Advocate 2022 logo

January 9, 2024

To submit news items, stories, or corrections for inclusion in the newsletter, email the conference Communications Office at [email protected].

In this week's edition of the Advocate, you will find:

  • Release from the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church
  • Conference Center Holiday Schedule
  • Educational Opportunities
  • Events
  • Grants/Applications
  • Virginia News
  • General Church News
  • One Last Word
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Release from the Southeastern Jurisdiction of The United Methodist Church

Following their meeting last week in Charleston, SC, the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church Committee on Episcopacy made two recommendations to Jurisdictional Conference delegates. These recommendations can be found in the linked PDF and will be voted upon at the upcoming June session of the Virginia Annual Conference.
Learn more...

Conference Center Holiday Schedule

The Conference Center in Glen Allen, VA will be closed for the observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 15.

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Last Call: Virginia Five Day Academy for Spiritual Formation

March 3-8, 2024 @ Roslyn Retreat Center in Richmond
Deadline to register: February 2nd

The focus will be on basic spiritual formation practices, church history, and opening the scriptures while “Claiming The Promises” God has in store for each of us.

The Academy for Spiritual Formation is a covenant learning environment which combines academic learning and experience in spiritual disciplines. Participants meet in residence for 5 days.
The Academy for Spiritual Formation recognizes that the Holy Spirit is the enabling power in all Christian spiritual formation. It is designed to provide a setting where a spiritually disciplined community of lay and clergy can open their lives to receive God’s love and grace so that they increasingly may become spiritual leaven within the Body of Christ. To learn more and register...

Join the Journeys of Paul Cruise: Sept. 21- Oct. 1, 2024

Join Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson and the VAUMC on a Educational Opportunities Tours Journeys of Paul Cruise from September 21- October 1, 2024 (9 nights abroad the Odyssey of the Seas, a round trip from Rome, Italy). Guest Speaker with be Rev. Magrey deVega. The $500 deposit is due at the time of registration. For questions, please contact Rev. Justin White at [email protected] or 703-973-1606. To learn more and register...

Introducing: The United Methodist Heritage and Fresh Expressions Journey

Presented by Fresh Expressions United Methodist in partnership with Fresh Expressions Florida, The Fresh Expressions House of Study at United Theological Seminary introduces The United Methodist and Fresh Expressions Journey from September 1-13, 2024. The Teaching Guide will be Rev. Dr. Michael Adam Beck
and the Teaching Bishop will be Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson.
On this journey, embark on a profound 12-night pilgrimage through the historic lands of England, immersing yourself in the rich tapestry of the extraordinary spiritual movements: the Methodist Movement and the Fresh Expressions Movement. Find detailed itinerary...

This transformative journey, tailored for both laity and clergy of The United Methodist Church, offers a deep exploration of these influential movements, equipping participants with wisdom and inspiration for present and future application in their faith journeys. Register now...

Please direct your questions to the travel agent, Kenya Ellis at [email protected] or (352) 872-3451.

Lay Servant Academy Training will take place February 23rd & 24th

This training will be virtual only. Registration is now open! Included in the course list are:
  • Virginia UMC Roots, Racism, and Discipleship Advanced Course
  • Basic Course
  • Children and Youth Discipleship–Ministry with Parents/Guardians
  • Spiritual Gifts
  • Called to Preach
Learn more & register
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To view conference and local church events, visit the Virginia Conference website at

To submit an local church event for inclusion, submit this form.

POLL: What bills are important to you?
Help inform the work of UM Day at the GA

Each winter, as State Lawmakers and lobbyists head to Richmond to write new bills, a group of United Methodists is right there with them. Let us know what upcoming bills are important to you!

If you can't join us, but want your voice to be heard: Take time to prayerfully fill out this poll.

Want to join us? All Registration ends January 15. Register here:

*Note: If you are planning to attend, registered attendees will receive a different poll. Let us know if you haven't received it and we will get it to you.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Rev. Heather Wray ([email protected]).
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Equipping the Local Church Grant applications open January 15

The Foundation for Evangelism is pleased to announce it will open the 2024 Equipping the Local Church grant cycle on January 15. Up to 50 grants of $5,000 or $10,000 are available to small and medium* church congregations, or clusters of churches working together, in a Wesleyan-tradition denomination. Learn more...

Multiethnic Ministries Grants applications are now open

The 2024 Racial/Ethnic Local Church(RELC) Grant and the Annual Conference Multiethnic Ministries Grant applications are now available! RELC Grant and Multiethnic Ministries Grant applications will be accepted January 2 – March 1, 2024. Application forms can be found here:

RELC Grants are provided to assist local racial/ethnic congregations with projects and programs on one of three areas: 1) Leadership Development; 2) Church Growth and Development; and 3) Pastoral Salary Support. The maximum RELC programmatic grant is $15,000 and the maximum pastoral salary support grant is $12,000. The church’s membership must be at least 51% majority racial/ethnic.

Multiethnic Ministries Grants are provided to annual conferences to assist with programs focusing on racial-ethnic leadership development and racial/ethnic church growth and development. Learn more...

Virginia News

Appomattox_Bridge church2024Jan07

New Faith Community Recognized in Appomattox

Last Sunday, Appomattox United Methodist Church was recognized as a new faith community in the VAUMC. This new church is composed of former members of 3 disaffiliated churches in Appomattox County who have chosen to remain United Methodist and to reestablish a United Methodist presence in the Courthouse area. Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson preached and presided at Holy Communion. Revs. Skeeter Armstrong and David Drinkard are providing pastoral leadership. A number of other United Methodist congregations have supported them in their development, including Piney Ridge and Evergreen UMCs, both also in Appomattox County, Peakland UMC in the Mountain View District, and Farmville UMC, a Bridge Church in the Living Waters District. Learn more about Bridge Churches...
free winter clothing_west end umc 2023Jan3

West End UMC Offers Free Warm Winter Clothing

West End UMC (Roanoke) offers free warm winter clothing to their community. Learn more...

General Church News

2023: The year in photos

UM News--In a world filled with uncertainty, United Methodists found creative ways to live out their faith and serve their communities in 2023. UM News photographers documented a year in the life of United Methodism worldwide. Learn more...

Looking ahead to General Conference next year

UM News--After a four-year delay, the next General Conference is rapidly approaching in just over four months. The coming General Conference is now set to take place April 23-May 3 in that city’s convention center — bringing together United Methodists from four continents who will make decisions that will shape the global denomination for years to come. Learn more...

One Last Word

Winter scenics taken in Chapel Hill, Tennessee. Photo by Kay Panovec
Photo of winter scene by Kay Panovec.
"Be still my soul the Lord is on thy side
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain
Leave to thy God to order and provide
In every change He faithful will remain...."

"Be Still, My Soul" by Katharina von Schlegel, translated into English by Jane L. Borthwick.
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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