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News from the Virginia Conference – Dec. 2, 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 …

Conference seeks transformational leaders
The Conference Leadership Discovery and Development Team (CLDDT) is looking for transformational leaders invested in equipping local churches and disciples for the many facets of ministry in our community and world. Openings for conference leadership include: Common Table for Church Vitality -  Administration and Ministries with Adults; Church and Society - 1 lay, 1 clergy; Board of Discipleship - 1 clergy, 1 Children’s Council, 1 Young Adult Council; Board of Higher Education Ministries - 3 clergy, 5 lay; Board of Laity - 1 clergy, 1 lay; Virginia United Methodist Communications - 1 clergy, 2 lay; Commission on Disabilities - 1 lay;  Equitable Compensation Commission - 1 clergy; Council on Finance and Administration - 2 clergy; United Methodist Foundation - 1 lay; Commission Ethnic Minority Concerns and Advocacy - 1 lay or clergy; Virginia United Methodist Housing Development Corporation - 1 lay. To be considered for one of these positions, fill out a Nomination Profile Form available from your District office or the conference Web site and submit it to your District office by Dec. 31. More …

Virginia to elect 13 clergy, 13 laity delegates to General Conference
The Rev. Gerry Reist, secretary of the General Conference, announced that the Virginia Conference will elect 13 clergy delegates and 13 lay delegates to the 2012 General Conference. Elections will be held at the 2011 Annual Conference session to be held June 15-19 at the Roanoke Civic Center in Roanoke. An additional 13 clergy and 13 laypersons will be elected delegates to the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference and will also serve as reserves for General Conference delegates. Another 10 clergy and 10 laity will be elected jurisdictional conference reserves. General Conference will meet April 24-May 4, 2012, in Tampa, Fla. Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference will meet July 17-21, 2012, at Lake Junaluska, N.C.

UMCOR relief efforts in Haiti included in Dec. 5 CBS-TV special
Relief efforts after the Jan. 12 earthquake will be highlighted in a CBS-TV special, “Haiti: Religion’s Response to Disaster,” to be broadcast Sunday, Dec. 5. Check local listings for time. United Methodist Committee on Relief’s Melissa Crutchfield will talk about the agency’s renewed efforts and commitment in Haiti. More …

‘Strangers Among Us’ devotional available for Advent
A new devotional has been placed on the Conference Web site for personal or group use this Advent. “Strangers Among Us: An Advent Devotional” calls us to remember how the Holy Family walked this earth as refugees. In our nation of immigrants, the issue of immigration has become a hot topic. This study is an invitation to ask how God would view our concerns. Reflections in the devotional were written by the Rev. Larry Jent, co-chair of the Virginia Conference Commission on Ethnic Minority Concerns and Advocacy and a person of Cherokee and Sac & Fox heritage. The devotional is recommended by the Virginia Conference Immigration Work Group. Click here for the devotional, or go to www.vaumc.org, select “Ministries,” then “Inclusivity,” followed by “Immigration Work Group.” From the drop-down menu, select “Advent 2010 Devotional.”

Advent worship, study resources available
Advent worship resources, studies and devotions are available on United Methodist Web sites and in new books from The Upper Room and Cokesbury.
     · Rethink Church at United Methodist Communications offers lectionary-based sermon starters and worship resources that explore the theme “A Life-giving Christmas” and challenge congregants to practice their faith. Download at www.umcom.org/rethinkchurch or order by calling 1-888-346-3862.
     · Blessings of the Manger (Cokesbury, www.cokesbury.com, 1-800-672-1789) by the Rev. Jeanne Torrence Finley of Virginia is the Abingdon Press Advent 2010 study based on the Revised Common Lectionary.
     · Meeting the Messiah (Upper Room Books, www.upperroom.org/bookstore, 1-800-972-0433) offers five daily devotions for each of six weeks. Kara Lassen Oliver explores Advent, Christmas and Epiphany stories from the vantage point of the Holy Spirit, John the Baptist, Mary, shepherds, Jesus and the Magi. Users can also be part of a conversation at www.upperroom.org/adventstudy.
     · Adults, youth and children are included in Christmas Gifts that Won’t Break (Cokesbury) by the Rev. James W. Moore. The four-session studies are based on passages from the Nativity stories.
     · Makin’ Room in the Inn (Cokesbury) by the Rev. Henry L. Masters Sr. considers “Christian hospitality through an African-American experience.” The Rev. S. Dianna Masters wrote the study guide, which is included.
     · Retired Bishop Richard Wilke urges us not to forget Herod in Christmas: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Cokesbury). Click here for more Advent and Christmas resources.

2011 UMVIM clergy scholarship applications due Dec. 31
The United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) clergy scholarship is for clergy who are within the first five years of full-time ministry and participating on an UMVIM Team in 2011. Click here to download the application or go to www.vaumc.org, then click on “Ministries,” then “Mission/Global Ministries,” then "UMVIM." The two-page application is the first link on this page. The application must be signed by the applicant and his or her District Superintendent and sent to the conference Mission office by the end of December. Limited funds are pro-rated according to cost of the trip and location of work site. Applications are handled on a "first come, first served" basis. For more information, contact the Mission and Global Justice office at (804) 521-1144 or toll-free 1-800-768-6040, ext. 144.

‘Calling 21’ helps college students discern God’s call
"Calling 21" is a conference-wide, grass roots, congregation-based, youth-focused approach to the Virginia Conference's emerging culture of call. During the summer, college students are placed in church internships and spend the summer immersed in the life of a local church, not their own, discerning God's call into church leadership. Calling 21 interns will both learn and lead. The host church will be a church that has been noticed and named for its potential to help young people hear God's call upon their lives. The intern's stipend will be $2500. Applicants shall be college students and interested in exploring their call to church leadership. Calling 21 partners include: The Institute for Church Professions of Shenandoah University, Virginia Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, The Fund for Theological Education, Virginia Conference Cabinet, and Calling 21 Host Congregations. More ...

Conference seeks three 2011 summer interns
Virginia Conference offices of Congregational Development & Evangelism, Leadership & Inclusivity,and Mission & Global Justice are each seeking a summer intern for 2011. Applicants for all three positions should desire to pursue a career in a ministry setting, have experience in and passion for the area of interest, and familiarity with The United Methodist Church. Intern salary is $250 a week (with a minimum of 10 weeks). Click here for application and guidelines. Deadline for submission of applications is Feb. 1. Applications should be e-mailed to Becky Tate at beckytate@vaumc.org.

Voices of Youth accepting applications for 2011 tour participants
Voices of Youth (VOY), a mission program of the Virginia Conference designed to connect high school youths with those in need through music and mission, has a new Web site, www.voyva.org. It includes information about the program, the VOY 2011 tour, information and applications for churches interested in hosting a concert in 2011 and participant applications. Applications are being accepted for new youths, returning youths, college students and adult staff. The VOY 2011 tour will be July 13-Aug. 5. The choir will travel to Haiti/Dominican Republic before returning to the Virginia Conference for its annual concert tour. Applications for youth and college students are being accepted through Jan. 3. The group is still looking for a few adult staff members and an accompanist. For more information, contact Voices of Youth coordinator, Rachel Hundley, at coordinator@voyva.org or the 2011 Team Leader, Chad Hrbek, at teamleader@voyva.org.

Credit Union offers Jubilee Assistance Fund
The Virginia United Methodist Credit Union offers the Jubilee Assistance Fund, a loan program in which a local church establishes an account at the credit union to provide collateralized small, short-term loans for individuals who would not qualify for loans otherwise. To qualify, the borrower agrees to receive financial counseling, loan monitoring and payroll deduction. The program is a way to provide your church members short-term help during a financial crisis and financial management tools to assist them with long-term financial stability. For more information, call (804) 672-0200, toll-free 1-866-657-0004, or e-mail creditunion@vumcu.org.

December issue of Virginia Advocate focuses on older adult ministries
The December issue of the award-winning Virginia United Methodist Advocate monthly newsmagazine focuses on older adult ministries. 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. 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 Advocate@vaumc.org.

Heart Havens has job openings for supervisor, support professionals
Heart Havens provides for the residential needs of adult individuals with intellectual disabilities through the development and management of group homes throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. It currently has positions available for a Frontline Supervisor and Direct Support Professionals. For details, visit the Virginia Conference Web site at www.vaumc.org/jobs and scroll down to "Other."

Consecration of Ashland District Heart Havens home is Dec. 12
Consecration and Open House celebration for the new Ashland District Heart Havens is 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 12. The house is located at 320 North Snead Street, Ashland 23005. For more information, go to www.hearthavens.org.

2011 Ministers’ Convocation registration is open
Register now for the Jan. 18-20 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.

Ted Hart to speak at 5 Talent Academy teaching event Feb. 19
Ted Hart, CEO of Hart Philanthropic Services and author of several books including People to People Fundraising: Social Networking and Web 2.0 for Charities, will be featured speaker at the 5 Talent Academy teaching event on Stewardship 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19, at Floris United Methodist Church, 13600 Frying Pan Road, Herndon. More …

Lay Servants Academy to be Feb. 25-27 at VUMAC
All laity are invited to the first Lay Servants Academy — and the 33rd annual Lay Speakers Training — to be held at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) in Blackstone Feb. 25-27. You do not need to be on track to become a Local Lay Speaker or Certified Lay Speaker to attend, although these programs are developed to challenge the Lay Speaker to become skilled to the level of certification and offer continuing training for re-certification. Every chairperson, committee member, teacher, or congregational leader is encouraged to take the introductory course and overview of United Methodism. Registration deadline is Feb. 11. Click here for more information, including brochure and registration form.

Clergy Spouse Retreat to be March 3-5 at VUMAC
The 49th Annual Clergy Spouse Retreat will be March 3-5 at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) in Blackstone. The Rev. Dr. Lynne Caldwell will speak on "Rx Laughter, the Best Medicine." Activities will include Zumba exercise class, Quilt for the Homeless, Strength to Minister workshop, Simplicity/Simple Living discussion, Tai Chi class, book review/discussion of Preacher Creature Strikes on Sunday, nature walk and knitting class. More information will be available on either www.vaumc.org or www.vumac.org after the New Year. Registration forms will be sent. (If you haven't received one by the end of January, contact your district office.) For more information, contact Bill Moore, 2011 Clergy Spouse Retreat chair, at wjmoorewj@gmail.com.

You can buy Fair Trade items online for Christmas
The United Methodist Board of Church and Society and United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) are partnering with fair trade advocates and organizations to offer a new outlet for Christmas gift giving. Until Dec. 20, you can check out the Give Fair Trade blog at givefairtrade.wordpress.com to see a daily featured gift and special offers, as well as stories featuring the item's producers that show how a commitment to fair trade affects producers directly.

Report examines salaries for United Methodist clergy in U.S.
A new report that examines how salaries varied for United Methodist pastors in the U.S. found that average pastor salaries grew faster than the inflation rate over the decade ending in 2008. Average salaries increased steadily by approximately 2% per year, for a 21% increase over a decade. Average salary of a full-time pastor not living in a parsonage was $55,000 in 2008, compared to $45,300 in 1998. Click here to read entire report.

Una Jones named GBGM exec for annual conference relations
The General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM), mission agency of The United Methodist Church, has named Una Jones as its new executive for annual conference relations and mission-volunteers programs. More …

2011 Caring for Creation Conference to be March 31-April 3
One More Generation, a nonprofit founded by Carter and Olivia Ries (ages 9 and 8, respectively), will be featured presenters at the 2011 Caring for Creation at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center March 31–April 3. One More Generation (OMG) is dedicated to the preservation of endangered species. Reduced registration fee is available until Jan. 1. For registration, scholarship request forms and more information, visit www.lakejunaluska.com/caring-for-creation 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 at the Emory Conference Center and Hotel, Atlanta, Ga. Cost is $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.

Exploration 2011 for young adults to be Nov. 11-13 in St. Louis
EXPLORATION 2011 will be held Nov. 11-13 in St. Louis. The event will offer young adults who feel God's call to ordained ministry as a deacon or elder in The United Methodist Church a chance to explore that call. The event, sponsored by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, is open to young adults age 18 to 26. Registration fee will cover a two-night stay at the Millennium Hotel, meals and program fees. More information will be made available soon from the conference Office of Ministerial Services and at www.gbhem.org.


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 Advocate@vaumc.org.


 

 

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