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News from the Virginia Conference – June 3, 2010

Virginia United Methodists thanked for giving to Haiti relief
In appreciation for the $1,513,220.72 that Virginia Conference United Methodists contributed for relief and recovery in Haiti, as of May 1,  the presidents of the General Board of Global Ministries, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and The Advance sent a thank you letter to Bishop Charlene Kammerer. More ...

'Roanoke Times' article says Thrasher UMC helped save Vinton pool
Thrasher Memorial UMC was featured in an article in the "Roanoke Times" because church members offered to help operate Vinton’s 60-year-old municipal swimming pool, saving it from closing. Because of budget constraints, the Town Council had been prepared to close the pool. Instead, church volunteers painted, trimmed trees, washed and spruced up the area. The church will provide free swimming lessons for 150 children, sponsor Wednesday $1 family nights from 6-9 p.m. and operate a craft shack Tuesdays through Fridays for children to make crafts free of charge. Church volunteers will also handle concessions. The town will continue to operate the pool itself and provide lifeguards.

2010 Annual Conference News:

·    Late resolution urges combining Goodson Foundation, Stockton Academy and Pennel Fund to form Bishops’ Foundation
A resolution submitted on behalf of representatives of the Goodson Foundation for Preaching, Stockton Academy for Evangelism, and Pennel Fund has been submitted to the Director of Connectional Ministries following the printing of the "Book of Reports." The resolution requests formation of a "Bishops' Foundation" which will combine the funds of the Goodson Foundation, Stockton Academy and Pennel Foundation. The Bishops' Foundation would provide training for leadership development of both lay and clergy in the areas of evangelism and preaching in the Wesleyan spirit. More …

·    Locations to be set to discuss resolutions at Monday lunch
The Virginia Annual Conference will begin considering resolutions Monday afternoon, June 14. In order to facilitate Christian Conferencing and attempt to resolve differences before floor debate, there will be a time for discussion of resolutions at lunch on Monday. If you have strong feelings about any of the resolutions in the Book of Reports, or new resolutions which may come in your Annual Conference registration packet, plan to attend these conversations rather than waiting until floor debate. Locations for these conversations, which will be in different sections of the Scope, will be announced from the platform at adjournment Monday morning.

·    Offering to fund leader development in Brazil, Mozambique, VA
Bishop Charlene Kammerer has announced that the 2010 Annual Conference offering goal is $300,000 and will benefit three leadership development projects: Brazil: $100,000 — curriculum and teacher training materials for “Shade and Fresh Water” centers and other children’s centers sponsored by the Brazil Methodist Church; Mozambique: $100,000 — education and training for Sunday school teachers, lay preachers and pastors in the United Methodist Church in Mozambique, which is growing rapidly and needs leadership for the hundreds of new United Methodist churches being established throughout this southeastern African nation; Virginia: $100,000 — job training programs at Grace Ministries, a community outreach program of the Arlington District that addresses the most pressing material and spiritual needs of low-income immigrants in northern Virginia and empowers immigrants to become community leaders. Click here for bulletin insert and more information.

·    Redistricting Task Force video presentation on conference Web site
A video presentation from the Redistricting Task Force is now on the conference Web site. Click here to view background and rationale for the task force recommendation that the Virginia Conference reduce the number of districts from 18 to 16, effective after the 2011 Annual Conference.

·    Annual Conference members urged to bring ‘4 Cans 4 Conference’
Members of Annual Conference are encouraged to bring ‘4 Cans 4 Conference,’ canned goods or boxed dry foods for the Southeastern Virginia (SEVA) Food Bank in Norfolk. Requested are: one can of vegetables, one can of meat or fish, one can of soup or stew and one can with a pop-top. In addition, you might bring dry goods (e.g., boxed macaroni and cheese, spaghetti, pasta, etc.) or prepared mixes (e.g., Hamburger Helper, soup starter, powdered milk, etc.) Collection stations for the food will be on the main plaza of Scope, outside the display area in the lower level, and at the truck with the "Food Bank" banner in the parking lot on St. Paul's Boulevard. Checks payable to "SEVA Food Bank" will also be accepted at collection stations. Every $1 you donate to the Food Bank buys $6 of food and supplies for those in need. Click here for more information on SEVA.

·    13th Annual Conference Potato Drop set for Tuesday, June 15
The Virginia Conference Board of Global Ministries and Society of St. Andrew (SoSA) are co-sponsoring the 13th Annual Conference Potato Drop during this year’s Annual Conference. The “drop” will be Tuesday, June 15, at 5:30 a.m. in the parking lot of Ghent UMC, 531 Raleigh Ave. in Norfolk. SoSA will deliver a tractor-trailer filled with more than 20 tons of donated sweet potatoes. Global Ministries is helping cover cost of shipping. The truck will arrive in the predawn hours and dump potatoes in the parking lot of Ghent UMC. Volunteers of all ages are needed to help bag and load the potatoes for pickup by more than a dozen regional food banks, church pantries, soup kitchens and other local feeding agencies. Bagging is expected to be completed before 7:30 a.m.

·    Voices of Youth to celebrate 25th anniversary
This year’s Annual Conference gathering, June 13-16 at the Scope in Norfolk, will celebrate the 25th anniversary of Voices of Youth (VOY). A VOY reunion choir will sing at 11:15 a.m. Tuesday, June 15. VOY will be on tour in every district of the conference July 4-23. For more information, visit the VOY Web site at or contact Rachel Hundley at

·    Photos to be taken June 14 for pictorial directory supplement
This year the Virginia Conference will publish a supplement to last year’s Pictorial Directory of the Virginia Conference Ministry. Olan Mills will have a booth in the exhibit hall at Annual Conference from 12 noon to 7 p.m. on Monday, June 14, to take photos of clergy, local pastors, diaconal ministers, certified professionals, those serving as pastoral supply, retired bishops and conference staff who did not have a picture taken last year, including those newly commissioned. For more information, contact Linda Rhodes, director of Communications, at (804) 521-1111 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 111.

·    Monitors needed for 2010 Annual Conference sessions
The conference Commissions on Religion and Race (CORR) and Status and Role of Women (COSROW) will jointly monitor 2010 Annual Conference sessions. The goal of monitoring is to advocate gender, racial, and age-level inclusiveness in the conference's decision-making process. Volunteers are needed to serve in this ministry. Those who are interested should be attentive to details, willing to observe at least one session of Annual Conference, and must attend training 4-5:30 p.m. Sunday, June 13, at Beech Grove UMC in Suffolk. A light dinner will be provided. Monitors do not have to be members of Annual Conference. In fact, this is a wonderful opportunity for spouses, visitors, or those from churches in the Norfolk area. If you are not a member of conference, parking expenses will be reimbursed for the session(s) you monitor. If you are interested in serving, contact Iris Smith at or Shan Sixbey at

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. Registration deadline is June 16. Click here for more information about July 22-23. Registration deadline is June 30.

School of Christian Mission offers opportunity to come alive to mission
The School of Christian Mission is a cooperative school offered by the Virginia Conference Board of Global Ministries and United Methodist Women (UMW). It offers a wonderful opportunity for women, men and youths to come alive to mission by participating in the weekend school or the weekday school, both held at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) in Blackstone. Click here for information and online registration for the July 22-25 weekend school. Click here for information and online registration for the July 26-29 weekday school. Registration deadline is July 10.

UMCOR celebrates 70th anniversary this week
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) celebrates its 70th anniversary this week with great expectation for the future. "Our ability to reach out is greater than ever before," said UMCOR leader the Rev. Cynthia Harvey. Click here to watch UMCOR's “70 Years of Hope” slide show that offers a glimpse of the organization's ministry of love, hope and action. Click here to see a timeline celebrating UMCOR's 70th anniversary. Gifts to UMCOR Undesignated, Advance #999895, help meet the most urgent needs around the world. More …

‘Change the World’ weekend will become annual event
More than 100,000 people from over 1,000 churches united with a common purpose over a 48-hour period: to make a world of difference in ways both large and small. United Methodists from 13 countries and every state in the U.S. energetically worked to build community locally and fight malaria globally during Change the World weekend, April 24-25. Congregations at local churches rolled up their sleeves and took to the streets to feed the hungry, aid the homeless, visit the lonely, and more. From stocking food pantries and cleaning school grounds to washing cars and renovating homes, people of faith reached out to a world outside the four walls of their own churches. Enthusiasm for the 2010 Change the World event was so great that it will become an annual event, according to the Rev. Larry Hollon, chief executive of United Methodist Communications. Next year’s event will be May 14-15, 2011. The Change the World event was created as part of the Rethink Church campaign by United Methodist Communications in partnership with United Methodist Publishing House and Imagine No Malaria. The concept for Change the World originated with the Rev. Mike Slaughter, lead pastor at Ginghamsburg Church in Tipp City, Ohio, and author of Change the World: Recovering the Message and Mission of Jesus.

Flash presentation on HIV/AIDS pandemic available online
A new flash presentation on the HIV/AIDS pandemic has been created for the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund by the United Methodist Committee on Relief. Click here to watch or download the video. The fund also is sponsoring a conference, “Lighten the Burden III,” slated for Oct. 14-16 in Dallas. Click here for registration information.

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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