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News from the Virginia Conference - February 15, 2018

Application available for Connections 21 summer internship
Connections 21 (CX-21) is a 10-week full-time summer internship for college students interested in using their gifts/skills in a faith-centered work environment. This year two interns will be selected for the conference Communications office and Next Generation and Justice and Missional Excellence offices. Deadline to apply is March 4. More…

Update on Annual Conference 2018 hotels
Tim Craft, Annual Conference housing coordinator, shared that as of 4 p.m. Feb. 14 The Embassy Suites, The Country Inn & Suites and The Marriott Courtyard Hampton are full and are no longer accepting new reservations. The Hilton Garden Inn has one room remaining for Friday, June 15 and seven rooms remaining on Saturday, June 16. The rest of the hotels should still have rooms available at the discounted conference rate. More…

Information on 2018 ‘One Matters’ and Denman awards
Nominations for both the "One Matters" award and the Denman awards are due no later than March 23, 2018. Each year the Virginia Annual Conference lifts up one clergy, one adult laity and one youth as examples of extraordinary evangelism. The conference Board of Discipleship recognizes those who have shared the faith of Christ with the world around them and have found ways to bring others into relationship with God. This award is based on the work of Harry Denman, an evangelist who lived 1893-1976 and spent time with some of the great evangelist of his day. It is said that he shaped the evangelism of The United Methodist Church. Applications can be obtained through Board of Discipleship on the Virginia Conference website.
The “One Matters” award will be awarded for significant improvement of baptisms and professions of faith. The award, which includes $1,000 and a One Matters Discipleship Award plaque, will be presented to the pastor and lay leaders of a congregation which has done significant work to make its zeros from previous years become positive numbers. Criteria for the award is a church that has a history of zero baptism’s and zero professions of faith for a minimum of 3-5 years and has significant increases in these two areas in 2017. Nominations should include the historical record which can be verified through Year End Statistics for at least 4-6 years. Included in the application should be a short write-up of how the church has turned itself around. Applications should be sent to either Don Jamison, or Cindy Ingroff, A PDF of the application is available.

March Advocate features Historical Society mini feature
The Virginia United Methodist Historical Society had several stories featured in the March 2018 Virginia United Methodist Advocate in anticipation of hosting the Southeastern Jurisdictional Historical Society meeting in July 2018. Detailed information about this event is available by clicking here. View the feature here as well as additional stories. Subscribe to the magazine.

Bishop Lewis featured in UMC podcast
Bishop Sharma D. Lewis was featured in the UMC podcast “Get Your Spirit in Shape.” She talks about her deep roots in the church, her call to ministry and her love of shoes. More…

Virginia Wesleyan University (VWU) offers seminar with Tod Bolsinger
In this 2018 VWU Boyd Institute seminar, Tod Bolsinger, a dynamic speaker and professor of leadership with 30 years of church ministry, shares the insights and lessons on how leadership must change in a changing world. Taken from his award-winning book, Canoeing the Mountains: Christian Leadership in Uncharted Territory, Bolsinger offers both realism and hope, as well as tangible ways to lead differently when you go “off the map.” Registration ends March 9. More….

Maine mission trip opportunity
Every year Camp Mechuwana in Winthrop, Maine, hosts work groups from all over the country. These groups are made up of youth and adults who spend the week as missionaries working on projects that are set up by the camp’s missions staff. Camp staff works very hard with each group – whether experienced or first-timers – so they can have the life-changing experience they are looking for. The camp can accommodate groups of any size, including very large groups, as well as groups of middle-schoolers. Mechuwana provides meals on site and allow groups to use camp facilities such as the waterfront and athletic fields. Programs include: home repairs, nursing home ministries, construction, running VBS for local churches, working at food banks and much more. Groups work with the camp’s missions staff, who provide guidance on all projects. Camp Director is Norm Thombs. To learn more, call (207) 377-2924 or email Visit Camp Mechuwana’s website at and click the “Mission Page” tab for more information, photos and video.

UMCOR Sunday is March 11
In the wake of disaster, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is present among the devastation to provide relief and hope. All of us can make a difference in these times of need by participating in UMCOR Sunday (formerly One Great Hour of Sharing). Brand new resources are available to encourage generosity, from videos and bulletin inserts to social media graphics and posters. More…

Mentors Needed for All God's Children Camp
All God's Children Camp is just around the corner and they are in need of mentors this summer. Ninety total mentors will be needed, 30 for each camp, both male and female. Please consider giving a week of your time and mentor a camper whose mother or father is incarcerated. For more information, please contact Lori Smith at or 571-245-9591. More...

Bishops urge United Methodists to deny themselves for the sake of Gospel
The Bishops of The United Methodist Church are calling on members of the denomination to deny themselves during the 2018 Lenten Season for the sake of the kingdom of Jesus Christ and to set aside self-interest so that others may have a more abundant life. More…

Immigrant supported by church deported
A Mexican immigrant allowed to stay in the United States to care for his family was deported last week — despite the efforts of a United Methodist church and an immigration coalition. More…

Amish, Mennonites help with Harvey recovery
The Harvey Relief Volunteer Group for Cypress United Methodist Church has welcomed nearly 600 Amish and Mennonite volunteers from around the United States over the past five months. More…

♦ 2018 Lay Servant Academy- Mar. 2-4, 2018 
Registration for the 2018 Lay Servant Academy, Mar. 2-4, is open until Feb. 20. 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…

♦ Bishop's Convocation on Race and Reconciliation- Apr. 14, 2018 
Bishop Lewis has called a Convocation on Race and Reconciliation on Saturday, April 14, 2018 at Annandale UMC. Lunch will be served. The convocation will empower participants to become lifelong learning disciples who will be able to conduct the difficult conversations we all need to have related to issues of racial division, justice, and God’s call to ministries of reconciliation and peace. Keynote speaker will be Romal Tune. Register and learn more at the link.

♦ Ministers' Convocation- Apr. 23-25, 2018 
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.

♦ Faithful Aging Conference- Apr. 24, 2018 
Theme for the Faithful Aging Conference will be “Always a Place at the Table” on Tuesday, Apr. 24, 2018, at Williamsburg UMC in Williamsburg. At the event you can network with other faith communities, share ideas and talk about how to address opportunities and changes as society ages alongside local church congregations. Consider being an exhibitor or sponsor to share ministry and service providers on hand to share information and help others understand the different levels of services and resources available, as well as the needs and issues older adults face. More information to come later this month. Questions can be directed to

♦ 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



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