Advocate 2022 logo

November 21, 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:

  • Notice: Upcoming Conference Center building closure
  • Giving Tuesday Opportunities
  • Educational Opportunities
  • Ministry Ideas
  • Conference & Denomination Resources
  • Virginia News
  • General Church News
  • One Last Word
The VAUMC Conference Center in Glen Allen will be closed on Thursday, November 23 and Friday, November 24 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.
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. A 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. Find detailed itinerary...

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. Register now...

Please direct your questions to the travel agent, Kenya Ellis at [email protected] or (352) 872-3451.
ministry ideas

Add off-site Christmas Eve services this year

LEWIS CENTER FOR CHURCH LEADERSHIP-- Rev. Mack Strange suggests conducting off-site Christmas Eve services at restaurants, nursing homes, prisons, and even bars to connect with the community. Learn more...

7 suggestions for reaching more people this Christmas

LEWIS CENTER FOR CHURCH LEADERSHIP-- Is your church ready to roll out the holiday welcome mat? Ann Michel offers seven suggestions for helping people meet Christ anew this Christmas. Equip your congregation so that visitors are warmly welcomed online and in person this holiday season. Learn more...
resources ac

Resources for studying Bible passages

Did you know #NationalBibleWeek has been a national observance in the U.S. during the week of Thanksgiving since 1941? We've got ten ways to help you explore a Bible passage. Learn more...

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

Help prepare students for higher education opportunities

Students who are members of a United Methodist Church can receive financial support for higher education. The General Board of Higher Education & Ministry (GBHEM) scholarship application opens December 15. Learn more...

The United Methodist Higher Education Foundation (UMHEF) scholarship application opens January 1. Learn more...

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."
Watch video on YouTube...
Listen to podcast on conference website...
Listen on Spotify...
Listen on Apple...

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...
umc news

General Church News

Bishops plan to call special General Conference

COUNCIL OF BISHOPS- The United Methodist Council of Bishops plans to call a special session of the General Conference in 2026 for delegates to strategize and work toward bringing about the next vital expression of United Methodism. The decision comes after the Judicial Council’s recent revised ruling on when the next regular General Conference session should be scheduled. The bishops plan to unveil the specific call next year. Learn more...

Bishops call for peacemaking in Holy Land

UNITED METHODIST NEWS-- The United Methodist Council of Bishops released a statement on the Israel-Gaza conflict amid mounting international calls for a cease-fire. The bishops say they want to encourage work toward long-lasting peace. They also condemned rising acts of hatred against Jews, Muslims and others in the wake of the most recent conflict. On the same day the bishops released their statement, Christian leaders in Jerusalem urged their flocks to prepare for a solemn Advent and Christmastide focused on providing relief for the war’s victims. Learn more...

Board reviews spending on bishops, agencies

UNITED METHODIST NEWS-- The board of The United Methodist Church’s finance agency approved agency and bishop spending plans for 2024 including an additional bump in bishop pay and funding for office staff. The board also looked ahead to what giving and church departures might mean for the 2025-2028 denominational budget that will go before General Conference delegates. The finance agency’s online meeting follows the Council of Bishops meeting, where denominational leaders heard how United Methodist agencies already have downsized to adjust to lower collections. Learn more...

Church center equips, empowers young women

UNITED METHODIST NEWS-- The United Methodist-supported Tsalala Training Center in Mozambique teaches girls and teens tailoring and other skills. The center also educates young women about early marriages and other social issues that plague those living in poverty. Although it is not the church’s intention for the participants to become United Methodists, students are taught about The United Methodist Church and following Christian principles. Learn more...

Engaging in ministry with older adults

UNITED METHODIST NEWS-- Workshop brings together speakers on a wide variety of topics to resource both those in older adult ministry and older adults themselves — from health tips to handling legal issues like changing a will. The event was sponsored by ENCORE Ministry, the older adult ministry of the Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference, in partnership with University of Tennessee Chattanooga’s School of Nursing. According to a statistic on ENCORE’s website, by 2030, the Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference will be home to more than 600,000 adults over the age of 65 — an increase of 24% from today's population. Learn more...

One Last Word

dwelling place
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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