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To submit news items, email conference Director of Communications at [email protected].

June 2, 2020

Conference Vision

In 2017, Bishop Sharma D. Lewis shared the vision of the conference "to be disciples of Jesus Christ who are lifelong learners who influence others to serve."

  • How can you be a lifelong learner this week?

Learn more about movies and books for intercultural learning from the General Commission on Religion and Race. More...
  • How can you be an influencer this week?

Use your voice! Embrace the call from The United Methodist Church that all United Methodists everywhere should address the pervasive pandemic of racism and acknowledge that racism is a sin and antithetical to the gospel. More...
  • How can you serve this week?

United Methodists can show love of their neighbors and relieve suffering by supporting the United Methodist Committee on Relief’s “Sheltering in Love” COVID-19 response fund. More...

Virginia News

no room for racism sign

Bishop Lewis calls for action on systemic racism

In a letter from May 29, Bishop Lewis reflects and calls for action following the death of George Floyd. "When do we, as children of God, decide that God is calling us into action? When do we decide that mere words or social media interactions for a few days are just not enough? When do we, as children of God, decide that the systemic racism in our society, whether manifested overtly or covertly, is a sin that hinders our relationship with Jesus Christ and is antithetical to the gospel?"

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reopening churches

Bishop Lewis shares update on conference return to in-person worship

June 1--The Virginia Conference marked its second week as churches around the conference continued the return the in-worship through Pioneer Churches and Drive-In Churches.

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fm radio

Bi-District Communications Office shares tips for FM radio, Drive-In Churches

For churches who need tips on FM radio, an important tool for churches holding drive-in worship services, the Bi-District Communications Office of Alexandria and Arlington has shared a helpful guide.

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Information shared on in-person Communion

June 1-- The workgroup overseeing the back to in-person worship process in the Virginia Conference shared a document about Holy Communion during this time.

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umvim love and serve

Information shared about summer VIM teams

June 2-- In a statement shared from the conference Connectional Ministries Office, summer Volunteers in Mission teams are postponed until further notice.

"The conference Connectional Ministries office and the conference Volunteers In Mission (VIM) coordinator have received several inquiries regarding the sending and receiving of VIM teams in person June 2020 through August 2020. At this time, the Virginia Conference is continuing to monitor the statewide status reports of COVID-19 and will err on the side of overall safety. Until further notice, please have teams postpone the sending and receiving of VIM summer teams. Thank you for your cooperation."
mycom podcast

Podcast learning: Learn more about Gen Z

The latest MyCom podcast from United Methodist Communications continues to introduce listeners to Gen Z, young people who represent nearly one-third of the world’s population. Listen in to grow your knowledge about this diverse, tech-savvy, well-educated generation, including the best ways your church can connect with them.

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General Church News

Ahead of Trump Bible photo op, police forcibly expel priest from St. John's church near White House

RELIGION NEWS SERVICE-- Early Monday evening (June 1), President Trump stood before the historic St. John’s Episcopal Church in downtown Washington, DC, and held aloft a Bible for cameras. The photo opportunity had an eerie quality: Trump said relatively little, positioned stoically in front of the boarded-up church, which had been damaged the day before in a fire during protests sparked by the death of George Floyd. The church appeared to be completely abandoned. It was, in fact, abandoned, but not by choice: less than an hour before Trump's arrival, armored police used tear gas to clear hundreds of peaceful demonstrators from Lafayette Square park, which is across the street from the church. Authorities also expelled at least one Episcopal priest and a seminarian from the church's patio. “They turned holy ground into a battleground,” said the Rev. Gini Gerbasi.

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United Methodists preach, protest and decry racism

In response to hundreds of protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, a black man who took his last breath under the knee of a police officer, United Methodist pastors preached about the hallowed breath of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Sunday. “It was difficult to hear George Floyd gasping for breath,” said the Rev. Judy Zabel, pastor of Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, Minneapolis. “It was painful and horrific to watch.” Protests were held in all 50 U.S. states after the death of Floyd and in remembrance of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and thousands of other black and brown people who have been killed. Peaceful in the daytime, many turned violent and ugly during the night, Zabel said.

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George Floyd left a gospel legacy in Houston

CHRISTIANITY TODAY - The rest of the country knows George Floyd from several minutes of cell phone footage captured during his final hours. But in Houston’s Third Ward, they know Floyd for how he lived for decades—a mentor to a generation of young men and a “person of peace” ushering ministries into the area.

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COB supports Minnesota area bishop in call for Christians to fight pandemic of racism

Bishop Bruce Ough, resident bishop of the Dakotas-Minnesota Area (which covers the city of Minneapolis) provides a profound and prophetic word on the death of George Floyd at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers. The Council of Bishops (COB) supports and embraces Bishop Ough’s response and invites all United Methodists everywhere to address the pervasive pandemic of racism acknowledging that racism is a sin and antithetical to the gospel.

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The risk the white church must take to address racism

"We find ourselves at a critically important moment in time as the white church. I have little doubt in my mind that the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd will be addressed in many white churches — maybe even in most. The real question isn’t will we address these killings, but how will we address them? [...] Our response to racism can’t begin and end with prayers for healing and peace in our nation or for more tolerance and understanding in our world. We need to say the names of Ahmuad Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd in the pulpit and mourn their deaths. We need to talk about how they died and why they died."

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One Last Word: Ministry in Action

roanoke masks
Photo captured by WSET in Lynchburg: Volunteers from South Roanoke UMC distribute hundreds of masks and hand sanitizers to help several neighborhoods in Roanoke.

Roanoke DS Kathleen Overby Webster noted that some volunteers were wearing T-shirts from last year's 5K run at Annual Conference. "Even if we end up not having a Great Day of Service this year, we're still moving ahead in mission and service!" Overby Webster said.
return to worship (1)
Learn more about three-stage return to in-person worship at Virginia Conference churches:
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