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January 17, 2023

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

Virginia News

rp the g

New 2023 Lenten resource: Role Play the Gospel

Are you looking for a new way to experience the Lenten Season? A new resource called Role Play the Gospel (or RPtheG) is a project created by a group of Virginia clergy, laity, and the conference Communications Office to help immerse yourself into the events of Holy Week. Build a character, read some Scripture, and turn on those imaginations! More coming soon, so stay tuned! Watch introduction video...
ai in church

Podcast explores possibilities and pitfalls of A.I.

Need something to listen to on your way home from work? Check out this new podcast about Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) in church. Hunter Bryn, conference Digital Media Specialist, interviews the Rev. Dr. Adam Sowder, Discovery UMC senior pastor, and Rev. Shane Russo, Niles UMC in the East Ohio Conference, to learn more about the possibilities and potential pitfalls with A.I. through interfaces like Canva's Magic Write and ChatGPT. Scroll to the bottom of the linked page to listen now...
bishop sue unpacking

Learn more about Bishop Sue

In November, Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson was assigned to the Virginia Conference. In January, she moved to Richmond, Va., and now it’s time to unpack. Watch this video as Bishop Sue shows some of her most meaningful items as she sets up her episcopal office at the conference center. This week, an additional video will be released as the conference Communications Office sits down with her for a one-on-one interview.

Join Lay Servant Academy in February

Lay Servant Academy's Winter Training takes place Friday and Saturday, February 17 and 18. The course schedule features Michael Beck, originator of Fresh Expressions and a leader in cultivating movements.
In addition to this course in Planting Fresh Expressions, additional courses include Fruitful Small Groups, Lay Pastoral Care-Giving, Basic Course, Spiritual Gifts, and Certified Lay Ministry Orientation. Courses are offered in person only at Shady Grove UMC Mechanicsville, VA. Registration and additional information can be found using this link.

New Web Manager joins Connectional Ministries staff

Sam Duenckel joined the conference Connectional Ministries staff on Monday, January 9 as the conference Web Manager. Please welcome Sam to the Virginia Conference! You can reach him at (804) 521-1116 or [email protected].
Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson small

Save the Date for Bishop Installation Service

Virginia Conference clergy and laity, please 'Save the Date' for the Installation Service for Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson on Saturday, February 11 at 10:30 a.m. at Woodlake UMC (15640 Hampton Park Dr, Chesterfield, VA 23832). Clergy who attend in person are encouraged to robe in either a black robe or white alb with red stole. The event will be livestreamed; more information about watching the livestream will be shared closer to the date.

Bishop Sue was assigned to the Virginia Conference at the 2022 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference (SEJ) on November 4, 2022 at Lake Junaluska, NC. She was elected to the episcopacy at the 2016 SEJ and has been serving over the North Georgia Conference. She began on January 1, 2023 in the Virginia Conference.
foundation for evangelism

Foundation for Evangelism Local Church Grant Cycle now open

The Foundation for Evangelism is now accepting applications for the 2023 Equipping the Local Church grant cycle. A total of $350,000 is available for grants of $5,000 or $10,000 to small and medium church congregations, or clusters of churches working together, in a Wesleyan-tradition denomination.
The grant is intended to help launch an experiment or initiative to share the Gospel, faith stories, and invite others into a relationship with Jesus. Any church or group of churches fitting the criteria may apply. Grants will be awarded in the summer of 2023. To help clarify the grant criteria and application process, an information session will be held on January 26, 2023 from 2-3 p.m. Eastern / 1-2 p.m. Central.
highland support project

Learn more about Highland Support Project

Join the Highland Support Project at their virtual event on Sunday, January 22 from 5-6 p.m. to learn about current projects including Water Sanitation and Place-based Wellness in Guatemala, Virtual Merchant and Micro-Investment programs, and their Deep Ecology Education Program (DEEP) in Richmond, Va. You'll have the chance to ask questions and get involved in their mission. RSVP now...
lake junaluska

Lake Junaluska to hold three women retreats in 2023

Lake Junaluska will host three Journey to Joy Women’s Retreats in 2023, bringing women together for meaningful weekends of laughter, sharing, worship and fellowship. Learn more...

Offered in partnership with Leigh Young, author of "Journey to Joy: A Seven-Week Path to the Joyous Life God Intended" and "Lessons from the Letters," the retreats will be held March 24-26, Aug. 25-27, and Nov. 10-12. Lake Junaluska in North Carolina is a place of Christian hospitality where lives are transformed through renewal of soul, mind and body. All are welcome at the beloved retreat center nestled in the mountains of Western North Carolina. The 1,200-acre property is perfect for personal getaways, family vacations, conferences, retreats, weddings and reunions.

Join winter session of Mission Encounter

The winter session of the online-only adult Mission Encounter study "Who Can We Be Together?" is coming up from February 3-5. Sessions will be held in Korean or English. Folks who were able to attend last summer's sessions will have covered this material already. The full list of courses being offered at this Mission Encounter session is:
  • Friday evening, Saturday, Sunday evening
    Who can we be together? (Korean) • Rev. Yun Kang
    Who can we be together? (English) • Rev. Ileana Rosario • Julianne Rosas
    Doing Theology • Ben Blevins
  • Friday evening, 7-9:30 p.m. &
  • Saturday morning, 10-12 p.m.
The Growing Tree (for Children’s Leaders) • Renee Delgado
AGCLogo2019_500px (1)

Mentors needed for summer camps

All God's Children Camp is looking for mentors this summer. There are three opportunities to serve: June 18-23, August 6-11, and August 13-18. This is a wonderful opportunity to serve locally. Also, this is a great mission trip for youth groups and other small groups and it's free. Please contact Camp Coordinator Lori Smith for more information.
A ministry of the Virginia Annual Conference, All God’s Children Camp is a weeklong overnight camp for children ages 7 to 12, with an incarcerated parent. Campers have an opportunity to participate in all the physical activities the camp has to offer such as boating, swimming, hiking, archery, music, crafts, and Bible study, along with a conflict resolution/self-esteem-building class. Learn more...
devotions with deacons

New deacon devotion launches

Need a spiritual boost? Join the VAUMC Order of Deacons on Mondays of each week on the VAUMC Connection podcast to center with a weekly 3-5 min. devotional including but not limited to lectionary Scriptures, prayers, and positive messages. You can listen anywhere you can find podcasts or on the VAUMC Digital Hub.

New webpage to highlight VAUMC clergy books

A new webpage on the conference website will share books written by VAUMC clergy (books focusing on faith, UM mission, ministry, and polity) as a way to share with conference clergy and laity potential resources for individual and group study. Clergy can share their information by emailing [email protected]. Books listed on the webpage are not endorsed by the conference. Learn more...

General Church News

europe ukraine aid

European United Methodists support Ukrainians

UM NEWS-- An ambulance, fully loaded with medical goods, was recently sent to Ukraine from the Central Conference of Central and Southern Europe of The United Methodist Church. Czechia superintendent Ivana Procházková said, “Our desire is that the war in Ukraine will end, but in this moment, they need an ambulance in Ukraine.” European United Methodist congregations are praying, hoping and longing for peace, but since there is no peace yet, they are faithfully responding to the needs of the Ukrainian people who have lost so much. Waiting takes a very active, faithful and often courageous shape. Read more...
cleaning buckets

How to help amid tornadoes and floods

UMCOR-- Storms swept through Alabama, Georgia and other southern states, spawning at least 35 tornadoes and claiming the lives of at least seven people, including a child. Floods that have killed at least 19 people continue to ravage California. United Methodists can help by assembling cleaning kits and donating to the United Methodist Committee on Relief’s Advance for U.S. disaster relief.

One Last Word

trust in the lord
"Let love and faithfulness never leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." - Proverbs 3:3-6 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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