Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Amherst, Virginia.
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
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




December 2018

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


‘Tis the Season….to Share the Love of Christ!

          The Advent and Christmas seasons remind us that we love and serve a God who reached out to us and for us in the sending of his only Son, Jesus Christ, into the world to bring us salvation. As Christ’s disciples, we are compelled by God’s love during the holiday season to reach out to others in tangible ways, especially the less fortunate.

          As we decorate and prepare our homes for the holidays, and make plans for seasonal celebrations, most of us cannot imagine living through this season without a home, or living through circumstances that have displaced us from our homes and turned our lives upside down. It has been both an honor and a heartbreak for me to serve on the Amherst Disaster Response Group (ADRG), a community volunteer group that formed after the devastating tornado in Elon in April of 2018. The purpose of the ADRG is to assist with the distribution of available resources to the tornado survivors and their families, and to offer support in any way that we can. Members of the team have been assigned two to three families each, and we received training to enable us to serve as volunteer “case workers” for these families. At times it has been difficult to walk this road with some of these. Many are continuing to deal with issues surrounding rebuilding; some are dealing with emotional issues; some continue to deal with serious injuries that they sustained during the storm.

          Over the years, our church has supported various initiatives at Christmas time to reach out to our community through Social Services clients, through contacts in our public schools, or with Johnson’s Senior Center. This year, I invite us to take this opportunity to help the Goff family, one of my client families that continues to struggle. Of all the families affected by the storm, this family received the most serious injuries. They were living in a rented trailer that is now a heap of metal. Due to the fact that they had not received an official lease from the landlord at the time of the tornado, they had been unable to secure renter’s insurance prior to the storm. They lost everything. Since the governmental disaster relief applies to homeowners, they do not qualify for that assistance. The father’s leg was badly injured and he remained in Fairmont Crossing for several months after his initial surgery, unable to work. I learned last week that he has an infection in his leg and that his body is rejecting the metal support that was implanted. The 13-year old daughter was trapped after the storm and has had surgery on her feet. She continues to have problems and may be facing further surgeries in the near future. The older daughter has been able to return to college, and they also have an elementary aged son who was not injured physically.  Our church was able to help them with a



monetary gift back in the summer, and they have received some support from collections taken through the community and Elon Elementary School.

          Our December Communion Offering on December 2 has been designated for the Goff family. We will continue to receive monetary gifts for them through Sunday, December 9. These funds will be given directly to them to use for rent, and to help with Christmas gifts. If you prefer, you may purchase a gift card (either from Walmart or a Visa Gift Card that can be used anywhere) and enclose it in a Christmas card from you that we will deliver to the family. Please include the receipt or activation slip that comes with the gift card. If you choose this option rather than the general communion offering, please place your card in the designated basket in the church office by December 9.

          This family has been so very appreciative of everything they have received, but they still have significant unmet needs. During this season of giving, I look forward to sharing God’s great love with them on behalf of our church family.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Nancy


Our Church Family Extends a Loving Welcome!

            On Sunday, November 18 we welcomed Lois Pelosky into the membership of Emmanuel UMC by profession of faith. Lois is the mother of Jill Clark and resides on Main Street in Amherst, directly across from the church. Lois was baptized as a youth in the Moravian church and attended various churches through the years. She has been attending Emmanuel for the last several years since moving to Amherst with her husband, the late Col. Edwin Pelosky. Before his passing last October, much of her time was devoted to Ed’s care. It is a blessing to welcome Lois into the professing membership of our church.

            In June of 2018, St. James United Methodist Church in Gladstone, VA was discontinued as a worshipping congregation by action of the Virginia Annual Conference, with Emmanuel being named as the receiving congregation. St. James was established in 1852 and faithfully served the Gladstone community for 166 years. The community began as a stop on a stage coach road passing through the area, followed by a canal packet boat transportation route along the river.  When the railroad was developed, the Richmond and Allegheny Railroad Company took over the canal company and constructed the railroad along the old roadbed. The C&O Railroad Yard was constructed in 1888, becoming a major employer in the community providing a depot, a YMCA building and hotel. The village of Gladstone flourished during those years with churches, a post office, schools and stores until C&O no longer used Gladstone as an active rail yard. As the demographics of the community changed, St. James experienced a steady decline.

St. James holds a very special place in my heart. After serving in local church staff ministries for over 20 years, St. James was my first appointment when I entered the pastoral ministry in 2010. It was my privilege to serve as their part-time pastor until June of 2013 when I was appointed to Emmanuel. Like so many smaller churches in our connection, St. James often had the challenge, and hopefully the blessing, of being the first appointment for many pastors through the years, having an essential role in our ministerial development. St. James also has some family connections with Emmanuel. James Peters grew up in that church and it is considered the home church for many in the Peters family.

As the receiving congregation for St. James, the remaining membership of the church was merged with the membership of Emmanuel UMC by action of the Virginia Annual Conference. It is not necessary for those members to “rejoin” the church since their membership in the United Methodist Church continues without interruption. Each of the known members of St. James was contacted by letter to inform them of this change, and to welcome them into our church family.

Also on November 18, it was a joy for us to officially recognize two people from St. James that have been attending Emmanuel regularly in recent months. George E. Peters, Jr. served as Lay Leader and Adult Sunday School teacher at St. James for many years and faithfully supported the life and ministry of the church. George’s parents were pillars of the St. James congregation for decades. He is the nephew of James Peters and works for the Amherst County Sheriff’s Department.

Jeannette Thorpe Watts served as Financial Secretary for St. James until its closing. Her mother, Dorothy Thorpe, resides at Fairmont Crossing. Jeannette was also one of the faithful few that supported the work and ministry of St. James for many years. Jeannette’s husband Jack is seriously ill and remains on the liver transplant list. Before retiring, Jeannette worked for Amherst County Public Schools.

In addition to George and Jeannette, we welcome the following members of the former St. James UMC. Some are currently attending other churches, have moved out of the area, or are homebound, but I encourage any of you that know some of these persons to reach out to them and invite them to worship. They are part of us and we want to embrace them with our love and care: Deborah Banton, John W. Banton, Timothy Banton, Jean O’Brien Carter, Mary Lou Casey, Laverne Davis, Madeline “Lou” Dixon, Mary Catherine Dixon, Macky and Lisa Farmer, Donald Harris, Kevin Harris, Mary Grimes, Barnie Gunter, Joanie Gunter, Shirley Gunter, John Gunter, Jr., William Gunter, Judy Jones, Everette Martin, William Miller, Mike O’Brien, Teresa O’Brien, Shirley O’Brien, Stephanie Ogden, Darlene O’Brien Peters, Gary Peters, George and Brenda Peters, Tamara Peters, Wesley Peters, Leta Proffitt, Jamie Pullen, Betty Jo Ragland, John W. Rowles, Dorothy Thorpe (Fairmont), Alison Tyree, Jeannette Thorpe Watts, Lucy Worley.

Blessings to all, Pastor Nancy


Sundays in December:

December 2:                Communion/First Sunday in Advent

December 9:                Second Sunday in Advent

December 16:              Share the Warmth Service/Third Sunday in Advent

December 23:              Cancel Choir presents Peace Has Come Christmas Cantata followed by Fellowship Meal

December 30:              A Service of Lessons and Carols


Emmanuel will be providing food for the Ascension Dinner Saturday, December 29 at 5:30.  We will meet at 5:00 at Ascension.


Advent Devotional Books and Coin Banks from the Society of Saint Andrew are available in the Narthex with a reading for each day of Advent. Coins collected in the banks will support the gleaning ministry of SOSA that helps turn unharvested crops into nutritious food for the hungry. Coin banks may be returned in January.


The congregation is invited to participate in our Annual Church Family Christmas Cards distribution which gives us an opportunity to share Christmas greetings with our church family without paying postage. You may place your cards in the Narthex tub beginning on December 1. Cards will be distributed on the Sundays of December 16 and 23. Please limit your card giving to those who attend worship regularly since we cannot distribute the cards to those who are not here. You are encouraged to use the funds that you save on postage to give an additional gift to the church, or to a mission project or charity of your choice.


Our Women’s Bible Study and Prayer Group meets on the first Tuesday of each month and we welcome others to join us. Our next meeting will be on December 4 at 9:30 a.m. in the Mattie Ware Classroom. We will enjoy lunch together following the December meeting. 




Upcoming Meetings on Tuesday, December 11

Our regular second Tuesday meeting schedule is as follows:

6:30 p.m.:       Finance Team

7:30 p.m.:       Vitality Team


Thank You for Your Continued Faithfulness in Giving

We are so very thankful for the continued faithfulness of the congregation in giving through our regular tithes and offerings each week. Your generosity enables us to meet our regular operating and ministry expenses, support numerous mission endeavors, and make every effort to pay our District and Conference apportionments. As the end of the giving year approaches, it is important for the congregation to be aware that we are significantly behind in meeting all our obligations at this time and sincerely hope that we will be able to fulfill these by the end of the year. We are asking the congregation to be mindful of this in your weekly giving. Thank you for your generosity.         ~ EUMC Finance Team


Christmas Food Box Ministry: Our congregation will participate in creating Christmas Food Boxes on Wednesday, December 19 at 9:00 a.m.  Anyone who is able to help assemble these gift boxes for needy families in our community may come to the church Fellowship Hall. Please contact Mike Stinnett for additional information.


Attention all Ministry Groups: If you need to schedule an event or any use of the church Social Hall or classrooms, please contact the church office. It is important that we check the calendar before any set-up is scheduled in case another group has the space reserved. Please do not assume that you can set up if you have not checked with Joanne in the office, and please do not leave items in the Social Hall after your event, or from week to week if you have a regularly scheduled event, since the Social Hall is used by other groups and ministries during the week.  Each group is also expected to clean up after any use of the church building. Special guidelines and responsibilities for those that use the church kitchen are posted in the kitchen. Thanks for your cooperation.


The church office will be closed on Monday, December 24 and Tuesday, December 25 for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The office will also be closed on Monday, December 31 and Tuesday, January 1 for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.


Thanks to everyone who participated in our Bags of Thanks food drive in November that helped us restock our Food Pantry. We collected over 160 of our most needed items! We appreciate our youth who move all the food downstairs for us, and all those who help with the Food Pantry Ministry on a regular basis: Virginia Brockman, Billy McCartney, Mike Stinnett, Joanne Johnson and Pastor Nancy.


The Worship Team encourages you to consider serving as an Usher/Greeter or Lay Reader for Morning Worship. If you have questions about what these ministries involve, contact Mike Mozingo/Head Usher for information about serving as an usher/greeter; contact Pastor Nancy with questions about the ministry of Lay Reader. A signup sheet for these areas of service is located on the large bulletin board across from the mailboxes in the upstairs hallway. We have also posted the signup sheets for 2019, so please consider these opportunities to serve in worship.


Come Join the Worship Team

Mark your calendars now to join us in “decking the halls” of our Sanctuary and church for the Advent and Christmas seasons on Friday, December 7 at 9:00 a.m. It is important to have some men present and volunteers who are comfortable climbing high ladders to assist with the decorating tasks.


Christmas Donations for Poinsettias: Every year, our congregation looks forward to displaying our beautiful poinsettia tree in the Sanctuary to enhance our worship during the Advent and Christmas seasons. The worship team invites the congregation to purchase poinsettias to place on the tree in honor or in memory of friends and loved ones for $12.00 per plant. The poinsettias will remain on the tree for the Sundays of December 16 and 23, and for the Christmas Eve service on Monday, December 24. Plants may be taken home following the Christmas Eve service. Please use the bright green order forms available at church to purchase poinsettias, or to make a donation. Orders must be received by Sunday, December 9. A list of all those being remembered or honored will be placed in the bulletin on Sunday, December 23. Please contact Margaret Ann White, Worship Team Chair, or the church office if you have questions.




                          Amherst Cares                             

P. O. Box 451

Amherst, Virginia  24521



Amherst Cares will pack the following dates in December:

Wednesday, December 5        Thursday, December 6

Wednesday, December 12      Thursday, December 13

Wednesday, December 19      Thursday, December 20

We will resume packing on January 2 – January 3 and continue with our normal schedule.


Merry Christmas to each of you and a Happy and Healthy 2019.


Thank you for all that you do.  Beth Gamble


Rev. Vernie Barrow has now moved to Newport News to be closer to his family.  Listed below is his address:

850 Denbigh Blvd., No.233

Newport News, VA.  23608


Words of Thanks


Dear Emmanuel Church family,

We would like to thank everyone for the cards, visits, food, and calls during this very difficult time. Our family appreciates all monetary, floral and other expressions of sympathy.  Our entire family could not have gotten through this time without your love, prayers and support.

In heartfelt Christian love,

Marsha and Maynard


Bishop’s Bible Challenge Readings for December

December 1

1 Corinthians 9-11

December 2

1 Corinthians 12-14

December 3

1 Corinthians 15-16

December 4

2 Corinthians 1-4

December 5

2 Corinthians 5-9

December 6

2 Corinthians 10-13

December 7

Acts 20:1-3, Romans 1-3

December 8

Romans 4-7

December 9

Romans 8-10

December 10

Romans 11-13

December 11

Romans 14-16

December 12

Acts 20:4-23:35

December 13

Acts 24-26

December 14

Acts 27-28

December 15

Colossians 1-4, Philemon 1

December 16

Ephesians 1-6

December 17

Philippians 1-4

December 18

1 Timothy 1-6

December 19

Titus 1-3

December 20

1 Peter 1-5

December 21

Hebrews 1-6

December 22

Hebrews 7-10

December 23

Hebrews 11-13

December 24

2 Timothy 1-4

December 25

2 Peter 1-3, Jude 1

December 26

1 John 1-5

December 27

2 John 1, 3 John 1

December 28

Revelation 1-5

December 29

Revelation 6-11

December 30

Revelation 12-18

December 31

Revelation 19-22


Lay Leadership for December


  Lay Reader:

Janette Mears & Jack Brandell

 Ushers:  Mike Mozingo & Mike Stinnett


Altar Flowers


December 2

Communion/Worship Committee

December 9

Janette & David Mears

December 16

Worship Committee

December 23

Worship Committee

December 30

Janie & Tom Hall








General Fund

All Other*

October 21


$  1,555.00

    $    140.00

October 28


$  1,746.00

        $      50.00

November 4


$  3,085.06

  $    153.02

November 11


$  3,155.48

        $    140.00

November 18


$  2,511.00          

        $ 1,172.00

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


December Birthdays


12/07   Susan Littrell

12/08   J. Paul Motley

12/12   James Combs

12/12   Harold Swisher

12/14   Matthew Cox

12/14   Elbert Maddox

12/16           Teresa Peters-Sneed

12/17           Kayleigh Combs

12/24           Robert Bondurant

12/24           Joyce Rumburg

12/27           Ethan Hope-Ogden

12/28           Teresa Belcher




From our Lynchburg District Newsletter:

Danville District and North Carolina Conference Requests Volunteer Work Teams


Danville District: After landfall of Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael there was historic flooding of the Dan River and other waterways in the Danville District. There are currently 168 identified homes that need assessment. The Rev. Lisa Nordan is heading up current Danville efforts and is in great need of some trained volunteers (ERT) that can assist with debris removal and muck-out type work in order to get folks to a place where their homes are safe, sanitary and secure. If you can help please contact Rev. Nordan at 434-483-3388 or by email at Revnordan@icloud.com.  Teams are preferred but individuals can sign up and then be placed with others who are there.


North Carolina Conference will soon be ready to accept volunteer teams and/or individuals that can work under certified teams.


If you would be interested in organizing a team from our church, or learning more about how to serve in this way, please contact the church office by email (office@emmanuelamherst.org) or phone (946-7624).  Our UMCOR network is working around the clock to lead response efforts! Please visit the UMCOR website to learn more at https://umcor.org/response.





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.