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News from the Virginia Conference - Feb. 6, 2015

Peter Moon named Richmond District superintendent
The Rev. Dr. Peter Moon, who currently is senior pastor of Woodlake UMC in Chesterfield, has been appointed by Bishop Young Jin Cho to serve as Richmond District superintendent, effective July 1. He will replace the Rev. Steve Jones who has served as Richmond DS since July 1, 2008, and will retire this year at Annual Conference. More ...

Churches asked to sell lemonade on April 25 to save lives
Bishop Young Jin Cho is asking all churches in the Virginia Conference to observe World Malaria Day this year by selling lemonade to save lives. "World Malaria Day is Saturday, April 25," Bishop Cho said. "This day is used to bring awareness about the preventable and treatable disease of malaria around the world. The Virginia Conference is excited to announce our plans for the day. We would like all of our churches across the state to participate by hosting lemonade stands in our communities. We want to connect our neighbors with our churches and help save the lives of thousands in Africa suffering from malaria. I imagine more than a thousand lemonade stands all over the conference. So, you might be asking, 'What do lemons and mosquitoes have in common?' Well, squashing them saves lives! Help us sip our way to saving lives on April 25!" More ...

United Methodists visit General Assembly to advocate for justice
United Methodists spilled out of buses and vans and onto Capitol Square in Richmond on Thursday, Feb. 5, intent on being advocates to the Commonwealth of Virginia’s lawmakers in the 23rd annual United Methodist Day at the General Assembly. More ...

Polar Duck Dip raises $12,376 for Camp Occohannock
Volunteers who braved the cold waters in the Jan. 24 Camp Occohannock on the Bay Polar Duck Dip raised $12,376 to help the camp continue its mission of providing programs and facilities which make use of the natural setting of waterfront, woodland and open spaces to help people of all ages grow in their knowledge of and love for God. Camp Occohannock is a ministry of the Eastern Shore District. Click here to view a video produced by Nick Ruxton, conference videographer.

Variety of new Lent, Easter resources available
Lent begins this month. Ash Wednesday is Feb. 18. Here are some new ideas for Lent and Easter activities: United Methodist Communications offers out-of-the-box ideas to reach out to your community. The General Board of Global Ministries offers worship resources for Lent and Easter. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has a new resource, a One Great Hour of Sharing devotional ebook, that provides 40 days of meditations about the needs of others around the world. Society of St. Andrew offers Lenten devotional resources. Ash Wednesday resources are available from Discipleship Ministries (General Board of Discipleship) and from Abingdon Press and Ministry Matters, both part of the United Methodist Publishing House (UMPH). Imagine No Malaria offers a themed set of Lenten graphics, worship resources and videos for free download. Many of these resources have been collected on one go-to web page developed by United Methodist Communications. The page has materials from United Methodist Discipleship Ministries, United Methodist Global Ministries, the Society of St. Andrew and others. View resources.

James Eads named new Credit Union CEO
James (Jim) Eads has been hired as new chief executive officer of the Virginia United Methodist Credit Union. Eads has more than 25 years of management experience with local financial institutions (including Signet Bank, First Market Bank and Bankers Investment Group). He has also had his own consultancy where he did strategic planning for financial services firms around the country, including many credit unions and community banks. Eads and his wife, Karen, have two grown children (a married daughter and a son attending Emory & Henry), but have recently welcomed two new children into their household (both girls, ages 5 and 7). The Eads family resides in Midlothian.

Mount Pisgah UMC, Midlothian, raises more than $10,000 to fight malaria
Mount Pisgah UMC in Midlothian held a large scale mission project to support Imagine No Malaria and set its fundraising goal at $10,000. "We are delighted to announce we have made the goal already,"  said June Adams, who helped spearhead the effort. Fundraising kicked off last Oct. 5 with a special offering at the church's three services, following a video and pulpit presentation on Imagine No Malaria. Special display centers were set up around the church using photos from the Imagine No Malaria website and real mosquito nets. Donations were encouraged to be continued during the fall and holiday season. Using resources downloaded from the conference website, church secretary Melissa Holmes created Imagine No Malaria Christmas and birthday cards to be sold for $10 per card. Donors could give the card to honor the recipient and provide for one mosquito net for Imagine No Malaria. "This was a very popular sale, and it brought in more donations for Imagine No Malaria than we expected," said Adams. "We will continue to sell the birthday cards until we sell out by May 17, our fundraising deadline. We hope to earn as many funds as possible over the reached goal."

UVa Wesley Foundation matching donations to Imagine No Malaria
The University of Virginia Wesley Foundation has set up a Facebook fundraiser and is asking its students to  text ‘MALARIA VA’ to 27722 to give a life-changing gift of $10 to Imagine No Malaria. Between now and Feb. 22, the Wesley Foundation will match the first 100 donations. Students can indicate that they donated by RSVPing to the Imagine No Malaria Facebook event. The Wesley Foundation will also collect a special offering Sunday, Feb. 22, during worship at Wesley Memorial UMC, Charlottesville, when members of the congregation can take out their phones and donate if they feel called to do so. Click here to view Facebook page.

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

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 ...

Give to One Great Hour of Sharing to celebrate UMCOR's 75th Anniversary
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. The resources include a pastor's toolkit, a relief assembly guide and a list of 75 ways to celebrate UMCOR. 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.

UMC featured in USA Today's special Black History Month edition
The United Methodist Church was featured in USA Today's Feb. 2 special edition for Black History Month. Two separate ads look at the critical role the denomination has played throughout groundbreaking moments in U.S. history. One ad features the Black College Fund, the other urges readers to "Rethink Church" by "encouraging conversations that build understanding and inspire reconciliation." More ...

Mass incarceration to be focus of April 17-20 Ecumenical Advocacy Days
More than 1,000 Christian advocates are expected to attend the 13th Annual Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD) for Global Peace with Justice Friday, April 17, to Monday, April 20, in Washington, D.C. Focus of this year's EAD is "Breaking the Chains: Mass Incarceration & Systems of Exploitation." The event will include prayer, worship, advocacy training, networking and mobilization. It will culminate in a Congressional Lobby Day on Monday. You can download the Ecumenical Advocacy Days brochure and 2015 National Gathering Insert to print and share in your community. More ...

Iowa Conference resolves complaint on same-sex wedding
A retired United Methodist pastor in Iowa will not face a penalty for officiating at a same-sex wedding in violation of church law. Bishop Julius Calvin Trimble announced in a pastoral letter that the Iowa Conference cabinet has reached "a just resolution" with the Rev. Larry Sonner in the complaint filed in November. Click here to read pastoral letter. Click here to read full text of just resolution. Click here to read article in Des Moines Register.

Churches join Bread for the World's 2015 'Offering of Letters'
Thousands of churches representing nearly 50 diverse U.S. Christian denominations, including The United Methodist Church, will participate in Bread for the World's 2015 "Offering of Letters: Feed Our Children" campaign. This year's campaign urges Congress to strengthen national child-nutrition programs when the law governing them comes up for reauthorization. More ...

UMCom seeks assistant director, Communications Strategy Team
United Methodist Communications, headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., is seeking an assistant director for the Communications Strategy Team who will assist the Senior Director of Communications and Brand Strategy with planning and implementing strategies related to Rethink Church, Brand Management, ICT4D, and Training. Deadline to apply is Feb. 27. To apply or for more information contact UMCom/Human Resources, P. O. Box 320, Nashville, TN 37202-0320; (615) 742-5137; or More ...

UMCom seeks associate director, Hispanic/Latino Communications Team
United Methodist Communications, headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., is seeking an associate director for the Hispanic/Latino Communications Team who will gather and organize information relevant to Hispanic/Latino United Methodists and disseminate it throughout all levels of the church through a variety of channels; use social media and other means to build ongoing relationships with Hispanic/Latino congregations and members that help inform the development of content and resources; provide support to the director by developing relationships and building a strong constituent base; solicit or initiate user-generated content from the Hispanic UMC community; develop resources and other communications that directly address needs in Hispanic/Latino congregations and communities; and facilitate translation support to the agency and external constituents as needed. Deadline to apply is Feb. 28. To apply or for more information contact UMCom/Human Resources, P. O. Box 320, Nashville, TN 37202-0320; (615) 742-5137; or More ...

♦ Vacation Bible School Curriculum Fair - Feb. 13-14
The Resource Center will hold its 2015 Vacation Bible School (VBS) Curriculum Fair 1-6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 13, and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14, at The Resource Center offices, 4th floor of Kingsley Hall on the campus of Virginia Union University, 1500 N. Lombardy St., Richmond, VA 23220. (Preview day is 1-5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12.) Discounts will be offered on Cokesbury products and Group items. Free shipping on orders placed onsite. For more information, call (804) 358-8306 or e-mail More ...

♦ Ethics II training - Feb. 19
All clergy and church professionals are required to attend an Ethics II training during this quadrennium (2012-2016). Trainings are held four times a year throughout the conference to provide convenient opportunities for participation. The next training will be 9:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m Thursday, Feb. 19, at St. John's UMC, Buena Vista, in the Staunton District. Click here to download brochure with training details and schedule. A 0.5 CEU is awarded for full participation. Click here to register for Feb. 19 event. Registration fee of $12 includes lunch and training materials and is payable by credit card. You may register with a fee of $5 and provide your own lunch. Paper registrations are not available for these events. Registration is required 48 hours prior to event in order to ensure sufficient materials are available for all participants. More ...

♦ Lay Servant Academy - Feb. 20-22
Lay Servant Academy will be Feb. 20-22 at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center in Blackstone. Registration continues for one more week. The presence of some old favorites and the addition of the Basic Class in Spanish have given us a solid group of attendees. Three courses are near capacity and may have to be closed. But three other courses may have to be cancelled because of low registration. Call Cyndi Schnell at (434) 292-5308 or David Bailey at (804) 338-3168 to discuss options. Register online at or by calling Cyndi at Blackstone. More ...

♦ UMVIM Team Leader Training - Feb. 21, 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:
♦ Feb. 21, 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Bethlehem UMC, 13586 Old Moneta Rd., Moneta. Click here to register online and pay by credit card. Click here to download a pdf form and pay by check.
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.

♦ 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
The Bishop’s Convocation on Prayer will be held Saturday, March 21, at Trinity UMC (Richmond District) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Rev. Sue Nilson-Kibbey will be the plenary speaker, and 13 workshops will be offered to participants. 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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