2022 e-Advocate logo

April 19, 2022

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

Upcoming events

  • Wednesday, April 20 - 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. Preacher this week is the Rev. Dr. David Jimenez Cardenas, Pastor, Memorial UMC, Virginia, Beach, VA.
  • Sunday, April 24 - Conference-sponsored youth discernment event at Woodlake UMC in Chesterfield, Va. Deadline to register is April 21.
  • 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).
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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.

April 24:
Journey New Life International and New Life at St. Andrew's are satellite campuses of Ghana Wesley UMC that seek to offer a "home away from home" opportunity for discipleship among the Ghanaian and African population in Fairfax, Alexandria and Springfield. https://newlifeinternationalumc.org/

Prayer

"Life-Giving God, as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in newness of life. We pray that the congregations at New Life International and New Life at St. Andrew's may walk in faith and live as a new creation, called and sent according to Your purpose. We ask your blessing on the congregations and on Pastor John, that all they do may offer the waters of eternal life to those who thirst. In Christ's holy name we pray. Amen."

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

  • How can you be a lifelong learner?

LEWIS CENTER FOR CHURCH LEADERSHIP--When studying the subject of transformational leadership, we should take a look at our own leader, Christ Jesus. He is the one who can best speak to the issue of leadership. Take time to assess your own life and activity as a leader...
  • How can you be an influencer?
Great work is being done at Navajo United Methodist Center in New Mexico. A shelter that gives women, children, and youth a chance for a fresh start. Read the article...
  • How can you serve?

Learn about mission opportunities at the 2022 Virginia Annual Conference. How can you serve?

Virginia News

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Letter from Bishop Lewis shares disaffiliation information

In an April 18 letter, Bishop Lewis shared with the conference, in part:

"While the Cabinet and I believe the vast majority of churches in the Virginia Annual Conference will want to stay as part of The United Methodist Church denomination, there is a process for those that wish to leave and have prayerfully discerned this as their best course.

"The Virginia Conference is also committed to dialogue with churches unsure about the path they should take. For many, remaining in this denomination will be the right decision. At all times, though, we will respect that the decision to stay or leave the denomination is one of conscience.

"For those churches that are considering disaffiliating from the denomination over matters related to human sexuality, Paragraph 2553 of the Book of Discipline will be used to govern this process. After prayerful reflection and discussion, this is the recommendation of the Board of Trustees and the Cabinet. I agree with the recommendation." Read full letter...
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UMFS Giving Day for Foster Care is May 4

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, May 4 to join United Methodist Family Services (UMFS) for UMFS Giving Day for Foster Care. UMFS is kicking off National Foster Care Month with a special Giving Day to support children and teens in foster care at UMFS. Your donation will help provide the care and support they need to overcome obstacles and achieve a brighter future. Visit UMFS.org/giving-day to learn more.
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Conference podcast discusses chaplaincy at Wesley Theological Seminary

The Rev. Dr. Jim Driscoll and the Rev. Dr. Pete Moon discuss the Wesley Theological Seminary DMin in Military Chaplaincy. The upcoming Annual Conference Offering will support the scholarship program for the military chaplains who attend this program. For more information, go to www.vaumc.org/nurturing. Listen now...
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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...
Scholarship opportunity

Sister Scholarship application now available

The Sister Scholarship application is now available to be filled out by any female candidate in the Virginia Conference for educational support. The deadline is July 1. This award is given in memory of clergy women who have served in ministry in the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church. The purpose of the award is to support women who are duly enrolled in a seminary or school of theology approved by the University Senate of the United Methodist Church, or an Advanced Course of Study program approved by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church. Eligibility is extended to all women committed to ministries of Word, Worship and Witness who are candidates for ministry in the Virginia Conference, and who indicate potential for developing creative ministries for a more just world. Apply now...
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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. Deadline to register is April 21. Register...
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Submit nominations for Green Church Award

Celebrate the transforming work of Creation Justice across the Virginia Annual Conference by submitting nominations for the Green Church Award. Submissions are due by May 14, 2022 to Brian Christoffersen at redceltic2010@gmail.com.

God calls us to be a people of flourishing love, hope, and renewal. One way United Methodists participate in the restoration and transformation of this world is by caring for God's good creation. In 2009, the Virginia Annual Conference established the Green Church Initiative and called on our churches to "green" their ministries. To recognize the continuing work of creation care in the Virginia Annual Conference, we are asking for nominations to receive the Green Church Award during the Virginia Annual Conference during June 17 afternoon session. We seek to recognize those congregations trying to affirm the importance of healing and defending God's creation in their mission as a local congregation. That are engaged in this ministry in the following ways:
1. Worship
2. Learning and teaching
3. Individual and congregational lifestyle, and
4. Community, national, and global advocacy/involvement.
Personal finances

BMCR offering personal finances training

Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR) is offering a Zoom training on Monday, April 25 from 5-6:30 p.m. titled "Handling Your Finances...Because It's Personal!" Ministry Event Coordinator the Rev. Dr. Donna Taylor can be contacted at DonnaTaylor@vaumc.org.

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/86312997065?pwd=K0NlNUFxN2xjcGxyM0xuWGs1NzdBZz09
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Sign up for Carolinas Black Clergy Leadership Retreat in May

The Carolinas Black Clergy Leadership Retreat takes place in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, May 23-27, 2022. Hosted by the North Carolina, Western North Carolina, and the South Carolina annual conferences, clergy from across the country have attended. This is a time renewal and reconnecting to clergy and laity around the Connection. Learn more...
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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. Seonyoung Kim, Eastern Shore and Elizabeth River Districts superintendent, shares her perspective on their proposed unified district. Read more...

View all current articles here...
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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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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”)
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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.
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Join upcoming conference Youth Ministry Chat

The conference Learning Ministries Office is hosting a noontime May 11 webinar with Ministry Architects to assist churches and youth ministries. Bryant Johnson and Philip Dezern will lead a conversation on what youth ministry means in this new time. For more information, contact the Rev. Seungsoo "RJ" Jun at serving@vaumc.org.

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZctc-igpz4qGNYnvb7IvqMFQW–zjwJvhRS
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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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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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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
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89824607164
Meeting ID: 898 2460 7164
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Dial by your location
+1 301 715 8592 US (Washington D.C)
+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

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

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Latest news for Annual Conference 2022


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 Church News

creation care

Find resources for Earth Day 2022

Discipleship Ministries wants to help you raise your congregation’s awareness of our collective responsibility to care for the creation God has entrusted to us. The United Methodist Church believe this is intrinsically connected to the mission to form faithful disciples. Christ’s teaching often focused on living faithfully with the resources God provides, and with concern and compassion for the poor. Those who have chosen to follow Jesus must be aware that in a interconnected world, actions and decisions have a global impact. This is clearly evident as people consider creation care and the issues raised by climate justice. Learn more...
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Bishop Streiff discusses Bulgaria-Romania move

UM NEWS -- The Bulgaria-Romania Provisional Annual Conference recently voted to leave The United Methodist Church for the Global Methodist Church. Bishop Patrick Streiff, of the United Methodist Central and Southern Europe Central Conference, has done a Q&A with Sigmar Friedrich about the implications of Bulgaria-Romania’s disaffiliation move. Read more...
happy easter

Resurrection as a Call to Action

LEWIS CENTER FOR CHURCH LEADERSHIP -- Many congregations that haven’t celebrated Easter in person since 2019 are relishing the joy of returning to the comforts of pre-pandemic church life. But Ann Michel of the Lewis Center staff says we can’t allow our Easter celebrations to divert attention from the challenge of renewing the church. Drawing on the biblical narrative, she writes that Easter is not an end point but rather a call to action. Read more...
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Trauma evident in Ukrainian refugees

UM NEWS -- United Methodists in countries bordering Ukraine continue to do relief work with Ukrainian refugees, providing food, shelter and education classes. The trauma many refugees have experienced is evident. Read more...
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One Last Word: In the Garden

Listen to song...


I come to the garden alone
while the dew is still on the roses,
and the voice I hear falling on my ear,
the Son of God discloses.

And he walks with me, and he talks with me,
and he tells me I am his own;
and the joy we share as we tarry there,
none other has ever known.

He speaks, and the sound of his voice
is so sweet the birds hush their singing,
and the melody that he gave to me
within my heart is ringing.

And he walks with me, and he talks with me,
and he tells me I am his own;
and the joy we share as we tarry there,
none other has ever known.

In the Garden, UMC Hymnal
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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