Reports from the 2014 Virginia Annual Conference

Reports from the 2014 Virginia Annual Conference
"The theme of this year’s
conference was 'Lord, renew us
with your Spirit.' I was reminded
that God works his best miracles
when times are tough. Mount
Vernon has been facing some
"tough times," but I've seen
wonderful transformations
over this past year. I reflected
on how the Lord has begun to renew the spirit within Mount
Vernon. I believe that Mount Vernon is just beginning our
renewal journey and that the best is still to come."
– Melissa Herke, Lay Delegate for Mount Vernon
“Although the cloud of stress continues to hang over us, concerning how we as United Methodists will receive and relate to
homosexual persons in the church and in our world going forward
... the mood of most everyone I talked with was one of hope
and sincere love for each other– even those who view this issue
differently. Financially, our Conference is in better shape than in
past years, and many churches are experiencing renewed energy
and growth. I believe Mount Vernon is also moving positively
into the future. I left this Conference feeling good about being a
United Methodist and eager to see what the
power of prayer and the direction of the Holy
Spirit will have in store for us! – Barry Foster
"Bishop Cho led us through another
great Annual Conference, and it was particularly enjoyable to me because I was able to
share it with my wife this time around.
Building on last year’s theme of 'Lord,
teach us to pray,' we focused on the prayer
'Lord, renew us with your Spirit.' The Bishop shared an Ignatian
saying that he has hanging on the wall in his office, and I think
it encapsulated the direction in which everyone in attendance
was aimed when we departed from Hampton on Sunday:
Pray as if everything depends on God,
work as if everything depends on you.
I concluded Conference feeling personally rejuvenated and
ready for a year of prayer and work to continue the renewal of our
Methodist churches." – Tobias Lutz, Danville District Delegate,
and Mount Vernon member
“Highlights of Annual Conference for me:
• Our Conference is led by a man of deep spirituality and
integrity, Bishop Cho. He is held in high regard by all and we are
very blessed by his leadership.
• Our Conference leads United Methodism in giving to
UMCOR, our missions arm. Virginia Conference dollars are
making a tremendous difference by spreading the love of Christ
through the alleviation of suffering around the world. We will
have a special emphasis this year on the eradication of malaria.
• Exciting ministries are happening throughout our Conference in churches large and small, rural and urban. Ministries
with our Hispanic, African-American, and Asian brothers and
sisters are expanding; several formerly dying churches
are finding new life; and outstanding young people are
being ordained into ministry.
The United Methodist Church is thriving in Virginia!”
– Beth Bauman, Danville District Delegate,
and Mount Vernon’s Director of Youth and Children
Rebecca Lutz and Melissa Herke celebrated their
birthdays (on June 21) at the Conference.
Vacation Bible School !
Vacation Bible School : A Highlight of the Church Year!
Step back in time thousands of years ago when Moses lived
and developed a special relationship with God. A time when
Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt into the Wilderness. A
time when Moses witnessed the power and miracles of God,
and Moses' faith in God gave him the strength to face many
During “VBS Wilderness Escape: Where God Guides and
Provides” we relived those times, beginning the journey
with each day with a celebration led by Cathy Hawkins. Tim
Navis and Kathryn Waters taught the children energetic
songs. During “Tribe Time,” leaders Michelle Larking, Beth
Bauman, Leslie Navis, and Joyce Underwood spoke with the
children about Moses and how we can trust in God today.
The children looked for signs of God and posted those signs
on the “God Sightings” wall.
Humphrey the camel waited for us each day at the Israelite
Camp. The children visited the different tents in the camp. Linda
Woodard and helpers Margaret Scott, Betty Turner, Angela
Longerbeam, Anne Stephens Pickeral, Gayle Morris, Karen
Blachura, Emily Potts, and Wendy Sampson taught Bible time
skills like churning butter, making rope, and weaving.
As Cathy Hawkins led “Fun and Games” with the tribes,
squeals of joy could be heard as the children played highenergy games. The tribes went up to the choir room to sing
great songs like "Guide Me" and "Shalom."
Pat Maurakis greeted each tribe at the Bible story area.
Moses (Frank Wickers), Aaron (Robert Wooding), Miriam
(Margaret Wooding), and Hur (John Ranson) were among the
characters that brought the stories to life – stories of Moses'
faith and God's power, such as crossing the Red Sea and
receiving the quail and manna and the Ten Commandments.
On Friday, the children shared a musical program at
Stratford House – an opportunity for our children to touch
the lives of others through music. There was evidence that
God was with us! We ended the week back in the Israelite
Camp with lunch for the kids and their families.
Heifer International is the annual VBS mission project.
This organization provides animals and provides training to
families in need around the world.
Our VBS children collected $500
toward our goal of $1,100.00!
Donations are still being accepted.
Make checks payable to Mount
Vernon Church.
Our amazing Vacation Bible
School Team created the most
wonderful week and made great
VBS memories! In addition to the
adult volunteers listed above, we thank our invaluable youth
helpers: Tristan Woodard, Abby deAristizabal, Hannah
Hawkins, Charlotte Parrish, Sarah Hawkins, Cara Mills, Rose
Tucker, Brittany Young, Nicholas Wright, Thomas Fortney,
Lily Hungarland, and Kate Newell. VBS is only as successful
as the people who commit their time, talents, and energy
to create a memorable and inspiring week for all those
involved. There are many pictures on the bulletin boards at
church – check out the fun! A special thank you to all the
church members who donated materials to VBS!
Once again, Beth deAristizabal used her talents to direct
our VBS. With a combination of superb organizational skills,
gentle persuation, and vision of excellence, Beth always leads
us in pulling together an experience that is transformational
for children, youth, and adults alike. Thank you, Beth!
Ladies, Please Join Us!
United Methodist Women News
Betty Leggett is planning a special
evening at her lake house. United
Methodist Women Circle 2 will meet
there on Wednesday, August 20.
Special guests will be ‘Spirit’ and
owner, Jane White, and ‘Sandy’ with owner, Cindy Vickers.
They will demonstrate how certified therapy dogs are used.
If you wish to carpool, we will meet at the church at 3:30
p.m. If you can drive or wish to ride in the carpool, please
call Rosalind Morton (793-5980) so that we can plan for you.
Directions to the lake house will be in the church office a
week prior to the meeting.
Spirit and Sandy’s program will begin at 4:45 p.m. The dinner
is covered-dish and will begin at 6:00 p.m. We look forward
to this meeting at the lake. It is always fun and a highlight of
the year!
Ferrum College hosted women of the VA Conference
of The United Methodist Church at their annual United
Methodist Women’s Day on June 7. Ann Hurt and Rosalind
Morton attended this event. They participated in creative
worship experiences involving student testimonies, heard
encouraging anecdotes delivered by Ferrum’s chaplain, Jan
Nicholson, and were inspired by Ferrum’s president, Dr.
Jennifer Braaten. Dr. Braaten related examples of mission
projects and offered appreciation for the history between
Ferrum College and United Methodist Women. The Wesley
Senior Theater Troupe entertained the UMW members with a
salute to variety shows of the past.
Ann and Rosalind enjoyed getting in touch with their
local United Methodist roots by exploring the campus and
embracing the heart of Ferrum College as lived out by its
motto, “Not Self, But Others.”
– Rosalind Morton
Moses and the Israelites
pass through the Red Sea
A Pentecost Experience
By Margaret Milam, Mount Vernon Church Member
Although it happened almost sixty years ago, I can tell you the place, the day,
the hour I felt the real presence of the Holy Spirit.
It was the summer of 1956. I had just earned my driving permit. I was
driving my mother to Sunday school and church. As I turned up Tilney Avenue,
a steep hill, a small black puppy dashed from the yard of the second house on
the right past Terracedale Court. I could not avoid hitting it.
I ran to check on it. I could tell it was bleeding internally. I knocked on the
door and told the owner I could take it to my vet. She said she would take it
to Dr. Lindsey and call me that afternoon.
I was distraught, but we went on to church. As I sat near the back, praying
during the 11 a.m. service, a strange feeling of peace flooded over me, and I
knew without a doubt that the puppy was all right.
Later that day the lady called to assure me that the puppy had survived.
Helping Hands
Mission Event for Children
Several children and adults from our church will be participating in the
Virginia Conference Helping Hands event based at Fairview UMC in
Danville July 7– 8. They will be doing projects around our city throughout
the day and enjoying worship and recreation with children from other
churches at night. Participants so far are Brendan deAristizabal, Mary
Hawkins, Sophie Parrish, Emma Larking, Noah Reed, Elisha Shelton,
Beth deAristizabal, and Beth Bauman.
This Fall:
Young Adult Handbells!
I hope you have heard about the new handbell group forming this
fall: the “young adult handbells.” To recap, the group will rehearse on
Wednesday nights, during the children’s pageant/musical rehearsals. It
requires no music background or experience, and it will be a great way
to get involved in the Mount Vernon music program.
I am directing this group, and I promise that each rehearsal will be
lighthearted and fun. Again, you do not need to know how to read music
to join the group; you will learn as we progress. That means this group
would be a great way to learn to read music.
Several people have expressed interest; however, I still hope to get
many more, including men! It would be great to have enough to ring five
or six octaves of bells, which means we could have as many as 18 ringers!
So come one, come all. If you try it and then decide it is not for you, that
is OK. This is not a life-long commitment.
If you are interested, curious, or just not
sure, please feel free to reach out to me. I
hope to see many of you this fall in this group.
–Tim Navis
Project Crossroads
Prayer Partners
A team of 25 youth and
adult leaders will travel
to Project Crossroads in
Marion, Virginia, July 20–25. We would
like to have a Prayer Partner for each of
our team members.
If you are willing, please choose one of
our team members and pick up a packet
of information on the table outside the
church office.
Adult team members are: Margaret
Scott, Frank Cuthrell, Gary Benefield,
Chuck Sampson, Tom Savastano, Frank
Davis, Lude Labieville, Tammy Waters,
and Beth Bauman.
Youth team members are: Mac Newell,
Abby deAristizabal, Patrick Woodard,
Kate Newell, Elizabeth Payne, Tristan
Woodard, Charlotte Parrish, Deonte
Jones, Ben Parrish, Monica Jones, Sarah
Hawkins, Hannah Hawkins, Ian Brande,
Max Brande, Lily Hungarland, Alliya
Kautzman, and Nick Wright.
Please keep our whole team in your
prayers as they prepare for the trip!
Crossroads Cookout & Team Meeting
At Wildwood Lake, Wednesday, July 9
5:00 p.m.
Adult Team Leaders’ Meeting
Wednesday, July 16, 7:00 p.m.
at Mount Vernon
Congratulations to
Sam and Taf ton Trent !
Some 15 middle school students plus high school mentors from Pittsylvania and Halifax Counties recently attended a robotics summer
camp at George Washington High School. Among them were Mac
Newell, Alex Larking, and Kathryn Waters. Dan Waters, who
led the camp, said, “This is the highlight of my year ... high school
students teaching middle school students robotics techniques.”
Gifts in memory of
The Mount Vernon Psalter
Paul Stanfield
Psalms Still Needed:
17, 20, 23, 34, 46, 49, 52, 56, 57, 60,
62, 66, 68, 77, 84, 87, 88, 89, 94,
103, 107, 110 113, 116, 120, 126,
133, 136, 138, 139, 142, 147, 148.
Please turn in your psalm(s) to the
church office by Thursday, July 9.
Gifts in memory of
Children’s House Seeks
Infant/Toddler Caregivers
Margaret Lanham
have been received from
Mary Evelyn Jefferson, Pat Maurakis,
and Michael and Patricia Compton.
A gift in memory of
has been received from
Fred and Shirley Duncan.
Eunice Fulcher
(AnnWilliamson’s mother)
have been received from
Fred and Shirley Duncan,
Mary Ellen Dean, Clara Lee Ripley,
David andVicki Johnston, and
Peggy Handy.
Godly Play resumes –
Sunday, August 24
Crossroads team leads
worship – Sunday, August 24
Church picnic at Ballou
Park – Sunday, September 7
This is a part-time (25–30 hours a
week) position. Infant and toddler
caregivers must have a high
school degree or equivalent and
experience working with infants or
toddlers; be able to lift 40 pounds,
and be willing to go through CPR/
First Aid training within the first 90
days of employment (if not already
Please send resume via e-mail to
com or regular mail to Leslie Navis,
Children’s House Director, 107 West
Main Street, Danville, 24541.
Worship Services
July 6, 2014
fourth sunday after pentecost
Scripture: Galatians 5: 1, 13 – 25
Sermon: “What Makes Us Free”
Rev. Barry S. Foster
July 13, 2014
fifth sunday after pentecost
Mark 1: 1 – 11; 3: 13 – 19; and
8:27 – 30
Sermon: “The Gospel According
to Mark (Part 1)”
Rev. Barry S. Foster
July 20, 2014
sixth sunday after pentecost
Sermon: “The Gospel According
to Mark (Part 2)”
Rev. Barry S. Foster
July 27, 2014
seventh sunday after pentecost
We appreciate all the prayers and
concerns of the church community
during the time of Fitz’s surgery.
The Hiltzheimer Family
Matthew 5: 17 – 20 and 17: 1 –13
Sermon: “The Gospel According
to Matthew (Part 1)”
Rev. Barry S. Foster
In Our Thoughts and Prayers ...
At home: Bill Hardy, Zane Kinn, Margaret Powell
At Roman Eagle: Zula Callahan
At Riverside Healthcare: Greg Read
At Stratford House: Newton Ray, Sr., Marjorie Hood
Our deepest sympathy
Week of
June 1
June 8
June 15
June 22
20,434.00 *
Monthly Total: $48,551.26 **
* Includes $16,000.00 from the Foundation (Dot Rich Fund)
To the family of James Bucklew,
** June 29 figures will be included in the August report.
who died on June 28, 2014.
2014 Year-to-Date Report
Income through 6/22/14: $216,557.58*
Expenses through 6/22/14: $243,237.07
July Birthdays
1 Richard Smith
3 Marian Adkins
Earle Garrett, III
4 John Ranson
Andrew Love
Edgar Love
5 Jenna Rudder
6 Tommie Blackmon
Jean Brown
Beth deAristizabal
Dana Glass
Brad Kinn
David Parrish
7 Tom Darkis
Thomas Farley
Nick Fowler
8 Laura Hughes
Robert Turner
9 Jim Daniel
10 Amy Eller
Joshua Southward
11 Jerrye Mayhew
Mary Wilkes
13 Libby Spainhour
14 Beth Daniels
Becky Farthing
16 Lisa Blackmon
Baxter Jennings
Stephen Milam
17 Andy Pickeral
21 Jerry Foster
Marge Peters
Brooks Powell
Barclay Coleman
Dan Newell
Page Harris
Kate Milam
Dot Millner
Melanie Reed
Vida Wilkes
Ron Allen
Will Booker
Heather Slayton
Ashley Yates
Zula Callahan
Susan Dibrell
Jimmy Jefferson
Frank Cuthrell
Charlotte Parrish
Nicola Parrish
Al Corpening
Holly Lewis
Knox Milligan
Matthew Payne
August Birthdays
1 Casey Fowler
Rhonda Yates
2 Neill McMillan, Jr.
Sonia Williamson
3 John Morris
Zoey Zickefoose
4 Lois Kirkland
Tobias Lutz
5 Edward Long
6 Carter Bauman
Hudson Dunn
Sophie Parrish
Balance: ($26,679.49)
Our Worship Assistants
July 6 8:30: John Morris, Bill Booker
11:00: Bill Griffith, David Fuquay, Tommy Hodges, Tom Leggett, Tom Underwood, Frank Davis (alt.)
July 13 8:30: Darrell Williamson, Tom Savastano
11:00: J.G. Hurt, Budge Kent, Gene Saunders,
John Ranson, Coleman Hylton, Frank Davis (alt.)
July 20 8:30: Bill Booker, Tom Booker
11:00: Tom Leggett, Andrew Farley, David Fuquay, Tommy Hodges, Bill Smith, Frank Davis (alt.)
July 27 8:30: Tom Savistano, Darrell Williamson
11:00: Tom Leggett, J.G. Hurt, Charles Sampson,
Bill Smith, Tom Underwood, John Ranson (alt.)
July: Peggy Wright, Pat Giles, Ellen Joyce, Betty Leggett,
Frances McMillan
August: Mary Franks, Van Keck, Marlyn Sigmon,
Betty Ann Smith
Gluten-free communion bread is available at
Mount Vernon. Please contact the pastor, at
793-6824, before Communion Sunday if
you would like gluten-free wafers.