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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 – June 20, 2011

Virginia United Methodists hold 229th session of Annual Conference
More than 3,350 clergy and laity from United Methodist churches across Virginia gathered at the Civic Center in Roanoke June 15-19 for the 229th session of the Virginia Annual Conference. Click here for daily news reports and more.

Virginia Conference elects 26 delegates to General Conference
Lay delegates elected to General Conference are Shirley Cauffman, Arlington; Darlene Amon, Suffolk; Ron Hardman, Williamsburg; Jim Branscome, Glen Allen; Nathaniel Bishop Christiansburg; Marshall Bailey, Midlothian; Martha Stokes, Glen Allen; David Brown, Falls Church; Susie Wolf, Kenbridge; Carol Gaston, Salem; Dot Ivey, Richmond; Larry Burian, Reedville; and Gene Mims, Petersburg. Clergy delegates to General Conference are Tom Berlin, Herndon; Beth Downs, Glen Allen; Clarence Brown, Annandale; Denise Honeycutt, Annandale; Rhonda VanDyke Colby, Winchester; Peter Moon, Midlothian; Tammy Estep, Parksley; Marc Brown, Glen Allen; Ted Smith, Stafford; Amanda Garber, Harrisonburg; Kirk Nave, Richmond; Young Jin Cho, Alexandria; and Brenda Biler, Charlottesville. Click here to view complete list of General Conference, Jurisdictional Conference and alternate delegates.

Conference mission celebration features children from Virginia, Brazil
Members of the Virginia Annual Conference sang and danced with a global rainbow of children during its mission celebration Thursday night. Children from the Henry Fork Service Center, Community Outreach Program in Roanoke and the Shade and Fresh Water Project in Brazil sang, danced and played recorders and drums. More...

Conference recognizes 41 retiring clergy
At the retirement service, 41 retiring clergy were recognized. Together they represented 1,170 years of service. More ...

Sam Wells, Dean of Duke Chapel, is conference preacher
Conference preacher the Rev. Dr. Sam Wells, Dean of Duke Chapel, preached on the indifference faced by persons doing Christian ministry, and the passive-aggressive behavior of many members of the typical congregation. "Click here to listen to his Friday morning sermon, "Shaking the Dust." Click here to listen to Dr. Wells' Saturday morning sermon, "Not Peace but a Sword." Click here to listen to his Ordination Service sermon, "Flogged and Dragged."

Alex Joyner preaches sermon for memorial service
A Service of Remembrance and Holy Communion was held Saturday evening for members and special guests. (Click here to listen to the service.) The Rev. Alex Joyner, pastor of Franktown UMC on the Eastern Shore, was the memorial service preacher. His sermon title was "A Love Song for All That Will Not Die." More ...

Ordination service licenses, commissions, ordains church leaders
At the Ordering of Ministry service, 25 persons were licensed as local pastors, one was received as an associate member, 20 were commissioned as provisional members, one was ordained as a deacon and 19 were ordained elders. More ...

Denman Award given to one youth, one layperson, one clergy
The Denman Evangelism Award was given to James Daniel Hiler (Youth Award) of Franktown UMC, Eastern Shore; Louise Jennings (Laity Award) of Vision of Hope UMC, Harrisonburg District, and director of Kingsway Prison and Family Outreach; and the Rev. David Lagerveld (Clergy Award), pastor for 17 years, the last five at McGaheysville UMC in the Harrisonburg District.

Thomas Kemper, GBGM head, leads Bible Study sessions
Thomas Kemper, a native of Germany and chief executive of the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM), was this year's Bible study leader. Click here to listen to Friday morning Bible study. Click here to listen to Saturday morning Bible study.

Members pass resolutions on variety of topics
Members passed resolutions on election of additional lay members, a call to fast and pray, priority of proclaiming Christ, support of “20/20: Visioning an AIDS-Free World,” peace­making efforts between Palestinians and Israelis, and honoring the 50th anniversary of the founding of Virginia Wesleyan College. They narrowly defeated a resolution affirming the retired bishops’ “Statement of Counsel to the Church” which urges a change in the Book of Discipline in regard to views on homosexuality and ordination of gays and lesbians.

$167,345 collected for Annual Conference Offering
To date, $167,345 has been collected for the Annual Conference Offering which will support leadership development in the United Methodist Church in Mozambique, Shade and Fresh Water programs in Brazil, Agape Christian Children’s Community Center on the Eastern Shore, and Shalom Zone: Grace Ministries in Roanoke. Contributions may still be sent to the Conference Treasurer's office, P.O. Box 5605, Glen Allen, VA 23058.

Nearly 53,000 kits collected for UMCOR
Virginia Conference churches brought 52,870 disaster relief kits for United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR): 27,148 health kits, 15,192 school kits, 3,723 layette kits, 648 sewing kits, 62 bedding packs, 854 cleaning buckets, 5,243 birthing kits. They also contributed 9,200 lbs. of canned food. More than 220 volunteers unloaded and bagged 39,000 pounds of potatoes that were delivered to 12 feeding agencies in Virginia and West Virginia.

DVDs of Annual Conference available for purchase
The Conference Communications office is selling DVDs of the Annual Conference session. Click here to download this year's DVD Order Form. Place orders by June 21 for best price.

Feedback requested on this year's Annual Conference
Your feedback on this year’s conference will help as plans are made for next year’s annual conference. Please e-mail your concerns, questions, or suggestions about the 2011 annual conference to by June 30 so they may be shared with the Annual Conference Planning Committee at its review meeting in early July. As a reminder, the 2012 Annual Conference will be held on June 22 – 24.

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. 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.” 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

‘All God’s Children Camp’ coming up in July, August
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. 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. Click here for more information or to register for August event. Click here for more information or to register for October event.

‘Launch’ offers weekend of rafting, hiking while exploring call to ministry
High School sophomores, juniors and seniors are invited to apply to participate in “Launch,” a weekend of rafting and hiking in the Appalachian Mountains while exploring a call to ministry Friday, Sept. 30 – Sunday, Oct. 2. Cost is $80 (includes rafting, lodging, food, and transportation during the event) payable upon selection to participate. Application deadline is Aug.1. Sponsored by the Spiritual Life Office at Shenandoah University and the Virginia Conference Board of Ordained Ministry. Click here for application form, informational flyer and more details.

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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