Of the many fantastical stories in the biblical book of Daniel, one doesn’t get as much attention as it ought to. In chapter 4, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon has a disturbing dream in which a great, towering tree is cut down to its roots and humbled, taking on the mind of an animal. Daniel, the faithful Hebrew, has the unpleasant task of telling the king that the tree in the dream is Nebuchadnezzar and that the humbling will come until the king can acknowledge the Most High God as greater than himself.
A year goes by before the prophecy comes to past. The king is walking on the rooftop of his palace marveling at Babylon, “the magnificent city that I built as the royal house by my own mighty strength and for my own majestic glory” (v. 30). In that moment of prideful thoughtlessness, the kingdom is taken away from him and he is driven out to the remote countryside where he’s reduced to eating the grass of the field, sprouting hair like eagle’s feathers and claws like a bird. After a season in which he learned to think like a creature, he was able to praise his Creator and was restored to his throne.
Here’s what I wonder: Did King Nebuchadnezzar remember the wilderness after he was restored to the throne? Did he marvel at the wisdom of the beast he was? Was the taste of grass still on his tongue? Did he miss the wetness of the dew and the wild, blue mornings? Did the palace seem, at times, like prison?
As I watch the world come alive around us here on the Eastern Shore in spring, I think we could use a little of the wisdom of our fellow creatures. We could stand to see ourselves, not as products of our own strength and glory, but as expressions of God’s overflowing love. And we could come to accept and even love the feeling of dependence on something beyond ourselves, because when our powers fail, as they inevitably do, we fall back on a greater Power.
Consider the lilies. Consider the sparrows. Consider old King Nebuchadnezzar chewing his cud and thinking, “Taste and see that Lord is good!”
Who should come to the S/PPRC Workshop next Tuesday?
Pastors and Staff/Pastor-Parish Relations Committee members whether you are new or seasoned. The Lay Leader and the 2019 Annual Conference member are members of the S/PPRC.
District Superintendent Alex Joyner will lead this annual workshop at St. John's UMC on Tuesday, April 30, 6:30-8 pm. Learn about quarterly sessions of the S/PPRC and reporting. Have questions about Accountable Reimbursement, the Appointment Process, Evaluations, Parsonage Review, Compensation Reports...? Welll, this is your chance to find out the answers! SEE YOU THERE! Registration is not required. Just come!
Last week was the kick-off for the fall Youth Basketball League (YBL) at St. John's UMC in Atlantic. (5-8 co-ed Basketball)
The Tar Heels defeated the Wildcats; Jayden Henderson was the leading scorer with 12 points for the Tar Heels. In the second game on Monday night the Cardinals with a balanced attack by Jermaine Logan, Josiah Wharton and Anthony Richo each with 6 points defeated the Warriors. On Thursday night the YBL 9-12 had their first games.
In the opening game the Bulls lead by Shane Tull and Tylek Smith on offence and Jayla Handy of defense with 10 rebounds and 5 blocks won a close game against the Lakers lead by Kyle Shockley and Jayden Henderson.
In the final game of the night, the Knights lead by player of the week Alayah Thorton with 19 points defeated the Bull, Jayden Linton and Tylek Smith were top scores for the Bulls. The game was close until Shane Tull was unable to play the second half with a minor injury.
Great first week! Thank you coaches and fans… hope to see you next Monday and Thursday. Great games and good food!!! Everyone is invited to come out and support the teams! --Rev. Gary Miller, St. John's UMC Pastor
Lay Servant Class Graduates!
What a great turn-out for the April 2-23rd Lay Servant Course, Devotional Life in the Wesleyan Tradition! Instructor, Rev. Brenda Laws led the Tuesday night classes which were structured around John Wesley's "means of grace". Pictured with their Advanced Course Completion certificates are: (beginning back row, left) Amber Mears, Royce Stafford, Jennifer Hume, Nita Daley, Jennifer Greer and Dick Jenkins. (front row, left) Iris Smith and Kendra Powell.
Who should take part in the Lay Servant Ministry program? Anyone who feels called to the ministry of making disciples of Jesus Christ.
Deadlines for Reports: Apportionment Data Verification:Monday, May 6 is the final day to make corrections on 2018 Statistical Tables (Expenses that are used to calculate your church's 2020 Apportionments). Every pastor and treasurer were sent a report last week to review.
2019 Pastor Evaluation and Parsonage Walk-thru:Saturday, June 1is the final day that Pastor/Parish Relations Chairs need to submit these reports to the District Office. They can be e-mailed as long as signatures are on the documents.
Accepting Donations for Summer Program
Our district's Agape Christian Children's Community Center in Horntown is once again offering a free Summer Program for children. Programs are geared to age levels --offering crafts, recreation, VBS activities, 2 meals and 2 snacks dailey. Teachers' and Assistants' salaries for the 8 weeks will be $16,000. The Center has received $6,000 to help with this cost. Donations are being accepted for the remaining $10,000. Please prayerfully consider helping the Center for the Summer Program. Gifts can be sent to the Agape CCC, c/o Barbara Mason, PO Box 704, Chincoteague, VA 23336. Reference: Summer Program on the check. The children and families are looking forward to another summer at the Agape Center. We don't want to let them down. Thank you!
Top court meets in aftermath of GC2019
The United Methodist Church’s top court is poised to review actions taken in February during a contentious legislative session that still threatens to divide the denomination. The Judicial Council meets April 23-26 in Evanston, Illinois. No oral hearings are scheduled, and the court’s rulings will be posted on its website at some point after the session concludes. More...
Guide to Annual Conference 2019
Attendees of the Virginia Annual Conference 2019 can expect a few differences this year. The format this year is changing from a Friday-Sunday schedule to a Thursday-Saturday schedule and a 5K Walk, Run, Bike and Yoga event is scheduled. More…. Updates and more information about AC 2019 can be found at www.vaumc.org/AC2019.
Three steps to nurture new relationships after Easter
While Easter is a very special time in the church, it isn't the climax of the story but the opening scene of God's desire to reach us. Often, churches apply all energy on the "big bang" of the Easter service. Get tips on how to focus efforts both on and beyond Easter morning as the start of a life giving relationship with our risen Lord. More…
Employment Opportunity at the Conference Center
The Advisory Team of the Board of Ordained Ministry and the Appointive Cabinet are pleased to announce that applications and interviews are open now through Apr. 26 for the Associate Director of Call & Candidacy in the Center for Clergy Excellence. This position, beginning July 1, 2019, will focus on missional areas of call, candidacy mentoring, District Committee on Ordained Ministry support, Course of Study and be a primary resource to Licensed Local Pastors. A more detailed job description is available from www.vaumc.org/jobs. To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to the Rev. Darcey Johnson at email@example.com by Apr. 26.
Sunday, April 28, at 6 pm, The Reminders return to Grace UMC in Parksley. The Delaware group performed to a full house last year. Their music is a unique blend of “hearty Americana, leathery Country and bluesy Gospel.” There is no charge for the concert but everyone is encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item for the Food Bank of the Eastern Shore.
Sunday, April 28, 4 pm, Windows: A Keyboard Kaleidoscope at Historic Cokesbury Church, Onancock. Performed by Lee Jordan-Anders and Thomas Marshall. There will be a dedication of the completed restoration of Cokesbury Church's 1893 stained glass windows followed by a celebratory concert and reception.
Friday, May 3, 7:30 pm, Orchestra of the Eastern Shore at Historic Cokesbury Church, Onancock. Dr. Paul Kim, Director, "Tour of Europe" with music by Boyce Mozart and Bizet. Jonathan Spence, Guest Violinist. This concert and reception take place the evening before the Easter Shore of Virginia's 2019 House and Garden Tour in Onancock on Sat. May 4th.
Saturday May 4, 8 am, Andrew Chapel UMC is having their Spring Sale. Baked goods, chicken salad, macaroni salad, furniture, household items, clothing for the family. The church is locate at 15151 Cashville Rd., Onancock.
Saturday, May 11, 10 am - 1 pm, Capeville UMC will host its annual Bake and Bloom with many plants, flowers and home baked items for sale. Also available will be baked potatoes with numerous toppings from which to select. Several local vendors will be present with honey, wreaths, etc. For more information call 757-331-1325. The church is located at 4410 Capeville Dr., Capeville.
Saturday, May 11 from 8 AM til noon, Onley UMC, 25642 E. Main Street, Onley will hold its Spring Sale. Come early for homemade baked goods, chicken salad, and frozen casseroles. There will also be an indoor yard with household items and collectibles.