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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 - Feb. 27, 2014

2014 Annual Conference logo introduced
The logo for the 2014 session of the Virginia Annual Conference is now on the conference website. Theme is “Lord Renew Us with Your Spirit.” The logo, designed by Cathryn Wooton in the conference Communications office, features red and orange elements of fire representing the Holy Spirit and blue elements of water representing the renewal of Christian baptism. The logo is being used on all 2014 Annual Conference materials, including the mailing about housing recently sent to lay and clergy members of Annual Conference.

2014 Annual Conference offering to help fund eight ministries
This year the Annual Conference special offering goal is $200,000. Bishop Young Jin Cho is requesting contributions to support eight different ministries:
Imagine No Malaria - $50,000;
Initiatives of Hope - $50,000 for Cambodia church construction and Christian education, $25,000 for Mozambique lay leadership and communication training, $15,000 for Brazil Shade and Fresh Water program for street children;
Engaging/Connecting God’s Mission Funds - $10,000 to promote mission engagement of Virginia Conference small membership churches;
Children Out of Poverty in Virginia - $30,000 divided between Community Outreach Program in Roanoke and Agape Children’s Center in Horntown, Eastern Shore; and
Haiti - Connecting Hope - $20,000 to coordinate and connect Virginia Conference churches in Haiti mission projects. More ...

Church and Society provides bulletin inserts on current issues
The conference Board of Church and Society recently approved informational and advocacy statements addressing immigration, minimum wage, voting rights, death penalty and wage theft. Called "Justice Ministries: Facts and Faith," these are now available as one-page handouts and as bulletin inserts that can be downloaded from the conference website. The board hopes you will find these useful in promoting awareness of and a Christian response to these issues. Click here to access these resources.

Nominations open for 2014 clergy, laity, youth Denman Awards
The conference Center for Congregational Excellence is now accepting nominations for the 2014 Denman Awards for clergy, laity and youth. Deadline for submissions is April 30. For nomination forms and more information, go to the Virginia Conference website at

177 laity participate in Lay Servant Academy
A large and enthusiastic crowd of lay people gathered at Blackstone Feb. 21-23 to be part of the annual Lay Servant Academy. A late surge of registrations pushed participation numbers to 177, a total higher than the 2013 event by about 40, with 68 reporting that they had not been to the event in at least 10 years. More ...

Global Mission Fellows applicants meet at conference center
This week the Virginia Conference hosted a Global Mission Fellows young adult interview session for the General Board of Global Ministries at the United Methodist Center in Glen Allen. More than 30 young adults from around the world who are discerning God’s call on their lives to serve as missionaries participated. More ...

Summer mission trip to Brazil planned for young adults
Virginia Conference young adults will make a mission trip to Curitiba, Brazil, this summer. Participants will attend a young adult conference and do a service project with Brazilian young people. They will stay with host families. There’s even a chance of attending a World Cup soccer match. Cost of the trip is $2,300 and the deadline to register is April 1. There is space for up to 14 participants. Team leader is Carl Gravely. Contact him at (724) 989-9657 or, for more information. Brazil is one of the three Virginia Conference Initiatives of Hope partners.

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. More ...

March is Women's History Month
March is Women’s History Month. Inclusive/expansive-language prayers, calls to worship and liturgies that can be used in Women's History Month are available through the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women. Click here for the resources that are Revised Common Lectionary-based. In addition, the General Board of Discipleship offers a list of hymn texts and tunes by women contained in The United Methodist Hymnal, The Faith We Sing and Worship & Song. Click here for the list.

UMCOR offers "One Great Hour of Sharing" book of Lenten devotions
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is offering a new collection of 40 daily Lenten devotionals. Each devotional shares an aspect of UMCOR’s work that alleviates human suffering in more than 80 countries, including the United States. The devotionals were designed to be used in preparation for the One Great Hour of Sharing offering on the fourth Sunday of Lent.
     One Great Hour of Sharing offerings will replenish UMCOR’s general fund in order to allow work to continue throughout the year. Because UMCOR does not receive any regularly apportioned funds, One Great Hour of Sharing funds allow UMCOR to guarantee that 100% of all other donations will be used for specific relief projects. Because much of UMCOR’s ministry is first response to disasters around the world, One Great Hour of Sharing also ensures that funds are available immediately when needed. Our support through One Great Hour of Sharing allows UMCOR and The United Methodist Church to respond quickly and effectively when disaster strikes.
     "The support of your local congregation is critical as we aid so many recovering communities around the world," writes the Rev. Dr. Denise Honeycutt, head of UMCOR. "I thank you for generosity already expressed. I’m excited to see how God will continue to use us as the hands and feet of Jesus in a hurting world. I hope you are blessed by these devotional readings and your heart is moved to action on behalf of the helpless." Click here to download "One Great Hour of Sharing" book of Lenten devotions.

Society of St. Andrew offers Lenten devotions program
The Society of St. Andrew is offering a Lenten devotions program, Create in Me a Clean Heart, for individual use and for congregations to share. You can download a copy of Create in Me a Clean Heart to print or to view on your eReader or computer; or sign up to receive each day’s devotion as an e-mail, sent straight to your desktop each morning. To do a congregation study, you can order a Lent Starter Kit (preview packet) free of charge to review the Devotions Program and Good Friday Fast Program, then request booklets and accompanying coin banks in quantity, also at no charge. The Starter Kit contains ideas and resources for promoting the devotions program. All resources are shipping now. More ...

Resolution of Ogletree case to be announced March 10
The Rev. William Shillady, secretary of the trial court in the case of the Rev. Thomas Ogletree, said Feb. 24 that there will be a news conference March 10 to announce the resolution of the case. Ogletree, a United Methodist theologian and retired elder in the New York Conference, had been scheduled to face a church trial on March 10 for officiating at the same-sex wedding of his son. Click here to read about the Ogletree case.

Octogenarian Texans to defy church ban on same-sex marriage
In public defiance of The United Methodist Church’s same-sex marriage ban, the Rev. William McElvaney, 85, plans to officiate at the Dallas wedding of Jack Evans, 84, and George Harris, 80. The latter have been a couple for 53 years, and for more than two decades have been active members of Dallas’ Northaven United Methodist Church, where McElvaney is pastor emeritus. More ...

United Methodists urge President Obama to end deportations
Members of the United Methodist Immigration Task Force sent a letter to President Obama Feb. 25 stating the policy of mass deportations is "morally reprehensible and must end." The letter follows an act of civil disobedience by 32 faith leaders who were arrested in front of the White House on Feb. 17. More ...

Chuck Knows Church: Transfiguration Sunday
This Sunday, March 2, is Transfiguration Sunday. The Transfiguration of Jesus is an event reported by the Synoptic Gospels in which Jesus is transfigured upon a mountain. Why is this event lifted up and celebrated? Watch "Chuck Knows Church" to get some answers. "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 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 ...

Wesley Seminary's Engaging Local Schools Conference to be March 22
Early-bird registration ends this Monday, March 3, for Wesley Theological Seminary's Engaging Local Schools Conference to be held Saturday, March 22, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. on the seminary campus in Washington, D.C. Increasing numbers of churches are considering how they can best support and engage their local schools. This conference will guide your congregation in considering questions that are critical to the success of a school-focused service initiative. Presenters are the Rev. Tom Berlin, the Rev. Asa Lee, Dr. Lovett Weems Jr. and Dr. Ann Michel. More ...

Wesley Seminary seeks associate dean, program manager
Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., invites applications and nominations for two positions:
     Wesley Seminary is looking for a person who has proven administrative, pastoral and community organization skills to serve as Associate Dean for Community Life. The Associate Dean is expected to provide vision and leadership in strategically organizing the diverse arenas of community life into the seminary's educational mission to develop greater capacity for mature and effective spiritual leadership.
     The seminary also seeks a Program Manager for the Office of Development, reporting to the Director of Development, to manage administrative functions to support the overall work of the Development Office and serve as the tactical hub for Development initiatives. Click here for more information about both positions.

♦ 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

♦ 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. 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 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 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.

♦ 'Look Who's Calling' youth retreat - April 5
The Wesley Foundation at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, will host the Saturday, April 5, Virginia Conference “Look Who’s Calling” free, one-day retreat for high school-age youths who may be experiencing the gentle nudging of God’s call to ministry. More ...

♦ Camp Overlook Confirmation Retreat - April 11-12
Confirmation classes from across the conference are invited to a one-night Confirmation Retreat. Sessions will be led by the Rev. Gary Heaton, the Rev. David Rochford (Staunton District superintendent), missionaries and lay people. Confirmands attend as a group with pastor and/or adult mentors from their church. We will explore our Wesleyan roots, Means of Grace, connectional nature of The United Methodist Church, and the importance of missions. To register or for more information, go to, call 540-2MY-CAMP or e-mail

♦ SERVE: A Missional Exploration for Ministry - Aug. 3-5
An event at Randolph-Macon College Aug 3-5 will help high school students explore a calling to ministry. "SERVE: A Missional Exploration for Ministry" will have a work camp focus and include small groups, Bible study, recreation, special worship services and more. Click here for more information or call Margie Turbyfill at (804) 368-7276 or e-mail The program is co-sponsored by the Bailey Pre-ministerial Program at Randolph-Macon College and the Virginia Conference Board of Ordained Ministry.

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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