Arlington District eNewsletter: August 2017
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In this issue:

From Your District Superintendent

Rev. Cathy Abbott

Canoeing the Mountains: Facing Mortality

By September 1, I will have made 30 visits to the doctor’s office or the hospital in 2017.  It’s not that I am particularly sick—and no, I do not have some kind of fatal disease.  It is just…I am 67 years old; and I am mortal.  Having been remarkably healthy my whole life, all of these “appointments” initially felt like a great “waste of time.”  After all, “I am healthy!” I kept telling myself.  (It’s called denial.)  And the initial tests seemed to confirm my self-image.  Ok, I know I was having trouble reading because my eyelids were drooping—but that would be relatively easily fixed by outpatient surgery.

As I went to each new doctor’s office, I went through the routine of filling out exactly the same forms (or so it seems)—and it was driving me nuts.  Definitely a “waste of time!”  But when I went for  ...

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. 

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


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've prepared four events specific to this topic to help churches prepare for the coming report. Download an event flyer.

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.

Meet Our New Clergy!

Please help us welcome new clergy to the Alexandria and Arlington Districts. As of July 24 churches received new pastors or associates. Some are homegrown, some have come from other states, and several are starting their very first appointments. Be sure to learn more about them and welcome them to our District!

Mark Your Calendar

District Events

  • Wednesday, September 20: (9:15 AM) Bi-District Clergy Meeting at Dulin UMC--Clergy Only
  • (7-8:30 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 Day: District Conferences and Board of Missions Meeting, St. Matthews, Annandale
  • Thursday, October 19: Third Thursdays: Communications Training 
  • Friday & Saturday, October 27-28: Lay Servant 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
  • Thursday, November 16: Third Thursdays: Communications Training
  • Friday, January 12: Bi-District Training Day Pre Conference—Q&A with Mike Slaughter and Tom Berlin at Floris UMC
  • Saturday, January 13: Bi-District Training Day at Christ Church in Fairfax Station 
Learn more about and register for these events at

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.

VA Conference and Local News and Events

A Response from Bishop Lewis Regarding the Events in Charlottesville, VA

Sunday, September 10: Unity Walk 2017: #Know Your Neighbor
The Interfaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington invites you to walk down Massachusetts Avenue, NW and visit houses of worship and other religious centers in a public celebration of solidarity among different faiths and cultures with our community.

Day To Serve: This fall, in Day to Serve 2017, neighborhood churches, mosques, temples, synagogues, and other religious institutions come together to jointly serve those in need and to strengthen inter-faith ties.  Day to Serve 2017 service events can take place any date this fall with most events taking place between September 11 to October 10 ... MORE

Tuesday October 3: Goodson Academy of Preaching
Tuesday, October 3, The Goodson Academy of Preaching will offer a one-day teaching event with Dr. Teresa Fry Brown, from Candler School of Theology as the guest presenter.
Thursday, October 19: Five Talent Academy
Mark your calendars for a 5 Talent Event featuring Jacob Armstrong, focused on Evangelism.

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!

Could Your Church Save Money by Refinancing?
Right now The United Methodist Credit Union has a special promotion on church loans. If your church has an unsecured loan with another lender, we can refinance at a rate 2% less than the rate your church is paying now, down to a minimum of 4.25% APR. This is a limited offer available thru September or while funds are available. Contact Mike at 1-866-657-0004 for details.
All TUMCU loans are subject to approval and credit restrictions apply. Rates are subject to change.

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.
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.  

One Last Thing ...

Wesley Housing Needs You-- Last Call to Help!
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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