Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Amherst, Virginia.
Wednesday, February 20, 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



February 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


“…But the Greatest of These is Love.”    ~ I Corinthians 13:13


             During the month of February every year, I try to spend some time reading and meditating on I Corinthians 13, known to many as the “love chapter” in the Bible.  The Apostle Paul’s words in this passage have always been significant for me.

            I remember as an 8-year old kid in Vacation Bible School one summer being challenged to memorize and recite these verses for the closing program. With great fear and trembling, I stood in church before family and friends on a hot Friday evening in August and recited the verses of “the love chapter.” Many years later, on another hot Friday evening in August, I stood once again in a church before family and friends and recited portions of I Corinthians 13 as part of our wedding vows, when Bruce and I pledged our lives to one another. No matter how often I read these verses, I am always challenged by them. I would like to say that my familiarity with this passage has enabled me to be faithful to it at all times. In honesty, I more often than not find myself asking God’s forgiveness for the times I fail to live out this love that Paul describes.

              I once printed I Corinthians 13 as a bulletin insert and challenged my congregation (and myself) to put in on the refrigerator at home and commit to read it every day. Doing so can change us, by God’s grace, and help us to interact more lovingly with others. I am particularly challenged by verses 4-8. Eugene Peterson in The Message translates those words like this:


Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self.

Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut.

Doesn’t have a swelled head, doesn’t force itself on others.

Isn’t always “me first,” doesn’t fly off the handle.

Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, doesn’t revel when others grovel.

Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything,

Trusts God always, always looks for the best,

Never looks back, but keeps going to the end. Love never dies.


When I have the opportunity to converse with St. Paul one day, I look forward to personally thanking him for this love letter, this “Valentine” that he wrote to the early church and to us, straight from the heart of God. These words speak of a love that goes way beyond flowers, chocolates and sentimental poetry, a love that we can experience only by the self-giving and self-sacrificing love and grace of God in Christ Jesus. May God help us all to write these words on our hearts and reflect them in our lives as we live and love as Christ’s disciples.

Love in Christ,  

Pastor Nancy

(reprinted from the February 2014 EUMC Newsletter)






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 at least 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, or at another time.

As a congregation, we hosted a time of prayer and conversation on Sunday, January 20 and will have a special time of prayer during morning worship on February 17, the Sunday before the start of the Special Session.


 Due to space constraints, The Bishop’s Bible Challenge Readings will no longer be published in the newsletter.  Copies can be found in the front of the sanctuary on the glass table.

The Worship Team will meet on Sunday, February 3 after church in the Social Hall.  Lunch will be provided.  Please let me know if you plan to attend.  Thanks, Margaret Ann White

 Follow-Up Planning and Visioning Gathering: Sunday, March 31 following the 5th Sunday Fellowship Meal

 The Church Council has requested for all ministry team leaders and committee chairpersons to meet with their teams before March 31 and complete the discussion items and questions that were mailed out to leaders in January. Please come prepared to share ideas from your meeting, and any calendar items your team has for the year. All committee members, volunteers and others in the church family are welcome to join in the discussion with us on March 31.

February is Heart Havens Month

Heart Havens, which started as a ministry of the Virginia Conference of the UMC, provides residential care for adults with intellectual disabilities. We have a Heart Havens home in Lynchburg located off Leesville Road near Heritage UMC. Our February 3 Communion Offering is designated to support the ministry of Heart Havens.  Heart Havens also welcomes any groups or individuals that want to come to the house and do an activity with the residents or spend time with them. Our youth group plans to visit our local Heart Havens home during the month of February.


Sunday, February 10, 4 p.m.: EUMC will host the Amherst Glebe Arts Response (AGAR) Concert Winterreise (Winter Journey), a song cycle for voice and piano by Franz Schubert featuring tenor Scott Williamson and pianist Melia Garber. Tickets: $15/adult; $2/students K-12; $5/College students; $24/up to 6 family members. Visit www.lynchburgtickets.com or pay at the door starting 45 minutes before the concert. Following the performance, we will sponsor a fundraising Soup and Salad supper to benefit our Emmanuel Crusaders Relay for Life Team AND the Scleroderma Walk being sponsored by the Amherst Women’s Club (see additional information below). Suggested donation for the supper is $10. If you can help by bringing a crockpot of soup, a salad, a bread or a dessert, please sign up on the sheet posted on the bulletin board, or call/email Joanne in the church office (946-7624; office@emmanuelamherst.org). Please plan to support this fundraising effort for these worthy causes by attending the supper.


The Wesley Foundation of Virginia Tech will sponsor Fusion ’19, a youth retreat for middle and high school students, February 15-17 at Smith Mountain Lake 4H Center. We would like to make it possible for any of the several youth that currently participate in our UMFY to attend. The cost is $120/person. If you would like to sponsor a youth, or make a donation toward the registration, please see Pastor Nancy.


On March 2, 2019, the Amherst Women’s Club is sponsoring Stepping Out to Cure Scleroderma, a walk being held indoors at Sweet Briar College, to help fight this often life-threatening inflammatory disease that impacts more than 300,000 people in the US, including our own Cat Brandell. There is currently no cure for the disease. If you would like to participate in this event, or donate to help the effort, please contact Margaret Ann White. Brochures are available at the church. To learn more about scleroderma visit www.scleroderma.org/ steppingoutvirginia. 

Sundays in February:


February 3

Communion Sunday/Communion offering for Heart Havens Ministries

February 10

Scout Sunday

February 17

Prayer time for Special Session of UMC General Conference during worship


Committee Meetings for February


                                              *  Finance Team, Tuesday, February 12 at 6:30 p.m.

                                              *  Vitality, Tuesday, February 12 at 7:30 p.m.

                                              * Trustees, Tuesday, February 26 at 6:00 p.m.


The Women’s Bible Study and Prayer group meets on the first Tuesday each month, in the Mattie Ware Classroom at church. Our next gathering will be on February 5, so plan to join us!


The Wednesday Bible Study Group invites other interested persons to join us as we continue The Story on Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m. each week at What a Blessing Bakery in the Ambriar Shopping Center. Even if you are not using the curriculum, you can join in the discussion and prayer time with us. All are welcome! Schedule changes will be posted in the Sunday announcements.


2019 Offering Envelopes: New offering envelopes for 2019 have arrived and are available to 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 you do not have a number and would like to receive a record of your gifts to the church, please see Mike Stinnett to be assigned and envelope number and receive envelopes.


Would YOU like to help our Visitation Team spread a little Love this month? We’d like to shower all our shut-ins with a Valentine Card so we’re asking our church family to provide some cards for us to deliver to them. Please sign your card from Emmanuel Church Family & you’re welcome to also sign your name. You can put your cards in the Valentine Basket located at the back of our sanctuary. Thank you for your help.  Faye Garrette

 An Important Reminder for all Groups Using the Church Kitchen or Consuming Food in the Church


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.



Amherst Cares News                            


On January 14 there was a basketball game in memory of Darell Sparrow, an Amherst County High School student killed in an automobile accident in 2013.  Those attending were asked to bring canned goods.  Also $1 of the entrance fee was designated to go to a program chosen by the Family.  By the request of Darell's Mother, Amherst Cares was designated to receive the food and monies collected.

We express our appreciation to the Family of Darell Sparrow, to Mr. Segar Jordan, ACHS Basketball Coach, Mr. Robert Curd, Athletic Director, and Mr. Chris Young, Principal of Amherst County High School. 

The $325 collected will be used to purchase food and added to the 200-plus pounds of food collected.  This food will be distributed to Amherst County Public School K-12 grade students who have been identified as food insecure. 

The compassion and kindness of Darell's Family is heartwarming and will positively impact the lives of many Amherst County Public School Students

 Also, Amherst Cares recently received a $6,000 grant from the Calvin and Virginia Cox Fund of the Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation.  These funds will help secure non-perishable, easily consumed, kid friendly food that will be distributed weekly to the approximately 500 students served by Amherst Cares.  As Amherst Cares completes its eighth year of service, it appreciates the generous support of the Greater Lynchburg Community Foundation that allows it to continue to provide this necessary service.

 Around Our Community

 Amelon UMC in Madison Heights invites others to come to their Annual Valentine Banquet, Saturday, February 16 at 6 PM. Speaker: Langdon Reid (author and member of country music duo, Wilson Fairchild). Menu: Chicken Supreme, baked potato, sides, dessert, beverages. $15/adult; $7.50/children 10 & under. Ticket purchase deadline is Sunday, Feb. 10. Call Amelon church office at 434-929-3200 for tickets or Lynda Bullington (434-941-7728) to reserve a table for 8 (prior to Feb. 10).


Annual Spaghetti Dinner Friday February 15th. 2019, 11:00 A.M.-7:00 P.M. at St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 332 S. Main Street, Amherst, VA. The meal includes spaghetti and sauce, salad, garlic bread, beverage and homemade dessert. Adults-$7. Children under 12 years old-$3. Dine-in or take-out - call 946-2053 that day to order take-out meals or order at the door when buying tickets. Profits support local organizations and charities. Come join us for a wonderful meal, either lunch or dinner or both!


 Lay Leadership for February



  Lay Reader:

Bessie Kirkwood

 Ushers:  Bob Andercyk & Bob Smith


Altar Flowers


February 3

Communion/Worship Committee

February 10

Margaret Ann White

February 17

Jill Clark

February 24

Janie Hall








General Fund

All Other*





December 23


$ 7,515.73

       $     165.00

December 30


$ 3,663.07

       $        -0-

January 6


$ 5,290.00

       $       95.00

January 13


               $     -0-

       $        -0-

January 20


           $  3,477.00

        $      265.00

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


February Birthdays


2/01     Jake Motley

2/02     Angela McCartney

2/03     Janie Hall

2/03     Joe King

2/09     Madison Belcher

2/09     Faye Garrette

2/11     Anne Arbogast

2/11     Susan Steele

2/13     Lois Pelosky

2/14     Pat Pafford

2/14     Cindy Sale

2/14     Marge Steadman

2/20     Kohl Lamm

2/22     Ella Sue Coffey

2/23     Katherine Kirkwood

2/23     Don Pafford

2/24     LeRoy Morris

2/27     Page Stinnett

2/28     Michael Ondrick




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.