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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

Click here for 2016 issues

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News from the Virginia Conference - Jan. 16, 2014

Human Relations Day is Sunday, Jan. 19
Sunday, Jan. 19, is Human Relations Day, one of six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings for The United Methodist Church. Human Relations Day strengthens United Methodist outreach to communities in the United States and Puerto Rico, encouraging social justice and work with at-risk youths. Your gifts to the Human Relations Day offering help overcome injustice and empower those struggling to survive. Please give generously. More ...

Jan. 20 is Martin Luther King Day
Martin Luther King Jr.'s national birthday observance is Monday, Jan. 20. Conference offices in the United Methodist Center in Glen Allen will be closed in observance of the holiday. More ...

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is Jan. 18-25
United Methodists around the world are encouraged to participate in the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which is Jan. 18-25 this year. The office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships, part of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, has online resources. More ...

LARCUM bishops to host prayer service Jan. 20
The four Virginia LARCUM bishops (Lutheran, Anglican, Roman Catholic and United Methodist) will gather and invite all Christians to join them to pray for Christian Unity at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20, at St. Ann Catholic Church, 980 N. Frederick St., Arlington, VA 22205. Episcopal Diocese of Virginia’s Bishop Ted Gulick will preach. He will be joined by Bishop Paul Loverde (Catholic Diocese of Arlington), Bishop Richard Graham (ELCA Metro DC Synod), and Bishop Young Jin Cho (Virginia Conference, UMC). The Week of Prayer, first celebrated in 1908, has been an annual tradition for ecumenical groups with texts approved by an international committee of the World Council of Churches’ Faith and Order Commission and the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. This year the theme finds its origins in 1 Corinthians 1:1-17: “Has Christ been divided?”

Sunday, Feb. 2, is Disability Awareness Sunday
The 1996 General Conference of The United Methodist Church voted to create Disability Awareness Sunday (without a special offering). Paragraph 265.4 of the 2012 Book of Discipline states: “Disability Awareness Sunday shall be observed annually on a date to be determined by the annual conference. Disability Awareness Sunday calls the Church to celebrate the gifts and graces of persons with disabilities and calls the Church and society to full inclusion of persons with disabilities in the community.” In the Virginia Conference, Disability Awareness Sunday is the first Sunday in February (Feb. 2). More ...

Conference clergy gather to learn about reconciliation
How do you find points of agreement in our adversarial culture where everyone – from people in government to people in church – seems always at odds? There has to be a better way, speaker Tom Porter told Virginia Conference clergy at the opening day of the 2014 Ministers’ Convocation at Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center Tuesday night. More ...

Foundation awards grants to five projects
The Virginia United Methodist Foundation awarded grants to five projects in its first use of a Grants Fund established last year for the primary purpose of making financial awards for proposals, projects, ministries, programs and activities at the conference and district levels of the Virginia Conference. A $3,000 grant was given to the Virginia Conference Clergy Leadership Program, $1,000 to Heart Havens, $459 to Preventing Victimization: An Older Adult Ministry, $1,250 to Rising Hope Daily Worship and Meals Ministry and $2,000 to Change the World RVA. Click here for more information about the Grants Fund or contact Dave Thompson, president, at (804) 521-1122, or Steve Clark, Gift Planning officer, at (804) 521-1120.

January issue of Advocate reports on UMCOR relief efforts in Philippines
The January issue of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate reports on United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) work in the Philippines after the late November typhoon Haiyan (a.k.a. Yolanda) devastated the central part of the Philippines, wiping clean some of the 7,000 islands that compose that Asian nation. 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

Applications due Feb. 24 for Youth Service Fund grants
Applications are now being accepted for 2014 Youth Service Fund grants to support youth programs or youth mission projects. Grants generally range from $200 to $1,500. Click here to download a 2014 application, and click here for application guidelines. Applications should be e-mailed to Becky Tate at by Monday, Feb. 24. For more information, contact the Rev. Derrick Parson, director of Ministries with Young People, at, or Becky Tate at (804) 521-1139, 1-800-768-6040, ext. 139, or More …

Applications due Jan. 30 for Peace with Justice grants
The Virginia Conference Board of Church and Society has extended the deadline for applying for peace with justice grants to Jan. 30. Please review grant application guidelines to determine if your project qualifies. Peace with Justice offering receipts are divided between the General Board of Church and Society and the conference boards of church and society. The General Board recently funded peace-making projects in the Congo and Liberia. The conference board has funded projects such as the Discipleship University for Peace with Justice. More ...

Applications due Feb. 1 for Calling 21 summer 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 the Rev. Allie Rosner at

Wesley Seminary receives grant for large-church project
Lilly Endowment Inc. has awarded United Methodist-related Wesley Theological Seminary a major research grant for a unique, three-year, large-church leadership project. The project will study large congregations and identify ways to develop the leadership-education resources and strategies required to help future congregational leaders. More ...

Chuck Knows Church: Apportionments
In the United Methodist Church your gifts to your congregation impact not only your local church's ministries, but also mission and ministry around the world. "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 ...

Jan. 20 is deadline to register for online communications courses
Monday, Jan. 20, is the deadline to register for six online courses offered by United Methodist Communications Jan. 22-March 5: “United Methodism 101,” “Communicating Faith in the 21st Century,” “Tools for Increasing Your Church’s Vitality,” “Welcoming Ministry 100,” “Web Ministry 100: What is Web Ministry?,” and “Moodle 100 — Basic Training.” Costs vary. Click here for details.

Commission on women offers free leadership webinars
A series of webinars aimed at helping develop principled leaders in The United Methodist Church is being offered this year by the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women. Among the topics are following Robert’s Rules of Order, submitting petitions to annual or General Conferences, creating talent banks, performing monitoring reports and ways to advocate for women. The webinars start at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4. More ...

Global Convocation registration open to all young people, leaders
Registration for the Global Young People’s Convocation and Legislative Assembly this summer in Tagaytay, Philippines, is now open to all young people and adult leaders. The quadrennial convocation and legislative assembly, organized by the General Board of Discipleship’s Young People’s Ministries, is a place where UMC young people from around the world worship, pray and work together. It is scheduled for July 16-20. Previously, registration was open only for elected delegates, but limited space is now available for young people and their leaders wanting to attend the proceedings and experience the event as non-voting delegates. Click here for more information and to register. Questions regarding registration should be directed to

Clergywomen Leadership Seminar to be May 5-7 in Florida
The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry will sponsor the United Methodist Clergywomen Leadership Seminar May 5-7 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. All UMC
clergywomen are welcome. Theme is 'Where Grace Meets Power - Standing for Each Others' Greatness." More ...

♦ Silent Suffering: Depression and Clergy Pastoral Care Forum - Jan. 23
Learn how to recognize and acknowledge depression in the pastoral leader. Identify steps and resources to overcome depression and isolation often associated with pastoral ministry. 9 a.m. to noon Thursday, Jan. 23, at Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care (VIPCare), 2000 Bremo Rd, Ste, 105, Richmond. Call (804) 282-8332 to register. $30 fee including CEU credit.

♦ United Methodist Day at General Assembly - Feb. 6
United Methodist Day at the General Assembly will be Thursday, Feb. 6. This annual event, sponsored by the Board of Church and Society and Virginia Conference United Methodist Women, is an opportunity to help faith communities become empowered to serve as missionaries of justice as well as the more traditional missionaries of mercy. Cost is $35 per person. Registration deadline is Jan. 31. More ...

♦ Cultivating Young Leaders - Feb. 7-9
A professional development opportunity for adults who work with young people (youths, young adults, college students) will be offered Feb. 7-9 at Camp Overlook in Keezletown. Cost is $140 (double room). 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 ...

♦ 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 eight different 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 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 or (757) 421 0161.

♦ 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 ...

♦ Voices of Youth 2014 Tour - July 3-20
2014 Voices of Youth (VOY) tour, a Virginia Conference mission program designed to connect high school students with those in need through music and mission, will be July 3-20. After orientation, group building and rehearsal, the choir will travel to Nassau in the Bahamas to work with Bahamas Methodist Habitat for one week. Choir members will then return to Virginia to present worship experiences in host churches throughout the conference. VOY still needs several adults interested in travelling as a part of the adult staff for the trip. For applications and more information, go to or contact VOY Coordinator Jenn Dixon at or or (757) 348-7084.

♦ Camp Rainbow Connection - July 6-11
Camp Rainbow Connection will be July 6-11 and Aug. 10-15 at Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center. New campers are always welcome. Campers must be at least 16 years old, have an intellectual disability as their primary disability, and be able to independently complete activities of daily living. Contact the office of Inclusivity and Lay Leadership Excellence to receive an application packet. New and returning staff volunteers are needed. Staff members must be at least 16 years old by July 1, agree to criminal background check, attend training in the spring, and commit to attending full week of camp. A limited number of 15-year-olds will be able to serve as youth advocates. Click here for applications for staff and youth advocates. (Scroll down to bottom of page.) For more information, contact the office of Inclusivity and Lay Leadership Excellence at 1-800-768-6040 or (804) 521-1100, ext. 153, or

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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