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Dec. 23, 2010
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News from the Virginia Conference – Sept. 17, 2010

Conference invited to fast, pray to seek God's guidance for church
Bishop Charlene Kammerer is inviting Virginia Conference United Methodists to join her in a weekly time of fasting and prayer, from now through Dec. 31, to ask God to work within us for the future of the church. Bishop Kammerer will be fasting and praying each Thursday evening through Friday. Others are invited to join her at that time or another time of their choosing. This will be a time to refrain from meals (Thursday dinner, Friday breakfast and Friday lunch — break the fast at dinner on Friday evening) and ask God's Holy Spirit to work within us and provide direction. Those with health concerns that do not allow skipping meals are encouraged to find other ways to spend time listening for God's direction.

Conference seeks executive secretary for Ministerial Services office
The Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church, with headquarters in Glen Allen, is accepting applications for the position of Executive Secretary in the Office of Ministerial Services. For details, visit the Virginia Conference Web site at

140+ attend first RISE worship service on Sept. 12
RISE, a United Methodist faith community in Harrisonburg, held its first public worship service on Sunday, Sept. 12, with more than 140 people in attendance. Projected average age of those attending was 23. The Rev. Amanda Garber is founding pastor of the new faith community that has grown out of what once was the Wesley Foundation at James Madison University and is the result of the combined efforts of the conference Board of Higher Education Ministries, Church Development Team and the Harrisonburg District. More ...

Danville District Office to move on Sept. 30
The Danville District office will be moving on Sept. 30. The new mailing address is P.O. Box 4204, Martinsville, VA 24115. Physical address for package delivery is 824-A Starling Ave, Martinsville, VA 24112. Telephone number and e-mail will remain the same.

Virginia Advocate continues series on different sized churches
The award-winning Virginia United Methodist Advocate monthly newsmagazine continues its three-part series on differently sized churches with articles in the October issue on larger churches. Several pastors in the conference write about the many great opportunities for discipleship presented in the large-membership church, but note that these churches can be more “fragile” than one might think. In November, the Advocate will look at the challenges and joys of smaller congregations. The September issue focused on middle-sized churches.
     The Advocate encourages reprinting articles or groups of articles for use in Sunday school class discussions, committee meetings or small groups. Copied materials must include the credit line for the Advocate (found at the bottom of each page of the magazine).
     You can purchase a copy of a single issue and have it mailed to you for $3.56 ($2 issue charge plus $1.56 postage). Copies are sold for $2 each at the Advocate office in the United Methodist Center in Glen Allen. For more information, contact Peggy Cribbs at 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110, or (804) 521-1110.
     The annual Advocate subscription campaign is under way, and materials have been mailed to every church. Click here to access these materials online. You can subscribe to the Virginia United Methodist Advocate for $15 for 12 issues, or take advantage of the bulk discount rate of $12 a year each for five or more subscriptions mailed to a single address. Click here to subscribe online; or call Peggy Cribbs at 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110, or (804) 521-1110; or e-mail

Applications due for projects to be Conference Advance Specials
It is the time of year for mission projects within the Virginia Conference to apply for consideration to become Conference Advance Specials. Go to to download an application. Completed applications are due to the Mission and Global Justice office by Oct. 29. Existing 2010-2011 Conference Advance Special projects do not need to complete a full application, but information on page 1 should be updated and financial information on pages 2 and 3 must be submitted. For more information, contact the Mission and Global Justice office at or (804) 521-1144.

Virginia clergyman to walk 500 miles to protest death penalty
Because Virginia is scheduled to execute another person on Sept. 23, the Rev. Hunter Mabry is now engaged in a 500-mile walk protesting the death penalty and raising funds for Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty. For more information and an opportunity to participate, go to

Shenandoah University team brings Haitian girl to U.S. for medical treatment
Shenandoah University President Tracy Fitzsimmons returned to Haiti with a group of students and faculty Sept. 12-14 to bring a Haitian girl, Meloonda, injured in January’s massive earthquake, back to the Shenandoah University campus and Winchester community to receive medical and rehabilitative treatment for the next three months. Meloonda will be accompanied by her father, Jean Bregard.

Sept. 21 is International Day of Prayer for Peace
World Council of Churches members worldwide are invited to pray for peace Tuesday, Sept. 21, or on the closest Sunday. International Day of Prayer for Peace offers an opportunity for church communities in all places to pray and act together to nurture lasting peace in the hearts of people, their families, communities and societies. More …

World Communion Sunday is Oct. 3
Sunday, Oct. 3, is World Communion Sunday. 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 of October. Click here for more information.

Oct. 5 is National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Awareness
National Day of Prayer for Mental Illness Awareness Recovery and Understanding is Tuesday, Oct. 5. Prayers and actions of both faith communities and secular organizations are needed to restore mental wellness in America. Click here for more information and resources.

Children’s Sabbaths scheduled for Oct. 8-10
This year, The United Methodist Church will observe Children’s Sabbaths Oct. 8-10. Children's Sabbaths is an ecumenically celebrated weekend committed to educating the congregation about the state of today’s children and families in America. Children provide leadership through music, sharing of gifts and reading of Scripture.

‘10-Fold’ to feature 10 Advance projects in 10 days beginning Oct. 10
For 10 days, Oct. 10-19, you will be able to go online to learn about Global Ministries' projects around the world supported through The Advance, the designated giving arm of The United Methodist Church. “10-Fold,” a new type of online event, will offer live webcasts, streaming video, online chats and other media that will enable you to see and hear about amazing projects that are changing people's lives. Every day will focus on a different project. The goal is to gain the support of 10,000 people for each of the 10 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. To get more details, visit and download the 10-Fold Participant's Guide.

Resources available for Oct. 17 Laity Sunday
In our membership vows, we promise that we will support the church with our prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness. Theme for this year’s celebration of Laity Sunday on Oct. 17 is Disciples Transforming the World - Through Presence. Click here for worship resources for this Special Sunday, or go to the General Board of Discipleship Web site,, under “Lead Your Church" >"Ministry of the Laity.”

Oct. 17 is Bread for the World Sunday
Bread for the World, a Christian organization supported in part through the United Methodist Advance, has resources for churches interested in participating in Bread for the World Sunday on Oct. 17. The group organizes Christians to write U.S. decision-makers in support of efforts to eradicate hunger in the U.S. and overseas. Click here for resources.

Interfaith resources available for Veterans Day Nov. 11
Veteran's Day is Wednesday, Nov. 11, a time to honor and remember past and present military veterans. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has become a major mental health issue for veterans returning from war. Mental Health Ministries is offering an interfaith Veteran's Day resource (click here) that can be used as a bulletin insert or flier to raise important issues faced by returning troops and give your faith community ideas on how to be supportive. This resource is available in English and Spanish. Click here for an article, How Faith Communities Can Help Veterans and Their Families Readjust by VA Chaplain David Lundell. Click here for a downloadable packet from the Presbyterian Church USA, The Wounds of War: The Church as a Healing Community.

15 Lay Speaking courses to be offered in September, October
In September and October, 15 Lay Speaking courses will be offered at three different locations in northern Virginia, central Virginia and Hampton Roads. Five courses deal directly with being in the pulpit; 10 courses cover other roles in the church and the community. For more information, go to

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 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23, at Williamsburg Community Chapel, Williamsburg. More …

Training to be offered on sexual ethics, reporting child abuse or neglect
All Virginia Conference clergy are required to participate in sexual ethics training and reporting child abuse and neglect training. Sexual ethics training is offered annually in the fall. Two optional dates are offered: Tuesday, Sept. 28, or Saturday, Oct. 16 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Conference Center in Glen Allen. Cost is $10. Clergy Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect training is offered on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2011, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center, Blackstone, immediately prior to the opening of Ministers’ Convocation. This course will also be offered Saturday, March 26, 2011, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Conference Center in Glen Allen. Cost for each training is $10. To register online, go to, click “Event Calendar,” then click on date of the event.

Conference extension ministers to meet with bishop Oct. 1
Conference extension ministers and pastors appointed beyond the local church will gather with Bishop Charlene Kammerer 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 1, at Richmond Hill, 2209 E. Grace St., Richmond. Cost is $20 for lunch and registration. Registration deadline is Tuesday, Sept. 28. Click here for more information and to register.

Credit Union to offer tax seminar for clergy Oct. 6
The Virginia United Methodist Credit Union will offer a Tax Seminar For Clergy, Wednesday, Oct. 6, from 1-3 p.m. at the Virginia United Methodist Center in Glen Allen. The seminar will address the special employment status of clergy and the self-employment tax along with other tax issues related to clergy. There is no cost to attend, but space is limited and registration is required. For more information or to register, contact Janie Hightower at or 1-866-672-0004.

Older Adult retreat set for Oct. 5-7 at VUMAC
Seasoned Adults Spice Up the Church,” a retreat sponsored by the Older Adult Council and Virginia United Methodist Homes, Inc., will be held Oct. 5-7 at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC), Blackstone. Cost for each participant is $150. Scholarship assistance is available. Registration deadline is Sept. 24. Click here for more information.

Women in ministry invited to Oct. 21 gathering
All women in ministry — licensed, ordained, consecrated, candidates for ministry and other women — are invited to the Clergywomen’s Collective gathering 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 21, at the Virginia Conference United Methodist Center, 10330 Staples Mill Road, Glen Allen. Bring a bag lunch or go to the deli at Martin’s across the way. For more information, contact the Rev. ReNe'e Teague at or (804) 357-4435.

2010 UMMen Spiritual Retreat to be Nov. 5-7 at VUMAC
The 2010 United Methodist Men (UMMen) Spiritual Retreat will be Nov. 5-7 at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) in Blackstone. Dr. Kevass J. Harding, senior pastor of Dellrose United Methodist Church in Wichita, Kan., and a leader in the Wesleyan Building Brothers process, will be preacher for the event. He will preach on the theme “Can We Talk: It's Time To Man Up!” Sept. 30 is early registration deadline to save $20. Click here to download registration form. For more information, contact David Bean, Vice President, Spiritual Life, by e-mail to, or by phone at (540) 718-2752.

New Church Leadership Institute to be Nov. 9-11
New Church Leadership Institute 2010 will be held Nov. 9-11 at the Virginia Conference United Methodist Center in Glen Allen. Participants will learn how to gain clarity in discerning ministry competencies, spiritual gifts, personal mission field or affinity group, leadership style and its implications and place on the apostolic/pastoral continuum. Registration deadline is Oct. 15. Click here for more information and online registration. Or go to or contact Pat Hickman at (804) 521-1155, 1-800-768-6040, ext. 155, or

Event for African-American churches scheduled for Nov. 19-20
A design team is busily working on plans for a fall event for African-American faith communities in the Virginia Conference. Mark your calendars for Nov. 19-20 and plan to bring a team from your church for a time of connecting and learning at the United Methodist Center in Glen Allen.

2011 Ministers’ Convocation registration is open
Register now for the Jan. 18-20, 2011, Ministers’ Convocation. Theme is “Shaping God’s People: A Study of Exodus,” addressing the question “How does the story of Exodus help us to live into a future that is different from the past?” Keynote presenters will be Dr. Gil Rendle, senior consultant for the Texas Methodist Foundation for Clergy and Congregational Excellence, and Dr. Joel LeMon, assistant professor of Old Testament, Candler School of Theology, Emory University. Preaching during the week will be Bishop Charlene Kammerer and the Rev. Lisa Yebuah, newly ordained elder in the North Carolina Conference and Minister of Community Witness at Edenton Street UMC, Raleigh, N.C. A variety of workshops will be held on Wednesday, and district reflection groups will be led by younger clergy in the conference. Click here to register online or to download registration form. Watch your mail for a brochure that will include registration form.

UMCOR establishes relief supply network
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has formed a relief supply network. Kathy Kraiza, executive director of UMCOR relief supplies, said the collaboration provides different places for U.S. congregations to send or drop off kits and supplies and allows the denomination to respond to disasters from depots located close to the affected areas. The network includes UMCOR Sager Brown Depot in Baldwin, La.; UMCOR West Depot, Salt Lake City; Mission Response Center, Terrell, N.C.; Midwest Mission Distribution Center, Chatham, Ill.; Eastbrook Mission Barn, New Castle, Pa.; and the MERCI Center, Goldsboro, N.C.

Third international AIDS conference to be held Oct. 14-16 in Dallas
“Lighten the Burden III,” the third international AIDS conference sponsored by the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund Committee, will be Oct. 14-16 at the Radisson Central Hotel in Dallas, Texas. The conference will feature national and international speakers, each bringing his or her own unique perspective to the AIDS pandemic. To register, go to by Sept. 20. Registration fee is $100 (includes meals and resources). More …

Deacons’ gathering to be Oct. 24-26 at Lake Junaluska
The Rev. Gary Gunderson, deacon in the Memphis Conference and director of Methodist Healthcare in Memphis, will be featured speaker for the 2010 Deacon/Diakonate Gathering to be held Oct. 24-26 at Lake Junaluska. Focus of the gathering, “The Diakonate – Bridging Brokenness, Toward Healing and Wholeness,” will center on health, spirituality and wholeness for those in full-time ministry and for those they serve in ministry. For more information and to register online, visit or call (828) 454-6656.

2010 Multicultural Conference to be Dec. 2-4 at Lake Junaluska
The Southeastern Jurisdiction College of Bishops is partnering with Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center for the 2010 Multicultural Conference Dec. 2-4. Theme is “Embracing the Multi-Ethnic Body of Christ: Breaking Down Barriers and Building Bridges.” Virginia’s Myrtle Frances Hatcher is a member of the design team led by Bishop William Morris. A goal has been established for each annual conference to have 20–30 participants. Click here for more information or to register.

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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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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