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June 6, 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

AC2023 offering promo

June 17, 2023 Annual Conference Offering

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. Please note the time change: the conference offering will be collected on June 17, 2023, following the 8:30 a.m. Bible Study at 9 a.m. Learn more...
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Donate blood during AC 2023

Don't forget that you can make an appointment ahead of time to donate blood for the Red Cross Blood Drive at AC 2023 on Thursday, June 15 and Friday, June 16. Please schedule your appointment at and search with sponsor code VAUMC23.

Take part in 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
book stack

Bishop Sue offers 2023 book recommendations

Bishop Sue put together a 2023 Annual Conference Recommended Reading list. Take a look at books she recommends for 'Leading Congregation Change,' 'Navigating These Times,' 'Living Into God's Call,' 'Books for Ministry and Life,' 'Biblical Study,' 'Preaching,' as well as recent fiction books she has read. Learn more...
lewis center certificate program

Learn more: Lewis Center Church Leadership Certificate Program

The Lewis Center at Wesley Theological Seminary is opening up a second cohort of their new Certificate Program in Church Leadership. They are looking for pastors who are committed to two years in place in their current setting who are looking to hone next-level skills for the sake of their congregations and communities.
If you are interested for more information or to register, please contact Craig Meek at [email protected] or 202-664-5709. You will need a recommendation from your District Superintendent and The Center for Clergy Excellence has clergy development funding available. Learn more...
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VAUMC takes part in gathering on ministry, mission in Russia and Ukraine

The Russia Initiative leadership for the Baltimore-Washington Conference invited and welcomed members of the Virginia Conference on February 25 with a shared interest in ministry and mission in Russia and Ukraine, to meet with the Dean of Moscow Seminary to receive an important update on the work of the Seminary. Walt Surratt, a lay member of Luray UMC, prepared this story and the accompanying photo of the gathering. Read more...
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Drivers needed from Richmond area for first week of All God's Children Camp

The first week of All God's Children Camp needs drivers for some wonderful campers in the Richmond area to reach Camp Chanco on the James on Sunday, June 18 and then for pick up from camp back to the Richmond area on Friday, June 23, please contact [email protected] if you can help!
Bible Study Videoconference

Sign up for virtual August Lay Servant Academy

The next Virginia Annual Conference Lay Servant Academy will occur virtually on August 18-19, 2023. Online course offerings will be:
• United Methodist Heritage (Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson, instructor)
• Basic Course (Richard Speirs, instructor)
• Spiritual Gifts (Joseph Plemmons, instructor)
• Leading Well in Conflict Transformation (Sarah Calvert, instructor)
• Called to Preach! (Nathan Decker, instructor)
• Introduction to Simplified Accountable Structure (Instructor TBD)
• Certified Lay Minister Orientation (Joanna Dietz and Jennifer Robinson-O'Brien, instructors).
Cost is $35 for all courses except CLM Orientation, which is $15. For more information, follow this link.
To register, click here. Contact Tianna Durbin, Lay Servant Academy Director ([email protected]) if you have questions.

Upcoming events, deadlines from Clergy Excellence

Gathering for Lay Supply and Certified Lay Ministers at Annual Conference in Roanoke, VA, Thursday, June 16, 7 p.m.
Lay Supply and Certified Lay Ministers are invited to gather together for refreshments and fellowship as well as meet their conference liaisons. This event is scheduled to take immediately preceding the Missions Reception in order that we may meet together, and then head to the Missions Reception together at 7:30 p.m. Both events will take place in the Berglund Center complex. Registration link...

Seminary and CPE Funding Available: Application Deadline, July 1
If you are a certified candidate and in need of funding for theological requirements visit this link for a variety of scholarship opportunities from the VAUMC and General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. For questions, please contact [email protected].

Candidacy Summit, In Person, July 7-8, Open to All, Required for Candidates
The Candidacy Summit is an overnight retreat which gives participants an opportunity to explore their call to ministry. While the Summit is open to anyone over 18 years of age, it is required for all candidates in the VAUMC process. The Candidacy Summit on Friday, July 7 and Saturday, July 8 will take place at Roslyn Retreat Center in Richmond, Va. To register, click here.

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 clergy 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.
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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...

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

COB president shares message with annual conferences

UM NEWS— Council of Bishops President Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton released a brief video message for annual conferences and local churches. The presentation is intended for use at their gatherings and/or via their communication channels. It was filmed and produced by United Methodist Communications and is available for viewing at on the denomination’s official website. The message builds off of points included in Bishop Bickerton’s Mid-Term State of The United Methodist Church Address and his address to the Council of Bishops in which he encouraged members to " reclaim, revive and renew” the beloved United Methodist connection. “It’s now time for you and me to work together to architect the next expression of United Methodism. The future of The United Methodist Church hinges on our ability to deeply pray that God will give us the strength and the courage to do what we must, what we have been called to do all along,” stated Bishop Bickerton. “Let’s offer our radical love, genuine hospitality, and sincere engagement.” Read more...

Wesley’s vision of education alive and well today

UM NEWS— Meeting in the United Kingdom, Methodist school leaders commemorate the founding of Kingswood School in Bath 275 years ago. “Our Wesleyan heritage,” said Bishop Mande Muyombo, “repeatedly reminds us that the power of Christ and the Holy Spirit can work through us, especially when we work together to raise up the leaders we need in such a time as this. “What I’ve come to appreciate,” said Kingswood School headmaster Andrew Gordon-Brown, “is that the culture that Wesley set about creating back in 1748 continues to echo down the centuries and still influences what we try and do today.” Read more...

One Last Word

Let God determine your assignment and respond to it in joy.
wesley covenant 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...
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