Weekly News, Eastern Shore District United Methodist Church
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ISSUE: Wednesday, November 28, 2018
So What's Your Story?

--by Alex Joyner
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

“How are you going to tell the story of what God is doing in your ministry?” It’s often the forgotten question in planning, but it may be one of the most crucial. Failing to tell the story in a compelling way often leads to confusion about the mission, apathy, financial struggles, dispirited volunteers, and gingivitis. (I might have added the bit about gingivitis.)

Being able to tell the story with conviction means knowing why you are in ministry in the first place. Think about your church or ministry and answer the following questions:

  • What makes this work that we do so essential that you would give your time, money, and heart to it?
  • How will lives be transformed by our doing it?
  • Where have we seen God at work in doing it?
What you uncover in answering these can then become an introduction to everything else you might want to say. Instead of making an end-of-the-year budget appeal, start by reminding yourself and your hearers of why you give at all. Instead of holding up a sign-up sheet for an upcoming event, talk about why this event is happening at all and why you are excited about it.

Paul’s letters are a model for this kind of story-telling. They often end with concrete instructions: Pray without ceasing, be hospitable, give to the needs of your brothers and sisters in Christ, etc. But the instructions only come after Paul has reminded them of what God has done for them in Jesus Christ and what God’s future looks like.

So, how ARE you going to tell the story? Inquiring minds want to know!

How Can You Help?
Una Familia depends solely on individuals, churches and occasional grants.  Next year (2019) our projected expenses are $59,475 which provides program supplies; background checks for volunteers; maintaining 3 vans to transport children home from our tutoring sites; the annual Reyes celebration/gifts for the children; and our part-time director’s salary.

If you would like to support this ministry, donations can be mailed to:
Una Familia (payable), PO Box 317, Parksley, VA 23421
or you can donate online at our website:

Start the New Year with
2 exciting Lay Servant Courses!

Both Courses:
Saturday, January 5 and Saturday, January 12, 2019
Adams United Methodist Church, 23432 Lee Mont Rd., Parksley, VA 23421
Doors open at 8:30, Lunch 12:00-12:30
Course Hours:  9:00 – 2:30
Registration Cost: FREE
(Participants are responsible for ordering their books)
Bring a Bag Lunch and Drink

For people of faith, storytelling has special meaning. We are people of the story, and we seek to identify and share our stories in nearly everything we do. Dancing with Words provides help for all church leaders — both clergy and lay — to explore the history and importance of storytelling in faith development and to acquire basic storytelling skills. You will soon discover ways that storytelling enhances ministry as the Rev. Alex Joyner, District Superintendent, leads participants to learn what constitutes a good story, discover storytelling styles, learn the techniques of effective storytelling and practice creative stories from your own experiences.

BOOK REQUIRED:  Dancing with Words by Ray Buckley, available from and ($14.00). Participant is required to order book in advance to prepare for the class.

The majority of older adults have plenty to give!  Join Rev. Greg Duncan as participants of all ages, experiences, age levels and stages of life learn how to tap into the older adult wisdom, energy, experience and talents.  This course is a practical guide for building ministry with older adults and for older adults that also addresses the more difficult topics of aging.  The course recommends that churches pay special attention to the needs of the Baby Boomer generation, since they are now becoming the older adults who will determine the church's path for years to come.

BOOK REQUIRED:  Aging and Ministry in the 21st Century by Richard H. Gentzler Jr, available from and ($13.00). Participant is required to order book in advance to prepare for the class.

OOTB General Board Meeting
Rescheduled for Dec. 13th

On Thursday, December 13 at 7 PM the General Board of Occohannock on the Bay Camp and Retreat Center will meet at Market Street UMC in Onancock
The General Board only meets twice a year and is organized for the purpose of policy, planning, and program development at OOTB and for making, issuing, and enforcing regulations concerning the use of its facilities.  We will be voting on a bylaws change at this meeting.  As the OOTB Representative, you have an important role as a representative on this Board.  I hope that you also will promote Camp Occohannock at your local church, encouraging financial support and camp attendance.  We need your help!
Also, please encourage your church to participate in the Polar Duck Dip on January 26th.  I have challenged my home church to raise $1,000 and promised to dip if they do.  I hate being cold, but I love Camp OOTB!  Even if you can’t dip, you can sponsor someone who is and motivate your church members.  More information & registration forms are available at
Call Connie at the District UMC Office at 757-665-6295 or email her at if you are unable to attend or for more information. 

--Michelle Surran, OOTB General Board Chair
Employment Opportunity
The Agape Christian Children's Community Center, located in Horntown, is currently seeking to fill two positions at the Center: Teacher and Teacher's Aid positons for pre-school age children.  The positions are part-time (6 hours a day, 5 days a week). Perferred experience. Contact the Center at 757-824-0072 for more information and an application.

Sunday, December 2, 2018 at 1:00 PM at the Crusty Crab in Greenbackville, VA. Greenbackville Charge will host a Christmas Dinner - $18 per person includes dinner, drink, dessert and tip. Call 824-3334 or 824-3630 for reservations.

Saturday, December 8, 2018, 5:30 pm, 6:00 pm, and 6:30 pm Live Nativity and Nativity Displays with light refreshments after each showing. Hosted by Capeville UMC, 4410 Capeville Dr., Capeville, VA. (Rain/Snow date Dec. 15).

Tuesday, December 11, 2018,12 Noon Union UMC will host the December Community Lunch at 1491 Stockton Road, Greenbackville, VA. Ham will be served. Side Dishes or dessert is appreciated but not required. All are welcome to attend.

Sunday December 9, 3pm, Downings UMC will host In His Name Ministries presents FREE Christmas music performed by the Coastal Charge Choir (Assawoman, Atlantic, Downings). The church is located at 7261 Lankford Highway, Oak Hall, VA  23416

Sunday, December 16, 3 pm, Travis Chapel UMC will host an old-fashioned hymn sing.  Talented local children and youth will perform.
For district meeting dates and more, check out the Calendar at 
Wednesdays 12 pm is the deadline to submit short articles for the Weekly Shoreline E-News!  Send your articles to 
Eastern Shore District
Virginia Conference of
Phone: 757-665-6295
Rev. Alex Joyner, District Superintendent
Jennifer Hume, District Lay Leader
Connie Owens, District Administrative Assistant
Copyright © 2018 Eastern Shore District United Methodist Church, All rights reserved.

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