Welcome to The York River District of the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church, one of 16 districts in the Virginia Conference. It stretches from Mathews to Isle of Wight counties. The District consists of 66 churches, grouped in 58 charges, and 1 Wesley Foundation. There are 59 pastors serving in the District, including Associate pastors and the pastor serving at the Wesley Foundation.
The administrative office is located in the Towne Bank building on Route 17 just south of Denbigh Boulevard and is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm. We ask that you call ahead to make certain we are in the office. If you are not vaccinated against the coronavirus, visitors are asked to wear appropriate face coverings when coming to the office. Making more and better disciples for Jesus.
October 1, 2021
The Distinguished Table
Sunday is World Communion Sunday. This is a Sunday that summons us as United Methodists to exemplify exactly what the day calls us to be – inclusive. Inclusion is defined as being fully integrated into one another’s lives. It means being open to and including everyone in a non-discriminatory manner. The above explanation is one of the reasons why our denomination celebrates the opened table. The opened table welcomes and allows members and non-members to receive the elements of bread and wine from a Distinguished Table.
The Distinguished Table usually occupies a prominent place within the church. On this table, we often display a Bible and candles. Those who approach the table do so reverently because it holds consecrated elements that are memorials of Jesus’ broken body and sacrificed blood. The consecrated elements also symbolize the realization of a spiritual union between Jesus and communicants.
As United Methodists, we recognize that we are participants in this act of God. That is why when we share this Christian Sacrament, we extend the following invitation:
Christ our Lord invites to his table all who love him,
who earnestly repent of their sin,
and seek to live in peace with one another.
Therefore, let us confess our sin before God and one another.
(Obtained from the United Methodist Hymn ~ Word & Table II Copyright © 1989 The United Methodist Publishing House).
What strikes me is that it is the Lord’s invitation to this Distinguished Table. The invitation is extended to loving people who are remorseful of how they have grieved the Spirit. It is for those who promise to turn from ways that separate them from the love of Christ. It is for those who want to live in peace. The invitation is for all sinners who have fallen short of God's glorious standard (Romans 3:23). The invitation is for the last, the least, the lost (Luke 7). It is for the outsiders, the unworthy, those that are desperate. It is for those who stand at the intersection of fear, uncertainty, doubt, and despair.
As we approach this Distinguished Table on Sunday, let us remember the many missionaries who are struggling in other parts of the world to extend this table. In other instances, they are prosecuted for the sake of the Gospel. We, however, have the unique opportunity to extend this table to our neighbors and new friends without any fear of prosecution. Some of our friends feel unworthy to participate. Others feel like outsiders. As vessels and instruments of God’s grace, let us pay it forward as redeemed people.
The invitation means that there isn’t any precondition to approach the Distinguished Table. Whether we are receiving for the first time or whether we have met the church’s requirements or whether we have received the Sacrament of Baptism or not, we are in a state of grace once we approach the Distinguished Table. Let us encourage someone to attend worship and walk with them to the Distinguished Table where hopefully they can experience God’s grace.
As we receive God’s gift on Sunday from the Distinguished Table, let us remember God’s universal, inclusive church. Let us remember that there is one bread, one body, one Lord of all, one cup of blessing which we bless. And we, though many throughout the earth, we are one body in this one Lord (UMH 620). Let us remember that in Christ there is no east or west, in him no south or north; but one great fellowship of love throughout the whole wide earth UMH 548).