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News from the Virginia Conference - April 26, 2018

VUMPI shares recommendations to Annual Conference 2018 in video
Virginia United Methodist Pensions, Inc. (VUMPI) shared a video with John Fuller, executive director, that details the recommendations to Annual Conference 2018. VUMPI is the conference’s agency that administers pension, welfare and health benefit plans for active and retired clergy. For questions or concerns, contact Fuller at 804-521-1128 or at More…

Keynote speaker video available from Convocation on Race and Reconciliation
For interested parties, the keynote address given by Romal Tune, keynote speaker for the April 14 Convocation on Race and Reconciliation in Annandale, Va., is available for viewing. You can also see an overview of the event with this video. More…

The United Methodist Credit Union providing grants for youth groups
If your church youth group is raising funds for special projects or mission trips, the United Methodist Credit Union (TUMCU) wants to help. Each quarter TUMCU will be awarding a grant for up to $500 to a United Methodist youth group within the conferences that the credit union serves. TUMCU welcomes the opportunity to help youth in their service to others. They are currently accepting applications for the spring grant and the deadline to apply is May 31, 2018. Application available at

Follow-up to April 15 tornadoes and severe weather
On April 15, 2018, tornadoes and severe weather struck communities within the Danville District and Lynchburg District. The Rev. Bob Pihlcrantz, Virginia Conference disaster response coordinator, has been in contact with Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster regarding response requests for the Virginia Conference.  At this time, there have not been any identified requests.  Please continue to hold persons affected by the tornadoes and severe weather in your prayers.  Updates will be communicated if response requests are received. More…

Staff changes at conference center
After longtime service to the Virginia Conference, Pat Hickman retired from the office of Congregational Excellence at the end of March. Effective April 2, MaryKaye Cochran joined the conference as administrative staff for the office of Congregational Excellence. More….

Bishop, Cabinet release April 2018 listing of projected appointments
Bishop Lewis and the Cabinet released the April 2018 listing of projected appointments on April 23. You can also view the projected appointments from March. More…

Latino Clergy Caucus holds successful lay ministry course
In an article, Forrest White, conference Communications office news associate, reports on a recent lay servant course organized and led by members of the Latino Clergy Caucus.  The caucus, formed in the spring of 2017, just held its second annual retreat from April 19-21 in Richmond. More…

Crossroads Mission Center looking for volunteers
Crossroads Mission Center is looking for volunteers who can help package and deliver food to the children of King William County who are participating in the Summer Food Program. The program provides “2-Day Bags” consisting of four meals for two days for one child. The bag contains two breakfast, lunch, snack and drink items. The program runs from June 16 – August 25. Drivers are needed (background check is required and will be provided) as well as packagers. Training will be held on June 5, at 6 p.m., at Crossroads Mission Center, 694K Sharon Road, King William, VA. They are also looking for individual and corporate sponsors. If you or your organization would like to collect items needed for the bags, please visit their website at for a complete list of needed supplies. Monetary donations received will be used to purchase food and can be mailed to Crossroads Mission Center. For questions, call 804-769-2139 or email

Cokesbury at Virginia Annual Conference 2018
This year, Cokesbury is again bringing a consultative retail experience to Annual Conferences with the Cokesbury Ministry Resource Centers. Features of these Annual Conference stores include: selection of books available for on-site purchase, displays highlighting new and classic resources, opportunities for church leaders to meet with trained consultants regarding ministry needs and much more. Free shipping is available on all orders placed at Annual Conferences on regularly stocked merchandise. When you shop the Cokesbury Ministry Resource Center during Annual Conference, be sure to use the promo code AC2018 to receive free shipping on your in-stock orders. This promo code will be valid on for up to two weeks after Conference ends. You can also find Annual Conference resources at

Discover the One Journey Festival on June 2
One Journey is the first national celebration of refugee talents, stories, cultures and contributions. This free, all-day event will connect people through the shared languages of humanity: food, fashion, music, art and dance from the countries that today’s refugees originally called home. While the day is about fun and celebration, its goal is to inspire people from all backgrounds to engage with each other in a spirit of fellowship and understanding by shining a light on the resilience and contributions of this vibrant population. The event will be held June 2 on the grounds of the Washington National Cathedral from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Program includes: Chef Jose Andres and a refugee chef cooking session; actor, model and UN spokesperson Ger Duany; performances by refugee music and dance groups; multi-language calligraphy, henna and kite activities; artists, artisans, clothing; delicious foods and more. The One Journey Festival is organized by NOVA Friends of Refugees (the interfaith network started by members of St. George’s Episcopal Church and Mount Olivet UMC) and Refugees International. Join for this national celebration of the common bonds that unite our entire human family. For more information and to register, visit

Special Sunday: Peace with Justice Sunday is May 27
The United Methodist Church is unwilling to ignore injustice. Although you, and possibly even your congregation, may lack the resources alone to affect change in a broken world, participation in Peace with Justice Sunday allows the denomination to continue its global ministries of reconciliation. Help build awareness for this upcoming giving opportunity by using tools found in the comprehensive pastor and leader's kit, stocked with videos, social media imagery, worship resources and more. More…

Mentors still needed for All God's Children Camp
All God's Children Camp is two months away and mentors are still needed for all three dates. Currently there are 90 campers signed up and 20 mentors. Thirty mentors are needed for each camp. All God's Children Camp is a camp for children ages 7 to 12, with an incarcerated mother or father, where they spend a week at camp, participating in activities such as boating, swimming, hiking, archery, music, crafts, Bible study and conflict resolution. Partnering with Virginia United Methodist camps, All God’s Children Camp provides a week of sanctuary for children who face so many challenges in their lives: economic poverty, temporary living conditions, loneliness, low self-esteem, violence and drugs. Please consider giving a week of your time to pour into a child's life. This is a great opportunity for members and friends in your community to serve together. Maybe there are already groups in your church or community, such as UMM, UMW, college age ministries or Sunday school classes, who can come together and serve this way. This is a great local mission opportunity for with very little cost ($20). The dates are: June 17-22:  Camp Chanco on the James (Richmond area); June 24-29: Camp Overlook (Shenandoah Valley area); and July 29-August 3: Occohannock on the Bay (Eastern Shore). Please contact Lori Smith at for more information. More…

UMC bishops to act on three major issues at the Chicago meeting
The bishops of The United Methodist Church will meet in Chicago from April 29-May 4 to celebrate leadership through the passing of the gavel, certify constitutional amendments and finalize their recommendations to the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference.
The April/May meeting of the Council of Bishops will also hear leadership reports regarding immigration, ecumenical relations, racism, disaster relief and other mission and ministry work around the global denomination. At the Chicago meeting, the bishops will also certify the votes of annual conferences on the five constitutional amendments approved by the 2016 General Conference. During the 2016 General Conference, delegates approved five proposed amendments to the Constitution of The United Methodist Church as contained in The Book of Discipline (BOD).  Any proposed constitutional amendments require ratification by annual conferences.  The results are canvassed, certified and announced by the Council of Bishops. If the bishops certify that the amendments have been ratified by the votes of the annual conferences, the amendments would become effective immediately. The bishops are also working on making their final recommendations for the 2019 Special Session of General Conference which has been set for Feb. 23-26 in St. Louis, Missouri.  During their meeting next week, the bishops will hear the final recommendations from the Commission on a Way Forward. The Commission on a Way Forward held its penultimate meeting in Los Angeles last month to prepare the final report of recommendations to the bishops on proposed ways forward for the global denomination regarding the impasse over human sexuality. More…

Worshipping by paddleboard
Floridians love sunshine and water activities. So, why not bring Christian worship where the people want to be? This paddleboarding fresh expression of church dubbed Adventure Chapel is doing just that. More…

Timeline of The United Methodist Church
A timeline shows the highlights of The United Methodist Church after the 1968 merger that created the new denomination. The timeline includes notable events and actions of the church from 1968 to 2018. More…

How to find a mentor and be a mentor
"Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another" ~ Proverbs 27:17. There are many advantages to a mentoring partnership, both to the mentor and the protege. Even experienced leaders can benefit from extra accountability. More…

♦ Conference Immigration Summit- May 19, 2018 
Bishop Lewis formed the Virginia Conference Committee on Immigration Outreach in 2017 to help the conference communicate the Gospel as it relates to immigrants and refugees. The committee also seeks to help the conference understand issues related to immigrants and refugees and how to advocate for them.  In partnership with the General Board of Church and Society, Just Neighbors and the Southeastern Jurisdiction Hispanic Caucus, the committee is sponsoring an Immigration Summit at Ramsey Memorial UMC in Richmond on Saturday, May 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to educate and empower those who want to be in ministry to immigrants and refugees.  Attendance to the summit is free of charge, and a boxed lunch can be purchased at the time of registration. Registration is now available on the conference website at and go to Conference Calendar. More...

♦ SEJ Historical Society Annual Meeting - July 17-20, 2018 
The Virginia Conference Historical Society (VCHS) will host this year’s Southeastern Jurisdiction Historical Society of The United Methodist Church (SEJHS) Annual Meeting, whose theme is Religious Liberty in the Historic Advance of Virginia Methodism. Everyone is invited to the event held from July 17-20 in Williamsburg, Va. Those who participate in all lectures and tours of the Annual Meeting are entitled to receive one (1) Continuing Education Unit (CEU). The event will include guided tours of Williamsburg churches and Historic Jamestowne, and lecturers delivering the stories of Virginia Methodism - Origins of the Old Brunswick Circuit, Chesapeake Methodism, African Americans and Religious Liberty in Virginia Methodism and The Evangelical United Brethren Church in the Valley of Virginia.  Keynote speaker, David L. Holmes, Walter G. Mason Professor of Religious Studies, Emeritus, College of William and Mary, will discuss Religious Freedom in the Colonial Era. Attendees will also enjoy a banquet celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Uniting Conference. The three-day event costs $85, with tours and dinner meals included. Registration ends July 10. Group rates are arranged with several local hotels, but cut-off dates are in May or June, so register soon! A brochure, registration and further information are available at the link. More...

♦ Embrace: Clergywomen's 2018 Retreat - Sept. 25-26, 2018
Embrace 2018 is the first gathering of the Virginia clergywomen in 30 years! Join for two days of worship, study and community. Engage in hands-on missions, show off your skills in a Talent/No Talent Show and participate in panel discussions on change and growth within your own ministry context. But most importantly, connect with other clergywomen and claim a renewed sense of call. Be inspired. Be nourished. Be embraced. Event will be held September 25-26, 2018 at the Virginia Crossings Conference Center in Glen Allen. Click link for more information about schedule, grant money, registration and more. More…

♦ Virginia Five-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation- Oct. 14-19, 2018 
Registration is now open for the 2018 Virginia Five-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation to be held Oct. 14-19, 2018 at the Roslyn Retreat Center in Richmond. Sponsored by the Virginia Conference in cooperation with The Upper Room, this retreat is open to clergy and laity who are seeking to deepen their relationship with God through prayer, learning, and worship. This year, faculty leaders will be Dr. Luther Smith, professor emeritus at Candler School of Theology; and Dr. Amy Oden, professor at St. Paul School of Theology at Oklahoma City University. Registration at link. 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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