ROANOKE/STAUNTON
BI-DISTRICT

The United Methodist Church
Virginia Conference

COVID-19 Resources

These resources are available to our local churches as they plan during this time of COVID-19. Permission has been granted for their use.  

NOTE --  Due to changing COVID guidelines, our churches' worship times and locations (in person, outdoors, or online) are constantly changing and being updated. Please contact a church directly for their current worship options.

Visit the VAUMC Post-COVID Reentry Group (PRG) for the latest updates.

Access to the Return to In-Person Worship and Mission & Ministries webpages remains available.


May 15, 2022:  As COVID-19 infections continue to fluctuate in most of our communities, local churches should continue to evalulate and take appropriate action in their context. Keeping people safe is good leadership; caring for your neighbor is good discipleship. 

January 27, 2022:  Post-Covid ReEntry Group Update.  CLICK HERE to view.

October 20, 2021:  As winter and the holiday season approaches, lower temperatures with rising cases, and opportunities for community and family gatherings, the Post-COVID Re-entry Group (PRG) asks churches to help members remember how important it is to mitigate the risk to stop the spread. Therefore, each local PRG in the Virginia Conference should communicate the following expectation of observing best practices to those worshiping in your church:  read the entire announcement HERE.

September 19, 2021:  Bishop Sharma Lewis is hosting a second round of questions and answers with Dr. David B. Agus, professor of medicine and engineering at the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and Viterbi School of Engineering; and the Founding Director of the Ellison Institute. You are invited to submit your COVID-19 questions to be answered by Dr. Agusur to terribiggins@vaumc.org by Sunday, September 19, and every effort will be made to address them all. View their first conversation HERE.

September 16, 2021: PRG reminds congregations to remain vigilant on COVID-19 front.  CLICK HERE to read this update from the VAUMC PRG.

August 31, 2021: The Virginia Conference partnered with the Virginia Department of Health and HCA Virginia to answer frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine. Watch the video HERE.

July 30, 2021: Conference Response to Latest CDC Recommendations CLICK HERE.

July 28, 2021: PRG Webinar Series begins. Registration is required. CLICK HERE for all the information.

  • July 28: Back-to-School/Back-to-Ministry
  • August 25: Preparing for a Post-COVID world
  • September 29: Preparation for All Saints
  • October 27: Preparation for Advent
  • November 17: Reflecting on a Post-COVID World

July 21, 2021: PRG Released NEW recommendations. Delta COVID Variant, Ministry with Children under 12, and Immunizations. Find them HERE.

July 14, 2021: Conference Post-Covid Reentry Group (PRG) released additional Best Practices. Find them HERE. They include:

  • Delta Variant and Immunization
  • Church Nurseries and VBS
  • Worship service with non-members: Funerals and Wedding 
  • Choir practice
  • Community Clothes Closets
  • Bake Sales

June 16, 2021: Conference Post-Covid Reentry Group (PRG) released additional Best Practices. Find them HERE. They include:

  • Eating Outdoors
  • What to do if there is a positive COVID test

June 3, 2021: Conference Post-Covid Reentry Group (PRG) released Best Practices. Find them HERE. They include:

  • Church's role in vaccination
  • Steps to resume Communion
  • Mask Mandates
  • Creating Consensus
  • Rethinking/Reshaping Ministres

May 20, 2021: Accelerating the Return to In-Person Worship in the Virginia Conference- CLICK HERE to view the New Phase 3 TAM. CLICK HERE to read the May 20th message from Bishop Lewis, the Cabinet, and PRG Team.

May 15, 2021: VAUMC Response to Updated CDC Governor's Order: CLICK HERE to view.

April 27, 2021: Post-Covid ReEntry Group (PRG) In the recent webinar, the PRG was introduced as the group that will now lead the VAUMC with worship, mission, and ministry guidance.  CLICK HERE for more about the PRG team and to review the newest information including new rules about indoor singing and the newest version of the Technical Assistance Manual (TAM) and the Bishop's follow-up communication found HERE.

April 26, 2021 at 7 PM: What is ministry going to look like as we move out of the pandemic? Join a live webinar event hosted by the Back to In-person Worship Work Group and Mission and Ministries Work Group. Bishop Lewis and members of the workgroups will offer a progress report and announce some new developments. Clergy, HCT members, and lay members of the Virginia Conference are invited to join this event that will be streamed live on the VAUMC Facebook page. Annual Conference members are invited to participate in a short survey before the webinar starts. Survey link.

April 15, 2021: The Mission and Ministry Workgroup has produced documents for the reopening of church playgrounds and in-home pastoral care. Plans for playgrounds should be submitted to the District Superintendent for review and approval. Plans for in-home pastoral visitation do not require a plan to be submitted, but this document must be followed. Finally, the Vacation Bible School document has been updated. These documents are found HERE.

March 25, 2021: Two revisions to the TAM (Technical Assistance Manual) regarding non-worship gathering limitations (50 indoors/100 outdoors) and gloves that will take effect on April 1. CLICK HERE for more. 

March 22, 2021: Vaccinations for Clergy and Church Staff: CLICK HERE for more information.

March 18, 2021: Three revisions to the TAM (Technical Assistance Manual) released. CLICK HERE to view the updated TAM.

March 16, 2021: Guidance for Safe Online Gatherings. CLICK HERE to view.

March 10, 2021: Back to In-Person Worship Workgroup releases updates about vaccinated groups and more. CLICK HERE to view the details.

February 25, 2021: Updated TAM (Technical Assistance Manual) released. CLICK HERE to view the newest from the Back to Worship Work Team.

February 24, 2021: Updates from Mission & Ministry (M&M) for Mission Trips, Easter Egg Hunts, VBS etc. CLICK HERE.

February 18, 2021: Bishop Lewis releases a video conversation with Dr. David Agus about COVID vaccinations and safe worship practices. View the video HERE.

February 9, 2021: COVID Connection: The Return to In-Person Worship and the Mission & Ministry workgroups share this video series that will seek to educate and inform as well as share positivity as the pandemic continues. In this video, the Rev. Alex Joyner, Eastern Shore DS, shares resources and ideas for Ash Wednesday. Find the resources he mentions at this link: https://vaumc.org/return/. Watch video HERE.

January 21, 2021: A Guide to Developing a Plan for Vacation Bible School from the Bishop's Mission and Ministry workgroup.

January 15, 2021: Ash Wednesday Resources from the Bishop's Back to Worship workgroup.

January 8, 2021: Facts & Faith Fridays featuring Dr. Anthony Fauci in a virtual discussion of the COVID-19 vaccine. Sponsored by the Virginia Department of Health and others. To register CLICK HERE.

December 11, 2020: Bishop Lewis issues a statement about the Governor's most recent Executive Order. Find it HERE.

December 7, 2020: Roanoke DS issues statement on reviewing and approving worship and non-worship activities in the Roanoke District found HERE.

December 3, 2020: Non-Worship Guidelines released from the Mission and Ministry workgroup can be found HERE.

December 3, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. Join Bishop Sharma Lewis, Chancellor Steve Brown, District Superintendent Alex Joyner, and four pastors who have been conducting in-person worship for a zoom forum discussion. The information and experiences shared at this event should be particularly helpful as we enter Advent and as COVID-19 cases are rising. CLICK HERE to register. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

November 18, 2020: Mission and Ministry (M&M) Workgroup updates:

November 9, 2020: Bishop Lewis shares updates and revisions to the Technical Assistance Manual (TAM) are released.

October 15, 2020: New documents were added to the conference web page including a modest revision to the Technical Assistance Manual.  In addition, the Work Group has posted guidelines for recording and streaming sessions to encourage best practices in these settings. Also, there are some new ventilation recommendations.

Sept 24, 2020: Town Hall sponsored by the Bishop's Work Group on Return to In-Person Worship is from 6:30-8 pm. Registration reached capacity, but the event can be viewed HERE (either live or after the event). 

Aug 24, 2020: Employer Requirements for Virginia, including churches, have changed due to COVID-19. Email from Doug Forrester, District Superintendent. Employment Law Update - 9 pages.

Aug 8, 2020: Video with Bishop Sharma D. Lewis talking with Dr. George Moxley, VCU Health, on the continuing work Virginia United Methodists must do to manage the effects of COVID-19. Part One. Part Two.

Aug 3, 2020: Modest Changes to In-Person Worship Protocols from Bishop Lewis and updated TAM (Technical Assistance Manual).

July 24, 2020: The Joy of In-Person Worship.

July 9, 2020: Clarification on Return to In-Person Worship from the District Office.

July 9, 2020: Bishop Updates Health Form Options in Stage Two.

July 9, 2020: Health Acknowledgment Poster.

June 29, 2020: Thanks for your perseverance.

June 23, 2020: Return to in-person worship continues.

June 16, 2020: View Bishop's video on Stage Two Re-opening.

June 16, 2020: Bishop Lewis speaks to Expanded in-person worship and other church gatherings.

June 16, 2020: Technical Assistance Manual (TAM) for Stage Two Re-opening (with 7-8-20 updates).

June 3, 2020: Moving to Stage 2 For In-Person Worship.

June 3, 2020: Communion guidelines during pandemic.

May 22, 2020: Drive-In and Pioneer Church Worship Services Remain in Place.

May 14, 2020: Comprehensive Plan to ease restrictions on in-person worship.

May 9, 2020: Tentative worship schedule; future plans.

May 5, 2020: Back to In-Person Worship Workgroup.

April 15, 2020: Frequently Asked Questions about VAUMC Precautions - updated.

April 14, 2020: Bishop Lewis: Stay the Course.

April 3, 2020: Statement on Holy Communion during COVID-19 pandemic.

April 1, 2020: Bishop Lewis' Do No Harm message.

March 26, 2020: Update on worship cancellations and building uses from Bishop Lewis.

March 19, 2020: Invitation to pray at noon each day.

March 15, 2020: Recap of VAUMC COVID-19 precautions.

March 13, 2020: Worship cancellations.

March 5, 2020: Bishop's letter and resources.

Online Worship Resources

July 27, 2021: UM Publishing House extends permission for use through December 2021.

Nov 24, 2020: Extending Permission to use UM Publishing House resources for ONLINE worship thru July 31, 2021.

Sept 24, 2020: Extending Permission to use UM Publishing House resources for ONLINE worship thru Dec 2020.

March 25, 2020: Free Resources for Holy Week and Easter from Dr. Marcia McFee of Worship Design Studio.

March 24, 2020: A Liturgy for When We Cannot Meet by the order of St. Luke.

March 23, 2020: Comfort Food a Feast of Love for use when churches are not able to gather for Holy Communion.

March 15, 2020: Online Worship help.

March 12, 2020: Advice on Canceling worship.

Online Giving Information

April 17, 2020: Online website for local church donations.

March 18, 2020: Online Giving recommendations from the Conference Treasurer.

Conference and District Support

April 4, 2020: Conference Treasurer's office establishes CARES Act Help Desk.

March 26, 2020: VAUMC Council on Finance and Administration prioritizes Apportionments.

March 24, 2020: United Methodist Credit Union offers assistance.

March 20, 2020: Roanoke District offers optional deferment of District Apportionments.

March 18, 2020: Roanoke District offers grants for new online worship and giving.

Other

June 11, 2020 at 1:00 PM "Now What" webinar with Paul Nickerson.

June 8, 2020: Alta Mons opens hiking, day use, and RV/Camping spots.

May 22, 2020: Alta Mons suspends Summer Camp.

May 15, 2020: Zoom Tips.

April 30, 2020: Congregational Resources from VA Interfaith Center.

April 23, 2020: Online Meeting Resources.

April 21, 2020: Counting Online Worship Attendance.

March 31, 2020: The CARES Act could help local churches.

March 31, 2020: GCFA's answer questions on the CARES Act.

March 26, 2020: Special Edition of District ENews.

March 20, 2020: Special Edition of District ENews.

March 15, 2020: Digital Ministry Resources including communications, social media, virtual workspace, online meetings, and more.

Prayer

Lord, help me
Be prepared, but not anxious.
Be aware, but not desperate.
Be vigilant, but not in fear.
Be joyful, but not clueless
Be faithful, but not careless
Lord, Be my hope and strength.
Fr. Goyo Hidalgo