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News from the Virginia Conference - Apr. 27, 2017

Virginia clergy featured in Interpreter magazine 
The Rev. Karla Kincannon, director of spiritual formation, Aldersgate UMC in Alexandria, was featured in the March/April edition of Interpreter magazine. Kincannon spoke about creativity as a spiritual practice in an article entitled The Creative Spirit." In the article, “Being shaped in the Creator’s creation,” the Rev. Jeanne Torrence Finley, retired, shared that many people are fearful of spiritual practices that involve nature thinking they may contain "new age" connotations, such as worshipping a tree and not God.

Job opportunities available on conference website 
Check out the job opportunities page on the conference website for open positions with our local churches to positions throughout the conference and the United Methodist connection. More... 

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).  

April 30 is Native American Ministries Sunday 
As a member of The United Methodist Church, your gift, on this day, equips Native congregations—like New York’s Onondaga Nation UMC and Nebraska’s Native American Sacred Winds congregation—to worship and serve as only they can. When you support Native American Ministries Sunday, you equip seminary students who will honor and celebrate Native American culture in their ministries. And you empower congregations that are finding fresh new ways to minister to their communities with the love of Christ. Download graphics and information about this important Special Sunday offering. More… 

May Advocate shares local church communications tips 
Curious about how you can help facilitate good communication techniques in your church? Interested in what a communication audit might look like?  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... 

Mission Encounter to be held Jul. 28-29
Mission Encounter began over 70 years ago by the then named Women’s Society of Christian Service. The newly-named Mission Encounter is a cooperative event sponsored by the Virginia Conference Missional Ministries Board (formerly the Board of Global Ministry) and the Virginia Conference United Methodist Women. This event offers a wonderful opportunity for your whole congregation to come alive to mission, by participating in an exciting weekend mission education experience. There are classes for adults where men, women, clergy and laity alike come to learn and be involved in mission groups by choosing one class out of three choices— a spiritual growth study, geographical study or social issue. This year from Jul. 28-29, the classes offered will be climate justice, living as a covenant community and the missionary conference of The UMC in the United States (Red Bird, Oklahoma and Alaska). Contact Gail Sutcliffe with questions at 703-490-3381. Event will be held Bon Air UMC in Chesterfield. More…

April projected appointments are now available on conference website 
The March and April appointments are available on the conference website. More… 

Council of Bishops calls 2019 Special Session
The Council of Bishops has called a Special Session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church to be held Feb. 23-26, 2019, in St. Louis, Missouri. The purpose of the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference will be "limited to receiving and acting on a report from the Council of Bishops based on the recommendations of the Commission on a Way Forward." More… 

Court hears arguments over gay bishop
Was last July’s election of a gay bishop by United Methodists in the denomination’s U.S. Western Jurisdiction a violation of church law or a legal elevation of a clergy member in good standing? Representatives of both positions argued their case before the United Methodist Judicial Council, the denomination’s top court, during an April 25 oral hearing. More… 

Way Forward commission shares message in anticipation of Judicial Council decision 
In anticipation of the upcoming Judicial Council decision related to the election of Karen Oliveto as a bishop, the moderators of the Commission on a Way Forward offer a message. More… 

From brothel madam to Methodist mission founder
She ran one of San Antonio’s most popular brothels. Then she came to Christian faith and turned that bawdy house into a Methodist mission.With her conversion in 1895, Mary “Madam” Volino began to rescue the young women she had employed as prostitutes from that trade. 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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