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News from the Virginia Conference - Sept. 11, 2014

Virginia Conference has saved 12,000 lives from malaria so far
Virginia Conference United Methodists have raised nearly $120,000 (and saved 12,000 lives) for Imagine No Malaria in the two months since Annual Conference voted to save 100,000+ lives in the next year. "It may not seem like much yet," said the Rev. Glenn Rowley, director of Justice and Missional Excellence, "but we have just gotten started. There are already amazing stories posted on the conference Imagine No Malaria Facebook page and the conference website about what churches and individuals are doing to save lives." For more information, contact Maria Maxwell, Virginia Conference Imagine No Malaria field coordinator, at (804) 521-1160 or MariaMaxwell@vaumc.org.

Pastor climbs on roof to raise $3,800 to fight malaria
The Rev. Faith Weedling spent 38 hours on the roof of Brosville UMC, Danville District, after her church and members of Wesley Chapel and Rock Springs UMC raised $3,800 for Imagine No Malaria. Weedling had pledged to sit on the roof one hour for every $100 raised. More ...

Pastor to shave head if congregation raises $1,500 this month
The Rev. Brian Siegle, pastor of New Hope UMC in Saluda, York River District, is challenging his congregation to raise $1,500 during the month of September for Imagine No Malaria. If the challenge is met he has agreed to shave his head. More ...

Blackstone continues appeal for 'VUMAC Partners'
Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center (Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center) is continuing an appeal for "VUMAC Partners" to help provide support for ongoing services and renovation of the retreat center. More than 13,000 youths and adults, laity and clergy, used the facilities in 2013 for workshops, retreats and conferences. Individual United Methodists and local churches or church groups are asked to become "VUMAC Partners." Contributions at all levels are welcome. Checks should be made payable to VUMAC and mailed to VUMAC Partners, P.O. Box 22, Blackstone, VA 23824.

September is time for emphasis on Christian education
Every local church in the Virginia Conference is urged to celebrate Christian Education Sunday on any Sunday in September or October and receive an offering to help support the educational ministries of the districts and the conference. When local churches remit this offering to the conference treasurer, one half of the collected amount stays with the conference, and one half is returned to the district to help defray the cost of conference and district programs and training.
     Christian Education Week is authorized by General Conference, and its observance is set by each annual conference. In the Virginia Conference, it is traditionally observed during the month of September. The theme for this year’s Christian Education Week is Partners in Faith Formation and Discipleship: Small-Group Leaders Form Vital Disciples. Click here to download a free guide for Christian Education Week from the General Board of Discipleship.

September is National Hunger Action Month
Nearly 50 million people in the United States today are hungry or food insecure, according to information from the Society of St. Andrew (SoSA). Yet in this country, we will throw away more than 133 billion pounds of food this year. September is National Hunger Action Month. Plan now to make September a time for your congregation to stand against hunger to see that each person in this country has healthful, nourishing food to eat. Society of St. Andrew, approved Advance Special of the General Board of Global Ministries, offers worship and study resources. More ...

Hispanic Heritage Month is Sept. 15-Oct. 15
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 the General Board of Discipleship.

Oct. 5 is World Communion Sunday
Oct. 5 is World Communion Sunday. United Methodists observe World Communion Sunday by celebrating communion with other Christians around the world on this special Sunday. Churches are also encouraged to receive an offering to support ethnic undergraduate and graduate students, which often enables first-generation students to attend college. Click here to download the World Communion Sunday pastor’s kit. Order leaflet offering envelopes and posters to enhance your World Communion Sunday celebration at www.umcgiving.org/ss or call 1-888-346-3862. More ...

Laity Sunday is Oct. 19
Laity Sunday is celebrated on the third Sunday of October (Oct. 19 this year). 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. Click here for worship suggestions, bulletin inserts and posters for this year’s theme from the General Board of Discipleship.

Young adult trip to Cambodia set for June 24-July 8
June 24-July 8, 2015, are the dates for a first-ever Virginia Conference trip to Cambodia designed for young adults. Focus of the trip will be orientation to the Methodist Mission in Cambodia as well as helping sponsor and lead a young people’s conference in Cambodia. Subsidized cost for the trip is $2000 per person. A maximum of 10 people may participate, so get your application in early. Team leaders are Adam Jenkins and Nathan Decker. For more information, contact Decker at pastorndekcer@gmail.com.

United Methodist Women to visit Cambodia Jan. 14-27
The Rev. Sam NeSmith will lead a team of United Methodist Women to Cambodia Jan. 14-27 to share leadership in a Methodist Women’s conference of the Methodist Mission in Cambodia. This will be a first-time experience for the 120 participants.

Median age of clergy climbs to 56
The median age of United Methodist clergy has hit 56 — a new high — and the percentage of older clergy continues to rise, according to an annual study by the Lewis Center for Church Leadership. But the study also found that the denomination has seen modest growth in the percentage of clergy under age 35. More ...

Women find cracks in 'stained-glass ceiling'
Three women, in quick succession, were chosen this year to lead historic tall-steeple churches in Chicago, New York City and Washington. They include the Rev. Ginger Gaines-Cirelli, who now leads Foundry United Methodist Church in the nation's capital. Adelle Banks of Religion News Service shares how the women see their ministry. More ...

United Methodist Men by the numbers
This year, United Methodist Men chartered 56 new units, distributed 10,000 New Testaments to Boy Scouts and saw nearly 24,000 United Methodist youngsters receive PRAY (Programs of Religious Activities with Youth) Awards. Those are just some of the numbers that help tell the story of men's ministry in the denomination. More ...

Groups to bishops: You must speak
Two United Methodist groups – coming from different theological perspectives – are urging the Council of Bishops to take the lead and speak out on issues facing the church and wider world. The Western Methodist Justice Movement and Good News each released a statement this week encouraging bishops' action. More ...

Bishop McLee, 'champion' for marginalized people, dies
Bishop Martin D. McLee, leader of The United Methodist Church's New York Area, died Sept. 6 at 58. He had been on leave of absence due to illness since July. "He was a great gift of God to the church," said the Rev. Zan Wesley Holmes Jr., a friend and mentor. More ...

Religious leaders urge Obama to keep children safe
Forty U.S. interfaith leaders sent a brief message to President Obama last week urging him to remember the safety of children and families as his administration makes decisions about immigration. United Methodist signers included the Rev. John McCullough, Church World Service; the Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe, United Methodist General Board of Church and Society; Jim Winkler, National Council of Churches; and Los Angeles Area Bishop Minerva Carcaño. More ...

Affordable Care Act offers cost savings to some conferences
Facing mounting health care costs for an aging risk pool, some United Methodist conferences are turning to the Affordable Care Act for relief. Turning to state insurance marketplaces can bring both advantages and drawbacks for church employees. First in a two-part series. More ...

Free webinar on 'Becoming a Praying Congregation' to be Sept. 16
The General Board of Discipleship will offer a free webinar "Becoming a Praying Congregation" Tuesday, Sept. 16, at 7:30 p.m. ET. The webinar will include examples and ideas for the community, for small groups, for individuals and families to have a deeper connection with God. More ...

Applications open for 2015 Generation Transformation
Applications are now open for 2015 Generation Transformation, an initiative of the General Board of Global Ministries to increase opportunities for young adults to engage in mission throughout the connection. Program opportunities available are: ♦ Global Mission Fellows - US2 Domestic Track and International Track – Age 20-30, 2-year commitment; ♦ Global Justice Volunteers – Age 18-30, 10-week commitment; and ♦ Individual Volunteers – Age 18 and up, flexible commitment anywhere from 2 months to 2 years. Click on this link to a media/info toolkit for materials with more details about this program. Earlybird deadline is Oct. 15. More ...

♦ Amazing Raise to benefit Heart Havens - Sept. 17-18
Heart Havens is again participating in The Amazing Raise, a 36-hour giving challenge for non-profits in central Virginia that provides incentive prizes for participating groups. The event runs from 6 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17, to 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 18. This year, Heart Havens is targeting the Coffee Break Prize, an extra $1,000 to be given to the group receiving the most donations from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 17. So, Heart Havens supporters are asked to consider “taking a coffee break for Heart Havens” by giving during that time at http://theamazingraise.org/#npo/heart-havens-inc. For a bulletin insert to spread this information to your congregation, contact Sarah Wilkinson, Marketing and Development Specialist, at sarah.wilkinson@hearthavens.org or (804) 237-6097.

♦ School for Children's Ministry - Sept. 20, Nov. 8
The School for Children’s Ministry is on the road this year to come to a district near you and includes the “Bottomless Cookie Jar” and eight new workshops. Remaining events will be 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sept. 20 at Greenville UMC, Greenville (click here to register); and Nov. 8 at Grace UMC, Manassas (click here to register). Registration deadline is the Wednesday before the event. Workshop presenters are children’s ministry professionals, representing all sizes of churches. Click here for brochure.

♦ Motorcycle rally to benefit Heart Havens - Sept. 20
The Third Annual Heart Havens Ride for Independence motorcycle rally will be Saturday, Sept. 20, at Richmond Harley-Davidson, 12200 Harley Club Drive, Ashland. Registration is $20 for rider, $5 for passenger. Registration opens at 9:30 a.m. Ride begins at 10:30 a.m. For more information and advance registration, go to www.rideforindependence.myevent.com or call Pat or Sara at 1-877-442-8368.

♦ Ethics II training - Sept. 24, 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 two trainings will be 9:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m Wednesday, Sept. 24, at Oak Grove UMC in the Elizabeth River District and 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 Sept. 24 event. Click here to register for Nov. 13 event.

♦ 5 Talent Academy 'Evangelism, Communication and Church Growth' event - Oct. 4
5 Talent Academy "Evangelism, Communication and Church Growth" event will be 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, at Floris UMC in Herndon and broadcast to nine additional locations across the conference. Maria Dixon Hall, associate professor of Organizational Communication at Southern Methodist University, will explore evangelism through the lens of solid and fruitful communication practices. Registration is open to all Virginia Conference churches regardless of affiliation with the 5 Talent Academy. Visit www.vaumc.org/5Talent to register. Registration is $25 per person and includes lunch.

♦ Teachers' Toolbox training - Oct. 4
Teachers’ Toolbox, a training event for church teachers and educational leaders, will be 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, at Ginter Park Presbyterian Church, 3601 Seminary Ave., Richmond. The event is co-sponsored by The Resource Center and the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. Click here to register. Registration is $25/person for up to four from the same congregation. Five or more from the same congregation may register at discounted rate of $20/person. Each congregation registered by Sept. 29 will receive a complimentary copy of the book Fostering Faith: Teaching & Learning in the Christian Church by Dr. Denise Janssen, executive director of The Resource Center and assistant professor of Christian Education at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. More ...

♦ ARMS Retreat - Oct. 8-9
The Association of Retired Ministers and Spouses (ARMS) will hold its annual retreat Oct. 8-9 at Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center. Cost is $55 per person; scholarships are available. Registration deadline is Oct. 1. Send registration to Blackstone CRC, 707 Fourth St., Blackstone, VA 23842. Checks should be made payable to Virginia Conference UMC. For more information, contact the deans of the weekend, Dr. and Mrs. Jack Martin, at rvjtm@aol.com.

♦ Brian McLaren forum at GMU - Oct. 15
Brian McLaren, prominent Christian pastor, author, activist, speaker and leader in the emerging church movement, will speak at a forum for clergy and laity Wednesday, Oct. 15, at George Mason University. McLaren will address (in three keynote sessions) ideas from his book Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddah and Mohammed Cross the Road? “Not the beginning of a joke – but the start of one of the most important conversations in today’s world.” This event begins at 9:30 a.m. in Dewberry Hall (first floor, Johnson Center). Parking in Lot A is free for this event. For more information, click here. To register, click here. This event is sponsored by ARISE@GMU (our United Methodist and ecumenical campus ministry) and the GMU Department of Sociology and Anthropology. CEU credit (.5 ) can be earned with full participation.

♦ 'Lord, Teach Me to Pray' - Oct. 25, Feb. 21
"Lord, Teach Me to Pray — Practical Applications for Prayer" will be offered again Saturday, Oct. 25, at St. Thomas UMC, Manassas, (Click here to register) and Saturday, Feb. 21, at Williamsburg UMC (Click here to register). Main speaker will be Dr. Wendy Miller, professor emeritus of Spiritual Formation at Eastern Mennonite Seminary and adjunct faculty at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill., and Perkins School of Theology in Dallas. Click here to download a flyer.

♦ PAUMCS fall training event - Oct. 29
Virginia chapter of the Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries (PAUMCS) will hold its fall training event, "Experience Your Conference Connection 2014" 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29, at the Virginia United Methodist Conference Center in Glen Allen. Members of the Conference Board of Communications will address the need to communicate in a technology-infused world, including discussions on social media, website design and hosting and blogging. 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 (804) 521-1124.

♦ 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.

♦ 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. Young adults to serve as small group leaders and youths to serve as staff are needed. To volunteer, contact Alison Malloy at alisonmalloy@gmail.com. To register and for more information go to www.vaumc.org/youth 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 www.richmondmarathon.com. Or contact Steve Jones at richmondds@vaumc.org or Allie Rosner at pastorallie@verizon.net. Or join the Facebook Group “The Good Race.”

♦ 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 www.nutzyrotaryfunnrun.com to register.


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 Advocate@vaumc.org. For information about the Virginia Conference and resources for ministry, visit the Virginia Conference website at www.vaumc.org


 

 

 

 

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