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News from the Virginia Conference - January 22, 2019

New district superintendents announced
Bishop Sharma D. Lewis is pleased to announce three new District Superintendent appointments effective July 1, 2019. Please join Bishop Lewis in giving thanks for these servants and pray for all involved in these transitions. More…

Open event about storytelling available in Richmond in March
There will be a Wednesday evening feature “Storytelling for Fun” at the Goodson Academy for Preaching, which will be held from Mar. 27-28. This feature is open to the public featuring Donald Davis on Mar. 27 at 7 p.m. at Trinity UMC located at 903 Forest Avenue, Henrico, Va. 23229. The event will be held in the sanctuary. Learn more about Davis at

Job opportunity: Foundation seeks president
The Virginia United Methodist Foundation (VUMF), Glen Allen, Va., is seeking a President. The Foundation provides stewardship education and manages assets for local churches, districts and agencies of the Virginia United Methodist Conference. VUMF seeks a proven nonprofit leader with at least five years of progressive leadership experience and a passion for the Foundation’s mission. The selected candidate will be a visionary with strong strategic planning experience and skills. For details, visit the Virginia Conference website at and scroll down to “Other.”

Bishop Lewis appeals conference for disaster recovery in Danville
Bishop Lewis shared an appeal for aid to the city of Danville following historic flooding in the city in from September 2018 to October 2018. Contributions can be sent to the conference Treasurer’s office with the reference “Conference Disaster Response Fund #5037.” More…

February is Heart Havens month
Heart Havens is a Virginia Conference Advance Special mission that provides residential support to adults with a developmental disability, but it’s so much more than just providing a house. Heart Havens empowers people to discover what it is they love and then pursue it. No matter what the goal is, Heart Havens is all about helping the people they support find a way to make their dreams a reality. More…

Submit nominations for Annual Conference 2019 awards
Is anyone (clergy, laity or youth) in your congregation someone who goes above and beyond when it comes to discipleship? The Board of Discipleship each year recognizes one person in each category who displays discipleship in their lives for the Harry Denman Award for Discipleship. Go to: to get an application and send it to Becky Tate, or send to the conference office (P.O. Box 5606 Glen Allen, VA 23058)  c/o Becky Tate. Applications are due no later than Mar. 1, 2019

Are you a church that has experienced significant turnaround in professions of faith and/or baptisms? You may be eligible for the One Matters Award. Churches are chosen by a process that looks at the past three years and the most current last year for significant changes in Professions of Faith.  The church that is chosen will receive a One Matters plaque and $1,000 to continue their ministries of intentional discipleship. Their story of transformation will be shared during the annual conference session, and their story will be shared across the connection through Discipleship Ministries website and other publications. Applications are due no later than Mar. 1,2019. Applications may be obtained at and by clicking in the left column for “One Matters Award application” under the “Board of Discipleship” heading. Applications should be sent to Don Jamison, or Becky Tate, or to the conference center (P.O. Box 5606 Glen Allen, VA 23058) (P.O. Box 5606 Glen Allen, VA 23058) c/o Becky Tate. 

Information available about nomination of clergy delegates for 2020
Information regarding the nomination of clergy delegates for the 2020 General Conference and 2020 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference is available at The deadline for clergy nominations is Mar. 1, 2019.

Opportunities available for ERT training
Galilee UMC is hosting an ERT (Early Response Team) Basic Certification Class. Tom and Linda Cooper will lead the training. This class is intended for those individuals seeking to become new ERT team members.  Training will be held on Saturday, Feb. 2 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The church’s address is 45425 Winding Road Sterling, VA 20165. Cost of training is $35 and checks should be made out to "Galilee UMC" and can be brought on the day of training. More…
Galilee UMC is hosting an ERT (Early Response Team) Recertification with Tom and Linda Cooper leading the training on Sunday, Feb. 3 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. This course is for ERT team members have previously held an ERT Certification and need to renew.  Please note that this class is NOT for individuals seeking to become new ERT team members. The address for the church is 45425 Winding Road Sterling, VA 20165. Cost of training is $35 and checks should be made out to "Galilee UMC" and can be brought on the day of training. More…

Marriage Enrichment Retreats at Lake Junaluska
We are created for a lifetime of love and intimacy, but relationships can be hard, even for the happiest couples. Distance, frustration and disconnection can enter through any number of life's events. Come to a Christian-based marriage retreat at Lake Junaluska to better understand your partner and learn to cultivate a warmer, more joyful and loving relationship. You will learn things such as: 
•    How to stop rigid negative patterns in communication that lead to frustration and disconnection.
•    How to be more accessible, responsive and engaged in your relationship.
•    How to better understand your partner and help them to understand you.
Pastoral participants earn 1.5 CEUs for participation in this program. This retreat is perfect for pastors who regularly do marriage counseling, or anyone who wants to strengthen the bond in their marriage. The cost of the program for two people is $250 and two nights lodging for two people and five meals is $319. Dates for the program are Mar. 10-12, 2019; Aug. 18-20, 2019; or Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2019. More...

Learn more about Convergence summer program for high school students
Convergence: Where Faith and Science Meet is a nine-day program (June 22-30, 2019) that allows current 9th, 10th, and 11th grade students to come to Randolph-Macon’s campus in Ashland, Va., and learn about the intersection of science and Christian faith. They will dive deeper into their religious beliefs, deeper into the study of science, and will meet other high school students and Randolph-Macon College student leaders with those same interests. There will be time in the classroom and outdoor experiences throughout the region. The cost to participate is only $250. Upon high school graduation, if a Convergence participant chooses to attend Randolph-Macon, they will receive a $1,000 annual scholarship for each year they participated in Convergence.  If you would like to nominate a participant, you can fill out the nomination form, and the Convergence staff will contact your nominee with further information. The application form for participants is available. Please contact the Rev. Kendra Grimes or Laura Ruxton  at with any questions about the program. More...

Learn more about Shenandoah University’s summer institute for high school students
Shenandoah University Youth Theology Institute (SUYTI) is a 14-day institute (July 14-27, 2019) where high school students explore the exciting intersection of faith and justice. Upon completion of the institute, and a self-identified justice project in their local context, students receive three credits from Shenandoah University. At SUYTI students spend one week at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Va. and one week at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. Each day includes worship, class time with world class professors, compelling afternoon immersive experiences and mentoring from undergraduate and seminary students. The cost for students in 2019 is only $200. SUYTI is open to current 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th grade students. If you would like to nominate a student, you can fill out a nomination form. You can find the 2019 student application and more information on the website at  For more information, please contact the Rev. Colleen Hallagan Preuninger ( 540-665-5453.

Furloughed government workers turn to the church
Churches across the country report they are setting aside money or storing up food — sometimes both — to help victims of the partial federal government shutdown. Faith leaders gathered at the United Methodist Building in Washington, D.C. to call for an end to "this senseless government shutdown." More…

Nonprofit turns coffee into employment
In a small basement office, a new nonprofit is hoping coffee can address a societal problem: employment after incarceration. Red River Roasters is dreaming big and starting small: three flavors, three blends, one grinder and one heat sealer. The endeavor was founded by Redemption Church, a ministry of Oklahoma's Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministries. More…

Simple Plan supporters talk strategy
Supporters of the Simple Plan acknowledge the legislation faces long odds at the special General Conference next month. Backers recently held a strategy session on promoting a plan that strikes out all church restrictions related to homosexuality. More…

Dunnam: Modified Traditional Plan aims for accountability 
The Rev. Maxie Dunnam, president emeritus of Asbury Theological Seminary in Wilmore, Kentucky, submitted the Modified Traditional Plan to be considered by the 2019 special General Conference. Dunnam spoke with UM News as part of Seeing a Way Forward, a video series featuring different perspectives of church leaders on the work of the Commission on a Way Forward. More…

♦ Clergy Spouses Retreat- Mar. 8-9, 2019
Are you anticipating some kind of major transition in 2019? Maybe a new appointment or the results of February's denominational vote? This session is designed exclusively for you – the clergy spouse! Retreat on Mar. 8-9, 2019 will include small group discussions and time to connect with other clergy spouses. Theme is "Healthy Transitions for Clergy Spouses" by Julie Anderman of Artos Retreats. Anderman, a clergy spouse in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference for 20 years, co-founded Artos Retreats two years ago out of a calling to improve the well-being of clergy spouses through connection and learning. Before starting Artos, Anderman provided independent instructional design and communications consulting for over 20 years. She has facilitated small group learning in both corporate and church environments for 25 years. Location will be Blessings Lodge at Camp Overlook, near Harrisonburg. Cost is $100 with accommodations and meals. Registration is available. Contact Judy Hall at 804-264-0524 with any questions. More…

♦ Goodson Academy of Preaching - Mar. 27, 2019
The Goodson Academy of Preaching urges you to save Mar. 27-28 for “Preaching as storytelling.” Guest presenter will be Donald Davis, a retired United Methodist elder and well-known as one of the nation's leading storytellers. The event will be held at Trinity UMC in Henrico. Online registration is open. For more information, email More…

♦ 2019 Faithful Aging Conference- Apr. 2, 2019
The third Faithful Aging Conference, presented by the University of Lynchburg Beard Center on Aging and Pinnacle Living, will be held Tuesday, Apr. 2, 2019. Persons of all faith traditions are invited to come learn, network and share best ministry practices as opportunities related to aging congregations and meeting the needs of older adults, inside and outside the walls of our faith communities are addressed. Melissa Andrews, chief executive office of LeadingAge Virginia, will offer the keynote address on the theme of Aging Abundantly. Workshop offerings will include:
    -    Effective communication across the stages of dementia
    -    Things everyone needs to know when making hospital and end-of-life visits
    -    Health equity and the needs of older adults
    -    Using music to deepen spirituality
    -    Scams and financial exploitation
    -    Practical ways to enhance ministries with people with dementia
    -    Dealing with loss and grief
The conference will be held at Culpeper Baptist Church, Culpeper, VA. Conference details and registration information will be available later in January 2019. Opportunities are still available for sponsors and exhibitors. For general information, contact Martha Stokes at  or 804-474-8718. More...

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The Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church
10330 Staples Mill Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060
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