hh advocate logo 2023

October 31, 2023

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:

  • Happy Halloween!
  • Events
  • Local Church Highlights
  • Educational Opportunity
  • Grant Opportunities
  • Conference & Denomination Resources
  • Virginia News
  • General Church News
  • One Last Word

Happy Halloween!

Why not a little John Wesley ghost story today from the United Methodist history books? Watch video...
AC Events
To view conference and local church events, visit the Virginia Conference website at https://vaumc.org/events/.

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

  • March 3-8, 2024--5 Day Academy at Roslyn in Richmond, VA. More information will be forthcoming.
local church highlights
  • The Rev. Sherry Hietpas, associate pastor of digital ministry, at Andrew Chapel UMC, Northern Virginia District, preached a recorded sermon for the Sunday, October 29 worship service meeting even though she was in Bangkok, Thailand. How's that for connectionalism across time and distance?
  • There was a powerful day of worship at McDowell Charge, Valley Ridge District, on Sunday, October 29 where 10 were baptized and one was reaffirmed.
educational opp (1)

Introducing: The United Methodist Heritage and Fresh Expressions Journey

Presented by Fresh Expressions United Methodist in partnership with Fresh Expressions Florida, The Fresh Expressions House of Study at United Theological Seminary introduces The United Methodist and Fresh Expressions Journey from September 1-13, 2024. The Teaching Guide will be Rev. Dr. Michael Adam Beck
and the Teaching Bishop will be Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson.
On this journey, embark on a profound 12-night pilgrimage through the historic lands of England, immersing yourself in the rich tapestry of the extraordinary spiritual movements: the Methodist Movement and the Fresh Expressions Movement. This transformative journey, tailored for both laity and clergy of The United Methodist Church, offers a deep exploration of these influential movements, equipping participants with wisdom and inspiration for present and future application in their faith journeys. More information regarding registration and costs will be forthcoming.

Join the Journeys of Paul Cruise: Sept. 21- Oct. 1, 2024

Join Bishop Sue Haupert-Johnson and the VAUMC on a Educational Opportunities Tours Journeys of Paul Cruise from September 21- October 1, 2024 (9 nights abroad the Odyssey of the Seas, a round trip from Rome, Italy). Guest Speaker with be Rev. Magrey deVega. More information will be forthcoming.

Intentional Growth Center grants open November 1

The Intentional Growth Center will begin accepting applications for a new round of grants starting November 1. These grants are available to local congregations and church organizations. It will focus on ministries that increase Christian Discipleship and Church Leader Development for clergy and laity of all denominations. Primary attention will be given to projects of the Southeastern Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church.
For over 40 years the Intentional Growth Center (an agency of the SEJ UMC) was housed at Lake Junaluska, NC, and provided continuing education and in-person growth opportunities for clergy and laity across the southeast. Now the IGC is a grant-funding organization that enables and supports ministries designed and sponsored by other organizations. The application process for 2024 grants will begin on November 1, 2023, with an application deadline of midnight on February 1, 2024. Grants are expected to be awarded in mid-March 2024.
Grant applications should focus on educational events or programs that increase pastoral and congregational effectiveness. Preference will be given to projects that meet one or more of these funding priorities:
• Ministries and programs that strengthen church leadership (lay or clergy), especially those that train leaders for collaborative, community-based ministry in the settings where the leaders live.
• Ministries and programs that strengthen Christian discipleship, music, worship, or the church’s witness and innovation across the community.
• Ministries and programs that meet a special need not commonly addressed by other organizations.
• Ministries and programs affiliated with Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center.
• Ministries and programs that draw diverse audiences (with regards to age, race, gender, orientation, identity, socioeconomic status, etc.) to Lake Junaluska.
Both virtual and in-person ministries will be given consideration.
For more information, visit the IGC website at www.intentionalgrowthcenter.org.

Virginia Council of Churches offers youth ministry grants

The Virginia Council of Churches (VCC) 2023-2024 Congregational Youth Ministry Grant applications are now open and will remain open through November 15, 2023.

Grants of $2,000.00, will be given to 11 congregations whose youth ministries were greatly impacted by COVID; these grants are supporting funds for restart, startup or enhancing congregational youth ministries. All completed applications are to be received in the VCC office by November 15, 2023. If you have questions, please contact Mrs. Crystal Greenerl at [email protected]. Access grant application...
resources ac

Honorable ways to learn about other cultures

GENERAL COMMISSION ON RELIGION & RACE--Want to explore the beauty of diverse cultures? Discover 10 honorable ways to learn about other cultures and foster understanding.

What Is AI and why should my congregation care?

DISCIPLESHIP MINISTRIES--"To understand AI and how it has grown recently, we must move beyond thinking of AI as something that stands still and operates like an automated car wash." Learn more...

Virginia News

Largest total of young elders in Virginia Conference

The Lewis Center for Church Leadership released a 2023 Clergy Age Trends Report in early October. Of note, the largest total of young elders in the denomination are in the Virginia Conference with 28. View full report...

November 1 webinar focuses on energy justice

'From Energy Efficiency to Energy Justice' is a Zoom webinar by the VAUMC Creation Justice Team on November 1 at 7 p.m. EST. During the event, people from faith communities can learn why and how faith communities can be part of the clean energy transition and work for climate justice from their congregations to the capitals fromFaith Harris, Virginia Interfaith Power and Light, and Joshua Long DC, MD, NoVA Interfaith Power and Light, and the Faith Alliance for Climate Solutions. Register now...

VAUMC Communications Office wins two video awards

The VAUMC Communications Office won two awards last week at the annual United Methodist Association of Communicators Awards gala.

First place went to the Tale of Old Jeffrey, the first video in the VAUMC's John Wesley series that shares more about Methodism's founder and the early Methodist Church. Watch video...

First place in its category also went to the 2023 Campus Ministry video from VAUMC. This video introduces all the campus ministries to the annual conference. Watch video...

Register now for November 7 panel on civil, human rights

As public discourse and policies continue to threaten the civil and human rights of so many in our communities, it is an important time to highlight our prophetic call as agents of the Gospel. Panelists will unpack these pervasive policies and provide an inspirational framework of our United Methodist advocacy in a panel hosted by the General Board of Church & Society on November 7 from 3-4 p.m. EST.
Panelists include:
• John Hill, Interim General Secretary
• Rev. Kendal McBroom, Director for Civil and Human Rights
• Rev. Stephanie Arnold, Church and Society Board Members and Senior Pastor at First United Methodist Church of Birmingham, AL
They will share examples of how United Methodists are advocating for equitable civil and human rights at the local and federal level. Register now...

Bailey Scholar applications are now open

Young people are searching for meaningful vocations as they make plans after high school. Do you know someone considering a call to Christian ministry? Whether it’s a call to preaching, mission work, faith-based non-profit leadership, music ministry, youth ministry, chaplaincy... the Church needs young leaders who are prepared to guide us into the future.

Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, VA is the oldest continuously operating Methodist College in the U.S. and is committed to nurturing a new generation of church leaders. Their Bailey Scholars program awards a half-tuition scholarship for the first two years followed by a full tuition scholarship for a student’s final two years at R-MC.

Bailey Scholars also benefit from two internships (one for academic credit and one for a $3,000 stipend) and a weekly meeting with other pre-ministerial students. Bailey Scholars complete their B.A. or B.S. degree (their major/minor is their choice) at Randolph-Macon College and then they select an A.T.S. accredited seminary/theology school to pursue a Masters Degree that best suits their call and the requirements of their tradition/denomination. Students from all Christian traditions are welcome into the program.
The application deadline for next year’s incoming class is Monday, February 5, 2024. Contact R-MC Chaplain and Pre-Ministerial Program Director Rev. Kendra Grimes at [email protected] for more information. Learn more...

Bishop Sue shares webinar conversations on future of UMC

Starting Sunday, October 22, and continuing for the next several weeks, Bishop Sue talks with leaders around our connection about the future of The United Methodist Church. This series will be available through video and podcast. Be sure to look out for "Strength For Today. A Bright Hope For Tomorrow. God's Vision For the Next Chapter of the United Methodist Church." First and second conversations are out now! Watch video...
Listen to podcast on conference website...
Listen on Spotify...
Listen on Apple...

VAUMC shares local church status following last Special Called Annual Conference related to disaffiliation, Paragraph 2553

The Virginia Annual Conference held four Special Called sessions from 2022 to 2023 for churches who followed the disaffiliation process outlined in Paragraph 2553 from the Book of Discipline to be considered for ratification by the Annual Conference body. As a result, 227 local churches disaffiliated from the conference during this time. Learn more...
umc news

General Church News

Opportunities for Native American month

UNITED METHODIST NEWS-- The diverse cultures of Native American people will be featured during November, which is Native American Heritage Month. Bryan Tener, a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes, writes about joining one of four warrior societies and lists some resources to help better understand Native Americans. Read more...

UMC Bishops condemn violence in the Middle East, call for prayer and action

COUNCIL OF BISHOPS-- The United Methodist Church call for prayer and action amidst the ongoing violence in the Middle East. Bishop Bickerton reminds the UMC be mindful of the Book of Resolutions (2016) statement that, “We seek for all people in the Middle East region an end to military occupation, freedom from violence, and full respect for the human rights of all under international law.” Read more...

One Last Word

in hope saved
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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