Seaside School is our Christian Preschool for kids ages 1 through Kindergarten.  Heidi Beauchanie, the Seaside School Director, recently put an all-call out to our congregation for substitute teachers and thankfully Jacob stepped up.

I have a passion for teaching children and it was great to be able to teach them about the Bible and share the love of Jesus with them in a church setting. I am not allowed to talk about my faith in the public sector…it was also exciting to be inducted into the Seaside Hall of Fame by being the first guy teacher!” says Jacob, who has been an amazing help to Seaside.

What you may not know is that Jacob Litzenberg, our A/V Technician, is getting a Master’s Degree in Education. During High School, he was accepted into a program called Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow, a 2 year class/internship developed by Va Beach High Schools for students interested in becoming teachers. At the end of this program, students submit a digital portfolio to the City to review and the School Board votes on one high schooler from each High School enrolled in the program to win a teaching contract when they graduate from college. Jacob was one of the recepients.

Heidi shares, “We feel blessed that he was willing to fill the void that we had in our two year old classroom for the last month and a half of school. When he first started some parents were apprehensive about a man being in the classroom with their kids. As we come to the end of his time on the Seaside staff I have the privilege to say all the students and parents love him. The mother that was the most concerned about having a man in the classroom came to me about two weeks into the month and a half and said that her little boy came home and told her that Mr. Jacob was his favorite and when she asked why he said, ‘because he is cool and makes my School ‘fun-er!’”

Women’s Tea Luncheon

Although Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford and Lady-in-Waiting to Queen Victoria, is often credited with starting the tradition of afternoon tea in the early 1840’s to overcome her “sinking feeling,” the mood of the folks attending the Tea Luncheon that we hosted recently is best described by participants as “uplifting.”

Many women, like Tracy Miller, made it a family affair. A 34-year-member of VBUMC, Tracy sat with her daughter and three granddaughters and described the lunch as a “fine afternoon, one which my granddaughters will always remember.”

A member of United Methodist Women (UMW) since 1981, Gene Rimer attended with her daughter and seven-year-old granddaughter.  She has fond memories of the mother-daughter banquets that the UMW used to host and was elated to be able to use the fine china tea cups “one last time.” No doubt the recent royal wedding between Prince Harry and American Meghan Markle may have had an influence on Gene’s granddaughter who is “already practicing how to hold a tea cup like the Queen.”

Likewise, Tonya Brown participated with her aunt and 11-year-old daughter. In addition to enjoying the tasty lunch, Tonya was happy to be able to “take home a part of the church’s history” since each attendee was encouraged to take home two cups. Tonya’s granddaughter now has six cups, so “she can host her own tea party.”

For Leanne Lowdermilk the tea luncheon was a great time to “hang out with friends without kids.” As the co-leader of a young parents’ life group, she enjoyed being able “to fellowship with the girls from her life group; being able to take home tea cups from the event made the day even more special.”

Tonya Brown summed up the event for all the participants: “Definitely a hit!” 

-Dee Swanson

Red Cross Blood Drive

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. On May 7, we held a Blood Drive to help supply blood for anyone in need. Several of our donors were not church members but folks from the community who found us online.

I have been a donor several times over my lifetime. The opportunity presented itself and it was so easy to give. I want to help others. – Barbara Marquette, oldest donor.

I was nervous at first, but soon discovered that by giving blood, I would be helping more people in this short time than I could normally help in a week or a month. I have a “bleeding heart” and want to help everyone I see! My Mom and I gave blood together.  – John White, 1st time donor


  • 48 people attempted to give
  • 5 were deferred and 1 unable to complete donation
  • 34 successfully donated one unit
  • 3 successfully donated power red (2 units of red blood cells)
  • 41 units were collected
  • 38 donors used the online Rapid Pass to save time checking in our final donor of the drive, Filomena Baer, from Shadowlawn, donated her one hundredth pint!

Easter Egg-stravaganza

On March 31, The Children’s Ministry held our first Easter Egg-stravaganza at Redwing park. This was an Easter Egg Hunt and Potluck where parents could mingle and the kids could play and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ!


Thank you to all our volunteers! We had the most wonderful potluck food brought—including beautiful festive cakes! About 125 adults and children attended including 20 families from our Seaside School! Over 3,000 eggs were filled with sweet treats, faith based trinkets, and festive trinkets (like finger puppets). Special eggs had a prize to redeem that included Resurrection board books, stuffed ‘Prayer Bears,’ Easter footballs, and glow in the dark crosses. Although it was a little windy and chilly, the kids had fun on the playground, playing ‘Love God’ ring toss, drawing with chalk, and hunting for hidden eggs that reminded us of the surprise of Jesus and the tomb! A Catholic friend of ours from another church came with her son and her mother. She observed one of the kids come up to me and gave me a little Hershey Kiss, and she remarked, “Wow, you really are surrounded by a great group of people! These kids and families show so much love.” It made my heart so full. We had families with several generations come and that also made my heart so full for all of us to be making such great memories together!

– Crystal Colohan, Director of Children’s Ministries.


I attended the Easter celebration, which was a Christian mom’s dream come true on Holy Saturday to celebrate Jesus, the miracle of Easter and be surrounded by our church family. It was the best day full of hugs, games, and fellowship for our kids. The kids were so proud of their treasured crucifix necklaces they had in their eggs and the new discoveries they made. The day laid out an exciting and beautiful preparation for His coming and the miracle of the resurrection.

– Jenny Davis


I want to share God’s love with my children and making Jesus part of the celebration is the best way to model this.  I am thankful for our church because it builds a community of people willing to build these values.

– Dawn Adams




Becoming a Member of Virginia Beach United Methodist 

Sunday Worship

Today, after 12 years (don’t rush into anything, folks), I became a member at Virginia Beach United Methodist Church. It’s strange how quickly time can escape you. I remember my first Sunday like it was yesterday, sitting next to Jared Otto at the 9:30am service with the great Bob Johnson in front of us. Bob turned around and gave us a thumbs up on our shirt and tie ensembles (I told Jared we had to wear suits) and warmly introduced himself.

For a kid who spent his whole life in a Catholic church, it was a whole new experience. The music was warmer, the mood was more relaxed, there was a whole lot less up and down (Catholics know what I mean), and those sermons could inspire you to do anything, so I kept coming back. 

Since then, some people have left, some people have joined, some tragedy has struck, some heartbreak has happened, and some decisions have been tough, but perseverance has always stood strong and we’ve always moved forward. 

I’m thankful for all the people who’ve reached out to that random, tall, skinny, awkward, annoying, yellow toothed kid from New Jersey who showed up with Jared that day and then kept coming back by himself year after year, and for those same people that showed him God’s love and a beautiful Christian faith. 

The space inside the walls of this church was the first place I truly ever felt comfortable worshiping our God. 

Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”

I wish everyone could have an opportunity to reflect on their time at their church like I did today. Don’t forget to slow down and take a picture or two along your journey. Maybe we should have a 12 year waiting period for new members. 

It was nice, today, seeing so many people celebrate this journey with me, and it touched my heart that my old friend Jared could be there too. 

Philippians 4:13 “For I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength.”

I’m proud of the work we’ve done in our effort together to glorify our loving God. 

Thank you all. @ Virginia Beach United Methodist

-Tim Golden, from his Sunday, May 6 Facebook post