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News from the Virginia Conference - May 29, 2015

Annual Conference registration to open at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, June 18
At this year's Annual Conference in Roanoke, the registration desk will be open 12:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 18; 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, June 19; and 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, June 20. Clergy and Laity sessions will begin at 10 a.m. Friday, June 19. Because of the need to assign and distribute electronic voting devices, Annual Conference members who are in Roanoke on Thursday are encouraged to register on that day. Others are encouraged to register as early as possible on Friday.

Wi-Fi to be off at Annual Conference to allow for electronic voting
During the 2015 session of the Virginia Annual Conference, conference members will elect delegates to the 2016 General Conference and the 2016 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference. For the first time, the Virginia Conference will use electronic voting devices. To ensure that the electronic voting devices operate as efficiently as possible, all Wi-Fi inside the Berglund Center coliseum will be turned off. If you plan to use a digital version of the Book of Reports during Annual Conference, you should download it to your mobile device prior to arriving at Annual Conference. You will not be able to access the conference website via Wi-Fi once you are inside the coliseum. In addition, everyone will be asked to turn off or put in “airplane mode” all Wi-Fi-enabled devices (cell phones, hot spots, tablets, laptops, etc.) during the times we are voting for General and Jurisdictional Conference delegates.

Child care to be offered during Annual Conference
During this year's Annual Conference session, child care for children birth to 11 years old will be offered free of charge 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday, June 19, and Saturday, June 20; 7 to 9:30 p.m. during the ordination service on Saturday, June 20; and 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, June 21, at Grace United Methodist Church, 4404 Williamson Rd., Roanoke, approximately three miles from the Berglund Center and conveniently located near the main hotel block. Child care will be staffed by area churches following Safe Sanctuaries guidelines. Children may participate in crafts, play time and story time. Lunches and snacks will be provided. A movie night is being organized for Saturday night during ordination. Click here to download registration form. Registrations are limited to the first 50 children and must be received by the Roanoke District office by Friday, June 12.
     “Parents Place” will be available onsite at the Berglund Center (in the Media Room of the coliseum, down a ramp located under Gate 11). This is a room available for parents to play with, rock, change and feed children. It has rocking chairs, cribs, changing tables, play mats, some toys, a TV and DVD player. This area is not staffed. Parents will be responsible for their child(ren) in this area. For more information, contact the Roanoke District office at (540) 989-3335 or Dan Elmore at danelmore@vaumc.org or (804) 898-1765. More ...

Change proposed for human sexuality discussion
Eight resolutions and 16 petitions to General Conference have been submitted for consideration at this year's Virginia Annual Conference session. In light of the charged nature of discussions around the issue of human sexuality, and the limited time available since the election of lay and clergy delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conferences is the top priority, the Resolutions Committee will recommend that the rules be suspended to allow a time of holy conferencing on all the General Conference petitions dealing with human sexuality (Petitions 2, 8, 11, 14). (The full texts of the petitions are in the Book of Reports which has been mailed to all clergy and laity members of Annual Conference and can be downloaded from the conference website.) This time of holy conferencing in groups of six will allow fairness in that all persons will have a voice for two minutes in an atmosphere of prayer, facilitated by the chair of the Resolutions Committee, Mochel Morris. Following this time of holy conferencing, a written ballot will be received that includes all four petitions. The written ballot will allow all persons to vote their own conscience as they hear God’s Spirit leading them without concern for what others around them may think. The motion to suspend the rules will be made Saturday afternoon during the time allotted for dealing with resolutions and petitions. If the motion is approved, the time for holy conferencing will be Sunday morning following Bible study and the report of the Minutes Committee with an Order of the Day being set at 10 a.m. for reports of the statistician, treasurer and Council on Finance and Administration.

Consent Agenda for Annual Conference posted on web
The 2015 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 3:30 p.m. Friday, June 19.

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 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 cheryledleyworford@vaumc.org.

Volunteer video camera operators needed for Annual Conference
The Virginia Conference Communications Board is seeking volunteers to operate video cameras during the 2015 Annual Conference. Youths and adults can serve. All camera operators must attend a training session at 5 p.m. Thursday, June 18, and will work in shifts throughout the conference sessions. If you have a desire to serve in this way, contact Betsey Davis at betseydavis@me.com.

Annual Conference attendees offered discounts at area restaurants
The Roanoke Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau is offering all those attending this year's Annual Conference session in Roanoke an invitation to participate in Virginia's Blue Ridge Badge (VBRB) discount program. The VBRB program offers meeting attendees the opportunity to receive special offers and discounts at various restaurants throughout the Roanoke Valley. All they have to do is show participating businesses their conference badge. To view current offers and participants, visit the VBRB webpage.

Video tells of Staunton D.S. trip down river
On Wednesday, May 13, the Rev. Dave Rochford, Staunton District superintendent, began a four-day trip paddling his kayak down rivers on the western side of the district and beyond to save lives from malaria. He had challenged Staunton District churches to help send him down the river by sponsoring his trip. For every $100 donated to Imagine No Malaria, Rochford agreed to paddle a mile. Churches raised more than $13,000, saving 1,300 lives. To watch a video about his adventure, and see other videos highlighting ministries of the Virginia Conference, go to the conference YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/vaumcvideos and the conference Facebook page at www.facebook.com/vaumconf.

Peace with Justice Sunday is May 31
Peace with Justice Sunday is May 31. The Virginia Conference Board of Church and Society and the office of Justice and Missional Excellence are asking Virginia churches to make a special effort to support this special Sunday offering this year. The offering is for the purpose of financing activities (a) to achieve the "Policies for a Just Peace" contained in the Council of Bishops' Foundation Document "In Defense of Creation," and (b) to pursue other justice and peace objectives contained within the vision of shalom in that document. The offering is divided between the General Board of Church and Society and the Virginia Conference. Churches and other United Methodist groups are eligible to apply for grants from the conference Peace with Justice Grant fund.

Churches asked to take Samaritan Offering May 10-June 21
Churches in the Virginia Conference are asked to receive a special offering between Mother’s Day on May 10 and Father’s Day on June 21 for the 2015 Samaritan Offering to support the Samaritan Program of Virginia United Methodist Homes (VUMH). The benevolent fund 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, including a short informational DVD, offering envelopes and a copy of the new VUMH 2015 Giving Catalog. Additional suggestions for promoting this special offering, including cut-and-paste newsletter articles, bulletin announcements, Facebook posts, Tweets, worship resources and bulletin inserts, are posted on the website at www.vumh.org under the “Samaritan Program” section. 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 MStokes@VUMH.org or (804) 474-8718.

May is Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month
Resources for observing Asian-Pacific-American Heritage Month in May are available from United Methodist Discipleship Ministries. Resources include liturgy, prayers, hymns and songs. Goal is to celebrate the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched the church. Click here to get resources.

Proposal calls for global funding of general church
For the first time, United Methodist churches around the world would have a set formula to support financially the denomination’s global ministries, under a plan going before the 2016 General Conference. The board of the General Council on Finance and Administration on May 20 approved a proposal for apportionment giving from the central conferences – the seven church regions in Africa, Europe and the Philippines. More ...

Northeastern Jurisdiction considers episcopal reduction
In a letter to United Methodists in the denomination's Northeastern Jurisdiction, the jurisdiction's College of Bishops said it is in "prayerful consideration" regarding possible solutions to address the potential reduction of an episcopal area in the jurisdiction. Read letter

United Methodist killed in Texas floods
Flooding in south and central Texas over Memorial Day weekend forced a United Methodist couple onto the roof of their home, with the husband losing his grasp and the wife holding on and singing hymns for several hours. Larry Thomas, a 74-year-old member of Wimberley United Methodist Church, was swept away and died in the floods that engulfed houses along the Blanco River in Wimberley, Tex. His wife, Carol Thomas, survived with scratches and bruises. Elsewhere in south Texas, United Methodist relief efforts began and the Texas Annual Conference carried on with its annual gathering in Houston, despite flooding there. More ...

Agency urges withholding funds from East Africa
The United Methodist Church's finance agency has agreed to repay Bishop Daniel Wandabula's salary as ordered by the denomination's top court. But the agency's board urged congregations and other denominational bodies to continue withholding funds from the East Africa Conference until it can ensure accountability. More ...

Watch video to see how to pack UMCOR health kit
In this video, the Rev. Brian Diggs, director of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) depot in Salt Lake City, takes viewers through the steps to assemble an UMCOR health kit, providing useful advice before items are shipped to any of the UMCOR Relief-Supply Network depots. Watch video

Wesley Theological Seminary seeks Registrar
Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., is currently accepting applications for the Registrar position. The Registrar reports to the Dean and is responsible for management and oversight of the Registrar’s office. The Registrar’s office is responsible for student registration, maintenance of academic records, transfer evaluations and managing degree progress. Registrar is also responsible for compliance with all relevant laws, policies and regulations. This office ensures that student records are maintained with integrity and confidentiality. The Registrar also serves as budget manager for the Registrar’s office and commencement. More ...

UM Seminar familiarization to be June 24-26, July 7-9
Youth group and young adult leaders of ethnic minority local churches are invited to attend a three-day “In Focus” familiarization event about United Methodist Seminars June 24-26. (Registration deadline is June 5.) Pastors and directors of campus ministries are invited to attend an "In Focus" event July 7-9. (Registration deadline is June 26.) Both events will introduce the seminars, which are custom-designed to meet attendee requests, and explain how to organize and lead a group for these tailored study experiences in the nation’s capital. More ...

♦ Conference on Aging - June 2
The Virginia Conference Older Adult Ministries and the Lynchburg District Older Adult Ministries are co-sponsors of the Lynchburg College Beard Center 2015 Conference on Aging to be held Tuesday, June 2, on the Lynchburg College campus in Lynchburg. Theme is “Aging Well in Mind, Body, Spirit.” Keynotes will include “Choosing to live a happy, balanced, vibrant life” by Kathleen Passanisi, internationally recognized speaker, humorist and medical professional; and "May the circle be unbroken: Spirituality, faith and aging" by James L. Brooks, associate state director for AARP Virginia and ordained United Church of Christ pastor. More ...

♦ Basic Care Spiritual and Emotional Care Training - June 5-6
United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) offers Basic Care Spiritual and Emotional Care Training for Virginia Conference clergy and laity to learn how to be present to their neighbors in times of disaster by responding to their spiritual and emotional needs. This seven-hour course will be offered 5:30-9 p.m. Friday, June 5, and 8:30 a.m.-12 noon Saturday, June 6, at St. Luke’s UMC, 300 Ella Taylor Rd., Grafton. Trainer is the Rev. Ellen W. Comstock, LPC, Pastoral Counselor. Reserve a space by e-mailing Comstock at ellencomstock@vaumc.org. Registration deadline is May 31. More ...

♦ Helping Hands - June 29-30
This event June 29-30 at Fairview UMC, Danville, gives rising 4th-6th graders the opportunity to do hands-on missions in the Danville/Pittsylvania County area. Participants have the option of early-bird registration which includes three on-site mission opportunities or regular registration which includes two on-site mission opportunities. For more information, contact Katherine Lewis at (434) 792-3391 or director.fumc@comcast.net. More ...

♦ Small Membership Congregation Pastor training - July 11
All Virginia Conference pastors of small congregations (fewer than 150 in worship) are invited to a training event specifically designed around opportunities and challenges of the small congregation. This event will be 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 11, at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center in Blackstone. Dr. Lew Parks, professor at Wesley Theological Seminary who has specific interest in the small congregation, will be featured speaker. Bishop Cho will lead worship to close the day. Cost is $25 and includes lunch. 0.5 CEU will be offered. Register at VAUMC.org/SMC-Training by July 1. More ...

♦ Helping Hands - July 16-17
This exciting two-day mission experience for rising 4th-6th graders, parents and adult leaders of all member churches of the Virginia Conference, will be held July 16-17 at Christ UMC, Staunton. Come and learn about mission opportunities and the importance of being a caring Christian. Cost is $36 per person which includes t-shirt, meals, snacks and overnight stay. Participants will sleep on the floor and will not have shower facilities. Registration deadline is June 10. For more information, contact Beth Christian at (540) 932-1055 or bethchristian@vaumc.org. More ...

♦ LAUNCH: Explore Your Call to Ministry - July 20-22
The office of Spiritual Life at Shenandoah University and the Virginia Conference Board of Ordained Ministry invite students who are rising high school sophomores, juniors and seniors to explore their calls to ministry while discovering their spiritual gifts from God July 20-22 at Shenandoah University in Winchester. Participants live on campus and meals are provided. Cost is $50. For more information, contact the Rev. Dr. Justin Allen, dean of Spiritual Life at Shenandoah University, at jallen3@su.edu or spirituallife@su.edu. More ...

♦ Helping Hands - July 23-24
The July 23-24 Helping Hands Virginia Conference event will be held at Woodlake UMC in Midlothian. This event gives rising 4th-6th graders the opportunity to do hands-on missions in the Richmond area. Participants have the option of early-bird registration which includes three on-site mission opportunities or regular registration which includes two on-site mission opportunities. To register go to www.woodlakeumc.org/helpinghands. For more information, contact MaryKaye Cochran at (804) -639-8872 or mcochran@woodlakeumc.org. More ...

♦ Mission Encounter - July 24-26
Mission Encounter, an opportunity for clergy and laity to learn about being partners in God’s global mission and to grow spiritually through study and worship, will be July 24-26 at Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center, Blackstone. Click here to view video. Mission Encounter is open to men, women and youths. Participants may attend one of three workshops: geographic study on “Latin America” led by Marilyn Blagg, Lori Valentine deSegovia and Don Edwards; spiritual growth study on “Created for Happiness” led by Louise Miller, the Rev. Dr. Donna Mott and Darlene Runaldue (Korean study led by the Rev. Hyunsik Kang); or issue study on “The Church and People with Disabilities” led by Brenda Connelly. For registration questions, call JoAnn Liskey at (540) 434-2997. For scholarship information, call Nancy Yarborough at (757) 877-2155. 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 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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