As we approach the season of General Conference in the United Methodist Church, it’s crucial to reflect on our mission: “To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world,” a mission directly inspired by the Great Commission in Matthew 28:16-20. However, amidst our dedication to this mission, there’s one key piece of language we seem to have misplaced – the urgent, imperative “Go!”

Have you ever wondered why we often find ourselves congregating within the confines of church buildings, sitting in pews or chairs, merely ‘coming’ to church to fulfill our weekly Christian obligations? Perhaps it’s time to reclaim the essence of “Go!” for the health of our community. Imagine if we embraced a weekly, or even daily, dose of “Go!” – a reminder that our faith extends far beyond the walls of our churches.

Every day, we traverse our communities, carrying with us our faith, spirituality, and the stories of Christ’s love intertwined with our own narratives. Yet, many of us hesitate to share our stories or express our faith beyond the comfort of our church circles. We fear embarrassment or rejection, and we cringe at the thought of sounding judgmental or preachy. It’s time to change that thinking.

As I prepare to depart Northern Virginia, I’m embarking on a project to empower the laity in our district to embrace the “Go!” aspect of the Great Commission. Our goal is to equip individuals and communities with the confidence to authentically discuss their faith, spiritual journey, and church life without fear or hesitation. Imagine the impact if churches across our district became safe havens where people could freely explore, question, and find faith amidst doubt. If this idea intrigues you, I invite you to explore our Go! project on our website at novaumc.org/go and join us for one of our upcoming information sessions.

Together, over the past five years of ministry with you, I’ve witnessed the transformative power of a devoted laity within a thriving local church. Let’s continue to work towards building a beloved community where lives change, communities transform, and the love of Christ shines brightly.


May God bless our journey as we embrace the call to Go!

Rev. Dr. Sarah Calvert
Northern Virginia District Superintendent