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December 13, 2022

To submit news items, stories, 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


Mark your calendars: Advocate newsletter, Conference center holiday schedule

The Advocate newsletter will not send out editions for Tuesday, December 20 or December 27. The newsletter will return Tuesday, January 3.

The Conference Center in Glen Allen, VA will be closed will close for Christmas observance Friday, December 23 through December 27.

The Conference Center will also be closed January 2 in observance of New Year's Day.
Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson headshot

Save the Date for Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson Installation Service

Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson was assigned to the Virginia Conference at the 2022 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference (SEJ) on November 4, 2022 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 in the Virginia Conference.

Save the Date for an Installation Service for Bishop Haupert-Johnson on Saturday, February 11 at 10:30 a.m. at Woodlake UMC (15640 Hampton Park Dr, Chesterfield, VA 23832). More information will be forthcoming.

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.

Serving Blog: Open eyes lead to new windows for family in need

The Serving Ministries Office received a call from The Open Table in August. This agency is an Advance Special Partner of the Virginia Conference ( that specializes in building a relationship that will transform the lives of people who are getting back on their feet and believes the power of relationship and using resources for someone else is transformational for the world and those often overlooked by society ( The Rev. Joe Torrence, director of Community Relationships, called and asked if we could help reinstall windows for a family in Martinsville, VA. Read more...
UMFS Offering_Damonte

UMFS December Offering supports high-risk children

Your faithful gift to the UMFS December offering will help children in foster care, children struggling with mental health challenges, and special education students get the support they need to thrive. Your gift to United Methodist Family Services will help youth in foster care like Damonte. Damonte’s mother was not able to care for him after his father died. At UMFS, Damonte was matched with a loving foster mother who helped nurture his kind-hearted spirit. He was able to successfully graduate from high school and learn the skills he’ll need to become a productive adult. Visit to make your donation today and help more youth like Damonte get the support they need to achieve a brighter future. To access UMFS bulletin inserts, short videos, images and more visit Thank you for your support!
nova 2023 training

Registration open for Northern Virginia Training Day

The Northern Virginia Training Day is Saturday, January 14 and will feature Kate Bowler and Tod Bolsinger as the keynote speakers. This virtual event is open to the entire Virginia Annual Conference. This year, the district is offering TEAM pricing with discounted team tickets for groups of 5 or 10. Learn more and register...

Servant Sister Scholarship continues supporting women pursuing theological studies

As we journey together in this Advent, we wait and prepare. And so we join in with those sisters and colleagues who are preparing for ministry. The Servant Sister Scholarship Award, an award offered in partnership with The Clergywomen's Collective is for women who are certified candidates for ministry and called to the ministry of Word, Order, Sacrament, Service or Word, Service, Compassion & Justice; women who have the potential for creating ministries for a more just world.

Already two rounds of scholarships have been given out, and the committee remains committed to its mission of sustaining a fund that will provide at least one scholarship per year for women pursuing theological studies and preparing for ministry in the Virginia Conference. Your gift will assist the committee in continuing its mission. Please consider making a contribution as an alternative Christmas gift to a loved one, a gift in honor or in memory of someone. No gift is too small. A gift of $500 or whatever you give will translate into hands-on ministry. Checks should be written to VA UM Foundation with the memo Servant Sister Scholarship and mailed to PO Box 5605, Glen Allen, VA 23058.

UM Day is January 26

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!

Learn about opportunity to travel, be in mission abroad

Mission Volunteers are individuals or couples (ages 18 and up) who seek more extended partnerships with communities around the world and fund themselves. The length of service ranges from two months to more than two years. Mission Volunteer opportunities range from working with refugees, children, and youth to serving as a teacher, pastor, camp director, or health care professional.

VAUMC Partnerships of Hope encourages conference members to consider being trained and available for service worldwide. Are you in a stage of transition in your life? Graduating from school or entering retirement? Or are you in need of a sabbatical? Mission Volunteers training may be an excellent opportunity to discover a renewed joy in your life.

For VAUMC members attending the upcoming training, Partnerships of Hope will support a portion of the travel cost to participate in the training. For more information visit or contact Serving Ministries.
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.

General Church News

advent christmas

The United Methodist Poinsettia and Christmas Tree Quiz

UM NEWS--Many United Methodists decorate their homes and their churches during Advent with poinsettias and Christmas trees. Learn more about these two favorite symbols of the season and discover how much you know with this quiz.
asylum seekers

Learning to 'live welcome' in response to human need

UM NEWS--When busloads of asylum seekers started rolling into Manhattan in August, the United Methodist Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew immediately responded. The congregation’s Advent theme this year — embodying Advent through hope, love, joy and peace — is playing out through its expanding migrant ministry. Read more...
Book of Discipline

Church court deals with General Conference delay

UM NEWS--Three United Methodist annual conferences, including one in Africa, have asked the denomination’s highest court to rule on the ramifications of General Conference’s third postponement to now 2024. One big question: Will a new slate of delegates need to be elected to the lawmaking assembly?
The Judicial Council also faces more questions about church disaffiliations. In its coming session, The United Methodist Church’s highest court faces multiple questions related to the delay of the denomination’s top lawmaking assembly to 2024. The Judicial Council also continues to deal with questions on how to handle church disaffiliations under church law. The denomination’s top court plans to start deliberations on its 24-item fall 2022 docket this month. Learn more...
dove christmas tree

Commentary: Is Christmas about peace and comfort?

Peace and comfort are common themes at Christmas, but what do those words really mean for Christians? Ask The UMC’s Taylor W. Burton Edwards explores that question and notes the answer may be surprising. “Many of us may think about peace as either inner peace or the entire absence of war. And we may think of comfort as something we seek for ourselves. Christmas Season promises none of those things,” he writes. Read more...
umc hymnals

Stories behind the songs of Charles Wesley

In the latest episode of the "Get Your Spirit in Shape" podcast from United Methodist Communications, world-renowned Wesley scholar Paul Chilcote shares fun and interesting insights about a selection of Wesley hymns. He explains how all of the 9,000 hymns penned by Methodism's most enduring and prolific hymn writer center on one theme: love. Listen to podcast...

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...

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...

One Last Word

In all your celebration with friends and family, don’t forget to find those who feel alone. Christmas is about good news for all, especially those that feel forgotten.
lonely people
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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