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November 15, 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


Virginia Conference holds UVA community in support, prayer

Three University of Virginia (UVA) students/football players were killed and two other people were injured late Sunday night on the main UVA campus in Charlottesville. An outpouring of prayer and support has continued from VAUMC clergy, laity and churches in the wake of the news.

Continue to hold the families and friends of the victims in your prayers, the other injured individuals, the entire UVA community of staff, faculty, students and alumni as well as Rev. Devon Earle, UVA Wesley Foundation campus minister.

The following prayer was shared on the conference Facebook page yesterday:

Lord, in your mercy, surround the families and friends of the victims with your presence. Be as a light to the UVA community, to those who have witnessed gun violence, to the students across our nation, to those parents, guardians, and families who fear sending their loved ones to school.
Be near to us.
Lord, we lean on you when words falter on our lips and there seems to be no clear path toward love and healing in our nation. We lean on you in the face of another incidence of gun violence. We lean on you as we mourn the loss of these young men.
Be near to us, Lord, for we lean on you today. Amen.
david and carol
David and Carol Dommisse
Conference Center has delayed opening on Friday, Nov. 18
The conference center in Glen Allen, VA, will have a delayed opening on Friday, November 18, as the conference staff will be attending the funeral for Carol Dommisse, the wife of Conference Treasurer David Dommisse. The building will be open from 12 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. The conference Treasurer’s Office will remain closed for the entire day.

Carol Ann Dommisse, 54, of Hanover, Va., passed away peacefully on November 7, 2022 after a long and courageous battle with cancer, surrounded by her family.

She is survived by her husband, David D. Dommisse, her two sons, Andrew and Derek, her parents Bill and Nancy Seifert, three sisters, Debra L. Schultz, Pamela R. Parsell, and Rebecca M. Weber, her father and mother-in-law, Durwood and Joan Dommisse, her brother and sister-in-law, Gregory and Martha Dommisse and many loved nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her sister, Jennifer L. Randolph and her niece Abigail R. Randolph.

Carol graduated from Old Fort High School in 1987 and moved to Richmond, Virginia in 1988. She worked for Wells Fargo for over 30 years in the Richmond Area and volunteered for many organizations. She loved spending time at the cabin in northern Wisconsin with her family including two dogs Ovie and Brewer.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 10 am on Friday, November 18 at Good Shepherd UMC located at 9155 Hungary Road, Henrico, Virginia 23294. The family will be holding a visitation on November 17 from 4 to 8 pm at Woody Funeral Home located at 1771 North Parham Road, Richmond, Virginia 23229. Interment will take place at a future date in Wisconsin.
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...
suicide prevention

Join webinar on suicide prevention for faith leaders

The North Carolina Conference Center for Leadership Excellence is offering a webinar with Justin Powlison about suicide prevention on Wednesday, November 16 from 12 to 1:30 p.m. This webinar will not be recorded. QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer – the three simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. This popular, evidence-based, nationally recognized training is modified for faith communities using supplementary material from the QPR Institute and can be provided in approximately 90 minutes. The mission of E9:4 is to equip the Christian Church to prevent suicide through training, consulting, and resources. E9:4 was launched in 2022 by Justin Gabriel Powlison, a mental health and suicide prevention expert. Justin has a B.A. in Psychology and M.A. in Pastoral Counseling. He has worked in the Mental Health field since 2006 and has 8+ years of Suicide Intervention and Prevention experience. Justin is a certified Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) and Counseling on Access to Lethal Means (CALM) trainer. Learn more...
Bethlehem Rocky Mount

2022 Special Cleaning Kit Collection shows VAUMC mission witness

The Rev. Bob Pihlcrantz, the disaster coordinator for the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church (VAUMC), received a call for help from the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) requesting cleaning kits. Cleaning kits are packed with necessary supplies to prevent a household from further damage. UMCOR Supply Depots are near to disbursing all the stored cleaning kits to areas impacted by recent hurricanes.

Bishop Sharma D. Lewis, resident bishop of the Virginia Conference, announced a special call on Sept. 9 for every Virginia United Methodist church to collect and assemble UMCOR cleaning kits to meet this need. Each local church was asked to coordinate a cleaning kit drive/assembly event to raise money and assemble the kits. The estimated cost for a cleaning kit is approximately $75.

The first week of November, cleaning kits assembled by United Methodist churches in the Virginia Conference arrived at the conference center in Glen Allen, VA. Churches assembled 3,724 kits (estimated value of $297,300) and additional donations of $42,737.99.
Volunteers gathered at the conference center on Nov. 10 to shrink wrap and load the collected kits for transportation to Mission Central, the UMCOR supply depot in Mechanicsburg, PA.
Read a blog about the Nov. 10 kit organization and volunteer brigade from Bill Pike...

View a Bright Spot video about the 2022 Cleaning Kit challenge.

The kits will be shared with families affected by natural disasters. Financial donations to assemble cleaning kits will continue to be received.

Detailed information is available on the VAUMC website at

Special thanks are extended to the members from the following churches for volunteering to load the tractor trailer on Nov. 10: Ramsey Memorial, Lakeside, Westhampton, Shady Grove (Short Pump), Skipwith, Zion, Bon Air, Christ, Bethel (Emmanuel Charge), and Saint Andrews.
Giving Tuesday Graphic 2022

Give the gift of joy with UMFS on #GivingTuesday

Tuesday, November 29 is Giving Tuesday. All Giving Tuesday donations to UMFS (United Methodist Family Services) will provide Christmas presents, celebrations, and support for high-risk children and families. Your donation will fill the holidays with joy for children in foster care, children struggling with mental health challenges, and special education students. Ready to donate today? Visit to give the gift of joy!
hearthavens-white background

Support Heart Havens during #GivingTuesday

Ahead of #GivingTuesday (Nov 29), there are many way to express generosity through Heart Havens. Give to residents for Christmas, sponsor a home, gifts in kind - find these and more ways to support Heart Havens here. Heart Havens is a non-profit organization that provides residential support to adults with a developmental disability, by empowering people to discover what they love and pursue their hopes and passions. Heart Havens operates homes in Richmond, Stuarts Draft, Lynchburg, and Virginia Beach. All of the homes have the capacity to house four residents, who are fully supervised at all times with dedicated and experienced staff. Give now...

Support GCORR for #GivingTuesday

On November 29, the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR) will take part in Giving Tuesday - a global day of giving! Rev. Dr. Giovanni Arroyo, General Secretary, shared that the commission's goal is to raise $7,500. Your giving will help them in 2023 as we work on the following exciting projects:
• Developing & publishing children’s curriculum on diversity and inclusion
• Recording & releasing “Expanding the Table” podcast season two
• Resourcing & supporting Central Conferences
• Hosting (in-person!) "Facing the Future," a conference offering support, encouragement, and spiritual renewal for cross-racial/cross-cultural clergy
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!

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!
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.

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...
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.

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
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...

General Church News

barbershop evangelist

Community rallies around barbershop evangelist

UM NEWS-- United Methodist Jake Sherrell has brought to Christ hundreds who have sat in his barber chair. Now, his community is surrounding him in love as he battles stage 4 cancer. 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... Find resources from the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR).
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...
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...

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

john wesley god is with 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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