Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Amherst, Virginia.
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
We serve the Lord with love and praise.

Monthly Newsletter



Rev. Nancy Coleman Johnson




Joanne Johnson



Choir Director & Organist

Sue Lamm


Substitute Pianist & Organist

Ella Sue Coffey



401 North Main Street 

Post Office Box 451

Amherst VA 24521

Telephone (434) 946-7624





Administrative Council:

Bessie Kirkwood, Chair



Board of Trustees:

Karen L. Sacasky, Chair




January 2019

Emmanuel United Methodist Church


Worship Service 10:30 am

Sunday School 9:30 am



Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

for the Transformation of the World


Pastor’s Article


I Ponder:

A Poem for after Christmas

The heavens are silent, the wise men have gone,

The flurries of angels have finished their song.

The shepherds have long since returned to their sheep,

The stable is empty, the star fast asleep.

I ponder the wonders I carry inside:

A star bright as diamonds, an ebony sky,

The shepherd who cradles a little white lamb,

The wise man who offers the gold in his hand.

That Bethlehem evening is far, far away

From the world where I live, the world of today.

I pause and I ponder, a miracle starts,

The Savior is born once again in my heart.

I ponder the wonders I carry inside:

The thunder of wings from the angels on high,

The sight of the manger, the scent of the hay,

The Child smiling up at the creatures He made.

                                                               ~ Pamela Martin

The Global UMC Anticipates the Special Session of General Conference

          On February 23-26, 2019, United Methodist Delegates and others will gather in St. Louis, Missouri for the Special Called Session of General Conference. The General Conference of the United Methodist Church, which typically convenes every four years, represents our global church and is the only official body of our denomination that can speak for the worldwide UMC and make changes to The United Methodist Book of Discipline.

          The 2016 session of General Conference reached an impasse regarding proposed changes to the Discipline’s current statements about same-sex marriage (whether or not these ceremonies can be performed by UM clergy and if they can be held in UM churches), and the ordination of “self-avowed practicing homosexuals.” Our Bishops were called upon to lead when it became apparent that decisions on these issues would not be reached. This resulted in tabling of the petitions related to these issues and the eventual formation of a 32-member Commission on a Way Forward. The Commission has worked diligently over the last 2-½ years to further study these issues and create a report that will be presented to the Special Session of General Conference for legislative action.

          Below is a very brief, bullet-point summary of the three plans that the Commission will present to General Conference. Sketches of these plans were shared previously through our church newsletter.  The plans themselves reflect the


diversity of opinion currently represented across our denomination on these divisive issues. Others petitions may also be brought to the floor of the Conference. The complete 93-page Commission on a Way Forward document can be accessed on our conference website at vaumc.org (under “Quick Links” on the right side of the homepage, click on General Conference 2019. From there, many informational resources can be accessed, including a video from the Q & A Session with Bishop Lewis held in Richmond on September 26, 2018). A copy of the full report is available for your review in Pastor Nancy’s office.


The One Church Plan Summary:

*Recognizes the diverse theological and scriptural understandings of our global church

*Provides generous unity for conferences, churches, and pastors

*Removes the restrictive language from our current Book of Discipline.

*Maintains the current structure of the denomination

*Does not require any annual conference, bishop, congregation, or pastor to act contrary to their convictions

*Allows congregations and pastors greater freedom to reach new people


Connectional Conference Plan Summary:

*Unified core that includes shared doctrine and services

*Creates three values-based connectional conferences: traditional, unity, and progressive

*Allows for a Book of Discipline within each connectional conference

*Reduces General Boards and Agencies to a few shared services (Wespath, Publishing House, GCFA, GCAH,

  UMCOR, parts of Global Ministries)

*Current central conferences have the choice of becoming their own connectional conference or joining a values-

  based connectional conference.

*Council of Bishops is focused on shared learning and ecumenical relationships

*Episcopal oversight, accountability, elections, assignments, and funding occur within the College of Bishops of

  each connectional conference

*Jurisdictional Conferences choose their connectional conference

*Annual Conferences can choose a different connectional conference than Jurisdictional Conference.

*Local churches can choose a different connectional conference from their annual conference


Traditional Plan Summary:

*Strengthens the current language of the Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and increases


*Asks Annual Conferences and Bishops to certify they will support Discipline

*Streamlines the process to enforce penalties for violations of the Book of Discipline related to marriage and

  ordination of self-avowed practicing homosexual persons

*Maintains the current structure of the church

*Continues all general agencies

*Designs process for those who cannot live within Discipline to change their relationship with the UMC.


As we enter into the final weeks before the Special Session, all United Methodists are asked to pray fervently for our delegates, our leaders and for the future of our United Methodist Church. We are challenged to set aside 4 minutes for prayer each day from 2:23-2:26 (a.m. or p.m.), times that correspond to the dates of the Conference. Bishop Lewis has also offered to us her own guiding principles during this time: 

1.      Clergy and laity are asked to lead with a non-anxious presence.

2.      Pray for our church’s mission and a way forward daily for four minutes from 2:23 through 2:26 AM or PM or at another time.

3.      Continue to pursue the Mission of the United Methodist Church: “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”

4.      Continue to pursue the vision of the Virginia Conference of the UMC: “to be disciples of Jesus Christ who are lifelong learners who influence others to serve.”

5.   Strive for unity within the Virginia Conference.

6.   Pledge to keep our promises:

•Retiree pension and healthcare

•Global commitments (ex. Mozambique, Cambodia)


Our church will have a time of Prayer and Conversation on Sunday, January 20, 4:00-5:00 p.m. Other opportunities, during worship and at other times, will be offered as the Special Session approaches. Please take time during your individual devotional moments to pray for the future of our United Methodist Church and our work and witness around the world.


Blessing of Church Leaders: On Sunday, January 27 during morning worship, we will show our gratitude to the church leaders who have served us in 2018, and offer a blessing for the 2019 Lay Leadership of our congregation. We give thanks for God’s work in and through our membership and for the countless ways God calls each of us to serve. Without your faithfulness, the work of Christ through our church would not be possible.


2019 Offering Envelopes: New offering envelopes for 2019 have arrived and are available for pick up in the back of the Sanctuary. Envelopes are organized in alphabetical order. If you can deliver envelopes to anyone who is unable to worship with us very often, that would be most appreciated. Offering envelopes with an assigned number are available to anyone who contributes to our church. This enables us to record your contributions and provide a report for you to use for tax purposes. If would like to receive a record of your gifts to the church, please see Mike Stinnett to be assigned an envelope number and receive envelopes.


Sundays in January:

January 6         Epiphany Day/Communion Sunday

January 13       Baptism of the Lord Sunday

January 20       Human Relations Sunday

January 27       Blessing of Church Leadership


Committee Meetings for January


*The Staff/Pastor Parish Relations Committee (SPPRC) will meet on Monday, January 7 at 7:00 p.m.

*The Worship Team plans to “un-deck the halls” of our church and Sanctuary on Friday, January 11 at 9:00

   a.m. We appreciate the help of anyone who can come to assist.

*Regular Second Tuesday Church Meetings in January:

*The Finance Team will hold their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, January 8 at 6:30 p.m.

*At 7:30, the Church Council will meet for the first meeting of the New Year. We invite chairpersons and

  members of all committees, team leaders and ministry volunteers to come as we review our goals for the coming

  year, set priorities and seek God’s renewed vision for our church. It is important for all those who are members

   of a committee or ministry team to make every effort to attend.


The Women’s Bible Study and Prayer group usually meets on the first Tuesday each month, but due to the New Year’s holiday, we will meet on Tuesday, January 8 at 9:30 in the Mattie Ware Classroom at church. Please join us!


The Wednesday Bible Study Group will resume The Story on Wednesday, January 9. We will meet in the Youth Room at the church at 9:30 a.m.  Anyone who is interested is welcome to come and join the group, with or without using the curriculum.


Our Bishop’s 2019 Bible Challenge

Since 2017, Bishop Lewis has been encouraging the Virginia Conference to read the Bible in a year. Each year has featured a different way of reading. 

• 2017- read the Bible straight through
• 2018- read the Bible chronologically
For 2019, the Bible Challenge will be a blended style of reading; a mixture of Old Testament and New Testament readings each day. In this New Year, challenge yourself to study the Bible and strengthen your faith in the process. Each month’s readings will also be printed in each Advocate issue.


Bishop Lewis’ Tips on Reading the Bible Daily
• Start reading the Bible today.
• Set aside a specific time and place each day. Set your schedule and then stick to it. Mornings are great; but feel

  free to use any time that works consistently with your schedule.
• Get a good study Bible to help illuminate the meaning of the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek text.
• Choose a translation to use during your reading.
• Say a short prayer to God before you begin, asking the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom and understanding.
• Dive in and enjoy the richness of God’s Word! Apply God’s Word to your life. Bible study should be practical

  and applicable. I assure you that these seven steps will help you begin a journey in becoming a “lifelong learner”

  of God’s Word.    ~ Bishop Sharma D. Lewis


Bishop’s Bible Challenge Readings for January:


January 1 Genesis 1-3; Romans 1

January 2 Genesis 4-6; Romans 2

January 3 Genesis 7-9; Romans 3

January 4 Genesis 10-12; Romans 4

January 5 Genesis 13-15; Romans 5

January 6 Genesis 16-17; Romans 6

January 7 Genesis 18-19; Romans 7

January 8 Genesis 20-22; Romans 8:1-21

January 9 Genesis 23-24; Romans 8:22-39

January 10 Genesis 25-26; Romans 9:1-15

January 11 Genesis 27-28; Romans 9:16-33

January 12 Genesis 29-30; Romans 10

January 13 Genesis 31-32; Romans 11:1-18

January 14 Genesis 33-35; Romans 11:19-36

January 15 Genesis 36-38; Romans 12

January 16 Genesis 39-40; Romans 13

January 17 Genesis 41-42; Romans 14

January 18 Genesis 43-45; Romans 15:1-13

January 19 Genesis 46-48; Romans 15:14-33

January 20 Genesis 49-50; Romans 16  

January 21 Isaiah 1-2; Mark 1:1-22

January 22 Isaiah 3-4; Mark 1:23-45

January 23 Isaiah 5-6; Mark 2

January 24 Isaiah 7-8; Mark 3:1-19

January 25 Isaiah 9-10; Mark 3:20-35

January 26 Isaiah 11-13; Mark 4:1-20

January 27 Isaiah 14-16; Mark 4:21-41

January 28 Isaiah 17-19; Mark 5:1-20  

January 29 Isaiah 20-22; Mark 5:21-43

January 30 Isaiah 23-25; Mark 6:1-29

January 31 Isaiah 26-27; Mark 6:30-56 


The Walk Class on Mondays and Thursdays has been discontinued due to lack of participation.


An Important Reminder for all Groups Using the Church Kitchen

If you or your group use the church kitchen, please make every effort to observe the guidelines posted in the kitchen and leave it better than you found it. Our pest control representative has encouraged us NOT to leave open trash in the trash cans, but to remove all trash to the outside cans to avoid pest problems. It is also important to remove crumbs from tables, chairs, counters and floors in the kitchen and fellowship hall. Our custodians are not available to empty the trash every day, so if your group eats food elsewhere in the building, please be responsible to remove your trash from the building and clean up after yourselves.

Thanks for your cooperation.


Lay Leadership for November


  Lay Reader:

Mike Mozingo

 Ushers:  Beth & Mike Gamble


Altar Flowers


January 6

Communion/Worship Committee

January 13

Jeanie Combs

January 20

Jeanie Combs

January 27

Jeanie Combs








General Fund

All Other*





November 25


$  3,446.00

       $   1,525.00    

December 2


$  4,432.00

       $        75.00

December 9



       $       ---

December 16


$ 4,928 .00          

       $      102.00 

All Other Excludes Amherst Cares, Society of St. Andrew, Relay for Life


January Birthdays


                        01/01   Pembrooke Apperson

                        01/04   Andrew Apperson

01/05   Phil Lamm

01/07   Bo Combs

01/10   Virginia Brockman

01/13   Joanne Johnson

01/13   Lindy White

01/14   Tangie Motley

01/17   Shannan Carter

01/18   Cabell Brockman

01/19   Libby Howell Jennings

01/19   Mike Stinnett

01/22   Tom Hall

01/24   Abby Tomlin

01/26   William Clinton Ferguson




 Newsletter Editor:  Cat Brandell, Phone: 946-9102, Email: catbrandell@gmail.com. Deadline to submit newsletter articles:  20th of the month.  If you can send your information by email, it would be appreciated.  If you do not have email, your article may be left at the church office in the newsletter basket.