Church of the Brethren
Virlina District
3402 Plantation Road, NE
Roanoke, Virginia  24012
(800) 847-5462
(540) 362-1816
Virlina District

Church of the Brethren
Continuing the Work of Jesus.  Peacefully. Simply. Together.
Continuing the Work of Jesus. Peacefully. Simply. Together.


View our Events Calendar here! 

(Send all E-Headliner information to



Due to the coronavirus pandemic, a number of previously scheduled events have been cancelled or postponed. Other events continue to scheduled, but with changes to format. Go to the e-Headliner on this website for more information.


A new webpage with resources for congregations and church leaders during the COVID-19 pandemic has been posted at This webpage, which will be updated on a regular basis, is focused on ministry resources to support congregations and church leaders during a time when congregations may not gather in person. Brethren Disaster Ministries continues to offer a webpage with guidance for emergency planning by churches and measures for prevention and mitigation of the spread of the virus at


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.


Joy A. Murray began as Coordinator of Children, Youth and Young Adult Ministries for the Virlina District of the Church of the Brethren on August 1. She has been a member of Central Church of the Brethren for 14 years. During that time she has served as Youth Director/ Minister. Joy brings 39 years of experience working with youth to the position. The position is funded by “Seed, Scattered and Sown: Reaching Beyond This Generation.”

Born in Chicago, Ilinois, she grew up in Nebraska and graduated from South Vigo High School in Terre Haute, Indiana. She has taken college classes from Shenandoah Bible College and Virginia Western Community College. For more than twenty years she has been employed as an Instructional Assistant in Special Education at Mountain View Elementary School in Roanoke County. She has been married to Mike for 39 years. They have two married sons and four wonderful grandchildren.

Joy was fortunate to be raised in a Christian home. She spent many hours on the front pew of churches as a child. Her mother is a gifted and talented organist/pianist/musician. She become a Christian as a young child. Joy feels very strongly about helping people become all that God means for them to be, to have a growing faith, and to be comfortable sharing the Gospel with others, be it by word or deed. She may be reached at <> or at <>. 


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 <>.


The District Resource Center has one copy of the 2019 Annual Conference Wrap Up DVD available for loan. This is the perfect resource for delegate reports to congrega-
tions. Please contact Mary Sink St.John to reserve your slot at

Postponed -- a new date TBD
The World Hunger Walk will be held on Sunday, April 26 starting at 3 p.m. This six-mile walk starting and ending at Antioch Church raises awareness of and generates funds for world hunger. Walkers walk for money that has been pledged to them or may make a contribution. The walk starts and finishes at Antioch Church of the Brethren and includes rest stops along the way with refreshments provided. You can download your registration and sponsorship form at the Hunger Auction website.


The Church of the Brethren Workcamp Office is excited to release the 2020 workcamp dates and locations! A total of 19 different workcamps will be offered for junior high, senior high, adult, and we are able participants. To view the full schedule, which includes the dates, location, cost, and description of each workcamp, visit Registration will open on January 16, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. (central time). Please encourage those of all ages from your congregations to attend a workcamp this summer. If you have any questions or would like a 2020 workcamp brochure mailed to you, contact the Workcamp Office at 

Please send additions, deletions and corrections to District Office
Date               Location                        Speaker
May 3-5           Poages Mill, VA            Various
May 13-17       New Bethel, VA             Various
June 7-10          Burks Fork, VA            The Gregorys
Sept. 27-30     Red Oak Grove, VA       Gerald L. Hylton
October 4-7     Topeco, VA                    Marvin D. Wade
October 5-8     Pulaski, First, VA           David K. Shumate


Registration for 2020 Denominational Workcamps Go to the website at for more information.

Other upcoming youth and young adult events include:

Christian Citizenship Seminar 2020 will be held April 25-30, 2020. Registration for this event begins on December 2, 2019. Information may be found on the website at

May 3, 2020 is our National Youth Sunday. The theme and worship materials will be posted online in early 2020.

Young Adult Ministry Summer Service (MSS) is a leadership development program for college students in the Church of the Brethren who spend 10 weeks of summer working in the church (local congregation, district office, camp, or national program). Applications are due on Jan. 10, 2020. Go to for more information.

The National Young Adult Conference will be held on May 22-25, 2020 at Montreat Conference Center (North Carolina). Registration opens on January 20, 2020. For more information on this event go to the website at For details regarding events, contact Becky Ullom Naugle, director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry at or (847) 429-4385.

PILGRIMAGE XXIV - MARCH 20-22, 2020 Postponed - Coronavirus Pamdemic - New Date tBD

Pilgrimage XXIV will be held March 20-22, 2020, at Camp Bethel. Individuals from 60 congregations in our district have participated in this spiritual retreat for adults. Pilgrimage is for everyone who wants to draw closer to God. It is for the young and old, for the new Christian and the one who has been a Christian for decades. The retreat includees spiritual talks, small groups, fun times, inspiring worship services, and much more. God continues to work in wonderful ways through this ministry! Prayerfully consider your participation. For more information, please contact Karen Haynes at (336) 765-5263 or by e-mail at or go to our website at


Rescheduled June 13th
"Ministry and Mission Day in Virlina District" will be Saturday, May 2, at the Fairview Church of the Brethren on Route 40 between Rocky Mount and Ferrum (4638 Franklin Street, Rocky Mount, Virginia). Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. The hymn sing and worship starts at 9:00a.m. The featured speaker for worship is Annual Conference
Moderator Paul Mundey. A variety of helpful and timely workshops following worship are available for participants. Each workshop provides 0.1 CEU for ordained ministers. A full list of the workshop offerings will be forthcoming.
Participation costs nothing but your time. Lunch is provided on-site for a small fee. The Annual Conference Delegate Briefing, led by Moderator Paul Mundey and our 
Standing Committee delegates begins at 1:30 p.m. and concludes at 3:00 p.m. Mark your calendars and participate in Ministry and Mission Day in Virlina on May 4, 2019.


The Program and Arrangements Committee concluded their planning meeting for 2020. Registration fees for the 2020 Annual Conference in Grand Rapids will be $125 for non-delegates and $305 for delegates. The hotel costs will be $119/night (+tax) for the Amway Grand Hotel and Courtyard by Marriott, and $129/night for the JW Marriott. All three hotels will have free self-parking. 


Intercultural Ministries of the Church of the Brethren has launched a new and exciting venture called the Xenos Project. The word Xenos is a Greek word meaning stranger or alien. The purpose of Xenos is to build a community of congregations feeling called to speak up and take action supporting immigrants within our nation. A website has been created where congregations who are involved and working on immigration can communicate with each other and with other congregations interested in becoming involved. The Xenos website will be a place for a respectful, biblically centered conversation, building into a network of those concerned about our brothers and sisters in need—about immigration / family separations / refugee / asylum issues and justice.

You can learn more about the Xenos project by visiting the website at Begin by taking our survey of congregational concerns and actions about immigrant, refugee, and asylum issues. Ir a la encuesta en español. To become more involved in the project, or if you need additional information, please contact us at


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, 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. 


New Community Project 2020 Learning Tours will take folks of all ages to Nepal (January), the Ecuadorian Amazon (early June), the Dineh reservation (NM) (late June), Denali National Park, AK (early August) and Arctic Village, AK (mid-August). Low cost, big experience of God's earth and God's people - both their challenges and their beauty and resilience. More detail may be found at


Brothers and Sisters,

We want to express our gratitude to all who participated in the Compelling Vision conversations at Annual Conference for your prayerful and thoughtful engagement. The conversations were deep and rich. What a sacred honor and blessing it has been to read through the data generated by those conversations and in doing so to be given a glimpse into the hearts, minds, and souls of our brothers and sisters across the denomination.

While differences remain, it is clear we all share an abiding love for Jesus Christ and the Church and a genuine desire to live as faithful and passionate disciples in a turbulent world. A report on the data from the Compelling Vision conversations which took place at Annual Conference is now available at As someone who attended Annual Conference and participated in those conversations, we thought you might be particularly interested in this report and wanted to make sure you had direct access to it. If you have questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to us at

In the weeks following Annual Conference, the Compelling Vision Working Group and the Compelling Vision Process Team joined into the Compelling Vision Team. As this united team continues its work to articulate the emerging and compelling vision, we invite you to join us in a season of prayer, that the Holy Spirit might continue to move in our midst as the body of Christ known as the Church of the Brethren, for the glory of God and our neighbor’s good.

In Gratitude and Hope, Rhonda Pittman Gingrich, Compelling Vision Team


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 <> to schedule a presentation for your congregation.


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.




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 and our Student Church Travel Team Coordinator Christa Craighead (after August 28) at with any questions you may have.

The form to request a team can be accessed here: BW Church Travel Team Request Form