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March 5, 2024

General Conference News

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
  • Educational Opportunities
  • Events
  • Training Opportunities for Church Leaders
  • Resources
  • One Last Word
Two new videos are now available in our Before Conference Conversations series.
In the first video, John Fuller, Executive Director of Virginia United Methodist Pensions, Inc. reviews the three legislative focus areas for Wespath, including a proposed new retirement plan. In the second video, Virginia General Conference delegates Mark Elder and Rev. Dr. Rob Vaughn share an overview of the human sexuality legislation which will come before General Conference. Additional resources and information about General Conference can be found at
Wespath Retirement Changes
Human Sexuality
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Help North Carolina Welcome the World

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

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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...
educational opp (1)

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.
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Training Opportunities for Church Leaders

United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM): Southeast Jurisdiction
Online Team Leader Refresher Training
March 9, 11 AM
UMVIM, SEJ and WJ will be hosting an online Team Leader “Refresher” Training on Saturday, March 9th at 11am EST.
This online Zoom training is for mission team leaders who have led teams in the past, but can benefit from reviewing the latest mission policies and UMVIM resources. This training will be led by Rev. Matt Lacey, Director of UMVIM, Southeast Jurisdiction, and Ronda Cordill, Director of Western Jurisdiction UMVIM.
Training will start at 11am Eastern time, and conclude at 1pm.

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...
resources ac

One Last Word

Church’s free music lessons transform the community

Learn how a small church went from almost closing to serving at least 500 people each week.
Rev. Juhee Lee.
Photo by Rev. Thomas E. Kim, UM News.
The Rev. Juhee Lee.
Haven UMC in East Providence, R.I.
Photo by Rev. Thomas E. Kim, UM News.
UM NEWS--"The Community Music Project has become the most significant ministry of the church. It utilizes Lee’s musical talent: She is a violinist with a master’s degree in music. However, the program had to start from ground zero. Lee and the church leaders did not know how many students would join the program, and she was the only teacher.
'I chose to found the Community Music Project because we believed it was the most effective way to reach out to our community and reorient our church's mission toward God's purpose,' she said."
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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