To subscribe to the e-Advocate and have it delivered to your email address, free of charge, send your name, address  and email address to Please indicate in the subject "Subscribe to e-Advocate."

To view a previous issue of the Virginia Conference e-Advocate, click on the date below:

January 21, 2020
January 14, 2020
January 7, 2020

Click here for 2019 issues 

Click here for 2018 issues  

Click here for 2017 issues 

Click here for 2016 issues 

Click here for 2015 issues

Click here for 2014 issues

Click here for 2013 issues

Click here for 2012 issues

Click here for 2011 issues

Click here for 2010 issues

Click here for 2009 issues





News from the Virginia Conference - August 30, 2018

Save the date: Commission on a Way Forward, General Conference 2019 Q&A event
If you have questions about the Commission on a Way Forward, the Commission’s reports going before General Conference 2019 or GC 2019 itself then save the date for “A Way Forward: a Q&A event with Bishop Sharma D. Lewis, the Rev. Tom Berlin and Ms. Martha Stokes." The 90-minute event will be held on Wednesday, September 26 at 7 p.m. at Reveille UMC, 4200 Cary Street Rd, Richmond, VA 23221-2526. Bishop Lewis, the Rev. Berlin and Ms. Stokes will share their thoughts as well as moderate questions on these topics. The event will be livestreamed and archived at If you can’t make it to Reveille for the live event, right now there are seven additional live sites around the conference where you can attend:

Floris UMC, Arlington District
First UMC, Danville District
South Hill UMC, Farmville District
Hillcrest UMC, Rappahannock River District
Thrasher Memorial UMC, Roanoke District
New Town UMC, York River District
Williamsburg UMC, York River District

Questions for the event will be taken via email. You can start to submit your questions now and during the event at For additional questions, please contact conference Director of Communications Madeline Pillow at

Conference center closed for Labor Day   
The conference center in Glen Allen will close at 1 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 31 and remain closed on Monday, Sept. 2 in observance of Labor Day.

Wesley Theological Seminary featuring lecture series on unique gift of the Hispanic/Latino(a) church in America
The Association for Hispanic Theological Education (AETH) in collaboration with Wesley Theological Seminary is honored to present The Justo and Catherine González Center Lecture Series 2018. Noted theologians and church leaders from across the country will gather to explore the unique gift of the Hispanic/Latino(a) church in America. In addition to keynote speakers, workshops and a closing liturgy, the Justo and Catherine González Lecture Series will once again gather leaders (clergy, church leaders, lay ministers, students and others) committed to the goal of AETH of promoting excellent and pertinent theological education of Hispanic/Latino(a) leaders in their service to the church and the world. For information on speakers, workshops or registration, please visit the link. More…

Save the date for day to discuss cooperative parish ministries
Could cooperative parish ministry be a way of re-imagining ministry by joining forces with those who can help you reach more people? What if our churches and ministries were formed or re-formed in a way that links resources and individuals? Can Christ do more through us when we come together? Come to Good Shepherd UMC in Richmond to learn more on Sept. 22, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Day will also include preaching by Bishop Sharma D. Lewis, presentation on exploring models of cooperative parish ministry and a panel on best practices. Questions can be directed to Tobias Lutz at More...

General Conference, Jurisdictional nomination forms now available for district lay members
District lay nominations for the 2020 General Conference and 2020 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference will be voted upon at each district conference. Laity who wish to be nominees as delegates for these conferences shall complete the lay nomination form at  Upon completion, the form automatically will be submitted to the district office in which the lay nominee’s church is located.   Electronic submission is preferred but if a nominee is unable to complete an electronic nomination, he/she may contact their district office. 

September Advocate focuses on technology in church
Learn more about how local churches are using technology to make their services more inclusive and pertinent to today’s styles of worship. To read these excellent articles, order your subscription to the Virginia United Methodist Advocate today. Click here to subscribe online. Or call Pam Culler at 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110, or (804) 521-1110. Or email or It costs just $20 for one year of the printed magazine; $10 for one year of a digital version; $25 for a year of both print and digital. Subscribe today!

TUMCU provides loan options for college students, seminary students
The United Methodist Credit Union (TUMCU) is offering SnapLoan, an educational line of credit available to help with the funding gap once scholarships, subsidized federal student loans and college savings accounts have been exhausted. Their program comes with exceptionally low rates for students attending any accredited college and even lower rates for students attending seminary or United Methodist affiliated schools. In just three years, TUMCU has provided students with over $1,000,000 in educational funding. SnapLoan is structured as a low fixed rate line of credit with no application deadlines and no FAFSA required. Visit or call 866-657-0004 for details.

Church works to fight, prevent Ebola in Congo
The Ebola virus has claimed the lives of at least 47 people, including a United Methodist lay leader, since a new outbreak was declared in the Congo’s Beni District on Aug 1. Chadrack Tambwe Londe reports on the church’s efforts to raise awareness and help prevent the spread of the disease. More…

Pastor rescued flock in Harvey aftermath
When torrential post-Hurricane Harvey rains hit his community a year ago, the Rev. David Daviss made multiple rescue trips in his truck, helping members of St. Paul United Methodist Church  in Port Arthur, Texas, find shelter in the parsonage and later the church. The pastor made supply runs, too, and found himself contemplating the Noah story anew. More…

New group pushes Simple Plan as way forward
A new group, Methodists for the Simple Plan, promotes legislation it says will allow full participation of LGBTQ individuals in the life of the denomination. The plan is one of several alternative proposals headed to General Conference 2019. More…

♦ Bishop's Convocation on Prayer - Sept. 15, 2018
Both laity and clergy are invited to attend the Bishop’s Convocation on Prayer on Saturday, September 15, 2018. The event will be held at Reveille UMC, 4200 Cary Street Road, Richmond, VA 23221. The registration cost is $10 and includes lunch. Deadline to register is September 8. Contact Marc Brown for questions at More…

♦ Embrace: Clergywomen's 2018 Retreat - Sept. 25-26, 2018
Embrace 2018 is the first gathering of the Virginia clergywomen in 30 years! Join for two days of worship, study and community. Engage in hands-on missions, show off your skills in a Talent/No Talent Show and participate in panel discussions on change and growth within your own ministry context. But most importantly, connect with other clergywomen and claim a renewed sense of call. Be inspired. Be nourished. Be embraced. Event will be held September 25-26, 2018 at the Virginia Crossings Conference Center in Glen Allen. Click link for more information about schedule, grant money, registration and more. More…

♦ Virginia Five-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation- Oct. 14-19, 2018 
Registration is now open for the 2018 Virginia Five-Day Academy for Spiritual Formation to be held Oct. 14-19, 2018 at the Roslyn Retreat Center in Richmond. Sponsored by the Virginia Conference in cooperation with The Upper Room, this retreat is open to clergy and laity who are seeking to deepen their relationship with God through prayer, learning, and worship. This year, faculty leaders will be Dr. Luther Smith, professor emeritus at Candler School of Theology; and Dr. Amy Oden, professor at St. Paul School of Theology at Oklahoma City University. Registration at link. More…

♦ Virginia offering 'revamped' spiritual weekend - Oct. 26-27, 2018 
For the 40th year the Virginia Conference United Methodist Men (UMM) will host a Spiritual Weekend, this time at Baylake UMC in Virginia Beach October 26-27, 2018. Theme will be “Go! and make disciples” and featured speaker will be Bishop James Swanson from the Mississippi Conference. As part of revamping the weekend, changes include making the event open to families and spouses, bringing in nationally renowned speakers and offering special rates. For more information about United Methodist Men in the Virginia Conference, please contact Andrew Kissell, president, at 757-839-0790 or More...

♦ 5 Talent Academy- Oct. 30, 2018 
Registration is now open for the 5 Talent Academy event “Influence: Worship 2018.” Event takes place on October 30, 2018 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It will be hosted live from Floris UMC in Herndon and will be livestreamed to 12 locations. For more information visit or contact the Center for Congregational Excellence at 804-521-1100.

For in-depth news and features about United Methodist mission and ministry, subscribe to the Virginia United Methodist Advocate, the Virginia Conference’s award-winning monthly magazine — now available in both print and digital formats. Click here to subscribe. Or call the Communications office at 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110, or (804) 521-1110. Or email For information about the Virginia Conference and resources for ministry, visit the Virginia Conference website at



The Cross and Flame is a registered trademark, and the use is supervised by the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) of The United Methodist Church. Permission to use the Cross and Flame must be obtained from the GCFA, Attn: Legal Department, PO Box 340029, Nashville, TN 37203-0029; phone 615-369-2334; fax 615-369-2330

Background photos courtesy of VDOT.

The Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church
10330 Staples Mill Road, Glen Allen, VA 23060
PO Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058-5606
(804) 521-1100
Click here for directions to the Center