2021 e-Advocate logo
To submit news items, events, or corrections, email the conference Director of Communications at MadelineWhite@vaumc.org.

June 8, 2021

Take part in the Conference Vision this week:

"to be disciples of Jesus Christ who are lifelong learners who influence others to serve."

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  • How can you be a lifelong learner this week?

What happens when we die? Many have written to Ask The UMC over the years asking how United Methodists answer questions about death, resurrection, and life in the new creation. A new series gathers these questions in one place for easy reference and reflection. Learn more...
  • How can you be an influencer this week?

John Wesley (1703-1791) is generally considered the founder of the Methodist movement--a branch of protestant Christianity with expressions worldwide, including the United Methodist Church. In 1738 he had an intense religious experience at a meeting on Aldersgate Street in London. Following this experience, he began preaching throughout the country and forming "classes" and "bands." In these classes and bands, members met regularly for learning and personal accountability, and he formed 22 questions for self-examination. Look at questions...
  • How can you serve this week?

"When you’re helping people who are without access to knowledge (about the vaccine) and without access to the vaccine, that’s part of mission and part of loving your neighbor.” Conversations about the COVID-19 vaccine are opportunities for United Methodists to be in mission, says Kathleen Griffith of Global Ministries’ Global Health unit. How to serve...

Virginia News

resource hub

Join resourcing Facebook group for church communications, technology

Are you part of a team or the sole individual at your church who provides communication or technology resourcing? Do you have questions as to what kind of camera your church should get for live streaming or what software you should use for video editing? Join a community where you can ask these questions and get feedback from other local churches.

You are invited to join the Virginia Conference Resource Hub. This page has been created by the conference Board of Communications and the conference Communications Office. The goal is to provide a space to share information and resources about various topics related to church communications, technology, discipleship, and more. This is a place where those who have questions and those with experience and answers can collaborate, assist, and equip one another. Every week, as part of #TopicTuesday, a new discussion is started in the group. Join group...
ACLogo2021

AC member credentials sent out; other AC news

Annual Conference clergy and lay members should have received an email yesterday, June 7, at 3 p.m. with their credentials to access the upcoming Annual Conference session. If you have any issues, please email helpAC2021@vaumc.org.

The Virginia Annual Conference Offering is another way for us to come together 'United as One' to share hope in this world! This year's goal is to collect $200,000, which will be shared with the Federation of Virginia Food Banks to address food insecurity in the Commonwealth and the conference's overseas missional effort through Partnerships of Hope. Every church in the conference contributing $200 will allow us to reach this goal in sharing the hope of our Lord in this world! Access online giving link...
Learn more about the conference offering with this video...


Upcoming dates of note:

Test Your Tech Sessions
The Conference encourages all clergy and lay members of the Annual Conference to test their technology to make sure they can connect to the Annual Conference events. The system will be available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Monday, June 14, Tuesday, June 15, and Wednesday, June 16. Help Desk staff will be available by email should you encounter connection issues or concerns at helpAC2021@vaumc.org.

Voting Practice Session
On Tuesday, June 15, from 6 to 7 p.m., the Conference will host a voting practice session for all clergy and lay members of the Annual Conference. All AC members are encouraged to participate.


As more information becomes available, you can find resources and more at the conference website.
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Worship service to recognize, offer prayer for those who have passed due to COVID-19

In a pre-recorded prayer service organized by the Virginia Conference Order of Deacons, conference clergy and laity who passed in the last year due to COVID-19 will be recognized. The service will air at 9 a.m. on Friday, June 11 on the conference Facebook page. It will also be available on the conference YouTube page.

Please join in the service Friday or at another time to pray and remember these individuals.
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Join the conversation with missionaries

Despite the pandemic, United Methodist missionaries remain deeply engaged in work around the world. Normally, a number of them “itinerate” each year to visit the churches and individuals that support them in ministry. COVID-19 has put a stop to most travel but that doesn’t mean the missionaries aren’t available to meet virtually! Each month, Global Ministries invites four missionaries to be in conversation with laity and clergy throughout the church to share the joys and challenges they’ve experienced. The conversation is held by Zoom. You must preregister at this link.

The next conversation for #StillinMission is Thursday, June 24 at 7p.m. EDT. The conversation includes:
  • D. Yang, Southeast Asia
  • Devorah Umipig-Julian, Japan
  • I. Painit, Southeast Asia
  • Monica Arango, Brazil
ConfUMMen

Save the Date: UMM Annual Meeting is June 26

Mark your calendars now for the online 2021 Annual Meeting on Saturday, June 26 at 9 a.m. EDT. Gil Hanke, general secretary of the General Commission on United Methodist Men, is the featured speaker. Hanke has served as the top staff executive of GCUMM since 2010 and recently announced his upcoming retirement.

The 2021 Annual Meeting will also include an update on men’s ministry in the Virginia Conference and plans for the upcoming year. Join Zoom Meeting at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89824607164.

Meeting ID: 898 2460 7164

Learn more at the link.
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Hybrid Course Days coming Fall 2021 to Wesley Theological Seminary

Do you need to study part-time but wish to pick up foundational credits quickly? Do you miss the classroom but want to balance your time indoors during the pandemic? There are new course options for you at Wesley this Fall to meet your needs.

With the new Wesley Hybrid Days, three foundational courses will run on Mondays and also on the weekend (Friday-Saturday). That means only three trips to the campus per semester - easy on your schedule, reducing inside exposure to others AND six credits could be picked up in this new format! The remainder of the coursework would be completed from the comfort and safety of your home laptop. Even more, credits can be accumulated if you add on a fully online or virtual class. Work at your own pace or join in Zoom Classrooms for live discussions with your professors and fellow students.

Monday Hybrid Days include UMC History, Foundations of Christian Worship, and the Hebrew Bible. Courses meet Mondays 1:30-4:30 pm and 6:30-9:20 pm on September 13, October 4, and December 6. Weekend Hybrid Days will offer New Testament I, Cultivating Mental Health, and Church History I classes. Courses meet Fridays 6 -9 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.and 1:30-4:40 p.m. on Sept. 17 and 18, Oct. 22 and 23; November 12 and 13.

For more information, please contact Admissions at admissions@wesleyseminary.edu. See all Fall classes and apply at the link.
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The Order of Deacon celebrates 25-year anniversary

This year, the Order of Deacon hits a milestone with its 25th anniversary. Be sure to recognize and celebrate the ways deacons live out their call to Word, Service, Compassion, and Justice. To learn more about deacons and their varied experiences of ministry, the conference Center for Clergy Excellence shared videos recently on their Facebook page from deacons around the conference.
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Bishop Lewis shares update on conference finances

June 1--Bishop Lewis shared a letter detailing conference finances and steps taken prior to and during the pandemic. Read more...
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What does ministry look like post-pandemic?

What is ministry going to look like as we move out of the pandemic?

In preparation for this transition, the new conference PRG team has hosted a series of four webinars to assist the local church PRG teams in May and early June. Find more information about in-person worship, webinar recordings, and the updated Technical Assistance Manual (TAM) at https://vaumc.org/prg/.
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Listen to "The Audio Advocate" podcast June 1 episode

Listen to "The Audio Advocate," a new podcast from the Connectional Ministries Office which will share conference news on a monthly basis. The featured interview of the June 1 episode is clergy self-care. Listen on Spotify, Apple, or through the audio player on the conference website.

Find other podcasts from the Connectional Ministries Office including 1,000 Question Christian at: https://vaumc.org/digitalhub/
AfricaUniversity

VOY travels to Africa in 2022

Voices of Youth (VOY) is a mission and ministry program of the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church that gathers youth from across the conference to sing and serve. While the group has not gathered in two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are plans for a trip in Fall 2022 when VOY will travel to Africa University. VOY will include current students and alumni of VOY. The trip will be in late September, early October of 2022. Final travel costs, logistics, and arrangements will be determined based on the number of participants. The plan for this trip is to include opportunities to learn about Africa University, its students and impacts for the African continent, and special events to learn about Zimbabwe. This trip to Africa University will also launch a four-year partnership between Africa University and the Virginia Conference called Usahwira. Usahwira (YOU-suh-we-rah) in the Shona language means a “beautiful friendship.” Learn more...

For more information, contact learning@vaumc.org.
Seminary-Students

Apply now for financial aid through the VA Conference

The Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church Grants & Loans application for certified candidates and licensed local pastors is now open. This financial aid is for students enrolled in seminary working toward the first professional degree. Application deadlines are July 1 for fall and spring semester grants and October 1 for spring or summer semester grants. Learn more...
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Submit application now for the first Servant Sister Scholarship award

Applications are now open for the first Servant Sister Scholarship Award, an award offered in partnership with The Clergywomen's Collective. This scholarship is for women who are certified candidates for ministry and called to the ministry of Word, Order, Sacrament, Service or Word, Service, Compassion & Justice; women who have the potential for creating ministries for a more just world. Applications are due July 1. For more information or to receive an application, contact Jan Rivero at JanRivero@vaumc.org.
loans and scholarships

GBHEM offers student loans

Need a student loan? The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) offers loans for United Methodist students. GBHEM will walk beside you through every step of the application, payment, and loan management process. The UM Student Fall 2021 Loan application opens on May 13, 2021, and closes on October 14, 2021. For more information...

General Church News

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How sweet it is: United Methodists and bees

UNITED METHODIST NEWS--“I never feel more connected to the earth and to God than when I’m surrounded by a million venomous insects,” says United Methodist Jay Williams about his beekeeping avocation. While Williams’ statement may surprise some people, he and other United Methodist apiarists say delving into the complex world of bees has deepened their faith. “When you’re working with these little insects and they are doing all these things, you see all this wonderment,” shares Williams, Christ United Methodist Church member and founder of Williams Honey Farm. “It’s like a tap on the shoulder that says, ‘Hey, there’s more than you think. Celebrate it and tell as many people about it as you can.’ Read more...
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UMCOR aids displaced people in Congo

UNITED METHODIST NEWS--In northeastern Congo, many farmers are afraid to work in their fields, due to threats by Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels. Hunger and starvation are daily realities. In response, the United Methodist Committee on Relief recently provided almost $100,000 USD, buying a one-month supply of food and other necessities for more than 850 vulnerable households. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, violence has increased significantly in the eastern provinces of Congo. More than 20,000 security incidents were registered in 2020, an increase of 38% over 2019. Tensions have risen since the launch of a government-led security operation against the ADF in October 2020. Armed groups have targeted civilians and displaced populations in the region, killing scores of people. The European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations reported a new wave of extreme violence affecting Beni in North Kivu. Since December 2020, 150 civilians have been killed and more than 100 people wounded or kidnapped. Most were women and children. On May 1, Congo President Felix Tshisekedi Tshilombo declared a state of siege in the regions of North Kivu and Ituri. Some 67,000 people have fled their homes and are now living with host families in Beni. These populations are extremely vulnerable and in need of food, health supplies, and access to clean water and sanitation. Read more...
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UM Communications produces original song

Even in the darkest times, we find hope in God’s blessings. United Methodist Communications produced an original song and music video based on the Beatitudes from Matthew 5:3–12. The video contains images of United Methodists experiencing and responding to the unique challenges of 2020. Listen to song...

One Last Word

As this week's way to be an influencer (see the full list at top of the newsletter), take a look at the 22 questions used by John Wesley for self-examination. Learn more...
john wesley 22 questions

Please send any issues or concerns to communications@vaumc.org. If you have issues with the formatting trying to forward (especially in Outlook), you can use the following link. More...
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