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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 – December 1, 2011

Parson named director of Ministries with Young People
The Rev. Derrick Parson has been named the new Conference director of Ministries with Young People effective Jan. 1. Parson is an elder in the Virginia Conference who has been active in district and conference youth ministry. His appointments have included being associate pastor of Ramsey Memorial (2000-2003), director of the Wesley Foundation at James Madison University (2003-2008), and, currently, pastor of Asbury Memorial UMC in Chesterfield. More …

Shop online and help ‘Nothing But Nets’
The “Nothing But Nets” campaign lets everyone join the fight against malaria. By shopping at more than 1,700 merchants at, up to 30% of your purchase will go to “Nothing But Nets.” (Select “Nothing But Nets” from the list in the Health and Research Causes category.) Your shopping will help the United Methodist Church’s partner program send mosquito nets and save lives.

International Migrant Day is Dec. 18
The United Nations has declared Dec. 18 as a day to highlight the human rights and experiences of migrants. The United Methodist Interagency Task Force on Immigration and United Methodist Women have assembled a packet of resources for reflection, worship, and action to help you commemorate this day. (Click here for resource packet.) United Methodist churches are invited to lift up International Migrants Day in worship on Sunday, Dec. 18, to utilize advent meditations, and to involve United Methodist congregations in local or national action for migrant rights, including a call to the U.S. Administration to work for Senate ratification of the United Nations Migrant Rights Convention which affirms the human rights of all migrants. For more information, e-mail Cheryl Pierce. More ...

Society of St. Andrew offers Advent resources
The Society of St. Andrew, the United Methodist-supported hunger relief ministry based in Virginia, is offering congregations “Passing the Peace,” a devotional guide and giving program for Advent. All details are at The Alternative Christmas Card program is a way to send Christmas greetings to friends and family to let them know that you have fed hungry Americans in their name, and to share God's love in a real way with strangers in need. Learn about this program at

Agape Center sends ‘thank you’ for Annual Conference offering
In its November newsletter, the Agape Christian Children’s Community Center in Horntown, Eastern Shore District, included this thank you note: “Thanks to the love and generosity of the Virginia Conference United Methodists, the Agape Center has been able to remain open to care for God’s little ones! On July 31, assets were only $12,214.12 which would provide for one more month of operation. On August 4, God provided through the Annual Conference Offering $54,183.06! The children, parents, teachers, and Board of Directors are deeply grateful and thank God for each of you who made this possible. We thank you and we praise God for giving us this mission since 1999.” The center is currently serving 23 children in its preschool program and eight in its after-school program. A number of churches in the Eastern Shore District have done mission projects at the Agape Center as part of their charge conference tasks during the fall. Also, teams from Dahlgren, Drummontown, Epworth in Aylette and Kilmarnock UMCs worked there during the summer months, while members from Ocean View, St. Luke’s in Yorktown and Bay Lake in Virginia Beach have also made visits.

Virginia Conference archives seek local church histories
Conference archivist Stephanie Davis is collecting written church histories for the Virginia United Methodist Archives. If you have a written church history, or would like information as to how to compile one, e-mail her at

PAUMCS national conference to be held in Richmond April 12-15
The Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries (PAUMCS) will hold its National Conference in Richmond April 12-15. Church secretaries and administrative assistants are urged to make plans now to attend. The Virginia Chapter of PAUMCS will be hosting the event at the Hilton Hotel at Short Pump in Richmond. Click here for registration brochure, event schedule, procedures for applying for scholarships and information about national membership. Virginia participants are also encouraged to arrive on Wednesday, April 11, to take part in a Stop Hunger Now mission opportunity and help with registration and hospitality responsibilities. For more information, contact Susan Petrey in the Richmond District office,, (804) 521-1124 or toll-Free 1-800-768-6040.

Bailey scholarships available for students with call to ministry
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 offers half tuition for freshman and sophomore years and full tuition for 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.

‘Evening at Blackstone’ holiday celebration to be Dec. 11
Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center, 707 Fourth St., Blackstone, will hold its annual “Evening at Blackstone” Sunday, Dec. 11. Holiday open house begins at 4 p.m.; banquet is at 5:30 p.m. Performances begin at 7 p.m. and will include “Star of Wonder,” theatrical production by youths from Crenshaw United Methodist Church, and Dean Shostak’s Crystal Concert featuring glass instruments from Benjamin Franklin’s Glass 1761 Armonica. For reservations, call (434) 292-5308. Cost is $45 (individual) or $80 (couple) for entire evening. Cost of $80 (individual) or $150 (couple) includes evening’s activities plus lodging and breakfast.

Ministers’ Convocation to encourage time of renewal
Theme of the 2012 Ministers’ Convocation is "Bread for the Journey: A time for personal renewal and fellowship to regain joy and vitality in our lives and our vocation." Keynote presenter will be Wayne Muller, a therapist, minister, community advocate, public speaker and best-selling author of Sabbath; A Life of Being, Having and Doing Enough and Legacy of the Heart: the Spiritual Advantages of a Painful Childhood. The convocation is set for Jan. 17-19 at Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center. Click here for more information or to register.

Lay Servants Academy to be Feb. 24-26 at Blackstone
All laity are invited to the Lay Servants Academy to be held at Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center Feb. 24-26. The Academy will include the 35th Annual Conference Lay Speakers Training; however, you do not need to be on track to become a Local Lay Speaker or Certified Lay Speaker to attend. Every chairperson, committee member, teacher, or congregational leader is encouraged to take the introductory Lay Speaking course and overview of United Methodism. The information and skills you will be introduced to will serve you well within your local congregations. A variety of 10-hour courses will be offered for Advanced Lay Speaking. New in 2012 will be the offering of introductory 2-hour classes. Click here for more information and brochure.

Older Adult retreat set for April 20-21
“ReFirement: A Creative Spark,” a retreat sponsored by the conference Older Adult Council, will be held April 20-21 at Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center. The retreat will focus on fostering the spark of creativity to enrich the lives of older adults and enhance the ministries of the church. A variety of workshop sessions including watercolor and acrylic painting, music, liturgical movement and knitting/crocheting as well as fellowship opportunities will be available. More …

Conference clergy urged to attend Festival of Homiletics
The Virginia Conference Order of Elders is encouraging all clergy across the conference to attend the Festival of Homiletics May 14-18 in Atlanta. More …

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. 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 …

Staff volunteers needed for 2012 Camp Rainbow Connection
Camp Rainbow Connection will be held at the Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center July 8-13 and Aug. 12-17. Campers must be at least 16 years of age, have an intellectual disability as their primary disability, and be able to independently complete activities of daily living. Contact the Office of Leadership and Inclusivity to receive an application packet. New and returning staff volunteers are also needed. Staff members must be at least 16 years of age by July 1, agree to a criminal background check, attend a training session in the spring, and commit to attending the full week of camp. For the first time in 2012, there will be the opportunity for a limited number of 15-year-olds to serve as Camp Rainbow Connection Youth Advocates. Click here for applications for staff and Youth Advocates. For more information, contact the Office Leadership and Inclusivity at 1-800-768-6040, ext. 153, or (804)-521-1153 or e-mail

Scholarship funds needed for 2012 Camp Rainbow Connection
For the summer of 2011, over $15,000 of financial assistance was provided for individuals to attend Camp Rainbow Connection. These scholarships were based on need and made possible through generous gifts from individuals, mission committees, UMM and UMW groups, and civic organizations. The funds allowed campers who could not otherwise afford the full cost of camp to experience the unconditional Christian love of Camp Rainbow Connection. Many campers, all of whom have some level of intellectual disability, have little income over and above what is paid for their residential care. A full scholarship for 2012 will be $500. Staff volunteers from Camp Rainbow Connection are available to speak to church groups if you would like to know more about this vital ministry of the Virginia Conference and how you can become involved. If you would like information on how you can support a camper or would like to have a speaker come to your church, contact the Office Leadership and Inclusivity at 1-800-768-6040, ext. 153, or (804)-521-1153 or e-mail

Advent app joins online devotional resources
The gift buying, tree decorating, party planning and other pre-Christmas tasks can easily overshadow Advent and spiritual preparation for remembering Christ’s birth. Here are some suggestions for Advent devotions and activities delivered digitally — via e-mail, downloaded to your computer or mobile device or accessed on the Web. More …

Jan. 15 America’s Sunday Supper to promote service
In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, United Methodist Communications and the United Methodist Board of Church and Society are urging communities to join in America’s Sunday Supper on Jan. 15, 2012. America’s Sunday Supper will be a nationwide night of simultaneous dinners and discussions shared in churches, homes, community centers and kitchens to promote positive change in the world. More …

Jan. 6 is deadline to apply for Peace with Justice grant
Jan. 6 is the deadline to apply for a Peace with Justice grant from the General Board of Church & Society (GBCS). Funding for this program is generated through the Peace with Justice Special Sunday offering of The United Methodist Church. One of six Special Sundays in the denomination, Peace with Justice “witnesses to God’s demands for a faithful, just, disarmed and secure world.” Peace with Justice Sunday is June 3, 2012. Peace with Justice grants are awarded annually. This year $50,000 was granted to 18 Peace with Justice ministries. Grant applicants must be either a United Methodist or other affiliated organization, or an ecumenical group working with and through at least one United Methodist agency or organization. Applicants may seek assistance in filling out the form, which is available on the GBCS Web site at Peace with Justice Grant Application. For assistance, contact Marvlyn Scott, (202) 488-5643. For more information, contact Mark Harrison, GBCS director of Peace with Justice, (202) 488-5645.

CBS to feature Dec. 4 TV special on interfaith movement
An interfaith religion special, “Finding Common Ground: Today’s Interfaith Movement,” will be broadcast Dec. 4 on CBS stations. Among those featured is the Rev. Paul Clark, chaplain of United Methodist-related Albright College, and Jack Gombach, a student, involved with the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge announced last March by the White House. More …

North Alabama needs UMVIM teams
The North Alabama Conference is requesting United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) teams for January and February to help begin construction for the storm survivor families. If you are interested in serving, visit for more information.

SEJ Disaster Academy to be Feb. 20-23
The Southeastern Jurisdiction (SEJ) Disaster Academy will be held Feb. 20-23, at Simpsonwood Retreat Center in Norcross, GA. Register by Dec. 15 to take advantage of the early bird rate: Single $325, Double $200. Rate includes lodging, meals, shirt and all training materials. Register after Dec. 15: Single $360, double $250. Registration closes Jan. 16. For a complete listing of class offerings or to register, click here.

UM Communications receives awards for documentaries
United Methodist Communications received three awards from the Association of Marketing and Communications Professionals for documentaries produced by the agency: “A Killer in the Dark: An Extraordinary Effort to Combat Malaria” and “Dreamer.” The international awards competition recognizes outstanding creative achievement by marketing and communications professionals. More …

SEJ UMVIM office seeks Development Director
The Southeastern Jurisdiction (SEJ) United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) office is seeking a Development Director. To view the job description, click here. To receive an employment application, e-mail

GBOD seeks Web Developer/Designer
The General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) is seeking a Web Developer/Designer to be responsible for development, design and support of Web sites, mobile applications and content management system tools for GBOD web initiatives as well as provide technical expertise to web development team and general staff. Click here for complete job description. Deadline to apply is Dec. 21. If you are interested in this position, call GBOD Human Resources, (615) 340-7107, or e-mail

GBOD seeks Director of Young People’s Ministry Development
The General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) seeks Director of Young People's Ministry Development. This position directs the work of regional staff to establish connectional relationships creating networks of youths, young adults and adult workers. Establishes strategies for resourcing all aspects of ministry with youths, young adults and adult workers for the development of making disciples of Jesus Christ. Nurtures and manages partnerships as needed to accomplish this work. Click here for complete job description. Deadline to apply is Dec. 15. If you are interested in this position, send cover letter and resume by e-mail or fax to Human Resources at or (615) 340-7565.

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
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