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News from the Virginia Conference - June 22, 2017

Participate in AC 2017 survey
Please complete the 2017 annual conference survey by June 30 for a report to the Annual Conference Planning Committee at its evaluation meeting.  Your feedback will assist with plans for the 2018 annual conference. More…

Communications office selling DVDs of Annual Conference
The conference Communications office is selling DVDs of the 2017 Annual Conference session.
Volume 1 will include the Friday evening memorial service with sermon by the Rev. Tom Joyce and the Bible Study from Bishop Debra Wallace-Padgett on Saturday and Sunday morning.
Volume 2 will include the Saturday evening ordination service with a sermon from Bishop James E. Swanson Sr. and a short overview video of the 2017 Annual Conference (suitable for use in making a local church report on Annual Conference).
The Bishop’s DVD will include Bishop Sharma D. Lewis’ Friday Episcopal Address as well as her sermon on Sunday morning.
Cost is $20 for Volume 1, $20 for Volume 2 and $15 for the Bishop’s DVD. Cost for all three volumes is $50. Deadline to order is June 26. The overview video is now available to view on the conference Facebook page or YouTube channel, free of charge. DVDs may be ordered online at or by calling Pam Culler in the Communications office at (804) 521-1110 or  1-800-768-6040, ext. 110. DVDs will be mailed out next week. More…

Commission on a Way Forward presentation available
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…

Shenandoah University and Wesley Theological Seminary partner for fast track program
Shenandoah University and Wesley Theological Seminary agreed to a fast-track 3 + 3 program to benefit students and the denomination after years of hashing out the details on Saturday, June 17 at the Virginia Annual Conference. This agreement will allow Shenandoah University undergraduate students to forgo their senior year and take classes at Wesley Theological Seminary instead. The credits will then transfer back to Shenandoah as electives. The program will begin in Fall 2018. More...

VUMH transitions to new name, Pinnacle Living
Effective June 19, Virginia United Methodist Homes, Inc. (VUMH), changed its name to “Pinnacle Living,” reflecting its long-standing commitment to better serve its senior living residents. Founded in 1948 by leaders of the Virginia Methodist Church, the organization has grown from a single community to seven communities across Virginia. Pinnacle Living is home to more than 1,240 residents in Richmond, Williamsburg, Roanoke, Norfolk, the Eastern Shore and Northern Virginia. It employs more than 1,000 team members.
“We realized our former name simply did not reflect who we are today,” explained Christopher P. Henderson, president and CEO. “Today’s seniors are more active and engaged. The people we serve want the very best out of life. For the last several years, we have been working to create a culture where age does not define a person. Our new name better represents our focus to provide the very best in partnership with our residents, their families and our team.” More…

Professional Association of Church Secretaries Membership Approves Name Change
The Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries (PAUMCS) 35th annual conference was hosted by the Northern Illinois Annual Conference PAUMCS Chapter in Chicago, Illinois May 3-6, 2017.  At the meeting, the association membership voted to change the name of and adopt a new logo for the organization.  Beginning immediately, the organization is known as the Professional Administrators of the United Methodist Connectional Structure. The acronym, PAUMCS, remains the same.   

Children’s Faith Formation Intensive event to be held in Georgia in August
What happens when you bring 75 children’s ministers together for a two-day intensive event? We go ALL IN! The ALL IN: A Children’s Faith Formation Intensive event will be held Aug. 17-19, 2017, at Peachtree Road UMC in Atlanta, Ga. This conference is specifically designed for people working in local church and extension (camp/retreat) ministries. Children’s ministers will spend 12+ intensive hours in small groups learning from a team of academics, experts and practitioners to create a plan for having courageous conversations with children, parents and church leadership as well as to develop practices of pastoral care of children in congregations and communities. Registration is $178 and is limited to the first 75 registrants. For registration and information, visit: Email questions to:

Haitian women benefit from UMW grant
A grant from United Methodist Women’s annual “A Call to Prayer and Self-Denial” offering is helping a nonprofit organization provide computer training and other services to Haitian immigrant women living in the Dominican Republic. More…

Preacher's kids share experiences
Preacher’s kids, or PKs, share their experiences — from always attending church to enjoying leftover Communion bread and playing hide-and-seek in the church. More…

Bishop Ough: Pastoral letter on high-profile trials
Dakotas-Minnesota Area Bishop Bruce R. Ough writes about the recent acquittal of Jeronimo Yanez in the death of Philando Castile and the mistrial in the sexual assault case against Bill Cosby. Ough, who is also president of the Council of Bishops, reflects on what it means to worship a God of truth and justice. More…

How to reclaim the church-planting tradition
Methodists once planted at least a church a day across the American frontier. Today’s United Methodists are trying to recover that legacy — with a modern twist. 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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