From the District Superintendent

God's Signs

Posted 20 November, 2018 by Rev. Kathleen Overby Webster

The line of city trash trucks at the edge of the parking lot adjacent to I-581, engines rumbling and lights flashing, is a sign to me on my frequent treks to meetings at the Conference Center in Glen Allen. If they are still parked, humming it seems in anticipation of the day, then I am on schedule. If (sometimes a b-i-g "if") I do not hit any traffic tie-ups along the way, I will have time to stop for coffee in Waynesboro and arrive on time for the meeting. If however that parking lot is empty, dark, and quiet, with only a straggler truck still in view, then I know I will not be able to stop along the way and will arrive late, when the meeting has already begun.

Then Jesus told them a story:
When you see a fig tree or any other tree putting out leaves, you know that summer will soon come. So, when you see these things happening, you know that God's kingdom will soon be here.  
(Luke 21:29-31, Common English Version)

We are called, especially in this season, to be alert for signs of God's in-breaking Kingdom. In what unlikely places, surprising situations, and unexpected people do you see signs of God's work? In the midst of political divisiveness, entrenched discord, antipathy, hatred, and heightened anxiety, where are there signs that God is working for newness of life?Does your life and that of your church need to be a sign to your community of God's surprising work of healing, forgiveness, reconciliation, and peace? Are you living into the hope and promise of God at work in the world, attentive to the many ways Christ is present (Emmanuel), advocating for the powerless, and befriending the lonely?         When all of this starts happening, stand up straight and be brave. You will soon be set free.  (Luke 21:28, Common English Version)

Even so, come Lord Jesus,


In October I:

  • Worshiped with Worshiped with the Convergence Service at Blacksburg UMC; Officiated a wedding in our District Staff Family
  • Conducted 11 annual cluster Charge Conferences with 25 churches
  • Participated in the Annual Conference Planning Meeting and Conference Common Table Personnel Committee Meeting
  • Attended the District UMW Day
  • Participated in Peer Group
  • Met with Bishop Lewis for Annual Consultation and Evaluation
  • Participated in the October Cabinet Meeting, the Bishops Way Forward Work Group, and The Strategic Visioning Steering Team
  • Led District Committee on Nominations Meeting, Attended District Common Table Meeting, Five Talent Academy, and Carillon CPE Advisory Group Meeting, and District Clergywomen's Lunch
  • Consulted with laity and clergy in person, by phone, and through email