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March 15, 2022

To submit news items, events, or corrections, email the conference Communications Office at Communications@vaumc.org.

Upcoming events

  • 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."
  • Wednesday, March 16- Zoom Chapel Service - 10 a.m. Preacher is the Rev. Jennifer Fletcher, Associate Pastor at Blacksburg UMC, who will preach "The Patient Gardener," inspired by Luke 13:1-9. Liturgist is the Rev. Melanie Franklin, Pastor, Ebenezer UMC, Troutville, Va.
  • Tuesday, March 22 - Prayer Vigil for Peace in Ukraine - 7 p.m. in-person at the Virginia Conference Center in Glen Allen, Va. and on Facebook Live.

Moment of Prayer

let us pray CURRENT
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 20: Indian Church RVA is a ministry of Good Shepherd UMC, Richmond, Va., that ministers to the Indian Asian community in the Greater Richmond Area.

"Almighty God, who at the Tower of Babel confounded the languages of the proud, but at Pentecost brought people of all languages together, we pray for the community at Indian Church RVA, and for Pastor Kirubakaran. May their ministry in many languages always reflect the unity of your Spirit. As they grow and deepen in their discipleship, pour out your Holy Spirit to equip, guide, and strengthen them each day. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray. Amen."

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

  • How can you be a lifelong learner?

When disaster strikes anywhere in the world — whether it's a hurricane or a refugee crisis — United Methodists want to know how they can help. Ask The UMC, a ministry of United Methodist Communications, tells how to respond through The United Methodist Church's relief channels, along with best practices on what to do and what not to do. Learn more...
  • How can you be an influencer?
Should your church be on TikTok? Learn how one pastor is using his influence...
  • 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...

Here are some resources about what you and your community can do to support the people of Ukraine. Serving opportunities...

Virginia News

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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. Doug Forrester, Staunton and Roanoke Districts superintendent, shares his perspective. He said in part, "It is my belief that God is doing yet another new thing in our midst here in the Virginia Conference, and that new thing is what is called our District Initiative Project, whereby our conference will transition from 16 districts to eight.

"I love so many things about this project. I love how it will ease resource-sharing, as there are things in the Staunton District that will bless the Roanoke District, and things in the Roanoke District that will bless the Staunton District. Most of all, I love how this project offers us an opportunity to recreate our district structure so that it serves our present reality." Read more...

View all current articles here...
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UMFS now undertaking Phase 2 of Capital Campaign

During Phase 1 of UMFS' "Be a Champion Capital Campaign," the new Child & Family Healing Center building went from concept to reality. Phase 2 of the campaign is now underway in which the UMFS Charterhouse School in Richmond will be expanded. The new building will feature 10 classrooms, a cafeteria and kitchen, a recreational therapy room, and an improved bus loop. Consider helping UMFS reach their goal by June 30. Learn more...
bible challenge madness

Find out what VAUMC's favorite Bible story is

The NCAA has March Madness, VAUMC has the Bible Challenge Madness! Over the next few weeks, you'll have the chance to vote for VAUMC's favorite Bible story on the conference Facebook page.
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Register now for Mission Encounter (Virtual Event)

Mission Encounter is an opportunity to study current issues impacting society based on current social justice and mission-related topics. Participants grow in understanding the mission of the church in the current world context; conference events are open to all. This is a cooperative event sponsored by the Virginia Conference Missional Ministries Board and the Virginia Conference United Women in Faith, formerly the United Methodist Women.

Theme: Building Communities of Hope and Joy (Luke 13)
Date: Every Thursday evening, starting on June 30, 2022
Time: 7 p.m.
Registration fee: $10

For registration and details, visit https://vaumc.org/me.
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Join conference in prayer for Ukraine

Bishop Sharma D. Lewis and the conference Office of Serving Ministries invites the Virginia Conference to join together in prayer for Ukraine. The prayer service will be conducted outside of the conference center in Glen Allen and livestreamed on the conference Facebook page on Tuesday, March 22 at 7 p.m. All are invited to attend the outdoor gathering in-person if they would like. Find event...
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.
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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.
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General Conference postponed until 2024

General Conference 2022 is now further postponed until 2024. Find current resources related to this announcement from Bishop Lewis, the Council of Bishops, and the Clergy Head of the Virginia Delegation to General Conference the Rev. Tom Berlin at the link. Learn more...
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 jgatlin@wesleyseminary.edu.
Register now at this link...
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 convergence@rmc.edu or (804) 752-7374.

General Church News

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Bishops seek ruling on whether an annual conference can leave UMC

COUNCIL OF BISHOPS- The Council of Bishops (COB) of The United Methodist Church is requesting a declaratory decision from the Judicial Council on whether an annual conference can separate from the denomination under the provision of the Book of Discipline. During a special meeting COB held via Zoom and through electronic balloting, the bishops approved a request to ask the church’s top court to address six questions. Read more...
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Caucus urges fair process in bishop's case

UM NEWS-- The United Methodist Church’s Hispanic/Latino caucus is calling on the Western Jurisdiction to ensure a fair process for all involved after jurisdictional leaders put Bishop Minerva Carcaño on leave while investigating two complaints against her. MARCHA also reaffirmed the bishop’s leadership in social justice, including her advocacy for immigrants. Read MARCHA statement...

Western Jurisdictional leaders have placed Bishop Minerva Carcaño on leave from her episcopal duties as two complaints against her are under review. Bishop Sally Dyck will serve as interim bishop of the California-Nevada Conference. No details regarding the substance of the complaints will be shared, the jurisdiction said.
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Should your church be on TikTok?

The social media app offers a way to promote churches, engage congregations and reach new people with the Christian message. Tricia K. Brown offers ideas for church TikTok videos. Learn more...

One Last Word

John 15:9-17 NRSV
Love each other.
Please send any issues or concerns to communications@vaumc.org. If you have issues with the formatting trying to forward (especially in Outlook), you can use the following link. More...
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