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News from the Virginia Conference - Oct. 27, 2016

Bishop Lewis calls for conference response to Hurricane Matthew 
Bishop Lewis shared a letter on Oct. 25 calling for prayers for the families affected by Hurricane Matthew and urged clergy and laity from around the conference to donate to the Virginia Conference Disaster Response Advance Special #5037. More… 

Wesley Seminary offers day of resources at Floris UMC
Wesley Seminary 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… 

Virginia Board of Discipleship offering matching gifts for The Academy for Spiritual Formation attendees 
The Upper Room has offered The Academy for Spiritual Formation® as an in-depth experience in Christian spiritual formation for clergy and laity since 1983. The academy is an intense two-year program which brings participants together for 40 days (five days each quarter) for worship, silence, covenant groups and study. Sixteen courses form the backbone of the academy; worship and small groups shape its heart and soul. Participants emerge with a deeper relationship with God, a better sense of self- and soul-care and more creativity and freedom for the practice of ministry. For those interested, a two-year Academy (#39) will be starting July 2017 in Malvern, Penn. Matching gifts are available through the Virginia Board of Discipleship up to $1,000 per individual. Apply as indicated on their website, and then send a copy of your acceptance to DonJamison@vaumc.org, chair of the Board of Discipleship. Awards will be made until funds are exhausted. More...

Order Society of St. Andrew Advent devotions by Nov. 8 
With a daily Scripture reading, reflection and prayer for the four weeks leading up to Christmas, “Do Not Be Afraid” is a great resource for personal or congregational devotional use. Written by pastors and lay people from all walks of life, each day’s devotional offers depth and meaning in our fast-paced world. Order your FREE preview packet today to review “Do Not Be Afraid.” If you decide it’s right for your congregation, place your bulk order by Nov. 8 to ensure timely delivery. For more information and to place your order, visit http://endhunger.org/advent

Monday, Oct. 31, is Reformation Day
Reformation Day is Monday, Oct. 31. This observance celebrates the anniversary of what many historians consider the start of the Protestant movement, when Martin Luther publicly displayed his 95 Theses. United Methodist Discipleship Ministries has worship resources. More ...

Nov. 1 is All Saints Day
All Saints Day is Tuesday, Nov. 1. United Methodist Discipleship Ministries offers prayers and a family litany for this day when Christians celebrate the people who have joined the Church Triumphant. 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...

Bishops name commission members
The Council of Bishops has announced the 32 United Methodists who will serve on the commission charged with bridging the denomination’s deep divisions on homosexuality and fostering church unity. The group includes eight bishops, 13 other clergy and 11 laity. More… 

Varied reaction to Way Forward Commission
United Methodists are responding to the Commission on a Way Forward membership with a mix of praise and deep concern about who is not at the table. If anything, the varied responses underline the tough task before this international body of United Methodists charged with preserving denominational unity despite divisions regarding homosexuality. More… 

UMCOR grants target U.S. flooding
Nearly $2 million for disaster response funding for flooding in four U.S. states was approved during the annual fall board meeting of the United Methodist Committee on Relief. More… 

Church offers Election Day Communion
Lone Oak United Methodist Church in Paducah, Ky., will offer Holy Communion on Election Day, an effort at healing after what the pastor describes as a “particularly venomous” campaign season. More...

Wesleyan scholars explore Holy Communion
A book titled A Wesleyan Theology of the Eucharist: The Presence of God for Christian Life and Ministry is just out from the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry. The collection of essays by Wesleyan scholars seeks to recover the importance of Holy Communion. More...

Mission agency: 'From everywhere to everywhere'
Directors of the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries met Oct. 19-22 at the group's new headquarters in Atlanta, marking the end of a two-year transition process from New York. More...

Churches should talk about domestic violence 
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Joe Iovino, United Methodist Communications, writes about how people of faith can understand the problem and interrupt the violence. More...

 

♦ Kindred Project two-day silent retreat - Nov. 2-4
Kindred Project will offer a two-day Silent Retreat in the Celtic Tradition at the Bellfry Retreat Home (www.bellfry.org), 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, to 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 4. The retreat will be facilitated by Kim Barker-Brugman, Janie Mitchell and Dawn Peck. Estimated cost is $175 per person. To reserve a space, contact Dawn at dhpeck@hotmail.com.

♦ Disaster Emotional and Spiritual Care Training - Nov. 5
Disaster Emotional and Spiritual Care Training will be offered 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at Bruen Chapel UMC, 3035 Cedar Lane, Fairfax. Certified leader of the event will be the Rev. Ellen Comstock, retired Virginia Conference elder. Cost is $40 (plus $10 for lunch unless you bring your own) and includes background check, materials and completion badge. If you already have a background check through the conference within a year, cost will be $30. Completion of this course will allow you to assist survivors of disaster without having to be heavily involved in construction. Coupled with ERT training, this training would also allow you to be deployed with Early Response Teams. This event is open to both clergy and laity and might be of special interest to Lay Servants and those involved in Stephen Ministries, church teachers, visitation team members and others who feel specially called to participate in aspects of the church’s overall ministry and mission that require personal relating to people of various ages and backgrounds. To sign up by Nov. 3 or for more info, email Ellen Comstock (EllenComstock@vaumc.org). 

♦ Fall Youth Retreats- Nov. 11-13; Dec. 2-4
Register now for the super early bird rates for Virginia Conference Fall Youth Retreats, weekend retreats 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. Middle School Retreat will be Nov. 11-13, and High School Retreat will be Dec. 2-4 at Eagle Eyrie in Lynchburg. This year's retreats will focus on “Just Move." Guest speakers will be Brooklyn and Coy Lindsey. Cost is $145 Oct. 10-30 for the Middle School retreat, . Middle School registration deadline is Oct. 30. Cost for the High School Retreat is $125 Oct. 3-31 and $145 Nov. 1-20. High School registration deadline is Nov. 20. More...

♦ Virginia Diaconate Day Apart - Nov.7
The Virginia Diaconate will gather at Good Shepherd UMC in Richmond for the Virginia Diaconate Day Apart on Monday, Nov. 7 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The theme for the day will be "The Deacon and the Sacraments." Bishop Sharma Lewis will also be in attendance for the reflection and teaching on the book Deacons in the Liturgy (Ormonde Plater), the deacon's role in the sacraments and a Q&A on General Conference. The cost of the event is $10 and lunch is provided. Registration is online at: http://www.vaumc.org/OrdersofDeaconandElder. For questions, contact the Rev. Jason Stanley at jasonstanley@vaumc.org

♦ Conference 25th Anniversary of UM Day at General Assembly Celebration - Jan. 14
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. For more information, email Randy Harlow at crhncboy@aol.com


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


 

 

News from the Virginia Conference - Oct. 13, 2016

WindsorMeade of Williamsburg seeks chaplain 
WindsorMeade of Williamsburg, a Continuing Care Retirement Community, is looking for a full-time or part-time chaplain (approximately 20 hours per week). Ideal candidate has a Master’s of Divinity from an accredited seminary or school of theology, a chaplaincy certification and two years of pastoral care experience, preferably with a senior adult population. Chaplain must be able to serve communion. Fluent English speaking and writing skills, empathy and the ability to listen, good time management skills, computer skills and professional dress, speech and behavior are all required for this position. To apply, submit your information and resume at www.windsormeade.org. Contact WindsorMeade directly for additional information. More…

Church finds new way to minister outside its walls
Church ministries do not all look the same. West End UMC in Portsmouth has found a way to minister outside of the church walls; church members and the community gather monthly during the warmer months at "Cars for Christ." Watch the video created by conference videographer Nick Ruxton. More...

Virginia Diaconate to gather Nov. 7 for ‘day apart’
The Virginia Diaconate will gather at Good Shepherd UMC in Richmond for the Virginia Diaconate Day Apart on Monday, Nov. 7 from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The theme for the day will be “The Deacon and the Sacraments.” Bishop Sharma Lewis will also be in attendance for reflection and teaching on the book Deacons in the Liturgy (Ormonde Plater), the deacon’s role in the sacraments and a Q&A on General Conference. The cost of the event is $10 and lunch is provided. Registration is online. For questions, contact the Rev. Jason Stanley at jasonstanley@vaumc.org.  

Invest in Virginia Conference partner Pathways
In 1995, two United Methodist pastors wer given a $500 seed donation from their district office to "go do something good."  That $500 has turned into Pathways, an award-winning, faith-based community development corporation in Petersburg, an economically distressed city that has received close to a $1 billion in services through Pathways. Their partnership with the Virginia Conference and UMC congregations has provided immense assistance in actualizing the Gospel by working with brothers and sisters in need. Pathways’ vision for Petersburg and the surrounding area is a community of spiritual richness that offers a quality of life for all to live, work, learn, shop and play. Contribute to Pathways' efforts at www.pathways-va.org/contribute

Monday, Oct. 31, is Reformation Day
Reformation Day is Monday, Oct. 31. This observance celebrates the anniversary of what many historians consider the start of the Protestant movement, when Martin Luther publicly displayed his 95 Theses. United Methodist Discipleship Ministries has worship resources. More ...

Nov. 1 is All Saints Day
All Saints Day is Tuesday, Nov. 1. United Methodist Discipleship Ministries offers prayers and a family litany for this day when Christians celebrate the people who have joined the Church Triumphant. 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 ...

SEJ Executive Director position available for UMVIM 
The United Methodist Volunteers in Mission Southeastern Jurisdiction (UMVIM, SEJ) is the short-term mission sending agency of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church. Due to the retirement of Paulette West, UMVIM, SEJ Board of Directors chose a selection committee to hire a new executive director. The position manages overall operations and staff of the office, supports and resources the connection, provides training activities and develops tools for communication and education. Applicants should submit cover letter, resume and three letters of recommendation to sejinfo@umvim.org by Nov. 15. View on the VAUMC website job opportunities under the heading, "Other." More...

Way Forward Commission makeup challenged
United Methodists unhappy with the number of laity on the Commission on the Way Forward circulated an online petition asking the Council of Bishops to rethink the panel's makeup. The Council’s executive committee announced Oct. 5 that eight bishops, 13 clergy and eight laity have been nominated to serve on the panel that will address issues around homosexuality and church unity. More… 

Churches assessing Hurricane Matthew damage
Hurricane Matthew, one of the fiercest hurricanes in nearly a decade, has left nearly 1,000 dead in Haiti and at least 38 dead in the United States — 19 in North Carolina. The state’s officials fear the toll may go higher. The hurricane formed near the Windward Islands on Sept. 28 making landfall in Haiti and eastern Cuba on Oct. 4 as a Category 4. The South Carolina and North Carolina conferences, among others, are still assessing the damage from the storm. More… 

Evangelical group plans for ‘new day’ in church
With some 1,800 people in attendance, the new Wesleyan Covenant Association officially launched Oct. 7 and declared its intention to lead Methodism in a more evangelical direction. Organizers announced their hope is to do this work within The United Methodist Church, while leaving open the possibility of moving outside it. Chief among their concerns are growing challenges to the denomination’s bans on same-gender unions and the ordination of “self-avowed practicing” gay clergy. More… 

Pastoral training now offered in Portuguese
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, in partnership with Boston University School of Theology, is offering a new program for pastoral training in Portuguese. The initiative, promoted by the United Methodist Board of Higher Education and Ministry and the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministry, enhances the church’s Brazilian outreach. More… 

Aid delivered to survivors of East Congo attack 
Food and essentials for daily life were delivered to 100 families brutally attacked by the Allied Democratic Forces. Funds for the supplies came from the United Methodist Committee on Relief as well as the United Methodist Eastern Congo Conference and the Methodist Church of Switzerland. More… 

UMC church starts interpreter worship service
Members of Edmonds United Methodist Church in Washington learned that only 1 percent of deaf children in the United States end up attending church as adults. The church now holds an interpreter worship service each Sunday. More… 

Imagine No Malaria provides Advent resources to congregations
Let Imagine No Malaria help you and your United Methodist congregation imagine a world filled with hope, peace, joy and love through a collection of downloadable materials that include sermon starters, hymn suggestions and children’s messages this Advent season.  The five weeks of undated materials are centered on the themes of “Imagine Hope,” “Imagine Peace,” “Imagine Joy, “Imagine Love,” all highlighted by the African hymn “I’ve Got The Light Of God In Me,” from the country of Cameroon. More… 

Seminary students attend presidential debate 
A group of students from United Methodist Wesley Theological Seminary attended the second presidential debate of 2016 between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on Oct. 9. The students attended as part of the class “Religion and the American Presidency,” taught by Mike McCurry, distinguished professor of public theology at Wesley, and one of the co-chairs of the Commission on Presidential Debates. More…

♦ Conference UMW Annual Meeting - Oct. 28-29
Virginia Conference United Methodist Women (UMW) will hold its Annual Meeting Oct. 28-29 at Good Shepherd UMC in Richmond. Theme is “Growing in Blessedness.” Keynote speaker is Elizabeth (Lisa) Lamb Nichols, a deaconess serving as executive director of Henry Fork Service Center, a facility in Rocky Mount, Va., that provides Christian education, educational enrichment, recreation and experiences in the arts to more than 100 students throughout the year. More ...

♦ Kindred Project two-day silent retreat - Nov. 2-4
Kindred Project will offer a two-day Silent Retreat in the Celtic Tradition at the Bellfry Retreat Home (www.bellfry.org), 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, to 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 4. The retreat will be facilitated by Kim Barker-Brugman, Janie Mitchell and Dawn Peck. Estimated cost is $175 per person. Complete details will be available in early October, but to reserve a space now, contact Dawn at dhpeck@hotmail.com.

♦ Disaster Emotional and Spiritual Care Training - Nov. 5
Disaster Emotional and Spiritual Care Training will be offered 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, at Bruen Chapel UMC, 3035 Cedar Lane, Fairfax. Certified leader of the event will be the Rev. Ellen Comstock, retired Virginia Conference elder. Cost is $40 (plus $10 for lunch unless you bring your own) and includes background check, materials and completion badge. If you already have a background check through the conference within a year, cost will be $30. Completion of this course will allow you to assist survivors of disaster without having to be heavily involved in construction. Coupled with ERT training, this training would also allow you to be deployed with Early Response Teams. This event is open to both clergy and laity and might be of special interest to Lay Servants and those involved in Stephen Ministries, church teachers, visitation team members and others who feel specially called to participate in aspects of the church’s overall ministry and mission that require personal relating to people of various ages and backgrounds. To sign up by Nov. 3 or for more info, email Ellen Comstock (EllenComstock@vaumc.org). 

♦ Fall Youth Retreats- Nov. 11-13; Dec. 2-4
Register now for the super early bird rates for Virginia Conference Fall Youth Retreats, weekend retreats 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. Middle School Retreat will be Nov. 11-13, and High School Retreat will be Dec. 2-4 at Eagle Eyrie in Lynchburg. This year's retreats will focus on “Just Move." Guest speakers will be Brooklyn and Coy Lindsey. Cost is $145 Oct. 10-30 for the Middle School retreat, . Middle School registration deadline is Oct. 30. Cost for the High School Retreat is $125 Oct. 3-31 and $145 Nov. 1-20. High School registration deadline is Nov. 20. More...


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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