Roanoke District & Virginia Conference News/Events

NMO-UMC is part of the Roanoke District of the Virginia Conference.  The Roanoke District connects sixty-nine United Methodist Churches in Bedford, Botetourt, Craig, Floyd, Franklin, Giles, Montgomery, and Roanoke Counties and the cities of Roanoke and Salem with the Virginia Annual Conference, The United Methodist Church, and the World in ministry to others on behalf of Jesus Christ.  The Virginia Conference is composed of 16 districts serving over 1,200 local United Methodist congregations across most of the Commonwealth of Virginia-from the Eastern Shore to the New River Valley.

2021 Virginia Annual Conference

The 2021 Virginia Annual Conference will be a virtual event June 18-19.  This year’s theme is United as One based on John 17:20-23 (NRSV):

“I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one.  As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.  The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”

Paul Bunyan Day at Alta Mons

Alta Mons is a camping and retreat center offered by the Roanoke District of The United Methodist Church located in Shawsville. Alta Mons is open year-round, providing space for persons to experience God through outdoor ministry and connection with God’s good creation. In preparation for the coming camping season, Alta Mons is hosting Paul Bunyan Day Saturday, March 20. Help is needed to clear fallen branches, mulch activity areas, clean fire pits, and ready camper cabins. Go to www.altamons.org to register.

Women’s Spiritual Life Retreat

The Roanoke District United Methodist Women’s Spiritual Life Retreat is Saturday, Apr. 10 at 9:30 a.m. virtually via Zoom.  The theme of this year’s event is Spirituality in Troubled Times and it will feature speaker Mary Jane Rawley, Past President of the Virginia Conference UMW, and music by N.L. & Sylvia Bishop from Asbury UMC (Christiansburg).  Registration is required to receive the event program, at-home communion instructions, and Zoom link.  Register at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfQRqHRpfs9eeCWkRX8lbPcgzB_pGNoP3T5wXCd5yddCTpjKw/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1&flr=0

Lay Servant Training

The Rappahannock River District is offering three Lay Servant classes (The Basic Course, United Methodist Polity, & Leading Worship) virtually via Zoom. Classes will be Saturdays May 1, 8, & 15 from 8:30 a.m.—Noon. One must attend all three sessions to receive credit.   For registration or more information, visit: https://roanokeumc.org/docs/LSM%20ZOOM%20Training%20Flyer%20May%202021%20CORRECTED.pdf

Mission Encounter 2021

Hosted by the Virginia Conference Board of Missional Ministries and United Methodist Women, Mission Encounter is available to all clergy and laity this July.  This year’s event will be held virtually via Zoom with the theme, There’s Far More Here, based on 2 Corinthians 4:16-18Studies will include:

  • Finding Peace in an Anxious World by Erin James-Brown
  • Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools by Monique Morris
  • Bearing Witness in the Kin-dom:
  • Living into the Church’s Moral Witness Through Radical Discipleship by Darryl Stephens
  • Youth: Becoming Peacemakers in a Culture of Violence by Jay Godfrey
  • Children: Responding to Violence by Sue Raymond

Books may be ordered from unitedmethodistwomen.org/store.  For more information, contact

Phyllis Geoghegan, Assistant Dean Mission Encounter 2021, at phyllisg9@verizon.net.

Virginia Roots, Race, & Discipleship

On May 29, 2020, Bishop Sharma Lewis asked the question, “When do we as children of God in the second largest annual conference in The United Methodist connection decide to have the crucial conversations and examine our own experiential and inherited stories of race and racism?” The Race and Race Relations Subgroup of the Bishop’s Cabinet began work to help answer that question.

The Virginia Roots, Race, and Discipleship curriculum is a first step to address racism in the Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.  This series includes videos and interviews that acknowledge and document Virginia’s role in forming and continuing race prejudice and racial discrimination embedded in law, customs, and institutions, including the Church.

Videos 4-6 have now been added to the curriculum.  Learn more and access the curriculum and videos at www.vaumc.org/racerelations.