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Learning and Equipping Opportunities

Virginia Conference Vision:
To be disciples of Jesus Christ who are lifelong learners who influence others to serve.

February 9, 2023 Clergy Book Discussion 

Over the Christmas holiday, the District sent you a Christmas card (we hope you liked our childhood photos) and a book entitled Don't Look Back. Hopefully, you have had time to read this helpful and inspiring work by Bishop Will Willimon. One great way to make the most of Willimon's insightful guidance is through "groupthink." Join Rev. Dr. Dale White, VR District Director of Congregational Excellence, in a "Book Discussion" zoom on Thursday, February 9 from 11 am- noon to discuss the book you received.  No registration necessary. Contact Cindy Martin at for the Zoom link.

March 4, 2023 Lay Servant Ministry (LSM) Training at Fishersville UMC from 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM 

The Basic Course, Spiritual Gifts (Advanced Course), and Preaching (Advance Course) will be offered. The Basic Course will be taught in a hybrid (in-person and online) format. CLICK HERE to register online. CLICK HERE to register by mail.

May 20, 2023 Lay Servant Ministry (LSM) Training at First UMC in Salem from 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM

United Methodist Heritage (Advance Course), Connecting With Your Community (Advance Course), and Leading Prayer (Advance Course) 

August 5, 2023 Lay Servant Ministry (LSM) Training (in the Covington/Clifton Forge area) from 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM Basic Course, Leading Worship (Advance Course), and UM Polity (Advance Course) 


Expanding the Table, a new video podcast series from the General Commission on Religion and Race will debut on June 1, 2021. Series guests will focus on how individual Christians and church-based entities can and should engage the work of racial justice-making and anti-racism. CLICK HERE for more about the series.

Cultivating the Craft of Asking was held on September 21, 2021: Rev. Ken Sloane, Stewardship & Generosity, welcomed his guest, Bonnie Marden, Founder and President of MYTE Ministries, consulting with church leaders on growing generosity in local churches. Bonnie has pioneered a successful teaching curriculum titled "Cultivating the Craft of Asking" which has increased confidence in church leaders to "boldly ask" for financial gifts to empower their church's ministry. CLICK HERE for a recording and handouts.

Racial Reconciliation and Justice Ted Talks: this workgroup has compiled a list of Ted Talks that are now available on the Virginia Conference website. They explore everything from implicit bias, to cancel culture, to a humorous look at deconstruction racism. CLICK HERE to view the Ted Talks. 

UMC Training Center offers online training opportunities that include instruction on website creation, worship, digital media, welcoming ministry, communication, and more. CLICK HERE to view the many training resources available.

Virginia Roots, Race and Discipleship Race Relations curriculum is a first step to address racism in the UMC Virginia Annual Conference. This is a video series to engage clergy and laity in authentic conversations about reach and reconciliation. Fellowships across the Commonwealth are also using a Virginia Conference video and curriculum series on Race Relations to explore the injustices of systemic, institutional racism available HERE.

See All the People: Discipleship Ministries Teaching Series: This free, three-part video teaching series is designed to communicate the basic principles of discipleship and the See All the People movement. CLICK HERE for more. More about other Discipleship video training opportunities can be found HERE.

Reservoirs of Resilience Podcast: Texas Methodist Foundation in partnership with United Methodist Development Fund is launching a podcast with a series approach to invite church leaders into deeper conversations around innovation, courage, and resilience. The first series, Reservoirs of Resilience, features captivating leaders such as Tod Bolsinger, author of Canoeing the Mountains. CLICK HERE for more.

Lay Servant and Lay Speaker training are available online, on-demand. For more information CLICK HERE.

P.R.A.Y. - Free power points for the God and Church series, used by Scouts are available for online download. God and Me (grades 2-3); God and Family (grades 4-6); God and Church (grades 6-8). 

Resource UMC provides Local Church Learning Sessions online and free to all. Training for worship, small groups, and connectional giving are available online, on-demand. CLICK HERE.

Posted: February 1, 2023
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