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News from the Virginia Conference – July 21, 2010

2011 Annual Conference dates changed to June 15-19
To assist in the voting process for General and Jurisdictional Conference delegates, dates for the 2011 Virginia Annual Conference have been adjusted to June 15-19, according to an announcement yesterday by Bishop Charlene Kammerer, Conference Lay Leader Shirley Cauffman, and the Rev. Marc Brown, director of Connectional Ministries. Annual Conference will begin with the Clergy Session and Laity Session at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 15. Selection of a nominating ballot for clergy delegates for General and Jurisdictional Conference will be included as part of the Clergy Session. An opportunity to meet laity candidates for delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conferences will be offered following the Laity Session. Opening ballots for both laity and clergy will be conducted during the Thursday, June 16, morning session of Annual Conference. Additional ballots will be received throughout the Annual Conference. The 2011 Annual Conference will be held at the Roanoke Civic Center in Roanoke.

August issue of Advocate reports on highlights of Annual Conference
The August issue of the Virginia Advocate reports on highlights of the 228th session of Virginia’s Annual Conference, including the reduction of districts from 18 to 16 and a major change in the relationship between the conference and it’s long-time retreat center at Blackstone. This issue of the magazine also reports on the strong preaching by the Rev. Vance Ross, the moving survival story of the Rev. Jim Gulley’s experience being trapped in the rubble of the Hotel Montana during the Haiti earthquake, and – most importantly – the great generosity of Annual Conference members from across the Commonwealth. If you don't receive your own copy of The Advocate, you’re missing all of this news! Subscribe now to the Virginia United Methodist Advocate by calling Peggy Cribbs at 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110, or (804) 521-1110. Or e-mail or Or click here to subscribe online. Cost is $15 for one year. Multiple-year subscriptions are available at reduced rates.

Donations still needed to pay for Stop Hunger Now meals
Members of Annual Conference packaged 102,000 meals for Stop Hunger Now. Each meal 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 these meals, was $25,000. Total contributions received to assist with the cost of the meals is currently $6,011. Persons or churches wishing to make contributions to assist with the cost of these meals may send contributions to the Conference Treasurer's Office, P.O. Box 5605, Glen Allen, VA 23058, designated for “Annual Conference Stop Hunger Now.” Or click here to make an online donation.

Bible leader needed for All God’s Children Camp
A Bible leader is needed for All God's Children Camp at Westview on the James Aug. 15-20. This person would lead campers in Bible studies at various times throughout the week. If interested or for further information, contact the Rev. Sandra Stanley, director of Christian Education, Duncan Memorial UMC, P.O. Box 247, Ashland, VA 23005, (804) 798-7224, or e-mail

Virginia given 140 delegates to 2011 World Methodist Conference
The 20th World Methodist Conference, a world-wide gathering of representatives from churches in the Methodist and Wesleyan tradition that meets once every five years, will be Aug. 4-8, 2011, at the International Convention Center in Durban, South Africa. The Virginia Conference is entitled to 140 delegates. Delegates attend at their own expense. Bishop Kammerer forwards the names and contact information of those she is naming to serve as delegates to the Office of the General Secretary of the World Methodist Council, Dr. George Freeman. Dr. Freeman's office then extends an official invitation and provides information about the conference, registration procedures, accommodations, costs, etc. If you would like to attend the 2011 World Methodist Conference as a delegate from Virginia, contact the Rev. Tom Joyce, Assistant to the Bishop, at; 1-800-768-6040, ext. 103; (804) 521-1103; or P.O. Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058, by Aug. 15. Click here for more information.

Program Grant applications due Aug. 1
Applications for Special Program Grants and Sustaining Grants for 2011 are due in the office of Connectional Ministries by Aug. 1. Special Program Grants are designed for programs outside of normal conference and local church funding processes. They are intended to provide funding for the first three years of innovative programs of tangible and caring outreach that is beyond a local church’s current financial resources. Sustaining Grants are designed for programs outside of normal conference and local church funding processes. They are intended to provide funding for the sustaining of innovative programs of tangible and caring outreach that is beyond a local church’s current financial resources. Grants are for churches of all ethnic groups and should help the church requesting the funding to relate to the ethnic groups within its community. For more information on these grants and access to applications, go to

Lay nominee form for 2012 General/Jurisdictional Conference now on Web
The Lay Nominee Form (Word file) to be completed by laity who wish to put their names forward for election as delegates to the 2012 General and Southeastern Jurisdictional Conferences has been posted on the Virginia Conference Web site. Click here for rules regarding the election process and a copy of the form; or go to the conference home page (, then click on the link in the blue right-hand column, about halfway down the page. The form must be submitted to the appropriate district office. For more information, contact your district office.

Online form to help connect college students with faith communities
Virginia Conference United Methodist campus ministries (Wesley Foundations, ecumenical partnerships and United Methodist schools) rely on your help in identifying United Methodist students so the students can be contacted and welcomed on campuses across the conference. A new online form replaces the previous method of mailing in paper forms. Completion of the form is quick, easy and should help campus ministries contact students more quickly throughout the summer and academic year. Anyone can fill out the form — pastor, youth director, parent, friend, or student — so consider including this link in your bulletins and newsletters: Click here to take a moment to help identify students that campus ministers and chaplains should get to know.

Camp Overlook hosts ‘Stretch Out Your Hand’ retreat Aug. 13-15
Overlook Retreat and Camp Ministries will host a "Stretch Out Your Hand" retreat focused on spiritual journey in prayer Aug. 13-15 at Blessings Lodge. The event will include presentations on how to listen to God to discern prayer, small group sharing time, creative worship experiences, and quiet space for deeper reflection. A $120 registration fee includes lodging, four meals and program costs. Register online at

Middle School Mission Weekends introduce students to mission
Middle School Mission Weekends — Aug. 27-29 and Oct. 15-17 at Westview on the James in Goochland — are an opportunity to introduce middle school students (6th- to 8th-graders) to mission and help them understand what it means to be the hands and feet of Christ. Throughout the weekend, middle school youths will put their faith into action as they serve the people of the local community through small home repairs and lawn care for families that do not have the financial and/or physical means to do such maintenance or repairs themselves. Click here for more information or to register.

Kid’s Work Camp set for Sept. 24-26 at Westview on the James
Westview on the James, United Methodist Camp and Retreat Center in Goochland, will offer a weekend of outreach opportunities for 3rd- to 6th-graders at Kid's Work Camp Sept. 24-26. Students and their leaders will travel into the community for mission projects such as demolition work, raking leaves, hauling wood, turning over gardens, pulling weeds, etc. Worship and Bible Study will be led by United Methodist children's leaders. Weather permitting, students will have fun on Westview Lake and will have a chance to connect with other students from the Virginia Conference. Cost for the weekend is $75 per person. For more information, call the camp office at (804) 457-4210 or go to

Congress, Obama administration urged to ‘rise above partisan politics’
Bishop Neil Irons, executive secretary of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, is among signers of an interfaith letter that urges members of Congress and the Obama administration to “rise above partisan politics” in responding to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The letter, sent last week and signed by 28 faith leaders, includes six recommendations to guide federal officials in “a moral response” to the calamity. More …

Guidebook to UM-related schools available from Cokesbury
A new guidebook to the 121 United Methodist-related schools, colleges, universities and theological institutions is available to help high school students and others easily compare tuition, degrees offered and possible financial aid. Each institution's Web site, contact information for the admission office as well as information about religious life on campus, dorms and sports are included. The Guidebook of United Methodist-Related Schools, Colleges, Universities and Theological Schools, which costs $5, can be ordered at

Annual Conference sessions include service, resolutions, worship
The U.S. conferences of The United Methodist Church did service projects, passed resolutions on issues from immigration to sexuality and worshipped together at annual meetings. Moods ranged from sober to buoyant as delegates pondered the future of the denomination and rejoiced in the faith that makes it all worthwhile. More …

Jurisdiction clergywomen consultation set for April 4-7, 2011
Southeastern Jurisdiction Clergywomen Consultation will be April 4-7, 2011, at the Double Tree Resort, Orlando, Fla. For more information, call Libba Stinson at (334) 887-7003 or e-mail

Aug. 10 is deadline to apply for Ethnic Local Church Grant
Aug. 10 is the deadline to apply for an Ethnic Local Church Grant from the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society (GBCS). The grants are to strengthen ethnic minority local churches through education, advocacy or leadership development as they engage in social justice. Grant recipients must be programs initiated by or developed in partnership with one or more United Methodist ethnic minority local churches to address chronic social problems or concerns. Two funding periods are available for consideration: Aug. 10 is the deadline for the October cycle and Jan. 10 is the deadline for the March cycle. More …

Socially Responsible Investing Summit to be Oct. 18-19 in KC
“Socially Responsible Investing Summit” will be Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 18-19, on the campus of St. Paul School of Theology in Kansas City, Mo. The summit will enable an exchange of ideas about The United Methodist Church’s evolving understanding of socially responsible investing policy and practices. Registration fee of $50 will cover all materials, plenary and breakout sessions, speakers and evening meal on Oct. 18. Registration is limited to 100. Deadline to register is July 31. Click here for more information. Click here to register online.

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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