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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
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News from the Virginia Conference – Feb. 3, 2011

Annual Conference Offering to help four mission projects
Bishop Charlene Kammerer has announced that the 2011 Annual Conference Offering goal is $200,000 and will benefit four mission projects: Mozambique: $50,000 — leadership development training for laity and clergy in the United Methodist Church in Mozambique and funding for the Living Well Society in its ministry of drilling new wells for drinking water; Brazil: $50,000 — minister to the spiritual, physical, educational, social and emotional needs of at-risk children through the Shade and Fresh Water program and the John Wesley Medical Boat, both sponsored by the Brazil Methodist Church; Agape Christian Children’s Community Center, Eastern Shore: $50,000 — help with the center’s ministry in this small rural ethnic minority community of Horntown as it strives to provide a healthy nurturing environment for at-risk children; and Shalom Zone: Grace Ministries, Roanoke: $50,000 — minister to the disenfranchised of downtown Roanoke with an emphasis on the recovering community, immigrant community and marginalized people. Click here for bulletin insert, flier and more information.

February is African-American History Month
February is African-American History Month. Click here for Cokesbury resources for the month, including daily devotionals and special heritage bulletin covers.

Sunday is Souper Bowl of Caring
While Americans turn their attention to Packers vs. Steelers in Super Bowl XLV on Sunday, more than a quarter million young people are working to transform the weekend into the nation’s largest celebration of giving and serving through the Souper Bowl of Caring. Participating youth groups will collect donations and give 100% of their collections to local charities of their choice. In 2010, some 13,000 organizations received more than $10.2 million. To learn more, visit

UMVIM training registration process changed
United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) Team Leader Training will now require pre-registration and pre-payment of a $40 fee to cover cost of Team Leader Handbook, meal, refreshments and handouts. Team Leader Handbooks will be distributed at the training sessions. Training events are scheduled March 12 at Redwood UMC, Rocky Mount; April 16 at Bethia UMC, Chesterfield; May 14 at Floris UMC, Herndon; and Nov. 19 at Beulah UMC, Richmond. For questions, contact conference UMVIM coordinator, the Rev. Keith Mottley at More …

High school seniors can apply now for Credit Union scholarships
The Virginia United Methodist Credit Union (VUMCU) has $1,500 scholarships, $5,000 grants and $1,000 grants available for high school seniors planning to enter college as freshmen in the fall of 2011. Applications are due beginning mid-March. Must be a VUMCU member to apply for scholarships. VUMCU membership is open to members of Virginia Conference United Methodist churches, and just $5 opens an account. For more information, contact Janie Hightower at

March Advocate focuses on generous giving
The March issue of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate newsmagazine will turn its attention to generous giving, something that is difficult in times of economic crisis, when most churches – and church members – are focused on keeping the bills paid. “People in the American church could easily proclaim how much they loved Jesus when their bank accounts were overflowing,” writes Dr. Clif Christopher in his new book, Whose Offering Plate Is It?, published by Abingdon Press. “This is our moment and this is our time to raise up and answer and be heard.” To subscribe to the Advocate, call (804) 521-1110 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110; e-mail; or click here to subscribe online.

Virginia United Methodist Credit Union cancels investment seminar
The Virginia United Methodist Credit Union has announced that it cancelled the investment seminar originally scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 12.

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. Registration deadline is Feb. 7. 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. Registration deadline is Feb. 22. For more information, contact Bill Moore, 2011 Clergy Spouse Retreat chair, at

Virginia PAUMCS Spring Retreat to be March 20-21
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. Registration deadline is March 5. Click here for brochure.

Middle School Confirmation Retreat set for March 25-27
On March 25-27, confirmands will 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

Christian Education Fellowship training event set for March 28-30
Dr. Rhonda VanDyke Colby, ordained elder in the Virginia Conference, is training leader and keynote speaker for the Virginia Christian Education Fellowship Professional Development training event March 28-30 at Camp Overlook in Keezletown. Theme of the training is “Living Abundantly in the Age of Scarcity.” Early bird registration of $150 is by Feb. 28. After Feb. 28, registration is $165. Deadline to register is March 14. More …

Pennel to lead Virginia Wesleyan seminar April 4-5
Virginia Wesleyan College's 2011 continuing education seminar, Leading the Congregation, will be April 4-5 on the Norfolk campus. Presenter will be Bishop Joe E. Pennel Jr., former episcopal leader of the Virginia Conference. Registration deadline is March 18. This seminar has been approved by the Virginia Conference for the awarding of one CEU for clergy. Click here for brochure. For more information, contact Judi Sands, office of College Advancement, (757) 455-3217, or e-mail

Ordering of Ministry event to be held for clergy May 15-16
At the 2012 General Conference, changes to the Book of Discipline will likely be proposed that could significantly impact everyone who serves in appointed ministry in The United Methodist Church. Virginia Conference clergy have an opportunity to learn about proposed changes at an “Ordering of Ministry” event May 15-16 at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) in Blackstone. Guest speakers will be the Rev. Dr. Ken Carter Jr., chair of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry Division of Ordained Ministry and member of the Study Commission on Ministry, and Dr. Mary Elizabeth Moore, dean, Boston University School of Theology. A .5 CEU is available. Registration deadline is May 6. More …

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 $3,299 (subject to adjustment for airfare). For more information, contact Laura Whittle at or (540) 742-8148.

33 retired bishops call for end of ban on homosexual clergy
Thirty-three retired United Methodist bishops have released a statement calling on The United Methodist Church to remove its ban on homosexual clergy. More …

Western Jurisdiction to realign episcopal areas in 2012
The Western Jurisdiction College of Bishops plans to realign episcopal areas in 2012. The plan calls for the current Portland and Seattle areas — covering the Oregon-Idaho and the Pacific Northwest Annual Conferences and the Alaska Conference — to become one episcopal area. A transition team is being formed to consider details of the realignment. The Western Jurisdiction covers 11 western U.S. states, Guam and Saipan.

SoSA offers daily devotional booklet for Lent
The Society of St. Andrew (SoSA) is offering a daily devotional booklet, "We've a Story to Tell," for Lent. The devotions were contributed by a variety of writers from different denominations who share how their personal walk with Jesus impacts their lives. The Lenten materials are free, but participants are asked to consider giving sacrificially. A donation of $1 a day during the season of Lent ($47) would enable the SoSA to salvage more than 2,000 servings of fresh produce. Last year's Lenten Devotions program was responsible for providing more than 2 million servings of food to families in need in the United States. More …

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 …

GBHEM seeks Assistant General Secretary
The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) is seeking candidates to fill the position of Assistant General Secretary for Schools, Colleges, and Universities in the Division of Higher Education. 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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