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March 29, 2022

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

Upcoming events

  • Wednesday, March 30 - Zoom Chapel Service - 10 a.m. Preacher is the Rev. Marcela Jarman, Associate Pastor at Sterling UMC, who will preach "The Sweet Smell of Servanthood," inspired by John 12:1-8. Liturgist is the Rev. Lydia Rodriguez, Senior Pastor, Wesley UMC, Alexandria, VA.
    Mission Moment: Spanish Speaking Ministries at Greenleigh with Talina Sarmiento and the Rev. Chad Beck
  • Sunday, April 24 - Conference-sponsored youth discernment event at Woodlake UMC in Chesterfield, Va.
  • May 9-13, 2022 - United Methodist Communications (UMCom)-sponsored communication training on Zoom
  • Wednesday, May 11 - Conference-sponsored grant-writing event on Zoom
  • Thursday, June 16- Saturday, June 18 - 240th Session of the Virginia Annual Conference in Hampton, VA.
  • Thursday, June 30 - Mission Encounter begins (online, every Thursday evening).

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

  • How can you be a lifelong learner?

From the Lewis Center for Church Leadership -- Roy L. Spore believes that decline and death are not inevitable for smaller rural churches. While smaller churches are often skeptical of change imposed from the outside, many find new life and energy for ministry when a new vision emerges from within the congregation itself. Learn more...
  • How can you be an influencer?
From the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR)--Inclusion & language matter. There is room for everyone in our worship and we are all worse off when any group is absent or excluded. Thank God for accessible faith communities. Read the full article here and check out disability resources here.
  • 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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Conference office offering free, online workshop on grants

In response to requests from clergy of the conference, Office of Influencing Ministries is offering a free online workshop on some best practices for seeking and writing grants. Mr. David King, president of D. King Fundraising in Richmond, VA, will lead this session. The workshop will take place on Wednesday, May 11, 1:00-2:30 p.m. on Zoom. The deadline to register is May 6, 2022. Register at this link...

This workshop will cover the essential strategic steps in seeking and winning grants from public and private charitable foundations: research to identify overlapping interests with the foundations' stated giving priorities, cultivating a relationship with foundation staff, setting a grant-seeking strategy (including appropriate request amount), the submission process (including writing the grant application), reasonable expectations and the realities of grant-seeking, and stewarding and reporting on the grant once awarded.
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Conference Discernment event available to youth

A discernment event hosted by the Center for Clergy Excellence and Connectional Ministries for Junior and Senior High Youth (6th-12th grades) to consider their God-given gifts and ways that they can participate in God's greater world will be offered on Sunday, April 24 from 5:30 -8 p.m. at Woodlake UMC in Chesterfield, VA. Activities will include interactive learning in small and large groups and will close with worship. Dinner will be provided. Spaces are available for 100 youth to attend. No preparations required for the event, but youth leaders who register their youth are requested to help with facilitation on-site. Register...
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Mentors needed for All God's Children Camp

All God's Children Camp is underway in planning and registering campers. Now mentors are needed to volunteer a week of their time. Mentors help make it possible for kids to come enjoy a week of camp and engage in all that camp life has to offer. This is a great way for groups such as Sunday School groups, Sr. High youth groups or other small groups to be in mission together. So grab a group of your friends and join! For more information contact Lori Smith at lttlelori@gmail.com or 571-245-9591. Click the link for more camp details and to register as a mentor.

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Podcast, blog share historical, missional connection between Ukraine, Russia, 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.)
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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 a series of articles, the district superintendents of the Virginia Conference share more about District Initiative and next steps. This week, the Rev. Dr. Victor Gomez, Harrisonburg and Winchester districts superintendent, shares his perspective on their proposed unified district of the Shenandoah River District. Read more...

View all current articles here...
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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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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.
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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...

General Church News

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Commission continues planning for postponed 2020 General Conference

RESOURCE UMC -- Meeting on March 28, the Commission on the General Conference continued the work of preparing for the postponed 2020 General Conference. At their previous meeting, the Commission discussed the need to proactively look for possible solutions that could help avoid delays in 2024 should unforeseen circumstances occur or persist. The Commission adopted a proposal to form two strategy teams “to formulate plans for effectively executing key aspects of the General Conference.” One team will look at the issue of visas, given the long wait times for visa issuance in some countries. The other team will look at event logistics, considering options that may exist. The teams would be led by members of the Commission. Read more...
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Safe water supply growing in Côte d'Ivoire

UM NEWS-- Four villages in Côte d’Ivoire, Africa, have safe water to drink after United Methodist Global Ministries helped construct water towers in Istha, Allangouanou, Soukoukro and Youhil. Before this, they drew their water from contaminated rivers, streams and wells. Read more...
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Communications Learning Week to help participants develop their skills

United Methodist Communication (UMCom) has announced a week-long ecumenical training opportunity launching May 9-13, 2022 for anyone in ministry seeking to enhance their communications skills. All of the learning week content will be recorded and stored in a learning portal that participants will have access to for six months following the event. Registration opens on April 12.

During the learning week, church leaders and communicators will get access to a vast library of on-demand resources including recorded videos, tutorials and podcast episodes and self-guided eLearning modules curated by the UMCom training team. Live webinars led by experts on a variety of topics will be presented followed by Q&A sessions with each facilitator. Opportunities for discussion and networking round out the week’s activities. Learn more...

One Last Word: A Prayer for Peace

On March 22, the VAUMC hosted a Prayer for Peace vigil for the conflict in Ukraine. View this video to hear the liturgy written for the event and see highlight images from the event.
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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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