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News from the Virginia Conference - Feb. 12, 2014

250 United Methodists talk with state lawmakers about key issues
Bishop Cho and others from around the conference visit with Sen. Chapman Petersen from Fairfax in his office.On Feb. 6 — United Methodist Day at General Assembly — about 250 United Methodists from around the Virginia Conference descended on the General Assembly to talk with lawmakers about key issues. Bishop Young Jin Cho opened that day's session of the House of delegates with an invocation. More ...

First class of Clergy Leadership Program begins to meet
A group of about two dozen Virginia Conference clergy are meeting at the Roslyn Retreat Center in Richmond this week as the first class of the new Virginia Conference Clergy Leadership Program. The program was designed by the Virginia Conference Board of Ordained Ministry working with the Cabinet, in response to a challenge from Bishop Young Jin Cho to offer a spiritually based leadership program for clergy with a demonstrated history of effectiveness. More ...

'Kingdom Sightings' blog tells of God's grace in small churches
The Rev. John Choi, pastor of Saint John's UMC in Buena Vista, writes about a church member with severe spinal cord disease who, through the grace of God, helped start a new Sunday school class for adults. Choi is writing in "Kingdom Sightings," a new blog on the conference website that is a small church spiritual journal where people can share stories of God's grace and people's faith from Virginia United Methodist churches with attendance under 150. More ...

About 350 gather for Large Church Training Day
About 350 pastors, staff and lay leaders from some of the conference’s bigger congregations gathered recently at Woodlake UMC in Chesterfield for a Large Church Training Day featuring speakers and resources especially designed for large membership churches. More ...

Church promises to bounce back after major fire
Members of Oak Grove United Methodist Church in Shenandoah were able to worship at a sister church last Sunday after a fire devastated their sanctuary on Feb. 5. More...

Randolph College sells painting for $25.5 million
Randolph College President Bradley Bateman announced that the college sold the painting "Men of the Docks" (1912) by George Bellows to the National Gallery in London for $25.5 million. More...

Missionary from Mozambique available for presentations March 10-24
General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) missionary Dieudonne Karihano, who serves as an agriculturist and community developer in Inhambane, Mozambique, will be in Virginia Monday, March 10 to Monday, March 24. Click here to see his bio. Various supporting churches have scheduled a visit from Dieudonne, but he has openings in his schedule on Wednesday, March 12; Thursday, March 13; Friday, March 14; Monday, March 17; Tuesday, March 18; Thursday, March 20; and Friday, March 21. To schedule Dieudonne for a visit with your church so that he can share with you how mission giving is empowering the lives of God's people in Mozambique, contact Ann Klotz, coordinator, Missionary Itineration, Virginia Conference Board of Global Ministries, at jasnc5@gmail.com or (540) 366-6872. Hosting congregations are responsible for food, lodging, travel and all hospitality during his stay with you.

February is Heart Havens Month
February is Heart Havens Month in the Virginia Conference, a time when churches are asked to make financial contributions to this agency that provides residential services for men and women with intellectual disabilities by operating 12 group homes throughout Virginia. A packet of promotional materials to assist with this special offering was mailed to each church to the attention of Lay Leader or Mission Chair. For more information or to arrange for a Heart Havens speaker in your church, call (804) 237-6097 or toll-free 1-877-442-8368; or e-mail info@hearthavens.org.

GBGM offers resources for Black History Month
February is Black History Month. African-Americans played crucial roles in the development of the United States. The General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) is among denominational agencies offering resources to commemorate contributions of African-Americans to the church and the world. More ...

One Great Hour of Sharing is March 30
One Great Hour of Sharing is Sunday, March 30. Click here to order free resources for this offering that supports United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). Because UMCOR receives no apportionment dollars, the disaster-relief agency relies on the One Great Hour of Sharing special offering to pay for all of its administrative costs. This allows 100% of donations given for specific appeals to go directly to those relief efforts. Click here for a four-week Sunday school study, available for adults, youths and children, that follows the 2014 theme of One Great Hour of Sharing — Be Hope.

Variety of resources available for Lent worship, devotions
Lent begins this year with Ash Wednesday, March 5, and extends until Easter, April 20. Below are Lenten resources to help you through this season of reflection on Christ's sacrifice and redemptive love. The Society of St. Andrew, which leads feeding ministries, offers the "Create in Me a Clean Heart" Lenten devotions program for churches and individuals. Click here to sign up or  click here to download devotional booklet. Abingdon Press, part of the United Methodist Publishing House, offers a number of choices for devotional and group study during Lent, including The Way: Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus; He Set His Face to Jerusalem; God's Gift of LifeThe Sanctuary for Lent 2014; and Voices for Good FridayClick here to browse and order. The General Board of Discipleship offers worship resources and lectionary planning help. Click here to view resources.

United Methodist Church introduces redesigned website
Today, Feb. 12, The United Methodist Church debuts a new website, www.umc.org. The redesign is aimed to ease access to the stories and resources of United Methodism. United Methodist Communications manages the website. To share your feedback, e-mail umc@umcom.org. Click here to watch a video on new site. Click here to visit UMC.org.

Henry-Crowe to be installed as new head of Church & Society
The Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe will be installed as the new top executive of the General Board of Church & Society during a worship service at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, at Chevy Chase UMC in Chevy Chase, Md. The worship service is open to the public. More ...

Clergy urge change to Washington NFL team's name
A group of religious leaders around the Washington area ___ including four United Methodists ___ have signed a letter urging that the name of the Washington professional football team be changed because it offends Native Americans and others. In addition, the Washington Post reports that two members of Congress are working to get the team's name changed. More ...

Trial postponed for theologian who officiated at son's wedding
A United Methodist theologian and retired elder in the New York Conference, who had been scheduled to face a church trial in a month for officiating at the same-sex wedding of his son, is awaiting a new trial date. The trial of the Rev. Thomas Ogletree was initially scheduled for March 10 at First UMC in Stamford, Conn. In a pre-trial meeting on Monday, Feb. 10, retired Bishop Clifton Ives, presiding officer or the equivalent of a judge, postponed the trial date. More time is needed for possible just resolution, said a statement from the secretary of the trial court. More ...

Eddie Fox to retire from World Methodist Evangelism
The Rev. Eddie Fox, world director of World Methodist Evangelism, has announced his retirement after serving for 25 years in that role, but he will remain until his successor is in place. A job description for the position of world director is available by writing World Methodist Evangelism, P.O. Box 8388, Hermitage, TN 37076, or calling (615) 885-5020. Recommendations and applications are now being accepted.

Free webinar to teach new approach to finding people to serve
A free webinar, No More Volunteers! Reclaiming Christian Servanthood, will be offered at 6 p.m. EST Thursday, Feb. 13, by the General Board of Discipleship. It is getting harder and harder to find people with the time, skills, energy and inclination to volunteer at church. Marc Brown, John Briggs and Kathy Merry will lead a discussion of a new way to look at this issue, explore the biblical imperative of serving and teach a radically different approach for finding, recruiting and motivating people to serve. Click here to register.

Chuck Knows Church: Annual Conference
An Annual Conference is a regional body that governs much of the life of the "Connectional Church." Sound confusing? Chuck will try to make sense of "Annual Conference" when he makes a conference call. "Chuck Knows Church" is 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 www.ChuckKnowsChurch.com 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 ...

Lake Junaluska Peace Conference is March 27-30
"Faith, Health, and Peace: Seeking the Basic Right to Good Health for All God’s Children" is the theme of the 2014 Peace Conference at Lake Junaluska March 27-30. The conference will seek to affirm the basic right to good health from the perspective of faith traditions, lift up “the leading causes of life,” and explore ways faith communities can combat the causes of poor health, such as disease, violence and poverty. Early registration, before Feb. 15, is $95. After Feb. 15, registration is $125. Student registration is $75. More ...

♦ Lay Servant Academy - Feb. 21-23
Virginia Conference Lay Servant Academy will be Feb. 21-23 at Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center. Theme will be the same as the 2014 Annual Conference theme: "Lord, Renew Us with Your Spirit." Basic, advanced and mini-courses will prepare lay servants for ministries of caring, leading and communicating. Click here for brochure. Registration deadline is Feb. 14. More ...

♦ School for Children's Ministry - Feb. 22, April 5, Sept. 20, Nov. 8
The School for Children’s Ministry is on the road this year to come to a district near you. Events will be 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 22 at St. Luke’s UMC, Yorktown (click here to register); April 5 at Farmville UMC, Farmville (click here to register); 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.

♦ Clergy Spouses' Retreat - Feb. 27 - March 1
Clergy Spouses' retreat will be Feb. 27-March 1 at Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center. Theme is "Faith, Family and Forgiveness," focusing on the correlation between loving one’s neighbor as oneself and forgiving one’s debts as one is forgiven. Dr. Carol Fletcher, Lay Eucharistic Minister, Lay Reader and Worship Leader for Morning and Evening Prayer Services in Pennsylvania and Virginia, is retreat leader. More ...

♦ Resource Center VBS Curriculum Fair - Feb. 28 - March 1
The Resource Center, in partnership with Cokesbury, presents its annual Vacation Bible School Curriculum Fair 1-6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, and 9:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Saturday, March 1, in Kingsley Hall, 4th floor, Virginia Union University, 1500 N. Lombardy St., Richmond. Preview day is 1-5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27. For more information, call (804) 358-8306 or e-mail info@resourcingchurches.com.

♦ 5 Talent Academy Stewardship Event - March 8
5 Talent Academy stewardship teaching event will be Saturday, March 8, at Floris UMC in Herndon and broadcast in a live-stream format to 9 other locations across the conference. Featured speaker will be J. Clif Christopher, author of Not Your Parents’ Offering Plate, Whose Offering Plate Is It? and Rich Church-Poor Church. Registration is open to all Virginia Conference churches regardless of previous membership or affiliation with the 5 Talent Academy. Registration deadline is Friday, Feb. 21. Cost is $25 per person and includes lunch. More ...

♦ Conference UMMen Spring Training - March 8
Virginia Conference United Methodist Men (UMMen) Spring Training will be Saturday, March 8, at Annandale UMC, Annandale; First UMC, Charlottesville; and St. Luke's UMC, Yorktown. Cost is $5, payable at the door. For more information, contact Jim Butts, vice president for Membership and Development, at charlesdog1@cox.net or (757) 421 0161.

♦ Westview on James Confirmation Retreat - March 14-16
Westview on the James Camp and Retreat Center in Goochland is holding a Confirmation Retreat for confirmands (5th-8th grade) and their leaders March 14-16. Cost is $95 per person. Deadline to register is March 1. More ...

♦ Virginia Wesleyan College Clergy Seminar - March 17-18
"Sanctified Laughter: A Theology, History and Practice of Humor and Satire" will be presented by Dr. Terrence Lindvall, Professor of Communications and Christian Thought at Virginia Wesleyan, at a two-day Continuing Education Seminar for Clergy at Virginia Wesleyan College March 17-18. Cost is $75 per person, including lunch Monday. The program begins at 8:30 a.m. Monday and ends at noon Tuesday. One CEU credit will be given. The seminar is open to laity as well as clergy. Register at www.vwc.edu/ces or by mail to Office of Advancement, Virginia Wesleyan College, 1584 Wesleyan Drive, Norfolk, VA 23502.

♦ Extension Ministers Gathering - March 24
Virginia Conference Extension Ministers will gather with Bishop Young Jin Cho Monday, March 24, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Roslyn Conference and Retreat Center in Richmond. Extension Ministers (elders, provisional elders and local pastors) and those appointed Beyond the Local Church (deacons and provisional deacons) can connect with clergy colleagues, share stories and have conversation with Bishop Cho. More ...

♦ Bishop's Convocation on Prayer - March 29
The second annual Bishop’s Convocation on Prayer will be 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 29, at Trinity UMC, 903 Forest Ave., Richmond. The Rev. Tom Albin, dean of Upper Room Ministries and Ecumenical Relations, will be plenary speaker. Small group learning opportunities will be offered in the areas of prayer and Wesleyan spiritual disciplines. More information about the convocation will be shared in January. More ...

♦ Early Response Team certification training - March 29
United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Early Response Team (ERT) certification training will be 8 a.m. -4:30 p.m. Saturday, March 29, at Galilee UMC, 45425 Winding Rd., Sterling. Registration fee is $55, which includes training manual, UMCOR ERT badge, T-shirt and background check (forms will be handed out at training). Checks should be made out to the Virginia Conference and brought the day of training, or click here to register online.

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 Advocate@vaumc.org. For information about the Virginia Conference and resources for ministry, visit the Virginia Conference website at www.vaumc.org


 

 

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