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News from the Virginia Conference - July 13, 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.

Camp Rainbow video produced
Conference intern Alex Carney produced a short video about Camp Rainbow, a week long respite camp held twice in the summer for individuals with intellectual disabilities. More…

Bishop Lewis AC 2017 sermons available for local church use
Bishop Sharma D. Lewis’ Episcopal Address and Closing Sermon entitled “Can you see it?” are available for local church use on the conference website.

Wesley Theological Seminary application deadline is July 15 for Fall 2017
There is still time to apply for admission to Wesley for the 2017-2018 school year. The application deadline for Master’s degree programs is July 15.  Students wishing to take classes online or on campus as non-degree seekers can apply up to August 15.
Now available online are New Testament, Early Church History and UMC History courses. Wesley’s Center for Public Theology will launch a new elective course entitled, “Church, Politics and Race in the Age of Trump” (ES-209) taught by the Rev. Kristopher Norris. This is a two-hour class taught at the Wesley downtown location from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursdays from October 5 to November 16. The course meets one of the elective requirements for the Certificate in Faith and Public Life. Students interested in applying for Master’s degree programs or as non-degree seekers may find more information at or by contacting Admissions at 202-885-8659 or

Clergy stand up to Charlottesville KKK rally
Over 1,000 counter-demonstrators gathered in Charlottesville, Va., in response to a July 8 rally of approximately 30 to 40 Ku Klux Klan members. The Charlottesville Clergy Collective was among the leaders of the anti-racism organizations involved in the response. Its 30 members — including five United Methodist clergy from three congregations — hosted a "Safe Space" at First United Methodist Church, blocks from the rally site. That space was used by more than 600 people. Non-violence training, prayer, water and music were offered. More…

Save 10 percent on 2018 United Methodist program calendars
Through July 31, take advantage of savings on 2018 program calendars. Wall calendars, desk blotters, pocket calendars and classic book style versions are also available. More….

Music festival helps meet community needs
The fifth annual MusicFest of Praise, hosted by Christ United Methodist Church in New Jersey, raises awareness and gathers donations for local food pantries. Those attending brought donations of food and many local businesses chipped in with sponsorships and donations. More…

How do we love our enemies?
Many Christians struggle with this question. Followers of Christ are called to love our enemies, but agape love is hard. InfoServ, a ministry of United Methodist Communications, looks to Scripture and the writings of John Wesley for guidance in the latest installment of Ask the UMC. More…

Making discipleship a 'contact sport'
To follow Christ, get off the sidelines and onto the field. Some 600 United Methodist Men heard variations of this call and put it into action throughout the group's 12th National Gathering. More…


♦ 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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The Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church
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