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News from the Virginia Conference - Apr. 20, 2017

Summer opportunities for youth discerning a call 
This summer, Randolph-Macon College and Shenandoah University are independently putting on a Youth Theology Institute for 10 days. Between the two schools, there are 80 openings available for rising sophomores, juniors and seniors. The institutes each capture different facets of the Christian faith for the common goal of equipping young leaders, exploring faith, learning from seminary faculty and seeking to nurture a call in their life. For more information, check out (R-MC) and (SU). 

Position available with Society of St. Andrew 
Society of St. Andrew is looking for a gleaning coordinator for the Northern Neck area. The position is to coordinate gleaning events in the Stafford, King George, Westmoreland, Essex, Richmond, Northumberland, Lancaster and Middlesex Counties. This is a part-time, seasonal paid position. The coordinator will work closely with the Northern Neck Food Bank. Call or email Sarah Ramey, Virginia Gleaning Network Director, with any questions or concerns at More… 

May Advocate shares about local church communications 
"Communication is key" is an oft-used phrase that quickly gets pushed aside. But if we, in our ministries, hope to join others in mission and ministry, we should make sure we are communicating well and are being understood correctly. Learn from communications experts from around our conference to assess your local church’s communications and some tricks of the trade in the May Advocate. More... 

Deadline of Denman, One Matters awards is April 21
The Virginia Annual Conference is now accepting nominations for The Harry Denman Evangelism Award for Clergy, Lay and Youth and the One Matters award.
The Harry Denman Evangelism Award recognizes a person whose life and ministry exemplifies the teaching of Christ and the Great Commission. Recipients of these awards, nominated by individuals, churches or districts, and selected by the Annual Conference, live their call to “Offer Them Christ” daily as modeled by Dr. Harry Denman, founder of The Foundation for Evangelism that sponsors these awards.To learn more about the award or to download nomination forms visit the Virginia Conference website at The Virginia Annual Conference Board of Discipleship has announced a new award to be given at Annual Conference. The award, “One Matters,” recognizes significant improvement of baptisms and professions of faith. The award, which includes $1,000 and a One Matters Discipleship Award plaque, will be presented to the pastor and lay leaders of a congregation that has done significant work to make its zeros from previous years become positive numbers. Nominations and applications are due no later than Friday, Apr. 21, 2017. More...

See a ‘Day in the life’ of a campus minister 
The Conference Communications office spent a day with Bret Gresham, campus minister of Wesley Foundation at Virginia Tech, to learn about the typical day of a campus minister. Learn more in the May issue of the Advocate. More… 

Virginia Wesleyan announces transition to university status 
Virginia Wesleyan College has received final approvals to transition to Virginia Wesleyan University by the start of the 2017-2018 academic year, according to President Scott D. Miller. An announcement to the campus community was made on Apr. 5, with an announcement to the general public on Apr. 11. Miller has appointed an internal transition team to outline necessary steps and protocols to effect the change. “Becoming a university is a natural outgrowth of the inevitable changes in our stature and standing as a higher-education institution of quality, dignity, and destiny,” Miller said. “Our vision is to become Coastal Virginia’s premier university of the liberal arts and sciences.” More… 

Newest 3-minute stir video discusses rest
3 Minute Stir, a concept created by Paulo Lopes, conference director of Ministries with Young People, and Nick Ruxton, conference videographer, is a new VAUMC resource developing from Bishop Lewis’ charge to Virginia to “stir up the gifts” at her Welcoming Service in September. Each of these 3-minute videos is a reengagement with Scripture-based and relatable messages to be shared with small groups or youth groups. More…

Preview to the legal debate around gay bishop
The United Methodist Church’s top court faces a number of questions about the election of the denomination’s first openly gay bishop — including whether it should weigh in at all.The Judicial Council is set to meet April 25-28 in Newark, N.J., and leading its docket is a petition from the South Central Jurisdictional Conference asking for a ruling on questions related to the election, consecration and assignment of a bishop in a same-sex marriage. Any decision on that petition could affect Bishop Karen Oliveto, who is legally married to a United Methodist deaconess. The U.S. Western Jurisdiction elected Oliveto in July, and she now leads the Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone conferences. However, Oliveto is not a party in the case, and the questions in the petition do not name her.  More… 

Bishops say pray, don’t be afraid as Judicial Council weighs decision
Council of Bishops President Bishop Bruce Ough has called on all United Methodists to pray unceasingly, intentionally and earnestly for the unity of the church as the Judicial Council ponders its decision on the election of Bishop Karen Oliveto. More… 

Honor moms on Mother’s Day without hurting others
Mother’s Day is a special day to honor mothers and grandmothers, but it also can be a painful day for many women. Some women struggle to get pregnant or to carry children to term. Others may have lost children during the previous year. There are even women who are struggling with their roles as mothers, while some women (and men) have recently lost their own mothers.For those who already are experiencing pain, this day of celebration can make things worse. So, how can the church appropriately honor mothers while also respecting the feelings of other people in the congregation? More… 

♦ Caretakers of God's Creation Climate Justice Conference- Apr. 28
The 10th Annual Methodist Caretakers of God's Creation Conference will be held in the Washington, D.C area this year to complement the National People's Climate Justice March on Apr. 28. Mt. Olivet UMC in Arlington will act as host for the event. Please contact Jaydee Hanson at or 703-231-5956 with questions. More... 

♦ Ministers' Convocation- May 8-10, 2017
Register now for Ministers' Convocation, "Making Space for Yourself and Others," which will be held May 8-10 at Virginia Crossings Wyndham Hotel & Conference Center. You are encouraged to register before Holy Week to ensure lodging availability. More...

For in-depth news and features about United Methodist mission and ministry, subscribe to the Virginia United Methodist Advocate, the Virginia Conference’s award-winning monthly magazine — now available in both print and digital formats. Click here to subscribe. Or call the Communications office at 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110, or (804) 521-1110. Or email For information about the Virginia Conference and resources for ministry, visit the Virginia Conference website at



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