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

Click here to sign up for RSS feed of e-Advocate.

To view a 2013 issue of the Virginia Conference e-Advocate, click on the date below:

Dec. 20, 2013
Dec. 13, 2013
Dec. 6, 2013

Nov. 21, 2013
Nov. 20, 2013 - Disaster Response edition
Nov. 14, 2013
Nov. 7, 2013

Oct. 30, 2013
Oct. 18, 2013
Oct. 10, 2013
Oct. 4, 2013

Sept. 26, 2013
Sept. 19, 2013
Sept. 12, 2013
Sept. 5, 2013

Aug. 23, 2013
Aug. 16, 2013
Aug. 9, 2013
Aug. 1, 2013

July 26, 2013
July 19, 2013
July 10, 2013
July 3, 2013

June 28, 2013
June 20, 2013
June 14, 2013
June 6, 2013

May 31, 2013
May 23, 2013
May 17, 2013
May 10, 2013

April 30, 2013
April 19, 2013
April 12, 2013
April 5, 2013

March 28, 2013
March 22, 2013
March 15, 2013
March 7, 2013

Feb. 28, 2013
Feb. 21, 2013
Feb. 14, 2013
Feb. 7, 2013

Jan. 30, 2013
Jan. 25, 2013
Jan. 17, 2013
Jan. 10, 2013

Click here for 2016 issues

Click here for 2015 issues

Click here for 2014 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 - January 10, 2013

Bishop Young Jin Cho issues New Year's message
In the January 2013 issue of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate, Bishop Young Jin Cho issued a message to the Virginia Conference spelling out his priorities for the conference for the next 12 months and praying that 2013 "will be filled with many meaningful changes and signs of new life." More ...

Table I statistics due Jan. 15; Table II, III stats due Jan. 31
You can access the statistics website to enter 2012 year-end statistics at Ezra allows for each church to have two user names: one for the pastor and one for another person. You will need to know your church's 6-digit General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) church number. Pastor’s user name is the six-digit church GCFA number followed by the letter "p" (e.g., 123456p). Password is "methodist" (this is case sensitive). Other user name is the six-digit church GCFA number followed by the letter "o" (e.g., 123456o). Password is "methodist" (this is case sensitive). Statistics for Table I are due Jan. 15. Statistics for Table II and Table III are due Jan. 31. Direct all questions to your district office administrative assistant.

Caretakers to provide water filters for Ghana households
Caretakers of God's Creation, in partnership with the Global Environment and Technology Foundation, is beginning to involve itself in a ministry of providing clean drinking water for people for whom water is scarce and/or contaminated. The first project will be a trial to take place in Northern Ghana to provide water filters for individual households. More ...

January issue of Advocate focuses on lay leadership
The January issue of the Virginia United Methodist Advocate looks at lay leadership, one of the keystones of our denomination. The Advocate is the official monthly magazine of the Virginia Conference. To subscribe to the Advocate – print , digital or both – call (804) 521-1110 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110; e-mail; or go to

Conference seeks volunteers for boards, agencies
The Conference Leadership Discovery and Development Team, in conjunction with District Nomination Facilitation committees, has begun the work of finding those who are interested in serving on conference boards and agencies. If you are interested in serving, fill out a Nomination Profile form available on the conference website (click here). All nomination profile forms must be sent to the appropriate district office for approval, and must be received (from the districts) in the office of Connectional Ministries by Jan. 31. More ...

Human Relations Day is Sunday, Jan. 20
Human Relations Day is Sunday, Jan. 20. This day of social action and raising awareness aims to heal social ills at the national level. It supports Community Developers, United Methodist Voluntary Service and the Youth Offender Rehabilitation Program. In The United Methodist Church calendar, Human Relations Day is the Sunday immediately following the observance of Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday. However, you can observe Human Relations Day anytime of the year. Be sure to order your free offering resources for this offering that supports ministries that advocate for those often on the margins of society. More …

One Great Hour of Sharing is March 10
One Great Hour of Sharing is March 10. Click here to order free resources for this offering that supports United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). Because UMCOR receives no apportionment dollars, the disaster-relief agency relies on the One Great Hour of Sharing special offering to pay for all of its administrative costs. This allows 100% of donations given for specific projects to go directly to those programs. Support One Great Hour of Sharing to insure that UMCOR can continue to respond immediately and effectively to help victims of emergencies around the world. More ...

School for Children's Ministry to travel around conference
The School for Children’s Ministry will hit the road this year and come to a district near you. Schedule is 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Jan. 12 at Williamsburg UMC, Williamsburg; Feb. 9 at Springfield UMC, Springfield; March 9 at Baylake UMC, Virginia Beach; and April 13 at Bonsack UMC, Roanoke. A $10 registration fee includes lunch, workshops, networking and lots of fun. Registration deadline is the Wednesday before the event. Click here for flyer and registration information.

Ministers' Convocation 2013 will be Jan. 15-17
Ministers’ Convocation 2013 will be held Jan. 15-17 at Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center. Theme is "Finding Hope ... Bearing Hope." Keynote speaker will be author Phyllis Tickle. Guest preacher will be Dr. Carl Arrington, pastor of Chestnut Grove UMC in King, N.C., and former director of African-American and Social Justice Ministries at Lake Junaluska. Bishop Young Jin Cho will preach for opening worship. Click here for more information and to register.

UMVIM Team Leader Training events scheduled
Team Leader Training is required for all first-time United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) team leaders. The following training events are currently scheduled: Jan. 19, Aldersgate UMC, 1500 E. Rio Rd., Charlottesville - Click here to register online and pay by credit card; click here to download pdf flyer and pay by check. Jan. 26,Shady Grove UMC, 4825 Pouncey Tract Rd., Glen Allen - Click here to register online; click here to download pdf flyer and pay by check. Feb. 23,Blacksburg UMC, 111 Church St., Blacksburg - Click here to register online; click here to download pdf flyer and pay by check. April 20,Concord UMC, 16703 Walkers Mill Rd., Stony Creek - Click here to register online; click here to download pdf flyer and pay by check. May 11, Herndon UMC, 701 Bennett St., Herndon - Click here to register online; click here to download pdf flyer and pay by check. Each training session will be from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with registration beginning at 8:45 a.m. A $55 registration fee for each participant is payable when you register. Lunch will be provided. Continuing Education Units (0.5 units) will be provided for those needing CEU certification. Pre-registration is required by noon on the Monday before the training event. For more information, contact the Center for Justice and Missional Excellence at 1-800-768-6040, ext. 144, or (804) 521-1144; contact: Julie Warren, RN, Virginia Conference UMVIM Coordinator, at (817) 975-9216, or e-mail

PAUMCS to 'Experience Your Connection' Jan. 23
Virginia Conference chapter of Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries (PAUMCS) has rescheduled its annual fall event, "Experience Your Connection," to 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, at the United Methodist Conference Center in Glen Allen. Sandy Gramling, clinical psychologist on the faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University, will speak on "Dealing with difficult people." Betty Forbes, immediate past chair of the conference pensions board, will lead a brief session on pensions and health care. The event, orginally scheduled for Oct. 31, was postponed due to uncertain weather conditions. Registration deadline is Jan. 11. More ...

United Methodist Day at General Assembly is Feb. 7
United Methodist Day at the General Assembly 2013 will be Thursday, Feb. 7. The day will begin at 7 a.m. at Bon Air UMC, Richmond, with a hot breakfast provided by United Methodist Men. Participants will travel together on buses to the General Assembly to meet with legislators and attend committee meetings. In the afternoon, return to Bon Air for lunch, discussion and speakers. Click here for more information and to register. Early bird registration ($25/person) ends Jan. 20.

Lay Servant Academy to be Feb. 22-24
Lay Servant Academy will be Feb. 22-24 at Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center. In addition to the 13 familiar courses found at the Lay Servant Academy, this year's offering includes 19 mini-courses in a wide range of specialties and interests. Taking five classes will count towards advanced certification. If you register early, the fee is the same as last year. All registration is through Blackstone. Contact Cyndi Schnell at (434) 292-5308,, or fax (434) 292-1212. Click here for more information, or contact your district director of Lay Servant Ministries (click here for a listing), or e-mail Johnnie Draughon, Conference Director of Lay Speaking Ministries at or David Bailey, Lay Servant Academy Director, at More ...

5 Talent Academy to focus on faith development Feb. 23
The next 5 Talent Academy training event will focus on spiritual formation and faith development 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23. It will be hosted live at Floris UMC in northern Virginia while simultaneously live-streamed to five conference locations. Satellite locations are: Eastern Shore (Franktown UMC), Martinsville (First UMC), Richmond (Good Shepherd UMC), Tidewater (Francis Asbury UMC), and Shenandoah Valley (Bridgewater UMC). Speaker will be Mindy Caliguire, founder and president of Soul Care, Transformation Ministry director at Willow Creek Association and author of “Soul Care Resources.” All churches, regardless of previous membership or affiliation with the 5 Talent Academy, are invited to participate. Click here for more information and to register. More ...

Society for Wesleyan Studies to hear Asbury biographer
The Society for Wesleyan Studies will host Dr. John Wiggen, recent Asbury biographer, 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 25, at the Virginia United Methodist Center in Glen Allen. Dr. Wiggen will consider lessons from the vitality of early American Methodism under Asbury's leadership, and how we might apply them today. Register by sending your check for $45 (payable to Society of Wesleyan Studies) to the Rev. Myron Simmons, at 140 Ranch Dr., Elizabeth City, NC 27909-9698. E-mail questions to either or the Rev. Bruce Johnson at

Clergy Spouse Retreat to be Feb. 28-March 2
2013 Clergy Spouse Retreat will be Feb. 28 - March 2 at Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center. Speakers will be the Rev. David and Judy Canada. Bishop Young Jin Cho will speak during the Friday morning session. The Revs. Brian Siegle and Carl Perez will be worship leaders. Josh Wortham will be music leader and will give a concert Friday evening. Retreat program will start on Friday at 9:45 a.m. Thursday evening pre-retreat will offer fun and fellowship. Click here for more information and to register.

Virginia Wesleyan CEU Seminar for Clergy to be March 4-5
“Preaching from the Prophets” will be the topic of the next CEU Seminar for Clergy at Virginia Wesleyan College March 4-5. Presenter will be Dr. John N. Oswalt, well-known author and Old Testament scholar and visiting distinguished professor of Old Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary. Registration material will be sent to clergy in early January for this seminar which is approved for one CEU for clergy. Online registration will be available in January. Visit the Virginia Wesleyan College website at for additional information.

Westview on James offers confirmation retreats
Westview on the James, in Goochland, is offering two Spring confirmation retreats in 2013. "Confirm Your Faith" will be March 15-17 and "Live Your Commitment" will be May 3-5. Westview staff will lead small groups based on the Credo curriculum and will lead confirmands in an interactive faith-growing experience. The Rev. Drew Willson, from Salem UMC in the Charlottesville District, will be keynote speaker and worship leader. Contact the camp office at (804) 457-4210 or e-mail for questions or additional information.

Journey middle school weekend to be March 22-24
Journey middle school weekend is specifically designed to encourage and challenge middle school students in their walk with Christ and to provide encouragement and training for adult leaders working with middle school students. Journey weekend will be March 22-24 at Rockbridge Alum Springs in Goshen. Willow Creek's Middle School Pastor Scott Rubin will be speaker and will also provide training for youth leaders on Saturday morning. Worship leaders will be a band called The Beautiful Refrain ( Check out details at

Elders Retreat to be April 21-23 at Blackstone
Virginia Conference Order of Elders Retreat will be held at the Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center from 6 p.m. Sunday, April 21, to noon Tuesday, April 23. Theme is "Spiritual Renewal for Spiritual Leadership through Spiritual Disciplines." Click here for more information and to register.

Cokesbury, TurboTax join to offer savings, mission support
Cokesbury and TurboTax have partnered to offer savings on the tax preparation software and contribute to a mission of The United Methodist Church. If you purchase TurboTax through Cokesbury by clicking here, you can get up to a $15 savings on TurboTax's online Federal products. In addition, Cokesbury will donate 10% of the purchase price to fighting hunger, a critical mission of the church. To get your savings on TurboTax and support the fight against hunger, follow this link.

'Chuck Knows Church' video explains offering plate
Do you know the history of taking up an offering? The United Methodist Board of Discipleship’s “Chuck Knows Church” video series offers the story behind passing the plate. Stay tuned to the end for a surprise. Watch video

Jan. 20 Sunday Supper events to reach out to military
Seeking new ways to honor veterans and embrace military families? United Methodist congregations share special plans to do so this month. Honoring veterans is the focus of America’s Sunday Supper, slated for Jan. 20. Inspired by the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., America’s Sunday Supper invites people from diverse backgrounds to come together to share a meal, discuss issues that affect their community and highlight the power each one of us has to make a difference. More ... Watch UMTV video

Society of St. Andrew offers free Lenten devotion materials
For Lent, the Society of St. Andrew (SoSA), a domestic hunger-relief ministry that provides nutritious fresh produce to hungry Americans, invites your congregation to participate in a program of spiritual reflection, prayer and giving. SoSA's Lenten devotion program challenges the reader to take seriously the scriptural injunctions to care for the poor, while it also provides an opportunity to feed our hungry brothers and sisters. This year’s Lenten devotion booklet, How Beautiful, is based on Romans 10:15b,“How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news.” All materials for the Lenten devotional program are free from the Society of St. Andrew. For a church sample kit or a personal packet, order online at; by phone at 1-800-333-4597; or by e-mail to

Bishops launch new ecumenical, interfaith office
The new Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships was launched Jan. 1 by the United Methodist Council of Bishops as part of a transition in how the denomination’s ecumenical and interfaith work is organized. The office will have an 11-member steering committee, including lay and clergy representatives from each jurisdiction in the United States and the central (overseas) conferences. The steering committee will convene in New York Jan. 24-26 to begin organizing the work of the office. More ...

Lawsuit against Oregon-Idaho Conference alleges abuse by pastor
A lawsuit has been filed against the Oregon-Idaho Conference alleging sexual abuse by the Rev. William Walker when he was pastor of First Eugene United Methodist Church. Walker served the church from 1982 to 1992 when he died of AIDS. The suit filed anonymously by “Jack Doe” alleges that he was sexually abused as a youth in 1984. Bishop Grant Hagiya, who has established a legal response team, said he and other conference leaders take the allegations very seriously. Read the conference’s announcement and Read news story by The Register-Guard

United Methodist Senator takes well-used Bible to swearing-in
United Methodist Elizabeth Warren, the new U.S. senator from Massachusetts, arrived for her swearing-in carrying the Bible she has used since the third grade, the Boston Globe reported. More ...

Wesley Seminary to offer Doctor of Ministry in Military Chaplaincy
Beginning in May 2013, Wesley Theological Seminary is offering a Doctor of Ministry track in Military Chaplaincy designed to enhance the ability of chaplains to satisfy both the operational needs of military leaders and the religious needs of soldiers and their families. With an emphasis on interfaith and intercultural issues; images of Biblical leadership; and spiritual care for all parts of the military family; this program is a natural complement to the military chaplain’s Professional Military Education (PME). Full to half-tuition scholarships are available for eligible students who are not enrolled in another tuition reimbursement program. More ...

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 Peggy Cribbs at 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110, or (804) 521-1110. Or e-mail 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
P.O. Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058-5606
(804) 521-1100
Click here for directions to the Center