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To view a 2011 issue of the Virginia Conference e-Advocate, click on the date below:

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
Aug. 4, 2011

July 28, 2011
July 21, 2011
July 15, 2011
July 8, 2011

June 29, 2011
June 20, 2011
June 14, 2011
June 9, 2011
June 3, 2011 - Special Annual Conference Edition

May 27, 2011
May 20, 2011
May 11, 2011
May 6, 2011

April 26, 2011
April 18, 2011
April 8, 2011

March 31, 2011
March 25, 2011
March 17, 2011
March 9, 2011
March 2, 2011

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

Jan. 28, 2011
Jan. 20, 2011
Jan. 12, 2011
Jan. 6, 2011

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News from the Virginia Conference – May 27, 2011

Ashland District office manager dies suddenly
Marilyn Joyce “Lyn” Robeson, who had served as the Ashland District office manager since 1995, died suddenly while at work on May 19. Her funeral service was held Tuesday, May 24, at Wright’s Chapel UMC in Ladysmith with the Rev. Charles Tillapaugh officiating. Survivors include her husband of 36 years, Cleveland M. Robeson; two children, Theresa Borys and Edward Robeson; three sisters, a brother, and six grandchildren. The family requests memorial contributions be made to Wright's Chapel UMC, P.O. Box 193, Ladysmith, Va. 22501. Click here to sign a register book online.

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

Prayers, funding requested for Brazil representatives
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. The team will arrive in Virginia on June 11. Members of the Virginia Conference are invited to join in three weeks of prayer for this team as they prepare to travel, while they are in Virginia and after they return home. Prayer suggestions for each day of the three-week period June 5-25 can be found in a Prayer Calendar on the Virginia Conference Web site at Donations to support the expenses of our Brazilian guests are also appreciated. Checks should be made out to “VAUMC” or the “Virginia Conference of the UMC” and sent to Terri Biggins in the Mission and Global Justice Office, VAUMC, P.O. Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058. Write “AC Brazil Team” on the memo line. Even a $5 or $10 contribution will help to finance this once-in-a-lifetime experience for these children – and for the Virginia Conference.

‘Holy Rollers’ need driver for trip to Annual Conference
The “Holy Rollers” is a group of clergy and laity who each year ride bicycles to Annual Conference to draw attention to and encourage generous contributions to the Annual Conference offering. This year they will be riding from Ashland to Farmville on Monday, June 13; from Farmville to Hardy on Tuesday, June 14; and from Hardy into Roanoke for Annual Conference on Wednesday, June 15. The group needs a SAG (Support and Gear) driver. This is someone who drives a vehicle carrying food, water, and other cycling gear in support of the cyclists. SAGs are particularly important because the route is not marked on the road, and SAG drivers typically drive ahead of the cyclists and find the next turn. Rudimentary sleeping quarters will be provided in Ashland on Sunday night and in Farmville and Hardy. Some support may be provided for meals and gasoline. For more information, contact Barry Penn Hollar at

Volunteers needed to work video cameras at Annual Conference
The Virginia Conference Communications Board seeks volunteers to work the video cameras during Annual Conference. All camera operators must attend a training session on Wednesday afternoon, June 15, and will work in shifts throughout the conference sessions. If you have a desire to serve in this fun way, contact Betsey Davis at

June Advocate focuses on successful ministries that make a difference
The June issue of the award-winning Virginia United Methodist Advocate monthly newsmagazine looks at success stories of churches within the Virginia Conference that are making a difference in the community. These positive examples of God’s goodness are presented as idea stimulators, with the hope that every church in the conference could “Rethink Church” by developing new ministries – large and small – to their neighbors. To subscribe to the Advocate, call (804) 521-1110 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110; e-mail; or click here.

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.

Virginia United Methodist Credit Union has job opening
The Virginia United Methodist Credit Union in Glen Allen is seeking a Credit Union Specialist to answer phones, open accounts, process transactions including deposits, loan payments and cash handling, process ACH and share draft payments and returns and other duties. For details, visit the Virginia Conference Web site at

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 actors representing President George Washington and Governor Patrick Henry. 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

Early Response Training to be offered June 25
When tornadoes, floods, hurricanes and ice storms bring destruction to our region, you can be prepared to help. The Virginia Conference and United Methodist Committee on Relief are offering Early Response Disaster Training 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 25, at Thalia United Methodist Church, 4321 Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach. Cost is $50 and covers background check, Virginia Conference badge, T-shirt, ERT manual and lunch. To register, contact Michele Michaelian at or (757) 642-1571.

Register now 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. Children 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. A gift of $350 will send one child to camp. For more information, contact Casey Torrence, director of All God’s Children Camp, at (804) 521-1138 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 138, or e-mail

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.

Churches help storm-weary heartland
Just two days after the deadliest tornado in U.S. records devastated Joplin, Mo., another line of twisters battered Oklahoma, Kansas, Arkansas and Texas. As in Missouri, United Methodists in the most recently pummeled states are doing what they can to pick up the pieces. They are providing neighbors with emergency provisions, salvaging whatever they can and joining together to pray and mourn lost loved ones. More …

Call issued for choirs to apply to sing at General Conference
United Methodist choirs and ensemble groups from around the world may now audition online for an invitation to perform at the 2012 General Conference, The United Methodist Church’s top legislative assembly which meets in Tampa, Fla., April 24-May 4, 2012. To apply for an invitation to General Conference, choirs and ensembles are asked to submit a letter of application to, including a brief bio and a YouTube video link of the group performing. Deadline for applications is July 31. Invited choirs will perform at lunch and during evening worship at General Conference. Choirs are responsible for their own expenses.

2011 State of the Church report available online
The 2011 State of the Church report, an eight-page document containing summary information about the Four Areas of Focus and the Call to Action recommendations, as well as worldwide statistics on United Methodist membership, clergy and episcopal leaders, annual conferences and local churches, is now available online. The report is issued jointly by the Council of Bishops, the Connectional Table and the General Council on Finance and Administration. To view the report as a PDF online, visit: To order free printed copies, contact United Methodist Communications customer service center at or by phone at 1-888-346-3862. The data can also be viewed on the 2011 State of the Church Web site 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, N.C. 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 Nkula Ntambo 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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