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

To view a 2015 issue of the Virginia Conference e-Advocate, click on the date below:

Dec. 17, 2015
Dec. 10, 2015
Dec. 3, 2015

Nov. 19, 2015
Nov. 12, 2015
Nov. 6, 2015

Oct. 29, 2015
Oct. 22, 2015
Oct. 15, 2015
Oct. 8, 2015
Oct. 1, 2015

Sept. 23, 2015
Sept. 10, 2015
Sept. 3, 2015

Aug. 27, 2015
Aug. 20, 2015
Aug. 14, 2015
Aug. 6, 2015

July 30, 2015
July 23, 2015
July 16, 2015
July 9, 2015
July 1, 2015

June 25, 2015
June 17, 2015
June 12, 2015
June 5, 2015

May 29, 2015
May 21, 2015
May 15, 2015
May 7, 2015
May 1, 2015

April 23, 2015
April 16, 2015
April 10, 2015
April 1, 2015

March 26, 2015
March 19, 2015
March 13, 2015
March 6, 2015

Feb. 27, 2015
Feb. 20, 2015
Feb. 13, 2015
Feb. 6, 2015

Jan. 27, 2015
Jan. 22, 2015
Jan. 15, 2015
Jan. 8, 2015

Click here for 2016 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 - March 13, 2015

Bishop Cho invites clergy, laity to Convocation on Prayer
"I am looking forward to the Bishop’s Convocation on Prayer that will be held on March 21 at Trinity UMC (903 Forest Ave., Richmond) from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.,” said Bishop Young Jin Cho. “The speaker for the day, the Rev. Sue Nilson Kibbey, met with the Cabinet last summer and shared about the power of ‘Breakthrough Prayer.’ I was so impressed with what she shared that I invited her to be the plenary presenter for the convocation. This will be a great day of spiritual renewal and learning through her presentations as well as the workshops that are offered. I encourage you to pray for and to participate in the Bishop’s Convocation on Prayer.” Click here for more information and to register for the event. Deadline to register is Monday, March 16.

Virginia Conference seeks Advocate Editor/News Associate
The Virginia Conference is searching for an Editor/News Associate to help resource and equip local churches for ministry and provide a connection for ministry beyond the local church by promoting, publicizing and reporting news, mission and ministry opportunities within the conference and across the denomination. The primary responsibility of the editor is to contribute to and give general oversight to the production of the conference monthly magazine, The Virginia United Methodist Advocate, in both its printed and digital formats. The editor will also be responsible for production of other printed materials, including the conference Journal, Book of Reports and Mission Opportunities booklet. Responsibilities will include writing news stories and taking photos of activities and events occurring in the Virginia Conference to be used in the Advocate magazine, on the conference website, in the e-Advocate weekly digital newsletter, on Social Media and in other ways that may be identified. Job requirements include strong writing skills; proficiency in use of Microsoft Office, InDesign, PhotoShop and Adobe Acrobat software; familiarity with AP style; skill as photographer; and knowledge of The United Methodist Church and its people, polity and procedures. The full-time position reports to the conference director of Communications. To apply, send resume to Linda Rhodes, director of Communications, at or P.O. Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058. Applications will be received through April 6. Click here for job description.

Virginia United Methodist Men lead giving to Meals for Millions
Last year, United Methodist Men of the Virginia Conference contributed $21,713 to the Meals for Millions Fund of the Society of St. Andrew (SoSA), the highest total of all U.S. conference groups. SoSA, a United Methodist partner which fights hunger in the United States, announced the top 10 contributors to the fund. More ...

March issue of 'To Arms!' is now online
The March 2015 issue of "To ARMS!," newsletter from the Virginia Conference Association of Retired Ministers and Spouses (ARMS), may be viewed and downloaded by going to or click here.

SEJ bishops, lay leaders ask for children in poverty stories
The Southeastern Jurisdiction Bishops and Conference Lay Leaders have created a joint project to share stories of children in poverty from each of our conferences with each other from now until the Jurisdictional Conference in July 2016. Please send your church stories in written format up to 250 words or in video format up to three-minute length to Warren Harper, Virginia Conference Lay Leader, at Include the name of the person sending the information, the pastor's name, your church name and district.

Video highlights Lay Servant Academy
Nick Ruxton, videographer in the conference Communications office, has produced a short video on the Lay Servant Academy held recently at Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center in Blackstone. This new video, along with other videos highlighting ministries of the Virginia Conference, can be found on the conference YouTube channel at and the conference Facebook page at

Play ‘Throwback Thursday’ on conference Facebook page
The Communications office has introduced “Throwback Thursday” #TBT on the conference Facebook page. Every Thursday we post a photo from a past event or an old picture of a Virginia Conference clergy member and invite followers to identify who and what is being pictured. To participate, go to the conference Facebook page and “Like” us.

Messiah UMC accepts UMCOR Relief Kit challenge
There is a most joyful assembly line at Messiah United Methodist Church in Springfield as people stand beside long tables laden with towels, soap, bandages and other supplies. They are putting together United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) health kits that will ultimately connect the local church with people in need around the world. The Messiah congregation has accepted a challenge, part of the UMCOR 75th anniversary celebration, to assemble 1,000 health kits to help replenish UMCOR's supply. More ...

March is Women's History Month
March is Women's History Month. “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives” is the theme for 2015. The theme presents the opportunity to weave women’s stories – individually and collectively – into the essential fabric of our nation’s history. For worship resources, including facts about famous women hymn writers, go to the United Methodist Discipleship Ministries website.

March 15 One Great Hour of Sharing suppports UMCOR
This year marks United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)'s 75th anniversary of being with people in times of crisis. In celebration, UMCOR is providing resources that offer creative ways to reflect and engage in UMCOR's ongoing legacy. United Methodists are encouraged to mark the 75th anniversary of UMCOR by giving to the One Great Hour of Sharing Special Offering on Sunday, March 15. Donations to One Great Hour of Sharing directly fund UMCOR's administrative costs, making it possible for UMCOR to use 100% of all other contributions on the projects donors specify, instead of on administrative or fundraising costs. UMCOR does not receive United Methodist World Service or apportionment funds, so without the One Great Hour of Sharing offerings, UMCOR would not exist.

Chuck Knows Church: One Great Hour of Sharing
Observed on the Fourth Sunday in Lent, One Great Hour of Sharing calls the Church to share the goodness of life with those who hurt. In the United Methodist Church, offerings collected benefit United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR). "Chuck Knows Church" is an online video series that explains the meaning behind some of the objects, symbols, terms and rituals in church. Episodes can be viewed and downloaded for free at More ...

Chuck Knows Church The Committee: 'Our Purpose'
Does your church understand its purpose in the community? Does it understand why it exists? In the latest episode of "The Committee," Chuck helps the members of Park Grove Community Church to understand their "why." "The Committee" is a spinoff of the "Chuck Knows Church" video series produced by United Methodist Discipleship Ministries (General Board of Discipleship). In "The Committee," Chuck is attempting to help the fictitious Park Grove Community Church that has lost its way, lost its pastor and is closing its doors ... unless, despite itself, it finds a new way of doing church. Each month this series invites congregations to look at the issues and barriers that block them from growing deeper and becoming more vital. "The Committee" uses humor and real-life issues to invite you into a conversation about the future of your congregation. Each episode of "The Committee" has an accompanying downloadable one-page study guide (PDF). Following the release of each episode, Discipleship Ministries will host a one-hour webinar where you’ll learn more and have an opportunity to share your own experiences. This episode's companion webinar will be April 23 at 7:30 p.m. EDT. Go to Facebook ( for the latest news and the website ( to watch and download all episodes and register for the webinar.

Esteemed preacher, professor Fred Craddock dead at 86
The Rev. Dr. Fred Craddock, noted teacher and author on preaching who influenced a generation of United Methodist pastors during his time at the Candler School of Theology, died Sunday, March 7, at the age of 86. While the specific cause of death is undetermined, Julie Jabaley, Executive Director of the Craddock Center, noted that Craddock had been struggling with Parkinson’s Disease for several years, and that it is believed that his death is connected to that illness. More ...

Publishing House launches search for new CEO
The board of the United Methodist Publishing House has launched its search for a new chief executive officer. Neil Alexander, president and publisher, announced his plans to retire in July 2016. The board had decided previously to split Alexander’s position into two, a chief executive officer and publisher. More ...

♦ Virginia Wesleyan College Clergy Seminar - March 16-17
The Rev. Jorge Acevedo, lead pastor at Grace Church, a multi-site United Methodist congregation in southwest Florida with over 2600 in attendance each week, will present on the topic “Turbo-Charging the Wesleyan Tradition in the 21st century” for a two-day continuing education seminar March 16-17 at Virginia Wesleyan College. The Virginia Wesleyan series began in 1999 and offers one continuing education credit for clergy. Registration may be conducted vial mail or online at For more information, click here or call Virginia Wesleyan College at (757) 455-3217 or e-mail

♦ Bishop's Convocation on Prayer - March 21
Would you like to learn about the difference “Breakthrough Prayer” can make for your church? Would you like to learn about personal spiritual disciplines or how to apply spiritual disciplines in your congregation? Come to the Bishop’s Convocation on Prayer 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 21, at Trinity UMC, 903 Forest Ave., Richmond. The Rev. Sue Nilson-Kibbey will be the plenary speaker, and 13 workshops will be offered to participants. More ...

♦ 'March Gladness' basketball tourney - March 28
A "March Gladness" basketball tournament fundraiser for Imagine No Malaria will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 28, at Regester Chapel UMC in Stafford. The Fredericksburg District challenged other districts in the Virginia Conference to enter teams in the tournament and play three-on-three 10-minute games until two teams remain to play in the Final Four against the top two teams from the Nov. 2 Eastern Shore District Basketball Tournament. Winner of Final Four play will be named conference champion. Churches in the Fredericksburg, Winchester, Charlottesville, Arlington and Alexandria Districts have entered teams to compete for the chance to play against the Eastern Shore District winners. Goal is to raise more than $12,000 through team sponsorships, entry fees and donations from local businesses in exchange for advertising in tournament program books. For more information, contact the Rev. Ted Smith, Fredericksburg District superintendent, at or (804) 448-8326. More ...

♦ UMVIM Team Leader Training - March 28, April 18, May 16
Team Leader Training is required for all first-time United Methodist Volunteers In Mission (UMVIM) team leaders, but all interested persons are welcome to attend whether leading a team or not. The following training events are currently scheduled:
♦ March 28, 8:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Cave Spring UMC, 4505 Hazel Dr., Roanoke. Click here to register online and pay by credit card. Click here to download a pdf form and pay by check.
♦ April 18, 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Warwick Memorial UMC, 38 Hoopes Rd., Newport News. Click here to register online and pay by credit card. Click here to download a pdf form and pay by check.
♦ May 16, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Floris UMC, 13600 Frying Pan Rd., Herndon. Click here to register online and pay by credit card. Click here to download a pdf form and pay by check.

♦ UVA Wesley Foundation celebration - April 11
On Saturday, April 11, at 2 p.m. the Wesley Foundation at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville will celebrate 50 years of ministry in its current building with an open house and worship service with Bishop Young Jin Cho preaching. Alumni, parents, students and friends from across the conference are invited to attend that day’s activities which will include breaking ground on the “Building a Foundation for the Future” capital campaign. Directions and more information are at

♦ Senior High Youth and Young Adult event - April 17-18
The Winchester District and Shenandoah University’s Faith Seeking Justice Christian Leadership Program invite senior high youth groups, young adults, youth workers and pastors to attend Thy Kingdom Come: Where Our Mission in the Commonwealth of God Is Justice April 17-18 on the campus of Shenandoah University, Winchester. Keynote speakers are Lisa Sharon Harper and Shane Claiborne. Cost is $10 person, which will go to Imagine No Malaria. Registration deadline is April 6. Participants are invited to bring a tent and spend Friday night camping out on the field at Shenandoah University to raise money for Teens Opposing Poverty and Imagine No Malaria. Think creatively for ways church members can sponsor you as you sleep out under the stars. For more information, contact Martha Reynolds, Winchester District director of Congregational Excellence, at, or the Rev. Dr. Justin Allen, Shenandoah University dean of Spiritual Life, at More ...

♦ Fellowship of Local Pastors and Associate Members Spring Retreat - April 23
The Fellowship of Local Pastors and Associate Members will hold a one-day Spring Retreat for continuing education and time of fellowship Thursday, April 23, at Good Shepherd UMC, Glen Allen. Theme is “Bearing Fruit: Ministry with Real Results.” The Rev. Tom Berlin will share leadership lessons from the book he co-authored with Lovett Weems, and provide the tools you need to assess the fruit your ministry bears in the lives of your congregations, your community and the world. Barbara Miner, licensed local pastor who serves at Floris UMC, will co-present and share her insights from 17 years of ministry at Floris UMC as it has grown in size and vitality. A 0.5 CEU will be given for full-day participation. Deadline to register is April 20. More ...

♦ Give Me That Olde Time Religion - April 25
The Virginia Conference Older Adult Council and the Senior Adult Council of Shady Grove UMC, Mechanicsville, are hosting "Give Me That Olde Time Religion" revival worship service 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday April 25, in the sanctuary of Shady Grove UMC, Mechanicsville. The service will include singing old hymns, praying, and preaching by the dynamic Rev. Dr. Clarence Brown Jr., senior pastor of Annandale UMC. Fee of $12 per person includes lunch. More ...

♦ Diaconate Day Apart - April 30
Deacons, Deaconesses, Diaconal Ministers, Home Missioners and Provisional Deacons are invited to worship, fellowship and holy conversation 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, April 30, at United Methodist Family Services (UMFS), 3900 W. Broad St., Richmond. The Rev. Joe Torrence, Deacon in the Virginia Conference and Minister of Youth and Church Relations for UMFS, will help us learn what we need to know about introducing the ministry of United Methodist Family Services (UMFS) to our churches and communities. An optional mission project will be offered 2-3 p.m. at UMFS. More ...

♦ PAUMCS Spring Retreat - May 3-4
Virginia chapter of the Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries (PAUMCS) will hold a "Get Away from it All" Spring Retreat for church secretaries 4 p.m. Sunday, May 3, to 3 p.m. Monday, May 4, at the Williamsburg Christian Retreat Center in Toano. Buena "Beanie" Rankin, retired assistant director of Records and Statistics of the General Council on Finance and Administration of The United Methodist Church, will offer training in the areas of Apportionments, Record Retention, Effective Cyber Communications, Church Software and Membership Records. This event is an opportunity for church secretaries and administrators to learn, network, fellowship and relax. More ...

♦ ‘Poverty in America’ Seminar for Young People - June 22-25
The conference office of Ministries with Young People and the General Board of Church and Society are offering a seminar in Washington, D.C., on “Poverty in America” June 22-25. Registration is open to high school and college-age individuals. Cost is $430. For more information, contact Derrick Parson at or (804) 521-1135. To register, send e-mail to Becky Tate at with the name of participant, age, gender and contact information (phone and email). Send $100 non-refundable deposit (check made payable to Virginia UM Conference) to Becky Tate, P.O. Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058. More ...

♦ Goodson Preaching Academy - Sept. 21-24
The Bishops’ Foundation will sponsor the 2015 Goodson Preaching Academy, “Craft and Creativity: Preaching in the Context of a Rapidly Evolving World,” Sept. 21-24, at the Virginia United Methodist Assembly Center in Blackstone. Presenter will be Dr. Paul Scott Wilson, professor of Homiletics at Emmanuel College, Toronto, author of many books on preaching and past president of the Academy of Homiletics. This ministry venture for clergy seeking excellence in the craft of weekly preaching was modeled after the former Goodson Academy for Preaching and approved by the Bishops’ Foundation which is assuming most of the costs of the event. The event is designed to energize your preaching and help you find creative ways to build disciples in your church. 1 CEU will be awarded. 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 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
PO Box 5606, Glen Allen, VA 23058-5606
(804) 521-1100
Click here for directions to the Center