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

June 9, 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?

Discipleship Ministries has collected resources to help churches address the topics of racism, systemic oppression, violence, and more. 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?

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

June 7 ServiceParkingLot

Bishop Lewis shares update on in-person worship

June 8--Bishop Lewis shared her Drive-In Church experience from Sunday, June 7, and shared encouragement to the conference as the churches around the Commonwealth continue to open to in-person worship.

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okla protest

Bishop, district superintendents, United Methodists to march for justice

Bishop Sharma Lewis, several district superintendents, and many United Methodists and other people of faith will take part in a peaceful march for justice today, Tuesday, June 9. The march is being organized through Woodlawn-Faith United Methodist Church’s “Beyond the Walls” satellite campus of mostly African-American young adults.

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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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upcoming webinar

Elizabeth River District to share conversation on race, pandemic impact on Church

"Ministry on the Edge" will be a webinar from the Elizabeth River District on Sunday, June 14 at 6 p.m. featuring District Superintendent Wayne Snead and Norfolk UMC pastor Sherry Daniels. The conversation will focus on race, power, and the impact of the pandemic on the church.

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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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mission encounter 2020

Mission Encounter cancelled

The Mission Encounter Planning Committee is sad to announce that the event to be held this summer at Smith Mountain Lake, July 24-26 is canceled. The Committee shared in a statement, "We are quite sure you understand since we are still living in the quarantine and phasing in stages of recovery to normal life. Please know this was a very difficult decision, especially in advance of the summer months, but we all agree your health and ours are of utmost importance."

Keeping Connected While Social Distancing

There's no clear roadmap for life during the pandemic and the definition of "normal" is changing on an almost daily basis. Faced with this, many clergy are thinking, "How do I move forward from here?" Bishops Grant Hagiya and Ken Carter are ready to have a frank conversation about this and what it means to lead in this uncertain time. Join in for their upcoming e-panel discussion with the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry's the Rev. Shannon Conklin-Miller, "Leading in Crisis: Feeling like you didn't sign up for this, and other pastoral realities of 2020." The panel will take place on Wednesday, June 17 at 11 a.m. CDT. The virtual event is free and there is no advance registration. GBHEM will share streaming information next week.

2020 camp dates cancelled for All God's Children Camp

The All God's Children Camp board met and it is with a heavy heart that camp will be cancelled for this summer. The leadership team shared in a statement, "This decision was not made lightly but felt this was the best decision we could make given the circumstances and information we have regarding COVID-19. Please pray for our staff, our mentors and our campers who will be missing their yearly reunion with each other and will be grieving camp life. Please pray for our staff as we think outside of the box to show our campers that we are still here for them and support them during this time." You can still support the camp through monetary donations. The camp will still be sending materials, resources and supplies and care packages to all of the campers to help spread the love of Jesus. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Lori Smith at 571-245-9591 or [email protected].

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

Moving beyond protests to stamp out racism

UNITED METHODIST NEWS--The Rev. Gregory Holston spent Sunday afternoon, May 31, rallying people for justice at a peaceful demonstration outside Philadelphia’s City Hall. The next night, June 1, he joined fellow United Methodists and law enforcement officials by Zoom to organize for justice long-term. “You can talk about police reform, and you can talk about police accountability and I believe in all of those things,” Holston said on Zoom. “But the reality is that every police department is really a reflection of us, who we are, and until we change who we are, the police will only continue to reflect that.” In the week since George Floyd took his last breath under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, hundreds of protests against police brutality and white supremacy have erupted across the United States and gone international. Some rallies, like the one in Philadelphia, saw no violence and some gatherings turned destructive and even deadly.

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United Methodist bishops: Act now to end racism and white supremacy

The bishops said they are joining with other church leaders and boards and agencies of the United Methodist Church to add strength to the message that “We will no longer remain silent nor complicit but must act now!” As part of the that pledge, for at least the next 30 days, all United Methodists everywhere are asked to join in prayer at 8:46 a.m. and p.m. for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the time the officer held his knee on George Floyd’s neck. “Pray for all persons of color who suffer at the hands of injustice and oppression. Pray for our church as we take a stand against racism.”

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Leading in an age of political polarization

LEWIS CENTER FOR CHURCH LEADERSHIP - David Brubaker says leaders need different skills in this age when deep political divisions affect our families, congregations, and communities. It requires clarity, compassion, courage, and connection.

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A Pastoral Letter to United Methodists of the Southeastern Jurisdiction

June 5--The Bishops of the Southeastern Jurisdiction shared a letter on June 5 about systemic racism.

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Clergy, laity tell harrowing COVID-19 stories

The Rev. Dunford Cole was too ill with the coronavirus to help with May 31 worship services at the two churches he leads in south Alabama. But he preached anyway via Facebook from his hospital bed the next day. Fighting for a full breath, choking back tears at times, the 45-year-old pastor of Campground and Rutledge United Methodist churches still managed to lay it on. “Y’all, let me tell you,” he said in a video post viewed more than 41,000 times. “You take care of yourself out there. This thing has been hard, and it’s been bad. And it’s as bad as they claim it to be.” Cole is doing much better and just got home from Crenshaw Community Hospital. His message is the same. “Respect this virus,” he said. Though some churches have reopened and many are taking steps to do so, the number of COVID-19 cases has risen to about 2 million in the United States, with 20 states seeing an increase in new cases.

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One Last Word: Turn words into action

desmond tutu
Desmond Tutu is a South African Anglican cleric who received the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1984 for his role in the opposition to apartheid in South Africa.
return to worship (1)
Learn more about three-stage return to in-person worship at Virginia Conference churches:
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