• Worship with us on Sunday mornings at one of our services...

    Blended

    Blended Worship
    8:30am in the Chapel

    Contemporary

    Contemporary Worship
    9:45am in the Fellowship Hall

    Traditional

    Traditional Worship
    11:00am in the Sanctuary

    101 E. Jefferson Street, Charlottesville, VA 22902
    Email: cvillefirstumc@gmail.com
    Phone: (434) 296-6193


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Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

By now, most of you are aware that the General Conference of the United Methodist Church rejected the recommendations of the Bishops’ Council and the Commission on the Way Forward and approved a Traditional plan which maintains the denomination's prohibition on the ordination of LGBTQAI+ persons and prohibits all UMC pastors from performing same sex marriage ceremonies. This plan is subject to the UMC Judicial Council’s approval of its constitutionality in April. However, it already has generated feelings of bewilderment, dismay, anger, sadness, betrayal, and abandonment in many. Some of our members are also concerned about what this decision will mean for our church going forward and the conflict that can result from such strong opinions and emotions. These feelings are honest, sincere and understandable and they are shared by many laity and clergy throughout the US, including Charlottesville.

Our VA Bishop, Sharma Lewis, has called upon laity and clergy to meditate upon the scripture, “you must understand this, my beloved; let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness. (James 1:19-20).

Your lay leaders have held several listening sessions with small groups and worship hour congregations. We have heard concerns and expressions of grief and requests that we, as a church, take some positive action to affirm publicly that all persons are valued, worthy and sacred in God’s eyes and are welcome here.

Several years ago, FUMC was designated by the UMC as a “Welcoming Congregation.” It is our belief that we have remained "welcoming" and hope that those who may have joined our community of faith recently have found us to be so. But we have discovered that there is no welcoming statement on our website, nor is there any specific expression of welcome to those of the LGBTQAI+ community in any of our on-line or printed information. Thus, as an immediate response to this oversight, we, as your leaders, will craft a Welcome Statement and see that it is included on all our publications. We will also explore ways in which this “Welcoming Statement” can be included on lists of churches where all persons are welcome.

This is only one step in our continuing journey to welcome all people just as Christ welcomes all people. We will need your partnership as servant leaders, to pray for our church, our pastors, and our leaders, to explore accurate and trustworthy sources of information www.vaumc.org/GC2019, to use your creative spirits to pursue justice for all persons, and to stand strong as witnesses to the love of Jesus Christ for all who are made in His image. The three of us are receptive to discussing any of these matters with you individually or in groups.

Yours in Christ,

Matthew At Lee
Chair, Church Council

Kari Miller
Vice Chair, Church Council

William Clarke
Lay Leader