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Learn more about three-stage return to in-person worship at Virginia Conference churches: https://vaumc.org/return/
return to worship (1)

May 26, 2020

To submit news items, email conference Director of Communications at MadelineWhite@vaumc.org.

Conference Vision

In 2017, Bishop Sharma D. Lewis shared the vision of the conference "to be disciples of Jesus Christ who are lifelong learners who influence others to serve."

  • How can you be a lifelong learner this week?
    Learn more about copyrights and licenses with United Methodist Communications. More...
  • How can you be an influencer this week?
    Share the names of youth with college campus ministries. More...
  • How can you serve this week?
    United Methodists can show love of their neighbors and relieve suffering by supporting the United Methodist Committee on Relief’s “Sheltering in Love” COVID-19 response fund. More...
circuit rider
Itinerancy belongs to clergy and laity
John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, preached up to 40,000 sermons in his lifetime. He was an “itinerant” preacher, traveling from town to town in England, setting up Methodist societies. This traveling from place to place to begin Methodist societies in principle led to the itinerant system The United Methodist Church uses today. “Itinerancy” refers specifically to the commitment by pastors to go and serve wherever their bishops send them. “Appointment” is the action taken by bishops. These are different, yet related. Learn more about itinerancy in the Virginia Conference with this article from Forrest White. More...
reopening churches
'Pioneer Churches' drive-in worship began May 24
A number of churches began Stage 1 of the conference’s plan to reopen conference churches to in-person worship on May 24. Bishop Lewis attended the “Pioneer Church” of Providence UMC in New Kent for the Sunday worship where the process of re-opening with specific requirements went very smoothly. “The worship service was very inspiring in the face of this pandemic,” Lewis said. “They carried out the requirements correctly, and I felt very welcomed, comfortable, and safe.” Learn more about the Virginia Conference’s return to in-person worship at https://vaumc.org/return/. More...
appointments general
Bishop Lewis, Cabinet sharing latest appointments
Bishop Lewis and the Cabinet have shared today, May 26, the May projected appointments. More...
ac cross
Notice sent out concerning Clergy Session at Annual Conference
The Virginia Conference Board of Ordained Ministry shared an update to clergy concerning the Clergy Session of Annual Conference 2020. The statement shared, "In light of the COVID-19 social distancing restrictions and the need to keep our annual conference moving forward, the Bishop, in consultation with the Office of Clergy Excellence, Cabinet and the Executive Committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry, has decided to hold an Executive Session of the Annual Conference on Thursday, June 18. An Executive Session of the Annual Conference includes only clergy members in full connection with the annual conference (BOD ¶369.5)." More...
student connect
Connect youth to college campus ministries
Share the names of youth with college campus ministries. This is a great way for incoming college students to get connected quickly and build a sense of community and belonging. More...
in person worship
Learn more about easing of restrictions on in-person worship
In a letter from May 9, Bishop Lewis shared that a return to in-person worship would be phased beginning with "drive-in" worship for all churches under strict guidelines and the authorization of some "pioneer" churches to open on May 24 under strict guidelines. A workgroup of church leaders, medical professionals and legal professionals have prepared a comprehensive plan which includes: summary of plan, handbook, visual presentation and more for churches to plan on how to approach this phased return to in-person worship. More...
tumcu logo
The United Methodist Credit Union still offering assistance
If your church or UMC-affiliated organization wants to participate in the SBA's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), but hasn't applied yet or hasn't found an institution willing or able to assist you, please contact The United Methodist Credit Union (TUMCU). If you're not already a member, you can quickly become one and apply for this program using a convenient online application. If you have an urgent need, TUMCU can also help your church or organization with a low-interest bridge loan or line-of-credit while you await SBA funding. Please call Jomin Mujar at (804) 672-0200 for more details or visit their website. More...

General Church News

Reclaiming more food to fill pandemic gaps
Few have a better perspective of the dynamics of food insecurity and food waste — before and during the coronavirus pandemic — than the staff at the Society of St. Andrew. For 40 years, the United Methodist-supported nonprofit hunger-relief ministry, based in Big Island, Virginia, has “rescued” produce and other food through a direct connection with farmers, feeding agencies and armies of volunteers from churches, schools, camps and other groups. It is a continuing effort to reclaim some of the 40-50 percent of U.S. produce that went to waste because of a flawed food system even before the pandemic, said Jean Blish Siers, the society’s Carolinas program coordinator in a blog post. “What the pandemic has done has exposed those cracks in the system that have been there all along,” she told UM News. More...
United Methodist ministry aids Navajo Nation
The number of positive COVID-19 cases for the Navajo Nation has reached 4,071 and there have been 142 deaths, according to a May 18 press release from the tribe. The Navajo Nation has surpassed New York and New Jersey for the highest per-capita coronavirus infection rate in the United States, according to the most recent data. With an estimated 174,000 residents, it is the largest Indian reservation in the United States, spanning portions of Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. The fact that a third of the households on the reservations do not have access to running water, combined with cultural practices of shaking hands and multigenerational and extended families living together, has contributed to the spread of the virus. More...
COVID-19 shines spotlight on racial health care disparities
The proliferation of COVID-19 has brought the racial inequities of health care to the fore and placed it under a well-deserved and overdue spotlight. Two years ago, then United Methodist Board of Church and Society staffer Susan Greer Burton wrote an article entitled, “Saving mothers' lives: Christian call to end racism.”
She writes in her own words and cites other sources: "As we continue to celebrate our mothers, the mothers in our communities and the mothers of our faith, we must also recognize that we have a problem. Too many women are dying during pregnancy and childbirth. And, many of these deaths are preventable.
“We've discussed several ways to break barriers to care. We've explored best practices for quality care. And we've talked about the best ways to be good stewards of the resources God has entrusted to us.
“There is one glaring fact we've not yet addressed: the role race plays in health outcomes. We must deal with the fact that black mothers are 243 percent more likely to die as a result of pregnancy than white women." More...
Welcome to the new e-Advocate
Please send any issues or concerns to communications@vaumc.org. If the formatting gives you trouble in forwarding (especially in Outlook), you can use the following link. More...