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Dec. 16, 2011
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News from the Virginia Conference – March 31, 2011

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. All of UMCOR’s emergency relief work is done with a staff of seven, four who work with domestic disaster relief and three who work internationally. That’s an incredibly efficient program, worthy of your support. But support for One Great Hour has decreased over the past several years. Regrettably, the need for disaster relief has not decreased. You are encouraged to participate in One Great Hour of Sharing. This year that offering will take place in most churches April 3, but your congregation can select an alternate date, and individuals can contribute at any time. You can order free resources to promote the special offering from, or click here, or call 1-888-346-3862. More …

Spring Laity E-newsletter now available
Click here for the Spring 2011 Laity E-newsletter or go to The newsletter contains information about the Board of Laity restructuring plan and Conference Lay Leader Shirley Cauffman’s reflections on Lent and spring.

Conference hires five summer interns
Five interns will be working on the Virginia Conference staff this summer. Devon Maust from Midlothian, student at Randolph-Macon College who was a conference summer intern in 2010, will work in the area of Youth Ministries under the supervision of Angie Williams. Ryan LaRock from Virginia Beach, student at University of Virginia, will also work in the area of Youth Ministries under the supervision of Angie Williams. Jacob Evans of Poquoson, student at The College of William and Mary who was a conference summer intern in 2010, will work in the area of Congregational Excellence under the supervision of Mark Ogren. Laura Godwin of Midlothian, student at The College of William and Mary, will work in the area of Mission and Global Justice under the supervision of Glenn Rowley. Stacy Roberts of Richmond, student at Longwood University, will work in the area of Leadership and Inclusivity under the supervision of Martha Stokes.

Conference names six ‘Calling 21’ interns
Six college students were selected to be Virginia Conference “Calling 21” interns who will experience and explore the questions of vocation, service, leadership and meaning through a summer mentoring and internship program. Interns will participate in orientation at Shenandoah University and attend Annual Conference. They will serve in local churches June 22-Aug. 17. Interns and their congregation assignments are: Andrew Hudgins, 22, senior at James Madison University, Bethel UMC (Fauquier) in Warrenton, Winchester District; Michelle West, 21, senior at Virginia Tech, Basic UMC in Waynesboro, Staunton District; Brooke Bailey, 19, completing first year at Blue Ridge Community College, Crozet UMC, Charlottesville District; Holly Johnson, 19, completing first year at Mary Baldwin College, Farmville UMC, Farmville District; Emily Howdyshell, 21, third-year student at Blue Ridge Community College, St. Luke's UMC in Yorktown, Peninsula District; and Cammie Satter, 22, fourth-year student at the University of Mary Washington, Braddock Street UMC in Winchester, Winchester District.

Conference issues rules for clergy voting
Bishop Charlene Kammerer and the Board of Ordained Ministry have issued a statement regarding who is eligible to vote for clergy delegates to 2012 General and Jurisdictional Conferences. The following clergy are eligible to vote: 1. Active and retired full members (elders and deacons); 2. Active and retired provisional members (the first “nominating” ballot will follow the election of the class of 2011 at the clergy session); 3. Active and retired associate members; 4. Part-time and full-time licensed local pastors who have completed the educational requirements (Five-Year Course of Study, equivalency for the Five-Year Course of Study based on approval of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and Virginia Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, or an M.Div. from an approved seminary) and have been under uninterrupted appointment for two years (since July 1, 2009). Retired local pastors (including those under appointment) are not eligible to vote.

Conference UMMen install new officers for 2011-2012
Virginia Conference United Methodist Men (UMMen) held “Spring Training” at Discovery UMC in Richmond on March 26. Officers for 2011-2012 who were sworn in during the business meeting are: Jim Green, president; David Bean, vice president for Spiritual Life; Jeff Hall, vice president for Membership; Bill Boelte, secretary; Elliott Fox, treasurer; and David Sault, chaplain. More …

Board of Discipleship providing Prayer Room for Annual Conference
The Conference Board of Discipleship will provide a Prayer Room at this year’s Annual Conference session. Located off the lobby of the Special Events Center, the Prayer Room will be available during all conference sessions. Members of Annual Conference and guests attending conference are invited to visit the Prayer Room for times of personal prayer and meditation, and for intercessory prayer on behalf of persons engaged in mission, those in need of healing, and people facing difficult situations throughout the world.

Pathways needs help to turn parking lot into paradise
Pathways Ministries is working to create an oasis in a blighted area of Petersburg. Pathways has cleared out the asphalt from a crumbling parking lot and replaced it with more earth-friendly mulch. But more work needs to be done to transform the former eye-sore into the lush green park that Pathways envisions. During Lent, Pathways is trying to raise $40,000 to create a linear park with raised beds and benches, a Green "Learning Lab," water retention garden, herb garden, wild blackberries, native plants and a small tree-lined parking area. More …

10-Fold on April 10 will focus on health care in Africa
On Sunday, April 10, the General Board of Global Ministries will sponsor another 10-Fold online event that will focus on health care in Africa. A video will be available all day, and presenters will do a live chat for an hour. Tune in to hear a conversation with Dr. Cherian Thomas, head of United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Health, and Ted Warnock, Global Ministries missionary for special projects, who works with UMCOR Health and will be joining the conversation from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The April 10-Fold event will cover UMCOR Health's work to strengthen nine United Methodist hospitals in Africa and promote community health and specific ways churches can be involved in this work. More …

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

Plan now for Change the World May 14-15
United Methodists around the world will participate in community service projects on Saturday, May 14, and neighbors will be invited to attend church services on Sunday, May 15, as part of “Change the World 2011.” Local churches can prepare now to participate in this year’s Change the World weekend. First, identify a project that makes a difference in the local or global community (or both). Then, register at 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 through May 15. More …

Leadership summit to be sponsored by Council of Bishops on April 6
A summit for conference lay and clergy leaders interested in the role of annual conferences and local churches in meeting challenges and making short-term and long-range changes will be webcast from noon to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 6, with conversation groups organized in episcopal areas. The Virginia Conference United Methodist Center in Glen Allen (Richmond District), New Creation (formerly Aldersgate) UMC in Chesapeake (Portsmouth District), Floris UMC in Herndon (Arlington District), and Timberlake UMC in Lynchburg (Lynchburg District) are serving as Virginia Conference host sites for this event. The United Methodist Church Leadership Summit is sponsored by the denomination’s Council of Bishops in cooperation with the Connectional Table. 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. Registration deadline is noon April 1. More …

SEJ disaster response, UMVIM training cancelled
The Annual Southeastern Jurisdiction Gathering of UMVIM/Disaster Coordinators scheduled for April 11-14 at Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) in Blackstone has been cancelled due to low registration. Registered participants should contact VUMAC directly for refund of any registration monies paid. Virginia Conference Spiritual and Emotional Care class will be rescheduled. The next UMVIM leaders training courses will be April 16 at Bethia UMC in Chesterfield, May 14 at Floris UMC in Herndon, and Nov. 19 at Beulah UMC in Richmond. Click here for more information, or contact the Rev. Keith Mottley at

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.

Friends of Lithuania to hold consultation May 6-7
Friends of Lithuania will hold its annual consultation May 6-7 at Centreville UMC in Centreville. The meeting will include reports on Lithuanian United Methodist churches, their pastors, and mission support for the congregations. Meeting participants will include partner churches, interested individuals and international United Methodist clergy. Representatives from the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries will facilitate the meeting. Registration deadline is April 15. For more information, click here or contact Dan Stapleton, planning coordinator, at (703) 754-9014 or

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.

UMVIM mutual empowerment seminar offered May 12-14
Mutual Empowerment Seminar for United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) volunteers will be held May 12-14 at Servants in Faith and Technology (SIFAT) Training Campus near Lineville, Ala. This workshop is an invitation to mission volunteers to engage in reflection and dialogue about the impacts of volunteer service: who is impacted and how? More …

Ordering of Ministry event to be held for clergy May 15-16
Study commission findings to be proposed at the 2012 General Conference 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 the findings. 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 …

School of Christian Mission to be at VUMAC July 22-24, July 25-28
The 2011 School of Christian Mission will be held at Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) in Blackstone July 22-24 and July 25-28, under the theme “All Things Made New.” Spiritual Growth Study leaders include the Rev. Stephen Hundley, superintendent of the Roanoke District; and the Rev. Pat Watkins, executive director of Caretakers of God’s Creation. Registration deadline is July 10. Click here for more information, including detailed brochure, registration form and class choice, or contact Louise Miller, dean of the school, at Please note that online registration will NOT be available this year.

2012 Jurisdictional Conference to be one day shorter
The 2012 Southeastern Jurisdictional (SEJ) Conference will be July 18-20, one day shorter than previous conferences, according to a recent announcement from the Rev. Brad Brady, SEJ Conference secretary. The conference will officially convene at Lake Junaluska, N.C, with worship at 9 a.m. Wednesday, July 18, 2012, and consecration of newly elected bishops is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday, July 20. A new electronic balloting process should significantly shorten the turn-around time between ballots, Brady said. The SEJ should have a net savings of approximately $30,000 in per diem expenses. More …

Religion and Race questions legislator’s comments
The United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race has voiced concern over remarks from Virgil Peck, a Kansas legislator, suggesting that using violence and air attacks could solve the state's immigration problems. Peck later agreed to apologize for the comments. More …

United Methodists join in social justice advocacy training
United Methodists joined several hundred other advocates interested in social justice at the Ecumenical Advocacy Days on March 25-28. Workshops and keynotes focused on the theme “Development, Security and Economic Justice: What’s Gender Got to Do with It?” More …

Archives offers Heritage Sunday resources
The United Methodist Commission on Archives has a PowerPoint and other historical content for churches to use on Heritage Sunday, which is on May 22 this year. United Methodist congregations are asked to celebrate their Wesleyan heritage each year on the Sunday closest to May 24. That is the anniversary of John Wesley’s heartwarming spiritual revival in 1738 at a religious-society meeting on Aldersgate Street in London. This year’s theme is “Engaging in Ministry with the Poor: Our Heritage.” The PowerPoint on that theme is already online, and more resources including hymns, prayers and suggested Scripture texts, will be available by April 1. More …

Web course tackles faith and immigration
The Rev. Jim Perdue, National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministry missionary assigned to the Desert-Southwest Conference, will present a free webinar on the intersection of the Christian faith and immigration. The seminar will be April 25-June 17. It will explore various Bible verses as well as the book Christians at the Border. The course is open to people who commit to leading at least one related study in their congregation, region or religious community. To register, e-mail Perdue.

Spanish Resources office launches Spanish e-newsletter
The Office of Spanish Resources at United Methodist Communications is launching an electronic newsletter in Spanish to be delivered via e-mail. The “Noticias” weekly digest will provide weekly news and facilitate news access to its Hispanic/Latino audiences at the denomination’s Spanish portal. The digest will initially go to subscribers of El Intérprete, the Spanish-language journal of The United Methodist Church. Readers can subscribe by clicking on the word “Suscríbase” on the left side of the newsletter. The first “Noticias” digest was sent on March 29. Click here for more Spanish resources.

Virginians to attend cross-racial, cross-cultural seminar
Seven members of the Virginia Conference Cross-Racial, Cross-Cultural Task Force will attend “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. Martha Stokes, conference director of Leadership and Inclusivity; Mary Ann Kral, task force chair; the Rev. Ileana Rosario; the Rev. Paul Song; the Rev. Ted Smith, newly named Fredericksburg District superintendent; the Rev. Tammy Estep, Eastern Shore District superintendent; and the Rev. Larry Thompson, Winchester District superintendent, will attend the event which is co-sponsored by the General Commission on Religion and Race and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. 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 June 19-24 at Lake Junaluska, N.C. 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 is sponsored by the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts. Early registration discount is available through April 30. Click here for more information or to register, or call 1-800-952-8977. Or go to 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. 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 …

Harambee 2011 will be June 22-26 at Paine College
Southeastern Jurisdiction Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR) will host the annual Harambee conference for African-American youth June 22-26 at Paine College in Augusta, Ga. The conference is designed for youth ages 12-18 (Grades 7-12). Cost of $280 includes all meals, housing and event activities. Registration deadline is May 31. Click here for brochure. For more information, contact Angela Lanier, registrar, at or (615) 969-9114.

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 in collaboration with the National Plans and 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

Abrahams nominated to head World Methodist Council
Bishop Ivan M. Abrahams has been nominated for the top staff leadership position of the World Methodist Council, whose membership includes 74 churches in 132 countries. Currently the presiding bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, Abrahams was the unanimous choice of a search committee to succeed the Rev. George Freeman, member of the Virginia Conference who is retiring as the council’s chief executive. The election will take place Aug. 1-3 during the meeting of the World Methodist Council immediately prior to the World Methodist Conference in Durban, South Africa. More …

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.

Lake Junaluska Peace Conference to be Nov. 13-15
The fourth annual Lake Junaluska Peace Conference, “Poverty, Abundance, and Peace: Seeking Economic Justice for All God’s Children,” on Nov. 13-15, will lift up some of the systemic causes of poverty and economic disparity to help participants better understand these issues and to be equipped as change agents to work for alleviating these causes of poverty for a more just and peaceful world. Speakers for this year’s conference include former U.S. Senator George McGovern, Dr. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, and Bishop Nkula Ntambo of the Katanga Conference in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. More …

Candler seeks Director of Alumni Relations
Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, seeks an individual with experience, creativity and commitment to the mission of the school to serve as Director of Alumni Relations. The director will be responsible for building and nurturing relationships with current and new contributors to the institution and with alumni serving in various forms of ministry. As part of these activities, the director will oversee the work of the Candler Alumni Board, lead Candler’s Senior Class Gift Campaign and reunion efforts, including at 25 Candler Club gatherings at United Methodist annual conferences, and oversee events related to Emory Weekend, commencement and Candler’s Lifelong Learning program. The director will be expected to recruit alumni volunteers, ask individuals and organizations for current and planned gifts, and approach corporations, foundations and ecclesial organizations for gifts. Qualified candidates should apply online at Job Requisition ID: 21431BR. Application deadline is April 15.

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



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