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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 29, 2011

Bishop Kammerer offers thanks for cards, notes, calls, flowers, prayers
Bishop Charlene Kammerer wants to thank everyone for all the expressions of care and the many prayers that have been lifted up for her renewed health. She is grateful for the shower of cards that arrived from the Annual Conference, the flowers, notes and calls. She remains symptom free and is working on getting her strength back. The final word from the lab results is that the typhoid shot was the culprit. Bishop Kammerer is also very grateful for the wonderful presiding of Bishop Tim Whitaker for the 2011 Annual Conference.

Bishop Kammerer is on renewal leave until Labor Day
Bishop Charlene Kammerer is on renewal leave until Labor Day. All United Methodist bishops are mandated to take a renewal leave once a quadrennium. The leaves are approved by the College of Bishops and the respective areas on episcopacy. Bishop Al Gwinn of the North Carolina area, in Raleigh, N.C., is covering for Bishop Kammerer during her leave. Protocols are in place within the conference in regard to ongoing needs of the episcopal office.

Virginia Conference offices to close early on summer Fridays
The Conference Council on Finance and Administration and the Common Table approved closing offices in the Virginia United Methodist Center in Glen Allen at 12:30 p.m. on Fridays June 24 through Sept. 2 in appreciation of the hard work and dedication of the conference staff. Conference Center doors will lock at 1 p.m. and the phone will roll to night mode at 12:30 p.m. on Fridays. After Labor Day (Sept. 5), conference offices will resume normal business hours, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Volunteers needed for tornado recovery projects in Virginia
United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) teams are needed for tornado recovery projects in Pulaski and Washington counties. Currently there are nine projects ready to proceed – five roof repair jobs and four rebuilds. More projects will be added in the coming weeks. If you are interested in serving in this area of need, contact Julie Warren, Virginia Conference UMVIM coordinator, at (817) 975-9216 or

$175,932 collected for Annual Conference Offering
To date, $175,932.15 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.

$9,397 collected for Chaplain Service Prison Ministry
A total of $9,397 was collected in a spontaneous offering from Annual Conference members who came forward to the altar to give donations to the Chaplain Service Prison Ministry of Virginia, Inc. In addition, $5,384 was collected for the Youth Service Fund.

List of music used at Annual Conference available on Web site
Jim Bennett, this year’s music leader at Annual Conference, has been receiving inquiries about the music/songs used during the conference session. Click here to download the list from the Virginia Conference Web site.

Brazilian children’s visit to Virginia posted on Brazil church Web site
Coverage of the Brazilian children’s visit to the Virginia Annual Conference has been posted on the Igreja Metodista em Brasil Web site at You can get a rough English translation by clicking on "English" in the upper right hand corner.

DVDs of Annual Conference available for purchase
The Conference Communications office is selling DVDs of the 2011 Annual Conference session. Click here to download this year's DVD Order Form.

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 June 22 – 24 in Roanoke.

Renfro Trust grant applications due by Aug. 22
Applications are now being accepted for grants from the Renfro Trust, a fund to support construction on new or existing United Methodist church buildings in rural areas within the Southeastern Jurisdiction. Completed applications must be sent to the Mission and Global Justice Office, Virginia United Methodist Conference, P.O. Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058 no later than Aug. 22. Click here for more information or contact the Mission and Global Justice Office at (804) 521-1144, or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 144, or e-mail

Register now for this summer’s ‘Helping Hands’ children’s 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.

VUMAC Board to host July 8 reception honoring Cammie Armstrong
The Board of Directors of Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) in Blackstone invites everyone to a reception at VUMAC at 6 p.m. Friday, July 8, honoring Cammie Armstrong, who served as executive director for the past six years and is retiring effective July 1. As she loves the beach and will be spending much time there with her grandchildren, the dress for her retirement celebration will be "beachy casual." Cost is $17 per person. RSVP to (434) 292-5308.

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. An Arts and Crafts Leader is needed for the July 31-Aug. 5 session at Camp Highroad in Middleburg. The leader would plan activities for 40 campers and assist groups of campers throughout the week. Overnight stay is preferred, but schedule can be flexible if needed. If you can help, contact on-site director Dawn Skinner at
     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. Registration deadline is Aug. 8. Click here for more information or to register for October event. Registration deadline is Oct. 3.

‘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.

Jury votes to suspend Wisconsin pastor for 20 days
For the first time in 20 years, a conviction for performing a same-sex union has not resulted in a United Methodist elder's defrocking or indefinite suspension. Instead, after seven hours of deliberations, a jury of 13 United Methodist clergy voted 9-4 to suspend the Rev. Amy DeLong from her ministerial functions for 20 days beginning July 1. The jury, or trial court, also sentenced DeLong to a more detailed process for a year after her suspension to "restore the broken clergy covenant relationship." More …

Agency looking for a few (million) good men
The average Protestant church has 39% men and 61% women, according to a study of congregations in the United States. No one believes we have too many women, but many congregations want to find ways to reach the 69 million men who don’t attend any church. More …

Freeman retires as head of World Methodist Council
The world was a "fragile" place when the Rev. George Freeman assumed staff leadership of the World Methodist Council a decade ago. Today, as Freeman, a 64-year-old pastor from the Virginia Conference, prepares to retire, the council's 74 members, representing more than 132 countries, have strengthened their bonds and are looking to the future. More …

Free self-study curriculum to train local church Christian education staff
A self-study curriculum designed to help local church staff members obtain a sound foundation in Christian formation and education ministry is now available free of charge from the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD). The Local Church Discipler/Educator Professional Development curriculum is a six-module learning experience for anyone hired by local churches to fill positions related to Christian formation and education. More …

General Board of Pension and Health Benefits to hold public forum
The United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits will hold a public forum at 11:45 a.m. July 15 at the agency headquarters,1901 Chestnut Ave. in Glenview, Ill. Anyone who wishes to address the board may do so. To register, contact Colette Nies by July 1 by calling 1-800-269-2244, ext. 4296, or send an e-mail to

Religious leaders ask president to end Afghanistan war
Nearly 40 religious leaders – including United Methodists Jim Winkler, Board of Church and Society, and the Rev. Stephen J. Sidorak Jr., Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns – sent a letter to President Obama ahead of a June 22 televised speech in which he announced U.S. troop withdrawals from Afghanistan."It is time to bring the U.S. war in Afghanistan to an end," the open letter said. Click here for complete text of letter and list of signers.

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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