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 Dec. 15, 2016
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News from the Virginia Conference - Nov. 17, 2016 

Charlottesville District Heart Havens Project joins #GivingTuesday movement 
The Charlottesville District of the United Methodist Church has joined #GivingTuesday, a global day (Nov. 29) of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. In this effort, the district is working together to raise $400,000 to build a Heart Havens housing apartment complex. Join the Charlottesville District Mission Team and Heart Havens to move forward with providing housing for men and women with intellectual disabilities in the Charlottesville area. Call the Charlottesville United Methodist District Office at (434) 977-4254 to get involved. Those who are interested in joining The Charlottesville District UMC’s #GivingTuesday initiative can visit

Christmas Shoeboxes needed for flood victims in West Virginia
Help is needed from churches and groups around Virginia to complete 1,200 Christmas shoeboxes for flood victims in McDowell County, West Virginia. The effort is being headed by KB Ministries, a non-profit, non-stock corporation whose purpose is to serve those in need, and these boxes will be delivered to Abundant Life Mission Church in Bishop, Va., on or before Dec. 3. You can either make a monetary gift to KB Ministries or boxes can be sent to you to fill with a supply list. Contact Kenneth Branum, president and CEO, at 804-687-6621 (cell) or 804-379-0870 to assist or for more information. 

Conference office to close for Thanksgiving holiday
Virginia Conference offices in the United Methodist Center in Glen Allen will close at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 23, and remain closed Nov. 24-25 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Roanoke District retreat center seeks position for 2017 start date
Alta Mons, the United Methodist Camp & Retreat Center of the Roanoke District, needs a Resource Coordinator for Summer Camp 2017. This is a leadership position that is appropriate for a college aged student possessing experience working with children in a camp setting. The job would begin in mid-January and run through July 28, 2017. Compensation is a $3,400 stipend plus room and board for the summer. The Resource Coordinator, alongside the Program Coordinator, are the two college students who run summer camp. They help plan the program, interview prospective counselors, schedule activities and supervise staff members. To learn more about the position and to apply, visit For questions, contact Meredith Simmons at 540-268-2409 or email

SU Youth Theology Institute now accepting nominations, applications
The Shenandoah University Youth Theology Institute (SUYTI) is a new program, funded through the Lilly Foundation, offered to Christian youth as a partnership between Shenandoah University, Wesley Theological Seminary and the Virginia Annual Conference of the UMC. The Youth Institute is designed to educate and inspire young Christians to become better leaders in their local congregations through deep and thought-provoking experiences. The program is a two-week immersive experience for rising 10th, 11th and 12th graders (offered July 23-August 5, 2017). There are slots for 30 students per year. Upon completion of the institute (and a self-determined justice project in their local faith community), students earn three undergraduate credits from Shenandoah University. For 2017 there is no cost passed on to student participants, except a $50 registration fee and the cost of travel to and from Shenandoah University.  Pastors and youth leaders can nominate youth they think will benefit from this youth theology institute and students can apply at this link. The 2017 session of the SUYTI is now accepting nominations and applications until May 1, 2017. More…

November is Native American Heritage Month
November is Native American Heritage Month. United Methodist Discipleship Ministries offers worship resources, including a Native American interpretation of Psalm 23. The United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race offers resources to highlight the history, gifts and struggles of the First Americans, including resources for the Act of Repentance.

United Methodist Student Day is Sunday, Nov. 27
Sunday, Nov. 27, 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 ...

#GivingTuesday starts Tuesday, Nov. 29
United Methodists will once again come together on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, to support the work of Advance projects and missionaries on UMC #GivingTuesday. This year, consider supporting a project that is working in an area you care about, such as hunger and poverty, education or social justice. For a complete list of projects, visit The Advance. Should you have any questions about UMC #GivingTuesday, please contact Find UMC #GivingTuesday banners/ads, FAQs, impact stories and links to videos and other resources to help you participate in the campaign at the website. Visit to make your donation Nov. 29. More...

Preparing for GC2020
A new Commission on General Conference began organization for the 2020 General Conference to be held in Minneapolis. The commission selected new officers and a new secretary. Read the press release. 

‘Hostile actions’ mar North Carolina youth event
A few hundred people walked out of a North Carolina youth event during a session dealing with pain and racism felt by young Hispanic-Latinos who had earlier been victims of intimidation, conference officials said. More... 

What counts as Wesleyan orthodoxy?
For as long as people have sought to follow Christ, they have argued about just what being a true follower entails. That was no different in John Wesley’s day. More… 

Rio Texas Conference seeks Conference Treasurer  
The United Methodist Church Rio Texas Conference in San Antonio, TX, is accepting applications for the position of Conference Treasurer and Executive Director of Administrative Services. As Chief Financial Leader of the conference, the director is responsible for effective management of financial planning, reporting, assets, property and conference administrative personnel. The Conference Treasurer and Executive Director of Administrative Services provides for and executes the fiscal direction of the conference through the establishment of effective accounting practices and sound management of the funds of the conference. The director also is responsible for programs that assist local congregations in strengthening their financial activities as needed to support their ministries. Follow this link to see a detailed job description and application. Submit a cover letter, resume and application with references to Isabel Muñoz, Associate Director of Human Resources, Rio Texas Conference, at  

Alternative worship serves those with special needs
Worshippers with special needs have different responses to light and sound. That understanding prompted the Rev. Victor Peterson and Ridgewood United Methodist Church to start the “Make a Joyful Noise” service to provide a more appropriate worship setting for children and families with special needs. More… 

Chuck Knows Church explores origins of the word ‘Yahweh’ 
The many names we call God reveal a rich history -- and even includes a burning bush. Chuck explores the origins of this most important word in his 114th episode! 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 Discipleship Ministries. More… 

Ten ways to reach the unchurched at Christmas 
Unchurched people want to celebrate Christmas, so there is no better time to connect with friends and neighbors who rarely, if ever, go to church. More… 

♦ Fall High School Retreat- Dec. 2-4
Register now for Virginia Conference Fall Youth Retreat, weekend retreat in which youths are challenged to grow as disciples of Christ through powerful worship, Bible study and small groups while building friendships with youths from all over Virginia. High School Retreat will be Dec. 2-4 at Eagle Eyrie in Lynchburg. This year's retreat will focus on “Just Move." Guest speakers will be Brooklyn and Coy Lindsey. Cost  is $145 Nov. 1-20. High School registration deadline is Nov. 20. More...

♦ 25th Anniversary of UM Day at General Assembly Celebration - Jan. 14, 2017
The Conference Legislative Committee is hosting a 25th anniversary celebration of United Methodist Day at General Assembly, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017, at Centenary UMC, 411 E. Grace Street, Richmond, Va. The event will start with registration at 11 a.m., lunch at noon followed by a program at 1 p.m. Pre-registration is necessary and child care will be available. Cost for the day is $15 or $35 for both this event and UM Day in Feb. if you register by Jan. 6. Follow this link to register:

♦ 25th Annual United Methodist Day at General Assembly - Feb. 2, 2017
The Conference United Methodist Day is Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017. It is an avenue of faithful advocacy that helps participants look beyond mercy ministry and join together with elected officials to make a difference and exercise the Social Principles of the UMC. Early bird registration and payment of $25 per person must be received by Friday, Jan. 15. Final registration will be Friday, Jan. 29 and will cost $35. Registration questions may be directed to the Rev. Barbara Lewis at General questions may be directed to the Rev. Pat Shipley at or to the Rev. Randy Harlow at To register and for more information, follow this link:

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 email 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
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