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News from the Virginia Conference – Aug. 5, 2010

Advocate subscription campaign packets mailed to local churches
This week, Virginia Advocate subscription campaign materials are being mailed to all churches in the Virginia Conference. A bright yellow envelope contains a list of current subscribers, bulletin inserts ready to copy, a tally sheet to list new subscribers, and instructions. All churches will receive the packet, whether or not they currently have Advocate subscribers among their members. If your church has not received the packet by Aug. 20, please contact Peggy Cribbs at (804) 521-1100, 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110, or e-mail

Almost $212,000 given to Annual Conference offering so far
As of Aug. 1, $211,950 has been contributed toward the 2010 Annual Conference offering to fund leadership development in Brazil, Mozambique and northern Virginia. Funds are still being received by the Virginia Conference Treasurer. More ...

United Methodists teach, preach at Boy Scout Jamboree
More than 48,000 Boy Scouts and adult leaders are gathered for two weeks at the National Boy Scout Jamboree, being held at Fort A.P. Hill near Bowling Green. The United Methodist Church has a strong presence at the event, holding a worship service for more than 5,500 Scouts and their leaders and doing a brisk business at a display telling passers-by about its Scouting programs and the Nothing But Nets anti-malaria partnership. More …

‘Pray 40,’ nationwide prayer campaign for college students, begins Aug. 23
A nationwide prayer campaign for college students and campus ministries, "Pray 40," begins Aug. 23 when United Methodists are asked to pray for students and campus ministries for 40 days. Some 17 million U.S. students head to colleges and universities each autumn, while millions more flood campuses worldwide. The campaign will feature 40 prayers written by students, campus pastors, bishops and church leaders. The Upper Room will publish the prayers. Participants can sign up to receive a daily prayer by e-mail, download and share a prayer guide, follow the effort on Twitter or by text, commit to a 24-hour period of continuous prayer and teach about prayer. For more information, go to

September is National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month
The United Methodist General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) is encouraging local churches to observe National Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month in September by hosting a special worship service or other educational event to highlight the realities of addiction, the benefits of treatment and the possibility of recovery. More information, including a planning toolkit, is available at or by calling 1-800-662-HELP. Visit to obtain worship helps and join the GBCS Addictions Network to be informed about other events and actions pertaining to addiction and recovery issues through The United Methodist Church.

Vote to help Society of St. Andrew win $250,000 grant from Pepsi
Pepsi is giving millions of dollars in grants to fund ideas that will refresh the world. Each month a different group of ideas submitted from all across the nation are voted on in categories. The ideas that get the most votes are given money to help fulfill their goals. Society of St. Andrew’s (SoSA) hunger relief ministry is in the September voting cycle in the “Food & Shelter” category, $250,000 level. You can help feed the hungry by voting for SoSA. Starting Sept. 1, go to SoSA’s Web site,, and click on the “Pepsi Refresh Project” button. You’ll be taken directly to SoSA’s listing, where you can vote once each day throughout the month.

World Communion Sunday is Oct. 3
Bishop Joel Martinez experienced the call to ministry as a teenager. With the help of the Crusade Scholars program, he followed that call at Perkins School of Theology in Dallas. “The Crusade Scholars program made possible my seminary education,” Martinez said. “This program is vital to our church’s future.” The 2008 General Conference passed legislation to change the name of the Crusade Scholarship to World Communion Scholarship. The World Communion Scholarship, which provides scholarships for U.S. racial- and ethnic-minority students and international students on both undergraduate and graduate levels, is funded through the special offering on World Communion Sunday, the first Sunday in October. Click here for more information.

‘10-Fold’ to gain support for Advance projects beginning Oct. 10
10-Fold is about mobilizing passionate people to stand up and be counted for the causes they believe in. The event launches on Oct. 10 (10-10-10) and lasts for 10 days. Every day will focus on a different project supported through The Advance, the designated giving arm of The United Methodist Church. The goal is to gain the support of 10,000 people for each of the 10 projects. All one has to do is register with one of these Advance projects. During the event, $1 will be donated for every person that signs up as an advocate for a 10-Fold project, up to $10,000 per project. It can create an effect that is 10-Fold in good works. For more information visit

Virginia LARCUM conference scheduled for Dec. 3-4
The LARCUM (Lutheran, Anglican, Roman Catholic, United Methodist) Annual Virginia State Conference is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Dec. 3-4, in Fredericksburg. The conference will be convened by the Episcopalians. The Lutherans will provide a historical perspective of their denomination. The conference will focus on the 20 points of the State Covenant. A block of rooms has been reserved at the Courtyard Marriott Fredericksburg Historic District and will become available late October. Special LARCUM rate is $99 for Friday evening. The hotel is offering a discounted rate also for Saturday evening due to the popular Fredericksburg Christmas Parade. Rate for street view is $169; interior rooms are $149.

Disaster response training to be offered Aug. 26-28 at VUMAC
The Virginia Conference Disaster Response Academy will be Aug. 26-28 at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) in Blackstone. All conference and district Disaster Response Team members should be present. Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) members, emergency management staff and anyone interested in disaster response ministries are also encouraged to attend. Subject experts from United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) will conduct training on Early Response Team (including Train the Trainer and Basic training), Spiritual and Emotional Care, Connecting Neighbors and Organizing the Local Church for Disaster Response Ministries. Registration deadline is Aug. 23. CEUs are available. For more information, click here or contact Bob Pihlcrantz at or 1-866-264-8488.

Middle School Mission Weekends introduce students to mission
Middle School Mission Weekends — Aug. 27-29 and Oct. 15-17 at Westview on the James campground 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.

Eric Geiger to speak at 5 Talent Academy teaching event Sept. 23
Eric Geiger, executive pastor of Christ Fellowship in Miami, Fla., and co-author of the best-selling book Simple Church, will be featured speaker at the 5 Talent Academy teaching event on Faith Development 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23, at Williamsburg Community Chapel, Williamsburg. More …

Kid’s Work Camp set for Sept. 24-26 at Westview on the James
Westview on the James, United Methodist camp 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

Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference dates changed to July 17-21, 2012
The 2012 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference will be held July 17-21, 2012, at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center, N.C. Further details about the conference will be available at

Process changed to sign up church leaders for free Interpreter magazine
The process has changed to enroll church leaders to receive complimentary subscriptions to Interpreter magazine. Churches will now receive this information directly from United Methodist Communications and not from their district offices. Churches can expect to receive this information soon after their charge conferences when they will be able to update their Interpreter enrollment information for 2011. If you’re ready to update your 2011 enrollment information today, you may use the online option at For questions, contact United Methodist Communications Customer Service at 1-888-346-3862, or by e-mail to

United Methodist pastor officiates at Chelsea Clinton’s wedding
A United Methodist pastor and Jewish rabbi officiated at the July 31 wedding ceremony of Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky in Rhinebeck, N.Y. The Rev. Bill Shillady, executive director of the New York City Society and a clergy member of the New York Conference, performed the ceremony with Rabbi James Ponet, Jewish chaplain of Yale University. “It was a wonderful honor to be part of this special day,” Shillady said. Like her mother, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Chelsea Clinton is United Methodist. Mezvinsky comes from the conservative Jewish tradition. More …

Study says general agencies don’t fulfill church’s mission
United Methodist general agencies rate below average in fulfilling the church’s mission to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world,” according to a comprehensive study of church structures that also found that agencies often fail to collaborate with each other and their boards are too large and meet too infrequently to provide effective oversight. “The agencies are a cacophony of voices,” said the report commissioned by the denomination’s Call to Action Steering Team. “Their brands and communications compete with one another and result in confusion and dilution of the impact at the annual conference and local church levels.” More …

African-American Clergy Health Summit set for Sept. 27-28
Lake Junaluska and the General Board of Pensions and Health Benefits (GBPHB) of The United Methodist Church are hosting the “African-American Clergy Health Summit: A Self-Care Covenant” Sept. 27-28. Participants will participate in a self-care covenant workshop designed specifically for African-American clergy, which reflects the health summit’s theme, “Wanting to Heal and Be Healed” (John 5: 1-9). The summit and workshops will be led by the Rev. Dr. Embra Jackson, assistant to the Bishop of the Mississippi Conference, and Edmond Pienkosz, GBPHB Health and Wellness Manager. For more information, go to

Lake Junaluska Multicultural Conference to be held Dec. 2-4
Lake Junaluska’s second Multicultural Conference will be Dec. 2-4. Theme is “Embracing Christ’s Multi-Ethnic Body: Breaking Down Barriers and Building Bridges.” Early registration ends Oct. 16. One CEU credit available. Leaders include the Rev. Eric Law of Kaleidoscope Institute (via Skype); Bishop Gregory Palmer of the Illinois Area; Bishop Will Willimon of the North Alabama Conference; Kristina Gonzales, associate director of Connectional Ministries for the Pacific Northwest Conference; Dr. Anne Marshall, community activist who speaks on indigenous issues, racism, and human rights violations around the world; Dr. Tim Tyson, award-winning author of Blood Done Sign My Name and senior scholar at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University; the Rev. Dr. Mary John Dye, who began her ministry as the first cross-racial appointment in the Mississippi Conference; and Bishop William Morris (retired), who provides leadership for the Design Team of the Multicultural Conference. Call (828) 454-6656 or visit to register or for more 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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