Weekly news & updates: April 30, 2021
Worship 10am: It's Communion Sunday!

We invite you to come back to in-person* worship. Or you can join us for online worship. See below for more information.

Communion will be offered during morning worship. (There won’t be drive-in communion in the afternoon).
The elements are prepackaged. Masks may be briefly removed to partake.

Pastor Melody's Sermon Series: "Getting Warmed Up"

Sermon Title: "Abide"
In-Person Worship*

Where? Join us for worship by our front steps facing Stockley Gardens. 
If it rains, then we will move inside the sanctuary with additional precautions. Please BYOC (bring your own chair).

According to UMC Covid guidelines, no one unmasked is allowed to attend in-person worship, including children under age 2. We look forward to welcoming our little ones as soon as it is safe to do so! 

*This is a Covid-safe service. All of our guests are required to wear masks, maintain safe social distances, and follow the CDC guidelines to stay home if you are sick or may have been exposed. 
Online Worship

  1. Click here to go to our Facebook page and scroll down until you see the video of worship.
  2. The link and video are viewable even if you don't have a Facebook account!
  3. Please write your name in the comments so we know you are worshiping with us.

Streaming licenses: Ghent UMC is licensed to stream our FB Live worship services with permission under CCLI #20175590 and One License A-727358. All rights reserved.
Listen to recent sermons. Watch previously live-streamed worship services.
Ringing Bells of Hope
Rescheduled to this Sunday
The month of April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This Sunday, during worship, we will ring bells 14 times in prayerful acknowledgment and remembrance of the children lost to us in 2019 through the tragedy of abuse or neglect in the Hampton Roads area.

We are called to defend the defenseless, to show love to those who know no love, and to bring justice to those who are abused. For more information about Bells of Hope, click here. 
Show Your Appreciation

Want to help show how much we appreciate the Tanners and their years of service to Ghent Church? (Look at how much their daughter has grown!)

Please plan to worship with us on Sunday, June 6, their final Sunday, to celebrate the Tanner's ministry.

Volunteers are needed to join the appreciation team! Contact Melanie Cramer at thosecramers@icloud.com for more information.

To read Pastor Melody’s leave announcement, click here.
Time of Sharing (Rescheduled)

This Sunday, May 2, following our worship service, Pastor Melody will share with anyone who is interested her plans for this next step in her faith journey.

Please meet in the sanctuary to listen.

Thursday, May 6 is the National Day of Prayer.
It is a day when you can join together with communities of faith all over the country in prayer.
Agencies set greenhouse gas emissions goal

Eleven general agencies of The United Methodist Church are pledging to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 across ministries, facilities, operations and investments. The initiative was announced on Earth Day. Jim Patterson reports. 

UMW Prioritize Climate Justice

On Earth Day, last Thurs., Apr. 22, President Biden announced U.S.’ pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52% by 2030. This is a step in the right direction, but we must do more based on the historic emissions the U.S. produced. We must do our fair share to stop our planet from increasing beyond 1.5°C. The Biden Administration and Congress must reduce emissions by 70% by 2030 and 100% by 2050 economy-wide while centering equity and justice.

Also, check out the UMW website for 4 ways that you can participate in Earth Day 2021.
Used Book Sale
Ghent UMC’s bi-annual used book sale is postponed until the fall because the Stockley Gardens Spring Arts Festival will be held virtually on May 15 & 16.

Also, thankfully our book shelves are currently full! No more book donations are needed at this time. Please save the date of Oct. 16 for our fall used book sale. Proceeds will benefit missions and children/ youth programming.
Messy Church at Ghent UMC
Sunday, May 16, 4 - 5:30 pm
In-person Messy Church* is returning Sunday, May 16, 4 - 5:30pm! It’s finally time to get messy together again with crafts, games, and activities in our garden, followed by Celebration time on the front steps.

Picnic! Although COVID restrictions prevent us from serving a meal this time, consider packing a picnic and enjoying Stockley Gardens after Messy Church.

What is Messy Church? Messy Church is “Church, but not as you know it.” It is Christ-centered, for all ages*, and based on creativity, hospitality and celebration. And it’s FREE!

May’s theme is “Drop everything” based on Mark 1:16-20. Is God calling you to serve in his name? You are unique and special to God; do you believe he may call you to follow him in a new way? Have you ever been called by God?

Where? Please park in our parking lot or along the streets and walk to our garden entrance next to our front steps facing Stockley Gardens.

*According to UMC Covid guidelines, no one unmasked is allowed to church events, so this includes children under age 2. We look forward to welcoming our littlest ones as soon as it is safe to do so. In addition to wearing masks, all of our guests are required maintain safe social distances, and follow the CDC guidelines to stay home if sick or been exposed.
"Virginia Roots, Race, and Discipleship" lessons have begun.

You can still join us!
Listen, learn, and engage in healthy dialogue about history, race, and discipleship.

On Wednesdays at 7pm via Zoom and continuing through May 26, Ghent UMC is studying the "Virginia Roots, Race, and Discipleship" curriculum. Lessons include videos and interviews.

The goal is to acknowledge racism as a sin and take action to dismantle racism in our families, house of worship, our community, and the workplace.
For more information, and/or to sign up, contact Pastor Melody Tanner. The details about the "Virginia Roots, Race, and Discipleship" curriculum are located at www.vaumc.org/racerelations/.
The United Methodist Church has stated that we will no longer remain silent nor complicit about racist acts against African Americans but we must act now to become anti-racist individuals and churches! We are asked to pray for Dismantling Racism efforts, as well as, all persons of color who suffer at the hands of injustice, oppression, and white supremacy.

United Methodists across the connection joined the national response to the guilty verdict handed down April 20 in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd. While expressing the sense that the verdict was just, church leaders urged United Methodists to keep working toward dismantling widespread racism and systemic injustice against people of color. UM News staff reports. Read story

Many of the Black clergywomen who have made advances in The United Methodist Church are pioneers. The Rev. Josephine Whitely-Fields, author of a new book chronicling these women’s stories, feels they can serve as inspiration for other women of color aspiring to ministry and provide insight to a denomination seeking to dismantle racism.

Holding its historic 54th meeting virtually, members of Black Methodists for Church Renewal discussed the "other" pandemic: racism. The Black caucus says, unfortunately, racism still challenges the church.

“Racism: The Unfinished Agenda - BMCR Calls Our Church to Fulfill Its 1968 Promise” was the meeting theme.

John W. Coleman reports.
Transform a Life: Volunteers Needed
Ghent UMC has one table underway at our church and we are currently forming a second table! This second table will help a mother or mother-to-be, who is in recovery from a substance use disorder, move toward the better life she envisions for herself and her children.

GUMC is licensed to host The Open Table which is a model in which an at-risk person creates relationships with a small group community volunteers to help meet their goals. It is a transformative process for all involved.  

For more information or to volunteer, contact Faye Joseph by email at fayej5842@gmail.com or by cell phone at 757-575-3865.
The Community Vaccination Center (CVC) at Military Circle Mall in Norfolk and the Virginia Beach Convention Center are accepting walk-ins.
You may now REGISTER for the vaccine AT these locations! Then you will probably be able to get your vaccine right after you register.

You can also call (877) 829-4682 for an appointment or schedule it online at vaccinate.virginia.gov/
In episode 36 of the Tuesday Talks podcast, Rev. Jason Stanley spoke with Kay Kotan, a church consultant, coach, and author, about being the church in a post-pandemic world.

This time should be a congregational journey to be courageous and innovative. It is important to see this as a time of disruption. Disruption is an opportunity to adapt.

Get Them Talking is a series of resources to help families start conversations about issues of faith during dinner, devotions or anytime.

This month's topic is "Connected." It is true that we need one another. With whom do you feel a special bond? How we connect with each other, even those at a distance, is the latest topic in this popular series. 

Daily Prayer Starter
Please set aside time each day to pray for 2-3 minutes.

"My God, guide me to put you first in my life…"

For prayer requests contact Pastor Melody.
Pastoral Transition: Please Lend a Hand
Rev. Ryan Schaeffer has been appointed to our church effective this July 1st. To view an introduction message from our new pastor and family, click here.

Would you like to help welcome the Schaeffers or help to prepare the parsonage? We are currently forming teams for the pastoral transition. For more information or to join the welcome or parsonage team, contact Melanie Cramer at
Wesley Community Service Center

Our 4th Sundays’ non-perishable food collection has started again! Each month on the 4th Sunday, we will collect non-perishable food for the food pantry located at Wesley Community Service Center in Portsmouth. (Their food pantry is now an official Foodbank location!) To view a shopping list of the most needed items, click here.
Altar Flowers
In the worship setting, one or two flower arrangements may be placed by the altar outside or inside, if it is raining. They are given in thanksgiving to God, and often, they are dedicated in memory of a loved one or in honor of a special event or person.

Worshippers may bring flower arrangements or use two other good options:

  • Erin Bracy, of Seasons Flowers, makes and delivers to the church, beautiful arrangements for $30 each, or higher, depending upon the type of flowers wanted.

  • Our talented church volunteers, if available, can also arrange flowers at cost.

To sign up for a Sunday, please contact the church office.
Grounds Improvement
An effort is underway to update the plants and shrubs in our memorial garden and along Raleigh Avenue! We are planning for the memorial garden to be a tranquil respite. We are also exploring ideas such as a prayer tree and Biblical Herb garden for the Raleigh Ave. side. Improvements need to be made to our garden gating, as well. If you want to be a part of the planning, planting, and/or implementation, please contact Debbie Bonnewell.
Congregational Care In response to Christ's call to love one another, we want the members of our congregation to care for one another. In-person visits are limited currently, however, prayers, phone calls, and mail from the care team are continuing.
For more information, prayer requests, or if you are feeling called to get more involved or become a member of Ghent UMC, contact Pastor Melody.
Groups & Leadership
Children and Youth 
Pastor Melody posts our children's messages on our Facebook pageTo view the latest message, click here.

For more information about children and youth discipleship material and activities, contact Pastor Melody Tanner.
Ghent UMC began a 6-week study April 21 via Zoom using the Virginia Roots, Race, and Discipleship curriculum. The goal is to acknowledge racism as a sin and take action to dismantle racism in our families, house of worship, our community, and the workplace.

You can still join us! Please contact Pastor Melody Tanner.
Ghent Inspire Book Club meets one Monday each month at 7:30 pm on Zoom.

On Monday, May 17, we will continue our discussion of Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots by Deborah Feldman.

On Monday, June 21, we will discuss The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

In July, we will discuss Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis. The date will be determined later.

For those who don’t have time to read the books, we will have a few general questions in each discussion so that everyone will be able to participate.

For more information or to join the Zoom meetings, contact the church office or visit our Facebook page.
The Homeless Task Force is a group people from a number of Ghent faith communities and community organizations who meet regularly online to share resources and ideas for serving those who are homeless. A few people from Ghent UMC are actively involved in this group, but more are always welcome. For more information or if you feel led to answer this calling to help those in need, please contact Faye Joseph.
Ghent Church Homeless Task Force We are starting our own Homeless Task Force at Ghent UMC to minister to those in need. For more information or if you feel led to answer this calling, please contact the church office.
Sunday Adult Bible Discussion

Weekly, in-person, discussions have resumed on Sundays, 9 - 9:45 am. Meet in the downstairs fellowship hall. Please enter through the parking lot door. We will maintain safe social distancing to accommodate those with and without Covid vaccines.

All are required to wear masks, maintain safe social distances, and follow the CDC guidelines to stay home, if feeling sick or have possibly been exposed. 

This group reviews the Bible using the Standard Lesson Quarterly series. To read this discipleship material or for more information, contact Peter Griffin.
Ghent UMC Preschool continues to operate safely as teachers and students follow the recommendations of the CDC, Dept. of Social Services, and VA UMC Covid-19 protocol.

May 14 is parent / teacher conferences day.

GUMP is looking for substitute teachers. If you or someone you know may be interested, email the Director Ann Robertson for more information. Background checks will be completed prior to substituting.
The most recent Leadership Team meeting was Sunday, April 11. Next meeting is TBA.

The minutes and reports are below.

Christ & St. Luke’s has a community garden on their property which is on the other side of our playground fence. The community is welcome to lend a hand with the garden which provides produce for those who are in need. For more information or if you are interested in helping with the garden, please contact Nicole Pabst.
Frequently Asked Questions related to COVID-19 restrictions
Are we able to gather and worship in person? We are able to gather and worship in person, however, all of our guests are required to wear masks, maintain safe social distances, and follow the CDC guidelines to stay home if you are sick or may have been exposed. According to UMC Covid guidelines, no one unmasked is allowed to attend in-person worship, including children under age 2. We look forward to welcoming our little ones as soon as it is safe to do so!  
How can I get in touch with church staff? Our church staff are continuing to work from home and only come to the church building on an as needed basis. To contact church staff, click here to access their email addresses, or call the church office at 757-622-2843 and leave a voice mail. Our voice mail is monitored, in general, Monday through Friday. Messages will be returned as soon as possible. 
How may I offer a tithe or gift? We understand that these are uncertain times for most of us financially, but we want to offer the opportunity for us all to continue to fully participate in worship through the offering of a tithe or gift. Click here to learn of the various ways to give, including access to our online giving portal and instructions on online giving from your bank. Also, you may drop off checks through the mail slot at our Raleigh Ave. entrance. For assistance, contact the church office.
Jesus is for everyone. No exceptions.
A Word of Welcome from Ghent UMC 

Ghent United Methodist Church is called to the affirmation of the sacred worth of all people. We embrace as a gift the diversity of our neighborhood and the world. We acknowledge our human family's diversity in sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, language, age, faith history, theological orientation, economic status, education, marital status, abilities, and any other defining feature, real or perceived. Click here to read the message in its entirety.

Click here to read Pastor Melody's special message for our church and community.
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