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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
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July 28, 2011
July 21, 2011
July 15, 2011
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June 29, 2011
June 20, 2011
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June 3, 2011 - Special Annual Conference Edition

May 27, 2011
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April 26, 2011
April 18, 2011
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March 31, 2011
March 25, 2011
March 17, 2011
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March 2, 2011

Feb. 25, 2011
Feb. 17, 2011
Feb. 10, 2011
Feb. 3, 2011

Jan. 28, 2011
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News from the Virginia Conference – April 8, 2011

Bishop Kammerer to join Candler faculty after retirement
After her retirement from the active episcopacy in the fall of 2012, Bishop Charlene Kammerer will join the faculty of Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, Atlanta. She will serve as bishop-in-residence from January 2013 to 2016. As bishop-in-residence, Kammerer will teach, mentor students and act as a key resource for spiritual formation. The announcement was made by Jan Love, Candler dean, during an April 6 banquet held to honor Kammerer as part of the Southeastern Jurisdiction Clergywomen gathering in Atlanta. More ...

Bishop Kammerer honored by SEJ clergywomen
Clergywomen of the Southeastern Jurisdiction (SEJ), meeting in Atlanta this week, honored Bishop Charlene Kammerer with a special tribute Wednesday night. To much applause, Dean Jan Love of the Candler School of Theology announced that Bishop Kammerer would be bishop-in-residence there following her retirement next year. Kammerer was greeted via video by Bishop Leontine Kelly, the first black woman to be elected bishop in The United Methodist Church and former elder in the Virginia Conference. Bishop Hope Morgan Ward of Mississippi talked about the ways Bishop Kammerer has supported all pastors, but particularly her as she became a superintendent in the North Carolina Conference and then was elected bishop. “Thank you for giving so graciously to all of us for all the times of our lives,” she said. Many participants wore red shoes and sported yellow ribbons, two items often associated with Bishop Kammerer, and sang “Here I Am Lord,” the hymn that was spontaneously started in the audience the moment it was announced that Kammerer was elected bishop in 1996 at Lake Junaluska. The Rev. Tammy Estep, Eastern Shore District Superintendent, told of a special pottery bowl that now rests in the bishop’s office. The bowl was originally intended as a celebratory gift for the Rev. Helen Crotwell from the North Carolina Conference on her election as bishop a number of years ago, but she was not elected and the bowl was broken in shipping. It was decided by SEJ clergywomen that they would not repair the bowl until the SEJ elected a woman bishop. During the reception following her election as the first woman bishop in the SEJ, Kammerer glued the pieces together.

Spring/Easter issue of ‘Neighbors’ newsletter available to download
The Spring/Easter issue of Neighbors features “Easter and Spring are tightly linked” by Neill Caldwell, editor of the Virginia Advocate, and “God even has a plan for pigs” by the Rev. Pat Watkins, executive director of Caretakers of God’s Creation. Neighbors is a free, customizable direct-mail piece produced by Virginia United Methodist Communications to be used as part of a local church’s outreach ministry. The latest issue is now available online at Or, go to, “Resources,” “Publications,” “Neighbors.” The Neighbors page provides instructions on how to download, print and mail the newsletter.

Conference board members gather for leadership training
About 75 Virginia Conference board and agency members gathered on April 2 for a conference-sponsored “Day of Equipping for Transformational Leadership.” Consultant Christie Latona was the keynote speaker for the event at Trinity UMC in Richmond, talking about getting everyone on “one bus” full of passionate people going in the same direction. More …

Advocate focuses on mission, leadership
The April issue of the award-winning Virginia United Methodist Advocate monthly newsmagazine spotlights 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.” The May issue will highlight some of the recently started or about to be started conference-sponsored initiatives in leadership development. One of the focus areas of the entire denomination is raising up new leaders – both lay and clergy – to help make our churches more dynamic. To subscribe to the Advocate, call (804) 521-1110 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110; e-mail; or click here.

Older Adult Recognition Sunday to be observed in May
In April 2008, General Conference adopted legislation inviting congregations to celebrate Older Adult Recognition Day each year during the month of May. The 2006 Virginia Annual Conference had already voted to designate the first Sunday in May as Older Adult Recognition Sunday. On Older Adult Recognition Sunday, United Methodists are invited to show appreciation and support for older adults who continue to enrich and strengthen our faith communities. This Sunday should also call the church to action in addressing the needs of older adults in the congregation and community. Click here for suggestions for this year’s recognition Sunday, developed by the Conference Older Adult Council. Or go to, select “Ministries,” then “Age-Related Ministries,” then “Older Adults,” then “Older Adult Recognition Sunday.” Click here for additional resource materials on the General Board of Discipleship Web site.

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 …

Register 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 …

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. Steve 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.

Clergy to make pilgrimage to South Korea Oct. 26-Nov. 3
A group of clergy will travel to Bupyeong Methodist Church in Incheon, South Korea, Oct. 26-Nov. 3 under the co-leadership of the Rev. M. J. Kim, conference director of Asian Ministries, and the Rev. Young Jin Cho, Arlington District superintendent. Goal of the pilgrimage is spiritual renewal by experiencing contextual hands-on mission and ministry and by seeing the fruits of the seeds American missionaries planted a century ago. Trip is limited to 35 clergy. Room and board will be provided by the Bupyeong Methodist Church. Participants will be responsible for round-trip air fare. (As of March 17, cost was $1,425 without group discount from Korean Airlines.) For more information, e-mail the Rev. Won Un at or call (804) 929-0690. Deadline to register is May 15.

Church members gather at 1,000 sites for Leadership Summit webinar
United Methodists gathered at 1,000 sites around the world to participate in the Leadership Summit webcast on April 6. It was the first chance for many to hear how denominational leaders plan to carry out the recommendations in the Call to Action Steering Team’s final report to increase vital congregations. More …

United Methodists encouraged to watch Leadership Summit video online
The United Methodist Church Leadership Summit, webcast from Nashville, is archived at the Leadership Summit Web site. To watch, click on Watch Video. Viewers are encouraged to participate in the Leadership Summit Survey, which will remain available until 1 a.m. Eastern Time on April 10. A summary of findings will be posted on April 12 on the Leadership Summit Web site.

Petitions to General Conference now being accepted
From April 1 to Sept. 27, United Methodists can submit petitions for consideration by the 2012 General Conference, the denomination’s top legislative body. According to church law, “Any organization, clergy member, or lay member of The United Methodist Church may petition the General Conference … .” Instructions for submitting a petition are on the General Conference Web site. Petitions must be typed and may be submitted via e-mail to through the Web site, by mail or by fax. Deadline for petitions submitted by regular mail or fax is July 1, to allow time for transcription and translation. Petitions should indicate whether they have general church budget considerations. Mail petitions (hard copy accompanied, if possible, by digital version on diskette, CD or USB drive) to: Gary Graves, Petitions Secretary, United Methodist General Conference, P.O. Box 140, Rockfield, KY 42274, or, for delivery by FedEx, UPS, etc., to 2511 Richpond - Rockfield Road, Bowling Green, KY 42101.

April 12 webcast to highlight evangelism, church development
A live April 12 webcast will highlight United Methodist evangelism and new church development in more than a dozen countries around the world. The broadcast will originate from the spring meeting of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries in Stamford, Conn. The event can be viewed from 8:45 to 9:45 a.m. Eastern Time at

Trial of Wisconsin lesbian elder is delayed
The trial of the Rev. Amy Delong, lesbian clergywoman in Wisconsin, scheduled for April 11 at First United Methodist Church in Appleton, has been postponed. The original presiding officer, retired Bishop Bruce Blake, recused himself for personal reasons, and Wisconsin Area Bishop Linda Lee is in the process of selecting his replacement. A new date for the trial has not been set.

GBCS, Asbury Seminary announce religious freedom internship
The United Methodist General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) and Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Ky., have undertaken a joint effort to create an internship focused on religious freedom and building awareness about persecution of faith groups. The intern will write articles and create resource materials to help local churches understand and combat religious intolerance. More …

EcuFilm offers free shipping on ‘God, Why?’ small group study
Many are struggling with questioning God in the midst of the natural disasters recently experienced in Japan. EcuFilm’s God, Why? Small Group Study is now being offered with free shipping through June 15. Customers should use the promotion code “GODWHY” at checkout. This two-session small group study (DVD/CD and collection of resources) helps Christians better understand God's activity in the midst of natural disasters. Feelings of grief and a loss of a spiritual compass are expected when natural disasters strike. We ask questions that we all struggle to answer: Why would God allow such a terrible thing? Is this a sign of God's wrath? This important two-session resource, with accompanying study guide, helps people of faith through a myriad of emotions. Influential Christian leaders provide light for the journey to understand God's activity when natural disasters occur.

Hinton Rural Life Center has summer openings for volunteer groups
Hinton Rural Life Center has limited openings still available in its Summer Volunteer Mission schedule for groups who want a transformative service experience in rural Appalachia. A mission agency of The United Methodist Church, Hinton creates opportunities for work teams from all over the country to experience rich mountain culture, to serve with others in repairing or building homes with local families, and to grow in their understanding of faith in action. June 12-17 has openings for Senior High Youth groups. July 3-8 is now open for groups of all ages. Hinton Center is located in Hayesville, N.C., two hours from both Asheville, N.C., and Atlanta, Ga. For more information, go to or call (828) 389-8336 or toll-free 1-866-389-8336.

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.

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.

Festival of Wisdom and Grace to be Aug. 8-11 at Lake Junaluska
The 2011 Festival of Wisdom and Grace Conference, sponsored by Southeastern Jurisdiction Association of Older Adults, will be Aug. 8-11 at Lake Junaluska, N.C. Theme is “One in the Spirit: Age to Age Conversations.” Speakers will be Dr. Leonard Sweet, Dr. Evelyn Laycock, and Senior Research Engineer Brian Jones. Paul Saik and the Lake Junaluska Singers will provide music, and there will be seven outstanding workshops. Early bird registration deadline is June 1. More …

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 …

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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