Advocate 2022 logo

March 12, 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:

  • Virginia News
  • Annual Conference News
  • 2024 General Conference
  • Educational Opportunities
  • Events
  • Resources
  • One Last Word

Virginia News

Faith community blooms from disaffiliation

United Methodists in Appomattox formed a new faith community after all the UM churches in the area disaffiliated from the Virginia Conference in 2023. Leadership and members of this church share what this new expression of United Methodism means to them. Watch video...

Virginia United Methodist Foundation Announces President's Retirement

March 12, 2024 — Bo Bowden will retire as President of Virginia United Methodist Foundation and Virginia United Methodist Development Company (DevCo) on May 1, 2024. The VAUMF Board of Directors will soon announce plans for its search for new leadership.
Joining the Foundation in 2019, Bowden helped lead the Foundation and DevCo in expanding services and relationships, with total asset growth from $116 million to $152 million and net asset growth of 82%, providing financial support for grants to ministries and scholarships to students. “All of us appreciate Bo’s leadership and wish him all the best in retirement,” said Mark Manasco, VAUMF Board of Directors Chair.
“We invite you to join us in extending our thanks to Bo for his service in the Foundation, DevCo and the Virginia Conference,” added Tom Frost, Chair of DevCo’s Board of Managers.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to serve and for the many relationships I’ve formed in the past five years,” Bowden said. “I look forward to working with our staff and both boards to ensure the Foundation and DevCo remain in excellent position to provide support to the Virginia Conference, its churches, agencies and members.”
Bowden has served as a member of the National Association of United Methodist Foundations and on the Virginia Conference Extended Cabinet. “I am grateful for Bo’s fine leadership of the Foundation, and for the guidance he gave as the first Foundation head to sit on the Extended Cabinet,” said Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson. “I value our friendship and look forward to seeing how God uses him in this next chapter.”
As a member of Reveille UMC in Richmond, Bowden has served as its Finance Chair and Lay Leader.

The Virginia United Methodist Foundation (VAUMF) exists to serve local churches and Conference agencies in their efforts to expand their programs and ministries through planned giving and endowment funds. The Foundation also invests monies for local churches and Conference agencies in accordance with the socially responsible investing principles of the United Methodist Book of Discipline.

Mentors needed for Summer 2024 All God's Children Camp

Mentoring is one of the best ways to give back to your community and an integral part of All God's Children Camp. Come spend a week and explore the outdoors all while mentoring some children who need to hear that they are loved. For more information, contact Lori Smith at [email protected].
Dates for the camp are:
June 9-14
June 16-21
August 11-16

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]

2024 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.

News about 2024 General Conference


UM News releases overview of major GC legislation

Legislation coming before General Conference deals with matters as varied as the denomination’s international structure, social witness, ecumenical relations and budget. An online briefing gave delegates and other observers a preview of some of the proposals heading to The United Methodist Church’s top policymaking assembly. Council of Bishops President Thomas J. Bickerton urged delegates to let go of old ways and help the denomination move forward beyond its current challenges. Learn more...

Help North Carolina welcome the world

You are invited to serve as part of the Welcome Team during General Conference and offer gracious hospitality to General Conference guests. Learn more...
Disaffiliation and the Social Principles are the topics of the two new videos in the VAUMC Before Conference Conversations series. The Rev. Doug Forrester, Valley Ridge District Superintendent, talks about the history of disaffiliation and the disaffiliation legislation coming before General Conference. In the second video, Virginia General Conference delegate and General Board of Church and Society board member Alison Malloy discusses the proposed revision to the Social Principles. Additional resources and information about General Conference can be found at
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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...

Watch recorded Communications webinars on digital communications, website creation

Did you miss the Communication webinars about digital communications and church websites hosted by the VAUMC Board of Communications and UMCOM? The webinars were recorded for later viewing. Access videos...

Register by March 15 for Journeys of Paul Cruise

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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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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