Advocate 2022 logo

April 11, 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


Calvary UMC celebrates 100 year anniversary

Calvary UMC, Arlington, celebrated its 100 year anniversary as a community during a special service on Palm Sunday on April 2. Bishop Sue preached during the 11 a.m. worship service and a community potluck followed. Bishop Sue reflected on Matthew 13:31-32 in her sermon. View the full sermon...

Join online Earth Day Retreat

Join the free Earth Day Retreat: Celebrating God’s Great Creation hosted by the Shenandoah River District United Women in Faith on Saturday, April 22 at 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. via Zoom. The event facilitator is Karen McElfish, commissioned as an Earth Keeper by the Board of Global Ministries, Chair of the Annual Conference Organizing Team for the Creation Justice Movement, and member of the Virginia Conference Church & Society Creation Justice Team. Additional retreat details, materials, and the registration link are found at this link.
saving grace

Register for event to learn Wesleyan way of managing finances

VUMPI and the Virginia United Methodist Foundation (VAUMF) are pleased to offer the course Saving Grace: A Guide to Financial Well-Being for Virginia United Methodist clergy and their spouses/accountability partners.
Saving Grace is a Wesleyan-based personal financial education program designed to help individuals create healthy financial habits and align their financial lives with their faith. The clergy-unique aspect of the course consists of three supplements, including specific videos that address:

1) setting up clergy-specific aspects of finances
2) the many aspects of UM Clergy retirement; and
3) being a financial leader for the congregation, including preaching and teaching on money and stewardship.

The seven-session program begins Wednesday, April 19, and runs through May 31. Sessions will be offered via Zoom each Wednesday from 1:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Participants who complete all sessions are eligible for 1.0 CEU.

The only cost for participating clergy is the program’s clergy workbook. (Cokesbury offers the new book for about $30 including tax and shipping. The workbook is also available on Amazon, where you may save with free shipping or used books.)

Course space is limited. Register now to secure your spot. Registration deadline is April 12. Contact John Fuller at VUMPI ([email protected]) or Brad Duty at the Foundation ([email protected]) for more information.
Ukraine_sleeping bags

Learn more about update from Blacksburg UMC, partnership with Kyiv UMC

In the fall of 2022, Blacksburg United Methodist Church (BUMC) received a request from its Ukrainian sister church, Spring of Life UMC, for winter gear because about 50% of the electric grid in Ukraine had been destroyed by recent Russian bombing. Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, BUMC has collected approximately $40,000, one-half of which was donated to UMCOR, while the other half was held in reserve for post-war rebuilding efforts. But the BUMC Ukraine ministry team realized that the war was not going to end anytime soon. The team made the decision that immediate needs trumped holding back the funds reserved for rebuilding. "After all," said team member Jackie Nutter, "If humanitarian needs are not addressed, there might not be a church to rebuild." The team informed the BUMC congregation of this change and received no pushback. Read more...
Serving-post header (Presentation (169))

Join upcoming ERT training events

The Virginia Conference Disaster Response Committee invites members of the Conference to prepare and train to be part of future ERT (Early Response Team) Training. Early Response Teams respond during the first phase of disaster relief, providing a Christian presence. Your church and community could also be faced with a disaster. Train to be ready to respond and know the first steps to help. Find upcoming trainings...
ok native american heritage

Celebrate Native American Ministries Sunday

Native American Ministries Sunday serves to remind United Methodists of the gifts and contributions made by Native Americans to our society. A gap in knowledge exists in The United Methodist Church, in congregations and other United Methodist entities, relative to comprehending concepts of Native American life, cultures, languages, spirit, values, contemporary issues, and such. We affirm the sacredness of American Indian people, their languages, cultures, and gifts to the church and the world. Learn more...
The official date set to celebrate Native American Ministries Sunday is Sunday, April 23, 2023, but churches are encouraged to celebrate on a date that is most convenient for your congregation. A full package of ready to use resources for Native American Ministries Sunday is available for you to explore how we give, why we give and the impact we make through connectional efforts.
rmc convergence

R-MC Convergence registration open now

Applications for Convergence 2023 are open! Randolph-Macon College's summer Youth Theology Institute on Faith and Science will be held July 18-23 this year. The event is open to students who are finishing their 9th, 10th, or 11th grade year in the next few months.
The '23 Convergence theme is Food, Faith and Farming. We have a lot of exciting activities and experiences planned including:
• Field trips to Sophia Farm, Fitrah Farm, Shalom Farm and Babylon MicroFarm
• A special project with the Ashland Farmer’s market
• The Theology of Soul Food, a speech and cooking demonstration with author, James Beard award winner, and certified barbeque judge Adrian Miller
• Workshops on campus
• Planning and helping to lead worship at Duncan Memorial United Methodist Church on the R-MC campus.
Cost to attend is $350. Financial Assistance is available if needed. All Convergence campers receive a $1,000 scholarship if they attend R-MC for college. You can find more information and the link to apply here. For questions, email [email protected].
book stack

Library association hosting spring event

The Virginia Church Library Association (VCLA), a non-profit organization of volunteers dedicated to the support and advancement of Christian ministry through the local church library, is hosting a spring event Friday, May 5 and Saturday May 6 online or in-person. This training event is for church librarians and others interested in this work. The organization started in 1958 and continues to provide training and networking of church library workers twice a year at spring and fall conferences.
Memberships, conference fees and occasional special projects provide funding for the organization’s work. Consequently, it is essential that interested persons become members and attend conferences so these services can continue and keep this ministry alive. Learn more...
su mission event

Teens experience ‘Kin-Dom’ Of God At Shenandoah University

A group of 80 people, composed of primarily high school-aged United Methodists from the Northern Shenandoah Valley and their chaperones, explored what it means to “live in the Kin-dom of God” during a recent daylong “Mission u” event held at Shenandoah University. Read more...
VAUMC 4-color logotransparent

Reorganization announced in Connectional Ministries Office

April 5-- Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson and the Virginia Annual Conference Common Table are pleased to announce plans for a reorganization in the conference Connectional Ministries Office.
After faithfully serving for several years as both Director of Connectional Ministries and Assistant to the Bishop the Rev. Dr. Steven Summers will move fully into the role of Assistant to the Bishop effective July 1, 2023.
The Rev. Dr. Jonathan Page will serve in the role of Director of Connectional Ministries for Innovation and Creativity and Mr. Dwayne Stinson will serve as Director of Connectional Ministries for Discipleship and Congregational Vitality. The two will share the responsibilities of Director of Connectional Ministries while they continue to lead in their respective areas of focus. This is all in an effort to ensure the annual conference can grow in its ability to equip, resource, and connect the local church. These positions will be voted on at the 2023 June Annual Conference session with an expectation they will begin their work effective July 1, 2023. Read more...
VAUMC 4-color logotransparent

Candidates sought for open positions in Connectional Ministries Office

April 5-- Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson and the Virginia Annual Conference Common Table announced plans for a reorganization in the conference Connectional Ministries Office (see story above).
It was also announced that the Rev. Seungsoo “RJ” Jun, Associate Director of Serving Ministries, will be appointed to the local church effective July 1, 2023.
“The journey to serve Connectional Ministries started with a tug from God to support the effort of strengthening the connection,” Jun said. “After the past two years and a half, I experienced another tug from God, preparing my heart for a new journey. Bishop Sue and the Cabinet graciously accepted my request to be on the appointment list, and I am excited to see how God will work in this new chapter of ministry."
In the reorganization, the current offices of Learning, Influencing, and Serving will become the offices of Missional Engagement, under the leadership of the Director of Missional Engagement (to be hired), and the Office of Discipleship and Congregational Vitality under the leadership of Mr. Dwayne Stinson, Director of Connectional Ministries for Discipleship and Congregational Vitality. Mr. Stinson and Rev. Dr. Jonathan Page, Director of Connectional Ministries for Innovation and Creativity, will share the role of Director of Connectional Ministries. Read more...

The new, open positions in the Connectional Ministries Office will better meet the needs of the Virginia Conference in mission and ministry and have intended start dates of May 2023. The positions are:
-Director of Missional Engagement (View job posting) (Apply for job)
-Assistant Director of Missional Engagement (View job posting) (Apply for job)
-Assistant Director of Discipleship and Congregational Vitality (View job posting) (Apply for job)

Another open position in the conference, reporting to the Bishop and Assistant to the Bishop, is:
-Director of Advocacy (title TBD) (View job posting) (Apply for job)

Please visit this website to apply. Questions about the jobs may be sent to [email protected]. Read more...
VAUMC AC logo 2023_COLOR

Reserve Display Area space now for 2023 Annual Conference session

Display Area space is now available to reserve for the 2023 Annual Conference session.

Guidelines for the Display Area space are available.

Reserve an area at this link by April 21:
vaumc 2023 logo gps

Videos share resources for 2023 AC members

The Conference Lay Leader Martha Stokes and the conference Communications Office created video resources for Annual Conference members prior to the 2023 Annual Conference session. Four videos have now been released:
Video 1: Welcome from Bishop Sue
Video 2: Welcome and music from AC Conference co-directors and a chance to meet the band
Video 3: Martha shares responsibilities for lay members and reporting back to local churches.
Video 4: Conference Secretary Rev. Joshua King shares information about motions and more.
Watch videos...
vaumc 2023 logo gps

Opt-in for physical copy of 2023 Book of Reports; learn more about AC 2023

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 Book of Reports will be available online in early May. You can request a physical copy until April 28 to be delivered by mid-May. Fill out this form to get a physical copy. Limited printed copies will be available at the June AC in Roanoke for purchase.

The link for registration and the Annual Conference agenda are now available. Information about displays is forthcoming.
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...
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

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

gun reform clergy

Tennessee clergy speak out for gun reform

UM NEWS— United Methodist and other clergy joined together at the Tennessee State Capitol to speak out for gun control and against the removal of three state representatives and the disenfranchisement of their constituents. Learn more...
arms support

4 Ways to Make Easter Hospitality the Pattern for the Year

LEWIS CENTER FOR CHURCH LEADERSHIP— Lewis Center Director Doug Powe says special efforts to welcome visitors at Easter shouldn’t be set aside once the holiday is over. He outlines four ways the hospitality of the Easter season can be the launching pad for more intentional visitor welcome throughout the year. Learn more...
church disaster

Churches hard hit by latest storms

UM NEWS— The latest tornado-spawning storms to hit the U.S. resulted in at least 32 deaths as well as widespread property damage, including to three United Methodist church buildings in the Arkansas Conference. Arkansas Conference Bishop Laura Merrill toured some of the worst affected areas of her state, including Wynne, Arkansas. Relief and recovery efforts are gearing up in the Arkansas Conference and other annual conferences. Learn more...
pray for mississippi

Donate to UMCOR U.S. disaster aid

UM NEWS— Recent storms and tornadoes throughout the Mississippi Delta region caused massive destruction. More than 25 people died with dozens more injured. Amid this devastation, The United Methodist Church is responding with love and compassion to help rebuild lives. Your gift to UMCOR ensures that communities have the resources they need to rebuild and restore. Learn more...

One Last Word

gift of easter prayer
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