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January 24, 2023

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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

bishop sue interview

Bishop Sue shares about her family, next steps in VAUMC

Bishop Sue sat down with Communications Director Madeline White to talk about her background and her next steps in the Virginia Conference. The interview was recorded as both a video and a podcast.
You can watch the video or listen to the podcast here...
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Northern Virginia church continues partnership with Ukrainian church

In the early 2000s, Grace United Methodist Church in Manassas began a connection with what is now Saint John’s United Methodist Church in Lviv, Ukraine. Allan Nixon, a member of Grace, led a group of interested people from across the Virginia Conference on a mission trip to assist missionaries, David and Shannon Goran in their work with a group of university students from Lviv. The Gorans had been in Lviv for a short time and were reaching out to these young people through a program they had developed to teach English to students wanting to practice their English with English speakers. Read more...
hearthavens-white background

Heart Havens hosting virtual meet and greet event

Heart Havens, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that empowering adults with a developmental disability to live and thrive in their community, is hosting a virtual event for participants to get to know Heart Havens and residents better. The virtual Heart Havens month event will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. and includes an overview of Heart Havens, a chance to meet residents, and a time for Q&A. Contact [email protected] if you have questions.

Join the virtual event...
Zoom details: Meeting ID: 833 1693 3563; Passcode: 337632

February is Heart Havens month. Find worship resources...

The participation of local churches in empowering adults with a developmental disability through Heart Havens month is vital to their success! The theme for Heart Havens Month this year is "Looking Forward." With your help, Heart Havens will open a new West End Richmond Heart Havens home to further their mission around Virginia.

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.
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.
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 highlights 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...
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...

General Church News

youth orchestra

Church music director helps youth take center stage

Charles Dickerson, director of music for Rolling Ridge United Methodist Church, was recently featured on CBS News for his work as founder and conductor of the Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles. The organization provides children, particularly racial minorities who don’t typically have access to high-quality music education, an opportunity to learn and perform classical music. The orchestra performed at a Jan. 14 tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. held at Holman United Methodist Church in Los Angeles. Watch story...
kenya banking

Table banking changes women's lives in Kenya

UM NEWS-- Women in the Eastern District of the Kenya-Ethiopia Conference are benefitting from a program that helps them save money and start income-generating projects. Since its inception, the table-banking project has enrolled over 500 women. Read more...
black church preservation

35 Black churches to receive total of $4 million for preservation work

RELIGION NEWS-- Five United Methodist churches across the U.S. are among recipients of the preservation funding from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. Read more...
women clergy

Doctor helps support pastors' well-being

UM NEWS-- While congregants rely on pastors to help support their well-being, pastors are appreciative when members of their congregation look out for them and their physical, mental, and spiritual health. Dr. Laura LeCours, a medical doctor and lay leader of Saratoga Springs United Methodist Church, prioritizes the well-being of her pastors and encourages them to practice self-care. Read more...
kenyan youth

Kenyan youth put faith into action

UM NEWS-- Tazama Christ United Methodist Church in Kenya is teaching young people to live out their faith through community service. The program has helped hundreds of youth by providing employment opportunities, offering counseling and rehabilitation services, and conducting mentorship and spiritual programs. Read more...

Mentoring changes lives on a two-way street

UM NEWS-- Without a hint of overstatement, Angie says mentoring changed her life. The young woman, now a sophomore at Texas A&M University at College Station, credits her self-confidence and success so far with what she learned about navigating both school and life during her 10 years as a part of a mentoring ministry at First United Methodist Church at Fort Worth, Texas. Read more of the UMC feature...
cleaning buckets

How to help amid tornadoes and floods

UMCOR-- In 2022, 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

pray 1 john
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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