News and Events Happening in our District

 Bishop Lewis's letter to the Virginia Annual Conference
´╗┐on June 29
Dear Virginia Annual Conference:
These are certainly challenging times – and there is also a great deal of positive news for our church. Through faith, flexibility, and hard work we are returning to in-person worship in a safe and responsible manner.
Virginia is on track to enter Phase Three of Governor Northam’s reopening plan this Wednesday, July 1, 2020, as the number of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue to decline in the Commonwealth. The Conference has been carefully monitoring events at the state level and the transition to Phase Three by Governor Northam was expected. It does not impact our return to worship plans.
Our churches continue the return to in-person under the Stage 2 criteria that went into effect for the Conference on June 21, 2020. The Conference will remain in our Stage 2 for the foreseeable future as we are being rigorous about the safety of our members and guests. Face coverings and social distancing are essential at all in-person gatherings.
I encourage all churches to return to in-person worship, even if it is with a modest number of church members while continuing to provide online or telephonic worship services. We will continue to monitor and evaluate events. As trends are expected to continue to improve in Virginia, we will likely loosen some of the requirements for in-person worship.
Thank you to the hundreds of churches that have returned to in-person worship and other church activities, and thanks to those that are making plans to do so soon. Even though the services are smaller than before the pandemic, you are providing important, essential ministry to help the well-being of the Body of Christ. Every church that is comfortable can have in-person worship by following the Technical Assistance Manual on the Conference website.
Peace and Blessings,
Bishop Sharma D. Lewis

Winchester District Office Contact Information
 
Steve Summers, District Superintendent: WinchesterDS@vaumc.org or (804) 822-2824
Melanie Melester, District Administrator: melaniemelester@vaumc.org
Chad Hrbek, District Director of Congregational Excellence: chadhrbek@vaumc.org
 
 

 
Join Bishop Lewis at noon each day in prayer
 
The Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (NIV) Prayer is essential to sustain our faith and Jesus Christ modeled a life of prayer.... I am very blessed to lead an annual conference that believes in the power of the petitioned prayer!
Please join me at 12 noon every day and pray the following prayer. Let us invoke the power of the Great Physician to do a mighty work in eradicating this disease all over the world.
Peace and Blessings,
Bishop Sharma D. Lewis

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 (coronavirus) 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