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News from the Virginia Conference - June 18, 2019

Annual Conference 2019- June 20-22, 2019
Annual Conference 2019 starts this Thursday, June 20 and goes through Saturday, June 22. All information about the event can be found on the conference website. The conference will be livestreamed at the following link. More…

Share your voice – Participate in the conference Communications survey
The mission of the conference Communications Office is to provide you with the Virginia Conference information you need, including conference news and events, updates from the Bishop, information on training opportunities, and local ministry stories. Our goal is to provide you with the information you want to see through the communications channels that are most useful to you. We have created a short communications survey to get your feedback so we can learn how to serve you better. Please visit to take the survey, and please share this link with others in your congregation. The survey will remain open until July 31, 2019.

Annual Conference 2019 Kit Collection, Cans 4 Conference
Please note the Kit Collection receiving schedule for Annual Conference 2019 will be starting on Wednesday afternoon during registration hours as conference will be ending on Saturday this year. Kit collection and Cans 4 Conference will be located in the Berglund Center parking lot in the corner near VIP parking adjacent to I-581/Orange Avenue interchange. There will be signage at strategic points along the way to help you find their location. Be sure to label your boxes with the number and type of kits that are in it along with your church's name and district. 

Kit Collection Schedule
•    Wednesday, June 19, 4 p.m.- 8 p.m.
•    Thursday, June 20, 8 a.m.- 7 p.m.
•    Friday, June 21, 8 a.m.—5 p.m.

More information at the link. More...

Financial impact of 2019 General Conference session being offered at Annual Conference 2019
On June 20, from 12:45 – 1:30 p.m. in the front section of the coliseum, representatives from Virginia United Methodist Pensions, Inc., Conference Council on Finance and Administration, and Cabinet will share information about the financial impact of the 2019 General Conference. This session will include time for questions by participants.   

Vacation Bible School is not immune to racism
Youth ministers, lay leaders, parents, and especially children are excited -- Vacation Bible School season is here. It is, however, starting with controversy over one particular VBS curriculum created by Group Publishing called Roar! Life is Wild, God is God. Roar! is a five-day Africa-themed VBS curriculum that is insensitive and offensive toward people of color and more specifically, Africans and the entire continent of Africa. The General Commission on Religion and Race issued a statement calling out this curriculum for its institutional biases, blind spots, and lack of intercultural competency. In the statement, they also offer guidelines of what to look for and how to choose an inclusive church school curriculum. More...

July Advocate issue dives into campus ministries
The local church, according to the mission of our denomination, provides “the most significant arena through which disciple making occurs.” These disciples then go off to college where campus ministry can help better form them as they grow socially and emotionally. What is campus ministry like in this arena? How can we help support our disciples in campus ministries around the conference? The clergy appointments will be featured in this issue. Also in the July issue will be moving day memories, planning new directions for the church, impact of General Conference 2019, and the top five ways to get involved in campus ministries.

As the Advocate magazine comes to an end in its print and online formats in 2019, every issue, print and online, can be purchased for $7.50/issue. You may contact the Communications Office to place your order for any 2019 issue at or 804-521-1110.

One Journey Festival: Celebration of refugees on June 29
One Journey is a grassroots alliance of nearly 1,000 members working to counter anti-refugee sentiment by shifting the narrative about refugees worldwide. The group fights hate and fear by celebrating the talents and contributions of newcomers, reminding America of its own immigrant roots, and connecting the public to organizations on the front lines of actively supporting refugees. They strive to build enduring allies for refugees and use cultural and technological tools to facilitate human connections between refugees and their host communities. The One Journey Festival, an all-day celebration of refugee talents and tenacity on the lawn of the Washington National Cathedral on June 29, 2019 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., is the signature event that has culminated from the volunteer interfaith network that launched in fall 2016. More…

United Methodist Communications: Saying "hello" to your new pastor 
It's "moving season" for United Methodist clergy across the United States. If your congregation is welcoming a new pastor this year, take a moment to discover 50 ideas for saying a "healthy" goodbye and providing genuine welcome, thanks to an article from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership. More…

Job posting: Mozambique Initiatives of Hope Coordinator
The Missional Ministries Board Initiatives of Hope (IOH) Team is searching for a coordinator for the Mozambique Mission Partnership. If you have a commitment and passion to be part of the conference missional priorities initiatives with a special connection/ interest to Mozambique, please contact Glenn Rowley at the conference office at

Learn more about Fresh Expressions at free event
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to dig into a fresh expression for your church or community! Fresh Expressions Roundtables are being hosted at three locations in August. This FREE event is for any clergy or laity in the VA Annual Conference interested in pursuing a fresh expression.
•    Winchester Roundtable, August 13, 1 -4 p.m., Leesburg UMC, Leesburg
•    Roanoke Roundtable, August 14, 6-9 p.m., Cave Spring UMC, Roanoke
•    Elizabeth River Roundtable, August 15, 2-5 p.m., Ghent UMC, Norfolk
Reserve your spot at Contact Mark Ogren, conference director of Congregational Excellence, at 804.521.1155 or for questions.

Virginia United Methodist Foundation and Development Company announces new president
The Board of Directors of Virginia United Methodist Foundation and Development Company has announced the appointment of Bo Bowden as its next president. Bowden brings deep affiliations and lay leadership experience in The United Methodist Church to this role, as well as significant experience in banking and finance. His commitment to the United Methodist Church and expertise in financial services will enable the Foundation and Development Company to build on its solid base, drive its growth, and support the Virginia Conference, while enhancing its mission to serve local churches and conference agencies in their efforts to expand their programs and ministries."I am extremely pleased that our search has led us to Bo and look forward to having him as the Foundation and Development Company's next president,” said Christine Williamson, chair of the Board of Directors. “The Board has absolute faith and confidence in his ability to lead us in our mission of Methodists Helping Methodists!  We are excited to begin this new chapter as we continue to serve United Methodist churches and investors across the Virginia Conference." He assumed his responsibilities as president of Virginia United Methodist Foundation and Development Company on June 17, 2019. Virginia United Methodist Foundation and Development Company engaged Kittleman & Associates to conduct a search for its new president. More...

Advocate editor looking for submissions related to Advocate magazine memories
Do you have memories of the Advocate magazine? After almost 200 years, the print and online publication will come to an end in 2019. In upcoming issues and on the conference website, memories from around the conference will be shared. Email Madeline Pillow at or mail to the conference office: ATTN: Madeline Pillow, P.O Box 5606 Glen Allen, VA 23058.


Virginia Annual Conference - Jun. 20-22
The Virginia Annual Conference will be held in Roanoke, Va. in the Berglund Center from Jun. 20-22. More information is available at

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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The Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church
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