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


    8:30am in the Chapel


    9:45am in the Sanctuary


    11:00am in the Sanctuary

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


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Our call to mission in times of contagion is to minimize risk. In order better fulfill that mission, and in communicating with our civic and ecclesiastical leadership, the decision has been made to Cancel all Worship Services through March 29. Online services will still be offered on Sunday, Mar 22, and Sunday March 29. We encourage everyone to remain connected to God and one another by joining us for virtual services online at https://www.facebook.com/cvillefirstumc. The service will be posted or streamed at some point on Sunday Mornings.

We would encourage all ministry groups, and non-essential activities to make alternative plans for staying connected. The Church council has created a ZOOM meeting account that will allow groups to meet online, so if you need access to this account or assistance with creating an online meeting, please contact Rev. Phil Woodson.

We are planning to resume normal worship services on April 5 – but will keep everyone updated if those plans change.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact the church office or either pastor.

Office - churchoffice@cvillefirstumc.org - (434) 296-6193
Rev. Gary Heaton – garyheaton@cvillefirstumc.org
Rev. Phil Woodson – philwoodson@cvillefirstumc.org

Do No Harm. Do Good. Love God.

The Church at work amidst a Viral Outbreak

Do No Harm.

The pastors have been reviewing recommendations from the VA Conference and other sources about how to best mitigate the transmission of dangerous viral strains during worship services that involve large numbers of participants. In addition to canceling worship services, we have also worked on creating opportunities for alternative greeting techniques (pass the peace, not the germs) - and it has been recommended that instead of using a common cup for communion and inviting every person to partake via intinction, that churches switch to individual communion cups that can be served without hand-to-hand transmission. Congregants at First UMC will notice a few alterations to the Sanctuary worship space and other changes to our communion services as the Worship Ministry Team prepares to implement some of these recommendations.

Do Good.

In addition to the changes listed above, First UMC is also striving to implement “best practices” for churches in more urban communities that have larger populations and areas that see a lot of foot traffic (i.e. downtown Charlottesville). In our efforts to do good, our worship services are usually live streamed on Facebook (facebook.com/cvillefirstumc) every week, for those who are unable to attend in person. On maintaining personal health and proper hygiene, The Rev. Jeremy Smith says, “The mission of the Church should inform our expressions. Churches are place where communities gather. If viruses can be stopped from transmitting in houses of worship and faith communities, then the church is doing its part to protect its membership. Community norming of sanitary procedures benefit everyone - so if we put these things into practice now, we can reduce its spread now and later.” Therefore, we are asking for those who may be sick or vulnerable to stay home as this will minimize risk. Our call to mission in times of contagion is to minimize risk and we invite everyone to join us in this worthwhile cause.

Love God.

The Rev. Katie Ladd reminds us that “it’s important for mental health to not shut churches down. We are the only place many people have for community. We have to balance mental health and social service with safety. We can do best practices instead of shutting down.” In uncertain times like these we encourage everyone to remain connected to God and one another. If you cannot worship in person on Sunday morning, please join us online (facebook.com/cvillefirstumc). First UMC also offers online giving (cvillefirstumc.org) so that there will continue to be a revenue stream for missions and ministry even without physical gatherings. Lastly, everyone is encouraged to use all means of communication to stay connected with their small groups and the Congregational Care Ministry Team. Prayer requests and any other information you would like for the pastors or ministry leaders to know can be emailed to prayers@cvillefirstumc.org


(Adapted from Rev. Jeremy Smith on HackingChristianity.net)