Advocate 2022 logo

November 14, 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:

  • Events
  • Giving Tuesday Opportunities
  • Educational Opportunities
  • Conference & Denomination Resources
  • Virginia News
  • General Church News
  • One Last Word
AC Events
To view conference and local church events, visit the Virginia Conference website at

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

  • January 12-13, 2024- Candidacy Summit
The Candidacy Summit is an overnight event open to anyone (18 or older and out of high school) who is interested in learning more about pursuing ministry leadership in the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church (VAUMC). However, the Summit is required for candidates in Phase II (Admitted candidates working toward becoming a Certified Candidate). Learn more...
giving tuesday

Giving Tuesday Opportunities

Giving Tuesday is November 28 and there are a number of ways you can take part to help out organizations affiliated with the Virginia Conference. Learn more below:

  • Pinnacle Living: You would do anything to make your grandmother happy, right? And she would greatly appreciate anything you would do for her. There are grandmothers in our Pinnacle Living communities who need your help today! They have outlived their financial resources, and you can help them stay right where they are with a donation to the Samaritan Program, our benevolence program. Visit our website to help today! Thank you for making a difference on this #givingtuesday2023! Donate...
  • Join Wesley Housing in GivingTuesday: Through Wesley Housing's Holiday Help program, you can provide much needed material assistance items and holiday cheer for nearly 600 residents who call our communities home. Your tax-deductible donation of $5 or more will help them purchase wish list items for families living in local communities, from clothes to groceries. For $15, you can provide a teen with a personal shopping day. For $100, you can provide new blankets and jackets to adults, keeping them warm this winter. Donate...
  • Join Heart Havens in their mission to empower adults with a developmental disability to live and thrive in their community. Their goal this year is to fully fund the Meadowbrook campaign - their newest home. Heart Havens is currently only $54,931 away from our ultimate goal of $200,000. Donate...
  • Give the gift of JOY with UMFS:
    Your Giving Tuesday donation will provide Christmas presents, celebrations and support for the high-risk children and families at UMFS during this holiday season. You can help fill the holidays with joy for children in foster care, children struggling with mental health challenges, and special education students.
    Your generous donation will be matched, dollar for dollar, to double your impact! All donations will be matched up to $5,000 thanks to matching gifts from Margaret Hardy, the Forbes Family, an anonymous donor, and a grant from the Richmond Christmas Mother Fund at the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond. Donate online...
    Prefer to mail a check? Please write “Christmas” on the memo line and send your donation to UMFS, Attn: Development Office, 3900 West Broad St, Richmond, VA 23230.
educational opp (1)

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. The $500 deposit is due by November 30, 2023. For questions, please contact Rev. Justin White at [email protected] or 703-973-1606. Learn more...

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.
resources ac

Resources for studying UMC heritage, beliefs

UM PUBLISHING HOUSE-- The United Methodist Publishing House (Abingdon Press & Cokesbury) is offering a new collection of relevant resources to inform and encourage clergy and laity to draw from the
deep well of the United Methodist tradition and step forward with confidence and hope. These new resources for your personal edification or for use as leaders, teachers, and spiritual guides. (Links below will take you to the Cokesbury store).

Unrelenting Grace: A United Methodist Way of Life
by Kenneth H. Carter Jr., Abingdon Press, 2023
A way of life: embracing grace, seeking holiness, building connections.
Shows how we come together and embrace grace, seek holiness, and
build meaningful connections. Unrelenting Grace evokes insights and
courage to overcome feelings of isolation, loneliness, and alienation,
prompting readers to rediscover, redefine, and reclaim the power of
grace, holiness, and connection.

Multiplying Love: A Vision of United Methodist Life Together
by Paul W. Chilcote, Abingdon Press, 2023
A vision of United Methodist life together.
Our faith (including doctrine) is important; Christian hope (including
renewal) is important; love of God and neighbor is more important.
Multiplying Love underscores what matters most and stands in contrast to
divisive misreadings of essential Methodist teachings as we embrace anew
the Wesleyan vision of love of Jesus as central to what we believe and how
we live.

Being United Methodist Christians: Living a Life of Grace and Hope
by Andy Langford, Ann Langford Duncan, Sally Langford, Abingdon Press, 2023
Living a life of grace and hope.
Guides readers to answer what it means to be a United Methodist
Christian. A superb contemporary exploration for newcomers and
continuing folks alike that covers UMC origins, distinctives, essential
beliefs, and the UM way of life. In addition to the book for individual or
group study, a separate downloadable collection of sermon and worship
helps and session videos on are available.

Means of Grace Bible (Common English Bible)
Abingdon Press, 2024
Search Scripture together as a means of grace.
As Wesleyan Christians, we search Scripture together as a means of grace,
a divinely given spiritual practice that enhances our encounters with God
and transforms us into a holy people. This special edition of the Common
English Bible includes a series of reflections from teachers and theologians
presenting rich diversity in approaches for reading and discerning the
Bible. Readers find encouragement for engaging Scripture as a means of
grace, as individuals and members of the community called into being by
these holy words.

Knowing Who We Are: The Wesleyan Way of Grace
by Laceye C. Warner, Abingdon Press, 2024
The Wesleyan way of grace.
Shares a robust understanding of Wesleyan Christianity helping UMs better
express their beliefs and deepen their connection with The United Methodist
Church. Emphasizes that God’s grace is for all and that sanctification ignites a
tangible transformation in our lives, communities, and all creation. Readers
gain a sharpened view of how The United Methodist Church is rooted in a
legacy of care, compassion, and active response to injustice in the world.
Study components include the book, a companion reader, video teaching
sessions, and a comprehensive leader guide.

Upward! Wesleyan Formation in Three Movements
by Paul W. Chilcote and Steve Harper, Abingdon Press, 2023
A guided tour of the characteristics of Methodist people.
Invites UM leaders to take a guided tour of the theology, practices,
habits, and attitudes that characterize Methodist people. Provides the
vocabulary and framework for sharing Wesleyan theology that
helps leaders correct misconceptions, clarify, and reclaim a practical
Methodist theology that is compelling and relevant.

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...

Virginia News

Earthkeepers to be commissioned

GLOBAL MINISTRIES-- Witness the commissioning of 57 new Earthkeepers tonight, November 14, at 8 p.m. ET on Facebook Live and celebrate their call to environmental stewardship. The following individuals in the VAUMC will be recognized: Benjamin Blevins and the Rev. Gary Heaton. Watch tonight...

Retired pastor writes daily devotional

VAUMC-- The Rev. Larry Davies, retired UMC pastor living in the Mission Rivers District, has written a daily devotional that is available now on Amazon. Davies said that stories have been a significant part of his ministry. "When I started writing, A Daily Dose of Godly Encouragement: Medicine for Tough Days, I wanted to share the stories that influenced and motivated me, often during difficult days." Find book and other VAUMC clergy books...

Bishop visits Coastal Virginia District

All through 2023 and into 2024 Bishop Sue has and will be visiting each of the eight districts in the Virginia Conference. This past weekend, she visited the Coastal Virginia District. Among other parts of the visit, Bishop Sue visited Norfolk UMC and Epworth UMC, worship and fellowship with an oyster bash, and time with the district youth and young people.

Register now for UM Day at General Assembly

Have you heard of UM Day at the General Assembly? It's a day when United Methodists come
together to do amazing things by advocating for neighbors by meeting with elected representatives.

During this event, participants learn about issues that are facing people all across the Commonwealth., connect with other United Methodists, and together celebrate our United Methodist faith that values justice, advocacy, and compassion.

If you've ever wanted to learn more about what happens at United Methodist Day at the General Assembly you should sign up for the preview this November 30 at 7 p.m. You can learn about the event before taking the plunge to join us on February 1.

Already know you want to join the event? Register for UM Day here...

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

United Methodist Church bishops call for peace in the Holy Land

COUNCIL OF BISHOPS-- NOVEMBER 10-- The United Methodist Church Council of Bishops, along with millions of people across the globe, are weeping and praying for the people of the Holy Land. We decry the October 7, 2023, attack by Hamas and the continuing loss of life of Israelis and Palestinians including thousands of children. We cannot remain silent while a preventable humanitarian crisis in Gaza unfolds with no safe haven for the citizens in Gaza or the volunteers and agencies seeking to prevent starvation and to treat the wounded. We value all life. We encourage every effort toward a peaceful solution.
We call for the release of hostages and for the killing to stop. We also call for the immediate allowance of unrestricted humanitarian assistance. As Bishops of the Church, we denounce acts of and the proliferation of antisemitism, Islamophobia, and hate crimes that may begin with words and often turn to violence directed toward persons whose race, ethnicity or religion is disparaged.
We cannot stand by as though God is not weeping when the innocent, including children, are dying. We cannot abandon the way of Peace. May we find ways to listen to the stories of those most directly impacted by this centuries-old conflict. We commit to join all people in creating life-giving ways to journey toward peace with justice for all. Read more...

In Cambodia, holistic mission thrives

UNITED METHODIST NEWS-- As United Methodist missionaries, the Rev. Andrew Soon Lee and Janice Sehyung Lee lead a multifaceted ministry throughout the country of Cambodia. The General Board of Global Ministries shares their story. Learn more...

One Last Word

"But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will fly up on wings like eagles; they will run and not be tired; they will walk and not be weary." - Isaiah 40:31 CEB
strength today
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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