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News from the Virginia Conference - Jan. 11, 2017 

Monday, Jan. 16, is Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Monday, Jan. 16, is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. United Methodist Discipleship Ministries offers resources for celebrating the life of the famed civil rights leader and minister. Virginia Conference offices in the United Methodist Center in Glen Allen will be closed Jan. 16 in observance of the holiday. 

Bishop Lewis featured in UMNS year in photos 
A picture from Bishop Lewis’ consecration service at Lake Junaluska was featured in United Methodist News Service’s (UMNS) photo slideshow of 2016. The photo can be viewed at the 1:55 mark. More…

Faithful Aging Conference set for March
Faithful Aging will be the first statewide, faith-based conference on aging addressing opportunities related to an aging congregation and meeting the needs of older members. Presented by the Beard Center on Aging at Lynchburg College and Virginia United Methodist Homes, Inc. (VUMH), this conference developed following listening sessions across the Virginia Conference to hear directly from clergy and laity about the needs of older adults in their congregations and communities. The Virginia Conference Older Adult Council is a Gold Sponsor for the event. A .5 CEU has been approved for Virginia Conference clergy and certified professionals as well as five hours of credit toward recertification for Lay Servants. Details and registration information will be available later this month about the event. 

Ministers’ Convocation theme announced 
The Center for Clergy Excellence invites you for a time of Sabbath retreat, learning, and fellowship together as ministry leaders at Ministers’ Convocation from May 8-10, 2017. Come be engaged in theological and academic conversation while experiencing rejuvenation for ministry. The theme is “Making Space for Yourself and Others” with an emphasis on hospitality as a practice and spiritual discipline. More… 

10th Annual Convocation for Pastors of Black Churches gathers in Atlanta
Sixty-six representatives from Virginia, including clergy, clergy spouses, laity and the Cabinet, are currently attending the annual Convocation for Pastors of Black Churches in Atlanta, Ga. This three-day event ends at noon on Thursday, Jan. 12. There will be live streaming tonight for those not attending starting at 5 p.m. with Bishop Sharma Lewis hosting a dinner as she shares a bold vision for the Virginia Conference. Bishop Lewis is also preaching for the communion service tonight at 7 p.m. More… 

Pastor: 'In the midst of evil, there was peace'
The Rev. John Schlicher lay on the ground praying, thinking he and his family would die at the hands of a gunman who killed five people at the Fort Lauderdale airport.  More… 

GBHEM and Discipleship Ministries renew E-reader agreement
Executives from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) and Discipleship Ministries signed a renewal agreement for the E-Reader Project which will expand the initiative between the agencies in the new quadrennium. More… 

Register for upcoming Discipleship Ministries webinars 
Begin your year by gaining new skills! Discipleship Ministries’ online training sessions on a variety of topics are made possible by support given to the World Service Fund. More… 

Planning stewardship resolutions in the new year 
Stewardship consultant Cesie Delve Scheuermann suggests planning your calendar of stewardship activities for the year in this article published on Lewis Center for Church Leadership. But before you do any asking, she stresses that you need to be deliberate about thanking contributors and telling the story of how their giving is changing lives and making the world a better place. More… 

Getting in shape: Wesley’s health tips to apply today
In modern times, we have gear to help us stay in shape. Methodism’s founder John Wesley had his own unique options at his home. More… 

♦ 25th UMVIM Recertification, Arlington District- Jan. 21, 2017
The Conference Team Leader Recertification is required for all United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) team leaders who completed basic team leader training five years ago or longer. The focus of the training is to update leaders on the Virginia Conference UMVIM policies and guidelines, to share practices and to answer any questions you may have. Location will be at Galilee UMC, 45425 Winding Road, Sterling, VA 20165 from 4-6 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017. Register on the website. Cost for the event is $25. For more information, email Forrest White at

♦ 25th Annual United Methodist Day at General Assembly - Feb. 2, 2017
The Conference United Methodist Day is Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017. It is an avenue of faithful advocacy that helps participants look beyond mercy ministry and join together with elected officials to make a difference and exercise the Social Principles of the UMC. Final registration is Friday, Jan. 29; cost is $35. Registration questions may be directed to the Rev. Barbara Lewis at General questions may be directed to the Rev. Pat Shipley at or to the Rev. Randy Harlow at To register and for more information, follow this link:

♦ Lay Servant Academy- Mar. 31- Apr. 2, 2017
The Lay Servant Academy is about equipping laity to carry out the mission of the church of making disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. All courses are open to everyone. Each course is designed to help those serving the local church to learn more about leadership, personal faith development and a deeper understanding of the UMC. Many courses offered this year will support those seeking to become Certified Lay Servants and Lay Speakers. To register and for more information on the Academy, visit the website. Registration questions may be directed to Sandy Kelley at and other questions to Beth Christian at 

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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