We are a connectional group of Christians, though we are not always fully connected or aware of the conference or denominational news. Therefore, below are a few things for you to be aware of. You can also find more information on the conference website (vaumc.org)
2021 Annual Conference
Annual Conference will take place June 18-19.
Due to COVID Conference will be online this year. Stay tuned for the link to watch it live if you desire.
District Alignment Announcement
On Monday evening, Feb 1st, Bishop Lewis released a video and information on the District Alignment Team where she announced that as of July 1, 2021, we will have 8 District Superintendents (instead of 16). Each DS will oversee 2 districts and new positions will be created to provide additional staff to help support local church vitality. Our DS Rev. Victor Gomez is now serving both the Harrisonburg and Winchester Districts. You can find more information about this change here: LINK PDF of FAQs
General Conference (2020) once again Postponed
The global gathering of United Methodists that was originally scheduled for May 2020 and was postponed to 2021 has once again been postponed until Aug 2022 due to COVID and the difficulty of making this an online event. It is presumed that when that meeting happens the General Conference will decide on amicably separating the United Methodist Church and creating a new denomination for United Methodists who hold to a more traditional theology.
****WHAT THIS MEANS FOR Clover Hill UMC:****
Pastor Sarah's plea to you:
- Right now we are still in a holding pattern as a denomination. Nothing has been decided or changed.
- We will need to have more discussions on topics of theology, and our mission as a congregation so that if/when a decision needs to be made we’ve built some trust with one another and are fully informed to make those decisions together.
- Likely (depending on what General Conference decides) in either late 2022 or 2023 our Virginia Annual Conference will get to decide which denomination to align with. After that vote, our local church will be able to decide if we want to stay with our Annual Conference or not.
- There is still kingdom work to be done! Let’s continue the work of sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ in every place and in every way that we can.
Stay faithful. Now is not the time to check out, to hedge our bets, to lay low. Over the next couple of years we will be having more conversation on human sexuality, on theology, on our experiences and individual beliefs. While it may be a difficult process, I know that we can have those conversations respectfully, lovingly, and honestly. What defines us as a church is much more than what sign is out front, or even our stance on sexuality. We are defined by our relationship with God and our commitment as a community to Seek, Serve, and Share Jesus with one another and our neighbors. I hope that it’s that mission of being and making disciples of Jesus that drives us and unites us through times of trial and disagreement and perhaps even transition. But, I’m not going to lie, I know some will feel led to leave our church before or after decisions are made. And no matter what comes down the road, I pray that we will be loving and thoughtful and Christ-like enough to bless each other if we need to walk different paths. Let us live deeply into the words of Jesus to his disciples, "Love each other as I have loved you." (John 15:12).
If you have concerns, questions, or just need a listening ear, I welcome those conversations.
– Pastor Sarah