I know that not everyone goes to our Alexandria District Conference, so let me share some insights from my Lay Leader report to the District. I begin by asking … How about this “New Thing?” Have you seen it? Have you experienced it? Are you willing to talk about it, or maybe, pray about it? We are looking for your “New Thing” stories and experiences during our upcoming Charge Conferences – these are exciting times!

Let’s first recap what happened in our district since our last District Conference:

  •  (53) highly spiritual Charge Conferences centered on “Thy Will be Done”
  •  Rising Hope Capital Funds Campaign approved by the district
  •  Another outstanding Bi-District Training Day with Rev. Dr. Carey Nieuwhof
  • An energetic and vibrant “Chat & Chew” session with Bishop Sharma Lewis
  • New Youth Ministry Cohort Proposal approved by District Leadership Team
  •  Celebrate the Increase banquet held where (28) district churches increased in average worship attendance, professions of faith, or both
  •  Many district laity participating in “How to Connect to Your Neighbor” workshops
  • Next Level Innovations continues with Cohort #1 (Fairlington UMC, Old Bridge UMC, and St. Matthew’s UMC) finishing their first year; and Cohort #2 (Burke UMC, Sydenstricker UMC, and Warrenton UMC) starting their first year
  •  Our district clergy faithfully continued in clergy peer learning groups
  • Virginia Annual Conference gloriously affirmed (3) new district faith communities (Bristow campus of Gainesville UMC, Alexandria campus of Ghana Wesley UMC, and the on-line campus of Christ UMC) … these are exciting times!

At our recent Annual Conference, Bishop Lewis shared the ministry vision for the Conference, challenging each and every one of us … “To be disciples of Jesus Christ who are lifelong learners who influence others to serve.” So, how do we do that? I’m glad you asked … and let me offer some possibilities:

  • Think outside the box and start up a new ministry in your local church
  • Sign up and participate in our upcoming Laity Leadership workshops  (learn more about these & register)
    • September 20, 2017 with Graham Standish
    • February 21, 2018 with our own Brian Brown
    • April 12, 2018 with Sue Nelson Kibbey
  •  Become informed on “The Way Forward” by attending a discussion group at Floris UMC and led by Tom Berlin & prepare yourself for a healthy dialogue  (learn more)
  • And remember to influence those individuals in your many circles

God bless you in your many fruitful ministries … these are exciting times!

John Meeuwissen, Lay Leader