Advocate 2022 logo

January 30, 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:

  • Annual Conference 2024 logo announced
  • Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson shares an update about the Appointive Cabinet of the VAUMC
  • Educational Opportunities
  • Events
  • Grants/Applications
  • Virginia News
  • General Church News
  • One Last Word
AC2024 logo banner (1)

Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson is excited to announce the theme of the 242nd session of the Virginia Annual Conference

Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson is excited to announce the theme of the 242nd session of the Virginia Annual Conference is A Conference in Three Movements. This theme emerges from the belief that there are three principal movements of the Holy Spirit taking place in the present era of the church Read more...

Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson shares an update about the Appointive Cabinet of the Virginia Annual Conference

Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson announces the appointment of two new District Superintendents to serve the Virginia Annual Conference beginning July 1, 2024: Rev. F. Elizabeth (Beth) Givens will serve the Coastal Virginia District, and Rev. Kirk Nave will serve the Northern Virginia District.
Additionally, Rev. Dr. Sarah Calvert will transition to serve as the District Superintendent of the Mountain View District, Rev. Dr. Cecelia Brooks will receive an appointment to a local church, and Rev. Denise Bates will be retiring. Bishop Haupert-Johnson is grateful to Rev. Dr. Brooks and Rev. Bates for their service on the Cabinet and for their leadership in a difficult time in the life of the UMC. Read more...
DS Announcement 2024Jan22a
educational opp (1)

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...
1200x627 Comm Webinars Graphic
To view conference and local church events, visit the Virginia Conference website at

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

District Lay Training

Host: Shenandoah River District
Saturday, February 3, 2024
10 AM via Zoom
These sessions are open to anyone, new or returning, on any of the committees listed below.
NOTE: You are only able to attend one session on this date as all are happening simultaneously.
Plans are to have each session recorded and made available later.

Pastor/Parish Relations – Taught by Rev. Dr. Victor Gómez
Finance and Church Audits – Taught by Rev. Sue MacTavish
Trustees – Taught by Rev. Joe Amend
Lay Leader – Taught by District Co-Lay Leader, Wilma Jennings

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 922 8669 6725
Passcode: shenandoah
One tap mobile
+13017158592,,92286696725#,,,,*3620478897# US (Washington DC)
8558801246,,92286696725#,,,,*3620478897# US Toll-free

District Lay Training

Host: Mission Rivers District
LSM Course: Advanced Preaching Class
Led by: Rev. Justin Williams
Monday evenings 6:30-8:30pm, February 5-26, 2024
Location: Online

Cost: $15
website all 2024a

Workshop: Five Congregational Personality Types with Michael Beck

The old cookie-cutter ways of doing church won’t cut it in today’s world. If churches are going to stop the shocking rates of pastoral burnout and exodus from the pews, they must learn to be the church with new people, in new places, and in new ways.

On Saturday, February 17 from 10-3, the NoVa District will host a workshop with Rev. Dr. Michael Beck, Author/Pastor/Professor/Coach/Consultant at Oakton UMC. The Five Congregational Personality Types workshop is designed for church teams. It will include lunch and participants will receive a copy of Michael’s book: The Five Congregational Personality Types: An Ancient Pathway for Congregational Renewal in the 21st Century. Learn more and register HERE.

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
2024 Youth Mission Encounter reg flyer
rethining church culture_bumc_edges2024May17_18


Serving-Page banner (2)

Harry Denman Award Now Open for Nominations

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 9, 2024. 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]
Serving-Page banner (1)

One Matters Award Now Open for Nominations

This award is given to a church with significant improvement of baptisms and professions of faith. The award, which includes $1,000 and a One Matters Discipleship Award plaque, will be presented to the pastor and lay leaders of a congregation that has done significant work to make its zeros from previous years become positive numbers.
Criteria for the award is a church that has a history of zero baptisms and zero professions of faith for a minimum of four years and has significant increases in these two areas in 2023. Nominations should include the historical record which can be verified through Year End Statistics for at least four to six years. The deadline for nominations is March 9, 2024. Information and nominations may be obtained at the conference website under the conference website. Nominations should be completed online and sent to Becky Tate at [email protected] or Rev. Matt Sergent at [email protected]

Virginia News


Heart Havens CEO Transition Announcement

After 15 years of dedicated service to Heart Havens, our esteemed Chief Executive Officer, Jennifer Boyden, has decided to step down from the role to pursue new opportunities. We are thrilled to share that Rebecca Huff, current COO of Heart Havens, has accepted our offer to step into the CEO role upon Jennifer’s departure. Learn more here.

February is Heart Havens month in the Virginia Annual Conference

Heart Havens Month 2024: Flourishing– Our community can empower people with disabilities to feel accomplished, give back, be creative, explore their community, make friends, celebrate and have fun. Please help Heart Havens continue empowering adults with a developmental disability by making a donation to support them opening a new home for adults with a disability.

Congratulations to the following VAUMC congregations!

VA Council of Churches_Youth Grants

General Church News

earth keepers 2024

General Conference 2024

After a four-year delay, the 2020 General Conference will take place April 23-May 3, 2024 in Charlotte, NC. Learn more...

One Last Word

"When I said, 'My foot is slipping,' your unfailing love, Lord, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy." - Psalm 94:18-19 NIV
final word 2024Jan30 UMC Psalm 94
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...
facebook youtube instagram