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May 13, 2016

Warren Harper helps give laity address at General Conference
Warren Harper, Virginia Conference lay leader, was one of six laity representatives from across the global connection who presented the laity address to General Conference 2016 this morning. "As you and I proclaim the gospel and we seek those that are lost and hurting right around the corner from us, we require honesty with ourselves and determination," Harper said. "It requires that the call in our own life comes alive in the spirit of Christ. It is a call not only to the Great Commission, but also to the Great Commandment—to make disciples through love in authentic relationship with God and neighbor—it is how we exercise hospitality. Hospitality is reaching out and receiving new people and means for people to explore a relationship with Jesus. Through hospitality, one encounters and responds to the call of God and finds a sense of belonging among the church body when we, as disciples, proclaim the gospel, seek, welcome and gather persons into the body of Christ. Such a call will take us possibly around the world or quite simply maybe just next door."

Two Virginia Conference clergy delegates help lead worship
Two Virginia Conference clergy delegates to General Conference helped lead morning worship on Friday, May 13. The Rev. Rob Vaughn, pastor of Community of Faith UMC in Herndon, provided sign language interpretation for Scripture readings and participated in a skit about God's mercy. The Rev. Ileana Rosario, pastor of Lower UMC, York River District, led the assembly in a Thanksgiving Litany of Praise.

Pat Watkins explains Climate Vigil at General Conference
In a short video, the Rev. Pat Watkins, Virginia Conference elder and General Board of Global Ministries missionary to creation, talks about the Climate Vigil held Thursday, May 12, at General Conference 2016. "It's a celebration of the beauty and wonder of God's creation," Watkins said, explaining that paper lanterns given to particpants each is "in some way designed to communicate a concern or a thought or a prayer on behalf of God's creation." The video is produced by Nick Ruxton, conference videographer, and is posted on the conference website at, on the conference YouTube channel at and on the conference Facebook page at

Bishop Cho, Kiok join bishops' prayer coverage of General Conference
Bishop Young Jin Cho and his wife, Kiok, are participating in a 240-hour prayer vigil for General Conference being held by the United Methodist Council of Bishops. The "continuous prayer" began at 12 a.m. Tuesday, May 10, Cho said, and will continue through the end of General Conference on May 20. Bishop Cho said he is praying every day from 10 to 11 p.m. "I think the most important thing at General Conference is to discern what the Lord wants us to do," Bishop Cho said. "Without prayer we cannot discern God's will. Without prayer we can be easily distracted by other things."

May 12 wrap-up: Rule 44 voted down
Over the past three days, the United Methodist General Conference has offered a live demonstration of just how difficult following its rules of order can be. Delegates ultimately decided against "Rule 44," a proposed group discernment process that has dominated proceedings. In other news, one bishop “passes the gavel” and another will have to go under the knife after a nasty fall on the first day of the 10-day meeting. More ...

United Methodists at General Conference offered community service opportunities
During the second week of General Conference, May 16 to 19, United Methodists attending General Conference will be given several opportunities to participate in community service projects throughout the Portland area. Projects range from sorting food at the Oregon Food Bank to outdoor gardening, yard work, painting, and spreading wood chips at Bethlehem House of Bread, a ministry of Tigard United Methodist Church. More ...

Follow Virginia Conference reports from General Conference
Follow Virginia Conference Communications staff coverage of General Conference on the conference website at, the conference YouTube channel at, the conference Facebook page at, the conference Twitter feed at, and the conference Instagram page at To follow or participate in conversations about General Conference on social media, use hashtags #UMCGC, #UMC and #VAUMC.

Follow events at General Conference on computer, phone or tablet
Even if you're not in Portland, you can follow all the action at General Conference on your computer, phone or tablet.

♦ Bookmark the website. is the source for everything about General Conference 2016. News, blogs, resources, videos and photos about everything happening at General Conference are available in this central location. United Methodist Communications will update this page throughout the General Conference with the latest news and daily summaries that share the highlights of each day.

♦ Watch the live stream. Whenever the conference is in session, will feature live streaming video where you will be able to watch the voting, worship, speeches and celebrations happening on the floor of General Conference. The feed will be available in English, French and American Sign Language. The schedule is available online, just remember all times listed are Pacific Time Zone, and you may have to adjust.

♦ Get the app. General Conference 2016 has a mobile device application available in your app store (Google Play | iTunes). News, videos, photos and daily devotions are there now, and much more will be added and updated throughout General Conference.

♦ Follow on social media. Follow UMCGeneralConference on Facebook, @UMCGC on Twitter and umcgc on Instragram for stories, photos, videos and links. Use the official hashtag of General Conference 2016, #UMCGC, on any social media platform to join and follow the conversations of United Methodists all over the world. One of the easier ways to follow #UMCGC will be available at

♦ Keep up with specific legislation. If you are interested in a specific piece of legislation, possibly one submitted by your congregation or annual conference, you can track it on a webpage in the General Conference section of

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 For information about the Virginia Conference and resources for ministry, visit the Virginia Conference website at



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