Advocate 2022 logo

February 27, 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:

  • General Conference News
  • Annual Conference News
  • Resources for Lent
  • Educational Opportunities
  • Events
  • Training Opportunities for Church Leaders
  • Grants/Applications
  • Virginia News
  • One Last Word

General Conference News

The latest resource in our General Conference video series covers regionalization, which will be a major focus for General Conference. Regionalization efforts would make the United States, along with existing Central Conferences, to become regional conferences. This practice would allow for contextual adaptation while holding common theology and values. This video, featuring Rev. Grace Han and Rev. Dr. Jonathan Page, is a chance to learn more about regionalization. Click through to watch the video and learn more. Additional resources and information about General Conference can be found at



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...

Annual Conference News

2024 AC Logo_Three Movements-COLOR.FIN

Display Applications Now Open!

Annual Conference Display applications are now open!
All vendors, boards and partners are welcomed to submit an application for review. Applications this year will be available via Google Form. There will be a flat rate of $75.00 per display, this will include electricity.
If you have any questions, please email [email protected]

AC Hotel Reservations Now Open!

The 242nd Session of the Virginia Annual Conference will be held Thursday, June 20 – Saturday, June 22, 2024 at the HAMPTON ROADS CONVENTION CENTER in Hampton, Virginia.
Annual Conference members will have 16 area hotels within the Annual Conference Room block from which to choose. The reservation process will allow attendees to see detailed information on the hotels, our conference room rates, room types, amenities, and locations all in one place. Conference rates are guaranteed through Friday, May 17...

Resources for Lent 2024

CEMCA Lent 2024
The Commission on Ethnic Minority Concerns and Advocacy (CEMCA) offers a devotional resource from a Native American perspective for Lent. The following blogs are shared with permission of the author, Larry Jent.

Haymarket Church (and other churches):

educational opp (1)

New Online Learning Series for Older Adult Ministry

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — ENCORE Ministry, the older-adult ministry of the Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference, has partnered with the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga School of Nursing’s EngAGING Communities to create an online learning experience for clergy and church leaders interested in topics related to intentional ministry by, with and for older adults. Starting Feb. 20, “Building Community With Older Adults” will be at noon U.S. Central time on the third Tuesday of each month through December. Programs also will be recorded and posted on ENCORE’s website.
1920x1080 Feb 28 Opening Graphic-Thumbnail

UPDATE: Hurry — The deadline to register is March 15, 2024

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

Join Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson and the VAUMC on an Educational Opportunities Tour —Journeys of Paul Cruise — from September 21- October 1, 2024 (9 nights abroad on the Odyssey of the Seas, a round trip from Rome, Italy). The guest Speaker will be Rev. Magrey deVega. For questions, please contact Rev. Justin White at [email protected] or 703-973-1606. To learn more and register...
To view conference and local church events, visit the Virginia Conference website at

To submit an local church event for inclusion, submit this form.
You are invited to participate in #StillInMission Episode 64 on March 7, 2024, at 7:00 PM ET. You can find more information about these missionaries HERE.
rethining church culture_bumc_edges2024May17_18

Training Opportunities for Church Leaders


Upcoming Safer Sanctuaries Training

The Virginia Conference will offer an online Safer Sanctuaries Training on Friday, March 15 from 1:00-3:30pm. This training is for any ministry leaders who would like to receive updated information about the new Safer Sanctuaries resource that was published through the General Board of Discipleship.

In order to receive the zoom link for this training, please be sure to register through this link:

If you are interested in hosting a Safer Sanctuaries training but cannot attend this session, please reach out to your District Safer Sanctuaries Trainer. Their contact information is available here:
The Living Waters District will facilitate several in-person Safer Sanctuary training opportunities. Read more...


Serving-Page banner (2)
Serving-Page banner (1)

Virginia News

Thalia UMC Ministers to Marginalized Communities in Virginia Beach

Thalia homeless min
In the Fall of 2020, Thalia United Methodist Church in Virginia Beach received grant funding from the Virginia Conference for the purpose of establishing a “microchurch” ministry – one that would foster and support small groups that desired spiritual support yet were not attracted to formal church services. The effort focused on those who were without shelter and those who were in the recovery community.

Thalia UMC, a co-founder of the West Beach Outreach Coalition of churches and institutions, tapped into Coalition partner Virginia Beach Housing Resource Center (HRC) to help guide the unhoused/unsheltered to our weekly breakfast. HRC staff arrange to meet with their guests over breakfast at Thalia – the result of which is that more than 25 of our new friends have been housed over the last two years.

Each breakfast is followed by an informal and interactive service – everyone has a chance to speak. Over the last couple of years we have witnessed the formation of close friendships, seen the support that develops between our regular visitors, and celebrated the successes of those finding housing. Future plans include an expansion of our periodic lunch program and additional efforts at outreach throughout western Virginia Beach and beyond.

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.

One Last Word

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.
(Isaiah 60:1 NIV)
morning sun
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