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News from the Virginia Conference - March 13, 2014

Services for Ken Jackson to be March 22 
The Rev. Kenneth Jackson, Alexandria District superintendent, died Monday, March 10, surrounded by close friends and family. Memorial service (Celebration of Life) will be 11 a.m. Saturday, March 22, at St. Matthew's UMC, 8617 Little River Turnpike, Annandale. The service will be followed by a "heavy" reception.
     "Many of us were mentored and nurtured in ministry and in faith by Ken and are grateful for the gifts he so generously shared with the Virginia Annual Conference and larger church," said the Rev. Ted Smith, Fredericksburg District superintendent. "We rejoice that Ken's battle with cancer is finished and he now joins that great cloud of witnesses."
     Ken began serving churches in 1982 at Asbury in the former Peninsula District. He went on to serve Highland Park and Franconia. He was appointed Lynchburg District superintendent in 1994, then served St. Matthew's in Alexandria beginning in 2001. He became superintendent of the Alexandria District in 2010.
     In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to St. Matthew's Joy Fund and Food Basket Ministry. Messages of condolence may be sent to Ken's wife, Gail Jackson, 8318 Chapel Lake Ct., Annandale, VA 22003-4401.

Mickle, Kim named new district superintendents
Bishop Young Jin Cho announced that, effective July 1, the Rev. Jeffrey P. Mickle, pastor of St. Stephen’s UMC in Burke on the Alexandria District, will be the new Alexandria District superintendent, and the Rev. Seonyoung Kim, pastor of the Northumberland Charge (Afton UMC in Ophelia and Fairfields UMC in Burgess) in the Fredericksburg District, will be the York River District superintendent. More ...

Virginia Conference seeks three summer interns
The Virginia Conference seeks three summer interns (ages 17-22) to work with various offices at the United Methodist Center in Glen Allen June 2-Aug. 8. The interns will rotate among the office of Inclusivity and Lay Leadership Excellence, Center for Justice and Missional Excellence, Center for Congregational Excellence and office of Ministries with Young People. Deadline to apply is April 4. For detailed job description and application form, go to www.vaumc.org/jobs

Thompson to retire as Foundation president June 1
Dave Thompson, president of the Virginia United Methodist Foundation, has announced his plans to retire June 1. Thompson joined the Foundation staff March 1, 2012, as Planned Giving and Investment Officer. He was named president Dec. 1, 2012, after Deal Tompkins became ill and retired. "In the past few months I have been spending a lot of time in prayer, having discussions with my wife and family about how much longer I should stay as president of the Foundation," Thompson told the Foundation board at its last meeting. "I truly wish I had had the opportunity of leading the Foundation several years ago but that was not part of God's plan at that time. However, as I reached the age of 75 this past December, I needed to reflect on my staying power and whether or not it is time to turn the reigns over to someone who could guide the Foundation for many more years into the future. As a result of prayers and discussions with my wife and family, I have decided to retire June 1, 2014. It has been an exciting and fulfilling journey, and I will miss the people and the associations that I have had here in the center, the board and the churches that I have worked with over the past two years.”

2014 Annual Conference offering to help fund eight ministries
This year the Annual Conference special offering goal is $200,000. Bishop Young Jin Cho is requesting contributions to support eight different ministries in Africa, Cambodia, Mozambique, Brazil, Virginia and Haiti. More ...

Cambodia Consultation to be May 1-3 in Alexandria
The Virginia Conference will host a Consultation on Cambodia May 1-3 at Aldersgate UMC in Alexandria. This event is held every two years and is co-sponsored by the General Board of Global Ministries in order to provide opportunities to meet missionaries and Cambodian leadership and learn more about the Cambodian mission. This is an excellent opportunity for those interested in exploring taking a Volunteers in Mission (VIM) team to Cambodia. Click here to register. Click here for brochure. More ...

5 Talent Academy speaker: People love money more than God
In a folksy, plainspoken style, the Rev. Clif Christopher told participants at the 5 Talent Academy teaching session on March 8 that the biggest sin in our churches is that people love their money more than they love their God. More...

Nominees sought for two higher education awards
The Virginia Conference Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministries is accepting nominations for two awards, one given by the conference and one by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Honorees will be announced during 2014 Annual Conference. The John Wesley Award is given to a person who has made a distinguished contribution to higher education (colleges, academy, Wesley Foundations or campus ministries) within the Virginia Conference. The Francis Asbury Award for Fostering United Methodist Ministries in Higher Education and Ministry recognizes and encourages support of higher education ministries in all levels of the church. Any lay or clergy member of The United Methodist Church who helps bring heightened awareness to the significance of higher education ministries is eligible. Nominations are due April 4. For more information, contact the Rev. Jean G. McDonald-Walker at jgmcd1940@aol.com.

Retired pastor reports on trip to South Sudan
“We don’t miss the heat and cold sponge baths but we do miss the people, especially the students,” writes “Teacher Margaret,” who with her fellow retired United Methodist pastor, “Teacher Beverly,” at 65 and 70 set out to help the children of South Sudan. The Rev. Margaret Kutz writes in the Richmond Times-Dispatch about what she and the Rev. Beverly Nelan found. More ...

One Great Hour of Sharing is March 30
One Great Hour of Sharing is Sunday, March 30. Click here to order free resources for this offering that supports United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). Because UMCOR receives no apportionment dollars, the disaster-relief agency relies on the One Great Hour of Sharing special offering to pay for all of its administrative costs. This allows 100% of donations given for specific appeals to go directly to those relief efforts. More ...

March is Women's History Month
March is Women’s History Month. The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (GCSRW) is celebrating Women’s History Month with special resources every day of March. The 2014 theme is “Women of Character, Courage and Commitment,” and GCSRW is marking that theme in The United Methodist Church three different ways: 1) Highlighting a different woman in UMC history each day on the agency’s website. 2) Providing inclusive-language, liturgically appropriate worship elements for each of the five Sundays of the month. 3) Sharing the voices of today’s United Methodists each day on the agency’s blog. More ...

Supreme Court won't hear appeal of Episcopal property dispute
Seven years after 15 conservative Virginia congregations made global news by breaking away from the Episcopal Church — and refusing to give up tens of millions of dollars in property the U.S. Supreme Court on March 10 ended the complex legal dispute by declining to take up an appeal by the last remaining plaintiff, reports Michelle Boorstein of the Washington Post. The high court's action affirms the Virginia Supreme Court ruling that the 3,000-member Falls Church does not have the right to keep the property but must return it to the denomination. The Episcopal Church has a rule that is similar to The United Methodist Church’s “Trust Clause,” which says that the local congregation manages its physical property “in trust” for the entire denomination. More ...

Hillary Clinton to address UMW Assembly
Hillary Clinton, a lifelong United Methodist and former U.S. secretary of state, will be keynote speaker for the 2014 United Methodist Women (UMW) Assembly April 25-27 in Louisville, Ky. More ...

Social justice agency issues call to boycott SodaStream
The United Methodist General Board of Church & Society has issued a call to boycott SodaStream, a countertop carbonation device produced illegally in the occupied West Bank of the Palestinian Territories. The decision to engage in the boycott of SodaStream was overwhelmingly endorsed by the agency’s Board of Directors during its spring meeting in Chevy Chase, Md. More ...

New York Conference dismisses Ogletree case
The announcement of a "just resolution" by the New York Conference dismissed a complaint against the Rev. Thomas Ogletree for performing the same-sex wedding ceremony of his son and served as a call by Bishop Martin D. McLee to end trials for such complaints. More ... Click here for reactions to news conference.

Chuck Knows Church: Grace
Grace. The word seems to have multiple meanings. It's said at the dinner table, yet also has deep theological meaning for United Methodists. Chuck takes a few minutes to explain prevenient, justifying and sanctifying grace. "Chuck Knows Church" is 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 www.ChuckKnowsChurch.com 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 ...

Large Church Initiative conference to be April 28-30
The 2014 Large Church Initiative conference, “Continuum: Engaging All Generations,” will be April 28-30 at Mount Pisgah UMC in Johns Creek, Ga. Leaders of United Methodist churches with more than 1,000 members or an average worship attendance of more than 350 gather each year for the conference sponsored jointly by the General Board of Discipleship and the Large Church Initiative Committee. Discounted early-bird registration is available until March 15. More ...

♦ Virginia Wesleyan College Clergy Seminar - March 17-18
"Sanctified Laughter: A Theology, History and Practice of Humor and Satire" will be presented by Dr. Terrence Lindvall, Professor of Communications and Christian Thought at Virginia Wesleyan, at a two-day Continuing Education Seminar for Clergy at Virginia Wesleyan College March 17-18. Cost is $75 per person, including lunch Monday. The program begins at 8:30 a.m. Monday and ends at noon Tuesday. One CEU credit will be given. The seminar is open to laity as well as clergy. Register at www.vwc.edu/ces or by mail to Office of Advancement, Virginia Wesleyan College, 1584 Wesleyan Drive, Norfolk, VA 23502.

♦ Extension Ministers Gathering - March 24
Virginia Conference Extension Ministers will gather with Bishop Young Jin Cho Monday, March 24, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Roslyn Conference and Retreat Center in Richmond. Extension Ministers (elders, provisional elders and local pastors) and those appointed Beyond the Local Church (deacons and provisional deacons) can connect with clergy colleagues, share stories and have conversation with Bishop Cho. More ...

♦ Bishop's Convocation on Prayer - March 29
The second annual Bishop’s Convocation on Prayer will be 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 29, at Trinity UMC, 903 Forest Ave., Richmond. The Rev. Tom Albin, dean of Upper Room Ministries and Ecumenical Relations, will be plenary speaker. Small group learning opportunities will be offered in the areas of prayer and Wesleyan spiritual disciplines. More ...

♦ Early Response Team certification training - March 29
United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Early Response Team (ERT) certification training will be 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Saturday, March 29, at Galilee UMC, 45425 Winding Rd., Sterling. Registration fee is $55, which includes training manual, UMCOR ERT badge, T-shirt and background check (forms will be handed out at training). Checks should be made out to the Virginia Conference and brought the day of training, or click here to register online.

♦ 'Look Who's Calling' youth retreat - April 5
The Wesley Foundation at Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, will host the Saturday, April 5, Virginia Conference “Look Who’s Calling” free, one-day retreat for high school-age youths who may be experiencing the gentle nudging of God’s call to ministry. More ...

♦ Camp Overlook Confirmation Retreat - April 11-12
Confirmation classes from across the conference are invited to a one-night Confirmation Retreat at Camp Overlook in Keezletown. Sessions will be led by the Rev. Gary Heaton, the Rev. David Rochford (Staunton District superintendent), missionaries and lay people. Participants will explore Wesleyan roots, Means of Grace, connectional nature of The United Methodist Church, and importance of missions. To register or for more information, go to www.campoverlook.org, call 540-2MY-CAMP or e-mail CampOverlook@gmail.com

♦ 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 margieturbyfill@rmc.edu. The program is co-sponsored by the Bailey Pre-ministerial Program at Randolph-Macon College and the Virginia Conference Board of Ordained Ministry.

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 Advocate@vaumc.org. For information about the Virginia Conference and resources for ministry, visit the Virginia Conference website at www.vaumc.org


 
 

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