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Dec. 17, 2015
Dec. 10, 2015
Dec. 3, 2015

Nov. 19, 2015
Nov. 12, 2015
Nov. 6, 2015

Oct. 29, 2015
Oct. 22, 2015
Oct. 15, 2015
Oct. 8, 2015
Oct. 1, 2015

Sept. 23, 2015
Sept. 10, 2015
Sept. 3, 2015

Aug. 27, 2015
Aug. 20, 2015
Aug. 14, 2015
Aug. 6, 2015

July 30, 2015
July 23, 2015
July 16, 2015
July 9, 2015
July 1, 2015

June 25, 2015
June 17, 2015
June 12, 2015
June 5, 2015

May 29, 2015
May 21, 2015
May 15, 2015
May 7, 2015
May 1, 2015

April 23, 2015
April 16, 2015
April 10, 2015
April 1, 2015

March 26, 2015
March 19, 2015
March 13, 2015
March 6, 2015

Feb. 27, 2015
Feb. 20, 2015
Feb. 13, 2015
Feb. 6, 2015

Jan. 27, 2015
Jan. 22, 2015
Jan. 15, 2015
Jan. 8, 2015

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News from the Virginia Conference - June 17, 2015

Watch Annual Conference via live stream on website, Facebook
Live streaming of the 2015 Virginia Annual Conference will be available, beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, June 19, from the Virginia Conference website,, and from the Virginia Conference Facebook page, Or go directly to Live streaming will show all sessions of the three-day conference, including worship at 11 a.m. Sunday, June 21, when Bishop Young Jin Cho will preach. Local churches may show the live video of the Annual Conference worship service during their Sunday morning worship services. Click here to download liturgy for the service that may be used in a church bulletin.

Follow Annual Conference on Twitter, Facebook
Follow activities of the 2015 Virginia Annual Conference and post your own comments on Facebook and Twitter. The Virginia Conference Facebook page can be found at Follow the Virginia Conference @vaumc on Twitter at Participate in the conversation by using hashtag #vaumc15.

'Angels' help save truck delivery of supplies to Annual Conference
Bryan Compton, conference IT manager, and Nick Ruxton, conference videographer, left Virginia Conference offices in Glen Allen at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 16, in a 24-foot rental truck loaded with supplies and equipment to be used at 2015 Annual Conference. At the first rest stop heading west on I-64 outside of Richmond, the truck broke down. After arranging for the rental company to bring them another truck, the two men were faced with the enormous task of unloading the broken down truck and re-loading the new one. They used their cell phones, Facebook and Twitter to call for help. "We put out a call for help and eight 'angels from heaven' answered the call," said Compton. Drew and David Dommisse, Kathy and Tim Ruxton, Jeff Bailey, Mark Tuttle, Chuck Nobel and Gregg Schull arrived to unload and reload the vehicles. "[I'm] so very grateful for everyone. I can't say how much they were needed ... Thanks to everyone is simply not enough." The truck resumed it's journey at 7:40 p.m. and finally arrived in Roanoke at 11:15 p.m.

Bishop Cho hosts retreat for 2015 ordinands
Bishop Young Jin Cho hosted a retreat June 3-4 at the Roslyn Conference Center in Richmond for 24 candidates for elder and one candidate for deacon who will be ordained at this year’s Annual Conference session in Roanoke. Purpose of this annual retreat is to give the ordinands a time for meaningful reflection and connection and a chance to get to know the bishop. More ...

District coordinators take color challenge to push Imagine No Malaria over top
With 2015 Annual Conference just a few days away, Bishop Young Jin Cho’s Imagine No Malaria (INM) initiative is moving closer to its goal of saving 100,000 lives from this terrible disease. Kenn Speicher and Linda Heller, INM coordinators for the Arlington and Alexandria districts, have pledged to dye their hair a gaudy shade of green, purple or whatever color rinse is on sale the day their districts reach their INM goals. Now they are challenging other INM reps around the conference to color their own locks for the cause. Look for Speicher and Heller at Annual Conference. They will be the colorful-haired pair hanging around the Imagine No Malaria display table.

Young adult missionary to serve at Ferrum College, Henry Fork Center
The Virginia Conference will welcome a new missionary this summer. Christina Trager, a Global Mission Fellow US-2 young adult missionary, will complete her missionary orientation and training this summer and arrive at the end of August to work with Ferrum College campus ministry and Henry Fork Center in Rocky Mount. Focus of her two-year mission assignment will be ministry with the poor working to build relationships between the vulnerable population in Franklin County and students at Ferrum. Trager comes from the Peninsula-Delaware Conference. Her home church is Mariner’s Bethel UMC in Ocean View, Del. She will be available to speak in churches interpreting her work starting in the fall and will also be looking for financial support for her mission and ministry. For more information, contact the Rev. Glenn Rowley, director of Justice and Missional Excellence, at or (804) 521-1143.

Young adult from Alexandria participating in GBCS summer internship
Michael Abney, from Woodlawn Faith UMC in Alexandria, is one of 10 interns, ages 18 to 23, participating in the Ethnic Minority Young Adult Summer Internship program of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society. Abney, 21, is studying political science at Old Dominion University, Norfolk. He will be working with Churches for Middle East Peace, a coalition of 22 national denominations and organizations in Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant traditions working to encourage U.S. policies that actively promote a just, comprehensive resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, ensuring security, human rights and religious freedom for all the people of the region. More …

Communications office to sell DVDs of Annual Conference
The conference Communications office is selling DVDs of the 2015 Annual Conference session. Volume 1 will include the memorial service, ordination, mission and special offering worship service and recognition of retirees. Volume 2 will include Bishop Cho's Episcopal Address, Laity Address, Common Table, Discipleship Circles 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. This year, for the first time, a short overview video of the 2015 Annual Conference (suitable for use in making a report on Annual Conference to your local church) will be available to view on the conference Facebook page or YouTube channel, free of charge. Cost is $10 for a copy of the overview video on a DVD (shipping included). DVDs may be ordered at the Communications display at Annual Conference, click here to order online or call Pam Culler in the Communications office at (804) 521-1110 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110.

Check out Virginia Conference on Instagram, Pinterest
The Virginia Conference has a new Instagram account and a new Pinterest account. Click here to check out our pictures and videos on Instagram, especially throughout Annual Conference. Click here to visit us on Pinterest and view and share our interest boards, including ones on books, Bible study ideas, notable United Methodists and 2015 Annual Conference.

LARCUM conference to be held June 29 in Virginia Beach
The Church of the Holy Apostles, 1593 Lynnhaven Parkway, Virginia Beach, will host the Tidewater LARCUM (Lutheran, Anglican, Roman Catholic and United Methodist) Conference at 7 p.m. Monday, June 29. Tim Lim, Regent University School of Divinity, will present “After the Reformation Quincentenary: Envisioning the Future” and will bring attention to how churches might work together ecumenically 500 years after the Reformation. A reception will follow the presentation and ecumenical worship service. For more information, call (757) 427-0963.

Complaint dismissed against Upper New York pastor
Upper New York Area Bishop Mark Webb has accepted a recommendation to dismiss a complaint against the Rev. Stephen Heiss, a now-retired pastor who has officiated at multiple same-sex weddings, the bishop announced June 12. The decision to end the complaint was based in part on a recent decision by the denomination’s top court to change how complaints against clergy are processed. More ...

Follow reports from annual conferences
United Methodist conferences around the world have their annual gatherings throughout the year, but June is the height of annual conference season for many in the United States. United Methodist News Service is posting reports from the gatherings as they are received. Click here to see reports.

Youth, young people submissions sought for General Conference
United Methodist youths and young people are invited to share their best personal stories, visions and innovations for the church. Two people will be selected to express their thoughts in person at the 2016 General Conference in Portland, Ore. Young People's Ministries, part of United Methodist Discipleship Ministries, is accepting video and text submissions through July 18. Click here to submit video or text. More ...

GBCS helps launch coalition to fight Alzheimer's
The United Methodist General Board of Church and Society (GBCS), along with USAgainstAlzheimer's, has established a new Faith United Against Alzheimer's Coalition. Click here to read Faith United Against Alzheimer's petition. The church aims to promote dignity and compassionate care, provide family support and "work urgently" to find disease-modifying treatments and a cure. More ...

'Called' resource can help individuals discern call to ministry
Congregation leaders can draw on "Called: One Word, Many Ways," to help individuals of various ages discern a call to ministry, be it ordained or not. United Methodist Communications worked with the denomination's Discipleship Ministries and Board of Higher Education and Ministry to produce the resource. It includes downloadable sermon starters, reflection questions, video stories and commitment cards. More ...

Flat Wesleys circuit ride around the connection
The Wesley brothers traveled thousands of miles to share their beliefs and make disciples during the 18th century. Today, John and Charles are making their rounds again — in the form of laminated paper dolls. Meet the Flat Wesleys, a unique children's ministry led by United Methodist Discipleship Ministries. The Flat Wesleys are visiting more than 700 United Methodist churches this summer. View UMTV video

Oklahoma needs volunteers for flood relief work
Flood waters in Oklahoma are receding and the clean-up needs in some areas have exceeded the capacity of the organizations that have been assisting. The Oklahoma Conference is currently deploying ERT muck-out teams to the Kingston area, as well as ERTs for tornado clean-up in the Bridge Creek area. Other areas of the state are still being assessed. Click here to find the ERT registration link on the Oklahoma Conference website. After registration, you will be contacted by an ERT coordinator. Oklahoma Conference churches have agreed to arrange housing for any teams that are able to help.

Texas flood relief work suspended due to Tropical Storm Bill
The Texas Conference closed its Houston office Tuesday, June 16, due to possible flooding from Tropical Storm Bill. Conference officials also told volunteers that it will be a couple of days at least before relief work resumes. Actual volunteer needs will be assessed once the storms conclude. Much of Texas already has seen more rain this year than in all of 2014, and parts have had major flood damage. More ...

Home Depot rebates support 'Strength for Service' booklets
Home Depot will offer United Methodist churches and affiliate organizations an opportunity to help fund the distribution of free copies of the devotional books "Strength for Service to God and Country", to U. S. military troops and veterans. The nondenominational body that distributes the devotions is the recipient of rebates derived from The Home Depot Pro Xtra Loyalty Program. More ...

United Methodist Building in D.C. designated historic site
The Baltimore-Washington Conference, during its 231st annual session, voted overwhelmingly to designate as a United Methodist Historic Site the United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. The conference also voted to urge the denomination’s General Commission on Archives & History to “expeditiously” designate the building as a United Methodist Heritage Landmark. More ...

Detroit, West Michigan conferences vote to merge
By a "yes" vote of 88.9%, the two United Methodist conferences in Michigan — Detroit and West Michigan — have decided to become one. Ballots were counted June 10. The union must be approved at the North Central Jurisdictional Conference convening in Peoria, Ill., in July 2016. More ...

Academy of Faith and Money to be Aug. 17-20 in Atlanta
Registration deadline for The Academy of Faith and Money, a money and ministry training, is Wednesday, July 1. This event, hosted by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry and led by Horizons Stewardship, is a four-day money and ministry training in Atlanta Aug. 17-20 for provisional members and younger clergy. More ...

GCORR seeks directors for communications, progam ministries
General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR), headquartered in Washington, D.C., is seeking a Communications Director and directors of Program Ministries. Click here for more information and detailed job descriptions. Or contact Frances Roberts at Froberts@UMC-GBCS.ORG.

United Methodist Communications seeks application developer
United Methodist Communications (UMCom), headquartered in Nashville, is currently seeking a qualified application developer to review, analyze and modify programming systems including encoding, testing, debugging and deployment to support an organization's application systems. The position will require the candidate to write documentation to describe program development, logic, coding and corrections. The position requires installing new software releases and system upgrades. Must be able to evaluate and install patches and solve software related problems. Must perform system backups and recoveries as needed. He/she will participate in system integration and Q&A testing. To apply or for more information, contact UMCom Human Resources at (615) 742-5137 or

♦ Look Who's Calling - June 27
Look Who's Calling, a Call and Culture event for high school students who may be experiencing a call to ministry, will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 27, at Virginia State University, Foster Hall, 1 Hayden Dr., Petersburg. For more information contact Derrick Parson at or Delano Douglas at More ...

♦ Helping Hands - June 29-30 IS CANCELLED
The June 29-30 Helping Hands event at Fairview UMC, Danville, has been cancelled. For more information, contact Katherine Lewis at (434) 792-3391 or 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 by July 1. More ...

♦ Helping Hands - July 16-17
This exciting two-day mission experience for rising 4th-6th graders, parents and adult leaders of all member churches of the Virginia Conference, will be held July 16-17 at Christ UMC, Staunton. Come and learn about mission opportunities and the importance of being a caring Christian. Cost is $36 per person which includes t-shirt, meals, snacks and overnight stay. Participants will sleep on the floor and will not have shower facilities. Registration deadline is June 10. For more information, contact Beth Christian at (540) 932-1055 or 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 or 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 For more information, contact MaryKaye Cochran at (804) -639-8872 or 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 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 ...

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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The Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church
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