Weekly news & updates: June 4, 2021
Worship Sunday at 10am

We invite you to come back to in-person* worship. Or you can join us for online worship. See below for more information.

We will have Holy Communion during worship with prepackaged elements.

Pastor Melody Will Conclude Her Sermon Series: "Getting Warmed Up"

Sermon Title: "Tell THE Story"
In-Person Worship*

Where? Our worship services will be inside our sanctuary during the month of June. Please use the sanctuary entrance that faces Stockley Gardens.

*COVID-19 Mitigation Plan Our fully vaccinated guests do not have to wear a mask; everyone else must wear masks that are well-fitted. 6 feet of physical distancing must be maintained by everyone, except for those who are in the same household group. Hugs and handshakes are not allowed. All are required to stay home when sick, and we ask everyone to self-check in at each entrance with our health acknowledgement poster. Mitigation measures, such as wearing a mask, may be reinstated if there is a surge in the positivity rate.
Online Worship

Instructions:
  1. Click here to go to our Facebook page and scroll down until you see the video of worship.
  2. The link and video are viewable even if you don't have a Facebook account!
  3. Please complete a Connection Card or write your name in the comments so we know you are worshiping with us.

Streaming licenses: Ghent UMC is licensed to stream our FB Live worship services with permission under CCLI #20175590 and One License A-727358. All rights reserved.
Listen to recent sermons. Watch previously live-streamed worship services.
Final Sunday, June 6

Join us this Sunday as we show the Tanners that we appreciate their years of service to Ghent Church. (Look at how much their daughter has grown!)

“And now, friends, we ask you to honor those leaders who work so hard for you, who have been given the responsibility of urging and guiding you along in your obedience. Overwhelm them with appreciation and love!”
I Thessalonians 5:12-13 (MSG)
To read Pastor Melody’s leave announcement, click here.
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Daily Prayer Starter
Please set aside time each day to pray for 2-3 minutes.

"O Lord, guide me as I meditate on where your story and mine intersect and how I might tell your story through the living of my life…"

For prayer requests contact Pastor Melody.
Special Father’s Day Offering, Sunday, June 20
We invite you to honor the Fathers of seriously ill children by making a donation during worship on Father’s day, Sunday, June 20.

The donations will benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Norfolk. 100% of the donations will be given to the nearby Ronald McDonald House. It's mission is to provide lodging to families so they can stay together, close to their children at Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. There is little or no cost so parents can afford the best hospital care.

On June 20, we will sign a big card to send to the Dads staying at the house. There will also be a place to write the name(s) of a father, step-father, and/or father-figure in your life who you wish to honor/memorialize.

If giving with a check, please make payable to Ghent UMC with a memo for Ronald McDonald House.
Virginia Annual Conference 2021

This year’s virtual, VA UMC Annual Conference will be held June 18-19 under the theme “United as One.”

Dr. Russ Evett is Ghent UMC’s delegate, so he will represent our church in discussions and decisions. Also, at the close of the conference, Rev. Ryan Schaeffer’s appointment to Ghent UMC, beginning on July 1, will be set!

For all the latest news and updates click here.
Some annual conferences will do a portion of their 2021 meetings in person as the coronavirus threat subsides. Resolutions on issues including sexuality and race will be considered.

Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño of the California-Nevada Conference shared some of the lessons she has learned about the value of women in helping heal the world and the plan that God has for all of us. She declares ‘Girls, Jesus is calling YOU!’

Click the link above for her video.
The United Methodist Church has stated that we will no longer remain silent nor complicit about racist acts against African Americans but we must act now to become anti-racist individuals and churches! We are asked to pray for Dismantling Racism efforts, as well as, all persons of color who suffer at the hands of injustice, oppression, and white supremacy.

PLEASE PRAY
A new video reveals offensive comments made to Asian American clergy and lay leaders in churches or other United Methodist settings. As volunteers read the statements on camera for the first time, their powerful insights bring a deeper understanding of the work yet to be done to dismantle racism. 
“Expanding the Table,” a new video podcast series from the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR), has debuted. In the series, guests will focus on how individual Christians and church-based entities can and should engage the work of racial justice-making and anti-racism.

Click the image above to watch the premiere episode.
When one woman began offering free food from a simple wooden cart during COVID-19, she probably never imagined her small act of generosity would grow into a massive community-pantry movement in the Philippines.

The movement has included local United Methodist churches in the Philippines. Read more.
The eruption of the Mount Nyiragongo volcano May 22 resulted in the deaths of at least 15 people and left many homes and a United Methodist church buried under lava.


At 94, ‘Mr. Music of United Methodism’ is still composing music. The Rev. Carlton R. “Sam” Young has been a big name for more than half a century as a composer, arranger, scholar, editor within church music.
And now, despite having multiple myeloma, Young is out with a new collection of sheet music.

Temporary Tent Shelter in Norfolk
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*** Our Ghent Church Homeless Taskforce will have a Zoom meeting on Wed., June 9, at 7 p.m. to make plans for volunteering at the city’s temporary homeless shelter. We will also discuss a new possibility for sharing food with the hungry. All who are interested are welcome to join us for the meeting. For a zoom invitation, email Lisa King.

While the city continues to work on opening a new permanent shelter to respond to increased homelessness in Norfolk, First Presbyterian's Urban Renewal Center is now offering a temporary shelter at the old Greyhound Bus Station, 701 Monticello Avenue in Norfolk. In partnership with the city of Norfolk, eighty tents are available in the parking lot, while gathering space, services, and meals are served inside. It is open 24/7. And volunteers are needed.

1. All volunteers must be 18 years old or older.
2. All volunteers must complete a background check form. Click here for that form.
Please send the completed form to shelby@fpcnorfolk.org or drop it off at First Presbyterian Church of Norfolk, as soon as possible.

Contact Jordan Brown, 757-746-6522 or jordan@theurcnorfolk.com, for more information.

Items and monetary donations are also needed.
See the WAVY-TV 10 story about the temporary shelter location. Click here.
The Open Table

Ghent UMC has One Table underway at our church and we are currently forming a second table! This second table will help a mother or mother-to-be, who is in recovery from a substance use disorder, move toward the better life she envisions for herself and her children.

GUMC is licensed to host The Open Table which is a model in which an at-risk person creates relationships with a small group community volunteers to help meet their goals. It is a transformative process for all involved.  
  

For more information or to volunteer, contact Faye Joseph by email at fayej5842@gmail.com or by cell phone at 757-575-3865.
Pastoral Transition: Please Lend a Hand
Rev. Ryan Schaeffer has been appointed to our church effective this July 1st. To view an introduction message from our new pastor and family, click here.

Would you like to help welcome the Schaeffers or help to prepare the parsonage? For more information or to join the welcome or parsonage team, contact Melanie Cramer at
Altar Flowers In the worship setting, one or two flower arrangements may be placed by the altar. They are given in thanksgiving to God, and often, they are dedicated in memory of a loved one or in honor of a special event or person. To learn about flower arrangement options and/or to sign up for a Sunday, please contact the church office.
Congregational Care In response to Christ's call to love one another, we want the members of our congregation to care for one another. In-person visits are limited currently, however, prayers, phone calls, and mail from the care team are continuing.
 
For more information, prayer requests, or if you are feeling called to get more involved or become a member of Ghent UMC, contact Pastor Melody.
Groups & Leadership
Children and Youth 
Pastor Melody posts our children's messages on our Facebook pageTo view the latest message, click here.

For more information about children and youth discipleship material and activities, contact Pastor Melody Tanner.
Ghent Inspire Book Club meets one Monday each month at 7:30 pm on Zoom.

On Monday, June 21, we will discuss The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

In July, we will discuss Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. The date will be determined later.

For those who don’t have time to read the books, we will have a few general questions in each discussion so that everyone will be able to participate.

For more information or to join the Zoom meetings, contact the church office or visit our Facebook page.
The Homeless Task Force is a group people from a number of Ghent faith communities and community organizations who meet regularly online to share resources and ideas for serving those who are homeless. A few people from Ghent UMC are actively involved in this group, but more are always welcome. For more information or if you feel led to answer this calling to help those in need, please contact Faye Joseph.

Ghent Church Homeless Task Force We have started our own Homeless Task Force at Ghent UMC to minister to those in need. For more information or if you feel led to answer this calling, please contact the church office.

*** Our Ghent Church Homeless Taskforce will have a Zoom meeting on Wed., June 9, at 7 p.m. to make plans for volunteering at the city’s temporary homeless shelter. We will also discuss a new possibility for sharing food with the hungry. All who are interested are welcome to join us for the meeting.
For a zoom invitation, email Lisa King.
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We want to update the plants and shrubs in our memorial garden and along Raleigh Ave. We are planning for the memorial garden to be a tranquil respite; exploring ideas like a prayer tree and Biblical Herb garden for the Raleigh Ave. side. Improvements need to be made to our garden gating, as well. If you want to be a part of the planning, planting, and/or implementation, please contact Debbie Bonnewell.
Sunday Adult Bible Discussion*

Weekly, in-person, discussions have resumed on Sundays, 9 - 9:45 am. Meet in the downstairs fellowship hall. Please enter through the parking lot door.

*COVID-19 Mitigation Plan Our fully vaccinated guests do not have to wear a mask; everyone else must wear masks that are well-fitted. 6 feet of physical distancing must be maintained by everyone, except for those who are in the same household group. Hugs and handshakes are not allowed. All are required to stay home when sick, and we ask everyone to self-check in at each entrance with our health acknowledgement poster. Mitigation measures, such as wearing a mask, may be reinstated if there is a surge in the positivity rate.

This group reviews the Bible using the Standard Lesson Quarterly series. To read this discipleship material or for more information, contact Peter Griffin.
Ghent UMC Preschool continues to operate safely as teachers and students follow the recommendations of the CDC, Dept. of Social Services, and VA UMC Covid-19 protocol.

GUMP is looking for substitute teachers. If you or someone you know may be interested, email the Director Ann Robertson for more information. Background checks will be completed prior to substituting.
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The last Leadership Team meeting* was Sunday, May 23 in the sanctuary. The next is TBA.

Past minutes and reports are below.


*COVID-19 Mitigation Plan Our fully vaccinated guests do not have to wear a mask; everyone else must wear masks that are well-fitted. 6 feet of physical distancing must be maintained by everyone, except for those who are in the same household group. Hugs and handshakes are not allowed. All are required to stay home when sick, and we ask everyone to self-check in at each entrance with our health acknowledgement poster. Mitigation measures, such as wearing a mask, may be reinstated if there is a surge in the positivity rate.
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Christ & St. Luke’s has a community garden on their property which is on the other side of our playground fence. The community is welcome to lend a hand with the garden which provides produce for those who are in need. For more information or if you are interested in helping with the garden, please contact Nicole Pabst.
Frequently Asked Questions related to COVID-19 restrictions
Are we able to gather and worship in person? We are able to gather and worship in person, however, our guests are required to follow our COVID-19 Mitigation Plan. Our fully vaccinated guests do not have to wear a mask; everyone else must wear masks that are well-fitted. 6 feet of physical distancing must be maintained by everyone, except for those who are in the same household group. Hugs and handshakes are not allowed. All are required to stay home when sick, and we ask everyone to self-check in at each entrance with our health acknowledgement poster. Mitigation measures, such as wearing a mask, may be reinstated if there is a surge in the positivity rate.
How can I get in touch with church staff? Our church staff are continuing to work from home and only come to the church building on an as needed basis. To contact church staff, click here to access their email addresses, or call the church office at 757-622-2843 and leave a voice mail. Our voice mail is monitored, in general, Monday through Friday. Messages will be returned as soon as possible. 
How may I offer a tithe or gift? We understand that these are uncertain times for most of us financially, but we want to offer the opportunity for us all to continue to fully participate in worship through the offering of a tithe or gift. Click here to learn of the various ways to give, including access to our online giving portal and instructions on online giving from your bank. Also, you may drop off checks through the mail slot at our Raleigh Ave. entrance. For assistance, contact the church office.
Jesus is for everyone. No exceptions.
A Word of Welcome from Ghent UMC 

Ghent United Methodist Church is called to the affirmation of the sacred worth of all people. We embrace as a gift the diversity of our neighborhood and the world. We acknowledge our human family's diversity in sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, language, age, faith history, theological orientation, economic status, education, marital status, abilities, and any other defining feature, real or perceived. Click here to read the message in its entirety.

Click here to read Pastor Melody's special message for our church and community.
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