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News from the Virginia Conference - July 1, 2015

Conference offices to close for Independence Day observance
Virginia Conference offices in the United Methodist Center in Glen Allen will close at 1 p.m. Thursday, July 2, and remain closed Friday, July 3, in observance of Independence Day.

$152,125 collected for Annual Conference offering
To date, $152,125.75 has been received for this year's Annual Conference special offering, exceeding the original goal of $150,000. Funds will support the partnership with the Methodist Mission in Cambodia as they continue to purchase property for new churches and expand their fast growing mission, United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Global Health ministries to aid the Ebola-ravaged countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia, and mission projects working with the poor in the Danville and Eastern Shore districts. 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, indicate the church GCFA number on the check. More ...

Five-minute overview video of Annual Conference available
This year, for the first time, the Communications office has prepared a five-minute overview video of 2015 Annual Conference (suitable for use in making a report on Annual Conference to your local church). You can view it now on the conference Facebook page or YouTube channel, free of charge. You can purchase a copy of the overview video on a DVD for $10 (shipping included). Click here to order online or call Pam Culler in the Communications office at (804) 521-1110 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110.

You can still order DVDs of Annual Conference
You can still order DVDs of the 2015 Annual Conference session. Volume 1 includes the memorial service, ordination, mission and special offering worship service and recognition of retirees. (NOTE: Due to a medical emergency involving a member of the tech crew, no audio is available for the retirement service.) Volume 2 includes Bishop Cho's Episcopal Address, Laity Address, Common Table and Imagine No Malaria reports, Sunday morning closing worship and teaching sessions led by the Rev. Timothy Bias. Cost is $20 for Volume 1, $10 for Volume 2 and $25 for both volumes. After July 1, the price will increase to $22 for Volume 1, $12 for Volume 2 and $30 for both volumes. Click here to order online or call Pam Culler in the Communications office at (804) 521-1110 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110.

Credit union offers new educational funding line of credit
Virginia United Methodist Credit Union (VUMCU) is offering SnapLoan, a new educational funding line of credit, to help fill the gap after scholarships, subsidized federal student loans and college savings accounts have been exhausted. Structured as a low fixed-rate line of credit, funds can be drawn whenever they are needed, subject to annual limits. Funds can be used for any education-related expense, even study abroad. Fixed rate is 5.45% APR for students attending any accredited college or university. Fixed rate is 4.95% APR for students attending seminary or Virginia United Methodist-affiliated school. Visit www.vumcu.org or call (804) 672-0200 for details or to apply. All loans are subject to approval, and credit restrictions apply. Applicants must be VUMCU members.

Discipleship Ministries offers worship resources for Independence Day
The Fourth of July holiday celebrates the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America, but these worship resources from United Methodist Discipleship Ministries may be used for the Independence Day of any nation. Click here to see resources.

Bishops offer advice after gay marriage ruling
How can a United Methodist pastor minister to same-gender couples and not run afoul of church law? A number of United Methodist bishops in the U.S. are striving to answer that question in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex civil marriage in all 50 states. More ...

United Methodists welcome Supreme Court's health-care ruling
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold subsidies for health insurance bought on the federal exchange comes as a relief to many United Methodist clergy and lay church employees. Four United Methodist conferences send all or some of their local church employees to buy insurance on the exchanges. The 6-3 ruling in King v. Burwell also affects The United Methodist Church’s longtime social emphasis on increasing people’s access to health care. More ...

Survey finds clergy struggle with weight, cholesterol
A survey of United Methodist clergy found nearly half are currently obese and about half have had high cholesterol at some point. The Center for Health of the United Methodist Board of Pension and Health Benefits released the 2015 Clergy Health Survey Report on June 25. The online survey analyzed responses from 1,501 clergy. More ...

Honeycutt thanks those who celebrated UMCOR's 75th anniversary
The Rev. Dr. Denise Honeycutt, head of United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), offers a special “thank you” to annual conferences and churches that celebrated UMCOR’s 75th anniversary by assembling relief kits, hosting special parties or choosing new UMCOR projects to support. Honeycutt encourages churches to take the relief-kit challenge that will continue to benefit vulnerable populations that do not have access to basic needs. Click here to watch video.

Chuck Knows Church: Ark of the Covenant
The Ark of the Covenant was a chest described in the Book of Exodus containing the tablets of stone on which the Ten Commandments were inscribed. It was also the basis of a famous movie (which one?). Chucks explains and has some fun along the way on this episode of "Chuck Knows Church," an online series that explains the meaning behind some of the objects, symbols, terms and rituals in church. Episodes can be downloaded for free at www.ChuckKnowsChurch.com 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 United Methodist Discipleship Ministries. More ...

July 7 is deadline to register for five online courses from UMCom
Tuesday, July 7, is the deadline to register for five online courses to be offered by United Methodist Communications (UMCom) July 8-Aug. 19: "Communicating Faith in the 21st Century," "United Methodism 101," "Welcoming Ministry 100," "Moodle 200" and "Connectional Giving." Costs vary. Connectional Giving is free. Click here for details.

Online course on spiritual gifts to be offered for lay servants
"Rediscovering Our Spiritual Gifts," an online course from BeADisciple for United Methodist lay servants, will be offered Monday, July 6, through Sunday, July 19. Participants in the Body of Christ depend on the spiritual gifts God has given them. Those gifts differ, but they provide the foundation for our ministry. Learn more about your spiritual gifts — and how to help members of your congregation learn more about their spiritual gifts — in this two-week online course. The course has been approved by United Methodist Discipleship Ministries as an advanced course in Lay Servant Ministries and is the spiritual gifts component for Lay Speaker certification. One CEU is available. Cost is $65. Click here for more details.

Online leader development course to be offered Aug. 3, 10, 17, 24
"Maximizing Your Leadership EQ," an online leader development course, will be offered by Discipleship Ministries 6-8 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time) Mondays, Aug. 3, 10, 17 and 24. By understanding yourself and others better, you can work together more effectively as a leader and a ministry team and bring out the best in each other. This four-week online course will cover the following topics: Understanding Your DiSC Style, Understanding the Styles of Others, Building More Effective Relationships and Working with Your Team/Wrap-up. Cost is $94 (includes DiSC Profile). Registration deadline is July 28. More ...

♦ Small Membership Congregation Pastor training - July 11
All Virginia Conference pastors of small congregations (fewer than 150 in worship) are invited to a training event specifically designed around opportunities and challenges of the small congregation. This event will be 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 11, at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center in Blackstone. Dr. Lew Parks, professor at Wesley Theological Seminary who has specific interest in the small congregation, will be featured speaker. Bishop Cho will lead worship to close the day. Cost is $25 and includes lunch. 0.5 CEU will be offered. Register at VAUMC.org/SMC-Training by July 1. More ...

♦ Helping Hands - July 16-17
July 1 is the deadline to register for Helping Hands, a Virginia Conference children’s mission event, that will be July 16-17 at Christ UMC, Staunton. Rising 4th-6th graders, parents and adult leaders are invited to come and learn about the importance of being a caring Christian through hands-on mission experiences. Cost of $36 per person includes a t-shirt, meals, snacks and overnight stay. Participants will sleep on the floor, and there are no shower facilities.For more information or if you plan to bring a group, contact Beth Christian, director of Congregational Resources, Staunton District, at (540) 932-1055 or BethChristian@vaumc.org. More ...

♦ Candidacy Summit - July 17-18
The Virginia Conference is sponsoring a Candidacy Summit from 1 p.m. Friday, July 17, to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, July 18, at Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center, Blackstone. This event is for those considering ordained ministry and those who have been admitted as candidates for ministry in the Virginia Conference. You must be a high school graduate to participate. All candidates are required to attend a Candidacy Summit prior to certification. Registration is required 48 hours prior to the event in order to ensure sufficient materials are available for all participants. Another Candidacy Summit will be held in January 2016. More ...

♦ LAUNCH: Explore Your Call to Ministry - July 20-22
The office of Spiritual Life at Shenandoah University and the Virginia Conference Board of Ordained Ministry invite students who are rising high school sophomores, juniors and seniors to explore their calls to ministry while discovering their spiritual gifts from God July 20-22 at Shenandoah University in Winchester. Participants live on campus and meals are provided. Cost is $50. For more information, contact the Rev. Dr. Justin Allen, dean of Spiritual Life at Shenandoah University, at jallen3@su.edu or spirituallife@su.edu. More ...

♦ Helping Hands - July 23-24
The July 23-24 Helping Hands Virginia Conference event will be held at Woodlake UMC in Midlothian. This event gives rising 4th-6th graders the opportunity to do hands-on missions in the Richmond area. Participants have the option of early-bird registration which includes three on-site mission opportunities or regular registration which includes two on-site mission opportunities. To register, go to www.woodlakeumc.org/helpinghands. For more information, contact MaryKaye Cochran at (804) -639-8872 or mcochran@woodlakeumc.org. More ...

♦ Mission Encounter - July 24-26
Mission Encounter, an opportunity for clergy and laity to learn about being partners in God’s global mission and to grow spiritually through study and worship, will be July 24-26 at Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center, Blackstone. Click here to view video. Mission Encounter is open to men, women and youths. Participants may attend one of three workshops: geographic study on “Latin America” led by Marilyn Blagg, Lori Valentine deSegovia and Don Edwards; spiritual growth study on “Created for Happiness” led by Louise Miller, the Rev. Dr. Donna Mott and Darlene Runaldue (Korean study led by the Rev. Hyunsik Kang); or issue study on “The Church and People with Disabilities” led by Brenda Connelly. For registration questions, call JoAnn Liskey at (540) 434-2997. For scholarship information, call Nancy Yarborough at (757) 877-2155. More ...

♦ Kaleidoscope - Aug. 3-7
Kaleidoscope Music, Worship Arts and Missions Week for children entering grades 3-6 will be Monday, Aug. 3, through Friday, Aug. 7, at Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center in Blackstone. For 37 years, the Virginia Conference chapter of the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts has sponsored Kaleidoscope to offer children outstanding opportunities in worship leadership and participation, singing and learning under an accomplished guest conductor, experiencing handbells, Orff instruments, drama, movement, scripture and worship class, outdoor water fun and musical games, all in one week. Campers create and learn how to use their hands and feet to do God’s work in the world. All activities are planned and supervised by adults. For more information, contact Selina B. Heslep, co-director, Kaleidoscope 2015, at sheslep@stmarksmidlo.com or click here.

♦ School for Children’s Ministries - Sept. 12
The School for Children’s Ministries is on the road again offering the same school at four different locations on four different dates. The second event of this year will be 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, at Timberlake UMC, 21649 Timberlake Rd., Lynchburg. Learn "Extraordinary Lessons from Ordinary Objects" plus three more workshops. A .5 CEU offered. Only $20 per person. More ...

♦ Goodson Preaching Academy - Sept. 21-24
The Bishops’ Foundation will sponsor the 2015 Goodson Preaching Academy, “Craft and Creativity: Preaching in the Context of a Rapidly Evolving World,” Sept. 21-24 at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center in Blackstone. Presenter will be Dr. Paul Scott Wilson, professor of Homiletics at Emmanuel College, Toronto, author of many books on preaching and past president of the Academy of Homiletics. This ministry venture for clergy seeking excellence in the craft of weekly preaching was modeled after the former Goodson Academy for Preaching and approved by the Bishops’ Foundation which is assuming most of the costs of the event. The event is designed to energize your preaching and help you find creative ways to build disciples in your church. 1 CEU will be awarded. More ...

♦ Five-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation - Oct. 4-9
The Five-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation will be Oct. 4-9 at the Roslyn Retreat Center, Richmond. This program of Upper Room Ministries will provide an opportunity for clergy and laity to deepen their relationship with God through a daily rhythm of prayer, worship, learning and reflection. Each day will include teaching by Dr. Robert Mulholland and Dr. Roberta Bondi. It will also include periods of silence, morning and evening prayer, Eucharist, covenant groups and community time. Focus of this academy is Sacred Journey: Shaped by the Spirit. A $100 non-refundable registration fee is required to reserve your academy space by July 25. This amount will be applied to your total cost. Early registration is recommended as space is limited. More ...

♦ Conference UMW annual meeting - Oct. 23-25
Virginia Conference United Methodist Women (UMW) will celebrate the 40th anniversary of "Dimes and Dollars for Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center" (VUMAC) at VUMAC in Blackstone during the UMW annual meeting Oct. 23-25. The Wicker Room (beside the Dining Room) is being renovated to become the official UMW room and will be dedicated during the annual meeting.


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 Advocate@vaumc.org. For information about the Virginia Conference and resources for ministry, visit the Virginia Conference website at www.vaumc.org


 

 

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The Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church
10330 Staples Mill Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060
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