October 2019                                                                                        Volume 20, Issue 7 

President's Message | Andrew Kissell
Take a Stand Against Prejudice and Injustice 
Andrew Kissell President

Although our critics and our faults don't define us, how we address them does! It's hard to believe that our women pastors still hear appalling sexist comments from their own congregants. Or that church on Sunday remains our nation's most segregated institution.   
"We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly."
Martin Luther King, Jr.
"And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8 (NIV)  
What of sexism, ageism, racism, elitism -- how should Christians r espo nd to such exclusionary "isms"? When it comes to ageism and sexism, I take to heart Paul's exhortation in 1Timothy 5:1-2 (MSG) , "Don't be harsh or impatient with an older man. Talk to him as you would your own father, and to the younger men as your brothers. Reverently honor an older woman as you would your mother, and the younger women as sisters."
"You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words and yet, I'm one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying.  Entire ecosystems are collapsing." Greta Thunberg at the UN General Assembly on 9/23/2019  
The prophet Elijah confronted Ahab when he took the vineyar d of Naboth after Jezebel had Naboth stoned in 1 Kings Chapter 21 (NIV) . Christians cannot walk away from injustice, but must take a stand, take up their cross, and show courage in the face of injustice. To turn away or ignore this behavior is to condone it.  
Where do we get the strength and courage to take a stand against prejudice and injustice? Paul helps us in Philippians 4:13 (NKJV) , "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." The psalmist reminds us in Psalm 46:1-3 (NIV), "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear..."  
Grace and Peace,

Andrew Kissell, President

United Methodist Give Day is October 21  
Casting Nets in New Waters to Expand Ministry to Men 
Your invitation to partner with other generous, involved men.
Three easy and safe ways to contribute:
Text: UMMen to 44321
Click: here  
Send: a check payable to GCUMM to P.O. Box 440515, Nashville, TN 37244-0515
Join our mission to:
  • Provide churches with a wealth of information and resources to help them reach unchurched men and to provide spiritual-growth opportunities for church members;
  • Provide materials and information that will enable men to participate in accountability groups similar to class meetings established by John Wesley;
  • Address root causes of domestic violence by providing Amending through Faith resources to men of all ages;
  • Challenge churches and provide resources to minister to young people by establishing Cub Scout packs, Boy and Girl Scoun troops, and Camp Fire groups
  • Encourage men to serve as big brothers to boys whose fathers are incarcerated through the Amachi program of Big Brothers Big Sisters;
  • Recruit and train people to serve as prayer partners to respond to prayers posted on the Upper Room Prayer Wall
  • Encourage churches to establish Programs of Religious Activities with Youth (PRAY) classes for scouts and other young people;
  • Feed hungry people through potato drops, gleaning, and fund-raising projects coordinated by the Society of St. Andrew;
  • Provide opportunities with Mobility Worldwide to build hand-crank carts for people in Third World countries who have lost the ability to walk;
  • Recruit, train and certify men to serve as men's ministry or scouting ministry specialists who help neighboring churches discover effective ways to reach men and youth in their communities;
  • Distribute copies of Strength for Service books to first responders and military troops; and
  • Participate in Rise Against Hunger food packaging events.
You are Invited to the Tri-District Retreat in January 
Reaching Younger Men in Our Churches  
Tri-District Retreat
Meeting God on the Mountain 
Save the Date!      January 3-4, 2020
The Tri-District Retreat is a joint endeavor of the Staunton, Harrisonburg, and Winchester Districts UMMen and Camp Overlook. The retreat is open to any man from any district that may want to join us.
We are blessed to have Rev. Joshua Orndorff, the chaplain at Randolph Macon Academy in Front Royal, as our retreat leader.  He will be speaking on the theme, "Reaching Younger Men in Our Churches." We are excited that he has agreed to join us for our retreat and feel that all will be blessed at this event. Registration opens in November. 
For information contact Steve Cunningham.
2019 Spiritual Advance  
Transforming Grace | Emphasis on Reaching Younger Men 
Men from across the Virginia Conference gathered for the 2019 Spiritual Advance at Baylake UMC in Virginia Beach. During the weekend, men listened to renowned speakers, learned, engaged in conversation, sang, and were transformed to share God's grace, especially to younger men.
Many thanks to the first timers, spouses, and clergy who came.  Thanks to Rev. Dr. Kevin Watson, Greg Arnold, Odell Horne, our devotional speakers, workshop leaders, and Chris Parsons, our pianist. Thank you to the men of Community UMC in Virginia Beach for being a sponsor. 
Rev. Dr. Kenneth Watson (left): "Ask the Lord for someone to mentor."

Odell Horne: "You have to approach younger men... Small groups are very important."

Lunch conversations on Saturday.

Rev. Greg West: "The role of the Holy Spirit is to make holy spirits."

Greg Arnold: "The church is built to GO!"

In HIS Grip  
Heart Havens Honors Buck Hodges with the 2019 Brian Manwiller Award
Johnnie Draughon and Buck Hodges
In a time of joy at the 2019 Spiritual Advance, Johnnie Draughon presented Buck Hodges with 2019 Brian Manwiller "In HIS Grip" award for Buck's service and dedication to Heart Havens for over 20 years.  
Congratulations, Buck, and thank you for your service to Heart Havens.
Heart Havens has annually recognized individuals for outstanding service and support with the Brian Manwiller "In HIS Grip" Award since 2006. Brian Manwiller served as president of the Virginia Conference UMM from 2004 until his untimely death in 2006. Because of Brian's invitation and encouragement, young men with developmental disabilities from Brian's church, St. Stephen's UMC in Burke, were welcomed at the annual Virginia Conference UMM Spiritual Retreat and included in all activities of the weekend.
Words to Live By . . .
Authenticity =
Information + Inspiration + Empowerment + Relevance
"You are who God says you are."
Pastor Ellis Crum 
2019 Spiritual Advance
Recommended Reading:  2 Corinthians 3:17