Advocate 2022 logo

March 14, 2023

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

skunk on the table

Skunk on the Table episode discusses Appointment Season

Skunk on the Table is a video, podcast, and article series with a focus on simple and clear conversations about topics of interest to the Virginia Conference and denomination. In the third episode, Rev. Dr. Sarah Calvert, Northern Virginia District Superintendent, and Rev. Jessie Colwell, Director for the Center of Clergy Excellence, discuss appointment season. Learn more...
Serving-Page banner2

2023 Mission Opportunities on conference website

Mission Opportunities provided throughout the Annual Conference allow the churches to maximize the impact in transforming the world through the connectional system. Each year, Virginia Conference offers Mission Opportunities for the over 1,000 churches to ‘Unite in Mission’ as we serve our Lord together. Below you will find information on how we, serving together, can become a ‘blessing to this world’ (Gen 12:3). Learn more...
bishop sue rmc

Bishop Sue visits Randolph-Macon College

Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson visited Randolph-Macon College on February 28 and met several pre-ministerial students as well as enjoyed lunch with President Lindgren, college staff members, and several VAUMC clergy alumni. Randolph- Macon College Chaplain Rev. Kendra Grimes shared, "It was a great day to be a YJ [Yellow Jacket], and we appreciate Bishop Sue's interest in young adults and our UM Schools!" Randolph-Macon College is one of five Virginia Conference-related schools.
bishop asbury

Submit nominations for Francis Asbury Award

Nominations for the Francis Asbury Award, presented annually during the June session of the annual conference, are due April 10. This award recognizes a lay or clergy person who has supported and encouraged United Methodist collegiate ministry. Nominations go to the General Board of Higher Education, and the conference Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry reviews nominations and determines the recipient. For more information, or to submit a nomination, use this link. If you have questions, please contact Rev. Ryan LaRock, chair of the conference Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry at [email protected].
green church award

Submit nominations for Green Church Award

The Virginia Board of Church and Society are accepting nominations for the 2023 Virginia Annual Conference Green Church Award and Sustaining Green Church Award. Applications should be completed by May 14.

In 2009, the Virginia Annual Conference established the Green Church Initiative and called churches to "green" their ministries. To recognize the continuing work of creation care in the Virginia Annual Conference, the board is asking for nominations to receive the Green Church and Sustaining Green Church Award during the Virginia Annual Conference during June 15-17, 2023 session.

Recipients of these awards strive to affirm the importance of healing and defending God's creation in their mission as local congregations. They are engaged in this ministry in worship, learning and teaching, individual and congregational lifestyle and community, national, and global advocacy/involvement.

Send any questions to Brian Christoffersen at [email protected].

VAUMC Board of Church and Society Green Church Award Application

VAUMC Board of Church and Society Sustaining Green Church Award Application

Richmond Church hosts conference on race and reconciliation

Belmont UMC, Three Notch'd District, hosted the Good Trouble Conference on Sat. Feb. 25. The conference focused on the "good trouble" that late Representative John Lewis spoke of, as well as Micah 6:8. This event was an opportunity for church and community conversation on race and reconciliation and will included speakers, small group discussions, lunch, and worship.
Featured speakers were the Rev. Dr. Peter Moon, Senior Pastor at Reveille UMC (Richmond) and former Richmond District Superintendent, as the moderator and facilitator for the day's activities; the Rev. Dr. Clarence Brown, consultant, coach, mentor, and retired UMC elder, speaking on "Good Trouble in Our Churches and Communities"; Rev. Dr. Milton Hathaway, former Senior Pastor of Union Hope Baptist Church (Hopewell) and Historic Second Liberty Baptist Church (New Kent), speaking on "The Beloved Community"; and the Rev. Autumn Merrill, youth pastor at First Baptist Church (Richmond) and instructor for Atlantic Outreach Group (Richmond), sharing the closing worship message. Visit Belmont's Facebook page to watch the presentation by Rev. Clarence Brown, Rev. Dr. Milton Hathaway, and the closing message by Rev. Autumn Merrill.
March 8 Training Graphic 1920 x 900 - less info email-webpage header

Recording for small and/or rural church communications webinar now available

The Small and/or Rural Church Communications Webinar on Wednesday, March 8 was a 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. Watch recording...
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


Sermons wanted to conference podcast

The VAUMC Connection is launching a new podcast! The Wednesday Wisdom: Sermons from Last Week! Did you give a sermon and want to give it a second life? VAUMC is looking for your sermons to post as podcasts each week. It will be a chance to bring the Word to the mid-week slump between Sundays, but also give a spotlight to the hard work VAUMC pastors put in for Sunday mornings! You can submit your sermons by filling out the form here or on the Digital Hub page on the VAUMC website!
extension ministry event

Extension Clergy gathering to be held with Bishop Sue

Clergy in Extension Ministry appointments are invited May 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St Mark's UMC (Midlothian) for a time of worship, Q&A with Bishop Sue, ministry spotlights, conversation and connection with extension clergy colleagues, plenty of coffee, and a catered lunch. Contact Rev. Deborah Lewis with questions: [email protected] RSVP by April 17:
VAUMC AC logo 2023_COLOR

Housing for June AC now open; 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 opened on Monday, March 6, 2023.

The link for registration and the Annual Conference agenda are now available.

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.

New webpage highlights VAUMC clergy books

A new webpage on the conference website shares 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. New books are being added every week. Take a look at the following link! Learn more...
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.

General Church News

both and worship

Hybrid worship: reaching people here and there, now and later

LEWIS CENTER FOR CHURCH LEADERSHIP— How can your worship connect powerfully not only with those in the room on Sunday mornings, but with those worshiping online in the moment and after the fact? Hybrid ministry expert Jason Moore outlines simple changes that can make your worship more meaningful and participatory for online viewers in the moment and “evergreen” in its ability to remain relevant and accessible to anyone at any time. Learn more...
committee international

Plan to add 5 African bishops faces challenges

UM NEWS— An international United Methodist group has long been working to increase the number of bishops on the African continent from 13 to 18. The Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters at its recent meeting learned about the challenges the plan faces in a time of disaffiliation. Read more...
Foreign Missionary Cemetery Memorial Church

Youth group outreach changed man's views of church

UM NEWS— The Rev. Mel West, a retired pastor, recalls how young people accomplished amazing results through a program that addressed housing needs. Their outreach helped change one person’s understanding of what church is about. Read more...
prison ministries

Faith communities can aid transition from prison

UM NEWS— Churches and other faith-based groups can provide resources for the formerly incarcerated as well as help to reduce the stigma attached to a criminal record. A criminal conviction creates barriers to obtaining essentials like housing, employment or food assistance. Without positive reinforcement, many fall back into the same patterns that landed them in prison. Read more...
church radio

Church radio drums up support for orphans

UM NEWS— A Lokole Methodist Radio program hosted by Global Ministries missionary Innocent Afful aims to mobilize millions of listeners for the cause of orphans and disadvantaged children in Kinshasa.
Congo capital Kinshasa has more than 18,000 children in need, some of whom are threatened by civil unrest in the region. An Advance project, “The Hands and the Heart of Christ Orphanage Home,” trains young orphans in various skills. Learn 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

"Then Jesus told him, 'Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'
-John 20:29
believe praise
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...
facebook twitter youtube instagram linkedin