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News from the Virginia Conference - March 6, 2015

Remember: Spring clocks forward Saturday evening
Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 8. We lose an hour, so set your clocks one hour forward on Saturday night (e.g., 10 p.m. becomes 11 p.m.) so you won’t miss church!

Complaints resolved against 2 clergy who performed same-sex weddings
Bishop Young Jin Cho announced that two complaints filed against Virginia Conference clergy for conducting same-sex wedding ceremonies have been resolved through the supervisory resolution process stipulated in the United Methodist Book of Discipline. The resolutions, agreed to by all parties in both complaints, mean that the Rev. Dr. John Copenhaver, retired elder who is Professor Emeritus of Religion and Philosophy at Shenandoah University in Winchester, and the Rev. Amanda Garber, founding pastor of the RISE new church start in Harrisonburg, will both be suspended from performing ministerial functions for a time, but they will not face church trials or possible loss of their clergy credentials. More ...

Virginia Conference seeks director of Ministries with Young People
The Virginia Conference office of Connectional Ministries is seeking a creative leader for the ministry position of director of Ministries with Young People to lead the Virginia Conference in creating a culture of call for young people, beginning July 1. This goal will include collaboration with the Center for Clergy Excellence in identifying and resourcing young people who are exploring a call to ministry. More ...

Applications open for second Virginia Clergy Leadership Program
The Virginia Clergy Leadership Program (VCLP) is about to finish an excellent first year, and the leadership team is announcing the launch of a new cohort for 2015-16. Do you have a desire to build on a fruitful ministry to grow to a new level of insight and leadership for ministry in your faith community? If you are an ordained elder or deacon, or associate member, or licensed local pastor (who has completed the educational requirements) who has been under appointment in faith community leadership for at least five years, you are eligible to apply. The VCLP consists of six three-day sessions at the Roslyn Retreat Center in Richmond with top-notch faculty and expert practictioners and peer group learning. Participants participate at no cost to them other than their travel to the sessions. Applications are available now and due by May 1, including your district superintendent recommendation and SPRC endorsement. This program is designed to be a "good to great" learning opportunity for fruitful, experienced clergy, and there are a limited number of spaces available in the cohort. Notifications will be made by May 15, and sessions will begin in September. More ...

Goal for 2015 Annual Conference offering is $150,000 to support Cambodia Methodist Mission, Ebola victims, poor children in Virginia
Bishop Young Jin Cho announced that the 2015 Annual Conference offering goal will be $150,000 and again focus on both international and Virginia-based mission needs. 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 and expand their fast growing mission. Another $50,000 is for United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Global Health ministries to aid the Ebola-ravaged countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia. Both of these countries have trained and equipped Health Boards in their United Methodist conferences that are working to meet priorities and needs of communities recovering from the Ebola outbreak as well as a holistic approach to health that empowers people to take charge of their own lives and develop positive health-seeking behavior in their communities. In Virginia, the goal is $50,000 to support mission projects working with the poor in the Danville and Eastern Shore Districts. Both of these districts are working in ministry in areas of Virginia that are well below the national and state poverty levels. Of particular concern and emphasis are children living in poverty.

Virginia Conference has saved 43,175 lives from malaria
As of March 1, Virginia Conference United Methodists have raised $431,750 and saved more than 43,175 lives for Imagine No Malaria. We're more than 43% of the way toward our goal to save 100,000+ lives by 2015 Annual Conference which will be June 19-21. More ...

'March Gladness' basketball tourney postponed to March 28
The "March Gladness" basketball tournament fundraiser for Imagine No Malaria that was originally scheduled for this Saturday at Regester Chapel UMC in Stafford has been postponed to Saturday, March 28, because of bad weather across the state this week. 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 ...

Some churches sent 'Imagine No Malaria' contributions to wrong fund
Some churches in the Virginia Conference apparently thought they were contributing to the conference "Imagine No Malaria" campaign, but actually donated funds to "Nothing But Nets," a different United Methodist Advance Special account. According to Maria Maxwell, Virginia Conference "Imagine No Malaria" field coordinator, Virginia Conference churches have contributed nearly $20,000 to "Nothing But Nets" since July 2014. Maxwell said The Advance is willing to move the funds from "Nothing But Nets" to "Imagine No Malaria," so a letter is being sent to all the churches that have contributed funds to "Nothing But Nets" informing them that their contributions will be transferred unless they notify Maxwell by March 20 that they do not want the funds moved. Contact Maxwell at or (804) 521-1160.

Send 'Imagine No Malaria' contributions to conference treasurer
Contributions to "Imagine No Malaria" should be sent to the Virginia Conference Treasurer's office, P.O. Box 5605, Glen Allen, VA 23058. Make check payable to "Virginia Conference" and designate “Imagine No Malaria, Advance Special #6450," on your check or at the bottom of your apportionment statement. If the check is from a church, be sure to indicate the church GCFA number on the check. If you have questions, contact Maria Maxwell at or (804) 521-1160.

What's the difference? 'Nothing But Nets' vs. 'Imagine No Malaria'
Inspired by sports columnist Rick Reilly, the "Nothing But Nets" campaign was created by the United Nations Foundation in 2006. It’s primary purpose is to provide insecticide-treated bed nets that families can sleep beneath and be protected from the mosquitoes that cause malaria. United Methodists have been very supportive of "Nothing But Nets," but after seeing that bed nets alone are not enough to eliminate the deadly disease of malaria, The United Methodist Church began the “Imagine No Malaria” campaign in April 2010 to raise $75 million before the denomination’s General Conference in 2016. In addition to distributing bed nets, "Imagine No Malaria" is committed to ending death and suffering from malaria through prevention (bed nets, environmental clean-up and basic sanitation), communication (United Methodist radio channels across the continent are used to share messages of malaria prevention), treatment (trained health workers, medications and more improved hospitals and health care facilities), and grassroots education (trained groups of people on health boards train community health workers in their communities to provide a constant source of treatment and education for those nearby and develop strategic plans and propose integrated solutions). Some observers have said that "Imagine No Malaria" is "Nothing But Nets" PLUS.

March 15 One Great Hour of Sharing suppports UMCOR
This year marks United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)'s 75th anniversary of being with people in times of crisis. In celebration, UMCOR is providing resources that offer creative ways to reflect and engage in UMCOR's ongoing legacy. United Methodists are encouraged to mark the 75th anniversary of UMCOR by giving to the One Great Hour of Sharing Special Offering on Sunday, March 15. Donations toOne Great Hour of Sharing directly fund UMCOR's administrative costs, making it possible for UMCOR to use 100% of all other contributions on the projects donors specify, instead of on administrative or fundraising costs. UMCOR does not receive United Methodist World Service or apportionment funds, so without the One Great Hour of Sharing offerings, UMCOR would not exist.

Pathways seeks number of new employees
Pathways, a not-for-profit, United Methodist-related community organization in Petersburg, is seeking a full-time Chief Executive Officer to build upon and strengthen the organization’s 20 years of partnership with residents of Petersburg and the greater Richmond area. In addition to a new CEO, the organization is also seeking a Program Director, Community Outreach Coordinator, Career Placement Coordinator, Mentoring Coordinator, Nurse Practitioner, Case Manager, Construction Site Supervisor, Construction Trainer, Vocational Trainer and Academic Instructor. More ...

Proficiency in prayer comes through practice
Proficiency in prayer comes through practice. Spending a season like Lent invigorating your prayer life is time well spent. Experiment with some new-to-you ways of praying. You might be surprised to find what works best for you, writes Joe Iovino. More ...

Chuck Knows Church: Holy Week
A brand new episode of Chuck Knows Church looks at Holy Week, the last week of Lent. It's observed in many Christian churches as a time to commemorate and enact the suffering (Passion) and death of Jesus Christ. Watch this episode and if you'd like to know more, go to to watch "Palm Sunday," "Maundy Thursday" and "Good Friday." More ...

General Board of Discipleship becomes Discipleship Ministries
Discipleship Ministries has officially become the new name of the general agency of The United Methodist Church known for years as the General Board of Discipleship, or GBOD. More ...

♦ Virginia Wesleyan College Clergy Seminar - March 16-17
The Rev. Jorge Acevedo, lead pastor at Grace Church, a multi-site United Methodist congregation in southwest Florida with over 2600 in attendance each week, will present on the topic “Turbo-Charging the Wesleyan Tradition in the 21st century” for a two-day continuing education seminar March 16-17 at Virginia Wesleyan College. The Virginia Wesleyan series began in 1999 and offers one continuing education credit for clergy. Registration may be conducted vial mail or online at For more information, call Virginia Wesleyan College at (757) 455-3217 or e-mail

♦ Bishop's Convocation on Prayer - March 21
Would you like to learn about the difference “Breakthrough Prayer” can make for your church? Would you like to learn about personal spiritual disciplines or how to apply spiritual disciplines in your congregation? Come to the Bishop’s Convocation on Prayer 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at Trinity UMC, 903 Forest Ave., Richmond. The Rev. Sue Nilson-Kibbey will be the plenary speaker, and 13 workshops will be offered to participants. More ...

♦ UMVIM Team Leader Training - March 28, 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.
♦ 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 ...

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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