Below you will find information and resources to help guide your congregation or faith community through the process of returning to in-person worship in the midst of the current pandemic. Congregations are asked to form a Healthy Church Team to develop plans in accordance with the Technical Assistance Manual (TAM) for Stage 2. Plans can be submitted for approval to your District Superintendent.
Bishop Sharma D. Lewis announced the cessation of in-person worship in the Virginia Conference due to COVID-19 in March of 2020 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 coronavirus.
In late April, Bishop Lewis formed a work group to develop plans and procedures for resuming in-person worship, maintaining the same goal of keeping individuals and their communities healthy and safe. The Work Group on Return to In-Person Worship and the Mission & Ministry Work Group, which was created in September 2020, utilize professionals and resources from a variety of disciplines in order to develop the resources you will find on this web page. These are dynamic documents that will be updated with information gleaned from churches around the Conference as we walk together and learn from one other in these difficult and uncertain times. Contact your district superintendent if you have questions about these documents.
New Mission & Ministry Workgroup Web Page
The Bishop’s newly-formed Mission and Ministry Workgroup continues to diligently meet to develop policies and guidance to help Virginia Conference faith communities do ministry in this time of COVID. While the development of the primary document is still in progress, members of the workgroup would like to share some timely resources they believe will be of use to local churches.
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Technical Assistance Manual
Technical Assistance Manual for Local Churches (pdf) Updated10/15/20 This manual is to be used by churches in planning in-person worship from June 21 and going forward.
Technical Assistance Manual for Local Churches (Word) Updated 10/15/20
(The Handbook used for Stage 1 for in-person worship has now been archived. Please review the Technical Assistance Manual at the link above for planning in-person worship from June 21 and going forward. If you do need information previously found in Stage 1 Handbook you can gain access by requesting from firstname.lastname@example.org).
Technical Assistance Manual in Spanish (pdf)
Technical Assistance Manual in Spanish (Word)
Back to In-Person Work Group Statement on Holy Communion (pdf) (Updated 6/1/20)
Screening/Health Acknowledgement Forms
The Health Acknowledgement Form is the document referenced in the Handbook for Local Churches.
From the Bishop: Manual, health form updates (7/9/20)
COVID Health Acknowledgement Online Form Instructions (pdf) (Updated 6/16/20)
Health Acknowledgement form can be completed at https://evc.vaumc.org
Paper versions of the form are also available below.
English: Health Acknowledgement Form (PDF) (Updated 6/18/20)
English: Health Acknowledgement Form (Word) (Updated 6/18/20)
English: Health Acknowledgement Poster pdf
Spanish: Health Acknowledgement Form (pdf) (Updated 6/18/20)
Spanish: Health Acknowledgement Form (Word) (Updated 6/18/20)
Spanish: Health Acknowledgement Poster pdf
Korean: Health Acknowledgement Form (pdf)
Masks and Face Covering Guidance
Click here to watch videos of Bishop Lewis and Dr. Moxley discussing the important of wearing a mask.
Guidance on wearing a mask from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) (pdf)
Recording and Streaming
Remarks on Singing by the Rev. Leigh Anne Taylor
Childcare and Preschool Requirements and Guidelines (pdf) (Updated 5/21/20)
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“I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous;
do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”