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Dec. 18, 2014
Dec. 10, 2014
Dec. 4, 2014

Nov. 21, 2014 - Day of Holy Conversation
Nov. 20, 2014
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March 26, 2014
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Feb. 27, 2014
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News from the Virginia Conference - April 16, 2014

Conference offices to close for Good Friday, Easter
Virginia Conference offices will close at 1 p.m. Thursday, April 17, and remain closed until 8:30 a.m. Monday, April 21, in observance of Good Friday and Easter.

Peace with Justice grants awarded to three churches
The Virginia Conference Board of Church and Society awarded three Peace with Justice Grants totalling $13,060 to three churches: Resurrection UMC in Chesapeake received $4,400 for its Creation Care Ministry; Eastland UMC in Fredericksburg received $3,660 for its Just Faith Study Program; Rising Hope UMC in Alexandria received $5,000 for its Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement (VOICE) program. Funds for Peace with Justice grants are generated from Peace With Justice Sunday offerings which are divided between the General Board of Church & Society and the conference board.

LEAD youth leadership training to be July 25-Aug. 3 in Roanoke
The Conference Council on Youth Ministries invites youths from across the conference to participate in LEAD, a 10-day leadership training immersion experience, July 25 - Aug. 3 in Roanoke. District and local church youth councils are encouraged to select as many as 3-5 youths who are willing to commit to this 10-day intensive experience. Upon their return, they will implement covenant action plans to utilize newly developed leadership skills in their districts and local communities. More ...

May Advocate focuses on returning to our Wesleyan roots
Theme of the May issue of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate will be “Returning to our Wesleyan Roots.” John and Charles Wesley formed the Holy Club in Oxford and established Methodist societies and class meetings for members to encourage each other and hold each other accountable for living Christian lives. How can this heritage help inform the Virginia Conference’s new Discipleship Circles? How can we make connections between our Wesleyan heritage and missional leadership for today? The Advocate is the official monthly magazine of the Virginia Conference. To subscribe to the Advocate – print, digital or both – call (804) 521-1110 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110; e-mail Advocate@vaumc.org; or go to www.vaumc.org/advocate.

Foundation seeks part-time administrative assistant
The Virginia United Methodist Foundation, located in the Virginia United Methodist Center in Glen Allen, is seeking a part-time administrative assistant. This is an hourly position, though exact schedule of hours and days of the week are somewhat flexible, to be arranged in advance of hire. Compensation will be commensurate with experience and qualifications. Click here for a detailed job description. Anticipated start date is May 20 or as soon as qualified applicant is available. Send resume to Stephen Clark, P.O. Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058 or via e-mail to StephenClark@vaumc.org.

Older Adult Recognition Sunday is May 4
In the Virginia Conference, Older Adult Recognition Sunday is May 4 when United Methodists are invited to show appreciation and support for older adults who continue to enrich and strengthen our faith communities. This Sunday should also call the church to action in addressing the needs of older adults in the congregation and community. Your congregation can choose the first Sunday in May or another date that best fits your needs. Click here for worship resource materials around this year’s theme, “Walking the Walk. Knowing the Verse. Living the Word.” More ...

Native American Ministries Sunday is May 4
Native American Ministries Sunday, May 4, reminds United Methodists of the contributions made by Native Americans to our society. The special offering benefits Native American outreach within annual conferences and across the United States and provides seminary scholarships for Native Americans. More ...

Ancient traditions still influence Easter
Christians journeying through Holy Week may be surprised to learn how some Easter traditions have evolved over the centuries. More ...

Two United Methodists killed in shootings at Jewish centers
Dr. William Corporon and his 14-year-old grandson, Reat Underwood, both members of United Methodist Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, Kan., died after a gunman shot them outside a Jewish Community Center on April 13. A third victim, Terri LaManno, a member of St. Peter’s Parish Catholic Church, also was killed at a Jewish retirement community less than a mile away. More ... Memorial Service for Dr. Corporon and Reat will be held at 3 p.m. April 18 in the main sanctuary of The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection. More ...

Church Alliance files brief in clergy housing exclusion case
The Church Alliance, a coalition of the chief executive officers of 38 denominational benefit programs including The United Methodist Church, has filed an amicus curiae brief in the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Chicago) in the case challenging the constitutionality of the clergy housing exclusion under Section 107(2) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. Barbara Boigegrain, chief executive of the United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits, is chair of the Church Alliance. More ...

Social justice agency sets legislative priorities
Immigration reform, health security, combating human trafficking and fully funded international family planning are some of the 2014 legislative priorities set by the General Board of Church & Society for the U.S. Congress. The priorities support social justice positions approved by The United Methodist Church's top policy-making body, General Conference. More ...

United Methodists raise 80% of Imagine No Malaria goal
Imagine No Malaria announced that United Methodists are 80% of the way toward reaching their goal of raising $75 million for the campaign by 2015. More ...

GBCS head tells senators we don't teach justice by being unjust
The Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe, top executive of the General Board of Church & Society (GBCS), told U.S. Senate Democrats that we do not teach justice by being unjust. She made her remarks at a discussion convened by Senate Democrats on the need for drug-sentencing reform. More ...

GBCS urges senators to pass Smarter Sentencing Act
The General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) sent a letter to U.S. Senators encouraging them to pass the Smarter Sentencing Act (S. 1410) that would address the costly overcrowding crisis in the Bureau of Prisons by reducing excessive sentences for low-level drug offenses and allow judicial review of cases rather than instituting mandatory minimum sentences. More ...

Scouting organization loses affiliation with United Methodist Men
After years of tension, The National Association of United Methodist Scouters has lost its affiliation with the Commission on United Methodist Men and other United Methodist organizations, including the National Association of Conference Presidents of United Methodist Men and the United Methodist Men Foundation. More ...

Retired Bishop Lloyd Knox dies at 85
James Lloyd Knox, a retired United Methodist bishop who was known as a champion of mission, died at age 85 on April 13. He served the denomination in various capacities and locations, but is well-remembered for his work in his native Florida. More ...

April 29, May 1 webinars to focus on small membership churches
The General Board of Discipleship will offer two webinars with a focus on small membership churches:
     7:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 29, "Claiming a Missionary Mindset" - The Rev. Amy Shanholtzer suggests ways for family churches to build new relationships with not-yet-churched people. Shanholtzer serves in West Virginia where nearly 75% of churches have 50 or fewer in worship.
     7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 1, "Change Requires Something of US!" - The Rev. Diana Northcutt, Oklahoma director of discipleship ministries for small membership churches, says we must address change to move our churches from physical death to resurrection.
You can register for both webinars or view archived webinars at www.gbod.org/webinars. All webinars are provided by your giving to World Service apportionments.

Ideas offered for summer community outreach
The Rev. Jeremy Steele, writing for United Methodist Communications, shares three ideas already introduced by churches across the United States that can help churches reach out to their communities during the summer months. More ...

Chuck Knows Church: Maundy Thursday and Good Friday
Maundy Thursday is also known as Holy Thursday, Covenant Thursday, Great and Holy Thursday, Sheer Thursday and Thursday of Mysteries! Whew ... but what exactly is this important day in the holy week? Click here to see Chuck's answer. Good Friday is also known as Holy Friday, Great Friday, Black Friday or Easter Friday. We all know the terrible events of this day, but why is it called "good"? Click here to find out. "Chuck Knows Church" is a weekly online series that explains the meaning behind some of the objects, symbols, terms and rituals in church. Episodes can be downloaded for free at www.ChuckKnowsChurch.com and used in worship, youth groups, fellowship groups, confirmation classes, worship teams, new member classes and late-night snack viewing. Chuck is on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. "Chuck Knows Church" is produced by the General Board of Discipleship.

GBOD seeks coordinator of Leadership Ministries
The General Board of Discipleship (GBOD), headquartered in Nashville, is seeking the right person to fill the position of Coordinator - Leadership Ministries. This position performs a full range of administrative/technical support, and coordinates activities and projects to promote the mission of the Leadership Ministries Division. Deadline for receiving applications is May 1. For more information, go to http://www.gbod.org/about/job-openings.

♦ Westview on James Summer Camp Open House - April 27
Westview on the James will host a Summer Camp Open House 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, April 27. Bring a picnic lunch or dinner and enjoy a fun-filled afternoon at Westview. Meet counselors, canoe on the lake, see the Hogans where campers will stay and enjoy goodies at the dining hall. For more information, call the office at (804) 457-4210.

♦ Cambodia Consultation - May 1-3
The Virginia Conference will host a Consultation on Cambodia May 1-3 at Aldersgate UMC in Alexandria. This event is co-sponsored by the General Board of Global Ministries in order to provide opportunities to meet missionaries and Cambodian leadership and learn more about the Cambodian mission, a new partner in the Virginia Conference outreach and mission program, Initiatives of Hope. More ...

♦ UMVIM Team Leader training - May 3, May 17
United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) Team Leader Training events will be May 3 at Virginia Beach UMC, Virginia Beach. (Registration deadline is April 28. Click here to register online. Click here to download flyer.) and May 17 at Hinton Avenue UMC, Charlottesville. (Registration deadline is May 12. Click here to register online. Click here to download flyer.)

♦ Large Church Lead Pastor Just-In-Time Training - May 8-9
Large Church Lead Pastor Just-In-Time Training will be May 8-9 at the Roslyn Retreat Center in Richmond. This retreat is for lead pastors who are moving this year to churches with an average worship attendance of 350 or more, as recorded by the Cabinet. Registration is open only to those lead pastors who have received an invitation to attend. Contact Beth Downs at (804) 521-1127 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 127, or BethDowns@vaumc.org if you have questions about your eligibility to register for this event. More ...

♦ Local Pastors/Associate Members Fellowship Spring Meeting - May 8
The Fellowship of Local Pastors and Associate Members will welcome Dr. Christine Parton-Burkett to their spring gathering Thursday, May 8, at River Road UMC, Richmond. This continuing education event and time of fellowship will focus on preaching: reducing fillers that can cloud sermons, improving public proclamation generally, non-verbal messaging in the pulpit, and creating fresh ways to craft the ancient message. More ...

♦ Mid-size Church Lead Pastor Just-In-Time Training - May 15-16
Mid-size Church Lead Pastor Just-In-Time Training, May 15-16 at Richmond Hill Retreat Center in Richmond, is for lead pastors who are moving this year to churches with an average worship attendance of 150 to 350, as recorded by the Cabinet. Registration is open only to those lead pastors who have received an invitation to attend. Contact Beth Downs at (804) 521-1127 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 127, or BethDowns@vaumc.org if you have questions about your eligibility to register for this event. More ...

♦ 'Lord, Teach Me to Pray' - May 17, Aug. 23, Oct. 25
"Lord, Teach Me to Pray — Practical Applications for Prayer" will be offered three separate times at three different locations: Saturday, May 17, at Timberlake UMC, Lynchburg (Click here to register); Saturday, Aug. 23, at Williamsburg UMC, Williamsburg (Click here to register); and Saturday, Oct. 25, at St. Thomas UMC, Manassas (Click here to register). Main speaker will be Dr. Wendy Miller, professor emeritus of Spiritual Formation at Eastern Mennonite Seminary and adjunct faculty at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill., and Perkins School of Theology in Dallas. Click here to download a flyer.

♦ 'Change the World' weekend - May 17-18
On May 17-18, United Methodists around the world plan to pull together events to help "Change the World." For the fifth year, local churches will take on service projects that improve the circumstances of others and spark public interest in volunteer activities. Register your project now at umcom.org/changetheworld. Churches that register their projects early can receive a free promotional kit while supplies last. More ...

♦ Safe Sanctuaries training - June 18-19
The Virginia Conference will host Safe Sanctuaries training June 18-19 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center (two days prior to beginning of Annual Conference at the same location). The Rev. Joy Melton, author of Safe Sanctuaries resources, will lead this two-day workshop. One CEU available for participating clergy and lay professionals. This training will not replace or meet requirements for Clergy Ethics II training. Registration is $25 per person or $80 for a team of four from a church. Special lodging rates are available at the Embassy Suites/Hampton Roads. More ...

♦ SERVE: A Missional Exploration for Ministry - Aug. 3-5
An event at Randolph-Macon College Aug 3-5 will help high school students explore a calling to ministry. "SERVE: A Missional Exploration for Ministry" will have a work camp focus and include small groups, Bible study, recreation, special worship services and more. Click here for more information or call Margie Turbyfill at (804) 368-7276 or e-mail margieturbyfill@rmc.edu. The program is co-sponsored by the Bailey Pre-ministerial Program at Randolph-Macon College and the Virginia Conference Board of Ordained Ministry.

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 magazine — now available in both print and digital formats. Click here to subscribe. Or call the Communications office at 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110, or (804) 521-1110. Or e-mail Advocate@vaumc.org. For information about the Virginia Conference and resources for ministry, visit the Virginia Conference website at www.vaumc.org


 

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