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 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 - July 16, 2019

Connectional Ministries staff working with CEMCA on holy conferencing
Last Friday the Virginia Conference Office of Connectional Ministries shared an update on the holy conferencing that CEMCA called for at Annual Conference 2019. "In response to the concerns expressed at Annual Conference 2019, the Virginia Conference Commission on Ethnic Minority Concerns and Advocacy (CEMCA) received numerous requests to facilitate Holy Conferencing with groups that circulated delegate voting lists regarding racial and ethnic representation on the 2020 Virginia delegations to General and Jurisdictional Conference. The Rev. Glenn Rowley, conference director of Justice and Missional Excellence, is working with CEMCA and the groups and caucuses involved to organize a gathering facilitated by an outside resource person. Coordinating this dialogue is very important, and we want to assure everyone that the Rev. Rowley and CEMCA are working to provide an appropriate and timely process to address the concerns of all representative groups. Thank you for your prayers and patience as we organize this important conversation."

Volunteers needed for Danville District flooding recovery
Last week, the Rev. Jon Woodburn, Danville District disaster coordinator, shared a plea for volunteers as the district continues efforts to recover from flooding by Hurricane Michael in October 2018. "The biggest issue we currently have is a lack of volunteers," said Woodburn. "It has been some time since the energy of the storm left its mark on the area; our energy for being helpful may have diminished. Please help us help others in the name of Christ and show that the kingdom has come near by encouraging people to volunteer." You can contact Woodburn at You can be schedule for day trips or for a week-long period. Tasks left to accomplish include volunteers with experience placing floors, installing lower kitchen cabinets, replacing vinyl siding, placing insulation and doing drywall, prepping and painting, and doing trim work. Woodburn said the District hopes to complete this work by December this year.

Connect students to campus ministries
All across Virginia, the Virginia Conference has the opportunity to connect college students with campus ministries. The Virginia Conference is blessed to have so many amazing campus ministries for students, but the conference Next Gen Office needs your help.
The start of a new school year can be overwhelming, and many students don't know where to look to find a Christian community. With your help, the Virginia Conference can provide the names of incoming students to campus ministers so they can reach out to new students. Please fill out as much information as you can on the form linked to help connect any and all college students you know to campus ministries! More…

UM Immigration Task Force shares letter in response to plight of migrants
Last week the UM Immigration Task Force shared a letter in response to the plight of migrants and the condition of their detainment at the United States border. Wesley UMC in Charlottesville is mentioned in the letter as a church providing sanctuary to Maria Chavalan Sut since 2018. Learn more at the link and for action steps. More...

Draft of 2019-2020 Clergy Directory available on conference website
A draft of the 2019-2020 Clergy Directory has been posted on the Virginia Conference website. Please take a moment to look up your information to make sure it is correct. If you need to make changes, please email Brenda Capen at More...

Back-to-school is great time to assemble UMCOR School Kits
This is the perfect time of year with back-to-school sales beginning to assemble The United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) School Kits. Learn more about assembly and required items at the link. More...

Basic Early Response Team training on July 27 in Chester
Basic Early Response Team Training will be held on July 27, 2019 at Chester UMC in Chester from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Registration in advance is needed but payment for training can be made that day at 8:15 a.m. until class starts. Training will be held in the Davis Fellowship Hall. Church address is 12132 Percival St., Chester, VA 23831. Cost is $35; checks should be made to the Virginia Conference. For registration and other questions, contact the Rev. Kirk Culpepper at 757-434-0078 or email

Duke Divinity 2019 Convocation & Pastors’ School to be held in October
Christian leaders are invited to attend Convocation & Pastors’ School, Oct. 7-8, 2019 at Duke Divinity School. This intensive two-day conference features nationally renowned speakers, powerful lectures, inspiring worship, and thought-provoking seminars. Register by Aug. 31 to take advantage of early bird pricing. More…

Wrap-up from Annual Conference 2019
You can find a written report about Annual Conference 2019 and a summary video at the conference page which are perfect if preparing a local church report. To order a conference Journal, Directory of Ministry, or Flash Drive, follow this link. More...

Share your voice – Participate in the conference Communications survey
The mission of the conference Communications Office is to provide the Virginia Conference information clergy and laity need, including conference news and events, updates from the bishop, information on training opportunities, and local ministry stories. The goal is to provide information through the communications channels that are most useful. The Communications Office and the Board of Communications have created a short communications survey to get feedback to serve you better. Please visit to take the survey, and please share this link with others in your congregation. The survey will remain open until July 31, 2019.

July Advocate issue dives into campus ministries
The local church, according to the mission of the UM denomination, provides “the most significant arena through which disciple making occurs.” These disciples then go off to college where campus ministry can help better form them as they grow socially and emotionally. What is campus ministry like in this arena? How can churches help support disciples in campus ministries around the conference? The clergy appointments are featured in this issue. Also in the July issue are moving day memories, planning new directions for the church, impact of General Conference 2019, and the top five ways to get involved in campus ministries.

As the Advocate magazine comes to an end in its print and online formats in 2019, every issue, print and online, can be purchased for $7.50/subscription. Contact the Communications Office to place an order at or 804-521-1110.

Renfro Trust Grants now available
The Renfro Trust Fund awards annual bricks-and-mortar grants to small rural United Methodist congregations in the Southeastern Jurisdiction. Renfro Trust Funds are available for award with a deadline for application of August 12, 2019. The grants are available through the conference Office of Justice and Missional Excellence. To apply go to the Virginia Conference website, click on the menu for Office of Justice and Missional Excellence then scroll down to Renfro Grants. You will find the application and guidelines for applying. Churches may complete the online application and mail it or complete it online and send it electronically. More...

Lay Servant Academy- Aug. 2-4
The 40th anniversary Lay Servant Academy will be held at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland from August 2-4. Featuring 11 different 10-hour courses for lay servant certification, recertification and/or enrichment, including Spiritual Care/Pastoral Care by the Rev. Bert Cloud; and Conflicts in Church Transformation by the Rev. Teresa Keezel and Mr. Gerry Fuss. Register today and encourage your laity to register. The deadline to register is July 19. For a brochure, course descriptions and registration, visit For questions regarding the academy, contact David Bailey, , 804-338-3168.  For help with registration, contact MaryKaye Cochran,, 804-521-1155.

Fresh Expressions Roundtables- Aug. dates
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to dig into a fresh expression for your church or community! Fresh Expressions Roundtables are being hosted at three locations in August. This FREE event is for any clergy or laity in the VA Annual Conference interested in pursuing a fresh expression.
•    Winchester Roundtable, August 13, 1-4 p.m., Leesburg UMC, Leesburg
•    Roanoke Roundtable, August 14, 6-9 p.m., Cave Spring UMC, Roanoke
•    Elizabeth River Roundtable, August 15, 2-5 p.m., Ghent UMC, Norfolk
•    Eastern Shore Roundtable, August 15, 6:30- 9 p.m., Hampton Inn, Exmore

Reserve your spot at Contact Mark Ogren, conference director of Congregational Excellence, at 804.521.1155 or for questions.

United Methodist Men Spiritual Advance- Sept. 27-28
Registration is now open for the 2019 UMMen’s Spiritual Advance at Baylake UMC in Virginia Beach on Sept. 27-28. Featured speaker is the Rev. Dr. Kevin Watson, author of The Class Meeting and Bible study teacher at the 2019 Virginia Annual Conference. The theme is Transforming Grace. Special rates are available for pastors, early birds, spouses, and, if you attended last year, Bring One Get One (BOGO) for first timers.  New this year, church sponsorships are targeted for churches who have never attended the event or those currently with no formal UMMen organization. Open to all churches, the challenge is to line up 12 men to come and receive both a discounted rate and a free event themed T-shirt.  A box lunch option is available on Saturday to allow for more fellowship on site with brothers in Christ. 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 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

Privacy Policy





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