Weekly news & updates: June 18, 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.

Doug Pilley, a faithful member and lead usher of our church, will deliver the sermon on Sunday.

Sermon Title: "Unconditional Love"
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.

Father's Day, June 20
We appreciate and love the men of our church more than we could fully express for all they contribute to our lives and the life of the church in ways big and small.

Happy Father's Day to all our Fathers and Father figures!
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.

100% of the donations will benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Norfolk. It's mission is to provide lodging to families so they can stay together, close to their children at the 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 also 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.
We're Volunteering at the Tent Shelter (former Greyhound Station)
Come volunteer alongside the Ghent Church Homeless Committee members on Friday, June 25. We are starting with the 5 - 8p.m. shift.

But, we will also fill up the 8 - 10p.m. shift, if we have enough volunteers. If that fills up too, then we can sign up for more shifts!

Please contact Lisa King to sign up to volunteer!
*See block below for mandatory, Background Check
Form.*

All volunteers will share a range of duties that are vital to keeping the shelter running smoothly. Every task is crucial and every person is important. Duties will include:

·   Greeting, assisting, and serving as a resource for guests. 
·   Making/serving coffee, snacks, and cold beverages. 
·   Cleaning and sanitizing tents with sprayer and vacuum/blower.
·   Conducting bag checks and signing in guests on the COVID Log
·   Monitoring shower trailers.
·   Monitoring smoking area and outside picnic table area.
Details about the Tent Shelter at the former Greyhound Station
First Presbyterian's Urban Renewal Center is 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. Any volunteers under 18 be accompanied by a parent and closely supervised. Please make a note on the Sign Up Genius for any volunteers under age 18, so we can follow up to get you the information you need.

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.
We are Forming a 3rd Open Table!!

Ghent UMC has Two Tables underway at our church and we will be forming a 3rd table to begin in January 2022!

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.
Juneteenth Celebrates Freedom from Slavery
Juneteenth celebrates the emancipation more than 150 years ago for those who had been enslaved in the United States. The event, however, has also become a day for all people to recommit ourselves to the work of antiracism.


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Daily Prayer Starter
Please set aside time each day to pray for 2-3 minutes.

"God, Slow us down that we may hear and see you a little more clearly. Help us to confront the evil of racism and prejudice, to see and hear each other more truly. Our own ways have not worked. Help us to find Your way."

Citation: Ravi Verma, from Race and Prayer

For prayer requests contact Pastor Melody.
Amazon Prime Day is coming up on June 21 and will run through June 22. This is a great time for our supporters to shop for deals.

Sign up for AmazonSmile and select Ghent United Methodist Church as your preferred charity at smile.amazon.com/ch/54-0599700. Remember to shop for deals at smile.amazon.com or with AmazonSmile ON in the Amazon app. When you do, AmazonSmile will donate to Ghent Church at no cost to you.
* More details are at the bottom of this newsletter.
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.

This video highlights a VA UMC Bright Spot. A Bright Spot is where you see God working in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This Bright Spot features Pinnacle Living: Senior Living Retirement Communities. In January 2021, they started rolling out the COVID-19 vaccine across all their communities in Virginia. Pinnacle Living is working toward making their communities a safer place for residents and their staff.
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
Click on the image above. The UMC suggests these 10 honorable ways to learn about another culture. 
“Expanding the Table,” a new video podcast series from the 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.

In episode 2, which launches June 21, three Asian-American, Christian theologians will examine the history and current realities of anti-Asian racism in the United States and what every Christian should know and do. Click this link for details.
Did you know that John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, struggled with deep doubts about faith? He followed the wise instruction of a mentor who told him to “preach faith till you have it; and then, because you have it, you will preach faith.” Even as we struggle, we can maintain our hold on the truths we question until we can settle all of our doubts.

Conversations about COVID-19 vaccines are opportunities for mission, UM Global Ministries' leaders say, adding that United Methodists can love their neighbors by participating in the discussions.

Though the vaccine has become more available, misinformation, mistrust and lack of access keep some communities at risk. The church, however, can be part of the solution.

To a handful of women in Climax, Ga., “yada yada” means anything but boring, predictable talk.

These are the Yada Yadas, a close-knit group of women who have been meeting, praying, and exercising together since 2005.

Pastoral Transition
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? For more information or to help, contact Melanie Cramer at thosecramers@icloud.com.
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 day each month at 7:30pm.

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

On Thursday, July 22 at 7:30pm, we will discuss Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. Location of the meeting TBA 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.
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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.

PRAISE GOD!
GUMP never had to close this school year due to any COVID related issues.
Great job - Director Robertson, teachers, and the parents!

Enrollment for the 2021-22 school year is almost full. If you or someone you know may be interested, email the Director Ann Robertson for more information.

Also GUMP is always looking for substitute teachers. 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 meeting is TBA.

Past minutes and reports are now posted on our website. Go to www.ghentumc.org/leadership/

*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.
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.
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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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Shop by starting with OUR LINK at smile.amazon.com/ch/54-0599700 and AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of your eligible purchases to Ghent United Methodist Church, at no cost to you. Or activate AmazonSmile in the Amazon Shopping app for iOS or Android phones (found under settings on your app).