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News from the Virginia Conference - January 25, 2018

Bill recognizing six Virginia Indian Tribes on track for federal recognition
U.S. Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner secured the final passage of the Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2017 on Jan. 11, 2018. Once signed by the President, the legislation will grant federal recognition of the following six Virginia tribes: the Chickahominy, the Eastern Chickahominy, the Upper Mattaponi, the Rappahannock, the Monacan and the Nansemond. More…

Job openings in Virginia United Methodist Foundation
There is an immediate opening for two positions with the Foundation office located at the Virginia United Methodist Center in Glen Allen. Positions include Administrative Assistant to the President and Client Services Relationship Manager. To apply for either position, please send resume and cover letter in PDF form to For details, visit the Virginia Conference website at

ERT basic classes available
Two basic Emergency Response Team (ERT) classes are scheduled at Christ Church in Fairfax Station for Feb. 17 and Feb. 24. Classes will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. with registration at 8 a.m. Cost is $55 and includes the manual, background check, T-shirt and badge. Lunch and snacks will be provided. Contact Jeff Kimmel at to register.

UMVIM Team Leader Training available
Required for first time United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) team leaders, but all interested persons are welcome to attend whether leading a team or not. Invite your friends! Must have eight participants to offer this training. There is a no longer a registration fee, though participants are encouraged to make an offering to the host church to cover the cost of lunch. Doors open 30 minutes prior to training. Continuing Education Units (0.5 units) will be provided for those needing CEU certification. Pre-registration is required. Register by sending an email to Cindy Ingroff in the conference office ( with the following: name, email address, primary phone number, church, district, dietary restrictions (if any) and CEU (yes or no). Registration deadline is noon on the Monday before the training event. Crums UMC in Berryville, Va. will host a training on Feb. 3 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Burke UMC in Burke, Va. will also host a training on Feb. 10 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

VIM Trip to the Holy Land planned for November
A Volunteers In Mission (VIM) trip to Israel and Palestine will be taking place Nov. 5 - 17, 2018. This experience is sponsored by the Virginia Conference Board of Church and Society and will be led by certified VIM team leaders, the Rev. John Copenhaver and the Rev. Steve Jones. This trip will focus on learning and service with Palestinian Christians and will include visits to religious sites in Jerusalem, Nazareth, Bethlehem and Hebron. There will also be opportunities to learn more about the lives of all people in Israel and Palestine. An informational meeting about this trip will take place on Sunday, Apr. 8, 2018 at 3 p.m. at the conference center in Glen Allen. Interested persons should contact either leader; an itinerary and inclusive cost are available. The Board of Church and Society will be providing possible scholarship funds for young adults. Please contact John Copenhaver at or Steve Jones at to learn more.

Bishops, agency response to #MeToo movement
As allegations of sexual misconduct rock the United States from the sets of Hollywood to the halls of Washington, United Methodist leaders acknowledge that the church also has seen such abuses of power. In a joint statement released Jan. 23, the Council of Bishops and the Commission on the Status and Role of Women “strongly encourage and support the reporting of sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment allegations within the church.” More…

Book explores sustainable mission
A new book aims to help United Methodists cultivate mission that moves beyond “us and them” to “all of us together.” From Relief to Empowerment: How Your Church Can Cultivate Sustainable Mission by Laceye and Gaston Warner examines ZOE, a Christian nonprofit and United Methodist Global Ministries’ Advance project. Proceeds of book sales will go to ZOE. More...

Commentary:Taking issue with Wendell Berry
The Rev. Allen T. Stanton has written an essay titled “Why I Hate Wendell Berry.” Stanton, pastor at Merritt’s Chapel United Methodist Church, admires much about the poems, essays and novels of Berry, which are often quoted in sermons. But he thinks Berry’s work can lead others, especially those from the city, to a dangerous idealizing of rural life. Stanton wrote about Berry for Faith & Leadership, a Duke Divinity School website. More…

♦ 2018 Lay Servant Academy- Mar. 2-4, 2018 
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…

♦ 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

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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The Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church
10330 Staples Mill Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060
PO Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058-5606
(804) 521-1100
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