of April 2-8 by praying daily and fasting weekly for the church, mission and future.
Resources for both congregational and individual participation in Praying Our Way Forward may be found at http://umcprays.org/. In addition, Virginia Conference prayer resources may be found at www.vaumc.org/PrayForward
--Bishop Sharma D. Lewis
SAVE THE DATE: Ministers’ Convocation – May 8-10, 2017 at Wyndham Virginia Crossings Conference Center in Glen Allen.
This year's Ministers' Convocation will once again offer a time for both renewal/relaxation and learning.
Event details and registration: www.vaumc.org/MinistersConvocation.
The deadline for In-residenceRegistration isMonday, April 17, 2017.
Continuing Education Fundsare available at: vaumc.org/clergycontinuingeducation.
Dear Virginia Annual Conference,
I think you would agree with me that every New Year there are individuals who decide to make a New Year’s resolution. I googled “New Year’s resolution" to discover that there are several articles written on this popular subject.
Bishop Lewis asked that I share with you the direct link to the Bible Challenge sign up on the Conference website. She is asking that you share this, in what ever avenue you chose, letting your churches know they can have their members sign up.
The 2017 District Youth Retreat is March 24 - 26 at Watermarks Camp near Charlottesville.
Many other churches have attended retreats at this camp (including my own kids) and RAVE about it.
Payment and T-shirt order forms are due in the District Office by Feb. 20. You can take ALL THE OTHER FORMS with you to the retreat. Note that there are two separate consent forms required - one is for the District and one is for Watermarks camp.
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