April 9, 2020
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Welcome to the weekly update of the Rappahannock River District of the UMC 
From our DS...
Easter People
Throughout the gospels, we learned that Jesus traveled to Jerusalem several times to celebrate the feasts. However, His final entry into Jerusalem had a special meaning; He was solemnly entering as a humble King of peace.

When we think about the King of peace and what He came to accomplish, we often think about two groups of Easter People. The first group of people is a group that commemorates Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem by spreading Palm branches and cloaks in His path to proclaim the Son of David (Matthew 21:5). They sing “Hosanna to the King,” but they disappear before His arrest on Holy Thursday and His crucifixion on Good Friday. Interestingly, they reappear to celebrate Easter Sunday. The sad truth is, this group does not share in the suffering but appears to celebrate the resurrection. The question is, how can this group expect to share the glory without wearing the crown of thorns?

However, there is a second group of Easter People. This group does not disappear before Thursday. In fact, they begin on Palm Sunday and continue the journey through Holy Week. They are there during the institution of the Last Supper of the Eucharist on Maundy Thursday, they are there. On Good Friday, the day of sorrow, suffering, penance, and fasting, they are there. On Holy Saturday, they are there, and that is why they are able to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday morning. 
In his work Surprised by Hope, N. T. Wright ideally and characteristically describes Easter People. He writes the following:

“Easter People rejoice in Jesus’ death and resurrection. They preach the resurrection for more than one day a year. They long for their resurrection brought by Jesus as much as or if not more so than a temporary bodiless existence in heaven. They long to see Jesus restore creation from the curse of decay. They speak up at great cost against the principalities and powers of this world because Jesus is our risen King and He is King over them all. They are willing to deny themselves and lose all things for the sake of Christ now because Christ, by the power of His resurrection, has promised to restore all things and reward His disciples in the life after the next life. ” 

So, who are we? Are we the former or the latter? What can we learn as Easter People ? We will leave the decision to you to figure out your identity as Easter People . We hope you have learned something relevant about Easter People . Notwithstanding, based on our observation of your character, we submit that you are the latter of the two, the group that does not disappear before Thursday. You are the group that continues the journey through Holy Week . You are a group that eventually bears witness to the resurrection on Easter Sunday Morning. Why have we made these statements? Here are the reasons why.

During this season of uncertainty, you did not settle for the status quo. You did not withdraw. You did not witness from a distance. We are proud of you; you have lived up to the tasks. We have noticed many creative and innovative ways clergy have reached the laity. Your commitment, dedication, and passion will not go unnoticed. We are proud of you as clergy and laity. Clergy have reached the laity in unimaginable ways. Likewise, the laity has been responsive in assisting in special ways. The RRD is indeed a great team of clergy and laity, and we are blessed to have each of you on this team. Let us continue the journey beyond Palm Sunday.
It is dark right now, but Easter Sunday morning is on the horizon. Do not avoid the challenges; embrace them and stay the course as you have so courageously done. Thank you for holding up my hands during this challenging season of uncertainty. Remember to stay connected and safe.  

Blessings to you!
Bishop Preaching Easter Afternoon
The Bishop will preach live on Easter Sunday afternoon at 3:45pm. Check out the Conference Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/vaumconf/
Annual Conference Date Change
June Session of Virginia Annual Conference postponed until September
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the June 2020 session of the Virginia Annual Conference has been postponed until September 18 -19, 2020. Information regarding the location of the September 2020 Annual Conference is forthcoming.    
Meeting Max, the company managing the conference’s hotel reservation system,  will make cancellations for all participants who reserved through the Annual Conference housing process . If you do not receive your email confirmation of this cancellation by 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 9, please call Bev Myers at 804-521-1134 or email  achousing@vaumc.org .
The Annual Conference session postponement will not impact the clergy appointment process. The Bishop and the Appointive Cabinet still anticipate a summer move date. Any announcement about a change in the move date will be forthcoming.
Rappahannock River District Scholarship 2020
Higher Education has always been a hallmark of the United Methodist Church. The value of resources for continued learning and higher education is fundamental to United Methodism. In keeping with our tradition of supporting higher learning, the Rappahannock River District (RRD) of the United Methodist Church has created a Student Scholarship Program.  The program is maintained and administered by the RRD and is not connected with any other United Methodist board, agency, or entity.

Scholarships will be awarded to applicants who meet the program criteria as funding allows. Persons eligible to apply are those who are attending or who plan to attend a college or trade school, persons who are members of a United Methodist Church on the Rappahannock River District, and persons who are enrolled in a program that presents a degree or certification.

Please click buttons below for a complete list of guidelines and requirements and the application form. We understand that GPA's may not be available from schools during this time. Please put your last known GPA with a note indicating the approximate date for that GPA.

Application deadline is 4:00pm on April 15, 2020. If you have any questions, please call 804.448.8326 or email  rappahannockriverdistrict@vaumc.org .

We request prayers for the family and friends of Betsy McConn from Remington UMC who passed away last week. Many of you knew her - she served in several positions over the past few years including the Board of Missions, Lay Servant Committee and as a Church Annual Conference Member.
Online Giving available for all churches to use
The Conference office has set up ONLINE GIVING that they will let all churches use to continue giving your offerings to your church. You simply donate and specify your church (name, city, GCFA #). The conference will send all funds collected to your church weekly and will send tax letters to the donors.

People can also use the site to donate to the Pandemic Relief if they choose.
The Lay Servant Training Scheduled for May 1 - 2 is Cancelled.
The District Mission Trip to El Salvador is also cancelled.
Conference Center Online Chapel services return April 8
 Though the conference center remains closed until further notice, weekly Wednesday services will start back up on Wednesday, April 8. You can find the services starting at 9 a.m. on the conference Facebook .
Services, Bible Studies, Kids Storytimes, Hymn Sings, etc. available online for everyone
Many of our district churches are streaming more than services - there are Bible Studies, Kid's Sunday School Lessons, Evening Musical Concerts, etc. - and they are open to anyone from any church who would like to join in. The easiest way to stay informed is to follow multiples churches on Facebook. You can also follow the District's Facebook Page at The Rappahannock River District of the United Methodist Church - we try to post as many as we can.

For a list of Churches who are streaming services, please click here.
Please note that the District Office is closed at this time. We are working from our homes. To reach Lynn call 804.304.8566. To reach DS Ledlum-Bates, please call 804.724.0202 or through our email addresses:

DS Ledlum-Bates-

Join Bishop Lewis for a Daily Prayer Time
Join Bishop Lewis at noon each day in prayer
The Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 4:6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (NIV) Prayer is essential to sustain our faith and Jesus Christ modeled a life of prayer.... I am very blessed to lead an annual conference that believes in the power of the petitioned prayer!

Please join me at 12 noon every day and pray this  PRAYER . Let us invoke the power of the Great Physician to do a mighty work in eradicating this disease all over the world.
Coronavirus Resources
For updates from the Virginia Conference, visit  https://www.vaumc.org/Coronavirus2020

·           The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is updating information daily at  https://www.cdc.gov/  
·           CDC information for community facilities:  https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/cleaning-disinfection.html
·           National Institutes of Health:  https://www.nih.gov/health-information/coronavirus
·           “Guidance for Congregations: In Response to severe infectious disease outbreak” – Resource prepared and shared with permission by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A)  https://pda.pcusa.org/site_media/media/uploads/pda/pdfs/preparedness_for_pandemics.pdf
Afton is live streaming!

 Afton UMC will be streaming Easter Services live on their Facebook Page, Afton United Methodist Church – Ophelia, VA. They invite everyone to join in and invite all their friends, during this Holy Week to hear Rev. John Wright deliver the messages.

Afton’s Holy Week Services are as follows:
Live Streaming – on Afton UMC-Ophelia’s Facebook Page
Thursday      April 9, 2020         7:00 PM       Maundy Thursday Service
Friday           April 10, 2020       7:00 PM       Tenebrae Service
Sunday         April 12, 2020       11:00 AM     Easter Sunday Service

The videos will be available shortly after the streaming on their Facebook page, as well as on Fairfields UMC-Burgess, VA page. This streaming ministry will continue weekly until it is deemed safe to re-open the sanctuary. Afton is located at 5130 Hacks Neck Road in Ophelia. Afton sends blessings to all and asks that we remember to be mindful of our neighbors and stay safe during these difficult times. For any need or more information, call our charge office at 804-453-3770.


Have you ever wondered how Annual Conference seems to flow so smoothly? Practice, Practice, Practice!

This year, we need your help!

Please come to Wright's Chapel UMC on Tuesday, June 9th, from 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm for a Mock Annual Conference to help prepare for the real thing and prepare our Conference Parliamentarians.

Your presence will be a great help. This is open to anyone from our churches - you don't have to be going to Annual Conference.

As thanks for your participation each Church represented will receive a free recording of our "Programs to Disciple Making" Webinar on flash drive. 

Mark your calendars now to attend!

Emmanuel UMC

Searching for a pianist for their 9:30 am service. The pianist would play hymns and lead the choir anthem. 

There is no choir practice during the week. 
All those who are interested in may contact us via  beumcva@gmail.com  and 804-462-7376 (Geri Vick, Worship committee chair) 
Kilmarnock UMC

Seeking an Organist/Choir Director, to share their faith through music to the glory of
God. We are looking for a musician with organ and piano skills who also has
experience conducting a 15-20 person adult choir. We have two traditional
worship services on Sunday morning and Choir Practice on Wednesday
evenings. This person would be responsible for planning and selecting choir
music. If interested please send your resume to kumc_office@verizon.net or
call 804-435-1797.
Liberty UMC

Seeking a Pianist/keyboardist (Organ too if possible) to play at Sunday morning church service. Part time position for small vibrant church. Opportunity for growth in the position.
To find out more details, please call 540-439-0267 or message us through our facebook page: Liberty UMC-Bealeton
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Ebenezer UMC, Stafford, VA, is seeking a part-time Assistant Property Manager to assist the Property Manager in maintaining the church building and grounds to provide a clean, safe, and welcoming environment that supports Ebenezer’s strategic vision. The selected individual will complete routine tasks on Sunday morning prior to worship, such as Café set up and breakdown, sidewalks and parking lot clear of debris, vacuuming, windows, trash removal, bathrooms, etc. as needed; ensure facilities are in good working order for worship services; perform basic repairs and maintenance to the various areas of the church building to include, but not limited to, plumbing, carpentry, painting, and lighting. For details, visit the Virginia Conference website at  www.vaumc.org/jobs

Director of Music Ministries (DOMM)
Hillcrest United Methodist Church located in Fredericksburg, VA, is searching for an enthusiastic individual with a Christian background to fill the position of our retiring Director of 28 years. The candidate should have excellent organ and piano skills and experience in leading a choir. This is a part time position; the expected commitment is up to 12 hours per week (1.5 hours of weekly rehearsal with choir, 2 hours weekly Sunday service, and additional time for planning, communications, and worship preparations). The Director should be able to work closely with the Pastor to coordinate music for a smooth, orderly, and meaningful worship service. Competitive salary. Send Cover letter, Resume, and references to Hillcrest UMC – Attn. Kevin Northridge, S/PPR Committee, 2208 Lafayette Blvd., Fredericksburg, VA 22401 or email: kmn0209@gmail.com .  

District Superintendent: Rev. Charles F. Ledlum-Bates , Ph.D.

2020 District Co-Lay Lay Leader:

2020 District Co-Lay Leader:

Lay Servant Director: Rev. Kevin Elmore kevinelmore@vaumc.org
Heartwood Director: Rev. Gayle Porias gayleporias@vaumc.org
Crossroads Minister: Rev. Mark Roscoe markroscoe@vaumc.org
Youth Coordinator: TJ Oliver, rrdyouth@vaumc.org
Office Manager: Lynn Manley rappahannockriverdistrict@vaumc.org
Administrative Assistant Connie Devenport rappahannockriverdistrict@vaumc.org

Mailing Address: PO BOX 100, Ladysmith, VA 22501 Phone   804.448.8326
Office Location: Inside Wright’s Chapel UMC at 8063 Ladysmith Road, Ruther Glen, VA (do not use for mail)