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Dec. 23, 2010
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News from the Virginia Conference – Nov. 11, 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 …

Support United Methodist AIDS ministries Dec. 1
World AIDS Day is on Dec. 1. People worldwide use this as a day of remembrance, recognition and education about this pandemic that takes scores of lives every year. United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has created a group of resources to help United Methodist churches observe World AIDS Day at the beginning of next month. Click here to check out the church bulletin insert, poster and more on UMCOR's World AIDS Day 2010 Web page. Help support United Methodist AIDS ministries by giving to the United Methodist Global AIDS Fund, UMCOR Advance #982345.

Aid needed for Indonesia
Indonesia is dealing with two disasters: a powerful earthquake that triggered a tsunami that has killed more than 400 people, with the death toll rising, and a volcanic eruption at Mount Merapi that has prompted displacement of hundreds. In immediate response to the tsunami, Church World Service — a partner of The United Methodist Church — is assessing additional needs. For information on how you can help, visit

Spanish language/culture immersion offered May 13-28
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 ...

December Advocate focuses on older adult ministries
Senior adults already make up a large part of our membership, and the number will expand as people live longer and the Baby Boomer generation begins to reach age 65. The December issue of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate looks at what some conference churches are doing to minister to older adults, ideas on additional ways to involve seniors in your church, and the recent conference retreat on this subject. 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. You can subscribe 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

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 mission. 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

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.

High School Retreat offers spiritual formation Dec. 3-5
The Virginia Conference High School Retreat will be Dec. 3-5. This weekend offers spiritual formation through worship, Bible study, small groups and group building at Eagle Eyrie Retreat Center in Lynchburg. For detailed information and brochure or to register, click here. (Or go to and click on “events”.)

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

Bishops oppose racism, support immigration reform
United Methodist bishops have called on Christians to overcome racism and other sources of animosity to recognize the sacredness of every human being. On the final day of their recent fall meeting in Panama, more than 80 active and retired bishops also agreed to a planned campaign for humane immigration reform in 2011, including daily prayer for reform that “reunifies families and provides a pathway to legal status for undocumented immigrants.”

Revamped Web site for young adult seekers debuts Nov. 12
The denomination’s revamped Web site for young adult spiritual seekers,, will debut Friday, Nov. 12. This marks the Web site’s beta launch, a period when the site is fine-tuned amid real-world exposure. features more engagement capabilities and content offerings than its seeker site predecessor, Visitors may read, watch, comment, and interact on topics that are important both to them and to The United Methodist Church — from the environment, to global health, to disaster relief. An interactive map connects seekers to a church in their area. More …

Number of General Conference delegates stays the same
The Rev. L. Fitzgerald Reist, General Conference secretary, announced that the number of delegates for the 2012 General Conference will be near the 1,000-delegate limit. The exact number of delegates will not be available until calculations have been completed, but the secretary of each annual conference will be notified by Dec. 1 how many delegates their conference will have. General Conference will meet in Tampa, Fla., in spring 2012.

Study of Ministry Commission drafts proposals
The Study of Ministry Commission has mapped out changes that include a shift away from security of employment for elders, a move to group candidacy mentoring, and separating ordination from full annual conference membership. The commission report is now available for review and comments at Comments can be e-mailed to 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.

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 …

Jan. 10 is deadline to apply for EYA Summer Internship
Deadline to apply for a 2011 Ethnic Young Adult (EYA) Summer Internship in Washington, D.C., is Jan. 10. The EYA program is for young adults, ages 18-22, representing the five ethnic minority caucuses of The United Methodist Church — Native Americans, Pacific-Islanders, Hispanic/Latinos, African-Americans and Asian Americans — who have an interest in exploring issues of public policy, social justice advocacy and social change. Sponsored by the General Board of Church & Society, the nine-week summer internship program includes social justice placements in the U.S. capital from May 28 to July 31. More …

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.

SEJ Clergywomen’s Consultation is April 4-7 in Atlanta
The Southeastern Jurisdiction Clergywomen’s Consultation will be held April 4-7, 2011, at the Emory Conference Center and Hotel, Atlanta, Ga. Early registration before Dec. 1, is $110. Afterwards, the cost will be $150. A $65 special fee for students includes all workshops, plenaries, worship services, but only one meal — the banquet on Wednesday night. Click here for more information and to register. More …

GBCS seeks Ethnic Young Adult Internship coordinator
The General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) in Washington, D.C., is seeking a coordinator for its 2011 Ethnic Young Adult Summer Internship Program. 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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