new e-Advocate logo (1)
To submit news items or events, email conference Director of Communications at MadelineWhite@vaumc.org.

June 30, 2020

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."

succulent
  • How can you be a lifelong learner this week?

Virtually connect with United Methodist missionaries who are #stillinmission during these challenging times. Hear the impact of their work and engage in conversation together. Upcoming episodes from Global Ministries feature missionaries working in the areas of social justice and youth engagement. More...
  • How can you be an influencer this week?

Learn about what The United Methodist Church says about racism. More...
  • How can you serve this week?

The Refugee Mask Maker Circle (RMMC) began as an initiative of NOVA Friends of Refugees to help struggling refugee families in the northern Virginia area. This group includes refugee seamstresses and one professional tailor on furlough whose families have been hard hit financially during COVID-19. RMMC started to help them get by, as well as offer an opportunity for them to help reduce the spread of the disease. You can order high-quality cloth masks or make a donation (through Saint George’s Episcopal refugee ministry in Arlington). 100 percent of donations are used to order masks from the mask makers, which are then given free to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, elder refugees and other nonprofits. Masks can be shipped anywhere in the country. More...

Virginia News

2020 Annual Conference

Annual Conference 2020 will be virtual one-day event

June 29, 2020--The Bishop, Appointive Cabinet and the Annual Conference Planning team have continued to evaluate options while conducting extensive logistical work of planning for the 2020 Virginia Annual Conference. In a statement from June 29, the groups shares that the 2020 Annual Conference will take place on Saturday, September 19, 2020, in a virtual format.

More...
otterville umc drive in worship

Bishop Lewis thanks conference for perseverance during pandemic

June 29, 2020--Bishop Lewis thanked the conference for their perseverance during the pandemic and for their work as churches head back to in-person worship.

More...
change of business hours

Notice: July 4 conference center hours

The conference center in Glen Allen will be closed for July 4th observance starting at 1 p.m. on July 2 and will remain closed on July 3.

appointments FINAL

View 2020-2021 Appointments

The Clergy Executive Session of the Virginia Annual Conference met by Zoom on June 18. The 2020-2021 appointments were "fixed" by Bishop Sharma D. Lewis. The new list is available on the conference website for viewing.

More...
local church historians school

Local Church Historian School offered to any UMC church

Are you, or someone you know, interested in caring for or improving your church's program of history? The General Commission on Archives and History of the United Methodist Church will be offering a Local Church Historian School in 2020 for church historians---or anyone interested in the story of their church. The Local Church Historian School curriculum will cover a wide range of skills necessary to become a "complete" church historian. Participating congregations will benefit from a new consciousness of their heritage and legacy and be motivated to study their unique stories and proclaim it to those around them. The online school will begin on September, 14, 2020. Plan now to use this opportunity to ensure that the heritage of each of our churches will be celebrated and that each church can receive the full benefit of its own amazing story. The only prerequisite for the Local Church Historian School is access to dependable email service. (Minimal computer skills are required.)

Register now...

finances

Bishop Lewis shares update on financial, staffing matters

In a letter from June 19, Bishop Lewis shared some key updates pertaining to the Virginia Conference’s finances and staffing following her letter on May 12.

"While we continue to face strong financial challenges, I am cautiously optimistic that the toughest economic effects of the pandemic are slowly subsiding," Lewis wrote. "The cost controls we have implemented have been working well, though we still need to be vigilant and to continuously find ways to work to optimal efficiency."
More...
grace han protest 2020

Pastors share reflections on protests, marches addressing systemic racism

The United Methodist Church is calling on all United Methodists to address the pervasive pandemic of racism and acknowledge that racism is a sin and antithetical to the gospel. United Methodists around the connection have been answering this call through conversation with their spheres of influence and joining in marches and protests. Several pastors shared their perspectives and spoke to the recent call for action against systemic racism.

Read More
website

Apply for website grant from United Methodist Communications

Church websites are a vital part of digital ministry. If your church doesn’t have a website, United Methodist Communications wants to help! Apply for a Website Development Package, which includes:
• One year of web hosting and domain name registration
• WordPress online training and support
• Predesigned templates
• Email accounts and storage

Read more

General Church News

Pastors ‘make friends with the soil’ during lockdown

With many pastoral activities suspended amid lockdowns to stop the spread of the coronavirus, some clergy families in Africa are falling back on farming to survive. The economic impact of the pandemic has been severe, particularly in poor nations like Zimbabwe, where the unemployment rate is estimated at more than 90%. According to the World Food Program, more than half the population, 7.7 million people, are food insecure. Many pastors are using their agricultural knowledge and skills to venture into backyard farming, including short-season crops, horticulture, and small livestock production.

Read More

ʽService of Lament’ challenges church on racism

UNITED METHODIST NEWS--An unflinching, hour-long “Service of Lament, Repentance, Communion and Commitment” went online June 24, putting The United Methodist Church on record as committed to a renewed push against racism. “The Council of Bishops and every church agency within our denomination are working together as never before because this call from God and outcry from our troubled world are so urgent,” says East Ohio Conference Bishop Tracy Malone during the video service. “We are acting and moving.” Pulled together in under two weeks despite the COVID-19 pandemic — with footage contributed from 25 different locations — the video features prayer, Scripture and anguished testimony from United Methodists of color.

Read More

Q&A: What delay means for General Conference

UNITED METHODIST NEWS - For more than two centuries, General Conference has met at least once every four years. Outside forces left their mark. In 1800, church leaders moved the gathering to the spring to avoid fall yellow fever outbreaks. In 1862, Southern Methodists shortened their session to two days because of the U.S. Civil War. But until COVID-19, The United Methodist Church and its predecessors have never delayed the church’s top lawmaking assembly by more than a year. With General Conference now postponed from May this year until Aug. 29-Sept. 7 in 2021, organizers of the big meeting are navigating uncharted territory. The Commission on the General Conference answered questions from Heather Hahn of United Methodist News about what the delay means for how the denomination does its decision-making.

Read More

One Last Word: Turn words into action

trinity umc covid food collection

COVID-19 Food collection at Trinity UMC, Henrico

When COVID-19 turned the world upside down, the congregation and staff at Trinity focused on their backyard by starting a Friday food collection.
Since mid-March, the congregation has assisted organizations in the Richmond area including Henrico County Public Schools, Doorways, Feed More, Welborne UMC food pantry, Sherbourne UMC food pantry, and the families whose children participate in the Saturday morning literacy program at a Richmond city school.
Over 14 Fridays, close to 1,000 bags of grocery and personal hygiene items have been collected for people impacted by the virus. On Fridays, from 9-2 p.m. collection bins are positioned in front of our Welcome Center. Donors simply drive up and drop off. The following week, the donated items are delivered to the non-profit.
As Bill Pike, church director of operations, said, "The outpouring of support from our congregation has been a good confirmation—that our hearts are willing and can do good missional work when a need arises."
return to worship (1)
Learn more about three-stage return to in-person worship at Virginia Conference churches: https://vaumc.org/return/

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...
facebook twitter youtube instagram linkedin