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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

2016 Virginia Conference News

Heart Havens takes part in #GivingTuesday
Heart Havens is participating in #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that's fueled by the power of social media and unites people in an effort to kick off the holiday season with philanthropy. More... 

Hopewell church partners with elementary school for hurricane relief
What started as an outreach effort has grown into a partnership between one church and elementary school in Hopewell, Va. Relief supplies were collected by members of Wesley UMC from students at Patrick Copeland Elementary School on Nov. 1.  More...

The Rev. Tom Berlin named to Commission on a  Way Forward
The United Methodist Council of Bishops has announced the membership of the Commission on a Way Forward. The Rev. Tom Berlin, pastor of Floris United Methodist Church, Arlington District, Virginia Conference, is a clergy member of the commission. "After three months of diligent and prayerful discernment, we have selected eight bishops, 11 laity, 12 elders and one deacon to serve on the commission," said Bishop Bruce R. Ough, president of the Council of Bishops. "This group is representative of our theological diversity." More...

5 Talent Academy event focuses on ministry outside the church’s walls. 
“Good leaders create spaces for other people to act. Your job as a leader is to give people the capacity for meaningful action,” said Andy Crouch, keynote speaker for the 5 Talent Academy event, Oct. 4.  More...

Cabinet, provisional clergy help with tornado relief
July 21, 2016 - Members of the Virginia Conference Cabinet and newly-commissioned clergy spent all day Wednesday, July 20, working on tornado recovery in Waverly. Waverly is one of three locations where the conference is undertaking long-term recovery efforts to rebuild after an outbreak of tornadoes on Feb. 24 caused loss of life, injuries and severe property damage. More...

Bishop Sharma Lewis to lead Virginia Conference
July 14, 2016 - Bishop Sharma D. Lewis, the first African-American woman elected a bishop in the Southeastern Jurisdiction, has been assigned to lead the Virginia Conference. She will begin her term of office on Sept. 1. More ...

United Methodists gather in Roanoke for 234th Annual Conference
June 23, 2016 - Nearly 4,000 clergy and laity representatives of United Methodist churches across Virginia gathered at the Berglund Center in Roanoke June 17-19 for the 234th Annual Conference meeting of worship, mission projects, celebration of ministries and conducting the business of the conference. Theme for the 2016 Virginia Annual Conference was “Thy Will be Done.” Bishop Young Jin Cho presided over the proceedings for the last time before his retirement. More ...

Virginia Conference endorses Ted Smith for bishop
June 20, 2016 - Members of Annual Conference voted by acclamation to endorse the Rev. Dr. Ted Smith for election as bishop at the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference to be held in July. Smith, who currently serves as Fredericksburg District superintendent, has also been endorsed for bishop by the Virginia Conference chapter of Black Methodists for Church Renewal and the executive committee of the Asian-American Ministers’ Association. More ...

Berlin withdraws candidacy for bishop
June 13, 2016 - Saying that he has been able to reaffirm "a clear call to pastoral ministry," the Rev. Tom Berlin has withdrawn his name from the list of nominees seeking to be elected bishop at this year's Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference. Berlin, who serves as lead pastor of Floris UMC in Herndon, had been endorsed by the Virginia Conference delegation to General and Jurisdictional conferences. More ...

Madeline Pillow named interim Communications director
June 10, 2016 - Madeline Pillow, who currently serves as editor of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate, has been named interim director of Communications for a six-month time period beginning Sept. 1 following Linda Rhodes' retirement. "This decision by the Common Table Personnel Committee includes the understanding that the primary responsibility of the director of Communications is to develop and implement a comprehensive communications strategy which informs, equips, encourages and connects the people and churches of the Virginia Annual Conference for fruitfulness in their mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world," the Rev. Marc Brown, director of Connectional Ministries, said in an announcement. More ...

Bishop Cho issues letter about General Conference
May 26, 2016 - Bishop Young Jin Cho issued a letter to all Virginia Conference United Methodists following the conclusion of General Conference 2016 in Portland, Ore. "The 2016 General Conference has adjourned," Bishop Cho wrote. "Although there were ups and downs during the sessions of the General Conference, we worshiped together, conversed with each other and struggled together. Together we recommitted ourselves to the mission which the risen Christ has entrusted to us. Therefore, we will continue to go and make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world." More ...

Rebuilding houses damaged by Feb. 24 tornadoes to begin June 6
Work on houses damaged by the Feb. 24 tornadoes begins June 6 in Waverly. Forrest White, Virginia Conference Disaster Recovery manager and UMVIM coordinator, reported that United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) teams are being scheduled to work out of the Waverly Center and the Appomattox/Evergreen Center. Announcements will be made when teams are needed in the Tappahannock/Essex Center. Week-long teams arrive Sunday and depart after the work day on Friday. Day teams and weekend teams can also be used. To check availability and to schedule teams for the summer and beyond, send an email to White at virginiaumvim@gmail.com.
     White reported that the Commonwealth of Virginia's second and final appeal for federal aid to help with recovery from the February tornadoes has been denied by FEMA, so churches are being asked to hold fundraisers to help raise money for survivors. If your church is willing to hold a fundraiser, contact Forrest White at VirginiaUMVIM@gmail.com. More ...

Linda Rhodes, Communications director, to retire Sept. 1
May 5, 2016 - Linda S. Rhodes, Virginia Conference director of Communications, has announced her upcoming retirement projected for Sept. 1. Linda has been director of Communications since April 16, 2007. More ...

'Did You Know?' video features Virginia United Methodist Homes
May 3, 2016 - Did you know that Virginia United Methodist Homes, Inc. (VUMH) was founded in 1945 and today has seven communities with more than 1,300 residents? In 2015, VUMH provided more than $950,000 in benevolence care to residents who had outlived their own personal assets. Of that amount, about $300,000 was provided by contributions to the Samaritan Fund. That's just part of what you can learn from a video about Virginia United Methodist Homes. This one-minute video is the ninth in a series of videos featuring facts about The United Methodist Church. 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.

VAUMC prepares for long-term recovery to help tornado victims
April 22, 2016 - Organizational preparations are underway to begin the long-term recovery and re-building efforts needed to help survivors of the Feb. 24 tornadoes. Forrest White began serving as Virginia Conference Disaster Recovery Manager on April 11. Stephanie Hunt, who has disaster recovery work experience with the North Carolina and South Carolina conferences, joined the team on April 14 as Case Management Supervisor/Volunteer Coordinator. The biggest challenge will be raising funds to help with the recovery. Congregations are asked to consider taking special offerings on an ongoing basis. Checks payable to “Virginia United Methodist Conference” can be mailed to the Virginia Conference Treasurer, P.O. Box 5605, Glen Allen, VA 23058. Donors should designate “Conference Advance #5037 – Disaster Response” on the check. Click here to make online contributions. Additionally, the following are needed:
• Donated trucks for use by construction workers, particularly three-quarter ton trucks with towing capabilities (preferably with four-wheel drive). Trucks do not have to be brand new. Possible connections for truck donations are car dealerships, contractors, companies like Dominion Power that replace trucks frequently, etc.
• Free (or greatly reduced-cost) housing for staff people in Richmond, Appomattox, Waverly and Tappahannock.
• Storage facility in the Richmond area where supplies and equipment can be stored until they are deployed in affected areas.
If you have leads for securing any of these items, contact Forrest White at virginiaumvim@gmail.com.

Gifts to honor Bishop Cho will fund 'Spiritual Leadership' training
April 15, 2016 - Bishop Young Jin Cho will retire from active ministry on Aug. 31 of this year, after having served four years as the episcopal leader of the Virginia Conference. To honor his service, the conference Committee on Episcopacy is inviting Virginia United Methodists to make contributions to the Bishops Foundation endowment to fund training and leadership development for clergy and laity in the area of “Spiritual Leadership.”
     “In the four years he has been leading our conference, Bishop Cho has consistently emphasized the need for increased prayer and a commitment to spiritual disciplines,” said Shirley Cauffman, Committee on Episcopacy chair, “so it seems appropriate to honor him by continuing an emphasis on spiritual disciplines through the work of the Bishops Foundation.”
     To make a donation to honor Bishop Cho, send a check payable to “Virginia United Methodist Conference,” earmarked for “Bishop Cho donation,” to Treasurer, Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 5605, Glen Allen, VA 23058.

VAUMC churches participate in prayer vigil for General Conference
April 15, 2016 - On Sunday, April 10, churches across the Virginia Conference participated in a 24-hour prayer vigil for General Conference, with congregations and individuals in each district taking specific times to pray so that someone in the conference was praying continuously from 12 a.m. to 12 p.m. Churches used a variety of methods to conduct their prayer vigils. More ...

Video explains long-term recovery needed after Feb. 24 tornadoes
April 15, 2016 - Nick Ruxton, videographer in the conference Communications office, produced a short video that highlights how the Virginia Conference is moving from the immediate relief phase of disaster response and getting ready to begin long-term recovery from the Feb. 24 tornadoes that caused loss of life, personal injuries and severe property damage in three districts of the conference.The 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.

Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center to close May 7
March 30, 2016 - The board of directors of Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) in Blackstone voted to close the facility as of May 7. Sam McCracken, executive director, posted the announcement on VUMAC's Facebook page and the retreat center's website March 24. More ...

Asian-American clergy leaders endorse Berlin, Smith for bishop
March 23, 2016 - The Executive Committee of the Asian-American Ministers’ Association (AAMA), voted to endorse the Rev. Ted Smith and the Rev. Tom Berlin as candidates for bishop in the Southeastern Jurisdiction. The Rev. Hyo Joong Lee, AAMA president, said the organization represents more than 50 Asian-American clergy serving in the Virginia Conference. "We will pray for God’s guidance on these two candidates as they seek to lead us in making disciples of Christ," Lee said. Berlin was also endorsed by the Virginia Conference delegation to General and Jurisdictional Conferences. Smith was also endorsed by the Virginia Conference chapter of Black Methodists for Church Renewal. More ...

New video: Lay Servant Ministries offers training in variety of ways
March 23, 2016 - Lay Servant Ministries provides training opportunities to equip laity and help them realize and respond to their personal calls to ministry. In the Virginia Conference, Lay Servant Ministries offers training at the annual Lay Servant Academy (held this year Feb. 26-28 at Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center in Blackstone), at various district Lay Servant training events throughout the year and, now, through new online training that participants can view at their convenience on their own computers. Lay Servant Ministries offered the first of a series of six On Demand Learning courses on Saturday, March 19. "Laity Lead in Worship" was led by the Rev. Nathan Decker and will be available to view online for 90 days. Click here for more information. Click here to watch a video about Lay Servant Ministries.

Schmidt says prayers of discernment could change the church
March 7, 2016 - Finding out why people aren’t coming to church has caused a frantic period of searching, Dr. Frederick Schmidt told the audience at the March 5 Bishop’s Convocation on Prayer. This has led to all the different ways church members have tried to bring in new members, including crafted sermons made not to offend, rock music in the sanctuary and coffee in the narthex. But Schmidt, who is Reuben P. Job Associate Professor of Spiritual Formation at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill., said what is absent from the church are prayers for discernment. More ...

Nearly 200 attend 38th annual Lay Servant Academy
March 4, 2016 - Nearly 200 people gathered at Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center in Blackstone Feb. 26-28 to learn more about leadership, personal faith development and The United Methodist Church through classes offered at the 38th annual Virginia Conference Lay Servant Academy. More ...

Virginia Conference volunteers aid victims of Feb. 24 tornadoes
March 4, 2016 - On Wednesday, Feb. 24, a deadly storm system spawned multiple tornadoes that swept from southern Virginia across the state and into the Northern Neck causing loss of life, personal injuries and severe property damage in three districts of the conference. Within hours, Virginia Conference Early Response Teams were called into action under the direction of the Rev. Bob Pihlcrantz, conference Disaster Response coordinator, and the Rev. Kirk Culpepper, Early Response Team coordinator. More ...

Nick Ruxton celebrates mental breaks in his latest blog post
March 4, 2016 - In his "Through the Lens" blog, conference videographer Nick Ruxton says mental breaks are sometimes necessary to keep creative juices flowing. "Having a mental break lets me recharge my mind while I think of new avenues to start or finish a video," he says. Read his blog to find out how his breaks sometimes affect other members of the conference staff. More ...

After tornadoes, Bishop calls for prayer, gifts to Disaster Response fund
Feb. 26, 2016 — In a letter sent to all clergy and laity leaders of churches in the Virginia Conference, Bishop Young Jin Cho asked for prayers for victims of the Feb. 24 tornadoes and for those responding to offer aid following the deadly storm system that swept from southern Virginia across the state and into the Northern Neck. Bishop Cho also asked United Methodists to consider making a donation to the Virginia Conference Disaster Response Advance Special #5037. More ...

Lindsey Baynham named associate director of Clergy Excellence
Feb. 24, 2016 - The Rev. Lindsey Baynham has been appointed to serve as associate director of the conference Center for Clergy Excellence, effective July 1. She will focus on call, candidacy and discernment and expand the conference’s capacity to reach people beyond current channels for leadership development. More ...

March 1 is deadline to register for Bishop's Convocation on Prayer
Feb. 17, 2016 - Registration deadline is March 1 for the Bishop’s Convocation on Prayer to be held Saturday, March 5, at Trinity UMC, 903 Forest Ave., Richmond. Dr. Frederick W. Schmidt Jr., Rueben P. Job Chair in Spiritual Formation at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, will speak on Changing the Way We Do Church: Praying for Discernment. In addition to Dr. Schmidt’s plenary presentation, 11 workshops will be offered on different aspects of spiritual formation. Participants may choose two workshops. More ...

April 10 to be Virginia day of prayer for General Conference
Feb. 10, 2016 - The United Methodist Council of Bishops has invited each annual conference to designate one day to hold a 24-hour prayer vigil for General Conference. Bishop Young Jin Cho selected Sunday, April 10, to be the day for the Virginia Conference prayer vigil. Each district is invited to plan activities using resources being developed on both the conference and general church levels. More ...

Virginia United Methodists advocate for justice at General Assembly
Feb. 10, 2016 - About 150 United Methodists traveled in buses to the General Assembly on Feb. 4 to call on Virginia lawmakers and advocate for social justice during the 24th annual United Methodist Day at the General Assembly. More ...

Scott Davis named new Lynchburg District superintendent
Feb. 8, 2016 - Bishop Young Jin Cho announced today that he is appointing the Rev. Scott Davis, senior pastor of Aldersgate UMC in the Charlottesville District, to be Lynchburg District superintendent, effective July 1. He will replace the Rev. Larry Davies who will leave the Cabinet after serving as Lynchburg DS since 2008. More ...

Tom Berlin, Ted Smith endorsed as candidates for bishop
Feb. 8, 2016 - Two clergy members of the Virginia Conference – Tom Berlin and Ted Smith – have been endorsed as candidates for bishop. Virginia Conference delegates to General and Jurisdictional Conferences voted to endorse Berlin, senior pastor of Floris UMC in Herndon, as a candidate for bishop during a delegation meeting on Saturday, Feb. 6. Members of the Virginia Conference chapter of Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR) had voted the previous week to endorse Smith, Fredericksburg District superintendent. More ...

Grant recipients participate in first 'Ministry Accelerator'
Feb. 8, 2016 - Seven recipients of conference Special and Sustaining Grants participated Jan. 28-29 in the first session of the "Ministry Accelerator" pilot designed to give participants support in finance/budgeting, volunteer recruitment/retention, long-range planning and other areas that contribute to the impact and sustainability of a ministry. Click here to view video about the Ministry Accelerator. More ...

Conference videographer blogs about recent trip to Portland
Feb. 3, 2016 - Check out videographer Nick Ruxton's latest blog about his recent trip to Portland, Ore., for the Pre-General Conference Briefing and the United Methodist Association of Communicators meeting. Called "Through the Lens," the blog appears on the Virginia Conference website and features Nick's views of mission, ministry and anything else interesting he sees around him. Click here to view blog.

Large church pastors told to make difference in someone's life
Feb. 2, 2016 - Nearly 25 pastors of large congregations gathered Jan. 19 at the Roslyn Retreat Center in Richmond to learn about outcome ministry, staffing, difficult conversations, stewardship and discipleship. More ...

'Did You Know?' video features Virginia United Methodist Credit Union
Feb. 1, 2016 - Did you know that the Virginia Conference has its own credit union? This financial institution was established by United Methodists for United Methodists, and your church can benefit when you use the credit union to get an auto loan or a credit card. That's just part of what you can learn from a video about the Virginia United Methodist Credit Union. This one-minute video is the eighth in a series of videos featuring facts about The United Methodist Church. 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 Communications staff wins six UMAC awards
Jan. 26, 2016 - The Virginia Conference Communications office brought home six awards at the denomination-wide communications/media awards contest held during the annual meeting of United Methodist Association of Communicators (UMAC), Jan. 19-20 in Portland, Ore. More ...

Conference Communications intern is guest blogger for 'Through the Lens'
Jan. 14, 2016 - Susan Pullin, a Randolph-Macon College senior who is serving as an intern in the conference Communications office during the month of January, is guest blogger for "Through the Lens," Conference Videographer Nick Ruxton's new blog that appears on the Virginia Conference website. Pullin writes about human trafficking and what she learned from her assignment to post information about Human Trafficking Awareness Day (Jan. 11) on conference social media sites. More ...

Conference videographer introduces 'Through the Lens' blog
Jan. 11, 2016 - Nick Ruxton, Virginia Conference videographer, is now writing a blog. Called "Through the Lens," the blog appears on the Virginia Conference website and will feature Nick's views of the mission, ministry and anything else interesting he sees around him as he travels the conference. In his first blog, he looks back at 2015 with a list of last year's five most popular videos and the top five news articles from the conference Communications office. Click here to view blog.

Conference exceeds Imagine No Malaria goal, saves 103,007+ lives!
Jan. 8, 2016 - Virginia Conference churches ended 2015 having raised $1,030,070.56 for Imagine No Malaria, saving more than 103,007 lives and further exceeding the goal of raising $1 million to save 100,000+ lives from malaria, a preventable and treatable disease. More ...

 

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