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March 21, 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

news update

Resignation, announcement of new conference chancellor

March 20, 2023-- Steven D. Brown resigned from the conference chancellor position on March 17, 2023 after serving faithfully in this position since July 1, 2012. Founding partner of the Richmond, Va. office of Isler Dare, Brown has over 31 years of experience in cases under various federal and state labor and employment laws. As a United Methodist layperson, Brown brought both his vast expertise and heart for the Church and its people in his work as conference chancellor.
“Steve has worked diligently on behalf of the Virginia Conference for many years,” said the Rev. Dr. Steven Summers, Assistant to the Bishop and the Director of Connectional Ministries. “Recently, Steve’s dedication and expertise was vital in navigating the Boy Scouts of America settlement for both the conference and local churches. This is just one example of the many ways in which Steve’s experience has served the Virginia Conference well for nearly eleven years. Our prayers and grateful wishes go with him, his wife Alice, and their family.”
Effective March 20, 2023, Heather Hays Lockerman stepped into the role of conference chancellor.
A substantial portion of Lockerman’s career was spent in the Virginia Attorney General’s Office as senior assistant attorney. She joined the Sands Anderson firm in 2022 and works to support local governments, school boards, and local officials, by providing them legal advice on matters of state and local government law. She has been recognized with leadership awards by both the Greater Richmond Bar Association and the Virginia Bar Association in 2007, 2012, 2015 and 2022.
Lockerman is a member of Reveille UMC in Richmond and is genuinely committed to the mission of making disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Bishop Sue Haupert-Johsnon, resident bishop of the Virginia Conference, offered words of welcome following Lockerman’s appointment to the role. “We are excited and delighted to have Heather join our team,” Bishop Sue said.
VAUMC Conversation

Podcast discusses evangelism, communication

A new episode of the VAUMC Conversation podcast was released this week. Podcast host the Rev. Seungsoo "RJ" Jun, conference Associate Director of Serving Ministries, invited Madeline White, conference Director of Communications, and Hunter Bryn, conference Digital Media Specialist, for "Conversations -Communications in the Church" to talk about evangelism and communications. Listen now on Spotify, Apple, or the conference website.
photo gallery

Share your photos for conference center art gallery

Several years ago, the conference Connectional Ministries office staff printed and hung photos throughout their workspaces to show mission and ministry around the Virginia Conference. As staff prepared to update these photos, a new idea surfaced.
Virginia Conference, we want your photos! Our hope is to turn the halls into a "photography art gallery" to highlight mission and ministry through some of the creative eyes in the Virginia Conference. Please note that these photos need to be semi-professional/professional and be high-resolution. No iPhone photos please.
Submission ideas can include photos of mission trips, church beauty shots, ministries in action, etc.
Not everyone's photos can be selected because of limited wall space, but photos will be rotated every other year, for more opportunities to showcase photos around the conference.
If you have a keen eye for photography and want to see your ministry/church featured on the walls at the conference office, fill out this form. Thank you for sharing your mission and ministries with us!
resources (1)

Information about sunrise services, Vacation Bible School on conference website

On the conference website, you can find two new resources as we head into spring.

Churches around the conference offering sunrise services for Easter can be found.

Churches offering Vacation Bible School as well as a place to learn about VBS curriculum is now on the conference website.

More disaffiliation questions answered

Ask The UMC, a ministry of United Methodist Communications, continues to receive questions related to local church disaffiliations and the future of the church. In Part 10 of its “Is The United Methodist Church Really…?” series, the team addresses whether a re-vote on disaffiliation is allowed, whether United Methodist seminaries teach doctrines contrary to those of The United Methodist Church, whether local churches will be compelled to host same-sex weddings and whether the church endorses critical race theory. Learn more...
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 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

Sermons wanted for 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...

General Church News

ukraine refugees moldova

UMCOR, CWS assisting Ukrainian refugees in Moldova

UM NEWS— Ukrainian refugees who’ve fled across the border to Moldova are being assisted through a partnership between the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) and Church World Service (CWS). At the CWS refugee hub in Balti, refugees can pick up food and hygiene supplies, get medical or mental health support and connect to other services. Volunteers also are distributing warm clothes and blankets for the winter. Learn more...
church history

Disaffiliation shouldn’t result in lost history

UM NEWS— Church archivists worry that congregations disaffiliating from The United Methodist Church will fail to make arrangements to preserve the papers that tell their story. Records maintained by the denomination are accessible to anybody, not just United Methodists. Also of concern are steep cuts in archive budgets in some annual conferences. Read more...
congo relief

Church increases aid to displaced people in Congo

UM NEWS— Over $400,000 from UMCOR and United Methodist Global Ministries helped provide emergency relief to approximately 25,000 displaced people in Congo. Read more...
europe map

Eurasia and Estonia begin exit from church

UM NEWS— Church regions in Eurasia and the Baltics, built up after the breakup of the Soviet Union, now plan to leave The United Methodist Church. Church law has a multistep process for church regions outside the United States to change their relationship with the denomination. Delegates of the Northern Europe and Eurasia Central Conference voted on March 18 to allow the church regions to begin the withdrawal process. Read more...
women pioneers

Women's history in the Methodist movement

UM NEWS— Women have played an integral part in the Methodist Church since its beginning. Women have been teachers, preachers, leaders, writers and so much more. Since it’s Women’s History Month, it’s the perfect time to celebrate the contributions women have made to the church and to the world! GCSRW has compiled books to borrow, videos to watch and articles to read from across the connection on one site so you can stay engaged all month long! Learn more...
easter egg hunt

8 Easter books for children

UM NEWS— An Easter-themed book for children should leave room for children to wonder, deal gently with the crucifixion and focus more on the resurrection, says children’s book author Glenys Nellist of Dearborn First United Methodist Church. The books also should have inclusive illustrations, she says. See list...

One Last Word

So, faith comes from listening, but it’s listening by means of Christ’s message. - Romans 10:17 CEB
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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