Advocate 2022 logo

May 28, 2024

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:

  1. Quick Links
  2. Events
  3. 2024 Virginia Annual Conference News
  4. Virginia News
  5. UMC News
  6. One Last Word: Reconnecting with college students

Quick Links

  • Our prayers are with the 28 million people affected by devastating tornadoes across the South and Midwest U.S. and the families of more than 20 people who lost their lives. UMCOR is awarding solidarity grants and coordinating with disaster response teams to identify urgent needs in the Iowa Conference, Arkansas Conference, Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference, Tennessee-Western Kentucky Conference, Missouri Conference, and North Texas Conference. To support those affected by this and other disasters throughout the U.S., donate to
  • A new series called “The United Methodist Church really is …” takes a proactive approach to discuss what The United Methodist Church is doing in light of the actions taken at the recent General Conference. This monthly series from United Methodist Communications will focus first on legislation that has gone into immediate effect in the United States. Part 1 looks at decentering the U.S. and the United States Regional Committee. Learn more...


To view conference and local church events, visit the Virginia Conference website at
To submit an local church event for inclusion, submit this form.
  • Nov. 22-24, 2024: Save the Date for VAUMC Youth Fall Retreat
fall 2024 youth retreat

2024 Virginia Annual Conference News

2024 AC Logo_Three Movements-RGB.PNG

Volunteers needed for Annual Conference

There are several areas where volunteers will be needed at the Annual Conference June 20 -22, in Hampton. These ministry opportunities are for everyone, not just members of the Annual Conference.
Sign up:

Golf carts


Access listing of AC Banquets

The current list of Banquets and Events for Annual Conference is now available online at the conference website. Find under "Banquets and Events." View listing...

Clergy, lay members need to report absence

Clergy and lay members are reminded that according to Book of Discipline ¶602.8 [1], any clergy or lay member of the Annual Conference who will not be attending the Annual Conference on June 20-22, 2024, will need to report their absence to the conference secretary (not the Bishop). Use the following Google form to report these absences. This form can be found here.

If you have further questions, please email at [email protected] or if you are giving a written letter, please address it to:
Rev. Joshua King
P.O. Box 487
Purcellville, VA 20134
Thank you for your attention to this.
Grace and Peace,
Joshua King
Virginia Conference Secretary

Take part in Lunch Labs

As Annual Conference 2024 draws near, the Office of Missional Engagement is thrilled to introduce something exciting and experimental– Lunch Labs!
Lunch Labs are experiential learning opportunities that will equip and resource members and guests of the Annual Conference as they seek to connect with each other, their church, their community, and the world. Participants will engage with seasoned practitioners and hear their stories of joys, failures, and lessons learned. They’ll also have opportunities to dream, experiment and (hopefully) leave the labs feeling more inspired, equipped and encouraged to embody God’s love and hope in the world. Topics include:
  • The Heart of It All: United Methodist Theology of Mission 101
  • Who is My Neighbor? Reimagining and Transforming Community
  • Taste and See: A Lunch Church Fresh Expression
  • Follow Thee More Nearly: Advocacy as a Foundation for Faithful Living

Registration is highly encouraged, but not required! If you’re ready to sign up and join us in the laboratory, please click here.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to The Office of Missional Engagement at [email protected].
Learn more...

Information on Annual Conference offering

For our Annual Conference offering this year, we are excited to share that we will be supporting two important initiatives who are engaged in the work of mission and service in the world. Our first one is supporting the ongoing connectional work with our VAUMC Partnerships of Hope countries: Brazil, Mozambique, Cambodia, Haiti, Vietnam, and Native American Ministries. The other half of our offering will be given towards our conference-wide Undue Medical Debt Campaign(formerly RIP Medical Debt) to help eliminate medical debt in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is our hope that through this debt campaign, we are able to raise $390,000 that would help eliminate $39 million of medical debt that continues to hurt the most vulnerable in Virginia. This campaign will start with the Annual Conference offering and continue through the end of the calendar year.

To give to the Annual Conference offering, you can make your check out to the Virginia United Methodist Conference with AC Offering in the memo line, and mail it to:

Virginia United Methodist Conference Center
P.O. Box 5606
Glen Allen, VA 23058

Or, you can give online using this link: VAUMC Donations and then selecting “Annual Conference Offering”.

For more information about Partnerships of Hope, please visit:

For more information about Undue Medical Debt (formerly RIP Medical Debt), please visit:

Thank you for your generosity in supporting these two initiatives!

Virginia News


Connect students to campus ministries

As high school seniors graduate this season, you can help connect those planning to attend college with a ministry home away from home. The Virginia Annual Conference supports 13 campus ministries and 4 United Methodist colleges/universities across Virginia. Our chaplains and campus ministers are excited to connect with students from your congregation as they head off to school.

Please take a moment to provide us with contact information for every student who will be enrolled in a college or university this fall (Para. 232 and 256.3d in the Book of Discipline). Our VAUMC campus ministers and chaplains reach out to incoming students over the summer, and welcome freshmen as they arrive on campus in the fall. You can find the form to submit information here.

Here's a video featuring our campus ministries, and more information about contacting our ministries is available here.

Please contact Dwayne Stinson ([email protected]) if you have questions or would like to learn more about connecting with a campus ministry.

Register: Why Regionalization Matters webinar

The 2024 United Methodist General Conference endorsed Worldwide Regionalization - a plan that will reshape our denomination and enable us to remain united in mission and ministry across diverse contexts around the world. This plan represents the biggest change to our denomination in a generation - and will need to be ratified by Annual Conferences before it takes effect.

On May 29 at 7 p.m., members of the Virginia Conference Delegation will host a webinar to help explain why regionalization matters, what it is (and what it isn't), and how it's an essential step forward for the future of The United Methodist Church. This webinar will be recorded for later viewing. Register now...

Register now for "Growing Young Retreat"

Registration is now open for the "Growing Young Retreat: Six strategies to help young people discover and love your church" hosted by the Virginia Annual Conference from October 18-19, 2024.

Where: Roslyn Retreat Center, 8727 River Road, Richmond, VA 23229
Cost: $75 per person (includes lodging and meals); $50 per person if commuting
This event is open to all: Clergy, Laity, Children's Ministry Leaders, Youth Ministry Leaders, Family Ministry Leaders, Staff, Volunteers, etc. Register now...

UMC News

umc news

A+ rating for UMCOR

The United Methodist Committee on Relief is a recipient of the highest possible ranking from CharityWatch, an independent charity watchdog organization. Key factors for the A+ rating include spending 97% of its cash budget on programming for humanitarian relief, response and recovery work and transparency and accessibility of financial data. Learn more...

Former pastor named to White House council

The Rev. Susan Hendershot, president of Interfaith Power & Light, is among the 12 environmental leaders named to the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council. She also has served as a pastor at multiple churches, most recently as associate minister of Walnut Hills United Methodist Church in Urbandale, Iowa. Interfaith Power & Light works with multiple faith groups, including United Methodists, on matters of creation care. Learn more...

Defrocked pastor reinstated after LGBTQ bans lifted

During the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference, about 200 ordained clergy voted overwhelmingly to readmit former clergywoman Irene Elizabeth “Beth” Stroud as a full member of its body. Stroud’s ministerial orders as an elder were removed in 2004 after she admitted to being in a committed relationship with another woman. Her reinstatement comes after General Conference delegates voted earlier this month to end decades-old bans on the ordination of “self-avowed practicing” gay clergy and pastors’ officiating of same-sex weddings. Learn more...

One Last Word


How will you reconnect with students this summer?

College students returning home on break or for the summer often long to reconnect with old friends, their former youth leaders, and others in the church who were an important part of their faith development. That is not always as easy as it sounds.
After years of being active in your church they are no longer part of the youth ministry, and not ready for adult ministries yet. So how can churches minister to their college students when they return for break? Learn more...
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...
facebook youtube instagram