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June 27, 2023

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Events (1)
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Virginia News

news update

New staff announced in Connectional Ministries

June 27, 2023--Three new staff will be joining the Connectional Ministries Team in Summer 2023.

Rev. Dr. LaKeeyna Cooper will start July 1, 2023 as Director of Missional Engagement. Cooper served most recently as Director of Missions & Program Engagement for the General Baptist State Convention of North Carolina. Cooper received a Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry from the Proctor School of Theology.

Rev. JoAnn Batteiger will start August 1, 2023 as Assistant Director of Missional Engagement. Batteiger served most recently as Director of Student Ministries at Herndon UMC in Herndon. Batteiger received a Master of Divinity from the Candler School of Theology. She was commissioned as a provisional deacon at the 2023 Virginia Annual Conference session.

Rev. Hannah Bryn will start July 1, 2023 as the Assistant Director of Discipleship and Congregational Vitality. Bryn served most recently as the Associate Pastor at Discovery UMC in Richmond. Bryn received a Master of Arts in Christian Practice from Duke Divinity School. She was ordained as a deacon at the 2022 North Carolina Annual Conference session.

Rev. Dr. Jonathan Page, Director of Connectional Ministries for Innovation and Creativity, shared about the new staff, “I’m excited to welcome LaKeeyna, JoAnn, and Hannah to our Connectional Ministries team. Each of these leaders brings a vital combination of grounded experience, fresh perspective, and strong leadership that will be a blessing to the Virginia Annual Conference and the entire United Methodist connection.”

The Director of Advocacy position will be reviewed and reopened to potential candidates in the near future. Read full article...
john wesley

New video alert: John Wesley starts his Book Tour

In the latest episode of the John Wesley series, John Wesley goes on Book Tour to talk about his book, The Primitive Physick. Watch video...

Is your church interested in 5G Business Internet?

It was announced in the Board of Communications report at the 2023 Annual Conference session that the board has partnered with T-Mobile to offer access to 5G Business Internet. They are excited to offer this opportunity for both rural and urban churches in this conference to have internet access.

All churches are encouraged (whether you think you are in a good location or not) to fill out our interest form. This will allow board members to cross reference churches with the list from T-Mobile, and send the information to get churches set up with T-Mobile.

Even if you already have internet this could be an opportunity to save some money, or evaluate your current internet service provider. If your location is not serviced by T-Mobile (or you don’t think it is) please still fill out the interest form as they are continuing to expand their 5G service, and the board is looking forward to work with Verizon toward the end of this year for a similar deal. Fill out interest form...
youth ac 2023

Youth, lay leader share conversation at AC 2023

Members of the youth delegation and Conference Lay Leader Martha Stokes recorded a podcast during the Annual Conference session. Topics included words for VAUMC members from youth and their hopes for the UMC. Listen to episode on VAUMC Connection...

“The VAUMC Connection” is a series of standalone projects that will include news from the conference center, “The Audio Advocate” and a collection of resources and conversations shared by the Connectional Ministries Office. Also available on Spotify and Apple.
foundation for evangelism

Three VAUMC churches awarded 2023 Foundation for Evangelism grant

The Foundation for Evangelism selected 51 churches and organizations to receive an Equipping the Local Church grant. A total of $350,000 will be distributed through $5,000, $7,500 and $10,000 micro-grants to small and medium sized Wesleyan tradition* churches and church-based organizations. The focus of the grant is to launch an experiment or initiative to share the Gospel, tell their faith stories, and invite others into a relationship with Jesus alongside a local faith community. The recipients are from 9 Wesleyan-tradition denominations across 24 states. Proposed projects range from children’s after school programs to experiments with local community participation.

Virginia churches awarded the grant were Embrace – A Center for Community (UMC) – Waynesboro; Mount Hermon United Methodist Church – Mount Jackson; and The Gathering at Washington Street (UMC) – Petersburg.
global ministries earthkeepers

Join next EarthKeepers training

Global Ministries seeks U.S.-based United Methodists to lead grassroots environmental projects that are action-oriented, antiracist, bold and entrepreneurial. Global Ministries EarthKeepers is a training program that equips US-based United Methodists to launch and grow environmental projects in their communities. Topics include eco-theology, antiracism, community organizing and project planning. All participants plan a project during the training. The next EarthKeepers training events will be held Oct. 5-8, 2023 in Birmingham, AL; Denver, CO; Hartford, CT.
Attend the training closest you to minimize travel emissions, while still engaging with other with people attending trainings being held in other locations. This strategy is designed to support Global Ministries commitment to just and equitable net-zero emissions. Learn more...

2023 Annual Conference wrap-up

The 241st session of Annual Conference has wrapped!

You can still give to Annual Conference Offering

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. You can mail offering to: P.O. Box 5605 Glen Allen, VA 23058 (Memo: AC 2023 Offering) or give online.

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.
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...
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

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.
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...

General Church News

Training for new church leaders in the aftermath disaffiliation

UM COMMUNICATIONS— In the wake of disaffiliations, The United Methodist Church needs leaders ready and equipped to plant new, vibrant communities of faith. Launchpad 2023, a course from Discipleship Ministries, is prepared to lean into seasons of grief, discernment, love and discipling among others to help a healthier church emerge. This unique online training opportunity is being led by the Rev. Dr. Paul Nixon and will meet Thursday afternoons starting July 20 at 4 p.m. CDT. Learn more and register...

'Messy Church' getting results in Georgia

UM NEWS— The “Messy Church” model is helping Aldersgate United Methodist Church get revitalized. The starting point was a monthly interactive experience for kids and adults. The events gained momentum and are now averaging 50 people each meeting. Aldersgate members are careful not to pressure anyone to attend their traditional Sunday service, but some have done so on their own. Church members say this is just the beginning. Learn more...

'Messy Church' getting results in Georgia

LAKE JUNALUSKA— Registration is now open for a three-day Trauma Resilient Communities Engagement Training set for 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, July 17-19 at Lake Junaluska.
Lake Junaluska's Theologian-in-Residence Program will work alongside Crossnore Communities for Children to offer the workshop to teach participants “how to become a more resilient and healing-centered faith community.” Crossnore Communities for Children is recognized as a national model for their trauma-informed care. Training facilitators include Brett Loftis, J.D., Crossnore CEO and CTRC co-founder; Theologian in Residence at Lake Junaluska Meredith Martin, MDiv, MSW, LCSW, vice president of Programs; and David McCorkle, LCSW – CTRC co-founder and faculty. Other events during Crossnore’s time at the Lake include Sunday morning lakeside worship service, Bible study, and a screening and panel discussion of the film “Resilience.” Workshop registration is $500, plus lodging and food. Participants can register online on the workshop website and book a lodging package. Learn more...

One Last Word

jesus comfort us
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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