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News from the Virginia Conference - Sept. 3, 2015

Bishop Cho calls on all churches to join Sept. 6 'Day to End Racism'
Bishop Young Jin Cho has issued a call for all churches and pastors of the Virginia Conference to join our brothers and sisters in the African Methodist Episcopal Church in observing this Sunday, Sept. 6, as a “Day of Confession, Repentance, Prayer and Commitment to End Racism.” A litany has been developed for use in congregational worship. In the wake of the murders of The Emanuel Nine (the senior pastor and eight members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.), the Council of Bishops of the AME Church has asked every church, temple, synagogue, mosque and place of worship to designate Sept. 6 as a Sunday “to focus on race ... and be reminded that out of one blood, God created all of us to dwell together in unity.” Click here to read the AME Council of Bishops' statement. More ...

Conference offices to close for Labor Day
Virginia Conference offices in the United Methodist Center in Glen Allen will close at 1 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4, and remain closed Monday, Sept. 7, in observance of Labor Day.

Larry Davies ponders tragedy at Smith Mountain Lake
The Rev. Larry Davies, Lynchburg District superintendent, ponders the recent tragedy at Smith Mountain Lake in which reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward from WDBJ-TV in Roanoke were shot and killed and Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Vicki Gardner was seriously wounded. "The tragedy at Smith Mountain Lake vividly reminds us that life is short and occasionally unpredictable," Davies writes. "Human beings are vulnerable to tragedy, crisis, illness and the consequences of mistakes, mishaps and the evil intentions of others or even self-inflicted wounds. Yet, in the midst of tragedy there is the ever present promise of God." More ... e-mail address can save 18% off Verizon bill
Clergy with a e-mail address can save up to 18% on their monthly Verizon bill. To get started, go to Follow the instructions on the screen to submit your e-mail to Verizon. Verizon will send you an e-mail with registration instructions. This works for both existing customers and new customers. If you have questions, go to Verizon Discount FAQ at To chat or call Verizon, go to or visit the website at

VUMAC executive director issues letter explaining water issues
Sam McCracken, executive director of the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) in Blackstone, issued a letter dated Sept. 2 explaining the status of the water quality at the facility. Last month, the Virginia Conference Council on Finance and Administration (CFA) approved an $11,500 loan to VUMAC to cover costs of needed repairs to VUMAC's water system. Earlier in August concerns about the water quality had caused Camp Rainbow Connection to cancel the Aug. 9-14 session of the camp scheduled to be held at VUMAC. In his letter, McCracken explained that "bacteria and yeast were causing the problem." He said to solve the problem, they drained all water from the building, replaced underground hot and cold water pipes to the building, refilled the system with 30 gallons of chlorine and water for 24 hours and then flushed the lines until the chlorine smell was gone. "Sure enough there is no smell, no taste and no color to our water," McCracken said. More ...

55,512 meals packaged during Ferrum College Stop Hunger Now event
More than 500 students at United Methodist-related Ferrum College in Ferrum, Va., joined with hundreds of local church and community members Aug. 30 to package nutritious meals for Stop Hunger Now, a denominational partner. The 55,512 meals packaged during the event will be shipped to the Philippines this week. More ...

Sunday Advocate offers digest of United Methodist news for bulletin insert
The Sunday Advocate is a weekly, single-page digest of United Methodist information, news and resources distributed electronically and formatted so it can be
reproduced as a Sunday bulletin insert. It is sent free no later than each Wednesday via e-mail to subscribers or it can be downloaded from the conference website. Churches can reprint the camera-ready inserts as provided or reformat the material for other uses. Many churches have found creative ways to distribute the Sunday Advocate throughout their congregations, such as posting it on bulletin boards, delivering to shut-ins, or providing copies in the church narthex or commons area. To download the Sunday Advocate in a pdf format, go to To subscribe, send a blank e-mail with "Subscribe" in the subject line to:

Sept. 6 is Industrial & Commercial Ministries Sunday
Sunday, Sept. 6, is Industrial & Commercial Ministries Sunday, a day on which all churches in the Virginia Conference are asked to take a special offering to provide important support to Industrial & Commercial Ministries (ICM), a Christian, ecumenical, not-for-profit organization that equips, places and supports volunteer chaplains in America's workplaces. More information about ICM can be found at

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 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.
     Churches are also encouraged to celebrate Christian Education Week this month. 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. Click here to download a free guide for Christian Education Week from United Methodist Discipleship Ministries.

September is Hunger Action Month
September is Hunger Action Month. Nearly 50 million people in the United States today are hungry or food insecure. 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 offers Hunger Action Month resources, including a Daily Calendar for Prayer and Action. The calendar has a Scripture reading and related activity for each day of September. More ...

Hispanic Heritage Month begins Sept. 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 Discipleship Ministries (General Board of Discipleship).

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.

Hermitage at Cedarfield seeks part-time chaplain
The Hermitage at Cedarfield, a community of Virginia United Methodist Homes, Inc., located in the far west end of Richmond off Three Chopt Road, is seeking a part-time (20 hours per wek) professional chaplain to deliver spiritual support and care to residents as an essential dimension of its Pathways to Wellness plan. Through ministries of pastoral care and counseling, worship and programming the chaplain facilitates spiritual care of residents, residents’ families and employees. The ideal candidate will be ordained with a Master’s degree in Divinity from an accredited institution and have skill in dealing with the spiritual dynamics of aging, illness, loss and death. Religious Life professionals at the Hermitage at Cedarfield work with a multi-disciplinary staff of health care professionals. E-mail resume with cover letter to; fax to (804) 968-5541; or mail to Human Resource Department, The Hermitage at Cedarfield, 2300 Cedarfield Parkway, Richmond, VA 23233. Position available early September.

Churches urged to make ending racism a priority
Churches across America should make ending racism and race-based violence a priority, an African Methodist Episcopal bishop told a gathering of four historically African-American Methodist denominations in announcing a new initiative to fight racism. More ...

Gulfside directors rethink assembly's purpose, plan rebuilding
The Gulfside Assembly board of directors, which includes Mississippi Bishop James E. Swanson Jr., is rethinking the assembly’s purpose since Hurricane Katrina demolished every building on the 60 acres. Located in Waveland, Miss., on the Gulf of Mexico, Gulfside was a place of respite for African-American Methodists during a time when blacks were not welcome in many places in the South. It was an important meeting and vacation spot during racial segregation. More ...

Health insurance coverage to change for bishops, general agencies
The board of the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA), the United Methodist Church's finance agency, is making changes to the health insurance coverage offered to bishops and general agency employees. Read GCFA press release. The board is taking steps to avoid the Affordable Care Act's "Cadillac tax" on high-cost health plans that has the potential to affect far more than church employees. More ...

Agency offers toolkit for unified branding
United Methodist Communications is offering a new online toolkit that makes it easy for churches, conferences, agencies and other denominational entities to adopt unified branding. “Connecting with the United Methodist brand in a more consistent way promotes visual harmony and reduces confusion,” said Dan Krause, chief executive of United Methodist Communications. The toolkit addresses fonts, colors and the Cross and Flame, official logo of the denomination. Check out online toolkit

Wanted: Tough questions about giving
What are the most common — and the most challenging — questions people ask you about giving? What would you like to know about modeling generosity in your local church? United Methodist Communications' Connectional Giving Team is working on a new FAQ resource to address your questions. Help by sharing your questions or questions that others have asked you about giving. Submit questions

Free webinars for church leaders offered by Discipleship Ministries
Discipleship Ministries Leadership Ministries division is offering the following free webinars for church leaders September through November. For more information and to register, go to
Thursday, Sept. 10, 12 p.m. (EDT) - Policies! Policies! Policies! - One of our biggest challenges is making sure that policies that we develop live into our call to love our children. During this interactive webinar, we will look at the development process, who needs to be in on the conversation, and share samples of policies that have served congregations well.
Thursday, Sept. 10, 12 p.m. (EDT) - Teaching/Learning for Transformation - Discover the basics for how children learn, how to plan effectively, and how to create sacred space in which children experience the love and grace of God through Jesus Christ and find ways to respond as disciples. Registration deadline is Sept. 9.
Tuesday, Sept. 15, 12 p.m. (EDT) - WCC#6 Evangelism And The Context Of Small Congregations - Rev. Dr. Andrew Irvine, professor of Pastoral Theology at Knox College, Toronto School of Theology; Rev. Dr. Heather Heinzman Lear, director of UMC Evangelism Ministries; and Dr. Tony Kireopoulos, Associate General Secretary, National Council of Churches, USA, continue the series on multiple dimensions of evangelism.
Tuesday, Sept. 15, 7:30 p.m. (EDT) - Making Your Message Stick - Participants will explore how to craft messages about Christian faith formation that are relevant and inviting for people in their congregations. Ideas about using a variety of communication tools will be highlighted.
Tuesday, Sept. 15, 8:30 p.m. (EDT) - Celebrating Extended Advent: Why and How-to - Introduction to the modern recovery of the early church's practice of a seven-week Advent, why a growing number of United Methodists and others are pursuing it, and the difference it makes in their worship and spiritual lives.
Tuesday, Sept. 22, 12 p.m. (EDT) - Preparing for Advent - Practical ideas for Advent based on traditions of the church and faith development of children.
Tuesday, Sept. 22, 7:30 p.m. (EDT) - What is Lay Servant Ministries all About? - Jodi Cataldo, director of Laity in Leadership, and Michael McMenamy, president of the Association of Conference Directors of Lay Servant Ministries, discuss the call to ministry of all believers, how Lay Servant Ministries helps persons become equipped for ministry and service, what various categories and processes are and resources available.
Thursday, Sept. 24, 2 p.m. (EDT) - Developing Your Ministry Plan – A Four-Part In Depth Series; Session 2, Discovering Your Congregation’s Niche - Four-part webinar series will lead you through a process of developing a Ministry Action Plan. Led by Craig Kennet Miller, director of Congregational Development, the four series includes Session 1: Congregational DNA; Session 2: Discovering Your Congregation’s Niche; Session 3: Discovering your Discipleship Process; and Session 4: Worship, Small Groups and the Next 12 Months.
Thursday, Sept. 24, 7:30 p.m. (EDT) - Grant Writing 101: Launching Projects & Ministries that Make a Difference - Stewardship consultant for the Oregon-Idaho Conference Cesie Delve Scheuermann will bring her expertise as a fundraiser and grant writer along with a deep connection to the UMC to this webinar on grant writing.
Tuesday, Sept. 29, 11 a.m. (EDT) - Q&A Webinar with John Roberto author of Reimagining Faith Formation for the 21st Century - In his latest book on Intergenerational Ministry, Reimagining Faith Formation for the 21st Century, John Roberto invites readers to imagine what ministry might look like in the 21st century.
Tuesday, Sept. 29, 1:30 p.m. (EDT) - Tuesday Tea w/Melanie; What Every Child Should Experience: Encountering God-web chat - Melanie Gordon, director of Ministry with Children, Discipleship Ministries, welcomes inspirational leaders who will offer wisdom and expertise in areas of the faith formation of children. This month, Glenys Nellyst will offer her expertise on encountering God, based on the resource, What Every Child Should Experience – A Guide for Leaders and Teachers in United Methodist Congregations.
Monday, Oct. 5, 7:30 p.m. (EST) - The Laity and General Conference 2016 - To learn more about what legislative petitions the Association of Annual Conference Lay Leaders (AACLL) is sending to General Conference 2016, join Dr. Steve Furr, President of AACLL; and Lonnie Brooks, AACLL Legislative Committee chair, and Jodi Cataldo, director of Laity in Leadership, for a roundtable conversation.
Tuesday Oct. 6, 11 a.m. (EST) - Intergenerational Approaches for Stewardship - Every year churches around the connection plan and implement their stewardship campaigns. Often children and youth are left out of these conversations and resulting ministries. This interactive webinar takes a look at how Stewardship can be done with the entire faith community.
Thursday, Oct. 8, 7:30 p.m. (EST) - What is Certified Lay Ministry all About? - Jodi Cataldo, director of Laity in Leadership, discusses the call to ministry of all believers, how Certified Lay Ministry provides an avenue of concentrated service for those called to ministry as a layperson while providing a system of training, supervision, support, and accountability.
Tuesday Oct. 13, 10 a.m. (EST) - Best Intergenerational Practices - Award-winning Christian educator and author on aging, Barbara Bruce, will cover latest theories, review print resources, and offer best practices in the field of intergenerational ministry with a focus on older adults.
Tuesday Oct. 13, 12 p.m. (EST) - Safe Sanctuaries - Look at ways to educate and engage the congregation in reducing the risk of children sexual abuse.
Tuesday Oct. 13, 7:30 p.m. (EDT) - Faith at Home - Participants will explore how congregations can support parents as teachers and models of the Christian faith.
Thursday, Oct. 15, 2 p.m. (EDT) - Developing Your Ministry Plan – A Four-Part In Depth Series; Session 3, Discovering your Discipleship Process - Four-part webinar series will lead you through a process of developing a Ministry Action Plan for your ministry. Led by Craig Kennet Miller, director of congregational Development, the four series includes Session 1: Congregational DNA; Session 2: Discovering Your Congregation’s Niche; Session 3: Discovering your Discipleship Process; and Session 4: Worship, Small Groups, and the Next 12 Months.
Tuesday, Oct. 20, 1:30 p.m. (EST) - Tuesday Tea w/Melanie; Helping Our Children Grow in Faith in the Home-web chat - Melanie Gordon, director of Ministry with Children, Discipleship Ministries, welcomes Chris and Emily Wilterdink and Kara Lassen Oliver who will offer wisdom, experience and expertise in helping our children grow in faith in the home.
Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015, 12 p.m. (EST) - Covenant Discipleship with Children - Explore the new resource Covenant Discipleship with Children and how to implement Covenant Discipleship with children in your congregation. Learn how to help the children that you serve go deeper in their relationship with God and others.
Tuesday, Nov. 3, 11 a.m. (EST) - Children’s Spirituality: 8 Tools Children Use to Help Them Experience God - Rev. Dr. Tanya Eustace shares her research that reveals eight essential faith formation tools that all of God’s children use to access and respond to the Holy.
Tuesday, Nov. 3, 1:30 p.m. (EST) - Tuesday Tea w/Melanie, What Every Child Should Experience; Engaging Children in Worship web chat - Melanie Gordon, director of Ministry with Children, Discipleship Ministries, welcomes inspirational leaders who will offer wisdom and expertise in areas of the faith formation of children.
Thursday, Nov. 5, 12 p.m. (EST) - Children’s Ministry: Worship in Contemporary Settings - Melanie Gordon offers examples of contemporary worship in congregations that include children in developmentally appropriate ways.
Thursday, Nov. 12, 2 p.m. (EST) - The Means of Grace
Thursday, Nov. 12, 7:30 p.m. (EST) - Ending the Year Strong: It’s Not Too Late to Have a Better 2015 - Join us for this webinar as we share ideas of how you open your church to the Holy Spirit and use the last six weeks of the year to sprint and not limp to the finish line.
Tuesday, Nov. 17, 7:30 p.m. (EST) - Measuring Your Effectiveness - Participants will explore how to measure effectiveness of strategies, learn several methods for evaluation and feedback, and identify what steps they need to take in their congregation.
Monday, Nov. 23, 12 p.m. (EST) - 51 Ideas for Children’s Ministers - Seasoned children’s ministry directors offer you 51 ideas for ministering to children without exhausting yourself.

♦ Old Brunswick Circuit Foundation Annual Meeting - Sept. 12
The Old Brunswick Circuit Foundation will hold its Annual meeting Saturday, Sept. 12, at Main St. UMC in Emporia. A portrayal of Joshua Thomas (1776-1853), itinerant minister on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay, will be done by Dr. Gary Ziegler. Thomas conducted services for Americans and British occupation forces on Tangier Island during the War of 1812, famously foretelling the British defeat at Fort McHenry. He tended the Chesapeake islands by canoe and was known as “The Parson of the Islands.” The meeting will be followed by lunch. Guests are welcome. Cost of lunch is $10. For more information, call Jim Mott at (804) 301-0734. More ...

♦ School for Children’s Ministries - Sept. 12
The School for Children’s Ministries is on the road again offering the same school at four different locations on four different dates. The second event of this year will be 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 12, at Timberlake UMC, 21649 Timberlake Rd., Lynchburg. Learn "Extraordinary Lessons from Ordinary Objects" plus three more workshops. A .5 CEU offered. Only $20 per person. More ...

♦ Discipleship Circles facilitator training - Sept. 18
Discipleship Circles facilitator training will be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Sept. 18, at the Virginia United Methodist Center in Glen Allen. Church leaders (clergy and laity) willing to lead Discipleship Circles in order to help increase church vitality are invited to this training session. Topics will include spiritual disciplines, group facilitation, Vital Signs and communication techniques. There is no charge for training. Lunch and a training manual will be provided. Registration deadline is Tuesday, Sept. 15. Click here to register and for more details. For more information about Discipleship Circles, contact Cheryl Edley-Worford, conference director of Inclusivity and Lay Leadership Excellence, at or (804) 521-1154.

♦ Goodson Preaching Academy - Sept. 21-24
The Bishops’ Foundation will sponsor the 2015 Goodson Preaching Academy, “Craft and Creativity: Preaching in the Context of a Rapidly Evolving World,” Sept. 21-24 at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center in Blackstone. Presenter will be Dr. Paul Scott Wilson, professor of Homiletics at Emmanuel College, Toronto, author of many books on preaching and past president of the Academy of Homiletics. This ministry venture for clergy seeking excellence in the craft of weekly preaching was modeled after the former Goodson Academy for Preaching and approved by the Bishops’ Foundation which is assuming most of the costs of the event. The event is designed to energize your preaching and help you find creative ways to build disciples in your church. 1 CEU will be awarded. More ...

♦ RE3 intercollegiate conference - Sept. 25-26
RE3 (Rethink, Reclaim, Renew), overnight retreat open to students from colleges and universities across Virginia, will be held at Shenandoah University Sept. 25-26. What do you need to rethink? What does the Church need to rethink? What ancient spiritual practices can be reclaimed for renewing the church today? Worship and TED-style talks led by students will explore ancient prayer practices. Guest speaker is Sarah Bessey, author of Jesus Feminist, Out of Sorts and My Practices of Mothering. Bessey is also an award-winning blogger at Cost is $10 per student. All money goes to Imagine No Malaria. Click here to register online. For more information, go to or follow RE3 on Twitter at @rethreeva.

♦ Resource Center Teachers' Toolbox - Sept. 26
Teachers and educational leaders in the local congregation need both a love of God and a "toolbox" of teaching tools. Without either, the important work of making disciples can fall short. A partner in strengthening ministries, The Resource Center will sponsor a fall event for teachers and others to help build that toolbox. Teachers' Toolbox will be 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 26, at Laurel Presbyterian Church (corner of Staples Mill and Hungary Roads) in Richmond. Dr. Adam Bond from the School of Theology at Virginia Union University will share insights from his new book, Church on Purpose: Reinventing Discipleship, Community, and Justice, a collection of big ideas from emerging Christian leaders passionately committed to the local church. In addition, participants will choose from four workshops full of practical strategies for teaching and learning that transforms. Cost is $25 per person or $20 per person for four or more from same congregation. Register online at E-mail with questions.

♦ TEE-ology golf retreat - Sept. 29-30
Tee-ology golf retreat at Camp Overlook in Keezletown is inspired by the book Tee-ology by John Freeman. The Rev. Dan Garrett, pastor, seminary professor and golf enthusiast, will share insights that use the joy and challenge of golf to help us better understand our faith. Check-in is 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29. Roast beef dinner served at 6:30 p.m. followed by fellowship and devotion. Wednesday morning, a country ham and eggs breakfast will be followed by a meditation. Golf begins with a shotgun start at 10 a.m. at Packsaddle Ridge Golf Course. Box lunch provided. Individual registration is $99. Days-only registration is $65. Discounts available for registering as a foursome. More ...

♦ Mid-Size Church Training - Oct. 3
Teams of clergy and laity from mid-size congregations with an average worship attendance between 150-349 are invited to a training event Saturday, Oct. 3, at Providence UMC in Richmond. Keynote speaker will be Phil Maynard, author of Shift: Helping Congregations Back Into the Game of Effective Ministry. The event will also be live-streamed to five other locations across the conference. Cost is $25, and .5 CEU will be offered. Group discounts are available. More ...

♦ Mary & Paul II: Nurturing God's Call - Oct. 3
Studies show that many persons who are called into ordained ministry receive the call at 10 years of age, but the adults in their lives are not well equipped to nurture the call. This seminar is designed to help adults  become better equipped to help young persons understand and respond to God’s call. Mary & Paul II: Nurturing God’s Call will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 3, at the United Methodist Center in Glen Allen. Registration is required 48 hours prior to the event. Registration fee is $10. For more information, contact the Rev. Ted Smith at (804) 448-8326 or 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
Registration is now open for the annual United Methodist Family Services (UMFS) Fore the Kids Golf Tournament to 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. An organization providing a $1,000 sponsorship will be able to enter a team in the tournament and will receive signage and visibility throughout the 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 ...

♦ 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 ...

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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