Alexandria District eNewsletter: July 2017
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In this issue:

From Your District Superintendent

Rev. Jeff Mickle


Our ministry vision for the Virginia Annual Conference is to be disciples of Jesus Christ who are lifelong learners, who influence others to serve.” – Bishop Sharma Lewis

On the basis of much listening to the people of Virginia United Methodist churches, much analysis of the common themes that emerged from all of that listening, and much prayer and listening to God, Bishop Sharma Lewis has shared with us her vision for the ministry of the Virginia Annual Conference. In the Sunday sermon at the recent annual conference session held in Hampton, Bishop Lewis described the process, the rationale, and the potential impact of this vision. She heard people say again and again that they wanted to learn more – about the Bible, about the Wesleyan way, about how to share their faith, about how to make disciples. She also heard many people talk about how important it is to the life of their church that they have ways to serve others. She heard people say that they needed help in being better at making disciples of Jesus Christ through their personal witness. These themes emerged repeatedly across the conference as the bishop visited all 16 districts for listening sessions called Chat n' Chew.

The personal passion of the bishop is to focus on discipleship. She is ...

3 Books Worth Reading

If you are wondering how to get better results for your efforts, but are not sure where to begin, then this may be the book for you. It is called Smarter, Faster, Better: The Transformative Power of Real Productivity, by Charles Duhigg (Random House, 2016). The author is a journalist who has gone on a search to discover what very productive people do that sets them apart from average folk. He has conducted interviews, read tons of research, observed practices, and come up with a list of eight insightful chapters that opened my imagination to things that I had not considered. Each chapter offers a possibility to implement in daily work and living in order to be more productive. All eight would be more than necessary, but to choose one or two of these proven methods for improved fruitfulness would certainly be worth a try.

Fans of Patrick Lencioni (The Advantage, Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Death by Meeting, etc.) will find his latest book among his best. The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate the Three Essential Virtues (Jossey-Bass, 2016) focuses on team building and ...

From Your District Lay Leader

John Meeuwissen
As we heard during our recent Annual Conference; and as we begin to prepare for our upcoming District Conference in late September and all of our local Charge Conferences this fall – all centered on the theme, ‘A New Thing’ – I have to ask, “What’s all this fuss about?”  Haven’t we been doing this already in the Alexandria District (and the Arlington District)?    

Welcome New Alexandria Clergy!

  • Melissa Porter-Miller, Franconia
  • Taylor Mertins, Cokesbury 
  • Jim Johnson, St. Andrew’s
  • Monica Reynolds, Warrenton    
  • Benson McGlone, Gainesville (Bristow)  
  • Chenda Lee, Annandale     
  • Peter Kwon, Annandale  
  • Katie Webster, Burke   
  • John Obeng, Ghana Wesley (multi-site)   
  • Lauren Geraghty, Messiah   
  • Tony Arnold, Christ UMC Online 
  • Michael Finegan, Spirit and Life    
  • Mario Velez-Lopez, Spirit and Life    
  • Peter Berberena, Spirit and Life    
  • Young Min Kim, Nokesville    

Third Thursdays

Do you ever feel like people aren’t getting your message?
Despite your best efforts, does someone still say, “I never heard about that”? 

Well, we have some ideas that just might help get your message heard.
Beginning on September 21, join us in the District Training Room (2nd floor, 3600 Chain Bridge Road) on the third Thursday of each month from 1-3 for communications workshops packed with practical examples and real life solutions for today’s busy church communicators.

Who Should Come?
Third Thursdays are designed for anyone who works on church bulletins, websites, newsletters, social media, and more! Send staff. Send volunteers. Come yourself. Communication is a critical part of ministry. Third Thursdays are designed to help your church learn best practices, ask questions, and improve your communication with your congregation and your community.

Sessions will be lead by Cynthia Lopynski, Bi-District Program Coordinator and former Communications Director at Floris UMC and Kim Johnson, Bi-District Communications Coordinator and freelance web and print designer.


One of our goals at the District is to come alongside and partner with churches to increase vitality and fruitfulness. Below are some articles that we hope your will find helpful and thought provoking as you think about the mission and ministry of your church.  
A Way Forward
The Bi-District has put together a page dedicated to "A Way Forward" with information and links for your reference. We will continue to update this page as new information is provided. 

Does your church have a lease?
Did you know that we have sample leases that might help your church work with a tenant more easily and more thoughtfully, protecting church interests and giving clarity to less formal agreements? Find out more in this Got Church Leases? blog post.

Annual Conference Resources
We have put together a page of resources and links to help you report on Annual Conference. Find that information on our Annual Conference page.

Do you know a student who is heading off to a Virginia college, community college or university this fall?   
Provide their name and Campus Ministers and Chaplains can connect with them once they arrive on campus.  It’s easy to do  just fill out this formYour Campus Ministers, Chaplains and Conference Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry thank you.

Wondering How You Can Support Rising Hope?

Rising Hope Mission Church has recurring needs for the homeless and needy. Currently they are collecting:
  • Men and children’s clothing
  • Size medium and large men’s undershirts
  • Deodorant and toothpaste
  • Sleeping bags
  • Backpacks

Drop offs for all donations can be done Tuesday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. In addition, hygiene products are always needed for the homeless. Remember your contributions can be tax deductible; just ask for the donation sheet. For more information, please call 703-360- 1076.

Mark Your Calendar

District Events

  • Wednesday, September 20: (AM) Bi-District Clergy Meeting at Dulin UMC (PM) Laity Spiritual Formation Event
    Topic: Becoming A Spiritually Vital Leader
  • Thursday, September 21: Third Thursdays: Communications Training (District Office)
  • Saturday, September 30: Alexandria and Arlington District Conferences and Board of Missions Meeting, St. Matthews, Annandale
  • Thursday, October 19: Third Thursdays: Communications Training 
  • Saturday, November 4:  Bi-District Finance Workshop at St. Stephen’s UMC
  • Sunday, November 12:  How to Have the Conversation—Boldly Engage in Dialogue Around The Way Forward with Tom Berlin at Floris UMC
  • November 15:  Early-Bird Registration opens for Bi-District Training Day
  • November 19: Third Thursday: Communications Training
  • Saturday, January 13: Bi-District Training Day at Christ Church in Fairfax Station 
Don't forget the Bishop's Bible Reading Challenge. Let us know if you are taking the challenge to read the entire Bible this year!

NEW this Fall -  A Clergy Conversation Group
Join Alexandria District Superintendent Jeff Mickle for a Clergy Conversation Group this fall. In preparation for 2019’s called General Conference and the outcomes of the Commission on a Way Forward’s work, Jeff is putting together a clergy study group to have conversation around Wonder, Love and Praise: Sharing a Vision of the Church.
This group will meet four times, each on the first Thursday of the month at 10 a.m. in the District office. 

If you would like more information, or if you would like to register, please visit  our website:  Information will be sent to you  about the readings and  what to do to be prepared for the first gathering.

Conference/Other Events

Conference News:

Feb. 26-Mar.7, 2018: Holy Land Journey with Bishop Lewis
Join Bishop Sharma D. Lewis and the Virginia Conference of the UMC on the 10 day Holy Land Journey departing on February 26, 2018!

Spiritual Formation Opportunities

The District is excited to introduce a series of speakers focusing on spiritual vitality. These workshops are designed for church leaders who are lifelong learners that want to explore humility, peace, patience, kindness and life-altering prayer. Sessions will begin at 7 p.m. Watch for more details on how details on how to register  but for now... Mark your calendars!

September 20 - Becoming a Spiritually Vital Leader, Dulin UMC
February 21 - The Anatomy of Peace, Annandale UMC
April 12 - Breakthrough Prayer, Centreville UMC

One Last Thing ...

Wesley Housing Needs You!
Their Back to School Program serves more than 350 elementary and middle school children. LEARN MORE

How Can You Help? 
  • Shop for and donate supplies or a Success Kit
  • Contribute to Wesley's shopping fund
  • Spread the word - campaign at your office, church, or club​
DATES: July 10 – August 18
DROP OFF: August 17-22 ​at Wesley Housing main office (Thurs, Fri, Mon, Tues 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.)
Copyright © 2017 The United Methodist Church in Northern Virginia, All rights reserved.

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