Newsletter September 2023


Rev. Nancy Coleman Johnson


Church Office


Church Address:

401 North Main Street 

Post Office Box 451

Amherst VA 24521

Telephone (434) 946-7624


Church Website:


Facebook: Emmanuel United

Methodist Church-Amherst


Choir Director & Organist

Sue Lamm


Church Council/Finance Team:

Pam Brockman, Chair

Mike Stinnett, Treasurer/Finance Team


Board of Trustees:

Mike Mozingo, Chair


    September 2023

Emmanuel United Methodist Church Newsletter

Worship Service 10:30 a.m.

Sunday School 9:30 a.m.

September is National Hunger Action Month

Hunger Action Month is an annual, 30-day event where ordinary people in communities all over America join together to do what we can to end hunger. This emphasis, usually held in September, is growing fast as a national event. The mission to end hunger is critical. More than 40 million people in the United States today are hungry or food insecure. Yet, in the United States, we will throw away over 133 billion pounds of good food this year alone. As people of faith, we have opportunity to take action and to do something about this pressing need. Here are some ways you can observe National Hunger Action Month and make a difference in the lives of others during the month of September:

1.      Support the Important Work of Amherst Cares: As in year’s past, both our August and September communion offerings are designated for the vital ministry of Amherst Cares, whose mission is to provide weekend provisions for food insecure students in Amherst County Public Schools. Through the leadership of President Beth Gamble, and the faithfulness of countless donors and a committed team of volunteers, Amherst Cares distributed over 22,000 bags of food during the 2022-23 school year. Each bag contains 2 to 3 meals of kid-friendly, weekend food for needy students. Now in its 13th year of ministry, Amherst Cares has already launched their food distribution for the 2023-24 new school year to meet the needs of approximately 575  hungry students whose families have requested help. You may make your gifts to Amherst Cares through the September Communion Offering using your regular communion envelope, or by mailing your gift to Amherst Cares at the church address, P.O. Box 451, Amherst, VA 24521. Amherst Cares also appreciates the donation of needed food items for the bags, especially those items unavailable from the Food Bank. Beginning Sunday, September 17 through Sunday, October 1, we will collect the following child-friendly, nonperishable, easily consumed foods. Please leave your items in the Narthex tub or in the Amherst Cares room downstairs:


Pop top cans of Chef Boyardee-like products such as spaghetti, ravioli, lasagna, spaghetti with meatballs, beef and macaroni; Individual packs of chicken or beef Ramen-type noodles; Boxes of individual packs of peanut butter or cheese crackers; Boxes of individual packs of instant oatmeal; Boxes of pop tarts; Boxes of individual Nutri-grain, cereal, or granola bars; Boxes of small individual bags of pretzels; Small cans of beans and franks; Small jars of creamy peanut butter; Cans of chicken noodle or tomato soup; 100% juice Capri Suns or juice boxes; Boxes of mac and cheese; Cans of Vienna sausages; Small bottles of Gatorade type drinks; Small cans of tuna.

To learn more about volunteering with Amherst Cares, please contact Beth Gamble by email at or or by phone at 434-946-7657.  Please let Beth know you would like to help before coming. Usual packing times are Tuesdays at 9:30 a.m. and Wednesday evenings at 7:00 p.m. in the church Social Hall.

  1. Support the Ministry of Society of St. Andrew (SoSA): With the national headquarters located in nearby Big Island, VA (Bedford County), SoSA is the oldest and largest gleaning organization in the country. They bring people together to harvest and share healthy food, reduce food waste, and build caring communities by offering nourishment to hungry neighbors. Volunteers are sent to glean (pick, dig, or gather) left-over fresh fruits and vegetables from fields and orchards all across the country, food that would otherwise go to waste. As of July 2023, SoSA has gleaned, gathered and distributed 9,531,232 pounds of fresh produce (38,124,928 servings) from 571 farmers, through 2,703 gleaning events, using 10,685 volunteers and 1,139 feeding agencies. Pastor Nancy subscribes to the gleaning network email notifications and will continue to alert the congregation when nearby gleaning volunteer opportunities are available. Because of the nature of gleaning, these opportunities usually arise on short notice. Generally there are some gleaning events near to us during the month of September, so watch your Sunday Paper announcements and email for more information. Most of the funds donated to SoSA help to cover the costs of transporting the gleaned produce to food banks and community organizations across the U.S. that can distribute it to hungry people. Our congregation has the opportunity to share in the ministry of SoSA by collecting spare change in the SoSA Coin Banks. Coin Banks will be available to pick at church on the first Sunday of September, along with a September Prayer and Action Calendar provided by SoSA to encourage us to participate in Hunger Action Month. Bring your box back to church on Sunday, October 1 as we dedicate them to God’s use and celebrate the opportunity to serve in this way. If you would like to learn more about the Society of St. Andrew or to join their email/mailing list, please visit the website at
  2. Support our Church Food Pantry: We are blessed at Emmanuel to have the opportunity to serve our community through our church’s emergency food pantry. The pantry provides food assistance to residents of Amherst County on an “as needed” basis. We are listed with VA 2-1-1, a hub of statewide services organized by location that allows those in need to access the services that are available to them locally by dialing 2-1-1. Amherst County Social Services and other churches in our area are also aware of our pantry and often refer people to us to receive food. Your regular designated gifts to the food pantry help us provide needed items as the supplies are depleted. Due to the collections already planned for September and October, we look forward to collecting food for the pantry in November before Thanksgiving. The food pantry is also a resource for our church family to use in helping your neighbors or others in the community that need assistance. Please call or email the church office if you would like to create a box for someone, or refer someone for assistance (; 434-946-7624). If you would like to volunteer to assist with our Food Pantry Ministry, please contact the church office via email or phone (; 434-946-7624).
  3. Support Meals on Wheels: On the 1st Monday of every month, our congregation participates in the Blue Ledge chapter of Meals on Wheels which serves approximately 30 elderly clients in Amherst County. Volunteers purchase or prepare at home the food items for each month and then gather in our church kitchen/social hall to pack the meals for the drivers to pick up and deliver. Meals on Wheels provides a much-needed nutritional and social service for senior citizens who look forward to receiving a meal and a personal contact each day of the week from volunteers. For many, this is the only hot meal or visit they receive each day. In addition to the regular clients, our Emmanuel team prepares extra meals for some of the elderly in our church family, or those who are recovering at home from illness or surgery. You can support Meals on Wheels by donating to the ministry through your offering (please mark your gift for MOWS) or by volunteering to serve with our MOWs team. Please contact Cindy Sale to volunteer (434-401-7249;

Appreciation for First Responders: In appreciation of our “local heroes” and in observance of Patriot Day that remembers the heroism and sacrifices of the 9/11 tragedy, the Vitality Team invites the church family to join us in showing our appreciation to our fire, rescue squad and law enforcement personnel with a gift box of “grab-and-go” snacks. We will collect pre-wrapped snack-sized packs of cookies, crackers, granola bars, candy bars and chips (no water bottles please) to deliver to our community servants. Please place your items in the Narthex tub from now through September 10. We will offer a prayer of blessing over these gifts on Sunday, September 10, If anyone would like to help the Vitality Team with box assembly and delivery, join us in the Mattie Ware classroom on Wednesday, September 13 at 10 a.m.


Chicken and Ham Dinner sponsored by the Amherst Chapter #115 of the Eastern Star, Saturday, September 9, 4:30-7:00 p.m. in our Social Hall. $15/adults; $7/children under 12; Under 2 are FREE. Tickets are available from Faye Garrette (434-946-7375; Email:


On Sunday, September 17, we welcome Faithful Praise back to Emmanuel for a Worship Concert at our 10:30 a.m. Morning Worship Service. This talented duo will bring their own unique style of worshipful and Christ-centered Gospel music. A love offering will be collected to support their ministry. A fellowship meal will follow the service in the church social hall. The church will provide the chicken and beverages for the meal, and the congregation is invited to bring side dishes, salads and desserts. Please bring a little extra to accommodate our special guests! This is a great Sunday to invite friends and neighbors to join us for worship, especially those who may not have a church home. Please use the invitation insert provided in the worship bulletin share this event with others.

Church Family Fun Nights Resume with “Taco-bout Delicious”: The Vitality Team invites you to join us on Saturday, September 23 at 5:00 p.m. for a Mexican Food buffet followed by games. Bring your favorite board game and a Mexican-style food item to share. Please invite someone to come with you. A sign-up sheet for the food will be available on the large bulletin board at church. Contact Jeanie Combs for more information (434-907-2487),


The Food Pantry needs small to medium size boxes (no large boxes please). Thanks for your assistance!


A Message from the Finance Team: In preparation for our annual budget planning and approval process, Finance Chair, Mike Stinnett, requests that the Chairs/Team Leaders of all team/committees that are responsible for a portion of the church budget to please check with your team about any needed changes to your 2024 budget requests, and let Mike know by Sunday, September 24. The 2023 Church Budget will be presented and discussed at the October meeting of the Church Council/Finance Team in preparation for our Charge Conference/District Conference Palooza scheduled for Saturday, November 11. Please contact Mike Stinnett with any questions regarding the church budget.


Bible Studies, Sunday School and Prayer Groups: Fall is a great time to begin a new small group! Interest has been expressed for the following: Offering a new Adult Sunday School class at 9:15 a.m. each week on Sunday mornings; Books & Breakfast (read a book together on a Christian topic/devotional classic, then meet once a month for breakfast and discussion); Weekly Wednesday Bible Study and/or Prayer Group (on Wednesday mornings/evenings; time TBD depending on interest). Our Women’s Bible Study group meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month in the Mattie Ware Classroom and welcomes any other interested women to join them. The Francis Asbury Senior Adult Class has also resumed and meets weekly in the Mattie Ware Classroom. Please take time to complete the back of your blue “Connect with Us” form in worship to indicate your interest in these spiritual growth opportunities, or to share any ideas that you may have. You may also contact Pastor Nancy to share your ideas: (; 434-401-5776).


Worship Team Assistants Needed:  We still have several openings for Ushers and Lay Readers for worship so please consider signing up to help. The sign-up sheet is located on the large bulletin board in the hallway beside the Sanctuary.  Thanks for considering this ministry opportunity.


Words of Thanks


Dear EUMC, Thank you so much for the luncheon and gifts! I greatly appreciated the thoughtfulness and generosity you shared, and seeing each of you who were able to attend the luncheon. I have enjoyed my time working at EUMC and am thankful for the opportunity. Love, Melanie Stine


We would like to thank every one of our Emmanuel church friends and family for all the kind and thoughtful golden anniversary cards Mike and I received. We appreciate them all. Blessings – Mike & Janie Stinnett


I want to thank you all for the prayers and concern you give while I am recovering from my concussion. Our family is not nearby, but we are so thankful for the church family we have at Emmanuel UMC. There is such love in this church. Thank God we found this church. Love, Carol Andercyk


We have received many words of thanks and appreciation from the teachers and staff of Amherst Elementary School for the “back-to-school” gift bags our church gave them at the start of the school year. Your kindness and support is most appreciated. Thanks to everyone that participated in this ministry.


Celebrations and Praises


Congratulations to:

~ Maynard and Marsha Campbell who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on July 28th.

~ Mike and Janie Stinnett who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on August 4th.

~ Grandparents Cat and Jack Brandell in the birth of Niles Colin Brandell-Mayer, son of Drew and Rachel Brandell-Mayer on August 8th.

~ Great-Grandparents Faye & Lyle Garrette in the birth of Gavin Burks Kragie, son of Matt and Jennifer Burks Kragie, grandson of Ben and Sandra Burks on August 12th.


If you have joys or celebrations within our church family that you would like to share, please submit them by the 20th of each month to EUMC Newsletter editor, Cat Brandell. Thank you.



We give God thanks and praise for God’s gracious provision for us, and for the faithfulness of our church family in the giving of God’s tithes and offerings. To God be the glory!

Attendance & Giving

Sunday In-Person Online General Fund Other
July 23 48 13 $1,826.00 – 0 –
              July 30 40 n/a $1,607.00 $1,000.00
             August 6 41 n/a $4,643.00 $   270.00
August 13 72 13 $2,385.00        $   – 0 –
August 20 46 14 $    935.00 $      45.00



Partners in Ministry


September                                        October

        Ushers:                          Mike Mozingo/Mike Stinnett                      Jeanie Combs/Need Volunteer

Greeters:                       Jill Clark/Need Volunteer                            Jill Clark/Need Volunteer

  Lay Reader:                  Jack Brandell                                                 Need Volunteer



            September Altar Flowers

September 3 Communion
September 10 Janie & Tom Hall
September 17 Jeanie Combs
September 24 Margaret Ann White


Please contact Janie Hall (; 434-841-0513) if you would like to place

altar flowers on a particular Sunday. If you have a special flower dedication for the bulletin, please contact the church office by noon on Thursday: (434-946-7624;


September Birthdays

09/02              Jeanne Volz

09/02              Shelby Woody

09/04              Elizabeth da Victoria Lobo

09/05              Carrie Wood

09/06              Chase Maddox

09/06              Atasua Phillips

09/08              Rachel Phillips

09/08              Pam Zentmyer

09/11              Anna Johnson

09/14              Anne Neff

09/15              Margaret Ann White

09/16              Ann Tomko

09/17              Larry Wright

09/20              Dianne King

09/21              Jameson Lamm

09/25              Melanie Stine

09/26              Haley Goff

09/27              Carey Banton

09/27              Beth Gamble

09/27              Harold Ondrick


Newsletter Editor:  Cat Brandell, Phone: 946-9102, Email: 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.