Virginia FOCUS Initiative
Virginia Focus 2020 is now Virginia Focus Initiative
Virginia FOCUS Initiative is a ministry of the Virginia Annual Conference that seeks to strengthen the Black church. Virginia FOCUS 2020 began in 2017 as a three-year initiative to provide training, coaching, and support for strong African-American United Methodist churches in the Virginia Conference. The goals of the program were:
- transforming existing African-American churches through training, coaching and mentoring;
- establishing new churches and faith communities of all sizes; and
- assisting the Virginia Conference in urban strategic planning.
Virginia FOCUS Initiative centers Black voices and experiences while lifting up training events and issues that will assist all clergy and laity in areas of mission focus, generative stewardship, faithful evangelism, digital media, and community engagement. Virginia FOCUS Initiative invites disciples to learn through events that focus on the message of the Gospel, to influence others through their use of technology and community outreach, and to serve as churches reach out into their communities through missional partnerships. As we live through the effects and realities brought on by the pandemic that disrupted our complacency and norms, we have a unique opportunity to come together, learn together, and grow together. Every person with concern for what is next for you and/or your role in ministry must make every effort to participate in this groundbreaking (virtual) event.
Coming together with others who are interested in or committed to being in integral and supportive relationships that brings life to all included.
O-Opportunities for Ministry
Discerning pathways that take all of us out of our buildings and into the communities God has called us to serve. Letting go of all that is not serving the mission so that we can fulfill the Great Commission.
C-Celebrate, Cultivate, Connect, and Contribute
Championing successes and learning from failures so that we grow stronger and can go far beyond where we would ever consider or try going on our own.
Being present in times of plenty and in times of want. Knowing every person or community does not exist in perfect harmony, nor should any perspective seek to dominate another, dismiss others or demean anyone. Being able to disagree, but not to be disagreeable.
Giving of who we are to the world – trusting our experiences and expectations will rise to meet the challenges and opportunities we face.
Influencing Ministries Office
The Influencing Ministries Office focuses primarily with congregational development. The office also deals with Lay Servant Ministries, Scouting Ministries, and UM Day at General Assembly.
For questions or points of contact, you can contact Associate Director of Influence Dwayne Stinson at (804) 521-1135 or Influencing@vaumc.org . For questions about the Church Development Team, VA Focus 2020, or the Church Extension and Development Fund, contact Administrative Assistant Bev Myers at (804) 521-1134 or BevMyers@vaumc.org.
Upcoming event- May 22, 2021 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The theme for the May 22 event is “Minding Our Spiritual Business and Sacred Duties.” This event will focus on creating a stronger ministry presence where you serve. Event features “main stage” speakers, breakout rooms, virtual booths, and networking opportunities.
Attendees need to register by May 20, 2021. Register for the event at this link.
There is no cost to register. The event is worth .7 CEU credits. The event will remain accessible for 30 days for a nominal fee for those that did not register for the May 22, 2021 event.
- Keynote speaker: Dr. Candace Lewis, Pivoting in our methods, Holding fast to the Message
- Keynote speaker: Jazmine Smith, Expanding your church’s presence where you serve
- Keynote speaker: Brennen Boose, Using technology in new ways to get the “Good News” out to the World
- Keynote speaker: Dr. Dana Lyles, Community development and engagement