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Vol. 1, No. 1 - May 5, 2016

Virginia Conference delegates to General Conference head to Portland
Twenty-two delegates from the Virginia Conference (11 clergy and 11 laity) and two clergy alternates and two lay alternates are heading to Portland, Ore., for the United Methodist General Conference, the denomination's top legislative body, which will meet May 10-20 at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. Clergy delegates are Tom Berlin, Meredith McNabb, Denise Honeycutt, Clarence Brown, Tammy Estep, Ted Smith, Ileana Rosario, Peter Moon, Kendall Soulen, Mark Ogren and Rob Vaughn. Laity delegates are Martha Stokes, Warren Harper, Shirley Cauffman, Nathaniel L. Bishop, Virginia Greer, Darlene Amon, Joyce Winston, Gene Mims, Beth Christian, Alison Malloy and Marshall Bailey. Clergy alternates are Seonyoung Kim and Keith Boyette. Laity alternates are Willard Douglas and Olivia Hinton. More ...

Three members of Communications staff to be reporting from General Conference
Linda Rhodes, Virginia Conference director of Communications; Madeline Pillow, Advocate editor and news associate; and Nick Ruxton, conference videographer, will be attending the United Methodist General Conference May 10-20 in Portland, Ore. They will be sending back daily reports about the Virginia Conference delegation and events at GC2016, including digital newsletters, articles and pictures on the conference website, blog posts, video features and Facebook, Instagram and Twitter posts (including “live” videos posted on the Facebook timeline).
     To follow their coverage, go to 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
      All recipients of the conference weekly digital e-Advocate newsletter will be sent digital newsletters from General Conference. (To subscribe to the e-Advocate and have it delivered to your e-mail address, free of charge, send your name, address, and e-mail address to Indicate in the subject line "Subscribe to e-Advocate.") To view all issues of the digital newsletters from General Conference 2016, go to To follow or participate in conversations about General Conference on social media, use hashtags #UMCGC, #UMC and #VAUMC.

Beth Christian featured in Waynesboro News Virginian article
Beth Christian, General Conference delegate who is a member of St. Paul's UMC, Staunton, and serves as director of Congregational Resources for the Staunton District, was featured in an article about General Conference Sunday, May 1, in the Waynesboro News Virginian newspaper. Click here to read the article.

Mark Ogren interview to be shown May 10 on Roanoke TV station
The Rev. Mark Ogren, General Conference delegate and conference director of Congregational Excellence, was interviewed by Chris Hurst, evening news anchor for WDBJ7, the CBS TV affiliate in the Roanoke area. The interview is scheduled to be shown on the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. news broadcasts on Tuesday, May 10. Ogren was asked about the petition approved by the 2015 Virginia Annual Conference urging General Conference to eliminate the sentence: "The United Methodist Church does not condone the practice of homosexuality and considers this practice incompatible with Christian teaching" from the United Methodist Book of Discipline.

Ileana Rosario to lead General Conference worship May 13
The Rev. Ileana Rosario, Virginia Conference clergy delegate to General Conference and pastor of Lower UMC, York River District, will be a part of the leadership team for morning worship at General Conference on Friday, May 13.

You can follow events at General Conference
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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Background photos courtesy of VDOT.

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