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April 30, 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:

  • Postponed 2020 General Conference News
  • Virginia News
  • Events

General Conference News


VAUMC presence at General Conference session

The Virginia Conference presence is strong at the postponed 2020 General Conference session. You can keep up with the sights of GC so far on the conference Facebook page and Flickr page.

Highlights so far:
  • Virginia Delegation and guests to GC gather for the Virginia Delegation dinner on April 29. Dinner included music led by Rev. Drew Willson and Rev. Leigh Anne Taylor as well as stand-up from Rev. Alex Joyner and Rev. Scott Davis.
  • Rev. Meredith McNabb, VAUMC clergy delegate, is nominated to the Commission on the General Conference during the April 29 nominations.
  • Karen McElfish, VAUMC lay delegate, takes part in United Women in Faith report during the April 29 plenary.
  • Rev. Lindsey Baynham Freeman, Head of the VAUMC delegation, takes part in the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry report (GBHEM) during the April 29 afternoon plenary session.
  • Amy Purdom is consecrated as a deaconness in The United Methodist Church during the April 29 morning worship. The Office of Deaconess and Home Missioner is the only currently active recognized office in The United Methodist Church for those called to full-time vocations in servant ministries as laity. Deaconesses and home missioners are approved by United Women in Faith and have a continuing relationship to The United Methodist Church through United Women in Faith.
  • Bishop Sue was one of two bishops assisting the presiding bishop, Bishop Delores Williamston, during the April 29 plenary.
  • Rev. Pat Watkins and Rev. Denise Honeycutt witness to the UMC Creation Justice movement outside the Charlotte Convention Center with a large banner. Delegates and Bishops show their support.
  • Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson preached all three services at Matthews United Methodist Church on Sunday, April 28. Matthews UMC is a Lighthouse Congregation in the Western North Carolina Conference focused on being an all-inclusive community following in the disciple-making tradition of United Methodism. View sermon...
  • Legislative Committee elections: Rev. Lindsey Baynham Freeman was elected chair of the Ordained Ministry Legislative Committee. Rev. Rob Vaughn was elected vice-chair of the Church and Society 2 Legislative Committee. Rev. Beth Givens was elected secretary of the Judicial Administration Legislative Committee.

Bishop Sue set to preside on Wednesday, May 1

It was announced during that April 30 plenary that Bishop Sue will be one of the presiding bishops for the May 1 plenary sessions.

UMC approves full communion with Episcopal Church

On Consent Calendar B04, Calendar Item #423, the General Conference body voted and approved on April 30 full communion with the Episcopal Church.

Delegates pray after Charlotte shooting

General Conference paused legislative work after learning that multiple law enforcement officers were shot, three fatally, a few miles from the Charlotte Convention Center. Learn more...

April 29 wrap-up: African bishops added; prayers after Charlotte shooting

After resting on Sunday, General Conference delegates hit the ground running in the legislative assembly’s second week. Learn more...

Church in Africa gets 2 more bishops, new map

General Conference approved a plan to add two more bishops to where the church is growing. But a number of delegates expressed frustration that the number wasn’t five. Learn more...

General Conference gives regionalization green light

April 25--In what outgoing Council of Bishops President Thomas J. Bickerton called “a historic day for our church,” delegates voted 586 to 164 in favor of a constitutional amendment that aims to put The United Methodist Church’s different geographic regions on equal footing. The amendment now moves to annual conference voters for potential ratification. Learn more...

Regionalization passage a ‘kairos moment’ for Filipinos

April 29--Filipino delegates say a regional system is a way to keep traditionalists and progressives connected, and relieves central conferences from having to decide on primarily U.S. concerns. Learn more...

Church broadens defense of human rights

April 27--In the first batch of revised Social Principles approved by General Conference, The United Methodist Church commits to supporting the human rights for all people, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity. Learn more...

Young people share fears, hopes for future church

April 24--Speaking during the United Methodist General Conference, young delegates affirm that amid the turmoil there is hope for reconciliation and growth. Alejandra Salemi of the Florida Conference and Senesie T.A. Rogers of the Sierra Leone Conference delivered the Young People’s Address — one in person and one remotely. To thunderous applause, Salemi said the General Conference is being held “in the midst of what feels like an emotional whirlpool that only something like divorce proceedings can stir up.”
“When time and money and energy go towards a divorce, it has to get subtracted from somewhere else, and I believe that our young people and local congregations are paying that price while resources go toward settling disagreements,” she said. Read more...

General Conference continues through May 3

The General Conference of The United Methodist Church is meeting April 23 through May 3, 2024, in Charlotte, NC.
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Find schedule of General Conference:

Stay up to date with the latest news, decisions and celebrations from this global gathering with UM News Service:

Virginia News


Register now for 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.

Interested persons can register for the event now. The webinar will be recorded for later viewing.

Two campus ministries receive Intentional Growth Center grants

The Intentional Growth Center (IGC) exists to provide funds for educational programs that increase pastoral and congregational effectiveness in order to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. The 2024 grant recipients included Wesley at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, and the Pace Center, Richmond.

The purpose of IGC is to provide grants that make possible programs for increasing Christian Discipleship and Church Leader Development for clergy and laity of all denominations, but with primary attention to persons of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church. View all recipients...

edges hosting workshop May 17-18

Hosted by Blacksburg UMC 's edges, a workshop is available for church leaders to rethink church culture and to better understand and develop their church community's DNA. 1.0 full CEU is available. The last day to sign up is May 12. 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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