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November 1, 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.

Living into the conference vision this week

conference vision 2017
  • How can you learn this week?

The words and phrases we use have power. There is no place this is more evident than in our conversation around race, racism and anti-racism. The General Commission on Religion and Race is offering this resource to help United Methodists create common vocabulary in our anti-racism work. Learn more...
  • How can you be an influence this week?

As we approach the Thanksgiving season, it is a great time to sit back and take on an “attitude of gratitude.” We can’t ignore all of the hard things the past few years have thrown at us, but we can make time to acknowledge the ways that God has blessed us. Whether you’re with family and friends or having a much smaller gathering, consider using these practices to re-center yourself with gratefulness. Give thanks...
  • 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


Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference to be held this week

The 2022 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference (SEJ) takes place on November 2-4 at Lake Junaluska, NC.

The Southeastern Jurisdiction of United Methodist Church is a regional body comprised of 14 conferences, including the Virginia Conference. This meeting, which will be attended by more than 350 voting delegates, is to elect three new bishops and to determine assignments for all SEJ bishops from January 1, 2023-June 30, 2024.

For more information about the SEJ Conference, including the agenda and information on those nominated to be bishops, and to watch proceedings live-streamed, click here.

The first episode of the Skunk on the Table series was an in-depth interview with the Rev. Dr. Steve Summers, Assistant to the Bishop and Director of Connectional Ministries for the Virginia Conference, about the SEJ Conference can be found here.

In addition, two previous Virginia Conference articles about the SEJ Conference are here and here.

Periodic updates this week will be provided about developments at the SEJ Conference.
news update

Three churches close, 10 churches disaffiliate at Oct. 29 Annual Conferences

Two called special Annual Conference sessions were held on Oct. 29, 2022. The first session passed three resolutions that closed three local churches under Paragraph 2549 of the 2016 Book of Discipline. The three churches that closed are

• New Hope UMC, Rocky Mount, VA, Mountain View District
• Lafayette UMC, Lafayette, VA, Valley Ridge District
• Starr Bolar UMC, Warm Springs, VA, Valley Ridge District

The following 10 churches were disaffiliated under Paragraph 2553 in the second session.

• Center Point, Bedford, VA, Mountain View District ($22,543.00 disaffiliation amount)
• Harmony, Dry Fork, VA, Mountain View District ($66,602 disaffiliation amount)
• Mountain View, Forest, VA, Mountain View District ($344,694 disaffiliation amount)
• Payneton, Mountain View District ($38,539 disaffiliation amount)
• Swansonville, Dry Fork, Mountain View District ($67,200 disaffiliation amount)
• Hobsons Chapel, Powhatan, VA, Living Waters District ($22,618.00 disaffiliation amount)
• Payne Memorial, Cumberland, VA, Living Waters District ($37,976.00 disaffiliation amount))
• Painter-Garrison’s, Painter, VA, Coastal Virginia District ($45,763.00 disaffiliation amount)
• Crums, Berryville, VA, Shenandoah River District ($158,646.00 disaffiliation amount)
• Harriston, Grottoes, VA, Shenandoah River District ($24,381.00 disaffiliation amount)

The Minutes of the conference sessions will be shared when they are available from the conference Minutes Committee. They will be posted on the conference website at and also shared on ClergyNet and LaityNet.

A livestream recording of the conference may be viewed here.

Mrs. Martha Stokes, conference lay leader, opened both sessions with prayer. The Rev. Crystal Sygeel led a closing litany she wrote for the conference.

Mrs. Madeline Pillow White, accompanied by the Rev. Jessie Colwell, sang the closing song, Hymn of Promise. Click here to see the recording on YouTube.
Lyn Harding

Clergy Excellence announces new program and administrative coordinator

The Center for Clergy Excellence is excited to announce that the Rev. Lyn Harding will be joining the staff as the Program and Administrative Coordinator.

Harding was ordained Deacon in Full Connection in 2013. She has served in the local church at Reveille, Shady Grove, and Mechanicsville UMC. She has served beyond the local church as well in such positions as the Chaplain and Clinic Manager of CrossOver Healthcare Ministry and most recently as a Chaplain with Hospice of Virginia. Lyn has three grown children and one grandson. She enjoys organizing, singing, worship planning, and making jewelry.

Find resources for United Methodist Student Day

On November 27, we have the opportunity to support scholarships and low-interest loans that help young leaders achieve their dreams. The United Methodist Church has long been committed to making education affordable and attainable for young people across the world. Your gift will build up the next generation of leaders who can change the world for Christ. Find more...

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
serving_banner (1200 × 628 px) (1200 × 300 px) (3)

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.
GratefulHeaders (Instagram Post (Square))

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...
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!
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...
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.
“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

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

General Church News

Praying at Myeongsung

Calling for prayer following tragedy in Korea

UM NEWS-- Bishop Hee-Soo Jung of the Wisconsin Conference has issued a call to prayer following the tragic crowd surge during Halloween festivities in Seoul, South Korea, that killed more than 150 people. In his prayer, Jung cites Isaiah 40:1: “Comfort, O Comfort my people, says your God.” The Rev. Ioan Sauca, acting top executive of the World Council of Churches, also expressed great sadness and extended condolences on behalf of the global ecumenical fellowship.
umc budget

Debate looming on how low budget should go

UM NEWS-- The two denominational bodies that develop The United Methodist Church’s budget agree that denomination-wide ministries will need to see significant cuts in the coming years. But disagreements are brewing on just how big those cuts need to be as financial leaders seek to be good stewards of local churches, annual conferences and denomination-wide ministries. The denomination faces mounting church disaffiliations. At the same time, congregations that remain United Methodist have shown continued commitment to financially supporting the denomination’s connectional ministries. Learn more...
scott jones laos

Mission celebrates its first gathering in Laos in 16 years

UM NEWS-- For the first time in its 16-year history, the members of the Methodist mission in Laos celebrated their annual gathering in the country they are serving. Read more...
aids home kenya

Constructing homes for AIDS orphans in Kenya

UM NEWS-- After her parents died from AIDS, 12-year-old Jackeline had no choice but to live with her impoverished grandmother in a crumbling, dirt-floor shack in rural Kenya. With only the food supplied by neighbors and no opportunity for education, life was bleak. Now, five years later, the pair has a new home and new opportunities thanks to the Center for Health and Hope in Colorado. The house is one of more than 350 built by teams in collaboration with Maua Methodist Hospital. Read more...
mass incaceration summit

Churches urged to speak out against mass incarceration

UM NEWS-- Attendees of the Oct. 19-22 National Summit on Mass Incarceration were urged to go back into their churches and communities and open conversations about ways they can work toward criminal justice reform. Read more...

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...

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...

One Last Word

All Saints Day, November 1, is a time to remember Christians who have gone before us and those who have influenced or inspired us.
all saints day
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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