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News from the Virginia Conference - Nov. 6, 2015

Conference seeks associate director of Center for Clergy Excellence
The Virginia Conference is seeking an associate director of the Center for Clergy Excellence to focus on call, candidacy and discernment and expand the conference’s capacity to reach people beyond current channels for leadership development. This appointed clergy position is open to ordained deacons and elders in full connection. Strong candidates from the Virginia Conference as well as those who would serve on loan from other conferences are encouraged to apply. Click here for full position description. To apply, submit cover letter, resume and two references to the Rev. Meredith L. McNabb, director of Center for Clergy Excellence, at or P.O. Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058 by Jan. 10. The position is funded as a three-year pilot program, beginning July 1, 2016, with the potential for renewal.

Conference seeks bookkeeper/accountant
The Virginia Conference is looking for a full-time bookkeeper/accountant to work in the treasurer’s office in Glen Allen. Responsibilities include full-charge bookkeeping, accounting entries, account reconciliations, working with churches and high level of organization. This position requires attention to detail and excellent interpersonal and organizational skills in a team environment. Experience with accounting software and Microsoft Excel is required. Membership and/or knowledge of The United Methodist Church is beneficial but not required. Applicants should have experience or education in accounting or similar office work. Interested candidates should send a resume to by Nov. 9.

Five from Virginia Conference are part of delegation to Israel/Palestine
Five members of the Virginia Conference left for Israel/Palestine on Nov. 3 as part of the Interfaith Peace-Builder “November Olive Harvest Delegation.” Along with five members of Jewish Voice for Peace/Jews for Just Peace, they make up the two largest groups in the 35-member delegation. Virginia Conference participants are John Copenhaver, Steve Jones, Keary Kincannon, Garey Eakes and Haniel Garibay. The Virginia Conference Board of Church and Society is co-sponsor of the trip. Along with listening to Israeli and Palestinian peacemakers, the delegation will spend a few days assisting Christian and Muslim Palestinians with the annual olive harvest. Delegates will hear from Palestinian farmers and learn of the importance of agriculture to the Palestinian economy and culture. They will also meet with Jewish settlers and will be reminded of the ugly and violent history of anti-Semitism in a visit to Yad Vashem (Holocaust History Museum). To receive periodic reports from the delegation, sign up at

Camp Rainbow Harvest Dance declared 'overwhelming success'
More than 100 people attended the Camp Rainbow Connection Harvest Dance Saturday, Oct. 24, at River Road UMC in Richmond. Stacy Roberts, Camp Rainbow Connection coordinator, declared the event “an overwhelming success.” More ...

Participate in Advocate survey to give feedback on conference magazine
In order to provide readers with informative and relevant information through the Virginia United Methodist Advocate, the editorial staff has included a brief survey in the November issue of the magazine. In addition to raw data, the staff is interested in reading comments and suggestions for making the Virginia Advocate a magazine that equips, connects and informs United Methodists in the Virginia Conference. The survey can also be completed online by going to the conference website. Click here to take the survey.

Applications open for 2016 Voices of Youth tour to Taizé, France
The 2016 Voices of Youth (VOY) tour, "Be Still and Know," will be July 9-30. After orientation, group building and rehearsal, the choir will travel to France. After a short stop in Paris for some sightseeing, the group will go to Taizé to participate in a week-long pilgrimage of worship and contemplation. Choir members will stay at the monastery of the brothers of Taizé and immerse themselves in the Taizé style of worship and musical meditation. Choir members will then return to Virginia to present worship experiences in host churches throughout the conference. Deadline to register is Dec. 12. For applications and more information, go to or contact the Rev. Rebecca Minor, VOY coordinator, at (757) 870-8265 or VOY is a Virginia Conference three-week mission experience for high school students with a passion for mission and a love of music.

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.

November observances increase awareness of need for organ donors
The United Methodist Church encourages local congregations to observe Donor Sabbath, which in the U.S. is set two weekends before Thanksgiving. This year, Donor Sabbath weekend is Nov. 13-15. Some congregations may wish to observe Sunday, Nov. 8, as United Methodist Organ and Tissue Donor Sunday. Churches are encouraged to participate in services and programs to increase awareness of the need for the lifesaving and enhancing gifts passed to others through transplantation and encourage people to sign up in their state registry as organ, eye and tissue donors. Click here to get church resources. More ...

United Methodist Student Day is Sunday, Nov. 29
Sunday, Nov. 29, 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 ...

UMC #GivingTuesday on Dec. 1 to support Advance, missionaries
On Tuesday, Dec. 1, United Methodists will once again come together to support the work of Advance projects and missionaries on UMC #GivingTuesday. And once again, every gift made online through The Advance at on Dec. 1 will be matched up to $1 million. This year consider creating your own team to support 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 you and your team can support, visit The Advance at Note: Donations made online starting at 12:01 a.m. CENTRAL TIME (1:01 a.m. Eastern Time) on Dec. 1 will be matched until the $1 million limit is reached. More ...

Dec. 1 is World AIDS Day
Global AIDS FundTuesday, Dec. 1, is World AIDS Day. The United Methodist Global AIDS Fund website,, offers resources you can use in your local church and community for World AIDS Day. Advent is a perfect time to lift up the issue of AIDS given the increases in infections in women around the globe. Stigma continues to impact people living with AIDS, and Jesus’ love and healing words call us to work to eliminate all discrimination against people infected with HIV or AIDS.

African bishops call on church to confront terrorism, hold line on human sexuality
African bishops have called on The United Methodist Church to confront global terrorism and hold the line on church teachings regarding human sexuality. “As leaders of the church, we believe that there are far more important issues that unite us than issues of sexual orientation,” the bishops said in “a statement on the state of global UMC and our common world.” More ...

United Methodist Church news in Spanish available on web
Looking for the latest United Methodist Church news for the Hispanic/Latino community? You can find the latest news in Spanish on the United Methodist website. Or sign up for the monthly e-newsletter by emailing lider-imu@umcom.

New website offers United Methodist statistical data
The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) announced that general statistical information about the church, formerly contained in the printed General Minutes, is now available at The IT and Data Services Departments of GCFA, working throughout the connection, collects statistics and has developed a free, online resource that anyone can use to access public information about local churches. Because of the timeframe for vetting information and producing a bound copy, the General Minutes is no longer in print. The General Minutes, first published in 1785 and most recently published in 2008, has been a tool used by church leaders, ministerial students, statisticians and the general United Methodist Church for access to public church statistics. The General Minutes was usually a two-year production process that has been shortened because of the development of the UMData site. More ...

GBHEM launches website
The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) announced the launch of, a new website designed to encourage United Methodists around the world to share their stories of ministry through short videos. Purpose of is to collect meaningful videos that demonstrate the impact of our church’s programs and services – especially in regards to higher education, church leadership and ministry. Select videos will be featured at General Conference, on the GBHEM website or shared via the GBHEM social media channels.

United Methodists help with flood relief work in Texas
Flooding in Texas has United Methodists gearing up for more relief work. The Rio Texas Conference is focusing on a handful of areas, including the Rio Grande Valley. The Central Texas Conference and United Methodist Committee on Relief will help hard-hit Navarro County which received 30 inches of rain over seven days recently, leading to widespread flooding of homes. Meanwhile, the Texas Conference plans to dispatch early-response teams to help with flood relief in other hard-hit areas.
Read Rio Texas Conference report
Read Central Texas Conference report
Read Texas Conference report

Chuck Knows Church: Jonah and the Whale
Is all we know about Jonah was that he was swallowed by a whale? What's the significance of the story? Chuck draws it out for us on this episode of "Chuck Knows Church," an 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 United Methodist Discipleship Ministries. More ...

Lake Junaluska Peace Conference to be Nov. 12-15
Next week Jews, Muslims and Christians will gather at Lake Junaluska to promote peace. The Lake Junaluska Peace Conference is four days of workshops, yoga, prayer, lectures, worship, meditation and music, with the goal of advancing the work of reconciliation and peace in the world. Registration is still open for the conference, which will be Nov. 12-15 at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in Lake Junaluska, N.C. This year's conference, "Longing for Peace/Exploring the Heart of God," will be led by notable peacemakers from all three Abrahamic faith traditions. The speakers will discuss universal spiritual roots that support the search for peace in the world, and what it means to be peacemakers. “I hope that participants leave with a renewed sense of how bound together we are in the Jewish, Christian and Islamic faith traditions,” said Bishop Charlene Kammerer, chair of the design team for the Peace Conference. “I sincerely believe that God is counting on all of us to help bring peace for God's world and all his children.” Registration is $145. Students may attend for $60. More ...

Rethink Church accepting applications for Easter Digital Advertising Grants
Rethink Church is now accepting applications for 2016 Easter Digital Advertising Grants. This grant is for local churches who want to raise awareness of their church in the community by means of online digital advertising during the Easter season. These ads will link directly to the church website and will be geo-targeted to each church’s community. The grant provides pre-designed static banners that display a seasonal Rethink Church message, Rethink Church logo, UMC brand promise and local church logo. If a church does not have a logo, one will be created for them. Ads will run for two months (February – March, 2016) on websites as large as CNN and The Weather Channel as well as on local news websites. Grant recipients will receive follow-up reports on click-through rates and site visits to each church during the advertising period. Deadline to apply is Jan. 7. More ...

Rethink Church offers resources for Advent
Rethink Church has many resources still available for Advent:
♦ Rethink Church is running national advertising and can customize the Advent TV spots for your church at no cost for a digital file (only available in English).
Outreach resources are available for English- and Spanish-speaking congregations to use to invite the community during the Advent season. Resources include low-cost direct mail postcards and 100 free customized door hangers and invitation cards (order deadline is Dec. 1).
♦ Free downloadable worship resources include bulletin covers, worship graphics and more.

Duke University Wesley Foundation seeks campus minister
The Wesley Fellowship at Duke University seeks a visionary and dynamic leader for its collegiate ministry program. Duke Wesley provides a spiritual home for United Methodist and other students in the midst of a dynamic, complex, competitive academic and social environment. Candidates must submit a letter of interest, resume, three references with e-mail and phone contact, and a link to a 3-5 minute video articulating your vision for campus ministry. Materials should be submitted to no later than Dec. 4. For details, visit the Virginia Conference website at and scroll down to “Other.”

♦ Fall Youth Retreats - Nov. 13-15, Dec. 4-6
The Nov. 13-15 Middle School Youth Retreat and the Dec. 4-6 High School Youth Retreat will be held at Eagle Eyrie in Lynchburg and will include powerful worship, Bible study and small groups. Focus will be on learning to be a "Called Generation." Click here for flyer. Band will be Keith Elgin. Speaker will be Paulo Lopes, Virginia Conference director of Ministries with Young People. Click here to view promo videos. Cost is $135 per person. To register and for more information go to or contact Becky Tate at or (804) 521-1139.

♦ UMVIM Team Leader Training - Nov. 14, Dec. 5
United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) Team Leader Training is required for all first-time UMVIM team leaders, but all interested persons are welcome to attend whether leading a team or not. Training events are currently scheduled:
   ♦ Saturday, Nov. 14, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Antioch UMC, 3489 South Hill Rd., Kenbridge. Click here to register online and pay by credit card. Click here to download a pdf form and pay by check.
  ♦ Saturday, Dec. 5, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Trinity UMC, 903 Forest Ave., Richmond. Click here to register online and pay by credit card. Click here to download a pdf form and pay by check.
A $55 registration fee, payable when you register, covers mandatory background check, team leader handbook from the Southeastern Jurisdiction and lunch. Continuing Education Units (0.5) will be provided for those needing CEU certification. Pre-registration is required by noon on the Monday before the training event. For more information, contact the conference office of Justice and Missional Excellence at (804) 521-1139 or toll-free at 1-800-768-6040, ext. 139. Or contact Forrest White, Virginia Conference UMVIM coordinator, at (804) 938-1026 or More ...

♦ Clergy Ethics II training - Nov. 18
All clergy beyond their first year of appointment and certified church professionals are reminded that attendance at an Ethics II training during this quadrennium (2012-2016) is required. 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. Wednesday, Nov. 18, at Wright’s Chapel UMC on the Fredericksburg District. Click here to download brochure. A 0.5 CEU is awarded for full participation. 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. Registration is required 48 hours prior to the event in order to ensure sufficient materials are available for all participants. More ...

♦ VUMAC Commuter Mission Day - Nov. 21
B3 Missions and the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) are sponsoring their first Commuter Mission Day 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, at the VUMAC facility at 707 Fourth St., Blackstone. Individuals 13 and older and small groups (youths, women, men) are invited to bring work gloves and/or rubber gloves, broom, cleaning products, vacuum, gardening tools, buckets, trash bags, etc. and help with cleaning, edging, weeding, trimming and, possibly, a little light sanding and painting. Teens 13-18 should be accompanied by an adult. Cost is $15 per person to cover lunch and snacks for the day. Call (434) 292-5308 for more information and to make reservations.

♦ Westview on James Winter Camp for children - Dec. 4-6
Westview on the James in Goochland County is providing a three-day Winter Camp Dec. 4-6 for children ages 7-12. Theme is based on Charlie Brown's Christmas. Activities will include Christmas crafts and carols, games, making cookies and treats to share with the local nursing home and recording Christmas Carols to be sung with nursing home residents. Each camper is asked to bring an unwrapped new $10 toy which will be donated to the Henrico Christmas Mothers Program. Cost is $125. Register at

♦ UMVIM Team Leader Recertification training - Dec. 6
United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) Team Leader Recertification training will be offered 1-3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 6, at Trinity UMC, 903 Forest Ave., Richmond. This training is required for all UMVIM team leaders who completed basic team leader training five years ago or longer. Focus of this training is to update leaders on Virginia Conference UMVIM policies and guidelines, to share best practices, and to answer any questions. At least five participants are needed to offer this training. A $25 registration fee is payable when you register. Note: This fee does not cover an optional team leader handbook, which will be available for purchase ($20) at the training, or the new A Mission Journey book, which is available through Cokesbury. A meal will not be provided. Click here to register online and pay by credit card. Click here to download a pdf form and pay by check. All registrations must be in the office of Justice and Missional Excellence by noon Monday, Nov. 30. For more information, contact the office of Justice and Missional Excellence at (804) 521-1139 or toll-free at 1-800-768-6040, ext. 139. Or contact Forrest White, Virginia Conference UMVIM Coordinator, at or (804) 938-1026.

♦ ‘Evening at Blackstone’ - Dec. 12
Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center, 707 Fourth St., Blackstone, will hold its annual “Evening at Blackstone” at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 12. A matinee performance by The Hunts from Chesapeake will be followed by a banquet dinner, carol sing, shopping at The Acorn and World Gifts, Nativity tour, Advent celebration and light refreshments. Lodging (with breakfast) is available for those who want to spend the night. For more information and reservations, call (434) 292-5308.

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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The Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church
10330 Staples Mill Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060
PO Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058-5606
(804) 521-1100
Click here for directions to the Center