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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 17, 2014

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. Under supervision of the director of Connectional Ministries, the director of Inclusivity and Lay Leadership Excellence will provide oversight for the Center for Lay Leadership Excellence; resource the conference Board of Laity, Board of Discipleship and Older Adult Council; resource implementation of Discipleship Circles; resource Conference Commission on Status and Role of Women, Commission on Disabilities and Commission on Ethnic Minority Concerns and Advocacy; supervise Camp Rainbow Connection coordinator; provide ethnic ministry resources; coordinate lay and clergy leadership training and empowerment in issues of ethnic, racial and cultural diversity; provide resources, coaching, training and equipping for leadership, cultural, ethnic, diverse ministries and faith communities of the conference; and resource and train clergy and lay leaders in large, mid-size and small membership churches in collaboration with the Center for Congregational Excellence. To apply, send cover letter, resume and three references to by Aug. 15. Selected interviews will be held Aug. 27. Click here for more extensive job description. This position is also posted on the Virginia Conference website at

Clergy asked to check contact info in online directory
The first draft of the 2014-2015 Clergy Directory has been posted on the Virginia Conference website at Clergy are asked to look up their information and send any changes or additions to Brenda Capen, conference database manager, at You do not need to contact her if the information is complete and correct.

Advocate wants stories of vibrant children's ministries
The Virginia United Methodist Advocate magazine is working on an issue highlighting ideas for vibrant children's ministries. If your church is doing some creative things in this area, please tell us about it. This includes Sunday school and Vacation Bible School ideas, too. And include some good pictures! Send e-mail to or directly to Neill Caldwell, Advocate editor, at Deadline is Aug. 4.

North Carolina needs volunteers for Hurricane Arthur cleanup
The Beacon District of the North Carolina Conference needs teams of volunteers to respond to North Carolina's Outer Banks where Hurricane Arthur flooded homes and scattered debris over property in the tri-villages of Rodanthe, Salvo and Waves. Homes need debris cleanup as well as removal of water-logged insulation and under-pinning. Small teams of four or five are needed or teams that are willing to divide up into smaller teams. Each team must have a team leader who has completed either United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) team leader training or United Methodist Committee On Relief (UMCOR) Early Response Team (ERT) basic training. Volunteer housing is available with showers, kitchen and space for sleeping. Volunteers should bring sleeping bags and/or air mattresses with linens and be prepared to purchase food and cook their own meals. There are restaurants nearby. For questions and to volunteer, call Ann Huffman at 1-888-440-9167 or e-mail

Virginia missionaries in Sierra Leone to speak in local churches
An opportunity to connect with God's mission in Sierra Leone may be coming to a church near you. Commissioned during the 2013 Virginia Annual Conference session, the Rev. Nancy and Clifford (Kip) Robinson are missionaries with the General Board of Global Ministries assigned to the Sierra Leone Conference in West Africa where Nancy serves as continuing education coordinator and Kip is coordinator of congregational development and education. They will be speaking in the following Virginia Conference churches in July and August: Sunday, July 20, Winchester District - Grace UMC, Middleton, (Nancy) worship hour; and Toms Brook UMC, (Kip) worship hour; Tuesday, July 22, Richmond District - Duncan Memorial UMC, Ashland, 7 p.m.; Wednesday, July 23, York River District - Williamsburg UMC, 6 p.m. dinner and program; Thursday, July 24, Richmond District - Bon Air UMC, 7:30 p.m. program with dessert; Friday, July 25 – Wednesday, July 30, Mission Encounter, Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center; Sunday, July 27, Roanoke District - Windsor Hills UMC, 10 a.m. Sunday school, 11 a.m. worship; Sunday, July 27, Lynchburg District - Forest Road UMC, 5:30 p.m.; Monday, July 28, Lynchburg District - Emmaus UMC (Moneta), 5 p.m. meal, 6 p.m. program; Thursday, July 31, Richmond District - Chamberlayne Heights UMC, 7 p.m.; Sunday, Aug. 3, Richmond District - Mount Pisgah UMC, (Kip) 9:30 a.m. combined Sunday schools; Sunday, Aug. 10, Alexandria District - Franconia UMC, 9:30 a.m. mission breakfast; and Burke UMC, 6 p.m. LIFESIGN, 7 p.m. dinner and sharing. Click here to read Kip's bio. Click here to read Nancy's bio.

All God's Children Camp to be Aug. 3-8, 10-15
All God’s Children Camp for children, ages 7 to 12, whose mothers are incarcerated, provides a week of sanctuary for children who face many challenges in their lives, such as economic poverty, temporary living conditions, loneliness, low self-esteem, violence and drugs. Twenty-five children and eight mentors will participate Aug. 3-8 at Occohannock on the Bay in Belle Haven. Ninety-nine children and 45 mentors will participate Aug. 10-15 at Westview on the James in Goochland County. Click here for information about the camps and how you can help.

August Advocate reports on 2014 Annual Conference session
The August issue of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate reports on 2014 Annual Conference with stories and lots of pictures. The 232nd gathering was held June 20-22 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Hampton. The theme, “Lord, Renew Us With Your Spirit,” was expressed in many ways, including during the concluding baptism renewal service when the 3,000 attendees remembered their baptism by touching water in small basins throughout the hall. The August Advocate also includes the 2014-2015 Mission Opportunities guide. The Advocate is the official monthly magazine of the Virginia Conference. 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

UMFS kicks off equine-assisted therapy, learning programs
This summer, United Methodist Family Services (UMFS) kicks off its Equine-Assisted Therapy and Equine-Assisted Learning programs with Charterhouse Schools students and residents of Child & Family Healing Center. Once a week, groups of students visit Still Ridge Farm, a therapeutic riding center in Ashland, where they groom, feed and interact with the horses. Animal interactions help children develop critical skills such as trust, self-esteem, empathy, emotional regulation and responsibility over time. The program consists of small groups of six to eight students. A number of students are currently on a waiting list. UMFS hopes to expand the programs to include other equine-assisted services, therapeutic riding and equine-assisted Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). To find out how you can help support this program, contact Katie Moore at (804) 353-4461, ext. 1735. More ...

$172,208 collected for Annual Conference offering
To date, $172,208.24 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 ...

Korea peace march, vigil to be held July 25-26 in D.C.
A “Korea Peace March and Vigil” will be held Friday and Saturday, July 25-26, at Foundry UMC in Washington, D.C., to focus on how to establish lasting peace and eventual reunification on the Korean Peninsula. An ecumenical roundtable will be held 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, followed at 6 p.m. by a banquet ($25), viewing of “Memory of Forgotten War” and a Korea Peace Forum. On Saturday morning, July 26, participants will march from Foundry UMC to the front of the White House, arriving in Lafayette Park at 11 a.m. where they will hold a prayer vigil for peace and reunification of the Korean Peninsula. Sponsors include the Reconciliation & Reunification Committee of the National Council of Churches in Korea, World Council of Churches, United Methodist General Board of Church & Society, General Board of Global Ministries Korean Ministry Plan, United Methodist Women and Committee on Reunification of Korean American Assembly of The United Methodist Church. For more information, contact We Chang at or call (603) 491-9581. More ...

Young People's Convocation participants safe after typhoon hits Philippines
Youths and young adults attending the United Methodist Global Young People’s Convocation in Tagaytay, Philippines, were safely sheltered in place and prayed and sang as Typhoon Rammasun battered the Center for Community Transformation where they were staying. All were reported safe, and organizers of the convocation have moved the event to a new venue near Manila because of storm damage. Click here to read more and view video footage of the storm's aftermath.

United Methodists work to meet needs in border crisis
From handing out hygiene kits and donated clothes to providing legal briefings, United Methodists are working to ease the crisis of unaccompanied minors and others from Central America coming into the United States in sharply escalated numbers. But church leaders find the extent of the need sobering. More ...

North Carolina pastors issue plea for unity
Two North Carolina Conference clergy members - the Revs. Laurie Hays Coffman and Paul T. Stallsworth - recently wrote a call for unity in The United Methodist Church. Click here to read statement. Bishop Hope Morgan Ward added that the statement was endorsed by the vast majority of voters at the conference's annual meeting June 11-14. More ...

Church of England to allow women to be bishops
For the first time, the Church of England has voted to allow women to serve as bishops. In a statement, the British Methodist Church applauded the "courageous decision." 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: King Nebuchadnezzar
King Nebuchadnezzar. The name kinda sounds like someone is sneezing! He was king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, who reigned c. 605 - 562 BC. And we are guessing that for many that's more than you may know. Learn more by watching 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 ...

Resource for youth considers sex from faith perspective
As youth wrestle with what it means to be Christian and a sexual being, a new resource will attempt to open the door for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders for serious conversation, decisions and commitments. "SEX: A Christian Perspective on our Bodies, Decisions, and Relationships" is the first of a series of resources being developed by Young People's Ministries, a division of the United Methodist General Board of Discipleship (GBOD). More ... offers online courses in August, September
A variety of opportunities for Christian growth and education are available this summer through BeADisciple. These courses can be taken by any interested person. Some are approved as advanced Lay Servant Ministry courses. The following will be offered during August and September: Aug. 18-Sept. 2 - Come to the Table (study of United Methodist theology and practice of the sacrament of Holy Communion); Aug. 18-Sept. 2 - Come to the Waters (study of United Methodist theology and practice of the sacrament of Baptism); Aug. 18-Sept. 2 - Biblical Storytelling I; Sept. 8-23 - Life Together in the UM Connection; Sept. 8-23 - Living Our United Methodist Beliefs; Sept. 8-19 - Becoming an Even Better Sunday School or Small Group Teacher; Sept. 15-26 - Youth Ministry 101; Sept. 22-Oct. 3 - Active Learning for Today's Children. For more information and to register, go to

♦ Voices of Youth concerts - July 17-20
Members of the Voices of Youth 2014 “Forward, Upward, Onward, Together” tour spent time in Nassau, Bahamas, working with Bahamas Methodist Habitat, and are now spreading the word through worship and music. Remaining concerts are scheduled for Thursday, July 17, 7 p.m., Roanoke District, Raleigh Court UMC, 1706 Grandin Road, Roanoke; Friday, July 18, 7 p.m., Richmond District, Mechanicsville UMC, 7356 Atlee Road, Mechanicsville; Saturday, July 19, 7 p.m., Elizabeth River District, Nimmo UMC, 2200 Princess Anne Rd., Virginia Beach; Sunday, July 20, 11 a.m. worship, York River District, Chestnut Memorial UMC, 1024 Harpersville Road, Newport News; and Sunday, July 20, 6 p.m., James River District, Chester UMC, 12132 Percival St., Chester.

♦ United Methodist Day at Kings Dominion - July 19
Saturday, July 19, will be Virginia Conference Family Fun Day at Kings Dominion amusement park, with discounted tickets to the park available for United Methodists. Cost is $31.99 per person for ages 3 and older. Children ages 2 and under will be admitted free. To purchase tickets online, go to and enter promo code KDUMC14. The special discount tickets will be valid July 18-20. More ...

♦ 'Helping Hands' mission for children - July 24-25, Aug. 25-26
“Helping Hands” is a two-day mission experience for rising 4th - to 6th-graders, parents and adult leaders. Remaining events will be held: July 24-25 - Woodlake UMC, Chesterfield (click here for more information); and Aug. 25-26 - 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.

♦ 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.

♦ 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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