2022 e-Advocate logo

September 27, 2022

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

Resource Spotlight: Lay Servant Training

Perhaps you have felt God calling you to become more involved in your local church and community. Or perhaps you have discerned the need to develop your leadership skills.

Lay servants can serve in their local churches and beyond the local church. Lay Servants are to serve the local church or charge in any way in which their witness or leadership and service inspires the laity to deeper commitment to Christ and more effective discipleship. This includes the interpretation of Scriptures, doctrine, organization, and ministries of the church.
Find courses...

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

  • How can you be a lifelong learner?

This month, we celebrate our Hispanic and Latino ministry leaders, partners, and so many others who help to support local leadership, education and development across the globe. Through the UMC's global work with Regional LEAD Hubs program, youth ministry initiatives, and scholarship opportunities, the UMC is continuing to advance the formation and development of leaders in Latin America and Hispanic communities. Learn more about LEAD Hubs program...
  • How can you be an influencer?
How are visitors to your congregation greeted and welcomed? Learn more lessons on this topic with Lewis Center for Church Leadership...
  • How can you serve?

The Council of Bishops (COB) of The United Methodist Church is appealing for donations to assist the recovery efforts in Puerto Rico following the devastation left on the island by Hurricane Fiona last week.
The Methodist Church of Puerto Rico sent a letter to the COB asking for help and donations. In the letter of appeal, Bishop Lizzette Gabriel Montalvo, said: “our beloved brothers and sisters from different locations, we kindly ask for support on this journey in which once again we humbly give what we have received by grace. Your act of love by sending monetary donations for us to continue purchasing first aid supplies to thousands of families around the Island will make the difference in the lives of many people experiencing difficulties in their recovery process.”
In response, COB President Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton urged all Methodists to support the recovery effort which is being done in conjunction with the UMCOR. “Our sincere thoughts and prayers are extended to you in the midst of this latest crisis in Puerto Rico. We stand with you and our dear friends in Puerto Rico in this time of extreme need.” Learn more...

Virginia News

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Old Dominion University campus ministry has grand reopening

The Wesley Foundation at Old Dominion University is now reopened after the building underwent construction. The relaunch event featured food, games and over 200 students visiting the space and learning about the campus ministry. Learn more...

Find more Bright Spots videos...

Podcast discusses copyright concerns for churches

Has your church struggled to understand the differences between CCLI and CCS licenses? Do you want to learn more about royalty free music or getting permission from artists to use their music? Learn more about copyright concerns and best practices on a special VAUMC Connection podcast episode with Hunter Bryn, conference Digital Media Specialist, and Megan Seals Dietrick, Floris UMC Director of Modern Worship and Ministry Innovations Director.
Dietrick shares that copyright is important because "At a time in the world when the church sometimes seems as though it does not live into its values its very important that we try and honor and do that.
Part of that is complying with copyright laws. Part of that is giving credit to musicians.
As a musician, I want to honor other creative people who are putting their work out into the world
and CCLI reporting helps pay songwriters. It's important that we try to live into integrity
and give credit where credit is due." Find podcast by scrolling to the bottom of the Digital Hub and find the episode "Copyright in the Church" under the VAUMC Connection.

Find more about the basics of copyright and fair use with a recent blog post.

College students take part in interfaith celebration of Rosh Hashanah

Students from Arise Campus Ministry were among college students invited to Vice President Kamala Harris' residence by the Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff for an interfaith celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, on Thursday, September 22 . The conversation centered around empathy and ways to create bridges for those of different faiths.
facing the future

Online event for pastors serving cross-racial, cross-cultural, and multicultural contexts

After a brief hiatus during the pandemic, “Facing the Future” is returning. Facing the Future is the premier conference for anyone engaged with or discerning cross-racial/cross-cultural ministry. You will learn skills to support the CRCC ministry context, personal self-care, and professional development. You will experience meaningful worship and workshops from sought-after leaders and professionals. We are looking forward to seeing you there.

Early Registration (August 1-31): $45.00
Standard Registration (September 1 - October 15): $50.00
Late Registration (October 16-31): $60.00
Learn more...

Update on Scout settlement

September 26-- Recently there was the unfortunate release of incorrect information by the General Commission on United Methodist Men about future agreements between the Boy Scouts and local United Methodist churches. While this information has been removed from a website and retracted, it has led to confusion with some of our churches. The status of future agreements with the Boy Scouts and the local UMC churches remains as previously announced by the Conference on August 30, 2022, specifically:
All present affiliation agreements (charters and facility use agreements) between the United Methodist local churches and their local BSA councils have been automatically extended to December 31, 2022; and
Churches wishing to sign new affiliation or facilities use agreements can use the documents provided on July 8, 2022 by the Virginia Conference. These agreements cannot be modified. If you are asked by anyone to modify the agreements mentioned above, do not do it. Local churches may have significant legal exposure if the local church signs any document other than what is specified above. The Conference will promptly inform clergy and laity of future developments about any sanctioned agreements with the BSA. To reiterate, all current charter and facilities use agreements are in place until December 31, 2022.
Should you have questions, please contact the Rev. Dr. Steve Summers, Conference Director of Connectional Ministries and Assistant to the Bishop, at [email protected]. Thank you for your attention to this important matter. Although the Conference was not involved in this unfortunate development, conference leadership appreciates your continued grace and understanding as we all navigate the issues with the BSA.
central umc food pantry

Church's feeding ministry finds new ways to serve community

For the last 13 years, Central United Methodist Church’s Feeding Ministry has made it its mission to provide meals to those in the Staunton area. What began in what is now used as a storage closet inside the church has blossomed into a full-blown operation with 4,000 pounds of food coming through the ministry in a given week. Through a fund, the ministry recently got a van to deliver food to household and individuals. Learn more...
speaking from ac floor

Theme, Scripture announced for June 2023 Annual Conference

The 241st session of the Virginia Annual Conference, to be held in Roanoke, Va. from June 15 to June 17, 2023, will be focused on the theme, United as One in Mission. Bishop Sharma D. Lewis announced the theme at the Annual Conference Team’s recent meeting as planning for the 2023 June session is now underway.
The theme is based on Acts 1:8b, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” NIV
Information, as it is released concerning the June sessions, will be on the conference website at this link: https://vaumc.org/ac2023/.
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].
You may also make a financial donation by visiting
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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...
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...
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...
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...
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].

General Church News

hungary roma camp

Hungarian camp houses Ukrainian Roma refugees

UM NEWS-- At the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, about 800,000 refugees crossed through Hungary, many of them headed to Western Europe. The United Methodist Church in Hungary has helped to house hundreds of refugees fleeing the war, including at a summer camp. Many of the families living at the camp are Roma, a historically marginalized ethnic minority in Europe. Read more...
kids futbol soccer

Faith and futbol: Church scores big with kids

UM NEWS-- Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, started a youth soccer program in 2017 to teach children how playing soccer helps build faith. “This area used to be full of trees, snakes and glass. But with the help of the moms, we cleaned this soccer field and turned it into a sanctuary,” said Pastor Juan Julio Paredes. View video...
communion church

Launching a church during pandemic

UM NEWS-- The Rev. Jeremy Peters proved up to the challenge of planting a church during a pandemic. In partnership with two pastors at the main campus of The Grove United Methodist Church in Woodbury, Peters relaunched a new Grove campus that now has about 70 people attending worship each week. 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

You don't need to fear the darkness, because God's light goes before you.
lord salvation
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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