When Bishop Sharma D. Lewis announced the cessation of in-person worship in the Virginia Conference due to COVID-19 in March of 2020, she did so only after significant prayer and thoughtful consultation with experts in the religious, legal, and scientific communities. Her closure of our churches was done with the singular goal of saving lives and keeping individuals and their communities healthy, as we did our part as United Methodists to help stop the spread of the novel corona virus.
Likewise, when Bishop Lewis formed a work group in late April to develop plans and procedures for resuming in-person worship in our churches, she did so with the same goal of keeping individuals and their communities healthy and safe. Following Bishop Lewis’ example, the work group also consulted professionals and resources from a variety of disciplines in order to develop the resources you will find on this web page.
It is the vision of the work group that what you find here will be dynamic documents that will updated with information gleaned from churches around the Conference as we walk together and learn from one other in these difficult and uncertain times.
Every congregation has been required to put together a Healthy Church Team in order to implement these guidelines in their local church. This team includes Gene Seago, Jim McGehee, Carole Poland, Cheryl Miller, and Pastor Fleischer. The primary goal of this task force is to ensure the safety of all the members of our church family. Even as we draw closer to in-person worship, our online presence will continue as it has since early April.
Additional information can be found at the Virginia Conference website at https://vaumc.org/return/.