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May 9, 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.
To view job opportunities around the Virginia Conference, visit the Virginia Conference website at

Virginia News

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'Next Steps' campaign seeks to address needs of members seeking to stay UMC during local church disaffiliations

For those whose congregations have voted to disaffiliate, but who wish to remain United Methodist, the Virginia Annual Conference and the Cabinet offer Next Steps, a website with resources to remain connected as they discern where God is calling them. At Next Steps, individuals and churches may
access resources for small group gathering and other means of discipleship.
As part of this Bridge Churches offer one possible next step for persons who choose to remain United Methodist after their church disaffiliates, providing pastoral care, assistance in gathering, and invitations to share in ministry opportunities with their congregations. These churches are not recruiting members; they offer a safe space of support, nurture, and opportunities for connection during this time of transition. Individuals may choose to join Bridge churches, on their terms and at their own pace of discernment; or they may choose to join elsewhere. Learn more...

Learn about AC missions during 2023 June AC

All members are asked to #joinhands for the following mission opportunities at the June Annual Conference session. #JoiningHandsTogther will provide hands-on mission opportunities for all who are gathered during the Annual Conference. The various mission opportunities will be a reminder that we can do more when we come together! Learn more...

Three Opportunities
1. Red Cross Blood Donation – starting Thursday, June 15 to Friday, June 16 by appointment
2. UMCOR Menstrual Hygiene Kit – Thursday, June 15
3. Rise Against Hunger – Friday, June 16 10 a.m.
Location: Special Events Center
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Electronic Book of Reports now available, view conference AC events

The electronic version of the Book of Reports is now available. If you ordered a print copy, it will be mailed out to you directly. Limited numbers of print copies will be available for purchase at the June session for $5.

Find out what events and banquets are taking place during the June Annual Conference event. One such banquet is the Missional Ministries Banquet on Thursday, June 15 at 6 p.m. which will feature a GBGM representative and two GBGM missionaries. Learn more...

All up-to-date Annual Conference information can be found at
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Become a volunteer at AC 2023

Volunteers are needed before, during and after (from June 13-17) the in-person Annual Conference at the Berglund Center in Roanoke in June. Please prayerfully consider volunteering. Volunteers will be contacted by their area coordinator and receive any necessary training or instructions. Click below for the links to the Sign Up Genius pages:
If you need assistance signing up, please contact Donna Desper, Valley Ridge District, at [email protected].
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2023 Annual Conference Offering #NurturingTogether

The Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church is one of the largest annual conferences of The United Methodist Church. We can significantly impact the world when we all come together around a purpose. The groups and ministries supported by the offering change each year, but the goal remains the same: to assist people and ministries, both domestic and international.

The goal of the offering for 2023 is $150,000. This year, you are invited to the initiative to #nurture leadership worldwide! The Virginia Conference will support Refugee Resettlement, Food Insecurity in the Commonwealth, and Partnerships of Hope’s leadership programs in Brazil, Mozambique, Cambodia, Native Americans, Haiti, and Vietnam through this offering. The offering will be collected on June 15, 2023, during the Opening Worship at 10 a.m. Thank you for being part of the effort to #nurturingtogether! Learn more...
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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...
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Give love offering to Pinnacle Living Samaritan Program

The 2022 Virginia Annual Conference agreed to encourage each church in the conference to support a special offering appeal for the Pinnacle Living Samaritan Program through a love offering or mission gift sometime between Mother’s Day (May 14) to Father’s Day (June 18).
There are four United Methodist-affiliated retirement communities in the conference – Hermitage Richmond, Hermitage Roanoke, Cedarfield, and WindsorMeade.
As people are living longer, there are times residents outlive their financial resources. The Samaritan Program supports those who find themselves in this situation. In the last fiscal year, the Samaritan Program provided support to 12 persons totaling $338,137. The average age of a recipient was 96.5 years old.
To assist you, there are resources available at You will find: Contact Charles Wickham for questions by phone at 804-347-8391 or by email at [email protected].
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VWU Infuses energy, excitement to youth groups

Virginia Wesleyan University (VWU) heard the concerns of youth leaders struggling to reconnect and
engage youth back into church life post-COVID. VWU Campus Ministries responded with a
student-led monthly event called Wesleyan Worship Youth Sundays: As One.

This pilot program invited youth groups to campus to worship, play games and eat dinner together in the campus dining hall. Many of the youth groups who attended were small in numbers and this event gave
their students an opportunity to meet and interact with other students in the Coastal Virginia
District. Kim Pool, a youth leader with New Creation UMC explained, “This event has infused
energy and excitement back into our group after COVID. The youth love coming to VWU and
having college students share their faith with them.” VWU students, in turn, love the energy the
youth groups bring and the connections that are made. We look forward to continuing the
program next fall.

Connect students with campus ministries

The Virginia Conference supports 13 campus ministries at colleges and universities across the Commonwealth, and additionally, four United Methodist colleges and universities. Our campus ministers provide opportunities for students to worship, to study, to serve, and to grow as leaders. You can find information for each campus here:

To help our campus ministers connect with your students, please complete this form as soon as you know where students will attend: If you prefer to email a spreadsheet that includes an entire list of students, their contact information, and the college or university they will attend, please email it to [email protected].

For clergy, completing this form fulfills the requirement of ¶232 of the Book of Discipline that you must notify the chair of the conference Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry (that paragraph also requires notifying the district superintendent and the charge conference, which this form does not accomplish). This form also fulfills ¶256.3d, which requires local church youth coordinators to provide student information to the chaplains and campus ministers.

64 churches ratified for disaffiliation at May 6 Annual Conference

On Saturday, May 6, 2023, a Special Annual Conference via Zoom Webinar was held to consider the ratification of 64 local churches seeking to disaffiliate from The United Methodist Church over matters of human sexuality using Paragraph 2553 of the Book of Discipline. By a vote of 90% to 10% the 64 churches were ratified. Find wrap-up article and livestream recording at the conference website:

Deadline for The Servant Sister Scholarship is July 1

The Virginia Conference has deployed clergywomen in a variety of ministries since 1961. The Servant Sister Scholarship capitalizes on this legacy by supporting the theological training of future clergywomen. If you are a woman enrolled in an accredited United Methodist Seminary, the Servant Sister Scholarship is accepting applications from now until July 1. Contact Co-Chairs Rev. Joanna Paysour and Rev. Lindsey B. Freeman for more details.
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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...
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].

General Church News

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UMC bishops meet, request for 2026 General Conference among other decisions

COUNCIL OF BISHOPS— The bishops of The United Methodist Church (UMC) completed their Spring 2023 meeting on Friday in a gathering that was awash in the spirit of collegiality and search for the betterment of the worldwide denomination.
In his closing sermon, Bishop Bickerton reminded the United Methodists: “We are always connected together. We share common burdens, common challenges, common opportunities, and common blessings.” Preaching from Acts 2:42-47, Bishop Bickerton told the gathering that when the apostles committed to teaching, fellowship, breaking of bread, and prayers, they were filled with awe, gratitude, generosity and good will. Bishop Bickerton reminded the bishops that these gifts from God are the foundation for the renewal of today’s church.
In his presidential address, Bishop Bickerton said that in the midst of this massive time of transition, it was time to pivot our work to focus on reclaiming, reviving and renewing The United Methodist Church. “We are not talking about new wine in old wineskins. Rather, it’s like pulling up the carpet to reveal the linoleum and pulling up the linoleum to reveal a beautiful hardwood floor.”
The bishop shared his worry that the church was spending too much time on those who were leaving rather than on those where staying. “We must grieve our loss. We must complete the disaffiliations. We must plan for our time of conferencing. And we must engage in the work directly in front of us this week. But in the midst of it all, in spite of it all: What do you say that we reclaim, revive, and renew this church for the dance that lies ahead?”
During the meeting, the bishops received reports and made decisions including:
General Conference 2026: The bishops responded to the Judicial Council decision regarding an additional General Conference between 2024-2026 by approving a resolution to propose a 5-day General Conference in May 2026 that would focus on re-establishing connection, lament and healing, celebration, recasting the mission and vision for The United Methodist Church, and considering a more regional governance structure to support the mission and vision of the church for the current and future realities within the world and church. Read press release...

One Last Word:

Historic Moment from May 4

On May 4, 1956 -- 67 years ago -- the General Conference of The Methodist Church voted to grant women full clergy rights.
clergy rights women
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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