Advocate 2022 logo

February 6, 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
  • Educational Opportunities
  • Events
  • Training Opportunities for Church Leaders
  • Grants/Applications
  • Virginia News
  • General Church News
  • One Last Word
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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...
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Virginia Five Day Academy for Spiritual Formation

March 3-8, 2024 @ Roslyn Retreat Center in Richmond
Deadline to register: February 12

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...

Extension Clergy Gathering with Bishop Sue:
March 12, 9am-3pm at Williamsburg UMC (Williamsburg)

Deadline to register: February 26

Extension Clergy Gathering with Bishop Sue: March 12, 9am-3pm at Williamsburg UMC (Williamsburg). Join us for a time of worship, a talk with Bishop Sue, a prayer walk through Colonial Williamsburg and William & Mary, ministry spotlights, conversation and connection with extension clergy colleagues, plenty of coffee, and lunch. Clear your calendar and get yourself there, and the rest will be taken care of. We hope this will be a relaxing and rejuvenating day of connection. Questions, contact Deborah Lewis: [email protected]

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...
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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.
2024 ARC Conf Flyer
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This workshop is approved for 1 FULL CEU!

Training Opportunities for Church Leaders

*includes Lay Servant Academy & Certified Lay Ministers Training Opportunities
*includes workshops & other equipping opportunities


2024 Racial/Ethnic Local Church Grant
& Multiethnic Ministries Grant Applications

From: UM Global Ministries
Dear Partners in Ministry,

It has come to our attention the online fillable PDFs are not expanding when applicants are completing the application. As a result, we have uploaded a Word version of the application on our website ( As a reminder, all applications are due by March 1, 2024.

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.
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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]
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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

Vale UMC Packs 1 Millionth Meal in an Effort to End Hunger


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.

General Conference News


Help North Carolina Welcome the World

United Methodists from all over the world are traveling to attend General Conference in Charlotte, NC from April 23-May 3, 2024. Psalm 46:10 sets the theme for this important gathering: “…and know that I am God.” In all we do, God guides our every decision. The gathering is expected to attract about 5,500-7,500 people.
You are invited to serve as part of our Welcome Team during General Conference and offer gracious hospitality to our guests. Learn more...

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

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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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