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2011 Virginia Conference News

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2011 Virginia Conference News

Table I statistics due Jan. 15; Table II stats due Jan. 31
Dec. 16, 2011 - The 2011 statistics system is now accessible to local churches to log on and print reports in preparation for year-end reporting. You can access the statistics Web site at http://ezra.gcfa.org. The Eagle statistics system has been enhanced and renamed Ezra. Logons have been reset for the 2011 year. Ezra allows for two logons per church using the 6-digit General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) church number ending with the letter “p” for pastor or “o” for office. The password for 2011 is “methodist.” Statistics for Table I are due Jan. 15. Statistics for Table II and Table III are due Jan. 31. Once you've entered data in each of the tables, you must select “Submit” from the Home menu. This indicates to your district that you are done. You will need to enter an explanation for all warnings when you submit your statistics. If you need your password reset, contact your district office administrative assistant. Direct questions to David Dommisse, conference Treasurer, at (804) 521-1109 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 109.

Conference introduces four Centers for Excellence
Dec. 16, 2011 - Effective Jan. 1, the Virginia Conference will introduce four Centers for Excellence designed to resource leadership development for clergy and laity throughout the conference. More …

Conference seeks transformational leaders
Dec. 14, 2011 - The Conference Leadership Discovery and Development Team (CLDDT) is looking for transformational leaders invested in equipping local churches and disciples for the many facets of ministry in our community and world. Openings are available on a number of boards and commissions. To be considered for one of these positions, fill out a Nomination Profile Form available from your district office or the conference Web site and submit it to your district office by Dec. 31. More …

December is UMFS Month
Dec. 14, 2011 - The Virginia Annual Conference designated the month of December as United Methodist Family Services (UMFS) Month, one of six Virginia Conference special offerings. Funds collected during this month provide important and life-giving support to UMFS which serves more than 7,500 individuals annually who have suffered abuse, neglect, crisis and trauma. For offering materials on the UMFS Web site, click here and then go to the lower left hand corner of the page.

Applications for ‘Calling 21’ internships due Feb. 1
Dec. 14, 2011 - "Calling 21" is a conference-wide, grass roots, congregation-based, youth-focused approach to the Virginia Conference's culture of call. During the summer, college students are placed in church internships and spend the summer immersed in the life of a local church, not their own, discerning God's call into church leadership. Application deadline is Feb. 1. Applicants shall be college students interested in exploring their call to church leadership. More ...

Parson named director of Ministries with Young People
Nov. 22, 2011 - The Rev. Derrick Parson will become the new conference director of Ministries with Young People effective Jan. 1. Parson is an elder in the Virginia Conference who has been active in district and conference youth ministry. More ...

VUMAC changes name to reach out to non-UMC groups
Oct. 27, 2011 - In an effort to reach out to groups outside of The United Methodist Church, The Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) is changing the name under which it markets itself to Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center. More ...

Weems tells delegates to ask the hard questions
Oct. 27, 2011 - Dr. Lovett Weems of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership at Wesley Seminary told members of the Virginia Conference delegation to 2012 General and Jurisdictional conferences to ask the hard questions when making decisions. More ...

Young Jin Cho named conference nominee for bishop
Oct. 24, 2011 - The Rev. Dr. Young Jin Cho, Superintendent of the Arlington District, has been selected as the 2012 episcopal nominee from the Virginia Conference. More ...

400+ at 5 Talent Academy hear about outreach efforts
Oct. 10, 2011 - More than 400 clergy and laity from 140 churches heard speakers from five conference churches tell stories of evangelism outreach and growth during the 5 Talent Academy teaching event held Oct. 6 at Oak Grove UMC in Chesapeake. More ...

Speaker says church must be involved in immigration
Oct. 3, 2011 - “Taking an undocumented person to a job is not illegal,” Jim Burke told participants at the Bishop's Convocation on Immigration. “Nor is evangelizing to them, or helping them, or praying for them. And if they were, it should be the church’s responsibility to do them anyway.” More ...

Latest edition of Laity E-News now available online
Sept. 23, 2011 - Click here for the latest edition of the Virginia Conference Laity E-News that is now posted on the Virginia Conference Web site. Please print, copy, and share the publication with others, especially those in leadership positions in your church. More …

Churches preparing to become ‘Vital Congregations’
Sept. 15, 2011 - Across The United Methodist Church and the Virginia Conference, churches are preparing to become “Vital Congregations.” For this year’s charge conferences, clergy and lay leaders should begin the process of setting goals for the next four years in five key areas: Worship, Disciples, Small Groups, Mission Participants and Mission Giving. Each church will submit its goals by March 1, 2012, and goals will be presented at General Conference. Click here for more information and planning guide.

Foundation launches new Web site
Sept. 15, 2011 - The Virginia United Methodist Foundation launched its new Web site, vaumfgifts.org the end of August. This interactive Web site provides local churches and conference agencies with a wealth of free resources, including more than 300 pieces of planned giving and estate planning literature that can be used for bulletin inserts, special emphasis and stewardship campaigns. The Web site also features an electronic newsletter that the Foundation began sending to clergy and laity on Sept. 10.

Bishop urges treating 'Other' with respect
Sept. 12, 2011 - United Methodist Bishop Charlene Kammerer helped lead an interfaith service marking the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and talked about the courage it takes to meet people who are not like us and treat them as if they are. More ...

Small Church Initiative reports results of survey
Sept. 1, 2011 - In May 2011, a questionnaire was sent by e-mail to clergy and lay leaders serving Virginia Conference churches with average worship attendance between 50 and 150. Results are now in. More ...

Recovery begun after Hurricane Irene
Aug. 30, 2011 - From North Carolina to New England, Hurricane Irene sparked evacuation of hundreds of thousands, swamped shoreline communities and inland river towns and cut electric power to nearly 6 million people. More ...

Conference seeks Director of Young People Ministries
Aug. 19, 2011 - The Office of Connectional Ministries of the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church is seeking a creative leader for the ministry position of Director of Ministries with Young People. More ...

Three Virginians commissioned as US-2 missionaries
Aug. 18, 2011 - Three young adults from the Virginia Conference are among 26 individuals between the ages of 20 and 30 commissioned as US-2 missionaries by the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries in New York City on Aug. 18. Stephanie Kimec from Saint Mark’s UMC in Midlothian was commissioned and assigned to the Immigration Task Force, Cal-Pac Conference, and Echo Park Shalom Ministry in Los Angeles. Zachary Ferguson from First UMC, Martinsville, was commissioned and assigned to the Workers interfaith Network in Memphis, Tenn. Christopher Alan Steppe from St. Stephen's United Methodist Church in Fairfax was commissioned and assigned to the Nome Community Center in Nome, Alaska, in the Alaska Missionary Conference. More …

Williams to leave conference staff
Aug. 18, 2011 - Angie Williams, conference director of Children's, Youth, Young Adult and Higher Education Ministries, announced that she will be leaving her conference position, effective Sept. 9, to take a newly created position with UMFS (United Methodist Family Services). More ...

Area United Methodists to be featured in TV documentary
Aug. 18, 2011 - Virginia Conference United Methodists will be featured in a television documentary showing volunteers gleaning fields on a farm in Winchester. The volunteers were participating in the Society of St. Andrew’s program to hand pick crops that would otherwise be left in the fields to rot, or be plowed under after harvest. The food is sent to area food pantries, soup kitchens, older adults’ homes and other agencies feeding people in need. The documentary, called “A Piece of Bread: Food, Earth, and the Future,” was commissioned by The National Council of Churches and is slated to run on ABC network affiliates in late November. The ABC network will distribute the documentary to all of its affiliate stations on Nov. 20. Local stations will decide if and when to air the hour-long show. Call your local ABC affiliate to learn if the show will air. More …

General Conference info to be offered Sept. 28, Oct. 8
Aug. 18, 2011 - Did you ever wonder what exactly happens at The United Methodist Church’s General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference? Information sessions led by members of the 2012 General and Jurisdictional Conference Virginia delegation will be held 10 a.m. to noon Wednesday, Sept. 28, at Wellspring United Methodist Church in Williamsburg, and on Saturday, Oct. 8, at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Charlottesville. The same program will be presented at each location. These programs are open to all conference clergy and church members. Wellspring UMC is located at 4871 Longhill Road in Williamsburg. Aldersgate UMC is located at 1500 Rio Road East in Charlottesville. For more information, contact the Rev. Susan Garrett at RevSGarrett@gmail.com or Neill Caldwell at NeillCaldwell@vaumc.org.

Evangelism to be focus of next 5 Talent Academy event
Aug. 16, 2011 - “Evangelism: Best Practices,” will be the focus of the next 5 Talent Academy teaching event, set for Oct. 6 at Oak Grove United Methodist Church in Chesapeake. More ...

Bishop Kammerer to help lead 9/11 service
Aug. 1, 2011 - Bishop Charlene Kammerer, other regional faith leaders and Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones will lead an interfaith "Memory and Hope" service Sunday, Sept. 11, at Temple Beth El, Richmond. More ...

Camp Rainbow proves it's easy to be green
July 19, 2011 - A total of 120 campers and 107 volunteers are participating in Camp Rainbow's two sessions this summer. Camp theme embraces Kermit the Frog’s battle with “It's not easy to be green.” Campers are taught, instead, that “It's easy being green,” when green means taking care of God’s creation. More ...

Voices of Youth conducts 26th concert tour
July 28, 2011 - Voices of Youth summer youth choir is halfway through its “Born of Water, Renewed by the Spirit” 2011 concert tour of the conference, and is winding up its nearly month-long ministry. More ...

'Together We Can' is Mission Opportunities book theme
July 18, 2011 - "Together we can" is the theme of the 2011-2012 Mission Opportunities book that describes ways Virginia Conference churches can show love for God and neighbor. More ...

Virginia delegation holds organizational meeting
July 18, 2011 - The Virginia Conference delegation to 2012 General and Jurisdictional conferences held its first meeting on July 16 at the United Methodist Center in Glen Allen. More ...

Appointment list is 'fixed' by Bishop Whitaker
June 20, 2011 - At the end of the final session of Annual Conference, the July issue of the Virginia Advocate, that lists all clergy appointments for the next year, was distributed to members of the conference. Bishop Tim Whitaker then "fixed" the appointments. Click here to view the appointments.

Virginia elects 26 General Conference delegates
June 20, 2011 - The Virginia Conference elected 13 laity and 13 clergy delegates to General Conference and an additional 13 lay and 13 clergy delegates to Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference. Another 10 clergy and 10 laity were elected as reserve delegates. Click here to see the list of elected delegates.

Annual Conference held June 15-19 in Roanoke
June 20, 2011 - Meeting in Roanoke, members of the 229th Virginia Annual Conference elected the largest U.S. delegation to the 2012 General Conference, considered almost 20 resolutions and welcomed a familiar face filling in for their bishop as “substitute teacher.” More ...
Click here for daily news reports, ballot results and more from the 2011 Annual Conference.

Bishop Whitaker to preside over 2011 Annual Conference
June 13, 2011 - Florida Area Bishop Timothy Whitaker will preside over this year's Annual Conference at the request of Bishop Charlene Kammerer who is ill. More ...

Gov. McDonnell talks about faith of founding fathers
June 13, 2011 - Gov. Bob McDonnell talked about the Founding Fathers of the United States as people of faith in a talk at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center in Blackstone on June 11. More ...

Tompkins elected Foundation head
June 9, 2011 - E. Deal Tompkins has been elected president and executive director of the Virginia United Methodist Foundation succeeding Jim Bergdoll, who retires on June 30. More ...

Virginia United Methodists gather for Annual Conference
More than 3,350 clergy and laity from churches across Virginia will gather in Roanoke June 15-19 for the 229th session of the Virginia Annual Conference. More ...

Clergy hear proposed changes for ordained ministry
May 17, 2011 - Virginia clergy – and a few laypersons – gathered at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center in Blackstone May 15-16 to hear about proposed changes for ordained ministry that will come before 2012 General Conference. More...

Clergy, laity participate in VocationCARE training
May 16, 2011 - Some 170 clergy and lay persons in the Virginia Conference spent two days in training (May 9-10, 2011) at River Road United Methodist Church in Richmond to become VocationCARE mentors. More...

United Methodists aid tornado victims throughout South
Hours after tornadoes tore through the South on April 27, United Methodists were gearing up for both immediate and long-term recovery. More ...

VUMAC names McCracken Executive Director
May 6, 2011 - The Board of Directors of the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) in Blackstone announced that Samuel A. McCracken will become the center's new Executive Director, effective July 1. More ...

Brazil children will be at Annual Conference
A team of 13 children, ages 11-14, and four adults from one of the Shade and Fresh Water partner projects in Brazil will be a part of Annual Conference session in Roanoke. More...

Volunteers prepare to help tornado victims
Tornadoes, severe storms and flash flooding tore through Virginia on Friday, April 15, and Saturday, April 16, causing loss of life and property. More ...

United Methodist Center to install solar panels
The United Methodist Center in Glen Allen will add solar panels to its roof as part of the Green Church Initiative. More...

Bishop to teach at Candler after retirement
April 8, 2011 - Bishop Charlene Kammerer will become bishop-in residence at Candler seminary after her retirement in 2012. More ...

Conference leaders attend training
April 5, 2011 - Seventy-five conference board and agency members took advantage of leadership training April 2 at Trinity UMC in Richmond. More...

UMMen gather for Spring Training
March 28, 2011 - United Methodist Men gather at Discovery UMC for ‘Spring Training.' More...

Bishop names three new superintendents
March 9, 2011 - Bishop Charlene Kammerer has announced members of her Cabinet for 2011-2012. More ...

Berlin, Weems team up to write book on fruitful churches
Virginia Conference pastor the Rev. Tom Berlin has teamed up with the Rev. Lovett Weems of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership at Wesley Theological Seminary to write a new book, “Bearing Fruit: Ministry with Real Results.” More...

Spouses gather to hear how laughter is God’s healing
Clergy spouses from across the annual conference gathered the first weekend in March at the Virginia United Methodist Retreat Center at Blackstone. More...

260+ attend first Lay Servants Academy
More than 260 participants gathered at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center in Blackstone Feb. 25-27 for the first Virginia Conference Lay Servants Academy. More ...

Supreme Court has new look and feel, reporter says
In a lecture at Randolph-Macon College, National Public Radio Legal Affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg said change is in the air at the United States Supreme Court. More...

Armstrong announces retirement from VUMAC
March 2, 2011 - Cammie Armstrong, executive director of the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) at Blackstone, has announced that she will retire effective July 31. More...

Conference accepting Denman Award nominations
The Virginia Conference is now accepting nominations for clergy, laity and youth Denman Evangelism Awards. More...

Giving guru says 'get people excited about mission'
Ted Hart, a self-described “coach” for nonprofit groups, told the audience at the latest 5 Talent Academy gathering that people give to a church when they believe that church’s mission really matters. More ... 

Cookies fund mission
More than 9,300 cookies fund the University of Virginia Wesley Foundation’s spring break mission trip. More...

Nearly 250 attend launch of Spirit & Life UMC
Nearly 250 people attended the Feb. 6 launch of the new Spirit & Life United Methodist Church near Montclair. More ...

Ogren named director of Congregational Excellence
Feb. 15, 2011 - The Personnel Committee for the Common Table for Church Vitality announced on Monday, Feb. 14, that the Rev. Mark Ogren has been selected new director of Congregational Excellence, effective July 1. More ...

Nearly 300 United Methodists descend on state Capitol
About 280 United Methodists from across the conference participated in the annual United Methodist Day at the General Assembly, an opportunity to lobby the Commonwealth’s lawmakers on issues dear to the heart of The United Methodist Church. More ...

New ministry to bring Disciple Bible Study to prisons
Officials from the Virginia and Holston conferences and Chaplain Service Prison Ministry of Virginia met with the executive director of Disciple Bible Outreach Ministry to develop a working agreement for expanding prison ministry in Virginia. More...

Camp Highroad offers 'green' alternative for burials
United Methodist Camp Highroad is developing a partnership with EcoEternity, which offers an environmentally friendly alternative to a traditional burial. More...

Speakers set for 2011 Annual Conference
“Being Christ to Others: Snapshots of the Kingdom” will be the theme when 2011 Annual Conference convenes June 15-19 at the Roanoke Civic Center. More...

Church puts new emphasis on connectional giving
As the national economy continues its sluggish recovery, connectional giving is receiving new emphasis in The United Methodist Church. More...

'All Things New' capital campaign shifts into new phase
A new phase of the capital campaign for “All Things New” will begin Feb. 1 when each church in the conference is sent a letter from Bishop Charlene Kammerer and a DVD about new faith communities being established throughout Virginia. More..

Spring devotional offered for groups
Continuing the conference commitment to pray and fast to ask God to work within us for the future of the church, the Young Adult Council prepared a devotional to be used by conference, district and local church boards, committees and other groups. More ...

Brazil Methodist Churches suffer from floods, landslides
At least 727 people are dead, 207 are missing and thousands are homeless after torrential rain in southeast Brazil sent an avalanche of mud, water and rocks plowing through towns and villages, causing the country’s worst natural disaster in decades. The Virginia Conference has a partnership with the Methodist Church in Brazil through Initiatives of Hope. Virginia Conference congregations are urged to be in prayer for our sisters and brothers in Brazil. More ...

View photos of Brazil flood damage
taken by Brazil Methodist Church missionaries in Teresopolis, Brazil. Click here

Stewardship guru to speak at 5 Talent Academy Feb. 19
Ted Hart will lead the next session of the 5 Talent Academy 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 19, at Floris United Methodist Church, 13600 Frying Pan Road, Herndon. More ...

Conference seeks director of Congregational Excellence
The office of Connectional Ministries is seeking a creative leader for the ministry position of director of Congregational Excellence effective July 1. More ...

Anna Workman leaves conference staff
Jan. 6, 2011 - Due to ongoing physical concerns related to her Oct. 18 back surgery, Anna Gail Workman will not be able to continue her ministry as director of Congregational Development and Evangelism for the Virginia Conference. More...

 
 

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