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News from the Virginia Conference - Feb. 20, 2015

5 Talent Academy cancels 5 live streaming sites for Saturday
Due to forecasts for bad weather conditions in parts of the state on Saturday, the 5 Talent Academy training event featuring Shane Claiborne will not be shown via live streaming at five of the 10 previously announced sites. The event will not be shown at Park View Community Mission, Lynchburg; First UMC, Martinsville; Thrasher Memorial UMC, Roanoke; Bridgewater UMC, Shenandoah Valley; or Macedonia UMC, Winchester. Claiborne will still speak live at Ebenezer UMC in Stafford, and the live stream will be shown at Grace UMC, Parksley; Woodlake UMC, Richmond; Grace Harbor UMC, Chesapeake; and St. Luke’s UMC, Yorktown. In addition, a link will be available on the conference website to allow people to watch Claiborne's presentation from their computers at home. If you have registered for one of the closed sites, check your e-mail for further instructions and information. Or contact Kim Johnson at 5Talent@vaumc.org or kimjohnson@vaumc.org with questions or concerns. More ...

Virginia Conference is 40% of way to Imagine No Malaria goal
As of Feb. 10, Virginia Conference United Methodists have raised $417,012.23 and saved more than 41,701 lives for Imagine No Malaria. We're 40% of the way toward our goal to save 100,000+ lives by 2015 Annual Conference which will be June 19-21. 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 MariaMaxwell@vaumc.org.

Nominations being accepted for 2015 Denman Awards
The Virginia Conference office of Lay Leadership Excellence is now accepting nominations for The Harry Denman Evangelism Award for clergy, laity and youth. Nominations must be received no later than April 15 to be considered for the 2015 awards. The Harry Denman Evangelism Award recognizes a person whose life and ministry exemplifies the teaching of Christ and the Great Commission. Recipients of these awards, nominated by their local church and selected by the Annual Conference, live their call to “Offer Them Christ” daily as modeled by Dr. Harry Denman, founder of The Foundation for Evangelism that sponsors these awards. Click here to download a brochure. Click here to download a clergy nomination form. Click here to download a laity nomination form. Click here to download a youth nomination form. To learn more about The Harry Denman Evangelism Awards, visit The Foundation for Evangelism website at www.FoundationForEvangelism.org.

Information requested for 2015 Annual Conference banquets
If you are planning a banquet for this year's Annual Conference and would like to have your event listed in the Conference Banquet Schedule, send information to Mike Reaves, Annual Conference Banquet Coordinator, at michaelreaves@vaumc.org or mail it to Reaves c/o Fletcher's Chapel United Methodist Church, 8330 Fletcher's Chapel Road, King George, VA 22485. Information should include: 1) Name of group or gathering; 2) Date and time; 3) Location; and 4) Contact for more information. To request assistance planning your banquet, complete a Banquet Request Form and forward it to Reaves. This and other 2015 Annual Conference information can be found on the Virginia Conference website at www.vaumc.org/AC2015.

March Advocate looks at mental illness
The March issue of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate looks at mental illness and what the church is doing about it – or not doing about it. Most of our church members and pastors are still hesitant to even talk about mental illness. But there are some exceptions, and some moving personal stories as well. The Advocate is the official monthly magazine of the Virginia Conference. To subscribe to the Advocate – print, digital or both – go to www.vaumc.org/advocate, call (804) 521-1110 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110, or e-mail Advocate@vaumc.org.

Credit Union seeks volunteers for supervisory committee
The Virginia United Methodist Credit Union is seeking individuals with a finance or accounting background interested in serving on the supervisory committee. Responsibilities include attending meetings every other month at the United Methodist Center in Glen Allen and reviewing financial information. E-mail creditunion@vumcu.org or call 1-866-657-0004, toll-free, or (804) 672-0200 for details.

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 11 group homes throughout Virginia. A packet of promotional materials to assist with this special offering was e-mailed to each church. Materials included a menu of Heart Havens mission ideas, bulletin insert featuring the Bishop's Prayer for Heart Havens, a reading statement, a video with a message from the Bishop and more. If you did not receive the materials, to arrange for a speaker to come to your church or for more information, call (804) 237-6097 or toll-free 1-877-442-8368; or e-mail Sara Becker, development assistant, at sara.becker@hearthavens.org

February is Black History Month
February is Black History Month. The General Board of Discipleship has music and worship resources. The General Board of Global Ministries offers ideas for worship. Rethink Church has collected articles that can spark conversations about race, including offering episodes of "Night Call," one of the first national radio call-in shows. The show, which aired in the 1960s, was aimed at getting whites and blacks to talk to each other — over the airwaves — during a period of incredible racial tension in the United States. The show was created by the church agency that eventually evolved into United Methodist Communications. More ...

March 15 One Great Hour of Sharing suppports UMCOR
This year marks United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)'s 75th anniversary of being with people in times of crisis. In celebration, UMCOR is providing resources that offer creative ways to reflect and engage in UMCOR's ongoing legacy. United Methodists are encouraged to mark the 75th anniversary of UMCOR by giving to the One Great Hour of Sharing Special Offering on Sunday, March 15. Donations to One Great Hour of Sharing directly fund UMCOR's administrative costs, making it possible for UMCOR to use 100% of all other contributions on the projects donors specify, instead of on administrative or fundraising costs. UMCOR does not receive United Methodist World Service or apportionment funds, so without the One Great Hour of Sharing offerings, UMCOR would not exist.

Randolph-Macon College seeks chaplain
Randolph-Macon College, a United Methodist-related college with approximately 1400 students located in Ashland, invites applications for a Chaplain and director of Church Relations. Reporting to the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, the position provides spiritual nurture and pastoral care of students, faculty, staff and other members of the college community. More ...

Rethink Church invites you to join Lenten photo challenge
Some will choose to give up something for Lent, others will choose to be more reflective. Whatever your practices this season, Rethink Church asks that you join a photo-a-day-challenge to share how you perceive each word or phrase for the day. More ...

GCORR sponsors 'Vital Conversations' on immigration
Regardless of where you live, chances are you will experience different types of people dwelling and working in your midst. Migratory patterns are shifting worldwide, and these shifting patterns are changing the face of local communities, states and countries. When we witness new people in our communities, many of whom may not speak, dress, act, or look like us, are we welcoming them into the Beloved Community or are we unaccepting or fearful of our differences? In February, the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) monthly Vital Conversations Project focuses its attention on how immigration and migration are changing our communities and the intercultural competencies that are required to successfully navigate these changes. Throughout the month, GCORR will spotlight local churches that are reflecting their changing community demographics through multicultural worship services, programs and outreach. They will also showcase first-person commentaries, as well as recommended readings and resources. To engage in the conversation: send a commentary of no more than 500 words to Barbara Michelman at bmichelman@gcorr.org for consideration; like GCORR's Facebook page; retweet GCORR tweets on Twitter; comment about GCORR related social media or website content this month by posting on the GCORR website; or share a related resource or recommended reading so that GCORR can add it to their website offerings.

United Methodist agencies receive grant to improve financial literacy of pastors
The United Methodist General Board of Pension and Health Benefits (GBPHB), in partnership with the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) and the Texas Methodist Foundation (TMF), has been awarded a $50,000 planning grant by Lilly Endowment Inc. to help The United Methodist Church improve financial literacy of pastoral leaders and their overall financial well-being. More ...

Plans underway to make Book of Discipline global
What are the essentials that bind all United Methodists and what can be adapted for use outside the United States? That is the heart of the debate before an international body of church leaders, who met last week in Maputo, Mozambique. The hope is that a truly global Book of Discipline can answer these questions. More ...

GBHEM Smart Loan for college students costs less than other options
Daniel Mateer knew the United Methodist Smart Loan option made the most sense for helping pay for his electrical engineering courses at West Virginia University in Morgantown. "Do the numbers," he said. After running a spreadsheet with figures from various student loans, it was obvious that the non-deferred loan cost less. The Smart Loan for students attending an undergraduate institution is a non-deferred loan with a fixed rate; a cosigner is required. Comparing the Smart Loan interest rate of 3.75% to a Federal Direct Subsidized Loan with a 4.66% interest rate, the Smart Loan recipient will graduate with a smaller monthly payment and short terms. The United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) is accepting applications for spring and summer loans until May 5. More ...

Feb. 24 is deadline to register for United Methodism 101 online course
Tuesday, Feb. 24, is deadline to register for the online course “United Methodism 101” offered by United Methodist Communications. The six-week course will be offered Feb. 25 – April 8 and will cover the denomination's history, structure, ministries and challenges. Cost is $9.99 More ...

Faith groups asked to stand against anti-Muslim sentiment
The Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign calls on clergy and religious communities to remember the lives of the three American Muslims killed in Chapel Hill, N.C., Feb. 10 by incorporating scriptural calls to love into religious services this weekend. Nearly 30 national faith-based, interfaith and religious organizations formed the Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign in 2010 to address anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States. Through Shoulder to Shoulder, Jewish, Christian, and interfaith organizations stand in interfaith solidarity with American Muslims to uphold the freedoms on which Americans of all faiths depend. The United Methodist General Board of Church & Society is a member of the Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign. More ...

♦ Clergy Spouses' Retreat - March 5-7
Clergy Spouses’ Retreat will be March 5-7 at Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center in Blackstone. “Is It Well With Your Soul?” is the theme of the retreat, organized by the conference’s Clergy Family Enrichment Committee. Speakers will include Dr. Dawn Peck, a member of Trinity UMC in Lexington and certified spiritual director; Dr. Lisa Rochford, a clinical psychologist and clergy spouse; and the Rev. Charlie Reynolds, executive director of Virginia Conference Wellness Ministries. Cost of the entire weekend is $100, but you can come as a day participant for $30 a session. More ...

♦ United Methodist Men Spring Training Roundtable - March 7
Virginia Conference United Methodist Men 2015 Spring Training Roundtable Event will be Saturday, March 7, at three host churches around the Virginia Conference. Just choose the church location nearest you and join with men to pray, share, exchange ideas and get closer to the Lord. To register and for more information, click on the church location nearest you: Centenary United Methodist Church, Portsmouth; Crenshaw United Methodist Church, Blackstone; and Trinity United Methodist Church, McLean

♦ Bishop's Convocation on Prayer - March 21
Would you like to learn about the difference “Breakthrough Prayer” can make for your church? Would you like to learn about personal spiritual disciplines or how to apply spiritual disciplines in your congregation? Come to the Bishop’s Convocation on Prayer 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at Trinity UMC, 903 Forest Ave., Richmond. The Rev. Sue Nilson-Kibbey will be the plenary speaker, and 13 workshops will be offered to participants. More ...

♦ UMVIM Team Leader Training - March 28, May 16
Team Leader Training is required for all first-time United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) team leaders, but all interested persons are welcome to attend whether leading a team or not. The following training events are currently scheduled:
♦ March 28, 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Cave Spring UMC, 4505 Hazel Dr., Roanoke. Click here to register online and pay by credit card. Click here to download a pdf form and pay by check.
♦ May 16, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Floris UMC, 13600 Frying Pan Rd., Herndon. Click here to register online and pay by credit card. Click here to download a pdf form and pay by check.

♦ Senior High Youth and Young Adult event - April 17-18
The Winchester District and Shenandoah University’s Faith Seeking Justice Christian Leadership Program invite senior high youth groups, young adults, youth workers and pastors to attend Thy Kingdom Come: Where Our Mission in the Commonwealth of God Is Justice April 17-18 on the campus of Shenandoah University, Winchester. Keynote speakers are Lisa Sharon Harper and Shane Claiborne. Cost is $10 person, which will go to Imagine No Malaria. Registration deadline is April 6. Participants are invited to bring a tent and spend Friday night camping out on the field at Shenandoah University to raise money for Teens Opposing Poverty and Imagine No Malaria. Think creatively for ways church members can sponsor you as you sleep out under the stars. For more information, contact Martha Reynolds, Winchester District director of Congregational Excellence, at marthareynolds@vaumc.org, or the Rev. Dr. Justin Allen, Shenandoah University dean of Spiritual Life, at jallen3@su.edu. 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 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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