To view news articles from previous years, click on one of the links below:

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

2015 Virginia Conference News

Bishop Cho joins other faith leaders to support area Muslims
Dec. 18, 2015 - Bishop Young Jin Cho joined nearly 100 other Richmond area faith leaders on Thursday, Dec. 17, to express solidarity with the Muslim community and condemn recent public expressions of religious discrimination. More ...

Conference exceeds Imagine No Malaria goal, saves 102,816+ lives!
Dec. 17, 2015 - As of Dec. 16, Virginia Conference churches have raised $1,028,169.53 for Imagine No Malaria, saving more than 102,816 lives and further exceeding the goal of raising $1 million to save 100,000+ lives from malaria, a preventable and treatable disease. More ...

Randolph-Macon College receives $513,052 Lilly grant
Dec. 17, 2015 - Randolph-Macon College (R-MC), a United Methodist-affiliated school in Ashland, has received a four-year grant for $513,052 from the Lilly Endowment. R-MC, in collaboration with Shalom Farms, Union Presbyterian Seminary, and the Care of God’s Creation program, will use the grant to establish a Faith and Science Summer Theology Institute for high school youths, which will begin in summer 2017. Students who will be preparing for their junior and senior years during the institute will be eligible to apply. R-MC’s new chaplain, Kendra Grimes, will serve as co-director of the institute and spearhead the initiative. More ...

Shenandoah University receives $600,000 Lilly grant
Dec. 10, 2015 - Shenandoah University, in partnership with Wesley Theological Seminary and the Virginia Conference, has received a $600,000 grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. to establish the Shenandoah University Youth Theology Institute. More ...

'Did You Know?' video highlights Heart Havens
Dec. 3, 2015 - Did you know that Heart Havens operates 11 group homes for adults with intellectual disabilities? That's just one thing you can learn from a video featuring Sarah Wilkinson, Heart Havens Communications and Volunteer manager, talking about this Virginia Conference Advance Special ministry. This short video is the seventh in a series of videos featuring facts about The United Methodist Church – in the Virginia Conference, the United States and around the world. Called “Did You Know?” these videos can be used to convey information about The United Methodist Church to confirmands, new member classes, youth groups, Sunday school classes, church committees or even during worship. Produced by the Virginia Conference Communications office, the videos are posted on the conference website at www.vaumc.org/videos, on the conference YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/vaumcvideos and on the conference Facebook page at www.facebook.com/vaumconf.

Virginia Conference churches save 102,194+ lives from malaria
Nov. 19, 2015 - As of Nov. 9, Virginia Conference churches have raised $1,021,947.94 for Imagine No Malaria, saving more than 102,194 lives and exceeding the goal of raising $1 million to save 100,000+ lives from malaria, a preventable and treatable disease. More ...

460+ participate in Middle School Youth Retreat
Nov. 19, 2015 - More than 460 sixth, seventh and eighth graders and their adult chaperones from 41 churches gathered for the Middle School Youth Retreat at Eagle Eyrie in Lynchburg Nov. 13-15. During the weekend, youths were challenged to grow as disciples of Christ through powerful worship, Bible study and small groups while building friendships with youths from all over Virginia. Focus was on learning how to be a “Called Generation” with speaker Paulo Lopes, Virginia Conference director of Ministries with Young People. More ...

63 students in Virginia Conference receive United Methodist scholarships
Nov. 19, 2015 - The United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) Office of Loans and Scholarships will be awarding more than 2,200 students a total of $4.5 million in financial assistance for 2015. Of these, 63 students are from 54 United Methodist churches in the Virginia Conference and are receiving scholarships worth $27,730. Contributions to special offerings taken on United Methodist Student Day (Sunday, Nov. 29, this year), World Communion Sunday and Native American Sunday help fund these loans and scholarships. More ...

Virginia Advocate offers extra content to online magazine subscribers
Nov. 19, 2015 - Starting with the November 2015 issue of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate, subscribers to the digital version of the magazine receive additional content not available in the print version. To allow everyone to get a look at the extra benefits gained by subscribing to the digital version of the publication, the December issue’s exclusive content featuring an Advent message from the Rev. Mark Ogren, conference director of Congregational Excellence, will be posted on the conference Facebook page and the conference website. 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.

Brown tells United Methodist Men to make difference by finding God's plan
Nov. 12, 2015 - The Rev. Dr. Clarence Brown told Virginia Conference United Methodist Men to make a difference in the world by learning that God has a plan for them. “As we get closer to God,” Brown said, “we realize God has a purpose for us. God has a plan for you. God has a plan for you— as an individual.”  Brown was speaking on “Making a Difference” at the Virginia Conference United Methodist Men (UMM) annual Spiritual Advance held Nov. 6-8 at Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) in Blackstone. More ...

'Did You Know?' video highlights Discipleship Circles
Nov. 12, 2015 - Did you know that a Discipleship Circle consists of six to 12 clergy and laity from several churches? That's just one thing you can learn from a video featuring Cheryl Edley-Worford, director of Inclusivity and Lay Leadership Excellence, talking about this Virginia Conference exciting, new twist on small groups. This one-minute video is the sixth in a series of videos featuring facts about The United Methodist Church – in the Virginia Conference, the United States and around the world. Called “Did You Know?” these videos can be used to convey information about The United Methodist Church to confirmands, new member classes, youth groups, Sunday school classes, church committees or even during worship. Produced by the Virginia Conference Communications office, the videos are posted on the conference website at www.vaumc.org/videos, on the conference YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/vaumcvideos and on the conference Facebook page at www.facebook.com/vaumconf.

Camp Rainbow Harvest Dance declared 'overwhelming success'
Nov. 6, 2015 - More than 100 people attended the Camp Rainbow Connection (CRC) Harvest Dance Saturday, Oct.  24, at River Road UMC in Richmond, and Stacy Roberts, Camp Rainbow Connection coordinator, declared the event “an overwhelming success.” Campers and volunteer staff from both July and August sessions of Camp Rainbow, as well as more than 15 visitors from group homes across the state played corn hole, danced, sang and ate delicious food. More...

Five from Virginia Conference are part of delegation to Israel/Palestine
Nov. 6, 2015 - Five members of the Virginia Conference left for Israel/Palestine on Nov. 3 as part of the Interfaith Peace-Builder “November Olive Harvest Delegation.” Along with five members of Jewish Voice for Peace/Jews for Just Peace, they make up the two largest groups in the 35-member delegation. Virginia Conference participants are John Copenhaver, Steve Jones, Keary Kincannon, Garey Eakes and Haniel Garibay. The Virginia Conference Board of Church and Society is co-sponsor of the trip. Along with listening to Israeli and Palestinian peacemakers, the delegation will spend a few days assisting Christian and Muslim Palestinians with the annual olive harvest. Delegates will hear from Palestinian farmers and learn of the importance of agriculture to the Palestinian economy and culture. They will also meet with Jewish settlers and will be reminded of the ugly and violent history of anti-Semitism in a visit to Yad Vashem (Holocaust History Museum). To receive periodic reports from the delegation, sign up at http://org2.salsalabs.com/o/7169/p/salsa/web/common/public/signup?signup_page_KEY=9228.

Delegation votes not to endorse candidate for bishop
Oct. 29, 2015 - At their meeting on Saturday, Oct. 24, members of the Virginia Conference delegation to General and Southeastern Jurisdictional Conferences voted not to endorse a candidate for bishop. In The United Methodist Church, bishops are elected and assigned by the jurisdictions. Bishops for the Southeastern Jurisdiction (SEJ) will be elected by delegates from all 15 SEJ annual conferences during jurisdictional conference July 13-15, 2016, at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in Lake Junaluska, N.C. More ...

33 clergy travel through South Korea with Bishop Cho
Oct. 22, 2015 - Thirty-three Virginia Conference clergy are currently traveling through South Korea as part of the fourth Pilgrimage for Spiritual Renewal led by Bishop Young Jin Cho. The group left the United States on Oct. 19 and is scheduled to return on Oct. 27. Visit the group's Facebook page to follow their journey and view posts and pictures from their travels.

Participate in Advocate survey to give feedback on conference magazine
Oct. 22, 2015 - In order to provide readers with informative and relevant information through the Virginia United Methodist Advocate, the editorial staff has included a brief survey in the November issue of the magazine. In addition to raw data, the staff is interested in reading comments and suggestions for making the Virginia Advocate a magazine that equips, connects and informs United Methodists in the Virginia Conference. The survey can also be completed online by going to the conference website. Click here to take the survey.

Camp Rainbow to hold dance for campers, staff
Oct. 22, 2015 - Camp Rainbow Connection's leadership team is sponsoring a dance for Camp Rainbow campers and staff this Saturday, Oct. 24, 3 to 6 p.m. at River Road UMC in Richmond. The 58 campers originally scheduled to attend the August session of Camp Rainbow, 56 campers that attended the July session of the camp and 100 volunteer Camp Rainbow staff members have been invited to attend. The dance is being held as an alternative to this summer's second session of Camp Rainbow Connection, scheduled for Aug. 9-14, that was cancelled due to concerns about water quality at Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center in Blackstone. Camp Rainbow Connection is a week-long respite camp held once in July and once in August for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Campers range in age from 16 into their 80s. More ...

November Advocate to report on chaplaincy ministries
Oct. 22, 2015 - United Methodist chaplains across the Virginia Conference work outside church walls to spread the Word of God and provide comfort and care in Christ’s name. In addition to working to meet the needs of members of American armed forces and returning wounded warriors, chaplains also provide care on college campuses, in hospitals and in prisons. The November issue of the Advocate features stories about chaplains and their lives of service in various fields. 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.

'Did You Know?' video highlights revitalization of existing congregations
Oct. 22, 2015 - Did you know that since 2008 the Virginia Conference has been helping renew existing congregations by offering 5 Talent Academy events and "How to Reach New People" workshops? That's just one thing you can learn from a video featuring the Rev. Mark Ogren, director of Congregational Excellence, talking about Virginia Conference strategies to revitalize existing congregations. This one-minute video is the fifth in a series of videos featuring facts about The United Methodist Church – in the Virginia Conference, the United States and around the world. Called “Did You Know?” these videos can be used to convey information about The United Methodist Church to confirmands, new member classes, youth groups, Sunday school classes, church committees or even during worship. Produced by the Virginia Conference Communications office, the videos are posted on the conference website at www.vaumc.org/videos, on the conference YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/vaumcvideos and on the conference Facebook page at www.facebook.com/vaumconf.

Pastors discover ministry styles at Church Leadership Institute
Oct. 15, 2015 - Almost 50 pastors (including four district superintendents) spent three days exploring their ministry styles during the Virginia Conference Church Leadership Institute held Oct. 12-14 at the Virginia United Methodist Center in Glen Allen. More ...

'Did You Know?' video highlights new faith communities
Oct. 15, 2015 - Did you know that since 2008 the Virginia Conference has started 37 new faith communities? That's just one thing you can learn from a video featuring the Rev. Mark Ogren, director of Congregational Excellence, talking about the Virginia Conference "All Things New" strategy to start new faith communities and renew existing congregations. This very short (about one minute) video is the fourth in a series of videos featuring facts about The United Methodist Church – in the Virginia Conference, the United States and around the world. Called “Did You Know?” these videos can be used to convey information about The United Methodist Church to confirmands, new member classes, youth groups, Sunday school classes, church committees or even during worship. Produced by the Virginia Conference Communications office, the videos are posted on the conference website at www.vaumc.org/videos, on the conference YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/vaumcvideos and on the conference Facebook page at www.facebook.com/vaumconf.

Students gather on Shenandoah campus to 'Rethink, Reclaim, Renew'
Sept. 29, 2015 - About 80 students from college and university campus ministries throughout Virginia met at Shenandoah University Sept. 25-26 for RE3 (pronounced “RE-three”). RE3, standing for “Rethink, Reclaim and Renew,” encouraged students to focus on what they need to rethink in their own lives, what the church needs to rethink and what old practices can be reclaimed for renewing the church today. More ...

Conference exceeds Imagine No Malaria goal, saves 100,536+ lives!
Sept. 30, 2015 - As of Sept. 30, Virginia Conference churches had raised $1,005,364.30 for Imagine No Malaria, saving more than 100,536 lives and exceeding the conference goal of raising $1 million to save 100,000+ lives from malaria, a preventable and treatable disease. "This is a great day," said Bishop Young Jin Cho. "Thank God for all the churches, from the little children to all the others who joined this effort." More ...

'Did You Know?' video highlights Virginia United Methodist Advocate
Sept. 23, 2015 - Did you know that the Virginia United Methodist Advocate magazine is older than Time magazine, the New York Times or the Washington Post? That's just one thing you can learn from a video featuring Madeline Pillow, Advocate editor, talking about the Virginia Conference monthly magazine. This very short (about one minute) video is the third in a series of videos featuring facts about The United Methodist Church – in the Virginia Conference, the United States and around the world. Called “Did You Know?” these videos can be used to convey information about The United Methodist Church to confirmands, new member classes, youth groups, Sunday school classes, church committees or even during worship. Produced by the Virginia Conference Communications office, the videos are posted on the conference website at www.vaumc.org/videos, on the conference YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/vaumcvideos and on the conference Facebook page at www.facebook.com/vaumconf.

October issue of Advocate focuses on prayer
Sept. 23, 2015 - The October issue of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate focuses on prayer in the Virginia Conference. Since Bishop Young Jin Cho began his ministry as bishop, he has emphasized the need for and value of prayer at all times. This issue gets the “prayer perspective” from Virginia district superintendents, leaders of prayer initiatives, local churches and individuals to see how prayer is working in the church. The magazine also supplies guides to different kinds of prayer that can be used to add to an individual's prayer life. 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.

Tom Berlin interviewed by NBC-TV about Pope Francis
Sept. 23, 2015 - The Rev. Tom Berlin, senior pastor of Floris UMC in Herndon, was interviewed by NBC-TV about reasons non-Catholic Christians are excited about the visit of Pope Francis. More ...

Cathy Abbott article about money featured in Lewis Center newsletter
Sept. 23, 2015 - "Overcoming the Fear of Talking About Money," an article by the Rev. Cathy Abbott, Arlington District superintendent, is featured in the Sept. 23 edition of "Leading Ideas," a weekly e-newsletter from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership at Wesley Theological Seminary. The article is adapted from a reflection Abbott offered in the collection entitled In the Shade of the Sycamore Tree (Intermundia Press, 2015), reflections by clergy on the subject of wealth edited by J. Robert Moon. More ...

Conference has saved 98,854 lives from malaria, just 1,145 short of goal
Sept. 10, 2015 - As of Sept. 8, conference churches had raised $988,548.83 for Imagine No Malaria and saved more than 98,854 lives. Churches can still send in funds and have them counted toward the conference goal. Only $11,451.17 (which would save 1,145 lives) is needed to meet the goal of raising $1 million to save 100,000 lives from this preventable and treatable disease. You can make online contributions with a credit card at www.vaumc.org/DonateINM. Contributions may also be sent to the Virginia Conference Treasurer's office, P.O. Box 5605, Glen Allen, VA 23058. Make check payable to "Virginia Conference" and designate “Imagine No Malaria, Advance Special #6450," on your check or at the bottom of your apportionment statement. If the check is from a church, be sure to indicate the church GCFA number on the check.

Bishop's Convocation on Prayer to be March 5
Sept. 10, 2015 - The Bishop’s Convocation on Prayer will be held Saturday, March 5, at Trinity UMC, 903 Forest Ave., Richmond. Theme is "Deepening Discipleship: Piety and Mercy through Prayer." Plenary speaker will be Dr. Frederick Schmidt, Reuben P. Job Associate Professor of Spiritual Formation at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill.

'Did You Know?' video highlights conference Lay Servant Academy
Sept. 10, 2015 - Did you know that there are more than 1,500 certified lay servants in the Virginia Conference? That's just one thing you can learn from a video featuring Beth Christian talking about the Virginia Conference Lay Servant Academy. This very short (about one minute) video is the second in a series of videos featuring facts about The United Methodist Church – in the Virginia Conference, the United States and around the world. Called “Did You Know?” these videos can be used to convey information about The United Methodist Church to confirmands, new member classes, youth groups, Sunday school classes, church committees or even during worship. Produced by the Virginia Conference Communications office, the videos are posted on the conference website at www.vaumc.org/videos, on the conference YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/vaumcvideos and on the conference Facebook page at www.facebook.com/vaumconf.

Lay Servant Academy helps Christians to claim their spiritual gifts, talents, and skills
Sept. 3, 2015 - "We Christians are to understand and to relate to each other as both a family, whose members love each other, and as a body, whose members have different functions but always serve each other and grow," said Beth Christian, the new director of the Virginia Conference's Lay Servant Academy. The Virginia Conference offers an annual Lay Servant Academy. The next gathering will be at the Blackstone Retreat and Conference Center Feb. 26-28, 2016. More...

‘Did You Know?’ videos feature facts about church
Aug. 27, 2015 - Nick Ruxton, videographer in the conference Communications office, is producing a series of very short videos (approximately one-minute each) featuring facts about The United Methodist Church – in the Virginia Conference, the United States and around the world. These videos, called “Did You Know?,” can be used to convey information about The United Methodist Church to confirmands, new member classes, youth groups, Sunday school classes, church committees or even during worship. Some of them might also be used to illustrate how apportionments are used for mission and ministry. The first video features Meredith McNabb talking about the number and types of clergy in the Virginia Conference. The videos will be posted on the Virginia Conference website at www.vaumc.org/videos, on the conference YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/vaumcvideos and on the conference Facebook page at www.facebook.com/vaumconf. Anyone with suggestions for United Methodist facts that could be featured in a one-minute “Did You Know?” video should contact Nick Ruxton at NickRuxton@vaumc.org or (804) 521-1112.

Conference lends VUMAC funds to correct water quality issues
Aug. 27, 2015 - The Virginia Conference Council on Finance and Administration (CFA) approved a loan to the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center in Blackstone (VUMAC) in the amount of $11,500 to cover costs of needed repairs to VUMAC's water system. "Repairs have been done," said Sam McCracken, VUMAC executive director. “We are clean and ready to go. The water’s perfect. CFA came to our rescue, and we really appreciate it." Concerns about the water quality caused Camp Rainbow Connection to cancel the Aug. 9-14 session of the camp scheduled to be held at VUMAC. More ...

100 children encouraged at All God's Children Camp
Aug. 14, 2015 - Almost 100 campers were encouraged and uplifted during the second session of All God’s Children Camp Aug. 9-14 at Westview on the James in Goochland. The campers, ages 7-12, who come to the camp because they have an incarcerated parent, enjoyed swimming, hiking, archery, music, crafts and Bible study. The first session of All God’s Children Camp was held Aug. 2-7 at Occohannock on the Bay in Eastern Virginia. More ...

August session of Camp Rainbow cancelled due to water safety concerns
Aug. 14, 2015 - This summer's second session of Camp Rainbow Connection, scheduled for Aug. 9-14, was cancelled due to concerns about the water quality at Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) in Blackstone. Sam McCracken, VUMAC executive director, said the water is 100 percent safe. Camp leaders are exploring the possiblity of holding an alternative event, such as a dance, in Richmond in September or October to provide an opportunity for campers and staff to fellowship together. More ...

Virginia Conference nears Imagine No Malaria goal
Aug. 14, 2015 - As of Aug. 13, the Virginia Conference has raised $963,563.75 for Imagine No Malaria, saving 96,356 lives from the deadly disease. This is just 3,644 lives short of the conference goal of saving 100,000+ lives by raising $1 million. Maria Maxwell, Virginia Conference field coordinator for Imagine No Malaria, encouraged all those who made pledges at Annual Conference to send in their funds as soon as possible. More ...

Three young Virginians commissioned as Global Mission Fellows
Aug. 6, 2015 - Three young adults from the Virginia Conference are among 15 new United Methodist young adult missionaries commissioned July 30 by the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries. Kimberly Bishop and her husband, Gregory Bishop, members of RISE United Methodist Faith Community in Harrisonburg, are Global Mission Fellows assigned to Nome Community Center in Nome, Alaska. Sarah Hundley, member of Cave Spring UMC in Roanoke, is a Global Mission Fellow who will be working with the Gallery After School Program of The Salt United Methodist Church (formerly St. John’s) in Oklahoma City. More ...

Global Mission Fellow assigned to work in Virginia
Aug. 6, 2015 - Christina Trager, a Global Mission Fellow US-2 young adult missionary commissioned July 30 by the United Methodist General Board of Global Ministries, will be assigned to work at Ferrum College, a United Methodist-related institution in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, to strengthen ties between Ferrum and Henry Fork Service Center in Rocky Mount. She will coordinate student and faculty volunteers at Henry Fork and work with other aspects of campus religious and social life. Trager is a member of Mariner’s Bethel UMC in Ocean View, Del., in the Peninsula-Delaware Conference. She will be available to speak in churches interpreting her work starting in the fall and will also be looking for financial support for her mission and ministry.

2015-2016 Mission Opportunities guide available
July 30, 2015 - "Transformation" is the theme of the 2015-2016 Mission Opportunities booklet which is included as an insert in the August issue of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate and was distributed to participants of Mission Encounter at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center July 24–26. All clergy and local church lay leaders will also receive copies. The booklet includes information about first- and second-mile giving, apportionments, United Methodist Committee on Relief, Advance specials, missionaries and a variety of other mission opportunities. Extra copies are available through district offices or by contacting the conference office of Justice and Missional Excellence at (804) 521-1139 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 139. Click here to download copy of Mission Opportunities booklet.

Closed caption video summary of Annual Conference now on YouTube
July 30, 2015 - The Communications office has prepared a five-minute overview video of 2015 Annual Conference (suitable for use in making a report on Annual Conference to your local church). It is now available on YouTube with closed captioning. To view it, go to the conference YouTube channel and click on the "Annual Conference 2015 Highlights" video. Click on the "cc" icon to activate closed captioning.

More than 190 gather for Mission Encounter study, worship
July 30, 2015 - More than 190 clergy and lay men, women and youths gathered at Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center July 24-26 for Mission Encounter, an opportunity to learn about being partners in God’s global mission and to grow spiritually through study and worship. Darlene Runaldue, instructor for the workshop “Created for Happiness: Understanding Your Life in God,” shares her reflection from the weekend. More ...

Conference intern finds find joy, happiness at Camp Rainbow
July 30, 2015 - Last week, Camp Rainbow Connection held its first week-long camp for this summer. The camp is held in July and August every year for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Starting out in 1985 with just 25 campers, the program has now expanded to more than 120 campers at the Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center. Michelle Hettman, a Connections 21 intern, volunteered at the camp and shares her reflections. “It was really uplifting to find joy and happiness with the people who surrounded me," Hettman said. "It didn't matter where we were — the only important thing was that we were in God's presence, together.” More ...

Video reports on Bishop's retreat for 2015 ordinands
July 30, 2015 - Prior to Annual Conference, Bishop Young Jin Cho hosted a two-day retreat for 24 candidates for elder and one candidate for deacon who were ordained at this year’s Annual Conference in Roanoke. Nick Ruxton produced a short video report of their time together which can be viewed on the conference YouTube channel and on the conference Facebook page.

Every church urged to participate in Imagine No Malaria initiative
July 23, 2015 - Maria Maxwell, Virginia Conference field coordinator for Imagine No Malaria, has issued a "thank you" to all of the churches who have participated in the Imagine No Malaria initiative. It has been a year since the Virginia Annual Conference voted to raise enough money in one year to save 100,000+ lives from malaria. Every church and every United Methodist in the Virginia Conference were urged to take part. To date, conference churches have raised $944,670, saving more than 94,467 lives from the deadly disease. This is just 5,533 lives short of the goal. Approximately 652 churches have participated, roughly 55% of our Virginia Conference churches. More ...

Candidacy Summit participants told to bring gifts, graces, experience for God
July 23, 2015 - “Bring all your gifts, bring all your graces, bring all your experience into the church and see how God can deploy them in different ways,” the Rev. Meredith McNabb, Virginia Conference director of Clergy Excellence, told nearly 30 participants in the Candidacy Summit held July 17-18 at Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center in Blackstone. More...

Small church pastors told to motivate church members with plans
July 16, 2015 - Nearly 150 pastors of small congregations were told to motivate their parishioners with plans, execute those plans and then celebrate victories in order to be vital. They were participating in Small Membership Congregation Pastor Training held July 11 at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center in Blackstone. “Churches that are in decline don’t want to even talk about tomorrow because they don’t believe in tomorrow,” Dr. Lew Parks, Wesley Theological Seminary professor, told the group. More...

Virginia Conference has saved 94,467 lives from malaria
July 15, 2015 - The Virginia Conference has raised $944,670 for Imagine No Malaria, saving 94,467 lives from the deadly disease. This is just 5,533 lives short of the conference goal of saving 100,000+ lives by raising $1 million. Maria Maxwell, Virginia Conference field coordinator for Imagine No Malaria, said if churches that have not yet participated in this initiative would each donate just $150, the conference would easily surpass its goal. Only $10 saves a life. More ...

Five-minute overview video of Annual Conference available
July 1, 2015 - This year, for the first time, the Communications office has prepared a five-minute overview video of 2015 Annual Conference (suitable for use in making a report on Annual Conference to your local church). You can view it now on the conference Facebook page or YouTube channel, free of charge. You can purchase a copy of the overview video on a DVD for $10 (shipping included). Click here to order online or call Pam Culler in the Communications office at (804) 521-1110 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110.

$152,125 collected for Annual Conference offering
July 1, 2015 - To date, $152,125.75 has been received for this year's Annual Conference special offering, exceeding the original goal of $150,000. Funds will support the partnership with the Methodist Mission in Cambodia as they continue to purchase property for new churches and expand their fast growing mission, United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Global Health ministries to aid the Ebola-ravaged countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia, and mission projects working with the poor in the Danville and Eastern Shore districts. Contributions may still be sent to the Conference Treasurer's office, P.O. Box 5605, Glen Allen, VA 23058. Designate “Annual Conference Offering” on your check or at the bottom of your apportionment statement. If the check is from a church, indicate the church GCFA number on the check. More ...

Virginia United Methodists gather in Roanoke for 233rd Annual Conference
June 24, 2015 - Nearly 4,000 Virginia United Methodists gathered at the Berglund Center in Roanoke June 19-21 for the 233rd session of the Virginia Annual Conference. Theme was “From Members to Disciples.” Bishop Young Jin Cho presided. More...

Virginia Conference has saved 91,606 lives from malaria
June 24, 2015 - After a spontaneous offering of $28,560 in cash and $22,000 in pledges was added to funds raised throughout the previous year and at the "Mulligans Against Malaria" golf tournament and sale of donated artwork, the Virginia Conference has raised $916,064.16 for Imagine No Malaria, saving more than 91,606 lives from the deadly disease. This is just $83,936 (or 8,394 lives) short of the conference goal of raising $1 million in order to save 100,000+ lives. More ...

Virginia asks General Conference to remove 'incompatibility' phrase
June 24, 2015 - By a 989-868 vote, the Virginia Annual Conference approved a petition urging General Conference to eliminate the sentence: "The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teaching" from the United Methodist Book of Discipline. To read the full text of the petition, click here to download the 2015 Book of Reports and scroll to page 173. This petition will be submitted to General Conference which will meet next May 10-20 in Portland, Ore. Only General Conference can change language in the Book of Discipline.

Bishop Cho issues statement re Annual Conference petition
June 24, 2015 - After Annual Conference approved a petition calling for removal of a sentence in the United Methodist book of law that calls homosexuality "incompatible with Christian teaching," Bishop Young Jin Cho issued a letter to all Virginia Conference United Methodists. "I want you to know that this vote took place in the midst of honest debate and prayerful discernment. Throughout it all, the expressed will of all participants was that we might know God’s will for our church at this time," Bishop Cho wrote. He also admitted that "the results of this action will be received with widely varied responses. But whatever those responses, what has not changed is that we are a people who share a common heritage and a common ministry in Christ Jesus. We are called to live and work together as a family of faith." Click here to read entire letter.

Annual Conference calls for divestment from coal companies
June 24, 2015 - Annual Conference voted to encourage all United Methodist general boards and agencies, annual conference boards and agencies and local churches to avoid investment in companies with revenues from the extraction and/or mining of thermal coal. The resolution also encourages investment in companies focusing on the development and utilization of renewable energy sources and improved energy efficiency. To read the full text of the resolution, click here to download the 2015 Book of Reports and scroll to page 148.

$128,890 collected for Annual Conference offering
June 24, 2015 - To date, $128,890 has been received for this year's Annual Conference special offering, about $21,000 shy of the goal of $150,000. Funds will support the partnership with the Methodist Mission in Cambodia as they continue to purchase property for new churches and expand their fast growing mission, United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Global Health ministries to aid the Ebola-ravaged countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia, and mission projects working with the poor in the Danville and Eastern Shore districts. Contributions may still be sent to the Conference Treasurer's office, P.O. Box 5605, Glen Allen, VA 23058. Designate “Annual Conference Offering” on your check or at the bottom of your apportionment statement. If the check is from a church, indicate the church GCFA number on the check. More ...

42,843 disaster relief kits contributed to UMCOR
June 24, 2015 - Virginia Annual Conference members brought 42,843 disaster relief kits for United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to Annual Conference. The kits included 23,672 Health Kits; 11,835 School Kits; 4,533 Birthing Kits; 1,965 Layette Kits; 180 Cleaning Kits; 111 Bedding Kits and 547 Sewing Kits. Value of the kits is $544,584. Total number of donated kits exceeded last year's offerings by more than 1,500. The kits were loaded onto a semi-trailer and have been taken to an UMCOR depot in Mechanicsburg, Penn.

9,869 pounds of food donated to '4 Cans 4 Conference'
June 24, 2015 - Clergy and lay members of Annual Conference contributed 9,869 pounds of canned goods and boxed dry foods plus $174 in cash as part of the "4 Cans 4 Conference" drive to benefit the Roanoke area Rescue Mission, according to the Rev. Jim Earley, "4 Cans for Conference" coordinator. "This is the lean time of the year for most food banks," Earley said, "and so your generosity and gracious giving are especially appreciated by the staff and recipients of all those cans and boxes of good things to eat. Thank you for including those in need in your planning and preparations for conference. If opportunity presents itself during these hot summer months, gather up some food in your congregation and take it to your local food bank. You'll both be blessed — as will those you feed!"

Virginia Conference elects 22 delegates to General Conference
June 24, 2015 - Using electronic voting machines for the first time, members of the Virginia Annual Conference elected 22 delegates to the 2016 General Conference (11 clergy and 11 laity) and an additional 11 clergy and 11 laity to join General Conference delegates for the 2016 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference. Laity delegates to General Conference are: Martha Stokes, Warren Harper, Shirley Cauffman, Nathaniel L. Bishop, Darlene Amon, Virginia Greer, Joyce Winston, Gene Mims, Beth Christian, Alison Malloy and Marshall Bailey. Clergy delegates to General Conference are: Tom Berlin, Meredith McNabb, Denise Honeycutt, Clarence Brown, Tammy Estep, Ted Smith, Ileana Rosario, Peter Moon, Kendall Soulen, Mark Ogren and Rob Vaughn. Click here for complete list of General Conference, jurisdictional conference and reserve delegates.

Beighley, Hobbs, Lopynski receive Denman Awards
June 24, 2015 - Denman Evangelism Award for clergy was presented to the Rev. Paul Beighley, co-pastor of the Brodnax Charge in Brunswick County in the James River District, for his work in prison ministries. Denman Laity Award went to Patricia Hobbs, Outreach Ministry team leader at Franconia UMC in the Alexandria District. Denman Youth Award went to Anna Lopynski, member of Floris UMC, Herndon, Arlington District.

'Angels' help save truck delivery of supplies to Annual Conference
June 17, 2015 - Bryan Compton, conference IT manager, and Nick Ruxton, conference videographer, left Virginia Conference offices in Glen Allen at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 16, in a 24-foot rental truck loaded with supplies and equipment to be used at 2015 Annual Conference. At the first rest stop heading west on I-64 outside of Richmond, the truck broke down. After arranging for the rental company to bring them another truck, the two men were faced with the enormous task of unloading the broken down truck and re-loading the new one. They used their cell phones, Facebook and Twitter to call for help. "We put out a call for help and eight 'angels from heaven' answered the call," said Compton. Drew and David Dommisse, Kathy and Tim Ruxton, Jeff Bailey, Mark Tuttle, Chuck Nobel and Gregg Schull arrived to unload and reload the vehicles. "[I'm] so very grateful for everyone. I can't say how much they were needed ... Thanks to everyone is simply not enough." The truck resumed it's journey at 7:40 p.m. and finally arrived in Roanoke at 11:15 p.m.

Bishop Cho hosts retreat for 2015 ordinands
June 17, 2015 - Bishop Young Jin Cho hosted a retreat June 3-4 at the Roslyn Conference Center in Richmond for 24 candidates for elder and one candidate for deacon who will be ordained at this year’s Annual Conference session in Roanoke. Purpose of this annual retreat is to give the ordinands a time for meaningful reflection and connection and a chance to get to know the bishop. More ...

Check out Virginia Conference on Instagram, Pinterest
June 17, 2015 - The Virginia Conference has a new Instagram account and a new Pinterest account. Click here to check out our pictures and videos on Instagram, especially throughout Annual Conference. Click here to visit us on Pinterest and view and share our interest boards, including ones on books, Bible study ideas, notable United Methodists and 2015 Annual Conference.

Board of Higher Ed honors Margie Turbyfill, Tracy Fitzsimmons
June 12, 2015 - The Virginia Conference Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministries announced that the Rev. Margie Turbyfill received the 2015 John Wesley Award for making notable contributions to higher education and campus ministries within the Virginia Conference. Dr. Tracy Fitzsimmons, president of Shenandoah University, received the 2015 Francis Asbury Award for fostering United Methodist ministries in higher education. More ...

Paulo Lopes named director of Ministries with Young People
June 12, 2015 - J. Paulo Lopes has been selected as Virginia Conference director of Ministries with Young People. He will begin his duties Aug. 1. “Paulo is a gifted inspirational leader who has a demonstrated ability to motivate, influence and structure transformational change,” said Marc Brown, director of Connectional Ministries. “His ministry experience and his ability to envision a conference ministry of disciple-making systems for young people were primary reasons Paulo was invited to this crucial staff position.” More...

'Mulligans Against Malaria' golf tournament set for June 18
May 21, 2015 - A golf tournament to raise money for Imagine No Malaria will be part of pre-Annual Conference activities planned by the Roanoke District. "Mulligans Against Malaria" will be Thursday, June 18, at Blue Hills Golf Course, 2002 Blue Hills Drive NE, Roanoke (off of 460/Orange Ave). Cost will be $35 per golfer, including greens fees and dinner. Tee time is 12:30 p.m. for a shotgun start. Up to 120 golfers can participate. Pre-registration is required. At this captain's choice tournament, each team is asked to raise funds by getting sponsors from local churches for birdies or eagles or on a per stroke basis. If you are a single golfer, you will be placed on a team. Sponsorship opportunities are also available. Prizes will be given for the best score (including a round of golf for four at the Homestead and a week at a condo in Myrtle Beach) and for the team that raises the most for "Imagine No Malaria." For more information, contact the Rev. B. Failes at bfailes@vaumc.org, or click here for more information and to register.

Annual Conference art auction to benefit Imagine No Malaria
May 19, 2015 - Artists from across the conference have created a number of pieces of original art to be used to enhance worship experiences during this year's Annual Conference. These works of art will be available to purchase at an online auction. One hundred percent of the proceeds will benefit Imagine No Malaria. If your Sunday school room needs a new, vibrant piece of art, or if you would like a special gift for a retiring pastor or a new ordinand, you might consider bidding on one of these original pieces. Bidding is open from Monday, May 18, to 7 p.m. Saturday, June 20. To see the art, read about each piece and the artist who created it and make a bid, go to www.artvaumc.org.

How-to video on electronic voting available prior to Annual Conference
May 19, 2015 - Nick Ruxton, videographer in the conference Communications office, has produced a training video on how to use the electronic voting devices that will be used at Annual Conference to elect delegates to General and Southeastern Jurisdictional Conferences. This instructional video can be shown at district pre-conference training events and will also be shown at Annual Conference prior to taking the first ballot. The video can be viewed on YouTube at https://youtu.be/iUp5Daqi5hU.

Bishop urges participation in Day of Prayer, Imagine No Malaria
May 19, 2015 - Bishop Young Jin Cho has issued a letter to all United Methodists in the Virginia Conference urging them to participate in the Sunday, May 24, conference-wide Day of Prayer and also urging them to support Imagine No Malaria. “Today everyone says that we, The United Methodist Church, are at a crossroads,” Bishop Cho wrote. “All of us are worrying about the future of our denomination. But not everyone prays seriously for our churches. Is it too difficult for us to pray for a renewal and revival of our churches during the worship time? We faithfully remember and pray for people in need. What about including the need for a renewal and revival of our churches in our pastoral prayers or prayers for our community? Is it too difficult for us to keep on praying for a revival of our beloved UMC?"
     He also urged every church in the conference to support the conference initiative to raise $1 million and save more than 100,000 lives from the deadly disease of malaria. “According to a recent report I received, still many churches have not yet participated in this initiative,” Bishop Cho wrote. “From the beginning, our thought was that if every church participated, and if every member saved a life, we would easily save 100,000-plus lives. This is the reason we created the catch phrase, ‘Every Life Save a Life,’ and it is critically important for every church to join this initiative.” Click here to read entire letter.

Madeline Pillow hired as Virginia Advocate editor
May 7, 2015 - Madeline Pillow, 25, has been hired as editor of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate and News Associate working in the conference Communications office. She will begin her duties June 1. More ...

Nominees for General Conference, jurisdictional conference posted on website
May 7, 2015 - Members of the 2015 session of the Virginia Annual Conference, meeting June 19-21 in Roanoke, will elect 22 delegates to the 2016 General Conference (11 clergy and 11 laity) and an additional 11 clergy and 11 laity to join General Conference delegates for the 2016 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference. A total of 110 clergy and 100 laity have been nominated, according to conference rules, as candidates for the delegations. A complete list of these candidates and their biographical nomination forms can be viewed and/or downloaded at www.vaumc.org/2016GeneralConference. To purchase a printed copy of the clergy nominees or laity nominees booklet at a cost of $15 each, contact Bev Myers at BevMyers@vaumc.org.

Virginia Conference has saved 56,804 lives from malaria
May 7, 2015 - As of May 1, Virginia Conference United Methodists have raised $568,044.610 and saved more than 56,804 lives for Imagine No Malaria. That number does not include at least $41,565 raised at lemonade stands across the conference on World Malaria Day, according to Maria Maxwell, conference field coordinator for Imagine No Malaria. "I've received reports from local churches about how much money they raised in their lemonade stands," Maxwell said, "but we haven't received and processed those funds, so we are not yet including them in our totals. It will be exciting when we receive the lemonade stand funds and watch our totals rise." Even so, we're more than halfway toward our goal to save 100,000+ lives by 2015 Annual Conference which will be June 19-21. More ...

Virginia Conference churches sell lemonade to help fight malaria
Calvary UMC, Arlington DistrictMay 1, 2015 - Despite torrents of rain, wind, hail and unseasonably cold weather, on Saturday, April 25, World Malaria Day, Virginia United Methodists across the state rallied to put up lemonade stands to sell lemonade (and other goodies) to raise money to fight malaria.More ...

Common Table offers resource to continue holy conversation
April 10, 2015 - The Virginia Conference Common Table for Church Vitality has produced a resource for congregations and persons who are interested in continuing holy conversation regarding human sexuality. This resource is designed to facilitate conversations that will help persons to hear and consider perspectives, values and possibilities that may be different from their own. It may also be used for personal study and reflection. Click here to read or download the document, listen to a podcast or watch a video of the Nov. 22, 2014, Day of Holy Conversation panel discussion sponsored by the Virginia Conference. More ...

Convocation participants told to believe prayer makes difference
March 23, 2015 - You must believe that prayer can really make a difference, the Rev. Sue Nilson Kibbey told participants in the March 21 Bishop’s Convocation on Prayer. Belief in that idea “is absolutely essential if we’re going to lead a prayer initiative at our churches,” she said. “No halfway.” Kibbey was speaking to a packed sanctuary at Trinity UMC in Richmond. But Kibbey, main speaker for the convocation, was miles away at the time. Stuck in Philadelphia where her flight from Ohio to Virginia was snowed in, she spoke via Skype to the gathered crowd. More ...

Virginia United Methodists play ‘March Gladness’ to fight malaria
March 31, 2015 - In the midst of college basketball’s March Madness, some United Methodists in Virginia played “March Gladness” basketball to try to keep people in Africa from dying of malaria. They raised more than $2,308 for Imagine No Malaria through team sponsorships and entry fees. Ten teams from churches in the Arlington, Eastern Shore, Fredericksburg and Winchester districts competed in the three-on-three basketball tournament fundraiser sponsored by the Fredericksburg District on March 28 at Regester Chapel UMC in Stafford. Winner of the tournament was a team from Galilee UMC in Edwardsville. More ...

Staunton DS to paddle kayak to save lives from malaria
March 18, 2015 - The Rev. Dave Rochford, Staunton District superintendent, is ready to paddle his kayak to save lives from malaria. He is asking Staunton District churches to help send him down the river by sponsoring his trip. For every $100 raised, Rochford will paddle a mile on a kayak journey down the western side of the district. In honor of Blue Grass UMC, which kicked off district Imagine No Malaria efforts last fall by raising more than $4,000, Rochford will begin in Highland County on the Bullpasture River and make his way to the Cowpasture, all the way down through Bath County and into Allegheny. If churches raise $4,500 dollars, he will go more than 45 miles and paddle right out of the district. More ...

Virginia United Methodist Men lead giving to Meals for Millions
March 13, 2015 - Last year, United Methodist Men of the Virginia Conference contributed $21,713 to the Meals for Millions Fund of the Society of St. Andrew (SoSA), the highest total of all U.S. conference groups. SoSA, a United Methodist partner which fights hunger in the United States, announced the top 10 contributors to the fund. More ...

SEJ bishops, lay leaders ask for children in poverty stories
March 13, 2015 - The Southeastern Jurisdiction Bishops and Conference Lay Leaders have created a joint project to share stories of children in poverty from each of our conferences with each other from now until the Jurisdictional Conference in July 2016. Please send your church stories in written format up to 250 words or in video format up to three-minute length to Warren Harper, Virginia Conference Lay Leader, at wrscharper@gmail.com. Include the name of the person sending the information, the pastor's name, your church name and district.

Video highlights Lay Servant Academy
March 13, 2015 - Nick Ruxton, videographer in the conference Communications office, has produced a short video on the Lay Servant Academy held recently at Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center in Blackstone. This new video, along with other videos highlighting ministries of the Virginia Conference, can be found on the conference YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/vaumcvideos and the conference Facebook page at www.facebook.com/vaumconf.

Play ‘Throwback Thursday’ on conference Facebook page
March 13, 2015 - The Communications office has introduced “Throwback Thursday” #TBT on the conference Facebook page. Every Thursday we post a photo from a past event or an old picture of a Virginia Conference clergy member and invite followers to identify who and what is being pictured. To participate, go to the conference Facebook page and “Like” us.

Messiah UMC accepts UMCOR Relief Kit challenge
March 13, 2015 - There is a most joyful assembly line at Messiah United Methodist Church in Springfield as people stand beside long tables laden with towels, soap, bandages and other supplies. They are putting together United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) health kits that will ultimately connect the local church with people in need around the world. The Messiah congregation has accepted a challenge, part of the UMCOR 75th anniversary celebration, to assemble 1,000 health kits to help replenish UMCOR's supply. More ...

Virginia Conference seeks Advocate Editor/News Associate
March 12, 2015 - The Virginia Conference is searching for an Editor/News Associate to help resource and equip local churches for ministry and provide a connection for ministry beyond the local church by promoting, publicizing and reporting news, mission and ministry opportunities within the conference and across the denomination. The primary responsibility of the editor is to contribute to and give general oversight to the production of the conference monthly magazine, The Virginia United Methodist Advocate, in both its printed and digital formats. To apply, send resume to Linda Rhodes, director of Communications, at LindaRhodes@vaumc.org or P.O. Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058. Applications will be received through April 6. Click here for job description.

Bishop announces resolution of complaints against two clergy
March 6, 2015 - Bishop Young Jin Cho announced today that two complaints filed against Virginia Conference clergy for conducting same-sex wedding ceremonies have been resolved through the supervisory resolution process stipulated in the United Methodist Book of Discipline. The resolutions, agreed to by all parties in both complaints, mean that the Rev. Dr. John Copenhaver and the Rev. Amanda Garber will both be suspended from performing ministerial functions for a time, but they will not face church trials or possible loss of their clergy credentials. More ...

Virginia Conference seeks director of Ministries with Young People
March 6, 2015 - The Virginia Conference office of Connectional Ministries is seeking a creative leader for the ministry position of director of Ministries with Young People to lead the Virginia Conference in creating a culture of call for young people, beginning July 1. This goal will include collaboration with the Center for Clergy Excellence in identifying and resourcing young people who are exploring a call to ministry. More ...

Applications open for second Virginia Clergy Leadership Program
March 6, 2015 - The Virginia Clergy Leadership Program (VCLP) is about to finish an excellent first year, and the leadership team is announcing the launch of a new cohort for 2015-16. If you are an ordained elder or deacon, or associate member, or licensed local pastor (who has completed the educational requirements) who has been under appointment in faith community leadership for at least five years, you are eligible to apply. The VCLP consists of six three-day sessions at the Roslyn Retreat Center in Richmond with top-notch faculty and expert practitioners and peer group learning. Participants participate at no cost to them other than their travel to the sessions. Applications are available now and due by May 1, including your district superintendent recommendation and SPRC endorsement. This program is designed to be a "good to great" learning opportunity for fruitful, experienced clergy, and there are a limited number of spaces available in the cohort. Notifications will be made by May 15, and sessions will begin in September. More ...

2015 Annual Conference offering goal is $150,000 to support Cambodia Methodist Mission, Ebola victims, poor children in Virginia
March 6, 2015 - Bishop Young Jin Cho announced that the 2015 Annual Conference offering goal will be $150,000 and will include $50,000 for continued support of our partnership with the Methodist Mission in Cambodia as they continue to purchase property for new churches and expand their fast growing mission. Another $50,000 is for United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Global Health ministries to aid the Ebola-ravaged countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia. In Virginia, the goal is $50,000 to support mission projects working with the poor in the Danville and Eastern Shore Districts. Both of these districts are working in ministry in areas of Virginia that are well below the national and state poverty levels.

Virginia Conference saves 43,175 lives from malaria
March 5, 2015 - As of March 1, Virginia Conference United Methodists have raised $431,750 and saved more than 43,175 lives for Imagine No Malaria. We're more than 43% of the way toward our goal to save 100,000+ lives by 2015 Annual Conference which will be June 19-21. Read the stories posted on the conference Imagine No Malaria Facebook page and the conference website about how churches and individuals are raising money to save lives. Only $10 will save a life. Every Life can Save a Life. For more information, contact Maria Maxwell, Virginia Conference Imagine No Malaria field coordinator, at (804) 521-1160 or MariaMaxwell@vaumc.org.

Neill Caldwell resigns as Advocate editor
Feb. 27, 2015 - Marc Brown, director of Connectional Ministries, announced that Neill Caldwell submitted his resignation effective Tuesday, Feb. 24. Caldwell, a member of the conference staff since 2006, served as editor of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate, the weekly Sunday Advocate, the Daily Advocate at Annual Conference, the Book of Reports and the Conference Journal. “I have always relied on Neill’s dedication and capability as editor of the Advocate," said Linda Rhodes, director of Communications. "He has always been committed to the excellence of the magazine and will be greatly missed.” Please keep Neill in your prayers as he enters a new chapter in his life.

Claiborne tells 5 Talent Academy: 'It all starts with relationships'
Feb. 27, 2015 - Author and activist Shane Claiborne told the 5 Talent Academy teaching session on Feb. 21 that working with the poor starts with building relationships. Speaking to a live audience at Ebenezer UMC in Stafford and to hundreds more watching via live-stream at several sites around the Virginia Conference, Claiborne said charity in itself is well and good, but it will never replace those one-on-one relationships. More ...

Peakland UMC kids make mosquitoes to raise awareness of malaria
Feb. 27, 2015 - As part of their participation in the Virginia Conference Imagine No Malaria initiative, third-fifth grade students at Peakland UMC, Lynchburg, learned about malaria and then helped raise malaria awareness by making mosquitoes out of pipe cleaners, clothes pins and other materials. Each mosquito was different and unique. The Rev. Jason Stanley, associate pastor, reported that the kids placed nearly 50 mosquitoes all over the first floor of the church, including worship spaces, to raise awareness and demonstrate how malaria can be spread. More ...

March 1 is deadline to nominate clergy delegates to General Conference
Feb. 13, 2015 - March 1 is the deadline to submit nominations for clergy delegates to General Conference. As of Feb. 9, only 16 nominations had been submitted, according to Susan Reaves, Annual Conference secretary. The Virginia Annual Conference will elect 11 clergy delegates to General Conference, another 11 clergy delegates to Jurisdictional Conference and their alternates. Clergy may be nominated in two ways: 1) by two other clergy who are eligible to vote in the General/Jurisdictional election or 2) by self-nomination. More ...

Artists asked to donate work to be used at Annual Conference
Feb. 13, 2015 - Christina Perkins, who is coordinating the visual aspects of worship for this year's Annual Conference, is inviting artists around the conference to submit artwork based on the 2015 Annual Conference theme, "From Members to Disciples." "The vision is to have a collection of 20-25 unique pieces of art that would fit into the worship themes and build over the course of Annual Conference," Perkins said. Artists who are interested in donating their talents and resources should contact Perkins at revcmperkins@icloud.com or (434) 294-1828 to discuss details. All pieces of art must be completed and sent to Perkins by May 1. The Annual Conference Worship Planning Team plans to auction off the art pieces after Annual Conference and donate 100% of the proceeds to Imagine No Malaria.

View video of United Methodist Day at General Assembly
Feb. 13, 2015 - About 200 Virginia United Methodists traveled to Capitol Square in Richmond on Thursday, Feb. 5, to visit with Virginia lawmakers and advocate for justice as part of the 23rd annual United Methodist Day at the General Assembly. Click here to view a video produced by Nick Ruxton, conference videographer

Rethink Church to run Easter TV spots in Roanoke area
Feb. 13, 2015 - Rethink Church will be running Easter TV spots in the Virginia Conference that feature the message of The United Methodist Church. These commercials will run March 16-April 5 on WDBJ-TV (CBS affiliate), WSET-TV (ABC affiliate) and WSLS-TV (NBC affiliate) in the Roanoke, Lynchburg, New River and Danville areas. Click here to view schedule. Click here to view the commercial. The message of searching and finding is designed to connect with people in our communities. Rethink Church also offers a direct mail program, customized videos, worship graphics and social media banners that churches can use for Easter.Click here for Rethink Church Easter resources available for local churches.

Virginia United Methodists visit General Assembly to advocate for justice
Feb. 6, 2015 - United Methodists spilled out of buses and vans and onto Capitol Square in Richmond Thursday, Feb. 5, intent on being advocates to the Commonwealth of Virginia’s lawmakers in the 23rd annual United Methodist Day at the General Assembly. More...

Churches asked to sell lemonade on April 25 to save lives
Feb. 6, 2015 - Bishop Young Jin Cho is asking all churches in the Virginia Conference to observe World Malaria Day — on April 25 this year — by selling lemonade to raise money to save lives. "This day is used to bring awareness about the preventable and treatable disease of malaria around the world," Bishop Cho said. "We would like all of our churches across the state to participate by hosting lemonade stands in our communities. We want to connect our neighbors with our churches and help save the lives of thousands in Africa suffering from malaria." More ...

James Eads named new Credit Union CEO
Feb. 6, 2015 - James (Jim) Eads has been hired as new chief executive officer of the Virginia United Methodist Credit Union. Eads has more than 25 years of management experience with local financial institutions (including Signet Bank, First Market Bank and Bankers Investment Group). He has also had his own consultancy where he did strategic planning for financial services firms around the country, including many credit unions and community banks. Eads and his wife, Karen, have two grown children (a married daughter and a son attending Emory & Henry), but have recently welcomed two new children into their household (both girls, ages 5 and 7). The Eads family resides in Midlothian.

Bishop names Peter Moon new Richmond District superintendent
Feb. 4, 2015 - The Rev. Dr. Peter Moon will be the next Richmond District superintendent, Bishop Young Jin Cho announced today. The change will become effective July 1 with the start of the new church year following Annual Conference. More...

Polar Duck Dip raises $12,376 for Camp Occohannock
Feb. 3, 2015 - Volunteers who braved the cold waters in the Jan. 24 Camp Occohannock on the Bay Polar Duck Dip raised $12,376 to help the camp continue its mission of providing programs and facilities which make use of the natural setting of waterfront, woodland, and open spaces to help people of all ages grow in their knowledge of and love for God. Camp Occohannock is a ministry of the Eastern Shore District of the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church. Click here to view a video produced by Nick Ruxton, conference videographer.

Virginia Conference leaders speak to Lay Servant Ministries directors
Jan. 27, 2015 - Several Virginia Conference clergy and laity leaders spoke to more than 65 conference and district Lay Servant Ministries directors from around the nation who attended the annual gathering of the Association of Conference Directors of Lay Servant Ministries (ACDLSM) Jan 22-25 in Williamsburg. More ...

Video on Ministers' Convocation posted on YouTube
Jan. 27, 2015 - A short video about this year's Ministers' Convocation was prepared by Nick Ruxton, videographer in the conference Communications office, and posted on the conference YouTube page. Click here to view the video.

Virginia Conference saves nearly 38,000 lives from malaria
Jan. 23, 2015 - As of Jan. 20, Virginia Conference United Methodists have raised $377,340 and saved 37,734 lives for Imagine No Malaria since Annual Conference voted to save 100,000+ lives by the 2015 Annual Conference. Read the stories posted on the conference Imagine No Malaria Facebook page and the conference website about how churches and individuals are raising money to save lives. Only $10 will save a life. Every Life can Save a Life. For more information, contact Maria Maxwell, Virginia Conference Imagine No Malaria field coordinator, at (804) 521-1160 or MariaMaxwell@vaumc.org.

Post your comments on conference 'Holy Conversation' blog
Jan. 22, 2015 - As part of the response to Bishop Young Jin Cho's request that the Virginia Conference Common Table for Church Vitality facilitate conversation around the conference on the subject of human sexuality, the conference Communications office set up a blog page on the conference website to allow Virginia United Methodists to post their opinions and continue the "Holy Conversation" begun on the Nov. 22 "Day of Holy Conversation." The guiding question for the panelists and presenters in the Nov. 22 "Day of Holy Conversation" was: “In light of concerns being expressed in different areas of the connection of The United Methodist Church and in society as a whole regarding human sexuality, how can we move forward in mission and ministry together?” You are invited to post your thoughts and responses to that question. More ...

Crawford leaving Treasurer's office after 40 years of conference service
Jan. 21, 2015 - Carol Crawford, who currently handles church receipts in the conference Treasurer’s office, will be leaving her job at the end of January. She has served on conference staff since 1974. More ...

Ministers’ Convocation participants told to listen to ‘the least of these’
Jan. 21, 2015 - Stop. Look. Listen. Dr. David Evans challenged all gathered at the 2015 Minister's Convocation at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center in Blackstone to listen to the voice of "the least of these," people who those in the church often neglect. More...

2015 Annual Conference logo introduced
Jan. 14, 2015 - The logo for the 2015 session of the Virginia Annual Conference has been released. Theme is “From Members to Disciples.” The logo was designed by Cathryn Huff Wooton, graphic designer for the conference Communications office. The 2015 Annual Conference session will be held June 19-21 at the Berglund Center in Roanoke (formerly the Roanoke Civic Center). More ...

St. Luke’s, Yorktown, contributes nearly $28,000 to Imagine No Malaria
Jan. 12, 2015 - Last week the Rev. Doug Gestwick and the Rev. Clara Gestwick, pastors of St. Luke's UMC in Yorktown, presented Bishop Young Jin Cho with a check for $27,742.64 for Imagine No Malaria. The funds will save more than 2,774 lives from the deadly disease. Members of the congregation raised the money by collecting change from children at Vacation Bible School, soaking their pastors in a dunk tank at the church's annual Community Outreach Carnival and receiving a special Christmas Eve offering. More ...

Bishop Cho selects preachers for 2015 Annual Conference
Jan. 6, 2015 - 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.”

January Advocate recaps 'Day of Holy Conversation'
Jan. 6, 2015 - The January issue of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate includes coverage of the Nov. 22 “Day of Holy Conversation” and reactions from participants.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.

 

 

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