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

June 22, 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?

Are you saved?” is a question that may put people on edge. However, God’s gift of salvation makes us holy and is our entry into joining with God. In other words, when we are saved, it becomes evident in our actions now. Learn more...
  • How can you be an influencer this week?

Learn about how two United Methodist film makers discovered their love of filmmaking through the youth ministry program at a United Methodist church in Flushing (후러싱제일교회) in Queens, New York. Read story...
  • How can you serve this week?

Churches across the United States will be able to help refugees and migrants living in their local communities thanks to new grants from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). The “Mustard Seed Migration Grants” awarded to United Methodist churches in the United States continue the agency’s 80-year tradition of helping refugees, immigrants, and migrants seeking to build new lives.
The Mustard Seed Migration Grants, inspired by the well-known parable about faith and growth, are providing 33 congregations in 20 states and 20 annual conferences with up to $2,000 to support one-time, community-based service projects. These churches will assist refugees, asylum seekers, undocumented persons, and migrants of all types in their own cities and towns. Learn more...

Virginia News

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AC 2021 wrap-up

Links to the livestream and worship recordings will be made available soon for the June 18-19, 2021 session on conference platforms. When available they can be accessed at the conference website. Worship services can still be accessed on the AC 2021 event platform, EventMobi.

For members reporting back to their local churches, a summary report will be available tomorrow at the link above.

The "Fixing of Appointments" took place on Saturday, June 19, overseen by Bishop Sharma Lewis and Dean of the Cabinet the Rev. Jeff Mickle. View 2021-2022 appointments...

Updated on the site as well are the Bible Study sessions with Dr. Kinney and pictures from the ordination and commissioning services as well as the two "Glory Sighting" videos that were not aired due to time constraints on Friday.

Annual Conference members can still contribute to the Virginia Annual Conference Offering. 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...
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Nurse leads vaccine ministry at Virginia Korean church

UNITED METHODIST NEWS--In March 2020, the world began responding to the threat of COVID-19, and churches and businesses temporarily shuttered their doors. Like many of his colleagues, the Rev. Chul-Ki Kim, pastor of Emmaus United Methodist Church in Richmond, Va., announced that in-person worship would be canceled starting March 15 and online services would begin.

The in-person service suspension initially expected to last two weeks, stretched into four months. Bishop Sharma Lewis of the Virginia Conference encouraged her 1,100 congregations to organize Healthy Church Teams to coordinate pandemic-response efforts.

At Emmaus United Methodist Church, a Korean congregation, registered nurse Shin Hee Yu led an eight-member Healthy Church Team, which gradually expanded to 14 people. When vaccinations for the public became available earlier this year, the Emmaus team changed its focus from sanitizing to vaccinating. Read more...

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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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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 16, they highlight guidance for:
  • eating indoors
  • what happens if a local church jas a positive case of COVID-19
  • 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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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
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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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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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United Methodist Communications providing free learning opportunities

United Methodist Communications will celebrate Social Media Day on June 30 with free learning opportunities throughout the day, including a special live learning session Q&A at noon Central time. "Social media is more than just being social, it's ministry," said Poonam Patodia, the agency's chief marketing officer. "Social Media Day is a good time to celebrate how it can help churches reach out beyond their surrounding communities." Learn more...
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Connecting with people through prayer

UNITED METHODIST NEWS--A simple question changed Rev. Jacqui King’s entire approach to prayer. It started one morning when the United Methodist pastor was in line at a busy counter outside Nashville International Airport. The man checking in bags was smiling and polite, but King could tell something was bothering him. She looked at the man’s nametag and was about to silently pray for him. But then, she said, the Holy Spirit nudged her to do something outside her comfort zone. When she stepped up to the counter, she found herself asking: “Daniel, how can I pray for you?” That was the first time she remembers directing that question to a stranger. It would not be her last. Read more...
online gaming

Online gamer ministry offers unique outreach

UNITED METHODIST NEWS--Video games and those who play them have changed a lot since the 1980s. From the age of Pac-Man, arcades, and sitting in a dingy basement in front of a glowing blue screen, video games have now carved out a prominent niche in modern-day society. Games have improved in size, scope and quality to the point that they are discussed as being art. People can make careers out of playing video games, either competitively or in a streaming context. Entire gaming communities have emerged. The possibilities for connection seem endless, which is why the Rev. David Petty and CrossFire: faith + gaming are exploring new territory in using video games to engage in ministry. Petty, senior pastor at St Paul’s United Methodist Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, launched the ministry in 2017. “As a kid, I loved playing games. As an adult, I was often told that games were a waste of time, but that so many other 'leisure' activities were not a waste of time,” he said. “I came to realize that it was all about perspective.” This perspective led him to explore how people came together to form groups and bonds around common interests. It also led him to an unexpected insight: Churches could learn from gamers. “I found many gaming communities with a stronger sense of community than some of the local churches I had known,” he said. Read more...

One Last Word: Test your UMC music knowledge

Do you know the story behind the Doxology? Learn more...

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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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