2022 e-Advocate logo

August 23, 2022

To submit news items, events, or corrections, email the conference Communications Office at [email protected].
Events (1)

  • September 5 - Virginia UM Center closed for Labor Day Observance
  • September 13 - Interfaith Climate Revival in four Virginia locations (Hampton, Richmond, Roanoke, Bristol)
  • September 16 - Discovery UMC, Richmond, hosting Youth Night of Worship and Prayer
  • October 22 - Fall Faire at Community UMC, Virginia Beach
Digital Hub (3)
Find resources for local church ministry at the conference's Digital Hub. Current resources:
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Art
  • Ask Board of Communications for help on general communications, technology and more
  • Find podcasts around the conference
Access Digital Hub...

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

  • How can you be a lifelong learner?

LEWIS CENTER FOR CHURCH LEADERSHIP--What can we learn about congregational revitalization, Fresh Expressions, and evangelism from the Methodist Church in Britain? Trey Hall with Lewis Center for Church Leadership shares insights on these subjects drawing from his experience in the United States and Great Britain. Read more...
  • How can you be an influencer?
Every United Methodist should take a moment to pause, rediscover and reconnect with what our global denomination is all about. A new presentation slide deck is available to help church leaders encourage congregations to root into our shared beliefs, history, mission and ministry in order to stand strong and face the future — together.

  • How can you serve?

Pray for new missionaries. Fifty-four missionaries were commissioned for service in nine different worship services taking place around the world from April to July. Some begin service in new placements while others continue with work they began during the pandemic. Learn more...

Virginia News

kingstowne clean up

NOVA church turns middle school outdoor space into oasis

The Kingstowne Community does no have a brick and mortar building, rather their services are held weekly at a local middle school, Hayfield Secondary School. Recognizing that the children's play area was overgrown, the church stepped up to help school staff make it an oasis. Read more...
Jesus as nerd FINAL

AI gives new opportunities for creativity in church graphics

Has your church explored using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for church graphics and art? Where do you get your sermon imagery? Learn more in this blog post from Digital Media Specialist Hunter Bryn about how AI is changing the art landscape.
Greenhouse giving day graphic 7 22

Thursday is UMFS Greenhouse Giving Day

Big things are growing at UMFS and they need your help. UMFS is excited to announce that they are planning to construct a new therapeutic greenhouse that will benefit the children at UMFS and the greater community. Your donation will help children with developmental, behavioral, and mental health challenges learn how to take care of plants, harvest produce, and cook nutritious meals using the fresh fruits and vegetables they’ve nurtured. Your donation will help them learn a new life skill, and a therapeutic coping mechanism like gardening that will benefit them for years to come. Visit UMFS.org/greenhouse today to learn more and make your gift. UMFS thanks you for your support! Read more...
wesley seminary

Wesley Theological Seminary invites all to in-person, virtual event

Wesley Theological Seminary President David McAllister-Wilson invites all to the Fall Convocation, held at 11 a.m. EST on September 6, 2022, in Oxnam Chapel, where Professor Beverly E. Mitchell will be installed in the C.C. Goen and Douglas R. Chandler Church History Chair. This Chair is named for two former and beloved faculty members who wrote the definitive history of Westminster/Wesley Seminary. Dr. Mitchell follows a line of faculty who have occupied this chair dedicated to a kind of scholarship that engages students in the history of the faith in a way that prepares them for ministry. Those who are near Wesley and are vaccinated are invited to gather in person in Oxnam Chapel. You may follow live at wesleyseminary.edu.
news update

Update for October 29 Called Annual Conferences

As previously shared conference-wide in May, a Special Annual Conference will be held virtually on Saturday, October 29. At 9 a.m. The purpose of this Special Annual Conference Session is to close the remaining four churches utilizing Discipline paragraph 2549.3 (Disposition of property of a closed local church) and approve the severing of their relationship with the United Methodist denomination.

At 9:30 a.m., a second Special Annual Conference will convene for the sole purpose of ratifying the disaffiliation of local churches seeking to disaffiliate from The United Methodist Church over matters of human sexuality. Paragraph 2553 of the Book of Discipline governs this process. All approvals and agreements under this process must be completed by September 30, 2022.

Questions concerning the two Special Annual Conferences may be directed to the Rev. Dr. Steve Summers at [email protected].

Certified Lay Ministers Courses to be held in Fall 2022

The first offering of Certified Lay Minister (CLM) training in the Virginia Annual Conference will be held this fall (September 11, October 2 and November 6 from 6 to 8 p.m.).

To become a CLM, the lay person must complete the BASIC and Spiritual Gifts courses through Lay Servant Academy (LSA). The individual then takes four modules of training, meets before District Committee of Ministry (DCOM) for recommendation to the Board of Laity, and is approved by the Board of Laity. They require the support of their local church and the district as they work through the modules.

Module One will be offered September-November with three Zoom meetings and the rest of the work asynchronous. All coursework is online. Cost is $75 and covers the cost of the CLM Module One training book. There are four modules in all, which will be offered this fall through spring 2024 to complete the entire training. The course will be taught by the Rev. Dr. Joanna Dietz and Mrs. Jenn Robinson O’Brien. For more information contact Joanna Dietz at [email protected]. Register at this link.

Learn more about Renfro grant, other grant opportunities

Every year, the Conference Secretary of Global Missions (the Rev. Seungsoo ‘RJ’ Jun, VAUMC CSGM) of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church gathers with others to award the Renfro Trust Grant to local churches and Siedschlag award to members of the conference. The application is now open for your church, located in a less than 10,000 population, to apply for a ‘brick and mortar’ grant of up to $5,000. Also, each conference can nominate up to two members of the conference who might be the recipient of the Siedschlag award. Grants from around the connection can be found at the conference website. Learn more...
Serving-post header (1200 × 900 px) (2)

How can your church help during disasters?

With disasters like the recent flooding in Kentucky, Virginia Conference clergy and laity want to help. Learn more in a recent blog post on what is needed following these disasters. Learn more...
Untitled design (13)

Register now for Early Response Team (ERT) training

Are you certified as an ERT (Early Respond Team) member or UMVIM leader? Did you know that both certificates require a renewal every 2-3 years? Due to the pandemic, there was a limitation to offering training for both certifications. Both pieces of training required an in-person gathering due to their hands-on approach.

As churches are getting ready to assemble a mission trip and respond to disasters such as hurricanes or floods, we see that this is an excellent time to refreshen your certification. Early Response Teams (ERT) training is being offered September 10 at Culpeper UMC, Three Notch'd District, and at Aldersgate UMC, Coastal Virginia District. This 8-hour training session will begin at 8 am. ERTs respond during the first phase of disaster relief, providing a caring Christian presence. Your church and community could truly benefit if faced with a disaster. You are also trained to respond, when requested, to other conferences during a disaster. Registration fee is $35, which includes the training manual, UMCOR ERT badge, T-shirt and lunch. Checks should be made payable to the Virginia Annual Conference and brought the day of training. Learn more and register...
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 the 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...

General Church News

russian congregation

Russian-speaking congregation supports Ukrainian refugees

UM NEWS--While Russians and Ukrainians engage in war in various parts of Ukraine, a Russian-speaking United Methodist congregation in Prague is finding ways to support Ukrainian refugees.
Prague 2 United Methodist Church is a collective of two congregations: Nové Město (New Life), which is Czech-speaking, and Agapé, which is Russian-speaking and has Ukrainian members.
The congregations have helped house refugees arriving to the city and arranged transport of necessary supplies for those who couldn’t leave the country. Read more...
work in progress

Every church is a work in progress

LEWIS CENTER FOR CHURCH LEADERSHIP--Is your church imperfect? Youth ministry expert Deech Kirk for Lewis Center for Church Leadership says “welcome to the club.” Successful church leaders need to accept that every church is a work in progress and that building healthy, sustainable, thriving ministries takes time, hard work, and patience. Read more...
global ministries meeting

Partnerships with Korean Methodist Church envisioned

UM NEWS-More collaborations between the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries and Korean Methodist Church were discussed at meetings Aug. 15-17 featuring delegations from both entities. Attendees heard a series of presentations, including an overview of mission cooperation between the two denominations. Bishop Chung Suk Kim, chair of the KMC Board of Mission, acknowledged several common challenges facing churches today: declining youth interest in religion, polarization and resulting conflicts and issues of peace. Read more...
korean young adults

Laity leadership revitalizes church’s young adult ministry

UM NEWS--Many Korean churches have a minister take charge of young adult ministry because they are young — regardless of their talents, grace and gifts. However, not all young ministers have the passion for young adult ministry. Even if they have such gifts, their ability and capability can often be limited because most are seminarians who must also focus on their studies. In addition, the interval of their ministry in a church is relatively short. After completing studies or being ordained, they often get an appointment to a new church and leave. A new part-time minister follows and begins the young adult ministry from square one. These circumstances pose a challenge for the young adult ministry of Korean churches. Read more...
service of remembrance native americans

Weekend spotlights Native culture

UM NEWS--The 20th annual Native Moccasins Rock conference, or “Mocs Rock,” was Aug. 12-14 at Camp Lake Benson in Bon Aqua, Tennessee. Participants learned about arts and crafts, dance and other aspects of Native culture. In a solemn ceremony, participants remembered indigenous women who have disappeared, which is a persistent problem. A speaker addressed the use of Native American stereotypes in depictions of mascots for sports teams. Read 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...

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

blessed are
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...
facebook twitter youtube instagram linkedin