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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. 18, 2014

May your Christmas and New Year
be filled with hope, love, joy and peace.

Conference offices to close for Christmas holidays
Conference offices in the United Methodist Center in Glen Allen will close at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 23, and remain closed through Friday, Dec. 26, in observance of the Christmas holiday. Offices will re-open on Monday, Dec. 29. Conference offices will also be closed on Thursday, Jan. 1, in observance of the New Year’s holiday.

Follow-ups planned to 'Day of Holy Conversation'
A number of follow-up activities to the Nov. 22 "Day of Holy Conversation" are currently being developed:
      ♦ The conference Communications office is preparing a DVD of the Nov. 22 “A Day of Holy Conversation” that will be available for districts and churches to use to continue the conversation. A CD is also being made that will include conversation resources, including Bishop Cho’s Advocate article, Touchstones for Creating Hospitable Space, small group discussion questions, bios of the Nov. 22 presenters, historical timeline of unity and differences within The United Methodist Church and its predecessor entities, and 2016 General Conference petition submission instructions. The DVDs and CDs are expected to be available by the end of this month. To request copies, contact the Communications office at (804) 521-1110 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110, or
      ♦ Facilitators are available to assist with district conversations.
      ♦ A monitored blog allowing people to post responses to the question, “How can we move forward in mission and ministry together?” will be made available on the conference website after the first of the year.
      ♦ The Communications office has set up a questionnaire on Survey Monkey to allow for participants in the “Day of Holy Conversation” to provide The Common Table with feedback about the experience and assist with future planning. To complete a short survey evaluation of the event, go to or click on the link on the conference website.
      ♦ Additional opportunities for conversation are being discerned by The Common Table.

January Advocate reports on 'Day of Holy Conversation'
The January issue of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate will include coverage of the Nov. 22 “Day of Holy Conversation” and reactions from participants. The magazine will also contain Touchstones for Creating Hospitable Space, small group discussion questions and the historical timeline of unity and differences within The United Methodist Church and its predecessor entities. 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

4th grade student and her classmates save three lives
Isabella Landon, granddaughter of the Rev. Darren and Mrs. Chris Landon, showed how much adults can learn from children. Isabella’s grandfather serves Floyd Parish, a four-point charge in the Roanoke District. He has been speaking to his congregations about the Virginia Conference Imagine No Malaria initiative, and Isabella was really listening. She organized her 4th grade class at Check Elementary School in the small rural village of Check in Floyd County. They began a drive for Imagine No Malaria. Isabella took a small bucket to school last Tuesday and the class filled it with $18.98. Isabella asked if she could give her birthday money to save one life and she added $10 more. Pastor Darren added $1.02 to bring the total to $30. Three lives were saved by a little girl and her 4th grade class. Isabella added the $30 from her class to the offering from Floyd Parish bringing their contribution to $470.55.

Applications due Feb. 1 for Calling 21 internships
If you know a college student who may be discerning a call to ministry, now is the time to encourage them to apply for a Calling 21 summer ministry internship. Applications are due Feb. 1. For more information, go to or e-mail

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.

Human Relations Day is Jan. 18
Human Relations Day is Sunday, Jan. 18. One of United Methodism’s six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings, Human Relations Day calls us to extend a helping hand to those in crisis so they can overcome formidable obstacles. The offering supports Community Developers, United Voluntary Services and Youth Offender Rehabilitation programs. Click here for Human Relations Day Pastor and Leader’s Kit that contains a collection of items you can download and use in your church to promote Human Relations Day. Click here for 2015 Human Relations Day Podcast Interviews and hear firsthand about the programs your Human Relations Day offering supports. Click here for a Human Relations Day Infographic showing how United Methodist-supported programs help communities flourish in tangible ways. Click here for Human Relations Day eBook featuring 18 Ways to Promote Human Relations Day. Click here for Human Relations Day print resources.

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.

GRACE Ministries seeks accountant
GRACE Ministries of The United Methodist Church, a community outreach program serving low-income families in northern Virginia, is seeking an accountant. For details, visit the Virginia Conference website at For more information, call the Rev. Martha Real at (703) 793-0026, ext. 112.

GBCS to host young clergy in Washington, D.C.
The General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) will host 75 young clergy (elders or deacons serving local congregations) at The United Methodist Building in Washington D.C. Jan. 25-28 to build relationships, learn from one another and develop bridges for further ministry. Space is limited to those who have not previously attended a GBCS Young Clergy gathering. If you are eligible to attend this event and would like scholarship assistance, contact Glenn Rowley, director of the Virginia Conference office of Justice and Missional Excellence, at or (804) 521-1143. Deadline to register is Jan. 8. More ...

Scholarships available for 2015 Wesley Pilgrimage to England
Scholarships are available for commissioned provisional elders and deacons and lay people who want to participate in the 2015 Wesley Pilgrimage to England. The pilgrimage, co-sponsored by Discipleship Ministries and the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, will be July 13-23. Participants will learn, pray and explore places where John and Charles Wesley lived and served. Discipleship Ministries is looking for 12 commissioned provisional elders and deacons, and 12 lay persons who are Lay Servants, Lay Speakers, Certified Lay Ministers, Lay Leaders or Licensed Local Pastors to apply for places on the pilgrimage. Their $2,195 tuition fee will be paid by Discipleship Ministries. Pilgrims will be responsible for their own travel expenses to and from England and a $350 nonrefundable registration fee. Application deadline is Feb. 15. Scholarship recipients will be announced on Feb. 27. Additional information, including a detailed agenda and scholarship application, is available online at For more information, contact Steve Manskar by e-mail at or by phone at (877) 899-2780, ext. 1765.

Register now for early bird rates to YOUTH 2015
Youth and youth leaders planning to attend YOUTH 2015, the national gathering for United Methodist youths to be held June 24-28 at the Orlando World Center Marriott in Orlando, Fla., can take advantage of the best possible price for the four-day event by registering before Jan 31. YOUTH 2015 is designed specifically for youths ages 12-18 and will feature big-name musical artists, excellent United Methodist speakers and numerous learning opportunities. The event is sponsored by Young People’s Ministries, a division of Discipleship Ministries. More ...

U.S. religious leaders condemn CIA torture
The chief executive of the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society is among U.S. religious leaders who condemned torture practices of the Central Intelligence Agency. The Rev Susan Henry-Crowe said the torture outlined in a Senate Intelligence Committee report "shocks the conscience." More ...

Agency applauds improvement of U.S.-Cuba relations
The United Methodist General Board of Church & Society, which promotes the denomination's social teachings, applauded President Obama's efforts to begin re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba. The agency noted that General Conference, the denomination's top lawmaking body, has long called for lifting economic sanctions. More ...

Free webinar to discuss role of lay leaders, lay members to annual conference
Discipleship Ministries will sponsor a free webinar on "Local Church Lay Leaders/Lay Members to Annual Conference: What's My Job?" at 7:30 p.m. EST Wednesday, Jan. 7. Local church lay leaders and lay members to annual conference have a responsibility to promote the role of laity in fulfilling the denomination's mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Jodi Cataldo, director of laity in leadership for United Methodist Discipleship Ministries, will lead discussion around this ministry. More ...

Jan. 10 is deadline to apply for Peace with Justice grant
Jan. 10 is the deadline to apply for a Peace with Justice grant from the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society (GBCS). Funding for this program is generated through the Peace with Justice Special Sunday offering of The United Methodist Church. More ...

♦ Clergy Candidacy Summit - Jan. 9-10
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 ...

♦ 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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