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News from the Virginia Conference - July 6, 2017

Conference offices to close at 1 p.m. on summer Fridays
Virginia Conference offices in the United Methodist Center in Glen Allen will close at 1 p.m. on Fridays between Annual Conference and Labor Day as they have done in the past. The summer schedule will conclude on Friday, Sept. 1.

Watch Annual Conference live stream archives
Live streaming of the 2017 Virginia Annual Conference is archived and can still be viewed by going to the LiveStream website, The live streaming shows most sessions of the three-day conference, beginning at 3 p.m. Friday, June 16, with the Laity Session and concluding with worship and fixing of appointments Sunday morning, June 18. The live stream at Annual Conference was affected by Internet issues, which were not encountered in the days leading up to conference. Adjustments were made once the problem surfaced and ultimately the convention center’s Internet connection and wireless had to be taken over for live streaming to continue. Live stream footage prior to noon on Saturday, June 17 had to be recovered and, in this process, the Laity Session on Friday, June 16 was not able to be recovered.

Commission on a Way Forward presentation available
The Rev. Tom Berlin addresses those attending the Virginia Conference banquet at General Conference.The Rev. Tom Berlin’s presentation from 2017 Annual Conference on the Commission on a Way Forward as well as his “sugar packet” presentation and his recommended reading are available on the conference website. View under heading “Commission on a Way Forward- Reports from Tom Berlin.” More…

Bethel UMC receives One Matters Award at AC 2017
Bethel UMC in Virginia Beach was the first recipient of the One Matters Discipleship Award presented at Annual Conference 2017. Bethel is a small church that has been declining financially and in members and had reached a point that they were afraid of closure. In July 2014, a new pastor was appointed. They revamped programs, invited children and they had a confirmation class. The progress has been slow in professions of faith, but that doesn't reflect the increase in membership. There to receive the award were Barbara J. St. Jean, pastor; Francis Dixon, church council chair; and Sarah Seeley, Bethel UMC member.

$134,000.00 collected for Annual Conference offering
To date, $134,000 has been received for this year's Annual Conference special offering, nearly $66,000 shy of the goal of $200,000. The offering was designated as follows: $50,000 Cambodia - For continued support for our partnership with the Methodist Mission in Cambodia as they move toward being an autonomous Methodist Church; $25,000 Brazil – For our continued long-term support of the Shade and Fresh Water ministry with at-risk children across several conferences in the Methodist Church of Brazil; $25,000 Mozambique – Our partnership with the United Methodist Church of Mozambique focuses on education by providing lay training resources that strengthens their discipleship and witness across both conferences in Mozambique; $50,000 Virginia Long-Term Disaster Recovery – We are committed to a long-term response to those whose lives were changed by tornadoes and Hurricane Matthew in 2016. The funding of the recovery will allow further teams to answer the call to make a compassionate response; $25,000 Ethnic Minority Missional Ministries – Funds for grants to go toward developing ministry outreach in the conference to immigrants and other marginalized groups; $25,000 Virginia Volunteers in Mission – To provide funds available to small membership faith communities who wish to engage in mission. Contributions may still be sent to the Conference Treasurer's office, P.O. Box 5605, Glen Allen, VA 23058. Designate “Annual Conference Offering” on your check or at the bottom of your apportionment statement. If the check is from a church, indicate the church GCFA number on the check. More...

Local church featured in Washington Post article
Grace UMC in Manassas was featured in a Washington Post article after the church opened a restored slave cabin on its property to the public. More…


Conference videographer shares favorite pictures from AC 2017
In his "Through the Lens" blog, conference videographer Nick Ruxton shares his favorite photos from AC 2017. More...


Wesley Pilgrimages offered in 2018
United Methodist clergy and laity will have an additional opportunity to join the Wesley Pilgrimage in England during 2018. For the first time, Discipleship Ministries will offer two pilgrimages in one year. More…

Teen leads revival for racial reconciliation
Ethan Oltremari, a United Methodist teen, wanted to do something about his Mississippi town’s racial divide. So he organized the Revival on the River, which brings together musical groups from both predominantly African-American and predominantly white churches. More…

Magazine profiles the Rev. Adam Hamilton
The Rev. Adam Hamilton is featured in The Atlantic magazine for having led the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection to tremendous growth while preaching on controversial issues to a congregation he estimates as 60 percent Republican, 40 percent Democrat. More…

2017 annual conference reports
The Poland Conference ordained a woman as a deacon, the first woman ordained in the conference since 1972. Other new reports this week are: California-Pacific, Desert Southwest, Greater New Jersey, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, North Georgia, Pacific Northwest and Rio Texas. More…

♦ Olde Time Revival- Jul. 9, 2017
Olde Time Revival, hosted by the Virginia Conference Older Adult Council, will feature dynamic preaching from Bishop Sharma D. Lewis and worship led by Michael Berkley, associate director of music at Woodlake UMC. The event will be hedl Sunday, Jul. 9 from 3 to 6 p.m. at Verona UMC in Verona. Pre-register or get more information by calling 540-248-7777. 

♦ Mission Encounter- Jul. 28-29, 2017
Mission Encounter is a cooperative event sponsored by the Virginia Conference Missional Ministries Board and the Virginia Conference United Methodist Women. This event offers a wonderful opportunity for your whole congregation to come alive to mission, by participating in an weekend mision education experience. There are classes for men, women, clergy and laity alike. This year from Jul. 28-29, the classes offered will be climate justice, living as a covenant community and the missionary conference of The UMC in the United States (Red Bird, Oklahoma and Alaska). Contact Gail Sutcliffe with questions at 703-490-3381. Event will be held at Bon Air UMC in Chesterfield. More... 

♦ 5 Talent Academy- Oct. 19, 2017
Registration is now open for the 5 Talent Oct. 19 event, "How to Structure your Church for Evangelism" with Jacob Armstrong. Armstrong will lead the event in exploring key principles for evangelism in local church including crafting a vision that fits your mission field, rethinking worship and leadership development and structure. The event will be streamed to locations across the conference. Gather a team from your church to take part. Early bird pricing as well as team discounts are available. Visit link for more information and to register. 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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