Here at AUMC, we believe in doing our part to keep our members and community safe by slowing the spread of the coronavirus. Because of that, we’ve made a few modifications to how things regularly proceed.
Plans for Reopening
We recently sent our members a survey asking when or under what circumstances they thought we should begin to renew in-person activities. To see the survey results, click here. Our bishop’s guidelines were also a factor in the decision; see those at www.vaumc.org.
In consultation with our pastors and church council, we have decided to target our resumption of in-person worship for Sunday, August 23.
We will use the time to prepare for reopening in several ways. Social distancing guidelines will likely require us to recruit new or additional Sunday School teachers for our children. We’ll need to make changes to the space, removing all hymnals and tactile objects, marking out seating, providing new signage, identifying entrances and exits, designating open restrooms etc.
Our target gives Pat Vaughn, our Music Director, and our communications staff time to continue pre-recording worship while also developing new liturgy for safe reopening. For example, it’s likely choirs and congregational singing will be not permitted (or won’t be a good idea) for quite some time. As not all members will be comfortable returning in person immediately, we’re also planning ways we can continue releasing high quality online services, including higher quality video equipment for better broadcasts. Once our new video equipment is installed, we will begin a midweek worship service to work out kinks and learn new practices as we prepare for our larger reopening. It’s likely we will be able to open that service to a small group of people.
We understand that some folks are anxious to get back to worship as usual. However, it’s important to point out that “worship as usual” is not what we will be coming back to in the immediate future. You should expect social distancing in the pews, face masks required, no corporate or choral singing, an offering that is dropped not taken up, attendance reserved in advance, and communion served in prepackaged containers. All of this is doable and we’ll get by, but we want to be clear about setting expectations so everyone understands the choices involved. We will continue to brainstorm safe ways we can begin to gather as a congregation in the months ahead.
If you did not receive the previous survey and would like to be emailed future surveys about reopening, as well as other church news, please contact our membership secretary, Dottie Rogerson, at email@example.com.
Along with keeping the website up-to-date, we’re currently posting frequent messages on our Facebook page, facebook.com/annandaleumc, as well as sending out email announcements. To join our email list, contact our membership secretary, Dottie Rogerson, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also call us at 703-256-8330 and leave a message and we will call you back as soon as possible. Specific extension numbers are available on our staff page, or on the answering machine message at our main number.
Sunday Worship Services
Our services and activities are currently online-only due to the coronavirus pandemic.
On April 26 we began a new sermon series that, over the spring and summer, will take us through the Apostle Peter’s first epistle. The series is called “Election Season” because 1 Peter is ground zero for what’s known in the Christian tradition as the “Doctrine of Election.” Election refers both to God’s decision to be God for us in Jesus Christ and God’s choosing of us, the Church, as his particular, peculiar people. Peter wrote to believers experiencing hardship, suffering, and persecution so it’s a letter that uniquely marries dense theological concepts with the struggles of everyday life.
Our service are posted at 11 a.m. on Sundays at https://www.facebook.com/annandaleumc/
No, you don’t need to have a Facebook account to access it – just click the “Not Now” button when Facebook asks you to log in. And you don’t need to catch it live to access it – scroll down our Facebook page to see recent sermons and posts, or check for weekly links on our Worship page.
Submit prayer requests – “Joys and Concerns” – for the service on the FB Page itself or by emailing our membership secretary, Dottie Rogerson: email@example.com).
Daily Morning Worship
While we’re all social distancing at home, we will have a morning prayer each weekday at 9 a.m. hosted by our intern David King. You can see our daily prayers live on Zoom by clicking here, or find live and archived videos on our Facebook Page. Click here for the liturgy to follow along at home.
Download the Upper Room: For those who enjoy reading the Upper Room devotional each morning, Upper Room Ministries has produced a free, downloadable version available at this link.
Wednesday Bible Study
Our head pastor Jason Micheli is currently hosting a Bible study on Wednesdays at 2 p.m. with Todd Littleton, the creator of the Patheological podcast. Click here to join in on Zoom, where you can ask questions and participate. You can also see previous classes and live videos on our Facebook page. This class will study the “Do Not Be Afraid” scriptures, to help us remain engaged with our faith during these difficult times.
Current and Upcoming Events
All events and activities are currently online-only. That said, we do have some events that are still proceeding online, and others that are far enough out that we are still planning for them to occur.
Calling all grads! It’s not too late to send us your photo and graduation information. Send a photo and the following information to firstname.lastname@example.org: name of student, degree, name of high school or college, and any other information you would like to share such as future plans (college, graduate school, new job, etc.). Or submit your information online using this Google Docs form.
Sign up for a short course on the holy spirit: Dr. Jack Levison, a professor at Southern Methodist University, will teach a three-week course on the holy spirit beginning May 12. The class will meet online for three Tuesdays at 7:30 p.m. The sessions will be based on his book Fresh Air. Dr. Levison holds the W.J.A. Power Chair of Old Testament Interpretation and Biblical Hebrew at Perkins School of Theology at SMU. Find out more about him at https://jacklevison.com/. Register for the class at this link. Jason is ordering copies of Fresh Air and will make them available for $9.
Although we’ve suspended activities in person because of the outbreak, Meredith has come up with a variety of ways for children to continue their spiritual growth. These include:
- An online Children’s Corner with Bible-based games, arts and crafts projects, educational resources, and more.
- A weekly video lesson with puppets! In lieu of pre-k through Kindergarten Sunday school, Meredith has been posting a story/message to our Facebook page each Sunday, with an archive of previous videos available at our Children’s Corner. These pre-recorded videos are for everyone but especially geared toward families with children in kindergarten and younger, and will be emailed to parents with children in this age group. Contact Meredith for a transcript.
- Sunday school online at 9:45 a.m. Children ages 1st grade-5th grade will be able to interact and participate via a secure zoom connection. For safety and security reasons, this link will not be posted to Facebook but rather sent directly to the parents; contact Meredith at email@example.com if you have not been added to the mailing list.
- Children’s virtual visits, Tuesdays from 5 – 5:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 8:30 – 9 a.m. Children are invited to connect with Ms. Meredith and virtually visit with other AUMC children through a secure zoom link that will be sent out to all parents. Contact Meredith at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or if you do not receive a link.
Help us rethink VBS: In light of the pandemic, we’re moving Vacation Bible School to a digital format. Our goal is to provide fun, spiritually formative programs for children and families during the summer while also keeping the health and safety of all families and volunteers in mind. In order to determine the best virtual format for VBS this year, please fill out our survey so we can better understand each family’s needs and desires. If you have questions or would like to be part of the team that makes VBS a virtual reality, contact Meredith Bond at email@example.com.
Parents’ Night In: Are you interested in gathering together online with other AUMC parents for a time of unwinding and community? If so, please fill out this quick survey so Meredith Bond can determine the best time for this Zoom get-together.
Join us for a weekly Zoom game night on Saturdays at 7 p.m.! Youth ministries director Peter Kwon emails out the link each week; contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org to get on the mailing list.
For updated youth content (Peter’s Bits) during the coronavirus season, visit our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/AnnandaleUMCYouth/. For smaller and shorter content, check out our Instagram page at https://www.instagram.com/annandaleumcyouth/.
Peter will also post a short weekly video on the Youth Youtube page – this video will also be linked from our Facebook page.
Adult Classes and Groups
Many of our classes and small groups are meeting remotely during the pandemic. Contact one of these leaders if you’re interested in joining:
- In His Steps class, Sundays, 10 a.m.; contact Bill Iwig, email@example.com. The class is finishing up The Best of Will Willimon and will then discuss the Holy Spirit class led by Jack Levison.
- Issues in Christianity class, Sundays, 10 a.m.; contact Kevin Sabo, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Brad and Libby Todd’s small group, Sundays, 9:45 a.m.; contact Brad at email@example.com. The group is starting a new book this week: Raising Kingdom Kids.
- Grace and Truth small group, Mondays, 7 p.m.; contact Gary FitzGibbon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 1 Kings men’s Bible study, first and third Saturdays, 8:30 a.m.; contact Bill Iwig, email@example.com.
- Mary and Martha Circle, Saturdays, 9 a.m.; contact Pat Sherfey, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Annandale Book Lovers, third Sundays, 7 p.m.; contact David Barker, email@example.com. The book club will be reading Skinwalkers by Tony Hillerman for May 18.
The need to help our community by distributing free food, providing housing for our homeless neighbors, helping uninsured children pay for medical care, etc. isn’t something that stops during a pandemic – if anything, these services become even more important. Because of that, our missions programs will continue, although with some added precautions.
While we deeply appreciate offers to join in helping our community, the high contagion rate of the virus means that we have to use a limited number of volunteers to decrease the likelihood of accidental transmission. The best ways to support our programs right now are through prayer and through financial donations that will allow us to continue this vital work. Along with regular donations, we are currently accepting offerings for our Lenten Missions Projects – visit our Missions page to learn more.
We are also accepting donations of nonperishable food items to distribute to families in our community. Here is a list of food items we’ve been shopping for this week: pasta, 1 lb box; spaghetti, 1 lb box/package; pasta sauce, 20 oz can; dried beans, 1 lb bag; white rice, 1 lb bag; chunky soup, 20 oz can; meal in a can, 15 oz (Chef Boyardee, Chili, Beef Stew, etc.); tuna, 7 oz can; mac & cheese, regular box; cereal, regular box; peanut butter, 1 lb container; jelly, 18 oz jar; can of beans, 15 oz (no pork); can of vegetables, 15 oz (no green beans); can of corn, 15 oz; can of fruit, 15 oz; can of diced tomatoes, 15 oz; ramen noodles, package. Drop off donations near the red double doors at the Mission Center at 7901 Heritage Drive. Or contact Betsy Clevenger at firstname.lastname@example.org. Note: You do not need to go inside to leave your donations. Use the boxes outside the doors.
Click here to visit our Online Giving page. We have some pointers below on how to give online.
How to Give Online
1) Go to annandalechurch.com/giving. You will see options for a one-time donation on the left, or to log-in or create a profile on the right.
2) Click “Create Profile” on the lower right to create an account where you can track your giving, set up recurring donations, and more!
3) The website will ask for some basic information, starting with your email address and then going on to things like your physical address for billing purposes, what password you want for the account, etc. Fill this all in. You will get an email confirming that you created an account, and be ready to go!
4) The next screen (which will appear whenever you log in) will show you any scheduled donations and transaction history. Click “Add Transaction” to set up a new donation.
5) You’ll get to choose whether you want your money to go towards a specific item (including Lenten Mission Projects) or to the general church budget, how much to donate, and whether you would like this to be a recurring or a one-time donation.The next page will ask for your bank account information and process the donation. And then you’re done!
6) Next time you’re ready to make another donation, want to change a recurring donation or check what you’ve donated in the past, just go back to annandalechurch.com/giving and log in with the email address and password you used when setting up the account. Thank you for supporting AUMC!