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To view a 2014 issue of the Virginia Conference e-Advocate, click on the date below:

Dec. 18, 2014
Dec. 10, 2014
Dec. 4, 2014

Nov. 21, 2014 - Day of Holy Conversation
Nov. 20, 2014
Nov. 13, 2014
Nov. 6, 2014

Oct. 28, 2014
Oct. 16, 2014
Oct. 10, 2014
Oct. 2, 2014

Sept. 25, 2014
Sept. 18, 2014
Sept. 11, 2014
Sept. 4, 2014

Aug. 28, 2014
Aug. 22, 2014
Aug. 15, 2014
Aug. 7, 2014

July 30, 2014
July 24, 2014
July 17, 2014
July 10, 2014
July 2, 2014

June 24, 2014
June 12, 2014
June 5, 2014

May 29, 2014 - Special Annual Conference edition
May 23, 2014
May 15, 2014
May 8, 2014

April 24, 2014
April 16, 2014
April 10, 2014
April 3, 2014

March 26, 2014
March 20, 2014
March 13, 2014
March 10, 2014
March 5, 2014

Feb. 27, 2014
Feb. 20, 2014
Feb. 17, 2014
Feb. 12, 2014
Feb. 6, 2014

Jan. 30, 2014
Jan. 23, 2014
Jan. 16, 2014
Jan. 9, 2014

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News from the Virginia Conference - Nov. 13, 2014

Register now to participate in Nov. 22 'Day of Holy Conversation'
Noon Monday, Nov. 17, is the deadline to register to participate in the "Day of Holy Conversation" on Saturday, Nov. 22, to facilitate conversation on the subject of human sexuality. The event will be held 9:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. at Woodlake UMC in Chesterfield and live streamed to 12 additional sites across the conference. All Virginia Conference clergy and laity are invited to participate at one of the sites. Click here to register online at one of the 13 locations. Registration fee is $10, which includes lunch. More ...

Virginia Conference has saved 20,073 lives from malaria so far
As of Nov. 11, Virginia Conference United Methodists have raised $200,730 (and saved 20,073 lives) for Imagine No Malaria since Annual Conference voted to save 100,000+ lives in the next year. Read the stories posted on the conference Imagine No Malaria Facebook page and the conference website about how churches and individuals are raising money to save lives. Only $10 will save a life. Every Life can Save a Life. For more information, contact Maria Maxwell, Virginia Conference Imagine No Malaria field coordinator, at (804) 521-1160 or

Bowling Green UMC youth group sells calendars to fight malaria
The Bowling Green UMC youth group is selling calendars for Imagine No Malaria. Doing their part to save lives! Pastor is the Rev. James Edwards. Call the church office, (804) 633-5769, if you are interested.

November issue of Advocate features 'How to Reach New People'
The November issue of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate focuses on how churches can reach new people. The old way – waiting for people to show up on Sunday morning – no longer works. The conference Center for Congregational Excellence is offering a new workshop in locations around the conference to teach new ways to meet new people and offer ideas for connecting with unchurched people in the community. 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; e-mail; or go to

November is Native American Heritage Month
November is Native American Heritage Month. The General Board of Discipleship and the Native American Comprehensive Plan offer prayer and worship resources. More ...

United Methodist Student Day is Sunday, Nov. 30
Sunday, Nov. 30, is United Methodist Student Day. Gifts received from this special offering become an investment in the future of the church through direct scholarships for higher education. The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) Office of Loans and Scholarships administers these programs that award more than 3,500 students annually. Click here for pastor and leader kit resources. More ...

December is United Methodist Family Services Month
The Virginia Conference has designated December the month in which local churches are encouraged to receive special offerings to support United Methodist Family Services (UMFS). This year UMFS is sending churches its Christmas Gifts of Hope catalog in place of a bulletin insert. “Without the support of The United Methodist Church and local congregations like yours, we could not do the incredible work we do,” said the Rev. Joe Torrence, minister of Church Relations for UMFS. “For more than 100 years, UMFS has been empowering children, families and communities in Virginia to work together and realize their shared potential. Your gift is one example of how our connection works at its best and how we can offer Christmas Gifts of Hope to Virginia’s children in need.” Click here for offering materials and Advent resources.

Applications for conference Advance Specials due Dec. 15
The conference Board of Global Ministries is now accepting applications from ministries that want to be 2015 Virginia Conference Advance Specials. Go to to download an application. To be eligible for promotion as a conference Advance Special, a mission, ministry or project must be located within the bounds of the Virginia Conference. Closing date to submit an application is Dec. 15. For more information, contact Glenn Rowley, director for Justice and Missional Excellence, at or Becky Tate at

Ministers' Convocation to be Jan. 13-15 at Blackstone
Ministers' Convocation, an annual continuing education event for clergy and church professionals in the Virginia Conference, will be Tuesday, Jan. 13, through Thursday, Jan 15, at Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center (also known as Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center). Theme is "The Future of Christianity in America: Fresh Voices." Keynote speakers will be Dr. David E. Evans, assistant professor of Missions, Intercultural and Interfaith Studies at Eastern Mennonite University, and Dr. Asa J. Lee, associate dean for Community Life at Wesley Theological Seminary. Preacher for convocation will be the Rev. D. J. del Rosario, senior pastor of Bothell UMC in Bothell, Wash. Bishop Young Jin Cho will preach at the opening service of Word and Table. Registration is required prior to the event and registration will close on Jan. 5. Click here to register online and pay by credit card. Click here to download a flyer that includes a schedule and mail-in registration form to pay by check. For more information, contact the Center for Clergy Excellence at (804) 521-1127 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 127. More ...

Henry-Crowe to speak at UM Day at General Assembly Feb. 5
The Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe, General Secretary of the General Board of Church and Society, will be the lead speaker at United Methodist Day at the General Assembly on Thursday, Feb. 5. This event, sponsored by the conference Board of Church and Society and conference United Methodist Women, is a unique opportunity for Virginia United Methodists to exercise their calling to witness to their faith by advocating for justice on behalf of the voiceless in our society. More ...

Elizabeth River District makes grant to VUMAC
The Elizabeth River District Board of Mission made a grant of $6,800 to the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) at Blackstone to provide for basic renovation of a guest room at the facility. A plaque will be placed in the renovated room to honor churches of the district which have been discontinued. The church histories and photographs of those churches, where available, will be placed in the library at VUMAC. “We wanted to assist in the renovation process at Blackstone while honoring the ministry of the pastors and the ministries of these churches that have served faithfully for these years,” said the Rev. Wayne Snead, Elizabeth River District superintendent.

VUMAC seeks director of development
The Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) at Blackstone is seeking a director of development to begin in January 2015. The director will be responsible for initiating and coordinating all fundraising activities. A Bachelor’s degree and some experience in fundraising for non-profit organizations is required. Knowledge of the Virginia United Methodist Conference is important. The position is open to laity or clergy. Interested candidates may contact Sam McCracken, executive director, VUMAC, P.O. Box 22, Blackstone,Va. 23824. A resume and three references will be required prior to interviews.

Pathways has two job openings
Pathways, a not-for-profit, faith-based community development corporation in Petersburg, is seeking a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner and a Personal Care Aide (PCA) Instructor. Duties of the Mental Health Nurse Practitioner will include program design and planning, assessments, treatment, referrals and coordination of care focused primarily on young adults. In addition, Pathways is seeking a part-time licensed RN to instruct a Personal Care Aide class for young adults in a juvenile correctional facility. Instructor must be able to develop and execute lesson plans and report student accomplishments. For details on both of these positions, visit the Virginia Conference website at and scroll down to "Other." More ...

Observe World AIDS Day with study, giving
Monday, Dec. 1, is World AIDS Day. The United Methodist Global AIDS Fund Committee invites all who are interested in helping a child be born free from HIV/AIDS to support the "Countdown to Zero: Just Save One" initiative. And the General Board of Church & Society is offering "Season for Change," an Advent study on HIV/AIDS. Click here to download Advent study. More ...

Bishops ask for prayer amid sexuality debate
After hours of closed-door sessions last week, the United Methodist Council of Bishops released a statement regarding human sexuality. The bishops asked United Methodists to be in prayer. They also said they are "united in our commitment to be in ministry for and with all people." More ...

Same-sex marriage complaint against Michigan pastors resolved
Two United Methodist Michigan pastors will not go to trial for officiating at same-sex unions, Bishop Deborah Kiesey announced. Instead, the two hope to lead a series of discussions in the conference on the inclusion of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning people in the denomination. The Rev. Mike Tupper, who officiated at his daughter’s same-sex wedding, and the Rev. Ed Rowe, who officiated at the wedding of two of his church members, said they were thankful for Kiesey’s decision. More ...

Gay couple files complaint for refusal of wedding
A United Methodist pastor is facing a complaint for declining to perform a same-sex wedding. A gay couple at Green Street Church, a United Methodist congregation in Winston-Salem, N.C., has filed a formal complaint against their pastor. The church announced last year it would not hold any weddings in its building until the denomination lifted its ban on same-gender weddings. More ...

UMC leaders urge compassion, work for prevention in Ebola crisis
Representatives of the Council of Bishops and the General Board of Global Ministries issued a letter to the people of The United Methodist Church in response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The letter calls on United Methodists to "offer compassion to our sisters and brothers who are suffering, and support to those who walk with them." Click here to read press release. The General Board of Church & Society issued a call to the denomination to respond with faith-filled determination to prevent future recurrences of crises such as that caused by Ebola. More ...

Chuck Knows Church: Liturgical Colors
Ever walk into your Sunday morning worship service and realize the colors have changed around the sanctuary? Chuck explains liturgical colors on this episode of "Chuck Knows Church," a weekly online series that explains the meaning behind some of the objects, symbols, terms and rituals in church. Episodes can be downloaded for free at and used in worship, youth groups, fellowship groups, confirmation classes, worship teams, new member classes and late-night snack viewing. Chuck is on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. "Chuck Knows Church" is produced by the General Board of Discipleship. More ...

Advent resources now available
Various United Methodist-related groups are offering free Advent resources to celebrate the start of the Christian year and prepare for Christ's birth. They include:

♦ Fall High School Youth Retreat - Dec. 5-7
There is still time to register for the Virginia Conference Fall High School Retreat Dec. 5-7 at Eagle Eyrie in Lynchburg. Theme for the retreat is "Identity." Click here for flyer. Speaker will be Dugan Sherbondy. Band will be Keith Elgin. Click here to view promotional video. Young adults to serve as small group leaders and youths to serve as staff are needed. To volunteer, contact Alison Malloy at To register and for more information, go to or contact Becky Tate at or (804) 521-1139.

♦ 'Wounded Hearts, Healing Love' Retreat - Dec. 5-7
"Wounded Hearts, Healing Love" retreat for those who have found themselves single again due to separation, divorce or death will be held 6:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5, to 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7, at Blessings Lodge at Overlook Retreat and Camp Ministries in Keezletown. Participants will explore the trials, hurts, loneliness of being single again and search for the road leading to healing and wholeness. Participants stay in semi-private rooms with private baths. All linens are provided. Three meals on Saturday and two on Sunday will be served. Cost is $105 per person (some financial assistance available). Register at

♦ Westview on James Winter Camp - Dec. 5-7
Children and youths ages 7-15 are invited to Westview on the James in Goochland County Dec. 5-7 for Winter Camp. Celebrate the Advent season with tree decorations, gingerbread men, interactive worship, fun camp activities and lots of Westview counselors. Cost is $115 per person. Click here for flyer or go to for details.

♦ Nutzy's Rotary FUNN Run to benefit UMFS - Dec. 6
The annual Nutzy’s Rotary FUNN Run 5k on Saturday, Dec. 6, will benefit United Methodist Family Services (UMFS) for the second year in a row. The Rotary Club of West Richmond, in partnership with the Dominion Christmas Parade and the Richmond Flying Squirrels, created this event to offer a festive, family-friendly competition while fulfilling the club's philanthropic mission to improve the lives of local children. Runners, walkers, families, children and strollers are welcome to participate. Students from UMFS will participate again this year. Visit to register.

♦ 'Walk to the Manger' - Dec. 19
"Walk to the Manger," a free, live, interactive nativity experience will be offered at Overlook Retreat and Camp Ministries, Keezletown, Friday, Dec. 19. Meet the shepherds, hear the angels announce the good news, visit a young couple and their holy child, and help point a few kings toward the treasure they seek. Tours will begin continuously from 6 to 8 p.m. The experience will last about 30 minutes. Dress warmly, wear sturdy shoes, and keep children with a responsible adult at all times. More ...

♦ 'Walk to the Manger' Bed and Breakfast - Dec. 19-20
Come for the live, interactive nativity experience and extend your stay in a private room at Blessings Lodge at Overlook Retreat and Camp Ministries in Keezletown. There will be hot beverages, a time of reflection on the nativity experience, Christmas activities, Saturday morning devotions and a pancake breakfast. Cost is $99 per room (four twin beds, add more on the floor). More ...

♦ Winter Camp at Overlook - Dec. 19-20
Children and youths (grades 4-10) can extend their "Walk to the Manger" experience and attend Winter Camp Friday night, Dec. 19, to Saturday afternoon, Dec. 20, at Overlook Retreat and Camp Ministries in Keezletown. Campers will reflect on the nativity experience, play games, have a sugar cookie decorating contest and more. More ...

♦ Winter Camp at Alta Mons - Dec. 19-21
Alta Mons outdoor retreat and learning center in Shawsville (Roanoke District) will hold Winter Camp for 3rd-12th graders Dec. 19-21 with many of the same activities as summer camp (hiking to the falls, having s'mores, going to worship), as well as a few different ones such as decorating Christmas cookies, making candles and other surprises. Cost is $90. Register online 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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