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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 - Dec. 10, 2014

Virginia Conference has saved 28,000 lives from malaria so far
As of Dec. 1, Virginia Conference United Methodists have raised $283,824 (and saved more than 28,000 lives) for Imagine No Malaria since Annual Conference voted to save 100,000+ lives in the next year. Read the stories posted on the conference Imagine No Malaria Facebook page and the conference website about how churches and individuals are raising money to save lives. Only $10 will save a life. Every Life can Save a Life. For more information, contact Maria Maxwell, Virginia Conference Imagine No Malaria field coordinator, at (804) 521-1160 or

Stanleytown UMC saves 150 lives from malaria
The Rev. David Westmoreland, pastor of Stanleytown UMC, Danville District, focused the Nov. 30, worship service on Imagine No Malaria. The first 10 people to make donations got an "Every Life Save a Life" t-shirt from the pastor. The congregation raised about $1,500, saving 150 lives and exceeding their goal of saving 100 lives.

Rapidan Charge churches save 80 lives from malaria
On Nov. 23, members of Walker's UMC in Radiant, Charlottesville District, donated change they collected over the previous month for Imagine No Malaria. That evening Mt. Zion UMC in Oakpark hosted a community-wide Thanksgiving Sunday worship service, inviting all people in Madison County and surrounding communities. The Rev. Alan Follett, pastor of the Rapidan Charge that includes both congregations, preached on “The Least of These” based on Matthew 25:31-46. Pastors from Good Hope Baptist, Madison Church of the Brethren and Mt. Zion Baptist also participated. A special offering was taken to support Imagine No Malaria. Total collected in the two services was just under $800, saving 80 lives. “Thanksgiving is a time to reflect with gratitude on our blessings and to turn our hearts to those who are suffering,” Follett said. “What better occasion to support the least of God’s children than at a Thanksgiving Sunday worship?”

Culpeper UMC saves 70 lives from malaria
Culpeper UMC, Charlottesville District, under the leadership of the Rev. Randy Orndorff and the Rev. Jessie Squire Colwell, took up an offering in honor of their most recent confirmands. Thus far they have collected $700 and saved 70 lives.

2014 Conference Journal now available on website
The 2014 Virginia Annual Conference Journal is now available on the conference website. Click here or go to, click on “Resources,” then “Publications,” then “2014 Journal.” A pdf file of the entire Journal, or individual sections of the book, can be opened and read online or downloaded and printed. Printed copies will be mailed to those who pre-ordered them in the next few weeks. Copies on a CD may be purchased at a cost of $10 each by calling the Virginia Conference Communications office at (804) 521-1110 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110.

Funeral for long-time archivist to be Friday at Duncan Memorial UMC, Ashland
Funeral services for Patti Booher Russell, 87, will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 12, at Duncan Memorial UMC in Ashland, followed by a reception and visitation with the family. Russell died at The Hermitage in Richmond on Dec. 2. She is survived by her husband, Jack B. Russell; daughter, Robin Alison Rankin of Richmond; sister, Barbara B. Ridgeway of San Antonio, Texas; and several nieces and nephews. Patti spent most of her adult life serving in various positions in The United Methodist Church. Her main areas of interests were in worship and church history, serving on worship committees and commissions at every level of The United Methodist Church, as well as the World Methodist Council. She established the Virginia United Methodist Church Conference Archives and served 31 years as its archivist. She was editor of the historical publication, Heritage, for 18 years. In June 2014, the Historical Society of The United Methodist Church recognized Patti's contribution and service to preserving the history of Virginia Methodism, by presenting her with the Ministry of Memory Award. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made to the Patti B. Russell Archives Endowment, Virginia United Methodist Foundation, P.O. Box 5606, Glen Allen, Va. 23058.

Clergy Candidacy Summit to be Jan. 9-10 at Blackstone
Candidacy Summit for considering or admitted candidates for ordained ministry in the Virginia Conference will be held Jan. 9-10 at Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) at Blackstone. All candidates are required to attend a Candidacy Summit prior to certification. You must be a high school graduate to participate. Registration deadline is Jan. 6 for online registration, Dec. 31 for mail-in registration. More ...

VUMAC seeks development officer
The Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) at Blackstone is seeking a director of development to begin in 2015. The director will be responsible for initiating and coordinating all fundraising activities. Some experience in fundraising for non-profit organizations is required. Knowledge of the Virginia United Methodist Conference is important. The position is open to laity or clergy. Interested candidates may contact Sam McCracken, executive director, VUMAC, P.O. Box 22, Blackstone,VA 23824 or at A resume and three references will be required prior to interviews.

December is United Methodist Family Services Month
The Virginia Conference has designated December the month in which local churches are encouraged to receive special offerings to support United Methodist Family Services (UMFS). This year UMFS is sending churches its Christmas Gifts of Hope catalog in place of a bulletin insert. “Without the support of The United Methodist Church and local congregations like yours, we could not do the incredible work we do,” said the Rev. Joe Torrence, minister of Church Relations for UMFS. “For more than 100 years, UMFS has been empowering children, families and communities in Virginia to work together and realize their shared potential. Your gift is one example of how our connection works at its best and how we can offer Christmas Gifts of Hope to Virginia’s children in need.” Click here for offering materials and Advent resources.

New Imagine No Malaria video encourages sharing
The tragedy of Ebola is making headlines, but in terms of scale, malaria is still far more deadly. United Methodist Communications has developed a 30-second social video to raise global awareness of the impact of malaria. Click here to watch video. More ...

Sometimes cost-free gifts can be the best
Giving cost-free gifts isn't always about low budgets or Scrooge-like reputations. Instead, freebies can be about kindness, memories and creativity. Gifts of meaning and not money are bestowed out of gratitude for the difference someone has made in your life, or to make a difference in the life of another. More ...

GBCS calls for United Methodists to advocate for reforms
In light of recent decisions by grand juries in Missouri and New York, as well as concern of ongoing police violence in some communities, the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) issued a statement calling on United Methodists to continue to seek racial reconciliation, to recognize and affirm the sacredness of all people and to advocate for reforms that will ultimately change justice systems from retributive to restorative. More ...

North Georgia Conference sells Simpsonwood
The North Georgia Conference is selling the 227-acre Simpsonwood property to Gwinnett County and the city of Peachtree Corners for $16 million. The property, a largely natural site lying along the Chattahoochee River, has been owned and used by the conference for more than 40 years. More ...

♦ 'Walk to the Manger' - Dec. 19
"Walk to the Manger," a free, live, interactive nativity experience will be offered at Overlook Retreat and Camp Ministries, Keezletown, Friday, Dec. 19. Meet the shepherds, hear the angels announce the good news, visit a young couple and their holy child, and help point a few kings toward the treasure they seek. Tours will begin continuously from 6 to 8 p.m. The experience will last about 30 minutes. Dress warmly, wear sturdy shoes and keep children with a responsible adult at all times. More ...

♦ 'Walk to the Manger' Bed and Breakfast - Dec. 19-20
Come for the live, interactive nativity experience and extend your stay in a private room at Blessings Lodge at Overlook Retreat and Camp Ministries in Keezletown. There will be hot beverages, a time of reflection on the nativity experience, Christmas activities, Saturday morning devotions and a pancake breakfast. Cost is $99 per room (four twin beds, add more on the floor). More ...

♦ Winter Camp at Overlook - Dec. 19-20
Children and youths (grades 4-10) can extend their "Walk to the Manger" experience and attend Winter Camp Friday night, Dec. 19, to Saturday afternoon, Dec. 20, at Overlook Retreat and Camp Ministries in Keezletown. Campers will reflect on the nativity experience, play games, have a sugar cookie decorating contest and more. More ...

♦ Winter Camp at Alta Mons - Dec. 19-21
Alta Mons outdoor retreat and learning center in Shawsville (Roanoke District) will hold Winter Camp for 3rd-12th graders Dec. 19-21 with many of the same activities as summer camp (hiking to the falls, having s'mores, going to worship), as well as a few different ones such as decorating Christmas cookies, making candles and other surprises. Cost is $90. Register online at More ...

♦ Ministers' Convocation - Jan. 13-15
Ministers' Convocation, an annual continuing education event for clergy and church professionals in the Virginia Conference, will be Tuesday, Jan. 13, through Thursday, Jan 15, at Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center (also known as Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center). Theme is "The Future of Christianity in America: Fresh Voices." Keynote speakers will be Dr. David E. Evans, assistant professor of Missions, Intercultural and Interfaith Studies at Eastern Mennonite University, and Dr. Asa J. Lee, associate dean for Community Life at Wesley Theological Seminary. Preacher for convocation will be the Rev. D. J. del Rosario, senior pastor of Bothell UMC in Bothell, Wash. Bishop Young Jin Cho will preach at the opening service of Word and Table. Registration is required prior to the event and registration will close on Jan. 5. Click here to register online and pay by credit card. Click here to download a flyer that includes a schedule and mail-in registration form to pay by check. For more information, contact the Center for Clergy Excellence at (804) 521-1127 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 127. More ...

♦ Excellence in Teaching Colleague Forum - Jan. 24
The Resource Center and the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University will sponsor an Excellence in Teaching Colleague Forum 8 a.m. - 3 p.m Saturday, Jan. 24. The event is designed as a reflective conversation among colleagues led by scholar/facilitator the Rev. Dr. Dori Grinenko Baker. The forum will focus on the theme, “Greenhouses and Old Growth Forests: Leading Toward Redemptive Community.” In keeping with its design, forum participants are asked to read Baker’s edited work, Greenhouses of Hope, and to reflect on some questions (e-mailed upon registration) prior to the event. Registration for the forum, which includes lunch, is $75, with a  special early bird rate of $60 for those registered by Dec. 22. Scholarship funds and CEUs are also available. Register at For more information, e-mail

♦ United Methodist Day at General Assembly - Feb. 5
The Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe, General Secretary of the General Board of Church and Society, will be the lead speaker at United Methodist Day at the General Assembly on Thursday, Feb. 5. This event, sponsored by the conference Board of Church and Society and conference United Methodist Women, is a unique opportunity for Virginia United Methodists to exercise their calling to witness to their faith by advocating for justice on behalf of the voiceless in our society. More ...

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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The Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church
10330 Staples Mill Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060
PO Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058-5606
(804) 521-1100
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