Advocate 2022 logo

August 1, 2023

To submit news items, stories, or corrections for inclusion in the newsletter, email the conference Communications Office at [email protected].

There will be no Advocate for August 8. The newsletter will return August 15.

In this week's edition of the Advocate, you will find:
  • Job Opportunities
  • Upcoming Events and Event calendar
  • Denomination Resources
  • Virginia News
  • General Church News
  • One Last Word
The Virginia Conference posts job opportunities on its website, free of charge, for a maximum of two months for United Methodist local churches or United Methodist-related agencies/institutions. Please email positions to [email protected] and include information on how candidates should apply. New jobs posted every week!

View current, open job positions...
Events (1)
To view conference and local church events, visit the Virginia Conference website at

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

Author Diana Butler Bass to join two October events at Reveille UMC

Reveille UMC, Richmond, will have author Diana Butler Bass as a guest at two events in October.
  • Thursday, October 12, An Evening with Diana Butler Bass, Community Program on Gratitude
    7 p.m. in Reveille’s Sanctuary
You are invited to a program with Diana in person at Reveille on Thursday, October 12 beginning at 7 p.m. in the sanctuary. Diana will focus on the transformative power of gratitude. All are invited to the welcome center following the program for a reception and book signing with the author. Register to attend...
  • Saturday, October 14, Spiritual Life Retreat for Women
    9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Reveille
All women are invited to a morning of activities focused on spiritual, mental, and physical well-being. Diana will further explore the theme of grace, gifts, and gratitude in virtual conversation with retreat attendees. Register to attend...

Join next EarthKeepers training in October

Global Ministries seeks U.S.-based United Methodists to lead grassroots environmental projects that are action-oriented, antiracist, bold and entrepreneurial. Global Ministries EarthKeepers is a training program that equips US-based United Methodists to launch and grow environmental projects in their communities. Topics include eco-theology, antiracism, community organizing and project planning. All participants plan a project during the training. The next EarthKeepers training events will be held Oct. 5-8, 2023 in Birmingham, AL; Denver, CO; Hartford, CT.
Attend the training closest you to minimize travel emissions, while still engaging with other with people attending trainings being held in other locations. This strategy is designed to support Global Ministries commitment to just and equitable net-zero emissions. Learn more...

Sign up for virtual August Lay Servant Academy

The next Virginia Annual Conference Lay Servant Academy will occur virtually on August 18-19, 2023. Online course offerings will be:
• United Methodist Heritage (Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson, instructor)
• Basic Course (Richard Speirs, instructor)
• Spiritual Gifts (Joseph Plemmons, instructor)
• Leading Well in Conflict Transformation (Sarah Calvert, instructor)
• Called to Preach! (Nathan Decker, instructor)
• Introduction to Simplified Accountable Structure (Jason Stanley, instructor)
• Certified Lay Minister Orientation (Joanna Dietz and Jennifer Robinson-O'Brien, instructors).

Cost is $35 for all courses except CLM Orientation, which is $15. For more information, follow this link.
To register, click here. Contact Tianna Durbin, Lay Servant Academy Director ([email protected]) if you have questions.
resources ac

How can the Church respond to the rise of the 'nones'?

LEWIS CENTER FOR CHURCH LEADERSHIP-- What is the church to do in the face of increasing rates of religious disaffiliation and the rise of the 'nones'? Researcher and pastor Ryan Burge says it’s important that the church not lose hope. We must continue to step out in faith and sow the seeds of love, grace, and hope. Read more...

Special Sundays are cause for celebration

UNITED METHODIST COMMUNICATIONS-- “We celebrate the work of each local church, while acknowledging that no one church is the total body of Christ. We are the church together, so what we celebrate in our communities is important in our church lives as well. That is why we have Awareness and Annual Conference Special Sundays and Churchwide Special Sundays.” said Linda Bruner, our Director of Connectional Giving. Learn more about these special days in this feature article...

Discipleship Ministries relaunches popular online course

DISCIPLESHIP MINISTRIES-- Discipleship Ministries is excited to announce the re-launch of a popular online course for local church leaders: Creating a Narrative Budget – The Story Behind the Numbers. “Creating a Narrative Budget: The Story Behind the Numbers” will reopen Monday, August 7, 2023. Click the link to pre-register today and be notified by email as soon as the course becomes available.

Ask the UMC your questions

UNITED METHODIST COMMUNICATIONS-- Have questions? Ask the UMC has answers! Use the link to find our responses to many of the ones we're asked most often and a place to submit your own question.

Virginia News

thank you

Thank you from Sister Servant Scholarship Board

The Sister Servant Scholarship Board would like to give a hearty thanks to the clergywomen of the Virginia Conference who raised over $2,000 at the 2023 Annual Conference luncheon. The board is grateful for all the ways VAUMC clergywomen support those who are discerning a call to ministry.
The scholarship was created to honor the clergywomen who have come before us and to connect with those who will come after us--uniting all clergywomen together. The board seeks to award scholarships to women seeking continued learning towards licensing and or ordination.
The board has a goal of raising $25,000 in their fund and we are $7,000 away from our goal! Your church could make a donation in honor or memory of the impactful clergywomen along the journey.
You can send donations to support our fund to the Virginia United Methodist Foundation. If you or someone you know is a certified candidate and are working on your education, applications for the scholarship are July 1 and October 1 each year.

Virginia Wesleyan University announces collaboration on new facility

The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (Virginia MOCA) and Virginia Wesleyan University (VWU) proudly announce their collaboration on the construction of a state-of-the-art facility to be built on the University’s campus. This monumental partnership is a major leap forward for the arts and education in the Coastal Virginia community and beyond.
The new facility will serve as a hub for creativity and innovation, fostering artistic expression and offering an immersive experience for visitors and students alike. With an inventive design and versatile spaces, the facility will be equipped to host a range of exhibitions, performances, and educational programs available to students and the greater public. It will replace Virginia MOCA’s current home near the Virginia Beach oceanfront.
The new building will serve as a cultural landmark for the region, a vibrant gathering place where people of all walks can experience contemporary art in deeper and more interdisciplinary ways. The central location on our campus will make Virginia MOCA even more accessible, allowing the Museum to better connect with the cultural and educational fabric of the Coastal Virginia area.
By integrating the arts into our campus, we are creating an environment that fosters creativity, critical thinking, and cultural appreciation. This collaborative effort with Virginia MOCA will further strengthen our commitment to providing a well-rounded education for our students.
Funding for the project has been generously provided by Jane Batten, Joan Brock, and Susan and David Goode. These esteemed individuals have long been strong supporters of Virginia MOCA and VWU throughout each organization's history. With their contribution, VWU is excited to help shape the future leaders of the world through the power of art.
hope springs eternal

Virginia pastor featured on positive conversation podcast

A video podcast in the Holston Conference, Hope Springs Eternal: Positive Conversations about the United Methodist Church, is filled with conversations with clergy and Rev. Natalie Justice, focused on positive conversation within and about The United Methodist Church.

The Rev. Tim Ward, Crossroads UMC, Ashburn, was featured on the most recent podcast episode discussing the slogan 'Open hearts, open minds, open doors,' and how the world needs United Methodist theology. Listen now...
View past videos...
hearthavens-white background

Multiple openings for new residents at Heart Havens

There are multiple openings for new residents at Heart Havens groups home services in Virginia Beach and Richmond.
In the Virginia Beach area:
  • Brigadoon Subdivision: Two female openings
  • Fox Run Subdivision: Accessible, One female opening
In the Richmond area:
  • Ashland: Accessible, One male opening
  • Glen Allen: Two openings
Contact Mary Harvey, Operations Director, for placement and information at 804-463-1721 or [email protected].

The mission of Heart Havens is to empower people with a developmental disability to live and thrive in their community. At Heart Havens, adults with a developmental disability have the opportunity to live in a family-like setting with peers while making personal choices, achieving individual goals, and contributing to the
surrounding community.

General Church News

What is life like as a missionary family?

GLOBAL MINISTRIES—When parents feel they are called by God to serve as missionaries, how do they answer that call as a family with children? The McCormick family – David, Elizabeth, Eva and Annie – answers that and other questions about being missionaries in the Still in Mission series video below. Commissioned in 2016, they first served in Mozambique at Chicuque Rural Hospital and now serve in the U.S. as Mission Advocates in the South Central Jurisdiction. David and Elizabeth have a wealth of experience from their seven years of service and their children, now ages 9 and 11, share their thoughts on the tough parts and fun parts of growing up in a missionary family. David’s and Elizabeth’s advice – find strength in your family and rely on your faith in God. The kids’ advice? If you feel God’s call to become a missionary…go for it! Watch their video.

Global Ministries missionaries are a tangible connection between The United Methodist Church and mission. Through denominational or ecumenical ministries, missionaries bear witness to God’s presence all around the world. They are called by God and sent out to serve by the church, usually placed in a new cultural context beyond their country of origin. Missionaries engage in ministry that is defined by mutuality and partnership, seeking to expand the mission of God already present and active in people and places.
Support the ministries of missionaries working around the world, Advance #00779Z

Is this Church ready for rebuilding?

UNITED METHODIST NEWSNumerous churches have experienced loss in recent years. If a church is willing to simplify its activities, embrace society and cultivate spirituality, it has a good chance of rebuilding, writes the Rev. Rebekah Simon-Peter. Read more...

One Last Word

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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