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News from the Virginia Conference - Oct. 29, 2015

Change your clocks back this weekend
Remember to set your clocks back one hour (you gain an hour!) when you go to bed Saturday night so you'll get to church at the right time on Sunday morning. Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 1. The U.S. begins Daylight Saving Time at 2 a.m. local time on the second Sunday in March and reverts to Standard Time at 2 a.m. local time on the first Sunday in November.

Churches further exceed Imagine No Malaria goal saving 101,658+ lives!
As of Oct. 23, Virginia Conference churches had raised $1,016,581.17 for Imagine No Malaria, saving more than 101,658 lives and further exceeding the conference goal of raising $1 million to save 100,000+ lives from malaria, a preventable and treatable disease. More ...

General, jurisdictional delegates vote not to endorse candidate for bishop
At their meeting on Saturday, Oct. 24, members of the Virginia Conference delegation to General and Southeastern Jurisdictional Conferences voted not to endorse a candidate for bishop. In The United Methodist Church, bishops are elected and assigned by the jurisdictions. Bishops for the Southeastern Jurisdiction (SEJ) will be elected by delegates from all 15 SEJ annual conferences during jurisdictional conference July 13-15, 2016, at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in Lake Junaluska, N.C. More ...

Advocate editor seeks articles for December issue on Advent
The Advocate editor needs your stories. The December issue of the Advocate will focus on the season of Advent. How does your church focus on Advent? What helps you remember the “reason for the season”? Whether you are clergy or laity, how do you personally celebrate Advent, and how do you observe Christmas in a Christian way? How do you think we can share this observance with others? What creative ways can we use to share Advent and its true meaning? Would you like to provide commentary on being countercultural to the Christmas season? Send your information to Madeline Pillow, Advocate editor, at to share your story and potentially be featured in the next Advocate magazine.

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.

Saturday, Oct. 31, is Reformation Day
Reformation Day is Saturday, 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 Sunday, 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. 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 ...

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.

Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy seeks executive director
The Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP) is seeking an executive director to unite and empower people of faith and social justice advocates across Virginia to speak justice for all throughout the state. The executive director reports to VICPP’s board of directors and works with members and staff to lead the organization in accordance with its vision, mission and strategic plan. More ...

Pathways needs volunteers to help with potato delivery Nov. 21
Pathways is asking for volunteers to assist with potato delivery in Petersburg on Saturday Nov. 21, between 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Pathways needs assistance with bagging, loading and hand delivering 10-pound bags of white potatoes to the front doorsteps of residents of Petersburg's Battersea neighborhood. Pathways is a private, non-profit community development corporation working to rebuild and strengthen the City of Petersburg and surrounding counties. For more information and to sign up, contact Ron Brown of Pathways at or (804) 862-1104, ext. 324.

Rethink Church now 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.

Judicial Council defers ruling on constitutionality of proposed reorganization
Meeting Oct. 21-24 in St. Louis, the United Methodist Judicial Council voted to defer until May a ruling on the constitutionality of "Plan UMC Revised," proposed legislation to reorganize The United Methodist Church. To make a declaratory decision about one specific piece of proposed legislation, the Judicial Council said, “could intrude” on the full legislative authority of General Conference, the denomination’s top decision-making body which meets May 10-20 in Portland, Ore. More ...

Halloween observance actually has Christian roots
Depending on whom you ask, Halloween is either harmless, secular fun or a dangerous, possibly satanic revel. Both interpretations ignore the holiday's Christian roots. Shane Raynor of United Methodist Ministry Matters makes an argument for reclaiming the Christian observances of Allhallowtide on Oct. 31-Nov. 2. More ...

UMC #GivingTuesday on Dec. 1 to support Advance projects, 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 ...

Volunteers still needed three years after Superstorm Sandy
Today, Oct. 29, marks the third anniversary of Superstorm Sandy wreaking havoc along the coastlines of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. The New York Conference is looking at how the storm and recovery have affected homeowners, volunteers and those involved in coordinating the rebuilding efforts in New York and Connecticut. Conference officials hope the stories, photos and videos will prompt people to volunteer for the very first time – or return again – so that those who are still waiting may return home safely. Click here for information on volunteering. More ...

North Central Jurisdiction to retain nine bishops
The General Council on Finance and Administration has rescinded its recommendation that the North Central Jurisdiction reduce its number of bishops, jurisdictional leaders announced Oct. 28. The finance agency used revised numbers from conference statisticians to recalculate jurisdiction's membership. Earlier totals inadvertently had left out members from new churches. More ... Read GCFA press release.

Chuck Knows Church: Everyday Gifts
Everyday Gifts is Chuck's first short film. Perfect for Halloween week, the film illustrates the nature of God. Play this at your next worship service, Bible study or fellowship time and discuss the nature of God. Perfect for Halloween or Thanksgiving week. Produced by the Chuck Knows Church team. Chuck Knows Church SHORTS are occasional films produced free for you. Chuck is on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. "Chuck Knows Church" is produced by United Methodist Discipleship Ministries. More ...

S.C. governor helps distribute UMCOR health kits to flood victims
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, a United Methodist, has been traveling the state helping hand out needed supplies, including United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) health kits, to victims of the recent flooding. She met with United Methodist early response team coordinators and volunteers working at flood relief centers to gather information about needs in the community. More ...

♦ Small Church Training event - Oct. 31
Location for the Small Church Training event on Saturday, Oct. 31, has been changed to Providence UMC in Richmond. All persons who had registered to attend the event at Belmont UMC in Richmond should now plan to go to Providence UMC. Participants registered for the Richmond location have been notified of this change via e-mail. The Rev. Dr. Lewis Parks, Wesley Theological Seminary professor, 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. Registration has closed, but walk-ins are welcome at all six sites. Walk-in participants cannot be guaranteed lunch or packet materials and should come prepared to pay $25 per person by cash (exact change) or check. 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. 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. 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 - 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 ...

♦ 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 ...

♦ School for Children’s Ministries - Nov. 7
The School for Children’s Ministries is on the road again offering the same school at four different locations on four different dates. The final event this year will be 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 7, at Good Shepherd UMC, 14999 Birchdale Ave., Dale City. Learn "Extraordinary Lessons from Ordinary Objects" plus three more workshops. A .5 CEU offered. Only $20 per person. 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.

♦ 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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