Advocate 2022 logo

November 28, 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:

  • Giving Tuesday Opportunities
  • The UMC impact around the world through UMCOR
  • Educational Opportunities
  • Conference & Denomination Resources
  • Virginia News
  • One Last Word
giving tuesday

Giving Tuesday Opportunities

Giving Tuesday is TODAY, November 28, and there are a number of ways you can take part. You can give to your local UMC and/or also 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 the 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 their 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.

What is UMCOR?

As the humanitarian relief and development arm of The United Methodist Church, the United Methodist Committee on Relief – UMCOR – assists United Methodists and churches to become involved globally in direct ministry to persons in need. UMCOR comes alongside those who suffer from natural or human-caused disasters – famine, hurricane, war, flood, fire or other events—to alleviate suffering and serve as a source of help and hope for the vulnerable. UMCOR provides relief, response and long-term recovery grants when events overwhelm a community’s ability to recover on their own. UMCOR also provides technical support and training for partners to address emerging and ongoing issues related to disaster relief, recovery, and long-term health and development. Learn more...

No one knows where or when the next disaster will strike. But a gift to UMCOR ensures the UMC can respond as quickly as conditions allow – and continue supporting for the long haul.

Learn how gifts to UMCOR – Where Most Needed supported responses from Texas to Turkey in 2023.

Current aid from UMCOR around the world:

  • Holy Land
To date, UMCOR has awarded three emergency grants to local partners in Israel and Gaza. They are using the funds to procure and distribute hygiene kits for internally displaced people, provide psychosocial treatment and counseling, and offer telemedicine services for mothers and children in need of follow-up care, but without safe access to a clinic.
  • Aid in Ukraine continues
As displaced people accept long-term evacuation from their hometowns, more shelters, jobs and removal of unexploded weapons become primary concerns for UMCOR support. Learn more...
  • Caring for God's Creation
The largest class since 2019, 57 new EarthKeepers have been commissioned to lead local projects that include forest gardening, xeriscaping and renewable energy. Learn more...
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 at the time of registration. For questions, please contact Rev. Justin White at [email protected] or 703-973-1606. To learn more and register...

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.
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.

Virginia News

Young adults can explore call to ministry at Exploration 2024

Are you interested in exploring a call to ministry? The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) is hosting Exploration 2024 from February 16-18, 2024 in Orlando, Fla., for young adults, ages 18-26. The event creates sacred space for young adults to be in meaningful fellowship, passionate worship, theological reflection, and practical workshops as they discern whether God’s call on their life is to ordained ministry in The United Methodist Church and what faithful steps they can take in response.

Registration details with GBHEM can be found here...

GBHEM Scholarship application for $300 is at this link...

The VAUMC Board of Ordained Ministry is delighted to subsidize the cost of airfare for young adults who register for Expo as part of the VAUMC cohort.

The Virginia Conference is organizing a group to participate; to join the VAUMC cohort to Expo, contact [email protected].

VWU campus ministries fosters youth group engagement

The sound of laughter, singing, praying and excited youth rang through the Virginia Wesleyan University (VWU) Memorial Chapel last week as VWU Campus Ministries hosted its final Wesleyan AS ONE Youth Sunday for the semester. Seven UMC youth groups from the Coastal Virginia District attended the festive event. “It’s always special when university students and high school and middle school students worship together with their leaders. There’s an extra layer of excitement in the air when everyone comes together in holy community,” Marie Porter, Director of Campus Ministries, reflected. VWU looks forward to continuing to host this event during the spring semester and welcomes all youth groups to attend. For more information on dates, please email [email protected].

Would you sponsor a Heart Havens home, resident for Christmas?

Would you or your church group sponsor a resident or Heart Havens home for Christmas? Heart Havens takes pride in providing a joyful holiday for all our residents. There are people in the homes who would not otherwise receive gifts. Your donation of $125 will sponsor a resident and $500 will sponsor a home. Donations allow the staff closest to the resident to shop for items they will love, giving joy to both the residents and staff. You can note "Resident Christmas Gifts" on your check or donate online and select “Apply My Donation to – Resident Christmas Gifts.”

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...

One Last Word

Seminarian plants, leads student ministry at Union Presbyterian Seminary

Rev. Adebayo "Bayo" Ogungbade, a part-time local pastor and a seminarian at Union Presbyterian Seminary (UPSEM) in Richmond, Va., planted and is leading a student-created and student-led ministry, Reap & Sow Ministries, since last November at the seminary.
He said this ministry since its formation has become one of UPSEM’s most beloved ministries on the campus.
"I lead this initiative alongside other students, faculty, and staff who have graciously contributed their time, gifts, and efforts to help me provide other students with a platform to explore their gifts for ministry and share their experiences of God through expressions of worship, Ogungbade said.
We are an incubator and a platform that exists to give others a platform to turn their theoretical-focused education into real-world and innovative worship services. Since last November, students have shared a multitude of different and creative forms of worship expression including a Celtic service, a Vespers service, and even a service inspired by the Grateful Dead! We just celebrated our one-year anniversary as a student movement last Thursday with both in-person and digital worship with some local churches around UPSEM joining us such as Ginter Park UMC."
union reap and sow
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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