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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 - July 24, 2014

Bishop Cho takes renewal leave July 21-Aug. 31
Now that Bishop Young Jin Cho has reached the halfway mark in his four-year tenure as Bishop of the Virginia Conference, he is taking July 21–Aug. 31 as a period of renewal leave. During this time, he will devote himself to reading, reflecting, traveling with his wife, Kiok, and preparing himself for the second half of his ministry with us. Bishop Cho asks that you keep him and Kiok in your prayers during this time. He will return to his office on Tuesday, Sept. 2. If you need the assistance of the office of the Bishop during Bishop Cho’s absence, contact the Rev. Tom Joyce, Assistant to the Bishop, at or (804) 521-1103, or Terri Biggins, the Bishop’s Administrative Assistant, at or (804) 521-1102.

Common table begins planning holy conferencing on human sexuality
The Virginia Conference Common Table met July 14 to discern the best way to respond to Bishop Young Jin Cho’s request that the Common Table organize times of holy conferencing related to human sexuality during the 2014-2015 conference year. More...

Conference seeks part-time videographer
The Virginia Conference office of Communications is seeking a part-time videographer to create and produce videos to be used by the conference as effective communications tools to describe its mission, vision and ministry. The position reports to the director of Communications. To apply, send resume to Linda Rhodes, director of Communications, at or P.O. Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058. Applications will be received through Sept. 1. Click here for more information, or go to the Virginia Conference website (, click on “Resources,” then “Job Opportunities.”

Cabinet, conference staff meet together for first time
The Virginia Conference Cabinet and conference Connectional Ministries staff met together for the first time last week at Roslyn Conference Center in Richmond to explore how the two groups might work together to better serve the mission and ministry of the annual conference, and to strengthen relationships. More...

Voices of Youth completes mission work, concert tour
The Voices of Youth choir, composed of students from congregations across the Virginia Conference, wrapped up its concert tour over the weekend. After spending a week in the Bahamas doing home repairs with the Bahamas Methodist Habitat organization, the youths performed a week of concerts, singing and telling their mission stories in churches across the conference. The annual summer mission/concert tour is in its 28th year. More ...

Conference seeks director of Inclusivity and Lay Leadership Excellence
The Virginia Conference office of Connectional Ministries is seeking a lay person to serve as director of Inclusivity and Lay Leadership Excellence. Click here for job description. To apply, send cover letter, resume and three references to by Aug. 15. Selected interviews will be held Aug. 27. This position is posted on the Virginia Conference website at

Head of Cambodia Mission to be in Virginia Nov. 10-17
The Rev. Dr. Romy del Rosario, country director of the United Methodist Mission in Cambodia, will be in Virginia Nov. 10-17 and will be available to speak in churches about the Cambodia Initiative. To arrange for him to speak at your church, contact Ann Klotz, coordinator of missionary itineration for the conference Board of Global Ministries, at or (540) 366-6872. Hosting may involve providing overnight accommodations and transportation between engagements.

Suggestions offered to assist unaccompanied children entering U.S.
Several churches have requested information about what Virginia United Methodist individuals and faith communities can do in response to the current crisis of unaccompanied minors and others from Central America coming into the United States and being held in detention centers.

  • The General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) has provided a webpage with information and opportunities to support these children. Click on Protect the Children to take you to the GBCS webpage.
  • United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is working with the Immigration Task Force of the UMC as well as the bishops of the church as they seek to address this situation. UMCOR made a $10,000 grant that will be filtered to ministries helping the children and parents. Click here to see video about the current immigration emergency and how UMCOR is responding. Click here to make a donation to UMCOR.
  • The executive committee of the Council of Bishops has called on United Methodists across the connection to "pray, reflect and engage in acts of compassion." Click here to read bishops' statement.
  • The Rev. Dr. Dottie Escobedo‐Frank, superintendent of the South District in the Desert Southwest Conference, recently visited the border and wrote an article about her experience. She suggests seven things churches can do. More ...
  • The General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) is urging all United Methodists to call their members of Congress and urge them to oppose proposed changes to the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2008. Call 1-866-940-2439 to be connected with the offices of your representative and both of your senators and urge them to reject rollbacks to TVPRA and support protecting children. Visit for more information.
  • The General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) invites United Methodists to come to Washington, D.C., Thursday and Friday, July 31-Aug. 1, to join United Methodist Bishop Minerva Carcaño and leaders from other faith organizations for a large action of civil disobedience in front of the White House to demand an end to all deportations and demand expanded deferred action for all undocumented immigrants. More ...

Click here to learn about The United Methodist Church's official position on immigration reform. For more information, contact the Rev. Glenn Rowley, director of Justice and Missional Excellence, at or (804) 521-1143. More ...

$174,553 collected for Annual Conference offering
To date, $174,553 has been received for this year's Annual Conference special offering. Goal is $200,000. Funds will support Imagine No Malaria, Cambodia church construction and Christian education, Mozambique lay leadership and communication training, Brazil Shade and Fresh Water program for street children, mission engagement of Virginia Conference small membership churches, Community Outreach Program in Roanoke, Agape Children’s Center in Horntown on the Eastern Shore and connection of Virginia Conference churches to Haiti mission projects. Contributions may still be sent to the conference Treasurer's office, P.O. Box 5605, Glen Allen, VA 23058. Designate “Annual Conference Offering” on your check or at the bottom of your apportionment statement. If the check is from a church, be sure to indicate the church GCFA number on the check. More ...

Open house tour of 1790 circuit rider home to be Sept. 13
In celebration of its 10th anniversary, The Old Brunswick Circuit Foundation will hold an open house tour of the Edward Dromgoole House, the only remaining Virginia Conference circuit rider home (built circa 1790), 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 13. The home is located at 2722 Christanna Highway in Valentines. The Rev. Dr. Michael H. Browder will speak on “The Cradle of Methodism.” The Rev. Gary Ziegler will portray the Rev. Edward Dromgoole. Fellowship Luncheon at noon costs $10. Send checks and RSVP by Sept. 6 to: Old Brunswick Circuit Foundation, P. O. Box 385, Lawrenceville, VA 23868. For more information, e-mail or call (434) 636-5604. More ...

United Methodist young people urge denomination to promote unity
United Methodist young people from around the world have urged leaders of the denomination to “seek solutions that promote our global unity” and not be divided by issues such as homosexuality. The Global Young People's Convocation & Legislative Assembly, attended by more than 300 young people and observers, adopted the unity statement the night before ending its quadrennial gathering with a worship service Sunday, July 20, at Central United Methodist Church in Manila. More ...

Schaefer case appealed to Judicial Council
The Rev. Christopher Fisher, who was counsel for the church in the trial of the Rev. Frank Schaefer, has turned in an appeal to last month's decision to reinstate Schaefer's ordination credentials. The case will be heard during the October meeting of the Judicial Council, the denomination's highest court. Click here to see October Judicial Council docket. More ...

Aug. 10 is deadline to apply for Ethnic Local Church Grants
Deadline to apply for Ethnic Local Church Grants is Sunday, Aug. 10. The grants, distributed by the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, aim to strengthen ethnic minority local churches through education, advocacy or leadership development as they engage in social justice. More ...

11 Christian groups call for change in U.S. policies on Israel-Palestine
The United Methodist General Board of Church & Society is among 11 faith-based organizations that sent a letter to President Obama calling for the administration to change its policies to accomplish a lasting end to the hostilities between Israel and Palestine. As “horrendous death and destruction mount in Gaza,” the faith leaders declare they are called by conscious to say, “Enough.” More ...

UMCOR provides food aid to Palestinian families in Gaza
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is working with partner American Near East Refugee Aid (ANERA) to provide emergency food assistance to 650 Palestinian families (about 5,200 individuals) impacted by the fighting in Gaza. Your gifts to International Disaster Response, Advance #982450, support UMCOR’s work with local communities impacted by natural or human-caused crises. More ...

'Revitup!' event for young clergy to be Sept. 15-17 in Atlanta
"Revitup!…For a Lifetime in Ministry!" is an event for young clergy aged 25-39 that will be held Sept. 15-17 in Atlanta. Sponsored by the General Board of Pensions and Health Benefits, this event is a unique opportunity to enhance some of the personal, financial and leadership skills that can improve your life and sustain your ministry. Learn ways to dissolve your seminary and personal debt. Gather practical tips for resolving conflict and living a healthy and balanced life. Network with other young clergy from across the denomination. Earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for attending this event. More ...

Chuck Knows Church: Great Commission
The Great Commission. It's the instruction of the resurrected Jesus Christ to his disciples to spread the Good News. Do you know what occurred during his instruction? Why is it important to Christians? Let Chuck tell you about it in a nutshell in this episode of "Chuck Knows Church," 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 ...

Marcia McFee to lead worship planning retreat Sept. 14-17
Dr. Marcia McFee will lead a Worship Design Studio Planning Retreat Sept. 14-17 at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in North Carolina. Dr. McFee will guide participants through the entire liturgical year (starting with Advent) in order to map out worship themes and general plans for each season. After three days in the company of creative people and processes, participants will have a head start on plans for the kind of sensory-rich worship that touches hearts and minds, transforms lives and forms disciples for the entire year. More ...

♦ Mission Encounter - July 25-27, 28-30
Virginia Conference Mission Encounter (formerly known as School of Christian Mission) offers an opportunity for men, women, laity and clergy, youths and children to learn about being partners in God’s global mission and to grow spiritually through study and worship. Weekend session July 25-27 and weekday session July 28-30 will be at Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center. Geographic study is "Roma of Europe." Spiritual Growth study is "How is it with Your Soul?" Issue study is "The Church and People with Disabilities." Children’s study is "Making a New Picture: Welcoming Persons with Disabilities Into Our Lives." Click here for information on weekend session. Click here for information on weekday session.

♦ Early Response Team training - Aug. 16, 22, 23
Early Response Team (ERT) training for anyone interested in disaster ministries will be held 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16, at Trinity UMC, 903 Forest Ave., Henrico. Cost is $55 (includes background check, t-shirt, badge, manual, snacks and lunch). To register, e-mail Michele Michaelian at Deadline to register is Aug. 2.
     ERT Recertification Class for anyone who currently has an ERT badge that is ready to expire will be 6 - 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22, at St. John's UMC, 2709 Greendale Ave., Norfolk. Cost is $40 (includes background check, t-shirt, snacks) Contact Michele Michaelian at with any questions about this class. Deadline to register is Aug. 8.
     ERT Basic Training will be held 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23, at St. John's UMC, 2709 Greendale Ave., Norfolk. Cost is $55 (includes background check, t-shirt, badge, manual, snacks and lunch). To register, e-mail Michele Michaelian at Deadline to register is Aug. 8.

♦ 'Helping Hands' mission for children - Aug. 25-26
“Helping Hands” is a two-day mission experience for rising 4th - to 6th-graders, parents and adult leaders. The final event will be held Aug. 25-26 at Springfield UMC, Springfield (click here for more information). Kids can learn about mission opportunities and the importance of being a caring Christian. Cost of $36 per person includes a t-shirt, meals, snacks, mission supplies and overnight stay.

♦ 5 Talent Academy 'Evangelism, Communication and Church Growth' event - Oct. 4
Registration is now open for the 5 Talent Academy "Evangelism, Communication and Church Growth" event 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, at Floris UMC in Herndon and broadcast to nine additional locations across the conference. Maria Dixon Hall, associate professor of Organizational Communication at Southern Methodist University, will explore evangelism through the lens of solid and fruitful communication practices. Registration is open to all Virginia Conference churches regardless of affiliation with the 5 Talent Academy. Visit to register. Registration is $25 per person and includes lunch.

♦ 'Lord, Teach Me to Pray' - Oct. 25
"Lord, Teach Me to Pray — Practical Applications for Prayer" will be offered again Saturday, Oct. 25, at St. Thomas UMC, Manassas (Click here to register). Main speaker will be Dr. Wendy Miller, professor emeritus of Spiritual Formation at Eastern Mennonite Seminary and adjunct faculty at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill., and Perkins School of Theology in Dallas. Click here to download a flyer. NOTE: The event originally scheduled for Aug. 23 at Williamsburg UMC has been cancelled because the keynote speaker has a scheduling conflict.

♦ 'The Good Race' - Nov. 15
Clergy and laity are invited to join other United Methodists in "The Good Race," a day of participation and celebration as they walk or run the Anthem Richmond 8K, Half-Marathon or Marathon on Saturday, Nov. 15. Information about these races can be found at Or contact Steve Jones at or Allie Rosner at Or join the Facebook Group “The Good Race.”

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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