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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. 11, 2011

Charge conferences asked to start planning goals
Across The United Methodist Church and throughout the Virginia Conference, churches are preparing to become “Vital Congregations.” For this year’s charge conferences, clergy and lay leaders should begin the process of setting goals for the next four years in five key areas: Worship, Disciples, Small Groups, Mission Participants and Mission Giving. A planning guide is available at Using the guide will help your church prepare a theological foundation as you worship and plan. Each church will submit their goals by March 1, 2012, and goals will be presented at General Conference.

Printed copies of Journal must be purchased by Aug. 15
Reminder: Aug. 15 is the deadline to order a printed copy of the 2011 Virginia Annual Conference Journal. Cost is $25, and payment must be made at the time the order is placed. To order a printed copy, contact Peggy Cribbs in the conference Communications office at, 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110, or (804) 521-1110.

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

Prayerfully honor the fallen on 10th anniversary of 9/11
Help your congregation to remember those three terrible attacks on the U.S. through prayer and worship on Sunday, Sept. 11. A variety of resources are available from the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD), including “Peaceful Remembrance of September 11, 2001: Forty Days of Prayer for Children” and “An Act of Praise on the Anniversary of September 11.” Two new worship resources are Service of Remembrance for September 11 and A Native American Litany from the Grief of the Nations.

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 …

Fall issue of ‘Neighbors’ newsletter now available online
The 2011 Fall/Back-to-School issue of the “Neighbors” newsletter 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 The “Neighbors” page provides instructions on how to download, print and mail the newsletter.

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.

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.

Congregations encouraged to observe DREAM Sabbath Sept. 16-Oct. 9
The United Methodist Council of Bishops Committee on Immigration, the United Methodist Interagency Immigration Task Force and the General Board of Church & Society encourage congregations to observe a DREAM Sabbath on a Sunday between Sept. 16-Oct. 9. The interfaith observance will enlist churches, synagogues and mosques across the country to dedicate time during their regular weekly worship services to a conversation about the DREAM Act, proposed legislation intended to rectify an injustice in U.S. immigration law. The bill, “Development, Relief & Education for Alien Minors (DREAM),” would give undocumented students a chance to earn legal status if they came here as children, are long-term U.S. residents, have good moral character, and complete two years of college or military service in good standing. A free downloadable tool kit is available to help congregations participate in the DREAM Sabbath. The packet includes planning resources, sacred readings, reflections, links to videos and sample bulletin inserts.

U.N. relief supplies airlifted to Somalia’s capital
For the first time in five years, emergency shelter supplies and other relief items were airlifted Aug. 8 by a United Nations refugee agency to famine-stricken people in Somalia's capital. Two more air shipments were planned for Aug. 11 and the following week, said the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. Faith-based relief agencies, including the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), are responding to the hunger crisis in Somalia and other parts of the Horn of Africa. Your gift to International Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #982450,supports those efforts when you earmark your check “Horn of Africa Crisis.” More …

Budget cuts to be proposed to 2012 General Conference
A recommended budget of $603 million for the 2013-2016 operations of the denomination’s general agencies will go before General Conference in 2012. The figure represents a 6.04% reduction from the previous four years and marks the first time a smaller budget will go before the church’s top legislative body for approval. General Conference could adjust the recommendation when it next meets April 24-May 4 in Tampa, Fla. More …

Student Day giving down, fewer scholarships awarded
A total of 1,237 United Methodist students who qualified for a scholarship walked away empty-handed this year because there was less money to award and more students applied. Support for United Methodist Student Day and the other Special Sunday offerings are crucial to prevent further reductions in scholarships. Student Day is observed the last Sunday in November — Nov. 27 this year — or any other day a church chooses. 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
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