A Note from Pastor Will
Our Bishop, Sharma Lewis, has asked United Methodists to pray the following prayer during this pandemic. Please offer the following prayer when you can:
“Almighty God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we thank you for your blessings, past, present, and future. You are our rock and the source of our hope in all things and at all times. As Jehovah Jireh, our provider God, we ask you this day to stretch out your mighty hand and eradicate from the face of the earth forever; this virus called COVID-19 that is spreading rapidly from continent to continent.
We also pray that you, Jehovah Rapha, our healing God, would place your hand upon all of those who have been stricken by this virus and restore them to full health. Be with those who have lost loved ones and are grieving. Protect all who are caring for those with this virus and keep them from contracting it themselves.
Calm our fears and provide us with your peace that surpasses all understanding. Strengthen us with the joy of the Lord and help us to hold firmly to the hope that only you can provide.
Unify us that we, the Virginia Annual Conference, may be able to experience anew the promise of your presence in and through the unity of our faith, hope, and trust in you in the days ahead and forever. We offer this prayer in the mighty name of our Lord, Jesus Christ. AMEN.
Lift each prayer
Prayer for all caregivers, nurses, physicians, first responders, health care workers
Prayer for persons suffering from the coronavirus
Prayer for those who grieve the loss of their loved ones
Prayer for hope and peace in anxiety during the pandemic
Prayer for leaders, governments, nations
Prayer for an end to the pandemic
Prayer for churches, communities, and the world
Prayer for healing
Close with the Lord’s prayer
Update July 30, 2020
Pastor Will and Lay Leader Ken Ferris have created a "Plan for Stage 2 of the Return to In-Person Worship and Other Gatherings." This plan is prepared in response to, and compliance of, the 28-page Virginia Conference "Technical Assistance Manual (TAM) for Local Churches", disseminated on June 15 2020, and updated on July 8th, 2020.
The Pender plan is an overarching document that outlines how Pender UMC will conduct its mission to the community under Virginia Conference Stage 2 COVID-19 rules and protocols.
There is a distinction to note: Commonwealth of Virginia COVID phases are different than the much stricter Virginia Conference UMC phased responses. The Governor may call for Phase 3 COVIC restrictions, yet we could be in UMC Phase 2 COVID restrictions at the orders of the Bishop.
The plan has been submitted to Pender's Healthy Church Team, and upon review and approval, will be forwarded to the District Superintendent for final Conference approval.
When final approval is secured, Pender will have a document that is concrete in policy, yet flexible enough to allow for adaptation if our congregational needs change.
Update June 17, 2020
Update May 22, 2020
Update May 21, 2020
Update May 14, 2020
Resources are now available (https://vaumc.org/return/) from Bishop Lewis and the workgroup for phased return of in-person worship. Resources include this video, plan summary, visual presentation, handbook and more.
Here is a small collection of valuable resources.
Please feel free to share these with anyone who may need this information!
Text FOOD to 877-877
Send a text to 877-877 to find the closest school feeding site for children. Or visit https://state.nokidhungry.org/virginia/.
Find tons of local resources. Call 211 or visit www.211virginia.org.
Visit https://commonhelp.virginia.gov/ for a vast collection of resources.
Volunteer services for disaster survivors.
United Way Corona Virus Response Hotline
757-858-7777 (non-medical assistance)
From Fairfax County
- Call the Fairfax Health Department Call Center at 703-267-3511 with Coronavirus questions; open 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays and 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.
- Text FFXCOVID to 888777 to receive updates from Fairfax County about COVID-19.
- Email questions or concerns to . This email account will be staffed Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. through 6 p.m.
- Visit a web portal for coronavirus that serves as a one-stop online resource for information.
- Learn more about COVID-19 on the Health Department Coronavirus (COVID-19) Webpage or FAQ page.
- Follow the Fairfax County Government Facebook Page and Health Department Facebook Page.
- Follow @fairfaxcounty and @fairfaxhealth on Twitter.
April 7, 2020
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the June 2020 session of the Virginia Annual Conference has been postponed until September 18 -19, 2020. Meeting Max, the company managing the conference’s hotel reservation system, will make cancellations for all participants who reserved through the Annual Conference housing process.
April 1, 2020
March 31, 2020
March 30, 2020
March 26, 2020
March 18, 2020
From Pastor Marg
Many thanks to our visitation team coordinated by Cheryl Moxley for contacting our older members, those living alone or in senior facilities. Scripture instructs us to tend to our own, especially the elderly and sick. We are doing that. Please continue to mail cards to those same folks.
Theresa, Val and I are developing 3 plans for worship through Easter. Plan A is if all the restrictions are lifted and we can return to church as usual. Plan B is if we stay at the current limitation of 10 (this is the option where we did our most creative work!). Plan C is if we are directed to shelter in place. I won’t confuse you with these plans at this point. For now just know that you can watch the recording of weekly worship at our website www.penderumc.org
Several major events have been postponed including the Congregation Conversations with Just Peace, Mission Weekend, Boutique, Brunch with the Bunny, and the Easter Breakfast (but not Sunrise service – that’s part of Plan A and Plan B).
Hypothermia guests will leave Sunday morning. Monday morning our cleaning crew will do a deep clean and sanitize all areas of the church used by hypothermia. Church Council will meet Monday night (officers only in the building with others calling in on gotomeeting). Their primary agenda item is to consider all the issues created by the coronavirus including church finances. Tuesday morning the staff will return from working at home to working at the church. They will be meeting with Rev. Will White, our next pastor.
David Raich is working with his team to provide Sunday School lessons for children and their families. Confirmation Class will continue this Sunday from 3-5.
I hope you can sense the church is still being the church, in worship, study, and service. More than ever we are aware that the church is not a building but a people. We the people of Pender United Methodist Church are ambassadors for Christ, his representatives right here, during this unprecedented pandemic. We were chosen for such a time as this.
I cannot emphasize enough the need to stay in prayer, alert to the Spirit’s call to service. Use this time wisely, as a gift from God. If you have prayer requests, please let me know. If you have ideas for how to be the church in new ways during this time, let me know. Our best ideas are coming from all of you! Please continue to give your tithes and offerings to the church. You can do that by writing a check and mailing it, on-line giving, or texting. We are working to reduce as many building expenses as possible but most expenses will continue. Your continuing donations are critical.
Thank you for being the Church of Jesus Christ, his aroma, his letter of reference, clay pots carrying the treasure which is Him, and serving as his faithful ambassadors.