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Dec. 17, 2015
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March 26, 2015
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News from the Virginia Conference - March 19, 2015

Bulletin insert available for 2015 Annual Conference offering
Bishop Young Jin Cho announced that the 2015 Annual Conference offering goal will be $150,000 to support three different ministries. The offering goal includes $50,000 for continued support of our partnership with the Methodist Mission in Cambodia as they continue to purchase property for new churches; $50,000 for United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Global Health ministries to aid the Ebola-ravaged countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia; and $50,000 to support mission projects working with the poor in the Danville and Eastern Shore districts. Click here to download a bulletin insert to be used in your church to promote giving to ths special offering. More ...

New Facebook page focuses on Discipleship Circles
The Virginia Conference now has a special Facebook page for Discipleship Circles. Go to and "Like" the page so you can keep up to date with all the information and stories about how United Methodists in the Virginia Conference are reclaiming our heritage, reconnecting with each other, revitalizing our congregations, strengthening our spirituality and plugging in to the power of the Holy Spirit through Discipleship Circles. More ...

April Advocate to feature 'heeding God's call to ministry'
The April issue of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate will focus on heeding God’s call to ministry and includes stories from Virginia Conference pastors about their calls to ministry. It also includes articles about several of the conference programs that are helping people identify and live out God’s calling in their lives. The Advocate is the official monthly magazine of the Virginia Conference. To subscribe to the Advocate – print, digital or both – go to; call (804) 521-1110 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110; or e-mail

Staunton DS to paddle kayak to save lives from malaria
The Rev. Dave Rochford, Staunton District superintendent, is ready to paddle his kayak to save lives from malaria. He is asking Staunton District churches to help send him down the river by sponsoring his trip. For every $100 raised, Rochford will paddle a mile on a kayak journey down the western side of the district. In honor of Blue Grass UMC, which kicked off district Imagine No Malaria efforts last fall by raising more than $4,000, Rochford will begin in Highland County on the Bullpasture River and make his way to the Cowpasture, all the way down through Bath County and into Allegheny. If churches raise $4,500 dollars, he will go more than 45 miles and paddle right out of the district. More ...

5K in Farmville District to raise funds for Imagine No Malaria
The Wesley Foundation at Longwood and Hampden-Sydney Colleges has partnered with Journey UMC on the Farmville District to hold a 5K fundraiser for Imagine No Malaria on Saturday, March 21. The Rev. Rich Meiser, campus minister, reported that they have put up large banners on campus asking for students, or groups of students, to "buy" a net or several nets to save a life.

Skipwith UMC youths will shoot hoops to fight malaria
As part of March Madness, the youths at Skipwith UMC in Richmond are holding a Free Throw-athon this Saturday, March 21, from noon to 3 p.m. to benefit Imagine No Malaria. Goal is to make 1800 free throws in 180 minutes and raise $1800. All are invited to donate, come by and shoot and buy some chili and baked goods. More ...

Lynchburg District churches to hold 'Lanes for Lives' bowling party
Churches in the Madison Heights Cluster of the Lynchburg District are holding a “Lanes for Lives” bowling party FUNdraiser to benefit Imagine No Malaria 3-5 p.m. Sunday, March 22, at AMF Lynchburg Lanes, 4643 Murray Place. Churches, clubs, groups have been invited to purchase a lane for $120 for a team of six to enjoy two hours of bowling. More ...

R-MA basketball game snares nearly $900 to fight malaria
On March 2, Randolph-Macon Academy (R-MA) students faced off against the faculty and staff in a fundraising basketball game to benefit Imagine No Malaria. R-MA Community Service Director Stephanie Portillo reported that the faculty/staff team won 32-28. In addition to contributors sponsoring players, a Trivia Contest and Half-Court Shot contest at halftime helped raise funds, and the R-MA Parents’ Association sold baked goods and drinks. At the end of the night, the R-MA family had raised $893.59. Donations are being accepted through March 20, so the organizers, Portillo and Chaplain Josh Orndorff, hope they will surpass the $1,000 mark. More ...

Items for Annual Conference virtual promo packet due May 22
In an effort to be good stewards of the environment and financial resources of the conference, the Annual Conference “promo packets” will again this year be virtual. Electronic copies of materials previously submitted in hard copy for the tote bag will be accepted – at no cost to the organizations submitting them – for inclusion in the Virtual Promo Packet, which will be posted on the conference website,, under 2015 Annual Conference information, beginning June 1. Information for the Virtual Promo Packet needs to be submitted in pdf format to the office of Connectional Ministries ( for approval by Friday, May 22. Organizations wishing to disseminate their information in a hard-copy format may arrange for a display table at the Berglund Center by contacting Joanna Paysour at (540) 989-3673 or Click here for display guidelines and click here for display request form.

Nominations for 2015 Denman Awards due April 15
The Virginia Conference is now accepting nominations for the Harry Denman Evangelism Award for Clergy, Laity and Youth. Nominations must be received no later than April 15 to be considered for the 2015 awards. The Harry Denman Evangelism Award recognizes a person whose life and ministry exemplifies the teaching of Christ and the Great Commission. Recipients of these awards, nominated by their local churches and selected by the Annual Conference, live their call to “offer them Christ” daily as modeled by Dr. Harry Denman, founder of The Foundation for Evangelism that sponsors these awards. To learn more about The Harry Denman Evangelism Awards, visit The Foundation for Evangelism website at Click here to download brochure (pdf). Click here to download clergy nomination form (pdf). Click here to download laity nomination form (pdf). Click here to download youth nomination form (pdf). Nominations should be submitted to Virginia Conference Office of Lay Leadership Excellence, P.O. Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058.

Volunteers needed for Annual Conference computer-assisted note taking
Volunteers are needed to offer their time and talent in communicating the spoken word to persons who need computer-assisted note taking in order to be fully included in our 2015 Annual Conference sessions to be held June 19-21 in Roanoke. Tasks include typing text of reports, worship and music using Microsoft Word, sometimes while the speaker is presenting. Good typing speed and accuracy is a must. Individuals are needed for all sessions for shifts of one hour or longer. For more information, contact Cheryl Edley Worford, director of the Center for Inclusivity and Lay Leadership Excellence, at 1-800-768-6040 or (804) 521-1100, ext. 154, or by e-mail to

March is Women's History Month
March is Women's History Month. “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives” is the theme for 2015. The theme presents the opportunity to weave women’s stories – individually and collectively – into the essential fabric of our nation’s history. Click here for featured resource on women of distinction in United Methodist history. For worship resources, including facts about famous women hymn writers, go to the United Methodist Discipleship Ministries website. For a series of sermon preparation notes that follow the lectionary texts for March as well as prayers, calls to worship and liturgies, go to the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women website.

5 out-of-the-box Easter ideas
As people all over the world celebrate Christ’s resurrection, churches have an incredible opportunity to connect with their communities, writes the Rev. Jeremy Steele. He shares five ideas from across the United Methodist connection that can help churches do just that. More ...

'Flat Wesleys' help children learn, practice intentional discipleship
Children throughout the United Methodist connection are learning about the history of the Methodist movement and practicing intentional discipleship with the help of drawings of John and Charles Wesley called “Flat Wesleys.” Churches in each annual conference and each central conference are receiving laminated copies of the Flat Wesleys to begin the project, which will continue through September, said Melanie C. Gordon, director of Ministry with Children at Discipleship Ministries. More than 700 churches have asked to participate through the children’s ministry Facebook page. Congregations interested in participating in the Flat Wesleys project should e-mail Discipleship Ministries at More ...

Ecumenical Advocacy Days to be April 17-20 in Washington, D.C.
Bill Mefford, Associate General Secretary for Civil and Human Rights at the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society, will join Dr. Iva Carruthers, general secretary of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, as presenters at the opening policy plenary of Ecumenical Advocacy Days in Washington, D.C., April 17-20. Theme of the 13th national gathering is “Breaking the Chains: Mass Incarceration & Systems of Exploitation.” Ecumenical Advocacy Days is a movement of the Christian community, and its recognized partners and allies, grounded in biblical witness and shared traditions of justice, peace and the integrity of creation. The event’s goal, through worship, theological reflection and opportunities for learning and witness, is to strengthen the Christian voice and to mobilize for advocacy on a wide variety of U.S. domestic and international policy issues. Hundreds of calls on Capitol Hill offices will be the culminating event of the gathering. Go to for more information, downloadable brochures and bulletin inserts, hotel information and to register.

Foundation for Evangelism seeks nominations for Culture of Call Church Award
The Foundation for Evangelism is seeking nominations for the 2015 Culture of the Call Church Award. This award, given annually, recognizes one local United Methodist congregation that encourages the next generation of leaders with a passion for evangelism to enter full-time Christian service. The Foundation for Evangelism awards this honor to highlight the outstanding work being done in the local church where young persons, age 35 and under, are encouraged, supported and nurtured as part of the culture of that congregation. For more information and to download nomination form, visit the foundation's website. Deadline for applications is April 2. Mail completed nomination form to Mary Burgin, The Foundation for Evangelism, P.O. Box 985, Lake Junaluska, NC 28745. Or e-mail

♦ 'March Gladness' basketball tourney - March 28
A "March Gladness" basketball tournament fundraiser for Imagine No Malaria will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 28, at Regester Chapel UMC in Stafford. The Fredericksburg District challenged other districts in the Virginia Conference to enter teams in the tournament and play three-on-three 10-minute games until two teams remain to play in the Final Four against the top two teams from the Nov. 2 Eastern Shore District Basketball Tournament. Winner of Final Four play will be named conference champion. Churches in the Fredericksburg, Winchester, Charlottesville, Arlington and Alexandria Districts have entered teams to compete for the chance to play against the Eastern Shore District winners. Goal is to raise more than $12,000 through team sponsorships, entry fees and donations from local businesses in exchange for advertising in tournament program books. For more information, contact the Rev. Ted Smith, Fredericksburg District superintendent, at or (804) 448-8326. More ...

♦ UMVIM Team Leader Training - March 28, April 18, May 16
Team Leader Training is required for all first-time United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) team leaders, but all interested persons are welcome to attend whether leading a team or not. The following training events are currently scheduled:
♦ March 28, 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Cave Spring UMC, 4505 Hazel Dr., Roanoke. Click here to register online and pay by credit card. Click here to download a pdf form and pay by check.
♦ April 18, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Warwick Memorial UMC, 38 Hoopes Rd., Newport News. Click here to register online and pay by credit card. Click here to download a pdf form and pay by check.
♦ May 16, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Floris UMC, 13600 Frying Pan Rd., Herndon. Click here to register online and pay by credit card. Click here to download a pdf form and pay by check.

♦ UVA Wesley Foundation celebration - April 11
On Saturday, April 11, at 2 p.m. the Wesley Foundation at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville will celebrate 50 years of ministry in its current building with an open house and worship service with Bishop Young Jin Cho preaching. Alumni, parents, students and friends from across the conference are invited to attend that day’s activities which will include breaking ground on the “Building a Foundation for the Future” capital campaign. Directions and more information are at

♦ Senior High Youth and Young Adult event - April 17-18
The Winchester District and Shenandoah University’s Faith Seeking Justice Christian Leadership Program invite senior high youth groups, young adults, youth workers and pastors to attend Thy Kingdom Come: Where Our Mission in the Commonwealth of God Is Justice April 17-18 on the campus of Shenandoah University, Winchester. Keynote speakers are Lisa Sharon Harper and Shane Claiborne. Cost is $10 person, which will go to Imagine No Malaria. Registration deadline is April 6. Participants are invited to bring a tent and spend Friday night camping out on the field at Shenandoah University to raise money for Teens Opposing Poverty and Imagine No Malaria. Think creatively for ways church members can sponsor you as you sleep out under the stars. For more information, contact Martha Reynolds, Winchester District director of Congregational Excellence, at, or the Rev. Dr. Justin Allen, Shenandoah University dean of Spiritual Life, at More ...

♦ Fellowship of Local Pastors, Associate Members Spring Retreat - April 23
The Fellowship of Local Pastors and Associate Members will hold a one-day Spring Retreat for continuing education and time of fellowship Thursday, April 23, at Good Shepherd UMC, Glen Allen. Theme is “Bearing Fruit: Ministry with Real Results.” The Rev. Tom Berlin will share leadership lessons from the book he co-authored with Lovett Weems, and provide tools you need to assess the fruit your ministry bears in the lives of your congregations, your community and the world. Barbara Miner, licensed local pastor who serves at Floris UMC, will co-present and share her insights from 17 years of ministry at Floris UMC as it has grown in size and vitality. A 0.5 CEU will be given for full-day participation. Deadline to register is April 20. More ...

♦ Give Me That Olde Time Religion - April 25
The Virginia Conference Older Adult Council and the Senior Adult Council of Shady Grove UMC, Mechanicsville, are hosting "Give Me That Olde Time Religion" revival worship service 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday April 25, in the sanctuary of Shady Grove UMC, Mechanicsville. The service will include singing old hymns, praying and preaching by the dynamic Rev. Dr. Clarence Brown Jr., senior pastor of Annandale UMC. Fee of $12 per person includes lunch. More ...

♦ Diaconate Day Apart - April 30
Deacons, Deaconesses, Diaconal Ministers, Home Missioners and Provisional Deacons are invited to worship, fellowship and holy conversation 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, April 30, at United Methodist Family Services (UMFS), 3900 W. Broad St., Richmond. The Rev. Joe Torrence, Deacon in the Virginia Conference and Minister of Youth and Church Relations for UMFS, will help us learn what we need to know about introducing the ministry of United Methodist Family Services (UMFS) to our churches and communities. An optional mission project will be offered 2-3 p.m. at UMFS. More ...

♦ PAUMCS Spring Retreat - May 3-4
Virginia chapter of the Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries (PAUMCS) will hold a "Get Away from it All" Spring Retreat for church secretaries 4 p.m. Sunday, May 3, to 3 p.m. Monday, May 4, at the Williamsburg Christian Retreat Center in Toano. Buena "Beanie" Rankin, retired assistant director of Records and Statistics of the General Council on Finance and Administration, will offer training in the areas of apportionments, record retention, effective cyber communications, church software and membership records. This event is an opportunity for church secretaries and administrators to learn, network, fellowship and relax. More ...

♦ ‘Poverty in America’ seminar for young people - June 22-25
The conference office of Ministries with Young People and the General Board of Church and Society are offering a seminar in Washington, D.C., on “Poverty in America” June 22-25. Registration is open to high school and college-age individuals. Cost is $430. For more information, contact Derrick Parson at or (804) 521-1135. To register, send e-mail to Becky Tate at with the name of participant, age, gender and contact information (phone and e-mail). Send $100 non-refundable deposit (check made payable to Virginia UM Conference) to Becky Tate, P.O. Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058. 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 ...

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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