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News from the Virginia Conference - May 14, 2019

Electronic voting video released prior to Annual Conference 2019
The conference office of Communications released a tutorial video detailing how voting members to Annual Conference in 2019 can use their electronic handsets to register their votes for nominees to both General and Jurisdictional Conferences. More…

Blessing over new Heart Havens home will be in June
Join Heart Havens in blessing their new home and its future residents on Sunday, June 2, 2019 from 2 to 4 p.m. Address is 11516 Elmwood Lane, Chester, Va. Light refreshments will be provided. RSVP to Jennifer Boyden by May 27 at 804-237-6097 ext. 9. You can also send housewarming gifts for future use at this link. Learn more about Hearts Havens…

Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts offering summer event
A Place at the Table, a national event presented by The Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts, will be held July 15-18 in Kansas City and is open to all involved in worship leadership and planning, including musicians, visual and fine artists, dancers, pastors, and liturgists. Learn more about what to expect and special registration at the link. More…

Learn more about making Virginia a more just, compassionate place
Join the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP) to make Virginia a more just and compassionate place for all. More…

June Advocate focuses on disaster recovery 
Learn more about how you can be prepared for a natural disaster in your local church community or be prepared to help in the June Advocate feature. Also in this month's magazine are moving day memories and devotionals from the Rev. Joanna Dietz. Contact the Advocate office to get issues for the remainder of 2019, before the magazine ends, or to purchase single issue copies at 804-521-1110 or

Pastors, Professors and Pioneers to Speak at Lake Junaluska Summer Worship Series
All are invited to attend the Summer Worship Series at Lake Junaluska from June 9 to Aug. 4. The series includes spirited traditional worship services led by inspirational preachers on Sunday mornings. Services take place on Sundays in Stuart Auditorium at 11 a.m., with a prelude by the Lake Junaluska Singers at 10:45 a.m., except for the June 9 kick-off event, which takes place in Memorial Chapel at 7 p.m. The kick-off and final services of the series will offer Holy Communion. The theme for this year’s Summer Worship Series is “Psalms of Our Times.” More…

Guide to Annual Conference 2019
Attendees of the Virginia Annual Conference 2019 can expect a few differences this year. The format this year is changing from a Friday-Sunday schedule to a Thursday-Saturday schedule and a 5K Walk, Run, Bike and Yoga event is scheduled. More…. Updates and more information about AC 2019 can be found at

Join Bishop Weaver at upcoming District Days events
Bishop Pete Weaver issued a letter on Apr. 27 in response to the United Methodist Church’s Judicial Council’s rulings pertaining to the 2019 General Conference. Bishop Weaver also invites clergy and laity of the Virginia Conference to join him in district gatherings in May and early June to engage in conversations. Click here for details. More…

Annual Conference Worship Team needs your pictures
The Worship Team is looking for a few more images for Annual Conference 2019. Deadline is May 15 and may be submitted to What is needed: Images and videos of the street, specifically the sign, where you live. The team wants to collect images from all over the Virginia Conference that show the diversity of location and context: rural, urban, mountain, beach, and everything in between. The team is drawing inspirations from Jesus' words in Matthew 28:19-20, "Therefore go and make disciples..." and Jesus' words in Luke 14:23, "Go out to the highways and byways..."
To help share this in your churches, a bulletin insert, two flyers, a worship slide and two social media images can be found at the Annual Conference 2019 page at Please send all images and videos digitally to: All images and videos must be received by May 15. Contact the Rev. Sarah Payne for any questions at

Opportunity for churches, members to serve families in Guatemalan Highlands
Are you or members of your church interested in serving this summer with families in the Guatemalan Highlands?  Highland Support Project (HSP) has a team with open spaces, and is set to travel July 6-13 to assist the AMA Cooperative with stove or sweat bath construction helping families reduce firewood or water use. This is an opportunity to learn about Mayan culture, build relationships with global neighbors, learn more about yourself and others, support a nonprofit that supports local persons and their priorities, and so much more. Learn more about the mission of HSP at
This team will be made up of members of several different congregations, some who have volunteered with HSP in the past and others who have never traveled internationally.  The Rev. Kendra Grimes,  chaplain at Randolph-Macon College, will serve as team leader and guide daily reflections and worship opportunities. Contact Grimes for questions at or 804-752-7374.        
Sign up by emailing by May 15. The cost is $750 for the flight (due to HSP by May 15) and $985 for food, lodging, activities, and project expenses (due June 6 to HSP.)

New campus ministry workshop opportunity available
Is God calling you, and your congregation, into new ways of serving students? A pilot of a new lay servant course focused on empowering local congregations to grow in understanding and service to students in your local contexts is open to both laity and clergy at Shenandoah University on Saturday, June 1 and Saturday, June 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Brandt Center Room 123. The cost is free with lunch provided and both days are required to complete the course. The purpose of this 10-hour course (taught in two, five-hour sessions) is to help church leaders guide their congregations in a process of discernment and planning to better support college students. This course will help participants do the following:
• Think theologically about their congregation’s motivations and goals for creating a student ministry
• Orient themselves within the current landscape of higher education in the United States and locate their congregation within the particularity of their own institutional landscape
• Understand the importance of setting congregational goals and expectations that prioritize student needs and voices
• Identify the areas of ministry potential that already exist within their congregation and imagine new ways God may be calling them to use these gifts to serve students
• Create a plan to facilitate continued discernment and student ministry building in their congregation

For any questions please contact the Rev. Colleen Hallagan Preuninger at 315-527-7383 or Reserve your spot by using the form at the link by May 30, 2019. More...

Information about 4 Cans 4 Conference at Annual Conference 2019
Want to Can Conference? You Can with the Bishop's and Cabinet's permission. So plan on it. Can Conference this June. Can Conference with 4 Cans or 4 box loads of cans or 4 car loads of cans and be a blessing to the Roanoke community and the Roanoke Rescue Mission. All donations of nonperishable food are welcome (but no home canned food, glass jars or out dated items). Look too for cans with pop tops (not everyone who receives this food will have a can opener available). Monetary donations welcome also. Make checks payable to Roanoke Rescue Mission (NOT the conference) and mark them "Food Pantry.”  Checks can be brought to the collection truck (or mailed to 5441 Centralia Road, N. Chesterfield, VA 23237).  Volunteers are also needed at the truck during conference.  See and click on 'volunteers' to work a shift or share a shift. For questions, contact the Rev. Herb Brynildsen at

All God’s Children Camp still in need of mentors
All God’s Children Camp is just a few weeks away from giving children, ages 7 to 12 with an incarcerated mother or father, a week at camp with activities such as boating, swimming, crafts, Bible study and conflict resolution. Mentors are still needed to make this possible. Four male and seven female mentors are still needed. If you are 16 or older and are available for the dates of June 16-21, please contact Loris Smith, camp director, at 571-245-9591 or

Information about delegation voting at AC2019
Virginia Conference delegate Alison Malloy uses a voting machine to cast her ballot at General Conference.The Virginia Conference will elect 22 delegates to the 2020 General Conference (11 clergy and 11 laity) and an additional 11 clergy and 11 laity to join the General Conference delegates for the 2020 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference. Elections will be conducted during the 2019 session of the Virginia Annual Conference to be held June 20-22, 2019 at The Berglund Center in Roanoke. The election of delegates will be conducted on the afternoon and evening of June 20.
Click here to download/read the Conference Rules for the election of General and Jurisdictional conference delegates.
Click here to download/review a booklet of laity nominees.
Click here to download/review a booklet of clergy nominees.
Persons wishing to have a printed copy of the booklets may send an email request to The cost of each printed booklet is $15 to cover the cost of printing and postage.
This information is posted on the Virginia Annual Conference website at

Conference accepting nominations for the Green Church Award
Caretakers of God’s Creation, a ministry of the Virginia Conference Board of Church and Society, is now accepting applications for the Green Church Award, an award recognizing churches in the Virginia Conference who are answering God’s call to be caretakers of God’s creation. Nominees should be churches who are dedicated to caring for and healing God’s creation, as demonstrated in five areas of church life: worship, discipleship, stewardship, evangelism and mission. To nominate a church to receive this award, please send a letter with the name, address, phone number and email of the church and a church representative. Also send a detailed description of what that church is doing to care for creation in these five ministry areas. Send all items to the Rev. Anita Mays at The deadline to receive applications is May 15, 2019. The winner will be contacted prior to Annual Conference, and the award will be presented during the 2019 Annual Conference session.


Religion Communication Congress 2020 tackles complex themes
For over half a century, Religion Communication Congresses have offered a forum where professional religion communicators from a wide range of faith traditions gather to network and learn cutting edge strategies and skills through hands-on opportunities, academic and applied research, practical workshops, and thoughtful plenaries. March 17-21, 2020, at Hyatt Regency Crystal City, D.C. area, more than 500 people will join together under the theme of “Communicating Faith in the Public Square” and Religion Communication Congress 2020 (RCCongress 2020) will continue a commitment to furthering the communication of religion in a multi-faith world. The event will offer a space to broaden perspectives and foster greater understanding and cooperation in local and global communities. More…

Bishops offer pastoral word; make key decisions at May 2019 meeting
The Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church completed its May 2019 meeting held outside Chicago with a pastoral and prophetic word in response to the decisions of the Special Session and the codification of some of those decisions in the Book of Discipline.“Bishops are not judges or legislators. Bishops are preachers, teachers, shepherds, mediators, and missional strategists who appoint clergy and lead annual conferences to make disciples for the transformation of the world,” the statement said.  “We offer this reflection as an expression of our pastoral and prophetic witness. The prophetic gift to our church calls for a confession of the harm that has been done, an acknowledgement of grief and support of a vision of God’s promise to do a new thing (Isaiah 43).” Learn more about the actions of the meeting at the link. More…

General Conference 2020 seeks liturgists
The 2020 General Conference worship design team invites United Methodists to take an active role in the worship experience at the denomination's quadrennial event as it seeks individuals to write liturgy, including prayers, calls to worship and litanies. The denomination's top legislative assembly is set to meet May 5-15, 2020, in Minneapolis. To apply for the opportunity to write or provide original liturgy for General Conference, individuals are asked to submit a letter of application that includes the following: a sample of liturgy that includes a 5-minute devotion, a call to worship, and a prayer of confession all based on Philippians 3:14, along with the name of the writer, email address, phone number, and local church name. Applications should be emailed to Application deadline is August 1, 2019.

District Days with Bishop Weaver - May, June 2019
Bishop Pete Weaver is inviting clergy and laity of the Virginia Conference to join him in district gatehrings in May and early June. More...

Virginia Annual Conference - Jun. 20-22
The Virginia Annual Conference will be held in Roanoke, Va. in the Berglund Center from Jun. 20-22. More information is available at

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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