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News from the Virginia Conference - Nov. 10, 2016

Continued efforts needed for Hurricane Matthew relief 
The Virginia Conference Disaster Response Team held a planning meeting with the Elizabeth River District Superintendent Wayne Snead on Oct. 6 to discuss preparations for Hurricane Matthew.  On Oct. 15, the first conference ERT teams deployed under the supervision of Michele Michaelian to several homes within the Windsor Woods and Bow Creek sections of the city. The Virginia Conference has had ERT and volunteer teams on site ever since.  So far they have worked on 76 homes during 2,571 volunteer hours with 259 volunteers. The total value of volunteer time is $60,573.00. More… 

Work teams needed for Feb. 24 tornado relief
There is still a great deal of work to be done for tornado relief in the areas of Appomattox, Tappahannock and Waverly, including the first new construction project for Patty Bryant in Evergreen. For the remainder of 2016, three weeks are still open for work teams: Nov. 28-Dec. 3 in Evergreen, Tappahannock and Waverly; Dec. 5-10 in Waverly; and Dec. 12-17 in Evergreen, Tappahannock and Waverly. 2017 work teams are wide open with the work centers beginning the week of Jan. 9. To schedule teams, schedule Forrest White to speak at your church or learn more about the Wall of Giving, Walls for Living fundraiser, contact Forrest White, Long-term Recovery Manager and UMVIM Coordinator at virginiaumvim@gmail.com

Wesley Theological Seminary offers day of resources at Floris UMC
Wesley is hosting “A Day with Wesley at Floris UMC” on Saturday, Nov. 12 from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Floris UMC, 13600 Frying Pan Road, Herndon, VA 20171. Designed for alumni and friends, clergy and laity, congregation leaders and members, attendees of the gathering will experience the broad spectrum of Wesley's resources. Experience break out sessions as well as talks with topics ranging from leading effective ministry teams to the current presidential election and what it means for the faithful. Childcare will be available as requested. Lunch will be provided at 12:00 noon for those who wish to stay and learn more about Wesley programming and classes. Registration is $10.  For more information please contact Marci Matthews at mmatthews@wesleyseminary.edu or (202) 885-8659. More… 

SU Youth Theology Institute now accepting nominations, applications
The Shenandoah University Youth Theology Institute (SUYTI) is a new program, funded through the Lilly Foundation, offered to Christian youth as a partnership between Shenandoah University, Wesley Theological Seminary and the Virginia Annual Conference of the UMC. The Youth Institute is designed to educate and inspire young Christians to become better leaders in their local congregations through deep and thought-provoking experiences. The program is a two-week immersive experience for rising 10th, 11th and 12th graders (offered July 23-August 5, 2017). There are slots for 30 students per year. Upon completion of the institute (and a self-determined justice project in their local faith community), students earn three undergraduate credits from Shenandoah University. For 2017 there is no cost passed on to student participants, except a $50 registration fee and the cost of travel to and from Shenandoah University.  Pastors and youth leaders can nominate youth they think will benefit from this youth theology institute and students can apply at https://www.su.edu/campus-life/spiritual-life/institute-for-church-professions/youth-theology-institute/. The 2017 session of the SUYTI is now accepting nominations and applications until May 1, 2017. More…

November is Native American Heritage Month
November is Native American Heritage Month. United Methodist Discipleship Ministries offers worship resources, including a Native American interpretation of Psalm 23. The United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race offers resources to highlight the history, gifts and struggles of the First Americans, including resources for the Act of Repentance.

United Methodist Student Day is Sunday, Nov. 27
Sunday, Nov. 27, is United Methodist Student Day. Gifts received from this special offering become an investment in the future of the church through direct scholarships for higher education. The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) Office of Loans and Scholarships administers these programs that award more than 3,500 students annually. Click here for pastor and leader kit resources. More ...

#GivingTuesday starts Tuesday, Nov. 29
United Methodists will once again come together on Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, to support the work of Advance projects and missionaries on UMC #GivingTuesday. This year, consider supporting a project that is working in an area you care about, such as hunger and poverty, education or social justice. For a complete list of projects, visit The Advance. Should you have any questions about UMC #GivingTuesday, please contact advance@umcmission.org. Find UMC #GivingTuesday banners/ads, FAQs, impact stories and links to videos and other resources to help you participate in the campaign at the website. Visit www.umcmission.org/give to make your donation Nov. 29. More...

Council president offers post-election congratulations and prayers
In a congratulatory letter to President-elect Donald Trump on behalf of the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church, Council president Bishop Bruce R. Ough sent a prayer and a plea for the nation to come together. “We are a deeply divided nation in a world community marred by division, war and unprecedented forced migration,” writes Bishop Ough, following Trump’s election as the 45th president of the United States. “This is a time for all Americans, particularly our political leaders, to put aside divisiveness and rancor and come together for the common good of this nation and the world.” More…

General Board of Church and Society statement released following presidential election
The Rev. Susan Henry-Crowe, top executive of the General Board of Church and Society, offers a word, a prayer and a song for the world after the 2016 election. “Today, may we stand united in prayer for all those who have accepted the mantle of leadership: that they might find strength and wisdom to lead our communities and country in the days ahead.” More… 

Moving on after Election Day: Tips for healing, peace
The votes have been counted and the United States has a new president-elect. After more than a year of campaigning, it’s over. Or is it? More… 

Louisiana United Methodist Camp looking to fill available position
Camp Istrouma is a United Methodist Camp in the Louisiana Conference that has been reaching the community for Christ for 58 years. The camp is in search of a new Executive Director. The job opening can be found at www.umc.org/jobs. Resumes should be forwarded to campistroumacareer@gmail.com and the application period will close on Dec. 4. More…

Connectional Table: Called 'for such a time as this'
The Connectional Table, which coordinates denominational ministry and resources, plans to focus on vital congregations and the worldwide nature of the church. More… 

A woman's leadership through a difficult time
United Methodists, take note. When Susanna Wesley found the spiritual depth of her church lacking, she led her own devotions. When people objected, she stood firm. More… 

Jazz-playing pastor keeps the faith and the beat
The Rev. Nat Dixon used to be a full-time jazz musician, and he never preaches without first picking up his tenor saxophone and riffing a bit. Blending the gospel message with jazz is what he’s been about for years, with parishioners of his church, St. Stephen’s United Methodist in the Bronx, N.Y., as the principal beneficiaries. Now Dixon is poised to reach a broader audience, thanks to the recent release of his first CD in more than 20 years. More… 

♦ Fall High School Retreat- Dec. 2-4
Register now for Virginia Conference Fall Youth Retreat, weekend retreat in which youths are challenged to grow as disciples of Christ through powerful worship, Bible study and small groups while building friendships with youths from all over Virginia. High School Retreat will be Dec. 2-4 at Eagle Eyrie in Lynchburg. This year's retreat will focus on “Just Move." Guest speakers will be Brooklyn and Coy Lindsey. Cost  is $145 Nov. 1-20. High School registration deadline is Nov. 20. More...

♦ 25th Anniversary of UM Day at General Assembly Celebration - Jan. 14, 2017
The Conference Legislative Committee is hosting a 25th anniversary celebration of United Methodist Day at General Assembly, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017, at Centenary UMC, 411 E. Grace Street, Richmond, Va. The event will start with registration at 11 a.m., lunch at noon followed by a program at 1 p.m. Pre-registration is necessary and child care will be available. Cost for the day is $15 or $35 for both this event and UM Day in Feb. if you register by Jan. 6. Follow this link to register: http://www.vaumc.org/UMDay

♦ 25th Annual United Methodist Day at General Assembly - Feb. 2, 2017
The Conference United Methodist Day is Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017. It is an avenue of faithful advocacy that helps participants look beyond mercy ministry and join together with elected officials to make a difference and exercise the Social Principles of the UMC. Early bird registration and payment of $25 per person must be received by Friday, Jan. 15. Final registration will be Friday, Jan. 29 and will cost $35. Registration questions may be directed to the Rev. Barbara Lewis at BarbaraLewis@vaumc.org. General questions may be directed to the Rev. Pat Shipley at plsrevdoc@aol.com or to the Rev. Randy Harlow at crhncboy@aol.com. To register and for more information, follow this link: http://www.vaumc.org/UMDay


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 Advocate@vaumc.org. For information about the Virginia Conference and resources for ministry, visit the Virginia Conference website at www.vaumc.org


 

 

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