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May 18, 2020: As the churches of the Virginia Conference shift their focus to the three-stage reopening of in-person worship, you can find the most up-to-date information involving the conference and the ongoing response to COVID-19 at

Frequently Asked Questions: Virginia Conference COVID-19 Precautions

Here you will find Frequently Asked Questions about actions The Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church is taking to protect congregants and to continue ministry during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these precautions are expected to remain in place for some time, until this crisis is clearly over. This document will be updated periodically.

Stay the Course, Stay Strong: Serving God While Social Distancing

A Message from Bishop Lewis:
Dear Virginia Conference,
I hope you and your families had a very blessed Easter celebration. Let us remember that our hope as believers is in Jesus Christ.
Though our Easter services looked quite different this year, I hope that, especially in this challenging time of a global pandemic, you heard the Easter story anew and, with confidence assured in the resurrected Christ, said, “Alleluia! Christ IS risen!”
Thank you to our pastors, church staff and volunteers who are continuing to find creative worship opportunities through livestream, phone, print and many other communications avenues, so we can worship, promote fellowship and do the mission of the church. More…

Online giving solutions for churches offered through VANCO

Even as churches in the Virginia Conference remain closed for in-person Sunday worship through March 29, 2020, local churches still have options to have their congregations give to the church’s offering. The conference Treasurer’s Office share a special option available to churches through VANCO. More…

Recap of Virginia Conference COVID-19 (coronavirus) precautions

From Bishop Lewis: March 15, 2020

As we remain nimble in the face of COVID-19 with precautions implemented starting last week against its spread, I want to thank our clergy and local church staff across the Commonwealth who found creative and loving ways to lead us in online worship this morning. Here are some things to be thinking about for the week of March 16, 2020. More…

COVID-19 response – Precautions related to preschools, food pantries, weddings, and funerals in the Virginia Conference

March 13, 2020 — Bishop Lewis directs that all preschools be closed for the next two weeks. We will re-evaluate whether it is prudent to begin in-person worship for March 29, 2020 and whether it is prudent to reopen the preschools on March 30, 2020. More…

All Virginia Conference churches are to cancel worship, March 15, March 22

March 13, 2002 — A letter from Bishop Sharma D. Lewis
Click here to download a pdf copy of the bishop’s letter.
Dear Virginia Conference,

In monitoring the COVID-19 situation and the state of emergency announced by Governor Northam yesterday, all Virginia Conference churches are to cancel worship service for Sunday, March 15 and Sunday, March 22. I also strongly urge that any large gatherings at your church be postponed.

VUMPI Update Regarding COVID-19 Screening

Due to rapidly escalating concerns associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19), Virginia United Methodist Pensions, Inc. (VUMPI) has directed Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield to waive all health plan member costs for the COVID-19 diagnostic test. Accordingly, any member enrolled in any of the Virginia Conference-sponsored health plans (including the high deductible HSA plan) who is directed by a medical provider or hospital to have a COVID-19 screening test, will have no out of pocket costs for the test. More…

Conference Center shares precautions pertaining to COVID-19 (coronavirus)

As Bishop Lewis and conference leaders continue to monitor the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation, certain precautions will take effect in the conference center building to ensure the well-being and health of the staff and guests to the building.
Starting Monday, March 16, 2020, it is highly encouraged that any upcoming meetings be done through ZOOM. If in-person meetings in the conference center are necessary, no meetings above 20 persons will be allowed; these meetings can also make use of ZOOM.
Beginning immediately, Wednesday morning chapel services are on hold until April 6. As well, conference staff will not be able to facilitate any district trainings until April 6.
As this is a fluid situation, changes to these new precautions will be modified as necessary prior to or following April 6.
For any questions related to building matters, please contact David Dommisse at [email protected].
Please be in prayer for those suffering from COVID-19, their families, and for local, state, and national leaders and professionals in the United States and worldwide working to contain COVID-19 and find a vaccine.

Bishop Lewis urges people to be ‘non-anxious presence’ in midst of concerns

March 5, 2020 — Greetings to you, Virginia Conference, in the midst of this time of self-examination and reflection, during this Lenten Season. As you are aware, anxiety is high worldwide as governments and private individuals seek to understand more about the coronavirus. As people of faith, we pray for those working on the front lines of this new virus and those who find themselves ill. As individuals, we may have concerns as to how we respond going forward from church services to our own personal self-care.  Click here to read entire letter.

Coronavirus: What to know, how to help

With new cases being diagnosed seemingly every hour, the question of “How concerned should I be about Coronavirus?” is being asked by many around the world.

The first cases of Coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19, were diagnosed in China in December 2019. Since then, the illness with pneumonia-type symptoms, has spread to 37 nations to-date, including countries where United Methodists reside and attend church.

While places where people gather in close proximity, such as worship services, may be vulnerable, there are simple steps to take to limit risks, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Above all, anyone feeling unwell should stay home and seek medical care.

Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider. Stay up-to-date on Coronavirus by checking reliable sources, such as the World Health OrganizationNational Institutes of HealthCenters for Disease Control, and Global Health Tracker.

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