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News from the Virginia Conference – November 10, 2009

Annual Conference offering to aid Mozambique, Brazil, Grace Ministries
Bishop Charlene Kammerer has announced that the 2010 Annual Conference offering will benefit three projects: 1) education and training for Sunday school teachers, lay preachers and pastors in the United Methodist Church in Mozambique; 2) curriculum and teacher training materials for “Shade and Fresh Water” centers and other children’s centers sponsored by the Brazil Methodist Church; and 3) Grace Ministries, a community outreach program of the Arlington District that serves low-income immigrant families in northern Virginia. Churches wanting to promote these projects as part of their Advent or Christmas special offerings can find Mozambique and Brazil worship resources on the Conference Web site (click here). Information about Grace Ministries is available at www.graceministriesumc.org.

Judicial Council refuses to rule on pensions question
The top court of The United Methodist Church has refused to take jurisdiction in response to a request from the 2009 Virginia Annual Conference concerning language of the Book of Discipline in relation to the legal authority of the General Board of Pensions and Health Benefits (GBPHB) acting as administrators of the denomination’s clergy pension and benefit plan, and the conferences acting as plan sponsors. More …

‘God's Renewed Creation’ to be topic at Clergy Spouse Retreat
“God's Renewed Creation” will be the topic of Bishop Charlene P. Kammerer’s keynote address at the 2010 Clergy Spouse Retreat March 4 - 6, at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) in Blackstone. Her address will be based on the updated initiative of the Council of Bishops — "God's Renewed Creation: Call to Hope and Action" — that explores the problems of and solutions to nuclear weapons, environmental degradation, global warming, endemic poverty and disease. The retreat will also offer a variety of interest groups including Ed and Libby Wright leading a group for clergy couples titled "Two Ministers in a Parsonage," and Leigh Kammerer leading a group for male clergy spouses. Dress is casual. Come for an opportunity to make new friends, renew friendships, relax and have fun. Registration information will be out in early January. Retreat planning committee is chaired by Margaret Sisson and is sponsored by the Clergy Family Enrichment Committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry.

Centenary UMC, Richmond, is named ‘Welcoming Congregation’
Centenary United Methodist Church in Richmond has been recognized by United Methodist Communications (UMCom) as an official “Welcoming Congregation.” “Welcoming Congregations” are a select group of United Methodist congregations nationwide that meet criteria including embracing newcomers and providing opportunities in discipleship. The recognition program is part of a larger effort launched in late 2000 by UMCom, the denomination’s communications agency, to use modern technology and the common language of television to spread the good news of Christ to a world in need. More …

UMVIM Team Leader Training is Nov. 21 at Lakeside UMC, Richmond
United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) Team Leader training will be held 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, at Lakeside UMC, Richmond. Cost is $10 at the door to cover meal, snacks and handouts. You will also need to purchase a handbook from the Southeastern Jurisdiction UMVIM Office. To purchase, go to www.umvim.org, click on "About UMVIM," scroll down to “Store.” The first item is the handbook. Cost is $26, including shipping and handling. Deadline to register is Monday, Nov. 16. Click here to register for training.

Training schedule posted for Lay Ministries Academy Feb. 26-28
Click here to view the training schedule and all class offerings for the Lay Ministries Academy to be held Friday, Feb. 26, through Sunday, Feb. 28, at Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) in Blackstone. Basic Lay Speaking Training for adults and a variety of Advanced Lay Speaking courses will be offered. Registration form and cost information are on the last page of the training schedule. For more information, contact Cyndi Schnell, (434) 292-5308, or e-mail CyndiSchnell@vaumc.org

UMFS provides giving opportunities for holidays
UMFS, formerly known as United Methodist Family Services, has several giving opportunities for this holiday season. Most items are needed by Dec. 1. Needed items include: 32 “Secret Santas” (a gift sack valued at $50 with gifts chosen from a child’s or teen’s wish list); 87 $5 gift cards to fast food restaurants; 10 $20 gift cards to Walmart; 70 holiday treat bags for teens, valued at $6 (ask for a list of suggested items to include); 176 treat bags for resource parents (ask for a list of items to include); eight holiday stockings for the teens at Leland House (needed by Dec. 20); eight classroom, cottage, center wish lists. For more information or to register your participation, contact Linda Ray at lray@umfs.org or (804) 254-9692.

Help seekers find info about your church on Find-a-church.org
Millions of unchurched seekers are out there. How will they find your church? At www.Find-A-Church.org, Web surfers can search – by location, ministry offerings and more – for opportunities to engage with your church. (e.g., Maybe a parent is thrilled to find a congregation that offers a day care program. Or parenting classes.) But they won’t find your church ministries unless YOU put them on your church’s profile on Find-A-Church. Use your church’s easily updatable Find-A-Church profile to put a personal welcome, ministry opportunities, contact information, details about worship schedule, a link to your church Web site and more at the fingertips of people actively searching for it. There are two ways to update your church information: 1) Visit www.find-a-church.org, enter your zip code, select your church name ... then scroll down to “Update your church information.” Or, complete the online short form at www.rethinkchurch.org/churchupdate and submit.
     Almost 300,000 people a month already go to http://www.Find-A-Church.org to learn more about local churches just like yours. And even more visitors are on the way. Find-a-Church.org is a key component of the “Rethink Church” initiative – the next evolution of The United Methodist Church’s Open Hearts national advertising and welcoming campaign. The ad campaign sends visitors to www.10thousanddoors.org. When they get there, they’ll discover many “doors” they can walk through to search for a church that matches their own interests and preferences. But if your information isn’t updated on Find-a-Church, they won't learn much about you, or the “doors” that can lead them into your church. And they could be missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime. For assistance in updating your church information, e-mail FAC@umcom.org or call toll-free 1-800-251-8140.


For in-depth news and features about United Methodist mission and ministry, subscribe to the Virginia United Methodist Advocate, the Virginia Conference’s award-winning monthly newsmagazine. Click here to subscribe online. Or call Peggy Cribbs at 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110, or (804) 521-1110. Or e-mail Advocate@vaumc.org.


      

 

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