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News from the Virginia Conference - July 12, 2018

Translated Way Forward report coming July 30
Expect to see the Commission on a Way Forward’s proposals in weeks — not months. The organizers of General Conference, the denomination’s top lawmaking assembly, announced that they expect the needed translation work to be completed by July 30. More…

UMFS welcomes visitors to campus
Come visit the United Methodist Family Services (UMFS) Richmond campus and learn more about UMFS. Their next tours are on Thursday, July 26, 1:30 to 3 p.m. and Tuesday, August 21, 5:30 to 7 p.m. The tours help bring the UMFS ministries to life while you walk around the campus. You also get to learn a bit of fun history, since they continue to operate today on the land where they were founded in 1900 as the Virginia Conference Orphanage of the Methodist Church. The UMFS Richmond campus is located at 3900 W. Broad St. All are welcome. Please RSVP to Jill Gaynor at or 804-254-9463. Custom tours can also be arranged.

Free film event in Hopewell, Va. on July 22, 2018
Come and see the film recounting the real-life story of Bart Millard, lead singer of the band MercyMe, and songwriter behind the hit “I Can Only Imagine” on Sunday, July 22 at 2 p.m. See the journey Millard and his father took to combat addiction, seek forgiveness and experience grace.  This event is sponsored by Wesley UMC in Hopewell and Beacon Hill Church. The film is free but tickets are required for admission and can be picked up at the box office at the Beacon Theater, 401 North Main Street, Hopewell, VA 23860. Contact the Rev. Jacob Sahms at  for more information.

How can churches use Snapchat?
Learn more about the kind of impact that Snapchat can have on any youth group or small group or pastoral care relationship in this article shared by United Methodist Communications. More…

Olde Time Revival to be held at Williamsburg UMC on July 15
An Olde Time Revival, hosted by the Virginia Conference Older Adult Council, will feature dynamic preaching from Bishop Peter Weaver and worship led by Michael Berkley, associate director of music at Woodlake UMC. The event will be held Sunday, July 15 from 2:30 to 5 p.m. at Williamsburg UMC in Williamsburg. For more information email Carol Bookwalter at

Resources available for local church reports about AC 2018
For members making reports to their local churches about Annual Conference 2018, a summary of the events is available. As well the conference Vimeo page provides access to the “Glory Sightings” videos shown throughout the weekend. The Rev. Tom Berlin’s presentation from Friday morning about the Commission on a Way Forward is available on Vimeo as well. Visit the conference Flickr page to view photos from the weekend. You are free to use these pictures, but remember to give photo credit. You can also go back and look at all sessions from Annual Conference 2018 on the livestream site.

July Advocate magazine available now
The July Advocate wants you to ‘Meet your Conference Center.' In this issue you can learn about the offices in the conference center and how they resource the local churches of the conference. This issue also features the appointments made at Annual Conference 2018. To subscribe to the Advocate—print, digital or both—call (804) 521-1110 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110; email; or go to 

Zimbabwe United Methodists weigh in on Social Principles
Hearing the global voices of The United Methodist Church is essential as the denomination’s Social Principles undergo the first revision in 50 years. Staff from the United Methodist Board of Church and Society traveled to Africa for a listening session with lay and clergy of the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area. More…

Megachurch weighs leaving denomination
The largest predominantly African-American United Methodist church is spending July in discussion, fasting and prayer over whether to leave the denomination. Windsor Village United Methodist, at 18,000 members, one of the denomination's very largest churches regardless of racial makeup, cites "turmoil" in The United Methodist Church as a main concern. More…

Bishops amend what's heading to GC2019
The Council of Bishops has amended its call for the 2019 special General Conference so that legislation comes from the Commission on a Way Forward — not the bishops. More…


♦ SEJ Historical Society Annual Meeting - July 17-20, 2018 
The Virginia Conference Historical Society (VCHS) will host this year’s Southeastern Jurisdiction Historical Society of The United Methodist Church (SEJHS) Annual Meeting, whose theme is Religious Liberty in the Historic Advance of Virginia Methodism. Everyone is invited to the event held from July 17-20 in Williamsburg, Va. Those who participate in all lectures and tours of the Annual Meeting are entitled to receive one (1) Continuing Education Unit (CEU). The event will include guided tours of Williamsburg churches and Historic Jamestowne, and lecturers delivering the stories of Virginia Methodism - Origins of the Old Brunswick Circuit, Chesapeake Methodism, African Americans and Religious Liberty in Virginia Methodism and The Evangelical United Brethren Church in the Valley of Virginia.  Keynote speaker, David L. Holmes, Walter G. Mason Professor of Religious Studies, Emeritus, College of William and Mary, will discuss Religious Freedom in the Colonial Era. Attendees will also enjoy a banquet celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1968 Uniting Conference. The three-day event costs $85, with tours and dinner meals included. Registration ends July 10. Group rates are arranged with several local hotels, but cut-off dates are in May or June, so register soon! A brochure, registration and further information are available at the link. More...

♦ Embrace: Clergywomen's 2018 Retreat - Sept. 25-26, 2018
Embrace 2018 is the first gathering of the Virginia clergywomen in 30 years! Join for two days of worship, study and community. Engage in hands-on missions, show off your skills in a Talent/No Talent Show and participate in panel discussions on change and growth within your own ministry context. But most importantly, connect with other clergywomen and claim a renewed sense of call. Be inspired. Be nourished. Be embraced. Event will be held September 25-26, 2018 at the Virginia Crossings Conference Center in Glen Allen. Click link for more information about schedule, grant money, registration and more. More…

♦ 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 at



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