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Dec. 23, 2010
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News from the Virginia Conference – March 24, 2010

Government restricts use of wireless microphones
Under a new Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rule, churches can no longer use wireless microphones or similar devices that operate in the 700 MHz Band. The new regulation will take effect on June 12. To see if this law affects your church’s wireless microphones, check the list at the FCC’s Web site at www.fcc.gov/cgb/wirelessmicrophones/manufacturers.html. More ...

Turn out lights this Saturday to show care for the earth
This Saturday, March 27, at 8:30 p.m. local time all over the world, people will turn their lights off as a demonstration of their commitment to care for the earth. Caretakers of God's Creation encourages you to participate. For more information, click on https://www.myearthhour.org/about/faq.

April edition of Laity E-News now on conference Web site
The April edition of the Virginia Conference Laity E-News can now be read on the Conference Web site (click here). If you have trouble with the link, go to www.vaumc.org, select “Ministries,” then “Laity,” followed by “Laity Newsletters.” You are encouraged to share this periodic publication with others, especially those in leadership positions in your church.

April 18 is Native American Ministries Sunday
Sunday, April 18, is designated as Native American Ministries Sunday in United Methodist churches. The observance, approved by the 1988 General Conference, is one of six special churchwide Sunday offerings. Without help from Native American Ministries Sunday, Ray deZafra never would have found his way to the Third Sunday Native American Fellowship. For the first time in his life, the Potawatomi Indian feels that he belongs, not just to a tribe, but also to a community of Christians. The offering on this Special Sunday educates Native American seminarians, plants Native American churches and cultivates Native American outreach to seekers like Ray. Call 1-888-346-3862 to order envelopes and other resources so your congregation can participate in this churchwide offering. They will be sent at no cost to your church. Find more at umcgiving.org/specialsundays or click here.

May 2 is Older Adult Recognition Sunday
Sunday, May 2, is designated Older Adult Recognition Sunday. Materials have now been posted on the conference Web ste for 2010 Older Adult Recognition Sunday. This year’s theme, “Seasoned Adults Flavor the Young: Intergenerational Ministries,” follows the 2009 theme of “Seasoned Adults Spice Up the Church.” Lectionary readings for Older Adult Recognition Sunday include Psalm 148 and John 13:31-35. Since a portion of Psalm 148 reads “…young men and women alike, old and young together…,” the theme of intergenerational ministries was chosen. Click here to access materials. If you have difficulty with the link, go to www.vaumc.org, select “Ministries,” then “Age-Related Ministries,” “Older Adults,” and “Older Adults Recognition Sunday.” Scroll to the bottom of the page for the link to the “2010 worship service.”

United Methodists plan to ‘Change the World’ April 24-25
April 24-25 will be a weekend that could change the world. All 11 million United Methodists are being urged to come together that weekend to work in their local communities and also unite to fight malaria. Join these Virginia Conference churches that will be participating: Jetersville UMC (Farmville District), Thrift Store Ministry; Centenary UMC (Lynchburg District), Habitat for Humanity; Sherbourne UMC (Richmond District), Health Clinic and Food Pantry; Waverly UMC (Portsmouth District), 12-church cooperative Mission Ministries; Accotink UMC (Alexandria District), Free desserts to community; Floris UMC (Arlington District), Full Circle Band concert for Mercy Hospital in Bo, Sierra Leone, and Rebuilding Together; Emmanuel UMC (Charlottesville District), Need-a-Prayer Drive-Thru; St. Stephen's UMC (Alexandria District), Grace Ministries food, clothing, diapers distribution; Beverley Hills Community UMC (Alexandria District), Rebuilding Together Alexandria home repair project; Arlington UMC (Arlington District), 6-8 community service projects; Macedonia UMC (Winchester District), ‘What on Earth R U Up 2 4 Heaven's Sake?’ worship and service; Stanardsville UMC (Charlottesville District), Nothing but Nets community fundraiser; Hinton Avenue UMC (Charlottesville District), Malaria-focused worship; soup kitchen. What will your church do? For more information about Change the World, go to www.rethinkchurch.org/changetheworld.

Virginia Conference events …

‘Real Change for Real People’ training to be offered April 17
The Conference Board of Church and Society, in partnership with Interfaith Center for Public Policy, will sponsor a workshop to train regional facilitators for future workshops titled “Real Change for Real People: Moving Beyond Broke.” Training will be 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, April 17, at the Virginia United Methodist Conference Center in Glen Allen. A light lunch will be provided. The first regional workshop is scheduled for 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Saturday, May 1, at Calvary UMC, 1637 Williamsburg Rd., Richmond. This workshop will address controversial issues of unemployment insurance, living wage and predatory lending. The Social Principles, scripture and living testimonies are integrated in the content to address the injustices of poverty. Click here for more information or e-mail Marilyn Heckstall at mheckstall@comcast.net. For lunch reservations, e-mail Carla Sterns at revcarla3@yahoo.com by April 9.

Christian Education Fellowship training event to be April 19-21
The Virginia Christian Education Fellowship (VA CEF) Professional Development Training Event will be April 19-21 at Shalom House Retreat Center in Montpelier. Theme is “Unlock the Secrets to More Time and Creativity in Your Ministry.” Training leader and keynote speaker is the Rev. Doug Forrester. Workshops include: “Christian Education 101 for New Christian Educators,” “Picking Curriculum that is a Theological Fit,” “Digital Technology” and “Praying the Labyrinth.” All persons serving the local church in education, formation and age-level ministries are welcome. Click here for more information. Click here for online registration. Registration deadline is April 9. For more information, contact MaryKaye Cochran, VA CEF president, at mcochran@woodlakeumc.org or (804) 739-4535, ext. 33.

Ted Campbell to present ‘Wesleyan Perspective on Sacraments’
The Society for Wesleyan Studies will sponsor “A Wesleyan Perspective on the Sacraments,” presented by Dr. Ted A. Campbell, Associate Professor of Church History at Perkins School of Theology and one of the world's premier Wesleyan scholars, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, April 26, at Duncan Memorial UMC, Ashland. Cost is $40, which includes lunch. The Board of Ordained Ministry has approved .5 CEU for this event. Laity and clergy are invited. For more information, contact the Rev. Carl Ulrich at carlulrich@aol.com or (804) 592-5962. Click here for more information.

Living with Alzheimer’s workshop set for May 7 in Virginia Beach
“Living with Alzheimer’s Disease: You are NOT Alone,” a dual-track workshop for family caregivers, clergy and church leaders, will be held Friday, May 7, at Virginia Beach UMC, 212 19th St., Virginia Beach. This conference offers current, relevant strategies for caregivers, with a special track for clergy and church leaders involved in ministry with families experiencing Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Keynote speaker will be Dr. Stephen Sapp, professor and chair of Religious Studies at the University of Miami and author of When Alzheimer’s Disease Strikes! Registration fee is $10. Registration deadline is April 12 for clergy with CEU request and April 26 for clergy and church leaders without CEU request. Click here for more information or contact Janice Cagle at (757) 428-7727 or jcagle@vbumc.org. Sponsors are Alzheimer’s Association, Southeastern Virginia Chapter; Virginia Beach UMC; Virginia Conference Commission on Disabilities; Virginia Beach Department of Human Services; and Virginia Wesleyan College.

May 8 will be United Methodist Day at Kings Dominion
Saturday, May 8, will be Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church Family Fun Day at Kings Dominion amusement park, with discounted tickets to the park available for United Methodists. A special picnic will be held from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. at the Group Catering Pavilion. To purchase tickets online, go to www.kingsdominion.com, click on “Tickets,” then “Corporate Partners,” and enter company code UMC4. The special discount tickets ($27.50 for ages 3-61 and 48" tall or taller; $24.50 for ages 3-61 and under 48" tall or ages 62+) will be valid Saturdays May 1, 8, 15, 22, Memorial Day Weekend May 29, 30, 31, and April 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 2010. Children ages 2 and under admitted free.

‘Extreme Makeover: Worship Edition’ will revitalize your worship
Whether your worship needs a remodel, renovation, rehab or completely new construction, this event will give you the tools to design, develop and deliver powerful, authentic worship that is true to the risen Christ. The design team – Len Wilson and Jason Moore of Midnight Oil and the Rev. Chris Hughes of Pneumanaut Ministries – will help you clarify your blueprint for worship, overcome obstacles and explore new methods and techniques. The same program will be offered in two separate locations on two different days: Tuesday, May 11, at Calvary UMC in Stuarts Draft, and Wednesday, May 12, at Shady Grove UMC in Mechanicsville. Choose either location. Deadline to register is April 30. Click here for more information or to register for May 11. Click here for more information or to register for May 12.

School for Children’s Ministry to be May 21-22 at VUMAC
School for Children’s Ministry will be May 21-22 at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) in Blackstone. Friday evening guest speakers will be Bradford Hulcher from the Autism Society of Central Virginia, speaking on “Including Children with Disabilities in the Church Community,” and the Rev. Ellen Heatwole, pastor at Forest Grove UMC in the Ashland District, speaking on “Experimental Worship.” Six different workshops will be offered: Children in Mission, Got Volunteers?, Sponsored by the Children’s Ministry Team, “Show me” a Children’s Message, How to Build an Effective Nursery Ministry and Children’s Ministry 101. Registration deadline is May 14. Click here for more information and to register.

PAUMCS Spring Retreat to be May 23-24 in Orkney Springs
“Living Abundantly in Times of Scarcity” will be the theme for the Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries (PAUMCS) Spring Retreat May 23-24 at the Shrine Mont Retreat Center in Orkney Springs. Leader will be the Rev. Rhonda Van Dyke Colby. PAUMCS invites all church administrative staff, full-time, part-time, paid and volunteer, including, but not limited to, administrative assistants, financial secretaries, office managers and newsletter editors. Click here to download a brochure.

Children offered two chances to experience ‘Helping Hands’ mission
“Helping Hands,” a two-day hands-on mission experience for children, will be held July 8-9 at Main Street UMC in Waynesboro and again July 22-23 at Woodlake UMC, Midlothian. All rising fourth- through sixth-graders, parents and adult leaders of Virginia Conference churches are invited to participate in one of these events and learn about mission opportunities and the importance of being a caring Christian. Cost is $35 per person and includes a T-shirt, meals, snacks and overnight stay. Registration begins May 1. Click here for more information about July 8-9. Click here for more information about July 22-23.

Global and National News …

Health care reform bill called ‘huge step’ affirming Social Principles
The United Methodist General Board of Church and Society chief executive said the U.S. House of Representatives took a "huge step" toward affirming the denomination's Social Principles when it passed health insurance reform legislation on March 21. More … For more on United Methodists and health care reform, click here.

United Methodists urged to model civil discourse
An attack on U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver — who was spat upon and called a racial slur by protesters outside the U.S. Capitol — offers an opportunity to model civil discourse and point to a different path, United Methodist leaders say. "It saddens me, the acrimonious debate both in Congress and in the public at large. We have failed to carry on serious debate without personal attacks and name calling," said Bishop Gregory Palmer, president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops. More …

United Methodists among marchers calling for immigration reform
“The time for comprehensive immigration reform is now,” United Methodist Bishop Minerva Carcaño proclaimed before tens of thousands of marchers gathered on the National Mall near the U.S. Capitol on March 21 to urge Congress to pass immigration reform legislation. Hundreds of United Methodists were gathered and scattered throughout the teeming masses, identified by their shirts, signs and banners. They came via trains, planes, cars and buses, some riding all night to be a part of history. Some described the march as larger than the last big one, held here and in other cities in April 2006 when Congress last debated but didn’t pass immigration reform legislation. More … For more information about immigration reform and the position of The United Methodist Church, see the April issue of The Virginia United Methodist Advocate. (Click here to subscribe online.)

Student Forum 2010 to be held at Shenandoah University May 27-30
Student Forum 2010, the annual leadership conference of the United Methodist Student Movement, will be held May 27-30 at Shenandoah University in Winchester. Theme for this year’s gathering is “Jesus’ Story Empowering Disciples,” based on Romans 5:1-5. Registration fee is $75. Although registration will be open to all who are able to attend, up to nine students are requested as delegates for each annual conference. For more details or to register, go to the event Web site, www.umsm.org/studentforum. Registration deadline is April 15. Early registration is strongly encouraged. If you have questions, contact Gerlinda Roland at studentforum@gbhem.org or (615) 340-7415.

Study commission considers elimination of guaranteed appointment
A United Methodist commission charged with developing ways to improve clergy effectiveness is considering recommending the elimination of guaranteed appointments. In a joint meeting with the Committee on Faith and Order March 16, members of the Ministry Study Commission raised concerns about the practice of promising some clergy lifetime jobs. More …

Online survey seeks input for Africana Hymnal study group
The distinctive worship styles and practices of 2,370 black United Methodist churches in the United States are being identified in a study under way to determine if an official hymnal is needed to serve the more than 400,000 United Methodists of African descent in North America. Lay members and clergy of black churches are being asked to complete an online survey as part of the broader Africana Hymnal Study, which is the joint work of the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) and United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH). The four-year study to determine if there is a need for an official United Methodist hymnal for North American Christians of African descent in the Wesleyan heritage was approved by General Conference 2008. Findings and recommendations will be submitted to GBOD and the UMPH for reporting to the 2012 General Conference. For more information, go to http://www.gbod.org/africanahymnalstudy/.

GBHEM begins search for new general secretary
The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) is beginning a search for a new general secretary, with the goal of presenting a candidate at its August 2011 meeting. The Rev. Ramon Evangelista, chair of the GBHEM’s Personnel and Policies Committee, said the board will contract with a search company to guide the process. He said the Personnel and Policies Committee will serve as the search committee. Dr. Jerome King Del Pino, an elder in the New England Annual Conference, was elected general secretary of GBHEM in 2001 and is now coming to the conclusion of his third and final term.

Colorado Bishop dismisses complaint against former GBGM head
A Colorado bishop has dismissed a complaint that charged the former top executive of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries had violated his ordination vows. Denver Area Bishop Elaine Stanovsky announced that she has "terminated the complaint process against the Rev. Edward W. Paup," a former bishop and a clergy member of The United Methodist Church's Rocky Mountain Annual Conference. "Since forwarding the complaints to the Counsel for the Church, intervening events have mitigated many of the concerns raised," she wrote in a recent letter. More …

Abingdon Press releases ‘Green Church’ resources for all ages
Abingdon press has released Green Church resources for all ages, so churches can work together to take action as stewards of the environment. Churches and their members will learn how to become better caretakers of God’s planet as they study Scripture and scientific findings and participate in group discussion and learning activities. Each age-level study offers a Leader’s Guide that includes everything a group leader would need for all six sessions. The companion piece, 7 Simple Steps to Green Your Church, includes a one-year plan to help churches “go green.” For more information visit, www.GreenChurch.AbingdonPress.com.


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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