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Dec. 16, 2011
Dec. 9, 2011
Dec. 1, 2011

Nov. 18, 2011
Nov. 11, 2011
Nov. 4, 2011

Oct. 28, 2011
Oct. 14, 2011
Oct. 7, 2011

Sept. 29, 2011
Sept. 23, 2011
Sept. 15, 2011
Sept. 9, 2011
Sept. 2, 2011

Aug. 26, 2011
Aug. 19, 2011
Aug. 11, 2011
Aug. 4, 2011

July 28, 2011
July 21, 2011
July 15, 2011
July 8, 2011

June 29, 2011
June 20, 2011
June 14, 2011
June 9, 2011
June 3, 2011 - Special Annual Conference Edition

May 27, 2011
May 20, 2011
May 11, 2011
May 6, 2011

April 26, 2011
April 18, 2011
April 8, 2011

March 31, 2011
March 25, 2011
March 17, 2011
March 9, 2011
March 2, 2011

Feb. 25, 2011
Feb. 17, 2011
Feb. 10, 2011
Feb. 3, 2011

Jan. 28, 2011
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Jan. 12, 2011
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News from the Virginia Conference – Jan. 20, 2011

Judicial Council to rule on voting eligibility of local pastors
The United Methodist Judicial Council has called a Feb. 12 meeting to consider a request from the Council of Bishops related to how clergy delegates are elected to General Conference, the denomination’s top legislative gathering. The bishops want clarification of voting eligibility requirements for local pastors as a result of an amendment to Division Two, Section VI, Paragraph 35, Article IV of The Book of Discipline that was approved by the 2008 General Conference and later affirmed by a vote of the annual conferences. More …

Prayers needed for Brazilians suffering from flooding, mud slides
At least 727 people are dead, 207 are missing and thousands are homeless after torrential rain in southeast Brazil sent an avalanche of mud, water and rocks plowing through towns and villages, causing the country’s worst natural disaster in decades. The death toll has been rising daily as rescuers reach isolated areas and dig out more bodies from the wreckage of neighborhoods that were virtually wiped out by landslides and floods. Brazil Methodist churches in the mountainous region of Rio have been seriously affected. The Virginia Conference has a partnership with the Methodist Church in Brazil through Initiatives of Hope. Virginia Conference congregations are urged to be in prayer for our sisters and brothers in Brazil. More …

Music groups can still apply to participate in 2011 Annual Conference
The 2011 Annual Conference worship planning team is now developing this year’s annual conference worship services. Each year the team does its best to include music groups interested in participating. Unfortunately, space is extremely limited and the team must go through a selection process to choose groups that will best fit into each service. This year an online questionnaire is available to any local church group that would like to apply to participate in one of the services. Click on to answer a few short questions which will help the team in its selection process. Deadline for applying is Feb. 1.

Sunday, Feb. 6, is Disability Awareness Sunday
In the Virginia Conference, Disability Awareness Sunday will be observed on Sunday, Feb. 6. This Special Sunday (without a special offering) calls the church to celebrate the gifts and graces of persons with disabilities and calls the church and society to full inclusion of persons with disabilities in the church and greater community. Click here for worship suggestions for Disability Awareness Sunday 2011. These materials can be used and the intent of the Sunday celebrated at any time throughout the year. If you have already completed planning for the first Sunday in February, the conference Commission on Disabilities encourages you to recognize Disability Awareness Sunday through an announcement in your bulletin or during your worship service on Feb. 6; by offering a time of prayer for full inclusion of people with disabilities and their families and in support of individuals and families facing the challenges of disability; by sharing with your congregation the statement of our denomination’s understanding of the rights of persons with disabilities (Section 162.I of our Social Principles) (click here for bulletin insert on “Our Social Principles on Persons with Disabilities”); through recognition of Disability Awareness Sunday in the sermon on Feb. 6 or another time during the year; and/or by sharing information about Heart Havens Month (see article below) and this important ministry within our conference.

February is Heart Havens Month
February is Heart Havens Month in the Virginia Conference, a time when churches are asked to make financial contributions to this agency that provides residential services for men and women with intellectual disabilities through the development and operation of 12 group homes across Virginia. In February, Heart Havens will send materials to your United Methodist church. If you would like a Heart Havens representative to speak to your church group or congregation, call Heart Havens at (804) 237-6097, or toll free at 1-877-442-8368. Or, someone in your church can speak for Heart Havens. Speaking points will be included in the materials being sent to your church. One Sunday out of the year is all it takes to change a life. For more information, go to

GBCS provides bulletin inserts on Social Principles
The General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) has developed bulletin inserts featuring individual United Methodist Social Principles. The new resource, designed to be included in church worship bulletins, can be downloaded free from the agency’s Web site. Twelve Social Principles under the Social Community are in the first release of inserts. The inserts highlight positions approved by the denomination’s highest policy-making body, the General Conference, on issues such as immigrants, health care, religious minorities, racism and children’s rights. In future releases, inserts will be added to the Web site from the other five Social Principles areas: Natural World, Nurturing Community, Economic Community, Political Community and World Community. More …

February issue of Virginia Advocate looks at school-church partnerships
The February issue of the award-winning Virginia United Methodist Advocate monthly newsmagazine focuses on partnerships between our churches and local schools. Many of our local churches, from large to small, have created these kinds of partnerships – which are a win-win-win situation, benefiting students, the community and church members who participate. The March issue of the Advocate will look at generous giving, a key issue in our churches because of the slow economy. You can purchase a copy of a single issue of the Advocate 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

Missionaries to Mozambique available to visit churches
Dr. Eduardo and Claudia Maia, Virginia Conference-sponsored missionaries to Mozambique, will be itinerating in Virginia Feb. 1–Feb. 22. They are available for visits at various times during each week, and the Maias would welcome the opportunity to meet with youth groups, United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men, mission committees or any group interested in learning more about their work in Mozambique. Churches or groups would be responsible for food, lodging and all hospitality where applicable during the visit. For more information, contact Dale Childrey, coordinator of Missionary Support and Itineration, at (804) 275-7560 or

Nominations due for Conference Merit Awards
Nominations are now being received for the Wasena F. Wright Jr. Conference Merit Award. High school seniors who plan to attend a United Methodist college or university this fall may be nominated by their local church youth council, Administrative Board, Council on Ministries or Administrative Council, District Youth Council or District Council on Ministries. Entries must be postmarked no later than March 1. Click here for forms and more information, or contact Becky Tate at

Bailey Scholarships available for students considering ministry
Is there a high school senior in your church who might be considering the ministry? Encourage him or her to consider applying to Randolph-Macon College as a Bailey Scholar. This program is designed to support young adults in the discernment of a call. As a Bailey Scholar, a student will receive more than $100,000 in scholarship aid, plus the support of a group of like-minded students and the guidance of the director. For more information, see the “Scholarships” section of the Randolph-Macon Web site at, or contact the Rev. Margie Turbyfill at or (804) 368-7276.

Catalog lists internships available for young adults
Click here for a catalog of internships available within The United Methodist Church and affiliated agencies. The catalog was produced by the External Communications Committee of the Virginia Conference Board of Communications in partnership with the Young Adult Initiative as a guide for young adults in the Virginia Conference.

Clergywomen’s Collective to gather Jan. 25 in Glen Allen
All women in ministry – licensed, ordained, consecrated, candidates for ministry and other women – are invited to a gathering of the Clergywomen’s Collective 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 25, at the Virginia Conference United Methodist Center in Glen Allen. Bring a bag lunch or run to Martin's across the way. Participants will share Scripture, song, Holy Communion and the support and friendship sisters provide. For more information, e-mail ReNe'e R. Teague at

Resource Center to present VBS Curriculum Fair Jan. 25-27
The Resource Center, in partnership with Cokesbury, will present its Vacation Bible School Curriculum Fair Jan. 25-27 from 1-8 p.m. (1-5 p.m. on Jan. 26) in Virginia Hall (the Turnbull Room) on the campus of Baptist Theological Seminary, on Brook Road between Westwood and Palmyra in the Ginter Park area of Richmond. All major publishers will be represented. A Cokesbury discount will be offered on kits ordered at the fair. For information, call the Rev. Judy Bennett at (804) 358-8306 or 1-888-241-5132.

Clergy Introduction to Wesleyan Building Brothers to be held Jan. 26
“Pastors' Overview: A Clergy Introduction to Wesleyan Building Brothers” will be held at the United Methodist Center in Glen Allen on Wednesday, Jan. 26. Coffee, donuts and fellowship will begin at 8:30 a.m. Pastors’ Overview, led by Dan Schaffer, will begin at 9 a.m. and conclude at 4 p.m., with time allotted for breaks and lunch. Cost is $60 per person. Registration fee includes snacks, lunch, Introduction to Wesleyan Building Brothers handbook, and Schaffer's book, Spiritual Fathers. Seating is limited to 70. Pastors are eligible for 0.6 CEU credit. Click here for more information or to register, or contact Larry Burian at or (804) 453-4004.

United Methodist Day at General Assembly is Feb. 3
United Methodist Day at the General Assembly will be Thursday, Feb. 3. Sponsored by the Board of Church & Society and Virginia Conference United Methodist Women, United Methodist Day is an avenue of faithful advocacy that is both fun and meaningful. The day includes morning prayer in the Capitol rotunda with Bishop Kammerer and a large group session with General Assembly leaders and United Methodist legislators. Register early, by Friday, Jan. 21, and save $5. Normal registration deadline is Jan. 31. Click here for more information and online registration. Host church will be Bon Air UMC again this year. A block of rooms has been reserved at the Hyatt Place Richmond Arboretum for $79 per night. As we prepare for United Methodist Day, please pray for our legislators and sign up for Action Alerts at the Virginia Interfaith Center Web site:

Virginia United Methodist Credit Union offers investment seminar Feb. 12
The Virginia United Methodist Credit Union (VUMCU) is offering an investment seminar to church members of the Virginia Conference 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, at the Virginia United Methodist Conference Center in Glen Allen. Sue Lewis, a VUMCU board member and retired financial advisor, will be the speaker. During her 25 years as a financial advisor, she worked for UBS, PaineWebber and A.G. Edwards. She will discuss the basics of investing, ranging from types of investments to personal risk tolerance. There is no cost to attend, but space is limited and registration is required. E-mail Janie Hightower at to reserve your spot.

Stewardship guru to speak at 5 Talent Academy Feb. 19
How do we raise resources during these challenging times? How do we encourage generosity when so many seem to be just keeping their heads above water? How do we use technology to help our people respond liberally? These questions and others will be addressed at the next gathering of the 5 Talent Academy 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19, at Floris United Methodist Church, 13600 Frying Pan Road, Herndon. Consultant Ted Hart will offer practical stewardship advice. This is a great opportunity to bring Finance Committee members and anyone else who needs to hear a helpful word on stewardship during these tough times. If your church has not yet signed up to be a part of the Academy, now is the time to join. Click here for more information or contact Pat Hickman in the conference office at or (804) 521-1155, or the Rev. Pete Moon at (804) 739-4535 or

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. Click here for more information. Registration forms have been 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

Middle School Confirmation Retreat set for March 25-27
On March 25-27, confirmands will once again have the opportunity to explore how Jesus lived his life and his effect upon people. Join keynote speaker Justin Hicks from River Road UMC, the Steve Kropp Band and the staff of Westview on the James, in Goochland County, for the Middle School Confirmation retreat, "Following Jesus." Youths will consider the experiences of their own lives in light of Jesus' example and will be challenged to commit to Christ and Christ's way. Curriculum is based on "Claim the Name" retreat curriculum. Experiential learning blended with upbeat praise and worship and the energy of Westview's counselors is a great way to supplement your confirmation training. Deadline to register is March 12. Click here for brochure. For more information, call the camp office at (804) 457-4210 or e-mail Cat Holbert Rudys at

Familiarization trip to Russia planned for July 10-25
The Russia Initiative groups of the Baltimore-Washington and Virginia conferences are sponsoring a familiarization trip to Russia July 10-July 25. Trip will include visits to churches and ministry sites, including the Methodist Seminary in Moscow. Travelers will also spend time with church members of the Stavropol District at their retreat on the Black Sea coast, hear about the ministry in Russia from leaders there, and experience the warmth and hospitality of our Russian brothers and sisters. CEU credits may be available. Cost is $3299 (subject to adjustment for airfare). For more information, contact Laura Whittle at or (540) 742-8148.

UMCOR among top 10 raising funds for Haiti earthquake relief
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is among the top 10 charities raising money for Haiti earthquake relief, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy. “Ten charities have accounted for more than 75% of all donations raised to benefit the 2010 Haiti earthquake,” the Chronicle reported. Overall, the charities have raised more than $1.4 billion for Haiti. UMCOR, which raised $43 million, was No. 9. The American Red Cross was first with $479 million in donations . More …

Faith leaders remind Obama of promise to cut poverty in half
Heads of National Council of Churches (NCC) member communions, including two United Methodist bishops, and NCC staff leaders, used the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. birthday weekend to urge President Obama to use his Jan. 25 State of the Union message to reassert his dramatic campaign pledge to "cut poverty in half" in the next 10 years. Bishop Larry Goodpaster, president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, and Bishop Sharon Zimmerman Rader, ecumenical officer for the Council of Bishops, signed a letter sent to the president. More …

Children’s Ministry Forum to be Feb. 22-24 in San Antonio
Children’s Ministry leaders in large United Methodist churches will receive new skills, fresh understandings and revived energy at the 2011 Children’s Ministry Forum Feb. 22-24 in San Antonio. Sponsored by the General Board of Discipleship, the event, “Remembering Our Story,” will focus on remembering, rejoicing, renewing and responding as participants experience the biblical stories in new ways and develop multiple tactics to teach the stories to children. Although the event is designed for children’s ministry leaders in large United Methodist congregations with more than 250 people in worship, representatives from smaller congregations also are welcome to attend. More …

BMCR to meet Feb. 23-26 in New Orleans
Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR), a caucus of The United Methodist Church, will hold its 44th annual meeting Feb. 23-26 at the New Orleans Marriott. The gathering will include preparations for the 2012 General Conference and a tour of the former site of Gulfside Assembly and Retreat Center on the Mississippi coast, which was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. More …

New worship resources book to be introduced in Nashville
“Rethinking Worship and Song,” a national event to introduce Worship & Song, a new collection of song and worship resources developed jointly by The General Board of Discipleship and The United Methodist Publishing House, will be Feb. 28-March 3 in Nashville. For more information, go to or contact Dean McIntyre at

March 3-5 event to focus on African-American women and HIV/AIDS
Recognizing that HIV/AIDS is the leading cause of death among African-American women ages 25-34, The United Methodist Church Global AIDS Fund Committee is sponsoring a conference on that topic March 3-5 in Columbia, S.C. The purpose of the event is to mobilize faith communities into action and focus on HIV/AIDS-related issues that specifically affect African-American women. More …

Rural Ministry Conference set for March 6-8
The United Methodist Church is among the supporters of the 30th Annual Rural Ministry Conference, sponsored by Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. Speakers at the March 6-8 event include the Rev. Tex Sample, Paul Lasley and the Rev. Nate Frambach. The Rev. Ed Kail is among the workshop leaders. More …

’Funding Your Ministry’ conference to be March 26
The Lewis Center for Church Leadership will offer a conference on attracting funding to support ministry 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. March 26 at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. The Lewis Center also will release an accompanying DVD/CD resource guide. Workshop topics for the “Funding Your Ministry in Changing Times” conference include: developing an operating budget, the three pillars of giving, building and funding a capital budget and investing church funds wisely. More …

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. Cost is $150. (A $65 special fee for students includes all workshops, plenaries, worship services, but only one meal — the banquet on Wednesday night.) Virginia Bishop Charlene Kammerer will be honored during the Wednesday night banquet. Click here for more information and to register.

Seminar on cross-racial, cross-cultural appointments to be May 16-18
The General Commission on Religion and Race has opened registration for “Facing the Future: Cross-Racial/Cross-Cultural Appointments in a Global Church” to be held May 16-18 at the Westin Los Angeles Airport Hotel in Los Angeles. The spring 2011 event co-hosted by the General Board of Higher Education & Ministry includes pre-events on May 15 providing an eight-hour seminar on cross-cultural competency and a Teaching Church Site Experience. Register by Feb. 28 and save. More …

Job openings listed:

·    Advocacy Organizer position available at the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR), Washington, D.C. For details, visit the Virginia Conference Web site at and scroll down to "Other."

·    Chief Financial Officer position available at the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA), Nashville, Tenn. For details, visit the Virginia Conference Web site at and scroll down to "Other."

·    The Board of Directors of Urban Ministry, Inc., is accepting applications for the position of Executive Director. The director is responsible for all facets of the ministry including programming, human resources, fundraising, marketing, budgeting, expense management, strategic direction, board reporting and community and governmental relationships. The ideal candidate will have a bachelor's degree and five or more years of executive nonprofit experience with an emphasis on fund development. Candidates with accomplishments in the field of ordained ministry are preferred. Urban Ministry, Inc., is a faith-based nonprofit service ministry located in Birmingham, Ala. Interested candidates should send resume and cover letter to Lane Wooley,, by Jan. 28. Candidates should expect a start date on or about March 1.

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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