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News from the Virginia Conference - November 2, 2017

Register now for the High School Fall Youth Retreat
Registration is open for the High School Fall Youth Retreat. High School Retreat is Dec. 1-3 at Eagle Eyrie in Lynchburg, Va. Deadline to register is Nov. 18. Click link for more information about pricing and how to register. More...

2018 Parks Pilgrimage for Younger Clergy
The first National Parks Pilgrimage in the Virginia Conference, Sept. 1-8, 2018, will be an opportunity for younger clergy to focus on the changing climate in ministry and the changing landscape of the denomination over the next few decades.The experience will offer a time for connection among colleagues while learning from the complex beauty of God's creation in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Priority participation will go to those VAUMC clergy who expect 30+ years of appointed service still to come, so primarily those clergy who are around age 40 or younger. Space is limited, and the team will be formed based on balancing considerations of geography, gender, diversity of experience and opinion as well as whether the design of this experience seems congruent with applicants' goals for the experience.  Applications and more information are available.For questions, please contact pilgrimage facilitators Tim Ward ( and Meredith McNabb (

Listen 2 Veterans event
Do you have a military family member or know someone either currently serving in the military or a veteran? Interested in learning how you can help those who have served our country? Join Christ Church in Fairfax Station on Nov. 9 for a powerful program, Listen 2 Veterans, led by Paula J. Caplan, PhD, author of When Johnny and Jane Come Marching Home-How All of Us Can Help Veterans.  Through extensive research for more than a decade, Dr. Caplan has developed proven listening methods to help veterans of all ages and from all wars since WWII. The program begins with a video, "Is Anybody Listening," followed by a Q&A session with Dr. Caplan. The event will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. More...

Plans underway for United Methodist Day at General Assembly 2018
Ever wanted to know how to create real change in our state government? Or wanted to know more about real issues facing our legislature? United Methodist Day at the General Assembly is the place for you! This is our opportunity to help faith communities become empowered to serve as missionaries of justice, as well as the more traditional missionaries of mercy. This yearly event will be held Thursday, Feb. 1 from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Due to construction at capitol square this year and the relocation of the General Assembly Building, space will be more LIMITED this year. Registration for event will be open soon. A briefing will be held Wednesday, Jan. 31 at Bon Air UMC in North Chesterfield at 7:30 p.m. Questions may be directed to the Rev. Barbara Lewis at or (434) 594-6241. Find more information at link. More…

First episode of Collared Chicks podcast available
Collared Chicks is a podcast celebrating the wit, wisdom, and wonder of women, ministry, and leadership. Collared Chicks is co-created, co-produced and co-hosted by the Rev. Michelle Matthews, a United Methodist church planter and pastor of the Kingstowne Communion in Alexandria, Va., and the Rev. Monica Reynolds, a United Methodist pastor and mom of five in Northern Virginia. You can hear the first episode as Michelle and Monica laugh about arbitrary deadlines, share why they are starting this podcast, dig into their enneagram types and try to tease out their excellence. More…

Start your Doctor of Ministry at Wesley
Take your ministry to the next level with a D.Min. from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. Coursework is mainly online with a few on-campus residencies, to enable those in full-time ministry to balance their church, family and academic demands. Applications are being accepted for the following tracks (starting May 2018): “Soul Care for Pastors, Chaplains and Clinicians”  and “Church Leadership Excellence.” The deadline to receive applications for the above-stated academic tracks is February 15, 2018. For more information, contact Doctor of Ministry Program Director Dr. Lew Parks at

Global Migration Sunday is Dec. 3, 2017
Global Migration Sunday is an opportunity for the denomination to support the 65 million displaced people around the world and deepen the understanding of the biblical call to welcome and care for the displaced. Resources and promotion materials are available as you plan for this meaningful Sunday, including an offering talk, PowerPoint slides, an infographic, social media assets, logos and digital banners. More…

Commission on a Way Forward drafts interim report to the bishops
The Commission on a Way Forward has drafted an interim report to share with the Council of Bishops in its task of finding a way forward for The United Methodist Church (UMC) on the extent of LGBTQ inclusion.
During the meeting in Nashville, Oct. 30-Nov. 1, members of the commission agreed on presenting an interim report that emphasizes the need for unity of the UMC, yet recognizing the different theological understandings on LGBTQ inclusion.
“We are convinced that with love, we will continue to discern God’s vision for our church and listen and see what God wants us to be and to do,” said Bishop David Yemba, one of the moderators of the Commission.
The three-day meeting at the United Methodist Publishing House featured heartfelt and spirit-filled devotions and a deep desire to share the love of God to all of God’s people in the global church.
As a commission of the Council of Bishops, the interim report will be shared with the bishops during their meeting at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina, next week. The members expect the bishops to offer feedback that would help the commission in getting to a final report next year in readiness for the 2019 Special Session of the General Conference.For more information on the Commission on a Way Forward, visit More...

Appalachian Trail chaplain nears '2,200 miles of ministry'
The Rev. Matt “Trigger” Hall is hiking almost 2,200 miles as the United Methodist chaplain appointed to the Appalachian Trail. United Methodist News Service hiked with him for a little over 1 percent of his journey. More…

Conferences embrace #SeeAllThePeople
Conference leaders and clergy are embracing the #SeeAllThePeople initiative to be in relationship with the communities surrounding their churches as a way to fully embody the spirit of the Wesleyan tradition. Discipleship Ministries offers an overview of the response to its initiative. More…

♦ ERT Basic class held in Richmond- Nov. 11, 2017
The Rev. Kirk Culpepper, Conference ERT Coordinator, will offer an ERT Basic class on Nov.11 at Unity of Richmond in Richmond from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost is $55 which includes background fee, materials and ERT t-shirt. For registration or questions, contact Culpepper at 757-434-0078 or email

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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