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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 - Jan. 23, 2014

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 ...

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

February is Black History Month
February is Black History Month. The General Board of Discipleship has music and worship resources.

William & Mary to honor former conference intern
Laura Godwin, a member of St. Mark’s UMC in Midlothian and a senior at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, has been selected to receive the 2014 James Monroe Prize for Civic Leadership. She will receive the honor during William & Mary’s Charter Day ceremony on Feb. 7. The prize is annually awarded to an undergraduate who has “demonstrated sustained leadership combined with initiative, character and an unfailing commitment to the ethic of service.” Godwin served as an intern in the Virginia Conference office of Mission and Global Justice in the summers of 2011 and 2012. More …

February issue of Advocate examines problem of human trafficking
The February issue of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate examines the ongoing problem of human trafficking, which continues not only in developing countries but also right here in Virginia. People, mainly women, continue to be sold into slavery, often to be prostitutes or sex slaves but also for domestic labor or agricultural work. The United Methodist Church is working to eradicate this problem. United Methodist Women, especially, have focused on human trafficking and will use the Super Bowl as an opportunity to call attention to this crime. 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 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

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 …

Volunteers needed for computer-assisted note taking at Annual Conference
Volunteers are needed to offer their time and talent in communicating the spoken word to persons who need computer-assisted note taking to be fully included in our Annual Conference sessions. Tasks include typing text of reports, worship and music using Microsoft Word, at times as the speaker is presenting. Good typing speed and accuracy is a must. Individuals are needed for shifts of one hour or longer during all sessions of Annual Conference June 20-22 in Hampton. For more information, contact the office of Inclusivity and Lay Leadership Excellence at 1-800-768-6040 or (804) 521-1100, ext. 154, or e-mail

Trial set for theologian who officiated at son's wedding
A United Methodist theologian and retired elder in the New York Conference will face a church trial for officiating at the 2012 same-sex wedding of his son. The trial of the Rev. Thomas Ogletree is scheduled for March 10 at First United Methodist Church in Stamford, Conn. More ...

Chuck Knows Church: Bible translations
What's your favorite Bible translation? And why are there so many translations available? Chuck introduces you to the subject with a smile."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 ...

Cokesbury seeks Virginia Beach area Resource Consultant
Cokesbury is seeking a Resource Consultant to serve the Virginia Beach area by acquiring, developing and strengthening relationships with congregations, church leaders, denominational offices and key accounts. Through frequent visitation, Cokesbury services are provided in the areas of curriculum sales/education, custom products, and local events/displays. For details, visit the Virginia Conference website at and scroll down to “Other.”

♦ 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 ...

♦ Engagement R.I.N.G. Retreat - Feb. 14-16
The Rev. Glen and Tara Langston will guide young engaged couples (or those considering engagement) through an exploration of what it means to love their spouse for a lifetime and how to keep God in the center of it all at the Engagement R.I.N.G. (Relationships Intimately Nurtured by God) retreat  Feb. 14-16 in Blessings Lodge at Overlook Retreat and Camp Ministries, Keezletown. 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 ...

♦ 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 For information about the Virginia Conference and resources for ministry, visit the Virginia Conference website at





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