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

June 15, 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?

June 19--What is Juneteenth? Learn more from the General Commission on Religion and Race...
  • How can you be an influencer this week?

"Expanding the Table," a new podcast from the General Commission on Religion and Race focuses on how individual Christians and church-based entities can and should engage the work of racial justice-making and anti-racism. Listen...
  • 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

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AC members can test their 'tech' today and tomorrow; join voting practice session tonight

A reminder that Annual Conference (AC) members can "Test Your Tech" in preparation for this week’s 239th Session of the June 18-19 Virginia Annual Conference sessions. From Monday - Wednesday of this week (June 14-16), a tech support team is ready to assist from 8 AM - 8 PM. “Testing your tech” will take approximately 3 minutes and is an important way to make sure you are ready to fully participate in Annual Conference. Here is a quick video to help you through the process.

Tonight, 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.

Annual Conference clergy and lay members should have received an email, 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...



As more information becomes available, you can find resources and more at the conference website.
connection

Connect graduating youth to Virginia Conference campus ministries

Campus Ministries across the Virginia Conference and the United Methodist Connection shape leaders of the church, cultivate clergy, and impact not just their college campuses but entire communities.

Connect your graduating youth and college students to transformative ministry for the Kingdom that creates lifelong learners who influence others to serve today by completing the campus ministry form or emailing learning@vaumc.org.

Get to know more about the campus ministries in Virginia on the conference website.

Please submit student names and information by June 30.
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Cicadas show up for church, testing clergy

UNITED METHODIST NEWS--United Methodist clergy are finding inspiration for sermons and devotionals in the arrival of billions of Brood X cicadas after 17 years spent underground. But the red-eyed, flying insects also have disrupted outdoor worship services. Several Virginia Conference pastors share their stories of inspiration in the article as well. Read more...
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Take part in this year's virtual Mission Encounter

Mission Encounter is a joint effort between VAUMC United Methodist Women and conference Serving Ministries, inviting members to be involved in the mission of God.

The event, July 1 to August 5, 2021, is an opportunity to study current issues impacting society based on current social justice and mission-related topics. This year, the event will be all virtual. Participants will join every Thursday at 7 p.m. for six sessions from July 1 to August 5.

The theme is "There’s Far More Here" based on 2 Corinthians 4:16-18. Learn more, register, and access the curriculum at the conference website.
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PRG Team Best Practices update

The PRG Team has provided best practices as local churches continue to safely and effectively lead ministry as they transition to post-pandemic worship and ministry. In the team's update from June 10, they highlight:
  • understanding Executive Order 79
  • how churches can encourage staff to be vaccinated
  • understand immune compromised
  • Learn more...
All Relaunch webinars, held in May and early June, can be accessed here...
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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.
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Join summer Lay Servant courses in August 2021

Join the Lay Servant Academy Online Training Day on Saturday, August 21. New this year will be both full-day and half-day course offerings. All courses are designed for equipping laity for the work and mission of each person’s calling. Instructors for each course include both clergy and laity who are ready to give practical and relevant resources that will be useful in various ministry areas. Lay Servant Academy is for all of the Virginia Conference laity who feel called to ministry or who currently serve the church and would like to grow in their servant leadership.

View the course descriptions and other information here.

Register at this link: https://na.eventscloud.com/ereg/index.php?eventid=623870&.

For more information or for questions, you may contact Tianna Durbin, Director of Lay Servant Academy TiannaD@arcolachurch.org.
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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.
wesley hybrid

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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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/
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...
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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After mass grave found, groups urge action

UNITED METHODIST NEWS--After the bones of 215 children were found at the site of the Kamloops Indian Residential School in Canada, Native American United Methodists are urging a closer look at Methodist-run schools. The Native American International Caucus asks bishops to commit time and money to the investigation. The executive committee of the Northeastern Jurisdiction Native American Ministries Committee also has issued a letter of solidarity with the caucus. Read more...
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New program addresses human trafficking in Cambodia

A new program to help keep people from falling back into human trafficking networks has now opened in Cambodia. Missionary Patrick Booth arrived in Cambodia last fall, during the peak of the pandemic, to get Project ARK up and running. Learn more...

One Last Word

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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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