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Dec. 16, 2011
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Nov. 18, 2011
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Aug. 26, 2011
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June 29, 2011
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May 27, 2011
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April 26, 2011
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March 31, 2011
March 25, 2011
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Feb. 25, 2011
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News from the Virginia Conference – May 20, 2011

Churches asked to participate in ‘All Things New’ campaign by June 12
Each Virginia Conference church has been sent a letter from Bishop Charlene Kammerer and a supply of All Things New” brochures for distribution to congregation members. These brochures, along with the videos on a DVD sent to each church Feb. 1, are resources for churches to use as part of the “All Things New” fundraising campaign.
     In addition, weekly stories from new faith communities will be posted on the conference Web site and e-mailed to pastors for inclusion in bulletins or worship announcements until June 12.
     PLEASE NOTE: By Pentecost Sunday, June 12, each congregation is asked to receive gifts and pledges for “All Things New” and send any gifts and pledge information to Becki Stokes in the Conference Treasurer's office. Gifts and pledges should NOT be brought to Annual Conference, but the amounts reported to the Treasurer’s office will be announced and celebrated during the Annual Conference session in Roanoke. Receipt of these gifts and pledges will conclude the financial campaign for “All Things New” approved by the 2009 Annual Conference. Questions about this invitation for financial support or “All Things New” may be directed to Marc Brown, conference director of Connectional Ministries, at

2011 Annual Conference News:

·    Information, agenda for Annual Conference now posted on Web
The 2011 Virginia Annual Conference session will be held June 15-19 at the Civic Center in Roanoke. Theme of the conference is “Being Christ to Others: Snapshots of the Kingdom.” Information about this year’s session, including an agenda, is available on the conference Web site at

·    Live streaming of Annual Conference available on Web site
Live streaming of the 2011 Virginia Annual Conference session will be available, beginning at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 15, from the Virginia Conference Web site, The live streaming will show all sessions of the five-day session, including worship beginning at 11:15 a.m. Sunday, June 19. Bishop Charlene Kammerer will preach. Local churches may show the live video of the Annual Conference worship service during their Sunday morning worship services.

·    Annual Conference offering to fund four mission projects
The 2011 Annual Conference offering goal is $200,000 and will benefit four mission projects: Mozambique – Leadership Development/Living Well Society: $50,000; Brazil – Shade and Fresh Water/John Wesley Medical Boat: $50,000; Agape Christian Children’s Community Center, Inc. – Eastern Shore: $50,000; and Shalom Zone: Grace Ministries – Roanoke: $50,000. Click here to download an information flyer (pdf). Click here to download a black and white bulletin insert (pdf). Click here to download a color bulletin insert (pdf).

·    Children from Brazil to be at Annual Conference
A team of 13 children, ages 11-14, and four adults from one of the Shade and Fresh Water projects in Brazil will be featured guests at the Thursday, June 16, evening mission celebration during Annual Conference. More …

·    Churches asked to bring mission photos to Annual Conference
In celebration of the Virginia Conference special mission culture, there will be a mission worship/celebration on Thursday evening, June 16, at Annual Conference. The design team for that event is asking the delegation from each church to bring two 8 x10 photos that represent “Snapshots of the Kingdom” showing what their church is doing in mission. Those photos will be a part of the worship experience and then will be displayed in an exhibit in the Special Events Center for the duration of the conference. Photos need not be professional and can even be printed on printer paper. Name of the church and what mission activity is represented should be indicated on the photo. If you have questions, contact the conference office of Mission and Global Justice at or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 144, or (804) 521-1144.

·    Singers needed for Annual Conference singing group
Singers are invited to join a singing group, to be known as The Whoever Singers (John 3:16), to help lead singing for worship throughout the Annual Conference session. Laity or clergy members of Annual Conference, spouses and others who want to come only to sing for worship are all invited. Volunteers may sing for the whole event or one day. No auditions are needed. Ages middle school through adult and all skill levels are welcome. (Younger children welcome if shepherded by an adult singer.) Participants may sing in parts or melody, and will be singing hymns, psalms, gospel, praise songs, jazz, songs from around the world and more. Enlivening and enriching the singing will be a band of musicians — drums, percussion, piano, keyboard, guitar, bass and saxophone. The music will sometimes be familiar and sometimes new. Singers will receive the titles ahead of time to learn at your own pace. The choir will meet in Roanoke for one rehearsal. Those who cannot attend the rehearsal (TBA) are still invited to sing. There is still time to sign up. Go to

·    Annual Conference members urged to bring ‘4 Cans 4 Conference’
Each clergy and lay member of Annual Conference is encouraged to bring ‘4 Cans 4 Conference,’ canned goods or boxed dry foods for the Southwestern Virginia (SW-VA) Food Bank in Roanoke. Requested are: one can of vegetables or fruit, one can of meat or fish, one can of soup or stew and one can with a pop-top. In addition, there is a need for cereal (hot, cold, or instant), peanut butter and jelly, cooking oils, dry preparation aids (like Hamburger Helper, pasta, etc.), flour, sauces, etc. As you are able, please bring your 4 Cans in recyclable grocery bags, rather than plastic bags. Please do not bring home-canned items, out-of-date cans, glass jars, damaged cans, fresh fruits/veggies, or already-opened or partially used supplies. For more information, contact the Rev. Jim Earley,

·    Kits for UMCOR to be collected at Annual Conference
Various types of Relief Supply Kits will be collected at the 2011 Virginia Annual Conference session. Kit collection is being conducted to replenish the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) supply. Local churches are encouraged to collect items for any of the most requested UMCOR kits — Health Kits, School Kits, Baby/Layette Kits and Birthing Kits — and bring them to Annual Conference for delivery to UMCOR’s Sager Brown Depot. Click here for instructions. UMCOR has issued a special call for more cleaning buckets (formerly known as flood buckets). Click here for information about assembling cleaning buckets.

·    Potato Drop to be at 5:30 a.m. Friday, June 17
The Virginia Conference Board of Global Ministries and the Society of St. Andrew are co-sponsoring a Potato Drop at 5:30 a.m. Friday, June 17, in Parking Lot A of the Roanoke Civic Center. This is the northeast corner of the parking lot facing Orange Ave. and Sheetz. Volunteers are needed to help bag and load more than 20 tons of donated potatoes to be picked up by regional food banks, church pantries, soup kitchens and other local feeding agencies. Bagging is expected to be completed before 7:30 a.m. For more information, contact Sara Ramey at 1-800-333-4597.

·    Blood Drive to be held Friday, June 17
An American Red Cross Blood Drive will be held in the Special Events Center 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, June 17. To make an appointment to give blood, go to and enter pass code 0356.

·    Pictorial directory photos to be taken Thursday, June 16
The Virginia Conference will publish a 2011 supplement to the 2009 Pictorial Directory of the Virginia Conference Ministry. Olan Mills Portrait Studios will have a booth among the exhibits in the Special Events Center at Annual Conference from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday, June 16, to take photos of clergy, local pastors, diaconal ministers, certified professionals, those serving as pastoral supply, retired bishops and conference staff who DID NOT have a picture taken last year or in 2009, including those newly commissioned. If your picture is already in the 2009 directory or the 2010 supplement, it is NOT necessary for a new photo to be taken. For more information, contact Linda Rhodes, director of Communications, at (804) 521-1111 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 111.

·    Monitors needed for 2011 Annual Conference sessions
The conference Commissions on Disabilities, Ethnic Minority Concerns and Advocacy, and Status and Role of Women will jointly monitor 2011 Annual Conference sessions. The ministry of monitoring raises awareness of how effectively all people are involved in full and equal participation in the life and mission of the Church. Goal of monitoring is to advocate gender, racial and age-level inclusiveness in the Conference’s decision-making process. Volunteers are needed to serve in this ministry. Those who are interested should be attentive to details and willing to observe at least one session of Annual Conference. All those willing to be part of this ministry must attend training on Wednesday, June 15, from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Roanoke Civic Center. A light meal will be provided. You do not have to be a member of Annual Conference to serve as a monitor. If you are interested in serving, contact Iris Smith at For more information, contact Martha Stokes, director of Leadership and Inclusivity, at, 1-800-768-6040, ext. 154, or (804) 521-1154.

·    Volunteers needed to do computer-assisted note taking
Individuals are needed who can offer their time and talent in communicating the spoken word to persons who need computer-assisted note taking during Annual Conference. Assistance is needed to type text of reports, worship and music using Microsoft Word, at times as the speaker is presenting. Good typing speed and accuracy is a must. Individuals are needed for all sessions for shifts of one hour or longer. More information is available from the office of Leadership and Inclusivity at 1-800-768-6040, ext. 154, or (804) 521-1154, or by e-mail to

·    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.

·    Learn about lay nominees for General, Jurisdictional Conferences
Click here to download pdf file of booklet of laity nominees for delegates to General Conference and Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference. An opportunity to meet the lay nominees for General and Jurisdictional Conferences will be held in the Special Events Center at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday, June 15, following the Laity Session.

·    Virtual Annual Conference promotional packet to be offered online
In an effort to be good stewards of the environment and financial resources of the conference, the Annual Conference packet again will be in a virtual format. The Virtual Promo Packet will be available on the Virginia Conference Web site at beginning June 1.

Justin Allen named Shenandoah University dean of spiritual life
The Rev. Dr. Justin Allen was named dean of spiritual life and director of the Institute for Church Professions at Shenandoah University. He replaces the Rev. Dr. Rhonda VanDyke Colby, who was named vice president of student life in February. A native Virginian, Allen is an ordained elder in the Virginia Conference. Following pastoral assignments in Virginia and Tennessee, Allen served five years as director of the Wesley Foundation at the University of Memphis where he gained a reputation for effectively communicating the Christian faith while honoring and respecting persons of other faith perspectives. More …

Peace with Justice Sunday to be observed on June 19
Peace with Justice Sunday, one of The United Methodist Church’s six churchwide Special Sundays with offering, is celebrated on June 19, the first Sunday after Pentecost. Peace with Justice Sunday enables The United Methodist Church to have a voice in advocating for peace and justice through a broad spectrum of global programs. The annual conference keeps 50% of the receipts for Peace with Justice ministries in the conference. The remaining 50% is used for Peace with Justice ministries related to the General Board of Church & Society. Click here to order free offering materials. Click here to download a pdf of a pastor’s guide to United Methodist Special Sundays. Click here to read additional stories of lives changed by Peace with Justice Sunday.

Data about college students to be entered online by July 15
In order for campus ministers and chaplains to make connections with students who are attending each institution, it is essential to obtain updated information each year. Collegiate data is collected by the office of Higher Education Ministries and passed on to each campus minister or chaplain. Last year the process was simplified through online reporting. At the same time, the type of information being gathered was enhanced. The process is now completely paper-free. In addition, anyone can complete the data entry – pastors, youth directors, volunteer youth workers, parents, students, etc. Go to to enter the site. Submit this information online by July 15 so campus ministers and chaplains have time to contact students before their arrival on campus. If you are receiving a new appointment, please ensure that the information is submitted before you move.

Georgia church supports Virginia Brazil initiative
Tuckston United Methodist Church in Athens, Ga., made a generous contribution toward the expenses of the Brazil Shade and Fresh Water team that will attend the Virginia Conference in Roanoke in June. Tuckston UMC has a long history of support for this ministry of the Brazil Methodist Church with at-risk children and wanted to help them secure funds to make this trip possible. The Brazil team, composed of 13 children ages 11-14 and four adults, will arrive in Virginia on June 11. They will spend time in northern Virginia and Harrisonburg before traveling to Roanoke to participate in the Thursday night Mission Celebration and other Annual Conference activities. Virginia churches and individuals who would like to contribute to the expenses of bringing our Brazilian partners in mission to Virginia may send contributions to the Mission and Global Justice Office, VAUMC, P.O. Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058. Checks should be made out to “VAUMC” with "AC Brazil Team" on the memo line.

Rising Hope UMC to be featured in Sojourners magazine
Rising Hope United Methodist Mission Church will be featured in the June issue of Sojourners magazine, a monthly publication of the Washington-based Christian social justice organization. The article outlines the many ministries of the church to homeless and others in need along the Route 1 corridor in Fairfax County. “We’re a small church with a big mission,” pastor Keary Kincannon tells the article’s author, Ed Spivey Jr. “We’re very clear on the path of our ministry to people. They come here hungry, poorly clothed and often homeless. They come with immediate needs and we try to meet them.” Kincannon also writes about the 15 years of ministry at Rising Hope in the June edition of the Virginia Advocate, the Virginia Conference’s award-winning monthly magazine. Click here to subscribe.

Westview on James to host music festival, 5K run
Westview on the James, a United Methodist camp in Goochland, will host a music festival and 5K run on June 4 to raise money for its Annual Fund. Shalom Farm at Westview is one of the sponsors and will be open for visits. To register for the 5K race visit To buy tickets to the music festival or to learn more about the event, go to

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 …

Gov. McDonnell to speak at June 11 VUMAC Founders Day dinner
Gov. Robert McDonnell will deliver an inaugural Founders Day address titled “Faith of Our Founding Fathers” on Saturday, June 11, at a colonial style dinner at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) in Blackstone. His address will be followed by a debate between renowned PBS interpreters for President George Washington and Governor Patrick Henry. A hearty Southern breakfast will be available Sunday morning for guests spending Saturday night at VUMAC. Bishop Hasbrouck Hughes will deliver the June 12 Sunday morning message. For more information, call (434) 292-5308 or e-mail

Registration open for ‘Helping Hands’ children mission events
“Helping Hands,” a Virginia Conference children's mission event, will be held in four locations around the conference this summer. This event offers rising 4th- through 6th-graders a hands-on opportunity to do mission work. Kids from all over the conference join together as one "United" Methodist church making a difference in the community. The four locations are: Main Street UMC, Waynesboro area, Thursday, July 7 - Friday, July 8; Woodlake UMC, Richmond area, Thursday, July 21 - Friday, July 22; Williamsburg UMC, Williamsburg area, Monday, July 25 - Tuesday, July 26; and The Stand UMC, Petersburg area, Friday, July 29 - Saturday, July 30. Woodlake will offer an optional early start time to include on additional mission opportunity. Cost is $36 per person and includes a T-shirt, meals and snacks and overnight stay. Online and mail-in registration is now available. Go to then click on “Event Calendar,” then the date of the event you wish to attend. Direct questions to Beth Christian at or call (804) 739-4535, ext. 28.

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.

‘All God’s Children Camp’ dates, locations announced for 2011
At “All God’s Children Camp” children, ages 7 to 12, who have an incarcerated mother or father, spend a week at camp, participating in activities such as boating, swimming, hiking, archery, music, crafts, Bible study, and conflict resolution. Partnering with Virginia United Methodist camps, All God’s Children Camp provides a week of sanctuary for children who face many challenges in their lives, including economic poverty, temporary living conditions, loneliness, low self-esteem, violence and drugs. 2011 camp dates and locations are July 31-Aug. 5 Camp Highroad in Middleburg; Aug. 7-12 Westview on the James in Goochland; Aug. 14-19 Occohannock on the Bay in Belle Haven. Click here to find out how you can support All God’s Children Camp by sending a child to camp, providing supplies, mentoring, volunteering, etc.

LEAD training for youth will be Aug. 5-14 in Roanoke
Registration is now open for LEAD, the new leadership training event for Virginia Conference youth that will replace the former YAC/VUMDYLA. LEAD will be Aug. 5-14 at the Salvation Army in Roanoke. Local churches and District Youth Councils are invited to select 3-5 youths who are willing to commit to this nine-day leadership immersion experience and a covenant action plan to enact newly-developed leadership skills in their districts and local communities upon return. The purpose of this event is to be more intentional about the denominational area of focus to develop principled Christian leaders for the church and world. More …

Middle School Mission Weekends set for Aug. 19-21, Oct. 14-16
Middle School Mission Weekends will be Aug. 19-21 and Oct. 14-16 at Westview on the James, United Methodist camp in Goochland. Run by the Jeremiah Project, Middle School Mission is a great opportunity to engage middle school students in mission for a weekend and help them understand what it means to be the hands and feet of Christ in their communities. Cost is $115 per participant. Click here for more information or to register for August event. Click here for more information or to register for October event.

Bishop’s Convocation on Immigration to be held Oct. 1
A Bishop’s Convocation focusing on a faith-based response to the issues surrounding immigration will be held Saturday, Oct. 1, at Grace UMC in Manassas. In her “Grace Notes” column in the April 2010 Virginia United Methodist Advocate, Bishop Charlene Kammerer wrote: “Regardless of our political beliefs about immigration, the consistent message of Old and New Testament Scripture invites us to embrace the sojourner and stranger in our midst.” Plan to join Bishop Kammerer and the Commission on Ethnic Minority Concerns and Advocacy on Oct. 1. More information will be available soon.

Presbyterian Church approves ordination of gay clergy
A majority of the 173 presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have approved a change in the denomination’s ordination standards that will permit the ordination of gay clergy. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), a frequent United Methodist ecumenical partner, joins the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Episcopal Church and the United Church of Christ among mainline Protestant denominations that permit the ordination of gays and lesbians. Efforts to change United Methodist ordination standards have repeatedly failed at General Conference, the denomination’s top legislative assembly. More …

Is the end coming this weekend?
Many people are using the prediction that May 21 is Judgment Day as an excuse to party and put R.E.M.'s 1987 hit "It's the End of the World as We Know It" on repeat. Still, end-times predictions are generally no laughing matter, say scholars and church leaders. More …

Slideshow offers highlights from Change the World 2011
United Methodists from around the world shared photos from their efforts during Change the World 2011 on May 14-15. Click here to view a slideshow that offers some of the images from the weekend. Among other activities, church members planted community gardens, built houses, collected food, prepared disaster-relief supplies and brightened the days of strangers.

GBOD offers free webinar for churches changing pastors
A free webinar for churches changing pastors, “Good-by and Hello: When the Pastor Changes,” will be offered Thursday, May 26, at 7:30 p.m. (Eastern time) by the Leadership Ministries division of the United Methodist General Board of Discipleship (GBOD). Register for this free webinar at

Native American Summer Conference to be June 24-26 at Lake Junaluska
The Native American Summer Conference, “Trail of Hope: Leaders for the Future,” will be held June 24-26 at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. According to Cathy Nelson, interim director of the Southeastern Jurisdictional Agency on Native American Ministries (SEJANAM), the goal of the conference is “ to affirm our Trail of Hope as American Indian people using Native American Spirituality and cultural traditions to train leaders, uphold biblical truths and refresh the gospel of Jesus Christ.” Featured Native American speaker and leader for the conference is Ray Buckley (Lakota /Tlingit), interim director of the Center for Native American Spirituality and Christian Study. For more information, call Anne Bridges at (828) 454-6697 or e-mail More …

SoulFeast spiritual life event to be July 10-14 at Lake Junaluska
Are you in search of experiences and relationships that will nourish your soul? Don’t miss SoulFeast, the most fantastic spiritual life event you can attend, July 10-14 at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina. Early Bird Registration ends June 10. More …

African-American preaching summit to be July 13-15 at Lake Junaluska
“The Foolishness of Preaching: Words that Transform the World” will be the theme for the first-ever African-American preaching summit to be held July 13-15 at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center. The event will bring together African-American clergy to explore and experience effective sermon preparation, powerful preaching and worship as practiced by outstanding African-American preachers in The United Methodist Church. (1.3 CEUs available) For more information and registration details visit

Brown, Briggs, Merry to lead seminar at Lake Junaluska Aug. 7-9
Lake Junaluska’s Aug. 7-9 Transformational Leadership Conference, "Fishing on the Right Side of the Boat," will be led by the Rev. Marc Brown, Virginia Conference director of Connectional Ministries; Kathy Merry, former corporate executive and current organizational effectiveness consultant; and the Rev. John Briggs, retired business executive and pastor of Powhatan United Methodist Church. Based on the Leader’s Guide and Bible Study from Does Your Church Have a Prayer? In Mission Toward the Promised Land, the seminar will help participants learn and discuss biblical and organizational principles of congregational transformation and the characteristics of transformational leaders. Content of this seminar is appropriate for annual conference, district and local church leaders who seek to move their congregations from maintenance to mission. Click here for more information or to register, or call (828) 454-6656.

Festival of Wisdom and Grace to be at Lake Junaluska Aug. 8-11
The Southeastern Jurisdiction Association of Older Adults will host the Festival of Wisdom and Grace at Lake Junaluska Aug. 8-11. This year’s theme is “One in the Spirit: Age to Age Conversations.” The event is designed for older adults as well as for persons working with older adults in their congregations. Dr. Leonard Sweet will be the conference preacher. Evelyn Laycock, former director of the Lay Ministry Center at Lake Junaluska, will be Bible study teacher. Brian Jones will lead the professional track on technologies to support aging-in-place. More …

Exploration ’11 to help young adults explore call to ministry Nov. 11-13
Some young person you know needs to hear about Exploration '11, scheduled for Nov. 11-13 in St. Louis. Exploration '11 is designed to help young adults 18- to 26-years old explore what ministry in The United Methodist Church looks like and connect with resources to respond to God's call in their lives. A previous Exploration event was part of the journey to ordination for the Rev. Jessica Fuller, a deacon serving at Crozet UMC. She will attend Exploration '11 as a representative from the Virginia Conference and will be glad to talk with anyone interested in attending. Information on the event is available online at

Nov. 13-15 Peace Conference to examine poverty’s roots
A former presidential nominee and a prominent anti-poverty advocate are slated to speak at the Nov. 13-15 Lake Junaluska Peace Conference, “Poverty, Abundance and Peace.” Speakers will include George McGovern, a United Methodist, former U.S. senator and 1972 Democratic presidential nominee; the Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, a United Methodist partner agency, and United Methodist Bishop NkulaNtambo of the Katanga Conference in the Democratic Republic of 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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