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October 25, 2022

To submit news items, events, or corrections, email the conference Communications Office at [email protected].
Events (1)
  • November 2-4- Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference at Lake Junaluska, N.C.
To view local church events, visit the Virginia Conference website at To submit an event for inclusion submit this form.

October Challenge: Share your Bright Spots

OCTOBER CHALLENGE: Have you ever noticed that when you focus on the negative, all you can see are more negative things around you? But when you focus on the positive things in your life, it makes you more aware and open to other 'bright spots' in your life. The conference Communications Office challenges every clergyperson, every lay leader, every mission chair, every church to look around this month and to submit a good news story to the Communications Office to share.

From personal stories of connection, to ministry events to community outreach, the Communications Office wants to hear from you! How many of these ministries and stories of connection could lift and inspire other United Methodists around the Virginia Conference and connection?

Send emails to [email protected]. Your story may be featured in an upcoming newsletter or video.

A Bright Spot: Light shines during Laity Sunday at Concord UMC

On Sunday, October 16,Concord UMC, Sussex, held Laity Sunday. The lay leader asked several members to come forward and share how their light shines and their promise to continue to let their light shine. The whole congregation was invited to also write on a piece of paper how their light shines. The Rev. Carrie Moffitt was overwhelmed watching every single member of their small church walk to the front and share how their light shines on the cross.
Some responses included:
  • loving inclusively
  • spreading the music
  • encouraging others to be their best self
  • practicing grace with the least
  • I am a survivor and will guide those still struggling
let you light shine concord umc

This week: Living into the conference vision

conference vision 2017
  • How can you learn this week?

This Texas church is bringing back Vacation Bible School for senior adults. Learn more...
  • How can you be an influence this week?

Creating a culture of generosity requires creativity and consistency. Read an article from the Lewis Center for Church Leadership that details seven strategies that any church can deploy to deepen the link between faith and giving.
  • How can you serve this week?

Help support Afghans refugees as they continue to acclimate from resettlement in the U.S. The Virginia United Methodist Refugee Response Team is hosting another Grateful for Their Service: Give Thanks Shopping for Afghan Allies event this year. View wish lists by geographic region...

Virginia News


Conference Center joins the Cleaning Kit Collection

By the Rev. RJ Jun, Director of Serving Ministres -- A couple of weeks ago, the Rev. Dr. Steven Summers, Assistant to the Bishop and Director of Connectional Ministries, challenged the Connectional Ministries staff to join the 2022 Special Cleaning Kit Collection. At first, we thought, ‘what can a group of 20-30 people do?’ (*about 20-30 people are working in the Conference Center). We were reminded that we are a connectional church, and we will be able to set a goal and join in this mission when we do it together! So we set a goal to collect and assemble 100 cleaning kits! I know it sounds impossible.

The materials for 100 cleaning kits cost approximately $5,000 (There is a power in bulk purchase). And we knew it would be difficult, but not impossible, for 20-30 people to raise $5,000. We reached out to our partner organizations in the Conference Center; Virginia United Methodist Pension Inc. and the Virginia United Methodist Foundation. We came up with a plan asking for their support. ‘If the staff of the Conference Center raises $1,250, would you be able to donate a matching fund?’ All partners agreed, and the Conference Center was added to the list of matching funds. So if a staff contributes $1, it will have a $4 impact!

As many would do, we started inviting staff to join the fundraiser and even made a thermometer to show our progress. After three weeks, we were able to reach our goal and reported to our partners that we had raised close to $2,000! All partners matched their funds, and we now had the money to purchase the materials needed. Read Serving blog...

2022 Special Cleaning Kit Collection

In a September 8 letter, Bishop Lewis shared that VAUMC Disaster Coordinator, the Rev. Bob Pihlcrantz, had received an urgent call from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) requesting cleaning kits. UMCOR Supply Depots are already close to disbursing all their stored cleaning kits to impacted areas. In 2017, the Virginia Conference responded to a similar call and collected 4,676 cleaning kits, estimated at $350,700.

Lewis challenged the conference in her letter sharing, "Together, as the Virginia Conference, let us once again step up as the church. The VAUMC Annual Conference Kit team proposes to hold another event on November 10, 2022, with our goal to collect 4,677 Cleaning Kits by November.

"This is one more kit from our previous collection in 2017. Our goal can be easily reached if every church contributes four (4) kits or 585 kits per district. We ask all churches in the Virginia Conference to be “United as One” in this opportunity to share the hope of Jesus Christ."

For more information, please visit, or contact Serving Ministries at [email protected].

You may also make a financial donation by visiting
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Send in your Cleaning Kit stories!

As your church joins the Virginia Conference Cleaning Kit Challenge, be sure to share your progress and your story of collecting Cleaning kits to [email protected].

We look forward to celebrating and showing the work and effort the Virginia Conference has achieved together to help in future disaster relief recovery.

You can view the 'Share Your Bucket Story" page HERE.
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Support Afghan Allies this holiday season

It has been a year since U.S. troops left Afghanistan, and many Afghan allies left their homes. Virginia United Methodists wanted to know what they could do to help, particularly those refugees arriving in the Commonwealth. So many of you took part in our Veteran’s Day weekend of Amazon/Target wish list shopping that a substantial number of the items needed for Afghans at U.S. bases in Virginia were purchased in less than a week!

There are no longer any Afghan allies on military bases. Many have moved into apartments in the last year, and their children have started school. Many of you have lovingly welcomed them into your communities. You have helped set up housing, delivered food, and driven someone to a doctor’s appointment. You have been the hands and feet of Christ for God’s children from Afghanistan.

However, the number of Afghans arriving has put a serious strain on the refugee resettlement agencies, and there are still many needs. To help, the Virginia United Methodist Refugee Response Team is hosting another Grateful for Their Service: Give Thanks Shopping for Afghan Allies event this year. Although many of you will want to shop from the Amazon/Target Wish List set up by the refugee resettlement agency closest to you, you can choose from items from Amazon/ Target Wish Lists established by any agency. Opt to have your items shipped directly to the agencies for the easiest, COVID-safe free way to help!

Thank you for showing Christ’s love to those who, like he was, are refugees in a new land. View wish lists by geographic region...
news update

Agenda Update to Oct. 29 Annual Conference 2553 Disaffiliations

October 24--Please note that the agenda for the October 29, 2022, 9:30 a.m. called Annual Conference on church disaffiliations under Paragraph 2553 has been slightly modified.

Following questions raised by a member of the Annual Conference, the Virginia Annual Conference’s due diligence revealed that Hopewell UMC in the Living Waters District, Union Chapel UMC in the Living Waters District, and New Town UMC in the Mission Rivers District had not met the notification requirements of Paragraph 246.8 of the Book of Discipline.

The Book of Discipline is clear that such requirements must be followed for a Church Conference vote to be held. It says:

Paragraph 246.8: Notice of time and place of a regular or special session of the charge conference shall be given at least ten days in advance by two or more of the following (except as local laws may otherwise provide): from the pulpit of the church, in its weekly bulletin, in a local church publication, or by mail.
The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church 2016 (p. 174). The United Methodist Publishing House. Print Edition.

In 2023, there are three additional scheduled Annual Conferences for disaffiliation ratification under Paragraph 2553. These will take place on February 18, May 6, and October 7. The three above churches may update and resubmit materials for the February 18 conference.

The other 10 churches scheduled for disaffiliation under Paragraph 2553 have met the Paragraph 246.8 requirements of the Book of Discipline.

The Virginia Conference strongly encourages churches considering disaffiliation, and others, to carefully review information in the Frequently Asked Questions and related information here.

On Saturday, October 29, 2022, two Special Annual Conferences will be held. Further information, including an agenda, disaffiliation FAQ, and a list of churches seeking disaffiliation were shared conference-wide on October 14. A webinar was held on October 24 for those who had questions about the Special Annual Conferences. View recording.

Additionally, other Special Annual Conferences are now scheduled so that any churches seeking approval to disaffiliate through Paragraph 2553 will have enough time to be considered for ratification by the Annual Conference body before the 2553 legislation lapses on December 31, 2023 . The upcoming Special Annual Conferences solely focused on disaffiliation using Paragraph 2553 will be held:
Saturday, February 18, 2023 at 9 a.m.
Saturday, May 6, 2023 at 9 a.m.
Saturday, October 7, 2023 at 9 a.m.
Further information will be forthcoming about these upcoming dates.
skunk on the table

Learn more about upcoming SEJ, Nov. 2-4

Could the Virginia Conference get a new bishop in November 2022? What is the Southeastern Jurisdiction? Check out the first episode of Skunk on the Table now at

Skunk on the Table is a new video/podcast/article series presented by the Virginia Conference Communications Office to explore those issues that are present but may be hard to talk about. Let’s throw the Skunk on the Table and explore the next topic!

Find additional information about the Southeastern Jurisdiction and the upcoming Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference at
bridging the gap

Simulation offers glimpse into lives of people stuck in cycle of poverty

Thirty to 40 people gathered Sunday, October 16 at Warrenton United Methodist Church to walk in the shoes of people who work low-wage jobs that can make day-to-day life a never-ending struggle. “Bridging the Gap: A Faith Community Poverty Simulation” was sponsored by the Fauquier chapter of the NAACP and a coalition of area churches.

Participants were divided into “family” groups, complete with names and a backstory. Each family had to find its way through a myriad of challenges, including how to put food on the table, pay for rent, day care, utilities and perhaps one of the biggest challenges in Fauquier County — finding reliable transportation in a small town without the robust public transportation of a larger city.

Many low-income families face administrative barriers to help that require filling out endless forms.
Tables were set up and staffed to represent a bank, utility company, day-care center, pawn shop, payday loan store, social services, faith-based assistance and more. Family members visited the places they needed as they dealt with everyday problems and unexpected blows like a stolen purse. Read more...
va beach umc hunger event

Virginia Beach UMC packs meals for Rise Against Hunger

Virginia Beach UMC on Sunday, October 24 partnered with Rise Against Hunger with the goal of packing 25,000 meals for people in need. Church leaders said food is more important than ever, and they're hoping to make a lasting impact. "It's not just a meal. You're giving someone a nutritious meal," said Mandi Cutchins, the director of missions. "It's just ingredients that are making sure that these families and kids are getting nourished." Watch video segment...
“What a rest it was for me and the kids to be together and have other pastors paying attention to them all the time.”

Support Latino Clergy Caucus in love offering

The Latino Clergy Caucus held its fall retreat, Oct. 16-18. The caucus collected a love offering of $500 for Ileana Rosas, daughter of the Rev. Ileana Rosario, who is having medical treatments. If anyone would like to support the Latino Clergy Caucus, please feel free to send donations to “Latino Clergy Caucus” c/o Callie Walker, 9200 S. Amelia Avenue, Amelia VA 23002. For more information about the caucus and view pictures of the retreat, visit
foundation logo

Foundation offering grants

Grant applications for the 2022-2023 VAUMF grants cycle are due on October 31, 2022. For applications and grant guidelines, go to The grants program is designed for ministries and entities associated with the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Questions? Send an email to [email protected].

UMM to host webinar on Healing Circles

The Virginia Conference United Methodist Men (UMM) will host on Tuesday, November 15 at 6:30 p.m. a Love, Learn, and Lead webinar on Healing Circles with the Rev. Dr. Rick Vance of the General Commission on United Methodist Men.

Healing Circles are a tool for working toward inclusion and equity. Healing Circles offers the opportunity for communities to build relationships and engage in authentic, honest conversations about racism, the cruelties of slavery, and ways to recognize and remedy present injustices.

Join Zoom Meeting
Tuesday, November 15 at 6:30 PM EST
Meeting ID: 898 2460 7164

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+1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

Webinar recordings from previous Love, Learn, and Lead webinars are posted on our website
facing the future

Online event for pastors serving cross-racial, cross-cultural, and multicultural contexts

After a brief hiatus during the pandemic, “Facing the Future” is returning. Facing the Future is the premier conference for anyone engaged with or discerning cross-racial/cross-cultural ministry. You will learn skills to support the CRCC ministry context, personal self-care, and professional development. You will experience meaningful worship and workshops from sought-after leaders and professionals. We are looking forward to seeing you there.

Early Registration (August 1-31): $45.00
Standard Registration (September 1 - October 15): $50.00
Late Registration (October 16-31): $60.00
Learn more...
UMFS Offering_Mackenzie

UMFS December Offering supports high-risk children

United Methodist Family Services (UMFS) is grateful for the faithful support of local churches in the Virginia Conference. Your generous gifts help children in foster care, children struggling with mental health challenges, and special education students get the support they need to thrive.

Your support through the UMFS offering has helped children like Mackenzie. Mackenzie experienced severe trauma as a young child. Her behavioral and mental health challenges continued to escalate. When she was 13, Mackenzie came to UMFS and began a healing journey that would change her life. Today she has a stable home and a job she enjoys. Mackenzie shared that “I never would have thought I’d be where I am today.” Your support through the UMFS December offering will help more children like Mackenzie get the help they need to achieve a brighter future. You can access UMFS bulletin inserts, short videos, images, and more at Please contact Jill Gaynor ([email protected] or 804-254-9463) with any questions. Thank you for your support!
Open Enrollment concept. White lightbox on a gray office desk

Open Enrollment runs Oct. 10-31

The open enrollment period for 2023 elections in the Conference-sponsored benefit plans began on Monday, October 10, and ends on Monday, October 31. During this period, a new Unity Web online benefits enrollment system is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for eligible clergy and lay employees to make 2023 plan elections. To access the information page for open enrollment, which includes a brief video and instructions for the open enrollment system, CLICK HERE.
tumcu logo

Credit Union introduces 'AdoptionAssist'

The upfront expenses in the adoption process itself keep a lot of people from even considering adoption from the potential legal expenses, travel, lodging, agency fees, medical costs, and counseling during the adoption process can sometimes cost thousands of dollars.

"AdoptionAssist" is an innovative, low-interest line-of-credit (LOC) that prospective adoptive parents can use to fund many adoption expenses (Current Rate – 6.95%). During the adoption phase and for a full year after - no payments are required. After that, AdoptionAssist will convert to a simple, low-interest fixed loan.
CEO Jim Eads said about the program, "As the father of two adopted children myself, I'm particularly gratified that the credit union has the opportunity to offer this kind of assistance. We also feel it’s part of our Christian mission to help any of our Members that may be considering adoption." Learn more...
race relations

2022-2023 grant program releases from GCORR

The General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) is proud to announce a new cycle of the CORR Action Fund (CAF) grant program that will support creative initiatives that will transform the United Methodist Church (UMC) and the world. The 2022-2023 grant program will provide up to $10,000 to fund projects that increase intercultural competency and support vital conversations about race, cultural diversity, and systemic equity leading to action.
UMC churches and other UMC entities are invited to apply for funding by submitting a proposal that:
• demonstrates bold and innovative thinking,
• reaches more people, younger people, and more diverse people,
• results in long-term change that could be replicated in other local churches, districts, conferences, or other entities within the UMC, and
• utilizes existing GCORR resources.
The CAF grant program was established by the General Conference of The United Methodist Church for the empowerment of diversity, inclusion, and racial justice work both inside and outside the Church.
Applications are now open. This grant application cycle closes November 15, 2022. Learn more...
Grants from around the connection can be found at the conference website. Learn more...
rmc logo

Bailey Scholars application is open at R-MC

Young people are searching for meaningful vocations as they make plans after high school. Do you know someone considering a call to Christian ministry? Whether it’s a call to preach, mission work, faith-based non-profit leadership, music ministry, youth ministry, chaplaincy... the Church needs young leaders who are prepared to guide us into the future.

Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, VA is the oldest continuously operating Methodist College in the U.S. and is committed to nurturing a new generation of church leaders. Our Bailey Scholars program awards a half-tuition scholarship for the first two years followed by a full tuition scholarship for a student’s final two years at R-MC. Bailey Scholars also benefit from two internships (one for academic credit and one for a $3,000 stipend) and a weekly meeting with other pre-ministerial students.

Please share this information with young people and youth ministers whom you know. Learn more at The application deadline for next year’s incoming class is March 1, 2023. Contact R-MC Chaplain and Pre-Ministerial Program Director the Rev. Kendra Grimes at [email protected] for more information.
dillard forum

Free Richmond church event focuses on food issues in U.S.

The 2022 Dillard Forum is excited to bring Dr. Norbert Wilson to Trinity UMC, 903 Forest Avenue, Richmond, VA 23229 on November 6-7. This Forum will focus on food issues in our country and will address equity in access to food, food waste, and the ramifications of our choices in what we eat. This event is free to attend, and all are welcome.

Dr. Wilson is the Professor of Food, Economics, and Community at Duke Divinity School and is an ordained vocational deacon in the Episcopal Church USA. With several degrees in agricultural economics, he has spent his career involved in food policy with the underlying premise that food is a basic human right. Mark your calendars now for this important event!

  • Sunday, November 6 @ 7 p.m. in Trinity’s Sanctuary: U.S. Food Security: We Must Do Better
  • Monday, November 7 @ 12 noon via ZOOM: Discussion and Q & A

    Register in advance for this meeting being held on Monday, November 7 @ 12 noon:
    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
  • Monday, November 7 @ 7 p.m. in Trinity’s Sanctuary: Charity and Justice: Old Ways to Address Contemporary Food Insecurity
Professor Wilson’s research touches on several food issues, such as access, choice, and food waste. He continues to work on food safety and quality issues in international trade and domestic food systems. Wilson is an ordained vocational deacon in the Episcopal Church USA. Additionally, his work is moving to explore equity in food access. He has published in AEA Papers and Proceedings, World Development, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Journal of Public Health, Food Policy, Agricultural Economics, and other publications. Before joining Duke Divinity School, Wilson was a professor of food policy at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy (2017-2020). He was also a professor of agricultural economics at Auburn University (1999-2016). While at Auburn, Wilson served as a deacon at St. Dunstan’s, the Episcopal Student Center of Auburn University (2011-2016). He was an economist/policy analyst in the Trade Directorate (2004-2006) and the Agriculture Directorate (2001-2002) of the Organization of Economic Development and Cooperation (OECD) in Paris, France.
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How can your church help during disasters?

With disasters like the summer flooding in Kentucky, Virginia Conference clergy and laity want to help. Learn more in a recent blog post on what is needed following these disasters. Learn more...

General Church News


Ukraine a top priority for Global Ministries

UM NEWS-- The United Methodist Committee on Relief has approved more than $17 million so far to help the people of Ukraine cope with the invasion by Russia, and more aid is on the way, the United Methodist Board of Global Ministries announced during its fall meeting. Grants to help people affected by natural disasters and to bring better and profitable food production in Africa also were approved. Read story...
bike pastor gospel

New bikes, Bibles help pastors spread Gospel

UM NEWS-- Pastors in rural Congo can now can get around easily and save travel time with new bicycles purchased through support from Crosspoint Church, a multi-campus United Methodist church in Northwest Florida. The pastors also received Bibles to boost their evangelism efforts. Read story...
um table

Church cookbooks serve as time capsules

UM NEWS-- Vintage Methodist cookbooks are time capsules, allowing a look at food culture, nutrition, family budgets and the availability of food items in a particular region at the time. In this downloadable video, Our United Methodist Table test kitchen tries two recipes from an Ohio Methodist Episcopal church’s 1914 cookbook. View video...
trunk or treat

No tricks! Church trunk or treats are a Halloween tradition

RELIGION NEWS-- Trunk or treats have grown in popularity in recent decades, many hosted by churches as outreach to their surrounding communities. Read more...

What is The UMC's view of Halloween?

For many, Halloween means costumes, trick-or-treating and big parties. Is there a different way to look at this holiday and how we celebrate it as a church? Ask The UMC explores the historic roots of Halloween, or All Hallows Eve, and how United Methodists might take the opportunity to give back and proclaim our hope for a new creation. Learn more...

Bishops push back against recruitment tactics

UM NEWS-- As churches weigh exiting the denomination, bishops are trying to set the record straight on misinformation being spread about The United Methodist Church’s future. They also are working toward building a church where traditionalists, centrists and progressives will all feel at home. Meanwhile, a recent decision by The United Methodist Church’s top court limits how churches can exit with property and may make it harder for some lawsuits demanding disaffiliation to succeed in civil courts. Learn more...

Is The United Methodist Church really...?

UM NEWS--Ask The UMC, a ministry of United Methodist Communications, has received many questions from congregations wondering about the future of the denomination and whether they should consider disaffiliating from it. These have included recurrent questions that reflect misperceptions or misinformation that congregations are receiving as they discern their next steps. This is the first of a series of articles offering accurate responses to such misperceptions or misinformation. Learn more...

Join the denomination in sharing why you are #BeUMC

#BeUMC honors the core values that connect the people of The United Methodist Church (The UMC). This grassroots campaign, built upon powerful stories of congregations and people living their faith, celebrates what draws us to The UMC and what we aspire to be.

The UMC is founded on a Wesleyan theology of grace, anchored in Scripture, and based in the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and the continuing movement of the Holy Spirit.

The full story of The UMC reflects all of our interwoven experiences. Consider our common roots and your answer to the question, “Why am I United Methodist?” Then, post a video, photo or written testimony on your preferred social media platform – don’t forget to use the hashtag #BeUMC. Download the campaign guide...

Church of the Resurrection releases #ProudtobeUMC videos

Since the spring, United Methodist Church members have increasingly received incorrect and harmful information from those recruiting members to join the Global Methodist Church, a new traditionalist denomination organized by the Wesleyan Covenant Association that began operations in May.
The largest United Methodist church in the denomination, Church of the Resurrection, and its pastor, the Rev. Adam Hamilton, recently shared a number of videos covering why the church and its community will remain a part of The United Methodist Church. Learn more...

One Last Word

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’" - Matthew 22:37-39
love god love others
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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