2022 e-Advocate logo

July 19, 2022

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

Upcoming Events

  • August 5 & 6 - Lay Servant Academy Hybrid event- Registration open now.

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

  • How can you be a lifelong learner?

How can church leaders approach innovation in ways that are consistent with their faith? Through the Lewis Center for Church Leadership podcast, Kenda Creasy Dean says it starts by focusing on people and not problems, and by seeking to participate in God’s new thing rather than trying to get God to participate in ours. Listen to podcast...
  • How can you be an influencer?
As more and more churches recognize the need for a strong digital presence, churches are asking for support in creating and strengthening their online ministry. In a new UMC.org Podcast, the Rev. Nicole Reilley is going to provides ideas and stories from her own experience in being a senior pastor at a traditionally-based church and the chief cheerleader or ringleader for pastoring a digital parish. Learn more...

  • How can you serve?

Help Buchanan County recover from devastating flooding through monetary donations. At this time, please refrain from sending any physical donations to the county as their donation site is currently overwhelmed. The best way to help is through monetary donations which can be donated at the Holston Conference website.
brooks installation

Ministry Spotlight

The Rev. Dr. Cecelia Brooks (second from right) was formally celebrated and recognized as the new Coastal Virginia District Superintendent at an Installation and Celebration worship Service on Sunday, July 17 at Heritage UMC in Virginia Beach.

Virginia News


Update on Annual Conference offering, kits

At the latest count, 18,811 kits and 12,611 cans of food were collected and $140,000 was raised for the conference offering. This year, the conference offering directly sponsored the D.Min Program at Wesley Theological Seminary, whose graduates serve to nurture soldiers all over the world, as well as Partnerships of Hope. Find out more in the Mission Opportunities Report from the Serving Office.
Resources are available to help with reporting a wrap-up of the 2022 Annual Conference session to 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. Find pictures...
The livestream of the event can be viewed at the conference Vimeo page. Find more...
A wrap-up video of the event is available for local church use. Watch video...

Mountain View District church receives ministry grant

Wesley Chapel UMC, Mountain View District, was recently the recipient of a grant from the Foundation for Evangelism for their ministry "Satisfy Your Hunger." This ministry, a partnership between Wesley Chapel and Rock Springs churches, is an attempt to reach people who are hungry and for whom the Sunday morning worship time is impossible due to shift or other work and for persons who may be looking for alternative means of worship.
"We are looking to meet the needs for people who need to eat while sharing the love of Jesus with them through food and through programming," the Rev. Ryan Ware said.
The ministry's programming will be adapted based on individuals needs seeking to care for the whole person. Launching on August 8, there will be a 'Back to School Bash' where food will be served and a giving away of backpack and school supplies.
For Ware, this is another opportunity to continue to take the church into the local community. The church ministry will also be a way that Wesley Chapel and Rock Springs will partner with other feeding programs in the local community. As a result of the grant, Ware said he hopes that over the next year, a new community will form at Wesley Chapel UMC. "We hope to grow together and we learn from one another and partner with whoever shows up to share the love of Christ with the world."
mustard seed grants

Apply now for Mustard Seed Migration Grant

United Methodist congregations across the United States are invited to propose new and creative projects that fill specific needs or gaps for refugees and migrants. The Mustard Seed Migration Grant program from Global Ministries will award $2,000 to up to 50 local United Methodist churches in the United States to engage in a new, one-time community-based service project focused on refugees and migration. Applications will be accepted at any time prior to the September 1, 2022 deadline, and will be reviewed and processed within a month of receipt. Completed applications must be signed by the project grant manager and senior pastor. Submit a completed, signed application via email to [email protected]. Learn more...
holston flood damage

How to help Buchanan County following devastating flooding

The Rev. Bob Pihlcrantz, VAUMC Disaster Response coordinator, shared an update following the recent devastating flooding in Buchanan County, Va. The county is located in the Holston Conference and the Virginia Conference received an invitation to assist the flood relief efforts in any way that members of the conference can help. Pihlcrantz is coordinating these efforts with the local District Disaster Response Coordinators and information will be shared as soon as it it available.
At this time, please refrain from sending any physical donations to the county as their donation site is currently overwhelmed. The best way to help is through monetary donations which can be donated at the Holston Conference website.
potato drop

September is national month for action against hunger

Each year, September is dedicated as a national month for action against hunger. Partnering with Society of St. Andrew (SoSA) is a simple way for you to invite your faith family and community to grow further in the mission to end hunger. This is an opportunity to come together as a family of faith by devoting time to giving, serving, learning, and leading with The Society of St. Andrew. Find resources...

UMM to lead Love, Learn and Lead webinar about Common Table

The United Methodist Men (UMM) invite all to join the latest Love, Learn, and Lead webinar tonight, Tuesday, July 19 at 6:30 p.m. on the Common Table with the Rev. Dr. Steven Summers, Assistant to the Bishop and Director of Connectional Ministries.
The Common Table for Church Vitality (“Common Table”) exists to resource mission and ministry to fulfill the conference mission and vision. As a diverse body of representatives, the Common Table coordinates with Boards and Agencies, assists in the disbursement of ministry and program grants, and oversees the personnel of the Annual Conference offices that are under its guidance. Come and learn how the Common Table helps United Methodist Men minister effectively.
Join Zoom Meeting
Tuesday, July 19 at 6:30 PM EDT
Meeting ID: 898 2460 7164
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Webinar recordings from previous Love, Learn, and Lead webinars are posted on the conference website https://vaumc.org/UMM.
wesley seminary

Wesley Seminary announces new degree in military chaplaincy

Wesley Theological Seminary now announces a new Master of Divinity specialization in Military Chaplaincy, beginning in the Fall of 2022. “Wesley Theological Seminary has a long commitment to training, equipping, and supporting persons called to chaplaincy within the various branches of the United States Armed Forces,” said Wesley program coordinator CH (COL-Ret) James Driscoll, a United Methodist Church pastor who served in the National Guard, Reserves and on active duty with the Army, recently retired from the Army Chief of Chaplains Office in the Pentagon. “The Military Chaplaincy specialization allows Master of Divinity students to explore and prepare for this vocational calling while also pursuing ordination or credentialing in their spiritual tradition and fulfilling current requirements of the respective Armed Service,” noted Chaplain Driscoll. The program is built around a combination of specialized courses and field education experiences. Students will take introductory courses in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling, then will select two electives focusing on core themes/theology of chaplaincy. For field education, students will have the opportunity to gain experience in chaplaincy in one of the many diverse settings in Washington and will complete Clinical Pastoral Education for further preparation. Students pursuing the Military Chaplaincy specialization will be encouraged to pursue an Independent Study with their military-specific advisor. Scholarships are available for qualified students who apply by December 1 for spring semester entry or by February 1 for fall semester entry. For more information, contact CH (COL-Ret) James Driscoll at [email protected].

Team Jeremiah recording of July 12 General Conference/Disaffiliation Q&A available

Due to time constraints during the 2022 Annual Conference session, the Team Jeremiah Q&A session was not held. A webinar Q&A event on topics including General Conference and disaffiliation from the denomination was held on Tuesday, July 12. Team Jeremiah resources and the webinar recording are available at the link.

Boundaries of new VAUMC districts outlined

July 8--Following the vote of the Annual Conference on Friday, June 17, 2022, that set the number of districts to eight effective July 1, 2022, in keeping with Paragraph 415.4 of the 2016 UMC Book of Discipline, and in consultation with the Cabinet, the boundaries of the new districts shall be as follows, effective July 1, 2022:
The exterior boundaries shall be the combined boundaries of their former constituent districts in their bi-district configurations (which were established July 1, 2021), with the dissolution of the interior boundary of the former paired districts, to form eight new districts as shown below both in table and map.
These districts shall be served by the eight district superintendents as listed at the link. Learn more...

New agreements between BSA and UMC churches now available

July 8--After extensive discussions between the UMC BSA Leadership team, led by Bishop John Schol, and the Boy Scouts leadership team, there are new agreements for local churches to use with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). Learn more...

Register now for Lay Servant Academy

Registration is now open for Lay Servant Academy (LSA) training from Friday, August 5 to Saturday, August 6, 2022. Please share this opportunity with your local church members. Questions may directed to Richard Speirs([email protected]) or Tianna Durbin ([email protected]).

General Church News

um news

106 Florida churches sue to exit denomination

UM NEWS--The Florida Conference is facing a lawsuit filed by more than 100 churches that want to leave The United Methodist Church with property and transfer to a breakaway, theologically conservative denomination. Read more...
Business and education background

Training opportunity for administrative staff

The General Council on Finance and Administration, the denomination’s finance agency, will host the 2022 Academy of Church Business Administration Aug. 22-Sept. 1. Through the academy, church administrators receive the necessary in-classroom training to obtain their designation as a certified church administrator. Learn more...

Is The United Methodist Church really...?

UM NEWS--Ask The UMC, a ministry of United Methodist Communications, has received many questions from congregations wondering about the future of the denomination and whether they should consider disaffiliating from it. These have included recurrent questions that reflect misperceptions or misinformation that congregations are receiving as they discern their next steps. This is the first of a series of articles offering accurate responses to such misperceptions or misinformation. Learn more...

Facebook Q&A for local churches planned

United Methodist Communications has a question-and-answer session planned to help congregations grow through marketing and outreach. The session is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. U.S. Central time on July 27 on Facebook.com/umcom. Communications experts will be on hand to answer questions throughout that timeframe.
umc report

State of the Church report focuses on United Methodist identity

UM NEWS--The 2021 State of the Church report is now available to view online. The report asks the question: “Who do we say we are?” and celebrates the life-changing, diverse and global nature of The United Methodist Church. View report...
navigating dementia

Navigating dementia: A guide for loved ones

Loneliness, grief, anger, exhaustion and a longing for peace. United Methodist pastor and author Elizabeth Shulman says these emotions frequently surround families dealing with dementia. She offers steps for how caregivers, as well as members of the church community, can find and offer support for one another in the latest Get your Spirit in Shape podcast. Find podcast, resources and podcast transcript.

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...

One Last Word

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. - Matthew 6:25-34 NIV
matthew 6 niv
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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