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News from the Virginia Conference - Mar. 12, 2019

Bishop Lewis appoints new director for the Center of Clergy Excellence
Prior to her medical leave, Bishop Sharma D. Lewis appointed the Rev. Lindsey M. Baynham as the director of the Center for Clergy Excellence effective Mar. 24, 2019. Baynham currently serves as the associate director of Call, Candidacy, and Discernment and had previously been announced as the interim director. The current director, the Rev. Meredith McNabb, will become associate director of the Lake Institute at the Lilly Family School of Philanthropy at IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis), leading their clergy and congregational trainings around the country. Please continue to pray for Baynham, Kristen Siebert (program and administrative coordinator), and the ministry of the Center for Clergy Excellence in this season of transition. More…

Interim Virginia Bishop Weaver shares greetings to conference 
On Friday, Mar. 8, Bishop Pete Weaver, who will be the conference’s interim bishop while Bishops Sharma D. Lewis is on six months of medical leave, shared his greetings to the conference. He acknowledged the state of the church following General Conference and shared that listening is an important part of the work he is currently doing as he comes to serve the Virginia Conference. More… 

Northern Virginia church to be site of music tour
Christ Church in Fairfax Station will be the venue of host of Just Give Me Jesus tour which feature the bands Unspoken and North Point InsideOut and Caitie Hurst. Partial proceeds go to the host Meant 2 Live Foundation and Christ Church. Learn more…

Two-day children’s experience open to Virginia Conference churches 
Helping Hands is an exciting two-day mission experience for children (rising 4th through 6th Graders) offered to all member churches of the Virginia Conference. There are four dates and different locations available. Learn more at the link. More…

Opportunity for missionaries to visit local churches 
Missionaries to Cambodia, Esther Gitobu and the Rev. Andrew Lee will be visiting Virginia in April. Gitobu has been in Cambodia many years and Lee for about two years. They are traveling together to share of God's amazing work in Cambodia. To request a program, they are available in Northern Virginia on the following dates:
     -Thursday, Apr. 25 (evening)
     -Friday, Apr. 26 
     -Saturday, Apr. 27
     -Monday, Apr. 29
Contact Ann Klotz, conference Global Missionary Itineration, at  

Annual Conference Worship Committee needs your help!
The 2019 Annual Conference Worship Committee is looking for pictures and videos of the street sign where you live. These images will be used to create worship art at Annual Conference 2019. Images and videos are due May 1. Send to

Notice: Housing letter for Annual Conference members
The 2019 Annual Conference Housing letter has been posted on the Virginia Conference website at The direct link to open the letter is This letter will help you with your lodging/housing for the upcoming conference. It includes a list of area hotels and motels that have special rates for the conference. You will receive a conference packet in May that will include information on the conference including schedule, Book of Reports, name tag, registration card, and other useful information. If you need information on the conference including banquet meals before your packet arrives, please refer to the conference website at  

Disaster funds, UMVIM teams are needed in Danville
From the middle of September through the middle of October 2018, people in the city and county of Danville, Va. experienced historic flooding of the Dan River
and other waterways as a result of hurricane Florence and tropical storm Michael. There are 45+ homes with significant damage, most of which are homes of persons and families that were struggling with economic challenges prior to the flooding. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) stands ready to assist with disaster recovery funds but the Virginia Conference, churches and individuals, are called to make a direct compassionate response to those affected by this disaster. There are two ways to respond to this crucial need:
1.    Please join in this disaster response with a financial gift to the Virginia Conference Disaster Response Fund which will direct contributions to the crisis in Danville. All contributions can be sent to the Conference Treasurer’s office with the reference “Conference Disaster Response Fund #5037."
2.    Consider organizing and taking an UMVIM team to work on the homes of those affected. Please contact the Rev. Lisa Nordan or 757-513-0496.

Korean clergy offer diverse perspectives on GC2019
While many Korean clergy members welcomed the adoption of the Traditional Plan at the 2019 General Conference, others in The United Methodist Church’s Korean community expressed their disappointment and concerns with the plan. On the final day of the Feb. 23-26 legislative assembly in St. Louis, delegates passed the Traditional Plan by a vote of 438 to 384. The plan reinforces the denomination’s prohibitions against same-sex unions and “self-avowed practicing” gay clergy. More… 

Judicial Council to review GC2019 actions
Headline-making decisions by the legislative body of The United Methodist Church will be reviewed next month by the denomination’s top court. The United Methodist Judicial Council has posted its two-item docket for the April 23-26 meeting in Evanston, Illinois, with a reminder of deadlines for request for oral hearings and brief submissions. As the special General Conference drew to a close on Feb. 26, delegates approved a request that the top court review the Traditional Plan as amended. That plan would strengthen enforcement to prevent “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” from serving as clergy and would impose mandatory penalties on clergy who officiate at same-sex weddings. During a Feb. 27 closed meeting following General Conference, the Council of Bishops decided to ask the Judicial Council to make a declaratory decision on the constitutionality of Petition 90066, also adopted by GC2019. The petition outlines procedures for local churches to disaffiliate from the denomination and retain property. More… 


 Goodson Academy of Preaching - Mar. 27, 2019
The Goodson Academy of Preaching urges you to save Mar. 27-28 for “Preaching as storytelling.” Guest presenter will be Donald Davis, a retired United Methodist elder and well-known as one of the nation's leading storytellers. The event will be held at Trinity UMC in Henrico. Online registration is open. For more information, email Goodson@vaumc.orgMore…

 2019 Faithful Aging Conference- Apr. 2, 2019
The third Faithful Aging Conference, presented by the University of Lynchburg Beard Center on Aging and Pinnacle Living, will be held Tuesday, Apr. 2, 2019. Persons of all faith traditions are invited to learn, network and share best ministry practices as opportunities related to aging congregations and meeting the needs of older adults, inside and outside the walls of our faith communities are addressed. Melissa Andrews, chief executive office of LeadingAge Virginia, will offer the keynote address on the theme of Aging Abundantly. Workshop offerings will include:
    -    Effective communication across the stages of dementia
    -    Things everyone needs to know when making hospital and end-of-life visits
    -    Health equity and the needs of older adults
    -    Using music to deepen spirituality
    -    Scams and financial exploitation
    -    Practical ways to enhance ministries with people with dementia
    -    Dealing with loss and grief
The conference will be held at Culpeper Baptist Church, Culpeper, VA.  For general information, contact Martha Stokes at  or 804-474-8718. 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 e-mail For information about the Virginia Conference and resources for ministry, visit the Virginia Conference website at

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