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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 2, 2014

Conference offices to close for Independence Day
Virginia Conference offices in the United Methodist Center in Glen Allen will close at 1 p.m. Thursday, July 3, and remain closed Friday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day.

Bishop Cho's Episcopal Address posted on website
Bishop Young Jin Cho’s Episcopal Address that he delivered Friday afternoon during Annual Conference has been posted on the Virginia Conference website. Click here to view.

Discipleship Circles video available for use in local churches
The Discipleship Circles video that was shown at Annual Conference is available for viewing and for use in local churches. Click here to view the video online. The video is included in Volume 2 of the Annual Conference DVDs being sold by the conference Communications office (see ordering information below). To request a thumb drive or DVD with the Discipleship Circles video on it, contact Martha Stokes, conference director of Lay Leadership Excellence, at, (804) 521-1154 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 154.

You can still order DVDs of Annual Conference
You can still order DVDs of the 2014 Annual Conference session from the conference Communications office. Volume 1 includes the memorial service, ordination, mission worship service and recognition of retirees. Volume 2 includes Bishop Cho's Episcopal Address, Laity Address, report of The Common Table (including Imagine No Malaria presentation and celebration), report on Equipping Vital Congregations (including Discipleship Circles video), Sunday morning closing worship and three Teaching Sessions led by the Rev. Dr. Elmer Colyer. Cost is $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.

Virginia Conference to raise funds for Imagine No Malaria
Annual Conference members voted to support The United Methodist Church’s Imagine No Malaria initiative by raising enough money in the next year to save at least 100,000 lives. Every church and every United Methodist in the Virginia Conference are urged to take part. Theme is "Every Life Save a Life." To date, $11,700 has been contributed to save 1,170 lives. You can text "Malaria VA" to 27722 to make a $10 donation and save a life. Contributions may be sent to the conference Treasurer's office, P.O. Box 5605, Glen Allen, VA 23058. Designate “Imagine No Malaria” 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 ...

$157,104 collected for Annual Conference offering
To date, $157,104 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 ...

Send feedback on Annual Conference to Marc Brown by July 3
Those who attended the 2014 Annual Conference are asked to e-mail concerns, questions or suggestions about the Annual Conference session to the Rev. Marc Brown, director of Connectional Ministries, at by July 3 so they may be shared with the Annual Conference Planning Committee at its review meeting. Your feedback on this year's conference will help as plans are made for the 2015 Annual Conference.

Warsaw UMC, River Road UMC receive Green Church awards
The Virginia Conference Board of Church and Society awarded Green Church awards to Warsaw UMC and River Road UMC in Richmond for their ongoing work as Green Churches in the conference Green Church Initiative in which churches covenant to care for the environment and God's creation by supporting a more ecologically equitable and sustainable world.

Campbell, Daniely receive higher education ministry honors
The late Ward Campbell was given the John Wesley Award for 2014 by the Virginia Conference Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministries. Campbell was property chair for the conference board and died last year of pancreatic cancer. The Rev. Dr. James “J. D.” Daniely, director of campus ministry at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, received the 2014 Francis Asbury Award, which is given by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

Voices of Youth concerts scheduled for July 13-20
Members of the Voices of Youth 2014 “Forward, Upward, Onward, Together” tour will spend time in Nassau, Bahamas, working with Bahamas Methodist Habitat, then return to spread the word through worship and music. Concerts are scheduled for Sunday, July 13, 7 p.m., Arlington District, Herndon UMC, 701 Bennett St., Herndon; Monday, July 14, 7 p.m., Winchester District, Braddock Street UMC, 115 Wolfe St., Winchester; Tuesday, July 15, 7 p.m., Staunton District, Central UMC, 14 North Lewis St., Staunton; Wednesday, July 16, 7 p.m., Lynchburg District, Mount Hermon UMC, 171 Mount Hermon Rd., Lynch Station; 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.

You can help campus ministers welcome new students
Pastors, parents, youth leaders, friends and students can help campus ministries welcome new college students by letting campus ministers in our conference know when new students are headed their way. Click on this link and fill in a few facts about a student headed to college this fall. The information will be directed to the appropriate campus minister at the appropriate school so they can send welcome packets and invitations to fall semester kick-off events. You can do this any time of year, but it is especially helpful before the end of July, so campus ministers have time to send students something to their homes before they arrive at school. If you know a student who will be studying in another conference, you can find many of our other United Methodist-supported campus ministries by clicking here.

New or moved clergy must complete new UMPIP form
Every time active clergypersons move to a new church or eligible agency, they need to complete a new Before- and After-Tax Agreement form for their United Methodist Personal Investment Plan (UMPIP). Click here to download form. UMPIP is the personal pension plan in which participants can save for retirement with contributions from their paychecks. An UMPIP participant must contribute at least 1% of total plan compensation in order to receive the maximum employer pension contribution paid by their church. If you moved July 1 or are a new clergy, effective  July 1, be sure to complete this form, give it to your treasurer to finish completing, then have the treasurer send a copy to the General Board of Pension or to Nancy Blair, Benefits Administrator, Virginia United Methodist Pensions Inc., P.O. Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058. This should be done as soon as possible because the first billing cycle for the General Board of Pensions will be July 7. For more information, contact Blair at or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 130, or (804) 521-1130.

Clergy, laity invited to join 'The Good Race'
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.”

Virginia United Methodist Credit Union seeks CEO
The Virginia United Methodist Credit Union, located in Glen Allen, is seeking a new Chief Executive Officer. The successful candidate will be a dynamic individual and have a minimum of seven years management experience in a financial institution. A Master’s degree in business administration, accounting or finance is preferred. For details, visit the Virginia Conference website at

School of Congregational Development registration deadline is July 15
July 15 is the deadline to register for the 2014 School of Congregational Development which will be held Thursday, Aug. 14, through Sunday, Aug. 17, at Matthews UMC, 801 S. Trade St., Matthews, (near Charlotte) N.C. The event is sponsored by the United Methodist boards of Discipleship and Global Ministries. Registration fee is $425. More ...

Satellite School of Congregational Development available in Virginia
This year’s School of Congregational Development (SCD) to be held in Matthews, N.C., Aug. 14-17, is also available as a satellite experience. Three of the satellite sites are in the Virginia Conference Annandale UMC, Norfolk UMC and Woodlake UMC in Richmond. These will be staff-supported sites with facilitators for guided conversations with ministry teams. Cost is $29 per person. Click here for more information and to register your team. To register directly with one of the Virginia sites: click here to register for Annandale, click here to register for Norfolk, and click here to register for Richmond. New this year, LiveCast is available direct to individuals beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 16. This provides the opportunity for individuals or a small group to watch the sessions at their own locations. Those viewing the Saturday event on their own will be able to participate through a webcast of "Ministry Tracks" by Joe Daniels and Christie Latona on REAL Transformation; question and answer session with the presenters; and a diverse panel reflecting on the presentations and helping frame Ministry Plans of Action for local church settings. More ...

10% discount offered on United Methodist calendars
If you order your 2015 official United Methodist Program Calendar before Aug. 31, you’ll receive 10% off any calendar purchase. Use Promo Code CAL15EP. The discount applies to the Standard, Classic, Wall, Reproducible, Desktop Blotter, Pocket and new E-Calendar. Calendars include monthly checklists, Special Sunday and holiday information, lectionary readings, liturgical colors and more. Order your 2015 Program Calendar by going to the UMC Store, e-mailing or calling Customer Service at 1-888-346-3862.

Tips offered to pastors moving to new appointment
Moving to a new appointment? A new leader has 90 days to prove himself or herself, according to author Michael Watkins. United Methodist Communications offers tips based on organizational research to help clergy make a successful transition to a new church. More ...

United Methodists tending to immigrant children
United Methodist faith leaders are joining with other religious leaders to provide hospitality and basic needs for hundreds of undocumented Central American women and children who are being dropped off at bus stations in Tucson and Phoenix. More ...

UMCOR responds to border crisis
At the request of San Antonio Area Bishop James Dorff, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) will expedite an emergency grant to help with the denomination's response to the increased flow of refugees coming from Mexico into the United States. Many of those coming are unaccompanied children. More ...

Bible study available on gun violence
The United Methodist General Board of Church and Society has developed a three-session Bible study about the use of guns in committing violence. The study, "Kingdom Dreams, Violent Realities," uses Micah 4:1-4 as its scriptural foundation. More ...

Chuck Knows Church: Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was the schism within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and others. Let Chuck explain a little more of the basics 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 ...

SOULfeast 2014 to be July 13-17 at Lake Junaluska
It's not too late to give your soul a feast this summer by joining Roberta Bondi, Rob Fuquay, Tim Bias, Candance Lewis, Dana Trent and more at SOULfeast 2014 July 13-17 at Lake Junaluska, N.C. You can still register for SOULfeast by clicking here or calling Elizabeth at (615) 340-7250. Use the code "Early" to avoid the late fee. Call 1-800-222-4930 to make housing arrangements. Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries of the General Board of Discipleship, SOULfeast will be a truly a spiritual feast for all God’s people who are in search of rest, renewal, and an authentic experience rooted in the great traditions of the church and the emerging fresh new Christian voices. More ...

Cokesbury seeks sales representatives
Cokesbury is seeking sales representatives for the Norfolk/Virginia Beach area, the Indianapolis, IN, area, and the Washington, D.C., area. The sales reps will serve the primary geographic market by acquiring, developing and strengthening relationships with congregations, church leaders, denominational offices and key accounts. Through frequent visitation, Cokesbury services are provided in the areas of curriculum sales/education, custom products and local events/displays. The sales reps will analyze and resolve complex customer service issues and monitor current trends in the Christian market and competitors. For details, visit the Virginia Conference website at and scroll down to “Other.”

♦ 'Helping Hands' mission for children - July 7-8, 17-18, 24-25, Aug. 25-26
“Helping Hands” is a two-day mission experience for rising 4th - to 6th-graders, parents and adult leaders. It will be held on four dates at four different locations: July 7-8 - Fairview UMC, Danville (click here for more information); July 17-18 - Marquis Memorial UMC, Staunton (click here for more information); 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.

♦ 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 June 26-30, July 1-6, and July 18-20. 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.

♦ SERVE: A Missional Exploration for Ministry - Aug. 3-5
An event at Randolph-Macon College Aug 3-5 will help high school students explore a calling to ministry. "SERVE: A Missional Exploration for Ministry" will have a work camp focus and include small groups, Bible study, recreation, special worship services and more. Click here for more information or call Margie Turbyfill at (804) 368-7276 or e-mail The program is co-sponsored by the Bailey Pre-ministerial Program at Randolph-Macon College and the Virginia Conference Board of Ordained Ministry.

♦ 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 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.

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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