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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. 6, 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" to be held Saturday, Nov. 22,to facilitate conversation on the subject of human sexuality. The event will be held 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 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 ...

Presenters announced for Nov. 22 'Day of Holy Conversation'
The planning team for the "Day of Holy Conversation" announced the names of presenters for the Nov. 22 event designed to facilitate conversation around the conference on the subject of human sexuality. Convener will be Dr. David Anderson Hooker, senior fellow for Community Engagement Strategies at the J. W. Fanning Institute for Leadership Development at the University of Georgia. Morning presenters will be the Rev. Rob Vaughn, representing Virginia Reconciling United Methodists and the Virginia Conference chapter of Methodist Federation for Social Action; the Rev. Greg West, representing the Virginia Conference Evangelical Fellowship; and the Rev. Tom Berlin, selected by the Common Table to represent a “centrist position” regarding human sexuality. All three are elders in the Virginia Conference. Afternoon presenters will be Vaughn, West, Berlin and Virginia Greer, a senior student at Shenandoah University who was chosen by the Virginia Conference Young Adult Council leadership to represent a young adult perspective. More ...

Virginia Conference has saved 17,986 lives from malaria so far
As of Oct. 31, Virginia Conference United Methodists have raised $179,860 (and saved 17,986 lives) for Imagine No Malaria since Annual Conference voted to save 100,000+ lives in the next year. And more funds continue to come in from churches and districts across the conference. 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

Bishop Cho returns from Korea with $16,000 for Imagine No Malaria
When Bishop Young Jin Cho returned from leading a clergy trip to Bupyeong Methodist Church in Incheon, South Korea, Oct. 15-23, he brought back $16,000 in contributions to the Virginia Conference Every Life Save a Life Imagine No Malaria campaign. Bishop Cho said Bupyeong Methodist Church gave $10,000, and then three individual members of the Bupyeong congregation each gave another $1,000. In addition, Bishop Cho's family contributed $2,000, and the family of Kiok Cho, Bishop Cho's wife, gave $1,000. The gifts, in total, will save 1,600 lives from the deadly disease of malaria.

UMW auctions t-shirt skirt to raise funds for Imagine No Malaria
United Methodist Women (UMW) held a silent auction during their Annual Meeting at Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center last weekend. The auction raised $100 for Imagine No Malaria (and saved 10 lives) by selling a limited edition skirt made from an "Every Life Save a Life" t-shirt by Karen McElfish from Mount Olivet UMC in Arlington.

Eastern Shore District saves 460 lives by playing basketball
At the conclusion of worship and business, participants in the Nov. 2 Eastern Shore District Conference headed to the gym for the finals of the first Eastern Shore District Basketball Tournament, held to raise funds for Imagine No Malaria through team sponsorships and fees. After 12 hard-fought minutes, Team Arcadia from St. John’s UMC in Atlantic emerged with an 11-8 victory over Gang Green from Hallwood UMC in Onancock. Eastern Shore churches have raised more than $4,600 so far, saving 460 lives from the deadly disease of malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. More ...

November issue of To ARMS! now available
The November 2014 issue of To ARMS!, newsletter of the Virginia Conference Association of Retired Ministers and Spouses, is now available on the conference website. The newsletter may be viewed and downloaded by going to or click here for the pdf file. More ...

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 ...

Rethink Church begins Christmas ads, offers free direct mail postcards
"What if we Rethink what we're celebrating?" You will soon see this message on TV in your area. This new Rethink Church TV commercial urges people to share the greatest gift of all. In conjunction with United Methodist Communications' national Advent campaign, we want to help you reach out. Invite your community to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas with your church. Take advantage of our direct-mail Advent cards (while supplies last). You can customize them to promote the service or event of your choice, and have them printed and mailed — all for only the cost of postage. Learn more about this offer or order now.

Ideas offered to help churches reach out during Advent
The season of Advent begins on Sunday, Nov. 30. During Advent many Christians seek to get beyond the usual routine of shopping and parties, in order to share God's love. United Methodist Communications provides ideas gathered from across the denomination that can help congregations and individuals reach out in new ways. 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:

Council of Bishops are gathered in Oklahoma City
United Methodist bishops from Africa, Europe, Asia and the United States are gathered in Oklahoma City for the Nov. 2-7 Council of Bishops meeting. The meeting began with the traditional ceremonial “passing of the gavel” from former Council president Bishop Rosemarie Wenner to Bishop Warner H. Brown Jr. of the San Francisco Episcopal Area. Virginia's Bishop Young Jin Cho preached for the Wednesday morning worship service, telling the bishops that the time has come for a new diagnosis of the reason for decline in United Methodist churches in the U.S. "I believe we have a spiritual issue, a faith issue and a Lordship issue in the church," he said. More ...

Amendments to United Methodist constitution are ratified
Annual conference members have ratified all four amendments to The United Methodist Church's constitution. The Council of Bishops certified the votes on the amendments approved by the 2012 General Conference, which include one allowing General Conference to be held sometime other than the spring. More ...

Church sexuality panel views mother's video
A video submitted by a mother whose gay son committed suicide after facing condemnation in the church was one of four personal stories viewed and discussed by a panel on sexuality in The United Methodist Church. The mother's video sparked the most vehement reaction from the panel of six bishops and the head of the denomination's publishing house during the Nov. 1 live webcast. More ...

Clergy urged to sign letter supporting Voting Rights Amendment
A few months ago, the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society joined 88 diverse faith groups in signing a letter to Congress supporting the Voting Rights Amendment Act of 2014 (H.R. 3899/S.1945) (VRAA). Ordained clergy from across a range of faiths are encouraged to help raise the pressure on Congress to pass the VRAA by signing a follow-up letter to Congress. The clergy letter will be delivered shortly after the election. More ...

Chuck Knows Church: Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was the schism within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and others. Let Chuck explain a little more of the basics 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 ...

Publishing House board begins search for new president
The United Methodist Publishing House board has launched a search committee to find its next president and chief executive officer. The board plans to divide the duties currently assigned to Neil Alexander, the publishing house's president and publisher. Once the president is installed, the search for a new publisher will begin. Alexander previously announced his plans to retire after the 2016 General Conference. More ...

United Methodist Communications has two job openings
United Methodist Communications, headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., is seeking an Associate Director for the Hispanic/Latino UMC Communications Team and a Training and Development Specialist. To apply or for more information, contact: UMCom/Human Resources, P. O. Box 320, Nashville, TN 37202-0320, (615) 742-5137 or

♦ UMFS FORE the Kids Golf Tournament - Nov. 10
United Methodist Family Services (UMFS) will sponsor FORE the Kids Golf Tournament at 10 a.m. Nov. 10 at Stonehenge Country Club in Midlothian. All proceeds go to help foster children find forever homes. Click here to register.

♦ Ethics II training - Nov. 13
All clergy and church professionals are required to attend an Ethics II training during this quadrennium (2012-2016). Trainings are held four times a year throughout the conference to provide convenient opportunities for participation. The next training will be 9:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m Thursday, Nov. 13, at Fairfax UMC in the Alexandria District. Click here to download brochure with training details and schedule. A 0.5 CEU is awarded for full participation. Click here to register for Nov. 13 event. Registration fee of $12 includes lunch and training materials and is payable by credit card. You may register with a fee of $5 and provide your own lunch. Paper registrations are not available for these events. Registration is required 48 hours prior to event in order to ensure sufficient materials are available for all participants.

♦ UMVIM Team Leader Recertification - Nov. 14
Virginia United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) is offering UMVIM Team Leader Recertification Training for those who haven't done UMVIM team leader training within the last five years. Training will be held at Skipwith UMC, 2211 Skipwith Rd., Richmond, on Friday, Nov. 14. Click here to register.

♦ UMVIM Team Leader Training - Nov. 15
Virginia United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) is offering UMVIM Team Leader Training at Skipwith UMC, 2211 Skipwith Rd., Richmond, on Saturday, Nov. 15.Click here to register.

♦ Fall Youth Retreats - Nov. 14-16, Dec. 5-7
Now is the time to register for Virginia Conference Fall Youth Retreats. Middle School Retreat will be Nov. 14-16 and High School Retreat will be Dec. 5-7 at Eagle Eyrie in Lynchburg. Theme for both retreats 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 (804) 521-1139.

♦ 'The Good Race' - Nov. 15
Clergy and laity are invited to join other United Methodists in "The Good Race," a day of participation and celebration as they walk or run the Anthem Richmond 8K, Half-Marathon or Marathon on Saturday, Nov. 15. Information about these races can be found at Or contact Steve Jones at or Allie Rosner at Or join the Facebook Group “The Good Race.”

♦ Day of Holy Conversation - Nov. 22
In response to Bishop Young Jin Cho's request that the Virginia Conference Common Table for Church Vitality facilitate discussions around the conference on the subject of human sexuality, the Common Table will hold "A Day of Holy Conversation on Sexuality and The United Methodist Church" on Saturday, Nov. 22, at Woodlake UMC, 15640 Hampton Park Drive, Chesterfield. The day of conversation will also be live streamed to 12 additional sites across the conference. All Virginia Conference clergy and laity are invited to participate at one of the sites. More ...

♦ '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

♦ 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 p.m. 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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