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News from the Virginia Conference - August 2, 2018

Rally in Washington D.C. promotes love, peace
On Aug. 12, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Washington, D.C., United Methodists, along with other faith leaders, activists, entertainers, politicians and organizations, will leave their pulpits and pews on a Sunday morning to unite to love, and to condemn all manifestations and acts of hate. “United to Love: A rally for Love, Peace, and Justice,” comes as a response to the anniversary of the “Unite the Right,” a white supremacist rally held last year in Charlottesville, Virginia on Aug. 12. This year, in Washington, D.C., Unite the Right leaders are expected to commemorate this event. Learn more at

Mission Opportunities Booklet, August Advocate now available
The Mission Opportunities booklet, which shares how you and your local church can support various ministries such as UMCOR, is now available. You can also download the front cover as a coloring page at The August Advocate, with a Mission Opportunities insert, is also now available. This issue recaps Annual Conference 2018 and shares local church stories from around the conference, including the new “Safe Zone” ministry at Worship and Praise in Richmond, Va. To subscribe to the Advocate, you can call 804-521-1100 or visit

Ways to help when fire strikes
When we hear of the devastation being caused by a wildfire, many United Methodists want to help those most affected by it and the firefighters working to serve their community. In an update about the 2018 wildfires burning in California, the California-Nevada Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church offered some helpful ideas. More…

Final report of Commission on a Way Forward released in four official languages
The final report of the Commission on a Way Forward has been released in all four official languages of the General Conference: English, French, Portuguese and Swahili.  The report will be presented to the 2019 Special Session of General Conference. Subject to final copy editing, the report will be printed in the Advance Daily Christian Advocate (ADCA) in November. More…

Bishop’s Convocation on Prayer set for September 15
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…

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.

Register now for 5 Talent Academy October event
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.

Pope Francis changes Catholic Church stance on death penalty
Pope Francis has changed Catholic Church teaching to fully reject the death penalty, the Vatican announced Aug. 2, saying it would work to abolish capital punishment worldwide. The change addresses several sentences of the catechism, the compendium of Catholic teaching, but it sharply amplifies the church’s opposition against one of the world’s most debated policies. More…

Plans prayerfully pondered by United Methodists
United Methodists are reading and considering three plans focused on moving the denomination past its decades-long struggle with issues around homosexuality. United Methodist News asked for reactions to the plans. More…

LGBTQ advocates conflicted on Way Forward
A number of United Methodists who support LGBTQ equality see real progress in the One Church Plan. Still other advocates see it as perpetuating discrimination and prefer what’s being called a Simple Plan. 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…

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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