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April 12, 2022

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

Upcoming events

  • Wednesday, April 13 - Conference Center Chapel Service- by Zoom at 10 a.m. The Virginia United Methodist Center hosts a weekly public Zoom chapel service every Wednesday at 10 a.m. Guests from around the conference lead worship each week. Tune in to sing, pray, and study. The same Zoom link is used each week. Leaders for Holy Wednesday are preacher: The Rev. Dr. Dorothee Tripodi, Director, Supervised Ministry and Vocational Planning, Union Presbyterian Seminary.
    Liturgist is the Rev. Erin Burt, Co-Director, Admissions, Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond Campus. Musician is Doug Brown, Director of Music and Adjunct Instructor in Church Music, Union Presbyterian Seminary.
  • 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?

How did Maundy Thursday get its name? The origin of the phrase “Maundy Thursday” goes all the way back to the events leading up to Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. In this short video available for download from The United Methodist Church, learn the history behind the phrase, the significance of the day and what it means as we live as Christ followers. Watch video from United Methodist Communications...
  • How can you be an influencer?
The General Commission on Religion & Race (GCORR) recently introduced their new resource, Intercultural Competency Sermon Starters, aimed at preachers interested in developing their intercultural competency both in the pulpit and out. Learn more...
  • How can you serve?

Join the General Commission of Global Ministries this Holy Week for a short series of missionary devotions. The series begins with a reflection from Global Mission Fellow, Sims Siamoonga, on the unexpected participants called by Jesus on Palm Sunday. Read devotions...

Virginia News


Conference Delegation to General Conference endorse Christmas Covenant

April 7-- In a press release, the Virginia Conference Delegation to General Conference announced that the delegation unanimously voted to endorse the Christmas Covenant. The press release can be found below:

"On March 16, 2022, members of the Virginia Conference Delegation to General and Jurisdictional Conferences met to discuss what work we could do now to move our connection forward in light of the recent postponement of General Conference to 2024. Early this year, we heard presentations regarding the Christmas Covenant (so named because of the time which it was offered by the Cavite Annual Conference of the Philippines in 2019). This followed work last fall to review Parts I-IV of The United Methodist Book of Discipline which describe the essentials of our faith: the history of the Methodist movement, the Doctrinal Standards and General Rules, Distinctive Wesleyan Emphases, and Theological Task.

The Christmas Covenant would transform the existing Central Conferences into Regional Conferences and create a United States Regional Conference. It would increase the ability of each Regional Conference to adapt the Book of Discipline to fit its missional context and create a more equitable structure for our global church. The denominational Connectional Table has endorsed the Christmas Covenant framework for a U.S. Regional Conference (https://www.resourceumc.org/en/content/connectional-table-affirms-the-christmas-covenant-legislation).

We believe this Christmas Covenant shows a way into a new future for The United Methodist Church. Our Virginia Delegates to General Conference voted unanimously to endorse the Christmas Covenant. We are now forming a resolution for the 2022 Virginia Annual Conference to endorse the Christmas Covenant as well. We invite you to learn more about the Christmas Covenant legislation by visiting https://www.christmascovenant.com/pagecc."

For more information about General Conference, visit the conference website.
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Virginia campus ministries invite conference to anti-racism service

Join in a Service of Repentance and Recommitment to Anti-racism led by campus ministries around the Virginia Conference. The service will air at 7 p.m. tomorrow, Wednesday, April 13 on the conference Facebook page. Campus ministries around the Virginia Conference conducted this service to acknowledge the continuing work of anti-racism within the Virginia Conference. This video also highlights the upcoming anniversary of the writing (April 16) of the "Letter from Birmingham Jail," an open letter written by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963. Set reminder for event...

Find service on Virginia Conference Facebook page...

Spring issue of HERITAGE features Raymond Wrenn biography

In the Spring 2022 issue of HERITAGE, the Rev. Dr. Raymond Fitzhugh Wrenn, a giant in Virginia Conference history who passed on February 10, 2022, is honored. The issue features a short biography written by the Rev. Levi Stroud based on Wrenn’s memoir, The Life and Times of Raymond F. Wrenn.
Though baptized at Centreville Methodist Episcopal Church, why did Dr. Raymond Wrenn grow up in Herndon Congregational Church? Why did he become a Methodist pastor?

The Rev. Dr. John T. “Jack” Martin Jr. has served with the United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) program since the late 1970s. In this issue, Martin tells of some of his most memorable UMVIM experiences and the lessons his teams have learned along the way. What is the gift the Native American tribal princess gave the African UM bishop when she was on her UMVIM trip to Mozambique? What is her name and what is her tribe’s name?

To subscribe to the historical journal of the Virginia Conference, download a subscription form and mail with a check by May 1 to Virginia United Methodist HERITAGE, P.O. Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058.

For more information about HERITAGE, visit the Virginia Conference website at https://vaumc.org/heritage, or contact the editor, Myra Lindsey, at [email protected].
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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.)

Conference office offering free, online workshop on grants

In response to requests from clergy of the conference, the 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.

District Initiative: 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. Jay Carey, Farmville and James River Districts superintendent, shares his perspective on their proposed unified district. Read more...

View all current articles here...

Clergy invited to Clergy Soul Care Retreat May 19-21 in Richmond

The Spiritual Vitality Committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry is inviting clergy to a Clergy Soul Care Retreat at Richmond Hill from May 19-21, 2022. Spiritual Vitality Committee Chair the Rev. Leigh Anne Taylor said in the invitation to clergy, "We want you to know that a small group of folks who serve with the Board of Ordained Ministry have been praying for you every morning at 6 a.m. Monday through Friday for over a year. We see you. We know you’re tired. We know how hard you’ve been working." The group is also working on a similar event in November for those who can't attend in May. Learn more...

Conference Serving Office seeks aid for Haiti

The Haitian Methodist Church (Eglise Methodist d’Haiti or EMH) has been hit hard with significant damage to properties and among other issues , an inability of local congregations to pay pastor and teachers salaries amidst natural disasters, the pandemic and political unrest and rampant crime. For the past three years, mission teams have been unable to travel to Haiti, but the Virginia Conference is trying to help the church survive and continue providing ministries of worship, education, feeding and medical care.

Six churches have joined together in an effort to establish a covenant relationship with the and to provide aid and encouragement to people trying to serve under extremely difficult circumstances.

A Zoom call took place last week with Haitian Bishop Dorcely, David Draeger (an American engineer volunteering in Haiti) and 14 American supportive partners in the USA from such places as Texas, Michigan, New York and Virginia. The severe problems facing the EMH were reviewed and participants were asked what they could do to help.

For many years, the Virginia Conference has tried to help in relatively small ways, raising money for projects and providing support for friends who struggle to feed their families, but more help is needed. Funds are needed now to first provide food and medicine and then to help undergird the daily operations of the Church.

Any amount will be appreciated, but it is hoped that some persons will be able to make significant donations (all of which are tax deductible when given through the UMC). Gifts can be designated, or left to the discretion of EMH leadership as to what they see as the greater need.

Gifts can be sent to:
Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church, Serving Office, P. O. Box 5605, Glen Allen, Virginia 23058 (checks and other gifts should be designated on notation line “Haiti Methodist Relief”)

Join upcoming conference Youth Ministry Chats

The conference Learning Ministries Office is hosting two upcoming webinars with Ministry Architects to assist churches and youth ministries. For more information, contact the Rev. Seungsoo "RJ" Jun at [email protected].

April 13 at noon: Learning Ministries is hosting a webinar with Ministry Architects. Ministry Architects assists churches and ministries to develop 'Healthy systems, innovative changes for the further of the church.' This month, Bryant Johnson and Philip Dezern will lead a conversation on how to implement long-term planning for youth ministry. Register in advance for this meeting:

May 11 at noon: Bryant Johnson and Philip Dezern will lead a conversation on what youth ministry means in this new time. Register in advance for this meeting:

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 [email protected] or 571-245-9591. Click the link for more camp details and to register as a mentor.


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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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.

Mark Lubbock joins Love, Learn, and Lead UMM webinar on April 19

Prayer is a way of deepening our relationship with God. Jesus constantly retreated in order to be with God in prayer. Paul set the itinerary for his missionary journeys based on prayer. Jesus and Paul are models for us. Please join the United Methodist Men (UMM) on Tuesday, April 19 at 6:30 p.m. and discover the spiritual discipline of prayer.

The Rev. Mark Lubbock, deployed staff at the General Commission on United Methodist Men, will be the speaker. Mark has served the Louisiana Conference for more than 15 years and became the first clergy person to become a certified men’s ministry specialist. He is also the founder and CEO of Gulf South Men, a nonprofit organization that assists churches and men’s organizations in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama with tools to make disciples.

Join Zoom Meeting
Tuesday, April 19 at 6:30 PM EDT
Meeting ID: 898 2460 7164
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Webinar recordings from previous Love, Learn, and Lead webinars are posted on our website https://vaumc.org/UMM.

duke divinity convocation

Save the Date for Duke Divinity Convocation

The 2022 Convocation and Pastors’ School will return to an in-person format for October 9-11, 2022 at Duke Divinity School. This year, the theme is Creativity and Courage: From Trauma to Tough Hope.
Throughout our worship services, plenary sessions and seminars participants will find a focus on practices that help make the move from brokenness to healing and hope. Convocation and Pastors’ School features nationally renowned speakers, powerful lectures, inspiring worship, and thought-provoking seminars.
Registration will open July 1.
Featured presenters and Preachers include:
• Kate Bowler, Multiple NY Times Best Selling Author & Associate Professor of Christian History, Duke Divinity
• Peter Storey, Retired Bishop and former President of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa (MCSA), and of the South African Council of Churches (SACC)
• Makoto Fujimura, Contemporary Artist & Author
• Ekklesia Contemporary Ballet, a professional dance company who create spaces where art and faith are joined
• Paiter van Yperan, Renowned Classical Dancer
• Ellen Davis, Amos Ragan Kearns Distinguished Professor of Bible and Practical Theology, Duke Divinity
• Norman Wirzba, Gilbert T. Rowe Distinguished Professor of Christian Theology, Duke Divinity
• Wylin Wilson, Assistant Professor of Theological Ethics, Duke Divinity
• Leonard Fairley, United Methodist Bishop of the North Carolina and Kentucky/Red Bird Annual Conferences
• Ken Carter, United Methodist Bishop of the Western North Carolina and Florida Annual Conferences

General Church News

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Bulgaria-Romania United Methodists vote to leave

UM NEWS -- The Bulgaria-Romania Provisional Annual Conference has voted to leave The United Methodist Church for the Global Methodist Church when that new, theologically conservative denomination begins operations May 1. United Methodist Bishop Patrick Streiff said the disaffiliation vote — as conducted by conference members — was “without legal basis in the Book of Discipline.” Read more...
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Providing end-of-life space for the homeless

SOUTH CAROLINA CONFERENCE -- For those who are homeless, the end of life can be a time of uncertainty and discomfort. With this in mind, one group of United Methodists has stepped up to offer a place where people can receive both hospice care and the love of Christ. Read more...
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Full communion plans with Episcopalians on hold

UM NEWS -- General Conference’s postponement means a delay on a vote on full communion between United Methodists and Episcopalians. The Episcopal Church plans to wait on a vote until after United Methodists get first crack. One concern among Episcopalians is where the future United Methodist Church will stand on LGBTQ inclusion. Read more...
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Pastor puts on musical about Simon of Cyrene

UM NEWS -- The Rev. Henry Masters has had a longtime interest in the biblical figure of Simon of Cyrene.

Masters wrote a book about Simon of Cyrene that was published in 2004. He put on a full-length musical about Simon on April 8 at Dallas’ Hamilton Park United Methodist Church. Masters’ goal: “to use the music created around the biblical story of Simon of Cyrene (a Black African) to demonstrate to other Black boys and men how God works miracles to turn human circumstances and situations into God-honoring destinies.” 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: Journey to the Cross

Remember Christ's journey to the cross. Spending these days in prayerful preparation can help enrich your celebration of Jesus' resurrection on Easter Sunday.

You can read devotions for Holy Week from The United Methodist Church here...
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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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