An important milestone was reached this past week on a journey that began at the end of last summer with discussions centered around the book Mission Possible: A Simple Structure for Missional Effectiveness (Kotan and Bradford, Market Square Publishing).
The Arlington District Superintendent of the UMC Virginia Conference, Rev. Dr. Sarah Calvert, gave her blessing to a Church Charge Conference for the purpose of determining the congregation’s will on a proposed leadership restructuring proposal. The proposal will include a roster of individuals put forth to initially fill the new leadership positions by Walker Chapel’s Committee on Nominations and Lay Leadership Development.
A leadership task team formed last fall for the purpose of assessing the potential benefits of a new leadership structure within parameters set forth in the UMC Book of Discipline. This team concluded that there could well be significant advantages of a restructured, simplified approach to how Walker Chapel defines and coordinates its ministries in the form of more effective outcomes, benefitted by a more efficient management of overall church operations.
The task team conducted an informational “church town hall” briefing in early December, 2020, beginning the process of building awareness of a new leadership proposal within the Walker Chapel community and inviting comments for consideration. Concurrently, the task team shared its analysis and preliminary planning with the District Superintendent, formally indicating its desire to follow through with the restructuring planning process. The District Superintendent replied with a note of encouragement and the request for more detail as to how Walker Chapel proposed to adapt the simplified church leadership model.
After three months of work resulting in a 100+-page “Guiding Principles” planning and reference document, the task team presented its detailed work to the District Superintendent accompanied by a proposed schedule for the final steps of this journey. Now, with approval to proceed in hand, the task team is pleased to announce the schedule for the steps leading to a Church Charge Conference.
Within the next few days: Watch for a Guiding Principles document with supporting detail information in your email inbox. This information will also be publicly available via the church Website, and other means will be used if necessary to assure that anyone without Internet connectivity can receive a printed description of the proposed restructuring. Questions and comments for the task team will be strongly encouraged.
April 11, 2021, 11:30 a.m.: Immediately following Sunday worship service, the task team will conduct a virtual church town hall meeting in which the proposed new leadership structure will be briefly presented and the floor will be opened for questions, comments and discussion.
April 18, 2021: By this date the task team will consider all comments received and will issue a final version of the proposed restructuring documents. This final proposal version will be the basis for what is asked for congregational approval of at the Church Charge Conference.
May 2, 2021, 11:30 a.m.: Pastor Lynne Alley-Grant will preside over a virtual Church Charge Conference for the purpose of giving final consideration to the proposed new leadership structure and its Guiding Principles. If approved, the restructuring will take effect immediately.
Everyone is urged to participate in this very important review and approval process! As Walker Chapel rapidly approaches the 150th anniversary of its founding, help assure that we are forward-looking and prepared to meet the challenges of today...and tomorrow.
Come expecting a blessing!
We move closer and closer to Easter this week - Sunday is the Fifth Sunday of Lent. We have been hearing and thinking about the call of discipleship and the practice of our faith both in the Sunday Morning Book Study and in worship. I hear echoes of those words in the scripture for worship on Sunday -
From Isaiah 58:
This is the kind of fast day I’m after -
To break the chains of injustice,
get rid of exploitation in the workplace,
Free the oppressed
What I’m interested in seeing you do is
Sharing your food with the hungry
Inviting the homeless poor into your homes
Putting clothes on the shivering ill-clad
Being available to your own families
Do this and the lights will turn on
The God of glory will secure your passage
Then when you pray, God will answer
You’ll call out for help and I’ll say - Here I am!
Save the Date:
Next Sunday is Palm Sunday - the beginning of the last week of the life of Jesus’ life and ministry.
On Thursday, March 25 we invite you to a Zoom Maundy Thursday Service @ 7:00 pm. The name “ Maundy Thursday” comes from the Latin mandatum novum referring to the “new commandment” Jesus taught his disciples (A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:34). In other words - this is New Commandment Thursday. In addition to the new commandment, Holy Thursday is the night of the Last Supper which is the pattern for the Lord’s Supper/Communion that we celebrate today. Please join us for a time of worship and Holy Communion on Thursday April 1, 2021 @ 7 pm.
Some of you have asked about the pastoral prayer offered by Jay Timmons last Sunday -
Here is the text of that prayer:
Pastoral Prayer during COVID
JOSEPH W. DANIELS, JR.
Joseph W. Daniels, Jr. is lead pastor of Emory United Methodist Church and the “The Emory Fellowship” in Washington, D.C.
Our Lord and our God:
We humbly come before you this morning in the strong name of Jesus, recognizing that you are the God of all possibilities. We greet you in this moment of great need this morning, remembering that you are our Savior who taught us to come to you when we are weak and heavy ladened, and you will grant us rest. Well, Lord, we come to you weak and heavy, burdened by everything that is COVID-19. Please hear our voices and give us rest.
We are family members who have lost loved ones near and dear to the virus. We are friends who’ve lost close companions to this sickness. We are individuals who’ve tested positive, seeking to weather the shame of it all, let alone get well. We are weak and we are burdened. Please hear our voices, Lord, and give us rest.
We are those working the front lines while others stay home. We are healthcare workers treating sickness and seeing death every day. We are grocery and drug store workers nervous about going to work. We are teachers exhausted from virtual learning, terrified from having to give instruction in person. We are weak and we are burdened. Please hear our voices, Jesus, and give us rest.
We are parents, juggling the demands of our virtual or in-person job, while living with the pressures of keeping our kids engaged with virtual education. We are parents sending our kids to school, worried about safety in the classroom. We are youth, caught up in the middle of it all, separated from school and friends, trying to do our best, worn out and frustrated by it all. We are those who are by ourselves, lonely and depressed, in need of just a touch. We are weak and we are burdened. Please hear our voices, God, and give us rest.
Please hear our voices this morning, Abba. We confess our sins at the root of all of this. Would you hear our pleas for healing, feel our yearnings for forgiveness, rejoice in our pleas for restoration? We come unto you, Lord, asking for comfort in loss, healing in illness, protection from this plague, the termination of this pandemic. We come unto you, Lord. For you alone can comfort. You alone can heal. You alone can provide strength. You alone can save. You alone can deliver. Please hear our voices, O Lord. You alone can give us rest. And you will.
Please hear our voices, Jesus. We hear you. And we trust you, as we await your mercies and thank God for your grace. AMEN.
Out of the shadow of the Pandemic comes the light of Resurrection. You can become a part of that light for people who are sick, hungry, poor, homeless, addicted, and made more desperate by Covid-19. 100% of Walker Chapel’s Lent-Easter Special Offering goes to organizations serving people here and around the world who need your help. Profiles of each of these benevolence organizations may be viewed at https://walkerchapel.org/benevolence/.
With a goal of $10,500, this offering is one of the special activities by which our congregation annually raises all its funds for our church’s carefully selected benevolences. Please make a generous donation, either by mailing a check to the church office (marked “Lent/Easter Offering”) or by donating on-line (visit the website at https://walkerchapel.org/payments/ and then select the “Lent/Easter Offering” fund option.) Whatever you can give will be greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Easter Bunny Virtual Visit April 3rd
The Easter Bunny is planning to join us Saturday, April 3rd at 3pm for a virtual visit, story and a snack/craft via the Walker Chapel Facebook Page since our community egg hunt had to be cancelled. Materials for the Easter Bunny craft will be included in the Holy Week Children’s bags that Mt. Olivet and Walker Chapel are doing jointly this year.
The Easter Bunny visit video will be posted for viewing at a later time for those who find themselves napping at 3pm on April 3rd! Happy Easter!! Contact Jennifer Hatcher, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
In addition to our Lenten/ Easter offering, our food drive for the Arlington Food Assistance Center will continue into the foreseeable future every Saturday and Sunday from 1-3pm to ensure our neighbors impacted most by the virus have dignified access to food. At the link below you will find the Volunteer Sign Up for the months of March, April, and May. Here are the upcoming dates and current sign ups:
03/20 Lynne Alley-Grant
03/21 Don Huff
03/27 Dawn Kyser
03/28 Sandra Kammann
04/11 Carl and Lucy Cunningham
04/17 Carl and Lucy Cunningham
Click here to sign up for a few shifts or email email@example.com and then forward this email on to your family, friends and neighbors in and around Arlington who might like to help us out!
Thursday evening the Arlington County Historic Affairs Landmark Review Board granted Walker Chapel a Certificate of Appropriateness for the Historic Cemetery Project. This is a major accomplishment shared by the team and especially by James Wright who lead the critical phases of pre-construction and now on to construction. Known to us by their acronym, HALRB, they have oversight over the Historic Area of Walker Chapel. They have been most supportive of the Historic Cemetery Project and carried through with a unanimous vote to grant us the COA and permission to proceed. Thanks go out to our designers Kelly and Meredith at Moody Graham and Louise at Langan Engineering and their predecessors and to our HCP steering group of Larry, James, Chris, Christiane, and Lynne. A special prayer goes out to Dorothy Glenn who by the grace of God gave us the much needed funding. We started in the fall of 2017, but now have cleared the checkpoints; the contractor is onboard and we are rolling!
Holy Week Bags
Holy Week bags are being prepared for your children for this significant time in the church. We are gathering activities to highlight the week for families to do together. The bag will contain different activities for each day of Holy Week including Bible lessons, crafts and service opportunities. Preschool bags are for children ages two through Kindergarten. Elementary bags are for grades 1-5. Contact Linnea Carlson to request your bag, or with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Easter bunny will also be visiting Walker Chapel, but more on that later.
Lectio Divina | Lenten Study
Wednesdays at 7 PM on Zoom | February 24 - March 31
Lectio Divina, or divine reading, is an ancient practice that combines contemplative prayer with reading scripture.
During this season of Lent, we’re partnering with Mt. Olivet to provide an online space where we'll explore this unique and engaging practice together. We’ll be led by Pastor Lynne and Pastors Ed Walker and Teer Hardy from Mt. Olivet. Please register using the link below so you’ll have access to the Zoom meeting.
All struggling, isolated - standing by their own pool of tears
Prayers for the World
For our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander brothers and sisters experiencing rising violence and acts of hatred.
For the more than 40 million U.S. people who went on unemployment in the last year due to lost jobs.
For peace between the U.S. and Russia as U.S. intelligence sources have disclosed evidence of Russian attempts to disrupt the 2020 U.S. election.
For peace on the Korean Peninsula as intelligence indicates that North Korea is preparing another ballistic missile test.
For children as young as 11 who are being killed in Mozambique as part of an Islamist insurgency that has killed thousands and forced many more from their homes, according to the UK-based Save the Children, an international aid group.
For peace in Afghanistan. The United States’ special envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, attended a summit in Moscow this week to advance the Afghan peace process, as a May 1 deadline to withdraw U.S. troops from the country approaches.
For peace on the earth, peace with the earth and health for the earth and the earth's people.
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