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September 7, 2021

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

  • How can you be a lifelong learner?

Do you have questions about The United Methodist Church? Ask The UMC can help you find answers or the best contact for your question.
Chat live by visiting Or you may submit your question by emailing [email protected].
Need to talk to a local church? Find the church's direct contact information on Find a Church.
  • How can you be an influencer?
Churches influence others for the kingdom best when the wall between the congregation and their surrounding community dissolves. Learn how one church left its walls behind to offer a riverside worship service for those who love the outdoors.
  • How can you serve?

The Virginia Conference has an Early Response Team (ERT), which connects with the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and the national Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) responding to disasters. UMVIM can be part of the recovery effort. Still, the ERT is one of the first to respond to disasters on our conference's behalf. The ERT responds during the first phase of disaster relief, after first responders clear the scene. The ERT provides a Christian presence to all who were devastated by such disasters. You or your church may be trained to become an ERT member. Being trained and certified as an ERT member is the first way to help Louisiana and New York directly. For more information visit

Virginia News


United Methodists pitch in with Afghan resettlement

UMNS--Kingstowne Communion doesn’t have a building. Throughout the pandemic, this new United Methodist church in Alexandria, Virginia, has met online and in pop-up services at parks and other public places.

Though homeless itself, Kingstowne recently furnished an apartment for an Afghan refugee family of three.
That meant finding beds, a sofa (ordered by a donor through Amazon) and other furniture. Extra touches included a front door wreath and a welcoming batch of Afghan cookies.

“This radical hospitality is what we’re called to do,” said the Rev. Alyssa Densham, associate pastor at Kingstowne Communion, which began as a worshiping community five years ago and became an independently chartered church earlier this year.

What’s elated Densham and the Rev. Michelle Matthews, the church’s pastor, is that the effort has galvanized church members and enlisted many others who have offered money and gifts-in-kind — or shown up to help. Read more...
faith with intention event

United Methodist Women holding Young Women's event, Sept. 11

The Virginia Conference United Methodist Women (UMW) Young Women’s Event "Faith with Intention" will be held Saturday, September 11, from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. via Zoom. This is a time just for young women ages 18 to 40 for spiritual refreshment and growth; participants do not need to be a member of UMW, The UMC, or of any church.

Sponsored annually by the UMW, and normally held in-person over a 24-hour period with a registration fee, this year there is no charge for the three-hour Young Women’s Event via Zoom.

The retreat leader, Pastor Ashley Isernhagen, will use John 15 to help attendees develop and grow in discipleship through intentional practices, such as developing a faith timeline, spiritual exercises for discernment, meditation, and discipleship mantras. Please register by September 8. For questions, please contact Marlene Dakita, Virginia Conference UMW Mission Coordinator for Membership, Nurture & Outreach (MNO), at [email protected] or 703-244-4524. Register now.

Video addresses FAQs about COVID-19 vaccine concerns

The Virginia Conference partnered with the Virginia Department of Health and HCA Virginia to answer frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. Watch and share video

Prepare now for Dec. 3-5 Youth Retreat!

Youth Min Chat - Learn about the Virginia Conference upcoming Youth Retreat, theme, and how to register. Rebuilding plans for the Conference Council on Youth Ministries (CCYM) will also be shared. Join with others across the conference every second Wednesday of the month at 11:30 a.m. - Sign up here

Register for the Youth Retreat - Register here

Visit the Youth Event web page - Click here

Sept. 8 PRG webinar: How ‘Simple Church’ can help in Relaunching

During the pandemic we learned that the church is not driven by programs. However, as we prepare for a post-COVID world and churches slowly re-open, there will be temptation to revert back to running programs. We believe that the Simple Church method of building discipleship process, instead of programs, will benefit each church in their relaunching efforts. We invite you to hear from the experience of churches who implemented Simple Church, and see how it will be used as a tool for your ministry. Learn More...

UMMen Love, Learn, and Lead webinar will feature mission opportunities tonight

Please plan to join the Virginia Conference United Methodist Men (UMMen) tonight, September 7, 2021 from 6:30 PM EDT, for a Love, Learn, and Lead webinar on mission opportunities and a conversation with the Rev. Seungsoo “RJ” Jun, Associate Director of Serving for the Virginia Conference. Learn more...

Responding to Hurricane Ida, flooding in Tennessee

Please remember that any work related to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) will start only after all the first responders leave the area. There will be more specific calls to help in the coming weeks and months. The Virginia Conference strongly advises against any self-deployment to these areas. The work of recovery will continue in the coming months and years, and Serving Ministries invite your church to be part of this long journey. Learn more
Silhouette Of Refugees People With Luggage Walking In A Row

Resources to help Afghan refugees

As the world witnesses the humanitarian crisis occurring in Afghanistan, the Virginia Conference is providing the resources to help aid your understanding and ability to care for refugees. Read a letter from Bishop Lewis, download a packet of guidelines, and fill out a form on offering assistance. Read more...

Resources to help Haiti in its effort to recover

As the world witnesses the humanitarian crisis occurring in Haiti, after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that crippled an already vulnerable nation, the Virginia Conference is providing the following resources to help the church’s effort to assist the Haitian people. Learn more...

Special and Sustaining Grant Applications for 2022

Applications are now available for the 2022 Common Table Special Grants and Sustaining Grants for local churches and ministries. Forms may be found at The deadline to receive complete applications (must include all supporting documentation and be signed by the District Superintendent) is October 15, 2021. Questions may be directed to Bev Myers at [email protected]

General Church News


Hurricane Ida takes out church buildings

UMNS - The Revs. Michelle and Jason Harris, a clergy couple, serve United Methodist churches that took a direct hit from Hurricane Ida as it moved with devastating force through southeast Louisiana last week.

St. Charles United Methodist, in Destrehan, had three buildings before the storm. It’s pretty much down to two. “The Sunday school building — it’s a total loss,” said Michelle Harris, St. Charles’ pastor. “The roof blew off. We’ll lose everything in that building, and the whole building will go.” Read more...

25 books by Latine creators to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

GENERAL BOARD OF CHURCH & SOCIETY - The United States’ National Hispanic Heritage Month begins on Sept. 15 and lasts until Oct. 15. During this month-long observance, United Methodists take time to honor the contributions, history, and culture of Americans whose ancestors are from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

One way to celebrate this year is to take a look at a list of stories by Latine and Hispanic authors and illustrators, and choose a few books to read with the children in your life. These books depict traditional and new stories, biographies and unique characters, and celebrate family, community, and culture. Learn more...

One Last Word

Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.
(1 Corinthians 12:4-6)
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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