COVID-19 and Local Churches

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 only) 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.

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 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 HEREThey 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 HEREThey 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 HEREThey 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 TAMCLICK 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: 

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 SuperintendentEmployment 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

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)

                        Communion guidelines during pandemic  

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

March 13, 2020Worship cancellations 


March 24, 2020A 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, 2020Advice on Canceling worship




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

May 15, 2020:   Zoom Tips

April 23, 2020:   Online Meeting Resources

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


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