Advocate 2022 logo

November 7, 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:

  • Educational Opportunities
  • Grant Opportunities
  • Conference & Denomination Resources
  • Virginia News
  • General Church News
  • One Last Word
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. For questions, please contact Rev. Justin White at [email protected] or 703-973-1606. Learn more...

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

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

Local Church Resource videos available: Nominations, trustee position

VAUMC-- Training videos are now available for local church member use as members take on new roles following their Charge Conferences this fall. In one video, conference lay leader Martha Stokes helps guide lay members through Nominations and Leadership Development.
In an additional video, conference Trustees president Kathy Lutman Stokes helps guide lay members stepping into the trustee role at their local church information about the position and best practices.
Learn more...

Understanding the cultural realities of children and youth today

LEWIS CENTER FOR CHURCH LEADERSHIP--Janet Craswell and Angela Pupino of National United Methodist Church say ministries with children and youth were severely impacted by the pandemic and are still rebuilding in most churches. They say a truly intergenerational church must embrace the voices and concerns of younger people and acknowledge the unique cultural realities that shape the lives. Learn more...

Small Groups for Quiet People: The Journey from Quiet Individual to Small-Group Leader

DISCIPLESHIP MINISTRIES--Are there quiet members in your congregation who have a passion for Jesus? You may think, “They would be wonderful small-group leaders, but I don’t think they would do it.” The members may not see themselves as leaders, but God plans to further His kingdom through them. Learn more...

Virginia News

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...

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...
umc news

General Church News

UMC Bishops challenged to keep the Methodist movement going

COUNCIL OF BISHOPS-- Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church President Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton today challenged his fellow bishops in the denomination to keep the Methodist movement going in the midst of obstacles and challenges.
“We are called to “keep it going” and find ways to make the “going” relevant and compelling and life-changing. This is our moment to lead and our opportunity to invite our people to embark on this journey together. It will not be easy to find it but find it we must,” Bishop Bickerton said. Read more...

Boards’ move comes as agencies face challenges

UNITED METHODIST NEWS-- Although the United Methodist boards of Global Ministries and Higher Education and Ministry are not merging, they will share the same boss. The Rev. Greg Bergquist will retire from the latter board and Roland Fernandes will become chief executive of both on July 1. Read more...

UM Dollars for Scholars seeks church partners

DISCIPLESHIP MINISTRIES-- Pastors and church leaders, you are invited to partner with the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation to make it more affordable for your Methodist students to attend UM-related colleges, universities, and seminaries. The foundation’s UM Dollars for Scholars is a popular matching-fund program that makes this possible. Learn more...

One Last Word

children of god
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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