2015 Spiritual Advance offers UMMen balance to a busy lifestyle
The 2015 United Methodist Men Spiritual Advance* being held at the
Rev. Dr. Clarence Brown
Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) in Blackstone on Friday-thru-Sunday, November 6, 7 and 8 is the main event of the year for UMMen. The featured speaker is the genial Rev. Dr. Clarence R. Brown, head pastor at Annandale United Methodist Church located on the Alexandria District. He's currently shaping his four sermons to help us understand the significance of Making A Difference during our limited time here in the Earthly Kingdom. The titles of each message are shown here alongside their scriptural reference.
Making A Difference In My Life - I Kings 8:22; 41-43
Making A Difference In My Home - Deuteronomy 6:1-9
Making A Difference In The Church - Romans 12:1-8
Making A Difference In The World - Matthew 5:13
This will surely be an uplifting and memorable weekend, with Jesus Christ in the very center of Pastor Brown's preaching and mens' prayers and singing.
Speaking of Dr. Brown's sermons, on September 6, talked about the risk of "You Schmooze, You Lose" in a sermon based on Mark 7:24-37.
* Formerly known as Spiritual Retreat, now Spiritual Advance, a change made to emphasize the spiritual growth associated with the United Methodist Mens' main event of the year.
Memories, Expectations and the Manly Men of the Virginia Conference
By Andrew Kissell
Vice President for Spiritual Life
Virginia Conference United Methodist Men
I've got lots of personal experiences from our past annual Spiritual Advances, or Retreats as most of you recall them. What a long, strange, but wonderful trip it's been!
I remember the time President Burian reminded us that we were there for spiritual matters, not Hokie Football (Miami won in a tape delayed broadcast that Larry arranged for the Hokie faithful later that evening).
We learn about priorities.
The first year we held a Cornhole tourney and the Boy Scouts won. Now we have two separate tournaments and the winners play each other for bragging rights.
We learn about relating to young men through healthy competition.
And how I met my brother in Christ, photographer extraordinaire, and fellow Hokie, Buck Hodges. We were roommates in Goodson Lodge at one of my first retreats. How is it that God places men of such stature in our paths? Grace, my brothers! We learn about grace.
During some of those unbelievably heart-wrenching outpourings during our sharing groups. We learn about honesty.
Early mornings with songs and heartfelt devotionals are especially poignant moments for me. We learn about compassion.
Wondering if this will be the year there will be a golfer with the guts to hold back their hard-earned prize money from Sarah and Jennifer of Heart Havens. We learn about giving and forgiving.
While I remember most of the speakers and many of the nuggets of wisdom they passed on, what really keeps me coming back are those relationships we build. I now have brothers, mentors and friends encouraging me on my journey, and helping me become the man God wants me to be. Now, you men have entrusted me with organizing this annual extravaganza ... the UMMen main event!
Thank you for your trust in me and thank God for using me as his instrument in this endeavor that requires lots of you guys to make it happen.
I, like all of us that are repeat, satisfied attendees, consider this event the highlight of my year. I enjoy this challenge and look forward to the next Advance and the next. David Bean, Gene Mims, Buck Hodges, Jim Butts, Larry Burian, Scott Dillard, Todd Hoar, Johnnie Draughon, Jeff Hall, Jim Green, Albert Weal, Elliot Fox, David Lee Brown, Clyde Harrell, Dan Dietz, Dann Ladd, and William Sutton, to name just a few, have made it easy for me and are my mentors. More importantly they are my brothers, supporting our fellowship, encouraging each other, and building up the Body of Christ. Being in fellowship with men who build up the Kingdom is exactly what you can expect by attending.
There is nothing that can beat being a part of that!
Thanks to Bill Boelte, our spiritual weekend is renamed as the
"Advance," a change that came about following Bill's recommendation to the UMMen Executive Committe that we adopt "a more positive name for the event, considering our victory in Christ." We all agreed! I'm excited, too, about this year's speaker, the Rev. Dr. Clarence Brown, and encourage you to read Romans 12:1-2 in anticipation and preparation for his talks.
Last year we had 25 First-Timers. I'm looking forward to meeting more new men this year because I know you guys are excited about bringing 'em.
GraceInside, the Virginia Prison Chaplains ministry, will be delivering two presentations on Saturday (see story below). You won't want to miss either of them!
Maybe Heart Havens won't get all the prize money from the golfers this year and maybe the men will beat the Scouts in Cornhole?!? Can you imagine either of these happening?
Only one way to find out, and it's to be there with Brothers in Christ during our annual Kingdom Build. Pray about it, then act on it men!
Click on "RSVP Now" to Register ONLINE or by U.S. MAIL
Full Weekend registration fee reduced by $85!
In an effort to foster more exposure to and participation by Virginia Conference men at this year's Spiritual Advance, we are offering 10-$85 First-Timer Scholarships. The scholarship will be applied to the cost of the $185, dropping the full weekend registration fee to only $100!
Each applicant must be a man who attends a Virginia United Methodist Church, or a UMC Pastor, male and female alike, as all Pastors are automatically members of their church's United Methodist Men fellowship.
The 2015 Spiritual Advance (formerly Spiritual Retreat) must be a first-time VA Conference experience to qualify as a candidate. Scholarships will be awarded on a first come, first served basis, limited to two (2) per District.
Applications for scholarships will be accepted immediately and through Monday, October 5, 2015 ... just 21-days away!
You will be notified of the status of your application as soon as we review it and reach our quota of 10. If you are a paid registrant for the and your application is accepted, you will receive an $85 refund.
NEWS FLASH! -- Just In ...
Good news from Bill Chaffin, VA Conference Scouting Coordinator
"I am thrilled to announce that it looks like we may have 50-60 or so Scouts camping at Blackstone on November 6-8," Bill Chaffin. He emphasized that "We do not have the time to formerly organize a huge event like we have had in past years, but we are getting back in the saddle again."
In the August issue of The BEACON, Chaffin reported, "We are working to rebuild the annual Scout Retreat that has traditionally been held in conjunction with the United Methodist Men, but we're not there yet. Pray that 2016 will see us back on the grounds of the UM Assembly Center with a full-scale Camporee," he said.
In his email message to Andrew Kissell, UMMen's key contact for 2015 Spiritual Advance programs and activities, Chaffin noted that plans are in the making for the Scout's customary and ever popular Parade of Flags on Sunday morning, followed by worship service and Holy Communion in the outdoor amphitheater.
In his message to Kissell, Chaffin added, "It's in the crawling stage now. I pray that if it is God's will, the Scout Retreat be up-and-running next year!"
# # #
Note to Readers: Please pray with and for Bill Chaffin, the Scouts and their leaders that the annual Scout Retreat will grow in spirit and size, and continue to do so in the years ahead. Also, contact Bill Chaffin by phone 804-356-6075, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you will Be Prepared to offer any assistance to him in November.
Are there any qualified Merit Badge Counselors out there who could work with the Scouts during the Saturday afternoon Free-Time?- Ed.
GraceInside purposes to be the light of Jesus Christ
Calling forth hope and change and a new way.
GraceInside's chaplains are like lighthouses beckoning toward a new port for the 30,000 currently incarcerated in Virginia's prison system. Prison's can be treacherous sea, but they can also be transformative ones.
Virginia is unique in that GraceInside's chaplains are not state employees. Instead, caring individuals, churches, denominations, foundations and businesses, privately fund their chaplains.
GraceInside's Mission: To provide full-time chaplains in all of Virginia's state adult and juvenile prison facilities.
During the 2014 Virginia Annual Conference in Hampton Roads, the Rev. Lynn LitchfieldintroducedGraceInside to the 3,000 laity and clergy present, many hearing "Hope's" story for the first time. For those who might have forgotten making acquaintance back then with GraceInside, Virginia's prison chaplain service, they'll no doubt remember the woman wearing the orange prison jumpsuit.
On Saturday, November 7 at the Virginia UM Assembly Center, Lynn Litchfield, the lady in the orange prison jumpsuit, will share with men attending the 2015 Spiritual Advance the dramatic story of
"Hope" at 8:30 Saturday morning, and a Prison
Ministry workshop at 2:30 that afternoon. As mentioned in the August issue of
The BEACON, you now have the opportunity see the video of "Hope's Story," some for the first time, and again, for others.
For anyone who might have questions about prison ministry, you'll want to concact Gene Mims; he's the UMMen Prison Ministry Advocate. Not only that, Gene also serves as GraceIside's Executive Committee Vice Chairman. If you do have questions, it's likely that Gene will have the answer, or point you to someone that does. You can reach him by phone at 804-536-4382 or email email@example.com.
Rich and Susie Martinfounded the band Annie Wade in 2014 naming the group using their middle names, "Ann" and "Wade." Although always deep-rooted in gospel music, the bluegrass sound they have today was, as they put it, "a return to our roots."
Kevin Gentry was the first to join, playing the doghouse bass, and
The Annie Wade Band
waseventually followed by Mel Shenk on the fiddleand banjo.
When they played their first concert in February 2015, they had no idea they would be booking over 40 dates this year, including churches, community events, and private functions.
Band members gives full credit to the Lord Jesus Christ for all He has done for them and hope to share His name in many other venues in the coming year.
Once again, Heart Havens is participating in The Amazing Raise, a 36- hour online giving challenge for central Virginia nonprofits. The event begins at 6 a.m. tomorrow, September 16 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, September 17. This year, Heart Havens is also participating in the video portion.
This year, Heart Havens is also participating in the video competition, and there is a prize for the organization whose video gets the most views, and "Likes" on You Tube. It's as easy as 1-2-3 ...
Please check out our video and share it with all your friends and church members, ask them to help us