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News from the Virginia Conference - June 8, 2018

Need Annual Conference 2018 information?   
From Great Day of Service information to the agenda to the bulletin for the Sunday, June 17 closing worship service, the AC 2018 page is full of information on the conference website. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #vaumc18 when using your social media platforms at Annual Conference this year! More…

Join Crackers & Grape Juice podcast for pre-Annual Conference party
Join Crackers & Grape Juice (C&GJ) podcast team on Thursday, June 14 in Hampton, Va. for an evening of theology and laughter at their Annual Conference kick-off party. This year's theme is "What We Talk About When We Talk About God." Guests will include Dr. Johanna Hartelius and Dr. Kendall Soulen. This year's live podcast recording is sponsored by Wesley Theological Seminary and will be held at Bull Island Brewing Company and is free. For more information and to register your attendance, visit their Facebook page. The first 50 people to arrive at the event will receive a C&GJ pint glass. More...

Church community continues to witness against pipeline
The June Advocate on social justice featured an article about the Rev. Morris Fleischer and his church community who find themselves in the heart of the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project. Once in place the pipeline will cross 60 yards away from his church, Newport-Mt. Olivet UMC in Newport, Va. The MVP will span approximately 303 miles from Western Virginia through southern Virginia. More…

Pastors moving to new churches need the right start
Are you a pastor preparing to begin ministry in a new setting? With The Right Start Video Tool Kit, you'll learn how to end your current ministry well, develop a personal transition plan, and make the most of your first days, weeks, and months in your new congregation from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership. More…

Bring cans to Annual Conference
Annual Conference attendees, pastors and lay members, are encouraged to bring at least four pop-top cans of food (meat/fish, veggies/fruit or soup/stew). In addition, staple goods like cereal, flour and boxed items (think Hamburger Helper, Ramen Noodles, grits, etc.), are readily needed and acceptable. Please try to send four boxes of food from your church. Volunteers are also needed for at least one shift of two hours to receive the food that laity and clergy will be bringing for the Peninsula Food Bank. Questions may be directed to Jim Earley at  More…

Volunteers needed for Annual Conference 2018
Annual Conference 2018 from June 15-17 cannot happen without volunteers! A weekend of worship, service, fellowship and friendship, Annual Conference is only made possible by volunteers living out their faith to service. Follow the link to sign up. More…

Kindred Project retreat at Annual Conference 2018
The Kindred Project is an ecumenical gathering of clergy and laity of the Virginia Conference to promote contemplative practices. For the third year in a row, the Kindred Project will be hosting a retreat prior to Annual Conference. You are invited to join on June 14, 2018 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in the conference prayer room. This is an excellent way to center in preparation for the work of the church. Retreat leaders will be the Rev. Becky Cloud; Janie Mitchell, D.Min; the Rev. Tom Frost and Joy Crawford. For further information or to RSVP please contact the Rev. Kimberly Barker-Brugman at

Annual Conference 2018: Great Day of Service registration is available
Members of Annual Conference 2018 can sign up for the Great Day of Service taking place on the afternoon of Saturday, June 16. You will find on the registration there is a donation to help defray the cost of a T-shirt for participants, health kits, transportation and other expenses associated with the Great Day of Service.  Please contact Marc Brown at if the amount of this donation prevents your participation in this event. More…

UMW members learn about organic farming in Tanzania
Twenty-six women from the Tanzania Conference gathered in Dar es Salaam to discuss what they eat every day and where and how they grow their food. The members of United Methodist Women learned about organic fertilizers and farming. More…

Butterfly Project to address racism takes flight
Eastern Pennsylvania Conference decision-makers took a step in a quest to dismantle racism in conference policies and practices. John Coleman reports on the conference’s Butterfly Project, an effort for racial justice intended to fulfill a resolution approved by the 2016 Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference. More…

Help coping with Alzheimer's/dementia
How can churches help people living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia, and their caregivers? A new, free resource now available from The United Methodist Church helps answer that question. The five-part study, titled "Alzheimer’s/Dementia: Ministry with the Forgotten" includes downloadable videos and a leader’s guide. 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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