Weekly News: Elizabeth River District of The United Methodist Church
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Issue: Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Make it Matter One-Day Youth Rally will replace Youth Retreat; registration is open
After careful consideration regarding the current COVID climate, the Dec. 3-5 youth retreat has been shifted to a one-day rally. The rally will be on Saturday, December 4, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia. Learn more...
Click here to register by November 29.
Tuesday Talks: Voices of Christmas
with Jason Stanley, Certified Church Consultant

Have you started planning for the Advent season? Kay Kotan and Rachel Gilmore have co-written an excellent book that can be a small group discussion, an Advent devotional, a gift for first-time guests, and/or a worship series. The new book is called Voices of Christmas: A Daily Devotional for Advent, and is available through Market Square Books. I recently spoke with Kay and Rachel about the book on "Tuesday Talks":

Visit Jason's website at or his PonderingsBlog on Facebook!
October Charge Conferences!
Are you ready? The CC focus this year will be a presentation in art form by each church to celebrate God’s blessings in a personal life or the congregational life. Be creative! The time allowed will be 5 minutes per church.  Any videos will be shared directly by the church representative during the CC session.  Please do not email videos to the District Office. 

Pastors and Church Administrative Assistants will share with congregations their unique Charge Conference registration link. Once you have registered, an email will be sent to you with your Zoom Meeting link information.

To check the date of your charge conference, go to CC Clusters Virtual & In-person 9.14.2021.   Got a question about Charge Conference, or EVC Reports?  Contact Connie Owens at 
Join Duncan Memorial UMC (Ashland, VA) and Randolph-Macon College on Sunday October 24, 2021 at 3 p.m. for this year’s Ira Andrews Lecture.  This year’s event features the Rev. Dr. Steven S. Tuell speaking to the theme: "Being the Bible Guy: Does the Bible Matter Today?"  The event will be held in the sanctuary of Duncan Memorial UMC and is free and open to the public.  All attendees must be masked indoors.  A reception will follow in the church fellowship hall.  Those who are unable to attend can view the event on the Duncan Memorial UMC Facebook page.
Free Stewardship Academy 
The Rev. Burt Brooks, an elder in the United Methodist Church and director of Stewardship & Outreach for The United Methodist Credit Union invites clergy and laity to participate through Zoom in a "Stewardship Academy" during the coming weeks. Over 60 pastors and church administrators have completed the course during 2021. The sessions will be from 10:30-11:45 a.m. on four consecutive Wednesdays, beginning October 20 and ending on November 10. 0.5 CEU is being offered for participation in all four sessions. The discussion topics are:
. Session 1 (Oct 20). The Yearly Stewardship Ministry Calendar
. Session 2 (Oct 27).The Annual Campaign
. Session 3 (Nov 3). Basic Church Finance
. Session 4 (Nov 10). Advanced: Endowments, Capital Campaigns, Debt Elimination

This course is free of charge to all participants. The course would also be very helpful to key staff and lay people who have responsibilities in these areas.
Click here to register.
Lay Leader Handbook and other resources now available
Are you prayerfully considering an invitation to serve as the Lay Leader of your local church or district? Maybe you have already taken on this leadership position but still wonder about the roles and functions. Maybe you just want to know more about how to become a stronger partner in ministry with your pastor. The Board of Laity has developed a resource for those discerning and serving in the role of Lay Leader. You can find the new Handbook for Lay Leaders as well as the sections that outline roles and functions for Local Church Lay Leaders and District Lay Leaders on the VAUMC website at There is also a resource list with contact information, web and print resources. Additional resources will be posted to this new section under "The Ministry of the Laity" as they become available.
New Webinar, Tuesday, October 26th, 1 pm CT 
If you, your small group, or your church’s goal is to read the whole Bible in a year, but it feels overwhelming, The Bible Year will help! In this new webinar, meet some of the contributors behind this special project — including creator, Rev. Magrey deVega — as well as people who have already used it and enriched their lives by reading the Bible more. The Bible Year has divided the Scripture into 365 smaller, daily goals. It also includes a concise devotional every day. Additionally, there are weekly summaries of key themes to help you better digest and understand the readings. Multiple resources have been created specifically for small group and church leaders to help them integrate the daily Bible goals into the life of the church. This webinar is FREE. For more information and registration go to

Work Day (Oct. 16) at Heart Haven's Home, Virginia Beach
There will be a work day at the McLeigh-Holland Heart Haven’s Home in Virginia Beach on Saturday, Oct. 16th from 9 am until.  Lunch will be provided.  We will be painting, yard work and other miscellaneous jobs both inside and out … weather permitting.  Oct. 23rd will be the rain date.  If you, or a team from your church is interested in helping please RSVP Johnnie Draughon at:

How can you serve?
You can make a direct impact on the people who are suffering through a crisis. Sometimes an individual donation may not seem significant, but when members of 1,100 churches join in the effort, it can make a substantial impact. Please visit the following sites:
UMCOR Global Migration
VAUMC Haiti Disaster Relief
UMCOR Hurricane Disaster Relief
Or send your donations to the Virginia Conference treasurer's' office, PO Box 5605, Glen Allen, VA 23058.
Virtual Worship Service for clergy use 
In recognition of all the tireless and faithful work of the clergy of the Virginia Conference, Bishop Sharma Lewis and the Cabinet have prepared a virtual worship service that clergy may use in lieu of their weekly worship service any time through the end of 2021.The hope is that clergy will use this service so they may take an additional Sunday off for rest and renewal. This worship service is available along with an order of worship.The Bishop and Cabinet are so thankful for all the ways that the clergy of the Virginia Conference have led during the pandemic and are excited to connect with churches through this worship opportunity.
Download video
Download order of worship (pdf)
Volunteers needed for Food Distribution
Bring hope to your community!  Since the onset of the pandemic, Fresh Food Wednesdays Food Distribution serves over 1,000 people every week in Virginia Beach.  They are looking for volunteers to help load and unload food supplies, pack food boxes, and distribute food to the community.  The need is great. Join them and battle food insecurity in the community.  Contact Robby Rockey at or call The Gathering at Scott Memorial UMC office in Virginia Beach at 757.428.3720.
District Initiative Plan Announced by Bishop and Appointive Cabinet

by Brenda Capen | Sep 23, 2021 

Beginning October 1, each of the eight District Superintendents will convene a workgroup from their districts to integrate the two districts into one. This planning will be a collaborative effort of the Cabinet and District Leadership. It will be anchored in the READ MORE...
Online EVC Training Video
Conference IT Manager Bryan Compton has recorded one of the September Online EVC Training sessions. The video is located on EVC.  After clergy or EVC administrators sign-in, click on the "How to Section" (blue box)  or click on the video link here:
From the Bishop: Developments Regarding The UMC and the Boy Scouts

by Brenda Capen | Oct 6, 2021 | Bishop Lewis NewsFrom the BishopNews

October 6, 2021 Dear Virginia Annual Conference: Since writing to you on September 8, 2021, about the profoundly difficult issues between the Boy Scouts and The United Methodist Church, there have been some important developments. To be sure, the Boy Scouts of America READ MORE...
Free Preschool items 
Ebenezer UMC's Preschool (Suffolk) closed at the end of June and they have several items that might be of use to another congregation preschool or daycare. Here is a general list of items available:  a plastic play kitchen, about 15 napping cots,  some bulletin board materials (borders etc) miscellaneous toys and manipulatives, arts and crafts supplies, books -- teaching books, children's books, etc. Contact Director of Children's Ministry Teresa Woodworth at or 540.422.9396.

The UM Credit Union, Help for Struggling Churches
Until the end of 2021, we will take 1% off new unsecured fixed-rate church term loans (up to $100,000). That means your church could get financing for as little as 3.75% for 2 years! We will also lower the rate on our church line of credit by 1% until the end of 2022 - that means a line of credit for only 4%! Our hope is to make it easier for our churches receive needed repairs, upgrade sound systems, make investments in A/V and virtual meeting technology - or perhaps just provide enough money to weather the next bump in the road. To get the ball rolling, you can call us at (866) 657-0004, or get more information and an application at  And of course, we still offer the FREE stewardship consulting, which churches can take advantage of 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, email Connie at  Check out the Job Openings on our District website!
e-Advocate, October 12, 2021
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