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July 5, 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

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Virginia News

wesley vt

Wesley at Virginia Tech featured in United Methodist News

Joe Halwax is Methodist and has worked at Wespath Benefits and Investments, The United Methodist Church's benefits and investments agency, for more than four years. He is also a dad about to see his daughter Sasha go off to college and is seeing the United Methodist connection from a whole new perspective as a result.
He wrote an article detailing the family's experience of touring Wesley at Virginia Tech in person, meeting students, and meeting the Rev. Bret Gresham, the campus minister and director of Wesley at Virginia Tech. Read more...
john wesley

United Methodist News shares John Wesley 'Primitive Physick' video

United Methodist News recently share the latest episode of the John Wesley series as John Wesley goes on a Book Tour to talk about his book, The Primitive Physick. Watch video...

CEMCA co-chairs release statement following end of Affirmative Action

June 30-- "The Commission on Ethnic Minority Concerns and Advocacy (CEMCA) mourns the death of affirmative action, not just in higher education but as an infrastructure for repairing America’s racism. The US Supreme Court’s decision ruling the use of affirmative action as unconstitutional is antithetical to the social teachings of The United Methodist Church. As stated in the Book of Resolutions, The United Methodist Church sees “the most fundamental premise underlying the concept of affirmative action is both moral and spiritual … According to biblical teaching, we are mandated, in the face of inhumane discrimination – whether that discrimination is intended or unintended – to do what we can to redress legitimate grievances and to create a society in which the lives of each and all will flourish” (2016 Book of Resolutions, #3373: Affirmative Action). The Supreme Court’s ruling will make the struggle to redress past injustices and advance equity even more difficult in our institutions and society.

We concur with the statement from the General Secretaries of the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS), General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR), and General Commission on the Status and Role of Women (GCSRW).
CEMCA calls upon our Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church members to actively engage in prayer and action, confessing our sins of discrimination and racism and rebuilding a just society. The Supreme Court has given us a call to action. We believe that the words of Jesus, the Holy Scriptures, and the Wesleyan tradition require us to be open to the Holy Spirit and renewed action to uphold our baptismal covenant and respond again to the question: Do you accept the freedom and power God gives you to resist evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever forms they present themselves? We pray that individual United Methodists and local churches prayerfully consider how God wants us to turn this setback to justice into an opportunity for renewed action." View statement on website...

2023 Annual Conference wrap-up: Fill out AC Survey, Find COSROW report

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.

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.
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...
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.

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

7 ideas for making Vacation Bible School an evangelism opportunity

LEWIS CENTER FOR CHURCH LEADERSHIP— How can you deepen your relationship with the children and families participating in a Vacation Bible School and stay connected. Learn more...

Africa University graduates its largest class

UM NEWS— More than 950 students from 19 countries received degrees during the university’s 29th graduation ceremony, with women representing 60% of the class of 2023. Read more...

One Last Word: Onward with Prayer

The Rev. Doug Forrester, Valley Ridge District Superintendent, shared a recent post reflective on prayer and the future of the United Methodist Church. Read full post...

Quotes from his post:

"What if every new appointment year began with each clergy person in all churches being told by their congregation 'We are praying for you and your ministry amongst us, so that your ministry will be our ministry, and that all of it will be God’s ministry?'"

"I cannot say this strongly enough, but in a time when it seems so many churches cannot wait to erase United Methodist from their name and pull the cross and flame off their walls, there is still meaning attached to those things that is full of life, hope, and possibilities for this world that Christ died to save. That name, and that symbol represent something that began in a campus ministry at Oxford University in eighteenth century England when two brothers had the audacity to dream of a church for everyone. With a theology of grace and a practical divinity that compelled Christian disciples out of the sanctuary and into the streets to care for the wounded, to minister to and with the poor, to bind up the brokenhearted, to work for the release of the captives, and to illuminate the dim and broken places of this world with the bright light of the Gospel."
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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