United Methodist Men – Focused on Discipleship

By George Hohmann

Greg Arnold: ‘Church was the First version of Facebook’

“Church was the first version of Facebook,” Greg Arnold, the general secretary and chief executive officer of the General Commission on United Methodist Men, said during the Annual Gathering of the West Virginia United Methodist Men.

Arnold was the keynote speaker at the gathering, held Sept. 9-11 at West Virginia University’s Jackson’s Mill near Weston.

“The world is living in small groups,” like the special-interest groups that gather on Facebook, he said.

“Communities of faith will become smaller but more impactful,” Arnold predicted, adding, “If you want to speak to another generation you have to meet them where they are and speak their language.”

Arnold said the General Commission on United Methodist Men — the national office of the United Methodist Men — “is totally focused on discipleship.”

“We must be more intentional about discipleship,” he said, stressing, “Ministry is about others.”

The gathering also heard messages from Steven Scheid, the General Commission’s Director of Scouting Ministries; Rev. Dr. Barry Ball; Jeffrey Taylor, president of the United Methodist Foundation of West Virginia, Inc.; and West Virginia United Methodist Area Resident Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball.

Elisabeth Schiffbauer of Morgantown provided music during the gathering.

Offerings during the gathering collected $361 for Kentucky flood relief. An offering collected during the Sunday morning worship service, held with Methodist men, Scouts and Scout adult leaders attending, raised $611 for the West Virginia United Methodist Conference Disaster Relief Fund.

Photos of the event are posted online at  https://www.flickr.com/photos/wvumc/albums/72177720302084678

The photos were taken by Rev. Kerry Bart, a member of the West Virginia United Methodist Conference’s Communications Team.

Paul White honored as ‘W.Va. United Methodist Man of the Year’

Paul White, a member of the Reedsville United Methodist Church, has been honored as the 2022 West Virginia United Methodist Man of the Year.

The honor was bestowed Sept. 10 during the annual meeting of the West Virginia United Methodist Men at West Virginia University’s Jackson’s Mill near Weston. It is the highest honor bestowed by the men’s organization.

White, a resident of Independence (Preston County), has served in local, district and state United Methodist Men’s organizations over the years.

He has served on the Reedsville church’s Administrative Board since 2011. He has been chairman of the church’s trustees since 2021, and has been involved with the church’s youth and Scouting ministry since 2011.

Also, White has served as the church’s district conference delegate since 2012; has been an alternate West Virginia Annual Conference lay member since 2012; and has been the church’s Child Protection Coordinator since 2015. He is a Certified Lay Servant.

White has served as president of the Mon Valley District United Methodist Men — the most active district in the conference — since 2019.

At the conference level, White has served on the Circuit Rider staff since 2012, the Scouting Committee since 2013, and the West Virginia United Methodist Men’s Executive Committee since 2019.

White is very active in scouting. He has served as a Mountaineer Area Council Adult Leader since 2010. He became a Scouting Ministry Specialist in 2013.

In addition, White has been a member of the Rotary Club of Newburg since 2015 and has served as president of the club since 2016. He was a Rotary District Assistant Governor from 2017 to 2020.

White has been a member of the Gideons International’s Preston County Camp since 2018.

The Man of the Year Award was established in 1953. It was originally known as the Layman of the Year Award.

White is married to Melanie Nichols White. He has three grown children.

Wayne Custer to serve as president of  W.Va. United Methodist Men

Wayne Custer of Bethlehem, Ohio County, who is a member of the Pleasant Hill United Methodist Church, has been elected president of the West Virginia United Methodist Men.

Custer was elected Sept. 10 during the organization’s annual meeting at West Virginia University’s Jackson’s Mill near Weston.

Custer has served in numerous local, district, state and national United Methodist Men’s offices over the years.

Jerry W. Meadows, a member of the Cross Lanes United Methodist Church, was elected vice president.

Ed Altizer, a member of the First United Methodist Church of South Charleston, was re-elected secretary and Donald Davis of the Spruce Street United Methodist Church, Morgantown, was re-elected treasurer.

About a dozen men from across the conference attended the annual meeting.

More than 312 Scouts, adult Scout leaders attend Circuit Rider at WVU Jackson’s Mill

A total of 312 Scouts and adult Scout leaders attended Circuit Rider 32, a weekend of wholesome activities held Sept. 9-11 at West Virginia University’s Jackson’s Mill, near Weston.

Ralph Herron, the West Virginia United Methodist Annual Conference’s Scout Coordinator, said approximately 400 youth and adult leaders had registered for the event but Covid forced several units to cancel.

Because of the pandemic, Circuit Rider was not held in 2020 or 2021.

Circuit Rider activities ranged from mountain bike riding, fly-tying classes and a session titled “From Life to Eagle,” to a workshop titled, “Building the Scout Fire,” by Steven Scheid, director of the General Commission on United Methodist Men’s Center for Scouting Ministries.

Scouts who chose to participate brought ingredients for household cleaning kits. Scouts gathered Saturday afternoon and assembled just over 100 kits for clients of the Upshur Parish House, the United Methodist Mission in Buckhannon.

There were 18 entries in a Dutch Oven Cook-off that featured a wide range of desserts. Troop 36 of Hurricane, led by Scoutmaster Joshua Miller, won the contest with a cherry cobbler.

“Their dish really impressed the judges, who gave them a perfect score — 50 out of 50,” said Charles Seccurro of Fairmont, the contest organizer and the Mountaineer Area Council’s Heart of West Virginia District Commissioner.

The winners received a Dutch oven and a traveling trophy.

Circuit Rider drew Scouts from Ohio and Kentucky as well as West Virginia.

A gathering Saturday evening featured skits by Scouts and music by the New Diesel Trio of Bridgeport. Eagle Scout Ryan Campione served as master of ceremonies.

Twenty seven Scouts completed an introductory class about the Bible taught by Rev. George Webb, pastor of the Humphreys United Methodist Church in Sissonville.

Scouts, adult leaders and the United Methodist Men gathered Sunday morning for a worship service and Holy Communion led by Pastor Greg Godwin, a retired elder in the United Methodist Church’s West Virginia Conference. Godwin also is the resident chaplain at the Scout’s Summit Bechtel Reserve near Glen Jean.

An offering collected during the service raised $611 for the West Virginia United Methodist Conference Disaster Relief Fund.

West Virginia Area Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball explained that the fund is maintained for disaster use inside and outside of the West Virginia Conference. “Right now, due to giving out of the fund for both Kentucky and Tennessee, the West Virginia fund has been depleted from the level we try to maintain for emergencies and needs,” she said.

Plans are already underway for the 2023 Circuit Rider, which will be Sept. 8-10 at Jackson’s Mill.

Golfers, sponsors raise funds for Methodist men’s Scouting ministries

Forty golfers from across West Virginia participated in the annual Arnold Eddy Memorial Golf Outing Sept. 9 at the Tygart Lake Public Golf Course near Grafton.

Winner of this year’s outing with a score of 13 under par was a foursome comprised of John Sausen, Scott Hanson, Jim Crowley and John Tomana.

West Virginia United Methodist Men’s Treasurer Don Davis said the outing, which also was supported by more than two dozen sponsors, raised about $7,000 for the men’s scouting ministries.

The West Virginia United Methodist Foundation, Inc., was the event partner. Major sponsors were MPB Print & Sign Superstore, with stores in Morgantown and Charleston, and John and Ann Stevens of Newville, Pa.

Hole sponsors from Morgantown were: Spruce Street United Methodist Men; Monongalia American Legion Post 2; J.S. Walker Associates – Realtors; and Lori Vance – State Farm Insurance Agent.

Sponsors from Westover were: Heritage Insurance Agency; Marci and William McCulla; McCulla Funeral Home; Westover United Methodist Church; and Westover United Methodist Men

Hole sponsors from Fairmont were: Omni Associates – Architects; Tom Kliethermes — Edward Jones; Mon Valley District of the United Methodist Church; Speedway Tire and Auto; Life United Methodist Church Men; Gateway United Methodist Church Men; and Eldora United Methodist Church.

Also sponsoring holes were Rev. Gregory Godwin, Buckhannon; Roger J. Rasmussen, Saint Albans; Morris Memorial United Methodist Church, Charleston; Barrackville United Methodist Church, Barrackville;  Little Kanawha District of the United Methodist Church, Parkersburg; West Virginia Area Resident Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball and Rev. Dr. Barry Ball, Scott Depot;  the W.Va. Scout Coordinators, in honor of Ralph Herron;  and Stout Memorial United Methodist Church, Parkersburg.