What to expect on Sunday...
As United Methodists, we affirm that we will always accomplish more together than we ever could if we were separated. Connected as a church, both through the power of the Holy Spirit and in our shared goal of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, we find comfort, purpose, and fulfillment in working together for the glory of God.
In acknowledging and rejoicing in our connections to one another as the body of Christ, we also acknowledge and celebrate our connections to the community around us. We work and minister in Charlottesville with individuals, partner organizations, and our civic leaders so that all people might be blessed.
It is because of our connectional foundation, along with our deep desire to do no harm, that the pastors have decided to cancel all in-person events at the church that might encourage or give people reasons to leave their homes. This includes the Curbside Communion opportunities that were scheduled for Christmas Eve and Sunday mornings, as well as any in-person meetings, events, or activities that were scheduled.
In consultation with church leadership and the Healthy Church Team, we will discern a date to resume in-person gatherings.
Although it is difficult to embrace these limitations, we believe that this is the best example we can set for loving our neighbors and caring for our community.
Rev. Gary Heaton
Rev. Phil Woodson
Location and Parking
We are located in the heart of the Grounds of the University of Virginia at 1901 Thomson Road, Charlottesville, Virginia, (at the corner of Emmet Street and Thomson Road).
Our campus is directly across from the U.Va. Central Grounds Parking Garage and Memorial Gym, two blocks south of the intersection of Rt. 250 (Ivy Road) and Rt. 29 Business (Emmet Street).
On Sundays, parking is available to members and visitors in the parking lot adjacent to the Church.
Parking may also be found on nearby streets and in the University of Virginia Central Grounds Parking Garage just across Emmet Street from the Church. Special Note: If you return to your car before 1 p.m. and take your bulletin from our worship service for the attendant, your parking at the garage will be free.
We use name tags and invite visitors to complete a Connection Card, so we can follow up with you. You can request a one-on-one with a minister, ask for more information, or ask for prayers.
Children are warmly welcomed and encouraged to be full participants in worship. Age-appropriate materials are provided.
Our facility is fully handicapped accessible, with a ramp from the parking lot into the sanctuary, accessible restrooms, and an elevator for access to all levels of the buildings. Our sanctuary is equipped with a hearing loop for those who need assistance, and we provide large print hymnals and Bibles on request.
Who We Are
Wesley is a church where people who have been burned by religion in the past or have never been religious before can find a home. Our church’s identity is summed up in our logo. The burning bush from the book of Exodus represents the communion of God’s divine power with creation. The bush is there, without burning, and God is present in all their fullness. Neither one over-powering or obscuring the other’s presence. This is the union of Creator and Creation in the power of divine love and grace. The burning bush also occurs at a specific point in time. God hears the cries of the Israelites in Egypt. God responds to the cry of the suffering by liberating them, and calling them to a new life of abundance that is based on solidarity. God has done the same thing in Jesus Christ. God has heard the cries of those suffering under the powers of sin and death in this world, and became flesh to rescue them through the resurrection of Jesus.
We are called into new life of liberation, solidarity, and abundance. At Wesley, this means that each of our ministries focuses on mutual support of our members and community. Solidarity means that we stand with those around us to protect and fight for the dignity of every person, who is created in the image of God. Abundance means that we know that when we work in harmony with the earth and with God that there will be more than enough to meet every need. The abundance of God’s grace and provision means that we are not in competition with our neighbors. We know that our flourishing depends on the flourishing of our neighbor. When one suffers, we all do. When one celebrates, we all do. Liberation is the victory that Christ has won over the powers of this world that seek to dominate our lives and creation. Christ came into this world to free us from the powers of sin, death, and injustice. We experience that liberation each week in worship, in the receiving of the sacraments, and in the way we work together to live in the kingdom of God.
Our UM Connections...
As of March 19, 2019, Wesley Memorial has adopted a new policy:
In order to aid LGBT candidates for ministry that may face discrimination in the church where their membership resides, Wesley MUMC will accept transfer of membership in order to support qualified and authentically-called candidates for ministry in the Virginia Conference, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Wesley Memorial Church is part of the connectional ministry of the United Methodist Church. We are part of the Charlottesville District of the Virginia Conference. Our District Superintendent is The Rev. Danny Kesner. Our Bishop is Rev. Sharma Lewis. The Wesley Foundation at UVA is the conference supported ministry for The University of Virginia. Westview-on-the-James is the Charlottesville District Camp.
Meet the Staff...
Rev. Heaton and his wife Beth have served in the Virginia Conference since 1986 in a variety of settings. He is a graduate of High Point College and Wesley Theological Seminary, and Beth is a graduate of William & Mary and UVA. Gary and Beth love to canoe and hike in a shared love of the outdoors and are advocates of Creation Care. They have three daughters and two son-in-laws. Amanda, their oldest, has two children VeraLynn & James. Gary’s grandfather was a Methodist Minister and his spiritual formation was steeped in the gracious, inclusive and transformational theology of the United Methodist Church. Rev. Heaton is passionate about Outdoor and Camping ministry, Civic ministry, and Cross Cultural/Racial ministry. Having served several churches with multiple staff, Rev. Heaton brings a team approach to ministry and a lay empowerment model for the church. Singing is a favorite pastime and it does not take much encouragement to break into a song.
Rev. Woodson graduated from James Madison University with a BM in Music Education, earned his endorsement in Gifted Education in 2011, and is completing the UMC Course of Study requirements at the Divinity School of Duke University. Before answering God's call to Pastoral Ministry, Phil was an elementary school teacher for nine years - during which he also worked as a church music director and youth ministry leader. Phil and his wife Ellen have three sons: Cooper, Peter, and Jack.
Director of Christian Education
Rosie Snow grew up in New York City singing opera and attending the Church of St. Paul and Andrew. After college, Rosie became involved in the faith-based climate movement, which deepened her faith and commitment to justice. Called to ministry, she attended Wesley Theological Seminary and interned here at Wesley Memorial, where she worked with the Dream Team to form working “conversation” groups, including a sanctuary group.
She graduated from seminary in 2018 with an M.T.S., writing her thesis on how Christians can draw from biomimicry and theology to partner with the earth for renewal. She is so excited to return to Wesley Memorial as the new Director of Christian Discipleship. Rosie’s husband Ryan and 1-year-old daughter Madeleine are also excited for this new chapter.
Director of Communications and Office Administrator
Monica McCormack is a native of West Clare in Ireland. At nineteen years of age, she emigrated to America to be an au pair in New York. Monica has trained extensively in the martial arts, studied ancient and indigenous spiritual healing practices from around the world, and is an ordained Shaman. She is the published author of a memoir, Goodbye, My Irish Child, and also writes literary fiction and poetry.
Currently Monica lives in Goochland with her beloved wife, Elizabeth, four beautiful daughters and their Zen dog, Mikey.
Minister of Music
Cameron Pampus, a native of South Western Pennsylvania is a graduate of Seton Hill University, with his Bachelors of Music in Music Education with an emphasis in voice. Cameron teaches music at Tandem Friends Quaker School and is a trainer at a local gym. Before moving to Virginia he was the Assistant Conductor of the Westmoreland Choral Society, Director of the Westmoreland Children’s Chorus, and Director of Music Ministries at Harrold Zion Lutheran Church of Greensburg, PA.
Cameron lives in Charlottesville with his husband Brett, and their dogs Tally, and Hayden.