_e-Advocate logo 6-28-21 (1)
To submit news items, events, or corrections, email the conference Director of Communications at [email protected].

July 6, 2021

Take part in the Conference Vision this week:

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

  • How can you be a lifelong learner this week?

Learn more about Amy's Yard Sale with our Bright Spots video series. The video series highlights where God is working around the Virginia Conference. Please submit your ideas for a video at [email protected].
  • How can you be an influencer this week?
Share with your context that the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church is inviting applications for the 2022 Local Initiatives Grants. Three (3) grants of $1,000 each to groups within annual conferences for special projects designed to strengthen ecumenical and/or interreligious relationships. Preference will be given to groups within annual conferences elected to lead in Christian unity and interreligious relationships. Projects selected will be ecumenical and/or interreligious in both invitation and goals. The application deadline is September 17, 2021.
Click here for 2022 Local Initiatives Grants Application Form
Applications should be emailed to [email protected].
  • How can you serve this week?

The entire UMC denomination joins the Florida Conference of The United Methodist Church is praying for the Surfside community in Miami following the devastating condo collapse. The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) has awarded a grant to bolster the conference’s disaster relief efforts as they support survivors and families.
Support the work of U.S. Disaster Response...

Virginia News

UMVIM Leader Training

Attend upcoming UMVIM leader training

The Virginia United Methodist Volunteers in Mission invites you to a UMVIM Leader's training on July 31, 2021. This in-person training, held at Williamsburg UMC, will be conducted in a safe and engaging environment.
Date: July 31, 2021
Time: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Where: Williamsburg UMC (500 Jamestown Rd, Williamsburg, VA 23185)

Every UMVIM team leader is required to take the Team Leader Training course. When you answer the call to lead a team into the short-term mission field, you assume responsibility that is much more than handling logistics and making decisions.

The UMVIM Team Leader Training Course trains and equips you as the team leader to then train and equip your team. This course is intended for those who have never taken a UMVIM Leader Training Course.

Those who have taken a UMVIM Leader Training Course are still welcome to come or to take the online UMVIM Leader Refresher Course offered through UMVIM SEJ. For more information and to fill out the registration, go to www.vaumc.org/umvim.

Phishing scams continue across the Virginia Conference

Districts and local churches across the Virginia Conference continue to be the targets of phishing scams. Phishing is worldwide Internet-based fraud conducted by criminal businesses. Almost all information involved in a Phishing scam comes from email scans sourced from virus or malware-infected computers. Please remind your congregations and districts to be wary of any texts or emails being sent out that ask for assistance and/or funds. Trying to appear legitimate these communications may use the name of the church's pastor. Learn more with this resource shared by the conference IT Department.
audio advocate logo reduced

Listen to the latest Audio Advocate podcast episode

Listen to "The Audio Advocate," a new podcast from the Connectional Ministries Office which shares conference news on a monthly basis. The featured interview of the July 2 episode is about a new church plant, NOVA Missional Hub. The episode also features a conversation about the recent Communion controversy in the Catholic Church.

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/.
laity ac service 2021

Local churches can still use AC 2021 Laity Service

A reminder that local churches can use the prerecorded Laity Service from Annual COnference 2021 at any point this year. View and download the video at this link.
francis asbury award

Francis Asbury award nominations open now

The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry's (GBHEM) Office of Collegiate Ministry encourages each annual conference to nominate one individual, lay or clergy, for the Francis Asbury Award. Named for early American Bishop Francis Asbury, who called for the building of schools in proximity to Methodist churches arising in small towns and villages, this award recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to United Methodist ministries in higher education at the local, district, or annual conference level. Honorees are nominated and chosen by each annual conference’s Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry and reported to GBHEM. The application and criteria can be found here. The submission deadline is August 1, 2021.
sim july 2021 promo

Mark your calendar for upcoming #Stillinmission Zoom conversations

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, four missionaries are invited to be in conversation with laity and clergy throughout the church to share the joys and challenges they’ve experienced. You can join them on Zoom on the day and time noted below.
Upcoming dates:
July 22
August 19
Learn more...
foundry guest preacher series 2021

Bishop Kammerer invited to sermon series celebrating anniversary of clergy rights for women in the UMC

Foundry UMC in Washington, D.C. is recognizing that this year is 65 years since women had clergy rights in The United Methodist Church. Bishop Charlene Kammerer, retired bishop and a former episcopal leader in the Virginia Conference, has been invited to preach as part of this series on July 25, 2021. Learn more...

Clergy can now access directory information online

Clergy now have the ability to update their information online using their EVC login and password. You may also opt to submit any updates or corrections to Brenda Capen at [email protected]. Please remember if you are under appointment, your vaumc.org email address will be used in the directory. Retirees may keep their vaumc.org address or use a home email address. Update information...
vaumc youth

New podcast episode covers youth ministries

VAUMC YOUTH: "Creative youth ministry across the VAUMC" podcast episode is out now. On this episode, learn about how post-pandemic youth ministry brings opportunities for creativity and invention with guests Kara Stuebing and Kim Johnson.

The VAUMC Connection” is a series of standalone projects that will include news from the conference center, “The Audio Advocate” and a collection of resources and conversations shared by the Connectional Ministries Office. Available on Spotify and Apple.

AC 2021 wrap-up

Links to the livestream and worship recordings are now available for the June 18-19, 2021 session at the conference website.

For members reporting back to their local churches, a summary report and daily wrap-ups for each day are available at the link above as well.

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...

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...
lay servant ministries

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 [email protected].
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 [email protected]. See all Fall classes and apply at the link.
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

2019 um bishops

US bishops take on expanded assignments

UNITED METHODIST NEWS-- Starting Sept 1, United Methodist bishops across the United States will take on additional work as some of their colleagues retire. With the second pandemic-caused delay of General Conference, the Council of Bishops has also postponed the jurisdictional conferences that elect U.S. episcopal leaders. The five U.S. jurisdictional conferences are now scheduled for Nov. 2-4, 2022, with central conference elections in Europe, Africa and the Philippines to follow. General Conference, The United Methodist Church’s top lawmaking assembly now scheduled for next year, sets the denominational budget and thus the number of bishops. In the meantime, 11 U.S. bishops who already postponed their retirement after General Conference’s first delay are stepping down or taking on new roles as they bump up against the denomination’s age requirements for bishops to retire. Two have already taken new roles with the Council of Bishops. Of the other retirements, six take effect Sept. 1, one on Oct. 1, and two on Jan. 1, 2022. That leaves other bishops to take on interim roles. Five bishops who planned to retire have agreed to stay on. Read on...
umc social media

Social media takes disciple-making global

UNITED METHODIST NEWS-- After the COVID-19 pandemic closed Forest Chapel United Methodist Church’s doors, the world found a new window on its ministry. Through worship services and prayers posted on Facebook, people began visiting the Cincinnati church from multiple time zones away. In the past year, Forest Chapel has seen new members join from Bhutan, Nepal and Indonesia — all Asian countries with few Christians. By far the biggest growth came on May 30 this year, when church leaders welcomed 750 new members — mainly worshippers in Ludhiana, India. “Will you be loyal to The United Methodist Church and uphold it by your prayers, your presence, your gifts, your service and your witness?” the Rev. J. Kabamba Kiboko, the church’s lead pastor, asked the new church members by Zoom. They each responded by saying: “I will.” Forest Chapel United Methodist Church’s experience is more far-reaching than most but hardly unique. After scrambling to go virtual in the early days of the pandemic, many United Methodist churches now report drawing more attendance online than they typically do in person. The strain of the pandemic is real, but so is the innovation. Where once preachers traveled the sawdust trail, many United Methodist pastors now log onto Facebook, Zoom, YouTube, Instagram or WhatsApp to reach new people. The result is that even as churches have worked to stop the spread of a deadly virus, they also have found new ways to spread the living Gospel. And that’s unlikely to stop, even as in-person worship in the U.S. resumes. United Methodist Communications observes Social Media Day on June 30 with free learning opportunities and resources to help churchgoers use these new digital tools of evangelism. Read on...
Bishop Gaspar Joao Domingos

COB congratulates Bishop Domingos as 5th Chancellor of Africa University

COUNCIL OF BISHOPS-- The Council of Bishops (COB) congratulated Bishop Gaspar Joao Domingos of the West Angola Episcopal Area on his election as the 5th Chancellor of Africa University. Bishop Domingos was inaugurated as the chancellor at the virtual 27th Graduation Ceremony on July 3, 2021. Bishop Domingos is preceded by Bishop John Yambasu who died tragically on August 16, 2020, in a car accident and was subsequently inaugurated as the 4th Chancellor of the university posthumously. “The Council of Bishops congratulates Bishop Domingos as he assumes this important role as the 5th Chancellor of Africa University. Bishop Domingos’ leadership will be important to the ongoing exemplary education of the University,” said COB President Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey. The 27th edition of the graduation ceremony saw 524 students graduate with 59.9 percent of this number being female. About 24 nationalities were represented namely Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, DRC, Ethiopia, Eswatini, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Lesotho, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome Principe, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Read on...
mobile clinic mozambique

United Methodist health partnership offers hope

UNITED METHODIST NEWS-- In partnership with the Mozambique Ministry of Health, United Methodists are using mobile clinic brigades to serve isolated communities. Focusing on pregnant women and children up to 5 years old and offering consultation to adults, the mobile clinics serve the districts of Maxixe, Morrumbene and Massinga. “Our main target is children, pregnant women and women in general for family planning,” said Dr. Karima Ussene, head of mobile clinics at Massinga Hospital. To carry out the public health project, the church used about $3,700 (U.S.) donated as part of the Mozambique Initiative, a partnership between the Mozambique and Missouri conferences. Already, the mobile clinics have traveled to three districts, but the mission is expanding to the rest of the province. One place that the mobile clinic visited was Mabumbuza. “Today, as you can see, a few women from our community have come to benefit from this care,” said community leader Américo Chirindza. Located in the district of Massinga, Mabumbuza is home to more than 50,000 inhabitants. More than 200 people benefited from the consultations. “We thank the church and the Ministry of Health for the partnership and provision of basic health care for our population that is without a hospital,” said Chirindza. He noted that others will be encouraged “to come and benefit from these services that the church brings to our community.” Read on...

One Last Word: Pray

Take a minute right now. Drop everything. Spend some time in prayer with God.
Please send any issues or concerns to [email protected]. If you have issues with the formatting trying to forward (especially in Outlook), you can use the following link. More...
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