Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Amherst, Virginia.
Tuesday, June 18, 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:

Maynard H. Campbell, Chair




June 2019

Emmanuel United Methodist Church


Worship Service 10:30 am

Sunday School 9:30 am


Prayers Continue for the United Methodist Church

All United Methodists are encouraged to continue to pray for our denomination in these challenging times, following the decisions of the Special Session of the General Conference in February that dealt with specific statements in our United Methodist Book of Discipline on human sexuality, and the April rulings of the Judicial Council of the UMC regarding those decisions. We are all aware that varying perspectives and opinions on these issues exist within the United Methodist Church, and the conversation continues in the midst of deep division. Interim Bishop, Pete Weaver, sent the following letter to the Virginia Conference following the Judicial Council decisions. As always, my door is open to anyone with questions or concerns and I welcome the opportunity to pray with others for the future of the United Methodist Church. All clergy and laity across the conference are invited to attend Eastertide District Days with Bishop Pete Weaver where we will share in Communion, seek to care for one another and look at the meaning of the Judicial Council decisions and their implications as your Bishop and Cabinet seek to follow the Book of Discipline which governs our church. The event for the Lynchburg/Roanoke Districts will be on Saturday, June 1, 3-5 p.m. at Bethlehem UMC, 13586 S. Old Moneta Road, Moneta, VA 24121. Register in advance at https://www.eiseverywhere.com/421512. Please contact the church office if you plan to attend and would like to carpool with others. Additional days and times are available at other locations in the Conference. Please check the schedule by visiting the Conference website at vaumc.org. Pastor Nancy


Letter from Virginia Conference Interim Bishop, Peter Weaver


April 27, 2019

Dear Sisters and Brothers in the Virginia Conference,

          Greetings in the name and spirit of the Risen Christ who promises to journey with us always!  Another step along the journey of our United Methodist Church was taken on Friday. The Church’s Judicial Council (Supreme Court) reviewed, in the light of our Church Constitution, the church laws that were passed by our Special General Conference (global legislative body) in late February. The actions of that General Conference centered on our Church’s positions related to the practice of homosexuality.

Many faithful United Methodists and churches have been significantly impacted by these decisions. Some have agreed, some have disagreed. Regardless of people’s perspectives, many questions have been raised, hurt inflicted, unity tested, prayers raised and significant conversations started about our future. Let us always remember that this is about people’s lives, for whom Christ died and rose again.

At the conclusion of this letter, I will share links to resources in which you can find detailed explanations of each decision that the Judicial Council made. Here, in simple language, I want to summarize the basics of our Church position and changes that were found to be constitutional. Most of the changes will take effect starting January 1, 2020 except for the "gracious exit" provisions which are effective from now until December 31, 2023.

1.  NOTHING CHANGED ABOUT the Church position that “all persons are individuals of sacred worth, created in the image of God,” and that “we will seek to live together in Christian community,  welcoming,  forgiving, and loving one another, as Christ has loved and accepted us.” We commit it ourselves to be to be in ministry for and with all persons. The Church also believes that “sexual relations are

































affirmed only with the covenant of monogamous, heterosexual marriage.” and it does not allow same sex marriages in our churches and by our pastors. The church does not ordain or appoint “self-avowed practicing homosexuals”.


a)      The definition of “self-avowed practicing homo-sexual” now includes people living in same-sex marriage, domestic partnership or civil union, or who publicly state it. These persons are not considered qualified for United Methodist ministry.

b)      Boards or District committees on Ministry must make a full examination and shall not approve anyone who does not meet the qualifications for ministry and the bishop shall rule unqualified persons, if recommended, “out of order.” Bishops may not consecrate a “self-avowed practicing homosexual” as a bishop.

c)      A pastor who has conducted a same-sex marriage shall be given a minimum penalty, after due, fair process, of one-year suspension without pay for a first offense and termination for a second.

d)     If allegations are brought against a pastor, any resolution of the offense must include agreement

from the person bringing the allegation. The resolution must identify the harm caused and how that will be addressed by the pastor.


to provide a way in which to certify that only persons who would “uphold, enforce, and maintain” the

Book of Discipline (our book of order) could serve in certain committees. Other proposals suggested an additional process for removing bishops from active office. The Judicial Council found these unconstitutional because of lack of balanced and fair processes.

       4. "GRACIOUS EXIT PROPOSAL" was found to be constitutional for churches thinking of leaving the

            United Methodist denomination concerning homosexuality for a limited time from now until December

            31, 2023. They would have a "limited right” to disaffiliate for reasons related to the Church’s law

            concerning homosexuality for a limited time. Approval for such a move would require:

a. A two-thirds vote of the members of the local church

b. Terms related to financial and legal matters, apportionments and clergy pensions

c. Approval by a majority vote of the Annual Conference


When I was growing up, I had a Sunday School teacher who was fond of saying, “God has brought us this far…and God isn’t finished with us yet!” While the decisions by the 2019 General Conference and the rulings of the Judicial Council are important, they are, by no means, the final word in the journey of The United Methodist Church.  Take some time to read the detailed material and reports that are linked to this letter. Talk to those of different perspectives in your local church and community. In less than two weeks, I will begin to visit all of our districts for further conversation and worship with you (see the link to your invitation). Then the Virginia Annual Conference will gather in Roanoke June 20-22. Visitors are welcome.

In just about one year, May, 2020, the General Conference will convene again to further pray, discern, further refine, and redefine who we are as United Methodists, as we have for over 250 years. This is not a time for “waiting” but for working with one another, building relationships with all of God’s people and seeking God’s will for our next steps on the journey. Please feel free to contact your District or our conference office with questions or concerns. As Wesley reminded us: “Best of all, God is with us!”

Grace and Peace,

Peter D. Weaver

Interim Bishop, Virginia Conference

View the Judicial Council ruling: http://www.umc.org/decisions/79922; http://www.umc.org/decisions/79923

Learn more about the Judicial Council ruling: https://www.umnews.org/en/news/court-oks-part-oftraditional-

plan-exit-plan  Council of Bishops statement on ruling:


                                                                Committee Meetings for June

                                                          * Finance Team, No meeting in June

                                                          * Vitality, Tuesday, June 11 at 7:30 p.m.

                                                          * Trustees, No meeting in June


Summer Bible Study Schedule Changes

The Tuesday Women’s Prayer and Bible Study Group will meet on Tuesday, June 4 at 9:30 a.m. in the Mattie Ware Classroom. This will be our last meeting before breaking for the summer months of July and August. We will enjoy lunch together after our June meeting and encourage you to bring a new friend that might be interested in joining the group. We will resume our regular meetings in September as we continue our walk through the New Testament. All interested women in the church and community are invited to participate, so come and bring a friend.

The Story Bible Study Groups that meet on Wednesday and Sunday mornings will break for the summer and resume meeting in September.

 The Prayer Shawl Ministry will be taking the summer off and will resume in September.


Janie Hall still has openings for you to provide flowers for the altar.  This is a wonderful opportunity to praise God for his many blessings of summer colors.  Please contact Janie at 946-7125 or janiewmh@aol.com.  Available dates are: June 23, July 28, August 18, September 22 and September 29.  She would love to hear from you.


There will be no Amherst Cares for the summer months.  We will begin again in August when school begins.  Thanks to everyone who made this year so successful.  Beth Gamble


Summer Worship:  As temperatures heat up during the summer, we encourage the congregation to dress “cool and casual” for worship during the summer months of June, July and August. We also look forward to “singing our favorites” throughout the summer and invite everyone to request your favorite hymns by calling/emailing the church office (946-7624, office@emmanuelamherst.org) or indicating them on your blue connection card in worship. We will also accept requests “on the spot” in worship as time permits.


It is also important to give our dedicated Chancel Choir members some time off in the summer, so if you would like to share your musical gifts in worship (solos, duets, ensembles, vocal and/or instrumental music), please contact Sue Lamm.

Honoring our Graduates: Our worship team looks forward to honoring our graduates on Sunday, June 9. If you have a graduate in your family (from Preschool to Kindergarten, to college and beyond!) or know of one in our church family, please share the following information with the church office no later than noon on Monday, June 3: Graduate’s name; Name of School; Degree/certificate/diploma being received; parent/grandparent in our church family; future plans if known. You may include your information on the blue connection card in worship, or call/email the office (946-7624; office@emmanuelamherst.org). Thank you for your help.


Fun Day on the Lawn, Saturday, June 15, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Come on out for a summer fun day on the church lawn to help us promote Vacation Bible School and connect with our community. Free hot dogs, games, and a bounce house are all part of the fun. A “Blessing of the Bikes” will take place at 12 noon. Everyone is invited to bring their bike, trike, skateboard, scooter, motorcycle OR helmet for a summer prayer of blessing as we kick off the season. A special gift will be given for all dads present. We need help from the congregation to assist with games and activities, so please let Jeanie Combs know if you can volunteer. Please invite young friends and neighbors that you know to join us!


Celebrating Fathers: The worship team looks forward to honoring fathers and recognizing all of our men in worship on Father’s Day, June 16. Since the women wore hats on Mother’s Day, the men are invited to wear a crazy shirt or wacky tie on Father’s Day!


Vacation Bible School is scheduled for June 24-28 (M-F) from 6:00-8:30 p.m. and it is just around the corner! This year’s theme is ROAR!: Life is Wild ~ God is Good! and it takes us on an African safari adventure. Registration forms are available in the church office for 3-year olds (turning 4 by September 1) through rising 6th graders. We need volunteers in every area as kids rotate to the following stations: Sing & Play Roar, Wild Bible Adventures, Imagination Station, Stampede Sports, Hungry Herd Café, KidVid Cinema and Safari Celebration. Please see Jeanie Combs to volunteer and watch the bulletin announcements for volunteer meeting dates. VBS Celebration Sunday is June 30, followed by a 5th Sunday Fellowship Meal!


Can you help us by sharing decorations for Bible School? Our Bible School theme this year is an African Safari and we are collecting items to help us decorate our learning areas around the church. We need the following items: Safari animal items (figurines, prints, carvings, stuffed, etc.) large fabric pieces with an African print, raffia grass skirts (that can be cut apart) or raffia table skirts; straw mats; artificial trees; artificial greenery, safari hats and camping equipment (compass, binoculars, mosquito nets, etc.) or anything theme-related that might be used. If you wish to donate items and do not want them back, please let us know ahead of time and do not label them. If you are loaning items and want them returned to you, please use a piece of tape and a permanent marker to label your items with your name. PLEASE do not loan us valuable, breakable treasures or family heirlooms. Please leave your items in the youth room (room upstairs with the couches) no later than Sunday, June 23 (earlier is preferable). You may pick up your items after Bible School is over on Sunday, June 30. Thanks for your help. 


Words of Thanks


Thanks to everyone that participated in our May communion offering designated for Habitat for Humanity of Amherst County for the home that is being built on Pendleton Drive for the Goff family in coordination with the Amherst Disaster Recovery Group. Together we collected $1000 for this offering! Habitat welcomes any volunteers that want to participate in the Pendleton Drive project or their other rebuilding efforts in Elon. An easy way to be updated about workdays is to contact Debbie Habel at 665-4171 or at amherstcountyhabitat @gmail.com. You can request to be put on a list to receive emails about where and when work is happening and what jobs will be done on certain days. You can then reply to help as your schedule permits.

REMINDER:  The Bishop’s Bible Challenge will no longer be in the church newsletter due to space constraints.  Please pick up a copy on the table at the front of the church.


Moving Forward in God's Mission

The 2019 Session of the Virginia Annual Conference will take place on June 20-22 at the Berglund Center in Roanoke, VA.  This year’s theme is “Moving Forward in God’s Mission” and is taken from Matthew 28:18-20 which says: And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Annual Conference Offering

The following projects have been designated as ministries that will receive funds from the Annual Conference Offering. The offering goal is $150,000. This month’s communion offering that will be collected on Sunday, June 2 is designated for this year’s Virginia Annual Conference Offering.

Africa University Student Scholarships -- $40,000
Cambodia Pastors Leadership Training -- $40,000
Mozambique Lay Leadership Training -- $20,000
Brazil “Shade and Fresh Water” children’s program -- $20,000
Just Neighbors Matching Funds Grant for Immigrant Legal Counsel in four districts -- $30,000 

You can also participate in the mission outreach of annual conference by creating a Health/Hygiene Kit. We are hoping to collect at least 25 kits from our congregation to take to Annual Conference this year!! Churches across Virginia are being encouraged to create kits that will be distributed by the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to people living in crisis situations around the world. Health kits provide basic necessities for people who have been forced to leave their homes because of human conflict or natural disaster. The kits are also used as learning tools in personal hygiene, literacy, nutrition, and cooking classes. You may bring your kit and place it on the communion rail on Sunday, June 16 when we will dedicate our kits in worship. Please follow the instructions provided to create a Health Kit. Instruction sheets are available in the box beside the large bulletin board at church across from the mail boxes.


Please remember to pray for this year’s Virginia Annual Conference, for our delegates (Pastor Nancy and Sue Lamm), as well as all the delegates and others in attendance, and all the events, proceedings and decisions that will occur during Conference. Pastor Nancy and Sue will share Annual Conference Reports with the congregation on Sunday, June 22 during worship. For more information on this year’s Annual Conference, please visit www.vaumc.org.

Lay Leadership for June



  Lay Reader:

Ella Sue Coffey

 Ushers:   Need Volunteers


Altar Flowers


June 2

Communion/Worship Committee

June 9

Janie & Tom Hall

June 16

Jill Clark

June 23

Open - Call 946-7125 if interested

June 30

Bible School Special








General Fund

All Other*

   April 28


$ 1,397.75

         $      43.00

   May 5


               $ 4,108.00

         $    175.00

   May 12


               $ 1,464.00

         $ 1,125.00

   May 19


                $ 4,610.00

          $    620.00

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



June Birthdays


06/01   Debbie Apperson

06/02   Kristin Cox

06/02   Mark Hance

06/07   Jessica Mears

06/08   Mike Mozingo

06/13   Jeannene Tylee

06/13   Mitch White

06/14   John Apperson

06/14   David Mears

06/14   Pat Wydner

06/16   Elizabeth Kirkwood

06/19   Kristi Masencup

06/20   Judy Bondurant

06/22   Bessie Kirkwood

06/22   Joshua Lamm

06/23   Faye Mays

06/27   Carleigh Combs

06/28   Janette Mears




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.