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To view a 2009 issue of the Virginia Conference e-Advocate, click on the date below:

December 16, 2009
December 8, 2009

November 17, 2009
November 10, 2009
November 4, 2009

October 27, 2009
October 20, 2009
October 13, 2009
October 6, 2009

September 30, 2009
September 21, 2009
September 14, 2009
September 8, 2009

August 31, 2009
August 24, 2009
August 19, 2009

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News from the Virginia Conference – Sept. 21, 2009

Large response requires new location for 5 Talent Academy Oct. 1 event
Due to a larger than expected number of churches enrolling in the 5 Talent Academy, the Academy’s Oct. 1 teaching event featuring Bart and Tony Campolo has been moved to the Sheraton Hotel West, 6624 W. Broad St., Richmond. It is just off I-64 at exit 183B. A total of 108 churches have signed covenants to be part of the 5 Talent Academy. Originally, each participating church was allowed to bring as many as 5 people. In the new location, there is no limit; however, churches wishing to bring more than 15 people should contact Anna Workman, conference director of Congregational Development and Evangelism. Churches must pre-register individuals for the Oct. 1 event by Friday, Sept. 25, in order to guarantee sufficient lunches. Click here for online registration. In response to the theme of the day, each participant is asked to bring non-perishable food items to contribute to the Metropolitan Area Resource Clearinghouse. This food drive is part of the vision of the 5 Talent leadership team to make a difference wherever the Academy meets. Churches that have not enrolled for this fall are reminded that there is another opportunity to enroll in January.

Do you want to serve?
Individuals who are interested in serving on a Virginia Conference board or agency can "self-nominate" themselves. Click here for more details.

Alban Institute offers ‘Facebook and Twitter 101’ webinar Sept. 22
The Alban Institute is offering a webinar, “Facebook and Twitter 101 for Congregations” at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 22. The one-hour session costs $39.95. Lynne Baab, author of Reaching Out in a Networked World: Expressing Your Congregation’s Heart and Soul, will provide an overview of how Facebook and Twitter both work; how groups, such as congregations, can use them; and a brief discussion of whether we need to be concerned about online relationships replacing face to face relationships. If you've been wanting someone to help you evaluate whether or not your congregation should be considering these social networking options, this webinar has been designed just for you. Click here for more information.

Register now for Oct. 7 PAUMCS Fall Retreat
The Rev. Pat Watkins and the Rev. Denise Honeycutt will be speakers at the Virginia Conference chapter of Professional Association of United Methodist Secretaries (PAUMCS) annual fall retreat Wednesday, Oct. 7, at the Conference Center in Glen Allen. PAUMCS members, local church secretaries, district secretaries, and pastors are invited. Deadline for registration is Wednesday, Sept. 23. Click here for more information.

UMCOR depots need supplies
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is calling on church members to help replenish its stock of supplies at the relief agency's depots, UMCOR Sager Brown in Baldwin, La., and UMCOR West in Salt Lake City. During the summer, volunteers worked at both locations to assemble international shipments of relief supplies worth more than $100,000 to people around the world. In particular, UMCOR West, which provides opportunities for kit ministry at churches in the Western Jurisdiction, can use help in filling the shelves of its 22,000-square-foot warehouse. Click here for more information about needed supplies.

Amor y Paz summer school offers education ... and hope
School bells were silent. No footsteps echoed through the hallways of the public schools in Winchester. But that didn’t mean that school was over for the children at Amor y Paz Iglesia Metodista Unidas. More ...

October issue of Advocate looks at life of clergy spouse in 21st century …
…which is very different from the way things were just a few years ago. With more and more women in the ministry in The United Methodist Church, more clergy spouses are men, for one thing, and further changing the dynamic is the fact that these days both spouses likely need to be working. Essays from several clergy spouses explain how these families are handling their work and home situations. To get your own subscription to the Virginia United Methodist Advocate, call Peggy Cribbs at 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110, or (804) 521-1110. Or e-mail or Cost is $15 for one year; multiple-year subscriptions are available at reduced rates.

GBOD iteach e-mail newsletter offers inspiration, encouragement, learning
Could your church teachers and leaders use some inspiration, encouragement and learning? If so, you might want to encourage them to look at "iteach," a monthly e-mail newsletter from the General Board of Discipleship which is archived at Recent topics have included learning from life experiences, thinking theologically with youth, and tips on lesson planning. Interested persons can also sign up to have it sent monthly to their e-mail address by responding to the sign-up icon at the bottom of the page of each issue.

Bishop to meet with Extension Ministers Oct. 2
Extension Ministers (elders, provisional elders and local pastors) and those appointed Beyond the Local Church (deacons and provisional deacons) will get together Friday, Oct. 2, at the Virginia United Methodist Conference Center in Glen Allen, to connect with each other and hear from Bishop Charlene Kammerer. This year, the group will also hear from Dr. Russell E. Ritchey, Professor of Church History at Candler School of Theology, Emory University, and author of a new book,  Extension Ministers: Mr. Wesley’s True Heirs Click here to register and for more information.

Oct. 3 Older Adult Conference to focus on aging, ministry in 21st Century
Join the Virginia Conference Older Adult Ministry Council on Saturday, Oct. 3, at Mount Pisgah UMC in Midlothian, as we explore aging and ministry in the 21st century with Rev. Dr. Richard Gentzler, Jr., director of the Center on Aging and Older Adult Ministry for the General Board of Discipleship. All who are interested in ministry across the mid-life and older stages of life are welcome. Click here to register by Sept. 25. Or contact the Office of Leadership and Inclusivity, (804) 521-1153 or (800) 768-6040, ext. 153, or e-mail A block of 15 rooms has been reserved at the Holiday Inn Select - Koger Center at 1021 Koger Center Boulevard (10800 block of Midlothian Turnpike), Richmond, for folks who want to come in the night before. These rooms will be available until Sept. 25. To reserve a room in the block, call the hotel directly at (804) 379-3800 and ask for the rooms reserved for the “United Methodist Church” for Friday, Oct. 2. Many other hotels are in the immediate area.

Christian Educators to consider ‘Digital Discipleship’ Oct. 8
The Virginia Conference Christian Educators Fellowship and the Conference Board of Discipleship’s Division of Education are hosting a Day Apart on Thursday, Oct. 8, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Virginia United Methodist Conference Center in Glen Allen. Stan Hargraves will present “Digital Discipleship: Christian Ministry in a Technological World.” Cost is $20 and check-in begins at 9:30 a.m. Space is limited. For more information, contact MaryKaye Cochran at (804) 739-4535, ext. 33, or e-mail Deadline to register is Thursday, Oct. 1.

United Nations Seminar for Youth set for Oct. 12-16
The annual United Nations Seminar for youth will be held Oct. 12-16. That week, 11th and 12th grade youths and college students will travel to New York City to learn about the many social justice issues that face our world today and how the United Methodist Church is lobbying with the United Nations for change. This year’s topic is “Exploring Just Relationships with Humanity through Caring for God’s Creation.” Participants will have the chance to learn about the day-to-day realities that face people in other parts of the world. Participants will be challenged to put their faith into action by thinking globally and acting locally in their own communities to make a difference in the world! Click here for more information.

Middle School Mission Weekend is Oct. 16-18
The October Middle School Mission Weekend is Oct. 16-18 at Westview on the James in Goochland. This is an opportunity to introduce your middle school students (6th-8th graders) to mission and help them understand what it means to be the hands feet of Christ. Click here for more information.

VUMAC to host ‘Evening at Blackstone’ Dec. 6
The Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) in Blackstone will host its annualEvening at Blackstone, Sunday, Dec. 6, with “The Brethren,” an ensemble of Christian male vocalists from Northern Virginia. Click here for more information.

Applications available for Virginia Seminary Summer Collegium 
Applications are now available for the Summer Collegium, a project in support of small congregations at Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria. Clergy (and spouses or partners) from 25 small churches of all Christian denominations are invited to spend nine days at Virginia Seminary June 23 - July 1, 2010, for encouragement, education, rest and renewal. All expenses, including travel, books, meals, lodging, child care at home and pulpit supply, are paid by a grant from the Lilly Endowment. Theme this year is "Leadership in the Small Congregation." Keynote speaker will be Alice Mann, writer on congregational ministry. John Bell from the Iona Community in Scotland will join the worship team. Application forms are at To request an application sent by mail, e-mail or call 703-461-1760. Applications must be postmarked by Dec. 15 to be considered.



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The Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church
10330 Staples Mill Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060
P.O. Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058-5606
(804) 521-1100
Click here for directions to the Center