We ARE the Church

We prayerfully ask that you sustain your generosity
so that Hinton Avenue can continue to be a blessing to others.


In fact, you may want to consider making your offerings to the church through a periodic automatic draft from your bank account, as many members have already done. This relieves you of writing and mailing a check (banks will mail it free of charge for you) and assures the church of your ongoing support, even on those times when you cannot be with us in Sunday worship.

You may also Give Now.
 

State Resources Shared with Faith Communities

Yesterday, I attended a statewide webinar for faith leaders hosted by the Office of Governor Ralph Northam and the Office of Health Equity of the Virginia Department of Health

On March 23, Northam issued Executive Order Fifty-Three that orders the closure of certain non-essential businesses, bans all gatherings of more than 10 people, and closes all K-12 schools for the remainder of the academic year. Governor Northam is also urging all Virginians to avoid non-essential travel outside the home, if and when possible. This order goes into effect at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 and will remain in place until 11:59 PM on Thursday, April 23, 2020. This order applies to houses of worship.

Dr. Vanessa Walker-Harris – Deputy Secretary of Health 

Explained the salient points of that Executive Order.

This executive order:

  • Closes public and private K-12 schools through the end of school year.
  • Closes non-essential ‘Brick and mortar” businesses for 30 days
  • Bans public gatherings of more than 10 people. 
  • Urges Virginians to avoid non-essential travel outside the home.

Dr. Megan Healy talked about Unemployment Benefits

If you are laid off and/or NOT getting a paycheck, you are encouraged to apply for unemployment benefits here. (This advice applies to faith-based workers whose organizations have not paid payroll taxes in the past. Currently, these workers are NOT eligible to receive benefits, but that rule may change in the coming days.)

Karen Kimsey – Virginia Medicaid is Taking Action to Fight COVID-19

  • Ensuring members do not lose coverage due to lapses in paperwork or a change in circumstances
  • No co-pays for any Medicaid
  • 90 days supply of many routine prescriptions
  • No pre-approvals needed and automatic approval extensions for manu critical medical services
  • Outreach to higher risk and older members to receive critical needs
  • Encouraging use of telehealth

Visit https://coverva.org/

Heidi Hertz – Feeding Virginia during COVID19

Students and children:

  • 100% of schools providing meals to children 0-18 yrs old
  • Innovative strategies being used such as drive up and bus routes deliveries
  • Text “FOOD” or “COMIDA” to 877-877 (for closest feeding sites & times to you)
  • Longer breaks means additional need

Community and family resources:

Tracey Wiley – Financial Resources Update – 

Visit https://www.sbsd.virginia.gov/ for information about low-interest loans for small businesses and non-profits.

Curtis Brown, VA Dept of Emergency Management (VDEM)

Disaster Funding Available through FEMA

CULTURAL IMPACT – Suja Amir, who is on the Governor’s Asian American Advisory Board – member of Asian Latino Solidarity Alliance of Central VA

  • Census is now more important than ever – online or by paper
  • Increasing hostile sentiments toward Asians – verbal and physical attacks
  • Spike in white supremacists toward Jewish communities

Thanks to Rev. Michael Cheuk of the Charlottesville Clergy Collective for this synopsis.

The church is NOT the building. WE are the church.


COVID-19 is forcing us to connect in new and transformative ways.

Our enforced physical separation is a challenge – especially for those of us with serious health concerns, those who are aged, and those who live alone.  Others may be experiencing acute anxiety because of insecure employment or fragile financial stability.  We all know and dearly love someone who is deeply impacted by the fear and uncertainty of these days.

Today, Governor Ralph Northam announced that in-person schooling would remain closed through the end of this academic year.  He instructed non-essential businesses to close and limited gatherings of people to 10 or less.  He emphasized the desire not to punish or restrict, but to keep us all safe.  It’s going to be challenging to work out this new normal which will last for at least the next thirty days, and perhaps far longer.


We ARE the Church


Even though we cannot gather, we remain the Body of Christ in and among the world.  We are called, as disciples of Jesus, to transform the world.  Our work continues.

It’s been important to make some long-overdue upgrades to our online presence and digital communications.  This is not to say that old fashioned ways of staying in touch fall by the wayside.  It’s more important than ever to remember our elderly friends and relatives and those who may not have access to technology with cards, letters, and calls.  You’ll be hearing more about how we can organize that this coming week.  For now, here are a few new things we are doing:

  • Posting ways to get involved and help our community on Facebook and our website
  • Forming a Facebook Group for church family concerns, discussion, and prayers
  • Streaming services of worship online from Facebook and our website
  • Creating digital meeting spaces through Zoom for choir, meetings, bible study, and prayer

This past week or more I’ve participated in a number of conference calls with other clergy in Charlottesville, United Methodist pastors on our District, and hundreds of faith leaders across the state of Virginia.  We are all working overtime to understand the needs and resources of this present moment and how best to keep us connected as a church with a mission in the world.


Connect US to OTHERS


Upgrading our email communication to MailChimp is one more way of seeking to be more effective and more efficient in keeping us in touch and engaged.  You are receiving this email because you’ve gotten church mailings in the past.  Would you pass this one to one other person who might benefit from being connected to our ministry?  Don’t forget to check out Facebook . Thank you for your faithfulness during these days and know that I am praying with and for you.  If I can be there for you in any way, or if you are aware of another’s need that I should know of, please don’t hesitate to let me know.

Grace and peace,  

Update 3/23 – Ways to Help

UVA Medical Center needs blood!

Virginia hospitals are experiencing a severe blood shortage across the state. UVA Health encourages members of the community who are healthy & eligible to contact the American Red Cross <https://www.redcross.org/> to make an appointment to donate at one of their fixed locations.  

Charlottesville City School’s Free Lunch Program

Charlottesville City Schools is offering Free Lunch to Students during coronavirus pandemic. The Charlottesville Area Community Foundation is creating a school-based fund to support their food delivery efforts — stay tuned!

Support UVA Emergency Call Center Staff

When you shop, grab some extra snacks!

UVA Emergency Call Center is in need of commercially available, individually wrapped snacks (bars like RXBar, KIND, Health Warrior, GoMacro (Vegan); and/or Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks, Pita Chips, etc.) to keep their staff fueled and ready to serve. The Charlottesville Clergy Collective is organizing a central donation point to which churches can give. If you’d like to help, drop your snacks at the carport of the parsonage and Robert will deliver them to the collection point. Thanks!

IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW NEEDS SUPPORT:

From the Charlottesville Clergy Collective

WAYS TO GIVE AND RECEIVE SUPPORT:

Support Cville – this is the most comprehensive website listing ways for people to give and receive support. 

  • Link to contribute to local nonprofits, restaurants and UVA students.
  • Link for ways to receive money, supplies and services.

DONATE to COVID-19 SUPPORT FUNDS

BLUE RIDGE AREA FOOD BANK

Pray at 12 Noon Every Day

Richmond Area Bishop Sharma Lewis

Dear Virginia Annual Conference, 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 would like to thank several of you that have suggested a corporate prayer time for the Virginia Annual Conference. 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 printed prayer below. 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.