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News from the Virginia Conference - October 18, 2018

Hermitage Eastern Shore transfers ownership
In a press release shared on Oct. 10, Chris Henderson, CEO of Pinnacle Living, shared that the Hermitage Eastern Shore would transfer ownership to Commonwealth Senior Living. “The Pinnacle Living community in Onancock, Hermitage Eastern Shore, opened in 1966 with strong support of the Eastern Shore community and local United Methodist congregations,” said Henderson in the release. “However, over the last 10 years, it has become more and more challenging to operate Hermitage Eastern Shore because of increasing financial pressures caused by the need to heavily invest in capital projects and occupancy challenges. The Pinnacle Living Board of Directors carefully evaluated the operational challenges, and reached the very difficult decision that we can no longer sustain the ongoing financial losses.” More…

Pension office shares wellness reminder for health insurance plans
Clergy and lay employees enrolled in the active Virginia Conference-sponsored health insurance plans are eligible to earn a wellness-based premium incentive. The deadline to qualify for the premium discount, $180/individual or $360/family, is October 31, 2018. Not sure what your wellness benefits are or what the healthcare premium reduction includes? Call Health Advocate at 866-799-2731 for details. More…

Communication in the wake of tragedy
When done well, your communication plan can help members spiritually process devastating events like Hurricane Michael, prompting them to channel their energy into appropriate action. More…

Appalachian Christmas at Lake Junaluska
All are invited to Lake Junaluska Dec. 6-9 for Appalachian Christmas, a special festive event including multiple concerts, a storyteller and a craft show. The Lake Junaluska Singers will return, under Director Mary Huff and Associate Director Kathy Geyer McNeil, to perform Handel’s Messiah and a special Christmas concert during Appalachian Christmas. The Appalachian Christmas Craft Show will include more than 40 artisans exhibiting all hand-crafted items. The show is run by the Junaluska Woman’s Club and the profits go toward scholarships the Woman’s Club puts together for Lake Junaluska staff members every summer. Sheila Kay Adams, a renowned local storyteller and ballad singer, will perform on December 8. In 2013, Adams won the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship Award, which recognizes folk and traditional artists for their artistic excellence and efforts to conserve America's culture for future generations. The Appalachian Christmas vacation package includes lodging, meals, tickets to all performances and the Cookies & Carols event. Call 800-222-4930 to book or visit for additional information.

Register now for the Middle School and High School Retreats
Register now for the conference retreats offered through the conference Next Generation Ministries office. Deadline for Middle School retreat is Nov. 1 and will be held from Nov. 9-11 at Eagle Eyrie Retreat Center in Lynchburg, Va. High School Retreat deadline is Nov. 20 and will be held from Nov. 30- Dec. 2. Learn more about registration and the event theme at the link. More…

Single legislative committee to allow for full delegate participation
The Commission on the General Conference adopted a plan for the legislative structure of the Special Session of the 2019 General Conference. The Commission on the General Conference has determined by a unanimous vote that there will be only one legislative committee—to which all delegates will be assigned—for the Special Session of the 2019 General Conference. All legislation deemed in harmony with the call will be assigned to that committee. You can read an article by United Methodist News Service here. More…

Top court plays decision-making role
The United Methodist Church's top court is continuing to play a key role as the denomination prepares for the legislative meeting that will help decide its future. When the United Methodist Judicial Council convenes Oct. 23-26 in Zurich, its fall session will open with a three-part oral hearing related to a request for a "declaratory decision" on the three plans created by a special task force, the Commission on a Way Forward. More…

Timing right for sexual ethics summit
With the #MeToo movement and a handful of major sexual misconduct-related news stories as background, The United Methodist Church held Do No Harm, a sexual ethics summit in San Antonio, TX.  Some 280 people attended, including seven bishops. More…

Making the most of a pumpkin patch
When is a pumpkin patch more than a pumpkin patch? The answer is, when that pumpkin patch belongs to Lanes Chapel United Methodist Church in Texas. Then… a pumpkin patch becomes a blessing. More…

Clergywomen launch new podcast series
WellSprings Journal, a publication of the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry, has been a community for United Methodist clergywomen since 1987. On Oct. 16, WellSprings launches a podcast series offering leadership training and inspiring stories of women in ministry. The series is available on Google Play, iTunes and more. More…

♦ Virginia offering 'revamped' spiritual weekend - Oct. 26-27, 2018 
For the 40th year the Virginia Conference United Methodist Men (UMM) will host a Spiritual Weekend, this time at Baylake UMC in Virginia Beach October 26-27, 2018. Theme will be “Go! and make disciples” and featured speaker will be Bishop James Swanson from the Mississippi Conference. As part of revamping the weekend, changes include making the event open to families and spouses, bringing in nationally renowned speakers and offering special rates. For more information about United Methodist Men in the Virginia Conference, please contact Andrew Kissell, president, at 757-839-0790 or More...

♦ 5 Talent Academy- Oct. 30, 2018 
Registration is now open for the 5 Talent Academy event “Influence: Worship 2018.” Event takes place on October 30, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will be hosted live from Floris UMC in Herndon and will be livestreamed to 12 locations. For more information visit or contact the Center for Congregational Excellence at 804-521-1100.

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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(804) 521-1100
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