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

February 1, 2022

let us pray (4)

Let us pray...

Periodically a prayer focus will be shared in the e-Advocate. As you see fit, share in your contexts, including your Sunday worship services.

February 6: Heart Havens
Heart Havens is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and Virginia Conference Advance Special mission that provides residential support to adults with a developmental disability. Heart Havens’ mission, to empower adults with a developmental disability to live and thrive in their community, can only be achieved in combination with others like you. Heart Havens empowers people to discover what they love and pursue their hopes and dreams. Big or small, they support people as they find a way to make their goals and dreams happen. Using a person-centered process at their six Virginia homes, they ensure that everyone they support is living their best life, being a part of the community in the ways they truly want, and making decisions for themselves every day.


"Loving God, thank you for the gifts and talents you have granted each one of us. Thank you for the mystery of your creation, and for your call for us to share your love with our brothers and sisters throughout our community. Help us to empower those with a developmental disability to be full participants in our churches, in your Kingdom, and at your Table. This we ask in the name of the One who came teaching us to pray."

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

  • How can you be a lifelong learner?

Faithful Lent: Connecting the Practices of Lent and Anti-racism is a new Lenten resource for congregations to use in a small group setting from the General Commission on Religion and Race. The purpose of this study is to make explicit connections between the traditions of Lent and the work of anti-racism without forcing either one to be what they are not. This study has been created with the faith-filled assumption that when we take seriously our Lenten traditions and what is necessary for the work of anti-racism. Learn more...
  • How can you be an influencer?
Plan a Souper Bowl fundraiser and feed hungry families through the Society of St. Andrew. Be an influencer...
  • How can you serve?

Know someone who should be a US-2 Global Mission Fellow? The winter application deadline for the next class of Global Mission Fellows - Global Ministries of UMC serving in the U.S. is Feb. 7!
How can you serve...

Virginia News


Annual Conference votes on funding mechanism for BSA Settlement

A special annual conference session was held Saturday, January 29, through Zoom webinar. The sole purpose of this conference was to vote on the funding mechanism for the Virginia Annual Conference’s commitment to the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) settlement. Details were outlined in a letter from Bishop Sharma D. Lewis on Jan. 21, 2022. After a time of presentations, questions and answers, a vote was taken on a motion brought before the conference by the Council on Finance and Administration. Option 1 was approved which states the entire $988,456 will be paid 100 percent from conference reserves in 2022. Further questions may be directed to Conference Treasurer David Dommisse at [email protected].
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February Audio Advocate released

The Audio Advocate is back for the Feb. 1. episode. In this episode, learn more about the conference archives with Stephanie Davis: what's in them, why is archiving so important for future generations, and what is involved in archiving?

Also, hear headlines from around the world including the recent New York Times opinion piece by Tish Harrison Warren on " Why Churches Should Drop Their Online Services" and a closing thought on meanness in social media posts with advice from the movie "You've Got Mail."

“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 and the conference website.
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Curriculum provides resources for Black History Month

The Race and Race Relations Team introduced the Virginia Roots, Race, and Discipleship curriculum and videos in 2020. The newest three segments are centered on segregation and desegregation in the Methodist Church, public schools, and nonviolent protests. The topics include:
• The Central Jurisdiction (a racially-segregated body of the Methodist Church from 1939 to 1968)
• Massive Resistance in Farmville, Virginia
• Bloody Monday, nonviolent protests and police brutality in Danville, Virginia in 1963
For more information and to view the videos currently offered, visit the Virginia Conference website at The direct link for the curriculum and videos is at . For more information or for questions, contact the Rev. Dr. Charles F. Ledlum-Bates at [email protected].
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Get help with clergy taxes

Clergy stressed about filing their tax returns are invited to a Feb. 7 webinar led by the Rev. Don Joiner, a certified financial planner. Questions about Social Security payments, estimated tax payments, housing allowances, exclusions as well as reimbursed expenses will be addressed. This event is provided through Discipleship Ministries. Register for event...

Register soon for free Zoom webinar on digital ministry communications

Church communications has changed drastically over the past two years, and is now more important than ever. The Virginia Conference Board of Communications invites all who are involved in local church communications to attend a virtual day on Saturday, March 5, 2022, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for training focused on digital ministry.

The featured speaker will be Phil Bowdle, Creative Arts Pastor at Westridge Church in Atlanta and author of Rethink Communications: A Playbook to Clarify and Communicate Everything in Your Church. Phil will offer a communication playbook you can use to communicate anything in your church—and actually connect. These practical tips and proven strategies will work regardless of size, staff, or budget.

The event is free. Registration will be available soon at this link:
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Learn updates from Old Brunswick Circuit Foundation

The Old Brunswick Circuit is the first Methodist circuit in Virginia and one of the oldest in America. In 18th and 19th century America it was commonplace for clergy—usually Methodist—to travel preaching widely and to serve numerous congregations; the regions served by a preacher were called “circuits.”

The Old Brunswick Circuit Foundation (TOBCF) seeks to preserve and interpret key sites along the 18th and 19th century Methodist Brunswick Circuit to share its legacy of faith, history, and education with the public. TOBCF emphasizes this diverse local heritage through utilizing these sites as learning laboratories and cultural facilities for education and social interaction.

The foundation’s latest newsletter can be found here along with previous newsletters.
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Virginia young adult part of UMEIT: Young Adult Network

The Council of Bishops has announced the names of 10 young adults selected as the next cohort of United Methodist Ecumenical and Interreligious Training: Young Adult Network (UMEIT: YAN).

UMEIT: YAN is part of several initiatives of the Council of Bishops in leading The United Methodist Church into living more fully into Christian unity and into deepening our interreligious relationships. Selected young adults meet together regularly via zoom with Ecumenical Staff Officer Rev. Dr. Jean Hawxhurst for worship, leadership development, learning about the Ecumenical and Interreligious Movements, and creating ministry projects in their contexts.

They will create a group covenant, read four books, develop ministry action plans, and cultivate community among themselves. The participants also meet together face-to-face once a year as a part of their process of growing as excellent leaders in the Ecumenical and Interreligious Movements on behalf of The United Methodist Church.

Those selected for the 2022-2023 cohort of UMEIT: Young Adult Network will begin their work in March. They are laity and clergy, male and female, and live their faith in Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States, and include:
  • Roxanne Bainbridge from the Methodist Church in Great Britain in Wales
  • Gavin Brandenburg from the West Virginia Annual Conference in the United States
  • Michael Buscano from the Mindanao Annual Conference in the Philippines
  • Juwille Dimalanta from the Mindanao Annual Conference in the Philippines
  • Lily Maijamaa from the Northern Nigeria Annual Conference in Nigeria
  • Eliseu Manuel form the Angola West Annual Conference in Angola
  • Luke Miltz from the Great Plains Annual Conference in the United States
  • Katie Paul from the Oklahoma Annual Conference in the United States
  • Ryan Ware from the Virginia Annual Conference in the United States
  • Jennifer Weitzel from the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference in United States.

UVA Wesley Foundation seeks Campus Minister/Director

The Virginia Conference Learning Ministries Office, in partnership with the Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry, announces the job opening for the University of Virginia Wesley Foundation Campus Minister/Director. A successful candidate for this position will be a creative and visionary leader who provides pastoral and relational care, relates well to students, and crafts a nurturing and welcoming environment for all whom they encounter. Resumes are being accepted now and will continue to be accepted until February 28, 2022. Submit your application with cover letter, resume, and three references to the Rev. Nickie Moreno Howard, Associate Director of Learning Ministries at [email protected]. A detailed job description is available here.
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Help celebrate Heart Havens Month in February

Heart Havens Month (February) is here. The Virginia Conference has designated February as Heart Havens Month, one of six special offerings throughout the year. There are six Heart Havens homes across the conference, where men and women with a developmental disability are empowered to be full members of the body of Christ, and active participants in their communities.

The theme for Heart Havens Month this year is "A New World." Online donations can be made and donors can choose monthly under the frequency drop-down menu or click here to learn other ways to give.
Additional Heart Havens month resources are also available for download. If you would like a virtual speaker for Sunday morning worship or a UMM/UMW or other small group meeting, please contact Heart Havens.

Join the organization for a virtual event on Tuesday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. to know teh residants and Heart Havens better. The event will include an overview of Heart Havens, a chance to meet residents, and a time for Q&A. Contact [email protected] if you have questions.Access Zoom meeting:
Meeting ID: 840 9611 8391
Passcode: 525876
+13126266799,,84096118391#,,,,*525876# US (Chicago)
+19292056099,,84096118391#,,,,*525876# US (New York)
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Join weekly conference chapel service

The Virginia United Methodist Center hosts a weekly public Zoom chapel service every Wednesday. Guests from around the conference lead worship each week. Tune in to sing, pray, and study. The same Zoom link is used each week. Service participants for February 2:
Preacher: Scott Bach Hansen, Director for Congregational Care and Discipleship, Herndon UMC
Liturgist: Sherry Hietpas, Ministry Intern, Andrew Chapel UMC
Musician: Doug Brown, Director of Music and Adjunct Instructor in Church Music, Union Presbyterian Seminary
Download bulletin...
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 950 8909 4606
One tap mobile
+13017158592,,95089094606# US (Washington DC)

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Learn more with Bible 101 podcast episode

How is the 2022 Bible Challenge going so far? If you would like a further resource to help you with the challenge or to share in a small group, check out the newest VAUMC Connection podcast episode about Bible 101! The Rev. Taylor Mertins and the Rev. Matthew Smith guest on this episode You can listen anywhere you find podcasts or at:

Start the 2022 Bible Reading Challenge anytime by visiting this link.
lay servant ministries

2022 Lay Servant Academy Winter Training Day

The 2022 Lay Servant Academy will be a virtual-only event on Saturday, February 26, from 8:45 a.m.-4 p.m. There are opportunities for both full-day and half-day courses and several courses fulfill requirements toward Lay Servant Ministries. Leadership courses are taught by both clergy and laity who are actively involved in ministry. These courses serve to provide practical ideas and takeaways so that leaders are better equipped to shepherd their ministries more fully. Lay Servant Academy is also a day to come and be refreshed and renewed in leadership and discipleship. Both clergy and laity are welcome to engage in these courses! If you have questions, reach out to Tianna Durbin, Director of Lay Servant Academy, at [email protected]. Learn more and register...

Register now for virtual 2022 Come to the Table Conference

Registration is now open for the virtual 2022 Come to the Table Conference. With funding support from The Duke Endowment, RAFI-USA’s Come to the Table Conference will feature keynote addresses from acclaimed author Natalie Baszile and Professor of Food, Economics, and Community at Duke Divinity School, Dr. Norbert Wilson. The conference's theme is "Spirit, Power, and Connection: Owning Our Food Future" and will include over 20 workshops, networking sessions, and panels. To learn more...
eastern shore youth event

Join Youth event on Eastern Shore

Beat the Game is the theme of a March 25-27 Youth Retreat at the Eastern Shore’s Occohannock on the Bay. Spend a weekend with your peers growing in Christ and learning about overcoming the challenges of social media and the overconsumption of technology. There will be lots of opportunities for fun, fellowship, and amazing activities the camp has to offer! Youth from around the Virginia Conference are invited to attend. Registration and participation, including all expenses, is $55. Learn more...
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Students can apply now for Convergence

Don’t let your rising 10th, 11th, or 12th grade students miss out on this phenomenal opportunity to explore the connection between Christian faith and mainstream science in classroom, laboratory, and outdoor experiences with Convergence. Convergence 2022 will be held July 15–17. With a grant from the Lilly Endowment, all participants will benefit in a reduced cost of $75 per camper. Additionally, Convergence participants who are accepted into Randolph-Macon will receive a $1,000 scholarship to the college. Though the 2020 in-person Convergence program was cancelled due to COVID-19 and the 2021 program was held virtually, the program brought 92 outstanding students from Virginia Conference congregations to Randolph-Macon’s virtual classroom. Convergence leaders said they are excited return to an in-person camp for 2022. Parents and youth, to apply for Convergence, please click here. Or to nominate a participant, please click here to fill out the nomination form. When the nomination is received, the Convergence Staff will contact your nominee with further information. For questions or additional information about the program, please contact the Rev. Kendra Grimes or Jamie Grant at [email protected] or (804) 752-7374.
student connect

Scholarships available for United Methodist students

The United Methodist Higher Education Foundation (UMHEF) is accepting scholarship applications for the 2022-2023 academic year between January 1 – March 1, 2022. Students who are members of The United Methodist Church and planning to attend a United Methodist-related school, college, university, or seminary full-time are eligible to apply. More information on eligibility criteria, the application process, and FAQs can be found at Applications and supporting materials must be submitted/postmarked no later than March 1, 2022.

Bishop Lewis, Dr. Hyo Lee, hosting trip to Greece and Turkey

Bishop Sharma Lewis and the Rev. Dr. Hyo Lee are hosting a Greece and Turkey trip, Nov. 7-18, 2022. Four CEUs will be awarded for the first 32 participants. For more information, contact Dr. Lee at (540) 336-9297 or email [email protected]. Learn more...

General Church News

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Changes, expansion for United Methodist Men

UM NEWS--The new top executive at United Methodist Men is seeking to expand the agency by getting many more local churches involved. Greg Arnold’s plans include defining a new relationship with Scouting and adaptation of an already-popular app called Live Bold, which he developed privately. Read more...
church property

Thinking of Redeveloping Your Church Property? Know First Where You Stand

LEWIS CENTER FOR CHURCH LEADERSHIP--Rick Reinhard says more and more congregations are looking to rent, sell, or redevelop unused buildings and property. But before launching into the real estate market, churches should take time to understand the value of their property, the key players in their community, and where decision-making authority lies in their congregation or denomination. Read more...
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Debate about church future heats up

UM NEWS--United Methodists are gearing up to go in different directions. At the same time, disputes over church rules and the status of LGBTQ people continue to flare. Council of Bishops President Cynthia Fierro Harvey acknowledged the challenging times. Read more...
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United Methodists help young addicts kick habit

UM NEWS--In Zimbabwe and Liberia, church ministries reach out to youth to keep them off the streets.
The Glen View Football Academy in Zimbabwe rehabilitates young people by teaching soccer. Some go on to play professionally. Through Metro Harvest in Liberia, the Rev. Caleb S. G. Dormah and Malichi Queniah care for abandoned children in a safe house. Read more...
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UM News seeking voices with personal encounters with racism

UM News is inviting people to share their personal stories about encounters with racism, as well as ideas for combating it. UM News is seeking voices that reflect the diversity of the church to build an understanding of how racism affects all. Read more...

One Last Word

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Pray for the candidates going before the Board of Ministry of the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church this week. May the Spirit be ever-present and at work in and through the candidates and the Board members.

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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