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Dec. 23, 2010
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Nov. 18, 2010
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Oct. 28, 2010
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News from the Virginia Conference – Oct. 14, 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 …

Virginia Conference ranks in top 10 for commissioning, ordaining young elders
Virginia is ranked in the top 10 of United Methodist conferences with the highest percentage of young commissioned and ordained elders, as shown in a survey released last week by the Lewis Center for Church Leadership at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. More …

Shade and Fresh Water is 10 years old
The Methodist Church in Brazil will celebrate 10 years of ministry with at-risk children through the Shade and Fresh Water program this coming week in Sao Paulo. Educators, project leaders and pastors from throughout Brazil will gather to worship together, give thanks for the past 10 years, participate in workshops and hear testimonies about the impact of Shade and Fresh Water on children in urban and rural areas in various regions of the country. Dot Ivey, chair of the conference Brazil Initiative, will represent the Virginia Conference, which has enjoyed a six-year partnership with the Methodist Church in Brazil as part of the Conference Initiatives of Hope. Click here for more information about Shade and Fresh Water and Initiatives of Hope.

‘10-Fold’ is featuring mission projects – go online now!
Each day, through Tuesday, Oct. 19, visitors to the Web site will get to see United Methodist mission programs around the world. The Web site uses current technology, including Skype, streaming videos, online chats and downloadable podcasts. In addition, people can help just by clicking on the link of a particular project. For each click made through Oct. 19, various church groups will donate one dollar to the selected project, up to $10,000. Organizers hope to get 10,000 advocates each day to raise a total of $100,000. Visit

Grottoes UMC named ‘Welcoming Congregation’ for third year
Grottoes United Methodist Church, Grottoes, has been recognized by United Methodist Communications (UMCom) as an official “Welcoming Congregation” for the third year. “Welcoming Congregations” are a select group of United Methodist congregations nationwide that meet 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. Click here to learn how your church can become a “Welcoming Congregation.”

Dentists, pharmacists needed for medical mission to Brazil
Dentists and pharmacists are still needed for a Volunteers In Mission team that is being formed for a medical mission to the Amazon region of Brazil May 19 – June 1, 2011. The team will serve on the Brazilian Methodist Church’s medical boat that operates out of Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil, and will minister to the needs of indigenous people along the banks of the tributaries of the Amazon River. The boat has a complete dental suite and a pharmacy. Cost per person is approximately $2,000. Check out This mission is sponsored by the Virginia Conference and the Methodist Church of Brazil. If you are interested in serving on this mission, contact Jean Broyles, team leader, at (540) 366-9065 or e-mail

Pre-ministerial scholarships available to Randolph-Macon College
Do you know a high school junior or senior who is experiencing a call to ministry? Pre-ministerial scholarships to Randolph-Macon College are available through the L. Purnell Bailey Pre-ministerial Program. The program includes a four-year scholarship and a church internship with a stipend. For information go to and select Admissions, or contact the office directly at  If you prefer, you may send the student's contact information to the Rev. Margie Turbyfill at, or call her at (804) 368-7276.

Credit Union mailing address is changed to ‘Henrico’
The Virginia United Methodist Credit Union has a new mailing address. To comply with new postal regulations, the mailing address of the credit union’s post office box has been changed from a “Richmond” address to a “Henrico” address. New mailing address is P.O. Box 9798, Henrico, VA 23228.

Church mission stories needed for 2011 Annual Conference
The Virginia Conference Board of Global Ministries is currently seeking stories from local churches explaining how the church 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 Office of Mission and Global Justice 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

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.

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.

Ashland District Heart Havens home consecration to be Dec. 12
Date of the Consecration and Open House celebration for the new Ashland District Heart Havens Home has been changed to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12. The house is located at 320 North Snead Street, Ashland 23005.

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.

Shalom Farms Fall Harvest Dinner will be Oct. 25
The first annual Shalom Farms Fall Harvest Dinner will be Monday, Oct. 25, at 7 p.m. at Shalom Farms at Westview on the James in Goochland County. Todd Johnson, celebrated chef and co-owner of Mezzanine and Belly Timber Tavern, will prepare a seasonal four-course menu featuring produce from Shalom Farms, Rock Castle Farms, Manakintowne Growers and Roots and Feathers Farm. Tickets are $60 per person (100% of the cost is tax deductible and all proceeds benefit Shalom Farms). Vegetarians are welcome. For tickets or more information, go to or call (804) 266-9350 or e-mail Shalom Farms is a nonprofit community farm initiative of United Methodist Urban Ministries of Richmond with the overarching goal of increasing food security in the Richmond region, particularly in low-income urban neighborhoods. Visit or for more info.

Christian educators ‘Day Apart’ set for Oct. 26
Virginia Chapter of Christian Educators Fellowship and the Division of Education invite all Christian educators and 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. Click here for more information or 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

School for Children’s Ministry will be Nov. 19-20
The School for Children’s Ministry will be 3:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 19, to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, at Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center, Blackstone. It will be an opportunity for training, networking, and fellowship. A focus on Special Needs Ministry for Children will be featured, as well as crucial workshops addressing children’s ministry 101, mission, recruiting and retaining volunteers, event planning, children’s messages, and nursery ministry. Click here for an information flier and registration. Registration deadline is Nov. 12.

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.

UMVIM Team Leader Training is Nov. 20
United Methodist Volunteer In Mission (UMVIM) Team Leader Training will be held 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, at Lakeside UMC, 2333 Hilliard Rd., Richmond. Registration deadline is noon, Monday, Nov. 15. Click here to register or for more information.

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.

Judge rules in favor of General Board of Church & Society
Superior Court Judge Rhonda Reid Winston has ruled in favor of the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society (GBCS), concluding that funds given in the early 20th century to construct the United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill were not intended for work only in the areas of temperance and alcohol. More …

Church World Service urges support for immigration reform bill
Church World Service, a partner of The United Methodist Church, has lauded U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez (D ‐ NJ) and U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D ‐ VT) for their introduction of the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2010. “This legislation offers concrete policy solutions to fix our broken immigration system,” said Erol Kekic, director of the CWS Immigration and Refugee Program. “We urge all senators to cosponsor this bill and support its enactment.” More …

Del Pino announces immediate retirement from GBHEM
The Rev. Dr. Jerome King Del Pino, general secretary of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), announced on Oct. 7, during the fall meeting of the Board, that after considerable deliberation and prayer, he will retire Oct. 15. Bishop Marcus Matthews, president of GBHEM, said John Lesesne, the agency’s treasurer and chief financial officer, will serve as interim general secretary while the Board’s Search Committee completes the search for a new general secretary. offers United Methodist online courses
Upcoming online workshops from the Richard and Julia Wilke Institute for Discipleship ( include two online courses that can provide recertification credits for Lay Speakers:
Leading Worship 101 for Lay People – This course has been approved by the General Board of Discipleship as an advanced course in Lay Speaking Ministries. It will focus on basic worship leadership skills for lay persons (“liturgists” or “lay readers”) who assist the pastor during worship. Instructor will be Dan Benedict. It will run from Nov. 1-Dec. 3, with a break over the Thanksgiving holiday. Fee is $75. Go to
Biblical Storytelling II – This course has been approved by the General Board of Discipleship as an advanced course in Lay Speaking Ministries. It expands on methods taught in Biblical Storytelling I. It explores a number of storytelling genres as well as telling the biblical text, including midrash, chancel drama, first-person storytelling, puppetry and more. The $75 workshop is offered by experienced storyteller Beth Galbreath, beginning Nov. 7. There will be a break for Thanksgiving. Go to
     Other United Methodist online courses being offered at
Safe Sanctuary Training for Workers with Children and Youth – A two-week online workshop for those who work with children and youth aimed at those who cannot attend the mandatory annual training at their local church OR those who are in small churches where it is impractical to hold an annual training session for just one or two people. The class will be offered Oct. 18-29. Instructor Beth Perry provides Safe Sanctuary training for the New York Conference. Cost is $35. Go to
Upper Room Planning an Advent Study on “The Uncluttered Heart” – The Advent study, The Uncluttered Heart, is now an online small group experience. Volunteer facilitators will be able to provide this Advent ministry to small groups of 8-16 participants. Training for facilitators will be held Oct. 25-Nov. 2 and will be provided for $25. As facilitators are trained, groups will become available at Groups begin on Nov. 28 and run through Epiphany (Jan. 6, 2011). All materials for the study, including the book by Beth Richardson will be included. Go to

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 nonprofit 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. The General Board of Church and Society, Ethnic Minority Local Church, is offering scholarships for participants of ethnic heritage. Scholarships include registration fee, double-occupancy housing, and meals. Scholarships are being offered to a maximum of two persons per church. For registration, scholarship request forms and more information, visit or call (828) 454-6656.

Three job openings announced for GCORR and GBCS
Three positions with the General Church have been announced from Washington, D.C.: Administrative Assistant, General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR); Communications and Production Assistant, GCORR; and Front Desk Receptionist, General Board of Church and Society (GBCS). For details, visit the Virginia Conference Web site at and scroll down to "Other."

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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