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 - January 18, 2018

Livestream presentation on Commission, 2019 General Conference on Jan. 24
The Rev. Tom Berlin, a member of the Commission on a Way Forward, will be the presenter for a livestream training event on Jan. 24 from 1 to 4 p.m. Presentation will be related to the work of the Commission on a Way Forward and the 2019 General Conference. The livestream will include: how to have conversations on difficult topics in the local church, resources to discuss LGBTQ inclusion in the local church and a review of the work of the Commission on a Way Forward and what will happen between now and the called 2019 session of General Conference. More…

Council of Bishops urges participation in Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
The Council of Bishops is urging all United Methodists to join with other Christians throughout the world to participate in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which begins today, Jan. 18, 2018. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is promoted by the World Council of Churches, most regional councils of churches and most mainline denominations, including The United Methodist Church. This year’s Week of Prayer (Jan. 18-25, 2018) uses Exodus 15:6 with the theme “Your Right Hand, O Lord, Glorious in Power.”  An ecumenical group from the churches of the Caribbean has taken the lead this year in writing the materials and creating the theme. More…

VIM Trip to the Holy Land planned for November
A Volunteers In Mission (VIM) trip to Israel and Palestine will be taking place Nov. 5 - 17, 2018. This experience is sponsored by the Virginia Conference Board of Church and Society and will be led by certified VIM team leaders, the Rev. John Copenhaver and the Rev. Steve Jones. This trip will focus on learning and service with Palestinian Christians and will include visits to religious sites in Jerusalem, Nazareth, Bethlehem and Hebron. There will also be opportunities to learn more about the lives of all people in Israel and Palestine. An informational meeting about this trip will take place on Sunday, Apr. 8, 2018 at 3 p.m. at the conference center in Glen Allen. Interested persons should contact either leader; an itinerary and inclusive cost are available. The Board of Church and Society will be providing possible scholarship funds for young adults. Please contact John Copenhaver at or Steve Jones at to learn more.

Join 2018 Bible Reading Challenge
Bishop Sharma D. Lewis' 2018 Bible reading challenge will be read chronologically (in the order of events). Information about the challenge and monthly readings are now on the conference website. Take this quick survey to let Bishop Lewis know you have joined her in the challenge. More... 

February Advocate highlights Heart Havens month 
The February Advocate is working with Heart Havens for this issue to share news from the organization and to provide resources for churches to participate and support Heart Havens during the month of February for their theme of, “Life of the Party.” To subscribe to the Advocate—print, digital or both—call (804) 521-1110 or 1-800-768-6040, ext. 110; email; or go to February issue out soon!

United Methodists join in Trump rebuke
Many United Methodists, including the Council of Bishops, joined in the widespread criticism of President Trump for his reported remarks about African countries and Haiti during a recent White House meeting. More…

Fifth-graders help right 60-year-old wrong
About  60 years ago, the Rev. Gilbert Caldwell and his wife, Grace, were denied their reservation at their honeymoon destination because they are black. Fifth-graders heard about the United Methodist couple’s experience and began a letter-writing campaign to right the wrong. More…

Pastor's son wins MLK oratory event
“I may not look like Dr. King, but I believe like Dr. King.” That line helped fourth-grader Wesley Stoker, who is white, win this year’s local MLK Jr. Young Orator event. Wesley’s father is the Rev. Andy Stoker, pastor of First United Methodist Church of Dallas.  More…

♦ United Methodist Day at General Assembly- Feb. 1, 2018 
Ever wanted to know how to create real change in our state government? Or wanted to know more about real issues facing our legislature? United Methodist Day at the General Assembly is the place for you! This is our opportunity to help faith communities become empowered to serve as missionaries of justice, as well as the more traditional missionaries of mercy. This yearly event will be held Thursday, Feb. 1 from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Due to construction at capitol square this year and the relocation of the General Assembly Building, space will be more LIMITED this year. Registration open until Jan. 19. A briefing will be held Wednesday, Jan. 31 at Bon Air UMC in North Chesterfield at 7:30 p.m. Questions may be directed to the Rev. Barbara Lewis at or (434) 594-6241. Find more information at link. More… 

♦ 2018 Lay Servant Academy- Mar. 2-4, 2018 
Registration for the 2018 Lay Servant Academy, Mar. 2-4, is now open. Event will take place at the 4H Educational Conference Center in Wirtz. The Lay Servant Academy is about equipping laity (those who are not clergy) to carry out the mission of the church. All of the courses are open to anyone who would like to take one. Each course is designed to help those serving the local church learn more about leadership, personal faith development and a deeper understanding of The United Methodist Church. The courses are also designed to support those seeking to become Certified Lay Servants and Certified Lay Speakers. More…

♦ Ministers' Convocation- Apr. 23-25, 2018 
This spring, The Center for Clergy Excellence invites you for a time of Sabbath retreat, learning and fellowship together as ministry leaders at Ministers’ Convocation – Apr. 23-25, 2018. Come be engaged in theological and academic conversation while experiencing rejuvenation for ministry. Theme is “The Paradox of Perfection: Our Wesleyan Heritage” with an emphasis on Christian Perfection. Dr. Rex Matthews, Professor in the Practice of Historical Theology and Wesleyan Studies at Candler School of Theology will be teacher for the event. Bishop Sharma D. Lewis and the Rev. William Lamar, pastor of Metropolitan AME Church in Washington, D.C., will lead in worship. For event details and to register visit: Worship, keynote and workshop sessions, lodging and meals will be held at Virginia Crossings Conference Center in Glen Allen. You are encouraged to register before Holy Week to ensure lodging availability. The deadline for in-residence registration is Monday, Apr. 2, 2018. All clergy, diaconal ministers, and professional/paraprofessional certified ministers in the Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church are invited.

♦ Faithful Aging Conference- Apr. 24, 2018 
Theme for the Faithful Aging Conference will be “Always a Place at the Table” on Tuesday, Apr. 24, 2018, at Williamsburg UMC in Williamsburg. At the event you can network with other faith communities, share ideas and talk about how to address opportunities and changes as society ages alongside local church congregations. Consider being an exhibitor or sponsor to share ministry and service providers on hand to share information and help others understand the different levels of services and resources available, as well as the needs and issues older adults face. More information to come later this month. Questions can be directed to

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



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