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 2011 issue of the Virginia Conference e-Advocate, click on the date below:

Dec. 16, 2011
Dec. 9, 2011
Dec. 1, 2011

Nov. 18, 2011
Nov. 11, 2011
Nov. 4, 2011

Oct. 28, 2011
Oct. 14, 2011
Oct. 7, 2011

Sept. 29, 2011
Sept. 23, 2011
Sept. 15, 2011
Sept. 9, 2011
Sept. 2, 2011

Aug. 26, 2011
Aug. 19, 2011
Aug. 11, 2011
Aug. 4, 2011

July 28, 2011
July 21, 2011
July 15, 2011
July 8, 2011

June 29, 2011
June 20, 2011
June 14, 2011
June 9, 2011
June 3, 2011 - Special Annual Conference Edition

May 27, 2011
May 20, 2011
May 11, 2011
May 6, 2011

April 26, 2011
April 18, 2011
April 8, 2011

March 31, 2011
March 25, 2011
March 17, 2011
March 9, 2011
March 2, 2011

Feb. 25, 2011
Feb. 17, 2011
Feb. 10, 2011
Feb. 3, 2011

Jan. 28, 2011
Jan. 20, 2011
Jan. 12, 2011
Jan. 6, 2011

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 2010 issues

Click here for 2009 issues


News from the Virginia Conference – November 18, 2011

Jan. 15 America’s Sunday Supper to promote service
United Methodist Communications and the General Board of Church and Society are urging communities to Rethink Church in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day with America’s Sunday Supper on Jan. 15. America’s Sunday Supper will be a nationwide night of simultaneous dinners and discussions shared in churches, homes, community centers and kitchens to promote positive change in the world. As an activation partner with Points of Light, United Methodist Communications has created several free resources to make it easy to host an America’s Sunday Supper. These resources include downloadable films for focused discussion and a tool kit to help plan and execute a meaningful event. Events are designed to meet specific community needs. Project resources include ideas to support education, environment, military care, Imagine No Malaria and others. For free planning resources and to register to participate go to

Voices of Youth applications now available
Applications for the 2012 Virginia Conference Voices of Youth choir are now available at Applications for new and returning youth participants as well as adult and college staff are posted. Staff applications are due by Dec. 19; youth applications are due by Jan. 6. Tour dates for 2012 are June 27 through July 20. The choir will participate in tornado and disaster recovery in the North Alabama Conference. For more information call coordinator Jennifer Dixon at (757) 348-7084 or e-mail her at

Construction begins on second Lynchburg Heart Havens home
Heart Havens brought construction workers and other volunteers together in Lynchburg recently to build the area’s second group home for people with intellectual disabilities. Purpose of the new home is “to make a difference for adults with intellectual disabilities, so they can have a life like we would have a life, to get involved with the community and explore their dreams," said Jennifer Boyden-Barrett, Heart Havens CEO. Heart Havens built its first home in Lynchburg in 2004. The existing Heart Havens home sits directly across the street from where the new one will soon stand complete. When finished, it will be the 13th Heart Havens home in the state. Crews hope to have it done and ready for occupancy by the summer of 2012.

Conference Board of Discipleship to be at district training days
The Virginia Conference Board of Discipleship will be represented at each of the upcoming district training days. The Board has planned exciting new ways to reach out to assist local churches in carrying out their ministries of education, stewardship, evangelism, worship and spiritual formation. Look for their display at your district event and learn about how to access the resources they can provide to help strengthen your congregation.

United Methodist Student Day is Nov. 27
Churchgoers can support United Methodist college and university students with a special offering on United Methodist Student Day, Sunday, Nov. 27. The Special Sunday offering supports college scholarships and the United Methodist Student Loan Fund program. Participating annual conferences may award scholarships to United Methodists who reside in the conference and who attend a United Methodist-related higher education institution. More …

Resources available for World AIDS Day observance
World AIDS Day is Dec. 1. The United Methodist Church’s Global AIDS Fund Committee offers the "40 Days of Prayer" resource that can be downloaded and used as a daily devotional leading up to the observance. The General Board of Church & Society has developed a sample World AIDS Day worship service and other AIDS-free world resources that can be downloaded as well.

High School Fall Retreat to be Dec. 2-4
The Conference High School Fall Retreat will be held Dec. 2-4 at Eagle Eyrie in Lynchburg. The retreat will include a Youth Service Fund “walk for change” to help youths gain mission awareness. Churches are encouraged to recruit a college student or young adult to lead a small group. Registration fee, curriculum, training and debriefing will be provided for all small group leaders. Cost is $115 per participant. Registration deadline has been extended to Friday, Nov. 25. Click here to register. More ...

‘Evening at Blackstone’ scheduled for Dec. 11
Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center, 707 Fourth St., Blackstone, will hold its annual “Evening at Blackstone” Sunday, Dec. 11. Holiday open house begins at 4 p.m.; banquet is at 5:30 p.m. Performances begin at 7 p.m. and will include “Star of Wonder,” theatrical production by youths from Crenshaw United Methodist Church, and Dean Shostak’s Crystal Concert featuring glass instruments from Benjamin Franklin’s Glass 1761 Armonica. For reservations, call (434) 292-5308. Cost is $45 (individual) or $80 (couple) for entire evening. Cost of $80 (individual) or $150 (couple) includes evening’s activities plus lodging and breakfast.

Ministers’ Convocation to encourage time of renewal
Theme of the 2012 Ministers’ Convocation is "Bread for the Journey: A time for personal renewal and fellowship to regain joy and vitality in our lives and our vocation." Keynote presenter will be Wayne Muller, a therapist, minister, community advocate, public speaker and best-selling author of Sabbath; A Life of Being, Having and Doing Enough and Legacy of the Heart: the Spiritual Advantages of a Painful Childhood. The convocation is set for Jan. 17-19 at Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center. Click here for more information or to register.

Conference clergy urged to attend Festival of Homiletics
The Virginia Conference Order of Elders is encouraging all clergy across the conference to attend the Festival of Homiletics May 14-18 in Atlanta. More …

Register now for June 25-29 United Nations Seminar
Reservations are being accepted for the June 25-29, 2012, United Nations Seminar for young people ages 16-22. This is an opportunity to go deeper in living your faith and learning how to be a generation for change. An exploration of social justice issues and systemic causes (locally and globally), this trip to New York City will help young people ages 16-22 years old discover a passion to change the world. This seminar is sponsored by the General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church. Seminars are presented for a minimum of 15 people. The goal is to register at least 15 participants by January. Exact cost has not yet been determined as final details are being set, but it is estimated to be approximately $800 per person. If you are interested in participating, contact Becky Tate at as soon as possible. More …

Bishops ask you to contact senators re global health funding
Since April 2010, United Methodists have raised more than $18 million to support Imagine No Malaria. These funds have already been used in Africa to provide more than 588,000 bed nets, train 3,500 local health workers and create 15 in-country health boards which empower the people of Africa to fight malaria. This week, the United Nations Foundation granted $3 million to support Imagine No Malaria campaign costs. This allows all donations to go directly to fight this killer disease in Africa. But, the urgency continues. “Our children are still dying,” Bishop Eben Nhiwatiwa of Zimbabwe said. In fact, a child dies of malaria every 45 seconds. Bishop Thomas Bickerton, Imagine No Malaria campaign chair, and the bishops serving on the Imagine No Malaria executive committee are calling on all United Methodists to provide more help. The U.S. Senate is considering a critical budget bill that would protect federal funding for global health, including malaria. The bishops are asking you to contact your senator at (202) 224-3121 or by e-mail, asking for his or her support for global health funding. More …

Is going to church fattening?
People who attended services or otherwise participated in organized religion weekly were 62% more likely to be obese than those who never participated, according to a report from the Association of Religion Data Archives. More …

UMCOR Christmas catalog available
Give the perfect gift every time by giving through the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Gift Catalog this Christmas. Consider alternative giving as a way to show loved ones you care by contributing to causes close to their hearts. Give to programs that combat human trafficking, provide food for the hungry, give water to the thirsty, and more. Explore the gift catalog today to find the gift that keeps on giving. UMCOR provides emergency relief in many areas of the world. To find out more about UMCOR's ministries, visit You can donate to any project by placing a contribution in the offering plate at a local United Methodist church; by sending a check to UMCOR, P.O. Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068; or by calling 1-800-554-8583, where credit card donations are accepted. You can also give online by clicking any of the "Give Now" links.

UMCOR continues to help Japan recover from earthquake
By October, United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) had received $11.8 million for earthquake/tsunami relief and recovery work in Japan as Japanese-American Methodists moved quickly to find ways to raise money. Substantial grants already have been made to both Japanese and international partners. More …

Watch video explaining common myths about copyrights
There are a lot of myths surrounding copyrighted material and its use in the church. Click here to view a video that addresses some the most common myths, along with explanations, to better inform the Christian community of its requirements and responsibilities when performing and playing copyrighted music.

Help needed for tornado recovery in eastern Tennessee
Winter is on its way, and several areas of the Holston Conference in eastern Tennessee still need help recovering from tornado damage seven months ago. More …

Virginians join UMW members to rally against pipeline
Members of United Methodist Women were among the thousands who rallied recently in Lafayette Square Park and then stood shoulder to shoulder around the White House, calling on President Obama to block construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Also in the rally were a group from Fairlington United Methodist Church in McLean and the Rev. Pat Watkins, a United Methodist church and community worker from Virginia who serves as executive director of Caretakers of God’s Creation, the Virginia Conference ministry on environmental stewardship. More …

$90 million budget proposed for bishops
The United Methodist Church’s top legislative body next spring will take up a recommended 2013-16 budget of more than $90 million to support the denomination’s 157 active and retired bishops. The budget request represents about a 4% decrease from the previous four years. More …

Jan. 6 is deadline to apply for Peace with Justice grant
Jan. 6 is the deadline to apply for a Peace with Justice grant from the General Board of Church & Society (GBCS). Funding for this program is generated through the Peace with Justice Special Sunday offering of The United Methodist Church. One of six Special Sundays in the denomination, Peace with Justice “witnesses to God’s demands for a faithful, just, disarmed and secure world.” Peace with Justice Sunday is June 3, 2012. Peace with Justice grants are awarded annually. This year $50,000 was granted to 18 Peace with Justice ministries. Grant applicants must be either a United Methodist or other affiliated organization, or an ecumenical group working with and through at least one United Methodist agency or organization. Applicants may seek assistance in filling out the form, which is available on the GBCS Web site at Peace with Justice Grant Application. For assistance, contact Marvlyn Scott, (202) 488-5643. For more information, contact Mark Harrison, GBCS director of Peace with Justice, (202) 488-5645.

Dec. 7 is deadline to apply for GBCS organizing initiative
Dec. 7 is the deadline to apply for positions at the General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) to become involved in a one-year grassroots organizing initiative across The United Methodist Church. The initiative is to empower and mobilize United Methodists to make a difference within their annual conferences and jurisdictions on issues of criminal justice, poverty, peace, human trafficking and violence against women. GBCS is seeking experienced organizers to join the agency either as consultants or employees for this 12-month initiative intended to strengthen local churches and annual conferences in addressing social justice issues. Position descriptions have been posted on GBCS’s Web site for National Organizer for Economic Justice, National Organizing Team Communicator, and National Organizer for Women and Children. Other positions will be posted soon. To apply for any position, send a cover letter of two pages or less clearly stating your knowledge, experience, skills and gifts enabling you to be a viable candidate for the position. You should include academic vitae and three professional references. Send your application to: The General Board of Church & Society, Attn: Frances Roberts, (, 100 Maryland Ave. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002; or send a fax to (202) 488-1617.

Feb. 1 is deadline to apply for Ethnic Young Adult internship
Deadline to apply for a 2012 Ethnic Young Adult (EYA) summer internship in Washington, D.C., is Feb. 1. The EYA program is for persons, ages 18-22, who have an interest in exploring issues of public policy, social justice advocacy and social change. Sponsored by the General Board of Church & Society (GBCS), the summer internship is for young adults representing the five ethnic minority caucuses of The United Methodist Church: Native Americans, Pacific-Islanders, Hispanic/Latinos, African Americans and Asian Americans. An application form can be obtained online at 2012 Ethnic Young Adult Internship. For more information, contact the Rev. Neal Christie, assistant general secretary, Education & Leadership Formation, General Board of Church & Society, 100 Maryland Ave. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002, (202) 488-5611, or via e-mail to Cindy Heilman, or Jennifer Gillyard.

Scarritt-Bennett offers prayer retreat, jazz liturgy workshop
Prayer: Holy Conversations with God” retreat will be held Jan. 23-26 on Scarritt-Bennett’s campus in Nashville, Tenn., and will be led by Pat Hoerth, a trained spiritual director and a United Methodist deaconess with extensive experience in teaching, leading retreats, and spiritual formation. “Creating Jazz Liturgy,” a workshop for pastors, church musicians, worship planners, seminary students, and others interested in jazz as legitimate music for worship, will be held Feb. 27-29 on Scarritt-Bennett’s campus.

Ninth Young Clergy Leadership Forum set for Feb. 8-10
The 9th annual Young Clergy Capitol Hill Leadership Forum sponsored by the General Board of Church & Society (GBCS) will be offered Feb. 8-10, at the historic United Methodist Building, next door to the Supreme Court and across the street from the U.S. Capitol. Annual conferences are urged to send up to two persons, age 35 and under, who may be either Elders or Deacons, and serving full-time. The conference Director of Connectional Ministries should approve the two candidates from his or her conference. The Young Adult Clergy Leadership Forum will provide creative and participatory ways to teach the Social Principles of The United Methodist Church in congregations. Registration is limited to 50 persons. Registration fee is $120. Attendees or their conferences are responsible for covering travel expenses to and from Washington, D.C. GBCS will pay hotel, meals and program costs in Washington, D.C. One and a half CEUs will be awarded for this training event. Register online at 2012 Young Clergy Leadership Forum. For more information, contact the Rev. Julie Wilson, GBCS annual conference organizer, at (202) 488-5650.

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 newsmagazine — 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



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