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News from the Virginia Conference - December 7, 2017

Ministers’ Convocation 2018 dates announced
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: 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.

2018 Lay Servant Academy registration now open
Registration for the 2018 Lay Servant Academy, Mar. 2-4, is now open. Event will take place at the 4H Educational Conference Center in Wirtz. The Lay Servant Academy is about equipping laity (those who are not clergy) to carry out the mission of the church. All of the courses are open to anyone who would like to take one. Each course is designed to help those serving the local church learn more about leadership, personal faith development and a deeper understanding of The United Methodist Church. The courses are also designed to support those seeking to become Certified Lay Servants and Certified Lay Speakers. More…

December Advocate shares ministry of licensed local pastors
The December issue of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate shares the varied ministries of licensed local pastors in the Virginia Conference. From highs and lows, the feature will share the unique ministry of these pastors and their call stories. To subscribe to the Advocate—print, digital or both—call (804) 521-1110 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110; email; or go to

Calling21 program applications now open
Are you feeling a call to ministry? Are you curious about how ministry looks from a lay or clergy perspective? Calling21 is a program that allows individuals a chance to intern in a church community for the summer. Applications opened on December 1. More...

Seminary course to be offered at Floris UMC in Herndon
A new course on “Ethical Dilemmas in Everyday Life” will be offered by Wesley Theological Seminary at Floris UMC, Herndon, on Monday evenings beginning in January. Designed especially for Christians who are interested in going deeper in study and discipleship through a first master’s-level theology course, the course is designed to bring questions of faith, ethics, morality, discipleship and Christian practice to life in light of Scripture, Christian tradition, reason and experience. The course will be taught by Christian ethicist Dr. Sondra Wheeler on Monday evenings, 7 to 9 p.m., Jan. 22 – Apr. 30, 2018. Session titles include: “Is it Ever OK to Lie?”,  “Until We Are Parted by Death?” and “Should Every Law be Followed?”.  Registration is open through Jan. 3, 2018. Find out more about how to try a course here, or register directly as a non-degree student for the single course using this form. The course listing is ES-249, Ethical Dilemmas in Everyday Life, for two master’s credits. Tuition is $624/credit hour. The course is not available for audit or continuing education units.For more information, contact Admissions at or call 202-885-8659.

Start your Doctor of Ministry at Wesley
Take your ministry to the next level with a D.Min. from Wesley. Applications are still being accepted for the following specializations: “Soul Care for Pastors, Chaplains and Clinicians” and “Arts and Theology”. For more information, contact Doctor of Ministry Program Director Dr. Lew Parks at Spend the day with Wesley and learn more about the Doctor of Ministry program on Jan. 8, 2018, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. To register, go to Contact Admissions for questions and information at or call 202-885-8659.

Migrant churches provide piece of home
Even as new immigrants from the Middle East and Africa struggle to find a place in German society, many from Ghana and Vietnam have been in Germany for decades. Those who are United Methodist worship mostly in their own language at their own churches. More…

Serving God and others: Honoring United Methodist vows 
Founder John Wesley called the early Methodists to live out their faith by “doing good of every possible sort, and, as far as possible, to all [people].”  That call to service is one of the reasons 78-year-old Ridge Pilcher joined The United Methodist Church six years ago. More…

Mission Movers commissioned to transform Jersey City
Six United Methodist communities came together to celebrate their commissioning: a sending forth into the mission field of their own municipality. Identifying homelessness as an area where they can make a difference, the communities — who have dubbed themselves the Mission Movers — are committed to creating a more equitable Jersey City. More…

♦ United Methodist Day at General Assembly- Feb. 1, 2018
Ever wanted to know how to create real change in our state government? Or wanted to know more about real issues facing our legislature? United Methodist Day at the General Assembly is the place for you! This is our opportunity to help faith communities become empowered to serve as missionaries of justice, as well as the more traditional missionaries of mercy. This yearly event will be held Thursday, Feb. 1 from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Due to construction at capitol square this year and the relocation of the General Assembly Building, space will be more LIMITED this year. Registration for event is now open. A briefing will be held Wednesday, Jan. 31 at Bon Air UMC in North Chesterfield at 7:30 p.m. Questions may be directed to the Rev. Barbara Lewis at or (434) 594-6241. Find more information 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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The Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church
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