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News from the Virginia Conference - August 23, 2018

Save the date for day to discuss cooperative parish ministries
Could cooperative parish ministry be a way of re-imagining ministry by joining forces with those who can help you reach more people? What if our churches and ministries were formed or re-formed in a way that links resources and individuals? Can Christ do more through us when we come together? Come to Good Shepherd UMC in Richmond to learn more on Sept. 22, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Day will also include preaching by Bishop Sharma D. Lewis, presentation on exploring models of cooperative parish ministry and a panel on best practices. Questions can be directed to Tobias Lutz at More...

Bishop’s Convocation on Prayer will focus on responding prayerfully to current concerns of denomination
Bishop’s Convocation on Prayer on Sept. 15 will focus on how to prayerfully respond to current concerns of The United Methodist Church.  Dr. Terry Tekyl, well-known lecturer and author of 15 books on prayer, will be the plenary speaker. Classes on prayer and spiritual disciplines will be offered as part of the convocation. A brochure about the convocation and information about registration is at the link and at the bottom of this newsletter under 'Events'. More...

Lake Junaluska to offer Choir Music Weekend
Lake Junaluska is inviting church choirs to come together from Oct. 19-21 for Choir Music Weekend to broaden their musical repertoires, learn new vocal skills and enjoy time for recreation and fellowship. During the weekend, experienced choral leaders will teach eight different anthems and lead workshops along a variety of topics. A track for handbells is also available. Choir Music Weekend is especially geared toward small and medium-sized choirs. More…

General Conference, Jurisdictional nomination forms now available for district lay members
District lay nominations for the 2020 General Conference and 2020 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference will be voted upon at each district conference.  Laity who wish to be nominees as delegates for these conferences shall complete the lay nomination form at  Upon completion, the form automatically will be submitted to the district office in which the lay nominee’s church is located.   Electronic submission is preferred but if a nominee is unable to complete an electronic nomination, he/she may contact their district office. 

September Advocate focuses on technology in church
Learn more about how local churches are using technology to make their services more inclusive and pertinent to today’s styles of worship. To read these excellent articles, order your subscription to the Virginia United Methodist Advocate today. Click here to subscribe online. Or call Pam Culler at 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110, or (804) 521-1110. Or email or It costs just $20 for one year of the printed magazine; $10 for one year of a digital version; $25 for a year of both print and digital. Subscribe today!

Volunteers needed for South Carolina Conference recovery
South Carolina is still in need of volunteers for recovery efforts for 2016’s Hurricane Matthew and from severe flooding in 2015. To volunteer, email or call 803-726-3105. More…

UMM offering ‘revamped’ spiritual weekend in October
For the 40th year the Virginia Conference United Methodist Men (UMM) will host a Spiritual Weekend, this time at Baylake UMC in Virginia Beach October 26-27, 2018. Theme will be “Go! and make disciples” and featured speaker will be Bishop James Swanson from the Mississippi Conference. 
As part of revamping the weekend, changes include making the event open to families and spouses, bringing in nationally renowned speakers and offering special rates. For more information about United Methodist Men in the Virginia Conference, please contact Andrew Kissell, president, at 757-839-0790 or More…

Lake Junaluska to offer marriage enrichment retreats
Beginning this fall, Lake Junaluska will offer three-day marriage enrichment retreats. The faith-based retreats will teach couples how to forge stronger relationships through meaningful conversation. Ned Martin, an expert in marriage counseling, will lead the retreats. Learn more at or call 800-222-4930.

TUMCU provides loan options for college students, seminary students
The United Methodist Credit Union (TUMCU) is offering SnapLoan, an educational line of credit available to help with the funding gap once scholarships, subsidized federal student loans and college savings accounts have been exhausted. Their program comes with exceptionally low rates for students attending any accredited college and even lower rates for students attending seminary or United Methodist affiliated schools. In just three years, TUMCU has provided students with over $1,000,000 in educational funding. SnapLoan is structured as a low fixed rate line of credit with no application deadlines and no FAFSA required. Visit or call 866-657-0004 for details.

African leaders support Traditional Plan
Speakers at a gathering of the Africa Initiative offered support for the Traditional Plan that will be under consideration at the special General Conference in 2019. They also called for African conferences of The United Methodist Church to move toward economic self-sufficiency. More…

Finding new life as Dinner Church
New Hope United Methodist Church in the Florida Conference took on a weekly meal for the homeless in a run-down church building and transformed it into a community Dinner Church, reaching out to families who might otherwise never cross a sanctuary threshold. More…

'Save as many souls as you can'
As United Methodists, all are called to witness and make disciples. “One of the mistakes people always make is to view evangelism as the pastor’s task alone,” writes the Rev. Jean Claude Masuka Maleka, a United Methodist missionary. More…

♦ Bishop's Convocation on Prayer - Sept. 15, 2018
Both laity and clergy are invited to attend the Bishop’s Convocation on Prayer on Saturday, September 15, 2018. The event will be held at Reveille UMC, 4200 Cary Street Road, Richmond, VA 23221. The registration cost is $10 and includes lunch. Deadline to register is September 8. Contact Marc Brown for questions at 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…

♦ 5 Talent Academy- Oct. 30, 2018 
Registration is now open for the 5 Talent Academy event “Influence: Worship 2018.” Event takes place on October 30, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will be hosted live from Floris UMC in Herndon and will be livestreamed to 12 locations. For more information visit or contact the Center for Congregational Excellence at 804-521-1100.

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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The Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church
10330 Staples Mill Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060
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