To subscribe to the e-Advocate and have it delivered to your e-mail address, free of charge, please send your name, address, and e-mail address to Please indicate in the subject "Subscribe to e-Advocate."

Click here to sign up for RSS feed of e-Advocate.

To view a 2011 issue of the Virginia Conference e-Advocate, click on the date below:

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
Jan. 20, 2011
Jan. 12, 2011
Jan. 6, 2011

Click here for 2016 issues

Click here for 2015 issues

Click here for 2014 issues

Click here for 2013 issues

Click here for 2012 issues

Click here for 2010 issues

Click here for 2009 issues


News from the Virginia Conference – Jan. 28, 2011

New phase of ‘All Things New’ capital campaign begins Feb. 1
A new phase of the "All Things New" capital campaign will begin Feb. 1 when each church in the conference is sent a letter from Bishop Charlene Kammerer and a DVD about some of the new faith communities being established in Virginia. More ...

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. For more information, go to

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 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

Young adults sought for July 21-Aug. 4 mission trip to Brazil
Ten to 12 called and passionate young adults, clergy and laity, are wanted for a journey of mission and mutuality to Brazil July 21-Aug. 4. The team will travel to Brasilia to participate in “The Week for Jesus,” a young adult event sponsored by the Brazilian Methodist Church. Team members will stay with host families for a few days and join in intentional conversation with a small group of Brazilian Methodist young adults on topics of mutual interest. This trip is focused on building relationships through mutual ministry and sharing between young adults in Virginia and Brazil. Approximate cost is $2500. Trip is co-sponsored by Initiatives of Hope and the Young Adult Council, and will be led by the Rev. Kristin Holbrook. Scholarships for clergy in their first five years of full-time ministry are available from United Methodist Volunteers in Mission. Click here for application. For more information, contact Holbrook at: or Dot Ivey, chair of the Brazil Initiative, at

Staff, campers sought for Camp Rainbow Connection 2011
Camp Rainbow Connection (CRC), a weeklong respite camp for individuals with intellectual disabilities, is actively seeking new campers and staff volunteers for this year’s camp sessions to be held July 10-15 and Aug. 7-12 at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) in Blackstone. Campers participate in a variety of activities including Bible class, music, arts and crafts, games, dancing and special activities. If you, your congregation, or one of your church groups is interested in learning more about CRC, volunteers across the state are available to come to your church to make a presentation, provide information and answer questions. Click here for more information, or contact the Office of Leadership and Inclusivity at 1-800-768-6040, ext. 154, or 804-521-1154, or e-mail

Adam Ployd receives Dempster Graduate Fellowship
Adam Ployd, of Newport News, is one of 13 students selected for the Dempster Graduate Fellowships which support students who are committed to serving the church by becoming seminary professors to educate the next generation of United Methodist pastors. A graduate of Wake Forest University and Candler School of Theology, Ployd is currently enrolled in his third year of a Ph.D. program at Emory University. The fellowships are funded by the Ministerial Education Fund through General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s Division of Ordained Ministry. Awards — based on the student’s academic achievement, commitment to Christian ministry and promise as educators — carry a value of up to $10,000 annually, with a maximum of  $30,000 over a five-year period.

VanDyke Colby named V.P. for Student Life at Shenandoah University
Dr. Rhonda VanDyke Colby, an ordained elder in the Virginia Conference, will become Vice President for Student Life at Shenandoah University, effective Feb. 15. VanDyke Colby, who has served as dean of spiritual life and director of the Institute for Church Professions since 2007, will be responsible for the Office of Residence Life, Department of Public Safety, Office of Spiritual Life and all aspects of Student Activities, including operations of the Brandt Student Center, outdoor programs, recreational sports and intramural sports. More …

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

Randolph College to begin $6 million renovation of Student Center
Randolph College (formerly Randolph-Macon Woman’s College) will begin construction on a $6 million renovation of its Student Center this summer, President John Klein announced on Tuesday, Jan. 25. “Thanks to the wonderful support of our alumnae, we will be greatly enhancing the Student Center spaces and bringing a significant improvement to life on campus,” Klein said. “We are extremely grateful for the support and commitment of the donors to this transformational project.” More …

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. 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:

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

VA PAUMCS Spring Retreat to be March 20-21 at Camp Overlook
Virginia chapter of the Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries (PAUMCS) will hold its Spring Retreat Sunday, March 20, through Monday, March 21, at Camp Overlook in Keezletown. The Rev. Marc Brown, conference director of Connectional Ministries, will lead training on All Things New for Church Secretaries. Click here for brochure.

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.

Publishing House offers mobile daily Bible study
The United Methodist Publishing House’s (UMPH) Daily Bible Study is now available for iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch devices. The application offers a daily thought, Scripture reading, commentary and prayer and allows you to share content with friends via Facebook, Twitter, or e-mail.  UMPH’s first mobile application is free through February in the iTunes store. (Click here.) Beginning March 1, the Daily Bible Study application will be available for $4.99 per quarter. More …

Kim Cape nominated to head GBHEM
The Rev. Dr. Kim Cape, executive director of New Church Growth and Transformation for the Southwest Texas Annual Conference, has been selected by the Search Committee as the nominee for the General Secretary position of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM). More …

Bread for the World launches Offering of Letters campaign
Bread for the World has launched its 2011 Offering of Letters campaign to urge Congress to reform U.S. foreign assistance so it is more effective and benefits hungry and poor people globally. More effective aid to countries such as Haiti and Liberia could help them recover from poverty made worse, respectively, by the 2010 earthquake and two devastating civil wars. More …

Bishop Marion Edwards dead at 71
Retired United Methodist Bishop Marion Edwards, 71, who served as episcopal leader of the denomination’s North Carolina Conference from 1996-2004, died Jan. 24 at Columbus Hospice House in Columbus, Ga., after a battle with cancer. Funeral services are set for Saturday.

Children’s Ministry Forum to be Feb. 22-24 in San Antonio
The General Board of Discipleship is sponsoring “Remembering Our Story,” 2011 Children’s Ministry Forum, Feb. 22-24 in San Antonio. 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. More …

New worship resources book to be introduced Feb. 28-March 3
“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
The United Methodist Church Global AIDS Fund Committee is sponsoring a conference on HIV/AIDS among African-American women March 3-5 in Columbia, S.C. More …

Rural Ministry Conference set for March 6-8
The United Methodist Church is among the supporters of the 30th Annual Rural Ministry Conference March 6-8 at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. More …

Ecumenical Advocacy Days will be March 25-28 in D.C.
“Development, Security & Economic Justice: What’s Gender Got to Do with It?” is the theme of the ninth annual Ecumenical Advocacy Days, March 25-28 in Washington, D.C. The weekend is sponsored by the ecumenical Christian community, including The United Methodist General Board of Church & Society and the Women’s Division of the General Board of Global Ministries. 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 March 26 at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. 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. 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 and the General Board of Higher Education & Ministry are co-sponsoring “Facing the Future: Cross-Racial/Cross-Cultural Appointments in a Global Church” May 16-18 at the Westin Los Angeles Airport Hotel in Los Angeles. More …

Job openings listed:

·    The Iowa Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church is seeking qualified candidates to fill the position of Leadership Development Minister. For details, visit the Virginia Conference Web site at and scroll down to "Other." Applications will be accepted through Feb. 14.

·    Position available for Cokesbury Sales Representative for Cokesbury retail bookstores in Roanoke. For details, visit the Virginia Conference Web site at and scroll down to "Other." Deadline for submissions is Feb. 25

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



The Cross and Flame is a registered trademark, and the use is supervised by the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) of The United Methodist Church. Permission to use the Cross and Flame must be obtained from the GCFA, Attn: Legal Department, PO Box 340029, Nashville, TN 37203-0029; phone 615-369-2334; fax 615-369-2330

Background photos courtesy of VDOT.

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
Click here for directions to the Center