Weekly News, Eastern Shore District United Methodist Church
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ISSUE: Wednesday, July 11, 2019

Can We Talk Here? Recovering Conversation in the Church with C. Christopher Smith  --Alex Joyner

Every pastor knows the scenario. An issue has arisen. Relationships are frayed. People are more than willing to talk it out with the pastor, but with each other? Not so much.

C. Christopher Smith, editor of the Englewood Review of Books, has been an advocate for the spiritual practice of conversation based on the long-running Sunday evening conversations at his home congregation, Englewood Christian Church in Indianapolis, Indiana. In a new book, Smith takes his advocacy further with an extended analogy of the physical body as an image of conversation. “We are conversational bodies,” he says, “created to live most fully and most healthfully in conversation.” (6)

How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church is a deep dive into a neglected means of grace. It might seem simple to say that we just need to talk more, but Smith knows that even church people are being shaped by new ways of being that have made holy conferring difficult. “How do we learn to talk together in our churches when we have been formed by a culture that goes to great lengths to avoid conversation?” (8)  READ MORE....

District Stewards/Pastors Session and Charge Conference Orientation!
Eastern Shore District Stewards and Pastors will meet on Tuesday, August 13, 6:30 pm in the Oyster Room, at the Onley Town Center in Onley.  All elected church /charge Stewards and Pastors should attend. Stewards and Pastors have voice and vote as this board adopts the 2020 District Budget as presented by the District Finance Committee and approves district apportionments for 2020. 

Following this session, District Superintendent Joyner will present a brief orientation for our upcoming Fall Charge Conferences.  
Renfro Trust Grants now available for small rural UM congregations!
The Renfro Trust Fund awards annual bricks-and-mortar grants to small rural United Methodist congregations in the Southeastern Jurisdiction. Renfro Trust Funds are available for award with a deadline for application of August 12, 2019. The grants are available through the conference Office of Justice and Missional Excellence. To apply go to the Virginia Conference website, click on the menu for Office of Justice and Missional Excellence then scroll down to Renfro Grants. You will find the application and guidelines for applying. Churches may complete the online application and mail it or complete it online and send it electronically. More... 
Want to join Christ UMC's mission trip to Guatemala?
Do you want to serve others while escaping our winter weather? The Christ United Methodist Church Missions Committee has set January 27 - February 5, 2020 as a short term mission trip to Guatemala.  We invite adults (18 and older) to participate. The team will be based at the Casa Aleluya Children’s Home in San Bartolomé Milpas Altas (outside of Guatemala City), the site of the 2003-2019 STM trips.  We will end our time participating in a debriefing retreat in two places: Panajachel and Antigua. You will be given the opportunity to participate in these activities: 
  1. Perform light construction activities at Casa Aleluya:e.g., painting, cleaning, organizing, etc.
  2. Participate in a children’s feeding program and worship time at a Mayan village church
  3. Participate in a village outreach activity
The total estimate for this trip is between $856 and $910 per person. This includes food and lodging at Casa Aleluya; round trip airfare, taxes, service fee, and exit fee from Norfolk Airport; all in-country transportation;
and food and lodging during the debriefing retreat. It does not include the price of a passport or baggage fees.
The team will hold the first of its six monthly meetings to prepare for the trip in August. For further information, contact Lou Bender via phone at 703-346-7978, or e-mail him at
Join Rev. NeSmith on a Mission Trip to Tangier Island 
Rev. Sam NeSmith will lead a UMVIM trip once again to Tangier Island on September  30th – October 5th, 2019 (Monday to Saturday). Our work project is now being extended to help others on the island, therefore bring your tool box to include electrical, plumbing, and roofing repairs work. We will do as much as our talents will permit. Bring whatever you will need for such an endeavor. If you are not able to do any work, you can serve as a goodwill ambassador. Something for all!  Registration deadline is September 20.  For more information contact Team Leader Sam NeSmith at nesmith9924@gmail.com804-323-9134; (C) 804- 337-8114. 
ES Foodbank needs helping hands!
As we kick off our fiscal year, here at the Foodbank, there have been some changes that have come about that will require a few extra hands here at the Foodbank on a regular basis.   As many of you know, one of our largest food distribution programs is our TEFAP program or USDA Commodities program, with our largest distribution taking place right here at the Foodbank on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  This program as of July 1, has changed and we are now required to distribute more food to those seeking our services based on their household sizes.  That being said, we are in need of more pre-packed bags to be able to meet the demands of those we serve.  We are asking any of you who might be interested or know of anyone or any groups willing to help us out on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, to please let us know.  Have a teenager in need of community service hours for school? Let us know. 

Contact Leslie Hart at the Foodbank at 757-787-2557 or email her at  We will get you on a schedule that will fit your needs and help us as well.  --Charmin Horton, Foodbank Branch Mgr., Tasley
on the District...

Saturday, July 20, 2019, Boomers Rebirth Workshop with Martha Stokes who will present "What if Boomers Reinvented Senior Adult Ministry and Changed the Church?" Click HERE for more information and online registration.

Saturday, July 27, 2019, ES Clergy and Families Welcome Picnic at Occohannock on the Bay.  Click HERE for more and reservations.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019, 6:30 pm, District Stewards and Pastors Session (approval of District Apportionments) followed by Charge Conference Orientation in the Oyster Room at the Onley Town Center, Onley.

Thurs, August 15, 2019, 6:30 - 9 pm, Fresh Expressions Roundtable.  So you attended the Eastern Shore "Vision Day" -what's next?  The Roundtable event on August 15 at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Exmore.  Presenters: Mark Ogren and Fresh Expressions representative.  Click HERE for more info and registration.

Saturday, September 14, 2019, Occohannock on the Bay Camp and Retreat Center's Homecoming!  Celebrating 60 years.  Time and more information soon, but for now, MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
Saturday morning, November 2, 2019, David Tanner, EA (Enrolled Agent, Federally Authorized) Tax Service will present Tax worshops for churches and pastors!  David is a retired U.M. clergy in the Virginia Conference who is located in Roanoke.  Several of our clergy are already using David Tanner's service.  Treasurers, Finance Committees and anyone interested will want to participate in a Tax course that will help them with Federal tax documents and more.  There will be time for discussion/questions!  Stay tune for times, location, registration and more info!  
Thursday, November 14, 2019, 9-3 pm 5 Talent Academy "Engage 2019: Community Transformation", Eastern Shore live stream location TBA. It can be hard to keep a positive attitude whil planting a church or revitalizing a congregation, especially if you begin by comparing yourself to the "heroes" of church growth. "Eight Virtues of Rapidly Growing Churches" presents discoveries and give learning opportunities on how you can tap into a sense of hope about the new things you can do to grow your church plant or to rejuvenate your existing congregation.  Save the date! More information soon!

Saturday, March 21, 2020.  Plan now for our district's "Spring Training"!  Lots of new training workshops for everyone!  Save the date!  More info soon!
Local Church Events

July 14, 2019, 4 pm, Community Picnic at Bethel United Methodist Church, 6369 Occohannock Neck Rd. Jamesville, VA 23398
July 14-18, 2019, 6-8:30 pm, Guilford UMC invites children ages 4 through high school to explore where God’s power can take you at To Mars and Beyond Vacation Bible School! This space adventure includes exciting music, amazing science, creative crafts, fun recreation, and memorable Bible Stories that will help children experience God’s amazing power.  The adventure includes a dinner for voyagers and their families followed by closing activities on July 19th.  Location: 24450 Guilford Road, Bloxom, VA 23308. For more information call Dawn Simpson at 757-710-5917 or visit our Facebook event page at
July 14-19, 2019, 7 pm, 13th Annual Revival at New Beginnings UMC. "Trust I Say in the Lord!" is this year's theme.  Speakers: Rev. Brenda Peterson, Rev. Richard Holland, Rev. Brenda Wise, Rev. Jamar Jackson, Rev. Milton Bunting, Rev. Thomas Harmon. Procceeds will go to the church's mission projects. For more information, contact host pastor, Rev. Fred Okello at 757-824-0750. New Beginnings is located at 32347 Chincoteague Rd., New Church, VA  23415.
July 15-18, 6:30-8:30 pm, Onley UMC's Vacation Bible School.  Come early on Monday, July 15 at 6 pm for registration.  The theme will be the "Faithtastic Four" looking at the lives of Joshua, Moses, David, and Abraham. For more information, contact the church office at 757-787-4155.
July 22-25, 2019, 5:30-8:30 pm. Coastal Charge will hold their VBS.  Dinner will begin at 5:30 pm. "Space" will be the theme this year and will be held at Downings United Methodist Church on Lankford Hwy., Oak Hall
July 22-26, 2019, from 9 AM - 12 PM, Vacation Bible School: Northampton Community Churches Working Together at Lower Northampton Baptist Church.  It’s a free event for ages 3-12 and it’s sponsored by Capeville UMC, Cheriton UMC, Eastville Baptist, Ebenezer AME, Lower Northampton Baptist, and Trinity UMC.  Stay tuned for updates on the Lower Shore Community Vacation Bible School (VBS) Facebook page! If needed, we will provide childcare until 5 PM for $10 a day (maximum of 20 in childcare).  Call or text 757-678-3324 for more information.
July 22-26, 2019, 5:30-7:30 pm, Vacation Bible School "To Mars and Beyond" at Epworth UMC, 4158 Seaside Road, Exmore, VA  23350.  For more information, contact the church office at 757-442-6391.
July 29-August 2, 2019 is the Community VBS sponsored by Market Street UMC, Naomi Makemie Presbyterian Church and Holy Trinity Episcopal Church on Market Street in Onancock. Children 4 years to grade 6 are invited to "Mars and Beyond" VBS. Snacks and lunch included. Begins 9 am at Naomi Makemie Presbyterian; ends 12:30 pm at Holy Trinity Episcopal on Mon., Wed., Fri.; and ends 12:30 pm at Market St. UMC on Tues. and Thursday. For more information, contact
July 29-August 2, 2019 is Franktown UMC's Vacation Bible School.  For more information contact the church office at 757-442-3481. Franktown Church is located at 7551 Bayside Road in Franktown.
August 5-9, 2019 , 9-12 noon, Market Street UMC's Kids Alive -a weeklong summer Drama/Music Camp.  Camp Dates:.  For children who have completed kindergarten through 5th grade. It's Free.  The church is located at 75 Market Street, Onancock, VA  23417. For more information contact 757-787-4873 or

August 6-11 5:30-7:30 pm, Epworth UMC's Summer Music Camp! Ms.Natasha, our amazing musician and children’s choir director, is bringing her friends to share the joy of music with children (Pre-K through Elementary School) in our community. They will be performing a musical about Meshach, Shadrach, and Abedbago called It’s Cool in the Furnace! Please contact Natashae on at to register for the camp! 

August 12-16, 2019, Craddockville UMC invites you to their Vacation Bible School! Craddockville is located at 33464 Boston Rd, Painter, Virginia 23420.

District Calendar: View District Board/Committee Meetings and Events
DEADLINE FOR ARTICLES: "The Shoreline" is a weekly newsletter.  Submit brief articles to Connie Owens at by Wednesday morning, 9 am. 
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
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