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To view a 2014 issue of the Virginia Conference e-Advocate, click on the date below:

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

Nov. 21, 2014 - Day of Holy Conversation
Nov. 20, 2014
Nov. 13, 2014
Nov. 6, 2014

Oct. 28, 2014
Oct. 16, 2014
Oct. 10, 2014
Oct. 2, 2014

Sept. 25, 2014
Sept. 18, 2014
Sept. 11, 2014
Sept. 4, 2014

Aug. 28, 2014
Aug. 22, 2014
Aug. 15, 2014
Aug. 7, 2014

July 30, 2014
July 24, 2014
July 17, 2014
July 10, 2014
July 2, 2014

June 24, 2014
June 12, 2014
June 5, 2014

May 29, 2014 - Special Annual Conference edition
May 23, 2014
May 15, 2014
May 8, 2014

April 24, 2014
April 16, 2014
April 10, 2014
April 3, 2014

March 26, 2014
March 20, 2014
March 13, 2014
March 10, 2014
March 5, 2014

Feb. 27, 2014
Feb. 20, 2014
Feb. 17, 2014
Feb. 12, 2014
Feb. 6, 2014

Jan. 30, 2014
Jan. 23, 2014
Jan. 16, 2014
Jan. 9, 2014

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News from the Virginia Conference - April 3, 2014

Roll-out of assigned clergy e-mail addresses to begin Friday
On Friday, April 4, clergy in the Arlington, Alexandria and Eastern Shore Districts will receive e-mail notices regarding their new e-mail addresses. This will be the first group to receive conference-provided e-mail addresses ending in These e-mail addresses, provided through Google Apps, will be assigned to every active clergyperson in the conference. More ...

Convocation speaker says prayer should be natural as breathing
Dr. Tom Albin had folks doing some deep breathing exercises as he explained to more than 400 participants at the Bishop’s Convocation on Prayer that praying should be as natural as breathing. More ...

'Lord Teach Me to Pray' to be offered May 17, Aug. 23, Oct. 25
A follow-up to the Bishop's Convocation on Prayer will be sponsored by the conference Board of Discipleship. "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.

Cathy Abbott to be featured in CBS special on second career pastors
The Rev. Cathy Abbott, Arlington District superintendent, is one of the subjects of a CBS special entitled “A New Calling” about second career pastors. The show is part of a CBS series on Religion and Culture, and it will be shown on CBS stations across the country at different times. It will air on WTVR in Richmond-Petersburg April 12 at 5:30 a.m., on WTKR in Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News at 3:05 a.m. April 13, on WCAV in Charlottesville at 8 a.m. April 13, and on WUSA in the Washington, D.C., area at 5:30 a.m. April 20. For more information, including a full list of air dates and the show online, go to or If your area is not listed, call your local CBS affiliate station and ask when the program will be shown.

Supplies needed for 'All God's Children' camps
Looking for a great mission opportunity? Collect and donate supplies for All God's Children Camp. To Adopt a Cabin, send an e-mail to Casey Torrence, director of All God's Children Camp, at to sign up and get a list of supplies to collect. Deliver the supplies by Aug. 2 for Occohannock and Aug. 9 for Westview. Supplies include flannel blankets, pillows, twin sheet sets, towels, ponchos, mesh laundry bags, Bath Kits (toothbrush, toothpaste, washcloth or shower puff, comb, deodorant) and Cabin Survival Kit (large plastic container with lid containing bug spray, paper towel roll, sun screen, container of Clorox wipes, wasp/bee spray, hand sanitizer, pump bottle and box of tissues). If you cannot Adopt a Cabin, consider donating outside games/balls (soccer balls, basketballs, frisbees, etc); children's DVDs (PG or G rated only); age-appropriate board games/activities/books/crafts (campers are 7-12 years old); new socks and underwear (various sizes from children’s 6 to adult sizes); and new elastic waistband shorts (various sizes from children’s 6 to adult sizes). More ....

Gil Caldwell to speak at 'Overcoming Discrimation' event April 12
This Saturday, April 5, is deadline to register for "Following Jesus: Overcoming Discrimination" to be held 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 12, at Duncan Memorial UMC, 201 Henry St., Ashland. Keynote speaker is the Rev. Dr. Gilbert Caldwell, founding member of Black Methodists for Church Renewal, co-founder of United Methodists of Color for a Fully Inclusive Church, former Associate General Secretary of the General Commission on Religion and Race and civil rights activist. Half (.5) CEU is available for event participation; one CEU is available for event participation and reading. Event is sponsored by the Virginia Methodist Federation for Social Action (MFSA), Virginia Black Methodists for Church Renewal and Virginia Reconciling United Methodists. Click here to register. For more information, contact the Rev. Hunter Mabry at (540) 241-1266.

Vickers to speak at Evangelical Fellowship gathering May 3
The Evangelical Fellowship of Virginia will hold its 2014 gathering for laity and clergy, “Holiness & the Renewal of Ministry,” 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, May 3, at River Road UMC, Richmond. Speaker is the Rev. Dr. Jason E. Vickers, Professor of Theology and Wesleyan Studies at United Theological Seminary, Dayton, Ohio. Vickers will help participants contemplate the nature of God’s holiness, think about where and how we encounter God’s holiness, and reflect on how we become holy. Clergy who attend the event in its entirety will receive .5 CEU. For details, contact the Rev. Keith Boyette at (540) 972-8808.

Summer mission trip to Brazil planned for young adults
Virginia Conference young adults will take a mission trip to Curitiba, Brazil, this summer. Participants will attend a young adult conference and do a service project with Brazilian young people. They will stay with host families. There’s even a chance to attend a World Cup soccer match. Cost of the trip is $2,300. Spaces are still available. Team leader is Carl Gravely. Call (724) 989-9657 or e-mail, for more information. Brazil is one of the three Virginia Conference Initiatives of Hope partners.

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 resources 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 ...

Foundation seeks Stewardship Advisor
The Virginia United Methodist Foundation is seeking a Stewardship Advisor to serve its donors, clients, churches and agencies and provide assistance through expansion of current service offerings in asset management, strategic planning and ministry development. The individual should have a heart for stewardship ministry and a background in business and marketing. The Foundation office is located in the Virginia United Methodist Center in Glen Allen. Send resume by April 15 to David Thompson, P.O. Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA, 23058 or via e-mail to For details, visit the Virginia Conference website at

Clergy, laity invited to join 'The Good Race' on Nov. 15
Clergy and laity are invited to join other United Methodists in "The Good Race," a day of participation and celebration while walking or running the Anthem Richmond 8K, Half-Marathon or Marathon on Saturday, Nov. 15. Information about these races can be found at Or e-mail Steve Jones at or Allie Rosner at Or join the “The Good Race" Facebook group. This is not a competition – it is clergy and laity who want to encourage one another in exercise and wellness.

'Change the World' weekend is 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 Churches that register their projects early can receive a free promotional kit while supplies last. More ...

Rethink Church launches redesigned website for seekers
Spiritual seekers can Rethink Church more easily through the newly redesigned website, The new site leads visitors through the concept of rethinking church and helps them find opportunities to get involved both virtually and in real life. More ...

Rethink Church introduces Easter ad campaign
Rethink Church, part of United Methodist Communications, launched a new ad campaign to help people find new meaning in the Resurrection. The campaign began March 31 in select television markets and nationally on digital sites and mobile. Your church can download the 30-second or 15-second videos by clicking here and use them on your website, in worship or on social media platforms. You can even invite people to come to your Easter services or let them know about a special event by using the customizable 23-second spot. Deadline to order is April 11. If you are interested in a customized version, e-mail or call Rethink Church at 1-877-281-6535. Click here for a preview

UMCOR prepares to respond to Chile earthquake
United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) requests your prayers for earthquake survivors in northern Chile, following a magnitude 8.2 temblor, which triggered a tsunami with 6-foot waves, on Tuesday, April 1. UMCOR has been in contact with the Methodist Humanitarian Aid Team (EMAH), the humanitarian assistance arm of the Methodist Church of Chile, since almost immediately after the quake, and is awaiting further news and needs assessments. More ...

United Methodists ready to assist after Washington mudslide
United Methodist Early Response Teams (ERT) stand ready to assist after the deadly mudslide in Washington State, but because of the extensive debris and damaged roads, “it’s going to be a very long time before they allow anything like an ERT in that area,” said Jim Truitt, United Methodist Volunteers-in-Mission coordinator for the Pacific Northwest Conference. Bishop Grant Hagiya called for prayers after the disaster. The conference has asked churches to start collecting monetary donations for those who lost possessions and homes in the mudslide. More ...

Pension board announced new social values investment fund
The United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits announces the creation of a new investment fund — the Equities Social Values Plus Fund, an alternative fund for investors who prefer additional screening to eliminate funds that do not support human rights or secure environmental practices. The new fund will be available Jan.1, 2015, replacing the Balanced Social Values Plus Fund. More ...

Vacation Bible School resources available
It is time to start planning this summer's Vacation Bible School. Below are some program options:
Workshop of Wonders: Imagine and Build with God, offered by the United Methodist Publishing House's Cokesbury division.
Praise Break: Celebrating the Works of God, offered by the United Methodist Publishing House's Abingdon Press
Abundance Orchard and a mission supplement, offered by  the Society of St. Andrew, a United Methodist partner that promotes hunger ministries.

Chuck Knows Church: Passover
One of the least understood Jewish festivals is Passover. Understanding Passover is critical for all Christians, and Chuck gives you the highlights in this episode of "Chuck Knows Church," 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 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. More ...

United Methodist News Service seeks News Editor
United Methodist Communications / United Methodist News Service, headquartered in Nashville, is looking for a News Editor to serve as the leader for the news team, editing copy, overseeing news pages and supervising United Methodist News Service staff. Application deadline is April 14. More ...

United Methodist Communications seeks website manager
United Methodist Communications, headquartered in Nashville, is seeking a Website Content Manager for the denominational website of The United Methodist Church, Application deadline is April 29. More ...

♦ Camp Overlook Confirmation Retreat - April 11-12
Confirmation classes from across the conference are invited to a one-night Confirmation Retreat at Camp Overlook in Keezletown. Sessions will be led by the Rev. Gary Heaton, the Rev. David Rochford (Staunton District superintendent), missionaries and lay people. Participants will explore Wesleyan roots, Means of Grace, connectional nature of The United Methodist Church and importance of missions. To register or for more information, go to, call 540-2MY-CAMP or e-mail

♦ 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 ...

♦ Early Response Team certification training - May 3, May 17
United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Early Response Team (ERT) certification 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.)

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


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