News from the Virginia Conference – Nov. 7, 2013
Gifts to Advance projects will be matched on #GivingTuesday
The General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) has designated Tuesday, Dec. 3, as UMC #GivingTuesday. On that day only, all gifts made online to any Advance project will be matched. The Advance is the denomination’s giving channel that ensures that 100% of each gift supports the project designated by the donor. More than 850 Methodist-related projects and more than 300 missionaries are supported by The Advance; all of them have gone through a rigorous review process and are accountable for how funds are used. GBGM will allocate “matching funds” dollar for dollar up to the first $500,000 in gifts to Advance projects received online on Dec. 3 between 12 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. EST. A maximum of $10,000 per individual gift to a project will be disbursed as matching funds. A project may receive a maximum of $50,000 in matching funds. More …
Virginia woman named Seminar Designer at GBCS
Aimee Hong of Falls Church has been named Seminar Designer for the United Methodist Seminar Program on National & International Affairs at the General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) in Washington, D.C. Hong attends Culmore UMC in Falls Church, where her husband, the Rev. Jung Pyo “J.P.” Hong, is lead pastor. The UM Seminar Program provides tailored educational experiences for United Methodists. Seminars are conducted at the United Methodist Building in D.C. and at the Church Center for the United Nations in New York City. More …
Winkler nominated to lead National Council of Churches
James Winkler, general secretary of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society (GBCS), will be nominated to be General Secretary/President of the National Council of Churches (NCC) during the NCC Governing Board meeting Nov. 18. If elected to the NCC leadership post, Winkler will assume office on Jan. 1, 2014. Winkler, a member of Fairlington UMC in Alexandria, has led the United Methodist social justice agency in Washington, D.C., since November 2000 and had completed his 12-year term of office. He announced his planned departure from GBCS earlier this year. More …
Missionary available for presentations Nov. 25-29
Dr. Tendai Paul Manyeza, General Board of Global Ministries missionary who serves as administrator of Old Mutare mission hospital in Zimbabwe, is visiting the Virginia Conference from Nov. 20 to Dec. 2. There are still opportunities to engage Dr. Manyeza to speak with groups in your congregation or community from Monday, Nov. 25 – Friday, Nov. 29. Also, would you consider the blessing of hosting this missionary from Africa for Thanksgiving? Volunteers are also needed to host and/or help transport Dr. Manyeza to his engagements. Click here to read Dr. Manyeza’s bio. To schedule a presentation or offer to host Dr. Manyeza, contact Ann Klotz, Virginia Conference Coordinator of Missionary Itineration, at firstname.lastname@example.org, (540) 366-6872 (home) or (540) 494-1697 (cell).
Advocate to donate $148 to UMCOR in honor of Denise Honeycutt
During the month of October, 148 subscriptions were sold to the Virginia United Methodist Advocate. As part of a special promotion, the Communications office will contribute $148 ($1 for each subscription) to United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) in honor of the Rev. Dr. Denise Honeycutt, Virginia pastor recently named deputy general secretary of UMCOR. UMCOR is the disaster relief and development organization of The United Methodist Church and is part of the General Board of Global Ministries. The Virginia United Methodist Advocate is the official monthly magazine of the Virginia Conference. To subscribe to the Advocate – print, digital or both – call (804) 521-1110 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110; e-mail Advocate@vaumc.org; or go to www.vaumc.org/advocate.
Berlin challenges United Methodist Men to have courage
The Rev. Tom Berlin told United Methodist Men gathered at Blackstone for their annual spiritual retreat that the majority of our churches are not flourishing because we lack courage. More …
Foundation seeks additional staff
The Virginia United Methodist Foundation is seeking an individual to provide assistance through expansion of current service offerings and development into additional areas of Christian stewardship and planned giving. The successful candidate will have demonstrable success in stewardship education and fundraising, planned giving, endowments and investment management. Send resume to David Thompson, P. O. Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058 or e-mail email@example.com. More …
United Methodist Student Day is Sunday, Nov. 24
Sunday, Nov. 24, 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 over 3,500 students annually. More …
December is UMFS Month
The Virginia Annual Conference designated the month of December as United Methodist Family Services (UMFS) Month, one of six Virginia Conference special offerings. Funds collected during this month provide important and life-giving support to UMFS, which serves more than 7,500 individuals annually who have suffered abuse, neglect, crisis and trauma. UMFS provides strength-based programs and services that heal, educate and empower — so that lives can be turned right side up. UMFS has mailed offering materials to every church in the Virginia Conference. Click here for additional Advent worship resources including scriptures, prayers, sermon starters, hymn suggestions and small group questions.
Congregations asked to observe World AIDS Day on Dec. 1
The United Methodist Global AIDS Fund (UMGAF) Committee asks local congregations to observe the 15th anniversary of World AIDS Day on Sunday, Dec. 1 by raising awareness of the HIV/AIDS crisis and committing to “Just Save One” child from contracting the disease. This year, Dec. 1 lands on the first Sunday of Advent. New resources are available on the UMGAF website under “Educate.” (Scroll down the page.) Resources include A World AIDS Day Advent Study, “A Season of Hope”; A first Sunday of Advent suggested order of service; and 40 Days of Prayer & Actions booklet. The United Methodist Global AIDS Fund is Advance Special Project #982345 of The United Methodist Church. To make a monetary contribution to UMGAF, give online at www.givetomission.org, through your local church offering with UMCOR Advance #982345 written in the check memo line or mail a check payable to UMCOR Advance #982345 to United Methodist Committee on Relief, P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY 10087. More information about UMGAF is online at www.umglobalaidsfund.com.
Dec. 2 is deadline to apply to be Advance Special
It is the time of year for ministries within the Virginia Conference to apply for consideration to become a Virginia Conference Advance Special. Applications must be received in the Office of Justice and Missional Excellence by Monday, Dec. 2. Incomplete applications and those received after Dec. 2 will not be considered. An application form (Word file) is available online at http://www.vaumc.org/ConferenceAdvanceSpecials.
New Church Leadership Institute to be Nov. 18-20
The New Church Leadership Institute, a discernment/training event for pastors who are considering becoming a church planter, will be held at the United Methodist Center in Glen Allen Monday, Nov. 18, through noon on Wednesday, Nov. 20. The event, which is sponsored by the Virginia Conference Church Development Team, will be led by church planting expert Jim Griffith. The institute will help participants discern their ministry style by offering greater clarity in ministry competencies, core behaviors and spiritual gifts; personal mission field or affinity group; leadership style and its implications; and place on the Apostolic/Pastoral Continuum. Attendance is free to members of the Virginia Conference. More …
‘Living Waters: Interfaith Summit’ to be Nov. 19 in Richmond
On Tuesday, Nov. 19, faith and conservation leaders from across the Commonwealth will come together for Living Waters: An Interfaith Summit to be held 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens in Richmond. Participants will consider and strategically discuss water quality through the lens of faith; discover resources to inspire our congregations and communities to move forward to protect and restore our waterways; and build connections across faiths to sustain advocacy for restoring local rivers, streams and, ultimately, the Chesapeake Bay. The summit is the result of the collective work of The Chesapeake Bay Foundation and various organizations representing both the faithful and environmental communities of Virginia, including the Virginia Conference Caretakers of God’s Creation. More …
Camp Overlook offering retreat for singles
Overlook Retreat and Camp Ministries In Keezletown will host a weekend retreat for those who have become “single” again through separation, divorce or the death of a spouse. A team of clergy and laity who have all experienced this trial will share brief presentations, small group reflections, and expressive worship to help you find the road to healing and wholeness. “Wounded Hearts – Healing Love” will be offered Friday evening through Sunday at 3 p.m., Dec. 6-8. Cost of $105 per person includes lodging, meals and program expenses. Register online at www.campoverlook.org or contact the office at (540) 2MY-CAMP or e-mail CampOverlook@gmail.com.
Dec. 7 Nutzy’s Rotary FUNN Run will benefit UMFS
The Rotary Club of West Richmond, in partnership with The Dominion Christmas Parade and the Richmond Flying Squirrels, will sponsor the second annual Nutzy’s Rotary FUNN Run 5k on Saturday, Dec. 7, to benefit United Methodist Family Services (UMFS) and the YMCA. Children eight and older can run without mom and dad. Strollers and walkers are welcome. Runners will be in the first flights and strollers in the last flight. Visit www.nutzyrotaryfunnrun.com to register.
UMCom offers web-hosting services for local churches
After providing free web hosting to churches for more than 12 years, the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM), ended this service on Sept. 30. GBGM said it could no longer support the current website needs of many churches. They’ve partnered with United Methodist Communications (UMCom) to offer a new website-management solution. On July 1, UMCom officially launched it’s web-hosting services which are built on WordPress and include various affordable plans. Visit www.umcchurches.org to find out more or call 1-888-346-3862.
Nov. 15 is deadline to apply for young adult mission opportunities
The first deadline for young adults to apply to be a 2014 Global Mission Fellow or Global Justice Volunteer is Nov. 15. The General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) is offering a new initiative that provides mission service opportunities for young adults ages 18-30. Generation Transformation includes three programs: 1) Global Mission Fellows, a two-year service program; 2) Global Justice Volunteers, a 10-week program, and 3) Individual Volunteers, a two-month to two-year program. More …
Racial/ethnic ministries grants available to local churches
Applications for grants up to $10,000 to help local United Methodist churches build ministries that strengthen and support racial and ethnic church concerns are due on Jan. 15. Applicants are encouraged to consult with General Board of Discipleship staff for guidance in preparing the application. More …
Chuck Knows Church: Bishops
How much do you really know about the office of bishop of The United Methodist Church? Chuck will tell you the basics as he plays a difficult chess match. “Chuck Knows Church” is a weekly online series that explains the meaning behind some of the objects, symbols, terms and rituals in church. Episodes can be downloaded for free at www.ChuckKnowsChurch.com and used in worship, youth groups, fellowship groups, confirmation classes, worship teams, new member classes and late-night snack viewing. Chuck is on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. “Chuck Knows Church” is produced by the General Board of Discipleship. More …
Southeastern religious leaders warn against food stamp cuts
If Congress drastically cuts the federal food stamp program, religious institutions will not be able to fill the gap for hungry families. That was the message delivered by religious leaders from southeastern states who participated in an Oct. 30 media briefing. More …
Bulletin insert available for anniversary of Newtown tragedy
The General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) has prepared a bulletin insert to assist congregations in conducting a worship observance of the anniversary of the Newtown, Conn., gun-violence tragedy that occurred Dec. 14, 2012. On that day, 20 children at Shady Hook Elementary School and six adult staff members were killed in a deadly assault by Adam Lanza. He also killed his mother before going to the school. More …
Many top staffers at GCFA accept buyout offer
The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) will see the departure of much of its top staff over the next months under a voluntary separation program offered as part of the agency’s reorganization. The agency is at the center of United Methodist operations, collecting and distributing general church funds, providing financial oversight and reporting key statistics about the denomination. More …
Head of Publishing House to retire in 2016
Neil Alexander, president and publisher of the United Methodist Publishing House, has announced plans to retire by or just after the April 2016 General Conference. His agency’s board has initiated a process that will lead to a search for a new publisher in 2015 and provide for overlap with Alexander’s tenure early in 2016. Alexander started as president and publisher in February 1996.
Advent resources available from United Methodist Communications
United Methodist Communications has created Advent resources to help United Methodist churches convey a welcoming message during the Christmas season to those who may not have a church home. This year’s resources complement United Methodist Communications’ broader campaign, “That’s Church,” and share a message about cutting through the holiday chaos and simplifying Christmas. The goal is to provide local churches with resources to help them welcome their communities and share the true meaning of Christmas. For more information, go to umcom.org/thatschurchadvent.
Council of Bishops to meet at Lake Junaluska Nov. 10-15
United Methodist bishops from around the globe will gather in North Carolina at the Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center for the Council of Bishops meeting Nov. 10-15. Items that will be discussed include: objectives for the quadrennium: adaptive challenges and vital congregations; Four Areas of Focus, agency alignment, 2016 budget process; elections of president, president-designate and secretary; preparing for 2016 General Conference; Imagine No Malaria; 2016 Episcopal Address; and theological foundations of United Methodist identity and mission. 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 e-mail Advocate@vaumc.org. For information about the Virginia Conference and resources for ministry, visit the Virginia Conference website at www.vaumc.org