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."

To view a 2014 issue of the Virginia Conference e-Advocate, click on the date below:

Dec. 18, 2014
Dec. 10, 2014
Dec. 4, 2014

Nov. 21, 2014 - Day of Holy Conversation
Nov. 20, 2014
Nov. 13, 2014
Nov. 6, 2014

Oct. 28, 2014
Oct. 16, 2014
Oct. 10, 2014
Oct. 2, 2014

Sept. 25, 2014
Sept. 18, 2014
Sept. 11, 2014
Sept. 4, 2014

Aug. 28, 2014
Aug. 22, 2014
Aug. 15, 2014
Aug. 7, 2014

July 30, 2014
July 24, 2014
July 17, 2014
July 10, 2014
July 2, 2014

June 24, 2014
June 12, 2014
June 5, 2014

May 29, 2014 - Special Annual Conference edition
May 23, 2014
May 15, 2014
May 8, 2014

April 24, 2014
April 16, 2014
April 10, 2014
April 3, 2014

March 26, 2014
March 20, 2014
March 13, 2014
March 10, 2014
March 5, 2014

Feb. 27, 2014
Feb. 20, 2014
Feb. 17, 2014
Feb. 12, 2014
Feb. 6, 2014

Jan. 30, 2014
Jan. 23, 2014
Jan. 16, 2014
Jan. 9, 2014

Click here for 2016 issues

Click here for 2015 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 - Sept. 18, 2014

Virginia Conference has saved 13,734 lives from malaria so far
To date, Virginia Conference United Methodists have raised $137,345.31 (and saved 13,734 lives) for Imagine No Malaria since Annual Conference voted to save 100,000+ lives in the next year. For more information, contact Maria Maxwell, Virginia Conference Imagine No Malaria field coordinator, at (804) 521-1160 or

Conference staff gives $680 to fight malaria for Bishop Cho's birthday
On Wednesday, Sept. 17, Bishop Cho celebrated his 68th birthday. Virginia Conference staff provided a birthday cake and contributed a total of $680 (saving 68 lives) to Imagine No Malaria in Bishop Cho's honor. To give to Imagine No Malaria to honor Bishop Cho on his birthday, go to where you can make a donation with a credit card. $10 will save a life. More ...

Epworth UMC raises $600 for Imagine No Malaria at community breakfast
Epworth UMC in Moneta near Smith Mountain Lake (Danville District) received $600 in offerings for "Imagine No Malaria: Every Life Save a Life" at its September community breakfast. The offering will save 60 lives. Pastor is the Rev. Josh Munnikhuysen.

Fall issue of Neighbors now available to download
The fall issue of Neighbors features the essay “The most wonderful time of the year” by the Rev. Jennifer Vestal Moore, pastor of the South Brunswick Charge – Rock and Olive Branch UMCs – in the Farmville District. She writes, “It has been many years since the excitement of the first day of school entered my home, but the words of Jesus from the 28th chapter of Matthew are still as important today as they were when I said them to my boys as they left for school every day as they were growing up. ‘I am with you always to the end of the age.’” Neighbors is a free, customizable direct-mail piece, produced by Virginia United Methodist Communications, designed to complement a church’s outreach ministry. This latest issue is now available online at The Neighbors web page provides simple instructions on how to download, print and mail the newsletter.

Heart Havens to close Taylor Home
Heart Havens, a United Methodist-affiliated non-profit which offers group home residences to adults with intellectual disabilities, will close its Taylor Home in Norfolk as of Oct. 10. More ...

Old Brunswick Circuit tours Dromgoole House
The Old Brunswick Circuit Foundation celebrated its 10th anniversary on Saturday, Sept. 13, at the Edward Dromgoole house, the only remaining Virginia Conference circuit rider home (built circa 1790). More ...

Sept. 21 is World Alzheimer's Day
September is World Alzheimer’s Month, an international campaign to raise dementia awareness and challenge the stigma so often associated with Alzheimer’s. This Sunday, Sept. 21, is designated as World Alzheimer’s Day. Click here for an article in last week’s Faith in Action newsletter from the General Board of Church and Society about the ClergyAgainstAlzheimer’s Network and its appeal to religious and community leaders to mark World Alzheimer’s Day in your congregations’ sermons and worship services. The mission of ClergyAgainstAlzheimer’s is to promote dignity, compassionate care and quality of life for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, and to provide support for families, friends and caregivers, as we work together to stop Alzheimer’s by 2020. Click here for resources which can be used any time during the year.

Oct. 5 is World Communion Sunday
Oct. 5 is World Communion Sunday. United Methodists observe World Communion Sunday by celebrating communion with other Christians around the world on this special Sunday. Churches are also encouraged to receive an offering to support ethnic undergraduate and graduate students, which often enables first-generation students to attend college. Click here to download the World Communion Sunday pastor’s kit. Order leaflet offering envelopes and posters to enhance your World Communion Sunday celebration at or call 1-888-346-3862. More ...

Laity Sunday is Oct. 19
Laity Sunday is celebrated on the third Sunday of October (Oct. 19 this year). Laity Sunday is a time to recognize the work and mission of all laity — not only within the walls of the church but also in everyday lives. Click here for worship suggestions, bulletin inserts and posters for this year’s theme from the General Board of Discipleship.

'What's A Methodist?' free webinar to be offered Sept. 23
The General Board of Discipleship is offering a free webinar, "What's a Methodist?," at 7:30 p.m. ET Tuesday, Sept. 23. The class explores John Wesley's definition of a Methodist found in his brief tract "Advice to the People Called Methodists." More ...

Wesleyan Leadership Conference to be Oct. 23-25 in Nashville
The 2014 Wesleyan Leadership Conference will be held Oct. 23-25 at the General Board of Discipleship in Nashville. For lay and clergy leaders, this year's conference will explore the meaning of the baptismal covenant, baptismal living and disciple-making in the Wesleyan tradition. Participants will receive 1.0 CEU. Registration fee of $95 includes a complimentary copy of A Disciple's Journal 2015 and three meals (supper on Thursday and Friday, plus lunch on Friday), and a Friday evening concert by Michael Glen Bell. Groups of three or more may register for $85/person. More ...

Future of Worship symposium to be live streamed Sept. 24-25
United Methodist clergy and laity will join seminary worship professors and doctoral students for a symposium on the Future of Worship Sept. 24-25 to explore what is likely to affect worship for congregations and ministries in The United Methodist Church. The invitation-only symposium, sponsored by the General Board of Discipleship (GBOD), will be hosted by United Theological Seminary in Dayton, Ohio. Discussions in Dayton and following the symposium will inform planning for a church-wide event on the future of worship in 2016. During six two-hour sessions, participants will consider these topics: Worship Design: Models, Order and Implications, Music, Sacramental Practice, Preaching, Technology and Sacred Space and Pulling the Threads Together: What Are We Learning? Each session will be live streamed on the Internet at beginning at 9 a.m. EDT on Sept. 24. After the event, they will be available for viewing online from GBOD at

Chuck Knows Church: The Upper Room
The Upper Room — It's the place where Jesus had his last meal with his disciples, but it's also the world's most widely read daily devotional guide. Chuck explains the significance of this "little book" on this episode of "Chuck Knows Church," a weekly online series that explains the meaning behind some of the objects, symbols, terms and rituals in church. Episodes can be downloaded for free at and used in worship, youth groups, fellowship groups, confirmation classes, worship teams, new member classes and late-night snack viewing. Chuck is on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. "Chuck Knows Church" is produced by the General Board of Discipleship. More ...

Duke study finds more churches welcoming homosexuals
The willingness of religious congregations to welcome homosexuals as members — and place them in leadership positions — is on the rise, according to a new Duke University study. Duke Today reports on the National Congregations Study. More ...

United Methodist Hispanic/Latino leaders address border crisis
More than 150 United Methodist Hispanic/Latino clergy and lay leaders celebrated communion through a fence on the U.S.-Mexico border, approved a declaration addressing the humanitarian crisis of unaccompanied children coming to the United States, and defined strategies to achieve their goals within The United Methodist Church. Representing all jurisdictions of the United States and Puerto Rico, they were attending the meeting of Methodists Associated Representing the Cause of Hispanic Americans (MARCHA). A video of bishops explaining the border crisis accompanies the story. More ...

More Liberian United Methodists afflicted by Ebola
Two United Methodist pastors in Liberia and about 18 church members have died, and others are have been quarantined because of concerns about the Ebola virus. The deaths are suspected to be Ebola, but have not been medically confirmed. More ...

Bishop Middleton named interim leader of New York Conference
Retired Bishop Jane Allen Middleton will be the interim bishop for the New York Conference, from Jan. 1, 2015, through Aug. 31, 2016. Bishop Warner Brown, president of the Council of Bishops, announced that the Executive Committee of the council has approved the assignment, recommended by the Northeastern Jurisdiction College of Bishops. Retired Bishop Neil Irons will continue to serve as interim until Dec. 31. Irons has been interim bishop since Bishop Martin McLee went on leave because of illness in July. McLee passed away Sept. 6. More ...

Council of Bishops seeks associate ecumenical staff officer
The Council of Bishops is currently recruiting for an associate ecumenical staff officer - Leadership Development (AESO) for its Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships (OCUIR). This office is tasked with deepening and expanding ecumenical and interreligious ministries of The United Methodist Church through building partnerships, participating in interfaith dialogue and encouraging Christian unity around the world. Working closely with the Council of Bishops Leadership Team on Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations, the AESO develops educational and program curriculum and materials to further ecumenical formation across the connection. Deadline to apply is Sept. 30. More ...

General Board of Discipleship seeks chief program officer
The General Board of Discipleship (GBOD) is seeking the right person for the vacancy of chief program officer to provide direct leadership and oversight of the programmatic development and implementation of all ministry programs of GBOD (Upper Room Ministries, Ministries with Young People, New Church Starts - Path I, Leadership Ministries and new initiatives). Deadline to apply is Sept. 30. More ...

♦ Motorcycle rally to benefit Heart Havens - Sept. 20
The Third Annual Heart Havens Ride for Independence motorcycle rally will be Saturday, Sept. 20, at Richmond Harley-Davidson, 12200 Harley Club Drive, Ashland. Registration is $20 for rider, $5 for passenger. Registration opens at 9:30 a.m. Ride begins at 10:30 a.m. For more information and advance registration, go to or call Pat or Sara at 1-877-442-8368.

♦ Ethics II training - Sept. 24, Nov. 13
All clergy and church professionals are required to attend an Ethics II training during this quadrennium (2012-2016). Trainings are held four times a year throughout the conference to provide convenient opportunities for participation. The next two trainings will be 9:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m Wednesday, Sept. 24, at Oak Grove UMC in the Elizabeth River District and Thursday, Nov. 13, at Fairfax UMC in the Alexandria District. Click here to download brochure with training details and schedule. A 0.5 CEU is awarded for full participation. Click here to register for Sept. 24 event. Click here to register for Nov. 13 event.

♦ 5 Talent Academy 'Evangelism, Communication and Church Growth' event - Oct. 4
Registration deadline is this Friday, Sept. 19, for the 5 Talent Academy "Evangelism, Communication and Church Growth" event to be held 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, at Floris UMC in Herndon and broadcast to nine additional locations across the conference. Maria Dixon Hall, associate professor of Organizational Communication at Southern Methodist University, will explore evangelism through the lens of solid and fruitful communication practices. Registration is open to all Virginia Conference churches regardless of affiliation with the 5 Talent Academy. Visit to register. Registration is $25 per person and includes lunch.

♦ Teachers' Toolbox training - Oct. 4
Teachers’ Toolbox, a training event for church teachers and educational leaders, will be 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, at Ginter Park Presbyterian Church, 3601 Seminary Ave., Richmond. The event is co-sponsored by The Resource Center and the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. Click here to register. Registration is $25/person for up to four from the same congregation. Five or more from the same congregation may register at discounted rate of $20/person. Each congregation registered by Sept. 29 will receive a complimentary copy of the book Fostering Faith: Teaching & Learning in the Christian Church by Dr. Denise Janssen, executive director of The Resource Center and assistant professor of Christian Education at the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. More ...

♦ ARMS Retreat - Oct. 8-9
The Association of Retired Ministers and Spouses (ARMS) will hold its annual retreat Oct. 8-9 at Blackstone Conference and Retreat Center. Cost is $55 per person; scholarships are available. Registration deadline is Oct. 1. Send registration to Blackstone CRC, 707 Fourth St., Blackstone, VA  23842. Checks should be made payable to Virginia Conference UMC. For more information, contact the deans of the weekend, Dr. and Mrs. Jack Martin, at

♦ Brian McLaren forum at GMU - Oct. 15
Brian McLaren, prominent Christian pastor, author, activist, speaker and leader in the emerging church movement, will speak at a forum for clergy and laity Wednesday, Oct. 15, at George Mason University. McLaren will address (in three keynote sessions) ideas from his book Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddah and Mohammed Cross the Road? “Not the beginning of a joke – but the start of one of the most important conversations in today’s world.”  This event begins at 9:30 a.m. in Dewberry Hall (first floor, Johnson Center). Parking in Lot A is free for this event. For more information, click here. To register, click here. This event is sponsored by ARISE@GMU (our United Methodist and ecumenical campus ministry) and the GMU Department of Sociology and Anthropology. CEU credit (.5 ) can be earned with full participation.

♦ 'Lord, Teach Me to Pray' - Oct. 25, Feb. 21
"Lord, Teach Me to Pray — Practical Applications for Prayer" will be offered again Saturday, Oct. 25, at St. Thomas UMC, Manassas, (Click here to register) and Saturday, Feb. 21, at Williamsburg UMC (Click here to register). Main speaker will be Dr. Wendy Miller, professor emeritus of Spiritual Formation at Eastern Mennonite Seminary and adjunct faculty at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Ill., and Perkins School of Theology in Dallas. Click here to download a flyer.

♦ PAUMCS fall training event - Oct. 29
Virginia chapter of the Professional Association of United Methodist Church Secretaries (PAUMCS) will hold its fall training event, "Experience Your Conference Connection 2014" 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29, at the Virginia United Methodist Conference Center in Glen Allen. Members of the Conference Board of Communications will address the need to communicate in a technology-infused world, including discussions on social media, website design and hosting and blogging. This event is open to all church administrative staff (full-time, part-time, paid and volunteer), including but not limited to administrative assistants, financial secretaries, office managers and newsletter editors. Pastors and Communication chairs are invited to attend. For more information or to register, click here or call (804) 521-1124.

♦ UMFS FORE the Kids Golf Tournament - Nov. 10
United Methodist Family Services (UMFS) will sponsor FORE the Kids Golf Tournament at 10 a.m. Nov. 10 at Stonehenge Country Club in Midlothian. All proceeds go to help foster children find forever homes. Click here to register.

♦ Fall Youth Retreats - Nov. 14-16, Dec. 5-7
Now is the time to register for Virginia Conference Fall Youth Retreats. Middle School Retreat will be Nov. 14-16 and High School Retreat will be Dec. 5-7 at Eagle Eyrie in Lynchburg. Theme for both retreats is "IDENTITY." Click here for flyer. Speaker will be Dugan Sherbondy. Band will be Keith Elgin. Young adults to serve as small group leaders and youths to serve as staff are needed. To volunteer, contact Alison Malloy at To register and for more information go to or contact Becky Tate at (804) 521-1139.

♦ 'The Good Race' - Nov. 15
Clergy and laity are invited to join other United Methodists in "The Good Race," a day of participation and celebration as they walk or run the Anthem Richmond 8K, Half-Marathon or Marathon on Saturday, Nov. 15. Information about these races can be found at Or contact Steve Jones at or Allie Rosner at Or join the Facebook Group “The Good Race.”

♦ Nutzy's Rotary FUNN Run to benefit UMFS - Dec. 6
The annual Nutzy’s Rotary FUNN Run 5k on Saturday, Dec. 6, will benefit United Methodist Family Services (UMFS) for the second year in a row. The Rotary Club of West Richmond, in partnership with the Dominion Christmas Parade and the Richmond Flying Squirrels, created this event to offer a festive, family-friendly competition while fulfilling the club's philanthropic mission to improve the lives of local children. Runners, walkers, families, children and strollers are welcome to participate. Students from UMFS will participate again this year. Visit to register.

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