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News from the Virginia Conference - September 14, 2017

Cleaning buckets due into regional collection points next week
Each district has designated a district drop off point but all buckets need to be delivered to the regional collection points by the deadlines next week in order to make this effort go smoothly and timely. The buckets may be dropped off at any of the three collections points regardless of your district affiliation. The Virginia Conference United Methodist Men and Conference Disaster Response Team appreciate your cooperation and compassionate response!
Farmville, Danville, Roanoke, Lynchburg Districts: Evergreen UMC, 2466 Cedar Tree Rd, Appomattox, VA  24522 – Contact Stephanie Hunt at 804-337-3569. Drop off deadline is 4 p.m., Tuesday, September 19.
Alexandria, Arlington, Winchester, Rappahannock River, Richmond, Charlottesville, Staunton, Harrisonburg Districts: Virginia United Methodist Conference Center, 10330 Staples Mill Rd, Glen Allen, VA 23060 – Contact  Glenn Rowley at 804-521-1143. Drop off deadline is 4 p.m., Wednesday, September 20.
Elizabeth River, York River, James River, Eastern Shore Districts: St. Luke’s UMC, 3396 Stoneshore Rd, Virginia Beach, VA  23452-4848 – Contact is Bob Pihlcrantz at 757-408-6653. Drop off deadline is 4 p.m., Thursday, September 21. More...

Conference still actively engaged in Virginia disaster recovery
The Virginia Conference is still actively engaged in Disaster Recovery in the Farmville and Elizabeth River Districts.  In Feb. 2016, tornadoes struck across Virginia and multiple tornados hit the communities of Waverly, Tappahannock and Evergreen.  Two recovery projects in those areas have been completed but the third in Evergreen is still ongoing in building three more homes. In the Hampton Roads area, recovery continues from Hurricane Matthew and it may take as long as two years to complete. There are over 500 possible clients that have unmet needs and the recovery team is working many hours to meet the needs of the families in the City of Virginia Beach. To volunteer in either location, please contact Forrest White, UMVIM Coordinator, at or by calling (804) 938-1026.  Please also consider a financial gift to Advance Special #5037 which is the Disaster Response fund within the VAUMC Conference. You may send checks directly to the conference treasurer or through your local church.

Basic Early Response Team training available
There will be a basic Early Response Team (ERT) training available to Elizabeth River and the surrounding districts on Sept. 23, 2017. The event will be led by the Rev. Kirk Culpepper at St. Mark UMC in Portsmouth, Va. Cost is $55 which includes background check fee, materials and ERT T-shirt. Register by contacting Culpepper at 757-434-0078 or email

Richmond-area church offering forum on Protestant Reformation
Trinity UMC in Henrico County is offering the Dillard Forum, a ministry designed to examine how faith communities speak to the 21st century, from October 22-23, 2017. It was established in 2003 in honor F. Douglas Dillard Jr., who with wife, Marion, served Trinity from 1981-1984. 
This year’s speaker will be Dr. Sujin Pak Boyer, Ph. D., who will deliver three lectures and an informal luncheon presentation on the topic, “Reading Scripture with the Protestant Reformers.”  Her lectures will be presented Sunday, Oct. 22 at 9:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. and Monday, October 23, 7p.m.  The three lectures will be entitled: “Reading Scripture…the Telos of Scripture”; “Reading Scripture…the Perspicuity of Scripture” and “Scripture, Prophecy, and the Priesthood of All Believers.”  Her informal luncheon presentation on Monday, October 23, at 12 noon will be “The Top Ten Changes or Contributions of the Protestant Reformation.” 
The Dillard Forum is open to all without charge.  A donation will be received for the Monday luncheon. The church is located at 903 Forest Avenue, Richmond (Henrico County), VA 23229. For further information, contact and reference Dillard Forum or call 804-288-6056.

Small Congregation Leadership team offering day of learning for clergy, laity
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 in three locations across the conference: Sept. 26, 2017, Mint Spring UMC, 53 Mint Spring Cir., Staunton; Oct. 14, Wesley Grace UMC, 288 E. Little Creek Rd,Norfolk; or Nov. 4, Chestnut Hill UMC, 4660 Fort Ave., Lynchburg.
The time for each date will 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

World Communion Sunday is Oct.1
Get ready for World Communion Sunday on Oct. 1 with a free, downloadable kit for pastors and leaders from United Methodist Communications. It includes preaching helps, social media assets, videos, infographics, posters and more. Join with millions of brothers and sisters in a celebration of Communion and generosity that will provide scholarships to students in the United States and around the world. More…

Participate in UMC sexual harassment survey
Sexual misconduct has been a problem in all religions and denominations. Fortunately, The United Methodist Church has been addressing the problem for about three decades, but there is more to do. In efforts to hear from those who work and worship in UM churches and offices, and to better understand the extent, nature, and trends of this problem among both clergy and laity, you are invited by the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (COSROW) to participate in the “2017 Sexual Harassment Survey.” Survey deadline is Oct. 3, 2017. More…

Northeastern Jurisdiction holding summit on racial justice, multicultural living
Sponsored by the NEJ Multiethnic Center and the Baltimore-Washington Conference, the Recall Summit will be a conference to redefine, reimagine, reposition and respond to race and multiculturalism.  The event will be held Oct. 20 -21, 2017, at the BWI Marriott Hotel, 1734 W. Nursery Road in Linthicum, Md. Deadline to register and get the special rate at the hotel is Oct. 1. Follow link for more information on event and speakers. More…

Houston churches go flat out with flood relief
From mucking out homes to passing out supplies to looking after children whose schools are closed, United Methodist churches here are still busy providing relief from the floods that came with Hurricane Harvey. Texas Conference Bishop Scott Jones is cheering them on, but also encouraging them to pace themselves. More…

Agency offers post-Charlottesville toolkit
In the wake of Charlottesville and other protests around the United States, the United Methodist Commission on Religion and Race is providing church leaders with resources to promote awareness and foster relationships across lines of difference. The toolkit is a curation of resources that may be beneficial for a small group or congregation on the themes of white supremacy, hate and violence. More…

Way Forward group to meet in Berlin
The Commission on a Way Forward will hold its next meeting Sept. 18-20 in Berlin. The moderators are asking all United Methodists to continue to pray for commission members as they work to discern options for a way forward for The United Methodist Church in the midst of disagreement regarding church teachings related to homosexuality. More…

♦ Goodson Preaching Academy- Oct. 3, 2017
Join in for “Stir up the gift: Fan into flame the gift of God,” a one-day preaching enrichment experience, Tuesday, Oct. 3 at Aldersgate UMC, Charlottesville, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Cost is $35 by Sept. 15 and $45 after Sept. 15. Registration ends on Sept. 27. Course is worth 0.5 CEU. Dr. Teresa Fry Brown, guest presenter, will give two talks on effective sermon preparation and delivery and preach the closing worship service. Register via the conference website by going to Calendar and then to Oct. 3. For questions, email

♦ 2017 Fall Diaconate Retreat- Oct. 3-4, 2017
The current realities in social, cultural and political lives are calling for more compassion and justice. For such a time as this, there is the diaconate. This retreat, held October 3-4, 2017 at the Eagle Eyrie Retreat Center in Lynchburg, will be a time of renewing baptismal and ordination vows as participants strive for and lead the church in compassion and justice. This event is open to all deacons (ordained and provisional) as well as inquiring or certified candidates.
Retreat leader will be the Rev. Dr. Virginia Lee, Associate Professor of Christian Education and Director of Deacon Studies at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, and an ordained deacon in the Virginia Conference.Event will begin 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 3 and conclude at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 4. Registration fee is $150 per person which includes all meals and lodging in a double room. For questions, contact the Rev. Kelley Lane at More…

♦ 5 Talent Academy- Oct. 19, 2017
Registration is now open for the 5 Talent Oct. 19 event, "How to Structure your Church for Evangelism" with Jacob Armstrong. Armstrong will lead the event in exploring key principles for evangelism in local church including crafting a vision that fits your mission field, rethinking worship and leadership development and structure. The event will be streamed to locations across the conference. Gather a team from your church to take part. Early bird pricing as well as team discounts are available. Visit link for more information and to register. More...

♦ Wesleyan Political Theology Project- Oct. 26-27, 2017
Wesley Theological Seminary invites you to be part of the conversation at The Wesleyan Political Theology Project Conference, hosted at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C., Oct. 26-27, 2017. The Wesleyan Political Theology Project is an effort to explore the social repercussions of John Wesley’s theology of grace. Historians, ethicists, theologians and others involved in politics and government will speak on what can be gleaned from the Wesleyan heritage to inform a contemporary Wesleyan political voice. 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 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
PO Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058-5606
(804) 521-1100
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