April 2020                                                                                                        Volume 21, Issue 2  

President's Message | Andrew Kissell
Stoke Your Fire
Good Morning,  
Have your older men given up on bringing along the younger men in the faith? Are your men's meetings mostly about food, fellowship and a guest speaker? Have you lost energy and drive? Do you have volunteers who are reluctantly filling roles or servants who are enthusiastically leading initiatives? Are you frustrated, discouraged, or angry sometimes with the direction of our church and our younger generation? Have you come to accept that our fellowships are getting older and dying, not being renewed and growing?
"Stir into flame the strength and boldness that is in you... For the Holy Spirit, God's gift, does not want you to be afraid of people, but to be wise and strong, but to love them and enjoy being with them." 2 Timothy 1:6-7 (TLB)
How would you like to breathe new life into your core group of commuted men? Create a sustainable pipeline of new leaders? Invigorate discipleship with the strength and boldness within you? Help older and wiser men share their life experiences with young men hungry for more? Open up a world of faith that provides more than just worship on Sunday and breakfast with the guys once a month? How about nurturing a group of guys that follow Jesus using John Wesley's model of discipleship through small transformational groups? Are you willing to do what it takes to make sure no man is left behind?
Mentoring may well be the answer for you. Not a silver bullet by any means, but a relationship model with eternal spiritual consequences for both the newbie and the mentor. A mentor is a trusted advisor, while a disciple is a follower of Christ. All new disciples need a mentor.
Younger men and new disciples who have become part of a formal mentoring team have experienced: null
  • a closer walk with God,  
  • stronger marriages,
  • more humility,
  • greater giving,
  • an authentic community,
  • better intentionality,
  • increased learning, and
  • gifts of servant leadership. 
Soon, the Virginia Conference UMM will launch a mentoring model  using Wesley's 21 questions, associated scripture, and Wesley small groups. Watch our website vacumc.org/UMM to see the launch and learn more.
Grace and Peace,
Andrew Kissell, President

Call for Nominations  
Nominations Open for VA Conference UMM Cabinet Officers

Nominations are now open for Virginia Conference UMM Cabinet officers. If you, or someone you know, has a passion for men's ministry, are willing to serve, and would like to  be nominated, please contact Andrew Kissell by email or call him at 757-839-0790 on or before May 15, 2020. Job responsibilities for officers are available for download under "Officers Duties" at vacumm.org/UMM.
Your nominations are welcome. All nominees will be highlighted in the May 2020 special election issue of The BEACON. Biographies of all nominees will be included in that edition.   
The Cabinet has nominated the following men for the six elected offices for the 2020-2021 term of office which begins on July 1:
  • President: Albert Weal, Jr.
  • Vice President Spiritual Life: David Collins
  • Vice President Membership & Development: Dann Ladd
  • Secretary: Todd Hoar
  • Treasurer: Gary Lupton
  • Chaplain: Paul Smith
Electronic (anonymous) voting  for officers will occur between June 1 and June 8. The June BEACON will announce the election results prior to our Annual Meeting on Saturday morning, June 13 via Zoom. More details will be announced in the May and June BEACONs.
With the rescheduling of Annual Conference for September 18-19 (location TBA), the installation of officers will occur during our Annual Conference Breakfast.

AMEND Through Faith 
UM Foundation Awards Conference UMM Grant to Promote AMEND

The Virginia Conference United Methodist Foundation recently awarded the Conference United Methodist Men a $1,000 grant to promote the AMENDing Through Faith study to men of the Virginia Conference.
AMEND Together is an innovative initiative dedicated to preventing domestic violence against women and girls by engaging and educating men. The GCUMM has partnered with AMEND Together to create the AMENDing Through Faith training course in which men learn to recognize, respond to, and prevent violence against women.
Ten members of the Virginia Conference UMMen Cabinet recently completed the 8-session course online.  "Good men" must play a critical role in creating a community where all women and girls are valued and safe. Only with the support and involvement of men and boys can the cycle of gender violence be broken. 
The Virginia Conference UMM now stands ready to help your fellowship, church or District facilitate this course.  If you are interested in learning more about how your group can help break the cycle of domestic violence, please contact either Dann Ladd or Todd Hoar. We will help you begin.  
For more information, visit the Conference UMM website or view this video.

Staying Connected | Social Distancing 
Opportunities for Men's Ministry During Coronavirus Pandemic
Even though we need to keep our physical distance right now, we can still keep our spiritual and social connections through phone calls and Zoom meetings. If your small groups aren't already doing so, be sure to look into using Zoom to meet virtually with your Bible Studies, Sunday Schools and accountability groups. You need, and they need, to keep connected. See the tutorial on the Zoom website. 
While we quarantine, your United Methodist Men's Cabinet is developing a series of biweekly Zoom meetings starting the week of May 10th to inform and keep all fellowships on the Conference connected with our Conference-wide ministries. Details for these Zoom meetings will be published on our website, via LaityNet/ClergyNet, and in The BEACON. We will be back supporting our ministries better than ever when the quarantine is lifted! 
Keep in touch with all your family, friends and brothers and sisters in Christ by phone. Make a list of who you normally and regularly see and talk to, and give 'em a call and a phone hug! Most churches by now are having streamed worship services and other online events. Worship is arguably the most important thing we can actively share in during these times. Join in praising and glorifying God every Sunday.
Finally, pray for the least and the lost. Pray for our first response teams, medical teams, and essential service workers all on the front lines and exposed. Together we will care for each other, especially our wise elders!
Words to Live By . . .

 Time for a Great Awakening?
   " It would seem that one of the clearest and most concrete of the facts of history is the fact that men of spiritual resources may not only redeem catastrophe, but turn it into a great creative moment."
Herbert Butterfield 
Christianity and History (1949) 

Recommended Reading:  Matthew 28:16-20 (NRSV)