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2017 Virginia Conference News

2016 Virginia Conference News

2015 Virginia Conference News

2014 Virginia Conference News

2013 Virginia Conference News

2012 Virginia Conference News

2011 Virginia Conference News

2010 Virginia Conference News

2013 Virginia Conference News

Conference seeks director of Center for Clergy Excellence
Dec. 20, 2013 - The Bishop’s office of the Virginia Conference is seeking a creative clergy leader for the ministry position of director of the Center for Clergy Excellence. Click here for details.

Vital Signs data to be entered in new website as of Jan. 1
Dec. 20, 2013 - Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, Vital Signs information will be entered using the www.evc.vaumc.org website. Persons currently entering information for Vital Signs will receive an e-mail at the end of 2013 notifying them of this change and providing a link to instructional information about the new website. More ...

Foundation awards grants to five projects
Dec. 20, 2013 - The Virginia United Methodist Foundation awarded grants to five projects in its first use of a Grants Fund established earlier this year for the primary purpose of making financial awards for proposals, projects, ministries, programs and activities at the conference and district levels of the Virginia Conference. A $3,000 grant was given to the Virginia Conference Clergy Leadership Program, $1,000 to Heart Havens, $459 to Preventing Victimization: An Older Adult Ministry, $1,250 to Rising Hope Daily Worship and Meals Ministry and $2,000 to Change the World RVA. Click here for more information about the Grants Fund or contact Dave Thompson, president, at (804) 521-1122, or Steve Clark, Gift Planning officer, at (804) 521-1120.

Bishop's Convocation on Prayer set for March 29
Dec. 13, 2013 - The second annual Bishop’s Convocation on Prayer will be held 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 29, at Trinity UMC, 903 Forest Ave., Richmond. The Rev. Tom Albin, Dean of Upper Room Ministries and Ecumenical Relations, will be plenary speaker. Small group learning opportunities will be offered in the areas of prayer and Wesleyan spiritual disciplines. More ...

Bishops' Foundation grants $10,000 to Clergy Leadership Program
Dec. 6, 2013 - In its first major funding initiative, the Virginia Conference Bishops' Foundation awarded a $10,000 grant to support the Virginia Conference Clergy Leadership Program. The program, which will begin in February, was developed by the Virginia Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, working with the Cabinet, after Bishop Young Jin Cho challenged the Board to design a spiritually based leadership program for clergy with a demonstrated history of effectiveness. The Bishops’ Foundation was created by the 2011 Virginia Annual Conference to provide training for leadership development of both laity and clergy in the areas of evangelism and preaching in the Wesleyan spirit. Funds previously associated with The Goodson Foundation, The Stockton Endowment for Evangelism and The Bishop Pennel Endowment form the assets of The Bishops’ Foundation.

Advent issue of 'Neighbors' now available online
Nov. 21, 2013 - The 2013 Advent issue of the "Neighbors" newsletter celebrates three key words for the season: Love. Joy. Peace. The article is by Karen Rice, a member of Bon Air UMC in Richmond. "Neighbors" is a free, customizable direct-mail piece, produced by Virginia United Methodist Communications, designed to complement a church's outreach ministry. This latest issue is now available online at www.vaumc.org/Neighbors.

Winkler elected president of National Council of Churches
Nov. 20, 2013 - Jim Winkler, outgoing general secretary of the General Board of Church and Society, was elected General Secretary/President of the National Council of Churches by the organization’s board, meeting in Chicago on Tuesday. Winkler is a member of Fairlington UMC in the Alexandria District. More ...

Seminar trains leaders for African-American, Hispanic churches
Nov. 20, 2013 - More than 60 clergy and laity, men and women, all races and ages, gathered at the United Methodist Center in Glen Allen for the Mary & Paul Seminar, a Culture of Call training designed to teach and equip current clergy and laity to “recognize and cultivate the next generation of African-American and Hispanic congregational leaders.” More ...

Bishop Cho issues statement re Council of Bishops action
Nov. 15, 2013 - On Friday, Nov. 15, the United Methodist Council of Bishops issued a statement regarding how they will respond after retired Bishop Melvin Talbert conducted a ceremony celebrating the marriage of a same-gender couple. "The Council of Bishops had an honest conversation on this issue and the situation and prayerfully discerned and adopted the statement,” said Bishop Young Jin Cho. “I hope this statement will help our churches to continue to focus on our mission, making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world." More ...

2013 Conference Journal now posted on website
Nov. 14, 2013 - The 2013 Virginia Annual Conference Journal is now available on the conference website. Click here for index of sections of the Journal in a pdf file format which can be downloaded and printed. Printed copies will be mailed to those who pre-ordered them in the next few weeks. Copies on a CD may be purchased at a cost of $10 each by calling the Virginia Conference Communications office at (804) 521-1110 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110.

Winkler nominated to lead National Council of Churches
Nov. 7, 2013 - Jim Winkler, general secretary of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society (GBCS), will be nominated to be General Secretary/President of the National Council of Churches (NCC) during the NCC Governing Board meeting Nov. 18. If elected, Winkler will assume office on Jan. 1, 2014. Winkler, a member of Fairlington UMC in Alexandria, has led the United Methodist social justice agency in Washington, D.C., since November 2000 and had completed his 12-year term of office. He announced his planned departure from GBCS earlier this year. More ...

Advocate donates $148 to UMCOR to honor Honeycutt
Nov. 7, 2013 - During the month of October, 148 subscriptions were sold to the Virginia United Methodist Advocate. As part of a special promotion, the Communications office will contribute $148 ($1 for each subscription) to United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) in honor of the Rev. Dr. Denise Honeycutt, Virginia pastor recently named deputy general secretary of UMCOR.

Virginia woman named Seminar Designer at GBCS
Nov. 7, 2013 - Aimee Hong of Falls Church has been named Seminar Designer for the United Methodist Seminar Program on National & International Affairs at the General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) in Washington, D.C. Hong attends Culmore UMC in Falls Church, where her husband, the Rev. Jung Pyo "J.P." Hong, is lead pastor. The UM Seminar Program provides tailored educational experiences for United Methodists. Seminars are conducted at the United Methodist Building in D.C. and at the Church Center for the United Nations in New York City. More ...

Berlin challenges United Methodist Men to have courage
Nov. 4, 2013 - The Rev. Tom Berlin told United Methodist men gathered at Blackstone for their annual spiritual retreat that the majority our churches are not flourishing because we lack courage. More...

Virginia Conference communicators win 10 UMAC awards
Oct. 28, 2013 - The Virginia Conference Communications staff received 10 honors at the Oct. 26 awards banquet held during the annual meeting of the United Methodist Association of Communicators (UMAC) Oct. 24-27 in Chicago. More...

Founder of UM Day at General Assembly dies
Oct. 21, 2013 - One of the leading lay servants in the Virginia Conference passed away recently. Elvira Beville Shaw, 93, of Colonial Heights, died on Oct. 3. More...

5 Talent Academy presenter urges more participatory worship
Oct. 16, 2013 - Dr. Constance Cherry used the analogy of an architect – planning, designing, building up from a solid foundation – to instruct participants in the latest 5 Talent Academy teaching session, held Tuesday, Oct. 15. Speaking at Ebenezer UMC in Stafford, but hooked in to five other sites around the conference via live-streamed feed, Cherry developed this theme with the central idea that the purpose of high-quality worship is to build a relationship between God and worshipers, not to put on a “program” to entertain people. More...

Bishop urges clergy, laity, churches to covenant to pray daily
Oct. 10, 2013 - Bishop Young Jin Cho has said he will spend his episcopacy in the Virginia Conference creating a culture of prayer. In his episcopal address at Annual Conference, he set a goal for at least 10% of Virginia Conference clergy to engage in spiritual disciplines for one hour each day and for 10% of Virginia Conference churches to become "Prayer Covenant Congregations." Clergy and laity are invited to spend one hour each day in spiritual disciplines (fasting, prayer, spiritual reading, a service of common prayer, etc.). Congregations are invited to become "Prayer Covenant Congregations" by: 1. Having at least one group that prays each week for the renewal and revival of the congregation, the conference and The United Methodist Church. 2. Offering at least one class on prayer annually. 3. Participating in conference or district prayer training events. 4. Moving toward at least 10% of the laity practicing one-hour daily spiritual disciplines. 5. Indicating commitment to this covenant through approval by the Church Council. District Superintendents will be sharing the covenant with congregations this fall during local church charge conferences. Click here for copy of the covenant.

Beth Downs requests retirement, effective July 1
Oct. 10, 2013 - The Rev. Beth Downs, conference director of Clergy Excellence, has submitted her request to retire at the end of this conference year. "On Sept. 30 the Rev. Beth Downs informed me of her plan to retire effective at the 2014 session of the Virginia Annual Conference," said Bishop Young Jin Cho. "With deep gratitude and mixed feelings I have received her letter requesting retirement. During her 34 years of service under appointment to The United Methodist Church, Rev. Downs has been a very effective educator, minister and a leader for our church. Especially in her 16 years of ministry as director of Ministerial Services (later the director of the Center for Clergy Excellence), she has made a tremendous contribution to recruiting, guiding and developing clergy leadership. She has fixed, strengthened and truly sought the excellence of clergy leadership. She has never been complacent and continued her effort for innovation and improvement of the ministry of the Board of Ordained Ministry not only for the Virginia Annual Conference but also for our denomination. We will greatly miss her. I think all of the clergy and laity in the Virginia Conference will join me in expressing our thanks to her and best wishes for her new journey."

Stephen Hundley diagnosed with lymphoma
Oct. 10, 2013 - The Rev. Stephen C. Hundley, former Roanoke District superintendent who is now serving as executive director of Connectional Ministries for the California-Pacific Conference, posted the following notice on his Facebook page last week: "After a few weeks of scans and surgical biopsy, I have been diagnosed with Lymphoma, a blood based cancer that shows itself in lymph nodes. I am awaiting more definitive diagnosis as to type and will be seeing an oncologist on October 15 to begin the discernment process for treatment. I appreciate all the prayers and concern the few who have known showed me and I am thankful to the larger community for their support."

Duke professor speaks on Wesleyan evangelism practices
Oct. 9, 2013 - Dr. Laceye Warner of Duke Divinity School spoke on “Spreading Scriptural Holiness: Wesleyan Evangelistic Practices for the 21st Century” to the Virginia Society for Wesleyan Studies on Monday, Oct. 7, at Duncan Memorial UMC in Ashland. More ...

Ferrum College throws party to celebrate 100th birthday
Oct. 9, 2013 - Ferrum College’s Centennial Celebration the weekend of Oct. 5-6, included football, food and fireworks. It was also Homecoming weekend, which meant that the annual parade and football game took on special significance. More...

Advocate to donate to UMCOR in honor of Denise Honeycutt
Oct. 2, 2013 - For each subscription to the Virginia United Methodist Advocate purchased in October, one dollar will be donated to United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) in honor of the Rev. Dr. Denise Honeycutt, Virginia pastor recently named deputy general secretary of UMCOR. More ...

Twenty-two from Virginia attend Harambee 2013
Oct. 2, 2013 - Virginia sent 22 people to the summer Harambee youth event, with the theme "Sold out for Christ, Destined for Greatness." The theme was based on the words from Jeremiah 29:1.1: “‘l know the plans I have in mind for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘They are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope.’” More...

PAUMCS meeting includes training on new data entry system
Sept. 30, 2013 - About 75 secretaries, pastors and staff attended the Virginia Chapter of Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries (PAUMCS) training on Sept. 25 at the United Methodist Center in Glen Allen. Attendees spent much of the day training on the new system for data entry for Equipping Vital Congregations, which is also a one-stop way to create reports for charge conferences. More...

Conference staffer creates World Methodist Conference logo
Sept. 24, 2013 - The logo chosen for the 2016 World Methodist Conference is the work of Virginia’s own Cathryn Wooton, a graphic designer in the conference Communications office. Her design was selected from more than 50 entries and unveiled last week at the World Methodist Council’s meeting at Wesley’s Chapel in London. More...

Young adults gather to talk about a more proactive strategy
Sept. 18, 2013 - Young adults from across the Virginia Conference met for the second time in the past six months, this time with conference leaders and Bishop Cho participating, to talk about their vision for young adult involvement in United Methodist churches. More...

Friends of Barnabas names two new officers
Sept. 18, 2013 - The Friends of Barnabas Foundation announces the appointment of Mary Beth Sams as the new Foundation president, and Beth Martin Yeakel as the new development coordinator. More...

Stop Hunger Now honors Virginia Conference
Sept. 18, 2013 - Stop Hunger Now honored the Virginia Conference for its efforts in the fight against hunger during the Annual Conference session in June. Kiok Cho, wife of Bishop Young Jin Cho, received a ceremonial gong from Stop Hunger Now Program Manager Mike Nelson during the Clergy Spouses Luncheon, in recognition of the 2,045,172 meals packaged by United Methodists congregations in Virginia from June 2012 through May 2013. More...

Foundation is accepting grant requests until Nov. 1
Sept. 5, 2013 - Earlier this year the Virginia United Methodist Foundation announced formation of a Grants Program to make financial awards for proposals, projects, ministries, programs and activities at the conference and district levels of the Virginia Conference. As of the June 30 valuation date, the Foundation has determined that $7,700 is available for grants. Deadline to submit grant requests is Nov. 1. More information and application form can be found on the Foundation website, www.vaumfgifts.org.

Bishop Cho calls for end to predatory lending
Sept. 3, 2013 - In a column in the Sunday, Aug. 25, Richmond Times-Dispatch, Bishop Young Jin Cho of the Virginia Conference called on the state’s two leading candidates for governor to return campaign contributions from predatory lenders and, instead, work to protect consumers from unscrupulous lenders. The bishop also offered an overview of how Virginia Conference United Methodists are helping low-income borrowers. Read commentary

Bishop Cho listens to, advises young UMFS residents
Aug. 16, 2013 - Virginia Conference Bishop Young Jin Cho visited the Richmond campus of United Methodist Family Services (UMFS), lunching with residential students, getting a tour and listening to staff and board members. Bishop Cho heard first-hand the stories of teenage student leaders at UMFS’s Charterhouse School who have already had difficult lives despite their young ages. Cho told them that, while growing up in Korea, he had to drop out of high school because his family was too poor to continue to pay for his education. He later passed the GED and went to college and seminary. More...

Virginia United Methodist joins U.S. State Department
Aug. 9, 2013 - A Virginia United Methodist is taking on a new position at the U.S. State Department, and he’ll be reaching out to religious groups worldwide. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Aug. 7 formally introduced Shaun Casey as special adviser to the Secretary of State for faith-based community initiatives. Casey is a professor of Christian ethics at United Methodist-related Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., and a member of Floris UMC in Herndon. More ...

Teens spend 'Night in a Box' to help homeless
Aug. 1, 2013 - Teens Opposing Poverty's (TOP) annual "Night in a Box" was held Friday. Aug. 9, on the football field at Admiral Richard E. Byrd Middle School, located just south of Winchester. The event is a fundraiser in which participants spend the night in a cardboard box. More...

Training set for Equipping Vital Congregations data system
Aug. 1, 2013 - Hands-on training will be offered, beginning next week, for use of the new Equipping Vital Congregations data input and information system slated to go into effect Jan. 1, 2014. The new system can be used to input charge conference information, effective immediately. Training for each church will be limited to the pastor and one system administrator authorized by the pastor to enter data into the system. More ...

Fall issue of 'Neighbors' now available to download
Aug. 1, 2013 - The 2013 fall issue of the "Neighbors" newsletter is titled "Doing All You Can for God," written by the Rev. Jacob Sahms, pastor of Blandford UMC in the James River District. "Neighbors" is a free, customizable direct-mail piece, produced by Virginia United Methodist Communications, designed to complement a church's outreach ministry. More ...

Mission Encounter draws nearly 280
Aug. 1, 2013 - A total of nearly 280 people gathered at Blackstone July 26-28 and July 29-31 for the weekend and weekday sessions of the 2013 Virginia Conference Mission Encounter. Mission Encounter, formerly called School of Christian Mission, is co-sponsored by the conference United Methodist Women and the Board of Global Ministries. More...

5 Talent Academy, Bishops' Foundation offer worship training
July 30, 2013 - The 5 Talent Academy is partnering with the Bishops' Foundation to present the Rev. Dr. Constance Cherry, author of "The Worship Architect: A Blueprint for Designing Culturally Relevant and Biblically Faithful Services" as keynote speaker for "Become a Worship Architect" training on Oct. 15 at Ebenezer UMC in Stafford and five satellite locations where participants can watch the presentation via live streaming. More ...

Applications open for new Virginia Clergy Leadership Program
July 26, 2013 - Last fall, Bishop Young Jin Cho challenged the Virginia Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, working with the Cabinet, to design a spiritually based leadership program for clergy with a demonstrated history of effectiveness. The Clergy Effectiveness Committee of the Board has worked for the last nine months to meet this challenge. The Board is now announcing the Virginia Clergy Leadership Program, a new opportunity for elders and deacons in the Virginia Conference. Applications for the first pilot group of 24 clergy will be received until Oct. 1. The program begins in February 2014. More ...

New FBI director taught Sunday school at UMC in Richmond
July 12, 2013 - The next director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is a former Sunday school teacher at Reveille United Methodist Church in Richmond. President Obama’s nominee, James B. Comey Jr., breezed through a U.S. Senate hearing on his nomination this week and is expected to be approved unanimously. He will follow current FBI leader Robert Mueller, who has been director for 12 years. More...

Connectional Ministries reports on activities
July 10, 2013 - The Rev. Marc Brown, conference director of Connectional Ministries, issued a report on ways conference boards, commissions and staff have provided training and other resources to local churches during the months of May and June. "Thank you to the churches of the Virginia Conference for your support of the Conference Mission and Ministries (401) and Conference Services (402) apportionments that help to make these ministries in our conference and around the world possible," Brown wrote. More ...

'Advocate' to give $753 to Annual Conference Offering
July 10, 2013 - Between June 1-30, a total of $7,526 in Virginia United Methodist Advocate subscriptions was received in the Communications office – including subscriptions purchased during Annual Conference at the Communications display in the Exhibit Hall, ordered online through the conference website or mailed in with a postmark no later than June 30. That means that the Advocate will contribute $753 to this year's Annual Conference Offering. The Communications office had pledged that a tithe of all income received in the month of June from subscriptions to the Advocate – new subscriptions, renewals, extensions and gifts – would be donated to this year's Annual Conference Offering. The Virginia United Methodist Advocate is the official monthly magazine of the Virginia Conference.

Printed copies of 'Journal' must be purchased by Aug. 1
July 5, 2013 - Once it is completed, the 2013 Virginia Annual Conference Journal will be available on the conference website, www.vaumc.org, as a pdf file. The Journal may be purchased on CD at a cost of $10. A printed copy of the Journal may be purchased for $25. Requests for printed copies must be made by Aug. 1, and payment must be made at the time the order is placed. Only a small quantity of Journals will be printed and distributed to those who must receive them according to the Book of Discipline, to district offices, to conference offices and to those purchasing copies before the Aug. 1 deadline. To order a CD or printed copy, contact Pam Culler in the conference Communications office at pamculler@vaumc.org, 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110, or (804) 521-1110. Or click here to download order form.

DVDs of Annual Conference available for purchase
July 5, 2013 - The conference Communications office is selling DVDs of the 2013 Annual Conference session. DVDs include the memorial service, ordination, Annual Conference Offering worship and Sunday morning closing worship. Also included are Bible studies, Bishop Cho's Episcopal Address, recognition of retirees, Laity Address, and reports on The Common Table and All Things New - Equipping Vital Congregations (including the video that was unable to be shown at Annual Conference). Click here to download this year's DVD Order Form. Or click here to order online. Or call Pam Culler in the Communications office at (804) 521-1110 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110.

Video offers help in discerning call to ministry
July 3, 2013 - The Virginia Conference Board of Ordained Ministry recently produced a short video for persons discerning God’s call in their lives. Purpose of the video is to both inspire and inform those who are discerning a potential call to licensed or ordained ministry. The video — "Is God Calling Me?" — was shown at Annual Conference and can be viewed online on the VAUMC YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=88Bm2kt3mrI.

Denise Honeycutt nominated to lead UMCOR
July 3, 2013 - The Rev. Dr. Denise Honeycutt, pastor of St. Matthew's UMC in Fairfax and former director of Mission and Global Justice for the Virginia Conference, has been nominated by the personnel committee of the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) to serve as the new deputy general secretary of the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). The action is subject to the affirmative vote of the full board of directors at the end of October. In the meantime, Honeycutt has been appointed by Thomas Kemper, GBGM general secretary, to head up the agency’s relief and development unit on an interim basis, effective Sept. 16. More...

Disaster response: Here's how you can help
June 26, 2013 - As communities in Oklahoma, Texas and other U.S. states are recovering from the devastation of last spring’s tornadoes and floods, people want to help. But sometimes, instead of helping, their good intentions cause more problems for disaster victims. In fact, Oklahoma has been overwhelmed with unneeded donated goods -- food, clothing and other items. More...

Advocate subscriptions to fund Annual Conference offering
June 6, 2013 - If you subscribe to the Virginia United Methodist Advocate during the month of June – including during Annual Conference at the Communications display in the Exhibit Hall – you can benefit yourself (by getting a great magazine to read) and help children in four countries at the same time. During the month of June, a tithe of all income received from subscriptions to the Advocate – new subscriptions, renewals, extensions and gifts – will be donated to this year's Annual Conference Offering. More ...

Voices of Youth to tour July 1-14
June 6, 2013 - Voices of Youth, the summertime youth choir and mission experience sponsored by the Virginia Conference, will conduct its “In Our Own Backyards” tour July 1-14. The group will assemble June 27. After a time of orientation, group building and rehearsals, participants will travel around the conference, participating in local mission projects during the day and presenting worship experiences in host churches in the evenings. More...

Woodlake members walk to new worship site
June 6, 2013 - The congregation of Woodlake United Methodist Church assembled for one last time at its Woodlake campus on Sunday, May 26, and then walked together to their new church home in the Hampton Park community. More...

Bishop Cho helps promote early childhood education
June 5, 2013 - Virginia’s United Methodist Bishop Young Jin Cho joined U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan for a school tour and press conference Tuesday, June 4, to highlight early childhood education. Duncan is traveling around the country promoting President Obama’s proposal to expand early childhood education programs, which would make preschool available to all 4-year-olds from low-income families. More...

'Dr.' Couric offers advice to Randolph-Macon graduates
June 3, 2013 - Newscaster Katie Couric told graduates of United Methodist-related Randolph-Macon College that they would need one thing as they faced their post-school future: “moxie.” More...

Connectional Ministries reports on activities
May 23, 2013 - The Rev. Marc Brown, conference director of Connectional Ministries, reports on ways conference boards, commissions and staff provided training and other resources to local churches during the month of April. More ...

June issue of Advocate is about developing young leaders
May 23, 2013 - The June issue of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate is all about developing young leaders for the church. With youth and young adults growing more scarce in our churches, the future is looking dim. How can we attract young people to become more active in church leadership – as laity and clergy – to help insure a brighter outlook? The Advocate is the official monthly magazine of the Virginia Conference. To subscribe to the Advocate – print, digital or both – call (804) 521-1110 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110; e-mail Advocate@vaumc.org; or go to www.vaumc.org/advocate.

Foundation expands with new grants program, staff
May 22, 2013 – The Virginia United Methodist Foundation will begin sharing its resources by awarding grant money, and is adding a second full-time staff person. More...

Conference churches ‘Change the World’ in many ways
May 21, 2013 – Local churches from all over the Virginia Conference participated in the denomination's “Change the World” weekend in many different ways. More...

Convocation on Prayer participants told to 'Listen for God’
May 18, 2013 – About 270 people participated in the Bishop’s Convocation on Prayer on May 18 at Bon Air UMC and learned that contemplative prayer was all about listening for God’s message to us. Bishop Young Jin Cho said that “no spiritual vitality means no vital congregations,” the main reason he is putting such emphasis on prayer as the key spiritual discipline in each Christian’s life in this his first year as an episcopal leader. More...

Mark Ogren lists reasons he's a United Methodist
May 10, 2013 - Do you know why you're a United Methodist? Mark Ogren, Virginia Conference director of Congregational Excellence, has a whole list of reasons to explain why he is a United Methodist. His comments are posted on a new "Making Connections" blog that features personal insights, stories of ministry and other musings from Virginia Conference Connectional Ministries staff. To read the blog, click here. Or go to http://www.vaumc.org/pages/blogs/blog_makingconnections.

Floris UMC family fair marks World Malaria Day
May 1, 2013 – Floris UMC in Herndon hosted its first World Malaria Day celebration on April 26. The purpose of the event was to raise awareness around malaria and to raise money to support efforts to combat the disease. More...

Bishop Cho urges Elizabeth River laity to pray
April 29, 2013 - Bishop Young Jin Cho used a recent Elizabeth River District laity dinner to repeat his message of the power of prayer for renewal of the Virginia Conference. Bishop Cho met with district clergy during the day and then spoke to laity gathered for a meal at the Wesley Foundation at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg. Students put the meal together despite being in mid-preparation for final exams. More...

Campus ministers gather to share ideas, encouragement
April 24, 2013 - United Methodist campus ministers from across the Virginia Conference met at the University of Virginia’s Wesley Foundation building in Charlottesville on April 22 to talk strategy and voice encouragement for each other’s ministries. More ...

Elders focus on spiritual renewal at retreat
April 24, 2013 - Dr. Graham Standish was the leader of the 2013 Order of Elders retreat, held at the Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center. Standish, pastor of Calvin Presbyterian Church in Zelienople, Pa., since 1996, is the author of several books, including most recently, “In God’s Presence: Encountering, Experiencing, and Embracing the Holy in Worship.” More...

Rowley is United Methodist because of community, connection
April 12, 2013 - Glenn Rowley, Virginia Conference director of Justice and Missional Excellence, says he's a United Methodist because of community and connection. Click here to read his comments on the new "Making Connections" blog written by Connectional Ministries staff.

Young adults gather at conference office to discuss ideas
April 6, 2013 - Young adults from across the conference gathered recently to toss around ideas as to how to fill in the gaps in ministry with their age group. Young adults are defined by The United Methodist Church as those people age 18-35, a group that has seen church participation drop steadily over the past decade.The Virginia Conference Director of Young Adult Ministries, the Rev. Derrick Parson, convened the gathering at the United Methodist Center to look at several key questions. More...

Westview on the James selects new director
April 6, 2013 - Peter Albert will become executive director at Westview on the James effective May 1. More...

Pre-conference vacation packages available
April 2, 2013 - A limited number of pre-conference vacation packages are available for members of Annual Conference and their families. If you would like to stay at the Embassy Suites for two days prior to Annual Conference, you may select the Two-Night Package. If you would like to stay at the Embassy Suites throughout the conference session, you may select the Four Nights Package. More ...

Snow cancels bishops' event to highlight child hunger
March 25, 2013 - A surprise spring snowstorm that blanketed Richmond on Sunday, March 24, caused cancellation of a gathering of Christian bishops from across Virginia that was designed to call attention to child hunger in the state. Bishop Young Jin Cho, who had planned to participate, asked for the statement that the bishops were to read at the news conference, to be shared with Virginia Conference pastors and lay people. More ...

Bishop Cho visits with extension ministers
March 22, 2013 - Bishop Young Jin Cho was the tip-off speaker Friday, March 22, as Virginia Conference clergy appointed to extension ministries – beyond the local church – held their annual meeting at the Richmond Hill retreat center on Church Hill in Richmond. About 30 pastors, campus ministers and college administrators participated in the day-long retreat. More...

Hundley to serve in California-Pacific Conference
March 18, 2013 - Current Roanoke District Superintendent the Rev. Dr. Stephen C. Hundley will become executive director of Connectional Ministries of the California-Pacific Conference effective July 1. More...

Stokes says it's not easy being United Methodist
March 18, 2013 - Do you know why you're a United Methodist? Martha Stokes, director of Inclusivity and Lay Leadership Excellence, says she's a United Methodist even though sometimes it hasn’t been easy to stay United Methodist or connected to the church at all. Her comments are posted on a new "Making Connections" blog that features personal insights, stories of ministry and other musings from Connectional Ministries staff. More ...

Conference diaconate gathers for 'day apart'
March 13, 2013 - The Virginia Conference diaconate gathered March 12 for a spring “day apart” retreat at the United Methodist Center in Glen Allen. The diaconate includes deacons, diaconal ministers, home missioners and deaconesses. The Rev. David Canada, a retired elder who lives in Chesterfield, and the Rev. Kiok Cho, Bishop Cho’s wife, led the retreat. More ...

5 Talent speaker urges audience to seek renewal in God
March 11, 2013 - The gospels show many examples of when Jesus Christ sought to rest and be replenished by God, according to Mindy Caliguire, speaker at the 5 Talent Academy teaching event on Feb. 23. She encouraged clergy and laity to follow Christ’s example and frequently seek renewal in God. More...

Conference staff introduces 'Making Connections' blog
March 5, 2013 - Do you know why you are a United Methodist? The Rev. Marc Brown, conference director of Connectional Ministries, says he's a United Methodist because of infant baptism and Holy Communion. Click here to read his comments, the first entry in a new "Making Connections" blog that will feature personal insights, stories of ministry and other musings from Virginia Conference Connectional Ministries staff.

Clergy spouses gather for annual retreat
March 4, 2013 - About 50 clergy spouses and clergy gathered at the Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center, March 1-3, for the 51st annual Virginia Conference Clergy Spouses’ Retreat. The Rev. David and Judy Canada were the retreat leaders, on the theme “Finding Your Hidden Treasure.” More...

More than 170 lay servants receive training
Feb. 25, 2013 - The Lay Servant Academy offered 10 full weekend classes and 22 “mini” courses – from prayer to social media – at Blackstone the weekend of Feb. 22-24. It was the 35th year of Lay Speaker training, renamed Lay Servant training three years ago to expand the focus into other areas of ministry, not just speaking to groups and preaching from the pulpit. More...

2013 Annual Conference offering to help children
Feb. 21, 2013 - This year the Annual Conference special offering goal is $200,000. Bishop Young Jin Cho is requesting funds to support four projects to help childlren: $50,000 for the Shade and Fresh Water Project in Brazil; $50,000 for classroom construction and building repairs for the Janene Pennel Secondary School in Mozambique; $50,000 for Christian education materials, scholarships and other projects with children focused on growing the young church in Cambodia; and $50,000 to be shared among three ministries for children in Virginia: The Henry Fork Center in rural Franklin County, All God’s Children Camp for children of incarcerated parents, and Una Familia “One Family” Eastern Shore District tutoring ministry for Hispanic children. For more information and a bulletin insert, go to www.vaumc.org/ac2013.

Bring ‘4 Cans 4 Conference’ to Annual Conference
Feb. 21, 2013 - For the fifth year, each clergy and lay member of Annual Conference is encouraged to bring at least four cans of food or boxes of dry food to the Annual Conference session June 21-23 at the Hampton Convention Center in Hampton. This year, the "4 Cans 4 Conference," collection of food will go to the Peninsula Food Bank. Requested are: one can of vegetables or fruit, one can of meat or fish, one can of soup or stew and one can with a pop-top. More ...

Virginia Conference sends flood relief funds to Mozambique
Feb. 21 - 2013 - In Mozambique, heavy rainfall in January led to flooding that washed away homes, crops and livestock in Gaza Province. The United Methodist Church in Mozambique, one of the Virginia Conference Initiatives of Hope (IOH) mission focus partners, is responding to the crisis with an emergency plan to assist more than 140,000 affected families. The Rev. Joao Sambo was appointed head of a task force on relief by United Methodist Bishop Joaquina Nhanala on Jan. 28. In early February, the Virginia Conference sent $10,000 of IOH reserve funds to help with the immediate crisis to provide food and bottled water. Click here to read Rev. Sambo’s letter of thanks. An appeal has been launched through the United Methodist Committee On Relief (UMCOR) International Disaster Response Advance #982450. Donations can be given through the conference Treasurer’s office, P.O. Box 5605, Glen Allen, VA 23058; or sent to UMCOR at P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY 10087; or placed in the offering plate at any United Methodist church. Checks should be made payable to UMCOR with "Advance #982450" or “Mozambique flood relief” in the memo line. More ...

Apply now for Youth Service Fund grant
Feb. 21, 2013 - The conference is now accepting applications for Youth Service Fund (YSF) Grants. Grant money is available for work/initiatives to be done by young people for young people. Deadline for all applications to be received is 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25. Click here for application and more information. Or contact the office of Ministries with Young People at (804) 521-1139.

Rocky Hill UMC, Blackstone, destroyed by fire
Feb. 21, 2013 - Prayers are requested for the Rev. Linda Lowe and members of Rocky Hill UMC in Blackstone, Farmville District. The 140-year-old building burned to the ground last Sunday morning just hours before worship was scheduled to begin. Click here for TV news report. Click here for newspaper article.

United Methodist home in Williamsburg to file Chapter 11
Feb. 21, 2013 - Virginia United Methodist Homes of Williamsburg, Inc., known as WindsorMeade of Williamsburg, a continuing care retirement community, said it will file for Chapter 11 reorganization to implement a consensual restructuring plan that has been agreed to by WindsorMeade’s debt holders. More...

Bishop Cho names five new District Superintendents
Feb. 19, 2013 - Almost a third of the Virginia Conference 16-member Cabinet will be changing this year, as Bishop Young Jin Cho announced that he is appointing five new District Superintendents. More ...

Bishop Willimon to speak at Dillard Forum in Richmond
Feb. 20, 2013 - Retired United Methodist Bishop Will Willimon will be the guest speaker April 28-29 at the Dillard Forum, sponsored by Trinity UMC in Richmond. The titles of Willimon’s four lectures will be “Surprised by Jesus,” (9:30 a.m. April 28) “Troubled by Jesus,” (7 p.m. April 28) “Eating with Jesus” (noon on April 29, with a $7 lunch) and “Surprised by God in Jesus Christ” (7 p.m. April 29). More...

Bateman named 10th president of Randolph College
Feb. 15, 2013 - The Randolph College Board of Trustees has named Bradley W. Bateman as the institution’s 10th president. The announcement was made in Randolph’s newly renovated Student Center. The Lynchburg school is one of five United Methodist-related colleges in the Virginia Conference. More...

Nominees sought for two awards in higher education
Feb. 15, 2013 - The Virginia Conference Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministries is accepting nominations for two awards, one given by the conference and one by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. Honorees will be accounced during 2013 Annual Conference. More...

2013 Annual Conference to be June 21-23 in Hampton
Feb. 14, 2013 - The 2013 session of the Virginia Annual Conference will be June 21-23 at the Hampton Convention Center in Hampton, Va. A letter with information about the conference, including a list of area hotels and motels with special rates for annual conference attendees, was mailed to clergy and lay members of annual conference on Feb. 13 and posted on the conference website. Click here for a copy of the letter. For housing questions, contact the Rev. Ed Merry at (757) 871-4696 or EdHMerry@verizon.net. For more information about this year's Annual Conference session, go to www.vaumc.org/ac2013.

Older, Young Adult Councils develop Lenten devotional book
Feb. 14, 2013 - Members of the Young Adult Council and the Older Adult Council joined together to prepare and distribute a Lenten Devotional on the theme of “Anticipation.” The devotion is posted on the conference website, as a downloadable pdf file. More ...

Bishop Cho gets first taste of UM Day at General Assembly
Feb. 8, 2013 - More than 300 United Methodists from across the Virginia Conference gathered in Richmond on Feb. 7 for United Methodist Day at the General Assembly. This day of advocacy with state senators, delegates and their staffs has been a 25-year tradition in the Virginia Conference, and unique in the denomination, organizers said. This was the first United Methodist Day experience for Bishop Young Jin Cho. More ...

Watch for free digital sample of February Advocate
Feb. 1, 2013 - Today, the conference Communications Office sent out free digital copies of some of the articles in the February issue of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate which looks at "All Things New - Equipping Vital Congregations," a conference initiative to re-design the denomination’s “Vital Congregations” measurement system in a way that promotes collaboration, support and continued improvement among all conference churches. More ...

Booklet featuring 31 days of prayers available online
Jan. 16, 2013 - The "All Things New - Equipping Vital Congregations" prayer team has developed a booklet featuring 31 days of prayers and devotionals that can be downloaded from the conference website, www.vaumc.org. You are invited to use this booklet to engage in a month-long discipline of daily prayers, beginning on whatever day you choose, to pray for the congregations in the Virginia Conference and, specifically, for the All Things New - Equipping Vital Congregations teams that are working to put new opportunities in place that will help leaders throughout our conference support each other spiritually, collaborate with each other for increased fruitfulness and hold each other accountable for constant improvement. Click here to download booklet.

Read Neill Caldwell’s daily blog from Cambodia
Jan. 14, 2013 - As part of the Virginia Conference Initiatives of Hope mission ministry, an eight-member team from the conference is in Cambodia Jan. 11-25 visiting leaders of the Methodist Church of Cambodia and viewing ministry sites to plan for future partnerships between the Cambodia church and the Virginia Conference, both in terms of financial and prayer support and future work teams from VAUMC churches. Read about the trip by following the daily blog posted by Neill Caldwell, editor of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate. More ...

Clean drinking water is purpose of partnered ministry
Jan. 10, 2013 - Caretakers of God's Creation, in partnership with the Global Environment and Technology Foundation, is beginning to involve itself in a ministry of providing clean drinking water for people for whom water is scarce and/or contaminated. More...

Spiritual formation expert to speak at next 5 Talent Academy
Jan. 8, 2013 - Mindy Caliguire started “SoulCare” more than a dozen years ago, so the idea of taking care of your spiritual health is anything but a new idea. What is new is the practice of incorporating personal spiritual formation into small group studies. Caliguire, a leading author and expert in spiritual formation, will be the speaker at the next training session of the 5 Talent Academy, to be held Saturday, Feb. 23. More...

 

 
 

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