A gift of time to care partners of dependent seniors;
A gift of companionship and refreshment for their loved ones; 
since 2001.

Respite Care is a weekday afternoon ministry of Williamsburg United Methodist Church, open to all faiths and non-faiths. We provide time off for family members who care for dependent seniors. Family care partners have demanding tasks and often neglect their own health and well-being. Consequently, care partners need time off to relieve stress and prevent burn-out.

Respite Care provides social engagement and stimulating activities for dependent seniors in a safe and secure setting to maximize their cognitive & social abilities. Dependent seniors often feel lonely, bored, and/or helpless. Being with other peers brings psychological and physical benefits. Daily enrichment activities include music, arts & crafts, memory books, exercise, games, educational talks, reminiscing discussions, and a nutritious snack.

Who May Participate?

All inquiries are welcome! Most participating adults have early to moderate dementia. All members must meet Respite's Acuity Guidelines. Participation is open to all faiths and non-faiths. Attendance prerequisites include up-to-date flu and tetanus shots, as well as a negative PPD test. Medications cannot be brought to Respite Care. Attendance is limited to 12 members per day.

Who Cares for My Loved One?

The exceptional Staff Team is carefully screened, trained and repeatedly recognized by families for their compassion and enthusiasm. When 12 members are scheduled, 5 staff are present, along with an active group of talented volunteers who help maintain a dynamic program. Our 1:3 staff to member ratio is unparalleled!  

Inquire About Our Respite Care Program Here

We are a Safe Sanctuaries church. To view our policy, click here.


Respite Care is open 11:45 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Tuesday thru Friday.  We offer an enriched afternoon with social, physical, and psychologically engaged activities such as:

  • Music
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Exercise
  • Memory Books
  • Nutritious Snacks
  • Games
  • Educational Talks
  • Therapeutic Gardening
  • Reminiscing Discussions

The fee to participate is $60/day, which is billed at the end of the month for the days attended. Respite Tuition payments may be made by check (payable to Respite WUMC) or by credit card/EFT through this website. 

An interview will be scheduled with the care partner and Respite candidate for suitability assessment. Upon acceptance, an enrollment packet will be supplied, and your preferred attendance days will be discussed. Kindly fill out and return the enrollment packet. For scheduling or further details, please contact Cornelia Jude, Executive Director, at (757) 229-1771 ext. 354 or Heike Williams, Respite Manager, at ext. 116 or use the link below.

To learn about potential financial assistance or how to make a tax-deductible contribution, please click here.

news & events


When: December 10 at 2pm

Where: WUMC Sanctuary

This holiday season, the music department of Williamsburg United Methodist Church is proud to present a special Festival of Carols. Join us as we celebrate the joy and community spirit of Christmas, while supporting a cause close to our hearts – our respite care program.

Featuring the extraordinary talents of:

  • Tom Marshall on the organ
  • The Covenant Ringers
  • Koinonia Belles
  • A mesmerizing Bell Duet
  • WUMC Sanctuary Choir accompanied by a full Orchestra and Brass Ensemble
  • And the opportunity for everyone to raise their voices in Congregational Carols

This musical feast promises to be a heartwarming affair, perfect for family, friends, and neighbors to come together in song and goodwill. As the last notes fade, we invite you to linger in the spirit of the season with punch and cookies at our Respite’s Open House.

Join us in making a joyful noise and at the same time, offer your support to a program that provides a gift of time to care partners of dependent seniors and the gift of companionship and refreshment for their loved ones.


Our Respite Care program is more than just a service; it's a vibrant community filled with creativity, engagement, and heartwarming stories. That's why we're thrilled to offer our quarterly newsletters, a window into the soul of our community. If you would like to receive our communications please email our Respite Care Director, Connie Jude cjude@williamsburgumc.org

Newsletter Archive:

November 2023

August 2023


frequently asked questions

  • In 2001, Peggy Soulen and Darla Krupski spearheaded the creation of Respite at WUMC. Over the years, Respite has evolved to become a flagship activity program for seniors. Acuity guidelines were developed to clearly define who we can serve to ensure an afternoon of stimulating activities and social engagement.

  • Members have designated permanent days they attend weekly, from 1-5 days/week. Many families enjoy an extra day from time to time, when openings are available. When members are unable to attend, there is no charge; however, if absences become routine, number of permanent days may be revisited.

  • The key distinction is Respite’s unprecedented 1:3 staff to member ratio! Other programs offer a 1:6 ratio or are strictly volunteer driven. Many staff at Respite are retired RNs and LPNs who feel personal fulfillment from caring for seniors in our dynamic, uplifting, family environment.

    Our cheery, bright dedicated space with just twelve (12) members daily, fosters personal relationships between members, staff and volunteers. As one member said, “I’m not sure where we all came from, but we are a family!”

    There is no minimum number of days you must attend each week, and you are only charged for the days you attend.

  • Absolutely! The Peninsula Agency on Aging (PAA) can provide financial assistance based on their sliding scale. In addition, Respite’s scholarship program can help cover costs.

caregiver support & resources

Caring for a loved one is a journey that no one should walk alone. It's a path filled with both challenges and rewards, and having the right resources can make all the difference. That's why we've curated a selection of valuable support options for caregivers. From assembling a caregiving team to finding emotional support, these resources are designed to guide, inform, and uplift you every step of the way.  Click the links below to learn more.

Read Client Testimonies

our respite teams

Staff Team (left picture)

Respite’s 1:3 staff to member ratio is unparalleled. Our compassionate, skilled team includes RNs, LPNs, and ADC (Activity Director Certified) professionals! 

Volunteers (middle picture)

Every day, 2-3 volunteers assist staff with activities and build lasting friendships with members. Other volunteers perform music, bring fresh flowers for arranging, present educational programs, and more. Volunteers pictured attended our Recognition Reception.

Board of Directors (right picture)

At Respite Care, our commitment to providing exceptional support to our members is fortified by the collaboration of our esteemed volunteer Advisory Board. Comprising community leaders who hail from various faith communities, our Board plays a pivotal role in shaping our mission. Pictured l to r: David Benedict; Carolyn Yowell, Director; Ken Turner; Deacon Francis Roettinger, Vice-Chair; Nancy Ward; Ruth Simpson; Bonnie Knizatko, Chair; Barbara Monteith, Secretary; Jim Goldhammer, Treasurer; Jan Boykin; Rev. Meghan Roth Clayton, Associate Pastor at WUMC; Dawn Michelle; Terry Sweaney. Not pictured: Faith Shartzer, RN


Respite Care

Williamsburg United Methodist Church

500 Jamestown Road

Williamsburg, Virginia 23185

For more information contact:

Connie Jude, Executive Director at cjude@williamsburgumc.org, (757) 229-1771 Ext. 354

Heike Williams, Manager, at respitemanager@williamsburgumc.org(757) 229-1771 Ext. 116

To connect with Respite Care at Williamsburg UMC on Facebook, click here.