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News from the Virginia Conference - April 15, 2016

Contributions to honor Bishop Cho will fund 'Spiritual Leadership' training
Bishop Young Jin Cho will retire from active ministry on Aug. 31 of this year, after having served four years as the episcopal leader of the Virginia Conference. To honor his service, the conference Committee on Episcopacy is inviting Virginia United Methodists to make contributions to the Bishops Foundation endowment to fund training and leadership development for clergy and laity in the area of “Spiritual Leadership.”
     “In the four years he has been leading our conference, Bishop Cho has consistently emphasized the need for increased prayer and a commitment to spiritual disciplines,” said Shirley Cauffman, Committee on Episcopacy chair, “so it seems appropriate to honor him by continuing an emphasis on spiritual disciplines through the work of the Bishops Foundation.”
     To make a donation to honor Bishop Cho, send a check payable to “Virginia United Methodist Conference,” earmarked for “Bishop Cho donation,” to Treasurer, Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 5605, Glen Allen, VA 23058.

VAUMC churches participate in prayer vigil for General Conference
On Sunday, April 10, churches across the Virginia Conference participated in a 24-hour prayer vigil for General Conference, with congregations and individuals in each district taking specific times to pray so that someone in the conference was praying continuously from 12 a.m. to 12 p.m. Churches used a variety of methods to conduct their prayer vigils. More ...

Video explains long-term recovery needed after Feb. 24 tornadoes
Nick Ruxton, videographer in the conference Communications office, produced a short video that highlights how the Virginia Conference is moving from the immediate relief phase of disaster response and getting ready to begin long-term recovery from the Feb. 24 tornadoes that caused loss of life, personal injuries and severe property damage in three districts of the conference.The video, along with other videos highlighting ministries of the Virginia Conference, can be found on the conference YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/user/vaumcvideos and the conference Facebook page at www.facebook.com/vaumconf.

May issue of Advocate focuses on creation care
The May issue of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate will focus on creation care. Numerous Bible verses point to the connection and relationship between humans, creation and God. In the Virginia Conference, “The Green Church Initiative” and Caretakers of God’s Creation are two ministries that provide resources for living out this mission. Find out more about how churches and individuals interpret this relationship with nature and are connecting it to their missions and ministries. Also featured in this issue are reader-submitted photos of nature from around Virginia. The Advocate is the official monthly magazine of the Virginia Conference. To subscribe to the Advocate – print, digital or both – call (804) 521-1110 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110; e-mail Advocate@vaumc.org; or go to www.vaumc.org/advocate.

Nick Ruxton talks about adventures going to church in blog post
In his "Through the Lens" blog, conference videographer Nick Ruxton talks about his recent adventures while going to church. Read his blog to find out how he got to church and what was so meaningful about that day. More ...

Two openings available for May 22-27 Five-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation
Two openings have become available for the Virginia Five-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation at the Roslyn Retreat Center May 22-27. Click here for more information and a brochure about this event, or contact Dot Ivey, registrar, at (804) 897-4060 or dotcivey@gmail.com. Registration will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis.

Judge Willard Douglas to receive Virginia Council of Churches award
Judge Willard Douglas, member of Wesley Memorial UMC in Richmond, will receive the Virginia Council of Churches 2016 Lifetime Ecumenist award, one of the council's Faith in Action awards that will be presented at a May 10 awards luncheon at Saint Michael's Catholic Church, 4491 Springfield Road, Glen Allen. Douglas has been elected a delegate to General and/or Jurisdictional Conference nine times. He is currently a member of the ruling body of the World Methodist Council and has served on the General Commission on Religion and Race and the United Methodist Judicial Council. He has served on numerous conference committee and agency boards and was Associate Conference Lay Leader and president of the Virginia chapter of Black Methodists For Church Renewal. More ...

Sunday, April 24, is Festival of God's Creation
Sunday, April 24, is Festival of God's Creation, typically the first Sunday after Earth Day (which, this year, is April 22). This special Sunday celebrates God's gracious work in creating the earth and all living things. Click here for worship resources from United Methodist Discipleship Ministries. More ...

May 1 is Older Adult Recognition Sunday
Older Adult Recognition Sunday is May 1. The 2008 General Conference adopted legislation inviting congregations to celebrate Older Adult Recognition Day each year during the Month of May. The Virginia Conference was well ahead of the legislation when, in 2006, the first Sunday in May of each year was designated as Older Adult Recognition Sunday. Through an Older Adult Recognition Sunday, United Methodists are invited to show appreciation and support for older adults who continue to enrich and strengthen our faith communities. This special Sunday also calls the church to action in addressing the needs of older adults in the congregation and community. Your congregation can choose the first Sunday in May or another date that best fits your needs. Click here for worship resources from United Methodist Discipleship Ministries focused on this year's theme, "Evergreen — Counting the Rings of Faithfulness."

GraceInside seeks two part-time prison chaplains
GraceInside, Virginia's state prison chaplaincy ministry, has two part-time prison chaplain openings. One is a 30-hour-per-week position at Green Rock Correctional Center in Chatham. The other is a 25-hour-per-week position at River North Correctional Center in Independence (Grayson County). Both positions will be vacant as of July 1, but new chaplains are asked to start on or near June 1 to shadow the current chaplains in the facilities and take all mandated state training before beginning new roles. Interested candidates should send a cover letter of interest and current resume as e-mail attachments to kateshelton@graceinside.org. Qualified candidates will be sent an application. Deadline for applications is Friday, May 6. For more information, visit www.graceinside.org.

Stephen Hundley elected president of United Methodist Insurance
The Board of Directors for United Methodist Insurance (UMI), insurance company for the denomination’s local churches, elected the Rev. Dr. Stephen Hundley to serve as president and chief executive officer, effective June 1. Hundley, an Elder in the Virginia Conference, most recently served as executive director of Connectional Ministries in the California-Pacific Conference. Prior to that, he was Roanoke District superintendent in the Virginia Conference. His role with UMI will be to help churches recognize the stewardship of adequate insurance coverage that protects United Methodist properties and people. More ...

UMCOR helps bring relief from U.S. spring storms
Late winter and early spring storms have caused widespread damage across the U.S., including in Virginia. Although the extent of damage is different in every community, no disaster is small for those affected. Support from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is making a difference. More ...

Society of St. Andrew offers free VBS curriculum
If your Vacation Bible School (VBS) is ready for solid Bible-based teaching, with a meaningful mission emphasis and lots of fun, lesson-related activities, the Society of St. Andrew top-rated Abundance Orchard VBS is just what you’re looking for! Learn more, order free materials and even download the full packet at http://endhunger.org/vbs. The Society of St. Andrew Abundance Orchard VBS curriculum is rated a “Top Pick for 2016” by Virginia Theological Seminary. For more information, call 1-800-333-4597 or e-mail church@endhunger.org. More ...

7 cheap ways to reach out to college students
Reaching college students doesn’t have to mean adding a new worship service or planning a big mission trip. The Rev. Jeremy Steele offers seven free or inexpensive ways churches can make college students feel welcome and nurture discipleship. More ...

2016 candidacy guidebook now available
A new guidebook for candidates for ordained ministry in The United Methodist Church has been released by The United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry. The book, “Answering the Call: Candidacy Guidebook,” is designed for group candidacy mentoring. It provides a robust discussion of United Methodist beliefs and defines the sharp distinction between the discernment the application processes. It includes a guide to assist mentors as they lead discussions and prepare mentor reports. More ...

Quiz: Test your knowledge of General Conference
Just how much do you know about General Conference, The United Methodist Church’s big legislative gathering that sets church policy? This 10-question quiz lets you check what you know. Take quiz

New #CT Talks on strategic directions begin this week
The Connectional Table began a new series of #CTTalks this week, highlighting the work done to develop strategic directions in each of the Four Areas of Focus. The online forum features a series of videos and social media conversations around key topics related to General Conference 2016. Click here to watch videos. More ...

2016 General Conference host committee prepares to welcome global church
Oregon resident Bill Haden looks forward to the United Methodist General Conference coming to Portland in May of 2016. He’s the chair of the host committee and also serves on the commission that plans the event. Beginning with greeting United Methodists at the airport, the host committee rolls out the welcome mat and remains available throughout the delegates’ two-week stay. Watch video.

United Methodist Communications seeks director of Training and Development
United Methodist Communications (UMCom), headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., is seeking an experienced director of Training and Development to direct a comprehensive training program that includes face-to-face training, management of a robust online learning platform, communications training and strategies to meet agency standards and the needs of a global audience. He/She will oversee the agency’s U.S. and global training efforts, providing resources to local churches, districts and annual conferences in areas of digital technology and communications. Application deadline is May 6. To apply or for more information contact UMCom/Human Resources at P.O. Box 320, Nashville, TN 37202-0320; phone: (615) 742-5137; fax: (615) 742-5428; or e-mail: hr@umcom.org. More ...

♦ Early Response Team basic training - April 23
United Methodist Early Response Teams (ERT) provide a caring Christian presence to storm and disaster victims. Training does not commit you to being on a team, but provides the opportunity to respond if your schedule allows. Teams provide many types of help: listening to residents, needs assessment, debris removal, sanitizing, flood “mucking out,” etc. Response is local or regional for three days. Training is beneficial even if you do not participate on a team. ERT certification training will be held 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, April 23, at Fieldstone UMC, 3385 N. Franklin St., Christiansburg. Cost is $55 (includes background check, t-shirt, manual, morning refreshments and lunch). Checks should be made out to the Virginia Conference and brought the day of training. To register or for more information, e-mail Steve Cass, trainer, at slcass2@verizon.net. More ...

♦ Financial Wellness for Mid-Career Clergy - April 25, 26, 27, 28
Financial Wellness for Mid-Career Clergy workshops, sponsored by The Virginia United Methodist Foundation, Virginia United Methodist Pensions and Virginia United Methodist Credit Union, will be offered four times at four different locations. Topics will include Risk Management, Money Management, Investment Management, Tax Planning, Retirement Planning and Estate Planning. Cost of $25 per person includes lunch. Workshops will be offered 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday, April 25, at Christ Church UMC, Fairfax Station; Tuesday, April 26, at Fishersville UMC, Fishersville; Wednesday, April 27, at Community UMC, Virginia Beach; and Thursday, April 28, at Good Shepherd UMC, Henrico. For more information and to register, go to the "Calender of Events" on the conference website at www.vaumc.org/events and click on the preferred date. Deadline to register is April 18.

♦ Early Response Team Recertification Class - April 30
Early Response Team Recertification training will be offered 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, April 30, at Sterling United Methodist Church, Sterling. A $40 registration fee is payable when you register and includes background check, badge and manual. To register, e-mail Michele Michaelian at mlskcs@aol.com. More ...

♦ Early Response Team basic training - May 21
The Conference Disaster Response Team invites you to participate in a training event for anyone interested in disaster relief ministries. Early Response Team (ERT) certification training will be held 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, May 21, at Centerville UMC, Centreville. Cost is $55 (includes background check, t-shirt, manual and lunch). Checks should be made out to the Virginia Conference and brought the day of training. For more information, contact Linda Cooper at Lindalcooper47@gmail.com.To register, e-mail Michele Michaelian at mlskcs@aol.com. More ...

♦ Early Response Team basic training - May 21
The Conference Disaster Response Team invites you to participate in a training event for anyone interested in disaster relief ministries. Early Response Team (ERT) certification training will be held 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, May 21, at Braddock Street United Methodist Church, Winchester. Cost is $55 (includes background check, t-shirt, manual and lunch). Checks should be made out to the Virginia Conference and brought the day of training. To register, e-mail Michele Michaelian at mlskcs@aol.com. More ...

♦ Historical Society day trip to Tangier Island - May 21
The Virginia Conference Historical Society is sponsoring a spring travel experience to Tangier Island Saturday, May 21, to celebrate the ministry of the Rev. Joshua Thomas, known as “Parson to the Islands.” Day trip includes embarkation from Reedville at 9:45 a.m., one-and-a-half-hour cruise to the island, historical portrayal of Thomas and a walk to Swain Memorial UMC where a recently-erected marker honors Thomas. Tour of significant sites will be guided by the Rev. Kirk Mariner. Return at 4:15 p.m. Cost for the cruise is $27 per person. Lunch may be purchased or bring your own lunch basket and drinks. Registration deadline is April 30. To register, send check for $27 per person, payable to Catherine Morgan, to Morgan at 14016 Redhills Rd., Beaverdam, VA 23015. On check memo line, indicate “Tangier Cruise” along with your phone number. Cancellation refunds cannot be made after May 10. For those traveling a long distance, overnight accommodations can be found in Warsaw and other surrounding communities.

♦ Helping Hands mission experience for children - June 22-23, July 21-22
Helping Hands, an exciting two-day mission experience for rising 4th-6th graders, parents and adult leaders, will be June 22-23 at St. Paul’s UMC in Staunton and July 21-22 at Woodlake UMC in Midlothian. Come and learn about mission opportunities and the importance of being a caring Christian. Cost is $36 per person and includes a t-shirt, meals, snacks and overnight stay. The event will include worship, fellowship and mission experiences in the community. Registration forms for each site can be found at www.vaumc.org/Children.


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


 

 

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