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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 – Aug. 4, 2011

Voices of Youth choir is completing annual concert tour
Voices of Youth summer youth choir is finishing its “Born of Water, Renewed by the Spirit” tour, following a mission trip to the Dominican Republic where members did a building project and worked with children. More ...

Camp Rainbow participants learn that it’s easy to be green
A total of 120 campers and 107 volunteers are participating in Camp Rainbow Connection's two sessions this summer. Theme of the 2011 camp embraces Kermit the Frog’s battle with “It’s not easy to be green.” Campers are taught, instead, that “It’s easy being green,” when green means taking care of God’s creation. More …

Fall issue of ‘Neighbors’ newsletter now available online
The 2011 Fall/Back-to-School issue of the “Neighbors newsletter asks the question “Ever wish you could wipe the slate clean and start over?” and focuses on "A Fresh Start" by the Rev. N. Neely Hicks, Special Projects manager for Rethink Church, United Methodist Communications in Nashville. “Neighbors” is a free, customizable direct-mail piece produced by Virginia United Methodist Communications to be used as part of a local church’s outreach ministry. The latest issue is now available online at Or, go to, “Resources,” “Publications,” “Neighbors.” The “Neighbors” page provides instructions on how to download, print and mail the newsletter.

$191,269 collected for Annual Conference Offering
To date, $191,269 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.

Vote for UMFS on Richmond Unite Web site
United Methodist Family Services (UMFS) was recently approved to be a grant recipient of Richmond Unite, a new, nonprofit fundraising organization that supports organizations working with youths in the Richmond area. The amount of money each organization will receive is determined by the percentage of votes they receive from supporters who ‘vote’ for them on the Richmond Unite Web site. Voting will begin on Aug. 8. You can vote once a day for your favorite organization during the duration of this event. To vote, click on and then look for the UMFS logo and follow the instructions.

Bishop Kammerer to help lead 9/11 interfaith service
Bishop Charlene Kammerer will join other regional faith leaders and Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones to lead an interfaith "Memory and Hope" service at 7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11, at Temple Beth El, 3330 Grove Ave., Richmond, on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Printed copies of Journal must be purchased 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. You may purchase a Journal on CD at a cost of $10. You may purchase a printed copy of the Journal for $25. Orders of printed copies must be made by Aug. 15, and payment must be made at the time the order is placed. 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 receive Labor Day offering for ICM on Sept. 4
On Sunday, Sept. 4, Virginia Conference churches 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
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 begins 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. 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 as sermon illustrations, study material for Sunday schools or neighborhood Bible studies, and informational pieces to help start a new understanding of immigration. 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.

Board of Ordained Ministry offers information session Sept. 12
The Virginia Conference Board of Ordained Ministry is offering an information session for laity and clergy who are interested in learning more about the board's examination process. The session will be held from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12, at the Conference Center in Glen Allen. RSVP to

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.

Application deadline extended for ‘Launch’ weekend
Deadline has been extended to Aug. 5 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. “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.

UMCOR appeals for donations to help Horn of Africa hunger crisis
United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is appealing for donations to help the relief agency and its partners address the Horn of Africa crisis. UMCOR is working with Church World Service and other members of the faith-based ACT Alliance to respond to the hunger crisis – deepened by civil strife and the worst drought in decades – that is affecting 11 million to 12 million people in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti. More …

‘Bold’ changes proposed for church structure, funding
Members of the Connectional Table, meeting July 25-28, endorsed five proposals that would change The United Methodist Church's structure and potentially its funding. More …

Minnesota pastor faces complaint that he blessed same-sex union
A United Methodist pastor in Minnesota faces a formal complaint that he may have conducted a ceremony that celebrates the union of a same-gender couple, which church law prohibits. More …

Bishop Willimon joins lawsuit to stop Alabama anti-immigration law
Bishop William H. Willimon of the North Alabama Annual Conference joined leaders of Episcopal and Roman Catholic churches in a federal court suit filed Aug. 1 to stop Alabama's anti-immigration law. More …

Western North Carolina delegation endorses Dr. Ken Carter for Bishop
The 2012 members of the Western North Carolina Conference General and Jurisdictional Conference delegation, with a unanimous vote, endorsed the Rev. Dr. Ken Carter as their episcopal nominee. More …

Eastern North Carolina disaster response center closes
The MERCI United Methodist Church facility in Goldsboro, N.C., ceased operations effective July 31. For 11 years, the Marion Edwards Recovery Center Initiatives (MERCI) site had been a command center for disaster response and mission support for the North Carolina Conference and was added to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Supply Depot Network in 2010, as one of six supply collection sites. 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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The Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church
10330 Staples Mill Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060
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