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News from the Virginia Conference - September 28, 2017

Notice: No e-Advocate next week
There will be no e-Advocate next week for Oct. 5, 2017. The e-Advocate will be back Oct. 12.

Over 4,276 cleaning buckets collected from Virginia Conference for hurricane relief
The Rev. Glenn Rowley, conference director of Justice and Missional Excellence, shared thanks this week to the conference for their generous efforts in assembling cleaning buckets in reponse to the need by hurricane survivors. "Many, many thanks to all of you faithful Virginia United Methodists who made such a compassionate response to the urgent need for cleaning buckets for those suffering from the hurricanes and flooding in Florida, Texas and Louisiana! Some 4,276 cleaning buckets were delivered in two semi-tractor trailer loads to Sager-Brown UMCOR Depot in Louisiana. In addition, several more have been delivered to Culpeper UMC, the new UMCOR collection site here in Virginia, which will be taken to Mission Central UMCOR Depot in Mechanicsville, Penn. A special thanks to all the volunteers who made the collection possible: United Methodist Men, Conference Disaster Response team members, district office staff, individual volunteers and Virginia Conference office staff," said Rowley. Bishop Sharma D. Lewis shared a thank you video during the cleaning bucket pick-up at the conference center last week as well.

Request for assistance in Puerto Rico
UMCOR has announced an urgent need for hurricane relief for Puerto Rico. UMCOR cleaning buckets and other relief supplies are being transported by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). You can contribute to the relief effort in Puerto Rico through UMCOR by making a gift to International Disaster Response Advance #901670. Please continue to hold the people of Puerto Rico in prayer as well as others in the Caribbean and the coastal areas of United States mainland who have been devastated by the storms. To give to non-U.S. territories in the Caribbean, please donate to International Disaster Response Advance #982450

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.

Heart Havens offering cornhole tournament
No experience required to join and learn how to play cornhole for the First Annual Heart Havens Cornhole Tournament at Chester UMC in Chester on Oct. 7. Team Registration is $30 per two-person team. Registration includes multiple games and lunch. Additional food and drinks are available for purchase. Prizes for winning teams. Family fun for all! The event will also include food, a silent auction and bake sale. The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. rain or shine. If it rains, event will move inside the Fellowship Hall. Heart Havens empowers adults with a development disability to live full and vibrant lives with as much independence as possible. Proceeds from the event all go to support adults with a development disability at Heart Havens. 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.

Dates released for 2018 All God’s Children Camps
The All God's Children Dates for 2018 are set: June 17-29: Camp Chanco on the James (Richmond area); June 24-29: Camp Overlook (Shenandoah Valley area); and July 29-August 3: Occohannock on the Bay (Eastern Shore). Lori Smith, camp director, 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. More…

Grapple with issues facing all Americans today with Wesley Seminary course
Recent events have uncovered the deep racial, political and religious divisions in America. The course, “Church, Politics, and Race in a Polarized Society,” will examine the way these three realities intersect to shape the cultural consciousness and impact public policies as well as explore ways people of faith might bridge these divides and work for a common good in an increasingly polarized society. The course will meet in downtown Washington, D.C., at Mount Vernon Place UMC on Thursdays from 7-9 p.m. for six weeks beginning on Oct. 5. For more information, contact Wesley Admissions at or (202) 885-8659. 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

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…

Texas Conference needs volunteers
While Irma survivors are still in recovery mode and Maria survivors are still assessing the damage, the Texas Conference is pleading for volunteers to come help with the response to Harvey’s record-breaking floods. “We need help immediately,” said Scott Moore, the conference’s disaster response coordinator. More…

Reserve your space for Korean Peninsula Forum
With unrest and tension growing in and around the Korean Peninsula, the 2017 Called Seminar co-sponsored by the Korean Peace Committee, titled "Peace on the Korean Peninsula Forum," will attempt to better understand the issues surrounding the conflict by hearing from experts on nuclear security, foreign policy and faithful advocacy among other topics areas. It will also be a time of worship, networking and gaining resources. The Peace on the Korean Peninsula Forum will be held on Nov. 13-15, 2017 in the United Methodist Building in Washington D.C. on Capitol Hill. Registration for the event is open and is $200 per person which includes housing (shared room), lunch and registration fees. Registration without housing is $75. A limited number of need-based scholarships and student scholarships are available. Please contact Aimee Hong, Director of the Seminar Program, at for the discount codes or for more information. Registration will end on October 27, 2017.  Space is limited! Register soon and reserve your spot at the Peace on the Korean Peninsula Forum.

Aid for young people's work on racial justice
Applications are now available for grants to help United Methodist young people with a passion for racial justice to initiate projects that can influence their church, community and world. In collaboration, three agencies and the Connectional Table are providing up to $2,500 per project. The application deadline is Oct. 15. More…

♦ 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…

♦ Small Congregation Leadership team event- Oct. 14, 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 in two more locations across the conference: 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

♦ 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...

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
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