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November 8, 2022

To submit news items, events, or corrections, email the conference Communications Office at [email protected].
Events (1)
To view local church events, visit the Virginia Conference website at To submit an event for inclusion submit this form.

Virginia News

Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson headshot

Virginia Conference to welcome new bishop in January

Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson was assigned to the Virginia Conference at the 2022 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference (SEJ) on November 4 at Lake Junaluska, NC. Bishop Haupert-Johnson was elected to the episcopacy at the 2016 SEJ and has been serving over the North Georgia Conference. She will begin on January 1, 2023.

Bishop Sharma D. Lewis, current episcopal leader of the Virginia Conference, was assigned to the Mississippi Conference at the 2022 SEJ.

Virginia Conference episcopal nominee the Rev. Tom Berlin was elected to the episcopacy on November 2 on the fourth ballot. Bishop Berlin was assigned to the Florida Conference.

Find Bishop Haupert-Johnson's initial communication to the Virginia Conference as well as a recap of all the jurisdictional business sessions on the conference website.

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

Virginia church continues connection with Russian church

Luray UMC began its involvement with United Methodist churches in Stavropol, Pyatigorsk, and Southern Russia following a short-term mission trip taken by the Rev. Laura Anne Whittle Stratton when she was an undergraduate student at The College of William and Mary. Following her trip, she spent a year in Pyatigorsk in ministry and thereafter became the leader of the Virginia Conference’s Russia Initiative. In 2009, Stratton was instrumental in fostering a trip to the United States by a group of United Methodists from the South of Russia. From this trip, the Luray church began a close friendship with the churches in Stavropol and Pyatigorsk. Learn more about church's connection...

A previous story focused on Blacksburg UMC’s ongoing relationship with United Methodists in Kiev, Ukraine; a future article will report Grace UMC in Manassas continuing partnership with a congregation in the Ukrainian city of Lviv.

Take part in UM Day on Jan. 26, 2023

The Conference Legislative Network announced that UM Day at the General Assembly is happening on January 26, 2023 in Richmond. You can register here. For over 30 years at this yearly event, faithful Virginia United Methodists from across the Commonwealth have gathered in Richmond in January to advocate for their neighbors. During this event, participants will visit with their Senators to discuss issues that are relevant to the United Methodist faith with direction from the conference partners at Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy.

If you are interested in putting your faith into action, register today. Learn more about the event and the schedule on the conference website. Registration is $25 for early registration and $10 for students. We can't wait to see you in Richmond!
thanksgiving pies

Take time to celebrate Thanksgiving

With the term “thanks” appearing 100 times in the King James Version of the Bible, it’s fair to say gratitude is a biblical concept. Tricia K. Brown has suggestions for worship, mealtime and other ways churches can reach out during Thanksgiving in the United States. Learn more...
ferrum college

Ferrum College Announces Resignation Effective Nov. 7, 2022

President David L. Johns announced his resignation as president of Ferrum College effective Nov. 7, 2022.
“I am proud of all we have accomplished these past five years and the way we have worked together to make Ferrum a great place to live, work, study, and play. I appreciate the support I have received from the Board throughout this process,” Johns wrote in his announcement.

Following Johns’ announcement, Ferrum College Board of Trustees Chair Scott Showalter ’73 shared that the trustees have begun the process for selecting an interim president to oversee Ferrum College while they prepare for a national search for the next president. Ferrum College is one of the United Methodist schools connected to the Virginia Conference.
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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...
Bethlehem Rocky Mount

2022 Special Cleaning Kit Collection continues

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.
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!

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...
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...
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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.

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

charlotte gc 2024

Location announced for 2024 General Conference session

UM NEWS-- The 2024 United Methodist General Conference will be held April 23 – May 3, 2024, at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. Learn more...
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COB welcomes new bishops elected across nation

COUNCIL OF BISHOPS-- The Council of Bishops (COB) of The United Methodist Church is welcoming thirteen (13) bishops who were elected during last week’s jurisdictional conferences in the United States. Learn more...
south central jurisdiction bishops

Jurisdictions see shift in bishops, more cooperation

UM NEWS-- Even as The United Methodist Church faces mounting disaffiliations, those who plan to remain United Methodist are working together more across jurisdictional lines. Episcopal elections also resulted in more women and people of color becoming bishops. Still, both delegates and bishops acknowledge challenges ahead. Read more...
native peoples

November is National Native American Heritage Month

UM NEWS-- Observed throughout November, National Native American Heritage Month is an opportunity for Native people in the United States to share their culture, traditions, music, crafts, dance and ways and concepts of life. Learn more...
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Mississippi Conference responds to water crisis

UM NEWS-- The thought of more than 180,000 people without access to one of life’s necessities could have been a cause for hopelessness, but the people of The Mississippi United Methodist Conference were determined to be a shining example of Godly hope. Read more...
church music festival

Small church’s music festival draws big crowds

UM NEWS-- What began as a small way for Booneville United Methodist Church to reach out to the community has blossomed into an annual event attracting hundreds. Read more...
yambasu agriculture corn

Entrepreneurial training for Yambasu Agriculture Initiative staff underway

UM NEWS-- Twenty-seven farm and technical operatives of the Bishop John K. Yambasu Agricultural Initiative are learning agricultural entrepreneurship skills at a two-week training at Songhai Center. 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

But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. - James 3:17 NIV
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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