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News from the Virginia Conference – Oct. 7, 2010


Conference invited
to fast, pray

Bishop Charlene Kammerer invites Virginia Conference United Methodists to join her in weekly fasting and prayer, through Dec. 31, to ask God to work within us for the future of the church. More …

“ … and when you fast,
do not look dismal”

Loving Holy God; in adoration and praise we lift our thoughts to you. Our souls are rejoicing in this privilege of drawing closer to you. Help us focus not on ourselves and our sacrifice but on the possibilities for fruitfulness and hope in our faith communities. Restore us as people with minds and hearts for developing disciples. Multiply our resources. Lead us to persons who do not know Christ. Give us the desire to risk our own comfort that we may walk in the valleys and through the wilderness places. Give us the patience to wait and listen for you to guide our feet. We want to be faithful leaders, but too often we do not know how and for our times of failures we repent. Forgive us. Thank you for the blessings we have already enjoyed. Amen.

The Rev. Myrtle Frances Hatcher,
Dean of the Cabinet

Mission stories needed for Annual Conference
The Virginia Conference Board of Global Ministries is currently seeking stories from local churches explaining how thechurch is involved in hands-on mission at local, national and international levels. Selected stories will be shared at the 2011 Annual Conference which will focus on missions. Submit this information to Terri Biggins in the conference Mission Office no later than Nov. 30. For a submission form, contact Terri at (804) 521-1144, toll-free at 1-800-768-6040, ext. 144 or e-mail to For more information, contact Donna Mott at (804) 863-1304 or

‘10-Fold’ to feature 10 Advance projects in 10 days
For 10 days, Oct. 10-19, you will be able to go online to learn about mission projects around the world supported through The Advance, the designated giving arm of The United Methodist Church. “10-Fold” 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. For more details, visit and download the 10-Fold Participant's Guide.

Domestic violence study can equip United Methodists to speak out
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. A new, downloadable resource, “Breaking the Silence,” can equip United Methodists to speak up and speak out about domestic violence. The 23-page study, for use in local congregations, focuses on the need for communities of faith to address systems that perpetuate domestic violence, causing victims to remain silent and enabling perpetrators to continue. This resource provides an opportunity for church members, either as individuals or in small groups, to study domestic violence through the lens of the Wesleyan quadrilateral of scripture, tradition, reason and experience. It uses Psalm 139 as its biblical text. The new resource is available through the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) Web site at: “Breaking the Silence.” More …

GBCS invites United Methodists to Heritage Day
The General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) invites United Methodists to a Methodist Heritage Day of Celebration at the historic United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill, 100 Maryland Ave. NE, Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Oct. 27. Tour of the United Methodist Building will begin at 11 a.m. Worship service at 12:10 p.m. will feature a message by David Worthington, manager of The New Room/Wesley Chapel in Bristol, England. Catered lunch at 12:45 p.m. will include dialogue with Worthington. For more information or to RSVP for lunch, call Jeanette Cosper at (202) 488-5629. Suggested donation for lunch is $5.

UVa Wesley Foundation feeds Muslim students
During the Islamic month of Ramadan, students from the Wesley Foundation at the University of Virginia (UVa) hosted a breakfast meal for their Muslim brothers and sisters. Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting in which participants refrain from eating or drinking from dawn until sunset, was observed this year from Aug. 11 to Sept. 10. Because Muslims must be finished with their meals before the sun rises, and because no campus dining halls were open early enough to accommodate that need, United Methodist volunteers got up at 2 a.m. to have breakfast ready by 4 a.m. The cooperative effort has been “a huge sign of hope,” said the Rev. Deborah Lewis, campus minister and Wesley Foundation director.

Danville District office has moved
The Danville District office moved to a new location on Sept. 30. New mailing address is P.O. Box 4204, Martinsville, VA  24115. New physical address for package delivery is 824-A Starling Ave., Martinsville, VA 24112. Phone number and e-mail address remain the same.

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, (804) 521-1144 or toll-free at 1-800-768-6040, ext. 144.

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. Worship resources for this Special Sunday can be found on the General Board of Discipleship Web site,, under the “Lead Your Church >> Ministry of the Laity” section.

Study focuses on Council of Bishops’ pastoral letter
Last winter, the Council of Bishops voted unanimously to endorse their latest pastoral letter, God’s Renewed Creation: Call to Hope and Action, which draws urgent attention to three interrelated threats to Creation: poverty and disease, environmental degradation and climate change, and proliferation of violence and weapons. A six-part study was developed for use in 2010-11. It’s an easy-to-use study with a front-and-back, one-page handout for participants at each session. The brief leader’s guide, participants handouts, pastoral letter and foundation document are all printed in a booklet that can be purchased from Cokesbury for $7.50. Studies are happening around the denomination, especially in some Central Conferences where the impact of this triad of threats is most disastrously felt. Translations of the basic documents in seven languages are on the Council of Bishops’ Web site for this project ( along with video clips, other articles and stories of struggle and success.

Reverse Trick-or-Treating educates about Fair Trade
Reverse Trick-or-Treating gives thousands of school children (and high school/college students and adults) the opportunity to treat neighbors with Fair Trade chocolate while educating them about how they can help end poverty, promote human rights, end child labor and increase awareness of environmental abuses in the cocoa industry. Fair Trade chocolate is attached to a card with information about social and environmental problems in the cocoa industry and how buying Fair Trade certified chocolate provides a solution. Click here for more information or to request kits. Click here to watch the Reverse Trick-or-Treating video.

Interfaith resources available for Veterans Day Nov. 11
Veterans 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 Veterans 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 Department of Veterans Affairs Chaplain David Lundell. Click here for a downloadable packet from the Presbyterian Church USA, The Wounds of War: The Church as a Healing Community.

SoSA offers alternative Christmas gift card program
Society of St. Andrew (SoSA), a national hunger-relief ministry, offers an Alternative Christmas Card program that helps feed Americans who are in need while honoring special friends and family. For a minimum donation of $12 in honor of someone special, you can provide about 600 servings of fresh food to those in need. Your gift donation will be announced with SoSA’s exclusive Alternative Christmas Card, and you will also receive this beautiful card as a thank you and confirmation of the gifts you make. This year’s card is the 16th in a series designed exclusively for SoSA by Virginia liturgical artist Annis McCabe. The full-color, 7-inch by 5-inch card features original art on the front and an inspirational verse inside. For more information, go to

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 United Methodist Center, 10330 Staples Mill Road, Glen Allen. Bring a bag lunch or go to the deli at Martin’s next door. For more information, contact the Rev. ReNe'e Teague at or (804) 357-4435.

Christian educators ‘Day Apart’ set for Oct. 26
Virginia Chapter of Christian Educators Fellowship and the Division of Education invite all Christian educators, clergy and laity interested in Christian education to Professional Development Training: Day Apart, Tuesday, Oct. 26, 9:30 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Virginia United Methodist Center in Glen Allen. Morning session will be “Kids With Purpose: A Weekly Program for Children Learning and Doing Missions” with Jodi Bischoff, Minister of Child Discipleship and Mission, Good Shepherd UMC. Afternoon will be Conversation Groups to discuss children, youth, young adults, adults, missions and technology. Cost of $15 includes lunch and coffee breaks. Cost is $10 for lunch and either morning or afternoon session. For more information, contact MaryKaye Cochran at (804) 739-4535, ext. 33 or Registration deadline is Oct. 19. Send registration information and payment to: Molly Gee, Wright's Chapel United Methodist Church, 8063 Ladysmith Road, Ruther Glen, VA 22546-2844. Make checks payable to "Virginia Conference CEF." Include name, church/position, address, phone and e-mail address.

New Church Leadership Institute to be Nov. 9-11
New Church Leadership Institute 2010 will be held Nov. 9-11 at the Virginia 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

African-American Roundtable scheduled for Nov. 19-20
Teams from churches are invited to attend an African-American Roundtable on Friday, Nov. 19, and Saturday, Nov. 20, at the Virginia United Methodist Center in Glen Allen. The event will begin with worship Friday evening. The Rev. Alex Duncan, pastor of Jackson Street-Trinity in the Lynchburg District, will preach. On Saturday, Jennifer Davis, director of Connectional Ministries for the Western North Carolina Conference, will offer the keynote address. Davis’ wide range of effective leadership in the corporate, public and private sectors and her deep commitment to Christ and the Church led to her selection as the first lay person to hold this position within the Western North Carolina Conference. Breakout sessions will focus on expanding the use of technology in the church, ministry with young adults, and the church discernment process. All laity and clergy who have a vision and passion for ministry within the African-American church are encouraged to attend. Cost for the day is $25 per person which covers lunch, refreshments and materials. A .5 CEU has been requested for clergy. Registration will begin Oct. 15.

Evening at Blackstone set for Dec. 5
Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) at Blackstone will host the annual Evening at Blackstone on Sunday, Dec. 5. It will be a night of Christian music with lots of familiar Christmas songs. This year, entertainment will be provided by Mercy's Well, a multi-talented trio from North Carolina. Open house starts at 4:30 p.m. Banquet is at 6 p.m. followed by the concert at 7 p.m. Call Cyndi at (434) 292-5308 to make a reservation.

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.

UMC partners with Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB, malaria
The United Methodist Church has entered into a partnership with the Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. The United Methodist Church is in the middle of an effort to raise $75 million through Imagine No Malaria, a portion of which will go to the Global Fund, a recognized global leader in the fight against diseases of poverty. This is the first time the Global Fund will work together with a faith-based organization. More …

Foundry UMC in D.C. to allow same-sex marriages
The congregation at Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C., has voted to allow its sanctuary to be used for same-sex marriage ceremonies and its clergy to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies. According to the church's Web site: "On Sunday, September 26, 2010, the members of Foundry United Methodist Church voted to allow same-gender marriages performed in its building, and to support any member of the Foundry clergy who chooses to celebrate a same-gender marriage at Foundry or elsewhere." The vote to adopt this policy was 367 to 8. It took place at a Church Conference convened under The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church. The vote was preceded by a four-month-long period of discernment during which the congregation spent much time considering this policy in prayer, study, discussion and congregational conversations.

Books offer info on United Methodist-related schools
Information about United Methodist-related colleges and universities is contained in three fact books now available on the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s Web site. The three books use data obtained from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) of the National Center for Education Statistics for academic years 2005-2006 through 2008-2009. The three books provide statistical snapshots of UM-related two-year colleges, four-year colleges and universities, and historically Black colleges and universities. The fact books are divided into two sections – student characteristics and institutional characteristics – including descriptive summaries of the data, charts and tables to visually depict the data, and definitions to explain each variable. Information covers admittance tests, student and faculty demographics, retention and graduation rates, and more. To download the fact books, visit

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 the Rev. Myrtle Frances Hatcher is a member of the design team led by Bishop William Morris (retired). A goal has been established for each annual conference to have 20–30 participants. Click here for more information or to register.

2011 Caring for Creation Conference to be March 31-April 3
The 2011 Caring for Creation experience will be held at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center March 31 – April 3, 2011. More than 38 guest speakers will appear at the conference, including the Rev. Sally Bingham, a priest in the Diocese of California who serves as Environmental Minister at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco and is founder of the Regeneration Project, a non-profit ministry focusing on the response to climate change; John Hill, director of Economic and Environmental Justice for the General Board of Church and Society; Derek Arndt of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Climate Data Center; Dr. Brian Helmuth, professor of Biological Science at University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C.; and Dr. Jim McKenna, interim Department Head and Professor of Crop and Soil Environment Sciences at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. The first 50 persons to register will receive a free copy of Jonathan Merritt’s book, Green Like God: Unlocking the Divine Plan for Our Planet. Merritt is also a plenary speaker and workshop leader. Reduced registration fee is available for persons registering before Jan. 1. For registration and more information visit or call (828) 454-6656.

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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