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News from the Virginia Conference – March 9, 2011 – Ash Wednesday

Bishop Kammerer names three new members of Cabinet
Bishop Charlene Kammerer has announced members of her Cabinet for 2011-2012, which will include three new faces, a reduction from 18 to 16 districts, and new names and new boundaries for several districts. The Rev. Janine Howard will be Danville District superintendent. The Rev. Ted Smith will become superintendent of the new Fredericksburg District. The Rev. Bob Parks will become Farmville District superintendent. More …

Remember: Set clocks forward this Saturday evening
Daylight Savings Time begins at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 13. Set your clocks one hour forward on Saturday night (so that 10 p.m. becomes 11 p.m.) so you won’t miss church!

Devotional studies available for Lent
Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent when many Christians will reflect on Christ’s ministry, death and resurrection. Click here for an overview of some new Lenten studies published by Abingdon Press, The Upper Room and United Methodist Communications for use by individuals and groups.

Lenten devotional on substance abuse available free online
During Lent, the United Methodist Special Program on Substance Abuse and Related Violence (SPSARV) offers a 2011 devotional, Hope for the Transformation from Addiction to Abundance for the friends, families and children of God who are challenged by the disease of alcoholism and addiction. Produced by the SPSARV team in partnership with the General Board of Global Ministries' Mission Communications, this downloadable, free, 30-page devotional is organized around the themes of hope, health, healing and wholeness. More …

April 3 is One Great Hour of Sharing
One Great Hour of Sharing is Sunday, April 3. This special offering supports United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). UMCOR receives no World Service funds or any other apportionment money. Gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing cover all operating expenses for UMCOR, allowing 100% of every dollar given to specific UMCOR programs and relief efforts to be spent on that project — not on office administrative costs. UMCOR does not take anything from designated gifts to cover administrative costs because of the broad support of United Methodists through the One Great Hour of Sharing annual offering. UMCOR’s ability to respond and remain until the job is done is in direct proportion to the generosity of United Methodists during One Great Hour of Sharing. Click here or call 1-888-346-3862 to order One Great Hour of Sharing offering resources.

Native American Ministries Sunday is May 8
Native American Ministries Sunday is two months away. Be sure to order your free offering resources to promote the May 8 offering that supports Native American ministries and helps United Methodist Native American seminarians to become church leaders. More …

Start planning now for Change the World May 14-15
Local churches can start preparing now for Change the World 2011 on May 14-15. First, identify a project that makes a difference in the local or global community (or both). Then, register at www.rethinkchurch.org/changetheworld and download the free flyer. Third, invite your community to get involved. Free and discounted resources are available to all churches who register. Registered churches will receive free shipping and postage from product orders placed on Cokesbury.com through May 15. More …

March 18 Safe Sanctuaries training event is full
No more reservations are available for Basic Safe Sanctuaries Training that will be offered at the Virginia United Methodist Conference Center on Friday, March 18.

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." 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 wvretreats@hughes.net.

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.” Deadline to register is March 14. More …

University SpL@Sh for youths will be April 2 at Shenandoah University
University SpL@Sh for youths, grades 6-12, will be 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 2, at Shenandoah University in Winchester. Youths will participate in worship, small groups, concert by Stereoreel and a mission opportunity. The Rev. Drew Dyson, Wesley Theological Seminary professor, will lead a seminar on emerging trends in youth ministry today for adults. SpL@Sh is free of charge; groups are asked to bring donations of supplies for the homeless ministry, Teens Opposing Poverty, as an offering. More …

Youth Ministry Academy to offer training on April 9
Everyone who works in youth ministry, whether paid or volunteer, will benefit from the Youth Ministry Academy day of training Saturday, April 9, at the Virginia United Methodist Center in Glen Allen. CEUs will be available. Participants are encouraged to bring a team of volunteers to attend this training together. More …

Virginia to host SEJ disaster response, UMVIM training April 11-14
The Virginia Conference Disaster Response Team is hosting this year’s Southeastern Jurisdiction (SEJ) Disaster / UMVIM Coordinators Conference April 11-14 at Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) in Blackstone. Two tracks will be offered. The Training Track is for new Disaster Response coordinators and team members that would benefit from basic information about disaster response. The Leader Working Group Track is designed to give experienced Disaster Response coordinators and team members the opportunity to learn about case management, volunteer management, training, materials resource sharing and spiritual care on a leadership level. More …

GrandCamp for grandparents and grandchildren to be April 29-30
GrandCamp for grandparents and their elementary-aged grandchildren will be held at Westview on the James in Goochland County April 29-30. This is an opportunity for grandparents and grandchildren to spend time together having fun, making crafts, playing games, eating s’mores, etc. Registration deadline is April 20. Click here for brochure.

Workshop on aging and ministry in 21st century set for April 30
“Exploring the Longevity Revolution – Aging and Ministry in the 21st Century” will be the topic Saturday, April 30, at Marsh Memorial UMC in Lynchburg as workshop participants explore aging and ministry in the 21st century with the Rev. Dr. Richard Gentzler Jr., director of the Center on Aging and Older Adult Ministries for the General Board of Discipleship. Registration deadline is April 18. Cost is $15 per person. Click here for additional information, or contact the Rev. Randy Harlow at (434) 239-2568 or marshmemumc@verizon.net.

Richmond area 'Real Change for Real People' workshop to be May 7
The Economic Justice Work Group of the Virginia Conference Board of Church and Society and the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy are offering regional Real Change for Real People workshops to engage United Methodists in dialogue regarding economic justice issues, including unemployment and predatory lending. These workshops will not only inform participants, but also provide opportunities to analyze and discuss deficiencies in Virginia state laws as well as empower United Methodists to become more effective in their advocacy for systemic change. Richmond area workshop will be 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, May 7, at Wesley Memorial UMC, 1720 Mechanicsville Turnpike, Richmond. Click here for more information or to register.

Ordering of Ministry event to be held for clergy May 15-16
Are guaranteed appointments coming to an end? That is one of the pressing questions that will be discussed at the upcoming “Ordering of Ministry” event May 15-16 at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) in Blackstone. 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, will present study commission findings and likely proposals from it to be made at the 2012 General Conference. Dr. Mary Elizabeth Moore, dean, Boston University School of Theology, will lead consideration of theological ramifications of these matters in light of Methodist/Wesleyan heritage. A panel composed of Dr. Carter, Dr. Moore and Bishop Charlene Kammerer will lead a discussion of the proposed changes and implications for United Methodist clergy. A .5 CEU is available. Registration deadline is May 6. More …

Young adults invited to spend 5 days relating to God, each other, earth
“Sojourn to Sacredness: A Theological Ecological Pilgrimage for Young Adults,” June 6-10, will include hiking the Appalachian Trail, canoeing on the Shenandoah River and renewing relationships with God, each other and the earth. Participants will learn low-impact and earth-friendly outdoor living skills, experience the beauty of God’s creation, learn about some of the problems creation is facing, and discuss ways the church can be part of the solution. Conversations on the pilgrimage will include scientists, environmentalists and theologians. Fee of $125 includes canoes, food, transportation to and from trail and river and camping fees. More …

UMCOR issues plea for cleaning buckets and supplies
Spring is less than two weeks away — welcome news for most people who have plodded through this seemingly endless, snowy winter. In areas prone to flooding, as in the Dakotas and Minnesota, it also means time is short to prepare for possible record floods as snow melts. In anticipation of a lot of spring flooding, Kathy Kraiza, United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) director of relief supply depots, has issued a call for cleaning buckets and supplies. Cleaning buckets provide supplies that enable people affected by floods or hurricanes to begin the overwhelming task of cleaning up. Click here for assembly and shipping instructions. Cleaning buckets can be sent to any of the depots in the Relief Supply Network. UMCOR's U.S. Disaster Response unit is actively working to help the Minnesota Conference, Dakotas Conference, and ecumenical partners prepare for emergencies that are likely to be brought on by spring floods. Gifts to U.S. Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #901670, support these efforts. Gifts to Material Resource Ministry, UMCOR Advance #901440, help UMCOR purchase relief supplies. You can donate to any project by placing a contribution in the offering plate at a local United Methodist church; by sending a check to UMCOR, PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068; or by calling 1-800-554-8583, where credit card donations are accepted.

United Methodist designated mission giving soars in 2010
Total United Methodist designated mission giving soared in 2010 because of response to the earthquake in Haiti, according to figures released by The Advance, the denomination’s designated mission-giving channel. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) received $62,338,768 through The Advance last year, including $43.9 million for response to the Haiti earthquake and $721,988 for relief in flood-ravaged areas of Pakistan. Total mission giving through The Advance in 2010 was $79.2 million.
     The Virginia Conference gave a total of $3,797,720 to The Advance in 2010, with 79% of conference churches making donations. Of that amount, $3,161,352 was for project support and $636,367 was for missionary support. Although denomination-wide designated gifts for missionary support held steady from 2009 to 2010, the Virginia Conference gift was an increase of more than $100,000 over the previous year. The Virginia figure accounted for a large percentage of the $1.8 million in missionary support from the Southeastern Jurisdiction. More …

Virginia clergy help write UMC’s first online Bible study
Virginia Conference clergy wrote two of the studies in The United Methodist Church’s first online Bible study, set to debut March 14. Participants in the studies will have an opportunity to explore and discuss contemporary topics and how they relate to the Christian faith in response to the call to “Rethink Church.” The Rev. Alex Joyner wrote the first study, “Spiritual Practices During Lent.” The Rev. Jeanne Torrence Finley wrote the article for March 21, “North Africa and the Middle East.” Participants who sign on for the “Encounter Faith” Bible study, available at www.RethinkChurch.org/encounterfaith, will be looking through a lens of faith at timely issues making headlines and creating conversation, such as the protests in North Africa and the Middle East. This study is designed so that participants with different levels of knowledge can join the discussion. They need not be experts on Bible history or Scripture to participate.

‘Worship & Song’ offers music, worship resources for everyone
Worship & Song, the just-released collection of songs, hymns and worship resources, can become a bridge between traditional and contemporary worship styles, according to some musicians. From the rousing “Jesus, Jesus, Oh, What a Wonderful Child” to the prayerful “Open the Eyes of My Heart,” the newly released “Worship & Song” collection offers something for just about everyone. More …

NBC TV special to focus on efforts against malaria
On both sides of the ocean, people are working to end a disease that takes the life of a child every 45 seconds. An NBC special TV program, "A Killer in the Dark: An Extraordinary Effort to Combat Malaria," discusses efforts being undertaken by United Methodists and others to achieve this goal. Presented by the National Council of Churches and produced by United Methodist Communications, the program will be available to local NBC affiliates starting May 1. Church members can contact their local stations and ask them to schedule "A Killer in the Dark."

Imagine No Malaria webinar now available online
If you missed the Imagine No Malaria webinar held in February, it is now available online at www.ImagineNoMalaria.org/HousePartyWebinar. Included in the presentation is an overview of the program as well as specific plans for 2011, including house parties — a grassroots fundraising effort that can be held by anyone at any time.

Faith leaders look at U.S. budget’s moral impact
The poor have no one staging mass protests on their behalf, but religious leaders are speaking out about how proposed changes to the U.S. budget for 2011 and 2012 could affect them. 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 …

Still time to register for Caring for Creation conference
It's not too late to register for the Caring for Creation conference to be held at Lake Junaluska Conference Center in North Carolina March 31-April 3. The conference will provide biblical and theological support for developing opportunities for faith communities to be caretakers of Earth. Click here for more information or to register, or call (828) 454-6656.

African-American Clergy Leadership Retreat to be April 4-6
The 2011 African-American Clergy Leadership Retreat, “Bringing it All Together: Organizing Your Church for Successful Ministry,” will be April 4-6 at Lake Junaluska, N.C. For more information or to register, visit www.lakejunaluska.com/african-american-clergy, 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. 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 …

Youth 2011 will meet twice in July, on either side of the country
United Methodist youths, ages 12-18, on both sides of the country will gather in July for a nationwide event sponsored by the United Methodist Board of Discipleship. For the first time, Youth 2011 will meet twice in two locations: July 13-16 at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., and July 27-30 at the Convention Center in Sacramento, Calif. To learn more and register for Youth 2011, visit www.youth2011.org before March 31.

Brown, Briggs, Merry to lead seminar at Lake Junaluska Aug. 7-9
“Fishing on the Right Side of the Boat” will be presented at Lake Junaluska Aug. 7-9 by the Rev. Marc Brown, Virginia Conference director of Connectional Ministries; Kathy Merry, retired senior operations executive; and the Rev. John Briggs, clergy member of the Virginia Conference. Spiritual disciplines of Christian transformational leadership that are both biblically based and organizationally effective will be the focus of this workshop that is appropriate for annual conference, district, and local church leaders who seek to move their congregations from maintenance to mission. Click here for brochure.


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. 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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