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News from the Virginia Conference - Apr. 2, 2019

Varied responses to General Conference continue in Virginia Conference, denomination
Virginia, much like other conferences around the nation and world, has shared varied reactions to the results of the conference in February. The Evangelical Fellowship in the Virginia Conference, supporters of the action taken at General Conference 2019, drafted a letter in mid-March and sent it to Bishop Kenneth Carter, president of the Council of Bishops. Last week a grassroots movement created and shared a letter response in opposition to the actions of General Conference 2019, namely the passing of the Traditional Plan. More...

Bishop Weaver shares "Partners in Ministry" reflection
Bishop Pete Weaver, interim bishop of the Virginia Conference, will start sharing weekly reflections of  "some periodic, random thoughts, prayers and experiences which God is stirring in me as I journey with you in following Jesus and serving Virginia while God brings healing to Bishop Lewis." More...

New position open at the conference center
The Advisory Team of the Board of Ordained Ministry and the Appointive Cabinet are pleased to announce that applications and interviews are open now through Apr. 26 for the Associate Director of Call & Candidacy in the Center for Clergy Excellence. This position, beginning July 1, 2019, will focus on missional areas of call, candidacy mentoring, District Committee on Ordained Ministry support, Course of Study and be a primary resource to Licensed Local Pastors. A more detailed job description is available from To apply, please send your resume and cover letter to the Rev. Darcey Johnson at  by Apr. 26. Interviews will be held as scheduled at River Road UMC, Richmond, VA. If you have questions about the position, please call the Rev. Lindsey Baynham at the Center for Clergy Excellence at or (804) 521-1100 Ext. 160. This position is also posted on the Virginia Conference website at

All God’s Children Camp in need of drivers
All God's Children Camp is in need of drivers who would be willing to transport campers to and from Camp in the Richmond area this summer. Drivers are needed for Jun. 16, Jun. 21, Aug. 11 and Aug. 16.  Please contact Camp Director Lori Smith for more information at 571-245-9591 or

Camp Rainbow is seeking summer volunteers
Camp Rainbow Connection (CRC) is seeking volunteers to serve adult campers for a week or two this summer. CRC is a week-long respite camp for adults with intellectual disabilities. Volunteers are needed to help serve on the nursing team as well as people to serve in a variety of ways including, but not limited to, conducting arrival interviews with campers and their caregivers, dispensing medications and responding to health needs during the weeks of camp. If you are interested in joining (even if only for part of the camp session), please contact Stacy Roberts at For more information regarding Camp Rainbow, visit the conference website. More...

Camp Highroad seeking summer staff
Camp Highroad Christian Adventure Camp near Leesburg, Va., is hiring summer staff. Open positions included photographers, general counselors, clinic and kitchen staff. Training will begin around Jun. 5 and the summer period will end on Aug. 2. The camp is seeking a three-week commitment. For details, visit the Virginia Conference website at and scroll down to “Other.”

Charlottesville District featured in local news for efforts to raise funds for apartment complex
Churches in the Charlottesville District are bowling to help raise money for a new apartment complex for people with intellectual disabilities. The plan is to build 15 units along Hinton Avenue in Charlottesville. “Some of the apartments will be set aside for people with developmental disabilities where they can live in their own apartments, have their own places,” said Kim Crater, with the Charlottesville District of the United Methodist Church. “Folks with developmental disabilities are just like the rest of us and many of them want their own places to live.” View story…

Notice: Annual Conference 2019 information
You can find all current information about Annual Conference 2019 on the Virginia Conference website at As new information is shared, it will be updated at the same link.

Worship team needs images for Annual Conference 2019
The Worship Planning Team for Annual Conference is looking for images and videos of the street, specifically the sign, where you live. The team wants to collect images from all over the Virginia Conference that show the diversity of location and context: rural, urban, mountain, beach, and everything in between.The team is drawing inspirations from Jesus' words in Matthew 28:19-20, "Therefore go and make disciples..." and Jesus' words in Luke 14:23, "Go out to the highways and byways..." To help share this in your churches, a bulletin insert, two flyers, a worship slide and two social media images can be found at the Annual Conference 2019 page at Please send all images and videos digitally to the following email address:  All images and videos must be received no later than May 1. Contact the Rev. Sarah Payne for any questions at

Information about Kit collection at Annual Conference 2019
UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) is currently focusing its efforts on Cleaning Kits (aka Flood Buckets), Hygiene Kits and School Kits for collection this year. Collection of the kits will begin Wednesday, June 19 from 4 to 8 p.m. and continue Thursday, June 20 from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday, June 21 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Contact Kit Collection Coordinator, the Rev. Morris Fleischer (Newport-Mt. Olivet UMC/Roanoke District), at (540) 544-7183 or with any questions.  A volunteer sign-up page will be available soon. If you prefer to make a financial contribution to enable UMCOR to purchase relief kits, you can contribute $75 for each cleaning kit; $12 for each health kit; and $11 for each school kit.  Additionally, UMCOR asks for $1 per kit ($1.50 for cleaning buckets) to cover processing and shipping and $1 for toothpaste for each health kit. Please do NOT bring checks to Annual Conference.  All checks (for processing and shipping, for toothpaste, and in lieu of providing kits) should be made payable to “Virginia Conference UMC,” earmarked for “kits” and mailed to Treasurer, Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 5605, Glen Allen, VA, 23058 any time prior to Annual Conference and no later than August 31. You can find more information about putting these kits together at

Advocate magazine to discontinue at the end of 2019
Advocate editor and conference Director of Communications Madeline Pillow announced in March that the Advocate magazine, the longtime flagship communication tool of the Virginia Conference, will cease production at the end of 2019. The decision was made by the Board of Communications and approved by Common Table. More…

Disaster funds, UMVIM teams are needed in Danville
From the middle of September through the middle of October 2018, people in the city and county of Danville, Va. experienced historic flooding of the Dan River and other waterways as a result of hurricane Florence and tropical storm Michael. There are 45+ homes with significant damage, most of which are homes of persons and families that were struggling with economic challenges prior to the flooding. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) stands ready to assist with disaster recovery funds but the Virginia Conference, churches and individuals, are called to make a direct compassionate response to those affected by this disaster. There are two ways to respond to this crucial need:
1.    Please join in this disaster response with a financial gift to the Virginia Conference Disaster Response Fund which will direct contributions to the crisis in Danville. All contributions can be sent to the Conference Treasurer’s office with the reference “Conference Disaster Response Fund #5037."
2.    Consider organizing and taking an UMVIM team to work on the homes of those affected. Please contact the Rev. Lisa Nordan or 757-513-0496.


Denomination's future under discussion — quietly
Discussions about the future of The United Methodist Church are quietly occurring among denomination leaders after a recent General Conference that underscored deep divisions over homosexuality. Centrists and progressives have begun to meet, and separate talks are underway between some who backed the Traditional Plan and some who favored the One Church Plan. More…

Puerto Rico: More than a year after Maria
More than one year after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, the United Methodist Committee on Relief continues to support the REHACE project. A partnership with la Iglesia Metodista de Puerto Rico, the project is dedicated to rebuilding the island's infrastructure through supply distribution, reconstruction and rethinking the approach to disaster response. More…

Pre-General Conference Briefing set for Jan. 23-24
United Methodist Communications will host the 2020 Pre-General Conference Briefing Jan. 23-24, 2020, at the Omni Nashville Hotel. The event is designed to help church communicators and delegates prepare for the lawmaking assembly's meeting, set for May 5-15, 2020, in Minneapolis. It will include sessions on how General Conference works as well as presentations on major topics that will be considered. More details will be forthcoming.

Virginia Annual Conference - Jun. 20-22
The Virginia Annual Conference will be held in Roanoke, Va. in the Berglund Center from Jun. 20-22. More information is available at

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 e-mail For information about the Virginia Conference and resources for ministry, visit the Virginia Conference website at

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