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February 28, 2023

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Events (1)
To view conference and local church events, visit the Virginia Conference website at

To submit an local church event for inclusion, submit this form.

Virginia News

VAUMC AC logo 2023_COLOR

Housing for June AC forthcoming; childcare information shared

The 241st Session of the Virginia Annual Conference will be held in-person from Thursday, June 15 – Saturday, June 17, 2023, at the Berglund Center in Roanoke, Va.
Hotel registration will open on Monday, March 6, 2023, at 8 a.m. The link for registration and the Annual Conference agenda will be sent out early on March 6.

Annual Conference members will have 20 area hotels within the Annual Conference room block from which to choose. Members can expect a smooth reservation process; making hotel reservations online will allow attendees to see detailed information on the hotels, our conference rates, room types, amenities, and locations all in one place. Please do not call the hotels as hotel reservations will only be taken online and will not be accepted before March 6.

If you do not have easy access to the internet or a computer, you are encouraged to contact your pastor or your district office for assistance in making your hotel reservation.
If you have any questions, please email [email protected] or call 804-521-1134. For additional Annual Conference information, go to the Virginia Conference website:

Childcare will not be provided at the 2023 Annual Conference. There will be a designated Parents Room and Nursing Room onsite. These rooms will not be supervised by any staff. Any children in these rooms need to be supervised by parents or guardians.
Leon Basham AC camera operator

Camera operators needed for June 2023 AC

The Annual Conference Tech Team is looking for volunteers to act as camera operators during the 241st Session of the Virginia Annual Conference. please share your interest, availability or questions to [email protected].
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Next Special Called AC will be May 6; Minutes posted from Feb. 2023

The next Special Called Annual Conference in the Virginia Conference to consider the ratification of disaffiliating local churches will be on Saturday, May 6, 2023 at 9 a.m. Bishop Pete Weaver, retired bishop, will preside over this session as Bishop Sue will be attending her daughter Samantha’s college graduation in Florida. The May 6 session will again use the Zoom Webinar platform.
More information about this session and materials for Annual Conference members to prepare will be shared in April.
Prior to April, clergy and lay members should proactively verify that their information (including default email address) is correct in the UnityWeb Database in preparation for this Annual Conference session. Contact your district office or reach out to conference Data Manager Chris Malak at [email protected] for Unity assistance.
The last Special Called Annual Conference to consider local church disaffiliation under Paragraph 2553 of the Book of Discipline is scheduled for Saturday, October 7, 2023.
The minutes from the February 18, 2023 Special Called Annual Conference are now posted at the conference website.

United Methodists continue partnership in Ukraine and Russia

Over the stark reality of the Russian/Ukrainian War, which started a year ago, congregations and individuals in the Virginia Annual Conference have been supportive of the United Methodist work in Eurasia since the reactivation of the work there in 1991. At that time, In Mission Together Partnerships were established with UM churches in Stavropol, Kyiv, and L’viv, and have lasted for almost 30 years. Learn more...
tom mercer

Coastal Virginia District pastor recognized for award

The Virginia School Boards Association announced that Thomas L. Mercer, Sr., Vice Chair or the Chesapeake City School Board, was awarded this year’s VSBA Quarter Century Award. He received this award in recognition of 25 years of consecutive service as a school board member. Mercer is a lifelong resident of Chesapeake and currently serves as pastor of St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in the Coastal Virginia District. Read more...
Upper Room Chapel

Join online chapel worship with students, seminarians on March 15

Students and seminarians across the VAUMC and beyond will lead the conference in exploring the Biblical theme of 'Sowing and Reaping' during Chapel worship on Wednesday, March 15 at 9: 30 a.m. Come and experience the next generation of leaders in the VAUMC:
Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 975 3830 2560
One tap mobile
+13017158592,,97538302560# US (Washington DC)
8558801246,,97538302560# US Toll-free

umfs mental health giving day

UMFS Giving Day for Mental Health is March 8

Mark your calendars for Wednesday, March 8 to join United Methodist Family Services for UMFS Giving Day for Mental Health. Mental health challenges can feel overwhelming, especially for a child. You can make a difference. Every $25 you donate will provide another critical hour of mental health care and support for a child in need. Visit to learn more.
casey book reading wesley

Wesley Seminary to host book event

Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington D.C. is hosting a book event with Dr. Shaun A. Casey, former Special Representative for Religion and Global Affairs at the U.S. Department of State and the Director of the Office of Religion and Global Affairs, on Wednesday, March 1, 2023 from 7-9 p.m. at Oxnam Chapel (4500 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.) His new book, Chasing the Devil at Foggy Bottom: The Future of Religion in American, offers a fascinating narrative of the work he and Secretary of State John Kerry –who penned the foreword – did in founding the Office of Religion and Global Affairs. Learn more...
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New 2023 Lenten resource: Role Play the Gospel now available

Are you looking for a new way to experience the Lenten Season? A new resource called Role Play the Gospel (or RPtheG) is a project created by a group of Virginia clergy, laity, and the conference Communications Office to help immerse yourself into the events of Holy Week. Build a character, read some Scripture, and turn on those imaginations! Download now...
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Register now for small and/or rural church communications webinar

Register today for the Small and/or Rural Church Communications Webinar on Wednesday, March 8, 9 a.m.-noon, on Zoom. This free webinar hosted by the conference Board of Communications will focus on the communication needs of small and/or rural churches that often face limited resources, budgets, technology, and staff but who want to reach their community and members in effective ways. Guest speakers will include Rev. Keon Huh, Jonathan Lemaster-Smith, and Jeremy Brown. Register...

Pray for Turkey and Syria

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck southern Turkey and North Syria at 4:17 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 6, 2023, resulted in thousands of deaths and many more families displaced. United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) partnered with International Blue Crescent (IBC) to provide shelters and much-needed assistance for people who experienced displacement. To read more of UMCOR’s response visit their webpage.
Churches of the Virginia Conference are asked to join in prayer for the people experiencing despair and to join collective giving through our connectional system. Join in giving to UMCOR International Disaster Response and Recovery fund online or by sending your donations to the Virginia Conference Business Office (P.O. Box 5606 Glen Allen, VA 23058).
harry denman awards

Submit names for Harry Denman Awards

Is anyone in your congregation a deeply formed spiritual leader who has the ability to assist others in their discipleship? Perhaps they are involved in youth, family, or senior ministry and have helped people to become a disciple or encouraged their growth as a disciple of Jesus Christ. They may be involved in local mission and/or ministries that have influenced lives in the name of Christ. The Board of Discipleship each year recognizes one clergyperson , one lay person and one youth who displays fruitful discipleship in their lives. The deadline for nominations is March 1, 2023. Information and nominations may be obtained at the conference website. Nominations should be completed online or sent to Becky Tate ([email protected]) or Matt Sergent ([email protected]).
Advance Large

Serving Office seeking applications for VAUMC Advance Special

The Serving Ministries at the Virginia United Methodist Conference is currently accepting applications for ministry organizations to be considered as Virginia Conference Advance Special. Information of Conference Advance Specials can be found in paragraph 656, page 505 of the 2016 Book of Discipline. If you are interested in qualifying as an Advance Special ministry group, please review the guidelines and complete the application by March 1, 2023, to be considered. Please contact the Serving Ministries Office at [email protected] or 804-521-1137 if you have any questions.
foundation for evangelism

Foundation for Evangelism Local Church Grant Cycle now open

The Foundation for Evangelism is now accepting applications for the 2023 Equipping the Local Church grant cycle. A total of $350,000 is available for grants of $5,000 or $10,000 to small and medium church congregations, or clusters of churches working together, in a Wesleyan-tradition denomination.
The grant is intended to help launch an experiment or initiative to share the Gospel, faith stories, and invite others into a relationship with Jesus. Any church or group of churches fitting the criteria may apply. Grants will be awarded in the summer of 2023.
bailey scholar rmc

R-MC Bailey Scholar applications are due in March

Young people are searching for meaningful vocations as they make plans after high school. Do you know someone considering a call to Christian ministry? Whether it’s a call to preach, mission work, faith-based non-profit leadership, music ministry, youth ministry or chaplaincy, the Church needs young leaders who are prepared to guide us into the future. Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, VA is the oldest continuously operating Methodist College in the U.S. and is committed to nurturing a new generation of church leaders. Our Bailey Scholars program awards a half-tuition scholarship for the first two years followed by a full tuition scholarship for a student’s final two years at R-MC. Bailey Scholars also benefit from two internships (one for academic credit and one for a $3,000 stipend) and a weekly meeting with other pre-ministerial students. Bailey Scholars complete their B.A. or B.S. degree (their major/minor is their choice) at Randolph-Macon College and then chose an A.T.S. accredited seminary/theology school to pursue a Masters Degree that best suits their call and the requirements of their tradition/denomination. Students from all Christian traditions are welcome into the program. We’d love to meet any potential students you can recommend! Please share this information with students who are considering a call to ministry. Learn more. The application deadline for next year’s incoming class is March 1, 2023. Contact R-MC Chaplain and Pre-Ministerial Program Director Rev. Kendra Grimes for more information.

New webpage highlights VAUMC clergy books

A new webpage on the conference website will share books written by VAUMC clergy (books focusing on faith, UM mission, ministry, and polity) as a way to share with conference clergy and laity potential resources for individual and group study. Clergy can share their information by emailing [email protected]. Books listed on the webpage are not endorsed by the conference. Learn more...

General Church News

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Mid-Term State of The United Methodist Church set for March 2

COUNCIL OF BISHOPS— Council of Bishops President Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton will deliver a Mid-Term State of The United Methodist Church Address on March 2, 2023, at 1 p.m. EST. The video presentation will launch on the official United Methodist denominational website at and be shared on
The news comes on the heels of Bishop Bickerton’s Ash Wednesday message in which he encouraged United Methodists to "use the Lenten season to pray that God will create within us a clean heart and a renewed spirit."

Why does Lent begin with ashes?

UM NEWS— As the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday is a time for reflecting on our humanity, sins and mortality. Take a moment to watch this video from The United Methodist Church* to discover the history and traditions of Ash Wednesday, as well as how you can participate in this holy day of repentance. If you’d like to learn more, explore Ask The UMC’s information about Ash Wednesday and Lent. Read more...
typing questions online

Strengthening online worship beyond the pandemic

LEWIS CENTER FOR CHURCH LEADERSHIP— Lovett H. Weems Jr. says a continued commitment to online worship is not a hindrance that detracts from in-person worship but rather a vital way to reach new people and accomplish the church’s mission. But as this new worship option continues to evolve, congregations must commit to mastering the medium by learning, seeking feedback, and continuing to improve. Read more...
climate church philippines

Climate issues connect church, Indigenous communities

UM NEWS— Through Community-based Contingency Planning, the #UMC in the Philippines is working with Indigenous peoples to prepare for disaster and address climate change. Read more...

Volunteerism as a way of life

UM NEWS—Retirement was a good reason to expand volunteer activities for Jerry Feese and Robilea Swindell. The married couple from Lawrence, Kansas, served for years in the Great Plains Disaster Response ministry. In 2021, they expanded their commitment by going through the mission volunteers training offered by the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries. Read more...

UMCOR responds to earthquakes in Turkey and Syria

UM NEWS— The death toll from an earthquake in Turkey and Syria has surpassed 40,000 according to the International Blue Crescent Relief and Development Foundation. The United Methodist Committee on Relief issued a solidarity grant to International Blue Crescent to help provide tents, heaters, blankets, warm clothes, food and first-aid kits to those who have been displaced. Read more...

One Last Word

" is God who said, 'Light will shine out of darkness,' who has shone in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." - 2 Corinthians 4:6
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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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