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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 – October 28, 2011

Young Jin Cho named conference nominee for bishop
The Rev. Dr. Young Jin Cho, superintendent of the Arlington District, has been selected as the 2012 episcopal nominee from the Virginia Conference. More ...

Weems tells delegates to ask the hard questions
Dr. Lovett Weems of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership at Wesley Seminary told members of the Virginia Conference delegation to 2012 General and Jurisdictional conferences to ask the hard questions when making decisions. More ...

Conference receives grant for cross-cultural, cross-racial training
The Virginia Conference Cabinet and Board of Ordained Ministry received a $20,000 grant from the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) to fund a Cross-Cultural/Cross-Racial Appointment Task Force created by Bishop Charlene Kammerer and a permanent cross-cultural/cross-racial resource team offering ongoing competency training for clergy and lay leadership. GCORR awarded more than $300,000 to 13 recipients for their “bold and innovative programs promoting diversity within the denomination.” More …

VUMAC changes name to reach out to non-UMC groups
In an effort to reach out to groups outside of The United Methodist Church, The Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) is changing the name under which it markets itself to Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center. More ...

A. Purnell Bailey scholarships available at Randolph Macon College
Are you aware of a high school senior who you think has potential or has expressed interest in the ministry? Let them know that Randolph Macon College has several scholarships for high school students who think they may be experiencing a call to the ministry. The A. Purnell Bailey Scholarship Program provides half tuition freshman and sophomore years and full tuition junior and senior years. In addition there is peer support and mentoring with the Bailey Advisor. If interested, contact Margie Turbyfill at or (804)368-7276.

Open enrollment for conference health plan continues to Nov. 4
Open enrollment for the 2012 Virginia Conference Health Plan is available now and will continue until Nov. 4. This is your opportunity to make plan elections or changes to your current conference health plan options for 2012. If you want to participate in a Flexible Spending Account in 2012 or make plan changes to your current conference health plan elections, you must participate in the 2012 open enrollment. If you are not making plan changes and you do not want to participate in a Flexible Spending Account in 2012, you are not required to complete open enrollment, your current conference health plan elections will roll over to the plan year 2012. Click here to access open enrollment or access it through the conference Web site, Go to the home page and look for the 2012 Virginia Conference Health Plan Open Enrollment link. For more information, contact Nancy Blair, Virginia United Methodist Pensions office, at 1-800-768-6040, ext. 130, or (804) 521-1130, or e-mail

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 …

Middle School, High School fall retreats to be at Eagle Eyrie
Registration deadline has been extended to Nov. 4 for the Conference Middle School Fall Retreat to be held Nov. 11-13 at Eagle Eyrie in Lynchburg. The High School Fall Retreat will be Dec. 2-4. 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 …

ERT training scheduled in Richmond, James River districts
United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Early Response Team (ERT) certification training is scheduled for the Richmond and James River Districts. Courses will be taught by authorized UMCOR trainers. Registration fee is $55. Payment is due on the day of training.
8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 12, at Trinity United Methodist Church, 903 Forest Ave., Richmond. To register, e-mail Michele Michaelian at
8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at Sycamore United Methodist Church, 9710 Old Stage Road, Prince George. To register, e-mail Becky Paxton at
When e-mailing, include name, address, home phone number, cell phone number, and name of your home church and district.

Just Neighbors to host open house on Nov. 13
Just Neighbors Ministry, a mission of the Arlington District that provides legal services to low-income immigrants and refugees to help them become self-sufficient, contributing members of the Northern Virginia community, will hold an open house 2 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13. Located at 5827 Columbia Pike, Suite 320, Falls Church, the organization works with volunteers to enable immigrants to unite with their families, escape from situations of domestic violence, and attain authorization to work. Through partnerships with leading law firms and support from dedicated legal, church and community volunteers, Just Neighbors has provided immigration legal services to more than 5,000 clients, representing more than 115 countries since 1996. Join Just Neighbors staff, clients, volunteers and surrounding community members for an informational and fun open house to celebrate 15 years of service and expansion of the nonprofit's services and facilities. This is an informal event for the community to learn more about the work of the organization and to celebrate all who have been involved. For more information, visit or contact Rob Rutland-Brown, Executive Director, at (703) 979-1240 or   

Register now for June 25-29 United Nations Seminar
Reservations are being accepted for the June 25-29, 2012, United Nations Seminar for young people ages 16-22. This is an opportunity to go deeper in living your faith and learning how to be a generation for change. An exploration of social justice issues and systemic causes (locally and globally), this trip to New York City will help young people ages 16-22 years old discover a passion to change the world. This seminar is sponsored by the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church. Seminars are presented for a minimum of 15 people. The goal is to register at least 15 participants by January 2012. Exact cost has not yet been determined as final details are being set, but it is estimated to be approximately $800 per person. If you are interested in participating, contact Becky Tate at as soon as possible. More …

The United Methodist Church has mobile device app
Mobile device users can easily access information about The United Methodist Church on the go with a new free United Methodist application. Developed by United Methodist Communications and Music City Networks, the app is now available for free download for iPad and iPhone. It should be available for Android smartphone users in the next few days. More …

General Conference 2012 to be surrounded by prayer
When delegates to General Conference 2012 meet in Tampa next April, United Methodists around the world will be able to join them in an unprecedented concert of prayer, seeking God’s will for their decisions. The Upper Room, a division of the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD), will once again provide a Prayer Guide for delegates, participants and guests of the General Conference. Unlike at previous General Conferences, however, the guide for GC2012 also will be available free of charge on The Upper Room Web site for all 12.3 million United Methodists worldwide. The use of technology will help the entire church surround the elected delegates, Council of Bishops and general church staff with prayer. More …

UMCOR responds to Turkey earthquake
Food and medicine are most in demand after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake shook eastern Turkey on Sunday, leaving more than a thousand injured and at least 240 dead. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is in conversation with partner International Blue Crescent to help meet these and other needs, such as blankets, plastic sheets and hygiene kits for survivors. Donations can be made to International Disaster Response, UMCOR Advance #982450. More …

UMCOR ships nearly 238,000 relief kits in last two months
During the months of August and September, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) relief-supply network shipped nearly 238,000 relief kits worldwide. That total included thousands of cleaning buckets shipped to communities in North Carolina, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire in response to fierce storms in the late summer that caused unprecedented flooding. Donations to Material Resource Ministry, UMCOR Advance #901440 support this work.

Nearly 900 clergy, laity pledge support for same-sex unions
A group of nearly 900 United Methodist clergy and laity in New York and Connecticut announced Oct. 17 their intention to make weddings available to gays and lesbians despite The United Methodist Church's ban on same-sex unions. Altogether, 164 clergy and 732 lay people have signed A Covenant of Conscience." The Book of Discipline, the denomination's law book, identifies the practice of homosexuality as "incompatible with Christian teaching" and prohibits United Methodist churches from hosting and clergy from officiating at "ceremonies that celebrate homosexual unions." More …

Immigration documentary to be shown in Richmond Nov. 6
The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy will offer a free screening of the documentary “Gospel Without Borders” at the Byrd Theatre in Richmond Sunday, Nov. 6, at 1:30 p.m. This documentary highlights Christian faith issues as they relate to immigration. Following the showing of the film there will be a panel discussion with producer Robert Parham, First Baptist Church pastor Dr. Jim Somerville, consultant Claire Gastanga and Rabbi Ben Romer. For details, contact christy@virginia

LARCUM conference to look at community involvement
“Living into the LARCUM Covenant” will be held Dec. 2-3 in Waynesboro. A panel of Lutheran, Anglican, Roman Catholic and United Methodist (LARCUM) bishops will discuss plans for cooperative efforts. Bishops will ask pastors, “What are you committing to do in the community as parishes?” Reflection and discussion will follow in this open forum. Virginia Conference Bishop Charlene Kammerer will be one of the participating bishops, and Main Street UMC is one of the host churches. For more information, contact the Rev. Don Rooney at (540) 373-6491 or

GBOD offers worship resources for All Saints Day
On Nov. 6, many United Methodists will remember loved ones and fellow church members who have died in the past year as part of All Saints Day observances. The General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) offers churches and individuals resources to mark the day including prayers, litanies, hymn suggestions and a setting for Holy Communion. More …

Worship resources available for Veterans’ Day
Veterans' Day in 2011 falls on Friday, Nov. 11. In most years and most times, Veterans' Day passes in our churches with little or no mention. Historically and traditionally, Veterans' Day has been more a civic than a sacred observance. Veterans' Day is not a part of the liturgical calendar — although sometimes local congregations will observe this day in some manner in Sunday congregational worship. If churches are going to honor and give thanks for veterans, their observances should be in a context of prayer. Click here for worship resources.

GBOD offers worship resources for Thanksgiving, Advent
The General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) offers the following resources for Thanksgiving and Advent:
Hymns for Thanksgiving Worship
What Do Hymns Say About Thanksgiving
Advent Wreath Candle Lighting Meditations for Home and Church
Advent Hymns Set to Familiar Christmas Music

GBOD offers free webinars for church leaders
In November, the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) is offering two free webinars for church leaders. “Finishing the Year Financially Strong” (for finance leaders) will be offered at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time on Thursday, Nov. 10. Session will include practical ideas for people entrusted with managing the funding. “Principles for Church Renewal” (for pastors) will be offered at 3:30 p.m. Eastern time on Monday, Nov. 14. This webinar will be led by Marc Brown, Kathy Merry and John Briggs of the Virginia Conference. 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. Register for either webinar at

Institute for Discipleship to host online Safe Sanctuary workshop will host a five-day online workshop for United Methodist congregations who need to write a Safe Sanctuary policy. Participants will learn why congregations should have a Safe Sanctuary policy, what the policy includes generally and specifically, how to get a policy written and approved, and how to implement it. Participants will have access to the Web site 24 hours a day and be able to work at a time of day most convenient. There will be two daily readings and one daily discussion question. Participants will be required to post a response to the question and to at least two other participants every day. Participants will not be expected to write the policy during these five days but may send it to the workshop leader for feedback later when it is written. Safe Sanctuary policies protect our children and youth, our teachers and leaders, and our congregation’s reputation and resources. To learn more or enroll, go to or contact Lisa Buffum at

‘Music and Worship in African-American church Explo!’ to be Nov. 10-12
If you want your church to grow and attract more people, you have to have powerful and inspiring music in your church. How do you do this? Learn how by coming to “‘Music and Worship in the African-American Church Explo!” Nov. 10–12 at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center, Junaluska, N.C. Registration Deadline is Oct. 31. Go to for more information.

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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