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 Dec. 15, 2016
 Dec. 8, 2016
Dec. 1, 2016

Nov. 17, 2016
Nov. 10, 2016
Nov. 3, 2016

Oct. 27, 2016
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July 28, 2016
July 21, 2016
July 14, 2016 - News from SEJ Conference
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July 12, 2016
July 7, 2016

June 29, 2016
June 23, 2016
June 14, 2016
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June 3, 2016 - Special Annual Conference edition

May 26, 2016
News from 2016 General Conference (May 10-20)
May 3, 2016

April 27, 2016
April 22, 2016
April 15, 2016
April 7, 2016

March 30, 2016
March 23, 2016
March 21, 2016 - Annual Conference Special Offering
March 17, 2016
March 10, 2016
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Feb. 24, 2016
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News from the Virginia Conference - May 26, 2016

Bishop Cho issues letter about General Conference
Bishop Young Jin Cho issued a letter to all Virginia Conference United Methodists following the conclusion of General Conference 2016 in Portland, Ore. "The 2016 General Conference has adjourned," Bishop Cho wrote. "Although there were ups and downs during the sessions of the General Conference, we worshiped together, conversed with each other and struggled together. Together we recommitted ourselves to the mission which the risen Christ has entrusted to us. Therefore, we will continue to go and make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world." More ...

Conference offices close for Memorial Day holiday
Virginia Conference offices in Glen Allen will close at 1 p.m. Friday, May 27, and remain closed all day Monday, May 30, in observance of the Memorial Day holiday. Offices will reopen at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 31.

Rebuilding houses damaged by Feb. 24 tornadoes to begin June 6
Work on houses damaged by the Feb. 24 tornadoes begins June 6 in Waverly. Forrest White, Virginia Conference Disaster Recovery manager and UMVIM coordinator, reported that United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) teams are being scheduled to work out of the Waverly Center and the Appomattox/Evergreen Center. Announcements will be made when teams are needed in the Tappahannock/Essex Center. Week-long teams arrive Sunday and depart after the work day on Friday. Day teams and weekend teams can also be used. To check availability and to schedule teams for the summer and beyond, send an email to White at
     White reported that the Commonwealth of Virginia's second and final appeal for federal aid to help with recovery from the February tornadoes has been denied by FEMA, so churches are being asked to hold fundraisers to help raise money for survivors. If your church is willing to hold a fundraiser, contact Forrest White at

Disaster Recovery t-shirts for sale
Disaster Recovery t-shirts are available to purchase in adult sizes small-2XL for $15 each. T-shirt sales will help fund the conference's long-term disaster recovery ministry. Shirts are available in green or blue and will be for sale at Annual Conference. If you want them now, email Forrest White at

June issue of Advocate focuses on developing leaders for the church
The June issue of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate features articles on developing leaders for the church. One of the Four Areas of Ministry Focus of The United Methodist Church is developing principled Christian leaders. To strengthen leaders for the church, groups of diverse people must be recruited, including young people and women. Lay members must also be equipped for ministry on every level of the church. Learn how the Virginia Conference is growing leaders through programs like Lay Servant Academy and Calling 21. Meredith McNabb, director of the conference Center for Clergy Excellence, talks more about these programs as well as how the center finds leaders rooted in Christ who have a vision for changing the world. The Advocate is the official monthly magazine of the Virginia Conference. To subscribe to the Advocate – print, digital or both – call (804) 521-1110 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110; email; or go to

Advocate subscription rates to increase Sept. 1
The Virginia Conference Board of Communications voted to increase subscription rates for the Virginia United Methodist Advocate, the official monthly magazine of the Virginia Conference, effective Sept. 1. This will be the first rate increase in more than 16 years. (The last subscription increase was in March 2000.) A one-year subscription to the print version of the magazine will increase from $15 to $20. A two-year subscription will go from $25 to $30. A three-year subscription will go from $36 to $40. A one-year subscription to the online digital version of the magazine will remain $10, and multiple-year subscriptions to the online version will be offered for the first time: two-year subscription will be $15, and a three-year subscription will be $20. To receive both print and digital versions of the magazine for one year will cost $25, for two years will cost $35 and for three years will cost $45. Readers who want to lock in the current subscription rate for up to three years, should subscribe or renew prior to Sept. 1. To subscribe to the Advocate – print, digital or both – call (804) 521-1110 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110; email; or go to

Form to be used to nominate individuals to general church boards, agencies
Enclosed in the Book of Reports mailing to clergy and lay members of 2016 Annual Conference was a blue form to nominate individuals for inclusion in the Southeastern Jurisdiction (SEJ) nominations pool. Each annual conference in the United States elects persons to be submitted to a jurisdictional pool for potential service on general church boards and agencies. Recent delegates to General Conference are automatically in the pool. Between 15-45 additional persons can be nominated for purposes of racial, ethnic, disability and age inclusivity. The bishop and the general/jurisdictional conference delegation serve as the “nominating committee” for the SEJ pool. The blue form enclosed in the mailing offers the opportunity to make nominations from the floor. Once nomination forms have been received, the delegation will offer its recommendation during the Saturday morning session of Annual Conference. In order to nominate an individual:
      Nominations must be made in writing using the blue form in the Book of Reports mailing. All listed information is needed, so complete the form carefully.
      All nominees must be professing members of The United Methodist Church and active in local churches.
     DO NOT nominate an individual who has not given his or her consent to have his or her name lifted and agreed to serve if elected. Terms are for four years (with eligibility for a second four-year term), require travel to a minimum of two meetings per year with possible meeting locations outside the U.S. and commitment to the full work of the board/commission to which elected.
     If there is a preference for service on a particular board/agency, please note that in the general information section of the form. The following general church bodies may have openings: Connectional Table, General Board of Church and Society, General Board of Discipleship Ministries, General Board of Global Ministries, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, General Board of Pension and Health Benefits, United Methodist Publishing House, Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships, General Commission on Communication, General Commission on Religion and Race and General Commission on the Status and Role of Women.
     Completed forms must be given to Susan Reaves, Conference Secretary, by the end of the Friday afternoon session of Annual Conference. No nominations will be accepted after that time. Do not send forms by email or regular mail. Questions can be directed to Martha Stokes, chair of the Virginia Conference delegation, at

Volunteers needed in variety of roles for Annual Conference
The 2016 Virginia Annual Conference will be held at the Berglund Center in Roanoke Friday, June 17, through Sunday, June 19. Volunteers are needed to serve as ushers/greeters (especially for Friday night communion); to help with registration; to collect UMCOR Kits; to help unload, set up and/or pack up; direct traffic in the parking lot; assist with the Potato Drop; and collect for 4 CANS 4 Conference. Volunteer by calling the Roanoke District office at (540) 989-3335; e-mailing; or registering online at Individuals are also needed who can 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 Annual Conference sessions. Tasks include typing text of reports, worship and music using Microsoft Word, at times as the speaker is presenting. Good typing speed and accuracy are required. Volunteers are needed during all sessions for shifts of one hour or longer. More information is available from the office of Inclusivity and Lay Leadership Excellence at 1-800-768-6040 or (804) 521-1100, ext. 154, or

Nominations sought for John Wesley Distinguished Education Award
Nominations are still being sought for the 2016 John Wesley Distinguished Education Award which is given by the Virginia Conference Board of Higher Education Ministries to a United Methodist who has made a distinguished contribution to higher education (colleges, academy, Wesley Foundations and campus ministries) in the Virginia Conference. The award will be presented following Annual Conference in June in a setting appropriate to the recipient’s area of ministry. The Board feels that it is generally best not to consider a person still employed by one of our United Methodist institutions. However, persons who have had such employment and have moved on to other broader positions, or who have made particularly outstanding contributions during his/her active years with an institution, will be considered. Mail or email nominations to Paulo Lopes, conference director of Ministries with Young People, at or P.O. Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058-5606. All nominations are due no later than May 31.

Board of Church and Society sponsors trip to Israel/Palestine Jan. 30-Feb. 11
The Virginia Conference Board of Church and Society is sponsoring a Volunteers In Mission trip to Israel and Palestine Jan. 30 to Feb. 11, 2017. The trip will provide opportunities for learning, serving and seeing. Team members will visit religious sites and United Methodist missions projects. There will be opportunities to serve at some of those mission projects. Team members will also visit and meet with Palestinians, both Christian and Muslim, as well as Israeli Jews. The team will learn more about the struggles of life in Palestine and efforts to create a just and hopeful future. Team leaders are the Rev. John Copenhaver and the Rev. Steve Jones, both certified VIM Team leaders. For more information, contact either leader at or

Churches asked to take Samaritan Offering May 8-June 19
Churches in the Virginia Conference are asked to receive a special offering between Mother’s Day on May 8 and Father’s Day on June 19 for the 2016 Samaritan Offering to support the Samaritan Program of Virginia United Methodist Homes (VUMH), a benevolent fund which provides financial assistance to residents who have outlived their monetary resources and, through no fault of their own, can no longer afford the full cost of their care. VUMH mailed each charge a packet of promotional materials and giving envelopes. With the exception of the envelopes, all of the materials are available on the VUMH website at under the “Samaritan Program” section. The website also includes bulletin inserts for each Sunday during the offering emphasis. For help in telling the VUMH story within your congregation or extra copies of promotional materials, contact Martha Stokes, director of Church and Community Relations at Virginia United Methodist Homes, at or (804) 474-8718. More....

Contributions to honor Bishop Cho will fund 'Spiritual Leadership' training
Bishop Young Jin Cho will retire from active ministry on Aug. 31 of this year, after having served four years as the episcopal leader of the Virginia Conference. To honor his service, the conference Committee on Episcopacy is inviting Virginia United Methodists to make contributions to the Bishops Foundation endowment to fund training and leadership development for clergy and laity in the area of “Spiritual Leadership.” To make a donation to honor Bishop Cho, send a check payable to “Virginia United Methodist Conference,” earmarked for “Bishop Cho donation,” to Treasurer, Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 5605, Glen Allen, VA 23058. Or, click here to make a donation online using a credit card. More ...

Westview on James seeks nurse for summer camp
Westview on the James, United Methodist camp in Goochland, is looking for a Registered Nurse or LPN to serve campers and staff during nine weeks of summer camp. Options to work the entire nine weeks of summer or two to four weeks may be available. For more information, contact Program Director Anna Muller at or (804) 457-4210.

Alta Mons seeks two male counselors
Alta Mons, United Methodist camp and retreat center in Shawsville, is looking for two male counselors for the 2016 summer staff. For more information, contact Meredith Simmons at or (540) 268-2409. Applications are available online at

GraceInside prison ministry seeks full-time office administrator
GraceInside, Virginia’s Prison Chaplain Service, seeks a full-time office administrator to provide administrative support to ensure efficient operation of the office. The administrator will support managers and employees through a variety of tasks related to organization and communication, including communicating via phone and email, ensuring that all administrative assistant duties are completed accurately and delivered with high quality and in a timely manner, organizing and scheduling meetings and appointments, maintaining contact lists, producing and distributing memos, letters, faxes and forms, doing data entry, preparing reports and invoices, keeping track of deadlines for grants/reports, and purchasing and maintaining office equipment and supplies. To apply, send current resume to by Friday, June 10. More ...

2016 General Conference wrap-up: farewell to Portland
Believe it or not, General Conference 2016 spent more than twice as much time debating a Rule of Order than the hot topic of human sexuality. After almost three days of considering an alternative method for discussing legislation, The United Methodist Church’s top legislative body referred its most difficult subject — sexuality — to a study commission and moved on to other matters. More ...

Council of Bishops issues letter following 2016 General Conference
Reviving a tradition that is more than 200 years old, the United Methodist Council of Bishops sent a letter on May 23 to the people of The United Methodist Church following the 2016 General Conference, held in Portland, Oregon, May 10-20. More ...

2016 General Conference legislation promotes expanded health care
A piece of legislation approved by the 2016 General Conference calls for The United Methodist Church to advocate for the improvement of health care in the United States. The legislation outlines a plan for the church to work with U.S. government officials to improve health care coverage for all citizens, specifically including ethnic minorities. More ...

Minnesota, Dakotas United Methodists prepare for GC2020
Most United Methodists in Portland, Ore., were focused on General Conference 2016, but a dozen Minnesota and Dakotas United Methodists were looking ahead to General Conference 2020 in Minneapolis, Minn. More ...

Foundation for Evangelism offers grants to college ministry
At General Conference, the Foundation for Evangelism announced a new pilot grant program for ministry on U.S. college campus. The foundation will provide grants of up to $50,000 in each of three years to an innovative campus-focused ministry with a mission to engage, form and grow disciples of Jesus Christ. Deadline to apply is Aug. 1. More ...

UMCom seeks Strategic Marketing manager
United Methodist Communications (UMCom), headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., is seeking a Strategic Marketing Manager to work with the Strategic Marketing and Advertising team to develop and execute strategic marketing plans to promote the agency and its clients’ services, products and resources. He/She will provide leadership in the overall marketing efforts and must stay abreast of marketing trends to seek out ways to promote the agency’s programs, resources and services. Other responsibilities will include participation in research, identification and integration of best practices in marketing, advertising and branding communication using various channels. This manager will develop measurement strategy, implement return-on-investment reporting systems and participate in the development of long-term plans to innovate local church marketing strategies. More ...

UMCom seeks director, Seeker Advertising and Communication
United Methodist Communications (UMCom), headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., is seeking a Director of Seeker Advertising and Communication to develop faith-based strategic communications plans, messaging and initiatives for seeker focused advertising and social media campaigns. Goal is to raise awareness of The United Methodist Church nationally and globally. The successful candidate will direct campaigns by identifying, developing, writing and promoting newsworthy stories about the current Rethink Church campaign (and future campaigns). This innovative leader will oversee the content for the website and its social media presence. He/She must be able to lead the creation, development and implementation of digital advertising projects, collaborate on: development of ad copy, eblast, promotional and creative materials and manage the Advertising /Communications department budget. More ...

♦ UMVIM Team Leader and Recertification Training - June 4, June 11, July 16
Some confusion remains regarding training necessary to serve in tornado-affected areas now that the Recovery (rebuilding) phase has begun. Volunteers do not need Early Response Team (ERT) training. Each volunteer team does need a trained United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) team leader. To that end, Forrest White, Virginia Conference Long-term Recovery Manager and UMVIM Coordinator, will lead UMVIM team leader training on Saturday, June 4, (Eastern Shore District), Saturday, June 11 (Staunton District), and Saturday, July 16, (Fredericksburg District). Recertification training will be offered Saturday, June 11, (Staunton District) and Saturday, July 16,(Fredericksburg District). Click here to register for Team Leader Training and click here to register for UMVIM Recertification.

♦ Communications Dinner Seminar at Annual Conference - June 17
The Conference Board of Communications will host a dinner seminar this year at Annual Conference 5 to 7:15 p.m. Friday, June 17, in the Berglund Center. Speakers will address the need for churches to communicate in a technology-infused world, with breakout discussions on topics including social media, website design and hosting, blogging and more. Cost is $10 per participant and includes a meal. Questions about the dinner program may be directed to Susan Petrey at Click here to register.

♦ Clergy Spouse Luncheon at Annual Conference - June 18
The Annual Clergy Spouse Luncheon at Annual Conference will be held at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, June 18, at Greene Memorial UMC, Roanoke. Speaker will be from Rescue Mission Ministries. Event will be catered by 2nd Helpings. Cost is $12 for adult, $7 for child. RSVP to Lydia Weeks at (540) 886-1460 or Deadline to register is June 9.

♦ Missional Ministries/Church and Society Annual Conference luncheon - June 18
Dr. Olusimbo Ige, executive director of the Global Health unit of the General Board of Global Ministries, will be guest speaker at the Missional Ministries Board/Board of Church and Society combined Annual Conference luncheon at 12 noon Saturday, June 18, in Berglund Hall at the Berglund Center in Roanoke. Dr. Olusimbo will tell the story of the UMC’s commitment to health world-wide as well as in the U.S. Cost is $17 per person. Register online at

♦ Helping Hands mission experience for children - June 22-23, July 21-22
Helping Hands, an exciting two-day mission experience for rising 4th-6th graders, parents and adult leaders, will be June 22-23 at St. Paul’s UMC in Staunton and July 21-22 at Woodlake UMC in Midlothian. Come and learn about mission opportunities and the importance of being a caring Christian. Cost is $36 per person and includes a t-shirt, meals, snacks and overnight stay. The event will include worship, fellowship and mission experiences in the community. Registration forms for each site can be found at

♦ 2 Days 2 Serve for high school youths - July 22-23
"2 Days 2 Serve" will be held July 22-23 at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland to help high school youths examine God's call, whether they are feeling called to be teachers, scientists, artists, pastors, social workers, public servants or something entirely new and different. This event offers four hands-on experiences requiring different skills and gifts, each experience followed by a time of reflection and discernment. This is an opportunity to stretch, to try new things, and to learn a new way of listening for God's call. Cost is $20, including meals and one night lodging at R-MC. Sign up with the conference office of Clergy Excellence at More ...

♦ Mission Encounter - July 29-31
Mission Encounter, the only conference-wide mission education and interpretation event, will be July 29-31 at Randolph-Macon College, Ashland. Mission Encounter is an opportunity for clergy and laity to learn about being partners in God’s global mission and to grow spiritually through study and worship. It is open to men, women and youths. Participants may attend one of three workshops: spiritual growth study on "The Bible and Human Sexuality" led by the Rev. Dr. Rob Vaughn, the Rev. Myrtle Frances Hatcher and Prof. Esther Barkat; issue study on "Climate Justice" led by the Rev. Pat Watkins and the Rev. Dottie Yunger; or geographic study on "Latin America-People and Faith" led by Don Edwards. For more information, contact Dennis Lipke, dean of the Mission Encounter Committee, at or (804) 262-8651. 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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The Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church
10330 Staples Mill Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060
PO Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058-5606
(804) 521-1100
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