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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 – July 28, 2011

$190,628 collected for Annual Conference Offering
To date, $190,628 has been collected toward the $200,000 goal 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. Designate “Fund #5500 – Annual Conference Offering” at the bottom of your apportionment statement.

Advocate subscription promotional materials to be e-mailed to churches
This year, in order to save on mailing expenses, all lists of names of local church Virginia United Methodist Advocate newsmagazine subscribers and Advocate subscription promotional materials will be e-mailed to churches for use in the late summer Advocate subscription campaign. Please e-mail or Peggy Cribbs in the conference Communications office with notification of the e-mail address to which these materials should be sent.

Printed copies of Journal must be ordered by Aug. 15
This year Annual Conference approved making the 2011 Virginia Annual Conference Journal available by posting it on the conference Web site,, as a pdf file. Printed copies or CDs will NOT automatically be sent to local churches or pastors. The Journal may be purchased on CD at a cost of $10. A printed copy of the Journal may be purchased for $25. Orders of printed copies must be made by Aug. 15, and payment must be made at the time the order is placed. Only a small quantity of Journals will be printed and distributed as required by the Book of Discipline, to district offices, conference offices and those purchasing copies before the Aug. 15 deadline. To order a CD or printed copy, contact Peggy Cribbs in the conference Communications office at, 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110, or (804) 521-1110.

Churches to receive Labor Day offering for ICM on Sept. 4
Sunday, Sept. 4, has been designated by the Virginia Conference as a Sunday when local churches in the conference are encouraged to receive a Labor Day offering for Industrial & Commercial Ministries (ICM). ICM trains and places volunteer chaplains in assigned workplaces to serve as "a caring presence" sharing the love of God with working men and women. ICM chaplains are an extension of the local church, reaching thousands of men and women, churched and unchurched, each week, making a difference in the lives of people in their own community through effective referrals and a listening ear. To order brochures and offering envelopes, e-mail, call (540) 432-1919 or visit the ICM Web site:

September is National Hunger Action Month
Around the world, almost 1 billion people don’t have enough food to eat. Even in the United States, more than 40 million people go hungry. September is National Hunger Action Month — a good time for your church to consider the reality of hunger in our world, and to study and pray for solutions. The Society of St. Andrew, a national food rescue and distribution agency headquartered in Virginia, has prepared materials to help you in your worship and study preparation. For Hunger Action Month materials, visit For a six-unit Bible study on hunger, see “The Fast I Choose” at

Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off Sept. 15
Hispanic Heritage month kicks off Sept. 15, and Rethink Church will offer resources to assist the dialogue in worship, Sunday school and community gatherings. The resources, which will be available for download beginning Aug. 15, are designed to educate, connect and motivate. The Hispanic Heritage package will include videos that can be used in Sunday school or worship as sermon illustrations, study material for Sunday schools or neighborhood Bible studies, and informational pieces to help start a new understanding of immigration. More …

Clergy invited to participate in ‘Healthy Monday’ pilot wellness program
Active and retired clergy and their spouses who are enrolled in any of the Virginia Conference health plans are invited to participate in a one-year pilot program called “Healthy Monday.” The program is scheduled to begin mid-September and is made possible by a collaboration among Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Virginia Conference Wellness Ministries and Anthem. “Healthy Monday” will offer participants a weekly prompt to help start and sustain healthy behaviors. The program will include weekly Monday tips tailored to personal health goals, plus an assortment of programs, activities and suggestions designed to promote exercise, good nutrition and other healthy behaviors. There is no cost to participate. For more information or to enroll, e-mail

Young Adult UMVIM team in Brazil describes trip on blog
Follow the Virginia Conference Young Adult United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) Team as they work with and build relationships with young adults in Brazil. They have set up a blog to describe their activities at

Heart Havens office moves to south side of Richmond
The corporate office of Heart Havens is now located on the south side of Richmond at 812 Moorefield Park Drive, Suite 301, Richmond, VA 23236. Phone numbers remain the same: Main, (804) 237-6097; Toll-free, 1-877-442-8368; Fax, (804) 237-6098. Web address is You can also visit Heart Havens’ Facebook page. Heart Havens is a conference-related residential services provider for adults with intellectual disabilities. If your group or church would like a speaker from Heart Havens to share its mission with your members, call Pat Maehr in the Development Office, 1-877-442-8368.

UMFS seeks Volunteer Coordinator
UMFS (formerly United Methodist Family Services) in Richmond is seeking a Volunteer Coordinator to coordinate, oversee and evaluate the development and ongoing implementation of a creative and innovative comprehensive volunteer program to enhance the mission and vision of UMFS, Charterhouse Schools and Guardian Place while increasing community visibility and cultivating key relationships. This position is responsible for the identification, cultivation, recruitment, training, supervision, support, and recognition of individual and group volunteers. Click here for complete job description and to apply.

LEAD training for youth will be Aug. 5-14 in Roanoke
Registration deadline is Aug. 3 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 …

Disaster response ‘Care Team’ training to be held Aug. 13
Training for disaster response spiritual and emotional “Care Team” members will be offered 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 13, at Baylake UMC in Norfolk. Cost is $35 to cover materials, background check, lunch and snacks. Disaster response “Care Teams” are faith-based, ongoing teams with standardized United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) training that provide spiritual and emotional care following disasters. Deployed through their conference Disaster Response coordinators, Care Teams provide support, information and referral for a holistic disaster recovery and help disaster survivors connect with their personal, community, spiritual, emotional and basic life resources. United Methodist Care Teams comply with standards set by National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. For more information, contact Michele Michaelian, Virginia Conference Early Response Teams (ERT) coordinator, at or (757) 642-1571.

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.

Training scheduled for volunteers to teach Disciple in prisons
The Virginia Conference has partnered with the Holston Conference to establish Disciple Bible Outreach Ministries (DBOM) of Virginia, an affiliate ministry of DBOM National, Inc. DBOM recruits, trains and equips local church volunteers for ministry in prisons, jails and youth development centers. All DBOM prison volunteers must be trained and certified for this ministry. The first two trainings for Virginia will be Saturday, Sept. 17, and Sunday, Sept. 18, at the Virginia Conference Center in Glen Allen. Click here for more information or to register, or contact Gene Mims at or (804) 733-8632.

‘Launch’ offers weekend of rafting, hiking while exploring call to ministry
There is still time for high school sophomores, juniors and seniors 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. “Launch” is 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.

Kid’s Work Camp to be Sept. 30-Oct. 2 at Westview on James
Kid's Work Camp at Westview on the James in Goochland will be Sept. 30-Oct. 2. This weekend camp for 2nd- through 6th- graders focuses on outreach and mission opportunities designed just for kids and their leaders. Some projects occur on-site, but most groups will head out into the Goochland area to assist with home repair, yard work, visits to the elderly and more. Campers will worship together, play together and work together. For more information and registration form, go to

Clergywomen invited to join Clergywomen’s Collective
All Virginia Conference women clergy are invited to be part of the Clergywomen's Collective. Its purpose is to encourage collegiality and empower women of every background, as they serve God through The United Methodist Church. The collective will gather at the Virginia United Methodist Center in Glen Allen from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 11; Jan. 11, 2012; April 12, 2012; and July 10, 2012. For more information, contact ReNe'e R. Teague at, (540) 659-2461, or (804) 357-4435.

‘After Hours’ weekend camp to be Oct. 28-30 at Westview on James
Westview on the James in Goochland County is offering “After Hours,” a weekend camp for 7th- through 10th-graders, Oct. 28-30. Youths will explore the light and life of Jesus in worship and Bible study and will choose from a variety of camp activities to help create their schedules for the weekend. Cost is $95 per person. This weekend is designed for individuals or groups. Call the camp office at (804) 457-4210 or e-mail Cat Holbert at for more information.

It’s not too late to get ready to walk or run ‘The Good Race’
Clergy and laity are invited to join other United Methodists in “The Good Race,” a day of participation and celebration that includes walking or running the Richmond 8K, half-marathon, or marathon, on Saturday, Nov. 12. Most training programs take 16 weeks of preparation, so it is not too late to start. Contact Allie Rosner ( or Steve Jones ( to join the group. Remember: this is not a competition – these are clergy and laity who want to encourage one another in exercise and wellness.

United Methodists respond to Norway tragedy
In response to the bombing and mass-shooting attack in Norway that killed more than 90 people and injured scores, United Methodist and other church leaders worldwide called for prayer and solidarity. More …

GBOD offers Prayer for People of Norway
The General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) has posted a Prayer for the People of Norway after a Terrorist Attack and other worship resources on its Web site.

Faith leaders call for protection of Medicare, Medicaid
More than 50 faith organizations, including the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, are urging the Obama administration and Congress to protect Medicaid and Medicare in their budget negotiations. The statement from faith leaders representing millions of Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims and Buddhists emphasizes that the two programs provide critical health care for the most vulnerable in U.S. society. More …

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, organizational effectiveness consultant; and the Rev. John Briggs, retired business executive and clergy member of the Virginia Conference. This transformational leadership workshop will give you a chance to see new opportunities for your church and hone your leadership skills and develop new ways of leading your church. 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. Register at ship/Transformational_Leadership/Transformational-Leadership-2010.pdf or call (828) 454-6656.

GBOD provides back-to-school worship resources
The United Methodist Board of Discipleship has worship resources and ideas for churches as a new school year approaches. Resources include a back-to-school blessing, prayer of thanksgiving and suggestions for school-supply drives. More …

GBOD offers 9/11 remembrance resource for children
Peaceful Remembrance of September 11, 2001: Forty Days of Prayer for Children is a free downloadable resource from the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) designed especially for children who have no memory of 9/11, but will see images and hear stories of the devastating loss of that day in the next few weeks leading up to the 10th anniversary. The resource includes prayers for each day, Scripture, songs, book recommendations, activities and a guide for leaders and parents as they journey with the children. The prayers, written by leaders in ministry with children, express hope, love, fear, confusion and the power of God’s grace.

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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The Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church
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