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News from the Virginia Conference – June 23, 2010

Conference Center to close at 12:30 p.m. on summer Fridays
At its June meeting the Conference Council on Finance and Administration (CFA) voted to close the Conference Center at 12:30 p.m. on Fridays beginning with the week following Annual Conference and continuing through Labor Day. The Common Table Personnel Committee has decided to conform to the same schedule. Conference Center doors will lock at 1 p.m. and the phone will roll to night mode at 12:30 p.m. on Fridays. CFA and the Common Table made this decision as a way of thanking Conference employees who have taken on additional responsibilities and have worked to keep expenses as low as possible. Normal business hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

2010 Annual Conference News:

·      $185,000+ given to date for Annual Conference offering
To date, more than $185,000 has been contributed toward the 2010 Annual Conference offering to fund leadership development in Brazil, Mozambique and northern Virginia. This is almost two-thirds of the goal of $300,000 to fund curriculum and teacher training materials for “Shade and Fresh Water” centers and other children’s centers sponsored by the Brazil Methodist Church; education and training for Sunday school teachers, lay preachers and pastors in the United Methodist Church in Mozambique; and job training programs at Grace Ministries, a community outreach program of the Arlington District that addresses material and spiritual needs of low-income immigrants in northern Virginia. Funds are still being received in the conference business office. Donations may be sent to Virginia Conference Treasurer, P.O. Box 5605, Glen Allen, VA 23058. On the check, indicate “Annual Conference Offering” or “# 928.” With the contribution, include the name of church, district and pastor.

·      Annual Conference members package 102,000 Stop Hunger Now meals
During lunch and dinner breaks on Monday and Tuesday, members of Annual Conference packaged 102,000 meals for Stop Hunger Now. Stop Hunger Now meals consist of rice, textured vegetable protein, and a chicken-flavored vitamin powder containing 21 essential vitamins and nutrients. Each packaged and sealed bag is able to feed six people and is shipped to partner organizations of Stop Hunger Now with a particular focus on school feeding programs and disaster relief. Cost of the meals (underwritten by the Virginia Conference) was $25,000. Churches and individuals wishing 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 for an online donation form.

·      Get recyclable shopping bag for donation to Stop Hunger Now
A number of recyclable shopping bags from United Methodist Communications are leftover from Annual Conference and are now available to those who are willing to make a donation towards the conference costs for packaging Stop Hunger Now meals. Bags are white with red printing that says “UMC.ORG” on one side and lists UMC apportioned funds and Special Sundays on the other side. Bags can be used for grocery shopping and in other ways to replace paper or plastic bags. To obtain a bag, bring your donation to the Virginia United Methodist Conference Center, 10330 Staples Mill Road, Glen Allen. Bags must be picked up, they will not be mailed. For more information, contact Beverly Myers at 1-800-768-6040, ext. 134, or (804) 521-1134.

·       46,477 kits + $92,021 contributed for UMCOR
A total of 46,477 relief supply kits were brought to the Norfolk Scope during Annual Conference to replenish United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) supplies. Types of kits contributed were: health kits (26,896), school kits (10,705), baby/layette kits (1,899), birthing kits (5,376), sewing kits (1,200), cleaning buckets (formerly called flood buckets) (34) and other (367). In addition, $92,021 to help purchase additional kits and pay for shipping has been received to date. If you have kits that did not make it to Annual Conference this year, you can either ship them directly to UMCOR Sager Brown Depot, P.O. Box 850, 131 Sager Brown Road, Baldwin, LA 70514-0850, or hold them until next year. Please do not bring kits to the Conference Center, as we do not have storage space for them. Funds may be sent to Virginia Conference Treasurer, P.O. Box 5605, Glen Allen, VA 23058. On the check, indicate “UMCOR Kits” or “# 592.” With the contribution, include the name of church, district and pastor.

·      Volunteers bag more than 42,000 pounds of potatoes
About 130 volunteers, including 30 youths, gathered in the parking lot of Ghent United Methodist Church to bag more than 42,000 pounds of potatoes in the 13th Annual Conference “Potato Drop.” A tractor-trailer load of donated potatoes was put into 10-pound mesh bags that were picked up by 18 assistance agencies and churches in the Tidewater area for distribution to their clients and neighbors in need of food. Potatoes were donated to the Society of St. Andrew (SOSA) by Guerrette Sales in Maine. The Virginia Conference Board of Global Ministries and SOSA shared the cost of shipping the potatoes to Norfolk.

·      6,891 pounds of food contributed for ‘4 Cans 4 Conference’
As part of the ‘4 Cans 4 Conference’ food drive, Virginia Conference laity and clergy brought 6,891 pounds of food to Annual Conference for the Southeastern Virginia Food Bank (SEVA). An additional $250 was given which will enable SEVA to acquire an additional $1500 worth of food (about 1500 pounds), according to the Rev. Jim Earley, project coordinator. Volunteers from Great Bridge UMC in Chesapeake were at the truck to receive the hundreds of cans and boxes of food that were contributed.

·       Lost and found items now available at Conference Center
Items that were put in the Lost and Found at the Scope during Annual Conference were delivered back to the Virginia United Methodist Conference Center in Glen Allen. If you lost an item and would like to see if it is at the center, contact the receptionist, Marian Loving, at MarianLoving@vaumc.org or call 1-800-768-6040 or (804) 521-1100.

Redwood UMC, Rocky Mount, certified as 'Welcoming Congregation'
Redwood United Methodist Church in Rocky Mount has been recognized by United Methodist Communications (UMCom) as an official “Welcoming Congregation.” “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 www.rethinkchurch.org 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.

BMCR to host gathering this Saturday, June 26, in Hampton
Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR) will sponsor The Gathering, "Meet, Greet, and Eat" for all persons, clergy and laity, of African American descent in United Methodist churches 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 26, at St. James UMC, 1533 W. Queen St, Hampton. Everyone is invited for a time of brainstorming for future ministries in our African American congregations. The gathering will end with lunch.

Pennel to lead Virginia Wesleyan College continuing education class
The dates have been changed for the Virginia Wesleyan College 2011 Continuing Education Series, “Leading the Congregation,”led by retired Bishop Joe E. Pennel Jr. The new dates are Monday, April 4, and Tuesday, April 5, 2011. For more information, go to http://ww2.vwc.edu/alumni-a-friends/church-relations/continuing-education-series

Future leaders of UMC to convene in Berlin
The future of The United Methodist Church will be represented in Berlin, Germany, next month when the Global Young People's Convocation and Legislative Assembly brings together young United Methodists from around the world to share their life experiences, struggles, gifts and realities. About 350 youths and young people representing 32 countries — from Angola to Zimbabwe — are registered for the July 21-26 event, which is sponsored by Young People’s Ministries, a division of The General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church. Click here for more information.

Louisiana needs volunteer teams to lead VBS, youth sports camps
The Louisiana Volunteers in Mission (LAVIM) is still scheduling teams to do Vacation Bible School (VBS) or youth sports camps in communities affected most by the oil spill. Five of 10 slots are currently scheduled. Openings are two locations July 12-16, one location for July 19-23 and two for Aug. 9-13. Teams are invited to use materials from their own congregation’s VBS for greater stewardship of this material. All teaching materials, craft supplies, VBS snacks and team meal supplies need to be carried in by the team due to the increased population in these areas as well as demand on local supplies and distance to markets. Each location can house up to 20 volunteers. LAVIM suggests a gift to the hosting church to cover utilities and housekeeping. Teams should bring bed rolls or linens and towels. Showers are provided as well as kitchens for teams to prepare meals. Youth are welcomed on these teams. To schedule, contact Larry Norman, LAVIM, (225) 346-1646 or LduckN@aol.com.

Tennessee will need UMVIM teams to help recover from spring floods
Tennessee and neighboring states were hard hit by devastating floods resulting from storms that moved slowly across the southern states the last week of April. The Tennessee Conference is currently in transition from cleanup to rebuilding, expecting to need United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) teams from late summer through the next 18 months to 2 years, according to Tennessee Conference Disaster Response Coordinator Jason Brock. “Across 28 declared counties, we are expecting upwards of 2,400 long-term recovery cases, many involving construction,” Brock said. “We are currently putting together our team info packet, team size, age restrictions, forms, etc. for rebuild teams. However, interested churches can go ahead and make an initial inquiry to DisasterResponse@tnumc.com and we'll provide them an initial registration form to get on our calendar. We will post periodic information at http://tnumcrelief.blogspot.com/ and will soon have an e-mail newsletter available.” The Tennessee disaster phone line is (615) 695-2765. All disaster communications should be e-mailed to DisasterResponse@tnumc.com so copies of correspondence can be shared among members of the Conference Disaster Response Team.


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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The Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church
10330 Staples Mill Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060
P.O. Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058-5606
(804) 521-1100
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