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December 16, 2009
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November 17, 2009
November 10, 2009
November 4, 2009

October 27, 2009
October 20, 2009
October 13, 2009
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News from the Virginia Conference - August 31, 2009

Sept. 15 is deadline to register for 5 Talent Academy Oct. 1 Teaching Event
As many as 500 people could attend the 5 Talent Academy’s first Big Teaching Event on Thursday, Oct. 1, at River Road UMC, Richmond. Tony and Bart Campolo will be featured leaders on the topic of “Ministry with the Poor.” Deadline is Sept. 15 for churches to return their covenant forms to the conference office in order to participate in the Oct. 1 session. A maximum of five people may attend from each participating congregation. Click here to register. For more information, contact or

Large church lead pastor gathering is Oct. 20; Mid-size church pastor gathering is Nov. 12; Small church pastor event in development for 2010
The Board of Ordained Ministry, in cooperation with the Cabinet, has developed two initiatives to support lead pastors in similar size congregations. The Large Church Lead Pastor Initiative connects lead pastors in congregations with an average worship attendance above 350. The Mid Size Church Leadership Initiative connects lead pastors in congregations with an average worship attendance from 150 to 350. Each year the initiatives sponsor an annual gathering and “Just in Time Training” for newly appointed lead pastors in these similar size congregations. By fall 2010, work will begin to develop a similar initiative with lead pastors of small membership churches.
For large church lead pastors, the annual gathering this year will be held Tuesday, Oct. 20, at Shady Grove UMC, Mechanicsville. Keynote presenter will be Dan Entwistle, Managing Executive Director of Church of the Resurrection UMC, on the topic “Firm Foundations for Growing Ministries.” Click here to register.
For mid-size church lead pastors, the annual gathering this year will be held Thursday, Nov. 12, at Ebenezer UMC, Stafford. Keynote presenter will be Alice Mann, author of Raising the Roof, The Pastoral-to-Program Size Transition, on the topic “Clergy Leadership for the Mid-Size Church.Click here to register.
Lead pastors with the stated average worship attendance may register for these gatherings.

New hotel available for Leadership Transformation event Sept. 17-19
Rooms at the Stafford Hampton Inn are no longer available for those who plan to attend the Sept. 17-19 Leadership Transformation training event at Regester Chapel UMC in Stafford. Lodging at the same group rate of $88 per night can be made at The Wingate, 15 Salisbury Dr., Stafford, VA 22544. Call (540) 659-3600 and use group code UMLE. The training event will be led by Bishop Robert Schnase, author of Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations, and the Rev. Rudy Rasmus of St. John's UMC, Houston. Guest preacher is the Rev. Dr. Dorothy Watson-Tatem of the Pennsylvania Conference Urban Ministries. Saturday's agenda includes special breakout sessions for African-American, Asian, Multi-Cultural, Hispanic/Latino, small membership, and mid-size membership ministry settings. More ...

Greenville UMC awarded ‘Official Welcoming Congregation’ designation
Greenville United Methodist Church in Greenville, VA, has been recognized by United Methodist Communications (UMCom) in Nashville as an official “Welcoming Congregation.” More …

Order of Elder to gather Oct. 25-27 at VUMAC
The Rev. Fran Cooper, Chair of the Order of Elder, reminds all elders that the Order is gathering on Oct. 25-27 at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) in Blackstone. The Book of Discipline challenges all elders to remember the connection to each other and the church as a whole, to strengthen spiritual wellbeing, and to respond in readiness to minister to the world. The District Order of Elder chairs have designed this retreat to offer a special opportunity to remember, strengthen, and respond to the commitment elders make to our Wesleyan heritage. Keynote presenter will be Bishop Will Willimon, Episcopal leader of the Birmingham Area and author of numerous books and articles. All active and retired elders are encouraged to attend. Click here to register or to download a registration form.

Virginia Diaconate fall retreat to be Oct. 13-14 at Richmond Hill
The Rev. Kiok Cho, Chair of the Order of Deacon, has announced the fall retreat for the Virginia Diaconate, which includes active and retired deacons, diaconal ministers, deaconesses and home missioners. The retreat will be held Oct. 13-14 at Richmond Hill, Richmond. Retreat leader will be Elizabeth W. Baker, ordained deacon in the West Virginia Conference. She serves as a Deacon associate at First United Methodist Church in Clarksburg, WV. Her ministry focus is on Spiritual Formation and Lay Ministry Development. Click here to register or to download a registration form.

Fellowship of Local Pastors, Associate Members retreat to be Sept. 20-22
The Rev. Gayle Thornberry, Chair of the Fellowship of Local Pastors and Associate Members, encourages all full- and part-time local pastors, active and retired associate members, and their spouses to register for the annual fall retreat to be held Sept. 20-22, at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) in Blackstone. The theme is “Plotting the Path to the Promised Land: Leading any size church by rallying the resistant and visioning for the future!” with leadership by the Rev. D. Glen Langston of Four Seasons Ministry. Click here to register or to download a registration form.

Learn about the ministry of the Deacon Oct. 12
Wondering about what is means to be a deacon? An information session and conversation with current deacons will be held on Monday, Oct. 12, from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. at the Conference Center in Glen Allen. All interested persons, candidates, and provisional deacons are encouraged to attend. Click here for more information and to register.

United Methodists help raise $7 million+ for ‘Nothing But Nets’
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In 2008, the "Nothing But Nets" campaign eclipsed its ambitious fund-raising goals and raised more than $7 million from some 40,000 individual donors. The 2008 annual report issued by the United Nations Foundation, creator of the grassroots campaign, declared that 2008 donations represent significant increases over annual fund-raising the two previous years. More ...

2010 Program Calendar reminds users to ‘Rethink Church’
NASHVILLE — From front to back cover and pages in-between, the official United Methodist 2010 Program Calendar – now available from United Methodist Communications – encourages users to “rethink the way The United Methodist Church makes contact with the world.” More ...

General Board of Discipleship offers grants for older adult ministries
Discipleship doesn't end at age 65. We stand on the brink of a "longevity revolution" - an era when one out of five Americans is 65 or over. The United Methodist General Board of Discipleship’s Center on Aging and Older Adult Ministries is offering program grants to fund older adult ministries. These grants offer help for churches that already have an established ministry for, with or led by older adults, as well as for those envisioning a new ministry. Do you have a program or project that's on the brink due to budget cuts? Do you have an idea for a ministry that just needs a little seed money? Find out more about the grants that may help you move off the budget spreadsheet and into action. Click here to download the application and instructions.



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