Welcome to The York River District of the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church, one of 16 districts in the Virginia Conference. It stretches from Mathews to Isle of Wight counties. The District consists of 66 churches, grouped in 58 charges, and 1 Wesley Foundation. There are 59 pastors serving in the District, including Associate pastors and the pastor serving at the Wesley Foundation.
The administrative office is located in the Towne Bank building on Route 17 just south of Denbigh Boulevard and is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm. We ask that you call ahead to make certain we are in the office. If you are not vaccinated against the coronavirus, visitors are asked to wear appropriate face coverings when coming to the office. Making more and better disciples for Jesus.
Imagine Something New
Many people have health insurance to cover the medical costs for themselves and their families. Some have life insurance to provide for their families or cover debts after death. There is homeowner’s or renter’s insurance to cover our homes and valuable property. We also have auto insurance to protect our cars. Insurance is an investment strategy employed to help manage risks. When we purchase insurance, we transfer the cost of a potential loss to the insurance company in exchange for a fee. Our money is invested so it can grow and pay out when there is a claim. However, many times we struggle to even get our insurance company to cooperate with us.
A few months ago, we benefited from an insurance claim due to a cracked windshield. We did not have to go through a lot of headaches. The claim was paid for the replacement of our windshield. In short, insurance covers hazards over a specific policy term. However, assurance is guaranteed. It is permanent coverage. For us, the shared blood of Jesus assures us that the inner witness of the Holy Spirit allows us to know that we are justified. God loves to give us the gift of “the full assurance of faith” (Hebrews 10:22). However, we must cultivate our faith so that it can grow deeper and stronger, especially during challenging seasons of uncertainty. This is how God helps us grow our faith by allowing us to go through numerous and varied hardships.
Recently, we experienced some challenges in our family. We witnessed God working in disguise. It was only through the challenges that we began to imagine how to do things differently. We developed new skills that we did not think we could develop. We amazed ourselves. And now, instead of worrying about challenges and struggles, we have covenanted to do all that is humanly possible and then “stand firm and see the Salvation of the LORD at work in our lives” (Exodus 14:13). The challenges helped us imagine something new and dared us to bear witness to our faith.
Imagine Something New is this year’s District Conference Theme. Informed by Isaiah 43, this scripture is daring us to bear witness to our faith as we embark upon the new district initiative. The Prophet reminds us of God’s guaranteed promises and redemption. God says, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you.” “I have called you by name, you are mine.” The above statements indicate the intimate relationship between God and humanity. This scripture expresses God’s guaranteed and unconditional assurance to us – “Because you are precious in my eyes, you are honored, and I love you.”
Because of God’s love for us, we must, in turn, partner with God’s Son in His desire for us to be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). We must focus on the missional objectives of the church. We must prioritize our objectives. We must honor scripture and raise the question, “What is God doing in and through us to fulfill the mission of Isaiah 43:19 and Acts 1:8?”
Let us remember the exodus in our lives. Like the exodus from Egypt and Babylon, we too, recall the exodus in our spiritual journey and the fear we experienced. So, it is okay to be fearful. However, we invite you to hold our hands so together we can look fear in the eye, pray that the Lord will open our hearts to the depth of His intimate love, and ready us for the journey as we imagine something new. Beginning today, let us invite each other to reflect on our relationship with the Lord and accept the challenge to become a part of imagining something new for our district – The District Initiative.
If we accept the mission, let us listen to Jesus’ words and not be afraid. “I am about to do something new in your life. You cannot see it. You do not know what it is. From where you stand, it does not look possible. That is because you cannot do it on your own strength. Only I can do it. I am preparing you for something new; something I have already begun. As my children, I am asking you today – ‘Do you believe Me?’ ‘Do you believe it?’
We respectfully ask you to join us in supporting the district initiative because we trust each of you. One who is trusted does what is expected. And even though we may not know each other as members of the two districts, we pray that the frequency of our interaction will breathe a trusting relationship and partnership. We are undertaking this endeavor because we have an expressed desire to create a framework for a new district that would best support and resource our churches and communities to share the love of Christ in real, tangible, and transformative ways. So, we invite you to fast and pray with us. Share the WHY every opportunity you get. Support the District Initiative by using your platform(s) for engagement. Use your influence. This work may seem impossible. But nothing is impossible with God (Matthew 19:26).
If this district initiative is successful, we will be able to move from management to mission and ministry. We will become more strategic and missional. We will celebrate the essence of our connection by sharing resources. We will drastically improve our communication. We will be better able to strengthen and promote a healthy laity throughout the conference. For example, our Lay Servant Ministry. We will be able to create a framework for Laity to be the Church again. We will be able to enhance collaborative community–based ministry and opportunities for spiritual vitality. We will be able to create the structure for accountability and shared ministry opportunities. We will be able to reduce the administrative responsibilities of our district superintendent by providing support for our laity and clergy by hiring district revitalizer(s).
In the following weeks and months, we will be having listening posts. We invite you to come with any questions and concerns. We need each of you. Thanks, and may God bless the works of our hands.
Blessings to you!
Our District Office location:
6515 George Washington Memorial Highway, Ste 203
Yorktown, VA 23692
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