Weekly News: Elizabeth River District of The United Methodist Church
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Issue: Tuesday, September 8, 2021
New Webinar, tomorrow, September 9, 1 pm CT
Coming together with our faith communities will be more important than ever this Advent season. In this special online event — Sharing the Christmas Story, Sharing Our Faith: Advent Studies for Every Church  — three of our most popular and thoughtful authors discuss with host Rachel Billups their new studies and what inspires them at Christmas. 
• Adam Hamilton remembers the ten years since his Christmas classic, The Journey, was published and how this fascinating look at the world-changing birth of Jesus Christ strengthened church relationships and inspired readers.
• In his new study The Heart that Grew Three SizesMatt Rawle explores the faith themes in the family classic How the Grinch Stole Christmas! to see how Christ speaks to us through our culture. 
• In All the Good: A Wesleyan Way of ChristmasLaceye Warner and a group of diverse Wesleyan scholars take small groups and churches on an Advent journey guided by the practices in John Wesley’s means of grace. 
Whether you’re looking for personal encouragement this Advent season or ways to strengthen your churches and small groups through a shared experience, these Christmas studies will inspire you in a variety of meaningful ways. 

Preview the studies!
Responding to Hurricane Ida, flooding in Tennessee
Please remember that any work related to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) will start only after all the first responders leave the area. There will be more specific calls to help in the coming weeks and months. The Virginia Conference strongly advises against any self-deployment to these areas. The work of recovery will continue in the coming months and years, and Serving Ministries invite your church to be part of this long journey. Learn more


Resources to help Afghan refugees
As the world witnesses the humanitarian crisis occurring in Afghanistan, the Virginia Conference is providing the resources to help aid your understanding and ability to care for refugees. Read a letter from Bishop Lewis, download a packet of guidelines, and fill out a form on offering assistance. Read more...
Resources to help Haiti in its effort to recover
As the world witnesses the humanitarian crisis occurring in Haiti, after the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that crippled an already vulnerable nation, the Virginia Conference is providing the following resources to help the church’s effort to assist the Haitian people. Learn more...
Healing Past and Present Trauma 
an Elizabeth River District Clergy webinar!
In the past year and a half, many have experienced multiple layers of trauma. The “Healing Past & Present Trauma” webinar will equip clergy to lead both themselves and their congregation. The webinar will be Tuesday, September 21 from 10 am to 1 pm. The cost will be $10.  .5 CEU has been approved for full participation in this event. Us the link below for more information and registration!

Prepare now for Dec. 3-5 Youth Retreat!

Youth Min Chat - Learn about the Virginia Conference upcoming Youth Retreat, theme, and how to register. Rebuilding plans for the Conference Council on Youth Ministries (CCYM) will also be shared. Join with others across the conference every second Wednesday of the month at 11:30 a.m. - Sign up here
Register for the Youth Retreat - Register here
Visit the Youth Event web page - Click here
Relaunch Webinar, Wednesday, Sept. 8 at 1 pm! 
Relaunch webinars will be held every last Wednesday of the month to provide resources to prepare for a relaunch! We are aware of the rising cases related to Delta, and we pray that each local church's Post-Covid Reentry Group (PRG) team is making the best decisions to mitigate the spread. The webinars are added resources for the churches, as we pray and plan for relaunching. 
The upcoming webinar will be the last of a special 3 week series! Please visit for more information and registration! Recorded videos from previous webinars are also available.

* 1 CEU will be offered to members who join in 4 or more sessions
Please do not hesitate to contact RJ for any questions at
"Digital Ministry Mission Fields You Have Never Considered and How to Get There"
Saturday, September 25, 10:00 am-4:00 pm EST.

This global pandemic forced churches to explore digital ministry in new ways.  Most of us have learned how to utilize Facebook or Youtube in our churches but what about using other platforms as a way to meet and invite people into the life of the church?  This training is an opportunity to hear from some of the leading innovators in their fields which range from Twitch and Tiktok to Mighty Networks and Marco Polo.  These leaders will share their stories and offer practical how-tos so you can dive into these new ministry mission fields in your own context.  If you are clergy or laity, young or old, digital native or digital immigrant, you will learn something during our day together!

Click this link for registration and more information:
Young Women's Spiritual-Life Event
Saturday, September 11, from 9:00 a.m. – Noon via Zoom
Under the theme "Faith with Intention" is a time just for young women ages 18 to 40 for spiritual refreshment and growth. The retreat leader, Pastor Ashley Isernhagen, (herself in the 18-40 young-women group), will use John 15 to help attendees develop and grow in discipleship through intentional practices, such as developing a faith timeline, spiritual exercises for discernment, meditation and discipleship mantras. Register by Sept. 8.

Sponsored annually by the Virginia Conference United Methodist Women UMW), there is no charge this year for the three-hour Young Women’s Event held via Zoom. Neither membership in the UMW nor a church is required; all 18-40 year olds are welcome! For information, please contact Marlene Dakita, Va. Conf. UMW Mission Coordinator for Membership, Nurture & Outreach (MNO), at or 703-244-4524 (cell).

Register Here
Scholarships Available for A. Purnell Pre-Ministerial Program for Ordained Ministry

Do you know a bright, inquisitive high school senior who is sensing a call to ministry?
  Help us spread the word about the A. Purnell Bailey Pre-Ministerial Program for Ordained Ministry at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia.  As the oldest continuously operating United Methodist College in the United States, Randolph-Macon is committed to nurturing young adults who are sensing a call to Christian vocation.  Weekly meetings allow students to more deeply discern their calling prior to selecting a seminary and to gain valuable leadership experiences in ministry during the undergraduate years.  This scholarship offers half-tuition during a student’s freshman and sophomore years and full-tuition during the junior and senior years along with two internship experiences (one for academic credit and one with a $3,000 stipend.)  We hope to remove the financial obstacles from those who are seeking to follow God’s call and prepare for a life of ministry.  This unique program is entering its eighteenth year of supporting a new generation of Christian clergy.  Find out more and apply at: . 
Virtual Lay Servant Training!
The Rappahannock River District is pleased to offer another Virtual Lay Servant Training this fall.  These classes are held via ZOOM and are open to all districts. The classes will be held on consecutive Saturdays (September 18, 25, & October 2).  The classes offered include: Basic  (8:30am - 12:00pm); United Methodist Heritage (1:00pm - 4:30pm); Called to Preach (8:30am - 12:00pm)

Click on the link below for more information and registration!
New Curriculum and Videos Available
The Race and Race Relations Team introduced the Virginia Roots, Race, and Discipleship curriculum and videos in 2020. The team extends its thanks to laity and clergy who have engaged in dialogue with small groups and gave feedback on the format, information that has been acquired, and questions about the next steps. The upcoming three segments are centered on segregation and desegregation in the Methodist Church and public schools, and nonviolent protests.

For more information and to view the videos and curriculum currently offered, visit the Virginia Conference website at  
UM Foundation grant awards
The Foundation awards a limited number of grants to Virginia Methodist Churches and affiliated agencies of the VA United Methodist Conference. Through these awards of grant dollars, we seek to enhance and expand these ministries. The ultimate goal is to provide assistance, whether it be a one-time grant or a grant that will help a ministry become self-sustaining.

Please visit for an application, guidelines for each type of grant and instructions on how to submit a completed application package. Deadline to submit an  application is October 31, 2021. Questions? Email us at
Lots of new job openings at churches on the Elizabeth River District have been listed on the website. If your church has an employment opportunity or if you have placed a job opening and it is no longer needed, please email

Check out the Job Openings on our Elizabeth River District!
e-Advocate, September 7, 2021
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