2022 e-Advocate logo

June 28, 2022

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

Upcoming Events

  • Monday, July 4 - The Virginia United Methodist Conference Center in Glen Allen, Va. will be closed for Independence Day observance on Monday, July 4.

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

  • How can you be a lifelong learner?

United Methodist Communication’s Ask The UMC service not only provides in-depth answers to a wide range of questions, but also helps to build understanding about our faith. Ask a question...
  • How can you be an influencer?
Join United Methodist Communications for Social Media Day on June 30. A learning session with senior training and development specialist John Haney is set for noon U.S. Central time and other helpful resources will be available throughout the day. Learn more...
  • How can you serve?

Juneteenth (June 19) is a remembrance of the day in 1865 when news of freedom and the end of slavery finally reached African Americans in Galveston, Texas. Looking for a way to celebrate and meaningfully observe this holiday? Participate in the General Commission on Religion & Race's Racial Justice Prayer & Action Challenge that kicked off June 19, and runs for six weeks. Learn more...

Virginia News


Connect your student graduates with college campus ministries

Campus Ministries across the Virginia Conference and The United Methodist Church connection shape leaders of our church, cultivate clergy, and impact not just their college campuses but entire communities. Connect your graduating youth and college students to transformative ministry for the Kingdom that creates lifelong learners who influence others to serve today by completing the campus ministry form or by emailing [email protected]. Please submit student names and information by July 15.

Learn more about Virginia campus ministries at this link.
Scholarship opportunity

Sister Scholarship application now available

The Sister Scholarship application is now available to be filled out by any female candidate in the Virginia Conference for educational support. The deadline for electronic applications is July 1. This award is given in memory of clergy women who have served in ministry in the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church. The purpose of the award is to support women who are duly enrolled in a seminary or school of theology approved by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church, or an Advanced Course of Study program approved by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. Eligibility is extended to all women committed to ministries of Word, Worship and Witness who are candidates for ministry in the Virginia Conference, and who indicate potential for developing creative ministries for a more just world. For more information, contact Dr. Jan Rivero, [email protected]. Apply now...

You attended AC 2022: What's next?

Lay members to Annual Conference may be wondering how best to report on the annual session to their local churches. An overview Annual Conference report is now available. As well, individual session wrap-ups can be found here.
The conference Flickr has pictures from throughout the event. Additional pictures will continue to be added throughout this week. Find pictures...
The livestream of the event can be viewed at the conference Vimeo page. Find more...
A wrap-up video of the event will be shared by the Communications Office soon.

The Rev. Tom Berlin endorsed as candidate for episcopacy

On Saturday, June 18, 2022, the Rev. Tom Berlin, pastor of Floris UMC, Herndon, was endorsed by the Virginia Annual Conference as a candidate for the episcopacy. Berlin addressed the conference, and said it was an honor to “stand here in this moment.” He invited members of the delegation to the General Conference and the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference to stand and be recognized. He asked members to look at those delegates and pray for them. “They will be voting for episcopal leaders in November. Every annual conference in the SEJ needs good leadership. I ask you to pray for them so they will have God’s wisdom.”
“I am not running for bishop,” Berlin said. “I am simply making myself available for discernment alongside other candidates. But your endorsement is one of the most remarkable honors of my life.”
The annual conference endorsed his nomination and gave him a standing ovation. Bishop Lewis, Conference Lay Leader Martha Stokes, and Laity Head of the General Conference Delegation Warren Harper laid hands on Berlin as the bishop prayed for Berlin and the process ahead.
wesley seminary

Wesley Seminary offering scholarships to VA ministry candidates

If you or someone you know is considering seminary, Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. is offering scholarships designated for entering Master's level students who are candidates for ministry in the Virginia Conference, particularly those entering in Fall 2022, Spring 2023 or Fall 2023. Learn more...
hearthavens-white background

Heart Havens is now hiring

Heart Havens is seeking caring individuals to support residents with a developmental disability for their Ashland location. Full-time, part-time and short-term positions are all available with flexible hours. As a Direct Support Professional, you will have the opportunity to empower adults with a developmental disability to live full, vibrant, and happy lives. Interested in learning more? Contact Katrina Parker at [email protected] or 804-463-1877 or visit their site.
lake junaluska

Register for Festival of Wisdom & Grace at Lake Junaluska

Lake Junaluska is once again hosting the Festival of Wisdom & Grace at Lake Junaluska from Monday, August 1 to Thursday, August 4. This annual conference features worship, workshops, recreation, learning, entertainment and fellowship. This year, explore how to find "Rest, Renewal, and Delight." Keynote speaker is Matthew Sleeth, MD, executive director of Blessed Earth, who will talk about ways to maintain mental health, and Bishop Ken Carder, author of "Ministry with the Forgotten: Dementia Through a Spiritual Lens," will be the festival preacher. On the schedule are outstanding workshops, lakeside devotions, learning circles, and a concert with Emmy-nominated Marty Goetz, whose acoustical/classical arrangements have been described as "scriptures beautifully set to music." Register today...

Candidacy Summit Registration is now live

The Candidacy Summit is for considering or admitted candidates for ministry in the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church (VAUMC). The Summit provides opportunities for vocational discernment, connection with others who are exploring God's call in their lives, and deeper understanding about the VAUMC journey towards certified, licensed and ordained ministry. You must be a high school graduate, and 18-years of age, to participate. The event begins on Friday, July 29 and activities run into the early evening. The Summit concludes mid-day on Saturday, July 30. Registration is $75 for this in-person event. Questions may be directed to Associate Director for Call and Candidacy Crystal R. Sygeel, [email protected] or 804-521-1141. Learn more...
audio advocate

Micah Ministries, community involvement, empathy focus of June Audio Advocate

In the June episode of the Audio Advocate, the Rev. Chelsea Morse talks about her work as Community Ministries Chaplain for Micah Ecumenical Ministries in Fredericksburg, VA, as well as the idea of empathy and community involvement. In this role, she shepherds the spiritual development of Micah neighbors by creating creative, social, and spiritual outlets for trauma-informed care. The Audio Advocate is a monthly podcast hosted by conference Director of Communications Madeline Pillow White sharing headlines from around the conference and denomination and going in depth on one topic each month. The podcast will be on hiatus until September 2022 following the June episode. Listen now...

Join the denomination in sharing why you are #BeUMC

#BeUMC honors the core values that connect the people of The United Methodist Church (The UMC). This grassroots campaign, built upon powerful stories of congregations and people living their faith, celebrates what draws us to The UMC and what we aspire to be.

The UMC is founded on a Wesleyan theology of grace, anchored in Scripture, and based in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and the continuing movement of the Holy Spirit.

The full story of The UMC reflects all of our interwoven experiences. Consider our common roots and your answer to the question, “Why am I United Methodist?” Then, post a video, photo or written testimony on your preferred social media platform – don’t forget to use the hashtag #BeUMC. Download the campaign guide...

General Church News

supreme court

United Methodists react to end of Roe v. Wade

UM NEWS--United Methodists had varied responses to the U.S. Supreme Court decision released June 24 that holds there is no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion. The ruling pushes regulation of abortion to the states. In its Social Principles, The United Methodist Church expresses belief in “the sanctity of unborn human life” but also recognizes “tragic conflicts of life with life that may justify abortion.” Read more...
mexico border

Church leaders explore ways to help migrants in Mexico

UM NEWS--A group of leaders from the Methodist Church of Mexico and The United Methodist Church traveled to southern Mexico in April to meet with groups working with immigrants crossing into the country.
Though there is no Methodist presence in southern Mexico, the leaders are seeking ways to partner with other denominations and organizations in the area. Many of those same migrants will eventually find their way to northern Mexico or the United States, where Methodist and United Methodist churches have ministries to help them. Read more...
social media

Social Media Day highlights local church resources for social ministry

United Methodist Communications will celebrate Social Media Day on Thursday, June 30, 2022, highlighting the many resources the agency provides to help churches maximize their social media potential. Over the past few years, churches have adopted new ways of connecting through social media. John Haney – Senior Training and Development Specialist – will host a special live learning session on Facebook Groups at 12 pm CT at Facebook.com/UMCom. This presentation will examine some important concepts for social media with a significant focus on how to get the most out of Facebook Groups. The presentation will be followed by a live Q&A session to help you in utilizing this tool to further your ministry efforts. Leading up to the event, look for posts on the United Methodist Communications Facebook page that encourage you to submit your questions for the Q&A in advance. The day of the event, submit questions as a comment on the live video streaming post on the UMCom Facebook page.
“Churches today know that social media is more than just being social … it’s a ministry, said Poonam Patodia, Chief Marketing Officer. “We're here to help celebrate Social Media Day by helping your church make the greatest impact you can.” Learn more...

One Last Word: Gas station blessing

Where have you seen Christ recently? There was a sighting at a Roanoke gas station through the ministry of members of Mount Pleasant UMC this past weekend. UMC gives back...
gas station blessing
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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