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News from the Virginia Conference - April 23, 2015

Remember to submit information about your April 25 lemonade stand
The conference Communications office is issuing news releases to publicize this Saturday's World Malaria Day lemonade stands that will be set up by Virginia Conference churches to raise funds for Imagine No Malaria. Churches are urged to submit information about the locations and times of operation of lemonade stands they are sponsoring so news media can be notified. Please include street address and city or town. Click here to submit information about your lemonade stand(s) location(s) and time(s). Click here to see list of registered lemonade stands. If you have questions or need more information, contact Maria Maxwell, Virginia Conference Imagine No Malaria field coordinator, at (804) 521-1160 or More ...

Send us pictures of your 'Imagine No Malaria' lemonade stand
The SWAT team will be out visiting lemonade stands on Saturday — taking pictures and recording videos — but we won't be able to visit everyone. So, take pictures of your lemonade stand and send them to or to Or post them on the conference Facebook page or the conference Imagine No Malaria Facebook page. We want to see all of the United Methodists who are selling lemonade and raising money to save lives.

Virginia Conference has saved 51,377 lives from malaria
As of April 20, Virginia Conference United Methodists have raised $513,770 and saved more than 51,377 lives for Imagine No Malaria. We're more than halfway to our goal to save 100,000+ lives by 2015 Annual Conference which will be June 19-21. More ...

Arlington District to match lemonade stand funds, up to $7,000
Arlington District leadership has raised funds to match lemonade stand fundraising by Arlington District churches dollar-for-dollar up to $7,000. April 25 is World Malaria Day, and Bishop Young Jin Cho asked all churches in the Virginia Conference to sell lemonade to raise awareness and funds to help end malaria. Some churches have already hosted lemonade stands. Others will host them after April 25. But whichever day or days you choose, you can use your lemonade stands to tell people the story of the fight against malaria that has cut deaths due to this disease by more than half since 2007. You can recount the important role The United Methodist Church has played in this effort. You can explain why the end of malaria is within reach today. And, you can raise funds at your lemonade stands to support the effort. Every $10 you raise saves a life. If Arlington District churches raise $7,000 at their Imagine No Malaria lemonade stands, the district will match it with another $7,000. That would mean 1400 lives saved! But don’t stop there. Sell even more lemonade, and save even more lives.

New video shows highlights of 'Thy Kingdom Come' conference
Shenandoah University partnered with the Winchester District to host the Thy Kingdom Come Conference on April 17-18. This conference invited youths and young adults to come hear Shane Claiborne and Lisa Sharon Harper talk about why justice and peace are important and how they coincide with faith. Participants were also invited to engage in different mission opportunities as well as hold conversations surrounding justice and faith. Nick Ruxton, videographer in the conference Communications office, produced a short video about this event. This new video, along with other videos highlighting ministries of the Virginia Conference, can be found on the conference YouTube channel at and the conference Facebook page at

Voices of Youth needs Roanoke District host church for July 22 concert
The Voices of Youth 2015 "Shelter in the Storm" tour is in need of a host church on the Roanoke District for the evening of Wednesday, July 22. If you are interested in welcoming this awesome group of young people for a concert, contact Jenn Dixon, Conference Coordinator, at (757) 348-7084 or

Kip and Nancy Robinson return to Sierra Leone
Kip and Nancy Robinson, General Board of Global Ministries missionaries from the Virginia Conference, are returning to Sierra Leone after a lengthy stay in the United States because of the Ebola epidemic in west Africa. Kip has already returned to Sierra Leone, and Nancy will join him in a few weeks. "While in the U.S., we were busy doing a key part of the missionary experience for Global Ministries ... itineration," Kip said. "We gladly embraced visiting many churches, making presentations, preaching, providing children's sermons and meeting the vast number of those who support The United Methodist Church in Sierra Leone with prayers and partnerships." During their itineration, the Robinsons visited 44 churches in Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey; made 84 presentations; traveled more than 6,000 miles by car and train; and "once again confirmed the immense hospitality of United Methodists everywhere ... especially sharing meals together," he said. Contributions to support the Robinsons' ministry can be made to Advance #3021815 (Kip) or Advance #3021816 (Nancy).

Hopewell UMC, Chesterfield, celebrates 200th anniversary
Hopewell UMC in Chesterfield observed its 200th anniversary last Sunday, April 19, with a special service and meal, celebrating the sense of community it has fostered over the years. The church was featured in the Richmond Times-Dispatch the Friday before the celebration. More ...

Volunteers needed for Annual Conference computer-assisted note taking
Volunteers are needed to offer their time and talent in communicating the spoken word to persons who need computer-assisted note taking in order to be fully included in our 2015 Annual Conference sessions to be held June 19-21 in Roanoke. Tasks include typing text of reports, worship and music using Microsoft Word, sometimes while the speaker is presenting. Good typing speed and accuracy is a must. Individuals are needed for all sessions for shifts of one hour or longer. For more information, contact Cheryl Edley Worford, director of the Center for Inclusivity and Lay Leadership Excellence, at 1-800-768-6040 or (804) 521-1100, ext. 154, or by e-mail to

Bishop Cho to lead fourth pilgrimage to South Korea Oct. 19-27
For the fourth year, Bishop Young Jin Cho will lead a group of active clergy to Bupyeong Methodist Church in Incheon, South Korea. This pilgrimage will emphasize prayer as the foundation of personal and collective spiritual renewal combined with contextual hands-on missions and ministries planted by American missionaries a century ago on Korean soil. Seating is limited to 30 clergy, but seats are still available. Room and board will be provided by Bupyeong Methodist Church for the duration of the trip. Participants will be responsible for cost of air fare, extra insurance coverage by GBGM, and personal expenses. Round-trip air fare is estimated to be $1,330. For age 60 and above is $1,235.00. Application deadline is April 25. Please note that this is an application process. Applications will be reviewed by the members of the planning committee. Those submitting applications will be notified after the deadline. To apply, go to For more information, contact Rev. Won Un at or (540) 886-3441.

Older Adult Recognition Sunday is May 3
Older Adult Recognition Sunday is May 3. The 2008 General Conference adopted legislation inviting congregations to celebrate Older Adult Recognition Day each year during the month of May. The Virginia Conference was well ahead of the legislation when, in 2006, the first Sunday in May of each year was designated as Older Adult Recognition Sunday. Through an Older Adult Recognition Sunday, 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. More ...

Churches asked to take Samaritan Offering May 10-June 21
Churches in the Virginia Conference are asked to receive a special offering between Mother’s Day on May 10 and Father’s Day on June 21 for the 2015 Samaritan Offering to support the Samaritan Program of Virginia United Methodist Homes (VUMH), a benevolent fund which provides financial assistance to residents who have outlived their monetary resources and, through no fault of their own, can no longer afford the full cost of their care. VUMH mailed each charge a packet of promotional materials, including a short informational DVD, offering envelopes and a copy of the new VUMH 2015 Giving Catalog. Additional suggestions for promoting this special offering, including cut-and-paste newsletter articles, bulletin announcements, Facebook posts, Tweets, worship resources and bulletin inserts, are posted on the website at under the “Samaritan Program” section. Your support of this special offering is crucial not only to inform each congregation of the opportunity to give, but also to share the story of VUMH, its communities for older adults and the need for benevolent care. For help in telling the VUMH story within your congregation or extra copies of promotional materials, contact Martha Stokes, director of Church and Community Relations at Virginia United Methodist Homes, at or (804) 474-8718.

Sunday, May 24, is conference-wide Day of Prayer
Bishop Young Jin Cho is inviting all churches in the Virginia Conference to participate in the second annual conference-wide Day of Prayer on Sunday, May 24. "We began this campaign last year to help create a culture of prayer in our conference as the basis for a renewal and revival of our churches," Bishop Cho said. "This year May 24 (Sunday) is the date of our conference-wide Day of Prayer. I invite every church to remember this day and to pray for a renewal and revival of the churches in our conference and in the entire United Methodist Church." More ...

Peace with Justice Sunday is May 31
Peace with Justice Sunday is May 31. The Virginia Conference Board of Church and Society and the office of Justice and Missional Excellence are asking Virginia churches to make a special effort to support this special Sunday offering this year. The offering is for the purpose of financing activities (a) to achieve the "Policies for a Just Peace" contained in the Council of Bishops' Foundation Document "In Defense of Creation," and (b) to pursue other justice and peace objectives contained within the vision of shalom in that document. The offering is divided between the General Board of Church and Society and the Virginia Conference. Churches and other United Methodist groups are eligible to apply for grants from the conference Peace with Justice Grant fund.

May 15 is deadline to apply to be Global Mission Fellow
Global Mission Fellows, a two-year mission service program for young adults ages 20-30, is accepting applications through May 15. The program includes the US-2 track, a 24-month service program for Americans who are called to serve in the United States, and the International track, a 25-month service program for young adults all across the globe who are called to serve in another country. For more information, watch a short video about Generation Transformation and visit the Global Mission Fellows website at

Resources listed to help rural churches get broadband
"It may seem trivial, but simply offering free Wi-Fi can change the lives of children in a community," writes the Rev. Jeremy Steele in Interpreter magazine. He highlights the resources available to help churches — especially in rural communities — get connected to broadband. More ...

Quick facts about United Methodist Church available online
Looking for a snapshot of The United Methodist Church's numbers around the globe? The data services department of the General Council on Finance and Administration has put together a chart of church membership, attendance, total active churches and total active clergy. More ...

Pension board receives international recognition
Responsible Investor international news service, based in the United Kingdom, has nominated the United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits for the RI Reporting Awards 2015. The nomination recognizes the board's report "Sustainable Investing: Transforming Companies through Environmental, Social and Governance Best Practices." The United Methodist board is one of only two U.S. pension funds to be nominated for an award. More ..

Judicial Council says eliminating committee on investigation was unconstitutional
Eliminating the committee on investigation for clergy members in an annual conference from the denomination’s law book in 2012 was unconstitutional, the top court of The United Methodist Church has ruled. During its April 15-18 meeting, the Judicial Council also ordered the full restoration — including back pay — of the salary of an African bishop whose income was reduced by the board of the denomination’s finance agency. The General Council on Finance and Administration board ordered the reduction after receiving what it believed to be inadequate responses to an audit inquiry. More ...

Council of Bishops to meet May 1-7 in Germany
United Methodist bishops will gather May 1-7 in Berlin to discuss developing vital congregations, the 2016 United Methodist General Conference and other issues. More ...

New award recognizes baptisms, professions of faith
United Methodist Discipleship Ministries aims to encourage conferences to renew their focus on discipleship by honoring churches with the new One Matters Discipleship Award. The agency urges each conference to use the award to recognize one church that is turning zeros in baptisms and professions of faith into positive numbers. The award provides $1,000 and a One Matters Discipleship Award plaque. More ...

BMCR chair calls for partnership to fight racism
The chairman of Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR) challenged members to work alongside others to fight and ultimately eliminate covert and overt racism in The United Methodist Church and the nation. More ...

Mission agency to form new global health unit
A new global health unit for the General Board of Global Ministries will position the denomination for participation in major international health campaigns through the next few decades. Thomas Kemper, the board's top executive, outlined expectations during his April 16 address to the mission agency's board of directors. More ...

General Conference Commission seeks new way to handle homosexuality debate
Can The United Methodist Church's top lawmaking body debate the church's stance on homosexuality in a way that is not hurtful? The Commission on General Conference is seeking a new way to handle this emotional dispute and met behind closed doors with representatives from five advocacy groups that have a stake in the debate. More ...

♦ Give Me That Olde Time Religion - April 25
The Virginia Conference Older Adult Council and the Senior Adult Council of Shady Grove UMC, Mechanicsville, are hosting "Give Me That Olde Time Religion" revival worship service 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday April 25, in the sanctuary of Shady Grove UMC, Mechanicsville. The service will include singing old hymns, praying and preaching by the dynamic Rev. Dr. Clarence Brown Jr., senior pastor of Annandale UMC. Fee of $12 per person includes lunch. More ...

♦ Resource Center Inclusion Concert - April 26
The Resource Center's Inclusion Concert celebrating unity in our diversity will be Sunday, April 26, at 4 p.m. at Carlisle Avenue Baptist Church, 2010 Carlisle Ave., Richmond. The event is a tapestry of different cultural expressions of worship and song, dance, mime, drums and more. A massed choir comes together for the event, and anyone is welcome to rehearse and sing. For more information, go to, call Dr. Denise Janssen, executive director, at (804) 464-8913 or e-mail More ...

♦ Diaconate Day Apart - April 30
Deacons, Deaconesses, Diaconal Ministers, Home Missioners and Provisional Deacons are invited to worship, fellowship and holy conversation 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, April 30, at United Methodist Family Services (UMFS), 3900 W. Broad St., Richmond. The Rev. Joe Torrence, Deacon in the Virginia Conference and Minister of Youth and Church Relations for UMFS, will help us learn what we need to know about introducing the ministry of United Methodist Family Services (UMFS) to our churches and communities. An optional mission project will be offered 2-3 p.m. at UMFS. More ...

♦ PAUMCS Spring Retreat - May 3-4
Virginia chapter of the Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries (PAUMCS) will hold a "Get Away from it All" Spring Retreat for church secretaries 4 p.m. Sunday, May 3, to 3 p.m. Monday, May 4, at the Williamsburg Christian Retreat Center in Toano. Buena "Beanie" Rankin, retired assistant director of Records and Statistics of the General Council on Finance and Administration, will offer training in the areas of apportionments, record retention, effective cyber communications, church software and membership records. This event is an opportunity for church secretaries and administrators to learn, network, fellowship and relax. More ...

♦ Your Legacy and Life Beyond this Life - May 12
The Virginia Conference Older Adult Council is partnering with Overlook Retreat & Camp Ministries to offer "Your Legacy and Life Beyond this Life!" one-day retreat on Tuesday, May 12, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Camp Overlook in Keezletown. The morning will focus on the legacy we leave as older adults. The afternoon will be encounters with eternal life as shared by individuals who have had glimpses of heaven. Lodging is available the night before. For more information and to register, go to

♦ Renewing God’s Creation in Northern Virginia - May 16
"Renewing God’s Creation in Northern Virginia: United Methodist Gathering for Fellowship and Action" will be held 2-4 p.m. Saturday, May 16, at The Church of the Good Shepherd, 2351 Hunter Mill Road, Vienna. The Rev. Pat Watkins, missionary for God’s Renewed Creation with the General Board of Global Ministries, will speak on "Renewal of Creation in the Church and World." A representative from the Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions will speak on "Advocating for Climate Action in Fairfax County." We will share our stories of greening our churches/communities and plan opportunities for cultivation and future gatherings. For more information, contact Brian Christoffersen, Arlington District Church and Society representative, at

♦ UMVIM Team Leader Training - May 16
Team Leader Training is required for all first-time United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) team leaders, but all interested persons are welcome to attend whether leading a team or not. Training is currently scheduled for Saturday, May 16, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Floris UMC, 13600 Frying Pan Rd., Herndon. Click here to register online and pay by credit card. Click here to download a pdf form and pay by check.

♦ School for Children's Ministries - May 30
The School for Children’s Ministries is on the road again featuring the same school at four different locations on four different dates. The first will be Saturday, May 30, at New Life UMC in Midlothian (Richmond District). Learn "Extraordinary Lessons from Ordinary Objects" plus three more workshops. A .5 CEU offered. Encourage your children’s ministry team to attend. Only $20 per person. Click here for more information and to register.

♦ Conference on Aging - June 2
The Virginia Conference Older Adult Ministries and the Lynchburg District Older Adult Ministries are co-sponsors of the Lynchburg College Beard Center 2015 Conference on Aging to be held Tuesday, June 2, on the Lynchburg College campus in Lynchburg. Theme is “Aging Well in Mind, Body, Spirit.” Keynotes will include “Choosing to live a happy, balanced, vibrant life” by Kathleen Passanisi, internationally recognized speaker, humorist and medical professional; and "May the circle be unbroken: Spirituality, faith and aging" by James L. Brooks, associate state director for AARP Virginia and ordained United Church of Christ pastor. Early registration deadline is May 1. More ...

♦ Helping Hands - July 23-24
The 2015 Helping Hands Virginia Conference event will be held at Woodlake UMC in Midlothian July 23-24. This event gives rising 4th-6th graders the opportunity to do hands-on missions in the Richmond area. Participants have the option of early-bird registration which includes three on-site mission opportunities or regular registration which includes two on-site mission opportunities. To register go to For more information, contact MaryKaye Cochran at (804) 639-8872 or

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 For information about the Virginia Conference and resources for ministry, visit the Virginia Conference website at




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