Advocate 2022 logo

December 5, 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
  • Digital Ministry Resources
  • Virginia News
  • General Church News
  • One Last Word
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.
digital media resources

Social media help for the holidays

UM COMMUNICATIONS - The holiday season is in full swing and we know you’ve got a lot on your plate. Here are some reminders and resources to help you get your church’s social media platforms through December. Learn more...

Virginia News

Ever considered being a foster parent?

All of the UMFS Foster Parent Information Sessions are virtual, and there is one this evening, December 5, at 6 p.m.
There are nearly 5,200 children and teens in foster care in Virginia that are in need of a home. Attend this information session to learn more about how you can help by becoming a foster parent. Learn more...

Plans seek to convert historic Roanoke churches into apartments

ROANOKE RAMBLER--The idea to transform churches into housing is becoming a trend in Roanoke, where at least three such projects are either under construction or being planned. The final Sunday service was held at Trinity United Methodist Church Sunday, Nov. 19, 2023, in Roanoke. Trinity is closing its white doors for good, as a declining membership and rising costs made it too expensive for a small congregation to maintain the sprawling sanctuary, which has stood at the corner of Mountain Avenue and Third Street in Roanoke’s Old Southwest neighborhood for 120 years. The congregants, which have averaged only a couple dozen regular attendees in recent years, will merge their church with Greene Memorial United Methodist four blocks away in downtown. Learn more...

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].

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.

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

Invitation to stand with Palestinian Christians this Advent, Christmas

GLOBAL MINISTRIES--Our Christian colleagues in Bethlehem tell us that this Advent and Christmas in Bethlehem the lights that normally adorn the birthplace of Jesus will remain unlit in memory of those who have been killed in the current conflict. The patriarchs and heads of churches in Jerusalem have noted that the traditional festive services in the Holy Land will be somber in nature due to the ongoing war.

On Christmas Day we invite you to take a photo of your Advent wreath with the second candle unlit and send to [email protected]. The staff at the Methodist Liaison Office will forward your pictures to local church communities in the Holy Land so our sisters and brothers in Christ can see that we stand in solidarity with them over the festive season. For further information, contact Rev. David Hardman, Methodist Liaison Officer, Jerusalem, at [email protected].
Learn more...

General Board of Global Ministries' U.S. Mission Partners consultation takes place

GLOBAL MINISTRIES--Nearly 250 United Methodist leaders in mission from across 53 U.S. annual conferences gathered at Peachtree Road UMC in Atlanta, Georgia, last week for Global Ministries’ U.S. Mission Partners Consultation. The final of three consultations held in 2023, the conversations are setting the foundation for a refreshed expression of mission.

Church honored to host first lady's service

UM NEWS--Glenn Memorial United Methodist Church on the campus of Emory University had the honor of holding the Nov. 28 service of tribute to Rosalynn Carter, former first lady of the United States. The Carters had a strong relationship with United Methodists over the years. The North Georgia Conference has the story.

One Last Word

GoodShepherdUMC_aging foster care adults

Ministering to young adults aging out of foster care

Good Shepherd United Methodist Church in Richmond, Va., is excited to share our new ministry partnering with Anthem Medicaid, The Open Table, and Fostering Acadia. This national pilot is seeking solutions to provide housing for young adults aging out of foster care.

Twelve people are serving on a Network Table that will rely on their social networks to assist the young adults in furthering their education, job placement, transportation needs, etc. Through mutual and reciprocal relationships, the Core Table volunteers will invest in the "Life Plan" of each of the youth (called "Friend") who will live in the house. Together with the youth, they will access their social networks to support the implementation of the Life Plan. We are seeking two additional people to serve on a Core Table.

"I continue to be struck by the work of God and this collaborative opportunity with Open Table, the Three Notch'd District of the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church, Fostering Acadia, and Anthem HealthKeepers Plus. We have worked diligently to offer our community a tangible reminder of help and hope. We hope to change the narrative about the church and help people see the love of Jesus in a new way!" shared Pastor Bryson.
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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