Being the Church: Flood Buckets

At a recent district conference meeting when Pastor Sherry shared that she was from Andrew Chapel, a fellow pastor in the conversation said, “Oh, you’re from the church that said yes!”

If you were in our building over the past couple of months, you may have stumbled (quite literally) upon the growing stacks of five-gallon utility buckets. It’s even possible you were asked to help carry some to our temporary storage facility in the multipurpose room. What were all of those buckets for? Well, that’s what we said yes to.

Earlier in September, Northern Virginia UMC District Superintendent, Sarah Calvert, challenged each church in our district to make 4 flood buckets or disaster cleaning kits as a joint district missional project between the 106 member churches.

The goal was to help restock the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) support center where aid supplies are distributed after a hurricane, flood, tornado or other natural disaster.

But the project needed an additional level of support, once area churches packed and prepared their buckets. The district needed a streamlined way to collect them for transport to UMCOR — and that’s when Andrew Chapel said yes. We volunteered to serve as one of four regional collection point locations for our district.

We didn’t know when they were arriving, we didn’t know how many would be coming, we didn’t know when they were leaving, but we knew we could Be the Church for our neighborhood churches.

Over the course of several weeks, our doors stood open for bucket drop off. By the end of the collection period, we counted 286 buckets (including 4 packed by ACUMC) lining our walls that are now on their way to stand ready to help someone in need. Sometimes Being the Church is as simple as saying yes—even when, especially when, you aren’t quite sure what you’re saying yes to.

To learn more about the NOVA UMC Flood Bucket Challenge and what’s inside of a flood bucket, visit You can see additional pictures of our flood bucket adventure on the ACUMC Facebook and Instagram pages.