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News from the Virginia Conference - July 23, 2015

Every Virginia Conference church urged to participate in Imagine No Malaria
Maria Maxwell, Virginia Conference field coordinator for Imagine No Malaria, has issued a "thank you" to all of the churches who have participated in the Imagine No Malaria initiative. It has been a year since the Virginia Annual Conference voted to raise enough money in one year to save 100,000+ lives from malaria. Every church and every United Methodist in the Virginia Conference were urged to take part. To date, conference churches have raised $944,670, saving more than 94,467 lives from the deadly disease. This is just 5,533 lives short of the goal. Approximately 652 churches have participated, roughly 55% of our Virginia Conference churches. "In the next six weeks, we hope to involve as many of our churches as possible in order to reach our goal of saving 100,000+ lives," Maxwell said. "If your church has not yet been able to participate, please consider being a part of this great effort. It is not too late. Every Life Can Save A Life! While six weeks is a short amount of time to do a fundraising effort, maybe your church has a discretionary fund, mission fund or special donor who would like to give on behalf of your church. If you want to have a little fun while raising funds for Imagine No Malaria, go to the Church Resources section of our webpage and find the folder labeled 'Summer Fundraising Ideas.' Have a BBQ, a paper airplane flying contest or a lemonade stand when its hot. Thank you for helping us finish strong and reach our goal of saving 100,000+ lives."

Candidacy Summit participants told to offer gifts, graces, experience
“Bring all your gifts, bring all your graces, bring all your experience into the church and see how God can deploy them in different ways,” the Rev. Meredith McNabb, Virginia Conference director of Clergy Excellence, told nearly 30 participants in the Candidacy Summit held July 17-18 at Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center in Blackstone. More ...

2015 Annual Conference Daily Proceedings now posted on website
The Daily Proceedings (minutes) of the 2015 Annual Conference — including the Clergy Executive Session, Laity Session, and all worship and plenary sessions — held June 19-21 at the Berglund Center in Roanoke, are now posted on the conference website at

August Advocate reports on 2015 Annual Conference session
The August issue of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate reports on 2015 Annual Conference with stories and lots of pictures. The 233rd gathering was held June 19-21 at the Berglund Center in Roanoke. Theme was “From Members to Disciples.” The August Advocate also includes the 2015-2016 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

Printed copies of Journal must be purchased by Aug. 1
Once it is completed, the 2015 Virginia Annual Conference Journal will be available on the conference website,, as a pdf file. The Journal may be purchased on CD at a cost of $10. A printed copy of the Journal may be purchased for $25. Requests for printed copies must be made by Aug. 1, and payment must be made at the time the order is placed. Only a small quantity of Journals will be printed and distributed to those who must receive them according to the Book of Discipline, to district offices, to conference offices and to those purchasing copies before the Aug. 1 deadline. To order a CD or printed copy, contact Pam Culler in the conference Communications office at, 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110, or (804) 521-1110.

All God's Children Camp needs volunteers to mentor campers
All God's Children Camp, a week-long overnight camp for children ages 7 to 12 who have an incarcerated mother or father, needs volunteers to mentor campers. Six men and three women are needed to mentor at Occohannock on the Bay Aug. 2-7. Eight men and four women are needed at Westview on the James Aug. 9-14. "We don't want to have to call children in two weeks and tell them that they cannot come to what they see as the best part of their year," said Beth Christian, camp on-site director for Westview and Occohannock on the Bay. "I have been blessed to serve in this ministry for 10 years and have seen the difference it makes in the lives of children who have so little hope. With parents incarcerated, living mostly in poverty and surrounded by negative influences, the kids feel broken. They look forward to a week at camp that is full of Christ's love and a whole lot of fun. The week is full of ups and downs. It's hard work; it's joyful; it's challenging; it's Spirit-filled; it's heartbreaking; it's happy; it's exhausting ... but it is always worth it!" Click here for information about being a mentor. Click here for mentor application. To volunteer, e-mail completed application to Lori Smith, camp director, at For more information, contact Smith at (571) 245-9591 or Or contact Christian at (804) 347-5999.

Clergy asked to check contact info in online directory
A final draft of the 2015-2016 Clergy Directory has been posted on the conference website at The directory will be sent to the printer next week. Prior to publication, clergy are asked to look up their information (status, appointment, address, phones) and send any changes or additions to Brenda Capen, conference database manager, at You do not need to contact her if the information is correct and complete.

Training of Discipleship Circles facilitators to be Sept. 18
Discipleship Circles facilitator training will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18, at the Virginia United Methodist Center in Glen Allen. Church Leaders (clergy and laity) willing to lead Discipleship Circles in order to help increase church vitality are invited to this training session. Topics will include spiritual disciplines, group facilitation, Vital Signs and communication techniques. There is no charge for training. Lunch and a training manual will be provided. Registration deadline is Tuesday, Sept. 15. Click here to register and for more details. For more information about Discipleship Circles, contact Cheryl Edley-Worford, conference director of Inclusivity and Lay Leadership Excellence, at or (804) 521-1154.

UVA Wesley Foundation online auction to support capital campaign
The Wesley Foundation at the University of Virginia (UVA) is hosting an online silent auction through Sunday, Aug. 2, to raise funds for the campus ministry's Building a Foundation for the Future capital campaign (Click here for more details on the scope of the campaign.) Auction items include four different getaways in the Charlottesville area with dining at Oakhart Social, handmade pottery by local artist Nan Rothwell, sunrise hot air balloon flight and stays at Fairhill Farm and Albemarle Estate. Featured item is a UVA basketball signed by Coach Tony Bennett and the 2014-2015 ACC regular season championship team. Click here to see descriptions of all items and to make a bid.

United Methodist Communications offers resources for responding to violence
In response to the July 16 shooting tragedy in Chattanooga, Tenn., that took the lives of four U.S. Marines and one Navy petty officer, United Methodist Communications offers resources to help people cope with violent events, along with news coverage of how the church is working to respond with peace in a world of violence and how individuals and ministries can make a positive difference. More ...

Retired bishop reviews Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman
Retired United Methodist Bishop Will Willimon offers a review of Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman, with attention to its Methodist references. Willimon, himself a novelist, finds that Go Set a Watchman confirms the "artistic genius" Lee showed with To Kill a Mockingbird and offers an accurate, unflinching portrayal of small-town Southern racism in the 1950s. More ...

Gay pastor's removal brings sadness, defiance
The Rev. Benjamin David Hutchison, an African Methodist Episcopal pastor, was forced to resign last week from his supportive United Methodist congregation in Cassopolis, Mich., after his district superintendent received a complaint that Hutchison was openly gay and in a relationship. On Friday, Hutchison had married his longtime partner, Monty Hutchison, with nearly 30 United Methodist pastors in attendance. Nine of those pastors are now facing a complaint for officiating at the wedding in defiance of church law, said one of the pastors facing a complaint. More ...

Pastor gets 90-day suspension for performing same-sex wedding
The Rev. Pam Hawkins, associate pastor at Belmont UMC in Nashville, Tenn., is under a 90-day suspension after officiating at the same-sex wedding of two Belmont members in March. The complaint against Hawkins reached a resolution on July 16. Officiating at a same-sex union is a chargeable offense under the United Methodist Book of Discipline, the denomination's law book. Belmont UMC issued a statement and details on the resolution. More ...

Annual meetings stir human sexuality debates
United Methodists talked of many things at their annual regional meetings, but some of the most passionate discussions revolved around what scripture and the denomination’s lawbook say about human sexuality. The conferences are preparing legislation they will take to the 2016 General Conference. More ...

UMCOR sends emergency food supplies to trapped Afghan families
Armed conflict between national security forces and Taliban combatants in Afghanistan has displaced or trapped more than 20,000 families in the Kunduz province, where the hardship was compounded by recent severe flooding. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is partnering with Community World Service to provide emergency food supplies to 365 of these families, a total of 2,555 individuals. Give to UMCOR International Disaster Response.

Applications due July 31 for Ethnic In-Service Training grants
Applications are due July 31 for General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) grants to fund programs that recruit, train and retain racial-ethnic United Methodists for leadership positions. Eight to 10 Ethnic In-Service Training grants are approved each year for programs that develop racial-ethnic leadership of The United Methodist Church and its ministries. Funding for the grants comes from contributions to World Communion Sunday, observed this year on Oct. 4, or any other Sunday your church chooses. Apply online now. Visit to learn more, get resources to observe World Communion Sunday or donate online. More ...

Festival of Wisdom and Grace to be July 27-30 at Lake Junaluska
The 2015 Festival of Wisdom and Grace Conference will be July 27-30 at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in Lake Junaluska, N.C. Theme is "Let Each Generation Tell." Led by Derrick-Lewis Noble, this event will be full of worship, workshops, professional training and fellowship designed for individuals, couples, small groups or church leaders relating to the second half of life. The event is sponsored by the Southeastern Jurisdictional Association of Older Adults. More ...

Children's Ministry Forum 2015 to be Nov. 19-20 in Little Rock
Children's Ministry Forum 2015 will be held Nov. 17-19 in Little Rock, Ark. Inspirational preaching, insightful keynotes, dynamic pre-conference seminars and stimulating workshop leaders will affirm, teach, encourage and guide leaders in ministry with children from across the connection as they grow in ministry together. Sponsored by United Methodist Discipleship Ministries, The United Methodist Publishing House, and Large Church Initiative, the event will include five different pre-conference seminars and more than 100 workshops to choose from. Click here to register. For more information, e-mail Tanya at, or visit the website.

Feb. 4-6 gathering to look at future of worship in United Methodist Church
United Methodist pastors, musicians and worship leaders will gather Feb. 4-6 at Edenton Street UMC in Raleigh, N.C., to explore how to use the wide variety of worship styles and resources currently available to revitalize their worship services now and for the future. Fusion: The Future of Worship in the UMC, will bring together practitioners from vital congregations and recognized expert professors to delve into current worlds of worship resources and leadership in the areas of music, worship planning and design, preaching and sacraments. Fusion will be three days of worship, inspiration, practical instruction and networking designed for clergy and lay people from both large and small churches, in addition to seminarians and professors. Registration fee of $149 per person will be discounted to $129 for anyone who registers by Dec. 1. Student registration for seminary and course of study students is $89. For more information and to register, go to

INCARNATE to be Aug. 21-23 at Lake Junaluska
Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in Lake Junaluska, N.C., will host the INCARNATE conference Aug. 21-23. Through plenary sessions, experiential worship and hands-on workshops, conference participants will reach a better understanding of what it means to manifest the living Jesus in a world of need through opportunities for service. Speakers include Shane Claiborne, Rudy Rasmus, Brian Combs and Lanecia Rouse Tinsley, with worship leader Fran McKendree. Registration fees for this non-denominational conference are $115 per person, including 1.0 CEU credit. Lodging and meals are $153 per person, double occupancy, or $263 per person, single occupancy. Click here for more information and to register, or contact Lake Junaluska registrar at (828) 454-6682 or

Assistant Business Manager needed for General Conference
United Methodist General Council on Finance and Administration is currently recruiting for an Assistant Business Manager for General Conference. The right candidate will be a member of The United Methodist Church and have four to five years of directly-related work experience in The United Methodist Church. Deadline for receiving applications is Aug. 4. For more information or to apply, contact Human Resources via e-mail to or fax (615) 369-2325.

United Methodist Communications seeks studio engineer
United Methodist Communications, headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., is seeking a studio engineer to be responsible for day-to-day upkeep and operations of the physical studio space and general condition and storage of equipment in that space and manage rental equipment and scheduling of projects in the studios (equipment, resources, and studio time). Must be able to serve as a lighting director for projects as assigned. Provides overall support for the video studio’s use and its maintenance. May act as a technical director or camera operator, and will need to work directly with clients as assigned. Must be able to provide necessary video engineering support for United Methodist Communications and Kingswood clients. To apply or for more information, contact UMCom/Human Resources, P.O. Box 320 (810-12th Ave. S., Nash. 37203), Nashville, TN 37202-0320, (615) 742-5137 or

♦ 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 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 ...

♦ RE3 intercollegiate conference - Sept. 25-26
RE3 (Rethink, Reclaim, Renew), overnight retreat open to students from colleges and universities across Virginia, will be held at Shenandoah University Sept. 25-26. What do you need to rethink? What does the Church need to rethink? What ancient spiritual practices can be reclaimed for renewing the church today? Worship and TED-style talks led by students will explore ancient prayer practices. Guest speaker is Sarah Bessey, author of Jesus Feminist, Out of Sorts and My Practices of Mothering. Bessey is also an award-winning blogger at Cost is $10 per student. All money goes to Imagine No Malaria. Click here to register online. For more information, go to or follow RE3 on Twitter at @rethreeva.

♦ Mid-Size Church Training - Oct. 3
Teams of clergy and laity from mid-size congregations with an average worship attendance between 150-349 are invited to a training event Saturday, Oct. 3, at Providence UMC in Richmond. Keynote speaker will be Phil Maynard, author of Shift: Helping Congregations Back Into the Game of Effective Ministry. The event will also be live-streamed to five other locations across the conference. Cost is $25, and .5 CEU will be offered. Group discounts are available. More ...

♦ Five-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation - Oct. 4-9
Registration is now closed for the Five-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation Oct. 4-9 at the Roslyn Retreat Center, Richmond. There are no spaces left. If you would like to be placed on a reserve list in case of cancellations, e-mail Dot Ivey at 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.

♦ UMFS golf tournament - Oct. 26
Registration is now open for the annual United Methodist Family Services (UMFS) Fore the Kids Golf Tournament to be held Monday, Oct. 26, at Stonehenge Country Club, 1000 Farnham Dr., Richmond. Cost is $400 per team or $100 per individual and includes a light breakfast, lunch and BBQ dinner as well as prizes and golf. Four-man Captain’s Choice format will tee off at 10 a.m. Register at A pre-tournament party 6-8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19, at Golfsmith in Short Pump will offer free food, contests, giveaways and a 15% discount to Golfsmith for in-store purchases. UMFS is seeking sponsors for the golf tournament. An organization providing a $1,000 sponsorship will be able to enter a team in the tournament and will receive signage and visibility throughout the tournament. If interested in being a sponsor, go to For more information, contact Joe Torrence at or (804) 239-1042, ext. 1941.

♦ Small Congregation Training - Oct. 31
Teams of clergy and laity from small congregations with an average worship attendance between 1-149 are invited to a training event 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, at Belmont UMC, Richmond. The Rev. Dr. Lewis Parks, Wesley Theological Seminary professor who has specific interest in the small congregation, will be featured speaker focusing on practical tools needed to bring new vitality to small churches. The event will be live-streamed to five other locations around the conference. Cost is $25, and .5 CEU will be offered. Group discounts are available. More ...

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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