A message from Tom Thomas (President, WCA-VA):

Dear Friends,
Since the postponement of General Conference, many churches in Virginia have been in conversation with the WCA-VA about their options. If your church wants to transition from the Virginia Annual Conference to the Global Methodist Church which begins on May 1, please contact right away Tom Thomas at dr.hot4jc@gmail.com or mobile 434-333-5755. We have a plan in operation to partner with churches and pastors to enable you make the transition into the Global Methodist Church.
Please write Bishop Sharma Lewis asking her and annual conference officials to treat churches who wish to disaffiliate regardless of their theology with grace and reconciliation in accordance with the terms of the Protocol.
Please pray without ceasing. God will make a way!

Cancellation of General Conference 2022

From Tom Thomas, President Wesleyan Covenant Assocation of Virginia

Dear Friends,

Mark Twain said if you do not read the news, you will be uninformed; if you do, you will be misinformed. Whichever, suddenly, the news is breathtaking! First, The Commission on General Conference announced they have cancelled General Conference 2022. They announced their decision Thursday evening March 3 at 6:00pm EST. They argue we cannot achieve the value of having full participation of all global delegates. Obtaining visas for some delegates could take up to 800 days.  They say the State Department has in some areas a “massive backlog” of visa applications. Which areas, they do not say. They are not satisfied a virtual or hybrid General Conference could safeguard the integrity of voting and support our style of conferencing in legislative committees. The Commission said they had a thorough debate – and I understand a very divided one. The non-US members of the Commission overwhelmingly voted for convening General Conference believing non-US delegates could safely take part. Most of the US institutionalist members knew better and voted against holding General Conference. Though the Commission spent no effort or money in helping central conference delegates get vaccinated or obtain their visas, cancellation of conference will cost $3 million. (Read UM News’s report and the Commission’s press release at UMC.org)

We are deeply disappointed, but for me the news is as expected. My conclusion: the Commission has not the red-hot desire or will for the Protocol. After two years with the Protocol before us, the Establishment has decided it flies in the face of and cuts against the grain of a ‘big tent’ vision for the church. Read the Council of Bishops “Narrative for the Continuing United Methodist Church” released November 8,2021. They are still committed to the ‘One Church Plan’ where we ‘all get along’ – like we did not on the floor of the St. Louis General Conference 2019!

Second, more noteworthy, the Transitional Leadership Council and the WCA have announced the launch of the Global Methodist Church (GMC) May 1, 2022!!  The Global Methodist Church will be a legal and operating entity May1! A new Methodist movement! A renewed Methodism! Some of us have waited for this for forty years!! The decision is extraordinary! It is brave and hugely important! Thank you, leaders!

Our renewal and reform coalition leadership believes there is doubt about who the 2024 General Conference delegates will be. The chances of the Protocol passing in 2024 is slim. Plus, churches are disaffiliating and need connection now! I absolutely agree. Now is the critical moment.

If you are like me, the news wants digesting. It leaves us with a mixture of emotions to process – anger at the postponement of General Conference; joy and relief in the formation of a next Methodism but anxiety and fear at how local UMC churches can become a part of it. There are ways local UMC churches in the Virginia Annual Conference can now consider using to align with the GMC. The WCA-VA Chapter will be seeking the input of churches interested in the possibility of aligning with GMC. Together we will do better in considering these alternatives.

If you or your local church wants to connect with Spirit-filled, orthodox churches, clergy and lay persons who share a common understanding of Scripture and our Wesleyan doctrine and desire to be vibrant, faithful, growing 21st century church, please contact me, Tom Thomas, at dr.hot4jc@gmail or cell 434-333-5755. Our WCA-VA Executive Council will meet this Sunday March 6 at 5pm to begin processing the news and to consider how we can best assist local churches in these uncertain times.

I am confident the Lord and Captain of our host will lead us “in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake”.

Expecting His best for you in 2022,

Tom Thomas, WCA – VA, president

P.S. I highly encourage you to listen to Ketih Boyette’s podcast on this situation. That podcast is located at https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-cqtn8-11bfb39

Fall Gathering 2021

Please join us for our Fall Gathering 2021 on November 6, at 10 a.m. where our special guest speaker will be Cara Nicklas from the Wesleyan Covenant Association Council.   

This will be a Virtual Zoom Event at https://tinyurl.com/whjzmxs3 Passcode: 248557  

Cara Nicklas is a life-long Methodist who was born in Fort Eustis, Virginia, and raised in Oologah, a small town in northeast Oklahoma. After graduating with her bachelor’s degree from the University of Oklahoma and her juris doctorate degree from Oklahoma City University in 1990, Cara began the practice of law, got married, and had two sons, Connor and Evan. Cara and her husband of 29 years, Tim, welcomed a daughter-in-law, Michelle, to their family three years ago. No grandchildren yet! Currently, Cara is a partner in the law firm, McAlister, McAlister & Nicklas PLLC, in Edmond, Oklahoma. She practices in the area of business and trust litigation, as well as estate planning, probates and guardianships. She is blessed to be partners with believers who support and encourage her expanded work within the church.    

Cara currently serves as a board member of the Wesleyan Covenant Association, the UMC General Board of Church and Society, and the Oklahoma United Methodist Foundation. She serves on the Transitional Leadership Council. Cara was an alternate delegate to the 2012 General Conference, and a delegate to the 2016 and 2019 General Conferences. Cara was elected by the Oklahoma Annual Conference as a delegate to the 2020 General Conference.    

Cara is involved in the Congo Initiative’s efforts to promote the rule of law in Congo. She travels to Beni, Democratic Republic of Congo, every other year (when Ebola, Covid-19, and violence is contained) to participate in a Justice Conference involving Christian lawyers in Eastern Congo who seek to elevate justice in the context of a broken system.    

Cara and her husband are members of Church of the Servant United Methodist Church. Cara has served her local church in leadership positions, serving as chair of several committees, and in various teaching capacities. Cara’s priority is leading small groups focused on Bible study using a Wesleyan approach to scripture.    

For more information on the Fall Gathering 2021, please contact us at APromisingHope@gmail.com

The Power of Prayer for Mental and Physical Well-Being

By Joyce Wilson

Joyce is a retired teacher and enjoys sharing lesson plans, resources, and teaching tips on Teacher Spark. She is also passionate about teaching and loves using her writing to help teachers, parents, and students.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay by pompi

We live in an age where people feel depressed, stressed at work and at home, anxious, and unhappy. There are documentaries exploring why we live in a society that is overweight, sick and unhappy. Antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications and other mood enhancers are now being prescribed more than ever before – with a long, often dangerous list of side effects and the possibility of addiction. 

If you’re looking to improve your mental, emotional and physical well-being, there are other options for you besides prescription medication. Recent studies have shown something that the churches have known for centuries: a strong spiritual faith can do wonders for your body, mind and soul.

In recent years, scientific studies have actually shown that there is a link between faith and good health. In 2015, Duke University announced that studies have shown the power of prayer in preventing illness, sickness and disease. Even when people do get sick, prayer can promote faster recovery and healing. Best of all, these scientific results are not just limited to one single study. Medical research from multiple leading journals and universities across the United States has shown the same thing: believing in a higher power is good for you. Your faith and your prayers can actually heal the body, make you happier, and possibly even help you live longer.

One of the ways prayer helps us is by reducing our stress and anxiety levels. When we “give it to God” or “let go and let God” we are releasing our need to stress, fret and worry about our current situation. Letting go of stress in this way has obvious mental and emotional health benefits, like improved mental health. Of course, it also benefits our physical bodies because high stress and anxiety levels have been linked to autoimmune disorders, weakened immune system, fatigue, and a variety of other stress-related health conditions.

Stress, anxiety and depression have all been linked to obesity. Therefore, if your goal this year is to lose weight, prayer might actually help.

Some studies have even linked psychological stress to cancer so by letting go of stress, you might reduce your chances of developing this devastating disease, and you could possibly even improve your overall health and longevity.

In addition to the health benefits listed above, individuals who have a devout religious or spiritual practice have been scientifically shown to have strengthened immune systems, lower blood pressure, and possibly even healthier cardiovascular functioning than those who don’t pray on a regular basis.

To enjoy all of the benefits of prayer, and to bolster your health and happiness, look to other areas of your life where you can encourage uplift and reduce stress For example, your home should be the respite you need from the stressors of daily life. Consider adding elements or creating spaces that promote health and healing. Add some plants, or invest in soothing artwork, reorganize your space, or even add an area that’s specifically designated for prayer and meditation. 

The power of prayer is a time-tested method that has been used for centuries. It doesn’t require any pills and it doesn’t cost us a penny. There are zero side effects and you don’t need an appointment with your doctor; you can pray at your convenience, anytime, day or night, from anywhere – including the comfort of your own home. Try incorporating more prayer into your life. You’ll reconnect with God, with yourself, and you might even notice some happy benefits for your body, mind and soul.

A Call To Roar

A Global Call to Praise, Prayer and Prophecy on Palm Sunday

Date: Sunday, March 28, 2021

Time: 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time (USA)

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCp1AK8usmg64r5XNa2HQqeg

“…Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today…” Exodus 14:13-14, NIV

On March 1st, we heard the joyful announcement about the mission and vision for the new “Global Methodist Church.” How awesome God is!!! He knows what He is doing. We can trust Him…yes, indeed, we can trust Him!!

“18.Forget the former things: do not dwell on the past. 19.See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland….21.the people I formed myself that they may proclaim my praise.” (Isaiah 43:18-21, NIV)

Yes, we see the new thing the Lord is doing: new name, new logo, new leadership and new website for this new church…The Global Methodist Church! Would you please join us in thanking God for the diligent work and the many sacrifices of the WCA Global Council and the Transitional Leadership Council? Let us praise the Lord for the new thing He is doing!! This is the sweetness of the Lord for us, and we anticipate more sweetness on the way.

The Lion of Judah is roaring over the United Methodist Church! We hear His voice as He speaks with all authority in the heavens and on the earth.

As watchmen on the wall, we must be alert to all that we will see or hear….If He is called the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, then we also become lions on the earth. As His voice roars through the heavens, our voices must roar on the earth.” (Karen Phillips, Western PA IIPN)

We are calling lions from all around the world who will boldly roar with us over the United Methodist Church. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the Way-Maker. When He roared the Red Sea parted and the army of Pharaoh was destroyed.  We hear His voice louder and louder: “Let My people go!” We are calling intercessors who will boldly stand with us and roar. Let us release the roars!!

Since physical gathering is not possible due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we will gather on-line through ZOOM Video Conferencing with Live Streaming through the WCA IIPN YouTube channel.

We invite you to join us:

Date: Sunday, March 28, 2021

Time: 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time (USA)

Let us worship our Lord Jesus Christ together. You can join through the WCA IIPN YouTube channel:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCp1AK8usmg64r5XNa2HQqeg

Speaking Opportunities

The WCA-VA Chapter has made three presentations to churches in recent weeks regarding the proposed Protocol for Reconciliation and Grace Through Separation and the resulting new denomination.  Other churches are planning presentations.  If you would like to speak with us about such a presentation to your Council or church, we would be more than pleased to talk with you.  Please contact Tom Thomas at dr.hot4jc@gmail.com.   

Join us for “Methodism’s Bright Future” on Monday, March 1, 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. (EST)

Join us for “Methodism’s Bright Future” on Monday, March 1, 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. (EST)

Join us for “Methodism’s Bright Future” on Monday, March 1, 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. (EST)

Important: You have two ways to participate: Zoom or Facebook Live. Zoom is limited to 1,000 participants, so if you can’t log on to the Zoom call, join us on Facebook Live. These live links will take you to the event. Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81244239518 Facebook Live: www.facebook.com/MississippiMethodism/live

The idea for this informational event started here in Mississippi and expanded to include 13 Annual Conferences across the Southeastern Jurisdiction. Join us March 1! It’s free. Registration is not required. Please share and invite others to join us. All are welcome.

WCA MIDWINTER UPDATE

Tom Thomas, Virginia Chapter

January 28, 2021

Celebrate the foreword thinking of the WCA Council and leadership!  Many task forces are considering a whole host of practical, essential and theological matters necessary for founding a dynamic, new, global, conservative denomination.

The following is a summary of WCA President Keith Boyette’s report on a sundry of WCA matters and news of interest to you and your churches:

  • Global Gathering – Saturday May 1, 2021 – In Person at Frazer UMC, Montgomery, Alabama
    • Global Assembly Meets – Friday April 30
    • Look for information re: Global Gathering mid-February
    • Sign up immediately if you plan to attend.  Limit is 500 persons.
    • Frazer is following health protocols for safe practices.
  • Release of new denominational name, logo, and Transitional Leadership Council members in late February
  • Commitment to passing Protocol remains as strong as ever.
  • If your church is interested in streaming the Global Gathering on May 1, please contact Tom Thomas:  dr.hot4jc@gmail.com

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WCA-VA Prayer meeting

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,“The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous and His ears are open to their cry.” Psalm 34:15

What a wonderful promise! The WCA is establishing prayer groups in each state to bring together like minded brothers and sisters to undergird the vision, work, and preparation for the WCA and a new denomination

As Prayer Coordinator for WCA-VA, we extend an invitation to any who have a desire to serve the LORD and pray for the WCA to please join our Virginia prayer team. Beginning Sunday, January 24th at 4:00 pm, we will meet to pray “virtually” on one Sunday afternoon a month for the needs of our church, the WCA, and any future denomination.

We are not a gathering to discuss the “latest” or “inside” news. We are simply meeting together in the Lord’s presence and praying for the WCA and its future direction and needs.

If you are so led and have not already done so, please contact me!

Pam Thomas (WCA-VA Prayer Coordinator)
hot4jc@verizon.net

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