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Virginia United Methodists Annual Conference in Roanoke

Thousands make their way to Roanoke

June 23, 2012|Bryce Williams | Reporter

ROANOKE, Va. — The Virginia United Methodists Annual Conference is taking place this weekend at the Roanoke Civic Center.  More than 3,300 people are in town. Of course there's preaching and praying, but the group is doing much more.

We spoke with Steve Hundley who is the district superintendent. "We come together to focus on our mission and ministry and celebrate all that we do. We make appointments of pastors, decide on how we're gonna be in ministry all across the commonwealth of Virginia," he said.

But it's more than just a religious conference. It's about giving and helping the community. Three semi-trucks were used to collect items for those in need. The kits include everything from school supplies to toiletries. Reverend Louis Strickler is proud of the effort. "It's great. I just can imagine the people who will be receiving these kits in their time of crisis and it will be a blessing to them and God is good,” he said.

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Also this year, the group is recognizing its leader, Bishop Charlene Kammerer. She is the first woman to lead the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church. She's held that position for eight years. A new leader will be elected next month.

"I've worked with Bishop Kammerer ever since she came here. She appointed me to be the Roanoke District Superintendent after being here about five months. And I became a superintendent here. She has been a blessing to us and a blessing to United Methodists, a great example for women pastors  and a great inspiring leader for us," said Steve Hundley.

The Virginia United Methodist Annual Conference usually takes place during the week. This is one of the few times it's been held on the weekend, which probably explains why restaurants are extra crowded and hotels are booked.

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