2022 e-Advocate logo

March 22, 2022

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

Upcoming events

  • 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 or live streamed on Vimeo.
  • Wednesday, March 23 - Zoom Chapel Service - 10 a.m. Preacher is the the Rev. Mikang Kim, pastor, Epworth UMC, Exmore, VA. Liturgist is the Rev. Hung Su Lim, associate pastor, Trinity UMC, Richmond, VA.
  • Thursday, June 30- Mission Encounter begins (online, every Thursday evening).
spiritual seekers

Spotlight: Willingness to visit UM church grows amongst spiritual seekers

United Methodist Communications, Office of Public Information--A new survey reveals that 51% of "spiritual seekers" would be willing to visit a United Methodist church online, and 44% would be willing to visit in person. In addition, the overall willingness to visit a UMC increased from 42% in 2019 to 47% in 2021. Learn more...

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

  • How can you be a lifelong learner?

How can leaders respond to conflict in healthier, more productive ways? The Rev. Brian Brown, Woodlawn UMC in Alexandria, shares perspectives and practices that can help keep conflict from diverting too much energy from our churches. Listen to podcast...
  • How can you be an influencer?
The General Commission on Religion & Race shared this curated list to share with the kids in your life by reading a book for #WomensHistoryMonth.
  • How can you serve?

UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) has put together an eight-question guide to the history of Methodism in Ukraine, how UMCOR is responding and the best ways for you to help now. How to serve...

Virginia News

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Join conference tonight in prayer for Ukraine

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

Podcast, blog share historical, missional connection between Ukraine, Russian and the UMC

Do you fully understand the historical and missional connection between Russia and Ukraine? Members of the VAUMC with experience and knowledge in that region joined the Rev. Seungsoo "RJ" Jun, associate director of Serving Ministries, on the podcast VAUMC Conversations to help the conference better understand the reason for the war and how we can help in a time of crisis. Listen to the full episode on the conference website, Spotify, or Apple.

A brief blog overview of the episode is also available. Read more...
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Sign up for Annual Conference 2022 5k run/walk

Registration for VAUMC 5K Run/walk is now open! Go to www.vaumc.org/beingtogether or find the race at Runsignup.com! Join us at the Annual Conference to run and walk together. (There is a virtual option for anyone who might not be at Hampton, VA.)
appointments general

Projected February Appointments now available

The projected February Appointments are now available. View here...
Appointment season

Blog, podcast talks about Appointment Season

In the March episode of "The Audio Advocate," guest the Rev. Jessie Colwell, Director for the Center of Clergy Excellence, talks about Appointment Season and steps that both clergy and laity can take. Listen to the episode on the conference website, Spotify, or Apple or read the blog.

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. Sarah Calvert, Alexandria and Arlington districts superintendent, shares her perspective.

Calvert created a "Core Team" in her districts that began last year to start dreaming and planning for a new district.

She said in part, "When the Core Team began its work last fall, a District Dreaming Survey was created and sent it to all who serve on District Committees, clergy, and to the district newsletter list. The team received a great response and collected hundreds of surveys."

Another piece of the Core Team's work was to respond to the increasing work and time constraints places upon the district superintendent with two districts now under her care. Calvert oversees 106 churches and 156 clergy in her districts. Read more...

View all current articles here...
bible challenge madness

Find out what VAUMC's favorite Bible story is

The NCAA has March Madness, VAUMC has the Bible Challenge Madness! This week the second round will be decided. Go 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.
higehr ed scholar

Deadline is March 24 for 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.

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 by April 29. 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...

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

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...

General Church News

umc judicial council

Church court weighs annual conference questions

UM NEWS-- The United Methodist Church’s top court released three decisions and a memorandum March 17 responding to questions raised during annual conference sessions. The memorandum clarified an earlier ruling regarding church disaffiliations. The Judicial Council also has agreed to take up two requests for declaratory decisions from the Council of Bishops. Read more...

Bishops discern ways for churches choosing to separate from UMC; seek court guidance

COUNCIL OF BISHOPS-- The Bishops of The United Methodist Church in their March 15 called meeting discerned pathways for churches choosing disaffiliation and separation. The bishops have met two consecutive weeks to discern pathways forward in these changing times. The bishops affirmed by an overwhelming majority that paragraph 2553 in the Book of Discipline would be the primary paragraph used for disaffiliation and separation. It is understood that different contexts may require utilization of additional paragraphs in the current Book of Discipline namely paragraphs 2548.2 and 2549: and that they would employ the values and principles as outlined in paragraph 2553. It is also understood that paragraph 2553 is not operative in the Central Conferences but in matters related to disaffiliation and separation, the values and principles of 2553 would be used. Paragraph 2553 was added to the Book of Discipline at the 2019 Special Session of General Conference. In addition, the Council of Bishops affirmed by a strong majority that they would hold to a set of values and principles in all matters of disaffiliation and separation. Read more...
justice stations of the cross

How a creative, justice-oriented Stations of the Cross called a community to action

LEWIS CENTER FOR CHURCH LEADERSHIP- New Paltz United Methodist Church in New York has a unique approach to sharing the Stations of the Cross and the Stations of the Resurrection with its community and beyond. This creative, lay-led effort offers an example of sharing the Good News in visible, justice-oriented ways. Read more...
yambasu peace award

Bishop Yambasu receives posthumous peace award

UM NEWS-- The late Sierra Leone bishop was honored by the World Methodist Council for his work as a bridge builder at home and across the United Methodist connection. Yambasu’s wife, Millicent, accepted the award on his behalf during the Sierra Leone Annual Conference. The criteria for nominations for the peace award are courage, creativity and consistency in one’s witness to peace, justice and reconciliation. Read now...
general conference delegates

Delegates urge hope for denomination's future

UM NEWS-- Denominational division has been the hot topic since the announcement of General Conference’s postponement to 2024. More than 275 General Conference delegates and other church leaders have signed an open letter sharing their commitments to strengthening The United Methodist Church. “We look forward to a bright and exciting future together,” the letter concludes. Read more...

One Last Word: Using Influence

Legendary soccer player David Beckham gave a platform through his Instagram account (featuring 71.5 million followers) for a Ukrainian doctor in Kharkiv to show conditions on the ground and the experience of pregnant women and new mothers in the war zone. View story...
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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