Advocate 2022 logo

April 23, 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
  • 2024 General Conference News
  • 2024 Annual Conference Session News
  • Denomination News
  • Events

Virginia News


April 2024 Clergy Projected Appointments released

April 21--Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson and the Virginia Conference Cabinet released the April 2024 Projected Appointments. Find them at the conference website...

In releasing these appointments, Bishop Sue said, "I am praying for the pastors and churches that are entering a time of transition. I pray that these pastoral changes will bring new energy and fruitfulness throughout our connection. These appointments are the culmination of much prayer, discernment of the movement of the Holy Spirit, and Cabinet consultation."

Conference to host post-GC webinar on May 9

April 16--The Virginia Conference will host a post-General Conference Zoom webinar on Thursday, May 9 at 7 p.m. The panel will include Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson; Rev. Lindsey Baynham Freeman, head of the Virginia delegation; and delegates Rev. Mark Ogren, Marshall Bailey, and Rev. Dr. Jonathan Page.

More information will be shared closer to the event.

Pastors share fun video following 'Appointment Sunday'

On Sunday, projected appointments were shared conference-wide from Bishop Sue and the Virginia Cabinet. As a result. pastors across the connection shared with their congregations whether they were re-appointed or continuing in their same appointment. Rev. Chad Herndon, and Rev. Jeremy Vest decided to ponder "Should we stay or should we go" in a video announcement they shared with their Church in a Monday, April 22 video. Watch video on Facebook...

NOVA UMC embarks on new model of ministry

Central United Methodist Church, Ballston, has dreamed since 2007 how they might assist in affordable housing in their area of Arlington. Now that dream is a reality after they partnered with Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing on a development that includes sanctuary for the church, expanded preschool, 144 affordable rental units, and commercial kitchen for Provision Church catering program, a new faith community in the VAUMC. On Monday, April 15, the rental units were unveiled in a grand opening. Watch video...

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.

2024 General Conference News


General Conference begins today, April 23, at 2 p.m.

The General Conference of The United Methodist Church is meeting April 23 through May 3, 2024, in Charlotte, NC. Opening worship begins at 2 p.m. tomorrow. The Call to Order is at 3:50 p.m. Follow livestream: schedule of General Conference: up to date with the latest news, decisions and celebrations from this global gathering with UM News Service: The VAUMC Communications Office will be following up with the VA Delegation later this week. #UMCGC

Prayer shawls make it to General Conference session

The Virginia delegation collected prayer shawls to be handed to other delegates as a gift organized by Maureen McKay Riley.Rileysaidtehgoaldwasoriniagllyfor250shawls.Aftersharingtherequest for shawls conference wide, Riley reported that she transported more than 600 shawls from around the districts and from almost 60 churches. Some of the names of groups who helped provide shawls are:

Sewing Sisters
Hands and Hearts Ministry
God’s Needles of Love
Hook and Needle Ministry
Stitched in Prayer
Ties that Bind
Chestnut Comforters
Sea Shawls Ministry

Riley said," It’s been a really awesome and heart-warming project. When I set 250 as a goal, most people thought I was crazy. Think of all the time, fellowship and those many stitches represented by the shawls. Just wonderful! Much gratitude to my supportive husband, Joe."

2024 Annual Conference Session News

2024 AC Logo_Three Movements-RGB.PNG

Submit names for Francis Asbury Award

Each year, the Virginia Conference Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry, on behalf of the General Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry, awards the Francis Asbury Award to a deserving clergyperson or layperson at the June Annual Conference session. The award "recognizes United Methodist individuals who have significantly contributed to fostering United Methodist ministries in higher education at the local, district or annual conference level. It is awarded annually to one honoree per annual conference."
Please submit your nominee to Rev. Ryan LaRock, Chair of the Board of Higher Education and Campus Ministry ([email protected]), by Sunday, May 19. Please include with the nominee a brief paragraph or a few sentences as to how the individual has contributed significantly to collegiate and campus ministry in the Virginia Conference.

Denomination News

umc news

Churches offer aid following Key Bridge collapse

Area United Methodist churches are assisting Maryland officials in providing items to support the 136 foreign nationals residing on the seven ships stuck in the Port of Baltimore following the March 26 collapse of the Key Bridge. Most of the individuals on the ships are non-English speaking. They are able to come ashore during the day but cannot “reside” on U.S. soil and must return to the ship each night. Conference staff have provided a list of requested items. Learn more...

Study: Remaining churches more diverse

North Carolina congregations that remained with The United Methodist Church during the recent wave of disaffiliations over LGBTQ inclusion are more politically and theologically diverse than those that left, researchers at Duke University found. Congregations that disaffiliated tended to be more homogenous in their beliefs and somewhat smaller and more rural. Learn more...

Annual Festival of Wisdom and Grace is August 19-22

Held annually, the Festival of Wisdom and Grace invites participants to explore how people flourish as they age and how they navigate transitions, live into talents and passions and cultivate relationship with Christ. In 2024, the event will explore the theme “Wesleyan Roots” and offer worship, workshops, recreation, entertainment, learning and plenty of time for fellowship. The keynote speaker for the event is Dr. Ashley Boggan D., and conference preacher will be Bishop Lawson Bryan. Learn more...
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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