new e-Advocate logo (1)
To submit news items, events, or corrections, email the conference Communications Office at [email protected].

November 16, 2021

resource hub

Have communication, technology questions?

Are you a local church communicator that has communication or technology questions? You are invited to join the Virginia Conference Resource Hub. This Facebook group has been created by the conference Board of Communications and the conference Communications Office with the goal of providing 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. Join group...

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

  • How can you be a lifelong learner?

"Is God in Control?" Join Discipleship Ministries this Thursday, November 18, for a webinar that offers a better way to make sense of tragedy. Click to learn more and register today...
  • How can you be an influencer?
Churches are learning to expand their influence as they realize that the future of worship and discipleship likely includes online ministry alongside in-person experiences. Here are 8 ways from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership to improve your online worship...
  • How can you serve?

The Afghan Refugee Resettlement Reimbursement program will reimburse up to $1,000 per local United Methodist Church in the United States that is in a sponsorship relationship with Church World Service. Expenses eligible for reimbursement must fit the following criteria:
• Pre-arrival support, such as: setting up/furnishing an apartment; providing a culturally appropriate welcome meal; welcoming a family at the airport.
• Post-arrival support: assisting in English Language Learners (ELL) tutoring; providing transportation to medical appointments; assisting with grocery shopping or community navigation; mentorship.
• Providing other financial support to a newly arrived Afghan family to help them adjust to life in the U.S.
Full details and application forms available...

Virginia News

loans and scholarships

Youth leaders invited to learn more about loans, scholarships

The Virginia Conference Learning Office is inviting youth leaders to learn about the opportunities through the General Board of Higher Education and Ministries Loans and Scholarships Office on December 8 at noon. Marci Bigord will guide the conversation about the opportunities for loans and scholarships available for the 2022-2023 school year. Sign up for the free Zoom...
Advent virtual choirHome

Deadline extended: 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. 22, visit this link...

All God's Children Camp needs your help!

The dates for All God's Children Camp have been set (June 19-24, Richmond area; July 24-29, Chesapeake/Eastern Shore area; and August 14-19, Richmond area) and now the came needs volunteers to act as camp mentors. Please consider volunteering a week of your time to help make it possible for kids to enjoy a week of camp and engage in all that camp life. This is also a great way for groups such as Sunday school groups, Sr. High youth groups, or other small groups to be in mission together.

As a ministry of the Virginia Annual Conference, All God’s Children Camp (AGCC) is a weeklong overnight camp for children ages 7 to 12, with an incarcerated parent. Campers have an opportunity to participate in all the physical activities the camp has to offer such as boating, swimming, hiking, archery, music, crafts, Bible study, along with a conflict resolution/self-esteem building class. AGCC is built on the basis of a one-to-one mentoring program where campers have an adult who walks alongside them for the week cheering them on, building them up, and encouraging them daily.

Learn more about the camp at the link. For more information, contact Lori Smith at [email protected] or 571-245-9591.
new payment portal

New online portal offers additional access for Va. churches

The Conference Treasurer’s office released the new online payment portal yesterday, Monday, November 15. All pastors and treasurers should have received a ‘Welcome to Acumatica’ email yesterday. The online payment portal provides additional features for our churches including:
• Online payments
• Update bank and routing information online
• View historical payments online
• Get your church statement

For additional details on Acumatica, you can read more in the Dollars & Sense Newsletter that went out with the November apportionment statement.

If you need assistance in logging in or would like more information on the website, call the Treasurer's Office at 804-521-1100 or email [email protected].

Mission moment: Rappahannock River church puts together UMCOR buckets

Three weeks ago, Dahlgreen UMC's congregation was approached to put together 20 United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) flood buckets. In response, the congregation provided material and monetary donations to fill 45 full UMCOR Flood Buckets. At the end of October, the church held a "Flood Bucket Fill Event" to assemble and fill the 45 flood buckets.
As well, the church's middle school youth group, following a carwash event, used their funds to buy materials for 48 UMCOR School Kits and 48 UMCOR Personal Hygiene Kits for the Hurricane Ida flood victims. Now the buckets will be delivered to Central Virginia Mission Hub in Culpeper, Va., and then they will make it to Mission Central in Mechanicsburg, PA.
For Steve Boyle, DUMC Mission Chair, the effort by the entire congregation was " an all-around good session of fellowship."
food corner sydenstricker

Northern Virginia church food pantry featured in local news

The Connection, a local newspaper in Springfield, Va., recently highlighted the Food Corner at Sydenstricker UMC. The ministry gleans from area grocery stores and serves approximately 80 families a week via a drive-thru food pantry. Learn more...
United Methodist Day 2

Join other United Methodists for a day of advocating on January 27, 2022

Members of the Virginia Conference have been change-makers in the Commonwealth for 30 years through United Methodist Day at the General Assembly. The next advocacy event will take place on January 27, 2022.
At the event, participants meet with their delegates and senators to discuss issues that are relevant to the United Methodist faith with direction from our partners at Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy (VICPP). One of the ways that faith is put into action is by advocating for the least, the last, and the lost at the General Assembly and this year participants will spend time reflecting and celebrating all the ways our advocacy has changed the political landscape in our Commonwealth for the better. Come and join in to continue the legacy as change-makers here in our Commonwealth. Register here.
Learn more about the event...
shift happens

Register now for Shift Happens: Doing Ministry from the Right Side

Shift Happens: Doing Ministry from the "Right Side" is no ordinary conference. It is a clarion call for the Black Church, leaders, and lay. Over two days, from December 1-2, virtual or in-person at St. Johns Downtown in Houston, Texas, participants will be inspired and experience transformative and practical teachings to help you and your team plan for 2022 and beyond. This will include:
  • Creating a practical and engaging experience for an inter-generational audience to gain relevant tools to do effective ministry post-pandemic.
  • To demonstrate through real-time ministry experiences how to see all the people God is calling us to reach.
  • To model how to embrace, support, and cultivate new voices, new generations for the new thing God is doing in the Black Church.
  • To gather to celebrate what God has done through SBC21 (Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century) for 25 years.
Register at this link...

Join Discipleship Ministries webinar on generosity

Is your church ready to receive gifts that won’t necessarily come through the offering plate? Do you have a strategy in place for gifts that might take the form of a bequest, endowment, memorial gifts, or gifts of property, stocks, or valuable collectibles? If you were approached by someone offering a larger gift, would you know how to respond? Join Discipleship Ministries and the Rev. Ken Sloane, director, Stewardship & Generosity, as he suggests ways you can improve your church's financial vision to see "beyond the Sunday offering" tonight, November 16 at 6:30 p.m. CST. Register...
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].
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...
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...

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

november 2021 cob

Bishops take on climate, finances, vaccines

UNITED METHODIST NEWS--Over a busy three and half hours, United Methodist bishops spent the last day of their fall online meeting making a range of decisions on church life and global challenges.
The Council of Bishops on Nov. 5 affirmed a denomination-wide vaccination effort, approved its 2022 budget, and supported further study of online Communion. The bishops also announced their earlier approval of five actions aimed at helping to mitigate climate change. Learn more about key actions...
christ ministry center san diego haiti

Boise church Haitian migrants bring vitality to declining church

UNITED METHODIST NEWS--Christ United Methodist Church in San Diego found that the harder it worked to grow, the smaller it became, so it switched to being a ministry center. Pastor Bill Jenkins estimates that the congregation has helped 10,000 migrants in the past 20 years. Haitians, fleeing disasters and violence in their own country, found shelter at the center and ended up making it their spiritual home. Read more...

One Last Word

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.
- Philippians 4:8
fix your thoughts on
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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