June 2020                                                                                                        Volume 21, Issue 4   

Your Invitation to Connect

Love, Learn, and Lead: Hunger Relief and Scouting
Wednesday, June 10 at 6:30pm
Meeting ID: 921 0197 6396
2020 Annual Meeting
Saturday, June 13 at 8:30am  
Meeting ID: 959 2292 5377 
President's Message | Andrew Kissell
Love, Learn, and Lead
Good Morning,  
"Black lives matter."
"Me too."
"Open hearts, open minds, open doors."
These catchy phrases started out in response to perceived and real injustices or needs. In the case of Black Lives Matter, the phrase relates to a disproportionate number of deaths at the hands of police officers. With Me Too, it was and is sexual predation. The UMC's advertising and welcoming tagline won the 2009 best-in-class award in the category "Religion and Spiritual Development" and was lauded for delivering "a tagline trinity that supports its applied faith mission that is warm, enthusiastic and embracing."
"We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."  
Elie Wiesel
Nobel Laureate
In time though, misperceptions and indignation follow including: "Don't all lives matter?" "Isn't everyone considered innocent until proven guilty?" "And what about our LGBTQ brothers and sisters -- are they really welcome?"
Sexism, racism, ageism, materialism, and elitism all plague our church and society. We have to take a stand for what is right. Despite the accomplishments that we can all celebrate and as Bishop Lewis shared in her Call to Action on Systemic Racism , there is an urgency to do more.
As I complete my term as president of the VA Conference UMMen, I recently shared with the Board of Laity that much more than any of our accomplishments, I value the relationships formed with the men and women of the Virginia Conference:
  • My small groups and church fellowship;
  • Brothers in Kairos prison ministry;
  • Pastors, mentors and friends;
  • Fellow General Conference and Southeastern Jurisdictional delegates;
  • UMMen Cabinet officers and our conference leadership;
  • Board of Laity;
  • All of those who have supported our ministry and those that have challenged me (including my detractors) just as iron sharpens iron; and
  • My family, especially my wife and children.
As your president, I've come to understand in my heart that the journey is just as important as the destination, and that Jesus is all about relationships. You and I can't follow Christ alone. I am truly grateful and honored that you have let me serve you and follow along with you. Please, I pray, do support our new leadership and their vision.  
Blessings for all you have meant to me! Here I am, Lord ... still!

Andrew Kissell, President

Hunger Relief | Scouting  
Love, Learn, and Lead Webinar Tonight | Wednesday, June 10

Please join us for the VA Conference UMMen Love, Learn, and Lead webinar tonight June 10, 2020 at 6:30pm EDT. You are invited to the following session:  
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 921 0197 6396
One tap mobile
+13017158592,,92101976396# US
8558801246,,92101976396# US Toll-free
Dial by your location
 +1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kcJq1VwrpF 
SoSA logo The Society of St. Andrew (SoSA) is America's premier food rescue and distribution ministry. Even amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, SoSA offers ways to volunteer and serve local communities. SoSA is an affiliated partner of United Methodist Men and assists UMM fellowships in feeding the hungry in our communities. For more information, please see https://endhunger.org/umm/.
United Methodist Scouting celebrated its centennial in February 2020. The Center for Scouting Ministries of the General Commission on United Methodist Men takes the lead in nurturing scouting ministries in our denomination today. United Methodist churches provide home bases for more scouts than any other denomination in America. For additional information, please see https://vaumc.org/scouting-ministries/.
Mark your calendar for our next Love, Learn, and Lead Webinar on Wednesday, June 24 at 6:30pm for a discussion on Jail, Prison, Grace Inside, and All God's Children ministries .
Webinar recordings are posted on our web page https://vaumc.org/UMM.

Election Results 
VA Conference UMM Cabinet to be Installed at Annual Meeting
Thank you for voting and your show of support for the Virginia Conference UMMen. Please congratulate and reach out to the officers below who were elected for the 2020-2021 term of office. Officers will be installed at the 2020 Annual Meeting on Saturday, June 13.  
Albert Weal, Jr.
Vice President, Spiritual Life
David Collins
Email: djcoll@icloud.com  

Vice President, Membership & Development 
Dann Ladd
Todd Hoar
Gary Lupton, Sr.
Paul Smith
Annual Meeting | Saturday, June 13 at 8:30am   
Please Join Us Online | All Are Welcome

The 2020 Annual Meeting of VA Conference UMM is Saturday morning, June 13 at 8:30am. All men of the Virginia Conference are invited to join online.
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 959 2292 5377
L. W. Smith, our featured speaker, is a Vietnam veteran and chairman of Strength for Service, Inc., will share plans to share spiritual and inspirational literature with front-line workers battling the Covid-19 pandemic. Strength for Service, Inc. has previously published Strength for Service to God and Country and Strength for Service to God and Community for the armed services, law enforcement officers, fire fighters, EMTs/paramedics, and other community servants.
Additional items of business include the installation of 2020-2021 Cabinet officers and confirmation of revised bylaws.
Please join us on Saturday, June 13 at 8:30am.
Build Bridges to Younger Men  
by Odell Horne

Local churches must change their strategies in order to attract and retain younger men. Building bridges is a relational process; older men have valuable life lessons to share with younger men if they choose to become spiritual mentors.  
Here are some of the things that I have learned while visiting with UMMen organizations in the Atlanta area:  
  1. Most of the men are more than 50 years old. They have a "missionary mindset" for international missions; they dig wells, construct schools, and engage in disaster-relief activities. However, they do not have the same missionary mindset for younger men. They have a "come-and-join-us" mentality instead of a "go-and-make disciples" mentality. This generational divide, caused by doing projects and conducting programs instead of developing mentoring relationships, and succession planning are addressed in Understanding Men's Ministry training sessions.

  2. Older men love to talk politics -- a lot. This is a poor way to attract younger men. Younger men are more concerned with their spiritual lives (who they are and what they believe) than they are with politics

  3. Several of the Reconciling Ministries Network (RMN) churches that I visited made it a point to talk about LGBT inclusion, while no one outside of RMN churches even brought up the topic. This is also true of black churches concerning racial conversations. Coincidentally, there were very few younger men in the RMN and black churches men's ministries, which leads me to believe that pointing out the "sins of the other" in the name of social justice is not an effective way to reach younger men.

  4. Younger men are concerned with being good husbands and good fathers. They are also concerned about being better Christians, as well as succeeding in their careers. Older men have an opportunity to walk with younger men to show them how to navigate the trials of life. By choosing to become spiritual mentors, older men can build bridges across generations.

  5. Young men would love to be a part of the UMMen organization; however, the meeting dates and times may not be convenient to them. As a result, several churches have established multiple men's small groups that meet on different days of the week or at different times of the month.

  6. Younger men are tired of tradition, and their friends just don't understand it. Churches that embrace modern worship styles increase the retention rates of younger men.

  7. Racial conversations need to be addressed by "calling people in," not "calling people out." Much of the racial conversation in men's ministry is rooted in an "I Have A Complaint" speech, not an "I Have A Dream" speech. Former members of the Ku Klux Klan now fight for civil rights because of Christians who showed them unconditional love.

  8. Sermons that critique masculinity as misogynistic and homophobic are not rooted in grace, love, and redemption, and they are not well received by younger men. Post-colonial theologies and the historical-critical method of shaming men will not change hearts. A spiritual conversation with UMMen is desperately needed to address the "sins of men" with grace and truth.

  9. UMMen have answers to all of the above, yet older men and social activists are set in their ways and are not willing to implement these research-based best practices in order to reach younger men.
In conclusion, younger men can be found at the sports bar on Saturday night watching the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) fight; They can be found throughout the week at a local coffee shop, or Sunday mornings at a non-denominational church planted by a millennial man.
United Methodist churches must adapt their strategies in order to attract and retain younger men.  

Odell Horne is a men's ministry specialist and a lay servant at Impact UMC near Atlanta. You can follow the YoungER Men's Ministry on Twitter, YouTube, and at https://www.sejumm.org/youngERMen.html . Odell was also a speaker at the 2019 Spiritual Advance. This article is adapted from the Spring 2020 issue of the General Conference UMMen magazine.

Men's Health Week | June 15-21 
Resources for Men's Health

Why do women tend to live longer than men? Why are men reluctant to go to the doctor? Why are more men than women dying from Covid-19?
During Men's National Health Month in June, men and boys are encouraged to seek medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury. June 15-21, the week ending on Father's Day, is Men's National Health Week. President Clinton signed the bill that Senator Bob Dole sponsored into law establishing National Men's Health Week on May 31, 1994. 
Men's Health Network is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to reach men, boys, and their families where they live, work, play, and pray with health awareness and disease prevention resources and tools.
June 2020 Dates for Your Calendar 
Stay Connected with Men's Ministry

June 2020

Love, Learn, and Lead (LLL):   Wesley Building Brothers and Hunger Relief and Scouting
Wed., June 10
Meeting ID:
921 0197 6396
Annual Meeting
Sat., June 13 8:30am                                  
Meeting ID:  
959 2292 5377
LLL Webinar:
Jail, Prison, Grace Inside, and All God's Children
Wed., June 24
Watch your Inbox

Words to Live By . . .

 For Such a Time as This  
 Reformers "see what ought to be by the reflection of what is, and endeavor to remove the contradiction."
Frederick Douglas   

Recommended Reading:  Esther 4:14 (NIV)