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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 29, 2011

Volunteers needed now for Northeast cleanup
Volunteers are needed in seven of the 10 United Methodist conferences in the Northeast that are currently in active disaster mode recovering from record flooding at the end of the summer. Greg Forrester, Northeastern Jurisdiction coordinator for United Methodist Volunteers In Mission, has sent out an appeal to all of the denomination’s five U.S. jurisdictions asking for volunteer teams who can help clean out mud-filled houses before winter weather hits. “We’re on a time crunch here in the Northeast,” he explained. “We really need to get these houses mudded out by Nov. 1.” Volunteers able to help with flood cleanup in the Northeast should contact individual conferences to schedule team visits. A list of contacts is available on the Northeastern Jurisdiction Volunteers in Mission Web site. More …

Response continues for 2011 U.S. disasters
When natural disasters occur, United Methodists use their connections — both inside and outside the denomination — to respond. The sheer number and magnitude of U.S. disasters in 2011 means the church has had to rely even more heavily on faith — and that connectional support — in its ability to manage relief and recovery efforts. The Rev. Cynthia Fierro Harvey, top executive of the United Methodist Committee on Relief, remains confident that church members will respond to the needs. More …

Oct. 16 is Laity Sunday
Laity Sunday is Oct. 16. Theme for this year’s celebration of Laity Sunday is Disciples Transforming the World — Through Gifts. Click here for worship resources on the General Board of Discipleship Web site.

United Methodist Student Day is Nov. 27
United Methodist Student Day is Sunday, Nov. 27. 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 …

Evangelism to be topic of 5 Talent Academy on Oct. 6
“Evangelism: Best Practices,” will be the focus of the 5 Talent Academy teaching event Oct. 6 at Oak Grove United Methodist Church in Chesapeake. Unlike previous teaching events, this one will not feature a well-known expert speaker brought in from outside the conference. For this event, leadership will be drawn from churches within the Virginia Conference that are having success with their evangelism practices. Churches not currently in the 5 Talent Academy can come and see what the program is all about and discern if they would like to participate. Deadline to register is Sept. 30. More …

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 Teague at, (540) 659-2461, or (804) 357-4435.

Event to equip African-American congregations to be Oct. 14-15
The second in a series of events to support and equip African-American congregations in the Virginia Conference will be Oct. 14-15 at Norfolk UMC. Consultants at the event will be the Rev. Dr. Fred Allen, National Director of Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century, and the Rev. Bridgette Young, Assistant General Secretary for Campus Ministry and College Chaplaincy, Division of Higher Education at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. More …

Middle School Mission Weekend is Oct. 14-16
Middle School Mission Weekend will be Oct. 14-16 at Westview on the James in Goochland. Run by the Jeremiah Project, this is an opportunity to engage middle school students in mission for a weekend and help them understand what it means to be the hands and feet of Christ in their communities. Cost is $115 per participant. Deadline to register is Oct. 3. Click here for more information and to register.

Christian educators to sponsor Oct. 20 ‘Day Apart’
Virginia Conference Christian Educators Fellowship is sponsoring “A Day Apart in Christian Education” Thursday, Oct. 20, 9:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. at Duncan Memorial UMC, Ashland. The Rev. David Hindman, pastor of Duncan Memorial and former campus minister at The College of William and Mary, will lead discussion from a presentation at the Florida Conference in June titled “Shift Happens: Transforming Sons and Daughters of God in the 21st Century.” Registration deadline is Oct. 14. More …

Oct. 23-24 event to offer help with Small Group Ministry
The Society for Wesleyan Studies' fall event Oct. 23-24 will focus on Small Group Ministry. The Rev. Kevin Watson, Ph.D. candidate at Perkins School of Theology and Professor of Historical Theology at Seattle Pacific University, will help participants dig a little deeper into our Methodist heritage by “Reclaiming the Class Meeting” as a vital tool for making disciples of Jesus Christ in the 21st century. The event will be at the Roslyn Retreat Center in Richmond and will include worship and opportunities to discuss the practical challenges of small group discipleship. Click here for a brochure. More …

‘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. Click here for brochure.

Conference UMW to hold annual meeting Oct. 29-30 at VUMAC
The 39th Annual Meeting of Virginia Conference United Methodist Women (UMW) will be held at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) in Blackstone Oct. 29-30. Speaker will be Dr. Jennifer Braaten, president of Ferrum College. A registration form can be found on the Web at

Middle School, High School fall retreats to be at Eagle Eyrie
The Conference Middle School (Nov. 11-13) and High School (Dec. 2-4) Fall Retreats will be held at Eagle Eyrie in Lynchburg. The retreats will include a Youth Service Fund “walk for change” that will help youth to gain mission awareness. Churches are encouraged to recruit a college student or young adult to lead a small group. Registration fee, curriculum, training and e-briefing will be provided for all small group leaders. Cost is $115 per participant. More …

Early Response Team training to be offered Nov. 12 in Richmond
United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Early Response Team certification training will be held at Trinity United Methodist Church, 903 Forest Ave., Richmond, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12. The course will be taught by an authorized UMCOR trainer. Registration fee is $55. Payment is due on the day of training. To register, e-mail Michele Michaelian at and include name, address, home phone number, cell phone number, name of home church and district. More …

United Methodist Day at General Assembly set for Feb. 2
Save the date of Thursday, Feb. 2, to participate in the 20th annual United Methodist Day at General Assembly. Primary legislative issue this year will be human trafficking. Sponsored by the Board of Church and Society and Virginia Conference United Methodist Women, United Methodist Day is an opportunity to talk to your senator or delegate and work for justice.

Panel proposes legislation to make church more global
The time has come for The United Methodist Church to get serious about its global nature and be less U.S.-centric, says an international panel of United Methodist leaders. To that end, the Committee to Study the Worldwide Nature of The United Methodist Church has issued a report and proposed legislation to General Conference, the denomination’s top lawmaking body. More …

52% of United Methodist elders are 55-72 years old
There's long been talk of the “graying” of United Methodist congregations, but the same can now be said of its pastors. The annual report on clergy age trends in The United Methodist Church reveals a widening age gap. The report was released this week by the Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington. More …

Judge upholds most of Alabama immigration law
An Alabama federal judge on Sept. 28 allowed key provisions of Alabama’s new immigration law to go into effect but blocked a part of the law contested by church leaders. Bishop Will Willimon of the North Alabama Conference joined three other bishops from the state’s Episcopal and Roman Catholic dioceses in a suit to stop parts of the law. More …

Immigration webinar to be offered Oct. 4
Immigration is a front-burner topic in today’s political world, yet people of faith who work with immigrants often avoid talking about immigration issues. To help Christians foster fruitful conversations on immigration, Rethink Church will conduct a webinar at 11 a.m. (ET) Oct. 4. To participate, sign in as a guest. Rethink Church, part of United Methodist Communications, also offers a free resource guide to help organize and facilitate discussions.

GBOD offers free webinars for church leaders
The General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) is offering three free webinars for church leaders during the next two months. “Principals for Church Renewal” will be offered for pastors Tuesday, Oct. 25, at 1:30 p.m. (EDT). Topics include defining Christian transformation, disciplines for Christian transformational leadership, leading a movement of hope, and introduction to a process to enable church transformation. Helpful to read “Does Your Church Have A Prayer?” before the webinar. “Plan Now to Meet Your 2012 Goals” for church council leaders will be offered Thursday, Oct. 27, at 7:30 p.m. (EDT). “Finishing the Year Financially Strong” for church finance leaders will be offered Thursday, Nov. 10, at 7:30 p.m. (EDT). Register at

10-Fold multimedia experience begins Oct. 10
Beginning Monday, Oct. 10, join United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) daily for 10-Fold, a 10-day multimedia experience that spotlights 10 powerful ways The United Methodist Church and UMCOR are making an impact worldwide — from planting churches to eliminating death and suffering from malaria. By logging on to, you will experience a different project each day and learn about ways YOU can join the effort. Plus, when you click to be counted, sponsors will give $1 to the day's initiative, just because you visited. Use the toolkit (PDF) for help and suggestions for getting your family, friends and fellow church members to spread the word.

Registration deadline is Oct. 3 for Exploration 2011
Click here to register for Exploration 2011, an event for young adults who sense God's call to ordained ministry as a deacon or elder in The United Methodist Church. The event will be Nov. 11-13 in St. Louis. Sponsored by the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry, Exploration 2011 is open to young adults age 18 to 26. Registration fee will cover a two-night stay at the Millennium Hotel, meals and program fees. Updates and registration information are posted on the event Web site. Deadline to register is Oct. 3.

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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