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News from the Virginia Conference – May 6, 2010

Digitized items for Annual Conference Virtual Promo Packet due May 7
In an effort to be good stewards of the environment and financial resources of the conference, the Annual Conference "promo packets" will again this year be virtual. Electronic copies of materials previously submitted in hard copy for the tote bag will be accepted – at no cost to the organizations submitting them – for inclusion in the Virtual Promo Packet, which will be posted on the conference Web site. The Virtual Packet will be available for viewing on the Web site beginning June 1. Information for the Virtual Promo Packet must be submitted in pdf format to the Office of Connectional Ministries ( for approval by Friday, May 7.

UMCOR helps flood victims in Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, Georgia
United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) needs volunteers, flood buckets and contributions to help Tennessee and neighboring states that were hard hit by devastating floods resulting from storms that moved slowly across the southern states last week. There have been several deaths and record-breaking floodwaters in the Tennessee and Memphis Conferences. According to news reports, a total of 24 people died as a result of heavy rains that have pelted Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi and Georgia since last weekend. More …

Early Response Teams needed in Tennessee
The Rev. Jason Brock, Disaster Response Coordinator for the Tennessee Conference of The United Methodist Church, reports that flooding is widespread in the Nashville area and elsewhere in that conference. Rev. Brock is specifically requesting UMCOR-trained Early Response Teams (ERT). UMCOR ERTs who are interested in working in Tennessee are asked to contact Rev. Brock at Include information about the size and ability of your team.

Volunteer teams now cleared to go to Haiti
You may now schedule United Methodist Volunteer In Mission (UMVIM) teams going to Haiti. Contact Susan Meister, U.S.-Haiti Volunteer Coordinator, at Remember to register your teams with the Southeastern Jurisdiction and get the insurance. The CDC is recommending several shots for people traveling to Haiti, including one for dengue fever. Consult your local health department's district director with questions about dengue, go to, or call CDC's toll-free information line, 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636) TTY: 1-888-232-6348, which is available 24 hours a day, every day. For more information, contact Keith Mottley, Virginia Conference UMVIM Coordinator, at

United Methodist giving resources available online
Looking for resources to enhance your giving campaign? Visit to find downloadable videos, PowerPoint presentations, compelling stories, stewardship information and much more about the connectional giving of the church. Surf the site. You will find more resources about Special Sundays, Apportioned Funds and designated giving opportunities.

World Fair Trade Day is May 10
When you purchase fair trade products like coffee, tea or cocoa through United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Coffee Project and its partner, Equal Exchange, you help farmers stay on their land, care for the environment, support their families, and send their children to school. "Fair Trade Your Hope" is the theme of this year's World Fair Trade Day, May 10. Learn more about fair trade by visiting Equal Exchange at, downloading a church bulletin, and watching a short video Then help build awareness in your community or congregation and support UMCOR-SA&D, Advance #982188 with your gift.

Wesley Seminary, GBOD offering new Advanced Lay Speaking course
The General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) is partnering with Wesley Theological Seminary to produce a new Advanced Lay Speaking course. In order to meet the 10-hour requirement, the course will be in two parts: May 15 and Nov. 13. The General Board of Discipleship had given permission for advanced course credit to be given for the combination of these two experiences. Whether you need an advanced course or not, this seminar should be valuable. Register for the May event online at or call Frenika Mudd, Program Administrator, at (202) 403-0962.

May 30 is Peace with Justice Sunday
Peace with Justice Sunday, one of the United Methodist Special Sundays with offering, will be observed Sunday, May 30. This special offering supports programs that advocate peace and justice at home and around the world. Click here for more information and resources. Or, call 1-888-346-3862 to order envelopes and other resources. They will be sent at no cost to your church.

Credit Union to be closed during data processing conversion
The Virginia United Methodist Credit Union (VUMCU) will be closed May 31 and June 1 due to a data processing conversion. Online and shared branching services will be unavailable beginning 4 p.m. May 31 through 8:30 a.m. June 2. VUMCU debit/check card/ATM services will have limited authorizations during this time as well.

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 will be valid Saturdays May 8, 15, 22, and Memorial Day Weekend May 29, 30, 31. Children ages 2 and under admitted free.

‘Build Now or Later?’ panel discussion set for May 13 live webinar
“Build Now or Later? Navigating the Current Economic Culture” will be 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday, May 13, at the Virginia United Methodist Center in Glen Allen. A panel of church building experts will answer your questions including: Can we save money by building now? Are banks lending to churches? What is the risk of rising interest rates and construction costs if we wait? Are there cost-saving design alternatives available? Deadline to register is May 7. Click here to register or download an informational pdf flier. No charge for members of churches of the Virginia Conference; $10 for non-members. For more information, contact Pat Hickman at 1-800-768-6040, ext. 155 or (804) 521-1155.

May 15 workshop to help churches interested in Hispanic ministry
Sam Rodriguez, director of Hispanic/Latino New Church Starts at the General Board of Discipleship, will lead a workshop, “Pentecost Journey: Moving Beyond Our Culture,” 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 15, at Floris UMC, 13600 Frying Pan Road, Herndon. This workshop is designed to help congregations fulfill Christ’s mandate to make disciples by helping local churches understand issues related to developing ministry with Hispanics/Latinos. Cost is $20, which includes lunch and workbook. Registration deadline is May 10. For more information go to and click on the “Pentecost Journey” logo on the home page. Questions about registration should be directed to Sharon Sheldon at (703) 820-7200 or Questions about the program should be directed to the Rev. Martha Real at (703) 793-0026 or

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. Deadline to register is May 10. 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. Click here for more information about July 8-9. Click here for more information about July 22-23.

Bishops announce voting results on constitutional amendments
The United Methodist Council of Bishops announced on May 5 that only five of 32 amendments to the church’s constitution passed by the 2008 General Conference have been ratified by the annual conferences. The ratified amendments will become effective immediately. More …

Bishop Weaver to address General Conference 2012
The United Methodist Council of Bishops has elected Boston Area Bishop Peter Weaver to give the Episcopal Address at the 2012 General Conference in Tampa, Fla. Weaver, a former council president, was bishop of the Philadelphia Area from 1996 to 2004, when he was assigned to the Boston Area. The election came during the council's meeting in Columbus.

Marcia McFee named worship, music director for General Conference 2012
The Commission on the General Conference has selected Dr. Marcia McFee of Truckee, Calif., as worship and music director for The United Methodist Church’s 2012 General Conference. McFee is a well-known worship designer and leader with experience in music, theater, and dance who has taught workshops, preached and led worship at numerous United Methodist gatherings. She served as worship and music co-director at the 2008 General Conference. As worship and music director, McFee will be responsible for the overall worship and music program management at the 11-day event. She will oversee liturgy and music throughout the assembly, including inviting choirs and worship groups from across the church to participate.

Thousands attend UMW Assembly in person and online
For decades, the United Methodist Women’s Assembly has drawn thousands to a quadrennial event focusing on worship, education, advocacy and celebration. This year, with the help of technology, many more women were able to view selected portions of the April 29-May 2 assembly held in St. Louis but also streamed live on the Internet. More …

United Methodist Women march for immigration reform
Guided by a century-old history of assisting immigrants, members of United Methodist Women joined others across the nation May 1 in making a public witness on the immigration debate. Their rally and march – which drew about 2,000 people, including residents of St. Louis – occurred during the April 29-May 2 United Methodist Women’s Assembly. More …

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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