From Our Pastor

Vacation Bible School

Posted 22 June, 2017 by Pastor Keith Ritchie

I returned on Sunday from a week of fun and work. The fun was attending a couple of Nationals' games in DC; the work was attending our Annual Conference in Hampton.

Though I refer to Annual Conference as "work," I am grateful to have been a part of this. I was inspired by the services of worship and greatly appreciate the leadership of our Bishop, Sharma Lewis. The work of the "Commission on a Way Forward" continues, with the Rev. Tom Berlin of Floris UMC presenting an update on the work of this commission. I found his report encouraging and hopeful. (Please click here for information about the "Commission on a Way Forward.) 

As this was the first Annual Conference over which Bishop Lewis presided, she offered her vision for the conference. Her vision: a disciple of Christ is a lifelong learner who influences others to serve. I support her vision and am excited to see how we as clergy and laity are to be challenged to live according to this vision. 

I just returned this morning from checking out the setup for Vacation Bible School in the Uptown Ministry Center - next week will be great!

Annette and many volunteers have created a tremendous space for VBS. This "Hero Central" VBS will help participants discover their strength in God. We have close to 100 children registered to take part in stories, crafts, snacks, and music. Thank you for your support of this ministry, and keep this in your prayers! (See pictures below!)

We have received several applications for the position of Director of Music at FUMC. The search committee is to meet tonight to discuss these applications. I anticipate we will schedule interviews with applicants as soon as possible. I ask for your prayers as we seek gifted leadership for the vital music ministries of FUMC.

I look forward to the church picnic next Tuesday! The picnic begins at 5:30pm at Fieldale Park. Fried chicken and drinks will be provided; you are asked to provide a side dish or dessert. Following the meal, the bluegrass gospel band, "Gone Fishin'," will perform. They are good!

Remember the invitation to be a part of a FUMC Mission Team in order to help build a new home for a young family in Appomattox. The Garrett family lost their home in last year's tornado. Immediately following worship this Sunday, there will be a meeting in the conference room for anyone interested in or wanting more information about serving on this mission team. We are hoping this will be an intergenerational, "hands on" mission experience for all ages.

We want to make it easier for anyone to support the many ministries of FUMC. In order to do this, I hope you are aware of the opportunity to contribute to these ministries online. The church, by way of its website (, accepts debit cards, credit cards, and PayPal. We hope this is especially helpful to those who travel during this summer and are not able to be present in worship to give. Thank you for your attention to this vehicle by which to support the worship and service of FUMC.

Finally, I look forward to worshipping with you again this Sunday. Words from 2 Corinthians 5 are before us, inviting us to experience the new life we know in Christ Jesus.