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Dec. 23, 2010
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News from the Virginia Conference – April 1, 2010

Conference offices close for Easter observance
The Virginia Conference offices in the United Methodist Center will close at 1 p.m. Thursday, April 1, and will be closed Friday, April 2, in observance of Good Friday and Easter.

Virginia’s commitment to mission featured in 'New World Outlook'
The March/April 2010 issue of "New World Outlook," the mission magazine of The United Methodist Church, features stories about mission fund-raising methods used by Bethany UMC, Gloucester Point; Culpeper UMC, Culpeper; First UMC, Charlottesville; Discovery UMC, Richmond; Westover UMC, Ruckersville; Bethany UMC, Weyers Cave; and Farmville District United Methodist Women. An article about how Floris UMC, Herndon, takes mission fund raising “to the next level” was written by the Rev. Tom Berlin, senior pastor. Another article describes the work of Pathways Ministries in Petersburg. The magazine editor noted that last year, the Virginia Conference gave $1,173,109 to mission through the Advance – more than any other conference in the connection. Click here for more information about "New World Outlook."

Virginia School of Christian Mission featured in 'Response'
Participation of young people in the Virginia Conference School of Christian Mission is featured in an article in the March 2010 issue of "Response," the official magazine of United Methodist Women. Click here for more information about "Response."

William & Mary Wesley Foundation seeks campus minister
The Wesley Foundation at The College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, seeks qualified candidates for full-time position of Campus Minister/Director for its broad-based ministry to the college. Applicants should be commissioned or ordained United Methodists (Deacons or Elders) who are passionate about serving college students, dedicated to connecting campus ministry to the broader church, dedicated to connecting the ministry to the campus and campus ministry at large, and willing to work with students from a variety of backgrounds to foster a broad sense of Christian community. Qualified candidates must have skills associated with developing, leading and equipping others for worship, spiritual formation, mission and social activities; possess strong organizational skills and good team management experience. Experience with campus ministry preferred. Interested applicants should send resume with cover letter and essay to: by April 15. The essay should address your personal theology of campus ministry based on the vision for campus ministry in the Virginia Conference: "To call, form, and send principled Christian leaders for the transformation of the church and world in ways that value our connectional strength and demonstrate faithful stewardship." Detailed job description is currently being updated by the search committee and will be available upon request.

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. 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 or click here.

Alexandria District leading mission trip to Brazil in August
The Alexandria District will lead a conference-wide construction mission trip to Manaus, Brazil (on the Amazon River) Aug. 1-15 (exact dates to be determined). Work will support the Shade and Fresh Water Project, one of the emphases of Initiatives of Hope, primary mission focus of Virginia Conference churches. The trip can be made for one or two weeks. Cost will be approximately $1700 for one week and $2200 for two weeks. If you are interested in participating in this trip, contact Erin McKenney at by April 24.

Revised Annual Conference banquet schedule now on Web
A revised draft of the Annual Conference banquets schedule is available on the conference Web site at If your group has a banquet or luncheon planned during Annual Conference and you would like it on this schedule, send your information to Michael Reaves at

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 site 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, 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.”

Churches urged to ‘sleep out to end malaria’ April 24-25
The United Methodist Church will mark this World Malaria Day, April 25, with a call to local churches to “Sleep Out to End Malaria” on the weekend of April 24-25. The sleep-out events – in which individuals sleep overnight under imitation bed nets – coincide with the denomination’s official launch of Imagine No Malaria, an initiative that seeks to raise $75 million to eliminate death and suffering from malaria in Africa by 2015. Directions for holding a sleep out are available at “Sleep Out to End Malaria” events are among the many service and awareness-building events planned by United Methodist churches worldwide during The United Methodist Church’s first-ever Rethink Church Change the World event, April 24-25. Churches can register their event on a global map of Change the World events at

United Methodists plan to ‘Change the World’ April 24-25
Are you ready to help change the world? The weekend of April 24-25 will be your chance. 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 the Virginia Conference churches that have already said they plan to participate. Go to

UMVIM Team Leader training is April 10 in Sterling
United Methodist Volunteers-In-Mission (UMVIM) Team Leader training will be held Saturday, April 10, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Sterling UMC, 304 E. Church St., Sterling. Registration deadline is 10:10 a.m. Tuesday, April 6. Registration fee is $10, payable at the door. Click here for more information or to register. Or go to , click “Ministries” > “Mission/Global Ministries” > “UMVIM” > “Training Opportunities.”

‘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 For lunch reservations, e-mail Carla Sterns at 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 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 or (804) 592-5962. Click here for more information.

Workshop for living with Alzheimer’s 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 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 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, 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
The Continuing Education Committee of the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry has approved .5 CEU for those who attend "Extreme Makeover: Worship Edition" in May. There is still plenty of time to register for this learning opportunity around innovative worship sponsored by the Virginia Conference Board of Communications and the Worship Division of the Board of Discipleship. The Rev. Chris Hughes – innovator, author, speaker, worship leader and professor of Worship at Pfeiffer College – and the Midnight Oil guys, Len Wilson and Jason Moore, will help identify ways to enhance worship to attract those not currently involved in worship and provide more transformative experiences for those presently attending worship. Choose one of two locations: Tuesday, May 11, at Calvary UMC in Stuarts Draft or Wednesday, May 12, at Shady Grove UMC in Mechanicsville. This event is designed for pastors, worship leaders and worship design teams. Registration of $25 per person includes lunch. Registration deadline is April 30. Click here to register for May 11. Click here to register for May 12. Or go to, click on “Event Calendar,” then the date you wish to attend. You can register online, paying by credit card, or print a registration form to send by mail with a check.

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.

Student Forum 2010 to be 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, Registration deadline is April 15. Early registration is strongly encouraged. If you have questions, contact Gerlinda Roland at or (615) 340-7415.

News service offers ‘Into the Fire: Death and Resurrection in Haiti’
In time for Easter, United Methodist News Service (UMNS) offers a compelling, behind-the-scenes narrative of the courage and sacrifice shown by United Methodist mission workers trapped in the rubble of the Haiti earthquake. Survivors tell the untold story of the drama that captivated the church and the culture in a three-part series, “Into the Fire: Death and Resurrection in Haiti.” The narrative tells moment-by-moment a story of sacrifice even to the point of death that ends with the promise of resurrection – for a people of faith and a nation. On Good Friday, UMNS will offer profiles of three of the individuals who gave their lives in love for others. Each day’s story is 1,800-2,000 words in length. The three profiles on Good Friday will be about 800 words each. Photographs and a logo accompany each part of the series. Click here for the series or go to or

Council of Bishops expands ‘Hope and Action’ Web site
The United Methodist Council of Bishops has announced the launch of a fully featured Web site dedicated to "God's Renewed Creation: Call to Hope & Action," its most recent pastoral letter. The Web site,, offers resources and social networking capabilities to enable United Methodists to engage with the council in addressing issues of pandemic poverty and disease, environmental degradation, and the proliferation of weapons and violence. The Council of Bishops has encouraged congregations and groups to read aloud the Pastoral Letter in worship or group settings; and gather in small groups to use the Guide for Group Study. The group study would be particularly appropriate during the weeks April 18-May 23 around the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, which is April 22.

Council of Bishops seeks young adult comments
The United Methodist Council of Bishops recently approved a letter to the church, called "God's Renewed Creation: Call to Hope and Action," (see article above) which addresses the church⊃;s response to three important issues of our day: pandemic poverty and disease, environmental degradation, and a world awash with weapons of violence. The letter is available at The task force on hope and action is soliciting young adults to write a short reaction to the letter. For more information, e-mail

UMCOR continues Haiti earthquake recovery efforts
United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Health will send a team to Haiti next month to begin implementation of a strategy for post-earthquake health care, based on four priorities: First, UMCOR will help Grace Children's Hospital in Port-au-Prince and Hôpital de Bienfaisance in Pingnon to strengthen pediatrics, surgery, orthopedics, nursing and pastoral care by fostering a partnership between the two Haitian hospitals and three U.S.-based Methodist hospitals. UMCOR Health also will offer to train board and management teams to shore up the governance of hospitals and clinics throughout Haiti and will study the feasibility of starting a limb prosthesis program. Finally, UMCOR will promote community-based primary care programs that focus on women's and children's health, prevention and treatment of malaria, and training for community workers in Haiti. Gifts to support UMCOR's Haiti relief and recovery work can be made online at One hundred percent of gifts made to this advance will help the people of Haiti.
     UMCOR has hired a Head of Mission for the office in Port-au-Prince and a Haiti Desk Officer to work at the New York City headquarters. The position for Haiti Church Liaison is posted through April 5. Local staff in Haiti now include a program officer, logistics assistant, two drivers, an office manager, and an administrative assistant. Click here for more information on UMCOR's Haiti relief and recovery work.
     Since the disaster in Haiti, both UMCOR Sager Brown and UMCOR West have received a total of more than 400,000 health kits – enough to replenish the supply of kits as they are sent to Haiti. Because of this generous response, the depots are asking volunteers to transition from the preparation of health kits to the preparation of layette kits and birthing kits. Providing necessary resources for mothers and infants, these kits are in great demand as Haitians begin to rebuild their lives. To learn about UMCOR's layette kits and birthing kits click here.

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


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