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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. 7, 2014

2014-2015 Mission Opportunities guide available
"Imagine" is the theme of the 2014-2015 Mission Opportunities booklet which is included as an insert in the August issue of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate and was distributed to participants of Mission Encounter at Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center July 25–27 and July 28-30. All clergy and local church lay leaders will also receive copies. The booklet includes information about first- and second-mile giving, apportionments, United Methodist Committee on Relief, Advance specials, missionaries and a variety of other mission opportunities. Extra copies are available by contacting the conference office of Justice and Missional Excellence at (804) 521-1139 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 139.

Virginia Conference to elect 22 delegates to General Conference
The Virginia Conference will elect 22 delegates to the 2016 General Conference (11 clergy and 11 laity) and an additional 11 clergy and 11 laity to join the General Conference delegates for the 2016 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference. Elections will be conducted during the 2015 session of the Virginia Annual Conference, to be held June 19-21, 2015, at the Roanoke Civic Center in Roanoke. For the first time, we will use electronic voting devices.
     Election of clergy delegates: For election of clergy delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conferences, we will follow new rules which were adopted at the 2013 Annual Conference. All clergy desiring to run for election as a delegate to 2016 General and Jurisdictional conferences must complete a clergy nomination form. (Click here to read Conference Rules regarding Clergy Nominations for General and Jurisdictional Conferences.) Clergy nomination forms will be posted on the conference website in January 2015 and will include the nominee’s name, picture, address, phone number, e-mail address, church, district and a personal statement not to exceed 150 words in which the nominee may indicate his or her experience, qualifications and reasons for wanting to serve. The completed nomination form must be returned to the director of Connectional Ministries no later than March 1, 2015. The deadline is non-negotiable.
     Election of laity delegates: As in the past, all laity who wish to put their names forward for election as delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conferences must complete a Lay Nominee Form and submit it to the appropriate district office by the deadline established by the district in order to be voted upon by the district conference. Click here to download a copy of the Lay Nominee Form that has been posted on the Virginia Conference website. Click here for rules regarding the election process. For more information, contact your district office. More ...

United Methodists offer aid after tornado hits Eastern Shore
On July 24, a tornado struck the Eastern Shore, killing two people at Cherrystone Family Campground in Cheriton, injuring 34 others and destroying campers, cabins, homes and boats. Between 150 and 175 people at the campground lost housing and were transported from the campground to an emergency shelter set up at the high school. A number of United Methodist churches responded to an urgent appeal for water at the temporary shelter by providing water or monetary donations. Two pastors in the area, the Rev. Janet Allen on the Cheriton Charge and the Rev. Elizabeth Lutz of the Cape Charles-Capeville Charge, were active throughout the day checking on members and neighbors. "The way the Shore came together helped folks know a little light on a dark, dark day," said the Rev. Alex Joyner, Eastern Shore District superintendent. "And, as always, the prayers of the United Methodist people of the Virginia Conference are a mighty thing, and we solicit those for the families and communities affected."

NOVA United Methodist churches help Afghan interpreter
Eight United Methodist churches in northern Virginia — Centreville, Messiah and Sydenstricker in Springfield; Grace and Buckhall in Manassas; Pender and St. George’s in Fairfax; and Christ in Fairfax Station — are part of a coalition of faith communities helping support a former Afghan interpreter who spent seven years translating for the highest echelons of the U.S. military in his homeland of Afghanistan. Threatened by the Taliban with death for him and his family, Hameed brought his wife and two small children to the U.S. in February with little in the way of belongings, money or future plans. More ...

August issue of To ARMS! now available for download
The August 2014 issue of To ARMS!, newsletter of the Virginia Conference Association of Retired Ministers and Spouses, is now available and can be downloaded by going to For a direct link, click here.

Richmond DS to run Chicago Marathon to support Imagine No Malaria
The Rev. Steve Jones, Richmond District superintendent, is supporting Imagine No Malaria by asking all Richmond District churches (or groups within those churches) to support his 26.2 miles run in the Oct. 12 Chicago Marathon. His goal is to raise $7,500 to help end this deadly disease. Fairmount UMC in Richmond, Bethel UMC in Oilville and Bethel United Methodist Women, Centenary UMC in Richmond and Shady Grove UMC in Henrico are among the first to pledge support.

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 ...

Conference seeks part-time videographer
The Virginia Conference office of Communications is seeking a part-time videographer to create and produce videos to be used by the conference as effective communications tools to describe its mission, vision and ministry. The position reports to the director of Communications. To apply, send resume to Linda Rhodes, director of Communications, at or P.O. Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058. Applications will be received through Sept. 1. Click here for more information, or go to the Virginia Conference website (, click on “Resources,” then “Job Opportunities.”

Conference seeks director of Inclusivity, Lay Leadership Excellence
The Virginia Conference office of Connectional Ministries is seeking a lay person to serve as director of Inclusivity and Lay Leadership Excellence. Click here for job description. To apply, send cover letter, resume and three references to by Aug. 15. Selected interviews will be held Aug. 27. This position is posted on the Virginia Conference website at

Head of Cambodia Mission to be in Virginia Nov. 10-17
The Rev. Dr. Romy del Rosario, country director of the United Methodist Mission in Cambodia, will be in Virginia Nov. 10-17 and will be available to speak in churches about the Cambodia Initiative. To arrange for him to speak at your church, contact Ann Klotz, coordinator of missionary itineration for the conference Board of Global Ministries, at or (540) 366-6872. Hosting may involve providing overnight accommodations and transportation between engagements.

United Methodists invited to pray for Ebola victims
United Methodists in Sierra Leone and Liberia are joining other people of faith this week in three days of prayer and fasting, in response to the Ebola outbreak that has claimed more than 900 lives in West Africa. United Methodists throughout the global connection are invited to join in solidarity with the prayer and fasting Wednesday through Friday (Aug. 6-8). Churches are asked to pray for all who are affected by this crisis, including health care workers. Gifts to United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) International Disaster Response, Advance #982450, will enable UMCOR’s response to this and other emergencies. More ...

United Methodists reach 80% of Imagine No Malaria goal
The United Methodist Church has raised more than $62 million toward its $75 million goal for the Imagine No Malaria initiative, with annual conferences providing much of the momentum. More ...

Participants needed for consultations to revise Social Principles
The General Board of Church and Society is accepting applications for persons to participate in consultations to consider a process to make the United Methodist Social Principles more succinct, theologically grounded and globally relevant. Seven consultations have been planned: five in central conferences around the globe and two in the United States. The U.S. consultations will be Jan. 16-17, 2015, and Jan. 23-24, 2015, in Washington, D.C. Deadline to apply for either consultation is Dec. 15. More ...

Church leaders needed to test Disciple Fast Track
Thirty-nine more leader slots are open for a Beta test of a new format of Disciple Bible Study called Disciple Fast Track that allows participants to receive a thorough introduction to the Bible, but in almost a third less time than the original course. A limited number of church leaders are invited to participate in the final year of testing. For more information, go to

Every United Methodist should see seven sites
World travelers may seek out pyramids, cathedrals and safari parks, but United Methodists have destinations across the globe that hold their own allure. Here are suggestions for seven fascinating places to visit. More ...

GBOD offers back-to-school resources
A collection of back-to-school resources to help congregations and families prepare for the new school year — from prayers and litanies to articles about bullying — are now available at the United Methodist General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) website. Click here for resources. More ...

Benefit your church by shopping at UMCmarket
There is no better way to take care of that long back-to-school shopping list than to use UMCmarket and have your favorite stores give a percentage of your purchases to your church. With the upcoming back-to-school shopping season, the average family will likely spend $672. For participants in UMCmarket, your favorite stores could easily expect to give 2-5% in donations back to your church. Why not take advantage of this giving opportunity? Nearly 4,000 United Methodist churches are already receiving donations from UMCmarket today. More ...

Chuck Knows Church: Lay Servant
Lay Servant. Does your church have one? Do you know what one is? How does someone become a Lay Servant? Your answers start here 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 ...

Garrett-Evangelical offers online courses required for ordination
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill., is offering online courses for all six United Methodist studies mandated by the Book of Discipline for ordination and ministry certification. These courses are designed and taught by the seminary’s core United Methodist faculty members, including senior faculty members in the fields of United Methodist studies, evangelism, liturgy, theology and mission and church leadership. Click here for more information or go to

Wesleyan Leadership Conference to be Oct. 23-25 in Nashville
The 2014 Wesleyan Leadership Conference, sponsored by the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD), will be a formational experience for lay and clergy leaders. To be held Oct. 23-25 in GBOD offices in Nashville, the event will explore the meaning of the Baptismal Covenant, Baptismal living, and disciple-making in the Wesleyan tradition. To learn details and register online, click here.

GCORR seeks Program Associate, Director of Cross-Cultural Leadership
Two positions are available at the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) headquartered in Washington, D.C. GCORR seeks a Program Associate to manage projects and programs of the commission and Director of Cross-Cultural Leadership to develop and implement a comprehensive training program that will effectively increase knowledge within the church of inter-cultural differences and competencies. The posted positions will be open until filled. For more information, contact Frances Roberts at (202) 488-5658 or More ...

UMCom seeks PR specialist, Korean Resources coordinator
United Methodist Communications (UMCom), headquartered in Nashville, is seeking a Public Relations specialist (click here for job description) and a Korean Resources coordinator (click here for job description). To apply or for more information, contact UMCom Human Resources, P. O. Box 320, Nashville, TN 37202-0320, or (615) 742-5137 or e-mail

♦ 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
Registration is now open for the 5 Talent Academy "Evangelism, Communication and Church Growth" event 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. NOTE: The event originally scheduled for Aug. 23 at Williamsburg UMC has been cancelled because the keynote speaker has a scheduling conflict.

♦ '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.”

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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