2022 e-Advocate logo

May 31, 2022

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

Upcoming events

  • Tuesday, May 31 - 7 p.m. on Zoom Webinar: Team Jeremiah Disaffiliation and General Conference Information. Session will be recorded for later viewing.
  • Saturday, June 4 - A United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) Team Leader training event will take place in person at Ebenezer UMC, 161 Embrey Mill Rd., Stafford, VA, 22554 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There is a gathering time between 8:30 and 9 a.m. Lunch will be provided. An online training manual will be provided. Trainers are Tim Wells and Peter Kuebler. For more information, contact Terri Morgan at [email protected].
  • 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 are able, lift up these ministries and churches in your prayers and share in your contexts, including your Sunday worship services.

June 5: Retired Clergy Housing Corporation (RCHC) is engaged in providing economical yet attractive homes suitable for retired clergy of the Virginia Annual Conference, their spouse, and dependent children. Qualification is based on finances, physical needs, and health conditions. Currently, RCHC maintains 19 properties around the Commonwealth. Fees are based on a sliding scale depending on the annual household income. RCHC has been providing homes since 1932.


"God of us all, You have called and equipped clergy to lead your church through preaching your Word, administering the Sacraments, and lovingly leading your people inside and outside the church. They serve in various places and size churches. They have faithfully answered your call. We honor them and especially the retired clergy of the Virginia Annual Conference. Surround each of them with your arms of strength and peace. May they be a beacon of your light and love wherever they are located. Today, we lift up to you the families who are part of the Retired Clergy Housing Corporation. Thank you for their ministry and all the lives they have touched. Continue to guide each of us to make a difference where we are in our life journey. Through it all, may you be glorified, and lives be transformed. 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?

Today concludes Asian American, Native Hawaiian, & Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AANHPI). May we all remember that respect and education are more than just a month. As we have seen anti-Asian hate crimes surge more than 300 percent over the last year, let us all do our part to stop AANHPI hate. The General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) shares more. Learn more...
  • How can you be an influencer?
LEWIS CENTER FOR CHURCH LEADERSHIP--Does perfectionism keep you from leading in the most impactful way? Margaret Marcuson describes the nature and origin of perfectionistic tendencies, how they can limit our ministry objectives, and simple strategies for learning to let go. Learn more...
  • How can you serve?

From Mozambique to Mexico, United Methodist missionaries are faithfully #stillinmission. Hear about their work by joining the next episode on Thursday, June 2! Register here...

Virginia News

joshua king ac 2020

Conference secretary shares best practices for speaking on floor of Annual Conference

Conference Secretary the Rev. Joshua King has shared a resource for Annual Conference members detailing best practices of speaking on the floor of Annual Conference. He shared:
1) You must wait to be recognized to speak before going to a microphone:
2) Once you have been recognized, go to the microphone that you have been directed to and say your “Name, your relationship (Clergy/Lay, Lay Member At Large, Retired Clergy), your Local Church and District.”
3) Unless the Spirit moves you to speak spontaneously, write what you plan to say. Even the most eloquent of speakers at Annual Conference often prepare before they speak. This will assist in getting your point across, while at the same time being concise as time is of the essence.
4) If you are speaking as to a motion currently under consideration, there is one more thing you need to add to your introduction. My name is Joshua King, Clergy member, Bethany United Methodist Church, Winchester District, and I am speaking for/against this motion.
5) Finally, if you are making a motion. First and foremost, it either must be germane to the report that has been presented or there must not be any other business “on the floor” being considered at that time.
Read the resource in full at the conference website...
The Party Facebook Event Cover Photo (Facebook Post) (3)

Register now 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.)

Find all AC 2022 news at www.vaumc.org/ac2022.
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Volunteers needed for Annual Conference session

Please prayerfully consider volunteering at the Annual Conference session. Specific information of what is expected of volunteers during Annual Conference, June 16-18, is below. Please direct questions to [email protected]

-Platform volunteers help set up the stage between segments of the program.

-Golf cart drivers will drive people from the parking lot to the Convention Center and then back again.

Volunteers are provided with snacks and drinks but not meals and no rebates or lodging. Volunteers do not have to be registered for the conference; spouses who are not participating in the meeting often volunteer.

Links to sign up:
Platform https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60B054CAFA923A5F94-20222
Golf Carts https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60B054CAFA923A5F94-acgolf

Plan to attend Virginia UM College Pizza Party

Virginia United Methodist colleges invite youth, alumni, and friends of our schools to join in an informal outdoor pizza party on Friday, June 17 during the Annual Conference Lunch Recess. The event will take place at Bluebird Gap Farm Powhatan Pavilion, 60 Pine Chapel Road, Hampton, VA. Come enjoy food and fellowship with Marlins, Hornets, Panthers, and Yellow Jackets!
all gods children camp resize

Five more mentors needed for All God's Children Camp

The first of three All God's Children Camps is three weeks away. The camp is looking for five more mentors to come on June 19-24 for a week of fun and mentoring of campers. If you need service hours for school, this is a great way to get them in! The camp is still in need of five mentors for July 24-29 and August 14-19. So grab some friends and join in the camp experience. For more information contact Lori Smith at [email protected].
rmc convergence

Register now for Convergence

It’s not too late to sign up for Randolph-Macon College’s CONVERGENCE Youth Theology Institute on Faith and Science. This year’s event is July 15-17 and is open to student who have recently completed 9th, 10th, or 11th grade. Too often young people are told that they have to choose between being people of faith and people of science, but our workshop leaders, college student staff members, and creative activities show that one can believe in both. More information and registration details are at convergence.rmc.edu.

Join the denomination in sharing why you are #BeUMC

#BeUMC honors the core values that connect the people of The United Methodist Church (The UMC). This grassroots campaign, built upon powerful stories of congregations and people living their faith, celebrates what draws us to The UMC and what we aspire to be.

The UMC is founded on a Wesleyan theology of grace, anchored in Scripture, and based in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and the continuing movement of the Holy Spirit.

The full story of The UMC reflects all of our interwoven experiences. Consider our common roots and your answer to the question, “Why am I United Methodist?” Then, post a video, photo or written testimony on your preferred social media platform – don’t forget to use the hashtag #BeUMC.

Join, support the Holy Rollers

The Holy Rollers are a group of clergy and lay member cyclists who ride their bikes to Annual Conference each year and have done so for the past 17 years. Their journey can consist anywhere from 150-230 miles over two to two and a half days.
They make this journey for many reasons but most importantly to raise awareness for the year's Annual Conference offering.
Learn more about joining the Holy Rollers or how you can offer your support. Learn more...
informational meeting

Team Jeremiah to offer webinar on disaffiliation, General Conference

With the further postponement of the General Conference session to 2024, Virginia Conference clergy and lay members have questions. What does this mean for the mission of the church and my local church? What does this mean for ongoing questions concerning full inclusion of persons who are LGBTQ+ in the church? What is “disaffiliation”?

You are invited to a conference-wide presentation of current information on topics including General Conference and disaffiliation from the denomination tonight, Tuesday, May 31 at 7 p.m.

This Zoom webinar will feature members of Team Jeremiah: the Rev. Denise Bates, the Rev. Tom Berlin, Mrs. Martha Stokes, the Rev. Derrick Parson, and the Rev. Kyungsuk Cho. Questions will be accepted following the presentation through Zoom chat. The presentation will be recorded for later viewing as well and will shared on the main conference website when it is available.

Register for the meeting at this link: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_O9sAlY6RQ42f9EeXh2p0EA

Similar presentations have been offered at the district level this spring by members of Team Jeremiah, a group created by Bishop Sharma D. Lewis in the fall of 2021. The group’s purpose is to develop and implement proactive strategies for the Virginia Annual Conference to help address the uncertainties surrounding the General Conference session.

You can read more about Team Jeremiah in the 2022 Book of Reports now available on the conference website. For questions about this event, please email [email protected].

To find the latest information about churches considering UMC disaffiliation and news about General Conference 2022 and 2024, visit the conference website.
pension liabilities

Video shares about pension liabilities

Executive Director of Virginia United Methodist Pensions, Inc. (VUMPI) John Fuller shares more about pension liabilities in the Virginia Conference in light of disaffiliation within the United Methodist denomination. Other resources about disaffiliation and General Conference including a questions regarding disaffiliation resource can be found at the conference website.
Join in prayer

AC Prayer Team invites conference to prayer for 2022 AC session

In order to cover the whole of the Annual Conference (AC) session in prayer as well as to pray for Bishop Lewis, AC leadership, AC members, worship and business session participants, and guests, an Annual Conference Prayer Team has been formed.

You are invited by the Rev. Kyungsuk Cho, Ms. Iris Smith, the Rev. Paul Oh, the Rev. Kim Barker-Brugman, and the Rev. Bob Parks, the AC Prayer Team, to join in praying for a Spirit-filled Annual Conference.

Follow the guides below to pray for Annual Conference:
  • Pray AC members will allow God to instill in us an attitude and discipline of prayer in all conversations.
  • Pray for God’s guidance and blessings on the Laity and Clergy Sessions, worship celebrations, business sessions, mission opportunities, and social gatherings of AC.
  • Pray for AC members to be witnesses of Jesus with thoughts, words, and actions.
  • Pray for AC decisions to align with God’s will.
  • Pray for churches to become more vital and effective at making disciples of Jesus Christ who are lifelong learners who influence others to serve.
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 for electronic applications 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. For more information, contact Dr. Jan Rivero, [email protected]. Apply now...
wesley seminary

Wesley Seminary Online/On-Campus Summer Term Course Registration Still Possible!

It's not too late to sign up for a Summer class at Wesley! Study your way - online or on-campus - there is a wide range of thought-provoking courses available to you to capture CEU credit, enrich your ministry, support your spiritual journey or start that degree at last at Wesley!

Just a few of this summer's course offerings:
  • Biblical Storytelling - Dr. Tracy Radosevic
  • T.S. Eliot & the Search for God -Dr. Deryl Davis
  • Howard Thurman, Mystic, Prophetic, Theologian - Dr. Anthony C. Hunt
  • Teaching and Learning in Christian Education for a Diverse World – Dr. Jana Strukova
  • Ecojustice & Spirituality Along The Anacostia River - Dr. Beth Norcross
  • Ministry in a Rural Context - Dr. Jonathan Lemaster-Smith
Summer classes will be starting in May, June and July 2022. Intensive courses enable you to complete in-/online classroom work in 4-5 days with coursework completed later. Registration open for degree, non-degree and certificate qualifying classes - learn more and apply at https://www.wesleyseminary.edu/admissions/try-a-class-2/

United Methodist Men to host Annual Conference breakfast

The United Methodist Men (UMMen) Annual Conference Breakfast will be held on Friday, June 17, 7 a.m., at Bethany UMC, 1509 Todd’s Lane, in Hampton. Men, spouses, and guests will gather to enjoy a hearty breakfast, install Cabinet officers, and conduct the annual business of the Virginia Conference United Methodist Men. The cost of breakfast is $12 payable at the door. Please email David Collins by June 5 to share your attendance at [email protected].

Kip Robinson, a retired United Methodist missionary having served with his wife Nancy in Sierra Leone in West Africa will speak on "This Just In: Was Jesus a Boy Scout?" Kip’s role as a missionary was two-fold: serving as the mission team coordinator for the Sierra Leone Annual Conference and also serving as the Conference Engineer. While there he helped design and build a primary school which became a model for future primary schools. The Ebola crisis occurred during their tenure.

District Initiative: Learn about collaboration taking place in 16 districts

District Initiative is the collaboration currently taking place in the 16 districts. In a the last article of a series, the district superintendents of the Virginia Conference share in a joint letter more about District Initiative and next steps. They said in part: "Each of your district superintendents has been working with a local team to help develop new district structures for our district-level work, projected to be starting July 1, 2022. It is anticipated that once the Annual Conference votes on the final number of districts, we will see new districts doing new things all across our conference [...] We don’t know what the future holds, and that is probably the biggest challenge of this season. How will our denomination change in the next season of ministry? Who will come with us on a journey to focus our attention on making disciples and transforming the world? We don’t know, and yet in that space between now and the unknown future, we will innovate and experiment and learn new things. As your district superintendents, we are enthusiastically optimistic that with God’s help, we will help further the mission of Christ in the Virginia Conference. We ask for your approval of eight districts at Annual Conference so this work can move forward." View all current articles here...

General Church News


United Methodist Church bishops call for action to stop mass shootings

COUNCIL OF BISHOPS-- Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church President Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton on May 25 urged clergy and laity to go on offense to stop mass shootings like the one that killed 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Texas. Read more...
cob zoom

UMC Bishops agree to call regular sessions of jurisdictional conferences in 2022

COUNCIL OF BISHOPS-- In response to Judicial Council decision 1445, the Council of Bishops (COB) has formally set the dates for regular sessions of the Jurisdictional Conferences of The United Methodist Church (UMC) to be convened November 2-5, 2022. Read more...
umc judicial council

Recent rulings shape annual conference season

UM NEWS-- As U.S. annual conferences start gathering this week, recent decisions by The United Methodist Church’s top court are influencing their agendas. The Judicial Council has ruled that for now, individual churches — if they meet certain conditions — can leave the denomination while entire U.S. annual conferences cannot. The recent church court decisions have left some United Methodists relieved and others frustrated. But no matter where they stand, many United Methodists agree that annual conferences — regional church bodies that meet each year — will need to deal with the rulings’ ramifications. Council of Bishops President Thomas J. Bickerton, who leads the New York Conference, expressed gratitude for the continued work of the denomination’s top court, which in the past few months has taken up multiple questions from the bishops on an expedited basis. Bishops preside at annual conferences and often face questions of church law during those sessions. The bishops, in turn, often look to Judicial Council precedent for guidance. Read more...
turn it up

Thousands celebrate United Women in Faith at the 2022 Assembly

UNITED WOMEN IN FAITH-- More than 3,000 gathered in Orlando, Florida, and online for United Women in Faith’s Assembly 2022, held May 20-22 at the Orange County Convention Center. Twenty-four countries and all 50 states were represented at the event with the theme “Turn It Up!” Hundreds of women even came a day early for an , putting together seed, meal, and hygiene packets for local Florida outreach organizations, including Cornerstone Family Ministries, a United Women in Faith supported by members’ giving. Keynote speakers were the Rev. Sung Yeon Choimorrow, Heather McTeer Toney, and General Secretary Harriett Jane Olson. This Assembly also featured a theologian-in-residence, Janet Wolf, author of United Women in Faith’s mission study Practicing Resurrection: The Gospel of Mark and Radical Discipleship, who preached throughout the weekend. Read more...

One Last Word

saved by grace
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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