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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 - Aug. 28, 2014

Cheryl Edley-Worford named director of Inclusivity, Lay Leadership Excellence
The Common Table Personnel Committee announced that Cheryl E. Edley-Worford has been hired as new director of Inclusivity and Lay Leadership Excellence, effective Sept. 2. Cheryl is currently an Adjunct Psychology Instructor for Central Virginia Community College. She has been a counselor/consultant and director of Multicultural Education for Randolph-Macon Woman’s College (now Randolph College), chaplain for United College Ministries and University Counselor for Winston-Salem State University. She served as a U.S.-2 Mission Worker in establishing a new United Methodist Campus Ministry at Winston-Salem State University. More ...

Conference offices to close for Labor Day
Virginia Conference offices in the United Methodist Center in Glen Allen will close at 1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29, and remain closed Monday, Sept. 1, in observance of Labor Day.

Sierra Leone missionaries ordered to stay in U.S.
Commissioned during the 2013 Virginia Annual Conference session, the Rev. Nancy and Clifford (Kip) Robinson are missionaries with the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) assigned to the Sierra Leone Conference in West Africa where Nancy serves as continuing education coordinator and Kip is coordinator of congregational development and education. They were in Virginia, speaking in local churches across the conference, in July and August when the Ebola epidemic began spreading across West Africa. Because of the highly infectious nature of the dangerous disease, the Robinsons (along with all GBGM missionaries assigned to West Africa) were ordered to stay in the U.S. until the situation improves. They will continue to be available to speak to local churches while they are here. They can be contacted at or (804) 332-8875. Click here to read Kip's bio. Click here to read Nancy's bio.

Calling 21 awarded $18,000 grant for cross-cultural internships
The Virginia Conference Calling 21 program received an $18,000 grant in the second round of Young Clergy Initiative grants approved by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry on Aug. 8. The grant will create opportunities for college students to explore a call to ministry in cross-cultural settings by funding predominantly nonwhite churches to host summer interns. Wesley Theological Seminary received a second round grant of $50,000 to partner with four conferences "to identify and cultivate 'unusual suspects' age 21-28, not in candidacy, passionate about the Gospel who show signs of entrepreneurial leadership.” More ...

September Advocate features creative children’s ministries
The September issue of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate features churches across the Virginia Conference that are doing creative, innovative ministry with children and youths. Stories about unusual worship venues, outreach to kids without a church home, opportunities for children to serve their neighbors, arts-themed summer camps and science lessons combined with Bible study, describe just a few of the ways churches are revitalizing ways to help children become fully-developed disciples of Jesus Christ. 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; or go to

Stop Hunger Now Richmond to hold open house Sept. 21
Stop Hunger Now will hold an open house to celebrate its warehouse location in Richmond 1-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21, at 5022 Byrd Industrial Drive, Richmond. The event will celebrate the accomplishments of supporters, funders and meal packaging volunteers that helped establish Stop Hunger Now and package more than 11 million meals in the Richmond area. The open house will include meal packaging demonstrations and assembly of Wine to Water portable filtration systems. For more information, contact Mike Nelson, program manager for Stop Hunger Now Richmond, at (804) 895-4891 or More ...

Sept. 7 is Industrial & Commercial Ministries Sunday
Sunday, Sept. 7, is Industrial & Commercial Ministries Sunday, a day on which all churches in the Virginia Conference are asked to take a special offering to provide important support to Industrial & Commercial Ministries (ICM), a Christian, ecumenical, not-for-profit organization that equips, places and supports volunteer chaplains in America's work places. More information about ICM can be found at

September is National Hunger Action Month
Nearly 50 million people in the United States today are hungry or food insecure, according to information from the Society of St. Andrew (SoSA). Yet in this country, we will throw away more than 133 billion pounds of food this year. September is National Hunger Action Month. Plan now to make September 2014 a time for your congregation to stand together against hunger to see that each person in this country has healthy, nourishing food to eat. Society of St. Andrew, approved Advance Special of the General Board of Global Ministries, offers worship and study resources. More ...

Hispanic Heritage Month begins Sept. 15
Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month, a celebration of people in the United States who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking countries of Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Worship and other church events provide settings for Hispanic/Latino United Methodists to celebrate their heritage and cultures and for others to learn more about them. Click here for worship resources suggested by the General Board of Discipleship.

Oct. 5 is World Communion Sunday
Oct. 5 is World Communion Sunday. United Methodists observe World Communion Sunday by celebrating communion with other Christians around the world on this special Sunday. Churches are also encouraged to receive an offering to support ethnic undergraduate and graduate students, which often enables first-generation students to attend college. Click here to download the World Communion Sunday pastor’s kit. Order leaflet offering envelopes and posters to enhance your World Communion Sunday celebration at or call 1-888-346-3862. More ...

UMVIM stops insuring teams going to countries with Ebola
As of Aug. 25, United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) will no longer provide insurance to any volunteer or team going into any countries with active Ebola cases. According to the World Health Organization, in the last five months there have been 1,350 deaths due to the Ebola virus, which continues to spread in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, with 221 new cases reported between Aug. 17-19. There are now cases as far south as Congo. More ... Full coverage of The United Methodist Church's response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa can be found at

Prayers asked for victims of California earthquake
Prayers are requested for those affected by the 6.0 magnitude earthquake that hit California Aug. 24. A 97-year-old United Methodist church was among the historic buildings in downtown Napa damaged by what is being called the strongest earthquake to hit the area in 25 years. More ... As of now, ERT and disaster response teams are not requested, but this is a good reminder that United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) relief kits are always needed so they are ready in the face of a disaster. More information about UMCOR supply kits can be found here.

UMCOR needs school kits, health kits for Haiti
In support of children’s education programs in Haiti and around the world, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is launching a renewed call for school kits and health kits. In Haiti, UMCOR will provide school kits and health kits. UMCOR’s Haiti field staff also will provide hygiene education, including teaching children how to properly wash their hands and brush their teeth. UMCOR’s goal is to provide 50,000 each of school kits and health kits, at a rate of 10,000 of each type of kit per year for the next five years. More ...

Forum offers chance to share perspectives on human sexuality
"Sharing in Faith" is a new online forum where United Methodists can share perspectives on human sexuality and better understand one another's journeys on this issue. United Methodist Communications is providing this forum for first-person perspectives. The idea is not to persuade or dissuade people, but to help them understand one another as persons of faith dealing with a challenging issue. More ...

McElvaney, social justice advocate, dies at 86
The Rev. William McElvaney, a retired United Methodist pastor and seminary president known for social justice advocacy, died Sunday, Aug. 24. McElvaney made news earlier this year by defying church law to officiate at a same-sex wedding for two longtime members of Northaven United Methodist Church, where he was pastor emeritus. More ...

Candler centennial celebration begins today with convocation
The centennial celebration of Emory University's Candler School of Theology begins today, Aug. 28, with an opening convocation in Cannon Chapel. Also in the works: a new book on its history, dedication of a new building for Pitts Theology Library and a series of events throughout the academic year. More ...

Larry Hollon to retire from top post at UMCom
The Rev. Larry Hollon, top executive of United Methodist Communications (UMCom) for more than 14 years, announced Aug. 25 that he plans to retire in about 10 months. United Methodist Communications is the agency charged with sharing the denomination's message around the globe. More ...

Path 1 road trip results in resources for new church planters
Church planters, who often feel isolated as they work to establish new churches and faith communities, will be more connected and have better resources as a result of a road trip New Church Starts (Path 1) made throughout the five jurisdictions of The United Methodist Church. More ... To view video, click here.

Applicants sought for consultations on Social Principles
The General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) is accepting applications for persons to participate in consultations to consider a process about how to make the United Methodist Social Principles more succinct, theologically founded and globally relevant. Eight consultations are planned: six in Central Conferences and two in the United States. The U.S. consultations will be Jan. 16-17 and Jan. 23-24 in Washington, D.C. Deadline to apply is Dec. 15. More ...

Lewis Center offers free video: 'Why Community Engagement Matters'
The Lewis Center for Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary offers “Why Community Engagement Matters,” a free five-minute video hosted by Lovett H. Weems, Jr., director of the Lewis Center. “The most vital congregations always do two things: connect people with God and connect with their communities,” Weems said. Learn about the latter as he provides an overview of the importance of community engagement to your church. Click here for the video and links to related resources, most of them free.

♦ Open house tour of Dromgoole House - Sept. 13
In celebration of its 10th anniversary, The Old Brunswick Circuit Foundation will hold an open house tour of the Edward Dromgoole House, the only remaining Virginia Conference circuit rider home (built circa 1790), 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13. The home is located at 2722 Christanna Highway in Valentines. The Rev. Dr. Michael H. Browder will speak on “The Cradle of Methodism.” The Rev. Gary Ziegler will portray the Rev. Edward Dromgoole. Fellowship Luncheon at noon costs $10. Send checks and RSVP by Sept. 6 to: Old Brunswick Circuit Foundation, P. O. Box 385, Lawrenceville, VA 23868. For more information, e-mail or call (434) 636-5604. More ...

♦ School for Children's Ministry - Sept. 20, Nov. 8
The School for Children’s Ministry is on the road this year to come to a district near you and includes the “Bottomless Cookie Jar” and eight new workshops. Remaining events will be 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 20 at Greenville UMC, Greenville (click here to register); and Nov. 8 at Grace UMC, Manassas (click here to register). Registration deadline is the Wednesday before the event. Workshop presenters are children’s ministry professionals, representing all sizes of churches. Click here for brochure.

♦ 5 Talent Academy 'Evangelism, Communication and Church Growth' event - Oct. 4
5 Talent Academy "Evangelism, Communication and Church Growth" event will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, at Floris UMC in Herndon and broadcast to nine additional locations across the conference. Maria Dixon Hall, associate professor of Organizational Communication at Southern Methodist University, will explore evangelism through the lens of solid and fruitful communication practices. Registration is open to all Virginia Conference churches regardless of affiliation with the 5 Talent Academy. Visit to register. Registration is $25 per person and includes lunch.

♦ 'Lord, Teach Me to Pray' - Oct. 25, Feb. 21
"Lord, Teach Me to Pray — Practical Applications for Prayer" will be offered again Saturday, Oct. 25, at St. Thomas UMC, Manassas, (Click here to register) and Saturday, Feb. 21, at Williamsburg UMC (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.

♦ Fall Youth Retreats - Nov. 14-16, Dec. 5-7
Now is the time to register for Virginia Conference Fall Youth Retreats. Middle School Retreat will be Nov. 14-16 and High School Retreat will be Dec. 5-7 at Eagle Eyrie in Lynchburg. Theme for both retreats is "IDENTITY." Click here for flyer. Speaker will be Dugan Sherbondy. Band will be Keith Elgin. Young adults to serve as small group leaders and youths to serve as staff are needed. To volunteer, contact Alison Malloy at To register and for more information go to or contact Becky Tate at (804) 521-1139.

♦ 'The Good Race' - Nov. 15
Clergy and laity are invited to join other United Methodists in "The Good Race," a day of participation and celebration as they walk or run the Anthem Richmond 8K, Half-Marathon or Marathon on Saturday, Nov. 15. Information about these races can be found at Or contact Steve Jones at or Allie Rosner at Or join the Facebook Group “The Good Race.”

♦ Nutzy's Rotary FUNN Run to benefit UMFS - Dec. 6
The annual Nutzy’s Rotary FUNN Run 5k on Saturday, Dec. 6, will benefit United Methodist Family Services (UMFS) for the second year in a row. The Rotary Club of West Richmond, in partnership with the Dominion Christmas Parade and the Richmond Flying Squirrels, created this event to offer a festive, family-friendly competition while fulfilling the club's philanthropic mission to improve the lives of local children. Runners, walkers, families, children and strollers are welcome to participate. Students from UMFS will participate again this year. Visit to register.

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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