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News from the Virginia Conference - June 1, 2017

Annual Conference 2017 information available online
Have questions about Annual Conference? View information on the conference website to see the most up-to-date information. More… 

Registration open for October 5 Talent event
Registration is now open for the 5 Talent Oct. 19 event, "How to Structure your Church for Evangelism" with Jacob Armstrong. Jacob will lead the event in exploring key principles for evangelism in the 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 in this event! Early bird pricing as well as team discounts are available. Visit link for more information and to register. More... 

Moderators offering commentary to help United Methodists understand work of Commission on a Way Forward
The moderators of the Commission on a Way Forward are using a three-part commentary this summer in helping United Methodists throughout the world to understand work of the Commission. The commentary will deal with the mission, vision and scope of the Commission, which was named by the Council of Bishops after the 2016 General Conference to assist the bishops in discerning a way forward for The United Methodist Church regarding human sexuality and the resulting questions about the unity of the church. More…

AC 2017 discussion about Commission on the Way Forward, called General Conference
The Rev. Tom Berlin, a Virginia Conference elder who is serving on the Commission on a Way Forward, will provide a report on the work of the Commission on June 16, in Ballroom B of the Hampton Roads Convention Center from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. His report will include what to anticipate as we move toward the called General Conference in 2019. Tom will discuss why marriage and ordination of LGBTQ persons is such an important and challenging matter in the life of the UMC. He will provide ways for pastors and laity to begin to prepare for the General Conference in their churches. This will be an opportunity to ask questions and consider the work of the Commission.

Samaritan Offering 2017 from VUMH 
Seventy years ago at the 1947 Virginia Annual Conference, a report of the Board of Hospitals and Homes was adopted which requested a sacrificial offering of thanksgiving and expression of gratitude for the legacies of faith of the older adults in our lives and congregations. The Samaritan Offering was the first offering to support the mission and ministry of the Virginia Conference Home for the Aged. The Virginia Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church continues to dedicate a special offering time period for the Samaritan Program of Virginia United Methodist Homes, Inc. (VUMH). Over the years, the name and time frame of the special offering have changed, but the focus has remained the same: to ensure the personal security and peace of mind of the most vulnerable residents. VUMH does not receive funds through apportionments from local churches or from Virginia Conference grants. This opportunity from Mother’s Day through Father’s Day allows them to highlight their mission, the need for benevolent care and vibrant communities for older adults. The support of this special offering is crucial not only to inform the congregation of the opportunity to give, but also to help tell the story of conference ministries with older adults and their senior living communities. Bulletin inserts are available for each Sunday as well as other resources at the VUMH webpage.  

Connecting worldwide as indigenous peoples
When United Methodist native peoples of other countries joined the indigenous Sami people of Norway to share their stories at a meeting near the Arctic Circle this winter, the similarities of their experiences were no surprise. Now a newly formed United Methodist Global Working Group on Indigenous Peoples will make connections throughout the denomination. More… 

Hospitality, Methodist history offered in Puebla
This city holds an important place in the history of Methodism in Mexico. And students at Puebla’s Methodist college have, by all accounts, outdone themselves in offering hospitality to visitors from the International Association of Methodist-related Schools, Colleges and Universities. More… 

Was the wine at the wedding at Cana alcoholic?
During the temperance movement, there was an argument that somehow the wine in the Gospels — the Last Supper specifically, but probably also the wedding at Cana — was miraculously non-alcoholic. Is there evidence in the biblical text to support that argument? InfoServ, a ministry of United Methodist Communications, has the answer in the latest installment of Ask the UMC. More…

♦ United Methodist Men's Spiritual Advance- Jun. 9-11, 2017
Register now for United Methodist men's Spiritual Advance. For more information, contact Andrew Kissell, president, at or 757-839-0790. It will be held at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland. 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... 

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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