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News from the Virginia Conference - October 12, 2017

Register now for the Middle and High School Fall Youth Retreats
Registration is open for the Middle and High School Fall Youth Retreats. Middle School Retreat is from Nov. 10-12 at Eagle Eyrie in Lynchburg, Va. High School Retreat is Dec. 1-3 also at Eagle Eyrie. Deadline to register for Middle School Retreat is Oct. 21. Click link for more information about pricing and how to register. More...

Virginia Clergy Leadership Program’s new cohorts begins in 2018
The Virginia Clergy Leadership Program's (VCLP) new cohort begins in January 2018. The application to join the third group of excellent VAUMC pastors going deep in spiritual and leadership growth is available at
Priority applications are due October 22, 2017. Please contact with questions about these six in-residence sessions with national expert leadership. As VCLP facilitator the Rev. Dr. Mochel Morris puts it, "The underlying focus of the six sessions is to enrich our spiritual lives and leadership skills in the midst of, and in light of, our post-contemporary, post-modern, post-Christendom world. There is no template for being church—or clergy—in this time. There is, however, still and always the powerful work of our Three-in-One God who invites us to be part of the healing of all creation."

ERTs needed in Florida, Louisiana and Texas
Florida has sent an invitation for Early Response Team (ERT) to help with Irma recovery. Here is the link to sign up: For information about the Florida Conference go to
The Louisiana Conference is now scheduling trained and badged ERTs for Hurricane Harvey response. Please direct your ERTs to to register.
The Texas Annual Conference is ready to receive volunteer teams to assist with Hurricane Harvey relief.  The work consists mainly of cleaning out flooded homes and requires extensive physical labor. Preference is that at least one member of your team be ERT trained. Teams should bring their own protective gear and tools.  All members need proof of Safe Sanctuary training and clear background check from your local United Methodist church. You will be housed at a host church in the conference. Team leaders can register their team at

Conference Communications office seeking part-time news associate
The Communications Office for the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church is seeking a part-time News Associate. This employee will report to the Communications Director and will work directly with other Communications Department staff members to resource and equip local churches for ministry by promoting, publicizing and reporting news, mission and ministry opportunities within the conference and across the denomination. This work will be primarily through the official magazine of the Virginia Conference, The Virginia United Methodist Advocate, as well as through other printed and digital publications, the conference website, use of social media and other tools. If interested, send cover letter and resume to Madeline Pillow, Director of Communications, at The deadline for inquiries and applications is Oct. 16, 2017. View full job description here.

New and Recertification Early Response Team Training available
Two trainings are being offered for ERT training: basic training will be held Oct. 14 at Bethel UMC in Warrenton and New and Recertification ERT training will be held Oct. 28 at Wilderness Community UMC in Spotsylvania. Click link for more information and to register. More…

Have ideas for 2018 Advocate magazine themes?
The Communications office is currently planning the feature themes for the 2018 Advocate magazine. What topics would you like to see? What events need to be covered? What topic would you like to know more about? Contact Madeline Pillow, editor, at to share your ideas.

All God’s Children Camp Director shares stories, dates for 2018
Lori Smith, camp director of All God's Children Camp, shared that the 2017 summer sessions were very successful and she cannot wait for 2018 for more fun-filled weeks loving campers who need it most. Please contact Lori Smith at for more information and click the link for 2018 dates and stories from this year. More…

Discipleship Ministries offers Safe Sanctuaries training for trainers
Discipleship Ministries has revamped Train-the-Trainer to address what trainers need in their “toolbox” when leading training in reducing the risk of sexual abuse in ministry settings. The training is based on the resolution rather than the training manual. This will be a two-part session for anyone who leads training. Each session will last a little under two hours for a total of four hours of CEUs. Discipleship Ministries will also share new downloadable resource. More…

Be part of the Wesleyan Political Theology Project Conference
How can your Wesleyan heritage inform political engagement in today's society? Wesley and the Center for Public Theology invites you to consider this question with noted academics, historians, ethicists, theologians and others involved in politics and government. This two-day academic conference from October 26-27, 2017, is open to the public. Register today - space is limited. Visit link for more information or to register. More…

Start your Doctor of Ministry at Wesley Seminary in January
Take your ministry to the next level with a Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) from Wesley! Applications are still being accepted for the following specializations: “Soul Care for Pastors, Chaplains and Clinicians” and a study in Cambridge, England, in the new specialization “Holiness, Effective Ministry, and Engagement with the World.” For more information, contact Doctor of Ministry Program Director Dr. Lew Parks at

Apply for 2018 Foundation Ministry Grants
The deadline for Virginia United Methodist Foundation (VAUMF) Grant Applications is approaching! Deadline is October 31. If you have any questions about how to apply for a VAUMF Grant, please call 804-521-1121 or visit to apply. To read more about the Foundation’s Grants Initiative, read here

Pastor honored for welcome to Muslims
The Rev. Steve Stone, retired pastor of Heartsong United Methodist Church in Cordova, Tennessee, near Memphis, will be presented the Franklin D. Roosevelt Freedom of Worship Medal from the Roosevelt Institute on Oct. 10. Stone and his church faced some local opposition for welcoming the Memphis Islamic Center to their community. Dr. Bashar Shala, of the center, will be honored with Stone. More…

Church helps initiate ID program for community
When the Rev. Brandon Cho of Morristown United Methodist Church started getting calls from congregants worried about new federal immigration policies, he knew something needed to be done. In a joint effort with an immigration advocacy organization and the Morristown Clergy Council, with backing by city officials, the Morristown Municipal ID program was conceived. More…

♦ Small Congregation Leadership team event- Nov. 4, 2017
David Canada talks about spiritual disciplines at the “Spring Day Apart” for the diaconate.The Small Congregation Leadership Team invites small church clergy and laity to a day of learning, conversation and discussion with the Rev. David Canada. Event will take place Nov. 4, Chestnut Hill UMC, 4660 Fort Ave., Lynchburg.
The timewill be 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with registration beginning at 9:30 a.m. Cost is $25 per person with lunch provided.The event is worth 0.5 CEU. Group discounts are available.To register, visit Contact the Center for Congregational Excellence for more information at 804-521-1100 or by emailing or

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
10330 Staples Mill Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060
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