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News from the Virginia Conference - May 4, 2017

Wesley Seminary offers youth ministry summer courses
Wesley Seminary is offering two summer courses that will help you strengthen your student ministry leadership training. Register by Friday, May 5. Contact Admissions at 202-885-8659 or More... 

Annual Conference Pub Theology & Podcast
Join the team from Crackers & Grape Juice podcast for an evening of sarcastic banter, thoughtful theology and beer on Thursday, Jun. 15 from 6-8 p.m. in Hampton. This year’s theme will be ‘Faith and Political Engagement' with special guest, Dr. Jeffrey Pugh. Live music will be provided by the Clay Mottley Band. More...

WindsorMeade seeking full time chaplain
WindsorMeade of Williamsburg, one of the communities of Virginia United Methodist Homes, Inc., is seeking a full time chaplain.The ideal candidate for this position has a Master’s of Divinity from an accredited seminary or school of theology, a chaplaincy certification and two years of pastoral care experience, preferably with a senior adult population. Chaplain must be able to serve communion. Fluent English speaking and writing skills; empathy and the ability to listen; good time management skills; computer skills; and professional dress, speech and behavior are all required for this position. To view the full job description and apply online, visit the WindsorMeade website

Registration for Lake Junaluska’s Festival of Wisdom and Grace now open
The Festival of Wisdom and Grace at Lake Junaluska is a time of renewal and inspiration for older adults from Aug. 7-10. Speakers include Dr. John Ed Mathison, Dr. Everett Worthington and Dr. Patricia Suggs. This year’s theme is “Forgiveness – Living in Grace.” Workshop topics include Body Movement, Helping Three Generations Forgive Love and Pray and Engaging the Generations as Encore Ambassadors for Reconciliation. Continuing Education Unit credits are included in the professional track registration. CEU credits are also available for regular program participants for an additional $10/person fee (1-1.5 CEUs available).The event is sponsored by the Southeastern Jurisdictional Association of Older Adults, a group that creates and strengthens intergenerational ministries in the Southeast. Packages include the program fee, lodging and meals. For more information about the Festival of Wisdom and Grace, call 800-222-4930, email or visit Lake Junaluska is a place of Christian hospitality where lives are transformed through renewal of soul, mind and body. For more information about Lake Junaluska programs and events, visit

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

Mission Encounter to be held Jul. 28-29
Mission Encounter is a cooperative event sponsored by the Virginia Conference Missional Ministries Board (formerly the Board of Global Ministry) 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 exciting weekend mission education experience. There are classes for adults where men, women, clergy and laity alike come to learn and be involved in mission groups by choosing one class out of three choices— a spiritual growth study, geographical study or social issue. 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 Bon Air UMC in Chesterfield. More…

Staying focused on Four Areas of Focus
The need to keep faith with the denomination’s Four Areas of Focus, but in ways that are relevant to the local church, dominated discussion on May 3 as the Council of Bishops continued its meeting. More… 

Commentary: Attorney on confusion over Oliveto's status
The denomination’s top court has held Bishop Karen Oliveto’s election and consecration as proper under United Methodist Church law, Richard Marsh writes in a commentary. Marsh, the attorney who represented the Western Jurisdiction before the Judicial Council in the case related to the election of a gay bishop, offers his take on the ruling. More…

Discipleship Ministries hosts event on prophetic preaching 
Join Dawn Chesser and the Rev. Wes Allen, Lois Craddock Perkins Professor of Homiletics, to discuss prophetic preaching and Allen's new book, Preaching in the Era of Trump. Chesser will share how she is using the book in her teaching and preaching, and Allen will respond and answer questions. The event is sponsored by Discipleship Ministries as a webinar on May 8 at 10 a.m. CST (Central Standard Time). More...

Bishop writes of sister's tragic death
Bishop John Schol wrote a personal message about his family’s struggles to help a sister through difficult times that included an abusive marriage and a bout with homelessness. Tragically, just as “things were looking up,” the Greater New Jersey Area bishop learned his sister had been murdered. “Bad things happen, and it is made more difficult when tragedy strikes people who are making progress,” he wrote.  More… 

5 steps to spring clean your church website
Inevitably, people will search church websites and come across dead pages, bad links and seriously outdated information. These web visitors probably will not visit in person. Don't let this happen to your church. More… 

Were your church windows made by Tiffany?
There's a unique display in the lobby of United Methodist Archives and History in New Jersey. A huge stained glass window depicting Jesus in the Garden is there for visitors to see and touch. Mark Shenise, a preservationist with the agency, says the Tiffany piece can give you clues as to whether your church windows might be Tiffany originals, too. 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...

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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