2022 e-Advocate logo

September 6, 2022

To submit news items, events, or corrections, email the conference Communications Office at [email protected].
Events (1)
  • 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. Register now!
  • September 17- United Women in Faith Young Women's Event

Resource Spotlight: "We are the church. Together" resource

As a denomination, it’s important that pastors, church staff and members have a common understanding of the core background of The United Methodist Church. The new “We are the church. Together” resource from United Methodist Communications helps congregations root into shared beliefs, history, mission and ministry to stand strong and face the future — together. The organized Google slides presentation aids leaders in walking their church through what it means to be United Methodist and answering questions that members are asking. Content includes information about Wesleyan heritage, the church’s foundation and structure. The presentation is built around four #BeUMC campaign themes: making disciples, belonging and inclusion, experience of God through the UMC and influence, connection and impact. Find resource...

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

  • How can you be a lifelong learner?

How can you help explain the sacrament of Baptism to children? Learn more...
  • How can you be an influencer?
Children’s and family ministries look different from just a few years ago. Parents have fast become the most important component of faith formation within their family. Church leaders are wondering how to transform the lives of parents, caregivers, grandparents, and church communities. Parents are on the frontline of faith formation with their children. Throughout this course, church leaders will discover how to journey alongside parents to nurture, equip, empower, and effectively communicate with them. Find course...

  • How can you serve?

#WorldCommunionSunday is one month away! Did you know you can invite a United Methodist missionary to speak with your church and share about expressions of Christianity in the country where they serve?
If your church doesn't already have a partnership with a missionary, learn more about how to establish a Covenant Relationship here.

Virginia News


Register now for Clergy Soul Care Retreat

Join for a time out in a safe place, to name your need and nurture your soul’s connection with God at the second Clergy Soul Care Retreat at Roslyn Retreat Center hosted by the Spiritual Vitality Committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry from October 6-8, 2022..Together, participants will experience connection with God through learning, embodied spiritual practices, spiritual direction, connection in community, and rest. Led by Dr. Joseph Howell, author of Becoming Conscious: The Enneagram's Forgotten Passageway, host of the podcast The Real Enneagram: A Spiritual Quest, and founder of The Institute for Conscious Being, we will care for ourselves as we take a deep dive into soul work. Space is limited and the deadline to Register is 12 noon, September 22. Learn more...
Untitled design (13)

Upcoming ERT training opportunities

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 re-freshen 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...

On October 21 and 22, Bethlehem UMC, Moneta, is hosting a Zoom ERT recertification class. The class will be completed in two 2-hour session from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. each day. Both session are required for recertification. Contact Carolyn Koontz at [email protected] for more information.
news update

Virginia Conference responds to law firm representing churches seeking to disaffiliate

September 1--In recent weeks, the Virginia Conference received more than two dozen letters from an organization called the National Center for Life and Liberty (NCLL) demanding that 26 churches be able to promptly disaffiliate under Paragraph 2548.2 of the Book of Discipline so they can join the Global Methodist Church. Read more in conference press release...

Read other releases and information about disaffiliation here...
Heart Havens

UMM feature Heart Havens on upcoming webinar

The Virginia Conference United Methodist Men (UMM) invite all to join them on Tuesday, September 20 at 6:30 p.m. for a Love, Learn, and Lead webinar about Heart Havens with Jennifer Boyden, Chief Executive Officer, and Rebecca Huff, Chief Operating Officer. Heart Havens is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that provides a home and 24-hour support to adults with developmental disabilities. Heart Havens has homes across Virginia in Richmond, Ashland, Lynchburg, Stuarts Draft, and Virginia Beach with about 25 clients. Heart Havens empowers adults with developmental disabilities to live and thrive in their community.

Join to learn more about this ministry and how the Virginia Conference can support Heart Havens.
Join Zoom Meeting
Tuesday, September 20 at 6:30 p.m. EDT
Meeting ID: 898 2460 7164
One tap mobile
+13017158592,,89824607164# US (Washington D.C)
+19292056099,,89824607164# US (New York)
Dial by your location
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington D.C)
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
Webinar recordings from previous Love, Learn, and Lead webinars are posted on our website https://vaumc.org/UMM.

UWF hosting event for young women on spiritual refreshment, growth

The Virginia Conference United Women in Faith (UWF) Young Women’s Event will be held Saturday, September 17, from 9:00 a.m. – noon via Zoom. It is open to all young women ages 18-40. They do not need to be a member of United Women in Faith, The United Methodist Church, or any church.
This is a time set aside for young women ages 18 to 40 for their spiritual refreshment and growth. They will consider “Who Can We Be Together? – Building Communities of Hope and Joy.” The Rev. Kendra Grimes, Chaplain and Director of Church Relations at Randolph-Macon College, will lead this mini-retreat.
Sponsored annually by the Virginia Conference United Women in Faith (UWF), this Young Women’s Event will continue this year virtually with no registration fee. Please register by September 14.
Confirmation will be sent by email containing information about joining the meeting.
For more information, contact Marlene Dakita, Va. Conference UWF Mission Coordinator for Membership, Nurture & Outreach (MNO), at [email protected] or 703-244-4524 (cell).
wesley seminary

Apply now to Wesley Theological Seminary congregational program

The Source Collaborative is a Lilly Endowment funded program of Wesley Theological Seminary designed to help local congregations thrive in the midst of social, cultural, and denominational change. Applications are open for the final cohort of regional UMC congregations. During a two-year cycle, congregations identify their own markers of thriving based on their community and context, then create a strategic plan for congregational change. Each congregation is coached throughout the process and is awarded a grant to enact change. The cohort is open to UMC congregations in the annual conferences surrounding Washington, D.C. : Baltimore-Washington, Virginia, Peninsula-Delaware, Susquehanna, West Virginia, and Eastern Pennsylvania. The application deadline is September 15, 2022. The cohort will be selected and notified by October 15, 2022. To learn more, email [email protected].
For information or to apply...

VAUMC continues to witness even as war engages Ukraine, Russia

As the world watches with horror and concern the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, United Methodists in Virginia are actively engaged in ministry and mission with fellow Jesus followers in both countries, and new energy for such connections is being felt. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, United Methodists in Virginia and elsewhere engaged in mission, evangelism, church planting, worship, Bible study, and cultural exchange with people in several of the former Soviet Republics, including Ukraine and Russia. Virginia United Methodists had special connections with communities in Ivanova, Chelyabinsk, Pyatigorsk, Stavropol, and other cities in Russia, as well as in the Ukrainian cities of Lviv and Kiev. As the Virginia Conference’s attention turned to other communities in Brazil, Cambodia, Mozambique, and elsewhere, a few congregations continued connections and ministry in Stavropol, Russia, as well as Kiev and Lviv, Ukraine. This summer, the spotlight again shone on Ukraine and Russia in an unexpected and surprising way. Learn more...
fresh expressions

Take survey about Fresh Expressions

The conference Influencing Ministries Office created a survey to learn about what VAUMC churches are doing or discerning in regards to Fresh Expressions. If you are offering or interested in offering Fresh Expressions, please take a moment to complete this survey by September 15. Associate Director Dwayne Stinson will offer an opportunity for learning based on this survey at a later date. Take survey...

Present status concerning Boy Scouts of America settlement

August 30--Though a final ruling in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) settlement has yet to be made, Judge Silverstein said in a 284-page opinion that the United Methodist piece of the settlement meets the tests of bankruptcy law. We will continue to keep you updated on major developments on the court case.
Bishop Schol, who leads the UMC BSA Leadership Team, recently informed the denomination that all present affiliation agreements (charters and facility use agreements) between the United Methodist local churches and their local BSA chapter have been automatically extended to December 31, 2022.
BSA and the General Commission on United Methodist Men(GCUMM) have executed an interim agreement in the meantime to extend the protections to the church while transitions for a final settlement are completed. No action is necessary by local churches and the interim agreement is being shared for informational purposes. Find a copy at the link…
For longer term agreements, please note:
  • The facility use agreement may be used as a standalone document if a church is allowing BSA to use the facilities. That document can be found here. It is not to be modified.
  • If a church is using the new affiliation agreement, this is the standard agreement for all United Methodist congregations and is not to be modified.
For any questions related to agreements and growing scouting, Steve Scheid, General Commission on United Methodist Men, should be contacted at [email protected].
The resources and information about the new affiliation agreement may be found here www.GCUMM.org/Scouting or directly at www.methodistscouter.org/a-new-agreement/.

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...
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].
Serving-post header (1200 × 900 px) (2)

How can your church help during disasters?

With disasters like the summer 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...
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


Czech United Methodists help house Ukrainian refugees

UM NEWS--Since early March, Poušť United Methodist church camp has hosted about 19 guests who fled their homes after Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. It is one of five properties of The United Methodist Church in the Czech Republic serving as a shelter for Ukrainian refugees. The United Methodist Committee on Relief is working with 17 partners throughout eastern Europe to provide aid to the people of Ukraine. Read more...
bishop lewis sej 2016

Bishops plan for the election of new colleagues

UM NEWS--The United Methodist Council of Bishops is planning orientation for new bishops elected in jurisdictional and central conferences this fall. The new bishops will be coming aboard as the denomination deals with increasing church departures and the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Elections for new bishops in Europe, the Philippines and the U.S. are being planned for November with new episcopal leaders taking office in January next year. Read more...
um property

Church court clarifies property-transfer rules

UM NEWS--The United Methodist Church’s top court ruled that a much-debated church law can only be used for transferring property — not members — to another denomination. The Judicial Council also ruled that The United Methodist Church must have an existing agreement with the other denomination for such a transfer to occur. No such agreement exists with the Global Methodist Church, which has been pushing for churches to use the measure to leave The United Methodist Church. In a separate matter, the Judicial Council released a memorandum on the vote by the Bulgaria-Romania Provisional Annual Conference to move to the Global Methodist Church. Read more...
cob bickerton zoom

Bishop urges end to falsehoods, pivot to future

UM NEWS--Council of Bishops President Thomas J. Bickerton opened the bishops’ meeting this week taking on what he called falsehoods about The United Methodist Church. Even as the denomination deals with schism, Bickerton urged fellow United Methodists to begin pivoting toward what they hope The United Methodist Church will be in the future. Part of that future, the bishops made clear, involves addressing the sins of racism and colonialism. 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

For thine is the kingdom,
and the power, and the glory,
forever, Amen.
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