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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 – September 2, 2011

You can help give aid to hurricane, earthquake victims
To contribute funds to help the Virginia Conference disaster response and recovery efforts (for Hurricane Irene, the recent earthquake and other disasters that may occur), send a check to the Conference Treasurer's office, P.O. Box 5605, Glen Allen, VA 23058. Designate “Conference Advance #5037 – Disaster Response” on your check or apportionment statement. Your gift will help coordinate preparation, response and recovery in the conference during times of disaster – including providing personnel needed, equipment required and Christian witness that is desired in such situations. To make a donation to support United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) assistance to those from North Carolina to New England who didn’t escape Hurricane Irene’s wrath, send a check to the Conference Treasurer’s office. Designate “U.S. Disaster Response Advance #901670 - Hurricanes 2011” on your check. Click here to make a contribution online.

Truck to take UMCOR disaster response kits to Sager Brown Depot
The trucking/delivery company that takes our United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) disaster response kits from Annual Conference to the Sager Brown Depot in Baldwin, LA, will be sending a truck down on Monday, Sept. 12. If you have disaster response kits and cleaning (flood) buckets already assembled, packed and ready to go and would like to get them on this truck to Sager Brown, you may drop them off at either of these locations on the specified date and time: 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 7: Swift Air Delivery, 261 Industrial Drive, Ruckersville, VA 22968 – (434) 985-7115; 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, Richmond Airport – Swift Air Delivery, 5455 Fox Road, Suite D, Cargo Building 6, Richmond, VA 23250 – (804) 236-0760. Another smaller truck for UMCOR kits and buckets will depart from Northern Virginia the week of Oct. 17. If you have kits and buckets you would like to get on that truck, contact Herb Brynildsen at for drop-off information and dates.

Small Church Initiative Survey results posted on Web site
In May, a questionnaire was sent by e-mail to clergy and lay leaders serving Virginia Conference churches with average worship attendance of 50-150. The survey was developed by the Small Church Leadership Initiative Task Force to assist task force members in developing a strategic plan designed to address opportunities for expanded networking, support and leadership development for churches in the target group. Survey results are now posted on the Conference Web site. More …

$6,267 needed to reach Annual Conference Offering goal
To date, $193,733.56 has been collected for the Annual Conference Offering. Only $6,267 is needed to reach the goal of $200,000 to 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.

St. George’s UMC honored as official ‘Welcoming Congregation’
St. George’s United Methodist Church in Fairfax (Alexandria District) has been recognized by United Methodist Communications (UMCom) as an official “Welcoming Congregation.” “Welcoming Congregations” are a select group of United Methodist congregations nationwide that meet criteria including embracing newcomers and providing opportunities in discipleship. The recognition program is part of a larger effort launched in late 2000 by UMCom, the denomination’s communications agency, to use modern technology and the common language of television to spread the good news of Christ to a world in need. Click here to learn how your church can become a “Welcoming Congregation.”

Hispanic Heritage Month begins Sept. 15
Hispanic Heritage month kicks off Sept. 15. Click here for resources including 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.

Oct. 2 is World Communion Sunday
World Communion Sunday is Oct. 2. Your participation in this Special Sunday offering is vital to developing United Methodist leaders in the United States and around the world. Your gifts provide scholarships for graduate and undergraduate students who might not be able to pursue higher education without your support. World Communion Sunday provides for three ministries: World Communion Scholarships, Ethnic Scholarship Program, and Ethnic In-Service Training Program. More …

United Methodist Student Day is Nov. 27
United Methodist Student Day is Sunday, Nov. 27. Be sure to order your free offering resources for this special offering. United Methodist Student Day provides scholarships and loans for students attending United Methodist-related and other accredited colleges and universities. More …

Online Advocate premiers with September issue
Beginning Sept. 1, the Virginia United Methodist Advocate monthly newsmagazine is being made available online to those with paid subscriptions. For $20 a year, you can receive a printed copy of the magazine each month plus full online access. Those who just want to read the digital version of the magazine can purchase an ‘online only’ subscription for $10 a year. The ‘print only’ subscription will remain just $15 per year. To subscribe to the Advocate – print version, digital version or both – call (804) 521-1110 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110; e-mail; or click here.

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.

General, Jurisdictional Conference info to be offered Sept. 28, Oct. 8
Information sessions about what happens at The United Methodist Church’s General and Jurisdictional Conferences will be led by members of the 2012 General and Jurisdictional Conference Virginia delegation 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Sept. 28, at Wellspring United Methodist Church in Williamsburg, and Saturday, Oct. 8, at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Charlottesville. The same program will be presented at each location. The two-hour session will include a General Conference overview, detailed information on day-to-day schedules, practical considerations for attendees, detailed information on the legislative committee process, an overview of Jurisdictional Conference, and some suggestions on being a visitor at General Conference in Tampa and Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference at Lake Junaluska. These programs are open to all conference clergy and laity. Wellspring UMC is located at 4871 Longhill Road in Williamsburg. Aldersgate UMC is located at 1500 Rio Road East in Charlottesville. For more information, contact the Rev. Susan Garrett at or Neill Caldwell at

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

Bishop’s Convocation on immigration to be Oct. 1
A Bishop’s Convocation focusing on a faith-based response to the issues surrounding immigration will be held Saturday, Oct. 1, at Grace UMC in Manassas. In recent years, U.S. society has become polarized over many political issues, including questions surrounding the current undocumented immigrant community, most of whom are Christian brothers and sisters. But global migratory pattern shifts on the horizon require the church to rethink its current position now. Slowly, the church is trying to extract itself from the political rhetoric and explore ways to “rethink church” in the midst of the ongoing cultural battle. Plan to join Bishop Kammerer and the Commission on Ethnic Minority Concerns and Advocacy for this important event. Registration deadline is Sept. 16. Click here for brochure or to register.

ARMS retreat set for Oct. 5-6 at VUMAC
Association of Retired Ministers and Spouses (ARMS) will hold a two-day retreat Oct. 5-6 at Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) in Blackstone. Theme is “Celebrating Retirement Together.” Speakers will include the Rev. Dr. David McAllister-Wilson, president of Wesley Theological Seminary, and Susan Jean, attorney specializing in elder law and estate planning. Registration deadline is Sept. 29. A mailing will be going out to all retired pastors. For more information, contact Bob and Nancy Parsons at or Barbara and Gerould Ward at

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.

Goodpaster calls for building bridges on 9/11
Bishop Larry M. Goodpaster, president of the Council of Bishops, is urging United Methodists to commemorate the tenth anniversary of 9/11 with prayer and interfaith connection. More …

Alabama’s immigration law put on hold
A federal judge has put a temporary hold on Alabama’s new immigration enforcement law, winning cheers from a United Methodist bishop who opposes the law. The law was scheduled to go into effect on Sept. 1. U.S. District Court Judge Sharon Lovelace Blackburn said she placed the hold to give her sufficient time to rule on motions filed in lawsuits to block the law. A coalition of civil rights groups, the U.S. Justice Department, and bishops of the United Methodist, Episcopal and Catholic churches filed the motions. “This is good news,” said Bishop Will Willimon of the North Alabama Conference, who joined the suit. “It assumes that the judge has concerns about the law, and we look forward to further deliberations.” More …

GBOD to offer free Sept. 8 webinar on elder abuse prevention
The General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) Center on Aging and Older Adult Ministries and United Methodist Insurance are offering a free one-hour webinar on “Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation Prevention for the Church” at 4 p.m. (Eastern Time) Thursday, Sept. 8. No advance registration is required and there is no cost for participants. To participate, simply log in on your computer to for the visual portion and call toll-free 1-800-598-7441, Code 5596370, for the audio portion. You may want to log in at least 10 to 15 minutes before the official start time. Participants will hear about the ways elders are abused financially by ministry-related organizations and will learn how to plan ministries in ways that minimize the opportunity for exploitation of elders and families. Presenters are Dr. Richard H. Gentzler, Jr., Director of the Center on Aging, and Rev. Joy Melton, J.D., CRO, UMPACT.

Exploration 2011 helps young adults discern call to ministry
Young adults (18-24) who might be interested in ordained ministry are encouraged to attend Exploration 2011 Nov. 11-13 in St. Louis, Mo. Cost to attend is $150 until Sept. 5. After that date, cost rises to $175, and is $200 after Sept. 25. Scholarships are available. Jessica Fuller, ordained deacon, will attend as a representative of the Virginia Conference. This biennial event sponsored by The United Methodist Church provides young people with an opportunity to discern God’s call in their lives. Through plenary sessions, workshops, small groups and interactions at meal times, young people have the opportunity to hear, sense and discern if God is calling them to ordained leadership in the church. Click here for more information and to register.

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 — now available in both print and digital formats. 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
P.O. Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058-5606
(804) 521-1100
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