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News from the Virginia Conference - August 24, 2017

Conference center closed for Labor Day   
The conference center in Glen Allen will close at 1 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 1 and remain closed on Monday, Sept. 4 in observance of Labor Day.

GBGM Missionary to Cambodia in Virginia in October
Ken Cruz, General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) missionary to Cambodia, will be in Virginia from Oct. 10-24. He is available to speak at churches especially if your church has an interest in missions in Cambodia or in ministries in community health and agriculture.
Cruz is in mission in Cambodia with the Community Health and Agriculture Development (CHAD) Program working as a Community Development Specialist. He has served as a GBGM missionary since October 2007. To request to host Cruz, contact Ann Klotz at Please include your full contact information, church name, location and district.  More…

September issue of Advocate highlights music in worship services
The September issue of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate interviews several music directors to learn how music is used to complement a worship service. 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; email; or go to

Newest 3-minute stir video shares about fixing things
The Rev. Dan Kim, Kenwood UMC, Richmond District, shares about fixing things in the newest 3 Minute Stir video. A discussion guide for the video is also available. The 3 Minute Stir, a concept created by Paulo Lopes, conference director of Next Generation Ministries, and Nick Ruxton, conference videographer, is a new VAUMC resource developing from Bishop Lewis’ charge to Virginia to “stir up the gifts” at her Welcoming Service in September. Each of these 3-minute videos is a reengagement with Scripture-based and relatable messages to be shared with small groups or youth groups.View all eight 3 Minute Stirs at More...

UMCOR accepting donations for Sierra Leone recovery efforts
The Rev. Nancy and Kip Robinson, former General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) missionaries to Sierra Leone from the Virginia Conference, report that the disastrous mudslides that have affected the country have impacted some members of the congregation of Charles Davies Memorial UMC, the church they attended during their three years there.  At least five of their members have been killed and several have had their homes and all their belongings washed away in the flooding and accompanying mudslides. Their driver, Christopher, was one whose home was demolished, leaving him homeless and without any possessions other than his clothes. 
The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has contributed funds to the Sierra Leone Annual Conference in order for the United Methodist Church to help alleviate suffering and address the massive recovery effort affecting Freetown and the rest of the country. Please prayerfully consider a donation to the UMCOR Advance #982450 International Disaster Response as a means for our connectional church to aid and assist those in circumstances almost too unreal to believe. More…

Pinnacle Living plans Cedarfield expansion
Pinnacle Living, a provider of retirement and senior living options in Virginia, plans a multimillion dollar expansion at its 90-acre Cedarfield campus in Richmond. The project will include a new fitness and wellness building, upgrades to dining spaces and existing facilities and additional parking. Renovation of the facility's Health Care Center will add 23 additional one- and two-bedroom assisting living apartments. Pinnacle Living is one of the largest life plan community (LPC) providers in Virginia. Its communities provide a variety of service options from independent and assisted living to memory support and higher levels of care. Formerly known as Virginia United Methodist Homes Inc., Pinnacle Living rebranded in June. "These new facilities will ensure that we are meeting the evolving needs of the seniors in Richmond now and in the future,” Chris Henderson, president and CEO of Pinnacle Living, said in a statement. Construction is underway for the dining enhancements at Cedarfield while plans for the additional parking and health services are being finalized. Pinnacle Living expects to break ground on the health and wellness center in the fall. More...

Native Americans share stories, songs at conference
Several generations, from small children to great-great grandparents, gathered at the Native American Summer Conference in North Carolina to share prayer, song, stories, fellowship and heritage.
The conference, sponsored by the Southeastern Jurisdiction Association for Native American Ministries, met July 28-30, and divided locations between Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center and Cherokee, North Carolina. The beautiful lake and mountain setting was the perfect spot for the conference’s invitation to “renew yourself.” More…

Sanctuary as more than shelter
United Methodist immigrant rights advocates say churches need a broader definition of sanctuary, one that includes sheltering those facing possible deportation, but isn’t limited to that. More…

Pastor turns town into mission field
United Methodists provide home repair and firewood for low-income families on the east side of Marion, Va. On the west side, there’s a United Methodist-affiliated clinic and school for health care providers. A single pastor, the Rev. Harry Howe, is the connecting force for all this work. More…

♦ Goodson Preaching Academy- Oct. 3, 2017
Registration is now open for “Stir up the gift: Fan into flame the gift of God,” a one-day preaching enrichment experience, Tuesday, Oct. 3 at Aldersgate UMC, Charlottesville, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Cost is $35 by Sept. 1 and $45 after Sept. 1. Course is worth 0.5 CEU. Dr. Teresa Fry Brown, guest presenter, will give two talks on effective sermon preparation and delivery and preach the closing worship service. Register via the conference website by going to Calendar and then to Oct. 3. For questions, email

♦ 5 Talent Academy- Oct. 19, 2017
Registration is now open for the 5 Talent Oct. 19 event, "How to Structure your Church for Evangelism" with Jacob Armstrong. Armstrong will lead the event in exploring key principles for evangelism in local church including crafting a vision that fits your mission field, rethinking worship and leadership development and structure. The event will be streamed to locations across the conference. Gather a team from your church to take part. Early bird pricing as well as team discounts are available. Visit link for more information and to register. 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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The Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church
10330 Staples Mill Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060
PO Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058-5606
(804) 521-1100
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