Weekly News, Eastern Shore District United Methodist Church
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ISSUE: Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Say Goodbye to the Mind-Numbing Meeting  
--Alex Joyner

We’ve all been there. The meeting that begins with the same agenda as every past meeting to time immemorial. The gathering that gets hijacked by one overbearing guest. The party that peters out like air going out of a balloon.

And yet we’ve also been there when it’s gone, remarkably, right. When some purpose sparks a vibrant discussion. When a host creates a space that sparkles with real conversation. When an ending comes with a bang rather than a bust.

There’s an art to getting gatherings right and Priya Parker describes it in her new book, The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters. Parker has been gathering people all over the world for conferences and events that address everything from race relations to global peace. In her book she offers the fruit of her experience in a ways that made me think about the countless church meetings and worship services I’ve enjoyed and endured over the years.

While Parker’s book is meant for a general audience, she often mentions churches in her examples. The book is roughly organized around the elements of a gathering: determining the purpose, setting the invitation list and venue, the opening, the creation of a temporary world, the closing. Reading through it, I had a sense of how good liturgical practice addresses these things well.

For instance, every worship service ought to have ...

Ted Smith to preach on the Shore
New Mission United Methodist Church welcomes you to join them on Sunday, July 28, at their 11 am worship serviceThe Rev. Dr. Theodore Smith will be the guest preacher.  Dr. Smith is the new Virginia Conference Director of Connectional Ministries. New Mission Church is located at 8240 Treherneville Dr., Birdsnest, VA  23307.  All are welcome!

Smith is coming back to the Shore to preach at St. John's UMC's 9 am Worship Service on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2019.  He will also be our Preacher for District Conference to be held at St. John's on Dec. 8 at 4 pm.  St. John's UMC is located at 10352 Atlantic Rd, Atlantic, VA 23303.  All are welcome!

Call for Action, UM Immigration Task Force
Last week there was an immigration call for action issues by UM Immigration Task Force. "We give God thanks for United Methodists who are providing compassionate care to migrants at the border. Border Conferences have established relief centers for migrants. United Methodists from other regions of the country continue to support migrants seeking asylum with their time, talent and treasures. United Methodist congregations across the country have opened their doors to provide ...See More

Summer Camp Update!
Week 4: Bay to Bethel (Mountains)
Monday we made it to Camp Bethel at Fincastle, VA (near Roanoke).  Tuesday they hiked to McAfee’s Knob. On Wednesday the day involved in hiking to Camp Alta Mons waterfall and then on to Roanoke’s Pinball Museum, Dinner out, and a short hike to the Roanoke’s Mountain Star (pictures coming later). Keep up with Summer Camp updates and photos on Facebook  Don't forget to LIKE!
Volunteers needed for Danville District flooding recovery
Last week, the Rev. Jon Woodburn, Danville District disaster coordinator, shared a plea for volunteers as the district continues efforts to recover from flooding by Hurricane Michael in October 2018. "The biggest issue we currently have is a lack of volunteers," said Woodburn. "It has been some time since the energy of the storm left its mark on the area; our energy for being helpful may have diminished. Please help us help others in the name of Christ and show that the kingdom has come near by encouraging people to volunteer." You can contact Woodburn at You can be schedule for day trips or for a week-long period. Tasks left to accomplish include volunteers with experience placing floors, installing lower kitchen cabinets, replacing vinyl siding, placing insulation and doing drywall, prepping and painting, and doing trim work. Woodburn said the District hopes to complete this work by December this year.
Just released! "Let There Be Light"
Check out this YouTube video capturing the essence of Cokesbury Church and also the history and restoration of the stained glass windows:

Cokesbury United Methodist Church is a historic Methodist church located at 13 Market Street in Onancock, Virginia. It was built in 1854 and remodeled in 1892-1894. It is on the U.S.National Register of Historic Places. Cokesbury UMC closed it's doors as a congregation in June 1996.  It continues as an outreach ministry of Market Street UMC (just up the street) as a setting for a variety of forms of Christian worship, education, and mission, as well as to serve as a center for community Christian fellowship.
Connectional Ministries staff working with CEMCA on holy conferencing
Last Friday the Virginia Conference Office of Connectional Ministries shared an update on the holy conferencing that CEMCA called for at Annual Conference 2019. "In response to the concerns expressed at Annual Conference 2019, the Virginia Conference Commission on Ethnic Minority Concerns and Advocacy (CEMCA) received numerous requests to facilitate Holy Conferencing with groups that circulated delegate voting lists regarding racial and ethnic representation on the 2020 Virginia delegations to General and Jurisdictional Conference. The Rev. Glenn Rowley, conference director of Justice and Missional Excellence, is working with CEMCA and the groups and caucuses involved to organize a gathering facilitated by an outside resource person. Coordinating this dialogue is very important, and we want to assure everyone that the Rev. Rowley and CEMCA are working to provide an appropriate and timely process to address the concerns of all representative groups. Thank you for your prayers and patience as we organize this important conversation."
UMM Spiritual Advance, 
Sept. 27-28

Registration is now open for the 2019 UMMen’s Spiritual Advance at Baylake UMC in Virginia Beach on Sept. 27-28. Featured speaker is the Rev. Dr. Kevin Watson, author of The Class Meeting and Bible study teacher at the 2019 Virginia Annual Conference. The theme is Transforming Grace. Special rates are available for pastors, early birds, spouses, and, if you attended last year, Bring One Get One (BOGO) for first timers.  New this year, church sponsorships are targeted for churches who have never attended the event or those currently with no formal UMMen organization. Open to all churches, the challenge is to line up 12 men to come and receive both a discounted rate and a free event themed T-shirt.  A box lunch option is available on Saturday to allow for more fellowship on site with brothers in Christ. More... 
Sponsor-A-Road opportunity available on the Eastern Shore 
Help your community while improving brand recognition! This is a financial contribution to a litter removal contractor, which includes an acknowledgement sign on Route 13. Please help spread the word Video about the program on YouTube.
I'll Be There 
The Commonwealth Senior Living in Onancock is sponsoring the "Glen Campbell I'll Be There" film on Wednesday, July 31, 11 am - 2 pm at Zion Baptist Church, 26463 Metompkin Rd., Parksley, VA 23421. This award-winning documentary follows country music legend, Glen Campbell and his family as they navigate his journey with Alzheimer's disease during his farewell tour. Tickets are free!  Seating limited. RSVP by July 29 at 757-787-4343.
on the District...
Local Church Events
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.
Friday, July 26th at 7p.m., Evergreen United Methodist Church is hosting an ice cream social for their missionaries, the Irons family from Poland. Everyone is welcome! Evergreen is located at 13573 Hacksneck Road, Hacksneck, VA  23358
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.

Sunday, August 25, 6 pm, 7th Annual "Sunday of Hope" at Cheriton UMC. This is a special service of music and encouragement to celebrate Hope in the fight against cancer. Everyone is welcome. Luminaria bags will be included in the service and at the Relay For Life Event in September.  Contact Cheil West at 757-646-8451 for luminaria by August 4th. $10 suggested donation.

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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