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News from the Virginia Conference - Oct. 13, 2016

WindsorMeade of Williamsburg seeks chaplain 
WindsorMeade of Williamsburg, a Continuing Care Retirement Community, is looking for a full-time or part-time chaplain (approximately 20 hours per week). Ideal candidate has a Master’s of Divinity from an accredited seminary or school of theology, a chaplaincy certification and two years of pastoral care experience, preferably with a senior adult population. Chaplain must be able to serve communion. Fluent English speaking and writing skills, empathy and the ability to listen, good time management skills, computer skills and professional dress, speech and behavior are all required for this position. To apply, submit your information and resume at Contact WindsorMeade directly for additional information. More…

Church finds new way to minister outside its walls
Church ministries do not all look the same. West End UMC in Portsmouth has found a way to minister outside of the church walls; church members and the community gather monthly during the warmer months at "Cars for Christ." Watch the video created by conference videographer Nick Ruxton. More...

Virginia Diaconate to gather Nov. 7 for ‘day apart’
The Virginia Diaconate will gather at Good Shepherd UMC in Richmond for the Virginia Diaconate Day Apart on Monday, Nov. 7 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The theme for the day will be “The Deacon and the Sacraments.” Bishop Sharma Lewis will also be in attendance for reflection and teaching on the book Deacons in the Liturgy (Ormonde Plater), the deacon’s role in the sacraments and a Q&A on General Conference. The cost of the event is $10 and lunch is provided. Registration is online. For questions, contact the Rev. Jason Stanley at  

Invest in Virginia Conference partner Pathways
In 1995, two United Methodist pastors wer given a $500 seed donation from their district office to "go do something good."  That $500 has turned into Pathways, an award-winning, faith-based community development corporation in Petersburg, an economically distressed city that has received close to a $1 billion in services through Pathways. Their partnership with the Virginia Conference and UMC congregations has provided immense assistance in actualizing the Gospel by working with brothers and sisters in need. Pathways’ vision for Petersburg and the surrounding area is a community of spiritual richness that offers a quality of life for all to live, work, learn, shop and play. Contribute to Pathways' efforts at

Monday, Oct. 31, is Reformation Day
Reformation Day is Monday, Oct. 31. This observance celebrates the anniversary of what many historians consider the start of the Protestant movement, when Martin Luther publicly displayed his 95 Theses. United Methodist Discipleship Ministries has worship resources. More ...

Nov. 1 is All Saints Day
All Saints Day is Tuesday, Nov. 1. United Methodist Discipleship Ministries offers prayers and a family litany for this day when Christians celebrate the people who have joined the Church Triumphant. 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 ...

SEJ Executive Director position available for UMVIM 
The United Methodist Volunteers in Mission Southeastern Jurisdiction (UMVIM, SEJ) is the short-term mission sending agency of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church. Due to the retirement of Paulette West, UMVIM, SEJ Board of Directors chose a selection committee to hire a new executive director. The position manages overall operations and staff of the office, supports and resources the connection, provides training activities and develops tools for communication and education. Applicants should submit cover letter, resume and three letters of recommendation to by Nov. 15. View on the VAUMC website job opportunities under the heading, "Other." More...

Way Forward Commission makeup challenged
United Methodists unhappy with the number of laity on the Commission on the Way Forward circulated an online petition asking the Council of Bishops to rethink the panel's makeup. The Council’s executive committee announced Oct. 5 that eight bishops, 13 clergy and eight laity have been nominated to serve on the panel that will address issues around homosexuality and church unity. More… 

Churches assessing Hurricane Matthew damage
Hurricane Matthew, one of the fiercest hurricanes in nearly a decade, has left nearly 1,000 dead in Haiti and at least 38 dead in the United States — 19 in North Carolina. The state’s officials fear the toll may go higher. The hurricane formed near the Windward Islands on Sept. 28 making landfall in Haiti and eastern Cuba on Oct. 4 as a Category 4. The South Carolina and North Carolina conferences, among others, are still assessing the damage from the storm. More… 

Evangelical group plans for ‘new day’ in church
With some 1,800 people in attendance, the new Wesleyan Covenant Association officially launched Oct. 7 and declared its intention to lead Methodism in a more evangelical direction. Organizers announced their hope is to do this work within The United Methodist Church, while leaving open the possibility of moving outside it. Chief among their concerns are growing challenges to the denomination’s bans on same-gender unions and the ordination of “self-avowed practicing” gay clergy. More… 

Pastoral training now offered in Portuguese
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, in partnership with Boston University School of Theology, is offering a new program for pastoral training in Portuguese. The initiative, promoted by the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry and the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministry, enhances the church’s Brazilian outreach. More… 

Aid delivered to survivors of East Congo attack 
Food and essentials for daily life were delivered to 100 families brutally attacked by the Allied Democratic Forces. Funds for the supplies came from the United Methodist Committee on Relief as well as the United Methodist Eastern Congo Conference and the Methodist Church of Switzerland. More… 

UMC church starts interpreter worship service
Members of Edmonds United Methodist Church in Washington learned that only 1 percent of deaf children in the United States end up attending church as adults. The church now holds an interpreter worship service each Sunday. More… 

Imagine No Malaria provides Advent resources to congregations
Let Imagine No Malaria help you and your United Methodist congregation imagine a world filled with hope, peace, joy and love through a collection of downloadable materials that include sermon starters, hymn suggestions and children’s messages this Advent season.  The five weeks of undated materials are centered on the themes of “Imagine Hope,” “Imagine Peace,” “Imagine Joy, “Imagine Love,” all highlighted by the African hymn “I’ve Got The Light Of God In Me,” from the country of Cameroon. More… 

Seminary students attend presidential debate 
A group of students from United Methodist Wesley Theological Seminary attended the second presidential debate of 2016 between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on Oct. 9. The students attended as part of the class “Religion and the American Presidency,” taught by Mike McCurry, distinguished professor of public theology at Wesley, and one of the co-chairs of the Commission on Presidential Debates. More…

♦ Conference UMW Annual Meeting - Oct. 28-29
Virginia Conference United Methodist Women (UMW) will hold its Annual Meeting Oct. 28-29 at Good Shepherd UMC in Richmond. Theme is “Growing in Blessedness.” Keynote speaker is Elizabeth (Lisa) Lamb Nichols, a deaconess serving as executive director of Henry Fork Service Center, a facility in Rocky Mount, Va., that provides Christian education, educational enrichment, recreation and experiences in the arts to more than 100 students throughout the year. More ...

♦ Kindred Project two-day silent retreat - Nov. 2-4
Kindred Project will offer a two-day Silent Retreat in the Celtic Tradition at the Bellfry Retreat Home (, 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, to 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 4. The retreat will be facilitated by Kim Barker-Brugman, Janie Mitchell and Dawn Peck. Estimated cost is $175 per person. Complete details will be available in early October, but to reserve a space now, contact Dawn at

♦ Disaster Emotional and Spiritual Care Training - Nov. 5
Disaster Emotional and Spiritual Care Training will be offered 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at Bruen Chapel UMC, 3035 Cedar Lane, Fairfax. Certified leader of the event will be the Rev. Ellen Comstock, retired Virginia Conference elder. Cost is $40 (plus $10 for lunch unless you bring your own) and includes background check, materials and completion badge. If you already have a background check through the conference within a year, cost will be $30. Completion of this course will allow you to assist survivors of disaster without having to be heavily involved in construction. Coupled with ERT training, this training would also allow you to be deployed with Early Response Teams. This event is open to both clergy and laity and might be of special interest to Lay Servants and those involved in Stephen Ministries, church teachers, visitation team members and others who feel specially called to participate in aspects of the church’s overall ministry and mission that require personal relating to people of various ages and backgrounds. To sign up by Nov. 3 or for more info, email Ellen Comstock ( 

♦ Fall Youth Retreats- Nov. 11-13; Dec. 2-4
Register now for the super early bird rates for Virginia Conference Fall Youth Retreats, weekend retreats 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. Middle School Retreat will be Nov. 11-13, and High School Retreat will be Dec. 2-4 at Eagle Eyrie in Lynchburg. This year's retreats will focus on “Just Move." Guest speakers will be Brooklyn and Coy Lindsey. Cost is $145 Oct. 10-30 for the Middle School retreat, . Middle School registration deadline is Oct. 30. Cost for the High School Retreat is $125 Oct. 3-31 and $145 Nov. 1-20. High School registration deadline is Nov. 20. 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 email For information about the Virginia Conference and resources for ministry, visit the Virginia Conference website at



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