First UMC is now offering multiple opportunities to engage with our community and educate ourselves on issues of racial inequality and injustice. Please review the information below and prayerfully consider your involvement in the activities, events, programs, and educational opportunities that are provided. It is our hope to keep this page updated with events, opportunities, and information that best facilitate our mission in transforming the world through making disciples of Jesus Christ. Please contact Katy Brandt, Chair of our Witness Team, with any suggestions, updates, or corrections. 

First UMC serves the greater community on the East Coast and internationally, through short-term and recurring missions, including Appalachia Service Project, Friends of Ft. Liberte Mission in Haiti, a partnership with Kaunus UMC in Lithuania, and Stop Hunger Now.

First UMC members serve in the Charlottesville community in a wide variety of ways, but we are always looking for new ways to demonstrate the hospitality, love, and grace of Jesus Christ. If you have any new ideas about how we can better serve our community please contact Katy Brandt - the Chairperson of our Witness Ministry Team, or Cindy Remington - the Chairperson of our Outreach Ministry Team

Adult classes and programs – Bible study, Sunday school, fellowship groups, small home groups. Being with others through study, small groups, and service is how we connect with others in the church where friendships and support systems grow. Check the Sunday bulletin, information kiosks, and the Focus newsletter for current information.
Men's Programs
  • UMM – United Methodist Men have breakfasts and programs on Saturdays during the year
  • Men Who Shop – contribute to supporting programs like VBS, mission, and special programs
Women’s Programs
  • Bible Study
  • Last Thursday Lunch or "LTL" - meets at a different restaurant the last Thursday of each month
  • Annual Retreat – overnight retreat in the fall

Adult Programs

  • Sunday School groups
To volunteer or request more information please contact Carolyn McGee, our Spiritual Life Coordinator
Youth participate in Sunday school and Sunday evening activities of study, service, fellowship and mission. Adults are needed and welcomed as chaperones and mentors.
  • Sunday School Teachers - There are two youth Sunday school classes, 6th-8th grade and 9th-12th grade. A teacher or two is needed for each class and curriculum is provided.
  • Youth Group Helpers - Helpers are needed for Sunday nights from 5-7pm during Youth Group. Helpers facilitate games, lead small group discussions, and more.
  • Confirmation Mentors - Confirmation is currently held every other year and each confirmand is paired with an adult mentor. Mentors provide fellowship and guidance as the youth take this next step in their faith journey.
  • Special Event Chaperones - Adult chaperones are needed for outings, lock-ins, retreats, and to work alongside youth in service opportunities including Appalachian Service Project (ASP).
To volunteer or request more information, please contact Alex Erwine, our Director of Discipleship for Youth & Children.
Pastoral Care – we care for our congregation in many ways, directly and indirectly
  • Homebound Visitors – visit people that can’t get out to come to church
  • Prayer Teams – pray from home the prayers that people share on Sunday mornings or Wednesday evenings and special prayer requests submitted to the church
  • Stephen Ministry – be a care giver to someone in need of a person to walk through a time in life when they need help. Church provides required training.

To volunteer or request more information about volunteering, contact Rev. Gary Heaton, Senior Pastor.

Nurture groups care for others in the church through education, programs, and caring ministries.
  • Homebound communion – take communion to homebound members, instruction and equipment provided
  • Letter Writers – write cards to two homebound people each month
  • Martha Ministry – meals for families that are experiencing a difficult time
  • Nurture Team – help plan church activities to nurture the congregation
  • Shepherd Ministry - individuals volunteering as shepherds have a group that they touch base with periodically
  • Christmas Luncheon or Dinner - plan an annual meal, held during Advent, as an opportunity for fellowship for the whole congregation
To volunteer or request more information, contact Julie Marazita, Nurture Team Chair.
Technology – all worship services use PowerPoint presentations and some video requiring someone to sit at a computer and advance slides or start videos. Some services use a sound board and need someone to monitor and adjust microphone volumes during the service. Training is provided. 
  • 8:30 am service
  • 9:45 am service
  • 11:00 am service
To volunteer or request more information, contact Tim Williams.
  • Administrative tasks – regular “shifts” in the office to handle phone calls and help with small tasks
  • Office reception – answer the phone, take messages
  • Church mailings – periodic mailings require many hands to fold, seal, or stuff envelopes
To volunteer or request more information, contact Kathy Berkeley, Administrative Assistant.

Music Ministries


Behind the scenes or actively participating. Worship services have many elements of preparation and direct assistance; singing, reading scripture, playing an instrument, ushering, or helping serve communion.
  • Singing (celebration singers at 8:30 service or chancel choir at 11:00 service)
  • Scripture readers (at each service)
  • Communion Stewards (Prepare the communion elements, bread and juice, for any of the three services. )
  • Communion Helpers (Assist in serving communion at any of the three services. You will be given instructions before you serve.)
  • Instrumentalist (Share your musical talents in the 9:45 band or provide special music at any of the services.)
  • Acolytes (8:30 & 11:00 service. Children and youth are invited to participate as acolytes by lighting and extinguishing the altar candles.)
  • Usher (11:00 service, assist people find a seat, help collect offering, and usher for communion)

To volunteer or request more information about volunteering with worship, contact Ann Shaffer, Worship Team Chair.

Hospitality – this is a welcoming church and it is because people take time to intentionally welcome and greet people, whether those people are members or visitors. If you have the gift of hospitality, there are several ways you can help.
  • Bread for Visitors – bake bread to be given to each first time visitor 
  • Coffee Host – prepare coffee and snacks after the 8:30 and 11:00am services, and before the 9:45am service
  • Greeters – greet and welcome people and hand out bulletins before each service 
To volunteer or request more information about how can you serve in hospitality ministries please contact Katy Brandt.


We are a growing community!  There are many ways to get involved within First UMC.