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To submit news items, events, or corrections, email the conference Communications Office at [email protected].

November 9, 2021

conf podcasts

Conference podcasts share news, unique conversations

The Connectional Ministries Office shares news and unique conversations through their podcasts, "The VAUMC Connection" and "1000 Question Christian." Hear the latest news with the Nov. 1 Audio Advocate episode and learn about nerd culture in the church with a "Revenge of the Nerd Pastor" episode. Find podcasts...

How can you take part in learning, influencing, and serving this week?

  • How can you be a lifelong learner?

Advent is an invitation. For many, it is the invitation to get into that Christmas spirit, to count down the days to the grand celebration, and let the holiday transform everything around us. We’re not all about Christmas, the holiday, about December 25 with all the jingle bells and tinsel. We are about Christmas, the Mass of Christ, the celebration of the Incarnate One who comes to remind us that we are not alone, and God is with us. We are about the longing for the coming kin-dom, where we will study war no more, where people will walk in the light, where joy will be found, and love with be the tie that binds us together. That’s the home for which we long. That’s the invitation this Advent season to your church and the world: “Come home for Christmas.” Learn more...
  • How can you be an influencer?
Chances are, that stereotypical image you may have learned about Native Americans in grade school could use some updating. Learn more...
  • How can you serve?

All around the world, missionaries serve the church in areas like pastoral leadership, education, and health care. Journey with them and deepen your experience of mission through a Covenant Partner Relationship. Learn more...

Virginia News


Shopping lists created to assist Afghan allies, honor veterans Nov. 11-14

As Thanksgiving nears, a time to express gratitude for blessings, Veteran’s Day is also recognized on November 11. Over the last 20 years, taking opportunities to thank veterans for their service has become commonplace.
This year, the Virginia United Methodist Refugee Response Team (RRT) would like to invite you to join them in thanking another group for their service to our country. Afghans stood alongside U.S. soldiers as translators, worked on U.S. bases in the country, or served at the U.S. embassy alongside diplomats. In the words of Bishop Sharma Lewis, “Many of them have sacrificed and risked more than most of us will ever be asked to do.”
With the fall of Kabul, many of these Afghan allies, in great danger due to their service to the United States, made their way out. While some are still at U.S. bases overseas being processed for eventual travel to the United States, many have already arrived, including in Virginia, with little more than the clothes on their back. Veterans were the first to step up to advocate for getting as many of these Afghans safely out and, once here, to ensure their basic needs were met. Other organizations have been contracted by the U.S. government to help in their resettlement and have made public wish lists of urgent needs on Amazon and Target.
The hope of the RRT is that you will join in a Veteran’s Day weekend of shopping for these Afghan allies and their families. The RRT has tried to make this as simple as possible. For example, by shopping via these pre-populated and continuously updated lists, your gift will be sent directly to the requesting organization and there is no need to worry if it is a needed item or if the clothing is culturally appropriate. Items on the list range from $6 to several hundred dollars which the team hopes will make participation feasible for anyone who wants to contribute. The goal is to create a huge dent in these lists. With the change in temperatures winter clothing is a priority need, but if for any reason purchasing those is not possible, please know that all items are necessary to help our new neighbors adjust to their new home.
Thank you for showing Christ’s love to those who, like he was, are refugees in a new land.
Click on this link to find more information about 'Grateful for the Serving: Giving Thanks Shopping Event.'
Advent virtual choirHome

Take part in Advent choir

Churches and choirs across the Virginia Conference are invited to join in a Virtual Choir for Advent 2021 by recording “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less." Churches are encouraged to use this song during worship in Advent and share the hope with the world. For details and to submit a recording by Nov. 15, visit this link...
sherando umc

Support Sherando UMC after church fire

On the morning of Friday, October 29, the Sherando United Methodist Church building was destroyed in a fire. Sherando UMC is on the Staunton District. Despite this, members gathered Halloween Sunday at a local Ruritan hall for worship, and two new members united with the congregation. District Superintendent Doug Forrester said, "Through tears and even moments of holy laughter, fond memories were shared and the congregation demonstrated great resilience as we looked to God's future with hope."

Right now, the best way individuals can help Sherando is by monetary contributions. If you or your congregation feels moved to support the people of Sherando UMC in this way, please mail a check made out to "Staunton District" to

Staunton District United Methodist Church
26 Orr Drive
Fishersville, VA 22939
discipleship ministries

Join youth leader Zoom event

Join other youth leaders to learn from Chris Wilterdink from the General Board of Discipleship about developing youth leadership in your local church. Chris Wilterdink will also be leading a youth leadership retreat in February for 20 youth, and five adults in the Virginia Conference. The event will be held tomorrow, November 10 at noon. Register for Zoom...
youth night discovery umc

Richmond church holds Youth Night on November 12

Discovery UMC in Richmond, Va., is holding a Youth Night on November 12. The event is $5 per person with dinner provided as well as entertainment by comedian John Felts and music by Keith Elgin & the 360 Collective Band. RSVP by November 10 by emailing the Rev. Hannah Bryn at [email protected].

Love, Learn, and Lead Webinar focuses on AMENDING Through Faith

Mark your calendars now, and please join tonight, November 9, 2021 at 6:30 PM EDT for a Love, Learn, and Lead webinar on AMENDING Through Faith, a program that encourages men and boys to challenge a culture that supports violence against women.

Steve Schaefer, VACUMM advocate for AMENDING Through Faith and co-team leader of the Elizabeth River District UMM, will share how the AMENDING Through Faith study trains men to recognize, respond to, and prevent violence against women.

Join Zoom Meeting

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Attend final #StillinMission episode

You are invited to join the final #StillInMission episode this year. In addition to the meetings with missionaries, there will be a joint devotion/centering experience led by the missionary presenters in the episode. Registration is required. To register, click here. The episode on November 11, 2021, at 12:00 o.m. EST will feature:
  • Priscilla Legay Jaiah, Superintendent at the Ganta Mission Station in Liberia
  • Gaston Ntambo, Pilot and Mechanic with the Wings of the Morning Aviation Ministry in the North Kantanga Conference in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Jeanne Ntambo, Radio Operator for the Wings of the Morning Aviation Ministry in the North Katanga Conference in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Grace Choi, Missionary in Residence at Global Ministries in the United States
  • Magdeline Russo, Community & Church Engagement Intern with McCabe Memorial United Methodist Church in the United States
will you serve

Nominations Team seeks people to serve on boards, agencies

This is the time of year when the Virginia Conference Nominations Team begins diligently finding and resourcing individuals interested in serving on conference boards, agencies, and in other leadership positions. Information and videos about many of these positions can be found on the conference website at In fact, everything an individual would need to explore God’s call for leadership within the annual conference leadership teams is housed at this location. Additionally, there are current vacancies that you might want to consider and pray over at
If you have any questions about leadership opportunities through the Virginia Annual Conference, please do not hesitate to email Assistant to the Bishop and Director of Connectional Ministries, the Rev. Dr. Steve Summers, at [email protected].
wesley seminary

Experience Seminary Life for A Day at WTS Welcome Table Nov. 12

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a seminarian? Curious about what classes would be like? Wesley Theological Seminary invites you to their on-campus open house, Welcome Table, this Saturday, November 13, 2021, 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. Eastern. At this event, you can attend a class with seminarians, discuss master-level degree programs and fellowship with staff students, and a faculty member. For more information or to register, please go to this link...
UMFS Offering_1

Resources now available for UMFS December offering

United Methodist Family Services (UMFS) is the Virginia Conference designated offering for December. UMFS does not receive any apportionment funding, so the organization deeply appreciates your generosity through this offering. The offering supports high-risk children across Virginia, including children in foster care, children struggling with mental health challenges, and special education students.
A variety of resources are available to support the offering and help bring this ministry to life for your congregation. You can find the following resources at bulletin inserts, offering envelopes, church offering scripts, short videos, and images for newsletters, emails, social media, and websites. Please contact Jill Gaynor ([email protected] or 804-254-9463) with any questions.

Learn more about UMFS as they celebrate 120 years in this recent NBC12 segment.

Council of Bishops shares anti-racism resources for Advent

As churches prepare for Advent season, prayerfully consider incorporating the Advent 2021 theme project from the Council of Bishops (COB) into your local church's preaching and teaching and adapting any of the following elements for use in your context. View project...

Music and Worship Arts Fellowship offers 'worship revisioned' virtual event

Last fall, when so many acknowledged they were exhausted, in despair, and in need of hope, the Fellowship of United Methodists in Music and Worship Arts offered a virtual event to engage people in ways of finding God’s help and hope in ministries and lives. Another year into the pandemic, many still do not see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. The way worship arts are led continues to change dramatically with few chances to breathe and say, “Now we’ve figured it out.”

The Fellowship is offering another event to reconnect with the hope and help needed with a one-year anniversary virtual event on November 10 at 12 noon. The one-hour webinar will be a time to share encouragement and resources with one another for worship arts ministry in this ongoing pandemic.

Registration for the webinar is complimentary with a suggested donation amount of $10 that will support the Annual Fund of The Fellowship. (Webinar recording will be made available to registrants.) Click here to register
youth 2023

YOUTH 2023 to be held in Daytona Beach, Florida

The first YOUTH event for the youth of The United Methodist Church took place in 1988, and since the early 1990s Discipleship Ministries has organized the YOUTH event every four years. This tradition will continue with YOUTH 2023 in Daytona Beach, Florida, from July 25-28, 2023! Learn more...

Latino Thanksgiving Worship Service in Spanish invitation extended

All are invited to join in a Latino Thanksgiving Worship Service in Spanish on November 13 at 7 p.m. by Zoom. The service will feature testimonies, prayers, music and praise! Topic: Culto de Alabanza y Adoracion. More details...

Sensing a call to ministry? Bailey Pre-Ministerial program can help

For students who sense a calling to full-time Christian ministry, the A. Purnell Bailey Pre-Ministerial Program at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland offers encouragement through a weekly vocational discernment group, two internships, and financial support. Applications are currently being accepted. Interviews for selected applicants may take place in person or by video conferencing this year. The A. Purnell Bailey Pre-Ministerial Program offers half-tuition during a student’s freshman/sophomore years; full tuition during the junior/senior years; two internships in ministry settings. Join in a cohort of peers who are also discerning a call while working on your college degree. Find out more and apply at The deadline for 2022-2023 Bailey Scholar applications is January 10, 2022.
wesley seminary

Take Time For You in 2022 with a J-Term Class at Wesley!

With another year just around the corner, do you feel the need for some time away and spiritual and intellectual refreshment? If so, Wesley Theological Seminary invites you to join J-Term 2022, a series of intense, 1- or 2-week courses in January that enables a time of focused class learning (online or in-person) with the remainder of the coursework completed individually later in the term. Many clergy and ministry leaders take these courses for both CEUs and as a time of retreat following a busy Advent/Christmas season. Registration opens October 18, 2021 - December 13, 2021. Learn more...

Make it Matter One-Day Youth Rally will replace Youth Retreat; registration is open

The Youth Rally on Saturday, December 4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, VA, is filling up fast. Learn more...
Click here to register by November 29.

General Church News

bickerton and council of bishops

Bishops agree on narrative for the continuing United Methodist Church

THE COUNCIL OF BISHOPS--The Council of Bishops ended its fall meeting on Friday having spent time in worship, plenary and covenant groups as they seek God’s guidance to lead The United Methodist Church.
The bishops, from Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America, overwhelmingly approved a narrative that provides a framework and begins to paint a picture for the continuing United Methodist Church.
The document reminds United Methodists of Christ’s prayer for unity and the commandment to gather all to the table, to make space for one another, appreciate one another, and look for Christ in each other.
The bishops noted that they are “committed to strengthening every local church, where the word is preached and Christ is offered, and where the table is set before all who hunger and thirst for righteousness.” Learn more...

Group seeks bishops' grace in church exits

UM NEWS-- A group of United Methodists is urging bishops to allow congregations that want to do so to leave with property now — rather than wait for General Conference.
“As the writer of Ecclesiastes notes, ‘For everything there is a season,’ and the season for waiting on General Conference legislative solutions as the only way forward has passed,” says the group’s open letter, titled “A Call to Grace.” The ad hoc group released its letter Nov. 2 — as the Council of Bishops began its fall online meeting that went through Nov. 5. “We call bishops and annual conferences to use existing disciplinary authority to find grace-filled ways for these leaders and churches to follow their call now, allowing them to take their church property with them where appropriate,” the letter said. As of its release early Nov. 2, more than 250 United Methodists had signed the letter. The document began circulating late Oct. 29. Read more...
covid shot liberia

Boise church pushes for global COVID shots

UM NEWS--The COVID-19 pandemic caused a missions team at First United Methodist Church in Boise, Idaho, to ask what good they might do during a period of social distancing and even lockdowns.
Members had online meetings, kicked around ideas and arrived at a humble answer: Let’s take on the pandemic itself. More specifically, the team decided to raise big money for vaccinations in countries where few have been able to get them. The Rev. Duane Anders, senior pastor of the Boise church — better known as Cathedral of the Rockies — got a visit one day last March from missions team leader David Boan. Read more...

One Last Word

There are two ways of spreading light. To be the candle, or the mirror that reflects it.
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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