2022 e-Advocate logo

March 8, 2022

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

Upcoming events

  • Tuesday, March 8 - Open invitation meeting to inform new conference position by Zoom at 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 9 - Open invitation meeting to inform new conference position by Zoom at 4:45 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 9 - Open invitation meeting to inform new conference position by Zoom at 6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 9 - Zoom Chapel Service - 10 a.m. Preacher is the Rev. Dr. Michelle Holmes Chaney Alexandria/Arlington Bi-District Coordinator for Church Revitalization and Leadership Development who will present, "Stand Up On The Journey," inspired by Luke 13: 31-35.
    Liturgist: Maria Maxwell, Richmond District Coordinator of Church Revitalization and Leadership Development with recorded music by Jim Bennett, Minister of Music, Saint Paul's Episcopal Church.
  • Tuesday, March 15 - Join The United Methodist Men (UMM) at 6:30 p.m. for a Love, Learn, and Lead webinar on Chris Folmsbee's book, "The Wesley Challenge: 21 Days to a More Authentic Faith."
let us pray CURRENT

Let us pray...

Periodically a prayer focus will be shared in the e-Advocate. As you see fit, lift up these ministries and churches in your prayers and share in your contexts, including your Sunday worship services.
March 13:
Journey Community Center: A multi-program mission of Journey Church to at-risk children and adults in rural, western Amelia County.


"O God, Your hope pours out
And startles me out of my inward self
Like a shooting star rains down on earth. I see Your goodness everywhere around me.
Your image is infused in the DNA of the red cardinal just outside my window today
As well as in my neighbor
And in the starlight from billions of human years ago.
Your call to me is undeniable
And empowers me to pursue dreams well beyond my human comprehension.
No matter how much love I pour out
Your constant endless flow refills my cup.
Your grace for all of my failings and shortcomings is enough for today
And I know you continue to support me in spite of myself.
I will continue to run the race You have called me to, day by day,
Until at long last I come home to hear your words,
“Well done, good and faithful servant.” In Christ's Name, Amen."

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

  • How can you be a lifelong learner?

The Commission on Religion and Race shared a resource on Women's History in the Methodist Church. Learn...
  • How can you be an influencer?
The Rev. Nadeem Khokar, pastor of Crenshaw UMC in Blackstone, offered the prayer of invocation at the Virginia State Senate on February 23. He prayed in part:
"We thank you for the legislators gathered here today. They are stewards of our state and servants of its people who face the challenges of an ever-increasing complex culture. We thank you for their service. We thank you for the time and energy they offer on behalf of the citizens of Virginia. Enable them to work for the people we pray. Enable them to work with each other. To do the work of shared governments.
Gracious God, inspire them to create legislation that strives for the common good. May they find ways to bless and strengthen those who are economically poor or in some way vulnerable. Help them set aside ideological perfection so they might best work together to benefit all Virginia citizens in this imperfect world. Open their minds to reason and motivate them to compromise when necessary for our citizens’ benefit."

Find the video at the church's Feb. 24 Facebook post.
  • How can you serve?

The best way to provide financial support to the people of Ukraine is to contribute through the Global Ministries Advance for Eurasia and designate your gift for Ukrainian Assistance. Serve the people...

Virginia News

tom gc resource

Clergy Head of Virginia delegation shares resources on General Conference

With General Conference 2022 now further postponed until 2024, Clergy Head of the Virginia Delegation the Rev. Tom Berlin shared some resources on his public Facebook page. On March 3, he shared an overview of the decision to postpone the General Conference session and some decisions and insights before the Church. On March 7, he shared an interview with Bishop Tom Bickerton, who among other roles was a non-voting member on the Commission on General Conference. Watch videos...

Opt-in now for print Book of Reports; Latest news for Annual Conference 2022

In an effort to save money, the conference is asking clergy and lay members to the 2022 Annual Conference session to please OPT-IN to receive a mailed, hard copy of the Book of Reports. YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE A COPY IN THE MAIL unless you fill out this form and submit it to the conference.
For those choosing NOT to receive a mailed copy, the Book of Reports will be available on the conference website in pdf format to view/download and/or print.

A Frequently Asked Questions section has been added to the AC 2022 page. Learn more about COVID protocol, childcare and more...

Sign-ups are now available for the Display Area as well as Banquet requests. Learn more...

The Mission Opportunities during Annual Conference have been a highlight of the connectional system as 1,300 churches, their clergy, and annual conference members gathered, served, and shared gifts with the world. In the coming 2022 annual conference, the Serving Office is excited to announce three opportunities for us to come and serve this world together united as one. “United as One in Worship” is the overarching theme of the 2022 annual conference session. Learn more...

The Annual Conference (AC) Planning Team and conference leadership are planning for the 240th session of the Virginia Annual Conference to be in-person in Hampton, Virginia, June 16-18, 2022.
Amidst the ongoing pandemic, the AC Planning Team, in consultation with Bishop Lewis and the conference planner, will be monitoring the COVID surge around the state to host this annual meeting as safely as possible.

Hotel Reservations for Annual Conference opened with the online reservation system on Wednesday, February 23. Annual Conference members received an email on February 21 with the link, and it is available on the AC 2022 website.

Find all AC 2022 news at www.vaumc.org/ac2022.

Learn about collaboration taking place in 16 districts

District Initiative is the collaboration currently taking place in the 16 districts. In this series of articles, the district superintendents of the Virginia Conference share more about District Initiative and next steps. This week, the Rev. Dr. Hyo Lee, Charlottesville and Richmond district superintendent, shares his perspective. He said in part, "You may ask, why are we doing this? Why one district, why a new district name and all the rest? The simple answer is, though it is very painful to admit, the way we have been doing ministry is not necessarily working except in a few cases." Read more...

View all current articles here...

Bishop Lewis, COB share perspective as General Conference is postponed until 2024

The Commission on the General Conference shared on March 3 that the postponed 2022 General Conference would be further postponed until 2024. Bishop Lewis shared a statement following the news. The Council of Bishops also shared perspective in a released statement.
appointments general

Projected January appointments are now available

The projected January appointments are now available. View at the link...
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Upcoming meetings will help form new conference ministry position

The Virginia Conference leadership is continuing to work toward the development of a potential new staff position serving within the conference. This position was first announced at the 2021 Virginia Annual Conference as part of the Common Table report.

Bishop Sharma D. Lewis and other VAUMC leadership envision this new position to be one that embodies, facilitates, coordinates, and prophetically calls forth with accountability the needs of the Annual Conference in the areas of Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI).

The actual title and ministry description of this new full-time position are currently being shaped with the anticipation of a search beginning by June 1, 2022.

As a result, on behalf of Bishop Lewis, the Rev. Dr. Steve Summers, Assistant to the Bishop and Director of Connectional Ministries, and Ms. Kimberly Young, Chair of the Common Table Personnel Committee, are heading up a Listening Team to hold a series of conversations between conference leadership and 16 groups across Virginia.

There will also be three open invitation meetings by Zoom for anyone in the conference to take part in helping shape this ministry position.

“We discern this position to be missionally driven and a strategic necessity for the future vitality of our Annual Conference,” Summers said. “If you feel called to share your input, please join us in one of these open conversation dates to help us form this ministry position as well as the desired outcomes of such a position within our conference.”

The dates for the open invitation meetings are:
Tuesday, March 8 at 6 p.m.
Wednesday, March 9 at 4:45 p.m.
Wednesday, March 9 at 6 p.m.

The Zoom information for these meetings is:
Meeting ID: 921 4691 2931
Passcode: jedi
One tap mobile
+13017158592,,92146912931# US (Washington DC)

For questions, please email Summers at [email protected].
Wesley Romero Lecture 2022

Join Wesley Theological Seminary 2022 Lecture

Wesley Theological Seminary invites all to attend the 2022 Archbishop Oscar Romero Lecture on March 22, 2022, at 4:45 p.m. EST in KG-01, on their DC campus or online via Facebook Live.

The 2022 guest lecturer will be Débora B.A. Junker, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Critical Pedagogies at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (Evanston, IL). The title of her lecture will be “Collective Indignation: the prophetic duty of our times.”

The on-campus event will offer heavy hors d'oeuvres so please register for the event. Questions may be forwarded to Jasmine Gatlin, Executive Assistant to the Academic Dean, at [email protected].
Register now at this link...
higehr ed scholar

Scholarships available for United Methodist students

The GBHEM Office of Loans and Scholarships offers financial aid to United Methodist students pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees. Every year, they award an average of $5.5 million to help students in the United States and abroad to pursue their dreams through higher education. With this financial aid, GBHEM is opening pathways for students of all backgrounds to earn their degrees and serve as the next generation of leaders for the church and the world.For complete eligibility criteria and to apply click here.
wesley hybrid calss

Wesley Theological Seminary announces its new Wesley Hybrid MDiv Experience, a non-residential Master of Divinity program

No need to relocate to Washington D.C. to do your Wesley Master of Divinity degree! WTS is now offering a new degree pathway that provides short, immersive, Washington, D.C.-based experiences coupled with online learning in Wesley’s first non-residential degree program. It's called the Wesley Hybrid MDiv. Experience.
The Wesley Hybrid MDiv Experience will enable students to complete a 4-year Master of Divinity degree via eight total hybrid intensive weeks on campus (2 weeks per year, one per semester) alongside online courses taken throughout the academic year (one class each fall and spring term, as well as online J-term and summer courses).
The Hybrid MDiv Experience will be offered alongside Wesley’s signature residential MDiv pathway, which engages on-campus and regionally based students in community-based learning, worship, and ministry. Learn more...

Join Mar. 15 United Methodist Men Webinar

Join The United Methodist Men (UMM) on Tuesday, March 15 at 6:30 p.m. for a Love, Learn, and Lead webinar on Chris Folmsbee's book, "The Wesley Challenge: 21 Days to a More Authentic Faith" with David Bean. Reading and discussing each chapter from The Wesley Challenge will deepen your faith and lead you and those you mentor to a closer relationship with Jesus. Bean will lead the discussion about The Wesley Challenge and share best practices and training materials for preparing mentors and helping new Christians become disciples.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 898 2460 7164

Webinar recordings from previous Love, Learn, and Lead webinars are posted on the conference website https://vaumc.org/UMM.
rmc convergence

Students can apply now for Convergence

Don’t let your rising 10th, 11th, or 12th grade students miss out on this phenomenal opportunity to explore the connection between Christian faith and mainstream science in classroom, laboratory, and outdoor experiences with Convergence. Convergence 2022 will be held July 15–17. With a grant from the Lilly Endowment, all participants will benefit in a reduced cost of $75 per camper. Additionally, Convergence participants who are accepted into Randolph-Macon will receive a $1,000 scholarship to the college. Though the 2020 in-person Convergence program was cancelled due to COVID-19 and the 2021 program was held virtually, the program brought 92 outstanding students from Virginia Conference congregations to Randolph-Macon’s virtual classroom. Convergence leaders said they are excited return to an in-person camp for 2022. Parents and youth, to apply for Convergence, please click here. Or to nominate a participant, please click here to fill out the nomination form. When the nomination is received, the Convergence Staff will contact your nominee with further information. For questions or additional information about the program, please contact the Rev. Kendra Grimes or Jamie Grant at [email protected] or (804) 752-7374.

General Church News

ukraine aid refugees

United Methodists in and near Ukraine help refugees

UM NEWS-- United Methodists in Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland are providing shelter, food, and other help for those who have fled Ukraine. In western Ukraine, United Methodists also are helping those fleeing from farther east in the besieged country. Across the United Methodist connection, people are praying and offering financial support for relief efforts. Read more...

General Conference postponed until 2024

UM NEWS-- Organizers say General Conference must be postponed because of visa wait times of up to two years. It is unclear whether new delegates will need to be elected for a General Conference, postponed to the next date. With the announcement, leaders of a planned breakaway denomination have moved up the new church’s launch date. Read more...
rural congo covid

Addressing COVID-19 misinformation in rural Congo

UM NEWS-- Five hundred clergy and laity from isolated areas in Democratic Republic of Congo gathered to share stories and gain information. North Katanga Area Bishop Mande Muyombo encouraged participants to wear masks, use hand sanitizer and respect social distancing. In rural settings, it can be difficult to know whether a person has COVID-19 because of lack of tests and vaccines. Read more...
united women in faith

United Methodist Women undergo name change

After five years of research, United Methodist Women launched a new name – United Women in Faith – and a new identity March 3 that seeks to engage newer, younger members and adapt to the changeable circumstances of today’s world while maintaining connections despite the threat of impending schism in The United Methodist Church. In a Facebook video and subsequent “Faith Talks” online program, leaders and staff announced the name change, a new website, new programs and encouraged current members to embrace the changes as a natural evolution of the 150-year-plus mission organization. The announcement came on the third day of Women’s History Month, which the spokeswomen said was an intentional link to the organization’s legacy. See new website...

One Last Word


Pray for the last person who texted you. Let them know you’re praying for them - this could change their day.

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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