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 Dec. 15, 2016
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Nov. 17, 2016
Nov. 10, 2016
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Oct. 27, 2016
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July 28, 2016
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July 14, 2016 - News from SEJ Conference
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June 3, 2016 - Special Annual Conference edition

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News from 2016 General Conference (May 10-20)
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April 27, 2016
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March 30, 2016
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March 21, 2016 - Annual Conference Special Offering
March 17, 2016
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News from the Virginia Conference - July 28, 2016

Welcoming service for Bishop Lewis to be Sept. 17 at Reveille UMC, Richmond
Bishop Sharma D. Lewis, the first African-American woman elected a bishop in the Southeastern Jurisdiction, has been assigned to lead the Virginia Conference for the next four years. She will begin her term of office on Sept. 1. A welcoming service of worship for Bishop Lewis will be held at Reveille UMC, 4200 Cary Street Road, Richmond, 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon Saturday, Sept. 17. Lewis was the first bishop elected by the 376 delegates at the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference which met July 13-15 in Lake Junaluska, N.C. She is currently serving as district superintendent of the Atlanta-Decatur-Oxford District in the North Georgia Conference. More ...

Cabinet, provisional clergy work on tornado recovery in Waverly
Members of the Virginia Conference Cabinet and newly-commissioned clergy spent all day Wednesday, July 20, working on tornado recovery in Waverly. Click here to view video about the work day. Waverly is one of three locations where the conference is undertaking long-term recovery efforts to rebuild after an outbreak of tornadoes on Feb. 24 caused loss of life, injuries and severe property damage. More...

Nick Ruxton blogs about being 'fly on wall' at clergywomen's gathering
In his "Through the Lens" blog, conference videographer Nick Ruxton writes about his chance to be "a fly on the wall" at a Southeastern Jurisdiction clergywomen celebration for two newly elected female bishops. "Walking into the room, I did not know what to expect," Ruxton wrote. "What I found was a room full of excited women, both clergy and lay, with a few males. It was an honor to witness history and celebrate with this group of individuals." More ...

Wings of Caring missionaries in Congo to visit Virginia churches Sept. 6-25
Missionary couple Jacques A. Umembudi and Poto Valentine Shutsha serve with the General Board of Global Ministries in their home country of Democratic Republic of Congo with Wings of Caring Aviation ministry. They will be available to speak in churches in the Virginia Conference Sept. 6-25. Jacques flies people and supplies to various missions in the region. Whether flying missionaries, medical teams or supplies, he sees aviation as a whole ministry, allowing the Gospel to be preached in different ways. Poto shares in this ministry as radio operator, bookkeeper, flight tracker and guest house manager. Many churches across Virginia have been in relationship with these missionaries and supported this ministry and will be eager to have them visit. Other churches may like to foster a new missionary relationship. Send your invitations to Ann Klotz, Virginia Conference Missionary Itineration coordinator, at Include your church name, city and district; preferred and alternate invitation dates and times; contact information, including phone numbers; your church position/role; and other church contacts, if appropriate.

UVA Wesley Foundation seeks office manager
The Wesley Foundation at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville is seeking a part-time office manager. This 20-hours per week position is an excellent opportunity for parents, retirees or others interested in getting back into the work force. Position includes financial record-keeping, data entry, mailings, staff support and property and maintenance oversight. Experience in non-profit or church work a plus. Must have ability to work both independently and as part of a team. Microsoft Office skills required. QuickBooks familiarity and data entry preferred. Click here for full job description. Send resume, cover letter and references by Aug. 8 to No phone calls. This position is also posted on the Virginia Conference website at and scroll down to “Other.”

Virginia Wesleyan College introduces online virtual tour of campus
Virginia Wesleyan College, a United Methodist-related school located on the border of Norfolk and Virginia Beach, recently unveiled a new online virtual tour available on the college’s website, Facebook page and the platform. The tour includes designated tour stops, a live virtual tour guide with audio, photos and 360-degree panoramas of select locations on campus. The tour can be accessed in a number of ways: using the direct URL; via the icon in upper right corner of the college's website,; the Virtual Tour tab under the cover photo on the VWC Facebook page,; and on the site by searching Virginia Wesleyan. The tour can be explored on a laptop or desktop as well as on any mobile device. An app for the VWC virtual tour can be downloaded by searching Virginia Wesleyan College in your iOS or Android app store. It is also available in virtual reality mode for those who own a VR headset such as Oculus Gear VR. The tour will serve as a promotional tool for prospective students and anyone who would like to learn more about Virginia Wesleyan’s 300-acre campus and facilities. Traditional campus visits and tours can also be scheduled through the college's website,

Bishops approve plan for sexuality panel
Amid growing concerns for the denomination’s future, United Methodist bishops approved a plan for establishing a commission dealing with church teachings on homosexuality. The bishops’ executive committee also took a step toward a special session of General Conference, the denomination’s top lawmaking body, in early 2018. More ...

Judicial Council to meet in October
The United Methodist Judicial Council, including new members elected during General Conference 2016 in May, has scheduled its fall session for Oct. 25-28 in Chicago. The council also will have an orientation meeting in August. Read earlier story about new members.

Dallas United Methodists try to promote dialogue, social action
A diverse crowd of about 100 United Methodists gathered July 24 at First United Methodist Church of Dallas to discuss how the denomination can promote dialogue and social action after the fatal shooting of five police officers here earlier this month. More ...

Louisiana Conference holds vigil for fallen police
For the second time in two weeks, more than 200 Baton Rouge, La., residents joined nearly 40 United Methodist pastors to pray for the city — and this time, to mourn the death of three law enforcement officers who were gunned down on July 17. More ...

Christian leaders ask presidential candidates what they'll do about poverty, hunger
United Methodists are among the Christian leaders who have formally asked the presidential nominees what they'll do about poverty and hunger. The Rev. Kah-Jin Jeffrey Kuan, president of Claremont School of Theology; Jan Love, dean of Candler School of Theology; Rev. Dr. David F. McAllister-Wilson, president of Wesley Theological Seminary; Bishop Mary Ann Swenson, president of the United Methodist General Commission on Christian Unity and Inter-religious Concerns; Richard B. Hays, dean of Duke University Divinity School; and Jim Winkler, president and general secretary of the National Council of Churches, are among United Methodist signers of letters to Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. The group Circle of Protection reports. More ...

Churches embrace Pokémon GO
If you see people walking around a church campus staring at their smartphones, they may well be playing Pokémon GO. And some United Methodist pastors are finding ways to use the game's popularity for evangelism. St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Yorktown, Va., is using its listing as a PokéStop to reach out to the players and offer them bottles of water. “We just want to say 'Hey, you're welcome here, you're welcome to come hang out, grab a drink, grab a snack,'” Emily Howdyshell, director of Emergent Ministries at St. Luke’s UMC, says in a televised interview on WVEC-TV. (Watch the full interview here.) "We're the church and we're supposed to show love in our community and that's what we plan on doing, whether it's through Pokémon GO or through people coming to worship here," Howdyshell said. "However we can interact with people, we are called to do so in a loving way." More ...

GBHEM seeks Senior Communications Specialist
The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., is seeking a Senior Communications Specialist to deliver and moderate best-in-class communications throughout the agency and on behalf of the agency; lead content creation for both internal and external communications via print and digital vehicles/platforms; serve as a communications consultant for agency stakeholders, analyze communications needs, propose communications strategies, and execute communication plans; ensure content is consistent with overall brand and meet guidelines/standards to maintain and promote positive image on behalf of the agency. To apply, send samples of your work and a letter indicating how your experience, training, gifts and skills equip you for this work to More ...

Wisconsin Conference seeks Treasurer, Director of Administration
The Wisconsin Conference is currently recruiting for the position of Treasurer and Director of Administration. Click here for job posting. Deadline for receiving applications is Wednesday, Aug. 3. The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) is working with the Wisconsin Conference to recruit for this position. If you know of someone who might be interested, have them email their resume and cover letter to Human Resources at For more information, contact Caitlin Congdon, Chief Officer of Human Resources and Professional Development, at (615) 369-2346 or

♦ Lay Servant Ministries on-demand courses - Aug. 27, Sept. 24
Lay Servant Ministries is offering a series of six on-demand learning courses in 2016. You may attend live events 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Virginia United Methodist Center in Glen Allen for free, or pay $30 to watch online from your own computer during a 90-day period to receive your certification. The next courses to be offered are Saturday, Aug. 27, "Preaching" led by Doug Forrester, and Saturday, Sept. 24, "UMC Heritage" led by Martha Stokes. For more information, contact Marge Sharp, on-demand learning registrar, at or (757) 871-2809. David Bailey, conference director of Lay Servant Ministries, said offering the online courses “supports (the planning team’s) initial belief that students would use the opportunity to come back and review the material or complete it over time. That is the prime motivator for on demand learning: Any time anywhere, on their schedule.” More ... 

♦ UMVIM Team Leader and Recertification Training - Aug. 27, Sept. 24
Some confusion remains regarding training necessary to serve in tornado-affected areas now that the Recovery (rebuilding) phase has begun. Volunteers do not need Early Response Team (ERT) training. Each volunteer team does need a trained United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) team leader. To that end, Forrest White, Virginia Conference Long-term Recovery Manager and UMVIM coordinator, will lead UMVIM team leader training on Saturday, Aug. 27, at Mountain View UMC in Forest, and Saturday, Sept. 24, at Warwick Memorial UMC in Newport News. Recertification training will be offered Saturday, Aug. 27, at Mountain View UMC in Forest; and Saturday, Sept. 24, at Warwick Memorial UMC in Newport News. Click here to register for Team Leader Training and click here to register for UMVIM Recertification.

♦ UMFS golf tournaments - Sept. 30, Oct. 14
Registration is now open for the annual United Methodist Family Services (UMFS) Fore the Kids Golf Tournament to be held Friday, Sept. 30, at Manor Golf Club in Farmville and Friday, Oct. 14, at Royal New Kent Golf Club in Providence Forge (Richmond area). For the Manor Golf Club tournament, cost is $400 per team or $100 per individual. Registration deadline is Sept. 15. For the Royal New Kent Golf Club, cost is $500 per team or $125 per individual. Registration deadline is Oct. 4. Register at For more information, contact Joe Torrence at or (804) 239-1042, ext. 1941.

♦ 5 Talent Academy - Oct. 4
Registration is now open for the 5 Talent Academy Equipping People for Ministry Outside the Walls of the Church event to be held 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, at Ebenezer UMC in Stafford. The event will be live streamed to 10 additional locations across the conference (Danville, Eastern Shore, Farmville, Lynchburg, Richmond, Roanoke, Shenandoah Valley, Tidewater, Winchester and York River). Featured speaker is Andy Crouch, executive editor of Christianity Today and author of several books, including Strong and Weak: Embracing a Life of Love, Risk and True Flourishing, Playing God: Redeeming the Gift of Power and Culture Making: Recovering Our Creative Calling. Cost is $35 per person. Those who register prior to Aug. 31 will receive an early-bird discount and pay only $25. Group pricing is available for teams. Registration closes on Sept. 19. Visit to register.

♦ Kindred Project two-day silent retreat - Nov. 2-4
Kindred Project will offer a two-day Silent Retreat in the Celtic Tradition at the Bellfry Retreat Home (, 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, to 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 4. The retreat will be facilitated by Kim Barker-Brugman, Janie Mitchell and Dawn Peck. Estimated cost is $175 per person. Complete details will be available in early October, but to reserve a space now, contact Dawn at

♦ UMVIM Trip to Israel/Palestine - Jan. 30-Feb. 11
The Virginia Conference Board of Church and Society is sponsoring a United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) trip to Israel and Palestine Jan. 30 to Feb. 11, 2017. The trip will provide opportunities for learning, serving and seeing. Team members will visit religious sites and United Methodist missions projects. There will be opportunities to serve at some of those mission projects. Team members will also visit and meet with Palestinians, both Christian and Muslim, as well as Israeli Jews. The team will learn more about the struggles of life in Palestine and efforts to create a just and hopeful future. Team leaders are the Rev. John Copenhaver and the Rev. Steve Jones, both certified VIM team leaders. For more information, contact either leader at or

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



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