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News from the Virginia Conference - May 3, 2018

Annual Conference 2018: Great Day of Service registration now available
Members of Annual Conference 2018 can now 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…

Review new draft of Social Principles in the Virginia Conference
The Virginia Conference Board of Church and Society is hosting a review of the new draft of the Social Principles proposed by the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) on Saturday, May 12 in Herndon.The goal for this day is to review the draft in conversation groups, assemble feedback to be submitted to the GBCS Social Principles Task Force and prepare next steps for continued sharing of the draft throughout the conference. This is your chance to comment on it before it goes back to GBCS and then to General Conference 2020. You can read the current Social Principles by clicking here. For more information, contact Jaydee Hanson at or Alison Malloy at More...

Church closes building, finds rebirth
The small congregation of Boulevard United Methodist Church was coping with an old building, focusing more on maintenance than ministry in Richmond. Read this story from the Advocate magazine and shared by United Methodist News Service on how the congregation made the decision to sell its building and rethink its ministry. More…

How to launch a church website
If building or improving a website is on your church's to do list, the "Launching Your Church Website" online training course is for you from United Methodist Communications. You'll learn the basics of creating a church website as well as how to establish a broader online presence. By engaging your audience online first, you extend your reach beyond Sunday services and introduce your message before people even step foot through your door. More…

Keynote speaker video available from Convocation on Race and Reconciliation
For interested parties, the keynote address given by Romal Tune, keynote speaker for the April 14 Convocation on Race and Reconciliation in Annandale, Va., is available for viewing. You can also see an overview of the event with this video. 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

Crossroads Mission Center looking for volunteers
Crossroads Mission Center is looking for volunteers who can help package and deliver food to the children of King William County who are participating in the Summer Food Program. The program provides “2-Day Bags” consisting of four meals for two days for one child. The bag contains two breakfast, lunch, snack and drink items. The program runs from June 16 – August 25. Drivers are needed (background check is required and will be provided) as well as packagers. Training will be held on June 5, at 6 p.m., at Crossroads Mission Center, 694K Sharon Road, King William, VA. They are also looking for individual and corporate sponsors. If you or your organization would like to collect items needed for the bags, please visit their website at for a complete list of needed supplies. Monetary donations received will be used to purchase food and can be mailed to Crossroads Mission Center. For questions, call 804-769-2139 or email

VUMPI shares recommendations to Annual Conference 2018 in video
Virginia United Methodist Pensions, Inc. (VUMPI) shared a video with John Fuller, executive director, that details the recommendations to Annual Conference 2018. VUMPI is the conference’s agency that administers pension, welfare and health benefit plans for active and retired clergy. For questions or concerns, contact Fuller at 804-521-1128 or at More…

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…

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. Currently there are 90 campers signed up and 20 mentors. Thirty mentors are needed for each camp. 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…

What does it mean to live by faith?
United Methodists understand that faith is about having one’s life transformed by the One in whom we put our trust, not just assenting to some ideas that may comfort us in difficult times and get us into heaven. InfoServ, a ministry of United Methodist Communications, turns to The Upper Room Dictionary of Christian Spiritual Formation for a deeper look at faith. More…

Church launches online deaf ministry
Epworth United Methodist Church in Delaware records its worship for online streaming. Now, the American Sign Language interpreter is the main focus with a picture-in-picture of the church service. This opens the possibility of worship for deaf people around the world who do not have access to worship in their language. More…

Church steps up Flint aid
The United Methodist Church’s mission efforts in Flint have become even more critical as Michigan announced it is ending distribution of free bottled water. So the church, which has distributed hundreds of thousands of bottles of water, is stepping up aid. 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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