Advocate 2022 logo

May 23, 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

bishop sue downriver

Bishop canoes on visit to Shenandoah River District

Bishop Sue took part in a Baptism Renewal on the Downriver Devotion with the Rev. Gary Heaton, District Superintendent Rev. Dr. Victor Gomez, and others in the Shenandoah River District yesterday.
south central jurisdiction bishops

Active clergy invited to process in at AC 2023 service

Bishop Sue cordially invites all active clergy (including retired pastors serving appointments) to participate in a processional at the beginning of the Service of Call and Ordering at Annual Conference on Saturday, June 17, 2023 at 10:30 a.m.
Register your attendance here if you are able to be part of the processional.

Who does not need to register?
Those who are being licensed, commissioned, ordained and being recognized as associate members in the class of 2023 will already be part of the processional and do not need to register.
Retirees from the class of 2023 will remain seated in their section from the previous service and will stand in front of the stage and welcome all those being licensed, commissioned, and ordained, so will not be part of the processional and do not need to register.
If you will be part of the processional wear a black or white robe. Full members will wear a red stole. You will have time to change into your robe after the retirement service, then will line up in the hallway behind the banner with your status.
More instructions will follow soon.

Volunteers play huge role in Annual Conference: Sign up now!

Have a servant's heart? Bring that love of people and your neighbors by volunteering at Annual Conference! Are you the spouse, guest, or family member of a AC member attending? Are you local to the AC 2023 area? We need your help! See volunteer slots available below:

Lay Servant Ministries offers July course

VAUMC Lay Servant Ministries is pleased to share an upcoming course offering from Discipleship Ministries for current Certified Lay Ministers who would like to specialize in Congregational Care Ministry from July 21-22, 2023.
The healing ministry of Jesus gives us the example that care is at the heart of the church. As a Certified Lay Minister you can receive training for a specialization through the Discipleship Ministries of the UMC in Congregational Care which can help you create and revitalize your care ministry. This two day training gives you tools and resources for your care ministry no matter what size the church including prayer ministry, boundaries, spiritual guidance, visitation, death/dying and care team development. During the webinar, you will experience uplifting worship and renewal for your soul. Learn more...

Become a mentor

Do you have a passion for walking with Certified Candidates and Licensed Local Pastors in their call? Have you been previously trained but need a refresher in the process for candidates? Mentor Matters is a training event for first time and returning mentors. Participants will explore a theological vision for VAUMC mentoring, receive practical training, and spend time reviewing the roles for mentors and dCOM Coordinators. Mentor Matters will take place in person at the Conference Center in Glen Allen Thursday, August 10 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For questions, email [email protected] A link to register can be found here.
umc giving

UMM calling all VAUMC men to support ministries

The United Methodist Men are asking each man in the VAUMC to donate $10 per year to provide sufficient funds and a generous donation to each of the following ministries:
  • Heart Havens
  • Scouts
  • GraceInside
  • All God's Children Camp
  • Camp Rainbow
  • Black Methodists for Church Renewal
  • Asian American Ministries Association
  • Native American Caucus
  • Latino/Hispanic Caucus
  • Society of St. Andrew
To support them and these ministries, donate by mailing a check to UMM Treasurer Gary Lupton (1661 Hawks Bill Drive Virginia Beach, VA 23464 and make check payable to "Virginia Conference United Methodist Men". You can also give by visiting or text UMM2023 to 44-321.

Peace with Justice Sunday is June 4

United Methodists relate to this special Sunday by seeking peaceful solutions, creating and supporting peace-related ministries in their conference and learning about peaceful, just efforts around the world. Our Social Principles call us to love our enemies, seek justice, and serve as reconcilers of conflict. We insist that the first moral duty of all nations is to work together to resolve by peaceful means every dispute that arises between or among them.
The United Methodist Church, with its historic commitment to peace and justice, can and should provide leadership to this social transformation. The General Board of Church and Society Church holds a non-governmental, consultative status with the United Nations. This status allows us to participate in UN meetings, consultations and conferences. We recognize and renew our call for social transformation, for the quest to open the doors of opportunity for all, to distribute resources more equitably, and to provide better care for persons in need.
Donations for this special Sunday support programs and ministries to educate, equip and mobilize actions in support of identified Economic, Health, and Gender Justice Priorities. Learn more and find resources...
NEXT STEPS logo_Color

'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
VAUMC AC logo 2023_COLOR

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
2022 AC Mission - Banner (3)

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...
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.
Video 5: Learn about Mission Opportunities at 2023 AC
Video 6: Explore Berglund Center with Martha
Video 7: Preparation Tips from Rules Committee Chair Scott Diamond
Watch videos...

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.

General Church News

girl vegetables

"Garden girl" brings joy (and veggies) to the homebound

UM NEWS— Visiting homebound church members and neighbors may not be a popular pastime for most kids, but seven-year-old Julia Eskridge has been doing it since she was only two. She's following in her mom's footsteps and her Nana's too. Read more...
congo children

Church gives hope to people living with HIV in Congo

UM NEWS— Through the Maternal and Child Health Program in East Congo, more than 100 women living with HIV receive help from The United Methodist Church in Bukavu. Within the program framework, microcredits are given to women, and malnourished children receive care. United Methodist Bishop Gabriel Yemba Unda called the support “a way to put our social evangelization in motion.” Read more...

One Last Word

Don't grow weary of doing good.
do good
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