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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 - June 5, 2014

Order now to pick up DVDs at end of Annual Conference
The conference Communications office is selling DVDs of the 2014 Annual Conference session. Those who order and pay for DVDs prior to June 15 will be able to pick up their DVDs at the end of the Annual Conference session on Sunday. (These DVDs will NOT include the Teaching Sessions or the Sunday morning closing worship. Those will be included on a disc that will be mailed the following week.) Those who do not pre-order, but who purchase DVDs during Annual Conference will be able to pick up DVDs at the end of Annual Conference as long as pre-configured quantities last. All others, including DVDs ordered after Annual Conference, will be mailed within one week. Volume 1 will include the memorial service, ordination, mission worship service and recognition of retirees. Volume 2 will include Bishop Cho's Episcopal Address, Laity Address, reports on The Common Table and Equipping Vital Congregations, Sunday morning closing worship and the Teaching Sessions led by the Rev. Dr. Elmer Colyer Saturday morning, Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning. 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. Click here to order online or call Pam Culler in the Communications office at (804) 521-1110 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110.

Communications Board to offer workshops Friday at Annual Conference
Registration is open for the Virginia Conference Board of Communications dinner and workshop to be held at 5:30 p.m. Friday, June 20, at the Hampton Roads Convention Center. Speakers will provide participants with a working knowledge of website hosting and design, Facebook, Twitter, Blogging and Instagram. This year, participants will have the ability to attend three breakout sessions on skills to add to their ministry setting. Cost for dinner is $10. Click here to register. Questions about the dinner program may be directed to the Rev. Jacob Sahms at

Wi-Fi to be available in limited areas at Annual Conference
There is no wireless access available at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in meeting halls B and C where the plenary sessions will be held, or in meeting hall A where the exhibits will be. It is not a cost issue, explained Bryan Compton, conference manager of Technology. "The convention center does not have the necessary network infrastructure to support wireless in those areas." Wi-Fi access will be available in the hallways and in the "Internet Cafe" located near the escalators. Remember that it is not necessary to have Wi-Fi to access Twitter on a smart phone. You will still be able to follow the Virginia Conference @vaumc on Twitter at Participate in the conversation by using hashtag #vaumc14.

Henry-Crowe to speak at Church and Society/Global Ministries banquet
The conference boards of Church and Society and Global Ministries invite you to their co-sponsored luncheon Saturday, June 21, at noon at the Hampton Roads Convention Center. Cost is $15. Registration and online pre-payment by credit card is required. Registrations close June 9. Guest speaker is the Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe, General Secretary of the General Board of Church and Society. She assumed her new duties in February this year after serving for 22 years as Dean of the Chapel & Religious Life at Emory University in Atlanta. For 16 years, Henry-Crowe served as a member of the United Methodist Judicial Council, the denomination’s “Supreme Court.” She is the first woman elected president of the Judicial Council, serving in that role from 2008-2012. More ...

Consent Agenda for Annual Conference posted on web
The 2014 Annual Conference Consent Agenda is now posted on the conference website. (Click here to view.) The Consent Agenda includes items and reports not requiring action by the Annual Conference other than a vote to receive them. According to Conference Rules, a minimum of 30 members of Annual Conference may request removal of an item from the Consent Agenda. Forms to request removal of items from the Consent Agenda will be at the front of the stage at Annual Conference and must be returned to the “secretarial inbox” at the corner of the stage by 4 p.m. Friday, June 20.

Virtual promotion packets now available online
In an effort to be good stewards of the environment and financial resources of the conference, Annual Conference “promo packets” are "virtual" again this year. Electronic copies of materials previously submitted in hard copy for the tote bag are included in the Virtual Promo Packet and are now posted on the conference website. To view the packet, click here or go to and scroll down the page.

Five openings remain for Bishop's trip to South Korea Oct. 15-23
Five seats are still available for the trip to Bupyeong Methodist Church in Incheon, South Korea, Oct. 15-23. This pilgrimage for active clergy will be led by Bishop Young Jin Cho and will emphasize prayer as the foundation of personal and collective spiritual renewal combined with contextual hands-on missions and ministries planted by American missionaries a century ago on Korean soil. Room and board will be provided by Bupyeong Methodist Church for the duration of the trip. Participants will be responsible for cost of air fare, extra insurance coverage by GBGM, and personal expenses. Round-trip air fare is $1,450. Senior (age 60 and above) rate is $1,340. If you are interested, contact the Rev. Won Un at

Shalom Farms seeks 12- to 14-passenger van
Shalom Farms, initiative of United Methodist Urban Ministries of Richmond (UMUMR), is looking for a 12- to 14-passenger van. The organization has agreements from pro bono designers and fabricators to amend a van to serve as a mobile market and food distribution vehicle as well as to bring residents of the low-income communities they serve out to the farm. Thanks to a generous donation, the organization has a modest budget to help support the purchase of a van. Churches, individuals or other organizations who may have a vehicle to donate or sell are encouraged to contact Executive Director Dominic Barrett at or (804) 592-6151. For more information on UMUMR and Shalom Farms, visit

Peace with Justice Sunday is June 15
Sunday, June 15, is Peace with Justice Sunday, one of six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings approved by General Conference. Celebrated the first Sunday after Pentecost, this special offering enables The United Methodist Church to have a voice in advocating for peace and justice through a broad spectrum of global programs. Donations support peace and justice ministries in our own Virginia Conference and in the U.S and around the world. Click here for worship resources. Click here for pastor's kit of resources. Click here for sermon starter. More ...

Registration open for 5 Talent Academy Oct. 4 event
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.

UMCOR requests prayers for bed net distribution
United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is asking for prayers for the successful distribution beginning this week of nearly 400,000 insecticide-treated bed nets in the Bo District of Sierra Leone. Use of the nets is a lifesaving measure in the fight against malaria. Program officers from Imagine No Malaria and UMCOR Global Health are in Sierra Leone for the launch of the distribution, which will run June 5-14. Trained community volunteers will distribute the nets door-to-door and ensure that families know how to use them effectively. Although great strides have been made against malaria, still, every 60 seconds a child dies from this preventable disease. Pray for the eradication of malaria.

Resources offered for Father's Day
Father’s Day is June 15. The United Methodist General Board of Discipleship has some resources to help you mark the day in your family. The resources cover a wide variety of activities you can engage in with your family. Reflect with Scripture on the qualities of fathers, trace your family’s history through generations of fathers, or create a special gift for the fathers and grandfathers in your family. And there are special prayers and liturgies of thanksgiving, confession and peace.

United Methodist leaders propose 'A Way Forward'
At least 115 United Methodist leaders, including a number from the Virginia Conference, have signed a proposal called "A Way Forward" that focuses on what United Methodists share in common, and then offers a way to allow us to live with our differences over how we interpret scripture regarding homosexuality, and how we will be a church in ministry with gay and lesbian people. "It is a conversation starter," the website says, "not a perfected conclusion." Click here to read the proposal and see the list of signers.

North Georgia clergy, laity take stand against schism
As talk of splitting The United Methodist Church continues, a theologically diverse group of clergy and laity from the North Georgia Conference are signing a covenant calling for unity. More ...

New pollution rule 'important step,' says Church and Society
Officials of the United Methodist Board of Church and Society called the Environmental Protection Agency's new proposed rule "an important step in reducing carbon pollution in the United States," representing "a much-needed and much-overdue commitment" on climate change. Click here to read statement. Click here to read EPA press release.

Appalachian Ministry Network has new coordinator
Michael Armbrister is the new executive coordinator for the United Methodist Appalachian Ministry Network, replacing the retiring Dr. Bob Wilkins. Armbrister has been executive director of the Mount Rogers Planning District Commission in Marion, Va., since 2012. Appalachian Ministry Network partners with annual conferences, districts, local churches and general agencies to develop and support leaders within the UMC in the Appalachian region, which includes Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York. More ...<

Chuck Knows Church: Pentecost
This Sunday, June 8, is Pentecost. Seen any symbols of fire around your sanctuary? Chuck messes with candles again and explains Pentecost 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 ...

♦ Safe Sanctuaries training - June 18-19
The Virginia Conference will host Safe Sanctuaries training June 18-19 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center (two days prior to beginning of Annual Conference at the same location). The Rev. Joy Melton, author of Safe Sanctuaries resources, will lead this two-day workshop. One CEU available for participating clergy and lay professionals. This training will not replace or meet requirements for Clergy Ethics II training. Registration is $25 per person or $80 for a team of four from a church. Special lodging rates are available at the Embassy Suites/Hampton Roads. More ...

♦ '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 ...

♦ 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.

♦ 'Lord, Teach Me to Pray' - Aug. 23, Oct. 25
"Lord, Teach Me to Pray — Practical Applications for Prayer" will be offered two more times: Saturday, Aug. 23, at Williamsburg UMC, Williamsburg (Click here to register); and 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.

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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