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February 7, 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 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.

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.
harry denman awards

Submit names for Harry Denman Awards

Is anyone in your congregation a deeply formed spiritual leader who has the ability to assist others in their discipleship? Perhaps they are involved in youth, family, or senior ministry and have helped people to become a disciple or encouraged their growth as a disciple of Jesus Christ. They may be involved in local mission and/or ministries that have influenced lives in the name of Christ. The Board of Discipleship each year recognizes one clergyperson , one lay person and one youth who displays fruitful discipleship in their lives. The deadline for nominations is March 1, 2023. Information and nominations may be obtained at the conference website. Nominations should be completed online or sent to Becky Tate ([email protected]) or Matt Sergent ([email protected]).
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Information released about Feb. 18 Special Annual Conference

As a reminder to the Virginia Annual Conference members, on Saturday, February 18, 2023, a Special Annual Conference will be held virtually at 9 a.m. for the sole purpose of considering the ratification of local churches seeking to disaffiliate from The United Methodist Church over matters of human sexuality using Paragraph 2553.Voting credentials will be shared with Annual Conference members the week of February 13. Questions concerning the Special Annual Conference may be directed to the Rev. Dr. Steve Summers at [email protected]. All Annual Conference-related information will be posted on the Virginia Conference website.
skunk on the table

New Skunk on the Table episode explores disaffiliation

Skunk on the Table is a video, podcast and article series with a focus on simple and clear conversations about topics of interest to the Virginia Conference and denomination. In the second episode of the series, Bishop Sue shares her thoughts on disaffiliation, advice for churches considering disaffiliation, and encouragement to clergy and laity in the Virginia Conference to be boldly United Methodist and to focus on their ministry and witness. The podcast and article for the episode are available.
audio advocate

Audio Advocate returns with February episode

Looking for content to listen to as you drive home, work out, or cook dinner? The Connectional Ministries office has several podcasts including the Audio Advocate that shares news and ministries. Listen on "The VAUMC Connection" now on Apple, Spotify or the conference website. The February Audio Advocate episode shares about the Role Play the Gospel Lenten resource and prioritizing joy.
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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...
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Register now for small church communications webinar

Register today for the Small and Rural Church Communications Webinar on Wednesday, March 8, 9 a.m.-noon, on Zoom. This free webinar hosted by the conference Board of Communications will focus on the communication needs of small and rural churches that often face limited resources, budgets, technology, and staff but who want to reach their community and members in effective ways. Guest speakers will include Rev. Keon Huh, Jonathan Lemaster-Smith, and Jeremy Brown. Register...
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Join Lay Servant Academy in February

Are you excited about Fresh Expressions and the ways it can help you grow your church's reach beyond the walls of your building? Are you a Sunday School teacher looking to deepen your church's discipleship? A church leader looking to learn more about your spiritual gifts and how to use them? Are you looking to enhance your ability to offer love and care for those in need, or just want to start learning more about how to live as a disciple? 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.
john wesley circuit riding

Video discusses John Wesley and the circuit riders

Ready for more John Wesley and early Methodist history? In this video from VAUMC Communications, learn more about circuit riding from early Methodism. This ongoing series of videos will share more about Methodist history as well as our founder John Wesley. View the previous video with the 2022 John Wesley Halloween video.
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R-MC Bailey Scholar applications are due in March

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 or 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. Bailey Scholars complete their B.A. or B.S. degree (their major/minor is their choice) at Randolph-Macon College and then chose an A.T.S. accredited seminary/theology school to pursue a Masters Degree that best suits their call and the requirements of their tradition/denomination. Students from all Christian traditions are welcome into the program. We’d love to meet any potential students you can recommend! Please share this information with students who are considering a call to ministry. Learn more. The application deadline for next year’s incoming class is March 1, 2023. Contact R-MC Chaplain and Pre-Ministerial Program Director Rev. Kendra Grimes for more information.
Advance Large

Serving Office seeking applications for VAUMC Advance Special

The Serving Ministries at the Virginia United Methodist Conference is currently accepting applications for ministry organizations to be considered as Virginia Conference Advance Special. Information of Conference Advance Specials can be found in paragraph 656, page 505 of the 2016 Book of Discipline. If you are interested in qualifying as an Advance Special ministry group, please review the guidelines and complete the application by March 1, 2023, to be considered. Please contact the Serving Ministries Office at [email protected] or 804-521-1138 if you have any questions.
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.
herb brynildsen podcast

Podcast discusses youth participation at June Annual Conference

Have youth interested in serving at Annual Conference? Check out this month's VAUMC Conversation with Rev. Herb Brynildsen who is helping recruit youth members for the 2023 Annual Conference. Youth bring much excitement to the UMC as a body of Christ; the VAUMC needs more of their voice. Listen to how we nominate the youth and what their participation at this holy conferencing means! You can listen on all major podcast networks or on the VAUMC Digital Hub.
imago dei gcorr

GCORR releases five-week Lenten Bible Study

The Imago Dei (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) Lenten Bible Study from the General Commission on Religion & Race is a five-week study written in the style of Lectio Divina. In this form of Bible study all participants are equal, all insights are of equal value, and there are no wrong answers to correct. This form of Bible study is built upon prayerful listening to the Holy Spirit and to each other. Each person takes turns sharing by mutual invitation. In this Bible study we seek to share with one another the image of God, celebrating our diversity, our equity and our inclusion. During the study we are looking for the same image of God displayed in the lectionary texts used with the hope that the use of this model might facilitate our ability to live in the image of God and to perceive that same sacred image in others. Use resource...
bishop sue appointments

Process for 2023 Clergy Appointments announced

Bishop Sue shares in a video message about the spiritual process of making clergy appointments. Learn more about the process and how appointments will be announced for the Virginia Conference in 2023. View video...
student connect

General Board of Higher Education and Ministry awards millions to United Methodist Students in scholarship funds

The Center for Clergy Excellence and the Board of Ordained Ministry is excited to announce that the Office of Loans and Scholarships (GBHEM) will be awarding over 2,000 students a total of $4 million in financial assistance for 2023! These future leaders range from first year Freshmen to Doctorate level students across the denomination.
Thank you for your support in recognizing United Methodist Student Day, World Communion Sunday, and Native American Sunday which help fund a portion of our scholarships. The remaining funds for these awards come from gifts, annuities, and endowments GBHEM has invested and administered for decades.
We congratulate every single recipient in the Virginia Conference! Below are the names of those recipients who have given permission for us to share the good news. Please join in celebrating these students in your churches and in your districts.
The VAUMC is a proud partner in the matching Excellence in Clergy Leadership Scholarship program. Students who are members of The United Methodist Church may apply for a Fall 2023 GBHEM scholarship online between December 15, 2022 – March 30, 2023.

Thanks for helping us celebrate these students!

Elizabeth Dalton
Katherine Dotson
Lauren Geraghty
Mary Kendall
Benjamin Leese
Paula Levesque
Haleigh McLean
Nathan Michaelson
Ama Obeng
Benjamin Rochford
Taehwan Roh
Lori Valentine
Katie Wax
Breanna Wimbush
Dorothy Witherspoon
green footprint

Be an Earthkeeper at Global Ministries

Global Ministries seeks U.S.-based United Methodists to lead grassroots environmental projects that are action-oriented, antiracist, bold and entrepreneurial. Apply by February 13, 2023 for the next online training, which will be held online March 10 – 25. Learn more here...
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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...

General Church News


Donations being accepted for earthquake relief in Turkey, Syria

UMCOR— Join in prayer for the people of Turkey and Syria who have just experienced two devastating earthquakes. The initial quake, which hit in the early morning hours of Monday, leveled buildings, killing more than 1,700 people and wounding more than 5,300, with numbers expected to climb. News reports are already assessing the impact as the worst to hit the area in a century. UMCOR is processing a grant to their partner in Turkey, International Blue Crescent (IBC), which has issued an appeal for emergency supplies such as tents, heaters, blankets, warm clothes, food, and first aid. You can donate to UMCOR International Disaster Response and Recovery Advance here.
student communications

Student's diversity and inclusion work jumpstarted by fellowship

UM COMMUNICATIONS— Determining how to pay for higher education can be a stressful task that may dampen a student’s pursuit of their calling. Encourage the communications students in your church to apply for our scholarship and fellowship by March 15. Hear how one student was empowered to pursue being a positive voice for change taking her to Hollywood and beyond, and get links to apply here.
ash wednesday

Social media resources for Ash Wednesday

UM COMMUNICATIONS-- Ash Wednesday is on the horizon and we've got your covered! Get free social images for your communications use to help make a visual impact on your social feeds on this important day.

Future full of faith: Supporting parents in raising faithful children

UM COMMUNICATIONS-- Help the parents in your congregation raise faithful children with these helpful tips, resources and strategies they need.

One Last Word

Does Jesus have something to teach us about toxic busyness? Does your to-do list seem to grow faster than your ability to get things done? Read on...
jesus mosaic
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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