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September 20, 2022

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

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

Resource Spotlight: We are the church. Together.

As we read stories of congregations leaving the denomination either to join the Global Methodist Church or become independent, it’s only natural to feel anxious about the future of The United Methodist Church. What will the future UMC look like? How will my congregation be affected? Will I still feel like I belong? These may be some of the questions your congregation is asking itself right now.

Thinking ahead, we need to look back and remember our roots and shared principles that have always defined us as a denomination. The UMC will continue to be a biblical, diverse, inclusive and Spirit-filled denomination grounded in Scripture and of teachings of Jesus Christ. We will continue to be a global and connectional church committed to making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. We will continue to seek justice in every corner of the world and all levels of society. We will continue to experience God through our prayers, worship and other acts of faithfulness.

United Methodist Communications has created a special presentation called "We are the church. Together" that will remind congregations of their identity as United Methodists while also inviting them to have constructive conversations about what they hope the future will bring, both for The UMC as a whole and their congregation. The presentation is built around the following themes from the #BeUMC Campaign.
  • How can you be a lifelong learner?

John Wesley, founder of the Methodist movement, created questions for self-examination. Learn more...
  • How can you be an influencer?
Growing, maintaining or having a thriving youth group ministry can be challenging. Making proper use of various digital marketing strategies can set you up on the road to success. Learn more from United Methodist Communications...
  • How can you serve?

UMCOR U.S. Disaster Response, working through annual conferences and the UMCOR Relief Supplies Network, is aiding those impacted by several flooding events of this summer, which has led to an immediate need for additional cleaning (flood) kits. The VAUMC Annual Conference Kit team will hold an event on November 10, 2022, with a goal to collect 4,677 Cleaning Kits by November. Learn more...

Virginia News

hispanic heritage month

National Hispanic Month runs through October 15

National Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity to highlight the impactful ministry of Hispanic and Latin communities throughout the United Methodist Connection. A series from Discipleship Ministries seeks to show that Hispanics are diverse in shade, style and culture, and that their ministries are just as vibrant. Learn more....
Find 25 children’s books by Latinx authors to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month...
circuit rider

General Commission on Archives and History offers UM history courses

Learn alongside the General Commission on Archives and History to understand the past, contextualize the present, and envision the future. Find courses...
Heart Havens

UMM feature Heart Havens in upcoming webinar

The Virginia Conference United Methodist Men (UMM) invite all to join them tonight, 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
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Webinar recordings from previous Love, Learn, and Lead webinars are posted on our website https://vaumc.org/UMM.
race relations

2022-2023 grant program releases from GCORR

The General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) is proud to announce a new cycle of the CORR Action Fund (CAF) grant program that will support creative initiatives that will transform the United Methodist Church (UMC) and the world. The 2022-2023 grant program will provide up to $10,000 to fund projects that increase intercultural competency and support vital conversations about race, cultural diversity, and systemic equity leading to action.
UMC churches and other UMC entities are invited to apply for funding by submitting a proposal that:
• demonstrates bold and innovative thinking,
• reaches more people, younger people, and more diverse people,
• results in long-term change that could be replicated in other local churches, districts, conferences, or other entities within the UMC, and
• utilizes existing GCORR resources.
The CAF grant program was established by the General Conference of The United Methodist Church for the empowerment of diversity, inclusion, and racial justice work both inside and outside the Church.
Applications are now open. This grant application cycle closes November 15, 2022. Learn more...
Grants from around the connection can be found at the conference website. Learn more...
cleaning buckets

Join the Cleaning Kit Conference Challenge!

In a September 8 letter, Bishop Lewis shared that VAUMC Disaster Coordinator, the Rev. Bob Pihlcrantz, recently received an urgent call from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) requesting cleaning kits. UMCOR Supply Depots are already close to disbursing all their stored cleaning kits to impacted areas. In 2017, the Virginia Conference responded to a similar call and collected 4,676 cleaning kits, estimated at $350,700.
Lewis challenged the conference in her letter sharing, "Together, as the Virginia Conference, let us once again step up as the church. The VAUMC Annual Conference Kit team proposes to hold another event on November 10, 2022, with our goal to collect 4,677 Cleaning Kits by November.
"This is one more kit from our previous collection in 2017. Our goal can be easily reached if every church contributes four (4) kits or 585 kits per district. We ask all churches in the Virginia Conference to be “United as One” in this opportunity to share the hope of Jesus Christ."
For more information, please visit www.vaumc.org/2022cleaningkit, or contact Serving Ministries at [email protected].

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...
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...
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...
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].

Boy Scouts of America settlement approved

September 9--Bishop John Schol, who leads the UMC BSA Leadership Team, shared with U.S. Bishops a September 8 Reuters article sharing that Judge Silverstein approved the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) settlement. Schol and the UMC BSA Leadership Team will keep the conference informed of next steps. Access the Reuters article...

General Church News

umc congregation

Grassroots groups talk up The United Methodist Church

UM NEWS-- In a time of church disaffiliations, some conferences have seen grassroots groups emerge to advocate for remaining in The United Methodist Church. The groups go by such names as Stay UMC, Celebrate UMC, That We May Be One, Arkansans Staying United and Abide South Georgia. Providing information and countering what they see as misinformation is a key goal for the groups. Learn more...

How can clergy ensure their own safety in challenging situations

UM NEWS-- Pastors can often find themselves in uncomfortable and even dangerous situations when trying to minister to others, but they can take steps to ensure their safety. The Rev. Dr. Tori Butler explores the risks that pastors – particularly clergywomen – face in an interview with the Rev. Dr. Jalene Chase, former Metro Transit police officer in Washington and current pastor of Goshen United Methodist Church in Gaithersburg, Maryland. Read more...
africa college of bishops retreat

African bishops call for unity, condemn advocacy groups

UM NEWS-- African bishops released a statement Sept. 8 denouncing the Africa Initiative and Wesleyan Covenant Association, which they say “are wrongly influencing God’s people in our areas.”
The statement was released at the close of the African bishops’ retreat, which was held Sept 5-8 at Africa University. All of the continent’s active bishops, with the exception of Nigeria Area Bishop John Wesley Yohanna, signed the statement. 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...

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

Making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
world disciples
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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