3389 Thomas Jefferson Parkway, Palmyra VA 22963 CunninghamUMCPastor@gmail.com 434-591-1363

Week of February 17, 2019

Dear Cunningham Family:

What an amazing weekend we had last weekend! The sights and sounds of our dedication service for the Gathering Place are still replaying in my mind.

But our ministry in the Gathering Place isn’t limited to Sunday mornings. In just this past week, we had meetings of our Youth Group, our Monday Night Bible Study, the local clergy breakfast, and our Friday morning “Moving On” group. That is a great start!

This Saturday, we will really step things up by presenting our first community family concert featuring my friend and award-winning song writer, Chip Richter. Chip will appear in the Gathering Place at 6:00 pm. I hope you will join us–and bring a friend. Let’s pack the Gathering Place on Saturday night!

I also hope you will return on Sunday morning for our worship service. In just the past two weeks, we have had quite a roller coaster ride, and the next week will be no different. United Methodists will hold a special General Conference in St. Louis to discern some important issues about where God is leading our denomination (you will find more information about this General Conference below).

With all that’s going on in our lives, how do we maintain a sense of stability and peace? We will discuss this question on Sunday morning as we talk about “Contentment on the Roller Coaster.”

I hope you will join us. And wherever you may  go this week, I hope you always will remember that you are a Child of God!

Grace and peace,
Pastor Tom




February 17, 2019

Sunday, February 17:
9:10 am          Prayer Team (Gathering Place)
9:30 am         Worship Service & Children’s Sunday School
11:00 am         Adult Sunday School
5:00 pm         Hand Chimes
Monday, February 18:
9:00 am         Mission Trip to the HUB
6:15 pm         Fellowship Supper
7:00 pm         Bible Study
Tuesday, February 19:
9:30 am         UMW Meeting
11:30 am         Prayer Shawl Meeting
7:00 pm         Church Council
Wednesday, February 20:
7:00 pm         Choir Practice
Thursday, February 21:
7:00 pm         Contemplative Thursday
Friday, February 22:
11:00 am          Moving On
Youth Retreat
Saturday, February 23:
General Conference of UMC

Other Announcements

One Day Mission Trip on Feb. 18th: The Mission Outreach Team will be sponsoring a one day mission trip to Culpepper on President’s Day, Feb. 18th, to sort and pack flood buckets at the Central Virginia Mission Hub. We will leave from Cunningham around 9am and return by 5 pm. This activity is open to all members over 10 years of age and families are encouraged to participate. Please contact Mary Kalchbrenner for more information.

Special Session of the General Conference: The Council of Bishops has called a Special Session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church to be held February 23-26, 2019 in St. Louis, Missouri. The purpose will be to act on a report from the Council of Bishops based on the recommendations of the “Commission on a Way Forward.” The 32-member Commission was appointed to examine paragraphs in The Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality and exploring options to strengthen the unity of the church.

  • Resources about this special session and work of the Commission on a Way Forward are available on the Virginia Conference website at www.vaumc.org/GC2019. This includes the archived livestream from the September 26 Q&A session featuring Bishop Sharma Lewis, the Rev. Tom Berlin, and Ms. Martha Stokes. The direct link is https:// livestream.com/VAUMC/COWFQA
  • Links to the three proposed plans can be found at https:// www.vaumc.org/document.doc?id=3289.

As we approach this important conference, we need to be in prayer: for the United Methodist Church, for all the delegates to the General Conference, for our Virginia delegation, for our Bishops, and for the mission and ministry of our local churches.
You are invited to join other United Methodists from the Charlottesville District in praying for the 2019 General Conference each day in February. We are seeking as many people as possible from each of our churches to pray for at least 15 minutes each day through February 1-26.

UMW: invites the ladies and friends of Cunningham to join us on Tuesday, February 19 at 9:45 AM to hear Linda Edwards, speaking on “Living a Spirit-Filled Life.” Linda is a member St. Marks UMC, Midlothian, where she served as a Lay Leader for several years. Prior to this, she was a member of Bethany Christian Church during which she was on staff for 7 years, as Minister of Membership and Visitation. Hear Linda share her ‘love of the Lord’ and have an opportunity for Q&A, fellowship and refreshments. RSVP to Charleene Frazier: 434-589-8432 or crfscirn@embarqmail.com.

Contemplative Thursday Service: We invite you to join us in deepening our awareness of God’s love. As we focus on the love that binds our human relationships, let us remember the source of our love. “We love, because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19, NIV). On the third Thursday of each month, a small group from Cunningham gathers together for the practice of spiritual disciplines, contemplative prayer, and fellowship. Our next “Contemplative Thursday” service will take place on February 21 at 7:00 pm. Please join us as we experience God’s love together.

Moving On: This class provides women with help and encouragement for a smoother transition into their new surroundings and to feel “at home” quicker. Our class meets on Fridays; 11:00 am – 12:15 pm. We discuss the book, “After the Boxes Are Unpacked,” with other women who are new to the community. Please invite your neighbors to join us!

Love to Stay: This book by Adam Hamilton offers realistic, down to earth guidance for couples of all ages wishing to enhance their marriages. This class will continue for six weeks. We are proposing to meet on Sunday afternoons at 5:00 pm, beginning February 24. Please indicate on your Connection Card if you would like to participate at this time or if another date and time would be preferable.

Youth: We are SO excited to have 11 youth and 2 chaperones registered for District Retreat on February 22-24!!!! That’s exciting stuff. It’s not too late to join us. Cost is $100 per person with a $40 nonrefundable deposit to be paid with each registration up to February 6. Please be sure to list each participant’s name, gender and grade level as well as any food or other allergies. PLEASE take note of things we are collecting for our Missions projects!!

  • We will be collecting toiletries for Teens Opposing Poverty. They need soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, wash cloths, shaving cream, razors, deodorant and white socks. Travel size items work the best.
  • We are partnering with The HUB to collect old computer equipment such as monitors, keyboards, laptops, printers, and CPU’s. NO TV’s, PLEASE!! In addition, Saturday afternoon we will be putting hygiene kits together.

Contact Pat Carney if you have any questions or concerns. Pat can be reached by email at: r3suns@gmail.com, or 478-955-0543.

Prayer Team: A Prayer Team is a group of people who feel called to participate in a more organized prayer ministry at Cunningham. A Prayer Team commits both individually and as a group to lift up in prayer the prayer requests that we receive on our Connection Cards and in our worship, to pray for the pastor and all who serve at Cunningham, to pray for our community. Please indicate your interest on your Connection Card! Our Prayer Team will gather to pray this Sunday morning at 9:10 am in the Gathering Place.

The Decor Committee: Thanks to additional donations, we were able to buy 5 round tables and 16 chairs last week. That is a great start on the tables/chairs that will be needed to accommodate large dinners and auditorium style seating for larger events. There are also other items in the Decor Pamphlet that members of the Decor Committee will be glad to discuss with you and help you purchase. Please feel free to talk with Dana Hawks, Bridget LaRochelle, Mike Luniewski, Linda Mehar, Betty Meyer, Nancy Sindy, Bill White or Richard Payne.

Monday Night Bible Study: Our Bible Study is back in gear to study the second half of the book of Romans. This group is open to everyone—we meet on Monday evenings in the Fellowship Hall. Supper is served at 6:15, and Bible Study begins at 7:00 pm. Please send an RSVP to Carol Frost (cifrost@aol.com or 571-213-4286). Please join us!

Looking for Help: We still are trying to fill several positions including: Assistant Treasurer and Mission/Outreach Chair. These positions (among others) are described in the January edition of The Messenger (copies are available in the narthex). Is God calling you to serve your church in this role? Please speak with Pastor Tom or leave a note on your Connection Card.

A Request from Pastor Tom: Throughout my time with you, I have based most of my preaching on scripture texts drawn from the Revised Common Lectionary. I have found this to be a helpful roadmap. There may be questions that you would like to hear addressed in a sermon before the end of June. I invite you to indicate on your Connection Card any spiritual theme, question, or issue that you believe would be especially important to address from the pulpit. Thank you for your input!

Partners in Ministry Update: as of February 10, 2018:


Amount Committed


34 Pledges



Other Contributions







Spending Time with the Bible: Center yourself for a moment, asking God to speak to you through the scriptures. Then read slowly. To give you a roadmap, we offer reading suggestions based upon the Daily Office contained in the Book of Common Prayer. You can also find these readings online at www.BibleGateway.com/reading-plans/bcp-daily-office/today. Don’t rush—it is more important that you take time to hear the voice of God than it is to finish all of the readings on any particular day. As you read, take note of words or phrases that draw your attention, and meditate on the meaning that those words or phrases hold for you. Here are the readings for this week:


Old T.





Isa 62:6-12

66, 67

1 John 2:3-11

John 8:12-19


Isa 63:1-6


1 Tim 1:1-17

Mark 11:1-11


Isa 63:7-14

97, 99

1 Tim 1:18-2:8

Mark 11:12-26


Isa 63:15-64:9

101, 109:1-4, 20-30

1 Tim 3:1-16

Mark 11:27-12:12


Isa 65:1-12


1 Tim 4:1-16

Mark 12:13-27


Isa 65:17-25


1 Tim 5:17-22

Mark 12:28-34


Isa 66:1-6

107:33-43, 108:1-6

1 Tim 6:6-21

Mark 12:35-44

Save the Date:
March 2                Sock Hop – 7 to 9 pm
March 6                Ash Wednesday

Food for Thought

“Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven…“  Luke 5:23a