A Report from the 2018 Virginia Annual Conference

A Report from the 2018 Virginia Annual Conference

By our lay conference attendees: Mark Elder, Roma Sexson and Wray Sexson


​Our clergy,  Mary Beth, Devon and Christian, were reappointed to Fairlington UMC for another year effective July 1!  Devon was ordained a full elder in the United Methodist Church during a moving service on Saturday night.  In addition, there was a service to recognize retiring pastors, including Drema McAllister Wilson, our church’s former senior pastor.  On Saturday afternoon, fulfilling Bishop Sharma Lewis’ vision, 1,637 conference attendees (over half) participated in a Great Day of Service.  There were three opportunities:  an outdoor mission activity in the City of Hampton, United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) kit building in the convention center, and presentations on social justice issues (immigration, racism, and stewardship of the earth); Fairlington’s own Anne Wilson presented on God’s creation at the latter service opportunity. 


Annual Conference members brought 44,774 disaster relief kits for UMCOR to Annual Conference (a record of 200 from Fairlington alone!). Kits included: 29,409 Hygiene kits; 13,367 School kits; 703 Birthing kits; 334 Layette kits; 840 Cleaning kits; 16 Bedding kits; 102 Sewing kits; and 3 miscellaneous kits; this includes 100 Hygiene kits  and 100 School kits collected by FUMW.  Virginia Reconciling United Methodists gathered for dinner to hear Jan Lawrence, Director of the Reconciling Ministry Network, discuss planning and strategy for the February 2019 called General Conference where delegates will deliberate the future structure of the United Methodist Church, particularly as it relates to issues of human sexuality and welcoming of LGBTQ persons in the church.  Rev. Tom Berlin, a pastor of Floris UMC in Herndon and a member of the Commission on a Way Forward – a group of 32 clergy and lay members from across the world who have spent the last 18 months discerning the future of the UMC – presented a summary of three possible options for a future structure of the denomination. 


Delegates passed a resolution to send from our Annual Conference to General Conference advocating that a solution to the future of the UMC be sought that maintains unity and avoids schism.  Also, on the last morning of Conference, delegates passed a motion opposing the policy of separating children from the parents at the border, accentuating that “love is the fulfilling of the law,” asking federal agencies to find ways to reunite separated families and pass immigration reform, and requesting a copy of the motion be sent to the U.S. Attorney General.  See https://livestream.com/VAUMC/AC2018 for an archives of all the events that occurred at Annual Conference.


Blog Posts

Overcoming Worry

Posted by FUMC on November 16, 2018 at 12:48pm 0 Comments

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had these dolls in my collection. Somewhere along the way I learned that they were from Guatemala and called worry dolls. According to Wikipedia, they were given to “brooding and sorrowful” children who would share their worries with the doll, then hide it under their pillow at night.  By the next morning, all the concerns would have been taken away by the worry doll.    


Matthew 6:15 says, “Do not worry about your life. . .” 

Is it as easy as all that?  Life is learning, over time, to put things in perspective.  It’s having ways to share and then let go of the anxieties that most paralyze us. What are you worried about today?  Who can you share it with?  What new perspective helps you see things differently?  


~Pastor Mary Beth



Reconciling Notes

Immigration 101: 

 Sunday, September 23, in the Fellowship Hall immediately after the 11:00AM service. Light lunch to be served.

An Overview of U.S. Immigration Law

Do you ever wonder about immigration laws?

What’s a visa, a green card, DACA?

Why immigrants don’t just apply for citizenship?

Would you like to have a better understanding of immigration rules in a non-political format?


Lunch will be followed by Just Neighbors presenting an easy to understand overview of the ins and outs of our country’s very complex immigration system.


Regardless of your political views, this presentation will focus on facts about who is eligible for the various types of legal status in the U.S. and what the various types mean. There will be time for Q&A. 


No RSVP necessary, just come! For more information contact Mark Elder markuselder@gmail.com.



Co-hosted by FUMC’s Reconciling Ministry Team

and the Church in Society Team.


Download Here: Our 5 Year History as a Reconciling Congregation

We celebrate Fairlington's 5-year anniversary of becoming a Reconciling Congregation, intentionally welcoming all people as beloved children of God.

Our celebratory theme, “Love in All Colors,” reflects the breadth and diversity of God’s human creation as proclaimed in our church’s welcoming statement.

Check out our audio for personal testimonies from FUMC members. They share how being part of a reconciling congregation has personally affected them and shaped their faith journey.

~Mark Elder, markuselder@gmail.com


Follow this link http://bit.ly/5yearReconciling to see the extensive work and accomplishments of this :church and its Reconciling Ministry Team over the last five years, since we became a reconciling congregation in February 2013.  Thank you church!


Fairlington UMC is a 

Reconciling Congregation with open hearts, open minds, and open doors. We proclaim and welcome every person as a beloved child of God regardless of age, race, physical or mental ability, sexual orientation, gender identity, family structure, faith history, or life experience.

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