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News from the Virginia Conference - April 5, 2018

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 Sundays 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 lttlelori@gmail.com for more information. More…

Register for event for high schoolers interested in science, passionate about their faith
Convergence: Where Faith and Science Meet is a nine-day program (June 23-July 1, 2018) that allows rising 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students to come to the Randolph-Macon College campus in Ashland and learn about the intersection of science and Christian faith. They will dive deeper into their religious beliefs, deeper into the study of science and will meet other high school students and college leaders with those same interests. There will be time in the classroom and outdoor experiences throughout the region. The cost to participate is only $100. Upon high school graduation, if a Convergence participant chooses to attend Randolph-Macon, they will receive a $1,000 annual scholarship for each year they participated in Convergence. Application deadline is May 1, 2018. Nominations are welcome! Please contact Laura Ruxton (convergence@rmc.edu) with any questions about the program. More…

Registration closes tomorrow for Bishop's Convocation on Race and Reconciliation
Registration closes tomorrow for Bishop Lewis' Convocation on Race and Reconciliation on Saturday, April 14, 2018 at Annandale UMC. Lunch will be served. The convocation will empower participants to become lifelong learning disciples who will be able to conduct the difficult conversations we all need to have related to issues of racial division, justice and God’s call to ministries of reconciliation and peace. Keynote speaker will be Romal Tune. Register and learn more at the link.

Registration closes tomorrow for Faithful Aging Conference
Registration closes tomorrow for the Faithful Aging Conference!  Don’t miss this incredible learning and networking event focused upon opportunities related to an aging congregation and meeting the needs of older members, inside and outside the walls of our faith communities. Presented by the Beard Center on Aging at Lynchburg College and Pinnacle Living, the Faithful Aging Conference will be held at Williamsburg UMC on April 24, 2018. The conference is supported by a range of sponsors including the Virginia Conference Older Adult Council. The Virginia Conference Board of Ordained Ministry has approved .5 CEU for clergy and certified professionals who attend. Cost is $40/individual which includes lunch, refreshment breaks, and all conference materials. Adults 65+ can register for $30/person. Groups of 3 or more individuals from the same church or organization can register for $25/person. Limited scholarship funds, sponsored by Pinnacle Living, are available for Virginia Conference United Methodist Church congregational teams. For more information about the scholarship assistance, contact Martha Stokes at mstokes@pinnacleliving.org. More…

Register for Fall Clergywomen’s retreat
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…

Volunteer marshals and pages sought for 2019 Special Session of the General Conference
Volunteers interested in serving as marshals or pages during the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference of The United Methodist Church can now apply online. The denomination’s top legislative assembly will meet February 23-26, 2019 in St Louis Missouri, in the U.S. Approximately 150 volunteers are needed to serve as marshals and pages during General Conference. Applicants must be able to serve all four days of the Special Session. Marshals will be part of the team that will assist delegates, guests and staff with seating, checking credentials, providing information and other duties as assigned. Pages will assist delegates, staff, bishops, members of the Judicial Council and official guests with communication and other needs. They distribute approved materials and deliver printed information. Pages should expect to do a great deal of walking. Marshals and pages are responsible for their own travel and expenses. Those interested should submit an online application before the deadline of July 31. If you have additional questions, contact Dick Hooton at revshoot@gmail.com. More…

Kits for Annual Conference 2018
As your church begins preparation for collecting items for kits, there is currently an appeal from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) for Hygiene, School, and Cleaning Kits only. Click here for the complete list of items and instructions on packing each kit. Collection times at Annual Conference will be from Thursday, June 14 from noon to 8 p.m. and on Friday, June 15 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For questions, contact the Kit Collection Coordinator, the Rev. David Magruder at Zion UMC in Seaford (York River District) at (757) 898-7417 or davidmagruder@vaumc.org. Money for the kits should be sent to Conference Treasurer, Virginia Conference UMC, PO Box 5605, Glen Allen, VA 23058. Checks should be made payable to Virginia Conference UMC.

Register for United Methodist Women’s “The Power of Bold” Assembly
When women UNITE, bold and courageous actions happen! “The Power of Bold” Assembly from May 18-20, 2018 in Columbus, OH will include a line-up of bold and courageous women leaders including Bishop Sharma D. Lewis, resident bishop of the Richmond Episcopal Area, and 10 other female bishops in attendance. This Assembly is a must attend event for women leaders to stay connected. At this important gathering for women you will be inspired by deep spiritual experiences on The Journey of Mary each and every day. You will also be inspired by dynamic women speakers who are justice experts like Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow. You will learn to mobilize at a public rally, workshops, Town Hall meetings and presentations by Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Leymah Gbowee from Liberia. You will leave with action plans for your local churches and communities. United Methodist Women (UMW) will also celebrate focusing on women, children and youth for 150 years at this event. Continuing Education Credits are available for professional women seeking company support to attend. Registration closes April 9. More…

United Methodists pledge to fight racism
In the 50 years since the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., racism is still “rearing its ugly head,” but nothing is a match for the God we love, said Bishop LaTrelle Miller Easterling on April 3 in Washington, D.C. She was one of several United Methodist leaders who spoke on the eve of a rally expected to draw thousands to the nation’s capital. More…

Tips for following Jesus every day
The Rev. Junius Dotson, top executive of Discipleship Ministries, offers practical tips for growing in one’s relationship with Jesus and finding opportunities to share the Christian faith. The list includes praying for and with those serving restaurant meals. More…

Way Forward prepares final report to bishops
The Commission on a Way Forward met in Los Angeles to prepare a final report for United Methodist bishops, who later this spring will determine what proposals to submit for the church’s future. More…

Amid tumult of 1968, a church came together
At a time when it seemed much of the world was violently splitting apart, a group of Wesleyan Christians peacefully and joyfully were coming together to form a new denomination. Historians say 50 years later, the formation of The United Methodist Church offers lessons for today. More…

♦ Next Gen Summit- Apr. 21, 2018
It's not news to you that most churches have been steadily "growing old." While the Gospel of Jesus Christ remains as relevant as ever, we have struggled to capture the hearts of young people in our communities. But what if there are ways we could help our churches grow young once again? And what if the answer has nothing to do with church size, money, or being "cool?" On April 21, 2018, the Virginia Conference Next Gen Ministries, in partnership with the Fuller Youth Institute, will host Jake Mulder, co-author of Growing Young - Six essential strategies to help young people discover and love your church. Price is $45. Register today!  More...

♦ Ministers' Convocation- Apr. 23-25, 2018 
This spring, The Center for Clergy Excellence invites you for a time of Sabbath retreat, learning and fellowship together as ministry leaders at Ministers’ Convocation – Apr. 23-25, 2018. Come be engaged in theological and academic conversation while experiencing rejuvenation for ministry. Theme is “The Paradox of Perfection: Our Wesleyan Heritage” with an emphasis on Christian Perfection. Dr. Rex Matthews, professor in the Practice of Historical Theology and Wesleyan Studies at Candler School of Theology will be teacher for the event. Bishop Sharma D. Lewis and the Rev. William Lamar, pastor of Metropolitan AME Church in Washington, D.C., will lead in worship. For event details and to register visit: www.vaumc.org/MinistersConvocation. Worship, keynote and workshop sessions, lodging and meals will be held at Virginia Crossings Conference Center in Glen Allen. You are encouraged to register before Holy Week to ensure lodging availability. The deadline for in-residence registration is Monday, Apr. 2, 2018. All clergy, diaconal ministers, and professional/paraprofessional certified ministers in the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church are invited.

♦ 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 www.vaumc.org 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...

♦ 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 Advocate@vaumc.org. For information about the Virginia Conference and resources for ministry, visit the Virginia Conference website atwww.vaumc.org


 

 

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