August 2020

Emmanuel United Methodist Church


 Is This What the Future Holds?

           In 1962, the graphic above was published in an Italian weekly newspaper, La Domenica del Corriere (translated The Sunday Courier) to advertise the creation of the Singolletta, a single-passenger vehicle of the future that held the promise of alleviating urban traffic gridlock. Recently, this picture appeared all over social media with a caption stating that when the original was published, it included a prediction that “this is what the world will look like in 2022.” Even though researchers cannot find any concrete evidence to support the connection between this ad and predictions of life in the 2020s, or that the caption actually appeared with the original picture, this almost 60-year-old image seems eerily prophetic and a strangely accurate portrayal of the days in which we are living in this era of COVID-19. The fact that it captured the imaginations of so many on social media who connected it with our time speaks volumes.

The last couple of weeks have been a roller coaster of information concerning the pandemic. Everyone seemed hopeful and optimistic as our own state, along with others, moved into Stage 3 in early July, but concerns continue to rise these days as record numbers of cases have been reported in many areas across the country. Churches are trying to respond as best we can, but just as some congregation cautiously and carefully started to meet in person once again, the recent surge in positive cases have given cause for reconsideration. It is incredibly difficult to move ahead with an appropriate game plan when the rules keep changing and the target keeps moving! All of this uncertainty can bring with it confusion, fear and anxiety. I resonate completely with another pastor who recently shared a recurring daydream (more like a nightmare!) that continues to float through his mind these days where he is standing in the front of his empty Sanctuary on Christmas Eve, holding a lit candle, and singing Silent Night…all by himself!


Of course, we all pray that this will not be our reality….but it could! We pray that this will all be over by Christmas…but it may not! There is so much that is simply unknown to us at this point. Our Healthy Church Team continues to digest all the information made available to us from the Bishop, Conference and District, as well as looking into what other churches are doing at this time, in order to access the appropriate time for us to return to in person worship. We continue to keep the safety of our congregation as a top priority. Please pray for us as we ask for God’s wisdom and guidance in making the best possible decisions for our church at this time.

Jesus’ words recorded in Matthew 6: 25-34 remind us not to worry about our lives, because God knows all of our needs before we even ask. The last verse of this passage, verse 34, is especially timely for us today: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” May God bless us with the grace and courage to trust God to abide and provide for us and for our church as these days of uncertainty continue for all of us. Grace and Peace to each of you, Pastor Nancy

Appreciation for First Responders

For the last couple of years, the Vitality Team has sponsored an appreciation outreach project to our community First Responders (Fire Department, Rescue Squad, Town Police and Sheriff’s Department) by supplying “grab-n-go” goody boxes from our church. Given our situation this year, instead of collecting items at the church, we encourage anyone wanting to help with this project to make a monetary donation designated for “First Responder Appreciation” in the amount you would generally spend for the snacks. The Vitality Team will use these funds to purchase the snacks and create the boxes. If you wish to support this effort, please make your gift no later than August 30. Thanks for helping us appreciate those who help all of us so much!

Planning our Return to In-Person Worship Services Continues

Beginning on June 21, the Virginia Conference of the UMC began functioning in Stage 2 of our phased plan to return to in-person worship. Some churches in the Conference have chosen to start meeting in person once again, observing the strict protocol required by the Conference, while many others, like Emmanuel, have chosen to continue with online/at-home worship until the Conference enters into Stage 3, which does not coincide with our Commonwealth’s phases in timing or requirements. The protocol continues to evolve even while we are in Phase 2. Our Healthy Church Team (Church Council & Finance Team) is continually evaluating these changes and how they might impact our reopening for in-person, indoor worship.  The Phase 2 protocol that remains in place for all UMCs in the Virginia Conference includes the following: Social distancing of at least 6 feet required; masks/face coverings required; advanced registration for attendees; health form filled out in advance or upon arrival at worship; appropriate signs/posters in place with instructions for anyone using the building; attendance limited to 50% capacity of the worship space, or the maximum number that can be accommodated while maintaining social distancing; no worship aids in pews; no bulletins; limited restroom usage; no choirs; no congregational singing; etc.). Our Healthy Church Team will meet again on Monday, July 27 at 7:00 p.m. via a Zoom call online (an email has been sent to all the members of the team). Even though we do not yet have a date for our return in-person worship, we are already working toward that end and making the necessary preparations. The Healthy Church Team (Church Council/Finance Team) values your feedback, so please feel free to share your thoughts with any member of the Council. If you have questions or wish to discuss this information, please contact Pastor Nancy: cell: 434-401-5776; email: Visit the conference website at to view the Conference information, including the Technical Assistance Manual which outlines the current protocol for Stage 2.


Thanks for Your Continued Faithfulness in Giving

 Thanks to so many of you that are continuing your faithful stewardship through the giving of your tithes and offerings during these challenging days. During these weeks when we are apart, we encourage everyone to mail your gifts to the church. If you use the numbered envelopes that the church provides, the address is printed on the envelope. Otherwise, you may mail your offering to Emmanuel UMC, P.O. Box 451, Amherst, VA 24521. We are so very grateful for your continued faithfulness!


Upper Rooms Available for Pick-Up

Some copies of the July/August edition of the Upper Room Devotional booklet are still available for you to pick up. There is an aqua-colored tub that has been placed on the covered concrete stoop near the outside door of the church (the exterior door closest to the church office) to receive Food Pantry donations. The Upper Rooms are in a smaller plastic box inside that tub. Help yourself!

*Anna Johnson featured in News and Advance: On Sunday, July 19, the News and Advance featured an article about Anna Johnson’s recent recognition by the US Figure Skating Association as one of this year’s “Get Up” Ambassadors honoring skaters that have overcome challenges and obstacles in skating and in life. We are so very proud of Anna! To read the article, please cut and paste this link into your browser.


Back to School

 For the Teachers:  Since school ended in March and the teachers got a second round of supplies, I thought it would be nice to start the year off with coffee for the AES staff.  A box marked “coffee: will be placed in the kitchen with the names of the staff written on a coffee cup.  Pick a name or two and you may purchase a gift card or give money (nothing over $5).  There will be a box for you to return the “coffee cups.”  Please return by Sunday, August 9. Thanks so much, Jeanie Combs

 For the Students:  I will be putting together school gift bags for students for this school year.  If you have a child, grandchild, niece or nephew, please pick up a bag for them.  Bags will be placed in the kitchen before the start of the year.  This is going to be a different year so let’s make it a little easier and know we are thinking about them.

Words of Thanks

 *On behalf of the congregation, we express our appreciate to Margaret Ann White, Janette Mears, Janie Hall, Theresa Dunton and others on the worship team who are providing altar flowers for our recorded services and seasonal decorations around the church. We appreciate your love and care expressed through your ministry to us.

*Many thanks for all the lovely expressions of sympathy that the congregation showered upon our family following the death of my mother-in-law, Marian Stevens. Bruce and I appreciate all of the beautiful cards, food gifts, thoughts, prayers and memorials given to our church’s music fund in Marian’s memory. All of your kindnesses are most appreciated. With Love and Thanks, Pastor Nancy and Family


 *Thanks to Cindy Sale, Margaret Ann White and the Meals on Wheels team that have kept this ministry going over the last several months, even when we have not been able to prepare or serve meals from our church facility. With the help of Nancy Banton, who coordinates MOWs for Amherst County, we have partnered with some of our local restaurants that are regular MOWs vendors to provide the meals for us at a reasonable cost. Thanks to Amherst Corner who provided the meal for us in July. We appreciate all the extra donations from the congregation, and from our own Meals on Wheels volunteers, that have helped us cover the extra cost associated with the meals. Purchasing the meals has also been an important way that our church has supported struggling businesses during this difficult time.

*These days of visiting restrictions have been especially difficult for our elderly residing in care facilities, and for their families. We are grateful for the ministry of several in our church (you know who you are!) that have provided flowers, cards, devotional materials, phone calls and kindness to our shut-ins in Fairmont, in Lynchburg facilities, and confined to their homes. Your caring ministry is so important these days. Bless you all!

Emmanuel UMC: We really enjoyed the flowers last week Lyle and Faye brought. They were beautiful. Janette has quite a talent and uses it so well. We appreciate the thoughts and well wishes as Bobby continues to strengthen his knee/leg. He has made wonderful progress. Thanks again from both of us. Your thoughtfulness is appreciated. Thank you so much. Bobby and Judy Bondurant




General Fund All Other*
July 5 $2,010.00 $570.00
July 12     $3,430.00 $265.00

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


We apologize that Carol Andercyk’s birthday was left off of the July birthday list.

Carol’s birthday was July 26.

                                                                           August Birthdays

08/08   Charlie Clark

08/09   Cooper Apperson

08/10   Heather White

08/13   Jim Kirkwood

08/14   Harison Stinnett

08/16   Dave Hewes

08/18   Paul Kilgore

08/21   Virginia Mottley

08/22   Tyler Hall

08/25   Deborah Ondrick

08/26   Gail Payne

08/27   Don Clark

08/29   Kevin Lamm

08/29   Tom Shrader

08/30   Dot Hance

Our Ministry of Prayer

 Can you help us update our prayer list? If you have submitted names for this prayer list that can be removed at this time, please email Pastor Nancy at The church prayer chain also appreciates receiving updates on names we have received and people for whom we are praying. Those updates can be sent to Pearl Clark by phone (434-946-7085) or email at If you would like to join the church email prayer chain, please let Pearl know. Thanks for your help.

Please Pray for Lisa Barber (Pam Zentmyer’s co-worker), Vernie Barrow, Kevin Belcher, Madison Belcher, Bobby and Judy Bondurant, Diana Branch (Mike and Janie Stinnett), Virginia Brockman, Carolyn Brunning and Family (loss of her mother), Alli Burks (Garrette’s granddaughter), Sherman Campbell (Maynard’s brother), Sara Carter (Amherst Town Manager), C.W. Casey, The Family of Earl Cash, Sr., Lawrence Cooper, Matt Cox ( Kristen’s husband; Margaret Ann and Lindy White’s son-in-law), Margaret Crews (Dot Hance’s sister), Janell Y. D’Alfonso (Renell Meeks’ sister), Martha Davis, JoAnn Doyle, The Family of the Rev. James Draper, Michele Dressel, Mikie Evans, Jimmy Ferguson (Friend of Tom & Janie Hall), Edith Foster (Judy McCartney’s aunt), Darrell Gallier (Phil Lamm’s cousin),  Wayne, Jeannette, Hailey and Matthew Goff, Diane Gregorian, Wayne Hollman, Ed Hopkins, Robbie Howell (Libby’s sister-in-law), Judy Mays Hunter, Billy Iseman, Philips Newton Jamerson (Janie Hall’s friend),  The Family of Barbara Jenkins (Phil Lamm’s sister), Anna Johnson, Bob Johnson (Pastor Nancy’s father-in-law),  Joanne Johnson (our former church secretary), Shayn Johnson,  Beverly Kryspin, Josh Lamm, Sue Lamm,  Sandy Beale Lewis (friend of Janie Stinnett), Sandra Maddox, Eugene Markowski,, Jr., The Family of Randy Matthews (Janie Hall’s brother-in-law), Sallie Martin (Faye Garrette’s Aunt), Sam Massie Sr., Andy Mays, Faye Mays, The family of Billy McCartney, Elizabeth Mears (David’s mother), Renell Meeks, Kathy Miller (Andercyk’s neighbor),  The Family of Leroy Morris, Robert Munn, Eddie Myers (Ella Sue Coffey’s cousin), Harold Ondrick, Don Pafford, Kallen and Tiffaney Parsely (Margaret Ann White’s relatives), Lois Pelosky, James Peters, The Family of Edwin Phipps (Pat Pafford’s brother; Mike Gamble’s uncle), Chris Pomeroy (Tom Hall’s nephew), Dale Pormann (Nancy’s son), Leta Profitt (George Peters’ aunt, Dot Hance’s cousin), Billy Robertson, The Family of Bill Royall, Hunter Rozier (friend of Johnsons), Bob Sacasky, James Saunders (Judy McCartney’s Father), Stephen Saunders (Judy McCartney’s nephew), The Family of  Sharon Simmons (Janie Stinnett’s cousin), The Family of Betty Small, The Family of Marian Johnson Stevens (Pastor Nancy’s mother-in-law), The Family of Eric Swanson (friend of Mike Stinnett), Kate Tibbs (Janette Mears’ niece), The Travers Family (friends of the Andercyks), The Family of Florene Trent (Elbert Maddox’s sister), Mary Ellen Vanhouten and newborn Evie; The Family of Charlie Volz, Pam Weiss (close friend of Theresa Dunton), Ryan Webb, Alan West, Mitch White.

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.