February 2023

Focus on JOY

In a January 2023 Q&A , Bishop Sue shared more about herself, her family, and her priorities as the Virginia Conference's episcopal leader. Overwhelmingly, she spoke about joy and the bright future of The United Methodist Church.

"I think our priority will be looking at this Annual Conference, looking at Virginia, and saying where is God at work and how do we join God in that work? How do we do it in a joyful way?"

bishop sue installation

Watch recording of Bishop Sue Installation Service

The Installation Service for Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson was held Saturday, February 11 at Woodlake UMC. More…
rose park umc

Local church target of arsonist

Rose Park UMC, an over 140-year old church in Madison, Va., was the target of an arsonist on Wednesday, January 25. The perpetrator has been charged and the fire caused significant damage to the church's sanctuary. It will be a considerable time before the congregation can return to their sanctuary as the church rebuilds and repairs. The church, as part of the Madison Charge, will meet at Madison UMC for the foreseeable future.

On her blog, Pastor Liz Petry wrote: "As I prepared to go and walk inside Rose Park, I had many apprehensions. I was filled with sadness and my steps were heavy. I crossed the threshold and saw the darkness and smelled the lingering smoke in the air. At first, it is hard not to get lost in the immense damage caused by the fire. I’m sure each of us had certain things to check for damage, but as I approached the altar, I found joy.”

“On the altar, I found the Christ candle gleaming, white and unmelted, standing among the ashes and misshapen, discolored altar cloth.”

“Despite the evil forces at play, the light of Christ stood firm,” she wrote. “The only blemish was a small piece of debris sitting atop the candle. All of the brokenness and darkness of this world are represented by that small piece of debris. No matter the adversary, the power of God through the resurrection of Christ overcomes even death.”

“We have found beauty among the ashes,” Petry added. “We will rebuild and stand among the oaks of righteousness because we are solidly founded in Christ no matter what hardships come our way.”

Donations will be graciously accepted by check or online giving. The church is also in need of Pew Bibles, hymnals, a piano, and an organ if any congregation has any to share.
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Devotions with Deacons

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.

Nominate clergy, lay, and youth leaders

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]).
harry denman awards
"That's Our Church" is a monthly email sent out across the Virginia Conference to share good news and mission from The United Methodist Church.
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