Summer is often a time we feel like the pressures of the rest of the year are lessened a bit. While we will have less happening in the church over the summer, it is not nothing.
In mid June, just after Father’s Day, is Annual Conference. Part of this gathering of United Methodist clergy and laity from across the Commonwealth is the collection of kits. Our United Methodist Women have led making kits here in South Hill once again. I am honored to be able to transport them and add them to the hundreds being collected. Historically, the Virginia Conference is the single largest source of kits for UMCOR (the United Methodist Committee on Relief).
The Annual Conference offering goal is $150,000 and
recipients will be:
Africa University Student Scholarships — $40,000
Cambodia Pastors Leadership Training — $40,000
Mozambique Lay Leadership Training — $20,000
Brazil “Shade and Fresh Water” children’s program — $20,000
Just Neighbors Matching Funds Grant for Immigrant Legal Counsel in four districts — $30,000
In addition to the worship, business, and Bible Study during Annual Conference, there is a special opportunity this year. To live out the vision of Bishop Sharma D. Lewis and support the Annual Conference theme, Moving Forward in God’s Mission, clergy, laity and guests are invited to participate in the 2019 Annual Conference 5K Walk, Run, Bike, and Yoga event on Saturday, June 22 at 6:15 a.m. The Moving Forward in God’s Mission 5K will be an opportunity for fitness, fellowship and fundraising in the Roanoke City community. The Moving Forward in God’s Mission 5K will raise funds for KIDS SOAR (formerly Community Outreach Program of Roanoke). Kids Soar is a Virginia Conference Advance Special and a direct service provider for children, youth and families of poverty in inner-city Roanoke. For over 30 years, this UM mission has addressed the basic needs of poverty by teaching skills, and providing opportunities for growth and education for a successful future.
In addition, during the summer we will also be holding Confirmation classes during the Sunday School hour for any youth (or adults) that have not completed this membership process. Confirmation serves to mark the official decision to follow Christ and take upon oneself the vows of baptism which are often made by parents or guardians earlier in life. Often, this happens in middle or high school, but anyone ready to do so is welcome. In August before the return to school, there will be a special celebration for participants followed by a public recognition in the congregation.
And if that’s not enough, keep a watch out as several ongoing and new repair and renovation projects get underway in preparation for our November celebration of 100 years in our current location.
Just when you thought it was safe to relax…..
God is good, and we are moving forward in God’s mission – which happens to be the theme of Annual Conference this year. Imagine that.
Yours in Christ,
Pastor Brian Siegle