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News from the Virginia Conference - May 11, 2017

UMVIM training available over summer months
Forrest White, Long-term Recovery Manager and UMVIM Coordinator for the Virginia Conference, typically does not schedule training events (UMVIM team leader training, recertification training) over the summer months, but if you can guarantee the required number of persons for these trainings, eight for UMVIM team leader and five for recertification, you can contact White for his availability. White is available to speak at your church on Sunday mornings and throughout the week about long-term recovery, the process and the conference’s current recovery efforts. His open Sundays include: Jun. 4, Jun. 18, Jul. 2, Jul. 16, Jul. 23, Aug. 6, Aug. 20 and Sept. 3. Contact him at

Cokesbury unveils new Ministry Resource Center at Annual Conferences
Cokesbury announced that it is bringing a new consultative retail experience to Annual Conferences this year with the new Cokesbury Ministry Resource Center. Focused on equipping leaders to build disciples, the Ministry Resource Center will offer the opportunity for more personalized consultations with church leaders in order to match products with their specific ministry needs. More…

Register for one of Wesley Theological Seminary’s variety of courses
Check out the variety of exciting learning opportunities this summer at Wesley Theological Seminary including courses: "Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness: The Role of Scripture and Tradition in Presidential Politics," "Spirituality in Nature," "T.S. Eliot and the Search for God," and "Liturgical Dance as Spiritual Practice." Learn more and register for a class today!  More...

Conference videographer shares recent museum trip that turned into conversation about church
In his "Through the Lens" blog, conference videographer Nick Ruxton shares a recent experience he had while at a museum and how it turned into inviting someone to church. More…

Olde Time Revival will feature Bishop Sharma D. Lewis
The Virginia Conference Older Adult Council invites you to an Olde Time Revival featuring dynamic preaching by Bishop Lewis and inspiring worship led by Michael Berkley, associate director of music at Woodlake UMC, on Sunday, Jul. 9 from 3-6 p.m. at Verona UMC in Verona. Call 540-248-7777 for pre-registration or for more information.

Information about Kits for Conference
As your church begins preparation for collecting items for kits, there is currently an appeal from UMCOR for Health and Bedding kits. While these are currently in high demand, there other kits that are being collected include, Birthing, Cleaning, Layette, School and Sewing. Click here for the complete list of items and instructions on packing each kit (pdf). The times for collection of the kits are Thursday, Jun. 15, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, Jun. 16, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m..; and Saturday, Jun. 17, from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. If anyone has questions about the kits, you can contact the Kit Collection Coordinator, the Rev. David Magruder at Zion UMC in Seaford (York River District), at 757-898-7417 or

Africa University gets an IT boost
IT staff members from the General Council on Finance and Administration are spending the next few weeks on the campus of United Methodist Africa University. They are installing Internet switches and commercial-grade Wi-Fi at the pan-African university, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. More…

Wesleyan album aims to ignite worship
A new worship album written and performed by Eric Drew, director of worship for the Greater New Jersey Conference, goes live May 8. The project, “Center of It All,” hopes to blaze the path for what United Methodist worship could be. More…

Charles Wesley statue makes comeback
A statue of Methodist Charles Wesley has returned to its home at the New Room chapel in Bristol. The BBC reports that the statue is back after 18 months of restoration work and now has a more prominent position. More…

Resources for mental health awareness
May is known for many observances, including Mental Health Awareness Month. The Commission on Disability Concerns of the Baltimore-Washington Conference offers ideas for congregations to help raise awareness about mental health issues. More…

Finance agency welcomes credit union association
The General Council on Finance and Administration, the denomination’s finance agency, announced that the United Methodist Credit Union Association is now a vetted sponsor. The finance agency vets potential sponsors, which also must adhere to the denomination’s Social Principles. More…

Commentary: Lawyer on meaning of bishop ruling
The lawyer who argued for the request for a declaratory decision on the election, consecration and nomination of a gay bishop writes that while the case did not name Bishop Karen Oliveto specifically, the ruling means a cloud covers her episcopacy. The Rev. Keith Boyette offers his interpretation of the Judicial Council ruling. 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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