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News from the Virginia Conference - Oct. 1, 2015

Conference exceeds Imagine No Malaria goal saving 100,536+ lives!
As of Sept. 30, Virginia Conference churches had raised $1,005,364.30 for Imagine No Malaria, saving more than 100,536 lives and exceeding the conference goal of raising $1 million to save 100,000+ lives from malaria, a preventable and treatable disease. "This is a great day," said Bishop Young Jin Cho. "Thank God for all the churches, from the little children to all the others who joined this effort." Click here to read letter from Bishop Cho. More ...

Churches urged to prepare for Hurricane Joaquin
The Rev. Robert Pihlcrantz, Virginia Conference Disaster Response coordinator, is calling on all churches in the conference to prepare for severe weather this weekend as Hurricane Joaquin approaches the Mid-Atlantic coast. Joaquin is expected to cause moderate to major flooding and wind damage throughout Virginia. "Currently estimates are for between 5-8 inches of rain," Pihlcrantz said, "and the U.S. Weather Service said this is an extremely low/conservative estimate. Couple this with the current rainfall, wind and tidal flooding plus both systems being on our coast, we will have a major weather event to deal with. Please prepare now! All the models are saying we will have a significant impact from these events." Information will be available from local news media and the Virginia Conference UMC Disaster Response Facebook page. Click here for Conference Disaster Response Plan, disaster response policies, forms and protocols and contact information for conference and district disaster team members. Or contact Pihlcrantz at (757) 408-6653 or

United Methodist Church Advent TV spots to run in Lynchburg, Roanoke areas
The United Methodist RETHINK CHURCH national Advent advertising campaign begins Nov. 16 with digital advertising in national spaces and TV spots in select U.S. cities, including Lynchburg and Roanoke. "Church can happen anywhere" is the theme of the commercials (click here to view 30-second commercial) which will air on WDBJ-TV, the CBS affiliate in Roanoke, and WSET-TV, the ABC affiliate serving Lynchburg, Danville and Roanoke. Click here to view schedule. Resources are available to help churches reach out to their communities, including:
♦ Free sermon-starter download based on Sent, the new five-week, churchwide Bible study from Abingdon Press.
♦ 100 free door hangers and invitation cards. Order by Dec. 1.
♦ Customizable direct-mail postcards: For a fraction of the cost, United Methodist Communications can print and mail to households based on a radius around your church.
♦ Worship resources: New downloadable bulletin covers and worship graphics.
♦ Resources for Hispanic/Latino churches: Downloadable worship graphics and bulletin covers, as well as door hangers, invitation cards and postcards. More ...

College students “Rethink, Reclaim and Renew” at RE3 Conference
About 80 students from college and university campus ministries throughout Virginia met at Shenandoah University Sept. 25-26 for RE3 (pronounced “RE-three”), to focus on what they needed to rethink in their own lives, what the church needs to rethink and what old practices can be reclaimed for renewing the church today. Click here to view video. More ...

'Remember and Recommit' initiative to hold Oct. 3 workshop
"Remember and Recommit," an initiative undertaken by two Richmond United Methodist churches (Centenary UMC and Asbury UMC on Church Hill) and the conference office of Justice and Missional Excellence, is sponsoring a series of six workshops focused on remembering the modern Civil Rights Movement and recommitting ourselves to the work of racial reconciliation and the pursuit of systemic equity. Recent events in Charleston, New York City, Ferguson and elsewhere have increased awareness of the continued need for growth and understanding across racial lines in our country and our calling as Christians to work toward healing, reconciliation and justice. The third workshop in the series will be Saturday, Oct. 3, at Centenary UMC, 411 E. Grace St. in downtown Richmond. Registration and refreshments will begin at 9:30 a.m. Focus will be on events during 1963, such as the Birmingham Campaign, Children’s Crusade, assassination of Medgar Evers, March for Jobs and Freedom, bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church, Freedom Vote in Mississippi and assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Workshops are led by Dr. Jim Melson, founder and leader of the Cornelius Corps, who uses multi-media presentations to make these events come to life. Presentations will be followed by discussions about the meaning of this history for living our faith in the present time. There is no cost for this workshop. Reservations are not needed and you don’t have to have attended one of the earlier workshops. For more information, call Centenary UMC at (804) 648-8319 or e-mail

Conference Board of Discipleship asks churches to submit best practices
The Virginia Conference Board of Discipleship is gathering resource information about discipleship, vital congregations, best practices of ministry, etc., in order to establish a “One Stop” offering with links as well as organizations, people and groups that provide assistance for the revitalization of churches. Churches are asked to forward best practices links to Karen Workman at, Linda Ray at or Don Jamison at so the board can use what you already know to help others who need to know.

Camp Overlook seeks executive director
The Camp Overlook Camp and Retreat Center board of directors is accepting applications for an executive director. To apply, submit cover letter and resume to by Nov. 1. Camp Overlook is a year-round Christian camp and retreat center in the Shenandoah Valley just outside of Harrisonburg. It is owned and operated by three United Methodist districts. The current director is seeking retirement and the position will be filled in early spring. View complete job description on the Virginia Conference website at and scroll down to “Other.”

WindsorMeade seeks part-time chaplain
WindsorMeade of Williamsburg, a Virginia United Methodist Homes community, is seeking a part-time chaplain to provide for the religious and spiritual needs of residents, their families and employees while building rapport through pastoral visitation. He or she will help prepare and lead regularly scheduled religious activities including services, Bible study, devotions and similar rituals to support the spiritual needs of residents and their families in both good times and difficult times. The ideal candidate has a Master of Divinity from an accredited seminary or school of theology, chaplaincy certification and two years of pastoral care experience, preferably with a senior adult population. For details, visit the Virginia Conference website at and scroll down to “Other.”

Sept. 15-Oct. 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month
Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 is Hispanic Heritage Month, a celebration of people in the United States who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking countries of Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Worship and other church events provide settings for Hispanic/Latino United Methodists to celebrate their heritage and cultures and for others to learn more about them. Click here for worship resources suggested by Discipleship Ministries.

Oct. 4 is World Communion Sunday
Oct. 4 is World Communion Sunday. World Communion Sunday calls the church to reach out to all people and model diversity among God’s children. United Methodists relate to World Communion Sunday by celebrating Holy Communion with other Christians around the world on this special Sunday. Churches are also encouraged to receive an offering to support scholarships for ethnic minority undergraduate and graduate students. Our gifts often enable first-generation students to attend college. To make it easier for you to change the world Oct. 4, download a free eBook and World Communion Sunday pastor’s kit. Order leaflet offering envelopes and posters at or call 1-888-346-3862. To hear World Communion Sunday in action, listen to these podcasts.

Laity Sunday is Oct. 18
Laity Sunday, celebrated on the third Sunday of October of each year, will be Oct. 18. Laity Sunday is a time to recognize the work and mission of all laity — not only within the walls of the church but also in everyday lives. Theme and focus for each quadrennium are set by the Association of Annual Conference Lay Leaders. The 2015 theme is "Disciples Called to Action: Creating Unity in Ministry." Theme for 2016 will be "Disciples Called to Action: Living Vital Worship." Click here for worship suggestions, bulletin inserts and posters for this year's theme that can be downloaded from the United Methodist Discipleship Ministries website.

An open table: How United Methodists understand Holy Communion
The sacrament of Holy Communion is such a common occurrence in the landscape of our worship that its uncommon richness sometimes gets lost. With the approach of World Communion Sunday on Oct. 4, Joe Iovino shares how United Methodists understand the Eucharist. More ... To learn more about World Communion Sunday, click here.

Number of United Methodist licensed local pastors continues to grow
Licensed local pastors, both part-time and full-time, are growing in number in The United Methodist Church as the number of seminary-trained ordained elders declines. The first part of the UMNS series "Trending Local: The Rise of United Methodist Local Pastors," with articles by Sam Hodges and photos by Mike DuBose, looks at the important and varied roles such clergy are playing in the denomination. More ...

Study explores images of God
A five-week study, “God of the Bible,” which explores the various images of God throughout Scripture, is available now for download from the United Methodist Commission on the Status and Role of Women. Additional resources, such as sermon ideas and reading lists, will be available in late October. More ...

United Methodists urged to take action against Alzheimer's
Recognizing that someone in the United States develops Alzheimer's disease every 67 seconds, the United Methodist General Board of Church & Society is collaborating with USAgainstAlzheimer's to mobilize people of faith to take action against this devastating disease. One way to take action is to sign a petition asking Congress to pass critical research funding. More ...

Pastor expects to go on trial for same-sex wedding
The Rev. Michael Tupper notified his bishop on Sept. 28 that he would not agree to a just resolution after helping to officiate at the same-sex wedding of his friend, the Rev. Benjamin Hutchison. His decision opens the way for a process that could culminate in a church trial. “I don’t believe God wants me to get ‘off the hook,’” he said. More ...

UMCOR head, bishop visit fire-stricken area in California
Bishop Warner Brown, resident bishop of the California-Nevada Conference and president of the Council of Bishops, and the Rev. Denise Honeycutt, head of United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), led a delegation of United Methodists to visit pastors and volunteers involved in fire response efforts in Lake County, Calif. More ...

New head of Kairos Palestine calls for action to protect Palestinian Christians
The new leader of Kairos Palestine said the struggle against occupation by Israel has increasingly transformed from a political to a religious conflict. Hind Khoury, who became head of Kairos Palestine in April, pointed out that a century ago Christians represented 20% of the population in Palestine, but they have dwindled to 1% now. More ...

United Methodist Communications seeks website content manager
United Methodist Communications, headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., is seeking a Website Content Manager to produce and oversee the acquisition, development, usability and tracking of content for, the official website of The United Methodist Church. To apply or for more information, contact UMCom Human Resources at P. O. Box 320 (810-12th Ave. S., Nash. 37203), Nashville, TN 37202-0320, (615) 742-5137 or More ...

♦ Annual ARMS Retreat - Oct. 7-8
“Journey of a Lifetime” will be the theme of the Association of Retired Ministers and Spouses (ARMS) annual retreat Oct. 7-8 at Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center in Blackstone. Dr. Joseph Eldridge, chaplain at American University, will speak on “Looking Back/Looking Forward: Viewing Justice Inter-Generationally.” Dr. Kenneth Patrick, chaplain at Blue Ridge Hospice, will speak on “Journeying through the Winter of Life with the Lord.” Fee is $50 per person ($25 if this is your first ARMS retreat.) For more information, e-mail Harry Kennon at

♦ School for Children’s Ministries - Oct. 17
The School for Children’s Ministries is on the road again offering the same school at four different locations on four different dates. The next event this year will be 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17, at Thalia UMC, 4321 Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach. Learn "Extraordinary Lessons from Ordinary Objects" plus three more workshops. A .5 CEU offered. Only $20 per person. More ...

♦ PAUMCS fall training event - Oct. 21
Virginia chapter of the Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries (PAUMCS) will hold its fall training event, "Experience Your Conference Connection 2015" 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21, at the Virginia United Methodist Conference Center in Glen Allen. Wayne Rhodes, director of Communications for the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, will talk about the United Methodist Social Principles. Linda Rhodes, Virginia Conference director of Communications, will lead "I Love to Tell the Story," a session on church communications for today. This event is open to all church administrative staff (full-time, part-time, paid and volunteer), including but not limited to administrative assistants, financial secretaries, office managers and newsletter editors. Pastors and Communication chairs are invited to attend. For more information or to register, click here or call Sandra Fulcher, chapter president, in the Danville District office at (276) 638-2688.

♦ Conference UMW annual meeting - Oct. 23-25
Virginia Conference United Methodist Women (UMW) will celebrate the 40th anniversary of "Dimes and Dollars for Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center" (VUMAC) at VUMAC in Blackstone during the UMW annual meeting Oct. 23-25. The Wicker Room (beside the Dining Room) is being renovated to become the official UMW room and will be dedicated during the annual meeting.

♦ 'Tearing Down the Walls: Ways of Doing Justice' - Oct. 24
The Roanoke, Danville, Lynchburg and Staunton districts are co-sponsoring 'Tearing Down the Walls: Ways of Doing Justice' 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, at First UMC, 125 W. Main St., Salem. Leader will be Shane Clariborne, nationally-known speaker and founder of The Simple Way Christian community in Philadelphia that has helped birth and connect radical faith communities around the world. This event will focus on the meaning of Christian social justice; how we can break down contemporary walls of injustice such as economic inequalities, educational disparities and racial divisions; and how we can build hope and empower persons to overcome walls of separation and engage others on social justice issues. Youths, young adults and older adults are invited to attend this intergenerational event. Early bird registration fee of $25 for adults is available until Sept. 17, after which adult registration will be $30. Student registration is $10. Registration deadline is Oct. 17. More ...

♦ UMFS golf tournament - Oct. 26
The annual United Methodist Family Services (UMFS) Fore the Kids Golf Tournament will be held Monday, Oct. 26, at Stonehenge Country Club, 1000 Farnham Dr., Richmond. Cost is $400 per team or $100 per individual and includes a light breakfast, lunch and BBQ dinner as well as prizes and golf. Four-man Captain’s Choice format will tee off at 10 a.m. Register at A pre-tournament party 6-8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 19, at Golfsmith in Short Pump will offer free food, contests, giveaways and a 15% discount to Golfsmith for in-store purchases. UMFS is seeking sponsors for the golf tournament. If interested in being a sponsor, go to For more information, contact Joe Torrence at or (804) 239-1042, ext. 1941.

♦ Small Congregation Training - Oct. 31
Teams of clergy and laity from small congregations with an average worship attendance between 1-149 are invited to a training event 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, at Belmont UMC, Richmond. The Rev. Dr. Lewis Parks, Wesley Theological Seminary professor who has specific interest in the small congregation, will be featured speaker focusing on practical tools needed to bring new vitality to small churches. The event will be live-streamed to five other locations around the conference. Cost is $25, and .5 CEU will be offered. Group discounts are available. More ...

♦ Social Action 101: Effective Advocacy - Nov. 7, Nov. 14
Bishop Cho hands off a copy of a conference resolution on raising the minimum wage to Delegate Jackson Miller from Manassas.The Virginia Conference Legislative Network, the organizing group for United Methodist Day at the General Assembly each year, in cooperation with the conference Board of Church & Society, United Methodist Women and the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, is offering educational opportunities to learn about faithful advocacy and help participants prepare for 2016 United Methodist Day at General Assembly on Thursday, Feb. 4. The training, “Social Action 101: Effective Advocacy at Home and at the General Assembly,” will be offered at three locations 10 a.m. to 12 noon Saturday, Nov. 7:
  ♦ Farmville UMC, 115 S. Main St., Farmville, for the Danville and Farmville districts;
  ♦ Highland UMC, 125 E. Westover Ave., Colonial Heights, for the Elizabeth River, James River, York River and Eastern Shore districts;
  ♦ Wright’s Chapel UMC, 8063 Ladysmith Rd., Ruther Glen, for the Fredericksburg and Richmond districts. Registration deadline is Oct. 26. More ...
The same training will be offered at three locations 10 a.m. to 12 noon Saturday, Nov. 14:
  ♦ St. Paul’s UMC, 1400 G. St., Woodbridge, for the Alexandria, Arlington and Winchester districts;
  ♦ Asbury UMC, 205 S. Main St., Harrisonburg, for the Charlottesville, Harrisonburg and Staunton districts;
  ♦ Heritage UMC, 582 Leesville Rd., Lynchburg, for the Lynchburg and Roanoke districts. Registration deadline is Nov. 2. More ...
There is no registration fee. For more information, contact Tammy Burton, registrar, at 1246 Mill Stream Way, Chesapeake, VA 23239, (757) 274-7035 or

♦ UMVIM Team Leader Training - Oct. 31, 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, Oct. 31, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at The Gathering UMC, 5516 Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach. Click here to register online and pay by credit card. Click here to download a pdf form and pay by check.
  ♦ 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 ...

♦ United Methodist Men Spiritual Advance - Nov. 6-8
The Virginia Conference United Methodist Men 2015 Spiritual Advance will be Friday-Sunday, Nov. 6-8, at Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center in Blackstone. The annual event will feature the Rev. Dr. Clarence R. Brown, senior pastor of Annandale UMC (Alexandria District), who will preach a series of four messages on Men Making a Difference. More ...

♦ 5 Talent Academy: ‘Stir Up the Fire: Wesley's Way of Making Disciples’ - Nov. 10
The 5 Talent Academy faith development event focused on small group ministry will be held Tuesday, Nov. 10, at Ebenezer UMC in Stafford and will be live-streamed to nine other conference locations. Keynote speaker will be the Rev. Dr. Jim Harnish, former senior pastor of Hyde Park UMC in Tampa, Fla., and author of many books including A Disciple’s Path. Cost is $25 and .5 CEU will be offered. Group discounts are available. Registration deadline is Oct. 23. For more information and to register, go to

♦ Fall Youth Retreats - Nov. 13-15, Dec. 4-6
Now is the time to register 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. 13-15 and High School Retreat will be Dec. 4-6 at Eagle Eyrie in Lynchburg. This year's retreats will focus on learning to be a "Called Generation." Click here for flyer. Band will be Keith Elgin. Paulo Lopes, Virginia Conference director of Ministries with Young People, will be the speaker. Cost is $125 per person if paid by Oct. 30, $135 per person after Oct. 30. To register and for more information go to or contact Becky Tate at or (804) 521-1139.

♦ 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 ...

♦ 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.

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
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