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To view a 2010 issue of the Virginia Conference e-Advocate, click on the date below:

Dec. 23, 2010
Dec. 15, 2010
Dec. 10, 2010
Dec. 2, 2010

Nov. 18, 2010
Nov. 11, 2010
Nov. 4, 2010

Oct. 28, 2010
Oct. 14, 2010
Oct. 7, 2010

Sept. 30, 2010
Sept. 24, 2010
Sept. 17, 2010
Sept. 10, 2010
Sept. 2, 2010

Aug. 26, 2010
Aug. 18, 2010
Aug. 11, 2010
Aug. 5, 2010

July 28, 2010
July 21, 2010
July 14, 2010
July 8, 2010

June 29, 2010
June 23, 2010
June 17, 2010
June 11, 2010
June 3, 2010

May 25, 2010
May 20, 2010
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April 28, 2010
April 22, 2010
April 15, 2010
April 1, 2010

March 24, 2010
March 18, 2010
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March 4, 2010

February 25, 2010
February 18, 2010
February 10, 2010
February 3, 2010

January 27, 2010
January 20, 2010
January 13, 2010
January 7, 2010

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News from the Virginia Conference – Nov. 4, 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 …


Change your clocks back this Sunday, Nov. 7
Remember to set your clocks back one hour (you gain an hour!) when Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 7. The U.S. begins Daylight Saving Time at 2 a.m. local time on the second Sunday in March and reverts to Standard Time at 2 a.m. local time on the first Sunday in November. Dean McIntyre, director of Music Resources at the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) has written a song to help choir members and others remember to change their clocks and get to church on time on Sunday, Nov. 7. For a free download of the music, go to

All Things New is bearing fruit
All Things New is bearing fruit in the life of the Virginia Conference. One of the most recent examples is the launching of “RISE: A United Methodist Faith Community” on the Harrisonburg District. Focusing on ministry with young adults, this new faith community began in September and is averaging 120 young adults at worship with an average age of 23. Since the annual conference’s approval of All Things New in 2008, 14 new faith communities have been planted and 10 more are currently in the planning phase in all regions of our conference. More …

Winter issue of Neighbors available to download
The 2010 Winter issue of the Neighbors newsletter focuses on the season of Advent and the joy that an Advent calendar can bring. The lead article, titled "Studying Advent," was written by Catie Murphy, member of Old Bridge United Methodist Church in Woodbridge. Neighbors is a free, customizable direct-mail piece, produced by Virginia United Methodist Communications, designed to complement a church's outreach ministry. Direct mail is an inexpensive way to get your church's message to a targeted audience. Through consistent mailings, awareness of your church will increase in the community. To download Neighbors, visit The Neighbors page provides simple instructions on how to download, print and mail the newsletter.

Virginia Advocate continues series on different sized churches
The award-winning Virginia United Methodist Advocate monthly newsmagazine concludes its three-part series on differently sized churches with articles in the November issue on small churches. These churches, with average attendance below 150, usually offer a family-type atmosphere with a friendly sense of belonging. Articles look at how small congregations don’t mean small-scale ministries, and how churches should concentrate on what they do well rather than on their problems or shortcomings. 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.
    Click here for Advocate subscription campaign materials that you can use in your church. 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

Spanish immersion to be May 13-28 in Guatemala, El Salvador
Is your church located in a community with a significant Hispanic population? A team is forming to travel from Virginia to Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, May 13 -28, 2011, for one week of language/culture immersion and then to Ahuachapán, El Salvador, for one week to dialogue with Methodist pastors and laity in El Salvador. The week in Guatemala will include one-on-one language instruction for five hours per day and living with a Guatemalan family. In El Salvador, the team will be joined by Hispanic clergy and laity from Virginia to engage in dialogue with pastors and laity in the Methodist church of El Salvador. Funding was provided by the Virginia Conference Common Table. For more information, contact Joe Winfree at or (804) 513-3291.

Sunday, Nov. 28, is United Methodist Student Day
Sunday, Nov. 28, is United Methodist Student Day one of six United Methodist Special Sundays with offering. The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry oversees the Student Day program and directs the offerings into scholarships and loans to United Methodist students in many fields of study. Each United Methodist-related college gets money from the offering for scholarships, and each participating annual conference gets 10% of Student Day receipts to award to their own merit scholars. Call 1-888-346-3862 to order envelopes and other resources so your congregation can participate in this churchwide offering. They will be sent at no cost to your church. More ...

Retired pastor to walk 500 miles to oppose death penalty
A 77-year-old retired United Methodist clergyman in the Virginia Conference is walking 500 miles to raise money for Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (VADP) and to increase awareness of the inequities in Virginia’s capital punishment system. The Rev. Hunter Mabry will walk 10 miles a week for 50 weeks to raise $5,000 for VADP. More …

Stories of local churches in mission 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

Immigration Forum to be held in Alexandria District Nov. 6
Virginia Conference Board of Church and Society (BCS) and Alexandria District United Methodist Women are presenting a Forum on Immigration 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, at Lincolnia United Methodist Church, 6335 Little River Turnpike, Alexandria. Bill Mefford, director of Civil and Human Rights for the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society, will speak. This is the first event of a Social Justice Academy to teach United Methodist Social Principles that is being launched by BCS. For more information, contact Haniel Garibay, co-chair, BCS Education Sub-Committee, at, or Marlene Dakita, Alexandria District UMW Social Action Coordinator, at or (703) 370-2558.

Middle School, High School Fall Retreats offer spiritual formation
The Virginia Conference Middle School Fall Retreat will be Nov. 12-14. High School Retreat will be Dec. 3-5. Both offer weekends of spiritual formation through worship, Bible study, small groups and group building at Eagle Eyrie Retreat Center in Lynchburg. Join 1,600 youth (800 at each retreat) from around Virginia for this spiritual growth experience. For detailed information and brochures or to register, click here for the Middle School Retreat; click here for the High School Retreat. (Or go to and click on “events”.)

School for Children’s Ministry will be Nov. 19-20
The School for Children’s Ministry will be held 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 basic children’s ministry, 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. Jennifer Davis, director of Connectional Ministries for the Western North Carolina Conference, will offer the keynote address. Breakout sessions will focus on expanding the use of technology in the church, ministry with young adults, and the church discernment process. Cost is $25 per person which covers lunch, refreshments and materials. A .5 CEU has been requested for clergy. Registration deadline is Nov. 12. Click here for more information or to register.

UMVIM Team Leader Training is Nov. 20
United Methodist Volunteers 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.

Consecration of Ashland District Heart Havens home is 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. For more information, go to

Judicial Council refuses to change ruling on membership
A United Methodist pastor has the right to determine local church membership, even if the decision is based on whether the potential member is gay or lesbian, and annual conferences cannot limit that right or ask the church’s top court to set policy, according to a ruling by the United Methodist Judicial Council during its Oct. 27-30 meeting. The council declined several requests to revisit a decision allowing a pastor to bar a gay man from joining his congregation. More …

Judicial Council refuses to rule on GC secretary’s authority
The Judicial Council ruled it had “no jurisdiction” to act on a request from the South Carolina Annual Conference inquiring about the General Conference secretary’s authority to adjust the number of delegates participating in the legislative gathering. The General Conference, which gathers every four years, will next meet in 2012. More …

Goodpaster tells bishops to abandon structures, practices that don’t work
United Methodist bishops need to transcend the status quo and abandon church structures and practices that are not working, Bishop Larry M. Goodpaster said Nov. 2 in his presidential address to the Council of Bishops. "By our decisions and actions this week in Panama, we will either lean into the future or content ourselves with more of the same," Goodpaster told more than 80 active and retired bishops from around the global church. On Nov. 3-4, the council was to discuss the Call to Action Steering Team report, which recommends widespread reforms in the church from consolidating general church agencies to holding bishops and clergy accountable for church growth. More …

Christian church leaders meet with President Obama on eve of election
On the eve of the mid-term election and in celebration of 100 years of U.S. Christian cooperation across denominational lines, prominent church leaders met with President Obama to speak for the millions of Americans struggling to find jobs, make their next rent or mortgage payment, and put food on the table. During the Nov. 1 meeting, leaders with both the National Council of Churches and the global humanitarian agency Church World Service thanked the president for passage of historic health reform legislation and robust engagement with the faith community, while also pressing him to take a strong stance on behalf of families facing poverty and hunger. United Methodists in the delegation were the Rev. John McCullough of Church World Service and Bishop Sharon Zimmerman Rader, the denomination's ecumenical officer. More …

10-Fold accomplished purpose more than 40,000-fold
10-Fold accomplished its purpose more than 40,000-fold. The innovative online site attracted more than 417,000 people from 92 countries during a recent 10-day period featuring live webcasts about United Methodist projects throughout the world. More …

Jan. 7 is deadline to apply for Peace with Justice grant
Jan. 7 is the deadline to apply for a Peace with Justice grant from the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society. More …

GBCS introduces new education Web site
The General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) has introduced a new education Web site devoted to all children having equal access to a quality education. Visit the Web site to see what The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church says about education. Share what your church is doing to minister alongside schools in your neighborhood. More …

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.

GBCS organizes Feb. 23-March 5 trip to Holy Land for young clergy
The General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) is organizing a Feb. 23-March 5 pilgrimage to the Holy Land designed for, but not limited to, young clergy. The Rev. Neal Christie, GBCS assistant general secretary for Education & Leadership Formation, and the Rev. Clayton Childers, GBCS director of Annual Conference Relations, are working with Dr. Peter Miano of the Society for Biblical Studies, Boston, to design the Holy Land pilgrimage. The trip will be limited to 15-20 persons. Balance will be maintained between learning about the Holy Land’s historic-biblical significance and seeing the complexity of its current social context. Three Continuing Education credits will be awarded for full participation. Cost, including airfare from New York and a double-occupancy room, will be $2,786. Deposit of $200 is due Nov. 24 with balance due Dec. 14. Register with Society for Biblical Studies (, 1 Mass. Ave., Suite 40, Arlington, MA 02476, (781) 641-4453. For more information, contact Christie at (202) 488-5611 or or Childers at (202) 488-5642 or

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. Reduced registration fee is available for those 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.

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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