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News from the Virginia Conference – June 17, 2010

228th Virginia Annual Conference focuses on 'Leading by Following Jesus'
Before a small boat, not unlike the size used on the Sea of Galilee in Jesus’ time, the 228th session of Virginia Annual Conference focused on “Leading by Following Jesus” in the port city of Norfolk June 13-16. Bishop Charlene P. Kammerer presided over a meeting filled with uplifting messages and examples of United Methodists’ generosity. The most stirring moments came in response to the fiery preaching of the Rev. Dr. Vance Ross, deputy general secretary for the General Board of Discipleship, and the quiet testimony of the Rev. Jim Gulley, who survived the collapse of the Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince during the Jan. 12 earthquake in Haiti. More ...

Three Virginia churches certified as 'Welcoming Congregations'
Cherrydale United Methodist Church in Arlington has been recognized by United Methodist Communications (UMCom) as an official “Welcoming Congregation.” Sydenstricker United Methodist Church in Springfield has been certified for the second year, and Carmel United Methodist Church in Hague has been recognized as an official “Welcoming Congregation” for the fourth year in a row. “Welcoming Congregations” are a select group of United Methodist congregations nationwide that meets criteria including embracing newcomers and providing opportunities in discipleship. The recognition program is part of a larger effort launched in late 2000 by UMCom, the denomination’s communications agency, to use modern technology and the common language of television to spread the Good News of Christ to a world in need. More information is available at or by calling toll free 1-877-281-6535.

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 for the July 8-9 event is now closed, but registration will be open for the July 22-23 event until June 30. Click here for registration information and a brochure about the July 22-23 event.

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 an 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.

United Methodists give $2 million for malaria nets in Sierra Leone
Through Imagine No Malaria, a tangible expression of the Global Health initiative, the people of The United Methodist Church have contributed $2 million to distribute long-lasting insecticide-treated mosquito nets in Sierra Leone, where malaria is a leading cause of death. The November 2010 distribution of 2.5 million to 3 million nets will provide almost every household with three nets per family. An integrated health program will dispense Vitamin A supplements and treatments for intestinal worms.

Faith leaders decry torturer
Jim Winkler, top executive of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, is among the faith leaders featured on a short video, "Accounting for Torture: Being Faithful to our Values," released by the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. The leaders are asking Americans to demand that Congress establish a Commission of Inquiry to uncover all the facts on violations of law when the United States engaged in torture. "We can't be a nation of laws that respects human dignity and a nation that sanctions torture," Winkler said. Click here to view the video online.

Official 2011 United Methodist Program Calendar now available
The official United Methodist Program Calendar is now available for 2011. The calendar is available in 10 designs, ranging from electronic to a pocket size that shows a week-at-a-glance. The most popular designs, known as "Standard" and "Classic," measure 8.5 by 11 inches and contain monthly planning checklists, lectionary Scriptures, liturgical colors, dates of Special Sundays and celebrations, descriptions of offerings and church agency contact information. A DVD with giving stories and stewardship help is included with the Standard and Classic calendars. Other designs include a wall calendar, desk blotter and notebook calendar. To place an order, call toll free 1-888-346-3862, or visit

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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