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November 30, 2021

umcom kathryn price advent

Join Advent Photo-a-Day 2021

Ready to connect? Dive into something reflective and meaningful together this Advent season with Rethink Church's Advent Photo-a-Day Challenge. Advent is the season leading up to Christmas. It is 28 days of preparation. This year, we're inviting you to prepare by looking for the visual reminders of God's presence... daily.
Each day during the season of Advent, a word for reflection will be posted. Take a moment (or several moments) of pause and reflection, then share a response to that word through a picture posted on social media. Post your picture on social media with #RethinkChurch.
Join in...

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

  • How can you be a lifelong learner?

How might United Methodism confront its continuing racial dilemmas and grasp how and why Methodism came to be so divided-organizationally, geo-politically, structurally, attitudinally-precisely where it proved most successful, namely in its heartland states stretching west from the Delmarva across middle America? Learn more in A Church's Broken Heart: Mason-Dixon Methodism, a book by Russell E. Richey...
  • How can you be an influencer?
Want to know more about Advent? Join a Facebook Q&A with "Ask the UMC" that will answer your questions on Thursday, December 2, 2021, at noon CT. Join in...
  • How can you serve?

Gifts to Global Ministries and UMCOR will expand the work of faithful United Methodist missionaries, bolster global health, support disaster response and development efforts, and further evangelism and church revitalization. Make a gift today as part of #GivingTuesday...

Virginia News

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The UMC and the Boy Scouts: Important Developments

November 30--Bishop Lewis shared a letter detailing developments with the ongoing negotiations between the UMC and Boy Scouts of America. Bishop Lewis wrote in part, "After months of exhaustive negotiations with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) in its bankruptcy case pending in Delaware, The United Methodist Church’s attempts to obtain a proper settlement pertaining to the child sex abuse claims that both compensates the victims and protects the local churches that are or were chartering organizations with the BSA have not been successful. The national United Methodist Ad Hoc Committee (which includes clergy and lay leaders and our lawyers) recommends voting NO on the BSA bankruptcy plan. This decision was reached late yesterday after intense discussions through the Thanksgiving holiday." Read the full letter...
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Giving Tuesday is today!

#GivingTuesday is here! Support partners in ministry of the Virginia Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. Support ministry partners...
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Give the gift of JOY with UMFS on #GivingTuesday

Tuesday, November 30 is Giving Tuesday. All Giving Tuesday donations to UMFS (United Methodist Family Services) will provide Christmas presents, celebrations, and support for the high-risk children and families. Your donation will fill the holidays with joy for children in foster care, children struggling with mental health challenges, and special education students. Ready to donate today? Visit UMFS.org/Giving-Tuesday to give the gift of joy!
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...
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Intern, host church applications now live for Calling 21

Intern and host church applications are now live for Calling 21. Calling 21 is a young adult, local church internship program. It is a partnership ministry among the Virginia Conference Center for Clergy Excellence, the Cabinet, and Shenandoah University. The purpose of the program is for college students to explore their calling. For questions, email the Rev. Meghan Roth Clayton at MeghanClayton@vaumc.org or the Rev. Crystal R. Sygeel at CrystalSygeel@vaumc.org. Learn more about the program...
UMVIMJan8

Upcoming UMVIM training in January 2022

UMVIM Team Leader Training Event will take place at Harmony UMC, 380 E Colonial Hwy, Hamilton, VA 20158. The date is Saturday, January 8, from 9 am to 2 pm (gathering time 8:30 to 9 a.m.).
The cost will be $10 to cover lunch, payable at the event. An online training manual will be provided upon registration. Conference rules stipulate that all first-time leaders must attend a Conference Team Leader Training Event prior to leading a team. Registration and attendance are open to anyone, whether leading a team or not. To register or for more information, visit https://vaumc.org/umvim/.
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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...
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...
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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 camp 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 lttlelori@gmail.com or 571-245-9591.
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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 www.UMFS.org/church: bulletin inserts, offering envelopes, church offering scripts, short videos, and images for newsletters, emails, social media, and websites. Please contact Jill Gaynor (jgaynor@umfs.org or 804-254-9463) with any questions.

Learn more about UMFS as they celebrate 120 years in this recent NBC12 segment.
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. The online payment portal provides additional features for 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 treasurer@vaumc.org.
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Churches, members urged to be aware of online scams during holidays

As we near the holidays, local churches and members should be even more alert to potential scams through email, texts, or phone calls. A good rule of thumb is that your pastor or other leadership will not normally ask for money through email or text. As a best practice, double-check any requests with the person in question before taking any action. If you do receive such a request via email address to see if it matches the supposed requestor's real address and then contact the requestor to verify in person or through a phone call.
Local church treasurers and administrators should also be wary of church employee emails that may ask for changes concerning payroll deposits. Be sure to verify any changes to staff payrolls in person or through a phone call to make sure a change should be made.
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...

General Church News

keith wilson ben hill umc

Inspiration, expertise for Black churches

UNITED METHODIST NEWS--Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century will offer tips on innovative ministries and better use of technology at its Dec. 1-2 national conference in Houston. The hybrid online and in-person event will include field trips to learn about some of the creative ways Houston-area churches are serving their communities. Read more...
ok native american heritage

Native American heritage embraced by Arkansans

The Arkansas Conference includes pastors and laity who have researched and embraced their Native American ancestry. Such a group from the conference recently joined in the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference’s annual immersion experience in Native American life and visited the new First Americans Museum in Oklahoma City. Read more...

One Last Word

"And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you."
1 Thessalonians 3:12 NRSV
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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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