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Dec. 16, 2011
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News from the Virginia Conference – March 17, 2011

United Methodists asked to pray, give to help earthquake victims
In response to the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan, United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) executives and the president of the Council of Bishops are asking United Methodists for prayer and financial support. UMCOR has partnered with the United Church of Christ in Japan and first-responder GlobalMedic to bring immediate relief to communities in affected areas. Click here for update. UMCOR donations can be made to Pacific Emergency, UMCOR Advance #3021317. More …

Prayers, resources available for coping with disasters
The United Methodist Board of Discipleship has put together prayers for churches seeking God’s guidance in the aftermath of the Japan earthquake and tsunami. The board also has assembled a list of books and other resources to help children cope with disasters. More …

Missionary says Sendai in turmoil after quake
A missionary close to the epicenter of Japan’s devastating earthquake reports that people there are suffering from a disaster “in three dimensions.” More …

April Advocate focuses on ‘culture of mission’
The April issue of the award-winning Virginia United Methodist Advocate monthly newsmagazine will spotlight the “culture of mission” within the Virginia Conference, where congregations, clergy and individual members remain highly committed to Jesus Christ’s Great Commission to “go out into the world.” To subscribe to the Advocate, call (804) 521-1110 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110; e-mail Advocate@vaumc.org; or click here.

Training continues for conference ‘Mission Mentors’
The conference Board of Global Ministries continues to train “Mission Mentors,” volunteers who will serve as resources to local churches in areas of mission interpretation, visioning for mission and implementing a vital mission ministry. The next training will be held at New Town UMC, Williamsburg, on April 9. For more information, contact the Rev. Glenn Rowley, director of Mission and Global Justice, (804) 521-1143 or toll-free 1-800-768-6040, ext. 143.

Still time to nominate church for Culture of Call Award
There is still time to submit a nomination for the 2011 Culture of the Call Church Award sponsored by The Foundation for Evangelism. Purpose of this award is to recognize one local congregation of The United Methodist Church each year that has a history of having young people 35 or younger respond to God's call to full-time Christian service as a result of their being active in the life of that church. The first Culture of the Call Church Award was presented in 2010. For more information or to submit a nomination, visit www.foundationforevangelism.org. Deadline for nominations is April 1. The selected church will be notified in early May and recognized at its 2011 annual conference.

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 May 8. 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 …

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.

Retreat for Creation’s Caretakers to be April 30 in Richmond
A retreat for Creation’s Caretakers will be held 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 30, at Roslyn Retreat Center, Richmond. If you are working, either as a professional or a volunteer, in any capacity involving the care and healing of God’s creation, this retreat is especially for you. Come away with God, each other, and creation to celebrate, worship, rest and replenish your souls. We will worship together, spend time with God’s creation individually and in small groups, and have conversations among ourselves, all designed to deepen our understanding and experiences of the relationships we have with God, each other, and creation; and to gain confidence, energy, and courage to be leaders in the healing of God’s creation. Cost is $40 per person, which includes continental breakfast, lunch, afternoon snacks and retreat space. Click here to register. For more information e-mail the Rev. Pat Watkins or call (703) 323-4643.

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 e-mail the Rev. Randy Harlow or call (434) 239-2568.

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 Carter, 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 …

Church leaders defend collective bargaining
As states struggle with budget shortfalls and high unemployment, legislative fights over the benefits and rights of public-sector unions rage across the country, most famously in Wisconsin. Many United Methodist leaders, including bishops, are speaking out against efforts to sharply curtail collective-bargaining rights. These church leaders are following a longstanding Methodist concern for workers' rights going back to John Wesley. More …

United Methodist Men support clergywomen
The National Association of Conference Presidents of United Methodist Men confessed that some churches have not always been supportive of women clergy. Meeting March 3-6 in Nashville, the men sent a resolution to the 2012 General Conference, the denomination's top lawmaking body, urging men to welcome women to the pulpits of their churches, and asked local chapters of United Methodist Men to invite clergywomen to share in their studies and activities.

Imagine No Malaria revamps Web site
Just back from a virtual facelift, the Imagine No Malaria home page is now live online. With a new, user-friendly interface, the ministry Web site at ImagineNoMalaria.org includes more malaria information and downloadable resources. The site also offers a daily Lenten devotional.

GBOD offers free online training for church trustees
A free online training session, “Trustees: Stewards of Church Property,” is set for 7:30 p.m. EDT on March 24, hosted by Betsey Heavner, director of Congregational Renewal for the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD). The role of trustees is practical, legal and biblical. Every trustee will benefit with a review of responsibilities, advice from conference chancellors, and a reminder of effective ministry through this leadership. Register at the calendar of webinars: www.gbod.org/committee_resources. Webinar cost is covered by your gifts to World Service. More …

Conference on women in civil rights movement to be March 31-April 2
What was the role of women in the civil rights movement? How did they contribute to the success of many of the major civil rights events? What wisdom can women of today learn from the courageous women who fought for justice? “Roads to Justice: Women of the Civil Rights Movement” will be held March 31–April 2 at Scarritt-Bennett Center, Nashville. Featured speakers will be Sue Thrasher, author and educator who became involved in the civil rights movement in 1961 while a student at Scarritt College after a friend was denied service at a local eatery; and Billie Jean Young, poet, actor, activist, author, and educator who has spent a lifetime focusing her craft on the civil rights movement and Alabama Black Belt life. Her one-woman play, "Fannie Lou Hamer: This Little Light..." focuses on the life story of Fannie Lou Hamer, a human rights activist and sharecropper from Sunflower County, Miss. More …

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 …

Music and Worship Arts Week to be June 19-24 at Lake Junaluska
Music and Worship Arts Week, a multi-generational, family-friendly event of music, arts, praise, and renewal will be offered in the Smoky Mountains June 19-24. Especially designed for those who want to sing, ring, dance, or act all week, as well as for those who lead these ministries in local congregations, the event will be held at Lake Junaluska, N.C., and is sponsored by the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts. Early registration discount available through April 30. Click here for more information or to register, or call 1-800-952-8977. Or go to www.umfellowship.org and click on “Music & Worship Arts Week.”

Institute of Higher Education to focus on ecology June 15-17
Helping United Methodist-related schools, colleges and universities find creative and effective ways to prepare the next generation of Christian leaders to deal with ecological challenges of the 21st century will be the focus of the 2011 Institute of Higher Education in Santa Fe, N.M., June 15-17. Speakers include Robert K. Musil, senior fellow and adjunct professor at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies, School of Public Affairs at American University, who teaches about climate change, energy and American environmental politics. Musil is author of Hope for a Heated Planet: How Americans are Fighting Global Warming and Building a Better Future. The institute is sponsored by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s Division of Higher Education. Presidents, vice presidents, campus ministers, chaplains or directors of Church Relations, academic deans, faculty and student development personnel of United Methodist-related schools, colleges and universities are invited. More …

Youth 2011 will meet twice in July, on either side of the country
United Methodist youths, ages 12-18, will gather in July on both sides of the country 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.

School of Congregational Development to be July 27-31 in Dallas
Renew your faith and prepare for mission and ministry in your community. Plan to attend the School of Congregational Development (SCD) July 27-31 in Dallas. Co-developed by the General Board of Global Ministries, General Board of Discipleship and Path 1 with collaboration with the National Plans and the Congregational Development Network, the school provides training for bishops, district superintendents, conference staff, pastors and church teams from existing congregations who want to learn how to create and develop disciple-growing congregations. Click here for more information and to register.

20th World Methodist Conference to be Aug. 4-8 in South Africa
The 20th World Methodist Conference will meet Aug. 4-8 at the International Convention Center in Durban, South Africa. Theme for the conference is “Jesus Christ – for the Healing of the Nations.” For more information, go to www.worldmethodistcouncil.org.

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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