Advocate 2022 logo

March 26, 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
  • News from the Denomination
  • 2024 Annual Conference News
  • 2024 General Conference News
  • Resources for Understanding 2024 General Conference
  • Educational Opportunities
  • Events
  • Resources

Virginia News


Information related to 2024 Clergy Appointments

Bishop Sue would like to share Sunday, April 21, 2024 will be Announcement Sunday for the 2024 Clergy Appointments. This is following the precedent set last year of sharing all appointments in one announcement.
She and the Appointive Cabinet recognize that some dates related to the appointment process will also be helpful to clergy and local churches for awareness and planning.

Dates related to Appointment Process:
  • Sunday, June 23, 2024: Last Sunday for pastors moving appointments in 2024 (This date may be earlier depending on terms with SPRC).
  • Wednesday, June 26, 2024: Clergy Moving Day
  • Sunday, June 30, 2024: The Sunday in between current pastor leaving and new pastor arriving at appointment. This Sunday’s worship will be led by local church laity.
  • Monday, July 1, 2024: First Day for clergy in new appointments
  • Sunday, July 7, 2024: First Sunday in pulpits for clergy
Note: It is acceptable for local church staff to receive appointment information the week before the public conference announcement on April 21, 2024.

Green Church awards due April 15

Applications for the 2024 Virginia Annual Conference Green Church and Sustaining Green Church Awards are due by April 15, 2024.
Both awards, given out by the VAUMC Creation Justice Team, recognize congregations with an active Earth Advocacy/Green Church Team or similar ministers for their dedication to affirming the importance of healing, defending God's creation, and supporting the most vulnerable among us. Recipients will engage in this ministry through worship, learning and teaching, individual and congregational lifestyle, and community, national, and global advocacy/involvement. Previous Green Church Award recipients are eligible to apply for the Sustaining Green Church Award.

To apply for an award, please click on the appropriate link below:
VAUMC Green Church Award Application Form
VAUMC Sustaining Green Church Award Application Form

For any inquiries, please contact Brian Christoffersen at [email protected] and the Creation Justice Team at [email protected].

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

News from the Denomination

umc news

UMC bishops for immediate ceasefire in Gaza

March 13, 2024-- "As bishops of The United Methodist Church, we call for an immediate and permanent cease-fire in the conflict between Hamas and Israel in Gaza and pledge our prayers and commitment to work for a durable peace for Israelis, Palestinians, and all in the region.
As United Methodists, we join others in encouraging, “…diplomatic initiatives that will engage both Israelis and Palestinians in an effort to understand the fears, hopes, and aspirations of each other. Such strategies should actively seek a way to promote a just and lasting peace and cooperation that will lead to a two-State solution…an end to the current occupation and violence, and the creation of a viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace with Israel…”1
On October 7, 2023, an attack by Hamas left 1,200 Israelis dead and hundreds of hostages taken. Since then, more than 30,000 have been killed by Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, the majority of them women and children. Innocent people continue to be killed because of the fighting, and many are dying of hunger and the spread of infectious disease." Read more...

2024 Annual Conference News

2024 AC Logo_Three Movements-COLOR.FIN

Opt in for printed Book of Reports

Annual Conference members who wish to receive a printed Book or Reports prior to their arrival for the June session need to fill out this hyperlinked online form. Printed copies will cost $15 and will be shipped out directly from a Richmond printer.

The last day to order a printed copy will be April 15.

The Book of Reports publication will be available for free online by May 13, 2024. Please note, this date is an updated change from the date listed in the March 12 Advocate newsletter.

Banquet registration now open

Banquet registration for the June session is now open. Please register here...

2024 AC Hotel reservations 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.

2024 General Conference News


Pray for VAUMC delegates leading up to General Conference

In April, Virginia Conference delegates bios will be posted on the conference website. On the conference's Facebook page, a clergy and laity delegate will be featured every other day beginning April 2 for the conference to pray over.

US delegates name General Conference goals

A group of more than 270 delegates has issued a statement endorsing what many call “the three R’s” — regionalization, the Revised Social Principles the removal of language about LGBTQ people. Learn more...

Understanding the budget coming to GC2024

Delegates to General Conference will be presented with a proposed budget of about $346.7 million to fund denomination-wide ministries for the next four years. That represents a nearly 43% reduction from the previous General Conference-approved budget. In Part 1 of a series looking at what’s new at General Conference, the Rev. Taylor W. Burton Edwards analyzes what led to the drop and what the budget funds. Learn more...

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...

Resources: Understanding 2024 General Conference


infographic snippet
Kim Johnson, GC delegate and NOVA District Director of Communications, has created a helpful infographic for individual and church use to explain the purpose of General Conference and more.
Full infographic (in PDF and .png form) and a print friendly version are available at the General Conference website (


Bishop Pod still
Join Rev. Dr. Jonathan Page and Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson as they kick off the Before Conference Conversation podcast series. In the months leading up to General Conference, Virginia delegates engage in conversation about each Legislative Committee and what they expect and hope for with the upcoming conference.

You can find the full videos on our YouTube page and Podcasts on all platforms (just search VAUMC CONNECTION) or on .

Watch this video here -
Listen here -


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
Disaffiliation Next Steps
Social Principles
alison and jp
educational opp (1)

Certified Lay Minister training for Module One beginning in April

What is a CLM? This is a lay person who deepens their ability to serve in their local church and district as lay leaders, preachers, connecting the church with mission in their community, parish nurses, children’s or youth ministers, administrators, or congregational care ministers to name just a few! These lay people are dedicated to working beside the clergy as they answer the call to serve their churches and communities.

To become a CLM, the lay person must complete the BASIC and Spiritual Gifts courses through LSA. The individual then takes four modules of training, meets before dCOM for recommendation to the Board of Laity, and is approved by the Board of Laity. They require the support of their local church and the district as they work through the modules.

Courses will be taught by Rev. Dr. Joanna Dietz and Mrs. Jenn Robinson O’Brien. For more information, contact Joanna Dietz [email protected].

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...
To view conference and local church events, visit the Virginia Conference website at

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