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News from the Virginia Conference - July 27, 2017

Pastor takes church on the water
The Rev. Gary Heaton, pastor of Greene Memorial UMC, Roanoke District, holds a weekly devotion that in the summer he moves onto the water. Learn more about how Heaton encourages his church to get outside their walls and to worship within nature. More…

August Advocate recaps AC 2017   
Couldn’t attend Annual Conference this year or want to relive the powerful preaching? The August Advocate issue recaps the highlights of the three-day conference. For more information about subscribing, contact Pam Culler in the conference Communications office at 1-800-768-6040 or (804) 521-1100, ext. 110, or email More…

Rev. Tom Berlin shares “Vine and Branches” video
The United Methodist Commission on a Way Forward released the Rev. Tom Berlin’s “Vine and Branches” video in which Berlin shares some of what the commission is working on in regards to the church’s unity. Berlin is pastor at Floris UMC in Herndon and member of the 32-member commission tasked by the Council of Bishops to do a complete examination and possible revision to every paragraph of The Book of Discipline concerning human sexuality. More…

Bishop Lewis shares more of her vision in 3-Minute Stir video
Bishop Sharma D. Lewis joined the 3-Minute Stir crew to talk about her vision for the conference. 3-Minute Stir, a concept created by Paulo Lopes, conference director of next Generation Ministries, and Nick Ruxton, conference videographer, is a new VAUMC resource developing from Bishop Lewis’ charge to Virginia to “stir up the gifts” at her Welcoming Service in September. Each of these three-minute videos is a reengagement with Scripture-based and relatable messages to be shared with small groups or youth groups. More…

Sign up Wesley Theological Seminary classes
There’s still time to study this fall at Wesley Theological Seminary! “Luther at 500,” “Church, Politics, and Race in a Polarized Society” and “Women in Early and Medieval Christianity” are but a few of the exciting and challenging courses you can take this fall at Wesley. Evening and online courses are available to fit your studies into your busy life and are available to non-degree students. Apply by August 15. More…

Commission on a Way Forward shares status report
A status report from the Commission on a Way Forward, with PDF and video links that can be shared through social media, in meetings, worship services and Bible studies is available. The report includes substantive resources about a Way Forward, about its core values and faith statements, and includes a video that draws on the imagery of Jesus' teaching on the vine and the branches in John 15. More…

Worship and Music Director sought for 2020 General Conference
The Commission on the General Conference is seeking a worship and music director responsible for the overall worship and music program management of The United Methodist Church’s 2020 General Conference. The denomination’s top legislative body meets May 5-15, 2020, in Minneapolis. Applicants must be a member of The United Methodist Church, and should send a brief resume outlining their background and professional references, along with a link to a five-minute audition video (posted to YouTube) using video clips that demonstrate the applicant’s presence during performance. Only YouTube videos will be accepted, and the selection team will only view the first five minutes of the video, regardless of the length submitted. Application materials should be sent via email to The deadline is August 22, 2017. All submissions will be used and distributed for the purpose of the Commission on the General Conference’s review process. Interviews for finalists will be held October 5, 2017. More…

Bikes boost church growth in Sierra Leone
Since the Bikes & Bibles program began three years ago in Sierra Leone, churches have been planted in communities that previously were Muslim or practiced traditional African religions. More…

Church wants to share new choral anthem
The Church of the Village, a United Methodist congregation in New York, commissioned a choral anthem for Pentecost and the season following. Now, the church is hoping to share the anthem, “O Great Spirit” by Nehemiah Luckett, its worship associate, with others. To get sheet music for the hymn, contact Luckett at 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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