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September 21, 2021

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

  • How can you be a lifelong learner?

Discipleship Ministries has released ‘Courageous Conversation about Christian nationalism.' Why have a Courageous Conversation about Christian nationalism? Let’s start by defining what we mean by the phrase, “Christian nationalism.” Nationalism can and should be distinguished from patriotism. They are not synonymous terms. (For example, supporting the military and saying the Pledge of Allegiance does not make a person a Christian nationalist.) Being a Christian who shows pride or supports his/her country of residence does not make that individual a Christian nationalist. Support for the nation where we reside is not wrong; in fact, Christians are commanded to pray for those in political leadership (Romans 13). Click here to visit Discipleship Ministries website and download the curriculum.
  • How can you be an influencer?
What does evangelism look like during a pandemic? World Methodist Evangelism, which provides resources for the United Methodist Church and other Wesleyan traditions, provides insights into how to share the gospel.
  • How can you serve?

Is your church interested in hosting a cleaning and hygiene kit assembly event?
There are ways to do it safely and efficiently.
Central Virginia Mission Hub, is a ministry of the Charlottesville District, which is directly connected to Mission Central, where Annual Conference Kits are deposited.
CVMH recently hosted an outdoor assembly event to pack 100 cleaning buckets and 154 hygiene kits. It was completed in a little over an hour.
CVMH is willing to assist churches and districts to share their experience and know-how on how to successfully complete a packing event. Also, if you bring the kits to their trailer, they are willing to send them to Mission Central for distribution.

Virginia News


FAQs about The UMC and Boy Scouts

A document with Frequently Asked Questions about The United Methodist Church and the Boy Scouts has been developed and can be found here.

For additional information, please contact the Rev. Dr. Steve Summers, Assistant to the Bishop and Director of Connectional Ministries, at [email protected].


Belmont UMC Food & Clothing Pantry is Part of The Amazing Praise online fundraiser Sept 21-23

Have you heard of The Amazing Praise? It’s a Richmond, VA, exclusive, praise-focused, 48-hour online giving campaign, taking place starting today, 12 noon September 21 through 12 noon September 23, benefiting 19 area Christian nonprofits. The Belmont Community Resource Services (Belmont UMC Food & Clothing Pantry) is participating for the first time in the annual Amazing Praise online fundraiser. It’s a great time to support Belmont UMC as they seek to improve and expand their services to feed, clothe and provide spiritual support to 250-300 hundred families in the South Richmond and Chesterfield areas every week. Learn more about The Amazing Praise at Click DONATE to give directly to Belmont Community Resource Services during the 48-hour online giving event.

Laity Sunday - Oct. 17, 2021: Rise Up! And Revive God's Gift

From Martha Stokes, Conference Lay Leader
Laity Sunday is a special Sunday defined by General Conference “to celebrate the ministry of all Christians” (The Book of Discipline - 2016, ¶ 264.2). Traditionally observed on the third Sunday in October, Laity Sunday is one way we express the deep conviction that all are called to participate in God’s mission and live this calling through the ministry of the church. Ministries of the laity include lay leaders, lay servants, lay speakers, lay ministers, lay missioners, deaconesses, home missioners, United Methodist Women, United Methodist Men, The Walk to Emmaus, Chrysalis, missionary service, and so many other significant forms of ministry.

The Laity Sunday themes for this quadrennium come from 2 Timothy 1:1-14 (NRSV). In this passage we hear a call to rise up and revive God’s gift that first lived in those who have loved and passed it on to us. We hear a call to rise up and recognize and reveal the grace in Christ that destroys death and brings life. As we rise up and remain committed to sound teaching with faith and love, we also rise up and retain the good thing placed in our trust by the Holy Spirit.

The 2021 theme is Rise Up! And Revive God’s Gift (2 Timothy 1:3-7). While there are currently not any specific Laity Sunday resources on the Discipleship Ministries website, I would encourage you to look at the liturgical resources for the third Sunday of October. They are beautifully worded and may fit well with your worship plans.

You might also want to look at other resources following the Common Revised Lectionary for Year C, Proper 22(27) - Seventeen Sunday after Pentecost - which includes the 2 Timothy 1:1-14 passage.

Wesley Community Service Center receives award for fighting hunger

Nonprofit to be honored at the Foodbank’s Annual Hunger Summit, the Pillars of Promise Awards
Luncheon on Wednesday, September 22
PORTSMOUTH, VIRGINA — The Wesley Community Service Center will be honored at the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore’s Annual Hunger Summit during the Pillars of Promise Award luncheon for their dedication and achievements in eliminating hunger.

The Wesley Community Service Center, founded by Methodist Women in 1937, has proudly provided nutritious and accessible food options during its twice-weekly food distribution services for over 30 years. In that time, the organization has served thousands of people facing food scarcity in its community per year. In partnership with the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore’s, the Wesley Center became the Portsmouth food HUB in 2021 and anticipates serving even more individuals in the years to come through this joint effort. For more information about the center, contact its director, Renyatta Banks, at [email protected]
Read press release

CEUs offered for The Color of Compromise study on Zoom

Neighborhood Seminary is offering a 10-session study and discussion of Jemar Tisby's book The Color of Compromise on Zoom. The sessions are on Tuesdays 7-9 p.m. from October 5 through December 14 (excluding November 23). The Rev. Dr. Jim Melson, facilitator, is an elder in the Virginia Conference and executive director of the Cornelius Corps, a ministry focused on the intersection of racial justice and spiritual formation.

For additional information or to register, go to

This is a great opportunity to connect with others from a variety of backgrounds and locations who are committed to the journey of faith and racial justice.

Two CEUs are available for an additional $10. Clergy or Ministerial Professional CEUs will be emailed to you once all sessions are completed.

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. 29 PRG webinar: Preparing for our churches to heal; All Saints Sunday

Advent is a time to present hope to the world. Immanuel, Christ with us, brings hope to the lost and weary. How is your church preparing for Advent? We will invite other churches to share their Advent plans, as we also listen to the conversation between Rev. John Obang and Rev. Tony Arnold of their experience of ‘Online Discipling.’ Learn More...

Wesley Seminary hosts 'Moving Toward Wholeness: Traumatized Texts and Bodies," Oct. 29

Save The Date: Wesley Theological Seminary will hold a virtual conference, “Moving Toward Wholeness: Traumatized Texts and Bodies” on Friday, Oct. 29, 2021, 9 a.m.–4 p.m. Eastern.

To facilitate recovery and resilience, the conference will explore the intersections among trauma studies in psychiatry and psychology; ancient experiences of trauma in the Bible; and vicarious, minority, and gender trauma today.

Learn more now and register free at

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


International Podcast Day is September 30

Nashville, Tenn. – Join United Methodist Communications in celebrating the power of podcasts on International Podcast Day on September 30 at Podcasts have exploded in popularity, and provide a new way to do ministry. According to, there are now more than 2,000,000 podcasts and 48 million+ episodes. Throughout the day, the agency will unveil new podcast episodes and discussions that can be accessed at the celebration webpage and on their Facebook page. Learn more...

Is micromarketing for your church?

From branding to social media management, the public presence of your church revolves around communication and marketing. The primary objective of these efforts is to promote your church or message to a wide range of people.

Micromarketing directs advertising efforts toward a specific group of individuals. By targeting a small group, this type of campaign can be more personalized. In micromarketing, you attempt to grow your overall audience by convincing a smaller number of people that your church is suited to their demographics and/or can meet their needs. Learn more...

United Methodist Men Give Day is October 18, 2021

The General Commission on United Methodist Men (UMM) wants you to join them as they transform lives of men and youth around the world. UMM offers resources and training to help local churches develop places where men can “coach men and youth to THRIVE through Christ." UMM is unique in that it receives only part of its funding from the general church. That is why they will be holding Give Day 2021 on Monday, October18, 2021.Everyone can be a part of this important mission work of United Methodist Men. If you would like to make a donation before Give Day, or have questions, UMM staff is available by calling 866-297-4312. To Give: Text: UMMEN to 44321; or donate online

One Last Word

Psalm 20:4

“May he give you the desire of your heart
and make all your plans succeed.”
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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