January-February 2019                                                                                    Volume 20, Issue 1 

President's Message | Andrew Kissell
Resolutions for the New Year
Good Morning,  
Welcome to a New Year!  The start of 2019 is an opportunity to reflect and to look forward. Many make New Year's resolutions which are quickly forgotten. Instead, consider making two resolutions to deepen your spiritual life that will last a lifetime. First join with other United Methodist Men in a regional retreat; second, make a commitment to come to the Spiritual Advance in Virginia Beach on September 27-28, 2019.
Regional Gatherings

I encourage all our districts to work together to host a regional weekend of their own to complement our annual Virginia Conference UMM spiritual weekend in September.
I had the great privilege of joining nearly 50 men from the Winchester, Staunton and Harrisonburg Districts' Tri-District Spiritual Retreat at Camp Overlook in early January. The fellowship was outstanding and the lessons and devotionals inspirational.
"F or where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them." (Mt 18:20) 

Pastor Peter Moon taught us about the depth and power of discipleship. Jesus' main parables on heaven (i.e., The Sower, Mustard Seed, Leaven, and Talents) are dynamic (not static) stories, demonstrating multiplication and sustainability. We were reminded that both the Good News of the Gospel and God's grace still work -- even in today's bitter, polarizing world.
  2019 Spiritual Advance  
Coming up next September 27-28 in Virginia Beach, Bishop Sharma Lewis and Rev. Dr. Kevin Watson (author of The Class Meeting) will be our featured and guest speakers, respectively. We will all come to better appreciate God's transforming grace and why it matters so much in 2019. You will be reminded how well we work together when we come together as Jesus taught.
Grace and Peace,
Andrew Kissell, President

2018 Stakeholder Fund Campaign | Final Report 
Thank You to All Who Contributed

Thank you to everyone who gave to the 2018 Stakeholder Fund Campaign. Donations to the campaign helped the Virginia Conference UMMen contribute to supported ministries and meet 2018 operating expenses.
The Virginia Conference UMMen is starting 2019 in much better shape financially because of your generosity. Watch for upcoming details on the Challenge Campaign for the 2019 Spiritual Advance. This will be a new opportunity to support men's ministry in Virginia.  
Brenda Capen Receives Susanna Wesley Award of Excellence 
Recognition Given to an Outstanding Webmaster
On a cool afternoon in late November, Bishop Sharma Lewis asked Conference staff to join her for an early holiday gathering. She then asked Brenda Capen, Webmaster and Database Manager, to step forward for a surprise announcement.  
Bishop Lewis presented Brenda with the Susanna Wesley Award of Excellence for her dedication, support, and help with the UMM website and publicity.  
President Andrew Kissell, Brenda Capen, Bishop Sharma Lewis, and Larry Burian at award ceremony 
The Susanna Wesley Award of Excellence is named after the mother of John and Charles Wesley, founders of the Methodist Movement. Susanna made certain her children were well educated and trained in the classics and faith in spite of great financial and personal hardships.

The award was established to honor women who have served Jesus Christ and The United Methodist Church in a manner similar to Susanna Wesley.
New Editor for a New Year 
Cabinet Appoints Jon Simons as The BEACON Editor
President Andrew Kissell, in consultation with the Virginia Conference UMMen Cabinet, appointed Jon Simons editor of The BEACON in December 2018. Jon worships at Herndon UMC and is very active in men's ministry there. He is a database administrator who works in the information industry in the Washington, DC metropolitan area.

A Personal Note...
I am delighted to be your messenger for Virginia Conference UMMen news. The BEACON has a long history of informing men about news, activities, resources, and the direction of the Virginia Conference UMMen. I'm eager to continue this tradition.
Men's ministry is one of my passions at Herndon UMC. Friendships, accountability, and service as the treasurer for Herndon UMMen have strengthened my personal walk with Christ. The Virginia Conference UMMen Spiritual Advance is a spiritual highlight and an event I look forward to each year.  
I sincerely thank Larry Burian for his time of service as the editor of The BEACON since its founding in 2000. It's a pleasure to follow Larry, and I welcome your feedback as I begin to serve you in this new role.
Looking forward to hearing from you whenever The Beacon appears in your inbox,
Jon Simons

February is Heart Havens Month  
Your Donations Help Heart Havens Thrive
February is Heart Havens Month! Churches in the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church can request materials by contacting Heart Havens. Electronic resources (including worship planning help) are available by clicking here.  
Heart Havens would be delighted to visit and speak at your United Methodist Men, church, or other group, too! Please contact Jennifer Boyden to learn more or schedule a speaker. Call Heart Havens toll-free at 1-877-442-8368 or  email her by clicking here.
Words to Live By . . .

 What is ahead in 2019?

   " There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind."
- C.S. Lewis

Recommended Reading:  II Corinthians 5:17 (NLT)