August 20, 2020
Welcome to the weekly update of the Rappahannock River District of the UMC 
Participate in survey for Bishop's In-person Workgroup

In April, Bishop Sharma D. Lewis formed a workgroup to develop policies and procedures for resuming in-person worship in Virginia Conference churches. Through the course of over a dozen meetings, this team has labored to provide churches with both policies and guidance designed to help enable congregations to “do no harm” as they seek to safely minister to members and communities. The fruit of this labor can be found at

In this survey, the workgroup seeks to hear back from people regarding the lived experiences with its work and how they can continue to be a help and guide to ministry. By completing this short survey, you will provide the workgroup with invaluable feedback that will help inform their work for the road ahead. This survey was sent out earlier this week to eAdvocate subscribers. If you would like to take part, note that the deadline to complete survey is Friday, Aug. 21Take survey.
District El Salvador Partnership Pivots to Provide During Pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc and caused upheaval around the globe, killing more than 750,000 people. Every church on the Rappahannock River District has been touched by the turmoil and all of our district ministries have been affected in some way by the pandemic. Yet while our attention is often captured by events closest to home, a few dozen Methodists on the district with hearts for international mission are acutely aware of the global devastation wrought by the virus.

The 2020 Rappahannock River District mission trip to El Salvador had to be postponed—only the second time since the formation of the district that a mission team has not travelled from here to the Central American country. The district, however, sees that the need in El Salvador is perhaps greater this year than ever. So while we will not be able to send mission team members this year, we will honor our covenant relationship to the people of El Salvador by sending the money that would have financed much of that mission trip directly to the Evangelical Methodist Church in El Salvador. This article briefly describes the pivot the Rappahannock River District Board of Missions executed from sending mission team members to sending financial relief to El Salvador.

Since its formation, the Rappahannock River District has been in international ministry partnership with the Evangelical Methodist Church in El Salvador. This partnership continues a relationship begun in part by Rev. Joe Winfree and 13 other Virginia Conference pastors who travelled to Central America more than ten years ago. Since 2012, seven teams of our district’s mission-minded laity and clergy volunteers have travelled annually to El Salvador to help build a new church, distribute food, pray, worship, deliver school and other supplies, evangelize, donate funds for a church vehicle and, most especially, build relationships. Each year, district volunteers pay a significant amount of their own money to travel to work in El Salvador as mission team members. The district contributes money each year to this ministry partnership; in 2019, $6,600 was budgeted for this purpose, and prior-year reserves were tapped to help pay a cost difference when airline tickets skyrocketed.  For 2020, $8,000 was budgeted to the District Board of Missions for our El Salvador ministry partnership. This money comes from the local churches on our district – a portion of the District Apportionments you pay each month are budgeted to the District Board of Missions for mission projects at the local, district, and international level. There have only been 2 years when we were unable to send a team to El Salvador; in 2016 when an outbreak of gang violence necessitated the cancellation of the trip and in 2020 because of the pandemic.

However, our care, ministry, and partnership with the people of El Salvador will not be cancelled by this virus. The district funds that would have been contributed to the mission trip are, in large part, this year being given directly to the Evangelical Methodist Church in El Salvador. When the District Board of Missions learned that the 2020 El Salvador mission trip had to be postponed, they reached out to team leaders Rev. Craig Muffley and Rev. Robin BeMiller to learn from their ministry partners in El Salvador about the situation there. Eastland UMC pastor Rev. Muffley, one of the original 14 Conference pastors who travelled to El Salvador a decade ago and who has returned there several times, wrote to his friend and ministry partner Rev. Juan de Dios Peña, Bishop of the El Salvador Evangelical Methodist Church, to inquire about relief needs there. Through Rev. Muffley, Bishop Juan de Dios Peña in early July told the Rappahannock River District Board of Missions “the virus has killed people all over the country and also it [has taken] the lives of several members of the Methodist church around the country. Many jobs have been lost and it is a crisis worse than ever in many homes.” The bishop also conveyed news of an ill-timed flood which caused great damage. Because the hospitals were overwhelmed with patients suffering with COVID-19, the Methodist clinic there “is serving more people than ever” and the people have “no access to medical care and no access to medicine” and they have no financial resources to pay for these things. The bishop in El Salvador identified three areas in particular where help was urgently needed: food; medicine and medical supplies; and reconstruction.

In late July, the District Board of Missions met via Zoom, email, and telephone to discuss how best to help our brothers and sisters in El Salvador. Of the $8,000 budgeted for El Salvador this year, the Board voted unanimously to re-allocate $6000 from the postponed mission trip to direct relief to be spent as determined by the Evangelical Methodist Church leadership in El Salvador; the unspent balance of $2,000 would be put in reserve at the end of the year with the intention of supplementing next year’s 2021 mission trip team scholarships additionally by that amount. The decade-long relationship with our ministry partners in El Salvador inspired the confidence that their on-the-ground judgement would best determine how to meet the needs there for food, medicine, medical care, and other needs as they see fit.

Thank you for your tithes and offerings which fund this District Apportionment. May God bless your gifts as they are sent to El Salvador to feed the hungry, heal the sick, and shelter those without.

Rev. Steve Little, President, Rappahannock River District Board of Missions
Annual Conference will be Virtual September 19

2020 Virginia Annual Conference will take place on Saturday, September 19, 2020, in a virtual format. Additional details regarding timing, agenda and procedures will be forthcoming. Thank you for your patience and understanding as the Planning Team continues to coordinate the many facets of conducting Annual Conference, especially in this unusual time.

For more information on the Annual Conference Offering, Kits for Conference, Appointments, and the Ordination Service, CLICK HERE.

Book of Reports now available; check conference website for future AC 2020 updates
The 2020 Book of Reports is now available for online viewing. Printed copies are currently in the mail to clergy and lay members.

White Stone UMC is having an ONLINE auction to fund building maintenance, youth camp and computer purchases. The auction will be August 17 - August 23.

To “join” the auction, go to: .
The auctioneer will probably have several online auctions going on at the same time. Folks looking for our auction will need to look for “white-stone-united-methodist-church-benefit-auction—3”.

Please join in for a great time!

Can you help one of our District Churches ?
The Committee for the Rappahannock River District Builder’s Club is pleased to announce our 9th call. This is for Galilee United Methodist Church located in Edwardsville, Virginia. The links below include a Pastor's Letter of Description, Finance Information Sheet, and pictures of work recently completed. The request is for funds to help with completion of renovations to the septic and sewer system for the existing facilities. The work included removal of trees, sidewalks, old septic and sewer and the installation of new septic, leach field, and sidewalks. 

This Call is issued to anyone who would like to make a donation. The Call will close on September 15. 

Galilee is one of our smallest churches to request assistance.  We are asking that you support this Call by sending a check payable to: “Rappahannock River District Builder’s Club” to the district office at PO BOX 100, Ladysmith, VA 22501 before September 15th.

We currently have 138 members in our Builder’s Club. We would love to have additional members who help God’s Kingdom grow by supporting district churches. Become a member today by sending $ 10.00 or greater to the above address and tell a friend about the Builder’s Club. All donations are tax deductible.

Thank you for being a partner with Galilee U.M.C.

For more information on the Builder's Club and how we can help your church, please contact me.

Working in His Kingdom


David A. Kellison, President
Rappahannock River District Builder's Club
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 and 804-514-1830 (David Henley) 
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
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, please visit the conference website jobs listing here


District Superintendent: Rev. Charles F. Ledlum-Bates, Ph.D.
DS Cell: 804.724.0202

2020 District Co-Lay Lay Leader:

2020 District Co-Lay Leader:

Lay Servant Director: Rev. Kevin Elmore
Heartwood Director: Rev. Gayle Porias
Crossroads Minister: Rev. Mark Roscoe
Youth Coordinator: TJ Oliver,
Office Manager: Lynn Manley
Cell 804.304.8566
Administrative Assistant Connie Devenport

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)