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Dec. 23, 2010
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News from the Virginia Conference – June 11, 2010

HIRE Act offers tax breaks for churches hiring unemployed workers
On March 18, 2010, the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment Act (the “HIRE Act”) became law. The HIRE Act provides incentives for employers to hire new employees who are currently unemployed. One of those incentives – an exemption from the employer’s share of Social Security taxes – is available to non-profit employers, including churches. If an employer hires a previously unemployed individual, the employer will be exempt from paying the employer’s share – 6.2% – of Social Security taxes on that new employee’s wages through the end of 2010. (The employer is still required to pay its share – 1.45% – of the new employee’s Medicare taxes.) Employers claim the HIRE Act Social Security tax exemption on their quarterly Form 941s. Click here for more information, or contact David Dommisse, conference Treasurer, at (804) 521-1109, 1-800-768-6040, ext. 109, or DavidDommisse@vaumc.org.

Board of Discipleship offers resources for celebrating Father’s Day
Sunday, June 20, is Father’s Day. The United Methodist Board of Discipleship has resources for celebrating Father’s Day at church and in the home. The board suggests Bible verses and prayers that are fitting for the occasion as well as a “Litany for Men’s Day” that churches can use. In addition, the board offers gift ideas such as a coupon book of chores and other activities youngsters can do for their fathers. One such coupon entitles Dad to a day when his children will laugh at all his jokes. Click here for resources.

State Supreme Court reverses ruling favoring breakaway congregations
On June 10, the Virginia Supreme Court reversed a lower court ruling that favored the ability of breakaway Episcopal Church congregations to occupy their properties. More …

Bishop, conference clergy urge climate legislation
Bishop Charlene Kammerer and a number of Virginia Conference United Methodist pastors have joined more than 100 other religious leaders in the state in signing a letter to U.S. Senators Mark Warner and James Webb making a moral case for comprehensive climate legislation that includes strong emission reductions, international adaptation assistance, and protections for low-income families. More ...

Three professors at Virginia schools honored as ‘Exemplary Teachers’
Richard L. Smith, Ferrum College; Alva T. Hughes, Randolph-Macon College; and John Winn, Shenandoah University, were among 40 professors at United Methodist-related schools, colleges, and universities that received the Exemplary Teacher Award from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. This program, a partnership with United Methodist-related educational institutions, expresses the church’s support of and appreciation for outstanding teaching on campuses of United Methodist-related schools. Recipients of the annual award receive a certificate of appreciation and $500.

2010 Annual Conference News:

·    Live streaming of Annual Conference available on Web site
Live streaming of the 2010 Virginia Annual Conference session will be available, beginning at 7 p.m. Sunday, June 13, from the Virginia Conference Web site, www.vaumc.org.

·    Do you want to tweet about Annual Conference?
If you plan to make Twitter posts (tweet) during the upcoming Virginia Annual Conference, consider adding the hashtag #vaumc to your posts. This will allow other participants to follow along with your thoughts and to foster more conversation. To see a feed of all the posts marked #vaumc, visit http://twubs.com/Vaumc or do a search for #vaumc through the application you use for Twitter.

·    Late resolution urges combining Goodson Foundation, Stockton Academy and Pennel Fund into 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 …

·    Monday lunch set as time to discuss resolutions
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.

·    Holy Rollers to ride across Virginia to Annual Conference
Each June, the Holy Rollers go on a group bicycle ride of approximately 200 miles over three days through the beautiful back roads of Virginia and ending at the site of the Annual Conference. For 2010, the ride began early Friday, June 11, at Mountain View UMC in Forest, near Lynchburg, and will end Sunday, June 13, at the Norfolk Scope. Purpose of the journey is to raise money for and awareness of the Annual Conference offering; encourage fellowship and build Christian collegiality among clergy and laity through cycling; and offer opportunities for clergy and laity to increase fitness and well-being. Those who cannot participate in the full three-day ride can join any portion of the journey. For more information, call Ray Stearns on his cell phone at (757) 871-1243.

·    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 to pack Stop Hunger Now meals
This year, members of Annual Conference will be invited to participate in preparation of 100,000 meals through Stop Hunger Now. Meal preparation will take place in the exhibit hall on Monday, June 14, and Tuesday, June 15. Stop Hunger Now meals are filled with dried vegetables, chicken broth tablet, soy, rice, and 21 nutrients. Each packaged and sealed meal, able to feed six people, is shipped to those in need around the globe. Cost of the meals will be $25,000. Churches and individuals willing to assist with the cost of preparing the meals are invited to contact Marc Brown, Director of Connectional Ministries, at MarcBrown@vaumc.org, or click here to contribute online.

·    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.

·    Banquet schedule for 2010 Annual Conference now on Web
The Annual Conference Banquet schedule is available on the conference Web site at www.vaumc.org/2010AC.

·    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 www.voicesofyouth-va.org or contact Rachel Hundley at Coordinator@VoicesofYouth-VA.org.

·    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 igunter@verizon.net or Shan Sixbey at sixbey@charter.net.

·    Annual Conference promotional packet is online
In an effort to be good stewards of the environment and financial resources of the conference, Annual Conference “promotional packets” are now virtual. Materials previously distributed to Annual Conference members in a tote bag will now be found only in digitized format as part of a Virtual Promo Packet on the conference Web site. Members can view promotional pieces on the computer screen or download them and print them for reading. Upon arriving at Annual Conference, each member will receive an official packet with late resolutions and other required documents. Each member will also receive materials provided by United Methodist Communications in a reusable, eco-friendly recycled bag. More …

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.

Hundreds of United Methodist college students attended Student Forum
Hundreds of United Methodist college students from around the United States examined social justice issues through the lens of the Bible and policies of The United Methodist Church at the recent 2010 Student Forum held at Shenandoah University. Student Forum is an annual gathering of United Methodist college students coordinated by the United Methodist Student Movement and the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry. More …

InfoServ offers online ‘Live Chat’ to get answers to questions
InfoServ, the official information service of The United Methodist Church, now offers an online “Live Chat” feature that allows customers to communicate directly with representatives. Launched June 1, “Chat with InfoServ” encourages real time conversations between members, church pastors, agency staff and others with questions about The United Methodist Church. Customers are able to submit questions via e-mail at infoserv@umcom.org. Answers to the most frequently asked questions are also available online at infoserv.umc.org.

UMCOR issues appeal to help flood victims in southeast U.S.
As a “1,000-year flood” drenched the southeastern United States early last month, viewers were glued to their TVs and other media. However, most of the news reports they saw focused on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and the attempted bombing in Times Square, drawing attention — and funds — away from communities pummeled by spring storms. Responding to the crisis, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) on June 8 issued a special appeal — U.S. Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #901670 — for all affected areas in the southeastern United States. More …

Lake Junaluska Assembly seeks new executive director
Lake Junaluska Assembly is seeking qualified applicants for the position of Lake Junaluska Assembly Executive Director. The Rev. Dr. Jimmy L. Carr recently announced his retirement, effective at the end of 2010. The Lake Junaluska Executive Committee and Bishop Larry Goodpaster, President of the Lake Junaluska Board, are in the process of searching for the right person to fill the position. Applications must be received no later than Aug. 10. For more information, or to download and print a full job description and application, visit www.lakejunaluska.com/executive-director or contact Karen Kirby, Director of Human Resources at Lake Junaluska Assembly, at 828-454-6707 or kkirby@lakejunaluska.com.

North Carolina Conference dedicates chapel to Sam Dixon
The chapel and meeting room of the new headquarters of the North Carolina Annual Conference was dedicated June 6 to the memory of the Rev. Sam Dixon. A clergy member of the conference, Dixon was head of the United Methodist Committee on Relief when he died of injuries suffered in the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. The new headquarters building opens this month.

New ‘Worship & Song’ resource now being printed
Production is under way of “Worship & Song,” which will include 188 new, traditional, contemporary, global and ethnic hymns and songs in a wide variety of styles. The United Methodist Publishing House and the United Methodist Board of Discipleship developed this new resource for worship and congregational singing.


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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