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 coronavirus.
Likewise, when Bishop Lewis formed a workgroup 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 workgroup 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. Contact your district superintendent if you have questions about these documents.
In this video posted Aug. 5, 2020, Bishop Lewis and Dr. George Moxley discuss continuing work Virginia United Methodists must do, such as wearing face masks, as the nation and world continue to manage the effects of COVID-19.
Back to In-Person Work Group Statement on Holy Communion (pdf) (Updated 6/1/20)
The Graphical Presentation is a helpful resource for all members of congregations. It provides information found in the Plan Summary in a handy, checklist format while also offering succinct summaries of the different stages of reopening.
Consensus Guidance on Face Coverings
From the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC)
This document, a pdf shared by Dr. George Moxley of the workgroup, is a consensus statement designed to provide national guidance for the public on wearing face coverings to decrease the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. It was developed by the AAMC Research and Action Institute in conjunction with leading experts in public health as part of The Way Forward on COVID-19: A Road Map to Reset the Nation’s Approach to the Pandemic released by the AAMC on July 29, 2020.
Click here to watch videos of Bishop Lewis and Dr. Moxley discussing the important of wearing a mask.
Stage 2 Information related to the return to In-Person Worship and Other Gatherings:
Letter from Bishop Lewis (6/16/20)
Expanded In-Person Worship and Other Church Gatherings Start Sunday, June 21
Technical Assistance Manual Links
Technical Assistance Manual for Local Churches (pdf) Updated 9/10/20 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 9/10/20
(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 email@example.com).
Technical Assistance Manual in Spanish (pdf)
Technical Assistance Manual in Spanish (Word)
Childcare and Preschool Requirements and Guidelines (pdf) (Updated 5/21/20)
Health Acknowledgement Forms
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.
Health Acknowledgement Form (pdf) (Updated 6/18/20) (Spanish)
Health Acknowledgement Form (Word) (Updated 6/18/20) (Spanish)
Health Acknowledgement Poster (Spanish) pdf
The Health Acknowledgement Form is the document referenced in the Handbook for Local Churches.
Health Acknowledgement Form (pdf) (Korean)
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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.”