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News from the Virginia Conference - March 30, 2016

VUMAC to close May 7
The board of directors of Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center (VUMAC) in Blackstone voted to close the facility as of May 7. Sam McCracken, executive director, posted the announcement on VUMAC's Facebook page and the retreat center's website March 24. More ...

Reservations due April 15 for Virginia Conference dinner at General Conference
The Virginia Conference dinner at General Conference will be Monday, May 16, at Jake’s Grill, 611 SW 10th Ave., in Portland. The dinner will begin following adjournment of the General Conference session at 6:30 p.m. and travel to the restaurant (approximately two miles from the Convention Center or 13-minute ride on the MAX Red or Blue line). This dinner will be a celebration of Bishop and Mrs. Cho and open to any persons who would like to attend. Cost is $45 per person which includes gratuity. Menu includes a house salad; choice of Jake’s Meatloaf, Blackened Oregon Rockfish or Vegetarian Pasta Primavera; local ice cream; bread and coffee/iced tea. Reservations and an entrée selection for each person should be e-mailed to Rev. Clarence Brown at cbrown@annandale-umc.org. Payment by check made out to the Pastor’s Discretionary Fund must be sent to Rev. Brown’s attention at Annandale UMC, 6935 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA 22003 by April 15.

Robinsons return home after three-year assignment in Sierra Leone
Kip and the Rev. Nancy Robinson, missionaries from the Virginia Conference, are back home in Richmond following a three-year assignment in Sierra Leone. They were at the airport in Lungi, Freetown, on their way to the U.S. via the Brussels airport at the time of the terrorist attacks in Brussels on March 22. Their flights were delayed and rerouted, but they made it home safely on Saturday, March 26. You can follow Nancy’s story on her Facebook page.

Honeycutt to leave UMCOR to head new Center for Mission Innovation
The Rev. Dr. Denise Honeycutt announced that she will be leaving her position as head of United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) on April 4 to take on a new role as executive director of the General Board of Global Ministries’ new Center for Mission Innovation (CMI). “The Center for Mission Innovation is to be a forward-thinking, forward-leaning unit, providing the church a best practice learning and innovation ‘laboratory’ for re-envisioning and redefining 21st century mission practice, bringing together the local and global, focusing on the work and leading of young adults, and the church's ministry with the poor, etc.," Honeycutt said. "We will creatively explore new mission theologies and practices by employing the disciplines of gleaning, harvesting, learning and sharing the wisdom of the global church so that we might all more fully participate in God’s good work in the world. I am very excited and honored to be asked to lead this innovative work and so proud that the UMC is actively seeking how and where the Spirit is leading and moving in new ways." She said that she and her husband, the Rev. Pat Watkins, will be moving to Atlanta with all Global Ministries staff, including UMCOR. "I transition into this new position on April 4," she said, "which does mean that I will no longer be serving as the head of UMCOR after that time, although it is expected that the work of the CMI will often connect with the work of UMCOR and our missionary community.  I have loved my time with UMCOR and continued to be amazed at the work that is being done through UMCOR."

Bulletin insert available for 2016 Annual Conference special offering
Click here to download a bulletin insert that promotes the 2016 Annual Conference special offering. The bulletin insert includes a letter from Bishop Young Jin Cho and is a pdf file that can be downloaded and printed and used in your congregation. This year's offering goal will be $150,000 and again focuses on both international and Virginia-based mission needs. The offering goal includes $50,000 for Methodist Mission in Cambodia; $25,000 for Methodist Church of Brazil Shade and Fresh Water programs with at-risk children; $25,000 for training laity in United Methodist churches in Mozambique; and $50,000 to help fund disaster response in the Virginia Conference. More ...

Annual Conference members urged to bring '4 Cans 4 Conference' to Roanoke
Each clergy and laity member attending 2016 Annual Conference is encouraged to bring at least four cans of food or boxes of dry food to the session in Roanoke for “4 Cans 4 Conference.” Requested are cans of vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, soup, stew and at least one can with a pop-top. You "can" also bring dry or staple goods, like peanut butter, jelly, cereal, rice or juice boxes. All gifts will benefit local services for the hungry in the Roanoke/Salem area. Goal is 10,000 pounds of canned and dry/staple foods. Do not bring glass jars, home-canned items, damaged or expired date cans or exotic foods. For more information, contact Jim Earley at (571) 239-3529 or RevsRUs@Cox.net.

April 10 to be conference-wide day to pray for General Conference
The United Methodist Council of Bishops has invited each annual conference in the denomination to designate one day to hold a 24-hour prayer vigil for General Conference. Bishop Young Jin Cho has selected Sunday, April 10, to be the day for the Virginia Conference prayer vigil. The Virginia Conference delegation committees for worship and devotional life, conference Board of Discipleship and Kindred Project are developing resources that can be used for this event as well as during days following April 10 and throughout General Conference. District offices will coordinate the scheduling of local churches that wish to participate. Organizers are asking districts to encourage all congregations on the district to sign up for half-hour or one-hour increments so there will be 24 hours of continuous prayer beginning at 12 a.m. April 10 and continuing until 12 a.m. April 11. Click here to see what districts are doing. As part of this initiative, the chapel in the Virginia United Methodist Center in Glen Allen will be open for prayer. In addition, all congregations are asked to include the prayer initiative in their Sunday services on that day. More ...

April 10 is Native American Ministries Sunday
United Methodist congregations will celebrate Native American Ministries Sunday on Sunday, April 10. When United Methodists give to the special offering taken on this day, it allows Native Americans to encounter, worship and serve Jesus. When you support Native American Ministries Sunday, you equip seminary students who will honor and celebrate Native American culture in their ministries. And you empower congregations that are finding fresh new ways to minister to their communities with the love of Christ. The NAMS Pastor and Leader's Kit makes it incredibly easy for pastors to promote this Special Sunday of healing to their local congregations.

Denman Award nominations due April 15
The Virginia Conference is now accepting nominations for The Harry Denman Evangelism Award for clergy, laity and youth. The Harry Denman Evangelism Award recognizes a person whose life and ministry exemplifies the teaching of Christ and the Great Commission. Recipients of these awards, nominated by individuals, churches or districts and selected by the Annual Conference, live their call to “Offer Them Christ” daily as modeled by Dr. Harry Denman, founder of The Foundation for Evangelism that sponsors these awards. To learn more about the award or to download nomination forms, go to www.vaumc.org/Denman. Nominations must be received by April 15.

Certification in Parish Nursing now available for clergy, laity
United Methodist parish nurses now have the opportunity to earn certification in their specialized ministry. Developed in consultation with Discipleship Ministries and the Global Health Division of the General Board of Global Ministries, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry is now offering deacons or elders who are also parish nurses a certification in parish nurse ministry. Discipleship Ministries is also offering a parish nurse specialization for nurses through the certified lay ministry process. More ...

Lay Leaders seek to end clergy's guaranteed appointment
At the 2016 General Conference, the Association of Annual Conference Lay Leaders will renew the fight to end guaranteed appointment for ordained elders of The United Methodist Church. It will require amending the denomination’s constitution — a high hurdle. More ...

UMCOR takes stock, looks to future
Over the past four years, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has tripled its response to disasters large and small around the world, Deputy General Secretary Denise Honeycutt told UMCOR’s board of directors during their final meeting of the current United Methodist quadrennium. During the four-year period initiated by General Conference 2012 and ending ahead of General Conference 2016, UMCOR, part of the General Board of Global Ministries, also sought to spend down longstanding Advance balances, “getting more needed assistance to more people in times of great crisis,” Honeycutt said. More ...

Brussels attacks change young missionary's approach to ministry
For one young adult serving as a United Methodist mission volunteer in Brussels, the deadly terrorist attacks on the city’s airport and subway system have led to a new description of his ministry: “missioning in fear.” He and religious leaders around the world reflect on fear that terrorism inflicts, but also on God’s hope for peace.More ...

Terrorists attack Pakistani Christians on Easter Sunday
As Easter Sunday ended in Lahore, Pakistan, Bishop Samuel Azariah was still at a hospital visiting those injured by a suicide bomb attack in a public park where many Christian families were celebrating the holiday. More ...

Resurrection celebrated in town terrorists attacked
United Methodist Bishop Benjamin Boni asked for God’s blessings on the coastal town of Grand Bassam, Côte d’Ivoire, and every nation “going through the sad phenomenon of terrorism” during an Easter service in the town that was the site of a deadly terrorist attack that killed 19 people. The service was two weeks to the day after three gunman fired on beachgoers at the resort area that is popular with both tourists and locals. More ...

United Methodists offer hope for the long haul in Flint, Mich.
As the politics of the Flint, Mich., water crisis are sorted out, the Crossroads District of The United Methodist Church and the faithful from across the connection are acting to build courage and trust in the midst of a desperate situation. More ...

World Methodist Conference to be Aug. 31-Sept. 3 in Houston
The 21st World Methodist Conference will be held Aug. 31 to Sept. 3 at Hilton Americas-Houston, 1600 Lamar St., Houston, Texas. Theme for the conference is “One.” Organized around four subthemes – One God, One Faith, One People, One Mission – the program will invite participants into a conversation about the distinction between unity and uniformity in the Wesleyan tradition. Planners want participants to leave Houston knowing what has united the Wesleyan people historically and what God is calling us toward in the future. The conference will begin with an evening celebration of the triune God and conclude with another evening celebration three days later that sends us out into the world as a diverse body of Christ followers. More ...

Board to give 100,000 devotional books to public servants, military by Sept. 11
The Strength for Service board hopes to provide police officers, firefighters, first responders and military personnel with 100,000 copies of “Strength for Service” on or before the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Local churches are invited to join the effort. More ...

♦ Early Response Team basic training - April 9
The Conference Disaster Response Team invites you to participate in a training event for anyone interested in disaster relief ministries. Early Response Team (ERT) certification training will be held 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, April 9, at Susanna Wesley UMC, Gloucester. Cost is $55 (includes background check, t-shirt, manual and lunch). Checks should be made out to the Virginia Conference and brought the day of training. To register, e-mail Michele Michaelian at mlskcs@aol.com. More ...

♦ UMVIM Team Leader Training - April 9
United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) Team Leader Training will be offered 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 9, at Lynnhaven UMC in Virginia Beach (Elizabeth River District). Team Leader Training has not been offered in the Elizabeth River District since May 2014. Deadline to register is Monday, April 4. At least eight participants are required to offer UMVIM Team Leader Training. For more information, contact Forrest White, Virginia Conference UMVIM Coordinator, at (804) 938-1026. More ...

♦ UMVIM Team Leader Recertification Training - April 9
United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) Team Leader Recertification Training will be offered 4-6 p.m. Saturday, April 9, at Lynnhaven UMC in Virginia Beach (Elizabeth River District). This will be the first time the new recertification training (for anyone who completed Team Leader Training more than five years ago) will be offered in the Elizabeth River District. Deadline to register is Monday, April 4. At least five participants are required to offer Recertification Training. For more information, contact Forrest White, Virginia Conference UMVIM Coordinator, at (804) 938-1026. More ...

♦ Ministers' Convocation - April 18-20
All clergy, diaconal ministers and professional/paraprofessional certified ministers in the Virginia Conference are invited to the 2016 Ministers' Convocation, "Come to the Table: Bringing Food and Faith Together," which will be held April 18-20 at Virginia Crossings Wyndham Hotel & Conference Center, 1000 Virginia Center Parkway, Glen Allen. Come be engaged in theological and academic conversation and be re-inspired for ministry. For event details and to register, visit www.vaumc.org/MinistersConvocation. If you are required to earn Continuing Education Units, you are eligible for a grant from the Ministerial Education Fund toward this event. Guidelines and application can be found at www.vaumc.org/ClergyContinuingEducation.

♦ Early Response Team basic training - April 23
United Methodist Early Response Teams (ERT) provide a caring Christian presence to storm and disaster victims. Training does not commit you to being on a team, but provides the opportunity to respond if your schedule allows. Teams provide many types of help: listening to residents, needs assessment, debris removal, sanitizing, flood “mucking out,” etc. Response is local or regional for three days. Training is beneficial even if you do not participate on a team. ERT certification training will be held 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, April 23, at Fieldstone UMC, 3385 N. Franklin St., Christiansburg. Cost is $55 (includes background check, t-shirt, manual, morning refreshments and lunch). Checks should be made out to the Virginia Conference and brought the day of training. To register or for more information, e-mail Steve Cass, trainer, at slcass2@verizon.net. More ...

♦ Financial Wellness for Mid-Career Clergy - April 25, 26, 27, 28
Financial Wellness for Mid-Career Clergy workshops, sponsored by The Virginia United Methodist Foundation, Virginia United Methodist Pensions and Virginia United Methodist Credit Union, will be offered four times at four different locations. Topics will include Risk Management, Money Management, Investment Management, Tax Planning, Retirement Planning and Estate Planning. Cost of $25 per person includes lunch. Workshops will be offered 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday, April 25, at Christ Church UMC, Fairfax Station; Tuesday, April 26, at Fishersville UMC, Fishersville; Wednesday, April 27, at Community UMC, Virginia Beach; and Thursday, April 28, at Good Shepherd UMC, Henrico. For more information and to register, go to the "Calender of Events" on the conference website at www.vaumc.org/events and click on the preferred date. Deadline to register is April 18.

♦ Early Response Team Recertification Class - April 30
Early Response Team Recertification training will be offered 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday, April 30, at Sterling United Methodist Church, Sterling. A $40 registration fee is payable when you register and includes background check, badge and manual. To register, e-mail Michele Michaelian at mlskcs@aol.com. More ...

♦ Early Response Team basic training - May 21
The Conference Disaster Response Team invites you to participate in a training event for anyone interested in disaster relief ministries. Early Response Team (ERT) certification training will be held 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, May 21, at Centerville UMC, Centreville. Cost is $55 (includes background check, t-shirt, manual and lunch). Checks should be made out to the Virginia Conference and brought the day of training. For more information, contact Linda Cooper at Lindalcooper47@gmail.com.To register, e-mail Michele Michaelian at mlskcs@aol.com. More ...

♦ Early Response Team basic training - May 21
The Conference Disaster Response Team invites you to participate in a training event for anyone interested in disaster relief ministries. Early Response Team (ERT) certification training will be held 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, May 21, at Braddock Street United Methodist Church, Winchester. Cost is $55 (includes background check, t-shirt, manual and lunch). Checks should be made out to the Virginia Conference and brought the day of training. To register, e-mail Michele Michaelian at mlskcs@aol.com. More ...

♦ Helping Hands mission experience for children - June 22-23, July 21-22
Helping Hands, an exciting two-day mission experience for rising 4th-6th graders, parents and adult leaders, will be June 22-23 at St. Paul’s UMC in Staunton and July 21-22 at Woodlake UMC in Midlothian. Come and learn about mission opportunities and the importance of being a caring Christian. Cost is $36 per person and includes a t-shirt, meals, snacks and overnight stay. The event will include worship, fellowship and mission experiences in the community. Registration forms for each site can be found at www.vaumc.org/Children.


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 Advocate@vaumc.org. For information about the Virginia Conference and resources for ministry, visit the Virginia Conference website at www.vaumc.org


 

 

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