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News from the Virginia Conference - May 7, 2015

Madeline Pillow hired as Virginia Advocate editor
Madeline Pillow, 25, has been hired as editor of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate and News Associate working in the conference Communications office. She will begin her duties June 1. More ...

Nominees for General Conference, jurisdictional conference posted on website
Members of the 2015 session of the Virginia Annual Conference, meeting June 19-21 in Roanoke, will elect 22 delegates to the 2016 General Conference (11 clergy and 11 laity) and an additional 11 clergy and 11 laity to join General Conference delegates for the 2016 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference. A total of 110 clergy and 100 laity have been nominated, according to conference rules, as candidates for the delegations. A complete list of these candidates and their biographical nomination forms can be viewed and/or downloaded at To purchase a printed copy of the clergy nominees or laity nominees booklet at a cost of $15 each, contact Bev Myers at

Virginia Conference has saved 56,804 lives from malaria
As of May 1, Virginia Conference United Methodists have raised $568,044.61 and saved more than 56,804 lives for Imagine No Malaria. That number does not include at least $41,565 raised at lemonade stands across the conference on World Malaria Day, according to Maria Maxwell, conference field coordinator for Imagine No Malaria. "I've received reports from local churches about how much money they raised in their lemonade stands," Maxwell said, "but we haven't received and processed those funds, so we are not yet including them in our totals. It will be exciting when we receive the lemonade stand funds and watch our totals rise." Even so, we're more than halfway toward our goal to save 100,000+ lives by 2015 Annual Conference which will be June 19-21. More ...

Rochford to paddle kayak 70 miles for Imagine No Malaria
Next Wednesday, May 13, the Rev. Dave Rochford, Staunton District superintendent, will begin paddling his kayak 70 miles down rivers on the western side of the district and beyond to save lives from malaria. He 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. So far, the churches have raised at least $7,000, saving 700 lives. 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 at Williamsville on the Bullpasture River and make his way to the Cowpasture, all the way down through Bath County and into Allegheny.

Rethink Church to run TV commercials in Roanoke-Lynchburg area
From May 11 to June 14, Rethink Church is running TV spots in the Roanoke-Lynchburg area that feature the message of The United Methodist Church. This series of TV commercials features real-life United Methodist Church members living out their faith by putting their beliefs into action: both inside the church building and out in the world. Click here for more information and a calendar of approximately where/when these spots will be running.

Clara BiswasClara Biswas available to speak in churches in June
Clara Biswas, General Board of Global Ministries missionary in Cambodia, will be in Virginia June 3-25. Her schedule is full from invitations across the conference for most of this time. However, she does have a couple of days available after Annual Conference specifically for districts within a reasonable commute of Roanoke: Staunton, Roanoke, Danville or Lynchburg. If your congregation  would like to extend an invitation to host Clara for an engagement June 22-24, providing transportation as needed, contact Ann Klotz, conference Missionary Itineration coordinator, at

Credit Union seeks volunteers for Asset/Liability Committee
The Virginia United Methodist Credit Union is seeking volunteers to serve on the credit union’s Asset/Liability Committee (ALCO). This committee of the board meets monthly (either in-person or telephonically), and helps the board in overall financial management of the organization and assures that related policies and procedures are followed. A financial management or accounting background is preferred. Selected individuals will work closely with the credit union treasurer and CEO. Send indication of interest to Jim Eads, CEO, at

Westview on James seeks registered nurse for summer camp
Camp Westview on the James is looking for a registered nurse to serve campers and staff during nine weeks of summer camp. The camp is set on 780 acres of land on the James River in Goochland County. Room and board will be provided in private comfortable housing. For details, visit the Virginia Conference website at and scroll down to “Other.”

Camp Alta Mons needs volunteer camp nurse
Camp Alta Mons, in scenic southwest Virginia, needs a volunteer camp nurse for the week of July 12-17. If you or someone you know would be interested, contact Meredith Simmons, Alta Mons program coordinator, at (540) 266-4266 or

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 under the “Samaritan Program” section. Your support of this special offering is crucial not only to inform each congregation of the opportunity to give, but also to share the story of VUMH, its communities for older adults and the need for benevolent care. 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.

Sunday, May 24, is conference-wide Day of Prayer
Bishop Young Jin Cho is inviting all churches in the Virginia Conference to participate in the second annual conference-wide Day of Prayer on Sunday, May 24. "We began this campaign last year to help create a culture of prayer in our conference as the basis for a renewal and revival of our churches," Bishop Cho said. "This year May 24 (Sunday) is the date of our conference-wide Day of Prayer. I invite every church to remember this day and to pray for a renewal and revival of the churches in our conference and in the entire United Methodist Church." More ...

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, and the goal is to celebrate the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have enriched the church. Click here to get resources.

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.

Bishops ask if agency restructure plan is constitutional
Virginia delegates huddle to discuss possible next steps after the Judicial Council ruled "Plan UMC" unconstitutional. UMNS photo by Mike DuBose.United Methodist bishops have asked the denomination's top court to weigh in on a proposal to restructure The United Methodist Church's general agencies before General Conference delegates consider the plan in May 2016. The Council of Bishops stressed that the decision to ask for a Judicial Council review did not endorse or oppose the plan. More ...

Ough, Carter elected to lead Council of Bishops
Dakotas-Minnesota Area Bishop Bruce Ough will be the next president of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, effective in 2016, and Florida Area Bishop Kenneth Carter was elected president-designate. Read press release. The elections took place during the May meeting of the Council of Bishops in Berlin. More ...

Bishops urged to speak out against racism
United Methodist bishops must speak out against racism and address the anger that has sparked riots in Baltimore and other U.S. cities, Bishop Warner Brown Jr., Council of Bishops president, told his colleagues. Brown also appealed to the people of The United Methodist Church in a letter calling them to join together in prayer for the church and the world. Read bishop's letter to church. Brown, a Baltimore native and former police chaplain, spoke with passion about events in his hometown and other cities across the United States. More ...

BMCR chair calls for 'real action' from churches
United Methodists and their churches need to take real, intentional action in addressing deaths of young African-American men in police custody, writes the Rev. Cedric Bridgeforth, chairperson of Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR). "Real action at this time calls for every person who calls her or himself a follower of Jesus to ponder what righteous statement of faith or act of mercy you must perform to demonstrate your commitment to healing our land. Too many of our black men are dying and too many of us are too silent to make a difference," Bridgeforth writes. More ...

May 23 concert in Washington, D.C., to benefit Imagine No Malaria
Tickets are on sale for the 2015 Wesley Choral Festival Gala Concert, an event featuring choirs and individual choral singers from across the nation, to be held at 8 p.m. Saturday, May 23, at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. One hundred percent of ticket sales will benefit Imagine No Malaria, an initiative of the people of The United Methodist Church to reduce preventable deaths from malaria. More ...

GCORR seeks Communications director
The General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) of The United Methodist Church (UMC) is seeking a Communications director to provide strategic communications direction and tactical support for GCORR. The position is located in Washington, D.C. More ...

Applications open for fall 2015 student loans
Applications for United Methodist student loans opened May 1 for students enrolled Aug. 1-Dec. 31 seeking loans for fall 2015. Learn more or apply for a loan. The mother of loan recipient Mikala Mayhugh credits the United Methodist student loan with helping her daughter pay for school when the family faced financial difficulties. More ...

♦ Your Legacy and Life Beyond this Life - May 12
The Virginia Conference Older Adult Council is partnering with Overlook Retreat & Camp Ministries to offer "Your Legacy and Life Beyond this Life!" one-day retreat on Tuesday, May 12, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Camp Overlook in Keezletown. The morning will focus on the legacy we leave as older adults. The afternoon will be encounters with eternal life as shared by individuals who have had glimpses of heaven. Lodging is available the night before. For more information and to register, go to

♦ Renewing God’s Creation in Northern Virginia - May 16
Renewing God’s Creation in Northern Virginia: United Methodist Gathering for Fellowship and Action will be held 2-4 p.m. Saturday, May 16, at The Church of the Good Shepherd, 2351 Hunter Mill Road, Vienna. The Rev. Pat Watkins, missionary for God’s Renewed Creation with the General Board of Global Ministries, will speak on "Renewal of Creation in the Church and World." A representative from the Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions will speak on "Advocating for Climate Action in Fairfax County." Participants will share stories of greening churches/communities and plan opportunities for cultivation and future gatherings. For more information, contact Brian Christoffersen, Arlington District Church and Society representative, at

♦ UMVIM Team Leader Training - 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. Training is scheduled for Saturday, May 16, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at 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. More ...

♦ UMVIM Team Leader Training - May 30
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. Training is scheduled for Saturday, May 30, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Shady Grove UMC, Short Pump, 4825 Pouncey Tract Rd., Glen Allen. Click here to register online and pay by credit card. Click here to download a pdf file and pay by check. More ...

♦ School for Children's Ministries - May 30
The School for Children’s Ministries is on the road again featuring the same school at four different locations on four different dates. The first will be Saturday, May 30, at New Life UMC in Midlothian (Richmond District). Learn "Extraordinary Lessons from Ordinary Objects" plus three more workshops. A .5 CEU offered. Encourage your children’s ministry team to attend. Only $20 per person. Click here for more information and to register. This Fall, the school will be held Sept. 12 at Timberlake UMC, Lynchburg; Oct. 17 at Thalia UMC, Virginia Beach; and Nov. 7 at Good Shepherd UMC, Dale City.

♦ 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 ...

♦ 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 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 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 or 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 For more information, contact MaryKaye Cochran at (804) -639-8872 or 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 For information about the Virginia Conference and resources for ministry, visit the Virginia Conference website at






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