Valerie Tyson

Valarie Tyson

With many churches holding online-only services to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many people worshiped last Sunday with the help of either a laptop, tablet or phone.

Edenton United Methodist Church was one of those churches, participating in an online service live-streamed by Pastor Valerie Tyson on the church’s Facebook page.

Tyson said she had never done live-streaming before, but has started having her services online since the COVID-19 outbreak.

“It is important to stay connected,” said Tyson. “We continue to worship.”

For members of her congregation who do not have access to a computer, Tyson said the church is distributing printed copies of her sermons.

In addition to members of her congregation, Tyson said her sermons are also available to everyone who visits the church’s Facebook page.

“We are in this together,” she said.

While the transition to live-streaming her sermons has been “a little different,” Tyson said it’s allowed her to still be able to share a message, and that is what is important right now.

Originally from Fairfield, in Hyde County, Tyson grew up attending church and was a member of her church choir. She was a bookkeeper at her family’s farm before she decided to serve her church as a pastor.

She has now been a pastor more than two decades. Her husband, Gene, is also a pastor, serving at Hertford United Methodist Church.

Tyson has had four appointments through the United Methodist Church, the latest at Edenton United Methodist Church.

“I feel very blessed in every single one I have served,” she said.

Tyson said she was delighted when she was appointed pastor at Edenton United Methodist last July.

“I’ve always enjoyed coming to Edenton. It’s a beautiful place,” she said.

Tyson has enjoyed pastoring Edenton United Methodist’s parishioners.

“They are a wonderful congregation,” she said. “Together we are appreciative that we can spread the word of Christ.”

Although social distancing recommendations have limited face-to-face contact with her congregation, Tyson said she has been able to keep in touch through emails, texts and phone calls. She also sends newsletters to keep church members informed about what’s going on.

Tyson strives to offer hope and fellowship for her congregation during the COVID-19 pandemic. She recommends people continue their holy practices and to read scripture. Singing hymns can also be uplifting, she said.

“Singing is a beautiful way of staying connected to God,” Tyson said. “It lifts us up.”

For more information about Edenton United Methodist Church, visit the church’s Facebook page or website at http://edentonchurch.com/.