Ministry Outreach of Chestnut

  • All
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  • Overview
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  • Children's Program
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  • Food Pantry
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  • Mother's Day Out
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  • Music
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  • Preschool
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  • Scouting
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  • Stephen Ministry
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  • UM Men
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  • Chestnut Methodist Women
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  • Volunteers in Mission
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  • VBS
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  • Youth

Ministry Overview of Chestnut UMC

The ministries at Chestnut Memorial United Methodist Church embody a vibrant tapestry of compassion, faith, and community outreach.

Rooted in the essence of service, our programs cater to diverse needs, embracing everyone who seeks solace, guidance, or fellowship. The church's commitment to nurturing spiritual growth extends through various avenues, from impactful youth programs fostering values of kindness and empathy to adult education courses that delve into scripture and contemporary issues. Additionally, our outreach initiatives extend hands of support to the marginalized, providing shelter, sustenance, and hope to those in need within the local community.

Through worship, education, and service, Chestnut Memorial United Methodist Church fervently lives its mission, embodying the spirit of love and inclusivity.

Children's Program

Wonderful Wednesday Children's Music Program at Chestnut! Sunday School is a time for children to learn the teachings of Jesus. Sunday School helps to impart values through Biblical lessons. Many young children struggle to understand the word of God when it is taught during regular services. We have teachers in place to help make the message understandable for younger children. Our Sunday School classes are divided into specific age levels so that the children learn according to their age and educational level, so they can get a better understanding of what is being taught.

Sunday School is also an important part of the socializing process as it can help members, especially those children new to the church, get to know one another. Life can be hectic, and if you find it challenging just to make it to church, you might not be even able to think about getting your children to Sunday School. However, it's great to have the support of the church as you teach your children the truth of scripture.

Here are a few reasons why Sunday School is so important.

  1. Learn About God
    When your children go to Sunday School, they will find the age-appropriate Bible teaching that their young minds are so eager to absorb. Their teachers can shape the lessons to meet the comprehension level and interests of any age. Many Sunday School teachers will incorporate fun activities, like crafts and skits, into the lessons so your children will be able to remember them.
  2. Find Mentors
    Parenting is tough, but when you have Sunday School teachers working to mentor your children, they can provide another source of guidance. The church is a community where everyone helps their neighbors. When you take your children to Sunday School, you can rest assured you have qualified help with their spiritual education.
  3. Make Friends
    If you want your children to make more friends, Sunday School is a great place to find them. As they learn and play together on Sunday mornings, they will be able to form healthy friendships with children whose parents have the same priorities as you.
  4. Make Friends
    If you start consistently taking your kids to church when they're young, they will forever learn the good habits of church attendance. For the rest of their lives, they'll benefit from the knowledge they gained in Sunday School.
  5. Have Fun
    Don't forget the importance of play and fun. With talented teachers, great activities, and friends they enjoy, your little ones will love going to Sunday School every week. This is a great way to show your kids that learning about God can be really cool.
Recurring Events
  • Fall Festival: held every October
  • Trunk or Treat: an alternative to Trick or Treating. For more information, call the church office, (757) 595-6531.
  • Journey to Bethlehem - a drive-through nativity held in December. For more information, call (757) 595-6531.
  • Vacation Bible School - Held each July. Children learn about God's love through storytelling, arts, crafts and music.
  • Wonderful Wednesdays - runs from September through May. Children ages four years through fifth grade enjoy arts and crafts, music, bells and chimes. We meet in the PreSchool Lunch Room from 6-7 p.m. For more information call the office at (757) 595-6531.

Food Pantry at Chestnut UMC

Our Food Pantry typically serves over 3,000 people in our community every year. If you need to take advantage of our pantry, we are open:

Tuesdays 10 am - Noon
Wednesdays 1 - 3 pm
Thursdays 4 - 6 pm
Fridays 10 am - Noon

We have a staff of 30-40 volunteers, with a minimum of 2 volunteers on every shift to help with shopping, stocking, and bagging.  New volunteers are always welcome.  

At Thanksgiving, we also provide a dinner with all the fixings for roughly 100 families.

If you would like to donate to our pantry, please keep us in mind when you do your grocery shopping. Suggested items include:

canned corn beans
peas rice
fruit ramen noodles
spaghetti sauce pancake mix
instant mashed potatoes syrup
pasta peanut butter
cereal jelly
macaroni and cheese canned chicken
hot dogs canned tuna
hot dog buns  

Monetary donations are also always welcome.  Please mark any donations for the Food Pantry.

Please feel free to contact us if you need more information.

Mother's Day Out

We welcome children who are two and a half through five years of age to join our classes. We offer an opportunity for children to develop social and academic skills. Our daily routine consists of painting, coloring, manipulative tables, dramatic play, outdoor recess, snack time, music and movement activities, story time, art projects, lunch time, a short video that coordinates with our theme for the day, games and library time.

If you would like more information, please contact the church office at (757) 595-6531. Space is limited and spots are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Mother's Day Out News
During the month of January, our themes will be snow, artic animals, igloos, hibernation, and continuing with letters and number recognition. On Hibernation Day we will learn how animals hibernate We will wear our pajamas to school and bring a stuffed bear to hibernate with, and we will eat a bear snack. The first day back we had a countdown and celebrated the New Year with hats and noise makers. Can't wait to see what February brings us!


The Choirs of Chestnut minister to all ages from children to teenagers to adults. We learn to sing and ring together primarily to contribute our praise and glory to the worship service. But Music at Chestnut goes beyond Worship. Music helps teach VBS, Christmas Pageants, and Musicals such as "Once Upon a Parable", Moses and the Freedom Fanatics", "Malice in the Palace", and "David and Goliath" just to name a few. Music Ministry at Chestnut reaches out to the community through concerts by our choirs as well as other groups such as "The Jeremiah People", Langley's "Heritage Band of America" and the "Virginia Wesleyan Choir". The world-renowned "Raleigh Ringers" Handbell Choir was also very well received by our congregation and the whole community! Participating in a choir at Chestnut is a wonderful experience with many benefits. You learn about music and tips on how to make music - and you may even make new Christian friends.

Chestnut offers opportunities for everyone to participate in Music Ministry - not only in Worship and hymn singing but through the many singing and ringing choirs for all ages.

For more information on Music Ministries at Chestnut, please email our music director Kurt Snider, or call 757-595-6531.


Tuesday Morning Bells
Tuesdays 11 a.m. -- Noon
Contact Kurt to attend

Wonderful Wednesday Children's Music Program 
Wednesdays 6-7 p.m.
Ages 3 through 5th grade
Contact Kurt to attend.

Wednesday Evening Youth Choir and Bells
Wednesdays 6-7 p.m.
6th through 12 grades
Contact Kurt to attend.

Praise Team
Wednesdays at 6 p.m.
Contact Carley to attend.

Chestnut Chimes
Thursdays at 6:15 p.m.
Contact Kurt to attend.

Chancel Choir
Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.
Contact Kurt to attend

Our Music Notation Began In The Church

If you can imagine what life would be like without any form of written language, it would be a similar thing as if we had no form of written musical notation. It used to be like that a long, long time ago. The church decided that it would be a great idea if some form of musical notation could be developed to help preserve music as a better means of remembering songs. The Roman Catholic Church was the driving force behind its development. Prior to music notation, liturgical music was handed down as an oral tradition and thus subject to ravages of memory and interpretation. The scholar and music theorist Isidore of Seville, while writing in the early 7th century (Pope Vitalian), considered that "unless sounds are held by the memory of man, they perish, because they cannot be written down." The church began notating plainchant melodies so that the same chants could be used throughout the church. The founder of what is now considered the standard music staff was Guido d'Arezzo, an Italian Benedictine monk who lived from about 991 until after 1033. He taught the use of vocal syllables based on a hymn to St. John the Baptist. Using Ut, re, Mi, fa, Sol, la, Si. Ut was changed in most countries except France to the easily singable, open syllable Do, believed to be taken from the Italian theorist Giovanni Battista Doni. Christian monks developed the first forms of modern musical notation in order to standardize liturgy throughout the worldwide church, and an enormous body of religious music has been composed for it through the ages. Modern music notation is used by musicians of many different genres throughout the world. Musical notation gives the same information to a musical performer, telling them what notes to play, how fast or slow, how long to hold a note, and instructions about how loud or soft for the notes. Musical notation helps people learn the music without having ever heard it before. I remember in my early musical training that the treble clef sign is also known as the "G" clef because it specifically shows you where the note G is and that the G note was for God. The bass clef sign is also known as the "F" Clef because it specifically shows you the note F stands for the Father. And middle C located in the music is exactly in the middle of the two clefs and the note C is for Christ. So there it is, Christ God The Father. Thank God for music in our lives and that the church figured out a way to write it down for all to share and enjoy! 


Our goal at Chestnut Memorial Preschool is to provide each student with an excellent foundation for learning. Your child is very important to us! We realize that each child is a unique individual full of potential and ready to learn. At Chestnut, the children learn while they are having fun with a curriculum designed to prepare them for future learning and the exciting life ahead of them. Through a variety of activities, they will develop not only academic skills, but a belief in themselves, respect for others, good work habits and an eagerness to learn.

Preschool will give your child the opportunity to become a member of a group where they will learn to share materials, toys and adult attention. The ability to do these things will help your child make an easy transition to other learning environments.

Our teachers at Chestnut are simply the best! They understand the needs of preschool children and how they learn best. With warmth, affection and a nurturing heart, they will help your child develop the many skills necessary to be successful not only this year, but in the future.

The Chestnut Preschool family consists of a supportive school board and a quality teaching staff. This professional group of individuals is responsible for what we believe is a superb program here at Chestnut Memorial Preschool.

If you are interested, please contact us at 757-591-0429.
For more information on our programs, please visit our Preschool website:

Christine Cole, Director


Hello, everyone!

My name is Dick Barnes, and I am the new Scouting correspondent.

Chestnut provides a clean, safe place for us to meet and to store our equipment, and we are always willing to assist where needed. Most recently, several members of Boy Scout Troop 11, along with church members, helped unload Pumpkins in anticipation of Chestnut's Fall Festival. 

For over 100 years, the Order of Arrow (OA) has recognized Scouts and Scouters who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law in their daily lives. This recognition provides encouragement for others to live these ideals as well. Arrow Men are known for maintaining camping traditions and spirit, promoting year-round and long-term resident camping, and providing cheerful service to others. OA service, activities, adventures, and training for youth and adults are models of quality Leadership development and programing that enrich an help to extend Scouting to America's youth. In September, Troop 11 had three members induced in the OA...Trey, Zayne, and Jesse. All are certainly worthy of recognition, and we expect them to be active members of the Order. Trey also was recently advanced To Life rank and is already planning his project for Eagle Scout.

Troop 11 has always had a quality program, and so it should come as no surprise that we are once again in first place in the running for the Colonial Virginia Council Commissioner's Cup. The Cup is awarded to the best unit in the Council, and I based on many different criteria, but mainly it confirms that the Troop is healthy and being run in accordance with all applicable requirements. We expect to maintain this lead and win the Cup again this year.

Points of Contact for Scouting at Chestnut:

Girl Scouts, Troop 1260: contact Sandy Elder,
Boy Scouts, Troop 11-B (boys): contact Dick Barnes

Stephen Ministry

Chestnut Memorial UMC is a Stephen Ministry church. A Stephen Minister is a member of our congregation who is trained to listen, care, encourage, pray, and walk alongside you during difficult times. It's confidential, free, and very helpful.

We all face challenges in our lives. Some we cope with more easily than others. Are you facing one of life's difficult challenges? A death in the family, divorce or separation, loss of a job, a difficult pregnancy, chronic illness, terminal illness, hospitalization, loneliness, aging, relocation, or some other life crisis? Please feel free to request a Stephen Minister if you think you'd benefit from having someone visit you once a week. They'll listen to you, encourage you, and pray for you. Everything you say to a Stephen Minister is strictly confidential; no one else will know your "business." Having a Stephen Minister means you won't have to bear your burden alone.

For more information or to request a Stephen Minister, talk to or call our Stephen Leader, Nell Twiggs at the number listed in the church directory. You can also tell Pastor Ken or talk to any of the Stephen Ministers you see around church. Once you have made your request, one of our Stephen Leaders will contact you to provide more information and assign you a Stephen Minister.

I heard something on K-love radio the other morning that really stuck with me. The announcer shared that his pastor told him that he prays with his palms opened instead of hands together in a traditional prayer form. When asked why, the pastor said he comes to the Lord with open hands surrender-ing himself and all his struggles to God. And in doing so, he was then open to receive what God has to offer. I love that!

Soon after I heard this, I read the following written by Marge Steinhage Fenelon:

`A wise mentor taught me to pray with my hands open whenever I find myself overwhelmed by life's circumstances. "When you pray," he said, "Hold your hands open, with your palms up. That will remind you to remain completely open to God."

At first, I hated praying this way. It felt so unnatural. When I pray, I like to turn inward – away from the world. I like to sit forward and clench my hands or even bury my face in my hands. If I wouldn't look so stupid doing it, I'd probably fold myself into a fetal position.

Praying with my hands open made me feel so…out there…so…vulnerable.

Funny, isn't that exactly what prayer is all about? Allowing ourselves to become vulnerable to the Eternal Father God? With our hands consciously held open, it's nearly impossible for our minds and hearts to remain closed.

I noticed another thing about praying with my hands open. There's nothing to hold on to. I can't tell you how many times I've found myself praying with all my might, hands clenched so hard my fingernails had turned white. And what was I praying about? How I thought things should work out. What I thought needed to be done. What I thought God should do for me. Subconsciously, I was hanging on for dear life to the things I was afraid to let go.

Somehow, when my hands were open and my palms facing heaven, I felt less able to hang on. Eventually, my fear of letting go subsided and developed into a willingness to surrender everything to God.

What a great way to come to our Lord and to start this New Year! We have spent the last few months struggling with preparations and anxiety regarding Christmas, family gatherings, falling short in our own expectations and resolutions. We have struggled with the loss of loved ones, loneliness, depression, financial, family, and health issues. Let us come to God with hands open, surrendering all and allowing ourselves to receive what He has to offer us.

Dear Jesus, as you opened your hands for us and for the world, help us to live and to pray with open hands ready to receive from you. Give us strength, by your Spirit, we pray to hold open hands for those around us; give us strength to share in their sufferings and in yours; and so to enable your healing love to flow in us, around us and through us. Amen

United Methodist Men

The General Commission on the United Methodist Men says it this way: "The ministry of men in the local church is defined as a core group of men, partnering with their pastor, to invite and initiate spiritual growth opportunities for all men of the church. Everyone has different gifts, graces and areas of interest. Therefore, opportunities for participation would include diverse ministries of the church, such as prayer groups, missions, Bible studies, retreats, workshops/seminars, small groups in the Wesleyan tradition, leading and participating on committees, teaching Sunday school classes, youth ministries, scouting, mentoring and assisting in leading worship service. The focus is not inward, concentrating only on those who attend a set meeting, but outward to all men, assisting them to engage the process of spiritual growth."

At Chestnut, those opportunities for participation have included fish fries and barbecues, plus mission projects such as building handicapped ramps for members of the church. We also sponsor the yearly Tommy Jobe Memorial Scholarship (see below). 


The Tommy Jobe Memorial Scholarship was established in honor of Dr. Tommy Jobe, a dedicated member of the Chestnut Memorial United Methodist Church and United Methodist Men (UMM) organization.

The purpose of the scholarship is to assist qualifying high school seniors of Chestnut Memorial UMC in their educational endeavors. Funding for this scholarship is derived from Chestnut Memorial UMM fundraising events. In total, we have awarded over $4,000 to graduating seniors over the last five years.

For more information contact Tim Knapp or the church office.

Chestnut Methodist Women

The Chestnut Methodist Women (CMW)_ will meet on Thursday, February 15th at 10:00 am. The meetings are open to all women of the church. Come and join us for the fellowship. Refreshments are provided.

The purpose of the Chestnut Methodist Women (CMW) is to come together as a group to enhance our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Through Christian fellowship, love, care, and with Christ's grace, we will provide support to each other, our church, and our local community. Any women connected in any way to our great church are welcome to attend. Just call the church to add your email address to our mailing list.

Our meetings are held monthly, September through June on the third Thursday at 10 a.m. in the Wesley Classroom. We try to keep the meetings to around an hour, followed by refreshments and often crafts for the kids and/or shut-ins. We also use this time to send cards to members as needed.

Our women are proud to support a number of local missions, including: Lackey Clinic, Transitions, Menchville House, Avalon, Latisha House, and our own Food Pantry and Mother's Day Out Program. The CMW also team with the United Methodist Men to support the international program, Rise Against Hunger.

As always we support our church as needed and strive to work with all members to help the church grow by being disciples of Christ and reaching out in love to all people.

By Sally Ritchie

Volunteers in Mission

General Info

"United Methodist Volunteers in Mission is a grassroots movement within the United Methodist Church designed to provide an official channel for volunteer service. Through UMVIM, Christians (lay and clergy) can offer their skills and talents for service in their home country and around the world on short-term assignments at their own expense."

"The UMVIM network offers guidance, organization, and training for more than 125,000 volunteers each year who give of their time and talent to minister with the poor, build churches and other mission facilities, assist in disaster recovery efforts, participate in community health programs and take part in leadership training events each year."


At Chestnut, we normally have two or more mission trips attended by a dozen or so volunteers. We go where the need is greatest, often to areas ravaged by flood or hurricane. Members are divided into teams and might perform tasks such as painting, putting up drywall, doing yard work and the like. Trips are usually a week to 10 days in duration and transportation is provided by the church. Opportunities for both national and international service are offered.

Vacation Bible School

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who contributed to the phenomenal success of this year's Vacation Bible School! Your dedication and support were invaluable. We look forward to seeing you all again in the future.


We meet every Sunday for Sunday School at 10:45 am in the Youth Room.

Upcoming Events Include…

February 10—Get Valentine Grams ready (if needed)

February 11—Deliver Valentine Grams (during 1st half of Sunday School, if needed)

Our Progressive Dinner, Admirals Game, and Wii game night were a great success and everyone had a great time!

We will be doing another Wii game night and a breakfast outing coming up, dates and times TBD.

We are focusing on missions fundraising the next couple of months and have already started with Valentine Sales. Valentines will be sold until February 11th, ad Easter Egg start being sold on February 18th to be delivered March 17th. Times TBD!

If you want to help the youth make Easter Eggs we will be making them Friday and Saturday, March 15th-16th; times TBD!

If you want to volunteer or have questions, please reach out to Brittni Smith through

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our youth leader at:

In consideration of Chestnut Memorial United Methodist Church allowing the Participant to participate in children or youth ministry activities, please download the Parental Consent and Liability Release Form from our Online Library.