News from the Virginia Conference - Jan. 8, 2015
Carol Crawford to leave conference Treasurer's office
The conference Council on Finance and Administration voted to eliminate the church receipts position in the Treasurer's office, effective Jan. 31. As a result, Carol Crawford will no longer be employed by the conference at that time. Crawford has processed remittances for apportionments and other mission funds and served as the conference liaison to church treasurers for 40 years. David Dommisse, conference treasurer, said a gathering will be held in the near future to celebrate Crawford's many years of service and dedication.
Style names Shalom Farms one of 2014 Richmonders of the Year
In its Jan. 7 issue, Style Weekly included Shalom Farms, a food access and community development project of United Methodist Urban Ministries of Richmond, in its list of 2014 Richmonders of the Year. The publication honored city food and drink pioneers working in neighborhoods needing renewal. Shalom Farms, a 6-acre sustainable farm at Westview on the James in Goochland, is an agricultural learning lab for visitors and volunteers of all backgrounds and a source of fresh local produce for communities with low access to healthful food. More ...
On cold day, bike giveaway warms children's hearts
“Wow!” That was the comment made by many youngsters as they were handed a new bicycle Dec. 20 at the fourth annual “Bikes for Christ” event at Worship and Praise United Methodist Church in East Richmond. More ...
'Day of Holy Conversation' DVDs now available
The conference Communications office has prepared a DVD of the Nov. 22 “A Day of Holy Conversation” that is now available for districts and churches to use to continue the conversation. An accompanying CD includes conversation resources, including Bishop Cho’s Advocate article, "Touchstones for Creating Hospitable Space," small group discussion questions, bios of the Nov. 22 presenters, historical timeline of unity and differences within The United Methodist Church and its predecessor entities, and 2016 General Conference petition submission instructions. To request copies of the DVD and CD, contact the Communications office at (804) 521-1110 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110, or PamCuller@vaumc.org.
Imagine No Malaria resources for Lent available on conference website
New Imagine No Malaria resources for Lent can be downloaded from the conference website. Go to vaumc.org/imaginenomalaria and click on "Church Resources." Scroll through the folders in the "box" until you find the folder named "Lent Resources NEW!!" That folder includes PowerPoint backgrounds, graphics for Facebook and Twitter, and worship resources for your church to use. Themes include "Give Up Excess: Give Up Indifference"; "Take Up the Charge: Take Up the Challenge"; "Lift Up Those Hurting: Lift Up The Healed"; and "Look Up to Overcome." More ...
Resources can help you witness to your legislators
In preparation for the Feb. 5 United Methodist Day at General Assembly, the conference Board of Church and Society has prepared resources to help Virginia United Methodists witness to legislators. Resources include: "Making A Legislative Witness" — guidelines and tips for making an effective witness; sample letter to legislators; and contact information for congressional and state legislators. The sample letter follows up on the resolution approved at 2014 Annual Conference calling for an increase in the minimum wage. You are encouraged to download the sample letter, personalize it and send copies to your legislators to witness to your faith that no one earning the minimum wage should live in poverty. The 2015 session of the Virginia General Assembly begins Jan. 14. Three bills supporting a modest increase in the minimum wage have been filed; others may be forthcoming. But to support these bills, legislators need to know they have the public's backing. Write your legislators in the Senate and House of Delegates today to let them know they have your support. Click here to access these resources.
Bishop Cho announces preachers for 2015 Annual Conference
Bishop Young Jin Cho has announced preachers for the 2015 Annual Conference session that will be held June 19-21 at the Berglund Center in Roanoke (formerly the Roanoke Civic Center). Retired Bishop Charlene Kammerer will preach for the Saturday morning mission service and Saturday evening ordination service. The Rev. Young Bong Kim of Korean United Methodist Church of Greater Washington will preach for the memorial service. Bishop Cho will preach for Sunday morning worship. Teacher for Annual Conference will be the Rev. Tim Bias, General Secretary for the General Board of Discipleship. Theme for 2015 is “From Members to Disciples.” Clergy and laity delegates will be elected to 2016 General and Jurisidictional Conferences, and electronic voting devices will be used for the first time. Because this is a voitng year, conference will begin earlier with laity and clergy sessions starting at 10 a.m. Friday, June 19.
Nominations for clergy delegates to General Conference due March 1
Delegates to the 2016 General Conference and Jurisdictional Conference will be elected at this year’s Annual Conference. Clergy who consent to or desire nomination are asked to commit to 1) Pray for God’s guidance in decision-making; 2) Commit the time needed to read and study the issues; 3) Attend the meetings of the Virginia Conference delegations; and 4) Attend both General and Jurisdictional conference. Clergy may be nominated by two other clergy who are eligible to vote in the General/Jurisdictional election or by self-nomination. Each clergy nomination must be submitted on a clergy nomination form sent to the Director of Connectional Ministries no later than March 1. Click here for the Clergy Nomination form and more information.
Applications due Feb. 1 for Calling 21 summer internships
If you know a college student who may be discerning a call to ministry, now is the time to encourage them to apply for a Calling 21 summer ministry internship. Applications are due Feb. 1. For more information, go to www.calling21.org or e-mail email@example.com.
Applications open for Voices of Youth 2015 'Shelter in the Storm Tour'
Voices of Youth (VOY) is still accepting applications for its 2015 "Shelter in the Storm Tour." The group will travel to New York July 8-July 26 to assist with rebuilding from Superstorm Sandy. Voices of Youth, a youth mission program of the Virginia Conference, offers high school students a unique service experience combining music and mission. Each summer participants spend three weeks together working in service with a United Methodist mission locally, nationally or internationally. Following the work project, the choir returns to the Virginia Conference to lead worship services in churches cross the conference awakening the UMC to mission. Click here for more information and application forms. Adults volunteering to travel with the youths should contact Conference VOY Coordinator Jennifer Dixon at firstname.lastname@example.org or (757) 348-7084.
Human Relations Day is Jan. 18
Human Relations Day is Sunday, Jan. 18. One of United Methodism’s six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings, Human Relations Day calls us to extend a helping hand to those in crisis so they can overcome formidable obstacles. The offering supports Community Developers, United Voluntary Services and Youth Offender Rehabilitation programs. Click here for Human Relations Day Pastor and Leader’s Kit that contains a collection of items you can download and use in your church to promote Human Relations Day. Click here for 2015 Human Relations Day Podcast Interviews and hear firsthand about the programs your Human Relations Day offering supports. Click here for a Human Relations Day Infographic showing how United Methodist-supported programs help communities flourish in tangible ways. Click here for Human Relations Day eBook featuring 18 Ways to Promote Human Relations Day. Click here for Human Relations Day print resources.
Bishop Job, author of Three Simple Rules, dead at 86
Retired Bishop Rueben P. Job died at his home surrounded by family on Jan. 3. He leaves a legacy of more than 20 books including, Three Simple Rules: A Wesleyan Way of Living. Funeral services will be Sunday, Jan. 18, at Belmont United Methodist Church in Nashville. More ...
Complaint against Bishop Talbert resolved
A resolution has been reached in the complaint against retired Bishop Melvin Talbert, who blessed the union of two men in 2013 in violation of church law. The parties involved in the case have agreed to what church law calls a just resolution, and the result is that Talbert will not face a trial or lose his status as bishop. More ...
114th Congress has 43 United Methodists
Who are the United Methodists in the U.S. House and Senate? As the 114th Congress convenes, meet fellow church members who serve in the nation's legislative branch. More ...
'Chuck Knows Church' to launch new series on Jan. 12
On Jan. 12, United Methodist Discipleship Ministries (General Board of Discipleship) will introduce "The Committee," a spinoff of the "Chuck Knows Church" video series. The new series will again feature Chuck, who will be attempting to help the fictitious Park Grove Community Church that has lost its way, lost its pastor and is closing its doors ... unless, despite itself, it finds a new way of doing church. Each month this series invites congregations to look at the issues and barriers that block them from growing deeper and becoming more vital. "The Committee" uses humor and real-life issues to invite you into a conversation about the future of your congregation. At times the subjects will sting and may hit close to home, and at other times you'll disagree with what is said. Hopefully you'll occasionally laugh. Each episode of "The Committee" has an accompanying downloadable one-page study guide (PDF). In the week following the release of each episode, Discipleship Ministries will host a one-hour webinar where you’ll learn more and have an opportunity to share your own experiences. Register now for The Committee's pilot webinar on Jan. 22 (www.gbod.org/resources/the-committee-pilot-webinar). Go to Facebook (www.facebook.com/chuckknowschurch) for the latest news and the website (ww.chuckknowschurch.com) to watch and download all episodes. A new episode of the original series of "Chuck Knows Church" will be produced each month. Go to www.ChuckKnowsChurch.com for details.
Too busy to pray? Make more time this year
If you have resolved to spend more time in prayer in 2015, but are concerned about squeezing it into your already crowded calendar, here is advice from United Methodist pastors and church leaders for making time to talk with God. More ...
Disaster response volunteers needed in Mississippi
On Dec. 23, Columbia, Miss., was struck by multiple tornados. An unofficial estimate lists 20 to 30 homes destroyed and 30 to 40 homes with major damage. Early Response Teams are needed to tarp roofs and remove debris. Volunteers are needed for data entry and to work at a donation center. Water management volunteers are requested for work on lines and pumps. To volunteer or request further information, contact the Rev. Frank Newell at (601) 466-2941.
Duke Divinity School seeks new chaplain
The Divinity School of Duke University is searching for a new chaplain to begin July 1. This full-time staff position directs a variety of activities involved in the oversight and development of the worship life and spiritual life of students, faculty and staff. For a full job description, and to apply, visit the Duke Human Resources website at hr.duke.edu/jobs and search for requisition #400907495.
♦ Excellence in Teaching Colleague Forum - Jan. 24
The Resource Center and the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University will sponsor an Excellence in Teaching Colleague Forum 8 a.m. - 3 p.m Saturday, Jan. 24. The event is designed as a reflective conversation among colleagues led by scholar/facilitator the Rev. Dr. Dori Grinenko Baker. The forum will focus on the theme, “Greenhouses and Old Growth Forests: Leading Toward Redemptive Community.” In keeping with its design, forum participants are asked to read Baker’s edited work, Greenhouses of Hope, and to reflect on some questions (e-mailed upon registration) prior to the event. Registration for the forum, which includes lunch, is $75. Deadline for special early bird rate of $60 has been extended to Jan. 12. Scholarship funds and CEUs are also available. Register at www.resourcingchurches.com. For more information, e-mail email@example.com.
♦ United Methodist Day at General Assembly - Feb. 5
The Rev. Dr. Susan Henry-Crowe, General Secretary of the General Board of Church and Society, will be the lead speaker at United Methodist Day at the General Assembly on Thursday, Feb. 5. This event, sponsored by the conference Board of Church and Society and conference United Methodist Women, is a unique opportunity for Virginia United Methodists to exercise their calling to witness to their faith by advocating for justice on behalf of the voiceless in our society. Early bird registration deadline is Friday, Jan. 16. Final registration deadline is Friday, Jan. 30. More ...
♦ Lay Servant Academy - Feb. 20-22
Lay Servant Academy will be Feb. 20-22 at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center in Blackstone. This year’s Academy will offer 11 of the courses required for becoming or re-certifying as a Lay Servant. (One is required every three years from a list of 22.) Also offered will be five required courses for Lay Speaker qualification, plus 10 exploratory classes that are two or four hours in length and are designed for those interested in a topic and looking for information about the ministry or the full course of study. Theme is “From Members to Disciples.” More ...
♦ 5 Talent Academy - Feb. 21
The 5 Talent Academy teaching event on Saturday, Feb. 21, at Ebenezer UMC in Stafford, will focus on ministry with the poor. Speaker will be Shane Claiborne, author and leader of The Simple Way faith community in inner city Philadelphia. This event will be live streamed from Stafford to nine additional locations across the conference. Individual tickets cost $25 and include lunch. Group discount for team of five is $100. Feb. 5 is registration deadline. Registration is open to all Virginia Conference churches regardless of previous membership or affiliation with the 5 Talent Academy. A .5 CEU is available upon attending. 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 Advocate@vaumc.org. For information about the Virginia Conference and resources for ministry, visit the Virginia Conference website at www.vaumc.org