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To submit news items or events, email conference Director of Communications at MadelineWhite@vaumc.org.

June 23, 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."

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  • How can you be a lifelong learner this week?

Camp Alta Mons, a summer camp and retreat center owned by the Roanoke District of the United Methodist Church, is providing Camp@Home during this time of continued social distancing. Learn more...
  • How can you be an influencer this week?

In the next episode of GCORR Real Talk, pastors have a conversation about what it means to preach courageously against racism in our world today. Join the conversation on Facebook on Wednesday, June 24, at 3 p.m. ET.
  • How can you serve this week?

The simple act of handwashing can stop the spread of COVID-19. Clean water, though, is not available in all communities—even in the United States. In many places around the world, hand-washing stations are the first line of defense in communities without clean water. 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

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Bishop Lewis shares updates conference as some churches head into Stage 2

June 23, 2020--Bishop Lewis shared an update as some conference churches entered into Stage 2 on Sunday, June 21.

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finances

Bishop Lewis shares update on financial, staffing matters

In a letter from June 19, Bishop Lewis shared some key updates pertaining to the Virginia Conference’s finances and staffing following her last letter on May 12.

"While we continue to face strong financial challenges, I am cautiously optimistic that the toughest economic effects of the pandemic are slowly subsiding," Lewis wrote. "The cost controls we have implemented have been working well, though we still need to be vigilant and to continuously find ways to work to optimal efficiency."
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disciplemaking webinar june 2020

Conference-sponsored discipleship webinar available June 24

The pandemic has taken away the spaces and pathways the church has used to make disciples as well as interrupting the simple, unprogrammed moments that foster community (which is essential to disciple-making). By using online tools, you can bring people together to build trust, collaborate, have fun, and most importantly, to make disciples. This webinar will introduce a discipleship framework leading to mission that will thrive in any season. It will also incorporate the key elements to forming online communities and the practical tools to get started on both. Join Matt Lake, senior pastor of First UMC in Williamsport, PA and Chris Morton, director of Strategic Initiatives for Fresh Expressions US for a catalytic session. Webinar is sponsored by Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church.

Learn more...
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United Methodist Men share series of webinars

The Virginia United Methodist Men are inviting you to a series of scheduled Zoom meetings. For the next three months, they will have a series of webinars every two weeks on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m., to provide opportunities to learn about some important ministries and some suggestions for leading men during this time of physical separation. All past webinar recordings can be found on their page. On Wednesday, June 24, the webinar will discuss All God's Children, GraceInside, Jail, and Prison Ministries. Join Zoom Meeting
at https://zoom.us/j/92101976396. The meeting ID is 921 0197 6396. Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kcJq1VwrpF.

Find past recordings...
scouting

Free Scouting ministries webinar available

A free national training and knowledge sharing event will feature six courses available June 27 and June 28 for Scout leaders and others. The program supports Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Big Brother/Big Sister and Campfire programs. This event is for clergy, laity, older and younger adults in our church who would like to know about an array of topics about the four youth-serving ministries we support. You can register for one, or more or all.

Learn more...
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Pastors share reflections on protests, marches addressing systemic racism

The United Methodist Church is calling on all United Methodists to address the pervasive pandemic of racism and acknowledge that racism is a sin and antithetical to the gospel. United Methodists around the connection have been answering this call through conversation with their spheres of influence and joining in marches and protests. Several pastors shared their perspectives and spoke to the recent call for action against systemic racism.

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website

Apply for website grant from United Methodist Communications

Church websites are a vital part of digital ministry. If your church doesn’t have a website, United Methodist Communications wants to help! Apply for a Website Development Package, which includes:
• One year of web hosting and domain name registration
• WordPress online training and support
• Predesigned templates
• Email accounts and storage

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General Church News

United Methodists invited to service of lament

United Methodists around the world are invited to gather online for A Service of Lament at UMC.org/EndRacism to pray and lament for the racism in our midst. Hear God's call to join in the work of dismantling racism and pressing on to freedom for all. Join on June 24 at 12 p.m. CDT.

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Bishops pledge more effective anti-racism campaign

UNITED METHODIST NEWS--This time will be different, vowed United Methodist bishops participating in an online launch of a new anti-racism campaign on a day set apart for commemorating the end of slavery.

“I will not lead or participate in another effort full of ‘sound and fury, signifying nothing,’” said Bishop Cynthia Moore-Koikoi of the Western Pennsylvania Conference during the announcement of the campaign on Juneteenth (June 19), a significant day in the history of slavery. The announcement was broadcast on UMC.org/EndRacism and Facebook.

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DACA decision brings joy, but battle not over

UNITED METHODIST NEWS - When the Rev. Orlando Gallardo Parra stood before his congregation at Drexel United Methodist Church, Missouri, on June 21 to preach the word of God, he was breathing a little easier and his smile was a little brighter after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Gallardo Parra is one of about 650,000 young people who is a DACA recipient — a program started by President Obama in 2012 to protect immigrant children brought or sent as young children to the United States by a relative. The Supreme Court ruled on June 18 that the program, which has been under fire since its creation, could continue. “DACA has made it possible for me to be ordained in The United Methodist Church, to get a job as a pastor, to get a driver’s license, to get a Social Security number, to build credit and to buy a house,” Gallardo Parra told United Methodist News. Hearing the Supreme Court decision gives him hope, he said. But the battle is not over.

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One Last Word: Turn words into action

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Elizabeth and Bennett, the children of the Rev. Rachel Gilmore, in extension ministry in the Virginia Conference with Path One, organized a peaceful protest for racial justice in their small community. Hundreds attended the march with a moment of prayer and reflection. "I love all the ways that God is at work when we seek to #SeeAllThePeople," Rachel said. View news article.
return to worship (1)
Learn more about three-stage return to in-person worship at Virginia Conference churches: https://vaumc.org/return/

Please send any issues or concerns to communications@vaumc.org. If the formatting gives you trouble in forwarding (especially in Outlook), you can use the following link. More...
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