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News from the Virginia Conference - November 14, 2018 

Coming soon: Share your stories in January and February 2019 Advocate issues
The Advocate office would welcome your submissions for the January and February 2019 issues. The January issue will be focused on "Renewing your spirit and yourself." Submit your short advice (100-250 words) by Nov. 21 on how you deal with stress, how you renew your spirit, how you renew yourself mentally or physically at the start of the year or year round or how you have kept a New Year's resolution in the past. The February issue will be focused on "Relationship Heartbreak" with the deadline of Dec. 10. We have all been there. We have all felt loneliness and pain that comes from heartbreak, no matter the source. Share your reflections on how you grew from heartache or heartbreak whether romantic, familial or involving a friendship. How can we best be an aid to those around us dealing with this pain? How has your faith journey been shaped by these feelings? How did your faith help you through these feelings? Submit all stories, contacts for stories or ideas to Advocate editor at

Advocate magazine 2019 media kit now available  
The 2019 Advocate magazine media kit, which includes deadlines and issue feature topics, is now available on the conference website. Please email Advocate editor Madeline Pillow at with any corresponding story ideas or contacts or any other stories throughout the year.  More… 

Clergy Spouses Retreat to be held in March 
Are you anticipating some kind of major transition in 2019? Maybe a new appointment or the results of February's denominational vote? This session is designed exclusively for you – the clergy spouse! Retreat on Mar. 8-9, 2019 will include small group discussions and time to connect with other clergy spouses. Theme is "Healthy Transitions for Clergy Spouses" by Julie Anderman of Artos Retreats.Anderman, a clergy spouse in the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference for 20 years, co-founded Artos Retreats two years ago out of a calling to improve the well-being of clergy spouses through connection and learning. Before starting Artos, Julie provided independent instructional design and communications consulting for over 20 years. She has facilitated small group learning in both corporate and church environments for 25 years. Location will be Blessings Lodge at Camp Overlook, near Harrisonburg. Cost is $100 with accommodations and meals. Registration will be available soon. Contact Judy Hall at 804-264-0524 with any questions. More…

United Methodist Day at General Assembly is Jan. 31
Now that the election is over. . . Would you like to continue to make an impact in having your voice heard? Then register today for United Methodist Day at the General Assembly! Register by Dec. 28 and pay $30 early registration. After December 28, pay $40 until January 11 when registration closes. Hotel reservations can be made for January 30 at the Hyatt Place, 201 Arboretum Place, Richmond, 23236, near Bon Air UMC. Call 804-560-1566 to make your reservation and mention “Virginia United Methodist Conference” to receive a special room rate of $109/night (single or double). Hotel reservation deadline is Dec. 31, 2018. Contact the Rev. Barbara Lewis, registrar, with questions at BarbaraLewis@vaumc.orgMore… 

December Advocate shares Christmas memories 
What warm, fuzzy memories come to mind when you think about Christmas? The Virginia Advocate shares some of these memories from around the conference in the December issue. Subscribe to the monthly magazine either online or by contacting Pam Culler at 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110, (804) 521-1110 or email or It costs just $20 for one year of the printed magazine; $10 for one year of a digital version; $25 for a year of both print and digital. Subscribe today! 

Podcast shares how to make your website visitor-friendly
Your website is the new front door of your church and ministries. Is your site both intuitively helpful to members and informative to interested visitors, or is it a click hole? Learn in this United Methodist Communications podcast how to accommodate the needs of both audiences through simple tips, including an expert's "five second grunt test." More... 

Advance hope on Giving Tuesday is Nov. 27
United Methodists will come together to support vital ministry projects and missionaries around the world on #GivingTuesday as they generously #GiveUMC. Giving through The Advance empowers hundreds of dedicated project leaders and missionaries to share the love of Christ in meaningful, life-saving ways. As always, 100 percent of all giving will support the designated Advance ministry! How will you #GiveUMC? Find a project you are passionate about and make a donation! More… 

United Methodist Student Day is Nov. 25
On United Methodist Student Day, Nov. 25, congregations will gather to support students as they prepare for a life that unites faith and knowledge. The gifts on this churchwide Special Sunday provide scholarships for diligent United Methodist students in local congregations just like yours. More… 

Register now for High School Retreats
Register now for the High School conference retreat offered through the conference Next Generation Ministries office. Deadline is  Nov. 20 and will be held from Nov. 30- Dec. 2  at Eagle Eyrie Retreat Center in Lynchburg, Va. Learn more about registration and the event theme at the link. More… 

Churches coping with California fires
Members of Paradise United Methodist Church were still unsure about the state of their homes or their church building as firefighters continued to battle widespread California wildfires. Nine families of Malibu United Methodist Church, near Los Angeles, have lost their homes to fire. More…

Advice to Christians: Learn a little Hebrew
The Rev. Matthew Richard Schlimm thinks learning even a few dozen words of Hebrew, along with some historical and cultural context, can be a great gift to Christians. The United Methodist elder and professor at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary is the author of a new Abingdon Press book titled "70 Hebrew Words Every Christian Should Know." More…

Layman offers shelter from major storm
United Methodist layman Randy Evans had long cooked meals for people living in encampments around his coastal North Carolina community. But when Hurricane Florence hit, he went further, taking into his home more than 30 displaced people for a week. The Faith & Leadership website of Duke Divinity School has a feature on Evans' makeshift ministry. More… 

5 reasons millennials like United Methodism
One of the most consistent presumptions that United Methodist church consultant Andrew Ponder Williams said he encounters when he works with congregations is that millennials don't like The United Methodist Church. "The truth is," he said, "millennials desire and are actively seeking intergenerational and welcoming communities of faith." He offers five reasons United Methodists are distinctly called to minister with millennials. More…

♦ Conference center closed for Thanksgiving observance - Nov. 21-23, 2018
The Virginia United Methodist Conference Center will be closed for Thanksgiving observance starting at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 21 and will remain closed through Friday, Nov. 23

♦ Conference center closed for Christmas observance- Dec. 21-26, 2018
The Virginia United Methodist Conference Center will be closed for Christmas observance starting at 1 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 21 and will remain closed through Wednesday, Dec. 26

♦ Conference center closed for New Year's Day observance- Jan. 1, 2019
The Virginia United Methodist Conference Center will be closed for New Year's Day observance on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019. 

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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The Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church
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