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News from the Virginia Conference - May 17, 2018

Conference shares resource about general church structure
With the called General Conference session in 2019, you might be curious about the structure of The United Methodist Church. In this informative video, the Rev. Lindsey Baynham, conference Associate Director for Call, Candidacy & Discernment, shares more about how the local church and general church work together. The video is available on the conference Facebook page and on the conference Vimeo account. More…

Dancers needed for Annual Conference 2018
Are you involved in a liturgical dance ministry or love to dance? If so, the 2018 Worship Planning Committee of the Virginia Annual Conference is looking for you! There is an opportunity to participate in the Service of Remembrance and Holy Communion on Friday, June 15 at 7:30 pm at the Hampton Roads Convention Center in Hampton, VA. If you are interested, email no later than June 1, 2018. The committee is looking for as many participants as possible. Participants will prepare themselves by listening to the musical selection and studying the scripture (once they have been selected), and they will faithfully receive ongoing instructions prior to June 15. There will be one mandatory rehearsal for this engagement, which will take place on Friday, June 15 from 6-7 p.m. at the Hampton Roads Convention Center, so participants are asked to make themselves available. Participants are also asked to wear long black yoga style pants (no shorts, tights or leggings, please) and a red T-shirt or long sleeved shirt.

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

Mentors still needed for All God's Children Camp
All God's Children Camp is two months away and mentors are still needed for all three dates. About 20 mentors are still needed for the Chanco and Overlook camp locations and 10 male mentors at the Occohannock location. All God's Children Camp is a camp for children ages 7 to 12, with an incarcerated mother or father, where they spend a week at camp, participating in activities such as boating, swimming, hiking, archery, music, crafts, Bible study and conflict resolution. Partnering with Virginia United Methodist camps, All God’s Children Camp provides a week of sanctuary for children who face so many challenges in their lives: economic poverty, temporary living conditions, loneliness, low self-esteem, violence and drugs. Please consider giving a week of your time to pour into a child's life. This is a great opportunity for members and friends in your community to serve together. Maybe there are already groups in your church or community, such as UMM, UMW, college age ministries or Sunday school classes, who can come together and serve this way. This is a great local mission opportunity for with very little cost ($20). The dates are: June 17-22:  Camp Chanco on the James (Richmond area); June 24-29: Camp Overlook (Shenandoah Valley area); and July 29-August 3: Occohannock on the Bay (Eastern Shore). Please contact Lori Smith at for more information. More…

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…

The United Methodist Credit Union providing grants for youth groups
If your church youth group is raising funds for special projects or mission trips, the United Methodist Credit Union (TUMCU) wants to help. Each quarter TUMCU will be awarding a grant for up to $500 to a United Methodist youth group within the conferences that the credit union serves. TUMCU welcomes the opportunity to help youth in their service to others. They are currently accepting applications for the spring grant and the deadline to apply is May 31, 2018. Application available at

Discover the One Journey Festival on June 2
One Journey is the first national celebration of refugee talents, stories, cultures and contributions. This free, all-day event will connect people through the shared languages of humanity: food, fashion, music, art and dance from the countries that today’s refugees originally called home. While the day is about fun and celebration, its goal is to inspire people from all backgrounds to engage with each other in a spirit of fellowship and understanding by shining a light on the resilience and contributions of this vibrant population. The event will be held June 2 on the grounds of the Washington National Cathedral from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Program includes: Chef Jose Andres and a refugee chef cooking session; actor, model and UN spokesperson Ger Duany; performances by refugee music and dance groups; multi-language calligraphy, henna and kite activities; artists, artisans, clothing; delicious foods and more. The One Journey Festival is organized by NOVA Friends of Refugees (the interfaith network started by members of St. George’s Episcopal Church and Mount Olivet UMC) and Refugees International. Join for this national celebration of the common bonds that unite our entire human family. For more information and to register, visit

Special Sunday: Peace with Justice Sunday is May 27
The United Methodist Church is unwilling to ignore injustice. Although you, and possibly even your congregation, may lack the resources alone to affect change in a broken world, participation in Peace with Justice Sunday allows the denomination to continue its global ministries of reconciliation. Help build awareness for this upcoming giving opportunity by using tools found in the comprehensive pastor and leader's kit, stocked with videos, social media imagery, worship resources and more. More…

Paying for the special General Conference
The Commission on General Conference, which plans the legislative assembly, approved registration fees for visitors to help pay for the special session in 2019. A big concern of the meeting was helping delegates do their work. More…

African partnership spurs ideas, understanding
A delegation of eight leaders from the South Congo Conference recently visited the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area for 10 days of training in church growth and administration. They hoped to share experiences in ministry and learn from each other, particularly about the Zimbabwe Area’s strategies for advancing the gospel. More…


♦ Conference Immigration Summit- May 19, 2018 
Bishop Lewis formed the Virginia Conference Committee on Immigration Outreach in 2017 to help the conference communicate the Gospel as it relates to immigrants and refugees. The committee also seeks to help the conference understand issues related to immigrants and refugees and how to advocate for them.  In partnership with the General Board of Church and Society, Just Neighbors and the Southeastern Jurisdiction Hispanic Caucus, the committee is sponsoring an Immigration Summit at Ramsey Memorial UMC in Richmond on Saturday, May 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to educate and empower those who want to be in ministry to immigrants and refugees.  Attendance to the summit is free of charge, and a boxed lunch can be purchased at the time of registration. Registration is now available on the conference website at and go to Conference Calendar. 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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