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The Virlina District Board - Church of the Brethren, Inc. has called Mary Sink St. John to serve as Director of District Conference, Nurture and Witness. She began work on March 1, 2019. This new 2/3 time position replaces the former Associate District Executive Minister position.
Mary graduated from the Lord Botetourt High School in Daleville, Virginia in 1983 and from Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia with a Bachelor of Arts Degree (English) in 1987. Mary is a member of the Ninth Street Church of the Brethren in Roanoke. She formerly served the district as the first full time Program Director at Camp Bethel (1991-96) and as Director of Children, Youth and Young Adult Ministries (2007-16). She has served denominationally on the Outdoor Ministries Association Steering Committee and on the national junior high youth conference team. Mary has coordinated the last three Virlina District bus trips to National Youth Conference. She is married to Frank St. John. They are the parents of three children, Sam, Maggie and Betsy.
COORDINATOR OF CHILDREN, YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULT MINISTRIES SOUGHT
The Virlina District Board – Commission on Nurture is seeking an energetic person to serve as the Coordinator of Children, Youth and Young Adult Ministries. The Coordinator shall plan district activities for Virlina’s young people, as well as coordinate volunteers, district leaders, and a calendar of events. It is an excellent opportunity for a Church of the Brethren member to support and encourage others in the faith and gospel throughout the Virlina District. Office space will be provided at the District Resource Center.
This is a part-time position requiring an average of 10 hours per week, with an annual compensation of $6,000. If you would like a job description, please contact Mary St.John at (540) 362-1816 or (800) VIRLINA or by e-mail at <email@example.com>. Interested persons should send a letter of interest and a resume.
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED AT DISTRICT RESOURCE CENTER
The District Resource Center has a large volume of printed resources, including books and periodicals. We need volunteers to record which resources we have so we can make them more easily accessible for others to borrow. This would be a great project for youth who are looking for community service or volunteer hours. Call the office or email Mary Sink St. John if you are interested: 95400 362-1816 or <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
KINGDOM BUILDING – AN EVANGELISM CONFERENCE – MAY 31 – JUNE 1, 2019
Kingdom Building – An Evangelism Conference will be held on May 31 – June 1, 2019. Moderator Elect for the 2020 Church of the Brethren Annual Conference, Paul Mundey, will be the keynote speaker. Brother Mundey was formerly the pastor of the Frederick Church in Mid-Atlantic District and was denominational staff for evangelism and church growth. He was instrumental in the design and implementation of the “Passing on the Promise” process in the late 1980’s.
The preliminary schedule of this event is as follows:
Friday, May 31
3 – 6 p.m. Pre-Session for Leaders “The Person I Must Become”
7 - 9 p.m. Session One “Announcing the Reign of God”
Saturday, June 1
9 a.m. – 12 p.m Session Two “One Size Doesn’t Fit All”
1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Session Three “If Jesus Be Lifted Up”
Sponsored by the Good News Team of the Virlina District Board – Commission on Witness, this event will be held at the Rocky Mount, First Church of the Brethren located at 405 Tanyard Road in Rocky Mount, Virginia. Early registration, received by May 10, will be $15 (groups registering five persons will get the sixth person free). From May 11 until the event, registration will be $20. For ordained ministers seeking Continuing Education credit, add $10. This event provides 1.0 CEU from the Christian Growth Institute. Save the date and watch for more information in district publications and on our website.
NATIONAL JUNIOR HIGH CONFERENCE - JUNE 14-16, 2019
The National Junior High Conference of the Church of the Brethren will be held June 14-16, 2019 at Elizabethtown College in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania. The theme of the conference will be "Strong and Courageous" based on Joshua 1:9. National Junior High Conference is for youth who have completed 6-8 grades and their advisors. Sing, laugh, worship, make friends from all over the country, and spend time with God!
Registration is $210 per person. A non-refundable deposit of $100 is required within two weeks of submitting your online registration to hold your spot. For more information go to http://www.brethren.org/yya/
ANNUAL CONFERENCE IN GREENSBORO, NC – JULY 3–7, 2019
Annual Conference 2019 will be a very different event this year, according to Conference director Chris Douglas. Instead of a usual business schedule, the delegate body will spend much of its time in compelling vision conversations. Non-delegates may reserve seats at tables during the business sessions in order to fully participate in those conversations. And the Conference will hold a love feast for the first time in decades. Annual Conference 2019 takes place July 3-7 in Greensboro, N.C., at the Sheraton/Koury Convention Center, led by moderator Donita Keister. “Proclaim Christ; Reclaim Passion” is the theme, inspired by 2 Corinthians 5:17-18. Online registration and hotel reservations are now open at www.brethren.org/ac.
Eric Reamer, senior pastor of the Buffalo Valley Church of the Brethren in the Southern District of Pennsylvania, is coordinating the Love Feast service at Annual Conference. He asks that our congregations provide materials and volunteers to help with the Love Feast, which will be held on Saturday at Annual Conference. A letter outlining the need has been sent to pastors and contact persons.
ANNUAL CONFERENCE USHERS NEEDED – JULY 3 – 7, 2019
Approximately 40 ushers will be needed for each of the nightly worship services and during the closing worship on Sunday. Help at any or all of the worship services would be greatly appreciated.
Please contact Garland and Rena' Brown at <email@example.com> or by text at (540) 525-8726 to let them know of the times you would be available. It would be wonderful to have all the Wednesday spaces filled before the first night of conference.
CIVIL RIGHTS MUSEUM BUS TOUR IN GREENSBORO – JULY 4, 2019
The Annual Conference is arranging a bus trip tour to the International Civil Rights Center and Museum in downtown Greensboro on Thursday, July 4, 2019. This trip is for non-delegates only since it takes place during a business session. The bus leaves at 8:45 a.m. and returns at 11:30 a.m.
The International Civil Rights Center and Museum is an archival center, collecting museum, and teaching facility devoted to the international struggle for civil and human rights. The Museum celebrates the nonviolent protests of the 1960 Greensboro sit-ins that served as a catalyst in the civil rights movement.
The museum is housed in the original F.W. Woolworth building where the “Greensboro Four” sit-in movement began. The guided tour showcases numerous films, enactments, interactive displays, live narration, and civil rights artifacts that include the original lunch counter where the sit-in occurred.
Tickets are $17 per adult, which includes museum admission and bus. Tickets may be purchased online when you register online for Annual Conference. Seating is very limited and tickets may not be available onsite in Greensboro. To purchase tickets if you have already registered for Annual Conference go to: www.brethren.org/ac/store. To register for Annual Conference and also purchase a ticket to go on the tour go to www.brethren.org/ac/nondelegates.
For more information about the museum go to www.sitinmovement.org.
PRACTICE OF MINISTRY DAY - ETHICS IN MINISTERIAL RELATIONS - AUGUST 3, 2019
The 2019 Practice of Ministry Day will be Saturday, August 3, 8:30 a.m. to 4:10 p.m. at the Cloverdale Church of the Brethren. The focal point of this year’s event will be the new ethics training curriculum written by Jim Benedict, former pastor of the Union Bridge Church in Maryland. Both the basic unit for ministerial students and licensed ministers, as well as the advanced unit for commissioned and ordained ministers will be available.
Ethics training is mandatory for all ministers and students in the Christian Growth Institute and other ministry training programs. This will be the only basic unit offered in our district other than online sessions. We will be scheduling the advanced training in various areas of Virlina and Shenandoah District. CEU credit is available for commissioned and ordained ministers. Additional information will be forthcoming.
NATIONAL OLDER ADULT CONFERENCE (NOAC) – SEPTEMBER 2-6, 2019
National Older Adult Conference (NOAC) is “a Spirit-filled gathering of adults who love learning and discerning together, exploring God's call for their lives and living out that call by sharing their energy, insight, and legacy with their families, communities, and the world" It is scheduled for September 2-6, 2019 at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center located in the mountains of western N.C.
Registration will open online on May 1. The cost per person is $195 if you register before July 15. After that date the cost will be $225. First time attendees will get a $20 discount. Your registration fee does not include housing or meals. After you register you will be able to go to the Lake J housing reservations website to make your lodging reservations. Go to < http://www.brethren.org/noac/> for more information.
POSSIBLE NOAC CHARTER BUS - SEPTEMBER 2-9, 2019
We have received inquiries about a district-sponsored charter bus to the National Older Adult Conference (NOAC) on September 2-9. Expressions of interest will determine whether this option is pursued. Please contact the District Resource Center to register your interest at (540) 362-1816 or <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
“TUNE MY HEART TO SING THY GRACE” – CHOIR FESTIVAL – SEPTEMBER 13-14, 2019
“Tune My Heart To Sing Thy Grace” is the first-ever Virlina District Choir Festival. It will be held on September 13-14, 2019, at the Central Church of the Brethren in Roanoke, Virginia. The guest director will be S. Reed Carter, IV. Carter serves as Minister of Music at the Salem Presbyterian Church and as director of the Salem Choral Society. Robert “Bob” Iseminger, instrumentalist of the Central Church, will serve as our accompanist.
We will learn and rehearse four or five anthems on Friday evening and Saturday. The festival will conclude with a service of worship filled with music and the Word at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. It will be open to the public. We hope to have 100% participation from the Church of the Brethren Choirs (and all others who love to sing) in the area! You’ll be able to take your anthems home to share with your congregation!
If you live out of the Roanoke area, and would like the blessing of staying in a Church of the Brethren family host home overnight Friday, let us know!! A schedule and fee information (to cover music and food) will be shared soon! If you have questions or need more information, please contact Carol Elmore by e-mail at email@example.com or by telephone at (540) 774-3217! This event is planned and sponsored by the Spiritual Development Retreat Committee of the Virlina District.
VIRLINA DISTRICT CONFERENCE – NOVEMBER 8-9, 2019
The Virlina District Conference will be held at the Grandin Court Baptist Church in Roanoke, Virginia on November 8-9, 2019. Please save the date and watch for more information.
COMPELLING VISION PROCESS
Everyone is invited and encouraged to participate in an event. In preparation, please: pray for the church and the Spirit’s guidance as we move through this process; visit the Compelling Vision website at http://www.brethren.org/ac/compelling-vision.html, and read about the Compelling Vision process (especially if you were not at Annual Conference and are unfamiliar with it); reflect on scriptures that inform our ministry and life together as the body of Christ; and bring a Bible and, if possible, a smart phone, tablet, or laptop to the event.
WHAT EXACTLY IS DISASTER RESPONSE?
Who can go on a trip? What is a disaster response trip like? Do I need to be a skilled carpenter or electrician to go? How can I help children? The Disaster Response Committee welcomes the opportunity to speak to congregations who want to learn more about Brethren Disaster Ministries. Contact Virlina's Co-Coordinators, Ed and Susan Mckimmy, by phone (540)354-5345 or e-mail <firstname.lastname@example.org> to schedule a presentation for your congregation.
DID YOU KNOW ABOUT BACKGROUND CHECKS?
Did you know that the District Resource Center can run background checks for church employees and volunteers? Completing background checks for those persons who work with minors or volunteer regularly is a good practice to start and maintain. Congregations looking to hire new staff who will be interacting with minors, operating church vehicles, or managing funds, need to seriously consider having a background check run on applicants. Each check costs only $15.00. To learn more or request an authorization form for a background check, contact the office (540) 362-1816.
2019 -- WORLD HUNGER AUCTION ACTIVITIES
DISASTER RESPONSE INFORMATION:
Brethren Disaster Ministries Still Seeking Volunteers in North Carolina, U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico!
Brethren Disaster Ministries is sponsoring several weeks of clean-up help in St. Thomas (U.S. Virgin Islands) and Puerto Rico. The Disaster Response Committee of the Virlina District will provide a total of $750.00 to help with airfare to and from St. Thomas and Puerto Rico if going in the upcoming months. There is a limit to $150.00 per person. Please do not hesitate to contact us about this opportunity!! Volunteers from Virlina congregations can contact Ed or Susan McKimmy (540) 354-5345 if interested in going and if interested in applying for financial aid.
Brethren Disaster Ministries is not just for those who like to work in clean-up and construction. Children’s Disaster Services is another way to volunteer your time when disasters strike. Children often experience trauma and need nurturing individuals to care for them and play with them. These volunteers need specific training, however. If you are interested in receiving this training, please let Ed and Susan know at (540) 354-5345, so that a training session might be organized for people in our district.
bridgewater college's church travel team available!
The mission of the Bridgewater College Church Travel Team Program is to strengthen the church/college relationship and prepare students for future church leadership. This mission is carried out through student Church Travel Teams that provide fresh and energetic leadership for worship services, Sunday school classes and other events in local congregations.
For many years, Bridgewater College students have generously given of their time and talents to provide leadership in Church of the Brethren congregations. These Church Travel Teams provide significant ministry experience for our students and a valuable service to the congregations that host them.
If you have hosted a Bridgewater College Church Travel Team in the past, we hope you will do so again. If not, we encourage you to have a team of our talented and dedicated students serve your congregation! Please feel free to contact Chaplain Robbie Miller any time at email@example.com and our Student Church Travel Team Coordinator Christa Craighead (after August 28) at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions you may have.
The form to request a team can be accessed here: BW Church Travel Team Request Form