News from the Virginia Conference – January 7, 2010
You can still register for 2010 Ministers’ Convocation Jan 19-21
There is still time to register for this year’s “Fruitful Living” Ministers’ Convocation Jan. 19-21 at Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) in Blackstone which will feature a keynote address by Bishop Robert Schnase. Millions of people have read and used Bishop Schnase’s book, Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations. Schnase is now working on a new book called Fruitful Living, and convocation participants will get a preview of his new material during Schnase’s keynote speech. Convocation preachers will be Bishop Charlene Kammerer, Dr. Youtha Hardman-Cromwell and the Rev. Jonathan Park. There will also be worship, special music, workshops and time for fellowship.Click here to download brochure and registration form.
Conference offices mailing address is changed, effective immediately
Virginia Conference offices in The United Methodist Center have a new mailing address because of the closing of a local post office. The new mailing address is: P.O. Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058. (Please Note: Both the box number and the zip code have changed.) Remittances for the Treasurer’s Office should be mailed to P.O. Box 5605, Glen Allen, VA 23058. These two post office boxes should be used effective immediately. The center’s physical address remains the same: 10330 Staples Mill Rd., Glen Allen, VA 23060.
Enter church statistics now through GCFA online system
Local churches will enter 2009 statistics through the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) Eagle system. The link to GCFA and instructions for entering statistics are now available on the Virginia Conference Web site at www.vaumc.org/Statistics. Or go to www.vaumc.org then click on Administrative Services > Business Office > Reporting Statistics to the Treasurer. Deadline to fill out Table I is Jan. 15. Deadline to fill out Tables II and III is Jan. 31.
Rex Wolf, Virginia Conference leader, dies Dec. 20
Rex Wolf, former executive director of the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center in Blackstone, died Dec. 20 of complications after surgery. He was a member of Kenbridge UMC in the Farmville District, was a three-time delegate to Jurisdictional and General Conferences, a member of the Virginia Conference Common Table and the conference Rules Committee, and had served positions on all church levels. At the time of his death he worked part-time for the Virginia United Methodist Credit Union. Wolf earned a degree from Ohio University, and was a career officer and pilot in the U.S. Navy. He is survived by his wife, Susie, their daughters and grandchildren. Cards may be sent to: PO Box 1077, Kenbridge, VA 23944.
Virginia native, Gil Hanke, named top staff executive of UMMen
Virginia native Gilbert C. Hanke, 59, will become the top staff executive of the General Commission on United Methodist Men on Feb. 1. Hanke grew up in Dulin United Methodist Church in Falls Church where his mother was minister of music and his father was chairman of the Official Board. He has two brothers, Myron, an award winning physics teacher in Loudon County, and Jay, retired United Methodist pastor and district superintendent living in Winchester. More …
Human Relations Day is Sunday, Jan. 17
Sunday, Jan. 17, is Human Relations Day, one of the six church-wide special Sundays in The United Methodist Church. The offering on this Special Sunday strengthens outreach to communities in the United States and Puerto Rico and encourages social justice and work with at-risk youth. Click here for more information about Human Relations Day.
Resources available for observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Jan. 18
Monday, Jan. 18, is the national observance of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday. Click here for online resources that may assist you in helping your congregation understand who Martin Luther King, Jr., was and how he influenced our lives together.
Bishops invite you to National Week of Prayer for Christian Unity service
In observance of the 2010 National Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Bishop Charlene Kammerer, Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church; Bishop Richard Graham, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Diocese of Metro Washington, D.C., Synod; Bishop David Jones, Episcopal Diocese of Virginia; and Bishop Paul Loverde, Catholic Diocese of Arlington; invite and encourage you to attend the Ecumenical Prayer Service for the Church Unity Octave at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 25, at Cathedral of St. Thomas More, 3901 Cathedral Lane (US 50 Hwy & Glebe Rd.), Arlington.
Disability Awareness Sunday is Feb. 7
The Virginia Conference celebrates Disability Awareness Sunday on the first Sunday in February. Of course, your church can recognize this day at anytime throughout the year. Click here for suggestions for worship and activities provided for your use by the Commission on Disabilities. Or, go to the conference Web site, www.vaumc.org, select “Ministries,” then “Disabilities.”
Churches can enroll in 5 Talent Academy until Feb. 10
Churches interested in enrolling in the 5 Talent Academy are invited to do so by completing the covenantal agreements and returning them to the Conference Office of Church Development and Evangelism before Feb. 10. The 5 Talent Academy is designed to help existing congregations grow in fruitfulness and multiplication of ministries centering on worship, mission, discipleship, evangelism and stewardship. Participation in the 5 Talent Academy is through a covenantal agreement by local congregations. Churches of all sizes, contexts and stages are welcome and invited to be a part of this exciting new work. Click here for forms and additional information. Or go to www.vaumc.org click on All Things New (right hand column), then choose 5 Talent Academy. The next teaching event for the Academy will be 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20, at Cosby High School in south Richmond (near Woodlake UMC) with Sally Morganthaler, nationally recognized leader in worship evangelism.
CEU credit to be awarded for course at Feb. 26-28 Lay Ministries Academy
The conference-wide Lay Ministries Academy, which includes lay speaking training, will be held Feb. 26-28 at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) in Blackstone. The Continuing Education Committee of the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry has approved awarding one hour of CEU credit to each clergyperson who completes the Authentic Outreach course to be taught at the Academy by Stuart Holt, author, publisher and founder of The Evangelism Institute. Click here for more information and a registration form.
Bishop’s Convocation on Creation Care will be Feb. 27 in Richmond
A Creation Care Convocation for the Virginia Conference will be held Saturday, Feb. 27, at River Road United Methodist Church, 8800 River Road, Richmond. This event is designed to equip and train local congregations on how to incorporate caring for God's creation into all areas of their church and personal life. The convocation will include a variety of speakers and workshops, information about the Green Church Initiative, panel discussions and tree planting. Click here for more information and promotional flyer.
Four Virginia churches honored as official ‘Welcoming Congregations’
Emmanuel United Methodist Church in Amherst and St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Yorktown have been recognized by United Methodist Communications (UMCom) as official “Welcoming Congregations.” Grottoes United Methodist Church in Grottoes was named an official “Welcoming Congregation” for the second year, and Williamsburg United Methodist Church in Williamsburg was recognized as an official “Welcoming Congregation” for the fourth year in a row. “Welcoming Congregations” are a select group of United Methodist congregations nationwide that meet criteria including embracing newcomers and providing opportunities in discipleship. The recognition program is part of a larger effort launched in late 2000 by UMCom, the denomination’s communications agency, to use modern technology and the common language of television to spread the good news of Christ to a world in need. Click here to learn how your church can become a “Welcoming Congregation.”
UVA Wesley Foundation sponsors day of ‘Exploring Creative Faith’ Feb. 20
The Wesley Foundation, United Methodist campus ministry at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, is sponsoring “A Map to the Soul: Exploring a Creative Faith” 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 20. Sign up for yourself and a friend for a day apart with the words and images of artist, writer, and United Methodist pastor Jan Richardson. The day will offer a fresh, challenging and creative look at our Christian faith. This day of reflection will include writing, artwork, conversation in large and small groups, personal times of contemplation, worship and experiences of the ancient art of lectio divina (sacred reading). Early registration is $75 ($15 for students); After Jan. 20, cost is $90 ($20 for students). Click here to register, or contact Deborah Lewis at 434-977-6500 or email@example.com for more information.
Send a Net. Save a Life. See a Game.
Now through Jan. 31, Nothing But Nets supporters can donate $10 or more and get two complimentary tickets to an NBA game, subject to availability and participating teams. The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets tipped off the promotion —Send a Net. Save a Life. See a Game.— to send anti-malaria bed nets to refugees in 11 African countries. Long-lasting, insecticide-treated bed nets are one of the easiest and most cost-effective methods of preventing malaria’s spread. They create a protective barrier against mosquitoes at night, when the vast majority of malaria transmissions occur. One bed net can protect a family of four, and lasts three to five years. It costs just $10 to purchase, deliver, and educate the recipient on its proper use. Click here to send a net, save a life, and see a game. To help us meet our giving goals, please be sure to designate yourself as a United Methodist when making a Nothing But Nets gift online (under NBN how did you hear?).
Happy Birthday, UMCOR!
This year marks the 70th birthday of United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). Through the generosity of United Methodists and friends everywhere, UMCOR continues to provide relief and assistance to millions of people around the world. A celebratory timeline offers a glimpse into the agency’s 70 years of hope-filled relief work, from its formation in 1940 at the General Conference of The Methodist Church through Bishop Herbert Welch to the 2009 establishment of UMCOR’s new office in the Philippines. The timeline demonstrates the principles of Micah 6:8: justice, mercy, and humility, and honors the work of Jesus Christ in serving the most vulnerable. Click here to view this special tribute and say “Happy Birthday to UMCOR” with your gifts that reach communities in need. To give online go to http://secure.gbgm-umc.org/donations/umcor/donate.cfm?id=3019198&code=999895.
Institute of Discipleship, Wesley Seminary offer new online courses
The Institute of Discipleship’s BeADisciple.com and Wesley Seminary’s Wesley Ministry Network (WMN) are joining efforts to bring WMN courses into an online setting. The first four courses to be offered, beginning Jan. 11, are Journey Through the Psalms, Serious Answers to Hard Questions, Simply Christian, and Women Speak of God. Details on each of these may be found at http://beadisciple.com/wesleyministrynetwork.html.
Online workshop will help churches write Safe Sanctuary policy
A six-week online workshop for United Methodist congregations will help congregational teams of three participants write, approve, and implement a Safe Sanctuary policy. Participants will learn why congregations should have a Safe Sanctuary policy; how to develop a Safe Sanctuary committee; what the Safe Sanctuary Policy and Response Plan are; how to get these approved in a local congregation; how to implement the policy once its written; and answers to possible other issues that may arise. Participants will have access to the Web site throughout the entire six weeks and be able to work at a time most convenient for the individual’s daily schedule. They will receive information, read, and discuss with other participants in a discussion board format, then take what is learned back to the congregation with an assignment. This pattern will repeat until the policy is finalized. Click here for more information and enrollment.
Advanced course in Lay Speaking Ministry offered online
BeADisciple.com is offering the first online advanced certification course in Lay Speaking Ministries offered by instructor, Daniel Benedict. Leading Worship 101 for Lay People will focus on basic worship leadership skills for lay persons (“liturgists” or “lay readers”) who assist the pastor in Christian worship. If you currently help lead worship in your congregation or would like to prepare for such leadership, this course is for you. Particular emphasis will be given basic skills: understanding your role in relation to other leaders and the congregation, reading Scripture, leading prayer, distribution of the elements at the Lord’s Supper, taking other roles in worship, and some basic do’s and don’ts of effective worship leadership. Deacons, elders/presbyters, and lay worship leader coordinators are also welcome, particularly with an eye to doing local training and providing support to lay readers/assisting ministers in their local church settings.Click here for more information and enrollment.
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 newsmagazine. Click here to subscribe online. Or call Peggy Cribbs at 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110, or (804) 521-1110. Or e-mail Advocate@vaumc.org.